AMERICA HOPES TO SAVE ITSELF BY DESTROYING OTHERS

Former American Treasury Secretary Warned American Policymakers To Focus On Building The Country’s Own Economic Strengths, Rather Than Attacking Its Adversaries.

Some elites in Washington make no attempt to improve themselves when facing competition with China and dealing with domestic woes, instead, they dedicate themselves to taking China down through committing sabotage. America hopes to save itself by destroying others, rather than solving its own problems by managing and controlling crises. Ameria has created many crises in its relations with China and other nations. If they’re not properly dealt with, not only China, but also America itself will suffer, and the latter will suffer more.

Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers warned American policymakers to focus on building the country’s own economic strengths in its contest with China, rather than attacking its adversary. “If we change our focus from building ourselves up to tearing China down, I think we will be making a very risky and very unfortunate choice,” he was quoted as saying, according to Bloomberg’s report on Saturday.

The primary reason why Washington focuses on “tearing China down,” rather than concentrate on its own innovation, infrastructure, education and challenges lies in the American political system’s structural contradictions.

America is now trapped in conundrums such as the loss of manufacturing capability, the hollowing out of local industries, and the asymmetric distribution of benefits from global trade among different groups in the country. For America, the top capitalist country, the excessive expansion of financial capital will inevitably lead to the emergence of the above mentioned problems.

If America wants to improve itself as Summers suggested, it must overcome the constraints of its system and carry out domestic reforms to curb the excessive expansion of financial capital, implement a fairer tax policy, and manage the wide income distribution gap between different groups. It also needs to plan and guide national innovation through policies so as to enhance the creativity and competitiveness of the country. However, unless America becomes a socialist country, these are difficult to accomplish under its existing capitalist framework, Shen Yi, a professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University, told the Global Times.

In addition, reforms require short-term costs, but under the current American system with political parties facing pressure of winning more votes in the elections, any reforms demanding short-term costs cannot be implemented in America unless the two parties reach a consensus, said Shen.

The simpler solution, for both parties, is to “hoax” the American public that America has been running smoothly and that the main obstacle for America’s development is because of a “bad” country. Both Republicans or their Democratic counterparts claim that they can help deal with the “bad” country if elected, so as to solve their current predicament. To win the election, the two parties have been intensifying their steps to contain China.

As a matter of fact, there is nothing complicated about what is the proper solution for America, and many elites, including Summers, are fully aware of it. Shen noted that America seems to stay in a “paralysis state,” under which the brain is actually sober, but the body cannot operate according to people’s thoughts.

This is how Washington’s strategic anxiety in terms of China policy has been formulated. In this context, decision-makers have been given some absurd advice, with strong gambling and speculative mentality.

Furthermore, America’s term of office and election determine that the government has very limited time to carry out practical policies, as much time is spent on election and buck-passing. Such a nature of American political games also determines that Washington has little time to make remarkable changes.

Only when the entire country reaches a new consensus, realizing that America’s problems do not lie in China, but in America itself, can America make the fundamental changes on its China policy. Until that day comes, what Summers proposed will not take place.

WHY HAVE AMERICANS BEEN TRAINED TO HATE PUTIN?

These Are The Reasons He Is Viciously Attacked And Regarded As Washington’s Blood Enemy.

Tucker Carlson thinks he knows. Here’s what he said:

“… Democrats in Washington have told you it’s your patriotic duty to hate Vladimir Putin. It’s not a suggestion. It’s a mandate. Anything less than hatred for Putin is treason.

Many Americans have obeyed this directive. They now dutifully hate Vladimir Putin. Maybe you’re one of them. Hating Putin has become the central purpose of America’s foreign policy. It’s the main thing that we talk about. Entire cable channels are now devoted to it. Very soon, that hatred of Vladimir Putin could bring the United States into a conflict in Eastern Europe.

Before that happens, it might be worth asking yourself: What is this really about? Why do I hate Putin so much? Has Putin ever called me a racist? Has he threatened to get me fired for disagreeing with him? Has he shipped every middle-class job in my town to Russia? Did he manufacture a worldwide pandemic that wrecked my business and kept me indoors for two years? Is he teaching my children to embrace racial discrimination? Is he making fentanyl?”

Is Carlson right, do Americans hate Putin because the media and the political class in Washington have told them to do so?

Yes and no. Yes, the media and the politicians have played a big role in the demonization of Putin. But, no, they’re not the main drivers of this smear campaign. That designation belongs to the plutocrats behind-the-scenes who use the media to attack Putin in order to promote their own globalist agenda. That’s what’s really going on; the news is being shaped to advance the interests of elites.

After all, what do the American people really know about Putin? Have they ever listened to his speeches or read his statements following meetings with other world leaders? Have they ever tuned-in to his marathon 4-hour “ask-anything” Q&A sessions? Have they ever read transcripts of his interviews where he speaks candidly on critical policy issues, culture or religion?

No, of course, not. Everything Americans know about Putin they read in the media. And that’s the problem, because the media despises Putin. And they despise him for the same reason they despise Trump, because the media’s wealthy owners see him as a threat to their political agenda. That’s the whole deal in a nutshell. Putin is not hated because he is a “KGB thug” or a “new Hitler”; that’s just public relations gibberish. He’s hated because he is an obstacle to the globalists achieving their geopolitical objectives. That’s the motive that drives this smear campaign. Putin has blocked them in Chechnya, South Ossetia, Syria and now Ukraine. He has derailed their grand plan to “pivot to Asia” and to encircle China with American military bases. He has been a thorn in their side for the better part of two decades and he has thrown a wrench in their loony plan to crush emerging centers of power and rule the world for the next century. That’s why they hate him, and that’s why they use their media to make you hate him, too.

Are you surprised?

What the media fails to mention is the extent to which Putin is admired in Russia and the rest of the world. Check it out:

According to Statista Putin holds a very favorable approval rating among Russians averaging between 84% in August, 2022, to 79% approval by Russian citizens and Dual Nationals holding both Russian and United States Passports despite the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.” (Wikipedia)

84% is in the nose-bleed section! No other leader in the world today can claim 84% public approval. And what’s more incredible, is that — after 20 years in office– the overwhelming majority of Russians still support him. How does that happen? How does a modest, self-effacing bureaucrat become the most widely-admired and popular Russian leader of all time?

Observers see Putin’s high approval ratings as a consequence of the significant improvements in living standards and Russia’s reassertion of itself on the world scene that has occurred during his period of office….

A joint poll by World Public Opinion in America and Levada Center in Russia around June–July 2006 stated that “neither the Russian nor the American publics are convinced Russia is headed in an anti-democratic direction” and “Russians generally support Putin’s concentration of political power and strongly support the re-nationalization of Russia’s oil and gas industry.” Russians generally support the political course of Putin and his team. A 2005 survey showed that three times as many Russians felt the country was “more democratic” under Putin than it was during the Yeltsin or Gorbachev years, and the same proportion thought human rights were better under Putin than Yeltsin.” (Wikipedia)

So, according to the Russian people, Putin is largely responsible for Russia’s economic prosperity, the higher living standards, the sharing of oil revenues, the better human rights record and the stronger democracy. They also overwhelmingly support Putin’s military operation in Ukraine. (87%) So, how do we explain the huge disparity between the Russian peoples’ opinion of Putin (over 80% approval) and that of the American people? (92% have little or no confidence in him) Either the Russians are extremely dim-witted and gullible or the Americans are the most weak-minded, brainwashed sheeple on earth? Which is it?

For roughly 17 years, the media has been spewing the same slanderous claptrap (aimed at Putin) they settled on in 2005 and 2006. Did you know that? Did you know that– at one time– western elites and their lapdog media actually liked Putin and thought he was a leader “they could work with”? In other words, they figured Putin would be another compliant stooge like the perennially-inebriated Yeltsin who thrust the country into “shock therapy” and allowed western economists to raffle-off the nation’s most valuable assets, industries and resources to bloodsucking oligarchs who bought them for pennies-on-the-dollar. That’s what they were hoping for, another spineless toady that was willing to sell-out his country to ingratiate himself with Uncle Sam. Instead, they got Putin; a devout Christian, an unwavering conservative and a ferocious Russian patriot.

Can you see why they hated him?

And because they hated him, they ordered their media to make you hate him, too; just like they did with Saddam, and Qaddafi, and Kim Yong Un, and anyone who gets in their way. We all should know the drill by now, and it always begins with character assassination; the requisite smear campaign that is designed to persuade the public to hate the enemies of the elites.

But here’s something you probably didn’t know. You probably didn’t know that the demonizing of Putin can be traced back to a precise time and place.

Former senator John Edwards and Congressman Jack Kemp were appointed to lead a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) task force to determine whether a “strategic partnership” with Russia was still possible in light of policies Putin had enacted that conflicted with Washington’s broader geopolitical aims. When Kemp and Edwards returned from Moscow they published an article titled “Russia’s Wrong Direction” (March 2006)

The authors decided that a “strategic partnership” with Russia was no longer possible because the government under Putin had become increasingly “authoritarian” and Russian society was growing less “open and pluralistic”. The irony of these observations was not lost on analysts who realized that America has no problem jumping-into-bed with the most authoritarian countries in the world including Saudi Arabia that conducted the mass execution of 81 men in one weekend alone (in 2022) That is an impressive achievement even by Saudi standards. And we should also note that all 81 men were beheaded which further underscores the barbarity of the leaders that Washington regards as their best friends.

The point is that ‘Putin hatred’ and character assassination can be traced back to a particular time and place when American foreign policy elites decided that Putin was not going to be the “responsible stakeholder” they had hoped for. He was not going to click his heels and fall in line like many of the other allies. In fact, Putin had shown his willingness to commit –what the globalists regard as the one unforgivable crime– that is, he put his own country’s national interests above those of the international banking cabal. That, of course, is the biggest “No-No” of all. Here’s a short clip from “Russia’s Wrong Direction”:

Fifteen years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, “U.S.-Russia relations are clearly headed in the wrong direction,” finds an Independent Task Force on American policy toward Russia sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. “Contention is crowding out consensus. The very idea of a ‘strategic partnership’ no longer seems realistic,” it concludes…

when President Bush has made democracy a goal of American foreign policy, Russia’s political system is becoming steadily more authoritarian, the Task Force charges. “The political balance sheet of the past five years is extremely negative……

U.S.-Russia cooperation can help the United States handle some of the most difficult issues we face,” said Edwards. “Yet regrettably, cooperation is becoming the exception, not the norm. This report is a wake-up call that we need to get U.S.-Russia relations back on track to meet the challenges that face both of our countries.”

Consistent with this, the report argues, “Although President Putin is presiding over the rollback of Russian democracy, the United States should work with him to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and to keep terrorists from attacking either his country or ours.”..

Since the end of the Cold War, successive American administrations have sought to create a relationship with Russia that they called a ‘partnership.’ This is the right long-term goal, but it is unfortunately not a realistic prospect for U.S.-Russia relations over the next several years,” says the report.

In the short run, the United States needs to see Russia for what it is now. “The real question that the United States faces in this period is not how to make a partnership with Russia work, it is how to make selective cooperation—and in some cases selective opposition—serve important international goals,” concludes the report.” (“Russia’s Wrong Direction”, Council on Foreign Relations)

The report indicates the precise time that western elites gave up on Putin and, (basically) threw him under the bus. And the reason they gave up on him, is because they could see that he was a true Russian patriot. Patriotism is the mortal enemy of globalism, because patriots can’t be “flipped” and the elites know it. They know that you cannot fundamentally change a man who loves his country. These men are not ‘for sale’ and they are incorruptible. Anyone who puts country above the globalist agenda– including MAGA Americans– is the mortal enemy of the globalists. And that is why elites always enlist foppish girlie-men like Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron to do their bidding, because the job requires weak, unprincipled men who are willing to debase themselves in order to serve their masters.

But what was it in particular that convinced the elites that Putin was a lost cause who would always be a threat to their agenda?

Fortunately, we know the answer to that question because the authors listed their objections under four main headings. Here’s they are:

  1. De-democratization: The report finds that Russian political institutions are becoming “corrupt and brittle.” As a result, “Russia’s capacity to address security concerns of fundamental importance to the United States and its allies is reduced. And many kinds of cooperation—from securing nuclear materials to intelligence sharing—are undermined.” (In other words, Putin was unwilling to impose additional sanctions on Iran, would not support Kosovo independence (which never gained UN approval) and refused to support the Iraq War. Bottom line: He refused to go along with Washington’s genocidal wars and arbitrary redivision of the Middle East. That’s why he was he was dubbed an “unreliable ally.”)

  2. Energy supplies: “Russia has used energy exports as a foreign policy weapon: intervening in Ukraine’s politics, putting pressure on its foreign policy choices, and curtailing supplies to the rest of Europe. The reassertion of government control over the Russian energy sector increases the risk this weapon will be used again.” (This is true, Putin seized control of Russia’s greatest public asset –oil– and used it to raise standards of living across the board. Privatization is the Holy Grail of western capitalism so, naturally, Putin was condemned for errant behavior. He was also blasted for “curtailing supplies to the rest of Europe” which is also true. He cut off Ukraine’s gas supplies after Ukraine repeatedly siphoned gas from the pipelines and refused to pay for the gas it had already consumed. The authors seem to think that Russia should give away its gas for free but that’s not how capitalist economies work.)

  3. The war on terror: The Task Force finds “a seeming Russian effort to curtail U.S. and NATO military access to Central Asian bases,” a sign that Russia is retreating from the idea that “success in Afghanistan serves a common interest.” (Putin was extremely accommodating in allowing American troops and weaponry to pass through Russia on their way to Afghanistan. What he opposed was the CIA-backed color revolutions that Washington supported across Central Asia in order to install their own puppet governments that were openly hostile towards Russia. He also opposed Washington’s covert support for Chechen terrorists. Was that unreasonable?)

  4. Russia hosting the G8: “A country that has in the space of a single year supported massive fraud in the elections of its largest European neighbor and then punished it for voting wrong by turning off its gas supply has to be at least on informal probation at a meeting of the world’s industrial democracies.” (Russia follows a strict policy of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of other countries. None of the allegations of electoral interference have ever been proven. Quite the contrary, in the 3 year-long investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Robert Mueller was unable to find a scintilla of evidence to support the bogus claims. In contrast, Washington’s clandestine interventions, coup d’etats, targeted assassinations and full-scale military invasions have been widely documented and substantiated. No country in the world has ever interfered in the affairs of other sovereign governments more than the United States.)

These are largely the issues upon which the authors decided that Putin was headed in “the wrong direction.” He wouldn’t support their reckless military interventions, he wouldn’t hand Russia’s oil over to rapacious oligarchs, he wouldn’t look the other way while governments in his neighborhood were toppled by Washington one-by-one, and he wouldn’t snap a salute and click his heels when he got his marching orders from Washington. These are the reasons he is viciously attacked in the media and regarded as Washington’s blood enemy. He simply refused to be their lackey, which is why America spent the last 17 years trying to destroy him.

NO WAY OUT FOR THE AMERICA

America Is The Most Indebted Nation In World History; It’s Broke, And It Can No Longer Win A Protracted War.

On the surface, it would appear that America is in the catbird seat: Since Bretton Woods in 1944, America has been able to dictate the economy to its trading partners and, to a lesser extent, the rest of the world. Those countries that got on board the Bretton Woods Choo-Choo would be the world’s leaders in commerce, and the rest would take second shrift.

This was possible because, at the end of the war, America had been supplying the allies with most of their armaments and materiel and had insisted on being paid in gold. By 1944, they held the great majority of the world’s gold and had the most productive manufacturing facilities. They were in a position to call all the shots, and the countries that subsequently made up the First World went along for the ride.

But by the 1970s, America went off the gold standard and was paying for imports with American Treasuries. This was seen to be a boon at the time, as the Treasuries could be created from thin air, and the demands by America became boundless. America became the biggest house on the block, but it was, in fact, a house of cards, which was only as good as the currency it was built upon – not true money but debt.

To paraphrase Norm Franz, “Gold is the money of kings… debt is the money of slaves.”

America was, from 1971 on, in the business of enslaving its partners. Along the way, it became more economical to outsource manufacturing, and, over the ensuing decades, the production of most goods came from countries other than America.

But a wrinkle occurred in recent decades: some of the overseas suppliers of goods, and in particular, energy were now building up their ability for world trade to the point that America itself was no longer essential. Indeed, better business could often be created between countries without going through America, and America was becoming an obstacle to the economic advancement of other nations.

In recent decades, China and Russia have emerged as the most essential providers of goods and energy, respectively, precisely at the time that America had planned to establish globalism – dominance over the entire world by America, with the backup support of the other First World countries, most notably, Europe.

As long as the other First World countries continued to endorse American diktat to the world, American hegemony would not only continue but expand.

But then, Russia threw a rather major wrench into the works: the Nord Steam pipeline already supplied much of the natural gas to Europe, allowing it to heat its homes and run its factories. With the addition of Nord Stream II, a tipping point was reached: the great majority of Europe’s essential energy, which it was unable to produce itself, could be gotten from Russia and at a price that no other supplier could match.

What’s often overlooked in the discussion of the importance of Nord Stream II is that, from the first day that the tap was to be turned on to supply Europe, American hegemony would end. Although America had succeeded in dominating European policy over the last half-century, that situation had now reversed. In a choice between pleasing America and pleasing the eastern suppliers of goods and energy, Europe’s default position would now be with Asia, not America.

In this one seemingly minor change in supply, the hegemony of America would cease. And, more troublingly, American power had been a house of cards for decades. It was no longer a manufacturing titan; in fact, it now produced little besides debt. It had once used its manufacturing capacity to bully its trading partners, but now this power had become a mere remnant.

In recent decades, America has been operating on its past laurels and the assumption that it was the big boy on the block and must be obeyed, no matter how unreasonable its demands were.

When federal and corporate leaders realised their dilemma, they understood that they had only one last-ditch option: war.

Historically, this is always the last play of a dying empire: when you’re about to lose everything, a major war must be created as a distraction to buy time.

A small war is only a temporary respite. A major war serves to upset the world as a whole. If the world can be turned upside down, perhaps there’s a chance that the dying empire can actually survive with some of its power intact.

If not, the empire goes the way of the dodo. It slips away into insignificance or even extinction.

And this is where America now finds itself. The shift to the Asian century is well underway. Quietly, one nation after another is shifting its trade and its deference to the Asian leaders. Those countries like Saudi Arabia, that can make dramatic shifts and do so safely, will be bolder in their shift. Less powerful countries will be a bit more subtle, tiptoeing away from their former master. And that, too, is now underway.

But again, the key ally of America – the one without which it could not be an empire – has been Europe.

The EU is already on the ropes; it was a misconceived experiment from the start and has now begun to splinter. Although no major breakup has begun, the rot is already beyond any possible salvage, and the dictates of Brussels are encountering refusals by some member countries.

With the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines, it has become quietly apparent in Germany and other EU countries that they will be facing extreme hardships as a result. They can no longer back out of their support for America push to create warfare in Ukraine. Additionally, they face the American attempt to draw all the NATO countries into war with Russia – a suicidal prospect for Europe.

America, in its desperation to escalate the war, has begun to suggest that a “limited nuclear war” might be advisable, but Europe understands that a limited nuclear war is akin to being “a little bit pregnant.”

Europe would not survive such a war.

And so, Germany has begun the pull away from America. President Olaf Scholz has personally gone to Beijing to broker peace. In doing so, he also makes a clear statement: Germany is acknowledging that it is moving over to a new master.

To be sure, the American regime will not take this lightly.

There will be collective nail-biting in the First World countries as the average man wonders and worries whether America will do the sane thing and back away from warfare. What the average man does not understand is that, whilst this may be the best choice for the average man and the world in general, it would be the end for those who rule America. America would slide inexorably into a lesser state, or even fragment, leaving the American elite with no empire to rule.

This, above all, cannot be tolerated. And, so, it’s important to understand that, to the rulers of the American empire, this is an all-or-nothing game.

And to be clear, it’s a game that cannot be won. America no longer produces much; it no longer has a meaningful balance of trade; it’s the most indebted nation in world history; it’s broke, and it can no longer win a protracted war.

And, to reiterate, America has no other option at this point. It has destroyed all its other options and has no way out of its dilemma – its modern-day Thucydides Trap. As such, it will not go quietly. Much like a cornered rat, it will make a last attempt to take down as many others as it can on its way out.

That should give us pause. Those who wish to avoid becoming collateral damage as the behemoth falls would be advised to extricate themselves, economically and even geographically, from the dying empire.

ISRAEL WILL MOVE TOWARDS IT’S PRECIPICE UNDER IT’S NEW GOVERNMENT

Any Remaining Charade Of Democracy And Legitimacy Will Disappear Under This New Regime.

Was it really a big surprise to wake up on the morning of November 2nd to find out that the Israeli government and Knesset would now be run by a dominant majority of nationalistic religious Jews, Zionists and hardline politicians who have previously advocated official ethnic-cleansing and shoot-to-kill policies against Palestinians?

One of them is likely to become public security minister, and others will hold key positions in government. This should not come as a surprise: Israel has been lurching further rightwards for the past two decades, and this coalition has nearly won previous elections, so it is not that shocking that they are now in power. And yet, one should ask: how different will Israel be after these elections?

With a clear majority in the Knesset and a firm hold on the executive branch, this old-new political elite will continue to do everything that previous governments have done over the past 74 years – but with more zeal, determination and disregard for international condemnation.

It will likely begin by expanding the Judaisation of the occupied West Bank and Greater Jerusalem, and by expanding military activity in what is already on track to be an exceptionally deadly year for Palestinians. Since the start of 2022, Israeli forces and settlers have killed more than 130 Palestinians, including more than 30 children, across the occupied West Bank.

The new government will surely intensify the provocative visits of Jewish politicians to al-Aqsa Mosque complex. We can also expect an escalation in house demolitions, arrests without trial, and a free hand being given to settler vigilantes to wreak destruction at will.

SUPPRESSING PALESTINIAN IDENTITY

It is less clear how far this new elite will go in its policy towards the Gaza Strip. Since 2008, Israel’s policy in Gaza has been so callous and inhumane that one finds it difficult to imagine what could be worse than a siege, blockade and occasional brutal air bombardments on a civil society.

Similarly, it is difficult to predict the new government’s policies towards Palestinians inside Israel. Under the 2018 nation-state law, Israel formalised its status as an apartheid state. One suspects that, as in the occupied West Bank, much of the same and worse can be expected. We will probably see a continued disregard for the rise of criminal activity, along with stricter policies on house expansions in Palestinian rural areas.

We can also expect a continued suppression of any Palestinian collective attempts to express the minority’s national identity – whether through waving Palestinian flags on campuses, commemorating the Nakba, or in other ways expressing the rich cultural heritage of this community.

In short, any remaining charade of democracy will disappear under this new regime.

Yet, despite the massive shift in global perceptions towards Israel in recent years – manifested in its depiction as an apartheid state by major international human rights groups, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, and the willingness of the International Court of Justice to discuss the decolonisation of the occupied West Bank – there seems to be a general reluctance to acknowledge the possibility that there is Jewish racism, as much as there is Christian, Muslim or Buddhist racism.

DANGEROUS IDEOLOGY

Suddenly, UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 (passed in 1975 and later revoked), which equates Zionism with racism, no longer seems to be a declaration detached from the realities and complexities in Israel and Palestine. The African and Arab member states that pushed the resolution showed foresight in pinpointing racism as the main danger that Zionism as a state ideology carries with it – not only for Palestinians, but for the region as a whole.

The disappearance in this election of the Zionist left can also be easily understood if one appreciates the depth and breadth of racism within Israeli society, particularly among youth. A son of German Jews who escaped German racism in the early 1930s, and now studying it as an adult, was deeply disturbed at this picture of a society mesmerised by racism and bequeathing it to the next generation.

Will Jewish communities recognise this reality or continue to ignore it? Will governments in the West, and particularly the American administration, acknowledge or disregard this trend? Will the Arab world, which has embarked on a process of normalisation with Israel, treat this as irrelevant, as it does not undermine their regimes’ fundamental interests?

We have no answers to these questions. From an activist point of view, it is actually not necessary to answer these questions, but rather to do everything possible so that one day, they will be answered in a way that saves both Palestinians and Jews from a disastrous fate – and stops Israel from leading us all towards a precipice whose edge is now more visible than ever.

AMERICAN OFFICIALS RANT ABOUT WORLD PRESS FREEDOMS WHILE ASSAULTING THEM

You Should Never Accept Living In A World Where Our Rulers Will Openly Imprison A Journalist For Telling The Truth, Like They Have Done To Julian Assange.

Then watch them self-righteously pontificate about the need to stop authoritarian regimes from persecuting journalists.

Just today the American State Department spokesman and CIA veteran Ned Price tweeted disapprovingly about the Kyrgyz Republic’s decision to deport investigative journalist Bolot Temirov to Russia, where press freedom groups are concerned that the Russian citizen could face conscription to fight in Ukraine.

Dismayed by the decision to deport journalist Bolot Temirov from the Kyrgyz Republic,” said Price. “Journalists should never be punished for doing their job. The Kyrgyz Republic has been known for its vibrant civil society — attempts to stifle freedom of expression stain that reputation.”

This would be an entirely reasonable statement for anyone else to make. If you said it or we said it, it would be completely legitimate. But when Ned says it, it is illegitimate.

This is after all the same government that is working to extradite an Australian journalist from the United Kingdom with the goal of imprisoning him for up to 175 years for exposing American war crimes. Price says “Journalists should never be punished for doing their job,” but that is precisely what the government he represents is doing to Julian Assange, who has already spent three and a half years in Belmarsh Prison awaiting America’s extradition shenanigans. This is in top of the seven years he spent fighting extradition from the Ecuadorian embassy in London under what a UN panel ruled was arbitrary detention.

A UN special rapporteur on torture determined that Assange has been subjected to psychological torture by the allied governments which have conspired to imprison him. Scores of doctors have determined that his persecution is resulting in dangerous medical neglect. Yet he is being pulled toward the notoriously draconian prison systems of the most powerful government in the world, where he will face a rigged trial where a defense of publishing in the public interest will not be permitted.

All to establish a legal precedent that will allow the most powerful empire that has ever existed to extradite journalists from anywhere in the world for exposing inconvenient truths about it. But sure, Ned, “Journalists should never be punished for doing their job.”

Earlier this month secretary of state Antony Blinken posted a tweet of his own commemorating the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, without the slightest trace of self-awareness.

No member of the press should be threatened, harassed, attacked, arrested, or killed for doing their job,” Blinken said. “On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists, we vow to continue protecting and promoting the rights of a free press and the safety of journalists.”

Two weeks later, the Biden administration shockingly granted Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman immunity from lawsuits regarding the gruesome assassination of Amerian-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, thereby slamming the final door on all attempts to hold the tyrannical ruler responsible for his brazen assault on the press.

No member of the press should be threatened, harassed, attacked, arrested, or killed for doing their job.”

We are ruled by tyrannical, hypocritical freaks who do not care about truth and freedom; they care only about power and what they can use to obtain it. The only press they support are those whose persecution can be politically leveraged, and those who can be used to peddle propaganda like the notorious AP editor who recently said she “can’t imagine” an American intelligence official being wrong.

Pointing out hypocrisy is important not because hypocrisy is an especially terrible thing in and of itself, but because it draws attention to the fact that the hypocrite does not really stand where they claim to stand and value what they purport to value. The rulers of the western empire care about press freedoms only exactly insofar as they can use them to concern troll foreign governments they don’t like to advance their global power agendas. And not one molecule further.

ZERO-CLICK AND THE FBI

The FBI Ordered Its Own Version Of Pegasus, Which The Israelis Tailor-Made For Hacking American Mobile Devices. If You Think Your Rights Are Protected By The Constitution – Think Again.

During the Trump administration, the FBI paid $5 million to an Israeli software company for a license to use its “zero-click” surveillance software called Pegasus. Zero-click refers to software that can download the contents of a target’s computer or mobile device without the need for tricking the target into clicking on it. The FBI operated the software from a warehouse in New Jersey.

Before revealing any of this to the two congressional intelligence committees to which the FBI reports, it experimented with the software. The experiments apparently consisted of testing Pegasus by spying — illegally and unconstitutionally since no judicially issued search warrant had authorized the use of Pegasus — on unwitting Americans by downloading data from their devices.

When congressional investigators got wind of these experiments, the Senate Intelligence Committee summoned FBI Director Christopher Wray to testify in secret about the acquisition and use of Pegasus, and he did so in December 2021. He told the mostly pliant senators that the FBI only purchased Pegasus “to be able to figure out how bad guys could use it.” Is that even believable?

In follow-up testimony in March 2022, Wray elaborated that Pegasus was used “as part of our routine responsibilities to evaluate technologies that are out there, not just from a perspective of could they be used someday legally, but also, more important, what are the security concerns raised by those products.” More FBI gibberish.

Last week, dozens of internal FBI memos and court records told a different story — a story that has caused Sen. Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, to question the veracity of Wray’s testimony. Wyden’s healthy skepticism caused the FBI reluctantly to reveal that it had ordered its own version of Pegasus, called Phantom, which the Israelis tailor-made for hacking American mobile devices.

Here is the backstory.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution was written to preserve the natural right to privacy and to cause law enforcement to focus on crimes, not surveillance. The instrument of these purposes is the requirement of a judicially issued search warrant before the government can engage in any surveillance.

A search warrant can only be issued based on probable cause of crime demonstrated under oath to the issuing judge and a showing that the place to be searched or person or thing to be seized is more likely than not to reveal evidence of crime. As well, the warrant must specifically describe the place to be searched and things to be seized. Warrants can only be issued for investigations of actual crimes that have already occurred, not for experiments.

The Fourth Amendment contains some of the most precise language in the Constitution, as it was written intentionally to thwart the rapacious appetite of governments to snoop, which the British did to the colonists using general warrants.

General warrants were not based on probable cause of crime and lacked all specificity. Rather, they were based on government need — a totalitarian standard because whatever the government wants it will claim it needs — and they authorized the bearer to search wherever he wished and seize whatever he found.

The Fourth Amendment was intended to put a stop to general warrants. As we know from the wildly unconstitutional FISA court and the NSA’s secret criminal spying on all Americans, that amendment, like much of the Constitution, has failed abysmally to restrain the government.

Now back to the FBI and Phantom.

In July 2021, President Joseph Biden personally put a stop to the FBI’s use of Phantom, and the congressional intelligence committees assumed that that was the end of it.

Yet, last week, when reporters revealed the results of Freedom of Information Act requests for memos and court documents pertaining to Phantom, a different story emerged. The documents that the FBI furnished show a vast determination by FBI management to showcase and deploy Phantom to FBI agents and other federal law enforcement personnel.

The procedures under which the House and Senate Intelligence Committees operate require that secrets be kept secret. Thus, when the FBI director testifies before those committees, the representatives and senators who hear the testimony may not reveal what they heard to the press or even to their congressional colleagues. Wyden has apparently had enough of law enforcement deception and secrecy. Hence his complaints in letters to Wray — letters that more or less tell us what’s going on.

All of this leaves us with an FBI out of control and run by a director who has been credibly accused of misleading Congress while under oath — a felony — and whose agents have been credibly accused of conspiracy to engage in computer hacking — also a felony. Who knows what other liberty-assaulting widgets the FBI has in its unconstitutional toolbox about which Wyden and his investigators have yet to learn?

When Daniel Ellsberg courageously removed the Pentagon Papers from his office and gave them to reporters from The New York Times and The Washington Post, he was charged with espionage. The papers revealed that Pentagon generals were lying to President Lyndon B. Johnson and Johnson was lying to the public about the Vietnam war.

During Ellsberg’s trial, FBI agents broke into the office of his psychiatrist and stole his medical records so as to use them at the trial. The federal judge presiding at the trial was so outraged at the FBI’s misconduct that he dismissed the indictment against Ellsberg, and the government did not appeal the dismissal.

The Ellsberg break-in took the FBI a few hours and was destructive and dangerous.

Today’s FBI could have done the Ellsberg heist remotely in a few minutes. Today’s FBI has agents who are the bad guys they have warned us about. Today’s FBI has morphed from crime fighting to crime anticipating. Today’s FBI is effectively a domestic spying operation nowhere sanctioned in the Constitution. It should be defunded and disbanded.

THE QUAD THAT REALLY MATTERS IS RUSSIA, INDIA, CHINA AND IRAN

Lavrov Has Stressed How America, Europe And NATO “Want To Militarize The Region In Order To Contain Russia And China”.

Southeast Asia is right at the center of international relations for a whole week viz a viz three consecutive summits: Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Phnom Penh, the Group of Twenty (G20) summit in Bali, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bangkok.

Eighteen nations accounting for roughly half of the global economy represented at the first in-person ASEAN summit since the Covid-19 pandemic in Cambodia: the ASEAN 10, Japan, South Korea, China, India, America, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand.

With characteristic Asian politeness, the summit chair, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (or “Colombian”, according to the so-called “leader of the free world”), said the plenary meeting was somewhat heated, but the atmosphere was not tense: “Leaders talked in a mature way, no one left.”

It was up to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to express what was really significant at the end of the summit.

While praising the “inclusive, open, equal structure of security and cooperation at ASEAN”, Lavrov stressed how Europe and NATO “want to militarize the region in order to contain Russia and China’s interests in the Indo-Pacific.”

A manifestation of this policy is how “AUKUS is openly aiming at confrontation in the South China Sea,” he said.

Lavrov also stressed how the West, via the NATO military alliance, is accepting ASEAN “only nominally” while promoting a completely “unclear” agenda.

What’s clear though is how NATO “has moved towards Russian borders several times and now declared at the Madrid summit that they have taken global responsibility.”

This leads us to the clincher: “NATO is moving their line of defense to the South China Sea.” And, Lavrov added, Beijing holds the same assessment.

Here, concisely, is the open “secret” of our current geopolitical incandescence. Washington’s number one priority is the containment of China. That implies blocking the EU from getting closer to the key Eurasia drivers – China, Russia, and Iran – engaged in building the world’s largest free trade/connectivity environment.

Adding to the decades-long hybrid war against Iran, the infinite weaponizing of the Ukrainian black hole fits into the initial stages of the battle.

For the Empire, Iran cannot profit from becoming a provider of cheap, quality energy to the EU. And in parallel, Russia must be cut off from the EU. The next step is to force the EU to cut itself off from China.

All that fits into the wildest, warped Straussian/neo-con wet dreams: to attack China, by emboldening Taiwan, first Russia must be weakened, via the instrumentalization (and destruction) of Ukraine.

And all along the scenario, Europe simply has no agency.

PUTIN, RAEISI AND THE ERDOGAN TRACK

Real life across key Eurasia nodes reveals a completely different picture. Take the relaxed get-together in Tehran between Russia’s top security official Nikolai Patrushev and his Iranian counterpart Ali Shamkhani last week.

They discussed not only security matters but also serious business – as in turbo-charged trade.

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) will sign a $40 billion deal next month with Gazprom, bypassing American sanctions, and encompassing the development of two gas fields and six oilfields, swaps in natural gas and oil products, LNG projects, and the construction of gas pipelines.

Immediately after the Patrushev-Shamkhani meeting, President Putin called President Ebrahim Raeisi to keep up the “interaction in politics, trade and the economy, including transport and logistics,” according to the Kremlin. Iranian president reportedly more than “welcomed” the “strengthening” of Moscow-Tehran ties.

Patrushev unequivocally supported Tehran over the latest color revolution adventure perpetrated under the framework of the Empire’s endless hybrid war.

Iran and the EAEU are negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in parallel to the swap deals with Russian oil. Soon, SWIFT may be completely bypassed. The whole Global South is watching.

Simultaneous to Putin’s phone call, Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan – conducting his own diplomatic overdrive, and just back from a summit of Turkic nations in Samarkand – stressed that America and the collective West are attacking Russia “almost without limits”.

Erdogan made it clear that Russia is a “powerful” state and commended its “great resistance”.

The response came exactly 24 hours later. Turkish intelligence cut to the chase, pointing out that the terrorist bombing in the perpetually busy Istiklal pedestrian street in Istanbul was designed in Kobane in northern Syria, which essentially responds to America.

That constitutes a de-facto act of war and may unleash serious consequences, including a profound revision of Turkey’s presence inside NATO.

IRAN’S MULTI-TRACK STRATEGY

A Russia-Iran strategic alliance manifests itself practically as a historical inevitability. It recalls the time when the erstwhile USSR helped Iran militarily via North Korea, after an enforced American/Europe blockade.

Putin and Raeisi are taking it to the next level. Moscow and Tehran are developing a joint strategy to defeat the weaponization of sanctions by the collective West.

Iran, after all, has an absolutely stellar record of smashing variants of “maximum pressure” to bits. Also, it is now linked to a strategic nuclear umbrella offered by the “RICs” in BRICS (Russia, India, China).

So, Tehran may now plan to develop its massive economic potential within the framework of BRI, SCO, INSTC, the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), and the Russian-led Greater Eurasia Partnership.

Moscow’s game is pure sophistication: engaging in a high-level strategic oil alliance with Saudi Arabia while deepening its strategic partnership with Iran.

Immediately after Patrushev’s visit, Tehran announced the development of an indigenously built hypersonic ballistic missile, quite similar to the Russian KH-47 M2 Khinzal.

And the other significant news was connectivity-wise: the completion of part of a railway from strategic Chabahar Port to the border with Turkmenistan. That means imminent direct rail connectivity to the Central Asian, Russian and Chinese spheres.

Add to it the predominant role of OPEC+, the development of BRICS+, and the pan-Eurasian drive to pricing trade, insurance, security, investments in the ruble, yuan, rial, etc.

There’s also the fact that Tehran could not care less about the endless collective West procrastination on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as Iran nuclear deal: what really matters now is the deepening relationship with the “RICs” in BRICS.

Tehran refused to sign a tampered-with EU draft nuclear deal in Vienna. Brussels was enraged; no Iranian oil will “save” Europe, replacing Russian oil under a nonsensical cap to be imposed next month.

And Washington was enraged because it was betting on internal tensions to split OPEC.

Considering all of the above, no wonder US ‘Think Tankland’ is behaving like a bunch of headless chickens.

THE QUEUE TO JOIN BRICS

During the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand last September, it was already tacit to all players how the Empire is cannibalizing its closest allies.

And how, simultaneously, the shrinking NATO-sphere is turning inwards, with a focus on The Enemy Within, relentlessly corralling average citizens to march in lockstep behind total compliance with a two-pronged war – hybrid and otherwise – against imperial peer competitors Russia and China.

Now compare it with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Samarkand presenting China and Russia, together, as the top “responsible global powers” bent on securing the emergence of multipolarity.

Samarkand also reaffirmed the strategic political partnership between Russia and India (Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it an unbreakable friendship).

That was corroborated by the meeting between Lavrov and his Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar last week in Moscow.

Lavrov praised the strategic partnership in every crucial area – politics, trade and economics, investment, and technology, as well as “closely coordinated actions” at the UN Security Council, BRICS, SCO and the G20.

On BRICS, crucially, Lavrov confirmed that “over a dozen countries” are lining up for membership, including Iran: “We expect the work on coordinating the criteria and principles that should underlie BRICS expansion to not take much time”.

But first, the five members need to analyze the ground-breaking repercussions of an expanded BRICS+.

Once again: contrast. What is the EU’s “response” to these developments? Coming up with yet another sanctions package against Iran, targeting officials and entities “connected with security affairs” as well as companies, for their alleged “violence and repressions”.

Diplomacy”, collective West-style, barely registers as bullying.

Back to the real economy – as in the gas front – the national interests of Russia, Iran and Turkiye are increasingly intertwined; and that is bound to influence developments in Syria, Iraq, and Libya, and will be a key factor to facilitate Erdogan’s re-election next year.

As it stands, Riyadh for all practical purposes has performed a stunning 180-degree maneuver against Washington via OPEC+. That may signify, even in a twisted way, the onset of a process of unification of Arab interests, guided by Moscow.

Stranger things have happened in modern history. Now appears to be the time for the Arab world to be finally ready to join the Quad that really matters: Russia, India, China, and Iran.

AN ASSOCIATED PRESS EDITOR SAID SHE “CAN’T IMAGINE” AN AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE OFFICIAL BEING WRONG

The AP Journalist Who Reported An American Intelligence Official’s False Claim That Russia Had Launched Missiles At Poland Last Week Has Been Fired.

As we revealed previously, AP’s anonymously sourced report which said “A senior U.S. intelligence official says Russian missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, killing two people” went viral because of the massive implications of direct hot warfare erupting between Russia and the NATO alliance. AP subsequently retracted its story as the mainstream political/media class came to accept that it was in fact a Ukrainian missile that had struck Poland.

AP’s firing of reporter James LaPorta looks at this time to be the end point of any accountability for the circulation of this extremely dangerous falsehood. AP spokesperson Lauren Easton says no disciplinary action will be taken against the editors who waved the bogus story through, and to this day the public has been kept in the dark about the identity of the American official who fed such extremely egregious misinformation/disinformation to the public through the mainstream press.

It is utterly inexcusable for AP to continue to protect the anonymity of a government official who fed them such a profoundly significant falsehood. This didn’t just affect AP staff, it affected the whole world; we deserve to know what happened and who was responsible, and AP has no business obstructing that knowledge from us.

LaPorta’s firing looks like this is yet another instance where the least powerful person involved in a debacle is being made to take the fall for it. A powerful intelligence official will suffer no consequences for feeding false information to the press — thereby ensuring that it will happen again — and no disciplinary action will be taken against LaPorta’s superiors, despite the absolute buffoonery that subsequent reporting has revealed on their part.

In an article titled “Associated Press reporter fired over erroneous story on Russian attack,” The Washington Post reports the following:

Internal AP communications viewed by The Post show some confusion and misunderstanding during the preparations of the erroneous report.

LaPorta shared the U.S. official’s tip in an electronic message around 1:30 p.m. Eastern time. An editor immediately asked if AP should issue an alert on his tip, “or would we need confirmation from another source and/or Poland?”

After further discussion, a second editor said she “would vote” for publishing an alert, adding, “I can’t imagine a U.S. intelligence official would be wrong on this.””

I can’t imagine a US intelligence official would be wrong on this.”

Can you imagine not being able to imagine an American intelligence official being wrong? This would be an unacceptable position for any educated adult to hold, much less a journalist, still less an editor, and still less an editor of one of the most influential news agencies on earth.

These are the people who publish the news reports people read to find out what’s happening in the world. This is the baby-brained level of thinking these people are serving the public interest with.

Antiwar commentator Daniel Larison writes the following of the AP editor’s shocking quote:

Skepticism about official claims should always be the watchword for journalists and analysts. These are claims that need more scrutiny than usual rather than less. If you can’t imagine that an intelligence official could get something important wrong, whether by accident or on purpose, you are taking far too many things for granted that need to be questioned and checked out first.

Intelligence officials of many governments feed information to journalists and have done so practically ever since there was a popular press to feed information to, and that information certainly should not be trusted just because an official source hands it over. It is also always possible for intelligence officials to just get things wrong, whether it is because they are relying on faulty information or because they were too hasty in reaching conclusions about what they think they know.

Whether the AP’s source was feeding them a line or was simply mistaken, a claim as provocative and serious as this one should have been checked out much more thoroughly before it got anywhere near publication. The AP report in this case seems to have been a combination of a story that was “too good to check” and a culture of deference to official sources in which the editors didn’t feel compelled to make the effort to check.”

Indeed, the only reason the press receive such explicit protections in the American Constitution is because they are supposed to hold the powerful to account. If the editors of a wildly influential news agency will just unquestioningly parrot whatever they are fed by government officials while simultaneously protecting those officials with anonymity, they are not holding the powerful to account, and are in fact not meaningfully different from state propagandists.

They are state propagandists. Which is probably why they are sipping lattes in the AP newsroom while Julian Assange languishes in prison.

As Jacobin’s Branko Marcetic observed, this is far from the first time AP has given the cover of anonymity to American government officials circulating bogus claims of potentially dangerous consequence, like the time it reported an official’s evidence-free assertion which later proved false that Iran had carried out an attack on four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, or the time it let another one anonymously claim that “Iran may try to take advantage of America’s troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan.”

SO TO RECAP —

  • Powerful government official who fed AP a false story: Zero accountability

  • AP editor who asked if a report should immediately be published upon receipt of the story: Zero accountability

  • Second AP editor who says she can’t imagine an American intelligence official would be wrong: Zero accountability

  • Journalist who wrote the story: Singular accountability

  • In a sane society, power and responsibility would go hand in hand. A disaster would be blamed on the most powerful people involved in its occurrence. In our society it’s generally the exact opposite, with the rank-and-file taking all of the responsibility and none of the power.

Our rulers lie to us, propagandize us, endanger us, impoverish us, destroy journalism, start wars, kill our biosphere and make our world dark and confusing, and they suffer no consequences for it. We cannot allow them to continue holding all of the power and none of the responsibility. This is backwards and must end.

MUSK’S “FREE SPEECH” AGENDA FOR TWITTER HASN’T ACCOMPLISHED MUCH

Musk Hasn’t Done Anything To Meaningfully Scale Back The Speech Restrictions On The Platform Except For A Few Oligarchs.

When Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter was first announced this past April it was postulated that the purchase likely wouldn’t go through if the empire thought it posed a threat to its information interests. It was said that any reduction of censorship protocols which Musk implements on the platform would probably not be of the sort that make any difference to the powerful, but would instead just amplify vapid partisan culture war nonsense.

So far since Musk’s takeover, this does appear to be the case.

In recent days Twitter has reinstated the accounts of Donald Trump, Kanye West, Jordan Peterson, Project Veritas, Kathy Griffin, and the Babylon Bee. This to date is as close as Musk has come to honoring his stated intention of making Twitter a haven of free speech where people have a “digital town square” to debate and discuss ideas.

And it’s not enough. Un-banning a few famous people will drum up a lot of headlines and online chatter and make it look like he is really doing something, but in the end all he has done is reinstate a handful of Twitter accounts. He hasn’t done anything to meaningfully scale back the speech restrictions on the platform.

We can already hear the Elon simps falling all over themselves in a mad rush to tell us it’s only been a few weeks and we need to give Daddy more time, but they can go lick a Tesla battery. Nobody gains anything by giving the billionaire the benefit of the doubt and refraining from pointing out that he hasn’t done nearly enough at this point. The time to start criticizing and pushing is right now.

Twitter is currently full of discussions about which famous people Musk should un-ban next, but they’re completely missing the point. Reinstating a handful of celebrities has no meaningful effect on the free expression of normal people.

We don’t care that we can see tweets from Trump and Kanye again; we care that people are still banned from the platform for questioning western allegations of Russian war crimes and voicing unauthorized opinions about the war in Ukraine. We care that people are still banned for questioning vaccines and Covid policies which affect everyone. We care that media from governments America doesn’t control are censored and suppressed while its reporters are made to carry “state-affiliated media” labels that media personnel from American puppet states don’t have. You should care that mass purges of accounts are virtually always directed at people from nations targeted by America.

Free speech is important first and foremost not because it feels nice to be able to say whatever you want, but because being able to freely criticize the powerful puts an important check on power. Letting celebrities say whatever they want about trans people or what have you is of the “feels nice to say whatever I want” variety. We’re not seeing any increase in the freedoms of speech which put a check on power.

In fact, we’re seeing Musk pledge to use shadowbanning to algorithmically censor tweets with unauthorized speech.

New Twitter policy is freedom of speech, but not freedom of reach,” Musk tweeted on Friday. “Negative/hate tweets will be max deboosted and demonetized, so no ads or other revenue to Twitter. You won’t find the tweet unless you specifically seek it out, which is no different from rest of Internet.”

Musk never clarified what he means by “negative” tweets; it’s as vague and subjective a definition as anyone could possibly come up with, which will surely result in abuses and overreach unless clarified.

Freedom of speech but not freedom of reach” is the same dumbass slogan that’s been used by proponents of internet censorship for a long time. It basically means that you can say whatever you want, but if it’s not approved speech then no one will ever hear it. Which of course isn’t free speech at all. It’s like saying “You have free speech! You can say whatever you want, as long as you say it alone in a soundproof room.”

Censorship by algorithm is actually more damaging than overt censorship, because it happens in a much subtler way that people don’t notice, and because it can be done at mass scale. This is the same form of censorship that’s been embraced by platforms like Facebook and YouTube, which up until now have been far more restrictive of speech than Twitter.

So as far as we are concerned Musk is failing the free speech test. Speech is not becoming any freer on Twitter in any way that actually matters, and from all appearances it’s still functioning as a narrative control tool for the most powerful empire that has ever existed.

And that’s pretty much what you’d expect from a billionaire Pentagon contractor who is inextricably interwoven with the American military-industrial complex. People don’t get to be billionaires unless they collaborate with existing power structures, and they certainly never get anywhere close to managing critical narrative control infrastructure unless they are devoutly loyal to the empire.

Billionaires only come to the rescue in movies and comic books. Elon Musk is no more likely to save the day than Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne. People only believe he’s a hero because Hollywood has trained us to look for heroes, but Hollywood only does that to keep us searching for heroes outside ourselves.

We’ll never get a healthy world if we keep looking to billionaires, politicians and celebrities to make things better. It’s going to have to come from us. The sooner we wake up to that reality the better a chance our species will have at surviving the existential crises looming on out horizon.

ISRAELIS AND AMERICANS SHOULD KNOW THAT ARMED RESISTANCE TO OCCUPATION IS LEGAL AND NOT TERRORISM

The Media Plays A Key Role In Keeping The Israeli And American Public Thoroughly Ignorant Of The Most Basic Facts.

Despite what international law says, the Israeli public has internalised the notion that, by definition, there is no legitimate Palestinian struggle for national liberation.

It is doubtful if more than a handful of Jews in Israel or Americans could tell you accurately how many raids the Israeli army conducted last week in Palestinian cities in the West Bank, the number of arrests they made, or the number of people they killed.

At the same time, it is doubtful if there were more than a handful of Israelis who had not heard of the shooting incident on a soldiers’ bus in the Jordan Valley, on Sunday 4 September.

A Palestinian shooting at Israeli soldiers – as opposed to Israelis shooting at Palestinians – is not just an alarming “man bites dog” story that reverses the usual order, demanding extensive reports; in all of those reports, the event was defined as a terror attack and the Palestinian shooters as terrorists.

Not a word about how the shooting targeted soldiers of an occupying army and occurred on occupied land.

The media has a key role in shaping public consciousness to serve the establishment’s propaganda machine, while keeping the public thoroughly ignorant of the most basic facts.

The public, in general, has completely internalised the notion that, by definition, there is no legitimate Palestinian struggle for national liberation.

As with the thorough erasure of the 1949 armistice line, also known as the Green Line, from Israeli consciousness – to the point that the mere mention of its existence by the Tel Aviv municipality provokes threats from the Ministry of Education – so too the consistent labelling of any Palestinian struggle as terrorism obscures the important distinction under international law between an action targeting combatants and one directed against civilians.

A LEGITIMATE RIGHT

The fact is that international law recognises the legitimate right of a people to fight for its freedom, and for “liberation from colonial control, apartheid and foreign occupation by all the means at its disposal, including armed struggle”, as confirmed, for example, by a resolution of the UN General Assembly in 1990.

The use of force to achieve liberation is legitimate. The manner in which force is used is governed by the laws of war, the main purpose of which is to protect uninvolved civilians on both sides.

The Jordan Valley shooting did not target civilians, and cannot be considered a terrorist act. It was an act of armed resistance against an occupying power, on occupied land.

The Israeli regime and its dutiful echo, the western media, treat every action against occupation forces on occupied land exactly as if they were actions targeting civilians in the heart of Tel Aviv: as terrorist acts perpetrated by terrorists.

This conflation not only negates a legal or moral basis for the act; it is also contrary to the interests of Israel’s citizens.

The relevant laws of war are designed first and foremost to protect civilians who are not participants in the cycle of violence and to limit that violence to actual combatants.

Israel, however, recognises no such category of Palestinian combatants; from Israel’s standpoint, any resistance, even nonviolent resistance, to its occupation and oppression poses a danger to security that is easily recognised as terror, as when Israel recently declared the six most prominent Palestinian NGOs to be terror organisations.

This is a two-way distortion by Israel. Just as it treats every Palestinian action, even those directed against soldiers, as acts of terrorism, so too does Israel paint any Israeli action taken against Palestinians as legitimate, even when those Palestinians are civilians.

A TYPICAL BRUTALITY

For an especially outrageous example of this policy, consider the final conclusions published by the Israeli army regarding the fatal shooting of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. The army initially claimed that Abu Akleh was killed by Palestinian gunfire, a blatant lie that was exposed by a series of media outlets that examined the evidence minutely. The revised version the army later published is also far from congruent with the evidence.

The Military Advocate General announced that no investigation would be opened, despite the chilling admission that Abu Akleh, wearing a vest clearly identifying her as a journalist, was shot to death by a soldier using a sniper rifle’s telescopic sight – which magnifies the target by a factor of four.

Equally disgraceful was the Israeli response to the very minor American request to “take another look at” the army’s open-fire procedures in the West Bank.

Not that the army will stop murdering innocent people, God forbid, nor that it will stop the endless invasions of West Bank cities, the mass arrests, the midnight abductions of children from their beds – just that it will exert itself a bit more, if it’s not too difficult, to avoid any more such cases.

The mighty United States prefers not to find itself mired in such cases because the victim happens to hold American citizenship, as was the case with Abu Akleh.

Even the courtesy of paying lip service to this minor request was not forthcoming from Israel, which responded with typical brutality. Prime Minister Yair Lapid hastened to tell the Americans that “no one will dictate open-fire regulations to us”.

Defence Minister Benny Gantz, in the same spirit, stated: “The chief of staff, and he alone, determines and will continue to determine the open-fire policies.”

In other words, Israel put the Americans, indeed the entire world, on notice: no one will tell Israel how many, who, when, where or how we will kill. And there the matter ends, until the next time.