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Post-Brexit EU: Between Regional Breakdown and Full-Blown Dictatorship

If the US cannot prevent EU disintegration it will aim to control Europe by dividing it into various micro blocs.

Andrew Korybko

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The people of the UK took the world by surprise when the majority of them democratically voted to ask their government to leave the EU. In the aftermath, a plethora of forecasts have been thrown around about the future of the CIA’s continental integrative project, with most analysts agreeing with one of two polar opposite predictions, namely that the EU must either enact wide-scale “democratic” reform or fully collapse.  Interestingly, the same assessment can also be levelled against the UK itself, thereby suggesting that two dissolution processes might be simultaneously underway.

The future state of affairs gets even more suspenseful when the views of international conspirator George Soros are taken into account. According to the multibillion-dollar financier of worldwide Colour Revolutions and close public asset of the US’ “deep state” apparatus (the permanent military-diplomatic-intelligence bureaucracies), “the disintegration of the EU (is) practically irreversible” unless “all of us who believe in the values and principles that the EU was designed to uphold…band together to save it by thoroughly reconstructing it”, with Soros being “convinced” that “more and more people” will support the latter scenario.

Doubling Down On The Dictatorship

Taking into consideration his eponymous foundation’s history of financing and organising serious domestic disturbances in targeted states, it can’t be discounted that Soros and his “deep state” backers will try to repeat this blueprint in Germany, France, and perhaps even the UK as well in a last-ditch effort to salvage their decades-long investment. The Eurocratic elites have already announced a plan to create an “EU Army”, which would serve the effect of fully trampling on the remnants of “national sovereignty” still present in the continental bloc, and it can be expected that any resistance that this plan comes up against from the patriotic citizenry will be confronted by pro-Brussels Colour Revolutions in whatever the given state(s) may be.

The resultant outcome would be the immediate creation of low-intensity Hybrid War tension within the most important EU states, a goal that the US has been working towards ever since it manufactured the Immigrant Crisis as a means of indefinitely perpetuating the viability of this post-modern asymmetrical regime change model. The practical effect of American-directed disorder in key EU countries would be to pressure any recalcitrant governments and/or influential politicians that are still remotely accountable to their electorate into submitting to the US’ anti-democratic will in pushing through a full-blown dictatorship to safeguard Washington’s treasured geopolitical construction.

From Dictatorship To Breakdown

The only structure-saving “reform” that the EU could realistically undertake at the moment is the doubling down of its authoritarian model in order to stamp out any remaining internal dissent that could one day (soon) transform into a series of member-wide exit referenda that emulate the Brexit results. While this appears to be the US’ preferred plan, it can’t be discounted that it will fail and that the EU’s dissolution in one way or another is inevitable with time. Should that come to pass, it’s unlikely that the consequences will be as geopolitically dramatic as some are saying they could be, such as a return to 28 separate and equally sovereign states. Instead, it’s much more probable that the US will adapt its strategy to hijack the disintegrative processes within the EU after it’s convinced that they’re irreversible, thus repeating the characteristic and regularly evidenced pattern of the American intelligence community attempting to exploit creatively every setback that it comes across.

Regionally Regrouping The Broken Bloc

Proceeding along the scenario branch that the EU is irrevocably broken and in the process of internal collapse, it’s foreseeable that it could fracture along very geographically distinct lines that partially overlap with what the author has previously identified to be some of NATO’s regional groupings. To modify the previous research for the present circumstances and to link emerging military configurations with ‘natural’ economic spaces, the following post-decentralization/dissolution EU regions are proposed:

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 6.44.04 PM

* Blue – The Viking Bloc: Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia

* Red – The Neo-Commonwealth: Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine

* Pink – The Central Core: Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Czech Republic

* Yellow – Western/Southern Europe; France, Spain, Portugal, Italy

* Brown – (Disorganized) Balkan Space: Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Serbia, Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria

Furthermore, the following countries have the potential to fall into one or another grouping:

* Hungary/Slovakia – It’s uncertain at this time whether these two states would be aligned with the Central Core or Neo-Commonwealth, though there’s also the chance that Budapest could become its own regional leadership pole in attempting to geostrategically reconfigure the Imperial Hungarian lands from the Dual Monarchy period.

* Estonia/Latvia – While predicted to be part of the Viking Bloc (“Greater Scandinavia”), they might eventually come under Polish-led influence if the Neo-Commonwealth is ambitious enough and succeeds in besting the Swedes.

* Czech Republic – A similar situation also holds true for Prague, which while more structurally integrated with Germany (aside from the Visegrad Group), could also possibly come under Warsaw’s sway if Poland plays its cards right.

* Moldova/Romania – There’s no telling whether Chisinau will end up with the Neo-Commonwealth or if Romania (which could also join the grouping, but at the expense of Warsaw weakening its centralized grip on it) integrates with or outright annexes its culturally affiliated neighbor, thereby placing it under the (disorganized) Balkan Space or an expanded Polish-led zone.

* Greece – The final relevant state that has yet to be categorised is Greece, which is pretty much a wild card between Western/Southern Europe and the (disorganised) Balkan Space.

Lead From Behind

Each of the geographically distinct European groupings can operate with relative strategic autonomy in their political, economic, and military affairs, all of which are expected to be influenced to a large extent by a Brexit-adapted US intelligence community. The age-old maxim of “divide and rule” is veritably appropriate in this prospective construction, where each of the regional blocs still retains a loosely decentralised link with one another, though their members primarily gravitate around the indisputable core states that glue their neighbours together (with the exception being a massively expanded Neo-Commonwealth that sub-divides leadership between Poland-Romania-Hungary).

To put it in more actionable terms, the five post-Brexit regional blocs that could develop in a non-reformed, decentralized EU would likely remain connected by economic and political links (whether their members formally remain part of the EU or not), but their military relations will be more attuned to their local situations and less focused on the continent as a whole. American-controlled NATO would manage each of these relatively disconnected military formations and serve as the coordinating mechanism between them.

The US can then offset whatever grand strategic losses it theoretically stands to incur from an EU “collapse” by reformatting its continental control scheme from managing the super-regional EU to multitasking between a handful of sub-regional successors. As per the US’ recent reliance on regional leaders to “outsource” its unipolar ‘responsibilities’, the post-Brexit “Lead From Behind” stratagem in these examined circumstances will utilise Washington’s close relations with each of the following states:

* Sweden (Viking Bloc)

* Poland (Neo-Commonwealth)

* Germany (Central Core)

* France (Western-Southern Europe)

The Balkan Black Hole

The only discussed region without any clear leader, let alone one capable of exercising hegemony over the entire given space on behalf of the US’ Lead From Behind interests, is the Balkans. There’s a chance that Romania might exclude itself from this broad regional construction through a disinterested policy of “self-isolation” in favour of focusing more strongly on looking eastward by integrating with or outright annexing Moldova and/or being the US’ chief naval proxy in the Western Black Sea region. Greece, for its part, has never been too involved in Balkan affairs, and aside from its shared Orthodox heritage with most of the region, stands out as somewhat of a cultural-historical anomaly that’s linked to its northern neighbours mostly through its shared peninsular geography.

Having addressed these two Balkan “outliers”, it’s now time to critically turn the research’s attention to the remaining regional states. Serbia is the only one with the most recent history of leadership, but for a variety of reasons that include its American-pressured ‘voluntary’ de-militarisation after the Bulldozer Revolution to the sub-optimal relations that it has with most of its neighbours, Belgrade is no longer capable of exercising its historical role. In a sense, without a regional leader such as the US’ other proxy counterparts elsewhere throughout Europe, one could say that the Balkans would remain a “disorganised space” in the event of a continental-wide decentralisation along the lines of the prospective one that’s being presently discussed, though that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any other countries that aspire for regional leadership, however partial it may be.

Three of the US’ closest European allies salivate at the chance of restoring their fascist-era fiefdoms, and it’s forecast that they’ll use one means or another (whether military tactics, strategic subversion, and/or economic enticement) to recreate the zones of control that they had last occupied under the Nazis’ blessing. These disruptor states and their targets of focus are:

* Croatia in the Muslim-Croat portion of Bosnia and perhaps even one day in Vojvodina;

* Bulgaria in the eastern half of the Republic of Macedonia;

* and Albania in a sliver of Montenegro, the Serbian civilisational cradle of Kosovo, and the western half of the Republic of Macedonia.

The specific scenarios that could be advanced in any of these cases are thoroughly explored in the Balkan series of the author’s “Law Of Hybrid War” research at Oriental Review, and the reader is warmly welcomed to familiarise themselves with this work if they’re interested in the means by which the US could disrupt this region. At this time, however, it’s more topical to move on to the final part of the present analysis in examining the interests that the unipolar and multipolar worlds have in the EU’s internal reorganisation or collapse.

Back-To-Back: Unipolar vs Multipolar Interests

Contrary to the prevailing assessment offered by many commentators, the US is not guaranteed to find itself in a strategically impossible situation if the EU regionally decentralizes or dissolves, nor are Russia and China automatically bound to reap a host of strategic dividends from this scenario, either. Let’s take a look at what each side stands to both gain and lose if this development transpires:

US:

Washington’s chief interest in Europe is to keep the continent under its control, with the US employing NATO as a military occupation force and the TTIP as its economic equivalent. The latter is particularly important nowadays since its successful conclusion would wed Washington and Brussels at the hip, making it impossible for one or the other to independently negotiate any future free trade agreements without its partner. This is strategically pertinent in preventing the EU from signing such a deal with Russia and/or China (perhaps as part of the Grand Eurasian Free Trade Area, GEFTA) and thereby one day replacing unipolar Atlanticist economic influence with its multipolar Continentalist counterpart.

It’s infinitely easier for the US to use a single piece of trade legislation to control its subservient bloc as opposed to reaching upwards of 28 separate agreements for the same purpose, and such an integrated multilateral entity as the EU is much easier to incorporate into NATO in constructing a full-spectrum military-political-economic Lead From Behind superstructure. On the other hand, if a unified Europe was successful in casting off its unipolar chains of hegemony (perhaps through the unprecedented historical opportunity that Russia and China’s Balkan Megaprojects could provide), then it would rapidly transform into one of the US’ chief economic competitors and present an unparalleled threat to the unipolar world order.

For reasons of “strategic insurance”, the US establishment might gradually become comfortable with accepting a decentralised or outright disbanded EU if it felt that this was either inevitable or preferable to a multipolar-leaning transatlantic “partner”. While the US would have difficulty retaining the continental-wide “unity” of its NATO pet project and integrating its military proxy into its economic-political one, it might find it circumstantially suitable to just abandon this ambitious project and focus instead on optimising the regional blocs that (it helps) sprout up in the EU’s wake instead. If managed properly, they could provide a much leaner, adaptable, and locally focused point of unipolar power projection for the US than the clumsily large and notoriously inefficient EU-NATO hybrid proxy.

Moreover, as was predicted by the author in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, the UK has a chance to return to its historical divide-and-rule “balancing” role vis-à-vis Continental Europe, but this time on the US’ behalf. It could synergise its geostrategic and prospectively pro-EuroCautionary approaches with the US’ Fifth Generational Warfare weaponization of historical memory, the latter of which could be used to masterfully exploit the historical tensions/rivalries between some of the regional blocs and their respective cores in order to disrupt potential multipolar strategic advances in some of them and preempt the reconsolidation of a newly pro-Eurasian EU.

Russia and China:

Looking at everything from the other perspective, Russia and China’s interests in a unified Europe are similar to the US’, albeit for different reasons. While the US favours an integrated EU in order to facilitate reaching the restrictive TTIP “trade” agreement as a means of ‘locking out’ Russia and China, these two multipolar leaders similarly find it preferable to deal with one single negotiating partner instead of 28 separate ones but as a way of advancing GEFTA. The only circumstance in which either of them would strategically stand to gain from the EU’s regional decentralisation or outright dissolution in this regard would be if the entity was on the brink of clinching TTIP, and this was the only alternative to safeguarding their market access to the bloc and retaining hope of reaching GEFTA-like agreements with its quasi-independent regional remnants.

Likewise, a disunited EU is much more difficult to comprehensively integrate into NATO in forming the US’ envisioned Lead From Behind superstructure, but it also makes it more challenging for Russia to capitalise off of its diplomatic-economic advances with the Central Core and Western-Southern European states and leaders (Germany, France, Italy) in exercising an advantage over the rest of the bloc. The same obstacle can also be identified when it comes to China doing the same with the Neo-Commonwealth and Balkan Space states that it has recently upped its multilateral engagement with via the CEE framework. Without an integrated EU, it’s hard for the Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership to apply its members’ advantages in the Western and Eastern reaches of the continent, respectively, in promoting a comprehensive multipolar policy towards Europe.

That’s not to say that there aren’t any benefits in seeing the EU fall apart, however, since to return to what was mentioned at the beginning of the preceding paragraph, there’s a lot that can be gained in delinking NATO from any economic-political (governance) organisations, though only so long as the two (NATO and the regional leadership blocs) can be kept apart as long as possible. It might be impossible in the near-term to completely delink the two, but the best that can happen is that their relations do not intensify so as to reproduce several “mini-superstructures” (as in integrated Lead From Behind military-economic-political units) that optimise the US’ hostile unipolar agenda against Russia and China’s peaceful multipolar interests.

If NATO and the regional blocs don’t succeed in fully consolidating into a patchwork of highly efficient pro-American proxies, then it’ll be comparatively easier for these multipolar anchors to use their own “Lead From Behind” partners for streamlining constructive multilateral cooperation between themselves and the regional blocs, with Russia and China covering one another’s situational disadvantages (Russia in the Eastern Europe, China with Western Europe) with their respective strengths (the inverse of the aforementioned). This optimistic vision isn’t entirely certain, though, since it’s wholly contingent on whether or not the US instigates a significantly destabilising conflict in the Balkans, which in that case would totally offset the two multipolar mega-projects in the region and severely inhibit Russia and China’s engagement with the continent.

Concluding Thoughts

The Brexit sent shockwaves throughout the world and will likely go down in history as one of the most globally influential democratic votes ever held in modern times. In a single stroke, and proving that the pen is more powerful than the pencil, patriotic and pragmatic-minded citizens changed the course of European history by catalysing the long-overdue fundamental revision of the EU. With its first-ever ‘defection’, and having occurred amidst what persuasively looks to be a series of existential crises, the EU is venturing into uncharted territory and is bound to undergo massive changes in the near future.

As of now, and most clearly signalled by George Soros’ intimations about a “thorough reconstructing” of the EU that the Colour Revolution puppeteer is “convinced” that “more and more people” will support, it looks like the Eurocratic elite and their American “deep state” backers’ “Plan A” is to press for a full-blown dictatorship that permanently eliminates the possibility of any forthcoming exit referenda. Failing that, and faced with the otherwise imminent decentralisation or dissolution of the EU, it’s expected that the US will find a way to adapt to these processes by taking partial or full control of them for its own benefit, realistically leading to the formation of a network of regional Lead From Behind blocs that could function as the US’ “Plan B” in a post-Brexit European strategic environment.

It’s far too early to say which of these two scenarios will eventually transpire, or whether whatever happens will end up being to the ultimate benefit of the unipolar or multipolar worlds, but it can be confidently analysed that the EU is undergoing a series of major changes that will redefine its essence for the coming decades. Amidst each of these developments, and no matter which way they proceed, it can also be just as confidently stated that the US will feverishly try to find a way to maximise its own self-interests. This in turn means that while the decentralisation and/or collapse of the EU might be popularly applauded by all of those who genuinely favour democracy and the multipolar world, one mustn’t let their strategic guard down in believing this.

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Pat Buchanan: Caravan Puts Trump Legacy on the Line

Unwanted mass migration is the issue of our time, as there is no foreseeable end to it before it alters America irremediably.

Patrick J. Buchanan

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Authored by Patrick Buchanan via Buchanan.org:


Our mainstream media remain consumed with the grisly killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and how President Donald Trump will deal with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Understandably so, for this is the most riveting murder story since O.J. Simpson and has strategic implications across the Middle East.

Yet far more critical to the future of our civilization is the ongoing invasion of the West from the Third World.

Consider the impact of the decision by Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2015 to throw open Germany’s doors to 1 million refugees from Syria’s civil war.

Last weekend, in a crushing blow to Merkel, the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party of her CDU, won its smallest share of the vote in half a century, 37 percent. Her coalition party, the SPD, saw its share of the Bavarian vote fall to a historic low of less than 10 percent.

The right-wing Alternative for Deutchland saw its support rise to 10 percent and has become a force in German politics. Some conservatives are urging the CDU to adopt the AfD hardline on illegal immigration.

The message sent by the Bavarian electorate is the message voters across Europe have been sending to their own capitals for years: You are failing in your first duty — defense of the homeland from foreign invasion. Mass migration of unassimilable peoples and cultures from a global South represents an existential threat to our Europe.

As Merkel’s chancellorship approaches its end, French President Emmanuel Macron, her progressive EU partner, has seen his approval fall to below 30 percent.

The U.S.-led NATO alliance may guard the Baltic and Black Sea regions against a Russian invasion from the east. But in Central, Southern and Western Europe, the more feared invaders are the peoples of Africa and the Muslim world, whose numbers are expected to triple or quadruple by this century’s end.

And as their numbers grow, so, too, does their desperation to escape, even at risk of their lives, the poverty, wars and repression of their homelands to cross the Med and fill the empty spaces left by a depopulating Europe.

It also now appears that the U.S. elections, not three weeks away, may be affected by another immigration crisis on the U.S. border.

As of Thursday, a caravan of 4,000 refugees without visas had crossed from Honduras into Guatemala and was heading toward Mexico. By Election Day, it will either have been stopped, or it will be here. And this caravan is a portent of things to come.

According to The Washington Post, during FY 2018, which ended last month, 107,212 members of “family units” crossed over into the U.S., “obliterating the previous record of 77,857 set in 2016.”

Citing DHS figures, the Post adds, “Border patrol agents arrested 16,658 family members in September alone, the highest one-month total on record and an 80 percent increase from July.”

When Trump, under intense political fire, ended his “zero tolerance” policy of separating refugees from their children, this message went out to Mexico and Central America:

Bring your kids with you when you cross the border. They will have to stay with you, and they cannot be held for more than 20 days. Thus, when they are released, you will be released to await a hearing on your claim of asylum. The odds are excellent that you can vanish into the U.S. population and never be sent back.

Enraged, Trump has threatened to cut off aid to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala if they do not stop the caravans and has warned Mexico he will use the U.S. military to secure our border.

Unwanted mass migration is the issue of our time, as there is no foreseeable end to it before it alters America irremediably.

As these migrants are almost all poor, not highly skilled, and do not speak English, most will join that segment of our population that pays no income taxes but qualifies for social welfare benefits like food stamps, medical care and free education in our public schools.

They are thus a net drain upon the resources of a nation that is already, at full employment, running a deficit of $779 billion a year.

These migrants, however, are a present and future benefit to the Democratic Party that built and maintains our mammoth welfare state, and which, in presidential elections, routinely wins 70 to 90 percent of the votes of people whose trace their ancestry to Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Not without reason, Democrats believe that if they can change the composition of the American electorate, they can control America forever.

If Donald Trump was elected on any one issue, it was immigration and his promises to secure the border, build the wall and halt the invasion.

How he deals with the impending crisis of the migrant caravan may affect both the fate of his party in November and his presidency in 2020.

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‘Mohammad bin Salman Must Go’, but US-Saudi Ties Are Here to Stay

Was it possible that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was so arrogant that he could not imagine the consequences of such a heinous crime?

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


Mohammad bin Salman is fully aware of the Western elite’s understanding of its own values. While he may be given a pass to bomb Yemen and kill thousands of innocent civilians, he should know better than to dare touch a Washington Post columnist – “one of ours”, as one MSNBC host said. Did he not realize there would be consequences?

As more information came out, many analysts began to confront the most obvious question. Was it possible that Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was so arrogant that he could not imagine the consequences of such a heinous crime? How could MBS betray Trump this way, not anticipating that the Democrats and the mainstream media would jump all over Trump’s friendship with him? Could he be so foolish as to place in jeopardy foreign investments planned at the Davos in the Desert conference on October 23? The answer to that question is apparently: yes, he could.

The only rational explanation for this behavior is that MBS thought he could get away with it. Remember that we are talking about someone who had Saad Hariri, the prime minister of Lebanon, kidnapped and carried off to the Kingdom, with his whereabouts unknown for days but with very little reaction from the mainstream media or Western politicians. It is possible that in this instance, MBS simply misjudged the level of Khashoggi’s popularity amongst neoliberals of the Washington establishment, provoking an unexpected response. Furthermore, the thesis that the Saudis understood that they had some kind of green light from Trump is not to be totally dismissed. Such a backlash is what you get from having a big mouthpraise your friends too much, and tweet all the time.

The rapidity with which the US media, and especially dozens of Republican and Democratic senators, attacked Saudi Arabia, blaming it for the atrocious crime, is rather unusual. After all, the Saudi elites have been inclined to behave in such a manner over the last 40 years. But it also highlights the ongoing inconsistency and double standards: nothing is said about Yemen, but the Kingdom is currently under the strongest censure for allegedly offing a journalist.

As I had already pointed out in my previous article, Khashoggi was clearly part of a faction opposed to the current ruling royal family in Saudi Arabia, headed by MBS. To understand this Saudi golden boy of the US mainstream media as well as military-industrial-spying complex, we have to go back to Mohammed bin Nayef. Bin Nayef has been under house arrest for almost two years, immediately purged by MBS as soon as he assumed power as crown prince. Bin Nayef has for decades been the CIA’s go-to man in Riyadh, helping the CIA & Co. pretend to “fight” al Qaeda in the Kingdom while using al Qaeda as a tool to inflict damage on US geopolitical adversaries.

The removal of bin Nayef by MBS was greeted with anger by a part of the US establishment close to Washington think tanks and the CIA and was never fully digested. MBS and his father, King Salman, needed to consolidate power around the throne at the time, and bin Nayef was certainly part of the faction opposing MBS, as was Khashoggi.

Naturally, these antipathies were set aside by the CIA, think tanks and neoliberals in the media due to to the importance of the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US, especially vis-a-vis the US Petrodollar. MBS even undertook a tour in the US to help smooth the relationship with the West, being hailed as a new reformer, if you can believe that.

Nowadays,the relationship between Riyadh, Tel Aviv and Washington is based on the strong friendship between Trump and MBS and Trump and Netanyahu. Furthermore, the strengthened link between Trump and MBS, facilitated by son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is close to Israel, served to create a new alliance, perhaps even hinting at the possibility of an Arab NATO. Israel is eager to see more Saudi and US engagement against Iran in the region, and the Saudis similarly praise Israel and the US for being engaged in a fight against Iranian influence in the region. In this way, Trump can please his Israeli friends and see Saudi money pour in as investments.

These agreements have led to a series of disasters in the Middle East that go against the interests of Israel, Saudi Arabia and the US. Israel’s recklessness has led to the deployment of a wide range of Russian state-of-the-art weapons to Syria, preventing Israel and the US from acting as freely as before. The disastrous Saudi war in Yemen, the almost diplomatic break with Canada, the kidnapping of the prime minister of Lebanon, and now the Khashoggi affair, have further weakened and isolated Saudi Arabia, MBS, and therefore Trump. The US is no longer able to influence events on the ground in Syria, and so the initial plans of Israel and Saudi Arabia have foundered, after having devoted hundreds of millions of dollars to arm and train terrorists to overthrow Assad.

The Khashoggi affair plays into this situation, exacerbating the war between elites in the US as their strategies in the Middle East continue to fail. The neoliberal mainstream media immediately used the Khashoggi story to pressure Trump into taking a firm stance against one of his last friends and financiers, trying to further isolate him as the midterms approach. Many in the US deep state are convinced – as they were convinced that Clinton would win the presidency – that the House and Senate will end up in Democratic hands in the November elections, paving the way for Trump’s impeachment and for Mike Pence to become president. Pence, a prominent figure of the evangelical right, would be the perfect president for Israel, placing Tel Aviv in the driving seat of US foreign policy as never before. In this scenario, it would certainly be preferable for certain parts of the elite to have a different figure at the helm in Saudi Arabia, seeing as MBS appears to be an unstable leader. Possibly they would prefer someone tied to the US secret services – someone like Mohammed bin Nayef. For these reasons, Democrats, some Republicans and the mainstream media have gone all out against MBS and Trump.

Turkey seems to be using the situation to further widen the fracture between Saudi Arabia and the rest of the world. Since Doha is paying the bills for Erdogan these days, with the Turkish lira at a low, it is essentially the Al Thani family running the PR show in the Turkish media. It looks like the Qatari media are paying back with interests all the negative media they received from the Saudis over the past year. Despite this, neither Ankara nor Riyadh is intent on any kind escalation, both knowing that any suffering on their part is a boon for their enemies.

An interesting aspect related to the Khashoggi affair concerns the sources of the news about the investigation, all anonymous and coming from Turkish police or from people linked to the top echelons of the Turkish state. Knowing the odd state of relations between Ankara and Riyadh, and especially between Turkish ally Qatar and Saudi Arabia, all this news coming from one source should at least be taken with a grain of salt. What is certain is that the Turks had immediate knowledge of the matter regarding who, what, where, when and why. This means that they must have bugged the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, allowing the MIT, Turkey’s intelligence service, to know in real time what was happening to Khashoggi. The story concerning the Apple watch appears to be an attempt by the Turks to thrown off the scent Saudis who may be scratching their heads wondering how the Turks came to have such intimate knowledge of what transpired in their consulate.

For Turkey, the Khashoggi affair could be the occasion for a rapprochement with the US, following a deterioration in relations in the last two years. Turkey has few friends left, and after being cornered by Russia and Iran in Astana with regards to Syria,  it also has to deal with the tensions between Riyadh and Qatar as well as balance its relations with Iran and Israel. Erdogan would like to exploit this event as much as possible, and the release of Pastor Brunson seems to indicate Ankara’s willingness to extend an olive branch to Washington.

Russia, Syria and Iran have everything to benefit from this ongoing internal quarrel between elements within Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Qatar and the US. Whatever the outcome of the Khashoggi affair, Moscow, Tehran and Damascus can only benefit from any deterioration of relations between these countries.

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Boycott Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Here’s Why

The way to boycott Facebook, Twitter, and Google, is to NOT respond to their ads, but instead to blacklist their advertisers and all media that rely upon those giant social-media sites.

Eric Zuesse

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Originally posted at strategic-culture.org:


NATO — the neoconservatives, the marketeers for firms such as Lockheed Martin and BAE — has taken over the social-media giants and much of online international ‘news’-reporting, including that of virtually all independent news-sites and blogs.

Facebook, Twitter, and Google, in recent days, delivered what might be the death-blows.

NATO’s main PR agency, think-tank, and lobbying organization, is ‘non-profit’ — a legal tax-dodge that’s financed by donations from those weapons-making firms and their supporting firms and their ‘non-profits’, so that the taxes that it doesn’t pay will need to be paid instead by the general public. Billionaires know how to avoid taxes, and they hire politicians who write the laws with all the ‘right’ loopholes for them — and only for the very richest — to use. This PR agency is called “The Atlantic Council,” and it was set up in 1961, the exact same year that U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower left office warning that “the military-industrial complex” might take control of the U.S. Well, it did so, with The Atlantic Council’s help; and, now, it is finally lowering the boom against democracy itself — at least among the U.S. and its allied nations (the governments whose weapons-manufacturing firms are in, and sell to, NATO governments). The aim is to drive up the percentage of government-expenditures there that go to pay those firms, and so to reduce the percentages that go to pay everything else. The aim, in short, is the permanent-warfare-economy. After all, firms such as Lockheed Martin and BAE sell only to allied governments. They have virtually no consumers except those governments. So: their (and their ‘charities’) basic message is ‘austerity’ — except on ‘defense’ or realistically called “aggression.” This is national ‘defense’ such as against Iraq in 2003, and against Libya in 2011 — it is instead sheer aggression. George Orwell predicted “Newspeak” — well, here it is. It’s today’s norm, so normal that the public think it’s just natural, and conservatives and even many liberals think it’s the way that ‘a free market’ ought to be.

Here was Facebook’s announcement, on October 11th:

——

newsroom.fb.com

11 October 2018

Removing Additional Inauthentic Activity from Facebook

Today, we’re removing 559 Pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior. Given the activity we’ve seen — and its timing ahead of the US midterm elections — we wanted to give some details about the types of behavior that led to this action. Many were using fake accounts or multiple accounts with the same names and posted massive amounts of content across a network of Groups and Pages to drive traffic to their websites. Many used the same techniques to make their content appear more popular on Facebook than it really was. Others were ad farms using Facebook to mislead people into thinking that they were forums for legitimate political debate.

——

Those 559 and 251 weren’t identified; none of them were. Facebook wants them to need to scream in order for them to be able to be noticed at all by the public. The announcement didn’t even say by what criteria they were measuring ‘Inauthentic Activity’ versus ‘legitimate political debate’. Their announcement did say “we look at these actors’ behavior – such as whether they’re using fake accounts or repeatedly posting spam – rather than their content when deciding which of these accounts, Pages or Groups to remove,” but unless they make public what the actual algorithms are by means of which they remove sites, no one should trust them, at all, because they can remove whatever NATO or The Atlantic Council (neither of which their announcement even mentioned) want them to remove.

The background for this act by the war-economy’s billionaires had already been reported at Mint Press on May 18th“Facebook Partners With Hawkish Atlantic Council, a NATO Lobby Group, to ‘Protect Democracy’”, where Elliott Gabriel opened:

Facebook is hoping that a new alliance with the Atlantic Council — a leading geopolitical strategy think-tank seen as a de facto PR agency for the U.S. government and NATO military alliance – will not only solve its “fake news” and “disinformation” controversy, but will also help the social media monolith play “a positive role” in ensuring democracy on a global level.

The new partnership will effectively ensure that Atlantic Council will serve as Facebook’s “eyes and ears,” according to a company press statement. With its leadership comprised of retired military officers, former policymakers, and top figures from the U.S. National Security State and Western business elites, the Atlantic Council’s role policing the social network should be viewed as a virtual takeover of Facebook by the imperialist state and the council’s extensive list of ultra-wealthy and corporate donors.

Then, on October 12th, Mint Press’s Whitney Webb bannered “Facebook Purges US-Based Independent Media For Political Disinformation”, and reported that,

Notably, Facebook’s statement on the mass purge of pages was co-authored by Facebook Head of Cybersecurity Nathaniel Gleicher, who is a former White House National Security Council director of cybersecurity policy.

Twitter also banned many of the pages targeted for deletion by Facebook on Thursday, suggesting a coordinated censorship effort between the two most popular social media platforms.

Many of the pages banned had millions of likes, such as the Free Thought Project (3.1 million likes), Antimedia (2.1 million), Cop Block (1.7 million), and Police the Police (1.9 million). Several of the pages that were deleted on Thursday had been targeted by Facebook in recent months, both through new censorship algorithms and Facebook’s controversial team of “fact checkers.”

For instance, the Free Thought Project had been flagged earlier this year as “fake news” by Facebook “fact checking” partner organizations, including  the Associated Press (AP) and Snopes. In one case, a story published by the Free Thought Project was flagged as “false” by the AP. That story, which detailed the documented case of Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) being forcibly removed from a DHS migrant detention center that had once been a Walmart, was marked false because the AP asserted that the article made the claim that Walmart was housing immigrants for DHS. However, the article does not make the claim, instead accurately noting that the facility used to be a Walmart.

Censorship algorithms had also greatly affected traffic to the recently deleted pages for much of the past year. In the case of Antimedia, its traffic dropped from around 150,000 page views per day in early June to around 12,000 by the end of that month. As a reference, in June of last year, Antimedia’s traffic stood at nearly 300,000 views per day.

Also on October 12th, heavy dot com bannered “‘Facebook Purge’: List of Some Deleted Accounts on Left & Right” and listed a few dozen sites that the article’s writer had seen online screaming about having been removed.

Meanwhile, in UK’s very mainstream Daily Mail (the second-largest-circulation of all UK’s newspapers), columnist Michael Burleigh headlined on October 13th “Putin’s taking over Libya by stealth in order to point a new weapon at the West — millions of desperate migrants” and he opened:

So bloody and extensive is President Putin’s record of aggression, not least in Syria and Ukraine, that an incursion into the empty deserts of North Africa might hardly seem worth noting.

Yet the discovery that Russia is moving troops and missiles into war-torn Libya has rightly caused alarms to sound throughout the capitals of Europe.

It is a step of huge significance, and one with potentially disastrous results for Western nations.

The discovery that Vladimir Putin, above, and his government is moving troops and missiles into war-torn Libya has rightly caused alarm. Russia – this time in the form of Rosneft, the huge oil company controlled by Putin’s sinister crony Igor Sechin – is interested in a slice of Libya’s vast oil reserves, the largest in Africa

Libya has both oil and Mediterranean ports, and Russia is hungry for both.

But was it Russia that in 2011 had invaded and destroyed Libya, or was it U.S., UK, and France, who invaded and destroyed Libya — a country that like Iraq, Syria, Yemen and others which The West has destroyed, had never threatened nor invaded any of them?

Burleigh continued:

– cause enough for concern, perhaps. Yet the real fear for European governments is this: Libya, with its porous southern borders, has become the main jumping-off point for the hundreds of thousands of African migrants now seeking to cross the Mediterranean to the shores of the EU and, in particular, Italy.

So, his own country, UK, had helped with the bombing of Libya that had caused all those ‘migrants’ (actually refugees) into Europe, but now he’s trying to blame Putin for it, as if Russia and not UK, U.S., and France were the cause of it. Doesn’t that “mislead people”?

But is the Daily Mail being strangled by Facebook, Twitter, and Google; or is it instead being done to the small-fry political sites, which aren’t owned and controlled by the aristocracies of the U.S., UK, France, and their allied aristocracies — all the aristocracies that are in NATO and promoted by The Atlantic Council?

Here is yet more from Elliott Gabriel’s excellent news-report at Mint Press on May 18th, providing background to the present purges and censorships:

The announcement, made last Thursday in a Facebook Newsroom post, explained that the social network’s security, policy and product teams will coordinate their work with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) to analyze “real-time insights and updates on emerging threats and disinformation campaigns from around the world.”

DFRLab employees include pro-war media activist Eliot Higgins (of Bellingcat fame) and Ben Nimmo — a senior fellow for information defense at the Atlantic Council, who earned infamy for his groundless accusations that actual Twitter users are Russian trolls.

Read more on Facebook

Continuing, Facebook global politics and government outreach director Katie Harbath explained:

“This will help increase the number of ‘eyes and ears’ we have working to spot potential abuse on our service — enabling us to more effectively identify gaps in our systems, preempt obstacles, and ensure that Facebook plays a positive role during elections all around the world.”

“We know that tackling these problems effectively also requires the right policies and regulatory structures, so that governments and companies can help prevent abuse while also ensuring that people have a voice during elections. The Atlantic Council’s network of leaders is uniquely situated to help all of us think through the challenges we will face in the near- and long-term.”

“The think-tank’s Digital Research Unit Monitoring Missions will also be tapped by the social network during elections and “other highly sensitive moments” to allow Facebook the ability to zero in on key locales and monitor alleged misinformation and foreign interference.”

Who is the Atlantic Council?

Hillary Clinton at the 2013 Atlantic Council Distinguished Leadership Awards (Photo: Atlantic Council)

The Atlantic Council was recently in the news for receiving a donation of $900,000 from the U.S. State Department for a “Peace Process Support Network” program to “promote non-violent conflict resolution” in support of Venezuela’s scattered opposition, with which the council enjoys very close ties. The council also advocates the arming of extremist militants in Syria (a “National Stabilization Force”) and a hard-line policy toward Russia.

Established in 1961 by former U.S. Secretaries of State Dean Acheson and Christian Herter, the Atlantic Council of the United States was originally conceived as a means to drum up support for the Cold War-era NATO alliance, which had formed in 1949 as the basis of the Euro-Atlantic security architecture during the post-WWII competition with the Soviet Union. Dozens of similar Atlantic Councils were eventually established throughout the NATO and Partnership for Peace states.

The council is a part of the Atlantic Treaty Association, a NATO offshoot that claims to unite “political leaders, academics, military officials, journalists and diplomats in an effort to further the values set forth in the North Atlantic Treaty, namely: democracy, freedom, liberty, peace, security, and the rule of law.”

In general, groups such as the Atlantic Council are meant to secure the legitimacy of U.S. policies and neoliberal economics in the eyes of world audiences and academia, whether they live in the “advanced democracies” (the imperialist center) or “developing democracies” (the post-colonial and economically exploited nations).

Mint Press — a real news-operation, instead of the fake-news operations that are being boosted by Facebook, Twitter, and Google — apparently hasn’t yet been removed by Facebook, but the permanent-war-economy is only just starting to lower the boom. And, who knows what’s next, in American ‘democracy’, now?

The way to boycott Facebook, Twitter, and Google, is to NOT respond to their ads, but instead to blacklist their advertisers and all media that rely upon those giant social-media sites. There are competitors, and those need to be aggressively favored by anyone who doesn’t want to be mentally strangulated by these three giant corporations.

These media-giants want to strangle the public; so, the public needs to strangle them first.

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