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Israel’s raid on Syria (DISCUSSION & ANALYSIS)

Israel’s raid appears to have been intended to disrupt the ongoing offensive against ISIS but has provoked a powerful response.

Alexander Mercouris

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The Russians have now formally confirmed earlier media reports that following the Israeli air raid on Syria on Friday the Israeli ambassador in Moscow was called in to the Russian Foreign Ministry to be handed a stern lecture and a stiff protest.

Moscow’s confirmation of the Russian protest to Israel, and the fact that the Israeli ambassador was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry within hours of the raid taking place, shows how seriously the Russians are treating this incident.

What is most interesting – and worrying – about this incident is not whether or not an Israeli aircraft was shot down.  The Syrians regularly claim to have shot down Israel aircraft, and the Israelis equally regularly deny this was the case.  The Syrians have provided no evidence of any Israeli aircraft being shot down, and it is unlikely one was.

Rather what is worrying about this incident is that the Syrians claim that the air raid targeted Syrian military facilities near Palmyra – deep inside Syria – and that the Syrians were sufficiently concerned about the air strike that they in turn attempted to shoot the Israeli aircraft down whilst they were flying over Israeli territory.

To understand what happened it is necessary to piece together the facts of the incident to the extent that the limited information available makes that possible.

The first report of the incident was provided by the official Syrian news agency SANA, whose report reads as follows

According to a statement by the Command, the four Israeli aircrafts violated the Syrian airspace in al-Breij area through the Lebanese territories at 2:40 am.

The Israeli warplanes targeted a military site near Palmyra in the eastern countryside of Homs, said the Army’s Command, confirming that the Syria air defense forces confronted the enemy’s aircrafts and shot down one of them inside the occupied territories, hit another and forced the other two to withdraw.

“This blatant Israeli act of aggression came as part of the Zionist enemy’s persistence with supporting ISIS terrorist gangs and in a desperate attempt to raise their deteriorating morale and divert attention away from the victories which Syrian Arab Army is making in the face of the terrorist organizations,” the statement read.

From this report it appears that the Israeli aircraft did not penetrate deep into Syrian territory.  Rather it seems that the Israeli aircraft slipped across the border, almost immediately launched their missiles against their target, and then turned back home.

Probably the most accurate account of the Israeli aircraft movements during the raid is provided here

According the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), at 2:34 AM four Israeli jets flying at low altitude entered Lebanese airspace from the Mediterranean over the south Lebanese village of Al-Abbassiyeh. Though the LAF claims the jets turned back to Israel shortly afterwards, it appears they may have actually continued flying towards northeastern Lebanon. From there, according to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), the jets entered Syria at 2:40 AM over the village of al-Bureij – across the border from northeastern Lebanon – and, using stand-off missiles, targeted a Syrian army position in the direction of Palmyra. Other pro-Assad sources claimed that nearby Beqaa Valley residents heard explosions at a target between the Lebanese border and Damascus. Though the Israeli army acknowledged – for the first time – that it had carried out the strike, it did not reveal any information on its targets.

The stand-off missiles the Israelis would have used would have been either Popeye missiles or – more probably – longer range Delilah cruise missiles, which undoubtedly do have the range to reach targets near Palmyra from the al-Bureij area.

The Syrians appear to have retaliated by launching S-200 (“SAM-5”) missiles at the Israeli aircraft after the raid as the aircraft were returning home to their bases.

The Syrians seem to have waited until the Israeli aircraft had recrossed the Lebanese border back into Israel before launching their missiles.  The SANA report clearly says that the air defence missiles were launched at the Israeli aircraft whilst they were over “occupied territory”, which might mean the West Bank or the Golan Heights, but more likely is intended to mean Israel itself (Syria has still not recognised Israel and officially considers the whole of Israel to be occupied Palestinian territory).

The Israelis claim that one of the Syrian air defence missiles launched at their aircraft was itself shot down by an Israeli Arrow-3 missile.

There is again no evidence of any Syrian missile being actually shot down, and as several people have pointed out, using an air defence missile designed to protect Israel from missiles launched at ground targets in order to shoot down an air defence missile launched unsuccessfully at an aircraft, on the face of it makes little sense.

If the Israelis did launch one of their Arrow-3 missiles at a Syrian S-200 missile that was attempting to shoot down one of their aicraft, then that suggests that they misidentified the Syrian missile, which in turn also suggests that they were taken by surprise and did not expect the Syrian response.

That a missile strike of some sort did take place over Israeli territory is however confirmed by eyewitness reports

A sonic boom could be heard in parts of Israel and the West Bank, including Jerusalem, sirens sounded in the Jordan Valley.

Clearly neither the Syrians nor the Israelis are being entirely forthcoming about what happened, but that this was an extremely serious incident is of no doubt.

The Israelis regularly carry out air strikes in Syria.  It is however a long time since they have launched a strike so deep into Syria as Palmyra.

The Israelis have not admitted that the target of the strike was near Palmyra.  However they have not denied it either, and unofficial reports from Israel suggest the target of the strike was in fact Syria’s Tiyas or T4 air base, which is located in the general area of Palmyra.

The Syrians in turn, though they make regular claim of having shot down Israeli aircraft overflying their territory, have not attempted to shoot down Israeli aircraft flying over Israeli territory for a very long time.  That they attempted to do so in this case, essentially ambushing Israeli aircraft as they were returning to their bases after the raid, shows both their anger at the raid and the significant recent increase in their capabilities, with the Syrians now able to track Israeli aircraft inside Israeli controlled territory after they complete their missions.

The Russians for their part have never been known to call in the Israeli ambassador over an Israeli air raid in Syria at any time since Russia began its intervention in Syria in September 2015.  That they have done so in this case shows how seriously they are treating this incident.

Lastly, the blustering response from the Israelis, with Netanyahu issuing thinly veiled warnings to Moscow and the Israelis bragging about their ability to destroy Syria’s air defences and threatening to do so “without the slightest hesitation”, suggests that they are rattled, and that they have been taken by surprise and are alarmed by the Syrian and Russian response.

The key to explaining this incident is the probable target of the raid: Syria’s Tiyas or T4 air base.

Contrary to some claims, the Tiyas air base has never been captured by ISIS or by any other Jihadi group, though ISIS did unsuccessfully attempt to capture it following its temporary capture of Palmyra last December.

Tiyas is one of Syria’s biggest air bases, and was the base from which the Syrian army launched its counter-offensive which recaptured Palmyra a few weeks ago.  Tiyas is now providing critical support to the ongoing Syrian military offensive against ISIS, whose ultimate objective appears to be the relief of the besieged eastern desert city of Deir Ezzor.

Unofficially, the Israelis always claim that their air strikes in Syria are intended to prevent weapons supplies to Hezbollah.  In this case unofficial claims are circulating in Israel that the air strike was intended to stop a handover of Scud missiles at the Tiyas air base by Syria to Hezbollah.

This is on the face of it extremely unlikely.  There are no reports of Hezbollah fighters present in any number near Palmyra or at the Tiyas base, or of them being involved in the ongoing Syrian military offensive against ISIS.  It is anyway unlikely that the Syrians would use the Tiyas air base – close to the front line in the fight against ISIS and far away from Hezbollah’s bases in Lebanon – in order to supply Scud missiles to Hezbollah.  If the Syrians really were transferring such powerful weapons to Hezbollah, a far more likely place for them to do it would be Damascus.

A far more natural explanation for the Israeli raid is that it was intended to disrupt the ongoing Syrian army offensive against ISIS, which relies heavily on smooth operation of the Tiyas air base.  This after all is what the Syrian military is quoted by SANA (see above) as saying was the reason for the raid

“This blatant Israeli act of aggression came as part of the Zionist enemy’s persistence with supporting ISIS terrorist gangs and in a desperate attempt to raise their deteriorating morale and divert attention away from the victories which Syrian Arab Army is making in the face of the terrorist organizations.”

There have been persistent reports throughout the Syrian war that Israel would prefer a Jihadi victory or even an ISIS victory in Syria to the restoration of the Syrian government’s full control over Syria.

The Syrian government’s major regional allies are Iran and Hezbollah, which Israel has come to see as its major enemies, so the possibility that Israel might wish to see the Syrian government defeated is not in itself unlikely.  Possibly rather than an outright Jihadi victory, which might cause Israel serious problems in the future, what some tough minded people in Israel want is an indefinite prolongation of the war, so as to tie down the Syrian military, Hezbollah and Iran, preventing them from challenging Israel.

If that is indeed the thinking of some people in Tel Aviv, then it would explain the raid on the Tiyas air base.  It would however be an astonishingly reckless and cynical thing to do, to support an organisation like ISIS in order to disrupt the alliance between Syria, Iran and Hezbollah.

Of course there is a widespread view that it was precisely in order to disrupt this alliance between Syria, Iran and Hezbollah that the Syrian war was launched in the first place.   Whether or not that is so, and whether or not Israel had any part in that, the Israelis now need to reconsider their stance.  On any objective assessment their tactic of providing discrete backing to ISIS and to the other Jihadi groups fighting the Syrian government is achieving the opposite of Israel’s interests.

Instead of weakening or breaking the alliance between Syria, Iran and Hezbollah, the Syrian war has made it stronger, with Iran and Hezbollah both coming to Syria’s rescue, and Iraq increasingly cooperating with them in doing so.  The result is that Iran’s influence in Syria has grown stronger so that there is now even talk of Iran establishing a naval base in Syria, whilst Hezbollah is probably stronger than it has ever been before.

The Syrian military is also becoming significantly stronger, with the incident of the raid showing that technical help from Russia has now made it possible for the Syrians to track and intercept Israeli aircraft over Israeli territory.

The Syrian war has also caused Russia to intervene in Syria, making Russia a de facto ally of Syria, Iran and Hezbollah.

The result is that Russia is now busy establishing a massive air defence and military base complex in Syria, which for the first time has brought a military superpower with far greater technological and military resources than Israel’s own close to Israel’s border.

The result is that for the first time in its history – apart from the brief period of the so-called War of Attrition (‘Operation Kavkaz’) of 1970 – Israel’s military dominance in the region of the region is being seriously challenged.  Already there are reports that the Russian air defence system in Syria is too advanced for the Israelis to defeat, and that the Russians have the ability to track every single Israeli aircraft that takes off in Israel itself.

Lastly, the Russian protest to Israel on Friday shows that the Russians are prepared to speak up for Syria if it is being attacked or threatened.

Perpetual military confrontation with its neighbours is not the solution to Israel’s security problems.  Nor is the attempt to conjure up a witches’ brew of Jihadi terrorist groups in order to disrupt or destabilise them a good idea, whilst an outright alliance with groups like ISIS – however discretely it is done – is frankly a deeply immoral and appalling idea.

It is to be sincerely hoped that following the incident on Friday there are some cooler heads in Israel that are able to see this.

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Denmark As A Model For American Socialists?

In Denmark, everyone pays at least the 25% value-added tax (VAT) on all purchases. Income tax rates are high.

The Duran

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Authored by Lars Hedegard via The Gatestone Institute:


Here are some facts to consider before American “democratic socialists” look to Denmark for guidance, as Senator Bernie Sanders did during the 2016 presidential campaign.

First of all, Danes actually pay for their brand of socialism through heavy taxation. In Denmark, everyone pays at least the 25% value-added tax (VAT) on all purchases. Income tax rates are high. If you receive public support and are of working age and healthy enough to work, the state will require that you look for a job or it will force a job on you.

The willingness of all the Danes to pay high taxes is predicated on the country’s high degree of homogeneity and level of citizens’ trust in each other, what sociologists call “social capital.” By and large, Danes do not mind paying into the welfare state because they know that the money will go to other Danes like themselves, who share their values and because they can easily imagine themselves to be in need of help — as most of them, from time to time, will be.

Whenever politicians propose tax cuts, they are met with vehement opposition: So, you want to cut taxes? What part of the welfare state are you willing to amputate? And that ends the debate.

Danes, in contrast to American socialists gaining ground in the Democratic Party, are increasingly aware that the welfare state cannot be sustained in conditions of open immigration. A political party agitating for “no borders” could never win a Danish election. Danes do not suffer from historical guilt: they have not attacked any other country for more than two centuries and have never committed a genocide.

Moreover, there is an even deeper truth to ponder: Denmark is not really socialist but constitutes a sui generis fusion of free-market capitalism and some socialist elements. Denmark has no minimum wage mandated by law. Wages, benefits and working conditions are determined through negotiations between employers and trade unions. 67% of Danish wage-earners are members of a union, compared to 19% in Germany and 8% in France. Strikes and lockouts are common, and the government will usually stay out of labor conflicts unless the parties are unable to agree.

It is uncomplicated for enterprises to fire workers, which gives them great flexibility to adapt to shifting market conditions. To alleviate the pain, the state has in place a number of arrangements such as generous unemployment benefits and programs to retrain and upgrade redundant workers.

Danish companies must make ends meet or perish. They generally will not get handouts from the government.

Denmark is more free-market oriented than the US. According to the Heritage Foundation’s 2018 Index of Economic Freedom, Denmark is number 12, ahead of the United States (number 18). Venezuela is at the bottom, one place ahead of number 180, North Korea.

Mads Lundby Hansen, chief economist of Denmark’s respected pro-free-market think tank CEPOS, comments:

“Very high taxes and the vast public sector clearly detract in the capitalism index and reduce economic freedom. But Denmark compensates by protecting property rights, by low corruption, relatively little regulation of private enterprise, open foreign trade, healthy public finances and more. This high degree of economic freedom is among the reasons for Denmark’s relatively high affluence.”
Trish Regan recently claimed on Fox Business that Danes pay a “federal tax rate” of 56% on their income. This is misleading. The 55.8% is the levied on the marginaltax for the top income bracket, only on the part of their income above DKK 498,900 ($76,500). Any income under DKK 498,900 is taxed at lower rates. And the 55.8% marginal rate does not represent a “federal” or “national” rate. It represents the total of all taxes on income: national tax, regional tax, municipal tax and labor market tax. It does not, however, include Denmark’s 25% value-added tax (VAT), paid on all purchases.

Regan also claimed that Danes pay a 180% tax on cars. While it is true that there was once a maximum tax of 180% on care in Denmark, the vehicle tax rates have been lowered in recent years. Today, the first DKK 185,100 ($28,400) of the price of a gas- or diesel-powered car is taxed at 85%, and if the car’s price is above DKK 185,100, the remaining amount is taxed at 150% — which is of course bad enough.

Denmark’s total tax burden amounts to 45.9% of GDP, the highest of all countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

As pointed out in the Fox Business segment, all education for Danes is tuition-free, all the way through to a Ph.D. Not only that; the state will, within certain time constraints, pay students to study. For students at university level no longer living with their parents, the monthly cash grant comes to almost $1,000 per month. No fewer than 325,000 students out of a total population of 5.6 million benefit from this generous arrangement setting the state back to the tune of DKK 20.9 billion or 1% of GDP (latest 2018 figures just in and supplied by Mads Lundby Hansen). Denmark even pays student support to 20,000 foreign students.

Attempts by fiscal conservatives to cut down on payments to students have been successfully resisted by the vociferous and influential student organizations; at present it would appear impossible to muster anything like a parliamentary majority to limit the student handouts.

Fox Business is right that a great many Danes are on public transfer payments. Government figures from 2017 indicate that 712,300 Danes of working age (16-64) — not including recipients of student benefits — get public financial support. But Regan’s claim that most Danes do not work is ludicrous. According to Statistics Denmark, 69.9% of Danes aged 16-64 are active in the labor market.

How can Denmark pay for its comprehensive welfare state, which includes free medical care regardless of the severity of your condition? Regan claims that Denmark is “heavily in debt.” Not so. As it turns out, Denmark is among the least indebted countries in the world, even when compared to other Western countries. The Danish government’s gross debt stands at 35.9% of GDP. Compare that to, e.g., The United Kingdom (86.3 %), The United States (108%), Belgium (101%), Canada (86.6%), France (96.3%), Germany (59.8%), The Netherlands (53.5%), Italy (129.7%), Spain (96.7%) and even Switzerland (41.9%).

Comparing Denmark to the US, Madsen notes that the latter has a problem with fiscal sustainability that may necessitate tax increases. Denmark enjoys what he labels fiscal “oversustainability” (“overholdbarhed”).

At a time when socialism appears to be popular among certain sections of the American population, its proponents would do well not to cite Denmark as a model. The Danish fusion of free-market capitalism and a comprehensive welfare state has worked because Denmark is a small country with a very homogeneous population. This economic and social model rests on more than 150 years of political, social and economic compromises between peasants and landowners, business-owners and workers, and right- and left-leaning political parties. This has led to a measure of social and political stability that would be hard to emulate in much larger and more diverse counties such as the United States.


Lars Hedegaard, President of the Danish Free Speech Society, is based in Denmark.

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Ron Paul: Protectionism Abroad and Socialism at Home

One of the most insidious ways politicians expand government is by creating new programs to “solve” problems created by politicians.

Ron Paul

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Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity:


One of the most insidious ways politicians expand government is by creating new programs to “solve” problems created by politicians. For example, government interference in health care increased health care costs, making it difficult or even impossible for many to obtain affordable, quality care. The effects of these prior interventions were used to justify Obamacare.

Now, the failures of Obamacare are being used to justify further government intervention in health care. This does not just include the renewed push for socialized medicine. It also includes supporting new laws mandating price transparency. The lack of transparency in health care pricing is a direct result of government policies encouraging overreliance on third-party payers.

This phenomenon is also observed in foreign policy. American military interventions result in blowback that is used to justify more military intervention. The result is an ever-expanding warfare state and curtailments on our liberty in the name of security.

Another example of this is related to the reaction to President Trump’s tariffs. Many of America’s leading trading partners have imposed “retaliatory” tariffs on US goods. Many of these tariffs target agriculture exports. These tariffs could be devastating for American farmers, since exports compose as much as 20 percent of the average farmer’s income.

President Trump has responded to the hardships imposed on farmers by these retaliatory tariffs with a 12 billion dollars farm bailout program. The program has three elements: direct payments to farmers, use of federal funds to buy surplus crops and distribute them to food banks and nutrition programs, and a new federal effort to promote American agriculture overseas.

This program will not fix the problems caused by Tramp’s tariffs. For one thing, the payments are unlikely to equal the money farmers will lose from this trade war. Also, government marketing programs benefit large agribusiness but do nothing to help small farmers. In fact, by giving another advantage to large agribusiness, the program may make it more difficult for small farmers to compete in the global marketplace.

Distributing surplus food to programs serving the needy may seem like a worthwhile use of government funds. However, the federal government has neither constitutional nor moral authority to use money taken by force from taxpayers for charitable purposes. Government-funded welfare programs also crowd out much more effective and compassionate private efforts. Of course, if government regulations such as the minimum wage and occupational licensing did not destroy job opportunities, government farm programs did not increase food prices, and the Federal Reserve’s inflationary policies did not continuously erode purchasing power, the demand for food aid would be much less. By increasing spending and debt, the agriculture bailout will do much more to create poverty than to help the needy.

Agriculture is hardly the only industry suffering from the new trade war. Industries — such as automobile manufacturing — that depend on imports for affordable materials are suffering along with American exporters. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka (who supports tariffs) has called for bailouts of industries negatively impacted by tariffs. He is likely to be joined in his advocacy by crony capitalists seeking another government handout.

More bailouts will only add to the trade war’s economic damage by increasing government spending and hastening the welfare–warfare state’s collapse and the rejection of the dollar’s world reserve currency status. Instead of trying to fix tariffs-caused damage through more corporate welfare, President Trump and Congress should pursue a policy of free markets and free trade for all and bailouts for none.

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In Monsters We Trust: US Mainstream Media No Friend of the American People

Over 300 US newspapers ran editorials on the same day denouncing Trump, an event in itself that points to some high degree of collusion and groupthink.

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Authored by Robert Bridge via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Over the course of his turbulent presidency, Donald Trump has accused various media companies, with special attention reserved for CNN, as being purveyors of ‘fake news.’ In one early-morning Tweet last year, he slammed the “FAKE NEWS media” as the “enemy of the people.”

This week, over 300 US newspapers ran editorials on the same day – an event in itself that points to some high degree of collusion and groupthink – denouncing Trump’s insensitive portrayal of them, as if the notion that journalists were not in the same sleaze league as lawyers, politicians and professional con artists never crossed anyone’s mind before. Even the peace-loving Mahatma Gandhi recommended “equality for everyone except reporters and photographers.”

But is the MSM really an “enemy of the people?”

First, it cannot be denied that the US media, taken in all its wholesomeness, has been overwhelmingly consistent in its ‘style’ of reporting on Donald Trump, the 45th POTUS. And by consistent I mean unprecedentedly critical, misleading and outright aggressive in its guerilla coverage of him. If one is not convinced by the gloom-and-doom Trump stories featured daily in the Yahoo News feed, then a study by the Media Research Center (MRC) should do the job. From January 1 through April 30, evening news coverage of the US leader – courtesy of ABC, CBS and NBC – were 90 percent negative, which is pretty much the same incredible average revealed by MRC one year earlier.

The study looked at every one of the 1,065 network evening news stories about Trump and his administration during the first four months of 2018. Total negative news time devoted to Trump: 1,774 minutes, or about one-third of all evening news airtime. That’s pretty much the definition of a circle jerk.

“Nearly two-fifths (39%) of the TV coverage we examined focused on Trump scandals and controversies, while 45 percent was devoted to various policy issues,” MRC wrote in its report.

Meanwhile, the farcical Russia ‘collusion’ story was consistently the main grabber — clocking in at 321 minutes, or nearly one-fifth of all Trump coverage. Of the 598 statements MRC calculated about Trump’s personal scandals, virtually all of them (579, or 97%) came out of the media wash cycle tarred and feathered.

If this represents an orchestrated attack on the Commander-in-Chief, and in light of those numbers it would be difficult to argue it isn’t, the strategy appears to be falling flat. Despite, or precisely because of, the avalanche of negative media coverage, Trump’s popularity rating smashed the 50 percent ceiling in early August and continues to remain high.

In Monsters We Trust

Although it can be safely stated that the MSM is an entrenched and relentless enemy of Donald Trump, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an “enemy of the American people,” as Trump argues it is. Let’s be a bit more diplomatic and say it isn’t our friend.

One yard stick for proving the claim is to consider the steadily mounting concentration of media holdings. In 1983, 90 percent of US media were controlled by 50 companies; today, 90 percent is controlled by the Big Six (AT&TComcastThe Walt Disney Company21st Century FoxCBS and Viacom control the spoken and printed word from sea to shining sea).Although many people are aware of the monopolistic tendencies of the US mainstream media, it’s important to understand the level of concentration. It means the vast majority of everything you see and hear on any electronic device or printed publication is ‘democratically’ controlled by six average white guys and their shareholders.

However, keeping track of who owns what these days is practically impossible since the dozens of subsidiary companies that fall under each main company are themselves fiefdoms, each with their own separate holdings. In fact, the already short ‘Big Six’ list is already dated, since National Amusements, Inc. has gobbled up both Viacom and CBS, while 21st Century Fox merged with Disney this year. As for the 350 US newspapers that penned tortured editorials decrying Trump’s critical opinion of them, many of those ‘local’ publications get their marching orders from either the Hearst Communications or the Gannett Company on the East Coast.

Now, with this sort of massive power and influence lying around like dynamite, it stands to reason, or unreason, that the corporate and political worlds will succumb to the law of attraction and gravitation, forging powerful and impregnable relationships. It’s no secret that the politicians, our so-called ‘public servants,’ are mostly in the game to make a fast buck, while the corporations, desperate for ‘democratic representation’ to control regulation and market share, have an inexhaustible source of funds to secure it. Naturally, this oligarchical system precludes any sort of democratic participation from the average person on the street, who thinks just because he remembers to yank a lever once every several years he is somehow invested in the multibillion-dollar franchise.

As far as media corporations being ‘private enterprises’ and therefore free to demolish the freedom of speech (even censoring major media players, like Infowars, simply because they whistle to a different political tune), that is quickly becoming revealed as nothing more than corporate cover for state-sponsored machinations.

“In a corporatist system of government, wherein there is no meaningful separation between corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is state censorship,” writes Caitlin Johnstone. “Because legalized bribery in the form of corporate lobbying and campaign donations has given wealthy Americans the ability to control the US government’s policy and behavior while ordinary Americans have no effective influence whatsoever, the US unquestionably has a corporatist system of government.”

Meanwhile, it cannot be denied, from the perspective of an impartial observer, that the mainstream media is nearly always positioned to promote the government narrative on any number of significant issues. From the media’s unanimous and uncritical clamoring that Osama bin Laden was responsible for 9/11 (even the FBI has admitted it has no “hard evidence” that bin Laden carried out the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon), to its gung-ho enthusiasm for the 2003 Iraq War, to the sycophantic cheerleading for a war in Syria, the examples of media toeing the government line are legion. And if US intel is in bed with Hollywood you can be damn sure they’re spending time in the MSM whorehouse as well.

Is it any surprise, then, that public trust in the US media is reaching all-time lows, while news consumers are increasingly looking to alternative news sites – themselves under relentless attack – to get some semblance of the elusive truth, which is the God-given right of any man? Truth is our due, and we should demand nothing less.

As Thomas Paine reminded the world in the face of a different foe: “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value.”

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