Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 28, 2015

Various Items: Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Clintonmail

As I am currently time constrained just a few mixed items that caught my eyes.


On September 14, two weeks ago, a UAE big shot announced that the Marib dam would be taken by his forces that very day:

Video: Abu Dhabi crown prince Muhammad Bin Zayed "Today, we will raise UAE's flag over Marib dam, God willing"

Two weeks later no UAE troops have reached the dam but today some local mercenaries took a look at it:

#Yemen: The Popular Resistance Committees (backed by the Arab coalition forces) took control of #Maarib Dam.

Fighting continues around the dam and no flag was raised.

There are daily attacks by Yemeni soldiers within Saudi Arabia and a lot of military stuff gets destroyed while the Saudi troops mostly flee (vid). Two days ago another Saudi general was killed (vid) inside Saudi Arabia near the border with Yemen. The Saudis took again bloody revenge against the women and children of Yemen:

Apache helicopters fired rockets at the village of Bani Zela in Hajjah province, 10 km (6.5 miles) from the Saudi border, killing at least 25 civilians, including women and children, the residents and medics said.

The helicopters returned for a second strike as residents and medical teams were trying to evacuate casualties, killing three medics and two more civilians, they said.

"People were fleeing their homes as the helicopters pursued," a resident who identified himself as Khaled, told Reuters by telephone. "They committed a massacre for no reason."

The "double tap", attacking rescuers who help the victims after a first strike, is a U.S. tactic but is now also general Saudi procedure. A Saudi attack today on a wedding killed some 130 people, mostly women and children, according to local sources. There are over 50 daily bombings by the Saudi air force in Sanaa and hardly any of them hit military targets. Since Obama took office the U.S. sold weapons for over $90 billion to the Saudis. It actively wages the war against Yemen with intelligence and refueling services for the Saudi air attacks.

In Aden, which is allegedly in the hand of the Saudi supported Yemeni exile government, the only flag flying is that of the southern separatist movement. The Saudi war on Yemen is thus likely to lead to real regime change - in Saudi Arabia.


NYT, November 26 2001:

Northern Alliance commanders said Sunday night that their troops had captured the city of Kunduz in the dark, overrunning the last Taliban stronghold in northern Afghanistan.

The deputy defense minister of the Northern Alliance, Atiqullah Baryalai, said that his men had taken control of the city
The claims could not be verified Sunday, but the rumble of artillery fire could be heard this morning on the outskirts of Kunduz. The situation in and around the city has clearly been worsening for the Taliban, with several days of mass defections and intense American bombings.

NYT, September 28 2015:

After months of besieging the northern Afghan provincial capital of Kunduz, Taliban fighters for the first time seized control of significant parts of the city on Monday, officials said, sending government security forces retreating toward the airport.
Some soldiers who had fallen back to the airport on the outskirts of Kunduz reported that by nightfall, the Taliban effectively had the run of the provincial capital, with no security forces remaining within the city proper.


With the Russians making their stand and the "western" governments turning towards the more sensible Russian position of supporting the Syrian government, the Gulf paid rebel propagandist "experts" tie themselves into knots. See for example this BBC piece by the Qatari paid Charles Lister of Brookings Doha. It includes lots of lies of the "Assad created ISIS" type (GWB anyone?) but also amazingly contradictory claims when it argues that the "non-terrorists rebels", which closely cooperated with the terrorists, are united:

Contrary to popular opinion, the Syrian armed opposition is not divided, ... this amounts to a core of roughly 100 factions.

"Roughly 100 factions" are "not divided". Obviously the definition of faction -"party strife and intrigue; dissension"- is beyond that authors comprehension.

United States:

The clown show of the republican presidential candidates continues with the candidates competing over who is the most fascist one. Meanwhile Hillery Clinton is going down over her ever changing claims about the private unsecured email server she used for classified state business:

The U.S. Defense Department has found an email chain that Hillary Clinton did not give to the State Department, the State Department said on Friday, despite her saying she had provided all work emails from her time as secretary of state.

The correspondence with General David Petraeus, who was commander of U.S. Central Command at the time, started shortly before she entered office and continued during her first days as the top U.S. diplomat in January and February of 2009.
The emails with Petraeus also appear to contradict the claim by Clinton's campaign that she used a private BlackBerry email account for her first two months at the department before setting up her account in March 2009. This was the reason her campaign gave for not handing over any emails from those two months to the State Department.

It's the cover-up, not the crime, that will end her bloody career. Unfortunately, at least in foreign policy issues, the other democratic candidates are no better.

Posted by b on September 28, 2015 at 16:41 UTC | Permalink


I hope the email thing utterly destroys Hilary. She wrote, she clicked, she died.....

Posted by: Fernando | Sep 28 2015 16:50 utc | 1

At the UNGA, Putin called out the US and its regional allies for the jihadist terror in Syria. Said they only wanted to defeat IS, etc. at a later date. And alleged that the US led 'coalition' was deliberately ignoring, or complicit in, arms and money transfers to the jihadists.

Posted by: | Sep 28 2015 17:42 utc | 2

We are the bull, staring at the red cape of US aggression and not at the planning hand, but there stands the tender vulnerability of our tormentors. ---Penelope

" The transfer of authority to the international level clears open the way for neoliberalism. A new transfer of authority toward the European level signifies the deconstruction of the democratic and social state. Democracy and decentralization are mutually conditioning. The larger a unity, the more opaque it is, the more removed it is, the less controllable it is. We do not need those casinos of speculators who act globally, but instead savings banks that can still be controlled. The national issuing banks have been put under pressure in a situation where exchange of capital is deregulated and where the door is wide open to global speculation. The issuing banks should once again do what they were initially founded for: financing states.

"By 1991 a “supranational sovereignty” had already developed in the form of transnational treaties conferring override rights of “profit opportunity” on transnational corporations and private bank rule of government finances across borders – procedurally trumping any elected legislatures and their laws which are inconsistent with their thousands of treaty articles, even when the system eventually leads to world depression as now. “ – - the U.S risks the loss of a global security order that is uniquely friendly to American principles and prosperity”. --- Prof John McMurty

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 28 2015 18:59 utc | 3

Obama regime appears divided on Syria. A settlement in cooperation with Putin or further escalation. Assad has been demonized even more than Putin, so a US reversal will not come easily.

Posted by: Vollin | Sep 28 2015 19:02 utc | 4

Obama regime appears divided on Syria. A settlement in cooperation with Putin or further escalation. Assad has been demonized even more than Putin, so a US reversal will not come easily.

Posted by: Vollin | Sep 28 2015 19:02 utc | 5

Fernando @1,

Can't someone just throw a bucket of water on her and get it over with?

I'm melting, I'm melting

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 28 2015 19:39 utc | 6

Penelope @ 3: Thanks for the link. Nice to revisit relevant articles, to reinforce the reasons for the beliefs we hold. Some truths, we need to revisit.

Posted by: ben | Sep 28 2015 19:43 utc | 7

The USA has no alternative policy in Syria anymore. All its amateurish attempts failed lamentably. It is now paralyzed but doesn't want to admit it. Putin will go his way with whoever wants to join him. If the USA does not agree, so be it.
Soon we will hear that a French or UK plane has been shot by a Russian missile or by the Syrian airplane. These countries will want to protest at the UN but as they are illegally there, they will have to swallow that loss and ask Russia to arrange coordination with Syria avoid such 'incidents'.
I wonder how France and the UK expect there won't be 'incidents' when they are bombing ISIS at the same time as Syria and Russia are bombing ISIS.
Naivety and amateurism seem to be a constants traits of some European leaders.

Posted by: Virgile | Sep 28 2015 20:13 utc | 8

The standard double standard from the NY Times, with the paper apparently not expecting its readers to notice its incoherence and hypocrisy:

“Let’s remember how this started,” Mr. Obama said of the Syria conflict. “Assad reacted to peaceful protest by escalating repression and killing and in turn created the environment for the current strife.”

Such violence makes it impossible for the vast majority of Syria’s population to accept Mr. Assad as their leader, Mr. Obama said.

Similarly, Mr. Obama said, a fidelity to international rules required that the United States respond forcefully to Russia’s intervention in Crimea and Ukraine.

To this day, Ukraine, which has no legitimate government, uses artillery not against protesters, but against Ukrainian women and children going about their daily lives. Yet the USG supports the criminal regime unconditionally. But a legitimate state which is only trying not to be overrun by jihadi terrorists has had its sovereignty unceremoniously and unapologetically violated by the US and "its allies" for years. One set of "international rules" applies to the US and its colonies (so long as they are obedient) and another to everyone else.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 28 2015 20:31 utc | 9

Yep, the Russians got into Syria first with their military support before the Western State terrorists could with theirs.

Not really a case of musical chairs with the last man standing out in the cold, but it has sort of has played out that way with the surprise engagement by the Russians. But that only works in the short term.

If the evil empire and it's minions could've get their shit together and taken advantage of their proxies head chopping and massacres work done for them, before the Russians came in which was definitely a surprise manoeuver, then we would be staring at an Assad defeat.

Posted by: tom | Sep 28 2015 20:32 utc | 10

The Global Zombie Empire has been thrashing about all over the world, destroying whole societies with utter abandon.

Now the GZE staggered too close to Russia, plus it's all out of money. Bad, bad, ugly scene.

Posted by: blues | Sep 28 2015 20:39 utc | 11

“The nation state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force: International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation-state.” — Zbigniew Brzezinski, 1969.

Brzezinski (Mujahideen funding/support "under" Carter) - Obama’s foreign policy mentor after Obama won the Presidency in 2008. Nutcase Brzezinski has a major hatred for Russia.

Here's Trilateral Commission founder David Rockefeller:

“Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure—one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”

“Integrated global political and economic structure” = management of populations by mega-corporations.

The current US Trade Representative, Michael Froman (appointed by Obama in 2013), is responsible for negotiating the TPP with 11 other nations. A former member of the Trilateral Commission, he resigned from the TC to take position in the Executive Branch. As US Trade Representative, he is a TC operative with a specific agenda.

The TPP IS a major item on the Trilateral to-do list.

Posted by: fast freddy | Sep 28 2015 20:44 utc | 12

While he was attacking Syria at the UN, in Obama's favorite Arab country ... Saudi teen to be crucified for involvement in anti-Government protest.

Posted by: fairleft | Sep 28 2015 23:34 utc | 13

Glad to see you put Yemen at the top of the list, b.

A letter by people I don't know posted at counterpunch

We renew our call made five months ago for the governments of the US and UK to cease turning a blind eye to war crimes and to the destruction of Yemen by aerial bombardment and blockade of food and fuel. Behind a virtual silence in the western media, the US and the UK have inexplicably acquiesced in the ruination of Yemen. We renew our call for a sharp change in policy: to work for an immediate ceasefire, to respect Yemeni sovereignty, and to foster political negotiations between the Yemeni parties in the neutral state of Oman, or elsewhere. We reject our countries’ unconscionable support for this war and urge a diplomatic solution.

Speaks for us all. Good to see it in print.

The Chinese have offered to take Afghanistan off the US hands, to work in concert with others in the region to do so ... what was it the Donald said about Syria? The impotent US needs to end its 15 years of sadism, to stop torturing the Afghani people.

The NYTimes ... forget about it. If I cannot find a transcription of Putin's UN speech I'll transcribe my own. Gave the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate's speech a skip.

The NSA obviously has all the dope on ... a clone of ... Clinton's email server. It seems to be destroying the Hil via a thousand cuts. Who do they have in mind for POTUS? Can anyone deny that there's already been a coup in the USA? The government is under the control of its own spymasters and the Clinton debacle is proof for the doubting Thomases. And as with the Hil so, too, with the Angela - how else explain her irrational, anti-German decisions - and all the other vassals.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 29 2015 0:47 utc | 14

crucifixion, that is a nice touch
they are heading up the human rights council in the UN this year, showing how to dial it down from mass murder?
yet the casual self defense jet attacks by distant countries, ex-colonial, is disturbing

Posted by: Jay M | Sep 29 2015 0:59 utc | 15

@jfl #14:

If I cannot find a transcription of Putin's UN speech I'll transcribe my own.

The Web site of the President of the RF is your friend.

The government is under the control of its own spymasters and the Clinton debacle is proof for the doubting Thomases.

I don't follow. Why should the NSA have anything against Hillary becoming president?

as with the Hil so, too, with the Angela - how else explain her irrational, anti-German decisions - and all the other vassals.

Germans have been traumatized by the 70 years of psychological warfare they have been subjected to by their American occupiers. No other explanations are necessary.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 29 2015 1:04 utc | 16

b - thanks

@9 demian.. nice to see you back.. i agree with nyt hypocrisy, but then reporting on what us politicians have to say gives them so much bs to work with and being the offical stenographers for them, they do as well or better then expected! i liked this particularly rich line “Assad reacted to peaceful protest by escalating repression and killing and in turn created the environment for the current strife.” could just as easily say “Obama reacted to (assad remaining in power) by escalating repression and killing and in turn created the environment for the current strife.” that would be a lot closer to the truth.. add the fact the usa is either actively supporting ISIS, or the money tree where it comes from and you see what bullshit artists obama and the lyin' nyt is..

@10 tom.. i agree..

@12 fast freddy.. that is quite the quote from Brzezinski.. at least he knows who butters his bullshit bread..

@14 jfl.. thanks for the putin speech link..

Posted by: james | Sep 29 2015 1:24 utc | 17

Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch appeared today on a panel connected with the UN meetings and claimed, according to an Associated Press wire story, that Syrian barrel bombs are the main driver of the refugee crisis. Not sure he is correct on that, but apparently no one on the panel was going to challenge that assertion and reporters are just stenographers these days. The Syrian atrocity meme lost its effectiveness when the ISIS - worst terrorists ever - meme was rolled out last summer.

Posted by: jayc | Sep 29 2015 1:48 utc | 18

Commentary on Putin's speech:

Posted by: Anon | Sep 29 2015 1:56 utc | 19

"Syrian barrel bombs are the main driver of the refugee crisis"

So when a Syrian flees those barrel bombs by crossing over into Turkey he just keeps on going... going.... going until he ends up passing all the way through Turkey and crossing over into Europe.

Man, those bombs sure to have a serious blast radius, don't they?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 29 2015 1:57 utc | 20

I like how we all share our individual perspectives of "current events" in a way that increases, at least my and I am sure others', understanding of what the heck is going on.

I view global events with a bias about what I see as the overarching control that centuries of private finance have stamped on our species forms of social organization. I see the war crimes being committed by the US, Saudi Arabia, etc as attempts to keep private finance in control of world finance.

Penelope above in her comment talked about how the banks were initially founded to finance states. This can only really be true if the financial system is totally sovereign. The Western world does not have sovereign finance now and so they are forced to deal with the private austerity global plutocrats and their web of private finance (IMF, World Bank, etc). The BRICS nations and AIIB (China IMF alternative) signatory nations are actively developing sovereign and global finance infrastructure since the IMF (under control of US congress...grin) refuses to change the rules of the finance game to be more fair and balanced.

Along with ridding ourselves of private finance can we also neuter the effects of ongoing inheritance? I think it would do our species a world of good.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 29 2015 1:57 utc | 21

@jayc #18:

Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch appeared today on a panel connected with the UN meetings and claimed, according to an Associated Press wire story, that Syrian barrel bombs are the main driver of the refugee crisis.

That's bullshit. HRW, notoriously, is a CIA shop. The Western press ignored a report about who the Syrians themselves think is to blame for what is happening to their country:

Posted by: Demian | Sep 29 2015 2:15 utc | 22

Pepe Escobar (Asia Times) on Russia's resurgence as a great power.

Live From New York, It's 'Putin the Great'

[...]Watch the chessboard

Putin is bound to deliver a showstopper at the UN. Spare a thought for the Obama administration’s foreign policy ‘muppets’, including the neocon cell at the State Department. Putin, under the glare of global public opinion, will frame the absolute defeat of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh as the key geopolitical issue of these times; he will commit Russia to it; and he will propose for the “West” to join in.

Scenario 1: Washington and its EU minions decide to support the Russian drive, or at least have the US-led coalition of dodgy opportunists work side-by-side with Russia – and Iran. This means helping Damascus to win a real war against (“Caliphate”) terror. “Assad must go” may even go afterwards. But he’ll go as a winner. The Obama administration – as well as Sultan Erdogan, Qatar, the House of Saud - will be held responsible all across the world for prolonging a tragedy that could have been resolved in 2012. And Russia will be recognized as the ultimate defender of civilization against barbarism.

Scenario 2: Washington and the EU minions refuse to act side-by-side with Russia, and continue relying on the appalling performance of the coalition of the dodgy opportunists – for instance, as in Erdogan bombing Kurds and not ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, and the French staging puny airstrikes invoking “self-defense” (I’m not making this up; it's the official Elysée Palace version.) The whole world will interpret it for what it is; the NATO-GCC combo is not really interested in smashing the Salafi-jihadis. Imagine the cataclysmic diplomatic/geopolitical fallout of five years of NATO-GCC enabling hardcore jihadis.

And there’s of course the coda; if the Syrian Arab Army/Russian military push against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh works, guess who’ll take the credit.

So Putin wins on both scenarios. Forget about the relentless demonization, the new Hitler-Stalin memes. ‘Putin The Great’ will be no less than a Slavic Perseus – the slayer of the jihadi Medusa.

The great power is back

But there’s more, much more. Whatever the scenario, 1 or 2, Putin is simultaneously masterminding a Ukraine endgame, which involves the end of sanctions, probably by 2017. The nations that really count in the EU want to scrap them. And scrap them they will if Putin does what they can’t possibly do; smash the “Caliphate” that is sending wave after wave of refugees towards Fortress Europe.

Here I examined how any possible peace in Syria will be Putin’s fault. Now imagine the consequences. Russia back as the real indispensable nation – in the Middle East and beyond. And Russia back as a great power – period.

Some signs of intelligent life in the EU can see it coming. Enter Helene Carrère d’Encausse, Russia-expert historian and member of the venerable Académie Française since 1990, of which she’s the perpetual secretary. Madame d’Encausse clearly understands how Putin sees himself as the heir of Peter The Great; a great modernizer.

And even as he recognizes Europe is not the center of the world anymore, Putin is not an adversary of Europe. Nevertheless, he firmly believes that for the Americans and Europeans Russia is a country that can be treated with disdain. That must be imperatively reversed.

‘Putin The Great’s’ project is to make Russia regain its status of a great power. When he was elected to the presidency in 2000 – I remember it well, I was in Moscow covering it – Russia was in total chaos, perpetrated by unbridled neoliberalism. Putin got Russia back on track.

What he wants most of all – contrary to superficial drivel reigning in US ‘Think Tankland’ - is not to remake the Russian or Soviet empire; but to get rid for good of the humiliation of the 1990s – the decade of plundering - and make the nation proud again. Just check his popularity level; 85 percent of Russians – and counting – agree.

Madame d’Encausse refers back historically to Count Sergey Uvarov, the imperial statesman behind Tsar Nicholas I, who defined the doxa in Russia in the mid 19th century as “orthodoxy, autocracy and national genius.” She emphasizes this is the heart of Putin’s ideology.

National genius, in this context, refers to a sense of social justice and a very Russian spirit of solidarity. Putin always emphasizes this spirit, which is an essential component of what it means to be Russian. And it is all tied up with nationalism. We just need to re-read Dostoevsky, for whom “the Russian nation is an extraordinary phenomenon in the history of human genius.”[...]

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Sep 29 2015 3:10 utc | 23

I want to add two links to the Syria situation.

The first is from the CSM about the recent visit between Putin and Netanyahu which elaborates the effects of Russia now defining Syria air space instead of Israel.

The second is from Juan Cole who links to the above CSM posting and then goes on to bring in the effects of the Iran deal on Israel ambitions in the region.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 29 2015 3:23 utc | 24


A significant amount of the power that Russia is currently projecting comes from China.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 29 2015 3:45 utc | 25

@23 lonewolf.. i like pepe.. i always enjoy reading him, but i think his optional scenarios are too rosy.. the west, especially the usa -who seem to represent so much more, will continue to make it as difficult for russia as possible.. putins speech at the un was good.. he said all he had to.. i haven't listened to obamas speech yet, but i followed all of putins 24 minute talk..

here is the full obama speech from the manila bulletin... one can't expect to get this from an american outlet.. they are too busy slicing and dicing it into sound bites for the attention deprived!!! back after i read this..

Posted by: james | Sep 29 2015 3:49 utc | 26


Thanks for the links about Israel's new position in the ME, vis-a-vis Russia's presence next door. Both the CSM and JC have a point, Israel is being brought down to size, its wings clipped, "go the corner and shut up," as b derisively put it. Netayahoo's Napoleonic complex made me laugh so hard, I woke up my better half and she wasn't happy. I will have to blame you for having to sleep with my dog tonight. (Just kidding.) No doubt Netayahoo's neurosis has reached delirium levels, hallucinating into being a "world power," having lost all sense of reality. Hopefully the newly created geopolitical context in the ME will inject some sanity into his pathologically insane brain.

A significant amount of the power that Russia is currently projecting comes from China.

And vice versa. China's projecting power on its shores and surrounding seas is possible since Russia is covering their back. Together, they are practically invulnerable.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Sep 29 2015 4:22 utc | 27

from obamas un speech..

"Unless we work with other nations under the mantle of international norms.. what does he mean by international norms?

"You can jail your opponents but you can’t imprison ideas." is he talking about chelsea manning, or edward snowden, or julian assange here? sounds like it..

"You can try to control access to information but you cannot turn a lie into truth." keep on trying though obama.. you've done a good job on this by and large..

"Consider Russia’s annexation of Crimea and further aggression in Eastern Ukraine. America has few economic interests in Ukraine. We recognize the deep and complex history between Russia and Ukraine but we cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated." i guess he didn't listen to nulands conversations in any of this!! fuck the eu and pass the cookies.. what a bullshit artist the speech writer who sang this bit of flying bullshit is... obama is just the pigeon carrier...

"Imagine if instead, Russia had engaged in true diplomacy and worked with Ukraine and the international community to ensure its interests were protected." the speech is really going downhill now.. only an idiot would swallow this propagandized pablum...

the lying continues.. "Not because we want to isolate Russia, we don’t, but because we want a strong Russia that is invested in working with us to strengthen the international system as a whole." we don't - rof.. better say it as words will act to hide your actions, if everyone is an idiot..

"That path is now available to a nation like Iran, which, as of this moment continues to deploy violent proxies to advance its interests."

funny how obama singles out russia, china and iran.. it reminds me of one of his recent state of the union speeches where he was talking about the greatest evil facing the usa - russia was one of them.. i guess he has toned down that rhetoric a wee bit, but not much..

"If Iran chooses a different path, it would be better for the security of the region, good for the Iranian people, and good for the world." yeah.. like how about letting the usa install another dictator like they did back in 1953? or something like that? would that work obama?

"Likewise, when a terrorist group beheads captives, slaughters the innocent and enslaves women, it’s not a single nation’s national security problem, that is an assault on all of our humanity." what about when a country that you are such good friends with, does it? no mention of saudi arabia in your speech obama.. where you trying to gently refer to them here?

and back to syria, or is it just flat out lying? take yer pick... "Let’s remember how this started. Assad reacted to peaceful protests by escalating repression and killing that in turn created the environment for the current strife. And so Assad and his allies can’t simply pacify the broad majority of a population who have been brutalized by chemical weapons and indiscriminate bombing."

the bullshit doesn't stop! "We can promote growth through trade that meets a higher standard, and that’s what we’re doing through the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that encompasses nearly 40 percent of the global economy, an agreement that will open markets while protecting the rights of workers and protecting the environment that enables development to be sustained."

as concerns the political leadership of the usa and the usa, i really hope obama is right on this sentence : "History is littered with the failure of false prophets and fallen empires, who believed that might always makes right and that won’t continue to be the case, you can count on that."

Posted by: james | Sep 29 2015 4:29 utc | 28

demian at 9 --

Like jas. at 17 glad to see you out and about.

I saw this the other day at Russia Insider and thought it would be up your alley.

Funny to think how back in the mid-1800's Russia was the defender of "The Holy Places" for the Orthodox within the Ottoman Empire. They're now defending secular and putatively "Arab Ba'ath Socialist" secular places. We used be dead set against monarchies (our bond with the French is their shared if intermittent republicanism), but now can't get enough of the bleeding Windsors, Eurotrash, and sheikhs. Our recent foray onto the shores of Tripoli have not gone well, having created rather than suppressed pirates.

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 29 2015 4:50 utc | 29

psychohistorian @21:

"can we also neuter the effects of ongoing inheritance? I think it would do our species a world of good."

Such a direct approach to class war--"Capitalists, out of the gene pool!"

Posted by: Vintage Red | Sep 29 2015 4:58 utc | 30


[...]i like pepe.. i always enjoy reading him, but i think his optional scenarios are too rosy..[...]

Pepe can sometimes get carried away by his caustic writing style, but in this case and in view of the current conditions in Syria, the two scenarios he built seem reasonable to me. Strategically, "Exceptionalistan" has already been defeated, and yes, they will continue to create chaos, but now the Russians/Chinese/Iranians have read their game, and any Western-created obstacles are already part of the equation, tricks of the trade.

I haven't read Obama's UN braying either, too boring to read more of the same, but thanks for the Manila link, I will read it tomorrow. I did watch Putin's speech (he worked on it for months, the rumor goes) and as you point out, he said what it was already expected. No surprises, but solid and to the point. Nite.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Sep 29 2015 4:58 utc | 31

Demian @9 & 16:

Welcome back!

Posted by: Vintage Red | Sep 29 2015 4:59 utc | 32


The global plutocrats that rule private finance and our world are NOT Capitalist's. That Capitalism thing is one of those religious myths created to hide how the major economic decisions of the world are really the global plutocrats. I tell folks that those "animal spirits" you hear about in Capitalist economics are fiduciary reactions to the farts of the global plutocrats.

The argument that the global plutocratic families represent the best and brightest of our species is another tired myth. Is our species ever going to evolve past the Enlightenment period? We get rid of the class system by getting rid of private finance and neutering inheritance.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 29 2015 5:14 utc | 33

@james #28:

Obama (or his speechwriters, rather) is acting as if the internet doesn't exist, as if his lies have not been exposed long ago. Given how few Americans follow international news, it's hard to tell why the White House/State Department/DoD keep on repeating these lies, and the media keep on reporting them without any reality checking. I can't help thinking that there's something seriously wrong with an empire if its spokesmen have to lie in such a mechanical, obvious, and repetitious fashion. Could it be that they do so to reassure themselves that their power structures are still secure?

@RM #29, VR#32:



I saw this the other day at Russia Insider and thought it would be up your alley.

Yeah, I read that today and was fairly impressed. I don't really follow Russian Orthodox in the US at all, so I was pleased to see that these people were taking a reality-based line when it comes to Russia.

Still, there are some very nutty people who are regular contributors at the Web site where that letter comes from, who firmly believe that abortion is in some way "evil". To me, it is thinking that there is something wrong with abortion that dehumanizes us, and reduces us all to nothing more than mindless lumps of flesh. I'll have to look into how Orthodox get their doctrine that abortion is in some way wrong at some point. The Catholics do it by inventing a fantastic metaphysics; my guess is that (Russian) Orthodox just do it with muddled and sloppy thinking.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 29 2015 5:24 utc | 34

psychohistorian @33:

OK then, "Plutocrats, out of the gene pool!" Either way, it struck me as amusingly direct and effective: get at their control over the means of production via their means of reproduction.

What I worry most about are those who are no longer even corporeal, who as Mark Twain put it have "no soul to damn and no body to incarcerate." Or neuter. When we start seeing AIs as corporate CEOs, we better get our red pills ready...

Posted by: Vintage Red | Sep 29 2015 5:41 utc | 35


I have been a techie since 1969. AI, like Capitalism as commented about earlier, is another myth.

The factions within our species that have the hubris to create and believe in gods of their liking can brainwash faith breathers into believing anything.

I just think that in 2015, with a world population above 7 billion, that we can and should do a better job of managing our species, other than into extinction.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 29 2015 6:03 utc | 36

How any self-respecting person can take Putin's speech to the UN seriously is beyond me. It's well and good to talk about the vital need for the UN, the hegemony of the U.S., the need to abide by international law, the danger of unilateralism and the "collapse of the international architecture" and a return to the rule of force in world affairs and a diminishing of "freedom and democracy." All noble sentiments, and ably presented in Putin's neutral and slightly discursive style, which Western leaders should wish to emulate.

And all puzzling and grotesque coming from Putin. How does he even read those words without getting sweaty or chuckling to himself? But he is a former KGB agent, after all. The annexation of Crimea. What under international law allows for that? I get that Ukraine is a fascist junta. But that doesn't make the annexation legal under the UN Charter. I get that the U.S. did something far more illegal, as it were, and barbaric invading Iraq. The U.S. is hypocritical. So is Putin - no less so for pointing out American hypocrisy; in fact, more so, since there's nothing more hypocritical than a hypocrite accusing a hypocrite of hypocrisy.

When I hear him warn the UN about a sort of coming dark age, I can almost see a crack in the poker face - the beginnings of a smirk. He knows this dark age is coming, thanks to America's efforts but also his. His warning is really a just place-setting. The weather forecast.

In Ukraine, the West looks in the mirror and sees Putin, and vice-versa. The West backs a melange of neo-Nazi terrorists. And Russia backs its own neo-Nazis (the Russian National Unity party, the Eurasian Imperialists and National Bolsheviks, elements of which have coalesced in the east and set up a rightist police state fired by Stalinist nostalgia; a more concentrated microcosm of Russia's Managed Democracy, and every bit as vicious as Ukraine's kleptocracy). The West and Russia: more alike than different in ways they'll never acknowledge. Everyone here should remember that.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 29 2015 7:17 utc | 37

It always had a stink to it when the "protests" broke out in Syria back in 2011. How do you have a peaceful demonstration when 10-20 police/security forces are killed? I also remember a news article by Robert Fisk from a few years before where he wrote about Lebanese groups hoarding large amounts of military equipment and nobody knew what was up. There was also the CIA weapon-smugling ring in Lebanon around the same time. Guess where all those weapons were heading? My bet is Syria.

The USA has become a disgusting degenerate nation. A tool for the powerful elites that prefer to operate in the shadows. While the idea behind the constitution of the USA was noble, it did not last very long. What we see now is a perverted 100% corrupt nation. If any nation on earth can be labeled as a rogue nation, the USA is it.

I really hope that Russia and China are able to curtail and isolate the USA. It seems that process is advancing. The USA does not need to be militarily conquered. The US economy is a festering carcass that is ready to implode any minute. Once an economic implosion happens, we will see social unrest. And the USA is not a strong nation internaly. It is likely to break apart and break down.

The Age of the USA is nearing the end of its greatness. And I for one, applaud it.

Posted by: Norwegian Bob | Sep 29 2015 7:18 utc | 38

#37: "The annexation of Crimea. What under international law allows for that?"

There is already an international pretext for this that is actually made by the USA and the EU. Kosovo.

One can huff and puff about Crimea all you want, but the reality is that just over the last 100 years large tracts of lands have been handed from one nation to another numerous times. Usualy as lands of conquest following wars. And let us not forget that Crimea was Russian territory up until the 1950s when it was internaly organized with Ukraine within the Soviet state. So Crimea is not a clear cut case of "stolen land" by Russia.

And lets not forget about the lands still occupied by Israel.

Posted by: Norwegian Bob | Sep 29 2015 7:27 utc | 39

@Demian @James

Yes, welcome back Demian. A man of your wide-reading and linguistic saavy is a great thing to find here at MoA. Yes the website of the President of Russia is my friend, but I transcribed the speech anyway. I have no better way to read one delivered in near realtime translation. I'll consult the official transcription for things I couldn't quite get, like the name of the Colombian cited by Putin toward the end.

...a Columbian diplomat and the chairman of the preparatory commission opened the session by giving, I believe, then, a concise definition of the principles that the UN should follow in its activities :

free-wheeling defiance of scheming and trickery, and a spirit of cooperation.

I'll have to consult the official translation and see if I got the quote right! Sounds too good to be true.

James, forget reading that Obama speech. Putin's is the real thing. He hit all the bases, not just with concise, realistic descriptions of 'our' problems but with concise, realistic suggestions of solutions. It's an All-Time Speech as far as I'm concerned. He'll get traction as president of the security council, things will happen. People will be citing this speech for decades.

On the NSA knocking the pins out from under the Hil ... who knows their reason? I'm afraid their reason is that they're going for the whole enchilada : military coup with some 'more reliable' Republicrat frontman ... or Bernie Sanders ... depending on who they can blackmail more successfully. But it might be as parochial as they just don't like her looks, or maybe they're just as personally revolted by her as the rest of us. One guy at the top of the NSA can do anything he wants to. And those leaks are coming from somewhere.

Angela is just conditioned to work for the imperial power, first the USSR in the GDR and now the USA in unified Germany. Somepeople are just born apparatchiks, I guess. Secure and comfy (gemütlich?) pets in their nest.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 29 2015 7:30 utc | 40

"There is already an international pretext for this that is actually made by the USA and the EU. Kosovo."

Ok, and what would that pretext be?

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 29 2015 7:59 utc | 41

@37 "The annexation of Crimea. What under international law allows for that?"

Well, Putin does like to point out that the people of Crimea overwhelmingly voted for a referendum to cede from Ukraine.

And once they did cede from the Ukraine then, heck, according to international law the people of Crimea were perfectly entitled to then ask for a union with the Russian Federation.

You know, that hoary ol' idea of self-determination 'n' all.

But if you want to look for a legal precedent under international law then one of the first places to look is.... Texas.
And if you want to look closer to the action then the precedent for unilateral cessation (as already mentioned) is Kosovo.

The catch is this: were the citizens of Crimea entitled to unilaterally vote to cede from Ukraine, or did all of the people of Ukraine have to vote in that referendum for it to be legitimate? *cough* *cough* *Kosovo* *cough*

But that is actually an interesting question for quite another reason, which is this: the legality of Nikita Khrushchev's original vodka-soaked brainwave to transfer the Crimea from "Russia" to "Ukraine" run into that same problem i.e. is we allow that argument to stand then it must be equally true that Crimea could not have been (legally speaking, as we are) given to Ukraine in the first place.

Messy stuff, this international law business.

But Russia's annexation of Crimea was actually on much more solid foundations than you might think.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Sep 29 2015 8:19 utc | 42

@ Anonymous | 41

Ok, and what would that pretext be?

International Court of Justice made a judgement that people's freedom of choice stands above territorial integrity, and international law contains no prohibition on declarations of independence. Kosovians didnt even vote by the way, just West's propped Albanian gangsters (literally, its not a figure of speech) decided in Assembly and that was it.

Kosovo wasnt the only recent example, West also pushed for "independence" of South Sudan in 2011, and while voting was highly questionable, it was approved by the West instantly. Why Crimean right to vote is banned then? Business as usual, non-subservient states are disintegrated right and left and people have the right to vote for cessation, but when states are already subservient to the West, people suddenly lose their right to vote for independence. Even if in some pro-Western countries independence voting is sometimes allowed, West does everything in its power to sabotage it by any and all means possible.

Posted by: Harry | Sep 29 2015 8:33 utc | 43

What is missing in the list is Sudan. Having watched this recently released documentary, one has the feeling these people are getting the "South-Americans/North-American Indians/Palestinians" treatment.

Posted by: Mina | Sep 29 2015 9:21 utc | 44

And yet again the Houthi/Ansarullah propaganda is being dumbly parroted as if any of those claims were real.

Typical example, the obligatory "wedding", that we had everywhere from Bosnia to Afghanistan to Lybia. All fake of course. First they came with 35 dead, then later propped it up to 120-something. And not a single picture, not a single corpse, nothing. Just some fake pics of "bombed" buildings, which were obviously either blown up from the inside or surgically hit by precision munitions.

If Saudis wanted to indiscriminately bomb civilians, they would have just blown up the whole residential area and would not bother precision-striking single buildings with inert bombs.

But gotta love that sort of pro-iranian propaganda, especially when it's done by totally incompetent apes and the usual known liars from western "human rights" NGO's.

Posted by: zed | Sep 29 2015 9:23 utc | 45


Trump is still promising Universal Healthcare and 'eliminating loopholes for the rich.'


Not really.

Monday Trump unveiled some of the details of his tax plan:

1) The seven current tax brackets will be cut to just four: zero percent, ten percent, twenty percent, and twenty-five percent top rate.
2) Business taxes across the board will be lowered to just 15% flat tax;
3) The 'immoral' (sic) Estate Tax (which keeps the wealthy from becoming royal dynasties owning everything like Saudi princes) will be fully repealed;
4) The wealthy will lose 'many loopholes'. (sure they will, Don)

In other words,
1) let the good times roll for Corporate and Congress,
2) give veterinarian quality medical care to the hoi polloi,
3) 'Keep Defense $1T Strong!' (whoo-ahhh) and therefore;
4) wipe out all Fed and State health and human services plans,
because there won't be EVEN HALF of current tax revenues under Trump's 'plan'.

95,000,000 unemployed and about to be homeless Americans, plus
40,000,000 about to be deported immigrants, all with no health
or human services, ....and 320,000,000 guns and semi-autos?!

What could possibly go wrong?!?!

Posted by: Chipnik | Sep 29 2015 9:28 utc | 46


The AIs run the stock markets, while the human CEOs run the credit-debt leveraging to deliver on stock buybacks, to boost their stock options income, and to make Wall Street and 1% and Congress inside traders incredibly, incredibly rich.

It has nothing to do with 'the People', and as we are now 100% taxed to provide our own retirement, health and human services, after MASSIVE skimoff by Mil.Gov, you don't even need an eighth-grade education to know what comes next.

Private collateralized debt obligations layered on top of the National Debt, with Gentrification and Rentification for all.

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

Posted by: Chipnik | Sep 29 2015 9:45 utc | 47

Obama Versus Putin at the U.N.

Paul Jay and Vijay Prashad discuss President Obama and President Putin's UN address on their strategies for fighting the Islamic State. - September 28, 2015

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 29 2015 12:44 utc | 48

syria turning a corner A
i see double down
nutty yahoo put in his box
dropping bombs and depleted uranium tank shells
on assad men and hezbollah.
the satanic cult of donmeh the royal mi6 run house of saud
head of world human rights
roll up roll up free crucifixtion today for a blogger.
dropping cranes on the heads
royal prince with soldiers causing stampede crush killing more
than all in 911.

depleted uranium ge nuclear waste dumped all over yemen
grain and water facilities bombed.

the demonic cancer on the earth is zionism
turkey qatar and the house of saud ape is captured.

it still looks to me that the dragon and the bear want to talk
want to negotiate with talmodick charlie mansons.
want to be part of the old club.
putin said no boots on the ground yesterday
that means no russian infantry
hezbollah have to withdraw and recoup.

erdogan and saud are the weak links in the rabbis chain jordan as well.

the images of the pretty russian planes look like photoshop to me.

isis logistics logistics and pourous syrian borders.

if russia are serious they need to get assad to call for a no fly zone.
russia needs to give iran and syria s300.
anything flying over syria needs to be by invitation only.
has russia fired a bullet yet fired a missile.
debka a source

these satanic lunatics do not stop
they do not go back to boxes
they plot and regroup
they assasinate

they talk of barrel bomb when they use billion years of cancer depleted uranium by the thousands of tons.
destroyed the fertile crescent forever

slaughtered and ruined the dna of ancient people.
they want year zero for a new oded yinon history.

Posted by: charles drake | Sep 29 2015 12:53 utc | 49

The propaganda machine is in full force. Cameron on an early morning "news" show trying to sound like an innocent bystander re: Syria. Assad must go......interspersed with candidate Christie calling Putin an "articulate thug".....

Posted by: georgeg | Sep 29 2015 13:02 utc | 51
Did Charlie Rose look like a fucking idiot last night on 60-Minutes, or what, asking Vladimir Putin how he could know for sure that the US was behind the 2014 Ukraine coup against President Viktor Yanukovych? Maybe the idiots are the 60-Minutes producers and fluffers who are supposed to prep Charlie’s questions. Putin seemed startled and amused by this one on Ukraine: how could he know for sure?

Well, gosh, because Ukraine was virtually a province of Russia in one form or another for hundreds of years, and Russia has a potent intelligence service (formerly called the KGB) that had assets and connections threaded through Ukrainian society like the rhizomorphs of the fungus Armillaria solidipes through a conifer forest. Gosh, Charlie, it’s like asking Obama whether the NSA might know what’s going on in Texas.

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 29 2015 13:05 utc | 52

Compare and contrast of Obama and Putin at the General Assembly by Michael Hudson.

The problem is there are too many people in this world who, even now after 2442 days of his saying one thing and doing the opposite, still get all hopey/changey when they hear the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate threaten regime change in any country he sees fit, using his coup-cratered countries as markers of 'undemocratic' governments, just as everyone killed by his drones are 'terrorists' ex post facto. In each case, if they weren't 'guilty' then he wouldn't have killed them. The fact that he's murdered them is proof of their guilt.

A 'liberal' Thai blogger ... well a twit on twitter actually, not a blogger ... posted 'A strong and magnanimous speech befitting a world leader,' referring not to Putin's but to Obama's speech. Unbelievable. Well, that was the one and only twitter site I've ever visited on my own. I'll be happy to be rid of the twits in the future. But if that's the level of 'critical thinking' world wide ... it don't look good for the good guys.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 29 2015 13:32 utc | 53

This should get a lot of air play in the US!

“Putin: Who created ISIS?”
[Video – English Subtitles, 7 min]

Posted by: x | Sep 29 2015 14:19 utc | 54

@okie farmer #52:

Ukraine as a state has always been nothing more than a fantasy and artificial construct of powers hostile to Russia, first the Polish empire, then the German Empire, then Nazi German, and finally the US/NATO. This is still the case today. After the breakup of the USSR, Ukrainians had a chance to have their own country, but they blew it. As the February 2014 coup and its aftermath have demonstrated, when all is said and done, Ukrainian identity can take no other form than racist fascism.

@jfl #115 (open thread):

Empires are empires in my view. …

The USA is and has been the heavy since WWII. When it drops out some ambitious neolibraconian state will pick up where it left off. Germany, Japan, Russia, China ... I have no idea.

Neoliberalism is a specifically anglophone project. Free market economics is the economics of the Anglosphere. The US empire just took over from the British Empire, that is true, but that was because the US and Britain have the same ideological/philosophical DNA. Germany was different, and Russia still is. Germany had its own economics, called historical economics, which treated Anglophone economics (Smith, Ricardo, Mill,…) as a hopeless fantasy, and an ideology designed to enable the British Empire to exploit and dominate the rest of the world. German economics emphasized the social nature of the economy and the essential role of the state in regulating markets, and the necessity under modern conditions for the state to take over welfare functions that were previously performed by traditional social institutions (families, local communities, etc.). The German economic tradition was wiped out of the memory of German elites by the American post-World War II occupiers. It is very sad for Russians to see how successfully the Americans have wiped out German culture, so that the Germans are not even really a people anymore.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 29 2015 15:12 utc | 55


The annexation of Crimea. What under international law allows for that?

Crimea broke free of Ukraine. That seems right and just to me, especially as an American happy that we broke free of the UK a couple hundred years ago. People have a right to break free of oppressive states, but no, I don't care what 'international law' says about the issue. (You shouldn't either. 'International law' doesn't exist. Right and wrong do, though.) An independent Crimea then asked to join the Russian Federation. Russia said sure.

Summarizing the preceding as a one-step 'Russia annexed Crimea' is misleading as hell. Russia annexed Crimea after Crimea asked it to do so, and after Crimeans in a referendum overwhelmingly approved of the idea. And well after Crimea had declared and established its independence from Ukraine.

Posted by: fairleft | Sep 29 2015 15:15 utc | 56

2015 Hajj Stampede: Accident or Massacre?

Posted by: massoud | Sep 29 2015 15:20 utc | 57

55;I would say that neoliberalism is a Zionist project.

Posted by: dahoit | Sep 29 2015 15:41 utc | 58

Vollon @5 "Obama regime appears divided on Syria. A settlement in cooperation with Putin or further escalation. Assad has been demonized even more than Putin, so a US reversal will not come easily."

The more prudent-- as to means not ends-- faction seems to have won: Gen Allen of neocons is gone. Strategist of Straussian chaos Andy Marshall at last retires. His place is NOT being taken by his protege. New Pentagon strategist becomes James H Baker who's been trying for Iranian rapprochement since 2007. He wrote “Military Professionalism: A Normative Code for the Long War”, by James H. Baker, Joint Force Quarterly, Issue 44, 1st Quarter 2007. I didn't read it.
Possibly on the same topic: Shortly after Kerry made peaceful, appeasing sounds to Putin about Ukraine, he "broke his leg" & when he next reappeared had not so much as a cane. Does anybody know what this was about?

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 29 2015 15:43 utc | 59

So are you saying Bernie is not a better candidate than Hillary? Can you be specific?

Posted by: Kathleen | Sep 29 2015 16:01 utc | 60


And yet again the Houthi/Ansarullah propaganda is being dumbly parroted as if any of those claims were real.

Typical example, the obligatory "wedding", that we had everywhere from Bosnia to Afghanistan to Lybia. All fake of course. First they came with 35 dead, then later propped it up to 120-something. And not a single picture, not a single corpse, nothing. Just some fake pics of "bombed" buildings, which were obviously either blown up from the inside or surgically hit by precision munitions.

If Saudis wanted to indiscriminately bomb civilians, they would have just blown up the whole residential area and would not bother precision-striking single buildings with inert bombs.

But gotta love that sort of pro-iranian propaganda, especially when it's done by totally incompetent apes and the usual known liars from western "human rights" NGO's.

Who knows who pays your trolling, regardless, you're a war criminal. After the degenerate Saudis killed all these people at the wedding, your preposterous attempt to kill them again, when the evidence about the massacre is overwhelming, is a criminal act.

Western "human rights" NGO's are not moving a finger for the people of Yemen, they are subservient to the empire, and silent accomplices to the carnage your degenerate patrons are committing in Yemen.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Sep 29 2015 16:01 utc | 61

Fast Freddie @12 , you have nailed it: "“Integrated global political and economic structure” = management of populations by mega-corporations." Thanks for the link.

The NWO strategy will now move priority from obvious aggression to all the supranational institutions which also defeat nations, by sucking away their economic and trade policy to fatten the powers of IMF, WTO, BIS-- and, as you note, TPP, TTIP & TiSP. One of the mandates of this last, the "services" protocol, is that there will be no public banking; it will remain private.

For those new to it, public banking ala Ellen Brown is what N. Dakota has. It's a central premise of the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) championed by Michael Hudson, Randolph Wray & others. Except that they go even further than public banking & have the nation-state return to creating its own currency/credits w/o reference to the IMF/Fed system.

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 29 2015 16:15 utc | 62

@31 lonewolf.. pepes scenarios seem real enough, but i don't think it is going to go easily for russia entering into syria.. it looks like another quagmire to me which the west will work hard to keep as a clusterfuck.. ukraine is a good example of this.. the west under no terms wants ukraine to be at peace with russia.. it is not in their interest and sorry to say - the usa is determined to throw a spoke in the positive potential of russia - european relations..

@40 jfl.. i understand what you mean about skipping over obamas speech, but if you think about it, all the lies within it become the talking point of so many ignoramus's, it gets hard to take.. Anonymous @37 post is a case in point.. thank you Norwegian Bob @39, yeah right @42 and harry @43 for responding to that... obama is happy to spread lies and innuendo to the masses and there will always be bozo's who pick it up without examining it any..

@45 zed... your zio bullshit is duly noted.. ..

Posted by: james | Sep 29 2015 16:33 utc | 63

If the Germans were free, they would not allow the US to keep tactical – and now apparently strategic – nuclear weapons on their soil.

Obama and NATO Paint Gigantic Bullseye on Germany

Posted by: Demian | Sep 29 2015 16:33 utc | 64

@okie farmer@52

Did Charlie Rose look like a fucking idiot last night on 60-Minutes, or what,[...]

IMHO, he's getting senile, and Putin might have been thinking "And this is considered the best of US journalism? This guy is a philistine." The questions they cut from US viewers reveal more of the same trait.

What CBS edited out of Putin's interview: "US is preparing opposition forces to fight Assad, who then flee to ISIS with American weapons" (UPDATED)

UPDATED: "We know everything" - Putin's interview on American CBS PLUS what was cut from the interview

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Sep 29 2015 16:51 utc | 65

jfl @14, "Who can deny there's already been a coup in the US?"

Perhaps you haven't hear Peter Dale Scott's podcast on Cheney and Continuity of Government?

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 29 2015 16:51 utc | 66

Psychohistorian @21,
" The BRICS nations and AIIB (China IMF alternative) signatory nations are actively developing sovereign and global finance infrastructure since the IMF (under control of US congress...grin) refuses to change the rules of the finance game to be more fair and balanced."

I am so sorry, but this is NOT TRUE. We were given triumphal characterization of these institutions, but no facts.

A few of my file entries; I'm sorry, don't have time to summarize:

6/3/15 " modus operandi of both institutions revealed that neither of them stimulates the process of de-dollarization [1]. The credits of the New Development Bank are denominated in US dollars. The same goes for the liquidity that the Contingent Reserve Arrangement provides. Furthermore, the endorsement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) [2] will be necessary to act as a stabiliser for the BRICS’ balances of payment [3].
"China only stimulates the use of the yuan by means of bilateral agreements and by that wastes the extraordinary potential of its institutions for the financing of infrastructure, which are mostly supported by emerging economies. The operations of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the Silk Road Fund, and the BRICS’ New Development Bank all take place in US dollars."
The author, Ariel Noyola Rodríguez, Says that currency swaps among the five (except Russia/China) haven't occurred cuz trade & investment among them is tiny. She outlines the steps necessary to turn BRICS into a force for change.

1] «BRICS and the Fiction of “De-Dollarization”», Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, April 8, 2015.
Are the BRICS effective serving as sub-imperialists by better integrating the regions into global neoliberal capitalism? Or are they empowering emerging economies by offering a wider range of economic choice?

It also implies that we can expect greater variation in macroeconomic policy with different states and regions making these choices in different ways. However, what constitutes a significant difference from the neoliberal norm is a matter of vigorous debate.

Given the elite bias of most policies, this politics does not necessarily lead to democratic political outcomes such as greater democracy at home. It is better understood in terms of greater pluralism in elite forums of international politics and economics.

7/12/15 BRICS DEV BANK: Beijing’s emergency bail-out measures represent vast subsidies to financiers, just like those used in Washington, London, Brussels and Tokyo since 2007.

Change is urgently needed yet the BRICS’ finance bureaucrats – especially two leading appointees from South Africa – won’t deviate from orthodoxy. Ongoing financial turbulence should offer a gap for the $100 billion Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), which is anticipated to open its doors next month. However, it carries not only a strange name that even many insider experts often get wrong, but is dollar-denominated and structurally hard-wired to support the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

To illustrate," according to CRA rules agreed at last year’s BRICS Fortaleza summit, after 30% of a country’s quota is borrowed – based on double the amount of its own contributions (China at $41 billion, and Brazil, Russia and India at $18 billion each, and South Africa at $5 billion) – then the borrower must next sign a neoliberal IMF agreement."

I'm sorry; there's more, but I don't think I should take up more space. Sometime I'll write asummary that includes all the bad stuff. I don't know who plants the triumphal stuff, but many jornos pick it up innocently w/o research.

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 29 2015 17:13 utc | 67

psychohistorian @24,
My goodness. Do you know what kind of lies are in the JuanCole link you supplied?
"The flip side is that Putin has deplored Syrian Arab Army shelling of Israel and in some ways a bigger Russian presence in Syria may increase Israeli security" Syrian Army shelling Israel right in the middle of their war against the jihadis?!
Also [Israel] "even allegedly secretly giving some aid to the al-Qaeda affiliate, the Support Front". Israel "allegedly" helping al-Qaeda?? You're kidding me. They sometimes supply air cover, supply return fire in hot pursuit cases, granting aQ safe-passage into the occupied Golan Hts. Israel supplies them w medical care and some weaponry.

Posted by: Penelope | Sep 29 2015 17:56 utc | 68

lookie here zed:

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 29 2015 18:40 utc | 69


They could just say no. Ordinary Germans would be dancing in the steets.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 29 2015 22:09 utc | 70


Yeah, the Germans aren't the real people they were in 1914 and 1939. The Russians are my personal hope ... I guess I believe Putin. But there are plenty of neoliberal recruits in their green mohair suits in Russia ... and Germany, and China ... Ordinary people of whatever 'brand' are the vessels of my hope. You scare me, frankly, with your nationalism.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 29 2015 22:21 utc | 71

@63 James

Yeah, but Obama gets too much attention as it is. Putin's speech was substantial along all the important dimensions and argued for UN discussion and action. Russia is assuming the presidency of the SC ... and the USA is trying run its own alternative right in the UN. he US needs a lot less attention in my opinion, and alternatives a lot more.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 29 2015 22:40 utc | 72

@jfl #71:

You scare me, frankly, with your nationalism.

How am I nationalistic? I'm just like a lot of people here, and believe that for the foreseeable future, Russia is the main impediment to a monopolar world, and that a monopolar world is a bad thing.

Maybe what scares you is that I am not a postmodernist in that I believe that there is such a thing as national identities, and that particular national identities can contain definite non-trivial values.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 29 2015 23:57 utc | 73

jfl @71 and demian @73

What the hell is wrong with nationalism? Imperialism is a terrible thing, ethnic or religious favoritism is a terrible thing. Nationalism -- if understood to be favoring one's own state and its citizens, within that state's geographic borders (and so, not imperialism) -- is an inoffensive ally in the effort to rally average citizens against the anti-nationalist forces of Western and global financial capital.

Posted by: fairleft | Sep 30 2015 0:49 utc | 74

@fairleft #74:

It's possible that my view of nationalism is somewhat peculiar, but here goes, anyway. Based on my Russian "chauvinism" and a superficial and unsystematic familiarity with international relations theory, I tend to think that there are good nationalisms and bad nationalisms. A good nationalism is the nationalism of a great power which respects other great powers and does not act aggressively towards them. There being several major powers in a given region or in the world leads to stability, since they tend to balance each other out. Now, if you have a power that is a minor power or even just a statelet really and it aspires to greater things and wants to resist the natural order of things, which is that great powers will dominate the smaller nations in their vicinity, then you get instability. Thus, nationalism on the part of small powers is a bad thing.

The impression I get from my Russian upbringing is that Russians tend only to take other great powers seriously. (This infuriates some people of various central European nationalities to no end.) What I found out recently is that this attitude is actually supported by some strands in international relations theory.

WP: Revisionist state

In this article by the way, one sees a good example of the absurdly Russophobic nature of Wikipedia. (It is so Russophobic that the article on Russophobia got renamed, because of course there is no such thing.) Thus, Russia is given as an example of a revisionist state, even though it was one of the two main victors of World War II, is one of the two nuclear superpowers, and is the largest country on earth. (We've discussed this article before with guest77.)

Posted by: Demian | Sep 30 2015 1:16 utc | 75

@73, @74, @75

I'm for humanism. Nationalism is the last (first?) refuge of soundrels. Vive la difference. I love and savor diversity and certainly self-determinism in every one of our concentric constituencies ... but using national membership - playing the inside/outside, us/them dichotomy to a particular advantage - is as common among imperialists as among anyone else. It's better to rally around ideas than about blood/ethnic identities, I think.

I say this by way of explaining my outlook, not by way of proselytizing ... not amongst you two at any rate. So peace brothers and sisters. Vive la difference.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 30 2015 1:52 utc | 76

@72 jfl.. i agree with your last comment in particular..

Posted by: james | Sep 30 2015 2:07 utc | 77

A point to ponder: is there any possibility of a solution for Yemen that includes Mr. Hadi, "the legitimate President"? Hadi is "legitimate" because he was elected in 2012, as a sole candidate, with 99.8% of the vote. Quite a bit less than Bashar Assad who got 97.6% in 2007, and 88.7% in 2014 (with opposition on that occasion). The manner in which Hadi was approved as a candidate was itself very interesting. Wikipedia described it as follows: "According to the Prime Minister Mohammed Basindawa, the main opposition coalition Joint Meeting Parties and the ruling General People's Congress jointly nominated Vice President Abd al-Rab Mansur al-Hadi as their consensus candidate." A veteran user of Wikipedia can instantly notice the result of a wiki-war in that description: some people fought to extend it, some vehemently opposed, so the qualifying addition was added as a caution: "According to the Prime Minister".

From my recollection, the following is missing. There were not two, but quite a bit more parties participating in a council that was suppose to propose candidates. Sadly, for months there was a deadlock. Then two members of the council, one representing Houthis and one representing the southern separatists were murdered. Houthis declared boycott of further proceedings and the council very quickly decided on one candidate. Houthis for some strange reasons were peeved and boycotted the subsequent elections, and so were southern secessionists. Those two movements are apparently supported by 50% of the population, but at that time Hadi appeared as a compromise candidate, not having any significant political base, and the reported turn-out was 65% (Assad had 73.5%).

More comparison with Bashar Assad. He is accused of "killing his own people". What about Hadi? He does not have a military force worth mentioning, but allegedly, GCC forces operate on his instructions, and they killed a lot of civilians and destroyed enormous amount of human dwellings and essential infrastructure. Consequently, in Syria the majority of fatalities in the strife are combatants, and in Yemen, the majority are civilians. The only type of logic that allows to arrive at the two conclusions, "The solution of Syrian problem is impossible with Assad staying in office", "The only solution to Yemen problem is restoring the power of the legitimate president, Hadi" is that USA has to humor its regional allies. And what a wonderful bunch of democrats and philanthropists they are! And how they ooze competence!

Exporting democracy is a nice idea, like exporting canned meats. However, there are some obvious limitations: when we export canned meat, we should prevent botulism affecting the consumers. Someone should make a check on the can sent to Yemen.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 30 2015 2:33 utc | 78

MHO, the idea that "nationalism can be bad or good dependent on what nation has such an inclination" is absurd. In my mother tongue there are words "patriotyzm, nacjonalizm (and szowinism)", the former being pride in your nationality and the inclination to improve the standing of your nation by words and deeds, and the latter has additional elements of denigrating some other nation, viewing anything that benefits those nations or ethnic groups as discomfort and anything detrimental to those groups as a reason for joy. Of course, there is a gradation, chauvinism being the more extreme version of nationalism. Within a nation you may have variety of political trends, additionally over time they may wax and wane.

Concerning Wikipedia, it is clearly affected by Wiki-wars, and like in Syrian civil war, you have a myriad of sub-conflicts that locally have different sides prevailing. Sometimes it helps to know more than one language. For example, the examples of "revisionists nations" are named a bit differently in Russian language version:

Летом 2015 года объединенный комитет начальников штабов Пентагона выпустил национальную военную стратегию за текущий год, где Россия, Иран, Китай и КНДР названы ревизионистскими государствами и главной угрозой международной безопасности наряду с ИГИЛ. (In the summer of 2015, members of Joint Chiefs of Staff of Pentagon circulated national war strategy for the current year, where Russia, Iran, China and PDRK were named as revisionists states, and the main danger to international safety on the same level as ISIL.)

As in English description of the way Hadi was selected as the sole Presidential candidate, in the Russian-language description of revisionists states we see not a flat statement of fact, but a statements that someone says so, which is clearly, very different. But somehow, in English there is no such qualification.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 30 2015 3:24 utc | 79

jfl | Sep 29, 2015 9:52:46 PM | 76

Nationalism and humanism are completely compatible, and real democratic nationalism would naturally be very humanistic towards the people within its nation state borders. On the other side of those borders, other nationalistic governments would naturally (and nature can be thwarted by $$$) be humanistic toward their citizens. Nationalism _is_ about respecting borders and the sovereignty of people on the other side of those borders, but I think that supports humanism because it is anti-imperialist.

Posted by: fairleft | Sep 30 2015 4:58 utc | 80

@80 fairleft

Thanks for amplifying your views.

Posted by: jfl | Sep 30 2015 7:45 utc | 81

@Piotr Berman #79:

Well, that whole WP article (or rather stub, to use the WP parlance) as it stands is absurd, with this gem: "United States, United Kingdom, France and other nations like Japan that are better placed in the world order". What is strange about that list of countries? That three of those countries are colonies of the other one, yet the situation is presented as if each of the countries is equally sovereign. And if Russia is not well "placed in the world order", then why are people like your compatriot Brzezinski so obsessed with dismantling it? Seen in geopolitical terms, the UK and Japan are islands which would be highly vulnerable if it were not for US sea power, while Europe is nothing more than a peninsula of Russia.

It is these geographic facts that have led the US and has-been Western European powers to resurrect the Cold War, even though an ideological conflict between "the West" and Russia no longer exists. (Or rather, it does, but even few people who follow geopolitics are aware of it: the Anglosphere stands for predatory, finance-dominated capitalism, whereas Russia stands for what the Germans used to call die soziale Martwirtschaft.)

We are back at the situation which arises periodically that Western powers are unhappy that a power that is not one of them straddles Europe and Asia, and are trying to do something about it. What is different this time is that the main aggressor is a power on the other sides of two oceans (hence, another continental power), which, until recently, had ambitions of being the global – not just European – hegemon.

I could try to fix the WP article but am not going to bother, since trying to bring some sort of sanity to English WP when it comes to Russia is futile, because WP adiministrators are trapped in Anglophone hegemonic preconceptions in the same way Western elites in general are. (Though not, I would say, the common people (das gemeine Volk).)

Posted by: Demian | Sep 30 2015 13:15 utc | 82

Speaking of das gemeine Volk, Russia insider has this:

We follow the German media, and it is almost comically, cartoonishly anti-Russian. It is no wonder that this has provoked a popular backlash among everyday Germans, and why the old 1830s [sic] Nazi term “Liar's Media”, has become commonplace again.
So it appears that I am still intuitively in tune with the German people.

Since my parents were Baltic Russians, I am able to understand where not just Russians, but also Germans and Americans, are coming from. But I will never be able to understand people of such nationalities as Latvia or Poland, what Russians call маленькие народы (small peoples). (One hears about the Russian concept of the "Russian world" in the Western press. What isn't mentioned there is that if there is such a thing as the Russian world, there are also other worlds, such as the American world or the German world. But there is no such thing as the Polish world, for example.)

Posted by: Demian | Sep 30 2015 13:45 utc | 83

@ LoneWolf - whoever you are referring to regarding "war crimes", I have nothing to do with any of that. But thanks for such a well-mannered discussion culture, everyone who does not fully support the nazi and jihadist bunch is of course some "war criminal" or hasbara or whatever such. It's boring dudes, change your tune and at least try to produce some real arguments instead of such lowly emotional smearing campaigns. It never even enters your mind that I actually search for REAL informations and triple check all the contents and sources and thus KNOW that most of this nonsense is just that, nonsense created to embezzle the stupid masses.

You sincerely want to call those badly concocted video an "evidence"? Sorry but it's laughable. There is no bomb crater in that video (the crater shown is from a car bomb or similar IED), there is no fragmentation damage visible anywhere, nothing that points to any sort of aerial ammunitions at all.

You and your hurrah-jihad blogger friends and controlled journos obviously never saw the blast damage of a real bomb dropped from an airplane. Nor what one such crater looks like.

Also none of you seems to grasp that such bombs cost a fortune and don't get wasted on nonsensical targets (especially in this case, where Saudis visibly precision-bomb single houses without seriously damaging the surroundings and that since months).

Let alone that obviously no Yemeni owns a smartphone or camera, since all we ever get from them are some blurry nonsensical pics, or old stuff from Iraq etc.

Your links to supposed "evidence" only strongly confirm that it's a pure PR-piece by the friends-of-mullahs troops. It's the typical demonizing propaganda nonsense as used in Libya, as used in Bosnia etc., you know where the empire had their lunch in the last couple of decades.

Posted by: zedz | Oct 1 2015 11:05 utc | 84

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