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China Strikes Back At US “Human Rights Violations”: Slams PRISM Spying, Droning, Gun Violence, Homelessness And Unemployment | Zero Hedge

China Strikes Back At US “Human Rights Violations”: Slams PRISM Spying, Droning, Gun Violence, Homelessness And Unemployment | Zero Hedge.

Everyone knows that when it comes to abysmal human right records, China is the perpetual whipping boy – in most cases rightfully so – of the US whose own “pristine” record of human rights violations in recent years has also been exposed as mockery, courtesy almost exclusively of one NSA whistleblower. Of course, the US has been far more tacit in how it encroaches on the rights of its own civilians at home, if not so much abroad where US drone strikes have killed and continue to kill countless innocent civilians

Today, China decided to strike back at the US with its own report on US “human rights.” In a nutshell, China launches a full frontal attack on the hypocrisy of the US, saying that “posing as “the world judge of human rights,” the U.S. government “made arbitrary attacks and irresponsible remarks” on the human rights situation in almost 200 countries and regions again in its just-released reports, the report says. “However, the U.S. carefully concealed and avoided mentioning its own human rights problems,” it adds. The report calls the U.S. tapping program, code-named PRISM, which exercises long-term and vast surveillance both at home and abroad, “a blatant violation of international law” and it “seriously infringes on human rights.”

Hard to argue with that.

Full report from Xinhua:

China on Friday responded to the United States criticism and irresponsible remarks of its human rights situation by publishing its own report on the U.S. human rights issues.

The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2013 was released by the Information Office of China’s State Council, or the Cabinet, in response to the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013 issued by the U.S. State Department on Thursday.

China said in the report that there were still serious human rights problems in the U.S in 2013, with the situation in many fields even deteriorating.

Posing as “the world judge of human rights,” the U.S. government “made arbitrary attacks and irresponsible remarks” on the human rights situation in almost 200 countries and regions again in its just-released reports, the report says.

“However, the U.S. carefully concealed and avoided mentioning its own human rights problems,” it adds.

The report calls the U.S. tapping program, code-named PRISM, which exercises long-term and vast surveillance both at home and abroad, “a blatant violation of international law” and it “seriously infringes on human rights.”

The U.S. also faces rampant gun violence, according to the report. “In 2013, 137 people died in 30 mass killings, which caused four or more deaths each, in the U.S..”

The report also cites figures to show that frequent drone strikes by the U.S. in countries including Pakistan and Yemen have caused heavy civilian casualties.

The U.S. has carried out 376 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, causing deaths of up to 926 civilians, according to the report.

“The U.S. still faces grave employment situation with its unemployment rate remained high,” the report says.

Rates of unemployment for the lowest-income families have topped 21 percent. The homeless population in the U.S. kept swelling and it had climbed 16 percent from 2011 to 2013, it added.

“There are also a large amount of child laborers in the agricultural sector in the U.S. and their physical and mental health was seriously harmed,” the report says.

To date, the U.S. remains a country which has not ratified or participated in a series of core UN conventions on human rights, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, according to the report.

Activist Post: Human Rights group calls on World Bank to acknowledge role in the mass killing of one million Indonesians

Activist Post: Human Rights group calls on World Bank to acknowledge role in the mass killing of one million Indonesians.

Activist Post

The Oscar-nominated documentary THE ACT OF KILLING was projected on the World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. Thursday in an action by the East Timor and Indonesian Action Network. The group is calling on the World Bank to acknowledge its role in the 1965 military coup in Indonesia that lead to the massacre of an estimated one million civilians. The World Bank helped prop up the corrupt government of Suharto, the general who lead the coup and ordered the mass killings. The Bank sent the Suharto regime $30 billion in development aid over the course of three decades despite knowing $10 billion had been looted by the government.

“THE ACT OF KILLING powerfully highlights the ongoing impunity within Indonesia for the 1965 mass murders,” said John M. Miller of the East Timor and Indonesian Action Network. “Tonight we highlight the World Bank’s support for the Suharto regime, which knowingly backed his corrupt government while his post-coup body count climbed. We urge the World Bank to acknowledge its role in Suharto’s many crimes and to apologize and provide reparations to the survivors. Institutions like the World Bank must also be held accountable for their financial assistance to the murderers and decades of support as they continued to violate human rights.”

“The World Bank gave $30 billion dollars to a dictator who killed an estimated one million of his own citizens,” said THE ACT OF KILLING filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer. “The murderers spent years profiting off of their heinous crimes with the World Bank and other global financial institutions footing the bill.”

THE ACT OF KILLING, currently Oscar-nominated for Best Documentary feature, has been recognized as one of the best films of 2014. The film has received over 60 awards including Best Documentary from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). While the mass killings of 1965 are an open secret in Indonesia, the government has never acknowledged or apologized for sponsoring the murders. THE ACT OF KILLING, which has been shown in thousands of private screenings and is available free online throughout Indonesia, is empowering victims’ families to demand reparations from the government for the first time.

About East Timor and Indonesian Action Network

The East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) advocates for democracy, justice and human rights for Timor-Leste, West Papua and Indonesia. In 2012, the government of the Democratic Republic Timor-Leste awarded ETAN the Order of Timor (Ordem Timor) for its role in the liberation of the country. More information about ETAN can be found at: http://www.etan.org

About THE ACT OF KILLING

In THE ACT OF KILLING, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer and executive produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog, the filmmakers expose a corrupt regime that celebrates death squad leaders as heroes.

When the Indonesian government was overthrown in 1965, small-time gangster Anwar Congo and his friends went from selling movie tickets on the black market to leading death squads in the mass murder of over a million opponents of the new military dictatorship. Anwar boasts of killing hundreds with his own hands, but he’s enjoyed impunity ever since, and has been celebrated by the Indonesian government as a national hero. When approached to make a film about their role in the genocide, Anwar and his friends eagerly comply—but their idea of being in a movie is not to provide reflective testimony. Instead, they re-create their real-life killings as they dance their way through musical sequences, twist arms in film noir gangster scenes, and gallop across prairies as Western cowboys. Through this filmmaking process, the moral reality of the act of killing begins to haunt Anwar and his friends with varying degrees of acknowledgment, justification and denial. More information about the film can be found at http://actofkilling.com/.

PROOF of Internet Censorship by Security Agencies – Here’s How » The Epoch Times

PROOF of Internet Censorship by Security Agencies – Here’s How » The Epoch Times.

By , https://unseen.is/ | February 9, 2014

Last Updated: February 9, 2014 3:22 pm
(*Shutterstock.com)

(*Shutterstock.com)

We had a real eye opener last week.  Many people had trouble reaching Unseen.is (get your free account today), our new private and secure communications system, but some people had no problems whatsoever.  It’s becoming more popular because the superstrong encryption is built in for ease of use (chatting, email, voice). The servers were all operating normally;  what could cause this problem?  I won’t get overly technical, but I think you’ll find the evidence to be persuasive that we’re now entering a new stage of internet censorship, done a bit differently than you might have expected.

It turns out that three network routers, the devices that sit in the data centers that make up the backbone of the internet, flaked out at the same time and dropped many of the packets some of our users were sending to the Unseen.is servers.  Routers are usually computers that are based on Linux and most of them can be hacked by the big security agencies.  That three of them would have a problem like this isn’t just highly unusual, it’s actually something suspicious and indicates that they were being targeted to degrade our service and make our customers upset.  Here’s a story that came out yesterday (Feb 7th) that talks about this exact subject…the NSA and GCHQ have programs to do precisely this sort of thing and HERE’s the PROOF!  If you ever doubted it, this is how they will censor the web in the future (before they go to full lockdown of the internet).

In China, they just blockade the whole thing, to show people who’s really in charge and it’s up to groups like Falun Gong to break through it to let people in China know the truthor get blamed for a fault in the Great Firewall (when they didn’t do anything).  In the West, they’ll need to be more subtle, the peasants might get restless because they still believe they have human rights.

Based on screen grabs from our computers, it appears they can target certain sites, web pages (we’ve seen this with Before It’s News, but finally here’s the proof), individuals and regions and degrade the performance of the internet to prevent access.  Most people will just assume “the Internet is having a bad day” because they will talk to friends who can still get to a site or story and assume something is wrong with their computer or local connection.  If you can’t see or get something, you might assume it doesn’t exist, like an email you never received.  You don’t miss something you never had.

I call this a “soft” Great Firewall and we’d been warned about this by several former military intelligence people.  The switch can be flipped at any time and to any degree.  To do this you’d need to control or be able to hack your way in to any router on the internet, including those owned by individuals.  You should assume the major national security services all have this capability.  Some services have their own switching gear at critical locations, I’ve known this since 1997, as our ISP at the time pointed out “the NSA room” that was intercepting and duplicating email and web site visit data.  Things have definitely advanced since that time and there is now a Shadow Internet, controlled by these spy services that not only hoovers up data and sends it back to the big data center in the sky.  They now actively degrade the internet to censor it.

First, let’s look at the traceroute, the program we use to see if the internet is behaving or not.  This program sends packets to the final destination, and receives delivery confirmation from every stop along the way.  Doing this, we’ll know how fast it goes, as well as how many packets are lost along the way.  Once you go over about 30% packet loss, we have a hard time connecting to the Unseen.is server in Iceland.

The first thing you’ll notice on line 10 (London) and line 17 (the last router in Iceland) are the large percentage of lost packets.  This degrades the performance getting to the server in Iceland.  Line 17 is the last router you touch at our data center in Iceland, it’s just a few feet away from our servers and you can see the other hops are all behaving normally.  According to our ISP, the only customer that was having problems with their switch was Unseen.is.  That shows targeting of packets based on a web site.

Notice the high percentage of dropped packets at the same time in London, over 40%.

Once our ISP made a fix to the router in Iceland, the next morning, notice what happened to the router in London:

Now, 88% of the packets were being dropped in London!!  Try to get through that!!

Kind of interesting that as soon as one of the routers got repaired that the other one acted up even more?!?  This is definitely a good way to block traffic to a site, just degrade the performance until people can’t get through, but don’t make it a 100% blockage.  It would be a good bet that they also have tools to see exactly who and how many people are getting bounced from a web page or site.

We had another user in the Midwest run a traceroute a couple of hours later (they are on Central Time, we’re on Pacific) to see what was happening from there, as they had problems reaching the site earlier:

That’s a Cable and Wireless switch in Germany dropping 27% of the packets (line 10) and it had been acting a lot worse earlier in the day, this was the screen grab they captured.  We had THREE routers dropping a lot of packets at the same time.  Some other users didn’t have any glitches at all, people in India were not affected, but people in Thailand were affected.

Things are now back to normal today.  The London hop is still a bit high and we’ve notified our ISP about this.  Performance to Iceland is normally quite good, so this is definitely an anomaly.

What does this attack mean for Unseen.is?

First, we’re encouraged about the state of our encryption.  It must be pretty good because it takes a lot of work for a security agency to do a truck roll in Finland to hack into our new product manager’s computer and then to control these routers to degrade the traffic to our web site.  They wouldn’t waste their time on easily broken “military grade” encryption.

The other point is we will need to make a priority of developing our anti-blocking technology.  It’s becoming obvious that the internet in the West is becoming more like China’s every day.   In China, because of the lack of transparency, they have managed to hide a large scale live organ harvesting program.  We certainly don’t want to see anything like that happen anywhere else.  Watch this video:

One thing is for certain — protecting communications and free and open communications are critical for the future of the world.

We’re on the right track with Unseen.  Get your free account at Unseen.is today.

Activist Post: UK War Crimes Exposed

Activist Post: UK War Crimes Exposed.

Stephen Lendman
Activist Post

Britain is complicit in most US wars of aggression. It’s no surprise when new information surfaces. More on it below.

The July 2002 “Downing Street memo” was leaked to The Sunday Times. In May 2005, it was revealed. Its authenticity never was challenged.

Secret Washington/UK collusion was exposed. So-called intelligence claiming justification for war on Iraq was cooked to fit already agreed on policy.

Smoking gun evidence said so. Bush, Tony Blair and their close advisors lied. They falsified evidence for war on Iraq. Nonexistent WMDs were claimed.

Then Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was later asked why fictitious WMDs became a casus belli. “It was the only thing we could all agree on,” he said.

Tony Blair’s so-called 2003 “Dodgy Dossier” included more incriminating evidence. Dr. David Kelly death followed proof he revealed about sexing up the dossier to justify war on Iraq.

Subsequent Hutton report misinformation claimed Kelly committed suicide. He was murdered. Coverup tried to conceal it. Ravaging Iraq continues.

Bush and Blair bear full responsibility. Obama, Gordon Brown and David Cameron share it.

More information is now known. On January 12, London’s Independent headlined “Exclusive: Devastating dossier on ‘abuse’ by UK forces in Iraq goes to International Criminal Court.”

It’s titled “The Responsibility of UK Officials for War Crimes Involving Systematic Detainee Abuse in Iraq from 2003 – 2008.”

“A devastating 250-page dossier” detailed evidence of beatings, burnings, electrocutions, mock executions, sexual assaults, cultural and religious humiliation, as well as threats of rape, death and other forms of torture.

High-level UK officials face potential prosecution for “systematic” war crimes. UK Army head General Peter Wall was named. So were former Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon and former Defense Minister Adam Ingram.

Evidence includes “thousands of allegations of mistreatment amounting to war crimes of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”

Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) and the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) compiled volumes of damning evidence.

It reveals grave war crimes. The Rome Statute’s Article 15 calls for prosecutorial investigations “on the basis of information of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.”

“The Prosecutor shall analyse the seriousness of the information received,” it says.

An investigation will follow if a “reasonable basis” to conduct one is determined. If individuals involved are believed culpable, prosecutors will charge them accordingly.

The Independent reviewed lengthy dossier evidence. It called it “the most detailed ever submitted to the ICC’s Office of the Prosecutor on war crimes allegedly committed by British forces in Iraq.”

In 2006, the Court acknowledged the commission of war crimes, saying:

“There was a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the court had been committed, namely willful killing and inhuman treatment.”

It referred to fewer than 20 cases. Investigations didn’t follow. Hundreds of subsequent claims came to light.

Will UK political and military leaders be held accountable this time? Will or won’t they be prosecuted?

High crimes are indisputable. US officials are guilty of multiple crimes of war, against humanity and genocide.

No one was held accountable. America commits mass murder, torture and other high crimes with impunity.

Torture is official US policy. Guantanamo is the tip of the iceberg. America maintains black sites worldwide. Dozens operate secretly. Numerous US allies host them.

Indefinite detentions, interrogations, torture and other forms of abuse are standard practice.

America is by far the world’s leading human rights abuser. No nation in history matches its ruthlessness.

Israel is a willing partner. So is Britain. Thousands of innocent victims suffer horrifically. Their ordeal continues.

Today’s Iraq alone reflects America’s genocidal legacy. Britain shares guilt.

The Independent called the “sheer scale and seriousness of the (new dossier’s) allegations” reason enough for a full investigation.

A formal complaint said “those who bear the greatest responsibility (for alleged war crimes) include individuals at the highest levels” of Britain’s government and military.

They include prime ministers, top defense officials, and general staff.

Damning evidence “justifies further investigation.” Criminal responsibility “of senior individuals within the UK military and government must be fully examined.”

Top level British commanders and government officials either ordered, “knew or should have known” about horrific crimes of war and against humanity.

Evidence shows “civilian superiors knew or consciously disregarded information at their disposal, which clearly indicated that UK services personnel were committing war crimes in Iraq.”

“(T)he the pattern of abusive treatment by UK services personnel in Iraq continued over almost six years of military operations.”

According to PIL’s Phil Shiner:

I think we easily meet the threshold for these issues to be looked at. I would be gobsmacked and bitterly disappointed if they don’t look at this.

Only a handful of low-level UK forces were prosecuted. One to date was convicted. Corporal Donald Payne was hung out to dry for the crimes of his superiors. He served a year in prison. It was for treating Iraqi civilians inhumanely.

Shiner said no one except Payne was held accountable. The complaint sent ICC prosecutors presents evidence too horrific to ignore.

It includes “systematic use of brutal violence, that at times resulted in the death of detainees, while in the custody of UK Services Personnel.”

It claims “evidence of brutality combined with cruelty and forms of sadism, including sexual abuse, and sexual and religious humiliation.”

It documents horrendous forms of torture and abuse. Nothing was too extreme to avoid. Bringing detainees close to death and back was practiced.

Clear patterns of abuse are undeniable. Mistreatment was systematic, widespread and lawless. ICC prosecutors are under mounting pressure to act.

Setting a precedent is vital. Last October, Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom accused the Court of being “a political instrument targeting Africa and Africans.”

It’s an imperial tool. It targets victims, not Western perpetrators. America, Britain, other NATO partners and Israel were never held accountable. It’s high time that changed.

According to human rights expert Professor William Schabas:

Documented UK war crimes “throw(s) down the challenge to the court to show there are no double standards. There is definitely a case for an investigation…”

“(T)here’s no doubt” about UK forces committing war crimes. Higher-ups “should be worried,” he added.

Law Professor Andrew Williams said the complaint amounts to “a prima facie investigation mapped out for the prosecutor.” It’s “supported by sophisticated legal argument which adheres to (ICC) requirements…”

UK authorities are going all out to block ICC action. Foreign Secretary William Hague lied claiming no need for allegations to be investigated.

ECCHR secretary general Wolfgang Kaleck said:

With the current communication to the ICC, we want to move forward the criminal prosecution against those political and military leaders in the UK who bear the most responsibility for systematic torture in Iraq.

The International Criminal Court in The Hague is the last resort for victims of torture and mistreatment to achieve justice.

Double standards in international criminal justice must end. War crimes and other severe violations of human rights must be investigated and prosecuted, regardless of whether they are committed by the most powerful.

Hundreds of Iraqis testified about monstrous torture and abuse. They revealed damning evidence. Examples documented make painful reading.

Horrific torture and abuse was standard practice. Hundreds of victims bear witness to what happened.

Coverup and denial no longer wash. It remains to be seen whether ICC prosecutors act responsibly. Doing so will be unprecedented.

America commits the same systematic war crimes. Occasionally, low level US soldiers are hung out to dry for their superiors. Professor Stjepan Mestrovic is a regular Progressive Radio News Hour guest.

He documented examples in his book titled The ‘Good Soldier’ On Trial: A Sociological Study of Misconduct by the US Military Pertaining to Operation Iron Triangle, Iraq.

Low level soldiers were unfairly convicted. Responsible higher-ups were absolved.

“(A) crime becomes a ‘war crime,’ said Mestrovic, “when it involved the government, which is to say, when a crime is the result of unlawful social policies and plans.”

Lawful rules of engagement (ROE) killings result from orders in time of war. Unlawful ones are war crimes.

Military commanders and high government officials bear full responsibility. Sociologist Emile Durkheim once observed:

“The immorality of war depends entirely on the leaders who willed it – the soldiers and even those government officials who had no part in the decision remain innocent.”

According to Mestrovic:

In America’s war on terror, “the open secret is that” low level soldiers are blamed. Higher-ups are absolved. The same holds in Britain.

Who are the real criminals in wars of aggression? Who’s guilty? Who’s innocent?

In his opening Nuremberg address, Justice Robert Jackson said:

The common sense of mankind demands that law shall not stop with the punishment of petty crimes by little people.

It must also reach men who possess themselves of great power and make deliberative and concerted use of it to set in motion evils which leave no home in the world untouched.

He called Nuremberg defendants “men of a station and rank which does not soil its own hands with blood.”

These were men who knew how to use lesser folk as tools. We want to reach the planners and designers, the inciters and leaders.

The same standard applies to America and Britain under binding international laws.

America’s Iron Triangle commander illegally ordered the killing of every military-aged Iraqi in sight.

Captured ones were imprisoned and tortured. Four low level US soldiers were wrongfully convicted.

Bogus charges included conspiracy, murder, aggravated assault, and obstruction of justice.

Orders issued were obeyed. Court-martials, imprisonments, fines, and dishonorable discharges would have followed otherwise.

Crimes of war and against humanity were committed. Higher-ups bore full responsibility. Culpability extended to the Pentagon and White House.

Mestrovic documented “hundreds of instances of deceit, chicanery, and dubious behavior on the part of the government” and high level military officials.

Operation Iron Triangle was one of many similar incidents. They occur in all US/UK/NATO/Israeli wars.

They occur in torture prisons. They occur out of sight and mind. Evidence obtained from victims and witnesses are damning.

Accountability is sorely lacking. Torture, abuse, and other crimes of war and against humanity continue daily. They do so out of sight and mind.

Imperial lawlessness operates this way. America bears full responsibility. Britain and other complicit partners share it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book is titled How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/

Activist Post: The U.S. Voted Biggest Threat to World Peace, Right According to Plan

Activist Post: The U.S. Voted Biggest Threat to World Peace, Right According to Plan.

Eric Blair
Activist Post

The United States has just been voted the most significant threat to world peace according to a global survey conducted by Gallup and Worldwide Independent Network at the end of 2013.

Twenty-four percent of those polled in 60 nations said America was the greatest threat, dwarfing Pakistan who came in second with around 8%.

Is this a surprise to anyone given the aggressive action of the U.S. military?  Some would say this “reaction” was predictable, or even a desired outcome.

The powers-that-be don’t have allegiances to nations, they just want control over them. If we understand the globalist agenda to centralize power, America must be destroyed as a super power and brought under the control of a larger governing body like NATO or the UN.

In order for that to occur, America must be viewed as the enemy of peace and human rights around the world. Mission accomplished, apparently. From this growing “reaction” we will see a “solution” presented shortly. In fact, global citizens may demand action against the U.S. if this continues.

Don’t believe me? It’s already happening from American citizens!

In July of last year, a human rights organization in America petitioned the United Nations in a “letter of allegation” to recognize that school closures in Chicago amount to human rights abuses. The group readily admits their intention is to have the U.N. influence U.S. policy.

“We believe that reaching out to the U.N. will draw international attention to this issue and hopefully encourage the United States government to take action,” said University of Chicago law professor Sital Kalantry who penned the letter on behalf of The Midwest Coalition for Human Rights.

We have already seen U.N. treaties that usurp sovereignty from the U.S. like the small arms banoverturning the Second Amendment, or the U.N. drug czar threatening America over marijuana legalization due to a drug war treaty, or the multitude of economic treaties that force choking regulations on small businesses.

Ultimately the examples provided above are small potatoes compared to a global call to oppose or even confront the U.S. military which is conceivably one of the “solutions” to imperial warmaking. Is it still a conspiracy theory to think U.N. Peacekeepers will engage the U.S.?  It can never go that far, right?

Well, anti-America perception is only likely to grow larger and louder. Even anti-war blogs like this one contribute to it merely by publishing America’s crimes against humanity.  In this way, the alternative media is being used by the agenda as an echo chamber for anti-American content. As honest, pro-peace and human rights media, we propagate this agenda whether we want to admit it or not.

Yet, we must remember that the American military has almost always been the tool of a larger power and certainly does not have the consent of the people. Recent polls showed the lowest support on record for any U.S. war in history for the Afghanistan war:

This was also evident when the U.S.’s aggressive posturing toward Syria was smacked down by a loud and angry population.  Hopefully this showed the world where Americans really stand on these military excursions.

Unfortunately most people can’t separate U.S. military action from their perception of “America”. They’ve been conditioned to blame a collective for the actions done under a flag.  The perception of America as a tyrannical state will likely increase (because that’s what it’s actually become) until the world demands, no begs, for some outside “authority” to intervene.

It’s Not “If;” It’s “When” – International Man

It’s Not “If;” It’s “When” – International Man.

By Jeff Thomas

Cicero had it right when he described the Sword of Damocles.

To be the leader of a country is like having a sword constantly dangling over your head from a single horse hair. You never know if or when the sword is going to cause your demise, but you know that the danger is ever-present.

That is just as true today as it was in Cicero’s time, but the modern-day Sword of Damocles hangs over the heads of not just the world’s leaders. It hangs over the heads of the populations as well.

If we rely on the conventional media for our interpretation of world economic and political conditions, we may well be scratching our heads continuously as to what needs to be done to “save” the situation.

Whether the discussion is over the debts of nations, the likelihood of war, or the increase in the loss of rights, the governments of much of the world are heading in a similar direction.

And that direction is not a positive one.

However, the pundits in the media offer a wide variety of solutions for the problems being discussed.

The solution to national debt is either to expand monetisation or to back off on it, depending upon who is speaking at the moment. Whether debt monetisation is the right thing to do in the first place is rarely discussed.

The solution to the Middle East problem is either to arm the rebels or send in the military.

The solution to domestic terrorism is either to build up the power of the various authorities, or to pass more dramatic laws restricting basic freedoms.

And so, we are to be forgiven if we imagine that the solution to such problems lies in whether we choose one destructive approach or another.

Truth be told, the most difficult assessment for us to make is that we should sit very far back from the rhetoric and ask ourselves, “Is a solution even possible at this point, or have the powers-that–be gone past the point of no return?”

Here’s why the problems won’t be solved:

As regards the debt of the most prominent countries of the world, the point of no return has certainly been reached by most.

Historically, once the present level of debt has been reached, no amount of monetisation will save the economy. It may be possible to give the addict yet another injection of heroin to stave off the immediate withdrawal symptoms, but at some point, it becomes necessary to go cold turkey.

It may be a very painful thing to do, but it truly is the only solution. A country cannot reach solvency through increased debt.

However, political leaders are loath to go cold turkey. To do so is to cut the horse hair that holds the sword hanging above their careers. Better to push the situation further into ruin, if it can buy a little more time.

As regards the rapid deterioration into police states that is occurring in so many countries, no amount of discussion by the pundits in the media will reverse the present destruction of basic rights. After all, the decision is not in their hands. It is in the hands of congresses, parliaments, presidents, and prime ministers.

They know that, very soon, the façade of “economic recovery” will come tumbling down, and they have no intention of allowing the populace to have the basic freedom of removing them from power, once the veil has been removed from the lie that a solution is in the works.

Political leaders, whose hold over power is in danger, will always do whatever is necessary to retain that power.

As regards warfare, it is interesting that none of the pundits who discuss the subject in the media ever raise the question, “How can a country that is facing bankruptcy possibly fund a war—traditionally the most expensive undertaking for any country in any era?”

Yet, throughout history, political leaders have often used warfare as a distraction when a government has reached the tipping point economically. As Hermann Goering said,

“The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

The disconnect here seems to be that the populace seems to believe that the governments of the West sincerely hope to avoid war, so the discussion in the media revolves around what can be done to that end.

However, far from seeking peace, the governments of the day consciously seek to create war. After all, a populace that is otherwise unhappy with its government tends to toe the line if the country is at war. Further, the government has a greater ability to silence domestic detractors in time of war.

Thus, the ability to hold power is assured. A state of war is the single most effective tool in silencing dissent in any country.

In considering all of the above, not only as a present-day anomaly, but as a recurrent theme throughout history, any discussion of “if” there will be an economic collapse, “if” there will be an increase in the loss of basic freedoms, “if” there will be a ramping up of warfare, becomes a non-starter. It is a question of “when.”

Of course, in spite of this, there will be those individuals who will say, “I like to be positive. I’m going to hope for the best.”

But, in truth, this is not positive thinking at all. If we see the truth before our eyes and then cover our eyes in order to be positive, we are merely delving into self-deception.

Positive thinking begins with truth. Once we accept what is true, we may then be as positive or as negative as we wish regarding what that truth means to us.

If we are faced with the fact that much of the world is, once again, passing through the classic cycle of economic decline / removal of rights / distraction of war, we can either shut our eyes to that fact and hope for the best, or we can open our eyes and recognise that the one choice left to us is to try to step aside of coming events.

As Benjamin Ola Akande wrote, “Hope is not a strategy.”

If we recognise that the sword of Damocles is indeed hovering above our own heads, we would be unwise to continue to sit below it and ponder whether the horse hair may break.

Instead, we should understand that our very first move should be to put some physical distance between ourselves and the potential harm that unquestionably hangs over us.

Editor’s Note: When you are dealing with a desperate government, it is always better to be proactive than reactive. Internationalization is your ultimate insurance policy. You can find specific guidance from Casey Research on this critically important topic—so that you can take action before it’s too late—by clicking here.

 

Activist Post: 11 Signs of a False Flag

Activist Post: 11 Signs of a False Flag.

Dees Illustration

Brandon Turbeville
Activist Post

Throughout history, versions of the false flag attack have been used successfully by governments in order to direct the force of the people toward whatever end the ruling class may be seeking. At times, that end may be war, or it may be the curtailing of domestic civil liberties and basic human rights. In others, it is an economic agenda.

Indeed, false flags are themselves capable of taking on a wide variety of forms – domestic or foreign, small or large, economic or political, and many other designations that can often blur into one another. Each may serve a specific purpose and each may be adjusted and tailored for that specific purpose as societal conditions require.

For instance, the chemical weapons attack which took place inside Syria in August, 2013 serve as an example of a foreign false flag designed to whip up American fervor for war, on the platform of Responsibility to Protect similar to the Gulf of Tonkin.

Domestically speaking, a large-scale false flag such as 9/11, can be used to whip up both a massive public support for war and a popular willingness to surrender civil liberties, constitutional procedure, and constitutional/human rights. Economic false flags may take the form of manufactured “government shutdowns” or “government defaults” designed to create a demand for austerity or other pro-Wall Street solutions. Lastly, smaller-scale domestic false flags such as Sandy Hook orAurora, often involve the implementation of gun-control measures or a greater police state.

There are, of course, many different versions of false flag attacks and none fit into a tightly crafted classification beyond the generalized term “false flag.” As stated above, some false flags may indeed embrace an element of each of the different versions listed previously both in terms of methodology and purpose.

With that in mind, it is also true that, while massive false flag attacks are always a possibility, it has been the small-scale false flags coming in the form of “shooters” (most often of the “lone gunmen” variety), that have been used most effectively by the ruling class and its mouthpiece media outlets in recent years. While the scale of the attacks have diminished, their frequency has rapidly increased.

However, due to a growing competent alternative media and researching community, as fast as the false flag attacks are launched, a volley of deconstructions of the official narratives are being provided. While many criticisms of the official version of events are wildly incredible, bordering on paranoia and impossibility, there are capable outlets and researchers who are able to expose the false flag for what it is. Indeed, it is for this reason that the false flag has suffered serious setbacks in terms of its effectiveness as of late and why it continues to do so.

Because the false flag attack is designed to instill fear, panic, and a guided response from the general public, it is important to deconstruct the narrative of that attack as it is presented. However, we cannot simply be consumed by attempting to expose and deconstruct every false flag attack that comes our way. We cannot ignore the greater issues, the winnable battles, and the demands we must be making simply to expose each and every false flag. We cannot ignore the forest fire to extinguish the occasional burning bush. The false flag, after all, is only the symptom of the disease.

For that reason, it is important to enable the general public to recognize the false flag itself, not simply the questionable elements of a particular false flag which will soon be overtaken by a new one. We must train both ourselves and the public to recognize the signs of the false flag when it happens and thus render the attack neutral.

The following is a list of some of the most common elements of the false flag attack which should immediately be looked at in the event of some other incident that pulls at the heartstrings and emotions of the general public.

1. High Profile Event: The first question to ask would be “Is this a high profile incident?” The answer, of course, is fairly obvious. If an attack takes place at the World Trade Center complex causing the buildings to explode and collapse, or if it takes place at the White House, or Pentagon, it is clearly high profile. Thus, the location can be factored in. In other circumstances, however, the act itself may be the major factor such as the case in Sandy Hook Elementary School, a nationally unimportant location but a horrific act that made national news nonetheless. The most important factor, of course, is media attention. Regardless of location or the act, if the media picks up the story and runs it simultaneously on all major mainstream channels, the incident can be considered a “high profile event.”

2. Changing Stories: In informed researching circles, it is well-known that the information that comes out shortly after the event is usually the most reliable. This is not to discount the existence of confusion related to panicked reports coming from eyewitnesses and the like. However, the information coming out early on has not yet been subjected to the top-down media revision that will inevitably take place as the story becomes molded to fit the narrative pushed by the individuals who either directed the attack at the higher levels or at least have connections with those who are able to control the manner in which various media outlets report the event.

For instance, in times of false flag attacks, the initial reports may point to 5 gunmen. Very shortly after, reports may only mention two. Only a few hours after the attack, however, all references to more than one gunmen are removed entirely, with only the “lone gunman” story remaining. Any other mention of additional gunmen after this point is ridiculed as “conspiracy theory.”

3. Simultaneous Drills: One hallmark of the false flag operation is the running of drills shortly before or during the actual attack. Many times, these drills will involve the actual sequence of events that takes place during the real life attack . These drills have been present on large scale false flags such as 9/11 as well as smaller scale attacks like the Aurora shooting.

For instance, as Webster Tarpley documents in his book 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made In USA, at least 46 drills were underway in the months leading up to 9/11 and on the morning of the attack. These 46 drills were all directly related to the events which took place on 9/11 in some way or other.[1] Likewise, the 7/7 bombings in London were running drills of exactly the same scenario that was occurring at exactly the same times and locations.

Although one reason may take precedence over the other depending on the nature and purpose of the operation drills are used by false flag operators for at least two reasons. One such purpose is the creation of intentional confusion if the drill is taking place during the actual attack. The other, more effective aspect, however, is using the drill as a cloak to plan the attack or even “go live” when it comes time to launch the event. Even more so, it gives the individuals who are involved in the planning of the event an element of cover, especially with the military/intelligence agency’s tight chain of command structure and need-to-know basis. If a loyal military officer or intelligence agent stumbles upon the planning of the attack, that individual can always be told that what he has witnessed is nothing more than the planning of a training exercise. This deniability continues all the way through to the actual “going live” of the drill. After the completion of the false flag attack, Coincidence Theory is used to explain away the tragic results.[2]

4. Cui Bono? The most important question to ask immediately after any high profile incident is “cui bono?” or “Who benefits?” If one is able to see a clear benefit to any government, corporation, or bank, then the observer becomes capable of seeing through the false flag attack immediately. Many of these questions can be answered by taking a closer look at the behavior of these organizations prior to the attack and shortly thereafter.[3]

For instance, the presence of legislation which would stand little chance of being passed before the attack but which is quickly passed (or at least heavily pushed) afterwards is one clue that the conveniently timed attack was actually a false flag. Patriot Act style legislation was actually written before 9/11 but stood little chance of passing in Congress due to the political climate in the United States at the time. After 9/11, however, the Patriot Act was fast-tracked through both Houses of Congress with virtually no debate and with the blessing of the American people.

Returning to 9/11, it is a fact that a number of individuals who were in positions of power within the US government during the time the attack occurred had desperately wanted to invade several Middle Eastern countries.[4] After the attacks, a war psychosis gripped the ruling class of the United States and the American public followed right along.

After the Underwear Bombing, we saw the rollout of the TSA full-body scanners, a technology which would not have been readily accepted prior to the incident and subsequent propaganda campaign. However, the scanners had been purchased one year earlier by a firm owned by Michael Chertoff, the former head of Homeland Security.

Likewise, in terms of the LAX shooting, TSA purchased 3.5 million dollars worth of ammunition in August. Yet, in August, TSA was not an armed agency. After the LAX shooting, however, talk has turned to arming the agency, thus indicating possible foreknowledge on the part of someone higher up in the governmental structure.

Of course, the same can be said for the explosion of crazed lone-gunman shooting sprees that took place all across the United States amid propaganda pushes for increased gun control measures.

5. Unanswered Questions: Another hallmark of the false flag operation is relatively obvious – the presence of unanswered questions regarding the details of the attack, the perpetrators, the motive and so on. Although the media narrative that takes shape soon after the attack will ignore these questions, they will inevitably remain if observers are able to think for themselves and focus only on the information. An example of such questions would be Building 7 on 9/11 or the questions of additional shooters at Aurora and Sandy Hook.

6. Case is quickly closed: Once an acceptable patsy and cover story is chosen by the media, all other opinions and questions are refused air time. Nothing that even slightly contradicts the official story is acknowledged as legitimate. Once this happens, the patsy, if still alive (in rare circumstances) is charged, prosecuted, and convicted in a largely secret or shadowy proceeding. In most cases, the suspect is killed in the process or shortly after the fact thus negating any first hand contradiction of the official narrative. Either way, the case is closed very soon after the event.

7. Suspects’ Connection to CIA, FBI, or Other Intelligence Agencies: One key aspect suggesting a false flag that should be looked for soon after the attack is any possible connection the suspect or group of suspects may have had with intelligence agencies. A connection to any one of these organizations and institutions may go some length in explaining how the attack was coordinated, the motivation of the perpetrators, the actual involvement (or not) of the suspects, and who actually directed the operation. For instance, on 9/11, many of the alleged hijackers had previously had close contact with the FBI, CIA, and other high-level intelligence agencies (both home and abroad).[5] Likewise, the Tsarnaev brothers who have been accused of masterminding and carrying out the Boston Bombing had ties to the FBI before the attack.

In many instances, connections to certain military agencies and communities should serve as the same red flag as connections to intelligence agencies since these institutions have largely been blended together.

8. Convenient Scapegoat: One clue leading an informed observer to suspect a false flag attack is the existence of the convenient scapegoat. Any false flag operation will have a carefully crafted narrative complete with a group of individuals set up for demonization. The OKC bombing had McVeigh and thus, “right-wing extremists” and “militias.” On 9/11, the group was Muslims. In many of the domestic shooting sprees, the demonization was set for gun owners. With the recent LAX shooting, the “perpetrator” was an “anti-government conspiracy theorist.” In the instance of the false flag, a readily identified pasty will exhibit all or most of the aspects of the group and social demographic set to be demonized.

9. Media Promotes A Narrative Against Scapegoat Groups and/or An Agenda To Take Liberties: One clue suggesting a false flag is that, immediately after the attack and after the perpetrators have been “identified” by “officials” and the media, corporate media outlets begin not only demonizing the demographic group to which the “perpetrator” belongs, but begins promoting “solutions” in order to prevent such an attack from ever happening again. This narrative will always involve the erosion of liberties, the greater implementation of a police state, a specific economic policy, or a march to war.

Simply put, the media promotes the PROBLEM, allows for and guides the REACTION, and then provides the pre-determined SOLUTION.

10. Government Begins to “Take Action” Against the Scapegoat or Moves Along the Lines of the Media Narrative: After a healthy dose of propaganda from mainstream media outlets regurgitating the terror of the attack, the perpetrator, and the police state solutions, the Government then begins to take action. Political speeches are given in order to capitalize on the fear and anger felt by the public and in order to reinforce the idea that government is there to act as protector. Political solutions are then offered as bills, executive orders, or political mandates whether it is the curtailment of the 4th Amendment, gun control, or military strikes on a foreign country.

11. Clues in pop media: Pop media clues, more accurately described as predictive programming, is more easily identified in hindsight. This often involves the portrayal of the very incident occurring in a movie or television show. In other instances, it may involve the conspicuous or even inconspicuous placement of random details of the attack into movies and television. For instance,The Lone Gunman, a short-lived spinoff of the X-Files carried a storyline in which a passenger plane was hijacked via remote control and was being flown into the World Trade Center towers. In The Dark Knight Rises, a very curious reference was made to Sandy Hook with a map of Newtown, Connecticut on the wall.

Conclusion

Although it is extremely important to educate the general public as to the nature and purpose of false flags, education cannot be a goal in and of itself. The public not only needs to know the truth surrounding specific false flag events as they appear, they need to understand the methodology of identifying them on their own and in real time.

Creating a culture in which the general public is able to recognize the false flag attack as it is happening, without the need for a massive push by alternative media sources, researchers, or activists, is the first step in not only rendering the tactic useless, but in corralling the force of the people toward true action or, at the very least, creating a culture in which that force cannot be corralled by the ruling class.

While false flag attacks must be addressed, we must not allow ourselves to be so easily diverted off a path of political action, mass mobilization, and the making of real attainable demands.

Notes:

[1] Tarpley, Webster Griffin. 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made In USA. 5th Edition. Progressive Press. 2011.
[2] Tarpley, Webster Griffin. 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made In USA. 5th Edition. Progressive Press. 2011.
[3] Griffin, David Ray. The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11. Interlink Publishing Group. 1stEdition. 2004.
[4] Griffin, David Ray. The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11. Interlink Publishing Group. 1st Edition. 2004.
[5] Griffin, David Ray. The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions About the Bush Administration and 9/11. Interlink Publishing Group. 1st Edition. 2004.

Recently from Brandon Turbeville:

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 275 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV.  He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com. 

 

Bangladesh opposition protest turns deadly – Central & South Asia – Al Jazeera English

Bangladesh opposition protest turns deadly – Central & South Asia – Al Jazeera English. (source)

Local Dhaka police chief Sirajul Islam put the number of the crowd at the rally at “over 100,000” [Reuters]
At least six people have been killed and more than 100 injured across Bangladesh and more than 100,000 opposition activists rallied in the capital, Dhaka, on Friday to demand that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina quit and order polls under a caretaker government.

Police said the protesters died after officers and border guards opened fire in three towns as the supporters of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its Islamist allies protested across the country, AFP news agency reported.

Two protesters were killed and several others were injured by bullets in the southern resort district of Cox’s Bazaar when border guards opened fire at several thousand supporters of the BNP.

“The border guards opened fire after the BNP activists defied a ban on rallies and attacked the forces,” Cox’s Bazaar district deputy police chief Babul Akter told AFP.

Several television channels reported that three people died in the central district of Chandpur when police and ruling Awami League supporters clashed with opposition supporters.

At least 30 people were injured in the clash in the area, which is 64km east of the capital.

A demonstrator died in the northern town of Jaldhaka after the elite Rapid Action Battalion opened fire at about 10,000 rampaging supporters of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, a key ally of the BNP, area police head Mohammad Moniruzzman told AFP.

The violence also spread to the eastern district of Comilla, where at least 20 people were injured.

Similar clashes were also reported in Bangladesh’s second-largest city, Chittagong, which is in the southeast, and in many other towns across the country.

In Dhaka, opposition supporters allegedly set fire to a car and a bus, but no injuries were reported.

At least 10 homemade bombs were exploded at a premier public university area in Dhaka.

Ruhul Kabir Rizvy Ahmed, a spokesman for the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, said at least 400 opposition supporters were arrested across the country.

Mass protests

The clashes occurred as the BNP and its Islamist allies called nationwide mass protests to force Hasina to resign ahead of the January 2014 elections and set up a technocrat-led caretaker government to oversee the polls.

BNP leader Khaleda Zia addressed a rally of over 100,000 supporters at a national memorial in central Dhaka, renewing her threat to boycott the polls and setting Hasina a new weekend deadline to hold a dialogue on her demand for a caretaker government.

“There will be no election under Hasina. We won’t allow any one-party election. The election must include all parties and be conducted by a neutral caretaker government,” Zia told the crowd, announcing a nationwide strike for Sunday to Tuesday to press her demands.

Bangladeshi politics has long been dominated by a feud between the two dynastic leaders who distrust each other.

Local Dhaka police chief Sirajul Islam put the number of the crowd at the rally at “over 100,000”. Witnesses and BNP officials said the figure was double.

Tensions have been rising in Bangladesh since Hasina’s ruling Awami League (AL) party rejected an October 24 deadline set by the BNP for accepting its demands.

Tight security

Zia, who has twice served as premier, branded the government “illegal” as of Friday, citing a legal provision that requires a neutral caretaker government to be set up three months before elections slated for January 2014.

But the ruling AL abolished the provision in 2011, handing the job of overseeing polls to a reformed Election Commission.

The government has deployed thousands of police and paramilitary border guards in Dhaka, in the port city of Chittagong where the ruling party called a rival rally that was peaceful, and other potential flashpoints.

“We’ve sent BGB (Border Guard Bangladesh) troops to 20 major cities and towns,” BGB director colonel Hafiz Ahsan told AFP.

Police said they fired rubber bullets in half a dozen other towns, leaving scores injured after the supporters of the AL party and the BNP clashed.

While the nation has a long history of political violence, this year has been the deadliest since Bangladesh gained independence in 1971.

At least 150 people have been killed since January after a controversial court began handing down death sentences to Islamist leaders allied to ex-premier Zia.

 

Edward Snowden accuses US of illegal, aggressive campaign | World news | The Guardian

Edward Snowden accuses US of illegal, aggressive campaign | World news | The Guardian.

 

Groups want cap on Nestlé’s water permit during droughts – Politics – CBC News

Groups want cap on Nestlé’s water permit during droughts – Politics – CBC News.

 

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