Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 15, 2013

Open Thread 2013-09

... busy ...

News & views ...

Posted by b on May 15, 2013 at 16:20 UTC | Permalink


Everybody is shocked, shocked, I tell you, at the sexual abuse in the US military. How could such a thing happen? Are our heroes entitled to nothing. Serving our Country brings no privileges at all? Oh well, iut'll be Sharia Lewis Law next, and we'll all be forced to eat Lamb Chop!

Posted by: Mooser | May 15 2013 16:54 utc | 1

"Israel was considering further military strikes on Syria to stop the transfer of advanced weapons to Islamic militants"

If they're worried about arms transfers to "Islamic militants" then they probably ought to be bombing Riyadh and Qatar.

Posted by: guest77 | May 15 2013 17:53 utc | 2

Or Washington, London, Paris and Istambul.

Posted by: ThePaper | May 15 2013 18:30 utc | 3

Its STILL Nakba day. The tragic day when the Palestinian people were expelled from their land by the Israelis. Let us not forget their historic struggle to reclaim their homeland.

Posted by: Fernando | May 15 2013 19:10 utc | 4

While the West are considering arming the FSA (as if they haven't done so yet) the conditions on the ground continue to
turn for the worse for the FSA
(link is from may 9th and don't know if anyone already posted it here, in that case sorry, but this one seems pretty important).

While the news is pretty silent on the Reyhanli bombings (except for Assad getting the blame) other very important things are happening.

Netanyahoo's visit to Moscow

"Israel wants Russia to halt supplies of the formidable S-300 missiles that would severely complicate any future air attacks against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad."

The sheer lunacy to demand that a country NOT be provided any means to DEFEND itself are just baffling. It gets even worse:

"“Indirectly, he is letting him know that Israel would destroy the S-300s when they get delivered,” he told AFP."

Russian technicians would be there and if Israel attacks there would definitely be casualties among the personnel. Though if operational it would be a costly attack (material and political).

I agree with most here, mostly in the previous topic(casualty count), that Russia drew it's line in the sand. Russia is not letting Syria fall that easily. The question is: how far will Israel take this?

He went to Russia and tried to dissuade Putin but instead was told the S300 was already delivered or en route and got a reprimand not to make things more difficult by another attack.

Will they heed the warning or like any schoolbully with support from the cool (and rich) guys in school continue to harass the uncool kid?

Posted by: Gehenna | May 15 2013 19:23 utc | 5

@guest77 #2
I believe they are referring to the S300 since that could also cover Lebanese airspace and limit Israeli's playground. Hence it would serve Hezbollah (Islamic extremists in their eyes even though they are providing logistical and medical assistance to the terrorists in the Golan Heights).

Posted by: Gehenna | May 15 2013 19:30 utc | 6

What are the chances that if Russia goes against the will of Israel they suddenly see an uptick in "islamic" terrorism. I always thought it was interesting the uptick in PKK activity in Turkey following the flotilla incident. Maybe it was cooncidence...

Posted by: guest77 | May 15 2013 19:40 utc | 7

I seem to recall that, perhaps i'm wrong though.

Posted by: guest77 | May 15 2013 19:41 utc | 8

This cannot be true - or is it

In ten months, an 82-year-old nun and two pacifists had been successfully transformed by the U.S. government from non-violent anti-nuclear peace protestors accused of misdemeanor trespassing into felons convicted of violent crimes of terrorism.

Posted by: somebody | May 15 2013 19:57 utc | 9

@guest77 #8
They can refer to the Fateh 110 missiles transports which they allegedly targeted in the past attacks but after the news from the visit to Sochi I think it is a veiled threat against the S300.

We'll just have to wait and see how this develops.

Posted by: Gehenna | May 15 2013 20:17 utc | 10

One aspect of the situation in the middle east which I haven't seen discussed is the Fukushima effect.

By this I mean the softening up of public opinion to accept radioactive fallout. One of the things that made nuclear warfare unthinkable was the widespread understanding that it would inevitably lead to global contamination through atmospheric fall out.
Fukushima has changed that: the level of contamination in the air and water has been significant but people have been reassured that it will have no long term consequences. By the same token, neither would the fallout resulting from an Israeli attack on, for example, Tehran, have any immediate effects on Londoners, New Yorkers or Montrealers.

It would kill millions of Iranians, of course, but public opinion in the west seems to be up for that. It has the lives of a million Iraqis on its conscience, and over recent decades, millions of other Asians, Africans and Latinos but it sleeps untroubled, confident that its governments act with impunity. And that the next episode of Survivor will appear on time.

Israel is ruled by a fascist government which, like all such regimes, is motivated by a death wish. The fear of radioactivity and the dangers of fallout have helped ensure that Israel's sponsors restrain it from using the nuclear weapons with which it was supplied by the "west."
As that fear diminishes and the public, foolishly and suicidally, can no longer be mobilised to oppose any employment of nuclear weapons the chances of the human race surviving in its present form are equally diminished.

Posted by: bevin | May 15 2013 20:47 utc | 11

Saw an interesting item in bottom of screen news titles of the Spanish ETV last night:

Turkish opposition accuses Erdogan of financing Al Qaeda in Syria..

Can't seem to find mention of this on other sites, but its implications for Turkey and NATO are pretty important.

Posted by: JohnE | May 15 2013 21:27 utc | 13

#12 Frank

Well there will be an upside to dumping that radioactive water in the ocean. The fish from those coastal waters will be unfit for human consumption, therefore no longer fished and the fish populations will return to their natural levels. That is what happened in the Bikini atolls that were the sites for H bomb testing in the 1950s. To this day the sea food is off limits and they have some of the most robust fish populations of any South Sea reefs. Similar thing has happened to the land around Chernobyl -- no more farming and animal husbandry with the return of large wild mammals.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 15 2013 21:41 utc | 15


"CIA: Assad to Get 75% of Votes in Next Term, Syrian Gov’t in Advance
Local Editor

US Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, believes that President Bashar al-Assad is to gain 75% of the Syrian people’s votes if he runs for presidency in the year of 2014.

According to Western reports, the CIA said that Assad is to remain as a president of Syria till the year of 2020.

The intelligence agency also said it has built its information according to reports from inside Syria, in addition to opinion polls. These reports and polls show that Assad is to impartially get 75% of the votes as there is no other worth mentioning candidate that can stand against him for presidency.

The developments on the battlefield give superiority to the Syrian government which has been bolstering its popularity, CIA reported, noting that it believes that this situation will last to the next year when the presidential election will take place."

Posted by: g_h | May 15 2013 21:43 utc | 16

somebody @ 9 -- Oh, yes, it is all too true.

The Federal government, through the DOJ, has become inordinately fond of increasing charges for simple misdemeanor type crimes, thus making them into something requiring years of imprisonment.

This is part of building fear into the American public, to keep them quiet and also very afraid of what could be done to them should the Feds choose to take action against them.

Uppity older nuns are not an unusual target. I knew one in the Midwest sent to prison for about year for carrying a peace poster in what was considered the wrong place. That was before the Obama administration. I don't know if she's still alive (very old nun).

No mercy for those who have the guts and courage to call out the Feds on their warlike ways. Or any other ways, should the Feds get PO'd enough.

Posted by: jawbone | May 15 2013 21:46 utc | 17

Another explosion in Istanbul.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 15 2013 22:05 utc | 18

@#13 + #15
opposition slams Erdogan

Not a lot of news coming out. They called a media blackout and official numbers of victims have been suppressed. Some say 150 official nrs say 50. The media blackout was also partly due to some demonstrations against Erdogan and his Syria policy. They're using this to spin the story to blame Assad and to silence the media because I've seen articles that the secret service of Turkey was warned of an attack.

Posted by: Gehenna | May 15 2013 22:17 utc | 19

Media blackout in Turkey

Somehow this link was lost in the above post.

Posted by: Gehenna | May 15 2013 22:18 utc | 20

18) only in Iranian, Syrian, Hezbollah media - Ankara that is ...

Posted by: somebody | May 15 2013 22:26 utc | 21

By Barak Ravid
"Haaretz"- "If Syrian President Assad reacts by attacking Israel…he will risk forfeiting his regime," a senior Israeli official told the New York Times on Wednesday.

The Times' White House correspondent Mark Landler wrote that the official contacted the newspaper on his own initiative.

Landler added that the official had been briefed in the last two days by other senior Israeli officials, who have intimate knowledge of the recent developments in Syria. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.

The official's comments were portrayed in the Times article as an attempt to convey a public message to the Syrian president that he is best off not taking military steps against Israel.

The official added that Israel is considering further strikes in Syria in order to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons into Hezbollah's hands.

"The transfer of such weapons to Hezbollah will destabilize and endanger the entire region,” the official said. "If Syrian President Assad reacts by attacking Israel, or tries to strike Israel through his terrorist proxies, he will risk forfeiting his regime, for Israel will retaliate."

“Israel has so far refrained from intervening in Syria’s civil war and will maintain this policy as long as Assad refrains from attacking Israel directly or indirectly,” the official added.

Last week Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that Syria would supply his organization with 'game-changing weapons' in response to recent air raids near Damascus, which foreign reports attributed to Israel.

In response to the alleged attacks, he said, Damascus would provide the Lebanese militia with sophisticated weapons that it has not received in the past, adding that Hezbollah would support any group seeking to confront Israel in the Golan Heights.

However, despite the report, officials in the Arab world expressed doubt over the possibility that Damascus will in fact take part in the opening a front in the Golan due to Israel's stance that it would hold Assad responsible for any attack coming from Syrian territory. It is believed that Israel would immediately respond to such attacks and strike targets in Syria and Lebanon.

Posted by: Luca K | May 15 2013 22:31 utc | 22

the volume of (dez)information warfare is breathtaking.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 15 2013 22:46 utc | 23

Obama under relentless attack of neofascists and its organ.

So why is the Obama administration laying “enormous plans,” as Mr. Kerry put it, for the peace conference? It appears as if the administration again is hoping that the Russian government of Vladimir Putin will deliver Mr. Assad. The administration made that same wishful bet last year, only to be stiffed by Mr. Putin. Yet Mr. Kerry seems to have become a believer. The Russian foreign minister, he said, had told him that he already had the names of Mr. Assad’s designated negotiators.

It’s certainly possible that a Syrian government delegation will show up in Geneva. But that won’t indicate a change in Mr. Assad’s calculations — only, most likely, another maneuver to buy time and forestall greater Western support for the rebels. The regime played the same game last year when it agreed to cooperate with a U.N. peace mission, but then blocked it at every turn.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 15 2013 23:08 utc | 24

@18 I don't see any news of this. Am I missing something?

Posted by: guest77 | May 16 2013 0:36 utc | 25

see, 21 and 23.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 16 2013 0:49 utc | 26

ah, got it. Sorry.

I thought this was interesting from an establishment point of view. A Obama bureaucrat and a CIA analyst.

It's completely disgusting. It's all about preserving American power at any cost. The only thing that gets in they way of that miserable goal is, apparently, the egos of the individual actors running the policy.

Where do they find these scumbags?

Posted by: guest77 | May 16 2013 0:55 utc | 27

@26 actually funny that I can't find anything on Google, huh? Looks like that "open" door is closed to foreign voices.

Posted by: guest77 | May 16 2013 0:57 utc | 28

28) it is now in Zaman - contradictory - "ravaged"?

Posted by: somebody | May 16 2013 5:50 utc | 29

28) this here is the area - military

Posted by: somebody | May 16 2013 5:53 utc | 30

Last Night, SKY news ran with an exclusive report (see the video) from Tim Marshall inside Syria as its top news piece.

He accompanied a rally by Palestinian Syrians who were trying to return to their homes in the Yarmouk district of Damascus, which they had been forced to leave by "Syrian""rebels".

The rebels proceeded to shoot them.

You'd be forgiven for thinking this was Gaza. The IDF would have been proud.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | May 16 2013 8:32 utc | 31

[quiz] how to get away with murder n brag about it ?

[hint] if u'r muricun

or a muricun bitch...
[philippino spokeswoman having a good time during a press conference on the murder of tw fisherman]

*U.S. officials deny involvement while pointing the finger at Israel, whose officials will not comment but smile when asked; the CIA has “targeted” Iran’s scientists in the past*

just the tip of an iceberg

Posted by: denk | May 16 2013 9:42 utc | 32

President Bashar al-Assad driving in Damascus without escort or security to visit a martyr. Name one US or European €USSR president, let alone an "embattled" one, that could do the same. From this month:

Posted by: Mrs.Magma | May 16 2013 12:14 utc | 33

to lighten up the mood a bit :
310 Pounds Of Marijuana Hidden In Frozen Carrots

whistleblower identified

Posted by: rototo | May 16 2013 14:51 utc | 34

"USS Kearsarge, along with embarked Marines from 26th Marine Exped. unit arrived in Eilat, Israel."

"Russian Pacific Fleet Warships Enter Mediterranean, it is on its way to Limasol, Cyprus."

each client state is happy with this, I guess.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 16 2013 16:16 utc | 35

Oblivion and drone warfare

Posted by: brian | May 16 2013 18:34 utc | 36

obama the horrific warmonger once again spread lies about WMD since hes al aqaeda comrades in syria is retreating, if Obama have proof why havent the UN team searching for wmd use have the evidence? remember obama got the peace prize 2009 and now he lie and warmonger like no tommorow he use the same lies as dubya Bush used.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 16 2013 18:50 utc | 37

Why is John Kerry shaking hands with Putin and suddenly calling for peace talks?

I believe the peace talks push is yet another plot to "level the playing field" and help the rebels.

All other plans have failed to produce a no-fly-zone or bring arms to the rebels. The Houla Massacre hoax failed, the Aqrab Massacre hoax failed, the chemical weapons hoax failed. Something new must be tried this time.

1) Talks cost nothing. Even if the rebels show up they have not given up anything. At best the talks may force the Syrian army to ease off on the anti-terror operations.

2) The rebels will refuse to show up, unless they are given weapons by the West. In fact, this plan of action has been agreed on beforehand between the rebels and their Western masters. The plan is to use the prospect of the peace talks to push through the political decision to arm the rebels against an ever more critical European public.

This is the line that will be force-fed to the Western public. The rebels are now peace-loving, so we need to support them. The arms will not kill anyone, they are only needed to give the rebels "a better bargaining position."

Reading today's headlines shows that this narrative is already taking shape.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | May 16 2013 20:32 utc | 38

brian, there was a really evocative scene in one of Cruise's Mission impossible movies where he has captured a CIA-protected arms trader and they come in to rescue him with a drone, which blasts away and causes mass carnage, destroying a large bridge during rush-hour. I say evocative because the thing is really shown in all of its menace and horror. The screeching noise, the ridiculously oversized bombs - way too large to ever NOT cause collateral damage.

Come to think of it, while we're on the topic of cheesy action films and art mimicking life, one of the Bourne movies had a pretty shocking scene too, where an agent is on the run in some barren arctic clime and being chased around like prey by a large screeching drone due to the tracking device on his person - he finally eludes the drone by force-feeding the tracker to a wolf(LOL). But the scene itself is very striking - the drone is insanely frightening - I'm assuming this is another of the 'bonuses' the film industry gets for being so cozy w the military.

Posted by: L Bean | May 16 2013 21:09 utc | 39

Just noticed bbc has an article up on Assad's use of chemical weapons against the rebels. The photo on the front page is that white plastic thing that was identified here last week as an Indian manufactured CS gas grenade. These lies just don't stop.

Posted by: ToivoS | May 16 2013 21:32 utc | 40

"U.S. administration looks to cut Iran’s access to gold"

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 16 2013 23:10 utc | 41

During the war in Bosnia, Iran paid $50 million to Croatian Gov. for one shipment of weapons, and to allow to go to Bosnia from the Croatian's port. I do not know what they did, but they expelled two Iranian diplomats.

Also Bosnian Gov. voted for resolution (and against Syria) in General Assembly of UN. Day before voting
ambassadors from Turkey, KSA etc. visited Foreign Ministry to "admonish" them how to vote.

Despicable and awful client state.

Posted by: neretva'43 | May 16 2013 23:26 utc | 42


I would be a lot more concerned about other issues than the insurgents at this point. The insurgent army is just about finished. The aid that is needed is bombing from the air.

Posted by: Paul | May 17 2013 1:00 utc | 43

Built (Not) to Last: Hackerspaces Resurrect Broken Appliances

I think the link to “Built (not) to last” is important. For example, if the toaster you bought dies after a year and a half, the work you do to earn the money to buy a new one and the work the manufacturer does to make a new one is a deadweight loss to the economy. It’s no different than digging a hole and filling it in (the broken-window fallacy, if you will), a waste of time and money, better spent moving on to different goals and tasks. Chances are, if you investigate, you will find the element in the toaster that quit was a few pennies less expensive to the manufacturer than one which could be expected to last 25 to 50 years. So what? The problem scales up to streets, water and sewer systems, bridges, buildings, stuff that is supposed to last. Your street is repaved and five years later it is potholed again. Taxes are increased to pay the bonds for the repairs. An investigation may show that 10 percent more spent originally on a thicker layer of gravel under the pavement would have increased the life of the original repair to 25 years. I think this is the kind of stuff that happens when there is insufficient competition for the work, when monopolies and cartels have formed as providers in these areas, and it costs us dearly.

Posted by: Cynthia | May 17 2013 15:50 utc | 44

Here is the uncut version of Bush the 2nd commenting on the Boston Bombing.

2 mins.

Posted by: Noirette | May 17 2013 16:03 utc | 45

*bumping off* chinese seem to be the fastest growing sport in the world these

but u gotta have certain *credential* to play *shoot them chinks*

the cic of sk armed forces is a muricun 4**** general, [1]
go figure.
ph is muricun's bitch [2]

but..who the fuck does palau think it is ? [3]
who told this nano speck in the pacific that it can also shoot some chinks n get
away with it ?

i knew the answer instinctively [per theorom 2]
but just for the hell of it , i look up on palau's bio

surprise , surprise , palau is another muricun's bitch , a very special one !

*Israel, heavily dependent on US backing in the Middle East, and the tiny Pacific
state of Palau were the only two countries that supported the United States in
opposing the non-binding resolution in the 193-nation assembly* [4]

188-3 [us, israel, palau]
should've been [fukus, israel palau], but uk had chickened out
if u check up on un security council voting history, whenever u see results like
200-3 , chances are palau would be there even if uk isnt !

talk about a special relationship, make way uk !
i concede, palau is fully qualified to kill chinese.



[2] *Lin also condemned "the Philippine vessel's excessive and unnecessary use
of force against the Taiwanese fishing boat in the overlapping waters" between
Taiwan and the Philippines.

The foreign ministry made its view of the incident clear by posting on the backdrop
to the press conference the message, "It is a cold-blooded murder, not an
'unintended' killing."

In the May 9 incident, the Philippine vessel sprayed the unarmed Taiwanese boat
with bullets, leaving it with more than 50 bullet holes
, evidence that the
government believes reflects the Philippine boat's intention to shoot at the
fishermen on board*



Posted by: denk | May 19 2013 4:12 utc | 46

just to say hello to Bernhard and to all

I (temporarily!) returned to lurker mode, as I had done for years, for various reasons (mainly, no time for personal research); but MoA is always my internet first stop; analysis, debate, and many many links ... and I feel part of the community even if I don't post

in particular, I admire b's stamina in providing insightful analysis and keeping the site under control over such an extended period of time

Posted by: claudio.romanini | May 19 2013 15:56 utc | 48

Glenn Greenwald addresses the Obama administrations' Senate testimony on justifying increased, unlimited wars based on the AUMF. Greenwald points out that the extent of the debate about the AUMF ranges from 1) needing new provisions to enable the wider wars and 2) all the powers necessary for wider wars are already in the existing law, which only needs to be renewed (the administraton's take). Rep. Barbara Lee's approach, that the AUMF should be negated, is not considered to be serious enough for the MCM (Mainstream Corporate Media) to mention.

Just to convey a sense for how degraded is this Washington "debate": Obama officials at yesterday's Senate hearing repeatedly insisted that this "war" is already one without geographical limits and without any real conceptual constraints. The AUMF's war power, they said, "stretches from Boston to the [tribal areas of Pakistan]" and can be used "anywhere around the world, including inside Syria, where the rebel Nusra Front recently allied itself with al-Qaida's Iraq affiliate, or even what Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) called 'boots on the ground in Congo'". The acting general counsel of the Pentagon said it even "authorized war against al-Qaida's associated forces in Mali, Libya and Syria". Newly elected independent Sen. Angus King of Maine said after listening to how the Obama administration interprets its war powers under the AUMF:

This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that I've been to since I've been here. You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution today."

Former Bush DOJ official Jack Goldsmith, who testified at the hearing, summarized what was said after it was over: Obama officials argued that "they had domestic authority to use force in Mali, Syria, Libya, and Congo, against Islamist terrorist threats there"; that "they were actively considering emerging threats and stated that it was possible they would need to return to Congress for new authorities against those threats but did not at present need new authorities"; that "the conflict authorized by the AUMF was not nearly over"; and that "several members of the Committee were surprised by the breadth of DOD's interpretation of the AUMF." Conveying the dark irony of America's war machine, seemingly lifted right out of the Cold War era film Dr. Strangelove, Goldsmith added:

Amazingly, there is a very large question even in the Armed Services Committee about who the United States is at war against and where, and how those determinations are made."

Nobody really even knows with whom the US is at war, or where. Everyone just knows that it is vital that it continue in unlimited form indefinitely.

This is your 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner on his hegemonic global war for Corporatism....

As usual, Greenwald's post is chock full of links, so click through to see the links and to read the whole thing.

Posted by: jawbone | May 19 2013 17:11 utc | 49

*on re-reading,
the name unhcr leaps out*,

on re-reading again,
[prompted by this thread]
the name Medicines sans frontiers caught my eyes.....

*Earlier this month the fundamentalist cell accepted responsibility for assassinating five staffs of the Dutch relief agency Medicines sans frontiers (MSF) in the northwest Badghis province.

The militias' spokesman Latif Hakimi labeled the aid agency MSFas a protege of the US, saying it was punished for its service of US interest in Afghanistan. But on the gruesome murder of Chinese workers, he said the incident "should not have happened.*

i think these guys got a point there,
+The 1999 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, France's Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) or Doctors without Borders, (DWB)recently expelled the Greek arm of DWB because the Greeks showed compassion by treating those injured in Yugoslavia during NATO's bombing campaign, just as they showed compassion when Greece was the first country to go to Turkey's aid following the tragic earthquake. However, administering to a dying Serbian child is in violation of the inhumane US-led sanctions which prevent any medical assistance to the Serbian people. It appears that the Hippocratic Oath by France's Medecins Sans Frontieres stops at the Serbian border.+

i wouldnt be surprised the dutch msf was infiltrated with fukus agents who were caught messing with something other than medicine. !

moral of the story,
its safer to believe the russians, chinese, talibans etc etc....than the muricuns these days !

Posted by: denk | May 21 2013 6:41 utc | 50

what the ....

Man questioned in Boston Marathon bombing shot, killed by FBI
Report: Man in Florida knew Tamerlan Tsarnaev

"He felt inside he was going to get shot," Taramiv said about Todashev. "I told him, 'Everything is going to be fine, don't worry about it.' He said, 'I have a really bad feeling.'"

Posted by: somebody | May 22 2013 13:18 utc | 51

Turkey the Banana republic

Turkey's Erdogan blames the CHP opposition whilst a soldier 0f a special services unit gets arrested for leaking documents accusing Al Nusra Erdogan calls false.

Posted by: somebody | May 24 2013 9:45 utc | 52

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