24 November 2015

Much 'globalization' is positive: L'Ordre

The Blog

New extracts reproduced here are part the second Mont Order commentary authored by L'Ordre. Analyzing the largest point, the Second Point of the Order's plan, this key essay addresses the political crisis of nation-states and technological change.

More: The Mont Order's unofficial conspiracy

More: Articles tagged as "L'Ordre" items at The clubof.info Blog

L'Ordre's second commentary can be read at Dissident Voice, and the Mont society's video conference referenced in the commentary can be viewed below. It is titled "The Mont Order's Globalism", distinguishing between positive and negative globalization. 

The Second Point is one of a total of seven points, agreed at the "Mont October" discussion of 2015. The commentary, while important to the Order's recruitment and public relations efforts, is nonbinding and only issues L'Ordre's own opinion on the Second Point. Important parts of the commentary are reported by The clubof.info Blog below, in following up from the previous report on a L'Ordre commentary.

  • "It is negative globalization when one country tries to forcibly remake the world in its own image. When, on the other hand, there are winds of technological and social change compressing history and geography to create a more united global polity, that is positive globalization."
  • "The whole machinery of modern states is behind the speed of modern media and political mobilization, putting those states in opposition to the people’s will because of their own inefficiency."
  • "The theoretical framework for predicting the impact of recent and future technologies on states is well-practiced by both the Mont society’s members and Mont contacts in the political field, such as the social futurists."
  • "There has always been a deliberate economic schema by the West, often called the “dependency” model, to deny most of the world’s peoples access to their own resources by denying them the scientific and industrial knowledge to fully exploit them."
  • "It doesn’t do any good for statesmen to try to control the media anymore. The chains of technology have evolved and spread so much that the task is now impossible."
  • "Western governments today are more vulnerable than ever to the entire spectrum of opposition."

L'Ordre, "The Mont Order's Globalism: On the Second Point of the Mont Order", Dissident Voice, 19 November 2015

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Mass surveillance unjustified: NYT

The Blog

In an unusual step by a publication close to the US government and part of mainstream media, the New York Times editorial board has slammed mass surveillance in an article.

The article in question mentioned that CIA director John Brennan was trying to blame Edward Snowden and the youth of America, who idolize the whistleblower, for jeopardizing the country's security. In remarks, the CIA man tried to put some of blame for the outrageous terror attacks in Paris, which killed 129 civilians, on Snowden and others who condemn espionage.

Brennan even called the attacks in Paris a “wake-up call.” However, Brennan is a known liar, as the NYT article points out:

  • "Last year, he bluntly denied that the C.I.A. had illegally hacked into the computers of Senate staff members conducting an investigation into the agency’s detention and torture programs when, in fact, it did.
  • "In 2011, when he was President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, he claimed that American drone strikes had not killed any civilians, despite clear evidence that they had.
  • "And his boss, James Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, has admitted lying to the Senate on the N.S.A.’s bulk collection of data."

The article further states that mass surveillance would not have prevented the Paris attacks, as it was already being used on the attackers but there are simply too many extremists being monitored for the government to know who to arrest and when. As stated in the article, "the problem in this case was not a lack of data, but a failure to act on information authorities already had."

If this is so, then mass surveillance is useless, apparently impressive at a technical level, but in reality impractical in ensuring any security whatsoever for the state or the people. It does no good to have all the information in the universe if you don't know what to do with it. It must be remembered that millions of dollars continue to be poured into these programs, which do nothing to make anyone safe. Not a single terrorist attack has been stopped by intercepting phone calls or emails.

Commenting on the controversy, internet freedoms lobby group Fight for the Future praised the NYT article and asked Americans to forward it to their representatives in Congress. They also added that the technology actually used by terrorists to coordinate the attacks in Paris consisted of non-encrypted SMS messages, meaning that encryption is simply not needed in terror attacks.

The only possible goal of the government's plan for backdoors into encryption is actually to harass political opposition (which Britain's GCHQ admitted in a leaked slideshow), since militant groups and terrorists have shown no reliance on encryption anyway.

In its concluding paragraphs, the NYT article encouraged readers to ignore the lies of the CIA head John Brennan and the FBI's James Comey, who try to muddle Americans' minds by making them believe Snowden has put them at risk from terror when he has merely told the truth. If anything, the ones who are putting Americans in danger are rogue intelligence agencies.

Comey's idea that Apple and Google should ensure all software is sabotaged to be easier to decode and spy on was criticized by Fight for the Future, who said this will actually make people more vulnerable to terrorists. The NYT board concurs with this analysis, having stated, "requiring that companies build such back doors into their devices and software could make those systems much more vulnerable to hacking by criminals and spies".

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20 November 2015

Petition: Google must end its censorship

The Blog

Following up on the post last week on Google's stifling of political news coverage at YouTube, we want to draw your attention to Representative Press's petition to get advertising revenue restored to alternative media videos.

Created via Change.org, the petition can be signed by our readers at the following link. It is really important to get this petition to Google's attention, if a victory for small alternative media channels is going to be scored.

YouTube, Please Restore Ad Revenue for Journalists Reporting on War + Political Conflicts

In a lengthy appeal to the public at the petition, Representative Press offered the following commentary:
Whatever the motivation for imposing the new policy, depriving independent journalists posting videos on Youtube or writing on their websites of the same financial opportunities which major media’s network news profit from is misguided and unfair. It puts those who challenge the dominating news outlets at a enormous disadvantage.
As we stated last week, alternative media is a vital part of the daily routine of millions of people who struggle to stay ahead of the mainstream media's unreliability and corporate-sponsored biases. Many political controversies and scandals have only reached the public via alternative media channels, and Representative Press itself has enjoyed a vast audience.

The channel's author writes that Google's suppression of advertising features on politically "sensitive" videos amounts to "effectively economic censorship imposing political censorship".

"Please don’t sit back and allow YouTube/Google to take away the same opportunities of revenue earning which major media outlets can and still do benefit from on TV and websites", the author asks the signatories of the petition.

StormCloudsGathering, another alternative media channel, simply gave up on advertising as a result of Google's changes, and moved to requesting donations from their vast audience. However, with this petition, at least a small chance exists to do something about the problem rather than bypassing it.

The clubof.info Blog is part of the alternative media blogosphere too, although by no means dependent on advertising revenue. If alternative media is an important part of your online experience, don't let it wither away by refusing to do anything about it. At least take the time to sign the Change.org petition today.

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Russia to carpet-bomb ISIL out of Syria?

The Blog

What will the Russian Federation's new deployment of strategic bombers to the battlefields of Syria mean for the war?

Russia's fighter jets have already been rolling back territorial gains by terrorist groups including the so-called Islamic State (ISIL, ISIS). But these inflict only piecemeal losses on the militants, compared with the area-bombing capabilities of aircraft like the Tupolev Tu-95 and Tu-160. Such strategic bombers are capable of leveling entire towns and destroying whole armies single-handedly.

The efficiency of all airstrikes against ISIL has been suspect. The US-led coalition has been striking ISIL positions for over a year with almost no effect. In fact, the terrorist group has actually gained more territory throughout the US-led air campaign in Syria, as is demonstrated by maps of the conflict so far. The Russian-led airstrikes have been somewhat more effective, clearing key highways and fortifications for the advancing Syrian Army - a force the US refuses to acknowledge or work with, in the belief that it is not "legitimate".

However, the course of the war is still slow, and thousands continue to face torture, genocide and persecution at the hands of the many sectarian militias supported by the West to take control of the country. Russia has compared ISIL with Nazi Germany, with no illusions about how the group should be dealt with and the kind of firepower that might be necessary to defeat it.

In an analysis for the Beliefnet website all the way back in June, it is advocated that strategic bombers are used instead of mere fighter jets (although in that case it was supposing the US would be doing all the bombing). The bombers should be used with the aim of wiping entire ISIL-controlled towns off the map and making it clear that this so-called "state" will be destroyed at all costs by the most powerful weapons available.

The analysis noted that the goal of such bombing is to put the enemy on the run, making them reactive rather than active, which will enable them to be fought on better terms. They will be drastically weaker on the battlefield, as they will be unable to hold any base or position for long.

ISIL has made no secret of the fact that it is in a state of war with Russia, the US and other major powers. It's recent attacks on Paris, and on a Russian airliner over Sinai, have been described as acts of war. France and Russia now not only say ISIL is intolerable and must be destroyed at all costs, but that they will do it themselves if the US is not capable.

World powers accept that ISIL is a significant military opponent. They want to eliminate  ISIL's capacity to wage war, which means they won't hesitate to use their most powerful weapons. Such weapons will be determined by the size and nature of military targets, as they were in the Second World War, and not by moral concerns about how such strikes may later be perceived.

The more civilians are killed by ISIL, the more the case for 'pinpoint' strikes against ISIL weakens and the stronger the case for indiscriminate area-bombing of ISIL becomes. Russia's movement of strategic bombers to the battlefields of Syria might mean they are moving to apply exactly this ruthless approach to warfare.

If used to its greatest extent, such a weapon will batter ISIL's already ruined territory into craters, and demolish any semblance of "state" in the "Islamic State". If Russia and its allies intend to treat ISIL like Nazi Germany, the geopolitical analysts comparing Russia's involvement with the Soviet War in Afghanistan are far off the mark in their historical comparisons.

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