Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 24, 2017

Open Thread 2017-12

News & views ...

Posted by b on March 24, 2017 at 17:21 UTC | Permalink

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Trump's billionaire coup d’état

Posted by: nmb | Mar 24 2017 17:38 utc | 1

- Rex Tillerson: US troops will stay in Iraq after ISIS has been defeated.

Posted by: Willy2 | Mar 24 2017 17:56 utc | 2

Who takes the oil?

Posted by: Musburger | Mar 24 2017 18:27 utc | 3

Musburger 3

Not the tribes of the Middle East - that's for sure .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Mar 24 2017 19:11 utc | 4

is it anti-american to talk about this that and the other thing? apparently some folks think so... i see it that they are attached to the 'rah rah, we are the greatest' myself..

Posted by: james | Mar 24 2017 19:14 utc | 5

American garrisons are everywhere it seems. Those are the only good jobs left so it's unpatriotic to complain about that at home.

Posted by: paul | Mar 24 2017 19:29 utc | 6

With regards to money and monetary policy.

The issue here is arithmetical and relates to the right to private property.

In a system where:

1 – Government imposes one unit of account by law
2 – Government bestows property of said unit of account to an unelected third party
3 – Irrespective of underlying economic conditions or political persuasion, succeeding incumbent governments run perpetual fiscal deficits

The diminishing marginal utility of debt ensures that the outcome is dialed in.

1,2 and 3 taken together guarantee that, eventually, government must face off against the people

1,2 and 3 however, also guarantee that shortly after taking on the people, governments will be fighting on 2 fronts: against the people and against the owners of the unit of account

This is an arithmetical identity

It does not matter whether a society opts to make use of stones, shells, gold or cabbages in designing a monetary system. The only thing that matters is whether the system is geared towards the distribution of wealth through the acquisition of private property or whether the system is geared towards the concentration of wealth through the concentration of title.

Because of the diminishing marginal utility of debt, 1,2 and 3 guarantee that the time differential between, on one hand, the generation of new money and credit and, on the other hand, the time it takes for this new money and credit to penetrate all levels of the economy, first users of the unit of account enjoy an asymmetrical purchasing power advantage over entities that get to use the same money and credit later in the cycle.

In time, this can only result in the concentration of title thus wealth, thus political power.

The diminishing marginal utility of debt results in gradually more onerous fiscal pressure.

Increasing fiscal pressure results in ever more stifling legislation.

Taken together, these 3 dynamics monopolize and raise barriers to entry in industry and business thereby inducing off-shoring which results in increasing unemployment.

In a context of electoral politics, politics have little to do with changing one's quality of life.

Posted by: guidoamm | Mar 24 2017 19:36 utc | 7

MK Bhadrakumar: “American civil war is good for world peace”

“To my mind, this is about the appropriate time to begin pondering about a world sans America. That is to say, an international system where America has taken “time out”. Is it a good thing to happen? Well, it is already having some salutary effect on the international climate. The global tensions have noticeably eased. If it was commonplace during the Obama era to discuss a potential war between Russia and the US, including a nuclear war, no one wastes breath over such things anymore.“

“As the saying goes, dogs bark but the caravan moves on. The world community cannot possibly ask for more.”

Posted by: erichwwk | Mar 24 2017 19:41 utc | 8

Outlaw US Empire invasion of Iraq provided the basis for Daesh being brought to life by the Empire in an attempt to control a political situation it couldn't. Elements of Daesh were then used to destroy Libya. After gaining experience there and getting further training, Daesh was introduced into Syria to destroy it too. Daesh then developed its own ideas about its destiny, but still obeyed orders from its creator and its allies. Meanwhile, the Empire's previous creation, al-Ciada, was doing its part to help fulfill the Empire's plans for the region.

On the previous thread, Outraged asks why the Empire continues to rely on its terrorist death armies instead of its own military to forward its political goals. I think it's to keep them in reserve to use against one of the main Multipolar Alliance nations--Russia, China, or Iran--whose militaries are too powerful--not that the terrorists won't be used to derail the Eurasian integration projects of China and Russia since that's the reason they exist.

Clinton was all about above board confrontation. Trump seems to favor more covert action while talking reconciliation--the Bush/Reagan method. I don't see any reversal of the Outlaw US Empire's drive begun during WW2 to establish Full Spectrum Dominance; rather, just a change in tactics is occurring that hopefully isn't fooling anyone.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 24 2017 19:42 utc | 9

For those not clear on what the Obama-Clinton Trillion Dollar Nuclear Weapons "Modernization was all about.

How US nuclear force modernization is undermining strategic stability: The burst-height compensating super-fuze

by Hans M. Kristensen Matthew McKinzie Theodore A. Postol

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 1 MARCH 2017

The US nuclear forces modernization program has been portrayed to the public as an effort to ensure the reliability and safety of warheads in the US nuclear arsenal, rather than to enhance their military capabilities. In reality, however, that program has implemented revolutionary new technologies that will vastly increase the targeting capability of the US ballistic missile arsenal. This increase in capability is astonishing—boosting the overall killing power of existing US ballistic missile forces by a factor of roughly three—and it creates exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.

Posted by: erichwwk | Mar 24 2017 20:07 utc | 10

The Truth Behind the War on Immigrants

Short video from TRNN:

Posted by: ben | Mar 24 2017 20:08 utc | 11

Regarding Tabqa Dam capture, some YPG video.

From this video I was able to locate some of the features with Google Earth. The staging point was at a road entrance with the 3 towers which is north of the dam up the main road. The area where the video was taken is at the north end of the dam where a sluice provides water into an irrigation canal. The main earthworks and main dam sluice gates are all south of this point, near the town. The YPG seems to have control of a very small section of it at the north end.

Posted by: Dean | Mar 24 2017 20:14 utc | 12

Karlofi @ 9: The US and its allies use ISIS and al Qaeda terrorists to fight their wars in the Middle East and Africa because they're cheaper to train and recruit. Social media networks take the headache out of going out to the backwoods of Appalachia or the degraded suburbs of Flint or Detroit where military recruiters might not be welcome anyway. The unemployed or dysfunctional types who sign up to ISIS and al Qaeda only need enough training to act as shock troops to gain new territory. If they are badly injured, they can be left to die - this saves the Empire from having to spend money and resources on patching them up and sending them out to fight again.

Would the US risk sending its own troops to eastern Europe to fight Russia? I'd say only if and when western European countries have exhausted their own armies and societies trying to fight and invade Russia. Similarly would the US risk sending troops against China? Only after Japan, South Korea and other US allies in the western Pacific region (Australia in particular) have banged their own armed forces into oblivion again and again against that nation.

Truth is, the US has not fought a prolonged land war with foot-soldiers that it eventually won since 1865, and even then that was against much smaller fry.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 24 2017 20:17 utc | 13

US Has Interfered in More Elections Than Any Other Nation

From TRNN:

Posted by: ben | Mar 24 2017 20:19 utc | 14

Apologies if this has already been discussed, but I found it rather interesting that here in the U.S. a new instalment of the "documentary" series Frontline appeared this week about Iraq. For those unfamiliar with the series: it is generally speaking very well-done propaganda that consistently represents the official .gov position, and appears on public TV. It subtlety panders to a more "discriminating" and "educated" audience than regular broadcast TV.

This latest episode was titled "Iraq Uncovered". I found it particularly interesting that the main takeaways for the audience appeared to be: (1) the shia militias (Iran) are the main troublemakers on the ground (the terms shia militia and hezbollah brigades were used almost interchangeably), and that (2) the gov of Iraq is so weak and ineffective they are not only unable to provide basic services to the population at large but has no ability to protect sunnis from the rampaging shia/hezbollah brigades in areas reclaimed from ISIS.

It seems clear to me that regardless of what Trump may have intended to do with respect to Iraq/Syria (assuming he ever had a coherent policy in mind), the partition of this region will continue unabated and the unhinged Wolofitz doctrine true believers are still in control of long-term policy.

Posted by: duncan_idaho | Mar 24 2017 20:28 utc | 15

karlof1 9

US boots in bodybags is the issue. US population only complain about wars if it's them doing the dying.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 24 2017 20:36 utc | 16

Re reluctance to commit US Boots ... IMV

As for jen & peter AU. As well as:

~$165 Billion USD for the Dept of Veteran Affairs, annually and growing due to last 16 years wars Iraq & Afghan, plus smaller ... loss/cost of political capital/soft power, foreign & domestic ... UN Charter, International Law, Laws of War, Geneva Conventions, War Crimes.

The above means using disposable proxies, as opposed to unsustainably expensive 'Private Contractors', is no bodybags nor photos of, no ongoing VA costs, no compensation nor pensions, plausible-deniability and attempted evasion of all the above re responsibility & accountability, however unlikely. Win-win from their perspective. Conventional military application of lethal force is becoming burdensome/constrained, yet the threat of, has uses as well as the financial/corruption rort. Hence, lethal Drones instead of a manned strike aircraft, etc.

@ Posted by: duncan_idaho | Mar 24, 2017 4:28:17 PM | 15

Yes, even IF. Regardless, the efforts to constrain, corral & then control, are relentless, re PNAC, etc

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 24 2017 21:31 utc | 17

@1 nmb... thanks.. good overview on the state of affairs in the usa at present...

@17 outraged.. thanks.. ditto.. no one has to wonder why obama thought isis could be a helpful tool in syrian regime change.. it's all their in the costs incurred one way verses the other.. all the military gear accidently getting in the hands of al qaeda and etc, doesn't look so accidentally to us cynics..

Posted by: james | Mar 24 2017 22:09 utc | 18

The recent attack on the UK parliament, also minor/reminder incident in Germany - part of preparing the population for UK, France, German participation in Raqqa?
Brits are in Syria with the SOHR intel operation. France similar with @24 intel operation.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 24 2017 22:20 utc | 19

From Counterpunch:

"Definitions of terrorism are notoriously hard to pin down. Attorneys working for the US government tried to formulate a suitable working definition at one stage, and had to give up because, no matter which way they framed them, every definition they came up with applied to policies and actions of the US government. Perhaps this explains why the working definition of terrorism these days is ‘refuses to allow their country to be used as a colony for US corporations.’ Or perhaps this is the working definition of communist. They are much the same in practice; ask a Latin American. Ask one of those dead Yemenis."

Posted by: spudski | Mar 24 2017 22:46 utc | 20

Regarding the London attack. There seems to be a racial component. Plus a lot of personal anger.

"He had a middle-class upbringing and lived with his attractive partner in a neat bungalow with a nameplate.
Khalid Masood's background in the heart of Middle England was as far removed from the stereotype image of an Islamic State 'soldier' as it is possible to imagine."

Posted by: dh | Mar 24 2017 23:18 utc | 21

From Counterpunch:

"Definitions of terrorism are notoriously hard to pin down. Attorneys working for the US government tried to formulate a suitable working definition at one stage, and had to give up because, no matter which way they framed them, every definition they came up with applied to policies and actions of the US government.

The Counterpunch idiots are widely known to be idiots.

It's idiotic to just take a word and try to define its referand. Better to find an idea and then attach a word to it.

Posted by: blues | Mar 24 2017 23:35 utc | 22

Terrorism ... attacks on purely civilian targets
Guerilla warfare ... attacks on Military/Government targets?

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 24 2017 23:50 utc | 23

Yep. Looks like UK, France, Germany, are all in for Raqqa.

Several Wounded After Mass Shooting in Lille, France

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 24 2017 23:59 utc | 24

Thanks Jen, Peter AU and Outraged for your replies. The implication of them is that the Anti-War Movement did indeed succeed in fomenting change in Imperial Policy making it an illegal, covert endeavor that ought to shame any true patriot who takes their oath of service seriously. The deeper implication is that the 1787 Constitution's violated 24/7/365 and is now 100% useless in keeping the executive from waging war anywhere at anytime. Inverted Totalitarianism Indeed!

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2017 0:03 utc | 25

karlof1 25

I think you've nailed it there.
A big part of Obama's election campaign/campaigns was to "bring the troops home"
In went the drones and proxy wahhabi cult armies were created/greatly expanded which has resulted in an exceptionally dirty and deceiving (even by US standards) era of the US war on the world.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 25 2017 0:17 utc | 26

In thinking about the definition of terror, the US moving to using mostly terror tactics rather than a combination of conventional military with a smaller component of terrorism to achieve their objectives...
ISIS with their very professional brand management and marketing - the message to west in the snuff movies, disseminated to and pushed hard by MSM - be afraid, be very afraid, this is why you need boots on the ground.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 25 2017 0:54 utc | 27

Israeli Airstrikes Contribute To Further Escalation Of Syrian Conflict (video)

Israeli warplanes reportedly delivered airstrikes against Syrian army targets in the Qasioun Mount region near Damascus early on March 22nd. Israeli jets allegedly carried out four rounds of airstrikes. There were no reports about casualties or damage suffered by Syrian government forces.

Initially reports about the incident appeared in pro-militant social media accounts and then were widely spread by the Israeli media. If confirmed, the recent raids were the fourth round of airstrikes attributed to Israel in Syria in less than a week.

The reports about the fresh Israeli airstrikes in Syria came just a few hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue hitting targets in Syria. Netanyahu made this claim during a visit to China, adding that he had informed Putin of Israel’s intentions.

the israelis are acting as al-cia-duh's airforce as the us acts as isis'.

Regional, World War Possible As Israel Continues To Provoke Full Scale Confrontation With Syria

The war in Syria is heating up yet again with signs that the conflict may soon be about to take greater international dimensions. This is all due to greater Israeli participation and aggression in Syria against the Syrian military and on the behalf of terrorist organizations fighting against the Syrian government. The questions that remain, however, are whether or not the Israelis are willing to tempt the resolve of the anti-terrorist coalition of Syria, Hezbollah, Iran, and Russia and how steadfast that resolve of those powers might actually be.

i think the israelis must not be allowed to bomb syria ... today syria, tomorrow lebanon, iran ...

US general calls for nuclear build-up against Russia

Lieutenant General Jack Weinstein is deputy chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration at the Pentagon, giving him responsibility for the overall readiness of the US nuclear arsenal, the most powerful in the world, able to destroy life on the planet many times over.

According to the Times report of his remarks to the newspaper, Weinstein expressed concern over “much more aggressive” behavior by Russia in the last few years, and cited this as justification for strengthening and upgrading US nuclear weapons.

The Obama administration launched a $1 trillion program to modernize US nuclear weapons, including particularly ominous efforts to make nuclear weapons more “usable” on the battlefield, and the Trump administration plans to continue and accelerate that build-up.

the boys to whom tee-rump has abdicated are off and running ...

Wall Street First

Trump may end up as America’s Boris Yeltsin, protecting U.S. oligarchs (not that Hillary would have been different, merely cloaked in a more colorful identity rainbow). The U.S. economy is in for Shock Therapy. Voters should look to Greece to get a taste of the future in this scenario.

Without a coherent response to neoliberalism, Trump’s billionaire cabinet may do to the United States what neoliberals in the Clinton administration did to Russia after 1991: tear out all the checks and balances, and turn public wealth over to insiders and oligarchs. So Trump’s best chance to be transformative is simply to be America’s Yeltsin for his party’s oligarchic backers, putting the class war back in business.

tee-rump/yeltsin is acting the same part as protector of the israeli/turkey/saudi/gcc oligarchs as well. the paragraphs at the end of the piece, following the above quote, detail what a 'coherent response to neoliberalism' must entail. no way to get there from here riding an elephant or a jackass.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 25 2017 1:34 utc | 28

MRW - if you are reading here.. thanks for your march 24 reply on sst.. pat has decided he has had enough of my anti-american attitude and banned me (again).. this guys sense of rightness and conviction is only superseded by his ignorance.. john scofield won a grammy for his latest recording - 'country of old men'... i wonder who he was thinking of with that title? lol..

Posted by: james | Mar 25 2017 1:39 utc | 29

Outlaw US Empire terror tactics have a long history that actually predate its establishment but were greatly accelerated during Vietnam, utilized by US allied dictatorships globally and furthered yet again during Bush/Reagan's Contra War. The history is extremely revolting and difficult to deal with but is a must to truly understand the evil extent of the Empire's actions and crimes, and their generational nature--it hasn't been just one bad apple during one short period of time.

Daesh has ran its first op within Russia, in Chechnya, and Since Daesh was created and is managed by the Outlaw US Empire, does this constitute an invasion under international law?

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 25 2017 1:40 utc | 30

@11, agree that society splits upon class lines, not artificial, racial or national origin ones, but Horne is wrong about Marine le Pen. She knows Enemy Numero Uno is Imperialism. The Reptilian Broadcasts consistently vilify her; there's a clue.

Posted by: ruralito | Mar 25 2017 1:45 utc | 31

Posted by: dh | Mar 24, 2017 7:18:53 PM | 21

IS reach in Europe is to a large degree created by the way it is reported.
It is standard practice by media not to overemphasize certain stuff because it is bound to create copy cat crimes by loony people - not in the case of "Islamic terrorism".

BBC concedes they support terrorism by the way they report

Posted by: somebody | Mar 25 2017 2:05 utc | 32

Luxembourg Leader Urges Trump to Value EU Relations More - (AP)
AP Interview: The leader of European Union founding nation Luxembourg is warning U.S. President Donald Trump that if he turns a cold shoulder on the EU it will be "a lose-lose situation" for both sides on the Atlantic.

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 25 2017 2:13 utc | 33

@32 Where did the BBC concede anything? Are those your words? Seems to me they reported the event because they had no choice. Twitter turned it into a much bigger deal.

I thought the Daily Mail link I posted at 21 was quite a thoughtful piece. The guy came across as a pathetic case who somehow used Islam to deal with his own demons.

Posted by: dh | Mar 25 2017 2:25 utc | 34

Some five computers were confiscated as well as other equipment, including antennas he used to access other people's networks and to commit the alleged crimes undetected. This initially threw off the police and it led them to question others whose networks were used. Eventually, the police created a profile of the suspect and the technology to find him. Police say that he attempted to grab the gun of an officer who came to his home to arrest him.

The first incident attributed to the Israeli suspect is a bomb threat that a Jewish institution in New Zealand received in 2016. Police in New Zealand identified the IP address as originating from Israel. A similar incident occurred in Australia, and Israel was also identified as the source.

The Israel Police initially struggled to locate the suspect but then received several reports of threats from 16 Jewish centers in nine U.S. states – Florida, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Tennessee, Georgia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and North Carolina. The FBI began investigating. Delta Airlines also received a threat about a bomb on one of its planes, causing it to halt flights to check their aircraft and forcing a plane already in the air to land.

The FBI handed over the information to the Israel Police after finding that these threats too had originated from Israel. Using innovative technology, the police were able to identify the suspect's home.

The Rishon Letzion Magistrate's Court is expected to extend his custody on Thursday.

An audio of one of the calls was obtained by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in which the caller stated:

"It’s a C-4 bomb with a lot of shrapnel, surrounded by a bag (inaudible). In a short time, a large number of Jews are going to be slaughtered. Their heads are going to [sic] blown off from the shrapnel. There’s a lot of shrapnel. There’s going to be a bloodbath that’s going to take place in a short time. I think I told you enough. I must go.

read more:

So the guy has dual Israeli/American citizenship and his lawyer is pleading mental issues defense, but he had the wherewithal to use technology to pull this off without detection for months.

In the meantime the media was yapping on and on about the rise of anti-Semitism; obliterating the rise of Islamophobia, and since the narrative was very Zionist-friendly every second day we were hearing about this, but now that the FBI caught up with up, after Israeli intelligence just couldn't figure out where he was (riiight?) and he turned out to be a Zionist Jew with dual citizenship suddenly the media went silent and not another word.

If he had been Muslim or even a Christian; it would have been a media blitz for weeks on end.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 25 2017 2:29 utc | 35

New Zealand, a 5-Eyes core member that is usually overlooked and therefore pretty much give a free pass re it's activities. The first article is a detailed explanatory summary including links to other publications articles & take/position. Any NZ able to clarify if this may possibly have legs, ie consequences for NZ defense Force and government, re true Rule of Law ?

Political Roundup: Is something rotten in the New Zealand government and military?

3:07 PM Friday Mar 24, 2017
Is something rotten in the New Zealand defence forces? Is something rotten with our political leaders? These are questions that should be asked by the public in the wake of revelations about possible war crimes, allegedly not only carried out by New Zealand, but apparently covered up afterwards...

New Zealand Women’s Peace Organisation Supports Call for SAS Inquiry

Friday, 24 March 2017, 4:39 pm
Press Release: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom



The oldest women’s peace organisation in New Zealand is supporting calls for a full inquiry into allegations that New Zealand soldiers were involved in a serious military attack on civilians in Afghanistan in 2010 while on duty there...

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 25 2017 2:37 utc | 36

Guidoamm @ #7--

Nice overview.

Even as we worry ourselves with details and timing.


Posted by: Gaianne | Mar 25 2017 2:55 utc | 37

I am back again playing my one note Samba about private finance. In this open thread I see in tying into comments by karlof1, ruralito, outraged, jfl, dh, etc.

Below is a quote from a BBC article about Machiaveli's one-year "exile" from Florence when he wrote The Prince.
In 1512, the cunning statesman, then 43 years old, was on a forced one-year ‘holiday’. The Medici, a powerful family of bankers who ruled Florence during the Renaissance, were angry at Machiavelli for having conspired against their return to power, and banished him from Florence. Being an aristocrat and statesman, he was given the privilege of choosing his exile. He picked a tiny hamlet perched on the gentle rolling hills of the nearby town of San Casciano, where his family owned several properties.
A gentleman of his status would never want to be seen entering such a place of ill repute.
But instead of staying at his cardinal-uncle’s magnificent mansion designed by Michelangelo, today a luxury resort, Machiavelli opted for his family’s 14th-Century farmhouse – with its direct underground route to the adjacent tavern. Every evening, after studying in his library, he would change his outfit, descend into the wine cellar and walk underneath the street right into L’Albergaccio. Of course, it would be easier and quicker to simply cross the road that separated the inn from his farmhouse, but way too risky. A gentleman of his status would never want to be seen entering such a place of ill repute.
L’Albergaccio was a popular waystation where knights, travellers and pilgrims rested their horses for the night, dined and slept, relaxing in the arms of women. And it’s within these lascivious walls that Machiavelli found inspiration for The Prince, which suggested a ruler should be manipulative and entitled to use ‘all means to justify his ends.’

So that was 500 years ago. Here we are still controlled by those that own private finance and everything else and still being led by the nose to pine for The Prince to make everything "right" in the world.

The class society that ruralito commented about above is the direct result of centuries of private finance evolution world wide. The class society in South America you can read about in The Shock Doctrine/Klein is different in many ways from that in old Europe but the move seems to be to level the global social safety net to something approaching zero.

It seems obvious to many that our existing form of social organization is not working for the public to the extent it use to or we were taught was the ideal/goal. I believe that turning the Gordian Knot tools of commerce into a public utility from its private controlled existence currently. This would put a stake in the heart of the class system, put the core commercial interchange mechanisms into public hands and destroy (as it should) the social focus on God of Mammon fealty to compete, rape and consume.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 25 2017 2:59 utc | 38

@38 Call me cynical but it seems to me any group of people sooner or later develops its own class system. Some lead, others are lead. Like Lord of the Flies. You could give everybody on the planet a million dollars and within months in would all be in a few hands.

Posted by: dh | Mar 25 2017 3:11 utc | 39

@ Posted by: dh | Mar 24, 2017 11:11:34 PM
Nothing cynical there. It is just the way the cookie crumbles.

Posted by: hopehely | Mar 25 2017 3:30 utc | 40

@ dh who is a TINA (There Is No Alternative) thinker and myself

dh, I would encourage you to read a bunch of anthropology and maybe you will change your mind. There is this concept called evolution and it is screaming for the chance to try anything but the God of Mammon approach...... to which I want to add the important concept of "to own" to the compete, rape and consume list a the end of my previous comment.

dh, people who are treated like animals, act like them, to the extent necessary to survive. When some people put themselves above others for specious reasons over centuries it limits the species ability to adapt and I think we may reap what we have sown as a species or we will adapt.....and we seem to be approaching a watershed moment along that existence path.

We are an amazing species with potential if some of us would just stop believing they/us are gods. We all stand on the shoulders of the giants who came before us and tend to forget that.....none is or can be an island in our petri dish called Earth.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 25 2017 3:32 utc | 41

@41 I try to look on the bright side psy and I know you mean well but I don't share your faith in human nature. Your last paragraph is just inspirational homilies to me. I bet you're a big fan of Richard Branson. :) Good luck with your mission anyway.

Posted by: dh | Mar 25 2017 3:47 utc | 42

@41 "In rapport we thrive, in rivalry we strive"..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 25 2017 3:51 utc | 43


"It's idiotic to just take a word and try to define its referand."

WTF is a 'referand'? I thought there was a different point.


Posted by: spudski | Mar 25 2017 3:58 utc | 44

@ dh who doesn't share my faith in human nature.

Who said I had faith in human nature?

I have faith in evolution and believe it is working its magic as we write our textual white noise. At 68 will I get to witness a social earthquake? I hope so. It beats watching TV.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 25 2017 4:00 utc | 45

psychohistorian 41 "We are an amazing species with potential if some of us would just stop believing they/us are gods."

This is what we are as a species. What we have evolved to.
Hunter gatherers, Nomadic herders had no concept of individual land ownership, although goups/communities had their territory for hunting/grazing, and the nation they belong to would have its territory.
Agriculture brings in the concept of individual or family land ownership as it would be frustrating to see others take produce that you have put a lot of work into planting and raising.
We seem to have 'progressed' from there.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 25 2017 4:04 utc | 46

@28, jfl

so the air defense system the Russians sold Syria is pretty much worthless?

Posted by: Cahaba | Mar 25 2017 4:09 utc | 47

@ Peter AU who ended with: "We seem to have 'progressed' from there."

Yeah, some good and some bad but lots of good examples of least where I grew up (Tacoma Public Utilities)

Current global percentage of people that "own" property is 7%, so that family land ownership thing hasn't seemed to have made it.

Why can't we try some other forms of sharing/public utilities and see if we can make them work? Finance is obvious for me but health care and education come to mind quickly also.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 25 2017 4:21 utc | 48

Posted by: dh | Mar 24, 2017 10:25:40 PM | 34

They conceded by giving the guy the space to say what he did say.

This here is the BBC coverage

Khalid Masood spent a number of years working in Saudi Arabia teaching English as a second language at the General Authority of Civil Aviation in the port city of Jeddah, the BBC understands.

He arrived there having already converted to Islam in the UK.

He was described as not having interacted socially with other teachers in Jeddah but as being popular among students and a keen weight trainer.

He was said not to have shown signs of extremism, the BBC has learned.

This here is the Daily Mail

In his CV Masood described himself as British, 'friendly and approachable' and a good listener, and claimed to have an economics degree.

He claims to have taught in Saudi Arabia before setting up his own teaching firm in Birmingham, where he was said to be living with a woman and her family in Winson Green.

The Department for Education has said he never held qualified teaching status and never taught in any state school in England.

This here is the BBC

Tom Wilson, of the Henry Jackson Society think tank, tells the BBC he thought it "very unlikely" that Masood had acted alone.

Even in a single-handed attack, they are usually still part of a wider network or have communicated with them online, he says, adding that only 10% of cases his group has looked at involved "lone wolves".

He says Masood, who was 52, did not fit the stereotype of a terrorist - the average would be in his early 20s.

The crude method of attack, which bore similarities to attacks in Nice and Berlin, suggested Masood did have a connection to the so-called Islamic State group, he goes on to say.

The group's message has been to use whatever tools you have available to you, whether a knife or a car, says Mr Wilson.

In contrast, al-Qaeda put an emphasis on aviation bomb plots, he points out.

They have been milking it for whatever they can.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 25 2017 4:50 utc | 49

psychohistorian 48

Keeping in mind that the human character that never changes, ranges from thinkers to reactionaries, honest/dishonest ect and looking at our natural evolution from hunter gatherers to what we are now... periodicaly any any civilisation, the dishonest, the greedy seem to rise to the top.
It seems that periodically we have to take up the pitchforks, guillotines and assault rifles to skim off the scum that has risen to the top. Though this only occurs when the peasant is doing it very tough.
The Brits were very awake to this, hence the Magna Carta and all that has led from it. Basically never making life so hard for the peasants that they will revolt.
It seems the US has started to move away from the Magna Carta concept and relying more on propaganda and military power, though propaganda has aways been part of the form of democracy that grew from Magna Carta.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 25 2017 4:52 utc | 50

@ Peter AU who wrote: "......It seems that periodically we have to take up the pitchforks, guillotines and assault rifles to skim off the scum that has risen to the top......."

Very good points but I believe that history doesn't always repeat but sometimes rhymes.....and am hoping this is one of those times.

I do think that our "character" is evolving and will continue to as we learn more about ourselves. Neurofeedback, which I am 69 sessions into....2X/week since last July, is one of those technologies that will help us evolve to be better humans. If I can ever get to the end of my healing from taking the side mirror of a SUV at highway speed with the back of my head and being dropped on same head in early childhood with this fantastic therapy I will write it up for a MoA Open Thread....stay tuned.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 25 2017 5:16 utc | 51

Posted by: Cahaba | Mar 25, 2017 12:09:40 AM | 47

i don't know what the russians sold to syria. clearly the syrians need the vaunted s-[34]00 systems to protect themselves from the israelis, and turks ... and potentially the saudis, qataris, uae ... the russians need to tutor them in their usage and help protect the defenses themselves from those aggressors. but the syrians need to be able to defend themselves, now and forever.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 25 2017 5:31 utc | 52

i guess elijah j m is anti american too, lol... better not let pat lang read it....

Al-Qaeda will not leave the Levant and Russia has no choice but military escalation

Posted by: james | Mar 25 2017 5:56 utc | 53

psychohistorian 51

Best wishes on your recovery. My father has had two recoveries from coma. First in his sixties in a car accident, second when he was 86 and some clown jumped on his head for entertainment. I am starting to feel he will see me out.
Poor health gives us time to think and research those issues we have often thought about.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 25 2017 6:24 utc | 54

@ Posted by: james | Mar 25, 2017 1:56:33 AM | 53

Some who were soldiers once, & young, never 'awake', due to not evolving their world view & personalities as the 'ages of a man' proceed to the inevitable conclusion ... tragically permanently trapped in the fourth stage ... or lack a life event/s to challenge long held & indoctrinated beliefs, myths & perceptions ... one in particular, is nostalgic for a rigidly held romanticized (mythical?) world view and youth long gone, and though 'retired', even now, still ... 'actively serves' ? YMMV

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 25 2017 6:30 utc | 55

@ Peter AU with good wishes for me......thanks!

You don't think about your brain until that is all you think about.......almost 11 years since SUV/bicycle sideswipe and I am excited now to think I will exceed my healing expectations.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 25 2017 6:32 utc | 56

Moral Failure at the United Nations

On 15 March 2017 the United Nations’ Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) published a report on Israeli practices and policies toward the Palestinians. Using international law as its comparative criterion, the report came to a “definitive conclusion” that “Israel is guilty of Apartheid practices.” The term Apartheid was not used in the report merely in a “pejorative” way. It was used as a descriptor of fact based on the evidence and the accepted legal meaning of the term.

Such was the immediate uproar from the United States and Israel that U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, in a moment of moral failure, ordered the report’s withdrawal. The head of ESCWA, the Jordanian diplomat Rima Khalaf, decided that she could not, in good conscience, do so and so tendered her resigation.

The Inside Story on Our UN Report Calling Israel an Apartheid State

Almost within hours of its release on March 15, our report was greeted by what can only be described as hysteria. [1] The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, denounced it and demanded that the UN repudiate it. The newly elected secretary general, António Guterres, quickly and publicly called for ESCWA to withdraw the report from its website, and when Rima Khalaf, the head of the commission, resisted, Guterres insisted. Rather than comply, Khalaf resigned. Soon thereafter, the report was withdrawn from the commission’s website, despite its having been published with a disclaimer noting that it represents the views of its authors and not necessarily that of ESCWA or the UN.

What is striking about this response, which resembles in many respects the US government response to the Goldstone Report, [2] is the degree to which Israel’s supporters, in response to criticism, have sought to discredit the messenger rather than address the message.

Tilley, a professor of political science at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and I, as well as ESCWA, would welcome substantive discussion of and critical feedback on our report, and we had hoped that our analysis and conclusions would provide the basis for dialogue and further consideration of the recommendations appended at the end. ESCWA, for its part, took steps to ensure that the report lived up to scholarly standards, submitting the draft text to three prominent international jurists, who anonymously submitted strong positive appraisals along with some suggestions for revision, which we gratefully incorporated before the final text was released. For government officials and others to dismiss our report as a biased polemic is irresponsible, with respect both to the authority of the UN and to international law.

the falk/tillerson report : Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid

Posted by: jfl | Mar 25 2017 6:46 utc | 57


electronic intifada is a verboten link at moa/typepad.

Posted by: jfl | Mar 25 2017 6:50 utc | 58

@ Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 25, 2017 2:32:51 AM | 56

Have been pressured numerous times to accept ECT to attempt to treat service induced PTSD & depression. Steadfastly refuse. With other limiting physical trauma that has also caught up with age, ones acuity, whilst it remains, is closely guarded.

Good luck with your recovery & journey. Best wishes, also.

@ Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 25, 2017 2:24:04 AM | 54

Indeed. Cared for a parent struggled with dementia for two long years, before being granted the mercy of passing. Would wish it on no-one. If ever diagnosed, would have no hesitation in finalizing affairs & taking the last long walk, on my own terms.

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 25 2017 6:52 utc | 59

James @53

Sadly, the Russians have been de-escalating their involvement in Syria since the start of Erdogan's Eurphrates shield operation, and focusing instead on the Russian Federation's own defenses. Gone are the days when Russian bombers would go after US backed militant training camps on Jordan's border. By Sept. of 2016 the Russians wouldn't repel attacks by coalition planes on Deir Ezzor. Even now it's not too late to shut down most of the neoconservative schemes for Rojova without causing a major war, but such deployments would cut into RF defenses at a time of NATO provocation.

Putin did say that any potential conflict with the west would not be allowed to occur near Russian borders. To understand why this sensible plan could not be implemented, one only has to watch Putin's reaction to the reporter who challenged the Russian President with a question about the coming destabizations of central Eurasia.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Mar 25 2017 7:02 utc | 60

@ Gaianne #37

The hallmark of this type of dynamic going critical is the parabolic phase.

The debt the USA accumulated over 150 years, doubled over the last 8.

This is the definition of parabolic.

Ergo, the time is now

The reason US debt is important is related to the Floating Exchange Rate Mechanism (FERM) and the US$ being the reserve currency of most countries that subscribe to FERM

Posted by: guidoamm | Mar 25 2017 7:22 utc | 61

Wwinsti | Mar 25, 2017 3:02:03 AM | 60

You really should read sun Tzu's art of war. Also learn how to trap an old dog.

sun Tsu is taught to the US military. Russia is the place where east meets west.

The US is trying to trap Putin, whereas rather than being the dog, Putin is the old trapper.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 25 2017 7:28 utc | 62

Reading Elija J M's article & analysis at #53, a particular phraseology triggered something ... that has been troubling me for some time ...

Moreover, the US is not expected to be in harmony with Russia’s objective in the country, hence the targeted killing of leaders of al-Qaeda without crippling the organisation.

As far as I can best recall, approximately late 2005(?), we started an extensive program of 'targeted killings' against AQ and 'insurgent' leadership, specific individuals, whenever the SIGINT or HUMINT created an opportunity ... Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.

Shortly after the Invasion of Afghanistan & subsequently Iraq post 9/11 thanks to the ambitions/influence of the PNAC'ers, we realized a distinct, in fact crippling deficiency, in arabic & other ME language interpreters/interrogators/analysts and covert 'Operatives' ... this normally takes 3-5 years to overcome in operations re the latter given the need to recruit suitable individuals and/or language/cultural training of suitable existing, as well as establishing solid covers/history to enable infiltration/insertion ...

So, late 2005(?) would coincide with such Ops starting to come to initial fruition re results.

What if a number of these 'targeted killings' re individual leaders was co-ordinated to allow for the advancement, as replacements, of OUR chosen operatives/agents/assets into more senior roles/positions as a consequence ?

This type of Operation would become more sophisticated over time as internal knowledge of the head-choppers leadership culture, dynamics and interactions became known in greater detail, from the inside.

Could such explain the many years now of little more than desultory strikes against ISIS, in particular, with the exception of 'targeted killings' of individual leaders ?

Have we gained significant control and influence, from within the very leadership of ISIS, for example, by progressing our 'own' into those created vacancies ?

'Perfidious Albion' was a master of this, though using imprisonment without charge as the primary tool/technique re creating 'vacancies', for generations in Northern Ireland re the IRA, PIRA, etc ...

This could rationally explain the numerous instances of 'Actions' on the ground by head-chopper 'cannon-fodder' as directed by AQ & off-shoots as well as ISIS 'leadership' that coincidentally often directly benefits the Empires aims, objectives & strategic goals, inexplicably often at a tactical and also operational level, cost.

Do we through such placements of 'Agents of Influence', directly covertly influence, or even on occasion, almost completely plausibly-deniably, literally control the 'Decisions' and/or 'Decision Cycle' of the 'Head' of various 'Snakes' ?

Hm ?

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 25 2017 8:30 utc | 63

Outraged 63

How long did it take to 'get' bin Laden? Some accounts he had long since died. US heroes tossed a body in the sea?
Bagdaddi? Jolani? Big brother cannot locate them?

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 25 2017 8:44 utc | 64

@ Peter AU

Indeed. ;)

Why with all the resources & capabilities available to the US 'coalition' in Syria/Iraq for years, yet the total infrequent & sporadic damage done to ISIS/AQ organizations (non crippling) over that lengthy period was less than what the small RuAF expeditionary force could accomplish in only it's first three months of airstrikes, with the exception of periodic leadership, 'targeted killings' ?

Posted by: Outraged | Mar 25 2017 9:00 utc | 65

@49 Milking it? The BBC and the Daily Mail are news organizations. Their reports differ but they both seem factual and unbiased. The London attack is big news. Are you saying they shouldn't report the story at all?

Posted by: dh | Mar 25 2017 9:42 utc | 66

@49 Milking it? The BBC and the Daily Mail are news organizations. Their reports differ but they both seem factual and unbiased. The London attack is big news. Are you saying they shouldn't report the story at all?
Posted by: dh | Mar 25, 2017 5:42:30 AM | 66

No. Somebody @ 49 is saying they're milking it, and he's being far too kind. The flag-waving authorities were bloviating about solidarity within an hour of the event. The thing that's wrong with all these 'surprise attacks' is that the perp is, more often than not, known to the authorities.

The 7/7/2005 London Bombing was so patently 'overseen' by the security wonks that Manchester United set up a web-site listing the multitude of inconsistencies in the Official Story together with the conflicts between eye-witness accounts of events and the Official Account of the same events. This event was preceded by Tony Bliar telling the Yanks that they were pulling out of Iraq. And I remember wondering how long it will be before there's a ter'rist attack in England. It was a fortnight or less and the Brits changed their mind. So Ter'rism works, among politicians at least.

One of the misfortunes which befell the investigators was that many security cameras, which might have provided clarity at the site of some crucial events, weren't working on the day. The Brazilian bloke whose brains were blown out on a train (seven shots to the head - no warnings or small-talk prior to the shooting) just happened to be a ELECTRICIAN. Shooting to kill suspect is ALWAYS suspicious and can only be interpreted as conducive to massaging the truth. It is NEVER justifiable in the specific circumstances when measured against the value of the info which dies with the suspect.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 25 2017 11:48 utc | 67

Posted by: dh | Mar 25, 2017 5:42:30 AM | 66

I am saying that there is a difference in factual reporting and banning the news after the first day to page three to asking correspondents in Jeddah to track former students of his in order to interview them and report back that he used to be a nice guy and popular (I hope they did not just make it up). Plus dwelling on the very important fact that he converted to Islam in Britain not in Saudi Arabia.
They basically made him a hero.
They also seem to think it is important to mention that this is a thing usually young people do just in case a copycat might be held back by the age of the guy.

The guy committed an aggressive type of suicide, right?

Here are the media rules for reporting on suicides

Great care should be given to the way in which suicides are reported in the media. Improper reporting techniques can lead to suicide contagion (copycat suicides).

One of the best examples of suicide contagion was that of the Vienna train suicides of the 1980s. For about four years, from 1984 to 1987, several individuals died by suicide by running or jumping in front of oncoming trains. The media coverage of each suicide was sensational and extensive, and caused numerous “copycat” suicides.

Finally, in 1987, a campaign was launched to alter the way the media reported the suicides. The result of the campaign was dramatic – suicides and attempted suicides dropped by over 80% after only six months.

Thus, the way suicides are reported in the media can either CAUSE suicides or PREVENT suicide.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 25 2017 11:50 utc | 68

add to 68

Young people at a certain age are very receptable to this kind of contagion.

Goethe managed to spark a wave of copycat suicides in 18th century Germany with a novel.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 25 2017 12:07 utc | 69

@67 & 68 I still think the media have a duty to investigate the story. Or should we just ignore it?

Obviously some of the details bother you so here's the censored version...

Guy feels like a misfit all his life, drugs don't help, marriage doesn't help. One day he is driving across Westminster Bridge with a couple of knives and he decides to kill innocent strangers. Basically this was a suicide attempt. Is that better?

Posted by: dh | Mar 25 2017 13:28 utc | 70


The assets NATO currently at Russia's borders has wouldn't last a day if they moved into Russia. And that's without using tactical nukes. Its not a problem. If China even offered assistance in just an event, Russia would rightly be offended.

The down tempo is because...

Russia's interests in Syria is to stop/delay both the Qatari and the Iranian pipelines.
If Assad went down, the Qatari pipeline would have go thru. Now is to delay the Iranians and once if the Qatari pipeline starts making progress well, that has to be stopped and you will see the Russians blasting the shit out of them.

Iran needs to get it into its head, sell only to China and edge out the Saudis. Take the price offered to them by China and stop pissing off the Bear. Wearing those turbans might have constricted the bloodflow to these shiite "wahabbis". They don't look that tight though. The faster they learn their place and not overreach, the faster things will look up for them.

Posted by: ThatDamnGood | Mar 25 2017 13:44 utc | 71

What could best sabotage the "YES" at the Turkish referendum?
An official (or fabricated) declaration of support by ISIS and Al Qaeda to the "YES"

Posted by: virgile | Mar 25 2017 13:53 utc | 72

Different websites(communities) have different rules. Go with the flow. Obey them or go out and start your own.

Golden rule.

Posted by: Morongobill | Mar 25 2017 14:19 utc | 73

Posted by: dh | Mar 25, 2017 9:28:42 AM | 70

How about concentrating on the victims, on security measures and a hotline for anybody to use if they think something strange is happening to a relative?

Of course, the BBC is not the worst of British media. How about this from the Daily Telegraph:

Westminster attack: Images of the Mumbai attack flashed through my mind

The Daily Mail is the Britsh anti-war paper. They made it a personal problem. The rest want a confrontation with Islamism.

It was a single guy with a car and a knive. Were they asleep after Nice and the Berlin Christmas market attack? It is very easy to seperate pedestrian areas from traffic by car blocks.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 25 2017 14:56 utc | 74

@74 It's hard to take you seriously. What would you consider 'strange' in a relative? Changing your name? Going to Saudi Arabia? Making your daughter wear a hijab? That's all perfectly normal behaviour in some quarters.

Separate traffic by car blocks? Great idea. Start with every street in London and work outwards. By the time you get to the smaller villages there will be a shortage of concrete.

Posted by: dh | Mar 25 2017 15:07 utc | 75

Here goes Belarus. What's next? Car tires burning in the square? Snipers?

"Thousands of people have defied a ban to protest in Belarus against a so-called "social parasites" tax on the under-employed.
Protesters shouted "fascists!" at riot police. Reports said dozens of opposition activists were arrested."

Posted by: dh | Mar 25 2017 15:24 utc | 76

dh 76

Interesting read at fortruss on Belarus.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 25 2017 15:39 utc | 77

Like a kid spending all his time surfing the internet and not talking to anybody. As happened in Munich and cost other kids their lifes.

Westminster Bridge is not a village. The same attack in a village would not have got this coverage. I think in France some village priest was killed by extremists - I hardly remember it and it was hardly covered. Same with Asian tourists getting badly hurt in a Bavarian country side train by a kid waving an axe.

This here is the full Simon Jenkins.

The actions of the authorities and the media in response to Wednesday have ramped up the hysteria of terror. This was ostensibly a random act by a lone player without access even to a gun. To over-publicise and exaggerate such crimes is to be an accomplice after the act. London’s response to the Westminster attack is an open invitation to every crazed malcontent to try it again.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 25 2017 15:40 utc | 78

@78 "Like a kid spending all his time surfing the internet and not talking to anybody."

That describes thousands of kids in the Western world. I guess you never had a teenage son.

Believe me if some nut ploughed into a bunch of people in an English village you'd hear about it.

But you're right in a way.....people do forget quickly these days....just another atrocity.

Posted by: dh | Mar 25 2017 15:50 utc | 79

@51 psychohistorian.. best wishes on a full recovery..

@55 outraged.. thanks for sharing that perspective, as i forget these simple things sometimes. your ruminations @63 are very relevant. it has always been hard for me to look at al qaeda, or isis as anything other then a paid for by the west mercenary force in the middle east..i guess that is more anti-americanism on my part, lol.. thanks.

@60 Wwinsti.. thanks for your view, as discouraging as it sounds.. we'll see how it unfolds.. the russians seem to like to freeze things, but this isn't being allowed much in syria.. i tend to see it more like peter au @62... we'll see how it continues to unfold here.

Posted by: james | Mar 25 2017 16:11 utc | 80

Very interesting reading about Khalid Masood's life.
A CV he reportedly circulated until last year recorded that in the same year he was married he earned a qualification to teach English as a foreign language under the Tesol programme. It would be his passport to Saudi Arabia.

Turning 40, his first stop was reportedly Yanbu, a Red Sea town about 40 miles from Medina – the burial place of the prophet Muhammad. He took a post teaching English to workers at the General Authority of Civil Aviation in Jeddah. He also taught in Jubail on the east coast.

Going to Saudi Arabia to teach English is a common path for converts, according to security sources. It remains unknown if he was radicalised here.

So again we see the influence of Saudi Arabia upon this Muslim terrorist. And again we see that Iran had absolutely zero influence upon his life.

Yet USA/UK/Israel continue to support Saudi and demonize Iran.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Mar 25 2017 16:17 utc | 81

@81 What's interesting is the way a guy like that becomes radicalised. He was obviously a lost soul like that shoe-bomber guy.

Ooops, Simon Jenkins doesn't want us to discuss it. We 'll just be encouraging other crazed malcontents.

Posted by: dh | Mar 25 2017 16:24 utc | 82

Jen@13. "Similarly would the US risk sending troops against China"?
How many millions would they need? Word has it that the Chinese army are only allowed to march in an uncoordineted fashion, since if they marched in step like a normal army, the earth would rotate off its axis.

Posted by: harrylawh | Mar 25 2017 16:54 utc | 83

duncan_idaho 15
My take on the use of proxies is to subvert anti-war protests here in the US. It keeps the war and US involvement low key. Look at how Obama did Libya as an example versus Bush in Iraq. War losses draw attention. Obama maintains a pretense for the anti-war side of the DEM party.

Posted by: Curtis | Mar 25 2017 17:01 utc | 84

Wwinsti @ 60

Could you give a link to Putin's 'reaction'?

Posted by: B2 | Mar 25 2017 18:00 utc | 85

@63 - Bingo! At this point of this terror campaign led by the CIA, allies and others I think it's obvious, but I never see anyone talking about it. I mean c'mon this al-Baghdadi character could be walking the streets of DC clean shaven and with a haircut right now for all we know.

Remember all of those body doubles of bin Laden? Now, ask yourself, why would you need to put another person in front of a green screen and pretend he's the boogie man? There are only so many answers...just sayin.

The very foundation of the American War on Terror policy is to create a boogie man, a bad guy, a criminal, murderer you name it kind of dark soul. Now, stop and think about all of the drama's on the idiot box, the movies, the digital games over let's say, twenty-years, and all are the same script with different actors and plot lines - good guy gets bad guy, always - so the masses have been totally indoctrinated in this good vs bad, dark vs light, evil vs good.

Now, transpose this psychological veil over the War on Terror policy. How have all of these wars, regime changes been framed? There's always a boogie man. Oh, and let's throw in baby's in incubators dying by that evil doer and whoola, the American public has been so conditioned to believe from cradle to grave America can do no wrong. America is the good guy.

Ask any veteran who's seen war and they will tell you, unequivocally, it's evil b/c it is.

It makes complete sense, at least to me, that the entire AQ apparatus is a sponsored CIA entity, at least the leadership framework is. All of those who are then paid to fight as mercenaries truly believe they are fighting for a cause, a belief. I don't like the wording but if it fits - they serve as useful idiots.

What's the point in just having just one bad guy when you can have two - enter stage right, the Islamic State. What is America gearing up to do right now? Why, we're going to remove the evil once and for all. Call it whatever you like but it's War.

Posted by: h | Mar 25 2017 18:13 utc | 86

Btw, this construct dawned on me during the Aleppo campaign by Russia. Many here lost patience with Putin when he ceased the momentum in taking Aleppo only to give diplomacy a chance. Well, we all know how useless all of that turned out BUT that move by Putin brought in much needed sunlight.

That is, why on earth would the Obama administration not want to liberate thousands of humans from the torment of their captors? We're the good guys, aren't we? Obama and teams actions didn't fit the good guy/bad guy narrative at all.

Once sunlight penetrates darkness, even if for only a few moments, one's reality gets jarred. Even if one is already skeptical.

Posted by: h | Mar 25 2017 18:32 utc | 87

Outraged@65. Why could the US not do in years what the Russians achieved in months in Syria? Because the US share the ultimate aims [or most of them] of the Jihadis in Syria, they both want regime change. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Posted by: harrylawh | Mar 25 2017 18:39 utc | 88

Re Jolani an big brother. Some interesting pics.

Genuine or just a photo shoot with props? Commercial UHF radios? Five handhelds, two in-vehicle radios hooked to a battery with external aerials most likely mounted on the roof of the building. Standard 5 watt handhelds range 10k? depending on terrain. 5 watt base or in vehicle radios with roof mounted aerials range 40k depending on terrain.
One career military advisor - Turk? If props for photo shoot why blurred face of mil advisor?
Large scale map on floor taken from internet and printed on cloth. Green AQ area, blue/purple frontlines, red government area shading courtesy of one @abdulwahab2070.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 25 2017 19:08 utc | 89

obama thought isis could be a helpful tool in syrian regime change.. it's all their in the costs incurred one way verses the other.. all the military gear accidently getting in the hands of al qaeda and etc, doesn't look so accidentally to us cynics..

Obama always appreciated wars at a bargain price:

You know, one of the things that I think George H.W. Bush doesn't get enough credit for was his foreign policy team and the way that he helped negotiate the end of the Cold War and prosecuted the Gulf War. That cost us 20 billion dollars. That's all it cost. It was extremely successful.

Posted by: RudyM | Mar 25 2017 19:36 utc | 90

- The website "Indian Punchline" has now a number of very interesting articles.


"American Civil War is good for world peace"
(think: Democrats vs. Republicans)

For the being I am not convinced that the Trump administration will do "the right thing" to decrease tensions in the world. Or that the "Deep State" in the US will allow Trump to decrease tensions with Russia & China.

But the latest articles on this website do suggest that the Trump administration does have some good intentions. It will be a matter of "wait & see".

Posted by: Willy2 | Mar 25 2017 20:23 utc | 91

I see the US actions in Iraq/Syria is getting some bad press in the MSM.
Trumps plan to finish ISIS quickly?

From Washington Post
A non-profit organization that tracks civilian casualties caused by airstrikes in the Middle East said it has shifted nearly all of its resources to track a surge of claims regarding U.S.-led strikes in Syria and Iraq.

The group, called, had been tracking deaths caused by both Russian and U.S. airstrikes but said in a statement Friday that it was scaling back its work on “alleged Russian actions in Syria — so as best to focus our limited resources on continuing to properly monitor and assess reported casualties from the U.S. and its allies.

Looking up, I see they are a Soro baby.
Looks like Soros is turning his propaganda machine away from Russia to fully focus on Trump.

Posted by: Peter AU | Mar 25 2017 20:23 utc | 92

- Another worrying sign: Israel has been bombing Palmyra, Syria. The website "Indian Punchline" has a very interesting take on the reason why. It seems that with Assad winning the war in his country, iranian influence in Syria has grown to a point that it could/will put israeli "Security" will be endangered. (think: Golan Heigths).

The article confirms my notion that Hezbollah has no intention of attacking Israel but that it can and will retaliate when Israel tries something "funny".

My simple braincells would say that Israel should make peace with Iran, Syria & Hezbollah. But that would mean that (among others) the Israeli "Deep State" will get "offended" as well. Israel also spends lots of money on defense and that means (like here in the US) A LOT OF jobs & toys for the boys.

Posted by: Willy2 | Mar 25 2017 20:46 utc | 93

- Weblink for post #93:

Posted by: Willy2 | Mar 25 2017 20:48 utc | 94

Harrylawh @ 83:

I was replying to Karlofi (comment 9) who asked why the US relied mainly on terrorists to do its fighting in the Middle East and who speculated that the US was keeping its military in reserve to fight Russia or China.

The US tactic would be to let (or force) everyone else to fight Russia and/or China until both sides were decimated and exhausted. Only then would the US deign to "fight" or scrape up any easy pickings.

Do you think the US would go to a lot of trouble to train and send thousands or even millions of its own to fight foreign wars if Washington thought there would be any opposition on the part of the US public at sending its own sons and daughters into battle and never returning home alive or whole in body and soul?

Afghanistan and Iraq are different because originally in 2001 and 2003 when US ground troops were sent there, those countries were expected to be cakewalks. The US cannot let go of those countries because of their resources: Afghanistan is a treasure chest of rare earth minerals and Iraq of course has oil and natural gas. The various business and financial lobbies, and others that have interests in mining those countries for their resources will not pass them up.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 25 2017 21:06 utc | 95

Outraged @ 65: My reading of why the US "couldn't" do to ISIS over 18 months or so what the Russian airforce did to ISIS in 3 months is that during the time when the US was supposed to fighting ISIS, the Americans were actually giving ISIS air cover. If the SAA looked as if it was winning against ISIS, the Americans would separate the two with aerial bombardment between them and the Syrians would be forced to give up territory they had won. This allowed ISIS to regain lost territory and even to advance.

Harrylawh @ 88 is right but IMO doesn't quite go far enough.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 25 2017 21:14 utc | 96

@b2 #85 It would appear that I have conflated 2 stories, one about ISIS threatening to move into China, the other about a reporter asking Putin about instability in Kyrgyzstan. As you can see, said reporter never mentioned Isis or terrorism.

Posted by: Wwinsti | Mar 25 2017 21:22 utc | 97

If Israel doesn't continue to buy U.S.-made arms (even if with U.S.-given money), Israel will lose its connection with the plutocrats in the U.S. who profit from the deal, and with the U.S. politicians who get kickbacks in the form of campaign contributions from the arms companies who get the contracts for the arms for Israel. Once Israel gets the weapons, it's under a lot of pressure to use them.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 25 2017 21:22 utc | 98

Willy2 @ 93: The right thing for Israel to do would be to accept peace with Syria, Hezbollah and Iran but this would require Israel to respect Syrian territorial integrity and consequently return the Golan Heights to Damascus. This would create a precedent for Gaza and West Bank who would see a way towards freedom by asking or demanding that they be returned to Egypt and Jordan respectively.

Of course there's no way Israel will give up the Golan Heights that easily, especially not since Genie Energy (whose board directors include Dick Cheney and Rupert Murdoch) has the "right" (granted by Israel) to drill for oil or natural gas in that area.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 25 2017 21:27 utc | 99

A book I just finished reading, Christopher Davidson's Shadow Wars, makes it clear that ISIS is a creation of the West and of its Arab allies, and that the Western war against ISIS has been bogus from the start. It's easily available from Amazon. I just read it on my Kindle. I wonder how many people are reading it.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 25 2017 21:32 utc | 100

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