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February 20, 2015

Open Thread 2015-09

News & views ...

Posted by b on February 20, 2015 at 01:43 PM | Permalink

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123 page paper from british house of lords on "The EU and Russia:
before and beyond the crisis in Ukraine."

Posted by: james | Feb 20, 2015 2:02:58 PM | 1

In some of the earlier Ukraine threads some wondered (as did I) how so many UAF troops managed to escape from the Debaltsevo Cauldron and some even questioned the reality of cauldron. Colonel Cassad today has the following to say:

As for the exit from the encirclement — a part of the junta forces got out of the ring by leaving their heavy weapons behind by agreement (that is, the situation was repeated akin to Starobeshevo when the breaking junta group surrendered its tanks and some of the IFVs to the militia to get out of the Ilovaysk pocket), some of the forces tried to break through without an agreement (just like near Ilovaysk) – and they got crushed

This was according to statements made by the DPR soon after the cauldron had been closed.

Posted by: ToivoS | Feb 20, 2015 2:34:04 PM | 2

@1 james

I'm only on page 28 but if that isn't the clique talking to the claque, I don't know what is. If that's what passes for "research and analysis" no wonder everything is so fucked up.

Posted by: Benu | Feb 20, 2015 3:20:38 PM | 3

@1 Stopped after page 7. Usual British BS.....Middle school term paper.

Posted by: georgeg | Feb 20, 2015 3:37:06 PM | 4

@3 benu.. a poster over at kremlin stooge pointed out the irony of the house of lords lecturing russia on the need to become more democratic!

@3 georgeg.. i started around page 18 and read a few pages then started skipping to the bolded conclusions they made in the different sections. i got to about page 28..

Posted by: james | Feb 20, 2015 3:48:36 PM | 5

I found this, on page 6, to be particularly snortable: "The dismemberment of a sovereign independent state is not acceptable."

Excuse me, your pedophilic lordship, but what about Syria? Iraq? etc.

Posted by: Benu | Feb 20, 2015 4:35:13 PM | 6

Ministers agreed on extending bailout for Greece by four months, under condition that Athens details adequate reforms

Can anyone tell me the point of this farcical exercise by Syriza, other than to discredit the left, and give an opening for the revival of fascism in Greece? Varoufakis said "There is no plan B", but apparently there is. Plan B is to bend over and grab your ankles. I sure hope the Troika/EU/Bilderberg crowd at least gives them a nice tip, when they're finished.

Or as Shakespeare put it:

Let's further think of this;
Weigh what convenience both of time and means
May fit us to our shape: If this should fail,
And that our drift look through our bad performance,
'Twere better not assay'd: therefore this project
Should have a back, or second, that might hold,
If this should blast in proof.

Hamlet 4:7
King Claudius discussing the "removal" of his nephew

Posted by: gersen | Feb 20, 2015 5:22:49 PM | 7

Posted by: gersen | Feb 20, 2015 5:22:49 PM | 7

I was sad to learn that Varoufakis has gnarly connections to George Soros and neoliberal redoubts. I wonder if some of these Syriza guys are the Greek version of Mr. Hope and Change. As in cutout, frontman, stooge, p3ned tool of the banksters. I hope not...but....

Posted by: Benu | Feb 20, 2015 5:48:09 PM | 8

@7,8

I don't know what you expect at this point from Syriza but so far they have confronted the EU bullies and the bullies blinked first. I may change my mind about them after we see what the actual deal is in a few months but so far they are using what little power they have to confront neoliberalism in Europe without destroying the whole experiment or driving Greece further into misery.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Feb 20, 2015 6:10:04 PM | 9

I hear you, WoW. "Live to fight another day" is better than "fall on your sword."

Posted by: Benu | Feb 20, 2015 6:26:46 PM | 10

But I would have loved to see Varoufakis (who looks so like Bruce Willis) grab some of those Troika frails and just cold cock 'em right in the snoot...several times. I didn't expect it, but it would have thrilled me no end. Someone needs to. Jaime Demon should get it, too. Mozillo...the gang at GS. the list is long.

One can dream...

Posted by: Benu | Feb 20, 2015 6:39:55 PM | 11

Benu, I hear you too but some satisfaction may be gained by outmaneuvering these elites and building a permanent force that moves to leading in another direction and not just responding to this oppression. This is what Syriza can do with Podemos and other resistance movements in Europe which are ripe for regime change.

If you are going to dream, dream big.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Feb 20, 2015 6:53:03 PM | 12

This shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada is an excellent example of what the United States is becoming. Americans are hell bent on murdering one another.

The story is a bit weird - it was portrayed as "road rage", but the fact is that the woman and the 19-year old man who shot her were neighbors - the husband of the woman apparently had taken to telling the man to "pull up his pants and be a man" repeatedly. So when they had a run in on the road, and she went to get her son and told him to bring a gun to go confront their neighbor - when they arrived - armed - at the neighbors house, he promptly shot the woman dead. Well - what exactly did she expect should have happened? We're supposed to watch candle light vigils for her now - as if a woman who starts armed confrontations is some sort of model citizen? Now we have to watch her husband - who frankly was clearly part of the problem between the neighbor and the family - "grieve" and organize candlelight vigils? No thanks. For once, how about a brief look into the national mirror.

It's America writ small. Anger and violence, no respect for others, simple irritations turning into armed confrontation in which neither side can be said to be in the right - and then instead of some solemn soul-searching - it's just a bunch of overdone bogus tears, "candlelight vigils", media dramatization and finger pointing. Five lives destroyed in an instant for nothing, and the media just interested in ratings-mongering. The whole country is being taught to understand such events through the lens of a cheap tabloid - unable to tease out even the slightest real meaning from it all. No serious moral voice to be heard in the fray.

It will probably mean more such events, not less. Just look at the rash of neighbor shootings we have now - these three Muslim students, Zimmerman, the man who blew away the woman on his porch looking for directions or whatever.... We're a country at war not just with our foreign "enemies" (though we certainly are that!)- but with ourselves, first and foremost.

Talk about societal collapse. Imagine when there's no food on the shelves and no gas at the gas stations.

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 20, 2015 7:21:57 PM | 13

I'm only on page 28 but if that isn't the clique talking to the claque, I don't know what is. If that's what passes for "research and analysis" no wonder everything is so fucked up.
Posted by: Benu | Feb 20, 2015 3:20:38 PM | 3

Yep.
Believing their own bullshit takes them to all kinds of places nobody needs to go.
Believing Yankee bullshit is orders of magnitude worse...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 20, 2015 7:27:48 PM | 14

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Feb 20, 2015 6:53:03 PM | 12

Sincerely...Do you think that's actually possible? What with the NSA's despicable exploits and rampant oligarchy here and fascism there...and climate change coming at us like a freight train. I admit to having become quite hopeless. I fill the gaps with irony and black humor these days. It's like when friends encourage voting...my question is "for whom?" It seems to me that the political process all over the wold is quite broken. In fact, as I said before...owned. I hope it is as you say. That it could be. I wish...fervently. But I think prob'ly not is the reality.

I actually think that if I paid less attention, I would be more hopeful.
A good evening to you.

Posted by: Benu | Feb 20, 2015 7:31:49 PM | 15

Interesting article on Germany’s New Far Right


When the neoliberal former finance minister of Berlin, Thilo Sarrazin, published his book Germany is Abolishing Itself in 2010, few observers recognized that it heralded the emergence of a new, modernized far right in Germany, one that departed significantly from the old school Nazi and national-conservative Völkisch far right of previous decades. Abandoned were collectivist socio-political models and biological racism in favor of a marriage of modern neoliberal doctrine and culturalist racism.

This new far right is now coalescing into a coherent entity with well-defined contours and a division of labor between different components: an electoral party in the form of the Alternative for Germany (AfD); a militant extra-parliamentary wing in the form of Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West); and an ideological center in the form of the glossy monthly magazine Compact, edited by Jürgen Elsässer, a former radical leftist journalist who has become a far-right national populist.


A genteel deconstruction of Cultural racism from a purist (?) lefty site (like wsws.org who, like the savants above, cannot revile Syriza enough and are gleefully watching its 'failure'?). In Amerika, of course, the same tendencies are wildly blown-up, with their colored dots visible, like a Roy Lichtenstein cartoon.

Freedom Rider: An Angry White Man Kills Again


Craig Hicks was a human time bomb in his Chapel Hill, North Carolina neighborhood. He was constantly spoiling for a fight, about noise or parking or anything else that he found irritating. Hicks was always armed, a resident of an “open carry” state which allowed him to wear a holstered gun anywhere at any time. On February 10, 2015, Hicks turned himself in to the police and confessed to murdering three people that day.

The victims were identified as Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, and her sister Razan Abu-Salha. Hicks had argued with the family about parking spaces but it seems any reason to pull the trigger would have been good enough.

Hicks motive for the killing is murky. Some of his political views could be called liberal and others conservative. But more than anything Hicks was serious about being a white man. He loved his guns and he asserted his right to be armed at all times. It is likely that he had mental health issues, but the sickness did not emerge solely from this particular individual.


Anti-islamic (pro-'white') Anglo-American cuiltural racism achieved 'repectablity' in the hands of 'atheists' like Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins. And the rubber meets the road in folks like Craig Hicks, whom the criminal legislators of Virginia armed and released into the streets with his strapped-on 'heater' to raise the Cultural racist temperature.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 20, 2015 7:54:44 PM | 16

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 20, 2015 7:21:57 PM | 13

Mostly agree with your take on this incident.
Is it possible that Americans arm themselves because they feel so powerless, and that a gun is such an effective antidote that they become (irresponsibly) omnipotent?
That seems to be what happened to the USG.

Mind-boggling cowardice infects the whole of US society, from the 1% down.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 20, 2015 7:56:18 PM | 17

Mike Whitney, kicking ass and taking names at Counterpunch.
The “Exceptional” U.S. Suffers Crushing Defeat in Debaltsevo

Posted by: Benu | Feb 20, 2015 8:26:43 PM | 18

Benu, we better hope that things change in Europe or Greece and Spain may be better off under the Islamic Caliphate than the EU. Here in the Homeland we may be relegated to the position of observers until the Hegemon is defeated.

Did you read Richard Wood's essay at Counterpunch? It is very long but worth the time to read and his analysis is the best I have seen on the ME.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Feb 20, 2015 8:39:19 PM | 19

Somebody wrote not long ago of the coming partition of Ukraine between Poland and Lithuania...

Ukrainian-Polish-Lithuanian Brigade to Become Operational in 2015


“The brigade is being formed in order to participate in international operations on the basis of a UNSC mandate and decisions by the appropriate government agencies of Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine. The agreement is open to other countries upon their invitation by the three signatories,” the announcement states.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 20, 2015 9:52:27 PM | 20

Did you read Richard Wood's essay at Counterpunch? It is very long but worth the time to read and his analysis is the best I have seen on the ME.
Posted by: Wayoutwest | Feb 20, 2015 8:39:19 PM | 19

Yes, until I got to this, which diminishes its credibility somewhat...

"The US has decided not to attack Syria’s As’ad (mostly Allawi) regime, despite the incredible ferocity of that Government’s war on its own people since 2011 ..."

...mercifully, not far down from the top. But I suppose it's not easy to decide where best to insert the fatuous claptrap in a rambling and verbose Hasbara hit piece.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 20, 2015 10:49:01 PM | 21

H@21

If Wood had said something about Assad's gas attacks I would agree with you but no one can deny the ferocity of the air attacks especially the barrel bombing and the toll on civilians in this conflict.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Feb 21, 2015 12:03:02 AM | 22

I think it's still way too soon to count Syriza out. Tsipras/Varoufakis are not an Obama redux. It's a long shot but I'm hopeful once they've exhausted the exercise in futility that is negotiating with the EU they'll play the wild card:

So if Tsipras’s refinancing proposal is refused tomorrow will Greece quit NATO and the EU, to join the Eurasian Union? Not if Mr Putin gets his way: Greece is worth much more to Russia as an ally within the EU and NATO than outside – where it can veto more trade sanctions against Russia, block the TTIP and CETA trade deals with the USA and Canada, and oppose NATO’s increasing belligerence from within.

But we could see Greece simply renouncing its manifestly unpayable and unjust €320 billion national debt, and quitting the Eurozone straitjacket – while receiving an emergency liquidity package from Russia to support the launch of the New Drachma.

In fact, we could see a re-run of important elements of the Ukraine play of December 2013, when Russia offered a support package under which it would buy $15 billion in bonds from Ukraine, supporting its collapsing currency, and supply it with deeply discounted gas – £268 per cubic metre rather than the maarket price of $400.

A $15 billion purchase of New Drachma denominated Greek bonds would be a superb launch for Greece’s new currency, and would firmly cement Greece’s long term alliance with Russia, providing it with a valuable long term bridgehead into both the EU and NATO.


Posted by: Nana2007 | Feb 21, 2015 12:33:59 AM | 23


Found this first in Liveleak and watch full YouTube, brainless professor Timothy Snyder, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic speaks of Ukraine civil war between Ukraine and "Russia".

Being fair minded, one should study opposite viewpoints. I don't agree, Timothy Snyder. Even combine NATO and USA forces cannot defeat Russian Federation (without China). Most likely total destruction, Armageddon!!

20K soldiers can defeat Russian army in Ukraine?

Short Video:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=fb1_1424481946

Full Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_1329212633&feature=iv&src_vid=rWAzPCT9iVQ&v=yoUkoGn7cRU


Posted by: Jack Smith | Feb 21, 2015 12:36:37 AM | 24

Having a hide like a rhinoceros isn't the same as knowing what you're talking about, WoW.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 21, 2015 12:36:58 AM | 25

speaking of the toll on syrians, i see this from RT earlier.. is this a result of assad, or of the usa making war on syria for another fucking regime change? oh, they have changed the lingo and are going with moderate terrorists and all that blather, but nothing has changed with regard to usa's approach in spite of the propaganda that says otherwise..

btw - i answer in the later..


"Over 10mn forced to abandon homes in Syria since 2011 – UN report

Almost half Syria’s population, over 10 million people, have been forced to leave their homes since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, the UN Commission for Human Rights in Syria reported on Friday. Over three million people had to quit the country, and over six and a half million have been obliged to relocate within Syria. According to the report, over 10 million people in the conflict zone need humanitarian assistance. The commission demanded the conflict’s participants provide help and called on the international community to assist refugees. The report will be discussed at the March session of the UN Human Rights Council."

Posted by: james | Feb 21, 2015 12:44:32 AM | 26

H@25

Having a thick hide is not the same as having a thick head as you should know, Hoarse.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Feb 21, 2015 1:03:18 AM | 27

Light relief. How to get a date with Poroshenko.

quote:

So Semyon used a cellphone emoticon to land a date with Poroshenko, and then used the opportunity to nonchalantly inform the Ukrainian president that he was no longer in control of 17 military battalions?

http://russia-insider.com/en/ukraine/2015/02/20/3717

Posted by: Noirette | Feb 21, 2015 9:11:19 AM | 28

guest77 13: Just another symptom of the 4th reichs new (or not new), economic plan for the peons of the world. Less for the workers (peons), more for the elites, or if you prefer, austerity for the masses, massive profits for the mega-wealthy. Especially acute, here in the U.S. Stress kills.

Posted by: ben | Feb 21, 2015 10:52:50 AM | 29

Russia Insider has an entertaining and informative rant by their columnist, "Byzantium" on Washington’s Loosening Grip on Ukraine and Europe Has ‘Russophobic Hack Pack’ Howling with Despair.

If you want someone to blame for this sorry state of affairs, look to the dumbing down, mass culture of postmodern apathy that has generally permitted the ‘masters of the universe’ who tell The Economist what to write to have their way on domestic issues like open borders or gay marriage. This same general sense of 'blah' greeting hysterical headlines about Russian bomber flights and submarines off Stockholm has interfered with mustering any genuine enthusiasm for fighting Russia to the last Ukrainian. Yes, not only in the US captivated by deflated footballs and Kardashians family member sex changes, but even in countries like Poland where marinating in eternal victimhood at the hands of the Russians is a national recipe. You can post endless photos of this tank or that air defense system allegedly only manufactured in Russia being photographed in the Donbass -- hardly anyone in the real world off Twitter cares anymore.

Byzantium hits a number of topics, starting with Greece, moving on to Polish involvement with and apprehension of the junta, and concluding with the Ukraine. "That Poroshenko is incompetent is without a doubt. But it doesn’t occur to Schindler [John R. Schindler, a former NSA of questionable reputation]that Poroshenko or the current Ukrainian high command might be the best Kiev can do, with the so-called ‘parallel staff’ being established by the Right Sector Nazis under Dmitry Yarosh as likely to be even more inept." A good read, well-documented with links.

Posted by: rufus magister | Feb 21, 2015 10:53:26 AM | 30

ps to 30 -- no problem with gay marriage, or open borders (in principle), but with po-mo spectacle culture. See Huxley's Brave New World Revisited for the phenomena in its infancy.

Posted by: rufus magister | Feb 21, 2015 11:02:20 AM | 31

Noirette at 28 -- The Reuters piece that RI describes as "a predictably slanted but nonetheless entertaining take on the Debaltsevo fiasco" and its effects on "an already fragile political order in Kiev" is interesting.

"Pavel Felgenhauer, an independent Russian defense analyst, believes that if the attack on Debaltseve has any strategic component, it’s part of a bigger plan to destabilize and overthrow Poroshenko." Why would Putin want him out? Any replacement is likely to be worse, chaos on the RF border not in his interest. More magical thinking.

And here's some military advice from "Gustav Gressel, a specialist on Eastern European defense policy and a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin. 'It wasn’t worth the effort. The strategic value was in no way proportional to the troops put there,' Gressel said. If Ukraine is going to lead a war of attrition against a far superior enemy, he said, it must fight tactically, avoiding vulnerable 'bulges' like the Debaltseve pocket and raising the costs for Russia’s covert war."

On the topic of post-mortems and military fixes, the Kyiv Post asks After Debaltseve Defeat, What Next?

Ukraine's chaotic retreat from Debaltseve earlier this week has exposed what many believe to be fundamentally flawed judgment at the highest level of the nation's political and military leadership....

Arkady Babchenko, a Russian opposition-minded war reporter, told the Kyiv Post that Ukraine's army made similar mistakes at Donetsk airport. He believes Ukrainian troops should have launched a concerted counter-offensive at Donetsk airport long before it fell.

Another mistake was the General Staff's failure to heavily fortify the Debaltseve area, Babchenko argues, adding that it would not have required huge resources to do so.

“A modern city is a fortified area in itself," he said. “It's very difficult for artillery to destroy buildings, even five-story ones.... We shouldn't talk about whether Debaltseve is surrounded or not but about whether (Ukrainian troops) are going seize Donetsk or not. Ukrainian troops should have fought on Donetsk's outskirts, not for Debaltseve."

Throw in Pravyi Sektor's standing vow to retake Crimea, and you've got the makings of an aggressive revaunchism and renewed war.

Posted by: rufus magister | Feb 21, 2015 11:32:17 AM | 32

@32 You also have a lot of wishful thinking. The UAF simply isn't up to the job. Not without air support anyway and that won't happen without NATO.

Posted by: dh | Feb 21, 2015 11:39:55 AM | 33

Jeb Bush wants to be the next US president. He gave a speech on foreign policy, peddling the same old lies as have been trotted out by the previous Bush administration.

http://www.juancole.com/2015/02/foreign-policy-ready.html

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 21, 2015 11:50:27 AM | 34

"The Treasury Department and the State Department are closely monitoring this situation and are considering tools that may be available that can better steer the Venezuelan government in the direction that they believe they should be headed,” said White House spokesman, Josh Earnest.

Really says it all. The US has steered so many countries straight off of cliffs... now they're trying again.

That US government makes such blatant statements about interfering in the affairs of others and hardly a peep is heard in the press.

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 21, 2015 12:01:24 PM | 35

dh @ 33 -- I agree, UAF is probably far too depleted now for any serious operations. But as folks have noted, it's not outright victory that DC wants (and knows it can't get), but "raising the costs" as Gressel states. But maybe "Springtime for Poroshenko"?

I actually came back for an irresistable bit of modern pop video, heavy airplay on the local alt-fm station. A suitable comment on modern public opinion.

The description posted of Big Data on the Official Video of "Dangerous" describes them as "a paranoid electronic music project from the Internet, helmed by producer, Alan Wilkis." It's a bit disturbing, NSFW, very well done, snarky subtitles esp. You'll find it.

I like the Lyrics Video version of it better. It simulates a screen shot. "It's like they know I'm looking from the outside... They've been watching all my Windows" Love the bass riff, and the mellow approach around 3.00. "No one can hear us when we're alone."

Posted by: rufus magister | Feb 21, 2015 12:20:30 PM | 36

@26 US and UK discussing more sanctions I see. Will Hollande and Merkel raise any objections? Probably not. They don't want to be called chicken.

Posted by: dh | Feb 21, 2015 12:34:39 PM | 37

@36 not @26....sorry.

Posted by: dh | Feb 21, 2015 12:35:21 PM | 38

Rick Rozoff from Stop NATO is never boring, but I found an interview with him that I think is the best I've ever heard - better even than his talk with Mearshimer. Maybe it is just because it focuses so much on Europe's turn from independent power in the early 2000s, to the lap dog of the USA it has become. Here it is:

http://fromalpha2omega.podomatic.com/entry/2014-11-01T01_52_13-07_00

Moreover, the podcast of which the Rozoff interview is part of is excellent. Tim O'Brien is an Irish podcaster which gives him an interesting perspective living in one of the countries squashed by neo-liberal capitalism in the Eurozone. He interviews several of todays more interesting activists:

Yanis Varoufakis: http://fromalpha2omega.podomatic.com/entry/2012-10-01T13_48_15-07_00

Bill Black on Ecuador (he's an expert on Ecuador, who knew?): http://fromalpha2omega.podomatic.com/entry/2013-06-22T02_33_39-07_00

Economist Steve Keen: http://fromalpha2omega.podomatic.com/entry/2012-08-30T12_14_49-07_00

Dimitri Orlov: http://fromalpha2omega.podomatic.com/entry/2012-05-19T01_58_18-07_00

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 21, 2015 12:57:45 PM | 39

WayOutWests attributing the civilian death toll on the Syrian government is just another example of what a stooge for the empire he is. Like the cheap propagandist on Abby Martin's show who tried to declare "Assad has killed 200,000 people!" he is trying to pretend that there is only one side in this (not so civil) war.

We know all about what kind of people the so-called rebels are. Everyone knows they not only kill civilians as "collateral damage" but for the sheer pleasure of it and for reasons of ethnicity and religion. So to try and put the civilian toll onto the Syrian government is a blatant lie - one of the worse coming out of the US press.

If the United States and its allies were to honestly live up to its propaganda, it would surely seek peace in the country and support those forces trying to defeat the terrorists in the region. But the US is not working for peace, and it will not ever do so. Because this whole horror that has emerged out of the "Arab Spring" is not an accident of history - it is a planned American project. This violence in Libya and Syria came about not because the Arab people were trying to overthrow their "dictators", but because the United States was trying to smash the last vestiges of Russian and Chinese influence in the Middle East. And in chasing that goal there is no hypocritical stand they won't take, no interest of the common people in the region they won't ignore, no lie they won't tell and - most importantly for any one with a shred of moral decency in them - no peace plan they will accept that doesn't achieve their goal of the domination in the region.

But this is all blowing up in the face of NATO-Isr-KSA, I believe, because they have not destroyed Syria, and they have not smashed Iran's influence in the region. In fact, they've strengthened all of these things. They've turned Hezbollah - one of the most potent forces of resistance in the region - from a localized phenomenon to a regional power which is now fighting, training, and spreading its skills as far away as Iraq. The NATOIsrKSA has given the moral high ground to Iran, the Syrian government, and Hezbollah by getting into bed with the most appalling and bloodthirsty terrorists ever seen - ISIL. They're even - it seems - lost their place as the supposed savior of the Kurds by their lackluster, half-hearted efforts in Kobani. They have in every way imaginable strengthened the so-called "Shia Crescent" (a poor name for the region clearly churned up in the racist western mind) as well as making it clear to Russia and China that the survival of Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah is key to their survival as well.

The ultimate hypocrisy will be if the United States now - having caused so much turmoil in the region - cynically tries to re-insert itself into Iraq under the guise of "standing up to ISIL". That's the most potent B.S. imaginable. If the US wanted to destroy ISIL, it would start by pressuring its allies in the Gulf to stop supporting them financially. It would start by pressuring Turkey and Israel to cease their support for the terrorists assaulting Syria. It would start by putting a very short and tight leash on such miscreant war mongers as John McCain. But of course it doesn't, it wants only another chance to enforce its will onto the region after having failed so miserably to do so between 2003-2010. It has one ace in its pocket now though: it has split the region between, and it will cynically use that hatred it has engendered all over the region to maximum effect. I would suggest though that it hasn't so much split the region between Sunni and Shia, but between fanatic extremists and the common people. Between responsible leaders, and those who kiss the hems of the Wahabbi psychopaths in the Gulf.

The US is behaving as immoral and as cynical as it gets. The Western elite has lost their mind, and they don't care how many people they kill or how many lives they destroy - including there own people's at home, it should be noted. I do hate to say it, but I have a hard time seeing how the world emerges from their powerful grip without a massive cataclysm on the scale of a world war.

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 21, 2015 2:13:57 PM | 40

Did you read Richard Wood's essay at Counterpunch? It is very long but worth the time to read and his analysis is the best I have seen on the ME.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Feb 20, 2015 8:39:19 PM | 19

I read this 'analysis' upon your recommendation. As a piece of writing, I must say it was rather like pushing my head through oatmeal. The author's insistence on unusual (to Western eyes) spellings of common place and people names -- for example "Mecca" is spelled "Makka" -- are beyond annoying and only served to make me wonder who is the intended audience, really. In addition, more seems to be obfuscated than revealed by this and such tactics as the larding on of excessive detail. I was put in mind of the short story "Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" by Jorge Luis Borges, which I have always found instructive.

Had I run across Wood's piece on my own, I would have stopped reading at the paragraph Hoarsewhisperer pointed to: "The US has now entered Syria’s conflict, from which it recently demured (sic) after the use of chemical weapons was discovered." And if not that, then this: "The US has decided not to attack Syria’s As’ad (mostly Allawi) regime, despite the incredible ferocity of that Government’s war on its own people since 2011, presumably because his most vehement and effective opposition is composed of Sunni Islamists, including ISIS/IS, none of whom would advance Western or Israeli interests if victorious."

My initial reaction, fueled by perhaps one too many India Pale Ales was a resounding, "Pshaw! Disinformation."

But this morning I persevered with coffee and will share just a few thoughts. (I have many, but I'll keep it a bit short as I also need to do work around the house today.)

If the history is one of backstabbing, secret collusion, "deadly factions and rivalries," and "cruel hoaxes, engineered by secular oligarchs (except for Ayatollah Khameini) cynically legitimizing oppressive regimes by claiming religious heritage as founding narratives"...why does the author insist on taking 'mainstream understanding' of current events -- such as the origins, funding, leadership and goals of IS -- so much at pollyanna face value?

One quite egregious glossing over occurs here: "Yet another new generation of Ikhwan militants captured Makka and Madina again, until they were brought to heel by King ‘Abd al Aziz ibn Sa’ud." Brought to heel? If I'm not mistaken, after the House of Saud had taken power and was finished with their Ikhwan sectarian warriors, they liquidated them. It seems to me this bodes ill for the fighters of the Islamic State. When the PTB no longer need them to do their 'all your base are belong to us' dirty work, I suspect they'll be herded into a Debaltsevo-style cauldron somewhere and pounded to smithereens.

And then there's this mild interjection: "As French scholar of Islamism in North Africa, Francois Burgat has reported, many of the massacres attributed to the GIA in Algeria were actually  the work of Algerian security forces posing as Islamists to discredit their revolutionary movement in the 1990s. That possibility certainly remains to be explored in relation to ISIS." Indeed, and perhaps this author might have explored that with some original scholarship rather than rehashing a cherry-picked history from others' books.

But then perhaps some of these oddities have to do with the author's funding and associations. Although he disdains to say so in his "about the author" statement at the end, I do believe the author of this article is this Richard Wood, Associate Professor of Sociology at Univ. of New Mexico and Founding Director of the Southwest Institute on Religion & Civil Society. He says of himself: "Wood's scholarly expertise focuses on the cultural and institutional bases of democratic life, especially those linked to faith communities." A look at his CV is educational. Nearly a million dollars from the U.S. State Department for Web Access for Civil Society Initiatives. Work for the infamous Albuquerque police department and the DOJ around police culture. Work related to Catholic faith-based organizing in Central/South America. I find such activities quite problematic.

Even though I am highly critical, I nonetheless thank you for sharing this article with me. I learned a few things, even or perhaps because of my disagreements with the piece.

Posted by: Benu | Feb 21, 2015 3:48:36 PM | 41

Rising tensions around Mariopol ??

http://www.aa.com.tr/en/news/455439--ukraine-call-for-un-meeting-over-mariupol-attack

"Russia turns to Hungary & Turkey to avoid isolation."
http://www.aa.com.tr/en/news/468845--russia-turns-to-hungary-and-turkey-to-avoid-isolation

Posted by: Willy2 | Feb 21, 2015 4:02:20 PM | 42

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_XB-70_Valkyrie

An interesting story of corruption, death, and Curtis Le May: the Military Industrial Complex and the B-70 Bomber.

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 21, 2015 4:40:22 PM | 43

Here's a timely reminder, the junta's muscle started throwing their weight around almost immediately. Korsun massacre anniversary - what really pushed Crimea away from Ukraine, from the Russian Antifashist.com and translated by K. Rus.

The Pravyi Sektor ambushed and assaulted eight buses of anti-Maidan protesters returning after Yanukovich's ouster. One victim described it as "amarked by frenzied brutality and hatred for the Crimeans," in which people were beaten, forced to shout fascist slogans in Ukrainian, and even killed. After an account of the incident, the author discusses the political impact.

Remembering those tragic events, well-known political analyst Vladimir Kornilov noted that, despite the horror of what happened, this massacre was destined to become the impetus, which roused the Crimea for the following complete liberation from the aggressive Ukrainian banderovshina, sinister shadows of which were already hanging over the peninsula.

"I want to remind you that until then Crimea rather inertly reacted to what was happening in Kiev. Some dear to me Crimeans publicly spoke, saying, "this is not our war". I even argued about this with some Crimean political scientists. Some went to Kiev to protest on Antimaidan, but mostly among the masses there was not a lot of emotion. But when the Crimean survivors of this massacre came home and talked about who came to power in Kiev, Crimea exploded, then it realized that it is time to act and defend yourself! Personally, I count the beginning of the reunification process of Crimea with Russia starting from that day.

Rus reminds us "When the Western press cheers 'the democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people shown on Maidan' they conveniently forget and ignore the aspirations of those mostly Russian-speaking Ukrainians from Crimea and South-Eastern Ukraine, who were protesting nearby in Kiev against the Maidan. Unfortunately it took a bloody civil war to open the eyes of most.... But when the determination and brutality of the Ukrainian ultra-nationalist thugs became apparent after their deeds in Korsun and Odessa... most Ukrainian citizens became horrified by what the Maidan had unleashed and were forced to make a decision if this is the kind of country they want to live in."

Posted by: rufus magister | Feb 21, 2015 6:25:07 PM | 44

dh @ 37 -- Good question, will Merkel & Hollande have their states participate, or will they leave it an Anglo-American affair? I'd guess they'll complain, but comply, to keep a united front, esp. if there are largely token PR measures taken.

Posted by: rufus magister | Feb 21, 2015 6:32:10 PM | 45

@41

Thanks especially for the dope on Richard Wood. All American 'social scientists' are on the take one way or another.

I came to post the following ...

The NSA/GCHQ stole untold millions - in not billions/all - of our cell-phone keys from Franco-Dutch Gemalto ... et al? As far as the NSA/GCHQ and 'friends' are concerned, our cell-phones are in fact broadcast radios in the clear.

The US' European Unit is investigatigating


The European Parliament’s chief negotiator on the European Union’s data protection law, Jan Philipp Albrecht, said the hack was “obviously based on some illegal activities.”

Yeah, the outright crime was “obviously based on some illegal activities.”

The Whitehouse reminded their pals that they were all in this together ...


“It’s hard for me to imagine that there are a lot of technology executives that are out there that are in a position of saying that they hope that people who wish harm to this country will be able to use their technology to do so. So, I do think in fact that there are opportunities for the private sector and the federal government to coordinate and to cooperate on these efforts, both to keep the country safe, but also to protect our civil liberties.”

... with the hightechsters labeled traitors if they don't click their high-heels, salute, and continue to roll-over for the overtly fascist NSA/GCHQ.

This - together with the US' push for war with Russia, and the German/EU attempt to crush the South of Europe - might be the beginning of the end of the US' European Unit?

And certainly the line is drawn ever more sharply between the criminal five eyes and the rest of the world.

And it's difficult to imagine consumer-based businesses - google, facebook, twitter and the telecos - siding with their costumers' enemies when ordered to state, "which side are you on?".

No matter what they say they're clearly not on their customers' side ... their 'customers' - all of us - are their product.

So this is yet another wedge driven between ordinary people and the hightech predators-in-the-middle - governmental and transnational-corporate - of all our communications.

Amazing that this 'bombshell' took over a year to surface? What other of Snowden's bombshells have been intercepted by the Intercept.

Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras need to stop playing gatekeepers and dump the Snowden docs on wikileaks.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 21, 2015 7:00:08 PM | 46

@ 45

This story incensed me. I completely agree that Greenwald and Poitras need to open the gates, quite honestly, even if that means breaking some sort of promise to Snowden. Not least because their Omidyar catbird seat could become the shit end of the stick at any time.

Have you also read about Superfish on Lenovo laptops? The company that created the spyware is Komodia. Here's a place to start if you haven't heard about it.

"Komodia founder and former Israeli intelligence agent Barak Weichselbaum...."

http://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2015/02/20/komodia-lenovo-superfish-ddos/

Posted by: Benu | Feb 21, 2015 7:26:25 PM | 47

jfl, Benu, with all respect, if you are interested in who Glenn Greenwald is you might subscribe to Sibel's site and listen to this--

http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2015/02/18/probable-cause-with-sibel-edmonds-money-sex-blackmail-sheep-dipped-journalists/

i realize the subscription costs, but Sibel has a claim to some reciprocity for her efforts if anyone does

this is the story of how GG was turned, and is subject to ongoing blackmail by virtue of various criminal activities in his past, including the use of boys by his gay porn film business, a detail that was airbrushed out of the NY Daily News article by an editor

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Feb 21, 2015 7:37:01 PM | 48


Manuel Ochsenreiter is not a household name either in the United States or in his native Germany. He’s the editor of “Zuerst! German News Magazine” whose promotional material says that it’s “committed only to the life and survival interests of the German people and the precious heritage of our European culture“, and describes other German media as being under the control of “foreign interests.” In a format familiar to readers of mainstream news magazines, Zuerst! promotes Neue Rechte and Völkisch ideas such as the preservation of “German ethnical (sic) identity”, burnishing the image of the Third Reich in popular culture and opposing what it regards as the humiliating legacy of denazification.

The current edition of Zuerst! features a story about “welfare immigrants” and another about “gypsy pickpockets”. Other articles focus on the evils of globalization and loss of ethnic identity. A piece combining art criticism with implications of corruption slams Berlin’s Holocaust memorial. (They also have a piece which implausibly claims that many Russians would like to return Kaliningrad to Germany, comparing this to the situation in Crimea.) Zuerst!’s publisher is longtime far-right Dietmar Munier, a veteran of Germany’s far-right political scene and reportedly a friend to several Holocaust deniers.

RT has singled Manuel Ochsenreiter out as their primary on-air spokesman for the German point of view, featuring him on talk shows and extended interviews on the network scores of times over the past four years. While it may seem strange for RT to choose the editor of a neo-Nazi magazine to be their expert on German public opinion, in a way it makes perfect sense precisely because so few people know who he is. RT identifies him on air only as a German journalist. Moreover, judging by his on-air performance, he is very happy to say whatever it takes to keep his patrons at RT happy.

full: http://www.interpretermag.com/rts-manuel-ochsenreiter/
_

Posted by: Louis Proyect | Feb 21, 2015 7:51:45 PM | 49

rt learning the regular tactics of the nyt, wsj and wapo you say? lol..

i agree with him that germany is not a sovereign state, but one guided by the number of usa armed force bases on it's territory.. if he would like to see them gone, well he must be a neo nazi!!

Posted by: james | Feb 21, 2015 8:03:41 PM | 50

ps - rt has a lot of catchin' up to do competing for an alternative universe the west thought it had proscribed for europe..

Posted by: james | Feb 21, 2015 8:05:39 PM | 51

Interesting take on Merkel:

Merkel and her advisers bought into the Sanctions policy, because it was the peaceful alternative to the military option which Washington, D.C. placed on the table from the very beginning of the Ukraine crisis. By pursuing sanctions at obvious cost to her own people, Merkel could keep the Americans from dominating policies on the Continent towards Russia, and could prevent a general military conflagration on European soil.

What happened beginning in late January that changed the equation for Merkel, for Germany and for Europe more broadly was the new aggressiveness of the War Party in Washington that began publicly bearing down on President Obama to do something now that sanctions had clearly not caused Vladimir Putin to change course, now that the rebels of the Donbas once again were taking the military upper hand and expanding the territory under their control. …

In the world of politics, for Frau Merkel and her advisers the military option now being discussed in Washington was an intolerable double-cross, and this is where the shuttle diplomacy leading to the Minsk-2 accords got its start.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 21, 2015 8:21:07 PM | 52

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Feb 21, 2015 7:37:01 PM | 47

I knew he had an interest in a gay porn film enterprise some time back...but...well, I guess I should just say outright that my tendency is to want to put my hands over my ears and shout la la la. Greenwald has warts, but...he has been something of a hero to me.

Sigh. I will give it a listen. I have been worried about the association with Omidyar for a while. And I think I mis-spoke earlier because I believe Poitras severed her (at least official) connections to Omidyar and The Intercept when the news of his Ukrainian NGO involvement hit the fan.

Posted by: Benu | Feb 21, 2015 8:23:15 PM | 53

@47

' ... this is the story of how GG was turned, and is subject to ongoing blackmail by virtue of various criminal activities in his past, including the use of boys by his gay porn film business ... '

I've gotta pay to read this trash? Wonder if it isn't the frogs who've been turned? They'd be well enough funded not to be behind a paywall if they were, I suppose.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 21, 2015 8:29:23 PM | 54

from her FB page
Cynthia McKinney
4 hrs ·
I am on a fact-finding mission, right now in Beirut, with the former Attorney General of the United States, Ramsey Clark! After I return from the region, I will be able to make a detailed report on what is actually happening on the ground in the places that we visit.

Posted by: brian | Feb 21, 2015 8:37:42 PM | 55

jfl, do some homework and save your emotions for your wife

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Feb 21, 2015 8:41:05 PM | 56

Could it be that while we were distracted by the evil empire's wreaking havoc from Afghanistan to Libya and by Quantitative Easing creating the winners in the New World Order, that WWII has been re-fought economically and German mercantilism has won? Does Europe look much different today than it would have looked if the Nazis had won? The Left has disappeared from Europe.

This has been abetted by international banking, of course. And now Germany must pay and play the game by helping with the destruction of the "real enemy", Russia. Some days this seems the only explanation for why German leaders would gamble with sanctions and possible war, harming its own citizens and those of EU, while advantaging an unreliable empire.

Posted by: mrd | Feb 21, 2015 8:46:34 PM | 57

I can understand the Russians trying to loosen the bonds between Germany and the US to whatever extent they can, and white-washing Merkel and putting a German Kultur-Kampfer on Russian TV is surely just that. RT is the mirror image of the American MSM from the get go ... it's just that, initially at least, debunking the US' stream of lies was like shooting fish in a barrel. They'd been no alternative to the US/EU MSM as well-funded as RT is, so their guards were not just down they were nonexistent. Now as the two propaganda sides close quarters the fact that RT is basically a spin off of the Western MSM model, from the same mold but cast on the other side of the mirror, becomes more obvious. There is no such thing as disinterested media. That's why we need more sides and more sources.

All governments lie. All media lie, too.

Posted by: jfl | Feb 21, 2015 8:52:53 PM | 58

The faux leftist Louis Proyect came here to lay another turd, and it had just the desired effect.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 21, 2015 9:03:47 PM | 59

@ 47 etc

No, Cu. I doublechecked myself. Those 'I ain't sayin' no names..." smears against GG are crap.
And I paid Sibel Edmonds $6 for that consonant clicking and cooing in my ear!

You owe me, dude.

Posted by: Benu | Feb 21, 2015 9:30:40 PM | 60

Cu Chulainn #47:

the use of boys by his gay porn film business

Really? Obvious CIA/NSA troll is obvious.

The CIA has known better days. But then, so has USG in general.

Also, the CIA and the State Department are not on the same page. The State Department is now a fervent champion of gay rights. Yet the CIA still peddles homophobia.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 21, 2015 9:31:31 PM | 61

Posted by: Demian | Feb 21, 2015 9:31:31 PM | 60

Yah. It's funny and old fashioned, isn't it? I guess those old guys think someone still cares.

Posted by: Benu | Feb 21, 2015 9:38:51 PM | 62

P.S. It only stands to reason that any successful, prominent journalist who is critical of USG who just happens to be gay must have a porn business which uses underage boys.

Are we back in the 1950s? Some people posing as progressives obviously are. (And note that smearing Greenwald as a producer of porn is not enough. He must also be smeared as a pedophile.)

I hope Edmonds' reputation gets totally destroyed by this. It doesn't matter if she has done good work otherwise.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 21, 2015 9:46:57 PM | 63

I hope Edmonds' reputation gets totally destroyed by this. It doesn't matter if she has done good work otherwise.

Posted by: Demian | Feb 21, 2015 9:46:57 PM | 62


She's definitely scratch-n-dent in my book after this.
I want my $6 back.

Posted by: Benu | Feb 21, 2015 9:50:46 PM | 64

Kudos to Owen Jones for this. h/t zerohedge

Posted by: Benu | Feb 21, 2015 10:04:21 PM | 65

Benu, are you familiar with Sibel and her case?

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Feb 21, 2015 10:32:51 PM | 66

@Benu:

I did some googling. I had not heard about the Daily News story. Here is what it says:

Greenwald was enjoying a career as a litigator when friend Jason Buchtel offered him a partnership in his consulting company, Master Notions Inc., back in 2002.

Court papers show that one of the company’s clients was then known as HJ — short for “Hairy Jocks” — and that Greenwald was the one who negotiated their deal.

Owner Peter Haas “had this pornographic company he wasn’t able to maintain,” Greenwald said.

Greenwald and Buchtel agreed to help Haas in return for 50% of the profits.

And here is a story about what the response was to this story:

Journalists Unimpressed With Daily News Scoop on Glenn Greenwald’s Dog

It's interesting that Edawards comes up with this on the eve of Citizen Four probably winning an Oscar. I wouldn't be surprised if she made a deal with the feds for them to leave her alone.

@Benu #64:

Thanks for that, but I can't muster the motivation to read it. I don't really follow Brit journalism any more after the fiasco over the investigation of the BBC for coming out with a story about how Blair knew that the evidence that Saddam Hussein had WMDs was fabricated. I only try to follow what's going on with the US, German, and Russian press. I just don't think the UK matters anymore globally. It's always going to be America's poodle on everything until NATO falls apart, so the nature of its press doesn't matter. (I hope you're not a Brit. If you are, please don't take offense. None intended.)

Posted by: Demian | Feb 21, 2015 10:36:37 PM | 67

Lousy Louis Proyect, you glutton for punishment - why are you here? Don't you have enough problems with the people at WSWS calling you a sell out and a fink?

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 21, 2015 10:49:27 PM | 68

for any with a serious interest who may be reading, the point of Sibel's podcast is not to focus on any individual, but to show how journalists serve the same interests as, and often coordinate with, intelligence services, and in particular to show how what appear to be alternative media sources (an earlier podcast in the series went into Morton Halperin's role in vetting potential recipients of Soros funding) are often co-opted

but yes, GG as an individual has played a big role both in stifling revelations from genuine whistleblowers, and in putting out disinformation

the argument that the change in his professional trajectory (earlier in his career, for example, he had made a name for questioning the 9/11 anthrax attacks, for example, a topic he no longer touches) was the result of blackmail is not slander or conjecture, but based on firsthand knowledge of the FBI source who had been involved in the GG child porn investigation, and who was outraged by the coverup--this source provided the NYDN with the story which was censored not by the reporter but by his editor

this is but one of many examples known to Sibel through her work with the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition--a group whose record and members can be easily verified, who did not benefit from the media attention of the Greenwald/Snowden circus--of how government investigations often had the purpose not of correcting wrongdoing but, as Russell Tice (look him up) put it, of establishing leverage so that significant players in politics and journalism can be manipulated. GG is just one example of this.

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Feb 21, 2015 10:55:26 PM | 69

I have watched all of - if not that Edmonds episode - another where she discusses Greenwald. I don't really care about the porno stuff (though I'd be concerned about the exploitation of any minors in the same way I am about the Clinton-Epstein-Dershowitz grossness) than with what she reports about his response to her contacts with him. But that's all he said/she said.

There's a lot that bugs me about Greenwald. But I'm trying to let it rest until I hear something from Snowden - wether he is upset with what Greenwald is doing, pleased with it, whatever.

There is one fact: Greenwald chose the big money billionaire route, and all he's ended up with, it seems, is a WordPress Blog and a big pile of shit. As so many people said it would. And that's a real shame for him.

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 21, 2015 11:14:57 PM | 70

Presumably Snowden is pleased with how it has turned out, I suppose. He certainly is active with all the movie promotion.

It just seems as though these folks seem to have used the exposure of this treasure trove of government documents to insert themselves into the elite. That's what it seems like to me. As opposed to Assange, Manning, Jeremy Hammond, et al who really just went for the jugular and are all paying dearly for it, this group is just making the most of it for themselves personally. I mean, these three getting interviewed by the New York Times and getting nominated for Oscars is only going to get the rest of us so far...

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 21, 2015 11:22:34 PM | 71

The Daily Star: Exclusive: UNIFIL suspects Israel deliberately killed peacekeeper

The deadly incident has left some UNIFIL officers convinced that Israel deliberately targeted one of their positions to “punish” the peacekeepers for not taking greater action against Hezbollah’s activities in the southern border district.

No Israeli soldiers were abducted in Hezbollah’s Jan. 28 attack. But the retaliatory shelling – a mix of mortar rounds and 155mm high explosive and white phosphorous artillery shells – was unusual in blanketing both sides of the Blue Line in a 3-kilometer arc from the village of Ghajar to the foot of the Shebaa Farms hills.

During Israel’s bombardment, the observation tower in a Spanish UNIFIL position at Abbasieh, 1 kilometer east of Ghajar, took a direct hit from an artillery shell, killing Cpl. Francisco Javier Soria Toledo.

“We can’t say they made a mistake ... the rounds were getting nearer and nearer and eventually they hit it,” a UNIFIL officer said, adding that the U.N. position had been bracketed by artillery rounds before it was struck.

Posted by: guest77 | Feb 22, 2015 12:26:20 AM | 72

17

John Bolton, who is now a NOBODY, is back before Congress giving his best Neville Chamberlain hash tag attack on Obama's reluctance to reinsert into Iraq and fight the Al Nusra and The Caliph forces that John McCain openly armed and funded in Syria last July.

Just remember this Neocon-RagHead SockPuppet Bolton is one of the ones that got USA into Iraq and lost 4,500 of our kids, maimed 10,000s, killed 100,000s of innocent civilians (Iraq had NOTHING to do with 911), and left our US Treasury BANKRUPTED.

"Bolton supported (sic) the Vietnam War but enlisted in the Maryland Army National Guard
to avoid being sent overseas, and consequently did not serve in Vietnam. He wrote in his Yale 25th reunion book "I confess I had no desire to die in a Southeast Asian rice paddy.
I considered the war in Vietnam already lost."

Wait a minute, if he graduate Yale in 1970, and was in the Guard, HE WOULD HAVE HAD TO GO!
So Viet Nam lost, Run and Hide John. Iraq lost, oh, bloody thunder let's have Iraq War III!!
Thanks, John, you candy ass draft dodger, just another Bush the Lesser AWOL on the campaign trail, and Cheney the 'I have better things to do', chicken-hawk!

We need lettuce launchers and tomato catapults all around Congress when Bolton ambles out.
Nothing like a good pelting with rotten produce to take him down a notch or two.

Posted by: ChipNikh | Feb 22, 2015 1:15:32 AM | 73

69

Tiabbi fell for exactly the same lure, the promise of his own billionaire-backed tabloid, but once he quit RS, they yanked that away from him, and now he's a stringer on a chain. Which shows more how shallow Greenwald and Tiabbi really are, than any egregious fraud on the part of their billionaire benefactors, who are busy buying up all the liberal and conservative thoughtful papers, and converting them into e-Trash on the Murdoch Page 3 money model. It won't be too many more months before all your 'cutting edge news' is pre-digested and India(n)-English papered in Jalabad, behind an evanescent screed of GIF schlock ads. You can get India(n)s to bid on any new topic now for less than $0.03 a word.

This comment would cost you less than a cup of Starbucks.

Posted by: ChipNikh | Feb 22, 2015 1:23:13 AM | 74


This week I email (below) Intercept regarding their article on Russian's drone, but Intercept choose not to post it. Can anyone trust G. Greenwald?

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/02/17/russian-drone-shot-ukraine/

Nope not me.

Jack Smith

======================

Addressing Glen Greenwald,

Reading the comments, your readers are NOT stoopid. They know and understand what going on in Ukraine. I'm surprised Intercept remains silence. Is it because of Pierre Omidyar funding the civil war in Ukraine and you not offend your employer?

Just for your info, this is my first post, been following you since Salon days. How can you remain silence more than 5,000 innocents lives taken away by Kiev's regime in Donetsk National Republic and Lugansk people's Republic. I'm beginning to mistrust you.

I don't go to MSM for my news and don't trust neither Democrats nor the Republicans. We need third party and that includes Green Party’s Dr. Jill Stein or others to stop our government endless wars and focusing on the people HERE who are suffering.

Sorry, I don't write well but someone needs to cry out loud!

Jack Smith

Posted by: Jack Smith | Feb 22, 2015 3:08:44 AM | 75


"Prepare for Full-Scale War" says Ukraine Deputy Foreign Minister: "With What?" asks Mish; Ukraine Lie of the Day
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2015/02/prepare-for-full-scale-war-says-former.html#g3cXZrX8T4SiE8E6.99

At this moment 13:45 the director of Planning and progression Bernard Henry Levy wandering in the street Institutskaya with the Ukrainian leadership

Posted by: ALAN | Feb 22, 2015 6:46:36 AM | 76

Greenwald is beginning to sound more and more like the new Jeff Gannon https://www.google.de/search?q=jeff+gannon

You hero worshippers sure know how to pick em

Although Gannon was never linked to pedophillia, as far as I know, while Greenwald has been, some maybe the comparison is a little unfair to Mr Gannon

Posted by: TLC | Feb 22, 2015 8:27:18 AM | 77

Posted by: Cu Chulainn | Feb 21, 2015 10:32:51 PM | 66

Yes, I am familiar with Sibel's case.

Posted by: Benu | Feb 22, 2015 8:58:55 AM | 78

Here's the delightful Nick Denton (yes THAT Nick Denton") running interference for old Gay-Porno-connected, and possibly paedophilia-connected, Mr Glenn Grunwald

I did hear another story, not from Greenwald himself, about the Guardian writer's life in Brazil. The Out profile of him mentioned the pack of stray dogs that Greenwald had adopted. But it skipped over the boys — mainly friends of his partner David Michael Miranda — who sleep over and play videogames at the house. That would have given too much ammunition to Greenwald's conservative critics.

LOL

yeah Nick

Cos only those nasty nasty "conservatives" might see an issue with the Gay-Porno-connected, and possibly paedophilia-connected, Mr Glenn Grunwald, facilitating "sleepovers" with young boys, who apparently show up under the lure of playing video-games, in his Brazilian love-pad

Oh those horrible horrible "conservatives"

Posted by: TLC | Feb 22, 2015 9:09:45 AM | 79

Greece.

I expressed some disquiet about Syriza’s program, and even posted a bashing-piece. They wanted the vote, I get it, but still… my alarm was rather that this whole question of the debt (I understand that it’s vital for the future of the EU) serves to obscure various problems in Greece, as well as horrors within the EU. Possibly, it could have been settled sub rosa, with various ‘exceptions’ and shows of good will. But the rigidity of Germany (Schauble..) and other Nordics and the rules laid down closed that door fast.

On to gingerly optimism.

When I heard Yanis say as he entered the fray There is no Plan B, while expressing confidence in fruitful future discussions, a better, stronger EU, yada yada, I was dismayed. No-plan-B can only come from a dictator and is no way to enter negotiations, as by definition, a Plan B always exists, even if one party has not thought it out or formulated it, a situation B arises to which one must react.

With events unfolding, I understand it a little better. (Naked Capitalism has done a great job of charting the various events.)

1) What Yanis V has done with no-plan-B is take the moral - and not that of power - high ground. Therefore, reference to unpaid German war debts, emphasis on the contradiction of encouraging Golden Dawn, European values, etc. He shows up the Eurocrats for their narrow frame of reference, their lying spiels and slogans.

2) This stance has panicked the Eurocrats / Troika because they are fools and don’t understand it, or are simply afraid of it. Reportedly, during the negotiations Schauble and Yanis V had to be kept in different rooms, with Lagarde and Moscovici acting boy-n-girl messengers. (Minions cannot be trusted to not leak.)

At present we see a 4-month extension of the status quo, that is what it boils down to. The outcome is by now certain to damage or acutely disturb, be it Greece, the EU, various actors (Merkel), etc. There will be losers here .. The illusory win-win moment has passed, the death of extend-and-pretend is programmed, the status quo has been fissured (imho.)

Nevertheless, the contradictory and in some ways repulsive stance (real politik) of Syriza remains stark. Staying in the EZ, the EU, with negotiations within it to…get rid of / manage debt and..re-rise like a some legendary figure? Huh?

The underground issue left hovering and not mentioned is that all this is at least in part controlled by the finance so-called ‘industry.’ These are ‘economic wars’, against Greece, against Russia..


Posted by: Noirette | Feb 22, 2015 9:57:02 AM | 80

You hero worshippers sure know how to pick em

Too funny! What would their boy Putin say if he heard they were touting a pedophilic homo (redundant in Putin's book) as their go to source for independent, objective journalism? He'd jail them and torture them for a year before killing them like he did to Magnitsky.

The debate is moot, anyway. Both Edmonds and Greenball are Americans, and as we've been told by a sage commentator in this thread, something that wasn't disputed, all Americans are cowards — no exceptions. Sibel and Glenngarry Glen Gay are cowards, so they're not worth the defense that's being mounted for each respectively in this silly feud.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Feb 22, 2015 10:05:39 AM | 81

Purely an observation (from a Greenwald/Snowden fence-sitter) but I could make a persuasive case that Hilary Clinton's grubby little Ghadaffi-stained fingerprints are all over this rumour & innuendo-based smear campaign.
Deja vu (all over again)?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 22, 2015 10:49:14 AM | 82

These are ‘economic wars’, against Greece, against Russia..

There's no economic war against Russia. Russia is at war with itself. It always has been and it always will be until Russia is no more. What The West needs to do is not get in the way of that, and don't let the kleptocratic contagion spread beyond Russia's current borders. Hell, even throw in Ukraine for good measure, and then say "that's it, now you must eat only each other and leave the rest of the world alone until you've finished devouring yourself." Then, and only then can enlightenment finally come to Russia and plant its seeds on and in the rotting flesh & bones of Obscurantism.

Putin's Path To Prosperity

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Feb 22, 2015 11:36:47 AM | 83

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 22, 2015 10:49:14 AM | 82

Nice to see the antipodean Chapter of the Jimmy Savile Fan Club out in force trying desperately to protect the dubious reputation of Agent Grunwald by blathering some nonsense about Killary Klinton

Posted by: TLC | Feb 22, 2015 11:39:08 AM | 84

@83 foff's on a roll today with the Greenwald thing Cold. You need to get him writing for your blog.

Posted by: dh | Feb 22, 2015 11:50:25 AM | 85

Yes clearly only the likes of the utterly deplorable Mr Cold N might see the local Jimmy Savile Fan Club's rallying-around Gay-Porno-connected, and possibly paedophilia-connected, Mr Glenn Grunwald, as a somewhat unwise move

Posted by: TLC | Feb 22, 2015 12:15:43 PM | 86

@75 jack smith.. thanks for sharing all that.. i go with the unidentified russian source as to the background on this story - "was used as an aerial target".. regardless it is interesting to see intercept being willing to give the ukrainian side more coverage and support for the story.. thanks for sharing that.

@80 noirette. thanks - your quote "The underground issue left hovering and not mentioned is that all this is at least in part controlled by the finance so-called ‘industry.’ These are ‘economic wars’, against Greece, against Russia.." i agree.

Posted by: james | Feb 22, 2015 12:17:49 PM | 87

@86 Just trying to help foff. I know Cold One is always looking for ways to liven up his blog and you have such a way with words.

Posted by: dh | Feb 22, 2015 12:40:55 PM | 88

What's to be made of this?

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/02/21/257386/russian-news-report-ukraine-invasion.html

Posted by: IhaveLittleToAdd | Feb 22, 2015 12:54:30 PM | 89

@86 Just trying to help

Posted by: dh | Feb 22, 2015 12:40:55 PM | 88

Oh and do please continue "trying to help", dh.

Your little sleep-inducing bon mots are I'm sure most eagerly awaited by your legion of fans here at MOA

Posted by: TLC | Feb 22, 2015 1:43:55 PM | 90

@89 - propaganda piece.. its so one sided, there is no other way to read it..

Posted by: james | Feb 22, 2015 1:46:01 PM | 91

Posted by: TLC | Feb 22, 2015 12:15:43 PM | 84 & 86

It's always fun to hear what The Loose Cannon is thinking or pretending to think.
Any thoughts on why, precisely, the Great Unwashed should be encouraged to hate the very same whistleblowers whom the Empire wants them to hate (and be shamed into ignoring)?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 22, 2015 1:49:31 PM | 92

@86 Just trying to help foff. I know Cold One is always looking for ways to liven up his blog and you have such a way with words.

My blog is plenty lively as it is. I have the liveliness of millions at my fingertips. It's blogs like MOA that need livening up. It's like a wake in here. Someone needs to open the windows and let the decaying air out and the fresh air and sunlight in. It's also very much like a Ladies' Garden Club Meeting. In either case, my services serve the same purpose — to bring life where there is only death.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Feb 22, 2015 2:08:11 PM | 93

My blog is plenty lively as it is. I have the liveliness of millions at my fingertips.
Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Feb 22, 2015 2:08:11 PM | 93

Millions of what?
Cobwebs?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 22, 2015 2:24:06 PM | 94

Very difficult to unpack this torturous supposition-filled prose ol' Hoarsey just posted, but I'll give it a go

Any thoughts on why, precisely, the Great Unwashed should be encouraged to hate the very same whistleblowers whom the Empire wants them to hate (and be shamed into ignoring)?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 22, 2015 1:49:31 PM | 92

The Great Unwashed? lol

Where?

"should be encouraged to hate the very same whistleblowers"

"Whistleblowers"?

lol

Where?

Anyway, lets just pretend I accept the premise of your completely inaccurate framing of the issue:
So far I've seen little media that "encourages" anyone to "hate" these alleged "whistleblowers"***

I'm sure such media exists but it's a small percentage of the totality - the majority of media bloviating on this subject seem decidedly PRO these alleged "whistleblowers"***

(*** By "Whistleblowers", since you don't specify, I'm forced by your lack of specificity to presume you mean to include Agents Grunwald, Poitras & Appelbaum in your vague little phrase "whistleblowers")

By my reckoning, even if one accepts the "official"-media narrative, only Snowden could properly be called a "whistleblower" - the other three are at best merely self-declared "dissidents" - at best - that is certainly how they wish to describe themselves anyways - occasionally one or two of them will toss "Journalist" in there as well, just for laughs.

And regarding the aforementioned Trios alleged "Dissident-ing": What they were supposedly Dissidentin' about, before this little gold mine of Snowden's landed in their laps, is a bit of a mystery.

Maybe it was the IRS they were Dissidentin' from, or the very notion of "paying yer bills" is perhaps what Agent Grunwald was Dissidentin' about, cos ol Glenn sure seems to have had his run-ins with people trying to get him to pay his bills

Laura claims she is a class-A Dissident also and needs to hide out in Berlin to escape the long arm of US legality.

So, far from encouraging anyone to hate the likes of Glenn and his friends, the Media is for the most part doing the exact opposite from what ol Hoarsey claims they are doing


Posted by: TLC | Feb 22, 2015 2:35:53 PM | 95

edit:

"Laura claims she is a class-A Dissident also and needs to hide out in Berlin to escape the long arm of US legality. "

. . . . and she's reportedly now in the running for an Oscar

Posted by: TLC | Feb 22, 2015 2:48:00 PM | 96

@96 Or how about 'Laura is now being chased around Berlin by somebody called Oscar'....it makes about as much sense.

Posted by: dh | Feb 22, 2015 3:10:32 PM | 97

Posted by: TLC | Feb 22, 2015 2:35:53 PM | 95

That was pretty funny - in a Peanut Gallery-ish sort of way.

What, and how much, would you have written if I'd asked for a 'long-winded and irrelevant' answer instead of a 'precise' answer?
On second thoughts, don't answer that. Please!

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 22, 2015 3:18:36 PM | 98

I think I've got it! Laura and Oscar are trapped in a bunker at Tempelhof Airport waiting to be rescued by Omidyar.

Posted by: dh | Feb 22, 2015 3:30:08 PM | 99

It's blogs like MOA that need livening up.
Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Feb 22, 2015 2:08:11 PM | 93

hehe, thanks for LOLz

Posted by: citizen X | Feb 22, 2015 3:52:16 PM | 100

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