The U.S. Is Destroying Europe

 

europe-usa-eu-flags-400x199In Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and other countries at the periphery or edges of Europe, U.S. President Barack Obama has been pursuing a policy of destabilization, and even of bombings and other military assistance, that drives millions of refugees out of those peripheral areas and into Europe, thereby adding fuel to the far-rightwing fires of anti-immigrant rejectionism, and of resultant political destabilization, throughout Europe, not only on its peripheries, but even as far away as in northern Europe.

Shamus Cooke at Off-Guardian headlines on 3 August 2015, “Obama’s ‘Safe Zone’ in Syria Intended to Turn It into New Libya,” and he reports that Obama has approved U.S. air support for Turkey’s previously unenfoceable no-fly zone over Syria. The U.S. will now shoot down all of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s planes that are targeting the extremist-Muslim groups, including ISIS, that have taken over huge swaths of Syrian territory.

Cooke reports:

Turkey has been demanding this no-fly zone from Obama since the Syrian war started. It’s been discussed throughout the conflict and even in recent months, though the intended goal was always the Syrian government. And suddenly the no-fly zone is happening — right where Turkey always wanted it — but it’s being labeled an ‘anti-ISIS’ safe zone, instead of its proper name: ‘Anti Kurdish and anti-Syrian government’ safe zone.

The New York Times reported on July 27th, that,

“the plan calls for relatively moderate Syrian insurgents to take the territory, with the help of American and possibly Turkish air support.”

However, the Times, stenographically reporting (as usual) from and for their U.S. Government sources (and so propagandizing for the U.S. Government), fails to define “relatively moderate,” but all of the “relatively moderate insurgent” groups in Syria cooperate with ISIS and help them to find and decapitate, or sometimes hold for ransoms, any non-Muslims there. Under Assad, Syria has been a non-clerical state, and has enjoyed freedom of religion, but all of the Syrian opposition to Assad’s rule is alien to that. The U.S. is now, even more clearly than before, anti-Assad, pro-Islamist.

Seymour Hersh reported in the London Review of Books on 17 April 2014, that the Obama Administration’s Libyan bombing campaign in 2011 was part of a broader program to bring sarin gas from Libya to the al-Nusra Front in Syria, in order to help produce a gas-attack upon civilians, which the U.S. Administration could then blame upon Assad, as being an excuse to bomb there just as Obama had already so successfully done in Libya. Both dictators, Gaddafi and Assad, were allied with Russia, and Assad especially has been important to Russia, as a transit-route for Russia’s gas supplies, and not for Qatar’s gas supplies — Qatar being the major potential threat to Russia’s status as the top supplier of gas into Europe.

Obama’s top goal in international relations, and throughout his military policies, has been to defeat Russia, to force a regime-change there that will make Russia part of the American empire, no longer the major nation that resists control from Washington.

Prior to the U.S. bombings of Libya in 2011, Libya was at peace and thriving. Per-capita GDP (income) in 2010 according to the IMF was $12,357.80, but it plunged to only $5,839.70 in 2011 — the year we bombed and destroyed the country. (Hillary Clinton famously bragged, “We came, we saw, he [Gaddafi] died!”) (And, unlike in U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, that per-capita GDP was remarkably evenly distributed, and both education and health care were socialized and available to everyone, even to the poor.)

More recently, on 15 February 2015, reporter Leila Fadel of NPR bannered “With Oil Fields Under Attack, Libya’s Economic Future Looks Bleak.” She announced: “The man in charge looks at production and knows the future is bleak. ‘We cannot produce. We are losing 80 percent of our production,’ says Mustapha Sanallah, the chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation.”

Under instructions from Washington, the IMF hasn’t been reliably reporting Libya’s GDP figures after 2011, but instead shows that things there were immediately restored to normal (even to better than normal: $13,580.55 per-capita GDP) in 2012, but everybody knows that it’s false; even NPR is, in effect, reporting that it’s not true. The CIA estimates that Libya’s per-capita GDP was a ridiculous $23,900 in 2012 (they give no figures for the years before that), and says Libya’s per-capita GDP has declined only slightly thereafter. None of the official estimates are at all trustworthy, though the Atlantic Council at least made an effort to explain things honestly, headlining in their latest systematic report about Libya’s economy, on 23 January 2014, “Libya: Facing Economic Collapse in 2014.”

Libya has become Europe’s big problem. Millions of Libyans are fleeing the chaos there. Some of them are fleeing across the Mediterranean and ending up in refugee camps in southern Italy; and some are escaping to elsewhere in Europe.

And Syria is now yet another nation that’s being destroyed in order to conquer Russia. Even the reliably propagandistic New York Times is acknowledging, in its ‘news’ reporting, that, “both the Turks and the Syrian insurgents see defeating President Bashar al-Assad of Syria as their first priority.” So: U.S. bombers will be enforcing a no-fly-zone over parts of Syria in order to bring down Russia’s ally Bashar al-Assad and replace his secular government by an Islamic government — and the ‘anti-ISIS’ thing is just for show; it’s PR, propaganda. The public cares far more about defeating ISIS than about defeating Russia; but that’s not the way America’s aristocracy views things. Their objective is extending America’s empire — extending their own empire.

Similarly, Obama overthrew the neutralist government of Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine in February 2014, but that was under the fake cover of ‘democracy’ demonstrations, instead of under the fake cover of ‘opposing Islamic terrorism’ or whatever other phrases that the U.S. Government uses to fool suckers about America’s installation of, and support to, a rabidly anti-Russia, racist-fascist, or nazi, government next door to Russia, in Ukraine. Just as Libya had been at peace before the U.S. invaded and destroyed it, and just as Syria had been at peace before the U.S and Turkey invaded and destroyed it, Ukraine too was at peace before the U.S. perpetrated its coup there and installed nazis and an ethnic cleansing campaign there, and destroyed Ukraine too.

Like with Libya before the overthrow of Gaddafi there, or Syria before the current effort to overthrow Assad there, or the more recent successful overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych, it’s all aimed to defeat Russia.

The fact that all of Europe is sharing in the devastation that Obama and other American conservatives — imperialists, even — impose, is of little if any concern to the powers-that-be in Washington DC, but, if it matters at all to them, then perhaps it’s another appealing aspect of this broader operation: By weakening European nations, and not only nations in the Middle East, Obama’s war against Russia is yet further establishing America to be “the last man standing,” at the end of the chaos and destruction that America causes.

Consequently, for example, in terms of U.S. international strategy, the fact that the economic sanctions against Russia are enormously harming the economies of European nations is good, not bad.

There are two ways to win, at any game: One is by improving one’s own performance. The other is by weakening the performances by all of one’s competitors. The United States is now relying almost entirely upon the latter type of strategy.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Breaking News: 25 August, 2014

Armed anti-goverment fighters walk in front of garages set ablaze by what locals say was recent shelling by Ukrainian forces in Donetsk August 23, 2014 (Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)

Armed anti-goverment fighters walk in front of garages set ablaze by what locals say was recent shelling by Ukrainian forces in Donetsk August 23, 2014 (Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)

Friday, August 22

Artillery attack destroys roof and walls of Donetsk museum

An artillery attack destroyed the roof and walls of the Donetsk Regional Museum of Local History on Thursday. (Xinhua/Alexander Ermochenko)

 

Monday, August 25

18:00 GMT:

The Crimean Telegraph newspaper said that two of its journalists have gone missing in the warzone in Donetsk Region of Ukraine on August 24.  “Yesterday, in the area of the ‘anti-terrorist operation’ not far from the city of Donetsk reporter Evgenia Korolyova and photographer Maksim Vasilenko were removed from their bus by Right Sector [radical movement] representatives,” the paper said.  “Korolyova was allowed to make one phone call, but couldn’t speak freely as it was obvious that “people, who controlled her every word, were with her,” the Crimean Telegraph added.  “When asked if she felt a real threat to her life, Evgenia said ‘no’, but confirmed that they were detained not as ordinary Crimean citizens, but as journalists,” the newspaper said.

15:58 GMT:

The distribution of humanitarian aid from Russia has started in the besieged city of Lugansk in southeastern Ukraine, with 12 issuing points opening in the city on Monday.

The minimum package handed out to residents includes rice, buckwheat and sugar, three canned meats, a packet of tea and 10 liters of water.

Poroshenko warns of ‘detailed Plan B’ if Ukraine ceasefire fails

If his current proposal for a truce, which came into force on Friday, fails to bring results, Ukraine’s newly elected president Petro Poroshenko warns he has an alternative “detailed plan” of regaining control over south-eastern Ukraine.  “Peaceful scenario – it is our plan A,” Poroshenko said in a statement on his website. “But those who expect to use the peace talks only to gain time to regroup, should know that we have a detailed plan B. I am not going to talk about it now, because I believe that our peace plan will work.”  Poroshenko claims the ceasefire is designed to enable local self-defence militias to lay down their arms and flee the country, or be destroyed. He also, while drafting the plan with Kiev-appointed governors of the defiant regions, rejected any possibility of negotiations with representatives of anti-Kiev forces.

 

US, NATO to blame for Libyan unrest – Moscow

The current turmoil in Libya is a direct consequence of the interference of the US and its NATO allies, the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “We can say that the political process of creating a modern state in Libya on the ruins of the Muammar Gaddafi regime ousted in 2011 has finally come to a standstill,” the ministry said. The Libyans are now paying for Western involvement with “lives of thousands of civilians and social economic infrastructure of the state lost during bloody civil strife,” it added. Over the weekend, the Islamists seized the airport in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and proclaimed their own government.

15:03

Pentagon’s second test of hypersonic missile fails after takeoff

The Pentagon’s second test of an advanced hypersonic weapon failed shortly after takeoff early on Monday, the Washington Free Beacon said. “Due to an anomaly, the test was terminated near the launch pad shortly after liftoff to ensure public safety,” the Pentagon said in a statement. No injuries to any personnel were reported after the test was carried out from the Kodiak Launch Complex on Kodiak Island off the southern Alaskan coast. The weapon is a key part of the Pentagon’s strategic program of building arms that can attack any point on earth in 30 minutes.

14:22

2 killed, several injured in explosion at Illinois recycling plant

Two people were killed and more were injured after an explosion at a recycling plant in southern Illinois, Granite City police said. The bomb squad has been sent to the Totall Metal Recycling plant, AP said, citing local television. More explosions, perhaps from live ammunition rounds, are feared. More than 160 people work at the plant, which recycles everything from computers to automobiles. The company also indicated that it deals with the ammunition industry.

13:56

Omar al-Hasi appointed as PM after Libya’s ex-parliament reconvenes

Libya’s previous parliament reconvened on Monday to elect Islamist-backed Omar al-Hasi as prime minister, Reuters quoted a parliamentary spokesman as saying. Islamists had a strong representation in the former legislature, whose term ended with national elections in June. It has refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of its successor parliament, where liberals and federalists dominate.

11:07

At least 16 people killed by Israel air strikes on Gaza

Israeli air strikes pounded Gaza on Sunday, killing at least 16 people, AFP said. One of the strikes killed Hamas financial official Mohammed al-Ghul as he was traveling by car in Gaza City, Israel’s army and Gaza medics said. A later strike on northern Gaza reportedly killed a mother and four children from the same family, and the day’s death toll reached at least 16, including six children.

10:36

Syria govt ready to cooperate in anti-terror fight – FM

The Syrian government is ready to cooperate with international and regional efforts to fight terror, Reuters quoted the Syrian foreign minister, Walid al-Moualem, as saying on Monday. Asked if Syria was ready to cooperate with the US and Britain, he said: “They are welcome.” However, the minister warned in that case the efforts must be coordinated with Damascus. Moualem, speaking on Syrian state TV, also condemned the killing of US journalist James Foley, who was executed by the Islamic State.

07:45

French PM Valls presents govt resignation to president

France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls presented the resignation of his government to the president on Monday, Reuters reported. Francois Hollande’s office said a new government would be formed on Tuesday in line with the direction the president “has defined for our country.” The resignation comes a day after leftist Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg called for new economic policies and questioned Germany’s “obsession” with budgetary rigor.

06:47

Japan to name criteria before offering unapproved Ebola drug

Japan could offer an unapproved drug under certain circumstances to help treat the deadly Ebola virus, Reuters said. “Medical professionals could make a request for T-705 in an emergency even before a decision by the World Health Organization (WHO),” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said. “In that case, we would like to respond under certain criteria.” Tokyo will cooperate with the WHO and is ready to make an international contribution. Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings Corp and US’s MediVector are in talks with the US Food and Drug Administration to submit an application to expand the use of the influenza drug T-705, or favipiravir, as a treatment for Ebola.

06:19

At least 10 killed in India temple stampede

At least 10 people were killed and scores injured in a stampede at a Hindu temple in central India, AFP reported. As hundreds of pilgrims were gathering early at a holy hill in the Chitrakoot area of Madhya Pradesh state, some fell down, sparking panic. A stampede broke out around 5:30 local time, “where five women and five men have died,” police said. The incident took place at Kamtanath Pahad temple on Kamadgiri hill in Chitrakoot, about 520km from state capital Bhopal, when some Hindu devotees were reportedly rolling on the ground as part of rituals for the full moon day of Somvati Amavasya to honor Lord Shiva.

Donetsk Self-Defense Forces Joined by French, Spanish Volunteers – Interview

Topic: Situation in the South-East of Ukraine

 

We came to Donbas, where civilians are being killed by agents from Kiev - French volunteer

We came to Donbas, where civilians are being killed by agents from Kiev – French volunteer

© RIA Novosti. Maksim Blinov

 

MOSCOW, August 21 (RIA Novosti) – The military conflict in southeastern Ukraine has been the focus of politicians, the military and journalists around the world for almost six months now. The world is divided between supporters of Kiev’s new government and those who support the self-defense forces in the southeast.

The Western countries unanimously support the Ukrainian government economically, politically, and via the flow of information. Moreover, there are regular reports of foreign recruits from the US, Italy, Georgia and some other countries fighting in the Ukrainian army and in its National Guard.

However, even among Western countries that have been caught in an information war against  southeastern Ukraine and Russia, there is support for the self-defense troops of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. They are willing to lend moral support and even personally help the people of Novorossiya. Some are even eager to enlist.

Several days ago, several French volunteers contacted RIA Novosti. They’d just arrived in  southeastern Ukraine and already felt compelled to tell their first-hand stories about the civil war there to the people of France. What other reasons led them to fight for the besieged people’s republic? They told Sergei Safronov, Head of the Security Agencies Newsdesk, their reasons for taking up the fight.

First of all, please introduce yourself and tell us what brought you to Ukraine.

Guillaume: My name is Guillaume. There are four of us from France; the others are Michel, Victor and Nicolas. We are French volunteers and basically the first wave of an entire group of our fellow citizens, who are either preparing for a trip to Ukraine or are already on their way.

Are there any more French people in Donetsk?

Guillaume: No, but I hear there are some Spanish people. We haven’t seen them yet.

Did you bring a weapon? Are you from the military or are you civilians?

Guillaume: Of course we did not bring any weapons, but we received some from the militia. These are personal service firearms. We are not servicemen at all; we are civilians – basically political volunteers.

Guillaume, you still haven’t mentioned your reasons for going to Ukraine. Why are you here?

Guillaume: We support the geopolitical idea of European unity. We are both revolutionaries and traditionalists. We came to Donbas, where civilians are being killed by agents from Kiev. Those who are conducting this terrorist operation in Donbas are the henchmen of the international mafia oligarchs.
You should clearly understand it is the third world war going on. It started in Libya then moved to Syria and now to Donbas. We can see that Russia is one of a small number of countries that challenged and is almost single-handedly fighting international globalism. It is some kind of a Reconquista. We are here to help Russia in this fight.

Do you get paid?

Guillaume: No, we are not here to make money; no one pays us. Moreover, we paid quite a lot to get here.

How long do you plan to stay here?

Guillaume: For as long as it is necessary to inform the people of France about what is happening here.

Do your family and friends know where you are?

Guillaume: We told a small circle of friends. France doesn’t know we are here. France doesn’t even know that Donbas is at war. The Western media do not report anything. On the contrary, the Western media present Russia as an enemy, an aggressor, a terrorist country. They don’t say anything about the war in Ukraine.
Our presence here will allow the French to receive first-hand information.

Have you already taken part in military operations?

Guillaume: Not yet, but we are ready to take part. It is one of the reasons why we are here.

Where exactly are you?

Guillaume: We are in Donetsk, the Donetsk People’s Republic.

How do you communicate with the self-defense fighters? As far as I understand, you don’t speak Russian or Ukrainian. How do you communicate?

Guillaume: With sounds and gestures.

Good luck!

Guillaume: Merci.

 

MOSCOW, August 21 (RIA Novosti) – The military conflict in southeastern Ukraine has been the focus of politicians, the military and journalists around the world for almost six months now. The world is divided between supporters of Kiev’s new government and those who support the self-defense forces in the southeast.

The Western countries unanimously support the Ukrainian government economically, politically, and via the flow of information. Moreover, there are regular reports of foreign recruits from the US, Italy, Georgia and some other countries fighting in the Ukrainian army and in its National Guard.

However, even among Western countries that have been caught in an information war against  southeastern Ukraine and Russia, there is support for the self-defense troops of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. They are willing to lend moral support and even personally help the people of Novorossiya. Some are even eager to enlist.

Several days ago, several French volunteers contacted RIA Novosti. They’d just arrived in  southeastern Ukraine and already felt compelled to tell their first-hand stories about the civil war there to the people of France. What other reasons led them to fight for the besieged people’s republic? They told Sergei Safronov, Head of the Security Agencies Newsdesk, their reasons for taking up the fight.

First of all, please introduce yourself and tell us what brought you to Ukraine.

Guillaume: My name is Guillaume. There are four of us from France; the others are Michel, Victor and Nicolas. We are French volunteers and basically the first wave of an entire group of our fellow citizens, who are either preparing for a trip to Ukraine or are already on their way.

Are there any more French people in Donetsk?

Guillaume: No, but I hear there are some Spanish people. We haven’t seen them yet.

Did you bring a weapon? Are you from the military or are you civilians?

Guillaume: Of course we did not bring any weapons, but we received some from the militia. These are personal service firearms. We are not servicemen at all; we are civilians – basically political volunteers.

Guillaume, you still haven’t mentioned your reasons for going to Ukraine. Why are you here?

Guillaume: We support the geopolitical idea of European unity. We are both revolutionaries and traditionalists. We came to Donbas, where civilians are being killed by agents from Kiev. Those who are conducting this terrorist operation in Donbas are the henchmen of the international mafia oligarchs.
You should clearly understand it is the third world war going on. It started in Libya then moved to Syria and now to Donbas. We can see that Russia is one of a small number of countries that challenged and is almost single-handedly fighting international globalism. It is some kind of a Reconquista. We are here to help Russia in this fight.

Do you get paid?

Guillaume: No, we are not here to make money; no one pays us. Moreover, we paid quite a lot to get here.

How long do you plan to stay here?

Guillaume: For as long as it is necessary to inform the people of France about what is happening here.

Do your family and friends know where you are?

Guillaume: We told a small circle of friends. France doesn’t know we are here. France doesn’t even know that Donbas is at war. The Western media do not report anything. On the contrary, the Western media present Russia as an enemy, an aggressor, a terrorist country. They don’t say anything about the war in Ukraine.
Our presence here will allow the French to receive first-hand information.

Have you already taken part in military operations?

Guillaume: Not yet, but we are ready to take part. It is one of the reasons why we are here.

Where exactly are you?

Guillaume: We are in Donetsk, the Donetsk People’s Republic.

How do you communicate with the self-defense fighters? As far as I understand, you don’t speak Russian or Ukrainian. How do you communicate?

Guillaume: With sounds and gestures.

Good luck!

Guillaume: Merci.

 

FIRST FRENCHMEN JOIN EASTERN UKRAINE INDEPENDENCE FORCES

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The first four French volunteers joined independence supporters of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic this week.

MOSCOW, August 21 (RIA Novosti) – The first four French volunteers joined independence supporters of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic this week, one of the French volunteers, Guillaume, said Thursday.

“There are four of us in total: Michelle, Victor and Nicolas besides [me]. We are French ‘volontaires’, we could be called ‘precurseurs’. In other words, we are the vanguard, another group of our compatriots is either preparing for a trip to Ukraine, or on the way,” Guillaume said.

There are no other Frenchmen among eastern Ukraine militia yet, Guillaume added.

“It was said that there are several Spaniards, but we haven’t met them yet,” the French volunteer added.

 

Michael Hastings, Bridge-Burning Journalist (1980-2013)

By Jim Naureckas – 15 Comments

You can tell what kind of reporter Michael Hastings was by the kind of reporter who hated him.

“I think it’s very unfortunate that it has impacted, and will impact so adversely, on what had been pretty good military/media relations,” the New York Times’ John Burns told right-wing talkshow host Hugh Hewitt (FAIR Blog, 7/16/10). Burns was discussing Hastings’ Rolling Stone profile (6/22/10) of Stanley McChrystal that ended up costing the general his job running the occupation of Afghanistan–mainly because Hastings kept in all the impolitic comments that McChrystal and his underlings assumed would be discreetly ignored.

Burns expected that any decent reporter would do the same thing:

MichaelHastings-350x450My feeling is that it’s the responsibility of the reporter to judge in those circumstances what is fairly reportable, and what is not, and, to go beyond that, what it is necessary to report.

Hastings, a reporter for Rolling Stone and BuzzFeed who died in a car crash in L.A. yesterday at the age of 33, didn’t see it as his job to maintain “good media/military relations,” or to decide what is “necessary to report.” To the contrary–he told CounterSpin (1/27/12) that one of his golden rules for reporting was, “What does everybody know who’s on the inside, but no one’s willing to say or write.”

Hastings never forgot that journalists’ loyalties are supposed to be with the public and not to the government officials whose actions they cover–and that approach distinguished him not only from Burns but from most of his colleagues. BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith (6/18/13) recalled in a tribute to his reporter:

Michael cared about friends and was good at making them; it visibly pained him when, late in the 2012 campaign, the reporters around him made little secret of their distrust for him. But he also knew…he was there to tell his readers what was going on.

What Tim Dickinson (Rolling Stone, 6/18/13) called Hastings’ “enthusiastic breaches of the conventions of access journalism” were what enabled him to report the unguarded assessments of the officers running the occupation of Afghanistan: “Even those who support McChrystal and his strategy of counterinsurgency know that whatever the general manages to accomplish in Afghanistan, it’s going to look more like Vietnam than Desert Storm.” It’s not that other reporters didn’t hear such remarks–but they knew better than to report them, or thought they did.

A Politico story quoted by NYU’s Jay Rosen (6/24/10) got at the structural problems that prevent most journalists from telling their readers the truth:

And as a freelance reporter, Hastings would be considered a bigger risk to be given unfettered access, compared with a beat reporter, who would not risk burning bridges by publishing many of McChrystal’s remarks.

(Rosen noted that that line got edited out of later versions of the story, perhaps because it revealed too much.)

McChrystal’s replacement, Gen. David Petraeus, was a favorite of most of the press corps, but Hastings went after exactly what got him that great press: his superlative skills at image management. “More so than any other leading military figure, Petraeus’ entire philosophy has been based on hiding the truth, on deception, on building a false image,” he argued (BuzzFeed, 11/11/12).

Hastings had a refreshing lack of worry about his image; arguing for BuzzFeed to publish in full a testy exchange between himself and a Hillary Clinton aide, Hastings responded to Ben Smith’s warning that the correspondence didn’t make either side look particularly attractive:
“Everyone knows I’m an asshole. The point is that they’re assholes.”

His lack of pretense was evident in his advice to aspiring journalists:

When interviewing for a job, tell the editor how you love to report. How your passion is gathering information. Do not mention how you want to be a writer, use the word “prose,” or that deep down you have a sinking suspicion you are the next Norman Mailer.

Joining the general panic at Hastings’ escape from the herd with his McChrystal piece, CBS’s Lara Logan told CNN’s Reliable Sources (6/27/10; FAIR Blog, 6/28/10):

I mean, the question is, really, is what General McChrystal and his aides are doing so egregious, that they deserved to end a career like McChrystal’s? Michael Hastings has never served his country the way McChrystal has.

Given the relative benefits to the United States of an aggressive free press compared to occupying foreign lands, many would say Michael Hastings served his country much better than Stanley McChrystal ever did.

About Jim Naureckas
Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR’s bimonthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren’t: Rush Limbaugh’s Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the ’90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR’s website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR’s program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.

Comments

Guy Montag
1 week ago
Both of Hasting’s books are well worth reading. His 2008 book, “I Lost My Love in Baghdad,” is especially poignant now; his first fiancée died in a car that was set on fire in an ambush.
Last June, I exchanged emails with Michael after I wrote a post annotating his 2012 book “The Operators” about Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s central role in the cover-up of Pat Tillman’s 2004 friendly-fire death in Afghanistan. In January, he thanked me for sending him my post about McChrystal’s disingenuous memoir (see “Something to Die For” & “Never Shall I Fail My Comrades” at the Feral Firefighter blog). I now regret never calling him with the phone numbers he gave me in his last email.
I’ll miss Michael’s honest, no BS reporting that is sadly lacking among the stenographic mainstream press (e.g. we both wrote about our unpleasant interactions with the Pentagon’s NYT reporter Thom Shanker).
NYT Pays Tribute to Hastings by Attacking Him After Death
1 week ago
[…] Michael Hastings is in excellent company when his New York Times obituary (6/19/13) went out of its way to discredit […]
NYT Pays Tribute to Hastings by Attacking Him After Death « RichCulbertson.com
1 week ago
[…] Michael Hastings is in excellent company when his New York Times obituary (6/19/13) went out of its way to discredit […]
Wanda
1 week ago
Love FAIR. But this regurgitation:”died in a car crash in L.A.” is not what we expect from you. Not even a glancing mention of the suspicious circumstances that we all now what happened?
jamie
1 week ago
well said and well done, jim. here’s my little tribute to my friend and colleague. http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-sad-death-of-one-of-americas-last.html
Michael Hastings was a real reporter : Dangerous Intersection
1 week ago
[…] Tribute to Michael Hastings at FAIR, by Jim Naureckas: […]
Mary
1 week ago

I certainly hope that Mr. Hasting’s friends use their investigative skills to present some facts and the possibility of murder. Who shot the video of the accident? Why was he out at 4 PM? What do fire fighters and mechanics make of the accident? What was he investigating? Was he threatened? It seems that he would not just lament a friend’s suspicious death.
What a brave man. When others were talking about the Petraeus affair, he asked why and identified the General’s Shia death squads and creation of a civil war.
Mary
1 week ago

Correction: Why was he out at 4 AM?
Sara Landers
1 week ago
to Mary:
Mr. Hastings was a brilliant and brave journalist but to suggest his death was anything than what it was is ridiculous. There were eye witnesses who have said they first heard the car speeding and looked up to see him hit and tree and the car burst into flames. While he was all. the good things said about it, he was 33 and possibly under the influence of alcohol or drugs and his driving was impaired. Who knows why he was out at 4 AM. He could have been on an assignment, or any reason, but that is hardly a reason to suspect a conspiracy or murder!!!
geoff
1 week ago
This reporter was apparently about to report on John Brennan recently appointed head of the CIA, and past preparer of the “kill list” for Pres. O. That his work may have meant the end of two Generals active in the field of imperial wars and occupation — what would be their qualms about a little payback? What about John Brennan who has demonstrated his lack of what might be called elegance whenever he gets close to a camera or microphone? I have no info. and if I did it would have to be hearsay, but I can’t discount the idea that something very much out of the ordinary occurred. Remember, Brennan was a GW Bush appointee before Pres. O. Should this help one’s imagination, a bit?
Kathleen Murphy
1 week ago

To Sara Landers,
Let’s get one thing straight, an explosion is NOT a “car accident,” and we should all expect better from FAIR than joining the corporate chorus on that one. And if the testimony of the witnesses meant anything to you, you would’ve also noticed that they all said they heard, and felt, an explosion. (Perhaps those witnesses will be soon be threatened by the FBI to stop saying it was explosion?)
I find it hard to believe that a person who (was it just a day before?), advises his friends to have a lawyer present if the FBI comes around asking questions, then immediately turns around to be so stupid as to drive 100 mph in a residential zone???? Really? And, as you inventively suggest- “33 and may have been under the influence” -a nice little character bashing of someone you don’t even know, shame on you! (But, “it has to be a car accident because there’s no possible way it was a murder” -right? A cowardly circular argument, please GROW …UP!!!!)
And now all we have left is an FBI denial that it was even investigating Michael Hastings? Sorry, I’m going to believe Michael Hastings before I ever believe the FBI. (But perhaps that image of “33 and under the influence while driving 100 mph in a residential area” is going to help the FBI look more credible in the public mind?)
This idea that every person who doesn’t trust our corporate government’s version of events is a “stupid conspiracy theorist,” is a symptom of cognitive dissonance that Americans collectively need to snap out of -or we will never get out from under the thumb of the fascist corporate dictatorship which is unfolding every day, before our very eyes.
Please, FAIR, have the maturity to care more about the facts than preserving some superficial public image that you are not like… Alex Jones? You are over-doing it this time with this Michael Hastings “car accident” story and impressing no one.
David Lloyd-Jones
1 week ago

Well, so much for “Reliable Sources,” which was always my sign to turn off the TV on Sunday morning: Howie’s gone (back?) to Fox.
I’ve always prided myself on my enemies, who select themselves well, and I think Hastings could do the same.
-dlj.
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Jack Y
6 days ago

Not to pile on you Sarah…but your knee jerk reaction to bring up intoxication is kind of strange to say the least. Where did that come from. I guess we will never know though…since the car EXPLODED upon impact and his body is said to have been burned beyond recognition. This does not normally happen in a car accident…even a 100 MPH head on collision. I do media history now…but I have worked on many a car and have many friends who do that as a profession today…unless a car is sitting there for awhile leaking gas, the new cars don’t “EXPLODE!”.
And FAIR…you could have left it at “died in a single car accident early in the morning. An investigation is still underway.” It reminded me of a news blip I remember seeing late at night/early morning from way back…when Headline News was young and a day or two before the Noriega trial. The lead government “witness” was killed in a single car accident…ran in to a building all by himself. Even as a late teen/early 20 something then I thought to myself…really? The government lets their star witness go for a ride alone right before a trial they claim is historic. I assumed he was taking to the witness coaching very well. Imagine how many powerful people Noriega had dirt on in the drug running circles.
Always being a “coincidence theorist” is no less naive or intellectually dishonest than always being a “conspiracy theorist”.
Hopefully I’ll get to meet you on the other side Michael:-) Not too soon though!