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British accusations against Russia not only unproven, but absurd! Part 2

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Part 2

Russia had long been hoping that the EU may gradually put to an end its sanctions policy. It is still very dependent on trade with the block. It would be insane for Russia to do anything that could threaten the current Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, especially given that the US, with the support of a number of EU countries mainly from Eastern Europe, has been putting pressure on the EU to abandon the project. But Germany, determined to ensure its supply of cheap gas, has so far resisted such calls.

Predictably, the EU has sided with the UK and is officially demanding explanations from Russia concerning its novichok programme – which only makes any sense if Russia was in some way involved in the Salisbury attack, definitely not if it genuinely ceased the production and storage of the nerve agent in the 1990s, as documented by the OPCW!

Could other agents of the Russian state be responsible?

It is also entirely unrealistic to imagine that leading members of the Russian secret service agencies may have acted autonomously and ordered the Salisbury attack without consulting their superiors and not realizing how much damage it would have on Russia’s and Putin’s international reputation. They live in the world of the Russian state elite, continually exposed to its way of thinking, and not cocooned in some fantasy world of their own – unlike many Western politicians and journalists who apparently still live with the image of James Bond-like characters fighting against evil Russian agents!

Any significant agent of the Russian state would be fully aware of the displeasure that a Salisbury-type attack would trigger among the leadership. Supposing players within the Russian state did carry out the attack, it could only be construed as a hostile act towards President Putin and his team.

No sense for Russia to kill Skripal abroad rather than in Russia

This is not a simple case of a former spy-turned-traitor being “executed”. The attack leaves a deliberate Russian “signature” (there is no other reason for using novichok rather than a more discreet or classical weapon) and was carried out on the soil of a foreign country, the United Kingdom, which in spite of the Brexit process remains a highly significant player on the international stage. Whoever the perpetrators may be, they would have foreseen that any improvement in relations between Russia and its Western neighbours would be seriously jeopardized as a consequence.

But what makes Russian involvement even more absurd is the fact that Alexander Skripal was officially released and allowed to emigrate as part of a spy swap. Why would the Russians have waited another eight years before killing him in another country, with the terrible diplomatic consequences that would ensue, when he could have been much more easily liquidated while still in Russia, in a manner that would give would-be defectors an even clearer warning that there is “no way out for traitors”.

Would Russia give up the chance of other spy swaps?

Furthermore, a spy-swap deal implies that the parties involved agree to give up all claims pertaining to the released individuals. In other words they will not try to recapture or kill them, which would amount to a breach of the agreement. A country reneging on such a deal would no longer be trusted for any similar arrangements in the future. Is it reasonable to believe that the Russian government, or any top secret service official in Russia, would be prepared to sacrifice Russia’s chances of making any new spy-swap deals with its Western partners in the future? This is not just unlikely, it is the pinnacle of absurdity! Sadly, Western political leaders and mainstream media are quite happy to believe and propagate such nonsense.

Goal of attack: outrage against Russia

The attack itself does not seem to bear the mark of professional Russian agents. The daughter of the former double agent suffered the same fate as her father. It is only a matter of circumstances that many others were not seriously injured. It is like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut! And the main target, Sergei Skripal, is – weeks later – still reported to be alive! Either it was some very sloppy attack carried out by non-professionals, or the attack was deliberately not confined to Mr Skripal in order to provoke even greater outrage against Russia.

Boris Johnson has apparently recently adapted his interpretation of Russian intentions to take account of these facts. He now claims it was probably specially timed just before the presidential election, “to conjure up in the public imagination the notion of an enemy”. So the Russian president supposedly deliberately provoked British outrage to help him win the election! The Foreign Secretary seems to be completely out of touch with reality. It has long been common knowledge that Vladimir Putin would win with a landslide anyway. Would he wish to cause himself and his country enormous trouble for absolutely no gain at all?

What is Russia’s past record?

We are told there is “a pattern” of state-sponsored assassinations or deaths in unusual circumstances of political opponents, critical journalists and secret service defectors. Deaths attributed to President Putin have included the journalist Politskaya, the political opponent Nemtsov, the accountant and lawyer Magnitsky, the former agent Litvinenko and even the oligarch Berezovsky. In all these cases, the incrimination of the Russian state is based on rather flimsy evidence. The argumentation here is circular: in each case the belief in the Russian government’s responsibility is strengthened by the existence of the other stories. But if none of the stories are true, then the whole argument collapses.

The Litvinenko case does bare a similarity to the current one. Instead of the nerve agent novichok, Litvinenko was poisoned by radioactive polonium, a substance very difficult to obtain and produced only by a few countries – such as Russia – with a nuclear weapons industry. In both cases, it is highly unlikely that the Russian state would choose to leave a “made in Russia” signature on the poison used, with only one major outcome – the poisoning of Britain’s relationship with Russia.

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High-ranking Ukrainian official reports on US interference in Ukraine

It is not usually the case that an American media outlet tells the truth about Ukraine, but it appears to have happened here.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The Hill committed what may well have been a random act of journalism when it reported that Ukrainian Prosecutor General, Yuriy Lutsenko, told Hill.tv’s reporter John Solomon that the American ambassador to that country, Marie Yovanovitch, gave him a “do not prosecute” list at their first meeting.

Normally, all things Russia are covered by the American press as “bad”, and all things Ukraine are covered by the same as “good.” Yet this report reveals quite a bit about the nature of the deeply embedded US interests that are involved in Ukraine, and which also attempt to control and manipulate policy in the former Soviet republic.

The Hill’s piece continues (with our added emphases):

“Unfortunately, from the first meeting with the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, [Yovanovitch] gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute,” Lutsenko, who took his post in 2016, told Hill.TV last week.

“My response of that is it is inadmissible. Nobody in this country, neither our president nor our parliament nor our ambassador, will stop me from prosecuting whether there is a crime,” he continued.

Indeed, the Prosecutor General appears to be a man of some principles. When this report was brought to the attention of the US State Department, the response was predictable:

The State Department called Lutsenko’s claim of receiving a do not prosecute list, “an outright fabrication.” 

“We have seen reports of the allegations,” a department spokesperson told Hill.TV. “The United States is not currently providing any assistance to the Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO), but did previously attempt to support fundamental justice sector reform, including in the PGO, in the aftermath of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. When the political will for genuine reform by successive Prosecutors General proved lacking, we exercised our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer and redirected assistance to more productive projects.”

This is an amazing statement in itself. “Our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer”? Are Americans even aware that their country is spending their tax dollars in an effort to manipulate a foreign government in what can probably well be called a low-grade proxy war with the Russian Federation? Again, this appears to be a slip, as most American media do a fair job of maintaining the narrative that Ukraine is completely independent and that its actions regarding the United States and Russia are taken in complete freedom.

Hill.TV has reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine for comment.

Lutsenko also said that he has not received funds amounting to nearly $4 million that the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine was supposed to allocate to his office, saying that “the situation was actually rather strange” and pointing to the fact that the funds were designated, but “never received.”

“At that time we had a case for the embezzlement of the U.S. government technical assistance worth 4 million U.S. dollars, and in that regard, we had this dialogue,” he said. “At that time, [Yovanovitch] thought that our interviews of Ukrainian citizens, of Ukrainian civil servants, who were frequent visitors of the U.S. Embassy put a shadow on that anti-corruption policy.”

“Actually, we got the letter from the U.S. Embassy, from the ambassador, that the money that we are speaking about [was] under full control of the U.S. Embassy, and that the U.S. Embassy did not require our legal assessment of these facts,” he said. “The situation was actually rather strange because the funds we are talking about were designated for the prosecutor general’s office also and we told [them] we have never seen those, and the U.S. Embassy replied there was no problem.”

“The portion of the funds, namely 4.4 million U.S. dollars were designated and were foreseen for the recipient Prosecutor General’s office. But we have never received it,” he said.

Yovanovitch previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Armenia under former presidents Obama and George W. Bush, as well as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan under Bush. She also served as ambassador to Ukraine under Obama.

Former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who was at the time House Rules Committee chairman, voiced concerns about Yovanovitch in a letter to the State Department last year in which he said he had proof the ambassador had spoken of her “disdain” for the Trump administration.

This last sentence may be a way to try to narrow the scope of American interference in Ukraine down to the shenanigans of just a single person with a personal agenda. However, many who have followed the story of Ukraine and its surge in anti-Russian rhetoric, neo-Naziism, ultra-nationalism, and the most recent events surrounding the creation of a pseudo-Orthodox “church” full of Ukrainian nationalists and atheists as a vehicle to import “Western values” into a still extremely traditional and Christian land, know that there are fingerprints of the United States “deep state” embeds all over this situation.

It is somewhat surprising that so much that reveals the problem showed up in just one report. It will be interesting to see if this gets any follow-up in the US press.

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ABC’s Ted Koppel admits mainstream media bias against Trump [Video]

The mainstream news media has traded informing the public for indoctrinating them, but the change got called out by an “old-school” journo.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Fox News reported on March 19th that one of America’s most well-known TV news anchors, Ted Koppel, noted that the once-great media outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post, have indeed traded journalistic excellence for hit pieces for political purposes. While political opinions in the mainstream press are certainly within the purview of any publication, this sort of writing can hardly be classified as “news” but as “Opinion” or more widely known, “Op-Ed.”

We have two videos on this. The first is the original clip showing the full statement that Mr. Koppel gave. It is illuminating, to say the least:

Tucker Carlson and Brit Hume, a former colleague of Mr. Koppel, added their comments on this admission in this second short video piece, shown here.

There are probably a number of people who have watched this two-year onslaught of slander and wondered why there cannot be a law preventing this sort of misleading reporting. Well, Russia passed a law to stop it, hitting dishonest media outlets in their pocketbook. It is a smart law because it does not advocate imprisonment for bad actors in the media, but it does fine them.

Going to prison for reporting “the truth” looks very noble. Having to pay out of pocket for it is not so exciting.

Newsmax and Louder with Crowder both reported on this as well.

This situation of dishonest media has led to an astonishing 77% distrust rating among Americans of their news media, this statistic being reported by Politico in 2018. This represents a nearly diametric reversal in trust from the 72% trust rating the country’s news viewers gave their news outlets in 1972. These statistics come from Gallup polls taken through the years.

 

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Palestinian court’s life sentence for American wrongly called “hate”

US Media spins it as Palestinian “hate” without giving the complicated history of this region its full perspective.

Seraphim Hanisch

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On December 31, Fox News gave a very pro-Israeli spin by promoting this article as “hate on display.” What happened was that a Palestinian court gave an American with dual Palestinian citizenship a life sentence in prison for “selling land to a Jew.” Here is what the Fox News report said, in part (emphasis added):

An American-Palestinian dual national reportedly was sentenced Monday to life in prison with “hard labor” for trying to sell land to Israelis – extending an incarceration that has already drawn the ire of the U.S. ambassador.

A Palestinian court convicted Issam Akel, who has been held since Oct. 10, of “attempting to sever parts of Palestinian land and annex it to a foreign state,” Reuters reported, citing a judiciary spokesperson.

Palestinians are said to be concerned with land sales in the so-called occupied territories due to alleged fears Israelis will purchase property to further efforts to solidify control of the region.

Akel’s family told Reuters on Monday it was not aware of the verdict or sentence against him. But his plight previously has drawn criticism from U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

A Palestinian judiciary spokesperson told Reuters that Akel’s life sentence also includes “hard labor,” although he can appeal the verdict.

The emboldened sentence contains the core of the problem, though, even though Fox has tried to “hide” this very legitimate claim.

What most Americans do not realize in a clear manner is that the “Palestinian Territories” as such are not distinct from the land that is understood as sovereign territory of Israel. The average American may be led to believe that the two areas are distinct, and that the Palestinians are mad at Israel for Israel having the most and the best land, while the Palestinians are in a terrible area.

But in reality, it is worse than that. The Palestinians have two regions under their jurisdiction, but that jurisdiction gets heavy pressure from Israel, even though both Palestinians and Israelis receive aid from the United States. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that Israelis keep starting settlements in Palestinian lands. This is sort of an “invasion by encroachment” that, ironically is also the same sort of subject that gets brought up in the United States concerning its own open southern border.

Source: Wikipedia.com

Although the US gives aid to Palestine, the American government is heavily committed to Israel, despite Israel’s exceedingly bad record of treatment of the Palestinians. In 2011, for example, the US vetoed a draft resolution to condemn all Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories as illegal.

This is the same as if Mexico or Honduras began building settlements in Texas and New Mexico and the Americans in the area could do nothing about it.

At times, various US leaders, like VP Joe Biden, have softly spoken against it, but to date no American leader has simply and unequivocally condemned this practice as just plain wrong.

The level of political resentment between the two sides has been almost constant since 1948 when Israel was carved out of British Palestine and 700,000 Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes, never to be allowed to return. Again, picture this in the USA, where for example, the cities of El Paso and Brownsville get overrun by migrants and the Americans who have lived there for generations suddenly cannot get into their own homes. Not only are their homes not accessible, the migrants live in them now.

The Palestinian situation and response is not any better. With such financial depravity caused by forced eviction, and the hot tempers that are honestly often exacerbated by Islamic ideas of revenge, many Muslim Palestinians consider it honorable to take out their bitter enemies, the Jews, while the Christian Palestinians quietly support the ferocity of the militants because they were wronged, too.

It is probably not a stretch to propose the notion that the strife in this region has been carefully nurtured by the US and even maybe by other powers, for reasons that fill the speculative and often anti-Semitic pages and newspapers in the world. It is certainly an easy bit of incendiary rhetoric to say that having dealings with Jews is like dealing with the devil.

However, the real issue underneath all of this is a refusal to really solve the problem. There is no logistical reason why the problems in Palestine and Israel cannot be solved in a manner mutually beneficial to everyone involved. But this fight is egged on by passion, and to be sure, Fox News’ eye-catching “Hate on Display” was no help at all.

As for the American Palestinian, his actions are easily seen as a betrayal to the beleaguered Palestinian Authority, and his sentence is in response to their territory literally being sold out to a group of people who is illegally squeezing the Palestinians harder and harder. The US use of the new buzzword “hate” is irresponsible here, and it represented a slap in the face of a suffering people, while offering no solution.

 

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