Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 19, 2012

Open Thread 2012-07

As I am currently on a family visit to greet my new born niece and to help my brother with some computer problems I am too busy to write up something meaningful. Please use this post as an open thread.

Posted by b on March 19, 2012 at 18:12 UTC | Permalink

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Carl Sagan - The Humans .

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 19 2012 18:42 utc | 1

Carl Sagan's ex-student Eric Chaisson is doing remarkable work on the evolution of complexity in the universe at all levels of time and scale. His use of "free energy rate density" as a metric indicator of complexity has many applications for the understanding of the present global dynamics.

A good start is with his "Complexity: An Energetics Agenda", look up

Posted by: JohnE | Mar 19 2012 19:05 utc | 2

In case you are interested in the massacre yesterday in front of a Jewish school in Toulouse, with five deaths, including several children, Sarko is making a a great hullabaloo. It will get into world media. Jews are being killed, they should be afraid.

What is not being said very much is that the police have decided that it was the same person who shot three French soldiers some days earlier. Two out of three of those soldiers were Muslims. So we're talking about a right-wing extremist.

We'll see whether any attention is paid to the deaths of the Muslims, but I doubt it.

Posted by: alexno | Mar 19 2012 20:34 utc | 3

alex, do you have links for that earlier story?

Posted by: scottindallas | Mar 19 2012 20:35 utc | 4

Toulouse school shooting: same gun was used in killing of soldiers

Posted by: hans | Mar 19 2012 20:41 utc | 5!

a song I like

Posted by: Susan | Mar 19 2012 21:14 utc | 6

b, two days without a post - I thought you were on to something really big!

have a nice time with your loved ones

Posted by: claudio | Mar 19 2012 21:15 utc | 7

Mabrouk for your newborn niece! Family first, always...

Posted by: Sophia | Mar 19 2012 21:43 utc | 8

la terreur à toulouse est clairement le même caractère a que du massacre de la Norvège, il est l'œuvre d'un néo nazi , il ya déjà suffisamment d'informations sur cela, mais la presse jouent un rôle honteux comme ils le faisaient en Norvège, ce qui implique un caractère de islamiste quand il n'ya absolument aucune preuve.

l'extrême droite sont une menace non seulement en France mais aussi dans le reste de l'Europe

the terror in toulouse is clearly the same character a that of the massacre in norway

it is the work of a neo nazi, there is already sufficient information on this but the press are playing a shameful role as they did in norway, of implying a character islamist when there is absolutely no proof of that

the extreme right are a threat not only in france but also in the rest of europe

Posted by: remembererringgiap | Mar 19 2012 22:16 utc | 9

mub'rak b

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 19 2012 22:22 utc | 10

Congrats...happy Nowruz

Posted by: Rift | Mar 19 2012 22:26 utc | 11

rgiap @ 9

implying a character islamist when there is absolutely no proof of that

Indeed, In Norway maybe it was a islamist, but in France, as is said in previous post, the same guy have been killing muslim and black military/police men, as well as jews. So a muslim killer is contradicted. But this is a lie the French media can't get away with in the long run.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 19 2012 22:28 utc | 12

Unveilling iniquity mysteries...good job to combat the golden age of grotesque insanity, please help us to uncover the rest of "mysteries"...tky all of you...Take care

Posted by: Rift | Mar 19 2012 22:38 utc | 13

I see now, there was reffered to different Norwegian incidents. There was a few years ago a muslim guy shooting at the Israeli embassy in Oslo with a gun.. and there was the case of a christian-fundamentalist/zionist who blew up the government-admin-building and shot dead 76 youth from the governing Arbeiderparti youth-organisation.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 19 2012 22:38 utc | 14

Pentagon says it has no records of bin Laden's death; CIA hasn't answered open records request

WASHINGTON - The hunt for Osama bin Laden took nearly a decade. It could take even longer to uncover U.S. government emails, planning reports, photographs and more that would shed light on how an elite team of Navy SEALs killed the world's most wanted terrorist.

Ten months after that electrifying covert mission, an administration that has pledged to be the most transparent in American history is refusing to release documents about it under the Freedom of Information Act. The records could provide insights into how bin Laden died, how the U.S. verified his identity and how it decided to bury him at sea, as well as photographs taken during and after the May 2011 raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

moar at da link kiddo's

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 19 2012 22:52 utc | 15

The following lengthy post is critizable for not have enough references to back up the things it's saying. I welcome anybody to challenge any of it on factual grounds.

In Syria free and fair parliamentary elections are going to take place on 7 May 2012 -- free and fair except for a ban on religious and tribal parties. Here are twenty factual grounds for expecting the party of the Assad regime to be the clear winner in the elections. The twenty items are listed in no particular order.

(1) Relative to the country's whole population, the number of individuals who accepted the invitation to join anti-regime demonstrations this past year was "small" (hard number unavailable; Bashar Assad has said he accepts an estimate of 200,000).

(2) Changes to the Constitution were approved in a referendum on 26 Feb 2012. The Syrian dissidents voiced no complaints about any of the provisions of the new Constitution. Today there is no major disagreement between the dissidents and the government on the structure of the institutions of the State. On social and economic policies, the major disagreements between dissidents and the government are restricted to sundry wings of the dissidents, and not the dissidents as a whole, nor even any bare majority of the dissidents. These sundry wings are known to have only small and slim political support in Syria. The dissidents as a whole, or even any bare majority of them, do not have a program for change beyond what the Assad regime itself is implementing. In other words, the protest movement has not created an alternative policy agenda or substantive forward vision that throws the regime on the defensive in the upcoming election.

(3) The protesters were predominantly from the poorly educated working class. Most of them did not have an agenda beyond wanting Bashar Al-Assad to leave, and then have elections, and get a breath of fresh air in the country of an unspecified kind. The great majority of the poorly educated working class did not join with them in the anti-regime protests. All those who did not protest are likely to follow the lead of the educated classes in the upcoming elections. The better-educated will be creating and propagating most of the discourse of the elections contest.

(4) The more educated classes did not join the anti-regime protests in Syria. Every winning political party in every country needs substantial support from the more educated classes. In Syria right now there is only one party that has such support in visible quantity, Assad's party. To illustrate, one of the key reasons why the Muslim Brotherhood party is much stronger in Egypt than in Syria is that it has attracted considerable support in the more educated classes in Egypt. Another reason is that the Muslim Brotherhood is longstandingly illegal in Syria and the law has been vigorously enforced. During 2011 the Syrian educated classes had an opportunity to come out and complain about the latter, and they didn't take it up.

(5) The various Syrian opposition parties that will be competing in the elections are very weak today, they are only being born, their representatives are barely known or entirely unknown to the Syrian public, and they are not attracting much interest today from the more educated classes (nor from the less educated classes). The don't have a route by which they can make themselves a whole lot stronger by election day. Under the new Political Parties Law enacted in August 2011, eight new political parties have recently registered themselves and will be competing in the elections, but the bulk of the Syrian population including the better educated population don't even know the mere names of any of those new parties, never mind what their political platforms are. They are generating very little chatter; the population is exhibiting very little interest in alternative political parties at the moment. Another point is that the Syrian Parliament has contained for many years, in addition to the Baath Party majority, a variety of independents and government critics, and also has some organized opposition parties, yet year after year they've failed to win much popular following.

(6) Al-Safira city is located 30 kilometers southeast of Aleppo city. Al-Bab city is 40 kilometers northeast of Aleppo city. Manbij city is 80 kilometers northeast of Aleppo city. Those three cities each ranks among the top 15 largest cities in Syria (that's roughly speaking as some other cities are definable in more than one way; ). Those three plus Aleppo city (all overwhelmingly Sunni in religion, btw) have had only very small, and only very few, anti-regime demonstrations during this past ten months. Opposition to the regime in that part of the country has been tiny. Aleppo province is Syria's most populous province. A general lack of protests, with unimpressive exceptions, was also a fact on the ground in Damascus City, Latakia, Tartous, Sweida and Raqqa provinces. Those regional strengths on their own can be enough for the regime to win a nationwide majority, even if you're not yet agreeing with a forecast of the regime winning almost everywhere.

(7) The regime makes it its business to try to be in touch with the pulse of Syrian popular sentiment. It succeeds at that effort when the popular sentiment is pretty obvious. The regime in policymaking is non-doctrinaire, and is responsive to popular sentiment. Needless to say this helps it politically.

(8) The regime's core agenda, modernization, is supported by almost all.

(9) The attempt to unconstitutionally overthrow the regime has discredited swathes of dissidents in the eyes of many Syrians. It has increased political support for the regime among previously neutral people who strongly desire civil process and no violence. The resort to arms by a minority of the protesters backfired on the anti-regime protest movement as a whole. It moved the daily news cycles inside Syria away from the peaceful demands for political change and onto the fatalities and injuries of the State's security personnel. Meanwhile the organizers of the peaceful rebels downplayed or pretended to ignore the serious violence exercised by some of their supporters. The organizers were not vigourous enough in their calls for "peaceful, peaceful". This estranged them to mainstream Syrian public opinion. Ongoing barbarous violence on the behalf of the ouster of the regime has weakened the democratic electability of every anti-regime faction including the factions that disavow violence. Most Syrians welcome the political reforms that the rebels originally advocated for, but they don't want the rebels. In the eyes of these people now, the regime is the champion of the political reforms.

(10) Syrians are nationalistic and the Assad regime has got a bone-crunchingly strong grip over how the nation and nationalism is defined. The definition of the nation that the Syrians are nationalistic about is the one developed and nurtured by the regime over decades. It is unchallenged and unchallengeable, and people are rallying around it at this time of stress. Nationalism sells well in national elections and no challenger can outdo the regime in selling nationalism.

(11) Connected to the previous two points, but a little distinct from them, a section of Syrians have sentiment today that will be voting not so much for Assad's party as for national unity. A vote against Assad's party would be a vote for factionalism, discord, and recrimination, which they don't want. For decades the Assad party has been emphasizing the value of a spirit of national unity. (Here is an example at a large pro-Assad rally in year 1998 (or 1999) where you can see a big sign over the stage that says "God Bless You O Assad. Protect the One Unity." ). Every Syrian adult is very well acquainted with the national unity theme.

(12) The political reception in Syria of the foreign trade sanctions that have been imposed by Europeans, Americans, Turks and Arabs is such that all winning parties will decry the trade sanctions in the election campaign. The trade sanctions are an attack on the economy and the people of the country at large (especially on the middle class). In countries around the world people have responded by "rallying around the flag" under comparable circumstances. In Syria the regime owns that flag. The effect of the sanctions on Syrian spirit is that they strengthen patriotism and increase national unity. The political beneficiary of this is the regime.

(13) Under the Political Parties Law, parties with a purely local basis are banned; parties must be either national or making realistic efforts to be national. Under the Elections Law, "elections campaigns should not include any... ethnic or tribal indications". Taken together those two laws ban Kurdish identity parties and parties based on ancient tribal allegiance. In the absence of those bans those parties might conceivably have won a few parliament seats in the eastern provinces of the country and joined an opposition coalition.

(14) No representatives of agricultural or rural interests have been talking up an alternative to the Assad regime. Right now there exists no voice for the rural vote, as such, in competition with the regime's.

(15) The great majority of the people of Syria get the great majority of their political news and information about their country from information outlets that are based in their country. All of the widely circulating information outlets based in Syria are pro-regime. There isn't a single not-pro-regime information outlet based in Syria that gets even moderately wide circulation. Not-pro-regime and anti-regime information outlets are not illegal. Such outlets have to comply with certain rules which they dislike, especially the rule that defamatory stories have to be supported by high-quality verifiable evidence. The fact that rules-compliant not-pro-regime or anti-regime media outlets don't have significant market share is an indicator of the strength of the regime's support. The track record in the Arabic countries of the Middle East over the past 15 years shows that barriers to new entrants are not high in Arabic media markets (including Syria). If a biggish market window for opposition media hypothetically existed for Syria, we would've seen it being filled by now, and we would've seen it being filled before this past year. During this past year, as part of the comprehensive reform program, the government enacted additional liberalization of the legal framework regulating the information media. The text of the new law in Arabic is at . The law is basically the same as in any Western country in principles and in implementation. But it is worth mentioning that (a) Allegations of illegal and immoral behaviour of government officers (or of anyone) cannot be aired in the news media unless supported by very high quality evidence. Instead, such allegations must be brought to the public prosecutors. (b) Advocacy of violent rebellion is illegal. Advocacy of peaceful protest is legal. (c) All issues of public policy can be freely and openly debated in all media and all forums, by law. To repeat, there is no widely circulating not-pro-regime media outlet operating under these rules in Syria today.

(16) Practically everybody in Syria knows that the anti-regime crowd has been lying about security forces atrocities against protesters; and that the regime has been telling the truth. Foreigners don't know it, since they don't watch Syrian TV, but foreigners are irrelevant since they won't be voting. The Syrian State-controlled TV news puts out good quality products for the most part, which enjoy good credibility with the Syrian public, and have good market penetration. Syrians have every reason to believe, and do believe, that the message of the dissidents has been riddled with deceit during this past ten months. The dissidents lost the media war in Syria!!! But throughout the past ten months the dissidents won the media war in most foreign media markets. The people in Syria have uncensored access to the entire Internet. (A small number of websites are nominally banned but it's easy for anyone to get around the ban if they want to). The percentage of Syrian households with an Internet connection is still rather low, but the majority of households have satellite TV access to innumerable Arabic-language TV stations based outside Syria. All those foreign media outlets have been reporting week after week that the Syrian security forces have been committing atrocities against protesters. The Syrian government has been denying it. The alleged atrocities are contrary to well-defined government policy, and the government says as well that the security forces have been conducting their operations with good discipline in practice with rare exceptions. Now, the people of Syria have been having to make a decision throughout the past year, and every week, about who is telling the truth about this. And they've decided overwhelmingly that the government is telling the truth. Until the foreign news media will cut out their bigotry -- until they will decide to commit themselves to objectivity and verifiability -- anyone who believes their reports is a fool. The people of Syria, who know their country and their government better than the foreigners do, have proved themselves to be not fools.

(17) The Trades Unions are all pro-regime. The local and national Chambers of Commerce and Industry are all pro-regime also. Therefore on debatable issues related to the economy, in the election campaign, we'll have the captains of industry and commerce, and the heads of the trades unions, and the ministers of the government, all reading out of the same prayer book. Meanwhile the Syrian opposition parties have only slim experience in economic development and none has presented economic policy programs as of yet. So it's hard to see how the regime's party could get beaten on economic issues.

(18) The Assad regime represents and acts on behalf of the Syrian society's Establishment. The regime has partly created the Establishment and the Establishment has partly created the regime. The country is dominated by a sociologically broad Establishment that covers all geographic parts of the country, nearly all religious groups, all age groups, all professional occupations, all big private enterprises, and all components of the State. It controls the trade unions, the mass media, the legal system, the education sector, the university departments, the religious endowments establishment, the private-sector civic organizations, and the municipal councils of every city, town and county in the country. The Assad government is the Establishment’s leadership, and there is no sign and no prospect of emergence of an alternative leadership within the Establishment. The Establishment is firmly unified in opposition to the uprising. The Establishment has had essentially only one political party for decades and today it shows no inclination towards internal divisiveness such as would create two or more parties within the framework of one ruling Establishment (such as the Western countries have). Because the Establishment remains well unified and supports the Assad party, the parliamentary election campaign will consist of sundry semi-anonymous and semi-disreputable dissident parties campaigning against the Establishment's party. Accepting this perspective on the political landscape, one must expect the Establishment's party to win by a very comfortable margin. I do not see how the overall society can vote in significant numbers for any anti-Establishment agenda. And in fact there isn't any visible anti-Establshment agenda: the dissidents agenda is the overthrow of the Establishment's governing party, but they are not putting forth any agenda for what they would replace it with.

(19) This past year, the pro-regime pop songs outnumbered the anti-regime pop songs by a factor of roughly ten-to-one or twenty-to-one, and nearly all of the more well-known popular singers who live in Syria have said publicly that they support President Assad and the reforms the Assad regime is introducing.

(20) Most of the Sunni religiously conservative classes did not join the anti-regime demonstrations in year 2011. Neither did the clergy. Most of the Sunni clerical leadership went on record as anti-tumult and pro-civil-process. The Sunni grand mufti Ahmad Hassoun and the Damascus-based Sunni religion professor Ramadan Al-Bouti have been prominently and consistently advocating for the regime's reform program. There are virtually no prominent Syrian Sunni clerics advocating for an overthrow of the regime. Most of the people who attended the mosque on Friday this past year did not attend an anti-regime demonstration afterwards, not even if a demonstration was conveniently on offer to them at the doorstep. The neighborhoods in Damascus city with a high concentration of religiously conservative people had only small, and few, demonstrations over the last ten months. One of the Assad regime's core constituencies is people who are less religious or who have a more progressive, less doctrinaire, take on religion (Sunni or other). So it is a very big and important achievement that the regime has been able to maintain its support among most of the religiously conservative. Or at least the religious conservatives consciously refused the opportunity to rebel when presented with it this past year. Perhaps many of them may vote for another party in the elections. But since most of them don't express alienation against the regime, you shouldn't expect them to vote en masse against the regime. Furthermore the anti-regime protesters out on the streets have been largely and essentially free of sectarian slogans and sectarian imagery for ten months, despite the fact that the great bulk of the protesters have been poorly educated Sunnis. That's another sign that a quasi-religious or quasi-sectarian Sunni political party does not attract broad political support from Sunni hearts and minds. The regime's recent comprehensive reform of the institutions of State includes a renewed legal ban on religious political parties. Bashar Assad said in December 2011 "no movement that acts under religious slogans and aims to split the Syrian society can hope for legalization." Syria's Sunni Grand Mufti, Ahmad Hassoun, has said that this renewed ban on religious political parties is "harmless to religion". Not much disagreement about that can be found among Syria's Sunnis, neither among the Establishment Sunnis nor among the protesters on the streets. The social Establishment in Syria of all sects -- and in particular the bulk of the better educated Sunnis -- do not want to support sectarian politics; they have consciously opted to support governmental secularism as the best framework for harmony among the sects. The type of Sunnis in Syria with the sort of opinion that could create sectarianism are a disreputable minority without realistic hope of changing the minds of the rest. Intermittent concrete examples of sectarian sentiment keep popping up as popular news stories but they aren't stories about fundamentals. Looking at fundamentals, the most important fundamental is that the religious sects, as such, are not in disagreement over any important policy question, at all. You can't have sectarian cleavage in the absence of an associated cleavage over one or more important policy questions. Especially not when sectarian parties are banned. The anti-regime protesters have been disproportionately Sunni, almost exclusively Sunni, but at the same time the great majority of Sunnis have not been anti-regime this past year in their observable behaviour. Syria's Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa said in July 2011 that Syria is "immune to sectarianism". President Bashar Al-Assad said in December 2011 that in year 2011 "a sectarian crisis was never present in Syria.... except in some parts of Homs". The key reason that Syria is immune to sectarianism is that Syrian society is dominated by an Establishment that is predominantly Sunni, in both the government and private sectors, and the Establishment Sunnis do not want to support sectarian politics or Sunni chauvinism -- to their great credit. The great majority of the government cabinet ministers, provincial governors, chairpersons of municipal councils, and other visible public figures of the regime are Sunni in their religion. The religious composition of the Syrian Baath Party is at least 80 percent Sunni. Roughly the same is true among the people who manage the larger private enterprises, the trade unions, the legal system, the universities, etc. The religious composition of the country as a whole is 75 percent Sunni. Nothing important can happen or be sustained in Syria if most Sunnis object to it. It is a fact that people who are Sunni in their religion are the main plank of the regime's support.

(21: bonus item) Some opposition parties allege the regime is guilty of corruption. When an opposition party repeatedly says the government is corrupt, this may strengthen the opposition's public image because it's implicitly repeating "we are not corrupt ourselves". However, when the evidence of corruption is disputable, experience in other countries shows that raising corruption allegations ultimately results in failure for the opposition. Corruption means violation of law. If the accusations are true, yet haven't been prosecuted in the courts, the legal system is corrupt as well. It's hard for a voter to be convinced that the prosecutors and other law enforcement people are not earnestly trying to do their jobs. It is hard to believe the government publicly declares the laws are righteous while secretly violating them, with numbers of government workers involved in coverups, when reliable evidence of the corruption is not available and the people making the accusations have ulterior motives, dubious credibility, and no hard evidence. The government and its defenders will say the rival party's accusations are scurrilous falsehoods. Anybody who disseminates scurrilous falsehoods is stupid and untrustworthy if not a liar. Thus a challenger trying to play "the corruption card" against an incumbent is making a bad move because the voters who don't already believe the incumbent's personnel are rife with corruption won't have their minds changed by the electioneering (assuming the evidence of corruption is disputable) and this tends to undermine the perceived trustworthiness of the challenger, not the incumbent; and meanwhile the voters who already do believe the incumbent's personnel are rife with corruption will be already very disinclined to vote for the incumbent and what they would like to hear are other reasons to vote for the challenger.

(22: bonus item) In February 2012 some dissident political organizations declared their intention to not compete in the elections, and they called on their supporters to not vote. That removes some unknown number of anti-regime voters from the contest.

(23: bonus item) Syria last had parliamentary elections in April 2007. The dissidents had called for a boycott. How did that boycott go? (1) The number of entrants to the contest at the deadline for applications was 9,770, of whom 2,293 were approved to enter the contest, and all those entrants were competing over just 250 seats in parliament; and (2) the official voter turnout was 56 percent. The counting of the votes is done by the government. Some dissidents claimed that the elections results were falsified. But they had no way to show why their accusation deserved to be given any credence. A new Elections Law was enacted in Syria in August 2011. It applies to the parliamentary elections and also to municipal or local council elections. The new law gives the representatives of each political candidate the power to oversee the vote counting in his/her district. Objections or allegations of improper counting raised by these overseers are referred to panels of law judges. The panels of law judges have been created in each Syrian province for the sole purpose of supervising the elections. The panels include altogether dozens of law judges. Until 2011 the vote counting was under the supervision of the Ministry of the Interior. The 2011 Elections Law totally transferred the supervision to the judicial panels (together with the candidates own overseers). The dozens of law judges on the panels are ordinary decent human beings who believe in honesty, the rule of law, and respect for the Will of the People of Syria. Municipal or Local Council elections were held in Syria on 12 Dec 2011 in accordance with the new law. Many objections were raised by the candidates in practice in that election. The final results weren’t announced until 22 Dec 2011 due to adjudicating objections and doing recounts. The official turnout was 41% in the local council elections on 12 Dec 2011. The dissidents had called for a boycott of that election. I accept the 41% figure as true and correct because so many interested people were overseeing the process at the micro local level. On 12 Dec 2011 there were 42,889 candidates competing for 17,629 seats (including a sizeable number of uncontested seats where no one had launched a contest against a returning incumbent), spread across 1,355 local councils and other local administrative entities. , , .

Posted by: Parviziyi | Mar 20 2012 0:49 utc | 16

Here's a must-see lampoon of John Corzine which is entitled "President & Strangelove Corzine Damage Control":

And if memory serves me right, it was the Great George Orwell who said something about us all being equal, but some of us are more equal than others.

Posted by: Cynthia | Mar 20 2012 0:49 utc | 17

If nobody is gonna post this....what do you all think?

Posted by: Base | Mar 20 2012 1:02 utc | 18

super congrats uncle b. take a well deserved break.

happy face

Posted by: annie | Mar 20 2012 1:36 utc | 19

Parviziyi @ 16

Thanks for a thorough and informative post. god job this information gets out. Even if it seem the US-led call to the UN for military intervention to overthrow the Assad government has failed, as such a UN-resolution would have to be effectuated before the 7. may election.

Base @ 18
This looks sketchy..

Furthermore, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the crew of Iman consists solely of "civilian personnel, which is being guarded." That may or may not be the case, but has not stopped ABC from blasting, minutes ago, a headline that "Russian anti-terror troops arrive in Syria" a development that a "United Nations Security Council source told ABC News was "a bomb" certain to have serious repercussions." Which begs the question: is everyone now dead set on having war in Syria, and by proxy, Iran?

Hopefully, Benjamin Netanjahu won't feel the urge to set off WWIII

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 20 2012 1:39 utc | 20

If this turns out to be true, Base@18, we should all be asking whether the Russians will act as a deterrent to western aggression, or will they cut a deal with the US and its allies and then split the spoils with them?

Posted by: Cynthia | Mar 20 2012 1:41 utc | 21

On the evening local news, Ray Kelly announced there would be increased police presence around synagogues and other places identified with Jews, because if there is killing of Jews in France there might soon be killing Jews in NYC.

Of course, he also did not mention that the same shooter* (or, at least, same gun) was used to kill the three French soldiers, two of whom were Muslims.

You can't make this stuff up....

*This was reported on the BBC this morning.

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 20 2012 1:46 utc | 22


Thanks for pointing out to me that the NYPD isn't also increasing its presence around mosques and other places identified with Muslims. This just reaffirms my suspicions that compared to other religious groups, Jews receive a disproportionate amount of police protection whenever they become targets for hate crimes.

Posted by: Cynthia | Mar 20 2012 2:48 utc | 23

So now we post information from the official Syrian mouth-piece SANA!!! This is a govt. owned news service. It specializes in propaganda. It is like posting info from VOA!!!

The only free and fair elections that have been held to date are the ones that have been held in Tunisia and Egypt. And as expected the religious based parties won. Based on that, I would say what I have said all along to my students since before the 2nd Arab Revolt started: Hold free and fair elections anywhere in the the Arab World and religious base parties will win. Here is a brief run-down so far:

1. HAMAS won the free and fair parliamentary elections in the West Bank and Gaza
2. Hizballah won the most votes in the parliamentary elections in Lebanon, though they did not win the most seats due to the sectarian distribution of the seats.
3. In 1992 when free and fair elections were held in Algeria FIS won the most seats. The govt. canceled the election and that lead to a bloody civil war.
4. In Tunisia the election was won by al-nahda Islamic Party
5. In Egypt the election was won the MB and al-Nour Party.

I do not understand how you can have free and fair elections and prevent religious based parties from running. That is not a free and fair election. That is a sham a facade a Potomkin village.

In the Arab World the last area that the authoritarian state did not penetrate was the Mosque so it stands to reason that opposition parties will have a religious coloring.

Posted by: ndahi | Mar 20 2012 7:35 utc | 24

ndahi @ 24

As far as Syria is concerned, I'll take my information from whoever is willing to supply it. Until recently, only pro-rebel information has been available. As long as any truly balanced information isn't available, it's up to each to balance their views with what one can gather from both/each sides.

As far as religious partys, the system of not allowing partys to use sectarian divisions to make up voters minds makes perfect sence. In a secular system, with religious freedom, the only way to make sure all ethnicitys/religions needs are catered to, is to not allow religion to influence power-distribution.
The american/european democratic models aren't perfect, and the sectarian-appealing aspect to american elections are possibly it's biggest flaw.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 20 2012 8:59 utc | 25

Maybe the biggest challenge to world peace these days is, the USA/Israel/UK/France campaign to divide up along sectarian lines other countries, and create divided and dysfunctional states which they can more easily manage and dominate.
With the arab spring, US&I/UK/FR saw an opportunity to use the momentum to crash governments. In the long run, this strategy by the western countries to influence would be very risky, especially to those on the wrong side of the atlantic.
Especially Syria, where Israel saw a possibility of getting to Iran, should try all it can to resist this blatant foreign assault on its souvereignty. Rather, in Syria, the reforms that are underway should be the point to focus the energy on.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 20 2012 9:25 utc | 26

Cynthia @ 23

The leader of the mossaic community in Norway have issued a press-brief too, stating that they are ramping up security... Big surptise, the Israeli-lobby are always making the most of anything that makes it look as if jews need more funding for security, and everything that can be used as a defence for illegal measures in Israel to kick arabs out of the occupied 'security-buffer' territories.
Of course they know this is a single serial-killer, and not some world-wide general threat to jews.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 20 2012 10:19 utc | 27

To be clear, I'm not a rasist, I'm not anti-semitic, I'm not against the jewish religion. I'm only against zionism, and the illegal occupation of property in Palestine. And those who falsely use the jewish religion as a justification for occupying Palestinian land for the Israeli territory. The jewish religion is contrary to stealing land and displacing or killing its inhabitants. The jewish religion even states that jews are forbidden from establishing a national state.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 20 2012 10:32 utc | 28

"those who falsely use the jewish religion as a justification for occupying Palestinian land for the Israeli territory."..alexander@28

Yep, that seems to be the problem for the state of Israel.

Cynthia @ 21: Wondered about that myself. We'll see.

Posted by: ben | Mar 20 2012 13:44 utc | 29

This is either normal or planning for a contingency, say war with Iran.

Contrary to expectations that the modest recent rise in the kingdom’s output was bound for fast-growing Asian markets, preliminary data shows that shipments to the United States have quietly risen 25 percent to the highest level since mid-2008, when the OPEC kingpin was driving up production to knock oil prices off record highs near $150 a barrel.

Read the link in full to see what the other non conspiracy theories are.

So, it's either planning or some other shit like Syrian wars.

Just like extra pizza orders at Langley during war starts.....

Posted by: shanks | Mar 20 2012 14:00 utc | 30

ndahi #24 points out that religious parties have won a big share of the votes in recent years in Egypt, Tunisia, Palestine, and Lebanon, and he forgot to mention Iraq as another case. He predicts the same kind of outcome in Syria in a free and fair election where religious parties were not banned. I have two comments about that.

(1) If the Assad regime were to somehow to collapse, the political and cultural void could indeed be predicted very confidently to be filled to large degree by Islamist parties. Most of the opposition to the regime on the ground in Syria are poorly-educated working-class people who are Sunni in their religion and who draw some moral and political ideas from Islamic teachings, which they've gotten some education on. They have some Islamist ideas and values like the poorly-educated working-classes who voted for Islamist parties in recent elections in Egypt and Tunisia.

(2) But in fact today there is very little political pressure from the people of Syria for an Islamist agenda in politics. For instance, Syria's new Consitution, which recently passed by a referendum, says in its Article 8: "No political activity shall be practiced, nor any political organization formed, on a religious or sectarian basis." How much objecting to that important new clause could be heard from Syrians before or after the referendum? Answer: Practically none. Notably, the Sunni clerical leadership in Syria has no objection. Syria's Sunni Grand Mufti has said it is "harmless to religion". The minority sects had no objection either. The main political organizations who are calling for the downfall of the regime, namely the SNC and the NCC, did not go on record objecting to it either, nor do they advocate for more Islamization of the Syrian State in their political statements in general. Islamist politicians are very thin on the ground in Syria. Read paragraph # (20) at Comment #16 above. Commenter ndahi at #24 thinks the ban on religious parties makes the election "a sham a facade a Potomkin village." But it is a fact that almost nobody in the Syrian political landscape is complaining about this ban on religious parties. Hence you can't call the election a sham.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Mar 20 2012 14:26 utc | 31

It could be that the U.S. is stepping up its refining efforts. For what it's worth the U.S. is now an net exporter of fuel.

Posted by: Sultanist | Mar 20 2012 14:27 utc | 32

The latest from penny. The map is very telling.

Posted by: ben | Mar 20 2012 14:34 utc | 33


Given that the US has reduced itself to being a Christian nation, thanks mostly to the Christian Right who are now doubling as Christian Zionists, it would be the blackest of all black swans for any Baptist in America to become a victim of a hate crime. But apparently this isn't the case for Baptists living Israel. Despite the US being a Christian nation that provides unconditional support to the Jewish state of Israel, both in terms of moral and financial support, Israeli Jews continue to conduct hate crimes against Israeli Christians:\2012\02\02-20\zalsoz\917.htm&dismode=x&ts=20-2-2012%2011:37:33

Which makes me wonder why so many Christians here in the US continue to see Israel and its Jewish citizens as inseparable blood brothers in their quest for eternal life, as well as in their drive for a bigger piece of the earthly pie. I think it's because they despise Muslims so much that they are willing to overlook Israel's long and brutal mistreatment of its Christian citizens so that they can team up with the Israelis in order to nuke Islam off the face of the Earth. I don't know when the fallout from this will blow back and hit us in the face, but when it does, it'll be a catastrophic hit in the face for both Israel and the US.

Posted by: Cynthia | Mar 20 2012 15:52 utc | 34

oops -- wrong link, here's the right one:

Posted by: Cynthia | Mar 20 2012 16:03 utc | 35

Sultanist says @32...

"It could be that the U.S. is stepping up its refining efforts. For what it's worth the U.S. is now an net exporter of fuel."

the US is an exporter of fuel because US consumption has nosedived, and with the installed refinery capacity, we have extra fuel...

meanwhile, refinery utilization has fallen so badly, crude prices are so high, and gas prices in the US are so low that big oil is selling refineries and/or closing them because they're losing money.

not to mention the fact that you wont need as many refineries as global oil production delines.

kinda hard, too, to stockpile fuel when you're exporting fuel... let's make up our minds what the official fairytale is, which is gonna be kinda hard, because the official US reporting agency has cut back on their info output... is that an economy measure, or an effort to keep us in the dark? ...and can we trust their figures in the first place?

...not to mention they havent refilled the US strategic petroleum reserve since obama released 30 million barrels last year in an attempt to drive gas prices down.

all this confusion, all this working at cross-purposes, all these wars, all this desperate bullshit is the result of the geologic phenomenon that's part of the intolerable, unmentionable truth about the israeli american empire.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 20 2012 16:15 utc | 36

This is an EXCELLENT analysis and review of the troubles facing Syria. I ercommedn reading by all members, it has historical and on site erviews of the events and include a review of the AVAAZ group.

Posted by: ana souri | Mar 20 2012 16:33 utc | 37

ana s. @37: Yes, so far, an excellent read. Thanks for the link.

Posted by: ben | Mar 20 2012 17:07 utc | 38

Unknown Tech Company Defies FBI In Mystery Surveillance Case

A few excerpts...

Sometime earlier this year, a provider of communication services in the United States – perhaps a phone company, perhaps Twitter – got a letter from the FBI demanding it turn over information on one, or possibly even hundreds, of its customers. The letter instructed the company to never disclose the existence of the demand to anyone – in particular, the target of the investigation.

This sort of letter is not uncommon post-9/11 and with the passage of the U.S. Patriot Act, which gave the FBI increased authority to issue so-called National Security Letters (NSLs). In 2010, the FBI sent more than 24,000 NSLs to ISPs and other companies, seeking information on more than 14,000 individuals in the U.S.

The public heard about none of these letters.

But this time, the company that received the request pushed back. It told the agency that it wanted to tell its customer that he or she was being targeted, which would give the customer a chance to fight the request in court, as a group of Twitter users did last year when the Justice Department sought their records under a different kind of request. The minor defiance in this latest case was enough to land the NSL request in a federal court docket last Friday, where the government filed a request for a court order to force the company to adhere to the gag order.


The gag orders raise the possibility for extensive abuse of NSLs, under the cover of secrecy. In fact, in 2007, a Justice Department Inspector General audit found that the FBI, which issued almost 200,000 NSLs between 2003 and 2006, had indeed abused its authority and misused NSLs.

The inspector general found that the FBI evaded limits on (and sometimes illegally issued) NSLs to obtain phone, e-mail and financial information on American citizens, and that it had also underreported the use of NSLs to Congress. In 2006 alone, the FBI issued more than 49,000 NSLs, but that number dropped dramatically to 16,804 in 2007 following the inspector general’s report. After the Justice Department claimed it instituted reforms to address the legal lapses, the number of NSLs issued increased to 24,744 in 2008. In 2010, the most recent year for which statistics are available, the FBI issued 24,287 NSLs


The gag orders raise the possibility for extensive abuse of NSLs, under the cover of secrecy. In fact, in 2007, a Justice Department Inspector General audit found that the FBI, which issued almost 200,000 NSLs between 2003 and 2006, had indeed abused its authority and misused NSLs.

The inspector general found that the FBI evaded limits on (and sometimes illegally issued) NSLs to obtain phone, e-mail and financial information on American citizens, and that it had also underreported the use of NSLs to Congress. In 2006 alone, the FBI issued more than 49,000 NSLs, but that number dropped dramatically to 16,804 in 2007 following the inspector general’s report. After the Justice Department claimed it instituted reforms to address the legal lapses, the number of NSLs issued increased to 24,744 in 2008. In 2010, the most recent year for which statistics are available, the FBI issued 24,287 NSLs.

Two cases helped shine a light on the real-world uses of NSLs. In 2007 the Internet Archive challenged an NSL it received seeking information about one of the online library’s registered users. The Electronic Frontier Foundation challenged the constitutionality of the NSL, which ultimately resulted in the FBI rescinding the NSL and agreeing to unseal the records in the court battle. It was the first extensive look the public got at the nature of the NSL process.

In 2010, Nicholas Merrill won a six-year battle to lift a gag order in relation to an NSL that he received in 2004 when he was owner of a small ISP called Calyx Internet Access. The NSL was very broad and listed 16 categories of records the FBI was seeking, including e-mail and billing records.

Merrill and the ACLU filed a legal challenge under the name “John Doe,” since they weren’t allowed to identify Merrill or the name of his ISP. The ACLU asserted that customer records were constitutionally protected information.

“Internet users do not give up their privacy rights when they log on, and the FBI should not have the power to secretly demand that ISPs turn over constitutionally protected information about their users without a court order,” Merrill told Wired.

Also see, ‘Total Information Awareness’ surveillance program returns, bigger than ever


It doesn't take a Poindexter to recall how these deviant voyeurs, wanted to start a Terror Futures Trading Market Developed by Pentagon / DARPA; if 911 Pre-9/11 Put Options was any indication, they have done just that...

But what the hell do I know...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 20 2012 17:35 utc | 39

ana souri @ 37

For the duration of the mission, in a conflict that is more a media war than a military conflict, the delegation was particularly attentive to the risk of being manipulated by the interviewees.

A brilliant piece you linked to, yeah, media war indeed!

[format edited - b.]

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 20 2012 18:02 utc | 40

Shit, sorry about that, there was some bad formatting in the paste from the doc, if cou can, b, please remove my post 40. :-p

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 20 2012 18:03 utc | 41

ndahi, you can keep religious parties democratically out of government, if your
constitution states that religion is a private matter (as it should)
"The Turkish Constitution recognizes freedom of religion for individuals whereas the religious communities are placed under the protection of state, but the constitution explicitly states that they cannot become involved in the political process (by forming a religious party for instance) and no party can claim that it represents a form of religious belief. Nevertheless, religious sensibilities are generally represented through conservative parties."
This here is how Erdogan's party sees itself:
"According to former minister Hüseyin Çelik, "the AK Party is a conservative democratic party [but] the AK Party's conservatism is limited to moral and social issues." The Economist characterizes the party as "mildly Islamist" while Reuters refers to the AKP as "Islamist-rooted" and "Islamic-leaning." The party objects to the frequent descriptions of it in the Western media as Islamist. In March 2010 Çelik complained that "in the Western press, when the AK Party administration... is being named, unfortunately most of the time 'Islamic,' 'Islamist,' 'mildly Islamist,' 'Islamic-oriented,' 'Islamic-leaning,' 'Islamic-based' or 'with an Islamic agenda,' and similar language is being used. These characterizations do not reflect the truth, and they sadden us."[4]

Posted by: somebody | Mar 20 2012 19:22 utc | 42

- On Boliva, President Morales has threatened to close down the US Embassy if it continues meddling in the countries internal affairs. In 2007 the US ambassador was expelled after meeting a delegation of business leaders in the wealthy area of Santa Cruz who were looking keep the profits of oil/gas in the Santa Cruz region and not divide it to the poorer regions of the country. Historically the wealthy elite in Santa Cruz have always governed Boliva at the expense of the rest of country. Morales also mentioned that some NGO's operating in Bolivia had been "engaging in spying on behalf of the US".


- On Iran-Israel-US, last month the US carried out a War-game exercise "Internal Look" to game out what would happen if Israel launched a strike on Iran. It ended with the US dragged into a regional war after an Iran missile killed 200 Navy personel in the Persian Gulf. Also ended with Israel delaying the Iranian nuclear program by 12 months with a further 2 year delay if the US responds with a full aerial campaign (lasting weeks).


- Great 2 part profile of Sarkozy and his re-election campaign in Der Spiegel. Best quote of the whole piece:

It must be easy for a French president to lose touch with reality. Sarkozy has behaved like a boy pressing all the buttons at once, like a "child king" who can do whatever he likes, says his biographer Franz-Olivier Giesbert.

Source Part One:,1518,819602,00.html
Source Part Two:,1518,819602-2,00.html

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Mar 20 2012 19:58 utc | 43

alexno wrote:

In case you are interested in the massacre yesterday in front of a Jewish school in Toulouse, with five deaths, including several children, Sarko is making a a great hullabaloo.

It will get into world media. Jews are being killed, they should be afraid. What is not being said very much is that the police have decided that it was the same person who shot three French soldiers some days earlier. Two out of three of those soldiers were Muslims. So we're talking about a right-wing extremist.

We'll see whether any attention is paid to the deaths of the Muslims, but I doubt it.

the double standard is excruciating, as you point out, alexno.

The killer is a lone nut, that is clear.

He killed 3-4 military in Toulouse and Montauban. (Details skipped.) Except for one, from the Antilles, so also not white French.

They were of Arab extraction - French nationals from the ‘immigrant’ community. Muslims, maybe, probably not.

They were parachutists, and the last ones were in the 17th regiment, who have been (i read, i don’t know myself) deployed to Afgh.

There was some press about these milit.. killings - it is the first time in say 50 years that F military are attacked ‘at home’.

Not much, very muted. No pols reacted at all. Amazing actually, the non-reaction.

Then some Jewish children are killed and every single pol wakes up and makes a huge display, rushes there, etc. (Mélenchon and Marine Le Pen did not go - the more left and right of center...)

*killer fact*: F has for TV and radio a time allotment and surveillance program - equal time is to be given to presidential candidates, and this is pretty well respected. Today the rule has been suspended, as the situation is grave, and candidates should be able to express themselves concerning this atrocity... !!!

(= Free fluff passionate air time for the connected.)

Breivik was an Islam-hater, Zionist supporter, anti-left, etc.

This Toulouse scooter-by shooter is attacking the usual suspects, i.e.:

Europeans who deploy and murder in Afgh, poodles to US/Isr. And Jews, maybe Zionists in his mind.

How often does it have to be said that terrorists in the West come from the right and left fringe and are home-grown? And are not Muslim? Not Arab?

(sorry if this post is badly formatted, i can't even read what i wrote)

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 20 2012 20:01 utc | 44

One reasons that we've come to this place where there can be this all out 'media war' as talked about above:

The Death of Investigative Journalism

As another said, it's "Compelling, wide-ranging" and damn worth the time..

There are other reasons: McChesney's The Problem of the Media: U.S. Communication Politics in the Twenty-First Century.

McChesney explains that prior to the establishment of schools of journalism in the 50's and the adoption of the mythical, impossible standard of objectivity, reporting was openly and unabashedly written from an identifiable perspective. No one pretended to be objective and without bias.

McChesney then goes on to carefully outline the inexorable state sanctioned monopolization of the media and it's predictable and in fact designed effect on the quality, diversity and accuracy of reporting.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 20 2012 20:33 utc | 45

It's almost laughable the level of "moral outrage" by the killing of some Jews in France is been expressed by the usual suspects.Almost all Western politicians that Zionist money can buy are all lining up to put their names on the condemnation list while these same leaders don't even utter a word when their favorite terrorists are doing the killing in Syria..Instead, they blame the Syrian government for the killings..So, given the situation as it is, can we also blame the French government for this latest killings? They're not even calling it terrorism.Imagine if the perpetrator was of middle eastern origin?You can bet bombs will be flying in some ME country as we speak.

One thing I've noticed over the years is that it's very easy for Western politicians to manipulate their people's perception/opinions by using the blackmail of "moral guilt".So these politicians send their agent provocateur into countries they want to dominate or destroy to cause enough mayhem and then they turn back and tell their people, "oh look, we have to do something to save them".And of course because their people are easily blackmailed(gullible) with moral guilt into accepting war and the killing of the other man on humanitarian grounds, they easily get their wish.How would Sarkozy feel if the president of say China declare that with the level of violence in France recently, Sarkozy should step aside and allow for a peaceful transition?

We all witnessed just last week how US troops in Afghanistan murdered dozens of Afghan civilians "to prove a point" - just because the Taliban had earlier blew up NATO's tank that killed six NATO soldiers. So in order to get to the Taliban, the US/NATO soldiers had to kill some random Afghans to prove they're not to be messed with.Says a lot about the "most powerful" army in the world.There was little to no outrage in West apart from the well scripted chorus of condemnations from the usual suspects.That news' now been buried under the headlines and will never be revisited again until the next big massacre in Afghanistan - which is certain.

The phenomenon of using moral guilt to achieve political end was/is perfected by the Israelis to this day.How could it be, that the Germans will still be paying reparations to victims of a crime that was committed by all sides during WW2 (aka holocaust)? The allied bombing of Dresden and Russian shelling of Berlin probably killed more Germans than "jews" in wooden-door gas chambers(the irony) but you'll never hear about this.It's been buried/deleted from the pages of history and will never see the light of day.

So,the scam must continue. The Germans just donated free subs to the Israelis on this same moral guilt blackmailing scheme.The excuse the German politicians will tell their people is that "we had to defend them because they live a in a hostile neighbourhood".Forgetting to mention that fact that this very regime receiving the subs frequently and deliberately agitates/provokes conflicts to make it look as though they're the victims so they can keep perpetuating the "moral guilt" blackmail on the West.Sad times indeed.

In other news, the US just gave waivers to 11 countries regarding sanctions on Iran oil.Seems to me these sanctions were dead on arrival and was merely a political gimmick for Obama's "look tough" AIPAC/Bibi show. Now that he's said his "hello-goodbye" speech at the AIPAC conference, and getting Americans pissed off at the gas pump with rising gas prices, he's realized he NEEDS to de-escalate before things get out of hand.He's got an election to win,y'know.US's quest to "contain" the Iranians is generating more pissed off "allies" than intended.If the remedy is worse than the cure itself, do use the medicine ;)

Posted by: Zico | Mar 20 2012 22:02 utc | 46

I think the whole french serial killer case is very weird.
First he kills arab parashutist military men as they retrieve money from an ATM,
made to look like some messed up robbery, then, as it doesn't get much attention in the media,
he goes on his scooter to a jewish scool with a spree that surely gets in the papers.
What's the motive? Clearing the way for a week of media-exposure to the presidential candidate?

Surely the president doesn't give a rats ass about some jews and muslims, but it get's him on TV.
A lot more people have died to ensure a presidential re-election, so it might not be too far fetched.

BTW, b, please delete my post # 40 with screwed up formatting.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 20 2012 22:12 utc | 47

So, uh, was Charlie Manson waging a war on TV celebs? Christians??? White Anglos???

Seems to me, just about EVERY murder can be framed in a light that burns a candle for whatever special interest group, ethnic, poltical, sexual, or etc..

Difference being, the Jews JUMP AT EVERY FUCKING OPPORTUNITY to shove their victimhood, real or imagined, down our throats. Why?? To take our eyes off of the way Israel have acted since its inception. Israel has become a racist murderous little shithole nation of bigots and religious fanatics, using victimhood as the excuse, rationale, and justification.

Well, they need to wise up over there, and realize that the phenomena of "anti-semitism" has become a self inflicted malady, borne of their own actions, policies, and mindsets.

Hate Jews? Well, of course, if the jews themselves earn the hatred.

Not all Jews are Israeli, zionist, or murderous racists??? Not all have earned such hatred??? Of course. But when murderous and racist policies and actions are performed by a nation that prides itself in its "jewishness", calling itself a "Jewish State", then ALL Jews are implicated.

You're a Jew and you haven't earned mankind's disdain???? You don't agree with what these racist pieces of shit in Israel are doing to the Palestinians? Then speak up. The world needs to hear from you. And you need to talk louder than the scum like Dershowitz, or these sacks of shit here and in Israel trying to start WWIII, because they are SCREAMING at the top thier lungs that the Jews are bigots, liars, and murderers. And, uh, to a huge portion of humanity, THAT MEANS YOU. Do you REALLY want them to speak for you?

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Mar 20 2012 22:52 utc | 48

Those who are actual reliogious jews don't support the zionist occupation in Palestine.
The zionists in Israel are ethnic jews only, they are not jewish in the religious sence.
The jewish religion is contradicory to occupying, and even "establishing a national state."
Jews with proper knowledge of the Torah know they are instructed by God to never have a national state.
So the zionists that formed the apartheid Jewish state of Israel, are really not jews.
Those jews that speak up against zionism are often beaten up, and their demonstrations
never get media coverage. So use the proper term, the rasist Israelis are zionists, not jews.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 20 2012 23:12 utc | 49

And the crazy cristian-fundamentalists that support the zionist state of Israel,
are not christian either. I can't understand why they get off on licking zionist butt.
The zionists see the christian goim as sub-human, animals, and have no respect for them.
All those that believe in the bible, should know that the Israeli government is illegit.
And all who claim the Jews have the right to displace the native Palestines, are heretics.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 20 2012 23:22 utc | 50

re: precious jew babies. was having a feeding frenzy over this. Practically every other post was a link to AP, WaPo, BBC, the usual suspects, all bemoaning the slaughter of precious jew babies. You'd think it was Holy Coast 2.0. I don't have a teevee but no doubt all the Purty News Readers were putting on their best sad faces.

Posted by: ruralito | Mar 21 2012 0:01 utc | 51

Obama take steps to easing Iran sanctions, and even take steps to give Iranians better Internet-access

Anyone else suspicious? It does look like genuine easing of sanctions, and a step towards lifting the whole thing, maybe to counter the economic effects of the Israeli Netanjahu-step towards approving a Iran-strike.

I'll go with the hope for a peaceful resolution to all this. But I can't help being suspicious..

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 21 2012 0:25 utc | 52

Obama gives up night raids in Afghanistan, but that might not be enough to make Karzai happy.

The administration's most significant proposed concession on night raids would subject the operations to advance review by Afghan judges, U.S. military officials said. One option under discussion in U.S.-Afghan talks would require warrants to be issued before operations get the green light.

The so-called night raids by U.S. special-operations forces have long been a source of division between President Barack Obama and Mr. Karzai, and have been a stumbling block in negotiations on the role of the U.S. in Afghanistan after most troops pull out at the end of 2014.

The U.S. military says it considers night raids to be the most effective way of degrading the Taliban's command-and-control infrastructure, with minimal civilian casualties. There were nearly 2,500 such raids in the last year, military officials said.

Mr. Karzai has said repeatedly that the raids must stop, calling them an invasion of Afghan homes and a violation of taboos about Afghan women mingling with unrelated men. They also create a heightened risk of civilian casualties, he says.

U.S. officials say they don't know if the proposed concessions will satisfy Mr. Karzai, especially after the shooting rampage and other incidents in which U.S. service members urinated on Taliban corpses and burned Qurans, the Muslim holy book.

The massacre that killed 16 Afghan villagers on March 11 infuriated Afghans and led Mr. Karzai to call for new restrictions on Western military operations in the countryside.

"The threshold for agreements with Karzai may have gone way up," said a senior U.S. defense official.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 21 2012 0:39 utc | 53

Alexander @ 52 -- From your second link:

"My administration is issuing new guidelines to make it easier for American businesses to provide software and services into Iran that will make it easier for the Iranian people to use the Internet," Obama said in a video message to the Iranian people marking the Iranian new year of Nowruz.

The software presents we (perhaps the Israelis) send to Iran are more likely to mess things up for the Iranians than help them. Oughta be interesting.

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 21 2012 2:29 utc | 54

@30, @36

perhaps some other signs of either war, or at least contingency planning. Obama has recently signed Executive Order -- National Defense Resources Preparedness. It's being sold as just a housekeeping exercise that many presidents have done before. thing is, when Bush signed his EO 13286, we were at war 3 weeks later. so... that at least dots some i's.

regarding where the oil may go, perhaps there's military reserves at various places?

also, that deal with Warren Buffet a while back to ship oil from Canada by train instead of pipeline... that's actually something you can ramp up fairly quickly. and railway delivery should be a little more redundant than pipelines, which makes it more resistant to attack. so there have been some preparations made to recover from an interruption in oil supply should iran sabotage the straight.

Posted by: Proton Soup | Mar 21 2012 3:22 utc | 55

@ 49, Zionists? Jews? Israel Shamir has the right idea: he declared himself an ex-Jew. And why not? The ghetto walls have come down, the pogroms have abated. It's the perfect time for Jews, while this window of opportunity exists, to "simply flow into the mystic" in Van Morrison's immortal verse.

Posted by: ruralito | Mar 21 2012 3:29 utc | 56

@52 - Alexander

one of the first things we did in "rebuilding" Iraq was to put up cell phone service. putting in telecom services is all about observation. i doubt there's a single bit traveling through Iraq now that doesn't end up in an NSA site. any services provided to Iran will have "intel" inside.

Posted by: Proton Soup | Mar 21 2012 3:29 utc | 57

drat, it seems that "post another comment" deletes the first. i'm not formatting all that again, but will just say that Barak's new defense preparedness Executive Order may be a prelude to war. Bush did his just 3 weeks before the Irag War.

so is the Saudi shipment to America off-the-books? perhaps it's one of those defense dept. black accounts. you know, like those trillions that went missing right before 9/11 destroyed the evidence. the army will have their own reserves at strategic locations.

also, that Warren Buffet deal cockblocking the pipeline from canada struck me as queer. rail may be inefficient, but you can get it up and going quickly, and it's more redundant if it comes under attack. if straight of hormuz gets shut down, there would be at least some backup available if our supplies get tight.

Posted by: Proton Soup | Mar 21 2012 3:40 utc | 58

The wicked Sarkosy is caught on the thorn of his own racist policies ...and his Ministers with him
They have encuraged racist lunatics to come out of the woodwork and now his whole campaign stance is exposed
Hopefully he will be swept away by it
Of course the right-wing zionists who have always encouraged anti-islamsist feeling are also caught by their links to the far right
You reap what you sow.!

Posted by: Tom Skene | Mar 21 2012 4:10 utc | 59

B - With respect, let Afghanistan go for now. Do Iran, only. We are about to do another ten years, with huge loss. Huge loss. Huge loss. With respect to you. Please.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 21 2012 5:17 utc | 60

Proton Soup @57

"...the Saudi shipment to America..."

saudis own 50% of a refinery in port arthur, texas, in partnership with shell... the operating company is called "motiva".

they've apparently almost completed an overhaul of the refinery to enable it to refine heavy saudi crude, and upgrade capacity from 240,000 barrels a day to 600,000 barrels a day, and they're supposedly laying in an operating stockpile.

oil from nine tankers loaded with 2 million barrels each (total 18 million barrels) would last the refinery 20 days... the refinery's supposedly just getting cranked up again after the overhaul.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 21 2012 5:40 utc | 61

There is something very big in the works, that's for sure. By the USA I mean.
And it does look very much like a Iran war, but sneakily, without causing an economic panic - before the strike.
Probably why Obama comes across as some software salesperson, if the US government want you to use certain software,
then you probably shouldn't. And the easing sanctions, makes me very suspicious indeed...

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 21 2012 6:10 utc | 62

"...would last the refinery 20 days..."

30 days, i'm going blind.

this upgrade will supposedly make the port arthur refinery the biggest in the US.

the overhaul/expansion cost $7 billion.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 21 2012 6:20 utc | 63

Angry Arab is spreading rumours. I really think some education on what the Holocaust really was is needed. It has become a myth nowadays.

Germans being Germans documented everything. Theft, murder, everything. Nobody acted on their own.
Hell, the Nazis had inherited the Prussian state.

So here is the fully documented "final solution".

Posted by: somebody | Mar 21 2012 6:59 utc | 64

He also does not understand German Nazi ideology. They believed this pseudo scientific crap about having to clean their "race", it had nothing to do with
religion. Roma and Sinti, handicapped people, were in the same category.
They felt good about it. Of course, they documented what they did.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 21 2012 7:08 utc | 65

somebody says @64...

"...they documented what they did."

so you have access to a list, compiled by the germans, of all six million jewish victims.

good enough, i'll take your word for it.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 21 2012 7:15 utc | 66

so we've got to wonder, if the saudis have so much spare oil, why are they spending billions to upgrade a refinery so it can do heavy oil? couldnt possibly be that saudi's old fields of light sweet oil have peaked and are declining rapidly...

where's al naimi's "spare capacity"? ...does that spare capacity consist of heavy sour oil that the saudi's couldnt give away a few years ago?

not to mention al naimi's been a laughingstock for years because of his wild assertions... but i got to admit, he's still got some juice, apparently... after his latest little rant, WTI dropped by $2 a barrel... but WTI is suspect anyway, since it's usually $20 lower than the rest of the oil in the world...

it's part of the denial racket that WTI is used as the benchmark, when even alaska and louisiana oil trades for $20 higher.

looks to me like it's time for the abiotic oil replenishment to kick in, bigtime.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 21 2012 8:00 utc | 67

Saudi Oil is rapidly diminishing, there is no spare capacity.
retreatingbladestall @ 66 has the right idea.
and the recent increase in shipments to USA can only be from their stores of already pumped oil.
The Saudi oilfeilds, despite better technology to get it out of the ground, are getting depleted.
Oil production from here on will decline fast. The trend is clear, they are mostly pumping water out of the ground.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 21 2012 8:27 utc | 68

sure, retreatingbladestall, they were very good at issuing death certificates, would leave out the cause of death though ...
the archives are complete

Hilberg presents the bureaucracy of genocide on such a scale that it becomes clear that it in fact encapsulated a cross-section of German society under the Nazis. By doing so he provides a framework which both helps us to understand, and contributes to, what has been described as the ‘emerging consensus’ around attempts to explain the behaviour of the perpetrators of the ‘Final Solution’.(12) This consensus unites the ideological pathfinders of the RSHA (Reichssicherheitshauptamt – the SS Security Main Office) and the WVHA (Wirtschafts und Verwaltungshauptamt – the SS Economic and Administrative Main Office) with the ‘ordinary men’ of the Order Police, the shared assumptions of racial policing on the home front, and even the extension of complicity revealed in new analyses of popular involvement in aryanisation and expropriation. All are rendered explicable with reference to the triumph of a new moral and ideological atmosphere throughout the institutions of the Third Reich. In their own way institutions and individuals became progressively radicalised, as the horizon of possibilities was expanded by each new policy, action, theft or killing.(13) Michael Thad Allen’s masterly investigation of the bureaucrats concerned with the Business of Genocide in the WVHA is a useful example. His detailed exposition of the individuals and individual administrative groupings within this section demonstrates how individuals contributed to and were shaped by, the ‘shared comprehension’ of the different elements of the SS. Thad Allen is keen to make clear that his study of the minutiae complements Hilberg’s ‘macro’ sense of the bureaucracy."

essential reading - the pattern of colonialist wars -

Posted by: somebody | Mar 21 2012 9:14 utc | 69

Easing sanctions on Iran. First, the oil sanctions could not be implemented, not realistically.

Second, they would affect the US’ trading partners and throw a huge spanner into the works of globalization.

Third, Obama as a software salesman (that made me laugh) - the US does trade with Iran
(in a previous post I mentioned Iran’s absolutely massive buys of US wheat, which would be
affected by being shut out of SWIFT) and many businesses are screaming - including!

You can’t have ‘sanctions’ beyond the symbolic / ineffectual / trivial and at the same time impose ‘da free market’ and ‘democracy’.

Can’t be done!

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 21 2012 10:13 utc | 70

also essential reading

why the US and European countries support Salafis

plus in the news:
Claude Guéant est "certain" que le suspect cerné est l'auteur des tueries 194
Un homme de 24 ans se réclamant d'Al-Qaida est cerné, depuis 3 h 05 par le RAID.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 21 2012 11:15 utc | 71

Here's a story from AP:
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — Several Afghans near the villages where an American soldier is alleged to have killed 16 civilians say U.S. troops lined them up against a wall after a roadside bombing and told them that they, and even their children, would pay a price for the attack.

Residents have given similar accounts to both The Associated Press and to Afghan government officials about an alleged bombing in the vicinity, which they said occurred March 7 or 8, and left U.S. troops injured. The residents also said they are convinced that the slayings of the 16 villagers just days later was in retaliation for that bomb.

Although the villagers' accounts could not be independently confirmed, their claim that the shootings by a U.S. soldier may have been payback for a roadside bombing has gained wide currency in the area and has been repeated by politicians testifying about the incident to Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 38, is suspected of leaving a U.S. base in Panjwai district, entering homes and gunning down nine children, four men and three women before dawn on March 11 in the villages of Balandi and Alkozai. Villagers said the earlier bombing occurred in Mokhoyan, a village about 500 yards (meters) east of the base.

A lawyer for Bales in the United States also suggested that Bales was motivated by a bombing in the area.

However, a spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan declined to give any information on the bombing or even confirm that it occurred, citing the ongoing investigation into the shootings. He also declined to comment on the suggestions that U.S. troops had threatened villagers with retaliation.

"The shooting incident as well as any possibilities that led up to it or might be associated with it will be investigated," Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, the spokesman, said Tuesday.

One Mokhoyan resident, Ahmad Shah Khan, told The Associated Press that after the bombing, U.S. soldiers and their Afghan army counterparts arrived in his village and made many of the male villagers stand against a wall.

"It looked like they were going to shoot us, and I was very afraid," Khan said. "Then a NATO soldier said through his translator that even our children will pay for this. Now they have done it and taken their revenge."

Neighbors of Khan gave similar accounts to the AP, and several Afghan officials, including Kandahar lawmaker Abdul Rahim Ayubi, said people in the two villages that were attacked told them the same story.

Mohammad Sarwar Usmani, one of several lawmakers who went to the area, said the Afghan National Army had confirmed to him that an explosion occurred near Mokhoyan on March 8.

On March 13, Afghan soldier Abdul Salam showed an AP reporter the site of a blast that made a large crater in the road in Panjwai district of Kandahar province, where the shootings occurred. The soldier said the explosion occurred March 8. Salam said he helped gather men in the village, and that troops spoke to them, but he was not close enough to hear what they said.

Ghulam Rasool, a tribal elder from Panjwai district of Kandahar province, where the shootings occurred, gave an account of the bombing at a March 16 meeting in Kabul with President Hamid Karzai.

"After the incident, they took the wreckage of their destroyed tank and their wounded people from the area," Rasool said. "After that, they came back to the village nearby the explosion site.

"The soldiers called all the people to come out of their houses and from the mosque," he said.

"The Americans told the villagers, 'A bomb exploded on our vehicle. ... We will get revenge for this incident by killing at least 20 of your people,'" Rasool said. "These are the reasons why we say they took their revenge by killing women and children in the villages."

Bales' lawyer, John Henry Browne, has said that his client was upset because a buddy had lost a leg in an explosion on March 9. It's unclear if the bombing cited by Browne was the same as the one described by the villagers. After a meeting at a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Browne said Bales told him a roadside bomb blew off the leg of one of his friends two days before the shootings occurred.

Karzai's investigative team is not convinced that one soldier could have single-handedly left his base, walked to the two villages, and carried out the killings and set fire to some of the victims' bodies. The U.S. military has said that even though its investigation is continuing, everything currently points to one shooter.

Villagers in Mokhoyan, meanwhile, are convinced that the shootings were a case of revenge.

Naek Mohammad, who lives in Mokhoyan, told the AP that he heard an explosion March 8 and went outside. As he and a neighbor talked about what happened, he said, two Afghan soldiers ordered them to join other men from the village who had been told to stand against a wall.

"One of the villagers asked what was happening," he said. "The Afghan army soldier told him, 'Shut up and stand there.'"

Mohammad said a U.S. soldier, speaking through a translator, then said: "I know you are all involved and you support the insurgents. So now, you will pay for it — you and your children will pay for this.'"

None of the villagers could identify the soldier who they said issued the threat.


Riechmann reported from Kabul.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 21 2012 12:39 utc | 72

What the above story suggests to me is a level of demoralisation among US troops so deep as to present real problems when they return to the US. If this story is correct these attacks were planned at the local level complete with cover story and fall guy. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they'd drawn lots. How far up the chain of command did the conspiracy go?

Posted by: bevin | Mar 21 2012 12:45 utc | 73

bevin asks @72...

"How far up the chain of command did the conspiracy go?"

there's some pretty big truth energing that challenges the official truth... there's no way the official version of the truth can prevail unless it's backed up by a police state.

maybe we can look at afghanistan as a training groundf for israeli american imperial storm troopers who will eventually be deployed in america itself.
meanwhile, i guess we have to keep going through the motions here at MoA until b decides whether or not to pull the plug... he's had two chances, now, that i know of, already, it's impressive that he's been able to do what he's already done.

but then, maybe he has no choice in the matter of MoA closing.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 21 2012 12:58 utc | 74

looks to me like we're getting down to the last morsels of free lunch afforded israelis by the holocaust persecution myth...

you got to wonder when it's time to knuckle under and let them have enough rope to hang themselves, because that's what they're determined to do... whether they're conscious of it or not.

that's just how it works.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 21 2012 13:49 utc | 75

Here's one way it will happen. One of many. Depleted Uranium is another. Decrease lifespans and make those decreased lifespans less healthy and more miserable.

Posted by: Sultanist | Mar 21 2012 14:06 utc | 76

Just been watching France24 news. Crazy stuff going down to say the least. Basic story seems to be this. Mohammed Merah was arrested in Kandahar, Afghanistan for planting bombs and sent to Prison for 3 years. Was broken out of prison in the mass Taliban jailbreak last year. Returned to France and lived with his brother. Shot 2 French Muslim soldiers at an ATM last week. Days later shot another French soldier. Then shot up the Jewish school killing 3. This morning French police raided his brothers home found a car filled with explosives. Brother turned himself in but the shooter is still holding out armed with a Kalashnikov. Obviously Sarkozy has rushed to Toulouse this morning to milk the story given we are 2 weeks away from elections.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Mar 21 2012 14:16 utc | 77

Colm O' Toole, you left out the bit about the French secret service having watched to guy for quite some time, without noticing anything dangerous ...

Posted by: somebody | Mar 21 2012 15:02 utc | 78

If this murderer had been wearing a uniform and complianed that he was depressed, the Wingnuts would claim that he just "snapped" under the strain. See,0

Of course, since he was Muslim, his mass murder is not a psychological defect, but a symptom of a diseased religion.

Remember, when white guys murder children, it's because they're mentally ill. When other people do, blame their culture or religion. Class dismissed.

Posted by: Matthew | Mar 21 2012 15:35 utc | 79

Yeah wouldn't be suprised if there is more to this. Just got this info from watching France24's channel which is about as mainstream as CNN. Also I had an error in the previous post, he wasn't broken out of the Afghan jail last year but 3 years ago. They just mentioned a big Taliban jailbreak where he escaped and I assumed it was last years one where they dug the tunnel and hundreds escaped. In fact it was another jailbreak a few years ago.

Of course a few questions I would have would be:

1) If he was arrested in Afghanistan as a Taliban fighter and escaped from prison, how was he able to travel back into the EU? Wouldn't the Afghan government inform the French that they had arrested a French national in the field and that he had escaped?

2) It also mentioned he had a criminal record for petty crimes the last few years in France so he was definately in the French criminal system. Don't they coordinate the two databases?

3) How did he get an AK-47 assault rifle and the explosives that were found in the car, this ain't the US.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Mar 21 2012 15:35 utc | 80

retreatingbladestall @ 73

but then, maybe he has no choice in the matter of MoA closing.

Whatdoyoumean MoA closing? Why? What? Why? Who? Why?

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 21 2012 15:52 utc | 81


I'll be frank

1) I don't like the amount of common space you consume to repeat your pet idea - sounds more like propaganda, or shouting, than a conversation;
(btw, this has nothing to do with what I think of your pet idea - see below)

2) I don't like your obscure hints at MoA closing
(the real trigger of this post)

3) I don't like your "I'm-in-the-know" attitude

I like frank dialog among equals, each one putting his 2c and possibly some useful links, and respecting others' views

regarding your pet idea, that is, that the fight for energy sources in the era of peak oil is at the base of a lucid, coeherent and long term strategy: I think it's a useful interpretation tool, but leaves out many essential facts; for example:
- it doesn't explain the western estalishment cohesion in this return of XIX century colonialism, racism and bellicism
- it doesn't account for the neocons' real differences with the traditional Us establishment
- it overstates the capacity of strategic planning in an era dominated by short-sighted interests promoted by various lobbies
- it overstates Us' and Israel's influence over ongoing events (I'm a minority on this issue here at MoA, I know)

(I have my own pet theories, of course, and I discreetely promote them disseminated in my posts, like everybody else)

Posted by: claudio | Mar 21 2012 16:03 utc | 82

Yeah, Colm O' Toole, it is very fishy, how much time to the French elections?

He is supposed to have tried to join the French army and the French Foreign Legion as well, before getting arrested in Kandahar ...

Posted by: somebody | Mar 21 2012 16:25 utc | 83

Yeah,the Germans,those methodical killers and planners let untold? numbers of witnesses live to tell their tale.I have come to believe nothing spewed from the mouths of serial liars and killers,whose evil deeds make Hitler look like an amateur,with body counts documented in the millions of civilians all over the world since WW2 despite our MSM's attempts to minimilize and justify them,but hey,myths die hard,look at the myth of American goodness,belied by the constant fact of our evil deeds,again,minimalized and obscured by bullsh*t.
Other than some captive German,under threat of execution,( Rudolf Hoess)who confessed to gassing,and then they killed him anyway,there have been no confessions by Germans or their contractors(Demanjuk),the captive East Europeans and western captives,France and the Low countries, on their deathbeds,or otherwise of alleged gassers that that was what happened,but hey,propaganda is the Zionists best friend,and comforts the cold cockles of their hearts.
And if someone had confessed(under no coercion),it would have been all over our Ziomedia,in triplicate,forever and forever,but hey ,my naivety knows no bounds.

Posted by: dahoit | Mar 21 2012 16:33 utc | 84

So the lone nut (Toulouse) turns out to be “AL Q.” How convenient.

As I said before, it was abundantly clear he was anti-Zionist and anti-US-EU imperialism.

I suppose his killing of Arab-extraction French military (parachutists), who are as French as can be, serving their country moreover,
most likely not Muslim or anything religious at all (?), were picked out as ‘traitors’ of some kind. (?)

A big deal is made in the Anglo press about Muslims in France, it is not relevant, many - most - don’t forget a large proportion are
third generation immigrants! are irreligious, or atheists, or anti-deists or ‘muslims’ the way others are buddhists, catholics, protestants,
have ‘spirituality and guardian angels’, etc.

They follow a few traditions to please parents, grandparents, enjoying the privilege of living in a secular state where religion is folklore,
a tradition associated with ‘roots’ : food, dress, music, personal prayer, some religious rituals and observance - not more really.

Speculating as to what makes lone nuts act, or allows them act (e.g. Breivik) is dodgy, as these are individual eruptions that have more to do
with psychiatric / medical care, local cohesion and services, than world politics.

Nevertheless, it is legit to point out that under Sark the first, hate for foreignors, Arabs, Roms, Beggars, the homeless, veiled ladies,
immigrants from the East, all the poor who are not French (and use social services), has been drilled in, again and again, in a blanket way.

The aim is usually formulated as ‘gathering votes from the right’ or ‘shifting right and adopting Le Pen discourse to gather the vote’ and so on,
making it a slice/n/dice issue concerning the electorate, as if the French do not, generally, adhere to a secular state and free religious choice,
and think ‘terrorism‘ is a police matter. Instilling hate between communities plays right into the book of US-Isr imperialism.

Al Q and anti-semites are all over the place!

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 21 2012 17:04 utc | 85

The Toulouse incident smells of "October surprise".

Look how elegant Sarkozy, with the help of the U.S., removed the head of the IMF to replace it with his drone.

To me the recent incident smells of prepared drama.

Posted by: b | Mar 21 2012 18:43 utc | 86

@claudio, 82...

peak oil pretty much explains everything, escpecially if you factor in global warming and sea level rise... it's pretty simple: israel must be secured from sea level rise before its american protection expires from oil shortages, and that's why the PNAC 9/11 operation had to be mounted... to get the project started in time to save israel.

the "cohesion" can be explained by western civilization's dependence on oil.

the traditional US establishment has been marginalized by AIPAC and the media, as the neocon philosophy has metastasized throughout the US government... anyone with any sense can see that we're paying a premium for oil because of israel's and israeli americans' control of US foreign policy, a foreign policy that will hasten the end of america.

neocons' "strategic planning" is a pipedream, pretty much everyone but religious fanatics, racial supremacists, and hardcore zionists know that, which is why they'v defaulted to looting.

the US's and israel's influence over ongoing events is limited to "creative destruction", which leads everyone with any sense to wonder, "how many people will we have to kill to demonstrate the 'benevolence' of our 'benevolent global hegemony'?" ...those people are also wondering, "how much of the world do we have to blow up before we start repairing it, as per out 'tikkun olam?"

sorry you disapprove of my style, but i yam what i yam.

finally, i'm very glad b is back from his vacation, because that proves that there's still hope left.

some... not much, but some.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 21 2012 19:00 utc | 87

b. surely this will help Marine le Pen? If it is Le Pen against Hollande, Hollande is bound to win?

Two weeks is a short period for everything to come out, but this seems to have happened under the very noses of the secret service ...

Posted by: somebody | Mar 21 2012 19:05 utc | 88

I do not know how Sarkozy plans to survive this

20h11:«Ce n'est pas parce qu'on professe des idées étranges ou extrémistes qu'on va en prison», a indiqué Claude Guéant en réponse aux critiques formulées par le FN sur la surveillance des réseaux islamistes par les services de renseignement. D'après le ministre de l'Intérieur, «quinze à vingt personnes font partie de (la) mouvance salafiste en région Midi-Pyrénées, ce sont des idéologues dont jamais aucun comportement n'a laissé penser qu'ils allaient se livrer à des actions criminelles».


but for questioning that genocide happened you can?

Posted by: somebody | Mar 21 2012 20:04 utc | 89

@retreatingbladestall #87

1) your dark hinting at problems b might have with keeping MoA alive reminded me (reminds me) of propaganda operations, where public opinion is "tested" and "prepared" prior to the execution of some coup

2) it's not a matter of style; it's a matter of crediting people of being capable to read, think and judge on their own whether they agree or not, or to what extent, to some theory; and of giving space to other interpretations

3) on the merits of the "peak oil / global warming / sea level rise" theory:
- it's naive to assert that it explains everything; the fact is that practically anything can be fitted, adding appropriate ad hoc clauses, within a pre-existing theory; astronomers could explain all visible phenomena within Ptolemy' theory adding deferents and epicycles to the circular motion
- "cohesion" cannot be explained by western civilization's dependence on oil; western countries are rich enough to buy it (it'd cost less than permanent, global war); the return of XIX century european colonialism, this time under Us "leadership", cannot be explained away with geostrategical arguments, it requires new cultural, ideological and political categories; in particular, what still awaits an appropriate explanation is the nexus between the fall of the USSR and the crisis of the socialist and democratic forces; the fact that a political opposition still hasn't formed after 30 years of disasters brought by neolibs, neocons and theocons is still a mystery; "neocon philosophy has metastasized throughout the US government": another fact that can't be explained by simply citing peak oil, but requires a cultural-ideological-political analysis
- "neocons' "strategic planning" is a pipedream, pretty much everyone but religious fanatics, racial supremacists, and hardcore zionists know that": ok, so again consensus and cohesion and absence of relevant opposition is something that must be explained

Posted by: claudio | Mar 21 2012 20:18 utc | 90

the facts remain...

PNAC needed a new pearl harbor, and got one shortly after they were installed in high government positions.

PNAC and its AEI parent are allied with the likud party of israel.

PNAC and its AEI parent, and exxon partner are all seem to be focussed on oil and global warming... in fact, the AEI and exxon were partners in global warming denial operations.

global crude oil production has been flat since late 2004, despite price increases a increased drilling...

the flat production has been enough to cause economic distress in europe and the US, no matter how many lame economic theories are trotted out by tame economists.

those are facts that you can "read, think and judge on their own".

the big fact is this: peak oil and global warming must be denied, because they were most likely the motives behind PNAC's "new pearl harbor".

if enough "civilization" survives, and if that civilization gives a hoot about history, they're gonna be able to clear away the bullshit, look at people's philosophies and actions, and arrive at the most likely approximation of what happened.

doesnt look good for zionists, americans, or other geneocidal maniacs whose "civilization" was based on destroying their habitat to acquire enough energy to detroy more habitat and competittors.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Mar 21 2012 20:51 utc | 91

bevin @ 72 -- I've been wondering if Bales is trying to cover up for his men. It sounds like it might be something he would do. This new info, that US troops lined up villagers and one told them they would pay for the attack. Others being involved would explain what seems inexplicable, all that death and damage done by one lone wolf who "lost it." Riiight.

Posted by: jawbone | Mar 21 2012 23:07 utc | 92

jawbone @ 92

Afghanistan - Shooting - Bales covering up for his men;

Apparently this was a night-raid where the team have gone on a planned killing-spree, probably with a green-on-blue grudge or something. I don't either believe they acted on strategic orders, but the leader of this team probably did give the order. The man in custody most likely is the team leader.

The reasoning for producing a single scape-goat is to give the impression that most soldiers are not afflicted with this kind of contempt for human life.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 12, 2012 9:38:58 AM | 64

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 21 2012 23:22 utc | 93

Yeah, Colm O' Toole, it is very fishy

haha. Oh god. You people are relentless.

Posted by: slothrop | Mar 21 2012 23:27 utc | 94

By the way, the soldier has made no confession.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 22 2012 0:27 utc | 95

If there is life out there in the universe, this is the music I would want them to hear to have an understanding of mankind:

Posted by: Cynthia | Mar 22 2012 1:07 utc | 96

Somebody @ 83

I believe I heard the election was postponed for a week, due to this serial-killer-case. During which of course election-time regulations on allocated TV-time for each candidate, is suspended.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 22 2012 1:48 utc | 97

slothrop, I simply suspect it is blowback, the press has been full of Mancunian or Irish speaking Libyan fighters, who are supposed to be in Syria now. If ex- and new colonial Britain cultivated the Libyan Islamic fighting group, I guess ex- and new colonial France did something similar. How likely do you think an uneducated petty criminal with Algerian Arabic French speaker makes it to Waziristan and back on his own? Or what does the US do with guys who fight against their troops in Afghanistan? Just watch them? The detail with the imprisonment in Kandahar seems to have disappeared now from the biography. Why?

Posted by: somebody | Mar 22 2012 6:22 utc | 98

the white saviour industrial complex

plus - there was a coup in Mali by the way:

anything to do with the French?

Posted by: somebody | Mar 22 2012 6:33 utc | 99

An interesting piece of history. A French coup and a nuke: A “Nuclear Coup” ? France, the Algerian War and the April 1961 Nuclear Test (pdf)

Posted by: b | Mar 22 2012 6:53 utc | 100

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