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Patrick Henningsen

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Washington's Vindictive Iran Policy is Doomed to Fail - Here's Why

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Like every other major move in the Middle East, Washington's latest raft of economic sanctions against Iran are doomed to fail. Not because the policy instrument itself doesn't actually work, but because our government is making the same mistakes of the past. 

Now get back inside your Delorean and set the clock for the fall of 2002, back when the United States was preparing to wage war against Iraq. Those of us who were awake then knew exactly what kind of disaster was unfolding, and we mobilized accordingly, in the millions and onto the streets, sending a clear message to our respective governments that the public would not suffer fools and neocon criminals gladly. While that protest didn't deter the historic disaster of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the meager consolation prize was that we were clearly right, while the US and UK governments and the entire lap dog mainstream press were all wrong. No, in that tragic scenario the only payoff is a lesson learnt for future generations, that maybe, never again would we allow our spineless bureaucrats and corporate raiders to take the western world to war based on patent lies and false pretenses. Granted, it wasn't long until Obama broke that covenant with Libya, and with a series of devastating proxy ventures in Syria and Yemen.

So here we are again, and for some reason some of us (maybe it's our good-natured naïveté), still can't believe that the current US Administration is preparing the nation to repeat one of the worst mistakes the country has ever made.
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Russia ‘Novichok’ Hysteria Proves Politicians and Media Haven’t Learned The Lessons of Iraq

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If there’s one thing to be gleaned from the current atmosphere of anti Russian hysteria in the West, it’s that the US-led sustained propaganda campaign is starting to pay dividends. It’s not only the hopeless political classes and media miscreants who believe that Russia is hacking, meddling, and poisoning our progressive democratic utopia – with many pinning their political careers to this by now that’s it’s too late for them to turn back. As it was with Iraq in 2003, these dubious public figures require a degree of public support for their policies, and unfortunately many people do believe in the grand Russian conspiracy, having been sufficiently brow-beaten into submission by around-the-clock fear mongering and official fake news disseminated by government and the mainstream media.
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North Korea and The Unintended Consequences of Trump

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There’s something very strange and disturbing about the hype around the White House and US media’s latest obsession with North Korea. It’s not just the usual war-mongering and hot air though. We’ve seen all that before. This goes beyond sabre-rattling. There’s something uncomfortably bipartisan about this new appetite for war.

Watching CNN this week, you got the impression we’ve entered a new comic book phase in the American experiment, driven by an 24 hour media environment where facts and analysis seem like a distant nostalgic hallucination. I asked myself, is it real? Where does the show finally end, and the war begin?

We’re told that North Korea has now defied recent threats of “fire and fury” from US President Donald Trump, and that the regime has announced its plan to launch missiles at the nearest US territory, the island of Guam in the Pacific. So that’s it. It’s war then, right?

Trump’s generals wasted no time throwing petrol on the fire, led by Defense Secretary Gen. James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis who warned Kim Jung-Un that the US military “possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth.”

Whatever your views might be of Trump, North Korea, US foreign policy, or ‘global security,’ at this point we’d all do well to hit the breaks.
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‘The Interview’ Flops, FBI ‘North Korean Hack’ Story Also Debunked

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Official FBI claims that North Korea was behind the "Sony hack" were debunked today by two leading cyber security firms. More on that later, but first, let’s look at the failure of film itself…

To anyone in media or politics who said this week that it was our “patriotic duty as Americans” to go and see this movie, I hereby banish you to the outer realm of the consensus reality Bardo (in other words, you should be working for the North Korean government, not ruining America). 

Despite being hyped and spun with unprecedented faux patriotic fervor, and getting a ton of free publicity from President Obama, Sony Entertainment’s The Interview is officially a flop.

The film was released in 331 independently owned cinemas on Christmas Day, pulling a paltry $1 million in gate receipts, as well as an equally poor showing on the download charts too. The film was a big hit on the "illegal" download front though. According to the blog TorrentFreak, the film was downloaded around 750,000 times as of yesterday (we use the term "illegal" loosely here, because it would a real crime to charge money to see this turkey).
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