Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 30, 2015

Open Thread 2015-23

News & views ...

Posted by b on May 30, 2015 at 17:56 UTC | Permalink

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After some reading of history and thinking, I have come to the conclusion that what has been going on today in the Internet age with the Ukraine, Syria, etc. was always happening somewhere pre-Internet only we, the great unwashed, the masses, weren't told and so didn't know about it. Today it is the US hegemon trying to stave off the inevitable decline and fade-away into ordinariness; yesterday, it was the British Empire and if you go further back, you get the Romans and eventually the Sumerians.

Posted by: Albertde | May 30 2015 18:19 utc | 1

If people had the same access to information at the beginning of the twentieth century as we do know, surely the world would be a vastly different place. I feel so frustrated when the msm disseminate propaganda/misinformation. I wonder if it's deliberate or whether the journalist is so naive as to believe ie that Vladimir Putin is the next Hitler or that Iran is a belligerent state. Here in Australia, the majority of people are all too happy to take what they're told at face value.


Why must we always pander to the Americans? It's time for a rethink. Were exposing ourselves to the enmity of the rising superpowers, and blowing serious cash, and it's totally pointless. It's a racket!

So pissed at the chronic lack of forward thinking in Australian politics and pathetic lockstep bipartisanship on these most critical issues.

Posted by: Trevor | May 30 2015 19:12 utc | 2

Thanks to moonofalabama for opening my eyes. I don't know who you are but I love your work. Since then I have discovered Eric draitser and the vineyard of the saker, but I always visit your site and am often totally gobsmacked at what I read here.

We stand at the brink of a world war.

Rohingya refugees are drowning at sea and our noble leader is still ranting about stopping the boats. What a bloody psychopath he is, and a racist pig.

Posted by: Trevor | May 30 2015 19:21 utc | 3

A pivot from Putin to Xi Jinping?

Posted by: Maracatu | May 30 2015 19:38 utc | 4

Not a joke:

Georgian Clown Mikheil Saakashvili Is Now the Governor of Odessa

Georgia’s former President Mikhail Saakashvili, wanted by his country’s prosecutors for embezzlement, abuse of power and politically-motivated attacks, has been appointed governor of Ukraine’s Odessa region.

And the people of Odessa show their first reactions: The reader who posted this picture in the Guardian said, it says "a tie for Misha".

Posted by: Fran | May 30 2015 19:44 utc | 5

What is your take on the "Neutron bomb dropped by IAF plane with Saudi markings..." story in Yemen? Would this be an Israeli/US field test? Comparing it to the Zionazi experiment on Sephardi children (50ies) or the US government sanctioned sarin gassing of desters in Laos (70ies), it wouldn't be the first time an attrocious act of such magnitude doesn't get any traction in the media. So is this today's reality, still unclear or fake?

Posted by: sasquash | May 30 2015 19:51 utc | 6

@4 I think Mr. Whitney may be indulging in a little hyperbole. I've searched several news reports and Carter's exact words were..."To that end, there should be an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation by all claimants,"

Posted by: dh | May 30 2015 19:53 utc | 7

My favo(u)rite twitterer

Updated frequently for your viewing pleasure.

Posted by: ruralito | May 30 2015 19:56 utc | 8


Speaking of 'died (sic)-in-the-wool',
Jefferson Airplane had a line:

"Soon you attain the stability you strive for,
But the only way that it's granted,
is a place among the fossils of our time..."

So you rage against the machine, go online, and find outstanding volunteer opportunities helping 3W pidgins learn English and website programming, so they can become what you were 20 years ago: a Cyber DreamWeaver, a Green Sci-Fi Ontologist, a meditator on Burning Man Communalism.

... until finally you rebel against the 3W->1W franchise, plunk all your last shekels down for a patch of jungle and set up a 'organic coffee plantation' or 'eco-tour hostel', ... until you go mad from the howling silence and traipsing tourist masses demands for fresher meat and a finer wine list and faster wifi.

But now it's too late to crawl back, and you're left an Uber driver and massage therapist, begging for a home share on CL and a gig on Fiverr, ...but you're too old, and those you once knew now too potted, sharing flashing last moments of glory on Flickr and Tumblr, like the sparrows and the lilies.

It's been real...

Posted by: Chipnik | May 30 2015 20:14 utc | 9

to dh & mercatu at 4 & 7 --

I happened to read this in hard copy over lunch earlier, and was going to comment. Going bat-shit crazy over two possible artillery pieces doesn't sound like the restrained reaction of a peaceful state.

China Deployed Artillery on Disputed Island, U.S. Says.

The United States, he [Ashton Carter] added, is “deeply concerned about the pace and scope” of China’s island building and the possibility of increased militarization, which risks the kind of miscalculations that could lead to conflict....

Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who heads the Armed Services Committee, criticized China’s deployment of artillery on the island as “a disturbing development and escalatory development.”

“Their actions are in violation of international law, and their actions are going to be condemned by everyone in the world,” Mr. McCain was quoted by Reuters as saying..... “We are not going to have a conflict with China,” he said, “but we can take certain measures which will be a disincentive to China to continue these kinds of activities.”... [sounds like the sort of threat that could produce miscalculation; it's really our sums that have not added up of late -- rm]

“Such constructions are within China’s sovereignty and are fair, reasonable, lawful and do not affect nor target any country, and are beyond reproach,” Hua Chunying, the spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry, told reporters in April.

The United States disagrees, and American officials have stressed in recent days that the American-dominated security order in the region should be respected because it has brought calm and prosperity, a theme Mr. Carter will develop in his remarks on Saturday in Singapore....

The implication is that China is threatening to upend that system, though Mr. Carter and other American officials have hesitated to say so directly, preferring to talk in generalities about the need for diplomatic solutions and inclusive security arrangements.

This is all pretty rich, coming from an open serial violator of international law that possesses history's largest net of foreign bases, all of which are designed to aid the projection of military power and resource control. We have acted for "peace and stability" only after the failure of our attempt to dominate East Asia militarily failed in the Mekong Delta.

Whitney conveniently explains why we're running these risks.

They’ve tried containment and it hasn’t worked. China’s growing like crazy and its regional influence threatens to leave the US on the outside looking in. Carter even admitted as much in a recent speech he gave at the McCain Institute at Arizona State University.... “We already see countries in the region trying to carve up these markets.... We must all decide if we are going to let that happen...."

See? It’s all about markets. It’s all about money....

This is why the Obama administration is making a general nuisance of itself in the South China Sea. It’s so the big US mega-corporations will have new customers for their IPADs and toaster ovens.

For that, they are willing to risk a nuclear war.

Slow roasted to a delicate crunch? Or quick-fried to a crackly crunch? I guess the market will decide....

to Fran @ 5 --

Fort Russ has a bit on the ties as well; it says Odessans are noted for their unique sense of humor. It also has this report on Saakashvili's appointment. Translator J. Hawk with his usual sharpness sums up the bottom line:

The one thing that comes to mind is that, like most of the other "foreigners", Saakashvili is there to act as the hatchetman who fires and purges and then, once the dirty work is done, he is replaced by "a mediocrity like Goncharenko" who would not be up to the task of uprooting Kolomoysky's people embedded throughout Odessa. Because that's who the target is, no doubt.

Tyrants, imperialists, and authoritarian regimes like to police the locals with out-of-towners. The locals might be too sympathetic to their neighbors to do a thorough job.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 30 2015 20:50 utc | 10

"US mega-corporations will have new customers for their IPADs and toaster ovens"

I don't keep up with the toaster oven market but I'm guessing most are made in China. ipads certainly are. Something to do with rare earth I believe.

Posted by: dh | May 30 2015 21:08 utc | 11

Trevor and Albertde at 1 & 2 --

I am with you AlDe on this one. The liberating power of the Internet and its "Information Revolution" is the chief conceit of our age.

We should not mistake quantity and ease of access for quality and utility. “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on,” said Winston Churchill. The internet has not lessened this speed advantage, Faux New may well have multiplied it.

You will find that the socialists, other anti-war movements, and even some establishment figures were crystal clear on what was happening. The German Social-Democrats had to be manipulated into voting war credits (the story of Lenin's utter disbelief of this news is well known) and it took the assassination of the French internationalist Jaures to neutralize the Socialist Party.

With the emasculation of the labor movement following the destruction of the Soviet Union, the level of class consciousness is piteously poor. We have more and poorer information, and less time and energy to sort it out, even those of us psychologically capable of doing so.

The invention of moveable type marked the real beginning of the Information Revolution. The nascent capitalist economy required a more literate working population, and servicing it now became cheaper. The invention of the steam rotary press, ca. 1850, and the introduction of the telegraph made the acquisition and distribution of mass quantities of news and other information quite cost-effective.

Elites began to reconsider their earlier position on mass communication. Political and other news once thought "above their station" now began to be provided, in heavy propaganda syrup, to manipulate the masses. Democracy had given them the vote, their labor power was vital to the industrial economy and the modern "nation in arms." More carrots, material and ideological, began to accompany the traditional sticks.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 30 2015 21:16 utc | 12

dh at 11 -- A fair point. It's probably a bit more accurate to say, we don't want our supply chains for cheap consumer goods disrupted. You can't really enjoy a good media circus without bread to munch on (and a toaster-oven to prepare it.)

But maybe it's time to update "bread and circuses" to "ramen and on-line streaming." I love those dried mini-shrimp "Cup O' Noodles."

Increasingly, to the degree that we sell American brands there, we get them made in one spot in Asia, sell them in another, and the profits go into the pockets of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or their heirs, partners and/or shareholders. Us poor working slobs are told be grateful for Walmart's low (poverty-subsidized) prices.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 30 2015 21:28 utc | 13

One imagines container loads of ipads and toaster ovens strafed by F-35s and washed up on the Spratleys to the delight of poor Filipino fishermen.

Posted by: dh | May 30 2015 21:36 utc | 14

So the 'Russian troll house' that is widely touted in the western press turns out to be ran by an anti Putin journalist.

An anti Putin journalist that claimed he was shot at with rubber bullets reporting at an anti LGBT rally, and who had his licence revoked for posting Pussy Riot videos at his previous outlet, Rosbalt.

He is shot at

He complains about authorities on Rosbalt after the Pussy Riot episode

Committee for the Protection of Journalists weigh in.

Reuters pick up on it

Now the same man is alleged to be running one of Putin's main propaganda operations

Posted by: Bill | May 30 2015 21:48 utc | 15

dh @ 14 -- Every cloud has a silver lining. Even if the goods are water-damaged, the shipping containers make for good housing and raw materials. Don't forget the ships themselves, too.

Ipads are a high-value, low-cube/weight cargo, I'd expect them to go air-freight (I worked shore-side in int'l. shipping in the 80's). Higher freight costs, but shorter transit times, better climate control, better security (and lower insurance costs, too, I think). But airliner debris makes good salvage as well.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 30 2015 21:54 utc | 16

I nearly forgot -- good news and bad news from the Ukraine.

First, the bad news. For all those convinced of the inherent progressiveness of the cultural intelligentsia (I'm looking at you, "ineffectual left"), drop by the The cultural afterparty of Maidan.

Huge numbers of Ukrainian so-called “creative middle classes” were jumping up and down on Maidan Square chanting “Whoever is not jumping is a ‘moskal’ [derogatory term for a Russian] in the company of ultra-right militants. But playing at revolution and counterculture very quickly turned into backing the most reactionary tendencies of the new authorities.

For the good news, Unions picket government building, cabinet meeting in Kiev on May 27 "The 1,000 participants demanded that the government stop their anti-social policy and take action to resolve social and economic problems." It appears a little more blue-and-yellow than red-and-gold, but that would be due to the recent ban on communist and other leftist symbolism.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 30 2015 22:06 utc | 17

The odds are long that toaster ovens will still keep working during a Nuclear Winter. Once democracy contracts the "sickness unto death" it's all downhill from there. Things fall apart, and all events that include hubris and pivots toward assured destruction, begins to look like foreshadowing in Greek Tragedy.

Seriously, we have a Secretary of War named Ash Carter?

He said: “We already see countries in the region trying to carve up these markets…forging many separate trade agreements in recent years, some based on pressure and special arrangements…. Agreements that…..leave us on the sidelines. That risks America’s access to these growing markets. We must all decide if we are going to let that happen. If we’re going to help boost our exports and our economy…and cement our influence and leadership in the fastest-growing region in the world; or if, instead, we’re going to take ourselves out of the game.”

See? It’s all about markets. It’s all about money. Here’s more from Carter’s speech: (The) ” Asia-Pacific…is the defining region for our nation’s future”… “Half of humanity will live there by 2050″ and that “more than half of the global middle class and its accompanying consumption will come from that region.”….”There are already more than 525 million middle class consumers in Asia, and we expect there to be 3.2 billion in the region by 2030…President Obama and I want to ensure that… businesses can successfully compete for all these potential customers. ….Over the next century, no region will matter more… for American prosperity.”

We survivors would all have to be inmates of a prison industrial complex to export to Asia, on such a scale of commerce.

Posted by: Copeland | May 30 2015 23:12 utc | 18

@chip#9, you just wrote my bio!

Posted by: kjs | May 31 2015 0:03 utc | 19

I spent some time at the Left Forum in NYC today. There was a panel on the Ukraine, hosted by this organization, which I think you'll find has pretty good collection of Ukraine news: US Friends of the Soviet People.

The talk itself was extremely informative with a full history of the area now called the Ukraine, and the emergence of virulent Ukrainian nationalism following the First World War.

It was recorded, I believe. I'll post the talk when it appears online.

Posted by: guest77 | May 31 2015 1:02 utc | 20


That's is fucking unreal. That's "Democracy" - former US installed corrupt puppets on the lam from the law in their own countries, being appointed "governor" of a restive city in the latest US puppet state.

Let me suggest my own neckware for Misha.

Posted by: guest77 | May 31 2015 1:07 utc | 21

Copeland at 17 --

I checked your webite earlier, I think as a devotee of Athena (goddess of war and wisdom), the Renaissance's most profound commentator on the politics of antiquity is right up your alley.

Machiavelli's Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livy discusses, in Book I, Chapters 16-17, whether corrupted peoples can obtain, preserve, or regain their liberty.

In the first, he notes that simple means preserved the liberty of Rome after the expulsion of the kings. But by c. 50 BC, the "corruption which had been spread amongst the people by the faction of Marius, at the head of which was Caesar, who had so blinded the people that they did not perceive the yoke they were imposing upon themselves.... [S]uch corruption and incapacity to maintain free institutions results from a great inequality that exists in such a state; and to reduce the inhabitants to equality requires the application of extraordinary measures...."

In the second, he discusses what means might be possible to restore liberty in such circumstances. The constitution much be changed (in the ancient sense, of the ensemble of laws, customs, and institutions essential to the state and social structure) either slowly, as the degeneration occurs, or rapidly, by rigorous means. In the first, the wise leader capable of doing this cannot arise, so typically, minor changes are made that in fact promote corruption. In second, it is unlikely that a good man will "be found willing to employ wicked means" to a good end, or that a bad one will become good in power.

"From these combined causes arises the difficulty or impossibility of maintaining liberty in a republic that has become corrupt, or to establish it there anew."

I often worry that our own Republic has gotten to that tipping point. Certainly our leadership is corrupt, in Machiavelli's sense. The people, I believe, not so much. Outrage of Baltimore and Cleveland, Occupy, et al. leave me hopeful, if still concerned.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 31 2015 1:33 utc | 22

Greece one step before BRICS!

Posted by: nmb | May 31 2015 2:11 utc | 23

The Guardian is still getting worked up about FIFA. In today's edition Blatter is being compared to Putin: "Increasingly, the stances of Blatter and Vladimir Putin appear indivisible."

Interesting that the voting for FIFA President roughly followed the fault lines of current geopolitics: the U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia on one side and Latin America, Africa, some of the Middle East, Asia and Russia all pro-Blatter.

Posted by: Lochearn | May 31 2015 2:32 utc | 24

g77 @ 19 --

USFSP took part in the Mozgovoy memorial earlier in the week. Too far, too short notice for me to make it. Red Star over Donbass has this report. Coverage of his funeral in Alchevsk, too.

His comrades-in-arms might have the best memorial, as turnabout is fair play. Mozgovoy's associates created a new spetsnaz "Pechersk" battalion tasked with eliminating heads of the Kiev junta.

[We] intend to liberate Ukraine from the stranglehold of the oligarchs, corrupt officials and all who sold out the interests of the people. The only source of power should be the people....We take the responsibility to eliminate the leaders of the Nazi junta, wherever they are. At any time of day or night, in any weather, at any point in Ukraine. We also undertake the responsibility to support the anti-Nazi underground movement in their resistance against the Nazi junta and to provide them with our full support.

As translator Kristina Rus observes, "those who thought they will weaken the resistance in Novorossia by killing Mozgovoy were gravely mistaken..."

Posted by: rufus magister | May 31 2015 3:07 utc | 25

nmb @ 22: From your link:

"Greece is preparing and will probably submit a request to participate in the new development bank for BRICS countries and has secured Russia’s support on the issue, Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis told ANA-MPA news agency on Friday evening."

Hopefully, the above will happen. Push-back is needed, or the world's working classes are doomed.

Posted by: ben | May 31 2015 3:53 utc | 26

Short video from TRNN on Greece:

Posted by: ben | May 31 2015 3:56 utc | 27

Saudi Arabia sentencing the saudi shiite cleric Nimr-al Nimr to death

didn't go down too well.

ISIS is trying to increase tensions between the saudi shiites & wahabis. This means that the saudi government has a problem. Saudi Arabia has supported ISIS and it seems ISIS has a different agenda than their saudi sponsors.

Remember, the ultimate goal of one Osama Bin Laden was to overthrow the saudi "government".

Posted by: Willy2 | May 31 2015 7:31 utc | 28

"Israel, fearing EU Sanctions over Apartheid, backpedals on Segregated Buses for Palestinians"

Posted by: Willy2 | May 31 2015 7:35 utc | 29

"Hawks think the US alone can Still Garrison the Planet: How’s that Working Out?"

Posted by: Willy2 | May 31 2015 7:58 utc | 30

guest77 @ 20 says:

Let me suggest my own neckware for Misha

funny that, when i read of Saak'ashvili's new appointment i had a similarly propitious flash, i.e. that his rather ignominious career might well come to an end in that warm water port...with a bullet to the back of the head.

perhaps as prelude to Poroshenko's Ceaușescu moment...

Posted by: john | May 31 2015 8:35 utc | 31


'The Internet is the opiate of the masses.'

Now Ruby on Rails with Python on Django is
going to make the Internet their drug den.

Silk Road creator is sentenced to life for
cutting out mafia cartels, the banksters,
Ebay & PayPal, and OBummers Dark Minions.

Though shalt not create a Trade Republic!

'Oh, the coding!'

Posted by: Chipnik | May 31 2015 8:42 utc | 32


Just a composite of all my 60's cadre cohorts, as part of my new 'reality' darshan, which I am taught to also observe with no emojis, just focusing on no past, no future and no duality.

'Breathe deep the gathering gloom,
Watch lights fade from every room.
Bedsitter people look back and lament,
Another day's useless energy spent.
Impassioned lovers wrestle as one,
Lonely man cries for love and has none.
New mother picks up and suckles her son,
Senior citizens wish they were young.
Cold hearted orb that rules the night,
Removes the colours from our sight.
Red is grey and yellow white.
But we decide which is right.
And which is an illusion.'

Posted by: Chipnik | May 31 2015 8:50 utc | 33

today i went to a venue and on the way saw these poor suffering aboriginal people huddled together under a bridge....absolutely tragic.i went to a hotel nearby and bought them a bottle of red wine to warm them guy said his ancestors were from the wurrandjerri tribe and this was there land
there was no bathroom facilities and the smell of shit hung in the air
i said i must be on my way and he said i was a good white fella
why is it that the indigenous people always get the short end of the stick.

Posted by: mcohen | May 31 2015 9:57 utc | 34

#32 chip

nice words....homegrown,the way i like is one of mine

when day turns to night and angels do take flight
when souls begin to burn let the brave stand firm
come let us join together
in a circle we shall stand
to bring the light
to shine upon the land

Posted by: mcohen | May 31 2015 10:16 utc | 35

why is it that the indigenous people always get the short end of the stick.
It's because Israelis are brutal racists. The native people of Palestine are not even considered 'untermensch', they are no longer called human, by people in government.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 31 2015 10:17 utc | 36

@Trevor #2,

other sources tell us that Obama is the next Islamist Hitler, that Global Warming is a hoax and a Masonic plot to seize control the world economy and that gay marriage will bring lead to people marrying their pet turtles.

Posted by: ralphieboy | May 31 2015 12:56 utc | 37

Did Israel Buy Its Way Out of FIFA Suspension?

Posted by: erichwwk | May 31 2015 13:09 utc | 38

Meanwhile, in some Belgium forum, a pie-thrower pays a visit to Bernard-Henri Levy:

and a couple of pictures

Posted by: citizen X | May 31 2015 14:44 utc | 39

32;The 60's were awesome!The music will live forever,unlike today's garbage.As a 51er,I am glad to have lived through an era of hope,unlike today's incredible descent into endless war and BS.Our kids are all infected with nihilism,as the monsters above have no honor,and celebrate hate death and war.Sad world.The Airplane were my favorite San Fran band,and Jorma my favorite acid guitar man,Bless their(our) pointed little heads!Turn out the lights!Saw them at the Fillmore East in 69,with the Youngbloods,the late show,they played till 3?They used to put old films on during band breaks,and this one had WC Fields in the Bank Dick,where he's driving the bank robber!

Posted by: dahoit | May 31 2015 15:27 utc | 40

Chipnik at 31 -- I demur. Opiates are the opiates of the masses nowadays. Local police now carry and admin. anti-OD drugs here in DelVal's burgs and 'burbs.

Then you watch them purdy pictures on that there YuToob.

Only a fellow-traveller Moody Blues fan. One of those artists I don't own, but will crank on the car radio when I hear it. So I recognized the spoken word outro of "Nights in White Satin" immediately.

My thanks to you Chipnik, I learned two things this a.m. What I thought the outro is actually a piece in and of itself, "Late Lament." And, I really gotta break down and buy Digital Sound Factory's virtual Melotron.

You can go traditional or techno, to taste. Tehcno version drops the "Lament" but visuals are way cool, and a nice, contemporary version I thought.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 31 2015 15:29 utc | 41

Hungry for the kill
But this hunger it isn't you.
It isn't you.

Posted by: fairleft | May 31 2015 15:39 utc | 42

Fairleft at 41 --

Not bad, the new album sounds promising. The local alt-FM station has had Of Monsters and Men's Crystals in heavy rotation. They were amongst the early folks to play "Little Talks," love the trumpet. And "Mountain Sound," too.

Here's the news at the bottom of the hour. NewColdWar reposts from RT Bryan McDonald's analysis of Saakashvili's appointment to govern Odessa. Good background on the man and the city.

And now back to the music, kids. The latest from Death Cab for Cutie, Black Sun.

There's an answer in a question
And there is hope within despair....
And there's a dumpster in the driveway
Of all the plans that came undone

How could something so fair
Be so cruel....

Grapevine Fires put them on my radar. In form and content it differs dramatically from most radio fare. "It's only a matter of time before we all burn...."

Posted by: rufus magister | May 31 2015 16:34 utc | 43

Posted by: Maracatu | May 30, 2015 3:38:36 PM | 4

Thanks for the Mike Whitney CounterPunch link.
Farther down the page I found this from Pepe:

Patrolling the 'hood From (China) Sea to Shining Sea

Beijing’s response, via the Global Times, couldn’t be other than There Will be War; “If the United States’ bottom line is that China has to halt its activities, then a U.S.-China war is inevitable in the South China Sea … The intensity of the conflict will be higher than what people usually think of as ‘friction’.”

Under the heading, All About the Maritime Silk Road, there's a link to the new Military White Paper outlining in detail a new defensive strategy.
At the end of the White Paper is a link to China's May 2015 Military Strategy Parts I to VII which makes interesting reading.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 31 2015 16:51 utc | 44

@6 sasquash

If that was a neutron bomb the person filming would be dead. The whole city would be dead. It's just a large conventional bomb. Maybe a fuel air bomb, but probably not.

Posted by: Crest | May 31 2015 17:57 utc | 45

I have come to the conclusion that what has been going on today in the Internet age with the Ukraine, Syria, etc. was always happening somewhere pre-Internet only we, the great unwashed, the masses, weren't told and so didn't know about it. Albertde at 1.

This has some truth in it somewhere. However, even way back when it was possible to obtain solid info. One of my ancient relatives friend was a Kremlinologist (and he himself was a news hound) and what they knew…was a lot. Yet, that kind of knowledge and discussion took: education in languages, dedication, and some time / money (a good radio, visiting libraries, etc.) and phone or physical presence for discussion, or .. letters!

This type of ‘deeper’ or ‘different’ knowledge was limited to ppl who were known as dissidents (outside of the elites I mean), or belonged to some ‘radical’ or in today’s words potentially ‘terrorist’ group, known to be a danger, and so quite easily dealt with. Quite a few were limited-hang-out types: they wrote books (etc.) that threw things into a new light and made a living off it, that still exists today. Many were invisible, of no account, not a threat.

Forward jump from 1960 t0 1990, the internet gets a grip. At first, it only amplified existing circuits, no surprise. But bit by bit info. an opinion trickled out and was taken up, mostly to shore up or amplify pre-existing knowledge, intuitions, group belonging. (Think for ex. US, of anti-vaxxers, PETA types, bridezillas, etc.)

The elites dismissed it for a long time, after all the telephone, photocopy, fax, were no threat. Also, the intertubes were - still in a large measure are - a middle class thing, the elites couldn’t be bothered with it, except for email as a replacement for post / fax, handled by minions, just as they scoffed at television except for propaganda purposes and ‘visibility’. The poor didn’t have equipment/time. As we know, that gradually changed.

To the last 15 years. The internet spurred the elites to extend previous moves: repression of known dissidents, refusniks, no change. Mass surveillance (using new technology - snitches are ppl), official authoritarian measures (from the trivial shoes-off at airports to arbitrary detention, secret courts, etc.), torture (its acceptance etc.), false flags to frighten, deliberate moves towards police states, repression and control of information (muzzling the internet, media control, etc.) As if, suddenly, large chunks of ppl internally are the ‘enemy’.. which they potentially are. The Orwellian society was born or did its coming out. Complete with its war on EastAsia and so on. (Another topic..)

For the moment, the ‘West,’ USA in first place with the EU and others copying blithely with some twists and turns, is attempting to hold the narrative from the Pols, the Elites (Corporations..not Finance which is pretty much a parasite), echoed slavishly in the steadfast MSM. ‘Conspiracy theorists’, fringe political figures, even mild, naive refusniks (such as 10-year-old children in France who refused to do the minute of silence for Charlie Hebdo), those who go a little beyond the accepted, are loonies to be laughed at -if one is cool, unconcerned-, not hired, not invited, shunned, avoided, denouced, snitched on -if one is more conscientious- or repressed, punished in some ways -if one is braver and more patriotic and more desirous of getting a foot hold into the looting of the Elite.. Remember, they and the hangers-on represent 25% of the pop *W*, as installed at the top, not counting aspirants.

Leap to 2020. USA. By now, crime prediction algos work efficiently. Crime and terrorism, add infectious disease and extreme weather to the list, as dangers to all have become predictable (false flags will help) and the ppl take it for granted the authorities have the power to ‘lockdown’, ‘control’, ‘imprison’, move ppl about, create mass rallies for whatever cause, line up to be ‘saved’, or to join and commit to some ‘cause’, — self-censor while also fighting amongst themselves..

Black, pessimistic, not original vision that only takes into account one angle, information. Simplified.

Posted by: Noirette | May 31 2015 18:23 utc | 46

recommended reading

Long but laid out in many easy-to-digest pieces. You can click the links or read the OP's thoughtful précis. Covers most of the worlds present "situations".

Posted by: ruralito | May 31 2015 19:20 utc | 47

"Moon of Alabama" is called a "obscure" blog.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 31 2015 20:13 utc | 48

dahoit @ 39 --

Hot Fuckin' Tuna. Barroom Crystal Ball is da bom' - dig those synth accents. Couldn't find a live version that was not shot on a cell-phone, though the current line-up (w/mandolin and pedal steel) does a nice job with it.

Hendrix and the Beatles are in their own separate category. I'd have to go with Jethro Tull as my favorite 60's band. Benefit, Aqualung, and Thick as a Brick are their best, though from the early 70's. I was into them until Heavy Horses, when Aqualung morphed into an English country squire.

Posted by: rufus magister | May 31 2015 20:20 utc | 49

#Syria #Chlorine

Even taking the claims of rebels in Idlib at face value, the question remains what military purpose single barrel bombs – allegedly filled with chlorine – are supposed to achieve. Does the Syrian army get a military edge, a clear battlefield advantage, by dropping a couple of such bombs on isolated targets? The chlorine attacks – if they really occured – have killed very few people and among those even fewer rebel fighters, so why should the Syrian army use a weapon which is media-politically a great own goal and military totally useless?

Posted by: KerKaraje | May 31 2015 21:00 utc | 50


Where I live the abs were slaughtered then the women interbred with Spanish conquistadors; later with German plantation owners ; finally Japanese occupiers. Today they live in happy extended Familia cronyism and nepotism with Filipino H-3Bs, but despise full-blood native Micronesians fleeing their jobless, landless atolls for a chance to work as sub-minimum wage field slaves, jobs the high-born mulatto Familia wouldn't touch anyway. Life still devolves into a fight over land, jobs, housing and women. Only the Gringos have the luxury to manifest ClimateApocalypse, SpaceElevators, and FreedomoftheInternationalSouthChinaSeas.

Posted by: Chipnik | May 31 2015 21:03 utc | 51

: Laguerre #35

well in the usa at least the indigenous peoples have there own land and many reservations have casino,s to earn revenue
maybe i could ask someone in israel if there could be a casino in gaza with a seaport and a airport for international players
in israel many pharmacists are arab but enven these poor indigenous workers are suffering

chip #50 one must not give up hope,small change is possible

Posted by: mcohen | May 31 2015 21:18 utc | 52

@49 Assad only does it to feed ammunition to Western media IMO. Barrel bombs = outrage. He wouldn't want any Western journalists to lose their jobs.

Posted by: dh | May 31 2015 21:22 utc | 53

ralphieboy@36 - you're a scumbag. There's nothing unreasonable in Trevor's statement @2. What's the "conspiracy theory" you've found there, you twit? That Austrialia is too close to America! How far out can you get?! That the MSM is manipulative and full of untruths?! How crazy right?!

Go suck on a tailpipe, ralphiebot. You're best playing in the intellectual gutters of the Huff Post comments section or something.

Posted by: guest77 | May 31 2015 23:09 utc | 54

We've been hearing a lot about the "Iraqis unwillingness to fight" and of the Sunni revulsion over Shia militas - but this in untrue.

Sunni leaders ARE calling for Shia militias to help them in the fight against ISIL.

"We welcome any group, including Shiite militias, to come and help us in liberating the city from the militants. What happened today is a big loss caused by lack of good planning by the military," a Sunni tribal leader, Naeem al-Gauoud, told The Associated Press. link

And there were reports of hundreds of Sunni civilians defending Ramadi from ISIL along side the Iraqi Army. Probably these are the folks rounded up and murdered in Ramadi following its fall (haven't heard much from ISIL's #1 fan WayOutWest on this). The most disgusting part is that I saw CIA friendly bloggers such as BlogsOfWar calling these people "collaborators" that ISIL was killing. These are not collaborators! These are Iraqi patriots - its those who work with ISIL who are the collaborators.

Meanwhile, George Galloway who until this episode of Comment used to challenge callers who said the FUKUSKSAI were "behind" ISIL and not merely helping them obliquely has now completely reversed this position and feels that ISIL is, actually, a front for these powers in an attempt to form a Sunni state in the region before the anti-sectarian forces (see above) can consolidate all of Iraq and Syria. It's worth a watch.

FAIR is almost there too - calling for a ISIL propaganda black out (something generally done when, you know, our government wants to actually WIN a war). What they're not seeing of course is that the dissemination of ISIL propaganda is exactly what the US wants because it helps them in every effort they're engaged in in the Middle East.

Posted by: guest77 | May 31 2015 23:32 utc | 55

I'm not sure how they could go about this or if they'd even want to, but it would be interesting if Iraq, Syria, Russia, China, and Iran could set a precedent for the sovereign, democratic, request for an intervention inside of Iraq and Syria. The Iraqi and Syrian governments could set up a four-month campaign on a treaty laying the outlines for the intervention, leading to a referendum, and once the votes are counted the intervention force made up of SCO members + Iran can arrive and move into Mosul and obliterate ISIL. Can you imagine the pants pissing that would go on in the West if these governments actually put together a precedent for totally legitimate, democratically approved intervention of this sort.

How else can this disease be eradicated?


Galloway discusses on Sputnik (2nd half) the prospect of a Sunni buffer state set up between Syria/Lebanon and Iran/Iraq. Sputnik - I'm glad to say that many of us here at MOA have been suggesting this for about a year now.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 1 2015 0:30 utc | 56

Will they or won't they? Only their paymasters know for sure.

Fort Russ reports on the latest words of wisdom from Pravyi Sektor leader Yarosh. The Right Sector will follow Ukrainian command, sort of.... It is under the formal control of the military General Staff, but according to the Fearless Leader's Facebook, they will "never fulfill orders that will betray the interests of the Ukrainian nation."

The post's author, Mikle1, writes that "Yarosh and his subordinates will determine which orders to follow, and which to regard as 'treacherous'.... The fact remains that on the territories under the Junta control roam thousands of people with guns and no police-army-authority can do anything about them. There is no law and the Right Sector will not obey it."

Tranlator K. Rus adds that the formal legalization of the various militias only made "them appear legal on the outside, without changing anything on the inside."

A sound formula for peace, stability, and compliance with Minsk-II, right?

This account of a militia action in Odessa will no doubt dispel your suspicions. Law and order Ukrainian style makes it "clear that the line between business and civil authority in Ukraine, as well as between private security and government-backed armed gangs has been erased, and this is not good news for business owners not connected to the Kiev junta. The shrinking Ukrainian pie does not leave much to anyone without an official cover."

You don't have to be suspect trouble -- it's happening already.

Even if violence is not involved, folks not on Kiev's "A" list are being pushed aside. An Odessa resident reports that their local grocery vendors are being taken over by figures from Ternopol, in Western Ukraine. The local staff is being fired and replaced folks from there, too.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 1 2015 3:13 utc | 57

g77 at 55 -- Our respect for precedent is exceeded only by our respect for international law. I doubt that DC will allow such a precedent to be set, just to be on the safe side though. Plenty of Depends and helpful staff on hand in any case.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 1 2015 3:18 utc | 58

Posted by: Noirette | May 31, 2015 2:23:02 PM | 45

Nice try, and a good preliminary attempt to unravel the imposed complexities which keep people divided. Identity Politics and Populism both play a huge part, imo.
This plays out in the real world via a mechanism in which any and every self-interest splinter group is being encouraged to seek publicity for their cause. No matter how trivial the cause may be, each one gets its 5 minutes of Fame in the MSM, together with an open invitation for the audience to adopt Today's trivia as a talking point and award a tick or a cross.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 1 2015 3:25 utc | 59

An interview with an eyewitness to the shootdown of MH17
"I testify that I saw with my own eyes how a SU fighter jet attacked Boeing. There were 3 claps. I saw everything from the beginning to the end."
sometimes the site will ask for a password, it is STUCKWITHBUK

Posted by: Terje | Jun 1 2015 3:38 utc | 60

Noirette at 45 --

Very thoughtful, but I'm not sold. With all due respect, you've mistaken the shadows from the fire behind us for reality -- as those that would keep us all captives intend.

I don't think the no. of serious dissidents now is greater than in 20's or the 60's; perhaps less, if not in nos., than in rigor. In the American context, magazines like The Nation or IF Stone's Weekly or publishers like the Beacon Press dished the dirt and published the critical thinkers. Then as now, you had to know where to look. But more importantly, you needed the disposition of mind to look.

The collection of phone and other data is retrospective. For real time surveillance, and to arrest and detain the targets, you still need the human element.

Divide and conquer is hardly an Internet startup. It's the third oldest profession in human history. What were the Society pages is are now the Society Channels - broadcast, cable, streaming, pod-cast and RSS feeds.

Modern life has increased the velocity of all transactions, social, economic and political. Going faster towards the same end increases speed and fuel consumption while decreasing transit time, but the destination remains the same. Centralization of the economy and authority, the tendency of capital towards monopoly and falling profits continues on the course set by the Industrial Revolution.

The notion of the "post-modern" world as somehow qualitatively different than the modern is a device to fill seminar seats and sell products. The differences between the modern and pre-modern are substantial; the "post-modern" is but a gloss on surface of the modernity. "Pay no attention to the reality beneath the curtain."

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 1 2015 4:52 utc | 61

Willy2 | May 31, 2015 4:13:42 PM | 47

of course MoA is an obscure blog. Why else are we here. Are you seeking notoriety?

Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 1 2015 5:03 utc | 62

The power to pull the curtain back further than ever, is what the internet has given us; but old fashioned investigative journalism is still the hottest button of them all; and we have had journalists bumped off here. It doesn't only happen in Third World countries. The power structure is probably as ruthless now, as it was in the 70s, when the NSA was also caught spying on dissidents and compiling dissident enemies lists. The Deep State assassinated US political leaders in prior years, but subsequently they gained control over the vetting process, for filtering the selections.

We are engaged in a battle for the mind, clarity against hysteria. This is a fight on behalf of memory, for not ever forgetting, as our old friend rgiap reminds us from time to time. Isn't post modernism sometimes described as a consumerist nihilism where psyOPS skill in public relations and marketing keeps the masses in a trance? It is the age of romance and fantasy of extraction economy, and the prodigious output of waste and plastic excretion on a global scale. But perhaps I confuse postmodern with something else?

To sustain ourselves is not completely a matter of lifestyle changes. the political has to be changed yes, the living world that sustains us has to be protected. Progress for us would be to limit corruption, and avoid a neoliberal implosion into barbarism.

As a species we do run a risk of being destroyed, made extinct, by Artificial Intelligence. Steven Hawking is right to warn us about that. I can see how it could happen. It's the ultimate unintended consequence. A combination of nuclear war and radiological poisoning could be our undoing. We could be sterilized out of existence by genetic modifications, another unintended consequence of hubris.

There is the chance that a more just world can exist , and we can stop the senseless smash and grab, and maybe the ape in us can be quelled, to some degree, and full spectrum domination will be seen as a mental illness.

Posted by: Copeland | Jun 1 2015 8:30 utc | 63

Qatar sneaks into French politics
It launches a case again F. Philippot, one of the highest personalities in the extreme-right "Front National", for diffamation, after Philippot has repeatedly stated on radios that Qatar is financing terrorism.
Will that help medias to exerce some self-censorship? Why not going after a newspaper such as Le Canard Enchaîné, who has written the same about the role of Qatar in Syria and in Mali as well?
Would it be because Putin has been directly helping the Front National with a bit of cash, as was discovered lately?

Posted by: Mina | Jun 1 2015 8:35 utc | 64

Qatar again...
"No one takes seriously that the five aged Taliban leaders’ release today would have made any difference to the overall situation in Afghanistan. "
In Afghanistan, no... but what about Syria/Iraq?

As usual, Obama and co can always say that the guys "escape from being watched" in a few weeks or month.

Posted by: Mina | Jun 1 2015 8:47 utc | 65

re 63

Would it be because Putin has been directly helping the Front National with a bit of cash, as was discovered lately?
I thought it was that a Russian bank lent money to the Front National. A commercial transaction. Or do you have additional information?

Posted by: Laguerre | Jun 1 2015 9:38 utc | 66

Poor sad Varoufakis (emphasis added):

The major sticking point, the only deal-breaker, is the creditors’ insistence on even more austerity, even at the expense of the reform agenda that our government is eager to pursue. ... Clearly, our creditors’ demand for more austerity has nothing to do with concerns about genuine reform or moving Greece onto a sustainable fiscal path.

So he and his stupid party are okay with the existing level of austerity? That's insane and criminal betrayal of the Greek people. And those 'reforms': financial deregulation that has been so 'successful' in other countries, fire sales of national assets, and surely renewed and guaranteed ability of wealthy foreigners and Greeks to Grexit their tax-free fire-sale profits out of the country.

Posted by: fairleft | Jun 1 2015 10:24 utc | 67


Today's darshan is the knowledge that Hope is Chains, that you might hope to eat a ghost pepper and have a marvelous high, or you may snort fresh cinnamon and have a cosmic experience, but you will likely end up in the ICU, under police surveillance, lose your job, your friends, contract a malignant necrotic skin disease ...and thus break free of the relentless Chain of Hope.

Breaking the Chain of Hope, you then break free of the Wheel of Will, the belief you are a metaphysical being who can command say, some moon of Saturn to bear Life, so you can go explore it burning up resources that might sustain 250,000,000 campesanos.

I Hope Therefore I Go Where No Man Has ...oh...wait.

It's an illusion, a chimera, to Hope for Change Le Plus. By accepting everything indifferently, just letting go, tremendous creativity is unleashed to be fully present in the Moment, at the edge of twilight, at the juncture between the Two Worlds.

Share Your Bananas. That's the only Rule.

Remember how 'The BRIC Miracle' was going to replace the PetroDollar? BRIC lost -$350B this week. Greece will default.
Ukraine will default. Argentina will default. Like dominoes.

Hope is Chains.

Posted by: Chipnik | Jun 1 2015 10:34 utc | 68

No extra info, sorry. You must be right, i did not dig on this.
Philippot is now calling to "whoever is a Republican" to support him. Very interesting, now that Sarkozy has trade marked the name "Republicans" by rebranding his party... Big new mess in French politics in the making. Not that I have any pity for them.

Posted by: Mina | Jun 1 2015 12:27 utc | 69

Interesting op-ed in the New York Times: "Israel’s Charade of Democracy"

Very much worth a read, and 100% true, though the 1% will dismiss it as an irrelevance and pillory the author as an anti-semite.

Posted by: Johnboy | Jun 1 2015 13:16 utc | 71

Hoarsewhisperer at 58 wrote: Identity Politics and Populism both play a huge part, imo.

I’d say more than before, and largely due to the internet. Marshall McLuhan’s big village.

To make it a tad caricatural, my ancient relatives generation was concerned with nation-building, political alternatives, war, fair economics, and so on. Today, I read about the tweets of Marion Maréchal-le Pen (Marine le Pen’s niece, who is in the Gvmt. A pretty young blondine.) She advertises herself by presenting a profile of an ‘identity’ that a certain section of the population can relate to, admire, would like to be friends with (using the sociology of Pierre Bourdieu, which began to emerge some time after WW2), the details are tiresome: she loves nature, goes on pilgrimages (one imagines just for an afternoon and a photo shoot), is wary of the muslim immigrant hordes, quotes snippets from long-dead nationalists (not de Gaulle), buys X brand of shoes, and so on. There are no politics here, only a feeble popularity contest. (At the same time, the pop and previously pol-neutral Eurovision contest has turned ‘political’ with the Russian entrant being booed …) Anyway France has sunk to the pits, this is just another sign. Sidebar: The National Front in France serves to gather the discontented (mostly poor / working class or whatever is left of it, in ‘regions’ that are disaffected) under an umbrella that the other two parties can bash to their heart’s content, that is another tale…

rufus at 60, I do appreciate your remarks, and agree with some, we are coming at this from different angles, picking up different aspects.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 1 2015 16:25 utc | 72

Britain dropped a terrorism case against a Swedish national who had went to SYria to fight with Al Nusra because.. they were supporting the same group.

Amazing but unsurprising

Posted by: Bill | Jun 1 2015 16:28 utc | 73

On Philippot: he is gay (rumored, plenty of scurrilous press about the boyfriend, has not come out publically) and is an admirer of de Gaulle. Note the FN in France did not enter - ever, publically - the sexual identity, gay marriage, (LGTB etc.) debates. (With some minor exceptions, and setting aside J.M. Le Pen in the past.)

FN supporters are more gay-friendly than the UMP (or now the Republicans care of Sarkozy..) the FN voters, adherents, sympathisers opinion on gay marriage is exactly the national average. The FN concentrates on nationalism, anti-exterior forces (EU, USA, etc.) and immigration bashing, refusing other ‘identity’ debates.

See for ex. Philippot here, vid. of MSM tv, in F. Gist of the message: The FN is not gay friendly, it is French friendly. Private lives are not to be bruited about.

The FN in the mouth of Phillipot has also refused to enter the abortion debate. He supports Simone Weil (right to abortion) and concentrates on “helping families as they are (alive..) today.” in F:

Both the Socialists and the UMP have milked the gay marriage issue to the bone (with some 70, 75% or more on each side pro (Socialists) / contra (UMP), pathetic really, and totally contrary to traditional roots and demographic composition), the FN has cleverly avoided it.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 1 2015 17:38 utc | 74

Noirette at 72 -- "From different angles" -- Not the first time that's happened.

As a student of history, I try to read past to present, in the hope of avoiding projecting the present onto the past while still drawing appropriate parallels.

We "exceptional" Americans have a hard time with the past (apart from our Cult of the Founders), which we think we've somehow escaped in moving European civilization further west. One of our biggest blow-offs: "That's ancient history." Mind you, it could as recent as 15 min. ago. As our pols like to say, "Mistakes we're made, but we're looking forward, not backwards."

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 1 2015 22:30 utc | 75

Bhagavan Chipnik at 68

How is "True" Enlightenment a different object of desire than the Space Elevator?

Isn’t Quietism (like concern over AGW) a luxury only well-to-do everywhere can really afford? Why change when you're on the top of the heap? And you will have even less disturbance of one's Nirvana if you get those potentially rebellious peons to accept their dukkha.

Post-modernism seems the preferred version of the academic intelligentsia. It's a Zen koan in and of itself, says it wants change, but can't prioritize any means; "Take the inter-subjectivity from my hand, Grasshopper." We'll save that for another time, though.

Buddhism seems to predominate amongst the artistic branch, though well-heeled techies often go in for it too. More traditional elements prefer canonically approved Christian variants. The real movers and shakers mostly work through these issues by just buying stuff.

Buddhist Quietism really did a bang-up job of change management in the Orient, why not transplant it here? The novelty helps disguise it, and you can pantomime (or kung-fu shadow-box) multi-cultural solidarity with the Eastern Colonies. No hope for change means no plan for change means no ability to take opportunities to change.

Wikipedia notes the similarities between Stoicism and Eastern philosophy. Stoics acknowledged evils in the world, but held the cure worst than the disease. The New Statesman had this to say on Stoicism. "The Logos determines every event, and there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s like the fascist police – we can either go along quietly, or kicking or screaming. Either way, we’re going with them." The author toys with Buddhism, but settles on an unorthodox Stoicism as more in tune with his cultural heritage.

Forward to a Universal, Multi-cultural, All-Weather Neo-Stoicism! Resistance is useless! Don't worry, be happy!

BTW, we in the West still fight over land, resources, women, etc. In our complex social structures, these occur at a higher level of abstraction. No longer the duels of the warriors, the raid on the neighboring village, or the ritualistic abductions of pre-modern societies, but in the board room, the lecture hall, and the singles bar. Concern over the environment is a signifier for many of a compatible mate. I'd cite your earlier post on this, but I can't immediately find it.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 2 2015 0:43 utc | 76

Russia Insider has a few items of interest today.

Lisa Marie White tells American liberasl, Everything You Think You Know About Russia Is Wrong

Unlike during the lead-up to the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, where the left took the lead in opposing the Bush administration’s reckless Middle East policy, American liberals have more or less given Obama a free hand in his dealings with Russia and the Evil Putin. Liberals opposed the Iraq War, and spent many an hour arguing with Bushies about the errors of his foreign policy. It just so happens that these individuals turned out to be right, but their insistence on facts, logic, and commitment to the truth have gone out the proverbial window when it comes to Russia and Ukraine.

She goes on to note that many of the instances of the "performance art" of Pussy Riot -- like their most noted stunted, their disruption of worship at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior -- would have resulted in their arrest most anywhere in the world.

How is walking into a church, interrupting a service, going into a sacred area of said church, dancing around like five-year-olds, and scaring a bunch of little old Russian ladies brave? Or a protest?...

And what exactly has the Russian Orthodox Church done to incur this ire? There have been no abuse cover-ups. There have been no sex scandals. There have been no Orthodox Christians with reality shows on TLC who pretend that their son isn’t molesting his sisters (and who maintain the support of prominent politicians). There was nothing”brave” or”heroic” about their performance, just like there was nothing brave or heroic about them throwing live stray cats at McDonald’s workers to “protest capitalism.” Personally I think they should have gone to jail for animal cruelty.

As she said, I'm irreligious myself, but "there is such a thing as freedom of religion, and people have a right to worship in peace.... Protesting in a cathedral that is charged with the weight of sad chapters in Russia’s history? Is that challenging the status quo, or being an insensitive brat?"

When folks in the West do civil disobedience, they get themselves arrested and march off to jail. They do the crime and handle the time.

Gilbert Doctorow discusses related issues in the context of German politics in The Tyranny of Values: How Western Political Correctness Is Poisoning Relations With Russia.

The issue of German political correctness is highly relevant to any discussion of the present East-West confrontation over Ukraine, because in practical terms the aforementioned articles of faith provide justification in German mainstream thinking for breaking with Moscow.... Such political correctness can ineluctably lead to a new world war.

Finally, here's the bottom line: Crunch Time for Ukraine: Kiev May See Its Foreign Assets Seized. It discusses recent legislation permitting a selective (read, "anti-Russian") default. "Final point is that ex-post application of the law, there will be no possibility for achieving any voluntary restructuring of debt as all negotiations will be terminated because Ukraine will be declared in a default."

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 2 2015 1:34 utc | 77

Jordan does feel the impact of the wars in neighbouring countries.

One way the rebels are financing the syrian war is to produce a drug that's sold in Jordan.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 2 2015 1:55 utc | 78

The Israëli government is getting more and more extreme. Stone throwers face up to 10 years in jail.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 2 2015 1:57 utc | 79

Turkey's prime minister Erdogan and his AKP party could face defeat in the next election next sunday.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 2 2015 2:01 utc | 80


when day turns to night and angels do take flight
when souls begin to burn let the brave stand firm
come let us join together
in a circle we shall stand
to bring the light
to shine upon the land

Is their a Thelemite in the house or a Duggar?

Posted by: Nana2007 | Jun 2 2015 2:30 utc | 81

Reading reports that Russia is "abandoning" Syria. Depressing if true.

Posted by: ruralito | Jun 2 2015 2:46 utc | 82

Thierry Meyssan

Western governments no longer hide the fact that they’re using jihadists - NATO overthrew Mouamar el-Kadhafi by using al-Qaïda as its its only ground forces; Israël displaced the UN Forces to Golan, and replaced them with al-Nosra; the international anti-Daesh Coalition allowed Palmyra to fall in order to cause more problems for Syria. But while we can understand Western interests, we fail to grasp why and how the jihadists can serve Uncle Sam in the name of the Coran.
on the intrepid Wesley Clarke.

Posted by: Nana2007 | Jun 2 2015 3:51 utc | 83

Wow, Russia abandoning Syria would be a major coup for the Obama admin

Posted by: DamascusFalling | Jun 2 2015 3:59 utc | 84


Marion Marechal Le Pen is not in the government, but in the parliament.
Philippot was photographed with his boyfriend. It was published in some people magazine
FN is definitely less gay friendly than UMP. Many UMP MPs (BTW, UMP has been rebranded "Les Républicains" last week, coz as u know we in France are only one inch behind the US in almost everything but the food by now) have publicly declared their homosexuality while Philippot is certainly the exception in FN (he didn't make any outing but everybody knows). The FN has currents (see Bompard and acolytes and before them Megret and co) and if Marine Le Pen/Philippot want to reach power surfing on the positive image they have among the youth (something unheard of under the father le pen's reign), they still don't know what to do to keep the old guard.

Posted by: Mina | Jun 2 2015 4:54 utc | 85

@84, premature. Ynetnews in full gloat mode is quoting Asharg Al-awsat who carry Saudi water.

Posted by: ruralito | Jun 2 2015 6:09 utc | 86

#81 nana2007.......

no thelma,s or duggars.......i used to have the prayer printed on a business card and hand it out to people..every now and then i would come across a person i had given one.they would all say how comforting they found the words when they were going through a rough time in there lives.....i initially dedicated it to those killed in the 2002 bali bombing.

Posted by: mcohen | Jun 2 2015 7:32 utc | 87

Bye, bye Sepp Blatter ... he's a goner!

Posted by: Oui | Jun 2 2015 16:54 utc | 88

let the americans dominate a sport they don't understand

Posted by: Jay M | Jun 3 2015 1:22 utc | 89

Blatter's resignation also covered by RT

He was threatened with prosecution by US authorities. It's just what one would expect from a security surveillance state, hegemonic bully. Democracy deterred. The pipsqueak states need not bother voting.

Posted by: Copeland | Jun 3 2015 5:03 utc | 90

This is interesting -- Washington is solving its Saakashvili problem (Georgia wants his extradition) at Kiev's expense. Putting him on trial in Tblisi would expose that DC supported a corrupt, murderous, and incompetent hack for a decade, costing Georgia dearly in life, treasure, and territoy. That's Why Washington exiled Saakashvili to Odessa.

But if you send Saakashvili as adviser to Ukraine, then all costs of the relationship with official Tbilisi fall on the authorities in Kiev, and Washington can honestly explain to the indignant Georgians that Poroshenko is such an independent President that completely ignores not only the demands of Tbilisi, but also the requests of the United States....

The only thing that Saakashvili can do in Odessa is further destabilize the region, which already gives Kiev serious concerns.

But, unlike the people of Igor Kolomoisky, who controlled Odessa so far and ensured relative peace and stability in the interests of the oligarch (who needed a safely operating port of Odessa, as the export window for his enterprises of Dnepropetrovsk), Saakashvili will not interfere with the preparations for aggression against Transnistria. On the contrary, will bust his forehead, trying to ignite another war front....

USA doesn't care about what will happen to Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk, Turchynov, the local Nazis and actually to Saakashvili, who will not have such favorable conditions for a flight, as in his time in Georgia. From the point of view of Washington, it is the same geopolitical disposable material, as tens of thousands killed during the civil war in Ukraine, hundreds of thousands killed in Syria, and millions of refugees. And as those who are yet to die or become refugees.

After reading about Ukrainian diplomats cleaning the streets of Rome I couldn't help but wonder -- do they do windows, too?

Wheat-pasting tip, comrades -- note the bubbles in the poster. Their team did a poor job of smoothing it out, making it easier to scrape off. To be fair, though, it's a big poster. Soggy with the paste, it would be hard to get up.

Since this form of free advertizing is illegal in many jurisdictions (telephone and light polls are private property) wheat-pasting counts as direct action.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 3 2015 5:22 utc | 91

Obama gave an interview to "The Atlantic". It seems the White House is aware that Iraq (as we knew it in the last say 95 years) is definitely "dead & gone".

And I presume that ISIS conquering Ramadi was the proverbial "last straw that broke the camel's back".

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 3 2015 6:25 utc | 92

Local Russian media from Pskov have no doubts that regular Russian army is fighting in Ukraine, criticizing the recent law that makes any information about army losses a state secret.

If we needed evidence of direct involvement of Russian Armed Forces in military conflict in Ukraine and evidence of its losses, this evidence is now printed on paper, and was presented by the President himself. (...) We started a real war in Ukraine, where brother kills brother. Where there's Russian troops in Ukraine, there's war. Where there's no Russian troops, there's peace. And all attempts to classify the killed soldiers as "being on leave", burned tank crews - "volunteers" and wounded commandos - "mercenaries" are not only stupid but also criminal, and from moral point of view - beyond human dignity.

Posted by: Alex | Jun 3 2015 7:23 utc | 93

mina at 85, you are right, M M-le Pen, a member of parliament, i used the word Gvmt too loosely. I propose not to argue about who is more gay-friendly or not..

MH 17 shot down by jet(s), as I said right from the start. Sure this ‘evidence’ is only something on the internets..

Interestingly, part of this matches up with what Kolomoisky said, that they shot the wrong plane, I always thought he was sincere when he said that, but also thought he might be mistaken (was told it in any case.) eng subs.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 3 2015 15:05 utc | 94

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter:

"Shiites lack the will to fight ISIS".

This something Mitchell Prothero & Patrick Cockburn have said in the past.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 3 2015 20:03 utc | 95

"Wow, Russia abandoning Syria would be a major coup for the Obama admin"

The Obama Admin is limited to successful coups only in small, poor Honduras. Everyplace else, they turn into civil wars or other permutations of "outright disaster".

It isn't going to happen. Russia won't abandon Syria. China won't give up in the South China Sea. Vietnam is not going to suddenly decide to let the country that murdered 4 million of its people well within living memory park the USS Ronald Reagan in Cam Rahn Bay.

Keep on dreaming, but keep it to yourself. Perhaps you deserve points for eternal optimism but you sure don't for being able to analyze reality.

Posted by: guest77 | Jun 3 2015 23:50 utc | 96

Breaking news -- See the materials at Fort Russ on heavy fighting in the Donbas, particularly at Maryinka. See Anticipation of a Lost War in particular. I think the scorpion just stung the frog. It does rather seem to be in the nature of the Banderist beast, though DC is bound to be disappointed. Assuming Kerry's recent round of kissy-face at Sochi wasn't just PR. Official reaction will be telling.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 4 2015 0:12 utc | 97

Further to 97 -- "Anticipation" gave useful background, this piece by Aleksandr Zhuchkovskiy on Maryinka (originally posted on Strelkov's Facebook) provides current details. It reports heavy losses on the Banderist side.

Translator J. Hawk presents three scenarios -- retreat by the NAF, opposed by frontline troops; a battle of attrition leading to a general escalation along the line; and what seems to be suggested as most likely, a withdrawal by the UAF. Though opposed by its frontline soldiers and an embarrassment for the junta, "Poroshenko has what he needs already, namely another example of Russian aggression.... Moreover, it's not as if Ukraine can afford another round of large-scale fighting."

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 4 2015 2:34 utc | 98

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Posted by: musliamzon | Jun 4 2015 3:59 utc | 99

The Kyiv Post kindly provides a a link to the transcript of the 3 June State Dept. briefing. A few highlights on the Ukraine. Let's take it straight from the horse, shall we? Pull up your wellies, mates, it gets deep.

MS. HARF: Russia bears direct responsibility for preventing these attacks and implementing a ceasefire. Any attempts to seize additional Ukrainian territory will be met with increased costs....

QUESTION: This terminology, “combined Russian-separatist forces,” I think was introduced here a few weeks ago --

MS HARF: Mm-hmm, it was.

QUESTION: -- in a statement. Could you explain that a little more? It seems to me that what you’re referring to are – they’re Russian conventional military forces with separatist forces, but actual Russian troops? Or what do you mean by “combined Russian-separatist forces”? Are they under Russian command and control? Are they regular Russian army troops?Do you have any numbers as to --

MS HARF: As to how many?

QUESTION: -- how many personnel are involved in this --

MS HARF: Numbers are --

QUESTION: -- what sort of asset – weapons systems they have?

MS HARF: Yeah. Numbers are a little hard to come by on this.... [Harf then launches into a convoluted set of assertions about joint training operations, command and control centers, and anti-aircraft systems in Eastern Ukraine, and alleges the Federation is taking steps "to mask what they’re doing...." We of course operate with complete transparency and always in full accord with international laws and norms.]

QUESTION: Just two quick clarifications.

MS HARF: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: Are they under Russian command and control? That seems to be what you’re asserting.

MS HARF: Well, no, I said the Russian-separatist forces are jointly operating command and control equipment together in eastern Ukraine.

QUESTION: And these are Russian army troops?

MS HARF: I don’t know if it’s army. I’m happy to check on specifics. But we’ve said Russian troops, yes.

QUESTION: Yes, thank you. Ukraine. Last week, your colleague here at the briefing said that Ukraine’s rebel forces are responsible for, quote, “the overwhelming number of violations of the Minsk agreements.” I’m looking at the OSCE daily reports for the last two months – daily reports of violations – and here’s what they show: Ceasefire violations – in nine of their reports, it appears that Donetsk and Lugansk forces were – have violated the ceasefire. In eight of their reports, it appears that the Ukrainian Government has violated the ceasefire. In nine of the reports, it was not clear who violated that ceasefire. Now, withdrawal of heavy weapons: rebel forces, 33 reports of violations; government forces, 35 reports of violations. This is hardly a vast majority behind --

MS HARF: I haven’t seen --

QUESTION: A question.

MS HARF: Go ahead.

QUESTION: Where do you – and I mean the State Department – get the information that the rebel forces are responsible for the vast majority of violations?

MS HARF: From a variety of sources, including the OSCE. So I’m happy to take a look at what you’ve quoted specifically and look at the numbers underlying that....

QUESTION: The daily reports – their daily reports do not show an overwhelming majority.

MS HARF: I think our experts who look at them say something different, so let me go back to our team. But everything we’re getting from the OSCE and other sources of information indicates that a vast majority, as my colleague said, are from the Russian separatist combined forces. So we can go through the numbers, and I’m happy to do that, but again – I would also mention that the Russian separatist forces are preventing OSCE access in many places and they’re not letting them in to see what’s actually going on.

QUESTION: A simple question: Do you acknowledge that the Ukrainian Government too is violating the Minsk agreements?

MS HARF: Well, I think by saying a vast majority are the Russian separatist forces, that would then indicate --


MS HARF: -- that a small, a very small minority are on the other side. But let’s also remember here --

QUESTION: That is not clear from the OSCE daily report.

MS HARF: I just told you I would look at them, and we can get into a numbers game here and see what numbers you’re using and what other experts, including our team, says....

QUESTION: But that was not my question. Can I – it’s a simple yes or no question.

MS HARF: I think I just answered your question.

QUESTION: Do you acknowledge that the Ukrainian Government too is violating the Minsk agreements? Yes or no.

MS HARF: I think I just – I think I – we don’t do yes or no’s here.... I’m going to answer the question in the way I think is appropriate, and I just did. And I’m going to move on now.

QUESTION: Which is not answering....

QUESTION: Just one question about Ukraine – short question. Are you aware of any shellings of Donetsk today or yesterday?

MS HARF: Well, I don’t know if you were here right at the top when I said that the Russian separatist forces launched coordinated attacks overnight against Ukrainian positions near Donetsk city and a couple other cities very close by.

QUESTION: Yes, but I’m talking about shelling by Ukrainian forces.

MS HARF: I’m not aware. I’m happy to check with our team.

Like a picture, an non-answer answer can speak a thousand words. Kyiv is touting American support. Washington seems totally cool with Poroshenko's renewed war, as long as it point the blame at Moscow but not provide any real evidence for it's accusations. "Our experts" are creating an alternate reality, based on denying some very simple realities. Same as it ever was....

So I'm thinking Kerry's performance at Sochi was a load of cow patties. We keep at our proxy war in the Ukraine, will double down in Iraq (again), keep at in Syria in concert with our "moderate jihadis," and add gunboat diplomacy in the So. China Sea.

Say what you will about Oceania, Big Brother stopped the war with Eurasia before attacking East Asia. War is Peace. Ignorance is Strength. Feelin' stronger every day....

Posted by: rufus magister | Jun 4 2015 5:11 utc | 100

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