Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 12, 2015

Open Thread 2015-31

News & views ...

Posted by b on August 12, 2015 at 18:16 UTC | Permalink


The decision to file charges against journalists stemming from the Ferguson protests last year should be considered alongside the tendency of the current GOP candidates to praise Egyptian military leader Sisi - the man who has pressed terrorism charges against journalists in his country. The network of repression, and effusive support for repression in defiance of longstanding rights and principles, continues to gather momentum amongst certain sectors.

Posted by: jayc | Aug 12 2015 18:45 utc | 1

Putin's peace initiative may be producing results. In this article in Al Monitor, a Lebanese journalist found the number of military checkpoints from the Lebanese border to Damascus had been reduced. A Syrian official told him that their army had met significantly less resistance in that area -- an indication that that the Saudis had reduced or withdrawn their support.

Posted by: LZA | Aug 12 2015 19:14 utc | 2


I'm not sure what your point is Jay, the SL Prosecutor pursuing the charges against the journalists is a Democrat as are Obama and Kerry who are supplying arms and support to the dictator al-Sisi. The Repugs may also support al-Sisi but that just shows how little difference there is between the two faces of the Uniparty.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 12 2015 19:21 utc | 3

ECB's economic hitmen

Posted by: nmb | Aug 12 2015 19:29 utc | 4

Possible resumption of major ground fighting?

The Ukraine's major threat escalation

Breaking News: Donetsk under massive UAF bombardment

As usual, Western media already blaming Russia & People's Republics

It may be that the next phase of the US's "fight Russia to the last drop of Ukrainian blood" offensive is imminent.

Ominous developments coming after warnings of "dirty bomb" false flag noted here not long ago...

Posted by: Vintage Red | Aug 12 2015 20:25 utc | 5

Good to see this -- ISIS in Afghanistan: Proxy War Against Iran and China -- in Counterpunch. My guess is that, after recent efforts by the Afghan and Pakistan governments (Pakistan prodded by China) to compromise and make peace with the Taliban, massive Saudi money has entered in and funded dissident Taliban factions and, of course, ISIS. This video -- Taliban condemns ‘irresponsible, ignorant’ ISIS for graphic execution of Afghan prisoners -- is part of what is happening. And, as always with Saudi backed charlatans/fanatics, there's always the holier than thou pretense justifying anything:

The brutal video, which reveals the Afghan prisoners – including white-bearded community elders – kneeling over explosives that IS has dug into the ground, comes with a message in Arabic and Pashto which brands “apostates” the captives, who were caught during a battle in the region between IS, Taliban and Afghan government forces. The grotesque explosion then takes place.

Sometimes I wonder "if Americans only knew" about the cruel savages that their government backs with their tax dollars, what they would do. Watch football is my guess but still I wonder.

Posted by: fairleft | Aug 12 2015 21:57 utc | 6

massive explosion in tianjin... think i remember there has been trouble and quarrels in relation to some gas pipelines or lng ports? anyone got some hints?

Posted by: radiator | Aug 12 2015 21:58 utc | 7

ok that was kashgar, sorry...

Posted by: radiator | Aug 12 2015 22:59 utc | 8

@6 fairleft.

My guess is that if close enough to occasionally allowed on the internet, evidence US terrorism - by itself, or it's proxies or state puppets - most of the people still wouldn't give a shit, or even justify it to themselves somehow.
Porn, sport, infotainment and video games etc, are too much a fine distraction for those that reject moral, ethical and political responsibilities/principles. Then you've got political partisanship problem, which quite easily turns to the self admitted evil of support for 'lesser evil-ism.' Like we see with Obama, Western supporters of Putin etc.
Or on the far Right side, it would mostly be confirmation of the glorious bloody righteousness that the white (savages) inflict on those coloured "savages", as they see it.

But If part of a wide spread coverage across some media on a constant basis, only then will the slow realisation, and then possibly change will happen.

It's important to show the audio and visual anguish of human suffering for that change to happen. Just seeing inanimate dead bodies like we rarely see on the MS news, does not provide the animation of life to get full effect of that spark of life being eliminated or taken away. It's why when we see a drone or bomb going off in the news against ISIS or whomever the latest self crated enemy is, there is never any life - human or animal - in those videos. Any hint of the horror of war is carefully removed because it's understood by the empire, leaders and the mass media to not show the barbarity of war and their leaders. For that way change lies.

The Mavi Marmara only got the attention because of those innocence murdered by Israeli State Terrorists. Compare that coverage with of all the freedom flotillas combined, and the Mavi Marmara got the most media attention by far because of those murders.
Another example is the The Vietnam genocidal war by the US, was a real lesson for never again showing the violence of war.

The evidence has to be real and constant. The 'memory hole' of really painful to watch horrors, is also a big problem. If we don't address that going forward, hundreds or even thousands of year into the future ( If humanity lasts that long) what will keep the horror show from keep repeating itself ?

Posted by: tom | Aug 12 2015 23:51 utc | 9


I read it was Military explosives or armament of some kind.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 13 2015 0:12 utc | 10

Interesting posts. I think I agree most with Tom. I would have said it differently. I not only don't think Americans care about what is happening, but they prefer not to know.

The whole pile of dung about our 'goodness' we were fed from the moment of conception is really just a rationale for colonialism and capitalist exploitation. That is not going to change ... we have it in our DNA ... the wars during the 'Age of Exploration' (which should rightly be called the 'Age of initial Exploitation') continues today unabated. We are a rapacious, cruel, self-centered lot. Our government is NOT out of control --- what has evolved is exactly what we want. I've said it before, I will say it again: Americans are complicit in the actions of our government. Even when something seems good and noble, reality suggests that it is blatant self-interest that governs.

I'd get depressed, but I take meds to keep the depression at bay. For, you see, I too am complicit. The difference between you and I? I know I am, and am not in denial.

Posted by: Rg an LG | Aug 13 2015 3:08 utc | 11

Dilma Roussef is a spent force in Brasil. Lula has to go out on his own and defend himself, Roussef should change her name to Yanukovich she seems about to fold under the constant pressure. Maduro is STILL holding on to power but life in Venezuela is a hellhole because of constant shortages. There is money to spend but there is NOTHING to buy, their is no toilet paper, no cleaining items, it's always the same. When the Powers that be want to destroy you, first they make sure you run out of soap and chicken. The economic war in Venezuela is REAL, once Maduro and his people are gone, EVERYTHING will reappear once again as if by magic. The other thing with Venezuela is that the USA has flipped Cuba, so the American Axis of Evil is unraveling. Brasil is down for the count, Ecuador is isolated, Colombia is menacing Caracas western flank now that the FARC rebels are being subdued. On Caracas eastern flank British Guyana is also being used as Washington's catspaw. Black and yellow gold are plentifully available in the former colony, now the USA want's it, why? China just devalued it's currency and it's spooked the Gringos. So the gringos want to shore up their currency with GOLD. Therefore expect more American shennanigans in the continent. The Dominican Republic, Haiti, PR and Cuba (next) are in the eye of the storm, the rich lush jungles and mineral reserves are being plundered by Multi-nationals. It's sickening to see what is going on. Land of the Free? My ASS.....

Posted by: Fernando | Aug 13 2015 3:25 utc | 12

Re #12 .....
the spent force is US empire. While there are plenty of problems in Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador etc the tide has totally changed. Overall there has been dramatic improvement in the standard of living and level of independence in all these countries.

Posted by: rick | Aug 13 2015 4:49 utc | 13

5 part interview with Thomas Drake, NSA insider, from TRNN. Worth a listen.

Posted by: ben | Aug 13 2015 5:00 utc | 14

Wednesday : ‘Committed to dialogue’, Bern removes Iran sanctions

The Swiss Federal Council said in a Wednesday statement that the decision would take effect on Thursday.

“Today's decision by the Federal Council underlines its support for the ongoing process to implement the nuclear agreement, and its confidence in the constructive intentions of the negotiating parties,” read the statement. “This agreement opens up new political and economic prospects with Iran, including bilateral relations.”

It added that the sanctions had been suspended since January 2014.

As the protecting power for the United States with no embassy in Tehran, Switzerland “has always been committed to dialogue and to keeping communication channels open,” it said.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), reached between Tehran and the P5+1 - the US, Britain, Russia, China, France, and Germany - in Vienna on July 14, “lays the foundation for complete settlement of the nuclear dispute,” the statement said.

The Swiss bans were related to transactions of precious metals, petrochemicals, crude oil and petroleum, insurance and reinsurance, as well as obligations in relation to money transfers.

Bern also removed sanctions against eight Iranian persons and organizations.

Thursday : US warns Swiss companies about Iran sanctions

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Wednesday that US sanctions against Iran will remain in place until the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verifies the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

His remarks came after the Swiss government announced that it’s going to lift sanctions against Iran on Thursday.

Will (Have) the Swiss blow(n) holes in the US' cheesey attempt to whip them into line?

Posted by: jfl | Aug 13 2015 7:03 utc | 15

Any Jewish person who comes out in support of an enemy of the
of Israel is a traitor to not only Israel but the Jewish people.

Posted by: mcohen | Aug 13 2015 7:34 utc | 16

Good takes and I generally agree with @9 and @11.

Wanted to add, relevant to me @6, is that it's clear I was too optimistic, hopefully only for the short run, about the pacifying effect on the Afghanistan/Pakistan violence of China's big move to create an energy/economic corridor through Pakistan to Iran.

Of course, China knew it would face resistance, from the usual suspects (Saudi and the US). But it has the plan that's best for the people of the region and itself, and I think it also has the medium-term steadiness, will, and willingness to outpay the US/KSA so the mercenaries and savages die, leave or cool it.

But not in the short run. It sucks for Afghans in the short run. KSA and the US are not on the side of history or geo-economic logic, but they don't know that and are doing a lot of killing in the meanwhile.

Posted by: fairleft | Aug 13 2015 7:36 utc | 17


The best touch-stone for 2016 and the looming Great Unwinding of sovereign economies and private savings nee debt, comes from a top Pentagon General, who has advised those under his command:

"See something, say NOTHING!"

Or as I like to tell those in my social sphere, "What you're about to see in 2016 will make you want to gouge your eyes out."

Basically saying the same thing. There is nobody to 'tell' to; and anyone you do talk about, any inside humint you reveal, will paint a swastika on the backs of those you're near and dear to.

The Great Game is afoot in 2016.

They are watching close, you can see their glowing eyes in the gathering twilight, ready to raven and devour all you hold dear.

Posted by: Chipnik | Aug 13 2015 8:02 utc | 18


Israel is not a Jewish state, and is not a Supreme Power, no matter much Netanyahu and his fellow 'white Israeli' former Soviet immigrants embrace the Brezhnev Doctrine. They are on the wrong side of history, a rabid fascist Likudnikim that only 24% of Israelis voted for, and you know that. The 300% majority of Israeli citizens, and 7/8ths of American Jews, wish Bibi would clot out and die like Sharon.

I was willing to live and let live, until Netanyahu bitch-slapped US Congress into continued sanctions against Russia, costing American businesses $10Bs in trade losses, then I read in Haaretz that Bibi immediately flew back to Tel Aviv to inaugurate the New Special Free Trade Zone ... with Russia!

To paraphrase Die Antwort, 'Die, motherfucker, die!"

Posted by: Chipnik | Aug 13 2015 8:15 utc | 19


No way......netanyahu is the right man for the job.and it is..... Die antwoord

There are over a million russians in that is a future policy...for russians....

This is not about netanyahu or is about america and it,s standing in the middle relation to china.

The board has changed from black vs green vs red

If i were iranian i would consider moving to iceland

You get it,you got it,do not doubt it.

Posted by: mcohen | Aug 13 2015 9:00 utc | 20

The Likudniks are a kind of fascist (actually, I think comparisons to S. African apartheid are most apt), but the anti-Semitism in these discussions has to stop. It links the far-right right with the outer fringes of the left: the essence of Nazism. (It incorporated the left, though it doesn't follow from that that Nazism was left-wing. It was ultimately rightist.)

Everyone who yells about "Zionists" controlling everything is a useful idiot. To illustrate your stupidity, I'll point to Hilter. He blamed the Jews for destroying Germany after WWI. Yet it was the WASPs. Just look at the Dawes plan: orchestrated by WASP banks like JP Morgan. Same with the Young Plan. No wonder the Nazis could count on New York's WASP establishment for support.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 13 2015 10:06 utc | 21


"Then you've got political partisanship problem, which quite easily turns to the self admitted evil of support for 'lesser evil-ism.' Like we see with Obama, Western supporters of Putin etc."

Good point. Look at how the far-left rightfully points out the suppressed fascist reality of the Kiev junta, yet says nothing about the fascist strains in the east, with comingling DNA from the Russian National Unity party, the National Bolsheviks, and the postmodern Eurasian Imperialists. Operatives from all are embedded in the breakaway republics and backed by Putin under the aegis of the bottomlessly cynical Yukov's non-linear war.

Still, there's some truth to saying politics is no longer at all about principle. It's about least bad options. I'll never let myself back Putin, but I will root for a Clinton over a Bush, bc there's a difference. And if you don't have the stomach for that, go into internal exile.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 13 2015 10:35 utc | 22

21 spot on

Americans are still fixated with the russian/commie thing.....the moon race,cuba,detente...they seem to have lost focus on rising chinese power....american jews must tread the situation in israel carefully and understand what is on offer from think that china would not try to influence israeli politics is blind.

In 10 years time the bar mitzvah boy that is china will have muscle.

Take africa for example

Obama finally made it to ethiopia...the first president to do so...short sightedness on america,s behalf but never to late for "roots and boots" why else would they elect him.

Chinese shipping needs to have the suez canal widened....they just do it ...chop chop

They need to have shipping lanes open...regime change along its routes are not a problem.....chop chop

American jews need to understand the iran deal through the eyes of the chinese leadership...and understand what netanyahu is telling them


Posted by: mcohen | Aug 13 2015 10:35 utc | 23


I think we're misunderstanding each other because I don't agree w you at all and suspect you're an anti-Semite.

I won't bother sorting through your drivel except to say that Obama's visit to Ethiopia is nothing to be hailed. He called the country, I believe twice, a democracy even though it's a North Korea-style tinpot totalitarian holding company. His statements forced the State Department into all sorts of calisthenics to explain how a democracy could ever vote 99% in favor of reelecting its leader; and showed how American support for "human rights" amounts to less than zero when even the most ancillary naked common interest - in Ethiopia's case, its opposition to the kind of Somali Islamism the U.S. supports when it's Syrian - is at stake.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 13 2015 10:49 utc | 24

Anonymous @24: Why wouldn't a reasonable person document his/her extremely serious "anti-semitism" allegations with specific quotes of posts/people here? Don't be a troll, let's see some evidence.

Posted by: fairleft | Aug 13 2015 11:40 utc | 25

US vs China in Djibouti

The tiny country of Djibouti, sitting at the strategically critical entrance from the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea, is quickly turning into the latest confrontation between the USA and China in Africa.

Djibouti, home to the only US permanent military presence in Africa, has recently notified the American military that they have to vacate Obock, a small secondary base which will see the installation of some 10,000 Chinese troops in their place.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 13 2015 12:32 utc | 26

Thank you for the Pinter link. Something most definitely happened.

Posted by: IhaveLittleToAdd | Aug 13 2015 13:03 utc | 27

Somewhat related to our topics. Reuters reported that during a joint press conference of foreign ministers of Russia and Saudi Arabia, Russian minister, Lavrov, murmured "f....g morons" into the microphone.

I was really curious how he could do it, given my somewhat limited knowledge of Russian and decent knowledge of Polish. Polish invectives and deprecating words are often identical or parallel to Russian, and such a phrase just does not exist, but one can always learn something new. Russian-language site of Reuters informs that the offending word was "debili", and somewhere I have seen that the full phrase was "debili, blad'", but it is debatable and debated. The first word can be accurately translated as "morons", but the second, "whore", is not used as compounding the first, but here it functions as "oh, Christ". Basically, an annoyed Pole or a Russian kind of speckles the speech with "kurwa" in Polish and "blad''" in Russian with no extra meaning. That said, there is a fine gradation of words describing stupid people, and "debil" is definitely stronger than "idiot".

For a time being, speculations that Russian are ready to throw Assad under a bus, or contrary, Saudis are prepared to cooperate with him, have to be put to rest.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 13 2015 15:31 utc | 28

mcohen 23

*They need to have shipping lanes open...regime change along its routes are not a problem.....chop chop* [sic]

i suggest u check out moa's archive, lots of info on how china's legit investments were sabotaged and chinese booted out by the tens of thousands, courtesy of the unitedsnake. from afpak, myanmar, sri lanka to sudan, libya, ......

otoh, i think u'r just being willfully obtuse.

Posted by: denk | Aug 13 2015 15:35 utc | 29


The Chinese Capitalists depend on the fact that whomever is in power in a target market they can be bought, with US dollars, or at least rented to further their penetration and resource extraction.

China is the largest supplier of UN Peacekeeping forces so this new military base will be sold as a necessary staging and logistics operation to service that force whatever its actual purpose is.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 13 2015 15:50 utc | 30

wow 30


u can be damned sure if chinese troops ever enter djibouti, it wont be there
to colonise the country or stage a regime change like the snake.

Posted by: denk | Aug 13 2015 16:15 utc | 31

Russia's looking very weak and pathetic over the whole Syrian affair

Posted by: aaaaa | Aug 13 2015 16:41 utc | 32

Rg an LG @11

This is just blame the victim nonsense. Ordinary Americans are NOT complicit. They have little actual say and are made confused and docile by propaganda.

See: Princeton Experts Say US No Longer a Democracy

Asking "[w]ho really rules?" researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades America's political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.

Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.

The study only covered 1981-2002. If anything, the oligarchy has strengthened after that time period.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 13 2015 16:52 utc | 33

jfl, about Swiss (CH) Iran sanctions. Here everybody acted as if they were lifted, it was a done deal - since 2 months or more.

The Federal Council announced it just now. Remember, CH is not keen on sanctions of any kind. Including in the past, say, re. South Africa, which many ppl castigate it bitterly for, they have not forgotten! CH was on the side of the white dominators - very TRUE, no question.

CH also didn’t apply sanctions against Russia - except the visa stuff for ‘forbidden persons list’, as is a signatory of the Dublin and Schengen EU accords and is thus obliged to apply these dispositions.

Once more a stifled, hidden, diplomatic storm between France and CH arose, because the president of the Russian Douma, Sergueï Narychkine, who is on the verboten list, travelled twice (once according to some articles. I’m not sure, but the once was reported massively) to F - F does NOT enforce the *entry denied, no visa*, sanctions.

CH, having invited him way back, had to grovel and apologise, saying he couldn’t come, so sad. An apology (I heard so .. ?) was sent to Putin.

One article, *MSM*! - it is publically admitted - Le Monde, details the fact he is on the verboten list and visited Paris. In French.

R’s sanctions > the EU don’t apply to CH. CH has no trade restrictions with R. (There are some vague tarifs etc.) Trade between CH and R is blooming.

So Iran it is forward march, and CH is just the first to come out in public.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 13 2015 17:07 utc | 34

Jackrabbit @ 33 says:

They have little actual say and are made confused and docile by propaganda

so what you're saying, euphemistically, is that they're ignorant and lazy, which i suppose would explain why they're also fat and getting fatter.

Posted by: john | Aug 13 2015 17:45 utc | 35


You should read the new Chinese Military Strategy White-Paper released in May, it's an eye-opener and spells out their plans to counter the US especially with their growing Blue Water Navy.

They are clear about their plans as a rising Capitalist Power and a part of the NWO to project their military power outside China and protect their critical economic interests. I don't think they are as foolish as the US about overthrowing governments but they may find it advantageous to defend client governments from US interference.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 13 2015 18:02 utc | 36

Anonymous @21 cites Wasp J P Morgan's actions as proof that Jews aren't responsible for everything. Not a happy choice. It turned out after Morgan's death that he was never the independent force he seemed. He was an agent of the Rothschilds. It is of course true that not every bird-dropping on someone's shirt has some Jew behind it. There are also other criminal tribes, such as those in India who go greased up and lightly clad at night to commit burglaries and slip out of harm's way. But there has never been a force so deliberately and unrelentingly destructive of elementary humanity as the pack of Jews. Some Jews such as Gilad Atzmon come close at times to telling the whole truth about their tribe, and Brother Nathanael Kapner - at great moral expense - actually manages to do it. Anonymous @21, do check out Brother Nat. He's not infallible, though he generally knows what he's talking about, much of which goyim have no direct access to. And he holds nothing back.

Posted by: sarz | Aug 13 2015 18:13 utc | 37

@37 sarz.. apparently anon isn't aware of those morgan connections.. probably never read the creature from jekyll island either, lol..

Posted by: james | Aug 13 2015 19:28 utc | 38

I don't understand how the Greeks can vote on the third bailout without having info regarding the promised debt restructuring/re-profiling.

The IMF has backed away. Their involvement seems to be more consultative. They say that they will be involved later but the full bailout is coming from Europe's ESM and Greek privatizations - so their future role is very doubtful. German's claim that IMF involvement is politically necessary BUT disagree with the IMF on the form and degree of debt relief!! If the IMF 'goes away', Greece faces drip..drip..drip debt relief - essentially debt peonage because they are unlikely to ever grow out of the debt.

I read somewhere last week that the Germans wanted to extend maturities by only 5-years (the IMF says a minimum of 30-years is needed). But today, I read in the Guardian that Europe was proposing some kind of 're-profiling as necessary' (my term, not their's).


At the same time, many on the left (including Greek Left Platform leaders) seem to think that debt re-profiling is meaningless because "the interest rate on the debt is already low". This is nonsense.

What matters is what interest rate Greece would pay if it refinanced the debt. As a non-program country, Greek refinancing rates would be MUCH higher than they are now (about 1.5%). One estimate is 6% (similar to what Italy pays for long-term debt on the open market). Note: Greece might pay an even higher rate after a GRexit.

A quick calculation show the value that a 30-year extension could provide to Greece:

300bn Euro x (6% - 1.5%)/yr * 30 years = 405bn Euro

I'd estimate that, after discounting cash flows for the time value of money, the value of this re-profiling would be at least half of that amount (> 200bn Euros).

That would be a substantial gain for Greece and explains why Tsipras seized the opportunity to negotiate a new, comprehensive deal. But Greece has little ability, on its own, to force Europe/EG (led by Schauble) to deliver on the IMF's 30-year minimum.


Perhaps, it is better politically to agree to the third bailout and then balk if the debt relief is not what is expected, rather than refuse to agree until the debt relief package is fully specified?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 13 2015 19:37 utc | 39


A ..,what?

That Nettie is telling them he's a paranoid schizophrenic war criminal, and his New Israeli Free Trade Zone with his Russian Askenazi pals is being used to covertly ship Israeli arms through Northern Europe ports to destabilize MENA, because war profiteering is 'just good business, get over it'??

A? Fascist Bidnez.

Let's see how far your feckless Chinese pals get with their Nicaraguan Canal. You're in thrall to the mythos of Bidnez, when the only Bidnez Bibi is selling is Genocide Condos for his New Russian Immigrant pals, and any other EU Jews he can rattle out of the Burning bush to save his failedJewish (sic) state.

24% is not a mandate. 24% is an oligarchy.

Posted by: Chipnik | Aug 13 2015 19:38 utc | 40

Anon #24.

You think what....hope your hairy canary catches fire...

Posted by: mcohen | Aug 13 2015 20:54 utc | 41

A ......forgot what i was going to say,on the tip of my tongue

Ah saw ah saw now i remember

First week in week june 2011-2015

Posted by: mcohen | Aug 13 2015 21:01 utc | 42

first week in june

solly long links aah saw

4 years and the wheel turns

for whom does the wheel turn ?

does a bear shit in the woods,does a turkey fly,does a camel hump...who knows

15 the september

Posted by: mcohen | Aug 13 2015 21:26 utc | 43

denk 31..............

Posted by: mcohen | Aug 13 2015 21:57 utc | 44

I recently found a paper online which is a white paper by an Israeli think tank entitled "State Cyber Advocacy".

It's pretty interesting for those who are interested in how the internet and social media are being used in propaganda efforts today.

I found this an interesting admission as well:

governments need to adapt to the fact that a state can no longer control information by controlling the mass media, instead it needs to influence and coordinate multiple networks of information.

Of course we always knew that governments kept strangleholds over their mass media, but you don't often see it said in so many words. This paper is the blue print for waging social media campaigns now that governments can no longer simply rely on the fact that the citizens had no one to turn to except for (state or private) mass media belching out the same familiar talking points.

Anyway, its a very interesting read I feel. I am convinced that social media has made people more, not less, pliable. And this spells out the avenues of attack. It gives a description of such "social media control rooms" where items are identified to "prmote or react to". It even contains a case study of Israeli social media efforts during the vicious assault on Gaza, "Cast Lead".

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 13 2015 23:56 utc | 45

Guest 77 #44

What are you saying.....that I am a think tank Israeli one

Vdo the insert media jive

Several months ago i did a small experiment.....i posted on a forum the following....."kill all arabs in east Jerusalem"

Within 45 minutes my never used face book account was visited by someone from.....saudi Arabia....facebook sent me a warning by email


Posted by: mcohen | Aug 14 2015 3:07 utc | 46

Wayoutwest 36

*You should read the new Chinese Military Strategy White-Paper released in May, it's an eye-opener and spells out their plans to counter the US especially with their growing Blue Water Navy.*

ever heard of the pnac, a road map to rule the world snuffing out china, russia . i think its now in its third version under obomber. ?
those chinks have the nerve to dream up some counter measure..... twenty yrs too late, hehehe. !

*They are clear about their plans as a rising Capitalist Power and a part of the NWO *

u'r contracdicting yourself.

mcohen 43
*denk 31.............. *

huffpost isnt my cup of tea but im just curious abou this *military push* stuff [sic]

so.....turns out that,

murcunts fretting about the motive of chinese peace keeping forces in afria, rofl !

say who...?
those who've been raping the *dark continent* for centuries via coups, assasinations, regime change, genocides.
recently recolonised the continent under the ebola scam,
currently bombing seven african countries . !


Posted by: denk | Aug 14 2015 3:54 utc | 47

Guardian: European Union backs IMF view over Greece – then ignores it seems highly unlikely that 30 years would be acceptable in Berlin.

If that’s correct, the IMF’s willingness to cough up its €15bn-€20bn contribution to the latest €85bn (£60bn) rescue package must be in serious doubt. The fund’s guidelines say loans can only be advanced when there is a clear path back to debt sustainability, usually defined as borrowings being less than 120% of GDP.

... Greece needs serious debt relief, not token measures.

I've read that IMF debt sustainability also considers when a country can borrow in the markets. It seems that the availability of lower-than-market rates for EU bail-out countries create an incentive for higher debt burdens. This makes it difficult, if not impossible to predict when a bailed-out country would return to market-based financing.

ECB QE and the effective loss of sovereignty in EZ countries also change the nature of any IMF involvement. They are essentially supporting the Euro, not the country. Aren't they?

And so, the IMF's much vaunted call for debt restructuring is starting to look like smoke and mirrors. Although Merkel says that IMF involvement is politically important, German-block Parliaments probably care more about Schauble's opinion than IMF involvement. And Schauble seems willing to send IMF away rather than release Greece from debt peonage via meaningful debt relief.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 14 2015 4:44 utc | 48


Posted by: denk | Aug 13, 2015 11:54:24 PM | 46

denk my girl...jou gat is waar jou kop is......thats why we call it a "gatis"

Posted by: mcohen | Aug 14 2015 7:08 utc | 49

Vintage Red at 5 --

Here's another, related worry -- a Ukrainian dirty bomb.

JR at 47 --

Parliament has accepted the diktat, but a split within Syriza now looks inevitable. Defections in the vote put Tsipras below the 120 he needs to survive a no-confidence vote.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 14 2015 12:05 utc | 50

mcohen 48

so according to neocon cfr,
*chinese troops to protect chinese civies and oil installations from murcunt directed *insurgents* !

wow how dare the chinese,!
is that a crime too, under murcunts' version of
*international law* ?

Posted by: denk | Aug 14 2015 14:30 utc | 51

16;The Jews worst enemy are themselves,how do they combat that?sheesh.
A fireworks factory?blew up in Tiangin?For next years 4th of July?

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 14 2015 14:43 utc | 52

37;It can't be genetic,it must be cultural,the Jewish and Zionist criminal activity.
It starts in the Yeshiva,like they accuse the madrassas.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 14 2015 14:46 utc | 53

Guest77, at 44, that paper is interesting. I only skimmed through it - it requires study - but it appears to me a main point is missing. The paper does define ‘different audiences’ along the slice and dice method, yet it does not mention the effect of social media as to the fragmentation of society, the creation of oppositions in society, the need for an over-arching consensus to hold an entity aka state, nation, tribal group, whatever, together. It is uniquely written from a top-down approach, description of a state of affairs, with a control scenario layered over it, and ignores, for a large part, what is going on. This may be FINE or natural for Isr., which is run 100% top-down by oligarch-corp-military in a camouflaged cabalistic dictatorship, but the paper’s strategy is moot as applied to the US or France (the control there is weaker.) Naturally, Isr. sells all its templates, another story.

The aim in part(s) of the ‘West’ is, imho, divide to rule, let the social media run, civil and social strife provides oppos for crack-downs, policing, pre-crime profiling, jailing for opinion, group belonging, and the like. The opposite of the Isr. strategy - of course one will find a ‘mix’ everywhere. I mention because imho this is not trivial.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 14 2015 15:21 utc | 54


I'm not criticizing China for their military response to the US military shift to Asia.

Their admission that they will project their military power towards Africa to protect their Capitalist exploitation of the continent seems not much different from the US or other Capitalist exploiting powers in the past.

Their Peacekeeping forces under the UN are benign and good PR but regular Chinese Army forces in Africa is a horse of a different color.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 14 2015 17:24 utc | 55


Blame the victims?
Which victims?
The 3000 or so who were killed when the towers collapsed?
Or the 100's of thousands who died because of what/who runs the businesses in the trade towers? [This assumes it was NOT a black flag operation]

What you are saying is that when a Palestinian reacts to the killing of one of his family by the Israeli's, that Palestinian is not allowed to be a victim? Only white folks can be victims? It seems to me that when the business you work for behaves in an illegal, immoral or nasty way, that UNLESS you speak out, you are complicit.

My point is that the American people tolerate the propaganda (and in fact object to facts or criticism) and don't speak out because they really prefer the propaganda to reality. Thus, I am very comfortable accusing them of complicity when it comes to the system they work within. And, I go further by suggesting that it has always been so ... since the first European stepped foot on the western side of the Atlantic. Americans LIKE their lifestyles. Thus, may I suggest an essay I truly believe summarizes my position (even though I do not agree with it 100%):

To a hair splitter, the author is speaking of Europe ... but look at the so-called 'border' problem in the American southwest (TX, NM, AZ, CA) ... a border that only appeared after 'The War of Yankee Aggression' ... called the "Mexican War" in the US!

Posted by: Rg an LG | Aug 15 2015 0:31 utc | 56

#24 anonymous

I see ,well drivel it is,however your lack of forward thinking,any sort of vision,is disappointing.before the year end,before Obama,s term is up you might be proved wrong.
Up there it,s all just ants scurrying about but down on the ground the ants clean the bones
Obama going to Ethiopia was important on many levels not just those that seem important to American interests

Posted by: mcohen | Aug 15 2015 4:09 utc | 57

Wayoutwest 55

I'm not criticizing China for their military response to the US military shift to Asia.*

when u bring up china's contingency plan to counter murcunt attack, u made it sound like some world threatening nefarious scheme .

*Their admission that they will project their military power towards Africa to protect their Capitalist exploitation of the continent seems not much different from the US or other Capitalist exploiting powers in the past.*

someone who bring along a bodyguard when he buys some gold from a shop is no different from a thug who barge in a goldsmith shop guns blazing, kill everybody around and grab the whole lot. !

u gotta to marvel at the sheer brazeness of the moron who concoct such craps in the cia debriefing class and the apparent large crowd here who swallow it hehehe !!

*Their Peacekeeping forces under the UN are benign and good PR but regular Chinese Army forces in Africa is a horse of a different color.*

those hombres are there to protect the chinese workers, civies from murcunts rent a mob death squads. [1]
what do u expect the chinese to bring along instead, girl scouts ?

u n your ilks are clearing assigned here to engage poster in endless round about debates that leads to no end.
i consign u to my bozo file when we met in *the groan*,
my mistake to engage u again here.

Posted by: denk | Aug 15 2015 4:50 utc | 58

Posted by: Rg an LG | Aug 14, 2015 8:31:54 PM | 56

You are confusing the issue.

A good example of complicitity is the guy that drives the getaway car. You say the American people drove the getaway car. I say that they were fooled into doing so.

For example: The majority of American's don't approve of torture. But no one is held accountable, and the government and COMPLICIT MEDIA spin the torture issue(s) by (among other things) asking loaded questions in unscientific polling. Then someone like YOU say: "American's are complicit!"

And I am NOT saying that actual victims aren't victims. I am saying that Americans (as a whole) are themselves victims of 'the system'. To blame them is to point the finger away from the elites that are truly at fault.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 15 2015 14:41 utc | 59

59 follow-up

Another thing the media did with respect to torture is to airbrush away torture performed by third-parties FOR the USA - especially during the accountability debate. They gave prominant coverage to US govt claims that they had only used the worst techniques on a handful of terrorists.

And we get this kind of manipulate on domestic issues as well especially on important issues like tax policy. My favorite example is the kabuki surrounding 'The Fiscal Cliff' and the 'sequester' which resulted in austerity for the poor while most of the Bush tax cuts were made permanent. The 'sequester' was a farce because the US need to cut defense spending after the Iraq War anyway - but the 'sequester' forced the Obama Administration - FORCED! - to cut social spending as well.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 15 2015 15:30 utc | 60

"Hey, we were down with the bank robbery," says the American public. "You didn't tell us the guard and teller would get shot!"

Fortunately, I gotta Fast Car, so we'll make a clean get-away. "I gotta plan to get us outta here...."

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 15 2015 16:18 utc | 61

@rufus magister, 61:

"I gotta plan to get us outta here..."

Wall St. and the Pentagon pull their "jobs" (as Gen. Smedley Butler admitted long ago) and con, silence or suppress the US people into acceptance under fraud and/or duress, but one of these days the getaway will go bad, very bad. I predict it'll happen during The Last Days of May.

Who knows, maybe the US people will ourselves be the "other guy" of the song, acting in self-defense/enlightened self-interest/global solidarity.

"They say the West is nice this time of year..."

Posted by: Vintage Red | Aug 15 2015 18:50 utc | 62

@rufus magister, 50:

Yes, last year when I first discovered MoA I posted on the danger of the Kiev junta's desire to go nuclear (at least within the limits of their technical and military incompetence). Now it seems that since downing jets, blaming shellings on victims, crying "Wolf!" over endless Russian invasions and enough other false flags to be a parody of UN Plaza, the dirty bomb possibility is being raised again.

The junta would be pretty farcical fascists, but they aren't funny. Let's hope they'll be in the same care with the "three boys" above...

Posted by: Vintage Red | Aug 15 2015 19:01 utc | 63

amusing typo @63:

should be "in the same car with"--but "care" works well enough too.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Aug 15 2015 19:58 utc | 64

Vintage Red at 62-3 --

I hope we can avoid that kind of grim scenario (many bankers would have fine futures in cleaning public restrooms). But a nice BOC cut.

My favorite deal song has a happier ending, Neil Young's Eldorado.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 15 2015 22:47 utc | 65

@rufus magister, 65:

I didn’t mean to sound unnecessarily grim. My optimism of the will is right with you in being OK with such a fine future for the bankers. But “after the revolution,” if they don’t do themselves in (Hitler’s fate) and if they aren’t given rough and ready justice by the people (Mussolini’s fate), then any reasonable war crimes tribunal will have a hard time justifying such a lenient punishment for them. Compared to the US Empire the old Axis-style fascism was barely a warm-up act, and considering what the US PTB will likely do to retain power I have a hard time imagining any reason for people to be forgiving, domestically or globally.

My pessimism of the intellect would be delighted to be wrong in this.

On a different note, I think in light of the Big Data “Dangerous” video that you’ve linked to, you might find

NSA Watchwords amusing…

Posted by: Vintage Red | Aug 16 2015 10:08 utc | 66

rm at 65 --

Hey, that's OK. You hear "Godzilla" etc. all the time, that deep BOC cut was nice.

I'm sure there will be a little rough and ready justice for those bankers unwilling to clean up after themselves. No doubt a goodly number will so bring righteous wrath down upon themselves.

Mrs. M. leans towards old school tar and feathers. She's ready now. I am so glad I manage to stay on her good side. LOL!

Payback is a bitch. We are laying on quite a store crimes and misdemeanors, making many of the victims understandably angry.

I saw the article about "Seen" on Russia Insider, but contented myself with the headline. Thanks.

Mussolini put Gramcis in prison to stop him from thinking, and he famously had to resort to Aesopian language in his Quaderni.

Big Brother has us all on work release, Big Data makes it easier to keep tabs on us and force us all into euphemisms and allusions.

"Dangerous" is a wicked hot cut. Came for the killer bass riff, stayed for the paranoid surveillance. Nice drum runs and keyboard washes, too. I cranked it, thanks again. They have a marketing campaign, you know.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 16 2015 14:44 utc | 67

The Kyiv Post reports on expanded efforts at citizen self-suveillance with Students hand professor over to security service for making pro-separatist statements. KP seems a little worried about the possiblities of abuse, they don't seem to worry about the implications of a nation of snitches.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 16 2015 15:01 utc | 68

Vintage Red at 66 --

It's hard not to be grim nowadays. The deep cut from BOC was worth it, though. If we have to shoot them in the back seat of a rented car, so be it. But something a little more public and less lethal is my preferred option. Semi-permanent assignment to the dirtiest and most difficult work seems just.

But I'm sure any number of banksters, spies, and enforcers will fail to comply, bringing the righteous wrath of rough and ready justice down upon them. Mrs. M favors tar and feathers herself. I am so glad I manage to stay on her good side.

"Dangerous" rocks. I came for the killer bass riff, stayed for the paranoid surveillance. Cranked it up, thanks.

I saw the headline for "Seen," thanks for the clip. Mussolini put Gramsci into prison to keep him from thinking, so he resorted to Aesopian language in the Quaderni.

Big Brother has us all on work release (though most aren't aware of this). Big Data makes it easy to keep tabs on us, forcing us all into euphemism and allusion. "Seen" will be a great tool in that effort.

Isn't it great to be Rockin' in the Free World, with our kinder, gentler, and more thoughtful machine gun hand? "Don't feel like Satan but I am to them."

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 16 2015 15:20 utc | 69


Thanks for taking a look at it, and thanks for your thoughts. You make very interesting points (as usual). Israel is a special case - a country where internal dissent regarding such wars is nearly non-existent and their main efforts have to be made in combatting the natural reaction of the rest of the world.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 16 2015 23:20 utc | 70

rufus magister @69:

“If we have to shoot them in the back seat of a rented car, so be it.”

I’m glad you liked the deep BOC; likewise I think Big Data’s “Dangerous” was a very fine catch that I like much better than the “official” video.

But the image was just riffing off Jackrabbit’s and your analogy @ 59 & 61, and I don’t want to stretch it too far—just that if the PTB unceasingly treat the US people as an easily lied to accomplice to their bloody heists, one of these days they just might find that what goes around comes around.

They’ve strung the US people along for generations, at first with crumbs from their imperial loot and “land of the free” propaganda, but now as the crumbs get microscopic and the “freedom” is confined to free speech zones under the eye of the NSA, the best their propaganda can aim for is to keep people ignorant, confused, depressed and cynical as to alternatives. The only flag waving going on is with the Confederate flag (see below).

I’m seeing the return of an old Nazi meme in new form: “inverted collective guilt.” The Nazis used to destroy whole towns in reprisal for partisan resistance, but as the war went against them the thinking was turned around to say that the world would hold not merely the Nazis responsible for the war crimes everyone knew were being committed, but would punish the entire German people as complicit in them. Today it’s “They hate our freedom” with the “our” implying “We’re all in this together.” The “logical” conclusion: we may as well keep following orders—US against The World.

To take our analogy out of the getaway car, it’d be as though we were to hold French commoners responsible for all acts of the absolutist monarchy, then call them hopeless because there are no signs of resistance and it’s the mid-1780’s already! But 1789 came, after 1945 came the Nuremburg Trials, and the PTB know it. That’s why I think they’ll pull out *all* the stops when they truly feel threatened in their stolen homeland. They know what awaits them:

“The ever memorable and blessed revolution, which swept a thousand years of villainy away in one swift tidal wave of blood — one: a settlement of that hoary debt in the proportion of half a drop of blood for each hogshead of it that had been pressed by slow tortures out of that people in the weary stretch of ten centuries of wrong and shame and misery the like of which was not to be mated but in hell.

“There were two Reigns of Terror, if we would but remember it and consider it: the one wrought murder in hot passion, the other in heartless cold blood; the one lasted mere months, the other lasted a thousand years; the one inflicted death on ten thousand persons, the other upon a hundred millions; but our shudders are all for the horrors of the minor Terror, so to speak; whereas, what is the horror of swift death by the axe compared with lifelong death from hunger, cold, insult, cruelty and heartbreak? What is swift death by lightning compared with death by slow fire at the stake? A city cemetery could contain the coffins filled by that brief Terror, which we have all been so diligently taught to shiver at and mourn over, but all France could hardly contain the coffins filled by that older and real Terror which none of us has been taught to see in its vastness or pity as it deserves.”

—Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

Posted by: Vintage Red | Aug 17 2015 6:57 utc | 71

More thoughts:

Lincoln plainly put it: “You can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” Being determines consciousness, and a huge reservoir of class hatred is building here as the Empire decays, voiceless for now but eventually the dam will break. We might see more or less familiar forms of struggle if the US ruling circles were confronted by some form of organized revolutionary opposition—Panthers, Wobblies, Socialist/Communist, pick your flag—but the Feds have so far been very successful at decapitating organized resistance before any real threat to their rule could manifest. New forms of struggle will doubtless arise with new technologies and ways of organizing that they make possible.

On the other hand, a warning: long ago I remember hearing that “Racism is class hatred turned inside out.” Racism is the US PTB’s ace up their sleeve. This is why “flag waving patriotism” is now a lot less about the “official” US flag and a lot more about the Confederate flag—even more pointed with an African-American President as the Empire’s point man. All the contradictions are rising to the surface…

This is why the US antiracist struggle—presently manifesting in the Black Lives Matter movement—is the home front wedge of the global resistance movement to the Empire. As foreign policy reflects domestic politics, putting racism on the defensive in the US will simultaneously pull the ideological rug out from underneath imperialist war and intervention. This will compliment the more objective, economic factors (e.g., de-dollarization) acting toward the same end. The more we organize resistance here, the less effect the “inverted collective guilt” meme will have.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Aug 17 2015 7:01 utc | 72

1989 tam rebellion courtesty of unitedsnake, on the eve of gorbacev's visit to beijing.

2008 tibet riots, courtesy of the snake, on the eve of beijing olympics.

2009 xinjiang bloodbath, courtesy of the snake, during g8 meeting. hu jing tao had to rushed back to china to deal with the crisis.

2014 ukraine putsch , courtesy of the snake, while moscow was basking in the
limelight of sochi olympics extravaganza.

2015 tianjin monstrous blast, on the eve of beijing's victory parade commermorating ww2,
a gift from g-o-d or is it the antichrist ?

2022 winter olympics , beijing.
watch out xi, wonder what *present* is *god* comtemplating for china right now ?

Posted by: denk | Aug 18 2015 2:18 utc | 73

Vintage Red at 71-2

Not to worry, I took it all as some musical venting. But I kid you not, Mrs. M loves Max Keiser puttin' it to the banksters.

Of necessity we are complicit, in some way, actively or passively, in maintaining the status quo. Hopefully ones subversive choices outweigh the complicity.

The official video for "Dangerous" is brilliant commentary on modern marketing, in a disturbing way. Hard to top the lyric video for TechnoCool, though. But we're all about PoMo irony these days, so the tune is already being used in advertising. Don't recall what for.

And what's with this whole business of taking scraps of iconic anthems as advert jingles? "Won't get fooled Again" for example. The Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go" for some travel website recently might be the worst commercial misuse. The use of "Rock the Casbah" as the title music to the First Iraq War of course is Most Ironic Ever.

All I really picked up from reading Althusser back in the 80's was the notion of "overdetermination," the notion that the crisis of the system is so imminent and so pervasive that it permeates and distorts every aspect of social life due to its unresolved contradictions. I think the Confederate rebel for human bondage as the patriotic guardian of loyalty and freedom is a fine example of the weird refractions it produces.

If you hold them up to the light, they can be quite beautiful. Just watch for the jagged edges of this very irregular prism.

The Twain quote was quite interesting, reminiscent of Thomas Paine's Defence of the Rights of Man. He writes that in employing the Terror, the revolutionaries of the Third Estate were using the methods taught to them by the repression of the House of Bourbon and nobility.

I would note, though, it's typically not the revolution per se that is violent, it is the defense of the revolution from the violent resistance of the old order.

It's hardly accidental that our greatest burst of progress against the scourge of racism came during the Cold War. We desperately needed to get the issue off the table, very bad for the image, especially with the Third World, lest the Reds capitalize on it.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 18 2015 23:13 utc | 74

After the recent burst of fighting, things have quieted down, at least for now, in the Ukraine. The militias have been quiet, perhaps shushed with the promises of renewed hostilities. Political developments, of course, continue to occur.

Fort Russ has an analysis by the Ukrainian of some recent events. Avakov's vacation: Poroshenko will replace him with Eka Zguladze and achieve dictatorial power. Poroshenko has the goods on him, it argues, and has pressured him to gracefully withdraw.

He was not removed with a bang, but offered a softer option. Arsen goes on vacation, from which he will not return. In September, he will announce his plans to run for the mayor of Kharkov. Participation in the campaign is not compatible with working as a Police Minister, so he leaves.

Antifashist then sees Poroshenko moving on to Yatsenyuk. They note his party, the Narodnyi Front, has seen a precipitous drop in support.

Poroshenko, by putting Eka Zguladze in the last position in the military and law enforcement which was not controlled by him, completes the authoritarian concentration of power. Now Yatsenyuk with his "People’s Front" can be removed from politics with no risk. He's just a rotten tooth that will be knocked out easily by a blow to the jaw.

They offer this description of Zguladze:

Washington totally approves of Eka - a proven colonial manager, and, like all Georgian fugitives assembled in tyrant Saakashvili's Ukrainian team, wanted by the "Interpol". In short, a perfect fit.

Certainly, this will increase the control Poroshenko enjoys. But I believe they overstate the degree to which the volunteers are under control. They have not been disbanded, though some were relocated and most placed, formally, under control of the military and the Interior Ministry.

They conclude by noting that Washington will continue to foment disunity among its management team and occasionally undercut Poroshenko, perhaps by insisting on early presidential elections.

Our friend Yats does seem under a little stress, from this account of reporting on Kolomoisky's TV channel that suggests he might flee. I think he said up front he realized he was coming in to do some dirty work. One would think he's been promised a graceful exit.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 19 2015 0:05 utc | 75

Well, just one day after the German vote for QE3, the Savior that MoA's gushed over, the man who was going to 'Stick it to the Bundebank',' ... retired for greener pastures.

Tsipras to Step Down as Greek PM, Call Snap Elections.

Greece's Menem. "I will not betray you!"

Sure, pal'y, sure.

Posted by: NoReply | Aug 20 2015 21:16 utc | 76

in re 76 --

Just a few weaknesses.

This outcome was highly likely after Syriza won the recent referendum and immediately folded before Frankfurt; the Left Platform and others made it clear they would no longer support the government, and the conservatives would not go on propping Tsipras up indefinitely.

Even before that, if memory serves (I only started paying attention about that time; interesting questions of proletarian leadership and tactics arose), Tsipras and his government had come under serious criticism from various Barflies.

And, he hopes to get a renew majority and mandate, so it's not a retirement.

But, apart from that, some quality trolling.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 20 2015 22:06 utc | 77

Philip Giraldi:
- Turkey doesn't give a danm about Jabat-al-Nusrah & ISIS.
- Turkey's principal enemy is the Kurds. Turkey is afraid to see Assad allow the syrian kurds to establish a kurdish state in Syria.
- Turkey wants "regime change" in Syria. In that regard Turkey, Israel & Saudi Arabia are on "the same page". But in the "struggle" against Russia, the US needs Turkey. So, the US supports Turkey & Erdogan.

Posted by: Willy2 | Aug 20 2015 23:16 utc | 78

A few items on Banderastan.

Is Donbass on the verge of a new offensive and will there be a Minsk-3? Yes, but Kiev probably won't try to do too much. So they are not likely to suffer their usual defeat and then get saved by diplomatic intervention.

One reason for the restraint -- sixth mobilization not going well.

Stephen Cohen worries that Kiev's Renewed Assault on Donbass Could Trigger US-Russian War. He postulates three possible motivations.

The first possibility is that the Kiev regime understands that it is in a dire political situation, and a renewed military campaign is seen as the only way reignite support from the country.

The second possibility is that Kiev does not want to follow the Minsk II agreement’s provisions under any circumstances. And if it does not want to negotiate, it has to fight. “So it’s a way of avoiding Minsk,” the professor noted.

“And the third possibility… is that Kiev is being pressed by forces in the West to launch this offensive."

The Saker considers a new offensive likely as well.

To be honest, we are all getting used to ‘cry wolf’ about an impending Kiev regime attack. And this is hardly our fault. Such an attack has, indeed, been impending for a long while already and the junta’s bellicose rhetoric has only reinforced this sense of imminent danger.

Meanwhile, a new party in the making. Sergey Kaplin, its founder, earlier called for Ukrainian nuclear rearmament.

“We will build a real Maidan against the tariffs of Yatsenyuk, we will demand his resignation, and, if necessary, re-elections to the Verkhovna Rada. We will not forgive betrayal. There is no place for enemies of the Ukrainian people in parliament and government.”

Against this background, Andrew Korybko asks, Is Ukraine on the Cusp of a Real Uprising?

So it appear that the atmosphere in Kiev remains one of political instability and popular discontent underneath the clouds of war.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 21 2015 11:57 utc | 79

further to 77 --

Left Platform has split from Syriza.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 21 2015 12:02 utc | 80

Israeli politician’s Reform Jew comment provokes fury

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been scrambling to extinguish a firestorm after his religious affairs minister questioned the Jewishness of hundreds of thousands of North American Jews.

Speaking about followers of the most progressive branch of Judaism, known as Reform, David Azoulay said last month: “I can’t allow myself to say that such a person is a Jew.” ... more than one-third of American Jews identify with Reform Judaism. ... The movement, the biggest Jewish denomination in the US, makes large donations to Israel, and many of its members are among Israel’s staunchest supporters.

In Israel, only traditional Orthodoxy – the strictest of the main streams of Judaism – is officially recognised. Its rabbis have been given extensive and often intrusive powers over large areas of Jewish citizens’ private lives, including marriage, divorce and burial.

'“I can’t allow myself to say that such a person is a Jew.”'

Spoken like a true-blue takfiri, no?

'In Israel, only traditional Orthodoxy – the strictest of the main streams of Judaism – is officially recognised'


Boycott, Disown, Separate from Israel.

They'll be coming home to Amerika and beheading Amerikan Jews' children and grandchildren as infidels. Better to stop them over there.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 21 2015 12:04 utc | 81

Panic sell-off on world financial markets

Outside of China, where the Shanghai Composite Index fell 4.3 percent on Friday, the sharpest declines were in the US. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 531 points, or 3.12 percent, bringing its losses for the week to over 1,000 points. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes both fell even more steeply, 3.19 percent and 3.52 percent, respectively.

The meltdown on equity markets is being driven by signs that the world economy is sliding into a new recession or outright depression. The focal point of the slowdown is China, the world’s second largest economy, which this decade has accounted for a third of the expansion in the global economy. This is almost double the contribution of the US and more than triple the impacts of Europe and Japan.

The Chinese government has allocated some $90 billion to rescue the country’s stock markets. However, this has failed to stanch a crisis that has seen stock prices fall by more than 30 percent since June. The evident disarray of Chinese policymakers, combined with a growth of labor unrest and discontent fueled by events such as the Tianjin warehouse explosion, is stoking concerns in corporate boardrooms and imperialist governments over the political stability of the regime, on which they have relied to ensure high profits based on poverty-level wages and intense exploitation of Chinese workers.

Forbes criticizes Obama administration's self-damaging warning toward China

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. economic magazine Forbes has strongly critizes Obama administration's warning to Beijing about Chinese agents operating in the U.S. as a part of the anti-corruption campaign, describing it as a "blundering, even self-damaging" decision.

In a commentary published Wednesday, Forbes contributor Stephen Harner said the U.S. damages its own interests to deliver the warning to Beijing asking Chinese government agents to stop operating secretly in the U.S.

"It is hard to imagine a policy decision that would do more to damage American interests if we accept that our interests include a constructive relationship with China," said Harner.

These agents are purportedly pressuring prominent expatriates, some of whom are wanted in China on charges of corruption, to return home immediately, according to the New York Times.

Emphasizing the significance of the anti-corruption campaign being waged under Chinese President Xi Jinping, Harner said the success of the campaign is of existential importance to the Chinese political system, making it unwise to undermine or block China's anti-corruption effort.

There are two stories ... maybe three, or four, here, it seems to me :

1. the continuing crash of the tulip market;
2. the blowback that is having on ordinary people - the 99.9% of the Chinese who have seen absolutely none of the benefits of the boom in the Plutocrats' Republic of China;
3. the concern among the American plutocrats about 'political instability' - aka revolution - in China; and
4. the effect of the Obama administration's apparent willingness to weaponize revolution in China to bring about the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates DD&D™ there.

The American plutes are clearly concerned that that 'political instability' might bring down not only their 'good thing', working in concert with the Plutocrats' Republic, but also that - once China founders the world will founder economically. That political instability will then spread: globalize. That just as the world economy will be plunged into world recession/depression, so too will the resulting 'political instability' spread worldwide. And they're the ones with the targets on their backs.

So they're quite willing to throw the Chinese billionaire emigres under the bus to save themselves. No honor among thieves.

Think it'll work?

Posted by: jfl | Aug 22 2015 14:47 utc | 82

Compare and contrast. Principled vs. unprincipled leadership in Greece.

If this is true, sadly we are doomed. France24 says that the European hard-left looks to Varoufakis amid Greek turmoil. There are a number of facts mentioned that signal his total unsuitability for the role.

First, he's speaking at a French Socialist Party function; they're out-doing "New Labour" for role as Top (Lap) Dog in DC's Eurokennel.

More to the point, he remains a member of Syriza, and argues for party unity.

"If the party fails to remain united despite members’ different opinions about the [international bailout] deal, it has no future...."

"Syriza’s failure to implement its original programme is painfully obvious, and an embarrassment for all of Europe’s radical left," [Sciences Po political sciencist Marc] Lazar told FRANCE 24. "What happened in Greece shows Germany’s overall supremacy, France’s weakness, and above all that it is impossible to change the status quo in the eurozone. Hopes were dashed."

Ekathimerini recounts the various parties preparations for the election. As noted, Left Platform has split and is standing on its own.

In a statement, the party said the government’s claim to have negotiated with the country’s lenders was a "euphemism" as it led to the country’s third bailout.

The party also accused Tsipras’s aides of "confusing the dictatorship of the memorandum with the democratic operation of institutions."

For it's part, Syriza is taking "the opportunity to invite candidates of other political persuasions to join the SYRIZA ticket," since it no longer has to balance party factions, (i.e., it's cutting itself from its base, which it has screwed).

Smart move on their part -- when you are relying on conservative parties for your parliamentary majority, not your own party members, it's pretty obvious you've sold them out. Get your conservatives inside the party, it doesn't look quite as bad.

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 23 2015 14:56 utc | 83

The media is saying that Tsipras called early elections because he expects his popularity to wan It seems to me that Tsipras called the early election because he does not expect to obtain any significant debt relief.

The referendum moved the IMF and ECB to publicly call for debt relief. Thus, debt relief was 'on the table' in negotiations that followed. But that is looking more and more like a sham. "The creditors" refuse to write-down any debt and the IMF alternative (minimum of 30-years extension) is very much in doubt.

Merkel's loud talk about the need for the IMF seemed to suggest that Germany would accept the IMF's analysis and prescription. But since the Summit, "the Creditors" have backed away from any significant relief. This is all the more surprising (or not) because IMF guidelines do not allow the IMF to be involved with out debt sustainability.

The last statement that I heard from Merkel is that the IMF is needed only for their technical expertise. This runs counter to her earlier claim that IMF involvement was politically necessary (due to their being seen as an independent 'honest broker').

Tsipras should've held complained loudly about this back-tracking. He failed to do so.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 23 2015 23:09 utc | 84

On MoA and elsewhere I’ve been in read-and-learn mode concerning Greece and the Greek left since Syriza formed a government. As all things contain contradictions I wasn’t surprised to find my perspective tacking this way and that—while I have no faith in reformism and social democracy, I was willing to be pleasantly surprised should the “electoral revolt” carry Syriza into true resistance to austerity. But Tsipras & co. ended up selling out in the end, the only question being how much was due to fog of (class) war, how much to ideological delusion and how much conscious deception. Two articles I’ve found insightful that I haven’t yet seen linked here include:

Andre Vltchek’s Greece: Raped, Humiliated, Frightened, but Standing!

Sebastian Budgen’s and Stathis Kouvelakis’ Greece: the Struggle Continues

Both strongly indicate that this struggle is far from over and new formations will arise to continue it (as we are already seeing in the Left Platform’s Popular Unity initiative). Some basic principles:

1—State Power) To break out of this privatization/austerity/debt trap, Greece must give rise to a movement that, if it doesn’t make a socialist revolution, must at the very least confront the bankers’ empire and its NATO enforcers with clear and consistent alternative power. Whether by democratic election, revolutionary action or some combination of these and other tactics, a large part of this will involve forming a truly popular anti-austerity government. This will necessitate facing the contradictions between such a popular resistance government and the capitalist state apparatus, and prepare to deal with the existing state in some successful way—if the bankers meet steadfast resistance, NATO will doubtless try to act first through Greek state forces before calling in Alliance guns (perhaps answering the question of why so much military spending despite austerity).

2—No to the Bankers’ “Europe”) Whatever might be possible from negotiations, such a government’s defense of economic sovereignty necessitates real preparation for leaving the Eurozone. Just as with a union’s vote to authorize a strike, even to be a real bargaining chip such preparations have to be real! Whether from a dogmatic attachment to staying within the Eurozone (or even the EU), illusions that by somehow proving “good faith” through openly laying aside the possibility of returning to the drachma would inspire some level of debt forgiveness, or some combination, to exclude any such preparation was at best to “bring a sword to a gunfight” and at worst conscious betrayal of the Greek people.

3—International Solidarity) This is both class war and an anti-imperialist struggle for sovereignty; such an anti-austerity government must immediately and in an ongoing way build international support. These will be both with other states that may be of potential help (e.g., Russia and China) as well as left popular and politically supportive movements in Europe and globally. The bankers are international and have NATO backing them up—to isolate oneself in battle with them to show “good faith” compounds “bringing a sword to a gunfight” with going it alone against a gang.

4—Mass Mobilization) Such a movement must actively involve and root itself in the Greek people, engaging them in ongoing mass mobilization, activist participatory democracy and dialog up to and including creation of defense committees and workers’ councils. As with preparing to return to the drachma, legal and electoral actions such as the recent referendum must take place not as negotiation-chips but as part of an overall strategy for revolutionary defense of sovereignty, democracy and as economic self-defense. Mass protests, occupations, direct action and strikes of all kinds (workers, students, debtors, etc.) must be likewise coordinated. Since even the referendum provoked a sharp new offensive in the bankers’ economic warfare, emergency measures comparable to War Communism must be encouraged, facilitated and organized by a popular government, to allow popular survival in time of siege (from what I've read this has already begun at the grassroots level). And whether open, clandestine or something in between, it is not too early for revolutionary organizations to begin forming workers’ self-defense units. It’s not as if the fascists have been hiding their own efforts in this regard…

Posted by: Vintage Red | Aug 24 2015 6:22 utc | 85


On the one hand, Syriza winning the last election was a victory, at least in the sense of an open “electoral revolt” against austerity, robbing the bankers of any figleaf of democracy. This revolt was confirmed even more strongly in the “OXI” referendum vote. On the other, Syriza’s leadership proved completely unsuited and/or disinclined to take advantage of these victories. I dislike seeming so pessimistic as to believe that “we have to go through ‘necessary phases’ of attempts at reform to expose reformism as delusional to pave the way for revolution,” but often it does seem to work out that way…

Many here and elsewhere comment on “the left” and what constitutes the “true” vs. “fake” left, and, however defined, its potential, helplessness, etc. So who are “the left” in Greece, and what prospects are there for a movement that can lead Greece out of this death trap?

Based on present knowledge I keep coming back to three political tendencies:

1) The Greek Communist Party (KKE): The KKE is organized, disciplined, and has all the revolutionary spirit one could ask for, but seems not to have a lot of influence beyond its already-organized base. It has a parliamentary faction that appears to have maintained its ideals despite the corrosive atmosphere of capitalist politics. However, it seemed to take a needlessly stand-offish place in the OXI referendum. Even if I disagree I understand why Syriza didn’t choose them as its partner in the ruling coalition (would’ve spiked their “good faith” approach to negotiations, might’ve triggered a military coup sooner rather than later). I nonetheless like to think that there are ways Syriza and the KKE might’ve been able to cooperate against the bankers’ hard line. Until the recent Left Platform/Popular Unity breakaway, the KKE was Syriza’s only significant opposition from the left.

2) Antarsya: like Syriza Antarsya is a coalition of several smaller groups, albeit much more consciously revolutionary. Apparently there have been discussions between Syriza’s Left Platform, Antarsya and other organizations to explore some form of common action, but Antarsya’s leadership rejected the resulting initiative, and has been called ultra-left for this. (Of course, many revolutionary perspectives are called “ultra-left”… until they no longer are). Due to Antarsya’s not being large enough to win parliamentary representation they are essentially a street opposition for now, but Syriza was also pretty marginal not that long ago.

3) Popular Unity, neé Syriza’s Left Platform: one must be where the people are to have a role in the struggle and win influence, and so they have been. As part of Syriza the LP obviously wasn’t strong enough to prevent Tsipras’ rank capitulation or otherwise undertake the needed moves describe above. Will its Popular Unity reincarnation be free from “Tsiprasist” illusions and attachments to build a real anti-austerity fight, and will it be able to find some more positive coordination with Antarsya, the KKE and other real left and sovereignty/resistance forces? The articles cited above give hope, and with every betrayal and shattered illusion the path becomes clearer.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Aug 24 2015 6:26 utc | 86

@rufus magister, 74:

Not just a rented car—a rented Ford. Gotta give the capitalists their product placement… ;-)

Myself, honestly I’d be fine with a humane, lenient but secure means of dealing with the former ruling classes. Perhaps something along the lines of Wild in the Streets, with the former ruling class packed off to very secure and comfy gated retirement communities where they will enjoy daily doses of LSD. But mine’s not the only vote; there’ll be plenty who will doubtless have grounds to vote with Mark Twain above, whether as eloquently or otherwise.

Whatever justice decrees for them, it has to take them out permanently. As you wrote:

“I would note, though, it's typically not the revolution per se that is violent, it is the defense of the revolution from the violent resistance of the old order.”

I agree, this is historically the rule. This is also why we have to have no illusions about what we are up against, especially here in the US. It makes for some rather difficult recruitment pitches, though: “Make revolution at the source of the world's woes, here in the Empire’s power base—the closer we come to success the harsher the PTB will come down on us, to the point of destroying the planet rather than give it up.” When all is said and done we’ll doubtless wish it was as easy as dropping a ring in Mount Doom…

“Of necessity we are complicit, in some way, actively or passively, in maintaining the status quo. Hopefully ones subversive choices outweigh the complicity.”

If we are lucky enough to have work, our surplus labor enriches the capitalist; if we can’t avoid paying taxes, ditto to the repressive apparatus. But as was said in the Chinese Revolution, there is one’s class origin and there is one’s class stand. If we choose the cause of liberation and consistently act on it, we are not complicit.

Posted by: Vintage Red | Aug 24 2015 6:36 utc | 87

UN calls Daesh temple destruction in Syria's Palmyra 'war crime'

"This destruction is a new war crime and an immense loss for the Syrian people and for humanity," said Irina Bokova, the head of UNESCO, in a statement on Monday.

Daesh has blown up the Baal Shamin temple, considered the second-most significant in ancient Palmyra, raising concerns for the rest of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Bokova called for the perpetrators to be held responsible for the loss.

The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate/USA/CIA and their first-string droogies have murdered one or two hundred thousand contemporary Syrians and that's OK, but now their rogue, second-string, false-flag operation has blown up some stones in the dessert and that's a war crime!

The war criminals are alive and well in Washington DC, at Martha's Vineyard and in the Hamptons, and at their resort on the East River in NYC. And nary a word is said.

Posted by: jfl | Aug 24 2015 18:16 utc | 88

Vintage Red at 87 --

Product placement -- didn't Franco's Guardia Civil and the Argentine junta favor Ford Falcons?

"f we choose the cause of liberation and consistently act on it, we are not complicit." I think that's a bit clearer and brisker than my formulation.

I always think of the Firesign Theater skit, "Le Trente-Huit Cunegonde" from "Waiting for the Electrician," where folks are "returned for re-grooving."

Keep up the good work!

Posted by: rufus magister | Aug 25 2015 11:35 utc | 89

Being a WWIII junkie, I've been a bit frustrated by the lack of public debate between the "When not If" crowd vs the "If not When" crowd.
Here's an interview with ethicist/philosopher Peter Singer, a When not If believer in the inevitability of WWIII - a view shared (and stated) by China. The inspiration for the interview was Singer's new allegorical book Ghost Fleet: A Novel of The Next World War. Some of which, according to Mr Singer, has already begun to come true.

Defence expert outlines 21st century US vulnerabilities in novel format
ELEANOR HALL: Well, as you say, your book talks about World War III, and clearly it is being taken seriously at very senior levels. What are the key vulnerabilities that you're concerned the US and its allies are dropping the ball on right now?
PETER SINGER: One is to understand it's a risk, it's something we certainly don't want to happen, I certainly don't think it is inevitable - I would note that Chinese media, for example People's Daily, recently wrote "a US-China war is inevitable".
ELEANOR HALL: Is inevitable?
PETER SINGER: It is inevitable. They went on to add if the US doesn't change its policies in the Pacific. It's a bit of a push against US policy makers, and also for their own public, which is very nationalist. Polling in China for example shows that 74 per cent of Chinese think they would win in a war with the US military now.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 26 2015 15:27 utc | 90

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