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June 25, 2013

Open Thread 2013-12

News & views ...

Posted by b on June 25, 2013 at 17:12 UTC | Permalink

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The US continues to fumble and mumble on both Syria and Afghanistan. On the latter, here's the flip-flopper SecState Kerry mis-speaking in India.


At a Monday news conference in New Delhi with Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid, Kerry appeared to misstate U.S. requirements for negotiations with the Taliban, saying they would not be held until the group met three conditions: a break in ties with al-Qaeda; an end to violence in Afghanistan; and fealty to the Afghan constitution, including respect for the rights of minorities and women.

“Thus far, those conditions have not yet been met, so there is no negotiation at this point,” Kerry said. “If the conditions are met, then there is a negotiation that will take place — not with the United States but with the High Peace Council of Afghanistan.”

Although U.S. policy has long set the three conditions as necessary outcomes of successful negotiations, the Obama administration said last week that its two preconditions for beginning talks — statements by the Taliban eschewing international terrorism and recognizing Afghan democracy — had been met. At the same time, the United States said it was ready to begin talks with the group and then turn them over to the Afghan government.

An administration official said U.S. policy on both the preconditions and the necessary outcomes of negotiations had not changed.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2013 17:28 utc | 1

Patrick Cockburn has a reminder that among the victims of US-takfiri policies are ancient communities of Christians in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere. The fundamentalists in the States are OK with this, most of them are closer to the wahhabis than the Christians anyway.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 25 2013 17:34 utc | 2

Chaous in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt.
Still Obama dont comprehend that his policies are wrong.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 25 2013 18:03 utc | 3

Snowden still stuck in Sheremetyevo airport, waiting for Equador to decide on his asylum application:

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 25 2013 18:24 utc | 4

Why isnt this war criminal - Kissinger, behind bars yet? Now urging carving up Syria.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 25 2013 19:17 utc | 5

Re: the slow-motion Snowden saga:

1. Russians were as surprised as Yankees when Snowden turned up at Moscow Airport. Putin can't think of a reason to deport him to the US of A and hopes this won't affect US-Russia relations.
2. China rejects US allegations that it played any part in Snowden's exit from Hongkong.
3. Obama turns (a climate change shade of) green.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 25 2013 19:27 utc | 6


Other than the fact he was a Greek Orthodox Christian, his experiences were not very different from those of many other Syrians caught up in the war.

The Greek Orthodox establishment has been bought lock, stock, by those Zion nutters. You want hear those corrupt heads of the church make any complaints!
Come to think about it just the Russian and Armenian Orthodox establishment stand with the Syrians.

Posted by: hans | Jun 25 2013 19:28 utc | 7

So far as news is concerned:
1/ Predictably the Supreme Court of the US has declared the working parts of the Voting Rights Act, (which is meant to protect voters from the more blatant forms of discrimination) to be unconstitutional. Equally predictably the White House is surrounded by pools of crocodile tears. Obama had the choice, in the Senate, of preventing the confirmations of both Alito and Roberts.

2/ In Ireland, five years afterwards, the Irish Independent publishes the transcript of a 2008 bankers' conversation which clearly establishes how the people were bamboozled into sacrificing their living standards, healthcare, education and children to save the bacon of criminal banksters. And their tools in the Dail.

3/ In the UK revelations of the political use of police to undermine and mislead community organisations continue. Among the recent revelations: a leaflet libelling McDonalds which gave rise to a massively expensive lawsuit and financial penalty, turns out to have been written by the police. Whether an expert on libel was employed to assist is uncertain.

4/ The day when President Obama dons a florid military uniform, a hectare of decorations, a la Petraeus, and insists on being called Marshal or Generalissimo seems to be fast approaching. The insanely petulant tone of the threats being directed at anyone thinking of assisting Mr Snowden suggest that he will soon be moving his offices to the Pentagon, from where he can stick pins in wax Putin dolls among experts.

Unfortunately there is much, much more as we skid rapidly down the greased slope into the banality of fascism.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 25 2013 19:30 utc | 8

I have no doubt the Russians KNEW Snowden was coming to Moscow as a stop on the way to Ecuador. Snowden/Wiki-leaks likely knew that Russia didn't have an extradition treaty with the US and probably contacted Moscow to see if it would be safe for them to use Russia as a stop-over.

I doubt the Russians were taken by "surprise" - even if they claim to have been. It gives them plausible denial. It seems obvious that China/Russia are both "flipping the bird" to the US while they assist in facilitating Snowden's exit to Ecuador.

China/Hong Kong have done their part, now Russia's simply doing theirs.

Putin has said he won't extradite Snowden and that's the end of that.

Posted by: RC | Jun 25 2013 19:46 utc | 9

Then there is this story. An American story.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 25 2013 20:28 utc | 10

On Qatar, an argument:

We've had comments that maybe the emir was forced out, to be replaced by a son even more "conservative".
He is young for an abdication due to age. 61 is not old these days. Recent abdications due to age have been around 80. He could be gravely ill, but he looks in the prime of health, and hasn't departed recently for medical treatment abroad.
It looks to me more like politics within the palace, particularly as the replacement son is more of an extreme Sunni. I am not sure that I would buy story spread in the Arab world that he became a laughing stock because he wanted to buy the Suez Canal.
More likely, we have a situation similar to that in Saudi Arabia, where I am sure there are extremist princes leading the war against the Shi'a, whispering in the ear of an aged king, who is no longer capable of deciding for himself. However in Saudi Arabia, the remaining sons of Ibn Saud, who died in 1952, are sacrosanct, and there is no consensus for moving to a new generation. No such restraint in Qatar. The extremists are winning the game.
The consequence of the change in Qatar will be more support for the war against the Shi'a, in Iraq and in Syria. And an increase in sectarianism. I don't have to say that all of this is dangerous for Saudi and the Gulf. There may be blow-back. Take an extreme position, and it may come back to bite you. Better to have remained calm, protected by the US 5th Fleet, and left the situations in Iraq and Syria alone.

Posted by: alexno | Jun 25 2013 20:50 utc | 11

US exports to Iran are up in the first quarter as shown here, with a breakdown here for 2003-2012.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2013 20:55 utc | 12

@bevin, #2:

My grandfather (Irish Catholic) once told me a joke that plainly illustrated the 'unity' among US Christians. I don't recall the whole joke, but the punch line went something like "Yeah, we got lots of Baptists up here in Minnesota, too. Say...just how long are you supposed to hold those Baptists under water, anyhow?"

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Jun 25 2013 20:55 utc | 13

Depends on the kind of Baptist -- there are many, many Baptist denominations as shown here.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2013 20:59 utc | 14

"Ataba" is a genre of Levantine art singing. The singer is accompanied by a drone, or something close to a drone, or sometimes with no accompaniment at all, and the singing style is distinctively "ataba" style. The word "ataba" means plaintive or reproachful. The genre is not well-known outside the Levant. If you haven't come across it before you may find it interestingly different. This is a good live example from Syria:

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 25 2013 21:07 utc | 15

re 2 bevin

Middle Eastern Christians have always suffered from Western interventions. It started with the Crusades, where the Latins massacred the local Christians like Muslims, and finishes today with Israel, who calls Palestinians recent immigrants, conveniently forgetting that the Christians are descendants of ancient Palestinians, probably residing there before the Hebrews are supposed to have arrived.

Posted by: alexno | Jun 25 2013 21:16 utc | 16

re the many Baptist denominations, the Bill Moyer's "Life on the Plantation" speech

Posted by: erichwwk | Jun 25 2013 21:22 utc | 17

Haha US are so desperate thinking they are the policeman everyone have to obey.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 25 2013 21:24 utc | 18

bevin @8

"The day when President Obama dons a florid military uniform ... seems to be fast approaching." We already have video of his marching in step with the military. It was at Dover AFB, marking the return of dead CIA agents from Afghanistan.

Obama, instead of standing at a platform as the caskets were unloaded and the military marched past, marched himself.

Instead of being the Commander in Chief, he was just a suit in lock step with the uniforms. I cannot imagine another president in the world humbling himself like that, except maybe in Pakistan.

Posted by: JohnH | Jun 25 2013 21:27 utc | 19

New ‘Progressive’ Marine Recruiting Campaign Under Fire

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — A Marine Corps recruiting station in California has released a controversial recruiting poster-- shown here -- that some have hailed as “progressive” and others as “tasteless” and “vulgar.”

The poster’s creator, Marine Gunnery Sergeant Gary Bingham, said the ad was aimed specifically at the gay community, of which he is a proud member.

Called “We’re Also Looking For A Few Good Men”, the recruiting poster contains a picture of the famous Iwo Jima flag-raising, only the Marines are raising the Rainbow Flag associated with the Gay Pride movement. The poster then contains the phone number of the local San Francisco recruiting office.

Bingham has already received praise from an unlikely area: the city council of Berkeley, which previously tried to ban the Marines in 2008. “This is definitely a unique way for the Marines to reach out to us, and we’re happy to see that,” Mayor Tom Bates told our correspondent while smoking some locally-grown hemp.
-- from DuffelBlog, a sort of military Onion

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2013 21:29 utc | 20

@ erichwwk #17
Thanks -- good for one deep belly-laugh.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2013 21:35 utc | 21

Anonymous @ #3:
You still seem to be operating under the illusion, that because the US govt has destroyed Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan, that somehow, they result from the wrong policies, when the reality is, destroying these countries is precisely the objective, or at least destroying them is a handy by-product of taking them out of the equation. If a few Christians get slaughtered along with slaughtering Muslims, that's the breaks. Most citizens of Empire won't even notice it.

Bad, reactionary, backward, barbarian, these policies and actions may be but shurely not wrong from the perspective of the Empire. How else can they justify invading Afghanistan 12 years ago, blow it to bits and then apparently walk away from the mess they've created without missing a beat, unless it was policy? Winning, losing are not words the Empire's planners use.

It was the same with the Vietnam War, the Empire didn't lose because it bombed Vietnam back into the Stone Age, fit for nothing more than making cheap and nasty Converse sneakers for fat, overfed Americans. And that was the objective all along. Reduce it either/or to a supplier of cheap labour and cheap raw materials. Syria they don't need for cheap labour, it's merely an obstacle in the way of recolonising the planet.

But of course, they're not walking away from Afghanistan or any of the reconquered nations. They're still there and aim to be there for the never-ending duration of the 'war on terror', the replacement for the Red Menace. After all, the US economy is a War Economy, the Empire needs wars the way we need oxygen. That's why there's never been a year without war since at least 1945, and probably for the past five centuries of capitalism. Wars which one way or the other the Empires past and present have had hand in.

Zbig's views bear this out. He doesn't object to destroying Assad's Syria, he just thinks it's being done in the wrong way. It's all means and ends, true sociopathic stuff from perverts like Zbig, who treats people merely as disposable objects in the grand scheme of things.

There's only one way we'll get the Empire out of these countries/the world and that's by destroying the Empire.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jun 25 2013 22:39 utc | 22

@3 Anon "Chaous in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt.
Still Obama dont comprehend that his policies are wrong."

But that IS the policy.

You beat me to it, Mr. Bowles.

I've been reading Yanis Varoufakis' "The Global Minotaur". I'm approx. halfway, through. I recommend it highly even having only gotten here. He has a knack for laying out the simple economic explanations for great historical trends:

"In 1974 Kissinger circulated National Security Study #200...staking a naked claim on the mineral resources of the third world. In 1998, pres. of Unocal outlined the rationale for a future invasion of Afghanistan. Chinese economic activity had to be abetted and monopolizing the energy resources in it's vicinity."

Something I had never heard of: It goes into a history of how the United States - while it was doing similar things in Latin America - had gotten the less-Soviet oriented communist nations entangled with loans with increasing interest rates (Poland, Yugoslavia, Romania). It was these nations reversion to austerity to pay back these loans that caused the unrest of 1989 (same year as unrest took hold in Venezuela).

It's a fascinating economic history.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 25 2013 23:17 utc | 23

The US World Empire is governed using six military combatant commands as shown here. Their purpose is to "stabilize" (i.e. de-stabilize) countries in their respective areas.

It's like an expanded Roman Empire or Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2013 23:28 utc | 24

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins

In this shocking memoir Perkins tells of his own inner journey from willing servant of empire to impassioned advocate for the rights of oppressed people. Covertly recruited by the United States National Security Agency and on the payroll of an international consulting firm, he traveled the world—to Indonesia, Panama, Ecuador, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Iran and other strategically important countries. His job was to implement policies that promoted the interests of the U.S. corporatocracy (a coalition of government, banks, and corporations) while professing to alleviate poverty.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 25 2013 23:34 utc | 25

William Bowles & Guest77

Saying it is a policy to set the whole region on fire is to give credit to Obama, that is, that the policy is actually working, no - these are all backlash. Its only a matter of time before the puppet regime in Jordan get this situation too.

With that being said US/EU does indeed stir up secterian war, but they think they could contain it to certain states. Dead wrong.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 25 2013 23:35 utc | 26

Edward Snowden redefines the English word "Freedom":

Freedom is the total subjugation to US military, political, and economic dominance.

According to the definition, Finland is a relatively free country, as is Iceland. Russia, and Ecuador are are only partially free, even less so are China and Cuba. The only country totally without freedom is North-Korea. Hopefully economic integration will gradually open up North-Korea and bring in long awaited freedom.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jun 26 2013 0:17 utc | 27

@Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 25, 2013 3:27:37 PM | 6 “Russians were as surprised as Yankees when Snowden turned up at Moscow Airport” Or “In shock at the opportunity”

@ bevin @8, he will wear a Navy officer suit (Top Gun), ‘Join the army, be a man, join the Navy ‘feel’ a man, will bring back memories of his ‘Man’s club' days.

Picked up the US 400 us troops for Egypt: (Additional, it has a USbatt there for decades), but if true, for millions of disgruntled Egyptians, hmm - or for Israel? Question - is this just the rotation of troops already there and the reporting just getting the wrong end of the stick?

Posted by: kev | Jun 26 2013 1:02 utc | 28

@ Petri Krohn

It's not too suprising that someone who calls themselves a 'libertarian' is very naive in general and quite ill informed about the state of things. It's like belonging to a pretend political party invented to advertise a pizza restaurant. Wikileaks people steered him to a reasonable place of resistance, Ecuador. We all need to be taught sometimes.

Posted by: Crest | Jun 26 2013 1:17 utc | 29

@crest #28
It's not too suprising that someone who calls themselves a 'libertarian' is very naive in general and quite ill informed about the state of things.

Totally incorrect. Pay a visit here and get educated. It's not too late.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 26 2013 1:32 utc | 30

news report:

The Supreme Court's decision Tuesday striking down a key section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act puts the nation's strongest remedy against voting discrimination on life support, virtually powerless to block actions by states.

So I repeat my suggestion -- don't vote. If we can bring the voting percentage from 60% in presidentials (less in off-years) down under fifty percent the "democracy" claim will be obviously wrong and changes will be imperative.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 26 2013 1:37 utc | 31

Aloha, b and barflies, I posted a new Mashup and Faisal is featured front and center...! ;-)

Posted by: CTuttle | Jun 26 2013 2:55 utc | 32

I mentioned at #15 above that an "Ataba" is a type of song, or genre of singing, in the Levant. The following video is Syrian singer Wafik Habib singing an Ataba live in concert in a video that was uploaded to Youtube on 28 Apr 2010. In the lyrics of the song he says "Bashar" [Assad] is the "protector" against "ghouls". That was prophetic in 2010. I mean, how many people in year 2010 had an awareness that ghouls were underground? Without an understanding of Arabic you can still appreciate the video scene where he says six times the word "Bashar" between time 5:38 and 6:03. He says "Assad" at time 6:03 and 6:10. The size of the crowd cheering for Bashar at this pop concert in 2010 is bigger than most of the anti-Bashar street protest crowds of 2011.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Jun 26 2013 3:14 utc | 33

Former Iranian ambassador to the UN openly declaring on American TV that a sovereign state must be wiped off the map:

Ooops, sorry, not a former Iranian ambassador, my mistake.

But how very odd that his comment has provoked absolutely no reaction from the press.
And here I was thinking that openly calling for genocide was a crime.... again, my mistake....

Posted by: Johnboy | Jun 26 2013 3:36 utc | 34

@jb #33
Actually, the US did (virtually) wipe North Korea off the face of the earth, once, in 1950.

The US may have killed 20% of the population of Korea, said General Curtis Lemay. He wasn't really sure.

1950, June 28 — The US attacks by, air, sea and land, aiming at the southward invading army of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North), which nevertheless unifies the peninsula in five short weeks (except for the US defended port city of Pusan); with little resistance from South Korea’s ROK military as most of its soldiers either defect or go home; over the next three years US will commit dozens of high death toll documented atrocities (some recently apologized for) as American planes level to the ground almost every city and town of any appreciable size in the entire peninsula, north and south, in the end threatening to drop the atomic bomb, and be charged with germ warfare by some not easily dismissed sources.

The US provocations continue, most recently with B2 bombers and 'war games' in violation of the 153 Armistice Agreement. Why would DPRK want nukes? Maybe the reason is similar to Israel's??

But hey, Israel can say and do whatever it wants. It's anti-Semitic to criticize Israel, according to US policy.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 26 2013 3:57 utc | 35

WB 22: "But of course, they're not walking away from Afghanistan or any of the reconquered nations. They're still there and aim to be there for the never-ending duration of the 'war on terror', the replacement for the Red Menace."

Actually, the whole post is right on point, but, this paragraph is most descriptive of the game afoot.

Posted by: ben | Jun 26 2013 5:20 utc | 36

Don Bacon @ 29.
Thanks for the Rockwell link. I haven't been there for years.
P C Roberts takes a takes a swipe at the USG's Snowden idiocy. Noting some of the terms he uses (ie Colm's 'Stasi'), a person with a vivid imagination could be forgiven for thinking that some high output Tier 2 scribes, such as PCR, Escobar et al, occasionally visit MoA seeking inspiration.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 26 2013 5:57 utc | 37

@ 34.
Why would DPRK want nukes?

This works for me...
Why North Korea Needs Nuclear Weapons

Btw, 'Israel' hasn't got any Nukes. And even if it borrowed some it could only deliver enough to a remote target to get itself utterly Iraqified.
Military wonks like joking that 'Israel' is a One Bomb Country. And the joke is NOT about how many Nukes the Parasite State owns.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 26 2013 6:51 utc | 38

Writer/journalist/ Glenn Greenwald who has been in close contact with Edward Snowden reported in "Daily Beast" that his partner's laptop in their Rio home was stolen - nothing else was missing. Although - perhaps something was added? I would wonder about listening devices placed in the home.

The video clips of US politicians reacting to Edward Snowden news, and the demands! DEMANDS!! that he be deported! immediately!!! back to face US justice are nothing short of hilarious. A truly abyssmally clueless bunch they are ... not perceiving that their environment has changed, and they have to evolve new strategies to deal with the new environment. But then - evolution is not a popular science topic in many parts of the US ... :(

What is sad, though, is that many US residents and reporters do not seem to understand that PRISM et al are functionally equivalent to a convicted felon's ankle bracelet. No judge, no jury, no crime committed.

Posted by: Northern Night Owl | Jun 26 2013 7:25 utc | 39

@Don Bacon 29, apart from the fact that one of the longest-standing eminenses grises of Lew and generally is Gary North, a Dominionist Calvinist theocrat who wants to abolish the government so that he can install a pseudo-biblical religious tyranny, there is also the fact that Mises' policies are precisely what Margaret Thatcher followed, what a great inspiration that is.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 26 2013 8:07 utc | 40

Ah come on! This Snowden story is as fake as Assangel. As if secret services ignored where Ed was. People who really pose a threat to the US are simply and silently taken down. With almost no coverage in the western Press. Aaron Swartz, Hastings...u name it.

Posted by: Kal | Jun 26 2013 8:17 utc | 41

@Kal | Jun 26, 2013 4:17:45 AM | 40 If the Snowden story was fake, to what puropse? I hear a few say this but without any explination, so dont get this theory.

On a diffrent theme just to swich a little being an 'open thread';

US stock Market confidence is up as China stock market plummets and the Administration is suffering numerous global risks including domestic risks and the $ is strong (So US products expensive)? So this is why - Americans spent more on cars, home improvements and sporting goods -It must be fudged, and fixed!

The lineup is odd but telling, ‘more on cars’ is just cars, they always spend high on cars, the US is best described as an architectural design made to make people drive, years ago, visiting the parents, I walked once in a nice s- burb’s; the strip mall was about 1 km away, sunny Sunday morning, the police stopped me and asked why I am walking, strangest thing. More so when I said, it’s a nice day and the reply was “People don’t walk on nice days around here” and they drove off…

Next ‘Home improvements’, in other words no shift in expectations, people are buckling down and or making what they do have as the be all; or they are prepping to sell, that is not confidence, that is necessity.

Lastly and the kicker, ‘Sporting goods’, bugger all to do with athletics, this is essentially the doomsday drive and ‘Guns’, survival gear etc it is clear the NRA are driving a racket and the Administration do not really want to stop that gravy boat, and the doomsday preppers are increasing. If those are the driving forces of the us stocks, then I start to worry, and all this just after BB mentioned the Fed stimulus will start winding down.

Anyone a markets guru/peron?

Posted by: kev | Jun 26 2013 8:33 utc | 42

Kal, you have all the usual disinfo troll traits: scornful tone, far-fetched pseudo-counterfactual ("if he had been real, they'd have rubbed him out long ago"), etc. You are part of a massive internet campaign to pour scorn on the poor, naive, valiant boy and all his supporters and to provide mutual support for all his detractors, even on irrelevant grounds. My favourite so far is Tarpley accusing Dave Lindorff of being unchivalrous for rebutting Naomi Wolf (when you are fighting alongside Naomi "Vagina Dialogs" Wolf, you are risking your street cred, to put it mildly).

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 26 2013 10:07 utc | 43

It was the former UN Israeli ambassador Dan Gillerman who said, and I quote:

"North Korea…should be wiped off the face of the would be an excellent message and very clear one to the rest of the world and especially to the Iranians…North Korea presents the world with an opportunity to send that message to Iran."

Posted by: William Bowles | Jun 26 2013 10:33 utc | 44

Bad news?

All personnel withdrawn from Russian navy base in Syria - diplomat

Posted by: ThePaper | Jun 26 2013 10:43 utc | 45

Naw FSA soldiers hate Iran and Hezbollah but dont dare saying the same about Israel.

Of course the video is from zionist-source so of course they want hate from sunnis directed against shias.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 26 2013 11:41 utc | 46

Not the first time Israel threat to wipe people off the map.

Some years ago they threatened Gaza with a "holocaust".

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 26 2013 11:43 utc | 47

@44 "Bad news?"

"Al-Hayat newspaper"
Owner: Khalid bin Sultan - Saudi prince, Deputy Minister of Defense

Until its confirmed from reliable source, I would call shenanigans. I remember how West's media made a big deal last year: "Russia evacuating all Russians from Syria and abandoning its ally", but it appeared just few hundred Russians left Syria of 10000, and there was no abandoning whatsoever.

That said, Russia is known to sell-out his alies if the price is right, BUT West has nothing to offer while Assad is winning on the ground. To leave NOW would be very weird timing, and could show imminent all-out war against Syria (which is highly unlikely).

Posted by: Harry | Jun 26 2013 11:49 utc | 48

@ #44:

Or just hedging their bets?

Posted by: William Bowles | Jun 26 2013 12:13 utc | 49

@Harry | Jun 26, 2013 7:49:11 AM | 47, Re:44 - also the wording is fine tuned 'Civilians', 'Trainers', it's not specific or does it allow a preemptive strike, manned or not. If it did feel danger, it would extracts Civilians and trainers, it's the right thing to do. The Washington Post make the same assertion (Pull out), with the RT as the source but 'Military personnel': MOSCOW – Russia has evacuated all military personnel from its small naval base in Syria, Russian news organizations reported Wednesday.

In the Wpost piece: 'It does not appear that the pullout from Tartus will interfere with the delivery of air defense and anti-ship missiles by Russia to Syria. Bogdanov again defended the shipments of arms as legal and part of an existing contract. When asked when the deliveries would begin, he replied that that was a decision for the “supreme command.”' - Or, the extraction is actually also the delivery of such systems?

It is limited coverage and also think its just speculation, mixed with a bit of 'push'.

Posted by: kev | Jun 26 2013 12:35 utc | 50

@40 kal, @42 R. Berk

Just more baseless accusations gleaned from the "work" of a couple of popular charlatans.

No other commentator fits the "stopped clock is right twice a day" joke like Tarpley (alternately, the comment "he is right for all the wrong reasons" can also apply). He sees all actors as connected, focused on the same issues, as if the world has one script that everyone is playing to, instead of many that sometimes intertwine. It's a bit pathological.

He is right on Syria, but the fact that he links it to Snowden's revelations shows this strange thinking. His theory goes that Greenwald has orchestrated this not because he's interested in government spying (as his entire life's work shows) but because his sole desire is that the US invades Syria.

I'm sorry to always harp on the "conspiracy theorists" but I do think it is important because it guides so many interested people's thinking. They're like mini-religions. But the underlying factors - the feelings of powerlessness, the open minds searching for answers - are things all interested, politically oriented working class people feel. It seems as though if they could be gotten to with good answers before the popular masters of fake conspiracy like Alex Jones got to them and corrupted their minds, you'd have a lot of good people interested in taking action.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 26 2013 12:36 utc | 51

The last few days the FSA have been attacking the Minnegh airbase a few miles south of the Turkish border. Alaa Ebrahim posted this video of rebels destroying a Syrian tank at Minnegh. Notice the missile fired at the tank moves strangely in a swirling pattern before it hits the tank. What type of Anti-Tank missile would move like that? Is it the Russian Kornet?

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jun 26 2013 12:55 utc | 52

@Rowan,41,50 etc.
I am not "involved" in any campaign or whatever. Also I did not say Snowden is a fraud, he might be part of the game without even knowing. I wouldnt have thought ppl on here wld react so harshly to a post (even if i am wrong). I just cannot explain to me why the MSM, which has not stopped lying in favor of imperialistic interests would cover this story without branding him a threat! I can read and hear "PPl are finally waking up", meaning even ppl who do not really care about those issues and tend to belive the MSM. Okay. So at my workplace ppl talk a lot about this snowden incident, but they do not feel threatened by PRISM or any other surveillance programme. I think they see the whole thing as an entertaining Robin Hood story plus they will have forgotten the whole thing in a week if media coverage stops! With PRISM going on! But now, Kerry already said "ppl might die as a result of Snowdens action".Okay! Lets see what happens, because we know for sure Kerry doesnt give a flying kabam about harming others (Syria, for ex) and we also know the U.S. isnt a rookie when it comes to false flag ops, though the Boston Bombing really showed a drop in quality!So if now there is a terror attack in the US or elsewhere, sheeples will become afraid again, cuz they never wld think about Govs killing their own citizens! Then, I am sure, ill hear different things at my workplace. Ppl will rant about Islam, Brown people and their terrorism again, and Snowden will be Schnee von gestern! Also, the whole incident could be (im not saying "it is", cuz i am not sure after all) a good way to address concerns in a controlled way! Everyone is focussed on Snowden. It could be a testing! Do ppl really care about their privacy? Do they organize rallies? Can we (the Zusa) simulate a kind of trade-off between our spying programme and the demands for more privacy? I mean why not? Its not far-fetched! Govs around the world deceive their ppl 247, mainly thru media! Finally, I just have a not so good feeling about Assange intervening publicly! I dont trust A! Did he really say, hes bored talking about 9/11 "conspiracies" and that so much more goes on in the world? YES HE DID! Did he miss the whole process launched after 9/11? Someone who pretends to fight for justice and truth couldnt possibly say something like that! This is why i make a difference between Snowden who might really think he is doing the right thing and someone like Assange, who was quite a good actor! So! Thats what I wanted to say!

Posted by: Kal | Jun 26 2013 13:35 utc | 53

BTW I totally agree AJ is a master of fake conspiracy!

Posted by: Kal | Jun 26 2013 13:40 utc | 54


The world is all a stage, and we are actors upon it. Almost all stuff from the Assange gang has attacked enemies of the Anglo-American Empire. The fact that the scumbags in the media say good stuff about Snowden is enough to think twice. And it's sad that many don't see how the Pentagon Papers helped deflect deserved criticism from the CIA to the military. Mort Sahl said something about how desperate those on the Left are for heroes that they grab on to anyone.

Posted by: Paul | Jun 26 2013 13:43 utc | 55

You folks might find this interesting. Yesterday I posted a story about Snowden heading for Iceland. Well apparently, according to 21st Century Newswire somebody blabbed to the media so the trip had be called off/postponed?

This from the site, 21st Century Newswire:

21st Century’s Wire’s man in Iceland has informed us that Hong Kong to Iceland via Moscow was Plan A for Snowden – and Reykjavik was being prepped politically – as Snowden’s final destination, but the whole plan ran into a snag when a Wikileaks founder and Representative, Olaf Sigurvinsson – apparently couldn’t hold his tongue and blabbed the plan to the Icelandic media on June 20th.

Did Wikileaks blow it, and intentionally at that? Either way, it looks like Wikileaks fumbled this one, and their involvement in this whole affair is looking more and more suspect. Hmm, and we hear talk of a limited hangout surrounding Snowden too…

It seems Wikileaks couldn’t help but leak this important operations to smuggle the whistleblower into scenic Nordic isle via a series of chartered private jets, and operation which would cost up to $1 million and change. The operation was to be funded, we are told, through an initiative funded through contributions by individuals using Wikileaks as a sort of intermediary.

We’ll cut Wikileaks some slack if this turns out to be a clever false start that eventually leads to Reykjavik.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jun 26 2013 14:12 utc | 56

"Mort Sahl said something about how desperate those on the Left are for heroes that they grab on to anyone."

Sometimes we are reminded that honesty and conscientious behaviour, rather than greed, deceit and ambition, are the positions to which ordinary people default. Snowden seems to be an ordinary young man doing the right thing and defying evil. If that was so rare there would be no hope. But there is, plenty. Our hero on the left is everyman, and there's no shortage of him.
Cynicism is the tribute that cowards pay to bullies.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 26 2013 14:31 utc | 57

"Almost all stuff from the Assange gang has attacked enemies of the Anglo-American Empire."
(Paul #54.)

Are you saying, Paul, that the Collateral Murder video, leaked by Manning and publicised by WikiLeaks, is a pro-American fake? If you are I think you owe your audience a fuller explanation.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 26 2013 15:17 utc | 58

"Govs around the world deceive their ppl 247, mainly thru media!"

Yes, and here we are talking about it. Here we are, humanity, calling them liars.

We're not all idiots. I can't say it better than Bevin did. We're all in this fight. Anything one man can to, another can undo.

Have some faith in the fight and the people fighting it. What you are doing - barking at shadows like beaten, scared dog - isn't accomplishing anything.

"I wouldnt have thought ppl on here wld react so harshly to a post"

Why? This site really tries to explore and think about things based on evidence. B sets the standard with his articles. No one here is interested in wild, off base speculation. There are plenty of sites that - for whatever masturbatory reason - do that. This one isn't.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 26 2013 15:23 utc | 59

Colm O' Toole | Jun 26, 2013 8:55:48 AM | 51, can’t see the vid, slow connection, bummer! High end and boubtful it could be a AIM-9 sidewinder variant, was it from a Helo or plane? Older versions did zig-zagging course corrections during the early part of their flight path, following a trajectory that resembled the sidewinding motion of the snake. Russia (Soviet Era) made the began the manufacture of the K-13/R-3S missile, a copy. There are ground launch versions like the ROC TC-1, Could be a AIM-7, Turkey has them, the US and Israel for that matter.

Even the pads from Lybia that went missing, the SA-7 kinda swirl, both SA 24's and 7's went missing...

Will need to see the vid in the morning. Could also be old wire guided systems? Best bet is the 9K11 Malyutka, cheap and many around.

Posted by: kev | Jun 26 2013 15:23 utc | 60

Anglo American empire?Ha,how about Zionist stooge wasteland,with a bunch of ivy league morons running US into irrelevance and disaster.
And notice the same usual suspects(dual citizen traitors)saying the same rot about Snowden as they spewed about patriots protesting our nonsensical wars,wacko Israel, and economic idiocy.
If one can't see their motivations(greater Israel)one must be missing a frontal lobe or two.
Every one is under suspicion,and you can bet,if like me ,you see 20 20,this will be held against you,as the monsters circle their ethnic and tribal wagons of deceit.

Posted by: dahoit | Jun 26 2013 15:42 utc | 61

@60 There is no doubt that the Jewish-American/Israeli elite and the Anglo-American elite have merged.

What I don't see is the excuse for the Anglo-American side of that spectrum. Running the US into irrelevance while they pull in billion dollar incomes? That's not a bug, it's a feature.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 26 2013 16:20 utc | 62

@58 How are my speculations off base? I just shared my oppinion! To be frank Id even like to be wrong, and even wish Snowden cld bring down the U.S.Gov.! But it just sounds too good to be true. And after all, no need to get personal on this issue!!

Posted by: Kal | Jun 26 2013 16:27 utc | 63

"Mort Sahl said something about how desperate those on the Left are for heroes that they grab on to anyone." Mort Sahl, according to Wikipedia, was close friends with both Ronald Reagan and Hugh Hefner. This is not the sort of man whose cheap shots at 'the Left' I would even bother to listen to. Anyway, in the US, 'the Left' is basically people whom the rest of the world would call 'liberals', not leftists. It was Tarpley, again, who dragged the irrelevant Mort Sahl into this. And bashing 'the Left' is a typical USAian moron pastime. I no more think Assange is fake than I do Snowden. If the best argument you, InfoWars, etc, can muster is that the function of Snowden is to distract the public from the imminence of WW3, then fine, let the public be distracted. At least, those members of the public incapable of retaining more than one idea at a time. We won't miss them.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 26 2013 16:38 utc | 64

Geneva 2 was supposed to take place in June, then July, because the Syria opposition was disorganized. Now Brahimi doubts July, for the same reason.


. . .But speaking to reporters Tuesday in Geneva, just before another meeting with the U.S. and Russian delegations, [UN envoy] Brahimi said a July date is unlikely.

"I doubt whether the conference will take place in July. The opposition, you know, they are meeting, I think the next meeting is on four and five July. So, I do not think they will be ready,” Brahimi said.

Does this mean the Russia and Iran are justified in stepping up aid to Syria, under Kerry's past reasoning on 'balking?'

May 22, 2013 -- SecState Kerry -- Washington is prepared to accelerate support to the opposition if Assad does not negotiate "in good faith" during U.S.- and Russian-brokered peace talks planned for next month, Kerry warned. If Assad balks at the process, more U.S. aid might be sent to the rebels, Kerry said without elaborating. The Obama administration has said it has so far provided only nonlethal aid to the rebels, despite pressure from Congress and elsewhere to send arms.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 26 2013 16:42 utc | 65

@62 It's not my intention to get personal.

When you accuse Snowden of being a CIA plant, that's speculation, defined as "a guess expressing an opinion based on incomplete evidence." Oh, unless you have evidence of some sort. In which case, please offer it.

When you said "The story is fake" that's not "expressing an opinion" that's making a bold statement regarding the facts of an actual event. "I think Snowden is a traitor" is an opinion.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 26 2013 17:02 utc | 66

@62 I'm not trying to be a jerk. You're probably well intentioned. We all feel powerless. We all see or hear stuff that sounds "too good to be true".

Not that it is a comparison, but probably when news came of the German Army surrendering at Stalingrad, people thought "No fucking way".

The problem is that all the 9/11 nonsense, all the Boston Bombing "check out the color of his pants" bullshit is distracting and used - very intentionally ti seems to my mind - to keep people from getting engaged in real political struggle.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 26 2013 17:06 utc | 67

Russia wins, US and Turkey lose

May 23, 2013
Russian gas pipeline could doom Europe's Nabucco plan -- Balkan states back TAP, IAP gas pipeline projects against Nabucco

Jun 26, 2013
Azeris deal fresh blow on Nabucco -- Nabucco West has lost the tender process to channel gas from the Caspian Sea to central Europe, Austrian OMV, leader of the Nabucco West project, announced yesterday in a press statement.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 26 2013 17:08 utc | 68

Hadi Mohammadi, Tehran
Terrorists will bring peace, West tells Syrians

It is said that some of the rebels fighting in Mali, who are working to bring a government favorable to France to power, will be ordered to travel to Syria through the territory of Turkey to fight Syrian troops in the battle for Aleppo, which is viewed as the rebels’ last hope in their war against Assad. And it has been reported that Taliban militants will be sent to Lebanon, which they will use as a staging area to penetrate into areas around Damascus in order to help the rebels destabilize the situation in the Syrian capital. According to the plan, Lebanon’s March 14 group, which is backed by the governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, will facilitate the Taliban fighters’ entry into Syria.

The Doha meeting clearly showed that Western governments and their allies have no intention of establishing peace in Syria. Over the past few weeks, U.S. officials have been actively inviting various governments to attend the upcoming Geneva II conference, which is ostensibly being held to find a diplomatic solution to the Syria crisis. However, the Doha meeting was a sham that proved that Geneva II will be another farce since the anti-Syria front is using everything at its disposal to foment sectarian strife in Syria and is still beating the drums of war.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 26 2013 17:16 utc | 69

One clear example. I was watching a George Galloway video on a YouTube channel by an organization called "We Are Change" I believe. It's big on 9/11 "truth" far as I can tell.

The comments to the video were like so: "George Galloway defends the official story of 9/11, he's just a gatekeeper. Now they're trying to get us to protest the G20, don't fall for it."

So the 9/11 horseshit is used specifically to prevent real protest. Now think about it, have you ever once in your life heard a right winger called "a gatekeeper" or attacked because they believe the "official story" (even tough they don't, specifically, they just don't believe the garbage about drone planes and missiles and thermite and god knows...)? No, it is only used against leftists. Michael Moore, Galloway, Chomsky, Greg Pallast - basically ANY left leaning voice (whatever you might think about then) is attacked on that basis.

There's a conspiracy at work alright. No doubt about it. It just doesn't happen to be about 9/11.

And I think we all ignore this at our own peril. It's like a religion. Some 36% of Americans believe this. That's probably everyone who won't vote, wouldn't join a union, hates "politics", thinks Snowden and Wikileaks are dupes or worse... It's a lot of people taken out of the game.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 26 2013 17:28 utc | 70

Reacting to Anonymous @ 3, William Bowles @ 22 points out:

You still seem to be operating under the illusion, that because the US govt has destroyed Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan, that somehow, they result from the wrong policies, when the reality is, destroying these countries is precisely the objective..

I agree w. Bowles in a way, in the sense that destruction and territorial fragmentation, internal strife and civil war (Egypt coming up ?) serve the interests of Empire, in the sense of some factions being satisfied. War-mongers, arms industry, security apparatus, military complex, modern crusaders, re-builders, neo-con nuts, extremist Zionists, etc.

Yet, the USA would be better served with stable and subservient Govmts, overseeing a large-ish territory. Assuming, for the mo, that aims are rapacious and controlling only, fragmentation and impoverishment, not to mention decimating or more the populations, creates obstacles to rapine. Ppl no longer cooperate, or submit, and it becomes impossible, or very difficult, to get anything done such as resource extraction and export, unfair trade, opportunities for US Cos, augmenting infrastructure for the colonial power, moulding societies to accept an overlord, bringing ppl into a purely consumerist 21st century...

When the country descends into civil war you can sell arms and back one faction over another, but the end result is completely up in the air, and not de facto favorable for the USA, everything else is on hold.

The situation in the very recent past, with the likes of Kadafi, Mubarak, Ben Ali in charge, to mention only those as emblems, was more favorable for the US than the present landscape.

The US is perceived world-wide as having lost power, simply as it is not controlling events and seems to hesitate, stumble, not take a stance, being swayed by different contradictory mealy-mouthed principles, while even if fake, should be effective... ‘Democracy’, the will of the ppl, combined with killer drones against supposed Muslim terrorists, with at the same time support for Islamist fighters, is becoming a hard sell, amongst many other contradictions. Even if one imputes the most evil motives, it does not make sense in terms of any long-term strategy one can dream up.

The prism (sic) is also a fragmentation in the USA, its ppl becoming more radically divided day by day.

The idea of a Gvmt. by and for the ppl is out the window. The Nation State is a crumbling edifice, a kind of front man for other forces, such as Corps, Banks, the financial ‘industry’, certain sections of the elites, their servants and hangers on, the 20%.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 26 2013 18:04 utc | 71

@Guest 77
Im not going to split hairs about the words I chose! I dont have evidences for my assumptions/speculations! If I had evidence, it wldnt be an assumption or a speculation! Now back to the topic! The same media outlets (The guardian first and foremost, and virtually all German and French journos) which are subtely portraying Snowden as a victim, have done their utmost and beyond to distort the perception of the Syrian conflict, even after the US, F and GB officialy announced their "lethal" support to this Foreign Sponsored Army which obviously consists of Islamists! Im just taking that example, because its one of the most relevant these days! So, the guardian, die Zeit, le Monde etc. have proven to relay an imperialistic agenda or whatever u call it! I think we can agree on that! Why wld these Gov. serving presstitutes suddenly turn into a reliable, independent, freedom-loving news outlet, supporting a "poor guy" who only wants to expose their own masters? It doesnt add up! And ask urself Assange said what he said (9/11), and why Snowden is being dragged into that fake opposition called WikiLeaks! Isnt it strange? I think i just turned my bold statement into a legitimate question!

Posted by: Kal | Jun 26 2013 18:14 utc | 72

Noirette, there is a very strong Israeli influence on it too, I don't think that can really be denied. I mean the detailed strategy of fragmentation and nation-wrecking is really an Israel strategy that has been introduced into the US foreign policy-making world by very assiduous and detailed indoctrination, coming from for instance WINEP, an AIPAC front that is never, ever, admitted to be such in the MSM, but referred to as 'the Washington Institute'. We've seen devastating videos from WINEP conferences, regarding Iran usually. For a brief period in the Balkan wars, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards were actually fighting alongside the CIA and al-Qaeda against Misolevic's federal army, I kid you not. It was the Israelis who put a stop to that, using their vastly increased leverage after 9/11, when the US establishment was seriously weakened in its ability to argue back. And this detailed Israel strategy I keep mentioning has not really changed since it was spelled out in the Yinon Plan in 1982:

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 26 2013 18:19 utc | 73

Why is it that the same people(MSM)who cry terror,are the same people(MSM) who want open borders?Sounds self conflicting neh?
And why do special interest groups(Aipac,gay rights,illegals)have so much clout,and we the general population have so little with our critters in Congress?(antiwar,outsourcing,border control,healthcare,campaign finance,banksters etc.)
Some democracy.

Posted by: dahoit | Jun 26 2013 18:20 utc | 74

Rowan at 73 posted Noirette, there is a very strong Israeli influence on it too, I don't think that can really be denied. I mean the detailed strategy of fragmentation and nation-wrecking is really an Israel strategy that has been introduced into the US foreign policy-making world.

Oh I agree. But who is the mover here? Who has the most power? To put it bluntly, if the US became fed up with Isr. it could crack down on it immediately and change the face of the whole ME. It has the clout, economic and military. In fact, as far as economic interests are concerned, that would serve it well.

It does not implement its force as it sneakily uses Isr. as a proxy yapping vicious critter which it supports to the hilt.
Now that is setting aside Irs. influence in the US which is extremely consequent, to what degree is difficult to dope out exactly, but any country that lets itself be manipulated in this way shows itself to be weak...and is asking for trouble.

An unholy, destructive, symbiosis.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 26 2013 19:21 utc | 75


Hmmm... ok, a subservient population would be easier to manage etc. But take the case of Libya. Gaddafi managed to unite a post-colonial country by sheer force of arms and will, imposing the outlines of a modern state on what been nothing more than a collection of clans (over 90% of the country is empty desert) and a tiny indigenous population. Oil was and is it's only product. Now that Gaddafi has been removed, the country has descended into chaos but the oil still flows and moreover the oil is now directly controlled by the imperialist powers.

Who cares what happens to its population or their future for that matter, as long as the oil still flows. As I said, Syria is a different case though it has similarities with Libya insofar as it presents an obstacle to the Empire's expansion as much as Libya was a barrier to the reoccupation of Africa (albeit an inconsistent one and that was Gaddafi's weakness just as Assad's anti-colonial posture is riven with contradictions making the regime vulnerable).

Yes, the US should pursue a rational course but who said its rulers are rational? Give me a single example from history that shows ANY of the imperialist powers operate on a rational basis?

Posted by: William Bowles | Jun 26 2013 19:39 utc | 76


PS: I might add that the mayhem and slaughter visited on the millions of innocents by the Empire is the inevitable outcome of a propaganda campaign used to justify the 'liberation' of these countries. One need only look at the justification, mostly 'it was an accident' or 'some collateral damage is inevitable' and the price they have to pay for 'freedom'. It's obviously irrational; how can you justify slaughtering people by saying that you're actually freeing them? And all made possible by criminally complicit corporate/state media.

Imagine the reactions of our populations if the media told the truth about our leaders' actions...

Posted by: William Bowles | Jun 26 2013 19:52 utc | 77

An interesting article in MRZINE:
"Kurds and Turks Share Doubts About Peace Talks Between PKK and Turkish Government"

Personally I don't think that "peace" can be achieved so easily in this region. And the reason is that The demands that the Kurds make, make this an "only-one-side-can-win" game. A lot of people think that this is a fight for "cultural and political rights". This is NOT the case. This is a fight for separation. What Kurds want is not the right to education in one's native tongue, or the rights to have news papers or radio stations broadcasting in Kurdish. What Kurds want is an independent country with its own flag, passport, money, armed forces and embassies all over the world. And they want it on the lands which are currently parts of Iran, Turkey, Iraq and Syria. No state in the world (neither USA, nor Canada, nor France, nor Russia, nor China, nor any other country)would "peacefully" agree to such a deal.

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Jun 26 2013 23:19 utc | 78

@72 "And ask urself Assange said what he said (9/11), and why Snowden is being dragged into that fake opposition called WikiLeaks!"

So your basing your entire opinion of Wikileaks, an organization that gave us a historical record we wouldn't have in (at least) 70 years, run by a man who has been imprisoned for a year, sourced by a man who has been tortured for three years, all because Assange made a statement that he doesn't believe that 9/11 was a secret plot carried out by GWB with drone planes, missiles, a huge team of demolition engineers, fake passports, and the connivance of the entire US and world media?

I guess that's where we'll have to agree to disagree.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 27 2013 0:43 utc | 79

Kevin Rudd has been reinstated as PM in (the land of) Oz.
When it comes to clusterfucks no-one does it better than Oz's brainless pro-US/Israel political stooges and satraps.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 27 2013 2:22 utc | 80

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The bad guys have a huge budget for folks to post things on the Internet that further their agenda. This site seems to have more than its share. The bad guys also have a huge budget to create pseudo-everythings. This includes fake liberals, fake conservatives, fake whistleblowers, and even honest-sounding folks who actually just try to gather info to send it back to their masters. As the bad guys own the media, it is not a good sign to say that all the major media go with a story line or that someone is on the cover of Time magazine.

Posted by: Ozawa | Jun 27 2013 2:51 utc | 81


Are you arguing that 911 wasn't an inside job?

Posted by: Ozawa | Jun 27 2013 2:58 utc | 82

In Australia, Prime Minister Julia Gillard lost the leadership of the Labor Party to the man she ousted in 2010, Kevin Rudd, by 57 votes to 45, which means that Rudd is again the Prime Minister, which may be a short tenure because of elections in September. Labor is trailing badly in the polls.

Meanwhile, in support of our friends from down under--

DefenseNews, May 5, 2013
Australia's White Paper Reveals Reluctance to Paint China Red

TAIPEI — Australia released its 2013 Defence White Paper on May 3 outlining various defense challenges and goals the nation faces.

One area of surprise is the paper’s claim that “Australia welcomes China’s rise.” This should serve as a reality check for those in Washington who believe that Australia will serve as a key contributor to the Pentagon’s future AirSea Battle plans against China.

It is clear that economic issues are playing a significant factor in Australia’s future defense strategy. One might consider it a survival strategy.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jun 27 2013 4:41 utc | 83

Don Bacon | Jun 27, 2013 12:41:14 AM | 83. Australia has no aspirations to being a power in the military vein, it has been used as a staging area, both Brit and US at the same time having a well trained Army but also understand its geographic location and limitations without being considered a threat nation, specifically to China - It’s just Islamists. In the last decade the only issues were Bali and Jakarta, the latter direct where it citizens were targets. about 28 organizations designated and banned by a court or a government department for active involvement in terrorism - all bar 2 were Islamic and a trend since 2008 of home-grown jihadist is rising.

The Asian Century presents Australia with the opportunity to tap into the region's rapid economic growth with 70 per cent taking place with member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group, about 400+ billion USD of which 50% is in minerals/fuel(Coal) & metals. Between China and Japan its export this is about 200 billion alone, and 3rd, the US with 38 bln, then RoK and Singapore another 50Bln - The biggest import Aus has is Fuel.

However the 2 largest investors in Australia are the US & UK, then Japan and Aus investing externally is again US & UK, then NZ. I can’t see Aus rocking the boat; it should and would play neutral. In fact in doing so, Aus would ‘win’ from any regional issue as a neutral partner. Aus has 500,000 or so Chinese, in fact every city (Near enough) in the world has a China town, this include USA -How many USvilles outside Embassies and military camps exist?

Posted by: kev | Jun 27 2013 6:29 utc | 84

@82 So are we talking about Snowden or about wikileaks? make ur mind up! And yes wikileaks is fake. Bradley Manning is the fall guy. 9/11= Religion! U either do believe, or u do not!

Posted by: Kal | Jun 27 2013 7:03 utc | 85


Disinfo: 25 ways to suppress truth

4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent's argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad.

5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary 'attack the messenger'

17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic.

you decide?

Posted by: Penny | Jun 27 2013 10:47 utc | 86


re: 9/11
"secret plots"
"and the connivance of the entire US and world media?"

Given the connivance of the entire US and world media
or as I call it the NATO media on the whole global war agenda
Since Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria?

Completely non credible
We witness daily, secret plots, compliant military and the connivance of the entire US and world media
9/11 would be just another military/psyop
In a long line of them...

Posted by: Penny | Jun 27 2013 10:52 utc | 87

Newspeak: Japan is having a spot of language "toraburu." That's "trouble," to the native English speaker, and a major pain in the neck to at least one elderly Japanese man. Hoji Takahashi, 71, is suing state broadcaster NHK for $14,000 to compensate for the "mental stress" of having to listen to the English-origin loan words used more and more by their presenters.

Japan's institutions have a responsibility to translate into native terms, Takahashi argues, claiming that his country is in danger of becoming "a province of America." We'd love to hear the answers he'd get if he asked the average American for their "conpuraiansu."

Posted by: kev | Jun 27 2013 12:00 utc | 88

Update on Snowden's whereabouts.

According to 21st Century Wire, Snowden could just be in Iceland after all. A privately chartered Russian Sukhoi Super Jet 100-95 landed in Reykavik yesterday.

Read the article here

Posted by: William Bowles | Jun 27 2013 12:32 utc | 89

William, if I might take the liberty of replacing your non link:
The reason it does that is that the link you put in was lacking its http://

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Jun 27 2013 14:10 utc | 90

As I mentioned in #48 "Until its confirmed from reliable source, I would call shenanigans."

"The Russian Defense Ministry has denied reports about the withdrawal of Russian personnel from the logistics point at the Russian naval base in Tartus, Syria."

Posted by: Harry | Jun 27 2013 14:48 utc | 91


I am confused. Am I trying "suppress truth"? I am not a native speaker and I do not get the subtexts sometimes...

Posted by: Kal | Jun 27 2013 14:55 utc | 92

Hi Kal @92
apologies for that lack of clarity
I do not think you are trying to suppress the truth.
IMO you are attempting to discuss truth.

Another commenter is being disingenuous
Willfully or not?
I don't know.
IMO, Snowden is a distraction
Whether he intended his leak to be or not
This where's waldo nonsense has moved the NSA spying right off the radar
The demonization of Russia and China is blatant and obvious
The misspelling of the middle name "news"??!!
Come on!!
The US doesn't want Snowden
He is more useful running around the globe, allegedly

Posted by: Penny | Jun 27 2013 15:08 utc | 93

Greetings from Snowden ...

NSA collected US email records in bulk for more than two years under Obama

The Obama administration for more than two years permitted the National Security Agency to continue collecting vast amounts of records detailing the email and internet usage of Americans, according to secret documents obtained by the Guardian.

Posted by: b | Jun 27 2013 15:20 utc | 94

And more: NSA inspector general report on email and internet data collection under Stellar Wind – full document

Top-secret draft report from 2009 by the NSA's inspector general shows development of 'collection of bulk internet metadata' under program launched under Bush

Posted by: b | Jun 27 2013 15:21 utc | 95

I'm not sure what this means, Penny, but are you arguing that Snowden's flight is designed to draw attention away from his revelations about the NSA? If so, there is a logical problem to be resolved, here:
"IMO, Snowden is a distraction
Whether he intended his leak to be or not
This where's waldo nonsense has moved the NSA spying right off the radar
The demonization of Russia and China is blatant and obvious
The misspelling of the middle name "news"??!!
Come on!!
The US doesn't want Snowden
He is more useful running around the globe, allegedly.."

If it is conspiracies that we want to discuss, the clearest case that can be made for one involves the persistent attempts to denigrate Snowden's motives and authenticity.
The point is that neither really matters. The story itself is clear enough: the scale of spying, and the criminal nature of the NSA project are what matter. Whether Snowden is a hero of our times or Father Gapon is irrelevant. What is distracting this thread from proper discussion of the real story is the increasingly extravagant conjecture about inconsequentialities.

It is not unlike the 9/11 business. We know who benefited. We know how co-ordinated the response was. We know that the Commission was a whitewash. It really doesn't matter very much whether Al Qaeda or the FBI, the mafia, MI6 or mossad carried out the attacks.

Posted by: bevin | Jun 27 2013 15:47 utc | 96

bevin; you are making many assumptions.
I am not arguing anything. I am not suggesting that snowden's flight is a distraction
I am suggesting via the msm that snowden's flight is being used as a distraction
Two very different and distinct scenarios

Which is why I said "Whether he intended his leak to be or not"

Snowdens' intention may have been A
The US gov intention via the media is B

This kind of stuff is not anything new or shocking
The media tells us A wrt Syria
The facts tell us B wrt to Syria
basic stuff.
You talk logic?
but use the conspiracy meme
come on Bevin?

No one is denigrating Snowden's intentions because we don't know what his intentions are
bolded for emphasis
Unless you are privy to some specific personal info?

Posted by: Penny | Jun 27 2013 16:16 utc | 97

btw: it is not inconsequential that Snowden's leak has turned into 'where in the world is Carmen Sandiego"

It's a crying shame

Posted by: Penny | Jun 27 2013 16:18 utc | 98

Rowan Berkeley #90

Whoops! Sorry about that. Thanks.


Posted by: William Bowles | Jun 27 2013 16:24 utc | 99

The excellent Statewatch coming out of the UK has made pdfs of the docs Snowden leaked, available:

Top Secret: Exhibit A:
Secret: Exhibit B:
Secret: Certification Order:

Posted by: William Bowles | Jun 27 2013 16:31 utc | 100

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