Monday, June 12, 2017

Media's Ridiculous, Evidence-Free Claims Against Trump, Putin, Syria, et al...,


unz |  Disinformation and lies have been used to justify the wars on Syria that started in 2011.[1] But lately I’ve been amazed at the extent to which our entire public discourse now rests on disinformation and lies. This is a broader problem, but it also affects the prospects for peace in Syria, one of several places where U.S./NATO activities heighten the risk of nuclear war.[2]

I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed by it all lately, capped (most recently) by the third U.S. attack on Syria. As I put that together with President Trump’s giving the military free rein over “tactics,” it sank in that, with this delegation of authority, war-making power has now devolved from the Congress through the President to the military itself, in areas where not only Syrians but Russians, Iranians and others operate.

In the apparent absence of an organized peace movement, the concentration of so many people on opposing Trump, rather than on opposing U.S. wars, distracts attention from this problem. Otherwise under fire from all directions, Mr. Trump gets approval – across the spectrum – when he does something awful but military, like launching cruise missiles at Syria or dropping that horrific bomb in Afghanistan. Meanwhile his attempt to reset U.S. relations and reduce tension with Russia is being used to lay the groundwork for impeachment and/or charges of treason.

The lies about Syria have of course continued. First, Amnesty International issued “Human Slaughterhouse: Mass Hangings and Extermination at Saydnaya Prison Syria,” claiming that the Syrian government executed between 5,000 and 13,000 people over a five-year period. Then another chemical weapons incident, blamed without evidence on the government, was used as the excuse for a second U.S. attack on Syria. Both of these charges were widely and uncritically reported in the major media, though neither of them is credible.[3]

But the use of disinformation has been expanded in what I now see as an attempt to destabilize the U.S. government itself, to achieve “regime change” at home as it has been practiced in many foreign countries over the last 70 years.[4] It started right after the election with the attacks on General Mike Flynn. And as it has continued, the campaign to demonize Russia and Russian president Vladimir Putin has also intensified.

Bottom line: It seems clear there is no evidence, let alone proof, that computers at the DNC were hacked at all, let alone by Russia, or that Russia tried in any way to “meddle” in the U.S. election. It has thus far made no difference that, soon after the charge of Russian interference in the last election was first made, an organization of intelligence veterans who have the expertise to know pointed out that U.S. intelligence has the capability of presenting hard evidence of any such hacking and had not done so (and, I would add, still hasn’t). Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity stated bluntly: “We have gone through the various claims about hacking. For us, it is child’s play to dismiss them. The email disclosures in question are the result of a leak, not a hack.” They then explained the difference between leaking and hacking.[5]

Counterpunch |  Vladimir Putin and Megyn Kelly had a far more interesting exchange about Syria and sarin gas at the St. Petersburg forum. NBC did not include this in the 11 minutes that aired Sunday, but RT America filmed and posted it to YouTube. In this one, Kelly echoed former UN Ambassador Samantha Power, NPR commentator Scott Simon, and other American politicians  and pundits who have characterized Bashar-al-Assad as “evil.” She noted that even his alleged co-conspirator Donald Trump called Assad an “evil guy,” as he did after the alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian army.
“Our president has said that you’re backing an evil guy there. He said Assad is an evil guy. Do you believe that?”
Putin dismissed the silly question about “evil” with a comic response, then responded that Russia is not defending Assad; it is defending the Syrian state from the fate of Libya, Somalia, and Afghanistan.