President Bashar al-Assad on Arabism for the 21st Century


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (Photo: AP)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has given one of the most important speeches of his political career before the Arab Forum for Confronting the Zionist-US Reactionary Alliance and Supporting the Resistance of the Palestinian People, in Damascus.

President al-Assad’s speech emphasised the importance of Arabism for the 21st century as the only proven school of thought and method of government that is capable of uniting peoples across the Arab world in a spirit that cherishes ancient traditions and allows for all varieties of modern progress.

[…]

President al-Assad made the following major points in this speech:

– Arabism is a movement to unite the peoples of a common Arabic speaking region against imperialism, American financial globalism/hegemony and Zionism, a movement which represents the final stage settler colonial ideology in the Arab world.

– Arabism is under attack from many sides, yet it is the unifying thought of Arabism in the Syrian Arab Republic which has helped to unite the populace behind the Syrian Arab Army in a show of a people’s will that has achieved victory against imperialism and the terrorist proxies of imperialism and Zionism.

– There is no intellectual or spiritual conflict between Arabism and Islam, nor between Arabism and Christianity. Both complement each other by allowing a civilised atmosphere wherein people can celebrate their individual and family traditions while still playing a constructive role in a unifying modern state which elevates the material condition of the people.

– Arabism rejects ethno-nationalism while the enemies of Arabism use both religious extremism and ethno-nationalism to undermine unity through sectarianism. Aarbism by contrast emphasises unity based on a shared Arabic language and a shared geography.

– The more Arabism is conspired against, the more it is important for Arabists to remind the wider world that Arabism has been the only successful unifying and peaceful force in the Arab world, where other sectarian ideologies have served only to weaken Arab resistance to imperialism, Zionism and terrorism, while downgrading the condition of the people.

Read the full article at The Duran

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America’s War Addiction


The business of China is business. The business of America is war (Photo: Time Magazine)

While the United States is concentrated on wars, China wants economic prosperity, according to business consultant Gerald Celente. He predicts the Chinese economy will become the largest in less than 10 years.

“Politicians lie, but numbers don’t. Take a look at the decline of America and the advancement of China. The trend is undeniable. America’s middle-income households had shrunk from 61 percent in 1971 to 50 percent today, while China’s grew from five percent in 2000, just before they joined the World Trade Organization, to nearly 35 percent today,” Celente told RT.

Beijing has pledged to invest in its economic future, which can be proved by President Xi Jinping’s speech at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October, the analyst notes.

“China’s investing in its future. From high tech to NEVs (new electric vehicles), to speeding up the development of the internet plus advanced manufacturing and innovation enterprises. To foreign acquisitions of ports, industries and airports to the One Belt One Road Initiative, China’s on the fast track to become the master of economic globalization,” Celente wrote.

While China is concentrated on economic growth and prosperity of its citizens, the situation is opposite in the United States.

“You never hear those words coming from US politicians. Compare Xi’s vision to President Trump’s actions for a massive budget request for the “greatest military buildup in American history” … and not a word about the growing needs for a better life, harmony, cultural advancement and a beautiful nation,” Celente said.

“And, Mr. Trump has lived true to his pledge with the expansion of wars throughout the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa. On the other hand, President Xi, putting the Chinese economy first, said modernization of the national defense and armed forces should be completed in 2035,” he added.

While the Chinese economy grows at 6.5 to seven percent per year, and the US is stuck in the two to 2.5 percent range, Celente predicts that China will become the largest economy in just 10 years.

“Not only will China’s GDP overtake the US level by around 2026, China’s middle class, exceeding 50 percent by then, will also overtake the US.”

The US has the chance to postpone the Chinese domination, but only when Washington stops sponsoring wars and favoring Wall Street.

“For America to advance economically beyond China, it must again unify for the common good, encourage entrepreneurship by reversing trends that favor Wall Street, large corporations and monopolization, and redirecting the nation’s resources away from building a bigger war machine and foreign entanglements to investing in We the People on the home front,” Celente said.

Source: RT Business

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How Netanyahu Pulls Trump’s Strings


When the Tail is Wagging the Dog (Photo: Getty Images)

By Robert Parry

In the final presidential debate of 2016, Hillary Clinton famously called Donald Trump the “puppet” of Russian President Vladimir Putin. But what’s increasingly clear is that Trump has a more typical puppet master for a U.S. politician – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Since Sept. 18, when the two men met in New York around the United Nations General Assembly, Netanyahu has been pulling Trump’s strings on almost every foreign policy issue. Arguably, the puppet/puppeteer relationship began much earlier, but I’ve been told that Trump bridled early on at Netanyahu’s control and even showed a few signs of rebellion.

For instance, Trump initially resisted Netanyahu’s demand for a deeper U.S. commitment in Syria by ordering the shutdown of the CIA operation supporting anti-government rebels, along with the Trump administration’s statement that U.S. policy no longer sought “regime change” in Damascus.

Immediately after that announcement, Netanyahu had some success in getting Trump to reverse direction and fire 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base on April 6. The attack followed what one intelligence source told me was a staged chemical weapons incident by Al Qaeda operatives in the rebel-controlled town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province, possibly using sarin delivered via drone from a Saudi/Israeli special operations base in Jordan. Yet, although apparently duped by the subterfuge into the missile strike, Trump still balked at a complete reversal of his Syrian policy.

Then, in May, Trump picked Saudi Arabia and Israel as his first overseas trip as president – essentially following the advice of his son-in-law Jared Kushner – but I’m told he came away feeling somewhat humiliated by the over-the-top treatment that involved him getting pulled into a ceremonial sword dance in Saudi Arabia and facing condescension from Netanyahu.

So, over the summer, Trump listened to advice about a possible major overhaul of U.S. foreign policy that would have checked Israeli/Saudi regional ambitions, opened diplomatic doors to Iran, and addressed the Korean crisis by brokering negotiations between the North and the South over some form of loose confederation.

There was even the possibility of a Nixon-goes-to-China moment with tough-guy Trump meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and the two countries restoring diplomatic ties, a process that could have given U.S. companies a better chance to compete in the Iranian market.

Those proposed moves had the advantage of reducing international tensions, saving the U.S. government money on future military adventures, and freeing U.S. corporations from the tangle of economic sanctions – exactly the “America First” strategy that Trump had promised his working-class base.

However, instead Netanyahu succeeded in pulling Trump’s strings during their conversations on Sept. 18 in New York, although exactly how is still a mystery to some people close to these developments. One source said the Kushner family real-estate company has exposure to substantial Israeli financing that could be yanked, although Jared Kushner’s financial disclosure form only lists a $5 million unsecured line of credit, held jointly with his father, from the Israel Discount Bank.

Trump also has major pro-Netanyahu donors to his political war chest and his legal defense fund who are strong advocates for war with Iran, including casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson, who has plowed $35 million into the pro-Trump Super PAC Future 45 and has publicly called for dropping a nuclear bomb on Iran as a negotiating tactic. So, Netanyahu had a number of potential strings to pull.

Full article at Consortium News

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How Magic Mushrooms Can Treat Depression


Magic Mushrooms (Photo: Business Insider)

Hallucinogenic mushrooms have been found to help alleviate depression, even in severe cases where other kinds of treatment fail to do the job, and new research is providing insight into the secrets of how our brains function.

Led by Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, researchers from Imperial College London have used the psychoactive compound psilocybin, commonly found in so-called magic mushrooms, to treat depression in patients and have used brain scan techniques to observe how precisely the hallucinogen influences the brain, according to a report by The Guardian.

The fact that psilocybin has now been shown to be a potent cure for depression became known in 2016, when Carhart-Harris’s team first used the chemical compound on a group of patients. As Sputnik reported at the time, the initial test included a group of 12 patients, aged 30-64, who failed to find a cure for their condition via conventional pharmaceutical methods. Eight patients out of the original twelve claimed a full remission from what they had documented as decades-long battles with mental and emotional distress.

The results were recognized as a major medical success.

“For the first time in many years, people who were at the end of the road with currently available treatments reported decreased anxiety, increased optimism and an ability to enjoy things. This is an unparalleled success and could revolutionize the treatment of depression,” said Amanda Feilding, co-director of the research.

During that initial test, however, the team observed further research would be needed to understand how exactly the psychoactive compound affects the human brain.

This year, the team gave the psilocybin compound to a group of 20 patients and the treatment was found to be largely successful — about half of the group reported feeling well just five weeks after the ingesting the medication.

But this time, the team acquired additional data on mental activity via brain scans.

First, the scans confirmed the previous year’s finding that psilocybin reduces blood flow in the area of the brain called the amygdala the area responsible for processing emotion — primarily those qualitatively assessed as negative, such as anxiety and fear.

According to the BBC report, the team found that the greater the reduction of activity in the amygdala, the greater the improvement in reducing symptoms. According to BBC, the interconnected brain structure known as the “default-mode network” also became more stable after using the compound.

As an added benefit, psilocybin appears to temporarily limit connectivity between certain parts of the brain. According to a Verge report, this disruption of connectivity is what causes the psychedelic effect of magic mushrooms, in which people lose their sense of ‘self’ — called by psychologists the ego — when experiencing the effects of the compound.

But brain scans performed after the treatment were surprising, as, following the treatments, there turned out to be enhanced connectivity between brain regions. Researchers describe the effects by noting that psychedelics break old connectivity patterns and boost the brain to create new and healthier mental structures.

This effect has been supported by the patients, who all reported some kind of welcomed mental reset.

According to Dr. Carhart-Harris, “Patients were very ready to use this [computer reset] analogy. Without any priming they would say, ‘I’ve been reset, reborn, rebooted’, and one patient said his brain had been defragged and cleaned up.”

This year’s experiment has its weak sides, though, since the test group was still quite small; there was also no control group — a group of patients given the placebo treatment — to compare results.

According to The Guardian, Professor David Nutt, director of the neuropsychopharmacology unit in the division of brain sciences, and senior author of the paper, said: “Larger studies are needed to see if this positive effect can be reproduced in more patients. But these initial findings are exciting and provide another treatment avenue to explore.”

“What is impressive about these preliminary findings,” said Professor Mitul Mehta from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, “is that brain changes occurred in the networks we know are involved in depression, after just a single dose of psilocybin.”

“This provides a clear rationale to now look at the longer-term mechanisms in controlled studies,” he said, cited by the BBC.

Source: Sputnik International

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Kim Jong-un’s Personal Address to Donald Trump


Photo courtesy of The Duran

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un has offered a rare personal statement in the aftermath of the US President’s remarks at the United Nations General Assembly which threatened the destruction of North Korea. Additionally, Donald Trump referred to the man North Koreans call the Great Marshall as “Rocket Man”, in an apparent reference to a song by the musician Elton John.

Kim Jong-Un’s personal reply is reproduced below in its entirety:

The speech made by the US president in his maiden address on the UN arena in the prevailing serious circumstances, in which the situation on the Korean peninsula has been rendered tense as never before and is inching closer to a touch-and-go state, is arousing worldwide concern.

Shaping the general idea of what he would say, I expected he would make stereotyped, prepared remarks a little from what he used to utter in his office on the spur of the moment as he had to speak on the world’s biggest official diplomatic stage.

But, far from making any remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful in diffusion tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense no one has ever heard from any of his predecessors. A frightened dog barks louder.

I’d like to advise Trump to exercise prudence in selecting words and be considerate of whom he speaks to when making a speech in front of the world.

The mentally deranged behaviour of the US president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to “totally destroy” a sovereign state, beyond the boundary of threats and regime change or overturn of social system, makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure.

His remarks remind me of such words as “political layman” and “political heretic” which were in vogue in reference to Trump during his presidential election campaign.

After taking office Trump has rendered the world restless through threats and blackmail against all countries in the world. He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician.

His remarks which described the US option through straightforward expression of his will have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last.

Now that Trump has denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of war in history that he would destroy the DPRK, we will consider with seriousness exercising a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.

Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say.

As a man representing the DPRK and on behalf of the dignity and honor of my state and people and on my own, I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the US pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the DPRK.

This is not a rhetorical expression loved by Trump.

I am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected when he allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue.

Whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation.

I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire.

Source: The Duran

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America’s Jews Are Driving America’s Wars


Philip Giraldi spoke at the Ron Paul Institute’s Peace Conference in Washington DC last weekend.

And if someone’s feelings are hurt, too bad. We don’t need a war with Iran because Israel wants one and some rich and powerful American Jews are happy to deliver. Seriously, we don’t need it.

By Philip Giraldi

I spoke recently at a conference on America’s war party where afterwards an elderly gentleman came up to me and asked, “Why doesn’t anyone ever speak honestly about the six-hundred-pound gorilla in the room? Nobody has mentioned Israel in this conference and we all know it’s American Jews with all their money and power who are supporting every war in the Middle East for Netanyahu? Shouldn’t we start calling them out and not letting them get away with it?”

It was a question combined with a comment that I have heard many times before and my answer is always the same: any organization that aspires to be heard on foreign policy knows that to touch the live wire of Israel and American Jews guarantees a quick trip to obscurity. Jewish groups and deep pocket individual donors not only control the politicians, they own and run the media and entertainment industries, meaning that no one will hear about or from the offending party ever again. They are particularly sensitive on the issue of so-called “dual loyalty,” particularly as the expression itself is a bit of a sham since it is pretty clear that some of them only have real loyalty to Israel.

Read the full article at The Unz Review


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Putin: North Korea Would Rather Eat Grass Than Give Up Nuclear Weapons


Vladimir Putin answered Russian journalists’ questions at a news conference following his visit to China to take part in the BRICS Summit. Excerpt:

Question: Returning to the DPRK, what is your position? It looks like neither talks (the diplomatic process), nor threats, nor sanctions work. How can the DPRK situation be resolved?

Vladimir Putin: This is the simplest question today.

I discussed this with my colleagues in private, but I do not think there is any need to conceal anything here. I will repeat what I said in private and official conversations, and, in fact, what everyone should be aware of and anyone with common sense should understand.

Everyone remembers well what happened to Iraq and Saddam Hussein. Hussein abandoned the production of weapons of mass destruction. Nonetheless, under the pretext of searching for these weapons, Saddam Hussein himself and his family were killed during the well-known military operation.

Even children died back then. His grandson, I believe, was shot to death. The country was destroyed, and Saddam Hussein was hanged. Listen, everyone is aware of it and everyone remembers it. North Koreans are also aware of it and remember it. Do you think that following the adoption of some sanctions, North Korea will abandon its course on creating weapons of mass destruction?

Russia condemns these exercises on the part of North Korea. We believe they are provocative in nature. However, we cannot forget about what I just said about Iraq, and what happened later in Libya. Certainly, the North Koreans will not forget it.

Sanctions of any kind are useless and ineffective in this case. As I said to one of my colleagues yesterday, they will eat grass, but they will not abandon this programme unless they feel safe.

What can ensure security? The restoration of international law. We need to advance towards dialogue between all parties concerned. It is important for all participants in this process, including North Korea, not to have any thoughts about the threat of being destroyed; on the contrary, all sides to the conflict should cooperate.

In this environment, in this situation, whipping up military hysteria is absolutely pointless; it is a dead end. Besides, North Korea has not only medium-range missiles and nuclear weapons, we know they have that, but they also have long-range artillery and multiple rocket launchers with a range of up to 60 kilometres.

It is pointless to use missile defence systems against these weapons. There are no weapons in the world that can counteract long-range artillery or multiple rocket launchers. And they can be located in such a way that they are virtually impossible to find.

In this context, military hysteria will do no good, but may lead to a global, planet-wide disaster and enormous casualties.

Diplomacy is the only way to solve the North Korean nuclear problem.

Source: Kremlin.ru

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CIA Agent Whistleblower Risks All to Expose the Shadow Government


Kevin Shipp was a decorated CIA officer who refused to look the other way in regard to government criminality and cover-up. At a very important public awareness event, held by GeoengineerWatch.org in Northern California, on July 28th, 2017, Mr. Shipp presented a shocking and compelling presentation on numerous, horrific and ongoing government crimes. The total persecution of anyone who dares to tell the truth about rampant government tyranny is also fully exposed. The paradigm we have all known has been built on deception and the dark agendas of the global power structure. The courage Kevin Shipp has shown by doing his best to expose government criminality and tyranny serves as a stellar example to us all.

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Terrorist Attacks on West Prove You Reap What You Sow


U.S. President Ronald Reagan meeting with Afghan Freedom Fighters (Mujahideen) at the White House, 1983.

By Shane Quinn

The following sentence may come as a surprise to Western eyes that, “Miami and Washington have been among the major world centres of international terrorism from the Kennedy period until today, under any definition of terrorism”. The words were written by a Boston professor Noam Chomsky at the end of US President Ronald Reagan’s second term.

The Kennedy period referred to is viewed through rose-tinted glasses across the West, such is the level of indoctrination. In reality, President John F. Kennedy initiated the Vietnam War in early 1962 when he outright invaded the southern half of the country by sending the US Air Force to bomb en masse – the south Vietnamese had been threatening to overthrow the US-backed dictatorship of Ngo Dinh Diem.

Kennedy’s hegemonic demands during the Cuban Missile Crisis pushed the world to the brink of a nuclear war. Preceding this was his disastrous 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion in which Cuban exiles, led by the CIA, were thwarted by Fidel Castro’s forces – a humiliating setback for Kennedy. Almost immediately after, he implemented a crippling embargo on Cuba.

Further stung at this successful resistance to control over the Western hemisphere, the Kennedy administration orchestrated waves of terrorist attacks, known as “Operation Mongoose” – planned in Washington and directed from Miami. Kennedy asked his brother Robert to, “lead the top-level interagency group that oversaw Operation Mongoose… to visit the ‘terrors of the earth’ on Fidel Castro, and more prosaically, to topple him”.

Kennedy authorised the terrorist operations against Cuba in late 1961 which included bombing of industrial facilities and tourist hotspots, attacks on fishing boats, poisoning of crops and livestock, contamination of sugar exports, and so on.

[…]

The US not only supported the Mujahideen but actively organised them. The superpower collected the most radical and extreme individuals they could find, massed them into a trained fighting force, and sent them to battle the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. This may have lengthened the war in Afghanistan with Soviet archives suggesting the Russians wanted to exit the country in the early 1980s (not 1989, when it ended).

The US aim was to create an enemy that would harm the Russians, with the Mujahideen committing terrorist attacks inside Russia itself. Later, Clinton’s bombings of Sudan and Afghanistan in 1998 went a long way to creating Al Qaeda. It also resulted in Osama bin Laden becoming a rising symbol as the indiscriminate shelling drew more supporters to his cause.

The illegal wars the United States and Israel have conducted in the Middle East or north Africa – be it in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon or Libya – were the driving force behind the creation and rise of the Taliban, Al Qaeda, other offshoots and, the most crazed, ISIS. The wars were waged to destroy independent nationalism and protect oil resources – in that case, some people (not the majority) will turn in desperation elsewhere. That has increasingly led them towards terrorist organisations.

In fact, the US has been the world’s strongest outside backer of Islamic fundamentalism with its decades-long support of Saudi Arabia, “the most extreme fundamentalist tyranny in the world”. During two terms in office, Barack Obama provided the Saudis with over $50 billion in arms and supplies.

Obama’s international drone warfare campaign also created countless new terrorists – as people suspected of possibly being a threat some day are wiped out, along with anyone unfortunate enough to be in the surrounding area – a major breach of international law. The consequences of all this are there for everyone to see.

Read the full article at The Duran

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U.S. Goes to War with WikiLeaks


The Senate Intelligence Committee has approved a bill classifying WikiLeaks as a “hostile, non-state intelligence service.” Phillip Giraldi, former CIA officer and counter-terrorism specialist, explains how this is “like going to war” and that he “would not rule out assassinations.”

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