Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Israel And Honduras Enter New, Blood-Soaked Military Alliance To Support State-Sponsored Terrorism

Israel And Honduras Enter New, Blood-Soaked Military Alliance To Support State-Sponsored Terrorism

Israeli arms deal and military training have fueled the most repressive elements in Central American politics since the 1980s, and profits from a new deal with Honduras will fund apartheid Israel’s ongoing illegal occupation of Palestine.
By  @KitOConnell August 29, 2016
President Rivlin meets President of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernandez Alvarado (Youtube grab)

President Rivlin meets President of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernandez Alvarado (Youtube grab)
AUSTIN, Texas — Israel and Honduras announced a new security agreement this month in which Israel will supply weapons and training to the Honduran military.
Honduras is ruled by an oppressive and murderous regime that took power after a 2009 coup, and the agreement marks just the latest chapter in Israel’s long, bloody history of arming Central American despots.
The deal, inked on Aug. 20, would dramatically upgrade the Honduran regime’s offensive capabilities.
“Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández has announced that he will present his nation’s Congress with the deal signed with Israel that has the capability of strengthening the country’s armed forces to a level that Honduras ‘likely never would have obtained’ otherwise,” Julie Steigerwald reported for The Jerusalem Post on Aug. 22.
“There has been much handwringing over the dismal security situation in Honduras—which incidentally reached unprecedentedly appalling proportions after the coup, for anyone who would like to draw conclusions on that front,” noted Belén Fernández in an analysis of the security agreement published on Thursday byteleSUR English.
Fernández, an author and contributing editor from Jacobin, continued: “But when so much of the crime in the country is committed by Honduran security forces themselves, it’s difficult to see how giving them better weapons is going to fix matters.”
The Honduran government’s human rights record is indeed grim, especially in the post-coup years, during which the country has become increasingly corrupt and crime-ridden. In an overview of Honduras, Human Rights Watch notes:
“Despite a downward trend in recent years, the murder rate is among the highest in the world. Efforts to reform the institutions responsible for providing public security have made little progress. Marred by corruption and abuse, the judiciary and police remain largely ineffective. Journalists, peasant activists, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals are among those most vulnerable to violence. Government efforts to investigate and prosecute violence against members of these groups made little progress.”
The March 4 assassination of Berta Cáceres, a renowned Honduran climate activist, brought renewed international attention not just to the country’s human records record, but also to U.S. government support for the coup. After her assassination, which came after days of threats against her life, it emerged that Cáceres had criticized former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s role in the coup.
In a rarely seen clip from a 2014 interview on Argentine TV, Cáceres said:
“We’re coming out of a coup that we can’t put behind us. We can’t reverse it. It just kept going. And after, there was the issue of the elections. The same Hillary Clinton, in her book, ‘Hard Choices,’ practically said what was going to happen in Honduras. This demonstrates the meddling of North Americans in our country. The return of the president, Mel Zelaya, became a secondary issue. There were going to be elections in Honduras. And here she [Clinton] recognized that they didn’t permit Mel Zelaya’s return to the presidency.”
The Democratic presidential nominee is also outspoken in her support for Israel. In her March 21 speech to AIPAC, one of the most influential pro-Israel lobbying groups, Clinton promised to make a “firm commitment to ensure Israel maintains its qualitative military edge.”
Israel receives more than $3.1 billion in annual military aid from the U.S. and is poised to get much more under an upcoming deal. In turn, Israel has a long history of using its military might to arm repressive regimes and secret police in countries from Africa to Central and South America.
It’s not even the first time Israel’s teamed up with right-wing forces in Honduras. teleSUR’s Fernández noted, that in the 1980s, “Israel helped Honduras circumnavigate some minor obstacles to arming itself to the teeth.”
Israeli aid to Honduras continues its pattern of helping the U.S. promote regime change and instability in South America, while keeping American hands clean. “The obstructions owed to perfunctory U.S. concerns over human rights abuses—abuses that were of course completely permissible as long as the U.S. was not too blatantly linked to them,” she wrote.
“Israel peddles forms of repression — marketed as ‘security’ — that appeal to abusive regimes,” Fernández continued.
Quoting from a damning report published in March by the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network, she noted that the profits from Israel arms sales “are then used ‘to further repress and displace Palestinians, developing still more deadly weapons in the process.’”
Watch “How Israeli Arms Fuel Genocide, Civil Strife Across The World” from MintPress News’ “Behind the Headline”:
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Media Silent As US-Backed Saudi Forces Starve Half Million Yemeni Children

Media Silent As US-Backed Saudi Forces Starve Half Million Yemeni Children

The United Nations warned that 8,000 children could suffer from severe malnutrition in 2016. And that’s just in one southern Yemeni city.

A woman brings her child to hospital in Yemen to be treated for severe acute malnutrition.
ADEN, Yemen — While the media was flooded with images of the starving children of Syria, the thousands of children suffering from Saudi Arabia’s U.S.-backed onslaught on Yemen made far fewer headlines.
The mainstream media was eager to report on the struggle for survival in Madaya. The mountain town near Syria’s southwestern border was once known as a popular resort destination in the Middle East, but its population is now reportedly being starved under a siege by the Syrian army.
However, the actual situation is far more complex. The U.S.-supported, so-called “moderate” rebels including the Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of al-Qaida, had first laid siege to the cities of Kefraya and Fua, leading to a retaliatory siege on Madaya by the Assad government. Those same rebel groups were also, in turn, responsible for allowing the starvation in Madaya to continue by occupying the city and keeping humanitarian aid out of reach of the populace as a strategic tactic. Additionally, many images used in media reports on Madaya turned out to be fake or misleading.
Meanwhile, far fewer journalists are covering the large-scale starvation and displacement taking place in Yemen, a situation caused by a bombing campaign and blockade led by Saudi Arabia and its allies and backed by U.S. military aidThe Nusra Front, one of the groups responsible for skyrocketing food prices in Madaya, also has the backing of the Saudi government, like many of the rebel forces in the region.
Saudi Arabia is currently engaged in a proxy war with Iran, who Riyadh blames, inaccurately, for the rise to power of the Houthis in Yemen and setbacks to the kingdom’s agenda in Syria, leading to a bombing campaign and embargo on crucial resources that began in April.
UNICEF reported in October that 537,000 Yemeni children were at risk of severe malnutrition nationwide, while Alexi O’Brien, reporting for Al-Jazeera in September, noted that the United Nations warned that 96,000 children were “starving and close to death” in the port city of al-Hodeidah, and an additional 8,000 children faced starvation in Aden in 2016.
The situation was so dire nationwide that, in June, the U.N. reported “that at least six million people in Yemen are in urgent need of emergency food and life-saving assistance, a new United Nations (UN) investigation has found … 10 out of Yemen’s 22 governorates are facing an ‘emergency level’ food security situation amid the ongoing conflict, including major areas like Aden, Taiz, Saa’da and Al Baida.” In July, Oxfam reported that the number of starving people in Yemen had topped 6 million — nearly half the country’s population of 13 million. Aid workers are struggling to reach the needy, with the World Food Programme reporting that it had served 3.5 million Yemenis by August.
While the suffering of the residents of Madaya is heart-wrenching, some critics have questioned the motives behind the media’s focus on this single town rather than suffering in Yemen or even elsewhere in Syria.Vladimir Safronkov, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the U.N. Security Council, lamented recently that the timing of the reports seemed calculated to undermine the budding peace process in Syria, according to a report from RT. “It looks like that, under the pretext of the deterioration of the situation in besieged cities, attempts are being made to undermine the launch of the inter-Syrian dialogue scheduled for January 25,” he told an emergency meeting of the Security Council on Saturday.
Safronkov said the West practices a “double standard” by raising the alarm about Madaya while ignoring cities besieged by anti-Assad forces:
“Much is being said about Madaya, but not a word about the villages of Nubul and Az-Zahra in the province of Aleppo. And we are talking about the fate of tens of thousands of people.”
On Monday, Ben Norton, politics staff writer for Salon, cited the siege of Yemen, as well as Israel’s decade-long blockade of Gaza, when he questioned why some atrocities are condemned and others are “barely even acknowledged.” He wrote:
“All sieges are of course tragic, because they harm civilians. There should be outrage at the siege on Madaya, but there should be proportionate outrage. All of the other ongoing sieges — and the much larger blockades — that happened to be supported by the West should not conveniently be ignored.
Americans, in particular, should be concerned about the millions upon millions of people being starved in policies backed by their ostensibly democratic government, right at this very moment.”
Watch “It’s not #Madaya. It’s #Yemen … Thank you Saudi regime” from Stop The War On Yemen:
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BBC, CNN, Guardian et al need to face the agenda they are being used to serve....by Catte

BBC, CNN, Guardian et al need to face the agenda they are being used to serve

by Catte

After the recent revelation that almost every major news site has been promoting unverified video and eye-witness testimony originating in some of the most extreme, violent and debauched terrorist elements currently operating in Syria, we have to ask – is there any longer even a minimum of verification or investigative process required before news agencies and publications endorse a breaking story?
In the case of that notorious “Omran rescue vid”, for example, AP broke the story, but of the three journalists credited, one was in Beirut, one in Geneva and one in Moscow.
Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 20.39.44
None of them were in Aleppo, or even in Syria. Given what’s now transpired about the discredited and even criminal nature of the source, we need to ask – how did they get word of this event and how did they verify it? Did AP talk to ordinary people on the spot, and directly interview the witnesses? Did they get this video direct from the terrorist-supporting “Aleppo Media Center”, or via an intermediary? Did they know about the terrorist-connections of both the AMC and the “photo-journalist” Mahmoud Raslan, and just not inform their readers, or did they genuinely not know who their sources were?
These are important questions because the mere fact an event is reported in the mainstream press is enough to give it a sense of unquestionable reality for most people. They assume the reporters telling the story have been their on the ground and seen things for themselves. Even sophisticated media analysts, well aware of bias and narrative-manipulation, will still tend to believe implicitly that the events being reported have been witnessed and verified by the ones doing the reporting. Yet we know this is increasingly not the case.
In the last ten or fifteen years the numbers of foreign correspondents employed by major newspapers and networks has dwindled.In the age of the internet they are considered unnecessary, and in a time of declining circulations, a luxury few major outlets can afford.Bureaus have been closed. There are fewer of them, covering wider catchment areas. The situation behind that AP report in which a correspondent in Lebanon or Switzerland ends up reporting on an event happening many hundreds of miles away is now very common. Shaun Walker filed most of his stories about the Anti-Terror Operation in Donbass from Kiev or Moscow, hundreds of miles from the scene, and this did not make him unique.
This increasing tendency toward distance-reporting means stories can give an impression of eye-witness immediacy they don’t merit. Walker in Moscow was no better able to verify or refute supposed events happening in Donbass than most of his readers. An AP reporter in Geneva or Beirut will simply know what he’s told about alleged events in Aleppo. His credibility is as good as his source’s credibility. The fact the story has AP’s imprimitur on it, which seems to give it a badge of authenticity, is completely misleading – almost amounting to a lie – if all we really have is a second or third hand account from some shadowy group or entity with undeclared agendas and zero credibility.
I may be wrong but I hazard to suggest those AP journos credited with the story had no clue who their sources were. They didn’t ask, didn’t see the need to find out. For all we know they didn’t even talk to the men directly but just received a transcript or a recording or a few quotes from a helpful intermediary or publicity agent somewhere.
What we are witnessing here is the result of – as so memorably phrased by our frequent contributor Eric Zuesse – “stenographic journalism”, the mere typing up of stories handed out by governments, NGOs etc, without any fact-checking or investigation. Without anyone noticing it’s become the New Normal.
In these dangerous times we have to face the fact that our press is no longer willing or, more importantly, able to speak truth to power. Rigour, scepticism, independent thought are no longer required parts of the journalist’s skill set, and they have been bred out of the species. Complacency, deference to authority and groupthink have taken their place. A journalist is now required to be an obedient stenographer, happy to witter interminable nonsense about identity politics and/or put his/her name to any kind of grotesque propaganda deemed necessary by the ones picking up the tab.
Even the award-winners and heavyweights are now “fearless critics” of western “enemies” alone. You win awards by applying scepticism or interrogation to “them” and never “us”. The evasion and bias is so complete it’s allowed a generation of readers to believe in the absolute moral superiority of “our” side, simply because they never get to read about our failures, our lies, our nefarious and questionable tactics.
This state of affairs would always be deplorable, but right now it’s desperately dangerous. While our press hand-wrings about imaginary levels of “sexual abuse” or worries about gender pronouns or campus safe zones, or writes pompous columns about imaginary “Russian aggression”, a world war is being semi-accidentally orchestrated by the most swivel-eyed of the lunatic clowns in Washington.
Just like the less mad elements of the political class, the media have enabled and encouraged these madmen over many years, because there was political capital and hegemonic benefits in stoking the notion of an ideological confrontation between the forces of good (“us”, of course) and evil (“them”, naturally). It was intended mostly as a front for the looting and political neutralising of resource-rich and uppity nations, and it’s proved a very successful system, enriched many of the 1%, subsumed freedom in the West under the perceived necessity to “protect” ourselves from “them.”
But the whirlwind has proved impossible to control, and the Washington political class is now riven in two. On the one hand the familiar gang of sane but cynical opportunists, which includes Obama and his closest allies, on the other a small group of well-placed and influential ideologues who really seem to believe in the truth of this crusade, or at least are too stupid to understand the pretence can go too far. And it’s the latter currently setting most of the agenda.
Rather than just posturing about confrontation to stoke military spending, justify foreign wars and get rich, these idiots are for real. The “war party”, as we can call it, psychopathic to the point of impairment, believes the propaganda, including the absurd notions of US invulnerability and a winnable nuclear war.
It really looks as if the usual safety-valves of caution or self-preservation don’t count for them. They want to crush their perceived enemies at any price, maybe they even believe in a righteous Armageddon. They are drunk on the idea of a defeated Russia, prone at their feet, themselves lords of the globe, raking in riches, exercising limitless power. They dream of Putin in the dock like Saddam or murdered and brutalised like Gaddafi. And they seem to think – really think – they can achieve it. And if achieving it means paying sadists to torture children, slaughtering millions in phoney humanitarian wars or driving the Russian federation into a corner from which there’s no escape but a nuclear holocaust, so what, right?
It’s becoming increasingly obvious they’ll do it, they really will, unless someone stops them. The media currently enabling them, assuming the normal checks and balances that have saved us in the past are still in place and that the war-with-Russia talk is just talk, need to absolutely realise the talk is no longer just talk. These Strangeloves and Jack D. Rippers mean what they say. Listen to Putin in his recent address to representatives of the western media. Have you ever heard words quite like this from a head of state before? His country is being pushed and threatened by the crazies who simply will not stop. Ever. He knows if they are not somehow called off, and soon, there will be a nuclear war, and he’s trying to tell the hypnotised journos, in barely coded language, to wake up before it’s too late.
The newest and most disgraceful revelation of across-the-board abdication by the media must be something they aren’t allowed to forget. They daily ignore the crimes of their own side and the horrors of the terrorist and US bombardment of western Aleppo, yet stepped up when asked to sell dodgy and unverified war-porn without even knowing what it was.
It tells us and them what they’ve become. They need to be made to face it for everyone’s sake. Individual journalists need to take responsibility for what is said in their name or by their outlets. They need to understand the real stakes here. They have to realise they are now routinely, on a daily basis, signing off on a war-propaganda campaign grown so extreme, so deluded it’s even alienating veteran intelligence professionals, has non-crazy highly respected political commentators in a state of horrified despair, and is even worrying writers at Foreign Policy
We have to ask them nicely, and repeatedly, if they can possibly start to deal with this quite soon, while there’s still time.

Monday, August 29, 2016

America’s election process is notoriously corrupt, electoral fraud rife at the federal, state, and local levels.

Could the 2016 Election Be Stolen with Help from Electronic Voting

Electronic voting machines are perfectly designed to steal elections. That’s their principle purpose. Ireland has just gotten rid of them altogether. Germany, Japan, Canada, Switzerland all use paper ballots. Why? Because you can actually count them in public, and then count them again.

America’s political process is notoriously corrupt, electoral fraud rife at the federal, state and local levels. 

Democracy is pure fantasy. Monied interests control everything. Back room deals decide things. Has the winner of November’s run for the White House already been decided?

Clinton is the establishment favorite, Trump the outsider, reluctantly accepted at best by GOP power brokers after going all-out to undermine his campaign – media scoundrels largely in lockstep against him.


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