Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 11, 2013

Kerry's "Disgust" vs. "Restoring Democracy"

The United States Secretary of State seems to have some problems differentiating between democracies and dictatorships as well as protests against these.

Earlier this year the Egyptian army disposed the legitimately elected Morsi government. Protests in various roads and plazas against that coup were brutally suppressed.

In an television interview in Pakistan, Mr Kerry said: "The military was asked to intervene by millions and millions of people, all of whom were afraid of a descendance into chaos, into violence.

"And the military did not take over, to the best of our judgement - so far. To run the country, there's a civilian government. In effect, they were restoring democracy."

Over 600 largely peaceful protesters were killed, many wounded and many incarcerated on dubious grounds by the Egyptian army and police in the crackdown against sit-ins and other protests against the military coup.

In Kiev some thousands of protesters, including neo-nazis, rally against the legitimately elected government. They not only protested but blockaded, stormed and occupied public buildings. Not so peaceful protesters used bulldozers to break up police lines. Today, after waiting three weeks, riot police started to clear the buildings and blockades.

Evan Hill, a journalist who regularly reports from Egypt, commented:

Interesting how little violence cops in Kiev are using, at least as far as I've seen.

The NYT reports:

Officers in helmets pushed through the crowds with shields but did not use the truncheons hanging at their sides.

As the security forces spread throughout the square, a large crowd of protesters brandishing sticks, clubs, metal rods and anything else they could find massed in front of the Trade Unions building, which leaders of the demonstration had turned into the headquarters of what they call the National Resistance.

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry released the following statement:

The United States expresses its disgust with the decision of Ukrainian authorities to meet the peaceful protest in Kyiv’s Maidan Square with riot police, bulldozers, and batons, rather than with respect for democratic rights and human dignity. This response is neither acceptable nor does it befit a democracy.

Note:

Killing of largely peaceful protesters against a coup in which the military deposed the democratic elected government is "restoring democracy".

Removing not-so-peaceful protesters who attempt a coup against a dully elected democratic government is "disgusting".

Posted by b on December 11, 2013 at 8:12 UTC | Permalink

Comments

Saudi Prince pleads with Assad to block film depicting Wahhabi King Abdul Aziz: http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/saudi-prince-accuses-syrian-director-%E2%80%9Csexual-jihad%E2%80%9D
=========================
what Assad can do: tell King whatsisface, we wil block the film if you block the jihadis from coming to syria

Posted by: brian | Dec 11 2013 8:29 utc | 1

This article addresses a non-concept, or if you prefer, a purely ideological concept. There is no such thing as "democracy". It is an ideological fiction.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 11 2013 8:46 utc | 2

I'm inclined to agree with RB on "democracy".
I can't think of one "democratic" govt which doesn't lie to, and keep secrets from, the people who were tricked into voting for it.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 11 2013 12:13 utc | 3

brian @1 - I hope they bring out a sub-titled version for English speakers - I would go and watch it.

Posted by: blowback | Dec 11 2013 12:18 utc | 4

Hijack-racy or Bribe-ocracy would be more accurate labels.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 11 2013 12:18 utc | 5

bandar vs Putin
Bandar Carries a Revised Initiative about Syria…and Putin Rejects it.

The meeting last week in Moscow between Putin and Bandar was cloaked in media silence and nothing transpired to the rest of the world about it until Al Manar once again published “leaks” giving the details in the article attached. These again are “leaks” from a “close and reliable source” in Russia. It is quite obvious that after the abysmal failure of Bandar’s first visit to Putin back in August, and after his sheer disappointment that the U.S did not manage to strike Syria, he went to Russia again with a revised agenda in a desperate attempt to gain some face-saving scores in order to save him from utter humiliation both domestically and overseas.

The article is written by Daoud Rammal and covers basically these points:

Basically Bandar had the audacity to go back and tell Putin that he agrees that when Geneva II is convened Al Assad should remain as President during this interim period on condition that the administrative power is put in the hands of an interim government which shall represent all factions, loyalists and opposition, on condition that it is headed by the opposition. During this period Saudi Arabia wishes that the Russian leadership puts pressure on Assad in order that he does not call for Presidential elections in 2014 and that he stays in power during this interim period until a new Constitution is written and approved, after which general and Presidential elections can be held. He also said Saudi Arabia is prepared to take into consideration contributing to the cost of rebuilding Syria.

Putin’s answer to Bandar was:

* Syria is scoring a lot of victories and that the opposition that is armed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Turkey are facing defeat.

*The armed forces supported by Saudi Arabia have nothing to do with the opposition that wants democratic changes and, if anything, their intervention has destroyed that opposition.

*The armed forces that you refer to as opposition is in our view nothing more than terrorists and the true opposition is represented by civilians.

*Neither us nor the Syrians need Saudi Money to rebuild Syria.

*Allies of Syria whether it is ourselves, Iran or China have enough technical and financial prowess which enables them to rebuild Syria to be better than what it was.

*The Russian Federation and the United States have reached a stable and final understanding about the situation in Syria and the region, and the American side is equally as convinced as we are that Takfiri terrorism represents a danger to the American security as well as to Russian and global security.

*Europe has come very close to understanding the American position and voices are starting to get heard in fear of the terrorists returning to Europe after they have allowed them to leave to go to Syria.

*We advise you, as we advise all of those who are opposing the peaceful and political resolution in Syria to change your policies and stop sectarian instigations and supporting terrorism, because it is a double edged sword that will rebound inside Saudi Arabia and gather momentum in a manner that you will not be able to control.

*Your current position and your constitution do not put you in the right position to take a leading role in changing other nations regimes and establishing human rights for as long as your own people suffer from a lack of political, religious and information freedom and, women have not earned yet the most simple of their rights.

(Translated/Interpreted by Intibah and Ghassan)
http://www.almanar.com.lb/adetails.php?fromval=2&cid=171&frid=31&seccatid=171&eid=671889

Posted by: brian | Dec 11 2013 12:38 utc | 6

@4 i believe it may be in english., or ive seen a english trailer

Posted by: brian | Dec 11 2013 12:39 utc | 7

Matt is in a bit of trouble:
Matthew VanDyke · 350 followers
11 hours ago · Edited ·
If one more person on the revolution side posts those ridiculous lies about me, I quit. What's wrong with people. And I'm not really even talking about the hilarious stuff the Syrian Electronic Army made up, I'm talking about the incredibly offensive lies being told by some on our own side about my speech in Canada. You are the type that are causing us to lose this war. You're so treacherous and self-destructive that the shabiha are probably reading your posts and cheering you on.
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=10201785719258479&id=1046622659......see comments

Posted by: brian | Dec 11 2013 13:05 utc | 8


French Ambassador indirectly expresses French solidarity with the Jihadi terrorists who came from France and... http://fb.me/2RCLagnD0

Posted by: brian | Dec 11 2013 14:04 utc | 9

Keeping an eye on the news coming out of Kiev, I've been surprised at the forbearance of the police. If any capital city in the United States had experienced a similar type of occupation the National Guard would be mustered.

What happens when you have these rolling street battles is that people come out of their homes and pitch in -- that looks like what happened on November 30. Unless the security forces have an overwhelming numerical advantage or they shoot to kill and just mow people down right and left like they did in Cairo, people will keep coming out of their apartments to join the fray.

They apparently are trying something a little different in Ukraine.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Dec 11 2013 14:17 utc | 10

@brian @6 thanks for that - sounds like Putin : -)

Posted by: b | Dec 11 2013 14:29 utc | 11

If something like this is happening in say Italy, Belgium, or any "first" world country Strategy of Tension would be employed. Meaning, some kind of terroristic act in supermarket or bomb on railway station would explode, sniper from the roof start to shooting people, etc. The goal is to scare hell of people.

Viktor Yanukovych is lost, and doesn't know what to do with the power that he holds in its hands. It is surprising that Moscow is very ambivalent about Ukraine too.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 11 2013 14:35 utc | 12

"legitimately elected"? In Egypt? Is this more of your devious and droll humour? Morsi has the popularity of Al Sharpton in the US. The military is the only reasonable choice for the time being, and leftists in the West who regularly attack nationalistic, military regimes are de facto supporters of the Empire.

Posted by: Ozawa | Dec 11 2013 14:39 utc | 13

@2
"This article addresses a non-concept, or if you prefer, a purely ideological concept. There is no such thing as "democracy". It is an ideological fiction."

You really ought to re-consider your decision to catch up on philosophy Rowan. This is authoritarian nonsense. Or it is tautological.

The struggle towards co-operative self rule, an attempt to re-establish the oldest forms of social government, is all that the aspiration to democracy means.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 11 2013 14:53 utc | 14

Ozawa @13 "The military is the only reasonable choice for the time being,..."
Suppose that you are right. I disagree profoundly, but suppose otherwise.

Are you suggesting that military rule necessarily involves the systematic killing of all protestors, the banning of public demonstrations, the throttling of Gaza, the re-employment of the corrupted civilian legal/administrative infrastructure of the Mubarak regime, and the imposition of a highly authoritarian anti-democratic constitutional law?

You would appear to be.

The de facto supporters of the Empire in this equation are those, like yourself, who apologise for the crimes of its agents who in Egypt are headed by General Sisi. We know this because, sub contracted by the United States, they have been running Egypt since the 1970s.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 11 2013 15:08 utc | 15

More spin and mind twisting in world affairs: Pope Francis is Time's Person of the Year.

Title is confusing, at least to me, "Person of the Year". But where? In the world!? Time magazine is well aware that "Person of 2013" rein in countries where the Holy See and his handlers, has its ideological, cultural, reach is very limited; it is fraction of the planet earth.

That's nothing is happening by accident telling us his latest message where he is "blasting" capitalism, diabolical mask is off. The subjects consolation and Saviour from its predicaments (Class War) is the God's Emissary on the earth.

The high priest always is going to be the pawn. The show must go on.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 11 2013 15:14 utc | 16

Since when is it the official position of the United States to support mob rule? Yet that's the "democracy" they supported in Egypt as a rationale for a military coup. And it seems to be the kind of democracy they are supporting in the Ukraine.

Mob rule is the great fear of the wealthy. It's one of the major reasons they allow government to exist at all.

Even after disastrous outcomes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, US political elites persist in their belief that they can break a society and seamlessly put it back together it as a plutocratic image of other Western subservient states.

In their arrogance, they have no qualms about playing with fire.

Posted by: JohnH | Dec 11 2013 15:34 utc | 17

On Ukraine: Another shameless display, another attempt at color revolutions, another breach of the Westphalian principles of International Relations. The US State Department's Victoria Nuland (the same one who was shrieking over Syria) has shown up at the protests in Kiev and is handing out cookies to the protesters. EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashdown is also in Kiev riling up the protesters.

My own pet theory on this situaton... revenge on Putin for his handling of Syria. If the West can't take a country on Russians South flank they will take one on his Western flank. The hypocracy is breath-taking, no one denies that Yankovich is democratically elected. No one denies that the Police has have performed more honorably than the police at Occupy Wall St or London's 2011 riots.

The latest acts by the protesters is spaying cold water hoses at the police standing guard outside government building in -10 degree weather and the police still are just holding the line. Of course it also bears mentioning that the protests have not spread. The Eastern part of Ukraine (with the most ties to Russia) is quiet and the protests are only in the capital Kiev. Yankovich must be asleep, he should do what was done during the Orange Revolution and bus people to Kiev from the East to stage a counter protest.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Dec 11 2013 16:02 utc | 18

"Ukraine's Prime minister Mykola Azarov reportedly said on Wednesday that Kyiv is seeking €20 billion in financial aid from Brussels in order to sign the EU's association agreement.

Reacting to the media reports, the Commission said that the future of Ukraine is 'not a call for tender'."

This last sentence is funny. This is where the Pope fits with its Christian belief system with divine monarch right and territorial conquest. Just like Conquistadors in medieval time, and later a Nazis, now the EU/US is trying to impose the rule on Ukraine and all that for a few euros. Market is for "us" but when it comes to "them" than some buzzwords are perfect fit.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 11 2013 16:02 utc | 19

On Syria: Interesting link @6 Putin seems confident, which is good news. Snow has started falling in Syria yesterday and today with more forecast. That could be to the SAA's advantage, especially in the Qalamoun mountain range where the rebels are in the mountains and the Army holds alot of the towns in between the mountains. Will likely cause further problems for the rebel supply lines, alot of which are already cut off or dependent on back roads the Army doesn't guard.

The Syrian Electronic Army, which hacked into Matt Van Dyke's email account is claiming to have found a conversation between him and Brown Moses, about money Brown Moses received from the Syrian Support Group (A US State Department NGO).

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Dec 11 2013 16:05 utc | 20

Yanukovych is not asleep nor lost. He is just hard bargaining.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 11 2013 16:06 utc | 21

What's happening in the streets of Kiev, against the legitimate government, is a classic Fifth Column maneuver right out of the owner's manual of 1930's fascism.

Posted by: Copeland | Dec 11 2013 16:47 utc | 22

Where it that accountant from California, this is time when Yanukovych need him.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 11 2013 16:48 utc | 23

@17
"Since when is it the official position of the United States to support mob rule? ...
"Mob rule is the great fear of the wealthy. It's one of the major reasons they allow government to exist at all."

You make an interesting point. It is undoubtedly true that the promotion of fake revolutions by the imperialists, which as Copeland says is straight out of the fascist "How To" manual, is a double edged sword.
This is a time of crisis and the ruling class is getting ever closer to throwing off the mask of liberalism and revealing its true, fascistic nature. It is also in evidence on the home front where under the general excuse of austerity, they are officially repudiating the binding promises made to pensioners, youth and society as a whole.

For the 99% this is of considerable interest. We too should be promoting the repudiation of binding promises, the National Debt being but one example, student loans another. The homeless should be ready to occupy vacant buildings and build on vacant land. And. as always, the thin veneer of faux "democracy", like divine right or any other excuse for ruling, can legitimately be torn away in insurrection.

What is going on in Kiev is a Fifth Column. A revolution is, of its nature, indigenous: the bottom arising over the top. But this is a foreign implant, subsidised at every step by imperialist money, and, (I hope I am wrong) likely next to degenerate into provocative killings, snipers (freelance contractors to intelligence agencies) shooting at policemen. And into the crowd of "demonstrators." The goal will be to escalate so that an R2P propaganda can be fired up for the warmongers.
All eyes turn to Putin to remind the idiots who play with fire in the EU and NATO that, in the final analysis, the Ukraine is part of Russia's sphere of influence. And that it does not have the choice of joining EU/NATO.

Doing so would save everybody a great deal of trouble. And, if the Ukrainian people want otherwise they have the ability and the historical right to make a contrary decision.

What cannot be tolerated is for imperialism to bribe and brainwash and intimidate Ukrainians into ceding their notional sovereignty to Quislings and their puppet masters.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 11 2013 17:44 utc | 24

@Ozawa @13 Morsi has the popularity of Al Sharpton in the US.

I didn't know that Al Sharpton has a 44% favorability.

Most Egyptians Oppose Ouster of Mursi, Poll Shows

Most Egyptians said the army was wrong to topple elected President Mohamed Mursi in July, and support for Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood held up after his July ouster, according to a poll by Zogby Research Services LLC.

The study, conducted in September, found 51 percent of respondents said Mursi’s overthrow was a mistake, compared with 46 percent who said the army was right.
...
Confidence in army chief Abdelfatah al-Seesi, who led the takeover, was only slightly higher than in Mursi, at 46 percent and 44 percent respectively, while interim President Adly Mansour scored 39 percent.

Posted by: b | Dec 11 2013 17:49 utc | 25

Sorry to change the subject but Emptywheel today is very interesting:
http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/12/11/will-shifting-loyalties-in-the-middle-east-and-fracking-bring-truth-about-911/#comments

Posted by: bevin | Dec 11 2013 18:07 utc | 26

"This article addresses a non-concept, or if you prefer, a purely ideological concept. There is no such thing as "democracy". It is an ideological fiction." You really ought to re-consider your decision to catch up on philosophy Rowan. This is authoritarian nonsense. Or it is tautological. The struggle towards co-operative self rule, an attempt to re-establish the oldest forms of social government, is all that the aspiration to democracy means. Posted by: bevin | Dec 11, 2013 9:53:46 AM | 14
Bevin, once again you have indulged in a completely transparent but illicit logical manoevre. It's fortunate for me that I do spend my time reading philosophy, because it encourages me to concentrate on clear thinking. In this case, you have substituted another object. You have substituted "the aspiration to democracy" for "democracy" itself in the argument. My comment which you quote described "democracy" as "an ideological fiction." "The aspiration to democracy" is something quite different, and far from fictional, obviously. Similarly "the struggle towards co-operative self-rule" is something quite different from, and much more real than "co-operative self-rule" itself, which does not exist. And neither "co-operative self-rule" nor "democracy" is in fact "the oldest form of social government," except in your ahistorical dreams, so not having existed in the first place, it cannot be "re-established."

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 11 2013 18:46 utc | 27

Re #6, "Bandar Carries a Revised Initiative about Syria … and Putin Rejects it" by Daoud Rammal, Al-Manar (Translated/Interpreted by Intibah and Ghassan): Assuming this is accurate, I do not share Putin’s belief that the West is genuinely frightened of the Jihadis currently swarming through Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. Putin, according to this, imagines that by paying for these Jihadis, Bandar is doing something against the will of the West. I disagree. In my opinion, Bandar’s Jihadis are a direct expression of the will of the West, though of course a deniable will, and one that the West does deny, because the West wants not only that these swarms of Jihadis should exist, and that they should overrun existing governments in the so-called Muslim World, but that it (the West) should be able to maintain publicly that they are a fearful menace, and should be able to impose draconian security measures at home and everywhere else, such as reading all electronic mail, such as assassination at will, and so forth.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 11 2013 19:04 utc | 28

The problem, Rowan, with differentiating between democracy and the aspiration to democracy is that by condemning the first as an impossibility you discourage the second and justify the elitist alternatives. This is a very old path, first beaten out by reactionaries and maintained by dilettantes and cynics ever since.

As to your pretensions to the historical knowledge needed to dismiss my ideas, they are laughable. I suspect that they consist of little more than placing your faith in the notoriously ill -informed speculations of dead philosophers.

You should follow the link at 26. That is a subject on which your views would be interesting, the events referred to having taken place so recently that you have had no alternative but to use your brain, your dead masters being silent on the subject.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 11 2013 19:11 utc | 29

bevin, your confidence in primeval democracy doubtless does you much credit, but it is not based on anything except daydreams.

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 11 2013 19:15 utc | 30

This is an interesting link to a Reuters story. And not just because, if there is any truth in it, it supports the line reported @6.
On the other hand, it could just be a routine part of "deniability."
http://rt.com/news/us-suspends-aid-syria-060/

Posted by: bevin | Dec 11 2013 19:17 utc | 31

@30
And yet I can cite a mass of empirical evidence while you merely repeat the racist stereotypes of progressivism. "We know that they could not have been democrats because they were illiterates who didn't use knives and forks properly, to boot."
That's all.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 11 2013 19:25 utc | 32

You should follow the link at 26. That is a subject on which your views would be interesting (gabble, gabble). Posted by: bevin | Dec 11, 2013 2:11:32 PM | 29
Ah yes, I had already read that. I have a great deal of admiration for Marcy Wheeler, who took on the arduous task of being a daily diarist of our troubling world out of sheer love for humanity, not being paid by anyone to do it; but unlike me, she has become an absolute expert on the legalities, the procedural ins and outs, all the formal minutiae of the conjuncture. Having said that, I find it extraordinary that this wonderful woman is still unable to grasp that the Saudis (like the Pakistanis and the Israelis) helped organise 9/11 because that was what the US wanted them to do. If, per impossibile, the US was to turn round and blame them for doing so, then obviously they would retaliate by exposing the US's own leading role in initiating and coordinating the conspiracy, which is why this hypothesis can only be introduced per impossibile. Embedded in Marcy's thing is a reference to an interview by the odious Paul Jay. Gilad Atzmon did a very amusing little video of his own on Paul Jay, on the recent occasion of the latter's interview with Max Blumenthal. I really recommend this if you enjoy Jewish humour, though Gilad would not like to be referred to as a Jewish humorist, I know. He is nevertheless very funny. The expressions on his face as he meditates out loud on Jay & Blumenthal are delightful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yGWiqXE0_g

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Dec 11 2013 19:34 utc | 33

i wish emptywheel would focus more on foreign policy and less on american affairs.. i generally love her insight but her obsession with the nsa the past few months means there are few articles i feel like reading on her site in spite of the fact i have supported the site financially. this latest article bevin points out is a nice change of pace.. as for the 9-11 connections back to saudi, that is very old news generally accepted by anyone paying attention.. i am always amazed at how the usa has such a talent for classifying anything that might educate their own people.. "....has been suppressed for 12 years because our relationship with the Saudis was deemed more important than our need to publicly understand..." indeed! like everything else in the usa. the dumbing down of the people is a top priority!

kerry - what a hypocrite - a real good representative for present day usa..

Posted by: james | Dec 11 2013 20:35 utc | 34

The White Man says: it's forbidden for indigens to make money out of marijuana, but when it's the Queen of The Netherlands it's okay.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-25340324
Uruguay marijuana move 'illegal' - UN drugs watchdog

and on another issue, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25331241
US and UK suspend non-lethal aid for Syria rebels

Posted by: Mina | Dec 11 2013 20:39 utc | 35

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Dec 11, 2013 11:02:02 AM | 18

this could be construed an act of war....but notice also here the imperialists use demonstrators..in Syria they use jihadis..4th generation warfare: turning a populace(complete with neonazis) to ones own advantage to initiate regime change

Posted by: brian | Dec 11 2013 20:44 utc | 36

Putin is wise to EU tricks: from @6

'Europe has come very close to understanding the American position and voices are starting to get heard in fear of the terrorists returning to Europe after they have allowed them to leave to go to Syria.'

acknowledges EU regime let the terrorists out

Posted by: brian | Dec 11 2013 20:47 utc | 37

Posted by: Mina | Dec 11, 2013 3:39:18 PM | 35

this is the same UN that orchestrated illegal UN res 1973, that sent NATO into libya in violation of UNs ow charter. these bureacrats have scuttled their own moral and legal authority

Posted by: brian | Dec 11 2013 20:49 utc | 38

@28 Rowans review of @6 missse this line:
''Europe has come very close to understanding the American position and voices are starting to get heard in fear of the terrorists returning to Europe after they have ALLOWED them to leave to go to Syria.'

Posted by: brian | Dec 11 2013 20:51 utc | 39

"Pope Francis is Time's Person of the Year"

What maneuvering will Webster Tarpley make about this? His narrative must pass between the Scylla and Charybdis of his arguments that Pope Francis is a force for good, and that anyone promoted by the mainstream media must be acting in the interest of the oligarchy.

Posted by: Levantine | Dec 11 2013 21:02 utc | 40

http://glavcom.ua/news/172108.html
a very interesting ukranian site with the first page of Fakt, a polish tabloid with an ukranian edition (800 000 ex). This newspaper is property of Axel Springer.
translation of the title and texts:Long life to free ukraine, little fonts: Klichko will bring Ukraine in Europe. Klichko for president, Yakunovich must leave, Poles are with you in Maïdan, we are wating for you in Europe, Europe needs you...

Posted by: André | Dec 11 2013 21:06 utc | 41

P.S. In one of his talks, Tarpley specifically said vis-a-vis Assange: if you're a genuine opposition, you don't get to the cover of "Time" as the "Person of the Year" :)

Posted by: Levantine | Dec 11 2013 21:07 utc | 42

"I do not get Obama's foreign policy strategy in Iran or Syria at all. It makes no sense to me."

Keep reading MOA. Everything will become clear.

Posted by: dh | Dec 11 2013 21:26 utc | 43

Posted by: Levantine | Dec 11, 2013 4:02:45 PM | 40

you complain about Pope Francis? he is the pope,,hence the MSM is the one make the tricky manouvre between 'Scylla and Charybdis'

Posted by: brian | Dec 11 2013 21:31 utc | 44

Posted by: Levantine | Dec 11, 2013 4:07:16 PM | 41


time short list includes among other President Assad and Snowden.

Posted by: brian | Dec 11 2013 21:32 utc | 45

wow, those photos of Victoria Nuland passing out cakes in Kiev are hard to misunderstand.
what a circus! I know there are Ukrainians who do think they will do better when they can migrate west, and you can't argue that some of them might not be correct, but.....
is cake from the US all it takes to motivate people to overthrow their government? are they thinking they all want "Obamacare"-style unaffordable insurance, privatized education, unaffordable housing, jobs at Walmart or in the army? do they think the US state dept comes out to pass out cakes in African-American neighborhoods every time the cops blow away yet another poor youth? (no, in fact, they cracked heads last night in Santa Rosa!) what can they be thinking?? or do they think Nuland is going to sign them up at the state dept? oh, wait, that's what a lot of Iraqis thought, didn't they...?
are these folks not a little suspicious that Nuland doesn't have their best interests at heart?
seriously!!!

Posted by: anon | Dec 11 2013 22:05 utc | 46

to be more clear, it sure looks like Nuland is egging on some cannon fodder with cakes...
she wants to see one of them killed, and it's not so they can get better jobs in the west.

Posted by: anon | Dec 11 2013 22:08 utc | 47

For all the riots in Kiev, I'd be surprised to hear that the EU is ready to take Ukraine into its arms. The EU is getting very nationalist; they won't want to accept another member, distant as Ukraine is. Associate membership will be very arms-length, a relationship not close.

Not worth the demonstrations taking place. They are living in dreamland.

This is why this may be a 'colour revolution', driven by the US.

Posted by: alexno | Dec 11 2013 22:18 utc | 48

Fuck Morsi and the MB. They were using the election to install a dictatorship. Similar to a certain Austrian Corporal in the thirties.

Posted by: par4 | Dec 11 2013 23:05 utc | 49

6/11 Saudi have a problem, so does Russia. Very likely Putin and Bandar discuss cooperation concerning Jihadis returning from Syria plus North Caucasus. Saudi money does not translate into political or military power, they cannot survive without US backing. Bandar is very unlikely to confront Putin. The fact that he is traveling to Moscow speaks for itself.

This here is emptywheel on Bandar's known style of operation.

I personally doubt Saudi Arabia are the only ones "running" Jihadis. Religion can be misused by any interested party (or secret service).

Posted by: somebody | Dec 11 2013 23:37 utc | 50

@49

Whereas the military have been doing exactly what?

Posted by: lysias | Dec 11 2013 23:50 utc | 51

Let them eat cake! (Even if the brioche of the original quote -- Qu'ils mangent de la brioche! -- wasn't exactly cake.)

Posted by: lysias | Dec 11 2013 23:55 utc | 52

@52
let them eat cake! perfect caption for RT's political cartoon at http://rt.com/news/us-eu-ukraine-protest-062/
they won't get anything more from the US.

Posted by: anon | Dec 12 2013 0:36 utc | 53

I wonder...did Kerry express concern about the militarized US local cops who tore down Occupy Wall Street encampments and beat up and/or arrested Occupiers without good cause?

Oh, yeah. No way did he express anything about that ugliness

Only so much public expression of criticism of the Corporate rulers will be tolerated. Especially if it's catching on with the less aware portions of the public....

The Dept. of Homeland Security and the White House intel agencies were all working together to toss out those daring to speak and act out against the Corporatocracy. They were furious that the phrases "One Percenters" and "99 Percent" made it into common parlance in the nation. Even now, just mentioning one or both of those gets grins and looks of agreement from just about any employee of the badly paid Big Bidness stores and restaurants.

So, for Kerry, it HAD to be all good, since he wanted that State Dept. role so very, very, very badly. No dissent is tolerated unless it serves the needs of the PTB.

Seriously, do none of our fine so-called journalists not see the hypocrisy of their work in spreading the propaganda of the Powers That Be? NONE of them? Except the occasional blogger and a few published in the foreign press?

This seems to be so much like the CIA's Operation Mockingbird from the mid-20th Century. I guess if something works it will never be given up, and the modern journamalists* seem to be easier to get into a mode to con the public than back then, actually.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Mockingbird

Or just search for Operation Mockingbird.

*Is Lara Logan a prime example of such?

Posted by: jawbone | Dec 12 2013 0:47 utc | 54

I thought it was very telling that the protesters knocked down a statue of Lenin, since Lenin wrote so presciently about what capitalism would come to. Now Corporatist Capitalism is eating it's own people in Western Europe and the US. Guess these protesters want to be a part of the feast, if only as items on the menu.

Seriously, have they not seen how the poorer nations of the EU are treated? How their people's rights and economic base are destroyed?

Lenin saw how it could end, without a power to balance the Corporatists and their massive wealth.

Ah, citizens of Ukraine, is this what you want? Really? Walmartization of your workers? And, then, complaints from the Mega Wealthy will result in cuts to any remaining social safety nets. Good luck, poor gulled people.

Posted by: jawbone | Dec 12 2013 0:57 utc | 55

@42 I do not get Obama's foreign policy strategy in Iran or Syria at all.

I've written a series of posts about the Peace Train happening re Syria and Iran over at BooManTribune that describes some of the less noticed, though very positive, dynamics undergirding the unfoldment we are seeing.

http://www.boomantribune.com/user/kafkananda/diary> Go here. They start at the bottom and cover to 'now'.

Posted by: kafkananda | Dec 12 2013 1:36 utc | 56

It is important to note that at this very moment, the top Ukraine story appearing on Google News is from none other than Voice of America - of course I don't have to tell anyone here that VOA is not news at all, but is simply the propaganda arm of the US State Department. But it is worth remembering this fact next time you hear of deleterious effects of "Russian State Television."

b does a great service by comparing the US reaction to the abominable crimes perpetrated against protestors in the US client state Egypt, with US reaction to the remarkably peaceful actions of the Ukrainian police. In fact, one doesn't even require the bloodbath in Egypt to compare it to. The actions of the Ukrainian police compares favorably (if one counts the seemingly quaint absence of maceings, tear gassings, beatings at a demonstration as favorable) to the reaction of police forces in the United States during Occupy Wall Street - aggressive police violence which I witnessed personally.

American hypocrisy is nothing new of course, but rarely has it been so glaring. Of course they are fooling no one but the most daft of their citizens who hoover up mainstream media to the exclusion of any alternatives - but as the utter failure to push the phony war in Syria showed, this is a diminishing sector.

Of course the real comparison lies in showing a country like the Ukraine - with a government that apparently is confident that it doesn't have to engage in mass repression to enforce a tottering legitimacy - with the range of deepening surveillance and repression that keeps the kleptocrats of the West in power. From brutal murder in the far off vassals like Egypt, to tear gas and bats right in heart of the "safest" city of the Empire. The continum in becoming quite narrow.

I have no doubt that after this rash of phony revolutions across the globe fades, each one exposing the US elite for the violent, hypocritical, vipers that they are - there will be a real revolution in store for plutocrats who have burrowed their way into the power structure of the United States. These blood sucking ticks are just waiting to be burnt off of the body politic.

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 12 2013 1:39 utc | 57

@41 Levantine

Hahaa.... having thrown so many loose ends out there, is it any surprise that Webster has finally tied himself into quite a knot?

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 12 2013 1:42 utc | 58

@42 Chris

Forget about Obama in Iran, what I don't get your marketing strategy.

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 12 2013 1:46 utc | 59

unlike most state media. US media has the appearance of being independent without being so.

Posted by: brian | Dec 12 2013 2:14 utc | 60

Wealth Inequality in America

@59 I just curious who needs accountants in this country?

Posted by: neretva'43 | Dec 12 2013 2:17 utc | 61

@61 I think that's what he's trying to find out.

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 12 2013 2:25 utc | 62

Bevin and B,

You really shouldn't use Western polls or their NGO agents as sources for proving the MB has popularity in Egypt today. They had a fair amount before, but it has gone in dramatic decline. Sisi is indeed fairly popular today, but this will fall over time as the problems are so serious. Political Islam and its radical brothers are in trouble, and this is necessary to ever get out of the mess in that part of the world. And, of course, that's why the West has supported many forms of dangerous and stupid Islam over the decades. The good news is they are failing, despite their great push in the media to make it seem otherwise.

Posted by: Ozawa | Dec 12 2013 2:57 utc | 63

@26 bevin Potentially explosive. Thanks.

FBI informant lodged two of the hijackers? All too familiar.

Posted by: guest77 | Dec 12 2013 3:37 utc | 64

US is threatening Ukraine with sanctions now. I'm curious if Ukraine wont surrender their independence, whats next - arming of "peaceful demonstrators"? West had their share of successes in Europe (destroyed countries, installed puppets, integrated in EU) with this strategy too.

Posted by: Harry | Dec 12 2013 8:06 utc | 65

Ozawa 63
I agree. It is like these "studies" on this or that Arab country where you realize the author has never left the capital.
In a 80+ million inhabitant country like Egypt with more than half the population iliterate and probably 75 percent without a land phone but just cell phones, I really wonder how they pretend conduct a representative poll.
One should notice that what the army is doing in Egypt is exactly what Asad had tried in the first months of the manipulated protests. But strangely the MSM and Western governements have suddenly aligned themselves with KSA. (With Morsi incommunicado since five months!)
But the point is, and on that most people who know Egypt agree, that the "liberals" or "progressives" (not the same people) understand that the priority was to rescue the constitution. That is what they are doing now, under the "protection" of the army, pushing forward with the mention of "civil society"(dawla madaniya) and giving the same rights to men and women, and to the believers of each sect, and keeping al Azhar aside from politics. For the rest, the little "politics" game, they will resume later (and that's not too far, because the elections are in the coming months).
The so-called majority of people who voted for Morsi can be divided in three very distinct groups with no common interest: 1) the Tahrir liberals who wanted to vote "anything but the Mubarak regime, i. e. Shafiq" (i. e. very romantic view, but gave horrible results); 2) people who are lured because of their ignorance into believing any rumours, i. e. "if you don't vote Morsi, girls will be allowed to marry at any age without the consent of their fathers"; 3) genuine MB and their relatives (who know they will profit somehow).

Let's hope for the next election the authorities understand that for a poll to be correct, you need to inform the locals (when are the elections, what are the programmes of the candidates, preferably with daily broadcast also on the local radios, providing free buses to go to polling stations -something they didn't do last time because they were afraid of being accused of buying the voters, but their opponents had no such scrupules).

Posted by: Mina | Dec 12 2013 8:37 utc | 66

more 6/11

Top Western-backed rebel commander run out of Syria by Islamists

The top Western-backed commander of the opposition forces in Syria has been run out of the country by Islamist militants, US officials said Wednesday.

According to US officials cited by the Wall Street Journal, Free Syrian Army General Salim Idris was forced to take flight.

This comes after the US and Britain announced Wednesday that they was freezing non-lethal aid to the opposition after radical militants from the Islamic Front took control of the Free Syrian Army’s bases in northern Syria.

Gen. Idris fled to Doha, Qatar on Sunday after leaving Syria for Turkey, US officials said Wednesday.

"He fled as a result of the Islamic Front taking over his headquarters," a senior US official said.

How could this happen if Islamists are run by Saudi? What would be the goal? Fight it out alone against the US, Putin plus Assad?

Posted by: somebody | Dec 12 2013 9:00 utc | 67

This here is a US summary of the situation

In a column Monday, The Washington Post's David Ignatius describes a telephone interview with Idriss:

Idriss didn't demand as a precondition that President Bashar Assad resign before negotiations begin.
Instead, he said, Assad's departure should come "at the end of negotiations." This position was echoed by Monzer Akbik, a spokesman for the Syrian opposition council, the moderate rebels' political arm.
Idriss stressed the threat posed by the al-Qaeda affiliate known as the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria," or ISIS. He said the group was "very dangerous for the future of Syria" and that after Assad's departure, the Free Syrian Army would be ready to join the regular Syrian army in fighting them.
Rania Abouzeid, an acclaimed freelance journalist whose dispatches from Syria are closely followed by observers of the conflict, said at an appearance this week in DC that Idriss's jihadist rivals already have seized on his remarks as evidence that the so-called Free Syrian Army lacks the will and strength to see the fight to the finish.
Hardline Islamist rebels reject the diplomatic track in Geneva as selling out the cause because it requires negotiation with regime delegates. And it's unpopular, to say the least, for Idriss to suggest that he'd offer fighters to serve alongside the regime's forces, which are now battering rebel positions in several areas.

And the remarks follow other recent setbacks, most notably the mass exodus of SMC-allied fighters to a new Islamist rebel bloc that rejects such U.S.-backed groups as Idriss's rebel coalition or its civilian counterpart, the Syrian Opposition Coalition.

The takeaway: Idriss simply has no authority over the disparate rebel factions, is outperformed by the militant Islamist forces, and hasn't received promised equipment from Western allies. His rapid descent leaves the United States with no reliable partner, whether civilian or military, in the Syrian conflict.

The State Department doesn't seem deterred, however. Officials are still planning for the Geneva 2 peace summit next month and are courting Idriss's support for the process. Here's an exchange from Monday's State Department briefing with spokeswoman Jen Psaki:

QUESTION: Finally, yesterday there was a report in the Telegraph, The London Telegraph, that says basically the Free Syrian Army now is becoming a group of warlords and accumulating money and gangs and so on and have no interest, really, in reaching a settlement. Is that your assessment, or are you still working very closely with General Idris?
MS. PSAKI: We are still working very closely with General Idris, we’re still working towards a Geneva conference in January, and we still believe there’s no military solution, as you know.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 12 2013 9:06 utc | 68

To say that the Egyptian army is trying to enforce a dictatorship on Egypt is far too simplistic:
- judges have withdrawn repeatedly from the trials of the MB in the latest weeks (not clear though if they are afraid for their families or reject the fairness/legitimacy of the arrest and trials, could be both according to their own personal stories); none of them has been dismissed or put in jail for this behaviour;
- the newspapers do criticize the heavy hand of the military and we don't see jailed journalists as in Morocco or Tunisia just in the latest months (by the way, did the MSM reports that students are fighting with the police everyday now in Tunisia?)
- you cannot enforce equality in a country where probably more than 80 percent is somehow under the control of tribal law, one way or another, except dictatorally, because you go directly against the power and interests of local/familia/religious chiefs

From today, about the constitution http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/88632/Egypt/Politics-/Inside-Egypts-draft-constitution-Role-of-sharia-re.aspx
(to assume that all the people implied in the re drafting of the constitution, of whom many had walked out to protest against the way it was drafter by the MB end of 2012, are supporting "dictatorship" is totally biased).

Posted by: Mina | Dec 12 2013 11:20 utc | 69

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