‘Burned at the Stake’ – The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Demolishes the Fake Claims Targeting Julian Assange – Global Research

‘burned-at-the-stake’-–-the-un-special-rapporteur-on-torture-demolishes-the-fake-claims-targeting-julian-assange-–-global-research

14-02-20 04:28:00,

On the face of it, the task seems almost hopeless. As Tolstoy wrote:

‘The power of the government is maintained by public opinion, and with this power the government, by means of its organs – its officials, law courts, schools, churches, even the press – can always maintain the public opinion which they need.’ (Leo Tolstoy, ‘Writings on Non-Violence and Civil Disobedience,’ New Society Publishers, 1987, p.111)

Last December, we witnessed the awesome capacity of state-corporate power to manipulate public opinion and undermine a democratic election with a ruthless propaganda campaign smearing Jeremy Corbyn, a passionate anti-racist. The campaign depicted Corbyn, not just as an anti-semite, but as someone who might ‘reopen Auschwitz’. The truth wasn’t just distorted, it was reversed.

Israeli-born academic and author Jamie Stern-Weiner has commented:

‘no mainstream reporter ever investigated whether the allegations against Labour were true.

‘Where journalists did not reflexively endorse the accusations against Labour, they were content to uncritically relay them alongside the party’s response.

‘Accusations by Jewish communal figures or anti-Corbyn MPs were considered inherently significant, whether or not they were accompanied by supporting evidence.’

Careful, credible analysis that made a nonsense of the claims here, here and here was simply ignored.

Vested interests may appear to hold all the cards – they work hard to give that impression – but this is only an appearance. The very fact that they work so relentlessly to shape public opinion indicates the precarious nature of their dominance.

The problem is inherent, structural – a ‘democratic’ society that subordinates the needs of the many to the needs of the few is a society based on lies. Propaganda obfuscating those lies can be disseminated endlessly, day and night, but it will always be vulnerable to individuals and groups with genuine expertise motivated by genuine concern for others. As the Buddhist sage Je Gampopa commented:

‘Even a single virtuous act overcomes many evils… a small good action can overcome a great wrong; it is highly efficient.’ (Gampopa, ‘Gems of Dharma, Jewels of Freedom,’ Altea, 1994, p.135)

Following in the footsteps of senior UN officials like Denis Halliday,

 » Lees verder

The American Stake In The Czech Elections

The American Stake In The Czech Elections

24-01-18 09:01:00,

The significance of the upcoming run-off of the presidential election in Czech Republic is largely underestimated in Washington. But its prevalent view of it as a not too significant event in a small European country is dead wrong.

Contenders include the sitting President, outspoken and politically incorrect Milos Zeman, who garnered 39% of the vote in the first of a two-phase election. His rival is chemist Jiri Drahos, the correct, low key, former president of the Czech Academy of Sciences, who won 27%. A tight race is expected in the January 26-27 vote.

Pictured: Czech President Milos Zeman (left) and Jiri Drahos (right), the two contenders in the January 26-27 run-off vote for the Czech Republic presidency. (Image source: Zeman, OISV/Wikimedia Commons; Drahos, Jindřich Nosek/Wikimedia Commons)

In America, Zeman’s foes are led by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, together with President Barack Obama’s State Department holdovers. They yearn for Zeman’s defeat as they did for the downfall of President Donald Trump, whom Zeman in some ways resembles.

As with Trump, one of key issues is whether Zeman is pro-Russian as maintained by his foes in U.S and Czech media. Yet even more crucial is Zeman’s hard line on Muslim immigration. He adamantly refuses to obey the European Union immigration quotas, even in the face of EU lawsuits.

A bit of Czech history is in order here. Curiously, the Prague events in last century on dates ending in the number 8, have often witnessed developments with major implications. In 1918, the founding of democratic Czechoslovakia by exiled Czech politician Tomas Masaryk intensified the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire. In 1938, British and French appeasement of Adolf Hitler at Munich and the Nazi occupation of the Czech Sudetenland adumbrated the outbreak of World War II a year later. In 1948 a Communist coup in still democratic Prague was a key impetus for the creation of NATO a year later.

In 1968 the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia aimed at quelling the infectious Prague Spring, became in the words of my mentor, Josef Korbel (Madeleine Albright’s father), “the inextinguishable spark” for future democratic revolutions. That happened in 1989 as playwright Vaclav Havel, “an outstanding dissident,” in Zeman’s words, became president of a new,

 » Lees verder