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June 15, 2017

Open Thread 2017-23

News & views ...

Posted by b on June 15, 2017 at 01:34 PM | Permalink

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What do those with a higher "military planning IQ" than mine think about the new deployment of US multiple rocket launchers to Syria?

Posted by: spudski | Jun 15, 2017 2:12:15 PM | 1

There's a link ( "will be unlistenable")) in the original. Hilarious!!

Posted by: juannie | Jun 15, 2017 2:27:42 PM | 2

@1 spudski... bad sign... more of same... endless war seems to be written into all of these kinds of actions..

Posted by: james | Jun 15, 2017 2:35:04 PM | 3

Re. my post #2 which was preceded by a post that didn't pass the spam filter.

Preface was: Anybody interested in a little humor (The Saker, Scott)? Link that didn't get posted

Posted by: juannie | Jun 15, 2017 2:40:38 PM | 4

Re: spudski @1

RT says "The Russian military stated that the combat range of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) “can’t support the US-controlled units of the Syrian Democratic Forces in Raqqa.” https://www.rt.com/news/392455-us-rocket-launchers-syria/

Posted by: Perimetr | Jun 15, 2017 3:20:59 PM | 5

Here's Escobar's latest for those who missed this when I first posted it, http://www.atimes.com/article/blood-tracks-new-silk-roads/

Here's a review of Graham Allison's newest book, Destined for War, which uses the “Thucydides trap” as its locomotive, http://www.atimes.com/article/china-us-destined-war/

And as a few know, today marks the 15th annual Direct Line with Vladimir Putin worldwide press conference:

"We are in the call centre, which plays a key role in Direct Line. Our centre has already received 1.1 million calls. You can submit your question to Vladimir Putin right now. The telephone number has not changed: 8 (800) 200 4040. You can also use 04040 for SMS and MMS messages.

"Natalya Yuryeva: In addition to SMS messages and telephone calls, our operators also accept video questions that can be submitted either from the moskva-putinu.ru website or by using a special mobile application called Moskva Putinu (Moscow to Putin).

"You can also submit questions using the programme’s official accounts on the VKontakte and Odnoklassniki social networks. For the first time, you can talk to the head of state by direct video link via OK Live, as well as the Moskva-Putinu application. This way, not only will the President hear you, but he will also be able to see you.

"Go ahead, make a call. We will be taking questions until the end of the broadcast. You still have time. Maybe it will be your question that Vladimir Putin answers." http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54790

Meanwhile within the Outlaw US Empire, the Senate is actively attempting to introduce and pass a bill affecting almost the entire population in total secrecy, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/06/13/gop-faces-swift-backlash-over-disturbing-press-crackdown-senate

It's not too difficult to determine which is the more transparent and honest nation that actually works to promote the wellbeing of its entire citizenry.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 15, 2017 3:45:22 PM | 7

Re: spudski @1

RT says "The Russian military stated that the combat range of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) “can’t support the US-controlled units of the Syrian Democratic Forces in Raqqa.” https://www.rt.com/news/392455-us-rocket-launchers-syria/

Posted by: Perimetr | Jun 15, 2017 3:20:59 PM | 5

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

they are there to "protect" the empire's new(ly acknowledged) "Training" (lol) base in S.E. Syria.

US forces have recently been videoed "on patrol", in S.E. Syria, with some of it's proxies operating from that base.

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Jun 15, 2017 3:56:43 PM | 8

RE: Spudski

The HIMARS system that is deployed is basically half an M270 MLRS mounted on the back of a 5 ton truck. They're deployable via C-130 and as long as one doesn't deploy very many of these systems they could conceivably have all of their logistical needs met by helicopters (fuel, food, ammo, etc.) flying out of the H4 airbase in Eastern Jordan. Should any more than a handful be deployed they'll require convoys of supply trucks which will increase the logistical footprint dramatically.

In terms of range, it depends on what missiles are being shot; standard M26 rounds top out at 32km while MGM-140 rounds top out at 160km. They could definitely hit the Syrians depending on how close they're willing to get to them.

This deployment strikes me as some higher up wanting to play with their shiny new toys and probably a bit of service rivalry too. There are far easier ways of getting HE ordnance on target that are less of a pain in the butt.

Perhaps some Army general is jealous about the the USAF getting all the CAS missions? Maybe they want to put on a dog and pony show to show how awesome HIMARS is so they can justify buying more of them? Maybe somebody needs bullets for his OER? I may sound cynical but this is the Pentagon after all.

Posted by: Huey Long | Jun 15, 2017 4:31:01 PM | 9

The New Cold War is here to stay. U.S. Senate votes 97-2 (the two no votes were Republicans) to strengthen "existing sanctions and would allow Congress to thwart any presidential effort to curtail sanctions without congressional approval."

Democrats are all in. Even Bernie Sanders.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jun 15, 2017 4:50:47 PM | 10

Re: Mike Maloney | Jun 15, 2017 4:50:47 PM | 10

The lemmings race toward the abyss . . .

Posted by: Perimetr | Jun 15, 2017 4:56:26 PM | 11

By now no one should be saying "even" Bernie Sanders. Yes, I know it's a horrible horrible horrible conspiracy theory to say this, and therefor to be outlawed and disgraced, but Sanders is a case of what is called "controlled opposition".

Posted by: paul | Jun 15, 2017 5:28:24 PM | 12

MM @10--

Yeah, I argued at length with Bernistas about his hawkish nature, that in no way could he ever be considered a Genuine Progressive, or even a Leftist/Socialist. Like those touting HRC, they couldn't accept facts that destroyed their dreamy candidate. I'm actually pleased Trump was elected as nothing else has occurred showing the true face of the Duopoly and the depth of Evil within it.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 15, 2017 5:32:34 PM | 13

#1

Weakness? If the US felt secure, then there should be no need. It looks like a mix of 'do something', options on the table and a sign of ' don't take us for granted'.

After all, what is it they say about wounded bears?

Knowing the Russians, they'll leave an elegant way out for the US, allowing it the PR victory, but still Syria/Russia etc. winning on the ground. Cuba, anyone???

Posted by: et Al | Jun 15, 2017 6:04:13 PM | 14

@10
The 97-2 vote you refer to was a vote to restrict Trump's authority to unilaterally reduce sanctions on Russia which Sanders voted for as you state.

There was a simultaneous vote to increase sanctions on both Russia and Iran. That bill also passed 97-2, but Sanders and Rand Paul both voted against it.

While Sanders is no leftist on foreign policy imho the latter vote was far more significant than the vote you referenced.

Posted by: sleepy | Jun 15, 2017 6:09:12 PM | 15

Grefell tower fire a sign of british social divide

Channel 4 News‏Verified account @Channel4News 12h12 hours ago

“The people who died and lost their homes, this happened to them because they are poor,” claims .@akalamusic who lives in the area #Grenfell pic.twitter.com/x1Rn0ZOFdP

Posted by: brian | Jun 15, 2017 6:19:59 PM | 16

Although I consider myself too old to take advantage, I'm fascinated with Russia's Homesteading program in its Far East, and that topic took considerable time in Putin's annual conference. While I won't post the entire discussion, I will post this rather revealing fact as stated by Putin: "There is enough unused land in Russia. For example, over 43 million hectares of farmland is not being used for its intended purpose. This is a huge amount." Once the bugs are worked out of the program in the Far East, it will be applied to all of Russia--that entire 43 million hectares of farmland plus non-farmlands. Given what's likely to happen climatologically, Russia would be a sensible place to migrate, and Russia cares for its citizens like no other nation, as one can easily learn from reading the transcript. The discussion related to my comment begins about 1/8th down the page, http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54790

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 15, 2017 6:33:20 PM | 17

Andre Vltchek's documentary, Rwanda Gambit, is now available.

Some observations. At 3:22, note a child with reddish hair---Kwashiorkor---Kagame's success [another case with obvious belly, 54:25]... 5:30---leaves it implied that the majority of the dead were Tutsi [it is explicitly stated at 21:45], which has been demolished repeatedly, including by Peterson and Herman (Enduring Lies), and by Chris Black in the Military II trial. He then suggests that the entire country, all groups, were killed, but 1 million; Herman and Peterson suggest that the number is less (for the twelve weeks during which Kagame seized the country), with the rest of the killings being backdated, but being Hutus killed by Kagame, while Chris Black cited Hakizimana, a former RPF/Kagame follower, as saying that Kagame killed 2 million Hutus in 1994, although Black says only that that is cause for investigation, not proof by itself. Later, at 1:02:55, he has someone repeat Kagame's "genocidaires fled to Congo, attacked Rwanda" propaganda, although that person acknowledges a minimum of 250 million US $ resource theft by Rwanda from Congo-Kinshasa. By 1:5:25, he gives some discussion of Kagame's genocidal violence against Hutu refugees in DRC.

At 6:45, he uses a part of an interview with the late Michael Hourigan [interviewed more fully at 45:20], who investigated Kagame's murder of Habyarimana and the others on the plane. At 8:02 there is a beautiful shot of Kagame behind a podium. On the podium, there is a coat of arms, with the text "Inkotanyi" on top. For those who have read the transcripts of the so-called "genocide radio," you may recall that the radio broadcasts referred to the RPF as "Inyenzi [cockroaches---1960s Tutsi refugee terrorists who would enter Rwanda in teams of six or twelve, murder Hutu peasants, then sneak back to their country of refuge---see Lemarchand's Rwanda and Burundi] who call themselves Inkotanyi," while several RPF-affiliated politicians in the early 90s denied being Inkotanyi.

A discussion follows, of the actual (lack of) economic development in Rwanda [are Kagame's urbanization numbers fake?], including a discussion with Scott Erlinder (perhaps a relative of Peter Erlinder, who wrote "The Accidental Genocide"? Footage of a Peter Erlinder interview is near the end. At any rate, despite its flawed hypothesis, a good reference). At 10:30, he has an interview with Reyntjens, who despite subscribing largely to the standard (fraudulent) history of 1994, opposed the corruption of the ICTR and Kagame's influence in that body. Reyntjens discusses Belgian ethnic policy. At 11:25, he has an interview with Rudesingwa, former chief of staff of the RPF, continuing that discussion. Rudesingwa claims (falsely) that under the Republic, Tutsis were "second class citizens," presumeably on account of affirmative action programs for Hutus, despite the fact that Tutsis had de facto priviliges continuing to the 90s, in terms of economic status, and often high state positions. Rudesingwa is embellishing, as he, as a high ranking RPF officer, does not want to acknowledge that many Tutsis supported Habyarimana, who reduced the affirmative action programs from the PARMEHUTU government that the latter displaced in a coup in the 70s, although later in the film he acknowledges that Kagame massacres his opponents including former comrades.

An interview follows with an unnamed individual, claiming that Tutsis were leaving well into the sixties, and repeats Lemarchand (without citing him), that 100,000 Tutsis had fled Rwanda during the 1959 revolution/civil war---the failure to cite Lemarchand is likely due to the fact that Lemarchand indicates that a portion of those that fled were Hutu retainers for these feudal Tutsis.

Around 14:00, the basic invasion facts (1990 Ugandan invasion of Rwanda) are mentioned. Kagame's military compound in Uganda is shown. The then US ambassador openly states that the US was supplying the RPF/Kagame through Uganda; see Robin Philpot (Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa pp. 33-34), for a discussion to the effect that the ambassador was likely not in the know at the time of the invasion.

Starting around 22:00, he shows several guides, most survivors [although at 24:20, the guide, who claims to be Tutsi, but appears to be Nigerian, in particular Igbo---he also pronounces interahamwe in the English rather than kinyaRwanda fashion] discussing killings of Tutsis.

By about 32:50, he has some interviews by torture victims, including of the RPF in Rwanda, by Kagame's Ugandan victims when the former was chief of intelligence in Uganda, and with a victim who lost part of her family to Hutu militias (she refers to them as Interahamwe, although as Philpot points out, several militias would pretend to be part of governmental structures), and lost part of her family to RPF perpetrated massacres. Around 35:00 he has an interview with Australian, Terry Pickard, who witnessed the Kibeho massacre, and Pickard relates what he witnessed.

At 55:30, he begins his discussion of Kagame's violence in DRC. Later, he discusses ongoing repression in Rwanda, and Kagame's program of assassinating opponents, including former comrades in the RPF, abroad, including in Europe, North America and elsewhere. Toward the end he gets a bit preachy---at one point, he mentions that the documentary exposed the theft (via Rwandan proxies) by western corporations of Congolese minerals; unfortunately, he did not see fit to name these corporations.

He spends time using Amy Goodman and Noam Chomsky, to make (valid) points, that could be better spent on Robin Philpot, Chris Black and Ed Herman, IMAO, but that would require a rework of his entire narrative.

While the documentary is severely flawed, it still important for the fact of Kagame's (much larger than Rwanda) killing in DRC.

Posted by: Johan Meyer | Jun 15, 2017 7:34:01 PM | 19

It is important to get the Armies of the Pentagon/NATO stuck in Afghanistan. It is the best place to grind them to dust the coming 10 years. It is also one of the FEW places the CIA actually produces something with tremendous profits: heroin. They use all those American military bases around the world to spread it. So Afghanistan is the best place to defeat the armies of Rothschild (London bankers).

Posted by: Thucydides | Jun 15, 2017 7:37:15 PM | 20

@17 karlof, 'Although I consider myself too old to take advantage, I'm fascinated with Russia's Homesteading program in its Far East ...'


Last February, we made a decision that any Russian citizen who wants to move to the Far East will be given one hectare. ...

The land holders must show good result during the first five years, after which they will be able to receive either a long-term lease for this land or appropriate it. But they may not sell it to foreigners. In short, we need to test every detail of this programme in the Far East. But overall, it is the right idea.


... are you russian? is there some sort of 'right of return' to russia that would enable you to take advantage of this homesteading program?

Posted by: jfl | Jun 15, 2017 7:50:46 PM | 21

I suppose one could emigrate to Russia and apply for and receive citizenship, whereupon one would become eligible for the gift of one hectare. Surely that process could be expedited by one entering into marriage with a Russian national. No gay marriages though, apparently.

Posted by: fast freddy | Jun 15, 2017 8:55:25 PM | 22

@1, 3, 5, 8, 9 et al

Regarding that artillery the US moved into Syria. b wrote an UPDATE to his post of 6/13 [Syria Summary - The End Of The War Is Now In Sight] offering the best analysis I've seen anywhere. Worth a quote:

HIMARS has a range of 300 kilometers. It makes no difference from a tactical perspective if its fires from Jordan or from al-Tanf in Syria some 12 kilometers east of the border line. It is a symbolic move to "show flag" in al-Tanf but it exposes the system to a legitimate attack by Syrian, Russian and Iranian forces.

As Secretary of State Tillerson rightly said: The U.S. has no legal authority to attack Syrian, Iranian or Russian forces. None at all. It is invading Syria with no legitimate reason. Syria, in contrast, has the legal authority to throw the U.S. troops out.

To move the HIMARS to al-Tanf is utterly stupid grandstanding.

This is the caliber of the US generals. It is almost - but not quite - beyond belief.

I can only think that military officers around the world are astounded every day at the sheer incompetence of the Pentagon. It calls for a whole new take on strategy and tactics, and this new take will come back to attack the US in all the days that follow, in all the theaters into which it intrudes, from all the forces that exist, in all the world.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 15, 2017 9:10:10 PM | 23

@20

That's what Putin thought in 2002 and supported the occupation of Afghanistan. I doubt it's still valid today.

Posted by: smuks | Jun 15, 2017 9:10:23 PM | 24

As a follow-on to my @19, I see that Vltchek has been in contact with Christopher Black. Hopefully he can correct the errors in that documentary...

Posted by: Johan Meyer | Jun 15, 2017 9:24:16 PM | 25

There's an upside to the destruction of USA equipment. The contractors get more money to make more equipment. That's how USA weapons manufacturing works. Lots of money goes into crony capitalists pockets.

Thus, they can continue to paint RU (and anyone else they deem suitable) to be the aggressor, the patsy, or whatever... it's the guy with the flaming bag of shit on his doorstep.

Posted by: fast freddy | Jun 15, 2017 9:47:27 PM | 26

It looks like the truth about Aleppo "Dusty Boy" in the Ambulance used as propaganda is getting out ... but not in US MSM. Those of us who followed the White Helmets BS knew it all along.

http://www.mintpressnews.com/mintpress-meets-father-iconic-aleppo-boy-says-media-lied-son/228722/

Posted by: Curtis | Jun 15, 2017 9:51:55 PM | 27

@23 Grieved, I posted on the Syria thread the reason may be to keep open a possible corridor of invasion from KSA via Jordan.. Now regarding your comment on the dismal state of strategic thinking at the Pentagon, why would you want it to improve? Are not the oppressed nations of the world finallly in a position to remove the shackles from the Empire? I for one see this as an opportunity while you see it as a reversal..

Posted by: Lozion | Jun 15, 2017 9:55:40 PM | 28

@ 23 and 28,

Perhaps there is an issue with firing from Jordanian territory. Perhaps doing so makes Jordan a target for retaliation or possibly there was resistance to the hairbrained idea from the Jordanian military.

Regardless, we can't rule out the possibility that the US will use this or other weapons systems to target the SAA or its allied forces. Unfortunately, I worry that it will be quite some time before US policy makers accept that Syria will not turn out as they had hoped and will instead actually survive and be independent.

Posted by: lysander | Jun 15, 2017 10:45:19 PM | 29

@28 Lozion

Glad I checked back - if I give the impression that I'm rooting for the US or its empire, I humbly apologize. The concept appalls me.

I must work to improve my communication. I believe everything I said is true. Generals around the world must now look at US military force projection in a new light, one that calls for new tactics and strategy. The US will pay a heavy price for the incompetence of its military leaders.

But I hope that no one will believe that I consider this a bad thing.

To spell it out - I want the US empire to continue unhindered on its path of failure and self destruction. I do have the one hope that this may happen gradually and with the least amount of harm to the innocents of the world. Apart from this, I align with Napoleon - never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

I remain shaken and appalled that anyone could think that I wish the US to improve its position of violence in this suffering world. I wish only for an epiphany to occur - and this would be in the realm of miracles, I admit - so that the US could from the ground of humility pursue a path of contrition, repentance and atonement.

May all the gods forgive me if I say this wrong and give the wrong impression.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 15, 2017 10:54:28 PM | 30

CG @ 18: Thanks for the link. Hope the American public watches the Stone interview with Putin. It may change a mind or two. It should be scheduled on MSM, but, it is, after all, the U$A, and god forbid someone actually provide REAL information to the masses. That's assuming anyone cares enough to watch it.

Posted by: ben | Jun 15, 2017 11:17:20 PM | 31

@30 Ahh ok, glad we're on the same page then.. :)

Posted by: Lozion | Jun 15, 2017 11:18:55 PM | 32

@15 You mistate/misunderstood: "There was a simultaneous vote..." There was not.

S.Amdt. 232 (increase sanctions on Russia and limit Trump) was an amendment to S. 722 (the Iranian sanctions bill).

Sanders voted for 232 because, frankly, he's all on board the Russia-Russia-Russia hysteria and demonizing Syria. He voted against 722 for the potential damage to the multi-lateral nuclear agreement with Iran. From his senate.gov website today:

"I am strongly supportive of the sanctions on Russia included in this bill. It is unacceptable for Russia to interfere in our elections here in the United States, or anywhere around the world. There must be consequences for such actions. I also have deep concerns about the policies and activities of the Iranian government, especially their support for the brutal Assad regime in Syria.

I have voted for sanctions on Iran in the past, and I believe sanctions were an important tool for bringing Iran to the negotiating table. But I believe that these new sanctions could endanger the very important nuclear agreement that was signed between the United States, its partners and Iran in 2015. That is not a risk worth taking, particularly at a time of heightened tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia and its allies. I think the United States must play a more even-handed role in the Middle East, and find ways to address not only Iran's activities, but also Saudi Arabia's decades-long support for radical extremism."

@10 is correct: they're all in...

Posted by: rickee | Jun 16, 2017 12:47:19 AM | 33

It is coming.
http://quakes.globalincidentmap.com/

Friday June 16 2017, 01:46:27 UTC 4 hours ago Yellowstone, Montana 2.9
Friday June 16 2017, 01:20:16 UTC 4 hours ago Yellowstone, Montana 2.3
Friday June 16 2017, 01:03:16 UTC 4 hours ago Yellowstone, Montana 2.8
Friday June 16 2017, 01:03:15 UTC 4 hours ago Yellowstone, Montana 3.1
Friday June 16 2017, 01:02:52 UTC 4 hours ago Yellowstone, Montana 2.6
Friday June 16 2017, 00:58:09 UTC 4 hours ago Yellowstone, Montana 1.4
Friday June 16 2017, 00:55:18 UTC 4 hours ago Yellowstone, Montana 2.7
Friday June 16 2017, 00:48:46 UTC 4 hours ago Yellowstone, Montana 4.5

Posted by: endoftime | Jun 16, 2017 1:57:19 AM | 34

@23 grieved.. thanks for that.. no confusion on this end...

the usa foreign policy is intentionally meant to appear confusing... one hand not knowing or agreeing with what the other hand does.. that is classic stuff.. tillerson says one thing, and the whack jobs in the armed forces do another thing... makes as much sense as the usa's foreign policy at this point..

Posted by: james | Jun 16, 2017 2:35:32 AM | 35

daily us press briefing thursday june 15th..

some interesting info on the sale of jets to qatar worth 12 billion and stuff like that..

and this
"QUESTION: Switching gears, Germany and Austria sharp – have sharply criticized the U.S. Senate today for moves aimed at advancing a new legislation packaging new sanctions against Russia, which tangentially deal with European countries as well. Austrian federal chancellor and German foreign ministry released a joint statement, and I wanted to read one line from it to get your response to this particular line: “The draft bill of the U.S. is surprisingly candid about what is actually at stake, namely selling American liquified natural gas and ending the supply of Russian natural gas to the European markets.”

MS NAUERT: Sorry, back up for a second? What did you say about the liquified natural gas?

QUESTION: That the bill is trying to basically peddle U.S. LNG to the – to the European markens – markets instead of the Russian natural gas. The bill aims to protect U.S. jobs and the natural gas and petroleum industries. So what’s your response to that?

MS NAUERT: Well, first, I’m not going to comment on anything that those nations said and their criticism of anything going on on Capitol Hill. We would see it – and we talked about this last week – we welcome the shipment of liquified natural gas to Poland, to countries in that region, if that were to come – become available to them, because it helps give them another option, another option to get natural gas from other countries that are perhaps more stable or other countries that can perhaps provide a regular flow of natural gas. Much of the natural gas in Poland, as I understand it, comes from Russia, and that can be inconsistent. Russia has the ability, as you well know, to turn off that natural gas, and that puts the Polish people in a very difficult situation. So the U.S. provided another option. A regular source of natural gas, especially in the winter months, we see as important for the United States and for our allies."

our allies... lol...

Posted by: james | Jun 16, 2017 2:47:41 AM | 36

Congo Kinshasa and the ongoing massacres in Kassai
http://webdoc.rfi.fr/rdc-kasai-violences-crimes-kamuina-nsapu/

Posted by: Mina | Jun 16, 2017 4:18:34 AM | 37

Looking at the fire in London, sprinklers must have gone on the blink, I start to wonder if MI5 MI6 are doing a cleanup. Where are the award winning white helmets when you need them..

Posted by: Peter AU | Jun 16, 2017 4:32:04 AM | 38

What the MSM described as just another bombing.. but Paris is more glamour than Mogadicio
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/270977/World/Region/Survivors-of-Somalia-attack-tell-of-restaurant-sie.aspx

Posted by: Mina | Jun 16, 2017 6:00:26 AM | 39

| @ Grieved | Jun 15, 2017 9:10:10 PM | 23

Certainly agree with you about the quality of graduates of the country's military schools - not worth a spittoon of warm spit and polish, but then the educational system has been likewise degraded insofar as academic quality is concerned. Probably the best example of this is the country's now civilian General officer in charge of the military, with appropriately appellation 'Mad Dog' Mathis. Had that General Officer been in the Navy, he would have been painted.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 16, 2017 6:17:40 AM | 40

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-baghdadi-idUSKBN1970O2
Russia's military says may have killed IS leader Baghdadi
Russia's Defense Ministry said on Friday it was checking information that a Russian air strike near the Syrian city of Raqqa may have killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in late May.
The air strike was launched after the Russian forces in Syria received intelligence that a meeting of Islamic State leaders was being planned, the ministry said in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jun 16, 2017 6:37:14 AM | 41

What should be distressing is the revelation of gross political incompetence now being on display in the White House. For the president to assign ANY military officer whatever their status to fill a civilian position borders on treason to their oath of office, both of the military officer AND the political official. Had a military officer run for public office and been selected by the public is an entirely different matter. For the president to abdicate his constitutional responsibility and assign control of the military to the military should be adequate grounds for removal from office and all public office, preferably by political process, but removal is a must even with the eviscerated condition of the constitution apparent. Removal of public funding for the executive may be the only way to evict a malfeasant president since Congress is profoundly and hopelessly compromised by corruption.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 16, 2017 7:41:35 AM | 42

Thanks to karlof1@7 for your links, particularly to the Putin direct line, a readable transcript of the conversations. There was even a question from an American, and a polite one! Best use of the current technology I can think of, and it rather reminds me of the type of surveillance businesses can now practise to keep their workers on the job - only for Russia it is citizens reporting on how government issued funding is being delivered to them - or not! And the visuals sounded particularly appropriate - Putin's words about the huge garbage dump near Moscow: "People are standing there, and it stinks!"

I also loved the message of the head of the National Vegetable Union (lovely designation!) speaking of "...when, God forbid, their sanctions are called off..." and Putin's remark that under WTO rules, Russia can put sanctions on those sanctioning it. That was interesting, as was the Baikal island resident's problem with excessive ecology protection rules now in place whilst tourism disrupting the fragile landscape.

Not only is this stupid artificial cold war disrupting what ought to be happening in this country - we are missing out on fascinating stories like these, which only remind us about what is really important about living our lives open to the immediate challenges of doing just that, worldwide. All we get is bombs and fear of the unknown. Russians are engaged in the pursuit of happiness, and I do wish them well in that.

Posted by: juliania | Jun 16, 2017 7:49:17 AM | 43

@43 -- "Not only is this stupid artificial cold war disrupting what ought to be happening in this country - "

All the distracting noise has one aim -- keep the Hillary Clinton-DNC debacle story from gaining any traction until sufficient time passes to make it largely irrelevant.

Posted by: x | Jun 16, 2017 8:49:29 AM | 44

Grieved, #23, #30. Perfectly clear to me.
Perhaps response was being deliberately provocative, or simply a throwaway by one too lazy to read and reflect.

Your comments here and elsewhere are always carefully considered and deeply heartfelt, and gems among the sometimes inane and repetitive background chatter.

Posted by: Petra | Jun 16, 2017 8:49:55 AM | 45

Trump needs to fire Mueller. The country went through one hell of a time when Ken Starr did that whole useless and unnecessary investigation. Trump, just RIP OFF the band aide and end this stupid prosecutor nonsense.

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | Jun 16, 2017 8:50:15 AM | 46

Peter AU #38. Under Thatcherite-Reaganite "deregulation", pursued with rigour by Tories and Blairite Labour ever since, sprinkler requirements were revised (downwards) or even entirely removed (schools, e.g.), in the name of free market principles and cost-cutting.
They were either absent or they had consciously terminated their upkeep

Posted by: Petra | Jun 16, 2017 8:55:51 AM | 47

JFL @ 21: Funny how you mention this "right of return" as the Russian Far East includes an area called Birobidzhan, close to the Chinese border and the Trans-Siberian Railway, which Joseph Stalin had set aside for Jewish settlement way back in the 1930s. I don't think there were very many takers then though.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 16, 2017 9:15:11 AM | 48

The USA is playing a game with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The main aim is to ensure Israel security, US allies security and a solid and continuous presence in the region to discourage Russia's ambitions.
The US knows very well that both are supporting and funding Islamist terrorists. They also know that the Yemen war is a disaster.
The USA's aim is to weaken BOTH Qatar and Saudi Arabia lead group. It wants to have them stop any funding of terrorism be against Israel or against the USA.
By throwing the GCC into Syria and Yemen's quagmires, it has succeeded in weakening economically. Bye embolding them to boycott Qatar, thus creating a split in the GCC, the USA is weakening them further and making them obedient vassals. Saudi Arabia is so terrified that the democracy in Iran will spread in the Gulf and throw away the family ruling prevailing in the Gulf, that it is ready to do anything to be under the US protection. It will submit to anything that pleases the USA.
The USA is gradually moving in pressing Saudi Arabia and the UAE to make a deal with Israel in exchange for total protection from Iran's influence. It will do the same in Qatar by promising survival to the tiny country.
Therefore the USA will continue making contradictory moves so as to confuse the victims about its aim. We should expect more as it is part of the domination game.
The wild card is the internal situation inside Saudi Arabia's ruling family where conflicts are brewing and on which the USA has little leverage.

Posted by: virgile | Jun 16, 2017 9:23:52 AM | 49

Johan Meyer ^ . Thank you for drawing attention to Vltchek's piece on Rwanda.

Although a "new scramble" is slowly getting more focus, something I would like to see explored in much greater depth is the USA <--> France antagonisms at the root of the events prior to, during and following the Rift Valley massacres.

A fascinatingly unknowable interaction between Mandela and Mitterand took place during the former's inauguration in May 94 (which I believed and believe was instrumental in influencing the French forces' strange and sudden stand-down). My mistake for years was to misinterpret this as a genuine autochthonous pan-africanist concern by Mandela (small p, of course, and such as existed among the decidedly non-PA ANC charterists), instead of as Clinton's words coming ventriloquently through the Mandela dummy's lips. He'd been co-opted of course, during the last final years of incarceration in VV, Paarl. And generally, to have let down the guard of suspicion about the USA in those immediate post-cold-war years (how could one, in the light of what was in any case known about USA adventurism in central Africa and the long and bloody history of earlier involvement, directly and through the UNITA, Renamo and other proxies?). To have been able to lipread that Mandela-Mitterand conversation!

Posted by: Petra | Jun 16, 2017 9:29:16 AM | 50

Why Bernie Sanders is an Imperialist Pig

https://blackagendareport.com/bernie_sanders_imperial_pig

Posted by: ex-SA | Jun 16, 2017 9:42:35 AM | 51

@49 virgile, 'The USA's aim is to weaken BOTH Qatar and Saudi Arabia lead group. It wants to have them stop any funding of terrorism be against Israel or against the USA.'

i can imagine the first as a us goal ... but i'm sure the us is counting on gcc funding for lots more terrorism in central asia, russia, china, and iran.

there isn't too much the usofa can do to protect the gcc if they ... any of them ... the us, the gcc, or both ... start a war with iran ... and more to the point, there's nothing the usofa can do to protect israel at that point either. if iran is attacked the gcc and israel will be hit back, hard, by iran. if israel goes nuclear ... well, can you tell me what happens then?

Posted by: jfl | Jun 16, 2017 9:44:20 AM | 52

@51 ex-SA

i agree with glenn ford. all the 'progressives' in the us are pro-war, and bernie was/is/will remain so too. whether they're ac or dc, ac/dc is the pits.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 16, 2017 9:47:33 AM | 53

ex-SA @ 51: Thanks for the link. The Ford article is right on target, and that opinion comes from a supporter of Mr. Sanders.
After reading Mr. Ford's article, I need to re-evaluate my support for Sanders. Unless he does a u-turn on his anti-Russian stance, and his hawkish stance on foreign policy, I couldn't possibly support him going forward. Thanks again for the article. I sometimes read Glen Ford, but, without your link I'd have missed the article.

Posted by: ben | Jun 16, 2017 10:57:13 AM | 54

@virgile 49, jfl 52

Generally speaking, I see the situation quite similarly (and agree with jfl on the terrorism bit).

The Iraq-Iran war is the blueprint for all that's been happening since 2011: Create a conflict between two blocks, then support both just enough to make sure it lasts for a long time. This weakens all players involved and gives the US maximum leverage by allowing it to 'tip the scales' with minimum effort.

From 2011 to 2016, it was KSA (& Turkey, albeit reluctantly imo) vs. Iran.
Trying to draw Russia and Turkey fully in to fight each other failed.
Now we see desperate attempts at starting a new round of KSA vs... Turkey? Iran? both?
Qatar is just the bait, as it is too small to survive without external support.

Not sure how this will play out. Gradually rising tensions in various theatres? If Riyadh makes the stupid mistake of invading Qatar, the US can move in as the glorious 'liberator' white knight once again, solidifying its position in the region, either toppling the Saudis or turning them into the new Saddam/ outcast. It would be a valid pretext to end the 45-year 'protection guarantee' Nixon gave the Saudis, and of course, it would lead to a much higher oil price...
Unfortunately, Riyadh has few options: Either escalate somewhere, or watch its influence wane as more and more Mideast countries switch sides and Tehran strengthens its regional hegemony.

@Petra 50

Anecdote: I recently chatted with a Rwandan, and he told me how at some point in his youth, formerly francophone schools started teaching in English. It reminded me how in the late 90s, some analysts spoke of an 'undeclared US-French war' in Zaire etc.

Posted by: smuks | Jun 16, 2017 10:59:20 AM | 55

@Mina
Thanks for the link. I intend to learn French in the coming months, so I will explore then, using the link, and Ngijol and Booh Booh's books as my readers.

@Petra
The western deification of Mandela should have been a tip-off of his character. Then again, the French socialists were very pro-RPF (freedom, democracy, rule of law in English and French; we want feudalism back in Kinyarwanda; see New Scramble, pp 47, 53--54).

Posted by: Johan Meyer | Jun 16, 2017 11:44:25 AM | 56

@49 virgile / @52 jfl / @55 smuks.. seems more like israels goal then the usa's goal... i suppose it is the usa's goal in so far as the usa is always looking after israels goals... outside of that, if there ever was a thought of the usa getting its head out of israels ass, it would be a good time now.. i don't think that is going to go down with us congress and politicians though... they are too beholden to israel..

as for the possible scenarios, i relate to jfls israel going nuclear on iran... something about israel's level of sanity on the international stage has always struck me as 'off'... they don't seem to give a fuck mostly..

Posted by: james | Jun 16, 2017 11:53:02 AM | 57

@james 57

Sorry if I repeat myself, but there's a tendency for dogs to wag their tails, not vice versa.

Posted by: smuks | Jun 16, 2017 12:37:40 PM | 58

"@james 57

Sorry if I repeat myself, but there's a tendency for dogs to wag their tails, not vice versa.

Posted by: smuks | Jun 16, 2017 12:37:40 PM | 58"

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

Despite what you imply, we have all heard the phrase

    "The tail is wagging the dog"

It would hardly exist as a phrase were there no examples of Tails wagging the Dogs.
There's even a film with almost that exact title.

Repeating yourself won't change that.

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Jun 16, 2017 12:54:27 PM | 59

jfl @21--

No, I'm mostly of Spanish/Visigoth lineage born in San Francisco while my dad was stationed there in 1955. Got very interested in Russia at a young age and learned the language so I could read Russian literary and historical works. Becoming a Russian citizen isn't nearly as difficult as becoming US, and briefly after 911 I considered moving, but finally considered my familial responsibilities to be more important, which was the correct choice. But if I were a single 20-something, I'd learn the language and go for there is no honor or pleasure to be obtained from living within this prolifically corrupt and Evil Outlaw US Empire.

juliania @43--

Yes, it is quite a production and a great primary source for comparative sociologists. 15 years Putin's been doing this show, and so many others. I can't think of any past or present world leader who's been more open and accessible to both citizens and press--singularly remarkable! And to keep pace with events, you'll want to read Escobar's latest, differing from the item I linked above, https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201706161054701807-west-cannot-smell-what-eurasia-cooking/

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 16, 2017 2:38:43 PM | 61

In my local paper, which does all the cat ’n rabbit shows and new restaurants, today’s international articles were quite informative. One was the Sauds implementing sin taxes and tax on expats, Eng:

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/saudi-arabia-introduces-sin-tax-from-today-677317.html

http://www.iexpats.com/family-sin-taxes-hit-expats-saudi/

In the orig, and other news, lately… all Gvmt. employees were asked/ordered to accept a 20% salary cut, but they objected, and some kind of compromise / stand off was reached (all secret) but all is still sizzling.

Plus, an interview of a minor Isr. pol, Emmanuel Nahshon (linked below in French) who stated quite firmly that relations between KSA and Isr. will be normalized.

http://www.tdg.ch/monde/mutations-cours-israel-saoudiens-normalisation-possible/story/26672839

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 16, 2017 3:10:46 PM | 62

The issue of the fire in London is having more traction than one might imagine. There was a riot outside the local municipality today. Very unusual in Britain. May can't cope with the public, and only meets people in protected circumstances.

The situation is getting a bit edgy. They have to start negotiations with the EU next Monday, but they don't have a plan, and no legitimacy.

Normally, you'd think fall of government. But the Tories are not so honest,they'll stay in power as long as they can.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 16, 2017 4:49:27 PM | 63

May I slightliy misuse this space again. Here a comment about Helmut Kohl who died today, I posted in the ARD-Tagesschau, which was blocked (in german):
Es mag sein, dass Kohl im vollen Wortsinn ein vereinigtes Europa wollte. Gerade als CDU-Chef musste er sich aber im Klaren sein, dass es auch andere geben würde, die ein deutsches Europa anstreben (z. B. Kauder), um es klarer zu sagen, ein von Deutschland dominiertes Europa. Das jedoch stösst auf sehr wenig Gegenliebe. Das vereinigte Deutschland ist für die restlichen europäischen Entitäten als gleichwertiger Partner eine Nummer zu gross, als Hegemon eine Nummer zu klein. Kurz, die sogenannte Wiedervereinigung war ein monumentaler Fehler und neben der neoliberalen Globalisierung ein wichtiger Grund für den heutigen Drang nach rechts.

Posted by: Pnyx | Jun 16, 2017 5:02:19 PM | 64

Re: sprinklers in the Glenfell Tower -- I just read a bit, where I cannot recall, that said tenants were told by the managers of the building that sprinklers were not necessary as each apartment would be self contained and fire in one could not spread easily to other apts.

Uh...

Also, I wondered if sprinklers would have helped much as the fire seemed to race up the 35 stories, like a match being struck, one person wrote. Anyone know much about whether sprinklers would have helped?

I also read that the Tories had cut funding for new equipment for the firefighters to reach higher apartments.

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 16, 2017 5:49:18 PM | 65

Noirette 62
You're in Saudiland? Sounds like fun. Re: the new taxes. Bloomberg would love it. "Thou shalt make up the difference of our profit loss." Haircuts for the sinners. BWA HA HA. Yep, the IMF (or some other globalist shmuckville) must push these agendas sort of like USAID pushing demonetization program in India. At least the Saudis don't have to deal with an IRS and income tax forms. But I still wonder why they have to deal with the IMF.

Posted by: Curtis | Jun 16, 2017 6:22:17 PM | 66

Interested in non-hydrocarbon energy? May be a way to rip control of a sector of energy away from Big Oil & Gas. See http://kohilowind.com/kohilo-wind-vortex-tech/ Also http://kohilowind.com/about-kohilo-wind/ A wind turbine w no exterior moving parts; operates at low wind speeds; device comes in various sizes for a home, town, factory. Little maintenance. Made of aluminum, not subject to solar flare or pulse-bomb. Not controlled by the Establishment, apparently. The partners, Derek Grassman & Tom Worseca were on Coast to Coast recently. More on the internet.

Looks quite promising to me; some are already installed abroad. Try to spread the word so this technology doesn't "vanish".

Posted by: Penelope | Jun 16, 2017 7:10:26 PM | 67

part 3 ~23:00 - 26:55


Stone:

But ... economically you say you are self-sufficient ... they're gone, let them have their problems. It's not going to destoy your country.

Putin:

Not in the least.

Stone:

... and at one point you told me in our last meeting that ... I asked you, you know, what about the Russian [base at Sevastopol] ... you told me that it [Russia] wasn't threatened by the loss of the base ...

Putin:

It was a threat, losing this base, but it was not too sensitive. Right now we are commissioning a new military base not far from here in Novorossiysk.

Stone:

Even if nato made an agreement with Ukraine, I still don't see the threat to Russia ... with the new weaponry.

Putin:

I see a threat.

The threat consists in the fact that once nato comes to this or that country, the political leadership of that country as a whole, along with its population, cannot influence the positions nato takes, including the decisions related to stationing the military infrastructure. Even very sensitive weapons can be deployed. I'm also talking about anti-ballistic missile systems.

Right now a certain strengthening of American influence is being witnessed in Europe, partly due to Eastern European countries, because they are trying to resist the former dominating power of the Soviet Union. Right now it's mirrored in Russia, but sooner or later this is going to stop. Through initiating the crisis in the Ukraine, they've [the Americans] managed to stimulate such an attitude towards Russia, viewing Russia as an enemy, a possible potential aggressor.

But very soon everyone is going to understand, that there is no threat whatsoever emanating from Russia, either to the Baltic countries, or to Eastern Europe or to Western Europe. And the stronger this misunderstanding is, the greater the desire is going to be to protect their [European] sovereignty and to fend for their national interests.

So this constant feeling of being under pressure, let me assure you, is something no one is happy about. Sooner or later it's going to have consequences if it's going to stop. And it's better if this happens through dialogue. Certainly you can try to use North Korea or some other countries to paint a darker picture, but i think what's needed right now is the transition to a new paradigm, a new philosophy for building relations among countries.

And this paradigm should be based on respect for the interest of othe countries, for the sovereignty of other peoples, not just trying to intimidate them using some outer threat which can only be resisted with the help of the United States. This paradigm will have to cease to exist sooner or later.


from the outside putin can clearly see the threat to european sovereignty from nato - the fact thereof, actually ... and he can see the threat to the united states from the european backlash to the european nations' loss of severeignty to the us under nato, once that's perceived, and the same through the eu - and the rump is being very helpful there. the us is sleepwalking right into its own demise, brought about by its own arrogant stupidity ... its arrogance 'will have to cease to exist sooner or later'. and it's looking to be sooner rather than later.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 16, 2017 9:23:45 PM | 68

@65
Re "would sprinklers have helped"
Appears to be a concrete building so only linings and furnishings are flammable. If these where wet down, it would greatly reduce the speed at which a fire spreads.

Thanks to others re UK rules/regs and cost cutting.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jun 16, 2017 10:02:35 PM | 69

Penelope 67

Producing offgrid energy is not a problem. Currently it is the cost of energy storage (batteries) that is the choke point. The wind comes and goes, the sun comes and goes, so energy storage is required.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jun 16, 2017 10:20:48 PM | 70

CriminalInAction warns,
'The Islamic State is still capable of conducting and inspiring attacks across the globe'

I stands foursquare with the Honorable CriminalInAction, when he warns that there will be more terrorist attacks against the American people and civilization at large. We know, as does the Honorable CriminalInAction, that this statement is an incontrovertible fact, a matter of scientific certainty. And how can we and the Honorable CriminalInAction, be so sure that there will be more terrorist attacks against the American people and civilization at large?

Because these attacks will be instigated at the order of the Honorable CriminalInAction !!!

https://www.counterpunch.org/2002/11/01/rummy-s-plan-to-provoke-terrorist-attacks/


'

Posted by: denk | Jun 16, 2017 11:22:06 PM | 71

@71

the latimes article referenced by chris floyd is The Secret War.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 17, 2017 3:20:30 AM | 72

@68, 'the us is sleepwalking right into its own demise, brought about by its own arrogant stupidity ... its arrogance 'will have to cease to exist sooner or later'. and it's looking to be sooner rather than later.'

Merkel concerned about US bans on Russia, too


The spokesman said it was “strange” that sanctions intended to punish Russia for alleged meddling in the US elections last November could lead to penalties against European firms.

“That must not happen,” he said. “We generally reject sanctions with extra-territorial effects, meaning an impact on third countries.”


... remember, you heard it first from vladimir putin ...

Posted by: jfl | Jun 17, 2017 5:28:17 AM | 73

Seven sailors missing after U.S. Navy destroyer collides with container ship in Japan


It was unclear how the collision happened. "Once an investigation is complete then any legal issues can be addressed," the 7th Fleet spokesman said.

The Fitzgerald suffered damage on her starboard side above and below the waterline, causing "significant damage" and flooding to two berthing spaces and other areas of the ship, the Navy said. The flooding was later stabilized, but it was uncertain how long it would take to gain access to those spaces once the ship is docked, to continue the search for the missing, it said.

Back in Yokosuka, divers will inspect the damage and develop a plan for repairs, the Navy said.

The ship was able to operate under its own power with limited propulsion, the Navy said. The Japanese Coast Guard said separately the Fitzgerald was towed back to Yokosuka by a tugboat at about 3 knots.

Part of an eight-ship squadron based in Yokosuka, the Fitzgerald had in February completed $21 million worth of upgrades and repairs.


and they're not even at war ... yet.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 17, 2017 6:05:58 AM | 74

@ jfl | Jun 17, 2017 6:05:58 AM | 74

From the pictures on RT the contact was made slightly aft the bridge on the starboard side. This implies the Navy ship was where it was not supposed to be, all craft on the starboard side have the right of way, the red running light on the freighter would have been indicative of that. The Navy ship should have taken a hard starboard and passed the freighter, red light to red light. At the time of morning, the commander would not have been on the bridge but available to the crew on duty. Somebody was asleep at the wheel. Also consider most container vessels cannot change course easily, too much mass and momentum and minimal rudder as velocity of propeller current drops. This is going to be interesting, being an exceptional Navy does nothing to suspend navigation rules, only in someone's wet-dreams.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 17, 2017 8:29:12 AM | 75

Peter AU 70
You're so right. I have 2 smallish solar panels and the charge controller but haven't bought batteries yet. The good ones weigh around 70 pounds each. Plus I live (and rent a house) in a city where setting them up in a secure manner is problematic. It's a WIP for now. But we do get the occasional power outage from storms.

Posted by: Curtis | Jun 17, 2017 8:40:22 AM | 76

jfl 72

uncle sham invaded Afghan under the p2OG doctrine, accusing Afghan of 'harboring Bin Laden the 911 mastermind'.


Syria wasnt harboring any 'terrorists' , its fighting them !
Washington invaded anyway. !

Assad protested 'that's illegit' [sic]
gen Votel of Centcom rubbed it in when he announced,
'this op is carried out without the permission of the Syria govn' !

Such arrogance, such lawlessness !
Washington doesnt even bother with any P2OG or R2P B.S. these days,
They simply invade....cuz they can, they even gloated on it !

With each new crime going unchallenged by the 'international community',
Washington is getting more and more reckless these days.
Yet There'r still people who keep telling us 'at least Trump is better than Hillary'. !
As if murkkan foreign policy somehow depends on the whimses and fancies of each new potus !


In four years time or may be even eight, these Obama bots/Trumpsters would be falling over themselves all over again for another deep state chosen 'prez for change', even when murkkan imperialism rolls on relentlessly.

hhhhhhh

Posted by: denk | Jun 17, 2017 11:30:53 AM | 77

Posted by: jawbone | Jun 16, 2017 5:49:18 PM | 65
(Would sprinklers have helped at Grenfell?)

Yes. If the flat in which the fire began had sprinklers then it would have been extinguished before it could become fierce, and escape. Sprinklers are meant to confine fires which start inside the building to the spot where they begin. No-one designs fire control systems to anticipate cladding fires because cladding fires are theoretically impossible.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 17, 2017 12:05:47 PM | 78

ben @54:

The Ford article is right on target, and that opinion comes from a supporter of Mr. Sanders.
After reading Mr. Ford's article, I need to re-evaluate my support for Sanders.

Glen Ford is not a supporter of Bernie. He called Bernie a 'sheepdog' soon after Bernie announced his primary run.

You (and many others) need to re-evaluate the entire 2016 Presidential race. If Obama was a faux populist and Bernie was essentially controlled opposition, shouldn't we be skeptical of the Hillary-Trump match-up? Here's my take:

>How Things Work: Betrayal by Faux Populist Leaders

> Taken In: Fake News Distracts Us From Fake Election


= = =

PS: Here's Paul Street's post (referenced by Glen Ford): Bernie Sanders, the Company Man

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 17, 2017 12:06:14 PM | 79

- US citizens pay a heavy price for all those US foreign wars. As a result of those wars the US Capital Account is pushed deeper into the red. That's a force that weakens the US Dollar and as a result of the weakening US dollar the price of oil (and other commodities) are being pushed higher.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 17, 2017 2:59:36 PM | 80

Corporate mass murder in London


Millions are horrified by the loss of at least 100 and as many as 150 lives of working class residents in Wednesday’s fire.

Most shocking of all, this took place in Kensington and Chelsea, Britain’s richest borough in one of the richest cities in the world. But like so many other areas of the capital, extreme wealth exists side-by-side with extreme deprivation.

Grenfell is not only an appalling tragedy. It is a crime. Those whose lives were taken were murdered just as surely as if a torch had been applied to the building.

Ruthless cost-cutting with no concern for public safety laid the basis for the Grenfell deaths and ensured the devastating, rapid spread of the fire from its initial source in just a single apartment.

The fire spread so rapidly due to the cladding on the building bursting into flames. It was added last year in a “refurbishment.” On Friday, what many already suspected was confirmed when it was revealed that the insulating material used was combustible. It was chosen because it was £2 per square metre cheaper than a “fire resistant” alternative. The saving made amounted to just £5,000.

This and other equally life-threatening decisions were taken or authorised by the Conservative-run Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation, who ran Grenfell Tower on its behalf. The tower block had no central fire alarm system, no sprinklers in place and just one exit stairwell. The authorities ignored repeated warnings from a tenants group and residents over many years who insisted that Grenfell was unsafe and a “death trap.”

It should be stressed that the death toll from Grenfell is expected to exceed the combined total resulting from every terrorist attack in the UK since the beginning of the so-called war on terror in 2001.

Whenever a terrorist attack has taken place in Britain over the last decade, the full force of the state has been brought to bear. Police have carried out raids on every person who is linked, even in the most innocuous way, to the individual terrorist. They have been immediately arrested and hauled off to be detained and grilled for days on end. In response to the Grenfell fire, not a single person in any responsible position has yet been arrested, let alone charged.

Instead we are promised a toothless inquiry!


how many more council blocks are tinder, waiting to engulf their tenants in a roaring inferno like grenfell? surely there are fire codes for the houses of london's billionaires. it certainly looks as though grenfell was 'set up', purposefully clad in flamable material ... what could they have been thinking? what could these tory monsters have been thinking?

Posted by: jfl | Jun 17, 2017 3:56:04 PM | 81

21 Homes Heavily Damaged Overnight By Nazi Ukraine Junta Bombing


Twenty-one homes were heavily damaged overnight in Donetsk, Yasinovatoy, Novoazovsky and Telmanovsky district of the DPR, Donetsk People’s Republic due to shelling by the Nazi Ukraine Forces. This was announced today by the deputy commander of the operational command of the Republic Eduard Basurin.

“As a result of the shelling of Novogrigoryevka and Starolasp in the Telmanovsky district, the houses were damaged at 15 addresses,” he said. – I draw your attention to the fact that the settlement is located at a distance of more than three kilometers from the contact line of the troops, where there are no military facilities. Attacks by the Ukrainian war criminals targeting and purposefully on the residential areas of the settlement. “

In addition, according to Basurin, six more housing estates were damaged due to shelling in Donetsk villages of Alexandrovka and Lozovskaya, as well as in Yasinovatoy and the village of Kominternovo in the Novoazovsky district of the DPR. Without power supply there were more than 800 subscribers in the villages of Kashtanovoye and Krasny (Red) partisans of the Yasinovatsky district.

A total of over 500 ammunition units, including rocket and artillery units, were fired by the Nazi Ukraine Units (APU) units in the settlements of the Republic ! The most intensive fire was again conducted in the Donetsk direction.

Earlier today, the commanders reported 71 violations of the ceasefire by the Nazi Ukraine Junta for the day.


Stop bombing Donetsk! is any of this even reported outside the pages of novorussia today?

this is purposefully cut from the 'news' reports of politico, for instance, whose endless stream of crocodile tears pours out over the so-called 'fake news' of us war crimes over the wire!

Posted by: jfl | Jun 17, 2017 4:11:06 PM | 82

48-Hour Long Truce To Start In Daraa. Syrian Border Guards To Return To Border With Jordan


According to pro-government sources, there have been Jordanian-Syrian negotiations during the past few days.

As a result the sides agreed to return the Syrian border guard’s patrols to the Syrian-Jordanian border in the Suweida province. Negotiations continue with the aim of reopening a border crossing between Syria and Jordan in Suweida as well. Some sources argue that Russian military servicemen will be involved in the effort.


direct negotiations between the syrian and jordanian governments seems to be the way to go ... all along their border. and with the iraqi government as well.

what the us/uk, norway, and the rest of nato think is irrelevant.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 17, 2017 4:19:40 PM | 83


Helmut Kohl, Chancellor Who Reunited Germany, Dies at 87.

Another piece of shit died.

"I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure." M. Twain

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Jun 17, 2017 4:25:17 PM | 84

@77, denk, 'With each new crime going unchallenged by the 'international community', Washington is getting more and more reckless these days.'

i certainly agree there. they used to go through the motions ... no longer. the idea of the rule of law is gone now.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 17, 2017 4:25:24 PM | 85


The UK broadcaster Channel 4 (C4) News, have hit a new unbelievable low. The White helmets have released a video comparing them selves to the London firefighters, which even by their standards is truly Vomit inducing.

C4 carried it on their Facebook page stamped with their own C4 logo on the video. - https://www.facebook.com/Channel4News/videos/10154946861751939/

    Channel 4 News
    4 hrs ·
    They spend their days pulling people from the rubble of Syria's bombs, but still their hearts break for London.

    This is the moving message of solidarity to Britain's firefighters from the White Helmets

To compare White helmet scum to London Firefighters is an insult of the worst sort.
For C4 to post this shows not only how little respect they have for the truth, but more importantly, how little respect they have for both the London Fire Brigade and the victims of the Grenfell tragedy.

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Jun 17, 2017 4:29:35 PM | 86

Did not know that Hans-Dietrich Genscher died last year.

Germany is the US in smaller scale. While "modern" Germany is creation of the US both countries are competing who is bigger Nazi.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Jun 17, 2017 4:33:30 PM | 87

@75 ftb

thanks for your explanation of what likely happened. 'red to red' ... sounds like a very fundamental mistake. at least the civilians on board the container ship were uninjured. Cmdr. Bryce Benson was flown to hospital along with 2 others ... sounds like he was on the bridge. they managed to 'lose' seven other sailors! 'The missing sailors could be trapped in a damaged section of the destroyer, a statement from the 7th Fleet suggested.' cnn has that report under 'politics'!

the us' tin can was just 'refurbished' to the tune of 21 million usd in february ... now back to dry dock for the application of more millions.

it's worrying that they don't even know if the seven sailors are ... in the damaged portion of the ship.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 17, 2017 4:41:16 PM | 88

@jfl 81
The Tories have been thinking: Austerity. With any luck the tower fire will become a well recognised badge synonymous with the Tory brand of Austerity. Year on year cutbacks on the lower classes, a lost majority in parliament, and an unnecessary tower block fire that is so last century...the perfect storm. I hope May struggles on, the longer she stays the bigger the next backlash will be.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Jun 17, 2017 4:56:14 PM | 89

France and Germany unite against Iraq war


"For us, war is always the proof of failure and the worst of solutions, so everything must be done to avoid it," Mr Chirac said after the two nations' cabinets met together at the presidential Elysée palace in Paris.

"Don't expect Germany to approve a resolution legitimising war," Mr Schröder told a rally of his Social Democratic party.


helmut kohl was on-board for bush xli's iraq war in 1991, but chirac and schröder were not on-board for bush xliii's iraq war in 2003.

the uk, of course, was then ruled by the anti-labourite toney b. liar, george xliii's homey in britain. it's been downhill ever since.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 17, 2017 5:27:54 PM | 90

@ jfl | Jun 17, 2017 4:41:16 PM | 88

A ship's skipper's or commander's quarters are usually in the immediate vicinity or readily accessible to the wheelhouse or bridge. It is likely the commander was thrown about and received their injuries in that manner. The visible place of damage was also in that area so the commander could have been injured in either place.

Container vessels are much like large car ferries in their ability to manoeuvre in open water. The car ferries also have auxiliary propulsion systems built in for manoeuvre in port for docking purposes that the container ships may not have. It will be interesting what the British Admiralty will have to say on the reality of the BBC report, once they stop snickering. A "U" turn by a container vessel? Are they joking?

A question of steering mechanisms came up. Hydraulic is the only way to manage the enormous stresses needed to control the rudder even on a smaller fishing boat. Those on either a destroyer or a container vessel would be enormous. In all cases, the 'wheel' mechanism on the bridge is the origin of the control. The auto-pilot and navigation systems are connected to that in the bridge or wheelhouse.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 17, 2017 5:36:33 PM | 91

Peter AU @ 70. I know activists have told you that producing power w/o hydrocarbons isn't a problem, only storing it. But when I have investigated, I've always found this to be untrue. Frequently the headline lies, but an indication of the truth may even be present in the article. Neither Wind nor Solar are presently economically feasible absent subsidies-- especially when you factor in the cost & life of the devices, natural resources that are used to build them, etc.

The device I mention above in 68 is different in that it won't be feeding into hydrocarbon power plants, which actually causes the requirement for conventional fuels to go UP in many cases, due to the difficulties of maintaining a stable supply in spite of the vicissitudes of wind & solar. You see, much of the electrical supply must be kept stable MOMENT-TO-MOMENT.

The technology I cite is NOT a feeder system which needs to mesh with conventional power. Also it continues to operate at very low wind pressure.
And of course it's not killing 1000s of birds & bats by guillotining or incineratoring.

Posted by: Penelope | Jun 17, 2017 6:10:01 PM | 92

Did you all know that it's possible for Bank of America's cash machines to give you a nice receipt showing you've withdrawn money-- while NOT giving you the cash. It's the most I was ever trying to withdraw, $800! But Bank of America has deducted $800 from my balance & dispensed NADA. So far I'm unable to get any satisfaction from them. Has anyone else had an experience like this with Bank of America?

Posted by: Penelope | Jun 17, 2017 6:17:37 PM | 93

followup @79

I was wrong, it was Glenn Ford, it was his colleague Bruce Dixon that wrote: Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders: Sheepdogging for Hillary and the Democrats in 2016

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 17, 2017 6:46:40 PM | 94

Penelope 92.
obviously you have never seriously looked into the financial feasibility of setting up alternative power. I have lived in areas where there is no grid power. The cost of batteries is the killer. They have a finite lifespan, and it is the cost of periodic replacements that make solar/wind electricity expensive. This cost is likely to be reduced with improving tech. It is a very poor and erratic system if energy cannot be stored for times when there is no wind or sun.

The turbine you have linked to may be efficient but would have to very large to generate sufficient electricity run even a washing machine in low wind conditions. It would be useful in trickle charging a battery in low wind conditions.
In most of inland Australia and I take it it would be similar in other parts of the world, wind velocity at ground level drops to zero around dark and the prevailing wind does not move back down to ground level until around 8am.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jun 17, 2017 6:55:10 PM | 95

Penelope | Jun 17, 2017 6:17:37 PM | 93

You are withdrawing $800 from ATM!?

The USA premier criminal state, where corporate/fascist world rule. In case like yours, and from my personal experience, we ordinary people are powerless. If you are make complain to the DA they will rule against you, in particular if large company is involved. Therefore the state is just criminal organization cloaked in legality and the laws.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Jun 17, 2017 6:57:31 PM | 96

@94: wasn't Glen Ford

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jun 17, 2017 8:09:20 PM | 97

Hopefully, enough Americans are watching the Putin interviews to change a few minds regarding the anti-Russian propaganda flooding the MSM lately.

Posted by: ben | Jun 17, 2017 9:03:42 PM | 98

https://venezuela.liveuamap.com/en/2017/17-june-venezuela-euromaidan-doc-winter-on-fire-is-being
Venezuela: Euromaidan doc. 'Winter On Fire' is being shown in the streets of Caracas. Many Venezuelans are inspired by Ukraine

Posted by: Peter AU | Jun 17, 2017 9:20:35 PM | 99

...
So far I'm unable to get any satisfaction from them. Has anyone else had an experience like this with Bank of America?
Posted by: Penelope | Jun 17, 2017 6:17:37 PM | 93

How frustrating! I had a similar (empty receipt) problem at an ATM in Oz 10+ years ago and rang the bank's Hotline immediately from the street near the ATM to report the glitch and ask for the location of the nearest alternative. The Hotline operator TOLD ME that her live access to the machine confirmed my story, gave me the info I requested, and told me the error would be rectified automatically within a day or so; which it was with no further input from me.

So I'm wondering, as you must be, why BOA are playing silly games with you?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 18, 2017 12:14:25 AM | 100

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