Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 06, 2017

Politically Uncivilized People

The leaflets distributed by U.S. forces in Parwan province, north of Kabul, on Tuesday depicted a lion, representing the U.S.-led coalition, chasing a dog with a section of the Taliban’s banner, containing a passage from the Koran in Arabic superimposed on its side.
WaPo - Sept 6 2017

The "passage from the Koran" on the Taliban banner is the Shahada, the central creed for every Muslim: "There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God." It is hard to believe that trained U.S. psychological warfare elements distribute such blasphemy out of ignorance and without specific intent.

Here is another such inflammatory statement.

Better a million dead North Koreans than a thousand dead Americans. ... [I]n the real world, the greatest immorality in war is not killing the enemy. The greatest immorality would be for our country to lose.
The moral answer to North Korea... - Ralph Peters, NY Post, Sept 5, 2017

That moral mindset is, unfortunately, widely accepted in U.S. opinion writing and politics. It is independent of party affiliation.

I agree with Vladimir Vladimirovich on this:

As for the American people, America is truly a great nation if the Americans can put up with so many politically uncivilised people.
Vladimir Putin - Sept 5 2017

Posted by b on September 6, 2017 at 18:42 UTC | Permalink


wow... ignorance of other cultures is on full display.... the ralph peters quote is particularly disturbing, but is probably an accurate reflection of the mindset... a few thousand people died in the 9-11 event, which justified a few major wars in faraway countries that are still going on to this day.. i would say the ralph peters quote is fairly normal for the folks in the usa... i suspect the media has contributed to this fairly significantly.. rah rah, we are the greatest and that type of blather never dies down from my observation anyway..

Posted by: james | Sep 6 2017 18:49 utc | 1

There goes the ignorant US military, recruiting for the Taliban again.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 6 2017 18:50 utc | 2

Sickening and frightening.

I don't believe it is a coincidence that this psychopathic mindset is happening in inverse correlation with the fading of the US regime's empire.

The US regime no longer has the ability to conquer but only to destroy.

I thought after seeing how the US regime gleefully spent billions of dollars to flood Syria with murderous terrorists and mercenaries that I could no longer be shocked by its actions. But to see the US regime actively contemplating letting hundreds of thousand to millions of Koreans die in order to get US regime troops in North Korea and right on China's border is right out of Dr. Strangelove.

Posted by: Vannok | Sep 6 2017 18:55 utc | 3

This Ralph Peters?

Posted by: Gesine Hammerling | Sep 6 2017 19:04 utc | 4

Drunken cowboys, that's what the US political landscape look like from outside.

Posted by: Alexander Grimsmo | Sep 6 2017 19:14 utc | 5

Unfortunately, the Outlaw US Empire's been led for most of its life by such uncivilized people, a subject the wife and I just discussed--again--last night. Such people favor a Hobbesian world controlled by oligarchic autocrats and their secret police. Amazingly, the USA's "Founders" believed in the possibility of a Lockean/Hume world where people were allowed to govern themselves while being regulated by the conflicting interests between them--this might have worked IF slavery was abolished in 1787, universal suffrage made the law of the land, Senators directly elected, and an Electoral College never allowed to materialize. Then, perhaps, the rise of a distinctly American Oligarchy would have been deterred and today's events would be vastly different.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2017 19:26 utc | 6

Here's a funny true story. During the Hearts and Minds (Bolshevik) phase of the OEF-A occupation, Pentagon Satanists printed up 100,000s of air-drop leaflets of an Afghanistan map with a 'bird of freedom' flying over it. So culturally insensitive! My Afghan friends said that everyone came out to greet the occupiers, holding that leaflet and jabbering in monkey-talk, as far as the one-language-only OEF-A occupiers knew. The Afghans thought the leaflet was a coupon for a free chicken.

Now whether that's true, or a joke mocking the "90% of aid for Afghanistan is round-tripped right back to MIC!" that our special envoy to Afghanistan-Pakistan was murdered on the operating table for complaining about, our current Rand-Russian special envoy is having good talks with World Bank anthropologist and joint-President Ashraf Ghani, although their Vice President and former warlord Dostum has apparently been purged, as the Enron-TAPI pipeline finally gets built.

Afghanistan is a game of thrones, as China leaves Gwadar behind to build oil terminals in Myanmar, after Aung San Suu Kyi's successful pacification and purge pogrom. Der Trump announces he 'didn't know what DACA meant' when he kicked the can down the long and winding road that leads to Hell, so no help for Afghans there.

E pluribus now get back to work.

Posted by: Chipnik | Sep 6 2017 19:31 utc | 7

A statement on the plight of the U$A corporate empire:

"The opioid crisis, the frequent mass shootings, the rising rates of suicide, especially among middle-aged white males, the morbid obesity, the obsession with gambling, the investment of our emotional and intellectual life in tawdry spectacles and the allure of magical thinking, from the absurd promises of the Christian right to the belief that reality is never an impediment to our desires, are the pathologies of a diseased culture. They have risen from a decayed world where opportunity, which confers status, self-esteem and dignity, has dried up for most Americans. They are expressions of acute desperation and morbidity."

Posted by: ben | Sep 6 2017 19:34 utc | 8

American's penchant for gratuitous self-aggrandizement and belief that the US is the bestest, brightest, most awesomest "exceptional" and "indispensable" nation that has ever existed, a solemn responsibility that comes with a divine right to rule the world of course, is truly at 3rd Reichian levels of absurdity, if not body count.

I used to think this comparison was overblown hyperbole but it really isn't. People laugh at North Korea's personality cult leadership and its fondness for self-glorifying rhetoric but nobody outside the DPRNK has to hear that nonsense. The US version - which post-1945 has cost millions of civilians lives - is harder to ignore.

Posted by: Temporarily Sane | Sep 6 2017 19:38 utc | 9

"Erste wir essen, dann kommt die Morale" -Brecht

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 6 2017 19:44 utc | 10

The US is so insular that any materials in another language or pertaining to another religion are viewed as being of no importance. Only statements in English or depicting Christianity or Judaism can really get you in trouble.

Posted by: WorldBLee | Sep 6 2017 19:54 utc | 11

I'm not really familiar with US newspapers so please forgive my ignorance. What is the NY Post? Is it a rag like the Sun in UK (yellow pages?) or is it semi respectable (I can't believe it's fully respectable if it publishes incitements like that. And who is Ralph Peters? Is this normal for him? Thanks

Both stories indicate a horrific mindset towards their fellow humanity. They would not be out of place in propaganda pieces produced for the 3rd Reich by Goebbels.

Thanks for highlighting them b.

Posted by: Poster formerly known as oneoffposter | Sep 6 2017 19:54 utc | 12

Posted by: Vannok | Sep 6, 2017 2:55:44 PM | 3

It is not "fading", more like collapsing before our eyes.

Pull it.

Posted by: nobody | Sep 6 2017 19:58 utc | 13


The NY Post is Sun publisher Rupert Murdoch's tabloid rag. It differs from The Sun insofar as it is a local rag vs a national rag.

It's quite the reactionary paper and is much beloved by lower class whites in the outer boroughs and suburbs who need their daily outrage fix.

Posted by: The Kingfish | Sep 6 2017 20:14 utc | 14

Ralph Peters is a disgrace to US officer corps, which I know still has many decent, professional and, yes, moral people. The guy is a complete psychopath and a "scholar" in Soviet/Russian Armed Forces, for which he passes in the US, he is not. Not even close. But then again, he is, in very many respects, an embodiment of the current US "expert" class, which for the most part (obviously there are exceptions) is a collection of ignoramuses and ideologues who lost the touch with the reality long time ago.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Sep 6 2017 20:33 utc | 15

@5 Mr.Grimsmo. It looks a lot worse from inside the evil empire. There are good people in the USA, just like everyplace. It's just a mess. I live in California. A bit less awful than the rest of the country, but ...whatever. Drunk cowboys armed and itching for a fight.
We are the exceptional country. Exceptionally violent, venal and ignorant.
Any suggestions on a country where I could escape?

Posted by: roza shanina | Sep 6 2017 20:36 utc | 16

Twenty years ago at Sydney I was lunching with a group of young professional Americans . During conversation I said '' my old professor used to say - and I can still hear the long embaressed silence after my words - that Paris and Beijing were the main centres and poles of world civilization''. I was of course, deliberately ' fishing' for their reaction but I was surprised by its brooding unhappy intensity. After a long silence the dinners making no comment discussed other subjects .

Posted by: ashley albanese | Sep 6 2017 20:39 utc | 17

They're sitting around in Club Evil in DC tonight: drinking and stewing and seething at the Syria/Russia/Iran/Hezbollah victory - most definitely creasing brows and scheming a suitable 'punishment' for the victors.

It's an extremely dangerous moment when an Empire realizes it's lost a major, major sphere of influence right before the eyes of the world.

Raging, tumbling giant...

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 6 2017 20:40 utc | 18

Ooops - my comment above... wrong thread - lol nevermind...

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 6 2017 20:43 utc | 19

Putin is a man careful in his words. His open disdain towards the US is obvious. Quite a departure from not too very long ago.

The thing is, he's only saying what much of the world, including allies, is thinking.

I think he knows this. It's a planned, well-timed and measured remark.

Posted by: woogs | Sep 6 2017 22:04 utc | 20

"Better a million dead North Koreans than a thousand dead Americans."

Sounds like 120% pure concentrated racism.

No doubt that the White Trash, KKK discard, bi*ch from Arkansas would mentally quietly approve of that type of thinking.

As would 55%+ of progressive, multicultural, multisexual Democrats.

Posted by: Quadriad | Sep 6 2017 22:16 utc | 21

@18 taxi

Sure it's easy to get upset at the outlandish antics of the hegemon. But the reality now is that it's actual actions have been reduced to bluster, lies and kicking metaphorical dogs to pretend that it can actually still change the course of events. Sure fake gas reports and embassy closures are annoying in response to strategic defeats on the battlefield and trading gold-backed yuan for oil. Momentum in the great game is undeniably going against the forces of chaos and as a result more players are becoming brave enough to oppose. The hegemon is worried and they know they are getting weaker so a dramatic escalation is possible, but that would likely only result in an even more embarrassing defeat and they know it. Agonizingly slow then all at once is how change will happen, but happen it will, it's unavoidable at this point.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | Sep 6 2017 22:30 utc | 22

I see things like this and it sometimes seems too weird not to be intentional.

From the perspective of a normal person, alienating the Afghans seems stupid. But if you're an MIC sycophant, maybe you're not concerned with "winning" anything in Afghanistan in the first place. Without the Taliban (or another "enemy"), who are you going to drop MOABs on and use as a pretext to siphon taxpayer money?

Posted by: PZ | Sep 6 2017 22:36 utc | 23

You see Aussies, Kiwi's, Dutchmen and some Brits travelling the world as tourists but you rarely see any septic tanks (Yanks).

But it was a good lookin fiesty US girl who explained the truth of things to me one day as I watched the sunkissed waves room and roil between my jetty and the Sydney Opera House. You never see Americans outside of the US she said because if you leave, your insurances are cancelled and upon your return it can take from 6 months to a year to another insurer.

You can't get a job when you return because you can't get insurance.

Hotel California.

How fucked up is that.?

Posted by: Amanita Amanita | Sep 6 2017 23:11 utc | 24

The propaganda types are powerful and unfortunately are effective. The bad thing is that reactions are late if at all. And the media will not focus on this. It's something I've hit while re-reading the book Weapons of Mass Deception: The Uses of Propaganda in Bush's War on Iraq from 2003.

The name Ralph Peters was familiar. He came out with a new map of the Middle East with lots of border changes. It's that exception thing (hubris) that makes some people think they have the power to dictate to the rest of the world.

Posted by: Curtis | Sep 6 2017 23:16 utc | 25

Amanita Amanita @24--

If you were actually told that by a tourist from USA, then you got your leg yanked big time.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 6 2017 23:24 utc | 26

We had to destroy the world in order to save it.

Posted by: Giap | Sep 6 2017 23:53 utc | 27

I want to direct attention to the end of the Vladimir Putin quote:".....if the Americans can put up with so many politically uncivilised people."

Many American people are as brainwashed as many of the Germans were under Hitler. They do not see that their government has been bought by the global elite and are lie to about the uncivilized nature of most of the current politicians.

BUT, the point I want to make is that this problem with uncivilized politicians is not just American but one that plagues all of the West which is controlled by the elite that own global private finance. Until and unless the world stops paying homage to the God of Mammon civilization definition the beatings will continue until moral improves.....

When as a species do we state that usury is not an element of civilization?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 6 2017 23:57 utc | 28

PZ @23,

That's the desperate hustling for one's own livelihood that results from the lack of a decent welfare state. At least the bourgeoisie gets to know our feel.

Posted by: Jonathan | Sep 7 2017 0:05 utc | 29

psychohistorian | Sep 6, 2017 7:57:54 PM | 28

It's good you include the whole of the western world.
Ethnocentrism rules that sphere; and I think Usian's are the most inflicted.
Their knowledge of the world is utterly lacking; their provincialism legion.
Usian's, those keyboard warriors, are never without opinions about things and places of which they know nothing; believing what they read, but never experienced.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 7 2017 0:19 utc | 30

As a follow-on to my comment about the brainwashing of America/the world, below is a link to a recent article from the Bill Moyers site.

Sinclair = The Brainwashing Machine

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 7 2017 0:22 utc | 31

@22 Something has definitely changed. As Don Bacon and others pointed out on the Peanut thread the US now finds itself unable to use its usual tactics (B-52 bombers, cruise missiles, aircraft carriers etc.) without incurring a heavy cost. A lot of that equipment may even be obsolete. Aircraft carriers are basically huge targets. Confining thousands of young sailors in them could even be considered cruel and callous.

Posted by: dh | Sep 7 2017 0:30 utc | 32

Sad Canuck | Sep 6, 2017 6:30:32 PM | 22

Good points; the collapse is well underway, as noted in the below link;

The tip of the proverbial iceburg.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 7 2017 0:54 utc | 33

Given Peters, a sober read:

"Bad News, World: China Can’t Solve the North Korea Problem"

"After each North Korean provocation, a soothing mantra echoes through the halls of government and think tanks in the United States.

China, it is frequently said, could solve this seemingly unsolvable problem, finally reining in North Korea, if Beijing were just properly motivated.

But this oft-repeated line contains three assumptions, none of which has held up well in recent years.

It assumes that outside pressure could persuade North Korea to curtail or abandon its weapons programs. That China has the means to bring about such pressure. And that Beijing will do so once it is properly cajoled or coerced."

What China Can and Cannot Do

[deleted content of linked article - no need to reproduce the copyrighted stuff here - b.]

Posted by: daffyDuct | Sep 7 2017 0:58 utc | 34


Something has definitely changed! I was out of the country for 5 years, then returned to USA from SEAsia exactly a year ago today. At first it was like old home week, you know, hey, buddy, but then the cracks started showing, the stress lines on their faces, the restaurant meals and drinks together without real enjoyment, racing home to their i-Me's. Today I'm in a flop house, the only thing I can afford, enjoying new solitude, and strangers drift by like Waiting for Godot. It's the Trump Effect. It's the QEn effect. It's jobs and internal migration. The Big Freeze. I did meet a crazy 77-year old on the bike trail, said she was doing a 50 (80km), then said she had to go. This is the New Epoch of Sorry I Have To Go.

Posted by: Chipnik | Sep 7 2017 1:09 utc | 35

@22 Sad Canuck

I agree completely - I think your one paragraph encapsulates the entire situation of the US perfectly.

I will add that I suspect also the presence of genuine, blind rage in those forces that control and direct the US in many of its global actions. I can't prove it but in my own mind I tie this rage to the loss of Crimea, where the chosen ones were planning to relocate, and where the US Navy was planning to command the Black Sea. As Sheik Imran Hosein pointed out, the loss of Crimea was the first major defeat handed to the Zionist movement ever in its existence. Personally, I have to think this must be an open wound for those players.

Also words. I'm struck by Putin's words regarding the uncivilized political class of the US. To Russia, words have meaning and carry weight. To the west, words are empty, as changeable as any script - they exist to wound or to boast, nothing more. Russia knows that words form the basis of law, law the basis of moral action, moral action the basis of victory. When the US speaks, I tune it out. When Russia speaks, I see more bricks being placed carefully into its elegant designs.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 7 2017 1:19 utc | 36

Grieved | Sep 6, 2017 9:19:58 PM | 36

Nicely said. I think one very big mistake most Usian's make is to think of Russia as a western culture. That is a huge misunderstanding of Russia; nothing positive can follow from that.
I'm afraid that misunderstanding is the basis of U.S. foreign policy; and may well have tragic consequences.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 7 2017 1:42 utc | 37

@ 21 Quadriad

Maybe she would. But save the rest of your crap for your redneck buddies. Daily the world sees the incompetence of the opposite of
"of progressive, multicultural, multisexual Democrats."

Posted by: Tom in AZ | Sep 7 2017 2:13 utc | 38

Better no war and no war dead and we try unconditional diplomacy. No? Anyone? No takers?

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 7 2017 2:58 utc | 39

Chipnik | Sep 6, 2017 9:09:33 PM | 35

Curious; why did you go back to U.S.?

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 7 2017 3:20 utc | 40

U.S. Military Base Attacked By Suicide Bombing in Afghanistan After Soldiers Insult Muslims With Leaflets:

Posted by: Taxi | Sep 7 2017 3:26 utc | 41


"In 2010, it shelled a South Korean island, killing four. It was also accused of sinking a South Korean Navy ship that year, killing 46. Its nuclear deterrent, now strengthened, allows it to act even more aggressively."

Too tired to argue, so here's Prof. Bruce Cumings on the issue:

"But in the case of this particular incident, which happened very close to the North Korean border, we’ve had incidents like this, somewhat different ones, but with large loss of life, going back more than ten years. In 1999, a North Korean ship went down with thirty sailors lost and maybe seventy wounded. That’s a larger total of casualties than this one. And last November, a North Korean ship went down in flames. We don’t know how many people died in that. This is a no man’s land, or waters, off the west coast of Korea that both North and South claim. And the Cheonan ship was sailing in those waters when it was hit by a torpedo.

We have no idea what went on before that. In the past, these several incidents, people have not tried to inquire as to who started it. We don’t know whether the Cheonan had fired on some North Korean ship, and then a North Korean submarine hit it with a torpedo. We don’t even know if the North Koreans fired the torpedo. I imagine they probably did, but the evidence so far has been dribbled out very slowly. They claim that there’s a — there is North Korean letters, or Korean letters in North Korean orthography, on a propeller of this torpedo. But I haven’t seen photos of that, and other experts haven’t, either. So I think we have to wait to assess responsibility...

...All I'm saying is we’re only relying on an investigation that hasn’t been released by either the South Korean or the American government. They’ve released excerpts, but they haven’t given — it’s apparently a very long report, over a hundred pages. It’s been given to the Russians and the Chinese. It would be interesting to read that report and look at the evidence. The fact that a North Korean torpedo cut the ship in half doesn’t mean a whole lot, in that North Korean torpedoes are lying all over the bottom of this West Sea, which is very shallow as a result of previous North Korean ships having been sunk by the Southern side...

...I think it’s — I’m sure it’s a 95 percent case that the US and South Korea are right that North Korea fired this torpedo. Let’s say they did. The fact is, our government has not pointed out the background that I just pointed out, the sinking last November, the clashes in 1999 and 2002. This is a no man’s land, where the US and South Korea demarcated a so-called Northern limit line unilaterally. The North says that this area is under the joint jurisdiction of the North and South Korean militaries. So you have an incident waiting to happen. We’ve had many before. And American intelligence people know that in the late spring, crabs turn up by the thousands in this area, and the North Koreans and South Korean fishermen fight over the region.

I, myself, expected some sort of an incident this spring. It just came a little bit early. And it may have come in March because the US just completed Operation Full Eagle, which is an annual joint military exercise with the South Koreans, including naval exercises south of this particular region. About 26,000 soldiers were involved in this. The North Koreans hate these exercises and see them as a prelude to a possible attack. That also hasn’t been reported in our press. So there’s a context here which made this incident a very unfortunate one in the loss of life, but it’s not unprecedented in loss of life, and it should never have been blown so out of proportion that now you essentially have all the progress of the last ten years in North-South relations destroyed."


Posted by: anonymous | Sep 7 2017 3:30 utc | 42

@36 V Arnold

You are very correct about the complete lack of understanding Russian culture in the State Department and US diplomatic services. It's staggering. Dmitry Orlov had a series on the peculiarities of the Russian national character a while back which is instructive at the present time. I believe the USA has most definitely passed into the "go to hell stage" of Russian consciousness. Mods please excuse the longer cut and paste job if this is inappropriate:

1. Taking offense

Western nations have emerged in an environment of limited resources and relentless population pressure, and this has to a large degree determined the way in which they respond when they are offended. For quite a long time, while centralized authority was weak, conflicts were settled through bloody conflict, and even a minor affront could cause former friends to become instant adversaries and draw their swords. This is because it was an environment in which standing your ground was key to survival.

In contrast, Russia emerged as a nation in an environment of almost infinite, although mostly quite diffuse, resources. It also drew from the bounty of the trade route that led from the Vikings to the Greeks, which was so active that Arab geographers believed that there was a salt-water strait linking the Black Sea with the Baltic, whereas the route consisted of rivers with a considerable amount of portage. In this environment, it was important to avoid conflict, and people who would draw their swords at a single misspoken word were unlikely to do well in it.

Thus, a very different conflict resolution strategy has emerged, which survives to this day. If you insult, aggrieve or otherwise harm a Russian, you are unlikely to get a fight (unless it happens to be a demonstrative beating held in a public setting, or a calculated settling of scores through violence). Instead, more likely than not, the Russian will simply tell you to go to hell, and then refuse to have anything further to do with you. If physical proximity makes this difficult, the Russian will consider relocating, moving in any direction that happens to be away from you. So common is this speech act in practice that it has been abbreviated to a monosyllabic utterance: “Пшёл!” (“Pshol!”) and can be referred to simply as “послать” (literally, “to send”). In an environment where there is an almost infinite amount of free land to settle, such a strategy makes perfect sense. Russians live like settled people, but when they have to move, they move like nomads, whose main method of conflict resolution is voluntary relocation.

This response to grievance as something permanent is a major facet of the Russian culture, and westerners who do not understand it are unlikely to achieve an outcome they would like, or even understand. To a westerner, an insult can be resolved by saying something like “I am sorry!” To a Russian that’s pretty much just noise, especially if it is being emitted by somebody who has already been told to go to hell. A verbal apology that is not backed up by something tangible is one of these rules of politeness, which to the Russians are something of a luxury. Until a couple of decades ago, the standard Russian apology was “извиняюсь” (“izviniáius’”), which can be translated literally as “I excuse myself.” Russia is now a much more polite country, but the basic cultural pattern remains in place.

Although purely verbal apologies are worthless, restitution is not. Setting things right may involve parting with a prized possession, or making a significant new pledge, or announcing an important change of direction. The point is, these all involve taking pivotal actions, not just words, because beyond a certain point words can only make the situation worse, taking it from the “Go to hell” stage to the even less copacetic “Let me show you the way” stage.

Posted by: Sad Canuck | Sep 7 2017 3:45 utc | 43


"...Saudi Arabia, using the threat of a rupture in the relationship to pressure the United States into supporting its disastrous war in Yemen...

For decades, Washington has tried to persuade, induce or coerce Israel into altering its policies toward the Palestinians. Israeli leaders accepted American aid, ignored American demands and, in shows of calibrated defiance, often announced new settlement construction on the eve of American visits.

To the outside world, American unwillingness to impose greater pressure looks like a lack of will. When American diplomats warn that more pressure would only deepen Israel’s calculus and sacrifice American influence, they are blamed for perpetuating the conflict."

This was just casually written and put out there.

I know it's an American paper not-so-subtly trying to justify American military involvement in the Greater Near East, but it's literally blaming the Grand Alliance for the respective conflicts (and not Yemenis and Palestinians).

Where am I?

Posted by: anonymous | Sep 7 2017 3:46 utc | 44

"In 2010, [DPRK] shelled a South Korean island, killing four. It was also accused of sinking a South Korean Navy ship [Cheonan] that year, killing 46. Its nuclear deterrent, now strengthened, allows it to act even more aggressively."

Regarding the DPRK shelling of an ROK island (Yeonpyeong) in 2010, it's important to see how the US established the "Northern Limit Line" here which according to the US put the island in South Korea.

On the Cheonan sinking, it is contoversial. Former US ambassador to ROK Donald Gregg had written that a Russian investigative team had “concluded that (the Cheonan’s) sinking was more likely due to a mine than to a torpedo. The South Koreans refused to address technical questions raised by the Russian report . ..The Russians were not allowed to see some materials that may have allowed them to criticize (Seoul’s) report more precisely.”

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 7 2017 4:14 utc | 45

I've got the offending Afghan leaflet but I won't post the image link unless b says do it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 7 2017 4:16 utc | 46

Sad Canuck | Sep 6, 2017 11:45:17 PM | 43

Thanks for that great reply, very informative. It fully matches my experience with Russian people (married to a non-U.S. born Russian woman).
Orlov is a wealth of information on Russian culture; until he went behind a pay wall, I followed him every week for years.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Sep 7 2017 4:39 utc | 47

OT... but while the rest are celebrating a victory in Eastern Syria... Israel hits a research station an hour south of the main Russian airbase on the coast. Likewise the busses in the desert. When will they demonstrate their vaunted 'control' of that airspace? I remember a threat to shoot down anything west of the Euphrates...

Posted by: les7 | Sep 7 2017 5:01 utc | 48

Sorry ...the busses in the desert was supposed to come after 'control of the airspace'. Israel had nothing to do with that fiasco - as far as I know

Posted by: les7 | Sep 7 2017 5:04 utc | 49

@31 psychohistorian.. informative.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Sep 7 2017 5:20 utc | 50

"Better a million dead North Koreans than a thousand dead Americans.....The greatest immorality would be for our country to lose."

A modern nut-case (with a very very common attitude) and the source of much current world socio-pathology. There can never be any real world community or world culture based on such a socio-pathological view of Other human beings

Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious. - Oscar Wilde

It is lamentable, that to be a good patriot one must become the enemy of the rest of mankind. - Voltaire

I have no country to fight for; my country is the earth, and I am a citizen of the world. - Eugene V. Debs

You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race. - George Bernard Shaw

Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. - Samuel Johnson

Posted by: michaelj72 | Sep 7 2017 6:33 utc | 51

"Better a million dead (North and South, I would add) Koreans than a thousand dead Americans."

That's similar, though kinda backwards, to how sober analysts view this whole dungshow - it is either a few million dead 3rd worlders now or a few tens of millions dead 'Muricans later on.

Foreign wars are and have always been the glue that preserves Humpty-Dumpty Empires, especially (morally and financially) bankrupt ones, from crashing and burning...
Hedge accordingly!

Posted by: LXV | Sep 7 2017 6:43 utc | 52

psychohistorian "..uncivilized politicians is not just American but one that plagues all of the West which is controlled by the elite that own global private finance[GPF]..."

the hidden controls rooms to global chaos, are globally entangled within the intelligence communities{IC] where fraud, theft, deceit are stock and trade items.. selection for promotion within is based on adherence and conformance to, principals classified by naive humanity as a-, if not anti-, -moral..
Rising from a successful career in the IC, one easily transitions to politics and gets appointed to govern a mafia organized as a nation state; mafias serve the DONs-elites-pharaohs (DEPs), who serve the devil?
As one person put it "entry into the North gate to hell, is controlled by the IC, once inside, arrivals discover hell to be supervised by the politician, ruled by the devil, with the help of a large staff of DEPs"

Clearly humanity has yet to achieve bottom up control over its own destiny

Posted by: Formeonly | Sep 7 2017 8:06 utc | 53

>>> les7 | Sep 7, 2017 1:01:26 AM | 48

OT... but while the rest are celebrating a victory in Eastern Syria... Israel hits a research station an hour south of the main Russian airbase on the coast. Likewise the busses in the desert. When will they demonstrate their vaunted 'control' of that airspace? I remember a threat to shoot down anything west of the Euphrates...

A rather very stupid and typically American, but entirely predictable comment, Les7 , as Israel racks up yet another defeat that the Israelis are too stupid to realise they've suffered but that is so typical of them.

For a start the missiles were launched from Israeli airspace, across Lebanese territory by the IDF. So, this was nothing more than very childish behaviour from the "uncivilized people" also known as the IDF/IAF, trying to taunt the Syrians into responding, no doubt to get a war going that would then be used to drag the United States in. So, how many Americans are you prepared to see die to keep that arsehole Netanyahu happy? One? Thosands? Millions? So unless you're a Zionist, you should be glad that the civilised Syrians turned the other cheek, confounded the Israelis, prevented any Americans dying and delivered another defeat for Israel.

A few days ago, another country fired a missile over another country but, most likely, at a far, far, higher altitude than the Israeli ones which almost certainly flew through what is supposed to be Lebanese airspace, and the arseholes in Washington were there with their fucking moronic "everything is on the table" shit. Since I doubt we'll hear a peep out of Israel's b****es in Washington, the Washington establishment yet again demonstrates what a bunch of degenerate, stupid, hypocritical wankers they are (sorry b but "uncivilised people" is too polite a label for them, which is why I'm going all Anglo-Saxon).

Also, a few days ago, that fuckwit Netanyahu was blathering on about how Israel's actions were so important to defeating ISIS, so perhaps you, Les7, would care to explain how attacking Syria like this advances Trump's only obvious objective of destroying ISIS one iota?

Syria with the R+6 will proceed to wipe out ISIS regardless of what the Israelis do and once that is done turn on HTS and it allies in Syria and obliterate them, to thoroughly defeat Israel's objectives for Syria. Perhaps it's time for the American people to decide that supporting the morons in Israel is not worth even one single American life and start to act accordingly.

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 7 2017 8:49 utc | 54

All OT.
Two "worst storms ever" within a week and that's purely coincidental and nothing to do with global climate change, no siree bob, nothing What. So. Ever. to do with global climate change. Move along now, nothing to see here.

In the meantime, Trump demonstrates that he has more heart than the Republican Party although I doubt liberals will see it that way.

Trump ignores Republicans on Democrats' debt limit and Harvey funds plan
Republican leaders had planned to tie a longer-term debt limit increase to funding for Hurricane Harvey victims, in a bid to bring more of their members on board.

Perhaps the United States needs a real revolution not that a war in defence of slavery, genocide and ethnic cleansing.

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 7 2017 9:13 utc | 55

I can make some inferences as to how something like the leaflet (and other similar "mistakes") can come into being. I completed the Army PSYOPS course back in 1989 when it was only offered by correspondence. I needed to add a second MOS (military occupational skill as all officers must be fully qualified in 2 MOS/ASI [additional skill identifier]). Following the Vietnam War the PSYOPS was relegated to being only in the US Army Reserves and there were no active duty units until after 9/11. It then became part of the US Army Special Forces and underwent a name change as PSYOPS was deemed offensive. It became MISO (military information support operations) which no one ever understands. Now it is a bonafide active duty offensive element. One may consider just who exactly would want to be in PSYOPS. It is clearly not a glorious member of SPECOPS and is considered an orphan child. They do get very talented people but these soldiers are usually led by complete losers. Watch Good Morning Vietnam which is pretty close to the truth.

I did it because I had an interest in marketing and my father owned a successful advertising agency in California. I actually enjoyed the training and found it to be merely marketing. In general you get a mission to attack a given target population or convince them to support a particular operation. It can be done by radio/television or printed material including leaflets delivered using leaflet bombs. The typical attack is a morale degenerating series of propaganda designed to convince the enemy they can't win and to stop fighting. However, the leadership as you might expect have no clue about local customs or have a complete misunderstanding of the cultural norms so things like this leak out.

I will also add a comment about the US military and general attitudes. A very common theme is "Kill them all and let God sort them out". I think that more or less encapsulates the general attitude about trying to separate friendlies from enemy in LIC (low intensity conflict) environments where it is really is impossible to tell friend from foe. General Mattis is a good example of this kind of leader and his comments are in keeping with the attitude of Americans and especially Marines and to a lesser extent the SPECOPS soldiers.

The other big factor is many in the military have fought multiple combat tours. I have friends who have been deployed over 14 years total. Imagine that for a minute. Generally, after one tour you consider everyone hostile and that all the BS about hearts and minds is way out the window. You also engender an attitude (often correctly) that the REMFs who are making the decisions are collectively idiots. So, you end up with strong feelings of hostility towards your senior leadership (with a few exceptions such as Mattis or McChrystal), the enemy forces, and the local population in general plus to a lesser extent the US citizens back home for lack of support. I think anyone in combat loses their innocence very quickly and most realize we are not fighting for anything having anything to do with the US but rather for other countries and/or rich people and often these same are reprehensible characters. It is at best all grey now with no black or white hats.

Posted by: Old Microbiologist | Sep 7 2017 9:45 utc | 56

Chipnik @35, it is a one-way road right now for the residents of the United States. I have been observing that transformation for nearly twenty years now and a continuous decline to where we are now. In that context, this essay may be useful:

..."Part 3: Stages of Change

Current change in the existing system is affecting Americans in three stages. Exhaustion and Frustration are the first stage. People are tired of endless and unwinnable wars (including the War on Drugs and other crusades on the home front), increasing public and private debt, and the government without a clear framework for addressing deficiencies of the system.

The next stage is Fear. It is a period when Frustration transitions to Fear—a stark realization that the system cannot be repaired. Not only is the era of “everything” gone, but an era after “some” may be approaching soon. Fear, resulting from the loss of dominance, eventually transitions into Anger and Deflection. This, in turn, leads to the realization that the system’s current direction cannot be changed (and a concomitant inability to accept responsibility for our own actions—as a country—while blaming and accusing others for nearly everything).

Ultimately, the only possible way to address Anger and change the system is by engaging in a major war. Sadly, no other method in history has been more effective in modifying cultural systems than wars...
Rest at:

Posted by: 47 | Sep 7 2017 9:51 utc | 57

from the same Chris Hedges post that ben cited -

"Trump embodies the decayed soul of America. He, like many of those who support him, has a childish yearning to be as omnipotent as the gods. This impossibility, as the cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker wrote, leads to a dark alternative: destroying like the gods."

Posted by: someofparts | Sep 7 2017 13:36 utc | 58


Posted by: zahra | Sep 7 2017 14:45 utc | 59

lol. Apparently Russia is now also to be blamed for the Marathon bombing even after it was acknowledged that Russian security services warned the FBI of their own assets that were soon to be set up as patsies in this staged American false flag event.

Posted by: BRF | Sep 7 2017 15:00 utc | 60


Help me, James. Which came first, the desire and planning for the wars in faraway countries, or the few thousand people dying?

Posted by: Castellio | Sep 7 2017 15:26 utc | 61

@ Old Microbiologist 56
Thanks for that, it's entirely consistent with my experience.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 7 2017 15:28 utc | 62


None of the U.S. media actually says which Quran quote was depicted on the dog.

The all mealy-mouth around it - "an Arabic passage from the Quran," "Offensive to Muslim" or alike. That could be many things.

But to abuse the central creed is way worse than anything else. Why do U.S. media hide that?

A picture of the leaflet is here:

Posted by: b | Sep 7 2017 16:29 utc | 63

from Stars and Stripes
>US apologizes for ‘highly offensive’ leaflet after attack causes casualties at Bagram Air Base
>The U.S. military broke an agreement with Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry when it released propaganda flyers deemed offensive to Muslims without first getting clearance from Afghan defense officials, a spokesman said Thursday.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 7 2017 17:42 utc | 64

All OT.
Two "worst storms ever" within a week and that's purely coincidental and nothing to do with global climate change, no siree bob, nothing What. So. Ever. to do with global climate change. Move along now, nothing to see here.

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 7, 2017 5:13:30 AM | 55

Oh lordy, the stupidity never stops with you gullible climatards.

Prior to the Houston hurricane there was a 12 year stretch without any CAT5 hurricanes making landfall. That was the exact opposite of what the "Climatard "Scientists" predicted, proving that they know almost as little as you do about the subject

so statistically you're due quite a few.
Conditions are similar to what they were in 2005 and just like 2005 several hurricanes are coming toward land one after another.

Nothing new here. At least nothing new provided you're not an ignorant scientifically illiterate gullible gobshite

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Sep 7 2017 17:49 utc | 65

Prior to the Houston hurricane there was a 12 year stretch ...

Posted by: Just Sayin' | Sep 7, 2017 1:49:08 PM | 65

Ivar Giaever:

Address to 2012 Nobel Laureate Meeting:

Actual honest to goodness science is entirely foreign to ideologues.

Posted by: nobody | Sep 7 2017 18:57 utc | 66

Posted by: Ghostship | Sep 7, 2017 5:13:30 AM | 55

To your point:

Now I am wondering what will be the fate of the first intelligent machine to bleep up and call the climate change spade. Presumably, the analog of "psychiatric treatment" will be algorithmic therapy.

Posted by: nobody | Sep 7 2017 19:28 utc | 67

re US attitudes
I live in a suburb of Boston Massachusetts, I work closely with our co's technical team in Chicago and with in an academic community in Virginia so my interactions as they are with an older (40-70) fairly educated bunch may differ from those in other parts of US.
I have found that few of my acquaintances bought into the 9/11 story after a few months and protested strongly the invasion of Iraq, most view the Fed govt as corrupt and venial but view, in Massachusetts anyway, the local govt as acceptable.
Most voted, opinions on both sides were strong but all the Dems were for Bernie and furious when HC was nominated. Most saw Trump as a curiosity and while they don't have high hopes do wish he was able to act on some of his agenda.
Most have traveled widely and have respect and familiarity with other cultures. They all are US born but several speak western European languages, two speak Japanese, one speaks Russian, Farsi, Persian, Hebrew and French.
What I am hoping to convey is that not all Americans are ignorant, flag waving half wits. Many are aware of their govt's failings, are active in trying to change the face of govt, are aware of other cultures and value them. And we are not all that rare, especially now.
I have found that the percentage of people who are "onto" the govt and media manipulation of public opinion is about 20 percent. There were 13 million Bernie supporters and while they may have been more trusting of Bernie than I am, they are a force that can make a difference.
Bottom line, don't give up on us in the US just yet:)

Posted by: frances | Sep 7 2017 20:04 utc | 68

All OT.
Two "worst storms ever" within a week and that's purely coincidental and nothing to do with global climate change, no siree bob, nothing What. So. Ever. to do with global climate change. Move along now, nothing to see here.

Totally unscientific!

Hurricane Harvey left some room for doubt. But the ground in Huston is not dry yet and here comes another hurricane. And on Monday I have seen the projected path, gingerly squeezing between Miami+Florida Keys and Havana. That was really a test of the will of Heaven: will Hurricane Irma turn left, to punish godless Marxists, or right? Deus lo vult: Miami delenta est. In plain English, this is Wrath of God. According to Houston Chronicle, "people hope it hits Mar-a-Lago".

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 8 2017 8:27 utc | 69

Totally unscientific?

Posted by: john | Sep 8 2017 9:54 utc | 70

A video of the Cheonan ship placed on dry land.

The key part starts at 4:25, especially from 4:35 onwards. The keel of the ship was blown upwards into the ship. That means the explosion source was below the ship. The Occams Razor explanation would be a mine explosion. However, it is conceivable that a torpedo could be designed to travel deep and below a ship, then explode at exactly the right instant as it passed the center line of the ship. Does North Korea have such torpedos? Particularly torpedos that could be launched from a mini-sub which was the original claim?

The whole episode strikes me as exceedingly similar to the MH-17 indicent - ie conclusion first, then evidence created to support the conclusion.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 8 2017 10:52 utc | 71

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