Chinese Hackers? US Propagandists Should Look in the Mirror

November 4, 2015 at 11:55 AM

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Like millions of Americans, this past week I was sitting on my couch, drinking a cold beer, watching Game 1 of the World Series – professional baseball’s hallowed championship. Suddenly the satellite feed went out, the screen went dark. Naturally, as FOX Sports scrambled to get their live feed fixed, many of my fellow Americans took to twitter to speculate as to what had caused the outage. I was, sadly, unsurprised to see that the most common joke people were making was that China must have hacked the World Series.

On the one hand, it is understandable given the barrage of propaganda about Chinese hackers as a threat to corporate and national security; seemingly every week there is a new news item highlighting the great red cyber-menace. On the other hand, it is a perfect illustration of the hypocrisy and ignorant arrogance of Americans who, despite being citizens of unquestionably the most aggressive nation when it comes to both cyber espionage and surveillance, see fit to cast China as the real villain. It is a testament to the power of both propaganda and imperial triumphalism that a proposition so disconnected from reality, and bordering on Orwellian Doublethink, is not only accepted, but is ipso facto true.

But there is a deeper political and sociological phenomenon at play here, one that begs further exploration. How is it that despite all the revelations of Edward Snowden regarding US intelligence and military snooping capabilities across the globe, Americans still cannot accept the culpability of their own government and corporate interests – the two work hand in hand – in global cyber-espionage? Even if they explicitly or implicitly know about the NSA, CIA, DIA, and Pentagon programs (among many others), their instinctive reaction is to blame China. Why? The answer lies in the complexity and effectiveness of the anti-China propaganda.

In his landmark book Public Opinion, the renowned writer, commentator, and theoretician of propaganda, Walter Lipmann, defined the term “stereotype” in the modern psychological sense as a “distorted picture or image in a person’s mind, not based on personal experience, but derived culturally.” In other words, the stereotype is an image in our mind’s eye, one that is constructed by outside forces; it is information filtered through a particular societal or cultural framework that then creates a picture of how something is to be understood. Lipmann went further, noting that carefully constructed propaganda could be used to shape stereotypes, thereby allowing the powers that be the ability to construct and manipulate information and narratives.

And this is precisely the phenomenon at work here. By repeating it endlessly, the US political and corporate media establishment have successfully convinced Americans that China is the real threat when it comes to cyberspace, playing on the stereotype of Chinese people in general, and the People’s Republic of China specifically. But, I would argue something far different: rather than seeing China as a threat, perhaps Americans, and westerners generally, should shine a light on what their own countries are doing, thereby gaining a broader perspective on the issue. For China’s moves in this field pale in comparison to those of the US, and are clearly a response to them.

Continue reading the article here

The War in Syria, the Kurdish Question, and Saakashvili’s Conspiracy for a New Maidan in Georgia

November 3, 2015 at 12:03 PM

Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org appears on CPR Sunday (November 1, 2015) with security analyst Mark Sleboda and journalist/broadcaster Don DeBar. Eric, Mark and Don discuss the latest developments in the war on Syria, including the news that US Special Forces will be deployed inside the country to provide support to Washington’s “moderate rebels.” The conversation also goes in depth on the issue of Kurdish participation in the war, and how the Kurdish question complicates the conflict. They examine the varied Kurdish interests, how regional and international forces view the Kurds, and what a potential future Kurdistan would mean for the region. Finally, the conversation touches on the leaked phone recordings of former Georgian President, and current Odessa governor, Mikhail Saakashvili, and his attempt to destabilize Georgia with Maidan-style violence. All this and much more in this hour-long weekly conversation.

Boots on the Ground: What Are Real Objectives of US Special Ops in Syria? (Interview with Sputnik News)

November 2, 2015 at 6:11 PM

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There is a real danger that US Special Forces deployed in Syria and embedded with the new Arab-Kurdish force will coordinate the tactics and strategy of the terrorists (also known as “moderate rebels”) on the ground, US geopolitical analyst Eric Draitser told Sputnik.

The US war planners have decided that they need “boots on the ground” in Syria aimed at creating a quagmire for Russia in much the same way it did for the USSR in Afghanistan in the 1980s, geopolitical analyst and StopImperialism.org editor Eric Draitser underscores.

“It is becoming increasingly likely that the US has decided that it needs to have “boots on the ground” in Syria, if not for any other reason than to counter Russian assertiveness, and to try to create a quagmire for Russia as it did for the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s. There is a real danger that US Special Forces and/or other covert teams will be embedded with the new Arab-Kurd force being constructed by Washington, and that it is these teams who will coordinate the tactics and strategy of the terrorists on the ground in Syria.  We’ve seen such a strategy play out in Libya, as well as in Afghanistan, there’s no reason to believe the US wouldn’t do the same in Syria,” Draitser told Sputnik.

According to Draitser, the upcoming “Raqqa offensive” is actually the façade behind which Washington will hide its covert activities in support of terrorist groups falsely labeled as “moderate rebels.”

“The US knows perfectly that it cannot openly arm terrorists, so it must do so under the guise of a counter-terrorism operation such as this. We’ve seen this program of arming terrorists begin in earnest, as with the reports of the 50 tons of ammunition and weapons airdropped by the US into the Hasakah region, ostensibly destined for ‘moderate rebels’ though everyone acknowledges the impossibility of knowing exactly who got the weapons and ammunition,” the geopolitical analyst stressed.

Draitser called attention to the fact that even Western media, as well as Arab anti-Assad outlets, have reported that “so-called moderate rebels” have either surrendered to the infamous al-Qaeda branch al-Nusra Front and ISIL, or simply defected to extremists bringing their weapons with them.

“It is now a documented fact that this happens in many, if not most, cases. Knowing this, as the US unquestionably does, one could make a very good case that the US is knowingly indirectly (if not directly) arming Islamic State and al-Qaeda,” Draitser underscored.

It goes without saying that the US strategy in Syria has been tremendously complicated by Russia’s anti-terror operation, Eric Draitser noted, adding, however, that one should be careful in assuming that the US’ actions are solely in response to Russia’s involvement.

“Perhaps a more precise analysis would note that Washington has pursued the ultimate goal of regime change in Syria consistently since 2011, as has been demonstrated by all the actions and rhetoric from the Obama administration since that time. Today, the US is still pursuing that same goal, though through different means — the US is partnering with various terror groups on the ground, and with its regional allies (especially Turkey) to try to “create facts on the ground” so as to force the Syrian government into a weaker position,” the analyst told Sputnik.He elaborated that Washington’s strategic approach to the Syrian problem was summoned in the Brookings Institution’s report “Deconstructing Syria: A new strategy for America’s most hopeless war” published in June 2015.

“This is perhaps best illustrated by the combined analysis of the US operation involving a combined Arab-Kurdish force with the ‘Deconstructing Syria’ model as outlined by Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution in late June 2015,” the geopolitical analyst noted.

Continue reading the interview here

Georgia: Saakashvili’s Conspiracy for a New Maidan

November 2, 2015 at 5:56 PM


Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org provides his commentary (October 30, 2015) on the leaked phone recordings implicating former Georgian President, and current governor of Odessa, Mikhail Saakashvili in a criminal conspiracy to destabilize Georgia. Draitser explains that the recordings illustrate both the violence and fascistic thuggery of Saakshvili, as well as exposing how US-NATO proxies and clients use Maidan-style terror and violence to instigate regime change. Draitser also notes that Saakshvili’s criminal history, including his war crimes, paint a picture of a murderer hellbent on regaining power, and what his actions in Ukraine may portend for the future of the conflict.

Yemen: War Crimes, Peace Talks, and the US Agenda

November 2, 2015 at 5:54 PM


Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org provides his commentary (Oct. 30, 2015) on the ongoing Saudi war on Yemen. Draitser explains what US interests in Yemen are, and what fundamental issues are at play in the conflict. He points out the hypocrisy in how the US selectively applies international law, the Saudi agenda in Yemen, and possible solutions to the war.