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TBR News August 3, 2018

Aug 03 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. August 3, 2018: “One would think by now that the facts of the 9/11 attacks were well established. One would also think that the causes and effects of the Christmas Day SEA Tsunami would be equally established. Or that the increasing risk of serious hurricanes in the southeastern part of the United States is well understood.

It has become a burgeoning industry to invent reasons and excuses for various events that have an absolute basis in ‘provable fact.’

French writers have claimed that ‘Soviet missiles’ struck the Pentagon.

They did not.

Other ‘experts’ claim that the WTC disaster was caused by: the Chinese Communists, ex-KGB personnel, the Illuminati, the CIA, the United States Army, the notorious Hidden Hand, former East German scientists, renegade Albanian goat herders, the Boy Scouts, the gay community, Satanists, trained lemurs, the Mossad, or the Mother Teresa Hate and Destruction Society of Hoboken, New Jersey.

It was not.

The same deluded people who eagerly find evil plots in earthquakes, hurricanes, terrorists, wildfires and chronic beach erosion also believe in the Return of Jesus, black helicopters, the Illuminati, the Easter Bunny, the Bilderburgers, the Trilateral Commission, the sinister, all-controlling Rothchild (or Rockefeller) family and the monumentally evil Skull and Bones society.

And there was ‘Sorcha Faal’ and the ‘Planet X’ nonsense to entertain the dimbulbs.

Such people exist in all societies and in all times.

The Greeks believed in the gods walking around Greece, fornicating with civilians and goats, the Egyptians believed in Sacred Snakes, Scientologists believe that poor, crazy and fat L. Ron Hubbard was a God Incarnate, and rabid Trump supporters believe an Internet spoof called ‘Q-Anon’ that went viral amongst the dim of wit and has many drooling at the mouth like a legion of toothless grandfathers at a Thanksgiving dinner in the assisted-living centers.

At least once a week, some poor soul in Bad Seepage, Ohio, writes an email to me wanting me to publish a twenty page illiterate rant about how the CIA and the local YMCA are destroying their shrinking brain using ‘power waves’ from secret microwave transmission towers or one gentleman in Yuma, Arizona who wants me to alert the nation to the ‘absolute fact’ that an immense army of Chinese is poised at the northern Mexican border to invade America.

All of these fantasies are attested to by non-existent ‘experts’ such as ‘Army Officers,’ ‘Famous Scientists’ or other ‘experts,’  none of whom can ever be located, probably because they are Imaginary Friends such as small children speak with while playing in the sand box.

And as an aside, it is becoming public knowledge that when Donald Trump was a small child, his parents would not allow him to play in the sandbox because when he did, all the neighbors’ cats came over and tried to cover him up.

The Internet has proven to be the greatest source of information since lunatic Christians burnt down the library of Alexandria. Anything being sought, be it an address or an in-depth analysis of Dead Sea scrolls, is there and is the main reason that the famous Encyclopedia Britannica has gone out of business.

At the same time, because it is open to one and all, the Internet is also a breeding ground for a legion of strange persons with a frantic desire to air their pet theses to impress themselves and their vacuous friends.

We see earnest discussions about the 1963 assassination of President Kennedy, the Sinister Truth about Hurricane Katrina, Tesla Death Rays used to bring down the buildings of the WTC, balanced with other information proving beyone a shadow of a doubt that Russian bombers were used. We also discover the evil plottings of the Illuminiati, a group that has been long gone, or that the Rothschild banking house had taken over the whole world. And from one source, now long  vanished, we discover that Houston was destroyed by a nuclear bomb set off by Jewish radicals or that the Fukishima disaster was really caused by an Israeli submarine, using German-made nuclear torpedoes!

Yes, the Internet can entertain as well as inform.

And psychiatrists find a good deal in it to be highly entertaining.

But the fact that the Internet has many independent news sites means the diminution of the print media and the television news stations. Since these are the propaganda control for the oligarchy, there is great distress in board rooms and from them to the halls of Congress. They would like to shut off the Internet so that the stupid, and tax-paying public can only see what they are supposed to and not what might be the truth.

Obama and Cass Sunstein tried to shut down anyone who dared to interfere with the propaganda machinery but they were not successful. Even a furious and highly delusional eccentric, Trump and his bizarre machinery, can’t do it and if they continue to try, there will be very serious public reactions indeed.”

 

The Table of Contents

Fat Donald the Groper’s Loony Friends

  • #QAnon, the scarily popular pro-Trump conspiracy theory, explained
  • The QAnon conspiracy isn’t new; it’s the oldest scam out there
  • QAnon is terrifying. This is why.
  • QAnon: latest Trump-linked conspiracy theory gains steam at president’s rallies
  • What is QAnon? Explaining the bizarre rightwing conspiracy theory
  • Fabled Nazi gold train: Is the hunt over?
  • Decades-long investigation into Bermuda Triangle finally explains mysterious disappearances
  • Iran naval drills underway amid tensions with U.S.
  • The Deep State’s Long Enmity Toward Iranians

 

Fat Donald the Groper’s Loony Friends

#QAnon, the scarily popular pro-Trump conspiracy theory, explained

How a conspiracy theory that Trump and Robert Mueller are secretly working together got from Reddit to Trump rallies.

August 2, 2018

by Jane Coaston

Vox

The Russia investigation is a sham. It’s actually a cover story for special counsel Robert Mueller and Donald Trump working together to expose thousands of pedophiles hidden in plain sight — including Hillary Clinton (and Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama), who will soon be under arrest. (Or perhaps already have been and are on their way to Guantanamo Bay.)

The GOP lost the Alabama special election for Jeff Sessions’s Senate seat on purpose — a plan devised years ago to reveal the use of fraudulent voting machines and, ultimately, take down none other than George Soros. Or the Rothschilds. Or the Illuminati.

And there’s no White House chaos at all; in fact, despite legal scandals and special counsel investigations and bile-laden tweets, everything, absolutely everything, is going just as Donald Trump intended it.

Welcome to QAnon, sometimes referred to as “the Storm.” It’s a conspiracy theory that’s swept social media and is starting to break into the mainstream, with Trump rally attendees in Florida on July 31 holding signs and wearing T-shirts emblazoned with “We are Q” and the conspiracy theory’s main catchphrase, “Where we go one, we go all.”

Roseanne Barr, formerly the star of the No. 1 show on network television, is just one of Q’s biggest supporters. And the conspiracy theory is being pushed by some of the far right’s biggest voices, including Alex Jones and Sean Hannity. Still others are winking and nodding at it, retweeting #QAnon references while pretending to be none the wiser.

And it has one overarching — and, if you’re a Trump supporter, hopeful — message: Donald Trump is in complete control. Of everything.

Conspiracy theories create order out of chaos, attempting to make sense of events that don’t make sense. And researchers have found that fact-based arguments against them only serve to reinforce them in the minds of believers. That’s what makes QAnon or Sandy Hook trutherism or any other conspiracy theory so difficult to combat: Because conspiracy theories aren’t based on facts, conspiracy theorists aren’t receptive to them either.

So if the first year and a half of the Trump administration has been enmeshed in confusion and chaos, QAnon is the conspiratorial response: Everything is fine. As a popular saying among Q adherents proclaims, believers must only “trust the plan.”

“God bless fellow patriots”

The beginnings of “the Storm” lie with Donald Trump himself.

On October 5, 2017, during a photo opportunity held before a military dinner, Trump said that the dinner was “Maybe the calm before the storm.” When a reporter asked, “What storm, Mr. President?” Trump responded, “You’ll find out.”

For non-conspiracy theorists, this was Trump-speak. He tends to just say things that have little to no relevance in anything either he or his administration will actually do — like that “maybe we should give” the Chinese style of one-man dictatorship “a shot.”

But for conspiracy theorists on Reddit, already primed to believe in code words and secrets and, well, conspiracies, “the Storm” soon became the most important “movement” of the Trump era.

The first post from an anonymous user claiming to be a high-level government informant came on October 28, on the 4chan message board /pol/. The user was nicknamed “Q” after Q-level security clearance, the Department of Energy equivalent of “Top Secret.” (“NG” refers to the National Guard.)

HRC extradition already in motion effective yesterday with several countries in case of cross border run. Passport approved to be flagged effective 10/30 @ 12:01am. Expect massive riots organized in defiance and others fleeing the US to occur. US M’s will conduct the operation while NG activated. Proof check: Locate a NG member and ask if activated for duty 10/30 across most major cities.

A few hours later, Q posted again, adding coded phrases that /pol/ users would interpret and argue over for months. In short, he or she appeared to state that Hillary Clinton had been “detained” by authorities and that Trump knew that “criminal rogue elements,” including Clinton, had to be arrested, while referencing billionaire philanthropist George Soros, himself the subject of a number of conspiracy theories.

These postings were thrilling for people steeped in far-right conspiracy theory lore — from the very real Operation Mockingbird, a CIA effort to blackmail journalists and give out false information to share propaganda, to the wild theory that Huma Abedin, a former Hillary Clinton staffer and ex-wife of Anthony Weiner, was secretly working for the Muslim Brotherhood. (She wasn’t.)

Even the name Q seemed to imply that this person knew things others didn’t. The rapidly expanding group of people who follow Q’s postings — and believe them — became known as QAnon.

Q has tried to offer “proof” that he, she, or they have real intel. (They posted images that redditors believed confirmed Q was on Air Force One, and thus had real information from the president himself.) Some followers even believe that Trump is Q — though others think it’s John F. Kennedy Jr., who they believe faked his 1999 death.

Q offered real hope to Trump supporters: Everything is fine, Trump has everything under control, and everyone who stands in his way will soon be sent to prison. Literally.

In a posting on November 1, 2017, Q said that on November 3 and 4, John Podesta, chair of Clinton’s 2016 campaign, would be arrested, military control would take hold, and “public riots would be organized in serious numbers to prevent the arrest and capture of more senior public officials”:

“My fellow Americans, over the course of the next several days you will undoubtedly realize that we are taking back our great country (the land of the free) from the evil tyrants that wish to do us harm and destroy the last remaining refuge of shining light. On POTUS’ order, we have initiated certain fail-safes that shall safeguard the public from the primary fallout which is slated to occur 11.3 upon the arrest announcement of Mr. Podesta (actionable 11.4). … We will be initiating the Emergency Broadcast System (EMS) during this time in an effort to provide a direct message (avoiding the fake news) to all citizens. Organizations and/or people that wish to do us harm during this time will be met with swift fury – certain laws have been pre-lifted to provide our great military the necessary authority to handle and conduct these operations (at home and abroad).”

Obviously, none of this happened. There were no public riots or mass arrests or the use of emergency broadcasts. (In fact, the Emergency Broadcast System went out of service in 1997, replaced by the Emergency Alert System.)

The overwhelming majority of Q’s assertions are hilariously untrue: that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was placed in power by the CIA, that Seth Rich was murdered by MS13 under orders from former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman- Schultz, that many prominent Democrats are currently wearing ankle monitors because they are secretly under arrest.

The fact is that QAnon’s base assertion — that Trump really is in control of everything — is an inherently strange one to make when the Trump administration does, actually, control the entire federal government.

But that didn’t stop QAnon from percolating, first moving from 4chan to 8chan (4chan’s weirder equivalent), and then pushing outward on the internet, to Twitter and YouTube, with believers making “explainer” videos about QAnon that get hundreds of thousands of views.

Conspiracy theorists and members of the alt-right and far right were among the first to jump on the QAnon bandwagon (though some have decided Q has been “compromised”).

But so did leaders of a right-leaning anti-abortion group, and so did some celebrities, like Roseanne. As New York magazine’s Paris Martineau detailed in December 2017, the QAnon hashtag has been used so many times on Twitter it’s now virtually untrackable.

QAnon is now about everything — and it’s in the real world

QAnon has only gotten bigger over the past few months. Former MLB pitcher and conservative pundit Curt Schilling shared a video on Twitter in June that alleges that QAnon isn’t just about Trump. It claims every US president before Trump was engaged in a criminal conspiracy with pedophile rings and the “deep state” and pharmaceutical companies, all to enslave the American people.

Q occasionally references the Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which led one man to walk into a pizzeria in Washington, DC, with an assault rifle because conspiracy theorists claimed that Hillary Clinton and John Podesta ran a child sex ring in the basement. Accusations of pedophilia aimed at celebrities, companies, and politicians are a critical part of QAnon.

Roseanne and others have tweeted that the purportedly “unprecedented” increase in sex trafficking arrests taking place under the Trump administration is the direct result of Trump working with Mueller to arrest pedophiles nationwide. (For the record, there has not been an “unprecedented” increase in sex trafficking arrests.)

There’s a reason for this: As Slate’s Christina Cauterucci wrote in July, accusations of pedophilia are the easiest and most effective way to tarnish someone’s reputation with no proof necessary, as pedophilia is universally considered a horrific and horrendous affront.

And since perhaps the only thing even more horrendous is the murder of children, it’s no wonder, then, that one of the main proponents of QAnon posted on YouTube that Americans would be forced to comprehend “films of innocent children pleading for their lives while people are butchering them” once “the Storm” came to pass. QAnon isn’t about protecting Trump, in their view. It’s about saving children from rape and murder — and who could oppose that?

But the open source nature of QAnon, where Q posts something for thousands of other people to interpret as they see fit, means other conspiracy theories fit neatly within QAnon — like ones about false flag shootings, Jewish bankers controlling the world, or the Illuminati. As the Daily Beast’s Will Sommer wrote in July:

While the Storm is at the center of the QAnon narrative, it’s also flexible enough to fold in just anything that makes the news. Q is fond of hinting that each mass shooting is a false-flag attack organized by the cabal, and he used a blurry webcam picture of a flash of light near the Puget Sound to claim that the deep state had tried to shoot down Trump’s plane.

One recent example: When NBC’s Ben Collins went on the Today show on Wednesday to attempt to explain QAnon, one poster alleged that his script had been “written by Jacob Rothschild.” The Rothschild family has been the center of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories for centuries, and for the record, Jacob Rothschild is 82 years old, lives in England, and is not writing “scripts” for the Today show.

Beginning in early 2018, QAnon adherents made their way to the world outside the internet. In April, 200 QAnon supporters marched in DC. In June, when the Inspector General released its report criticizing the actions of FBI officials like former Director James Comey during the investigation into Clinton’s emails, QAnon insisted there was a second, secret report, which would send virtually every high-level Democrat to Guantanamo Bay if they weren’t already on their way.

One man, Matthew Wright, took a rifle and a handgun and barricaded himself in his car on the Hoover Dam, holding a sign reading “RELEASE THE OIG MEMO,” referring to that supposed second report.

As the Pizzagate incident in DC showed, conspiracy theories breaking into the real world have consequences. And those consequences can be extremely dangerous in a charged political climate — and in a media environment with no overarching guardrails — where nothing is false and anything could be true.

Conspiracy theories are hard to fight because they’re about what we want to believe

Other conspiracy theorists have attempted to throw cold water on QAnon, like this blogger who wrote that he too had been a believer but, after reviewing the evidence, concluded that he had “been tricked” by a LARPer (live-action role player) creating a fantastical story for their own entertainment. But true believers remain deeply committed.

Conspiracy theories like QAnon are “self-sealing” — meaning that evidence against them can become evidence of their validity in the minds of believers, according to Stephan Lewandowsky, a professor at the University of Bristol who studies conspiracy theories and conspiracists. Trying to disprove a conspiracy theory thus usually only serves to reinforce it.

“For example, if scientists are accused of creating a “hoax,” such as climate change, but they are then exonerated by multiple enquiries, then a conspiracy theorist will not accept that as evidence of their innocence, but as evidence of a broad conspiracy (to create a world government or whatever) that involves the government, judiciary, Soros, and anyone else who once shared a supermarket checkout line with Al Gore in the 1970s,” Lewandowsky said.

And here’s the really important point: Conspiracy theories aren’t created by evidence, but by belief, or by the desire to believe, that there must be something more to the events that shape our lives, culture, and politics than accident or happenstance.

Where there is confusion, or even pain and tragedy, QAnon, or shootings termed “false flags,” or 9/11 trutherism brings some semblance of order and security. The 9/11 attacks were so horrific that they can’t possibly have happened without President George W. Bush being behind it somehow, orchestrating things behind the scenes. A mass shooting at an elementary school that killed so many small children is so terrible that it can’t possibly have really happened. And the Trump administration must only seem to be enmeshed in constant chaos.

Enmeshed in constant chaos.

As Lewandowsky told me:

Conspiracy theories often serve an ironic function of providing a sense of order in chaos. People would rather believe that there are evil masterminds out there that pull strings on cataclysmic events than accept the occurrence of random events.

Conspiracy theories also serve to elevate events to be less banal: For example, it is easier to conceive of Princess Diana having been killed by some elaborate evil conspiracy than being the victim of a rather banal drunk-driving accident.

So whenever there is a tragic or cataclysmic event, some people will find a conspiracy theory more acceptable than the—often—more uninteresting official account.

Let’s be clear: Most people have never heard of QAnon, or Q — and that includes most of Donald Trump’s supporters. But there are those who do believe in QAnon — that Trump and Mueller are actually working together to arrest Democrats and Obama officials (who are all also pedophiles and cannibals), that everything is actually under control.

QAnon provides a soothing balm, telling believers that the only people who really know what’s going on are the believers — and the president.

 

The QAnon conspiracy isn’t new; it’s the oldest scam out there

by Mike Rothschild

The Daily Dot

In October 2017, President Trump posed with a group of high-ranking military officers and cryptically declared that it was “the calm before the storm.” Most journalists puzzled over the remark for a moment and moved on to whatever chaos came next. But that seemingly random comment was the spark for what’s now become the new right-wing conspiracy theory du jour: “The Storm”

A few weeks after Trump’s statement, an anonymous poster who claimed to have top secret “Q Clearance” (in reality, a classification only used by the Department of Energy) began posting cryptic “breadcrumbs” of “intel” related to what they claimed was the imminent revelation of a massive conspiracy at the highest levels of government. And Q called it “The Storm.”

In short, rhetorical fragments, “Q” (also called “QAnon”) revealed that President Trump was not actually under investigation as the mainstream media was reporting, but had really brought in Special Counsel Robert Mueller to crush the gigantic Obama/Clinton child sex trafficking ring first revealed by “Pzzagate.”

When Trump and Mueller have finished their work, ten thousand sealed indictments (some Q followers claim it’s actually as high as eighteen thousand) will be unleashed, with the Democratic evildoers rounded up, tried by military tribunals, and shipped off to a massively expanded Guantanamo Bay prison, wi

And it’s going to happen any day.

Over the last six months, “Q” has offered an endless buffet of tantalizing clues to “what’s really happening.” Many take the form of cryptic nuggets such as “future proves past” or “learn to read the map” or “Godfather III.” Others are in some kind of code, with abbreviations like “DNC -> (SR 187) (MS-13) -> DWS”, which accuses former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz of hiring notorious gang MS-13 to murder DNC staffer Seth Rich.

Since then, Q followers have used prolific YouTube channels, internet memes, and Twitter to expand the mythology. Another anon posited that everyone from George H.W. Bush to Elon Musk had already been extradited to Gitmo, despite Musk having a rather public success with his latest rocket launch.

Rumors spread of secret prisons in Antarctica, or that the school shooting in Parkland, Florida was a military special operation to distract from “The Storm.” There was even a theory that internet personality Chrissy Teigen and her husband were secret child sex fiends attempting to escape “The Storm,” only for their flight to Tokyo to be turned back, exposed by a “citizen journalist.” Promises abound of a secret sex video about to destroy Hillary Clinton, or of Barack Obama being executed by a military tribunal, or of “Q” actually being President Trump himself.

The Storm is a Conspiracy Theory of Everything. It encompasses whatever believers want it to be about. Misplaced walking boots hiding ankle bracelets, train crashes, Big Pharma, the FBI text message controversy. It’s all connected.

In fact, “The Storm” is such a hodgepodge that it borrows liberally from previous conspiracy theories, also full of endless seemingly random “intel” and earth-shaking changes supposedly just about to happen.

One predecessor to “The Storm” was a scam from the early days of widespread internet use, called NESARA—which has roots in an even earlier intel-driven scam called Omega.

NESARA was a set of monetary reforms proposed in a late 90’s book called “Draining the Swamp,” written by engineer Harvey Francis Barnard. He wanted to abolish the Federal Reserve, ban interest on loans, forgive all consumer debt, go back to the gold standard, and establish a national sales tax. It’s a libertarian fever dream.

After years of trying to get Congress to pass NESARA, Barnard published the text online in 2000, where it caught the eye of a Seattle-area New Age enthusiast named Shaini Goodwin.

Goodwin was an online shill for an “investment” called the Omega Trust, which purported to sell “Omega Units” of “prime European bank notes” for as little as $100, which would then “roll over” and return millions of dollars in profit. Scam founder Clyde Hood and a group of associates began selling the non-existent “Omega Units” to locals in their small town, Mattoon, Illinois, looking to make some quick bucks.

Omega took advantage of the naivete of early internet adopters, and in particular, the growing ubiquity of Yahoo groups. By the mid-1990’s, it was a world-wide scam, with millions of dollars flooding into small-town Mattoon.

Goodwin played a major role in spreading the fiction of Omega, and under the screen name “Dove of Oneness,” she used message board posts, emails, and recorded messages to spin an elaborate fiction as to why the Omega Unit rollover wasn’t happening. To Dove, there was nothing less than a war between dark powers in the government trying to stop the Omega roll over and heroic “White Knights” trying to move it forward.

The longer it went on, the weirder it got. There were alternate realities, UFOs, renegade banks, claims that the U.S. government didn’t actually exist, and interventions from angels.

All the while, Goodwin insisted the Omega Unit rollover, with its countless millions, was on the verge of happening, in a few days, or “early next week.”

But Omega was a Ponzi scheme, and in August 2000, Hood and a dozen others were taken into custody by the FBI, accused of bilking over 10,000 people out of $12.5 million.

By then, Goodwin had already thrown Hood under the bus, saying he’d gone “off track” and had to be abandoned by the “Wealthy Visionaries” really in charge of Omega. By coincidence, Omega was collapsing at the same time as NESARA was picking up steam. And into the money shaped hole flew the Dove of Oneness.

Dove posited that Omega was shut down because it was just one element of a bigger economic miracle that would abolish all debt and deliver trillions in “prosperity packets.” Naturally, the dark forces would stop at nothing to derail NESARA—even staging the 9/11 attacks to stop the prosperity packets from being delivered.

It was the burgeoning paranoia of post-9/11 internet conspiracies that fed NESARA mania. After all, if the government could supposedly pull of a “controlled demolition” of the Twin Towers, why couldn’t they stop the divine prosperity of NESARA, as well?

Like she did with Omega, Goodwin kept the NESARA “intel” flowing with endless message board posts, recorded messages, and emails, all of which doled out secret information that only she had access to.

A typical Dove NESARA update, this one from March 2002, references the International Court of Justice, legendary New Age guru St. Germain, the Vatican, the Rockefellers, and the gold standard. It might as well be the misplaced walking boots, fleeing supermodels, and secret ice prisons of “The Storm.”

Dove subsisted on donations, and while the media wrote her off as a “cybercult queen” who merely combined old scams with new technology, she gained tens of thousands of followers and internet fame.

As the excuses wore on, Dove’s updates eventually became less hyperbolic, and in 2007, she was investigated by the IRS for defrauding an elderly woman to buy pro-NESARA mobile billboards. Goodwin died in 2010, destitute and with tens of thousands in IRS liens. Clyde Hood died in prison two years later.

But no opportunity goes un-grifted, and so as NESARA faded, another scam took its place. One that combined the Ponzi scheme of Omega with the intel drops of NESARA.

It’s called the Iraqi dinar revalue, based on the mistaken premise that the currency of Iraq, now virtually worthless, would return to its pre-Gulf War value. Back then, it traded for as much as three dollars per dinar, pumped up by the dictatorial policies of Saddam Hussein. Since the U.S. invasion, it crashed in value to the point where over a thousand dinars were worth one dollar.

In May 2007, the International Monetary Fund released a report touting the Iraqi government’s efforts to fight inflation and rebuild the dinar’s value. Sure enough, the dinar spiked over 8 percent in value, a massive jump for a mostly worthless currency.

So scammers got the idea they could convince Americans that once Iraq was stable, Western string-pulling would spike the dinar’s value and make its buyers instant millionaires.

Of course, money isn’t magically “revalued” to some much higher number. What does happen often with low-value currency is redenomination, the process of lopping zeroes off a hyper-inflated money, then exchanging the old currency for the new version. Brazil, Venezuela, Turkey, and Bulgaria have all redenominated their currency in the past few decades. Zimbabwe is infamous for redenominating its hugely inflated dollar numerous times before finally dropping it.

But the massive revalue that dinar gurus promise has never happened in world history. To do so would cause financial calamity. Beyond that, Iraq was mired in sectarian violence and didn’t even have the rudiments of a modern banking system.

Even so, the dinar scam was born shortly after the IMF report, and it only got stronger after the Great Recession hit, when people were yearning for a way to stick it to the “wealthy elites” who had looted the world’s banking system. So tens of thousands of Americans sunk millions into Iraqi dinars, hoping for ludicrous returns.

Their hopes were buoyed by intel-spewing dinar “gurus” who used a variety of tools, including rapidly growing social media outlets like Twitter, to tout Iraq’s economic recovery and claim that Bush or Obama or the IMF was going to “RV” the currency back to its previous glory.

They spun a mythology of secret 1-800 numbers, nondisclosure agreements, undiscovered mineral riches, and government tax shelters set up for dinar windfalls There were even books written about how to manage the “wonderful wealth” that the dinar RV would bring.

While the “bankers” used a legal loophole to “exchange” dollars for dinars (while charging huge markups), the gurus spun outlandish claims that the U.S. government holds trillions of dinars, and that wealthy elites like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett had massive dinar fortunes. There were even whispers of a “contract rate” of as much as $32 per dinar driving additional buying.

The dinar scam was a particular hit on Twitter, where thousands of “dinarians” used hashtags like #wearethepeople and #ReleasetheRV to lobby Congress and buck each other up when the dinar eventually didn’t revalue.

The scam went mainstream in the first part of the aughts, drawing attention from the BBC and Forbes. But that attention brought scrutiny from the authorities, and soon the FBI swooped in. Many of the dinar brokers were indicted, and local police warned people that the whole thing was a scam, and that worthless money doesn’t just “revalue” because someone decided it should.

And yet, even after years of chaos in Iraq, and the dinar continuing to plummet in value, the scam is still going. On March 13, 2018, a website called “dinar chronicles” claimed the “RV” was happening between March 12 and March 15, with dinars exchanged for dollars at secret bank offices right before the Stock Market’s cabal-engineered collapse. It didn’t.

Oh, and there were also 18,000 sealed indictments being opened, nationwide martial law was imminent, and mass arrests were already taking place. Just like The Storm.

Omega begat NESARA, which begat the Iraqi dinar, which begat The Storm. Huge chunks of insanely detailed, totally bogus “intel” in the service of a long-promised, yet never arriving event.

The only real difference, so far, is that The Storm is not an outright scam, and while numerous fringe media figures have monetized the intel drops, Q isn’t asking for donations. Maybe whoever is dropping the “intel” has realized that when you start asking for money, eventually, the law knocks on your door.

But if QAnon followed in the footsteps of Dove of Oneness and set up a Patreon page because “dark forces” were trying to shut down their internet, the money would start pouring in, with the intel piling up, and the big reward always just one more post away.

The scam remains the same.
QAnon is terrifying. This is why.

August 2, 2018

by Molly Roberts

Washington Post

“The Storm is coming,” say the conspiracy theorizers whose grotesque imaginings terrified the country to attention this week. Maybe they’re right.

QAnon adherents encourage those seeking the truth to “follow the White Rabbit,” but it’s hard to hop down this hole without getting totally lost in their horrorland. The simplest description of the plot line goes something like this: President Trump isn’t under investigation; he is only pretending to be, as part of a countercoup to restore power to the people after more than a century of governmental control by a globalist cabal. Also, there are pedophiles.

A figure named “Q,” who supposedly possesses Q-level security clearance, disperses “crumbs” that “bakers” bring together to create a “dough” of synthesized information. (This is not how baking works, but that seems the least of our worries.) Because Q is the 17th letter in the alphabet and 17 is also a number Trump has said a few times, among other clearly-not-coincidences, he is the real deal, not an Internet troll engaged in an elaborate example of live-action role-play.

It’s obvious that this is scary, but it’s less obvious exactly why. To start, the sheer scope of the supposed conspiracy should cause alarm. By combining the tales tinfoil-hatters have told over time, these truthers have packaged everything attractive about this type of propaganda in one tantalizing product. And that means more and more people will buy what they’re selling.

Then there’s QAnon’s path to prominence — from 4chan to 8chan to more mainstream sites such as YouTube and Twitter and, finally, to a Florida Trump rally and television screens across the nation. In the cesspools where the theory first flourished, registration is either not required or not possible, and the “rules,” such as they are, look nothing like the terms of service for a site like Facebook. The intelligentsia is already at odds over how the more-established entities should regulate themselves, or be regulated. It’s even harder to have that conversation about a site like 4chan or 8chan that eschews responsibility for its content entirely.

Now that it’s clear that what starts on the fringe doesn’t stay there, it is a real concern. QAnon’s lurch from online to off hasn’t manifested only in T-shirted ralliers wielding weird signs. Last week, a “baker” appeared outside Michael Avenatti’s office because Q sent him there. Others have started searching for child sex camps in the desert outside Tucson. A man in an armored truck blocked a bridge near the Hoover Dam demanding the release of a report that Q claimed the government was withholding. He had two guns.

What’s scariest of all, though, might be what motivates Trump’s base to believe in so byzantine a conspiracy. QAnon isn’t your average story of all-powerful actors exercising complete control over a helpless populace. This time, the heroes are already in charge and, still, the theorists see themselves as victims. Why, even with their man in the Oval Office, do they feel embattled?

One explanation has to do with the on-the-ground reality of this presidency. Perhaps the men and women who buy into this gibberish aren’t so confident that they’re in charge at all. The special counsel looks ever closer to proving ties between Trump and Russia and, in the meantime, Trump appears more erratic. If he really is under investigation and not just pretending to be, all his supporters’ hopes evaporate.

But this anxiety also ties into a more amorphous sense among these voters that, though the Republican Party controls Congress and the executive, the country is still rigged against them. Trumpism has always been about insecurity: As a candidate, the president played on the paranoia of Americans who thought the country they knew was being taken away from them — by immigrants, by an overreaching government, by adversaries overseas.

The “forgotten men and women of our country” didn’t stop feeling forgotten when their self-proclaimed avatar walked into the White House. There was too much dissent, too much doubt cast on his (and, by extension, their) legitimacy and ability to lead. Now, they’ll only be assuaged by the destruction of everything and everyone that stands in their way, through the mass arrest of those who they say connived against them and the installation of a state filled only with loyalists.

That’s what QAnon followers really want, after all. That’s where their “storm” motto comes from. Most Americans were puzzled when, in a meeting with military leaders months ago, Trump said, “You know what this represents? Maybe it’s the calm before the storm.” But these theorists thought they knew exactly what he was talking about. Trump was pointing at the officers’ uniforms.

The storm QAnon truthers predict will never strike because the conspiracy that obsesses them doesn’t exist. But while they wait for it, they’ll try to whip up the winds, and the rest of us will struggle to find shelter. QAnon is scary because it’s getting bigger, it’s scary because we don’t know how to stop it, and it’s scary because the people behind it won’t be stopped, and, until their illusory storm arrives, they won’t be satisfied.

 

QAnon: latest Trump-linked conspiracy theory gains steam at president’s rallies

The internet-driven claims amount to far-right fan fiction, but they could have real-world consequences

August 3, 2018

by Tom McCarthy

The Guardian

There’s something unusual about every Donald Trump rally, in the sense that it’s strange for a politician who won office relatively recently to keep holding campaign rallies.

But Trump’s most recent rally, in Tampa, Florida, on Tuesday night, was unusual even by his standards, with a sudden proliferation of attendees wearing T-shirts and signs touting the QAnon conspiracy theory.

While “Q” adherents have been on prominent display at earlier rallies, the group achieved critical mass in Florida, triggering a slew of mainstream media coverage.

Not even really coherent enough to be called a “conspiracy theory”, QAnon is a kind of interactive fan fiction for the far right in which Trump is a heroic figure arrayed against Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the “deep state”, which includes all the recent past presidents, who are said to have hatched a criminal plot to start wars and traffic drugs and humans for money. Updates in the story happen when an anonymous figure calling itself Q leaves “crumbs” online for fans to decode.

Any reader interested in the particularities of the Q soup is directed to this concise summary. Suffice it to say that QAnon has a wide enough following to deliver millions of views on YouTube and, now, make news at a Trump rally.

As fantasies go, it is not nearly as popular or as damaging as, say, climate change denialism, but it is a lot more colorful.

QAnon can also seem more ominous. It bears a striking resemblance – and seems to have partially sprung from – a previous wild conspiracy theory that thrived in the Trump ecosystem, the so-called #Pizzagate story, which culminated in a brainwashed adherent concerned about pedophilia firing an assault rifle in a Washington DC pizza parlor.

The QAnon phenomenon, too, has potential for violence. In June, an armed man spouting Q-nonsense used an armored truck to block traffic on the Hoover Dam. No one was hurt and the man was arrested. Last week, a suspicious man was photographed outside the office of Michael Avenatti, lawyer to Stormy Daniels. Avenatti, who figures as an antagonist in the infinitely flexible Q universe, asked for help in identifying the man to police.

The Trump rally in Tampa with so many QAnon adherents in attendance also featured an unusually unpleasant confrontation between attendees and the CNN anchor Jim Acosta. “I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt,” Acosta wrote afterward.

The White House on Thursday refused, through the press secretary, Sarah Sanders, to deny that the press was the enemy of the people, a portrayal championed by Trump and taken as gospel in the QAnon universe.

That refusal further cemented a basic feature of QAnon: its symbiosis with Trump and the Trump movement. If this weren’t plain from the centrality of Trump in the QAnon ontology, or from the “Q” T-shirts and posters at Trump rallies, it is plain from the fact that QAnon is only the latest wild conspiracy theory to flourish under Trump.

QAnon is not more outlandish than Pizzagate. But is it more outlandish than the idea Barack Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim, or that Democrats want to give “illegal immigrants” the right to vote, or that there were “millions of people who voted illegally” in the 2016 election, or that 17 Angry Democrats are plotting with Bob Mueller to take down Trump?

Trump promotes all of those conspiracies, and in even the wildest cases, such as the “millions voted illegally” charge, half of Republicans tell pollsters that they think that, too.

Before Trump, the far- and not-so-far-right expended a lot of energy looking for a crime in the fog of conspiracy surrounding the 2012 deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. The conspiracy theories were given official platforms by Republicans in Congress and endless fuel by rightwing media, especially Fox News.

In his book Devil’s Bargain, the journalist Joshua Green described how Trump’s former strategist, Steve Bannon, incorporated the so-called “alt-right” – and other toxic mixes of hatred and bigotry that bubbled up on the 4chan and 8chan online message boards, on Reddit and on Tumblr – into the Trump movement.

“Darkness is good,” Bannon is quoted as saying. In response to Republican resistance to Trump’s candidacy, Bannon declared, “Pepe’s gonna stomp their ass,” referring to the cartoon adopted by white supremacists as a mascot.

So in May 2016 it was Pepe. Later in the campaign, it was GamerGate, a forum for misogynist online assaults that bore an insult beloved of Trump supporters, “cuck”. In December 2016 it was Pizzagate. Now it’s summer 2018 and it’s QAnon.

 

What is QAnon? Explaining the bizarre rightwing conspiracy theory

The sprawling internet theory, beloved by Trump supporters, has ensnared everyone from Tom Hanks to Hillary Clinton

July 30, 2018

by Julia Carrie Wong in San Francisco

The Guardian

If you happened to be watching YouTube videos on Monday morning and were struck by an urge to check in on one of America’s most beloved movie stars, you were in for a nasty surprise.

“Sarah Ruth Ashcraft says Tom Hanks is a pedophile”, read the title of the top video search result for the actor’s name. “Tom Hanks’ Alleged ‘Sex Slave’ Speaks Out”, read another top search result.

Indeed, the top five results – and eight out of the top 14 – were variations on the pedophilia theme, interspersed with the hashtags #QAnon, #Pizzagate and #Pedogate.

These bizarre results, first spotted by the NBC reporter Ben Collins, are not the result of the latest #MeToo era investigation reporting. Instead, they are the entirely unsubstantiated manifestation of a sprawling rightwing conspiracy theory known as QAnon.

Here’s our best effort at explaining what you do – and don’t – need to know about QAnon.

Meet Q

On 28 October 2017, “Q” emerged from the primordial swamp of the internet on the message board 4chan. In a thread called “Calm Before the Storm”, and in subsequent posts, Q established his legend as a government insider with top security clearance who knew the truth about a secret struggle for power involving Donald Trump, the “deep state”, Robert Mueller, the Clintons, pedophile rings, and other stuff.

Since then, Q has continued to drop “breadcrumbs” on 4chan and 8chan, fostering a “QAnon” community devoted to decoding Q’s messages and understanding the real truth about, well, everything.

What do followers of QAnon believe?

It’s hard to say. The conspiracy theory is generally pro-Trump and anti-“deep state”, but it is not exactly coherent, and – like many conspiracy theories – is flexible enough to adapt to any new developments that might disprove it.

New York magazine and the Daily Beast have written articles explaining more of the basic beliefs of QAnon, but chances are that the more you read about it, the more confused you will be. Imagine a volatile mix of Pizzagate, InfoWars and the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, multiplied by the power of the internet and with an extra boost from a handful of conservative celebrities.

So celebrities believe in QAnon?

Before she was fired from her own sitcom for her racist tweet about Valerie Jarrett, Roseanne Barr raised eyebrows with a series of tweets that invoked QAnon. Barr’s tweets focused on the supposed existence of hundreds of pedophile rings, including in Hollywood, that Trump is personally breaking up.

Another high-profile QAnon is Curt Schilling, the former Major League Baseball pitcher who now hosts a podcast for Breitbart.

Does anyone else believe in QAnon?

Yes, but it’s not clear how popular it actually is. Joseph Uscinski, a University of Miami professor who studies conspiracy theories, said by phone that QAnon remains a “fringe” belief held by “a very small number of people”. “Don’t confuse the popularity of this with the popularity of Kennedy assassination theories,” he said.

Most QAnon followers are Trump supporting evangelicals, Uscinski said, who are predisposed to believe a pro-Trump, anti-liberal narrative. Uscinski also cautioned against treating QAnon followers as any more gullible than other people.

“People believe all sorts of crazy stuff,” he said. “We shouldn’t come at this from the standpoint that most people believe sane stuff and this is just crazy. Like all conspiracy theories, this has a foot in reality.”

The idea that the “deep state” is working to take down Trump might be far-fetched, he said, but chances are there were many government bureaucrats who did not welcome his presidency. As for accusing beloved stars like Hanks of being pedophiles:

“Bill Cosby was America’s dad,” Uscinski pointed out. “Now it turns out he’s a serial rapist. So how much should we be blaming people for thinking ‘Hey, maybe there’s something beneath the surface?’”

Does any of this really matter?

Sort of. Not because it’s true, but because people who believe it’s true might act on that belief.

People respond very strongly to the threat of sexual violence against children. In 2016, a Washington DC pizza restaurant became collateral damage in the #Pizzagate conspiracy theory. The fear of satanic sex abuse rings in the late 1980s led to many criminal convictions, with some of the accused only being exonerated after serving years in prison.

Indeed, there have already been some incidents where QAnon followers have taken their search for pedophiles into the real world.

“We need to be really careful, because we have a history of witch-hunts,” said Uscinski.

Can we get back to the part about YouTube?

Sure. Here’s the part about YouTube.

For years now, YouTube has been a quagmire of conspiracy theories, the more outrageous and thinly sourced the better. Under pressure from the mainstream media for the platform’s tendency to promote inflammatory and false information in the aftermath of mass shootings and other breaking news events, YouTube has introduced reforms that it claims will promote more “authoritative” news sources.

A YouTube spokesperson provided a statement that did not directly address the Guardian’s questions about the Hanks videos, but noted that the company’s work to “better surface and promote news and authoritative sources” is “still in its early stages”.

By Monday afternoon, hours after the Guardian first queried YouTube, the search results for “Tom Hanks” had reverted to videos of the actor’s appearances on various talk shows. Search for “Tom Hanks pedophile”, however, and you’re back in the world of QAnon.

 

Fabled Nazi gold train: Is the hunt over?

A treasure hunt duo that made international headlines with its search for a fabled gold-filled underground Nazi train has split up. Why one of the amateur historians has given up.

August 2, 2018

DW

The two amateur historians had boundless faith that they would one day find the legendary “treasure train” they believed to have been hidden by Nazi troops in a mountain tunnel as the Germans fled the area between Wroclaw and Walbrzych in southwestern Poland at the end of World War II.

Two years after grabbing the attention of the international media with their spectacularly ambitious hunt, Andreas Richter ended the joint search with Piotr Koper.

’95 percent sure it exists’

It’s over, Richter told the DPA press agency, saying that while he hadn’t lost belief in the train’s existence — “I am 95 percent sure it exists” — he was frustrated by “inaccuracies” in the excavation procedure. The initial excavation didn’t go deep enough, he said, adding that a second attempt never materialized because his partner kept on postponing. At some point, Richter became fed up.

I don’t want to do anything foolish anymore,” the German genealogist said, adding that the venture had already cost him €80,000 ($93,400). He conceded, however, that despite his frustration, he “had a good time and learned a lot, too.”

Unfazed, his former partner Koper said he plans to continue the search on his own, beginning “this winter.” He is confident he will have the funds and permit he needs by then. Winter is a good time, he says: “No nesting birds, no flowering shrubs, it’s the best time to search for the train.”

Historians and excavation experts have always said there is no such train buried beneath Polish soil but the hobby archaeologists went ahead with their project regardless, sinking tens of thousands of euros into the underground treasure hunt. Their first excavation attempts failed, but they vowed to continue — until Richter dropped out this week.

Both Richter and Koper said the treasure hunt and media limelight hasn’t earned them a penny — unlike the town of Walbrzych which cashed in on the many tourists lured by the ongoing gold fever.

 

Legendary fantasy treasures

  • Sunken city

First, we’re off to Atlantis, antiquity’s most sumptuous and magnificent city. If only it hadn’t sunk to the bottom of the sea some 11,000 years ago. Or so they say. For centuries, researchers and hobby divers have been searching for evidence of that grandiose place under the waves. After all, its existence wasn’t just invented by some drunk sailor, but claimed by Greek philosopher Plato himself.

  • Lost in the fog of war

Next stop is Catherine Palace near St. Petersburg, where one look at the reproduction of the Amber Room shows why many considered it to be the 8th Wonder of the World. During World War II, the original was packed into 28 boxes by the occupying German army and shipped to Königsberg Castle, only to go missing. Only a few sections resurfaced, while the rest was lost in the chaos of the war.

  • Sacred treasure

On to South America, and the Treasure of Lima. In 1820, with resistance against Spanish colonial rule growing, Peru’s governor and the Church hurried to rescue their riches. That included a gold statue of the Virgin Mary, decorated with 1,700 jewels. It’s said to be hidden on Cocos Island – a legend that Robert Louis Stevenson turned into his novel “Treasure Island,” later a film by Orson Welles.

  • Immeasurable value

God Himself is said to have ordered the Israelites to craft the Ark of the Covenant out of acacia wood some 3,000 years ago. It was used to transport the stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments. Experts think the ark disappeared around 2,600 years ago, and that it could be lying beneath Temple Mount in Jerusalem. In archaeological terms, its very existence has yet to be proven.

  • River riches

Back to Germany now, where hidden treasures are waiting to be discovered on the bottom of the Rhine River near the city of Worms – at least according to the epic 13th century poem, the Nibelungenlied (Song of the Nibelungs). Hagen von Tronje is said to have dumped 12 trucks full of jewels and gold into the river. Countless divers have searched for the legendary treasure – so far, without success

  • Miraculous and mysterious

People have been searching for the Holy Grail – the chalice Jesus is said to have used during the Last Supper – since the legendary time of King Arthur in the 12th century. When Christ was crucified, it’s said one of his disciples caught some of his blood in the cup. Among those who searched for the grail were Harrison Ford and Sean Connery in the 1989 film “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”

 

Decades-long investigation into Bermuda Triangle finally explains mysterious disappearances

August 2, 2018

RT

British oceanographers have concluded a decades-long investigation into the Bermuda Triangle and finally determined what is behind the hundreds of mysterious disappearances in the region.

The mysterious 700,000sqm triangle, stretching between the tip of Florida, Puerto Rico, and Bermuda, and has been the center of public fascination for over 100 years, when reports first started emerging of an unusual amount of shipwrecks in the region. The New York Times claimed at least 50 ships, 20 aircraft, and more than 1,000 people have succumbed to the Triangle over the past 500 years.

Now, researchers from the University of Southampton say ships are being sucked into the ocean by “rogue waves” over 30 meters (100ft) in height, and explained their theory on the Channel 5 documentary The Bermuda Triangle Enigma.

“There are storms to the South and North, which come together… we’ve measured waves in excess of 30 metres. The bigger the boat gets, the more damage is done,” Dr Simon Boxall, an oceanographer who led the study, told The Sun.

While many theories to explain the disappearances have been floated about over the years, scientists first zeroed in on the freak wave hypothesis when a 18.5 meter rogue wave was measured in the North Sea by satellites in 1995.

Rogue waves occur when an abnormally large wave crashes in the open sea. Normal waves of around 12 meters have a breaking pressure of 8.5 psi (pounds per square inch). Modern ships are designed to tolerate about 21 psi, but rogue waves can have a crushing pressure of up to 140 psi – enough to topple even the sturdiest of ships.

For the documentary, Dr. Boxall and his team re-created the mammoth waves using indoor simulators and built a model of the USS Cyclops to see what effect it would have on the large ship. The Cyclops went missing in the triangle in 1918 with 309 people on board.

“If you can imagine rogue waves with peaks at either end, there’s nothing below the boat, so it snaps in two. If it happens, it can sink in two to three minutes,” said Boxall.

The most recent disappearance was just last year when a plane carrying four people went missing over the infamous triangle. The group had spent Mother’s Day in Puerto Rico and were flying back to Florida when their twin-prop plane vanished from radar. The search was eventually called off and no bodies were ever found.

 

Iran naval drills underway amid tensions with U.S.

August 2, 2018

by Phil Stewart

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States believes Iran has started carrying out naval exercises in the Gulf, apparently moving up the timing of annual drills amid heightened tensions with Washington, U.S. officials told Reuters on Thursday.

One U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said possibly more than 100 vessels were involved in the drills, including small boats. A second official expected the drill could be wrapped up this week.

Iran has been furious over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of an international nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Tehran. Senior Iranian officials have warned the country would not easily yield to a renewed U.S. campaign to strangle Iran’s vital oil exports.

The U.S. military’s Central Command on Wednesday confirmed it has seen an increase in Iranian naval activity, including in the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway for oil shipments that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have threatened to block.

“We are monitoring it closely, and will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce in international waterways,” said Navy Captain Bill Urban, the chief spokesman at Central Command, which oversees U.S. forces in the Middle East.

Central Command did not update its guidance on Thursday.

A third official said the Iranian naval operations did not appear to be affecting commercial maritime activity.

U.S. officials, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the drills appeared designed to send a message to Washington, which is intensifying its economic and diplomatic pressure on Tehran but so far stopping short of using the U.S. military to more aggressively counter Iran and its proxies.

But Iran did not appear interested in drawing attention to them. Iranian authorities have yet to comment on them and several officials contacted by Reuters declined to comment.

Trump’s policies are already putting significant pressure on the Iranian economy, although U.S. intelligence suggests they may ultimately rally Iranians against the United States and strengthen Iran’s hardline rulers, officials say.

Iran’s currency plumbed new depths this week ahead of Aug. 7, when Washington is due to reimpose a first lot of sanctions following Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal.

Protests have broken out in Iran since the beginning of the year over high prices, water shortage, power cuts and alleged corruption.

On Tuesday, hundreds of people rallied in cities including Isfahan, Karaj, Shiraz and Ahvaz to protest high inflation caused in part by the weak rial.

Reporting by Phil Stewart in Washington; additional reporting by Parisa Hafezi in Ankara; Editing by James Dalgleish

 

The Deep State’s Long Enmity Toward Iranians

by Jacob G. Hornberger

July 31, 2018

The U.S. deep state’s hatred of the Iranian people goes back a long way, at least as far back as 1953. That was the year that the CIA, which was called into existence in 1947 when the U.S. government was being converted to a national-security state, targeted Iran with its first regime-change operation. And guess who paid the price for that operation. Yes, the people of Iran.

The Iranian Parliament had elected a man named Mohammad Mossadegh to be their prime minister. Mosaddegh would later be named Time magazine’s “Man of the Year.” As many government officials around the world have done, Mosaddegh nationalized the country’s oil industry, arguing that natural resources belonged to the nation.

The oil companies that bore the brunt of the nationalization were British-owned. Not surprisingly, they, along with British public officials, were livid over having the oil wells nationalized. British officials turned to the CIA for help.

The CIA asked President Truman for permission to initiate a coup to help the British oil companies, which the CIA knew would destroy the Iranian people’s experiment with democracy. To his everlasting credit, Truman said no. That didn’t stop the CIA however. As soon as President Eisenhower became president in 1952, the CIA renewed its request for a coup, arguing that Mossadegh was a “communist.”

Why did that make a difference? Because by this time, the U.S. deep state had launched its Cold War against America’s World War II partner and ally, the Soviet Union, which was run by a communist regime. Americans were inculcated with the fear that the communists were coming to get us, take over the federal government, and turn America Red. Thus, anyone labeled a “communist” automatically became a threat to U.S. “national security.”

Ike gave the go-ahead to the Iranian coup. In a brilliantly cunning plan, the CIA successfully toppled Mosaddegh but, surprisingly, left him alive. The CIA then vested the unelected Shah of Iran with total dictatorial power over the Iranian people. The Shah restored oil rights to the British petroleum countries.

The Shah’s regime was brutally oppressive, enforced by a national police-military-intelligence force called the SAVAK that was a combination of the Pentagon, CIA, NSA, and FBI. Trained and supported by the CIA, the SAVAK proceeded to subject the Iranian people to one of the most brutal and oppressive totalitarian regimes in the world. The U.S. government reinforced the oppression with money, armaments, and training.

For 25 years, the Iranian people suffered under the brutal dictatorship of the U.S.-installed and U.S.-supported Shah. That came to a screeching halt in 1979, when the Iranian people finally had had enough and decided to violently revolt against their U.S.-installed dictator.

While the Iranian people succeeded in their revolution, the problem is that they were unable to restore the democratic system that the CIA destroyed 25 years before. They ended up with another brutal dictatorial regime, this time a theocratic one.

The U.S. deep state has never forgiven the Iranian people for ousting its dictator, the Shah. As far as the deep staters are concerned, no one has the right to oust a U.S.-installed and U.S.-supported dictator from power, no matter how oppressive his tyranny is.

That’s what motivated U.S. officials to partner with Saddam Hussein — yes, that Saddam — the Iraqi dictator who they would later turn on and call the “new Hitler.” But this was back in the 1980s, when they were partnering with the “new Hitler” in his war against Iran. Still angry over what the Iranian people had done in 1979, all that U.S. officials wanted was for Saddam to kill as many Iranians as he could and, in the process, even defeat Iran and install another pro-U.S. dictator to run the Iranian government.

I sometimes wonder how many Americans realize that that’s when the United States furnished Saddam with those infamous weapons of mass destruction — the ones that would later be used as an excuse for turning on Iraq and launching a U.S. regime-change operation there. Back then, U.S. officials hoped that Saddam would use those WMDs to kill Iranians. That’s what the economic sanctions on Iran are all about. For years, U.S. officials have targeted the Iranian people by using sanctions to inflict massive conomic harm, even death, on them. The aim has been and is: Oust your dictatorship in another revolution and restore a pro-U.S. dictatorship in its stead or we will continue to squeeze the economic lifeblood out of you until you die.

That’s also why U.S. officials are now beating the war drums against Iran — to get the same type of regime change they got in in Iran in 1953 and in Iraq in 2003. They know that there is no way that the Iranian regime could stand up to the U.S. Air Force in a war. The entire country would be bombed, just as Iraq was. They would be killing not only Iranians who serve their government as soldiers but also wedding parties and other “collateral damage.” Killing tens of thousands of Iranians in the process of destroying their country would be considered no bigger deal than killing Iraqis and destroying their country.

Here is the thing that everyone should keep in mind: Neither Iran nor Iraq has ever attacked the United States. Iran is not over here. It is the U.S. deep state that is over there. The decades-long U.S. war against the Iranian people is just another reflection of what the conversion of the U.S. government to a national-security state has done to the morals and values of the American people.

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