Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 26, 2013

It Is Public Support For Diplomacy That Pushes Obama

The people of the United States have a very different view on war and peace than the politicians, think tankers and journalists in Washington DC.

Consider this sentence from a NYT Mark Landler piece about the (alleged but yet unproven) Obama shift from military might to diplomacy:

It is harder for a president to rally the American public behind a multilateral negotiation than a missile strike, though the deep war weariness of Americans has reinforced Mr. Obama’s instinct for negotiated settlements over unilateral action.

That sentence is completely wrong. The U.S. public is much easier to convince of negotiations than of missile strikes. Noise from some hawkish politicians in Washington, which Landler probably confuses with the public opinon, does not give the real picture. Two recent polls clearly express that.

When Obama wanted to strike Syria 59% opposed such an attack with only 36% supporting it. While only 20% oppose negotiations with Iran 75% support them.

It is not, as Lander claims, that the public wants missile strikes and is against diplomacy. It is Obama who wanted the missile strikes on Syria and it was public opinion that pressed Congress and him not to launch such strikes. It was Russian, not Obama's, diplomacy that gave him a way out from the missile strikes he had planned. It is likewise the public that presses for negotiations with Iran and that would not support any new war against it.

Landler somewhat claims that Obama takes the lead in the turn towards a more sane and diplomatic U.S. foreign policy. That is just not the case. Obama may use the current diplomacy with Iran, which is still preliminary, only to later justify a war. The U.S. public is much less hawkish than Obama and the general consensus in Washington. Obama is for now simply following the public's lead because - as the aborted Syria strikes showed - he can no longer ignore it.

Posted by b on November 26, 2013 at 09:54 AM | Permalink

Comments

"That sentence is completely wrong. The U.S. public is much easier to convince of negotiations than of missile strikes..."

What Landler means is that he and his bosses are wholly dedicated to warmongering and that, difficult as it may be to convince people to accede to suicidal military adventures, particularly in the wake of the successive debacles of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya (debacles which even the Times and CNN have difficulties in spinning as triumphs), they are going to exert every ounce of their power to convince Americans that only the weak negotiate and that diplomacy is the sport of sissies.

The problem that Landler et al have is that even the most obtuse Americans are making the connection between military adventures and economic depression. It is beginning to sink in that wars came about their bad reputation, honestly: they involve enormous waste and consequent impoverishment.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 26, 2013 10:17:31 AM | 1

By the "American public" Landler means the folks who staff think tanks, editorial desks, and the Zionist lobby. It's not clear that Obama ever saw the American people as anything other than a gullible, amorphous mass begging to be manipulated.

Posted by: JohnH | Nov 26, 2013 11:00:22 AM | 2

This article is correct, the US electorate do not want another unnecessary war, not after the projected costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan debacles, 6 trillion dollars, according to the Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government. During the bombing Syria debate, members of Congress had to admit their constituents were ringing in, the calls were 100 to 1 against military action, they were warned if they vote for action "they had better start clearing their offices, the message got through [isn't democracy wonderful?] the US electorate had been far too apathetic, a war against Iran would cost the Western economies far more than 6 trillion dollars, when the first chink in the sanctions regime appears, there will be a mad scramble for the billions of dollars contracts.

Posted by: harrylaw | Nov 26, 2013 11:02:31 AM | 3

Here is a link to my comment above http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-03-28/world/38097452_1_iraq-price-tag-first-gulf-war-veterans I know I have done this before but it's a wonderful illustration here is what just 1 trillion dollars looks like http://www.pagetutor.com/trillion/calculations.html

Posted by: harrylaw | Nov 26, 2013 11:13:37 AM | 4

I would like to believe b, but i'm not so sure at all.

If public support weighed heavily on Obama's or congress decision making... We would have at the very least ended up with gov't negotiating drug prices with a public option under the ACA. Probably would have expanded medicare for all. And the bank bailouts also received massive calls against 100 to 1.

And before we attacked Iraq, each time, iirc, public opinion was not in favor. Only after the attacks did opinion shift to support the war/troops who are already in harms way. 56 percent against attacking Syria is chicken feed... a few bombs on CNN and youtube would have flipped that number upside down, at least.

I think it's far more likely top military brass convinced Obama Syria was a lose/lose scenario.

Obama and all in my lifetime who held the oval before him are serial liars, programmed to usurp public opinion.... with a Constitution designed to enable said usurpation far more than not.

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Nov 26, 2013 12:38:34 PM | 5

@ Eureka Springs

Yes, far more than not, there has to be a coincidence of elite interest and public interest before anything vaguely in the "public interest" becomes official policy.

Obamacare is the perfect example--the private, for profit health insurance industry was looking at an increasingly bleak future until Obama came to the rescue and opened the US Treasury as a profit center for premium subsidies--all pitched of course as in the public interest.

Posted by: sleepy | Nov 26, 2013 12:51:14 PM | 6

thanks for the article b.. it's a good focal point to consider.
my question is the media, bought and paid for by special interests to which lander is just a paid shill, only really meant to dumb down the populace? it sure seems that way. anyone with a shred of critical thinking is going to unplug very quickly to these paid shills comments. i would like to think obama is capable of listening to the public, as opposed to the mouthpieces for perpetual war, but it sure seems like the usa is in a race to the right with obama no different then a long line of presidents that are more focused on serving the needs of the military/banking establishment, then the needs of the people. obama is no different and in some ways way worse then bush as i see it. good speaker with good presentation skills though, lol.. ultimately vacuous is the problem..

Posted by: james | Nov 26, 2013 1:09:24 PM | 7

Whenever you want to lie and manipulate, you want to use percentage and polls, that is perfect combination for dumbed CNN/NYT spectators and readers. Just like in so-called economy, Government's economist use economic models and apply on society, in this case to wage class warfare.

Either way they don't give a dam of: http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/, and an opinion of "governed". Paradoxically, those with "advanced degree" who are shopping in Neiman Marcus are not any better, contrary.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 26, 2013 1:13:09 PM | 8

Though it is unappealing Obama deserves a little bit of credit. Ask yourself the question: Would W. have accepted the Russian deal on Syria's chemical weapons? No. Would Cheney and Rumsfeld have bucked Bandar and negotiated with Rouhani? No.

In the end Obama is of course no philosopher king. He is but the latest steward of American Empire; he's a skilled politician, which by definition means that he is duplicitous. The signs he is reading are easily interpreted: the public is overwhelming opposed to another war. So he has to be shrewd about military engagement. I think b is on the money. I think the deal with Iran is part of a pivot to Asia.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Nov 26, 2013 1:57:41 PM | 9

It was only about 1 year ago when we were being confidently assured by brainiacs of the internet left such as Greenwald and Stoller that re-electing Obama would mean a servile group of Obamabots (the majority of the US electorate as it turned out) would allow Obama to do whatever whenever, therefore we should vote third party (Stoller) or I guess for anybody but Obama but probably Ron Paul Romney (Greenwald).

Now, it seems the opposite has occurred, but I didn't believe Stoller or Greenwald then and I don't believe b now.

Could it be that Obama never wanted to strike Iran or Syria and was using the most effective weapon at his disposal (the threat of overwhelming force) as a diplomatic tool? No, of course not. That would kill off the several thousand column inches of your discredited punditry over the past however many years wrt what you think you know in your heart about Obama, not to mention every other thing you think you know about the World, pretty much.

Nice try though. My friend Fairleft was right. Youse loosers never know how to simply admit "we were wrong." Just keep stepping in it deeper and deeper by the day.

Three little words of humility are all it takes.

Nobody bats 1.000. Not even me!

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 26, 2013 2:16:54 PM | 10

The thing about a pivot to Asia is that it is only truly possible if the US has total control of the Persian Gulf. But it doesn't, so long as Iran is an independent actor that deals with the US when it suits it, but not when there's a better deal available.

A growing China or Russia will soon be able to offer a better deal, which Iran might take...forcing the US to top that offer.

This is not the situation the US wants to be in. It wanted either the Shah back, with CIA control over Iran's military and internal security apparatus (that's the 'realist' perspective.) Or (the Israeli/Neocon perspective) an Iran divided into its ethnic components, too weak to be of much use to anyone and certainly unable to challenge Israel.

It's possible the US has concluded that neither of those is possible and they will have to deal with Iran on equal terms.

But it is also possible that the US is seeking a Shah option through the back door. This is what happened to Egypt between 1975 (The Sinai II agreement with Israel, preceding camp David) and 1981 (the death of Defense minister Ahmad Badawi and several other top officers in a helicopter crash.)

I hope Iran will guard against this option.

Posted by: Lysander | Nov 26, 2013 2:33:10 PM | 11

Donkeytale, your claim that Greenwald in his Salon days idealised Obama is just a lie.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 26, 2013 3:07:02 PM | 12

The need to believe that these negotiations are the result of genuinely held convictions, or are being pursued in good faith by Obama, or that there is concern at the highest levels regarding any ordinary American's war weariness, has to be examined with some skepticism. With one hand, the war conspirators are offering Iran a very tentative olive branch; while with the other hand they still orchestrate the siege against Assad's Syrian government, pecking away at that country's social order and infrastructure--all the while using a remarkable collection of fanatics, and paid goons, to get the job done. And in this case, one hand is very aware of what the other one is doing.

The Obama administration is, at the same time, trying to extend its military occupation and dominance in Afghanistan, until 2024. Moreover, it is worried about being behind schedule in its strategic "Pivot to Asia" (a.k.a . another opportunity for aggression); and is champing at the bit, ready to exploit the wrangling over some tiny islands, the dubious claims of an increasingly bellicose Japanese government, to rocky islands that are some little distance northeast of Taiwan; and never mind that China emphatically disputes these claims.

"Obama may use the current diplomacy with Iran, which is still preliminary, only to later justify a war."

Our host is right in reaching this conclusion; and to put it bluntly, it would take much more resistance and more public action and outcry, in order to derail the big war that is on the NATO-plus-Israel drawing board. I brought up the Balkan Wars of 1913 elsewhere on these threads, because lurking in the background, on the supports and scaffolding upon which this international tragedy is being constructed--just as in times past--come the countries associated with the Great Powers, who have a vulture's hope, that they can annex or be handed some parcel, or two, from the carcass of some less fortunate country.

Posted by: Copeland | Nov 26, 2013 3:47:33 PM | 13

'It is harder for a president to rally the American public behind a multilateral negotiation than a missile strike, though the deep war weariness of Americans has reinforced Mr. Obama’s instinct for negotiated settlements over unilateral action.'

this ought to read:

'It is harder for a president to rally the American media behind a multilateral negotiation than a missile strike, esp as the intrusion of zionist elem,ents has reinforced their passions to deflect Mr. Obama’s instinct for negotiated settlements over unilateral action.'
'

Posted by: brian | Nov 26, 2013 3:48:55 PM | 14

Translation of Netenyahu's Histrionics: The narcissistic child(Israel) complains to daddy(US) that the victim (Iran) of his torment is in fact a ruthless bully who must be stopped at all cost. Father may know what is the best course of action to deal with the overweening brat, but the spoiled child's over-indulgent mother(AIPAC), with a rolling pin in hand, upbraids her husband whenever he waivers in support of her child's whims .

Posted by: Metni | Nov 26, 2013 4:14:34 PM | 15

The people are always (well footnotes skipped!) against war.

Remember the world-wide demos against the invasion of Iraq, biggest ever.

The PTB ignored it all - no prob!

If some part of the PTB (in the shape of Obama) suddenly and surprisingly takes into account the ‘opinion of the people’ or today ‘polls’ and the like, it is just because it suits him / them on the moment, provides some justification.

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 26, 2013 4:18:26 PM | 16

"...any military operation against Iran will likely be very unpopular around the world and require the proper international context—both to ensure the logistical support the operation would require and to minimize the blowback from it. The best way to minimize international opprobrium and maximize support (however, grudging or covert) is to strike only when there is a widespread conviction that the Iranians were given but then rejected a superb offer—one so good that only a regime determined to acquire nuclear weapons and acquire them for the wrong reasons would turn it down. Under those circumstances, the United States (or Israel) could portray its operations as taken in sorrow, not anger, and at least some in the international community would conclude that the Iranians “brought it on themselves” by refusing a very good deal."

"Which Path to Persia?"

via http://landdestroyer.blogspot.co.uk/ Nuclear Deal With Iran Prelude to War, Not "Breakthrough"

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 26, 2013 5:33:03 PM | 17

We are talking about the difference between America intra-Beltway and America the rest.

The striking feature of the decision not to attack Syria was that it depended on opinion outside the Beltway

It seems that that effect is going further, once launched. Congress might actually pay attention to its voters. Partly aided by Netanyahu's stupidities, impossible to sympathise with.

We're in a moment where US public opinion might actually have an effect.

Posted by: alexno | Nov 26, 2013 5:39:27 PM | 18

“Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America nor, for that matter, in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship. ... [V]oice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.” Herman Goring. This Quote does have a ring of truth to it.

Posted by: harrylaw | Nov 26, 2013 6:15:08 PM | 19

"The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships."

– Karl Marx, “The German Ideology” (1846)

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 26, 2013 6:31:36 PM | 20

Susan Sontag had quantified what Marx said:

“10 percent of any population is cruel, no matter what, and 10 percent is merciful, no matter what, and the remaining 80 percent can be moved in either direction.”

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 26, 2013 6:44:41 PM | 21

Well said, b! But let's also remember that this same public opinion was manufactured towards the "no more wars" consent by the overwhelming stupidity, arrogance, and ineptness of Bush and his Dick.

It won't be long before the US public is led to believe that war is the only way to preserve its freedom at home. After all, respect given to any government can be assured by projecting strength and barbarism over weaker and bite-sized made-up villains.

I am reminded of the following reply from the Athenians to the Melians from the ancient Greek Melian Dialogue by Thucydides:

Melians: But must we be your enemies? Will you not receive us as friends if we are neutral and remain at peace with you?

Athenians: No, your enmity is not half so mischievous to us as your friendship; for the one is in the eyes of our subjects an argument of our power, the other of our weakness.

Posted by: MikeA | Nov 26, 2013 6:56:55 PM | 22

' The U.S. public is much less hawkish than Obama and the general consensus in Washington. Obama is for now simply following the public's lead because - as the aborted Syria strikes showed - he can no longer ignore it. '

Obama does what he's told to do. The people who told him to lighten up on direct involvement decided they were in danger of losing their Obama the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Obama 'brand' as credible, anywhere on earth ... of having the push for their Trans Corporate Thousand Year Reich unmasked and seen for exactly what it is. They took their war in Syria 'underground', put it back in plain sight as run by the CIA - it's 'accepted' that the CIA is always wrecking murder and mayhem somewhere on earth - portrayed Obama as 'reasonable' on Iran as well. The formative connections between Obama and the CIA have gotten some attention ...

I'm convinced that China made a serious threat on the dollar. That got their attention.

Obama is no more in charge of the USSA than was Ronald Ray Gun. The Trans National Corporations are playing for keeps ... corporations are by definition on auto-pilot ... and destroying the USSA is ok for them, in their - increasingly ephemeral - 'long run'.

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 26, 2013 7:38:37 PM | 23

Sam Smith collected some of the evidence for Obama as CIA in 2009.

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 26, 2013 10:09:29 PM | 24

Lysander @ 11.

"The thing about a pivot to Asia is that it is only truly possible if the US has total control of the Persian Gulf. But it doesn't, so long as Iran is an independent actor that deals with the US when it suits it, but not when there's a better deal available."

Agree with that. The Pivot to Asia is just a convenient talking point to add to the Syria-Iran & Obamacare theatrics. The real pivot (almost a fait accompli) has been Africom's pivot to Africa - a continent chock-a-block with pissy, defenseless little countries more suited to US-NATO 'skills' than China and other 'Asian' guardians.
I haven't been keeping an accurate tally, but US-NATO have been wrecking and "protecting" the resources of between 30 and 40 countries in Africa (from exploitation by, and for the benefit of, the natives) for quite some time.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Nov 26, 2013 10:49:22 PM | 25

After congressional Democrats joined in giving Netanyahu 29 standing ovations, Obama was put on notice that he could not publicly oppose the Israel Lobby's agenda or his party officials would abandon him and he'd get nothing supported in congress (much less support for reelection). Democrats (especially those with senatorial or presidential ambitions) need to raise huge amounts of cash and cannot afford to upset major donors (many of whom are Zionists). Since then, Obama has said everything the Israel Lobby wants to hear.

Several of his actions since the 2012 election have given Israel and the Israel Lobby the opportunity to delegitimize themselves in public. After such such self-exposure has been covered online, even a normally bought or cowed press has not been able to ignore totally the nightflower in the kleeg lights. This has been especially obvious during the Hegel nomination, the Syrian Ghouta crisis and now the Iran nuclear negotiations.

Obama had given HRClinton full reign to jump out in front of the neocon/neolib drive to change the face of the Middle East, including Libya and Syria (under the cover of the Arab Spring). But the American public consistently opposed intervention in Syria. Even with constant pro-insurgency propaganda from the MSM, public opposition over 2 years dropped only from around 75% to 60%. When the Obama administration was touting the reliable intelligence it had from Ghouta, it was clear that the Israelis were one of the major sources. When Obama gave congress time to weigh in on intervention in Syria, it was clear that the Israel Lobby was the only constituency pushing for war. Congresscritters were able to tell their donors that the overwhelming number of calls from their voters opposed intervention. Again, even the MSM acknowledge, sometimes in between the lines, the pressure from the Israel Lobby for overt military action in Syria.

Over the past few weeks, through his hissy fits, Netanyahu has exposed himself as the main obstacle to a peace deal with Iran (and in the process, the MSM has even let the topic of Israel's nukes slip out occasionally). Considering the actions of our military under Obama, including the intervention in Libya and drone strikes, he hasn't merited the peace prize. But he sure does take the prize for passive-agressive response to Israel.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Nov 26, 2013 11:05:51 PM | 26

@Rusty Pipes:

"Democrats (especially those with senatorial or presidential ambitions) need to raise huge amounts of cash and cannot afford to upset major donors (many of whom are Zionists). "

These 'Zionist donors' are obviously very wealthy, so it means that they are basically big businessmen. Why do you think that these wealthy donors are 'Zionist'? Why do they support Israel?
Just to leave no room for misunderstanding, I am not disputing that these wealthy donors are Zionist. I am asking why they are Zionist in your opinion?

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 26, 2013 11:54:58 PM | 27

It is unfortunately the case that Jews of apparently opposed political orientations do in fact act together to produce mutually desired effects. For instance, Jewish donors who tout their anti-imperialist or 'progressive' credentials will fund any movement of oppressed people except that of the Palestinians, and will not uncommonly threaten to defund them if they take any positions alongside the Palestinians. Such groups will excuse themselves from confronting Zionism as an oppressive movement by saying, not that they support Zionism, but that they refuse to give aid and comfort to Palestinian terrorists whose only pleasure is to kill Jews and who wreck all attempts by the two peoples to live together in peace. They will deny that Zionism has ethnically cleansed the Palestinians from their country and continues to do so. They will do all this, not out of explicit support for Zionism, but out of a distorted and selective commitment to anti-colonialism everywhere else and to non-violence by Palestinians in particular. Since clearly this is a strategy which provides mutual benefit for Jews right across the board, including Zionists, it is legitimate and indeed necessary to admit that all Jewish organisations and donors are our opponents, not just the Zionist ones. Does that answer your question, Pirouz?

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 27, 2013 2:34:20 AM | 28

The Israel Lobby is funded by the US Congress, not by 'Zionists', or 'Jews'. The Lobby has created the perfect positive feedback system. They extract billions from US Congress and donate nillions to US Congressional campaign to ensure that the US COngress continues to 'donate' billions which will ensure the supply of millions ...

Really. It's been like this for years. It is so obvious.

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 27, 2013 3:24:06 AM | 29

If it is public support for diplomacy that pushes Obama ... or pushes the people that push Obama ... this is good news


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans back a newly brokered nuclear deal with Iran by a 2-to-1 margin and are very wary of the United States resorting to military action against Tehran even if the historic diplomatic effort falls through, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday.

As far as my theory of China pushing the USSA in the Middle East ... or any where ,,, goes ... US sends B-52s to China’s air defence zone makes that eeem ridiculous.

But now likely ?

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 27, 2013 3:34:47 AM | 30

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 26, 2013 7:38:37 PM | 23

USSA???

Posted by: brian | Nov 27, 2013 4:17:00 AM | 31

United Security States of America ... or whatever you prefer for the second 'S'.

The idea is to invoke the memory of the USSR. Now know how unlucky we are boys, back in the US ... back in the US ... back in the U-S-S-A.

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 27, 2013 5:31:49 AM | 32

Good one, Metni, @15

I can picture that as a 19th Century Punch cartoon.

Posted by: DM | Nov 27, 2013 6:15:06 AM | 33

@ Rowan,

No. you still have not explained why being pro-Zionist is beneficial to big business.

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 27, 2013 6:36:56 AM | 34

@Rowan Berkeley (#28) and also Rusty Pipes:

I am a Jewish businessman worth $2-3 billion. Convince me to make a major donation to the election campaign of candidates for congress who are Zionist and promise to push for a pro-Israeli foreign policy.

Why such policies are beneficial to me and why should I make millions of dollars of donations (in essence we are talking about buying the congress) to pro-Israeli congressmen's election campaign.

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 27, 2013 7:09:46 AM | 35

@34 + 35

It's a mafia. You get to be a made-man and share in the loot, but you also have to commit to stump-up big wads of cash in order to keep the machine, the one that helps ensure the Power/existence of your mafia, very well-oiled.

You even get to own the laundering houses in Las Vegas and Wall Street, and also finance audio/visual-propaganda projects that portray some other group[s] as being the "Real" mafia.

Posted by: foff | Nov 27, 2013 7:32:06 AM | 36

Frankly, this whole issue is completely irrelevant.

Simply because zusa is increasingly insignificant.

Are zamericans easily manipulated? Is obama establishing a more contructive line re. Iran because of or against the will of the people, the lobby, or his dog? We need not care anymore. zusa anyway doesn't have the power anymore to dictate to the world.

Just look at what happened around China. The zamerican heroes intentionally intruded in the newly established air zone. Wow! How heroic. How brave. How dominant.

You bet the Chinese aren't too impressed by that blunt provocation of some aggressive retards who have been showing their intense and utter lack of military capabilities beyond reasonable doubt by not en winning wars against medieval sheperds in some remote mountains ...

"But the Chinese didn't react forcefully" some say, taking that as proof of victory.
Well, seen from the standpoint of barbaric biowaste in the habit of threatening and making noise before attacking - and losing unless the opponent is toothless and unconscious - this view might make sense.
For a high culture with thousands of years experience though, it might seem smarter to ignore the barking dog and to kill it a little later with a thousand poisened needles before finally breaking its spine (well, whatever zusa is left with as spine).

Oh, and of course:

Ceterum censeo israel delendum esse.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Nov 27, 2013 8:21:25 AM | 37

I am a Jewish businessman worth $2-3 billion. Convince me to make a major donation to the election campaign of candidates for congress who are Zionist and promise to push for a pro-Israeli foreign policy. Why such policies are beneficial to me and why should I make millions of dollars of donations (in essence we are talking about buying the congress) to pro-Israeli congressmen's election campaign. Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 27, 2013 7:09:46 AM | 35
Pirouz, you don't understand the strength and depth of Jewish loyalty. One way to express it would be to say that, if you don't do whatever it is that the Jewish elite judge necessary as being for the good of the Jewish people (and here's the catch, who are the Jewish elite?), you're a traitor.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 27, 2013 8:35:10 AM | 38

"I am a Jewish businessman worth $2-3 billion."

Nobody makes that kind of money on its own. Obviously, you have to be one of "them".

"Convince me to make a major donation..."

That is what is expected from you, you are a prominent member of society - Insider.

For an Outsiders, you can't get even decent job.

It is kind of naive question.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 27, 2013 8:39:02 AM | 39

@35
You help the congress member to get elected, then he helps u to get juicy contracts. And if the congress member defend israel's cause, even better. He'll get even more money. And as a jewish businessman, you're then a member of the club and take advantage of all connections your friends have.

Posted by: Gregg | Nov 27, 2013 8:45:52 AM | 40

When I said you must be one of "them", it means this bellow:

By ‘clubs’ and ‘elites’ I mean the established and self-perpetuating
fraternities that ruled the Anglo-Saxon commonwealths: these were (and
still are) formed by an aggregation of dynasts issued from the banking
houses, the diplomatic corps, the officer caste, and the executive aristocracy,
which still remains solidly entrenched in the constitutional fabric of
the modern ‘democracies.’ These ‘clubs’ act, rule, breed and think like
a compact oligarchy, and co-opt the middle class to use it as a filter
between themselves and their cannon fodder: the commoners. In fact,
in the so-called ‘democratic constituency,’ which represents to date the
most sophisticated model of oligarchic rule, the electorate wields no clout
whatever, and political ability is but another expression for the powers of
persuasion needed to ‘build consensus’ around (momentous) decisions
already taken elsewhere.

Guido Preparata


Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 27, 2013 9:04:53 AM | 41

RT has a story on a survey showing that US public opinion not only favours the "deal" with Iran by 2:1 but that it is against war in the event of Iranian failure to abide by the terms. Or, to put it more simply, "in the event of zionist propaganda claims of the sort that Albright et al regularly manufacture."
So b is right about that.

I agree with JFL @29 regarding the source of the funds used to promote zionist causes. Most of it is recycled tax money. The US is set up to pour money into Israel, from the deductions for contributions to charities engaged in ethnic cleansing to the enormous Pentagon contracts given to Israeli businesses using US technology. Vast amounts of taxpayers' money is diverted to Israeli, more specifically Jabotinsky-ite causes. It would be idiotic for the fat cats who make good livings evangelising for war and promoting racist campaigns against muslims, not to take a good chunk of their budgets and buy politicians with it.

One good thing that needs to be said about AIPAC and its sisters is that by forcing Congress into serial standing ovations for Netanyahu, a regime of kow-towing that would have made a Chinses emperor envious, they reveal precisely how venal, cowardly and lacking in self respect these delegates from the Chamber of Commerce and Murder Inc are. We can thank Abe Foxman and his fellow scoundrels for that.

As to pirouz_2's conundrum it is worth bearing in mind that the role of Israel, as a base, colony, idea etc, in the current system of looting that prevails in the US, is important. Without it there would be no neo-cons and the trillion dollar a year Defense Industry would be under threat of a severe slimming programme. Now that the Soviet Union is out of the picture, and with China declining to play cold war games, Israel is the central pillar in the political puppet show propping up the "Forget everything!! We're in Danger!! Another Hitler looms!! Buy war bonds, melt down your kettles and pots to make missiles!!" campaigns which sweep across America whenever it looks as if the descendants of Rip van Winkle might wake up and say "Give me eat! Give everybody eat!" to the berks running the canteen.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 27, 2013 9:27:08 AM | 42

Lovely piece by The Saker at AToL
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/World/WOR-03-271113.html

Posted by: bevin | Nov 27, 2013 9:30:56 AM | 43

"These ‘clubs’ act, rule, breed and think like a compact oligarchy, and co-opt the middle class to use it as a filter between themselves and their cannon fodder: the commoners."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commoner

47 million of US citizens are on food-stemps, http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/34SNAPmonthly.htm

Wal-Mart's (like 8 of them) owners are wealthier than 40% of Americans, that is, 130.000.000 or so Americans.

And still,
"Pirouz, you don't understand the strength and depth of Jewish loyalty."!!??

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 27, 2013 9:33:44 AM | 44

@bevin

The Saker is ultra-nationalistic creep, disguised in anti-imperialism. Something like Louis Project, Juan Cole etc.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 27, 2013 9:40:50 AM | 45

It wouldn't surprised me if The Saker is from Greek's Golden Dawn party.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 27, 2013 9:45:33 AM | 46

you mean because The Saker is an anonymous blogger?

Posted by: foff | Nov 27, 2013 9:52:01 AM | 47

I had read him from his very early days, and it has nothing to do with it, an "anonymous blogger". I did not read anything from him lately thou, nevertheless I doubt that people change - radically.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 27, 2013 9:59:29 AM | 48

so what have you seen that would indicate an affinity with golden dawn?

Posted by: foff | Nov 27, 2013 10:01:48 AM | 49

Just as I said: ultra-nationalism.

Now, if you like Tea Bagger or various Southern Militias follower, love rising across Europe nationalist's ultra-right movements (Hungarian Jobik party); you are that kind of guy, maybe, you are going to like him.

Why don't you go on his site and read him. Be judge and think for yourself.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Nov 27, 2013 10:13:55 AM | 50

so no examples of this "ultra"-nationalism?

How does one distinguish between mere vanilla-flavoured everyday common-or-garden "nationalism" and this "ultra-nationalism" you claim to detect?

"I know it when I see it" seems a little lame

Posted by: foff | Nov 27, 2013 10:24:02 AM | 51

Good discussion b, thanks for the prompt.
Frankly, I'm at a loss to explain the Empire's u-turn in policy, with regards to global hegemony, and the "Global Plantation" the real rulers lust for, but, I sure doubt they've had an epiphany, prompted by the public outcry.

john francis lee @ 23: " Obama does what he's told to do."

Copeland @ 13

These posts, among many here, resonate with me.

Posted by: ben | Nov 27, 2013 10:42:20 AM | 52

....you still have not explained why being pro-Zionist is beneficial to big business.

To add to or temper foff at 36. Because it is an entrenched system, with well oiled, long established money moves. (These might be Mafia-like, or dependent on subsidies, or tax evasion, cheap labor, selling re-cycled arms, or not, etc. I’m not qualifying that here because it is too complex and obviously I can’t describe it.)

These circles and their conduits depend on several things: a) perhaps most important, being part of the in-group who is allowed participation, which means accepting the entire deal, joining whole-heartedly, not questioning anything, including the pecking order, b) supporting the Israeli Gvmt. which is an important part of the system, without it and its present laws/functioning the system becomes vulnerable, is liable to worrisome disturbances and cracks, c) therefore supporting Zionism and Isr-first, and maintaining support from the USA, Isr. image, Isr. lobbies, cracking down on anti-semitism, and so on.

It is an old system and hard to relinquish.

Big business does not function fairly in a ‘free market’. It works through monopolies, coercion, lobbies, tax cheating, rent extraction, Gvmt. support, etc. And of course the rich abroad only pay lip-service to the Isr. Gvmt. ..They would never dream of bringing up their children there...

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 27, 2013 11:06:18 AM | 53

the US public will poll against wars, but
1. they can't even name all the wars they ARE involved in, and
2. the US gov't will do what it wants anyway, and
3. the blowback will fix US opinion if all else fails.
if Obama were doing what the US public wants, it would be a first. it is far more likely he is doing what US corrupt power wants, and the US economic interests don't support taking out Syria and Iran. only Israel has something it wants badly enough to do that. (and Israel is going to continue to ethnically cleanse Palestine regardless.)

in the meantime, I'm still going to enjoy watching Netanyahu spew green vomit and spin his head in 360's.

Posted by: anon | Nov 27, 2013 11:52:46 AM | 54

Frankly, I'm at a loss to explain the Empire's u-turn in policy, with regards to global hegemony, and the "Global Plantation" the real rulers lust for, but, I sure doubt they've had an epiphany, prompted by the public outcry.

I date the apparent change in tactics around September 3 2013, and I'd be interested to know if anyone else shares the hunch that Russia may have more to do with this epiphany than public opinion.

Posted by: DM | Nov 27, 2013 12:21:10 PM | 55

DM@56 Wasn't that around the time of the two missile launches which 'malfunctioned' over the eastern Mediterranean? I think the idea of part of the US fleet as a new reef in the eastern Med probably had much to do with it. What do I know, though?

Posted by: Jim T | Nov 27, 2013 12:59:09 PM | 56

"The Saker is ultra-nationalistic creep, disguised in anti-imperialism. Something like Louis Project, Juan Cole etc."

I'm surprised that you know this as it must involve reading what you clearly regard as material that ought not to be read. Or perhaps you consider, neretva'43, that while it is fine for you to monitor The Saker's politically incorrect products, others should take your word for it and spare themselves the chore of judging his articles for themselves.

For my own part I don't care whether The Saker, whose identity is, I believe, generally known, drinks brandy at breakfast, masturbates in church, showers with his hat on or believes, secretly, in the Virgin Mary's ability to intercede with the internal revenue. The article he contributed to AToL is worth reading. If you know of an equally interesting Tea Party or Golden Dawn site do not hesitate to tell me.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 27, 2013 1:02:22 PM | 57

Rown Berkeley @13

Where did I say that Greenwald idealised Obama?

If I gave you that impression it was in error. Sorry.

I meant to say that Greenwald demonises Obama and with a very large gulps of non-specific invective demonises "most Democrats" as Obamabots and worse on a regular basis.

If Greenwald idealises anybody in US politics it is Ron Paul. Of course, then he will deny that he does so.

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 27, 2013 1:54:51 PM | 58

@42, Guido Preparata. Looked him up and found this long interview http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/NF30Dj06.html. He gives chapter and verse on capitalist schemes to create and then crush Germany. Brings up names I've never heard of. Weaves plausible scenarios. So far so erudite. Then he claims the Bolsheviks were actually partners of the west but cites nobody.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Cold War was a colossal pretense orchestrated by the US in collusion with Russia to divide between themselves the planet (the Chinese unknown aside) while allowing the allocation / composition of local conflicts by proxy.

With nothing else to show for his contrarian cred but a hunch.

Posted by: ruralito | Nov 27, 2013 2:34:38 PM | 59

ie Nazi Germany, of course.

Posted by: ruralito | Nov 27, 2013 2:53:30 PM | 60

@Rowan;

On this issue, the person whose answer I liked best is Bevin (But oerhaps in the end of this comment, I'll make a few additions of my own).
Now you say:

"Pirouz, you don't understand the strength and depth of Jewish loyalty. One way to express it would be to say that, if you don't do whatever it is that the Jewish elite judge necessary as being for the good of the Jewish people (and here's the catch, who are the Jewish elite?), you're a traitor."

Rowan, I understand that you are a Marxist? So I won't need to convince you that a capitalist is nothing but the personification of his capital! So you should not "underestimate the strength and depth of" capitalists to their capital This loyalty to the rate of return out weights any loyalty to any race, religion, nationality or moral value. A capitalist has to do what is necessary for the highest rate of return. Should he hold his loyalty to Jewishness and Holly land above his loyalty to the rate of return of his capital, he will go bankrupt in no time! Simple as that. While he invests millions of capital in the idealistic motives for the welfare of the "chosen people", the other capitalists who are just as big will not make any such mistake, they will invest in something with a hefty rate of return and out-compete our Jewish billionaire in no time!
My friend, big business are Zionist not because they are Jewish, but because promoting Israel in the single most strategic region in the world, secures the rate of their profit! Hegemony brings supernumerary rates of profit! And Israel has been the most important asset in maintaining the US hegemony (and the British before them) in the middle east with %60-70 of the global oil and gas reserves. Control middle east and you will have both the Chinese and the Russian (not to mention even your own so called western allies') balls in your hands to squeeze as hard as you need!
Some people emphasize the power of mafia in coercing people to financially support Zionism. That is not relevant to my question. The $2-3-billion businessman IS the mafia! Who is going to force him by threatening to call him a "traitor"?? Why is he (ie. the head of the mafia) donating money to the Zionist cause and why is he forcing smaller Jews (by bribing them for say career progress, or by brainwashing them using the MSM media which is owned by the big business anyway)? Why would that mafia boss want to invest in Israel's supremacy in the middle east?
He is the one who threatens the others, not the other way around! He is the one who OWNS the whole damn system. He is the one who pays the wages, he is the one to decide which part of the global geography he should move his capital next (for the highest rate of return). He is the one who topples governments in Latin America and the middle East. Some lame ass orthodox Jewish community leader is going to threaten him with the charges of "treason"? Only in fantasy land!
Now why should such a "god" made of humongous capital invest in donation to some moronic politician such as G. W. Bush or Romney, if he doesn't think that their policies will bring him a hefty profit?
Where did Israel work against the interests of Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP and Chevron? Whose services were crucial in getting rid of that pesky Nasser and enslaved all the middle east, so that the aforementioned oil companies could loot the middle east as they wish?
It is not about Jewish loyalty, it is about the loyalty to the rate of return!

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Nov 27, 2013 3:01:43 PM | 61

Rowan Berkeley @ 13

Of course, I always blame the communicator when the communicatee misapprehends so will take full responsibility here for any misunderstanding.

Here is the specific Greenwald I had in mind when making the comment but truly this piece merely exemplifies Greenwald's typical schtick, which always finds it's pre-determined approving audience but break it down for what it is and you will see...it is nothing but hypothetical speculation that in this case at least turned out to be proven entirely wrong. "If Obama bombed Iran" in GG's formulation is close enough for non-careful readers to mis-ascertain "Obama wants to bomb Iran", which subsequently also allows GG to deny any and all criticism of his phony point, because he can claim he never said Obama was going to bomb Iran. Thus, he really says nothing substantive here at all but manages to plant mind seeds of phony innuendo and empty disdain into his followers to hold against "Obamabots".

This is why I say Greenwald is so often full of crap.

For the moment, permit me to make one point about the two candidates' positions on Iran which has broad application to most of the issues likely to be debated tonight. It is true that Romney's war threats toward Tehran are broader and more aggressive than Obama's, in that the Republican has vowed to prevent Iran even from obtaining the "capability" to produce a nuclear weapon, while the incumbent Democrat has vowed to prevent only its "acquisition". That is not a trivial difference.

But if there is one thing the 2008 campaign should have permanently taught, it is that campaign rhetoric often bears little relationship to what a person will do once empowered. More important, it is almost certainly the case that an Obama-led attack on Iran would generate far more public support than a Romney-led attack, because most Democrats will almost certainly cheer for the former while pretending to be horrified by the latter, will while Republicans would support both (that's the dynamic that made the very same "counter-terrorism" policies that were so divisive in the Bush years become wildly popular once Obama embraced them)

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/22/foreign-policy-presidential-debate

I criticised this malarkey at the time both in the Graun thread (I think) and on MyFDL and of course was roundly excoriated by one and all of the Greenwaldians present for taking the time and trouble to point out the myriad fallacies on display.

GG also failed to mention the rather well-known fact at the time of his article that Obama actually reached out to Iran pre-election (this now also disingenuously ignored or dismissed by many bloggers here including blogger-in-chief b) for a rapprochement post-election. Here is one clear rendering from April 2012, although other administration officials were leaking similar right up to election time, if I recall correctly:

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-04-05/opinions/35450671_1_nuclear-weapons-senior-iranian-officials-iranian-leader

President Obama has signaled Iran that the United States would accept an Iranian civilian nuclear program if Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei can back up his recent public claim that his nation “will never pursue nuclear weapons.”

This verbal message was sent through Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who visited Khamenei last week. A few days before traveling to Iran, Erdogan had held a two-hour meeting with Obama in Seoul, in which they discussed what Erdogan would tell the ayatollah about the nuclear issue and Syria.

Obama advised Erdogan that the Iranians should realize that time is running out for a peaceful settlement and that Tehran should take advantage of the current window for negotiations. Obama didn’t specify whether Iran would be allowed to enrich uranium domestically as part of the civilian program the United States would endorse. That delicate issue evidently would be left for the negotiations that are supposed to start April 13, at a venue yet to be decided.

FWIW, the Stoller nonsense that I had in mind was posted at Salon days before the election and is too absurdly laughable to even waste a moment googling for the link now...

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 27, 2013 3:13:01 PM | 62

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 27, 2013 5:31:49 AM | 33

USSA suggests an rightist american view of a perceived socialist tendency in Obamas admin

Posted by: brian | Nov 27, 2013 3:41:31 PM | 63

Now I'm confused, donkeytale:

"I criticised this malarkey at the time both in the Graun thread (I think) and on MyFDL and of course was roundly excoriated by one and all of the Greenwaldians present for taking the time and trouble to point out the myriad fallacies on display."
What was the nature of the criticism that you made?

It seems to me that the basic calculus made by Greenwald, that Obama's warmongering would not be opposed by Democrats whereas Romney's would be opposed by the regulars if not the bluedogs, was correct.
It certainly proved true over Libya, where he got away with going to war by combining the R2P crowd with the neo-cons and blew holes in the War powers Act , not to mention the Constitution, in doing so.
And who but Obama could have "surged" sixty thousand troops into Afghanistan, with nary a whimper from most of Congress?

I suspect all of us, in this nest of losers, are extremely happy that Obama is not bombing either Iran or Syria. But it takes a real commitment to the Great Man theory of history to discount the importance of public opinion in preventing war.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 27, 2013 6:25:19 PM | 64

Socialist tendency in Obama's regime ? Are you kidding ? Obama is Corporatist in the Mussolini "Fascism should be called Corporatism" mold.

This is why I dislike the term socialism. People think Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, The German Socialist Workers Party, the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma, etc. and think that these top-down authoritarian governments had something to do with socialism which, if the word is to have any meaning, must describe the results of a bottom-up, democratic phenomenon.

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 27, 2013 7:02:19 PM | 65

' For my own part I don't care whether The Saker, whose identity is, I believe, generally known ... ' yet you keep it secret from us 'losers' here at the Whisky Bar ? Are you M16 ?

The article was the normal response to the what will be called "Obama's" Boner.

I wonder if Hagel was chosen SecDef because he was CIA ? I have no knowledge of his being CIA positive, but who else could be as stupid and deconstructive of the USSA's interests as the CIA ? If you haven't had a look at Sam Smith's piece of 2009, do. The CIA in charge over the past five years explains a lot of the stupidity and destructiveness that has prevailed over that same period.

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 27, 2013 7:23:21 PM | 66

Sorry, I botched the link to Sam Smith : THE STRANGE RISE OF OBAMA.

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 27, 2013 7:39:16 PM | 67

Posted by: john francis lee | Nov 27, 2013 7:02:19 PM | 66

even the nazis were labelled 'socialists'..how else to get US into the war !

Posted by: brian | Nov 27, 2013 8:27:33 PM | 68

"you keep it secret from us 'losers' here at the Whisky Bar ?"

I was not sure about that, but a few weeks ago, just before The Saker got his AToL gig, I am fairly sure that someone identified him here. If I am wrong, so what?

This may be of interest. The Jacobin publishing a sensible piece on Syria. That is a sign of the times.
http://jacobinmag.com/2013/11/syria-the-revolution-that-never-was/

Posted by: bevin | Nov 27, 2013 9:04:47 PM | 69

Bevin @65

See this is the problem. What "seems" to be the truth on closer inspection often isnt really the truth at all. All these surehanded analogies about the US administration and what they will do here or the reaction of "most Democrats" or the American people in polls because of what was previously done there (even under different administrations!) grow pretty tiresome, don't they, especially when the historical analogies seldom if ever hold up? The thinking is all a bit too seemless and airtight to be real.

This is no "Great man" theory of history I am espousing. It is opposite if anything--closer to a Marxist Leninist historical perpsective. The reason we are seeing "hoepful, peaceful" signs in the ME recently is only because the two great capitalist imperialist ruling class empires, the USSA and the former USSR, are openly collaborating together instead of sniping at each other.

As I stated previously, Obama is simply a well heeled functionary who just happens to be working at the top of the food chain, doing the bidding of the global imperialist PTB. As is his colleague Mr Putin. Neither passes the "great man: test for me. I dont think we live in a great man era anyway. We all suck and the internet captures our suckiness pretty well, if it does nothing much else noteworthy for us.

Greenwald's thesis, that "most Democrats" would lay down for an attack on Iran (and the similar well worn internet theses that Obama did/is/will attack Syria) isn't proven out at all by the fact of O's air attack on Lybia. Totally separate times as well as circumstances. First, Lybia had oil. Certain NATO countries rely heavily on Lybian oil. Those were the circumstances that led to a rush to air strikes in Lybia, promulgated by NATO first and foremost with UNSC backing, I might add. History will determine whether the UN intervention had a positive or negative effect in Lybia, just as the non-intervention by the UN will be judged in Syria.

Certainly the widespread suffering, destruction and violence accompanied by UN non-intervention in Syria is proportionally greated than what is occurring in Lybia. Only rank propagandists will disagree with that statement, IMHO.

In fact the "O will attack Iran" thesis has now been rendered entirely moot by Obama's rapprochement with Iran (and it is a strangely surviving thesis anyway, since the path to peaceful dialogue with Iran was more than a year in the making and very publicly disclosed as much as 1 1/2 years ago-- see my link above).

Further, the similar thesis that O wants to attack Syria because he also attacked Lybia (some even draw an analogy with Bush's invasion of Iraq here, incredibly enough) has also been proven wrong by, uhhhm, the plain fact that Obama has not yet bombed or attacked Syria. Threatened for sure. But a threat can be made without necessarily following it through. Ask any male of the baby boom cohort who had a tough, "greatest generation" father about how threatening the big stick can have a keen ability to make you want to suddenly toe the line.

Subsequently, the US has now joined with Russia in convening a peace conference over Syria, which I seem to recall (surprise!) is what the administration as well as the Russians have been stating they wanted achieve all along.

Yes, indeed Obama totally ignored the polls before ordering Lybian airstrikes and the Afghanistan surge, both. And yes, again, he seems to have listened, and probably even hid behind the polls to escape bombing Syria when they crossed his so-called red line. And yes, Russia pulled his hat out of the fire. But yes, Syria needed to acquiesce humbly here (Russia forcing their hand at this point) and yes Russia needed very badly to step up and become more than the blunt force ennabler of an immense humanitarian tragedy, if they were going to remain members in good standing of the responsible order of the globalist elites.

Historically "most Americans" have lain down for "most Presidents" wrt their vile foreign policy maneuvres. That is a true statement which Greenwald and many, many other internet pundits twist to serve their own ideological ends. This time you all came up empty. Sorry, guys.

I'm not sure I responded well to you here but I'm willing to keep trying or shut up now and stop trying. LOL. Rereading this crapola, I'm self-selecting the latter path.

Happy holidays to all mah fellow US of A-holes. And to all other peeps of the World, a very goodnight.

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 27, 2013 10:55:53 PM | 70

@70

Looks like those feckless Proyect-ists are hared at work! Glad to see that - when they are not shunning nuns or comparing al Qaeda fanatics with the Zapatistas - can find the courage to take on small magazines for positing an opposing viewpoint:


“Due to the large number of complaints we’ve received which deemed this article to be offensive to the sacrifices of the Syrian people in their struggle for justice, it has been removed. Asa Winstanley stands by his article.”

Presumably impotent trolls like Proyect take some kind of boyish, other-peoples-blood-soaked psychological fulfillment from their increasingly bizarre cheerleading for the purveyors of this human tragedy. No doubt it is the very same kind pathological "fulfillment" that men like George W. Bush and Tony Blair took from their war on Iraq.

Posted by: guest77 | Nov 27, 2013 11:00:53 PM | 71

And a happy Thanksgiving to you, too, donkeytale. We had ours up here in Canada about a month ago. Curiously enough Canadian retailers have found it impossible to resist the Black Friday sale promotions. It is only in the last couple of years but now they are all over the place. It is a bit like Christmas being celebrated in Shanghai-few object but nobody quite understands what it is all about.

Did you see this article today?
http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/11/28/obamas-middle-east-grand-strategy/

Posted by: bevin | Nov 28, 2013 12:53:42 PM | 72

Posted by: bevin | Nov 27, 2013 9:04:47 PM | 70

Winstanley and Electronic Intifada have always bee dodgy on the issue of syria, the piece
http://jacobinmag.com/2013/11/syria-the-revolution-that-never-was/
is no better

'I was always against NATO bombing of Libya. But if I look now back at some of my reactions on Twitter in the early part of 2011, it’s clear I, too, was over-optimistic about Egypt and elsewhere. I, too, spoke in favor of the early demonstrations against the Syrian regime, notwithstanding fears from the beginning that they would be hijacked'

nice he was aganist the NATO bombing of libya...does that imply he was against Gadafi, otherwise? and his favoring the demonstrators against the 'syrian regime' was a sign of at best poor judgement.

'Like many others, I hoped for positive change to the sweep the region. As well as the inherent value of such a change in itself, a free Arab world is best placed to confront Israel’s apartheid regime. The road to Jerusalem runs though Arab capitals, as the late Palestinian leader George Habash used to emphasize'

the 'syrian regime' was opposed to the brutal israel regime...did he think the demonstrators were?

'To say Syria is now a disaster is a massive understatement. This is a sectarian civil war which could continue for a decade if the regime’s enemies, led by the brutal Saudi tyranny, continue to wage their proxy war on the country'

its NOT a 'civil war' its a foreign invasion, unless chechens, libyans afghans turks tunisians pakis xinjiang chinese etc are suddenly syrians!
(part 1)

Posted by: brian | Nov 28, 2013 3:50:33 PM | 73

part 2 on the Jacobin/AKA Electonic Intifada: a critique

the piece by Winstanley continues with a full meltdown:

'But what a difference in Syria. Yes, the regime is dictatorial and ruthless. But from the beginning of the uprising, which initially only demanded “reform,” Syria was split. Along with large anti-Assad demonstrations, there were equally huge pro-Assad demonstrations.

When demonstrations supporting a brutal tyrant are attended on such a massive scale, you shouldn’t fool yourself with the farcical BBC theory that tens of thousands of people were “forced” onto the streets.

By now, there are no demonstrations of significance on either side, and these pro-Assad mobilizations occurred before he committed some of his worst crimes. But there is no doubt this popular support freed his hand for further (and often indiscriminate) military crackdowns on the “terrorist” groups.

This is a tyrant who has (as strongly implied by UN weapons inspectors) used chemical weapons against civilians, and who has bombed whole areas indiscriminately in his fight against armed groups. And yet, Assad has a genuine support base which, almost by default, is only growing as the armed insurgents fighting him become more and more openly aligned to fanatical groups like al-Qaeda.

'

1. there has never been in syria massive anti-assad demonstrations, there have always been massive PRO-assad demos...but Winstanley needs this lie to buttress his its a 'civil war' arguement .

2.Assad as 'brutal tyrant' ? what is the evidence for this BIG LIE? 'When demonstrations supporting a brutal tyrant ' one needs to think this thru without the use of hallucininogens... its this sort of lie that has undermined the left wing.

3. 'By now, there are no demonstrations of significance on either side, and these pro-Assad mobilizations occurred before he committed some of his worst crimes'

what worst crimes? is this after the invasion by foreign jihadis? has he been sucked in by the Colour Revolution 101: act to get the ruling govt to commit or APPEAR to commit atrocities, so they lose legitimacy and cause a uprising....jihadis are very useful for this , as their guerilla tactics allow them to penetrate cities and turn them into massive human shields....as AW demonstrates when he writes:

'This is a tyrant who has (as strongly implied by UN weapons inspectors) used chemical weapons against civilians, and who has bombed whole areas indiscriminately in his fight against armed groups'


NO Assad hasnt used CW at all and the 'bombed whole areas indiscriminately ' meme implies the syrian army has been the one killing civilians, which feeds the notion Assad is a brutal tyrant.

this is the best eg/showcase of the sort of lying analysis which implies a zionist hand.

so why would ANYONE say the Jacobin article is anything other than a Hitler BIG LIE meant to feed the NO to FSA NO to Assad camp of the PULSE media/ Electronic Intifada camp?

get real people.

Posted by: brian | Nov 28, 2013 4:04:36 PM | 74

This may be of interest. The Jacobin publishing a sensible piece on Syria. That is a sign of the times.
http://jacobinmag.com/2013/11/syria-the-revolution-that-never-was/

Posted by: bevin | Nov 27, 2013 9:04:47 PM | 70

now why do you say this is a 'sensible piece on Syria' when its nothing of the sort...what it is is a lament that even the pro-war left cant deny their guys are the real brutal tyrants,and its getting hard to run interference for them, without tearing ones reputation to shreds... Youd think the support given by Bernard Henri Levi for the war on Libya AND Syria would send EI and anyone with 2 neurones to rub together a clear message...but Asa Winstanely's calling Assad a 'brutal tyrant' who strangely has massive support of the people he is being a tyrant over suggests a a total collapse of common sense only to be seen where there is massive propganda campaign at work

Posted by: brian | Nov 28, 2013 4:11:13 PM | 75

my letter to Jacobin mag/Electronic Intifada:

Hello Jacobin mag,

I saw this article in your online site: by Asa Winstanley

http://jacobinmag.com/2013/11/syria-the-revolution-that-never-was/
Why in blazes didn’t you fact check it?

Where Asa Winstanley of Electronic Intifada makes some amazing and fraudulengt claims against the Syrian govt and president Assad in the midst of a mea culpa that he got it wrong.

To wit
1. claims Assad is a brutal tyrant…who yet a million syrians can rally in support of
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh0ecbxkj1s
Not only that, the SAA which Assad would have to use to brutalise them has overwhelming support from syrians.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrFJm92zGmk
www.liveleak.com/view?i=de0_1352018649&comments=1

2. that 'But what a difference in Syria. Yes, the regime is dictatorial and ruthless.'
Evidence provided: none
3. that there were massive anti-assad demonstrations, yet strangely none in cities like Damascus…or anywhere . Winstanely links to a huge pro-Assad demo…but doesn’t to aany huge anti-Asad demo:
'Along with large anti-Assad demonstrations, there were equally huge pro-Assad demonstrations. '
Now why didn’t he provide a link? Maybe…cause…there were none? DUH!
4. 'This is a tyrant who has (as strongly implied by UN weapons inspectors) used chemical weapons against civilians, and who has bombed whole areas indiscriminately in his fight against armed groups. '
Think about this one….what evidence is there SAA used CW on its own soil right near the capital? Even AW says 'implied' ..implied? Evidence;..none,,,
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-chemical-attacks-in-east-ghouta-used-to-justify-a-military-intervention-in-syria/5349928
and one reason Mother Agnes has been under attack by the Left led by zionists like Michael Weiss as her evidence she presented to the UN and the russians (helped them to act against the US war machine)
http://rt.com/op-edge/mother-agnes-liberal-interventionists-026/
Why would antiwar pro-peace leftists/liberals seek to prevent an peace activist from speaking?
http://syria360.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/owen-jones-mother-agnes-a-lesson-from-on-conciliatory-leftists/
5. Colour revolution 101 is defined here by an egyptian academic
http://www.timesofisrael.com/egyptian-law-professor-us-causing-our-civil-war/
Where by Foreign agencies seek to incite rebellion by crafting uprisings usnig among others, snipers , making the govt act to repress dissent…leading critics to cry: 'brutal tyrant'
http://www.opednews.com/articles/Syria-how-the-violence-be-by-Tim-Anderson-130513-875.html
If that fails, as it did in syria then bring in foreign mercenaries to infiltrate cities and use populations as humman shields, to…well you get the ideaa...

Why would anyone with any familiarity with President Assad call him a 'brutal tyrant'? Youi can see and hear the man speak dozens of times, you can see him talk with crowds of citizens of syria in a way even Obama cant do at home….how can he e transformed int a brute?

You prepend the article with this:
The following piece by journalist Asa Winstanley was originally published on Middle East Monitor on November 22, 2013. On November 25 it was replaced by an editor’s note reading, “Due to the large number of complaints we’ve received which deemed this article to be offensive to the sacrifices of the Syrian people in their struggle for justice, it has been removed. Asa Winstanley stands by his article.”
Although the Jacobin editorial staff has a plurality of positions on Syria, we consider the arguments Winstanley lays out to be a useful contribution to the discussion around the ongoing crisis in the country. We repost it here in its entirety to further this dialogue. — Eds.
No wonder it had to be removed…as its bare faced libel. Winstanely continues to maintain Assad is a 'brutal tyrant' wording he also uses for real tyrants like the israelisand the saudis
Thanks to this sort of article the Left and supposed antiwar pro-palestinianss such as EI are getting more and more irrelavant
Please be more careful what you publish, cause you may be aiding the very powers you otherwise seek to resist

Regards

Posted by: brian | Nov 28, 2013 5:17:52 PM | 76

my letter to Jacobin mag/Electronic Intifada:

Hello Jacobin mag,

I saw this article in your online site: by Asa Winstanley

http://jacobinmag.com/2013/11/syria-the-revolution-that-never-was/
Why in blazes didn’t you fact check it?

Where Asa Winstanley of Electronic Intifada makes some amazing and fraudulengt claims against the Syrian govt and president Assad in the midst of a mea culpa that he got it wrong.

To wit
1. claims Assad is a brutal tyrant…who yet a million syrians can rally in support of
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wh0ecbxkj1s
Not only that, the SAA which Assad would have to use to brutalise them has overwhelming support from syrians.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrFJm92zGmk
www.liveleak.com/view?i=de0_1352018649&comments=1

2. that 'But what a difference in Syria. Yes, the regime is dictatorial and ruthless.'
Evidence provided: none
3. that there were massive anti-assad demonstrations, yet strangely none in cities like Damascus…or anywhere . Winstanely links to a huge pro-Assad demo…but doesn’t to aany huge anti-Asad demo:
'Along with large anti-Assad demonstrations, there were equally huge pro-Assad demonstrations. '
Now why didn’t he provide a link? Maybe…cause…there were none? DUH!
4. 'This is a tyrant who has (as strongly implied by UN weapons inspectors) used chemical weapons against civilians, and who has bombed whole areas indiscriminately in his fight against armed groups. '
Think about this one….what evidence is there SAA used CW on its own soil right near the capital? Even AW says 'implied' ..implied? Evidence;..none,,,
http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-chemical-attacks-in-east-ghouta-used-to-justify-a-military-intervention-in-syria/5349928
and one reason Mother Agnes has been under attack by the Left led by zionists like Michael Weiss as her evidence she presented to the UN and the russians (helped them to act against the US war machine)
http://rt.com/op-edge/mother-agnes-liberal-interventionists-026/
Why would antiwar pro-peace leftists/liberals seek to prevent an peace activist from speaking?
http://syria360.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/owen-jones-mother-agnes-a-lesson-from-on-conciliatory-leftists/
5. Colour revolution 101 is defined here by an egyptian academic
http://www.timesofisrael.com/egyptian-law-professor-us-causing-our-civil-war/
Where by Foreign agencies seek to incite rebellion by crafting uprisings usnig among others, snipers , making the govt act to repress dissent…leading critics to cry: 'brutal tyrant'
http://www.opednews.com/articles/Syria-how-the-violence-be-by-Tim-Anderson-130513-875.html
If that fails, as it did in syria then bring in foreign mercenaries to infiltrate cities and use populations as humman shields, to…well you get the ideaa...

Why would anyone with any familiarity with President Assad call him a 'brutal tyrant'? Youi can see and hear the man speak dozens of times, you can see him talk with crowds of citizens of syria in a way even Obama cant do at home….how can he e transformed int a brute?

You prepend the article with this:
The following piece by journalist Asa Winstanley was originally published on Middle East Monitor on November 22, 2013. On November 25 it was replaced by an editor’s note reading, “Due to the large number of complaints we’ve received which deemed this article to be offensive to the sacrifices of the Syrian people in their struggle for justice, it has been removed. Asa Winstanley stands by his article.”
Although the Jacobin editorial staff has a plurality of positions on Syria, we consider the arguments Winstanley lays out to be a useful contribution to the discussion around the ongoing crisis in the country. We repost it here in its entirety to further this dialogue. — Eds.
No wonder it had to be removed…as its bare faced libel. Winstanely continues to maintain Assad is a 'brutal tyrant' wording he also uses for real tyrants like the israelisand the saudis
Thanks to this sort of article the Left and supposed antiwar pro-palestinianss such as EI are getting more and more irrelavant
Please be more careful what you publish, cause you may be aiding the very powers you otherwise seek to resist

Regards

Posted by: brian | Nov 28, 2013 5:42:58 PM | 77

You really have missed the point, Brian.
This article by Winstanley represents a considerable advance on the positions taken up to now by the "feckless left."
The fact that The Jacobin has published it because its original publisher considered it too pro-assad is indicative of a widening breach in the ranks of the R2P NATO left.
While you are frustrated by many of the attitudes, characteristic of the "feckers", which he has still not shed, my guess is that there is quiet satisfaction in Damascus where the isolation of Bandar's takfiri terrorists is an important objective.
Winstanley's article and The Jacobin's retreat from positions of the sort L Proyect promotes are significant. If you think about it, you will, I am sure, agree.
In the meantime angry letters to The Jacobin are useful, I hope that you get a reply.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 28, 2013 6:39:27 PM | 78

Public opinion is just a reflection of the strongest media marketing campaign. Whichever political agenda is the most successfully marketed will determine poll results. Swaying public opinion about our policies towards another nation is simply a matter of marketing.

The "Iran is Evil" side of this debate is tenacious and powerful, particularly in the media/entertainment sector of our economy. It ain't over till the fat lady sings, and there are plenty of pro-Israel media factions nad moguls, with mega billions, wlling to whore themselves for God's favorite little sandpit and the chosen ones.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Nov 28, 2013 8:03:05 PM | 79

Shows how utterly retarded is the logic-space inhabited by the Nun-shunning Scahills and Oh-wen Jo-wens of this world, when such a measly article, like Winstanley's, is considered "too controversial" to publish.

What drugs are these people on? Worse, what drugs do they think the rest of us are on?

Posted by: foff | Nov 28, 2013 8:23:01 PM | 80

And this too is significant:
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/middle-east/irish-troops-fired-on-by-syrian-rebel-units

Posted by: bevin | Nov 28, 2013 9:01:33 PM | 81

'The fact that The Jacobin has published it because its original publisher considered it too pro-assad is indicative of a widening breach in the ranks of the R2P NATO left.
While you are frustrated by many of the attitudes, characteristic of the "feckers", which he has still not shed, my guess is that there is quiet satisfaction in Damascus where the isolation of Bandar's takfiri terrorists is an important objective.
Winstanley's article and The Jacobin's retreat from positions of the sort L Proyect promotes are significant. If you think about it, you will, I am sure, agree.
In the meantime angry letters to The Jacobin are useful, I hope that you get a reply.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 28, 2013 6:39:27 PM | 79


wow, Bevin, you must have read a very different article! no where is President Assad called less than a brutal tyrant...theres nothing pro-assad in it:

'This is a tyrant who has (as strongly implied by UN weapons inspectors) used chemical weapons against civilians, and who has bombed whole areas indiscriminately in his fight against armed groups'

where it says he has real support, it cant explain why he has 'real' support, when same paragraph AW says he is a 'tyrant'...see next comment for a far more perceptive assessment

Posted by: brian | Nov 28, 2013 9:21:28 PM | 82

this artivle by Prince is far moer accurate analysis of the syria debacle

'Actually, the militant Islamic rebel factions are Syria’s version of cruise missiles on the ground. If, in Iraq, the United States destroyed infrastructure and civil society from the air by intensive bombing campaigns that actually started in 1991 and accelerated after the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, in Syria it is Islamic guerrillas who attack civilian communities, factories, schools, religious institutions, and power stations to the same end. Their goals: to make life unlivable for Syrians, drive them either into the opposition or into exile and to destroy as much of Syria as a country so that it will literally collapse and Syria cease to exist as a state, as happened in Iraq, all the while blaming the lion’s share of the damage on the Syrian military.'
http://fpif.org/mother-agnes-mariam-warns-islamic-extremists-undermine-peace-prospects-syria/

main failings: refers to a 'syrian resistance'(aka FSA) and says 'fall like a house of cards, as did Gadaffy’s rule in Libya'

Gaddafi (not 'y') did not 'rule Libya' hasnt been in office in 20 years

Posted by: brian | Nov 28, 2013 9:26:26 PM | 83

brian, you appear to know much more about this than I do. And I respect your sincerity. I still think, as does the Angry Arab, that this is a significant split.
But we are on the same side in so far as we are both opposed to the imperialists' cruel and cowardly offensives against Syria and its people.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 28, 2013 9:53:52 PM | 84

This is from the NYTimes, brian, bylined by leading anti-assad reporter Ann Barnard:

"DAMASCUS, Syria — In a terrace cafe within earshot of army artillery, a 28-year-old graduate student wept as she confessed that she had stopped planning antigovernment protests and delivering medical supplies to rebel-held towns.

"Khaled, 33, a former protester who fled Damascus after being tortured and fired from his bank post, quit his job in Turkey with the exile opposition, disillusioned and saying that he wished the uprising “had never happened.”

"In the Syrian city of Homs, a rebel fighter, Abu Firas, 30, recently put down the gun his wife had sold her jewelry to buy, disgusted with his commanders, who, he said, focus on enriching themselves. Now he finds himself trapped under government shelling, broke and hopeless.

“The ones who fight now are from the side of the regime or the side of the thieves,” he said in a recent interview via Skype. “I was stupid and naïve,” he added. “We were all stupid.”

"Even as President Bashar al-Assad of Syria racks up modest battlefield victories, this may well be his greatest success to date: wearing down the resolve of some who were committed to his downfall. People have turned their backs on the opposition for many different reasons after two and a half years of fighting, some disillusioned with the growing power of Islamists among rebels, some complaining of corruption, others just exhausted with a conflict that shows no signs of abating.

"But the net effect is the same, as some of the Syrians who risked their lives for the fight are effectively giving up, finding themselves in a kind of checkmate born of Mr. Assad’s shrewdness and their own failures — though none interviewed say they are willing to return to his fold.

"Their numbers are impossible to measure, and there remain many who vow to keep struggling. Yet a range of Mr. Assad’s opponents, armed and unarmed, inside and outside Syria, tell of a common experience: When protests began, they thought they were witnessing the chance for a new life. They took risks they had never dreamed of taking. They lost jobs, houses, friends and relatives, suffered torture and hunger, saw their neighborhoods destroyed. It was all they could do, yet it was not enough.

"What finally forced them to the sidelines, they say, were the disarray and division on their side, the government’s deft exploitation of their mistakes, and a growing sense that there is no happy ending in sight. Some said they came to believe that the war could be won only by those as violent and oppressive as Mr. Assad, or worse.

"Such conclusions have been expressed by more and more people in recent months, in interviews in Damascus, the Syrian capital; Lebanon; and Turkey and via Skype across rebel-held areas in Syria. Many more fighters say they continue mainly because quitting would leave them feeling guilty toward other fighters.

“It’s undeniable that a lot of your early activists are disillusioned,” said Emile Hokayem, a Syria analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, adding that in revolutions, it is often “your most constructive, positive people who are engaged early on who find themselves sidelined.”

"Because such groups tend to be more vocal, he said, their changed views may be magnified beyond their numbers. Most are urbanites who had little understanding of the conservative poor whose mobilization is the backbone of the insurgency, he said. But their backing off has real impact, he said, especially on local governance, where they tended to be active.

"Disillusioned activists say that early on, euphoric at being able to protest at all, they neglected to build bridges to fence-sitters, or did not know how. Homegrown fighters desperate for help welcomed foreign jihadists, and many grew more religious or sectarian in tone, alarming Mr. Assad’s supporters, dividing his opponents and frightening the West out of substantially supporting them...."

There is much in the article offensive and untrue. But the tenor of it is important. Again, I suspect that in Damascus it will be seen as not insignificant.


Posted by: bevin | Nov 28, 2013 10:05:21 PM | 85

But the NYT can spin on a dime.

That's what they are for.

Posted by: foff | Nov 28, 2013 10:17:54 PM | 86

Meanwhile the circus continues, again, that's what it is for

Posted by: foff | Nov 28, 2013 10:21:42 PM | 87

NYT former home of Judith Miller...

shameful that anyone would allow foreign mercenaries access to their country to fight the legitimate govt,,,,hadnt they read Machiavelli....mercs brought in are hard to control and get rid of


as for '"Khaled, 33, a former protester who fled Damascus after being tortured and fired from his bank post'

tortured? i doubt it....but has the NYT ever hear of Guantanamo?

at the very beginning in Daraa there were present mysterious snipers...who were they? if the foreign jihadis only came later?

Posted by: brian | Nov 28, 2013 11:27:07 PM | 88

- In #Aleppo massive demonstration for SAA http://youtu.be/Saa3caGknjg

if ever someone tells you that 'brutal tyrant' Assad and the syrian army are crushing syrians and need the help of the FSA or USA to cdome to their aid...show the videos like this

i never see videos showing massive throngs of syrians cheering the FSA/aljusra/ISIS

be nice to have english subtitles tho

Posted by: brian | Nov 29, 2013 1:29:45 AM | 89

'-Deputy Foreign and Expatriates Minister Fayssal Mikdad said that the real dimensions of the crimes of armed terrorist groups in Syria are summarized by dividing the territorial integrity in Syria and forcing part of its people to leave home.

"Non condemnation of those crimes by some states, particularly the western countries, is considered as an indication to these countries' involvement in the Syrian bloodshed," Mikdad said during a meeting with a number of ambassadors, heads of diplomatic corps and chairmen of the UN offices accredited in Damascus.

He pointed out to the dangerous escalation of the terrorists through targeting one constituent of the Syrian people with mortars and the tools of killing and destruction, including massacres against the children in their schools and the destruction of historic cities like Maaloula, Saddad and churches in other Syrian cities.
http://sana.sy/eng/21/2013/11/28/514993.htm

Posted by: brian | Nov 29, 2013 4:56:52 AM | 90

Bevin, I read the article you suggested and found it curious, mostly for its placement inside that particular webzine. The article certainly lacked "punch" and if it runs "counter" to anything it seems to be its editors' intuition.

Perhaps that was Bevin's point.

I would disagree with the article's subheadlined characterisation of the Administration's recent ME machinations as being either potentially wondrous on the one hand as well as possibly disastrous on the other. Now that's mos def the kind of pointless hyperbole one normally associates with internet leftism.

I read the Jacobin piece and some of the back and forth in the thread too. This bit, that goes, well, the Arab Spring was not a revolution (meaning not leftist) opens up the entire panoply of leftist excuse making for Assad, along with his ennablers in Moscow and Tehran.

While like everyone on the left, Jaco utters the throwaway scare line cliche, "of course Assad is authoritarian but the alternative will be much, much worse"! This means, of course, the alternative will be 'Saudi Israelia' overlording magnificent armies of head chopping AQ madmen who will surely devastate all the lovely shiite innocents so curiously beloved these days among the internet left.

It will take a good bit of evidence-based articulation for me to begin to disbelieve my thesis that the neoliberal Assad, after seeing himself also on the ropes as other rotten Arab structures circa 2011, purposely and opportunistically unleashed his brutal military and thug force attacks against his own cities simply to prolong his ruling caste. This was as cunning and smart a move as it was self serving and avoidable. He could have just as easily retired to the Black Sea with his loverly Missus and allowed for a Russian-led succession plan that may have thrown some economic political reform sop to the beleagured among his country. Course, we could ask the same of our own ruling castes too, if we were willing to die and be displaced in huge numbers as a result of posing the question.

Many, perhaps most of the leftists herein bought the subsequent Syrian/Iranian/Russian propaganda in order to defend the perpetuation of yet another illegitimate neoliberal regime simply because its sides are not stamped 'USA' or 'Israel.'

And this outpouring of massive, shall I daresay neo-stalinist self-delusion provided Russia with the cover to greatly assist (to the tune of billions in military aid) in the slaughter of tens of thousands, along with the displacement of millions into permanent suffering. So yes, you are all by extension war criminals. Get in line.

And most conveniently for your fearless moral consciences, you get to blame the US, Israel and the forces of western imperialism, preposterously exclusive of Russia, who are of course to be lauded as heroes of this mess. Neat magic trick, that!

The Arab Spring reveals far less about the US and Israel, western neoliberalism than it does the creaking decadence of the Arabic political structure, not to mention the dogma of the internet left. Dont get me wrong, it does reveal plenty about the US, the West and yes Russia and Iran too, but nothing as consequential about these usual imperial interlopers as what is happening to those Arabs on the ground. Or under it.

Mainly, what is revealed is that imperialism spins on two tracks. The tried and true Western variety, now joined by Pepe's beloved BRICS cohort. But, this merely makes Escobar into another imperialist tool, just one stamped 'made in China.'

And let us not entirely forget the Kurds in this either. The Kurds whose rising far overshadows the legend of Al Qaeda conquering vast stretches of worthless desert. Follow the ascendance of the Kurds for they will become a growing counterweight to the traditional Arabic sectarian haplessness and a force with which to be reckoned in their own right. The kurds look like maybe the only true winners of both Shock and Awe and Arab Spring and that is still unrealised potential. Of course why didn't I see that! That was the evil Cheney's and/or Get the Netanyahu's plan all along! Empower the Kurds...

Regardless of the eventual result of the events triggered in Tunisia, which likely will not attain for many decades or even centuries (how long now have the Shia and the Sunni been literally at each others' throats?) an objective rendering should implicate the criminality of all the venal ME dictatorships and their postwar brutalities towards vast segments of the unfavoured sections of their own Arab people, or in the case of Iran, their own causcasion people.

And tell me again why leftists should cheer the maintenance of one rotten postwar Arabic neoliberal political structure over another when the grand sweep of history demands they all be swept away in the tidal wave gathering against Western Civilisation, regardless of sect or caste?

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 29, 2013 10:52:02 AM | 91

Zionist blather vis a vis those pesky Kurds:

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Columnists/COLUMN-ONE-A-vastly-changed-Middle-East-332624

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 29, 2013 12:46:38 PM | 92

There's not much point in telling you anything, donkeytale, because you are just a mirror image of the target you have constructed to complain about (the mythical internet leftist). You are as certain you already know everything of any relevance as he is. You know for a fact that Assad personally decided (everyone else being at his beck and call, for mysterious autocratic reasons), to "unleash his thugs" and so forth. And your mythical internet leftist opponents know the exact opposite: they know that from day one the Arab Spring of Syria was nothing but paid Jihadi (or pseudo-Jihadi) death squads. And everybody has seen enormous amounts of evidence, of a more or less verifiable sort, to support their view, and probably quite a lot of equally dubious evidence to contradict it. So unless we spend time bringing our evidence for your inspection, and arguing about it with you, there isn't much to discuss.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 29, 2013 2:19:07 PM | 93

More to the point, I for one think of the US as uniquely evil; more evil than Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and all the innumerable tinpot dictators combined. You're obviously blind to that, because you're part of the evil.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Nov 29, 2013 2:50:46 PM | 94

Rowan, me thinks Bob said this well, as it likely applies to many of us internet fakes.

'You see you're just like me, I hope you're satisfied.'

You appear to be much more juvenile than your elegant name would seem to indicate.

'Uniquely evil' is just a silly term no matter how miaplly it.

Posted by: donkeytale | Nov 29, 2013 3:53:40 PM | 95

I only partially agree with B's view.

According to my info the following happened:
- Obama made a "off the cuff" remark about a "red line".
- That was used by the war mongers to push the Obama administration towards invading/attacking Syria. DO NOT forget that the arms producers are ALWAYS in favour of more wars/military action (=more profits/turnover/demand for weapons).
- However, Obama was aware of the "war fatigue" of the US public. The US public has put pressure on Congress to NOT invade Syria or any other sort of military action against Syria. That's why Obama was able to deflect the pressure to Congress. Congress was (according to my info) therefore also against any military action.
- The most important variable in the political equation was that the US military was OPPOSED to any military action against Syria. And that was the predominant reason why Obama was ABLE to resist pressure any military action against Syria.
- Another reason the Obama administration was able to resist military action against Syria, was the fact that the US already was in negotiations (since say the 2nd quarter of 2013) with Russia for an agreements on the syrian chemical weapons.

Posted by: Willy2 | Dec 1, 2013 1:59:12 AM | 96

@ 97.
- The most important variable in the political equation was that the US military was OPPOSED to any military action against Syria. And that was the predominant reason why Obama was ABLE to resist pressure any military action against Syria.
And why didn't the Pentagon want military action against Syria?
Because, being as weak as piss and twice as yellow, and being used to attacking countries which can't shoot back, they knew they'd be torn to shreds by Putin's Armarda.

- Another reason the Obama administration was able to resist military action against Syria, was the fact that the US already was in negotiations (since say the 2nd quarter of 2013) with Russia for an agreements on the syrian chemical weapons.
You made that up. The fake chem weapons attack occurred near the end of the third quarter. There were no 'negotiations' before the August attack and YouTubes of the fakery were online before the precise time of the attack (in some time zones). And FrUKUS were so well-prepared to respond quickly to the "news" that they OBVIOUSLY knew it was coming.

It turns my stomach when apologists for US lacklustre idiocy, confusion and craven cowardice, try to forget that Putin's Russia was THE deciding factor - outweighing ALL other factors.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 1, 2013 8:03:40 AM | 97

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