"They [the media] are news-as-entertainment professionals – packaging glossy corporate content for maximum distribution and big bucks. The goal is not objective reportage. Their targets are quantifiable and highlighted in a business plan somewhere. Success is based on a simple formula: stay within parameters "understandable" to a wide audience that devours sound bites and familiar storylines on the hour, every hour.

Like trained seals whose every desire, instinct and buying pattern has been measured by corporate media's marketing department for the consumption of its advertisers, the audience demands satisfaction – and western media delivers it." -- Sharmine Narwani
 

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Two prototype satellites for the Missile Defense Agency and four missile-tracking satellites for the US Space Force rode a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket into orbit Wednesday from Florida's Space Coast.

These satellites are part of a new generation of spacecraft designed to track hypersonic missiles launched by China or Russia and perhaps emerging missile threats from Iran or North Korea, which are developing their own hypersonic weapons.

Hypersonic missiles are smaller and more maneuverable than conventional ballistic missiles, which the US military's legacy missile defense satellites can detect when they launch. Infrared sensors on the military's older-generation missile tracking satellites are tuned to pick out bright thermal signatures from missile exhaust.

The new threat paradigm

Hypersonic missiles represent a new challenge for the Space Force and the Missile Defense Agency (EDA). For one thing, ballistic missiles follow a predictable parabolic trajectory that takes them into space. Hypersonic missiles are smaller and comparatively dim, and they spend more time flying in Earth's atmosphere. Their maneuverability makes them difficult to track.

Claire's Observations:  Tracking is great; now what about hitting these hypersonic missiles successfully, and why the hell is this country so damned far behind the curve on this, in terms of billions spent for defense relative to Russia and China.?!?  Don't get wrong, folks; I abhor the concept of war; however, if the US doesn't have the best possible weapons as a deterrent, this country is one, miserable sitting duck for a nasty attack from a country which doesn't particularly like it.

Tags: CHINA, COMPUTERS/INTERNET, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, SCIENCE/ HEALTH/ CLIMATE/ NATURE, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) officials have concluded that even if Israel can dismantle Hamas in Gaza, the group will continue to exist. American defense officials have warned that Israel’s indiscriminate killing in Gaza will fuel armed resistance among Palestinians.

Israel’s Channel 12 reported on Thursday that even if the IDF eliminates Hamas organization in Gaza, the group will continue to fight Israel as “a terror group and a guerrilla group.” The Israeli defense officials concluded in their report that “authentic support remains” for Hamas among Palestinians.

The Israeli attacks on Gaza have killed tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians, including over 12,000 children. The mass death has created a rally-around-the flag effect in Gaza for Hamas. Channel 12 investigative journalist Ilana Dayan reported that the “bottom line” was “Hamas will survive this [IDF] campaign as a terror group and a guerrilla group.”

In November, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown warned Israel that their indiscriminate attacks on Gaza would drive Palestinians to join Hamas. Asked by reporters if the high civilian casualty rate will create more Hamas fighters, Brown said, “Yes, very much so. And I think that’s something we have to pay attention to.”

“That’s why when we talk about time — the faster you can get to a point where you stop the hostilities, you have less strife for the civilian population that turns into someone who now wants to be the next member of Hamas,” he said.

Claire's Observations:  So,  let me wrap my head around this; the Israeli genocide against Palestinian civilians is turning more and more Palestinians toward Hamas, rather than away from it?!?   Hey, congrats, Netanyahu; this campaign has had the polar opposite effect from that which you wanted to  have happen!!! Give yourself an industrial-strength high five, for this failed, and failing horrific campaign of slaughter!!!!  The hubris of your ethnic cleansing, which has known no bounds, is about to come back and bite you, big-time.  And your country's street-cred as the alleged "Only democracy in the Middle East?!?  In the immortal words of the character Tony Soprano, "Fuggetaboutit!!"

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, IRAN, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, PALESTINE, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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Muhammad Shadab had gone to pray in his neighbourhood mosque in Indian-administered Kashmir’s main city of Srinagar when he was given a questionnaire by the mosque’s management.

The questionnaire was part of a so-called survey by the disputed region’s police, seeking his personal details, including phone numbers of family members, possible links to armed rebels, records of foreign visits or a member settled abroad, and even the number of CCTV cameras at home.

Other details the residents were asked to record in the survey last month included their Aadhaar – or unique identity card – number, the number of vehicles they owned, and specifics on the exact location of their house.

Shadab, 55, told Al Jazeera he had been panicking since he was handed the questionnaire. “I couldn’t believe I had to provide such extensive details – even of my female family members,” said the former government employee now running his own business.

“It was intriguing for all, even for the mosque committee members. They were instructed [by the police] to distribute the forms, collect them from us, and submit the filled-in documents within a week.”

The questionnaire, accessed by Al Jazeera, was circulated in Srinagar and other areas of the region. Many other residents said officers in plain clothes came to their houses with the document, asking them to fill it and submit it to the nearest police station at the earliest opportunity.

Another layer of surveillance

The Himalayan region of Kashmir is split between India and Pakistan, which rule over parts of the territory but claim it in its entirety. The two nuclear powers have fought three of their four wars over the territory.

After a popular anti-India rebellion broke out in Indian-administered Kashmir in the late 1980s, New Delhi deployed nearly 700,000 troops to suppress the movement, making the region one of the world’s most militarised conflict zones. The military-to-civilian ratio in the region stands at one soldier for 30 residents, according to a 2020 study by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London-based think tank.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the decades-old conflict, most of them civilians, while there are widespread allegations of torture, arbitrary detentions and denial of basic rights by the Indian security forces

Claire's Observations:  Whether these forms were just another degree if Indian political intimidation, or the basis for a roundup and assassination program, is difficult to say; but were I an innocent Kashmiri Muslim, I would be terrified of what the Indian government plans to do with this data.

India claims to be "the world's largest democracy"; but what about a referendum, promised, but never held, in Indian-administered Kashmir?!? This would give these people the ability to:  1. Stay with India; 2. Become an independent nation: 3. Join Pakistan.  It is the last possibility which scares the Indian government to such an extent, that it won't let the referendum happen peacefully.

I remember the line attributed to JFK, which was both startlingly simple, but true: "When peaceful revolution becomes impossible, violent revolution becomes inevitable."

Tags: COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, DICTATORSHIP, PAKISTAN/ INDIA, PROTESTS/ REVOLUTION, RELIGION/ATHEISM, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WMD
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A global watchdog group for the treatment of journalists found that Israeli forces were responsible for about three-quarters of all journalists killed in war zones during 2023. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) found that 72 Palestinian reporters were killed last year. 

“More than three-quarters of the 99 journalists and media workers killed worldwide in 2023 died in the Israel-Gaza war, the majority of them Palestinians killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza,
The CPJ report concluded. “The conflict claimed the lives of more journalists in three months than have ever been killed in a single country over an entire year.”

In the last three months of 2023, Israel killed 72 Palestinian and three Lebanese journalists. Two Israeli journalists were killed in the Hamas attack on October 7. Excluding the Israeli onslaught in Gaza, CPJ found worldwide deaths of journalists last year was less than half of 2022’s total. At least 11 Palestinian journalists have been killed so far in 2024

CPJ believes some of the Palestinian journalists were targeted by Israel, and the organization is conducting further investigations. The Gaza Strip’s Government Media Office puts the number higher, saying at least 126 Palestinian media workers have been killed. “This war is unprecedented in terms of the threat to journalists,” Jodie Ginsberg, president of the CPJ, said

She explained that Israel’s killing of journalists prevents war crimes in Gaza from being seen by the international community. “What’s important to remember about this war is that Gazan journalists are the only journalists able to report on what’s happening inside Gaza. International journalists have not been able to get in, have not been allowed in, except on very, very controlled trips that are overseen by the Israeli army.” Ginsberg continued, “So we are entirely reliant on those [Palestinian] journalists, who are risking their lives to bring us this story.”

Tags: ASSASSINATION, CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, IRAN, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, PALESTINE, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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On February 8, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz was in Washington on an official visit, aimed at working jointly with the United States to make “sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself”.

If such a statement was made soon after the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation of October 7, one may cognize its logic, based on the well-known, inherent bias of both Washington and Berlin towards Israel.

The statement and the visit, however, were conducted on the 125th day of one of the bloodiest genocides in modern history.

The purpose of the visit was highlighted in a press conference by White House spokesperson John Kirby, even though, hours later, US President Joe Biden admitted that Israel has gone “over the top” in its response to the Hamas attack on October 7.

If killing and wounding over 100,000 civilians, and counting, is Israel’s version of self-defense, then both Scholz and Biden have done a splendid job in ensuring Israel has everything it needs to achieve its bloody mission.

However, in this context, who is entitled to self-defense, Israel or Palestine?

On a recent visit to a hospital in a Middle Eastern country which remains confidential as a precondition for my visit, I witnessed one of the most horrific sights one could ever see. Scores of limbless Palestinian children, some still fighting for their lives, some badly burned and others in a coma.

Those who were able to use their hands have drawn Palestinian flags which hung on the walls beside their hospital beds. Some wore SpongeBob T-shirts and others hats with Disney characters. They were pure, innocent, and very much Palestinian.

A couple of children flashed the victory sign as soon as we said our goodbyes. Little kids wanted to communicate to the world that they remain strong and that they know exactly who they are and where they come from.

The children were far too young to realize the legal and political context of their strong feelings towards their homeland

Tags: ASSASSINATION, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, GERMANY, IRAN, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, PALESTINE, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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Following a Thursday phone call with US President Joe Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is again pushing back against the intensifying international pressure ahead of Israel's planned ground assault on Rafah, which contains over a million refugees with nowhere to go.

"Israel will continue to oppose the unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state," Netanyahu wrote on X, in defiance of a proposed ceasefire plan that external powers including the US are still trying to salvage. He has also called it essentially a "reward to terrorists".

"My positions can be summarized in the following two sentences," said Netanyahu in the aftermath of the call. "Israel categorically rejects international dictates regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians. Such an arrangement will be reached only through direct negotiations between the parties, without preconditions.

Claire's Observations:  Looks as though the Middle East's "Assassination Nation" will continue with its genocidal destruction of Palestinians, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. Biden is totally impotent here. Nothing Biden says, will stem the flow of money or arms to Israel, and that is a very safe bet.  The IDF has a very "target rich environment" in Rafah, and will take every advantage of that possible.  Netanyahu wants the maximum number possible  to be killed in this hellhole, which will happen; the injured will probably die as well, as there is  - literally - no place in Rafah - that is safe.

Apparently. Netanyahu is not the least bit bothered by what these massive, genocidal attacks will mean to the future of his country's reputation, making it an utter moral pariah among nations, with whom no one will want to trade.or do business.   

Netanyahu's legacy; genocide.  And are there possibilities that his country will not, and cannot, survive what may be to come, post-genocide?!? 

 Let's face the reality; if the IDF was really getting the job done,meaning ridding Gaza of Hamas, the job would have been done by now.  Both Hamas, and Hezbollah, are proving far more resilient than previously imagined.

Tags: CORPORATE MEDIA, COVER-UP/ DECEPTIONS/ PROPAGANDA, CURRENT EVENTS, IRAN, ISRAEL, LEBANON, MIDDLE EAST, PALESTINE, WAR/DRAFT/ VETERAN AFFAIRS, WHITE HOUSE, WMD
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By: orraz
Tags: CURRENT EVENTS
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