Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 16, 2013

Open Thread 2013-27

News & views ...

Posted by b on December 16, 2013 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

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Patrick Cockburns article "Britain's Policy on Syria has just been sunk, and nobody noticed", is a must read, here..http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/britains-policy-on-syria-has-just-been-sunk-and-nobody-noticed/

Posted by: harrylaw | Dec 16, 2013 12:06:03 PM | 1

It seems that the UN report on CW in Syria was hardly noticed in Western press (certainly it was ignored), esp. the fact that it identifies Syrian Army on receiving end of chemical weapons attacks in majority of cases. This is hugely significant - explodes the myth of "only the regime could have done Aug.21"... see here: http://levantreport.com/2013/12/14/confirmed-in-mainstream-sources-syrian-rebels-possess-and-have-used-chemical-weapons/

Why isn't there more analysis on the UN final report? It seems public has "moved on" and media-govt. establishment is quite happy with that.

Posted by: Brad | Dec 16, 2013 12:17:23 PM | 2

Chemical weapons are so last year...nearly.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Dec 16, 2013 12:21:14 PM | 3

What it doesn't explode is the non-mythical way newspapers use a topic when it serve the interests of their masters the politicians and multinationals
The way the French/UK/US newspapers all went into a perfectly harmonized chorus on August 21th was just strictly identical with the crescendo that led to Iraq's war.

Posted by: Mina | Dec 16, 2013 12:33:39 PM | 4

Look at lame conspiracy theory from Brown Moses (in his "part 2" response to UN report):

"It could also have been the Regime, who are probably not beyond killing their own people to gain a tactical advantage. It could have been fratricide, which is always possible, and likely; experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan bear this up, and the highly complex battlefield of the Syrian conflict make this also a possible explanation."

So he writes his "Sy Hersh's Chemical Misfire" article for Foreign Policy a few days prior to UN report release where he says it's absolutely impossible that the rebels could have CW. Then he backtracks on his blog with a lame theory (after mocking conspiracy theories).

Posted by: Brad | Dec 16, 2013 12:42:40 PM | 5

I am reposting this NSA-Santa Claus link from the end of
the last Open Thread. One hopes that laughter can be a useful first step.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 16, 2013 12:44:55 PM | 6

As this is an open thread I just thought mentioning the fact, that 800 future French police officers have to (!) take a trip down a very specific memoy lane during the swearing-in ceremony. In this case, they have to be sensitized to ...tadddaaa antisemitism! And this is on national TV!! So police officers have no reasons to question the millions of dead Iraqis, the wrecking of Lybia, the ongoing support of the french medialitics for Alciada in Syria, the millions of people who died in dirty wars...No...doesnt matter aslong as you know hwo OWNS you! Even if u dont understand French, ull get the picture... http://www.egaliteetreconciliation.fr/Matraquage-22032.html

Posted by: Kal | Dec 16, 2013 1:39:26 PM | 7

@Brad

By referring to BM here, you are giving him far more credit than he deserves. The idea that a man, whose investigative skills extend no further than watching youtube videos, considers himself so highly that he would go head to head with Hersh is frankly wince inducing. Why do people persist with him?

He is an absurdity and is only surpassed in this respect by the corner shop merchant masquerading as a Syrian Human Rights Organisation. The mad, mad world encouraged by Western NGOs, the BBC and their ilk.

Let there be no further mention of him, unless he's the punch line of a joke.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Dec 16, 2013 1:50:28 PM | 8

@1 & @2
Excellent links. No need however to lament that we missed them, because both were posted on the Syrian thread, earlier.

This is an interesting piece on the Fukushima situation and growing calls in Japan for getting out of nuclear:
http://japanfocus.org/-Andrew-DeWit/4049?utm_source=December+16%2C+2013&utm_campaign=China%27s+Connectivity+Revolution&utm_

Posted by: bevin | Dec 16, 2013 1:56:10 PM | 9

Western media and politicians usually call Assad brutal and ruthless. Probably some truth to this, but only such a regime could survive the undeclared war waged by western and Saudi supported Sunni fanatics.

Posted by: Andoheb | Dec 16, 2013 2:45:37 PM | 10

There are a couple of stories at this site regarding the legal aspects of the Viktor Bout and Richard Chichakli trials. Chichakli acted as his own lawyer (although apparently with some more standard legal assistance) and has now been convicted on various counts (money laundering, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and wire fraud). Chichakli's prosecution and conviction has not received (to my knowledge) anything approaching the media coverage of the Bout case, but as noted in the first of the stories on the Rijock site, it managed (with legal difficulties) to bring up (though not to "bring out") a number of embarassing links between U.S. spookery and some decidedly nasty operators, even by the relaxed standards of that trade. The enduring impression one receives is that this was indeed "vindictive prosecution" in which
Chichakli (and Bout) were prosecuted for crimes which better-placed arms dealers were not even indicted or mentioned in indictments.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 16, 2013 3:42:50 PM | 11

The latest issue of Monthly Review has a good piece by Daniel Johnson, "Winstanley's Ecology," on the 17th century radical theorist and Digger Gerrard Winstanley and how he connects to the current “Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth."

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Dec 16, 2013 4:08:14 PM | 12

A US District court judge in the District of Columbia has found the NSA metadata programme to be unconstitutional.

This link is to a speech by Chas Freeman the former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia the Obamaites dropped after AIPAC protests.
http://chasfreeman.net/snowden-and-snooping/

Posted by: bevin | Dec 16, 2013 5:18:56 PM | 13

Who are the REAL terrorist (rhetorical)

If a Drone Strike Hit an American Wedding, We'd Ground Our Fleet

Posted by: wayne | Dec 16, 2013 5:37:44 PM | 14


Thanks to Syrian Girl (Syrian Partisan Girl), we now know that Matthew VanDyke was not only a psy-op officer for the al Qaeda-led 100,000+strong army, but that he and his "award-winning documentary" have also been part of the illegal weapons procurement and smuggling operation for the Islamists via such outfits and public fronts as "the Syrian Support Group." Now, her twitter account has been suspended, but what about VanDyke who helped arm and finance terror brigades allied with al Qaeda? https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=416060338523920&set=pcb.416060441857243&type=1&theater

Posted by: brian | Dec 16, 2013 5:42:18 PM | 15

Mike Maloney @11
Thanks for the link. This article touches on many of the points I have been making about traditional communal views on the un-sanctity of private property.
The situation faced by the Diggers has been repeated again and again during the past four centuries. This dispossession of the poor from the lands that they believe they have a right to occupy and subsist on, is a constant factor in the history of capitalism. As is the forced flight of "surplus" populations to the cities and the labour market.

In terms of ideas the struggle has been against the Lockean dictum, highly convenient for imperialists, that private property is established when a man uses his (or his servant's) labour to raise crops from the land.
The other side of the coin, which explains capitalism's contempt for nature, is that the land, in nature, has no value until it has been turned into property.
It is a viewpoint that puts mountain top removals, for example, or the Tar Sands in perspective.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 16, 2013 5:44:55 PM | 16

here are what US activist Matt Van Dykes buddies are doing:

Mazhar Ibraheem, a Syrian doctor, has escaped from death, when armed groups of al-Nusra Front, Ahrar al-Sham and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant have raided Adraa al-Omalia city of Damascus suburbs, committing massacres against the residents of the city.
Dr. Ibraheem, who is originally from Tartous countryside, told Breaking News Network what he witnessed when some militants have infiltrated the city, where he lived for several years.
“Since the earlier hours of that day, I heard crackle of gunfire in front of my house that is in front of a bakery , then I realized that it was fire exchange between the militants and the bakery guards «the heroes»….. Hours were difficult… I escaped with my wife and my daughter Kristin to a nearby shelter, where dozens of the residents were hiding.”
Ibraheem continued saying to Breaking News Network reporter to Tartous, “Then the armed men have infiltrated the shelter and started torturing, killing and investigating about « who supports the “regime” and who works with the government».”
“The radicalized militants have intended to cut off the hands of the government’s worker In order to prevent the resumption of their work and to behead some of them and to torture the bodies in front of the children eyes,” Ibraheem said.
He added “After three days of «horror» in the shelter, the doctor could escape with his family and other families to the international road, where Syrian Army is located."
The doctor also described the horrific scenes that he with his family saw of decomposed, tortured and beheaded bodies, which were thrown all over the streets.
The wife said that “the armed men were non-Syrians, we lived terrible days, before we could escape with only the clothes that we wore. The Syrian Army secured us and helped us to reach a safe area.”
The family are now hosted by the governer of Tartous province.

http://breakingnews.sy/en/article/30856.html

Posted by: brian | Dec 16, 2013 6:11:39 PM | 17

Just to document the relatively low-key coverage of Chichakli's conviction observe that this note from the NYT regarding a conviction in a trial taking place in a Manhattan federal court is reprinted from a Reuters dispatch.

Also @bevin 12: with regard to the judicial decision mentioned in the first part of your comment, perhaps the judge had viewed the video linked to in comment 5
(;-)

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 16, 2013 6:49:34 PM | 18

"Demonstration outside the headquarters of the UN # sign denouncing terrorist crimes # Adra

# Damascus / Hundreds of workers have now observed a sit-in outside the UN headquarters in Damascus as a sign of denunciation of terrorist massacre that had committed terrorist groups against civilians in working Adra town in the suburbs of Damascus.

During the sit-in, participants condemned in a message addressed to the Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, "the absolute silence of the UN and its organizations to the acts of murder and destruction committed by groups armed terrorists. "

They asked the United Nations and the International Labour Organization to compel Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey who support terrorists to exert pressure on them to stop the killing and slaughter of civilians working in and around Adra in Syria city." https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=584806578259664&set=a.530597920347197.1073743883.388290427911281&type=1&theater

Posted by: brian | Dec 16, 2013 8:02:15 PM | 19

I think this is a pretty "naive" statement from Greenwald, considering all we know about how corporations not only seem to provide the government with their most important data. To call the state "uniquely threatening" while not even acknowledging the fact that it has become practically impossible separate the corporate power structure and the political is, I think, a little bizarre. This response is disturbing, and doesn't bode well for his future "project" with the his corporate billionaire crony.

What about private companies and privacy? We have Google scanning people's Gmail and collecting search terms; Facebook and others track our movements around the Web. Companies sell our data to marketers. What's your take on all that?

Greenwald: I think there's a serious danger posed by large Internet corporations collecting data, but I also think there's a big difference between the state doing that and private corporations doing it. I mean, the idea that the state can be uniquely threatening is embedded in all of our political awareness. If you look at the Bill of Rights, it limits what the state can do but doesn't limit what corporations can do, and that's because, as oppressive as corporations can be, the state has unique powers -- like the ability to put you into a cage for a long time, or life, or even take your life; and the ability to take your property; to impose all kinds of taxation; to build weapons that can be used against people around the world -- that corporations don't actually have alone.

And the other thing I would say is that corporations, by the way they're structured, are geared toward generating profit, whereas states are constructed for a whole variety of reasons having to do with power, which includes profit but extends far beyond it as well. And so corporations that are collecting information about you are likely to use it to do things like sell you to advertisers for targeted advertisements or [sell] other kinds of composite pictures of who you are for a profitable end, whereas the state historically has used surveillance for far more than that, including suppressing political dissent, or punishing people who in any way are kind of deviant of the norm, putting people in check in terms of their behavior. So I think the dangers are more manifold and possibly more severe from state surveillance than from corporate surveillance, even though they're both a serious concern.

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 16, 2013 8:03:54 PM | 20

Sorry, the full link for the above: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37049.htm

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 16, 2013 8:04:23 PM | 21

51 Sailors from USS Ronald Reagan Suffering Thyroid Cancer, Leukemia, Brain Tumors After Participating in Fukushima Nuclear Rescue Efforts Print
Thursday, 12 December 2013 20:00
December 12, 2013 -- (TRN http://www.TurnerRadioNetwork.com ) -- Crew members in their mid-20's from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan are coming down with all sorts of radiation-related illnesses after being deployed less than 3 years ago to assist with earthquake rescue operations off the coast of Japan in 2011. It looks as though the onboard desalinization systems that take salt out of seawater to make it drinkable, were taking-in radioactive water from the ocean for the crew to drink, cook with and bath-in, before anyone realized there was a massive radiation spill into the ocean.
Charles Bonner, attorney representing sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan said "the crew members were not only going to the rescue by jumping into the water and rescuing people out of the water, but they were drinking desalinated sea water, bathing in it, until finally the captain of the USS Ronald Reagan alarmed people that they were encountering high levels of radiation."
Bonner says that as a result of this exposure, the 51 sailors have come down with a host of medical problems, "They have testicular cancer, they have thyroid cancers, they have leukemias, they have rectal and gynecological bleeding, a host of problems that they did not have before ... people are going blind, pilots who had perfect eyesight but now have tumors on the brain. And it’s only been 3 years since they went in." Bonner pointed out that these service men and women are young people, ages 21, 22, 23 years old and no one in their family had ever suffered any of these kinds of illnesses before.

At present, 51 sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan are named as Plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEEPCO) and Bonner says he anticipates adding twenty additional Sailors soon, bringing the total to 70 to 75 because "The Japanese government is in a major conspiracy with Tepco to hide and conceal the true facts."
http://www.turnerradionetwork.com/news/99-pat

Posted by: brian | Dec 16, 2013 8:07:19 PM | 22

Just a follow up on the NYT thread from two days ago. Justin Raimondo has put together an interesting case Link to ANTIWAR

He is hinting that the group inside the CIA that sent Levinson to Iran had instructed him to find dirt on Rafsanjoni. Part of his mission involved contacts with Russian mobsters that have taken up residence in Tel Aviv. The reporter Silverman who was close to Levinson and Jablonski (now fired CIA analyst) has been writing anti-Iranian articles with a very strong pro-Israel perspective. Now this story is getting interesting. Did Israel set up shop inside the CIA to discredit one of the more moderate political forces inside Iran?

Of course it is mostly speculation at this point but he is raising questions that should be pursued.

Posted by: ToivoS | Dec 16, 2013 9:16:10 PM | 23

brian@21

So the US Navy will round them all up, lawyer especially, and deliver them to Abe for incarceration in Guantanamo East ... in the Senkaku Islands ?

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 16, 2013 9:56:54 PM | 24

guest77@19

I think there will be a big push by the 7 sisters now (again) to privatize the functions of the NSA. Greenwald is now working for a big stakeholder in the 'private' internet spying sector.

I see headlines that say "NSA considering amnesty for Snowden if they get their data back" That means it's time for a wikileaks dump of the data, doesn't it ? But only fully invested people have the data, according to Greenwald ... himself and the film maker whose name eludes me.

So they're going to give back the data and say that they selflessly did so for Snowden's good ?

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 16, 2013 10:04:51 PM | 25

mike maloney@11 & bevin @16

thanks for the link and thanks for the steady state mindfulness of the problem

I saw a link the other day that reminded me of the problem ... I'm afraid it will soon be THE problem here in Thailand. And by then it will be (hoped that it is) 'too late'.

The same is true throughout Southeast Asia. I think it has to be Indigenous Leadership. The settlers worldwide are oblivious ... fully invested, actually. It is at the very heart of our degradation of our planet and of ourselves.

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 16, 2013 10:21:36 PM | 26

I mean to link to Wen Tiejun whom I found through the Monthly Review ... because it is China, China must face this squarely. Looks like the pendulum there is swinging back to the landlords. But some among the Chinese masses must remember way back when ... the Plutocrats Republic was the Peoples Republic of China.

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 16, 2013 10:28:03 PM | 27

@ 11, 15, 25

That piece is from a special MR edition dedicated to the environment (and includes a piece on Marx’s theory of ‘metabolic rift’).

From the piece on Winstanley:

Winstanley [was included] in the list of revolutionary thinkers Lenin had inscribed on the obelisk in Moscow’s Alexander Garden. Led by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Winstanley’s name is eighth on the list of nineteen revolutionaries. …

Winstanley turned many traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs regarding labor on their head. For the Diggers the physical act of labor was no longer a painful reminder of humankind’s sinful fall from grace. On the contrary, “labouring the Earth in righteousnesse” collectively, without wages, would liberate humans and the earth from oppression and the bondage of individual ownership. ...

Diggers, like the People’s Conference, recognized that “Mother Earth is the source of life, nourishment and learning and provides everything we need to live well.” Diggers’ call for the recognition of the earth as a common treasury.

Posted by: Watson | Dec 16, 2013 10:38:38 PM | 28

@27 Billy Bragg wrote and performed an excellent song about The Diggers. It ought to be accessible to anyone (not me) who knows how to find this stuff on the internet. It is worth listening to.

Has this link on Syria been posted? The Russian Ambassador to the UN- now there's a job that requires a very strong stomach- slowly explaining why the Sarin attacks were almost certainly carried out by America's best friend-Bandar bin Sultan.
PS He was probably responsible for 9/11 too.
No wonder he is so popular in the USA: he kills people in the thousands.
http://rt.com/news/russia-syria-chemical-un-meeting-352/

Posted by: bevin | Dec 16, 2013 11:19:56 PM | 29

fresh doubts about both GHouta sarin AND HRWs reliability:

'A United Nations analysis of samples taken from one of the two sites of the alleged Sarin attack outside Damascus, Syria, on Aug. 21 found zero chemical weapons agents, and one UN laboratory backed off its earlier claim to have found a residue that can result from degraded Sarin on the remnants of the missile, according to revisions in a new UN report.

This failure to find Sarin anywhere in Moadamiyah, a suburb south of Damascus, undercuts analyses by Human Rights Watch and the New York Times that relied on a vectoring of the two attack sites – the other in Zamalka/Ein Tarma to the east where Sarin was detected – to conclude that an elite unit of the Syrian military must have been responsible for the attacks that brought the United States close to war in Syria.

There were already problems with the analyses by HRW, which has long pushed for a U.S. military intervention in Syria, and the New York Times because of doubts about the flight paths of the missiles and their maximum range. UN inspectors only had a rough idea of the trajectories because the projectiles may have deflected off buildings as they crash-landed.'
ETC
http://consortiumnews.com/2013/12/13/fresh-doubts-about-syrias-sarin-guilt/

Posted by: brian | Dec 16, 2013 11:47:17 PM | 30

#ALEPPO: SURVIVAL OF TERRORISTS IN #ALEPPO QUESTIONABLE AS SYRIAN ARMY SMASHES THEIR RANKS ON EVERY FRONT. HERE ARE THE AVAILABLE DETAILS:
http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=36.362416&lon=37.013111&z=15&m=b
Zahraa Town: North of 'Anadaan, 61 counted rat carcasses of the Liwaa' Al-Tawheed and ISIS as they tried to attack the HQ of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence Agency. The rats were killed by 2 MiG25s which strafed them mercilessly as soon as word came from SAFI that they were about to be attacked. The response was swift and lethal. This is not a hospitable environment for rodents. The town is mostly Shi'i and extremely loyal to the government. In fact, according to Wael, the initial alerts came from citizens who spotted the concentration of rodents east of the town.

http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=36.362416&lon=37.013111&z=15&m=b

SAA has successfully expanded the route to Aleppo by freeing 7 more villages on the Khaansser - Salamiyya Highway south of Salamiyya.

Al-Wudhayhi: At the tanneries and jackhammer areas, SAA killed 6 rats while they were trying to steal propane fuel from a warehouse. Only 2 were identified:

'Abdul-Ameer Shuwaykhaani
Ayyoob Lahhaam

Al-Layramoon: HUGE ADVANCE REPORTED FOR #SAA IN THIS AREA AFTER 19 RATS WERE KILLED INSIDE A BUILDING USED AS A C&C NEAR THE PAINT FACTORY. The rodents are all foreigners with some being identified as Turkish. We have no list yet. This may be the beginning of the end for the rodents in northern Aleppo and the start of the 'Anadaan Campaign. This is OPERATION CANOPUS STAR.

http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=36.242404&lon=37.095766&z=15&m=b

Kafr Kaar: Wael reports 11 rats killed in firefight with security and NDF. No names.

Al-Ashrafiyya: At the Youth Dormitories. Fighting with no details.

Al-Naqqaareen: In the northern part. The SAA killed 4 rats and took 8 prisoner.

Binaan Al-Huss: Fighting.

Nayrab Airbase to the East: A large number of rats killed. 7 Saudis identified among them.

#Kasskeess: Fighting continuing here. Soon to be deloused. 20 rats dead with 3 vans destroyed carrying weapons from Bandar's buffoons. No names.

'Arbeed: The SAA layed an ambush down and destroyed 2 vans with weapons and rats. All rat carcasses burned beyong recognition.

Catillo - Jandool Road: A convoy of trucks laden with rockets and ammunition for ISIS completely destroyed by SAA and NDF.

Al-Judayda: 9 rats killed and 17 taken prisoner.

Kafr Naahaa: to the north. Fighting.

Kuwayris near the airbase: 4 vans with weapons are seized and all contents distributed to militia and NDF. I have no rat-stats.

Al-Mahdoom Village to the East: Fighting with no details.

'Anadaan: #SAA snipers killed 2 rats crawling between building from their perch in the western fields.

http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=36.301569&lon=37.062893&z=14&m=b

Industrial Zone to the South: At the factories plundered by Turk-thieves, a huge weapons depot was uncovered and seized. Millions of dollars worth of weapons purchased by the Saudi apes.

#Kafeen: Fighting with no details.

Al-Raashideen in the City: Ditto.

Handaraat Village: Ditto.

#Bayaanoon: Ditto.

Al-Mansoora: Defeat for Liwaa' Al-Islam. 14 rats killed. All foreigners.

Hanaanu Residencies: Big victory coming soon to SAA as rats begin to abandon positions here.

Al-Shaykh Sa'eed: 24 scavengers killed at the factories:

Rabee' Al-Jundi
Muhammad Al-'Uss
Khaleel Al-'Umari
'Abdul-Fattaah Khalaf
'Ali Al-Abrashli

The rest are believed to be foreign.

Rasm Al-'Abood: Fighting with no details.

Al-Kindi Hospital (Al-Kanadi): MASSIVE DEFEAT FINALLY TO THE ATTACKING RABID RATS. CONFIRMED 51 DEAD AS SAA AND NDF RECEIVED INTEL ABOUT CONCENTRATING FORCES OUTSIDE THE CLINICAL AREA. ARTILLERY AND SNIPERS DID THE REST AS RODENTS CAUGHT UNAWARES. NAMES ARE BEING COLLECTED.

Central Prison: They just won't stop getting killed.

Al-Baab Road: SAA ambush resulted in 4 dead vermin.

Al-Sukkari Quarter: Fighting as J.N. tried to infiltrate. No names.

Karm Al-Mayser: Fighting with no details.

Qaadhi 'Askar: Ditto.

Baab Al-Qasr: 2 dead rats.

SAA HAS CONFIRMED KILLING KHAALED AL-IBRAAHEEM, A/K/A "ABU SULAYMAAN", leader of "Liwaa' Al-Islaam" which is a branch of the "Ahraar Al-Shaam Movement" on Saturday. Major loss to rodents.

Posted by: brian | Dec 17, 2013 12:21:08 AM | 31

billy bragg sings the digger song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKLbj6oMiaI

Posted by: ben | Dec 17, 2013 12:32:38 AM | 32

On the San Francisco diggers in the 60's:

http://www.diggers.org/

Posted by: ben | Dec 17, 2013 12:39:18 AM | 33

UN launches $6.5bn Syria appeal


United Nations warns that nearly three-quarters of country’s population will need humanitarian support in 2014

The UN has launched its biggest ever appeal for humanitarian aid after exhausting funds raised to help Syria this year, and said nearly three-quarters of the country’s population will need help in 2014.

It estimates that close to half of Syria’s population has been displaced, while the World Food Programme says a similar number need “urgent, life-saving food assistance”.


Bill the Killer B's !

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 17, 2013 2:25:48 AM | 34

bevin@28

'PS He was probably responsible for 9/11 too'

Could you elaborate, please ?

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 17, 2013 2:27:41 AM | 35

harrylaw@1

thanks for the link ... 'The armed opposition is dominated by Saudi-sponsored Islamist brigades on the one hand and by al-Qa’ida affiliates on the other.' ... ah, how can you tell the one from the other, Patrick ?

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 17, 2013 2:34:56 AM | 36

Just a follow up on the NYT thread from two days ago. Justin Raimondo has put together an interesting case Link to ANTIWAR. He is hinting that the group inside the CIA that sent Levinson to Iran had instructed him to find dirt on Rafsanjoni. Part of his mission involved contacts with Russian mobsters that have taken up residence in Tel Aviv. The reporter Silverman who was close to Levinson and Jablonski (now fired CIA analyst) has been writing anti-Iranian articles with a very strong pro-Israel perspective. Now this story is getting interesting. Did Israel set up shop inside the CIA to discredit one of the more moderate political forces inside Iran? Of course it is mostly speculation at this point but he is raising questions that should be pursued. Posted by: ToivoS | Dec 16, 2013 9:16:10 PM | 22
Well then, what about an apology from all you self-righteous fools who called me an antisemitic termite and a human paraquat and etc for suggesting that Levinson's Jewishness was relevant? Re Bandar & 9/11, a useful roundup here, see the last item in the locational list, "Washington". But I should stress that all this blaming Saudi is just part of the grand US deniability exercise.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 17, 2013 3:21:46 AM | 37

Thanks for the link Rowan ... Paul Sperry looks like a career Islamophobe. I always thought Mossad ran 9/11 ... they probably have the expertise in house to pose as 'al Qaeda' and to recruit recruiters ... and plenty of American aid to fund the operation ... and that special capacity to appreciate the 'irony' of it all ... and of course to benefit from the direct results of the mass murder of Americans 'out of the blue' by a bunch of Saudis.

Now they can savor framing the Saudis as well. And Larry Silverstein surely laughed all the way to the bank.

What was in it for the Saudis ?

It's all speculation. What I'm most sure of is that it did not go done as sold.

Posted by: john francis lee | Dec 17, 2013 4:47:46 AM | 38

mike Lisbon-Dowson ‏@mikedowson222 15 Dec
Barack Obama eulogizes Nelson Mandela, takes a selfie, then blows up 15 Yemeni civilians at a wedding. An average week for a U.S. president.
Retweeted by Maximilian Forte

Posted by: brian | Dec 17, 2013 5:51:16 AM | 39

#37 Rowan. I thought you might like that story. And no I will not apologize. Leading off the comments with the statement "JTA roundly classifies Levinson as "an American Jew"" was not appropriate. It is OK for Jewish publications to make that point but it is not for us goyim. Sort of like it might be OK for black rappers or comedians to use the N word but not for us. This does not mean we cannot talk about how Zionist agents have infiltrated the US government and have pushed the US into ME wars on Israel's behalf. The problem is not with American Jews, the problem is with Israel firster and dual loyalty American citizens that have and are pushing the US into positions that weaken our nation.

Posted by: ToivoS | Dec 17, 2013 6:35:24 AM | 40

NSA is coming to town!
http://rt.com/usa/aclu-nsa-santa-claus-328/

Posted by: brian | Dec 17, 2013 7:13:33 AM | 41

@ Brian 31

ALEPPO: SURVIVAL OF TERRORISTS IN #ALEPPO QUESTIONABLE AS SYRIAN ARMY SMASHES THEIR RANKS ON EVERY FRONT.

There has been great progress in Aleppo during the last 6 months. Over the summer it looked like Aleppo could fall. The operation 2 months ago seizing many of the towns south of Aleppo and opening the city to reinforcements and supplies has greatly helped.

For a comparison look at these two maps to see the progress of the last 6 months in Aleppo city:

- Aleppo June 2013 - The Syrian Army (Red) is completely cut off and surrounded in a sea of Rebel (Green) held areas. What's more the Intenational Airport was under siege stopping supplies from reaching the rest of SAA held districts.

- Aleppo November 25 - The Syrian Army has secured most of south Aleppo and linked the International Airport back up with the other SAA held areas. The Central Prison and Kindi Hospital are still cut off, but that shouldn't be the case for long. (I think what the SAA plans is a classic Pincer movement, if they seize Haydariyeh district and Hanano from the rebels it will create rebel pocket in the center of the city surronded by SAA troops).

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Dec 17, 2013 7:50:52 AM | 42

@42 good to know!

Posted by: brian | Dec 17, 2013 8:54:57 AM | 43

This essay on the history of Iran in the first half of the 20-th century is perhaps of interest, despite (or perhaps due to) its very right-wing source. It "fills in the gaps" right up to the point where "everybody" knows about more recent events featuring Kermit Roosevelt, Iranian generals and mullahs, Tudeh and M. Mossadegh. More precisely, it filled in the gaps in my knowledge: presumably others here are better informed than I, and will be able to make a useful critique of the material given in the essay linked to above.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 17, 2013 9:07:23 AM | 44

Thanks Ben @32, it is a very good song, tightly written and unsentimental, if a rather poor recording. It really is worth watching.

john francis lee. re 9/11. That was a flip remark, on my part. What I meant was that, if the attribution of blame to AQ is true then Bandar as effective founder and generalissimo of the wahhabi 'database' was ultimately responsible.

Bandar's role is evidently one of the stories in the classified 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission Report shown to congressmen last week.

He was certainly the key link between DC and Riyadh at the time and for 25 years, much more than an Ambassador, more like Lord Halifax in Washington in the war.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 17, 2013 9:47:07 AM | 45

"Well then, what about an apology from all you self-righteous fools who called me an antisemitic termite and a human paraquat and etc for suggesting that Levinson's Jewishness was relevant?"

How about some evidence that it was relevant?

Posted by: bevin | Dec 17, 2013 9:49:02 AM | 46

@Hannah K. O'Luthon(44)

The essay is excellent and Dr.Sniegoski is a very well informed writer and author. His book on the neocons and their Israeli agenda is great and highly recommended, http://www.amazon.com/Transparent-Cabal-Neoconservative-National-Interest/dp/1932528172/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1387293973&sr=1-1&keywords=stephen+sniegoski

Your puerile comment on Sniegoski being a very 'right-wing source' tells me however, that you are trapped in the silly mentality of left/liberal=good and right-wing/conservative=bad. Wake up!

Posted by: Luca K | Dec 17, 2013 10:33:40 AM | 47

Gulen versus Erdogan
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25414150

Posted by: Mina | Dec 17, 2013 11:54:37 AM | 49

Your puerile comment on Sniegoski being a very 'right-wing source' tells me however, that you are trapped in the silly mentality of left/liberal=good and right-wing/conservative=bad. Wake up! Posted by: Luca K | Dec 17, 2013 10:33:40 AM | 47
Well, there are certain occupational hazards in relying on US paleo-conservatives alone. They are prone to the prejudice that the US is, or was, a moral paragon, and that its imperialist tendencies are the product of subversion by foreign elements. This is a fairy tale.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 17, 2013 12:17:59 PM | 50

Thinking about Justin's points, the person who strikes me as phoniest is Daud Salah’ud-Din (excuse my fancy spelling). He spins a complete line of implausible rubbish in his ‘interview’ with the CSM. It seems to me that he has got to be a full-time Iranian agent. After all, he killed Tabata’i, and killing someone for your masters is the best way known to prove your loyalty, in a business where to prove one’s loyalty is otherwise almost impossible. So, I think it follows, he was playing Levinson, on behalf of the Iranian government. He was trying to pull Levinson into a sucker trap, such that the Iranian government could nab Levinson, along with evidence he was CIA, and exchange him with the US, either for prisoners or for favours such as release of funds held. But something went wrong. I should say that Levinson figured it out and got exfiltrated from Iran to Israel by the Mossad, who certainly have underground railways for that sort of thing. And so the Iranians ended up with a ringer, a patsy substituted at the last moment, who doesn’t even look too much like Levinson. The Iranians tried to play him for a deal of some sort, with those absurd photos, but no-one was interested. And the real Levinson is safe and sound in Israel, living under cover. How does that sound?

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 17, 2013 12:46:16 PM | 51

Tunisians choices in the last 3 years: to die in the Mediterranean or in Syria, or to be in jail for offensive lyrics or using drugs...
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Dec-17/241426-three-years-on-tunisia-uprising-marked-by-muted-demos.ashx#ixzz2nkaG0HT6

Posted by: Mina | Dec 17, 2013 12:57:22 PM | 52

Mt theory in #51 could also explain the money. The Mossad could turn round to the CIA and say: "Look, we got you out of some considerable embarrassment there, by exfiltrating your boy, but now we have the expense of maintaining him under cover in Israel for the rest of his life. How about some dough?" And the CIA would channel the funds through his family, quite logically.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 17, 2013 1:01:52 PM | 53

"..there are certain occupational hazards in relying on US paleo-conservatives alone."
There are indeed but, as I read it, Luca K, after the obligatory abusive phrase or two, was making a more profound point, which is that the "liberal-progressive" ideology is at least as dangerous as "conservatism-traditionalism."

The notion that there are norms of development or modernity-exemplified in the states of western Europe and North America- to which "under developed" or "developing" nations aspire, contains within it, apart from its justification of imperialism, the dangerous idea that when all nations have "developed" and are "modern" justice will be possible. Until then, however, all hands must work at developing or modernising the backward, poorer, Third World nations.

The worst of it is not that the capitalists and their apologists love such theories, and contrive to make them conventional wisdom, but that many revolutionaries are trapped, by variations of such progressivism, into waiting for history to deliver social justice, gift wrapped for the Happy New Era.

In the meantime they strive to keep their traditions alive, like candles in the wind, and write books about the falling rate of profit and other abstractions which, in time, will bring "overdue" change.

As to Conservatism and traditionalism, anyone concerned about environmental degradation, the loss of species, the abuse of science in food production and medical procedures; anyone who believes in organic agriculture and slow food, for example, is, willy nilly, making a case for conservatism and traditional methods.

Conservatives, after all, can signify a belief that men(and of course women)ought to rule rather than that the market and its offshoot "human nature" is sovereign and cannot be defied.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 17, 2013 1:35:03 PM | 54

This MSM link acknowledges the role of drought, dust storms, death of agri, rising population in Syria. (One can skim and of course don’t take it that I agree with all.)

By William Polk, the Atlantic, Dec. 10, 2013.

http://tinyurl.com/po3rwv6

So what was Assad, his entourage + Asma (wife) thinking about? With millions hungry and pouring into the cities with a no-future card tattoed on their heads and ppl starving in the dusty, ravaged countryside?

Does all that apparently fly under the radar as one twiddles about with private planes, high fashion, meets with bankers, instagrams of celeb type charity work?

Did he just think any protest, demo, unrest, strife, needed crackdown? (Hama..) How can anyone in a leadership pos. be that short-sighted?

What did promises of more / better elections (2011, for parliament, contra fraud, etc. more democracy etc.) or what not have to do with hungry children, burnt fields, tractors without fuel, irrigation down with water tables shot..hospitals closed? Mama mia.

Assad lifted his ban on the niqab in schools and shut down the Casino in Damascus. He nationalized a bunch of Kurds.. Like the conservatives /minorities had a point ! (which they did of course but that is another story.) He lifted emergency rule (officially) and ended State Security Courts. He created some amnesty for Pol Movement types. (?? ..)

He tried to set up a multi-party system, legislated for that, though it sounds just like what Army-Egypt has done today, i.e. parties cannot ... err let me look it up...

Under the new constitution, parties cannot be founded on a religious, tribal, regional, denominational, or profession-related basis or be a branch of or affiliated to a non-Syrian party or political organisation.

> wiki on ‘syrian parliamentary elections 2012.'

Hollow laughter echoes.

Meanwhile, in 2009 - 2012, Syria’s situation went to pot with speed, as ppl screamed for bread, work, even shoddy temp housing, police, schools, food again, minimal med care, protection from criminals, fair courts, etc. And then violence quickly broke out, fueled by desperation.

All this happened in part because of neo-lib economic policies. (Assad cut subsidies and encouraged competition. Though that is minor compared to the no reaction to a deep agri crisis..) Now the UN is facing a huge demand for food aid - 16 million ppl need to be fed ...how?

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 17, 2013 1:46:37 PM | 55

@Rowan Berkeley(50)

Some of them are indeed prone to that sort of bias, though not
all. On the other hand, to ignore the israeli subversion
through their 5th column in America IS, indeed, a fairy tale.
Also, there is no shortage of leftist/liberals who are pure scum
and work for Empire, oftentimes, under a hypocritical veil, such as R2P.

Posted by: Luca K | Dec 17, 2013 2:28:31 PM | 56

Anyone who buys into the horsesh!te warmed over "info" about KSA involvement during 9/11 should be embarrassed. I guess when both Michael "the John McCain of the 'left'" Moore and Uber-Zioinist Rupert Murdoch argee that this story has legs - well, gollee - it must be like SUPER DUPER KEWEL!1!11

They've even trotted out former Governor/Senator Bob Graham (D-FL)- longtime AIPAC bitch on both state and national levels - who just happened to write a book about KSA 9/11 involvement back in 2004.

Aside: as his name has come up around here recently this might be of some interest vis a vis this story. Here's a 2002 Antiwar.com piece by Raimondo speaking to an interview Graham gave about Saudi involvement in 911 back then. Raimondo is incredulous in the piece b/c he believes that ISRAELI - not KSA - involvement was the real issue regarding 9/11. Why, he even wrote a book about Israeli involvement in 9/11 back in 2003.

Anyways, while some of you may be patiently awaiting the release of the redacted 28 pp. of material that fingers the KSA you probably should also be waiting on the release of documents - as alluded to in the Antiwar.com piece - which detail the following other 911 plot-lines you may have missed:

Few people, even among the 9/11 Truthers, know the story of "the dancing Israelis" (we are still waiting, for example, for the Reopen 9/11 Association to talk about it on its Francophone site, though they are very sharp on all other aspects of the case). Also, few people know that at the time of the attacks, the U.S. federal police were busy dismantling the largest Israeli spy network ever identified on US soil. In March 2001, the National Counterintelligence Center (NACIC) posted this message on its website: "During the past six weeks, employees of federal offices located throughout the United States have reported suspicious activities related to individuals posing as foreign students selling or delivering artwork." The NACIC specifies that these individuals, citizens of Israel, "also went to private homes of federal officials under the guise of selling art objects [13]."

Then in the summer, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), after being targeted by a large number of such incidents, compiled a report which was revealed to the public by the Washington Post on November 23, 2001, and in The World on March 14, 2002, before being made fully accessible by the French magazine Intelligence Online. This report lists 140 Israelis arrested since March 2001. Aged between 20 and 30 years and organized into teams of 4 to 8 members, they visited at least "36 sensitive sites in the Department of Defense." Many of them were identified as members of the Mossad and Aman (Israeli military intelligence), and six were in possession of phones paid for by a former Israeli vice consul. Sixty arrests occurred after September 11, bringing to 200 the number of Israeli spies arrested. All were eventually released.

According to the DEA report, "The Hollywood community in Florida seems to have been the focal point of these individuals [16]." In fact, more than thirty of the fake Israeli student spies arrested shortly before September 11 lived in or near the city of Hollywood, Florida, precisely where 15 of the 19 alleged Islamist hijackers had regrouped (9 in Hollywood proper and 6 others nearby). One of them, Hanan Serfaty, through whom at least one hundred thousand dollars transited in three months, had rented two Hollywood apartments close to the apartment and post office box rented by Mohamed Atta, who was presented to us as the leader of the gang of hijackers. What was the relationship between the "Israeli spies" and the "Islamic terrorists?" According to the embarrassed explanation by the aligned media, the former were just monitoring the latter. Listen for example to David Pujadas introducing the Intelligence Online article televised March 5, 2002 on France 2: "More about Israel, but specifically concerning Afghanistan now, this espionage affaire is troubling: an Israeli network was dismantled in the United States, particularly in Florida: one of its missions was to track the men of Al-Qaeda (this was before September 11). Some sources go even further: they indicate that the Mossad may not have shared all the information in its possession." This euphemistic explanation is an example of damage control. Israel appears barely tainted, since we can not reasonably blame a spy service for not shariong information. At worst, Israel can be accused of having "let it happen", which guarantees impunity. This explains, in my opinion, the sub-secondary cover of the spies-as-fake-Israeli-students, actually experts at false flag attacks. In fact, the students’ deliberately frail cover was made to draw attention to their secondary cover, that of spies, which would serve as an alibi for their proximity to the alleged pirates.

Oh well, move along!!! Nothing to see here!!!! Evil Saudis!!! BOO!!! HISSS!!!!!

Posted by: JSorrentine | Dec 17, 2013 5:26:26 PM | 57

Some more about Graham just for fun:

Graham was the cofounder of the Democratic Leadership Council which effectively culled any remaining lefties from the Democratic Party a few decades ago and set the stage for the Clintons, Obama etc. He more recently chaired the commission which investigated/whitewashed the BP Oil Spill AND served on the commission to investigate/whitewash the recent financial crisis. More fun facts at this speaker agency bio.

Oh yeah, also don't forget to vote for his daughter who just happens to be running for Congress next year at the personal behest it seems of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Chairman, Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY). What a guy, Bob is!!! We probably should listen to what old Bob has to say, huh?

Posted by: JSorrentine | Dec 17, 2013 5:29:10 PM | 58

Where Saudi Arabia and Israel (and Pakistan) were involved in a plot like 9/11, you have to ask yourself what they have in common. What they have in common is a close association with the U.S. government

Posted by: lysias | Dec 17, 2013 5:57:21 PM | 59

It gets better:

Here's a HuffPo piece from last year (9/11/12) co-authored by Graham calling for a reopening of the 9/11 investigation...but only so that we can nail those evil Saudis!!! Don't worry, the word "Israel" doesn't appear in the entire article. (phew!) All we need are those darned 28 pages, for pete's sake!!!

Then there is this shady group which is apparently run by the co-author of the piece mentioned above - Justice Against Terrorism - with its prominently displayed map of Saudi Arabia and which - judging by the date of the posts on it - only came into existence within the last year or two and which TOTALLY looks to be on the up and up, right? Yes, let's pass the JASTA legislation which is co-sponsored by Reps Peter King (R-NY), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Israel's bestest bud Senator Chuck Schumer!!!!!!Not that you'd need to see it but here is the official AIPAC statement of support from all three. Sign their petition, please!

sniff..sniff...is it me or does anyone else smell a coordinated media roll-out? Maybe someone (whistles) feels that a whitewash of the whitewash is needed? Holy crap.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Dec 17, 2013 6:24:25 PM | 60

Adra syria massacre: eyewitness tell
http://rt.com/news/adra-syria-massacre-witnesses-355/

Posted by: brian | Dec 17, 2013 6:46:09 PM | 61

on Ghouta, a twitter exchange

http://twitter.com/Syricide/status/412307852158435329

media lens comment: Re: Robert Parry on the Sarin question
Posted by David macilwainUser InfoEmail User on December 16, 2013, 8:53 am, in reply to "Re: Robert Parry on the Sarin question"

Hi Robert - I have a recollection of comments on this particular scene with the three guys against the pillar, as being a set up - I'm not sure that Mother Agnes said this, but she may have observed it. But even with her 'icon-trained' eyes, I don't think she noticed the top on the bottle. This video was shown a lot on TV reports, with the distressed boy, and that building with the bare and empty tile floors.
Surely someone must know where it is, as I don't think it looks like Ghouta!
The whole thing is a fraud, and like the Napalm, one little error like this gives it all away - 'Staged'....
cheers ( and 'well spotted sir' ! )

http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1387184016.html

Posted by: brian | Dec 17, 2013 6:56:24 PM | 62

FUKUSrael backing Bin Ladens former courier?

'A senior al Qaeda operative known as Abu Khalid al Suri is a leading figure in Ahrar al Sham, a Syrian extremist group that is part of the recently formed Islamic Front. Al Suri's real name is Mohamed Bahaiah.

Bahaiah is a longtime al Qaeda operative who worked as a courier for the terror network. Spanish authorities think he may have delivered surveillance tapes of the World Trade Center and other American landmarks to al Qaeda's senior leadership in Afghanistan in early 1998.

In addition to being a senior member of Ahrar al Sham, Bahaiah today serves as Ayman al Zawahiri's representative in the Levant.

Ahrar al Sham is not one of al Qaeda's two official branches inside Syria, which are the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, or Levant (ISIS) . But Ahrar al Sham has closely cooperated with the al Qaeda affiliates on the battlefield even while engaging in a very public dispute with ISIS

etc
http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2013/12/aq_courier_rebel_leader_zawahiri.php

Posted by: brian | Dec 17, 2013 8:04:07 PM | 63

has bandar hired Blackwater???? Bandar bin Sultan hires Services Blackwater to perform tasks in Syria and Lebanon, sources confirmed to media involvement Blackwater U.S. of supporting al-Qaeda and regulations Salafist armed Syria, in addition to lease elements of the corporate U.S. security and the presence of teams commando Israeli and American ranks of the Syrian armed opposition. accused the outskirts of Prince Bandar bin Sultan, head of Saudi intelligence and Qatar Basitjar elements of the plaque and water to carry out in Syria and the implementation of suicide bombings in Lebanon and Syria, also targeting the leaders inside the Syrian army, which serves the scheme Arabia aimed to topple the Syrian army and Hezbollah. reports that elements of plaque and chord played After a big role leased by Gulf states to ignite things within the Arab states, which has seen political turmoil, such as Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and the assassination and sniper opponents of the system and break into the military and police installations and played a hidden role. times Sham activist in patriotism and Samhttps://www.facebook.com/dimashq.now/posts/451564464969171

Posted by: brian | Dec 17, 2013 8:18:46 PM | 64

Navsteva ‏@Navsteva 4h
Assad will go down in the history books as saving Syria from an army of Wahabi death cultists sent by the Anglo-Americans

Posted by: brian | Dec 17, 2013 8:43:25 PM | 65

roud Syrian ‏@Pr0udSyrian 7h
Retweet:#Syria-n army founded chemical weapons'Methylene Chloride'with terrorists in #AlNabek in #Damascus.#Syria pic.twitter.com/PwrmccffMQ

Posted by: brian | Dec 17, 2013 8:51:31 PM | 66

@KeepingtheLeith 5h
#PT: Muhammad Al-Al-Dawsari (Saudi)
Khaaled Mubaarak Al-Bahlaan (Saudi)

The others will be named after their identification is confirmed.

ليث أبو فاضل ‏@KeepingtheLeith 6h
CONFIRMED 21 DEAD SAUDIS WITH 15 OTHERS WOUNDED AND TAKEN PRISONER AT TADMUR. ALL FOREIGN.

Posted by: brian | Dec 17, 2013 9:22:20 PM | 67

war criminal Obama cant get Snowden and is feeling the zionist jack boot up his backside over syria, SO he does next best thing and kicks russia with Billie Jean:
does Billie Jean knows she being used a political pawn? or is she one more clueless (ex)athlete
http://www.ksdk.com/story/sports/2013/12/17/obama-sochi-glbt-delegation-billie-jean-king/4076417/

Posted by: brian | Dec 17, 2013 9:31:07 PM | 68

Syria, Al-Jaafari: The Game of Chemical Weapons Is Over, no more secret who is behind it.

Syria's permanent representative to the UN Dr. Bashar Al-Jafaari press conference
Following UN session on chemical weapons in Syria, He called for pressuring the governing regimes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to cease funding, supporting and providing facilitations to the terrorist groups which are committing barbaric massacres against civilians in Syria.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpncVZe1uZQ&app=desktop

Posted by: brian | Dec 17, 2013 11:22:23 PM | 69

Obama's revenge to Putin Obama sends message by naming openly gay athletes to Sochi delegation

Posted by: hans | Dec 18, 2013 1:56:16 AM | 70

Just some thoughts:

I don't think the Dems ever had the relationship with SA that the GOP did, and that maybe was possibly restricted to the Bush Family. The Dems will probably use this with an eye towards 2016. I'm sure that they might even be happy to see big changes in Arabia - provided the petrodollars still flowed.

Of course you can see the Americans saying to them "we used 9/11 to invade Iraq. Do you really think we couldn't use it to give you a hell of a time?". Certainly payback for Saudi claims that they might "buy a bomb" from Pakistan and their general obstinacy towards an Iran deal. The Saudis seem to have no choice but to simply back down, but unfortunately, passive-aggressiveness seems to be their MO. I doubt they'll just roll over when they have substantial means at their disposal. US policy is so poor, it's developing twin tumors - like the banks growing after the financial crash - so is al Qaeda bigger after 9/11. This is where I digress from Rowan's theory (assuming I have it right). I think al Qaeda - though certainly an invention of the US - does have its own life. Who do they listen to when told to jump? At this point, I think you have to say the Saudis. So do the Saudis dare to start using al Qaeda against the west in an effort to get the West to stop the Iran rapprochement? The answer is, they may try, but that is exactly what all these new 9/11 stories are designed to prevent.

Israel will come out squeaky clean on 9/11. That is not even on the map. The question is how their relationship with the Saudis evolves from here, with both having a desire to tweak the nose of the US. Problem being of course that the US will try to split them, I think, and the Saudis and Israelis need each other on a host of issues - in Syria and Egypt especially. Israelis will have to walk a thin line - they can't simply throw the Saudis under the bus, because there is no doubt that the Saudis could cause the Israelis A LOT of trouble now, what with a client state in Egypt, and an al Qaeda army in Syria (note that that al Qaeda army is right where Israel wants it - in Syria, but far, far from their border).

Of course the real positive move for the Muslim world would be a Saudi/Iranian reconciliation and a move to the BRICS camp. Israel would be effectively boxed in on all sides, and with the US population wanting to back away from the settler state's wars - it could be time to force some concessions.

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 18, 2013 2:17:02 AM | 71

double standards?
@68....yes, revenge


President Obama names openly gay retired tennis star Billie Jean King to the US delegation for the Sochi Winter Olympic games.
The delegation to the opening ceremonies will not include the president, first lady or the vice president, all who headed the previous four Olympic delegations, or a cabinet secretary, only a former one.
This marks the first Olympics since the 2000 Sydney Summer Games that a US president, vice president, first lady or former president has not been a member of the delegation for the opening ceremony, which will be Feb. 7 in Sochi. - USA TODAY
Read more: http://www.ksdk.com/story/sports/2013/12/17/obama-sochi-glbt-delegation-billie-jean-king/4076417/

Posted by: brian | Dec 18, 2013 2:56:31 AM | 72

This is where I digress from Rowan's theory (assuming I have it right). I think AQ, though certainly an invention of the US, does have its own life. Who do they listen to when told to jump? At this point, I think you have to say the Saudis. So do the Saudis dare to start using AQ against the west in an effort to get the West to stop the Iran rapprochement? The answer is, they may try, but that is exactly what all these new 9/11 stories are designed to prevent. Israel will come out squeaky clean on 9/11. That is not even on the map. The question is how their relationship with the Saudis evolves from here, with both having a desire to tweak the nose of the US. Problem being of course that the US will try to split them, I think, and the Saudis and Israelis need each other on a host of issues, in Syria and Egypt especially. Israelis will have to walk a thin line. They can't simply throw the Saudis under the bus, because there is no doubt that the Saudis could cause the Israelis A LOT of trouble now, what with a client state in Egypt, and an AQ army in Syria. Note that that the AQ army is right where Israel wants it: in Syria, but far, far from their border). Posted by: guest77 | Dec 18, 2013 2:17:02 AM | 70
No, this is all Grade 'A' stuff. That's when we all do our best work, where we just think aloud, logically, following reasonably intelligent presuppositions, and see where the paragraph lands up. But the key point is indeed AQ's independence, and the way you've formulated it, there is presupposed that dependence on the US vs dependence on SA are two things so different as to be unrelated. But this is an unwise assumption, in my view. You also have to remember that modern SA itself is the product of systematic US creation and grooming. The main difference between SA and AQ is that this creation and grooming comes not so much from the CIA as from the Pentagon. Everyone in the SA power structure is selected for their position by the Pentagon, via its mechanism of promoting sweetheart contracts between US weapons manufacturers and the selected SA 'fixer'. So the SA power elite only looks feudal; it's really a completely opportunistic conglomeration of 'fixers' with individual buddies in the Pentagon and via that in the US manufacturers' community. Make what you will of that.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 18, 2013 3:21:49 AM | 73


Sen Dan Graham opposed the Iraq War Israel and its Lobby sanctioned. He accused Bush-Cheney of witholding key intelligence arguing that Saddam did not have WMDS. I cannot see either of these playing into Israel's hands at that time. Nor will an investigation focussing on Saudi necessarily help conceal any role Israel might have had in 9-11-2001---Raimondo considers that LIHOP involving Israel was at play, but rejects the MIHOP scenario. He has just called for boycotting Israel.

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2013/12/17/boycott-israel-2/


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

"He served for 10 years on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which he chaired during and after 9/11 and the run up to the Iraq war. As Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Graham opposed the War in Iraq for fear it would divert U.S. attention from the fight in Afghanistan. After reviewing information and meeting with military leaders in February 2002, he decided the war would be a "distraction" that would end poorly. He continues to oppose the Iraq War today.[3] As a result of his service as the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, in 2004 Bob Graham authored the book Intelligence Matters: The CIA, the FBI, Saudi Arabia and the Failure of America's War on Terror."

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/darkside/interviews/graham.html

Posted by: amspirnational | Dec 18, 2013 2:10:53 PM | 74

The UK and the US are flying their personal out of South Sudan by hundreds. It reminds you of something? Of course! It's the same screenplay as the Erythrea success story.

Aljazeera was so busy selling South Sudan's split to the Arab audience until December 2011, when it abruptly turned towards the Arab Spring just a few months after the celebrations of SouthSudan's independence...

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2010/08/2010819183355789659.html
http://seeker401.wordpress.com/2010/08/28/south-sudan-to-build-rhino-city/comment-page-1/

Posted by: Mina | Dec 18, 2013 2:25:24 PM | 75

Never mind the fact that Mr. Graham - by virtue of having been a US Senator - is an enemy of the common US citizen, let's see why casting blame on the Saudis does indeed deflect blame away the Israelis vis a vis 9/11.

Aside: obviously some people have never observed over the last 25+ years how the American elite have become very adept at presenting the public with believable enough token opposition leaders that - gee shucks - just can't EVER seem to get anything to go their way, huh? (cf. entire Obama Presidency). Yeah, those plucky Democrats like Graham really did almost stop the Iraq War, huh? If only we had a few more "men of conscience" in our government, huh? THEN we could finally get on the right track. I HOPE this will CHANGE in the future, don't you? chortle

Anyways focusing on Saudi complicity lends credence to the rest of the fantastical/nonsense/horsesh!te explanations for the physical-law-defying events of the rest of the day by accepting the narrative that the first whitewash team - Graham's Senate 9/11 inquiry included - already put together - i.e., 19 hijackers, blah blah blah.

Instead of having at the heart of the American mind concerning 9/11 questions pertaining to the role of its "unshakeable ally" Israel who - at the very least - had detailed/specific foreknowledge of the attacks and did not warn the US government or who - more than likely - was contracted out by criminals positioned in the US government to do the dirty work we are instead treated to a very clever machination whereby a trusted member of said elite - remember Graham helped whitewash 9/11 while in the Senate, the BP Oil Spill and the financial crisis so he's a reliable asset - plays upon the public's doubts about the official explanation for said events by - here's the clever part - calling for a re-examination of evidence but one which will only be limited to parts that will corroborate said already constructed plot-line.

Then the elite can tell the world - just as the clamor for a new investigation is resonating more with skeptical persons - that they ALREADY DID an new investigation and it showed that it wasn't solely the fantastical 19 hijackers but the fantastical 19 hijackers AND the Saudi government. Voila!! Case closed.

For example: Graham thinks its a huge deal that a Saudi family lived in Sarasota - 250 miles and on the other side of Florida from the "hijacker" nest of Hollywood, FL - and then left the country after the attacks but doesn't think it significant that known Israeli intelligence agents lived 2 BLOCKS from Atta et al up to the time of the attacks, were at the very least tracking their cross country movements and were then arrested along with another 150 Israeli intelligence assets in the months leading up to 9/11. BTW, those would be the devout Hollywood, FL Muslims who partied, drank alcohol, snorted coke and partied w/ strippers right before their "mission". Nothing to see there, nope.

Oooh, and Graham's "fictional" novel written in 2011 will probably fly off the shelves when this "re-examination" - cough, cough - takes place. Here's the synopsis:

Shortly after an explosive op-ed piece about the 9/11 investigation appears in the New York Times, its author, former Senator and Co-chair of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry Commission John Billington, is murdered near his Florida home.

Enter Tony Ramos, ex-Special Forces operative and former aide to Sen. Billington and currently a State Department intelligence analyst. Billington, having sensed the danger he faced, has left Ramos detailed instructions for an investigation into suspected Saudi complicity in 9/11. Ramos, in conjunction with Billington's daughter Laura, uncovers a shocking international conspiracy linking the Saudi Kingdom to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

Despite efforts to derail their investigation, whose scope encompasses Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, Ramos and Laura discover that the Kingdom has recently provided bin Laden and al-Qaeda with three nuclear devices, two of which are successfully detonated by the terrorists overseas. But they were just a warm up to the grand finale. The third device, Ramos learns, will be detonated off the California coast.

Now Ramos and a team of Special Forces must race against time to prevent al-Qaeda from unleashing nuclear disaster on American shores, and beyond.

Yet people are gonna sit here and try and defend this man? This man who thinks AQ is REAL? That it would be KSA that would nuke American cities? Gee, this sure sounds like a plot-line from the Zionist propaganda show "Homeland". Hint: that may be a clue.

If anything, Graham could be potentially writing the false narrative for THE NEXT terror attack on American soil. Nah, that's just crazy, huh? As crazy as a former member of the US Senate Intel committee actually believing the boilerplate nonsense story of AQ, Bin-Laden and all the rest? Now THAT'S crazy.

As concerns Raimondo, personally I think the dude's an asshat concerning many many issues not the least being his pulling punches on Israeli involvement in 911. I just brought his name up b/c he's recently been referenced here and I thought it timely.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Dec 18, 2013 3:34:34 PM | 76

Robert Parry fills in Richard Leon's pre-judicial background in a not-unexpected but decidedly unflattering fashion, despite Leon's recent anti-NSA ruling. The comments following Parry's post, particularly the second, seem to me to be worth reading.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 18, 2013 3:48:19 PM | 77

I defend his opposition to the Iraq War and his bringing to the public the fact that intelligence was cherrypicked and suppressed,
enabling the Iraq War.


Do you also believe Israel is forcing or has persuaded Saudi to help destroy Syria and destabilize Lebanon? Or is Saudi doing what Israel
likes because it believes it is in Saudi interests too?


You are a MIHOP uber alles guy. The arguments of controlled demolition pro and con have been scrutinized long since by such as Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Pat Buchanan, Duke, and sundry others who actually run for office as Democrats, Republicans, and Independents and who oppose alliance with Israel, who capably depict the ongoing oppression committed by Israel and who oppose intervention generally in the Middle East.

Picture Ron Paul during his presidential primary debate, with Rudy Giuliani standing aside, condemning eloquently the pro-Israel, pro-oligarch interventionist foreign policy which led to the blowback. The overthrow of Mossadegh, the funding of the dispossession and continuing oppression of Palestinians. The payback. Picture Kucinich arguing the same in his debates, elaborating in eloquent detail but easily understandable on the part of the American populace.

They are token oppostion leaders too? The men who tried vainly to have finds cut off early in the Iraq War, who condemn Israel, Kucinich who refuses to even visit Israel until the West Bank and Samaria are turned over to Palestinians?

Posted by: amspirnational | Dec 18, 2013 4:00:37 PM | 78

@harrylaw#1:

Unfortunately, while Cockburn acknowledges the jihadist domination of the insurgency earlier than most reporters, he still pushes the "popular uprising" line:

Who are the winners in the new situation? One is Assad because the opposition to him – which started as a popular uprising against a cruel, corrupt and oppressive dictatorship in 2011 – has become a fragmented movement dominated by al-Qa’ida umbrella organisation the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil); the other al-Qa’ida franchisee, the al-Nusra Front; and the Islamic Front, consisting of six or seven large rebel military formations numbering an estimated 50,000 fighters, whose uniting factor is Saudi money and an extreme Sunni ideology similar to Saudi Arabia’s version of Islam.

Even so, it was refreshing to hear him on Democracy Now this morning. The "popular uprising" theme was referenced by DN when they mentioned Zaitouneh (who was one activist source for the hundreds of bodies at Ghouta clinics):

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Before we conclude, Patrick Cockburn, I’d like to talk about some of the effects on activists, people who have been opposed to the Assad regime from the beginning of the opposition in 2011. In August, you appeared on Democracy Now! with the prominent Syrian lawyer, human rights activist and leader of the anti-government protest movement, Razan Zaitouneh. She’s since been reported missing in a rebel-controlled Damascus suburb. Zaitouneh disappeared from her apartment, along with her husband and two other activists, after receiving threats from Islamist groups. Witnesses say Zaitouneh’s apartment was found ransacked, with laptops and other belongings removed. In August on Democracy Now!, Zaitouneh described the carnage following the chemical attack in Ghouta.
RAZAN ZAITOUNEH: We started to visit the medical points in Ghouta to where injured were removed, and we couldn’t believe our eyes. I haven’t seen such death in my whole life. People were lying on the ground in hallways, on roadsides, in hundreds. There haven’t been enough medical staff to treat them.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Dec 18, 2013 4:10:59 PM | 79

I don't know how much impact Angela Merkel's comparison of the NSA to the DDR's STASI has had in the U.S. (presumably she has an excellent basis for making that comparison), but this "bizarre trial" might well serve as "exhibit A" in a investigatory process aimed at justifying her assertion.

Posted by: Hannah K. O'Luthon | Dec 18, 2013 4:24:12 PM | 80

"You are a MIHOP uber alles guy."

You say that as if it's a bad thing. After years and years of careful research and having come to the near inescapable conclusion that factions of the US Government conspired with foreign entities - read: Israel - to instigate a false flag attack that killed thousands of people and directly led to the deaths/maiming/displacement of MILLIONS more, the creation of the modern American police state and sundry other war crimes I truly feel that it is a topic that most people should consider rather important. But that's just me. I can completely understand how ginning up reasons - ie. GWOT - to murder, rape and pillage innocent people on a scale not seen since what? 1939-1945? isn't a big dealio for some. Hillary 2016!!! Awwwh, yeahh, dawg!!

"The arguments of controlled demolition pro and con have been scrutinized long since by such as Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Pat Buchanan, Duke, and sundry others who actually run for office as Democrats, Republicans, and Independents and who oppose alliance with Israel, who capably depict the ongoing oppression committed by Israel and who oppose intervention generally in the Middle East."

Translation: Get in the game. Stick with the system. Your voice is being heard. Participate. You can't complain if you don't vote!! And then I wonder how Clinton, Bush and Obama were all two-term Presidents, huh? Brother.

"They are token oppostion leaders too? The men who tried vainly to have finds cut off early in the Iraq War, who condemn Israel, Kucinich who refuses to even visit Israel until the West Bank and Samaria are turned over to Palestinians?"

Yes. Period. But you describe their "struggles" so romantically I almost feel the need to volunteer for a campaign or something. You're right, I and the rest of America should just put aside the decade after decade after decade of malicious/mendacious/murderous f*cking we've gotten at the hands of our bettors and their paid puppets in office and just begin believing again because a handful of said puppets - the vast majority who do belong to national parties, btw - sometimes kinda obliquely address some smidgeon of reality in a way that appeals to our more truth/justice-attuned sensibilities?

Yeah, I would start to think that the whole effing thing is a bunch of rigged nonsense but - WAIT! - ONE of them (retired) says he's(conditionally) not going to visit Israel! (Cue the music: "Then I saw her face...")

Did you see that Iraq war-funding vote!!! Man, it was like we almost won that one, huh? Maybe if us believers in the system had only believed a little bit harder, huh? Remember, kids: Tinkerbell will die if you don't clap for her!! Clap harder, b!tches! CLAP HARDER!!!

Maybe you should send Mr. Graham some treatments for further historical-fiction novels? Or better yet you could be his ghost-writer.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Dec 18, 2013 5:02:09 PM | 81

I suppose Berhard is a dullard -or potential Graham ghostwriter too, for mentioning Saudi manipulation of various AQ jihadist groupings as on today's post.

Yeah, I have one foot in the parlimentary process and your remarks neither conceal the fact the Truthers haven't convinced one candidate who is
of your case nor conceal your conviction that political activism cannot help reign in the Empire.
Thus nihilist defeatism it is.

Posted by: amspirnational | Dec 18, 2013 5:22:09 PM | 82

Hah!

Here's the last paragraph I deleted right before hitting the "Post" button b/c I thought my posts were running too long w/ apologies to b and all:

Lastly(preemptively): And it's not nihilism to correctly and accurately assess the thoroughly corrupted American political system and lament that the common American citizen has ZERO to show for participating in said system over the last 30? 40? 50? years no matter how much the paid hangers-on would try and have us believe otherwise. Beyond the crimes of 9/11 I could point to ANY issue and show that Americans have taken it Medieval-like all the while we're told that There Is No Alternative; however, personally 9/11 sticks in my craw because our elite have told and continue to tell the American people and the world that TINA in regards to believing the hideous physics/common sense-defying fantastical nonsense fairy tale that has led to so much needless murder, theft, pain and misery with no end in sight.

TINA to killing people slowing and quietly with neoliberal economic policies.

TINA to killing people quickly and brazenly with the GWOT.

Take your pick, suckas, how do you want to go?

Posted by: JSorrentine | Dec 18, 2013 5:41:35 PM | 83

Raimondo did not "pull his punches," he came to the conclusion he came to after weighing the evidence and has been pressured because of it.

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2011/09/08/911-and-the-bizarro-effect/

The only alternatives to reforming a corrupt political system are within the system, outside of it, or a combination of both.
There are alternative parties and there is the ballot access movement which tries to make it easier to gain access for those parties.

Then there is survivalism and violent revolution.

I don't see one particular stand on 9-11-2001 as key in motivating one to choose any of those alternatives.

You complained recently that Israel had vanished from the media as related to events, I believe, in Syria and/or Lebanon.
This isn't especially true; Hezbollah and Syria have both implicated Israeli involvement in violence there.
But they have also attacked Saudi Arabia in the same period for the same. I doubt if any Syrians or Lebanese are incapable of
realizing the latter isn't an attempt to minimize Israel's destabilizing role in the region.


Posted by: amspirnational | Dec 18, 2013 6:37:41 PM | 84

"But the key point is indeed AQ's independence, and the way you've formulated it, there is presupposed that dependence on the US vs dependence on SA are two things so different as to be unrelated. But this is an unwise assumption, in my view."

No no, I agree completely. The US, Israel, Saudis are all tied up at the top and have more more interest in each other than they do with their plebs in their home countries. If I had to make an educated guess - Israel has more social ties with the Democrats, the Saudis with the GOP. Though the GOP has tried, I think, to snag the Israelis away from the Democrats during the GWB administration - like two seventh grade boys trying to out do one another (by eating worms or something) to impress a third pal.

Now we see the Democrats trying to act like the adult in the room - but I think it is still up in their air whether they mean to tighten the leash on Israel or not. I don't think Israel actually cares about Iran at all - what they care about is Iran's support for the Palestinians and even more so Hezbollah. But as for the Democrats going after the Saudis - they're more than happy.

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 18, 2013 10:51:40 PM | 85

@81

Politics is a sham. Even the lowliest congress person from Cleveland is in on it. Protest is a sham. Even Occupy - a place where you could basically walk up and plop yourself down and carve out a political space all your own - that was just a sham. Probably meant to drain your precious bodily fluids.

I don't see you have any choice left except to go out guns blazing.

But then you'll just be plastered all over CNN, and used by the PTB as an excuse to reenforce the American police state and take people's guns away.

Unless that's your real intention.

What a quandary.

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 18, 2013 11:48:40 PM | 86

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1KvgtEnABY

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 18, 2013 11:53:00 PM | 87

human rights and water cannons: Tim Wilson, the new Human Rights Commissioner, suffers foot in mouth disease:

Kiera
‏@KieraGorden
Apparently, Tim Wilson (the new Human Rights Commissioner), has deleted this tweet. Luckily I saved a copy!
https://twitter.com/KieraGorden/status/413233598847012864/photo/1

Posted by: brian | Dec 18, 2013 11:56:38 PM | 88

office of special plans mark 2?

now who would this be?... 'The Levinson-Jablonski Illicit Finance Group clearly represented a major security breach for the CIA. It seems beyond dispute that this "rogue" unit inside the CIA wasn’t working on behalf of the US government, but rather in the interests of some other government or private entity eager to discredit the Iranian government, and particularly interested in tarring Iranian moderates such as Rafsanjani.'....
http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2013/12/15/who-was-robert-levinson-working-for/

Posted by: brian | Dec 19, 2013 12:39:25 AM | 89

@84

"I don't see one particular stand on 9-11-2001 as key in motivating one to choose any of those alternatives."

Um, when the ENTIRE - and I mean to a person - establishment even "radical" gatekeepers like on the right and left like Raimondo and Chomsky has agreed that the topic of 9/11 is non-allowable and that instead everyone MUST believe the farcical fairy tale - or watered down version thereof - that has led to so much carnage/damage, I don't see how one could possibly think that the system - and working within it - is viable.

Yeah, everyone has totally agreed upon this fairy tale - no matter how fantastical - much to the detriment to all of mankind but - shucks - I bet we can still reform said system with some plucky and determined vote canvassing, right? Please.

@86

"I don't see you have any choice left except to go out guns blazing."

My point is that the American populace - above the people of any country - in addition to being the most exploited of the Western "democracies" is simultaneously the most spoiled, childish, naive and psychologically pampered of any nation due to the their victimization at the hands of THE most sophisticated and overwhelming propaganda system ever devised by mankind.

So before ANY real change is going to happen you know what the people have to do in America en masse?

They have to do exactly the opposite of what Mr. Obama told us during his 2008 campaign: abandon hope and the nonsensical dreams of their lives getting any better b/c 1) they aren't going to and 2) then they wouldn't as susceptible to elite manipulation.

This is what I meant earlier days ago when I said people had to get angry before anything can happen: they have to break the propaganda thrall that they've been under for decades and which seeks to channel any of their continued frustrations and misery into the pre-approved channels that our elite have set up for us and control.

With being a spoiled childish population comes the engrained belief - again, accentuated through propaganda - that needed changes to society can be made through painless and easy routes: voting, peaceful marches etc etc.

No real sacrifice is needed the TV - and believers - tell them, just hope and prayers and dreams and fairies and angels and Jesus Christ and Obama etc etc etc

The one thing the elite do not EVER want the American people to do above all is abandon hope b/c with that will come a more clear-eyed view of the prison-like society which they've inhabited for decades.

So, cut your crap about not having any hope being equal to going a shooting rampage. It's similar to the propaganda they use in prescription drug ads - if you're ever sad or depressed, why then you need some psychotic medications, right?

People are more than capable of existing with diminished expectations and aspirations WITHOUT going homicidal. It's certainly not the American way but that's the whole point.

Abandoning hope is the first step and then people can begin moving forward and not playacting and looking like fools still dancing to the elite's messaging.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Dec 19, 2013 1:17:19 PM | 90

More on the farcical nature of the newly revived Saudi Arabia-9/11 shenanigans:

From Bloomberg:

Lawsuits claiming Saudi Arabia aided al-Qaeda and should be held liable for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were revived by a U.S. appeals court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan today said a lower-court judge “rested on an error of law” in rejecting a request to reopen the cases against the country’s government and an affiliated charity.

And just who is heading the plaintiff's legal team? Why none other than the founder and chairman of Cozen and O'Connor himself Stephen A Cozen. Maybe we should look at his bio for more information, huh?

Steve has also been an important player in major financial transactions, including one of the largest national sports deals in recent history: the purchase of the Philadelphia 76ers by Spectacor and the sale of its arena sports franchise (Philadelphia Flyers) to Comcast. Steve serves on numerous education and philanthropic boards, including The National Museum of American Jewish History and the University of Pennsylvania's Law School board of overseers. Steve also spearheaded the development of the Samuel D Cozen PAL Center and is actively involved with the organisation. He is a member of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute board of councilors, and currently serves on the boards of Assured Guaranty Ltd, Franklin Square Holdings, LP, and Haverford Trust Company. Steve is often awarded for his skills and leadership, both within the legal arena and in the community as a whole. In 2002, he was awarded The Anti-Defamation League's (ADL) highest honour – The 25th Annual Americanism Award, and named to the lists of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America (2006), The National Law Journal's 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America (2000), The Best Lawyers in America, and "Pennsylvania Super Lawyers" (2006-present).

Filed a landmark lawsuit in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeking to hold financial and logistical sponsors responsible for damages resulting from the September 11, 2001 attack. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of 12 major insurance groups against Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Sudan, along with business associations and individuals designated or implicated as supporting terrorist activities, seeks more than $7 billion in principal damages for destruction of property and business interruptions losses, as well as compensation for 375 wrongful death and 1,157 personal injury claims assigned to our clients under governing workers' compensation laws.

So, not only was it OBL and his jihadist merry pranksters who were involved but also KSA, IRAN, IRAQ, SYRIA and SUDAN!!! Well, that clears THAT up. Is it b/c the Palestinians are so broke that they didn't make the list? Or would that be too obvious?

BTW, just in case you might think ridiculous - but precedent setting, mind you - lawsuits like this are standalone cases, you might want to read up on THIS case from 2011 in which a US judge ruled that IRAN and HEZBOLLAH were the ones REALLY responsible for 9/11.

A federal district court in Manhattan yesterday entered a historic ruling that reveals new facts about Iran's support of al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks. U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels ruled yesterday that Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks and are legally responsible for damages to hundreds of family members of 9/11 victims who are plaintiffs in the case.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Dec 19, 2013 7:59:19 PM | 91

A few days ago @ 42, I wrote:

The Central Prison and Kindi Hospital are still cut off, but that shouldn't be the case for long.

Sadly after 8 months surrondeded by rebels, the Syrian Army defending Kindi Hospital have been overrun. There were around 80-100 Soldiers at Kindi Hospital and they got supplies in via helicopter drops as they withstood the siege. A photo of Kindi Hospital is here for comparison with below video.

Yesterday 20th Dec a massive truck bomb drove to the front of Kindi Hospital and exploded (Youtube Video of Truck Bomb). A picture of Kindi Hospital after the blast is here. Later clips showing rebels outside Kindi, emerged so its likely fallen.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Dec 21, 2013 2:53:21 PM | 92

#9

"By contrast, distributed (solar) power sees much smaller scale generation distributed over a much wider area." ... umm, except in winter, of course, when the sun don't shine, and icy winds whip down off the Mongol steppes, piling up deep snow on the PV rooftops.

I don't see Americans wearing heavy sweaters and sitting around their kotatsus, reading quietly by horribly SAD blue LEDs, listening to Zen koans sung to shakuhachi nose flute, while Dad is up on the roof with a broom, trying to get the PVs turned back on by dawn.

No, I see Americans freezing to death in the dark, like our elderly fixed income do every year without media fanfare. Only lots more of them under a National Carbon Tithe. I see millions of 'renewal' jobless and homeless huddled around ghetto burn barrels sparked off with shredded EV lithium battery scrapyard waste, that burns with an intensity of the sun.

The future of "radical efficiency and renewable energy" for America: Burn, baby, burn.

Posted by: Chip Nihk | Dec 22, 2013 5:08:15 AM | 93

Why Saudi Foreign Policy might make sense

Posted by: somebody | Dec 22, 2013 6:56:31 AM | 94

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Dec 21, 2013 2:53:21 PM | 92
the terrorists can be heard crying Allah akbar in videos of the bombing and rewinding the video eplosion for repeats....
how is it a truck bomb was able to make it to the hospital at all?

Posted by: brian | Dec 22, 2013 7:05:27 AM | 95

@95

how is it a truck bomb was able to make it to the hospital at all?

No idea. The truck did have some armor plating on the front welded onto it. Likely just difficult to stop a suicide bomber. This picture has been going around through Arab and Iranian media as the suicide bomber who drove the truck.

Looks to have been the work of Islamic Front working with Al Nusra. They sent out the following message on Dec 3rd:

we announce that the following factions: The Islamic front, Al Nusra front and Fajr Al Sham movement who follows (the One heart) operations room, have begun the cleansing operation of al kindi hospital from the hands of Al Assad gangs. Allah can give us victory, Takbir.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Dec 22, 2013 10:34:17 AM | 96

Watch the guy from Al Jazeera go into intellectual contortions as he tries to blame the Syrian government for all the deaths in Syria.

He is intellectually trying to midwife the birth of a democracy from the al Qaeda/Saudi/ZATO womb, his hands still bloody from stillbirths he has just taken from that pair broken mother countries, Libya and Egypt.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6CY-7SmBUQ

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 22, 2013 10:59:11 AM | 97

#90 Sorrentine....

The anger you speak of, a catalyst for true change, has been legislated against. These despicable sluts in Washington are not ignorant of the inevitable awakening of the masses. We now live in a nation that can exempt you of all legal rights by merely placing a label upon you, that need not be suupported by evidence or testimony. "Free speech zone", "enemy combatant", "no-fly list".....are these terms we thought would ever would ever be pointed in the direction of a people living underr the protection of a "Representative Government"??


Now, the growing anger has been criminalized as a means through which to stifle the dissent that is the spawn of such anger. Since 9/11 our pseudo-representative government has been busily erecting a defensive legislative wall that robs the people of the ability to hold our government accountable through legal means. To question, to protest, to dissent can now be considered, under the letter of the law, the actions of an enemy of the state. All they need do is point a finger, and attach a label to you. And you don't even get to know whose finger did the pointing, or why. Just ask anyone that has found themselves on the no-fly list.

Its ok if you're angry. Just keep it to yourself, comrad, because if you don't, they just might hafta provide you with a designation. And then, they get to kill you, no questions asked.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Dec 22, 2013 2:08:23 PM | 98

This recent so-called "sanctions" bill that the Senate just passed has an interesting aside. Apparently, it contains a provision that REQUIRES that we use our military to "protect" Israel, should (when) Israel decide(s) to attack Iran. So, uh, we are to hand Israel the opportunity to decide to use OUR military might. Netanyahu, the racist arrogant piece of shit, is given license to commit the United States to war.

The Senate members who voted for this should hang. Does anyone doubt that Israel will take advantage of this provision? Did any of you american voters vote this piece of shit Netanyahu into any office having control of when this nation goes to war? Did we vote in these assholes in DC so that they can represent the interests of a foreign nation in a manner that works against our own best interests?

DC whores. Owned lock, stock, and barrel by this shitty little racist sandpit, Israel.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Dec 22, 2013 8:51:22 PM | 99

Thyroid cancers among Japanese youth at unprecented percentages. Groundwater surfacing in increasing amounts at the Fukushima complex. Unprecedented levels of radiation now occurring at various points on the Fukushima complex. American sailors now suing over an abnormally high cancer rates amongst the sailors that manned US naval vessels offshore of Fukushima post 3/11. A daily production of extremely poisonous water required to cool the nucear reactions at Fukushima, reactions that will last decades, if not centuries. A daily introduction of this poisonous water into the Pacific ocean, an introduction that will last decades, if not centuries. Tanks leaking, ice walls failing, location of the melting cores unkown, legislating the muzzling of the media, refusing international participation in the mitigation efforts,lies, belated admissions by TEPCO that expose past lies and cover-ups.....on and on.

It very well could be that what we discuss here, global politics, is irrelevent as it applies to the human condition. When faced with a global catacalysmic event, which Fukushima may or may not be, can mankind band together and battle a universal threat??? Or does our very nature demand that we destroy ourselves through greed, ego, and paranoia? The Fukushima situation is not encouraging. If we cannot band together to solve an immediate and irrefutable global emergency, how can we be expected to solve the foggier threats to our mutual wellfare, such as global warming.

Obama, Assad, Netanyahu, Putin, etc., will be long dead before Fukushima stops spewing radiation. Nations will come and go before the radiation emanating from Japan finally dies away. Think about it.

Or, jack yourself off some more, debating irrelevence.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Dec 23, 2013 11:45:53 AM | 100

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