Year: 2014

Robert Parry: The Victory of ‘Perception Management’

President Ronald Reagan meeting with media magnate Rupert Murdoch in the Oval Office on Jan. 18, 1983, with Charles Wick, director of the U.S. Information Agency, in the background. (Photo credit: Reagan presidential library)  Robert Parry is among the great investigative reporters and journalists writing today.  His web site “Consortium News” features some of the most incisive writers and commenters to be found on the web. His 6000 word article The Victory of ‘Perception Management’ is a masterpiece of summarizing a vast amount of information ranging from “Iran Contra” to the current Syria and Ukraine crises. The comments which follow his article on “Consortium News” add to the information. I had attempted to summarize his article but it is so rich, I decided to reproduce it completely. Advertisements

US ally Saudi Arabia: 10 years and 1000 lashes for blogging

George W Bush and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia  From Amnesty International Oct 2014 How much does it cost to run a website where people can discuss political and social ideas? It cost Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia nearly two years in detention, a ten-year prison sentence, a large fine, the promise of a thousand lashes. Raif is being punished for founding the website ‘Saudi Arabian Liberals’ – a blog and a forum for discussion. He won’t be running another website when he is eventually freed if Saudi authorities have their way – he’s been banned from using online media indefinitely. He is also prevented from leaving the country for a decade. Awaiting 50 lashes every fortnight Right now, Raif is in a cell in a Jeddah prison, six months into his ten-year jail sentence. He is awaiting the first of his floggings. The thousand lashes are due to be dealt to him in batches of fifty, every other Friday, in a public square.

Religious Americans: A Good and Decent People?

From MSNBC Dec 20 2014 ””’ Back in May 2009, the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life conducted surveys and found that the more religious an American is, the more likely he or she is to support torture. More than five years later, not much has changed. Sarah Posner reported this week: A new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that Americans, by a 59-31% margin, believe that CIA “treatment of suspected terrorists” in detention was justified. A plurality deemed that “treatment” to be “torture,” by a 49-38% margin.  Remarkably, the gap between torture supporters and opponents widens between voters who are Christian and those who are not religious.

Russia: Putin, Krugman, Cohen, Ukraine

Ukraine Svoboda march from The Nation Paul Krugman is one of my economist heroes. However his interpretation of recent non economic events is sometimes profoundly wrong. His Putin bashing column today is one of those occasions.  Krugman,  unfortunately, is often as susceptible to US main stream media hype and propaganda as any other American, about subjects in which he is not an expert. As an antidote I have 1.  Copied a May 2012 article (below) by Krugman’s fellow Princetonian Stephen Cohen, the premier US expert on recent Russian history. 2. Below that I have referenced a more recent article (June 30 2014) by Professor Cohen on the facts of the USGovt/UkraineFascist coup ousting the corrupt but legally elected Ukrainian President, and the silence of the US media about the Nazi fascist element of the new Ukrine government.

CIA Drone Strikes: 41 targets, 1,147 deaths

Image from Wired: Drone casualty  Datta Khel, Oct. 18, 2010. Child died a day after this photograph was taken by Behram for Wired. UK Guardian reports on drone strikes. Extract below, emphasis mine. 41 men targeted but 1,147 people killed: US drone strikes – the facts on the ground The drones came for Ayman Zawahiri on 13 January 2006, hovering over a village in Pakistan called Damadola. Ten months later, they came again for the man who would become al-Qaida’s leader, this time in Bajaur. Eight years later, Zawahiri is still alive. Seventy-six children and 29 adults, according to reports after the two strikes, are not.

Ukraine: Re Malaysia Airlines Plane Report

Remains of Malaysia Air MH-17 July 17 2014 A piece by David Swanson from Washington’s Blog, copied verbatim: Putin Shot Down a Plane! Putin Shot Down a … What? Never Mind Posted on December 18, 2014 by DavidSwanson Search for “Malaysian Airlines Flight 17″ on the New York Times website and you’ll find a page promoting three articles from July, two hyping the idea that Russia did it and one just focused on the horror of it. Below that you’ll find 109 articles arranged from newest to oldest. The newest is from December 10th and consists of 4 sentences that convey little. The next is from November and all about an inappropriate tweet. The next half dozen take us back through September and we’re little the wiser for it. Yet the world outside of the U.S. media is full of evidence suggesting that Russia did not do it.