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Iran Social Unrest: Protests and Carefully Planned Provocations

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When protests in Hong Kong, Iraq, and Lebanon erupted, I was fully anticipating protests in Iran to follow. In 2018 alone, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) had spent millions of dollars in these countries (and elsewhere) to promote America’s agenda. However, I did not expect unrest in Iran to take place while I was visiting the country. In retrospect, I am glad that I was here to be witness to these latest events.

On Thursday, November 21st, friends took me to a very charming Iranian restaurant in the heart of the city. During our lunch, they talked about there being a price hike in gasoline. After lunch, we walked around the charming downtown area of Tehran, visited shops and exhausted climbed into a cab. We asked the cab driver if he had heard anything about prices going up. He told us that this was just a rumor. As such, the increase in the price of gasoline took Iranians by surprise.

Regrettably, the government of President Rohani had not explained the rationale behind the price increase PRIOR to the increase itself. In several parts of Iran, protests erupted. Perhaps justified; and they were peaceful. One could argue they were disruptive in that cars blocked roads making it difficult for others, causing traffic jams, but there was no vandalism on the first day – not to my knowledge.
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Scandal! UN Officials Faked Syria Gas 'Attack' Report!

A startling development in the alleged gas attack in Douma, Syria in April, 2018: Whistleblowing inspectors from the OPCW - the UN Agency that investigated the attack - have come forward to claim that the original report has been doctored and distorted to falsely blame the Syrian government. Will the mainstream media touch this scandal with a ten foot pole? Watch today's Liberty Report...
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State Department Shoots Itself in the Foot at Impeachment Hearings

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The State Department, where I worked 24 years as a Foreign Service Officer (FSO) and diplomat, reminds me a lot of my current hometown, New York City. Both places spend an inordinate amount of time telling outsiders how great they are while ignoring the obvious garbage piled up around them. It’s almost as if they’re trying to tell themselves more than others everything is OK.

Like NYC convincing itself the Broadway lights mean you won’t notice the wicked homeless problem and decaying infrastructure, the State Department fully misunderstands how it really appears to others. Across Facebook groups and internal channels, FSOs this week are sending each other little messages tagged #FSProud quoting Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s closing soliloquy from her impeachment testimony.

Yovanovitch’s testimony otherwise read like the HR complaint from hell, as if she was auditioning for a Disgruntled Employee poster child position to cap off her career. She had already been fired by the time the alleged impeachable act took place — during Trump’s July 25 phone call — and was stuck in a placeholder job far removed from Ukrainian policy. She witnessed nothing of the “high crimes and misdemeanors” the House is investigating, and basically used her time to complain she knew more than her boss did so he fired her.
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Here is What the Horowitz Report Should Conclude

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You do not have to wait for the Horowitz report. I can give you a preview of what he should have found if he conducted an honest audit. The following is not my opinion. It is based on the flood of information that has come out over the past two and a half-years surrounding the plot to destroy the Presidency of Donald Trump. When you read these facts it is easy to understand how dishonest and corrupt the FBI were in presenting a FISA application to spy on Carter Page. Helen Keller could see this is wrong.

Let me take you through this piece-by-piece (except where noted I am quoting from the first FISA application).

Let's start with the FBI claim that Carter Page was an "agent of a foreign government."
The target of this application is Carter Page, a US person, and an agent of a foreign power, described in detail below. The status of the target was determined in or about October 2016 from information provided by the US Department of State.
What information did State supply? Information provided by the notorious Christopher Steele. The Washington Examiner's Daniel Chaitin reported on this in May 2019...



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The Real Bombshell of the Impeachment Hearings

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The most shocking thing about the House impeachment hearings to this point is not a “smoking gun” witness providing irrefutable evidence of quid pro quo. It’s not that President Trump may or may not have asked the Ukrainians to look into business deals between then-Vice President Biden’s son and a Ukrainian oligarch.
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Explosive leaked email claims that UN watchdog's report into alleged poison gas attack by Assad was doctored - so was it to justify British and American missile strikes on Syria?

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A leaked email last night dramatically indicated that the UN’s poison gas watchdog had butchered and censored a critical report on an alleged chemical attack in Syria. If substantiated, the revelations will be severely embarrassing for Britain, France and America, which launched a massive military strike in retaliation without waiting for proof that chemical weapons had actually been used.

Unconfirmed reports and videos, showing the corpses of adults and children foaming at the mouth in Douma, a suburb of Damascus, shocked the world in April 2018 and led to a joint Western attack on the supposed culprit, Syria, in which more than 100 missiles, including nearly 70 Tomahawk cruise missiles, were fired.

Although the reports and films could not be independently verified, as the alleged events took place in a war zone then under the control of brutal Islamist militants, Western governments, and many Western media, took them at face value.

President Donald Trump tweeted at the time: ‘Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay. Open area immediately for medical help and verification. Another humanitarian disaster for no reason whatsoever. SICK!’
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Bolivia’s Coup Gov’t Targets Alternative Media as Crackdown Turns Increasingly Violent

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Facing increased resistance to its rule, the new “transition” government of Jeanine Añez in Bolivia has begun to purge and censor potential threats to its authority, including in the media. TeleSUR, an international media network that began as a collaboration between left-wing Latin American nations, including deposed President Evo Morales’ Bolivia and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, and which espouses an openly leftist and anti-imperialist outlook, received confirmation that it would be taken off the airwaves as part of what the government calls a “reorganization” of the airwaves. TeleSUR openly opposed the US-backed military coup d’état that installed Añez as head of state earlier this month. 

New Communications Minister Roxana Lizárraga announced that this was part of the “dismantling of the propaganda apparatus of the dictatorial regime of Evo Morales,” claiming that Morales’ “militants who misused the state media system” are being “withdrawn.”

TeleSUR was originally conceived as a counterweight to Western-dominated media system and attempted to bring the voices of working-class Latin Americans to the fore. It also offers an alternative to local mainstream media, overwhelmingly owned and controlled by Latin American elites who have been particularly hostile to progressive governments such as Morales.’
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The Pitfalls of a Pit Bull Russophobe

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Fiona Hill’s “Russian-expert” testimony Thursday and her deposition on Oct. 14 to the impeachment inquiry showed that her antennae are acutely tuned to what Russian intelligence services may be up to but, sadly, also displayed a striking naiveté about the machinations of US intelligence.
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Fueling Iran's Protests

What's behind the most recent violent protests in Iran? Is it really all about a gasoline price increase? Why is US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo so enthusiastic about the protests, telling them that the US stands with them against their government? What's the role of the CIA and the notorious "Ayatollah Mike" in fanning the flames? RPI's Daniel McAdams joins PressTV's Debate program to discuss Iran unrest...
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