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Democracy Now’s 'Alt Media' Platform for Humanitarian Imperialism in Syria

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The dust had barely settled after last weekend’s US-led bombing of Syria before a split in the political class developed. While some Beltway figures, media personalities and former officials hailed the bombings, others decried the “limited” nature of the airstrikes. At the grassroots level, a somewhat different debate gripped the left and the right — those who opposed the bombings were accused of buying into the propaganda of the Syria-Russia-Iran alliance, while would-be defenders of human rights called for increased military measures to degrade the killing capacity of the “Assad regime.”

Democracy Now!, the daily hour-long news show hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, has long been the flagship institution for US progressives. With its jaunty 90s opening theme, timely coverage of world events, liberal (maybe radical-liberal) take on global affairs, and impressive range of top-tier guests including authors, government officials, policy experts, and activists, the syndicated program is seen as an exemplary display of independent journalism.

No doubt, the New York-based show is in a class of its own when compared to the vapidity and sensationalism of shock-jock right-wing radio or smug, Beltway liberalism of Randi Rhodes, Thom Hartmann or Cenk Uygur. Like a gust of oxygen in the choking smog of AC360-Maddow infotainment, Amy Goodman resembles an enlightened aunt at a Fourth of July party — a female version of Ira Glass who brings a kale, cauliflower, almond cheese, and cumin-spiced casserole to the potluck while discussing difficult topics in an unshakeably calm, Zen-like manner.
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Did the West Just Lose World War III by Forfeit?

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In the fall of the year 1480, at a point not far from Moscow, two armies faced each other on the opposite banks of the Ugra River.


On the one side were the forces of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, whose ruler, Grand Prince Ivan III (known as “the Great” and the “gatherer of the Russian lands”), had recently rejected further payment of tribute to the Great Horde.

On the other were the forces of Grand Khan Ahmed bin Küchük, who had come to lay waste to Moscow and instruct the impudent Prince Ivan to mend his ways.

For weeks the two assembled hosts glared at one another, each wary of crossing the water and becoming vulnerable to attack by the other. In the end, as though heeding the same inaudible signal, both withdrew and hastily returned home.

Thus ended more than two centuries of the Tatar-Mongol yoke upon the land of the Rus’.

Was this event, which came to be known as “the great standing on the Ugra River,” a model of what happened in Syria last week?

Almost immediately upon reports of the staged chemical attack in Douma on April 7, speculation began as to the likely response from the west – which in reality meant from the United States, in turn meaning from President Donald J. Trump. Would Trump, who had repeatedly spoken harshly of his predecessors’ destructive and pointless misadventures in the Middle East, and who just days earlier had signaled his determination to withdraw the several thousand Americans (illegally) stationed in Syria, see through the obvious deception?
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What Are 'Assad Apologists'? Are They Like Those 'Saddam Apologists' Of 2002?

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Isn’t it fascinating how western journalists are suddenly rallying to attack the dangerous awful and horrifying epidemic of “Assad apologists” just as the western empire ramps up its 
longstanding regime change agenda against the Syrian government? Kinda sorta exactly the same way they began spontaneously warning the world about “Saddam apologists” around the time of the Iraq invasion?
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Trump Puts his Logo on the Military-Industrial Complex, Sets Up US Arms Sales with Syria Demo

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The week after the US, along with the UK and France, launched unilateral strikes against the Syrian government, the Trump administration is rolling out a “Buy American” weapons-selling initiative aimed at allowing other nations to buy even more weapons from US-based arms manufacturers.According to Reuters, the initiative, set to be announced today, will speed up the approval of arms deals to US allies and will call for members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet, as well as the president himself, to act as “closers” in major arms deals and salesmen for US weapons companies at international air shows and weapons showcases.

“This policy seeks to mobilize the full resources of the United States government behind arms transfers that are in the US national and economic security interest,” a White House official told Reuters. After news of the initiative first broke in the media, US weapons manufacturers made massive gains in the stock market and Raytheon’s stock hit an all-time high. In addition to helping the military-industrial complex secure more business, Trump may be pushing the initiative, at least in part, because of his personal investments in US weapons giants like Raytheon, Boeing and General Electric.

The initiative comes less than a week after the US strikes launched against Syria, and the strikes themselves were likely part of a PR bid to boost US weapons manufacturers and international arms orders leading up to the “Buy American” announcement. In addition, doubts have been raised that the strikes were planned to cause any major damage to the Syrian government, as the Syrian and Russian governments were allegedly “tipped off” by Trump prior to the attack, and given ample time to prepare by evacuating nearly all key military hardware.

This suggests that the purpose of the strike was not actually to harm the Syrian government as much as showcase US military might and weaponry in the lead-up to the official announcement of Trump’s new weapons selling initiative.
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Former UK Ambassador Reveals Truth About Syria

You would have to have cabbage for brains to accept the UK and US government version of what happened in Douma, Syria, just over a week ago, says Liberty Report special guest, former UK Ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford. Assad was on the verge of re-taking Eastern Ghouta, a deal was made with terrorists to leave the region, and one of the last strongholds was about to fall. We are to believe all of a sudden Assad chose that time to "gas his own people"? And all the evidence they can point to is that a government helicopter was dropping bombs in the area. It was a battle - bombs were being launched by both sides. What happens next as the official narrative of what happens continues to collapse? Tune in to a very special episode...
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Why Each US President Ends Up As Ruthless Interventionist These Days

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In the wake of last week’s cruise missile attack on Syria, there was a joke going around the internet saying that it doesn’t matter who Americans vote for, they always wind up getting John McCain as President of the United States. The humor derives from the fact that the past three presidents all ran for office committed to reducing America’s interventionism overseas but once in office they reversed course and expanded US military commitments worldwide, turning them into facsimiles of John McCain, who has never seen a war he didn’t like.
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UN Security Team Delays Inspectors Entrance to Douma for ‘Safety’

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The UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) continues to prevent chemical inspectors from entering Douma for their investigation, citing safety concerns. They have offered no timetable for when the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inspectors will be allowed in.

The OPCW inspectors did not visit Monday, and there were a lot of allegationsexchanged as to why. Though British officials blamed Russia for the delay, it is now clear that the UNDSS is driving the scheduling.

The UNDSS team visited two sites in Douma, but fled both times. In the first case, they claimed there was a large crowd there, and they were concerned about safety. At the second site there was a report of an explosion nearby, and claimed to have come under small arms fire by some unknown faction. No UN workers were injured, though one Syrian was said to have sustained light injuries working in a security capacity.

The OPCW inspectors are supposed to look into an alleged chemical weapons attack earlier this month. There is no public proof that the strike took place, and a mounting amount of doubt that it didn’t, driven by inquiries from Robert Fisk. Residents within Douma have also expressed doubts about the strike.
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Fool's Errand - 17 Years In Afghanistan

An endless war in Afghanistan, where the US takes the side of the communists it opposed in the 1980s. No end in sight and no one even knows what victory looks like. Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Syria -- once the US gets involved it becomes just another government program that can never be cancelled. In today's Liberty Report, Scott Horton joins us in-studio to discuss his new book, Fool's Errand - Time to End the War in Afghanistan, and the many other US empire wars. Could the Afghan war have been avoided even though Afghanistan had hosted al-Qaeda? Horton tells us exactly how the US could have pursued its national interest and national security without a 17 year quagmire...
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America First -- RIP

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When the Cold War officially ended in 1991, Washington could have pivoted back to the pre-1914 status quo ante. That is, to a national security policy of America First because there was literally no significant military threat left on the planet. Post-Soviet Russia was an economic basket case that couldn't even meet its military payroll and was melting down and selling the Red Army's tanks and artillery for scrap.
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The Skripal Case: 20 New Questions That Journalists Might Like to Start Asking

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While the world’s attention has been largely focused on Syria for the past couple of weeks, we must not forget the Skripal case. The reason for this is that the two events appear to be inextricably linked, either because they show that the Russian and Syrian Governments are willing and able to use chemical weapons for their own ends, or because they show that the Governments of the United States, United Kingdom and France in particular are willing to use false accusations for their own ends.

Russia and Syria have been in the dock and apparently found guilty, but as ever the burden of proof lies with those making the accusations to show the certain evidence they have to back up their claims. However, the only thing that can be said with absolute certainty, regardless of which of these versions is correct, is that those who have made the accusations have not shown anything like the evidence needed to substantiate their claims.

Indeed, the biggest connection between the two events is not the “Who Dunnit” aspect, but rather the fact that guilt has been assigned and reprisals taken prior to the results of the investigations, and therefore before facts could be established with any certainty. Legally, morally and logically this is obvious nonsense, and it is a testament to the decline of educational standards in the West, and the triumph of emotional arguments over ones which appeal to facts and logic, that there are many who appear simply unable to grasp these very basic concepts.
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