A photo shows the alleged site of a US airstrike that killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani near Baghdad International Airport in Iraq, January 03, 2020. Photo | Iraqi Security Forces handout

A Dubious Official Story Masks the True Motives Behind the Soleimani Assassination

Risking a regional war to allegedly avenge the death of an individual who was already avenged raises questions, especially for a President standing for re-election. The United States claims that the assassination was also intended to act as a “deterrent” against potential, future Iranian attacks, yet it is hard to justify the murder of a top general of a foreign power on foreign soil as a preemptive and preventative measure as opposed to one that would invite escalation. This is particularly true given that those that have most often sought an escalation in tensions between Iran and the U.S. and its Middle Eastern allies do not live in Tehran and Baghdad, but instead in Washington D.C. and Tel Aviv.
The current pressure facing both Trump and Netanyahu in their respective policies is only the latest factor that has pushed both administrations into a renewed and increasingly desperate push to satisfy the decades-old effort of Iran hawks in both countries to stoke war and “reshape” the Middle East in favor of the U.S.-Israel axis.

Read More
Protesters throw eggs filled with paint on the image of U.S. President Donald Trump as they hold a rally opposing the recent U.S. attack that killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Manila, Philippines, Monday Jan. 6, 2020.

War With Iran

The targeting of Soleimani, who was killed by a MQ-9 Reaper drone that fired missiles into his convoy as he was leaving the Baghdad airport, also took the life of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias in Iraq known as the Popular Mobilization Forces, along with other Iraqi Shiite militia leaders. The strike may temporarily bolster the political fortunes of the two beleaguered architects of the assassination, Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but it is an act of imperial suicide by the United States. War with Iran would trigger a long and widening regional conflict that, by the time it was done, would terminate the American Empire and leave in its wake mounds of corpses and smoldering ruins.

Read More
Free Julian Assange

Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange ‘Slowly Dies’ in Prison

Smith also divulged that Assange told him he is kept in solitary confinement 23 hours per day and is often sedated.
His treatment has elicited protests around the world, from journalists, news organizations, human rights groups and celebrities. Last week a group of Australian doctors asked Foreign Minister Marise Payne to evacuate Assange to an Australian hospital, citing his inhumane treatment. In a statement they said:
“The potentially fatal medical consequences of prolonged psychological torture are inherently unpredictable, and could strike at any time. Accordingly, no doctor, no matter how senior, can offer any legitimate assurances regarding Julian Assange’s survival or medical stability while he continues to be held in Belmarsh Prison.”

Read More
weekly change in the Fed Balance Sheet from Deutsche Bank

I, Who Vowed to Never-Ever Short Stocks Again, Just Shorted the Entire Market

And even after today’s dip, the S&P 500 is up nearly 29% for the year, and the Nasdaq 35%, despite lackluster growth in the global economy, where many of the S&P 500 companies are getting the majority of their revenues.
Mega-weight in the indices, Apple, is a good example: shares soared 84% in the year, though its revenues ticked up only 2%. This is not a growth story. This is an exuberance story where nothing that happens in reality – such as lacking revenue growth – matters, as we’re now told by enthusiastic crowds everywhere.
Until just a couple of months ago, the touts were out there touting negative interest rates soon to come to the US and thus making stocks the only place to be. Those touts have now been run over by the reality. Now they’re touting QE4 by the Fed, or whatever. And people were looking for any reason to buy.
The unanimity of it all was astounding. I’ve seen this before, but not in this magnitude.

Read More
Boris Johnson

Someone Interfered in the UK Election & It Wasn’t Russia

As CNN reports, the Tories’ “Boris Johnson delivered a Margaret Thatcher-like win, crushing the opposition in the biggest general election victory for the Conservative Party since 1987.” Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has been described as the most smeared politician in history, and this is a fair description. This smear campaign was driven by billionaire-controlled media outlets, along with intelligence and military agencies, as well as state media like the BBC.
Nobody will suffer any consequences for interfering in the U.K. election because the ones doing the interfering were extremely powerful, and that’s who the system is built to serve.

Read More
Elon Musk, founder, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla, speaks at the International Space Station Research and Development Conference in Washington

Broke Billionaires (and Other Ridiculous Signs of The Top)

Uber, WeWork, Lyft, Slack, Peloton, Pinterest– there are so many tech companies, or companies masquerading as tech companies– that consistently lose tons of money. It’s absurd. In finance, a startup that eventually becomes worth more than a billion dollars is referred to as a ‘unicorn’ because it’s supposed to be so rare that it borders on impossible. And that’s basically what these companies are– donkeys with fake horns. They’re not real unicorns.
They bleed cash. Many of them have no hope of ever turning a profit. And the rock-star famous people who own them are often just “Billionaires In Name Only,’or BINOs.

Read More
Homeless person in Jakarta, no social justice and abandoned by the Indonesian Government and society.

Abandoning Jakarta, Moving Capital to Borneo – Cynicism, Corruption, Murder

“Jakarta is a capital city that is literally sinking. Under the weight of pollution and rising sea levels, Indonesia’s government has decided to simply pack up and move elsewhere.They, along with 1.5 million government workers, will soon be headed for the island of Borneo.The rest of Jakarta’s 30 million residents will be abandoned to live in a hugely polluted, impoverished and sinking city.”
President Jokowi, a megalomaniac from the provincial city of Solo (Central Java) is at war with anything socialist. He is fully determined to sell his country to the West. He is getting rid of almost all remaining labor protection laws, and he is inviting Western companies to “invest” in Indonesia, giving them tax holidays and many other incentives. Recently he met President Donald Trump, behaving embarrassingly, like a boy scout, begging him to visit Indonesia, and to invest.
While people all over the world are fighting and dying, trying to defeat outrageous turbo-capitalism, Jokowi is falling head over heels in love with long time discredited Thatcherite and Reaganite dogmas.
People are being robbed of everything, including their land, their environment, as well as public spaces, beaches, rainforests, cities, villages and rivers. And even economy is collapsing.

Read More
un_climate

U.N. Issues Climate Report We Can’t Afford to Ignore

An alarming United Nations report released Tuesday said global temperatures are on track to rise as much as 3.9°C by the end of the century, meaning only drastic and unprecedented emissions reductions can stave off the most devastating consequences of the climate crisis.
“We need to catch up on the years in which we procrastinated,” Anderson said. “If we don’t do this, the 1.5°C goal will be out of reach before 2030.”
“Failure to heed these warnings and take drastic action to reverse emissions means we will continue to witness deadly and catastrophic heatwaves, storms, and pollution.”

Read More
The New York Times Supporting US-Backed Coups

The New York Times’ Long History of Endorsing US-Backed Coups

To be sure, the New York Times is not the only major media outlet guilty of reflexively supporting every U.S. action around the world. The Economist and the Washington Post both came out to support the coup in Bolivia, as they had done before with Venezuela. But the Times’ position as “the paper of record” sets it apart in terms of importance.
This position makes it a crucial weapon in the propaganda war waged on the American people in order to manufacture consent for regime change abroad.

Read More
Pay Your Blessings Forward

Don’t Just Give Thanks. Pay Your Blessings Forward

This is how evil prevails: when good men and women do nothing.
By doing nothing, by remaining silent, by being bystanders to injustice, hate and wrongdoing, good people become as guilty as the perpetrator.
There’s a term for this phenomenon where people stand by, watch and do nothing—even when there is no risk to their safety—while some horrific act takes place (someone is mugged or raped or bullied or left to die): it’s called the bystander effect.
Don’t turn away from suffering.
Refuse to remain silent. Take a stand. Speak up. Speak out.
It’s never too late to start making things right in the world. So this year, don’t just give thanks. Pay your blessings forward.

Read More
Death by Oligarchy - by Chris Hedges, illustration by Mr. Fish for Truthdig

Death by Oligarchy

Chris Hedges:
Privilege does strange and unpleasant things to human beings. I saw these distortions among my rich classmates as a scholarship student at prep school and at Harvard University, an institution designed, like all elite schools, to perpetuate the plutocracy. Living in privilege spawns callousness, even cruelty, to those less fortunate and feeds a bottomless greed.
All our institutions—the press, the courts, legislative bodies, the executive branch and academia—have been perverted to serve the oligarch’s narrow, selfish interests while an oppressed citizenry, struggling to survive, is seething with mounting rage and frustration.
Oligarchs, freed from outside oversight and regulation, wantonly pillage the political and economic institutions that sustain them.
Greed is bottomless. It is the disease of the rich. All societies are plagued by social inequality, but when those on the bottom and in the middle of the social pyramid lose their voice and agency, when the society exists only to serve the greed of the rich, when income inequality reaches the levels it has reached in the United States, the social fabric is torn apart and the society destroys itself.

Read More
A broken portrait of former Bolivia's President Evo Morales is on the floor of his private home in Cochabamba, Bolivia, after hooded opponents broke into the residence on Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. Morales resigned Sunday under mounting pressure from the military and the public after his re-election victory triggered weeks of fraud allegations and deadly protests. (AP Photo)

5 Fast Facts About the Military Coup in Bolivia and What You Can Do

At a United Nations Security Council meeting, Evo Morales explained:
“I would like to say to you, frankly and openly here, that in no way is the United States interested in upholding democracy. If such were the case it would not have financed coups d’etat and supported dictators. It would not have threatened with military intervention democratically elected governments as it has done with Venezuela. The United States could not care less about human rights or justice. If this were the case, it would have signed the international conventions and treaties that have protected human rights.It would not have threatened the investigation mechanism of the International Criminal Court, nor would it promote the use of torture, nor would it have walked away from the Human Rights Council. And nor would it have separated migrant children from their families, nor put them in cages.”
Morales went on to say, “Each time that the United States invades nations, launches missiles, or finances regime change, it does so behind a propaganda campaign which incessantly repeats the message that it is acting in the course of justice, freedom and democracy, in the cause of human rights or for humanitarian reasons.”

Read More
Forest Fire

Indonesia and France’s Dirty Little Secret: The Arms Weapons Deals that Keep The Indonesian Forests Burning

Unbeknown to the world, the closeness and strong relationship between France and Indonesia. The French weapons and arms sales that keep the forests in Indonesia and Malaysia burning and the ramifications of these business deals to the world ecological crisis and world peace.
We as global citizens of the world have to start questioning the importance of money or profit above everything else, above humanity, and above our survival on this planet earth. Are we going to let money and greed rule us to the extent that it threatens our humanity, freedom, peace and our existence on this planet earth?

Read More

Second Whistleblower Emerges from Investigation into Douma Chemical Attack

OPCW Losing Credibility As Even More Revelations Surface On Douma. Caitlin Johnstone flags a report about another member of the OPCW investigation who says his findings, which contradicted the official conclusions, were suppressed.
With the US-centralized empire’s increasingly evident influence over the OPCW, we’re seeing evidence of a campaign to distort the public understanding of what’s going on in a foreign nation the likes of which we’ve never before seen.
Stay skeptical and remember Iraq. These new reports which keep surfacing on unacceptable practices by the OPCW are just one more piece on a mountain of evidence that whenever the political/media class and their hypnotized victims try to bully us into accepting the official narrative about a longtime target for regime change, we should stand firm and insist on an amount of proof which rises to the level required in a post-Iraq invasion world.

Read More