Is the CIA So Bad that Even When It Tells the Truth It Adds-In Lies?


Using cynical bald-faced sophistry, the New York Times constantly upends the truth in the service of its plutocratic masters.

On Sunday, February 17th, I was surprised to see in the reliably neoconservative newspaper, New York Times, an ‘opinion’-article headlined with the distinctively non-neoconservative title, “Russia Isn’t the Only One Meddling in Elections. We Do It, Too.” But, then, I got to the neocon core, in the article itself: 

But in recent decades, both Mr. Hall and Mr. Johnson argued, Russian and American interferences in elections have not been morally equivalent. American interventions have generally been aimed at helping non-authoritarian candidates challenge dictators or otherwise promoting democracy. Russia has more often intervened to disrupt democracy or promote authoritarian rule, they said.

Equating the two, Mr. Hall says, “is like saying cops and bad guys are the same because they both have guns — the motivation matters.”

That’s just a typical neocon lie — reality turned upside-down, black-is-white and white-is-black.

When the CIA hired Iranian mercenaries to rebel against and overthrow the progressive democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddegh in 1953 and installed there a dictatorship (which lasted till 1979); and did the same to overthrow and replace the progressive democratically elected Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz in 1954; and, more recently, in 2009, helped Honduras’s aristocracy to overthrow that country’s progressive democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya, and to cement and make permanent their new and fascist regime; and, in 2014, perpetrated a brutal coup in Ukraine overthrowing that country’s democratically elected but corrupt (like all prior post-communist Ukrainian Presidents were) President Viktor Yanukovych — even the Soviets (including the pre-1991 and pre-independent Russians) weren’t that bad; and a 1992 classic BBC documentary about the CIA’s having set up in Western Europe during the Cold War numerous deadly terrorist incidents which were designed so as to be blamed on ‘communists’, makes clear, that the US CIA is a spiritual implant into the US Government, of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi (but now American) Gehlen Organization — a darling of the CIA Director Alan Dulles, and which is still today the CIA’s spirit.

Putin stopped the naked plundering of Russia by the West, and especially the Americans. He also slowly but surely restored the nation's tattered sovereignty and independence. For that he is reviled by the billionaires' mouthpieces around the world.

But, even that hypocrisy misses the essentially fascist nature of America’s secret-police agencies, because America’s Presidents are now reliably pro-fascist, and on many occasions are even pro-racist-fascist, or pro-“nazi” (standing out to defend the nazi ideology itself). At the U.N., both President Obama and President Trump have stood America up publicly as being one of only three countries (in Obama’s case) and then of only two countries (in Trump’s case) publicly defending nazism. Furthermore, on one day (31 October 2015), twice in close succession, the U.N. Secretary-General publicly criticized Obama, though not by name, for opposing and insisting on blocking, democracy in Syria. Whereas Russia insists upon a democratic and united — instead of ethnically broken-up — Syria, and polls amongst Syrians consistently show that the vast majority of Syrians insist upon the same thing, the US Government not only does everything possible to block it, but has the gall to deny the blatant fact that it’s seeking to replace Syria’s secular non-sectarian Government, by a fundamentalist-Sunni Government that will do the Sauds’ bidding (and the bidding of America’s oil-giants).

However, that February 17th New York Times article is deceptive not merely on account of its holier-than-thou admission of the CIA’s supposedly ‘past history’ of badness and its presumption of today’s Russia being almost as bad as was the Soviet Union. Actually, the article includes several other lies, such as are exposed in these three articles about how American billionaires systematically robbed Russia during the 1990s:

“Russia’s Fiscal Whistleblower”

“The Summers Conundrum”

“Soros and His CIA Friends Targeted USSR/Russia in 1987”

Those articles offered at least some of the explanation as to why America’s billionaires (at least the ones who care about this matter at all) hate Vladimir Putin: they had loved Boris Yeltsin because he allowed them to rape Russia, but Putin put a stop to it.

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]o, while millions of Americans, who subscribe to the New York Times, will learn the lie, that (and here is the regime’s basic message) internationally ‘we’re the good guys against the bad guys’, there’s no more reason to trust that, than there was when the same lies came from Joseph Goebbels’s shop, at which time, the US itself was a progressive country, heading in progressive directions, under President FDR. Bill Clinton and the post-Clinton Democratic Party have repudiated that direction for their Party; and, now, in international relations, the US is solidly fascist, in both Parties. The CIA lies, as usual, indistinguishably differently when it’s run by a Democratic President and Congress, than when it’s run by a Republican President and Congress. In international relations, it’s the same regime, regardless: full of the same lies. And that historical fact, and ongoing but unpublished news, is not to be found to be accepted in the Times’s masthead-lie, “All the News That's Fit to Print” — or else the truth itself, just isn’t “Fit to Print.” It’s fit to print here (and without paying a subscription), but how many people even read here? This explains how the regime protects itself, against democracy — by hiding what’s essential.

About the author

EricZuesseERIC ZUESSE, Senior Contributing Editor •  Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity. Besides TGP, his reports and historical analyses are published on many leading current events and political sites, including The Saker, Huffpost, Oped News, and others.

This is a crosspost with strategic-culture.org

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What will it take to bring America to live according to its own self image?


^0America's Goal...

Make every homeless tranny

gender comfortable!

Stop confusing Kurdistans! Syria’s leftists must turn home to Assad

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"...the Kurds in Syria have never asked for autonomy, or independence."

As Assad-backed troops enter Afrin to fight Turkish invaders, the Syrian conflict has entered its decisive crossroads:  Will Northern Syria cooperate with Damascus, or not? This is the key to Syrian peace and territorial unity. 

Lebanese Kurds show their solidarity with their brothers and sisters under attack by Erdogan. Kurdishness may imply solidarity but it does not imply identical political positions and aspirations.

It’s also the question which will make or break claims that a Northern Syrian enclave which refuses to help expel uninvited Americans can somehow be a “leftist project”. (I say it is a leftist project…IF they return to full cooperation with the Syrian government. I will detail my analysis of the political structure of “Rojava” in an upcoming article - this article only deals with immediate political concerns.)

No question can be answered, however, until I clarify some key facts about Northern Syria. Indeed, reporting about Northern Syria in the West is rife with the most fundamental errors, and the most egregiously false claims.

Firstly, the Kurds in Syria have only ever asked for autonomy, not independence.

People assume all Kurds are like Iraqi Kurds – separatists - but the Kurds in Syria want to stay within the Syrian state. This disavowal of independence is an undisputed, long-standing (if underreported) fact. Indeed, the arrival of pro-government forces in Afrin was met with celebrations – the “Arab Socialist Baath Party” is a nationalist one, it seems to have been forgotten. The fact that such celebrations could possibly raise some eyebrows only shows how terrible the West’s mainstream reporting is in Syria.

The second most important point is this: "Rojava", "Syrian Kurdistan", “Northern Syria” or the “Democratic Federation of Northern Syria” - whatever it is called - is among the most interesting (and newest) leftist projects in the world today. 

For that reason alone, nobody is reporting on it honestly.

After all, the Western mainstream media has no governmental or private mandate to support the 99%...much less in a Muslim country…still less in an anti-Zionist country like Syria!

The Kurds in Northern Syria are facing tough choices, but the road least fraught with dangers is ultimately integration with the rest of Syria.

Rojava’s governmental culture is based around ethnic equality, collective unity, local emancipation and undoubtedly socialist-and-not-capitalist inspired democratic & economic ideals. Therefore…the capitalist-imperialist West totally ignores all of that and solely focuses on identity politics: thus, it’s always reported as just “the Kurds”.

That leads to the third important issue: foolishly lumping all the Kurds across Southwest Asia together, thereby assuming that there are no regional differences. For Western media it is as if Kurds walk around all day in a special "Kurdish daze", so enamored with being Kurdish that the countries and local neighborhoods where they live have absolutely no effect on them or their worldview. Their “Kurdishness” is all-consuming, it seems! The theory underpinning this is identity politics: if you are Kurdish, then you must all think alike.

So it makes no difference if you grew up/lived in Saddam's Iraq, modern Iran, Baathist Syria, or Istanbul: You are a Kurd and - as a Kurd - you can only possibly see things via the lens of your Kurdishness. But only the West proffers this absurd, one-dimensional view of the Kurds - not the Middle Easterners who live alongside them.

A fourth problem - an even larger one for those in Syria - is that the Kurds in Syria are not even “Kurds”! 

What I mean is: Kurds are around ½ of the population of Northern Syria, but only compose around 1/3rd in some of the biggest areas of Rojava, such as Membij. There are Assyrians and Chaldeans - they are Christian. There are Sunni Arabs. There are Turkmen, who are not allied to Turkey and are Syrian patriots despite their name. There are Circassians, Armenians, Yazidis, Chechens and others. Hard as it is for non-Muslims to believe: All these people like each other, live & work together, intermarry and have done so for more than a millennia. You cannot even say that all the fighters in this area are Kurds, either, because the Syrian Democratic Forces forces - who helped rout ISIL - are majority non-Kurd.

But they are all Syrian - and they want it to stay that way.

This IS the case…even though Kurds in Iraq aimed for independence…and despite the Western anti-Assad propaganda.

Clearly, a major overhaul on the idea of “Kurd” is needed for many….

The Kurdish ‘Bad Century’ is relative to where they live

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]nyone can have a bad century and finish as winners…look at the Chicago Cubs.

So in Northern Syria the “Kurds” are not even Kurdish nearly half the time, but let’s be like the West and look at the “Kurds” across their 4 main nations.

If we accept that “Kurdishness” is not all-consuming , we can see how the experiences of "Kurds" in Iraq (which also comprise Assyrians, Chaldeans, Turkmen, etc.) - who lived under Saddam Hussein's wars, were massacred by the anti-Iranian MKO homicidal cult, lived in a country forced to endure material shortages caused by US sanctions from 1990-2003, and who are enduring US invasion and occupation - are fundamentally different than the experiences of "Kurds" in Syria…where these things did not happen.

The experience of "Kurds" in Syria -  which is bordered by the menacing, illegitimate state of Israel, which had a different political conception & practice of Ba'athism than Iraq (which provoked more enmity than cooperation between the two since 1966), which was invaded not by a “coalition of the willing” but radical terrorists, which is on the cusp of benefitting from the extraordinary national unity which can only be created by victoriously defeating foreign invaders  - are fundamentally different than the experiences of "Kurds" in Iraq. 

"Kurdishness" in Turkey is a vastly larger issue than Syria, because there are vastly more of them than anywhere else.

"Kurdishness" in Iran is totally different than in any of the four primary Kurdish countries: they are more accepted there than any other country.

This is a result of the acceptance promoted by Iran’s modern, popular revolution of 1979 (by definition, you can’t have a “modern, popular revolution” based on racism/ethnic superiority). Indeed, Iran’s definitive cultural "female Iran-Iraq war experience" was the best-selling, award-winning story told by a Kurdish immigrant from Iraq to Iran - in the book “Da", which means "mother" (not in Farsi). Such a thing could never happen in Turkey, obviously, nor Arab nationalist Syria and Iraq. This modern acceptance is why Iran is the only nation of the four where there is no chance of fomenting a Kurdish uprising: being Iranian and Kurdish is not any sort of contradiction - they are incorporated in the national self-conception about as much as any numeric minority can reasonably be, as the success of “Da” illustrates. And for this reason - which is called (Iranian Islamic socialist) “modern democracy" - there is no chance of any sort of a "Kurdish uprising” in Iran. Even amid this ongoing historical era of Kurdish militancy across the entire region, the PJAK Party (Iranian Kurdish separatists) gave up armed operations in Iran in 2011: it’s useless - Iran is different, and on the Kurdish question as well. Israel could spend a zillion usuriously-gained dollars on such a project and it would get nowhere...which is why they spend their money in the southeast (in Baluchistan with Jundallah). 

And, to repeat, because this is so important: The people of Northern Syria have never, ever said they want anything but autonomy within Syria. This proves that Syrian “Kurds” are not Iraqi “Kurds”, where Barzani and their bid for independence have been neutralised…much to the dismay of the US & Israel.

An often ignored (or not known) point is that Iraqi “Kurds” had been wooed (or led astray) by the US for two decades via preferential economic, political, cultural and immigration policies. The US paid for a lot of goodwill over many years. In Syria - it has been pro-Zionist hostility. So, Syrian “Kurds” have not come into contact with the American ideology anywhere as much…and their ideology is necessarily different (despite the  overpowering Kurdish daze they walk around in!)

Only by ignoring these realities can one assume the “Kurds” of both regions share the same political outlook in February 2018.

So, I hope we are bit less "konfused" on who the "Kurds" really are.

Now, because of the leftist nature of northern Syria, we must de-konfuse our notions of their political ideology. 

But I’m going to postpone that to part two - let’s talk immediate politics.

A very interesting leftist political project…but not if they ally with the US

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t was great alarm that greeted the recent US declaration that they will keep 2,000 troops in Northern Syria - that news turned off many to the possibility that northern Syria could possibly be leftist.

And rightly so, but Washington’s plans are simply their desire - there has been no official political deal: Rojavan leaders insist their cooperation with the US is strictly military to fight ISIL. Indeed, they have grown up in Syria, which has been attacked by Israel…but now they are going to be allies? To Iraqis, Israel were begrudged but distant customers of oil.

Certainly, the downfall of Barzani in Iraq is a blow to US/Israeli imperialism - so…of course they are refocusing to Northern Syria. But that doesn’t mean they will get what they want!

Certainly, Northern Syria cannot allow a military base inside its borders. There can be no “Syrian Guantanamo” to permanently menace a newly-liberated Syria, like in Cuba.

Let’s keep a couple of war realities in mind: It’s not as if Northern Syrians could have prevented the US from planting soldiers and using an airstrip – there has been a huge war, after all, with a well-heeled army called ISIL to stop.

Let’s also remember that the Northern Syrians work with everybody to fight ISIL in Northern Syria: Russia, the US, Damascus, Iran, Hezbollah – everyone but Turkey. (Obviously, the US both fights terrorism and supports it.)

Rojavans…it may be now or never to fight for Syrian unity

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he invasion by Turkey means Northern Syrians have now reached the point of no return: to work with Turkey (and thus the US) is to betray the Syrian people which Rojavans have always claimed to want to be.

Therefore, Syria is on the verge of peace and total victory…or major civil war: It will be decided by inter-Syrian diplomacy. Negotiations have been ongoing between the two areas for years, of course, and they are no doubt in overdrive right now. 

The fundamental problem is this: Damascus has always rejected the idea of a federated state and autonomy for Northern Syria. Northern Syria has held their ground militarily, and Damascus has been too occupied with ISIL to demand cooperation…but it’s February 2018, and here we are.

So what will Damascus do, and what will Rojava do?

I am not a Syrian, and thus my opinion should be worth very little – the future of Syria is only for Syrians to decide - but to me it looks like this:

Rojavans may view siding with Damascus as a risk regarding the re-installation of some Arab Nationalist policies they dislike (Rojava has 3 official languages for a reason, for example)…but siding with the Americans is a guarantee of leftist betrayal, a guarantee of failure and a guarantee of regional bloodshed for decades.

Maybe Rojava can expel ISIL on their own, but they cannot expel the US and Turkey without Damascus…and they must be expelled. How can these troops stay if Damascus and Rojavans cooperate? They cannot, whatever the Pentagon wants.

Therefore, at some point - a point quite soon - Rojavans will need to openly embrace Damascus, in the name of Syrian unity and in the realization of issues larger than their own interests and sacrifices.

On the other side, there is nothing stopping Damascus from making concessions to win over Rojava…and yet, one easily sees the government’s hesitance: Making major changes to Syria’s political structure seems to require the democratic approval of the entire nation via vote. The granting of wholesale structural changes for one-third of the country during wartime appears to lack democratic legitimacy.

Rojava is where most of Syria’s oil is located. Certainly, those funds cannot be made the complete “autonomous” property of Rojavans. One easily sees how “granting autonomy” is a major question that goes beyond just the decades-long elevation of Arab culture over the culture of Turkmen, Chaldeans, Kurds, etc. How can this be discussed patiently and democratically amid wartime and invasion?

Of course, it should not be surprising that Assad’s view of Rojava never gets an airing…but given Rojava’s leftist bonafides, nobody ever talks about them truthfully either. “Keep ‘em konfused with just ‘Kurds’” is the media line….

To sum up my view of the immediate political situation: Unity requires faith - Northern Syrians need to trust their fellow citizens that their success has earned them good faith credit in Syria’s common future.

And, finally, what choice does Rojava have? Turkey will never accept them (this is the pretext for their invasion), nor Damascus, nor Iraq. The only ones who will are the US and Israel…and that is leftist?!?!

No…this is why I predict a reconciliation. The failure of Syrian-Syrian diplomacy at this juncture is…civil war.

And who wants that in Syria?

In an upcoming second article I will examine what is the “leftist ideology” of Rojava, and how these ideas might interact with Arab Socialist Baathism in a unified, free, victorious state of Syria.

About the author
 RAMIN MAZAHERI, Senior Correspondent & Contributing Editor, Dispatch from Paris • Ramin  is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

 Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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Scattered Notes from the Front: Trying to See Clearly Through the Fog


Says the author: "That's what's happening to Germany's Social Democrats, following similar developments in France, Holland, Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe. They don’t have much energy left to fight since they sold their working-class souls and went along with social cuts and other dictates of the "Finance Markets" in the name of "competition", thus beginning a slow plunge into a major identity crisis..."

Merkel: Anti-Russian and conservative, she has proven (as have other pseudo leaders of European democracies) a reliable shill for the American empire. When will Europe get rid of this disgraceful witting collaborators in the greatest crimes of the modern era?

24 February 2018: Western corporate and government mainstream presstitute media disgrace themselves, even by their own abysmal standards, when they conduct a sustained campaign of heart-rending outraged mourning over the dead children in Ghouta (Syria) but have, or had, scarcely a word to say about the dead children in Mosul (Iraq), Yemen, Gaza (Palestine) or Tripolis (Libya), who died under Western-led or -supported bombing campaigns in far greater numbers – and those are just the recent cases. This is the purest, most cynical, most corrupt, most despicable imperial instrumentalization of the helplessness of suffering peoples. There would be no war in Syria if not for US-CIA-Saudi support for islamist fighters, mostly from outside of Syria ... begun under "Obama the Benevolent" (CJ Hopkins) and Hillary Clinton.

Headline from an article by the fine Middle East correspondent Patrick Cockburn, just last fall: “The Massacre of Mosul: More Than 40,000 Civilians Feared Dead”.

“More than 40,000 civilians were killed in the devastating battle to retake Mosul from Isis, according to intelligence reports revealed exclusively to The Independent”

So the current battle in Syria is a "massacre"? How much did you hear from the same sources last year about THIS, carried out by the US and its allies? Could there by ANY chance be politics involved in this coverage?

22 February 2018, THE PROPAGANDA WAR: In Germany's national public radio network Deutschlandfunk this morning, practically non-stop coverage of the "massacre" (Angela Merkel) of civilians in Ghouta, Syria, with all the blame directed at Assad and Russia -- exactly the same as in Aleppo last year. Never a word blaming the Al-Qaeda-associated islamist fighters holed up there among the civilian population and backed by the US and allies, who were considered almost wiped out, until recently they were apparently supplied once again with money and weapons to keep going. But when the US and Iraq and others killed thousands of civilians bombing ISIS out of Mosul a few months ago, there were no such stories. Also no mention of the latest atrocities by the Turkish army against Kurds nearby as Turkey's (equally) illegal invasion of Syria continues: Turkey released a German journalist from prison last week and we don't want to irritate the highly-sensitive Erdogan again (PS, We have always been at war with Eastasia).

“More than 40,000 civilians were killed in the devastating battle to retake Mosul from Isis, according to intelligence reports revealed exclusively to The Independent” So the current battle in Syria is a "massacre"? How much did you hear from the same sources last year about THIS, carried out by the US and its allies? Could there by ANY chance be politics involved in this coverage?

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rarely used the word "massacre", perhaps never. Not about Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Not about Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Not about the hundreds of persons killed by her ally the USA in Syria a week or two ago. Not about the millions killed in Southeast Asia by her friend Kissinger. Not about the many thousands of civilians killed in Mosul by the US and its allies in bombing raids last year. Not about the terror bombings in Kabul, Afghanistan, where she is sending planeloads of rejected asylum seekers back into a war zone. But today she referred to the current battle in Syria as a "massacre". And still, Germany calls Syria a "civil war".

But while Merkel accused Syria's Assad of a "massacre”, she has been very hesitant to mention the many thousands of deaths caused by VW, Mercedes and other German auto manufacturers around the world through trick software for diesel motors they invented to deceive emissions-testing machines. After all, they are the backbone of the booming German economy -- and here in Germany those automobile manufacturers are refusing to convert their engines to put a stop to the damage and the exported death.

VW is refusing to modify diesel motors with the trick software which produces false legal emissions results. They say it's too expensive, although VW’s corporate profits actually doubled in 2017. Nor have they been subjected to 11 billion dollars of fines here in Germany, as they were in America (and the government is hoping everyone will forget soon). Meanwhile, Mercedes and BMW have admitted they did the same thing. So much for the environmental record of Germany, the country once considered a world environmental leader.

In the USA, most citizens are hardly bothered at all about the thousands of civilians in the Middle East who have been killed in bombing raids and terrorist attacks since Trump took office: they are more concerned that their own children might be shot death at their schools. Trump’s solution is to fill those schools and communities with even more guns, specifically in the hands of schoolteachers. Many American students have now discovered that gun control might be a good idea after all and not a communist plot. My friend Missy Comley Beattie, writing in Counterpunch, has a message for these young gun control advocates:  "I want them to think of the Other. I want them to look at their counterparts in every single area of the globe where US troops are deployed, committing acts of terror. I want them to know that their feelings are the same as those terrorized by state-sanctioned violence. The fear is the same. I want them to imagine the sounds they heard on Valentine’s Day 2018, the gunfire, the screams, the clamor, and the smells -- of blood, of gunpowder, of death, understand the 24-hour-a-day presence of gunfire, the buzz of a drone, the explosions, the smells, the deaths, and know to the bone what it means to live in a war zone."

Not getting much attention in the world media, but plenty here in Germany (where we have a tortured relationship with Turkey based partly on the fact that many Turkish expatriates live here, but continue to support the increasingly fascist behavior of their government, although they would prefer not to live there): the deteriorating situation in Turkey, a NATO member which has now invaded Syria to kill Kurds with German weapons, and which has increasingly tense relations with just about every other nation. HEADLINE in Germany’s foreign-language service Deutsche Welle on its website:

Dutch parliament recognizes 1915 Armenian 'genocide' | News | DW | 22.02.2018

“The Dutch parliament has voted to recognize the deaths of Armenians during World War I as genocide. The decision is likely to enrage Turkey…”

The Netherlands joins Germany and other EU nations on Turkey's shit-list: when the German Bundestag (Parliament) did this last year, it precipitated yet another screaming temper tantrum and diplomatic kerfuffle from Turkish President Erdogan, who called Germany "fascist" while he was simultaneously arresting 50,000 teachers, journalists, and public officials on charges of "supporting terrorism" -- most of whom are still behind bars. Of course, such genocide 100 years in the past is a welcome chance to ascend the Moral High Horse for nations supporting ethnic cleansing in Palestine, Yemen, and elsewhere.

Five months after its national parliamentary election at the end of September, German Chancellor Merkel has still not managed to form a governing coalition. The Social Democratic Party (SPD) is her current prospective coalition partner, and the coalition contract is now being voted upon by the entire membership of the SPD (a process not necessary in Merkel’s own CDU). If the SPD membership approves the coalition, Germany will finally have a new government after nearly a half-year of confusion brought about by the growth of the upstart far-right Alternative für Deutschland party (AfD), which got 13% of the vote and in doing so seriously weakened both the CDU and the SPD with its anti-immigrant polemic. In a poll a few days ago, the SPD – Germany’s oldest political party -- had fallen to 15%, with the AfD passing them to reach 16%.

That's what's happening to Germany's Social Democrats, following similar developments in France, Holland, Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe. They don’t have much energy left to fight since they sold their working-class souls and went along with social cuts and other dictates of the "Finance Markets" in the name of "competition", thus beginning a slow plunge into a major identity crisis.

There must be some good news out there somewhere.

About the Author
 Gregory Barrett, originally from Tennessee, worked for 40 years as a professional pianist, singer, songwriter, and touring and recording musician in the USA and Europe, both in the spotlight and as an accompanist for major stars and others. His activist career includes stints in the 1980s with Amnesty International USA at the national level and the ACLU of Tennessee. Since 2012 he has worked primarily as a translator. He has lived in Germany for a total of 18 years and has a diverse, multicultural family. His commentary and essays are published in The Greanville Post, Counterpunch, the Anglo-Indian magazine Socialist Factor, and other publications. 

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The Radical Dishonesty of David Brooks—A FAIR.org exposé


Dateline: FEBRUARY 23, 2018 | By DEAN BAKER

Brooks: a practiced disinformer for an age that richly rewards them.

“The key to progress is information — making ourselves better informed,” David Brooks writes in a column (2/22/18) that systematically disinforms its readers.

We would usually expect that a 12-year-old kid would be taller than a 6-year-old kid. However, if a 12-year-old had only grown one inch over their last six years, we would probably be somewhat worried.

David Brooks devotes his most recent New York Timescolumn, “The Virtue of Radical Honesty” (2/22/18), to presenting data from Steven Pinker’s new book, Enlightenment Now, which purports to show that things are better than ever. Most of the data has the character of boasting over our 12-year-old’s one inch of growth over the last six years.

Brooks tells us:

For example, we’re all aware of the gloomy statistics around wage stagnation and income inequality, but Pinker contends that we should not be nostalgic for the economy of the 1950s, when jobs were plentiful and unions strong. A third of American children lived in poverty. Sixty percent of seniors had incomes below $1,000 a year. Only half the population had any savings in the bank at all.

Between 1979 and 2014, meanwhile, the percentage of poor Americans dropped to 20 percent from 24 percent. The percentage of lower-middle-class Americans dropped to 17 from 24. The percentage of Americans who were upper middle class (earning $100,000 to $350,000) shot upward to 30 percent from 13 percent.

The problem with the Brooks/Pinker story is that we expect the economy/people to get richer through time. After all, technology and education improve. In the ’50s, we didn’t have the Internet, cell phones and all sorts of other goodies. In fact, at the start of the ’50s, we didn’t even have the polio vaccine.

The question is not whether we are better off today than we were 60 years ago. It would be incredible if we were not better off. The question is by how much.

In the ’50s, wages and incomes for ordinary families were rising at a rate of close to 2 percent annually. In the last 45 years, they have barely risen at all.

It’s hard to see the steady march of progress when you look at the US poverty rate over time. (chart: Wikipedia)

This fact can be seen even looking at the numbers that Brooks is bragging over. While it’s not clear where they got their poverty data, the child poverty rate comes closest to the numbers in the article. This was at 22.3 percent in 1983, it was down to 21.1 percent in 2014 and fell further to 18.0 percent in 2016.

Should we celebrate this reduction in poverty rates over the last 33 years? Well, the poverty rate had fallen from 27.3 percent in 1959 (the first year for this data series) to 14.0 percent in 1969. That’s a drop of 13.3 percentage points in just ten years. The net direction in the last 47 years has been upward.

A larger share of the population is earning over $100,000 a year. This is due to some growth in hourly wages, but also due to more work per family. A much larger share of women are working today than 50 years ago, and a larger share of the women working are working full-time. If family income had continued growing at its pace from 1967 to 1973 (the last years of the Golden Age), median family income would be almost $150,000 today.

There are a whole a range of other measures which leave real enlightenment types appalled by the state of the country today. While Brooks/Pinker tell us “only half the population had any savings at all” in the 1950s, a recent survey found that 63 percent of the country could not afford an unexpected bill of $500. The homeownership rate is roughly the same as it was 60 years ago. Life expectancy for those in the bottom 40 percent of the income distribution has barely budged in the last 40 years.

In short, a serious analysis of data shows that most people have good grounds for complaints about their situation today, since they have not shared to any significant extent in the economic growth of the last four decades. But apparently there is a big market for the sort of dog-and-pony show that Brooks and Pinker present, trying to argue the opposite.

A version of this post originally appeared on CEPR’s blog Beat the Press(2/23/18).

You can send a message to the New York Times at letters@nytimes.com(Twitter:@NYTOpinion). Please remember that respectful communication is the most effective.



About the Author
 Dean Baker is an economist & co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC.  

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.




^0America's Goal...

Make every homeless tranny

gender comfortable!

• Eastern Ghouta Propaganda War •


Consuming Syria "news": caveat emptor

The shameless Western propaganda offensive to topple Pres. Assad has used some of the vilest and most cynical methods imaginable, anything that could fool the Western public, particularly the Americans, on whose awareness so much depends but who are also the easiest people to hoodwink, given their legendary ignorance and gullibility. Some of the sources used by the whore media are not just questionable, they are laughable, people and outfits that no serious editor would touch. Consider the important-sounding "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights". If the label conjures up a big organisation with scores of staffers and a solid reputation to match, well you would be bloody wrong. The vaunted "Observatory" is just one guy holed up some place in London, literally operating out of his flat, demonstrably compromised for his clear links to British and American intelligence not to mention undeniable bias—he's clearly pro imperialist and against Assad, Russia, etc.—who has the audacity—or, let's say his handlers, the secretive people who set him up—to purport to know what's really going on in the ever shifting Syrian battlefields. The whole thing is ludicrous to any fair witness. First, if this guy manages to routinely obtain invaluable information about the Syrian conflict, from terrorist-controlled areas where no career Western presstitute dares to go, who's feeding him this information?

Le Mesurier: Have lies, will travel.

Elementary reason would say the terrorists themselves, that's who, and the state parties who put these terrorists in business—the US cabal—for why else would they be collaborating with this conduit to Western public opinion on whom they depend to sustain and legitimate their criminal activities? Second, if that elementary logic did not suffice, think of this: With the takfiris normally encircled or harassed by loyal Syrian forces and purportedly constantly under attack by the militaries of the US-led coalition, such forces supposedly engaged in fighting the terrorists...(that's a bald-faced lie but let's that set aside for the moment), how do the terrorists relay their messages to the Observatory through such a thick wall of hostile parties? Obviously the fact they do strongly indicates that not only is the "Observatory" a terminally biased source, but that the Western governments are also involved in this campaign of lies up to their eyeballs. And then take The White Helmets, another source from which the western media take a lot of the Syria "news" they breathlessly transmit to their captive audiences. This nefarious propaganda asset, officially known as The Syrian Civil Defense (Syria already had and has a legitimate organisation with similar name that does not employ murderers and disinformers in its ranks) is the brainchild of a shady British ex-mercenary and military operative, James Le Mesurier. The White helmets have received ample funding and p.r. support from the UK and CIA, not to mention other shady private sources, and have been—as we could expect— constantly lionised by the media as heroes, Gandhis in the battlefield, who merited an endorsement for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016 among other ridiculous notions). This is the information offal being circulated by the Western presstitutes about Syria as "the truth". Extreme caution is indicated.— P. Greanville 

US-led Western media reports on what’s going on read like Pentagon or CIA press releases – all presenting the same narrative. Russia and Syria are disgracefully blamed for war crimes committed by US-supported terrorists – supplied with heavy Western and Israeli weapons.

The war was launched by Obama, continued by Trump, regime change and destroying Syrian sovereignty its objective – this and other vital information suppressed by media scoundrels.

Here’s a sampling of Western propaganda headlines:

NYT: “When No Place Is Safe: Sheltering Under Siege in Syria” – the Times turning truth on its head, falsely blaming Assad for US-led aggression on his country, calling terrorists “rebels,” pretending their violence is just.

Washington Post: “As Syria bloodshed continues, UN delays vote on emergency cease-fire” – claiming it’s “to halt the Syrian army’s furious blitz,” falsely blaming its forces for high crimes committed by US-supported terrorists.

Wall Street Journal: “Syria’s White Helmet Rescuers Capture Destruction in Eastern Ghouta.” They’re al-Qaeda-linked terrorists, not civil defense “rescuers.”

AP News: “Airstrikes on Suburbs of Syrian Capital Claim More Lives” – Shelling by terrorists are responsible, not Syrian or Russian aircraft.

Reuters: “UN Security Council delays vote on Syria ceasefire resolution” – quoting neocon extremist Nikki Haley tweeting: “Unbelievable that Russia is stalling a vote on a ceasefire allowing humanitarian access in Syria” – suppressing why a vote was delayed, its unacceptable text not changed.

Los Angeles Times: “World powers press for cease-fire in Syria, but UN doesn’t act” – repeating the Big Lie, claiming Syrian warplanes are “bombard(ing)” residential areas.

The Qatari dictatorship-owned and controlled Al Jazeera has been featuring daily propaganda reports on Eastern Ghouta, disgraceful rubbish.

On Saturday, it said over 400 civilians were killed in recent days, around 2,100 others injured – the London-based, Western funded Syrian Observatory for Human Rights one-man, anti-Syria propaganda operation its source.

Other information comes from White Helmets, allied with anti-Syria terrorists.

Al Jazeera correspondent James Bays disgracefully denigrated Syrian UN envoy Bashar al-Jaafari for explaining vital truths during a Security Council session, saying:

He “stoutly defend(s) his government and whatever it does,” turning truth on its head adding:

“He is representing a government that is breaching international law – effectively many would say carrying out war crimes.”

Washington, its rogue allies, and their imperial foot soldiers bear full responsibility for crimes of war and against humanity.

Al Jazeera and other media propaganda reports irresponsibly blame Syria and Russia for high crimes they commit.

Endless war rages with no prospect for resolution any time soon because Washington wants war and regime change, not peace and stability restored.


Examples of disinformation distributed as real journalism
This filth has been going on for some time but has gained momentum again in the last few weeks. Breathless reporting of "regime atrocities" by the intrepid reporters—at one remove—serving the empire. They always omit the most essential truths, thereby denying real context to make a judgment, as that would automatically condemn the West and not the supposed perps in these stories. 

• CBS this morning (controlled by the Sumner Redstone clan)

Syrian civilians "waiting for death" amid government airstrikes

Published on Feb 21, 2018

Syrian government forces backed by Russian airstrikes are bombarding a rebel enclave on the outskirts of Damascus for a fourth day. More than 250 people are reported dead in the assault on the heavily-populated area. Jonathan Vigliotti reports.

• By CNN (Controlled by US plutocrats)

Thousands besieged in Syria's Eastern Ghouta 


Published on Nov 26, 2017

• By Aljazeera (controlled by US-allied Qatari despots)

???????? Civilian death toll rising in Syria's eastern Ghouta


In eastern Ghouta dozens of people died on Monday in rocket and air-strikes. Local observers say the attacks are a prelude to a major offensive on the rebel-held territory, which has been under siege since 2013. Since the end of last December, a stepped-up government campaign killed more than 400 civilians, including at least 100 children. The Syrian government and its allies haven't taken ground but over the years they have continuously bombarded residential neighbourhoods over the years. The fear now is that the numbers will only rise if a wide-scale attack begins in the region, where hundreds of thousands of people are trapped. Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reports from Beirut.

 Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 10.13.00 AMSTEPHEN LENDMAN was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient. His new site is at http://stephenlendman.org



^0America's Goal...

Make every homeless tranny

gender comfortable!