Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 24, 2015

Open Thread 2015-34

News & views ...

Posted by b on September 24, 2015 at 18:22 UTC | Permalink

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Thought you all would be interested in this:

Posted by: Mark Gaughan | Sep 24 2015 18:50 utc | 1

Erdogan visited Putin yesterday hoping he could convince Putin to give up on Assad. Instead, Putin said "Nyet".
Putin sticks by his allies, but there are costs. Turkstream has been temporarily scrapped.
Assad may take part in Syria transition, Erdoğan says

Erdogan returned to Ankara with nothing.

Posted by: plantman | Sep 24 2015 19:22 utc | 2

nice feel good story for anyone interested.. check out the video...

Posted by: james | Sep 24 2015 20:49 utc | 3

I'll start off with by saying , fuck Bernie Sanders. Calling Hugo Chavez " A dead Communist dictator " is lying bullshit propaganda in service of the US Empire that Bernie is so in love with.

That so called socialist Sanders, who would slander Chavez, who used socialism to lift more people out of poverty in Venezuela comparatively more than any other country in decades, simply screams that Sanders is a US empire bootlicker and would throw away any self called ideals or principles in pursuit of that goal..... To lick as many US military boots as possible.

If there was a model to follow if you're a socialist, Chavez is one of the better modern examples. ( Even though I have problems with Chavez as well. ) it makes you think even with all the passion that Sanders talks with about socialism, is that if he really means it.
Sounds like another Syriza example..... And what a disaster that was.

Posted by: tom | Sep 24 2015 20:54 utc | 4

Turkey's a Dialogue Partner within the SCO, since 2012, and the SCO has a very big anti-terrorism component that's part of its mission, which is why Pakistan and India's becoming full members is of such importance. Erdogan's support of Daesh has him burning his bridges to Europe and Asia simultaneously, which can't enamor him to Turkish elites and is totally against true Turkish national interests. Given his behavior, I doubt Turkey will be welcomed into the Eurasian Economic Union, become part of China's Silk Road project, or advance beyond being an SCO Dialogue Partner--not because of the European racism that's kept Turkey out of the EU, but because of Erdogan's behavior and policy choices. I don't see Erdogan having any future in Turkish politics.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 24 2015 21:02 utc | 5

About good feel stories: a European girl comes to an Asian country, sings in the local language and the locals get totally emotional.

Sad and recent story: this video gives you six month in jail, in Egypt

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 24 2015 21:20 utc | 6

@4 tom.. i'm a canuck.. i have a close friend here who grew up in the usa.. most of his family are in the usa.. he's enamoured with bernie sanders.. i don't know much about the man - mostly cause i haven't looked into him.. he is pushing the right buttons on some level and my friend is no mental midget either, but i wonder if the latest incarnation of ''hopey changey' starting with clinton, moving onto obama and now with sanders is going to amount to much of anything if he were to make it to the prez orifice..

Posted by: james | Sep 24 2015 21:33 utc | 7

Frome Private Eye: THE Langwell Estate near Ullapool in the Scottish Highlands offers grouse shooting, deer stalking and other opportunities to blow away wildlife. Its lodge rents for £4,250 per week in high season. In 2012, the estate received about £250,000 (€300,408) in EU agricultural subsidies. The estate’s owner, as Eye readers may recall, is Britain’s best-paid editor, Paul Dacre of… the not-very-EU-friendly Daily Mail!

Posted by: Lochearn | Sep 24 2015 21:35 utc | 8

@3 james

great video and great story ...

About 50 percent of Israelis are Mizrahim, or Jews who trace their ancestry to the Middle East, compared to the 30 percent who are European-descended Ashkenazim. A large percentage of Mizrahim are Arab Jews, i.e. originally from Arabic-speaking countries like Yemen, Morocco, Iraq, and many others. On top of those, around 20 percent of Israeli citizens are Palestinians, and thus Arabic-speaking as well.

Israel has 70% Arab speakers. I didn't know that. After the settlement of 'the troubles', with Northern Ireland still in English hands, I remember reading a comparison of Catholic and Scots-Irish populations there and their relative birth rates, with the conclusion drawn that on the ground it made no difference. Maybe the same is true in Israel. That makes me feel good. Jews and Arabs lived together for centuries all over the Middle East before the Western colonial Zionist Crusaders invaded. Maybe the beginning of another Thousand Year Reich's biting the dust. All that lovely dust in the video.

Makes me wonder about the story on the other thread, with the Israeli generals in favor of kicking in with Assad, Syria, and the Shia.

Time will tell, won't it?

Posted by: jfl | Sep 24 2015 21:39 utc | 9

Now this is interesting ... look at the comments ... is there a commonality? I detect at least two threads, but challenge you to think about what you see. Is this function of the blogger? of the readers? or, perhaps, of the whiskey?

Posted by: Rg an LG | Sep 24 2015 21:51 utc | 10

Germany to EU: No GMOs

Germany is expected to move forward with a previously-announced policy to ban genetically modified crops (GMOs) in the country, official documents seen by Reuters reveal.

In March, the EU approved the importation of 19 GMOs but has given countries the individual right to opt out. EU members have until Oct. 3 to inform the Commission whether they want to adopt GMO crops.

Wonder if Angela will stab her countrymen and women in the back again?

US sends 20 new nukes to Germany despite Bundestag decision for removal of US nukes from Germany

Starting third quarter 2015, the US Air Force is starting preparations to bring in new B61 nuclear bombs to Luftwaffe’s Büchel Air Base, according to ZDF TV channel. German parliament previously called for American nukes to be removed.

I guess that, brought up an apparatchik sucking up to the USSR, it's only natural for Angela now to act the good little apparatchik and suck up to the USSA?

Since the ascendance of Bush/Obama ... 4 long terms - 16 years - kids born under this Reich are driving now ... this is what we have to look foreward to in the USA itself, as well.

I agree with Tom, that Bernie is just another Hopey/Changling ... nothing good can come from The Party in the USA. Bernie is a militarist, just like Obama, and at least as subject to Israeli pressure to boot.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 24 2015 21:58 utc | 11

@5 karlof

Like the analysis. Hope you're right.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 24 2015 22:06 utc | 12

@1 Mark there are two other John Helmer that recently preceded the one you linked. Worth a read for those who don't think that MH17 is a musical group. (Sept. 13, 2015) (Sept. 16, 2015)

Posted by: SingingSam | Sep 24 2015 22:12 utc | 13

@1 & @13

Helmer is on fire after his holiday! IMF corruption in Ukraine and MH17 lies exposed and he still had time to take some oligarchs to task.

What next with the MH17 investigation? My guess is that they will aim to paint it as being caused by a BUK without explicitly stating so. They will then ignore any evidence that refutes it. Possibly redact parts of the report too.

Sadly this will be enough for the media to continue blaming Putin and I doubt any real justice will ever be served.

Posted by: Bob | Sep 24 2015 23:10 utc | 14

Posted by: tom | Sep 24, 2015 4:54:06 PM | 4

Sounds like another Syriza example.....

Good one tom :-)

Nope like another Obomo, Change if you believe it

Posted by: Jack Smith | Sep 24 2015 23:30 utc | 15

Trump et al: A pure sample of neoliberal barbarism

Posted by: nmb | Sep 24 2015 23:32 utc | 16

On feel good, remember the the speech even if coached a young girl gave to save or planet? Then I read this morning Saudia Arabia is (be)heading Human Rights of a month, that is the oxymoron of feel good or being good, headless chicken if you axe me!

Posted by: Kevin | Sep 24 2015 23:46 utc | 17

Given this piece of news,

Does anyone really believe the US will get ANY candidate who doesn't represent the empire?

Posted by: ben | Sep 24 2015 23:52 utc | 18


It was my understanding that any one of the four countries involved the the EU investigation had veto power over any release at all of the report. Ukraine being one of them. And to think that if the US doesn't know exactly what happened in that airspace is just delusional. If they could tie it to the Russians it would have been released before the plane hit the ground.

Posted by: Tom in AZ | Sep 24 2015 23:53 utc | 19

IF voting really matters, the question, whether voters realize it or not, is, do I get to share a bigger piece of spoils of the empire's conquests, or not? Sick. The answer is, of course, not if you labor for a living.

Posted by: ben | Sep 25 2015 0:04 utc | 20

Karlof1 @5: I don't think Erdogan's embrace of terrorism wd cause him to be estranged from Europe. NATO is behind Boko Haram in Africa, has made no serious objection to Nazism in Ukraine, and if they oppose any of the jihadi mercenaries they've kept it a secret. They've certainly gone along w helping US pretend to fight ISIS. They've enthusiastically supported US in its anti-Assad program; surely they know that the means is ISIS, etc.

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 25 2015 0:45 utc | 21

@ James at 3 and JFL at 9:

Interesting story about the Yemeni singing trio but if you had read the article much further down, the author states that this example and others like it are being used by the Israeli elite to congratulate itself and Israeli society on being tolerant of cultural diversity and to colonise and claim Mizrahi culture as its own, albeit lower down in the Israeli Jewish culture hierarchy as "pop" culture.

Posted by: Jen | Sep 25 2015 1:21 utc | 22

Where is that wretched quote about how this is a unipolar world, and the Empire ACTS and it's up to us to just study what they do. You know the quote I mean. Well, I'm just enjoying the hell out of this:

US State Department spokesman John Kirby:

"Last time I looked, ISIL [Islamic State] is not flying any aircraft," Kirby said. "So the fact that you have fighter aircraft, air-to-air capabilities brings up legitimate question. Because they don’t have aircraft, the need to have surface-to-air missile capability is a little bit quizzical."

"Some of that, I think you could reasonably argue, could be effective against terrorists. Some of that is a little less clear. So, I think we continue to have legitimate concerns and questions about Russia’s overall intent here," Kirby said.

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 25 2015 1:47 utc | 23

nmb @ 16: Thanks for the link, good read. From that article:

"The rhetoric of extreme cynicism used by Trump and Meimarakis, has a common origin. It goes back to the Thatcherian cynicism and the division of people between “capable” and “useless”. To the demonization of state, as it remains the last defence mechanism against the abolition of human rights."

And it's global, coming to you to.

Posted by: ben | Sep 25 2015 2:30 utc | 24

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who had pressed for the departure of Syrian President Bashar Assad for any solution of the intractable Syrian conflict, has said a solution that would include Assad is possible during a transition process.
“It is possible that this [transition] process may be without Assad or the transition process may continue with Assad. However, nobody sees a future with Assad in Syria. It is impossible for them [Syrian] to accept a dictator who led to the death of up to 350,000 people,” Erdoğan said on Thursday following Eid prayers in İstanbul.
The comments represent a softening of Turkey’s position towards Assad, whose four-year war against rebel groups and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters has claimed more than 200,000 lives.
The United States and Britain have already made similar shifts to their stances on Syria, as Russia bolsters its support for Assad with a military buildup in the country. US Secretary of State John Kerry recently said that the timing of Assad's exit following a peace deal would be negotiable.
That had prompted a swift rebuke from Turkey as Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu rejected any solution that does not exclude Assad from the start. Last Saturday, he clung to Ankara's firm position, stating that, after committing brutal atrocities against his own people, Assad cannot be part of any solution.


Could not happen to a nicer person! Little Red Riding Hood (red with a white crescent) innocently took a basket with food to visit her sick grandma in Moscow. There she met a big wolf (or a bear?) and next thing you know, poor girl, looking haggard, makes a press conference eating her own words.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 25 2015 3:06 utc | 25

sorry if i missed any comments directed to me..

@9 jfl. thanks. i find the site informative and educational.. thestory itself is not all positive when looked at more closely and as jen @22 points out!

@22 jen.. thanks for drawing attention to the bottom part of the article.. this is one of the reasons i read that site - they are more balanced based on my limited read of the site, but you are right the story is not without the dark highlights that you articulate..

regarding helmer - i have been reading the stories as they come out, but it was kind of mark at the top to point it out to others here who might not be..

@23 penelope.. it is always fun watching or listening to usa spokespersons speaking out of both sides of their mouths.. i don't know if you got to read or listen to matt lee asking Mark Toner, State Department Deputy Spokesperson some touching questions.. here it is quoted from a transcript off the angryarab.

"QUESTION: Yesterday, Saudi Arabia was named to head the Human Rights Council, and today I think they announced they are about to behead a 21-year-old Shia activist named Muhammed al-Nimr. Are you aware of that?
MR TONER: I’m not aware of the trial that you – or the verdict – death sentence.
QUESTION: Well, apparently, he was arrested when was 17-years-old and kept in juvenile detention, then moved on. And now, he’s been scheduled to be executed.
MR TONER: Right. I mean, we’ve talked about our concerns about some of the capital punishment cases in Saudi Arabia in our Human Rights Report, but I don’t have any more to add to it.
QUESTION: So you --
QUESTION: Well, how about a reaction to them heading the council?
MR TONER: Again, I don’t have any comment, don’t have any reaction to it. I mean, frankly, it’s – we would welcome it. We’re close allies. If we --
QUESTION: Do you think that they’re an appropriate choice given – I mean, how many pages is – does Saudi Arabia get in the Human Rights Report annually?
MR TONER: I can’t give that off the top of my head, Matt.
QUESTION: I can’t either, but let’s just say that there’s a lot to write about Saudi Arabia and human rights in that report. I’m just wondering if you that it’s appropriate for them to have a leadership position.
MR TONER: We have a strong dialogue, obviously a partnership with Saudi Arabia that spans, obviously, many issues. We talk about human rights concerns with them. As to this leadership role, we hope that it’s an occasion for them to look at human rights around the world but also within their own borders.
QUESTION: But you said that you welcome them in this position. Is it based on improved record? I mean, can you show or point to anything where there is a sort of stark improvement in their human rights record?
MR TONER: I mean, we have an ongoing discussion with them about all these human rights issues, like we do with every country. We make our concerns clear when we do have concerns, but that dialogue continues. But I don’t have anything to point to in terms of progress.
QUESTION: Would you welcome as a – would you welcome a decision to commute the sentence of this young man?
MR TONER: Again, I’m not aware of the case, so it’s hard for me to comment on it other than that we believe that any kind of verdict like that should come at the end of a legal process that is just and in accordance with international legal standards."

Posted by: james | Sep 25 2015 3:29 utc | 26

@14 & @19

I'm expecting a vague final report based on evidence that other investigators can't verify. On Oct. 13 the report will hardly be noticed because of media attention to other events. Not much new evidence will be presented in the report. There will be no closure for the victims' families. The ongoing criminal investigation will be cited as the reason why some information will remain withheld after Oct. 13. Nebulous social media evidence will be given more weight than eye witness accounts at the crash scene. Western governments and media will claim that the report proves that Russia is guilty. If no tribunal is created before Oct. 13 then the odds that one will ever be created will drop to near zero.

As of today Wim De Bruin (spokesman for the Dutch Prosecutor's office) says that the possibility of an air-to-air missile attack has not been ruled out.
The possibility of multiple modes of attack will not be mentioned in the final report. A single missile will be blamed for all of the observed damage caused by high energy objects.

The secret agreement among the members of the Joint Investigation Team will remain secret. Each has veto power over what can be publicly released. And there are other secrets. It is hard to imagine that the governments of the US, Ukraine, Russia, UK, Germany and France haven't known from the beginning what happened.

Posted by: SingingSam | Sep 25 2015 3:36 utc | 27


The fearful and desperate attacks on Trump are getting more ludicrous every day. Trump attacks the worthless political parasites that populate our government and he is the cynic who will destroy human rights.

All this while these Statists and their minions in government strip all rights from the people to 'protect them' from Donald Trump.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Sep 25 2015 5:26 utc | 28

Putin on the Syrian Refugee Crisis: Nobody will pass the buck to Russia

The situation of the events is very serious. The Islamic State now controls considerable territories of Iraq and Syria. ISIS are speaking publicly about taking control of Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem. In their plans are increased activity in Europe, Russia, Central and Southeast Asia. This worries us, as their activity consists of ideological and military preparation of fighters from the countries from all around the world. This includes fighters from Europe and from the Russian Federation and from former Soviet Republics. We are of course concerned about their return home. It is common sense that global and regional security requires the combined efforts of the international community.

Geopolitical ambitons must be put aside as well as double standards. We mustn't employ the use of other terrorist groups to achieve [our] own ends. This includes regime change and the deposing of inconvenient leaders.

There have been attempts to blame the refugee crisis on Russia. In the sense that the origin of the crisis lies in Russia supporting the legitimate leader of Syria.

First of all, I would like to emphasize: People are escaping Syria first and foremost from the results of the influx of arms. They are escaping from the animal actions of the terrorists. We know very well how animal they are. We know of the despicable ways they kill and destroy monuments. They [the refugees] are escaping radicaliam in the first instance. And if Russia did not support Syria the situation would be even worse than it is in Libya. And there would be many more refugees than now.

Secondly, the support for the legitimate leader of Syria has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that refugees are coming from countries such as Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan. We are not the ones who destabilised these countries. Whole regions! It is not us who destroy institutions of power - creating power vacuums that are immediately filled by terrorist groups. Nobody is going to pass the buck to Russia when it comes to blame for the refugee crisis.

China deploys troops to help Russia in Syria

An Arab news source [Al Masdar News] reports that a military contingent of the PRC is on the way to Latakia and will arrive in Syrian ports any day. Chinese transport with military cargo was spotted on Tuesday morning, passing through the Suez canal.

Information about the Chinese military experts heading to Tartus was confirmed by the commander of the Syrian army. The report concludes that Moscow will create in Syria an anti-terrorist coalition that will become the alternative version of the military alliance formed by the US for dropping supplies to ISIS.

"We welcome the Russian President's proposal on establishment of a common front in a fight against terrorism and are even ready in realizing this initiative to carry out joint operations and cooperate together," - said deputy foreign minister of Iran.

Don't know about the Chinese but the Iranians seem to be on board. Looks like Putin will have a fait accompli to present to the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate in New York ... that is if the Japanese and Russian leaders are able to finish their conference in time for Putin to meet with Obama.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 25 2015 6:29 utc | 29

@22 Jen @26 James

I'm not unmindfull of the Israeli spin, but in the back of my mind ... and not that far back ... is the report of the Israeli generals pushing for an 'alliance' with Assad against 'Sunni terror'. There was a huge sandstorm in the Middle East last week and the sands are still shifting.

Netanyahoo and his crew seem to have lost on the Iran deal. The US/EU are looking weaker by the day in the Middle East. The 'refugee crisis' has made continued silence on their actual results obtained in Syria ... and Libya, as Putin helpfully points out above ... impossible. All of a sudden everyone has noticed the only actual results of US/EU policy in Syria are ISIS and refugees ... and DD&D of course, but no one in the US or EU cares about that.

I think the Israelis might be putting Plan B into play : the US goes down, what do we do now? Make nice with the Lebanese, Syrians, Iraqis, and Iranians. They know what kind of people are in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf : people just like themselves.

So now the Israelis - along with myself and others the world around - have suddenly discovered the Arab speakers in their midst ; 70% of the population. So long US, thanks for the fish. Will their cynical ... 'I love you man!' to the 70% of 'their' population they've always looked down on, if they noticed them at all, work? I don't think so. But they've always been the smartest guys in the room and probably know much more about that than I do. We'll see, won't we.

I have no idea if that's any more 'correct' than other explanations, but it seems not impossible to me. And the sands do seem to be shifting rapidly in the Middle East right now.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 25 2015 6:49 utc | 30

@jfl | Sep 25, 2015 2:49:45 AM | 30

Netanyahoo and his crew seem to have lost on the Iran deal.

Israel lost the battle, but not the war (yet). Next US president might sabotage either the deal itself, or reimpose sanctions on another fake pretext, like human rights or "support of terrorism". Speaking of which, US Senate is already considering sanctions on Iran based on it.

As saying goes, when there is a will, there is a way. After hearing speeches of US president candidates, I would be very surprised if in a few years US wont restart unilateral sanctions on Iran like they did before, and twist the hands of its puppets to do the same. It will be much harder this time to form a coalition (EU and East will be too much invested in Iran), but US can still make life of Iranians a living hell.

Posted by: Harry | Sep 25 2015 7:16 utc | 31

@ 24 Thank you Ben. It's global indeed. You are absolutely right.

Posted by: nmb | Sep 25 2015 9:52 utc | 32

Posted by: james | Sep 24, 2015 11:29:31 PM | 26

Mister Ink and Mister Toner.

That Toner is a real hoot, isn't he? These mouthpieces have been speaking in circle jerk for so long they don't realize how stupid they sound. Every one is a sketch for Saturday Night Live.

Posted by: fast freddy | Sep 25 2015 10:57 utc | 33


Just as years earlier a poor village girl sang in a cantina, captured a president's heart,looted their people of all their gold bullion, with an Iranian named Khashoggi and a US leader named George the Elder, which loot they used to underwrite $250B in illegal junk bonds to privatize the collapsing Soviet oil and gas, and led directly to 9-11, the way Poroshenko, Kerry-Kohn and the ZiMF are imitating today with the Kiev Junta illegal privatization junk bonds and shooting down of MH-17, then where is the pathos in this modern remake? Is it the poor Nuland girl, with her F*CK EU karaoka title? Does she own 2,000 pairs of shoes too, or is she more like the dipsy Cyrus girl?

Posted by: Chipnik | Sep 25 2015 11:50 utc | 34


Adolf Hitler ran on the slogan 'Make Germany Great Again'

Posted by: Chipnik | Sep 25 2015 11:56 utc | 35


And that's precisely why Mossad is so successful in creating MENA honey pots and inciting false flag Arabic-speaking insurgent groups to further their ZiNWO, just like the dual-citizen Israeli Junta Coup in Kiev, and it's illegal junk bond collectivization, privatization and long-term lease of the best agricultural land to ZiMonsanto, announced immediately after the coup, meaning their illegal deal had already been made before Nuland gave the 'go' sign for her masters.

"We won, you lost. It's just business, get over it."

Posted by: Chipnik | Sep 25 2015 12:10 utc | 36

After the fiasco of Obama I will never believe the promises of any supposedly populist candidate for President again. But Sanders didn't call out Chavez by name and his point was the tactics used by Hillary who undoubtedly called Chavez an "Anti-American Dictator" in order to smear Sanders.

I would hold my nose and vote Sanders in the hope and expectation that he would be a weaker president than Clinton or any other candidate. That is all to the good as far as I am concerned.

Posted by: Diogenes | Sep 25 2015 12:36 utc | 37

Another advantage of a weak President Sanders would be that when the people who voted for him see him being smeared and undermined every day by his Democratic friends - or even his own cabinet - it will be a strong incentive for the formation of a new party un-beholden to Wall St. and their ilk.

Posted by: Diogenes | Sep 25 2015 12:49 utc | 38

What did the Pope say to Congress?Well,if you didn't watch the speech,you'd never know,from the Ziomedia.Was it something about selling weapons in a blood drenched world?
The rags are getting more and more despicable,as they try to hide the terrible fruits of Zionism.

Posted by: dahoit | Sep 25 2015 14:04 utc | 39

It's nice to see a humorist here at MOA, a 'Third Party', that's a real hoot.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Sep 25 2015 14:16 utc | 40

#39 dahoit

The pope before congress ...

Pope Decries “Shameful and Culpable Silence” on Arms Sales “Drenched in Innocent Blood”

Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.

Do you think he was talking about Saudi Arabia and Syria and Yemen? Apparently Bonehead invited him ...

US House Speaker Boehner resigning from Congress in October

"Speaker Boehner believes that the first job of any Speaker is to protect this institution and, as we saw yesterday with the Holy Father, it is the one thing that unites and inspires us all," a Boehner aide said.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 25 2015 15:05 utc | 41

"Given the numerous lines of evidence for the IS affinities of Liwa Shuhada’ al-Yarmouk, one may ask why IS has not already announced a new ‘wilaya’ (province), in this case a Wilayat Deraa, which would from a propaganda viewpoint mark a significant ‘expansion’ in that even its predecessor ISIS, which was much more widely (and thinly) spread across Syria, never had a foothold in the province on account of the loyalty of Jabhat al-Nusra affiliates to Jowlani. One answer may be that the problem for IS is that the territory currently controlled by Liwa Shuhada’ al-Yarmouk is not contiguous with the rest of its holdings in Syria and Iraq, or it may be the announcement is only a matter of time."

... or is it because of its proximity to Israel ?

Posted by: Mina | Sep 25 2015 15:10 utc | 42

"In an historic address Pope Francis becomes the first pontiff in history to speak to a joint meeting of the United States Congress in Washington. He broached a number of subjects in his speech once more touching upon the issue of climate change and calling on Americans to embrace immigrants from Latin America and around the world."

Full speech:

Posted by: ben | Sep 25 2015 15:10 utc | 43

vice prez kalla on the made in indon toxic smog engulfing malaysia and sg, every yr this time for the past two decades.
*They have suffered because of the haze for one month and they get upset,

For 11 months, they enjoyed nice air from Indonesia and they never thanked us,!!!*

Posted by: denk | Sep 25 2015 15:23 utc | 44

On the heels of the crane collapse in Mecca, a panic among pilgtims - reported to have been set off by Salman's son the 'defense minister' and his heavily armed retinue - has killed a staggering 2000 of them ...

Catastrophe in Saudi Arabia, pillar of Washington’s Middle East policy

Indeed, on the eve of the latest disaster, a letter surfaced written by an unnamed grandson of King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, the founder of Saudi Arabia, calling on the royal family to convene an “emergency meeting” essentially for the purpose of deposing the king and his key supporters.

The letter indicts Saudi interventionism in Yemen and Syria as “totally miscalculated” acts that have “weakened the trust of our people and [incited] other people against us.”

It points to the country’s growing economic crisis, fueled by the collapse in oil prices, which in turn has been driven in large measure by the monarchy’s decision to continue full production with the aim of inflicting damage on Iran and Russia. The result has been a sharp decline in revenues, threatening to raise this year’s budget deficit to as much as 20 percent of GDP. If the monarchy is forced to implement austerity measures, cutting back on social spending, it may well trigger an explosive revolt in a country where an estimated 40 percent of the population lives in poverty, and where 40 percent of young workers, between the ages of 20 and 24, are unemployed.

The letter concludes by asking the House of Saud to “isolate the incapable King Salaman, the extravagant and vain Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, and the rotten thief Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salaman.”

Top-down or bottom-up looks like Salman is gonna go? He was just at the White House, wasn't he? Basking in the warm, welcoming smile of the Nobel Peace Prixe Laureate slash Number One Purveyor of Arms to Slay Innocents in the World Today, who congratulated him on his recored 174, was it?, executions this year ... no, actully he was congratulating him on Saudi's new seat on the UN Human Rights Committee. They were smiling ear to ear : Barack the Arms Merchant for his phony Nobel and Salman for his phony human rights credential no doubt. Both taking great pleasure in black is white, war is peace, false is true.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 25 2015 15:36 utc | 46

James @ 26:

Fantastically funny, but pathetic and sad at the same time.
AmeriKans have gotten so used to that double-talk that they no longer understand when a politician (at home or abroad) speaks plainly and logically about events. They will generally recoil in horror and eventually fall into fear and loathing of that person who tells some hard truths that intrude on the stream of bullshit they've grown accustomed to.

Posted by: farflungstar | Sep 25 2015 15:38 utc | 47

@43 ben

Bill Aukin's quote comes at the end of the speech ~43:00 ...

Here we have to ask ourselves: Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.

... not so many of the congress critters standing up for that one.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 25 2015 16:53 utc | 48

@ 30 jfl.. i agree with your perspective here.

here is another interesting article from the -> Western backers end support for Syrian rebels attempting to seize Daraa

here's a page on one of the guys they interview.. and as this article of his shows, his viewpoint can't be trusted unless you trust neo-cons.. i guess that is what the washingtoninstitute comes down to - another neo-con think tank advising the president of warmonger incorporated..

Posted by: james | Sep 25 2015 16:55 utc | 49

@33 fast freddy and @47 farflungstar.. those sessions with the press are shocking for what they do and don't say..yes - a saturday night live skit is about it, except they are representing warmonger incorporated, so it is more disturbing. this poster on youtube uploads many of these daily briefings from the state dept when it has to do with russia/ukraine.. i have been following the page for some time.. the state dept spokespeople follow much the same script regardless of the questions asked which is to offer up state propaganda while avoiding the questions or worse...

Posted by: james | Sep 25 2015 17:05 utc | 50

I think it is reckless and dangerous for Putin to come to the US to address the UN.
Putin is putting himself needlessly at risk.
The US sees Putin as the biggest obstacle in their plan to pivot to asia and to redraw the map of the Middle East.
Remember Arafat?
Remember Chavez?

Putin is making a mistake....a stupid mistake.
These people will stop at nothing. Just ask the people who lost loved ones on 9-11.

Posted by: plantman | Sep 25 2015 17:42 utc | 51

shaped charges
come in all shapes and sizes.
art for art sake
money for satans sake

A large group of artists were given space and construction access

to the World Trade Center in the four years leading up to 9/11

Thoughts on the WTC Artists

Posted by: charles drake | Sep 25 2015 17:55 utc | 52

fast freddy@33 and james@50 The US state Department are a joke, they do not know what is going on in the world, even a glance at the newspapers might help them. In fact the next question to the mouthpiece should be.. Before I ask my question have you read any newspapers today,so that we start off on an even footing.

Posted by: harry law | Sep 25 2015 18:17 utc | 53

Bringing Iran back into the Int’l community has changed everything. All diplomats are acting like Iran is now ‘in the fold.’ (Independently of commercial interests / deals. Iran as non-grata country is over. Actually that was over when the end-to-sanctions negotiations were about half way through.) The upcoming peace talks in Geneva (on Syria) will include Assad, Iran, Russia, all Assad opponents (questions as to who, etc.). ISIS - a terrorist organisation (that is the official position, see Putin) - will not be included. Anecdotally, it is said (even in Swiss press, so a rumor which is strongly bruited about), that the US and Russia have been having intense conversations about Syria and Iran for a few weeks now (not about Ukraine…which is now seemingly an abandoned project..) It seems that all the parties want this as soon as possible, which looks like being November. (The UN security council has to agree even if only implicitly.)

The terrain is being prepared, examples:

NY daily news:

Sure there is many a slip betwix the cup and the lip. Who knows. But it looks like Putin’s agenda is getting a firm grip.

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 25 2015 18:33 utc | 54

Yesterday, Saudi Arabia was named to head the Human Rights Council, and today I think they announced they are about to behead a 21-year-old Shia activist named Muhammed al-Nimr. Are you aware of that?

quote, posted by james at 26.

This flap was totally created by hysterical Human Rights ppl (isr…)

What is in question here is an obscure and meaningless committee within the HRC. It is composed of 5 ppl, nominated by the 5 ‘world blocs.’ The Saudi chap was chosen by the Asia bloc. The presidency of this tiny committee is a turning one (afaik, though I haven’t read / verified that specifically), as that is the only way to run these things and avoid quarrels. The president’s role is formal merely, without any decisionary powers. He or she chairs the meetings of these 5 ppl, signs the minutes, and so on.

The function of this committee is to examine the candidates for the ‘special rapporteurs’ role, and propose, in agreement, 3 candidates to the upper echelon, who then makes a choice, but can also override the recommendations, and choose another (rejected by the committee) candidate (or presumably even a non-official-candidate, though that is of course not officially stated.) This committee thus only meets when a special rapporteur quits or dies. I tried to look up if it has ever met, no joy, so who knows. It is possible it has NEVER convened.

one article in F in this direction (I hope visible from elsewhere..)

Here is the directory of the special rapporteurs, have a look, what a crowd. Doubt the committee has any influence at all...

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 25 2015 19:12 utc | 55

The Guardian is pushing a new think tank analysis, highlighting a perception of mistrust in Russian intentions for Syria, and recommending splitting Iraq and Syria into smaller statelets. The analysis also makes the absurd claim: "Russian troops are backing Assad in the fight against groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham, which are themselves opposed to Isis. If Russian troops do eventually join combat, therefore, they would also – technically – be assisting Isis,”

The Washington Post yesterday published an opinion piece written by Michael O'Hanlon, of the Brookings Institution, also calling for the "deconstruction" of Syria into smaller statelets, as Brookings has been advising for some months.

These think tanks are studiously ignoring the fact that Putin is, in effect, calling out the practice of using terrorist armies to achieve geopolitical ends. This willful ignorance may fool people in the USA and UK, where many readers are not aware that Jabhat al-Nusra, for example, is actually al Qaeda, but it will not fool a global public.

Posted by: jayc | Sep 25 2015 19:24 utc | 56

James @26. Thanks. Love to read deserved squirming by US spokesmen for "Western values".
You might want to see the outrageous Western deceit in past 3 years Syrian negotiations.

9/25/15 New Consultations for Syria in Geneva. For the last three years, the government has implemented the Geneva Communiqué of June 2012, while the foreign-based opposition has refused to do so, hoping for military victory.
Ban Ki-moon’s representative for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, works under the orders of the NATO Director of Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, who tried to frame Assad w false witnesses for killing of Hariri.
This brief Meyssan article summarizes incredible deceit by the West in the past 3 yrs of negotiation.

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 25 2015 19:25 utc | 57

dahoit @39 It's what the pope DIDN'T SAY that was in the original draft. The paragraph was to introduce the punchline at the end, but he chickened out, omitted the whole para:

The following section, which was in the prepared remarks, was not included in the speech.] Here I think of the political history of the United States, where democracy is deeply rooted in the mind of the American people. All political activity must serve and promote the good of the human person and be based on respect for his or her dignity. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776). If politics must truly be at the service of the human person, it follows that it cannot be a slave to the economy and finance.

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 25 2015 19:26 utc | 58

“We intend to change the norm that has become established here: that the state of Israel allows these deadly and murderous objects to be thrown without response and without being thwarted,” said Netanyahu

Yes he is talking about stones picked up from the floor. Now it is officially an offence worthy of execution.

Posted by: Bob | Sep 25 2015 19:31 utc | 59

Support for Russian assistance to Syria from an unexpected source.."Vladimir Putin now pitches himself as Europe’s migrant-crisis saviour. Only by saving Assad, he argued, can we stem the flow. Bizarrely, he sounds as though he is making more sense than anyone else".

Posted by: harry law | Sep 25 2015 19:34 utc | 60

jayc 56: just before the statement you cited from The Guardian, the expert of RUSI (Royal United Service Institute, all services from hair wash to blow jobs) made the following highly toughtful argument: QUOTE START Igor Sutyagin, a Russian strategic analyst, said there was an air regiment at Latakia with 28 planes, a battalion of motorised infantry and military engineers as well as a marine battalion at the naval base in Tartus.

The deployment, Sutyagin said, “underlines the contradictions of the Kremlin’s policy”, because the troops were in areas where Isis is not present. QUOTE END

News flash: planes sometimes operate at a certain distance from their base. For example, USA, however lamely, performs actions against ISIS from Turkey, Cyprus etc. If anything, Russian bases are closer to their targets.

That said, Russians behave like true barbarians. Civilized people like USA and Turkey spend a lot of time on planning, coordination etc. Haste make waste. Russians are more like a Mongolian horde that would cross a big part of Asia and then, instead of planning, coordinating etc. attack before folks there figure out what's up. Al Masdar News reported at least three attacks on ISIS, in Palmyra, east Aleppo province and ar-Raqqa, plus deployment of observation drones. The government advanced a bit in east Aleppo and more in the vicinity of Palmyra which is now surrounded (not clear if completely, but SAA has positions in four directions from Palmyra, all connected but perhaps still no connection between north and east/south east connection. By the way of contrast, the government made more local truces with "moderates": in Zabadani/Madaya are (west of Damascus), the pair of Shia towns in Idlib and the newest, with a cluster of villages in the Golan area that were under pressure from the government AND Isis.

In the meantime, in the civilized halls of Washington and London the experts still inform reporters that they remain "puzzled" and "concerned" about the intentions of Putin and Assad. Putin apparently belongs to the school of thought "plan long, act fast", Chingis Khan would approve. He wants to remove the glory from being "peripatetic jihadists", as the latter move between East Turkestan and Mali (Africa), including murderous mischief in East Turkestan, central Asia, "Emirate of Caucasus", with Iraq/Syria being the current focus of romantic inspiration and the place where one can gain battle experience, war booty, broads etc. As they move, peripatetic jihadists gravitate toward the most successful and charismatic leaders of the hour, and if they move only locally, they just claim the most prestigious label of today. Which is ISIS, but yesterday it was al-Qaeda, and tomorrow it will be something else. One cannot truly "eradicate" the phenomenon, but military (and subsequently, administrative) defeats will remove the glory and the degree of romantic attraction. And last but not least, those defeats will alleviate incredible misery of millions of victims.

So there are issues raised "but how we will coordinate"? In the west, it is a total puzzle how one can fail to coordinate, say with CENTCOM. In the barbarian center of Eurasia it is a total puzzle why one would coordinate. A Russian plane approaches, say, coast of England or north Syria, a British or American plane "intercepts", but the pilots are trained, they recognize each other and avoid collisions; that's it. In need, they can use radio to message each other "Get out of here" "Try me" and so on, so each command has to have some policy what to do. There is a good custom to use more threatening messages after some type of one sided communication on the top level, and there is some degree of reciprocity. As Israel bombed Syrian government targets, nobody will be overly surprised if one day some planes will be shot down on "try me" principle. Those things are NEVER resolved solely by talking.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 25 2015 20:30 utc | 61

I don't believe what I am reading by poster 61.
Racism is alive and kicking it lets down this forum.
You discredit the debate by allowing this type of post

Posted by: James lake | Sep 25 2015 20:59 utc | 62

Too bad the Pope chickened out in front of Congress. As I expected.

At least Martin Luther King named names, about the 'US as evil as the greatest purveyor of violence.' Which this pope will never, ever, do.

Give me a chance at the Congress Lectern, and I will receive a world record of ovations.....of being booed.

Posted by: tom | Sep 25 2015 21:06 utc | 63

Ukrainian Link so you need to translate but it turns out NATO wrote Ukraine's newly issued military doctrine. Which of course lists Russia as the top three (?) threats to their national security.

Posted by: Bob | Sep 25 2015 22:03 utc | 64

JayC @56,

Brookings has LOST, yet still assume that they will get their preferred result in Syria-- little "statelets" indeed.

Btw, some hawkish faction has just invented another new "moderate" group-- the Syrian Arab Coalition. US says, about this hitherto unheard-of group, "U.S. commanders now feel that supporting this coalition will be crucial to success in northern Syria,"
"U.S. military commanders have proposed a program to provide arms and ammunition to a coalition of up to 5,000 anti-ISIS Syrian rebels now operating in northern Syria." [Is the US going to escalate equipment?]

"The group, which is loosely referred to as the Syrian Arab Coalition, has had battlefield successes in recent weeks against ISIS at the very time the U.S. has been struggling to figure out what to do with its own program to train other moderate Syrian rebels and to put them on the battlefield." [Anything to make the diplo-battlefield more difficult.]

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 25 2015 22:12 utc | 65

James lake @ 62, I think you are failing to recognize irony. (He doesn't mean it; he is mocking those who wd assume such a conclusion; hence the exaggeration)


Posted by: Penelope | Sep 25 2015 22:23 utc | 66

@65 '....some hawkish faction has just invented another new "moderate" group....'

Their first task will be to lob a few rockets into the Russian base.

Posted by: dh | Sep 25 2015 22:40 utc | 67

"These mouthpieces have been speaking in circle jerk for so long they don't realize how stupid they sound."

Bravo. This describes the entire US elite in any sector - cultural, military, or economic.

"Syrian Arab Coalition"

Facepalm. These scumbags are really going to try this? They can invent and arm a whole moderate opposition group in the time it takes you or me to spin up a WordPress blog. Though our blog might have more substance.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 25 2015 22:56 utc | 68

Aron Lund of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on the question of what Russia is going to bomb in Syria here.

Nice punchline included: "Whatever one thinks of [Putin firing missiles into the western narrative], it is a big and bold idea of the sort that sometimes end up working."

Posted by: persiflo | Sep 25 2015 23:22 utc | 69

@69 pretty weird link ... I wouldn't follow it if I were you. Looks like malware.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 26 2015 1:01 utc | 70

@54, @55

I certainly agree with your assessment of Iran/The Neoliberal Western World ... the train has left the station with all aboard. There do seem to be a few Israelis (Sheldon Adelpate) and their boytoys (Ted Cruz, et. al.) trying to keep the 'fever' up back at the station, but people are walking around them in the course of their quotidian comings and goings. The media, of course, are still reporting 'the story' of the dead horse rising at the train station. That's the US anyway.

I also take your point that the Saudi UNHRC flare is much ado about nothing. But in lieu of any adieu about somenthing - USA/KSA genocide in Yemen - it's welcome that Human Rights and Saudi Arabia are poured together into the same glass to 'admire', like a pousse-café of imiscible liquids. The non-reporting on the truly monstrous USA/KSA aggression and total war against the Yemenis is truly shameful. Martha Mundy makes, among others, the interesting point of the reaction of Western Civilization to the Israeli genocide in Gaza and the non-reaction to the Saudi genocide in Yemen. I guess it's a question of how much one can afford to disappear from Western discourse?

Posted by: jfl | Sep 26 2015 1:28 utc | 71

in re 35, 58

Let's all leave aside the fact that what he actually said so pissed off the GOP they now want to .

Related factoid -- Speaker Boehner is resigning his seat, effective the end of next month. Like the clown car of GOP Presidential debates was not enough low comedy, we now get to watch the Tea Party flex its muscle to elect a new Speaker of the House.

This season's original "holier than thou" Race to the Right: Apprentice Edition is to be joined by Race to the Right: Congressional Survivor. Sponsored by ALEC, the Military Industrial Complex, and Big Carbon, it gets the imprimatur of the Religious Right. "We put the 'fair' in Pharisee!"

I doubt that this will do the brand any good. Saints preserve us from devout persons.

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 26 2015 1:52 utc | 72

oops -- deleted "excommunicate him" but did not insert "crucify him."

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 26 2015 1:54 utc | 73

persifio ant jfl, 69 & 70

Here's the same essay repro'd at Russia Insider for the curious.

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 26 2015 2:01 utc | 74

Though attentions remained focused on Syria, the political situation in Banderastand continues to evolve.

Perhaps the most interesting event is the Pravyi Sektor-Tatar blockade of truck traffic between the Ukraine and Crimea. The intent of course is to starve the Crimea into submission. And pick up a little bribe money for the operators, too, ti seems.

Likely won't work, but it is suggestive of the predilections of the junta and the influence of the far Right. New Cold War provides a good set of links with Ukrainian Extremists Blockade Road.

Fort Russ has an analysis of why it will not achieve junta goals.

Fascism is as fascism does. It represses labor. The title here says it all: The battle over changes to Ukraine’s Soviet-era labor code. There are several other links on the topic there at New Cold War as well.

The same with John Helmer on the MH17 investigation. Such as it is. Good start here.

Here's a shocker: Poll shows little confidence by Ukrainians in economic ‘reforms’ of present government. The various stats do not seem conducive to stability.

And or course, Pravyi Sektor's strong adherence ot "European values" always shines through. This being the European values of political and religious repression.

This I think could be related to earlier reports of the joint Ukrainian/Turkish Crimean Tatar militia that came out of the recent Tatar conference in Turkey. Training Camps in Ukraine Prepare Crimean Tatar Islamic Terrorists for ISIS looks to be more of that dangerous "enemy of my enemy is my friend" thinking so popular in NATO-linked circles these days.

Here's another example of Robert Parry's usual fine work. Will US Grasp Putin’s Syria Lifeline? I've not had time to fully read it yet, but he seems to suggest we might, since Obama and Kerry want it. But as we all know, neocon opinion might count for more.

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 26 2015 2:28 utc | 75

I think it is reckless and dangerous for Putin to come to the US to address the UN. Putin is putting himself needlessly at risk.
(etc, etc.)
Posted by: plantman | Sep 25, 2015 1:42:37 PM | 51

Don't fret.
Putin knows what craven cowards Yankees (and their "Israeli" friends) are.
And the Yankees know that letting something happen to Putin would only put AmeriKKKa "needlessly at risk" because Russia would still be there - but less friendly than before.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 26 2015 2:34 utc | 76

here is another one of those white house press briefings from today.. press secretary josh earnest as 'putinologist'! this guy comes across as a complete idiot..what a great image the usa is presenting and projecting with earnest buffoons like josh giving white press briefings..

Posted by: james | Sep 26 2015 2:36 utc | 77

oops -- deleted "excommunicate him" but did not insert "crucify him."
Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 25, 2015 9:54:12 PM | 73

Yeah ... because you were focusing on your fake persona, again, and forgot that style doesn't trump substance.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 26 2015 2:50 utc | 78

@76 hoarse

And timing ... the 'refugee crisis' rang the bell to begin this round. People (Europeans) woke up to the fact that all their off-hand meddling/punishment dealt out to MENA actually had consequences for themselves. Americans are still asleep, dont bother trying to wake them.

But Putin is going to get a lot of respect for just rolling up his sleeves and doing what has to be done in Syria. And Iran will reap goodwill from ostensibly riding his coattails. And the ring has widened to include Iraq. It is finally dawning on people as well that, hey, there was none of this trouble before the US invaded Iraq. Afghanistan and Iraq. And Libya. And Yemen ...

Someone at Fortrus described Putin's awareness of a middle-eastern proclivity for volte-face (u-turn, I hadda look it up), and that seems to be just what's happening. Putin is now the white hat, riding to the rescue of civilization, and Bad Barack/the USA is the black hat. The cause of all the trouble that Putin, outgunned but doing what just has to be done anyway, is now forced to deal with.

By the time Americans do wake up it'll be all over. They'll be on the sidelines, the new uncontested ex-global hegemon.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 26 2015 3:26 utc | 79


Are you sure you're not a reincarnation of Sergei Bulgakov and the fin-de-siècle Ghost Dancing sophists of Volgagrad?

Russia is an oiligarchy. The US is an oiligarchy. KSA is an oiligarchy. And the Zionists provide the grease and the cointel.

By the time you wake up, it will be all over. You Marxists have to get over yourself. Your peontology played out in 1991.

Posted by: NoReply | Sep 26 2015 5:52 utc | 80
A group of US-trained Syrian rebels has handed over their vehicles and ammunition to fighters linked to al-Qaeda, the US military has admitted.

It said one rebel unit had surrendered six pick-up trucks and ammunition to the al-Nusra Front this week - apparently to gain safe passage.

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 26 2015 6:44 utc | 81

Trump Campaigns in Amish Pennsylvania!

Posted by: AHammer | Sep 26 2015 8:32 utc | 82

jfl @71 I s'pose the Yemen crimes against humanity are getting less attention than the earlier Israeli ones in Gaza cuz US is involved in Yemen. Also, Palestinians have so many champions that it wdn't be possible to really shut the story up, whereas the Yemenis . . . .

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 26 2015 9:41 utc | 83


Yeah, it's depressingly easy to account for ... just that I hadn't juxtaposed the treatment of the two previously. The ease with which these scum manipulate the 'Western discourse' is truly repulsive.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 26 2015 10:02 utc | 84

Horsey baby -- I'm as real as it gets.

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 26 2015 11:20 utc | 85

Thank you ben@43 for the link to Pope Francis' address to Congress.

It has been mentioned that he left out a paragraph indicting the abuses of capital. I would say he did so in order not to deflect from the indictment he gave for the arms trade, as well as the overarching references to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, and Thomas Merton as icons of the American tradition of government.

Three Catholic Supreme Court justices did not see fit to attend: Scalia, Alito, Thomas. I guess they were too busy performing their duties.

Posted by: juliania | Sep 26 2015 12:40 utc | 86


He switched to a deeply serious voice to imitate his rivals who have provided details [on their military/foreign policy]: "If I'm president, I will engage the sixth fleet. I will do this, I will do that, I will attack Russia and Syria."

"This is what they say," Trump said. "They want to start World War III over Syria. Give me a break. You know, Russia wants to get ISIS, right? We want to get ISIS. Russia is in Syria — maybe we should let them do it? Let them do it."

Count me as one of the leftists enjoying Trump's truth-telling. It's pro-wrestling-style entertainment (well analyzed by Roland Barthes), sure, but Trump teaches the left how to effectively structure _our_ persuasive entertainment. If we dare, which we never do cuz it's "too Jerry Springer," "too NASCAR," "too shit-kicker," "too low CLASS." Always revealing to consider why there never is a left version of Trump, in other words a leftist Presidential candidates who pulls better from the folks who never graduated from high school than from grad school grads, or better from the poorest 20% than she/he does from the CLASSiest 40%.

Posted by: fairleft | Sep 26 2015 14:02 utc | 87

@87 fairleft

Because 'leftists' are the lifeblood of the machine. They're all invested in the system and feel they have everything to lose if anything changes. They've been enslaved by the TNCs directly or by the TNCs government bureaucracy/academia indirectly. Talking here the real corporate/political class.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 26 2015 14:54 utc | 88

jfl: Right!

Trump's polling numbers remind us that there are huge numbers of 'loose, disconnected' potential voters out there. By design, because they're the people the PTB deliberately alienate because they don't want them involved, and so naturally they're alienated from and hateful toward the 'normie' politicians and their elections.

Trump appeals to them the same way pro wrestling does. It's just a show, but somehow the alienated find some comfort and support in 'their kind' winning. Nobody pretends the 'win' is real (except for their kids), but a well-played pretend victory is better than nothing ...

Posted by: fairleft | Sep 26 2015 15:10 utc | 89

@86 Juliana

Penelope posted the intro and the punchline above. The pope's the politician in chief for the RCC and somebody asked if the pope was a communist awhile back and so, in the belly of the beast, he backed down. Too bad.

He nearly did go teary when he talked about how hard it is to hold the conquistadors - spanish and english - to the standards of our day ... hell, they fit right in! Look at the Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Syria, Gaza and Yemen in the middle east.cental asia. I guess he was feeling bad for having cannonized Junipero Serra, the genocidal slaver Franciscan ... that name again ... in California. The message there being that the lives of the indigenes still don't count. Five hundred years later. Not so different from George XLI ... I will never apologize for America ... make that Xtiandom in the pope's case.

But he did let 'em have it on the arms trade and Syria and Iraq and Yemen.

One out of three ain't bad. Given their heavy investment in the things that are caesar's, most popes fan at the plate.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 26 2015 15:11 utc | 90

@89 fair

Pretty much agree. It will continue ... until the plane flies into the ground. Or until we organize in our 175,000 precincts and seize power bottom up.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 26 2015 15:15 utc | 91

james @77: Thanks for the excellent video showing the crayon level of analysis going on at Obama's White House. And apparently the White House media -- that elite group of journalists -- loves Earnest and finds him very helpful.

Posted by: fairleft | Sep 26 2015 15:38 utc | 92

California is in serious need of a "Box of Rain":

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 26 2015 17:03 utc | 93

Israel is 'projecting' the 'HATE' onto the US - The US will soon be thrown under the bus !

Posted by: Jack Oliver | Sep 26 2015 21:03 utc | 94

I think Obama has been rather awful. But I don't blame the paralysis of the "left" on him. I think that most everybody knew that the "19 cavemen with box cutter" 9/11 narrative was a joke, and the whole thing was done by the Mafia State, even the ones that convinced themselves otherwise.

I think that most of the Joe Sixpacks are mostly "leftists" who suffer from something like pluralistic ignorance.

Wikipedia (limited reliability):
"pluralistic ignorance is a situation in which a majority of group members privately reject a norm, but incorrectly assume that most others accept it, and therefore go along with it."

Posted by: blues | Sep 26 2015 22:12 utc | 95

@95, blues - Sounds like a very reasonable analysis. All opinion polls show that the majority of US citizens prefer policies that are considered "left" including single payer healthcare, reductions in the military budget, peaceful relations with other countries.

Of course, even 70% support for single payer only moved Obama enough to go for a right-wing con job on health care. A program that has satisfied no one, I have friends who still prefer to pay the fines because they are cheaper than the still very expensive health care on offer, even from the co-ops. Its shit. Obama could have done it, but he accepted the diktat of the insurers, Big Pharma, and their allies in the Republican Party.

Obama is a failure in politics. Nice guy, maybe, when you can find him dealing with some really obvious human moral quandary (like the kid with the clock, for instance) but on any level which he has to go against the gale of monied opposition, he's little more than a dry leaf.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 26 2015 23:47 utc | 96

@80 The difference between Russia and the USA/KSA is that Russia has rising living standards. Russia had oligarchy thrust upon it, and it is still less unequal than the USA or certainly KSA (which would be off the charts on the GINI scale).

The death of Marxism has not yet been accomplished, despite the hopes of fascists all over the globe. It still a driving force in world politics. In Asia, in Africa, Eastern Europe, and in South America especially, but it still has adherents in every country on earth.

1989 - 1991 was a huge event - the democratization of Europe. But hardly the end of Marxism. Many Communist parties held on and won their elections, its only in these later years with the increasing repression and democracy being undone in these areas that we see communist parties being outlawed and repressed like fascism 101. But that's just Europe. In Asia, communist parties are still extremely powerful and though they've changed economic policies, they learned enough from the rape of Russia to not let that happen to them.. You only have to see that huge hammer and sickle hanging in China's "Hall of the People" to know that China is pretty far from "a Capitalist country". The Empire would love to smash what's left, but it isn't likely at all I don't think. I think, in fact, socialism (or at least its policies) is likely to spread further. Especially as robots start to replace human labor.

Aside from the intellectually inbreed in the United States who have been working themselves into a tizzy telling themselves increasingly hyperbolic fantasies about the "horrors of Communism" (tacking on a million deaths every time the story is told) everyone else in the world sees Marxism for what it was - a movement that ultimately stood down Imperialism and raised people's living standards.

Not so bad for a broke philosophy major turned reporter.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 27 2015 0:23 utc | 97


how did a vice prez from a crappy country get so stupid and hubristic ?
thats what happen when u lie down with a dog....[1]

to get indon onboard its anti chinese bandwagon, the unitedsnake would even
smother an inquiry into the murder of murcunt citizens by the indon rogue army !
how low can one get ?

apology to the canine family !

Posted by: denk | Sep 27 2015 2:21 utc | 98

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 26, 2015 8:23:05 PM | 97

Nice thumbnail sketch of the Eascist/Neolib view of Marxism.
Luckily, Right-Wing Cranks are addicted to the Mythbusters philosophy ... "If a thing's worth doing, it's worth overdoing" and thereby usually give themselves away.

Last night, SBS (Oz) broadcast the final episode of a 3-part doco called Masters of Money which explores the theories of 1 Keynes, 2 Hyek(?), and 3 Marx. The first two went to air om consecutive Sundays (Sept 6 & 13) @ 3-40-ish am and were each 59 mins long. Episode 3 (Marx) was rescheduled from the anticipated Sept 20 at 3-40-ish am to Sept 27 @ 0-50 am and was 50 mins long.

Unsurprisingly, this truncated episode concluded that, since Marx didn't get around to proposing a workable alternative to (Totalitarian?) Capitalism, then there probably isn't one.
The cobbled-together-ers of this tripe did at least have the decency to allow Joseph Stiglitz to say, earlier, that he's quite confident that there is a workable alternative to (Totalitarian) Capitalism.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 27 2015 3:58 utc | 99

There's a rumor in Oz that before one can join the Australian Liberal Party, a candidate must:
1. Win a debate against a bound and gagged opponent.
2. Win a boxing or wrestling match with a 7-year old.
3. Prove you've stabbed someone in the back.
4. Fail an IQ test.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 27 2015 4:16 utc | 100

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