Moon of Alabama Brecht quote

Monthly Archives

August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
August 19, 2019

Syria - Army Cuts Off Khan Shaykhun - Russia Bombs Turkish Reinforcement

This is an update to last weeks post Syria - Frontline Breach Opens Door To A Deep Battle For Idlib.

Today the Syrian army gained fire control over the M5 highway north of Khan Shaykhun.


Map by Peto Lucem - bigger

The jihadists in the soon closed cauldron south of that point are now cut off from road bound resupplies.

For the last few nights reinforcements from north Idleb tried to reach Khan Shaykhun. The Syrian and Russian airforce prevented them (vid) from getting there.

Cont. reading: Syria - Army Cuts Off Khan Shaykhun - Russia Bombs Turkish Reinforcement

Posted by b at 18:24 UTC | Comments (69)

Which Hong Kong Protest Size Estimate is Right?

The New York Times further promotes the protests in Hong Kong by quoting an extravagant crowd size estimate of yesterday's march.

Hong Kong Protesters Defy Police Ban in Show of Strength After Tumult

A sea of Hong Kong protesters marched through the dense city center in the pouring rain on Sunday, defying a police ban, in a vivid display of the movement’s continuing strength after more than two months of demonstrations, days of ugly violence and increasingly vehement warnings from the Chinese government.

People began assembling in the early afternoon in Victoria Park, the starting point of huge peaceful marches in June that were joined by hundreds of thousands of protesters.
...
By midafternoon, the park had filled with tens of thousands of people, and the demonstrators began to spill into nearby roads.
...
Organizers estimated at least 1.7 million people had turned out — nearly one in four of the total population of more than seven million — making it the second-largest march of the movement, after a protest by nearly two million on June 16.

The Hong Kong police released a far lower crowd estimate, saying there were 128,000 protesters in Victoria Park during the peak period.

So what is it? 128,000 or the 13 times bigger 1.7 million? With the mood set in the first paragraphs the Times is clearly promoting the larger estimate.

But that estimate is definitely false. (As was my own early estimate of 15-20,000 based on early pictures of the event.) It is impossible that 1.7 million people took part in the gathering and march. There is no way that the 1.7 million people would physically fit in or near the protest venue.

This is well known. On Saturday the Wall Street Journal (quoted here) wrote:

Cont. reading: Which Hong Kong Protest Size Estimate is Right?

Posted by b at 17:11 UTC | Comments (76)

August 18, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2019-48

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

The violence led to a backlash. Today was another pre-approved protest attended by less people than previous such assemblies. It ended peacefully. There were only few policeman around. A man from mainland China who passed by the protest was harassed. The black block now waits for the peaceful protesters to leave to cause trouble.

Turkey sent 'rebels' from the occupied Afrin to help the Jihadists in Khan Shaykhun. The Russian or Syrian airforce bombed some who were on their way. After repelling a counterattack the Syrian army operation continues as foreseen.

Is the war in Syria a civil war? The numbers answer that question.

Emmanuel @EmmanuelGMay - 12:17 UTC · Aug 18, 2019

#Syria / July 2019: based on #SOHR victims' statistic, 96% of #SAA + allies fighters are Syrians. For Jihadists / "opposition" fighters, foreigners are clearly the majority (60% - 40%)



bigger - bigger - source data

The borg sayz: "There is nothing to see here. Please move on."

Other issues:

737 Max: The Wall Street Journal produced a detailed piece on how MCAS came to be:

Cont. reading: The MoA Week In Review - OT 2019-48

Posted by b at 14:16 UTC | Comments (176)

August 17, 2019

Long Range Attack On Saudi Oil Field Ends War On Yemen

Today Saudi Arabia finally lost the war on Yemen. It has no defenses against new weapons the Houthis in Yemen acquired. These weapons threaten the Saudis economic lifelines. This today was the decisive attack:

Drones launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels attacked a massive oil and gas field deep inside Saudi Arabia’s sprawling desert on Saturday, causing what the kingdom described as a “limited fire” in the second such recent attack on its crucial energy industry.
...
The Saudi acknowledgement of the attack came hours after Yahia Sarie, a military spokesman for the Houthis, issued a video statement claiming the rebels launched 10 bomb-laden drones targeting the field in their “biggest-ever” operation. He threatened more attacks would be coming.
New drones and missiles displayed in July 2019 by Yemen’s Houthi-allied armed forces

bigger

Today's attack is a check mate move against the Saudis. Shaybah is some 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) from Houthi-controlled territory. There are many more important economic targets within that range:

The field’s distance from rebel-held territory in Yemen demonstrates the range of the Houthis’ drones. U.N. investigators say the Houthis’ new UAV-X drone, found in recent months during the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen, likely has a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (930 miles). That puts Saudi oil fields, an under-construction Emirati nuclear power plant and Dubai’s busy international airport within their range.

Unlike sophisticated drones that use satellites to allow pilots to remotely fly them, analysts believe Houthi drones are likely programmed to strike a specific latitude and longitude and cannot be controlled once out of radio range. The Houthis have used drones, which can be difficult to track by radar, to attack Saudi Patriot missile batteries, as well as enemy troops.

The attack conclusively demonstrates that the most important assets of the Saudis are now under threat. This economic threat comes on top of a seven percent budget deficit the IMF predicts for Saudi Arabia. Further Saudi bombing against the Houthi will now have very significant additional cost that might even endanger the viability of the Saudi state. The Houthi have clown prince Mohammad bin Salman by the balls and can squeeze those at will.

Cont. reading: Long Range Attack On Saudi Oil Field Ends War On Yemen

Posted by b at 20:16 UTC | Comments (175)

August 16, 2019

Epstein Suicided - Thread 2

There are nearly 550 comments on the Epstein Suicided thread. A second one is thus justified.

As I did not follow the development of that case as diligently as some commentators here I have, for now, little to add.

The British Daily Mail reported that Epstein had this painting in his New York mansion.


bigger

One wonders if Bill and/or Hillary knew about it.

Please use this thread for the continuing discussion of the Epstein issue.

Posted by b at 16:59 UTC | Comments (331)

August 15, 2019

Syria - Frontline Breach Opens Door To A Deep Battle For Idlib

During the last months the Syrian government made some progress in the norther part of Hama governorate on the border to the jihadi held Idlib governorate. The breach of the jihadi defense lines must now be used to develop a larger campaign.

The maps show the progress between May 15 2019 and today (Red - government control; Green - jihadi control).

North Hama Front - May 15 2019

via LiveUAmap - bigger

North Hama Front - August 15 2019

via LiveUAmap - bigger

The current operation is a pincer movement on the western and eastern side of Khan Shaykhun. It is designed to envelope the jihadi held towns Al Lataminah, Kafr Zayta, Khan Shaykhun and Morek.

Cont. reading: Syria - Frontline Breach Opens Door To A Deep Battle For Idlib

Posted by b at 17:28 UTC | Comments (81)

August 14, 2019

Violent Protests In Hong Kong Reach Their Last Stage

The riots in Hong Kong are about to end.

The protests, as originally started in June, were against a law that would have allowed criminal extraditions to Taiwan, Macao and mainland China. The law was retracted and the large protests have since died down. What is left are a few thousand students who, as advertised in a New York Times op-ed, intentionally seek to provoke the police with "marginal violence":

Such actions are a way to make noise and gain attention. And if they prompt the police to respond with unnecessary force, as happened on June 12, then the public will feel disapproval and disgust for the authorities. The protesters should thoughtfully escalate nonviolence, maybe even resort to mild force, to push the government to the edge. That was the goal of many people who surrounded and barricaded police headquarters for hours on June 21.

The protesters now use the same violent methods that were used in the Maidan protests in the Ukraine. The U.S. seems to hope that China will intervene and create a second Tianamen scene. That U.S. color revolution attempt failed but was an excellent instrument to demonize China. A repeat in Hong Kong would allow the U.S. to declare a "clash of civilization" and increase 'western' hostility against China. But while China is prepared to intervene it is unlikely to do the U.S. that favor. Its government expressed confidence that the local authorities will be able to handle the issue.

There are rumors that some Hong Kong oligarchs were originally behind the protests to prevent their extradition for shady deals they made in China. There may be some truth to that. China's president Xi Jingpin is waging a fierce campaign against corruption and Hong Kong is a target rich environment for fighting that crime.

The former British colony is ruled by a handful of oligarchs who have monopolies in the housing, electricity, trade and transport markets:

The book to read is Land and the Ruling Class in Hong Kong (2010) by Alice Poon, which explains how the lack of competition law created outrageous wealth for the tycoons. It’s a complex subject but the key point is that in Hong Kong all land is leasehold and ultimately owned by the government, which uses it as a means of raising revenue. This goes back to the days of empire when British policy required colonies to be self-funding. The system kept taxes down and attracted business – but one side-effect was that it gave the government an interest in rationing land to keep it expensive. That didn’t matter much when the local economy comprised a few traders but, in the modern technological world of 2012, it puts the government at odds with every person and business wanting affordable space. Indeed, it induces the government to distort and damage the economy, and indeed society.

This system paved the way for a handful of Hong Kong families to become unimaginably wealthy by getting their hands on cheap land back in the days before the city started to boom.

Rents and apartment prices in Hong Kong are high. People from the mainland who buy up apartments with probably illegally gained money only increase the scarcity. This is one reason why the Cantonese speaking Hong Kong protesters spray slurs against the Mandarin speaking people from the mainland. The people in Hong Kong also grieve over their declining importance. Hong Kong lost its once important economical position. In 1993 Hong Kong's share of China's GDP was 27%. It is now less than a tenths of that and the city is now more or less irrelevant to mainland China.

Democracy in Hong Kong is restricted to further the interests of the oligarchs:

Cont. reading: Violent Protests In Hong Kong Reach Their Last Stage

Posted by b at 15:14 UTC | Comments (249)

August 13, 2019

The Man Who Weaponizes And Loses Everything

Many news outlets documented that Putin's Russia weaponizes everything, including humor, health information, giant squids, robotic cockroaches, tedium and postmodernism.

At the same time these outlets tell us that Putin is losing many things, or already lost them.

Which bears asking: Is there a causality between weaponizing and losing stuff?

Cont. reading: The Man Who Weaponizes And Loses Everything

Posted by b at 12:46 UTC | Comments (165)

August 11, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2019-47

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Related: Inside Kashmir, Cut Off From the World: ‘A Living Hell’ of Anger and Fear - NYT

Imran Khan @ImranKhanPTI - 9:58 AM · Aug 11, 2019

The curfew, crackdown & impending genocide of Kashmiris in IOK is unfolding exactly acc to RSS ideology inspired by Nazi ideology. Attempt is to change demography of Kashmir through ethnic cleansing. Question is: Will the world watch & appease as they did Hitler at Munich?
I am afraid this RSS ideology of Hindu Supremacy, like the Nazi Aryan Supremacy, will not stop in IOK; instead it will lead to suppression of Muslims in India & eventually lead to targeting of Pakistan. The Hindu Supremacists version of Hitler's Lebensraum.

Related:
Kim Jong Un fired off another new missiles type: North Korea tests 'short-range ballistic missiles' - BBC

Related:

Daily Mail: >Jeffrey Epstein told prison guards and fellow inmates that he believed someone had tried to kill him in the weeks before his death, a source has revealed to DailyMail.com

The insider, who had seen the disgraced financier on several occasions during his incarceration at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, also claims that the normally reserved Epstein seemed to be in good spirits.<

Whitney Webb wrote a well researched series on Epstein for MintPress News:

NY Post: >Kasman said he heard US Attorney General William Barr personally made a hush-hush trip to the [Metropolitan Correctional Center] two weeks ago, about the time Epstein was found in his cell with bruises around his neck.

“When does that happen?” he asked. “The attorney general never visits jails. Something’s not right there.”<

---
Other issues:

Cont. reading: The MoA Week In Review - OT 2019-47

Posted by b at 17:45 UTC | Comments (286)

August 10, 2019

Epstein Suicided

Unsurprisingly Jeffrey Epstein was found dead, presumably by suicide, as that is what 'officials' claim:

Jailed multimillionaire financier and accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein has died by suicide, according to two law enforcement sources.

He was taken from New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center on Saturday morning in cardiac arrest and died at an area hospital, the sources told CNN.
...
Just weeks ago, Epstein was placed on a suicide watch after he was found July 23 in his Manhattan jail cell with marks on his neck, a law enforcement source and a source familiar with the incident told CNN at the time.

Just yesterday a court released the first 2,000 pages of a civil case against Epstein's madame, Ghislaine Maxwell:

The documents, the largest cache to be released in the 13 years since Epstein’s case began, offer brutal details about Epstein’s trafficking of teenage girls in Palm Beach, New York and overseas — as well as Maxwell’s obsessive and often abusive quest to provide him with new girls over a span of years in the early to mid 2000s.
...
[Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre], who turned 36 on Friday, names a number of other men in politics, academia and business that she says she was directed to have sex with. In a 2017 interview with the Miami Herald, Giuffre said that Epstein wanted her to please various influential people then so that he could learn about their sexual peccadilloes and use them as leverage if he needed to.

While there’s no direct evidence contained in the court record substantiating her accounts with prominent men, Giuffre did provide testimony and evidence to corroborate her claims of exploitation at the hands of Epstein and Maxwell through photographs, plane logs and even a medical record from Presbyterian Hospital in New York where Giuffre was taken by Epstein after a particularly abusive sex episode.
...
Some of the testimony released Friday is difficult to read, as when one 15-year-old Swedish girl, shaking and crying in fear, told a butler who worked for two of Epstein’s closest friends that she had been taken to Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean and ordered to have sex with him and others. The butler, in a sworn statement, said the girl, visibly traumatized, told him that Epstein and Maxwell had physically threatened to harm her and seized her passport to keep her on the island, according to the butler’s statement.

The released court papers can be found via Courthousenews.

Some of those influential people who Epstein, or the organization behind him, blackmailed, will be quite happy that he is gone. They will now try to bury the rest of the case. Giuffre and other witnesses better watch their backs.

Posted by b at 13:50 UTC | Comments (547)