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June 30, 2017

Open Thread 2017-26

News & views ...

Posted by b on June 30, 2017 at 17:43 UTC | Permalink

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Hi everyone,
this is my first time posting on MoA. Long time listener, first time caller. ; )
I ran across this video via VoltaireNet. I am quite curious to hear what the posters here have to say about it. It's rather terrifying. Seems to be a small nuke gifted to the Yemenis via GCC/USA. Some people say it's a thermobaric death delivering device.

I know it happened a few years back, but it's new to me. There are so many smartypants around the bar. Just figured I would ask. Thank you in advance.

nuke in yemin???

Posted by: lex.talionis | Jun 30 2017 17:54 utc | 1


No, not a nuke, not even close. One of the main elements of real nuclear explosion is a light flash which would (given the distance from which it was shot) burn those dudes in instance and would blind them if they would survive. No, it is not a nuke.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Jun 30 2017 18:26 utc | 2

Russia is uniquely hated, they get boutique articles to show that they are rotten to the core.
As I mentioned earlier, Iran is dismissed as a terrorist state, N. Korea a rogue regime, and China a growing rival. With Russia the Foreign Policy Establishment (FPE) will invest the time to write, scholarly looking articles that make it look like they have thoroughly studied Russia and have reluctantly come to the conclusion that Russia is a basket case of evil.

These boutique articles will say a lot of condescending things but will tie into, 'Russia never had a liberal democratic tradition so of course they are governed by monsters like Putin'. I don't see the same level of care given to the rest of our enemies list. I read which gives a sampling of neocon articles so I think I get a broad representation of their production.

Because I watched Stone's interviews and read Russia insider, I can see why they view Putin as a threat. Contrary to their assertion that 'Russia has no culture or ideology to challenge the west (the U.S. FPE)'. This is an issue for them. Putinism, 'sovereignty, local nationalism (for everyone), a multi-polar world, respect for the UN' vs the FPE, 'exporting U.S. democracy (including regime change) and the preeminence of U.S. world leadership'.

You can debate Putinism but not merely dismiss it as thuggery which they invariably do with their tediously long articles. It doesn't look like they actually listen to Russians, it looks like they read each other's papers.
If you take the time to read it, the author is diabolically clever in how he twists Putin's words. He refers to Russians who lost everything and were forced to leave (note, he leaves out the dreaded word 'oligarch', that is reserved for those who staid).

Now I can see why Russia has abandoned the information war, they view it as a hopeless waste of resources that they can never match. For example, here is a very clever apology for how we justified not having the OPCW investigate Khan Shaykhun and the Syrian airbase

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jun 30 2017 18:28 utc | 3


In that there is little coverage regarding the situation at Dara'a, would someone with knowledge of the situation kindly post info as to why it has been so difficult to push the jihadists out and why the area south of Damascus remains so firmly entrenched in jihadist control.

Posted by: chet380 | Jun 30 2017 18:31 utc | 4

Ex-Weapons Inspector: Trump’s Sarin Claims Built on ‘Lie’ by Scott Ritter -

This is an excellent, excellent read which puts the propaganda BS OPCW report to shame. A must read...

Posted by: h | Jun 30 2017 18:35 utc | 5

@4 chet... israel is now al nusra/al qaeda air force.. that is part of it..

opcw basis is thanks the white helmets... i guess the usa/uk want some results from all the money they have given this lovely ngo who always seem imbedded with the moderate headchopper cult..
scott ridder discusses this and more here here..

Posted by: james | Jun 30 2017 18:37 utc | 6

i agree h.. i posted it on the previous thread too.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Jun 30 2017 18:37 utc | 7

1] Caniabalizing their own: Tulsi Gabbard Is Not Your Friend.
2] Turkish state evacuates villages in Shehba and Efrîn for invasion.
3] Sen. [Bernie] Sanders’ Wife Tried Evicting Disabled Group Home Residents...
4] Helmut Kohl’s Death Reminds us of NATO’s Uselessness.

Posted by: Rawdawgbuffalo | Jun 30 2017 18:42 utc | 8

Why America is killing people around the world.

Posted by: Ghostship | Jun 30 2017 18:50 utc | 9

Two more articles folks might be interested in -

Paul Craig Roberts has an article titled 'Washington Has Been At War For 16 Years: Why?' -

Snippet -

"There are three reasons for Washington’s war, not America’s war as Washington is not America, on Syria. The first reason has to do with the profits of the military/security complex."

"The military/security complex is a combination of powerful private and governmental interests that need a threat to justify an annual budget that exceeds the GDP of many countries. War gives this combination of private and governmental interests a justification for its massive budget, a budget whose burden falls on American taxpayers whose real median family income has not risen for a couple of decades while their debt burden to support their living standard has risen."

"The second reason has to do with the Neoconservative ideology of American world hegemony. According to the Neoconservatives, who most certainly are not conservative of any description, the collapse of communism and socialism means that History has chosen “Democratic Capitalism,” which is neither democratic nor capitalist, as the World’s Socio-Economic-Political system and it is Washington’s responsibility to impose Americanism on the entire world. Countries such as Russia, China, Syria, and Iran, who reject American hegemony must be destabilized and desroyed as they stand in the way of American unilateralism."

"The Third reason has to do with Israel’s need for the water resources of Southern Lebanon. Twice Israel has sent the vaunted Israeli Army to occupy Southern Lebanon, and twice the vaunted Israeli Army was driven out by Hezbollah, a militia supported by Syria and Iran."

I'd add a couple of more reasons starting with OIL! Interesting read, however.

After 16 years of offering the same amendment before House Appropriations, Del Barbara Lee was a bit surprised her amendment to sunset the 2001 AUMF easily passed out of the House Appropriations committee yesterday -

Of course the House Leadership is going to do whatever to stop such a move, but it's looking more and more like some are readying for such a challenge.

For any who are sick to death of U.S. wars/proxy wars or CIA special ops wars, this includes all who read this blog from abroad, I might suggest getting organized and to start a massive letter writing campaign to the leadership in both the House and Senate. This presents a huge opening for the citizenry of the world to allow their voices to be heard. It would be a truly beautiful, hell, who am I kidding, it would be a truly MAGNIFICENT step made by the People of the World to tell the U.S. Congress to Repeal the 2001 AUMF.

Yeah, I realize they want to replace it with some other God Awful authorization, but that can be stopped if the masses of the world flood congress with letters and postcards. Emails won't work for numerous reasons with most important being you can't 'SEE' stacks of emails but you can 'SEE' stacks and stacks and stacks of letters.

Just a thought...

Posted by: h | Jun 30 2017 19:00 utc | 10

Yeah, James @7, Ritter nails it! Puts the entire drivel of the OPCW Report to shame as it should! I don't like Liars...

Oh, and btw, here is the link to Paul's article which I obviously failed to include in my rather long post.

Posted by: h | Jun 30 2017 19:06 utc | 11

@3, Chris Chuba

Russia is uniquely hated, they get boutique articles to show that they are rotten to the core.

Thank you for the link, enjoyed it thoroughly (I am not being facetious)--a great summary of the "intellectual" level of those who count themselves "elites" in the West. It is like, if to imagine, debating children.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Jun 30 2017 19:39 utc | 13

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jun 30, 2017 2:28:05 PM | 3

For example, here is a very clever apology for how we justified not having the OPCW investigate Khan Shaykhun and the Syrian airbase

I guess by 'we' you refer to you Americans.
You obviously failed to notice that this is not an American blog, lot of us here are not US residents nor citizens, the host included. So lots of your assumptions how 'we' perceive the world affairs in general and Vladimir Putin in particular are basically wrong. For example your offhand remark that we can debate Putinism, I find silly and a bit ignorant.

Posted by: hopehely | Jun 30 2017 20:28 utc | 14

Chwt380 @ 4:

Maybe the fact that Dar'aa is close to the Golan Heights - technically part of Syria but occupied by Israel since 1967 - which would imply that both areas are under intense surveillance by the Israel military, might partly explain why the jihadi presence in Dar'aa continues. Given the pounding Syria has had to endure since 2011, the Syrian military needs to choose and fight its battles wisely and can't risk spreading itself thin fighting in the south at the same time as it's taking back territory in the east and southeast from ISIS.

Taking back the Golan Heights would be an immense task, not least because Israel has granted a licence to US energy company Genie Energy to explore and drill for oil and natural gas. There are some big hitters on Genie Energy's board of directors - ex-US vice president Dick Cheney for one, and News Corporation head Rupert Murdoch is another - who no doubt could bring influence to bear on the US government to supply arms and possibly troops to support Israel's illegal hold over the area.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 30 2017 20:52 utc | 15

Christian Chuba @ 3:

Jon Hellevig's Awara blog has published an interesting report into the current state of Russia's economy after two years of sanctions imposed by the West: "What Does Not Kill You Will Make You Stronger – The Russian Economy 2014 – 2016, the Years of Sanctions Warfare"

Here's a quick rundown of the report's key findings:

- Russia’s economy has successfully adjusted to dual shock of sanctions and oil price plunge
- Minor GDP loss of -2.3% for 3 years of sanctions will be completely recovered in 2017 with expected 2-3% growth
- Oil & gas share of GDP drops to below 10%
- Industrial production stable 2014-2016, soars in May by +5.3%
- Russia’s economy now the most diversified in the world. Exports remain relatively undiversified, but domestic production highly diversified and self-sufficient
- Debt Crisis predicted by Western pundits failed to materialize
- [Central bank] reserves intact and sovereign wealth funds solid
- Budget deficit never went below -3.9%. Tax collection soars in 2017, budget now balanced
- Oil & gas only 17% of budget revenue (2016)
- Inflation falls to near 4%
- Unemployment remains low at 5% level
- Demographic indicators reach all-time best
- Population at 146.8 million – all-time high
- Only clearly negative data: Salaries, disposable income and consumption. Retail sales down more than 10%

In effect, the sanctions have acted as a tariffs policy Russia might have introduced to enable key domestic industries to develop.

Mike Norman Economics blog on the Awara report has some interesting comments on Putin's economic and financial policy. Russia's Central Bank is apparently still staffed by senior officials (like Elvira Nabiullina) who adhere to a neoliberal economic approach and who maintain a high interest rate regime which might be good for pensioners' incomes but bad for people establishing small businesses and needing loan funding.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 30 2017 21:05 utc | 16

I don't know what it's like elsewhere, but open a small business today in the US. See if you can borrow cheap money to open your small business. The banker will laugh at you. They only lend money to people who don't need it. Maybe a home equity loan. Chances are you'll be competing with established big box stores open seven days 8AM to 9PM. They've already got all your customers coming to them. And your rent in a shopping center will eat up all your profits. It is a very difficult proposition.

Posted by: fast freddy | Jun 30 2017 21:22 utc | 17

@hopehely I guess by 'we' you refer to you Americans.
Point taken hopehely.

I tend to fall into a writing style where I think of the average reader as an American who thinks that Nikki Haley is the greatest thing since the invention of the flour mill. I have to write like that if I respond to something on National Review or one of the articles on realclearworld. How do you write about someone or something that people have been convinced is the devil?

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jun 30 2017 21:23 utc | 18

Christian Chuba @ 18:

I wouldn't worry too much if I were you - plenty of Americans come to MoA for the news they should be getting from their own media! And many of the comments forums here are dominated by American issues.

As an Australian, I don't mind that MoA comments forums are full of American concerns, comments, disputes and arguments: we Australians need to know how our master thinks and behaves so we can kow-tow appropriately!

Posted by: Jen | Jun 30 2017 21:49 utc | 19

With all our discussions of events in Syria, the deep state and the MIC one significant player has not recently been in the spotlight: Wall Street. In some historical research I did recently I always had to ask the question, where is Wall Street (or the City of London) and what is its role in what is happening? As we spend endless time discussing movements in T2 in Syria perhaps that is exactly where they would like the focus of our attentions to be, and not on them. In the case of Qatar, the recent astonishing attack from its neighbours and fellow sponsors of Jihadists would seem to have come from nowhere. That is, until we discover Qatar has been taking its first shaky steps away from the petrodollar.

In the article linked to below the author discusses the privatization of the US military; how these companies are now bought and sold, bringing nice fat M&A fees into the investment banks. And just when private equity was running out of companies to pillage along come some excellent candidates.

Posted by: Lochearn | Jun 30 2017 22:00 utc | 20

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jun 30, 2017 5:23:11 PM | 18

How do you write about someone or something that people have been convinced is the devil?

Ah, that's easy. Just listen to this while writing. Or to this.

Posted by: hopehely | Jun 30 2017 22:05 utc | 21

h 5
Sometimes I forget to check out AMCON mag. It is yet another alt media source to add to the list.

h 10
Israelis seem to have no problem violating different commandments whether not coveting their neighbors house (property, not committing murder, steal, etc.

Posted by: Curtis | Jun 30 2017 22:08 utc | 22

#10 and others

I'm an Amerikan and come by b's to get the truth;)

Posted by: jo6pac | Jun 30 2017 22:16 utc | 23

" Global leadership is part of US foreign policy DNA, according to former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger" now everyone knows what they probably already knew... this jackass loves flattering and worse the americans while being hated by pretty well everyone else on the planet for good reason... a complete warmonger and jackass of the first order, still not held accountable for any of his actions - another 24/7 american thang...

Posted by: james | Jun 30 2017 22:23 utc | 24

The map at liveuamap on 10-April showed an interesting change a day later. What was a spidery Daesh infestation mostly along roads, became a huge land area: 11-April.
Allocating the empty desert areas to Daesh makes it look like Daesh has the land mass of a state.
Maybe there is an innocent technical explanation. But whatever the reason, the effect is to bolster the appearance that Daesh is big and powerful.

Posted by: koala | Jun 30 2017 23:04 utc | 25

I see the desert hawks are back in the game, joining with Tiger forces to clear the east Hama/Homs pocket.
According to the current Mercouris article, they have been retrained by Russia and supplied with T-90s, early in the Russian intervention, it was only Tiger forces and Desert Hawks that were capable of taking ground in an offensive.
I guess the retraining would have been mainly about operating the T-90s and not posting happy snaps of trophy heads to social media.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jun 30 2017 23:57 utc | 26

Looks like early this week, 'someone' pulled the floor out from under US financial markets. From time to time, DC needs a 'gentle reminder' that it can't do as it pleases unilaterally...not in 2017.

@Jen 16

Thanks, interesting.

Posted by: smuks | Jul 1 2017 0:01 utc | 27

I find it amusing how there's so much talk about supposed Russian-Turkish negotiations on an S-400 sale, such as here.

Poll: Anyone believes there's something to it? A chance of such a deal happening?

Posted by: smuks | Jul 1 2017 0:03 utc | 28

Well jo6pac @23 - I'm not at sure what you may be suggesting regarding my post BUT if it has anything to do with my suggestion for the worldwide community to organize and inundate the leadership on Capitol Hill, might I suggest to you, the heavy lifting of getting rid of the massive squid-sucking military industrial complex rooted in Washington DC isn't just 'our' problem it is the world's problem.

As PCR noted "There are three reasons for Washington’s war, not America’s war as Washington is not America" b/c these endless, diabolical wars are not, and have not been supported by the American people. Afghanistan, maybe, and I'll give you Iraq but no other. Why? Seeing you are an 'Amerikan' there has been no constitutional authorization for war, WHATSOEVER, to regime change in Libya, Syria, Somalia and more nations. NONE! These rats have taken the 2001 AUMF to mean whatever they want it to mean.

Stopping this miserable duplicitous warmongering isn't solely an American challenge, but rather a Citizen of the World challenge. It's up to the entire WORLD to stop these heinous actions by the World's military that U.S. citizens lack power to reel in.

Honestly, if the World Citizenry is hoping for American's to Stop the regime change crap and these god awful proxy wars you're barking up the wrong tree, as they say. We American's need everyone's help to clamp a lock on this demonic beast that sadly our taxpayer dollars have unleashed. Did WE 'Amerikan's' do this knowingly? Heavens no. Thus, applying the appropriate pressure from the very people who have suffered, tremendously, from the US military industrial complexes agenda, IS the pushback that WE now need to speak in one voice by saying once and for all NO MORE!

How's that for truth...

Posted by: h | Jul 1 2017 0:07 utc | 29

Smuks 28

I have seen Putin make statements. The deal appears to be going ahead. Turkey is headed for the multi-polar world (not to be confused with becoming a Russian ally) and will need air defences to keep the US out. I suspect this is the reasoning behind the deal and I would also guess the S-400 will be a downgraded export version.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jul 1 2017 0:08 utc | 30

For all the haters of us ugly americans, just remember that we at this blog are suffering in our country standing up for the truth, pitted against our neighbors, coworkers, and friends in the arena of political debate and decrying the massive injustice of our foreign aggression. I won't call ya out by name, but lumping us forlorn sacks into your "untouchable" category reeks of reactionary arrogance that is, to pay patrons at this fine blog their due, beneath you.

I'm sorry my country has been hijacked by global elites. I will pay for this double one day, to be sure, while the main architects of this calamity will have escaped into perhaps your domain.

In the mean time, American issues = issues concerning the empire thay we all want to see destroyed. Liberating Americans should also be on your wish list.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jul 1 2017 0:21 utc | 31

Amen @31

The world knows the military industrial complex that has worked over years, and year to create the ugly tentacles throughout what was once our government has been usurped. Dollars. All these rastards see is dollars. Not human life. Not the potential of that lost life in science, math, technology. Just dollars.

For heavens sakes the voters in Arizona returned the worst of ALL Warmongers to congress. And you, the World, think for a moment we, citizens in this colony, have a snowball's chance in hell reeling these creatures in all by ourselves are sorely mistaken. We can't even get the voters to learn their votes equal WAR with what ever Party they are aligned with. Get real. Our challenge is yours. Help us!

Posted by: h | Jul 1 2017 0:38 utc | 32

@Peter AU

I have heard that too, but it's all tactical posturing to me, to limit US support for the SDF and nurture conflict between Ankara and its "allies". Turkey buying Russian AD systems would be the end of NATO - I believe it the day I see pictures of them in Anatolia.

Posted by: smuks | Jul 1 2017 0:41 utc | 33

NemesisCalling | Jun 30, 2017 8:21:54 PM | 31

The US could be divided into three or more parts. First the US as a state, which is its government. Neo-cons/full spectrum dominance ect. Second the US culture in general, Exceptionalism/arrogance that gave rise to the state. Third is the tiny percentage of Americans who do not have the culture of exceptionalism and arrogance.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jul 1 2017 0:49 utc | 34


Well said...!
I know there are many highly intelligent Americans, who are already today suffering and paying a price. And I agree that (widespread) anti-American sentiment is as stupid and reactionary as any other form of nationalism. It's just another 'divide and rule' ideology to keep ordinary people at each others' throats, rather than see them united against their common enemy, the global so-called 'elite'/ oligarchs.
Playing groups of people against one another is the oldest domination trick in the world, but it seems to work every single time...sad! ;-)

Posted by: smuks | Jul 1 2017 0:50 utc | 35

@ Nemesis and all,
I'm from California. Technically the USA. My take on things is we United States of Americans are exceptional. Most of us are exceptionally ignorant and violent. That is exceptionally sad.
I am very glad to have found MoA and the crew of experts. I have learned so very much.
Big up b!
Booyakah as they say in JA.
God help us.

Posted by: lex.talionis | Jul 1 2017 1:14 utc | 36

I too am an American that is awake.

There are many US Libertarians, Progressives, and others that are dismayed at the exceptional! go-along-to-get-along and corporate-controlled media, all led by neolibcons that want MOAR!

Americans are (mostly) either fed-up, checked out, suffering from Stockholm syndrome, or some combination of the these. What they need a kick-in-the-ass. And that is likely to come from what has been termed "the reset": a point at which the can can no longer be kicked.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 1 2017 1:38 utc | 37

smuks | Jun 30, 2017 8:41:30 PM | 33

In looking up Putins history, his popularity over the past 17 years has risen from 50% to where it now hovers around the 80%. In the west, a politicians ratings generally drop off very sharply over time.
the only reason I can see for this is that Putin thinks things through before saying anything, and then holds to his word. Chechnya and the loyalty of Kadrov junior is perhaps the best example.
I think he will push his vision of a multi-polar world in the same way. Putin himself has announced that the deal has been agreed on, so as long as Erdogan does nothing stupid in the meantime, the deal will most likely go through.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jul 1 2017 3:07 utc | 38

Germany approves sale of nuclear-capable submarines to Israel: Report

Germany's national security council has approved a controversial deal to sell nuclear-capable submarines to the Israeli regime, a report says.

The leading German weekly news magazine, Der Spiegel, reported on Friday that the Federal Security Council had approved the deal, without giving any sources for the information.

It added that the $1.5-billion purchase included three Dolphin-class submarines, to be manufactured by the Germany-based conglomerate ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.

Each of the submarines is said to be capable of carrying a total of up to 16 torpedoes and submarine-launched cruise missiles (SLCM). The SLCMs have a range of at least 1,500 kilometers and are believed to be capable of delivering a 200-kiloton nuclear warhead. Israel already has five such submarines.

the german mic seems to be doing just fine. making sure israel has the ability to launch thermonuclear weapons in the middle east. this will make 8 of them.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 1 2017 4:01 utc | 39


So far, the German shipbuilder has announced that it believes there is no misconduct in the huge purchase, a third of which is reportedly to be financed by the German government.

During the past two decades, Israel has ordered six submarines from Germany, with the final one set to be delivered in 2018. Tel Aviv says it has decided to buy the three more submarines to renew its fleet.

that one in the pipeline makes 9 altogether. and the german government financed 1/3 of this project.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 1 2017 4:05 utc | 40

The genocidal holocaust victims day in the sun will, like the wahhabi kingdom end when the tide of the Chinese economy rolls over the US. Trump, like Obama, is trying to get the US to look at China, but it seems due to the large number of eastern Europeans in power, or in positions of influence, the US is fixated on Russia.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jul 1 2017 4:35 utc | 41

Thinking about it a bit more, if I were a neo-con, number one threat would be Chinese economy, number two threat would be Russian diplomacy. Perhaps the reason a large number of Russian diplomats died last year.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jul 1 2017 4:45 utc | 42

that one in the pipeline makes 9 altogether. and the german government financed 1/3 of this project.
Posted by: jfl | Jul 1, 2017 12:05:12 AM | 40

Sounds generous but since the price of war-making machinery (for Western Taxpayers) seems hugely inflated when compared to the list price of its civilian equivalent, one wonders how much headroom is built in to the price of Military junk? If one considers the number of 747s one could buy for the price of one F35, it begs the question "whose leg is being pulled by whom?"

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 1 2017 5:02 utc | 43

...or to put it another way, how many F35s could one buy for the price of one 747?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 1 2017 5:12 utc | 44

the dogs of war are barking

International chemical weapons inspectors have confirmed that the nerve agent sarin was used in April's deadly chemical attack in Syria's Idlib province.

...The OPCW report comes the same week the White House issued a public warning that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would pay a "heavy price" for using chemical weapons.

....But Russia -- Syria's most powerful ally in the six-year conflict -- described the OPCW report as politically motivated and grounded in "doubtful data obtained from opposition" and "notorious NGOs like the White Helmets." Moscow also criticized the watchdog's methodology for gathering samples and eyewitness statements in a "neighboring country" and "not at the site of the tragedy."

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jul 1 2017 5:49 utc | 45

@39 jfl

the german mic seems to be doing just fine. making sure israel has the ability to launch thermonuclear weapons in the middle east. this will make 8 of them.

And letting key people know they're parked a couple of miles off the coast of Long Island would explain key people behavio

Posted by: stumpy | Jul 1 2017 6:10 utc | 46


Posted by: stumpy | Jul 1 2017 6:13 utc | 47

@smuks | 28
Think it's still a step too far, or too concrete a step for Turkey to take at the moment. Turkey's 'divisive' influence in NATO is to Russia's benefit, and for that reason Russia wouldn't want to jeopardise Turkey's position in NATO. So, I don't think it will happen. Any break with NATO will have to come from NATO and given McGurks visit yesterday to shore up Turkey's position it's clear that NATO has not given up on Turkey yet.

@Rawdawgbuffalo | 8
Re. Afrin.
Interesting situation. According to Turkish media 7k soldiers are at the ready; invasion of Afrin is a matter or when not if, etc. This is Turkey going head to head with US supported and RF nominally protected YPG. Interestingly, Russia has apparently, withdrawn its soldiers from the area. Why? To facilitate TR - US head to head maybe? To give credence to TR's threats and anti-YPG stance thus increasing pressure on US? Seems like it could flare up until we remember that next week Erdogan and Trump will probably run into each other at the G20... Then it seems more like someone is trying to strengthen his negotiating hand with a little help from RF. Again Russia benefits from further strained TR-US relations.
On the other hand, as I noted yesterday, the anniversary of the managed coup is in a couple of weeks - a week after G20- and Erdogan would love to make an exaggerated statement of national power!

Posted by: AtaBrit | Jul 1 2017 8:25 utc | 48

@ Jen #16

Russia also has Debt to GDP ratio of around 15% as opposed to all other industrialised countries that are pinging at anywhere between 100 and 250%

This gives them a lot of leeway should they chose to play the inflation game as industrialised countries have

Posted by: guidoamm | Jul 1 2017 12:32 utc | 49

@ Lochearn #20

Indeed, in a context where the medium of exchange is owned unilaterally and arbitrarily by one entity, crisis is to be exploited and, wherever possible, stoked.

The diminishing marginal utility of debt however, not only guarantees that at some point the political construct must confront the electorate but, also, it guarantees that shortly after engaging the electorate, the political construct will have to take on the owner of the medium of exchange too.

That is the point at which the real fireworks start.

We are pretty much there.

Posted by: guidoamm | Jul 1 2017 12:40 utc | 50

Now I can see why Russia has abandoned the information war, they view it as a hopeless waste of resources that they can never match. - Christian at 3.

Not quite right. The Russ. effort on the info. front has been pretty much stable these past 5 years. Through RT and the like, they ‘tell the truth’ (partial truths) as they see it. Putin, Lavrov, others (I’m adresssing MSM, main figures, etc.) merely point out what is nonsense without hysteria, sometimes with clever jokes, and the spokeslady Maria sometimes sounds off a bit. This way, they seem more rational and dare I say, ‘balanced’ - taking the high road of appearing in control and not indulging in childish fits, mad accusations, stupid slander, etc. (= “We are the adults in the room.”)

This strategy imho is OK - its advantages are, - it is closely tied to Russian strategy overall (multipolar world, ‘respect’ for others, etc.), - can be easily set up, sustained, continued, - does no harm to Russia. >> Compare with the confusion of CNN discrediting itself..

No need to spend more, because bludgeoning propaganda is very risky when it is 'empty' just for a 3 day thrill...

Relation to time. Russia, Russkies, might be said to live on a long time scale. The patriotic war has great meaning, the narrative is standard. Prop for the latest pov in any area won’t work well — and to what effect should it be bruited?

No. 1. contrast is the USA, where time is annihilated in favor of an ever-ongoing present in which anything goes and all things can change very rapidly, by the day even - seeing to it that no coherent history, narrative, exists, and thus no future goals can be imagined, constructed, agreed on, and then acted on.

The US in its Gov. and media prop changes the narrative by manipulating the event time-line, making up new realities by using false action->reaction->then other reaction schemas.

Result: ppl are disoriented, very confused, and refusniks/objectors etc. are labelled conspiracy-theorists because they can’t get a coherent narrative together, and rather than applying to God or his minions who practice some kind of strong domination, and using that power, or actually levaing that terrain for more grounded stuff, they are left with mere esoteric shadowy questionable enemies (Illuminati, Bilderbergs, Lizards…) which is risible. By contrast, the Russian ppl know who, where, what, their enemies are.

Posted by: Noirette | Jul 1 2017 16:20 utc | 51

Re: @16

Awara blog is a product of a Russian company that offers services to foreign companies engaged or interested in Russian markets, so this company has an interest in compiling as rosy picture as possible.

In one place, the author adds numbers from a table presented just above, wrongly, getting a "better result". I got an outright false statement: population of Russia is not "at all time high" but about 9 millions lower. The period of population decline was about 20 years, and it is counterfactual that it was compensated with 3 years of growth.

And it is hard to tell what does it mean that Russia has "most diversified economy".

But the general picture is consistent with what I have read before, e.g. data from trading

The gist is that while Russia has a lot of problems, they made huge progress in Putin/Medvedev years, and data on alcohol, suicide, murder, deaths/births show nearly complete recovery from the collapse after the end of USSR. And the decline/recovery after the drop of oil prices and sanctions is quite remarkable.

Russian economy and politics are run in a different way than in the West, and since many crucial numbers are hard to understand or explain, it is not easy to understand and explain them. In politics, Putin is characterized as autocrat, but more objective authors remark that he has a "light touch" compared with historical record and countries that can be used to compare.

For example, is Putin "neoliberal"? Taxes on individuals are low, monetary policy seems tight. The response to oil shock was in a sense "shock therapy": rubble was allowed to float, lost half of its exchange value, the imports were halved, trade surplus was maintained. Most strange: ca. 100 billions of foreign debt was repaid in one year (which seems to confuse Krugman a lot). Real salaries declined quite drastically. But the largest surprise is that the employment was maintained.

Thus we have a combination of neoliberal elements with a very determined strategy to foster import substitution. Import substitution is detrimental to productivity, but when the economy is under shock, it is better to loose productivity, especially if the effect is transient, then employment, which lead to social pathologies -- and government unpopularity. Concerning popularity, the current generation of Russians know one collapse and the previous oil shock, so apparently they appreciate orderly reorientation of the economy. Import substitution can easily go wrong, Argentina is a textbook negative example, and in Venezuela it turned to be a disaster, but Russia has a much larger internal market and non-oil resources and industries.

I would cite Iran as another import substitution country. Western sanctions are truly a double edge sword. They cut off a country from the international financial system. This makes many types of economic activity harder, but in the same time, it spares a country the dubious benefits that we can observe in Greece.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 1 2017 16:33 utc | 52

@Peter AU, AtaBrit

Not sure it won't happen in the future, but for now it's 'a step too far' indeed.
Yes, there may well be a contract 'agreed upon' and ready to sign, but this doesn't mean that it will actually happen. It's a thinly veiled threat: "If you don't stop supporting the Kurds and their proto-state, we might rethink our geopolitical alignment...!"
Moscow's ultimate goal may be a complete coverage of Eurasia with S-400/ S-500, but Turkey is not ready for that...yet. Once NATO withdraws from the region for lack of funds, it can go ahead.

Posted by: smuks | Jul 1 2017 17:26 utc | 53

Said above
"We American's need everyone's help to clamp a lock on this demonic beast that sadly our taxpayer dollars have unleashed. Did WE 'Amerikan's' do this knowingly? to which I repond

I think it might be useful to look at the divide and conquer provision in the US constitution and the empowering documents of other republic type governments for your answer... knowingly depends on the perspective of your group membership: the 340,000,000 kept in the dark members of the never paid, governed group or from prospective as a member of the 517 salaried, elected or associated couple million hired hands, which collectively constitute the always paid, governor group..
...Members of the smaller "governed" group have 100% of the power, the smaller group members always get paid no matter their performance, additionally the SMALLER GROUP MEMBERS have, at their personal disposal, all the manpower and natural resources contained within, or possessed by, the larger group (the smaller group just takes what its members want). Around the globe I think you will find this same division of political power in the founding documents of the nation states ( in fact bottom heavy mass servitude might be the common thread that defines all nation states).. Republics separate people from their resources and their power: one side has: all of the power to practice democracy among its members, while the other has: no power to with which to impose democracy on the nation.
Until the form of governments known as Republics (and or top down dictatorships) are outlawed .. nothing will or can change.. The smaller group is empowered by documents that create the state, with the full knowing intention that its empowered governor group, shall be able to do as it damn well pleases.

Posted by: 5votes_for 527 | Jul 1 2017 17:38 utc | 54

From Russia Insider:

>>We'll Probably Never Know the Real Story Behind the USS Fitzgerald Collision
Don't expect the US Navy to be forthcoming about what went wrong<<

Now that has disappeared down memory lane.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 1 2017 17:48 utc | 55

@55 ftb

15 seconds of fame, or infamy. divide by 60 since warhol's time.

... according to the ACX Crystal's captain, the USS Fitzgerald failed to respond to warning signals before the collision took place.

Seven sailors dying is a tragedy regardless from what port they sail - but don't expect the US Navy to be forthcoming about what went wrong.

the first is - typical of russian insider, as of a many others - an unsourced assertion. might be true. might not be true. can't even assess the odds from the assertion.

the second is the truth, based on historical fact.

the dod - the entire government - lies even when they don't have to, just to keep in practice, and to keep us in practice as well, on the hearing end. and this time they undoubtedly feel they 'have to'.

they created a homosexual affair and assigned their murder to a couple of their victims to 'explain' their murder of 47 sailors on the iowa due to their use of wwii ammunition. i can easily imagine something as vicious and equally libelous here to cover some other admiral's ass.

the tnc msm is at ease, awaiting for the call to scramble and publish it, when it comes.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 1 2017 18:33 utc | 56

@54 5votes, 'Until the form of governments known as Republics (and or top down dictatorships) are outlawed .. nothing will or can change.'

i agree with you there. republic is just another name for oligarchy.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 1 2017 18:45 utc | 57

@51 noirette, 'No. 1. contrast is the USA, where time is annihilated in favor of an ever-ongoing present in which anything goes and all things can change very rapidly, by the day even - seeing to it that no coherent history, narrative, exists, and thus no future goals can be imagined, constructed, agreed on, and then acted on.'

very well put, noirette. and well thought. that just seems the most pregnant and salient line at first reading. i'm going to save your post for future reference. thanks. short and sweet, too. a master at work.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 1 2017 18:57 utc | 58

@ 56 jfl

If memory serves the remarks of the captain of the container vessel were from a report made by the company owning the container vessel - hardly unsubstantiated, your assumption does not hold water unless you are only following your masters at corporate owned media which did not likely report such information. Your 'unsourced assertion' is fake opinion, the problem, not part of the solution.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 1 2017 19:04 utc | 59

There's a line that goes: "it's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything." What percentage of yanks on food stamps will it take for people to rise up..or, has Empire found the new American dream...?

Posted by: MadMax2 | Jul 1 2017 20:04 utc | 60

A story I haven't seen anywhere other than The Duran deals with the many numerous, recently so, death threats made via social media toward Julian Assange,

I'd have thought the great defender of leakers, The Intercept would be all over this, but apparently b's delving behind their Potemkin front was very much on-point as they've made nary a peep.

Assange is very much in the right to target his accusatory tormentors, and those exposing themselves as such need to be further outed and made to pay the price for their murderous assault on Truth.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 1 2017 21:37 utc | 61

@ftb, jfl
Ah come on folks, don't be so...

It's a decidedly odd story indeed. My first thoughts - based purely on intuition, not on concrete clues:
- was this a little demonstration of 'better give way - whose seas are these, anyway'?
- any evidence there to destroy, any witnesses to silence?
- USN discipline already worse than Greek ferries?

Don't think we'll ever know. But it'll be interesting to see if USN behaviour in Asia changes in any way.

Posted by: smuks | Jul 1 2017 23:18 utc | 62

@62 ftp

thanks. i miss a lot of stuff. zero hedge and rt are both based on reuters report :

A U.S. warship struck by a container vessel in Japanese waters failed to respond to warning signals or take evasive action before a collision that killed seven of its crew, according to a report of the incident by the Philippine cargo ship's captain.

In the first detailed account from one of those directly involved, the cargo ship's captain said the ACX Crystal had signaled with flashing lights after the Fitzgerald "suddenly" steamed on to a course to cross its path.

The container ship steered hard to starboard (right) to avoid the warship, but hit the Fitzgerald 10 minutes later at 1:30 a.m., according to a copy of Captain Ronald Advincula's report to Japanese ship owner Dainichi Investment Corporation that was seen by Reuters.

Another focus of the probes has been the length of time it took the ACX Crystal to report the collision. The JCG [japanese coast guard] says it was first notified at 2:25 a.m., nearly an hour after the accident.

In his report, the ACX Crystal's captain said there was "confusion" on his ship's bridge, and that it turned around and returned to the collision site after continuing for 6 nautical miles (11 km).

i don't routinely follow either zerohedge or rt ... the report's 5 or 6 days old now. haven't seen it elsewhere.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 2 2017 3:11 utc | 63

@ 66

It was all over the Japanese media when that (not-final) report was made public. Other tidbits: the US has refused access by the Japanese Coast Guard (responsible for the inquest) to the crew of the mil ship – that is routine…. A TBS tv report had a graphic with the likely path of the container ship: first it hit the mil ship, was pushed out of path and had to made a U-turn and came looking for the mil ship to provide eventual help (from memory, I saw that report while in the waiting room of a hospital). IIRC, they also mentioned that the container ship was traveling more slowly than average as it was ahead of schedule for berthing in Tokyo.

Posted by: Philippe | Jul 2 2017 3:32 utc | 64

@ Philippe | Jul 1, 2017 11:32:06 PM | 68

Early reports mentioned the container ship (CS) veered 'east' immediately after contact (presumably from a northerly heading). At the hour the captain would be in quarters and watch held by a licensed mate. The CS would have headed with the sea to protect the bow from taking on water if it were breached, the Capt. would not delegate inspection for damage and seaworthiness, accounting the half hour before 'U' turning and returning to the other vessel to render assistance if needed and also radioing once that need was determined, steaming off once no assistance was required. The Capt. of the CS acted perfectly in accordance with required procedures. The reporting of this incident has been abysmally ignorant, e.g. somehow a ship being on autopilot is implied at fault for the collision where autopilot is the most effective means of following a course over ground that accommodates both currents and winds to reach a destination. Only once was mention made that modern radar has the capacity to plot collision course and time to collision and give forceful warning to the pilot to take proper measures to avoid; mention of GPS plotting of ship's course made and stored electronically, another important factor not reported. (sarcasm) Apparently the naval vessel was "Old Navy", not having such wondrous devises on its bridge (/sarcasm). Jfl is still earning his keep, I see. Sad. Let the cover-up continue. (/scathing sarcasm)

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 2 2017 4:26 utc | 65

@65 ftb

Don't be ridiculous, you're making yourself look more foolish than you are.
I had read two of the three links. After reading the third, the only additional 'information' is that hacking may have played a role. But this is just as much speculative guessing as the points I mentioned (with my third obviously being tongue-in-cheek). I don't have any idea what happened, and neither do you.

Posted by: smuks | Jul 2 2017 12:13 utc | 66

I was checking on previous naval collisions, and this is interesting. A cruiser passed by a supertanker in the Straight of Hormuz and only then they have seen another supertankers sailing in the opposite direction. Totally unexpected, right?* The point seems to be that some Navy captains wanted to pilot fighter planes and since that did not happen, try to pilot ships in the same style.

* I guess, one the average, only 10-20 supertankers cross the Straight of Hormuz per day, in one direction.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 2 2017 15:25 utc | 67

@ Piotr Berman | Jul 2, 2017 11:25:43 AM | 72

Two observations:
First: When one vessel passes another, the passing vessel must not interfere or interrupt the course and speed of the vessel being passed. A basic inviolate rule.
Second: A vessel is under the command of the skipper or captain at all times. A watch may be under the command of a watch officer or appropriately licensed mate in the case of larger vessels. At the hour of this incident, the command officer was in their quarters and the bridge was under watch command and whatever happened the cause for the event will originate there, the responsibility is still the commanding officer's - it is the way that works. A good place to look at maritime protocol are the shipping channels of the English Channel having also heavy cross channel traffic to see who gives way to whom. The annual results keep many a maritime lawyer fat. The Strait of Hormuz has similar traffic organisation and shipping channels.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 2 2017 16:18 utc | 68

Although the reporting is confusing type of vessel, this, if correct in substance, isn't promising. From Sputnik news:

An appearance of deliberate provocation on the part of empire gone insane.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 2 2017 16:56 utc | 69

A thought on the ms vs cs; the ms had just had about $12 million in upgrades and I remember reading something about the ms had deployed a sea anchor prior to the collision. Could it be that the ms was blind, or possibly even dead in water at the time of the collision? I recall when Trump had "3" ships supposedly steaming to SK that one had to return to home port because the upgrades it had recently received were on the Fritz. Just a thought.
And a question, I am never able to access Sputnik News either directly or via posted links. I used to be able to, any ideas as to how I can correct the problem?

Posted by: frances | Jul 2 2017 21:34 utc | 70

@75 frances

Maybe this RT link will work for you. RT has cleaned up writing in the Sputnik link errors:

I have no information about your question, it is first mention of sea anchors or being dead in the water. It sounds like conjecture, particularly when reported the destroyer (ms?) was traveling faster than the cargo ship (cs?) when the collision occurred. About the destroyer being 'blind', that is highly unlikely, such ships have all forms of radar available and full radio facilities for all military and navigational purposes. The destroyer was able to make way, but slowly (possible one engine room flooded) after the collision; no reports available of electrical power being disabled, power for sump pumps kept the destroyer afloat, but little information has been released from the naval authorities. Most information comes from the container ship's side so far. I hope this helps you somewhat.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 3 2017 0:23 utc | 71

Formerly T-Bear | Jul 2, 2017 12:56:37 PM | 74

Its coming. The US will keep up its freedom to provoke exercises until eventually China enforces the 12 mile limit. Then US will claim self defence to take action against China.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jul 3 2017 0:53 utc | 72

@ Peter AU | Jul 2, 2017 8:53:00 PM | 77

It certainly looks that way or even worse, something will happen by accident, and minds will be lost to reason, rationality, and the doGs of emotion and belief and self-righteousness will have their fill of MOAR blood.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 3 2017 1:30 utc | 73

Michaelj72 (45) notes 'the dogs of war are barking'. Indeed they are and Canada's Minister of Global Affairs Chrystia Freeland is among them.

Canada Announces Additional Support For Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in Syria

"Canada is committed to supporting the Syrian people and has repeatedly condemned the egregious war crimes that have been committed by the Assad regime in Syria, including the use of chemical weapons on its own people...."

What a good doggie Canada!

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jul 3 2017 5:43 utc | 74

Iran remembers US downing of passenger plane

Iran is commemorating the 29th anniversary of the downing of its passenger plane by a US Navy guided-missile cruiser in Persian Gulf waters in 1988.

The civilian aircraft, an Airbus A300B2, was flying in Iranian airspace over the Strait of Hormuz from the port city of Bandar Abbas to Dubai, carrying 274 passengers and 16 crewmembers on July 3, 1988, when the cruiser, USS Vincennes fired two SM-2MR surface-to-air missiles at it.

One of the missiles hit the plane, killing all the 290 onboard.

On Monday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement to recall the tragic deaths and once again censure the US Navy’s “horrific crime.”

“A look at the precedence of the US’s inhumane behavior, which is manifested in massacring innocent people across the world, including the aggrieved people of Iran, indicates that such an attitude has been institutionalized in various US governments in pursuit of their own goals,” said the statement.

A year later, the captain of the USS Vincennes, William C. Rogers, was cleared of any wrongdoing in the incident, and was even awarded America’s Legion of Merit medal by the then US president, George Bush, for his “outstanding service.”

George H.W. Bush is an American politician who was the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993

"I will never apologize for the United States of America, ever! — I don't care what the facts are ..."

Statement as Vice-president, during a presidential campaign function (2 Aug 1988), commenting on the Navy warship USS Vincennes having shot down Iran Air Flight 655 in a commercial air corridor on July 3, killing 290 civilians, as quoted in "Perspectives", the quote of the week section of Newsweek (15 August 1988[1]) p. 15; also quoted in "Rally Round the Flag, Boys" by Michael Kingsley in TIME magazine (12 September 1988) and the 43rd Vice President of the United States from 1981 to 1989.

the applause is the measure, not just of bush's depravity - he was vice-president when walker shot the airliner down and he was president when walker was awarded the Legion of Merit for doing so, but also of the depravity of all those in his audience in the video, and of all of us who did not denounce his award and his statement. that a man can run for president on the basis of past criminal acts of the country is just one more characteristic of us exceptional people.

no one mentioned the 'deplorables' in 1989.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 3 2017 6:44 utc | 75

Saudi led-bloc extends Qatar demands deadline by 48 hours

looks like the saudis blinked. now they all have 48 hours to come up with a story that leaves them all 'whole'.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 3 2017 7:03 utc | 76



[T]he skipper of another ship that was on the scene of the July 3 incident wrote in the September 1989 issue of the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings that the Vincennes had gained a reputation for being an overly aggressive "robo-cruiser" and "likely provoked the sea battle with the Iranian gunboats that preceded the shootdown."

"Having watched the performance of the Vincennes for a month before the incident, my impression was clearly that an atmosphere of restraint was not her long suit," wrote Cmdr. David R. Carlson, skipper of the frigate USS Sides, which monitored the jet's downing. Carlson added, "My guess was that the crew of the Vincennes felt a need to prove the viability of Aegis {the highly sophisticated anti-aircraft system on the cruiser} in the Persian Gulf, and that they hankered for an opportunity to show their stuff."

Both decorated men remain in the Navy: Rogers is commanding officer of a Navy unit that trains senior officers in military tactics; Lustig is executive officer of another Navy cruiser, the Navy said.

'likely provoked the sea battle with the Iranian gunboats that preceded the shootdown.'

'Both decorated men remain in the Navy: Rogers is commanding officer of a Navy unit that trains senior officers in military tactics ...'

what was the message george xli and the united states navy were sending to naval officers with that decoration and that subsequent assignment of rogers?

Posted by: jfl | Jul 3 2017 8:17 utc | 77

@ 80 - 82

Same as it always was, isn't it. The epigone is never brighter than it's father, another proof of genetic entropy at work.
[Encountered n interesting word recently, thanks for giving the chance to use it].

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 3 2017 8:40 utc | 78

Its coming. The US will keep up its freedom to provoke exercises until eventually China enforces the 12 mile limit. Then US will claim self defence to take action against China.
Posted by: Peter AU | Jul 2, 2017 8:53:00 PM | 77

It's way too early to assume the worst. As warriors, the Yankees are still chickenshit pussies who love parading their exceptionalism and impunity. That mirage flies straight out the window as soon as China calls their bluff by helping them to disable a few of their own ships in the South China sea. I suspect we're about to see Chinese Humour in action. It shouldn't be too hard for China to trick the Yankees into doing something stupid(er than usual) thereby attracting some (hilarious) publicity.
They could, as an extreme example, mine the waters inside China's Declared Exclusion Zone on the basis that anyone with good manners and a sense of decency would seek prior permission to enter. People with manners would, in return, be advised of a recommended entry point, course and route. People who decided to barge in without permission wouldn't receive the available advice.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 3 2017 15:58 utc | 79

According to Trumps's tweeting past days, hes been talking with saudiarabia, and alot of nato members, is he planning another war on Syria?

Posted by: Anon | Jul 3 2017 16:25 utc | 80

@79 john gilberts.. coming from the ukee nazi Chrystia Freeland - that is rich!

Posted by: james | Jul 3 2017 16:33 utc | 81

Coincidence ?

Smith DIED just 10 days after he reported his story to the Wall Street Journal.

Posted by: ProPeace | Jul 4 2017 1:59 utc | 82

Here's a new one for me.

How many of you knew that both the FBI & the NSA were created in secret without Congress' knowledge or input?

Here's the Unholy Mess That HT Created

Might their very existence be unconstitutional???

Posted by: JSonofa | Jul 4 2017 3:35 utc | 83

Macron speaks to assembled houses of French parliament in Versailles

Macron’s decision to summon together the houses of parliament in Versailles was not, however, simply an act of personal arrogance. It was a recognition that his initiatives have consequences as far-reaching as a market crash that threatened to take down the world financial system or Hollande’s decision to suspend indefinitely basic democratic rights guaranteed by the French Constitution.

This time, Macron forced the parliament to assemble so he could deliver a speech discussing his government’s drive to escalate neo-colonial wars in Africa, write the state of emergency into law, impose social cuts by decree and fundamentally restructure the French state. ...

he went on to defend his reactionary agenda of rewriting French labor law in favor of the corporations, and doing so by decree, and incorporating the state of emergency into law. He denounced “false accusations” made against his policies: “Are we discussing liberalizing the labor code? We are told we are obeying the diktat of Brussels. Are we talking of escaping the state of emergency? We are told that our freedoms are being traded away… None of that is true.”

It is Macron’s assurances, not the widespread sentiment in the population, that are untrue. His reactionary plan to facilitate mass sackings and allow corporations to violate the labor code, in line with the original plans of the previous Socialist Party (PS) government’s labor law, was worked out in close collaboration with Berlin and the European Union bureaucracy in Brussels. Similarly, by permanently granting police the right to impose house arrest on individuals and ban protests, Macron aims to gut basic democratic rights with the stroke of a pen.

are the french going to lie down for this? it seems they are. fascism is on the march, unopposed, worldwide.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 4 2017 7:39 utc | 84

REPORT: Jared, Ivanka, Conway, Dina Powell Spotted at Hamptons Party with Soros, Schumer, Fake News Journos

Posted by: Anonyoums | Jul 4 2017 8:04 utc | 85

I am sure some of you will dream it happens one day to a number of US pundits!!

Posted by: Mina | Jul 4 2017 8:23 utc | 86

I was surprised at Somebody's link about Qatar closing the Israeli commercial representation. The answer is, never trust Wikipedia when it comes to the Gulf

Posted by: Mina | Jul 4 2017 8:47 utc | 87

Angry Arab has a post on this issue of different information in English and Arabic:-))

But you can be sure that Israel hates Qatar for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza and in this conflict is firmly on Saudi's side.
You can also be sure that Israel would love a Gulf Iran cold war.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 4 2017 8:58 utc | 88


This here is Israel's reporting on Qatar asking Hamas representatives to leave

Next time Israel has a problem with Hamas they will need Hezbollah to mediate.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 4 2017 9:17 utc | 89

not about Hamas but about the Israeli diplomatic representation
"In Doha “we have an Israeli trade office, and we have a Hamas representative office,” Mohammed, the foreign minister, told a group of reporters and academics in Washington last week. Hamas is a militant group that rules the Gaza Strip. “We have an open-door policy.”"

Posted by: Mina | Jul 4 2017 9:20 utc | 90

Since when does Israel hates Hamas? they've created it and they are the best assets of their own fundamentalists.

Posted by: Mina | Jul 4 2017 9:21 utc | 91

plus 94
British look at the situation

Edging Qatar out of Gaza.

96 Mina
Hamas has become more Israel can handle. Their strategic planners thought they could control religious people easily and make them look crazy - "we cannot deal with them" - whilst occupying the West Bank indefinitely.
They think they can hand off Gaza to Egypt for security.

This here is Al Jazeera

Israel, UAE, Egypt plan to install Dahlan Gaza leader

Posted by: somebody | Jul 4 2017 9:40 utc | 92

100,000 persons have crossed the Mediterranean, mainly to Italy, in the first 6 months of 2017. The EU has no clue about what to do. The MSM value their add budget so much that they can't talk about the wars in Africa, the number 1 cause of the refugee crisis.

Posted by: Mina | Jul 4 2017 10:53 utc | 93

@98 mina

Scandal at the EU: Eurocrats miss work meeting as Europe falls apart

The head of the European Commission, in a complete surprise to himself, found that his speech was attended by 30 of the 751 deputies in the European Parliament.

Standing in the almost empty hall in Strasburg, Jean-Claude Juncker was so disappointed with the behavior and discipline of European parliamentarians, called them "not serious people."

The current Presidency of the European Parliament is held by Malta. The Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat smiled as he watched the dispute erupt. Then he said that actually, they were supposed to gather today to debate the important issue of the resettlement of 160,000 refugees, currently located in Italy and Greece.

juncker takes it personally, but the meps weren't so much bailing on his speech as they were bailing on the refugees and on italy. 250 groups of three monkeys ... see no refugees, hear no refugees, say nothing about the refugees.

micron cranks up the wars in africa.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 4 2017 22:21 utc | 94

America’s Embarrassment

Most of his predecessors were better behaved and followed rules of public relations. But they filled the jails, ended the right to public assistance, killed millions of people abroad, kept wages low and used a variety of schemes to make the rich even richer. Despite his obvious shortcomings Donald Trump is not the worst among them. And that is the most embarrassing fact of all.

margaret kimberley hits the nail on the head, as usual.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 5 2017 4:43 utc | 95

Riyadh major foreign sponsor of extremism in UK: Think tank

A British think tank says Saudi Arabia is the main sponsor of extremism in the UK, urging a probe into sources of the money being injected mainly by the Riyadh regime into the institutions promoting radicalism in the European state.

In a report released on Wednesday, the Henry Jackson Society said Saudi Arabia has, since the 1960s, sponsored a multimillion-dollar effort to export the radical Wahhabi ideology across the Islamic world, including to Muslim communities in the west, adding that foreign funding for extremism in Britain mainly comes from the Saudi kingdom.

haven't found the report at the hjs website, or elsewhere.

Talk:Henry Jackson Society

The Henry Jackson Society (HJS) is a British neocon think tank and political action committee. HJS was founded in Cambridge, England, on March 11, 2005, and was launched in the Houses of Parliament, on November 22, 2005, by Dr. Brendan Simms of Cambridge University in honor of the late Henry 'Scoop' Jackson, the Democratic Senator from Washington state, renowned for championing the right of Jewish emigration from the USSR to Israel. [1]

The Society, a think tank and political action committee, is based at the University of Cambridge and aims to promote 'democratic geopolitics'. Many of its supporters are among the most powerful people in Britain and the United States, including the former directors of the MI6 and CIA, the former President of Lithuania, a reem of British MPs, and a number of editorial staff from various newspapers. The secretive nature of the society is perhaps evidence of its considerable political influence.


confirmation that mbs has been setup by the us / uk / il and their cia / mi6 / mossad? they've come out now because there's no chance in hell that t. may will release the report d. cameron ordered in 2015?

Posted by: jfl | Jul 5 2017 8:44 utc | 97

Total’s deal bares Europe-US split on Iran

French energy giant Total’s signing of a $5 billion contract on Monday to develop phase 11 of Iran's South Pars offshore gas field has sparked fresh interest in business opportunities in the Islamic Republic.

An Indian consortium said after the deal that it was willing to spend as much as $11 billion to develop Iran’s giant Farzad-B field and build the infrastructure for exports of gas from the repository.

Italy's state railway company Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) will send its CEO Renato Mazzoncini to Tehran next Tuesday to sign a 1.2 billion euro contract for the construction of a high-speed railway in Iran.

And Volkswagen announced it would resume selling cars in Iran from August after signing a deal with local importer Mammut Khodro.

Over the past year, Iran has finalized deals to buy up to 140 planes from Boeing and 100 from Airbus. Last month, two more Iranian airlines made prospective deals with Airbus to buy 73 jetliners worth $2.5 billion.

Experts believe Total’s landmark deal is expected to have far-reaching implications, setting a path for other international companies also to follow.

it looks like it's the us that's going to be isolated in iran, and in russia, and everywhere else the neocons 'sanction'.

when their actions start to hit americans in the pocketbook maybe we'll 'notice' who's been running our country into the ground for the past 16 years ... we're deaf, dumb, and blind to the plight of the rest of the world otherwise.

we didn't notice the 2 million muslins the neocons murdered, the millions they dispossessed, the cities and countries they destroyed.

but money always does seem to get our attention.

maybe that will finally end the neocons' wars.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 5 2017 11:43 utc | 98

Total’s deal bares Europe-US split on Iran

Russia is one of the major forces in the international and regional arena, Secretary General of the League of Arab States Ahmed Aboul Gheit said at talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday.

“We want the League’s activity to be really inclusive in terms of the participation of all Arab states without exception,” he said.

In November 2011, the League suspended Syria’s membership in the organization amid the beginning of the domestic crisis in the country. Although Syria is officially a member of the League, its seat has been kept empty.

if 'Russia is one of the major forces in the international and regional arena' as 'Secretary General of the League of Arab States Ahmed Aboul Gheit said at talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday,' then perhaps syria's seat at the arab league will be filled once again?

and there will be no doubt but that 'Russia is one of the major forces in the international and regional arena'.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 5 2017 11:50 utc | 99

@ 104 jfl

I would guess this little brouhaha with Qatar spells finis to the Arab League, at least for now. Somebody would not mind the breakup of that League and negation of their Palestinian peace initiative so it disappears altogether - wonder who that might be.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 5 2017 12:28 utc | 100

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