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Western media suppresses news of U.S./Russian clash and U.S. climbdown over Syria

The Western media is failing to report the public news that the US publicly backed down over its plans to attack Syria after receiving a Russian warning, so that it can continue to advocate military action without provoking alarm on the part of the Western public.

Alexander Mercouris

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An objective observer of international news would be forgiven for thinking that last week witnessed the most dangerous moment of the post-Cold War era.

What were undoubtedly well sourced media reports confirmed that discussions were underway within the US government about possible attacks on the Syrian military. 

These reports appeared in Reuters, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, and confirmed that a meeting would take place at “staff level” on Wednesday 5th October 2016 to discuss military options to present to the President.

The military option which appeared to be the most strongly favoured was covert military strikes on Syrian army bases.

These reports provoked a warning from the Russian military on Tuesday 4th October 2015 that any US aircraft engaged in attacks on Syrian army bases risked being shot down by the Russian air defence troops stationed in Syria.  This was not an empty threat since the Russian military has stationed advanced S-400 and S-300MV Antey-2500 anti aircraft missiles in Syria.

On Thursday 6th October 2016, two days after the Russian warning and directly following the staff meeting, the US announced that all plans for military action in Syria had been called off.

In other words last week the US publicly disclosed that it was considering military action in Syria, where the Russian military is present, and then called it off following a Russian warning against it doing so.

At any time during the Cold War this would have been called a superpower confrontation, and it would have completely dominated the world news for days on end, with huge alarm about the risk of imminent nuclear war.  As it is, it was the first instance I can think of when the US and Russian militaries publicly squared off against each other – with one side publicly threatening to shoot down the aircraft of the other – since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.

In the event, what is truly astonishing about these events is that in the West they have gone by almost completely unreported. 

In Britain there some sparse reporting of the US threats to launch military strikes on Syria.  The Russian warning that this might lead to US aircraft being shot down has however gone almost completely unreported.

There are in my opinion two reasons for this.

The first is that the talk of covert US strikes on Syrian bases was almost certainly never intended seriously but was just an empty bluff, and the Western media was almost certainly aware – and was probably told – of the fact from the start. 

Adam Garrie of The Duran has carefully explained the absurdity of the proposal:

“The fact that this has already happened makes this one of the most curious twists of linguistic and logical acrobatics in memory.  The US has targeted Syrian troops not just through their Islamic terrorist proxies but directly. John Kerry then apologised for a ‘mistake’, an aerial assault which lasted for 4 hours.  Then the US said ‘we want to make more mistakes only this time on purpose’.  Then they admitted that they were going to lie about it and now they’re saying ‘we’re not going to do it after all, please trust us this time’.”

As Adam Garrie says, it makes no sense to plan a supposedly ‘secret’ strike and then publicly announce the strike in advance by disclosing the plan to the newspapers.  That fact alone makes it a virtual certainty that this nonsensical plan was never intended seriously.  

More likely it was a bluff to scare the Syrians and the Russians into calling off their offensive against the Jihadis occupying eastern Aleppo.   

If that was its purpose then it failed the moment the Russians called the bluff by giving their warning, which caused the US to back down.

That however brings me to the second reason for the Western media blackout, and it is far less reassuring.

This is that the heavily militaristic and interventionist Western media does not want the Western public to know that the US backed down after receiving a public warning of retaliatory action from the Russian military. 

This is not just because the Western media does not want the US and Western public to know about the US’s humiliation.  It is because it does not want the Western public to know of the colossal risks of the dangerous strategy of military intervention in Syria which it is recklessly advocating.

The result is that though the option of serious military action was rejected by the US last week after a public superpower clash which threatened to escalate into a direct military confrontation, the Western public is almost entirely unaware of the fact.

This is what made possible the surreal debate the British House of Commons held about Syria two days ago, discussing military action in Syria as if this option was still on the table. 

Over the course of this debate – which lasted a mere 3 hours – Boris Johnson, Britain’s hapless Foreign Secretary, whose earlier writings about Syria show that he certainly knows better, tried to hide his embarrassment and lack of options by ludicrously – and illegally – calling for protests outside the Russian embassy. 

In subsequent comments to a House of Commons Committee he again made clear that a no-fly zone is not in fact on the agenda, but again tried to hide his empty hand by talking of “kinetic options” (ie. military options) which he knows the US has already ruled out.  That he is perfectly well aware of this he slipped out when he said that 

“[whilst it is time to] look again at the more kinetic and military options but be realistic – we cannot do anything without the Americans and we are still a pretty long day’s march from getting there”.

One of the most depressing aspects of the whole Syrian conflict – and of the succession of conflicts which have preceded it – is how the Western media has become not just a cheerleader but an active and determined lobbyist for Western military action whenever the possibility arises. 

The repeated failure of Western military action to achieve the results promised, and the ever escalating risks of military action, never seems to change anything.  One gets the impression that it is the momentary vicarious thrill of military action, and the assertion of power that comes with it, rather than any thought of the larger consequences, that now drives events.

Regardless of the reasons, the Western media’s suppression of news of what happened last week is a journalistic crime. 

The USSR tightly controlled its media but it did not hide the reality of the Cuban missile crisis from its people. 

That boundary, the Western media has now crossed.

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EU leaders dictate Brexit terms to Theresa May (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 115.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the the Article 50 process which effectively postpones Brexit beyond the 29 March deadline.

The UK will now be offered a delay until the 22nd of May, only if MPs approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal next week. If MPs do not approve May’s negotiated deal, then the EU will support a short delay until the 12th of April, allowing the UK extra time to get the deal passed or to “indicate a way forward”.

UK PM Theresa May said there was now a “clear choice” facing MPs, who could vote for a third time on her deal next week.

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Theresa May outlines four Brexit options, via Politico

In a letter to MPs, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set out the four options she believes the country has in light of Thursday’s decision by EU leaders to extend the Brexit deadline beyond next Friday.

The U.K. is faced with a four-way choice, May wrote late Friday.

The government could revoke Article 50 — which May called a betrayal of the Brexit vote; leave without a deal on April 12; pass her deal in a vote next week; or, “if it appears that there is not sufficient support” for a vote on her deal in parliament next week or if it is rejected for a third time, she could ask for an extension beyond April 12.

But this would require for the U.K. taking part in European elections in May, which the prime minister said “would be wrong.”

May wrote that she’s hoping for the deal to pass, allowing the U.K. to leave the EU “in an orderly way,” adding “I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action.”

“I hope we can all agree that we are now at the moment of decision,” she wrote.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

RT

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Via RT


Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career

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Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.

 

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