Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 29, 2016

Open Thread 2016-17

(Sorry for not posting. A project I am involved has a hard end-of-month deadline and it will still take some effort to reach that. - b)

News & views ...

(Please keep the U.S. elections stuff to older threads.)

Posted by b on April 29, 2016 at 13:08 UTC | Permalink

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ISIS is claiming it shelled Turkey from from Syria ... (and Turkey says -- in a story I now can't find -- that they don't need NATO's help or permission to defend themselves) .... what's astonishing, if you google to find out more, is the frequency of most of these claim and incidents ... groundhog day ... and looking for a better link, I find last graf

The escalating cross border attacks nonetheless call into question how long Turkey can tolerate the attacks on its territory. Earlier this week the Pentagon announced that it would move rocket artillery into Turkish territory to help support local opposition forces fighting across the border in Syria. It is unclear if the systems will also help Turkish forces defend themselves.

heraldnet: ISIS claims strikes on Turkish artillery as border tensions rise.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Apr 30 2016 18:48 utc | 101

@ ben

You think my concern about intra-nation state finance is BS. I think you are confusing cultural sovereign issues with financial sovereign issues. I am not against cultural sovereign status but I think that they more crosses national boundaries of today than exists within them.

As to finance, I am an advocate of public finance and have used the term sovereign finance before but want to be clear about the limitations to totally sovereign finance. Like culture, human interaction in not limited by national boundaries (do you think it should be?). Human interaction includes the exchange of goods and services. How does that happen in your stovepipe mentality of nation states? I assume exchange across nation state borders' exists and want it to be supported by PUBIC finance and not PRIVATE finance like it is now. Can you understand that and the reasons why I think private finance makes and has made bad social decisions?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 30 2016 19:05 utc | 102

Alberto @36

This seems to be standard US practice. First Iraq war they took out all the infrastructure and then imposed sanctions so that it couldn't be rebuilt. This lead to the estimated deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children. When questioned whether the cost in young lives was "worth it" Madeleine Albright replied: "Yes, I feel it was worth it". Before Russia got involved in Syria the US coalition sent in multiple strikes on power facilities feeding Aleppo, resulting the creation of a humanitarian crisis. Putin, when asked what he thought, said that he felt that it was done purposely since it was struck many times until it was completely destroyed, (one strike could have been a mistake), to create a situation where people were forced to leave the area. It is just part of the tactics.

Which leads to this question: which has been greater, the number of civilian deaths caused by the "evil" dictator, or the the number caused by his removal?

We are there to help the "people", "R2P" remember? There may be a little "collateral damage" but it was worth it.

Posted by: Dean | Apr 30 2016 19:17 utc | 103

@96- wouldn't be surprised if we get the saigon ending

Posted by: aaaa | Apr 30 2016 19:31 utc | 104

Is anyone curious about the future? Should Madam Clinton become president, how are they going to keep Bill in the kitchen and his horses in the paddock? The likelihood of Bill not messing up are about the same as his getting a presidential pardon. Must be the living in interesting times.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Apr 30 2016 20:01 utc | 105

interesting comment from pl at sst...
"The recent behavior and statements of MSF with regard to the incident in Kunduz and in Syria at Aleppo raise serious questions as to whether this medical charity can still be thought of as a neutral party in the wars or if it has come to have a political agenda. The insistence that the Kunduz attack should be investigated by an entity outside the US government is just foolish. There is no indication at all that DoD did not do an adequate job in the investigation of the Kunduz attack. If MSF think that the US is going to subject its operations and people to some international body for investigation they have become detached from reality. pl"

the key line for me is the last one.. apparently the us will control or manipulate international bodies as it sees fit, but it will not allow an international body to investigate any of it's actions...i suppose if they did bush 2 and company would be at the hague tribunal answering for iraq... better not have that, although obama spoke of accountability - there's been none... pl would like to see that continue i suppose..

Posted by: james | Apr 30 2016 20:16 utc | 106

Psyco @ 105 said: " Can you understand that and the reasons why I think private finance makes and has made bad social decisions?"

Gee, ya' think? Private finance only does what existing laws enable it to do. National autonomy through regulation can control private finance, at least within it's own borders. Deregulation is the enemy here. Making laws that control predators of every stripe should be every nations right. Surrendering National sovereignty prevents that.

Posted by: ben | Apr 30 2016 21:12 utc | 107


Posted by: james | Apr 30 2016 21:15 utc | 108

@ ben

Are you saying that the BRICS group shouldn't exist?

I think we are talking past each other. I believe that currently private finance writes the laws and plays nations off against each other for control at the top of our food chain. I read that you are ok with leaving them there because individual nations have shown or will show themselves strong enough to stand up to global private finance....please provide evidence or go read The Shock Doctrine.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 30 2016 21:29 utc | 109

Once again for Psyco, private finance only does what existing laws allow it to do. If a nation enters into an agreement that surrenders that right, that's their business. National sovereignty gives them that right.

Posted by: ben | Apr 30 2016 21:51 utc | 110

Those readers jonesing for more talk on US elections, but restraining themselves to stay with important topics like, say, the Middle East, will be delighted that Sharmine Narwani's latest piece on RT today is a Middle East view of - the US elections. I had to laugh.

US presidential elections: A view from the Middle East

She's always worth reading, and I found this part that makes tremendous sense to me:

American policy is not confused – it is very deliberate. Get your head around this: Washington seeks to thwart the Iranian-led axis by unleashing sectarian, Wahhabi-influenced extremists into parts of the region viewed as Iran’s strategic depth, AND it seeks to counter the proliferation of these extremists by reaching out to Iran, tactically – hence the sudden P5+1 nuclear deal in the midst of all this conflict.

This is what I call America’s “strategic dissonance” – playing both sides to engineer protracted conflict in an effort to gradually drive the two sides into extinction.

Only problem is the unpredictability of it all [...]

I think this won't be news to many people here, but somehow I never quite saw it this way before, a truly coherent reason for playing both sides.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 30 2016 23:56 utc | 111

@96 ALb @103 a4

VIDEO: Iraqi protestors storm Baghdad parliament, occupy Prime Minister’s office

Earlier today, angry Shiite protesters stormed the Iraqi parliament in Baghdad and broke through the barricades at the fortified Green Zone. Effectively, Iraq has declared state emergency while politicians have hastily been evacuated.

Can the Iraqis finally be ousting the US installed Iraqi government of occupation?

Syrian, Iraqi armies launch joint campaign to defeat ISIS: analysis

The Syrian and Iraq armies are no strangers to war; but, they have never coordinated with one another, despite their shared interest in defeating the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS).

However, this changed in April of 2016 when both the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and Iraqi Armed Forces launched a simultaneous offensive to wedge ISIS in the vast desert landscape that links both their countries.

Unbeknownst to many, the Syrian and Iraqi forces are advancing towards one another on the Damascus-Baghdad International Highway.

Can the Iraqis and Syrians finally be joining together to oust the US installed Caliphate and its army of occupation?

I hope stuff is really happening between Iran and the Mediterranean. The people there deserve a US/EU/NATO-free zone.

Posted by: jfl | May 1 2016 0:07 utc | 112

@110 grieved.. further to that Ali Abdullah Saleh recent comments on saudi arabia? saudi arabia = al qaeda= isis.. what the empire of chaos knows full well of, but don't expect to read of saleh's views in any western msm outlet... the general public/western world will remain in the dark on any of that... yes - better keep iran down, and murder some more innocent yemeni people while they are at it too... usa foreign policy in a nutshell.. definitely won't change with any of the fuckers running for power at present either..

Posted by: james | May 1 2016 0:25 utc | 113

@110 g

It's like WWII all over again ... NAZIs vs Commies.

I was going to muse further, reflecting on @86 dahoit ... but I'll move it to 2016-16, where it belongs : @219

Posted by: jfl | May 1 2016 0:34 utc | 114

Al-Qaeda confirms retreat from its capital in Yemen

“We only withdrew to prevent the enemy from moving the battle to your homes, markets, roads and mosques,” Ansar al-Sharia said in a rare statement.

Can there be any doubt that al-CIAduh are the Saudi shock troops? That they terrify and 'pacify' the 'natives' and then withdraw to allow the Saudi regulars to move in and assume the occupation.

It's like the 'settlers' preceding the cavalry in 19th Century in the US West, or the 'settlers' (like the Bern, many from Brooklyn, NY) preceding the IDF in the 21st in Palestine, on the West Bank.


Posted by: jfl | May 1 2016 0:40 utc | 115

The "discovery" and subsequent expansion of Israel across MENA is not unlike the "discovery" and subsequent expansion of the US in that:

Native inhabitants, their art and culture must be eradicated.

Land and resources are to be stolen.

Of course, The UK and Europe have a brutal history. For example, the Romans exterminated most of the original English people.

RFK Jr. provides us with a psy-op and a limited hangout and some viable historical accounting of CIA coups and dirty deeds.

Posted by: fast freddy | May 1 2016 2:09 utc | 116

If AQAP did withdraw in Yemen to save "the people" they learned their guerilla war lessons well, a props to them. Al-Nusra and the various "moderate rebels" allowing their citizen supporters in beseiged areas are violating every principle of guerilla warfare. This really is basic in areas with long history of governance by elites and extortive corruption. It's also consistent with what I remember AQAP doing the last time they acquired territory -- caring for the people as job #1. Very odd in some ways since, although ISIS mentioned reading Che and Mao wrt Guerilla warfare, I looked for any populist platforms, economic reform, reredistribution of wealth, land reform etc. and couldn't find any.
Don't know anything about Yemen's agriculture, but oddly enough attempted land reform in Afghanistan by their communist government became a cauldron of resentment, with claims of corruption and favoritism ... as far as I could find, they largely returned to sharecropping ... I was unable to find any clear information about "who owns those fields and who farms them wrt poppy production -- a google now and some interesting data from 2012, doesn't say who owns the lands, but sharecroppers growing opium are making enough money to buy land "which is cheap" ..
Half of Yemen, South Yemen, before reunification was communist, allied with the Soviets 1970-1990...

This "capital" is Al Mukalla -- wiki -- is a main sea port and the capital city of the Hadhramaut coastal region in Yemen in the southern part of Arabia on the Gulf of Aden close to the Arabian Sea.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | May 1 2016 2:43 utc | 117

i asked recently why unitedsnake make it a point to appropriate UNESCO CERTIFIED NATURAL WONDERS like okinawa, jeju, palawan, diego garcia, marshall island, vieques, etc.....for its military outposts. perhaps so that every time an imperial consul like ass carter drops by, the base commandant can entertain him at an balcony overlooking the magnificent secenery, or whatever is left of it.

even the jps agree, the thinking ones at least.
*the marines are stationed here not because Okinawa has a superior strategic location but simply because the bases in Okinawa are as cozy as can be.*

*our boys* deserve only the best !

Posted by: denk | May 1 2016 3:24 utc | 118

Posted by: james | Apr 30, 2016 4:16:54 PM | 105

(Re Pat Lang's MSF Aleppo verdict)

MSF blew itself out of the water when an MSF French spox, in France, said that the hospital in Aleppo was destroyed by "barrel bombs".
Leaving aside the fact that "barrel bomb" is an exclusively US/ZATO name-tag for an EXCLUSIVELY SYRIAN weapon, how the eff would the occupants of a bombed building know precisely what kind of munition was responsible for the damage?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 1 2016 4:51 utc | 119

Correction #118... EXCLUSIVELY SYRIAN imaginary weapon,

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | May 1 2016 5:00 utc | 120

I just don't get it. Obama's got a good sense of humor and reveals a bit with this monologue.. but why did his presidency turn out the way that it did?

Was he compromised and coerced throughout his tenure? Was he 'in' on everything policy-wise? Was he, his cabinet and staff doing their job to the best of their abilities?

It was a complete disappointment for me, and I think lots of other Americans came to a similar conclusion over time.

Posted by: aaaa | May 1 2016 5:48 utc | 121

meanwhile in ph....

do watch your back, mr duterte !!

*Duterte told both the US and Australian ambassadors to keep their mouth shut with regards to domestic political exercise that is getting hotter as the scorching summer sun.

The people here could not wait anymore for next month’s electoral exercise of casting their votes for the next 6-year term president of the country.

They want to cast their vote now. They want to shout to the Oligarchy and the global imperialists,

“Enough! Enough! Enough! Leave us alone!”

Duterte’s falling out with US government goes a long way back when the “FBI spirited one Michael Terrence Meiring out of the city and the country without any approval from the Philippine government.”

Posted by: denk | May 1 2016 6:56 utc | 122

@120 a4 please see 2016-16@220

Posted by: jfl | May 1 2016 7:26 utc | 123

@116 SS

Al-CIAduh are the good guys! Who knew! '... they learned their guerilla war lessons well, a props to them ...' Yeah, that's right, Che was al-CIAduh once too, wasn't he? And so was Mao. You've been reading too much war porn, SS.

I feel sure the press release is utterly bogus. Al-CIAduh are hand in glove with the Saudi regime and the CIA, always have been, they handed over the ground / people they'd taken to the Saudis. On to greener pastures. Maybe I'm wrong.

Posted by: jfl | May 1 2016 7:46 utc | 124

A German documentary about the secrets of the Cold war.

Posted by: AOS | May 1 2016 7:46 utc | 125

Interesting interview and picture

Posted by: Mina | May 1 2016 12:42 utc | 126
More Confessions of an Economic Hitman: This Time They’re Coming for Your Democracy
By Sarah van Gelder

April 30, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "Huffington Post"- Twelve years ago, John Perkins published his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, and it rapidly rose up The New York Times’ best-seller list. In it, Perkins describes his career convincing heads of state to adopt economic policies that impoverished their countries and undermined democratic institutions. These policies helped to enrich tiny, local elite groups while padding the pockets of U.S.-based transnational corporations.

Posted by: okie farmer | May 1 2016 13:44 utc | 127

How rampant is civil asset forfeiture? We seem to be very close to rampant incidents of cops shaking down motorists for mini-bribes, like 1990s russia

Posted by: aaaa | May 1 2016 15:52 utc | 128

@98 - Those are all really great suggestions, though IMHO only the JFK stuff I would quibble with. I think (for what that's worth) that authors like Jim DiEugenio (you can hear him regularly on Black Op Radio) and Lisa Pease do a much better job in general that what you've posted. The whole James Files/Wim Dankbar show seems to be a morass of money and showmanship. People wanting to know about the Bush family relationship can read Russ Baker's "Family of Secrets" which focuses on it (but then a review the book at the site should be read in accompaniment). The whole "LBJ did it" is also very muddy, and many researchers claim that the Mac Wallace fingerprint is a fabrication by another Texas researcher (its Joan Mellen who says that). Which isn't to say that he had nothing to do with it, and of course he benefitted more than anyone (outside of a few oligarchs) politically and monetarily.

Just my opinion - worth the whole two cents.

Posted by: guest77 | May 1 2016 16:04 utc | 129

Saleh is the ex-leader who in 2009 -- to protect the Saudi border from Al-Qaeda infiltration -- allowed the US to base their drone operation in his country and drone in Yemen with the disastrous effect of killing 43 civilians -- he then lied to.his.own.people and claimed that the strike had been carried out by Yemen on.his.own.people, even though the remnants of the strikes clearly indicated a US drone had been used and his country did not have possession of drones or the capacity to have fired same. He was exposed but remained in power. Saleh then fed heartily at the war on terror trough for several years, the drone program expanded, AQAP expanded, al-Awlawi evaded capture for 4 years, other plots were launched, and "Inspire" magazine published on schedule from Yemen. To continue to feed at the trough, the threat must grow rather than diminish. Most recently, the terror wrt AQAP was reignited by links to the Paris attacks (and before that the Charlie Hebdo attacks).

The Yemeni Shiia minority force is the Houthis, whom the Saudis and Al-Qa’eda (and the U.S.) claim is an Iranian proxy force although Iran's support and/or involvement appears to have been limited. INTERCEPT: How Al-Qa’eda's biggest enemy took over Yemen and why the US is unlikely to support them..
(Is this beginning to sound familar?)

One clear source of support for the Houthis come from former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is from the same Shiite sect. Saleh is long suspected of playing a direct role in the Houthis’ stunning seizure of the capital. This week, several Arab TV networks aired a purported recording of a phone call between Saleh and a senior Houthi leader, with the former president advising on the group’s military and political operations.

During his time in power, Saleh often shifted his alliances; he waged six wars against the Houthis from 2004-2010, but at times used the Houthis to crush political opponents. Given that history, many doubt the new power structure, dominated by the Houthi-Saleh alliance, will last.

Saleh who the Houthis want to reinstate, was in 2011, to be replaced by Hadi. Hadi resigned and fled to Saudi Arabia in 2015 and it is he that the Saudis wish to reinstate.

Forgive me if I consider Saleh's statement as self-serving and therefore of doubtful importance. Quite simply, those he blames are his opposition. KSA opposes him and suggesting a KSA + ISIS and AQAP alliance in Yemen feeds into the sectarian narrative, bolstered by history of Saudi overreach, and deflects his (presumed) support by Iran (a Saudi talking point). Sunni = KSA = Hadi; Shiia = Houthi (Iran) = Saleh. But as the intercepts notes before the alliance of Saleh and the Houthi's has been an unstable one. Claims the Houthis are a Iranian proxy force are overstated, they receive(d) some Iranian assistance, but the Iranian boogeyman is golden.

AQAP is a long-standing Yemeni group linked all the way back to the shoe bomber and the Madrid attack to the present day. They "pledged" to ISIS but claims of equivalence usually defiantly ignore their historical differences. The degree of their current concordance is unclear, but they have not merged, and the fight in Yemen certainly appears to be about the future of Yemen.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | May 1 2016 16:30 utc | 130


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

DAVAO CITY - The City Prosecution Office on Friday tagged the American victim of an explosion in his hotel room four months ago as a terrorist.

City Prosecutor Raul Bendico said findings from the investigation of the case indicated that Meiring apparently attempted to set up explosives intended to blow up Evergreen Hotel when the accidental explosion went off, mangling his lower limbs.

Michael Meiring, 65, of California, was rushed to Davao Medical Mission Hospital on May 16 after the blast inside his room at the hotel located on Ramon Magsaysay Avenue here.


What is unusual about the case, The Manila Times reported, is that Meiring was: whisked out of Davao, past the Philippine National Police guarding him at the hospital, and on to a chartered plane, accompanied by what Immigration officials described as agents of the US National Security Agency and agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The National Security Agency intervention, confirmed by Immigration Deputy Commissioner Daniel Queto, sparked intense local speculation as to why an agency that reports directly to the Office of the President of the United States would send an entourage of bodyguards to speed Meiring to a hospital in Manila.


Officials in Davao City will not forget. The suspicious blast took place during a wave of terror bombings across Mindanao as US and Philippine troops conducted anti-terror exercises. President Arroyo threatened to declare a state of emergency and demanded that lawmakers rush through her tough new anti-terror bill. Rush it through they did.

rings a bell anyone ??



The future of the American-Filipino anti-terror alliance became clear last month when Arroyo took up the issue of granting landing rights to Taiwanese military pilots.

That move is a US orchestration to formalize a Washington-Manila-Taipei triad in the South China Sea and coincides with the offensive return of the USNS Bowditch.

The same American spy ship that sparked last year s deadly mid-air collision of military planes over Hainan Island was back looking for trouble last month in coastal waters off the People s Republic. The Chinese insist the new intrusions of the Bowditch violate international law. The US Navy says PRC patrol planes harass the crew as they gather data for battle. [1]


The US has been heading towards China via the Philippines ever since Mr. Bush took office.

Months before September 11, The Role of Southeast Asia in US Strategy toward China, a Rand Corporation study, advised Donald Rumsfeld that he must re-base American forces in the Philippines in order to retain US military dominance in Asia.

A Rand board member since 1977, Rumsfeld joins Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz as leaders of a
militaristic Blue Team that sees China as a competitor which must be contained and kept afraid as part of the hedging strategy recommended in the Rand study. Wolfowitz, an old Indonesia hand, has been particularly outspoken in regards to the Fujian missile bases.

The Rand study helped give birth to the new National Security Strategy of the United States, which justifies pre-emptive strikes to enforce American global economic supremacy and specifically cites the PRC as a top-of-mind target.* [2]

there u have it,



Posted by: denk | May 1 2016 16:46 utc | 131

Interestingly (and then I'll stop) there are reports AQAP versus ISIS in Yemen

Fox News: Fighting between ISIS, Al Qaeda in Yemen's Aden kills 22 (03/13/2016)
and other scattered reports that ISIS fighters from Syria have gone to Yemen to fight the Houthis ... but whether this is equivalent to fighting in "alliance" with or "for" the Saudis seems significant, but if ignored may give the appearance of "bolstering" Saleh's claim

Confusion is compounded with "the government" and "government forces" do not indicate which government (or would be government) is being referred to. Elsewhere, similarly the word "coalition" becomes meaningless unless parsed carefully.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | May 1 2016 16:47 utc | 132

aaaa @121: I just don't get it.

The best explanation, I think, is William Banzai7's response to the WH Correspondents Dinner:

This year our Press Freedom Index rating is No 041, just behind Romania and just above Haiti ... Bwa, ha, ha, ha, ha!!

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Early-on, he was called: "no drama Obama". Rhymes with "sellout".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 1 2016 17:23 utc | 133

@119/120 hoarsewhisper.. i agree.

@129 susan sunflower... what it sounds like you are saying is saleh was a cia asset until he wasn't.. now that he isn't, we are not supposed to believe anything he says... frankly - i will believe him a lot more then i would believe anything coming from the saudi arabia/usa war on yemen.. as for hadi and his place of power, anyone who has looked into how he was elected know that he is completely irrelevant and another saudi/us tool to be using to convince an ignorant west of his 'democratic' place in leading not much of anything other then 'regime' change according to the proscribed rules laid down by the good ole' usa..

Posted by: james | May 1 2016 17:49 utc | 134

Trying to figure out what's happening in Yemen is like trying to figure out who's ahead in Libya ... Syria looks much simpler in comparison ... and then there are the weasel words and "enemy of my enemy" conflations.

The Sadr crowds in Baghdad chanted "Iran out!" which might shock some who believed (as reported) that Sadr was a Iranian asset (he went to seminary, and took sanctuary there avoiding American arrest and trial -- oh and iirc in Syria where he also studied) ... no, Sadr is, and has always been and Iraq nationalist and powerfully opposed to tripartite Iraq -- he has courted Sunnis and Kurds to that aim ... no wonder we hate him!

We're getting almost daily think-pieces telling us that Al-Qa’eda is roaring back in number and relevance ... I have read a dozen and have no idea if they are "true" ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | May 1 2016 18:57 utc | 135

@ ben | Apr 30, 2016 5:51:53 PM | 110

{Quote} Once again for Psyco, private finance only does what existing laws allow it to do. If a nation enters into an agreement that surrenders that right, that's their business. National sovereignty gives them that right. {Unquote} -- ben

Response: If you enter into an agreement to sell yourself into slavery, that's your right to do business. Personal freedom gives you that right.

Posted by: blues | May 1 2016 19:22 utc | 136

Grieved thank you for the Sharmine quote.

I especially liked
"This is what I call America’s “strategic dissonance” – playing both sides to engineer protracted conflict in an effort to gradually drive the two sides into extinction."

Now if only people could remember it: TPTB-- international and US-- want only 2 things: exinction of many lives and control over the rest.

Posted by: Penelope | May 1 2016 20:21 utc | 137


The Sadr crowds in Baghdad chanted "Iran out!"

If Sadr were not 'onboard' he would be referred to in the past tense.

Just my opinion

Posted by: ALberto | May 1 2016 20:51 utc | 138

Ben & Psychohistorian & economics-interested,

Probably we can agree that the desire for self-government is universal. Maybe our most fruitful dialog should be about what monetary, economic, and trade policies will bring it about or maintain it "after the revolution."

Monetary first: Are we in agreement that a govt should issue its own currency and control the amount of the money supply? (That is, a govt-controlled central bank rather than a privately owned one. For the purpose of bringing some citizen control through elected officials. Also the avoidance of the concentration of power in hands not answerable to the people).

However, ordinary commercial banks, savings & loans would continue to be private. Are we agreed there, Psycho, or not? Ellen Brown's suggestion to resuscitate the postal savings accounts is OK, too; it might even bring down the cost of mailing.

Regarding the desirability of fractional reserve banking or not, I think we might ask Paul Meli's opinion, as he's read on Modern Monetary Theory and doubtless remembers it better than I. We ought also to review Michael Hudson as to how to avoid financialization of the economy. And we ought to examine how the South Dakota banking system works. Perhaps the relationship of the S Dakota's State Bank with the private banks w/in SD is a model that should be considered federally.

I believe that Canada also had an independent central bank & learning abouot that could be helpful. He's a proponent of Michael Hudson's Modern Monetary Theory and there's background info about it here. And more articles applying it today.

Obviously another reason for getting rid of the entire IMF/Fed system is that it holds the central banks of most countries in thrall, enforcing their loss of currency/credit control. The IMF doesn't just make loans; it and the BIS operate the banking cabal's banking spiderweb, financializing the global economy.

I personally think that power (decision-making) s/b as decentralized as possible as the sine qua non of self-govt. Obviously if some international institution makes the decisions about trade or banking or immigration or much of anything, those become decisions that votes and citizen participation cannot reach. The looting of Greece's assets and the heartless impoverishment of her people is an object lesson for us.

Psycho, if you know how sovereign banking differs from Modern Monetary Theory it wd be helpful to hear it.

Ben, I think you and I are more on the same page, maybe.

Posted by: Penelope | May 1 2016 21:18 utc | 139

Sigh, some things are not either/or ... Sadr has objected to excessive Iranian influence before. He's an Iraqi nationalist. Shiia Islam and Iran have strong undeniable, unbreakable ties ... Iran did not give sanctuary to Sadr on the basis of some lifelong indebtedness. Only someone unfamiliar with Sadr's history would have been surprised.
Iraq can be glad for Iran's help wrt ISIS, and still not want to lose their autonomy/vote where there are differences. They may well have been playing to reporters cameras to drive home the point that they were not Iranian stooges ... (These demonstrations were first call for by Sadr on 03/10/2016 following Al Sadr intervening in a Shiia-Kurd dispute in Tuz Khurmatu, and were certainly anticipated)

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | May 1 2016 21:19 utc | 140

NYT: Iraq Protesters Leave Baghdad Green Zone on Cleric’s Order

In a statement issued from the holy city of Najaf in southern Iraq, Mr. Sadr directed his followers to leave the Green Zone in an orderly fashion, to chant for Iraq and not a sect, and to help clean the space they had occupied.

A day earlier, hundreds of protesters demanding an end to corruption stormed the fortified Green Zone in dramatic scenes that hinted at revolution. But by Sunday evening the episode had become something less: an affirmation of Mr. Sadr’s sway over the street, but one aimed at pressuring the government to enact promised reforms rather than bringing it down.

The question in the days ahead is whether Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is Shiite, and the rest of Iraq’s ruling elite can come together to form a new cabinet of capable ministers, and not loyalists to a party or sect, something that Mr. Sadr has demanded and Mr. Abadi has promised.

They didn't come there to topple the government

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | May 1 2016 21:35 utc | 141

Turkey's Fake War on Jihadis

by Burak Bekdil

Posted by: virgile | May 1 2016 22:24 utc | 142

I think it is more convoluted than "Sadr is Iraqi nationalist who wants to reduce Iranian influence". Among the Iraqi Shia the largest amount of votes and parliamentary deputies, and also money, and also weapons/militias belongs to Badr movement, and Sadr has much less of everything. Sadr himself has an Iranian grand ayatollah as his marjah (Yazdi?) and not, say, Sistani (there are grand ayatollahs in Iraq too) , so some political divides cross the border. Even though Sadr is "medium popular", he has pockets of reliable support, a part of Baghdad (Sadr city, named after his father) and some cities to the south of Baghdad. For all his talk about nationalism and non-sectarianism, the militia that had allegiance to him was as sectarian as any other (perhaps some badmouthing was fed to the reporters).

Prime minister Abadi seems to have roots in Badr movement, but he "dared" to opposed Maliki who seems to be the big honcho there. Abadi proposed a change into technocratic government, and that nearly led to a vote of non-cofidence, fistfight in the parliament, creation of a "counter-speaker" of the parliament etc. So it may well be that Sadr is joins Abadi.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 1 2016 22:55 utc | 143

Guardian: Shia leaders in two countries struggle for control over Iraqi state
Iraq’s revered ayatollah Ali Sistani is pitched against Iran’s ayatollah Ali Khamenei in battle for influence

Elsewhere the Guardian is tolling the bell for the death of Unified-Iraq-as-we-know-it. All hail the Biden plan? I've been seeing a lot of "sectoring is inevitable" opinions busting out all over wrt several conflicts.

I actually haven't been following this story much. Hard to watch Al-Abadhi flounder and fail ... Apparently his failure is mostly due to Maliki (wait, didn't "we" get rid of him??) absolute intransigence and obstruction to Abadi attempts to get a technocratic (rather than old-timer sectarian) cabinet approved ... hadn't happened, still hasn't happened...

Saw one paper claimed that the breech of the Green zone gave Abadi a "few more days" ... while most seem to view the breech as evidence the government is unable to even enforce the very special safe-rooms reserved for the elite and entrenched and foreign powers. I dunno. Guardian article on battle of the ayatollahs does not explicitly state Sadr sides with Ali-Sistani but I'd be shocked if he did not.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | May 2 2016 0:03 utc | 144

@ Penelope

I haven't kept up with MMT theory except in the beginning but believe that it represents the purely sovereign type of finance and not mixed as you said early in your comment. I am not in favor of mixed public/private finance because of risk assessment. Private finance gave us Fukushima and other bad social decisions. I want all risk assessment to be public because it is time we are a responsible species but want to clearly state that creativity of our species has been suppressed by our social organization bowing to the (Gawd of Mammon = private finance) instead of greater social welfare.

Back to MMT. IMO, the reason there is all the kabuki associated with discussion of MMT is because is does represent a break from our current private-controlled-public form of finance. MMT talks about social goals and stuff so is considered by some to be socialist/communist/whatever. I believe that many of the components of MMT are being practiced by China finance bureaucrats currently. I call BS on the MMT folk because they say nothing about the global finance of now and how to get to MMT from here but understand that those folks may want to stay alive a bit longer than I care about.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 2 2016 0:43 utc | 145

@144 psycho ' they say nothing about the global finance of now and how to get to MMT '

I agree there. You can't get there from here as long as the banksters are creating money at interest. Popular sovereignty and seigniorage - the antique word for the right to create money - at the national level, the only practical level right now. Trees can't grow to the sky, and neither can debt at interest. The problem is, as Michael Hudson points out, debts that cannot be paid will not be paid.

And the banksters are the ones who will not be paid. They will resist until death : until they are removed from the pinnacle of political power. Removal will do. No need to hang them. They'll still be richer than the rest of us, ordinary people. Although losing political power will seem like death to them. It's mortal boundedness that they hate and fear so vehemently.

Posted by: jfl | May 2 2016 1:49 utc | 146

@ jfl

I am sorry for being strident but feel the urge to wake all zombies from the curse of blindness to the basic tenets of our form of social organization. I was critical of you on the other open forum for reading you state that we are all self correcting bodies and don't need government to focus/clarify/implement our intentions. We unfortunately have governments that are controlled by the owners of private finance and are not acting in the greater publics s not the banksters but their owners we need to eliminate from control.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 2 2016 3:26 utc | 147

April 27-28 in Moscow the Russian Defense Ministry held an international conference on security. Lots of people attended. The US formally boycotted it, but many US experts attended because, to hell with gestures, this was a priceless source of cutting-edge knowledge-sharing and consensual activity.

South Front has a good piece on it, from a Bulgarian news magazine, if I read it right, interviewing political scientist Boyan Chukov, who attended: A Nation, that Destroys Its Army and Intelligence Service, Has No Future

The blow-by-blow of the conference is really good, covering not only the topics (terrorism at the top of course) but also the nuances of the high-level state figures in attendance and their interactions. It's a very substantial report.

The highlight of the conference was the topic "Color Revolutions" - and uniquely, this one crowded out the hall with more people wanting to hear it than there was room for. The takeaway seems to be that security and military organizations worldwide are now very adept at recognizing color revolution moves - there's the suggestion that it's almost annoying in its visibility, and if true I find this the best news of the day.

But there's more - now it appears through the Saker site that Rostislav Ishchenko was a panel participant in that very color revolution discussion, and because time was limited there, he's published a bullet-point statement of his thoughts on the subject. "Seva" has translated it for the Saker website, but I haven't quite figured out if it's okay to post a link to Saker here without an automatic blocking delay, so I can't give a link, sorry. It's the latest article currently over there.

Ishchenko presents a tight set of parameters containing color revolution technologies and techniques, and culminates with a very provocative claim:

The preparedness of the victim-state to resist is a necessary, but not sufficient condition to block the mechanisms of the color coup.

Only the support of the legitimate authorities of the victim-country by another superpower able to confront the aggressor-country with equal force in any way with any means can stop color aggression.

He's saying this as a derivative from his earlier statement that all color revolutions are subsets of the struggle between US and Russia. It's worth a read.

Posted by: Grieved | May 2 2016 4:52 utc | 148

Hmm. I thought I was being silly about that link thing to the Saker site - but I just tested it by posting the link to the Ishchenko piece in a separate comment, and it doesn't appear. It will show up later I suppose, but with b on a deadline I don't want to wait until he takes his seat again.

There's a history with this blockage, and I vaguely had seen glimpses of it over time - if someone would like to tell the story I'd love to hear it.

I suppose everyone knows they can google the Saker, or simply put him together from the puzzle pieces of "thesaker" at the domain ".is" - and that ought to get you to the homepage.

Posted by: Grieved | May 2 2016 5:03 utc | 149

Agenda 2030 is an urgently fast implementation of Agenda 21. It means that by 2030 the 21st century UN plan will be complete.

Here is the video documentary by a speaker who doesn't waste your time.
This link is the most important link I have ever posted.

Her website is

This is it. This is the corporatocracy, the global oligarchy, the NWO. Don't wait for it. This is now.

Posted by: Penelope | May 2 2016 5:07 utc | 150

@ Grieved

Thanks for the early information about the security conference.

I don't ask questions at the MoA bar....I wouldn't want to have to wast time defending the rules at my bar....YMMV

The Color Revolution concept is a different version of the political tricks the US has played since WWII throughout the world. The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein describes the South American versions over a period not including the current perversions of declining empire there. Americans only hear about spreading democracy to lesser humans.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 2 2016 5:19 utc | 151

@ Penelope 149

The UN is and has always been the High Court of Empire. I think I linked last year to pictures of the Ukraine puppet kissing the ring of the Powers lady after being included in the group that oversees Human Rights......currently headed by Saudi Arabia.... to complete the farce. the UN is.

We are living Wag the Dog (the movie) only the production is not as effective as it use to be. There are chinks in the edifice of empire and the fear mongering throes it is entering are not surprising and will get more strident.

Breathe Penelope. I am lucky now to be able to laugh at how stupid and manipulated we can be as a species....and it doesn't make me feel any less alive. We are living through the decline of the latest empire. What comes next? Do I get a glimpse before I pass on?

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 2 2016 5:38 utc | 152

Here is some "good news"

I consider private finance to be source of anti-humanistic behavior in our form of social organization. Private finance benefits only a few at the top. Totally public finance would benefit all and I posit better social decisions would be made. Global financial control is at the center of the trade deals.

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 2 2016 6:00 utc | 153

@146 psycho

Hey, think nothing of it. If everyone actually read what others wrote before unloading on their favorite strawman ... why there'd hardly be a multipage 'discussion' here at MoA. Just keep striding away.

Posted by: jfl | May 2 2016 8:05 utc | 154

@148 grieved

It's easy to find this one because it's right at the top of the saker's homepage, but if for some reason you cannot post a link, the title verbatim will do : 'Nine theses about the war we are engaged in'. It's almost as good as the link itself, a cut and a paste, one click to search, one to retrieve. No problem. In fact any lengthy quote from a posting will usually do nearly as well as the title.

I don't know about typepad's rationale on blocking. They're pretty braindead. Ten, twelve years later they still haven't bothered to provide working links to comments beyond page 1 of a discussion thread. Just don't care, I suppose.

Posted by: jfl | May 2 2016 8:23 utc | 155

Link for the Saker piece. Testing.

Posted by: jawbone | May 2 2016 12:12 utc | 156

Piotr, Thanks for the run-down on Iraq. It's always more complicated, isn't it? Pity US succeeded in forcing Maliki out; he seemed closer to being a patriot-- at least wasn't a puppet.
jfl & Psycho, EVERYONE wants an end to the banking cabal that controls most nations' central banks. MMT is focussed on a correct banking system which doesn't allow financialization due to its structure. It doesn't speak of wanting to get rid of banking cabal cuz it's right there in the structure of financial system it advocates. Banking in the normal commercial sense is just an industry. If you make all banking govt controlled, you just wrap up a new, powerful seat of power into one centralized danger. You want to DECENTRALIZE power. So you have postal banking ala Ellen Brown & Credit Unions. Banks of all sizes, escept maybe not interstate, which automatically reduces power. The "Central Bank" just becomes a small dept of the currency-issuing Treasury.

Big item is that FDIC insurance doesn't apply to speculation (investment) banking per Glass-Steagel. Some kinds of speculation s/b banned & others made transparent. But it will be necessary to do away w the HUGE fortunes that have come about thru grandfathering in the foundations & Trusts that prevented most rivals. I'm not sure, but I think there are presently lots of laws limiting inheritance. The oligarchs fortunes were grandfathered in as exceptions to laws-- the first laws early 20th century I think.

Used to be a law in many states that corporate charters were by permission of the state where it was issued-- like Montana, OH, wherever. It had to be re-issued every year, and if the state found it not in the public interest cuz of the way it was operating, then it was dissolved. Sounds promising, huh? Also, tying many corps together in holding companies probably out to be restricted. I understand there are quite a few co-ops rather than the usual corporate structure & certainly these should be facilitated. Personally I am very against ending corporations altogether-- or private property. On the contrary, I'd like to see ownership of property more decentralized.

The world oligarchy that is forming re the Fed/IMF system, BIS, WTO, amjor trade orgs like NAFTA TTIP, etc all are means to centralize power,. Restoring national sovereignty over money, credit, trade, immigration, etc is the way to decentralize power. Then of course the power within our country must be decentralized, too.

Getting the oligarchs out of power is the stumbling block. Once they are ofut of power, there is nothing we can't solve.

jfl: " s not the banksters but their owners we need to eliminate from control." What do you mean? I don't read you?

Posted by: Penelope | May 2 2016 17:41 utc | 157

SS @ 140

I searched for news reports of Iraqi protesters shouting "Iran out!" and found nothing. Have you a link?

What I did see leads me to believe this whole Green Zone protest hooha is a sham, some political theater cooked up at the State Dept: the orderly protest, the "Abadi's guards let 'em in" claims, the surprise visit by Biden "to show US support for Abadi", the women-at-the-forefront, the simultaneous "IS bombings" in the south....and more.

It may have originally been a grassroots protest -- If you want to quash something, you don't meet it head much easier to turn it.

Posted by: Benu | May 2 2016 20:48 utc | 158

@156 Pen, 'it s not the banksters but their owners we need to eliminate from control'

You've confused yourself, dear. Ask psycho @147.

Posted by: jfl | May 2 2016 22:00 utc | 159

@157 benu

Apparently, Sadr is behind the immediate plans of Abhadi to 'clean house' in the cabinet?

Apparently, the US is too?

Convergence of tactical interests?

I can imagine that Sadr is concerned about Iraq. I can only imagine that the 'US' is concerned about its continuing control of Iraq. So, I imagine, their concerns diverge pretty quickly after Abhadi's repopulating the cabinet as well.

Posted by: jfl | May 2 2016 22:33 utc | 160

jfl, " It's mortal boundedness that they hate and fear so vehemently." Yes, well-said. They crave the magic of satanic power It permeates all the groups and secret societies that came together to produce the current WWIII against us.

Y'all believe that they are failing in their construction of a global oligarchy-- because their media is constantly telling you so.

Posted by: Penelope | May 2 2016 22:34 utc | 161

@160 pen

Maybe you're right. Maybe trees do grow to the sky. I think that Michael Hudson is right, that debts that cannot be repaid will not be repaid. I think it's like the War of the Worlds, that the invincible aggressors from another planet - the one they think they live on - are felled by the 'microscopic' oversights in their plan. They certainly won't be defeated by anything we're doing, so far ...

Posted by: jfl | May 2 2016 22:44 utc | 162

Germany's "brainless compliance" with US military build-up in Eastern Europe

The US wants to strengthen its presence in Eastern Europe with soldiers, tanks and heavy military equipment. The federal government is silent officially, but many government politicians are openly standing behind Washington. "CDU, SPD and Greens go along with brainless compliance," criticizes Dr. Alexander Neu, who represents the Left Party Defense Committee.

Marcel Joppa, for

  You yourself are a member of the Defence Committee of the German Bundestag. How do they look upon the development of US foreign policy? Are they completely in agreement, or there is some concern behind closed doors?

Alexander Neu, Bundestag member from Die Linke:

  So within the other parties - the SPD plus the CDU and the Greens - I see no objections. Even amog the Greens, I see no vociferous concerns. In the CDU and the SPD they think it's all good, what the US says. This is a transatlanticist-grouping within the policy in Berlin, and only those with a strong transatlanticist bent, can sit in the Defense and the Foreign Affairs Committee. That leaves the Left as the only party, the only fraction that represents an entirely different view. But all the other parties go there somehow with mindless conformity.

According to this bit of News, Germany / EU are in hopeless, mindless, suicidal thrall to the US. You'd think someone in the actual European nations would notice, wouldn't you?

Posted by: jfl | May 2 2016 23:23 utc | 163

Will Russia and its Allies Achieve a Decisive Victory in Syria?

One of the main reasons for the war on Syria is the possibility of extending Gulf gas to Israel and Turkey, and then through one or both of them to Europe in an attempt to influence the supply of Russian gas to Europe. Perhaps the anti-Syrian axis’ understanding that their project is failing after nearly five years of war in Syria was what led them to urge Saudi Arabia to open the Sanafir and Tiran islands, and sign an agreement with the government of Egypt (rejected by a vast portion of the Egyptian people) on re-demarcating the border between Saudi Arabia and Egypt, bringing these two islands into Saudi Arabian territory and thereby setting up a land-bridge linking Saudi Arabia to the Egyptian Sinai. This was all explained by the Saudi king on his recent visit to Egypt several days ago.

This bridge is not a bridge between two parts of a large city as is the famous Istanbul Bridge, but a bridge in a semi-desert area intended to open access to undeclared strategic goals, most notably linking Saudi Arabia to Israel through the Sinai under the Camp David Accords. This will ensure the delivery of gas and oil from the Gulf to Israel and on to Europe, unopposed by Egypt who previously was the one selling gas to Israel.

Now there's an interesting take on the recent 'return' of the islands to Saudi Arabia / Israel, isn't it?

Posted by: jfl | May 2 2016 23:35 utc | 164

Israel, Greece, Cyprus plan to lay connected gas pipeline

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced the decision together on Thursday following their first-ever tripartite meeting in Nicosia.

“It is imperative to work collectively through coordination,” said Anastasiades, who hosted the summit.

Netanyahu said he believes “this meeting has historic implications” and that “the last time Greeks, Cypriots, and Jews sat around a table and talked about a common framework was 2,000 years ago.”

Netanyahu also spoke of another plan to connect the electric grids of all three countries. Tsipras added that cooperation with Israel and Cyprus was a “strategic choice” for Greece.

Gee ... I'll bet Erdogan is thrilled with that prospect. Qatar-KSA-Egypt ... Israel-Cyprus-Greece? Oh well, he still has the European refugee pipeline business. Turkey and Saudi Arabia at each other's throats? Think Israel, in the middle, is pleased? Maybe that's the reason for Erdogan's new base in Qatar?

Posted by: jfl | May 3 2016 0:04 utc | 165

@162 One can only assume that they feel threatened and more soldiers, tanks etc makes them feel more secure. Seems to me it makes them more of a target but I'm no geopolitical strategist.

Posted by: dh | May 3 2016 0:58 utc | 166

So here is a link about science studying human DNA history back 35K years and yet we have those that say we only been around 6K in control of governments and such

Can we have a 2nd Enlightenment period since we have not made it entirely through the first one?

Posted by: psychohistorian | May 3 2016 1:12 utc | 167

@163 jfl.. thanks for that.. interesting conjecture on those islands and etc. etc.. i like that katehon.. do you know if it is russian based? the names sound russian -
Supervisory board of analytical center Katehon:

Malofeev Konstantin (President)

Timkin Mihail

Reshetnikov Leonid

Klimov Andrey

Dugin Alexandr

Posted by: james | May 3 2016 2:09 utc | 168

the white helmets - excellent 4 minute video laying out just who they are and how they serve a specific interest and agenda, unlike what they are promoted to be...

Posted by: james | May 3 2016 2:25 utc | 169

Gobal Economic Warfare Orchestrated By Banks Enforced By Governments - another 4 minute video..

absolutely fascinating 30 minute video gotten via syrian perspective... worth watching! - In the Name of the Profit. Liberated Syrian Town Reveals ISIS Oil Trade Secrets

Posted by: james | May 3 2016 2:50 utc | 170

@167 james

I like Katehon, too. We have Noirette to thank, at least I do, for the link. I think that for the most part they are on solid ground ... but then they flip out over 'perverts' and 'sodomites' ... anyone as dogmatically religious as they are needs to be carefully watched. They do seem to have some connection to official Russia.

Posted by: jfl | May 3 2016 4:11 utc | 171

@165 dh

The picture I'm forming of 'Europe' ... I've never been there ... is of a bunch of nations whos citizens have been entirely disenfranchised by an EU political class in thrall to the USA. Not so different from Americans disenfranchised by a federal government (states too) in thrall to corporate interests, Of course the Europeans are ultimately enthralled by the same corporate interests, but through the US corporate lens.

Do real, live Europeans actually feel threatened by Russia ? I find that hard to believe. More likely they feel threatened by the United States.

Posted by: jfl | May 3 2016 4:55 utc | 172

@168 @169 james

Had a look at your rt videos, #1 and #3. Skipped the banks. Thought if you recommended them, a man who prefers the text, they must be worthwhile. I think they are worthwhile. Thanks.

Posted by: jfl | May 3 2016 4:58 utc | 173


So, I guess V. Putin will take that advice on board next time some dumb Yankee tries to fly his kite near the Russian boarder?

Posted by: x | May 3 2016 10:45 utc | 174

Headline: "Trump's Take On Close Encounters With Russian Fighter Jets: "At A Certain Point You Gotta Shoot"" (ZH)

[this was meant to be in the former post above]

Posted by: x | May 3 2016 10:46 utc | 175

@165 Threatened is probably the wrong word. There is no direct threat. But there is fear of the Russian Bear especially in Eastern Europe and the Baltics that seems to be part of the DNA.

Posted by: dh | May 3 2016 13:16 utc | 176

@171 sorry.

Posted by: dh | May 3 2016 13:17 utc | 177

@172 jfl.. thanks... i hope many people see them.. the one on the white helmets was very good, as was the 30 minute one on the kurdish people getting back shaddadi..

Posted by: james | May 3 2016 16:17 utc | 178

@B: Or make sure there's a separate "Open Thread" for the US elections.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 3 2016 18:31 utc | 179

Muqtada Al Sadr is back !!!!!!!!!

He and his followers have held a "sit-in" in the socalled Green Zone for 24 hours and now have left that area.

I thought Muqtada had given up and had gone into exile in Iran. But he seems to be determined to take control in what we used to know as Iraq or - at least - the shiite part of Iraq. Al Sadr is (based on my info) an Iraqi nationalist first and secondly a shiite. Although he's a shiite and will maintain friendly relations with Iran, he certainly is not "a puppet on a string" with Teheran being the puppet master.

I consider Al Sadr to be the only one who is able to bring peace & stability in the shiite part of Iraq. I wouldn't be surprised to see that Al Sadr is able to re-unite the old Iraq back together again. If Al Sadr can't do it then no one can. (Do the sunnis want to cooperate with Al Sadr ??).

Al Sadr is the best person for bringing stability not only in Iraq but in the Middle East as well. A question remains how Saudi Arabia, Israel and Turkey will reply to this development. All three countries don't want (too much) stability in the Middle East. These countries have different agendas for the Middle East.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 3 2016 18:54 utc | 180

Muqtada Al Sadr certainly has a plan for Iraq:

Posted by: Willy2 | May 3 2016 19:02 utc | 181

Islamic State kills U.S. Navy SEAL in northern Iraq

Islamic State militants killed a U.S. Navy SEAL in northern Iraq on Tuesday after blasting through Kurdish defenses and overrunning a town in the biggest offensive in the area for months, officials said.

The elite serviceman was the third American to be killed in direct combat since a U.S.-led coalition launched a campaign in 2014 to "degrade and destroy" Islamic State and is a measure of its deepening involvement in the conflict.

"It is a combat death, of course, and a very sad loss," U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters during a trip to Germany.

[T]he White House told reporters that even though the serviceman died in a combat situation, he was not on a combat mission.

Even though the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate has waged wars all over the world and assassinated thousands, he is not on a combat mission. Although he's "really good at killing people", he's keeping his prize. Thanks to Norway.

'Suspected militants', and ordinary citizens of the entire countries he devastates and destroys are his bread and butter, but he specializes in Americans. Especially those angelic, no-boots-on-the-ground, Special Forces, Marines, Seals ... and of course Abdulrahman al-Awlaki - a sort of cherry on top, for dessert.

Posted by: jfl | May 4 2016 1:03 utc | 182

How many times now have US manipulators waffled on Assad? He must go, He can stay temporarily,
He absolutely must go, He can stay, etc. I am not sure that anyone except Syria wants
the war over now. As if they were waiting to align it w something else. I thought maybe
they want to take Turkey down now. But no, Erdogan is too valuable in the desired takedown
of EU's economy.

Is Thierry Meyssan right that there's a plan to actually merge the US & EU economies? TTIP
is a step in that direction. Germany can no longer hope to market such a large share of her exports w/in EU. Free trade has done its usual work and greatly weakened the economies of the other EU countries since they were less developed than Germany. So German banking and Big Busn must be looking for some other "permitted" outlet. They had substantial investments in Latin America, but I wd think these were not beneficially affected by US-produced political turmoil there. And I suppose the fate of the thousands of German businesses in Russia of a few years ago hasn't been good either.

Posted by: Penelope | May 4 2016 1:19 utc | 183

Cruz drops out of presidential race

With Cruz's departure, Kasich remains as the only candidate in the race to challenge Trump.

After the Cruz campaign was suspended, the Kasich campaign said in a statement that the Indiana results "are not going to alter" his plans.

"Our strategy has been and continues to be one that involves winning the nomination at an open convention," read the statement.

Well, it's good to see Cruz bite the dust, but can it be that Kasich thinks the 'open' convention can somehow defy 'the people' and deliver the candidacy to him? And if so, that he has a chance of winning?

Actually he just might, mightn't he? Kasich vs Clinton? Low turnout. Kasich picks up a 'majority' from the middle. Could be a very shrewd move on the part of the Republicrats.

And the Demoblicans will blame whom, this time ... not the Berne, who's accomodating the DNC and burning all his supporters. The Greens?

No donkeys, no elephants. I'll write-in someone I'd actually like to see as prez. Suggest all other Americans do the same.

Posted by: jfl | May 4 2016 1:40 utc | 184

MSF Accuses US, UK and France for Attacks on Three Hospitals

The president of Doctors Without Borders, Joanne Liu, addressed the United Nations on Tuesday.

The United States, the United Kingdom and France are linked to the recent attacks against hospitals in Yemen, Afghanistan and Syria, the international medical aid group Doctors Without Borders told the United Nations on Tuesday.

Hedging, she apparently referred to four UNSC members being involved. But the fact that she named just three implies no proof on the fourth ... just the usual slime and inuendo. Probably had her arm twisted hard on the way into the meeting. Probably needs to see a doctor.

Posted by: jfl | May 4 2016 1:45 utc | 185

Exxon ‘Knew Earlier, They Knew With Certainty and They Knew Globally’

Janine Jackson:

  Well, we know that it’s not just Exxon, or Imperial in Canada. We know that other oil companies did research. But there’s a reason to focus on Exxon because they were kind of an industry leader. It wasn’t just that they did some research, they really did ambitious research.

Brendan DeMelle:

  That’s absolutely right. And what these documents are revealing to us is, you know, imagine where the world would be if Exxon had continued to pursue that research and embrace its own scientific understanding of climate change decades ago. But as we know, rather than doing that, they pivoted antagonistically against the science and started funding decades of denial and deception, individuals in think tanks that they were pumping money into to confuse the public and policymakers about the importance of addressing climate change.

It's a 'tribute' to the deaf-, dumb-, and blindness of the stupid, lazy, rich oligarchs that they would piss away gargantuan sums on lawyers, public relations outfits, 'scientists', and 'journalists' in order to maintain the status quo rather than to use the same funds to seed an alternative approach to the energy business.

The fewer they are the deafer, dumber, and blinder they are.

Not just Exxon, of course.

Posted by: jfl | May 4 2016 2:01 utc | 186

M K Bhadrakumar may 2nd - Obama defines his Russia legacy.... pretty sobering article by bhadrakumar.. i think he is right.. the usa/nato are going to ramp up here into summer, in there hostility towards russia.. no let up in sight..

Posted by: james | May 4 2016 2:11 utc | 187

Obama Wants to Write “the Rules” of Trade. China Is Against

“America should write the rules. America should call the shots. Other countries should play by the rules that America and our partners set, and not the other way around,” Obama wrote in a piece published by the Washington Post.

Wow. Could he actually have said that? I clicked the link. It came up gibberish. I reloaded the page ...

President Obama: The TPP would let America, not China, lead the way on global trade

The world has changed. The rules are changing with it. The United States, not countries like China, should write them. Let’s seize this opportunity, pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership and make sure America isn’t holding the bag, but holding the pen.

They changed it, made it sound a little less like chest thumping imperialism ... at least to themselves. But it stinks. I hope the TPP is running into the same problems in Asia as the TTIP is in Europe. The American Congress will pass it at midnight, in a heart beat, sold-out pigs that they are.

The TTP and TTIP will place corporate agreements before national legislation. They will nullify popular sovereignty in every nation wherein the corporate goons in its congress / parliament have signed them.

To whom it may concern ...

Posted by: jfl | May 4 2016 2:32 utc | 188

China - the epicenter of a new global crisis

In fact, the following is everything that made the United States do this: first they announced that they could raise the base rate, and then they raised it with symbolic significance - a quarter of a percentage point. And that was enough for the net outflow of capital from the periphery of world capitalism at $600 billion. This is roughly equivalent to the net outflow of capital (perhaps an even bigger number) from China. Actually, the main loser in this process turned out to be China.

The fall of stock indices and the depreciation of the Yuan are a consequence of capital reversal from China in the opposite direction.

Actually, today, the capital has especially nowhere to go. Everywhere has zero interest values, or even negative rates. That is, we will find ourselves witnessing some serious fractures in the entire system, and not just in the financial system, because the system will break down in regards to the whole economy and the policy as a whole. Already, there is a transition to a new world order. And most likely, it is not money that will be the main tool. Most likely, in the new world order, the main tool will be hard power.

The impotence of capital. All it's really good for, in the present dispensation, is for making more of itself. When the oligarchs' greed has broken the machine for 'making money', once again, the only thing left is to wipe the table clean and start over again : world war.

At least that's what Valentin Katasonov says. Doesn't have to be war ... but with infinite sloth and stupidity coupled to zero creativity among the deaf, dumb, and blind oligarchs, who see zero chance of themselves or anyone they know being hurt by war, it'll be up to us to provide an alternative.

Posted by: jfl | May 4 2016 2:56 utc | 189

sorry, the link.

Posted by: jfl | May 4 2016 2:57 utc | 190

@183 Pen, 'Is Thierry Meyssan right that there's a plan to actually merge the US & EU economies?'

I think the plan is to create a corporate economy overarching all the individual economies on earth, overriding the sovereignty and jurisdiction of all the individual peoples and governments on earth.

The TPP and the New Global Corporate Government

In chapter 27, TPP provides for a new executive-legislative body whose decisions will usurp national and state-local legislative functions and representative democracy — already under serious attack everywhere by corporate money and other initiatives. And in
chapter 28, TPP provides for a new kind of global corporate court system, run by corporate-friendly lawyers and hirelings who will make decisions which cannot be reviewed, appealed or challenged in existing court systems of any TPP member country. TPP ‘courts’ will take precedence over US and other national court systems, already under heavy attack by corporate forces vigorously promoting arbitration as a means by which to bypass the formal judicial system in the US.

There are individually outrageous sections, on labor, agriculture and intellectual property, as well. But removing the means of modifying or remedying the defects of the treaty itself and its provisions is the show-stopper. Check it out yourself and let us know what you think.

Posted by: jfl | May 4 2016 3:32 utc | 191

james @187

Tensions with Russia and others may also boost Hillary in the Presidential election (similar to Wag the Dog) due to her experience as Sec. of State.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 4 2016 4:35 utc | 192

jfl, I think you are interested in artificial photosynthesis
to create fuels. Detail on where we are:

Posted by: Penelope | May 4 2016 4:40 utc | 193

jfl, Re: Exxon. In case you should remember that the MSM lies to you.
Just in case you should want to hear from someone who's
examined the documents & can supply quotes. I should think you would be
able to conjure up just a little suspicion of the motives of the
Rockefeller interests. They are only the most powerful oligarchic
family behind the US murderous foreign policy-- besides having
carried out involuntary sterilization in PR & Brazil. And too many
other satanic sins to mention.

Posted by: Penelope | May 4 2016 4:58 utc | 194

jfl @184

I think Cruz dropped out only because the states voting after Indiana are more likely to vote for Kasich than Cruz. The NEVER TRUMP movement has not given up.

Sanders won Indiana mostly because it's an open primary. Only two of the remaining 13 contests that remain are open (Puerto Rico and Montana). An additional one is 'semi-open' (South Dakota). Then there is Oregon, which he is expected to win because it's very liberal.

Although Sanders only has to win about 30% of the remaining delegates to deny Hillary a majority of elected delegates, it is extremely unlikely that Hillary will not be able to retain the Super-delegates she needs to win on the second ballot. But that assumes that she can squash the email investigation (unlikely) or put it behind her by pleading to a lesser-charge (misdemeanor, like Gen. Petraus did).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | May 4 2016 5:15 utc | 195

Re: Exxon,
Moller, a scientist once employed by Exxon, is cited as a (written)
witness against Exxon. But the actual document reveals that Moller
in fact penetrated to probably the most essential error that the
simplistic AGW "theory" makes:
" It is shown, however, that the changed radiation conditions are not necessarily compensated for by a temperature change. The effect of an increase in CO2 from 300 to 330 ppm can be compensated for completely by a change in the water vapor content of 3 per cent or by a change in the cloudiness of 1 per cent of its value without the occurrence of temperature changes at all. Thus the theory that climatic variations are effected by variations in the CO2 content becomes very questionable." -- by Moller in Journal of Geophysical Research

NASA has in fact found that atmospheric water vapor has decreased.
The means by which CO2 exercises its putative warming effect is 95%
through an increase of water vapor triggered by the 5% direct warming
of CO2.

Posted by: Penelope | May 4 2016 5:17 utc | 196

jfl @ 191, Yes, I'm aware of TTIP, etc. Nicely summarized in
thsoe quotes. I think everyone here knows about it, so I don't
mention it here.

I wholeheartedly agree that the plan is a global oligarchy in
which all individuals are stripped of the protection of their
nations, and the nations as good as nonexistent.

I mention the possible plan for EU/US merger of economies only
as an interim step. The planned endpoint really is Agenda 21
(for 21st Century). Under Bush, Sr, somehing like 170 countries
signed on to it. Just a few weeks ago on Earth Day, about the
same number signed on to Agenda 2030-- which is the intention to
ostensibly COMPLETE Agenda 21 by 2030. Sounds ludicrous until you understand the means that are being used. This video is a really easy way to begin to come up on the topic.

Her website is

Posted by: Penelope | May 4 2016 5:38 utc | 197

@196 @197 Pen

I've heard the water vapor one before, 2014-27 @38. You're not going to convince me that it is prudent to continue to burn fossil-fuels for the variety of reasons listed there.

It appears @197 that you are now going to try to hook your 'climate change fraud' hooey together with some sort of TTP alarm ? I could look, but I'm like james, not big on videos. And your choice of 'causes' and your whole FUD approach doesn't appeal at all to me, Pen. None of us can read everything written in this life, Pen, so all that stuff, and your universal FRAUD! stuff suffers triage and doesn't get read by me. I'm sure others do read it and that some agree. Better men and women than I am, I'm sure.

I thought you were right on with your list of the actual accomplishments of Moamar Ghaddafi and the monumental loss suffered by Libya and Africa and all of us when the criminal Obama and his Brit and French accomplices hit him, but on these other matters ... my mother used to tell me that if you cannot say something nice, it's better to say nothing at all. So I will leave it at that Pen. I scan your postings, hoping for something I can relate to. I'm sure I'll find many more such good things in the future.

Posted by: jfl | May 4 2016 11:02 utc | 198

Bill Gross proposes UBI - universal basic income

Posted by: aaaa | May 4 2016 13:35 utc | 199

@199 thanks aaaa.. i like reading bill gross from time to time..

jackrabbit - regarding your conversation with Patrick Bahzad and connecting the dots... remind him of the obama quote - using isis to put pressure on malaki the iraq pm at the time.. obama is on record stating this... there is no connecting the dots needed.. patrick bahzad and pl have their head in the sand which is one of the reasons i am not allowed to post their..

Posted by: james | May 4 2016 14:23 utc | 200

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