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Turkey Will Not Allow Istanbul to Transform Into Constantinople - Erdogan

18:32 18.03.2019(updated 18:51 18.03.2019)

© AP Photo / Presidential Press Service/Pool

ANKARA (Sputnik) - The Turkish people will not allow Istanbul to become Constantinople, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday, in reference to the city's former Christian name, which was reportedly referenced by the attacker who recently carried out an act of terrorism on two mosques in New Zealand.

"The terrorist attack in New Zealand is a signal of certain circles addressed to Turkey. The enemies of Muslims have shown that they continue to hate us. We are ready to resist and speak loudly about it in Canakkale… Turkish people will always live on these lands, they will not allow Istanbul to be turned into Constantinople," he said while speaking in the northwestern city of Canakkale which marked the 104th anniversary of the Turkish troops' victory over the Entente powers (Britain and France) in the Dardanelles Campaign during World War I.

Last Friday, New Zealand was rocked by two consecutive terrorist mass shootings at Al Noor Mosque and the Linwood Islamic Center in Christchurch, the largest city on the South Island. The tragedy left 50 people dead and 50 more injured.

The New Zealand attack suspect, who was immediately detained, has been identified as Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian national and a resident of New Zealand's Dunedin city. Tarrant recorded his views in a manifesto in which he expressed strong anti-migrant and anti-Muslim sentiments.

Part of his manifesto was devoted to Turkey and Erdogan, media reported, citing a portion of the document that had leaked online. He reportedly promised to make Constantinople "rightfully Christian" in an open threat to the city's Muslim population.

Tarrant e-mailed his manifesto to several people minutes prior to the attack. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has dubbed the tragedy a terrorist act and the country's "darkest day," was one of the recipients of the document.

R ~ 'The Turkish people...' Uh-huh.
Defense minister: Foreign military presence in Syria amounts to 'occupation'

Mon Mar 18, 2019 04:22PM [Updated: Mon Mar 18, 2019 05:07PM ]

A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on March 18, 2019 shows Syrian Defense Minister Ali Abdullah Ayyoub speaking during a press conference in the Syrian capital of Damascus. (Photo via AFP)

The Syrian Ministry of Defense has denounced as an “act of occupation” the presence of foreign forces in the country without authorization from the government in Damascus, stressing that Syria reserves the right to defend its security and sovereignty against any act of aggression.

Speaking at a press conference in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Monday, Syrian Defense Minister General Ali Abdullah Ayyoub said the unauthorized military presence of any country in Syria was regarded as “illegal” and that the Syrian armed forces would not relent in their determination to defend the country’s territorial integrity.

General Ayyoub also added that areas held by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) would be brought back under government control through military force or the kind of "reconciliation agreements.”

"The only card remaining in the hands of the Americans and their allies is the SDF, and it will be dealt with through the two methods used by the Syrian state: national reconciliation or the liberation of the areas that they control through force," the Syrian defense minister said.

"The Americans must leave and will leave," he added.

'SDF militants in Syria help Daesh elements flee to Turkey'
US-backed Kurdish militants in Syria have reportedly been helping the Daesh terrorists holed up in an eastern village to escape their last hideout and reach the Turkish border in return for "hefty bribes."

The US has long been providing the SDF -- a predominantly Kurdish alliance of militants -- with arms, calling it a key partner in the purported fight against the Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

The Daesh terror group lost its territorial control in Syria in late 2017 thanks to national army operations backed by Iran and Russia.

Despite the terror group's collapse, the US and a coalition of allies, which invaded Syria in 2014 under the pretext of fighting Daesh, have refused to end their aerial operations in defiance of the Damascus government.

PressTV-‘US giving Daesh safe passage in Syria in return for gold’
A report says the US and Daesh have clinched a deal, under which Washington received massive amounts of gold in exchange for providing safe passage to the terror group’s members in Syria.

The US has deployed some 2,000 troops to Syria and runs military bases there.

Many reports have emerged over the past months, indicating that Washington lets the terrorists enjoy freedom of movement near its military base, and even trains them there.

In December last year, US President Donald Trump unexpectedly announced that the US would be pulling all its 2,000 forces out of Syria. He also claimed victory over Daesh in the country.
France to ban Yellow Vest protests in ‘worst hit’ areas if radicals spotted – French PM

Published time: 18 Mar, 2019 16:03
Edited time: 18 Mar, 2019 17:12

© Reuters / Philippe Wojazer

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said Paris could soon ban protests in “worst hit” neighborhoods, after radical protesters turned a Yellow Vests’ demonstration on Champs-Elysees into smashing, looting, and burning mayhem.

"From next Saturday, we will ban 'yellow vest' protests in neighbourhoods that have been the worst hit as soon as we see sign of the presence of radical groups and their intent to cause damage," Philippe told reporters on Monday.

The French prime minister, Edouard Philippe, has held talks with ministers after opposition politicians accused the government of being unprepared for rioting during gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protests on the Champs Élysées in Paris.

Philippe then announced that the city’s police chief, Michel Delpuech, will be sacked and replaced on Wednesday by Didier Lallement, currently the top police official in the southwestern region of Nouvelle-Aquitaine. Philippe criticized the Paris police for their handling of Saturday’s protests, saying “the strategy for maintaining order was not correctly implemented.”

Philippe also took aim at those social media users who he said were encouraging the rioting, saying that “all those who participate, encourage, or glorify it on social networks are complicit,” and warning that “they will have to take responsibility.”

Earlier on Monday, it emerged that future protests and demonstrations could be banned in the heart of Paris after French President Emmanuel Macron consulted with his interior and justice ministers during an emergency meeting.

Sections of protesters attached to the movement wreaked havoc on the iconic Champs-Elysees avenue, after police attempted to remove barriers erected by the protesters. The demonstration, the group’s 18th consecutive weekend of protests, then turned into a riot with cars set on fire and shops along the avenue smashed up and looted. Riot police responded by firing tear gas and other projectiles, which hospitalized a reporter from RT’s Ruptly video agency.

Previous clashes with police have resulted in demonstrators and bystanders suffering severe injuries after being hit with gas canisters, rubber bullets and Flash-Balls. Activist group Desarmons-les (Disarm Them) has recorded at least 150 serious injuries. Government figures show that over 2,000 protesters and over 1,000 police officers have been injured since protests broke out in November.

The renewed violence bears the hallmarks of the severe rioting that occurred during demonstrations in December. However, recent demonstrations have been fairly calm. Macron has since vowed to take “strong measures” in order to prevent a repeat of the violence next Saturday.

Initially a rejection of proposed fuel tax increases, the Yellow Vest movement has since widened to broadly oppose the government, its pro-business reforms, and Macron’s leadership in general.

R ~ The last gasp of politicians is the laws they have perverted. What violence there has been was the methodology of the police and worsthit were hit by government provocateurs. The peoples forbearance has been remarkable given the intransigence of macron and his puppet regime.
Trump Downplays White Nationalism Threat, Calls it ‘Very Small Group of People’

04:20 16.03.2019

© REUTERS / Jorge Silva

The president condemned the shooting in New Zealand but disagreed with assessment that white nationalism is a rising global threat.

US President Donald Trump is skeptical about the degree of the threat posed by white nationalism in the United States and around the world, his comments in the wake of New Zealandian shooting revealed Friday.

Speaking at a press conference following his veto overriding Congress' decision to end his national emergency declaration regarding the US' southern border, Trump condemned the shooting and expressed his sympathy for the victims who died at "places of worship turned into scenes of evil killing."

When asked about his opinion of white nationalism around the world, he said he doesn't think it is a rising global threat.

"I don't [think so], really," he said. "I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems."

The shooter, who killed 49 people in New Zealand mosques Thursday, published a manifesto, in which he says he supports Trump as a symbol of "renewed white identity."

"Were/are you a supporter of Donald Trump?" was one of the questions the shooter posed to himself in the document, answering, "As a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure. As a policy maker and leader? Dear god no."

When asked about this reference, Trump admitted he was unaware of it.

"I didn't see it," he said. "But I think it's a horrible event… a horrible, disgraceful thing and a horrible act."

The connection has also been denounced by the White House officials.

"It's outrageous to even make that connection between this deranged individual that committed this evil crime to the president who has repeatedly condemned bigotry, racism and made it very clear that this is a terrorist attack," Mercedes Schlapp, the White House's director of strategic communications, told reporters. "We are there to support and stand with the people of New Zealand."

Following the incident, Trump had a phone conversation with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, "offering condolences, prayers and any help the US might be able to provide," according to Fox News.

The New Zealand shooter, who has already been charged with murder, used a wide variety of white supremacist and extremist symbols in his manifesto. He also painted his guns with well-known white supremacist symbols, including a "solar wheel" and an Othala rune.
The World Below / If you 'care' about Yemenis, back Saudi war: Pompeo to senators
« Last post by Rudi Jan on March 16, 2019, 07:12:48 AM »
If you 'care' about Yemenis, back Saudi war: Pompeo to senators

Sat Mar 16, 2019 06:48AM [Updated: Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:38AM ]

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters at the State Department in Washington on March 15, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has rebuked senators for passing a resolution to end Washington’s support for the Saudi war on Yemen, saying they should back Riyadh if they "truly care about Yemeni lives."

In comments to the media in Washington on Friday, Pompeo claimed the vote showed that American senators do not care about the Yemeni people.

"If you truly care about Yemeni lives, you'd support the Saudi-led effort to prevent Yemen from turning into a puppet state of ... Iran," he said.

On Wednesday, the Republican-led Senate approved the resolution to halt US military assistance for the Saudi offensive against Yemen by a 54 to 46 tally.

PressTV-Senate urges Trump to end support for Yemen war
The Senate urges the Trump administration to halt the US engagement in the Saudi-led war on Yemen.

The measure now heads to the Democrat-led House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass.

A similar resolution to end US support for the Saudi war on Yemen passed the Senate in December, but it was not taken up under the then-Republican-controlled House. For the resolution to reach the president’s desk, it will have to go back to the House for approval.

The US provides intelligence sharing, logistics support and other training to the Saudi-led coalition, which has been waging the war on Yemen since March 2015. It also previously helped with mid-air refueling for warplanes operated by Riyadh and its allies, but that assistance ended last November.

PressTV-US halts refueling Saudi jets but keeps military aid
The US and Saudi Arabia say they have agreed to end US refueling of Saudi aircraft bombing Yemen but maintain American training and military assistance.

Senator Bernie Sanders, a co-sponsor of the resolution, said, "The bottom line is that the United States should not be supporting a catastrophic war led by a despotic regime with a dangerous and irresponsible foreign policy."

Pompeo, however, said the Trump administration believes that suspending the US role would not end the Yemen conflict.

“We all want to improve the dire humanitarian situation. But the Trump administration fundamentally disagrees that curbing our assistance to the Saudi-led coalition is the way to achieve these goals," he said.

Pompeo also argued that the way to “alleviate the Yemeni people’s suffering isn’t to prolong the conflict by handicapping our partners in the fight," but by giving the Saudi-led coalition the support needed to defeat Houthi Ansarullah fighters.

Saudi Arabia and its partners launched the war in an attempt to reinstall Riyadh-allied former regime and crush the Houthis, who have been running state affairs in the absence of an effective government.

The Western-backed aggression against Yemen, coupled with a naval blockade, has destroyed the country's infrastructure and led to famine as well as a cholera outbreak.

So far, the aggressors have been unable to penetrate the defenses of the Yemeni nation and Houthi fighters.

R ~ Dear Trump... fire this fat fuck.
The World Below / Yellow vests, police clash in Paris on day of 'ultimatum'
« Last post by Rudi Jan on March 16, 2019, 07:07:33 AM »
Yellow vests, police clash in Paris on day of 'ultimatum'

Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:13AM [Updated: Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:33AM ]

Yellow vest protesters clash with police during an anti-government demonstration in Caen, northwestern France on Jan. 12, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

France's "yellow vest" protest movement has rebounded with a major rally in Paris, described by organizers as an ultimatum to the government.

The protest is one of several planned in the French capital on Saturday, where French climate campaigners are also planning a "March of The Century".

The movement had recently been characterized by politicians and media in France as losing steam, but a large crowd gathered on the Champs-Elysees avenue for the 18th straight week of anti-government protests.

Protesters erected barricades near the Champs-Elysees in scenes reminiscent of some of the most tense rallies, prompting police to fire tear gas to disperse them.

The new protests coincided with the end of two months of public debates called by President Emmanuel Macron to take the heat out of the protests.

His hopes, however, were dealt a serious blow with the new protests. The unrest began in November over fuel tax hikes but quickly ballooned into an anti-Macron revolt.

Over 5,000 police were deployed in anticipation of violence after the organizers of Saturday's protest presented it as an "ultimatum" to Macron.

French police restrain a man wearing a yellow vest as demonstrators block the Champs Elysees Avenue in Paris, November 17, 2018. (Photo by Reuters)

Laurent Casanova, an engineer, said he had come to mark the end of the consultations. "We have been patient but now we want results," he told Agence France-Presse.

The news agency reported a large security cordon thrown up around the Champs-Elysees, where the Arc de Triomphe war memorial was sacked on December 1 in images which drew parallels with war zones.

Thousands have been arrested and at least ten people have been killed since the protests started in November. Hundreds more have also been wounded.

R ~ Do these cops have families? Do they go home at night and tell their wives what fun they had earning a salary from the people they are attacking? One wonders what moral compass they signed up to use.
Ethics complaint filed against Trump's defense chief over alleged Boeing bias

Published time: 14 Mar, 2019 00:53

FILE PHOTO: Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan. © Reuters / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

A US watchdog has filed a complaint against acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan over his alleged lobbying of Boeing, his former employer. The company is still reeling from the recent Ethiopia crash, that sent its stock sliding.

The complaint was filed by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a non-profit US government ethics watchdog, on Wednesday, just as the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) joined the rest of the world in grounding all Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 9 models over safety concerns.

The group cited numerous media reports that Shanahan, who used to work in various subdivisions at Boeing for more than 30 years before he was handpicked by President Donald Trump to serve as Deputy Secretary of Defense, has been doing the airspace manufacturer's bidding at internal meetings and in private.

After former Pentagon chief James Mattis stepped down in late 2018, Shanahan took over the Pentagon as Acting Defense Secretary. Before embarking on a career in the Trump administration, Shanahan signed an ethics agreement that precludes him from getting involved in any matters concerning Boeing.

In its complaint, CREW cited earlier reports by Politico and Bloomberg claiming Shanahan lobbied the inclusion of Boeing fourth-generation F-15X fighter aircraft in the newly-released Pentagon budget request. The budget proposal released Tuesday envisions Pentagon buying eight F-15X jets and up to 80 aircraft over the next five years. The proposal, according to Bloomberg, was championed by Shanahan and eventually came through despite reportedly facing strong opposition from the Air Force which reportedly called the jet "ineffective against enemies like China and Russia." The initial budget proposal did not include the funding for the jets, according to Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, who subsequently resigned.

Reports have also suggested that while promoting the Boeing equipment, Shanahan unloaded heavily on its competitor, Lockheed Martin, and, in particular, on its fifth-generation stealth fighter F-35, beset with delays, groundings and cost overruns has racked up a price tag of $1,5 trillion.

Shanahan reportedly referred to the program as "f***ed up" suggesting that if the contract would go Boeing's way it would have performed "much better".

"Acting Secretary Shanahan's conduct regarding Boeing and its competitors indicate that he may have violated his Ethics Pledge for the same reasons that they raise significant concerns of an appearance of a lack of impartiality," CREW wrote in the complaint to the Department of Defense Acting Inspector General Glenn Fine, asking him to investigate a possible violation of ethics rules by Shahanan. During his three decades at Boeing, Shanahan, among his many occupations, worked as senior vice president of Commercial Airplane Programs. Among his duties on that job was "managing profit and loss for the 737, 747, 767, 777 and 787 programs," his Pentagon profile states.

Shanahan has denied allegations of bias towards his former employer in a statement on Wednesday, saying that he has continued to stick to his ethics agreement "at all times."

A potential new scandal comes at a time when Boeing is struggling to contain a fallout from the recent crash in Ethiopia, which killed 157 people and triggered a wave of temporary bans of the troubled 737 MAX 8 jet by all major nations and airlines. The controversy fueled by safety concerns saw the company's stock plummeting for the third day in a row after the US joined other nations in grounding the planes.
The World Below / US spending $250 million to build border security force in Syria
« Last post by Rudi Jan on March 13, 2019, 10:43:36 AM »
US spending $250 million to build border security force in Syria

By News Desk -2019-03-131\

BEIRUT, LEBANON (3:30 P.M.) – The U.S. military’s 2020 budget will see over $550 million allocated to training and developing forces inside Syria, a new report from the Department of Defense read this week.

During a presentation by the Department of Defense, a reporter asked about the inaudible money that is going to be used to train a border security force inside Syria, despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw most of the American forces from the country.

“So as we know, this year the fight against ISIS in Syria is rolling out, and that the U.S. forces are pulling out of Syria, but we see that still the budget allocates $300 million for Syrian training (inaudible) program and then $250 million for the border security of that — in that country.

Can you explain how this (inaudible) money will be used and who the U.S. is going to train, as the U.S. is already pulling out and the fight against ISIS is coming to be over?”

In response to the question, two officials gave their take on the funding:

DEPUTY COMPTROLLER MCCUSKER:  I’ll start and then let General Ierardi comment.  I think what you’re seeing in our budget is a reflection as, you know, an updated part of the strategy on sort of where we stand in defeating ISIS, but also continued emphasis on our second line of effort, which is our — our partnerships and our allies and their critical role in, you know, maintaining the — the gains that we’ve achieved in that area.

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LT. GEN. IERARDI:  I think we’ll adjust as appropriate as we move forward.  As we built this — this budget, it was based on the information at the time, still is an important part of the overall request and we’ll — we’ll adjust as — as necessary.

The U.S. is planning to build a new security force in northern Syria, which will ultimately be tasked with protecting the area along the Turkish border.

R ~ I keep thinking of how often it has been repeated that Israel is our only 'democratic ally' in the region. Repetition seems to have made it true - the US has ONLY ONE ally in the region now. Budgeting for terrorism - it's in our face folks even as they lie over and over again about defeating ISAIS when all the US does is kill innocents or those trying to rid the country of the scourge released by the US in that nation at the behest of Israel.
General / We are being lied into war again
« Last post by Rudi Jan on March 13, 2019, 10:33:59 AM »
We are being lied into war again – Lee Camp

Published time: 13 Mar, 2019 13:32
Edited time: 13 Mar, 2019 13:36


I was 23 when we invaded Iraq, and I wasn’t sure it was based on lies, but something deep down in me told me it was based on lies. Kinda like if your blind date shows up and you notice he has a 2004 flip phone.

It seems vaguely worrisome, and no explanation he can haltingly supply will put you at ease. Plus, anyone else who acts like it’s normal also becomes suspect.

The invasion of Iraq just felt like it was a lie to me. And it turned out that I was right, that it was a lie, and that the entirety of the mainstream media and our government were either wrong or lying and, most of the time, both.

Now our government and our media are trying their damnedest to lie us into another war, this one with Venezuela. They tell us the Venezuelan people are desperate for necessities like toothpaste, while independent journalists show piles of affordable toothpaste in Caracas.

And even if they didn’t have toothpaste, that hardly seems like a good reason for America to begin dropping our long-range bad decisions on the heads of innocent people. Turning a town into an impact crater for the sake of a battle to stop gingivitis seems a bit extreme.

The mainstream media and nearly the entirety of the US government tell us Juan Guaido is the “interim president,” even though he was never elected to that position and the current president is still leading the Venezuelan government and military. So I guess this “interim” is the time between Guaido being a nobody and the time when he goes back to being nobody but now gets to tell women at parties, “You know, I used to be interim president.”

A truck carrying humanitarian aid burns on the Venezuelan border © Reuters / Marco Bello

The mainstream media also inform us that the Venezuelan military set US aid trucks on fire, when video shows opposition forces doing it. Furthermore, the idea of Venezuela taking “aid” from the country whose sanctions are crushing them would be like the Standing Rock Sioux accepting gift packages from the construction crews swiss-cheesing their land to lay down the Dakota Access pipeline. Unless the boxes are filled with industrial paper towels to help clean up oil spills, I fail to see how it would be beneficial. Sometimes you do indeed have to look a gift horse in the mouth (or should I say “gift dog”).

This is not the first time our government and our media have conspired to drag the American people into war with another country – or helped create a coup that will inevitably have disastrous results. So I thought this would be a prime moment to go through the top four greatest hits.

Number 4: The Spanish-American War

This is widely considered to be the birth of modern media propaganda, because it was the first war actually started by the media. Newspapers fabricated atrocities in the never-ending quest for more readers.

And as the New York Times noted, “[T]he sensationalistic reporting of the sinking of the American battleship Maine in Havana harbor on Feb. 15, 1898 … and all the other egregious reporting leading up to the Spanish-American War might have been considered merely cartoonish if it hadn’t led to a major international conflict.”

I think maybe the New York Times got that quote confused with its mission statement: “Cartoonishly dragging America into major international conflict since 1851!”

Number 3: The Vietnam War

American soldiers get off helicopters during the operation "Double eagle" against a Vietcong position at Bon Son, south Vietnam, 07 March 1966. © AFP

Sure, most everyone knows the catastrophic Vietnam War was precipitated by the Gulf of Tonkin incident, in which US naval vessels were fired upon by villainous North Vietnamese torpedo boats. Following that skirmish, Defense Secretary Robert McNamara recommended that President Johnson retaliate, and the full-force Vietnam War had begun. But most Americans still don’t know that there was no Gulf of Tonkin incident—unless you count US naval ships literally firing their weapons at weather events they saw on the radar. The 2003 documentary ‘The Fog of War’ finally revealed the truth. Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara confessed that the Gulf of Tonkin attack did not actually happen.

That’s right. It never happened. Much like leprechauns or dragons or Simon Cowell’s talent, it was a figment of our national imagination.

The lies of our government, followed by the fawning, credulous reporting from our media, led to the death of 58,000 US service members and as many as 3.8 million Vietnamese.

The United States government has one of the most powerful Departments of Fabrication and Falsification ever assembled. It’s a modern marvel on par with the Great Pyramid of Giza and Rafael Nadal’s down-the-line running forehand.

Number 2: The Iraq War

Of course, there’s the most obvious lie about Iraq, i.e., that Saddam Hussein had so many weapons of mass destruction that he would often use one to scrub hard-to-reach places while in the tub. But that wasn’t the only falsehood manifested to bring about our complete annihilation of the sovereign nation Saddam ruled over. There were others, such as the idea that Saddam was connected to Al-Qaeda and perhaps played a role in the 9/11 attacks. William Safire at the New York Times, in May 2002, wrote, “Mohamed Atta, destined to be the leading Sept. 11 suicide hijacker, was reported last fall by Czech intelligence to have met at least once with Saddam Hussein’s espionage chief in the Iraqi Embassy.”

Yes, Safire was able to polish a load of bull***t so thoroughly it would sparkle like a sapphire. And that column is still up on the Times’ website, without a correction or retraction. I would say the Times is only useful for covering the bottom of a birdcage, but I’d fear the paper would lie your pet cockatoo into an ill-advised invasion, killing millions.

But the propaganda didn’t even stop there. There was also the anthrax attacks following 9/11. Anthrax was mailed to press outlets and the offices of politicians. To this day, many people still believe it had something to do with Iraq or Al-Qaeda because of award-winning national embarrassments like Brian Ross.

“Brian Ross at ABC News wrote ‘the anthrax in the tainted letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle was laced with bentonite’ and ‘bentonite is a trademark of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s biological weapons program.’ ” As Salon so clearly put it, “All of those factual claims … were completely false, demonstrably and unquestionably so. … Yet neither ABC nor Ross have ever retracted, corrected, clarified, or explained these fraudulent reports.”

And, as you would expect, following that blatantly false reporting, Brian Ross did not lose his job. In fact, he wasn’t put out to pasture from ABC News until last year, when he “reported that fired national security adviser Michael Flynn was ready to testify that Trump told him to contact the Russians during the campaign.”

That report—much like the rumors of Brian Ross’s journalistic integrity—turned out to be absolutely false.

(In my professional opinion, anyone who had anything to do with the selling, perpetrating or planning of the Iraq War should never again hold a position higher than assistant trainee to the guy who picks up the s**t of a dog that does not belong to anyone of any particular importance. If that position does not exist, we as a nation should create it just for this moment. Yet, despite my objections, Robert Mueller (head of the FBI at the time of the invasion and a big supporter of it) is leading the biggest investigation in the country. John Bolton, who advocated for the Iraq invasion as far back as the 1990s, is now national security adviser. Bill Kristol, who pushed for the war and said it would last two months, is now a regular panelist on MSNBC. And the list goes on.

Unlike Defense Secretary McNamara, who admitted the Gulf of Tonkin incident never happened, we don’t have a smoking gun showing that the Bush administration created these lies to get us into Iraq. … Oh, wait! Turns out the paper shredder at the Bush Oval Office was on strike for a higher minimum wage in 2002, and in fact, we do have a memo written by Bush’s defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, a year before US forces unleashed a reign of terror on the Iraqi people. His memo about war with Iraq stated “How start? US discovers Saddam connection to Sept 11 or to anthrax attacks? Or maybe a dispute over WMD inspections?”

I’m not sure what’s more striking—that this memo exists, or that it sounds like the Bush boys planned a massive international battle the same way a broke 35-year-old maps out his bad novel that he’s sure is the ticket out of his mom’s basement.

“How start horrible bloody war? Maybe Saddam found to moonlight as porn star?”

Point is, multiple completely false stories laid the groundwork for an invasion of Iraq that left well over 1 million people dead.

A burnt truck, that was used to transport humanitarian aid, is seen on the Francisco de Paula Santander cross-border bridge between Colombia
and Venezuela, in Cucuta, Colombia, February 24, 2019. © REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

Number 1: The Bombing of Syria

President Bashar Assad gassed his own people, thereby guaranteeing more American involvement—and he did it just days after Donald Trump had told the Pentagon to begin withdrawing troops from Syria. At least, that’s the story the corporate media repeated on-loop for at least a month, only pausing every 10 minutes to try desperately to get us all to buy more things with “baconator” in the name or to seek out a harder penis.

So we are expected to believe Assad did the one thing that would ensure more US involvement just as he was about to win his war? It’s kinda like how, when I’m about to win a fistfight, I often poke myself repeatedly in the eye. You know—just to keep it exciting.

Famed journalists Seymour Hersh and Robert Fisk have done great work showing that the chemical attacks never happened, but there’s a new update. Just two weeks ago, a BBC producer came forward and said the Douma, Syria, chemical attack footage was staged.

READ MORE: Real ‘obscene masquerade’: How BBC depicted staged hospital scenes as proof of Douma chemical attack

His tweet said that after six months of investigations, he can prove that no fatalities occurred in the hospital. Yet our breathlessly inept mainstream American media, with little to no evidence, ran around saying, “There was a chemical attack! Those poor people! And they don’t have toothpaste, either! We must bomb them to help them!”

The overarching point here is that we’ve replaced our media with stenographers to the ruling elite long ago. The ruling class comes up with a lie to manufacture American consent for its all-American war crimes, and that lie is then sprayed like laminate all over average American citizens. This goes on until such time as any average citizen who questions said lie is looked at like they have two heads, and one of them is covered in rat sh*t.

For the “journalists” who hose the lies across the country the best, awards and private jets and rooftop drinks with midlevel celebrities like Chuck Norris await them. Now we’re getting to the point where the actual rulers — the Trump administration, etc.— are not even hiding their corruption. John Bolton stated on Fox News that the ultimate goal is to steal Venezuela’s oil. But our media continue to tout the propaganda line. Even after Bolton said that, you won’t see Anderson Cooper or one of Fox News’ grand wizards saying, “Venezuela is undergoing a US-backed coup because we’d like to steal their oil.” It’s truly dizzying that the corporate media preserve the propaganda even after the “leaders” have revealed their true sinister intentions.

On the inside of Wolf Blitzer’s eyelids, the phrase, “Must Defend the Matrix” blinks in red.

The propaganda line for Venezuela right now is, “We want to help the poor Venezuelans.” Well, if you want to help them, then keep America out of their face. Don’t force them to have anything to do with the country that came up with drive-through fried food served in a bucket and opioid nasal sprays. At no point does anyone look at the Donald Trump presidency and think, “Wow, that country really has things figured out. I hope they bring some of their great decision-making to our doorstep.”

Lee Camp is an American stand-up comedian, writer, actor, and activist. Dubbed by Salon as the “John Oliver of Russia Today”, Camp is the host of RT America’s first comedy news show Redacted Tonight, which tackles the news agenda with a healthy dose of humor and satire. Lee’s writing credits are vast, having written for The Onion, Comedy Central and Huffington Post, as well as the acclaimed essay collections Moment of Clarity and Neither Sophisticated Nor Intelligent. Lee’s stand-up comedy has also been featured on Comedy Central,  ABC’s Good Morning America, Showtime’s The Green Room with Paul Provenza, Al-Jazeera, BBC’s Newsnight, E!, MTV, and Spike TV.
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