Not Just Ferguson: Protests Scheduled for 83 Cities, “Direct Action Trainings” Held for Protesters, Melissa Melton

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Everyone knows the government, with its lapdog mainstream media in lockstep, has whipped up the Ferguson situation into a total frenzy.

It doesn’t matter what the grand jury decides now. Fear and anger are very powerful weapons and everyone who has allowed the powers that (shouldn’t) be to steer their emotions on this one has taken the bait.

The cops have stocked up on nearly $200k worth of riot gear, less-lethal ammunition and the like. Ferguson residents have been advised to go get guns because the cops won’t be able to protect them all from what’s coming. Firearm sales in the area have skyrocketed. Everyone is on edge.

Missouri’s governor has now preemptively declared a 30-day state of emergency and called out the National Guard — and the grand jury hasn’t even made it’s decision yet!

Basically, it’s on.

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Continue reading Not Just Ferguson: Protests Scheduled for 83 Cities, “Direct Action Trainings” Held for Protesters, Melissa Melton

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IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL COUNTDOWN, by Pepe Escobar

Tasnim News Agency asked me about a possible Iran – P5+1 nuclear deal as we approach crunch time. Article is in Farsi. This is what I said, in English:

“In these final crucial days there’s a lot of Western spin about an extension of negotiations; as in an understanding reached on Monday, followed by renewed talks up to March 2015. That’s NOT a good idea – in fact dangerous. All those powerful forces against a deal will work on overtime to sabotage it.

All the technical controversy about number of centrifuges and how much low-enriched uranium Iran must hold mask the key fact; if the US wants a deal, everything is on the table. Russia, China and Germany want a deal. The White House, for its part, wants a very particular kind of deal that smells of surrender. The American rhetoric essentially remains the same: Iran is an evil threat that must be contained.

Team Obama is under the assumption Tehran needs Washington to deal with Daesh – thus it must make additional nuclear concessions. This is totally absurd – as if the White House had the power to open the gates for Iran to be part of its coalition of the clueless/cowards fighting Daesh. In fact, Iraqi Shi’ite militias can easily defeat Daesh – by themselves, with some Iranian help. At the same time, the Obama administration would like Tehran to persuade Assad to do nothing while the “coalition” smashes Daesh (and they won’t). And then what? A renewed American surge attempting regime change in Damascus?

The Obama administration also carries an Alice in Wonderland idea that the “international community” will blame Tehran if there’s no deal. That’s rubbish. It would certainly be the spin in Washington, London, Paris, Riyadh and Jerusalem. And that’s it. The BRICS know very well what’s going on, as well as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Obama seems more helpless than a lame duck in this situation. The Israel lobby still dictates the unrelenting agenda – along with all Republicans and most Democrats; we gotta remain very tough. An extension of the negotiations means the new US Congress will push for no end to sanctions – unless the White House comes up with a deal that means unconditional Iranian surrender.

In parallel, the House of Saud – backed by the GCC – is allied with Israel and political Washington. They want no deal at all – as it will empower Iran as the key geopolitical actor in Southwest Asia. In their paranoia, the House of Saud sees the rise of Iran as even more dangerous for their survival than Western democracy.

There’s no evidence the White House is strategically equipped to deal with all these complex interlocked factors. If Obama REALLY wants a deal (and that would represent his ONLY foreign policy success) he will have to force all those powerful domestic enemies – plus Israel and Saudi Arabia – to toe the White House line. It’s obvious to any unbiased geopolitical observer that a normalization between Iran and the US and the EU is a win-win game, as the Chinese say. The key problem is that Washington simply refuses to admit it.

FarsiPepe

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Readers Comments Show anti-Putin Propaganda Not Working, by Mike Whitney

Anyone who follows the news regularly, knows that the media has done everything in its power to smear Vladimir Putin and to demonize him as a tyrant and a thug. Fortunately, most people aren’t buying it.

Yes, I’ve seen the polls that say that Putin and Russia are viewed “less favorably” than they were prior to the crisis in Ukraine. In fact, here’s a clip from a recent PEW survey which seems to prove that I’m wrong:

“Across the 44 countries surveyed, a median percentage of 43% have unfavorable opinions of Russia, compared with 34% who are positive.

Negative ratings of Russia have increased significantly since 2013 in 20 of the 36 countries surveyed…

Americans and Europeans in particular have soured on Russia over the past 12 months. More than six-in-ten in Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, the U.S. and the UK have an unfavorable image of Russia. And in all but one of these countries negative reviews are up by double digits since last year, including by 29 percentage points in the U.S., 27 points in Poland, 24 points in the UK and 23 points in Spain.” (Russia’s Global Image Negative amid Crisis in Ukraine: Americans’ and Europeans’ Views Sour Dramatically, PEW Research)

These results strongly suggest that the public blames Moscow for the fighting in Ukraine and (presumably)agrees with the prevailing storyline that Putin is a vicious aggressor who seized Crimea in order to rebuild the Soviet Empire. The problem with the PEW survey is that the results are based random samples of nationwide face-to-face or telephone interviews.

Why is that a problem?

It’s a problem because the man-on-the-street hasn’t the foggiest idea of what’s going on in Ukraine. All he knows is what he’s heard on TV. So, naturally, when he’s asked to offer his opinion on the matter, he’s going to regurgitate some variation of the official version, which is that Putin is responsible.

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