Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 24, 2012

Open Thread 2012-30

Found nothing I'd like to write about so this one is for your news & views.

Posted by b on November 24, 2012 at 18:21 UTC | Permalink

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I sat through the 2-hour talk about Modern Money linked to by Carpworld #69. The first hour was a good bit better than the second hour. As a follow up, I just took a quiz on Modern Money in the first two minutes of http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i35uBVeNp6c and I had one wrong answer for one important question in the quiz so I'm going to have to sit though this one too.

I send my thanks to Carpworld for the link.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Nov 26 2012 22:08 utc | 101

Ausama Monajed holds a postgraduate degree in Political Communication from the UK.

I have never heard of this particular branch of learning, Political Communication, so I looked at a program offered by American University.

Master's Degree in Political Communication

This joint program offered by American University’s School of Communication (SOC) and School of Public Affairs (SPA) provides an understanding of the theory and practice of political institutions as well as the interaction between those institutions, the media and the public. Create, shape, and manage information strategically to guide political communication and integrate new media technologies into the political process. Experience the power of political communication in guiding political change.

Political communication graduates will be prepared to pursue careers as politicians, policy-makers, political communication strategists, and campaign executives.

Political communication impels political change. Effect change. Accomplish. Hone speechwriting skills. Conduct political polling. Advance campaign events. Sharpen advocacy communication. Understand journalists. Reach voters and influence decision-makers. Use social media to your advantage. Gain strategic communication skills and applied political knowledge.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 26 2012 22:16 utc | 102

Brian @66 and somebody @ 72 --

NPR news this evening has a longish segment on how the rebels are taking over bases, a hydroelectric dam on the Euphrates, the air base and all its weaponry with which to attack Damascus, etc., etc.

Does no one ever look beyond their accepted "sources"? Beyond US propaganda spokespeople?

Are there any real reporters any more?

Posted by: jawbone | Nov 26 2012 23:30 utc | 103

Mistake, should be somebody @ 71, his linking to discussion of the incongruities in the rebel air base video.

Posted by: jawbone | Nov 26 2012 23:41 utc | 104

@101

Yes, I watched it and would like to thank Carpworld as well. It was an interesting lecture that made perfect sense.

I have some dispute with the male economist concerning his apparent advocacy for unlimited free trade and the US trade deficit as being in the best interests of the US. He failed to touch on any possible negatives such as the gutting of highly paid US manufacturing jobs. It appears that he has some libertarian leanings in that regard.

Posted by: sleepy | Nov 26 2012 23:53 utc | 105

@ Copeland,

Q: But then the brightest on the left, like Chomsky, ...

R: Chomsky and Juan Cole are just a few of the many who have been removed from my scrapbook of life of people to pay attention to.

Noam Chomsky - 'Who cares about 9/11'

Juan Cole - Cheerleader of the Libyan invasion

One red-blooded Rep [Japanese LDP] said something wonderful a while ago [he owns large a construction company in Kagoshima, the Uemura gummi]: "Hmmm, they haven't changed the building codes after 9/11."

Let that sink in for a moment.

Then add Silverstein's 'We had to pull it' to it, as if you slap a couple of sticks of dynamite to a building and 'There she falls!' [later to be revised to mean 'it' = 'firefighters'] and the right field is left wide open...

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 26 2012 23:57 utc | 106

Why is it that Lamb is problematic ?

Because he often publishes stuff that turns out to be wrong. The Angry Arab has been keeping tabs on him. Run "Franklin Lamb" through his search engine to see some examples.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 27 2012 0:04 utc | 107

Paul Craig Roberts: The Osama bin Laden Myth

Posted by: somebody | Nov 27 2012 0:07 utc | 108

When Propaganda Masquarades as News

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Nov 27 2012 0:38 utc | 109

Transcript of Bush press conference (excerpt)
March 13, 2002

QUESTION: Do you believe the threat that bin Laden posed won't truly be eliminated until he is found either dead of alive?

BUSH: As I say, we hadn't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, you know, again, I don't know where he is.

I'll repeat what I said: I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 27 2012 0:41 utc | 110

Readout of Secretary Panetta's Conversation with Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak
Nov 21, 2012

The secretary commended Israel on the ceasefire reached today. He expressed his hope that no further rockets will be fired from Gaza, and committed to continuing to work together to address the issue of the smuggling of weapons into Gaza. Minister Barak thanked Secretary Panetta and the Obama Administration for U.S. support of the Iron Dome counter-rocket system. The system intercepted over 85 percent of rockets fired at Israeli civilians and provided decision space for Israel to achieve its strategic goals without forcing further military actions.

Secretary Panetta stated how impressed he is by the Iron Dome system and looks forward to continuing to support the system for the benefit of Israel's security.


U.S. propaganda is defined as "public diplomacy" at State and "strategic communication" at Defense. Neither definition has anything to do with truth, but rather "informing and influencing" and the "advancement of United States Government interests, policies, and objectives."

State:
The mission of American public diplomacy is to support the achievement of U.S. foreign policy goals and objectives, advance national interests, and enhance national security by informing and influencing foreign publics and by expanding and strengthening the relationship between the people and government of the United States and citizens of the rest of the world.

DOD:
Strategic communication is focused United States Government efforts to understand and engage key audiences to create, strengthen, or preserve conditions favorable for the advancement of United States Government interests, policies, and objectives through the use of coordinated programs, plans, themes, messages, and products synchronized with the actions of all instruments of national power.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 27 2012 1:00 utc | 111

Finally some real reporting on what is going on in Syria

Fighting to Hold Damascus,Syria Flattens Rebel 'Slums'

For the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, the stakes in Damascus are nothing short of retaining control of the nation itself. "If they lose Damascus, they lose the state," says Patrick Seale, a British author and Syria expert.

Senior security officials within the Assad regime say partial demolitions of pro-rebel neighborhoods in and around Damascus are a key element of an ambitious counterinsurgency plan now unfolding. The plan also involves the expansion of regime-funded militias known as "Popular Committees" within the capital.

These officials say the strategy applies lessons learned from other offensives against the rebels since the start of the conflict more than 20 months ago, most notably in the central city of Homs.

The government's official position is that the destruction is part of a long-discussed master plan to rid Damascus of illegal slums. City officials say illegal settlements account for nearly 20% of the capital's 26,500 acres.

Based on several extended visits to Damascus and vicinity last month—some of which coincided with demolition by military authorities—the destruction appears to be occurring only in areas where opposition fighters have been active. In addition, much of it has been overseen by the military rather than municipal authorities, residents say.

"There's still work to be done, we are not finished yet with cleansing operations that are in response to popular demand," says Hussein Makhlouf, a relative of Mr. Assad and governor of Rif Damascus, the province surrounding the capital.

In his Damascus office, Mr. Makhlouf praised the government's official slum-destruction decree, known as "presidential decree No. 66," as a model for urban renewal. He said demolitions will soon begin in Daraya, Harasta and Yalda, all suburbs that have been at the center of the insurgency against Mr. Assad. Mr. Makhlouf was forthright about the motives behind the demolitions, saying they were essential to drive out rebels, or "terrorists" as he called them.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 27 2012 1:22 utc | 112

Syria should consider a wall system as in Baghdad (and Palestine).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 27 2012 1:46 utc | 113

ATH @94

I find Franklin problematic for the same reason that I find the hasbara crowd on the oposite side problematic, ie pushing only the one side at the expense of everything else.

ToivoS @107 is being charitable to use the word "wrong" to describe some of the material Franklin writes, but I am glad he cites the Angry Arab on the matter. He is much less charitable than ToivoS, as you will see, if, as Toivos suggests, you put Franklin through the Angry Arab search engine.

Posted by: sean | Nov 27 2012 2:49 utc | 114

"So we may conclude that this bogus propaganda about Syria losses is US-sponsored. But we knew that anyhow."

Or Israeli sponsored - the western fascist media answers to Israel first and formost.

Everything in the western media about Syria should be dismissed as goebbels style "big lie" propaganda. Same for any of their other coverage of countries that are not fully controlled israeli-American colonies.

Posted by: вот так | Nov 27 2012 5:42 utc | 115

Previous comment was to #100 (I didn't notice there were 2 pages of comments until after I posted it).

Arafat's body exhumed in murder inquiry

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_11_27/Arafats-body-exhumed-in-murder-inquiry/

I imagine that a certain party is scrambling to muster all their resources to subvert the tests, one way or another.

Posted by: вот так | Nov 27 2012 5:48 utc | 116

21st century America and the America of the 1950's have some remarkable simularities in the government thought processes...

US wanted to blow up the moon, top secret project discovered

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_11_27/US-wanted-to-blow-up-the-moon-top-secret-project-discovered/

"In the 1950s the Earth would have witnessed the moon blown up, should the US government had completed its secret project intended to intimidate the Soviet Union and display its technological power during the notorious space race.

According to the secret project, called “A Study of Lunar Research Flights”, as well as “Project A119”, a missile with a nuclear bomb on board would have been launched from an unknown location.

Then, the nuclear bomb would have caused an explosion upon its collision with the only natural satellite of the Earth.

By 1959 the United States had deployed intercontinental ballistic missiles and the project looked quite feasible.

But it was given up in the end due to fears about the bomb detonating prematurely and space contamination.

The project was kept secret for nearly 45 years and the US government has never formally confirmed its involvement in the study.

All scientists involved in the project could have been accused of a security breach, should they have revealed somehow any detail of the classified project.

The project was officially cancelled in January 1959, and the Unites States concentrated its efforts on ‘the first man on the moon’ project."

Posted by: вот так | Nov 27 2012 6:18 utc | 117

@ Parviziyi & sleepy

You're very welcome, i'm glad it was of use. MMT is politically agnostic and there are right/libertarian and left interpretations - Bill Mitchell for example is very much to the left - but both understand the system the same way. If you accept it in general it does however beg the question: do policy makers not understand this is how it works, or do they understand it and are lying? The age old question, and i personally favour what Arthur Silber calls the 'Higgs Principal' for Robert Higgs: "As a general rule for understanding public policies, i insist that there are no persistent 'failed' policies. Policies that do not achieve their desired outcomes for the actual powers-that-be are quickly changed."

Posted by: Carpworld | Nov 27 2012 8:33 utc | 118

@вот так | Nov 27, 2012 1:18:51 AM | 117

Carl Sagan was talking about his role in possibly detonating an atomic bomb on the moon publicly going back to the sixties. I first heard this story in the 70s. He was never charged with treason.

Posted by: ToivoS | Nov 27 2012 9:32 utc | 119

Netanyahu wins a Pyrrhic victory

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NK22Ak03.html

Posted by: anonym | Nov 27 2012 12:47 utc | 120

@ BOK TAK #117. Edward Teller (Dr. Strangelove) was consumed with power (in the physical sense as well). He also wanted to use his gadget to create harbors, disregarding the radiation impacts, earning his crew the nickname the "firecracker boys". Opposition to this (after losing their jobs at Univ. of Alaska) created the environmental movement, and is described in a book by that title. More applicable in the similarity between the 50's and the current mindset is the extent to which the bomb gives cover for secrecy and the end run by the US military to be transparent in military agendas, as being told by Oliver Stone in "Untold History" and many others, inc. Garry Wills in "Bomb Power". The general mindset of the " "might makes right" crowd was nailed by the esteemed planner Lewis Mumford in March, 1946, in his article "Gentlemen:You are Mad!"

The US propaganda machine has been relentless in creating the Conant/Stimson/George narrative that the "bomb saved lives and shortened the war" (the opposite is the actual case, IMO and likely that of most scholars)in response to the initial opposition eg (Hershey, Mumford) and rigid in censoring all attempts to expose the public to the radiation effects of the bomb, and its closer relationship to gas warfare (slow, painful deaths) rather than its explosive and incendiary impacts. The Iranians are to be commended for their efforts to bring this monopolistic and cruel power grab to a head.

Posted by: erichwwk | Nov 27 2012 13:40 utc | 121

@113

Like this you mean? They could do with a few more though

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Nov 27 2012 15:02 utc | 122

Jack Sparrow writes:

MMT ignores the lessons of history in its general smugness as to the U.S. financial position. Once again, lip service is paid – “yes we must be responsible” etc – but the main assertions of MMT sing a much more cavalier tune and are thus all wrong. We should not think of the United States government as an all-powerful entity that is financially immortal. We should perceive it for what it is – a facilitator of overextended empire, making a semi-alarming series of unproductive spending choices, with all the latent dangers that such a profile entails.

Like inflation.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 27 2012 15:07 utc | 123

On Egypt, pick your poison from the various headlines today--

Egypt's president backs off earlier claim to absolute power
An untidy compromise in Egypt
Supreme Council of the Judiciary steadfast in protest
Egypt's Morsy: Has He Started Something He Can't Finish?
Egypt Readies for Protests as Mursi Appeasement Bid Fails
Egypt town in mourning illustrates national rift
Egypt crisis: Morsi refuses to back down - live updates

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 27 2012 15:13 utc | 124

The US Air Force (unlike the Navy) has invested billions of dollars in stealth aircraft. With the B-2 bomber, the F-22 Raptor, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and a future bomber system known as Long Range Strike, the Air Force has bet its future on an all-stealth combat fleet. But the rapid expansion of computing power ushers in new sensors and methods that will make stealth and its advantages increasingly difficult to maintain above and below the water. First, though, military sensors will start to circumvent stealth of surface ships and aircraft through two main mechanisms:
• Operating at lower electromagnetic frequencies than stealth technologies are designed to negate, and
• Detecting the stealth platform from angles or aspects at which the platform has a higher signature.

No less a figure than the Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Jonathan Greenert, a submariner, wrote in the nation's most prestigious naval publication, the Proceedings of the US Naval Institute that "sensors will start to circumvent stealth" in the future.
http://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2012-07/payloads-over-platforms-charting-new-course

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 27 2012 15:35 utc | 125

As I understand it, MMT claims only to be an objective description of fiat money creation and sovereign debt. It makes no policy or political claims as to how sovereign money should be spent or what should be funded. Regarding inflation, MMT recognizes that sovereign spending beyond what is necessary to achieve full employment risks inflation. But that would be a political and policy decision.

Posted by: sleepy | Nov 27 2012 16:30 utc | 126

erichwwk

Useful info - thanks.

Posted by: вот так | Nov 27 2012 17:09 utc | 127

Follow-up on the Arafat exhumation:

Jibril Rajub: ‘We want Arafat’s murderers to be tried by an international tribunal’ - exclusive

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_11_27/Jibril-Rajub-We-want-Arafat-s-murderers-to-be-tried-by-an-international-tribunal-exclusive/

Not so sure having Israel in the dock would do any good - Israel appoints the judges and determines the outcomes of the ICC kangaroo courts. As well as kills the occasional problematic defendant in ICC custody.

Posted by: вот так | Nov 27 2012 17:15 utc | 128

@122

Sure, there cannot be enough walls in the world

Posted by: somebody | Nov 27 2012 21:47 utc | 129

Don Bacon @102, etc.: All of this information about Monajed, Ugarit News, the Democracy Council and the State Department really deserves a dedicated post. I have known that the State Department had funded training of "activists" in social media, and of course, I had known about the "London-based" SOHR, but I hadn't seen info previously about a US-funded outlet for "activist" reports/propaganda. It really does raise the question of whether the US is more closely involved in shaping the narrative or strategy of the "activists" on the ground.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Nov 27 2012 22:40 utc | 130

David Kenner at FP-Passport, a US State Department mouthpiece, on Nov 27 posted an article "The Syrian rebels arm up" which includes:

It's not only SAMs that rebels have gotten their hands on in recent days. Insurgents also overran a military base belonging to the 46th Regiment, near Aleppo, last week. The invaluable Brown Moses blog has a rundown of the equipment seized, which includes tanks, truck-mounted guns, rocket launchers, and long-range artillery. It's possible that the missiles that struck the helicopter at Sheikh Suleiman was also seized from the 46th Regiment's arsenal.

"Brown Moses" is Eliot Higgins, a resident of, you guessed it, London. Higgins was interviewed by Scott Simon on Oct 27, 2012 by NPR, about Syrian rebel weapons.(excerpt)
SIMON: Mr. Higgins, you often are cited as a source of the arms that are used in the conflict. We have to ask: you're sitting there in some kind of studio in the United Kingdom. How do you know this stuff?

HIGGINS: It's a combination of things really. I'm fortunate enough to have a lot of contacts with activists who provide me with information. But one thing I found is you can't really always trust what my activists are saying. So, you need to combine that with long as you (unintelligible) you get from journalists and I have a number of arms researchers I speak to. But what's very unusual about this Syrian conflict, especially compared to Libya, where the Internet was cut off for most of the conflict, is there's a vast number of videos being uploaded every day onto places like YouTube, showing all sorts of things from different parts of the country.

SIMON: But you've written recently about the increasing sophistication and destructive power of some of the weapons now in rebel hands. What are they using now?

HIGGINS: More recently, what we're seeing, is increased numbers of multi-barrel rocket launchers being sighted. And these are long-range rocket launchers, capable of firing quite a distance - up to eight miles, I believe. Very, very effective against stationary targets but only if you know how to fire them. And the question I have is really how well-trained are these opposition fighters when they're actually operating them.


Higgins, conveniently in London along with Ausama Monajed, Ugarit News, the Strategic Research and Communication Centre, and the Syrian National Council, gets his information from "a vast number of videos being uploaded every day." Amazing. (I used to say bullshit before I went to charm school.)

Here's the Brown Moses blog, Nov 25.

As I've been posting for the last few days a recent major victory at the 46th Regiment base near Aleppo has resulted in large numbers of heavy weapons being captured by the Syrian opposition, including surface to air missiles, tanks, and artillery. Now more photographs and videos have been posted online showing a large collection of heavy weapons that are claimed to have been captured from the 46th Regiment base.

So now the rebels whose most important weapons in October were rocket launchers are now armed with tracked vehicles, according to videos being uploaded every day. What can they possibly do with a few tanks and BMPs, if they really have them, which is questionable?

footnote:
The videos at Moses Brown blog are from Mhajry Alsham which is a prolific video producer.

The still photos of the weapons supposedly captured near Aleppo are from Hama Echo (photo) who lives in Hama, a distance away.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 27 2012 23:23 utc | 131

Why did they only arrest the women? Is it naked guy appreciation week on Capitol Hill?

Naked protesters arrested at US Speaker’s office

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_11_28/Naked-protesters-arrested-at-US-Speaker-s-office/

Posted by: вот так | Nov 27 2012 23:25 utc | 132

Why arrest only the women? I suspect those doing the aresting were men, more interested in spending time with naked women.

Posted by: erichwwk | Nov 28 2012 1:08 utc | 133

The US debt now exceeds $16 Trillion ($53,000 per American) and last month alone the US deficit (to be borrowed) was four billion dollars PER DAY (over ten bucks per person per day).

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 28 2012 1:19 utc | 134

Rev 1
Palestine application for non-member Observer State status in the United Nations(pdf)
to be considered Nov 29
67th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
Agenda Iterm 37: Question of Palestine
h/t Inner City Press

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 28 2012 1:28 utc | 135

This is huge--
The US Supreme Court has blocked enforcement of an Illinois law that prohibited people from recording police officers actions, agreeing with the ACLU that the law "restricts far more speech than necessary to protect legitimate privacy interests.”

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 28 2012 1:41 utc | 136

133

"I suspect those doing the aresting were men, more interested in spending time with naked women."

The cops arresting the women were probably women cops. Which might explain it...

136

"Huge", and surprising, given the extreme levels of degradation the USSC has under gone during the last 20 years.

Posted by: вот так | Nov 28 2012 2:04 utc | 137

Whistleblower Bradley Manning was back in court today.

Glenn Greenwald‏ tweets:
‘Bradley Manning could have sold docs for a lot of $; instead, knowingly risked his liberty to inform world of serious wrongdoing --> heroism’

Manning faces life in prison for telling the world about past wrongdoing by US personnel.

Meanwhile, ex-Gen. Petraeus considers offers for his next lofty perch in the US establishment despite jeopardizing ongoing top-secret operations by his stunning indiscretion.

Posted by: Watson | Nov 28 2012 2:14 utc | 138

@Watson
What ongoing top-secret operations did Petraeus jeopardize? A SpecOps panty-raid in Tampa's strip clubs? Uncovering the real meaning of Paula Broadwell's "All In?"

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 28 2012 2:58 utc | 139

The time has come. #135 above
Resolution 181 (II). Future government of Palestine
Nov 29, 1947 (excerpts)

Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem, set forth in part III of this plan, shall come into existence in Palestine two months after the evacuation of the armed forces of the mandatory Power has been completed but in any case not later than 1 October 1948. The boundaries of the Arab State, the Jewish State, and the City of Jerusalem shall be as described in parts II and III below.

The General Assembly requests that:

(a) The Security Council take the necessary measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation;
(b) The Security Council consider, if circumstances during the transitional period require such consideration, whether the situation in Palestine constitutes a threat to the peace. If it decides that such a threat exists, and in order to maintain international peace and security, the Security Council should supplement the authorization of the General Assembly by taking measures, under Articles 39 and 41 of the Charter, to empower the United Nations Commission, as provided in this resolution, to exercise in Palestine the functions which are assigned to it by this resolution;
(c) The Security Council determine as a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression, in accordance with Article 39 of the Charter, any attempt to alter by force the settlement envisaged by this resolution;

More than 120 countries diplomatically recognize Palestinian statehood (as declared by the PLO in 1988), a bloc that would seem to ensure a successful vote at the General Assembly, if and when this occurs.

President Obama reiterated the U.S. stance in his address to the U.N. General Assembly in September 2011: "One year ago, I stood at this podium and I called for an independent Palestine. I believed then, and I believe now, that the Palestinian people deserve a state of their own. But what I also said is that a genuine peace can only be realized between the Israelis and the Palestinians themselves."

Days ahead of the vote in November 2012, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Washington viewed the Palestinian bid at the U.N. as a mistake and would oppose the move. "We do not think that this step is going to bring the Palestinian people any closer to a state," she told reporters.

The idea that peace is necessary before one of the two states at war can be admitted to the United Nations, while the other state has been a member for sixty years, is bogus.

First look at another example, Korea:

Start of Korean War, June 25, 1950
Armistice Agreement, July 27, 1953
North and South Korea admitted to United Nations, September 17, 1991
Status, still at war

But with Israel/Palestine there's a difference

Israel admitted to United Nations, May 11, 1949
Palestine refused admittance to United Nations, continuously
Status, still at war (armistice)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 28 2012 3:13 utc | 140

I wonder if the Russian involvement in the Arafat polonium testing has something to do with the UK reversing their previous stance to allowing involvement Russian investigators.

Russian investigators to join Litvinenko trial

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_11_28/Russian-investigators-to-join-Litvinenko-trial/

"Russian investigators will take part in a UK court hearing on the Litvinenko case.

This was agreed by Russian and British authorities."

Posted by: вот так | Nov 28 2012 18:04 utc | 141

b - you remember the shit a few years back about a Burmese nuclear weapons program - well Arms Control Wonk now has a piece which suggests I think that it was a Burmese rare earth program. You might interested.

http://lewis.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/5888/myanmar-rare-earths-stuff

Posted by: blowback | Nov 28 2012 22:40 utc | 142

There is a surge of syrian-related article in Le Monde for two days now.
They are focused on Damascus :

http://www.lemonde.fr/proche-orient/article/2012/11/27/damas-grignotee-progressivement-par-la-rebellion_1796362_3218.html
"Damascus slowly nibbled by the rebellion"

http://www.lemonde.fr/proche-orient/article/2012/11/27/l-avancee-inexorable-des-rebelles-syriens_1796360_3218.html
"The unstoppable advance of syrians rebels"

http://www.lemonde.fr/proche-orient/infographie/2012/11/28/la-situation-actuelle-a-damas_1797120_3218.html
"Graphics : Current situation in Damascus"


What surprises me is that Le Monde has no journalist there. Even better, no french MSM has anyone there. Still, we have a very precise description of daily life in Damascus. More surprising even is that the "infographie" shows places of daily peaceful strikes against the regime as well as district controlled by FSA, but with no news, proofs or even un-reliable low-quality cellphone-made videos. Nothing.
Be ready to start laughing if you did not already, they write that "Volcano of Damascus" was a success as it led to the above-described situation.

Oh, and for a few month now, SOHR (OSDH in French) has been requalified as "a syrian NGO" or "pro-democracy NGO".
My guess is that they try to cover something else, mostly the political debacle of the enlarged SNC, rejected on the ground by FSA and other rebel groups.
France is sadly atop of the huge propaganda bullshit on Middle-East :/


What news do you have there ?
Any thoughts ?

Posted by: Rhysa | Nov 29 2012 0:02 utc | 143

france24.com does some mixed reporting: Can the rebels ever win in Syria?

Posted by: somebody | Nov 29 2012 1:34 utc | 144

#143

The western disciples of Goebbels have been running a lot of "the Syrian rebels are winning the war" pieces. It reminds me of that Iraqi PR guy claiming Baghdad was free of American forces when one could see an American tank in the distance on the video interview. It also reminds me of how for nearly 2 decades now, Israel has been claiming that Iran was months away from owning nuclear weapons.

Posted by: вот так | Nov 29 2012 1:56 utc | 145

US accelarates intervention in Syrian war

http://rt.com/usa/news/us-intervention-syria-arms-925/

"The US government is contemplating significant intervention in the Syria conflict and has discussed employing Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems in Turkey and directly providing arms to opposition fighters.

In an attempt to defeat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, government officials told the New York Times that the US might bring its military resources to the region for either intimidation purposes or direct use in Syria."

I figured these fascists toned down their aggressive language only for the [s]elections to prevent an anti-war candidate (Paul) garnering a large share of the popular vote. Once the [s]election was done, they would be right back at it.

Posted by: вот так | Nov 29 2012 18:28 utc | 146

And this is the scum Israel-America uses to terrorise the Syrian people.

Human Rights Watch accuses Syrian rebels of using children for fighting

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_11_29/Human-Rights-Watch-accuses-Syrian-rebels-of-using-children-for-fighting/

"Human Rights Watch has accused Syrian rebels of using young boys for fighting.

Children as young as 14 have served in at least three brigades, transporting weapons and supplies and acting as lookouts, while children, as young as 16, have carried arms and taken combat roles against government forces, New York-based watchdog said.

The HRW officials interviewed boys who worked with the armed opposition in Holms, Deraa and in the province of Idlib.

Human Right Watch demanded that the Syrian opposition stopped using children in fighting."

Posted by: вот так | Nov 29 2012 18:32 utc | 147

But then their own "regular" soldiers are not any better.

US Marine accused of animal sexual abuse

http://www.presstv.ir/usdetail/275231.html

"The accusations against Harpel were investigated by the sheriff’s office, which said they found enough evidence to support multiple felony charges of crimes against nature. Harpel is accused of sexually assaulting at least two dogs, including one female pit bull, and using the Internet to ask other individuals to join him in committing sexual acts with dogs, Capt. J.T. Eimer of the JCSO said.

The Marine Corps had previously issued a military protective order on Nov. 20, followed by the issuance of an N.C. Domestic Violence Protective Order on Nov. 21, to protect Harpel’s spouse and children after he allegedly made threats against them, according to the release. Marine Corps authorities ordered that the Marine staff sergeant be temporarily confined to the base brig aboard Camp Lejeune as a precautionary measure, according to the release."

Posted by: вот так | Nov 29 2012 18:36 utc | 148

Posted by: вот так | Nov 27, 2012 1:18:51 AM | 117

and you thuoght mad scientists didnt exist! esp bad whe allied to the military. But the US reputation is based largely on propaganda and stories like this show the festering reality.

Posted by: brian | Nov 29 2012 20:37 utc | 149

In his Damascus office, Mr. Makhlouf praised the government's official slum-destruction decree, known as "presidential decree No. 66," as a model for urban renewal. He said demolitions will soon begin in Daraya, Harasta and Yalda, all suburbs that have been at the center of the insurgency against Mr. Assad. Mr. Makhlouf was forthright about the motives behind the demolitions, saying they were essential to drive out rebels, or "terrorists" as he called them.


Posted by: somebody | Nov 26, 2012 8:22:25 PM | 112

is this some sort of joke? recall Star Wars Revenge of the Sith: Evil Emperor Palpatine: 'Execute Order 66!'
WSJ and real reporting...not likely...At least they use the word 'insurgency'!

Posted by: brian | Nov 29 2012 20:40 utc | 150

what the salafists have done is force nations to ask abot their muslim populations: 'will they also strive to repeat in our countries what they are doing in syria? Should muslims be expelled?'
for me this only shows the madness of religion.

Posted by: brian | Nov 29 2012 20:42 utc | 151

Jibril Rajub: ‘We want Arafat’s murderers to be tried by an international tribunal’ - exclusive

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_11_27/Jibril-Rajub-We-want-Arafat-s-murderers-to-be-tried-by-an-international-tribunal-exclusive/

Not so sure having Israel in the dock would do any good - Israel appoints the judges and determines the outcomes of the ICC kangaroo courts. As well as kills the occasional problematic defendant in ICC custody.

Posted by: вот так | Nov 27, 2012 12:15:21 PM | 128

Good luck finding one!

Posted by: brian | Nov 29 2012 20:44 utc | 152

@BOT TAK #146:

One might think that RT would question the reliability of unnamed government sources, especially in stories in the NYT and DEBKA:

In an attempt to defeat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, government officials told the New York Times that the US might bring its military resources to the region for either intimidation purposes or direct use in Syria.

...
Although State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the Patriot missile system would not be used beyond the Turkish border, military sources told Israeli news service DEBKA that all of northern Syria – including Aleppo and Homs – would become controlled by the Turkish-NATO team.

The US has so far hesitated to intervene on the ground in Syria, fearing the risks would be too great for their own soldiers and could worsen the conflict. But 18 months after the start of the civil war, intervention has increasingly entered the US radar.
“The administration has figured out that if they don’t start doing something, the war will be over and they won’t have any influence over the combat forces on the ground,” former Defense Intelligence Agency officer told the New York Times. “They may have some influence with various political groups and factions, but they won’t have influence with the fighters, and the fighters will control the territory.”

The US has so far provided nearly $200 million in humanitarian aid, but has not intervened militarily. But US officials believe the administration is now considering providing arms to the opposition groups. CIA officers located in Turkey have already determined which groups should receive such weapons, but have emphasized the difficulty of preventing them from falling into the wrong hands.


These could just be some neocon or neolib political appointees trying to put pressure on Obama.

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Nov 30 2012 0:37 utc | 153

Post-US world born in Phnom Penh

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/NK27Dj02.html

Posted by: Rick Happ | Nov 30 2012 4:23 utc | 154

154, there goes the pivot. Back to the Middle East?

Posted by: somebody | Nov 30 2012 5:23 utc | 155

essential reading RT Assange interview

Do you know what you were thinking one year, two days, three months ago? No, you don’t know, but Google knows, it remembers. 'Google knows, it remembers' The National Security Agency who intercepts the request if it flowed over the US border, it knows. So by just communicating to our friends, by emailing each other, by updating Facebook profiles, we are informing on our friends. 'by updating Facebook profiles, we are informing on our friends' And friends don’t inform on friends. You know, the Stasi had a 10 per cent penetration of East German society, with up to 1 in 10 people being informants at some time in their life. Now in countries that have the highest internet penetration, like Iceland, more than 80 per cent of people are on Facebook, informing about their friends. That information doesn’t [simply] go nowhere. It’s not kept in Iceland, it’s sent back into the US where it IS accessed by US intelligence and where it is given out to any friends or cronies of US intelligence – hundreds of national security letters every day publicly declared and being issued by the US government. RT: So do we risk kind of entering a scenario where there are almost two castes of people: a safe minority who are very savvy about the workings of the internet and the things that you described, and just people who go online for kicks? JA: We have this position where as we know knowledge is power, and there’s a mass transfer as a result of literally billions of interceptions per day going from everyone, the average person, into the data vaults of state spying agencies for the big countries, and their cronies – the corporations that help build them that infrastructure. Those groups are already powerful, that’s why they are able to build this infrastructure to intercept on everyone. So they are growing more powerful, concentrating the power in the hands of smaller and smaller groups of people at once, which isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s extremely dangerous once there is any sort of corruption occurring in the power.

Posted by: somebody | Nov 30 2012 10:26 utc | 156

Can anyone offer analysis of Syria's communications blackout? The MSM is claiming that it has been imposed by the Assad administration while the Syrian government spokesperson has blamed it on terrorists. Why would the Syrian government, which touts itself as one of the main supporters of Palestinians, shut down its internet on the day that Abbas was going to the UN? Even though Syria appears to have control over its communications networks, is there potential for cybersabotage by the US, Israel or others?

Posted by: Rusty Pipes | Nov 30 2012 22:57 utc | 157

No, it means the Syrian government is on an all out offensive. And Western governments are extremely silent about it.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 1 2012 5:01 utc | 158

The Israeli cyber sabotage front group Anonymous is back at supporting the illegal and terrorist Israeli-American war against Syria:

Anonymous declares cyber war on Syrian government's websites

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_12_01/Anonymous-declares-cyber-war-on-Syrian-governments-websites/

"Anonymous have said they will shut down the Syrian governments websites around the world in response to Syria’s internet blackout. For the second day all internet services, mobile phones and many fixed line phones are out of action."

Fascists don't like it when their victims make terror ops more difficult for them:

Internet back on in Damascus

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_12_01/Internet-back-on-in-Damascus/

"The Internet was working in Syria's capital of Damascus on Saturday, residents said, after a two-day blackout that experts said was highly likely to have been caused by authorities.

President Bashar al-Assad's government has been accused before of cutting Internet and telephone connnections to block opposition activists and rebel communications during the 20-month revolt."

Isreal-America's "special" terrorists set off several bombs in Damascus recently that killed over a 100 people. The Syrian government probably shut down their internet service to hamper communications between the terrorists and their Israeli-American handlers. In response, the Israeli-American fascists set their cyber sabotage group, Anonymous, to attack Syria. This is the 3rd time Israel-America has set Anonymous upon Syria that I know of.

Posted by: вот так | Dec 1 2012 17:04 utc | 159

FSA Make Child Soldier Dig Own Grave - Crimes of the week 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-QQsFyCEAw

This week the FSA:
*Film child soldier digging his own grave for propaganda purposes
*Terror Bombing of Residential area
*Film direct threat to families of Syrian Soldiers
*Sing about creating an islamic state and ethnically cleansing All Alawites
*Bomb Alalam and Press TV media station in Damascus
*Release a video of kidnapped Journalist Anhar Kochneva with forced confession and forced Hijaab

Posted by: вот так | Dec 1 2012 17:10 utc | 160

Israeli-America strikes again:

Bomb blast rocks Syrian capital Damascus

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/12/01/275648/bomb-blast-rocks-syrian-capital/

"A car bomb has exploded in the Syrian capital Damascus, reportedly leaving some casualties one day after another bomb attack targeted vehicles belonging to Press TV and al-Alam television networks.


The Saturday blast took place as the Syria army is battling terrorist in Damascus’ suburbs and has cleaned parts of the capital of insurgents. Fierce clashes have been going on in the Hujaira district in the city.

On Friday, a bomb explosion occurred near Press TV’s office in Damascus after a man was caught on camera sticking an explosive device to a car. The bomb attack, however, did not cause any casualties.

This is while the Syria army has found a warehouse containing considerable amounts of Israeli-made weapons belonging to the foreign-backed insurgents."

Posted by: вот так | Dec 2 2012 5:04 utc | 161

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