zaterdag 6 augustus 2022

The Mad-Eyed Pelosi

 AUGUST 5, 2022

Roaming Charges: The Mad-Eyed Lady of Pac 


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Pelosi’s eyes, at press conference on Taiwan.

“War is the form nostalgia takes when men are hard-pressed to say something good about their country.”

– Don DeLillo, White Noise

I suppose there are more risible politicians on the scene today than Nancy Pelosi, but few come clad in her power accessories or with as much potential to inflict carnage on a global scale. Even the banshee of the backwoods Marjorie Taylor Greene is a mere pipsqueak compared to the malevolent lunacy we’ve seen lately from Pelosi.

Some may say that Pelosi, now 82, has entered her second childhood. If so, it’s a delinquent one. Certainly her political inhibitions have dissolved, allowing her natural inclination to foment trouble to run rampant. One looks in vain for a rational motivation behind her ad hoc trip to Taiwan, an act of belligerency that might have sparked a war with another nuclear power. But to what end? China is not going to relinquish its entirely legitimate claims to Taiwan. Far from a model democracy, Taiwan is a former gangster state, whose repressive government was shaped by Chiang Kai-Shek, who retreated there in 1949 with his battered gang of CIA-financed KMT thugs, where he promptly instituted a violent crackdown on leftists known as the White Terror, a vicious form of martial law that lasted for the next 45 years.

Sure Pelosi represents many rich Chinese exiles, who have made fortunes in San Francisco and now fantasize about sticking it to the CCP from the safety of their Nob Hill mansions. But Pelosi doesn’t need their money or support. She’s well beyond that now. (Though her husband Paul is surely watching with avaricious eyes the reaction of the markets to this junket of the damned.) Antagonizing China over Taiwan doesn’t solve any of the global crises hurtling toward us on all fronts–not even the “problem” of Taiwan.

Pelosi’s trip seems more personal, an almost pathological assertion of her autonomy. It’s the act of a playground bully and the Mad-Eyed Lady from Pac Heights has come to see the world as her playground–provocation for the sake of provocation. Damn the consequences. The Speaker’s hubris has been accreting rapidly in the last decade. Once a capable, if not very creative, machine politician, she has now become baked by her own sense of power and runs the House like her own private autocracy, the leadership ranks stacked with her claque of senescent loyalists.

Now the second most powerful figurehead in the US government has gone rogue, enacting her very own Asian Pivot, flouting decades of US policy and even ignoring the requests of the increasingly feeble Joe Biden to scrub Taipei from her inflammatory itinerary. Nancy is the “Karen” of global geopolitics, a loose cannon intoxicated by her own self-righteousness. Like RGB, Pelosi apparently sees herself as an indispensable figure in American politics, even as a trapdoor slides open beneath her feet and those of her party and country. The people running our government are so antiquated, they won’t live to face the consequences of their reckless grandstanding. Heckuva job, Nancy.

Why Pelosi picked China as her target du jour is no mystery. Like Biden (and Bernie Sanders, for that matter), Pelosi has always been a Cold Warrior. It’s the way she chooses to understand the world, even if it’s a world that no longer quite exists. The political economy Pelosi has done much to help engineer over the last 35 years needs perpetual enemies to justify the trillions sunk into the weapons-and-surveillance complex. And not ephemeral scrub units like Al Qaeda and ISIS. Big ones like Russia and China. But more sophisticated politicians, from Nixon to Obama, have understood that the trick is to keep the threat elevated without actually risking a war. Pelosi seems to have lost this inhibition, as well.

Thus the brazenness–one is tempted to say, desperation–of her Taiwan excursion is a pretty clear sign of imperial (as well as mental) slippage. Far from a show of strength, Pelosi’s antics in Taipei revealed the frailty of the US hegemon in the Pacific. Sure, China postured a bit in response with naval exercises encircling Taiwan, drawing out of climate talks and slapping sanctions on Pelosi. But Beijing, a much more reflective (if equally lethal) government than our own, must have viewed Pelosi’s frantic finger-wagging as little more than a parody of power, a shrill manifestation of America’s political decrepitude.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/08/05/roaming-charges-64/




"Russian Propaganda" Just Means Disobedience

 

Listen to a reading of this article:

"Russian Propaganda" Just Means Disobedience by Going Rogue With Caitlin Johnstone

Going Rogue With Caitlin Johnstone

You can always tell how important narrative control is by watching the way people react when their control of the narrative is jeopardized.

Empire apologists are raging at Amnesty International for pausing its aggressive facilitation of western imperialism to issue one brief criticism of the way Ukrainian forces have been endangering civilian lives with their warfare tactics against the Russian military.

Amnesty is far from the first to highlight this extensively documented issue; that Ukrainian forces have been deliberately positioning themselves in civilian populations without taking proper measures to protect noncombatants is a concern that has been voiced repeatedly since the war began and reported on by both mainstream western news outlets and the United Nations.

Nevertheless, Amnesty's claim that "Ukrainian forces have put civilians in harm’s way by establishing bases and operating weapons systems in populated residential areas, including in schools and hospitals" has drawn fire from Ukrainian officials, from mass media pundits, from the brainwashed rank-and-file on social media, and from President Zelensky himself.

A common criticism circulating among the outrage is that Amnesty is facilitating Russian propaganda, has been influenced by Russian propaganda, or has itself become an instrument of Russian propaganda.

The head of Amnesty International's Ukrainian branch resigned as a result of the report, saying that "the organization created material that sounded like support for Russian narratives" and that in an effort to protect civilians, "this study became a tool of Russian propaganda."

"It is a shame that the organization like Amnesty is participating in this disinformation and propaganda campaign," tweeted Zelensky advisor Mykhailo Podolyak.

"Amnesty International can go to hell for this garbage," tweetedHuman Rights Foundation Chairman Garry Kasparov. "Or go to Ukraine, which Putin's war is trying to turn into hell. As with their actions on Navalny, it reeks of Russian influence turning Kremlin propaganda into Amnesty statements."

The Daily Mail called the Amnesty report "a coup for Vladimir Putin's propaganda machine."

"The organization gives a huge assist to Russian propaganda," tweeted Oleksiy Sorokin, chief operating officer of the NATO propaganda outlet Kyiv Independent.

"Shameful victim-blaming. Russia invaded Ukraine and is committing unspeakable war crimes there. Please do not amplify Russian lies," tweeted Paul Massaro of the US government's Helsinki Commission.

The underlying premise behind these complaints, of course, is that it is Amnesty International's job to help Ukraine win a propaganda campaign against Russia. Which is odd, because Amnesty's reporting on the war has actually been overwhelmingly biased in favor of Ukraine this entire time.

"Anger directed at Amnesty is surprising given that it is the first critical piece the group has written on Ukraine since the war began," reports Unherd. "Over the last six months, Amnesty has published 40 articles on Ukraine, nearly all of which condemn Russia’s invasion, with only one exception — its latest — that could be conceivably described as critical of Ukraine."

Even the Amnesty report currently sparking all the outrage contains repeated condemnations of Russia's actions in Ukraine, citing "indiscriminate attacks by Russian forces" and "war crimes" Amnesty has found Russia guilty of committing, as well as decrying the use of "inherently indiscriminate weapons, including internationally banned cluster munitions."

But even ninety-nine percent loyalty to the official line is not enough for imperial spinmeisters and the empire's useful idiots. Anything short of 100 percent compliance counts as Russian propaganda.

But that's precisely the notion that has been drummed into western consciousness with ever-increasing fervor since 2016: that any dissent about US foreign policy is Russian propaganda. Don't support western interventionism in Syria? You're spouting Russian propaganda. Worried about nuclear war? Russian propaganda. Don't think the fight for US unipolar domination is worth all this dangerous brinkmanship? Russian propaganda. Don't like the idea of an expensive proxy war with no exit strategy whose economic fallout is making life harder and harder for more and more people all around the world? Russian propaganda.

I myself am accused of being a peddler of Russian propaganda many times per day, and have been for years. This despite my hardly ever consuming Russian media, never receiving a penny from Russia, and never having worked for the Russian government or any other government at any time. Russian media have at times chosen of their own initiative to amplify my work since I have a standing invitation for anyone to do so, but I'm literally just an Australian woman writing her opinions online with her American husband. I only qualify as "Russian propaganda" because I disagree with US foreign policy.

Ask anyone who says a criticism of the western empire's Ukraine policy is "Russian propaganda" to name a critic of western Ukraine policy who they don't consider a Russian propagandist. They won't be able to. For them, disagreeing with one's government about Ukraine is itself Russian propaganda.

For empire apologists the measure of what constitutes "Russian propaganda" about Ukraine has nothing to do with whether or not what's being said is true or valid; it's literally just a question of obedience to one's government about the decisions it's been making with regard to that nation. 

If the measure of whether something qualifies as propaganda is defined entirely by whether it agrees with one's government, then that measure is itself propaganda.

That's exactly what's happening with criticism of the west's interventionism in Ukraine. Something doesn't have to come from Russia to be considered Russian propaganda, and its source doesn't need to have any connection to the Russian government. It doesn't even have to be false. All it needs to be is disobedient.

We saw this illustrated this past June when The Guardian published a NATO-backed claim that journalist Aaron Maté was "the most prolific spreader of disinformation" among a "Russia-backed network of Syria conspiracy theorists," despite being incapable of citing a single false thing in Maté's Syria reporting, and despite The Guardian having to hastily edit out their "Russia-backed" claim.

We also saw this illustrated this past June in a University of Calgary briefing paper on "disinformation" about the war in Ukraine which warns about "five primary narratives" being circulated online:

1. Implying NATO expansionism legitimizes the Russian invasion

2. Portraying NATO as an aggressive alliance using Ukraine as a proxy against Russia

3. Promoting a general mistrust in institutions and elites

4. Suggesting that Ukraine is a fascist state or has extensive fascist influences

5. Promoting a specific mistrust of Canada’s Liberal government, and especially of Prime Minister Trudeau

There are arguments of varying strengths to be made for every one of those points, but more importantly it is self-evident that all of them are matters of opinion and none of them meet any sane definition of "disinformation". They also can't in and of themselves rightly be called either "Russian" or "propaganda". 

Russian propaganda certainly exists, and the Russian government certainly has a vested interest in influencing western thought in its strategic favor to whatever extent it is capable. But its capability is very, very limited, especially compared to the exponentially greater influence that western institutions have over our minds.

Russia has a few trolls and some media outlets that were barely viewed by westerners even before they were banned; the US-centralized empire has the billionaire media, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and the education system. Comparing the two is like comparing a candle to the sun, and the sun ain't Russia. But that's the one whose influence over our minds we're meant to worry about.

In reality we are swimming in propaganda that is favorable to the US empire our entire lives; it's so ubiquitous that people don't even notice it. Claiming your support for US foreign policy on an issue has nothing to do with being propagandized is like someone who was raised in the Westboro Baptist Church claiming it was pure coincidence that he happens to agree with the church on the sinfulness of homosexuality. It pervades our minds and shapes our society, but they want us all freaking out about the virtually nonexistent problem of "Russian propaganda". 

This is a thought-killing dynamic, and it is a major problem. It is not good that propaganda is shoved into our minds manufacturing consent for dangerous escalations between the world's two greatest nuclear powers while anyone who opposes any part of it is dismissed as a Russian propagandist or a useful idiot of the Kremlin.

We should be using our minds more at this critical juncture, but these dynamics put in place by imperial narrative managers have instead got us using them a lot less.

Old joke:

A Russian and an American get on a plane in Moscow and get to talking. The Russian says he works for the Kremlin and he's on his way to go learn American propaganda techniques.

"What American propaganda techniques?" asks the American.

"Exactly," the Russian replies.




UN: The Largest Number of Ukrainian Refugees Are Fleeing From “Russian Aggression” … to Russia!

 

UN: The Largest Number of Ukrainian Refugees Are Fleeing From “Russian Aggression” … to Russia!

NEW – August 6, 2022

Theses of Ukrainian propaganda about “Kremlin aggression” and the “genocide of the Ukrainian people” are in danger – the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has reported fresh data about the movement of refugees from Ukraine across Europe. As of August 3 of this year, 6,303,226 refugees from Ukraine were registered in Europe, while from February 24 to August 03 there were 10,350,489 crossings of the Ukrainian border outbound and 4,272,233 crossings inbound.

The distribution by country of departure (top 5) is as follows:

  • Russian Federation – 1,968,127 crossings;
  • Poland – 1,256,568;
  • Germany – 915,000;
  • Czech Republic – 400,559;
  • Italy – 157,309.

Countries neighbouring Ukraine:

Other European countries:

Out of the 6.3 million Ukrainian refugees, about 2 million (every third!) chose the Russian direction. In addition, according to the UN, 105,000 citizens of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics were evacuated to Russia from February 18 to 23, which exceeds the number of refugees in 5 months, for example, to the UK (104,000 people).


Cross-border movement on the Polish-Ukrainian border is also of interest: from February 24 to August 03, there were 5,105,850 departures (with a peak of 140,843 on March 06 and a further sharp decline) and 3,083,783 entries. Since the end of March, the number of returnees (about 35,000) significantly exceeds the number leaving Ukraine via Poland (about 25,000 per day).

As of 03.08.2022, 1,256,568 Ukrainian refugees were registered in Poland, from which 1,138,647 (90%) were children under the age of 18 and women (data for voivodeships, gender and age are below).


elka

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Ollongren's Vriend Betrokken bij Corruptie

 


The Hidden Truth about the War in Ukraine




The Hidden Truth about the War in Ukraine

Jacques Baud is a widely respected geopolitical expert whose publications include many articles and books, including Poutine: Maître du jeu? Gouverner avec les fake news, and L’Affaire Navalny.

https://www.thepostil.com/the-hidden-truth-about-the-war-in-ukraine/?fbclid=IwAR2nIotFCx6D3XxoY4SNidg9x53M6Lr-iJbwJ-9EPffYVRhBVOCrqe3DrRM 




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