Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 27, 2014

Open Thread 2014-11

News & views not about Ukraine ...

Posted by b on April 27, 2014 at 17:33 UTC | Permalink


I just spent a whole two hours bugging and debugging this frightful farrago of garbage about Putin from today's "newspaper of record." Let me please invite you to read my annotated version, then you won't have to read the original:

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 27 2014 17:59 utc | 1

I saw that NYT piece earlier today. Here's the best comment on it:

Norman Pollack East Lansing, Michigan 7 hours ago

Assuming the best case scenario, from the US standpoint, how does this affect one's judgment about, or invalidate, Putin's policies? Is this germane to his resistance to American global hegemony? Does this somewhat reverse the facts of fascist and Nazi-antecedent participation in the Kiev government? Does Putin's wealth or lack thereof change the reality of a US-assisted COUP of a democratically-elected government in Ukraine?

Some perspective here, please. If one cannot refute the policy, then go after the man; in plain language, demonize. Paradoxically, we blame Putin here for what in America is worshipped, to wit, the accumulation of wealth. How have it both ways, the insinuation Russia somehow is still communist, then attack the leadership of capitalistic enrichment--forgetting all the while America's participation (e.g., Jeffrey Sach as the tip of the US policy iceberg) in the systemic transformation.

Also, this may come back to haunt us: Obama's Martha Vineyard vacations, palsy-walsy attitude toward Wall Street, administration record of deregulation and presiding over the flagrant maldistribution of wealth in US history. Obama strikes this writer as the envious guy, nose pressed to the window, hoping the wealth he so admires will rub off. And clearly he EXULTS in the trappings of office. deplaning from Air Force One.

Criticize Putin by all means, but on POLICY, not on personal matters, unless the latter can be shown relevant to policy itself.

Posted by: okie farmer | Apr 27 2014 18:55 utc | 2

Here is an Interesting look at First Look Media's first six months. And it is looking like a dying concern.

Greenwald and Omidyar's The Intercept has published 3 stories in April. One of which was "A Passover Greeting From the Editor" and another a book review.

Three stories in one month - none of which came from a document cache of 1.5 million - is completely unacceptable. The NSA documents belong to the American people and are not to be the private concern of First Look Media.

It's time for Greenwald to admit that his model has failed utterly. Assange did far more locked away in the Ecuadorian Embassy stripped of all resources with far less important material than Greenwald, Omidyar, and their $250 million have accomplished.

This is quickly becoming a farce.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 27 2014 18:57 utc | 3

“Breaking: Ukraine supplies syrian jihadists since 2011 (SPIEGEL report)”

While this is quite plausible, because Germany under Kohl and Genscher were instrumental in breaking up of Yugoslavia, what's puzzling to me is why the rifles had been shipped to Germany for "modification"? SKS rifles are semi-automatic, make them to fully automatic doesn't make sense.

Posted by: neretva'43 | Apr 27 2014 20:39 utc | 4

' The NSA documents belong to the American people and are not to be the private concern of First Look Media. '

It's sad but Omidyar owns 'em now, apparently.

Posted by: john francis lee | Apr 27 2014 21:39 utc | 5

Posted by: neretva'43 | Apr 27, 2014 4:39:15 PM | 4

Der Spiegel is used by Secret Services from time to time. I could not find the text of the question and the answer - so I guess it was taken out of context for some kind of blackmail by the people who know about the weapons deals.

Looking at the website of Sevim Dagdelen I would say the Ukrainian weapons were shipped to Turkey and that is what the question was about, and it is possible that Turkey gave them to people "the West" does not want to be associated with.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 27 2014 22:18 utc | 6

@3 regarding The Intercept

Yes, very disappointing - actually a ripoff. I am waiting for Greenwald's book to come out in a few weeks though so at this point I will withhold judgement.

If it all turns out to be bullshit though it would be par for the course for the dismal state of investigative journalism.

Note that the stories stopped after the news that Oymidyar had been funding the Ukraine coup government through proxies.

Also First Look Media grabbed Matt Taibbi who had really done some good work on the Wall Street looting spree from Rolling Stone which has now reverted to it's Clinton era forum for Democratic shilling and celebrity swill. It was a nice period when Taibbi and Michael Hastings were there too.

It all is increasingly looking like a same, who would actually hire the editor of fucking GAWKER to run the show?

Posted by: Donn Marten | Apr 27 2014 22:41 utc | 7

writing overt political poems usually degrades the quality of the verse, I've noticed. and if you use specific names, places, it time stamps the poem, which can be limiting. good political poems are hard to pull off, but I think I've managed to write a decent one, which you can read here.

thanks b for keeping it going!

Posted by: lizard | Apr 27 2014 23:01 utc | 8

Regarding the dissappointment and detumesence of the resident glenn g fanbois

Told ya so

But you were all too busy ranting about super seekrit gov agents infiltrating the threads and had no time to spare to actually pull yer heads out of gg's crotch and engage yer braincell, the one you have left, i mean

Fuckin airheads

Posted by: tst | Apr 28 2014 0:43 utc | 9

Bevin toiboi and that guest gimp were of course the 3 most willing gg fanbois

The MOA trifecta of gg fellators: bev toiboi and the gimp

Posted by: tst | Apr 28 2014 1:07 utc | 10 Living behind the CNN curtain

"Living behind the CNN curtain

Just like the people living in East Germany pre-Berlin wall coming down, gradually lost touch with the outside world to the point of a comical disconnect, as portrayed in "Good Bye, Lenin," so too Americans and their leaders appear comically out of the loop. The reason being: they watch CNN and actually believe CNN's narrative about Russian advances into Ukraine, the sanctity of Wall St., and the wholesomeness of American culture as a 'shining city on a hill' as Ronald Reagan called it.

Living behind the CNN curtain means that 330 million Americans are gradually seceding from the rest of the world - that is now happily moving on - creating their own financial system, their own culture, their own destiny.

There's John Kerry again talking as if America just landed on the moon and the USD is the unimpeachable stalwart and world reserve currency backed by a growing economy with little debt and lots of gold. HAHAHAHAHA! Sometimes the effect is even more detached. Sometimes it's as if John Kerry's words have been broadcast from a planet 20 or 30 light years away and are now just reaching us.

Will the US ever, 'tear down that CNN wall' as Reagan may have put it, and rejoin the world community?

I would like to see America once again be a thought leader and lead by example. It would be great if the U.S. didn't resolve all their disputes with drones and autocratic fiat dictates that authorize summary executions of political enemies in the U.S. and abroad; including US citizens.

It would be nice to not feel embarrassed every time a John McCain, John Kerry or Hillary Clinton speaks in public. I hope that day comes again.In the meantime, watch RT and see what the other 95% are up to."

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 28 2014 1:12 utc | 11

News of US corporations taking over companies abroad always remind me of Control's rant to George Smiley in Le Carre's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy": "They're buying their way in with counterfeit money" ....

Posted by: Cortes | Apr 28 2014 1:39 utc | 12

And Of course back in Sept 2013 it was also stated that Sy hersh was nothing more than a conduit for the cia, which he recently proved with his limited hangout piece on the alleged syrian sarin attacks

First two morons up to defend Hersh?

Why none other than bevin and his sidekick the MOA gimp

You chaps really do make a habit of supporting cia stooges, dontcha?

Posted by: tst | Apr 28 2014 1:51 utc | 13


You guys whored it out to too many cia stooges so now Bonnie Tyler wants her song back

Posted by: tst | Apr 28 2014 1:59 utc | 14

I would like to suggest that Obama's sushi dinner finished off TPP as far as Japan is concerned.

Even worse, it has humiliated the U.S. beyond recovery in Japan, where face is everything, and "shameless" (without shame) is the the deepest insult that the language is capable of.

Frank Gibney, one of the last of the greatest generation of Japanologists, remarked on the incredibly developed bull-shit detector in the Japanese.

From many years in Japan, living and working with the Japanese, studying Japan as intensely as I believe is possible in that time, I can say it is virtually impossible to lie convincingly to a Japanese. Like seasoned cops, they sense dishonesty and weakness immediately, and from Obama's performance every Japanese --every single one -- now has no doubt the U.S. is on the decline and Japan no longer needs us.

That Obama had the cultural ignorance to ask to gain entry to a sushi shop, where if the Japanese government, maybe even the emperor himself, hadn't interceded for him, he would have never been allowed, has shamed everyone associated with the event. You can be sure Abe is both deeply humiliated and offended, as are virtually all Japanese.

Just watch. From now on the Japanese will smile condescendingly and treat the U.S. as an embarrassing, drunk relative of no account that tradition requires be tolerated, but who openly will be laughed at and subtly humiliated further.

I really believe history will mark the Golden Sushi Bar Meeting as the day the U.S. Jumped the shark in Japan.

Posted by: Ken Nari | Apr 28 2014 2:49 utc | 15

Hurray! Obama has found his 'democracy loving' moderate rebels! Jamal Maarouf is out, Abdullah Awda, 28 is in.
By the 'rebels' loving LIZ SLY

Syrian rebels who received first U.S. missiles of war see shipment as ‘an important first step’

By Liz Sly

Abdullah Awda, 28, says he and his recently formed Harakat Hazm — or Movement of Steadfastness — were chosen to receive the weapons because of their moderate views and, just as important, their discipline. At the group’s base, sprawled across rocky, forested wilderness in the northern province of Idlib, soldiers wear uniforms, get medical checkups and sleep in bunk beds under matching blankets.

This video, posted to YouTube, shows Syrian rebels using U.S.-made TOW anti-tank missiles.
The scene is a far cry from the increasingly pervasive view of a chaotic, ragtag rebel movement that has fallen under the sway of Islamist extremists.

Posted by: virgile | Apr 28 2014 3:14 utc | 16

guest77 @3
I agree with you, it is very peculiar that The Intercept is so empty.
My guess is that the difficulties arise out of disagreements between Omidyar and his managers, on the one side and the likes of Greenwald Poitras and Taibbi on the other.

It is not necessary to have any illusions about the heroic stature of Greenwald et al to recognise that they are fairly aware grown ups and are most unlikely to have swapped their, very hard earned and valuable reputations, for a mere salary.

Whether or not The Intercept turns out to be a wasted bookmark remains to be seen but that Greenwald will be publishing more of Snowden's files is something worth betting on.

It is simply to early for us to tell what has happened but, for the trolling community, interested solely in demoralising and dividing the state's critics and opponents, The Intercept's silence presents a perfect opportunity to encourage fruitless conjecture and pointless argument. By doing so they distract us from what really matters such as the significance of this piece of news, in The Guardian, regarding Syria:

"Iraqi army helicopters have hit what they believe was a jihadist convoy in eastern Syria, killing at least eight people, in a show of strength days before the country's first national elections since 2010.

"It was the first airstrike inside Syria claimed by Iraq since the three-year uprising against President Bashar al-Assad erupted in March 2011. The conflict has spilled across the border, contributing to a rise of violence in Iraq since the country's 2006-08 sectarian war.

"Meanwhile, Iraqis living overseas began voting before Wednesday's general election in which the prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, is seeking a third term despite worsening sectarian tensions at home, rampant corruption and high unemployment.

"The army struck eight tanker trucks in Wadi Suwab inside Syrian territory as they were trying to enter Iraqi territory to provide the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant [Isis] with fuel," Iraq's interior ministry spokesman, Brigadier General Saad Maan, said.

"Sunni radical Isis emerged in Iraq in the wake of the US-led invasion in 2003, and expanded into Syria during the uprising against Assad.

"Maan said there was no co-ordination with the Syrian regime before the strike. "Our responsibility now is to protect our border and to protect the border from the other side, because there is no protection from the other side," he said......"

Posted by: bevin | Apr 28 2014 3:28 utc | 17

that is "too early to tell" and rather than "the trolling community" and after mature consideration the words "rapidly decomposing excrement" seem more appropriate.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 28 2014 3:30 utc | 18

bevin, that is a terrible explanation. the more obvious explanation is far likelier, viz, that the whole thing was a CIA con from the top down and that Putin knew that, hence his distinct lack of interest. Why do you always sound like you're writing cover for them? Are you?

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 28 2014 3:57 utc | 19

At a bare minimum we should be able to communicate and discuss things. People need to know that the main promoters of what is called "9/11 Truth" REFUSE to even discuss the things they push all over the Internet. Here is just he latest examples from twitter: Ashley#HandsOffSyria tweets "Seems Legit. #Rethink911 " and I respond:
She then tweets: " @RepPress I'll pass, but thank you :) "

Next day, among her many tweets she tweets "Zionists have got to be the most brainwashed & hypocritical people on earth." I respond "& powerful, look how they have you misdirected from fact that support of Israel was 9/11 main motive:

She tweets "@RepPress that doesnt make sense."

I respond: I try to make sense of it for you in this TwitLonger tweet:
(and this is what that twitlonger tweet says: @Way2Wonderland For many years Zionists have been denying the main motive for attacks, even before 9/11.

In 1993, Ramzi Yousef sent that letter to the NYT making specific demands, Specifically, the letter declared:


1 - Stop all military, economical, and
political aid to Israel.

2 - All diplomatic relations with Israel
must stop.

3 - Not to interfere with any of the
Middle East countries interior affairs.

In 1997, Osama bin Laden gave this interview (and he has given several interviews explaining the same thing):

REPORTER: Mr. Bin Ladin, you've declared a jihad against the United States. Can you tell us why? And is the jihad directed against the US government or the United States' troops in Arabia? What about US civilians in Arabia or the people of the United States?

BIN LADIN: We declared jihad against the US government, because the US government is unjust, criminal and tyrannical. It has committed acts that are extremely unjust, hideous and criminal whether directly or through its support of the Israeli occupation of the Prophet's Night Travel Land (Palestine). And we believe the US is directly responsible for those who were killed in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq. The mention of the US reminds us before everything else of those innocent children who were dismembered, their heads and arms cut off in the recent explosion that took place in Qana (in Lebanon). This US government abandoned even humanitarian feelings by these hideous crimes. It transgressed all bounds and behaved in a way not witnessed before by any power or any imperialist power in the world.

But what did Thomas Friedman do? He lied! Friedman denied specifically that Ramzi Yousef and Osama bin Laden had specific demands. "The super-empowered angry men have no specific ideological program or demands ... Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing, was a super-empowered angry man. Osama bin Laden is another." Friedman wrote that lie in 1998, 3 years before 9/11. If so many Americans weren't being deceived by these lies, we may have been able to prevent 9/11!

The trend of media kowtowing to the agenda os suppressing the fact that support of Israel is motivating attacks against the U.S. reached its extreme on the day of 9/11. This was on the Reuters newswire YET almost all reporters suppressed it and played along with "hatred of our freedoms" as the motive: Expert: Bin Laden Warned of 'Unprecedented' Attack
(Reuters) Sep 11, 11:19 AM ET
Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden warned three weeks ago that he and his followers would carry out an unprecedented attack on U.S. interests for its support of Israel, an Arab journalist with access to him said Tuesday

You can see for yourself Dan Rather omitting mention of the word "Israel" on that day:

And after the 9/11 attack Friedman had the audacity to continue lying: Friedman claims, "the fact is that bin Laden never focused on this issue. He only started talking about "Palestine" after September 11, when he sensed that he might be losing the support of the Arab street. " (p311 of Longitudes & Attitudes ) and " Osama bin Laden never mentioned the Palestinian cause as motivating his actions until he felt he was losing support in the Arab world. " (p361-362 of Longitudes & Attitudes ) What Friedman has written is a flat out lie. To give just one example that disproves what Friedman wrote: "Your position against Muslims in Palestine is despicable and disgraceful. America has no shame. " - Osama bin Laden May 1998 I also have to wonder how in this invented scenario Friedman "knows" what bin Laden "sensed" about the Arab street.

This link explains more about how you should focus on the atrocities that America is committing by supporting Israel: (that's the last thing a Zionist would want the American people to do!)

And the 9/11 Commission served Israel's agenda by dramatically downplaying the main motive for the 9/11 attack by omitting several mentions of Israel from their Staff Statements prepared for the 9/11 Report. I show you what they did:

I have been trying to get these facts out to the American people for years:

(no response from Ashley#HandsOffSyria ‏@Way2Wonderland to the above)

Posted by: Tom Murphy | Apr 28 2014 4:12 utc | 20

I'm a great fan of Edward Snowden. He seems to be a libertarian, 'soft' on TNCs, and a true believer in 'honorable surveillance' himself ... but his principled stand puts all that stuff in the background.

Plenty of people on the 'right' side of all those issues have demonstrated zero personal integrity when many of them could have effected real change without putting up anything remotely approaching what Edward Snowden has put on the line. I'm thinking of Wyden and Udall, for instance. Cowards. Political white trash.

Every story has a lifetime ,,, and it looks like what's his name, the new owner of Edward Snowden's jewels, is just gonna wait this one out. Greenwald is a professional and knows that even better than what's his name.

Maybe Poitras will dump the mother lode on Wikileaks. That's what oughta happen at this point, according to me.

Posted by: john francis lee | Apr 28 2014 4:49 utc | 21

@john francis lee #21:

I too am disappointed that the Intercept is floundering, although the very name makes it sound like a P.R. concoction.

On the other hand, I think it is silly to belittle Snowden. He seems to have made little difference to Americans, but that was to be expected, because there is no connection anymore between USG policy and American public opinion. However, his revelations do appear to have driven another nail in the coffin of the official German fiction that the US is an ally, not an occupier and boss.

As for dumping "the mother lode on Wikileaks": Snowden used a Web crawler to get those files. I don't think anyone knows what all those files contain. A lot of them may contain operational information of interest only to rival intelligence agencies (rival in the sense of belonging to another country, not US inter-agency rivalry) and geeks.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 28 2014 6:01 utc | 22

@15 Ken Nari

Care to share a link to an article that would give a background to your comment? I'm sorry to say that although the info provided is interesting I really did not quite get the context.

Posted by: Grim Deadman | Apr 28 2014 6:12 utc | 23

Where the F is obama now huh?

Egypt sentences 683 supporters of ex-President Morsi to death

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 28 2014 7:58 utc | 24

@Anonymous #24:

Maybe it's time to start thinking of Obama as just an optional unit that comes with a teleprompter?

I began to understand (I think) the contemporary role of the president when, after he got into the White House, Obama was given several options for what to do with regard to Afghanistan. Withdrawing completely and immediately, which is probably what most Americans wanted at that point, was not an option that he was given.

All the president gets to do is give speeches, reading from a teleprompter, which someone else wrote, and to, on any given issue, check off one option from a set of options that the USG bureaucracy has presented him with.

There is no reason to think that Obama has any more of an idea of what's actually going on than Reagan did, and Regan already had Alzheimer's while he was still president.

To become president, you need to devote all your intellectual energies to becoming a bullshit artist. That means that you don't have any time left over to acquire the knowledge required to actually make informed decisions on any matter of policy. Thus, you have to rely completely on the judgements made by your staff.

It is a really insane system of government. Compare that to the Russian system of government, which produced Putin. Putin never had to be a bullshit artist. What his job at the foreign directorate of the KGB was was to know the enemy, figure out how he thinks, and come up with counterstrategies to various possible courses of action he might take. So Putin is able to run the country using his own intellect, whereas in the case of the US, it is the incredibly immense USG bureaucracy, with all its competing interest groups, that is running the country, with Obama in effect "governing" by answering multiple choice questions.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 28 2014 8:39 utc | 25

I want a video of this sushi event! It sounds classic! Epochal!

Posted by: Rowan Berkeley | Apr 28 2014 8:40 utc | 26


I noticed that too regarding Syria. Significantly, I think, the remark:

"Our responsibility now is to protect our border and to protect the border from the other side, because there is no protection from the other side"

This follows a similar incident on the Jordanian border some 10 days earlier - which itself came hot on the heels of King Playstation's widely ignored meeting with Putin in Russia.

Jordanian warplanes have targeted and destroyed several vehicles trying to cross the border from Syria, the Jordanian military has said.

A Jordanian security source told the Reuters news agency that the vehicles were thought to have been driven by Syrian rebels.

Coincidence, or a planned effort? Though a final solution to the Turkish problem remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, along the Syria/Lebanon border, the Syrian army has taken control of Zabadani

The Syrian army was now in near total control of the Qalamoun region

Since the fall/liberation of Qusair in June 2013, the Syrian Army advanced to Qarah in November 2013, to Dayr Attiah, to Al Nabk, to Yabroud, to Rankoos and now Zabadani - a stretch of some 120km. The remaining pockets in and around Homs and Damascus are next - setting the ground for Presidential elections in June and the beginning of a new term for an elected President Assad, whilst the West is left wondering how to stop the flow of fighters to the opposition.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Apr 28 2014 10:15 utc | 27

Excellent info. Kuwait ‘epicenter’ of terror funding: Washington

Posted by: ProPeace | Apr 28 2014 11:20 utc | 28

@15 I doubt that very much.

After all, President George HW Bush actually puked up on the then-PM of Japan, and that little, ahem, "social-faux pair" didn't appear to put any dent in US/Japan relations.

Put alongside actually puking up all over your guest, well, the 2014 Great Obama Sushi Disaster is a shining example of exemplary behaviour by an American Abroad.

Posted by: Johnboy | Apr 28 2014 12:20 utc | 29

just do it...not that the US fears any law

Posted by: brian | Apr 28 2014 12:34 utc | 30

before people get too sentimental about Morsi:
here is what he had in mind

Posted by: brian | Apr 28 2014 12:46 utc | 31


Defending killing of 700 civilians now?

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 28 2014 13:10 utc | 32

Uhm, can anyone explain what's the fuss about the Sushi Disaster? Because I really seem to be in the dark.

Posted by: Grim Deadman | Apr 28 2014 13:40 utc | 33

@33 I wonder too. Apparently Obama stopped eating after 10 courses. He even put his chopsticks down! This is considered a gross violation of sushi etiquette.

Posted by: dh | Apr 28 2014 14:08 utc | 34

Johnboy @ 29 and Grim Deadman

Doubt is healthy.

I said right at the start that I had no proof -- only a hunch. How do you prove something that hasn't happened yet?

I was living in Japan, had been there 8 years, when Bush the First let Nakasone have it. Different world then, different situation. No one in Japan cares what happens to a politician. Politicians get no more respect in Japan than anywhere else.

The Soviet Union had just broken up a few years before, and the U.S. was exploding with hubris, as was Japan. What a difference a couple of decades makes. Our ambassadors to Japan up to then had included some real giants: MacArthur, Reishauer (born in Tokyo, fluent in Japanese, an upper-crust scholar) Mike Mansfield, and Michael Armacost (who was unlucky enough to be ambassador when Bush befouled Nakasone) followed by Mondale, a former vice-president and presidential contender. These men all, whatever their shortcomings, had a grandeur and status that showed the U.S. -- in Japanese eyes, at least -- respected Japan.

Daddy Bush too, from his time in China, his purported bravery as a Navy pilot, his Connecticut-upper-crust, Skull-and-Bones image and manners, was also respected. Then came the clowns, uxorious Clinton -- appearing to be led around by his wife, not something the Japanese respect -- Little Bush, pretending to be a Texan with his bowlegged cowboy act, and Obama, whom many, if not most Japanese, don't even consider a real American. God bless the Kennedys and all they've given for the country, but Carolyn Kennedy does not have the seriousness or diplomatic stature Japan used to expect from Washington.

I would suggest too -- and again I can't offer any links to back me up, it's just my feeling -- nowhere in the world is decorum, ritual, and formality more valued than in Japan, and Obama's request to meet in a sushi shop that has become something of a national shrine, a place where special rituals are observed and even a special Japanese vocabulary is used, where normal conversation is discouraged, to meet informally like it is just a corner bar… Well, you can be sure no one in Washington, the city where "reality" is made, ran Obama's tourist-event plan by any expert on Nippon.

I can't think of any analogous example of such appalling behavior by a Japanese head of state that would carry a similar message to Americans. Maybe requesting a booze and barbecue cruise around Pearl Harbor with some Hollywood bimbos to discuss critical Russian and Chinese issues and then maybe pissing over the side near the Arizona monument. As a nation we're so jaded to appalling manners and behavior, even that wouldn't phase most of us.

In my original post I said what the Japanese are going to take away from the Obama Sushi Shop Conference is that the U.S. has finally gone completely off the rails, is more out of touch and of less importance with every passing day.

This, by the way, fits with what scalawag @ 16 said.

If down the road I'm not right, and Obama's sushi shop diplomacy doesn't come to symbolize when Japan finally gained independence, then I'll gladly eat my dish of crow sushi here at MoA

Posted by: Ken Nari |

Posted by: Ken Nari | Apr 28 2014 14:23 utc | 35

meant "faze" of course, not "phase."

Posted by: Ken Nari | Apr 28 2014 14:27 utc | 36

@35 Thanks, that really helped.
I don't think this will change significantly the way Japan conducts its affairs - their public discourse is so brainwashed by their WWII trauma and post-war occupation that I even heard some Japs think that it was the Soviets who bombed Hiroshima & Nagasaki, while the USA saved them (probably a fake, though, hardly anyone can be THAT dumb). In any case, until they remilitarize they Japan-chan will need a sugar daddy, and US-niisan is all too convenient even at this point.

Posted by: Grim Deadman | Apr 28 2014 14:41 utc | 37

The problem with the Intercept (Glen, Pierre ...) is surely (besides the fact that they now all probably hate each other) is that you can’t have it both ways. You can’t be a ‘new media mainstream thing’ and reveal state secrets. Or even merely be a ‘bit more daring and informative’ (plenty of doing that already appealing to fringe segments, though they are more speculative..) You can’t model yourself on past now defunct investigative journalism which, while based on some ‘leaks’ on occasion did not involve masses of stolen data. What were they going to accomplish? Become the Huffington Post sprinkled with some sparkly bits of insider stuff?

Most ppl who acquire secret data sell it for money (economic espionage, bank lists, etc.) These ppl were surely hoping to earn money ..or at least fame, prestige, so they put themselves in the position of fence.

Note Snowden saw this trap crystal hovers just behind what he says in some of his communications. Assange dealt with it as best he could - more or less honorably imho - which of course got him into deep trouble.

Maybe I’m being too pessimistic and harsh? To be clear, my understanding and vision of what The Intercept was planning to do was something different from just publishing the stuff, as Assange did (thus occupying the position of leaker or whistle-blower, not of fence.)

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 28 2014 14:49 utc | 38

Grim Deadman @37

And of course you may be right -- then I'd like a little wasabi with that raw crow.

Good post on the sushi dinner by a Brit who seems to know Japan well at Naked Capitalism today:

Also good discussion in comments.

I thought Obama requested having the meeting at the sushi bar, but maybe he didn't.

Posted by: Ken Nari | Apr 28 2014 15:24 utc | 39

Hey,here in America,we get to pay penance this week,as it's holocaust remembrance week,where foreigners did in foreigners,and where we,along with others,rescued them.You couldn't make it up.
Hey,Mr.Sterling,nice rant.And it sure puts his players in a vise eh?They are trying to have a successful season(And if you know the NBA,the Clippers almost never have any success)and this surfaces.I bet it was a Laker fan.The people who ask them to boycott the games forget all the sweat,work and sacrifice these players do.But,typical Zionist arrogance and racist view.It's legion,but under the MSM radar.

Posted by: dahoit | Apr 28 2014 17:03 utc | 40

Let's hear it for Ubuntu-Linux! Was upgrading to v14.04 when the system crashed. Couldn't reboot. No problem; booted up LiveUSB, set up a chroot, and fixed the damn thing, without having to consult an "expert".

I call this the triumph of a new way of doing things: bottom up, international, by thousands of enthusiasts, without expectation of reward, simply for the joy of it!

Posted by: ruralito | Apr 28 2014 17:46 utc | 41

@Ken Nari #39:

Thanks for the link. If Japan does indeed reject the TPP, hopefully EU countries will take note of that and have second thoughts about TTIP, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 28 2014 18:18 utc | 42

Meanwhile, Syria is going ahead with elections.

While NATO member states and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC ) persist in presenting Syria as a dictatorship, the country continues its reforms. On June 3, it will elect its President of the Republic, while the war continues to ravage a part of its territory. Damascus is doing everything possible to ensure that this election is democratic and blameless, while its attackers have instructed their media to minimize the coverage and their jihadists to disrupt the procedings. […]

For the United States, the issue does not even deserve to be discussed. Thus the spokesman of the State Department, Jen Psaki, declared on April 21st that it was enough to look at the history of Hafez el-Assad to infer that his son Bashar was opposed to any free elections.

It is the same as when both a Russian and a Ukrainian sholdier get shot, it's "just obvious" to the US State Department that the Russians started shooting first. No evidence at all is required to come to such conclusions.

Syrians no more deserve to express their political will through the ballot box than do Crimeans, according to USG.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 28 2014 22:48 utc | 43

A great first-ever EU Prez Debate...! As it happened: first-ever live debate between EU presidential candidates

Part 1 of the debate (Europe's economy): 1:47
Part 2 of the debate (Euroscepticism): 31:05
Part 3 of the debate (Foreign Policy): 1:00:31

It was a first for European politics tonight as the four EU presidential candidates took part in a live debate on euronews.Jean-Claude Juncker (European People's Party), Martin Schulz (Party of European Socialists), Guy Verhofstadt (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party) and Ska Keller (European Green Party) - went head-to-head in Maastricht, ahead of European elections in May.

Posted by: CTuttle | Apr 29 2014 2:47 utc | 44

It turns out that stealth aircraft are a boondoggle, like Star Wars (Reagan's fantasy that neither Clinton nor Obama dared to kill for good):

New U.S. Stealth Jet Can’t Hide From Russian Radar

To suggest that the F-35 is VHF-stealthy is like arguing that the sky is not blue—literally, because both involve the same phenomenon.…

The counter-stealth attributes of VHF have been public knowledge for decades. They were known at the dawn of stealth…

Old VHF radars could be dealt with by breaking the kill chain between detection and tracking: they did not provide good enough cueing to put analog, mechanically scanned tracking radars on to the target. Active electronically scanned array (AESA), high-power VHF radars and decimeter- and centimeter-wave trackers are more tenacious foes.

Last August, at an air show near Moscow, I talked to designers of a new, highly mobile counterstealth radar system, now being delivered to the Russian armed forces. Its centerpiece was a 100-foot-wide all-digital VHF AESA, but it also incorporated powerful higher-frequency radars that can track small targets once the VHF radar has detected them.

It's kind of hard to be a successful superpower when the main purpose of your defense spending is to provide profits to the defense industry, as opposed to providing for the defense of the country and building weapons systems that do so in a cost-effective way.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 29 2014 5:29 utc | 45

First ever debate for President of the European Commission:

Posted by: okie farmer | Apr 29 2014 6:00 utc | 46

Although he writes naively and conventionally on Russia, Crimea and Ukraine, Juan Cole knocks it out of the park on Israeli Apartheid: John Kerry admits Israeli Apartheid; and 5 Ways he is Understating It

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 29 2014 7:51 utc | 47

There is a blurry line dividing gangsters and banksters:

Suspicious Deaths of Bankers Are Now Classified as “Trade Secrets” by Federal Regulator

"It doesn’t get any more Orwellian than this: Wall Street mega banks crash the U.S. financial system in 2008. Hundreds of thousands of financial industry workers lose their jobs. Then, beginning late last year, a rash of suspicious deaths start to occur among current and former bank employees. Next we learn that four of the Wall Street mega banks likely hold over $680 billion face amount of life insurance on their workers, payable to the banks, not the families. We ask their Federal regulator for the details of this life insurance under a Freedom of Information Act request and we’re told the information constitutes “trade secrets.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the life expectancy of a 25 year old male with a Bachelor’s degree or higher as of 2006 was 81 years of age. But in the past five months, five highly educated JPMorgan male employees in their 30s and one former employee aged 28, have died under suspicious circumstances, including three of whom allegedly leaped off buildings – a statistical rarity even during the height of the financial crisis in 2008."

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 29 2014 8:00 utc | 48

@CTuttle #44:

Hate Speech: U.K. Political Leader Arrested for Quoting Winston Churchill

In a shocking application of hate-speech law, Paul Weston (shown), co-founder and leader of the Liberty GB party and candidate for member of the European Parliament, was arrested on Saturday and now faces a possible two years in prison. His crime?

He quoted one of the 20th century’s most famous Englishmen, that WWII hero Churchill.

The US press seems to be steering completely clear of this. (It also looks like the Guardian is avoiding it.) Too much cognitive dissidence would be produced, since the FP elite is very anglophilic, and conservatives see Churchill, not FDR, as the main hero of WW II because he was, well, an anglophone conservative.

There is less freedom of speech in today's Britain than there is in Russia.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 29 2014 18:21 utc | 49 Israeli troops destroy mosque in Palestinian village

"Israeli bulldozers have demolished a mosque and several homes in a Palestinian village in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, leaving up to 30 people homeless on the deadline of the peace talks between Palestine and Israel."

Imagine the outraged, 150 decibel hysterics had any country demolished a synagogue and several Jewish occupied homes. But since Israel doing it, and the victims are "only Palestinians", it's back page "ho-hum" news in the western MSM. Israel approved record 14,000 settlements during peace talks with Palestine – report

The unreported, unopposed genocide goes on.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 29 2014 20:53 utc | 50

Although he writes naively and conventionally on Russia, Crimea and Ukraine, Juan Cole knocks it out of the park on Israeli Apartheid: John Kerry admits Israeli Apartheid; and 5 Ways he is Understating It

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 29, 2014 3:51:35 AM | 47

christ, yet another lefty airhead shilling for CIA stooges

what is it with you lot? I have yet to see a blatant CIA stooge that you airheads didn't have a boner for

What part of "Juank Hole was employed by the CIA" do you gobshites not understand?

Posted by: rbr | Apr 29 2014 21:52 utc | 51

@rbr #51:

I don't think being rude helps you make your case.

Posted by: Demian | Apr 29 2014 22:18 utc | 52

Life's way to short to waste any of it being polite to cretinious gobshites shillin for cia stooges.

Its not like the cretinous gobshite will suddenly have an epiphany and think "oh yeah, i am a cretinous gobshite shillin for a cia stooge, maybe i should stop doing that."

These idiots just go on a find another cia stooge to drool over, to help them get over their dissappointment when the cia stooge they were most recently shilling for, craps all over them time and time again.

Posted by: rbr | Apr 29 2014 22:53 utc | 53

Demian, you're wasting your time. tst/rbr, brb, stfo, foff is on his fifth or sixth screen name at this point.

If there is anyone paid to post here, it is this guy. He is a fucking mega-troll who started his 'career' by pussyfooting the nazis, declaring climate change is a hoax, being soft on Ariel Sharon, pushing idiotic pro-Maidan propaganda - all of which wouldn't be so bad if he did add being the worlds biggest grade -f fucking asswipe to ever have walked into our little wateringhole here. He once tried to tell Nora he was some sort of protest leader for housing rights but one word out of this pathetic rejects mouth and you realize no one would follow this acharismatic asshole into a goldmine filled with hookers, so it was quite obvious the pathetic little shit was simply lying about himself. In a word, this guy is THE sockpuppet asshole scumfuck of the century. Almost certainly paid to disrupt MoA.

He has been banned by 'b' at least twice, but he is such a fucking pathetic dog turd that he changes his IP address and comes back to deliver the most stupid jack off self centered posts such as the ones you see sprinkled through this thread.

He is as pathetic as they come - a true friendless attention whore who is generally hated. The word "troll" was invented for dildos like this.

If you want to waste your time, you'll only get sucked into a vortex of complete knobbery, because that's all he's got.

Posted by: guest77 | Apr 30 2014 0:06 utc | 54 Oklahoma inmate dies after botched execution, state halts second execution

"An Oklahoma prison inmate who was at the center of a controversy over the death penalty died of a heart attack after his execution went wrong, the procedure aborted after officials administered more drugs than necessary and bursting a vein.

Clayton D. Lockett, 38, was scheduled to be executed at 6:00 pm local time Tuesday with a combination of lethal drugs, details of which was kept secret despite a flurry of court challenges and commentary from Oklahoma lawmakers in the weeks leading up to Lockett’s death.

Bailey Elise McBride, an Associated Press reporter, was on hand to cover the execution but quickly reported that, while the average execution takes just minutes to complete, media was kept waiting for word for nearly an hour on what happened.

Prison officials eventually admitted that they had to cancel the execution, which officially began at 6:23 pm, because Lockett was still moving at 6:37 and looked up to say, “Something’s wrong.”

McBride reported that the inmate was “conscious and blinking, licking his lips even after the process began. He then began to seize.”

Department of Corrections officials said at a press conference immediately following the would-be execution that Lockett had blown a vein and that they are not sure where the drugs went in his body, or how much of the injection his body absorbed. Locket died of a heart attack moments after his convulsion began.

David Autry, Lockett’s attorney, told assembled media the execution was “botched “ and that the state was “bound and determined” to put Lockett to death, adding that the entire proceeding was “extremely difficult” to witness."

Ghouls. The ones so intent on executing people are the ones who should probably be executed instead. Those freaks are psychopaths.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 30 2014 3:30 utc | 55 Kerry backtracks on Israel ‘apartheid’ remark, wishes he ‘chose a different word’

Poor guy. I bet that sharp tug on his scrotum leash hurt like the devil. :)

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 30 2014 3:34 utc | 56

Poor old gimp77

Never achieved a thing in all his years as an alleged "union organiser" -green with jealousy when he meets someone that did.

Whats the most useless political organiser on the planet? A north american lefty, not one of them are any use for anything.

The most gimp77 ever achieved was asking some geek aquaintance to program " i agree with bevin" into one of the function keys on his keyboard. Not an original thought in his head and he really hates anyone else that does.

Posted by: rbr | Apr 30 2014 6:10 utc | 57

only in america is a gun a 'tool'!
'Standing steps away from the state Capitol building, Kenetha Gibson kept a .45-caliber pistol holstered at her hip Tuesday to send a simple message.

Guns should not be feared.

"It's an important right," the Lansing woman said. "You don't have to be afraid of it. It's not going to jump off my hip. It's a tool."'

what sort of 'tool' is a gun?

Posted by: brian | Apr 30 2014 7:46 utc | 58

Amanda Knox struck mortal blow, victim's wounds indicate multiple aggressors - Italian court

Oh, my. It looks like America's angel, and the cover girl for Washington state American heartland wholesome goodness, killed a woman just to get off on the experience.

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 30 2014 10:30 utc | 59

Regarding Gimp77's ineffectual defence of the CIA Stooge Juan Cole

First he defended CIA Stooge Sy Hersh,

then he leaped to the defence of CIA Stooge Gleen Greenwald

and now he's leaping to the defence of CIA stooge Juan Cole

One thing is for sure whenever there's a CIA stooge to be defended there will one find Gimp77 defending them

Why is that this site's two most vociferously ineffectual North American Lefty pseudo-intellectual commenters always seem to be defending the CIA Stooges?

That they continue to do so loooooong after it has become obvious to even the dimmest of of dim-bulbs that the CIA Stooges they are defending are clearly CIA Stooges, is the icing on the cake though

Posted by: sts | Apr 30 2014 19:59 utc | 60

Right on que, the west conducts another terrorist attack on the people of China: Train station in Urumqi, China hit by explosion

Posted by: scalawag | May 1 2014 5:01 utc | 61

I'm going to put this here, a link to a poem by Ilya Kaminsky from his book Dancing in Odessa.

Posted by: lizard | May 3 2014 4:57 utc | 62

I agree with the father of the dead German foreign exchange student when he says "America">">"America cannot continue to play cowboy"

Posted by: lizard | May 4 2014 4:51 utc | 63

Not a lot of new info - though more of the StratFor Optor emails I had seen before. And a lot of information about Venezuela that shows how out of touch the StrOptor boys are.

They really think they'll make revolution in Venezuela with the MUD against Chavismo by talking about the oil income and income inequality? This is the essence of Chavismo - these criminals think the people are stupid enough to buy that MUD and the US government are suddenly for these things?

The only thing more obvious than US government criminality is its obvious idiocy.

Posted by: guest77 | May 4 2014 4:54 utc | 64

whoops, let's try that again

Posted by: lizard | May 4 2014 4:56 utc | 65

last but not least............. ?

consequences of mh370 fracas......

1] malaysia , a long time thorn in fukus side [a], suffered a double whammy. [b]
2] najib, the last one standing defying the *asia pivot* seems to 've gotten *on board* at last. [c]
3] us latest chip technology safe from the chinese prying eyes. [d]
4] the pentagon approved regime change contractor, soros,who's dr mahathir's long time nemesis, is prolly chuckling to himself over a glass of champaign [e]
5] chinese defence inadequacy exposed [f]

This must be avoided. There may be those who are attempting to drive a wedge between us and China. *
[hint] everybody in this part of the world knows that the terrarist outfit abu sayaf is another cia sponsored jihadist mercenary.


Posted by: denk | May 5 2014 9:32 utc | 66

*Mr. Obama said the immediate priority was finding the girls,*,

i bet u would find them mr prez, ;-)

* but that in the longer term the Boko Haram group must also be dealt with.**

u betcha , just like them abu sayyaf terrarists in philippines [1]

looks like ur 2015 deadline is right on schedule hehehe

Q: Why did the White House rescue and hide Michael Meiring, the CIA-linked American "terrorist" bomber now wanted in Mindanao?

A: The Pentagon wants new bases in Asia, and it is killing civilians to get them.*

mission accomplished

Posted by: denk | May 8 2014 2:13 utc | 67


*Nigeria kidnap: US and UK offer help in hunt for schoolgirls
Barack Obama is supplying experts to Abuja while Britain is ready to send military support to pursue Boko Haram militants*

*Tough one this for the rabid anti-American contingent, those wannabe sioxant-huitards. For all its faults, the US is still the world's last great hope. Can anyone imagine China lifting a finger in these circumstances? I for one am proud to be from a country with intellectual roots in the Enlightenment.* [sic]

oh my these insufferable cuns , lmao !

Posted by: denk | May 8 2014 10:23 utc | 68

test ??

Posted by: denk | May 8 2014 10:26 utc | 69


*Nigeria kidnap: US and UK offer help in hunt for schoolgirls
Barack Obama is supplying experts to Abuja while Britain is ready to send military support to pursue Boko Haram militants* [sic]

*Tough one this for the rabid anti-American contingent, those wannabe sioxant-huitards. For all its faults, the US is still the world's last great hope. Can anyone imagine China lifting a finger in these circumstances? I for one am proud to be from a country with intellectual roots in the Enlightenment.* [sic]

will these cuns pse gimme a fucking break ?

Posted by: denk | May 8 2014 11:09 utc | 70

How secret services work - with Jihadis and Fascists

Abu Hamza 'secretly worked for MI5' to 'keep streets of London safe'
Radical Islamic preacher helped police and British intelligence 'defuse tensions with the Muslim community', his lawyer claims

Posted by: somebody | May 9 2014 10:38 utc | 72

**We have seen this happen in the great lakes area where US Special Forces have been deployed ostensibly to protect the countries there from so-called insurgents who in the first place were sponsored by the same US. In Sudan we have seen how a blanket cover of international humanitarian cries orchestrated by the United States on the so-called Darfur crisis served as a prelude to the dismemberment of Sudan to punish the government of El-Bashir for daring to conclude oil deals with the Chinese to the detriment of American companies.*

+Indeed, the [fill in the blank] crisis is following a pattern which is so well-worn now that it has almost become routine. Saturation reporting from a crisis region; emergency calls for help broadcast on the electronic media (such as the one recently on the BBC Radio 4 flagship ‘ Today’ programme); televised pictures of refugees; lurid stories of “mass rapes”, which are surely designed to titillate as much to provoke outrage; reproachful evocations of the Rwandan genocide; demands that something must be done (“How can we stand idly by?”, etc.); editorials in the Daily Telegraph calling for a return to the days of Rudyard Kipling’s benevolent imperialism[6] ; and, finally, the announcement that plans are indeed being drawn up for an intervention
intervention will allow Western forces to control an oil rich region, and perhaps to expel the present holders of concessions. The fact that the biggest of these is China, and that America’s other foreign adventures also seem to have as their goal the control of energy supplies to that strategic rival, only adds further piquancy to what is, otherwise, an all too banal case of modern imperialistic meddling.+

Posted by: denk | May 10 2014 5:07 utc | 73

so whats nigeria's *crime* ?
Oil rich Nigeria has been getting very "uppitty" and very cozy, with China and Russia.

Posted by: denk | May 10 2014 5:45 utc | 74




are they still using *hill n knowton* to sell their war to the sheeples ?

Posted by: denk | May 13 2014 5:04 utc | 75

looks like the gag order is ordered on the boko haram threads, heavy censoring, *conspiracy nuts* fuck off, lets all strive to get *our girls* [sic] back !

Posted by: denk | May 13 2014 6:32 utc | 76

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