Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 02, 2017

NYT, WaPo Send Top Reporters To Stenograph Five O'Clock Follies

When the U.S. military takes a bunch of journalists on a press junket to a foreign country it has a certain intention and prepares every detail in advance. There will be witnesses and local people who are briefed for their two minute talk with the journalists. They will convey exactly what the military wants them to convey. After enjoying local flair, for ten minutes max, some U.S. diplomat or general will treat the journos to good whiskey and a genuine local steak. The official will speak a few prepared lines on the record that will reinforce the story the locals were tasked to tell.

The outcome is predictable. The stories the journalists will write will be the same.

Michael Gordon in yesterday's New York Times and David Ignatius in yesterday's Washington Post both report of their latest junket, a visit of Tabqa in Syria.

Gordon's piece: In a Desperate Syrian City, a Test of Trump’s Policies

The young man unburdened himself about the dark years of living under the Islamic State as a crowd of curious onlookers gathered in front of a weathered storefront in the town marketplace. The militants, said the man, a 22-year-old named Abdul Qadir Khalil, killed many residents, doled out precious jobs and severely limited travel to and from the city. ...

He ticked off a list of the things Tabqa needs: electricity, water, fuel and a sizable bakery. Then, laughing about his new freedom to openly denounce the militants, he said, “If they ever come back, they will slaughter all of us.”

The Ignatius' piece: As the Islamic State falls in Syria, one city offers a preview of the country’s future

A boisterous group of young Syrian men is gathered outside a tire and vehicle-parts shop across from the warehouse. American military advisers aren’t sure at first that it’s safe to talk with them, but the men press eagerly toward two visiting reporters. Abdul-Qadr Khalil, 22, dressed in a bright blue-nylon jacket, speaks for the group. He complains that there’s not enough food, water, gas or bread, and there are no jobs. But he dismisses the idea that the Islamic State will ever take hold here again.

“No, never!” says Khalil, and the young men around him nod in unison. “It will be impossible to live if they come back. They will kill all of us.”


.. small children greet visitors with a “V” sign for victory.


Young children flash V-for-victory signs.


“A fundamental problem in our society is that ISIS’ ideology has been implanted in little kids’ brains, which means it will carry on in the future,” said Ahmad al-Ahmad, the co-president of the council.


Ahmad al-Ahmad, the co-president of the newly formed Tabqa Civil Council, ... Young boys who were indoctrinated at Islamic State training camps are trying to find their balance in a new world where beheadings and the chanting of Islamist slogans are over.


Nearly 50 tons of flour, paid for by the Pentagon, were trucked in from Iraq to an American-funded warehouse on Wednesday.


At a warehouse near the town center, the first shipment of American food arrived on Wednesday; sacks of flour and rice are stacked on pallets, ready for distribution, ...


We are not going to get beauty; it’s about pragmatism,” said Maj. Gen. Rupert Jones of the British Army, the deputy commander of the coalition force.


This is not a work of beauty. This is pragmatism,” says Maj. Gen. Rupert Jones, the British deputy commander of coalition forces in Iraq and Syria ..

I agree with the British general. The reporting in the Washington Post and New York Times is not a work of beauty but pragmatism. These highly paid journalists do not want to get their new desert dress dirty. They pragmatically repeat what the well briefed (and bribed) locals say, picture the children that make V-signs (and receive the promised candy) and they stenograph whatever the military or some diplomats say. No real reporting, no thinking and no dirty boots are required for their job.

The military wanted to convey that nearly everything is now fine in Tabqa. The people love the U.S. occupation and all that is needed now are a few billion $$$ for some minor nation building. The journalists eat up the prepared bites and transmit exactly what the military wanted them to say.

The mainstream media want their readers to believe that their narratives from war zones are genuine reporting. The above examples show that they are not. Their journalists are simple recording highly choreographed shows the Pentagon and State Department press advisors made up and the local press officers prepared in advance. A modern version of the Vietnam war's five o'clock follies.

Richard Pyle, Associated Press Saigon bureau chief during the war, described the [military press] briefings as, "the longest-playing tragicomedy in Southeast Asia's theater of the absurd."

Back then most media did not fall for the nonsense. Now they willingly join in.

Posted by b on July 2, 2017 at 19:09 UTC | Permalink

next page »

It would seem that the CIA control of the media is complete. What are the key phrases to bring them in and out of their trances? Trancesentintomedication.

Posted by: JSonofa | Jul 2 2017 19:25 utc | 1

The US seem to be pushing Tabqa. It seems too close to SAA lines for a US base? Just a US outpost to ensure US retains control of the dam?

Posted by: Peter AU | Jul 2 2017 19:35 utc | 2

Great post b. It's all orchestrated.

As for "Back then most media did not fell for the nonsense" ...back then there was a protest movement.

Posted by: dh | Jul 2 2017 19:41 utc | 3

"...50 tons of flour...."

Wow, how generous. And ~500.000 tons of weaponry for the Death Squads.

David Gordon isn't he the one along with Judith Miller two chief propagandist of Bush'r regime for Iraq war?

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Jul 2 2017 19:41 utc | 4

Ah, good old Michael Gordon. If memory serves, he was also as culpable for the NYT stories boosting the Iraq War as Miller was. Yet she was the only one to get fired.

Posted by: P Walker | Jul 2 2017 19:44 utc | 5

let me see...

September 8, 2002
New York Times
U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts
By Michael R. Gordon and Judith Miller

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 - More than a decade after Saddam Hussein agreed to give up weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb, Bush administration officials said today.

In the last 14 months, Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes, which American officials believe were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium. American officials said several efforts to arrange the shipment of the aluminum tubes were blocked or intercepted but declined to say, citing the sensitivity of the intelligence, where they came from or how they were stopped.

The diameter, thickness and other technical specifications of the aluminum tubes had persuaded American intelligence experts that they were meant for Iraq's nuclear program, officials said, and that the latest attempt to ship the material had taken place in recent months.

What can I say, Goebbels would be proud of him.

Posted by: Chauncey Gardiner | Jul 2 2017 19:47 utc | 6

Is it V for victory or a peace sign?

Posted by: Charles R | Jul 2 2017 19:48 utc | 7

Its not simply that the media is somehow being taken advantage of by a sly military, nor that there are CIA assets in the NYT and Wapo, its that both media outfits (with CNN and other companies) actively collaborate at the highest levels with AIPAC and the CIA to promote their agreed upon interpretation of current events.

Posted by: Castellio | Jul 2 2017 19:51 utc | 8

@7 The V sign has become an all purpose response to cameras. Very popular among Asian selfie takers. Even terrorists use it.

Posted by: dh | Jul 2 2017 19:51 utc | 9

Monied interests rule and corrupt everything in order to secure their positions. So, they infiltrate government, corporations, academia. They all speak the same language and derive their belief systems from each other. To paraphrase John Ralston Saul, reality is not in the world, it's in the measurements made by professional bureaucrats. That's why you can see people bouncing between government service, board directorships, the CIA and then becoming pundits on the MSM.

It's a circle jerk where each of the individuals know their roles, and their first rule is never turn on the system itself.

Everything (and I mean everything) is a racket.

Posted by: P Walker | Jul 2 2017 19:57 utc | 10

The Gordon piece reveals some interesting details of how the Taqba dam operation worked.

"The Tabqa operation was proposed in mid-March to Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commander of the American-led task force that is battling the Islamic State, by the top commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the combination of Syrian Kurds and Arab fighters who would provide the ground troops for the battle. It was approved without a single White House meeting. Just one week later, hundreds of Arab and Kurdish fighters, including many who had never flown before, were airlifted on American helicopters and Osprey planes to the southern banks of Lake Assad, across from Tabqa. Barges ferried their vehicles across the azure water while another group of Syrian fighters to the east hopped from island to island as they zipped along the Euphrates on American fast boats."

The vaunted SDF is totally reliant on US support. Once that goes, so does their effectiveness. From experience, the US does not train foreign militaries to be anything more capable than a police force. The Russians on the other hand train foreign militaries to be fully capable and self supporting.

The Taqba dam is also a poisoned chalice for the Amerians. They now 'own it':

"Syrian engineers have been trying to get one or two turbines running by cannibalizing parts from the wreckage. But with no Soviet-era parts on hand, nobody seems to think that the structure will be generating power in the months ahead, and the hazards of working in and around the dam are still significant: Last week, one newly trained Syrian demining expert was killed when he triggered an improvised explosive device. But the question foremost in the minds of Tabqa’s residents is how they are going to return their lives to some semblance of normal. “There is no electricity, no food, no bread, and we need fuel for our trucks,” said Khalid Mohammed Ali Tata, 54. “Also, there are no jobs.”

No electricity, no food, no bread, no jobs ...

This has all the makings of a typical US tactical victory and strategic defeat.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jul 2 2017 20:14 utc | 11

The unwritten story from the articles is that, had it not been for the pesky Russians interfering, the good ole' US fightin' boys would have defeated ISIS ages ago - and many of the commentators fall for this BS.

I, for one, look forward to the glorious Hollywood blockbusters detailing exactly how the US defeated ISIS all on its own.

Posted by: Yonatan | Jul 2 2017 20:22 utc | 12

Some time ago I ran onto a map showing oil fields and grain silos in Syria.
The grain silos wre mostly in what is now the US/SDF held territory. I take it this is the main grain growing region of Syria.
Now the US propaganda writers are saying they have no bread?

Presidential envoy Brett McGurk visits Tabqa with two of his best/most trusted propaganda writers.... Aircraft carrier arrived off Israel... plus the recent CW crap from Spicer and UN. Yanks seem to be cooking something up.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jul 2 2017 20:28 utc | 13

Funny timing ... the G20 starts Friday and Trump's been looking forward to meeting Vlad during the proceedings. I'm expecting Trump, Merkel and Vlad to have a serious chat about AmeriKKKa's Juvenile Delinquents.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 2 2017 20:44 utc | 14

Castellio - no CIA Assets at WaPo? You Sure about that?

Amazon & The CIA

Posted by: JSonofa | Jul 2 2017 20:47 utc | 15

No body bags. No problem. That's the only thing that matters to the hoi polloi in the US. That and the draft.

The public is so inured to military action going on somewhere that the only thing that captures their attention is American casualties. People who read the NYT and Washpo know that these are fluff pieces and are aware and probably concerned that America's meddling in Syria might end badly. It's hardly surprising that two different reporters at the same event posted similar accounts. Obviously their minder explained the concerns about young minds being warped by ISIS indoctrination and it was duly reported. That's not fake news. Child soldiers in the DR Congo come to mind.

I'm sure when the SAA liberates a village there's some coverage of happy residents. I'm sure they spring for some flour too. I mean, no matter who gets those ISIS fuckers out of your hair, you're going to be happy to see them. These are filler pieces. They don't mean anything. They don't shape opinion. There's no groundswell of support for American involvement in Syria's civil war and the implications of an incident with Russian forces. Far from it.

Any embedded reporter expects and gets a high degree of skepticism from the readers. Besides, the readers are much more interested in watching Trump's meltdown in real time. They watch their healthcare under assault and somehow Syria matters fade to black. They will pay attention to any new shootdowns but don't give a fuck about the feel-good stories.

Posted by: peter | Jul 2 2017 21:03 utc | 16


Tabqa is the only large town the US holds west of the Euphrates. Some talk of Kurds/SDF signing a deal with the US for the Tabqa military airfield. May or may not be true. It seems US will station US military there.
McGurk visited another large town east of the Euphrates but Tabqa was chosen for the propaganda piece?

Posted by: Peter AU | Jul 2 2017 21:15 utc | 17

This is standard US military propaganda. It's a PR show, no doubt, but somehow I find it less reprehensible than the anonymously sourced anti-Russian and anti-Syrian pieces that dominate the NYT and WaPo on a daily basis.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Jul 2 2017 21:27 utc | 18

If that's the best that freedom of the press can bring us, then fuck freedom of the press.
Mainstream media fully deserves to live the rest of the century under Stalin's rule, with the people cheering when they're shipped to gulag.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jul 2 2017 21:32 utc | 19

Cheers for your "spot the difference" piece, B. Great job.

There is nothing new about this, BTW. Edward Bernays had already pulled it in 1953 in Guatemala, prior to the coup against Arbenz: journos who were walked in the "exotic jungles" with "brooding and submissive Indians", and could wear ridiculous pith helmets, ride horses through miles of plantations and drink White Label scotch served by pretty señoritas on some chosen veranda in the evening, while they watched the sunset. Upon return, they "knew the situation on the ground" in Guatemala.
Do these people ever read history? I mean, it's not as if a ton of books had not been published on this kind of subject. You can pull the same trick on them over and over, and do they notice a pattern or something? No.

Who are these geniuses?

Posted by: Lea | Jul 2 2017 21:36 utc | 20

"...I mean, no matter who gets those ISIS fuckers out of your hair, you're going to be happy to see them..."

This is a most precise description of neocon U.S. foreign policy post-Libya.

If the little people have grown skeptical of your fake WMD claims and they've grown inured to your cartoonish demonization of leaders you don't like, then replace the government to be regime-changed with an evil of your own creation (the Afghanistan Plan).

Congress won't let the Pentagon attack and occupy Syria directly at Saudi's/Israel's behest? Solution: Create fake ISIS to conquer Syrian land/resources first, then get blanket Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) allowing Pentagon to kick them out any time, any where. The RoboCop AUMF. Then justify endless occupation thereafter with the need for humanitarian aid, training local police forces and offering follow-on U.S. military protection until things stabilize. Except they never stabilize.

The U.S. created Mujahedin in Pakistan training camps and the Afghan Liberation Front for that exact purpose in 1978. Someone to kick the Soviets out, but evil enough to justify the U.S. going after them. Whatever the Mujahedin were in 1978 morphed into something much darker by 2001, i.e., al Qaeda and the Taliban. I can't believe that wasn't without the help of the U.S. - we needed to create an evil, cartoonish enemy to justify military action (with or without U.S. Congressional approval). 9/11 - whether it was staged or not - ushered in the RoboCop AUMF to go after the evil guy in an Afghani cave because he orchestrated 9/11.

A long time from now, someone is going to read about this in a history book and just laugh - nobody could be so stupid as to fall for such a preposterous ruse, and certainly not over and over again.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jul 2 2017 21:39 utc | 21

@15 JSonofa

I'm sorry I wasn't clear. There are certainly CIA assets writing both for WaPo and the NYT, and the editors and owners are aware.

It would have been better if I had written - it's not simply that the military coordinates with the press, and its not simply that there are CIA assets writing for the WaPo and the NYT, it's also the case that both media outfits (with CNN and other companies) actively collaborate at the highest levels with AIPAC and the CIA to promote their agreed upon interpretation of current events.

Posted by: Castellio | Jul 2 2017 21:57 utc | 22

As @3 ...back then there was a protest movement.

There was a protest movement mostly because there was a draft.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 2 2017 23:08 utc | 23

@23 Yep. Nothing like the prospect of getting killed in Vietnam to get college kids riled up.

Posted by: dh | Jul 2 2017 23:49 utc | 24

@16 peter

Any embedded reporter expects and gets a high degree of skepticism from the readers.

I think you give NYT, WaPo readers too much credit. If they are tuned in enough to be skeptical of embedded journalists [sic] they would be skeptical of the entire US Syria operation. As it is even people old enough to remember the BS cranked out by Miller and Gordon in the run up to the Iraq invasion are Somafied zombies whose bullshit detectors are broken or switched off.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Jul 2 2017 23:52 utc | 25

speaking of propaganda, in this case, what is NOT reported and/or emphasized by the mainstream US free press. it would cause too much cognitive dissonance back home, like those pesky reports during the viet-Nam wars

US Is Killing More Civilians in Syria Air War Than Assad Is

Exemplified by the hundred and some odd people they’ve killed in the last 48 hours, the US is struggling mightily with the narrative that they are taking extraordinary care to limit the number of civilian casualties in the air war in Syria, and are rapidly losing any pretense of a moral high ground.

Indeed, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is noting that the soaring death toll from US airstrikes has now surpassed the civilian toll of the Assad government’s own airstrikes, which the US and other Western nations have condemned as indiscriminate and irresponsible.

Oftentimes, US officials have been so outraged at Syria’s “indiscriminate” air strikes that they’ve demanded regime change, and has railed at Russia and Iran for tolerating their tactics in bombing civilian targets. Obviously, the US never sees the same problem with its own massive killings.

That’s probably because officially, they don’t even recognize the overwhelming majority of the civilian deaths they cause, as the Pentagon’s official death toll for the air war in Iraq and Syria omits virtually all major incidents, and tends to be at most 10% of the toll reported by NGOs.

Posted by: michaelj72 | Jul 3 2017 0:14 utc | 26

@15 jsonofa

how about the cia agents at the atlantic, as well? the article at the end of the link is promoting both the amazon deal and the cia.

In early 2013, after weighing bids from Amazon Web Services, IBM and an unnamed third vendor, the CIA awarded a contract to AWS worth up to $600 million over a period of up to 10 years. The deal, handled in secret, was first reported by FCW in March 2013, sending ripples through the tech industry.

A month after the deal became public, IBM filed a bid protest with GAO that the watchdog eventually upheld in June, forcing the CIA to reopen bids to both companies for the contract. A legal struggle between Amazon and Big Blue ensued, and AWS filed a lawsuit against the federal government in July 2013, claiming the GAO sustainment was a “flawed” decision.

In October, U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Thomas Wheeler sided with Amazon and overturned GAO’s decision to force the CIA to rebid the contract. Big Blue went home, AWS claimed victory under the deal’s original financial specs, and nearly 18 months after the procurement was first released, the CIA and Amazon went to work.

never underestimate the extent to which all this mic / iic stuff is garden-variety corruption, albeit on a gigantic scale and at the heart of 'government'. it's a huge gang of people working in the government / internet / intelligence community / msm switching chairs each time the music stops who are amassing fortunes and the power that goes with that on the back of this boondoggle while it stripping us - the world's human population - of our humanity, those of us it doesn't murder outright in its 'wars'.

they're the predators and we're their prey. and that's the way they have it dialed in as far into the future as the eye can see. i've linked it a couple of times ... originally saw it here in a link like yours, Posted by: Fecund Stench | Jun 15, 2017 11:52:56 AM | 64 ... How the CIA made Google / why Google made the NSA. it's wide-ranging but so's the story it tells.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 3 2017 0:17 utc | 27

The brainwashing just keeps coming. Seriously, everything you've been told by MSM is an outright narrative lie since even my childhood in the sixties. If they fail on one story, they fail on ALL stories since their entire edifice is built on a lie that America is a representative democracy. Lie, plain and simple. We are under the yoke of a debt currency system installed in 1913, along with income taxes. Watching Mark Dice videos about the stupidity of Americans about everything put me in a less than patriotic mood today. Jesus, people are stupid and frankly, don't care. Why I would I fight for 100 million who could care less about my simple message of read a book and stop using cancerous i-devices? Because they could care less. This is a serious problem in this country. They are more than half the country who doesn't care, know or give a fuck about what goes on, see San Diego. Not sure how this is going to work out in the long run, but better keep your head down.

Posted by: Montag | Jul 3 2017 0:23 utc | 28


I cannot see how any of these companies could have made it so big so fast without falling into line with CIA NSA ect. They would be quickly destroyed if they did not do so.
Apple and its encryption? A lot of people around the world in positions of leadership use iPhone apparently. I take it for granted US intelligence has no problems getting information from these phones.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jul 3 2017 0:26 utc | 29

thanks b! you hit the nail on the head here...

many good comments from others.. thanks! peter au - interesting about where the grain is in syria... i would be curious about some more info on that, not that i doubt it... and yes to your comment - the usa seem to be cooking up something here.. it never stops...

so, let me get this straight - usa with their good buddies, israel, ksa, turkey ( not so much anymore ) and etc - supporting all those moderate headchoppers - al qaeda, isis - change your name - al nusra, al shram and etc, and then they have the audacity to tell the ignoramus's who read those outlets - nyt, wapo and etc - that they are setting up shop inside syria to make things better? wow.. americans and the world are a lot more stupid then i thought they were if they expect most people to believe that shit..

what gives the usa the right to set up shop inside yet another country - syria, given their track record in the past 20 years - afganistan, iraq, libya and good knows where else the fuckers want to fuck over?

Posted by: james | Jul 3 2017 1:16 utc | 30

james 30

Could not find the map earlier when posting but tried a few more search terms and found this.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jul 3 2017 1:41 utc | 31

@29 p au

yes, that's the point made in fecund stench's link above, @27. it's a - circle jerk is the cliched term. it began with darpa and metastasized from there. now it's all in the same 'building' as it were, with the 'civilian' operations and government operations on different floors, and personnel freely flowing among them, like the 'capital' of globalized finance.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 3 2017 1:46 utc | 32

@30, @31

that map comes from syria civilwar map dot com. looks good. the mendacity of the tnc msm has sewn the seeds of their own demise, not with a bang but a whimper.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 3 2017 1:59 utc | 33

@26 michaelj72

Oftentimes, US officials have been so outraged at Syria’s “indiscriminate” air strikes that they’ve demanded regime change, and has railed at Russia and Iran for tolerating their tactics in bombing civilian targets. Obviously, the US never sees the same problem with its own massive killings.

That’s probably because officially, they don’t even recognize the overwhelming majority of the civilian deaths they cause, as the Pentagon’s official death toll for the air war in Iraq and Syria omits virtually all major incidents, and tends to be at most 10% of the toll reported by NGOs.

The "we/ve got to do something because they are killing civilians!" stuff is just to get the braindead citizenry online. That people fall for it shows, among other things, that Americans do not have a realistic concept of what war is and what bombing cities does to them and the people inside them. You can't have a war without killing civilians. The hype and hysteria over Aleppo demonstrated just how out of touch with reality people are. They can't tell from news footage if a building was hit by a bomb, mortar or conventional artillery shell or anything else about it. Show them rubble and a few dead babies and say were killed when a hospital was bombed indiscriminately by "Assad's air force" and people eat it up and tremble with outrage.

It's like they don't even own their own minds...the media propaganda network everyone is plugged into just rents it to them and periodically takes it over and completely rams through whatever propaganda message they want people to react to. It's all emotional manipulation. Don't think, don't ask questions just "react" and "have your say" and, of course, "share it with your friends!" The west is entering a very dark time.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Jul 3 2017 2:11 utc | 34

jfl 33

My memory often lets me down but I am fairly sure the original map I run onto was dated prior to the Syrian war. It gave about the same picture for the grain growing areas. It stuck in my mind because I noticed the US was gaining control of a big chunk of Syrian grain growing country.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jul 3 2017 2:13 utc | 35

@34 ts

see noirette's post @51 open thread 26.

No. 1. contrast [with russia] 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.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 3 2017 2:29 utc | 36

@35 p au

yes. some commentary is along the lines of grain silos have unique military value ... but the distribution of grain silos predates their 'military value'.

don't know about that site ... no apparent way to search ... roadblocks until you open a window to their 3rd party pitch ... found another grain-silo map via google ... ... even worse. the internet is turning into a cesspool. i'm spoiled here at moa.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 3 2017 2:39 utc | 37

Syrian agricultural land

Crop growing areas - change from 2010-2013 to 2015

And as always, it's about water.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Jul 3 2017 2:57 utc | 38

To date US control the dam at Tabqa and its electricity generation (apparently not working at the moment) and a big chunk of Syria's dryland cropping country that produces the staples - cereals, chickpeas ect. The largest percentage of the population live in the government controlled areas, so prior to the war, the current US area would have provided a lot of the staples to what is now Syrian government territory.

Next prize up for grabs is the Omar and surrounding oilfields east of the Euphrates in Deir Ezzor province. Hopefully the excitement at Afrin and the headchoppers at Raqqa will keep the Kurds and US occupied for a while.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jul 3 2017 3:55 utc | 39

thanks peter, jfl and paveway for a better perspective on that... i seem to recall the deal on ukraine also revolved around helping let monsanto access the ukraine wheat fields... of course that is quite different, but food, like water, or electricity for that matter - are all crucial for modern day survival..

there had been speculation over how the damming up of the euphrates in turkey over the past years also fed into difficulty for the syrian farming community.. i don't know how that plays into this...

control over the headwaters - which are in turkey - would seem to be a humanitarian issue on some level.. i know india/pakistan and china have had long term agreements in place over the water from the himilaya area.. not sure if they abide by it.. i can't see turkey being a helpful neighbour with erdogan involved... maybe some other leader, but not with him..

i am glad to see iraq and syria gov't wanting to work together.. would be nice if the usa just left the whole area and minded their own business, but that has never happened before, so i doubt it happens here either..

Posted by: james | Jul 3 2017 4:59 utc | 40

Russia has Erdogan under control economically. Turkey depends on energy, agriculture and tourism. Turkey will be glad to be able to deliver goods to Syria again, pre war planning was a common economic zone with Syria which would have made and will make a lot of sense.
Lots of the political problems were caused by the liberalisation of the Syrian economy - simply put, there was something to fight about.
US bases mean a lot of local business. They need supplies either through Syria or Turkey.
A lot of the Middle East is running on a war economy. Syria survives by being a Russian base and an Iranian ally.
It seems Turkey is switching to some kind of alliance with Russia. The US can do some type of Berlin lift do keep Syrian Kurdistan as a base, but it will cost them.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 3 2017 6:04 utc | 41

41 "The US can do some type of Berlin lift do keep Syrian Kurdistan as a base, but it will cost them."

Apart from the fact that it would initiate WWIII, I think this is the reason Russia will take no military action to push the US out of Syrian territory that it controls.
When Russia moved into Syria, Obama said Russia would get into another Afghanistan. US has been in Afghanistan for what .. 16 years? Apparently US's longest running war.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jul 3 2017 6:39 utc | 42

PavewayIV | Jul 2, 2017 5:39:12 PM | 21
A long time from now, someone is going to read about this in a history book and just laugh - nobody could be so stupid as to fall for such a preposterous ruse, and certainly not over and over again.

Indeed; all else aside; it certainly speaks to U.S. society in general. A very scary thought, no?
A very good analysis of the next country the U.S. will go after, Iran.
This is just a lead-up (step) to go after Russia.
The thalassocracy will never willingly go multi-polar.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jul 3 2017 6:52 utc | 43

@36 jfl

That is spot on. Thanks for the link.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Jul 3 2017 8:03 utc | 44

PavewayIV says:

Except they never stabilize

in fact, 'cause, 'In reality, the “defeat” of ISIS in eastern Syria by US-backed forces is not the first step toward a hopeful future for Syrians, but the first step toward replicating the protracted and costly conflicts that are currently consuming Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and to a lesser extent, Ukraine, the Balkans, and beyond.'


Posted by: john | Jul 3 2017 9:13 utc | 45


In reality, the “defeat” of ISIS in eastern Syria by US-backed forces is not the first step toward a hopeful future for Syrians, but the first step toward replicating the protracted and costly conflicts that are currently consuming Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and to a lesser extent, Ukraine, the Balkans, and beyond.
that's certainly what's on the us' agenda. nonetheless, i hope, with the help of lebanon, iraq, and iran ...
Syria [will] be the first nation in modern history to see unity and progress in the wake of US military intervention instead of the division and destruction that has followed virtually everywhere US boots have set foot on from Somalia to Libya in Africa, to Iraq and now Syria in the Middle East, and Afghanistan in Central Asia.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 3 2017 9:26 utc | 46


yeah, i hear you, it's just that the us' agenda is privy to so many potent assets, which are applied unremittingly...with that psychopathic catalyst that never surrenders.

Posted by: john | Jul 3 2017 9:52 utc | 47

You can crash a car on a mosque (last week) or shoot people going out of a mosque (yesterday), it's simple: no terrorism,-not-terrorism-.aspx

Posted by: Mina | Jul 3 2017 10:25 utc | 48

@47 john

yeah, and i hear you as well.

but to have brought syria back from her deathbed, and to have done that in concert must be having a tremendously good effect on the peoples of the region, the peoples of lebanon and iraq and iran as well as of syria itself.

to the extent that syria has a head start on a tolerant muslim society cannot hurt at all, and it's government will not be the mess that the us left iraq with. whatever's decided and accepted in syria with its new constitution can be a model for iraq as well. in appreciation for the help iraq has given syria during the war perhaps syria can help iraq 'after' (this phase of) the war to throw off the american influence for good and all as well.

lebanon, syria, iraq, iran ... can become the rock in the new middle east. a constant target of the us and its proxies, to be sure, but able to withstand their onslaughts and to thrive in the face of them. it's not impossible that that might happen. so i hope that it does.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 3 2017 10:35 utc | 49


if things are ever going to turn around at all there has to be the one 'first' place that that turn around happens. i hope it's in lebanon, syria, iraq, and iran.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 3 2017 10:37 utc | 50

@ Mina | Jul 3, 2017 6:25:44 AM | 48

With respect, of course that would not be terrorism. Actually none of such acts are terrorism. Terrorism is not an act, simple as that. Terrorism is the RESULT of an act, most often an act of wanton assault on members of the public. Assault, wanton or not, is a crime. It needs to be treated as a crime, but this is not the way those who are charged with protecting the public from crime have chosen to act. Rather they have converted what is a crime into the emotion of terror. Through the emotion of terror they have assured their control of not only power but of all social wealth. As long as the public succumbs to the emotion of terror, the public will exist under the handicap of surrendering their rational minds to the whirlwinds of fear, just as this was designed to do. Until emotion is conquered, expect more of the same. Get used to it, that is all there is until the public regains control of themselves.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 3 2017 10:42 utc | 51


it's only terrorism when a muslim does it to xtians or 'others'. no problem when a 'schizophrenic' american or four hooded franks do it to muslims : if nothing else, they were guilty of being muslim, right? i mean, you can understand how the 'poor' non-terrorists responsible 'felt', right? and they weren't really 'responsible' anyway, were they? all the stress and strain of having to read of muslim terrorism 24/7 from the tnc msm probably "made 'em do it". right?

Posted by: jfl | Jul 3 2017 10:46 utc | 52

Chaos is the new order:

Posted by: dh | Jul 3 2017 10:50 utc | 54


lots of us hope that it does.




Posted by: john | Jul 3 2017 11:35 utc | 55

Unless the extreme-right has a hand in it.

Posted by: Mina | Jul 3 2017 12:47 utc | 56

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Jul 2, 2017 7:52:15 PM | 25

The occult secret of power, in my opinion, rightly deserves that description.

Here's the broad outline of my work in process theory of power and human perception of power:

First we note that even (bird brain) pigeons are aware of the expression of power. I believe a single digit IQ suffices for the faculty of perceiving that an entity has power.

We also note that resorting to expressing power (as an organizing means) is also evident in so-called dumb animals to "Lumpen" masses, and of course up to the so-called highest echelons of Human societies.

When considering the dynamics of the intersection between power and intellect, we note that the critical aspect of power that is entirely dependent on intelligence is the nurturing, coalescence, development, and maintenance of power.

The ability to obtain and maintain power is an occult secret. (The specimen you note are precisely that.)

Posted by: nobody | Jul 3 2017 13:31 utc | 57

The U.S. MSM is dead. It is in the pocket of the U.S. Govt and the Pentagon is at the top of the pecking order.

When did it die? The Vietnam and post Vietnam era press was reasonably skeptical and not the Stepford Wives they are today.

I kind it during the first Gulf War, 1991, Bush Sr. and his Generals managed it so well that any skepticism was as welcome as plague rats. After that that military was elevated to godhood.

Does anyone else have a thought on when and how this happened, it's gotten to the point of absurdity. They are now reporting that we averted a non-existent chemical weapons attack as if it is a fact.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Jul 3 2017 13:41 utc | 58

Never forget that the corporate media is now owned by I think just six major companies (thank you, Bill Clinton). The corporations typically have other, more important, businesses than 'journalism.' So what would you expect?

Suggestion: apply anti-trust law to the news corporations (we already have the laws: they are just not enforced). Take us back to pre-Clinton days. Declare that any major news organization not be affiliated with any other business. Force all reporters to identify by their parent corporation, not just their local shell company. 'And there is the reporter from GE, and there is another reporter from GE, and another from GE, ...' Let news corporations compete on the basis of their journalism, and not be subsidized by larger entities with an agenda. Oh, and ban corporate donations to NPR. And force any story to list financial conflicts of interest, like doctors do with drug companies. 'Henry Kissinger, a recipient of tens of millions of dollars from communist China, writes today about the importance of trade with China...'

Posted by: TG | Jul 3 2017 13:52 utc | 59

To amplify the view point you merely need to consider any human organization (society, nation, whatever) as cults.

The denizens of this bar -- excluding the state sponsored visitors and commentators and their algorithmic minions, or those seeking entertainment [raises hand] -- are ex-cult members.

You know, if you're a typical psuedo-intellectual family in the New York Times' home city, say living in Upper West Side, and one way or another in the employment of some aspect of the 'The Establishment', then what are evident propaganda rags such as New York Times, Guardian, The New Yorker, etc. to the 'denizens' is an emotionally important element of both your personal and group's 'Self' construct.

The 'owners' of "the owners of NYTimes" know this perfectly well.

Posted by: nobody | Jul 3 2017 13:59 utc | 60

Christian Chuba @58:

When did it die? ... I kind it during the first Gulf War, 1991 ... military was elevated to godhood.
"Winning the Cold War" (1989) also played a part.

Corruption was already there. Success only fed the monster.

Where's my peace dividend?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 3 2017 14:51 utc | 61

In the hilarity over the bumbling media one might miss the disturbing import of this reporting: they are preparing the public for war.

The US media has been mostly silent about Syria. They have mostly just passed on propaganda from organizations like the White Helmets scumbags. MSM actually reporting FROM SYRIA is new.

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

And how did the reporters get there? "Embedded?" USSC2249 only authorizes fighting ISIS. Reporters should enter the country normally. 'Embedded' = beholden.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 3 2017 15:06 utc | 62

Journalists just war criminals and in any decently run universe they would swiftly go to the gallows.

Posted by: Thucydides | Jul 3 2017 15:11 utc | 63

Tons of wheat.

Better it had been from Russia.

Americans are wising up and want organically grown wheat and wheat products. No thank you, Monsanto. As do many in other countries, when they have a choice. Pesticide impregnated wheat - said pesticides being leftover bombmaking products. What a gift, Pentagon! That's giving turning swords into plowshares a bad name, never mind the depleted uranium you've gifted the country.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 3 2017 15:27 utc | 64

@41 somebody... thanks.. we'll see.. i continue to believe erdogan is extremely 2 faced..

@ 54 dh.. team chaos has all it seems to have been for some time..

@64 juliania.. i don't know what the wheat is like in that area of syria.. seems like wheat from colder climates - russia, canada, usa upper midwest - is quite good, although monsanto seems to have fucked it for canada and the us..

Posted by: james | Jul 3 2017 16:40 utc | 65

Mythological R2P wedded to mythological Global Terror War made "legal" by everlasting AUMF funded by unlimited paper and digital money...reinforced 24/7 by a complicit media.

2 minute video - take out seven countries in five years: Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Iran.


Posted by: fast freddy | Jul 3 2017 16:59 utc | 66

@55 john

thanks for the links. i got a kick out of the independent and the unhrc, they seemed downright disappointed that people are returning to syria. and who knows who the turks are allowing to enter jarabulus and who not. but its a good sign, isn't it, that people are returning to syria. that the attempt to depopulate the country by the us/uk/fr/ksa/il, along the lines of the israeli model, is being reversed.

think of the funds required to rebuild syria though. maybe qatar and kuwait will help, after the split in the gcc. or china.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 3 2017 17:03 utc | 67

@65 Actually james the last few dh posts haven't been by me. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery I guess. :)

Posted by: dh | Jul 3 2017 17:32 utc | 68

I hope France will make it to the axis of evil list!!

Posted by: Mina | Jul 3 2017 18:25 utc | 69

juliana @ 64: Yep, and here's some background..

Sorry for the OT!

Posted by: ben | Jul 3 2017 18:38 utc | 70

Mina @69,

Good news!

Posted by: spudski | Jul 3 2017 18:38 utc | 71

@ Mina | Jul 3, 2017 8:47:08 AM | 56

Acknowledging your reply.

Amazing! Macron has discovered a way to make the French Republic v. 5 ever so much more efficient. Why has no one else ever thought of this? By cutting by a third the number of votes one must count, the time saved will allow so much more work to be done. French genius at work, indeed.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 3 2017 20:05 utc | 72

jfl says:

think of the funds required to rebuild syria though

from my perch here in the earlyish 21st century the only possible blessing i see in being bombed back to the stone age is that, as the planet's resources are more fully depleted, energy becomes scant, global trade grinds to a halt, and global finance goes up in a puff of smoke, one's gonna be better able to cope.

Posted by: john | Jul 3 2017 20:10 utc | 73

Sam Heller is a longstanding anti-Assadist commentator living in Beirut and affiliated with a shit-think shit-tank in the USA. He has an overview of the current state of affairs in Syria, dated 30 Jun 2017. He says the following, and it shows that the American anti-Assadists are belatedly seeing the true picture after years of seeing false contortions and distortions:

"The regime – in particular, its various security services – is very much present and in charge, even if its appendages now have a less regular look to them. There is no valid reason to expect the regime to change or to think that it can be substituted with another regime that is somehow more amicable and reasonable. The Syrian state in Damascus is the center of the institutions and symbolic international legitimacy of the Syrian state. The regime’s hold on the center has made it the hub to which all Syria’s spokes connect and to which, as it retakes more of the country, additional regional spokes can be reconnected. There is no alternative center. Repeated attempts to create one have failed. The Syrian opposition committed early on to capturing the center, which meant the stakes in the Regime-Opposition axis of Syria’s multi-sided war were zero-sum and existential. The opposition entered a conflict in which, for the most part, it would either win or lose; it is now in an accelerated stage of losing. The PYD-YPG, on the other hand, set its sights on sub-state autonomy and local control in a way that didn’t obviously threaten the center, something that allowed for a different, semi-cooperative dynamic between the regime and the PYD-YPG. It’s at least possible to envision some midpoint compromise between Damascus and PYD-YPG, in which one isn’t ultimately destroyed and subsumed by the other. The PYD has always set its ambitions for local autonomy below the threshold of secession or regime change in Damascus, which has kept the PYD’s relationship with the regime fraught but functional.... All parts of Syria, no matter how restive or far-flung, will eventually need to define some functional relationship with the center if they want to enjoy the minimum benefits of a modern state: public sector employment, networked utilities, accredited education, public healthcare, passports. The alternative, for sections of the country with a broken or nonexistent link to the center, is a sort of low-functioning, no-state purgatory.... It's still likely to be a slow-burning, years- or decades-long conflict."

Posted by: Ghubar Shabih | Jul 3 2017 21:15 utc | 74

@74 Regime this, regime that. He just can't bring himself to say government.

Posted by: dh | Jul 3 2017 21:26 utc | 75

In continuance from #74, the following is a nugget from the anti-Assadist snake Sam Heller concerning rebel-held Idlib province. What he says is old news and no news to us pro-Assadists. But it is noteworthy that an anti-Assadist is seeing it this way:

"In Idlib... local Free Syrian Army factions, in practice, mostly align under either Ahrar al-Sham or Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (as do many civilian actors, by necessity). These Free Syrian Army rebels exist under the protection or at the pleasure of these larger, more powerful Islamist factions. Ahrar al-Sham is the only countervailing force to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham [in Idlib towns]. Ahrar’s effectiveness as a counterbalance is undercut by issues of will and ideological confusion. And all these factions, of all stripes, are tangled up in complicating familial and personal relationships [in Idlib towns, where most of the gunmen and gunboys are locals]. The result is a rebel milieu from which it’s impossible to mold a force that is wholly separate from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham."

Posted by: Ghubar Shabih | Jul 3 2017 21:46 utc | 76

@68 dh.. that is interesting.. it sounds like you - @75 also sounds like you! regarding regime verses gov't, i think everyone needs to refer to the usa as the usa regime... it makes a lot of sense to me anyway..

Posted by: james | Jul 3 2017 23:37 utc | 77

Interesting article by Fisk about life under ISIS and the Free Syrian Army Syrians living under Isis accepted the jurisdiction of Islamist courts - does that make them collaborators?

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Jul 3 2017 23:46 utc | 78

@77 75 is me. The real thing. I guess now I have to add some sort of confirmation every time I post. And people still won't be sure.

Ah the perils of the internet. Haven't heard from our old pal foff for a while have we?

Posted by: dh | Jul 3 2017 23:49 utc | 79

Huge deal for France to step out of line and make an energy deal with Iran. USA will be super pissed. Fissures are appearing.

Posted by: fast freddy | Jul 4 2017 0:22 utc | 80

@74 sam heller via ghuba shabih

The regime’s hold on the center has made it the hub to which all Syria’s spokes connect and to which, as it retakes more of the country, additional regional spokes can be reconnected. There is no alternative center. Repeated attempts to create one have failed. The Syrian opposition committed early on to capturing the center, which meant the stakes in the Regime-Opposition axis of Syria’s multi-sided war were zero-sum and existential. The opposition entered a conflict in which, for the most part, it would either win or lose; it is now in an accelerated stage of losing.

that makes the us call for chemical weapons attacks - answered in damascus - that much more ominous. the neocons know they're out as damascus connects/reconnects with all points in syria. trump's next performance will be the destruction of damascus? wildly applauded at home, it would be. presidential! just as trump is now operating through al-cia-duh so too are the neocons operating through trump. they'll probably time it to coincide with the g20 meeting. run it through the military directly. the rump has already tweeted carte blanche ... rather his mouthpiece has, as has his indian banshee at the un.

may russia destroy their aerial aggression ... and trump and the neocons, finally, in so doing.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 4 2017 1:13 utc | 81

@48 Mina, @52 jfl

Adding to your excellent points..

My OED defines terrorism as: The unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. It is an explicitly political act. The definition is not ambiguous or vague in any sense. This definition has been abandoned and in the west terrorism now means something like: unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation particularly when committed by Muslims or people identified by the media as Muslims.

Any and all acts of violence committed by Muslims (practicing or otherwise) are quickly labelled "terrorism" by the useless western media. That Omar kid who massacred all those people in a Florida nightclub was called a "terrorist" and even an "ISIS operative" by the media. (Before he morphed into an "ISIS member" they speculated he might be a Hizbullah "operative"...never mind that a Shi'ite named Omar is as likely as Hizbullah opening a "Florida chapter" and sending an "operative" to commit a rage massacre.) This guy wasn't even a devout Muslim and everything points to him being a rage and frustration fueled all-American spree killer, except his name was Omar instead of John or Dillon so he automatically becomes a "Muslim terrorist". Had his name been Christian Boyle and had he shouted "long live the IRA and the Lords Resistance Army!" as he gunned down homosexuals in a nightclub would the media have labelled him an "IRA operative" and a "Christian terrorist" or would he be a "disturbed" lone gunman suffering from "psychological problems"? We all know the answer to that.

The San Bernardino "terrorist" attack was also nothing of the sort. The guy and his wife went to his workplace and shot a bunch of his co-workers. It was a workplace shooting...he went "postal" and targeted people he thought had wronged him or otherwise disrespected him. He happened to be Muslim. It is true that he and his wife apparently tried to join ISIS and al-Qaeda and even approached an imam at a local mosque to inquire about how to go about doing this. They were turned away and their other clumsy attempts to "join" ISIS and AQ also failed. The terrorists wanted nothing to do with them, yet every western media outlets refer to them as "terrorists" and the workplace shooting as a "terrorist" attack.

If these people are terrorists, so are all the other spree killers that get media attention, regardless of their religious affiliation. The same media that righteously paints itself as anti-Islamophobic regularly labels all acts of violence committed by Muslims and nominal Muslims alike as "terrorism". If dictionary definitions still count for something than what separates terrorism from other acts of violence is motive. A terrorist, through his or her actions, is seeking to advance a political ideology. It is not a difficult concept to grasp. Yet the media and politicians regularly treat language like its subjective and they can make up definitions as they go along.

The result is language that is losing its meaning. When people cannot even agree that words have specific meanings dialog becomes impossible and people end up shouting past one another. Truth in such a milieu will always remain elusive because the subtext underneath this warping of language and meaning is "everything is subjective". The meaning or "truth" that prevails is the one that is hyped and promoted the most and picked up by the media and shown on a billion smartphone screens. Facts, reason and logic have no traction in such a culture. This is the direction in which the west is moving. Neoliberalism and the market society where citizens of nation states have been replaced by consumers and citizen-entrepreneurs and even truth and meaning follow the dictates of the market. If you want your "truth" recognized, you must go out and "sell" it to your fellow consumers/citizen-entrepreneurs and if they "buy" it, it stands...if they reject it, it falls. No dictionaries or critical thinking required!

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Jul 4 2017 1:24 utc | 82


outstanding contribution! You put your finger on the endless "debate" about the definition and meaning of 'terrorism.' Such, that in western discourse the paralysis that ensues (no accident in that either) makes way for a highly inaccurate depiction of modern terrorism as acts engaged in by: 1. individuals and groups; 2. mostly muslims; 3. motivated by ideology of 'islamo-facism' and anti-modernism. The actions of organized groups, specifically states or political communities, engaging in a majority of terrorism is completely left out. Which groups - political communities or states and institutions are the one's that are neck deep in the guts and blood of innocents in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Somalia? What should we call the collective punishment of the people of Palestine in Gaza that Israeli officials openly describe as putting them on a 'diet' so that they rise up against the political movement they elected - namely Hamas? What should we call the U.S. global program of drone killings that (even by the Obama administrations own admission) mostly (as in 90 percent!!) killed (murdered?) innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Posted by: Thirsty | Jul 4 2017 1:45 utc | 83

james @ 77 said:"i think everyone needs to refer to the usa as the usa regime... it makes a lot of sense to me anyway.."

Makes sense to me too, think I'll take your advice...

Posted by: ben | Jul 4 2017 1:57 utc | 84

@82 ts, 'If you want your "truth" recognized, you must go out and "sell" it to your fellow consumers/citizen-entrepreneurs and if they "buy" it, it stands...'

for years the word 'palestinian' was followed by the word 'terrorist' in my mind. the nytimes coupled the two. i 'learned', like a dog learns a 'trick', that the two went together and which side i was on : israel's! not the "palestinian terrorists'".

but all acts have their context ...

The wretched of the earth chapter concerning violence pp. 92-3

Yet the colonized people do not chalk up the reckoning. They record the huge gaps made in their ranks as a sort of necessary evil. Since they have decided to reply by violence, they therefore are ready to take all its consequences. They only insist in return that no reckoning should be kept, either, for the others. To the saying “All natives are the same” the colonized person replies, “All settlers are the same.”

When the native is tortured, when his wife is killed or raped, he complains to no one. The oppressor’s government can set up commissions of inquiry and of information daily if it wants to; in the eyes of the native, these commissions do not exist. The fact is that soon we shall have had seven years of crimes in Algeria and there has not yet been a single Frenchman indicted before a French court of justice for the murder of an Algerian. In Indo-China, in Madagascar, or in the colonies the native has always known that he need expect nothing from the other side. The settler’s work is to make even dreams of liberty impossible for the native. The native’s work is to imagine all possible methods for destroying the settler. On the logical plane, the Manicheism of the settler produces a Manicheism of the native. To the theory of the “absolute evil of the native” the theory of the “absolute evil of the settler” replies.

that may be true of the 'palestinian terrorists' as well ... but now we have 'advanced' to the point where the counterfeit 'liberation' armies created by the west provide the terrorism ascribed to the west's victims. the west now provides the terror on both sides of the gwot ... the great western war of terror.

who buys the west's fake picture of terror as 'truth'? who are the real 'deplorables' in this picture?

Posted by: jfl | Jul 4 2017 2:35 utc | 85

@73 john, 'the only possible blessing i see in being bombed back to the stone age is that ... one's gonna be better able to cope'

well all of the west's victims in the 21st century are 'better able to cope' by that measure. a 'blessing in disguise'? i don't think so, and i think you meant better able to cope on the mental side. look at the pictures of aleppo and elsewhere in syria. we're not talking about rebuilding the mercedes dealership we're talking about very basic food, clothing, and shelter, about power water, sewer, power generation, about schools and hospitals.

think of the funds required to rebuild syria ... they'll be found. the speed with which they're found will determine the speed of the syrian recovery. the terms under which they are found will determine the degree of freedom / entrainment afforded the syrian people. i'll keep my eye on the chinese with respect to that second equation. the victor in a given war will not be the one who started and prosecuted but lost it, and it may not be the one did win it, either. it might be an astute 3rd party in the position to take advantage of the spoils.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 4 2017 3:39 utc | 86

thanks dh and ben...

jfl - no shortage of money from the imf... bail until they have enough rope around their necks seems to be the approach... well - we can thank the us regime for that too... the dictator pat lang will not approve, lol..

Posted by: james | Jul 4 2017 3:41 utc | 87

@87 james

i 'think' syria is aware of that abyss. it fell for the western siren song just before the west changed their 'minds' and destroyed the country. i don't think there's any danger at all of the syrians taking poisoned cookies from the imf.

Posted by: jfl | Jul 4 2017 3:53 utc | 88

@ dh, ben, jfl, james writing about some of the implications of the "wars" of empire.

I continually think about the ways that money is made and control exerted by both the wars and rebuilding components of our current economic structure. What percentage of the world population want to have a society functioning like this?.....let alone the five-oclock-follies that this posting by b focuses on.

If the world stays on the current path of manufactured hate, countries will continue to pile up debt for the wars and rebuilding they never voted to happen to their people/country....and the families of private finance will continue to rule our world into extinction, IMO. The alternative is development without war which is what I see China pushing......and we seem to be at a watershed point about the debt cans of multiple countries and even states in the US that can't kick them further down the road.

So, when the music stops shortly, what will society do? Will whatever happens occur in some back rooms or covered in detail by resources like MoA?

And yes, how much more will language be abused by those in control of our current social narratives? I continue to be gobsmaked by people that don't seem to remember that the definition of government used to be this socialistic concept, i.e. benefit for the most.....some even dream that some sort of small a or big A anarchy would somehow work in a world of 7-8 billion.

The opportunity for humanity to evolve beyond it current form of social organization based on private rather than sovereign control of finance is presenting itself. Will any movement occur in that direction? I hope so because I am tired of spending so much human energy fighting agains the inherent bad incentives of our current form of organization.......think about how much more productivelly we could be spending out time.....Ad Astra!!!!!

back to your "normal" textual white noise about the world's woes.........

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 4 2017 4:22 utc | 89

@ not "normal" psychohistorian

I may be a dreamer but I am not the only one........

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 4 2017 4:34 utc | 90

psychohistorian 89

Greed seems to be a normal part of human character. Wealth equals power. In most societies throughout written history at least, those that will do anything for wealth and power generally rise to the top after a period of time.
The only way I can see of preventing this is accurate information to the population, but who oversees the information? Every time I see something similar to your post, I think of the term constant revolution, perhaps not in the way its originator intended... Every day a percentage of the population is born that will do anything to gain wealth and power, and a much larger percentage of population will be born as suckers - that is until they get angry enough take up the pitchforks.

Posted by: Peter AU | Jul 4 2017 4:46 utc | 91

@ jfl who says I offer no alternative

How about totally sovereign finance as an alternative which I have written about before

How about limits on ongoing ownership of private property like China with 99 year leases which I have written about before

How about neutering inheritance as part of eliminating the elite class system we live with now, again which I have written about before

The majority of b's posting are about our state of affairs which I respond to with my solution of eliminating the core elements of our form of social organization that are the incentives motivating us.

I am consistent in my commenting, jfl and I see that you are consistently commenting.....YMMV

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 4 2017 5:37 utc | 92

@ jfl | Jul 4, 2017 12:57:59 AM | 92

Easy there fella, psychohistorian's position has some merit. However it is fatally flawed from both failure to define terms as well as consider the profound implications required from following so simplistic an act. What psychohistorian fails to account for is the genius of the species for the last 20,000 years that had produced exactly what we enjoy today, the capacity to use the abstract for real purpose. That is what psychohistorian will destroy should their ill-conceived rantings be put to practice. Little notice should be given to those who have not arrived at an appreciation of what the ancestors have accomplished, for they are saying it is their own genius that counts and those preceding account for little more than the necessary progenitors; how utterly mistaken, how self-centered, how arrogant that really is. What is surprising is that psychoHISTORIAN does not seem to acknowledge those things and take them into account, e.g. Which political party are you going to get credit from, the Republicans or the Democrats, if sovereign finance becomes actual? You do have some tribal choices whether you get credit or not, is that really what you want?

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jul 4 2017 6:14 utc | 93

The American media is a Weapons of Mass Deception.

The so-called Land of the Free has created the greatest propaganda machine in history, which includes not only its (fake) "news" outlets but also its entertainment industry like film, TV, radio, publishing, internet, social media, music, video gaming, etc.

America not only seeks to dominate the world under the lie of "promoting freedom and democracy."

America lusts to dominate the very hearts and minds of the world.

As Winston Churchill once said the "Empires of the Future will be Empires of the

The USA-controlled media thus plays a fundamentally criminal role in this American Empire of the Mind.

Posted by: AK47 | Jul 4 2017 7:39 utc | 94


"affiliated with a shit-think shit-tank in the USA"

haha, well put. If you don't mind i think i'll be borrowing that phrase to describe these rats!

Posted by: Nick | Jul 4 2017 11:59 utc | 95

And so the second wave of activist reporters jump in with sound bites having followed the first wave, the White Helmets. No questions because the media does not question what it delivers unless it is caught red-handed. And even then it's a pretense at retrospection. The vid/pix tell the story of yet another part of the mideast destroyed unnecessarily.

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 4 2017 13:35 utc | 96

PS. Why didn't they go into Aleppo to ask the citizens how they felt about being rid of their oppressors? Why? Because they (we) would have received the same answers and realize that all of Assad's opposition were like ISIS.

Posted by: Curtis | Jul 4 2017 13:37 utc | 97

regarding the issue of the financial system and how it will fall apart..

reminds me of a caterpillar that turns into a butterfly.. that metamorphosis is what i think the world is presently going thru.. we have no control over it.. it might take longer then i think...

i don't agree that greed is humanities default position.. i think there is something us that is much bigger and grander then that.. however, not everyone sees it, and greed is an easy explanation for why we are where we are at present.. i think the recognition we are all connected and in this together is coming.. some folks already see and try to live it..

Posted by: james | Jul 4 2017 16:13 utc | 99

Back then (Vietnam-Central America) the media did not fall for the nonsense but then again the never reported on the genocide either. Unless you mean Seymour Hersh's limited hangout on My Lai. Which I guess considering the reportage today could be considered remarkably breathtaking. Then again for some of us we had I.F. Stones Weekly. My brother or I would by our copy at a socialist used book store in the grungy part of downtown. Today we have sites like MoA that offer us a glimpse of the truth and reports from Beeley or Bartlett who courageously venture where their boots and the truth get very dirty. Over all the truth in reporting is much better if you know where to look but genocide remains a standard and active part of American policy. Who would not call the treatment of the Iraqi population at the hands of America not a genocide or an attempted genocide in Afghanistan or Syria?

Posted by: BRF | Jul 4 2017 22:11 utc | 100

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