More ‘Fake News,’ Alas, From the New York Times

via More ‘Fake News,’ Alas, From the New York Times
From The American Conservative via Information Clearing House

 

Disregarding President Trump’s insistent claim that the establishment press propagates “fake news” requires a constant effort—especially when a prestigious outlet like the New York Times allows itself to be used for blatantly fraudulent purposes.

I cherish the First Amendment. Mark me down as favoring journalism that is loud, lively, and confrontational. When members of the media snooze—falling for fictitious claims about Saddam’s WMD program or Gaddafi’s genocidal intentions, for example—we all lose.

So the recent decision by Times editors to publish an op-ed regarding Paul Manafort’s involvement in Ukraine is disturbing. That the Times is keen to bring down Donald Trump is no doubt the case. Yet if efforts to do so entail grotesque distortions of U.S. policy before Trump, then we are courting real trouble. Put simply, ousting Trump should not come at the cost of whitewashing the follies that contributed to Trump’s rise in the first place.

The offending Times op-ed, the handiwork of Evelyn N. Farkas, appears under the title “With Manafort, It Really Is About Russia, Not Ukraine.” During the Obama administration, Farkas served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, Eurasia, and Mess Kit Repair. Okay, I added that last bit, but it does seem like quite an expansive charter for a mere deputy assistant secretary.

The story Farkas tells goes like this.

First, from the moment it achieved independence in 1991, Ukraine was a divided nation, “torn between Western Europe and Russia.” Ukrainians in the country’s western precincts wanted to join the European Union and NATO. Those further to east “oriented themselves toward Russia, which exerted maximum influence to keep Ukraine closely aligned.” In one camp were enlightened Ukrainians. In the other camp, the unenlightened.

Second, Manafort’s involvement in this intra-Ukrainian dispute was—shockingly—never about “advanc[ing] the interests of democracy, Western Europe or the United States.” Manafort’s motives were strictly venal. In what Farkas describes as a “standoff between democracy and autocracy,” he threw in with the autocrats, thereby raking in millions.

Third, Manafort’s efforts mattered bigly. In 2010, he helped Victor F. Yanukovych become president of Ukraine. An unquestionably nasty piece of work, Yanukovych was, according to Farkas, “Putin’s man in Kiev.” Yet like it or not, he came to power as the result of democratic election. In 2013, Yanukovych opted against joining the EU, which along with NATO, had, in Farkas’s words, “experienced a burst of membership expansion” right up to Russia’s own borders.

In response to Yanukovych’s action, “the Ukrainian people,” that is, the enlightened ones, “took to the streets,” forcing him to flee the country. Rather than bowing to the expressed will of the people, however, Russia’s Vladimir Putin “instigated a separatist movement” in eastern Ukraine, thereby triggering “a war between Russia and Ukraine that continues to this day.”

To accept Farkas’s account as truthful, one would necessarily conclude that as Manafort was hijacking history, the United States remained quietly on the sidelines, an innocent bystander sending prayers heavenward in hopes that freedom and democracy might everywhere prevail.

Such was hardly the case, however. One need not be a Putin apologist to note that the United States was itself engaged in a program of instigation, one that ultimately induced a hostile—but arguably defensive—Russian response.

In the wake of the Cold War, the EU and NATO did not experience a “burst” of expansion, a formulation suggesting joyous spontaneity. Rather, with Washington’s enthusiastic support, the West embarked upon a deliberate eastward march at the Kremlin’s expense, an undertaking made possible by (and intended to exploit) Russia’s weakened state. In football, it’s called piling on.

That this project worked to the benefit of Czechs, Poles, Hungarians, the Baltic Republics, and others is very much the case. On that score, it is to be applauded.

That at some point a resentful Russia would push back was all but certain. Indeed, more than a few Western observers had warned against such a response.

The proposed incorporation of Ukraine into NATO brought matters to a head. For Putin, this was an unacceptable prospect. He acted as would any U.S. president contemplating the absorption of a near neighbor into hostile bloc of nations. Indeed, he acted much as had Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy when they assessed the implications of Cuba joining the Soviet bloc.

That doesn’t justify or excuse Putin’s meddling in Ukraine. Yet it suggests an explanation for Russian behavior other than the bitterness of an ex-KGB colonel still with his shorts in a knot over losing the Cold War. Russia has an obvious and compelling interest in who controls Ukraine, even if few in Washington or in the editorial offices of the New York Times will acknowledge that reality.

Furthermore, Russia was not alone in its meddling. The United States has been equally guilty. When “the Ukrainian people took to the streets,” as Farkas puts it, the State Department and CIA were behind the scenes vigorously pulling strings. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland believed it was incumbent upon the United States to decide who should govern Ukraine. (“Yats is the guy,” she said on a leaked call). Nuland would brook no interference from allies slow to follow Washington’s lead. (“F–k the EU,” she told the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.)

That Ukraine is, as Farkas correctly states, a torn country, did not give Nuland pause. Since the end of the Cold War, U.S. policymakers have assigned to themselves a magical ability to repair such tears and to make broken countries whole. The results of their labors are amply on display everywhere from Somalia and Haiti to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Now add Ukraine to that sorry list.

Even so, can’t we at least assume Nuland’s motives were morally superior to Putin’s? After all, President Putin is clearly a thug whereas Nuland is an estimable product of the American foreign policy establishment. She’s married to Robert Kagan, for heaven’s sake.

Persuade yourself that the United States is all about democracy promotion, as Farkas appears to believe, and the answer to that question is clearly yes. Alas, the record of American statecraft stretching over decades provides an abundance of contrary evidence. In practice, the United States supports democracy only when it finds it convenient to do so. Should circumstances require, it unhesitatingly befriends despots, especially rich ones that pay cash while purchasing American weaponry.

Yanukovych was Putin’s man, “and therefore, indirectly, so was Mr. Manafort,” Farkas concludes. All that now remains is to determine “the extent to which Mr. Manafort was Putin’s man in Washington.” For Farkas, the self-evident answer to that question cannot come too soon.

As to whether Russia—or any other great power—might have legitimate security interests that the United States would do well to respect, that’s not a matter worth bothering about. Thus does the imperative of ousting Trump eclipse the need to confront the pretensions and the hubris that helped make Trump possible.

Andrew Bacevich is writer-at-large at The American Conservative.

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UBUNTU Movement

UBUNTU: Mayor Ron Higgins Makes History in North Frontenac

reposted from UBUNTU Liberation Movement

[For background on UBUNTU, research the work of Michael Tellinger and visit the UBUNTU website, perhaps beginning with the About page.]

Friday, 3 November 2017

Mayor Ron Higgins successfully presented his plan for implementing the UBUNTU – ONE SMALL TOWN plan of action in North Frontenac, Ontario, Canada – and was given the full support of the Council to continue with the implementation. His closing words were “One small town, starts today.”

This is truly a historic day for all of humanity as Mayor Higgins becomes the first elected mayor in office, to take this brave bold step towards creating a community filled with abundance and prosperity, through the principles of CONTRIBUTIONISM – a whole new social structure to release the people of North Frontenac from economic slavery. The world will remember you for your courage forever Mayor Higgins.

Mayor Higgins wrote: “One Small Town – Self Sustainability is now a reality. I do apologize for the poor quality of the live feed today as this was setup in a rush but at least I was able to allow the world to partake in this significant historical event. As commented in the posts below we had great questions and comments during the meeting. The people who were in attendance did provide Council with their thoughts and Council began to see the importance and the significance of this project.

In the end Council voted unanimously to support the One Small Town project including assessing the production of our electricity. I am humbled and proud of what was accomplished today and feel especially proud to be the first Mayor to make Michael Tellinger’s vision become a reality. Anything we can do together we can do better.”

Now the real fun begins with the implementation and PR to share the good news – which is very rare in the world of politics today. My belief has always been that the first mayor will inspire others to do the same. So, hold on and enjoy the ride, and lets see how long it takes for the next mayor to take the same bold step.

In unity & resonance – Michael Tellinger

About Michael Tellinger

Michael Tellinger, is an author of six books, scientist and explorer, who has become a real-life Indiana Jones, making ground-breaking discoveries about advanced vanished civilizations at the southern tip of Africa. His continued efforts and analytical scientific approach have produced stunning new evidence that will force us to rethink our origins and rewrite our history books.

Michael is the founder of the global UBUNTU Liberation Movement of higher consciousness and the UBUNTU Party as a political front for this global movement, with members in over 200 countries.

The US and Israel kick up a fake storm over Unesco

Source: The US and Israel kick up a fake storm over Unesco

The US and Israel kick up a fake storm over Unesco
By Jonathon Cook | October 15, 2017
At first glance, the decision last week by the Trump administration, followed immediately by Israel, to quit the United Nation’s cultural agency seems strange. Why penalise a body that promotes clean water, literacy, heritage preservation and women’s rights?

Washington’s claim that the UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) is biased against Israel obscures the real crimes the agency has committed in US eyes.

The first is that in 2011 Unesco became the first UN agency to accept Palestine as a member. That set the Palestinians on the path to upgrading their status at the General Assembly a year later.

It should be recalled that in 1993, as Israel and the Palestinians signed the Oslo accords on the White House lawn, the watching world assumed the aim was to create a Palestinian state.

But it seems most US politicians never received that memo. Under pressure from Israel’s powerful lobbyists, the US Congress hurriedly passed legislation to pre-empt the peace process. One such law compels the United States to cancel funding to any UN body that admits the Palestinians.

Six years on, the US is $550 million in arrears and without voting rights at Unesco. Its departure is little more than a formality.

The agency’s second crime relates to its role selecting world heritage sites. That power has proved more than an irritant to Israel and the US.

The occupied territories, supposedly the locus of a future Palestinian state, are packed with such sites. Hellenistic, Roman, Jewish, Christian and Muslim relics promise not only the economic rewards of tourism but also the chance to control the historic narrative.

Israeli archaeologists, effectively the occupation’s scientific wing, are chiefly interested in excavating, preserving and highlighting Jewish layers of the Holy Land’s past. Those ties have then been used to justify driving out Palestinians and building Jewish settlements.

Unesco, by contrast, values all of the region’s heritage, and aims to protect the rights of living Palestinians, not just the ruins of long-dead civilisations.

Nowhere has the difference in agendas proved starker than in occupied Hebron, where tens of thousands of Palestinians live under the boot of a few hundred Jewish settlers and the soldiers who watch over them. In July, Unesco enraged Israel and the US by listing Hebron as one of a handful of world heritage sites “in danger”. Israel called the resolution “fake history”.

The third crime is the priority Unesco gives to the Palestinian names of heritage sites under belligerent occupation.

Much hangs on how sites are identified, as Israel understands. Names influence the collective memory, giving meaning and significance to places.

The Israeli historian Ilan Pappe has coined the term “memoricide” for Israel’s erasure of most traces of the Palestinians’ past after it dispossessed them of four-fifths of their homeland in 1948 – what Palestinians term their Nakba, or Catastrophe.

Israel did more than just raze 500 Palestinian towns and villages. In their place it planted new Jewish communities with Hebracaised names intended to usurp the former Arabic names. Saffuriya became Tzipori; Hittin was supplanted by Hittim; Muyjadil was transformed into Migdal.

A similar process of what Israel calls “Judaisation” is under way in the occupied territories. The settlers of Beitar Ilit threaten the Palestinians of Battir. Nearby, the Palestinians of Sussiya have been dislodged by a Jewish settlement of exactly the same name.

The stakes are highest in Jerusalem. The vast Western Wall plaza below Al Aqsa mosque was created in 1967 after more than 1,000 Palestinians were evicted and their quarter demolished. Millions of visitors each year amble across the plaza, oblivious to this act of displacement.

Settlers, aided by the Israeli state, continue to encircle Christian and Muslim sites in the hope of taking them over.

That is the context for recent Unesco reports highlighting the threats to Jerusalem’s Old City, including Israel’s denial for most Palestinians of the right to worship at Al Aqsa.

Israel has lobbied to have Jerusalem removed from the list of endangered heritage sites. Alongside the US, it has whipped up a frenzy of moral outrage, berating Unesco for failing to prioritise the Hebrew names used by the occupation authorities.

Unesco’s responsibility, however, is not to safeguard the occupation or bolster Israel’s efforts at Judaisation. It is there to uphold international law and prevent Palestinians from being disappeared by Israel.

Mr Trump’s decision to quit Unesco is far from his alone. His predecessors have been scuffling with the agency since the 1970s, often over its refusal to cave in to Israeli pressure.

Now, Washington has a pressing additional reason to punish Unesco for allowing Palestine to become a member. It needs to make an example of the cultural body to dissuade other agencies from following suit.

President Trump’s confected indignation at Unesco, and his shrugging off of its vital global programmes, serve as a reminder that the US is not an “honest broker” of a Middle East peace. Rather it is the biggest obstacle to its realisation.

Old Hickory & Honest Abe

Source: Old Hickory & Honest Abe

In 1828 Andrew Jackson took a run at the US Presidency. Throughout his campaign he railed against the international bankers who controlled the Bank of the United States (BUS).

Jackson ranted, “You are a den of vipers. I intend to expose you and by Eternal God I will rout you out. If the people understood the rank injustices of our money and banking system there would be a revolution before morning.”

Jackson won the election and revoked the bank’s charter stating, “The Act seems to be predicated on an erroneous idea that the present shareholders have a prescriptive right to not only the favor, but the bounty of the government…for their benefit does this Act exclude the whole American people from competition in the purchase of this monopoly. Present stockholders and those inheriting their rights as successors be established a privileged order, clothed both with great political power and enjoying immense pecuniary advantages from their connection with government. Should its influence be concentrated under the operation of such an Act as this, in the hands of a self-elected directory whose interests are identified with those of the foreign stockholders, will there not be cause to tremble for the independence of our country in war…controlling our currency, receiving our public monies and holding thousands of our citizens independence, it would be more formidable and dangerous than the naval and military power of the enemy. It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government for selfish purposes…to make the rich richer and more powerful. Many of our rich men have not been content with equal protection and equal benefits, but have besought us to make them richer by acts of Congress. I have done my duty to this country.”[838]

Populism prevailed and Jackson was re-elected. In 1835 he was the target of the first assassination attempt on a US President. The gunman was Richard Lawrence, who confessed that he was, “in touch with the powers in Europe”. [839] Still, in 1836 Jackson refused to renew the BUS charter. Under his watch the US national debt went to zero for the first and last time in our nation’s history. This angered the international bankers whose primary income is derived from interest payments on debt. BUS President Nicholas Biddle cut off funding to the US government in 1842, plunging the US into a depression. Biddle was an agent for the Paris-based Jacob Rothschild. [840]

The Mexican War was simultaneously sprung on Jackson. A few years later the Civil War was unleashed, with London bankers backing the Union and French bankers backing the South. The Lehman family made a fortune smuggling arms to the south and cotton to the north. By 1861 the US was $100 million in debt. New President Abraham Lincoln snubbed the Euro-bankers again, issuing Lincoln Greenbacks to pay Union Army bills. The Times of London now called for the “destruction of the US government”.

The Euro-banker-written Hazard Circular was exposed and circulated throughout the country by angry populists. It stated, “The European Bankers favor the end of slavery…the European plan is that capital money lenders shall control labor by controlling wages. The great debt that capitalists will see is made out of the war and must be used to control the valve of money. To accomplish this government bonds must be used as a banking basis. We are now awaiting Secretary of Treasury Salmon Chase to make that recommendation. It will not allow Greenbacks to circulate as money as we cannot control that. We control bonds and through them banking issues”.

The 1863 National Banking Act reinstated a private US central bank and Chase’s war bonds were issued. Lincoln was re-elected the next year, vowing to repeal the act after he took his January 1865 oaths of office. Before he could act, he was assassinated at the Ford Theatre by John Wilkes Booth. Booth had major connections to the international bankers. His granddaughter wrote This One Mad Act, which details Booth’s contact with “mysterious Europeans” just before the Lincoln assassination.

Following the Lincoln hit, Booth was whisked away by members of a secret society known as Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC). KGC had close ties to the French Society of Seasons, which produced Karl Marx. KGC had fomented much of the tension that caused the Civil War and President Lincoln had specifically targeted the group. Booth was a KGC member and was connected through Confederate Secretary of State Judah Benjamin to the House of Rothschild. Benjamin fled to England after the war. [841]

Nearly a century after Lincoln was assassinated for issuing Greenbacks, President Kennedy was assassinated for issuing silver-backed United States Notes. The US sank further into debt. Its citizens were terrorized into silence. If they could kill the President they could kill anyone.