News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Monday, October 17, 2016

NY Times working hand in glove with outgoing US pres. administration to manufacture war fever against Russia at moment of 2016 US presidential election, knowing--though no reason exists for war with Russia--that such attention by the world's most powerful newspaper would force the absurd notion of nuclear war with Russia to be a campaign issue. Neocon group NED has called for "regime change" in Moscow-and neocon Washington Post published NED leader's column begging US to remove Putin-Robert Parry, Consortium News

"The reality is that the U.S. government, working hand-in-glove with the Times and other mainstream American publications, has been waging such an information war against Russia for at least the past several years.... This current psy-op is not primarily aimed at a foreign adversary as much as it is targeting the American people...."Misleading foreign policy reporting...has unfortunately become a hallmark of the New York Times.""  

Oct. 16, 2016, "New York Times’s Absurd New Anti-Russian Propaganda," Robert Parry, Consortium News

"The New York Times is so determined to generate hate against Russia that it has lost all journalistic perspective, even portraying Russia’s military decoyslike those used in World War II – as uniquely evil.... 

If the dangers weren’t so great – a possible nuclear war that could exterminate life on the planet – The New York Times over-the-top denunciation of all things Russian would be almost funny, like the recent front-page story finding something uniquely sinister about Russia using inflatable decoys of military weapons to confuse adversaries.

The Oct. 13 article, entitled “Decoys in Service of an Inflated Russian Might,” was described as part of a series called “DARK ARTS…How Russia projects power covertly,” suggesting that the nefarious Russians aren’t to be trusted in anything even in the case of “one of Russia’s lesser-known military threats: a growing arsenal of inflatable tanks, jets and missile launchers.”

The bizarre article by Andrew E. Kramer, one of the most prolific producers of this anti-Russian propaganda, then states: “As Russia under President Vladimir V. Putin has muscled its way back onto the geopolitical stage, the Kremlin has employed a range of stealthy tactics.…One of the newer entries to that list is an updating of the Russian military’s longtime interest in operations of deceit and disguise, a repertoire of lethal tricks known as maskirovka, or masking. It is a psychological warfare doctrine that is becoming an increasingly critical element in the country’s geopolitical ambitions.” 

What is particularly curious about Kramer’s article is that it takes actions that are typical of all militaries, going back centuries, and presents them as some special kind of evil attributable to the Russians, such as Special Forces units not dressing in official uniforms and instead blending in with the surroundings while creating deniability for political leaders.

American and European Special Forces, for instance, have been deployed on the ground in Libya and Syria without official confirmation, at least initially. Sometimes, their presence is acknowledged only after exposure because of casualties, such as the death of three French soldiers near Benghazi, Libya, in July.

Indeed, one could argue that the United States has excelled at this practice of stealthily entering other countries, usually in violation of international law, to carry out lethal operations, such as drone assassinations and Special Forces’ strikes. However, rather than condemning U.S. officials for their sneakiness, the Times and other mainstream Western publications often extol the secrecy of these acts and sometimes even agree to delay publication of information about the covert attacks so as not to jeopardize the lives of American soldiers.

U.S. Propaganda Network

The U.S. government also has built extensive propaganda operations around the world that pump out all sorts of half-truths and disinformation to put U.S. adversaries on the defensive, with the American financial hand kept hidden so the public is more likely to trust the claims of supposedly independent voices.

Much of that disinformation is then promoted by the Times, which famously assisted in one major set of lies by publishing a false 2002 front-page story about Iraq reconstituting its nuclear weapons program as a key justification for the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Yet, the Russians are called out for activities far less egregious than what the U.S. government – aided and abetted by the Times – has done.

You could even view the Times’ article citing inflatable weapons as proof of Moscow’s perfidy as itself an example of another U.S. psychological operation along the lines of the Times’ article accusing Iraq of obtaining aluminum tubes for nuclear centrifuges, when the tubes were actually unsuited for that purpose. In this new case, however, the Times is heating up a war fever against Russia rather than Iraq.

Yet, as in 2002, this current psy-op is not primarily aimed at a foreign adversary as much as it is targeting the American people.

The primary difference is that in 2002, the Times was helping instigate war against a relatively small and defenseless nation in Iraq. Now, the Times is whipping up an hysteria against nuclear-armed Russia with the prospect that this manufactured outrage could induce politicians into further steps that could lead to nuclear conflagration. 

As German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier wrote in a recent opinion piece, the current tensions between Washington and Moscow are “more dangerous” than during the Cold War.

“It’s a fallacy to think that this is like the Cold War,” Steinmeier wrote. “The current times are different and more dangerous” because there were clear “red lines” during the Cold War where the rival nuclear powers knew not to tread.

Though Steinmeier, as a part of the NATO alliance, puts most of the blame on Moscow, the reality is that Washington has been the prime instigator of the recent tensions, including pressing NATO up to Russia’s borders, supporting an anti-Russian putsch in neighboring Ukraine, and helping to arm rebel groups fighting in Syria alongside Al Qaeda’s affiliate and threatening Russia’s allied Syrian government.

‘Regime Change’ in Moscow?

Further feeding Russia’s fears, prominent Americans, including at least one financed by the U.S. government, have called for a "regime change" project in Moscow."

[10/7/16, "A prominent neocon paymaster, whose outfit dispenses $100 million in U.S. taxpayers’ money each year, has called on America to “summon the will” to remove Russian President Putin from office

....The neoconservative president of the U.S.-taxpayer-funded National Endowment for Democracy [NED] has called for the U.S. government to “summon the will” to engineer the overthrow of Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that the 10-year-old murder case of a Russian journalist should be the inspiration. Carl Gershman, who has headed NED since its founding in 1983, doesn’t cite any evidence that Putin was responsible for the death of Anna Politkovskaya but uses a full column in The Washington Post on Friday to create that impression, calling her death “a window to Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin autocrat whom Americans are looking at for the first time.”"...]  

(continuing): "Yet all Americans hear about is the unproven allegation that Russia was responsible for hacking into Democratic Party emails and exposing information that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has tried to keep secret, such as the content of her speeches to Wall Street investment banks and other special interests.

Vice President Joe Biden has announced Washington will retaliate with some information-warfare strike against Moscow. 

But the reality is that the U.S. government, working hand-in-glove with the Times and other mainstream American publications, has been waging such an information war against Russia for at least the past several years, including promotion of dubious charges such as the so-called Magnitsky case which was largely debunked by a courageous documentary that has been virtually blacklisted in the supposedly “free” West.

The Times also has embraced the U.S. government’s version of pretty much every dubious claim lodged against Moscow, systematically excluding evidence that points in a different direction. For instance, regarding the shootdown of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014, the Times ignored a published Dutch (i.e. NATO) intelligence report stating that the only powerful anti-aircraft missiles in the area capable of hitting MH-17 were under the control of the Ukrainian military.

While it may be understandable that the Times opts to embrace claims by a Ukrainian-dominated investigation that the Russians were responsible – despite that inquiry’s evidentiary and logical shortcomings – it is not journalistically proper to ignore official evidence, such as the Dutch intelligence report, because it doesn’t go in the preferred direction. If the Times were not acting as a propaganda vehicle, it would at least have cited the Dutch intelligence report as one piece of the puzzle. 

The Times’ relentless service as the chief conveyor belt for anti-Russian propaganda
has drawn at least some objections from readers, although they are rarely acknowledged by the Times.

For instance, Theodore A. Postol, professor emeritus of science, technology, and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, tried to lodge a protest with the Times’ editors about the “inflatable weapons” story.

In the email, a copy of which he forwarded to me, Postol wrote: 

“This article is a very good example of the misleading foreign policy reporting that has unfortunately become a hallmark of the New York Times

“The complete lack of sophistication of this article, coupled with the implication that the use of such decoys is somehow an indication of a Russian cultural bias towards deception is exactly the kind of misleading reporting that cannot possibly be explained as a competent attempt to inform Times readers about real and serious national security issues that we are today facing with Russia.”

Postol attached to his email a series of photographs showing decoys that were used by the Allies during the Battle of Britain and the D-Day invasion. He noted, “There is a vast popular literature about this kind of deception in warfare that is available to even the most unsophisticated nonexperts. It is simply unimaginable to me that such an article could be published in the Times, yet alone on the front page, if the oversight mechanisms at the Times were properly functioning.”

Postol, however, assumes that the editorial system of the Times wishes to provide genuine balance and context to such stories, when the pattern has clearly shown that – as with Iraq in 2002-2003 – the Times’ editors see their role as preparing the American people for war."


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Added: More on neocon group NED mentioned in above article: 
 
"“
The NED (and USAID) are entities linked with the US State Department, but they operate in tandem with...other organizations.”....US citizens fund the NED with public money, for the most part without their knowledge or consent." NED is "an element in manufacturing dissent against governments that the U.S. government dislikes."...   
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NED: US is Grim Reaper

















Iraq, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela...
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Image above from TheTechnocraticTyranny.com, 2/27/16, "State Department’s Mission: Coup d’etat," Vicky 

"The end of the Cold War left a vacuum and the Department of State needed to define a new mission and a new organizing principle for the Department of State."...

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March 2015, "How the US Funds Dissent against Latin American Governments," telesurtv.net (Venezuela)

NED (National Endowment for Democracy, created in 1983, funded by US taxpayers via Congress) and USAID, also a US taxpayer funded group which nevertheless functions outside of US government and has a board of directors:

"Only recently has there been wider acknowledgement about the role that U.S. funding to nongovernmental organizations — particularly via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) — plays in furthering U.S. foreign policy. 

For example, in 2012 governments of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) collectively signed a resolution to expel USAID from each of the member countries.

Those countries include Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Dominica, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. 

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED)
 
The NED was created by the administration of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in 1983, operates as a foundation that provides grants for “democracy promotion.” The foundation is structured as an umbrella with an almost corporatist flavor. 

It houses four other organizations reflecting U.S. sectoral and party interest: the U.S. labor-affiliated American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS); the Chamber of Commerce-linked Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE); and the other two, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI), reflect Democrat and Republican affiliations respectively. 

In many ways the NED resembles previous CIA efforts in the 1950s, 60s and 70s to provide mostly public money for secret operations aimed to bolster pro-U.S. governments and movements abroad. In South America for example, between 1975 and 1978 the U.S. helped with the creation and implementation of Operation Condor. The U.S. provided right-wing dictatorships in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela and Ecuador with technical and military support for the goal of hunting down and killing political opponents. Some estimate that Operation Condor killed between 60,000 and 80,000 people. 

In 1986, the then president of the NED, Carl Gershman, explained to the New York Times, “We should not have to do this kind of work covertly…It would be terrible for democratic groups around the world to be seen as subsidized by the C.I.A. We saw that in the 60s, and that's why it has been discontinued. We have not had the capability of doing this, and that's why the endowment was created.”

U.S. citizens fund the NED with public money, for the most part without their knowledge or consent. The U.S. government allocates part the budget of the U.S. Department of State to USAID, which in turn provides most of the NED’s funding. Although it receives practically all of its funding from the U.S. government, the NED is technically a nongovernmental organization, headed by a board of directors. The current board includes:  
  • Francis Fukuyama, a political economist, author and free-market universalist;
  • Elliott Abrams, former deputy assistant and deputy national security adviser on Middle East policy in the administration of George W. Bush;
  • Moises Naim, Venezuelan Minister of Trade and Industry during the turbulent early 1990s and former executive director of the World Bank;
  • Robert B. Zoellick, former deputy secretary of state under George W. Bush and Vice Chairmanship at Goldman Sachs Group.
The scope of activity of the NED is truly impressive. According to the NED website, it supports more than 1,000 non-government projects in more than 90 countries. 

At its inception in the early 1980s, the NED’s funding allocation was set at US$18 million and reached its peak in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Allocations for 2014 and 2015 have been approved for US$103.5 million, while over US$7 million was directed primarily to opposition organizations in Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba in 2013. 

Within the U.S. Department of State’s “Justification of Request” documents, which outline the reasons for funding requests, it is clear that funding priorities in Latin America and the Caribbean reflect the NED’s modern strategy of overtly carrying out old covert objectives. 

Michel Chossudovsky, a professor emeritus of economics at the University of Ottawa in Canada, sees this funding as an element in manufacturing dissent against governments that the U.S. government dislikes. However, these funders do not work alone. 

“The NED (and USAID) are entities linked with the U.S. state department, but they operate in tandem with a whole of other organizations,” said Chossudovsky. 

In May 2010 the Foundation for International Relations and Foreign Dialogue released their report “Assessing Democracy Assistance in Venezuela,” which revealed that in addition to NED and USAID funding, a broad range of private and European-based foundations funded opposition-aligned nongovernmental organizations in the country with some US$40-50 million annually....

The United States Agency for International Development
 
Created in 1961 as a foreign assistance program under President John F. Kennedy, USAID commands a much larger budget and broader scope than the NED. While U.S. diplomats continue to stress that USAID funding does not have a political basis, USAID documents nonetheless acknowledge its role in “furthering America's interests” while carrying out “U.S. foreign policy by promoting broad-scale human progress at the same time it expands stable, free societies, creates markets and trade partners for the United States.” But critics are skeptical of USAID’s missionary work, noting how its strategy has changed over time. 

USAID’s mandate is “to provide development aid and historically it has provided development aid, tied into debt negotiations and so on. Subsequently with the evolution of the development aid program it has redirected its endeavours on funding NGOs,” said Chossudovsky....

The extent of U.S. political ambitions recently came into the international spotlight with the revelation that USAID had secretly spent US$1.6 million to fund a social messaging network in Cuba called ZunZuneo, with the stated purpose to "renegotiate the balance of power between the state and society." The project was headed up by Joe McSpedon of the USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI). 

Other USAID officials accused of active political meddling in the affairs of sovereign countries include regional head Mark Feierstein. According to Venezuelan investigative journalist Eva Golinger, in 2013 Feierstein met Venezuelan opposition figures including right-wing politicians Maria Corina Machado, Julio Borges and Ramon Guillermo Avelado, as well as political strategist Juan Jose Rendon, to devise a plan to undermine the Venezuelan government. 

At the State Department budgetary hearing, Feierstein also confirmed “a long-standing program in place to support those who are advocating and fighting on behalf of democracy and human rights in Venezuela…and we are prepared to continue those under any scenario.” 

State Department cables revealed by WikiLeaks also brought to light previous activities by USAID/OTI in Venezuela, including the development of a five-point, anti-government strategy for U.S. embassy activities, as well as the confirmation that grantees had been active in promoting street demonstrations in 2009....

In Bolivia, local rural workers’ groups and the government expelled the U.S.-based Chemonics International Inc. after their US$2.7 million USAID-funded "Strengthening Democracy" program was accused of financing destabilization attempts against the government. Chemonics operates in approximately 150 countries, offering various technical services and “consulting.”
  
The Bolivian government publicly outlined what they argued was proof of USAID-funded programs to mobilize the indigenous population against the government, in particular an indigenous march protesting the construction of a highway. USAID-funded programs were active in these areas, and had funded some of the leading organizations, such as the Eastern Bolivia Indigenous Peoples and Communities Confederation (CIDOB). 
 
“USAID refused to reveal who it was funding and the Bolivian government had strong reasons to believe that it had ties and coordination with opposition groups in the country which at the time was involved in violence and destructive activities aimed at toppling the Morales government,” said Beeton. Now we know through WikiLeaks that that’s what really was going on.” 

President Evo Morales also revealed transcripts of phone calls between the anti-highway march organizers and U.S. embassy officials. The U.S. embassy confirmed the calls, but explained that they were merely trying to familiarize themselves with the country’s political and social situation. 

Officials also denounced the lack of accountability to the Bolivian government or to the recipient constituencies of USAID funds. The head of the CIDOB, Lazaro Taco, confirmed that they had received “external support for our workshops," but would not identify the source. 

These and other USAID activities led Bolivian President Evo Morales to claim that the agency was conspiring against his government. The government expelled USAID from the country in May 2013, while USAID denied any wrongdoing."...


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