Thursday, December 18, 2014

CIA and the Media

An Empire of Lies: The CIA and the Western Media

Global Research, February 28, 2011

Last week the Guardian, Britain’s main liberal newspaper, ran an exclusive report on the belated confessions of an Iraqi exile, Rafeed al-Janabi, codenamed “Curveball” by the CIA. Eight years ago, Janabi played a key behind-the-scenes role -- if an inadvertent one -- in making possible the US invasion of Iraq. His testimony bolstered claims by the Bush administration that Iraq’s president, Saddam Hussein, had developed an advanced programme producing weapons of mass destruction.
 
Curveball’s account included the details of mobile biological weapons trucks presented by Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, to the United Nations in early 2003. Powell’s apparently compelling case on WMD was used to justify the US attack on Iraq a few weeks later.
 
Eight years on, Curveball revealed to the Guardian that he had fabricated the story of Saddam’s WMD back in 2000, shortly after his arrival in Germany seeking asylum. He told the paper he had lied to German intelligence in the hope his testimony might help topple Saddam, though it seems more likely he simply wanted to ensure his asylum case was taken more seriously.
 
For the careful reader -- and I stress the word careful -- several disturbing facts emerged from the report.
 
One was that the German authorities had quickly proven his account of Iraq’s WMD to be false. Both German and British intelligence had travelled to Dubai to meet Bassil Latif, his former boss at Iraq’s Military Industries Commission. Dr Latif had proven that Curveball’s claims could not be true. The German authorities quickly lost interest in Janabi and he was not interviewed again until late 2002, when it became more pressing for the US to make a convincing case for an attack on Iraq.
 
Another interesting disclosure was that, despite the vital need to get straight all the facts about Curveball’s testimony -- given the stakes involved in launching a pre-emptive strike against another sovereign state -- the Americans never bothered to interview Curveball themselves.
 
A third revelation was that the CIA’s head of operations in Europe, Tyler Drumheller, passed on warnings from German intelligence that they considered Curveball’s testimony to be highly dubious. The head of the CIA, George Tenet, simply ignored the advice.
 
With Curveball’s admission in mind, as well as these other facts from the story, we can draw some obvious conclusions -- conclusions confirmed by subsequent developments.
 
Lacking both grounds in international law and the backing of major allies, the Bush administration desperately needed Janabi’s story about WMD, however discredited it was, to justify its military plans for Iraq. The White House did not interview Curveball because they knew his account of Saddam’s WMD programme was made up. His story would unravel under scrutiny; better to leave Washington with the option of “plausible deniability”.
 
Nonetheless, Janabi’s falsified account was vitally useful: for much of the American public, it added a veneer of credibility to the implausible case that Saddam was a danger to the world; it helped fortify wavering allies facing their own doubting publics; and it brought on board Colin Powell, a former general seen as the main voice of reason in the administration.
 
In other words, Bush’s White House used Curveball to breathe life into its mythological story about Saddam’s threat to world peace.
 
So how did the Guardian, a bastion of liberal journalism, present its exclusive on the most controversial episode in recent American foreign policy?
 
Here is its headline: “How US was duped by Iraqi fantasist looking to topple Saddam”.
 
Did the headline-writer misunderstand the story as written by the paper’s reporters? No, the headline neatly encapsulated its message. In the text, we are told Powell's presentation to the UN “revealed that the Bush administration's hawkish decisionmakers had swallowed” Curveball’s account. At another point, we are told Janabi “pulled off one of the greatest confidence tricks in the history of modern intelligence”. And that: “His critics -- who are many and powerful -- say the cost of his deception is too difficult to estimate.”
 
In other words, the Guardian assumed, despite all the evidence uncovered in its own research, that Curveball misled the Bush administration into making a disastrous miscalculation. On this view, the White House was the real victim of Curveball’s lies, not the Iraqi people -- more than a million of whom are dead as a result of the invasion, according to the best available figures, and four million of whom have been forced into exile.
 
There is nothing exceptional about this example. I chose it because it relates to an event of continuing and momentous significance.
 
Unfortunately, there is something depressingly familiar about this kind of reporting, even in the West’s main liberal publications. Contrary to its avowed aim, mainstream journalism invariably diminishes the impact of new events when they threaten powerful elites.
 
We will examine why in a minute. But first let us consider what, or who, constitutes “empire” today? Certainly, in its most symbolic form, it can be identified as the US government and its army, comprising the world’s sole superpower.
 
Traditionally, empires have been defined narrowly, in terms of a strong nation-state that successfully expands its sphere of influence and power to other territories. Empire’s aim is to make those territories dependent, and then either exploit their resources in the case of poorly developed countries, or, with more developed countries, turn them into new markets for its surplus goods. It is in this latter sense that the American empire has often been able to claim that it is a force for global good, helping to spread freedom and the benefits of consumer culture.
 
Empire achieves its aims in different ways: through force, such as conquest, when dealing with populations resistant to the theft of their resources; and more subtly through political and economic interference, persuasion and mind-control when it wants to create new markets. However it works, the aim is to create a sense in the dependent territories that their interests and fates are bound to those of empire.
 
In our globalised world, the question of who is at the centre of empire is much less clear than it once was. The US government is today less the heart of empire than its enabler. What were until recently the arms of empire, especially the financial and military industries, have become a transnational imperial elite whose interests are not bound by borders and whose powers largely evade legislative and moral controls.
 
Israel’s leadership, we should note, as well its elite supporters around the world -- including the Zionist lobbies, the arms manufacturers and Western militaries, and to a degree even the crumbling Arab tyrannies of the Middle East -- are an integral element in that transnational elite.
 
The imperial elites’ success depends to a large extent on a shared belief among the western public both that “we” need them to secure our livelihoods and security and that at the same time we are really their masters. Some of the necessary illusions perpetuated by the transnational elites include:
 
-- That we elect governments whose job is to restrain the corporations;
-- That we, in particular, and the global workforce in general are the chief beneficiaries of the corporations’ wealth creation;
-- That the corporations and the ideology that underpins them, global capitalism, are the only hope for freedom;
-- That consumption is not only an expression of our freedom but also a major source of our happiness;
-- That economic growth can be maintained indefinitely and at no long-term cost to the health of the planet;
-- And that there are groups, called terrorists, who want to destroy this benevolent system of wealth creation and personal improvement.
 
These assumptions, however fanciful they may appear when subjected to scrutiny, are the ideological bedrock on which the narratives of our societies in the West are constructed and from which ultimately our sense of identity derives. This ideological system appears to us -- and I am using “we” and “us” to refer to western publics only -- to describe the natural order.
 
The job of sanctifying these assumptions -- and ensuring they are not scrutinised -- falls to our mainstream media. Western corporations own the media, and their advertising makes the industry profitable. In this sense, the media cannot fulfil the function of watchdog of power, because in fact it is power. It is the power of the globalised elite to control and limit the ideological and imaginative horizons of the media’s readers and viewers. It does so to ensure that imperial interests, which are synonymous with those of the corporations, are not threatened.
 
The Curveball story neatly illustrates the media’s role.
 
His confession has come too late -- eight years too late, to be precise -- to have any impact on the events that matter. As happens so often with important stories that challenge elite interests, the facts vitally needed to allow western publics to reach informed conclusions were not available when they were needed. In this case, Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are gone, as are their neoconservative advisers. Curveball’s story is now chiefly of interest to historians.
 
That last point is quite literally true. The Guardian’s revelations were of almost no concern to the US media, the supposed watchdog at the heart of the US empire. A search of the Lexis Nexis media database shows that Curveball’s admissions featured only in the New York Times, in a brief report on page 7, as well as in a news round-up in the Washington Times. The dozens of other major US newspapers, including the Washington Post, made no mention of it at all.
 
Instead, the main audience for the story outside the UK was the readers of India’s Hindu newspaper and the Khaleej Times.
 
But even the Guardian, often regarded as fearless in taking on powerful interests, packaged its report in such a way as to deprive Curveball’s confession of its true value. The facts were bled of their real significance. The presentation ensured that only the most aware readers would have understood that the US had not been duped by Curveball, but rather that the White House had exploited a “fantasist” -- or desperate exile from a brutal regime, depending on how one looks at it -- for its own illegal and immoral ends.
 
Why did the Guardian miss the main point in its own exclusive? The reason is that all our mainstream media, however liberal, take as their starting point the idea both that the West’s political culture is inherently benevolent and that it is morally superior to all existing, or conceivable, alternative systems.
 
In reporting and commentary, this is demonstrated most clearly in the idea that “our” leaders always act in good faith, whereas “their” leaders -- those opposed to empire or its interests -- are driven by base or evil motives.
 
It is in this way that official enemies, such as Saddam Hussein or Slobodan Milosevic, can be singled out as personifying the crazed or evil dictator -- while other equally rogue regimes such as Saudi Arabia’s are described as “moderate” -- opening the way for their countries to become targets of our own imperial strategies.
 
States selected for the “embrace” of empire are left with a stark choice: accept our terms of surrender and become an ally; or defy empire and face our wrath.
 
When the corporate elites trample on other peoples and states to advance their own selfish interests, such as in the invasion of Iraq to control its resources, our dominant media cannot allow its reporting to frame the events honestly. The continuing assumption in liberal commentary about the US attack on Iraq, for example, is that, once no WMD were found, the Bush administration remained to pursue a misguided effort to root out the terrorists, restore law and order, and spread democracy.
 
For the western media, our leaders make mistakes, they are naïve or even stupid, but they are never bad or evil. Our media do not call for Bush or Blair to be tried at the Hague as war criminals.
 
This, of course, does not mean that the western media is Pravda, the propaganda mouthpiece of the old Soviet empire. There are differences. Dissent is possible, though it must remain within the relatively narrow confines of “reasonable” debate, a spectrum of possible thought that accepts unreservedly the presumption that we are better, more moral, than them.
 
Similarly, journalists are rarely told -- at least, not directly -- what to write. The media have developed careful selection processes and hierarchies among their editorial staff -- termed “filters” by media critics Ed Herman and Noam Chomsky -- to ensure that dissenting or truly independent journalists do not reach positions of real influence.
 
There is, in other words, no simple party line. There are competing elites and corporations, and their voices are reflected in the narrow range of what we term commentary and opinion. Rather than being dictated to by party officials, as happened under the Soviet system, our journalists scramble for access, to be admitted into the ante-chambers of power. These privileges make careers but they come at a huge cost to the reporters’ independence.
 
Nonetheless, the range of what is permissible is slowly expanding -- over the opposition of the elites and our mainstream TV and press. The reason is to be found in the new media, which is gradually eroding the monopoly long enjoyed by the corporate media to control the spread of information and popular ideas. Wikileaks is so far the most obvious, and impressive, outcome of that trend.
 
The consequences are already tangible across the Middle East, which has suffered disproportionately under the oppressive rule of empire. The upheavals as Arab publics struggle to shake off their tyrants are also stripping bare some of the illusions the western media have peddled to us. Empire, we have been told, wants democracy and freedom around the globe. And yet it is caught mute and impassive as the henchmen of empire unleash US-made weapons against their peoples who are demanding western-style freedoms.
 
An important question is: how will our media respond to this exposure, not just of our politicians’ hypocrisy but also of their own? They are already trying to co-opt the new media, including Wikileaks, but without real success. They are also starting to allow a wider range of debate, though still heavily constrained, than had been possible before.
 
The West’s version of glasnost is particularly obvious in the coverage of the problem closest to our hearts here in Palestine. What Israel terms a delegitimisation campaign is really the opening up -- slightly -- of the media landscape, to allow a little light where until recently darkness reigned.
 
This is an opportunity and one that we must nurture. We must demand of the corporate media more honesty; we must shame them by being better-informed than the hacks who recycle official press releases and clamour for access; and we must desert them, as is already happening, for better sources of information.
 
We have a window. And we must force it open before the elites of empire try to slam it shut.
 
This is the text of a talk entitled “Media as a Tool of Empire” delivered to Sabeel, the Ecumenical Liberation Theology Centre, at its eighth international conference in Bethlehem on Friday February 25.
 
Jonathan Cook is a writer and journalist based in Nazareth, Israel. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jkcook.net.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Are You Keeping Up with the New Technology?

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You’ll Never Learn!
Students can’t resist multitasking, and it’s impairing their memory.
Living rooms, dens, kitchens, even bedrooms: Investigators followed students into the spaces where homework gets done. Pens poised over their “study observation forms,” the observers watched intently as the students—in middle school, high school, and college, 263 in all—opened their books and turned on their computers.
For a quarter of an hour, the investigators from the lab of Larry Rosen, a psychology professor at California State University–Dominguez Hills, marked down once a minute what the students were doing as they studied. A checklist on the form included: reading a book, writing on paper, typing on the computer—and also using email, looking at Facebook, engaging in instant messaging, texting, talking on the phone, watching television, listening to music, surfing the Web. Sitting unobtrusively at the back of the room, the observers counted the number of windows open on the students’ screens and noted whether the students were wearing earbuds.
Although the students had been told at the outset that they should “study something important, including homework, an upcoming examination or project, or reading a book for a course,” it wasn’t long before their attention drifted: Students’ “on-task behavior” started declining around the two-minute mark as they began responding to arriving texts or checking their Facebook feeds. By the time the 15 minutes were up, they had spent only about 65 percent of the observation period actually doing their schoolwork.
“We were amazed at how frequently they multitasked, even though they knew someone was watching,” Rosen says. “It really seems that they could not go for 15 minutes without engaging their devices,” adding, “It was kind of scary, actually.”
Concern about young people’s use of technology is nothing new, of course. But Rosen’s study, published in the May issue of Computers in Human Behavior, is part of a growing body of research focused on a very particular use of technology: media multitasking while learning. Attending to multiple streams of information and entertainment while studying, doing homework, or even sitting in class has become common behavior among young people—so common that many of them rarely write a paper or complete a problem set any other way.
But evidence from psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience suggests that when students multitask while doing schoolwork, their learning is far spottier and shallower than if the work had their full attention. They understand and remember less, and they have greater difficulty transferring their learning to new contexts. So detrimental is this practice that some researchers are proposing that a new prerequisite for academic and even professional success—the new marshmallow test of self-discipline—is the ability to resist a blinking inbox or a buzzing phone.
The media multitasking habit starts early. In “Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds,” a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and published in 2010, almost a third of those surveyed said that when they were doing homework, “most of the time” they were also watching TV, texting, listening to music, or using some other medium. The lead author of the study was Victoria Rideout, then a vice president at Kaiser and now an independent research and policy consultant. Although the study looked at all aspects of kids’ media use, Rideout told me she was particularly troubled by its findings regarding media multitasking while doing schoolwork.
“This is a concern we should have distinct from worrying about how much kids are online or how much kids are media multitasking overall. It’s multitasking while learning that has the biggest potential downside,” she says. “I don’t care if a kid wants to tweet while she’s watching American Idol, or have music on while he plays a video game. But when students are doing serious work with their minds, they have to have focus.”
For older students, the media multitasking habit extends into the classroom. While most middle and high school students don’t have the opportunity to text, email, and surf the Internet during class, studies show the practice is nearly universal among students in college and professional school. One large survey found that 80 percent of college students admit to texting during class; 15 percent say they send 11 or more texts in a single class period.
During the first meeting of his courses, Rosen makes a practice of calling on a student who is busy with his phone. “I ask him, ‘What was on the slide I just showed to the class?’ The student always pulls a blank,” Rosen reports. “Young people have a wildly inflated idea of how many things they can attend to at once, and this demonstration helps drive the point home: If you’re paying attention to your phone, you’re not paying attention to what’s going on in class.” Other professors have taken a more surreptitious approach, installing electronic spyware or planting human observers to record whether students are taking notes on their laptops or using them for other, unauthorized purposes.
Such steps may seem excessive, even paranoid: After all, isn’t technology increasingly becoming an intentional part of classroom activities and homework assignments? Educators are using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as social sites created just for schools, such as Edmodo, to communicate with students, take class polls, assign homework, and have students collaborate on projects. But researchers are concerned about the use of laptops, tablets, cellphones, and other technology for purposes quite apart from schoolwork. Now that these devices have been admitted into classrooms and study spaces, it has proven difficult to police the line between their approved and illicit uses by students.
In the study involving spyware, for example, two professors of business administration at the University of Vermont found that “students engage in substantial multitasking behavior with their laptops and have non-course-related software applications open and active about 42 percent of the time.” The professors, James Kraushaar and David Novak, obtained students’ permission before installing the monitoring software on their computers—so, as in Rosen’s study, the students were engaging in flagrant multitasking even though they knew their actions were being recorded.
Another study, carried out at St. John’s University in New York, used human observers stationed at the back of the classroom to record the technological activities of law students. The spies reported that 58 percent of second- and third-year law students who had laptops in class were using them for “non-class purposes” more than half the time. (First-year students were far more likely to use their computers for taking notes, although an observer did note one first-year student texting just 17 minutes into her very first class—the beginning of her law school career.)
Texting, emailing, and posting on Facebook and other social media sites are by far the most common digital activities students undertake while learning, according to Rosen. That’s a problem, because these operations are actually quite mentally complex, and they draw on the same mental resources—using language, parsing meaning—demanded by schoolwork.
David Meyer, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan who’s studied the effects of divided attention on learning, takes a firm line on the brain’s ability to multitask: “Under most conditions, the brain simply cannot do two complex tasks at the same time. It can happen only when the two tasks are both very simple and when they don’t compete with each other for the same mental resources. An example would be folding laundry and listening to the weather report on the radio. That’s fine. But listening to a lecture while texting, or doing homework and being on Facebook—each of these tasks is very demanding, and each of them uses the same area of the brain, the prefrontal cortex.”
Young people think they can perform two challenging tasks at once, Meyer acknowledges, but “they are deluded,” he declares. It’s difficult for anyone to properly evaluate how well his or her own mental processes are operating, he points out, because most of these processes are unconscious. And, Meyer adds, “there’s nothing magical about the brains of so-called ‘digital natives’ that keeps them from suffering the inefficiencies of multitasking. They may like to do it, they may even be addicted to it, but there’s no getting around the fact that it’s far better to focus on one task from start to finish.”
Researchers have documented a cascade of negative outcomes that occurs when students multitask while doing schoolwork. First, the assignment takes longer to complete, because of the time spent on distracting activities and because, upon returning to the assignment, the student has to refamiliarize himself with the material.
Second, the mental fatigue caused by repeatedly dropping and picking up a mental thread leads to more mistakes. The cognitive cost of such task-switching is especially high when students alternate between tasks that call for different sets of expressive “rules”—the formal, precise language required for an English essay, for example, and the casual, friendly tone of an email to a friend.
Third, students’ subsequent memory of what they’re working on will be impaired if their attention is divided. Although we often assume that our memories fail at the moment we can’t recall a fact or concept, the failure may actually have occurred earlier, at the time we originally saved, or encoded, the memory. The moment of encoding is what matters most for retention, and dozens of laboratory studies have demonstrated that when our attention is divided during encoding, we remember that piece of information less well—or not at all. As the unlucky student spotlighted by Rosen can attest, we can’t remember something that never really entered our consciousness in the first place. And a study last month showed that students who multitask on laptops in class distract not just themselves but also their peers who see what they’re doing.
Fourth, some research has suggested that when we’re distracted, our brains actually process and store information in different, less useful ways. In a 2006 study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Russell Poldrack of the University of Texas–Austin and two colleagues asked participants to engage in a learning activity on a computer while also carrying out a second task, counting musical tones that sounded while they worked. Study subjects who did both tasks at once appeared to learn just as well as subjects who did the first task by itself. But upon further probing, the former group proved much less adept at extending and extrapolating their new knowledge to novel contexts—a key capacity that psychologists call transfer.
Brain scans taken during Poldrack’s experiment revealed that different regions of the brain were active under the two conditions, indicating that the brain engages in a different form of memory when forced to pay attention to two streams of information at once. The results suggest, the scientists wrote, that “even if distraction does not decrease the overall level of learning, it can result in the acquisition of knowledge that can be applied less flexibly in new situations.”
Finally, researchers are beginning to demonstrate that media multitasking while learning is negatively associated with students’ grades. In Rosen’s study, students who used Facebook during the 15-minute observation period had lower grade-point averages than those who didn’t go on the site. And two recent studies by Reynol Junco, a faculty associate at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, found that texting and using Facebook—in class and while doing homework—were negatively correlated with college students’ GPAs. “Engaging in Facebook use or texting while trying to complete schoolwork may tax students’ capacity for cognitive processing and preclude deeper learning,” write Junco and a co-author. (Of course, it’s also plausible that the texting and Facebooking students are those with less willpower or motivation, and thus likely to have lower GPAs even aside from their use of technology.)
Meyer, of the University of Michigan, worries that the problem goes beyond poor grades. “There’s a definite possibility that we are raising a generation that is learning more shallowly than young people in the past,” he says. “The depth of their processing of information is considerably less, because of all the distractions available to them as they learn.”
Given that these distractions aren’t going away, academic and even professional achievement may depend on the ability to ignore digital temptations while learning—a feat akin to the famous marshmallow test. In a series of experiments conducted more than 40 years ago, psychologist Walter Mischel tempted young children with a marshmallow, telling them they could have two of the treats if they put off eating one right away. Follow-up studies performed years later found that the kids who were better able to delay gratification not only achieved higher grades and test scores but were also more likely to succeed in school and their careers.
Two years ago, Rosen and his colleagues conducted an information-age version of the marshmallow test. College students who participated in the study were asked to watch a 30-minute videotaped lecture, during which some were sent eight text messages while others were sent four or zero text messages. Those who were interrupted more often scored worse on a test of the lecture’s content; more interestingly, those who responded to the experimenters’ texts right away scored significantly worse than those participants who waited to reply until the lecture was over.
This ability to resist the lure of technology can be consciously cultivated, Rosen maintains. He advises students to take “tech breaks” to satisfy their cravings for electronic communication: After they’ve labored on their schoolwork uninterrupted for 15 minutes, they can allow themselves two minutes to text, check websites, and post to their hearts’ content. Then the devices get turned off for another 15 minutes of academics.
Over time, Rosen says, students are able extend their working time to 20, 30, even 45 minutes, as long as they know that an opportunity to get online awaits. “Young people’s technology use is really about quelling anxiety,” he contends. “They don’t want to miss out. They don’t want to be the last person to hear some news, or the ninth person to ‘like’ someone’s post.” Device-checking is a compulsive behavior that must be managed, he says, if young people are to learn and perform at their best.
Rideout, director of the Kaiser study on kids and media use, sees an upside for parents in the new focus on multitasking while learning. “The good thing about this phenomenon is that it’s a relatively discrete behavior that parents actually can do something about,” she says. “It would be hard to enforce a total ban on media multitasking, but parents can draw a line when it comes to homework and studying—telling their kids, ‘This is a time when you will concentrate on just one thing.’ ”
Parents shouldn’t feel like ogres when they do so, she adds. “It’s important to remember that while a lot of kids do media multitask while doing homework, a lot of them don’t. One out of five kids in our study said they ‘never’ engage in other media while doing homework, and another one in five said they do so only ‘a little bit.’ This is not some universal norm that students and parents can’t buck. This is not an unreasonable thing to ask of your kid.”
So here’s the takeaway for parents of Generation M: Stop fretting about how much they’re on Facebook. Don’t harass them about how much they play video games. The digital native boosters are right that this is the social and emotional world in which young people live. Just make sure when they’re doing schoolwork, the cellphones are silent, the video screens are dark, and that every last window is closed but one.
This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education-news outlet based at Teachers College, Columbia University, and MindShift, a news website focusing on innovations in education and new trends in teaching and learning.
Annie Murphy Paul is a fellow at the New America Foundation and the author of the forthcoming book Brilliant: The Science of How We Get Smarter.
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Something to think about ...
Will it be the next big thing?
Tata Motors of India thinks so.
What will the Oil Companies do to stop it?
It is an auto engine that runs on air.
That's right; air not gas or diesel or electric, but just the air around us.
Tata Motors of India has scheduled the Air Car to hit Indian street.
 

The Air Car, developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy N. For Luxembourg-based MDI, uses compressed air to push its engine's pistons and make the car go.
The Air Car, called the "Mini CAT" could cost around 365,757 rupees in India or $8,177 US.
The Mini CAT which is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis, a body of fiberglass that is glued not welded and powered by compressed air.
A Microprocessor is used to control all electrical functions of the car.
One tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, turn signals and every other electrical device on the car.
Which are not many.
The temperature of the clean air expelled by the exhaust pipe is between 0-15 degrees below zero, which makes it suitable for use by the internal air conditioning system with no need for gases or loss of power.
There are no keys, just an access card which can be read by the car from your pocket.
According to the designers, it costs less than 50 rupees per 100 KM, that's about a tenth the cost of a car running on gas.
It's mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car, a factor which makes it a perfect choice for city motorists.
The car has a top speed of 105 KM per hour or 60 mph and would have a range of around 300 km or 185 miles between refuels. Refilling the car will take place at adapted gas stations with special air compressors.
A fill up will only take two to three minutes and costs approximately 100 rupees ($1.78 CAD!) and the car will be ready to go another 300 kilometers.
This car can also be filled at home with it's on board compressor.
It will take 3-4 hours to refill the tank, but it can be done while you sleep.
Because there is no combustion engine, changing the 1 liter of vegetable oil is only necessary every 50,000 KM or 30,000 miles.
Due to its simplicity, there is very little maintenance to be done on this car.
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MIT Technology Review

Introduction

Technology news is full of incremental developments, but few of them are true milestones. Here we’re citing 10 that are. These advances from the past year all solve thorny problems or create powerful new ways of using technology. They are breakthroughs that will matter for years to come.
-The Editors

Also See:
The Wonderful World of Cell Phones!
(Part 1)
21 July 2008
and
(Part 2)
24 July 2014
and
Science Fiction or Future Reality?
01 November 2008
and
U.S. Lust For Technology Killing Globally
14 September 2010
and
Will Future Wars be Fought with Robots?
14 November 2013
and
 Amazing Technology and Health Care!
04 February 2013
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.ca/2013/02/amazing-technology-and-health-care.html
 and
A New Paradigm - Integration of Human-Animal-Machine!
11 August 2010
and
What do You Know about the Post American World?
11 September 2010
and
What do you Know about New Technologies?
23 February 2011
and
Is This the Future?
(Part 1)
16 April 2011
and
(Part 2)
21 September 2011
and
(Part 3)
09 July 2012
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.ca/2012/07/is-this-future-part-3.html
and
We Need Electric Cars - Where Are They?
30 November 2007
http://arcticcompass.blogspot.ca/2007/11/who-killed-electric-car.html
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Friday, December 12, 2014

A Conspiracy Theorist is Not a Nut Case!


State Media Turns Reality on its Head
by Andrew
(henrymakow.com)
December 11, 2014
paris-sky.jpg(Chemtrails over Paris)
Andrew reflects on our subverted society:
"Everyone is taught from an early age that 'conspiracy theories' are the greatest folly, when --in truth-- conspiracy theory represents the threshold to worldly wisdom."
"WHO you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?"  ~ Chico Marx, from 'Duck Soup', 1933.
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it... It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."  Joseph Goebbels
Related- Study Suggests Conspiracy Theorists Are More Positive & 'Sane' Compared To Conventional Thinkers
Last summer,  friends' Facebook photos of European cities showed Chemtrails. When I commented, one friend replied that he didn't appreciate my observation. The focus of his pictures was the Eiffel Tower's architectural beauty, not the background skies.
He did not believe in "conspiracy theories" and considered my anti-esthetic comments distracting from the beauty of Paris. When I followed up with an email demonstrating that our government has a long history of spraying toxic chemicals on unsuspecting Americans, he simply un-friended me on Facebook.
In that connection, this You Tube is very convincing. US Govt. Sprayed Toxic Chemicals on unsuspecting Americans. How can people close their eyes to chemtrails and not believe in "conspiracy theories?"
THE ANSWER: Mass media propaganda has actually turned reality UPSIDE DOWN which oddly is the Illuminati definition of REVOLUTION.
And to reject "conspiracy theories" is to misunderstand the intellectual significance of circumstantial evidence.
Compare the wisdom of the ages with mass media indoctrination in America today.
Since the days of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, tyrants and oligarchs lied to the common people. In The Republic, Plato extols the virtues of the Guardian Class' "Noble Lies." Aristotle goes further quoting the oligarchic oath in Politics, 1310a:  "I promise to be an enemy of the people, and to try my best to give them bad advice."
To dismiss "conspiracy theories" enslaves you to mass media and government 'disinfo.
MURRAH BUILDING
Another example of an event everyone saw, but were forbidden to believe was the April 19th 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Murrah Building. Take a moment to relive You Tube of Oklahoma City Bombing News Reports: Unexploded bombs found inside the Murrah building!
Think about these UNEXPLODED BOMBS found INSIDE the Oklahoma City Murrah Building which Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols COULD NOT HAVE PLANTED. 
murrah.jpgFirst, they were reporting a bomb going off INSIDE the building,,, then Authorities confirmed the finding of a second bomb INSIDE the building on the east side,,,,, then a third bomb also unexploded was found and rescuers, media etc are all moved back,,,,,,,,,, St. Anthony's Hospital in a press conference reports that Medical teams were unable to enter building while bomb experts defuse unexploded bombs.
Justice Dept. confirms second bomb,,,, now a third bomb is found in the building,,,,, Gov Frank Keating in telephone interview confirms that 2nd, and 3rd. bombs are much larger than the first one.
Clinton sends three FBI anti-terrorist squads to the site, because "it is the work of a sophisticated group of terrorists and the bombs are very sophisticated"
An hour later as reported on OKC Channel 5, a fourth bomb is discovered on the west side of the building,,, meanwhile rescue efforts cannot begin until the whole building is searched.
Still later, the ATF reports that 4 bombs were placed but only one exploded.
THEN THE WHOLE OKC BOMBING NARRATIVE CHANGES. It is reported and confirmed that the bomb was actually a car bomb that exploded outside and they estimate it was 1200 lbs. of explosive used,,,, this later becomes a Ryder truck with 4800 lbs fertilizer.
So we went from a very sophisticated bomb inside the building to four sophisticated bombs inside then to a bomb in a car to a Ryder truck outside with 4800 lbs. of unsophisticated fertilizer and kerosene.
What is wrong with all this? Seems the media spun the story for the benefit of someone, while the rescue people were held back.
PRETEXT TO GUT CIVIL RIGHTS
There were a number of Anti-Terrorism Bills which severely curtail our civil rights were stalled in US Congress at the time. After the bombing, they were easily passed.
The Bills gave much greater powers to the ATF and the FBI. Connect the dots to later Homeland Security Act of 2002 and 2011 suspension of Habeas Corpus. (Last time Habeas Corpus suspended American Civil War 1861-1865)
So the bombing of the Oklahoma City Murrah Building is another example like Chemtrails that we can all see but are not permitted to appreciate what it really represents.
goebbels1.jpg(l. Joseph Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda
LET ME CONFESS: I didn't comprehend the above until a 2002 9/11 Truth meeting SEVEN YEARS LATER.
The trauma of OKC Bombing superseded my critical faculties too; I now maintain critical and even cynical attitude toward mass media (mostly fake) news.
19th century, Edgar Allan Poe -- 'Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.'
Chemtrails and the Murrah bombing are only two of countless deceptions perpetrated by the State and the State-run media. They include the assassinations of JFK, RFK and MLK. They  include Sandy Hook, Boston Marathon and the Aurora shooting.  No wonder our leaders  have lost our trust.
--
First Comment from Richard

The Oklahoma City bombing hit the national news exactly one week before Branch Davidian defense lawyers Dick DeGuerin and Jack Zimmerman revealed that David Koresh had offered twice to surrender.  FBI  agents on the scene agreed to one surrender offer by Koresh, but a 'deskbound bureaucrat' refused it.  Two plans were offered by Koresh.  The FBI ignored one, and reneged on the other. By accepting the offer then reneging, they made it clear that they weren't going to let the besieged citizens surrender.
Americans had been paying attention to the trial of the Waco survivors.  During the siege, media hadn't informed the public that the FBI had orders from Washington not to let them surrender.  This 'bombshell' might have swung public opinion against the prosecution.
Always ask, 'Cui bono'? Who was the beneficiary of the Oklahoma City Federal building bombing?    Despite the fact that several unexploded, 'sophisticated' bombs were found, a fool named Tim McVeigh had parked a rented van full of a crude homemade explosive in front the building.  McVeigh became the poster boy, media never followed up on the real bombs discovered.
Just as Americans were beginning to realize that David Koresh and his Christian commune didn't fit the profile of dangerous terrorists - but Timothy McVeigh was made to order.  At the time of the bombing, Federal attorneys had failed to show that a single gun found on Branch Dravidian property had been illegally modified. Every one of them was registered and no forbidden weapons were found.   We would hear the 'Weapons of mass destruction' excuse for unwarranted invasion ten years later.
Had the public raised hell over Waco and taken it up the chain to Janet Reno and Oval Office, there'd have been no '911', no PATRIOT Act, no 2003 US invasion of Iraq.
In such cases history really does 'repeat', not accidentally, but because certain psychological operations work every time, because the public forgets to remember the past.
*******

 

Friday, December 05, 2014

How Close is World War III?

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America is on a “Hot War Footing”: House Legislation Paves the Way for War with Russia?
By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research, December 05, 2014
Url of this article:
America is on a war footing. While, a World War Three Scenario has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than ten years, military action against Russia is now contemplated at an “operational level”. Similarly, both the Senate and the House have introduced enabling legislation which provides legitimacy to the conduct of a war against Russia.
We are not dealing with a “Cold War”. None of the safeguards of the Cold War era prevail.
There has been a breakdown in East-West diplomacy coupled with extensive war propaganda. In turn the United Nations has turned a blind eye to extensive war crimes committed by the Western military alliance.
The adoption of a major piece of legislation by the US House of Representatives on December4th (H. Res. 758) would provide (pending a vote in the Senate) a de facto green light to the US president and commander in chief to initiate –without congressional approval– a process of military confrontation with Russia.
Global security is at stake. This historic vote –which potentially could affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people Worldwide– has received virtually no media coverage. A total media blackout prevails.
The World is at a dangerous crossroads. Moscow has responded to US-NATO threats. Its borders are threatened.
On December 3, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation announced the inauguration of a new military-political entity which would take over in the case of war.
Russia is launching a new national defense facility, which is meant to monitor threats to national security in peacetime, but would take control of the entire country in case of war. (RT, December 3, 2014)
Timeline of War Preparations
In May 2014, the Russian Aggression Prevention Act (RAPA) was introduced in the US Senate (S 2277), calling for the militarization of Eastern Europe and the Baltic States and the stationing of US and NATO troops on Russia’s doorstep:
S.2277 – Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014
Directs the President to: (1) implement a plan for increasing U.S. and NATO support for the armed forces of Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, and other NATO member-states; and (2) direct the U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO to seek consideration forpermanently basing NATO forces in such countries.
Directs the President to submit a plan to Congress for accelerating NATO and European missile defense efforts.
While The S 2277 resolution was sent to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for review, its essential premises are already in the process of being implemented. In mid-July, NATO’s Europe commander General Philip Breedlove in consultation with the Pentagon and Britain’s Ministry of Defence, called for:
“stockpiling a base in Poland with enough weapons, ammunition and other supplies to support a rapid deployment of thousands of troops against Russia”.(RT, July 24, 2014).
According to General Breedlove, NATO needs “pre-positioned supplies, pre-positioned capabilities and a basing area ready to rapidly accept follow-on forces”:
“He plans to recommend placing supplies — weapons, ammunition and ration packs — at the headquarters to enable a sudden influx of thousands of Nato troops” (Times, August 22, 2014, emphasis added)
Breedlove’s “Blitzkrieg scenario” –which could potentially lead to military escalation– was reaffirmed at the September NATO Summit in Wales. A so-called NATO action plan directed against the Russian Federation was decided upon. The Wales Summit had given the “green light”.
Barely a month later, in October, US-NATO military drills were held in the Baltic States. In early November, a second round of drills was held in both the Baltic States and Eastern Europe.
As part of this broader endeavour, NATO’s Iron Sword 2014 military exercises –involving the participation of nine member countries of the Atlantic Alliance– were launched in Lithuania in early November:
”US tanks rolled in to Lithuania earlier this month is a show of force to Russia that it’s not welcome in the region.”
The military exercises were explicitly directed against Russia. According to Moscow, they consisted in “increasing operation readiness” as well the transfer of NATO “military infrastructure to the Russian borders”.
In response to NATO deployments on Russia’s borders, the Russian Federation also conducted in early November extensive war games in the sea of Barent. The Russian drills consistedin testing “its entire nuclear triad consisting of strategic bombers; submarines” and the “silo-based Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile launched from Plesetsk in Arkhangelsk Oblast” on November 1st.
The US House of Representatives H.Res. 758 Resolution
On 18 November, a major resolution H. Res. 758 was introduced in the House of Representatives. Its main thrust consists in portraying Russia as an “Aggressor Nation”, which has invaded Ukraine and calling for military action directed against Russia:
You can watch Rep. Kinzinger’s floor speech on the legislation

H.RES.758 — Whereas upon entering office in 2009, President Barack Obama announced his intention to `reset’ relations with the Russian Federation, which was described by former United States Ambassador… (Introduced in House – IH)
HRES 758 IH
113th CONGRESS
2d Session

H. RES. 758

Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.
(The full text of H. RES. 758 is contained in annex to this article)
H. Res. 758 not only accuses Russia of having invaded Ukraine, it also invokes article 5 of the Washington Treaty, namely NATO’s doctrine of collective security.
An attack on one member of the Atlantic alliance is an attack on all members of the Alliance.
The underlying narrative is supported by a string of baseless accusations directed against the Russian Federation. It accuses Russia of having invaded Ukraine. It states without evidence that Russia was behind the downing of Malaysian Airlines MH17, it accuses Russia of military aggression.
Ironically, it also accuses the Russian Federation of having imposed economic sanctions not only on Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova but also on several unnamed member states of the European Union. The resolution accuses the Russian Federation of having used “the supply of energy for political and economic coercion.”
In essence, House Resolution 758 were it to become law would provide a de facto green light to the President of the United States to declare war on the Russian Federation, without the formal permission of the US Congress.
In this regard, it could be interpreted as “mildly unconstitutional” in that it contravenes the substance of Article 1, Section 8, of the US Constitution which vests in the Congress “the Power to declare war…”
The resolution urges the President of the United States in consultation with the US Congress to:
“conduct a review of the force posture, readiness, and responsibilities of the United States Armed Forces and the forces of other members of NATO to determine if the contributions and actions of each is sufficient to meet the obligations of collective self defence under article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and to specify the measures needed to remedy any deficiencies” .
What the above paragraph suggests is that the US is contemplating the use of NATO’s collective security doctrine under article 5 with a views to triggering a process of military confrontation with the Russian Federation.
The structure of military alliances is of crucial significance. Washington’s intent is to isolate Russia. Article 5 is a convenient mechanism imposed by the US on Western Europe. It forces NATO member states, most of which are members of the European Union, to act wage war on Washington’s behalf.
Moreover, a referedum on Ukraine’s membership in NATO is contemplated. In case Ukraine becomes a member of NATO and/or redefines its security agreement with NATO, article 5 could be invoked as a justification to wage a NATO sponsored war on Russia.
“Fast Legislation”

Click image below to order Michel Chossudovsky’s book

The speed at which this legislation was adopted is unusual in US Congressional history. House resolution 758 was introduced on November 18th, it was rushed off to the Foreign Affairs Committee and rushed back to the plenary of the House for debate and adoption.

Two weeks (16 days) after it was first introduced by Rep. Kinzinger (Illinois) on November 18, it was adopted by 411-10 in an almost unanimous vote on the morning of December 4th.

Members of Congress are puppets. Their vote is controlled by Washington’s lobby groups. For the defence contractors, Wall Street and the Texas oil giants, “war is good for business”.

In the words of Dennis Kucinich in an open letter published on December 2:

The resolution demands Russia to be isolated … In other words, ‘let’s get ready for war with Russia.’

This is exactly the type of sabre rattling which led to the initiation and escalation of the Cold War. It is time we demanded that the US employ diplomacy, not more military expenditures, in the quest for international order.

Media Blackout

One would expect that this historic decision would has been the object of extensive news coverage.

In fact what happened was a total news blackout.

The nation’s media failed to provide coverage of the debate in House of Representatives and the adoption of H Res 758 on December 4.

The mainstream media had been instructed not to cover the Congressional decision.

Nobody dared to raise its dramatic implications. its impacts on “global security”. ”World War III is not front page news.”

And without mainstream news concerning US-NATO war preparations, the broader public remains unaware of the importance of the Congressional decision. .

In Annex to this article is the google news feed for H. Rep. 758 (7pm ET prior to the publication of this article). We suggest that readers check the news feed on online search engines as well as print media.

Spread the word. Reverse the tide of war.

Break the mainstream media blackout.

 

Google News Feed 7pm ET, December 4, 2014. Last 24 hours.

The Vote in the House of Representatives took place in the morning of December 4th, ET.

last 24 hours (image icons removed)

Search Results

Ukraine’s Finance Minister: “Made in the USA”: Kiev Government …

Center for Research on Globalization-4 hours ago

Bearing that in mind, a bill known as H.Res.758 was recently introduced in the U.S. Congress. … The danger of this bill was highlighted by former U.S. Rep.

Rep. Kinzinger Blasts Russia: ‘This Aggression Will Not Stand’

Washington Free Beacon-7 hours ago

Kinzinger is the sponsor of H. Res. 758, which formally condemns Russia for its military aggression and calls for the Russian Federation to remove its troops …

Kinzinger resolution condemns Russian aggression

The Rock River Times-1 hour ago

Explore in depth (7 more articles)

BBC News

U.S. House Vote Could Lead to War with Russia, Warns Physicians …

PR Newswire (press release)-59 minutes ago

H. Res 758, “Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under … countries aimed at political and economic domination,” is credited to Rep.

the Nightly Whip: Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Newsroom America-17 hours ago

H.R. 5759 – “Executive Amnesty Prevention Act of 2014” (Rep. … H.Res. 758 – Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under Vladimir Putin, …

Stay up to date on results for H. Rep. 758

Bill Text

113th Congress (2013-2014)

H.RES.758.IH
H.RES.758 — Whereas upon entering office in 2009, President Barack Obama announced his intention to `reset’ relations with the Russian Federation, which was described by former United States Ambassador… (Introduced in House – IH)

HRES 758 IH

113th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. RES. 758

Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

November 18, 2014

Mr. KINZINGER of Illinois submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

RESOLUTION

Strongly condemning the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.

Whereas upon entering office in 2009, President Barack Obama announced his intention to `reset’ relations with the Russian Federation, which was described by former United States Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul as a policy to `engage with Russia to seek agreement on common interests’, which included the negotiation of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) in which the United States agreed to major reductions in its nuclear forces;

Whereas the Russian Federation has responded to this policy with openly anti-American rhetoric and actions and with armed aggression against United States allies and partner countries, including Ukraine and the Republic of Georgia;

Whereas the Russian Federation has subjected Ukraine to a campaign of political, economic, and military aggression for the purpose of establishing its domination over the country and progressively erasing its independence;

Whereas the Russian Federation’s invasion of, and military operations on, Ukrainian territory represent gross violations of Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity and a violation of international law, including the Russian Federation’s obligations under the United Nations Charter;

Whereas the Russian Federation’s forcible occupation and illegal annexation of Crimea and its continuing support for separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine are violations of its obligations under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, in which it pledged to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine and to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine;

Whereas the Russian Federation has provided military equipment, training, and other assistance to separatist and paramilitary forces in eastern Ukraine that has resulted in over 4,000 civilian deaths, hundreds of thousands of civilian refugees, and widespread destruction;

Whereas the Ukrainian military remains at a significant disadvantage compared to the armed forces of the Russian Federation in terms of size and technological sophistication;

Whereas the United States strongly supports efforts to assist Ukraine to defend its territory and sovereignty against military aggression by the Russian Federation and by separatist forces;

Whereas the terms of the ceasefire specified in the Minsk Protocol that was signed on September 5, 2014, by representatives of the Government of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, and the Russian-backed separatists in the eastern area of the Ukraine have been repeatedly violated by the Russian Federation and the separatist forces it supports;

Whereas separatist forces in areas they controlled in eastern Ukraine prevented the holding of elections on May 25, 2014, for a new President of Ukraine and on October 26, 2014, for a new Rada, thereby preventing the people of eastern Ukraine from exercising their democratic right to select their candidates for office in free and fair elections;

Whereas, on November 2, 2014, separatist forces in eastern Ukraine held fraudulent and illegal elections in areas they controlled for the supposed purpose of choosing leaders of the illegitimate local political entities they have declared;

Whereas the Russian Federation has recognized the results of the illegal elections and continues to provide the military, political, and economic support without which the separatist forces could not continue to maintain their areas of control;

Whereas the reestablishment of peace and security in Ukraine requires the full withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory, the resumption of the government’s control over all of the country’s international borders, the disarming of the separatist and paramilitary forces in the east, an end to Russia’s use of its energy exports and trade barriers to apply economic and political pressure, and an end to Russian interference in Ukraine’s internal affairs;

Whereas Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a civilian airliner, was destroyed by a Russian-made missile provided by the Russian Federation to separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, resulting in the loss of 298 innocent lives;

Whereas the Russian Federation has used and is continuing to use coercive economic measures, including the manipulation of energy prices and supplies, as well as trade restrictions, to place political and economic pressure on Ukraine;

Whereas military forces of the Russian Federation and of the separatists it controls have repeatedly violated the terms of the ceasefire agreement announced on September 5, 2014;

Whereas the Russian Federation invaded the Republic of Georgia in August 2008, continues to station military forces in the regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and is implementing measures intended to progressively integrate these regions into the Russian Federation;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to subject the Republic of Georgia to political and military intimidation, economic coercion, and other forms of aggression in an effort to establish its control of the country and to prevent Georgia from establishing closer relations with the European Union and the United States;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to station military forces in the Transniestria region of Moldova;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to provide support to the illegal separatist regime in the Transniestria region of Moldova;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to subject Moldova to political and military intimidation, economic coercion, and other forms of aggression in an effort to establish its control of the countries and to prevent efforts by Moldova to establish closer relations with the European Union and the United States;

Whereas under the terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), a flight-test or deployment of any INF-banned weapon delivery vehicle by the Russian Federation constitutes a violation of the INF Treaty;

Whereas, on July 29, 2014, the United States Department of State released its report on the Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, as required by Section 403 of the Arms Control and Disarmament Act, for calendar year 2013, which found that, `[t]he United States has determined that the Russian Federation is in violation of its obligations under the INF Treaty not to possess, produce, or flight-test a ground-launched cruise missile (GLCM) with a range capability of 500 km to 5,500 km, or to possess or produce launchers of such missiles’;

Whereas according to reports, the Government of the Russian Federation has repeatedly engaged in the infiltration of, and attacks on, computer networks of the United States Government, as well as individuals and private entities, for the purpose of illicitly acquiring information and disrupting operations, including by supporting Russian individuals and entities engaged in these actions;

Whereas the political, military, and economic aggression against Ukraine and other countries by the Russian Federation underscores the enduring importance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as the cornerstone of collective Euro-Atlantic defense;

Whereas the United States reaffirms its obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty, especially Article 5 which states that `an armed attack against one or more’ of the treaty signatories `shall be considered an attack against them all’;

Whereas the Russian Federation is continuing to use its supply of energy as a means of political and economic coercion against Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and other European countries;

Whereas the United States strongly supports energy diversification initiatives in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and other European countries to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use its supply of energy for political and economic coercion, including the development of domestic sources of energy, increased efficiency, and substituting Russian energy resources with imports from other countries;

Whereas the Russian Federation continues to conduct an aggressive propaganda effort in Ukraine in which false information is used to subvert the authority of the legitimate national government, undermine stability, promote ethnic dissension, and incite violence;

Whereas the Russian Federation has expanded the presence of its state-sponsored media in national languages across central and western Europe with the intent of using news and information to distort public opinion and obscure Russian political and economic influence in Europe;

Whereas expanded efforts by United States international broadcasting across all media in the Russian and Ukrainian languages are needed to counter Russian propaganda and to provide the people of Ukraine and the surrounding regions with access to credible and balanced information;

Whereas the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Incorporated continue to represent a minority market share in Ukraine and other regional states with significant ethno-linguistic Russian populations who increasingly obtain their local and international news from Russian state-sponsored media outlets;

Whereas the United States International Programming to Ukraine and Neighboring Regions Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-96) requires the Voice of America and RFE/RL, Incorporated to provide programming content to target populations in Ukraine and Moldova 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including at least 8 weekly hours of total original video and television content and 14 weekly hours of total audio content while expanding cooperation with local media outlets and deploying greater content through multimedia platforms and mobile devices; and

Whereas Vladimir Putin has established an increasingly authoritarian regime in the Russian Federation through fraudulent elections, the persecution and jailing of political opponents, the elimination of independent media, the seizure of key sectors of the economy and enabling supporters to enrich themselves through widespread corruption, and implementing a strident propaganda campaign to justify Russian aggression against other countries and repression in Russia, among other actions: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved,

That the House of Representatives–(1) strongly supports the efforts by President Poroshenko and the people of Ukraine to establish a lasting peace in their country that includes the full withdrawal of Russian forces from its territory, full control of its international borders, the disarming of separatist and paramilitary forces eastern Ukraine, the adoption of policies to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use energy exports and trade barriers as weapons to apply economic and political pressure, and an end to interference by the Russian Federation in the internal affairs of Ukraine;(2) affirms the right of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and all countries to exercise their sovereign rights within their internationally recognized borders free from outside intervention and to conduct their foreign policy in accordance with their determination of the best interests of their peoples;(3) condemns the continuing political, economic, and military aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova and the continuing violation of their sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity;(4) states that the military intervention by the Russian Federation in Ukraine–(A) is in breach of its obligations under the United Nations Charter;(B) is in violation of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances in which it pledged to respect the independence, sovereignty, and existing borders of Ukraine and to refrain from the threat of the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine; and(C) poses a threat to international peace and security;(5) calls on the Russian Federation to reverse its illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula, to end its support of the separatist forces in Crimea, and to remove its military forces from that region other than those operating in strict accordance with its 1997 agreement on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet Stationing on the Territory of Ukraine;(6) calls on the President to cooperate with United States allies and partners in Europe and other countries around the world to refuse to recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation;(7) calls on the Russian Federation to remove its military forces and military equipment from the territory of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, and to end its political, military, and economic support of separatist forces;(8) calls on the Russian Federation and the separatist forces it controls in Ukraine to end their violations of the ceasefire announced in Minsk on September 5, 2014;(9) calls on the President to cooperate with United States allies and partners in Europe and other countries around the world to impose visa bans, targeted asset freezes, sectoral sanctions, and other measures on the Russian Federation and its leadership with the goal of compelling it to end its violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, to remove its military forces and equipment from Ukrainian territory, and to end its support of separatist and paramilitary forces;(10) calls on the President to provide the Government of Ukraine with defense articles, services, and training required to effectively defend its territory and sovereignty;(11) calls on the President to provide the Government of Ukraine with appropriate intelligence and other relevant information to assist the Government of Ukraine to defend its territory and sovereignty;(12) calls on North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies and United States partners in Europe and other nations around the world to suspend all military cooperation with Russia, including prohibiting the sale to the Russian Government of lethal and non-lethal military equipment;(13) reaffirms the commitment of the United States to its obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty, especially Article 5, and calls on all Alliance member states to provide their full share of the resources needed to ensure their collective defense;(14) urges the President, in consultation with Congress, to conduct a review of the force posture, readiness, and responsibilities of United States Armed Forces and the forces of other members of NATO to determine if the contributions and actions of each are sufficient to meet the obligations of collective self-defense under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and to specify the measures needed to remedy any deficiencies;(15) urges the President to hold the Russian Federation accountable for violations of its obligations under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and to take action to bring the Russian Federation back into compliance with the Treaty;(16) urges the President to conduct a review of the utility of the INF Treaty in securing United States interests and the consequences for the United States of withdrawing from the Treaty if the Russian Federation does not return to compliance with its provisions;(17) calls on Ukraine, the European Union, and other countries in Europe to support energy diversification initiatives to reduce the ability of the Russian Federation to use its supply of energy as a means of applying political and economic pressure on other countries, including by promoting increased natural gas and other energy exports from the United States and other countries;(18) urges the President to expedite the United States Department of Energy’s approval of liquefied natural gas exports to Ukraine and other European countries;(19) calls on the President and the United States Department of State to develop a strategy for multilateral coordination to produce or otherwise procure and distribute news and information in the Russian language to countries with significant Russian-speaking populations which maximizes the use of existing platforms for content delivery such as the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Incorporated, leverages indigenous public-private partnerships for content production, and seeks in-kind contributions from regional state governments;(20) calls on the United States Department of State to identify positions at key diplomatic posts in Europe to evaluate the political, economic, and cultural influence of Russia and Russian state-sponsored media and to coordinate with host governments on appropriate responses;(21) calls upon the Russian Federation to seek a mutually beneficial relationship with the United States that is based on respect for the independence and sovereignty of all countries and their right to freely determine their future, including their relationship with other nations and international organizations, without interference, intimidation, or coercion by other countries; and

(22) calls for the reestablishment of a close and cooperative relationship between the people of the United States and the Russian people based on the shared pursuit of democracy, human rights, and peace among all nations.-
https://www.congress.gov/bill/113th-congress/house-resolution