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North Korea is winning the information war in spite of fewer resources than the US

American arrogance combined with a history of aggression have drawn global sympathies to a North Korean state that many would otherwise be indifferent towards or dislike.

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North Korea is a country that wants to be thought of for its original state ideology, what North Korea’s founder Kim Il-Sung called Juche. North Korea also wants to be thought of for its ability to unite both the non-Aligned movement and workers movements throughout the world, even though at times the country seems isolated. These sentiments are not novel, North Korea says openly what they think its greatest achievements are in multiple films and news clips.

But North Korea has achieved something else. In an age where America is more hated than Juche is universally loved (or even known), North Korea is the country which above all others stands up to America more consistently and more thoroughly than any other. This has won the admiration of people of all races and nations and those from across the political spectrum, including those who don’t necessarily wish to live in a Juche society.

An end of year 2013 poll by Gallup found that the United States is overwhelmingly considered the top threat to world peace by a majority of the world.

According to the survey whose biases if anything were pro-US as Gallup is an American company, the following is true,

“The US was the overwhelming choice (24% of respondents) for the country that represents the greatest threat to peace in the world today. This was followed by Pakistan (8%), China (6%), North Korea, Israel and Iran (5%). Respondents in Russia (54%), China (49%) and Bosnia (49%) were the most fearful of the US as a threat”.

The following map shows the results of the survey by painting countries which participated with the flag of the nation the people in that country feel is the biggest threat to world peace. Uniquely in the world, only South Korea feels North Korea is the number one threat. Japan and the United States do not feel North Korea is the number one threat and in spite of its close alliance with the US, the people of Australia feel that the US is the number one threat. NATO members Turkey and Germany also feel the same, as does Ukraine and America’s neighbour Mexico.

In the years since the survey was taken, there is no indication that the results have significantly changed.

It is against the background that many in the world who would otherwise not have any strong opinions of North Korea one way or another are seeing North Korea as a country which uniquely refuses to kowtow to US threats and as a consequence are developing a kind of geo-political admiration for North Korea’s stance. The fact that North Korea hasn’t invaded anyone, quite unlike the United States, simply reinforces North Korea’s status as a victim of American aggression in the eyes of the world.

On the 8th of August, 2017, the President of the United States threatened North Korea with,

“…fire & fury — and frankly power — the likes of which the world has never seen before”,

should Pyongyang make any further treats towards the United States.

Pyongyang responded by threatening to “envelope (the US territory of) Guam with fire”.

Russia and China continue to ask both Washington and Pyongyang to de-escolate the situation through refraining from military activities and engage in dialogue, a call echoed by Philippines. This call is a rational one and one objectively concerned with the promotion of peace in the face of nuclear war.

While the majority of people in the world do not want war, mixed messages from the US government are sending mixed signals. When the most powerful nation on earth has a Defence Secretary who threatens the annihilation of the Korean people at time when the other two nuclear superpowers are calling for peace and dialogue, it makes the United States look not only like the world’s most powerful nation but also the world’s most bellicose bully.

This kind of brinkmanship has the effect of making the battle look like one between Pyongyang’s David and Washington’s Goliath. Most people, especially those whose countries have been subject to illegal US wars or political interference will naturally side with the underdog.

It would realistically take the United States decades to reverse the results of the aforementioned survey in which most people saw America as the number one threat to world peace, but certain specific steps could be taken to move America closer to moderate global public opinion.

All it would take is a phone call from Donald Trump to Kim Jong-Un to make the world’s wider public feel more at ease with the tensions over Korea and gradually more at ease with America’s position in the world.

Because that isn’t happening, America’s standing in the world continues to plummet while the opposite is generally true of Russia and China who consistently call for peace.

Sometimes it seems as though American politicians are allergic to the word peace. As I wrote in the prelude to the 9th of May, Russia’s celebration of the victory over fascism,

“Between 1941 and 1945, more Russian mothers had to bury their sons than any other group of mothers in the world and that’s just the mothers who themselves didn’t die during the war.

Every Russian person alive today either knows or is related to someone who fought in the Great Patriotic War. It is why on the 9th of May, every year, everyone from Vladimir Putin to ordinary people march in The Immortal Regiment to honour their loved who were veterans of that war whether they died in battle or after.

immortal regWith this in mind, is it any wonder that Russians do not share the same zeal for war as those who have numerically and dare I say emotionally, not experienced the hell of war as sharply and as painfully?

It is as easy and as disgusting for alt-media trolls sitting behind their laptops to talk about Russia ‘lobbing nukes’ to show America Russia means business as it is for cretins like fake news merchant Brian Williams to call an unprovoked missile attack which killed innocent people ‘beautiful’.

This is why it should come as no surprise to anyone that First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee on International Affairs Vladimir Jabarov has said that,

‘We cannot be dragged into a military confrontation as it could lead to a large-scale war’.

People like John McCain may just be crazy enough to want a war between superpowers, but hardly any Russians are.

In spite of this, many in the nominally pro-Russian alt-media seem to salivate at the concept of Russia engaging with the United States in a Third World War.

Copying aggressive, militant and preemptive neo-con strategies, only under a Russian flag, is not the solution to the mess that Donald Trump has created in Syria, nor is it what any mainstream Russian politician wants whether President Putin or opposition leaders Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Gennady Zyuganov. Contrary to inaccurate reports, the Russian government and main opposition leaders are speaking with a generally unified voice; one that is calm but stern, angry and prepared but not vengeful nor fanatical”.

Like modern Russia, modern China also knows all too well what suffering under fanatical aggressive war makers is like. The Japanese occupation of China from 1931 to 1945 is a strong contender for the greatest war crime in human history after the dropping of the Atomic bomb in 1945. China suffered greatly and therefore is more reticent to make war than the United States whose mainland was untouched  by war during the 1930s and 1940s.

Korea suffered doubly in the 20th century. Between 1910 and 1945 Korea was brutally occupied by Japan only to then suffer under US bombardment which reduced Pyongyang to rubble in 1950.

The Korean war has not formally ended and it seems as though the United States wants to reignite it.

As The Duran’s Alexander Mercouris wrote today,

“For North Korea to launch an unprovoked attack on the US would therefore be an act of national suicide, both on the part of its people and its leadership, and there is nothing to suggest that North Korea’s leaders are considering it.  On the contrary the consistent explanation the North Koreans give for their ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programme is that it is defensive – intended to deter a US attack upon themselves – and – as I have repeatedly pointed out – that is the only explanation which makes sense”.

Why then is America behaving so belligerently? America has pushed public opinion far away from Washington with its threats, with its illegal wars and with its illegal overthrow of legitimate governments from Chile to Yugoslavia, Ukraine to Iraq, Libya to Iran. America’s bullying rhetoric only reinforces this increasingly universal fear and hatred of the US.

All it would take is one phone call to Pyongyang to put a damper on the ‘fire and fury’, but instead America’s threats get even more bombastic. North Korea refuses to lie down and die in front of America’s threats. North Korea makes defensive threats, frightening as the words may sound, as a result of every act of verbal American provocation. America’s threats are backed up by the largest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction that the world has ever known, North Korea’s threats are backed up by a much smaller arsenal of weapons, but they are backed up by pride and by an unwillingness to ever face American aggression unprepared ever again.

Is it any wonder why many in the world are feeling sympathy for a North Korea state that they otherwise may have been put off by or felt indifferent towards? There is no mystery here, except if one is as arrogant as the American leaders themselves.

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Is this man the puppet master of Ukraine’s new president or an overhyped bogeyman?

Smiling to himself, Kolomoisky would be within his rights to think that he has never had it so good.

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Via RT…


It doesn’t actually matter if Ukrainian-Israeli billionaire Igor Kolomoisky is the real power behind Volodymyr Zelensky – the president elect has to get rid of the oligarch if he is to make a break with the country’s corrupt past.

The plots, deceits and conflicts of interest in Ukrainian politics are so transparent and hyperbolic, that to say that novice politician Zelensky was a protégé of his long-time employer was not something that required months of local investigative journalism – it was just out there.

Zelensky’s comedy troupe has been on Kolomoisky’s top-rated channel for the past eight years, and his media asset spent every possible resource promoting the contender against incumbent Petro Poroshenko, a personal enemy of the tycoon, who hasn’t even risked entering Ukraine in the past months.

Similarly, the millions and the nous needed to run a presidential campaign in a country of nearly 50 million people had to come from somewhere, and Kolomoisky’s lieutenants were said to be in all key posts. The two issued half-hearted denials that one was a frontman for the other, insisting that they were business partners with a cordial working relationship, but voters had to take their word for it.

Now that the supposed scheme has paid off with Zelensky’s spectacular victory in Sunday’s run-off, Ukrainian voters are asking: what does Kolomoisky want now, and will he be allowed to run the show?

‘One-of-a-kind chancer’

Born in 1963, in a family of two Jewish engineers, Kolomoisky is the type of businessman that was once the staple of the post-Soviet public sphere, but represents a dying breed.

That is, he is not an entrepreneur in the established Western sense at all – he did not go from a Soviet bloc apartment to Lake Geneva villas by inventing a new product, or even setting up an efficient business structure in an existing field.

Rather he is an opportunist who got wealthy by skilfully reading trends as the Soviet economy opened up – selling Western-made computers in the late 1980s – and later when independent Ukraine transitioned to a market economy and Kolomoisky managed to get his hands on a large amount of privatisation vouchers that put many of the juiciest local metals and energy concerns into his hands, which he then modernised.

What he possesses is a chutzpah and unscrupulousness that is rare even among his peers. Vladimir Putin once called him a “one-of-a-kind chancer” who managed to “swindle [Chelsea owner] Roman Abramovich himself.” In the perma-chaos of Ukrainian law and politics, where all moves are always on the table, his tactical acumen has got him ahead.

Kolomoisky’s lifeblood is connections and power rather than any pure profit on the balance sheet, though no one actually knows how that would read, as the Privat Group he part-owns is reported to own over 100 businesses in dozens of Ukrainian spheres through a complex network of offshore companies and obscure intermediaries (“There is no Privat Group, it is a media confection,” the oligarch himself says, straight-faced.)

Unsurprisingly, he has been dabbling in politics for decades, particularly following the first Orange Revolution in 2004. Though the vehicles for his support have not been noted for a particular ideological consistency – in reportedly backing Viktor Yushchenko, then Yulia Tymoshenko, he was merely putting his millions on what he thought would be a winning horse.

Grasp exceeds reach

But at some point in the post-Maidan euphoria, Kolomoisky’s narcissism got the better of him, and he accepted a post as the governor of his home region of Dnepropetrovsk, in 2014.

The qualities that might have made him a tolerable rogue on TV, began to grate in a more official role. From his penchant for using the political arena to settle his business disputes, to creating his own paramilitary force by sponsoring anti-Russian battalions out of his own pocket, to his somewhat charmless habit of grilling and threatening to put in prison those less powerful than him in fits of pique (“You wait for me out here like a wife for a cheating husband,” begins a viral expletive-strewn rant against an overwhelmed Radio Free Europe reporter).

There is a temptation here for a comparison with a Donald Trump given a developing country to play with, but for all of the shenanigans, his ideological views have always been relatively straightforward. Despite his Russia-loathing patriotism, not even his fans know what Kolomoisky stands for.

The oligarch fell out with fellow billionaire Poroshenko in early 2015, following a battle over the control of a large oil transport company between the state and the governor. The following year, his Privat Bank, which at one point handled one in four financial transactions in the country was nationalized, though the government said that Kolomoisky had turned it into a mere shell by giving $5 billion of its savings to Privat Group companies.

Other significant assets were seized, the government took to London to launch a case against his international companies, and though never banished, Kolomoisky himself decided it would be safer if he spent as long as necessary jetting between his adopted homes in Switzerland and Tel Aviv, with the occasional trip to London for the foreseeable future.

But the adventurer falls – and rises again. The London case has been dropped due to lack of jurisdiction, and only last week a ruling came shockingly overturning the three-year-old nationalization of Privat Bank.

Smiling to himself, Kolomoisky would be within his rights to think that he has never had it so good.

Own man

Zelensky must disabuse him of that notion.

It doesn’t matter that they are friends. Or what handshake agreements they made beforehand. Or that he travelled to Geneva and Tel-Aviv 13 times in the past two years. Or what kompromat Kolomoisky may or may not have on him. It doesn’t matter that his head of security is the man who, for years, guarded the oligarch, and that he may quite genuinely fear for his own safety (it’s not like nothing bad has ever happened to Ukrainian presidents).

Volodymyr Zelensky is now the leader of a large country, with the backing of 13.5 million voters. It is to them that he promised a break with past bribery, graft and cronyism. Even by tolerating one man – and one who makes Poroshenko look wholesome – next to him, he discredits all of that. He will have the support of the people if he pits himself against the puppet master – no one would have elected Kolomoisky in his stead.

Whether the oligarch is told to stay away, whether Ukraine enables the financial fraud investigation into him that has been opened by the FBI, or if he is just treated to the letter of the law, all will be good enough. This is the first and main test, and millions who were prepared to accept the legal fiction of the independent candidate two months ago, will now want to see reality to match. Zelensky’s TV president protagonist in Servant of the People – also broadcast by Kolomoisky’s channel, obviously, would never have compromised like that.

What hinges on this is not just the fate of Zelensky’s presidency, but the chance for Ukraine to restore battered faith in its democracy shaken by a succession of compromised failures at the helm.

Igor Ogorodnev

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Roger Waters – The People’s Champion for Freedom

In February 2019, Waters showed his support for the Venezuelan Maduro government and continues to be totally against US regime change plans there.

Richard Galustian

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Submitted by Richard Galustian 

Roger Waters is one of Britain’s most successful and talented musicians and composers but more importantly is an outstanding champion for freedom in the world, beyond compare to any other artist turned political activist.

By way of background, he co-founded the rock band Pink Floyd in 1965.

A landmark turning point of his political activism occurred in 1990, when Waters staged probably the largest rock concert in history, ‘The Wall – Live in Berlin’, with an attendance of nearly half a million people.

In more recent years Waters famously narrated the 2016 documentary ‘The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States’ about the insidious influence of Zionist Israel to shape American public opinion.

Waters has been an outspoken critic of America’s Neocons and particularly Donald Trump and his policies.

In 2017, Waters condemned Trump’s plan to build a wall separating the United States and Mexico, saying that his band’s iconic famous song, ‘The Wall’ is as he put it “very relevant now with Mr. Trump and all of this talk of building walls and creating as much enmity as possible between races and religions.”

In February 2019, Waters showed his support for the Venezuelan Maduro government and continues to be totally against US regime change plans there, or any place else for that matter.

Here below is a must see recent Roger Waters interview, via satellite from New York, where he speaks brilliantly, succinctly and honestly, unlike no other celebrity, about FREEDOM and the related issues of the day.

The only other artist turned activist, but purely for human rights reasons, as she is apolitical, is the incredible Carla Ortiz.

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ISIS Says Behind Sri Lanka Bombings; Was ‘Retaliation’ For New Zealand Mosque Massacre

ISIS’s claim couldn’t be confirmed and the group has been  known to make “opportunistic” claims in the past, according to WaPo. 

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Via Zerohedge…


Shortly after the death toll from Sunday’s Easter bombings in Sri Lanka climbed above the 300 mark, ISIS validated the Sri Lankan government’s suspicions that a domestic jihadi organization had help from an international terror network while planning the bombings were validated when ISIS took credit for the attacks.

The claim was made via a report from ISIS’s Amaq news agency. Though the group has lost almost all of the territory that was once part of its transnational caliphate, ISIS now boasts cells across the Muslim world, including in North Africa and elsewhere. Before ISIS took credit for the attack, a Sri Lankan official revealed that Sunday’s attacks were intended as retaliation for the killing of 50 Muslims during last month’s mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand.

However, the Sri Lankan government didn’t offer any evidence for that claim, or the claim that Sunday’s attacks were planned by two Islamic groups (though that now appears to have been substantiated by ISIS’s claim of responsibility). The group is believed to have worked with the National Tawheed Jamaath, according to the NYT.

“The preliminary investigations have revealed that what happened in Sri Lanka was in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch,” State Minister of Defense Ruwan Wijewardene told the Parliament.

Meanwhile, the number of suspects arrested in connection with the attacks had increased to 40 from 24 as of Tuesday. The government had declared a national emergency that allowed it sweeping powers to interrogate and detain suspects.

On Monday, the FBI pledged to send agents to Sri Lanka and provide laboratory support for the investigation.

As the death toll in Sri Lanka climbs, the attack is cementing its position as the deadliest terror attack in the region.

  • 321 (as of now): Sri Lanka bombings, 2019
  • 257 Mumbai attacks, 1993
  • 189 Mumbai train blasts, 2006 166 Mumbai attacks, 2008
  • 151 APS/Peshawar school attack, 2014
  • 149 Mastung/Balochistan election rally attack, 2018

Meanwhile, funeral services for some of the bombing victims began on Tuesday.

Even before ISIS took credit for the attack, analysts told the Washington Post that its unprecedented violence suggested that a well-financed international organization was likely involved.

The bombings on Sunday, however, came with little precedent. Sri Lanka may have endured a ghastly civil war and suicide bombings in the past – some credit the Tamil Tigers with pioneering the tactic – but nothing of this scale. Analysts were stunned by the apparent level of coordination behind the strikes, which occurred around the same time on both sides of the country, and suggested the attacks carried the hallmarks of a more international plot.

“Sri Lanka has never seen this sort of attack – coordinated, multiple, high-casualty – ever before, even with the Tamil Tigers during the course of a brutal civil war,” Alan Keenan, a Sri Lanka expert at the International Crisis Group, told the Financial Times. “I’m not really convinced this is a Sri Lankan thing. I think the dynamics are global, not driven by some indigenous debate. It seems to me to be a different kind of ballgame.”

Hinting at possible ISIS involvement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a Monday press conference that “radical Islamic terror” remained a threat even after ISIS’s defeats in Syria.

Of course, ISIS’s claim couldn’t be confirmed and the group has been  known to make “opportunistic” claims in the past, according to WaPo. The extremist group said the attacks were targeting Christians and “coalition countries” and were carried out by fighters from its organization.

Speculation that the government had advanced warning of the attacks, but failed to act amid a power struggle between the country’s president and prime minister, unnerved citizens and contributed to a brewing backlash. Following the bombings, schools and mass had been canceled until at least Monday, with masses called off “until further notice.”

 

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