British media in a state of hysteria as Russian aircraft carrier passes by the English Channel

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As Russia’s aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, heads to Syria via the English Channel, the UK’s mainstream news outlets have gone on a mad frenzy of fear mongering headlines to further paint Russian president Vladimir Putin of ‘flexing Moscow’s military might’ and of ‘provoking another world war.”

Mail Online, a British news outlet featured a rather terrifying click-bait story with the headline “The Russians are here! Putin’s attack fleet arrives at Dover as warships enter channel on their way to launch strikes in Syria.”

Another popular mainstream news website, The Independent has produced a video clip showing “Russian warships in English water “a smokescreen to distract world” while the BBC has bashed the Admiral Kuznetsov with stories concerning the sorry state of toilets in the aircraft carrier to its troubled engine and to a large tug boat accompanying the vessel ‘in case it breaks down.’ Also, British ‘analysts’ commented that the Russians ‘have achieved complete media and public opinion focus on one bright, shiny object.”

Be that as it may, but the UK does not even have its own aircraft carrier to match the Russian flotilla, which by now has passed the English Channel onto the Mediterranean and probably towards Syria to launch strikes against Islamic State terrorists. The British military will not have a new aircraft carrier until next year with the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales by 2020.

The British Defense Ministry for its part has bragged about its capabilities, where Secretary Michael Fallon reassured “to keep Britain safe” by “man marking” the Russian fleet passing the narrow English Channel.

Alas the hysteria is completely uncalled for. The Russian aircraft carrier group’s deployment to Syria has been announced a few months back. To make matters preposterous, Admiral Kuznetsov and its supporting warships passage is via international waters and is being completely transparent in their movements; there has been a deliberate and exasperated attempt to sensationalize and plant even more hate against Moscow.

Meanwhile, in American mainstream media, the deployment of the Russian aircraft carrier has been seen “as a kind of infomercial for its weapons sales” and that the “battle group adds to Russia’s military leverage in diplomatic negotiations with the United States and other Western powers over the future of Syria.” The Russian flotilla was also described as “a threat to its crew than anything else.”

These so called journalists have clearly missed how America and its allies in Western Europe have ‘manufactured’ conflicts around the world to merit their military’s deployment around the globe and with it billions of dollars of weapons. Indeed, the Admiral Kuznetsov, a floating airbase carrying more than 40 aircraft at a time, is just a ‘threat to its crew than anything else.”

On the CIA’s torture program: Admitting is only halfway to accountability

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More than a decade has passed since the United States and its allies started their so-called ‘global war on terror’ the ripples of which are only becoming clearer as the years start to wane against the coalition of the killing.

How the United States has conducted this ‘war on terror’ is, for some time now, an issue that has seeped their way to the headlines, from the illegal Guantanamo Bay detention facility in Cuba, to the revelations of former intelligence officers, including Snowden and Assange.

But more recently, in a redacted 500-page Senate Intelligence Committee report on how the CIA conducted it’s euphemistically called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’, it was confirmed that the CIA conducted a secret torture program. It is no surprise, but what is worrying is that no one person was named nor the critical times they were conducted were mentioned in the report. As Bush and Obama fondly remind the world, ‘people should be held accountable’. But as we suspect, moral relativism plays a role in how the US conducts its foreign policy.

For instance, former US vice president Dick Cheney staunchly denied that the CIA’s program of enhanced interrogation techniques is equivalent to the legal term ‘torture’. In an emotional interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Cheney, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, was unapologetic about the CIA program, and instead said ‘I would do it again in a minute’.

The former vice president also played the emotional card, saying that what constitutes torture were the 9/11 attacks, saying that “there is no comparison between that and what we did with respect to enhanced interrogation”. As to what the NBC host enumerated (rectal feeding, keeping a man in a coffin-sized box, handcuffing another man’s wrist to an overhead bar for 22 hours per day, for two consecutive days) during the interview, Cheney pointed out that “I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective.”

On the one hand, the US Department of State denied the possibility of prosecuting anyone involved in the CIA’s torture program. In a press meeting, Jen Psaki played the emotional card saying “we made the decision to lay out very transparently what exactly we have done in the past that we didn’t think was consistent with our values, and I think that’s showing strength as a nation”. Such statement is consistent with Obama, who advised Americans “to focus on…getting things right in the future as opposed to looking at what we got wrong in the past.”

This essentially denies anyone from being held accountable for such gruesome misdeeds. Indeed, by choosing to move on and forget about the past, the US is fortifying its foreign policy position of using torture as an available option for future American leaders because it is morally relative to do so.