Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Manchester Bomber Was Product of West's Libya/Syria Intervention

Here's what the media and politicians don't want you to know about the Manchester, UK, suicide attack: Salman Abedi, the 22 year old who killed nearly two dozen concert-goers in Manchester, UK, was the product of the US and UK overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya and "regime change" policy in Syria. He was a radicalized Libyan whose family fled Gaddafi's secular Libya, and later he trained to be an armed "rebel" in Syria, fighting for the US and UK "regime change" policy toward the secular Assad government.

The suicide attacker was the direct product of US and UK interventions in the greater Middle East.

According to the London Telegraph, Abedi, a son of Libyan immigrants living in a radicalized Muslim neighborhood in Manchester had returned to Libya several times after the overthrow of Muamar Gaddafi, most recently just weeks ago. After the US/UK and allied "liberation" of Libya, all manner of previously outlawed and fiercely suppressed radical jihadist groups suddenly found they had free rein to operate in Libya. This is the Libya that Abedi returned to and where he likely prepared for his suicide attack on pop concert attendees. Before the US-led attack on Libya in 2011, there was no al-Qaeda, ISIS, or any other related terrorist organization operating (at least with impunity) on Libyan soil.

Gaddafi himself warned Europe in January 2011 that if they overthrew his government the result would be radical Islamist attacks on Europe, but European governments paid no heed to the warnings. Post-Gaddafi Libya became an incubator of Islamist terrorists and terrorism, including prime recruiting ground for extremists to fight jihad in Syria against the also-secular Bashar Assad.

In Salman Abedi we have the convergence of both these disastrous US/UK and allied interventions, however: it turns out that not only did Abedi make trips to Libya to radicalize and train for terror, but he also travelled to Syria to become one of the "Syria rebels" fighting on the same side as the US and UK to overthrow the Assad government. Was he perhaps even trained in a CIA program? We don't know, but it certainly is possible.

While the mainstream media and opportunistic politicians will argue that the only solution is more western intervention in the Middle East, the plain truth is that at least partial responsibility for this attack lies at the feet of those who pushed and pursued western intervention in Libya and Syria.

There would have been no jihadist training camps in Libya had Gaddafi not been overthrown by the US/UK and allies. There would have been no explosion of ISIS or al-Qaeda in Syria had it not been for the US/UK and allied policy of "regime change" in that country.

When thinking about Abedi's guilt for this heinous act of murder, do not forget those interventionists who lit the fuse that started this conflagration. The guilt rests squarely on their shoulders as well.

Video: Syrian Army Expels US-Backed Militants From Syrian Desert

Global Research | May 24, 2017

South Front - US-backed militant groups, often referred to as the Free Syrian Army (FSA), have declared the start of a counter-offensive against “the regime and its foreign militias” in the area east of Suweida in southeastern Syria.

The counter-offensive was dubbed operation “Desert Volcano”. Its declared goal is to expel government forces from the Syrian desert.

Since last weekend, the Syrian Army and its allies have made notable gains east of Suweida and along the Damascus-Baghdad highway. These advances posed a direct threat to the US-led plan aimed at building a buffer zone controlled by US-backed factions between Syria and Iraq. Now, the US-led forces are going to use force against the Syrian military in order to achieve their strategic goal.

Meanwhile, the US-led coalition’s aircraft have reportedly dropped leaflets on the ISIS-held border town of al-Bakumal. The leaflets called on locals to avoid moving near ISIS objects in the area. This event could be linked with the coalition’s willingness to capture this border town and expand its influence along the Syrian-Iraqi border. However, this goal is complicated by the low number and quality of US-led militant groups operating in the area.

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Liwa al-Quds, the 5th Assault Corps, and the National Defense Forces (NDF) have resumed their push against ISIS east of the ancient city of Palmyra, aiming to take control over the village of Arak and the nearby Arak gas field. Government troops have advanced over 3 km northeast of Palmyra and entered a number of hills in the area north of Arak. With this advance, government forces are going to outflank ISIS units in the area of Arak and are going to set a fire control over this area.

Pro-government forces, led by the Tiger Forces, continued their advance on the ISIS-held town of Maskkanah in the province of Aleppo. According to pro-government sources, 7 ISIS militants were killed and a vehicle destroyed in the recent clashes.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have isolated further the ISIS stronghold of Raqqah. SDF units have captured two main roads east and west of Raqqah and have continued their advance aiming to reach its vicinity from the northern and western directions. The only road from Raqqah under the control of ISIS is the road to the south.

Summing up the recent developments, it becomes clear that in the nearest future the main competition will take place in the Syrian border area with Jordan and Iraq and in the countryside of Deir Ezzor. If the US-led coalition is able to prevent the Syrian government from re-establishing control in these areas, it will achieve a strategic victory that will impact dramatically the situation in post-war Syria.

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Warning Signs Are Everywhere Even From The Central Banks

X22Report | May 24, 2017

© SHTF Plan
Small business is declining and it has been since that last 10-20 years. New home sales crashed and now existing home sales are crashing. The ECB is warning about home prices in the other countries.

We are now seeing warnings from the central banks. Treasury chief to congress we do not have enough money to make it until Aug, raise the debt ceiling. Fed reports that the interest rates will be raised because the 1st quarter was transitory and the economy will improve later this year, right! The Fed warns the stock market is most likely overvalued.

The economy is breaking down and the central banks know that it is about to crash, this is why we are seeing these silent warnings.

Mainstream Media's Shamefully Hypocritical Coverage of the Syrian War

In October 2016, the Guardian ran an article entitled “Reality Check: are US-led airstrikes on Syrians as bad as Russia’s?” The article was a response to the suggestion of the British Labour party that there was too much focus on Russian atrocities in Syria and that this focus was detracting from other atrocities taking place, particularly from the U.S.-led coalition.

Unsurprisingly, the article concluded outright that “[N]o party to Syria’s brutal civil war has joined the conflict without killing civilians, but the scale of deaths caused by Russia’s bombing campaign is much higher than that from coalition airstrikes.”

The most telling part of this report is that one of the sources of their conclusion was the non-partisan monitoring group Airwars, which has been following the conflict closely since the air war against ISIS began. This is all well and good; it is hard to argue with neutrally produced statistics.

However, this is the same monitoring group that stated in March of this year:

[T]he high number of alleged incidents across both countries forced Airwars temporarily to pause its full vetting of Russian airstrikes in order to keep pace with the reported Coalition toll.[emphasis added]

Airwars confirmed:

“For the third straight month the reported civilian toll of Russian airstrikes in Syria was surpassed by that of the Coalition in both Iraq and Syria.[emphasis added]

The same media that used Airwars’ reports to demonstrate that the Russian military was killing more civilians in Syria than the U.S.-led coalition in 2016 is almost all but silent on Airwars’ reports from 2017 that show the U.S.-led coalition is massacring Iraqis and Syrians by the thousands.

In March alone, the U.S. air campaign allegedly killed 1,782 civilians in Iraq and Syria. Airwars also notes that the U.S.-backed campaign in Mosul has displaced 400,000 civilians from just this one city alone.

In March 2017, the Guardian ran another article entitled “The west condemned Russia’s bombs – now coalition attacks are killing civilians in Mosul.” Considering the scale of the tenacity with which the mainstream media accused Russia of war crimes and elevated these stories to headline news, these lone articles containing the truth about what is unfolding in the Middle East are not nearly sufficient. If you have the time, Google search “guardian+russia+bombs+aleppo,” and you might notice a stark difference in the style, frequency, and manner of reporting on Russian casualties.

When a U.S. aerial bombardment in Mosul killed well over 200 civilians, the mainstream media shamelessly spun their headlines to downplay American culpability. In contrast, when an alleged Russian airstrike hit an area in Syria controlled by al-Qaeda, the media never once hesitated to run the story — even without legitimate sources on the ground to confirm the casualties. This patent hypocrisy matters greatly, especially considering that most Americans are headline readers only.

If the Guardian or any other mainstream media outlet were impartial and concerned only with the truth, they would run a new follow-up “Reality Check” article concerning the most horrifying developments taking place right now.

Though it is not a competition to see who can kill the most versus who can kill the least, there is a stark difference in that Russia’s air campaign has at least a small mode of legitimacy; the Syrian government formally requested Russia’s intervention. Compiling a coalition of countries — one rife with direct sponsors of ISIS and exporters of extremist ideology — does nothing to legitimize the United States’ war in Syria.

Further, according to Airwars, the U.S. is responsible for 95 percent of all coalition strikes in Syria and 68 percent of all actions in Iraq, making the rest of the countries’ contributions virtually inconsequential. For example, as the second most active partner, the United Kingdom has contributed 92 strikes in the Syrian campaign since the U.K. parliament formally voted to begin conducting airstrikes in 2015. This amounts to barely one percent of the coalition’s total of at least 8,502 strikes in Syria. Why were they so determined to join the fight in the first place — heavily debating the intervention in the U.K. legislature — just to contribute 92 missiles? What is the uncontrollable desire for everyone to bomb Syrian territory rooted in given that it has no internationally recognized legal basis? There is no U.N. mandate and there is no request from the Syrian government, which deems allied forces invaders.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has given enormous scope to his military generals to order in airstrikes on the battlefield, which has directly resulted in blatant war crimes. To the media, this isn’t remotely important, scandalous, or newsworthy. Apparently, only anonymously leaked reports of intelligence sharing with Russia regarding topics the mainstream media had already reported on are all that’s worth covering.

While this nonsensical hysteria plagues our television sets, Iraq and Syria continue to burn.

As Airwars explains:

“‘The prevailing view in the United States,’ says Chris Kolenda, ‘is that ISIS is a terrorist organisation which just needs to be eliminated and it’s unfortunate that there are civilian casualties in the process. Americans tend to believe that the ISIS cancer will metastasize if left unaddressed. Most believe that ISIS causes far more damage to civilians in Iraq and Syria and that ineffectual US military efforts, due to excessive restrictions, will prolong the war and place more civilians at risk of harm.’

“Ordinary Iraqis and Syrians on the ground – who have already endured 1,000 days of airstrikes in the effort to defeat Islamic State – might disagree. For too many civilians, each new day brings the ominous sound of yet another air raid, once more putting them in fear of losing their homes, their loved ones and their own lives. It is a situation which we, far away from the battlefield, can barely begin to comprehend.”

Don’t Fall For The Hype: Bitcoin Isn’t A Safe Haven Asset

SHTF Plan | May 23, 2017 | Mac Slavo

If you were aware of bitcoins seven years ago, you were probably mocking the idea of a cryptocurrency. After all, who would pay money for useless digits on a screen? But don’t feel too bad about not buying bitcoins when they were cheap. Even the people who were interested in bitcoins early on had no idea that they’d be worth anything.

That’s certainly case with Laszlo Hanyecz. On May 22nd, 2010, Laszlo made history when he made the very first purchase with bitcoins. He spent 10,000 of them to buy two measly Papa John’s pizzas. Considering the impressive rise in the price of bitcoins over the past few weeks, it’s safe to say that if he hadn’t made that purchase, his life would probably be very different right now.
On May 22, 2010, Hanyecz asked a fellow enthusiast on a bitcoin forum to accept 10,000 bitcoin for two Papa John’s Pizzas. At the time, Hanyecz believed that the coins he had “mined” on his computer were worth around 0.003 cents each.

Bitcoin mining involves solving a complex mathematical solution with the miner being rewarded in bitcoin. This is how Hanyecz got his initial coins.

The cryptocurrency has many doubters as it continues to be associated with criminal activity, but it has still seen a stunning rally. Here are two facts, on Bitcoin Pizza Day, however, that highlight this:
  • While being worth $30 at the time, Hanyecz pizzas would now cost $22.5 million at current bitcoin prices.
  • If you bought $100 of bitcoin at the 0.003 cent price on May 22, 2010, you’d now be sitting on around $75 million.
Of course, bitcoin isn’t the only cryptocurrency that has broken price records over the past few months. The combined market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies has been surging as of late. Most notably, the price of Ethereum has risen from $10 each in February, to nearly $180 today, making it the second most valuable cryptocurrency.

As for what’s driving this trend, there are several factors. There is the fact that Japan recently passed a law that allows stores to accept bitcoins as a legal currency. Since Japan is the world’s third largest economy, it’s no surprise that this law has pumped so much money into the cryptocurrency marketplace. Also, China has had a big impact on bitcoin over the past year. Lately, Chinese citizens have been exchanging their depreciating Yuans for bitcoins.

What could be one of the biggest drivers in this market, is political turmoil and uncertainty around the world. Bitcoin has long been considered a safe haven asset. In any country where there is a political or economic crises, you will find a lot more people trying to move their money into cryptocurrencies.

However, these cryptocurrencies are a rather strange safe haven. At the end of the day, they are just digits on a computer screen. They aren’t backed by anything. The only advantage they have over fiat currencies, is that they’re anonymous and impossible to inflate in most cases. It could be argued that gold and silver are much better safe haven assets. After the bitcoin price collapsed into oblivion in 2013 (which could easily happen again) I warned that there is only one asset that is truly a safe haven.
Only physical assets – the kind we can hold in our hand – can truly be called safe havens.

Food in your pantry
that you can consume at anytime.

Skills and labor
you can barter for other goods.

Precious metals, which have stood the test of time over thousands of years.
Land on which you can produce food and alternative power.

These are the assets that provide a realistic level of safety and security.

These are money when the system crashes and confidence in the paper ponzi schemes around the world is lost.

Bitcoin is fine for certain types of transactions. But having funds in Bitcoin is, obviously, no different than a deposit account at a bank which can go under or a stock market prone to manipulation.
If you want to protect yourself during a crises, there are only two things that will keep your finances above water. Physical assets, and the skills that will help your earn more money. Everything else will simply evaporate when the system collapses.

Fox News’ ratings slide as Americans’ mistrust of mainstream media grows

RT | May 24, 2017

© Shannon Stapleton / Reuters
Nearly two-thirds of US voters believe that the mainstream media is producing fake news, according to a new poll. Many also believe that fake news is purposely published to push an agenda. Fox News appears to be hurt the most by viewers’ mistrust.

Across the political spectrum, 65 percent of voters believe there is a lot of fake news in the mainstream media, including 80 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of independents and 53 percent of Democrats, according to the latest Harvard-Harris poll provided exclusively to The Hill. In total, 84 percent of voters said it is hard to know what news to believe online.

Those numbers have increased since the end of March, when six in 10 Americans believed the mainstream media report fake news regularly or occasionally, with 54 percent thinking that online news websites report fake stories on purpose in order to push an agenda, according to a Monmouth University poll. A whopping 80 percent of respondents believed that online outlets report fake news regularly or occasionally.
The March poll also found that Republicans (79 percent) were most likely to say that major news outlets transmit fake news stories, compared to 66 percent of Independents and 43 percent of Democrats. Of those, Republicans were also more likely to say that major news sources reported fake news deliberately, rather than by mistake or due to poor fact checking.

In April, Gallup found that 62 percent of Americans said that the news media favor one political party over another, with 64 percent saying media favor the Democrats over the GOP. Less than a quarter (22 percent) said that the media was biased towards the Republicans. Among GOP respondents, 77 percent said the media was biased towards one party, compared to 59 percent in 2003. Less than half (44 percent) of Democrats said that the media showed political favoritism, the same as in 2003.
“Much of the media is now just another part of the partisan divide in the country with Republicans not trusting the ‘mainstream’ media and Democrats seeing them as reflecting their beliefs,” said Harvard-Harris co-director Mark Penn. “Every major institution from the presidency to the courts is now seen as operating in a partisan fashion in one direction or the other.”

Between 2012 and 2015, trust in the media remained historically low, with 40 percent of Americans saying they had “a great deal” or “a fair deal” of trust and confidence in the mass media, according to an annual Gallup survey. That dropped to 32 percent in 2016, however. The decrease in trust was dramatic among Republicans, with only 14 percent expressing trust, down from 32 percent the previous year.
The Harvard-Harris poll comes as one mainstream outlet, Fox News, has had to retract a major story it had been following. On Tuesday, the cable network and the Washington, DC-based affiliate it owns were forced to walk back their reporting on the July 2016 murder of Seth Rich, a Democratic National Committee staffer who Fox claimed had been in contact with WikiLeaks director and investigative journalist Gavin MacFadyen. Rich’s parents condemned the speculation around their son’s death in an opinion piece in the Washington Post on Tuesday.

“The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting. Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed,” Fox News said in a statement.

The Rich retraction is the latest in a series of scandals rocking Fox News, including sexual harassment and racial bias lawsuits filed by current and former employees, which led to the firing of host Bill O’Reilly and the resignation of co-president Bill Shine. Before O’Reilly’s ouster, advertisers fled from his program, “The O’Reilly Factor.” More than 60 companies pulled ads from his show, leaving him with a mere seven sponsors by April 8.

Now it appears that viewers are fleeing from O’Reilly’s old employer. Last week, Fox News placed third among cable news networks in primetime ratings among 25-54 year-old viewers, the most coveted advertising demographic, Adweek reported.

MSNBC came in first with 611,000 viewers in the demographic and 2.44 million viewers overall. CNN came in second with 589,000 viewers and 1.65 million viewers overall, while Fox had 497,000 viewers in the coveted demo and 2.4 million viewers overall.

It was the first time in 17 years that Fox came in third for a full week. The last time was the week of June 9, 2000, when the network was still in its infancy.

Despite the setback, though, Fox News still ranked as the top basic cable network in Total Day audience for the 20th consecutive week, according to Adweek. It also finished second in total primetime viewers across cable, behind TNT, which was airing the National Basketball Association’s Eastern Conference finals.

MSNBC, which placed first during primetime among 25-54 year-olds last week, actually ranked behind Fox News if Saturday and Sunday ‒ when the liberal-leaning network aired reruns ‒ were taken into account. All three cable news channels ‒ CNN, Fox News and MSNBC ‒ were among basic cable’s top 5 networks for the entire week.