Connect with us

General

New Expedition Tours Sustainable Projects in Costa Rica

Your customized Expedition can include Natural Building, Permaculture, Renewable Energy Systems, Organic Food Production, Food Forestry, Community Living, Regenerative Business, and Regenerative Community Development in action.

Published

on

Article by: Zander Hathaway

advertisement - learn more

Amidst the majestic coastal mountains, epic waterfalls, and warm beaches of Costa Rica, the first Sustainable Living Expedition was, for me, the educational adventure of a lifetime, and there are many more on the horizon.

As a member of the team, my role was to provide hospitality, accompany guests on excursions, and write about our collective experience. Fortunately, the entire eight-day event, from February 27th to March 6th, was very well organized, and everyone seemed to have a wonderful time.

Alexander Hill, a nutritionist from New York City, described the event as “an incredible week of valuable information and wisdom for a new paradigm.”

Designed by social benefit organization Upward Spirals, the program helps guests create action plans for transitioning to a more sustainable way of living. Field trips to nearby projects showcase both innovative and low-tech systems of renewable energy generation, natural building, food forestry, organic farming, holistic education, regenerative business, and community development. Local experts provide valuable knowledge and practical experience with demonstrations and hands-on workshops.

At the end of the experience, participants are equipped with a flash drive containing an extensive sustainability learning library with thousands of guides, plans, tools, and other digital resources to assist them in creating a regenerative future. By empowering visitors with systemic solutions while supporting local projects, the Expedition strengthens the local economy and ecosystems worldwide.

advertisement - learn more

What Is Upward Spirals?

Upward Spirals is a nonprofit regenerative think tank and consulting company making it easier to live in balance with nature. We do this by building tools, templates, how-to guides, business plans, and social benefit programs that accelerate the co-creation of a sustainable society.

The Diamante Solution Center was established by Upward Spirals to accelerate the creation of an ecologically harmonious world by hosting wellness and educational events, developing local sharing economies, supporting organic food systems, and systematically empowering all organizations engaged in building a regenerative society. All profits are reinvested into social benefit programs to support regenerative economic development.

Other projects by Upward Spirals include the Costa Rica Learning Calendar, Organic Directory, Community Days, Social Enterprise Development and Regenerative Business Optimization.

The Diamante Valley is located between San Isidro and Dominical in Southern Pacific Costa Rica, one of the most biodiverse places in the world and home to an incredible number of ecotourism, reforestation, conservation, and permaculture projects. The valley extends southward from the epic Tinamaste ridge to the confluence of two pristine watersheds, featuring the spectacular 200-meter Diamante Waterfall and the massive double-cascading Baru Waterfalls.

The Center encompasses 55 acres of lush rainforest, organic gardens, hundreds of fruit trees, and comfortable accommodations, with direct access to the top of Baru Falls, a peaceful river upstream, natural swimming pools, and stunning views of the wildlife corridor below and sunset over the coastal mountains.

The Adventure Begins

As the guests arrived, Murray Dodds, a DJ from Edmonton, Alberta, described his first impression as, “like stepping into a tropical paradise with an astounding river, waterfalls, and fruit trees.”

Murray and several others had just attended the nearby Envision Festival and were exhausted upon arrival. We welcomed everyone with open arms and a nourishing lunch. After a brief orientation, some guests rested in hammocks, others recharged in the the river, and Asja Music, head chef and yoga instructor at Diamante Center, prepared a delicious dinner with local, organic ingredients. Later in the evening, we gathered around the campfire for an opening circle to get to know each other better.

In the mornings, Asja taught yoga on the rainforest deck while I prepared breakfast. We enjoyed most lunches off-site during excursions and returned in the evenings to a delightful array of dinners by Asja that participants raved about.

Jennie-Rose Saunders, an environmental scientist from Ventura California, joyfully exclaimed, “This is some of the best food I’ve ever had!”

Beyond the phenomenal cuisine, guests were also impressed by the beautiful setting and amenities, professional service, hands-on learning, and valuable lifelong connections.

Miles Radin, Interpretive Naturalist for Yosemite National Park, shared, “Words cannot describe how much I learned in eight days with the Upward Spirals team. Their organization brought me to places I otherwise never would have found, and introduced me to pioneers of sustainability I otherwise never would have met.”

The Schedule

Our daily flow of activities was generally as follows:

  • 5:30 am — yoga and meditation
  • 7:00 am — breakfast
  • 8:30 am — depart for first destination
  • 9:00 am — workshop or presentation
  • 1:00 pm — lunch
  • 2:00 pm — second destination or follow-up discussion
  • 5:00 pm — return to the Center
  • 6:00 pm — dinner
  • 7:30 pm — campfire

The Destinations

  • Vida Auténtica: After visiting the local farmers market, Feria Tinamaste Agricultura, Melissa Sweet explained how her non-profit organization has evolved from educating farmers about organic agriculture, to building greenhouses for their graduates, to establishing the farmers market. In just three years, it has grown to include an astounding variety of fresh food, artisan products, and professional services. Vida Autentica has since started an annual Seed Exchange and led a grassroots movement that successfully banned the use of toxic agrochemicals in public spaces countywide.
  • Veganissimo: Paulo Paris shared how he prepares his nut/seed-based vegan foods to sell at the market and local stores, and how he grew his small business to support the wellbeing of his family, community, and environment.
  • M & B Organico: Master organic farmers Bolivar and Marjorie brought us on a tour of their organic food production and distribution business. On a relatively small quarter acre, they grow enough food to feed their family and friends, sell at market, and deliver to nearby organic restaurants. The robust health and diversity of plants in their greenhouse was a testament to the efficacy of organic agriculture.
  • Diamante Center: The tour of our home base was led by local guide Tim Johnson, along with Travis Britzke, permaculture adviser for the center and founder of Regenesis2020. We learned how the land was regenerated from clear-cut cattle pasture to a thriving food forest, and how sustainable structures were built from repurposed and renewable materials on site. We also considered the practical factors guiding the ongoing development of infrastructure.
  • Estrella Azul: Founders Roguer Kehler and Chantelle Mironuck told the captivating story of how their young family transitioned from Canada to Costa Rica and converted a deforested property into a thriving homestead with microhydro electricity, food production, and site-appropriate structures. They also shared how they became stewards for the local holistic school and are now connecting with more families in this developing community.
  • La Joya del Sol: Renowned raw food chef, health coach, and expert arborist Eric Rivkin offered an amazing in-depth tour of his 167-acre off-grid homestead, featuring food production, reforestation areas, and renewable energy systems. After a delightful lunch demo, he taught the group about the personal, societal, and environmental benefits of a raw vegan diet.
  • Association Community Carbon Trees (ACCT): Jennifer Smith, the inspiring founder of this innovative nonprofit reforestation project, shared how her business model benefits the community, landowners, workers, volunteers, donors, and most importantly, the interconnected ecosystems around the world. While on site, we planted seeds and saplings to join over half a million diverse rainforest trees that Jenny’s team has planted near the equator.
  • Rusty Café: Nikki Rademacher and Alonso Jimenez welcomed us with delicious local organic food and shared their vision for a conscious restaurant serving and connecting the community.
  • Upward Spirals: Co-founder and sustainability strategist Eric Baudry, who co-developed the Expedition with HappE Roberts, led an eye-opening discussion on how the declining economy systematically converts nature and communities into financial commodities, and how we can use regenerative economics to create an ecologically balanced and socially just society.
  • Fuente Verde Organic Farm Community: Travis Britzke, who is also the farm manager at Fuente Verde, led a tour focused on turning degraded lands into a thriving community. We visited their restaurant at the SomerTime Inn for an outstanding lunch, followed by a panel discussion on ecovillage living at Upward Spirals headquarters.

Bringing Sustainable Living Back Home

On the last full day, we stayed at the Diamante Center for our closing session and final workshop on practical transition planning. After distributing the flash drives containing one of the world’s largest libraries of sustainability resources, tools, and guides, Eric and HappE met with guests individually to provide guidance for their personal projects. With their new wealth of knowledge, experience, and connections, participants were inspired and empowered to take action.

According to Eric, “We need to make it easier to live in balance with nature. People are ready to live closer to each other and in harmony with their environment. By showing them successful, thriving examples, we’re facilitating individual and societal transitions, creating local and global impacts. By simplifying complex sustainability challenges and solutions, including realistic paths to implementation, we’re making it easier to build a more beautiful future.”

Aychele Szot, a natural skin care artisan from Montreal, Quebec, expressed, “This experience helped me to understand and have a taste of what it is to live in harmony with nature.”

Brian Claypool, a health coach from San Diego, California, shared, “What an epic expedition! I feel so blessed to be with such beautiful souls, uniting in common purpose to create a regenerative culture. Inspired by the energy, wealth of information, resources, and connections we made, I’m ready to implement what I have learned in all areas of my life.”

It is a joy and an honour to be of service to such an impactful program with such integral values, innovative projects, and amazing people. Thank you so much to HUGS (hugs.world) for producing this incredible video and for helping to get the word out about these important projects! I am most grateful for the guests who made this first Expedition so much fun, especially with the impromptu dance parties that broke out as our caravan arrived at certain destinations. By the end of the week, our group felt like one big family, and the Diamante Center, our home away from home.Returning to his farm in Denver, Colorado, Derrick Mulcahy reflected, “I came to learn more about organic farming and sustainable building practices; to see how a community could be laid out and designed. I left with more love for myself, my fellow humans, the Earth, and all its creatures.”

To get a glimpse into the Sustainable Living Expedition experience, watch the video here or below. To create a custom expedition for your group, please see the info page here. For more information about the venue, visit DiamanteCenter.com.

Article by: Zander Hathaway

Start Your Free 7 Day Trial To CETV!

Due to the pressure of mass censorship, we now have our own censorship-free, and ad-free on demand streaming network!

It is the world's first and only conscious media network streaming mind-expanding interviews, news broadcasts, and conscious shows.

Click here to start a FREE 7-Day Trial and watch 100's of hours of conscious media videos, that you won't see anywhere else.

Advertisement
advertisement - learn more

Alternative News

ABC & CBS Fire The ‘Leaker’ of Video Showing Anchor Amy Robach Commenting On Jeffrey Epstein

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A producer at CBS was fired after ABC said she was the person who had leaked the video detailing how ABC prevented the airing of a sensational interview with a prominent victim of Jeffrey Epstein.

  • Reflect On:

    Are the recent testimonies from mainstream media insiders starting to hone our discernment about what is real and what is fake in our perceptions of the world?

In the wake of a firestorm of criticism being heaped upon mainstream media companies ABC and CBS as a result of their response to a leaked video featuring ABC anchor Amy Robach, more and more people are awakening to the possibility that Mainstream Media is more in the business of hiding the critical truths humanity needs to know rather than reporting on them. Indeed, phrases like ‘the news you need to know’ is sounding more like a parent shielding children from information that would actually help them grow up.

The latest episode started about a week ago, with the surfacing of a video featuring ABC anchor Amy Robach complaining that the network had refused to air her interview with a prominent accuser of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. This is some of what she had to say:

I had this interview with Virginia Roberts. We would not put it on the air. First of all, I was told, “Who’s Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story.” Then the palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways.

It was unbelievable what we had, Clinton, we had everything. I tried for 3 years to get it on to no avail… There will come a day when we realize Jeffrey Epstein was the most prolific pedophile this country has ever known.

The fact that Robach freely implies that Buckingham Palace had prevented her news organization from broadcasting an interview damaging to them is very telling. Joe Martino discusses Robach’s testimony more in-depth in this article he wrote right after it happened.

ABC Goes Into Damage Control

Predictably, ABC News downplayed the significance of the video, saying that Robach’s Epstein story wasn’t fit to air at the time. They were quick to try to convince their counterparts at Fox News that everything is all on the up-and-up:

advertisement - learn more

“At the time, not all of our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story. Ever since, we’ve had a team on this investigation and substantial resources dedicated to it. That work has led to a two-hour documentary and six-part podcast that will air in the new year.”–ABC Spokesperson

Uh-huh. So it’s taken them three years to fully suss out the validity of this interview, and there’s still another year to wait before we get to hear the story? That’s some pretty tough and thorough standards.

But wait a minute: isn’t this the same news organization that recently made the lightning-fast decision to broadcast a video from a 2017 Kentucky gun exhibition showcasing the awesome power of new military weaponry and try to pass it off as the current-day slaughter of Kurds by the Turkish army?

‘Leaker’ Gets Fired

ABC’s efforts to ‘rectify’ the situation has only left them with more egg on their face. It is no surprise that they completely discount Robach’s claim that outside influence (Buckingham Palace) had any bearing on their decision not to air the interview, as well as Rorbach’s claim that this interview really ‘had everything’; but if Robach’s claims were just their anchor’s erroneous and self-inflating testimony about the integrity and value of her story, would the network really have reason to be so upset that this video came out?

In a move designed to clearly send a message to other would-be leakers of ‘sensitive’ internal information, ABC has worked hard to identify the employee suspected of leaking the Robach video to watchdog group Project Veritas.

Their investigation led them to Ashley Bianco, a former producer on ABC’s “Good Morning America” who joined “CBS This Morning” last month. After ABC executives informed their counterparts at CBS of their suspicions, she lost her job.

There’s just one problem, though. Bianco adamantly denies that she is the leaker.

Bianco Speaks Out

“I did not leak the tape,” Bianco told journalist Megyn Kelly in an interview posted on YouTube. “I’m not the whistleblower. I’m sorry to ABC, but the leaker is still inside.” She said she was fired by CBS after the network received a call from ABC informing her new boss that she once had access to the leaked video.

Bianco told Kelly that she doesn’t know who leaked the tape because “everyone” at ABC was aware it existed. She also insisted she had never heard of Project Veritas before this week. “I begged, I pleaded, I didn’t know what I had done wrong,” she told Kelly. “I wasn’t even given the professional courtesy to defend myself. It was humiliating, it was devastating.”

Compounding this was the fact that Project Veritas published a note from the alleged real “ABC insider” it claimed was behind the leak.

Using the pseudonym ‘Ignotus,’ the alleged leaker began the piece published by Project Veritas by stressing, “I did not and do not seek any personal gain from this information whether it be financial or otherwise,” and expressed their desire to make the information public out of “anger, confusion and sadness.”

“I’ve walked the halls experiencing similar feelings we are all having right now,” wrote the supposed leaker, addressing ABC employees. “All of you regardless of your own personal differences in one form or another do an outstanding job. I sincerely enjoy working with each and every one of you and will continue to do so throughout our careers.”

Ignotus then addressed “those wrongfully accused,” an apparent reference to Bianco:

It is terrible that you have been lashed out at by the company. I know some may put the burden of guilt on me, but my conscience is clear. The actions of the company towards you are the result of their own and not anyone else. The public outcry, from coast to coast, of all people, creeds, and political affiliations, is clear. I have not one doubt that there will always be support for you, and you will have prosperous careers. For neither you, nor I, have done anything wrong.

NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck highlighted the hypocrisy by saying that this is ‘an example of how the liberal elites have decided that the very journalistic ethics that are extolled in journalism schools and advocacy groups are no more than empty promises.’

Indeed, more and more signs are coming out that mainstream media is breaking apart from the inside, as the many honest and hard-working employees like CNN’s Cary Poarch and this most recent whistleblower become emboldened to extol the true journalistic virtues of integrity, fairness, and neutrality, and show how the current mainstream media machine has become anything but a proponent of those values.

The Takeaway

One of our highest aims here at CE is to examine and understand the distinctions between how the world really is, and how we are perceiving it as a result of social engineering and mass perception-building strategies that have been in place in various forms for ages. The current revelations about the hypocrisy of mainstream media provides fertile grounds for our growing discernment of this.

Start Your Free 7 Day Trial To CETV!

Due to the pressure of mass censorship, we now have our own censorship-free, and ad-free on demand streaming network!

It is the world's first and only conscious media network streaming mind-expanding interviews, news broadcasts, and conscious shows.

Click here to start a FREE 7-Day Trial and watch 100's of hours of conscious media videos, that you won't see anywhere else.

Continue Reading

Alternative News

How Facebook Has Become The Strategic Media Mouthpiece For The Global Elite

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Facebook has made deals with mainstream media outlets to pay for their news content, further turning Facebook from a neutral social media platform into a conglomerate that supports a political bias and the agenda of the global elite.

  • Reflect On:

    What can conscious media outlets do to overcome growing censorship and mainstream bias from the big tech companies and ensure that you continue to get neutral, agenda-free news coverage and commentary on the issues of the day?

It’s not clear whether Facebook was truly conceived by an innocent genius with noble intent, but one fact has become abundantly clear: Facebook is now a mouthpiece and tool for the proliferation of mainstream perception. This is specifically designed to enrich the global elite and continue to disenfranchise ordinary citizens and any attempts to bring important truths to light that would threaten the elite. And, of course, Mark Zuckerberg is now a ‘junior partner’ in this global elite.

The episode of the Jimmy Dore show found in the video below, which is worth watching to get the full context of the discussion, introduces whistleblower Vikram Kumar, a former promoter of third-party videos on Facebook. Dore brings interesting insights into Facebook’s latest strategies in terms of controlling the news commentary. He explains how Facebook is proliferating the establishment’s narrative while limiting and blocking alternative voices which, of course, Facebook characterizes as ‘Fake News’. Here, Kumar discusses Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony in Congress to this effect:

Back in 2017 there was that TechCrunch report that said that Facebook was taking measures to stop the spread of ‘Fake News’ by banning certain political accounts from promoting their videos on their newsfeed. So when I heard Mark Zuckerberg in 2018 telling Congress that he would be doing the same thing, I thought, what changed between 2017 and 2018? Are they taking new measures, are they re-taking the measures?  And it wasn’t until a week later that I realized that Variety Magazine reported that Facebook Watch, which is Facebook’s media platform, had reached a multi-million dollar deal with CNN, Fox News, ABC, and large media outlets.

The congressional testimony was the perfect opportunity for the political establishment, the media establishment, and the tech companies to form an alliance against small media outlets.

Returning Media To The Global Elite’s Control

The process of bringing fundamentally liberating technologies like social media under control has been a difficult process, but the global elite seems to feel they are getting a handle on it. Since the big media giants Google, Facebook, Youtube and others are now strictly following the global elite playbook, with special algorithms and thinly-veiled censorship strategies, the process of promoting the elite agenda while suppressing dissenting voices is in full swing.

advertisement - learn more

One of the biggest issues to remedy was the lack of viewership that traditional mainstream media was getting from young people, which is really the target market not only for advertisers but the social engineering wing of the global elite as well. Here’s how Kumar describes it:

As you know, young people, they don’t watch cable… the viewership of Fox News, CNN, and ABC are dying off, they’re getting older and older, and so what Facebook is, is access to young people, right, and so they viewed small anti-establishment media outlets such as yourself as an existential threat to their next generation of revenue.

Tech companies view media companies extremely valuably, you could go back to 1996, there was that merger between Microsoft, General Electric and NBC to create MSNBC.com. A lot of people don’t know that the ‘MS’ in MSNBC stands for Microsoft, and the reason why media companies and tech companies are so intertwined with each other is ’cause you can influence young people so much when you have the distribution network of something like Facebook, and with Facebook Watch, and their media platform, and their deal with CNN, Fox News, and ABC, they’re able to indoctrinate the next generation of young people. And so they want to take viewership away from shows like yours, and put those young people that haven’t been paying attention with cable news back into the pockets of companies like Fox News, ABC, and CNN.

Every media company wants some of that Facebook Watch dough. And so the companies that have coverage that Facebook doesn’t like are out of there, and new companies that have coverage that Facebook likes are back into the deal. And so Facebook is already taking steps to craft the political landscape in the framing that they find positively. And so you get that whole thing where Facebook shuts down over 800 political pages and accounts, and even legitimate political pages that expose things like police brutality… you’re already seeing a coordinated effort from the establishment media and tech companies to kind of craft the narrative for young people.

This is how that Variety Magazine article Kumar talked about characterizes the deal between Facebook and Mainstream Media:

After going through the fake-news wringer, Facebook is shelling out money on original news content. The strategy is partly aimed at driving up viewing on its Facebook Watch platform — but it also is supposed to demonstrate the social-media giant’s commitment to funding trustworthy journalism.

A corporate conglomerate now giving itself the authority to judge what is and isn’t trustworthy journalism. What could possibly go wrong?

Is Facebook Still Just A Tech Company?

The slippery slope that Facebook is trying to anchor itself to is as clear as the nose on Mark Zuckerberg’s face. He continues to want us to think about Facebook as a social media platform whose objective is still ‘to make the world more open and connected,’ yet at the same time he wants Facebook to become the prime arbiter of the ‘news that is fit to print,’ or in this case, to decide which sources of news will benefit and not benefit from Facebook’s tremendous reach. The same Variety article reinforces the idea that Facebook is trying to have things both ways, gaining the advantages of defining itself as a tech company, and not taking on the liabilities inherent in being a media company:

In the past, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has remarked that Facebook is a technology company — not a media company. Asked whether Facebook is now in fact a media company, given that it’s paying for a growing slate of content, Brown responded, “Having worked for big media companies, I don’t think Facebook is a media company. But are we responsible for the media on Facebook? Yes.”

The fact is that we have entered into somewhat uncharted territory in terms of what defines a media company since the rise of the Internet. We can only hope that we will collectively awaken to the fact that Facebook has clearly gone beyond being a platform that provides equal access to all voices and commentaries, and has given in to the temptation to control the flow and proliferation of information. As this Wired article starts off,

FACEBOOK STEADFASTLY RESISTS categorization as a traditional media company. Instead, CEO Mark Zuckerberg insists on calling the social network a technology platform—even though nearly half of all American adults get their news on Facebook. These old arguments no longer work, especially as Facebook starts making its own video content.

It is incumbent upon the awakening community to clearly grasp what is happening here and to act accordingly in terms of our future engagement with social media sites like Facebook. It is important to see how Bill Clinton’s Telecommunications Act of 1996, which allowed media cross-ownership that led to mergers between tech companies and media companies, was a seed that has already started to bear the fruit of an Orwellian dystopia, where the global elite are permitted to continue to proliferate mainstream propaganda and limit exposure to alternative views that are a threat to their agenda.

The Takeaway

Conscious media outlets, like us here at Collective Evolution, are in the crosshairs of the recent efforts on the part of Facebook and other large media conglomerates to selectively control the proliferation of information. Our best hope in these times is that the awakening community makes deliberate choices in terms of which sources to tune in to. While the global elite may have the power, the wealth, and the technology, they are still pushing an agenda, which to discerning minds looks and sounds very different from the unbiased truth.

Our hope is that a growing number of people are seeing through the agenda of the global elite enough to be motivated to ensure that conscious media survives, and then thrives. One of the future goals of our Conscious Media Movement campaign is to strengthen an alliance between ourselves and other conscious media outlets and work together to find ways we can amplify the voice of truth and neutrality.

One of the first steps we are taking in our CMM campaign is to fund an Investigative Journalism team to join our efforts here at CE. To help support this, click here. 

Start Your Free 7 Day Trial To CETV!

Due to the pressure of mass censorship, we now have our own censorship-free, and ad-free on demand streaming network!

It is the world's first and only conscious media network streaming mind-expanding interviews, news broadcasts, and conscious shows.

Click here to start a FREE 7-Day Trial and watch 100's of hours of conscious media videos, that you won't see anywhere else.

Continue Reading

Alternative News

Media Silent As Nobel Prize Winning OPCW Found “Fixing” Its Own Findings On Syria

Published

on

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Evidence suggests that the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) deliberately suppressed evidence and testimony that contradicted the U.S. and mainstream media narratives regarding chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is there so much information manipulation by mainstream media? How much of a stranglehold does mainstream media have on the perception of the masses with regards to various global events?

Douma, Syria, April 2018. Dozens of people die in a suspected chemical weapons attack in the eastern suburb of the capital Damascus. The United States and many European countries immediately identify President Bashar al-Assad as responsible for the attacks, and respond with deadly violence of their own, starting a bombing campaign against his forces. Yet new evidence leaked from whistleblowers suggests that not only is the Western story on shaky ground, but the report into the incident from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) deliberately suppressed evidence and testimony that contradicted the U.S. narrative.

Founded in 1997 to represent the collective position of its 193 member states, the OPCW oversees and verifies adherence to the strict rules that regulate the use of chemical weapons, which it hopes to eliminate.

After its fact-finding mission was complete, the OPCW issued a report on the alleged Douma attack. While far from conclusive or damning (it refused even to speculate on who was responsible for the attacks), it did suggest there was “likely” a chlorine attack carried out by dropping gas canisters from the air. This seems to contradict its interim findings that stated, “No organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties.” Nevertheless, some insinuated that the new report implicated government forces, the only groups likely to possess both the chemicals and the helicopters necessary to carry out such an attack.

But others criticized the findings. Piers Robinson, Co-Director for the Organization for Propaganda Studies and formerly Chair in Politics, Society and Political Journalism at Sheffield University claimed the OPCW report contained “significant anomalies” and was “unpersuasive, to put it mildly”, noting contradictions on analysis of chemicals used, the method of delivery, and more.

Robinson’s fears appear to have been confirmed and on October 15 an OPCW whistleblower met in secret with a panel of international experts, including the first Director-General of the organization, Dr. Jose Bustani. After seeing the evidence provided by the whistleblower, the panel came to the conclusion that the OPCW had suppressed and distorted its data, analysis and conclusions, noting that “key information” about chemical analysis, toxicology, ballistics investigations and witness statements were suppressed, “ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion.” The panel also expressed alarm at efforts to exclude certain inspectors from the investigation or from allowing them to express differing opinions and observations. Dissenting assessments that concluded that the gas canisters were probably placed in Douma, rather than dropped from aircraft – suggesting an altogether different scenario to the one the U.S. government was presenting – were suppressed.

advertisement - learn more

On the new evidence provided, Dr. Bustani said it, “confirmed doubts and suspicions I already had” about the incoherent report, claiming that “the picture is clearer now, although very disturbing.”

Who, if anyone, pressured the OPCW to do this? One possibility is the Trump administration, who recently awarded them a further $4.5 million for “further investigations” into Syria. This is particularly noteworthy, as the United States is infamously thrifty when it comes to paying international organizations. For decades it has refused to pay its dues to the UN, now owing billions, in retaliation for not fully complying with its wishes. It also cut funding to UNESCO in 2011 and left the organization in 2017 after it recognized Palestine– even though the U.S. is officially committed to a two-state solution in the Middle East. Many with experience in bidding for funds will know that if an organization gives you millions of dollars for research, you know what is expected of you. On the issue, Robinson said there is “certainly an element of incentivization…in order to encourage the OPCW to find and reach conclusions that are going to be compatible with what they want.”

The U.S. also previously forced Bustani from the OPCW in 2002 for contradicting their claims on Iraq and weapons of mass destruction. The Bush administration under Secretary of State John Bolton seemingly threatened to kill his family if he did not resign: “You have 24 hours to leave the organization, and if you don’t comply with this decision by Washington, we have ways to retaliate against you. We know where your kids live,” John Bolton told him.

The Media Demands War

The whistleblower’s testimony goes directly against the way in which corporate media presented the Douma attack. Unquestioningly accepting the Trump administration’s line, media claiming to be the custodians of truth and defenders of democracy, immediately began to clamor for a military response.

Even as the dust in Douma was still settling, the Washington Post’s editorial board claimed that “President Trump will deal another blow to US global leadership if he does not follow through” on bombing the country. The New York Times’ editorial team appeared to be trying to goad him into action, noting, “The president should know by now that tough talk without a coherent strategy or follow-through is dangerous.” In other words, “talk is cheap, it is time for action.” For the Guardian, considered at the left extreme of the mainstream spectrum, even waiting for a report to ascertain what truly happened was “irresponsible obfuscation”; its top foreign affairs commentator and former foreign and U.S. editor, Simon Tisdall insisting that, “After Douma, the West’s response to Syria’s regime must be military…there can be no more excuses.” He also condemned Obama’s hesitance to commit to more U.S. involvement in Syria as “a blot on his record.”

This article was written by Alan-Macleod for mintpressnews.com where it was originally published.  Posted here with permission. 

Start Your Free 7 Day Trial To CETV!

Due to the pressure of mass censorship, we now have our own censorship-free, and ad-free on demand streaming network!

It is the world's first and only conscious media network streaming mind-expanding interviews, news broadcasts, and conscious shows.

Click here to start a FREE 7-Day Trial and watch 100's of hours of conscious media videos, that you won't see anywhere else.

Continue Reading
advertisement - learn more
advertisement - learn more

Video

Pod

Censorship is hiding us from you.

Get breaking conscious news articles sent directly to your inbox!

Choose your topics of interest below:

You have Successfully Subscribed!