Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 21, 2018

Facebook Allies With U.S. Regime-Change Orgs For 'Fact Checking' In Foreign Countries

As this outlet concluded yesterday:

Unfortunately the anti-Russian and anti-Trump propaganda campaign has had serious consequences. Censorship in social media increased drastically ...

In consequence of the alleged manipulation of new and opinions during the 2016 election, Congress threatened to regulate social media. It demanded testimony by the owners of social media companies - Facebook, Twitter and Google - about their plans to weed out so called "fake news" distributed through their systems. Instead of defending the freedom of individuals and organizations to publish opinions deviating from the mainstream, the companies promised to increase their censorship capabilities. To avoid to make judgments themselves, they decided to outsource these to 'independent' fact checking organizations. Anything those deem "fake news" will then be censored.

Facebook Inc just gave such powers to two well known U.S. government regime change operators. These will now have the capabilities to censor content in foreign countries:

Facebook Inc on Wednesday said it would team with two U.S. non-profits to slow the global spread of misinformation that could influence elections,
The largest social network, under intense pressure to combat propaganda, said it would work abroad with the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute, created in the 1980s and funded by the U.S. government to promote democratic processes.

The IRI and the NDI are sub-organizations of the infamous National Endowment for Democracy. They "promote democratic processes" to achieve regime change of governments the U.S. dislikes. The NED is an offshoot of the CIA:

The NED was set up in the early 1980s under President Reagan in the wake of all the negative revelations about the CIA in the second half of the 1970s.
Something had to be done. What was done was not to stop doing these awful things. Of course not. What was done was to shift many of these awful things to a new organization, with a nice sounding name – The National Endowment for Democracy. The idea was that the NED would do somewhat overtly what the CIA had been doing covertly for decades, and thus, hopefully, eliminate the stigma associated with CIA covert activities.
Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, declared in 1991: “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

The Trump administration attempted to gut the NED but failed. In its 2019 appropriations Congress increased the "democracy promotion" budget that is used to "regime change" governments the U.S. does not like. The highlights of the bill include:

$2.4 billion for democracy programs, and an additional $170 million for the National Endowment for Democracy. This amount is $91.5 million above the FY2018 enacted level.

The NED, through its sub-organizations, finances and controls local entities that promote regime change.

From Poland's Solidarnosc to the anti-Chinese Tibetan Youth Congress, from the fascist Maidan Coup in Ukraine to regime change attempts in Venezuela - the NED had and has its fingers in each of these destabilization operations:

In a multitude of ways, NED meddles in the internal affairs of numerous foreign countries by supplying funds, technical know-how, training, educational materials, computers, faxes, copiers, automobiles, and so on, to selected political groups, civic organizations, labor unions, dissident movements, student groups, book publishers, newspapers, other media, etc. NED typically refers to the media it supports as “independent” despite the fact that these media are on the US payroll.

In 2015 the Russian government shut down dozens of NED front groups in its country that were trying to subvert its elected institutions. But Russian language content as well as other content presented to Russian users on Facebook, will now be shaped by these organizations.

By giving "fact checking" capabilities to these organizations, Facebook hands a global censorship tool to the U.S. government 'regime change' operatives.

All fact checking organization are already a dubious endeavor. Third-party fact-checking organizations accepted by Facebook Inc for the United States are the Associated Press,, PolitiFact, and the Weekly Standard Fact Check.

PolitiFact once labeled obvious satire, published by the well known satirical Duffel Blog, as "fake news".

Snopes, a for profit fact checking organization, attacked Eva Bartlett for some of her well founded statements about the White Helmets propaganda organizations. In April 2018 Snopes attacked official Russian government assertions that no chemical incident took place in Douma, Syria. Snopes headlined the Russian statements as "Disinformation and Conspiracy Trolling". But the Russians were proven right. The OPCW went to Douma, took samples and found no nerve gas in them. Hospital personal as well as people living in the area were interviewed by several reporters. None of them had noticed a chemical incident. The opposition outlet Syrian Observatory did not report a chemical attack, but said that people died of suffocation after their shelter collapsed. There was no 'chemical incident' in Douma. The "fact checkers" were wrong. Moreover - when the OPCW report came out mainstream media lied about it, claiming that the OPCW found chlorine was used. The OPCW said no such thing. It found some chlorinated chemicals that can be found in any household cleaning agent. Some outlets, like the BBC and Reuters, had to correct their false claims. Snopes did not correct its false claims about the factual Russian assertions.

The Weekly Standard, a neo-conservative outlet edited by Bill Kristol played an important role in promoting war on Iraq, is now accepted by Facebook as fact checker. The Weekly Standard promptly rated a piece by Think Progress which was promoted on Facebook as "false" because of a slightly ambiguous wording in the headline of completely factual and truthful report.

Such "false" or "fake new" ratings by Facebook approved "fact checkers" have serious consequences:


A: First, that content's distribution is reduced. It will appear lower in News Feed, and will be accompanied by Related Articles from fact-checkers. If people try to share the content, they will be notified of the additional reporting. They will also be notified if content they have shared in the past has since been rated by a fact-checker.

Second, in order to more effectively fight false news, we also take action against Pages and domains that share, and domains that repeatedly publish content which is rated “False.” Such Pages and domains will see their distribution reduced as the number of offenses increases. Their ability to monetize and advertise will be removed after repeated offenses. Over time, Pages and domains can restore their distribution and ability to monetize and advertise if they stop sharing false news.

Third, Pages and websites that repeatedly publish or share false news will also lose their ability to register as a news Page on Facebook. If a registered news Page repeatedly shares false news, its news Page registration will be revoked.

Smaller news outlets like Think Progress depend on the traffic they receive through Facebook and other social media. Being falsely labeled as "fake news" outlet threatens their existence.

For foreign countries Facebook engaged with the Agence France Presse (AFP) and local organizations to check the validity of news sources. This is already a dubious choice. AFP tends to promote the French government's view. Its Beirut bureau is, for example, known to have deep relation with Jihadi 'reporters' in 'rebel' held areas of Syria and tends to promote their views. But now Facebook is handing censorship powers over foreign news to the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute, organizations which were founded and are funded by the U.S. to promote regime change of governments the U.S. dislikes. It is obvious that they will mark reports on Facebook that reflect the view of the government of Venezuela as "fake news", while they will promote those 'independent' Venezuelan organizations the NED itself finances.

The fact checking Facebook uses is snake oil. Such fact checking promotes a one sided view on issues and events. At the same time no fact checking is able to prevent well organized influence operations by domestic or foreign organizations. There are for example Facebook groups with thousands of members who use a special application to secretly spread pro-Zionist propaganda in cooperation with the Israeli government:

The campaign, which targeted dozens of prominent international outlets, was organized through Act.IL, a smartphone app and website developed by former Israeli intelligence officers in collaboration with the Israeli government, and with financial backing from conservative American casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson.
Anyone can join Act.IL, and the platform is available on the web and as a smartphone app in the Apple and Google app stores. While it’s unclear how many active users there are, an affiliated Facebook group has more than 3,000 members worldwide. Once logged in to Act.IL, users are presented with a series of active “missions” they can take part in. Users earn participation points that can be redeemed to "get cool prizes,” according to an introductory video.

Act.IL is part of a larger Israel Lobby effort to secretly subvert and influence the content of Facebook and other social media sites.

The best way to avoid such campaigns and censorship of so called social media is to avoid them entirely. One can still get an objective view of the world by looking for original news sources and by applying a skeptical view towards presented "facts". It on us to teach others how to do this.

Posted by b on September 21, 2018 at 11:02 UTC | Permalink


I agree with your last paragraph entirely b. There are a small number of alternative platforms to Facebook, Minds is one example. However once these platforms become monetized they morph into another propaganda arm of the U.S. govt. How to find the expertise and integrity required to create a platform immune from fiscal temptation and govt. bullying and interference is, I believe, one of the great challenges of this internet era.

Posted by: Beibdnn. | Sep 21 2018 11:48 utc | 1

It is long past time for a global boycott of facebook, google, twitter and amazon.

Whilst websites like this one have come to depend on these evil outfits as a valued source of traffic, the bottom line is that that traffic is poisoned by the poisoned chalice of the source. In other words, by using facebook, twitter as a source of traffic et al a website is necessarily supporting their propaganda activities and will necessarily suffer from any censorship they activate against the sites.

There is no easy solution that will not hurt, but I think a boycott is ultimately the ONLY real solution. By alternative media acting together and collectively abandoning facebook et all en masse, whilst at the same time encouraging ALL users of facebook et al to join the boycott, we can hit back and have a financial impact on facebook et al, and also a major image impact. The image of facebook will quickly be adversely affected, mass media in foreign countries (Europe for example) will be forced to take note even if media in the US does not, and more and more people using facebook as a source of news will become disaffected by it. Countries particularly affected such as Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, Venezuela and a multitude of third world countries who will always be susceptible to be hit at any time need to join the boycott at an official level, passing laws against propagandised censorship specifically aimed at facebook et al, and imposing a TOTAL block on ALL transfer of facebook data on the internet in their countries (which has to be specifically linked by law to censorship activities by facebook). I.e. make it impossible to connect to facebook from those countries or open its website.

You cannot "go along" with activities such as facebook et al are taking - you have to fight it head-on. Any response that does not involve a total boycott will necessarily involve "going along" with the company's policies, even if unwillingly.

Posted by: BM | Sep 21 2018 12:17 utc | 2

True that, Beibdnn 1

My best guess is to build something that is a distributed network, not centralised.

Posted by: Domza | Sep 21 2018 12:24 utc | 3

Thanks b.

Not to be left out: FB announced back in late May they were partnering with the Atlantic Council.

Facebook Partners With Hawkish Atlantic Council, a NATO Lobby Group, to “Protect Democracy”

The partnership between Facebook and the Atlantic Council is an attempt to ensure the grip of dominant imperialist powers – militaries, multinationals, banks, and philanthropists – who feel threatened by the unrestricted flow of information and anti-systemic narratives on social media.

Mint Press News link

Posted by: trey | Sep 21 2018 12:47 utc | 4

@Beibdnn: Another approach is to use foreign social media. For example, Russian VK (, which is available in 89 languages. Of course, you have to be smart about it. If you're plotting an overthrow of the current Russian government or you belong to an organization deemed extremist by the Russian government (ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, Hizb ut-Tahrir, OUN, UPA, Pravy Sektor, etc.), then don't use VK, as Russian secret service FSB has access to it. For other purposes it's fine: Western intelligence services don't have access to it, and there's no "hate speech" or "fake news" censorship either.

Posted by: S | Sep 21 2018 12:56 utc | 5

We, all the users of the internet, are sleepwalking into the surveillance/control version of China’s “Social Credit System”, but from the capitalist side of the same coin. We've use our freedom to destroy our freedom. It is "free" to use Facebook... All that intimate, fulsome, personal thought-meat to the back-end AI information crunching systems found at the 5Eyesdata center of the moment. Perhaps 'Facebook' is better named 'Facemeat' now.

Yes, all of us have a de facto internet citizenship profile in some form or another. Combined with the feedback data from the real-world (think transaction data trails, smartphone metadata, USPS/UPS/FedEx activity) one has our "social credit index" value. Layer with predictive analysis over time (check:; and some background here:, and now we can see those going off reservation.

Social media use pattern changes, even excluding content, is a marker of concern for those who care.

Thank you b, for your work.

Posted by: BThePrisoner | Sep 21 2018 13:16 utc | 6

This is not as apocalyptic as you make it seem. Frankly, more Chicken Little. I would note that investigative journalism was not born with Facebook or the Internet generally. Indeed, as you note, the conditions that brought about NED had much to do with such journalism in the 70s. Nay more! The case may be made that it was better before Facebook. Currently so called investigators sit at their desk clicking around and call it research. Frankly, a lot of what passes for journalism is 'he said, she said', gossip pages. Now, an investigator will have to do their work the old fashion way - maybe even go the library (remember those tombs of knowledge) or read public documents. In short, if you want to do social science and history remember what the great historian and historiographic theorist Marc Bloch said : "No documents - No History"! There are no documents on Facebook! So what's all the fuss about?

Posted by: TomV | Sep 21 2018 13:23 utc | 7

Too bad that social media users are the proverbial frog in a facebook pot with increasing temperatures.

It is like asking a heroine junkie not to shoot up the next fuel. The truth is that these organizations/corporations and governments have become the biggest threat to humanity since it came about. And as long as it is not possible to drop what is detrimental to one's well being, that long the descent into extinction will continue.

However, what can be expected from people that vote every whatever many years the same ol', same ol' system? No matter what the excuses might be, the only solution can be:
"Oh, not doing what's good for the collective? Next."
The sheer number of people who have a problem with Bezos being an overlord, but no problem to keep supporting him via his increasing commercial platforms is staggering.

And yes, 'Minds' is different. It's block chain and open source, not proprietary and corporate. Now with 'tokens'. Everybody that still has a fecesbook account is still in bed with Zuckerzwerg. Enjoy...

Posted by: notheonly1 | Sep 21 2018 13:25 utc | 8

Domza | 3:

My best guess is to build something that is a distributed network, not centralised.

There are already several decentralized solutions, and since early 2018 even an official W3C standard some of them have implemented. All it takes is to get people to use them. See:

Posted by: CE | Sep 21 2018 14:04 utc | 9

Think Progress itself is a fake news organization. Wiki: "It is a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund." "Legum founded ThinkProgress in 2005,[2] running it for two years before leaving in 2007 to join Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign as research director." "The president and chief executive officer of CAP is Neera Tanden, who worked for the Obama and Clinton administrations and for Hillary Clinton's campaigns.[3] The first president and CEO was John Podesta, who has served as White House Chief of Staff to U.S. President Bill Clinton and as the chairman of the 2016 presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.[4] Podesta remained with the organization as chairman of the board until he joined the Obama White House staff in December 2013. Tom Daschle is the current chairman.[5"

Get the picture? Think Progress is an arm of the Democratic Party.

Posted by: stronginva | Sep 21 2018 14:23 utc | 10

Those countries with the largest-scale vested interest in terminating Fake News - Russia and China - should cooperate to construct an independent, open-source, multi-language, CIA/USA-immune social networking alternative to the USA behemmoths facebook, twitter, youtube etc. It should have integrated reasonable and well-regulated (by charter with transparent policies) security service access to prevent misuse by terrorists, regime-change NGOs, drug traffickers, money-launderers and US/UK spies, guaranteed independence privacy and free speech over and above just cause, and a transparent conflict-resolution mechanism for unforseen eventualities.

This should be offered as a service to Mankind, and I firmly believe doing so would result in manifold dividends to Russia and China in terms of providing alternatives to Western MSM, freedom from propaganda, freedom from control by the Western elites, and resulting goodwill from the global populace. It ought to be welcomed by people in the West struggling to free themselves from oppression by the "1%".

Posted by: BM | Sep 21 2018 14:28 utc | 11

who will fact check the fact checkers?

Posted by: mpn | Sep 21 2018 14:30 utc | 12

Posted by: BM | Sep 21, 2018 8:17:38 AM | 2

If alternative media cooperate NOW in collectively rejecting and boycotting Facebook, they can impose a cost on Facebook of its policies. By contrast, if each alternative media outlet individually continues relying on Facebook for traffic - until, one by one, they get locked out by Facebook's amoral and dishonest activities - they will be left with no recourse when that time comes.

Posted by: BM | Sep 21 2018 14:38 utc | 13

My guess is that behind google, amazon, facebook and tesla sits the CIA.

Posted by: dh-mtl | Sep 21 2018 14:39 utc | 14

who will fact check the fact checkers?
Posted by: mpn | Sep 21, 2018 10:30:30 AM | 12

The 3-letter agencies. The 3-letter agencies covertly cause to publish fake news in the media to assert their message; then the Facebook-appointed factcheckers check the facts according to 3-letter agency criteria; then the 3-letter agencies review the results as "independent" and "verified" news, which can be used as intelligence input for more fake news. Rinse and repeat. It is very simple: an "Intelligence laundering technique" - exactly the same as Russiagate itself which was also created as an intelligence laundering technique (FusionGPS create opposition research for Clinton, feed it covertly to FBI, FBI leak covertly to the media who publish "from trusted sources", FBI review the thus-published fake news as "independent" verification of the Steel Dossier and use it as evidence for FISA surveillance, use FISA surveillance to illegally gain information on the Trump campaign/President Trump, feed that information back to FusionGPS, who then rinse and repeat - information laundering or intelligence laundering).

Posted by: BM | Sep 21 2018 14:53 utc | 15

I sure wish we had the opportunity to compare what is going on in the West with the China scenario for social governance. Maybe then we could discuss if we want to go the Confuscian or slave route.

People that don't understand that TV is a one way propaganda tool will continue to find "social value" in the fake community that profit motivated social media provides.....just another form of faith breathers not taking full responsibility for their lives

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 21 2018 14:57 utc | 16

Gafa, sometimes Gafam, to refer to large ‘internet’ cos. is an F acronym. Google-apple-facebook-amazon-/microsoft.

Not similar on the surface, ex. amazon is but a sleazy commercial middle-man, apple’s ++ revenues comes from producing phones, etc.

Yet, they share several characteristics.

— pay no taxes (or negligible) through various ‘allowed’ dodges, wink-winks.

— grew rapidly and became quasi-monopolies and never faced anti-trust challenges. don’t compete amongst themselves (ersatz exceptions.) are active internationally massively yet can’t be challenged by countries outside the US.

— were hailed as fantastic tech. innovations for ‘freedom’ lovers, boosting individual choice and *power*, buy the groovy thingie when you want, read your tailored news, etc.

They are Para-State Orgs. and represent one of the main defining characteristics of fascism, a joining of State + Corp. power. They have partial, moving to total control, in various fields: information (goog, news, info, MSM), joe-6 self display and communication (facebook), e-mail content, etc. Thus censorship, surveillance, cutting off, social death for groups, etc. are within their remit and they love it.

Corps in the US have always bought their pols (ex. big oil, big tobacco, MIC, banking for Obama for ex.) but today things have gone 20 steps further in that the competition is to buy and control…everyone!

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 21 2018 15:20 utc | 17

@BM: What an apt term, "intelligence laundering". Perfect!

Posted by: S | Sep 21 2018 15:31 utc | 18

Slightly off topic and admittedly a bit of a venting, but while tuning in to NPR radio here in the States this morning I was aghast at the shameless lying coming across the airwaves. The interviewee was one Salman Sheik, a smooth talking snake oil salesman with an English accent promoting some tripe he called a constitutional committee for Syria through which some yet to be named stooges are to be given "a voice" in the restructuring of the war torn nation. Of course the USA would be guiding this noble project. The gall of these people! After sending wave after wave of extremist mercenaries armed to the teeth these saboteurs now don the robes of noble cause and pretend to help fix that which they attempted to destroy. Who out there is buying this crap?!
A casual passerby might have been shocked to see a grown man shouting 'f*ck you' repeatedly at the dashboard of his car, but it was all I could do in the face of such blatant lying. I suppose it does in some way tie into the above topic insofar as it relates to gatekeeping and narrative domination. Mr and Salman and his Salman Group need to be exposed for what they are in an off-Guardian kind of way.

Posted by: Chevrus | Sep 21 2018 15:32 utc | 19

Just out of curiosity -- how many readers/commenters here are familiar with I F Stone and his investigative journalism?

Here's the available archive URL --

<> <> <> <>

I was trying to recall how and when I'd learned about IF Stone, and I think it was either when I was in college or my last year of high school -- and I'm not sure how I was exposed to his work.

Bio, etc. --

Posted by: jawbone | Sep 21 2018 16:14 utc | 20

Snopes... I was recently pointed there, to the article that Hillary Rodham Clinton was not "unethical" and "conspiring" during the Watergate scandal.

Carefully reading Snopes was rather entertaining.
They seems to debunk the claim (made by who knows who) that HRC was officially fired from the impeachment committee - but that claim was already doubtful and directly contradicted the "conspiracy theory" Snopes sought to debunk.

On the contrary, most other claims about HRC participation were mostly substantiated by Snopes - but in that exact NYT fashion MoA wrote about: deny some HRC claim because of this and that reason in he beginning of the article, then much later show that this and that reason were false, in the bottom of the article.

They are fact checkers as in checker-board.

Posted by: Arioch | Sep 21 2018 16:21 utc | 21

The great Ramparts Magazine from the 1960s was under extensive surveillance by US security agencies and considered a tool of foreign powers for publishing the truth.

It all comes down to information management. The biggest fake news of this century was Iraqi WMD, heavily promoted by all US establishment organ grinders. If Facebook wants to play the Wurlitzer then that's their problem. The discrediting of this dubious outfit, along with Google and the rest of them, is long overdue.

Posted by: jayc | Sep 21 2018 16:27 utc | 22

Amazing: Watch @CODEPINK activist @MedeaBenjamin interrupt a US official at an anti-Iran event a rightwing think tank

Meanwhile the psychopath talkers sit down with a smirk, not to mention the apparently more dumber crowd that do NOTHING when a 60+ year old woman talk AGAINST WAR while she is violently carried away!

Posted by: Zanon | Sep 21 2018 16:28 utc | 23

emphasizing BM comment at 15 (thank you, BM and B):

Russiagate itself which was also created as an intelligence laundering technique (FusionGPS create opposition research for Clinton, feed it covertly to FBI, FBI leak covertly to the media who publish "from trusted sources", FBI review the thus-published fake news as "independent" verification of the Steel Dossier and use it as evidence for FISA surveillance, use FISA surveillance to illegally gain information on the Trump campaign/President Trump, feed that information back to FusionGPS, who then rinse and repeat - information laundering or intelligence laundering).

This is an excellent brief review of the Russiagate Hoax, attended by the Mueller investigation. And agreed "intelligence laundering" as an excellent phrase = right on.

Posted by: Sid2 | Sep 21 2018 16:36 utc | 24

OT but relevant overall: note this excellent commentary (30 minutes) by Richard Wolff on parallels between now and 1929 into the Depression years plus his emphasis on the need for economic democracy to join political democracy:

Posted by: Sid2 | Sep 21 2018 16:39 utc | 25

One aspect of the overall problem related to combatting the Manufacture of Consent is the ubiquity of "smart phone" social media use by youth well before they are taught--if they're lucky--how to think and reason critically. Long ago, dating back to the arguments over curricula at the advent of mandatory public education after WW1, the need for the public to think and reason critically was recognized but was never properly implemented in schools on a national basis within the USA, and is recognized as one of the major failings of curricula content within the USA. But as we've seen, efforts to rectify this longstanding deficiency are stymied by federal education requirements--test results--to obtain critical funding thanks to states not properly financing public schools. I can teach students to think and reason critically, but that takes time in the classroom; but that time often gets lost because of the emphasis administrators place on generating high test results to qualify for essential funding. The outcome results in having a public incapable of having the proper tools to self-govern--which is what publics are supposed to do in Republics with democratic institutions.

My point is concentrating on the problem of censorship misses the main point of why it's so dangerous--a public incapable of thinking and reasoning critically must have reliable, unbiased sources of information on which to make decisions. If the information's skewed, then the decision made will likely be incorrect, even deadly. Over the centuries, great thinkers from numerous nations and cultures have remarked on the absolute requirement of the public to be critically informed so it can make proper decisions related to its self-governance. In the USA, this was the main argument for establishing public education in the 1820s, which built on arguments made by Franklin, Jefferson, and others decades before. That government at any level within the Outlaw US Empire engages in censorship or the deliberate falsification of information makes a mockery of the First Amendment and is probably unconstitutional--even classifying things as secret is probably unconstitutional when a strict interpretation's utilized. Of course, the federal government has no legal right to undermine any other national government as it violates the UN Charter and thus the US Constitution. So, why do such institutions exist at all? To promote our security? Bologna! They exist to control us and render us incapable of self-governing--all of which is blatantly unconstitutional.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 21 2018 16:41 utc | 26

From original MoA article:

The NED, through its sub-organizations, finances and controls local entities that promote regime change.

From Poland's Solidarnosc to the anti-Chinese Tibetan Youth Congress, from the fascist Maidan Coup in Ukraine to regime change attempts in Venezuela - the NED had and has its fingers in each of these destabilization operations:

In a multitude of ways, NED meddles in the internal affairs of numerous foreign countries by supplying funds, technical know-how, training, educational materials, computers, faxes, copiers, automobiles, and so on, to selected political groups, civic organizations, labor unions, dissident movements, student groups, book publishers, newspapers, other media, etc. NED typically refers to the media it supports as “independent” despite the fact that these media are on the US payroll.

In 2015 the Russian government shut down dozens of NED front groups in its country that were trying to subvert its elected institutions. But Russian language content as well as other content presented to Russian users on Facebook, will now be shaped by these organizations.

Well, it seems Mossad here needs no stinkin NEDs, they just help for a local alt-right (in reality a nazi party with connections to the German and US similar stay-behind outlets (Golden Dawn) party and they just burge in there with their diplomatic sacks full of dollahs. Yeah, that was going on since 2013. Now, how they "train" them: "Maritime Security". People from the armed forces and polie forces, receiving unnofficial leaves for out of state training, ussualy in some local maritime tycoon (registered shipping company) front organization supposedly they are goi ng to training and unnoficially some small tour around sea routes laden with pirate activity.

Personal oppinion is that these would be used as pseudo pro-Russian groups in order to create some undesired activity to Greek and Russian states thus paint the Russians in a bad light. It didn't work because everybody saw through this. However we still have the Russian diplomatic stuff that were expelled for no obvious reasons. It still of no public knowledge what exactly they allegedly did.

Mossad would not be dettered though, they are poised to create something. recently there was an antifascist rally for the death of a known anti-fscists activist, the 5th year it isbeing held, with a new twist, the ferensic assesment from a British private Ferensic Team of ...Architects, (yeah) presented to the public said that local police special units already in the area at the time of the attack were deliberately delaying to intervene although had been called to act in time while victim was still alive. What the current gov did (which i want to believe they deliberately acted) Is they sended a camera through the Antifascist rally, showing prepartions live for everyone to watch nationwide, showing people and faces, what was discovered to everyone's amazement was a lot of young people with shaved heads inside the Antiffa rally...
Major escalation and hostilities between Antifa and Golden Dawn in Athens was thus averted before a few days.

Posted by: Greece | Sep 21 2018 16:46 utc | 27

thanks b...

"NED typically refers to the media it supports as “independent” despite the fact that these media are on the US payroll." fb, twitter, and google are also on the usa payroll, lol.. the world is not beholden to the internet in spite of our use of it..

@15 BM - good post and i agree!

Posted by: james | Sep 21 2018 16:53 utc | 28

@BM #11

.....Russia and China - should cooperate to construct an independent, open-source, multi-language, CIA/USA-immune social networking alternative to the USA behemmoths facebook, twitter, youtube etc.....

which is already being shadow-banned in USA, UK, etc

remember the recent "Net Neutrality" policy removed. What does it mean? It means that you can with comfort view good videos and news from YouTube, Facebook and other branches of MSM oligopoly.

However as soon as you would try to deviate to some RusoChinaTube your USA-based Internet Provider throttles down your connection to the 1980-s speed. Then 80% of internet surfers decide "Russian savages can not even make descent video platform, screw them, we go back to those who deliver working product". And 20% would say "So sad out government are blocking RusoChinaTube! But we can not help it, so we would go back to YouTube where we at least can watch cute kitties".

Just try to download some bittorrent video through i2p network.
Actually, there is no need to invent something de-centralized and uncensorable - it long since exists and runs.
But just try, see the speed, and come back to our YouTubian dark side.

It will not work, no matter how much China and Russia would invest into it.
USA government already enacted shadowbannign of their services.

Posted by: Arioch | Sep 21 2018 16:54 utc | 29

U remember Stone's weekly well. In the early 60s it was the best way to keep abreast of what the USA was doing.
In fact we had a subscription to the weekly at University.
Stone was a veteran journalist, who worked for PM, among others, the short lived independent daily in NYCity. I believe he was a Communist. People should recall that the Communist papers were just about the only ones that exposed what the US was doing in Korea, Vietnam and elsewhere. The Australian Wilfred Burchett was another great name, particularly on Vietnam.
The truth needs only a tiny pinhole in the media cloak of lies to start enlightening people. Like this blog IF Stone relied for the most part on public documents and open information to analyse the background to events. \
Thanks for the link, I am in a rush...

Posted by: bevin | Sep 21 2018 16:54 utc | 30

jawbone @20--

Yes, IF Stone remains a priceless font even today. Have you heard of George Seldes? He was Stone's predecessor. This website dedicated to him doesn't provide nearly enough information, but it's a start. The Quotes page provides a few gems like this one:

"One of the biggest pieces of bunkum shoved down the American throat was the story of the 1929 Italian election. For this I cannot blame my colleagues.

"Forbidden to write anything critical of the Fascist regime, they could only report what the hierarchy wanted them to report. The clever and honest American and British journalists, however, did insinuate startling facts in their stories; these insinuations, unfortunately, were between the lines and not for those who read as they run, and the American public is mostly a running reading public. [My Emphasis]

"--Can These Things Be! (1931)"

I highly suggest reading his first major book, You Can't Print That!: The Truth behind the News, 1918-1928. You can find a used first edition for under $10, but not from Amazon, which is part of the Censorship Machine.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 21 2018 16:58 utc | 31

The button pushers in the Deep State (Atlantic Council, CIA, Wall Street) have been frustrated by the free flowing of ideas and opinions in the internet and the MSM is also frustrated at having been dethroned by the internet.
I have expected their operation to acquire control of major narratives in the internet to control the public which the Russophobia campaign set the stage to begin.
I have to hand it to the CIA that set a trap for the democrats (the republicans are mostly already trapped) to align in support of massive spending on the MIC and demented warmongering. The US antiwar movement is barely on life support.
All the major US hi-tech companies in the social media arena were from their beginnings tied into a branch of the US security state so the clampdown should not surprise.
This is phase 2 of the roll out of Cold War v2 which doesn’t look to be as cold as v1.
They are marching and preparing the American people for the next big war.
With the control they have how do we expect to stop them?

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Sep 21 2018 17:24 utc | 32

@ Chevrus 19

I had exactly the same reaction to that NPR broadcast, except that it was 5 a.m. or so and I was shouting from my bed.

The idea that "they" will set up an international committee to draw up a new constitution and a different government for Syria -- and that "they" will even allow a few Syrians to participate -- was so unbelievably arrogant that I too was shouting at my radio, "Syria is a sovereign nation! Syria has an internationally recognized government! What gives anyone the right to change Syria's constitution or government!" etc . . .

This world is being run by psychopaths.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Sep 21 2018 17:29 utc | 33

Must read article by Stephen F Cohen about Putin:
Who Putin Is Not
Falsely demonizing Russia’s leader has made the new Cold War even more dangerous.
By Stephen F. Cohen
> “Putin is an evil man, and he is intent on evil deeds.”
> —Senator John McCain
> “[Putin] was a KGB agent. By definition, he doesn’t have a soul.”
> “If this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the 1930s.”
> —2016 Democratic Presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton

> By 2006, a Wall Street Journal editor, expressing the establishment’s revised opinion, declared it “time we start thinking of Vladimir Putin’s Russia as an enemy of the United States.”

Posted by: mauisurfer | Sep 21 2018 17:48 utc | 34

Chomsky made this observation yesterday, although it's not new verbiage from him:

"It is only in folk tales, children's stories, and the journals of intellectual opinion that power is used wisely and well to destroy evil. The real world teaches very different lessons, and it takes willful and dedicated ignorance to fail to perceive them."

I linked to this John Pilger essay yesterday and add it again given its relevance to the topic.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 21 2018 17:52 utc | 35

Add to 35--

Yet another example that censorship isn't the only issue when it comes to trying to become informed.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 21 2018 17:56 utc | 36

jawbome @ 20: Thanks for the link, priceless..

karlof1 @ 26: good post. The I-phone phenomenon is, without a doubt, an inhibitor to informed and critical thinking.

By design, I'm afraid...

Posted by: ben | Sep 21 2018 18:48 utc | 37

".......But the Russians were proven right......."

That's misleading at best. According to the July 6, 2018 report from OPCW:

".......The FFM team visited Locations 2 and 4, where it observed the presence of an industrial gas cylinder on a top floor patio at Location 2, and the presence of a similar cylinder lying on the bed of a top floor apartment at Location 4. Close to the location of each cylinder there were crater-like openings in the respective reinforced concrete roofs. Work is ongoing to assess the association of these cylinders with the incident, the relative damage to the cylinders and the roofs, and how the cylinders arrived at their respective locations......."

Which means that the investigation is ongoing. I have not seen a release yet on the findings of the OPCW in "locations 2 and 4". Bellingcat and the New York Times concluded that Chlorine was used. A UN Human Rights investigation concluded that Assad was responsible for two Chlorine attacks in Douma and one in Idlib (REuters: U.N. war crimes team documents further Syrian govt. use of banned...

"........GENEVA, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Syrian government forces fired chlorine, a banned chemical weapon, on a rebel-held Damascus suburb and on Idlib province this year, in attacks that constitute war crimes, United Nations human rights investigators said on Wednesday.

The three incidents bring to 39 the number of chemical attacks which the Commission of Inquiry on Syria has documented since 2013, including 33 attributed to the government, a U.N. official told Reuters. The perpetrators of the remaining six have not been sufficiently identified.


“To recapture eastern Ghouta in April, government forces launched numerous indiscriminate attacks in densely populated civilian areas, which included the use of chemical weapons,” it said, referring to incidents on Jan. 22 and Feb. 1 in a residential area of Douma, eastern Ghouta, outside the capital.

Women and children were injured in the attacks, suffering respiratory distress and requiring oxygen, it added.

“The Commission concludes that, on these two occasions, government forces and or affiliated militias committed the war crimes of using prohibited weapons and launching indiscriminate attacks in civilian-populated areas in eastern Ghouta,” it said.

A surface-to-surface, improvised rocket-assisted munition had been used in the two Douma incidents, it said. “Specifically the munitions documented were built around industrially-produced Iranian artillery rockets known to have been supplied to forces commanded by the (Syrian) government,” the report added.

In the northwest province of Idlib - where the United Nations fears a major imminent assault by Syrian and Russian forces against the last rebel-held stronghold - chlorine was also used on February 4, the U.N. report said.

“Government helicopters dropped at least two barrels carrying chlorine payloads in the Taleel area of Saraqeb,” it said, adding that at least 11 men were injured.

“Documentary and material evidence analysed by the Commission confirmed the presence of helicopters in the area and the use of two yellow gas cylinders”........."

So the predictions of a chemical attack by the Russian government was true - only it was Assad that delivered Chlorine to Idlib! What a shock that on 33 of 39 incidents of the use of chemical weapons, the Assad regime was fingered. 

Posted by: craigsummers | Sep 21 2018 18:57 utc | 38

What a shock that on 33 of 39 incidents of the use of chemical weapons, the Assad regime was fingered.

What is shocking is that "the Assad regime" (meaning: Syria) was judged innocent on six occasions!

Posted by: Guerrero | Sep 21 2018 19:19 utc | 39

There's censorship, and then there's Propaganda. Given that the latter's always Fake News, it's more insidious; yet, few suffer consequences for producing it, likely because they lack any moral compass. Sharmine Narwani confronts a notorious propagandist, rightly calling her an accomplice to many crimes.

Propagandists posing as Journalists need to be confronted daily/hourly for their deeds as they're most always deadly. And that goes for Trolls too.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 21 2018 20:35 utc | 40

The Associated Press was mentioned in passing, but I think it deserves further dishonorable mention.

The AP publishes a lot of infoganda. Among other things, it uses the classic disinformation technique of slipping falsehoods-- I call 'em "pernicious factoids"-- into their infoganda reports.

Sometimes, as with their Syria stories, they simply blithely and uncritically pass on allegations from proven compromised and dubious sources like the White Helmets and Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

And often their stenographers simply repeat official allegations as if they are straightforwardly factual. For instance, in a recent article-- "Putin: Suspects in Britain poisoning are innocent civilians"-- the sentence "The Skripals’ poisoning by the deadly nerve agent Novichok on March 4..." jumps out.

The "deadly nerve agent Novichok" is pure spin from the UK authorities who are either in on the scam or inclined to promote it because it serves their (Russophobic) agenda.

I reluctantly provide a link to the article because, as I re-read it while composing this comment, I was reminded of the way the article also conspicuously portrays Putin as devious, sinister, and slippery. It amounts to "guilt by Associated Press".

Unfortunately, despite their preposterous pretense of serving as Guardians of Truth, I believe that these nefarious social-media titans will thrive as long as people feel the compulsion to share photos of puppies, kittens, and new grandchildren on the Internet.

Posted by: Ort | Sep 21 2018 20:37 utc | 41

Facebook was given funding by Accel Partners. The managing partner of ACCEL is James W Breyer.

James W. Breyer is an American venture capitalist, founder and CEO of Breyer Capital, an investment and venture philanthropy firm, and a partner at Accel Partners, a venture capital firm. Breyer has invested in over 40 companies that have gone public or completed a merger, with some of these investments, including Facebook, earning over 100 times cost and many others over 25 times cost. On the Forbes 2016 list of the world's billionaires, he was ranked #722 with a net worth of US$2.4 billion.More at Wikipedia
James W. Breyer, Jul1961 (age 56), New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
Woodside, California, U.S.
Stanford University (BS), Harvard University (MBA)

James Breyer worked with Gilman Louie.

Gilman Louie is a technology venture capitalist who got his start as a video game designer and then ran the CIA venture capital fund In-Q-Tel. He graduated in 1983 from San Francisco State University. He attended the Advanced Management Program while at Harvard Business School in 1997.More at Wikipedia
1960 (age 57–58)
Venture capitalist, former video game designer
Known for:
Founding Spectrum Holobyte, In-Q-Tel

In-Q-TEL is a non-profit venture capital firm run by the Central Intelligence Agency to

invest in tech companies to provide the Central Intelligence Agency with the latest in information technology in support of United States Intelligence capability.

Operation Mockingbird was a CIA operation dedicated to controlling the media.

The CIA says they did that for a while and then gave it up. They say it's a "conspiracy theory" now.

Reagan eliminated "The Fairness Doctrine".

Clinton consolidated Media ownership.

"Preemptive War" is the Bush Doctrine.

Propaganda was legalized by the Obama admin.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Sep 21 2018 20:56 utc | 42

Ort @41--

Thanks for providing an example from All Propaganda as I call AP. Your final clause is also important since one doesn't need a social media platform to share photos, etc., online as that's what email's for.

Another example of censorship is when overly aggressive moderators remove textual citations woven into the narrative to make a point that then renders the entire comment incoherent by removing evidence supporting the premises, thus wasting the time and effort of the commentator. No, that didn't happen here. I won't name the offending site, but I will link to the article whose evidence I was prevented from providing--Korybko's latest take on the IL-20 shootdown, which is rather damning from a Russian perspective.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 21 2018 21:08 utc | 43

To Follow: Trump Admin is apparently charged with the task of censoring unfriendly information, to wit:

anti-war, anti-capitalist, anti-chemtrail, anti-flouride, anti-vaccine, anti-poison, anti-cancer, anti-nuke, pro-labor, pro civil rights, pro privacy rights, pro-environment, free speech, free assembly, off-grid living, small farming, rain water collecting, and etc.

It is a natural extension of the work accomplished by past administrations on behalf of the CIA to stifle any and all dissent.

Go Mickey Mouse and the USA! Plus more and more boms on defenseless brown people overseas and more deportation and prison time for browns at home.

And remember...It's your patriotic duty to rat out your neighbor. If you see something - say something.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Sep 21 2018 21:14 utc | 44

Ort @ 41: That AP article you linked to uses a very common tactic favoured by The Guardian of repeating previous poisoning incidents blamed on Russia. Notice that at the end, the AP article had to mention the 2006 Litvinenko poisoning. This is to repeat the propaganda over and over again until it becomes a permanent part of the reader's mental landscape.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 21 2018 21:59 utc | 45

'...Their ability to monetize and advertise will be removed after repeated offenses. ...'

This is why these social media platforms will die. Actually killing business, forced self censorship, developing an echo chamber that might appear varied but is in fact part of the singular narrative... these are not the hallmarks of a healthy market, and probably have more resemblance to a creeping fascist.

Freedom of expression, maybe, if fits the spectrum of accepted expression.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Sep 21 2018 22:51 utc | 46


I find all this hilarious, like prison inmates chattering that the bulls took away their pencils and signal mirrors. It all derives from the *false* believe that you can jabber away on a private, for-profit, open site, when all you are is a monetized tower of babble for the billionaire owners of these empty spaces.

And this all goes back to the charade the US or EU are 'democracies' when in fact, it's no different from a Catholic or a Caliphate, a supra-elite that bleed out the provinces and states and now have ladders up 100% of GDP in onerous, odious 'debt' on our progeny.

They are a delusion of The Commons, a total waste of clik-strokes, nothing more than shuffle-board on the Titanic. There is no White Knight, and Jesus is not coming back. You are owned.

Posted by: Anton Worter | Sep 22 2018 0:17 utc | 47

karlof1 | 43; Jen | 45

Thanks for the Korybko article and the analysis.

The incessant repetition of Big Lies, and the Little Big Lies that reinforce them, seems to be the common denominator in the various venues of top-down propaganda: mass-media journalism and government officials (civilian, military, security, political) aren't required to produce compelling evidence, exhibit professional integrity, or otherwise back up their positions.

Instead, there is simply the endless reiteration of the false claims and specious arguments. Yes, it's a technique for "installing" a false reality by implanting it directly into the subconscious of complacent, unwary readers.

I suppose that the legacy "wire service" news organizations are especially useful for promoting propaganda because naïve readers assume they're just cut-and-dried factual texts written for informational purposes-- discrete "bulletins" without an editorial slant or agenda. It's insidious.

Posted by: Ort | Sep 22 2018 0:51 utc | 48

@ Ort who wrote: "It's insidious."

It has been insidious for a long time and now it is failing because it can't scale without serious repression. The other option of culling/genocide is hard to pull off on a large scale without being confident of some of the consequences and assurance of protection/remediation for those selected to go forward with this grand experiment.

And yes, thanks to karlof1 who provides ongoing glimpses into the truths behind the lies we are being fed.....and b for the ongoing truth meat that us barflies flit around.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 22 2018 1:03 utc | 49

@41 ort, @45 jen... ort.. thanks for drawing attention to ap's approach, which i think jen describes very well.. this approach is taken my other news wire services as well.. i guess the idea is if you repeat a lie, or an idea that hasn't been firmly established in a biased way enough times, people is subconsciously believe it..

@43 karlof1... as i read it Korybko's conjecture is caught in this line from the article "The Syrian S-200 Operator Acted Recklessly Because He Was Upset About The Idlib Deal." correct me if i am wrong, but that seems to summarize it.. i have a problem with this analysis.. i don't know for a fact much of anything on the ground, but i give this less then 20% odds.. thanks for sharing it and glad you are able to share it here!

Posted by: james | Sep 22 2018 2:18 utc | 50

@46 madmax2

You are correct, sir. Facebook is doomed, already. As is youtube if it continues on its SJW/globalist trajectory. What else needs to be said about it: it satisfies completely the definition of pase-lameness. But it will be proven historically to have been a horribly harmful diversion to our collective unconscious. How sick that it preyed on low-minds and their desire to cultivate an image of themselves that they would be rewarded with even sicker forms of congratulatory phoniness: "Wow, what you are eating looks delicious!" (Or: who gives a shit what you are eating.) "I love that dress!" (Or: wow, you are fat now.) "Billy is 12!? And he's a tranny? Awesome! God, I've missed a lot. Smooches!" (Or: I knew there was a reason we don't spend time together in reality.)

It had its time, but has played the wrong card, shown that it has been bluffing all along as a "force for good/togetherness," and has revealed that Zuck the Cuck is one of the greatest pushermen in history, rivaling the unsavory henchmen of religiousness down the line.

The globalists are all in now, but I am in complete agreement with you that there is something of a sniffer in the minds of those who decide what is the cat's pajamas of the day. Maybe call it the rubber band effect, where the epitome of globalist arsenal, Farcebook, is being trampled by doubt in a wonderful about-face. At least we can hope that no one will read the facebook news feed much longer: no news is good news.

Will we ever have another Herodotus, that went to the east, observed and storytelled? I remember a passage in The Histories where the Greeks recoiled in horror at how the people in the subcontinent ate their dead in a display of ritualistic recycling, and how the people of the east likewise were aghast at the Greek tradition of cremation. Today, you are sitting pretty if you like giant asses dwarfing the majority of your LED screen in rap videos, celebrity chefs, (a telltale sign of imploding empire) and sadism towards the elderly.

But with the death of this the start of something good?

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 22 2018 3:02 utc | 51

Russia is a paper tiger, Elijah Magnier admits.

"Russia and Iran understood that the US was determined to find – or even trigger – any excuse to destroy the Syrian army. This would have meant humiliation for Putin, were Russia not to have replied in defence of its Syrian ally. Moscow would have been left with a very weak country, its title of superpower linked and limited to the number of its atomic bombs and its weight at the UN, but visibly impotent to protect its allies. In the event of Russian retaliation to a US attack on Syria, the possible outcome would have been unimaginable."

Comments under the Russian Insider article are not pretty (For Putin)

Posted by: Passer by | Sep 22 2018 10:53 utc | 52

As I have been advocating (and acting on) for years now, STOP USING THEM! Put them out of business! We have these fantastic tools at our disposal yet we'd rather fuck about on Facebook. Moreover, it wasn't corporations that invented 'social media', it was us! My first Bulletin Board System, 'New York Online', started in 1983 and it networked independent news to the planet via FidoNet (look it up). Under capitalism, the WWW inevitably leads to monopoly. Why? Because most of us, would rather get our 'news' from an 'Established(ment)'voice; the BBC, MSNBC or whatever. They'll never come to Moon of Alabama, unfortunately (or my home page). If you remember the early daze of the WWW, Netscape Navigator came preloaded with Netscape's home page. Later Microsoft made it's home page first stop when you used its OS. Most new users, eg pretty much every one, never bothered to customize their browsers even if they knew how.

Let Facebook censor all it likes. What we need to do is focus on providing progressive, independent news and information sources. We don't need Facebook!

Posted by: barovsky | Sep 22 2018 11:25 utc | 53

Passerby @52

This is embarrassing ... for Magnier. It paints Putin as coldly calculating - catnip for Putin critics. Yet the grand strategm ascribed to Putin is based on flawed assumptions. Putin is unlikely to be that naive.

The two best comments:

lordbaldric: This article reeks of Putin 3-D Chess baloney.

Kjel Hasthi: Don't believe everything you read on RI.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 22 2018 13:21 utc | 54

Passer by @ 52 and jackrabbit @54

Yes, Russia is a weak country economically, in the same class as....Turkey from a per capita GDP standpoint. Yes, Russia is a "developing economy" while (as correctly stated in your blockquote) still a first world political power as a legacy of the WWII and the Cold War military build-up. Thus, Putin must confront the problem of sustaining foreign military adventures while at the same time people back home limp along in their personal finances (See US/Vietnam war era and subsequent mid-late 1970s stagflation as a similar precautionary tale for the Russian leadership).

What Putin knows for certain is the inability of the late USSR to maintain its imperialistic-level military adventuring in order to remain a first world world geopolitical force eventually Chapter 7 bankrupted the USSR into liquidation.

Putin's politicial moves in the middle east are explained and constrained by Russia's economic reality and also its economic vulnerability to any sustained "new cold war."

Russia's best economic weapon at present is a continuation of instability in the Middle East to prop up oil/gas prices, which ironically aligns with the same strategy for all major oil/gas producing countries, including the US.

Therefore, Russia's geoplitical maneuvering in the ME is not at all as straight forward morally or strategically as the House Trolls here wish it to be and as I have steadfastly proclaimed over the nonsensical howling at the moon against my point during the past week or so. In fact, the continued JR's continual trolling of me only confirms my point.

Of course Putin is coldly calculating. That is his job, and at which he excels in fact. The rest of the moralising here and elsewhere is mere stage prop(aganda) to cover the fact of Russia's self-interest.

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 22 2018 14:44 utc | 55

The average person is always going to fall into the "appeal to authority" state of mind. Whatever their mindset is they will look to the authoritative voice. They will almost never reach out to the primary sources and documents and try to figure things out. That requires work.

A new set of authorities are being set up. The new fact checking authorities will be widely publicized becoming new authorities. We will never break up this mindset as the goyim are easily herded like cattle into the pen.

Any voice that becomes significantly dangerous to this will be throttled. No opposition voice will be perfectly correct analyzing a mechanism as complex as what we have in front of us today. Yet their are some interesting primary sources of the past out there. Here is one...

Posted by: dltravers | Sep 22 2018 14:49 utc | 56

"Follow the money"

Nowhere has Russia’s resurgent power been more on display than in the Middle East, where Moscow has undeniably matched, and some would say, outstripped Washington in areas concerning diplomacy, defence, and energy. An unusual coming together of circumstances has reinvigorated Russia’s Middle East policy. Providing this country, with an impressive array of possibilities mostly associated with superpower status. This has consequences for Moscow in the following fields: energy, arms, and international standing.

Russia has achieved this through a strategy that combines the needs and weaknesses of the Middle East, while coincidentally benefitting from the relative decline (by choice) of the United States in the region. The war fatigue caused by the US’ involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq led to the withdrawal from both countries by the Obama administration. Although US troops never fully left, the power vacuum created opportunities for others alike to exert influence. With Washington's hands tied Moscow has been able to quickly fill the gap.

However, Moscow’s expanded access to the region has been made possible by its ability to remain a relatively reliable interlocutor to participants on all sides. Nowhere is this advantage more visible than in Syria where all regional stakeholders are engaging in some way or another with the Kremlin. Russia is known to walk a fine line by for example having communication lines open between its allies in Syria and Israel. The visit by Israeli prime minister Netanyahu followed by Syrian President Bashar Assad a couple of days later in May 2018 exemplified Russia’s diplomatic role. Moscow is more than ever the most reliable party to pass on a message to the other side as it is on relatively good terms with everyone involved.

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 22 2018 15:37 utc | 57

at 35 Grieved "...evil is often done badly, and often redounds to the good in ways unforeseen.
There will always be a struggle, and a hope of winning." Indeed, it is a known fact that good has
not overcome evil so far; that evil has only ever been vanquished by another stronger or luckier evil.

Posted by: Guerrero | Sep 22 2018 15:39 utc | 58

"Follow the Rubles"

[Russia's] Middle East strategy incorporates the strength and weaknesses of the region, by exploiting them to both the host country’s and Moscow’s benefit: energy and weapon sales. Russia’s engagement with the region is a consequence of its interest in the energy sphere and the strategic position between three continents. The most visible result has been the deal to cut oil production by 1.8 million barrels struck by Russia and OPEC led by Saudi Arabia in order to decrease the global oil glut. While many analysts predicted a short lifespan for this deal, the main sponsors in Moscow and Riyadh have proven otherwise. The success of this deal has spurred some participants to expand their ambitions in envisioning a joint strategy for the long-term.

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 22 2018 15:43 utc | 59


Russia's best economic weapon at present is a continuation of instability in the Middle East to prop up oil/gas prices ...

This tale stinks. Drinking exceptionalist Kool-Aid has given this donkey a bad case of diarrhea.

No, donkey, Russia is not a "gas station masquerading as a country" as John McCain insisted. That has been debunked time and time again.

But donkey's muddled thinking only gets worse as he essentially argues that Putin is both evil mastermind trouble-maker and "coldly-calculating" appeaser!

Exceptional jackasses always want it both ways. It's clear to anyone paying attention that in the exceptional zero-sum, go-along-to-get-along jackass reality, Putin must be rebuked whether he raises tensions or lowers tensions.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 22 2018 16:14 utc | 60

@ Jackrabbit who has shown us that sometimes a donkeytale is just a ass

Thanks for the entertainment, nicely done.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 22 2018 16:34 utc | 61

Facebook has also been censoring Palestinians, essentially functioning as an arm of the occupation.

Posted by: Edward | Sep 22 2018 16:50 utc | 62

WR @ 47: Sooooo tell us something we don't know:)

You're totally missing the obvious; It's good therapy, and cheaper than the face to face kind..

Posted by: ben | Sep 22 2018 17:10 utc | 63

The reason that the ruling class is attacking Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube is that social media is a very effective way of spreading information horizontally.
Our ruling overlords have had it easy for decades, with radio and TV beaming in propaganda to each individual house or car, with the recipient passively receiving it, and unable to fact-check it, or to know how others were reacting to it, or to share their reactions and opinions about it with others. (Hence, the futility of yelling at your car's dashboard, previously our only way of arguing back).
Alex Cockburn talked about canvassing neighborhoods in Texas during the Vietnam War, and each person telling him that they personally had doubts, but never expressed them to others, because they were sure that their neighbors had no doubts. Social media allows us to spread our doubts, spread alternative information and connect with like-minded people around the world.
And THAT is why it is under attack. If Facebook caves to government and corporate pressure, why attack Facebook? Blaming the victim is a bizarre reaction to censorship.
Our rulers supported social media in the beginning, imo, because they liked being able to monitor our reactions to their propaganda, so that they could fine-tune it. It was a giant instantaneous opinion poll, and they wanted it for their own purposes.
But some of us started using it to combat their propaganda. Hence, their hysteria and censorship.
I. F. Stone searched primary documents and published them. The open documents of the 50s and 60s came to an end in the 80s. They keep their secrets now, under the rubric of National Security.
I'm not giving up the information sharing tool of Facebook until it has been totally rendered useless. They wouldn't be attacking it so intensely if it didn't have so much value to us, the people of the world.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Sep 22 2018 17:13 utc | 64

Zuckerberg is a goofy front man - the friendly face - all-American "college boy genius" bullshirt story which covers for the CIA shop which hired out real creeps to build farcebook. It is expressly built and purposed for data-mining.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Sep 22 2018 17:14 utc | 65

@64 wl

You lost me at the ruling classes attacking facebook.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 22 2018 17:27 utc | 66

Hi! Sorry, off topic. I need some help!

There is a former Indian ambassador, MK Bhadrakumar, who has a lot of knowledge about foreign policy and has an interesting web-site:

But during the last 2-3 months I have not been able to read his essays. The message I get is: This page cannot be opened.

I wonder if some of you can access Bhadrakumar’s site?

I have also used and found that the blog is available in New Delhi, but down in many other places and countries. And my service provider is saying that the site is blocked between me and India.

Since Bhadrakumar is very well informed and also very critical towards American foreign policy, I wonder if it is some sort of political censorship going on (?)

Posted by: Rolf | Sep 22 2018 17:35 utc | 67


Let me elaborate. The drive to so-called regulation of social media by gov't entities is nothing more than an attempt to further prop up this tool of TPTB by trying to rebrand the whole-thing as fair and apartisan. Believe it or not, there were liberals who honestly bought the line that facebook was somehow helping Trump get elected by Russian meddling. There is nary a peep in the air about censoring conservative voices like Alex Jones...the whole thing is a phony platform for Zuck to come on TV and say that fb is going to be a force for good..."I promise, gov'nor!"

There is no attacking social media...on the contrary, they are consolidating and reorganizing their efforts to try to breathe new life into FB. But Chipotle was never the same as soon as people started shitting themselves on the way home from date night. (American reference: our burrito makers here in the states don't wash their hands or check the coriander often enough)

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Sep 22 2018 17:39 utc | 68

@67 rolf.. it looks like he posters on strategic culture some of the time

and on asia times too more regularly..

i used to use that link you shared, but i too get the problem loading page message...

Posted by: james | Sep 22 2018 17:47 utc | 69

infowars got in again;paypal cut funding.

Posted by: dahoit | Sep 22 2018 17:52 utc | 70

@ 67: Ditto, not working for me either..

Posted by: ben | Sep 22 2018 17:53 utc | 71

CE | 9 and Tom | 7

I can't understand "Activity Pub". What works very well technically is Telegram, with its groups of unlimited size (whereas Whatsapp is set up to make significant growth impossible). And Telegram's easy working in both laptop and smartphone. I want a Telegram of my own, in-house, where the software is mine, working in my hardware, and with an archive that can be organised and be accessible like a web site. Because "No documents - No History!" is right.

I had a great archive in a free Wikispaces web site. A transnational called TES bought Wikispaces and shut the whole thing down. Goodbye archive, hello broken links.

Posted by: Domza | Sep 22 2018 18:26 utc | 72

Facebook, spyware, A.I. and murders.
Isn't facebook a huge intel. collection scheme on people?
It can record everything from personal details to emotions.
Who wouldn't have run special A.I. to collect special stuff from people, for special reasons?
Think about it.
Blue Whale killings.
Did they ever find who was behind?
Didn't it run through also Facebook?
What can facebook record about you?


Look what the good A.I. monster brought me, since I posted stuff about A.I. yesterday in another thread.

Search this: "russia today israel spyware pegasus"

Can record everything, fitbit data, accelerometer data, sms, emails, GPS, internet use, cookies, nearly everything.
If you filter data through A.I. it can find more stuff about you, you can barely have noticed yourself, or the environment around you.


Or maybe not all of it yet....
Maybe this is why the got Zukerberg on the stick.
He may have not given them full access yet.
What poor israel has to do to be heard nowadays? Nuke a city?

Posted by: Greece | Sep 22 2018 19:36 utc | 73

There is no Heaven or Hell. There is only the Mossad.
(Famous Pakistani SIS saying)

William Binney (NSA whistleblower video)

It is a big presentation with a big crowd.
It details NSA surveilance layers (allegedly)
Notice the little "waving cat toy" (eavesdroping all the time) on the converstation down below under the screen.

Eurovision song contest 2018 original video. It is the song of Israel participation.

Singer name is Netta. (for Nettanyahou?)
She is fat and not good looking. (bare with me here this was not intended for an insult)
She was probably specifically chosen for her looks.
Notice the little "waving cat toy" placed around her on makeshift shelves.

This (by all possibilities) was a Mossad extortion operation against...are you ready?
Later we had 100 dead Greeks. (and probably a bunch of other stuff)Do you remember EU commision accepting half mast flagssignal in the EU for the Greek fire disaster?

Do we have a Hollywood movie of 2016 using this little "waving cat meme" that pictures a whole network of encrypted sites, mobile apps also encrypted, swarms of A.I. bots that runs supposedly through the undernet (dark web) and poses bets on human lives, in the form of "dares" and awards perpetrators or participants with bonus points they can cash in from bank accounts?
We do.

Do these all connect?

Posted by: Greece | Sep 22 2018 20:08 utc | 74

"...I can teach students to think and reason critically, but that takes time in the classroom; but that time often gets lost because of the emphasis administrators place on generating high test results to qualify for essential funding..."[karlof1]

I hope this won't be considered an offtopic, as I listen on tv to a blowhard from the NM Republican educational team talking about money and the importance of testing both for students and teachers. I'd just like to say kudos to karlof1 for making this fundamental point above. It applies generally to the US system of education, and in New Mexico, the Supreme Court of the State has come down heavily on that system. And it's not only the children that are suffering, as through the enforcement of repressive rules on such social media as Facebook, that need to think and reason critically is being taken away from citizens at large.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 22 2018 23:38 utc | 75

james @50--

The S-200 "operator" isn't what I saw as important. Russia's deconfliction contradictions with the Zionists and their 200+ terrorist attacks on Syria in the past 18 months alone is what I saw as the Big Issue. And I know from the many Twitter accounts of Syrians I read that they too are rather pissed regarding that too. The Idlib deal is really a similar repeat of Daraa and meant to minimize casualties, which Syrians appreciate; so, there's no real angst over that.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 22 2018 23:55 utc | 76

@79 karlof1... okay, thanks... i think russia is walking a fine line with israel.. as someone once said here a few weeks ago - israel is the soft underbelly of the usa... go after israel, and you are going after the usa is sort of how i see it.. at the same time, for anyone paying any attention, israel acts like a rogue state on the international scene, flaunting or ignoring international law and any kind of law that runs counter to it's latest obsession / fear... israel lives in fear, and hides behind it's powerful miltary arsenal - nuclear weapons and free handouts from uncle scam... at some point this dynamic has got to give... it an't going to be pretty when it breaks.. and so, i think russia is walking a fine line with israel, at the same time knowing that israel has increasingly limited options and is a position of frustration that is pretty clear moving forward... i could be wrong, but i won't fault russia for taking a slow and cautionary approach towards israels position here... i do think russia and putin could emphasize the illegal nature of israels regular intrusions into syria, but for whatever reason, they are not bothering to state the obvious here too..

Posted by: james | Sep 23 2018 1:38 utc | 77

@80 james - "...russia is walking a fine line with israel"

Yes, but not because Russia is afraid of being broken like an eggshell under the weight of the boot, but rather because Russia fears to crush Israel like the eggshell, all at once and ground to fine powder. There are Russians in that Israel many Russians caught out in the diaspora...whom Russia would always offer a home to, and at the very least, safeguard their lives if possible.

Do not misunderstand who holds the sword and whose neck is exposed, in this modern age.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 23 2018 3:32 utc | 78

@79 karlof1

I don't buy the operator theory from Korybko, but I'm pleased to see him hedge this theory with the humility of a "maybe" speculation, rather than his certainty of the last frew months, and his arguments against the "alt media", whatever that is. His analyses have been off-kilter for many months now - and I used to find him very valuable, totally penetrating in his perceptions. Things change.

It's a lesson to all of us: Korybko can start thinking the wrong way, as can Flores, as can Craig Roberts (most certainly there) and even as can the Saker. Probably even Grieved gets it wrong sometimes ;) The point is not to stay in the wrong track when subsequent developments suggest a change. That's the trick that we're watching now, to see how analysts of note and repute can change their view over time, and whether this view accords with what we ourselves judge is going on.

Not everything is planned and scripted propaganda. But in a dirty world with fogged mirrors, it can be easy to get the wrong end of the stick. We remain tasked with critical thinking.

As it ever was.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 23 2018 3:45 utc | 79


Good point on how tracks change. Thats not a bad thing because anyone trying to get at the truth must necessarily process new information and adjust his track if needed. As to if its the wrong track, thats the same problem as judging whats fake news. Who decides? The greatest obstacle to finding the truth is the illusion one already knows it.

I actually agree with Korybko . If I recall he did not limit his theory to a rogue operator but left it open that higher ups were involved. It explains a lot since its unlikely this was an accident based on the experts explanations on missiles and missle tracking
and we have motive, means and opportunity. Russia is now on notice to stop giving Israel a free pass at Syrias expense. Lets hope they heed this warning

Posted by: Pft | Sep 23 2018 4:25 utc | 80

Pft 83
I suspect rule of engagement were set that if Israeli plane were in Syrian airspace they were fair game.
If they fired missiles from outside Syrian airspace, only the missiles could be targeted. I suspect this will change.
Syrian air defense is controlled from the Russian airbase and Syrian defenses cannot launch missiles unless the Russian control center has determined something as a target as per ROE.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 23 2018 5:47 utc | 81

@81 grieved.. i agree with your perspective, but it doesn't change the complex dynamic which involves more then just israel here.. but yes - agree with you and i do believe in a wider sense russia is walking a fine line in syria, as it involves the whole world.. everyone is watching how it gets played..

Posted by: james | Sep 23 2018 7:59 utc | 82

@ Cup of Jane

Billions of dollars going into war for Israel propaganda is NOT an issue we need to be concerned about

The issue we need to be concerned about is the unemployed homeless Iraq veteran (living in a tent city and addicted to Oxycontin “painkiller” to fight PTSD

What if this homeless, drug-addicted loser realizes one day that he ruined his life fighting a useless war for Israel, and then somehow he gets access to a computer, maybe through a public library and he gets online and manages to say something anti-semitic on Social Media?

Now THAT is is the issue we should all be concerned about, NOT the billions going into war for Israel propaganda

Get your priorities straight!

Posted by: Not Elizabeth Sackler | Sep 23 2018 8:55 utc | 83

"everyone is watching how it gets played.."

That about sums it up. Russia is leading by example.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 23 2018 10:16 utc | 84

JR and Psychohistorian

Thanks guys, always enjoy the very hilarious "donkey/ass" comments. Top shelf.

Where's James? Lol

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 23 2018 12:04 utc | 85

Jackrabbit @ 60 says "No, donkey, Russia is not a "gas station masquerading as a country" as John McCain insisted. That has been debunked time and time again."

"But donkey's muddled thinking only gets worse as he essentially argues that Putin is both evil mastermind trouble-maker and "coldly-calculating" appeaser!"

"Exceptional jackasses always want it both ways. It's clear to anyone paying attention that in the exceptional zero-sum, go-along-to-get-along jackass reality, Putin must be rebuked whether he raises tensions or lowers tensions."

Of course none of this is actually attributable to my comment to which JR is trolling. Especially telling, the weasily worded "essentially arguing" which means JR is fantasizing my argument for me so he can knock it down with his usual great wit and aplomb. Lol.

Here is what I am "essentially arguing" jack rabbit:

Putin is exceptional and he often has it both ways in the middle east, friend of Israel (US), KSA (US), Turkey (NATO), Iran and Syria. This is much to the detriment of dogmatic commenters such as yourself who are forced to make post after post after post in the threads to re-shade your own opinions based upon Russia's non-dogmatic diplomatic maneuvering, which seldom if ever wholly conforms to your wishful thinking.

I have no good opinion on the late Mr. McCain or his comment about Russia. I'm glad he vetoed Obamacare repeal (many millions of poor USians receive Medicaid health insurance as a result of ACA) for whatever his reasoning and disdained his war-like blustering.

Russia's exports are about 55% petroleum-related:

The top exports of Russia are Crude Petroleum ($75.7B), Refined Petroleum ($43.1B), Petroleum Gas ($16B), Coal Briquettes ($10.4B) and Raw Aluminium ($6.08B), using the 1992 revision of the HS (Harmonized System) classification. Its top imports are Cars ($7.21B), Packaged Medicaments ($7.03B), Vehicle Parts ($5.64B), Computers ($3.98B) and Broadcasting Equipment ($3.83B).

The top export destinations of Russia are China ($30.3B), the Netherlands ($22.9B), Germany ($15.9B), Belarus ($14.1B) and the United States ($12.3B)

To say Russia's middle east bargaining is not based on its position as a major oil producer is pure hokum, as the blockquotes in my comments above illustrate.

Posted by: donkeytale | Sep 23 2018 12:40 utc | 86

This anti-China The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) is also a NED puppy:

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) expresses its sincere appreciation for the National Endowment for Democracy funding of its human rights works because such funding helps WUC to further promote human rights and democracy among the Uyghur people in the world.

“NED funding means a lot to us and the Uyghur people. I am more than grateful for their decision to fund what we do,” said Erkin Alptekin, WUC president.

(In)directly linked with NED is also Chairman of the Executive Committee : its Vice President Omer Kanat is Chairman of the Executive Committee of The World Uyghur Congress (WUC).

Kanat's NED funded WUC "is responsible for the wide spread claim of one tenth of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang has been placed in re-education camps, " according to Inside America’s Meddling Machine: The US Funded Group that Interferes in Elections Around the Globe by Max Blumthal.

Posted by: mali | Sep 23 2018 15:54 utc | 87

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