Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 04, 2018

Weekly Review And Open Thread 2018-05

Jan 28 - Robert Parry Has Died

I am really, really sad about this.

Jan 29 - Syria - Neo-Conservatives Demand "Action" - Hope For A Larger War

The crazies won't let go. They are not alone. U.S. media is solidly supporting them. See for example this screenshot from today's New York Times. The actual piece is about cooperation of Israel and Egypt against ISIS in the Sinai. Nothing in the report has to do with Lebanon, Syria, Iraq or Iran. But it is headed by a picture of Netanyahoo pointing at the mystic 'Shia Crescent'. What for?


bigger

Jan 30 - U.S. Runs Headscarf Campaign Against Iran

Voice of America and similar U.S. government entities are obviously instruments of 'regime change' which is why they initiated the fake headscarf campaign. The University of Maryland just published a new poll it made in Iran: Iranian Public Opinion After the Protests (pdf). Large majorities in Iran support their system of governance. While they see demonstrations about economic problems as justified they are against the aims of those who hijacked them. They favor the Iranian support for Syria and Iraq and want to uphold their somewhat conservative, religion based values.

Jan 31 - Sleuthhound Puppy Takes 'Deep Dive' Into MoA - (Funny)

Some nutty kid tried to dox Moon of Alabama and gloriously failed ...

Feb 1 - Syria - Erdogan's Bashibazouk Want To Ravage Afrin

There is some weird dealing behind the Afrin campaign between the Russians and Turkey. The Syrian army has temporarily halted parts of its campaign in east Idleb and Turkey has promptly transported a large number of its Takfiri 'rebels' from Idleb across the border into Turkey to intensify the attack on the Kurdish enclave Afrin from there. I am not sure who is playing whom in this.

Feb 2 - Memo: Democrats Made Up Evidence Enabled Eavesdropping On Trump Campaign

The turn of the anti-Trump campaign from "Publishing the memo is treason!" to "The published memo is a nothing-burger." was quite amusing to watch. It demonstrated that there is some panic that more might be revealed. David Habakukk at Sic Temper Tyrannis puts the anti-Trump anti-Russia campaign into its much larger context.

Feb 3 - Freelancer Despairs: "My Lies About Hizbullah Can't Compete With Trump" - (Updated)

A dissection of a quite devious way to smuggle anti-Hizbullah lies into the record ...

A request to my readers: Help this blog to become better. Which of the posts this weeks were good, which were not so good? What other themes should I post about?

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on February 4, 2018 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

Comments

Syria - Neo-Conservatives Demand "Action" - Hope For A Larger War

To help they give manportables to rebels to shot down Russian aerospace forces. Some have rebels now been eliminated, some US cowards will soon join them.

Posted by: 07564111 | Feb 4, 2018 10:46:58 AM | 1

For me the ongoing genocide in Jemen is underreported. Do not forget it please!

Posted by: Pnyx | Feb 4, 2018 10:51:29 AM | 2

I am afraid I am of the opinion that all threads are good

the MSM/MCM PALES INTO insignificance

Posted by: the necromacer | Feb 4, 2018 10:56:51 AM | 3

I would love to hear more details about the Sinai - over the years I've read about a lot of massacres of civilians (and 'militants') by Egypt which appears to have fomented a pattern of attacks having nothing to do with ISIS (as uaual). The mainstream media butchers the story there...

Posted by: anon | Feb 4, 2018 11:27:56 AM | 4

oh, and of course, where did Syrian rebels get weapons to shoot fighter jets - I expect that will be written about (and not too hard to figure out!)

Posted by: anon | Feb 4, 2018 11:30:32 AM | 5

I think you should not spend to much time on idiots like the two you went against this week. Besides that you had a good week.

Posted by: Mateus Paour | Feb 4, 2018 12:02:06 PM | 6

The zionists are busy bodies.What can you say?Every thing they touch turns to evil.

Posted by: dahoit | Feb 4, 2018 12:04:15 PM | 7

israel tried to assassinate Arafat?They did.My God.

Posted by: dahoit | Feb 4, 2018 12:17:00 PM | 8

that pic with netanyahoo is pretty ridiculous.... someone ought to put up on the zionist cresent.. i already have an idea what it would look like..

Posted by: james | Feb 4, 2018 12:51:25 PM | 9

Mateus 6. So many idiots, so little time.

And thanks, b, for not obsessing about Trump.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Feb 4, 2018 12:56:03 PM | 10

Again, You are doing an excellent job of reporting
and analyzing the most pressing issues people have
to contend with, if they pay attention.

The gargantuan task of being on top of a political
world that keeps churning out new casualties, new
deceptions, new propaganda and an never receding
threat of nuclear holocaust requires super powers
in my humble opinion.

If anything, maybe the Euro debacle could use some
more insight, especially in the light of being
totally underreported in the Empire's rags.

I guess the most important outcome by following
Your analytical offerings is, that one must
expect to be lied to and deceived - not only
in so called 'media' outlets of known decrepitude,
but even in those that were formerly seen as more
or less truthful.

Last but not least, yes, the passing of Robert Parry
is an immeasurable loss, specifically in the light of
psychopathic war criminals giving book readings.

I wonder what Robert would have made from the SOTU,
that is eloquently analyzed in the Tales from the Crypt:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/02/02/tales-from-the-crypt/

Posted by: nottheonly1 | Feb 4, 2018 1:33:18 PM | 11

I think you're doing a great job. Excellent analysis - just wish you could produce more frequent articles but appreciate there's only one of you.

Posted by: Justi | Feb 4, 2018 2:38:53 PM | 12

i would like to see abit more on the philipines and duterte...i see where he has been painted like khadaffi and would like more objective reality...
thanks for all of your work,,,,OY

Posted by: oldenyoung | Feb 4, 2018 3:01:50 PM | 13

good work, b, clear and critical. Very much appreciate your presence in this blog. I hope you keep an eye on the obfuscating from the Democrats following the Nunes memo. Today I read a Nadler response that Carter Page "almost certainly" ("almost"--why not certainly? what is the case against Page?) was a Russian agent, that the Steele material was from a reputable source, that the Papodoupolis information was the legitimate reason (??) to get the FBI investigation going in the first place, all of it legit and honorable . . .

My pet peeve in all this: the continuing referencing to "Putin meddling" without the qualifying "alleged"; the continuing innuendo and insinuation converted to "fact."

Posted by: Sid2 | Feb 4, 2018 3:31:04 PM | 14

neo conservatives = zionist jews. so naturally they demand action on syria, when they should be actioned for being foreign agents

Posted by: brian | Feb 4, 2018 3:40:02 PM | 16

Speaking about Europe and the advancement of
neo-liberal policies by the hands of unelected
officials, this news is not boding well:

EU Imposes Anti-Union Law On Greece

The question is, how much longer will European workers
remain peaceful dissenters to 'laws' that resemble the
prohibition of Unions in NS-Germany? A number of member
states are threatening their own exit from the EU, although
for entirely different reasons. But more "Exit"-Nations will
weaken neo-liberal EU to the much desirable breaking point.
As it stands, EU/NATO policies are the biggest threat to
European citizens.

Posted by: nottheonly1 | Feb 4, 2018 3:53:08 PM | 17

Dear B,

You're doing the best job already with what you have.

Perhaps you should take on a second stringer who can post articles monthly or weekly to cover for you when you need to take breaks. Occasionally Richard Galustian had posts here at MoA. I just looked at his Twitter account and found his retweet of Vanessa Beeley's tweet on mass protests in Turkey back in 2012 supporting the Syrian President Bashar al Assad and opposing Recep Tayyip Erdogan's policy of backing ISIS.

https://twitter.com/VanessaBeeley/status/960189123335262208

A reply to Beeley's tweet states that Erdogan is settling Hatay province (bordering Syria's northwest border) with radicalised Islamic extremists. Looks like Syria will continue to have its hands full with fall-out from Erdogan's idiocy.

If Richard could be induced again to post something on Libya or whatever else takes his fancy, or others could post articles occasionally whenever you need time off, that would help.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 4, 2018 4:24:59 PM | 18

b - i would like to echo many other here... your site and what you share is fantastic.. i might post less often though.. i am concerned you might get burnt out! like jen says - maybe you could get richard back occasionally.. i wouldn't sweat it.. i find it all fascinating and admire the work you do.. i sure hope folks do donate generously when the time comes.. i see you as offering a really valid perspective and trying to counter all the layers of propaganda, but it is too much for one person to do.. i don't have a clear idea of the best areas for you to address, but i do continue to follow the syria dynamic as i think it is very critical here still..

Posted by: james | Feb 4, 2018 4:33:00 PM | 19

I would like you to know how grateful I feel for every new post, how impressive it is that you do this research and writing apparently alone and at the level you consistently achieve. I don't come to the subjects discussed here as a typically indoctrinated USian, as seems true of your readers in general, but I've learned much reading this site and I thank you. I see no reasonable area to ask more of you. I would also echo the recommendations of many here to not push harder than is prudent. I want you to keep publishing as long as possible - you are making a difference.

Posted by: mena | Feb 4, 2018 5:02:00 PM | 20

Seconding Oldenyoung @ 13 with regard to President Duterte and the ISIS problem in the southern Philipines, where Duterte used to be Mayor of Davao City and among other things started programs to help disadvantaged women, in particular women who were victims of domestic violence.
https://rachfeed.com/dutertes-8-superb-programs-for-women/

Posted by: Jen | Feb 4, 2018 5:02:01 PM | 21

A request to my readers: Help this blog to become better.
As many have said above, it's difficult to think of what might make what is already a fantastic blog better. If anything, maybe hierarchisation of replies, so that the reply appears below the original post rather then several entries later.

Another idea I like a lot is the Guardian's way of doing comments. A single button to apply blockquotes to selected text. or open link address. It's very nice. I don't know whether the code is easy to do.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 4, 2018 5:03:39 PM | 22

@anon 4
I would love to hear more details about the Sinai

The US has troops in the Sinai, Task Force Sinai "Best in the Desert" facebook here.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 4, 2018 5:30:50 PM | 23

Jan 29 - Syria - Neo-Conservatives Demand "Action" - Hope For A Larger War
The crazies won't let go.

That's not too much to worry about. The US position in the Jazira is dying. Nothing is going to bring it back. The Iraqis have already destroyed the US/Kurdish advanced position in Iraq. The US position in the Syrian Jazira is isolated. The US can continue as long as it wants, nobody can say no.

Posted by: Laguerre | Feb 4, 2018 5:32:42 PM | 24

Your best work is where your writing comes out of your head and your heart. Do not take up more than your heart can process. No one can carry the burdens of the whole world. Know that each article continues to positively impact the ability of people to stand against the empire and its' deceits. Your courage in your area of expertise enables others to be courageous in their areas of expertise.

Thank you for the positive impact you have had in my life.

Posted by: les7 | Feb 4, 2018 8:10:36 PM | 25

...
Nothing in the report has to do with Lebanon, Syria, Iraq or Iran. But it is headed by a picture of Netanyahoo pointing at the mystic 'Shia Crescent'.
What for?
b, Feb 4, 2018

There's a simple answer to that question.
Careless piece trickster, Bibi, has fallen for long-term trickster Trump's Jerusalem Trick and is now thoroughly rusted onto it.
But histrionic Bibi has forgotten the historical proverb:

"There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip" which cautions against counting one's chickens before they hatch.

The photo is a snapshot of Bibi counting his chickens, in public, oblivious to the forthcoming denouement lurking in the wings.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 4, 2018 9:11:03 PM | 26

Patrick Cockburn reports:

Trump’s isolationism may be less risky than the neo-interventionism of his senior advisers. Reports from Washington suggest that the decision to get more fully engaged in the Syrian civil war was contrary to what Trump himself wanted. By this account, he would have preferred to use his State of the Union address to announce that the US mission in Syria had ended in triumph with the defeat of Isis and that he was withdrawing US ground forces. Instead, the decision went the other way as McMaster and Mattis supported by Tillerson successfully argued for keeping US ground forces in Syria and Iraq.

These senior officials were only advocating the consensus opinion of the US foreign policy establishment, as was swiftly illustrated by media commentators. Even as Turkish tanks were rolling into Syria, an editorial in The Washington Post was applauding Tillerson for having “bluntly recognised a truth that both President Trump and President Barack Obama attempted to dodge” – which is that the US needs a political and military presence in Syria.

Is this the coup that b mentioned a while ago but it's a soft coup with Trump isolated and vulnerable enough to fold.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 4, 2018 9:42:33 PM | 27

I'll vote for Jan 29, Feb 1 and Feb 2 as you best pieces this week.

It's unfortunate to loose Robert Parry so this entry doesn't really count in the weekly lineup.

Sleuthhound Puppy was amusing and superfluous .

The rest, i guess, needs to be addressed tho not, imho, as topical as the first three i noted.

Posted by: foo | Feb 4, 2018 9:45:34 PM | 28

@ Ghost Ship 27
. . . it's a soft coup with Trump isolated and vulnerable enough to fold.

Probably not. Trump has written about a dozen books, one of them The Art of the Comeback .

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 4, 2018 10:16:17 PM | 29

@27 ghostship... based on the way patrick cockburn frames it - sure sounds like a soft coup to me.. i don't know how accurate that is though..

Posted by: james | Feb 4, 2018 10:17:04 PM | 30

...
Is this the coup that b mentioned a while ago but it's a soft coup with Trump isolated and vulnerable enough to fold?
Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 4, 2018 9:42:33 PM | 27

Probably not.
Assuming that the story reflects the truth then McMaster, Mattis and Tillerson would have offered Trump one, or more, persuasive reasons to change his mind. Cockburn's article says that they were able to do so. What it doesn't say is that he was persuaded against his better judgement and will be measuring their assurances against the emerging activities and results. If the results fall short of expectations then Trump can reassert his CIC status to correct the situation.
He's notionally obliged to bow to the superior knowledge of his expert advisors. But if it doesn't yield a superior result to the one Trump had in mind then he's obliged to make changes.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 4, 2018 11:14:14 PM | 31

It's called giving someone enough rope to hang himself, which is what is happening if we take the time to notice. I'm sure Trump has.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 4, 2018 11:39:54 PM | 32

Let's look on the bright side. Congress remains locked in a budget battle, meaning it has appropriated no money toward achieving a military buildup in fiscal 2018 which ends Sep 30.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 4, 2018 11:46:30 PM | 33

Here are two links on ChinaNet that I thought interesting

2 killed in Saudi-led airstrikes on forensic lab in Yemen's capital

Russia registers 7 ceasefire breaches in Syria in past 7 hours

I would encourage you to keep doing what you have been doing b and follow your instinct for anything more. That said, I encourage you to pace yourself and allow for well deserved breaks.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 5, 2018 12:30:19 AM | 34

I don't feel young Jeff Goldstein, Sleuthpup, worthy of your attention, although the piece was amusing and provided a good example of bad journalism. Other than that, no complaints.

Posted by: Jason | Feb 5, 2018 1:36:25 AM | 35

Ghost Ship

Patrick Cockburn cites “reports from Washington” as evidence of Trump’s isolationism. LOL! How anyone gives credence to that is beyond me. Trump the “isolationist” has woo-Ed Xi with chocolate cake, sword danced with Wahabbis, moved the US embassy to Jerusalem, armed Ukraine, engaged in a twitter combat with North Korea, etc.

I think some have missed the redefinition of MAGA to mean: engaging with the world in a way that more sharply defines friend and foe.

Soft-coup?
To believe this you’d have to believe that Trump has or had full Presidential power and authority. You’d have to ignore the 600 pound gorilla in the room in the form of Mattis, McMaster, Kelly (and Jared?).

How much real power do US President’s have? If Obama is any indication, they are just front men. And people fall for the ruse again and again. Obama was man of peace! Trump is an America-first isolationist! Hehe . . . baloney.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 5, 2018 2:14:35 AM | 36

1. Who supplied the "rebels" in Idlib with manpads ?

2. What is it with all the supply trucks from Turkey to Idlib which have incresed in the last few days ?

Posted by: redrooster | Feb 5, 2018 2:33:06 AM | 37

redrooster | Feb 5, 2018 2:33:06 AM | 37

1. Those who publish views claiming there is a secret war between TR-Rus

2. No increase. Just the 3rd attempt. To establish observation points as agreed before.

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Feb 5, 2018 4:20:56 AM | 38

Is there any truth to the rumours about organ trafficking in Syria?

Posted by: arbetet | Feb 5, 2018 4:44:27 AM | 39

Turkey has been one of the biggest hotspot for organ traffick so why wouldnt the same mafias take advantage of their busy hospitals?

Posted by: Mina | Feb 5, 2018 5:34:42 AM | 40

@ arbetet | 39

Terrorists supported by "the usual suspects" always do that. Alban gangsters in Kosovo were World "famous" for it, same with Al Qaeda in Libya, rinse and repeat in Syria, etc.

Posted by: Harry | Feb 5, 2018 5:53:30 AM | 41

@ b

"A request to my readers: Help this blog to become better. Which of the posts this weeks were good, which were not so good? What other themes should I post about?"
Well, I liked all posts. As there is war thes only thing that one catch with ease are propaganda lies. @ Bianca reported, but without sources, the YPG would do secret ethnic cleansing in their area. I would like to know whether it is true or not. What is the real military status in Afrin? Such things I would like to know.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Feb 5, 2018 7:25:01 AM | 42

B:

Imo you're the best journalist in the world. Literally #1. Before the Ukraine fiasco I thought this place a bit too Art Bell, but lately I wonder if the problem was on my end.

I'd love to see a deep view of economics from someone who actually understands double-entry book keeping, however any author with your level of exposure I suspect would be murdered by TPTB so maybe its best to leave that one alone.

When political madness happens, you're my first stop, every time. Thank you so much.

Posted by: TSP | Feb 5, 2018 8:26:48 AM | 43

Dear b,

I would like you to bring information about US influence in the destabilization of Latin America, especially in Brazil, where the judiciary and public prosecutors have been acting in a very questionable way regarding specific segments of the political class, whereas other sectors , including the current president of the republic, has been spared, despite numerous indications of corruption, nevertheless seems to remain in power to defend foreign interests. The Brazilian media is strongly influenced by international economic interests, so it is very difficult to get a clear perspective on this situation.

Sorry for my text (translated from Portuguese by Google) and congratulations for your great work!

Posted by: DKFil | Feb 5, 2018 8:39:59 AM | 44

@43, DKFil, TheRealNews.com has done great reporting on Latin America, including Brasil, Honduras, Ecuador, and Venezuela.

b, this is my first comment here and like all others I would like to express my sincere appreciation at your reporting, MoA has become a daily staple for quite some time now. Keep doing what you're doing. I liked very much your few posts on Venezuela last year as well.

Posted by: George Lane | Feb 5, 2018 9:32:50 AM | 45

>>>> Don Bacon | Feb 4, 2018 10:16:17 PM | 29

I'd be happier if Trump had written The Art of The Countercoup.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 5, 2018 10:59:05 AM | 46

Post about nuclear doomsday, b, if I may suggest a topic. It is increasingly relevant given that the US is increasing its nuclear arms race. Essential reading is Daniel Ellsberg's recently book THE DOOMSDAY MACHINE, and Gwynne Dyers second edition WAR is pretty good too. There is a lack of honest and analytic thought on an increasingly likely event that may well destroy us all.

Posted by: folktruther | Feb 5, 2018 11:12:18 AM | 47

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 4, 2018 11:14:14 PM | 31

He's notionally obliged to bow to the superior knowledge of his expert advisors.

Bollocks, no he's not! His advisors are there to give him advice, not tell him what to do. Executive power rests in his hands and the decisions and outcomes are his responsibility. If it's the generals around him who are making decisions that have not been delegated to them, then they have usurped his authority and that is a coup. No need for violence just something they can hold over him so he does what they want.
On the other hand, it could be that Trump decided to delay his announcement until after the Turkish invasion of Afrin has concluded, however that may be. Announcing that the US military were leaving Syria would only encourage Erdogan to extend his invasion.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 5, 2018 11:17:44 AM | 48

Long and clear analysis of the Nunes memo released last Friday by Alexander Mercouris. From his conclusion:

Accordingly – as the GOP memorandum implies – there is a very strong case to be made that no information drawn from the Trump Dossier should ever have been submitted in evidence to the FISA court at all or at any time.

Instead not only was information drawn from the Trump Dossier used to obtain the FISA warrant but according to Representative Nunes the FISA court was not told that the source of the information – the Trump Dossier – had only been “minimally corroborated”. Instead the FISA court was led to think that the information was true.

If this was so then it was a straightforward deception of the FISA court, and was the most serious violation of the duty of full disclosure the Justice Department’s lawyers and the FBI owed to the FISA court.

In that case it is the gravest single violation of due process identified by the GOP memorandum, and in my opinion constitutes a clear contempt of Court.

http://theduran.com/rampant-abuse-contempt-court-analysis-gop-memorandum/

Posted by: Sid2 | Feb 5, 2018 12:30:09 PM | 49

@48 sid2.. why does mercouris call it the trump dossier?? i think most folks call it the steele dossier...

Posted by: james | Feb 5, 2018 12:43:28 PM | 50

further to that, there is a thing called the woods procedures that is supposed to apply to getting the fisa warrants... it looks like it didn't here..

Posted by: james | Feb 5, 2018 12:46:18 PM | 51

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Feb 5, 2018 11:17:44 AM | 47
(Bollocks, no he's not!)

Oops! I probably could have chosen my words more carefully. I was wavering between 'notionally' and 'theoretically'. And 'obliged' is probably too strong a term...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 5, 2018 1:06:07 PM | 52

43

Who knows to what depths Anglo - U S interests will go to maintain power in South America and elsewhere . Clearly they rolled the Korean and Himalayan Chinese / Indian wars to put Mao out of step in spreading communist revolution and non-alignment . To have created a cohesive non-aligned movement would have been good for China and the Southern hemisphere . Brazil , of course would have been part of this development .
Relating to this I watched an interview with the great Indonesian writer Ananta Toer yesterday, in which he said 2 million communists were murdered by the military and western interests in late 1960's Indonesia. He would know I suspect . Blood on our hands .


Posted by: ashley albanese | Feb 5, 2018 2:21:25 PM | 53

@49 James: In the opening of his analysis he makes clear "Trump dossier" refers to the Steele dossier. A little further he says "the Nunes memo" is mislabeling, and that it should be titled the Gowdy memo if not the GOP memo, because Trey Gowdy wrote most of it, and Nunes added materials to it.

Thanks for the link to the Woods material, which Alex does not mention. But he does strongly indicate the flimsy nature of the justifications presented to the court--which would go against the spirit of the Woods provisions.

Posted by: Sid2 | Feb 5, 2018 2:53:36 PM | 54

b, keep doing what you've been doing all along -- and return the site meter!

Posted by: annie | Feb 5, 2018 3:48:36 PM | 55

b, you're doing just fine, and as usual, picking various topics that generate many fine links providing much relevant info. Not to mention, the therapy provided all of us who post here..

Posted by: ben | Feb 5, 2018 4:24:22 PM | 56


"There will be no economic or political justice for the poor, people of color, women or workers within the framework of global, corporate capitalism. Corporate capitalism, which uses identity politics, multiculturalism and racial justice to masquerade as politics, will never halt the rising social inequality, unchecked militarism, evisceration of civil liberties and omnipotence of the organs of security and surveillance. Corporate capitalism cannot be reformed, despite its continually rebranding itself. The longer the self-identified left and liberal class seek to work within a system that the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls “inverted totalitarianism,” the more the noose will be tightened around our necks. If we do not rise up to bring government and financial systems under public control—which includes nationalizing banks, the fossil fuel industry and the arms industry—we will continue to be victims."

From Chris Hedges:

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/bankruptcy-american-left/

Posted by: ben | Feb 5, 2018 5:32:50 PM | 57

Is it possible to do better than you do, b.?

A friend of mine who is a strong feminist is one of the leaders of the resistance to the current obsession with transgender. While she has no objection to genuine trans people what she finds unacceptable is a situation where any man on merely declaring himself a woman can enter women’s bathrooms or changing rooms or battered wives shelters or even a woman’s prison. I appreciate being with someone who is an expert in their area and will quite happily sit and listen and I did. But when we discussed Syria a while ago she was vehement that Assad was a butcher, etc. at the same time she must have known I have studied a good deal more on the subject than she has.

She has now become quite obsessive about her issue, decrying the mainstream media treatment of the subject, even that of her beloved Guardian newspaper. Most people haven’t got a clue what’s going on she says, and if she speaks up then she is shouted down with insults such as “TURF”, whatever that means.

This is the same person I have been arguing first Ukraine and then Syria with for nigh on five years, to be met by responses seemingly lifted straight from the Guardian or BBC. Did she see any correlation between the two scenarios I asked her, in the sense that she has gone outside the mainstream media to do her own research and critical thinking and therefore arrived at a conclusion, just as I have done in the area that interest me. If you get “TURF” I get “Putinbot” I told her. She was quiet and declined to answer.

Posted by: Lochearn | Feb 5, 2018 6:00:07 PM | 58

@54 sid2... thanks... i guess i needed to read the article, but the words threw me off!

@57 lochearn.. that is cool you have been able to maintain that friendship, regardless... turf - never heard that term used in that context...

Posted by: james | Feb 5, 2018 6:27:50 PM | 59

@ 58 james

I now realize it's TERF - Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminism.

Posted by: Lochearn | Feb 5, 2018 6:33:06 PM | 60

Read somewhere Steele advised Nuland on Ukraine, I have not seen Oliver Stone’s doc on Ukraine but Parry was contributor I believe.

Posted by: Shadyl | Feb 5, 2018 8:13:22 PM | 61

@ 59 lochearn.. that is interesting.. i was unaware of this term or the group that are using it and how it is being used.. thanks..
http://rationalwiki.nom.pw/wiki/Trans-exclusionary_radical_feminism

i would be curious to know if steele worked for that propaganda house chatham.. i used sir andrew wood who worked there..

Posted by: james | Feb 5, 2018 9:57:03 PM | 62

i - he...

Posted by: james | Feb 5, 2018 9:57:18 PM | 63

b, I think you have done a masterful job of selecting topics, providing a great number of hard-to-find facts and/or analysis, but also managing to draw out participation from your barflies, many of whom are extremely interesting and knowledgeable in their own right. Continue to follow your instincts. Even the occasional light piece is usually well-timed.

It's hard not to spend a lot of time on Syria (and the rest of the ME), being the current hottest of hot spots. I strongly suspect before this month is out you'll have a lot more to talk about in the Ukraine, as much as I hate it for them. I'm looking forward to anything you can tell us about the swirling confluence of warning bells ringing there. Thanks again for your hard work.

Posted by: J Swift | Feb 5, 2018 10:33:35 PM | 64

So are they tanking the US economy as retaliation for the memo...or is it just a big F'in coincidence and I don't know nuffin about econ 101?

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 5, 2018 11:33:29 PM | 65

Another vote for Alexander Mercouris's exhaustive legal analysis of the Nunes memo.
http://theduran.com/rampant-abuse-contempt-court-analysis-gop-memorandum/

Posted by: s | Feb 5, 2018 11:36:01 PM | 66

Hi Bernhard.

I'm fine with this week's lighter fare, the freelancer and also the story about sleuthhound simply because like many, many others, I read every story and comment.

The stories that don't draw too much attention from those who charge into their own pet topics, too often to the detriment of the thread, are still bringing out interesting comments and who knows where they will lead?

It seems clear that the effort to research and produce your insightful and amazing best work is arduous and although fulfilling, imho you have already achieved status and recognition for that work. I'm simply suggesting that this community is to a certain extent self-sustaining and will engage with simpler topics and always be here for the deeper ones.

As for theme suggestions I was most drawn to Billmon's posts about economics and the workings of the market, national and international. That interest continues, along with my desire to know "who is actually in charge."

A decade and a half later thanks to Billmon, yourself and the links provided by so many others, I have a pretty good idea where the bodies are buried so to speak.

Somewhere recently I found a post to a software project that brought the graphic interface of Mathematica to economics, using the model to prove incorrect a fundamental tenet of current economic thinking.

Another idea is to examine the need or cause of inflation, why does bread cost three dollars today when it was fifty cents when I was young. We are all still working just as hard!

Thanks to you and all the posters through the years who have brought enlightenment to this little bar. Na počesť našich učiteľov!

Posted by: jonku | Feb 5, 2018 11:41:22 PM | 67

Oh yeah, and, b, you are slaying it. It appears to a newcomer like me that you have been slaying it for a long time. Don't stop slaying it. Les @25 has a great comment that I wish to echo, as well. Take care of yourself and remember to sing at your desk. Or watch videos of cute puppies or drooling babies. But for all artists, you just gotta throw yourself in the muck to see what beauty you can wrest from it.

Robert Bresson wrote in his Notes on the Cinematographer "Those horrible days--when shooting film disgusts me, when I am exhausted, powerless in the face of so many obstacles--are part of my method of work."

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Feb 5, 2018 11:48:00 PM | 68

An interesting post here from Magnier..
"#Iraq confirmed #US forces begin pulling out a large part of the 7400 officers & soldiers from the country. A smaller number is expected to remain. PM Abadi promised political parties that any US presence in the country will be considered an occupation once ISIS is defeated."
https://twitter.com/ejmalrai/status/960530191343906817

Iraq and Turkey as well as Iran and Syria. US days in that part of the world look to be numbered. I would guess a lot of hit and run type stuff if US hangs around.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Feb 5, 2018 11:53:08 PM | 69

Lochearn @ 58:

You'll be surprised to learn that your feminista friend has support from male-born transgender activist Jenn Smith. The methods used by the transgender movement to recruit young people appear similar to those used by psychiatrists on patients in the CIA-sponsored MK Ultra program in the 1960s.

Jenn Smith, "Synanon, the Brainwashing “Game” and Modern Transgender Activism: The Orwellian Implications of Transgender Politics."
https://transanityca.wordpress.com/2017/08/13/synanon-the-brainwashing-game-and-modern-transgender-activism-the-orwellian-implications-of-transgender-politics-by-jenn-smith/

Posted by: Jen | Feb 6, 2018 5:42:19 AM | 70

Ho hum bored people scratching around the fringes of identity politics nutters - why? It's all pointless just words each drongo uses that do nothing other than drive a wedge through communities of humans splitting unity just as the arseholes want. I mean to say if there are more Fa'afafine around for a while it's hardly something for anyone to get their tits in a tangle over. Men & women who don't belong in a frock or pair of overalls will quit soon enough since I would say being trans isn't a very easy row to hoe.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Feb 6, 2018 6:46:04 AM | 71

Syria war — open thread
What do you think of Tony Cartalucci's suggestion that Turkey and the US are in cahoots in establishing a "safe haven" in northern Syria, which is something the US has been seeking since 2012? This would help to prolong the war and keep alive their long-sought goal of removing Assad, says Cartalucci:
https://journal-neo.org/2018/02/03/turkey-establishing-long-sought-us-safe-haven-in-northern-syria/

Posted by: BugsYourUncle | Feb 6, 2018 12:37:46 PM | 72

The zionists never sleep.Musk will send heavy rocket into space,with car on top.ugh.Why do you think he won't give israel our secrets?ugh.

Posted by: dahoit | Feb 6, 2018 1:53:48 PM | 73

John Helmer has an interesting post up on his blog. If his analysis is accurate the Trump regime just scored a potentially massive, as in world changing, own goal.

The Mnuchin Racket – US Treasury Bluff On Sanctions Against Russian Sovereign Debt

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Feb 6, 2018 2:52:11 PM | 74

@ Temporarily Sane with the John Helmer link

Thanks for that. Quite interesting.

What we are seeing is late stage frantic can kicking by empire that has no plan for humanity's future except as currently configured. War is their only answer now and China is winning by offering future looking development alternatives to the ongoing war/finance only economy.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 6, 2018 8:32:26 PM | 75

@ 74 ts.. yes - i read that yesterday and complimented john on it... good article which makes for fascinating ruminations on the next shoe to drop..

Posted by: james | Feb 7, 2018 12:10:00 AM | 76

Good news! If your're a syrian soldier you can now move permanently to germany if you like, you just have to desert the syrian army.
sorry, link is in german.

If by the end of the year not half of the syrian army has moved to germany, they'll offer a car and a flatscreen tv on top, I guess.

Posted by: radiator | Feb 8, 2018 2:46:41 PM | 77

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