In London, Julian Assange is in court to decide whether he will be extradited to the US to face espionage charges. The stakes could not be higher. Assange's liberty, even life, is on the line. Freedom of speech is also on trial – though you wouldn't know that from the mainstream media. This is a Crosstalking debate featuring Joe Lauria, Taylor Hudak, and Alexander Mercouris, who have all been attending protests outside the courts where a kangaroo trial is being staged for Julian Assange.
This discussion on Crosstalk asks whether in the prosecution or persecution of Julian Assange, the western world is seeing the death of journalism. Michael Patchett-Joyce, a barrister specialising in international and European law, brings some new views to the program. John Wight counters with some persuasive political analysis, as does ex-British parliamentarian, George Galloway. The issue of the courts and the 'public good' comes up. John Wight points out that this is an issue of class; the public good is really about the good of the establishment. Galloway says that, if Julian is extradited to the United States, there will be no juries and the US will not feel itself bound to any promises it may have made to Britain in this matter. Patchett-Joyce suggests that the case has a long way to go before a decision can be made about extradition. At no time does anyone mention Julian's cat, but we think this might be a picture of it.
EVA BARTLETT: [15:58-17:54min into the video:] "In my last visit to Syria, I went twice to Aleppo, mainly with the express intent of seeing what life was like in Aleppo, but also to speak with the Aleppo Medical Association. And this was an important factor because this association has over 4,160 registered doctors. And so, you know, when we talk about the talking points that are taken as fact by most corporate media and, unfortunately, some alternative media that is supposed to be representing the left, they will run these headlines.
We've seen it especially quite recently, 'the last doctor in Aleppo', 'the last pediatrician in Aleppo', 'the last hospitals in Aleppo'. And, so, you know, establishing that there are actually over 4000 registered doctors in Aleppo, including 800 specialists, is one important aspect. But also visiting: as a journalist, who went to visit the hospitals that have been attacked - actually attacked, and documented by these western-backed terrorists - for example the Dahbeet Maternity Hospital in Aleppo, which was attacked on May 3rd - this is important.
And this is something that these corporate media journalists could do if they were interested in telling the truth. They could have gone to Jableh, which, on May 23rd, on the same day that Tartous was attacked, Jableh suffered a series of massive terrorist suicide and car-bombing attacks. And you would think that this was important news.
One of these attacks was the suicide bomber that exploded himself in the Emergency Room - Ward of the Jableh Hospital, which was already treating people that had been injured in prior suicide attacks that day. So these are very key stories that didn't get any coverage in corporate media." [More on Jableh.
"Meanwhile you have outlets like Fox, showing the Kindi Hospital, which was a state hospital - the best in the Middle East for cancer treatment - that was destroyed. It was truck-bombed in December 2013 by Al-Nusra. And now you have Fox showing this hospital - this image - and saying that this is in eastern Aleppo and that the so-called 'government airplanes' have destroyed it. This is the level of propaganda that we are dealing with. And one day to the next you'll see, 'the last hospital', 'the last four hospitals', the last doctors', 'the last twenty doctors'. There's no consistency, even in their lies."
For those of you who are confused about what is happening vis a vis Ukraine in European negotiations with Russia and the US talking up weapons-supply with Kiev , Peter Lavelle's Crosstalk, "Saving Ukraine" on RT today came up with some useful analysis from guests Mary Dejevsky (Independent and Guardian, columnist, UK), Alexander Mercouris, (writer and analyst on legal affairs, London), and James Jatras, (former advisor to the US Senate Republican leadership). The issue was, "Will peace be given one last chance? The French president and German chancellor head to Moscow for talks to end Ukraine’s civil war. At the same time the US Secretary of State arrives in Kiev to arrange training and arms transfers. Which approach will prevail?"
Emerging from this discussion was that the US's recent hawkish talk of supplying weapons to Kiev (the West Ukraine government that is bombing its people in East Ukraine) is going too far for Europe. Europe does not want a war on its territory. The US is showing incredible insensitivity to this rational unwillingness of Europeans to expand the Ukraine civil war. The US seems to expect European governments to do anything it wants. The Europeans are afraid of the US but they are more afraid of war in Europe. Angela Merkel (German Chancellor) and Francois Hollande (French President) have taken a crucial step of going to Russia to meet with President Putin independently of the United States. Whilst the European Union is under the thrall of US influenced financial institutions it is difficult for the members of the EU to act independently of the US. Only the threat of war could make them risk US disapproval. Someone had to stand up to the United States, however. Another reason that these two European leaders may have decided to act independently is that the people in their countries disapprove of the US role in drumming up war in the Ukraine. Furthermore, Greece's recent left-wing party, Syriza's win of government might precipitate a domino effect in the European Union with other left-wing parties achieving government and defaulting on their debts, making new alliances and abandoning the Euro.
Some facets of the discussion in the video above were:
The Kiev Donesk or Ukraine vs East Ukraine conflict is a civil war, but it is being presented by US media as if it were a conflict between Russia and the United States. John Kerry and Putin have already agreed on ways to resolve it but the Kiev Government and Donetsk won't carry these out. This is a really big war, with hundreds of thousands now dead because of it and one million refugees currently living in Russia. Russia's position was to stand back and encourage Ukraine to resolve the issue through federalisation, but the situation is now much deteriorated and it is unlikely that East Ukraine could accept that. It is not reasonable to propose a temporary buffer zone round East Ukraine when this could be broken at any time by renewed warfare - which happened when Kiev renewed hostilities after a ceasefire was negotiated in early December last year. If Kiev is incapable of regaining East Ukraine, would it become defacto Russian territory by default? If that happened there would be a danger of the US media misrepresenting this as a 'coup' by Russia.
"Nulandistan" is the title of Crosstalk's most recent interview program on current politics in Ukraine, which we link to here. The name Nulandistan, of course plays on the name of Victoria Nuland, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs and her encouragement of the Kiev junta.
Crosstalk interviews a panel of political scientists, Vladimir Suchan, Marcus Papadopoulos and Patrick Henningsen about what on earth a US led NATO thinks it is doing in Ukraine, why it is ignoring Putin's peace offerings, and how dangerous things are getting here. Rivetting and enlightening show. Video inside.
"Russia has begun extensive military exercises on its Ukrainian border following the escalation of violence in eastern Ukraine.
“The order to use force against civilians has already been given, and if this military machine is not stopped, the amount of casualties will only grow,” Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said during an official meeting in Moscow.
“We are forced to react to the situation.”
Shoigu said that the drills involve march and deployment exercises by forces in the southern and western military districts, and separate Air Force maneuvers. "
 Nuland handed out chocolate chip cookies to protesters on the Independence Square in Kieve on December 10, 2013. Adding to her reputation for arrogance and duplicity is a leaked recording of a conversation between Nuland and the US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, Nuland says, "Fuck the EU.