Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 15, 2013

Open Thread 2013-05

News & views ...

Posted by b on March 15, 2013 at 01:19 PM | Permalink

Comments

Hugo Chávez has been weighing heavily and almost constantly on my mind sine his death. I try hard not to just be sucked into conspiracies that tend to support my world view, BUT:

If Hugo’s death was not a premeditated and facilitated murder orchestrated by the U.S. National Security apparatus, i.e. CIA, then I would have to say they were derelict in their duty.

One has to only contemplate their function and efficaciousness since their inception in 1947:

“Plausible Deniability”, official doctrine sanctioned by National Security directive in 1948 and interpreted by Allen Dulles as a green light to assassinate national leaders, overthrow governments and lie to cover up any trace of accountability... for the sake of promoting U.S. interests and maintaining our nuclear-backed dominance... (references available but just google) [my bold]

For example:
Iran re Mosaddegh,
Operation Galudio in Italy,
Operation Northwoods re Cuba,
U.S. involvement in 2002 coup of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez,
countless attempts and successes in overthrow of foreign governments not friendly to U.S. interests,
countless supports and successes in coups of “unfriendly” governments,
and on and on as documented is works by authors such as William Blum, John Perkins, James Douglass... and others.

The displacement or murder of “socialist/communist” leaders of regimes or governments not supportive of and condescending to American corporate interests is the modus operandi of the U.S. National Security state and especially the CIA.

I can’t and no one probably ever will “prove” CIA or U.S. involvement but it taxes my credulity to not believe their involvement.

But what to do about it? Nothing I guess except to try to speak out, and undoubtedly be labeled as a conspiracy nut. So be it.

Posted by: juannie | Mar 15, 2013 3:18:23 PM | 1

something, no, Someone else has been on my mind a lot lately. Christopher (Rememberingiap) Still Steel. i hope so. but if it is your time my acquaintance r’giap, who’s friendship i would cherish, i wish for you a peaceful passing and a warm reception on the other side. you are indeed a rare and special soul who has offered and shared so much. i hope this message reaches you and i offer it in love. i would have loved to hear your comments on Hugo.

If anyone is aware of r'giap's condition, please post an update. Thanks.

Posted by: juannie | Mar 15, 2013 3:42:38 PM | 2

#1. How can the US fathom that it has any credibility left at all to refute these kinds of accusations, true or not? The U.S. - crippled economically, politically, and militarily - should have the decency to just shut up and take care of its own problems for a while. Instead it is intent on puffing up its chest and churning out more and more lies and murdering people (its own citizens included) across the globe.

I have the greatest respect for Chávez. I have never seen more lies churned out against one person as I have since his death.

Posted by: gul | Mar 15, 2013 3:44:52 PM | 3

#3 -- Yes, the US has lost all credibility. Whenever anything happens, from a car bombing in some country to a presidential death (to a war or an earthquake) in another, everyone automatically thinks over the possible US motives behind it. For the US now any denial is considered implausible by the rest of the world. USA has really painted itself into a corner.

Posted by: JohnE | Mar 15, 2013 6:25:28 PM | 4

#3 -- Yes, the US has lost all credibility. Whenever anything happens, from a car bombing in some country to a presidential death (to a war or an earthquake) in another, everyone automatically thinks over the possible US motives behind it. For the US now any denial is considered implausible by the rest of the world. USA has really painted itself into a corner.

Posted by: JohnE | Mar 15, 2013 6:27:09 PM | 5

Sorry for the double post.

Posted by: JohnE | Mar 15, 2013 6:28:11 PM | 6

I see the worm Obama has declared that "Iran is one year from developing a nuclear weapon". To a Jewish audience.

Wow. Considering that the IAEA has been unable to even establish that Iran has a "nuclear werapons program", Obama is taking quite a leap, is he not?

Licking Israeli ass is such a terrible way to demonstrate your love of America, eh? So here you have our President stating a bald faced lie, designed to appease a foreign power. How nice. This guy has sure turned out to be a piece of shit, hasn't he?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Mar 15, 2013 7:06:53 PM | 7

Wapo trying to be funny, ridiculing North Korea for using the proper metaphor.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/03/15/north-korea-officially-denounces-the-reptile-media-for-jabbering/

Posted by: ruralito | Mar 15, 2013 7:32:39 PM | 8

@1, what to do about it? Look forward to jail time or worse. No amount of voting, debating, petitioning etc etc is going to make any difference.

Posted by: ruralito | Mar 15, 2013 7:54:01 PM | 9

What would happen if another government funded disaffected Americans to incite an insurrection? A color revolution? The arab leaders that have been murdered will want revenge in accordance to arab honor. The United States is becoming the empire of evil. I'm embarrassed to be an American at times when I go abroad. Will the nations of the world coalesce and also want revenge for the wickedness of my country's selfish actions?

Posted by: Fernando | Mar 15, 2013 9:06:57 PM | 10

PissedOffAmerican - 7

"Licking Israeli ass is such a terrible way to demonstrate your love of America, eh? So here you have our President stating a bald faced lie, designed to appease a foreign power."

Are you claiming the "leader of the free world" is a zionist? That is awfully close to claiming "Zionists as some rulers of the world", something which we all know now isn't the case.

Posted by: вот так | Mar 15, 2013 9:20:15 PM | 11

@pissed... 7
Its not that he actually believes that (who knows if he does or doesn't) but his audience does and Barry is not nearly powerful enough to tell them the truth so you get that line repeated again and again,

Posted by: heath | Mar 15, 2013 9:50:12 PM | 12

A zionist???? Obama. Lord no, I'm not claiming that at all. I am claiming that he is a spineless worm, whose stated positions change with the political winds. Ideology doesn't shape his policies or words, political neccessity does. He's a slave to the status quo, too much a coward to actually institute the "change" he marketed himself with. Bush was bad, but no worse than this spineless piece of shit. In fact, Obama is probably the worse of the two, because he isn't an ignorant malleable monkey like Bush was, being led around on a leash by that satanic monster Cheney. Obama is evil by his own choice, and knows EXACTLY what he is doing.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Mar 15, 2013 10:03:18 PM | 13

Freedom expands choice, choices expand freedom

One feature of Obamacare is the minimal definition of an insurance policy. (Without such definition, the Republican notion of interstate policy sales is a foolish surefire disaster.) Pregnancy is a medical condition; the ability to manage pregnancy is important. Being pregnant only when desired is certainly an aspect of management. A healthy planned pregnancy and subsequent healthy child is in society's interests; hence the coverage in minimum definition.

It's an unfortunate post-WWII fluke that most Americans are insured through their employment – unlike most of the world. The employer offers the policy – not the care. The policy has coverages used or not used at covered's discretion. Since a business cannot discriminate, all kinds of people perhaps work there. These people are presented with opportunities and choice – Freedom!

A religious organization is free to have rules; their followers are also free to follow or not. A business follows civic laws that guarantee Freedom. Jobs are open to all religions. Religions are free to have policies. People are free to join a religion or not, and further, free to follow at their own level. Freedom all around.

Republicans are making a phoney issue here. Freedom, defined as choice and opportunity, is being expanded.

Posted by: Richard W. Crews | Mar 15, 2013 10:38:12 PM | 14

HAIKU :

seemingly normal
crossing some line we can't see
people can crack

Because gun control ain't about the criminals. It's about the regular folks who aren't very "regular" and we can't tell - because of our freedom to be whatever. How ya' gonna' tell? I say we can't, so it's the guns, not the people, that we must control.

make gun sales, not possession, illegal
We should go way beyond ALL gun sales having background checks; assigning liability to every gun, saddling every owner with that until the gun is terminated by being turned into authorities for destruction. So, sales become risky, as you don’t sell the liability – it sticks with you, making you responsible for letting that gun go. Improperly secured stolen guns retain responsibility.
We should make EVERY sale of semi-auto guns illegal. This will shut down the churning market. It will immediately reduce the value of every semi-auto in existence to near zero. Since I don’t believe pasty-white young gameBOYS have good links to an underground gun market, they will not be able to find many guns.
I bet we can identify misfits through their efforts to find theses guns – since they start as misfits within a secure society and try to delve into the hastily created underground. Should be easy pickings for the ATF narks. Heck, I bet criminal gun sellers would turn in (anonymously) most of their encounters with these losers!

Posted by: Richard W. Crews | Mar 15, 2013 10:40:37 PM | 15

Juannie @1&2:I find myself in agreement with you on both posts, especially on r'giap. Thank you.

Posted by: ben | Mar 15, 2013 11:18:24 PM | 16

juannie 1,ben 16

the probability of SIX LEFTIST latin american leaders all inflicted by cancer
simultaneously is practically ZERO

Posted by: denk | Mar 16, 2013 12:07:58 AM | 17

@17: The probability that at least one of the six attracted attention from the CIA, would probability not be zero.

Posted by: ben | Mar 16, 2013 12:19:53 AM | 18

Sorry, make that last probability read probably.

Posted by: ben | Mar 16, 2013 12:26:05 AM | 19

BEN 18

may be i didnt make myself clear
since probability[6 leftist latin american all contracted cancer simultaneouly] = 0
the only explanation is foul play
in that case, who'd be the no1 suspect ?
i've posted enough *anti fukus* rants here so u should know whom im think of ?

Posted by: denk | Mar 16, 2013 12:40:22 AM | 20

@20: Point taken, thanks.

Posted by: ben | Mar 16, 2013 12:48:13 AM | 21

ben 21

we all know that fukus has been trying to get rid of chavez
they tried two coups n failed
i think that speech in the un sealed chavez's fate

chavez
*was the devil here , i can still smell sulphur !*
its very satisfying to chavez n the world at large
but no way is fukus gonna to let him get away with this
chavez was setting a very good/bad example
cia had killed many for much less.

Posted by: denk | Mar 16, 2013 1:05:28 AM | 22

seeking new opportunities: #CIA to begin covert drone killing program in Syria http://www.phantomreport.com/cia-to-begin-covert-drone-killing-program-in-syria

Posted by: brian | Mar 16, 2013 2:05:02 AM | 23

Posted by: gul | Mar 15, 2013 3:44:52 PM | 3


what does it matter, US credibility...most regimes are enthrall to the US, and the people are of no account

Posted by: brian | Mar 16, 2013 2:16:52 AM | 24

Careful, brian #23. Isn't that article (lifted from the Los Angeles Times) just part of the current Islamists-hijacked-the-Arab-Spring-and-we-had-nothing-to-do-with-it-no-honest-stop-laughing propaganda barrage?

"The targeting officers have formed a unit with colleagues who were tracking Al Qaeda operatives and fighters in Iraq. U.S. officials believe that some of these operatives have moved to Syria and joined Islamic militias battling to overthrow President Bashar Assad. ...

The increased U.S. effort comes as radicalized Islamic fighters have won a growing share of rebel victories. ...

Amnesty International reported Thursday that some Syrian opposition fighters routinely executed captives and suspected informants, although the group said Assad’s security forces were even more brutal."

Posted by: Bob Jackson | Mar 16, 2013 6:18:27 AM | 25

Richard W. Crews@15-

Why do people think outlawing firearms is gonna somehow magically make the problems firearms represent go away? Do you think criminal thugs give a F@$% about laws? I realize a lot of folks are scared of firearms and I don't blame them... but if there are evil folks out there with such weapons, I want to at least be put on equal ground with some two-bit fleck of feces who thinks their weapon makes them invincible. That requires a firearm.

America is guns and it will be for many years to come. If you don't like guns, avoid people and places where you might run across them (good luck). If you want to disarm someone maybe you should try taking the government's firearms as they kill far more innocent people than the average gun owner. Criminal gangs don't kill as many people as our gang members who wear the uniforms of state and this should make you wonder why the state is so desperate to want the rest of us unarmed.

Peace

Posted by: DaveS | Mar 16, 2013 8:58:46 AM | 26

the FSA does not really exist - on sloppy reporting

Posted by: somebody | Mar 16, 2013 5:20:17 PM | 27

If the US starts undertaking "covert" drone operations in Syria (in a clear attempt to circumvent the UN security council), then the Russians will have to undertake their own "covert" operations there to counter them. The Russians and Chinese should be clear and publicly announce that a covert drone war in Syria will be viewed as an attempt to bypass the security council and that counter-measures will be taken to deal with it.

Posted by: RC | Mar 16, 2013 5:29:16 PM | 28

Test to see if there's any difference:

“May all Arabs Jews die … I am a proud racist.”

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Mar 16, 2013 7:46:18 PM | 29

@somebody #27

That is an interesting article. Unfortuantely, while the author is careful to sort out the timeline and ideologies of various insurgent factions and leaders, he does not question the mainstream neocon narrative about the Syrian "rebellion." Indeed, he makes it clear that the fact that the FSA doesn't have its act together is a disappointment to him:

From summer onwards, new rebel factions started popping up in hundreds of little villages and city neighborhoods inside Syria, as an ever-growing number of local demonstrators were provoked into self-defense. The most important recruiting tool for this nascent insurgency was not the FSA and its trickle of videotaped communiqués on YouTube. Rather, it was Bashar el-Assad’s decision to send his army on a psychotic rampage through the Syrian Sunni Arab countryside. As the corpses piled up, more and more civilians started looking for guns and ammo, and the rebel movement took off with a vengeance.

...

All this said, I wish that the FSA did exist.

A unified rebel leadership would spare Syria much of the bloodshed that lies ahead. Not just because an organized rebel army would pack more of a punch in the struggle against Bashar el-Assad’s fascist dictatorship, and could put a leash on the most unpleasant salafi extremist factions. But also – and this matters a lot more than the fate of either Assad or al-Qaida – because only a functioning opposition leadership will be able to minimize the period of Lebanon-style armed anarchy and sectarian bloodshed that lies ahead for Syria, and help reestablish a central government when Assad’s is gone for good.

Unfortunately, my mere wishing won’t make it so. But neither will sloppy and distorted news reporting.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Mar 16, 2013 8:30:05 PM | 30

*Thank you for joining me; for taking this long and wonderful walk. Not everything is lost, yet. Not everyone is sold. There are millions of people, many countries that are still resisting, upright, not on their knees.*
http://www.4thmedia.org/2013/03/16/harare-is-it-really-the-worst-city-on-earth/


tku andre

Posted by: denk | Mar 17, 2013 1:05:32 AM | 31

30) Syria is a brew of secret service practices

"as an ever-growing number of local demonstrators were provoked into self-defense"

is a fair assessment not getting involved into who provoked whom into self defense which is bound to be a very murky affair.

"psychotic rampage through the Syrian Sunni Arab countryside"

could describe Western armies in Iraq and Afghanistan, too, same goes for "the most important recruiting tool for this nascent insurgency", all in all a fair assessment, as obvious from all the videos and photographs, the Syrian Army has been fighting whole areas of the country, not individual terrorists.

Assad describing Western attempts to destroy Al-Qeida ideology by destroying bodies as futile is part of the same schizophrenia that allies him to the Iranian brand of political Islam whilst "the West" specializes in its own brand of schizophrenia in supporting and fighting the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qeida at the same time.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 17, 2013 4:19:52 AM | 32

something different:

A levy (sic) has been breached.

The planned bail-out of Cyprus by the Eurogroup authorities - surprise, tough to describe who that is - includes scalping the deposit, checking account holder - 6 + or 10 % depending on their holdings. The vote for it to pass has been pushed off until Monday I just read.

> The banks have been closed since Fri and electronic payments ‘suspended.’ So there has not been a bank run, though some reports describe ppl trying ATMs, mild panic? Of course those in the know have had time to move their money to Jersey, Singapore, London City, etc.

Nobody tried that with the Greeks, who are subjected to extreme, sadisitic ‘austerity’ but confiscating part of their bank accounts was not, is not, part of the picture. Just lowering salaries by Gvmt decree...

Britain, in the shape of Osborne, has declared that UK citizens, the upright kind, Gvmt. and military, will be compensated for their losses.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/cyprus-politicians-decide-bailout-demands-061611987--finance.html#Tu3P9Au

How’s that then? The Eurogroup (ECB etc.) decides or offers the bail-out but EU losers of some class will be compensated? (see link for xtra details)

When ppl study why the Eurozone collapsed, this Cyprus story will be quoted as a trigger / landmark / important milestone. No matter what happens on Monday. I have read it was Germany who suggested and imposed. (?)

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 17, 2013 11:43:44 AM | 34

In case the relation between Cyprus and the New Pope is obscure, the Vatican and Cyprus are ‘tax havens’ and active buyers of real estate etc. and investors in all kinds of stuff - it is all about finance.

Obama-care as well. The proposed grab of depositors bank accounts in Cyprus is not too different, in its end effects, from forcing small biz employers, local gvmt., or individuals to pay for health insurance that won’t perform, is but a scam to shunt money to Big Corps: banks, insurance, as intermediaries for the Pharma / med / machines etc, industries.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 17, 2013 12:10:42 PM | 35

35) Noirette, read the same in the German press, Germany (Merkel, Schäuble) suggested and imposed. Merkel might have a problem in Bundestag with it as it is close to election time in Germany.
German press pretends it means - Cyprus being a tax haven - everybody using a bank account in Cyprus will be taxed. I doubt that is legally possible as Cyprus legislation surely would apply to only Cyprus citizens and contracts concerning bank accounts could not be changed unilaterally.
It sounds like a very, very stupid idea. I talked to an Italian friend last week who thinks the elephant in the room is Italy - which will be too expensive to bail out - 60 million Italians to 11 million Greeks - so Italy will be the first to leave the Euro Zone. My friends business with Italy has fallen to zero.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 17, 2013 4:40:42 PM | 36

Juannie @ 2, fwiw in re r'giap, I got this in an email at the end of January.

Posted by: beq | Mar 17, 2013 6:07:51 PM | 37

Thank you beq. And great to see your name here again. I have taken a quick look at the link you supplied and watched the two short videos but plan to follow some of the links to get a better feel for what Christopher is up to and to follow more of "These Heathen Dreams". It is good to see someone has take up the project of honoring some of his life's work. I look forward to more.

I feel quite honored and fortunate to have experienced reading his ongoing perceptively cogent and brutally honest commentary over the years. His writings resonated with me from the first time I encountered him back at Whiskey Bar. That he chose to stay the course here over the years speaks highly not only of our host but to so many of those who engaged him along the way.

Your response is appreciated.

John

Posted by: juannie | Mar 17, 2013 8:26:28 PM | 38

@ beq and juannie,

Thank you, you two, for mentioning and posting links that connect with His Honor R'Giap.
He is by far the most powerful mind and commentator that I've ever met online, even if he seems to hold back from what he really feels sometimes.
Thank you, both of you, and of course a deep bow to Chris for a lifetime of brilliant commentary and activism to help his common-man neighbors. His example inspires most of us when times get tough. I always know I can just Remember Giap.

Posted by: Jake | Mar 18, 2013 5:38:12 PM | 39

Did you see this one, b? Proves what you always said about drones.

US Drones Over Persian Gulf Now Have Escorts

The latest incident in the cat and mouse drone games the US and Iran are carrying out has an Iranian jet coming close to a US Predator drone over the Persian Gulf. US reports on the incident all rely on information released by Defense Department spokesman George Little and every report that I have read in the media includes, but does not comment on, the fact that this drone was accompanied by two US escort planes. As recently as the incident back in November when Iranian jets fired on a drone it is clear that drones were not escorted, so the presence of escorts is a new development.

I can imagine this development leading to a certain downgrading of the perceived value of drones.

Posted by: alexno | Mar 19, 2013 5:48:00 AM | 40

Uh oh. Now it begins, the US will get involved even more openly?

Heard on BBC last night, then NPR this morning. Allegation of some kind of chemical weapons attack, Syrian gov't saying the rebels did something and FSA saying the gov't used chem weapons.

Britain saying this is a game changer.

http://news.yahoo.com/syria-accuses-rebels-using-chemical-weapons-094328867.html

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria's government and rebels accused each other of launching a deadly chemical attack near the northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday in what would, if confirmed, be the first use of such weapons in the two-year-old conflict.

U.S. President Barack Obama, who has resisted overt military intervention in Syria, has warned Assad in the past that any use of chemical weapons would be a "red line". There has however been no suggestion of rebels possessing such arms.

Syria's information minister said rebels had fired a rocket carrying chemical agents that killed 16 people and wounded 86. State television said later the death toll had risen to 25.

Is this the needed hook? The excuse to go full bore into Syria? Or let others do so?

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 19, 2013 11:52:10 AM | 41

Nobel Econ Prize winner, Christopher Pissarides, who shared a Nobel Prize in economics in 2010, is "appalled" by the EU actions concerning Cyprus and the tax on bank deposits.

He sees this as clear warning that small nations will be bullied by Germany. Also, says it is only two banks out of all those in Cyprus who dealt in the Greek bonds which are causing this latest crisis. Regulation by the EU has been lax, but the banks on Cyprus have followed the EU regs quite well.

Re: tainted Russian money? Apparently no accounts have been named which fall into this category. Reeeeeally?

The idea of the single currency and monetary union was that we had a union of equal partners helping each other in difficult times. Here we have a big partner (Germany) bullying a small one, for what is perceived by the small one to be political reasons. And the Cypriot depositors caught in the fire are an unfortunate collateral damage.

SNIP

What’s the incentive that banks now have in the European Union to treat risky investments with caution? If one of them takes bad risks the others will pay for it; if it works well for it, it will keep the profits. A classic scenario for market breakdown.

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 19, 2013 1:31:29 PM | 42

The Jordanian people may view their lavish queen as Marie Antoinette and she may view her role as a stylish Jackie Kennedy, but in Jeffrey Goldberg's puffpiece on Abdullah in the latest Atlantic, she is presented as Eleanor Roosevelt, bringing coffee and compassion to the Bonus Army (in stark contrast to the way that the "king's" neighbor, the "dictator," responded "brutally" to his demonstrators):

It is not unfathomable that one day a demonstration of 250,000 could occur in Jordan. Demonstrations have erupted with some regularity there since the opening months of the Arab Spring. Many of the demonstrators are drawn from the Palestinian-dominated Muslim Brotherhood, but many are affiliated with the so-called herak, or “movement,” an amorphous collection of protest groups composed mainly of disaffected East Bankers.

The king insists that he has handled these demonstrations with gentle diplomacy. Queen Rania, he says, suggested he take a lenient approach with the protesters. “I said to take the weapons away. I was coordinating with all the commanders about how the first demonstrations should be handled, and Rania said, ‘You know what you should do? Hand out water and juice to all the demonstrators—have the police hand them water.’ That was a good idea, and I called them and said, ‘Rania’s idea is to do this.’ And the police did it. That was the flavor of the demonstrations.”

Of course, the confrontations between demonstrators and regime defenders were not always as benign as they may have seemed from the palace: security forces—along with mysterious bands of self-described royalists—have confronted demonstrators with beatings and tear gas from time to time. Still, Amman is most definitely not Damascus.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Mar 19, 2013 5:33:14 PM | 43

Looks like the Israelis have begun using chemical weapons (through the usual proxies, of course).

25 Killed by Rocket with Chemical Materials Fired by Terrorists in Aleppo Countryside

http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/337/2013/03/19/473349.htm

"Terrorists on Tuesday launched a rocket containing chemical materials on Khan al-Asal area in Aleppo Countryside.

The explosion of the rocket claimed the lives of 25 martyrs, while 110 citizens were injured, many of them in critical condition..."

Al-Zoubi: Terrorists' Firing of Rocket with Chemical Substances in Aleppo is Serious Escalation

http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/21/2013/03/19/473367.htm

"...He pointed out that the toxic gases and materials involved in the rocket cause immediate fainting, quiver and death, stressing that this type of weapons usually come under the category of "lethal and internationally-banned weapons".

Minsiter al-Zoubi reiterated that "This shift in the type and manner of arming the terrorists embodied in using weapons imported from outside Syria across the border with some neighboring countries means that all allegations made by some countries, such as France, UK, Qatar and Turkey on providing logistic and "non-lethal" weapons to the armed terrorist groups in Syria are mere talk to sell the media..."

Posted by: вот так | Mar 19, 2013 7:04:38 PM | 44

Oz's Foreign Correspondent is back to fulfilling the ABC's role as the propaganda arm of the (USraeli Occupied) Oz Govt with a pro-rebel hit piece on Syria. Needless to say, there's no effort spent on looking beyond the "guided tour" FC was steered toward and there's a lot of tip-toeing around suspicious and/or inconvenient facts - including FC's video stenographer being sent away from the site of a recent(?) bombing. I've seen some lazily incurious reporting from the ABC since the beginning of the Fake War on Terror, but this one really sucks.

http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/
Syria - Ibrahim's War

What makes an 11 year old boy start wetting the bed? Try missile attacks on your town, for starters. Ibrahim lives with his family in Aleppo, Syria, where his father has left his job as a laundryman to fight for the rebels who are trying to topple the government of President Bashar Al Assad and his mother struggles to keep her six children safe amid the chaos and psychological trauma. They invited ABC Middle East Correspondent Matt Brown and cameraman Mathew Marsic to spend a week living with them, amid the bombs, death and destruction, for this revealing portrait of a family at war.

Btw, its beginning to look as though Julia Gillard's days as PM are numbered. K Rudd has said he "won't be challenging her for the leadership" which is an amusing way of reminding us that she didn't challenge his leadership before he was booted out.
People who attribute Rudd's sacking to his mining super-tax proposal conveniently overlook the fact that the tax was good for Oz's 99%.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 20, 2013 12:25:01 AM | 45

Interesting take on what Russia might want from Cyprus:

Moscow does not want to create a base in Cyprus like the one similar to that of Tartus or at least it does not want it now. She wants port and airport facilities. Eg wants the aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” not floating around the Mediterranean without a point to “tie” and refuel. Or the aircraft of the Russian Navy and the Air Force can not land and stay for some time at the air base “Papandreou” which anyway is almost empty.
http://greekemmy.com/2013/03/20/cyprus-is-ready-to-leave-eurozone-if-eurogroup-does-not-accept-their-agreement-with-russia/

Posted by: bokonon | Mar 20, 2013 7:40:00 PM | 46

Venezuela suspends communications with US top diplomat ahead of election

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/03/20/294587/venezuela-halts-ties-with-us-diplomat/

"...Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua made the announcement regarding US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson at a press conference held in capital Caracas on Wednesday.

"This channel of communication is suspended at this time, deferred until there is a clear message on what type of relationship the United States wants with Venezuela," Jaua said, adding, "It makes no sense to continue wasting time."


The Venezuelan foreign minister slammed Jacobson’d remarks as intervention saying, "Let's hope they rectify, let's hope the interference in internal affairs ceases."..."

Posted by: вот так | Mar 20, 2013 10:29:50 PM | 47

TAKE THAT! Bernard-Henri Lévy BANNED by his beloved freedom fighters, prohibited to visit #Libya ...for being a Jew http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/author-barred-from-libya-for-being-jewish-8546522.html

the man behind the war on Libya has been banned by his proteges.
what will israel think of this? as many of the FSA they support are libyan

Posted by: brian | Mar 23, 2013 1:30:12 AM | 48

From Detroit to Cyprus, Banksters in Search of Prey

http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/detroit-cyprus-banksters-search-prey

“Detroit and the people of Cyprus share the same enemy.” The Lords of Capital, who are preparing to snatch chunks of cash straight out of ordinary people’s accounts in Cyprus, to pay for a bank bailout, are the same class that has “devalued the franchise of the 49 percent of Michigan’s Black population that live in municipalities and school districts under the thumb of outside financial managers.”

From Nicosia, Cyprus, to Detroit, Michigan, the global financial octopus is squeezing the life out of society, stripping away public and individual assets in a vain attempt to fend off its own, inevitable collapse. The bankers “troika” that effectively rules Europe prepares to reach into the individual accounts of ordinary depositors on the island nation of Cyprus to fund the bailout of their local banking brethren. Across the Atlantic, a corporate henchman makes arrangements to seize the assets and abolish the political rights of a Black metropolis. The local colorations may vary, but the crisis is the same: massed capital is devouring its social and natural environment. Either we liquidate the banksters, or Wall Street will liquidate us...."

Posted by: вот так | Mar 23, 2013 1:53:26 AM | 49

by billmon

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/03/22/1196307/-Mea-Culpa

Posted by: Sabine | Mar 23, 2013 2:21:48 AM | 50

by billmon

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/03/22/1196307/-Mea-Culpa

Posted by: Sabine | Mar 23, 2013 2:21:48 AM | 50

interesting satire

Posted by: brian | Mar 23, 2013 3:27:26 AM | 51

Pontifical Academy of Sciences is a continually standing large committee, large enough to be called an academy, that is formally tasked with advising the Pope on scientific questions. Many of its members are eminent scientists, and not all are Catholics (Ref). In 2009 the Pontifical Academy of Sciences organized a conference on farm biotechnology and genetically modified crops. In an ensuing report, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences states the following conclusion:

“There is a moral imperative to make the benefits of genetically engineered technology available on a larger scale to poor and vulnerable populations who want them, and on terms that will enable them to raise their standards of living, improve their health, and protect their environment.” And: “We urge those who oppose or are skeptical about the use of genetically engineered crop varieties and the application of modern genetics generally to evaluate carefully the science, and the demonstrable harm caused by withholding this proven technology from those who need it most,” said the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. (Ref)

Posted by: Parviziyi | Mar 23, 2013 8:22:58 PM | 52

the zygier story is back

with logical holes in it like Swiss cheese.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 25, 2013 1:23:02 AM | 53

Australia does not believe it

I wonder - what brought the story back to life? Some secret service people not happy what was done to Zygier?

Posted by: somebody | Mar 25, 2013 3:45:45 AM | 54

essential economics
The difference between government debt and private debt - The real news

Posted by: somebody | Mar 26, 2013 1:30:52 AM | 55

Libya is implementing Western standards of democracy:
"Libya’s deputy prime minister says pro-government militiamen are suspected of having raped three British female activists of Pakistani origin in the eastern city of Benghazi, the Associated Press reported Friday."
http://dawn.com/2013/03/29/pakistani-female-activists-brutally-raped-in-benghazi-libyan-officials/

Posted by: Michal | Mar 30, 2013 9:30:55 AM | 56

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