As Western politicians continue to scratch their heads and wonder what is going on in Syria and how quickly Russia is seemingly able to clean up the ISIL mess, the propaganda wonks have begun to fire up their presses and gone to work. The latest piece of “western news” has indicated that the cruise missiles that Russia launched from the Caspian and ending up in Syria didn’t actually make it that far. Or at least a few of them didn’t. You see, according to the BBC, those missiles didn’t actually hit their targets, they crashed in Iran. Although both Russia and Iran have denied those “rumors”, it is still the news that the west is talking about. And while the “failed missile” strategy might currently be a hot item in the 24 hour news cycle, others are taking a more “retro” approach.
The AP recently ran a series of articles that are written like they were taken straight from a 90s action packed blockbuster when they wrote — “In the backwaters of Eastern Europe, authorities working with the FBI have interrupted…attempts…by gangs with suspected Russian (KGB) connections that sought to sell radioactive material to Middle Eastern extremists”. The article went on to note — “The cases involve secret meetings in a high-end nightclub; blueprints for dirty bombs; and a nerve-shattered undercover investigator who slammed vodka shots before heading into meetings with smugglers. Informants and a police officer posing as a connected gangster — complete with a Mercedes Benz provided by the FBI — penetrated the smuggling gangs. The police used a combination of old-fashioned undercover tactics and high-tech gear, from radiation detectors to clothing threaded with recording devices”. Sounds pretty sexy, right? All we have to do now is throw in a random photo of a hammer and sickle (the AP included that in its photo spread), a beautiful girl or two and a bad guy with an accent. In fact, the AP has already cast a person for this role and in the article called him “The Colonel”, complete with a selfie and bad-guy mustache. And just to make sure there is a sequel, the AP noted that — “The successful busts, however, were undercut by striking shortcomings: Kingpins got away, and those arrested evaded long prison sentences, sometimes quickly returning to nuclear smuggling”. That’s right, the ringleader, the colonel, got away. Which makes one wonder, did this really happen?
With all of the talk about the new conflicts erupting in the Middle East, one piece of news quietly slipped by most people or wasn’t really reported at all. The Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, also known as the TPP, was signed. And while some in American media did cover it, mostly it was from a corporate friendly point of view. NPR had a few short glowing stories using the usual boring talking points — “free trade, job creation, increased competitiveness, reduced red tape etc”. Of course, this was to be expected, since NPR relies on corporate underwriting to remain on the air. But if one looks closer at what is being said, the TPP is anything but friendly to common working man. In fact, Joe six-pack can’t even read the TPP’s fine print and most politicians can’t either. But you know who can? More than 600 official corporate "trade advisors" have access. And not only do they have access, they are writing the agreement!
US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addressed this issue when he wrote —“Let’s be clear: the TPP is much more than a “free trade” agreement. It is part of a global race to the bottom to boost the profits of large corporations and Wall Street by outsourcing jobs; undercutting worker rights; dismantling labor, environmental, health, food safety and financial laws; and allowing corporations to challenge our laws in international tribunals rather than our own court system”. And that is the heart of the matter. The TPP covers nearly 40% of the world’s GDP. If faceless trans-national corporations are able to by-pass local laws and sue them out of existence because those laws stand in the way of their future potential profits, then not only is democracy dead, but nation-states as we know them today are as well. As the world crumbles and the average citizen begins to wonder what is going on, the powers that be must remain in control of the dialogue, which means cutting access to the information flow. Even though they already control 90% of American media, they have a plan to attack the rest.
During an appearance on the Alex Jones Show, Internet news powerhouse Matt Drudge asserted that copyright laws which prevent websites from even linking to news stories were being advanced. That’s right. No more thinking outside the corporate box. Drudge went on to say — “I had a Supreme Court Justice tell me it’s over for me. They’ve got the votes now to enforce copyright law. They’re going to make it so you can’t even use headlines”. He continued — “a day is coming when simply operating an independent website could be outlawed.” He finished by saying — “social media giants like Twitter and Facebook were swallowing up content and strangling the organic growth of independent Internet news platforms. In short, web users were being pushed into the cyber “ghettos” of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram”.
US President Barack Obama in the discussion on healthcare once said — “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan”. US corporations are saying that this trade agreement is the best thing since sliced bread and nothing will change or it will only get better. To paraphrase Obama, “If you like your independence, you can keep your independence”. Of course, we all see how that is working out.
So, what do you think dear listeners, “Which is more important to America, Syria or the TPP?”