Skip to main content

The top ten underreported news stories of 2017

We've reached half-time in what has been a very eventful year. It's revealing to compare the stories that have made the headlines in the western media in the first six months of 2017, with those that haven't.

There's been saturation coverage of alleged Russian interference in the US presidential election — and Russian state "hacking" in general — even though no hard evidence of these activities has yet been produced.

The "threat" posed to us all by "the rogue state" of North Korea has also been a regular headliner.

While in April, the "big story" was of a chemical weapons attack in Syria — which was blamed very quickly on the Syrian government, even though its guilt was unproven.

By contrast these very important stories below received nowhere near the same amount of coverage they should have.

The World's Biggest Humanitarian Crisis Since WWII

No, it's not in Syria, but in Yemen. In March, the UN warned that up to 20 million people were at risk of starvation and famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria — with two-thirds of the population of Yemen needing assistance. In June, the World Health Organization said that 1,310 people had died in a cholera epidemic in Yemen and warned that 300,000 people could be infected by the end of August.

Yemen has been bombed for the past two years by staunch western-ally Saudi Arabia, with US and UK not only providing the weaponry, but logistic support. The "humanitarian interventionists" in the western media meanwhile keep schtum. The "responsibility to protect," it seems, does not apply to civilians in Yemen.

'Liberated' Afghanistan in Flames

When the country was "liberated" by the US-led coalition in 2001, there was wall-to-wall coverage. But sixteen years on, the war not only continues but has intensified.

The Taliban, whose defeat was toasted sixteen years ago, now controls between 30-50% of the country. Daesh also has an increasing presence.

There's been a big spike in terror attacks in 2017, with 90 killed in one incident in Kabul in May — and over fifty killed in separate attacks across the country a week earlier.

But this isn't news, or at least not big news, on a par with "Russian hacking." The "liberators" of Afghanistan are too busy trying to "liberate" Syria.

Almost Half a Million Refugees to Their Homes in Syria

Yes, that's right, refugees are returning to Syria. The UNHCR says that almost 500,000 have gone back to their homes so far in 2017. But they're returning to areas which are under government-control or liberated from anti-government "rebels," which rather goes against the official narrative that they were fleeing the Syrian government, doesn't it?

So, in the legendary words of Leslie Nielsen in Naked Gun, it's a case of:

"Alright, nothing to see here, please disperse!"

Israel's Airstrikes on Forces in Syria Fighting al-Qaeda/Daesh/al-Nusra

Israel's been bombing Syria quite a lot in 2017. But it hasn't been targeting ISIS/Daesh or al-Qaeda affiliates, the sort of groups which carried out or inspired terror attacks against European civilians in Europe the past year, but the forces fighting ISIS/Daesh and al-Qaeda affiliates.

The strikes have been widely reported in the Israeli media, but the role of Israel in effectively strengthening the position of Daesh/al-Qaeda in Syria, hasn't received much — if any — real coverage in western countries.

Again, Leslie Nielsen and that famous Naked Gun scene springs readily to mind.

2017: Likely to Be the Fourth Consecutive Hottest Year in History

Trump's Paris climate accord pull-out made headlines, but apart from that there's been nowhere near enough coverage of the fact that that the planet continues to get hotter — and the dangers that poses to life on earth.

In March, the World Meteorological Organization warned that we were entering "truly uncharted territory."

Just a few days ago, temperatures in the Iranian city of Ahvaz reached a mind-boggling 54 degrees Celsius — the hottest temperature ever recorded in June in mainland Asia.

May 2017 meanwhile, was the second hottest since records began.

But hey, let's focus instead on UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn meeting with some guys from Sinn Fein thirty years ago, shall we? That's far more important.

UK State Collusion With Radical Islamic Jihadists

The terrorist attacks in the UK in the spring of 2017 of course made the headlines, but what wasn't up for discussion was the role the UK government and MI5/6 had played in cultivating and colluding with extremist groups — like the LIFG (Libyan Islamic Fighting Group) which Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi was associated with.

"Critical questions — such as why the security service MI5 maintained terrorist 'assets' in Manchester and why the government did not warn the public of the threat in their midst — remain unanswered," wrote John Pilger.

"The 'smoking gun' is that when Theresa May was Home Secretary, LIFG jihadists were allowed to travel unhindered across Europe and encouraged to engage in 'battle': first to remove Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, then to join al-Qaeda affiliated groups in Syria."

It was a "smoking gun" that major western news outlets conveniently chose not to notice.

The Multiple Terror Attacks in Pakistan

Like neighboring Afghanistan, Pakistan has seen a big spike in terrorism in 2017 — and like Afghanistan — it hasn't made the headlines.

In January, 25 people were killed when a vegetable market was bombed in Parachinar.

In February, at least 88 were killed in a suicide bomb attack on a shrine in Sehwan.

Last week (end of June) another 75 people lost their lives in market bombings in Parachinar.

The attacks have received scant coverage. And — guess what — the Eiffel Tower's lights weren't switched off, nor were its colors changed to the Pakistan flag, in solidarity.

Pakistani victims of terrorism are, like Syrians, "unpeople" for western media "humanitarians."

The Conflict and Chaos in 'Liberated' Libya

There have been heavy battles in Tripoli as rival factions fight for control of the Libyan capital.

Meanwhile, slave markets have returned to the country which had the Highest Human Development Index in Africa just eight years ago.

Libya is a failed state — transformed by NATO into a jihadist theme park. But let's ignore the North African hell-hole shall we, and make the case for further western "liberal interventions" against states with the "wrong" governments.

Daesh Hits Iran

Yes, that‘s right. Iran, the country we're told ad nauseam is the "world's greatest sponsor of terrorism" was hit by deadly terror attacks on its Parliament and at the shrine of Ayatollah Khomeini.

ISIS/Daesh — the same group that's been targeting civilians in Europe — claimed responsibility, but highlighting how the world's worst terror group and Iran are enemies contradicts the official narrative about Iran, doesn't it?

So let's move on to another story, pretty damn quickly.

Upsurge in Violence in Congo

Thousands have been killed in recent months in the African state and more than a million have been displaced over the last year. But rather like the war between 1998-2003 which is thought to have cost the lives of over 5 million people, it's had nowhere near the same level of media coverage as the conflict in Syria.

"I can't say that the Congolese, we are in control of our destiny. No, because the ones who benefit from our minerals are not the local population, but western countries are the ones who are taking everything. They make themselves rich, while we are getting poorer and poorer," a Congolese, Bernard Kalume Buleri, told a new RT documentary.

Would we be hearing more about the desperate plight of the people in Congo if western countries weren't "taking everything"?

I'll let you make your own mind up.

Source, links:

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

How a group of economists undermined public institutions, paving the way to neoliberalism

An assumption had become a truth. The self-interested model of human behaviour, that had been developed in the Cold War to make the mathematical equations work, had now been adopted by these economists as a fundamental truth about the reality of all human social interaction.
globinfo freexchange
A group of economists in the early 70s arbitrarily adopted the self-interested model of human behaviour that had been developed in the Cold War, to explain the dysfunctionality of public institutions. This perception would become a powerful tool in the hands of the neoliberal ideology, carried by big banks and corporations, to demonize the state and dismantle any state control upon them at the expense of the societies.
In his documentary The Trap, Adam Curtis explains:
In the early 70s, the government bureaucracies in Britain began to collapse. Those around them blamed a growing economic crisis, but it was clear that something much more fundamental had gone wrong. What were supposed to be institut…

Italy, Greece, Deutsche Bank: heavy clouds of non-linear collapse gather again above Europe

globinfo freexchange
For nearly ten years now, the key decision centers inside eurozone are trying to hide the huge problems, pretending that the crisis is behind, in order to maintain a completely failed economic model, which also reveals, day by day, its authoritarian nature and despise against real Democracy. The totally problematic structure of eurozone makes things even worse.
In Italy, we had another political crisis and a constitutional coup because the new majority and potential coalition government is not likeable to the Brussels/Berlin axis.
In Greece, things are not looking better. The country is about to exit the IMF-type neoliberal program imposed by the Troika (ECB, European Commission, IMF), in August. Yet, the economy is still in very bad shape, drowning in stagnation, with unprecedented unemployment, nearly zero growth and a national debt at 180% of GDP, which is actually much higher than Greece's debt in 2010 (120% of GDP) when crisis hit the country!
In fact, the eu…

WikiLeaks reveals Italian officials had serious concerns about Italy's ability to participate in the monetary union already since the late 70s

The WIKILEAKS Public Library of US Diplomacy (PlusD)holds the world's largest searchable collection of United States confidential, or formerly confidential, diplomatic communications. As of April 8, 2013 it holds 2 million records comprising approximately 1 billion words. The collection covers US involvements in, and diplomatic or intelligence reporting on, every country on earth. It is the single most significant body of geopolitical material ever published. The PlusD collection, built and curated by WikiLeaks, is updated from a variety of sources, including leaks, documents released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and documents released by the US State Department systematic declassification review.
globinfo freexchange
A 1978 cable from the US Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs to the Secretary of State, was monitoring in detail the Italian serious concerns on the perspective of Italy joining the European monetary union. It describes an atmosphere of anxiety insi…

How eurozone became a financial dictatorship

It all started with the silent coup against Ireland
globinfo freexchange
In 2010, Ireland experienced Frankfurt's political blackmail. On the 18th of November, where there was a governing council of the ECB in Frankfurt. The governor of the Irish central bank who sat on the governing council, called "Morning Ireland" which is the most important radio program in Ireland, to say that Ireland will need what he called a loan. He didn't warn the government about it and this created a massive panic.
Then, the next day, there was a letter written from the then president of ECB, Jean-Claude Trichet, to Brian Lenihan, the minister of finance at the time, saying that 'if you don't apply the so-called bailout program, by this opening of the markets the following Monday, we're going to cut off access to Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA)', which obviously would have collapsed the Irish banking system.
The ECB used the liquidity weapon in order to impose its terms o…

David Harvey: unless there is some real new thinking, another crisis is inevitable

globinfo freexchange
Chris Hedges spoke with David Harvey about the repeated crises of the capitalist system, which generate further instability, especially since the early 70s where we have the rise of financial capitalism and neoliberal ideology.
As Harvey points out:
Interestingly, in almost every crisis there has been a good deal of re-evaluation of exactly how to think about the economy, how to think about the relationship between state power and politics and all this kind of stuff.
Since 2007-08, is hardly any new thinking at all. And actually, we're trying to hang on. And we are trying to hang on because the oligarchy - which has all of the money, all of the power - is actually in a situation where it does not want any change. And until we confront the oligarchy, we're not going to find a way of exiting from this, apart from repeating what happened in 2007-08.
And the interesting thing when you look back, before 2007-08, and you see big financial crises in Argentina, in Braz…

The facts about Venezuela’s May 20th Presidential Election

Despite a high level of election transparency, one that Jimmy Carter called “the best in the world”, the US and its allies have accused Venezuela of election fraud. Caleb Maupin breaks down how Venezuela’s electoral system really works.
by Caleb T. Maupin
Part 3 - Accusations of Fraud
Despite the stringent safeguards in place to protect Venezuela’s election integrity, international media based in Western countries have widely claimed the election was fraudulent. Those claiming that the results are illegitimate have cited prior statements from SmartMatic, a corporation based in London that manufactured Venezuela’s voting machines. An official statement from SmartMatic claimed the 2017 Constitutional Referendum vote showed “tamper evident.” Statements from SmartMatic have been vague about how exactly the results were illegitimate or what malpractice took place.
Tibisay Lucena, president of the National Elections Center (CNE), says the claims from SmartMatic and its Chief Executive Antonio …

Will the Swiss citizens beat the banksters today?

About 5.3 million Swiss citizens, including registered members of the Swiss Abroad community, are eligible to take part in the June 10, 2018 ballot. Votes on a broad range of issues, as well as elections, also take place in many cantons and municipalities across the country.
globinfo freexchange
The Swiss sovereign-money referendum of June 2018, also known as the Sovereign-Money Initiative, aims to give the central bank of Switzerland the sole authority of "creating money."
This is actually what the proponents of the Swiss "Vollgeld Initiative" want. They say only the government, through the publicly-owned Swiss central bank (SNB), should be able to create money and put it into circulation.
The Sovereign Money Initiative aims to give the Swiss Confederation a monopoly on money creation, including demand deposit (full-reserve banking, by including the creation of scriptural money in the legal mandate of the Swiss National Bank. The name of the initiative was inspired by…

Marx predicted our present crisis – and points the way out

The Communist Manifesto foresaw the predatory and polarised global capitalism of the 21st century. But Marx and Engels also showed us that we have the power to create a better world.
by Yanis Varoufakis
Part 1 - The spirit of communism driving the manifesto is proving hard to silence
For a manifesto to succeed, it must speak to our hearts like a poem while infecting the mind with images and ideas that are dazzlingly new. It needs to open our eyes to the true causes of the bewildering, disturbing, exciting changes occurring around us, exposing the possibilities with which our current reality is pregnant. It should make us feel hopelessly inadequate for not having recognised these truths ourselves, and it must lift the curtain on the unsettling realisation that we have been acting as petty accomplices, reproducing a dead-end past. Lastly, it needs to have the power of a Beethoven symphony, urging us to become agents of a future that ends unnecessary mass suffering and to inspire humanity …

More evidence that the 2011 riots in Syria were sparked by a false flag operation

globinfo freexchangeIndependent journalist Eva Bartlett spoke with Lee Camp about her recent trip in Syria. Bartlett visited the hospital in Douma where many victims of the latest alleged chemical attack went to receive medical care. Bartlett spoke with a medical student who was working the day of the alleged attack, and actually confirmed the reporting by the veteran journalist Robert Fisk, according to which there was no evidence of a chemical attack.
Bartlett also went to Daraa, where the first protests took place in 2011, and spoke to people there. They confirmed what many other investigative journalists support. 

This is strong evidence that it was a false flag operation that actually sparked the subsequent riots:
In the initial protest, Daraa was named as the birthplace of the so-called revolution. And Daraa is a city in the very south of Syria, not a very large city, and a rather unlikely city for a so-called revolution to have started. But prior going to Daraa, I interviewed a do…

IMF lunacy: Lagarde admitted to Varoufakis in private that the program imposed on Greece doesn't work!

globinfo freexchange
As Yanis Varoufakis describes in his book Adults in the Room:
Less than a month after my election, on 11 February 2015, in one of those spirit-numbing, windowless, neon-lit meeting rooms that litter the EU’s Brussels buildings, I found myself sitting opposite Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, France’s ex-finance minister and a former Washington-based high-flying lawyer. She had waltzed into the building earlier that day a glamorous leather jacket, making me look drab and conventionally attired. This being our first encounter, we chatted amicably in the corridor before moving into the meeting room for the serious discussion.
Behind closed doors, with a couple of aides on each side, the conversation turned serious but remained just as friendly. She afforded me the opportunity to present my basic analysis of the causes and nature of the Greek situation as well as my proposals for dealing with it, and nodded in agreement for much of the time. We seemed to s…