Ukraine Attacks Journalists Who Reported Israeli Weapons Flow to Its Neo-Nazi Militia

Ukraine’s embassy in Israel attacked Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal by name, along with The Real News and Electronic Intifada, spreading false accusations after they reported on Ukrainian neo-Nazis using Israeli weapons.

By Ben Norton

Ukraine’s embassy in Israel has attacked Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal by name and indirectly implicated this writer, Grayzone contributor Ben Norton, for reporting on Israel’s arming of Ukrainian neo-Nazis.

While the Ukrainian government has falsely accused us of spreading “fake news,” it has ironically spread fake news itself, incorrectly alleging that Blumenthal has been writing under the pseudonym “John Brown” — based on a “quick search on the internet.”

The Ukrainian government has also denied that Israel has armed Ukraine’s neo-Nazi militia the Azov battalion, even after Azov posted a video on its own YouTube channel showing it using unmistakably Israeli weapons.

On June 10, the Ukrainian embassy in Israel published an open letter to Aluf Benn, the editor-in-chief of the major Israeli newspaper Haaretz. Kiev condemned Haaretz for publishing a June 9 news report titled “Rights Groups Demand Israel Stop Arming neo-Nazis in Ukraine.”

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Ukraine President’s Adviser Writes ‘Heil Hitler’ Neo-Nazi Symbol on Facebook

Yuri Biryukov, who advises Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and defense minister, wrote a Facebook post using the neo-Nazi symbol “1488,” which combines a white supremacist slogan with “Heil Hitler.”

By Ben Norton

An adviser for Ukraine’s president and defense minister wrote a neo-Nazi symbol on Facebook that means “Heil Hitler.”

This comes at a time when neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine, some of which have received direct support from the Ukrainian government, are terrorizing ethnic minorities from the Roma and Jewish communities.

Ukraine’s billionaire oligarch President Petro Poroshenko, who is known as the “Chocolate King” due to his time in the confectionery industry, has campaigned for Kyiv to join NATO.

Since coming to power in 2014, the pro-Western Ukrainian leader has been advised by Yuri Biryukov, an extreme-right nationalist who also advises Ukraine’s defense minister.

Ukraine’s Glavred Media reported that Biryukov posted a neo-Nazi slogan on his personal Facebook page, where he has nearly 150,000 followers.

Biryukov wrote the Nazi symbol “1.4.8.8.” The latter half of this symbol, 88, is code for “Heil Hitler” (with H being the eighth letter of the Latin alphabet). The former half is a reference to the white supremacist slogan known as the “14 Words” (“We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children”).

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Clint Watts’ World: How America’s top Russian disinformation expert pushes disinformation to justify censorship

When I challenged the high tech flim-flam man behind the Hamilton 68 Russian bots tracker, he ducked my questions. Then his fans asked me if I was a Russian asset.

By Ilias Stathatos

“Nothing is as evil as what Russia manages to pull off… We [Americans] just focus on extremists. Everything I have seen is democracy promotion. I haven’t seen the US creating fake personas.”

These were the words of Clint Watts, a self-styled counter-terror expert who has emerged through the passion play of Russiagate and hailed as “the pre-eminent experts on Russian influence operations via social media.” Watts has warned that computational propaganda has placed America on the verge of civil war, and suggested before a Senate panel that censorship of online media might be necessary.

“America’s war with itself has already begun,” Watts proclaimed earlier this year. “We all must act now on the social media battlefield to quell information rebellions that can quickly lead to violent confrontations and easily transform us into the Divided States of America.” 

Watts is currently on a book tour that has seen him earn fawning prime time treatment from Bill Maher while avoiding uncomfortable questions from the public about his work. In fact, Watts has not encountered a single critical question since he released his book, “Messing With the Enemy: Surviving in a Social Media World of Hackers, Terrorists, Russians and Fake News,” this May.

And he should have, given his record. Watts was the moving force behind the Hamilton 68 Russian bot tracker, which maintains a dashboard claiming to expose Russian influence on everything from the NFL’s anti-police violence protests to the anti-fracking movement to the Parkland shootings.

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VIDEO: Congress welcomes an actual fascist as Nazi violence rages in Ukraine

I asked the Washington hosts of Andriy Parubiy, the speaker of Ukraine’s parliament and founder of two neo-Nazi parties, why they were legitimizing an open fascist at the heart of the extremism plaguing his country.

By Max Blumenthal

While racist violence raged through Ukraine, punctuated by a wave of attacks on Roma encampments by the state-funded C14 neo-Nazi militia, Congress played host to an actual Ukrainian fascist. He was Andriy Parubiy, and besides being the proud founder of two Nazi-like parties — the Social-National Party and the Patriot of Ukraine — he was the speaker of Ukraine’s parliament.

During a meeting hosted by the American Foreign Policy Society inside the Senate, I seized the chance to ask Parubiy’s hosts why they were welcoming a figure who was so central to the extremism overtaking Ukrainian society. I also put the question to Michael Carpenter, a former Pentagon official who helped deepen the US relationship with post-coup Ukraine during the Obama administration.

The responses I received reflected a semi-official policy of denying the very existence of Ukraine’s far-right plague in order to turn the heat up on Moscow.

The Ukrainian lawmaker appeared on a panel alongside fellow speakers of Eastern European parliaments eager to join the US-NATO crusade against Russia in exchange for handsome aid packages. At the top of the agenda was stopping the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between Russia and Germany, a project viewed in Washington as an existential threat to US economic leverage over Europe.

Earlier in the day, Parubiy held private discussions with the Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan and enjoyed what Under Secretary of State for Arms Control Andrea Thomson described as an “excellent meeting” with a “proactive” leader.

Parubiy’s first meeting with Ryan, which Ben Norton covered for the Grayzone last June, was also treated as business as usual, without a single protest or critical word from the Beltway press.

Watch my exchange in the video report below, which I co-produced with Thomas Hedges.

From Reagan to Rahm: A long list of public figures Jake Tapper must condemn for ties to Farrakhan

Jake Tapper attacked Keith Ellison for over four minutes over his association with Farrakhan. It’s time he demonstrate some moral consistency and condemn Ronald Reagan, too.

By Hamzah Raza

On June 26, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld President Donald Trump’s Executive Order supporting a ban on immigration from many Muslim-majority countries, especially those in the crosshairs of American foreign policy. The five Republican judges decided that it did not matter that Trump had been touting plans for a Muslim ban for over three years, and essentially ruled that their own right-wing ideology superseded reason and the rule of law. Comparisons to notorious SCOTUS decisions allowing for the internment of Japanese Americans and the perpetuation of slavery were abound in discussions of the ban.

In the midst of the fallout from the ruling, prime time CNN personality Jake Tapper hosted Rep. Keith Ellison, one of only two American Muslims in Congress, for what on the surface seemed like a chance to respond to the court. Tapper then spent a grand total of 65 seconds talking to Ellison about the Muslim ban before revealing his true priorities.

As soon as Ellison mentioned Donald Trump’s “bigotry,” Tapper immediately changed the subject to demand that Ellison condemn Louis Farrakhan, though he has already publicly addressed the issue. Ellison helped organize Farrakhan’s Million Man March in 1995, an event that was also attended by former President Barack Obama and hundreds of thousands of Black men with a wide array of political views. Today, Ellison is a Sunni Muslim with absolutely no ties to the Nation of Islam. Ellison explained this point ad nauseam for nearly four minutes before Tapper abruptly terminated the interview.

The interview revealed how little Tapper cared about the massive blow to civil liberties and his lack of concern for another escalation in the war on immigrants. Though he markets himself as one of Trump’s toughest foes in the media, Tapper seemed to have little interest in defending the values of the Constitution as they pertain to religious freedom. Instead, he seemed fixated on undermining those American Muslims who have dared to assert themselves in politics by using one of the cheapest and most well-worn tactics in the book.

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Maquinaria injerencista del gobierno de los EE.UU. se jacta de ‘preparar el terreno para la insurrección’ en Nicaragua.

Mientras los líderes de las protestas estudiantiles nicaragüenses se reunían con neoconservadores en Washington DC, una publicación financiada por el brazo del gobierno estadounidense encargado en los cambios de régimen, la Fundación Nacional para la Democracia (NED por sus siglas en inglés), se jacta de gastar millones de dólares “preparando el terreno para la insurrección” contra Daniel Ortega.

By Max Blumenthal

(Read the original report in English with hyperlinked sourcing here).

Mientras que algunas corporaciones de medios de comunicación han retratado al violento movimiento de protesta que atrapa a Nicaragua como una corriente progresista de base, los propios líderes estudiantiles del país han sugerido lo contrario.

A principios de junio, jóvenes líderes activistas nicaragüenses salieron de excursión a Washington DC, financiados por el grupo derechista de defensa del Estado estadounidense Freedom House. Los líderes estudiantiles nicaragüenses estaban allí para suplicar a Donald Trump y otros funcionarios derechistas del gobierno de los Estados Unidos, para que los ayudaran en su lucha contra el presidente nicaragüense Daniel Ortega.


En la excursión a la capital de EE. UU., Los jóvenes activistas posaron en fotos con algunos de los más notorios neoconservadores del Congreso de los EE. UU .: los senadores Ted Cruz y Marco Rubio y la representante Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Los líderes estudiantiles nicaragüenses también fueron llevados a reuniones con altos funcionarios del Departamento de Estado y la organización de ‘poder blando’ USAID. Allí, se les aseguró que contarían con el  sonoro apoyo de Washington.


Un mes antes de las reuniones entre líderes estudiantiles nicaragüenses y los legisladores ultraconservadores, en Washington, una publicación financiada por el brazo del gobierno estadounidense encargado en los cambios de régimen, Fundación Nacional para la Democrácia (NED), afirmó sin rodeos que organizaciones respaldadas por la NED dedicaron  años y millones de dólares “preparando el terreno para la insurrección” en Nicaragua.


Este artículo que se jacta abiertamente de la injerencia Estadounidense se publicó en la página web de noticias, enfocada en América Latina ‘Global Americans,’ y fue escrito por el académico estadounidense Benjamin Waddell, director académico de la Escuela de Capacitación Internacional en Nicaragua. Después de la publicación de este artículo, ‘Global Americans’ reemplazó el término “insurrección” con la palabra menos ofensiva “cambio”. Sin embargo, el título original aún se puede ver en la URL del artículo.

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How Saudi Arabia Tried to Blame Doctors Without Borders After Bombing Its Cholera Treatment Center in Yemen

Saudi Arabia tried to blame Doctors Without Borders after the US-backed Saudi coalition bombed the medical group’s cholera treatment center in Yemen. MSF says this is ridiculous and false.

By Ben Norton

The Saudi embassy in the United States pointed the finger at Doctors Without Borders after the US-backed Saudi coalition bombed the medical humanitarian group’s newly constructed cholera treatment center in Yemen.

The Saudi government circulated a misleading fax from a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) employee, to try to absolve itself of responsibility for the airstrike. I contacted MSF for clarification, and the organization said the fax is being misrepresented, and strongly condemned the “unacceptable attack on a medical facility.”

On June 11, the US-backed Saudi coalition waging war on Yemen bombed a cholera treatment center in the northwestern town of Abs. This medical facility, which had just been built, was operated by MSF, and was clearly marked on the roof with the logos of MSF and the Red Crescent.

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US Congressmembers: Stop ‘Famine-Triggering Attack’ on Yemen’s Port City Hodeida, Which Could Starve Millions

Lawmakers have published a bipartisan letter calling on the US government to withdraw support for a military attack on Yemen’s port city of Hodeida, which could unleash a humanitarian disaster that starves millions of civilians.

By Ben Norton

Lawmakers from both major parties have published a letter calling on the U.S. government to withdraw support for a military attack on Yemen’s port city of Hodeida, which would almost certainly unleash a humanitarian disaster that could starve millions of people.

The letter — which follows in full below — was signed by prominent Democratic and Republican congressmen, and is directly addressed to Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

With blessings from the United States, military forces led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates launched an attack on Wednesday, June 13 on Hodeida, the site where some 80 percent of humanitarian aid enters Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East.

The U.S. military is providing intelligence assistance to the Saudi- and Emirati-led forces in the battle. The U.S. has played a key role in the war in Yemen, since Saudi Arabia first launched its bombardment campaign in March 2015, selling the Gulf monarchy billions of dollars in weapons and providing in-air refueling and intelligence support.

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US-Backed Coalition Bombs Yemen’s New Cholera Treatment Center, After Unleashing World’s Largest Outbreak

The US-backed Saudi/Emirati coalition bombed a newly constructed cholera treatment center in Yemen run by MSF. This air attack comes after the impoverished country suffered through the worst cholera outbreak in recorded history.

By Ben Norton / The Real News

A military coalition formally led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and supported by the United States and Britain, bombed a newly constructed cholera treatment in Yemen on Monday, June 11.

This attack comes after Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East, suffered through the worst cholera outbreak in recorded history, with more than 1 million cases reported in 2017 alone.

The cholera treatment center was operated by the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders (known in French as Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF). It was located in Yemen’s northwestern Hajjah Governorate, an area that has been heavily bombarded by Saudi Arabia for more than 3 years.

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Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) Is Funded by UK Government

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the pro-opposition monitoring group that is cited in most media reports on the war in Syria, received funding from the British Foreign Office.

By David Edwards / Media Lens

(Editor’s NoteBen Norton: It has long been suspected that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is funded by Western governments. This is the first official confirmation that the leading “monitoring group” — which is run by a pro-opposition activist working from his home in England — has gotten money from the UK government. It is also worth noting that the SOHR’s rival the Syrian Network for Human Rights, which is much less reputable and even more explicitly partisan, has quietly admitted in passing that it is funded by “states.” The SNHR is notorious for whitewashing the crimes of ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other extremist militias in Syria.)

 

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) Is Funded by the British Government

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, journalist Peter Hitchens commented last month on the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR):

‘Talking of war, and Syria, many of you may have noticed frequent references in the media to a body called the “Syrian Observatory for Human Rights”, often quoted as if it is an impartial source of information about that complicated conflict, in which the British government clearly takes sides. The “Observatory” says on its website that it is “not associated or linked to any political body.”

‘To which I reply: Is Boris Johnson’s Foreign Office not a political body? Because the FO just confirmed to me that “the UK funded a project worth £194,769.60 to provide the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights with communications equipment and cameras.” That’s quite a lot, isn’t it? I love the precision of that 60p. Your taxes, impartially, at work.’

This figure was confirmed in communication with the Foreign Office by independent political journalist Ian Sinclair. (Email to Media Lens, May 17, 2018)

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