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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Turkey Warms To Russia; Pipeline, Sanctions To Be Discussed, Qatar Blames KSA, UAE For Coup

JULY 28, 2016
It’s been over a week since the Turkish coup has taken place and still no one definitively knows what happened, who was behind it, and who was originally meant to benefit. It is rather obvious now that, since the coup did not succeed, Erdogan will find himself in a much safer position domestically than before it took place by virtue of the massive governmental and military purge that has taken place in its aftermath. Internationally, however, is another question.
Still, no one fully knows whether or not Erdogan was actually set to benefit from the coup to begin with. Was Erdogan behind the coup himself? Was Fethullah Gulen behind the coup? Were the nationalists behind the coup? Did Erdogan and the United States stage the coup together to allow for a crackdown and double-down on the nationalist faction? Was the coup actually the work of the United States attempting to overthrow Erdogan over his previous moves toward warming relations with Russia? All of these questions have been asked but none have yielded any definitive answer.
What is certain, however, is that Erdogan’s behavior in the weeks after the coup will tell us more about who was actually behind the coup.
While it is still too early to tell who organized the coup or even to fully analyze Erdogan’s behavior afterwards, some recent developments are notable.
For instance, on August 9, Erdogan is expected to travel to St. Petersburg, Russia in order to take part in talks with Vladimir Putin for the purposes of speeding up the repair of Turkish/Russian relations.
Announcing the August 9 visit, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek stated that Russia “isn’t just our close and friendly neighbor, but also a strategic partner.”
“Today,” he said. “we are here to normalize the situation and our relations as soon as possible and at an accelerated pace since they were disrupted on November 24.” Simsek was referring to the downing of the Russian jet fighter over Syria by Turkey that took place months ago.
Bloomberg news describes the upcoming meeting in glowing terms and as more than a mere diplomatic formality. The agency writes,
The attempt to overthrow Erdogan has turbo-charged efforts to restore ties between Turkey and Russia that were already under way after the crisis over the warplane. The rapprochement may even lead to a political realignment in the region. Erdogan has drawn strong criticism from the U.S. and other NATO allies for a sweeping crackdownon tens of thousands of alleged opponents following the failed coup, while Turkey has heaped praise on Russia for its support since the crisis erupted on July 15.
Simsek emphasized Turkey’s gratitude to Russia at the talks with Dvorkovich on restoring economic ties, saying: “You supported democracy, supported the government. Thank you very much.”
. . . . .
Turkey received “unconditional support” from Russia over the coup attempt, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview to Haberturk TV on Monday. He also said anti-U.S. sentiment is rising in the country after the failed revolt.
Putin ordered the Russian government last month to begin lifting sanctions imposed on Turkey after Erdogan sent a letter offering “sympathy and profound condolences” to the family of the pilot who died when Turkey shot down his plane during the November mission to bomb Islamic State and other militants in Syria.
Putin had accused Turkey of a “stab in the back” for downing the jet and railed against the “ruling gang” in Ankara, as Russia retaliated with a ban on charter flights that harmed tourism and sanctions on imports of some Turkish fruits and vegetables. In December, Russia directly accused Erdogan’s family of being involved in illegal oil trading with Islamic State, a charge Turkey rejected.
Bloomberg also mentions a renewed interest and hope for the Turkish-Stream pipeline. It reports,
Turkey confirmed interest in resuming the Turkish Stream gas-pipeline project, Alexander Medvedev, deputy chief executive officer of Gazprom PJSC, told reporters after taking part in talks between Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Zeybekci. A decision on an agreement will be made after Putin and Erdogan meet, he said.
Russia shelved talks in December on the planned Black Sea link that would make Turkey a linchpin in Europe’s energy supplies by 2020, with Gazprom saying the route was still possible if political relations improved.
Meanwhile, Turkey continues to launch accusations against the United States and demand, to no avail at least at the current time, that Fethullah Gulen be extradited. Some sources in Turkey have even pointed the finger at U.S. Commander Of The International Security Assistance Force, a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan, as the organizer of the coup. Pro-Erdogan Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak reports,
A former U.S. commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan, was the organizer of the July 15 military coup attempt in Turkey, sources said.
General John F. Campbell was one of the top figures who organized and managed the soldiers behind the failed coup attempt in Turkey, sources close to ongoing legal process of pro-coup detainees said.
Campbell also managed more than $2 billion money transactions via UBA Bank in Nigeria by using CIA links to distribute among the pro-coup military personnel in Turkey.
The ongoing investigation unveiled that Campbell had paid at least two secret visits to Turkey since May, until the day of the coup attempt.
The coup plot that was foiled by the comprehensive effort of Turkish Nation, including its citizens, politicians, media and police forces, was organized by the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) led-by so-called cleric Fethullah Gülen who has been living in self-exile in America for several years.
American Intelligence, Military and other institutions are accused of supporting the FETO leader Gülen and his gangs for the military coup.
Military sources said Campbell, who was the commander of ISAF between August 26, 2014 and May 1, 2016, had made some top secret meetings in Erzurum military base and Adana İnicrlik Airbase.
İncirlik Airbase has been used by the U.S. Military for conducting the anti-Daesh campaign in Syria.
Military sources said that Campbell was the man, who directed the process of trending / blacklisting the military officers in the base.
If the coup attempt was successful, Campbell would visit Turkey in a short time, according to the sources.
The Nigeria branch of the United Bank of Africa (UBA) was the main base for the last six-months of money transactions for the coup plotters.
Millions of dollars of money has been transferred from Nigeria to Turkey by a group of CIA personnel.
The money, which has been distributed to an 80-person special team of the CIA, was used to convince pro-coup generals.
More than 2 billion dollars were distributed during the process leading to the coup.
After taking money from their bank accounts, the CIA team hand delivered it to the terrorists under the military dresses.
In the Persian Gulf, accusations are also starting to circulate with Qatar’s Minister of State for Defense claiming that both Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates supported the coup. According to Khalid al-Attiyah, “This document [which he posted on his twitter account]reveals that a Saudi Emir and a top Emirati military official have been aware, in advance, of an imminent plot to topple the Turkish President through their participation in the Anatolian Eagle maneuvers held last May. However, they refrained from informing the Turkish authorities.” According to the document, the coup was scheduled for August but took place on July 15th.
Likewise, fallout is taking place in Europe with the EU warning Erdogan that his reaction to the coup may jeopardize his chances of being admitted into the EU. In fact, Brussels has warned that, if Turkey decides to go ahead with its reinstatement of the death penalty for the putchists, its bid for membership would be effectively over.
These recent developments (a greater trend toward Russia and continued shaky relations with Europe and the United States) tend to lend credence to claims by those suggesting that the coup was initiated by West (the United States in particular) as a response to Turkey’s recent warming of relations with Russia. These individuals claim that the U.S., in fear that they were losing an ally and useful pawn in the war against Syria to Russia, attempted to overthrow Erdogan and replace him with a more amenable government or, at the very least, frighten Erdogan into playing ball.
One such individual is researcher and analyst, Mimi al-Laham (aka Syrian Girl, Partisan Girl). She says,
“I don’t believe it [the coup] is [an inside job], the man had to go on FaceTime to tell his people to come out in the streets and protest, it was quite humiliating! The reason I don’t believe it was, it’s because a few days before the coup, about 4 days, Turkey started making statements that they were sorry for shooting down the Russian jet, and they wanted to re-affirm their alliance with Russia, and they wanted to get closer to their regional allies. This was like a few days or weeks after Brexit. Basically, the EU wasn’t the same EU anymore.. and the Turkey wasn’t desperate to join it any-more, so Turkey decided to maybe come up with a different Foreign Policy, and Turkey is also unhappy with the agenda to create a Kurdish state in Syria, because that is going to create a Kurdish state in Turkey as well, and of-course, it is going to displace the Christian and Syrian population in Syria as a result, but I guess those people don’t matter, as long as the agenda is pushed.
But, Erdogan is / has been a criminal for the last 4 years, and there is no doubt that he has supported terrorism up until this day, but, he is not the biggest criminal: the biggest criminals were his puppet masters which were in the White House, because, obviously, those people are far more powerful, and those people – there is a lot of indication that it was actually the CIA that was behind it. There were reports that came out that Russia actually tipped off the Turks : the leader behind the coup is in Washington, and Washington has refused to extradite him.
If you look at the Media, the Main Stream Media, for some reason, even though we have been calling Erdogan a terrorist supporter for ages, only now have they decided: “Yep! Oh yea, yea, he is a terrorist supporter.”
France, just before the Nice attacks, or – I’m not quite sure but at-least before the coup, they shut down their Embassy in Turkey. I mean, France has made statements now that Erdogan can no longer be a partner against terror. It’s a joke, cause France itself has been openly arming terror for the last 4 years, and, of-course, so has Turkey : so what’s really going on is France is angry that Turkey is choosing to go a different way now, it’s leaning now towards trying to reverse the disaster it has created for itself, with this instability, with economic problems with Russia, taking advice and shooting down a Russian jet, all because they wanted to join the EU – which is on its way to collapsing.
This is how I read the situation, and I think that *the idea that they did it to themselves.. uhm, I think it comes from a hate and distrust of Erdogan, like a lack of understanding as to why sometimes puppets are just thrown away when they are no longer doing what they are told, or they are no longer useful – which – you know, it’s a confusing situation, but no, many people died, people are in exile, coup leaders are in jail, I don’t think he did it to himself, I think that Russia tipped him off about a CIA agent to get rid of him, and put in some-one else that was gonna maintain the status-quo, and not try to make friends with Russia.”
Still, as Tony Cartalucci writes in his article “Turkey’s Failed Coup A Gift From God,” if the United States was truly involved in the Turkish coup or even if the U.S. had merely facilitated the coup via the Gulen Movement, Turkey’s response has been “disproportionately subdued.” “No one is suggesting that Turkey would “go to war” with the United States,” writes Cartalucci, “but even amid diplomatic rows of far lesser significance, nations have expelled diplomats and withdrawn the use of their territory for specific uses by the nation in question. Turkey, so far, has done none of this in regards to the United States.”
If the U.S. was truly involved in the Turkish coup one would expect a number of actions to follow the incident. First, as Cartalucci suggests, we would expect to see the expulsion of diplomats and the expulsion of U.S. forces from Turkish territory, namely Incirlik Air Base. We would expect the closure of the rather large American embassy in Ankara. Likewise, Turkey would then be forced to rethink its membership in NATO since, despite the organization being based upon the concept of “collective defense,” no one came to Turkey’s aid even though the coup would be considered an overt act of war against the Turkish government.
We would also expect to see Turkey move closer to Russia, Iran, and possibly China as well as some elements of Europe. While international developments are clearly still in flux, we have seen at least some signs that Turkey is moving closer to Russia but, interestingly enough, signs that Turkey may be moving further away from Europe.
So there still stands as a distinct possibility that the United States was indeed involved in the coup but that it was not alone.
At this point in time, we can only watch and gauge the reactions of Turkey and the subsequent behavior of the Erdogan government. Will Turkey engage in punitive measures or will it double down against Syria, Russia, Iran, and political dissent within the country? Without being privy to inside information, Turkey’s behavior will tell us all we need to know in regards to who was behind this coup.
If Erdogan did indeed conspire with the United States to stage a coup and provide a pretext for a massive crackdown and purge of his political enemies, then the man known for narcissism and delusions of grandeur made one hell of a gutsy move that appears to be paying dividends in the form of solidifying his control over the country. If this is case, then Turkey is in for an even rougher ride and, unfortunately, so is Syria.
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 andvolume 2The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at)

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In The Name Of Freedom

Friday, July 29, 2016

Hanin Elias
July 29, 2016
I grew up in Syria as a child. My childhood was filled with happy memories surrounded by my family in Damascus and Aleppo. They belong to the Christian minorities but never encountered any problems related to that. Of course, there was always some Islamist extremism that lurked into the country but a very wide majority of Sunni Muslims took it easy, enjoyed secular Syria, and took some pride in being part of a country that had managed to live peacefully and united for decades.
When I see the news about the “civil war,” knowing that reality is different by being in touch with real Syrians in the country, I can only say that I have enough of this charade… It is a planned “uprising” engineered in order to further control the Middle East. This wasn’t just pushed by democracy-loving protesters. It is well-organized stratagem planned by foreign countries. Chemical weapons and attacks on hospitals have been used by chosen so-called “moderate” rebelsto create more reasons for the West to fight Assad and the Syrian people who lived in secular conditions without religious struggle – including Christians, all sort of Muslims, and other religions.
Saudi Arabia is Syria’s enemy because the Saudi’s stand for Wahhabism and are not tolerant towards religious freedom or musical, artistic or female expression. If Assad fell, democracy would not be the alternative; it would be a Sharia government in its most primitive way!
There are geopolitical interests at work as well of course, and this war has been planned by the CIA and the Pentagon to complete a global long-term plan to control the Middle East and its resources.
Assad was elected by 80 % of the Syrian people, so why are we funding the rebels who want to install the Sharia law and oppress and behead people? Why would we support the very people who committed 9/11? The answer is that, if Assad is gone, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia can build a gas pipeline and Israel can sell the oil they found on the stolen Golan Heights, Iran can be attacked next and so on.
At the moment, it is Russia, Hezbollah and the Syrian Arab Army (all Syrians with different religions united) who are fighting ISIS and thousands of internationally recruited terrorists. Of course the U.S., Turkey, the Saudis and Israel are not happy about this because they profit from destabilizing Syria just as they did with Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. If nobody funded the rebels, this war would be over and the refugees would be able to safely go home. But then the economy of all foreign arm dealers would stagnate. The more people die and shoot each other, the more they earn. They even fund different groups that fight each other just to keep the dollar rolling!
Imperialist megalomaniac ideas clash with the Eastern wish of staying authentic and untouchable make the possibility of a World War 3 awfully real. All the chaos that has been created by the U.S., Saudi Arabia and NATO in the Middle East is a crime against humanity. The U.S. sending troops without an invitation from the legally elected government is illegitimate!
Syria took in Palestinian, Greek, Armenian and Iraqi refugees, gave them free healthcare and school education even in times of drought and sanctions. This is something the U.S. cannot even do for their own people in their best economic days. But because nobody is trained to see the complexity of all that’s happening, people fall for simple explanations and blame Assad, call him a tyrant or bloody dictator. At the same time, the so called “freedom fighters” and “moderate rebels”, who are actually Al Qaida , Al Nusra Front and other Islamic extremists, are painted as good and freedom-lovers by a heavily corrupt western media.
They support their propaganda with millions of dollars to get it down our throats just like the weapons of mass destruction lie in Iraq. The U.S. is known for installing puppet governments in order to move forward with their own interests. I’m sick of it and I want the mainstream press to go to Syria and see for themselves what is happening. I want them to represent the Syrian people and not the terrorists who came to destroy and destabilize the country, displacing its people and who are now starting to destabilize Europe.
I have honestly never seen so many lies in the news as with this invasion, this proxy war in Syria. So many sources have been used to brainwash the people of the West, most notably that of the western press and the so-called humanitarian organizations who attempt to legitimize the horror.
No government and its people should have to accept a foreign-backed regime change for the worse.
The destabilization is doing nothing but providing us with the destruction of worldwide artifacts, loss of culture and the last Muslim and Christian people who spoke the tongue of Christ. These people are now dead, kidnapped, tortured, raped, sold as slaves, and displaced.
How can we accept this in the name of Freedom?
Hanin Elias was born 1972 in Wittlich, Germany. Daughter of a Syrian doctor and a German doctor’s assistant. She spent her childhood in Damascus and Aleppo. Co founder of the Band Atari Teenage Riot, Founder of Fatal Recordings, and political activist, she toured with Rage against the Machine, Wutang Clan, and Nine Inch Nails. She has also released an album under the name “Fantôme” entitled It All Makes Sense. Elias has released 13 albums as a solo artist. 

How the West Extends its Control Over Journalism Worldwide

July 31, 2016 (The New Atlas) – Political developments are often emotionally charged, and even journalists who are expected to maintain an objective approach to reporting can find themselves swept away by sensational headlines and the temptation to wade into controversy without fully analysing background information that might significantly alter established narratives.

Because of this, some journalists find themselves playing the role of commentator rather than investigator, often leaving out critical information in a rush to contribute to one of two sides amid a political divide. In some cases, journalists may appear to be doing their job by “investigating” deeper into news stories, but do so in a transparently one-sided manner, thus negating their role as an objective observer.
In Thailand, this can be clearly seen in English-language coverage, particularly from The Nation and the Bangkok Post. In the rare instance that journalists from either paper “investigates” independently into any given headline, it is generally one-sided and transparently politically-motivated.
And more often than not, these papers appear to be taking their lead from foreign news sources, particularly those in Europe and North America. One would expect newspapers from region to region to develop their own unique angles and perspectives regarding the news, but upon following the money, we will soon see why this more often than not doesn’t happen.
The Industrialised Journalist Mill
Pravit Rojanaphruk, currently a commentator at Thailand’s Khoasod English, is perhaps one of the most transparent examples of just what is wrong with newspapers across Asia. He proudly boasts of his various Western media affiliations and fellowships with his Twitter profile reading as follows:
MSc (Oxon), British Chevening Scholar 2001-2002, Reuter Fellow 97-98, Katherine Fanning Fellow 2009, Salzburg Sem. Fellow.
If these scholarships and fellowships actually cultivated real principles of journalism within recipients, they might actually be noteworthy milestones in a journalist’s career.

However, what they instead represent, is a concerted attempt by the Western media to extend its influence further abroad, and to help align global news coverage uniformly to their perspective and to serve their interests.
Journalists like Pravit, then, serve as an extension of Western media coverage rather than a representation of Thai journalism. Journalism by definition is the reporting of news, and news is by definition noteworthy information.
What Pravit and others like him are prone to do, however, is interweave opinion and commentary into what is often strained, spun or even fabricated information. And this is done to align Thai news with those expectations and norms taught to them during their fellowships abroad in Europe and North America.
The Reuters Journalism Fellowship Programme alone has processed hundreds of journalists around the world, putting them through between 1-3 terms at the University of Oxford to undergo a program of stringent indoctrination into the ways of Western journalism. It is virtually impossible for a fellow to undergo this process and leave as an independent journalist.
Activities, according to the Reuters Institute’s own website include:
  • Attend seminars given by a diverse and high-level range of guest speakers who will share their insights into key industry trends and developments
  • Work with an experienced supervisor, usually an Oxford academic, to produce a research paper of publishable quality
  • Visit world-class news organisations and gain insights into how they are approaching industry challenges. Previous visits have included trips to Thomson Reuters, The Financial Times, The BBC, The Economist and The Guardian
  • Join trips to key UK cultural and political organisations and institutions. Previous destinations have included Oxfam, the House of Commons and Stratford-upon-Avon, home of Shakespeare
  • Exchange ideas and experiences with a diverse and international peer group. Around 25 Fellows a year join us from high-level media organisations all over the world. Strengthen your network, develop a global set of contacts and gain insights into international trends and developments
  • Benefit from the extensive learning facilities offered by the University of Oxford, including the world-famous Bodleian Library and access to various seminars and lectures across the university. You are also encouraged to engage with the university’s cutting edge specialist research facilities, including centres for African, Middle Eastern, South Asian, Eastern and Western European, Japanese and Chinese studies
  • Be given visiting scholar status of Green Templeton College
For inexperienced young men and women who aspire to be journalists, to be afforded this opportunity would be both immensely flattering and emotionally as well as professionally transformative. For a young journalist in Thailand to be afforded the opportunity to travel to the UK, to attend one or more terms at the world renowned University of Oxford and to be given an opportunity to see the inner workings of news organisations like the BBC, Thompson Reuters, The Economist and The Guardian would be an overwhelming experience. And it is meant to be.
If Only Real Journalism Was Being Promoted… 
The journalists who complete such fellowships and return to their home countries, are forever linked to the institutions and individuals they met and worked with during their time abroad. They take back with them to their home countries not the tools of an objective journalist, but the indoctrination, culture, interests and angles of a Western-centric worldview. To those who have completed the fellowship, they often confuse this Western-centric worldview with being “objective,” but it is most certainly not.
We can look at the Reuters fellowship program and see news organisations like Thompson Reuters, the BBC, The Economist and The Guardian held up as examples of journalism. This is despite their active manipulation of information toward particular political objectives rather than accurately informing the public.
In particular, these news services played crucial roles in promoting wars like the US-UK led invasion of Iraq in 2003, intentionally obfuscating critical information the public and policymakers required to make an honest assessment of the decision to go to war.
The BBC in particular has been embroiled in impropriety ranging from deceptive news coverage to paid-for documentaries and even criminal conduct committed by individuals, and covered up institutionally.
But news organisations serving special interests is nothing new. One must expect this realistically, to a certain degree, regarding any news organisation operating around the world. It is not a matter of whether or not they are serving special interests, it is a matter of whose interests they are serving.
While Thai-based news organisations would be expected to serve special interests in Thailand, they do not, specifically because of the Wests industrialised ‘journalist mills.’ These fellowship programs, training seminars and campaigns are undertaken to ensure the widest possible consensus globally to Western special interests, regardless of what nation journalists may be from or what nations they are currently operating in.
That is why The Nation and the Bangkok Post feature editorial slants nearly indistinguishable from those of Western news agencies. While Pravit is very open and proud of his indoctrination into this system of mass-produced consensus, others employed across the Thai media are not. Some digging, however, into the backgrounds of journalists who repeatedly and suspiciously repeat talking-points originating from abroad usually reveals a similar and extensive “resume” of foreign fellowships, education and indoctrination.
History is Repeating Itself   
Understandably, for people hearing this for the first time, it sounds like an incredible conspiracy theory. However, upon thoughtful examination, it is merely the predictable repetition of history unfolding.
Ancient Roman historian Tacitus (c. AD 56 – after 117) would adeptly describe the systematic manner in which Rome pacified foreign peoples and the manner in which it would extend its sociocultural and institutional influence over conquered lands.
In chapter 21 of his book Agricola, named so after his father-in-law whose methods of conquest were the subject of the text, Tacitus would explain:
His object was to accustom them to a life of peace and quiet by the provision of amenities. He therefore gave official assistance to the building of temples, public squares and good houses. He educated the sons of the chiefs in the liberal arts, and expressed a preference for British ability as compared to the trained skills of the Gauls. The result was that instead of loathing the Latin language they became eager to speak it effectively. In the same way, our national dress came into favour and the toga was everywhere to be seen. And so the population was gradually led into the demoralizing temptation of arcades, baths and sumptuous banquets. The unsuspecting Britons spoke of such novelties as ‘civilization’, when in fact they were only a feature of their enslavement.
We can easily see how fellowships fill a similar role today, with the West, openly aspiring to construct an international order, “educating” potentially influential foreigners in both English and “the liberal arts,” encouraging a preference for Western culture and perspectives and convincing them that such indoctrination is a novelty of ‘civilisation’ rather than a feature of control and a vector for Western influence into any particular country.
Under the British Empire, similar education and missionary programs were created to replace independent and unique local perspectives and culture with the uniform perspective and culture of Britain, serving British aspirations of global hegemony.
Cambridge University Press’ Missionary Writing and Empire, 1800–1860 would note in a chapter extract that (our emphasis):
Christian missionary activity was central to the work of European colonialism, providing British missionaries and their supporters with a sense of justice and moral authority. Throughout the history of imperial expansion, missionary proselytising offered the British public a model of ‘civilised’ expansionism and colonial community management, transforming [imperial] projects into moral allegories. Missionary activity was, however, unavoidably implicated in either covert or explicit cultural change. It sought to transform indigenous communities into imperial archetypes of civility and modernity by remodelling the individual, the community, and the state through western, Christian philosophies. In the British Empire, and particularly in what is historically known as the ‘second’ era of British imperialism (approximately 1784–1867), missionary activity was frequently involved with the initial steps of imperial expansion.
It is a bit ironic then that Britain, against which cultural colonialism was first used by the Romans, became a centre of power used then to disseminate cultural colonialism in service of naked imperialism under the British Empire, is now being used to disseminate a “softer” version of it under the guise of journalism and academia.
Like the sons of chiefs in Britannia, foreign journalists like Thailand’s Pravit Rojanaphruk probably have honestly convinced themselves that these features of control and manipulation are instead the “novelties of civilisation.”
What Nations Can Do. 
It is important for policymakers and the public alike to understand this aspect of modern journalism to both be aware of how it impacts news coverage, and of what possible measures can be taken to combat modern day cultural colonialism.
One possible measure could be national programs that attempt to recruit and build up a corps of local journalists who represent their nation’s best interests, culture and perspectives. These journalists can then fill the ranks of local newspapers and TV stations, as well as influence news conferences and seminars both local and international from their own nation’s perspective, rather than merely amplifying those of nations running international “fellowship” programmes.
For Thailand who has large government-funded news organisations like Thai PBS, universities and trusted news professionals, untainted by foreign indoctrination, can develop a truly Thai brand of journalism that is taught to political science and journalist students in school, and reinforced through the same sort of activities conducted by foreign fellowships overseas.
In essence, instead of depending on foreign fellowships and joint news organisation-university programs abroad, Thailand should develop is own domestically, as well as well-funded news organisations for Thai journalists to work at safely, securely and far from the ego-ensnaring temptations extended by foreign interests.

The New Atlas is a media platform providing geopolitical analysis and op-eds. Follow us on Facebookand Twitter.

Netanyahu celebrates 23 July Revolution at Egyptian Embassy

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, attended the ceremony held at the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv to commemorate the 64th anniversary of the Revolution of July, led by the legendary leader Gamal Abdul Nasser.
Several photos have been released showing Netanyahu and his wife accompanied by Hazem Khairat, Egypt’s ambassador to Israel, and his wife during the ceremony.
In a short speech he delivered, Netanyahu praised Egypt as a ‘leading country in the Middle East’ that ‘undertakes a central role in the Palestinian issue’. He also thanked President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, offering the Egyptian people his ‘sincere congratulations’ in celebrating the anniversary.


ALEPPO:  In Handaraat Camp, occupied by the U.S.-supported Nooreddeen Al-Zangi gang of terrorist child-killers, Syrian Army commandos helped by local Palestinians drew a bead on this wretch named ‘Aamir Sha’baan, killing him instantly with a shot to the neck.  He was a major field commander for the gang of mass murdering, mostly foreign, jihadist cockroaches in the Handaraat Camp and played a part in the beheading spectacle of the innocent 13-year old ‘Abdullah ‘Issaa. (See photo below):
That’s the cockroach in the lower left hand corner of the photo which has gone viral.  Gee.  I wonder who wanted to kill him? He also seems high on Captagon.
Deputy Secretary of the Ba’ath Party Regional Command, Hilaal Al-Hilaal, meets with residents of Bani Zayd after its liberation by the Syrian Army and its allies.  Dr. Assad requested his presence there and in Al-Layramoon and Al-Ashrafiyya there to assure the citizens of the continuing concern for their well-being.
Comrade Al-Hilaal, seen here also helping to inaugurate the opening of the brand new Medical Complex for the Physician’s Union in Al-Hamdaaniyya.


People are ecstatic in the Mogambo District after the SAA’s monumental victory. (Thanks, Khaled)
Syrian soldiers prepare for the final assault in Aleppo.  (Photo sent by Khaled Nawaz Al-Nouri)
Displaced Syrians in Damascus receive 4.5 tons of food from the Russian Federation. (Thanks, Khaled)
Abu Muhammad Al-Jawlaani, a native of Dayr El-Zor, but, whose nom de guerre is meant to throw off those who try to pin down his actual origins.  His real name isUsaamaa Al-‘Absi Al-Waahidi.  He claims to have disconnected his group, a Robert Ford creation called Jabhat Al-Nusra (The Front for Assistance), from its mother organization, Al-Qaeda.  The gesture is most certainly related to the SAA’s conquest of Aleppo and the seemingly endless numbers of defectors from his criminal enterprise.  His televised speech was taped and delivered in Jordan.
Syrian residents of Bani Zayd and other recently liberated quarters of the northern capital have begun leaving the area in large number through 3 corridors established for them by the government.  Initially, the rodent terrorists would not permit them to leave and persisted in sniping at families carrying their only moveable property.  After 3 days, when the rats took note that Syrian members of terrorist gangs could actually be granted amnesty, they relented and stopped sniping.  Some stories are emerging about former terrorists turning their guns on foreign rodents who were not willing to consider surrender.  Of course, as you all know, the SAA turns foreigners over to the militias for “dispensation”, so to speak, after they have been interrogated.  The majority of civilians are passing out of Bani Zayd through the Salaahuddeen Quarter and into safety.
The number of Syrian terrorists who have surrendered has just passed the 400 mark as I am writing this article on Sunday, July 31, 2016, at 10:20 EDT.

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The reason the USA brings chaos to the world, There’s No Business Like the Arms Business

By William D. Hartung / TomDispatch

    A mural near the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran, Iran. (David Holt / CC-BY-2.0)
Read Tom Engelhardt’s introduction here.
When American firms dominate a global market worth more than $70 billion a year, you’d expect to hear about it.  Not so with the global arms trade.  It’s good for one or twostories a year in the mainstream media, usually when the annual statistics on the state of the business come out.
It’s not that no one writes about aspects of the arms trade. There are occasional pieces that, for example, take note of the impact of U.S. weapons transfers, including cluster bombs, to Saudi Arabia, or of the disastrous dispensation of weaponry to U.S. allies in Syria, or of foreign sales of the costly, controversial F-35 combat aircraft.  And once in a while, if a foreign leader meets with the president, U.S. arms sales to his or her country might generate an article or two. But the sheer size of the American arms trade, the politics that drive it, the companies that profit from it, and its devastating global impacts are rarely discussed, much less analyzed in any depth.
So here’s a question that’s puzzled me for years (and I’m something of an arms wonk): Why do other major U.S. exports—from Hollywood movies to Midwestern grain shipments to Boeing airliners—garner regular coverage while trends in weapons exports remain in relative obscurity?  Are we ashamed of standing essentially alone as the world’s number one arms dealer, or is our Weapons “R” Us role such a commonplace that we take it for granted, like death or taxes?
The numbers should stagger anyone.  According to the latest figures available from the Congressional Research Service, the United States was credited withmore than half the value of all global arms transfer agreements in 2014, the most recent year for which full statistics are available. At 14%, the world’s second largest supplier, Russia, lagged far behind.  Washington’s “leadership” in this field has never truly been challenged.  The U.S. share has fluctuated between one-third and one-half of the global market for the past two decades, peaking at an almost monopolistic 70% of all weapons sold in 2011.  And the gold rush continues. Vice Admiral Joe Rixey, who heads the Pentagon’s arms sales agency, euphemistically known as the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, estimates that arms deals facilitated by the Pentagon topped $46 billion in 2015, and are on track to hit $40 billion in 2016.
To be completely accurate, there is one group of people who pay remarkably close attention to these trends—executives of the defense contractors that are cashing in on this growth market.  With the Pentagon and related agencies taking in “only” about $600 billion a year—high by historical standards but tens of billions of dollars less than hoped for by the defense industry—companies like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and General Dynamics have been looking to global markets as their major source of new revenue.
In a January 2015 investor call, for example, Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson was asked whether the Iran nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration and five other powers might reduce tensions in the Middle East, undermining the company’s strategy of increasing its arms exports to the region.  She responded that continuing “volatility” in both the Middle East and Asia would make them “growth areas” for the foreseeable future.  In other words, no worries.  As long as the world stays at war or on the verge of it, Lockheed Martin’s profits won’t suffer—and, of course, its products will help ensure that any such “volatility” will prove lethal indeed.
Under Hewson, Lockheed has set a goal of getting at least 25% of its revenues from weapons exports, and Boeing has done that company one better.  It’s seeking to make overseas arms sales 30% of its business.
Good News From the Middle East (If You’re an Arms Maker)
Arms deals are a way of life in Washington.  From the president on down, significant parts of the government are intent on ensuring that American arms will flood the global market and companies like Lockheed and Boeing will live the good life.  From the president on his trips abroad to visit allied world leaders to the secretaries of state and defense to the staffs of U.S. embassies, American officials regularly act as salespeople for the arms firms.  And the Pentagon is their enabler.  From brokering, facilitating, and literally banking the money from arms deals to transferring weapons to favored allies on the taxpayers’ dime, it is in essence the world’s largest arms dealer.
In a typical sale, the U.S. government is involved every step of the way.  The Pentagon often does assessments of an allied nation’s armed forces in order to tell them what they “need”—and of course what they always need is billions of dollars in new U.S.-supplied equipment.  Then the Pentagon helps negotiate the terms of the deal, notifies Congress of its details, and collects the funds from the foreign buyer, which it then gives to the U.S. supplier in the form of a defense contract.  In most deals, the Pentagon is also the point of contact for maintenance and spare parts for any U.S.-supplied system. The bureaucracy that helps make all of this happen, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, is funded from a 3.5% surcharge on the deals it negotiates. This gives it all the more incentive to sell, sell, sell.
And the pressure for yet more of the same is always intense, in part because the weapons makers are careful to spread their production facilities to as many states and localities as possible.  In this way, they ensure that endless support for government promotion of major arms sales becomes part and parcel of domestic politics.
General Dynamics, for instance, has managed to keep its tank plants in Ohio and Michigan running through a combination of add-ons to the Army budget—funds inserted into that budget by Congress even though the Pentagon didn’t request them—andexports to Saudi Arabia.  Boeing is banking on a proposed deal to sell 40 F-18s to Kuwait to keep its St. Louis production line open, and is currently jousting with the Obama administration to get it to move more quickly on the deal.  Not surprisingly, members of Congress and local business leaders in such states become strong supporters of weapons exports.
Though seldom thought of this way, the U.S. political system is also a global arms distribution system of the first order.  In this context, the Obama administration has proven itself a good friend to arms exporting firms.  During President Obama’s first six years in office, Washington entered into agreements to sell more than $190 billion in weaponry worldwide—more, that is, than any U.S. administration since World War II.  In addition, Team Obama has loosened restrictions on arms exports, making it possible to send abroad a whole new range of weapons and weapons components—including Black Hawk and Huey helicopters and engines for C-17 transport planes —with far less scrutiny than was previously required.
This has been good news for the industry, which had been pressing for such changes for decades with little success. But the weaker regulations also make it potentially easier for arms smugglers and human rights abusers to get their hands on U.S. arms. For example, 36 U.S. allies—from Argentina and Bulgaria to Romania and Turkey—will no longer need licenses from the State Department to import weapons and weapons parts from the United States.  This will make it far easier for smuggling networks to set up front companies in such countries and get U.S. arms and arms components that they can then pass on to third parties like Iran or China.  Already a common practice, it will only increase under the new regulations.
The degree to which the Obama administration has been willing to bend over backward to help weapons exporters was underscored at a 2013 hearing on those administration export “reforms.”  Tom Kelly, then the deputy assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, caught the spirit of the era when asked whether the administration was doing enough to promote American arms exports.  Heresponded:
“[We are] advocating on behalf of our companies and doing everything we can to make sure that these sales go through… and that is something we are doing every day, basically [on] every continent in the world… and we’re constantly thinking of how we can do better.”
One place where, with a helping hand from the Obama administration and the Pentagon, the arms industry has been doing a lot better of late is the Middle East.  Washington has brokered deals for more than $50 billion in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia alone for everything from F-15 fighter aircraft and Apache attack helicopters to combat ships and missile defense systems.
The most damaging deals, if not the most lucrative, have been the sales of bombs and missiles to the Saudis for their brutal war in Yemen, where thousands of civilians have been killed and millions of people are going hungry.  Members of Congress like Michigan Representative John Conyers and Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy have pressed forlegislation that would at least stem the flow of the most deadly of the weaponry being sent for use there, but they have yet to overcome the considerable clout of the Saudis in Washington (and, of course, that of the arms industry as well).
When it comes to the arms business, however, there’s no end to the good news from the Middle East.  Take the administration’s proposed new 10-year aid deal with Israel.  If enacted as currently planned, it would boost U.S. military assistance to that country by up to 25%—to roughly $4 billion per year. At the same time, it would phase out a provision that had allowed Israel to spend one-quarter of Washington’s aid developing its own defense industry.  In other words, all that money, the full $4 billion in taxpayer dollars, will now flow directly into the coffers of companies like Lockheed Martin, which is in the midst of completing a multi-billion-dollar deal to sell the Israelis F-35s.
“Volatility” in Asia and Europe 
As Lockheed Martin’s Marillyn Hewson noted, however, the Middle East is hardly the only growth area for that firm or others like it.  The dispute between China and its neighbors over the control of the South China Sea (which is in many ways an incipient conflict over whether that country or the United States will control that part of the Pacific Ocean) has opened up new vistas when it comes to the sale of American warships and other military equipment to Washington’s East Asian allies.  The recent Hague court decision rejecting Chinese claims to those waters (and the Chinese rejection of it) is only likely to increase the pace of arms buying in the region.
At the same time, in the good-news-never-ends department, growing fears of North Korea’s nuclear program have stoked a demand for U.S.-supplied missile defense systems.  The South Koreans have, in fact, just agreed to deploy Lockheed Martin’s THAAD anti-missile system.  In addition, the Obama administration’s decision to end the longstanding embargo on U.S. arms sales to Vietnam is likely to open yet another significant market for U.S. firms. In the past two years alone, the U.S. has offered more than $15 billion worth of weaponry to allies in East Asia, with Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea accounting for the bulk of the sales.
In addition, the Obama administration has gone to great lengths to build a defense relationship with India, a development guaranteed to benefit U.S. arms exporters.  Last year, Washington and New Delhi signed a 10-year defense agreement that included pledges of future joint work on aircraft engines and aircraft carrier designs.  In these years, the U.S. has made significant inroads into the Indian arms market, which had traditionally been dominated by the Soviet Union and then Russia.  Recent deals include a $5.8 billion sale of Boeing C-17 transport aircraft and a $1.4 billion agreement to provide support services related to a planned purchase of Apache attack helicopters.
And don’t forget “volatile” Europe.  Great Britain’s recent Brexit vote introduced an uncertainty factor into American arms exports to that country. The United Kingdom has been by far the biggest purchaser of U.S. weapons in Europe of late, with more than $6 billion in deals struck over the past two years alone—more, that is, than the U.S. has sold to all other European countries combined.
The British defense behemoth BAE is Lockheed Martin’s principal foreign partner on the F-35 combat aircraft, which at a projected cost of $1.4 trillion over its lifetime already qualifies as the most expensive weapons program in history.  If Brexit-driven austerity were to lead to a delay in, or the cancellation of, the F-35 deal (or any other major weapons shipments), it would be a blow to American arms makers.  But count on one thing: were there to be even a hint that this might happen to the F-35, lobbyists for BAE will mobilize to get the deal privileged status, whatever other budget cuts may be in the works.
On the bright side (if you happen to be a weapons maker), any British reductions will certainly be more than offset by opportunities in Eastern and Central Europe, where anew Cold War seems to be gaining traction.  Between 2014 and 2015, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, military spending increased by 13%in the region in response to the Russian intervention in Ukraine. The rise in Poland’s outlays, at 22%, was particularly steep.
Under the circumstances, it should be obvious that trends in the global arms trade are a major news story and should be dealt with as such in the country most responsible for putting more weapons of a more powerful nature into the hands of those living in “volatile” regions.  It’s a monster business (in every sense of the word) and certainly has far more dangerous consequences than licensing a Hollywood blockbuster or selling another Boeing airliner.
Historically, there have been rare occasions of public protest against unbridled arms trafficking, as with the backlash against “the merchants of death” after World War I, or the controversy over who armed Saddam Hussein that followed the 1991 Persian Gulf War.  Even now, small numbers of congressional representatives, including John Conyers, Chris Murphy, and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, continue to try to halt the sale of cluster munitions, bombs, and missiles to Saudi Arabia.
There is, however, unlikely to be a genuine public debate about the value of the arms business and Washington’s place in it if it isn’t even considered a subject worthy of more than an occasional media story.  In the meantime, the United States continues to hold onto the number one role in the global arms trade, the White House does its part, the Pentagon greases the wheels, and the dollars roll in to profit-hungry U.S. weapons contractors.
William D. Hartung, a TomDispatch regular, is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and a senior advisor to the Security Assistance Monitor. He is the author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex.