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Caitlin Johnstone

The Establishment Only Dislikes Trump Because He Puts An Ugly Face On The Empire

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Barack Obama has given his perfunctory speech about the Black Lives Matter protests taking place in America today, and it was every bit as full of pretty words and empty of actual substance as you’d expect from a president who spent eight years stagnating the progressive movement with empty hope narrative while advancing the same murderous oppressive agendas as his predecessors.

The former president talked about changes that need to be made as though he wasn’t the most powerful politician in America for two full terms, praised the nation’s police officers saying “the vast majority” of them protect and serve the people, and encouraged them to continue making empty gestures of solidarity with the protesters to calm them down.

“I want to acknowledge the folks in law enforcement that share the goals of re-imagining policing,” Obama said. “Because there are folks out there who took their oath to serve your communities to your countries [who] have a tough job, and I know you’re just as outraged about the tragedies in the recent weeks as are many of the protesters. So we’re grateful for the vast majority of you who protect and serve. I’ve been heartened to see those in law enforcement who recognize, ‘Let me march along with these protestors. Let me stand side by side and recognize that I want to be part of the solution,’ and have shown restraint and volunteered and engaged and listened because you’re a vital part of the conversation, and change is going to require everyone’s participation.”
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Nothing Is Certain But Death, Taxes, And Police Infiltration Of US Protests

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video has been circulating of a white man casually smashing the windows of a Minneapolis shop with a hammer during protests against the police murder of George Floyd. The man is clearly trying to hide his identity by wearing a gas mask, carrying a large umbrella, and wearing full-length black clothing.

Protesters can be seen intervening to stop his destructive behavior in the video.

“Are you a fu*king cop?” one asks.

An officer with the Saint Paul Police Department has been publicly named by someone identified as the officer’s ex-wife, who said his voice, walk and gas mask made her “90% sure” it was him. The Saint Paul Police Department has denied this.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but it is a very safe bet that it’s a law enforcement officer of some kind. Disruptive police infiltration of protest movements is a historical constant in America, after all. It is the norm, not the exception.

Protests have spread throughout the United States since the emergence of that footage. Journalist Max Blumenthal has uploaded a very interesting video of an encounter he had with an undercover cop posing as a protester in Washington, DC.
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Narrative Managers Argue China-Like Internet Censorship Is Needed

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Neoconservative publication The Atlantic has published an article authored by two university professors titled “Internet Speech Will Never Go Back to Normal”, subtitled “In the debate over freedom versus control of the global network, China was largely correct, and the US was wrong.”

The article is actually worth reading in full, not just because it’s outrage porn for anyone who values human communication that is unregulated by oligarchs and government agencies, but because it’s actually packed full of extensively sourced information about the way Silicon Valley tech giants are collaborating with western governments to censor speech. The only difference between this article and something you might read on some libertarian website is that this article argues that all of these regulations on speech are a good thing.

Here’s an archive of the article if you don’t want to give clicks to The Atlantic, whose editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg once assured the world that “the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality.” Do give it a look if this interests you and you have time.
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MSM China Hysteria Gets Way Crazier And Dumber

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Hysteria about China has been kicked into high gear by the political/media class who are responsible for manufacturing support for the cold war escalations which will be necessary to prevent the US from being surpassed on the world stage as a unipolar superpower.

Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro has aired a fire-and-brimstone monologue on China that looks like a fictional news clip from some kind of film noir-style movie adaptation of a really ham-fisted dystopian graphic novel. It really needs to be seen to be believed, so give it a view here when you get a chance.

“China is the one that’s out of control,” Pirro spat, punching the word ‘China’ like she was speaking a profanity at someone she despises. “We’re not going to let you destroy this country or our way of life. We’ve fought too hard and we’ve fought too long to lose it to a Wuhan – that’s what I said, a WOO-HAN virus!”

“You want to control people? You politicians want to flex your muscles?” Pirro asked, referring to government lockdowns. “Well start working on how you’re gonna punish, ostracize, alienate, and financially sanction, and make China accountable for what they did to us and the rest of the world!”
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They Are Rolling Out The Architecture Of Oppression Now Because They Fear The People

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“As authoritarianism spreads, as emergency laws proliferate, as we sacrifice our rights, we also sacrifice our capability to arrest the slide into a less liberal and less free world,” NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said in a recent interview. “Do you truly believe that when the first wave, this second wave, the 16th wave of the coronavirus is a long-forgotten memory, that these capabilities will not be kept?
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Debunking The Smear That Assange Recklessly Published Unredacted Documents

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The prosecution in the Assange extradition trial has falsely alleged that WikiLeaks recklessly published unredacted files in 2011 which endangered people’s lives. In reality the Pentagon admitted that no one was harmed as a result of the leaks during the Manning trial, and the unredacted files were actually published elsewhere as the result of a Guardian journalist recklessly included a real password in a book about WikiLeaks.
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Trump Supporters Are George W Bush Supporters LARPing As Ron Paul Supporters

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The Trump administration has released its official statement to Congress justifying its drone assassination of Iran’s top military official Qassem Soleimani last month. Surprising exactly zero people, the formal notification makes no mention whatsoever of any imminent threat posed by Soleimani, a direct contradiction of this administration’s previous claims defending the assassination.

“The Trump administration has been accused of lying after the publication of a new report that undermined its reasoning for assassinating Iranian General Qassem Soleimani last month,” reports Middle East Eye. “The chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Friday that President Donald Trump’s official notification to Congress defending the 3 January strike failed to specify an ‘imminent threat’ posed by Soleimani.”

“This official report directly contradicts the president’s false assertion that he attacked Iran to prevent an imminent attack against United States personnel and embassies,” Democratic Representative Eliot Engel of New York said.
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“Iran Must Begin Acting Like A Normal Nation,” Says Totally Normal Nation

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The government which runs a globe-spanning empire led by a reality TV host keeps talking about the lack of normality in the nation of Iran.

“What we want all countries to join in,” said State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus in a recent Fox News interview, “is to help us not only to de-escalate any tensions with Iran, but to help us bring Iran to a place where they are ready to stop their terrorist and malign behavior, and where they are ready to discuss with the United States, with Europe, with everyone, about how they can change their behavior to act like a normal nation.”

“We want Iran to simply behave like a normal nation,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a press statement the other day. “We believe that the sanctions we imposed today further that strategic objective.”

These would be the additional sanctions which have been expanded to include virtually the entire Iranian economy, deliberately targeting Iran’s already sanction-starved populace, with the explicit goal of fomenting a civil war in that nation.

Which is of course a perfectly normal thing to do, from a perfectly normal nation.
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The US Government Lies Constantly, And The Burden Of Proof Is On The Accuser

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Over the last 48 hours I’ve been splitting my free time between (A) learning as much as I possibly can about the US assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and (B) arguing with people online who are uncritically swallowing US government claims about why that assassination was necessary. I always engage such political debates because they’re a valuable source of information on what propaganda narratives people are buying into, and therefore which propaganda narratives need to be addressed.

What has been made abundantly clear from this particular engagement is that those who have bought into the Trump administration’s completely unsubstantiated claims about Soleimani are sincerely unaware that they have unquestioningly bought into unsubstantiated US government narratives. People tend to get their information from tightly insulated echo chambers, and if you inhabit an echo chamber that supports the current president all you’ll get is a bunch of officials, pundits and reporters saying in a confident-sounding tone of voice that Soleimani needed to be taken out. Since they’re surrounded by chatter affirming that Soleimani had attacked America and/or posed an imminent threat in the near future, they assume that chatter must be based on some actual facts in evidence.

It is not.

When I speak out online against Trump’s act of war on Iran and interact one-on-one with those who object to what I’m saying, the disparity between what they think they know and what they actually know gets very quickly highlighted. Simply by my challenging people to prove the claims that they are making about Soleimani planning to attack Americans, attacking a US embassy, directing a strike that allegedly killed a mysteriously unnamed US contractor in Iraq, killing hundreds of US soldiers in Iraq, that he’s a “terrorist”, etc, they quickly realize that they have literally no evidence for their claims beyond the unsubstantiated assertions of US government officials and people who unquestioningly repeated those assertions.
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