Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 12, 2017

Open Thread 2017-41

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:

Nov 7 -Defeated Elsewhere, Saudi Tyrant Declares War On Lebanon

The quasi kidnapping of Saad Hariri has been reported in detail by Robert Fisk in The Independent, David Ignatius in the Washington Post and by a team of Reuters reporters. It is undeniable that Hariri is held against his will and was pressed to resign. Neither Trump nor Macron nor Merkel will be able to defend that. With the kidnapping MbS has achieved something everyone thought to be impossible. He made Saad Hariri likable.

Tonight Hariri will be interviewed in Saudi Arabia by a reporter of his own Future TV station. The interviewer will use a Saudi camera crew. She is also a parliament candidate for Hariri's party and on the Saudi payroll. The President of Lebanon has warned of believing anything Hariri says while he is in Saudi Arabia and under duress.

Nov 9 - Priti Patel Resigns - Israel Lobby Mourns The Loss Of A Valuable British Asset

It was too obvious that Patel was a tool of the Israel lobby. Many other politicians in "western" polities are similar tools, but better at hiding it.

Nov 10 - Saudi Arabia - This "Liberal Reformer" Is An Impulsive Tyrant

The stars are slowly turning against MbS. Only paid lobbyist still speak of him as a "liberal reformer". The kidnapping of Hariri seems to have broken the camels back. A real Bedu would have avoided that.

Nov 11 - Trump Points To Falsehoods In "Russian Hacking" Claims - Media Ignore What He Says

Trump makes one point every reasonable men should be able to agree to. Curiously it is the very one point on which the borg is united in fighting him.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump - 1:18am · 12 Nov 2017

When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. There always playing politics - bad for our country. I want to solve North Korea, Syria, Ukraine, terrorism, and Russia can greatly help!

Please use the comments as open thread ...

Posted by b on November 12, 2017 at 20:01 UTC | Permalink


Rolling that wheelchair bound POS ex-Prez. out on to the field at the last super duper bowl to a cheering audience can now be considered a weekly 2 minutes of stupidity ritual.

Posted by: str8arrow62 | Nov 12 2017 20:46 utc | 1

nhs @2, yes, this rehabilitation of war criminals is startling. I first noticed it a few years ago, and wrote this comment during the primaries when I still had hope that Sanders could present a step in the right direction.

A few years back, Stephen Colbert did a dance routine skit in which he danced into Henry Kissinger’s office and then left. I commented that I didn’t think it appropriate to include that war criminal in a “progressive” comedy skit that didn’t call him out as the monster he is, and I got a lot of grief from Colbert fans (which I was also).

Then, in Jon Stewart’s last season on The Daily Show, he had Henry Kissinger on as a guest and did a disgustingly fawning interview. I was sickened.

Why? I asked. Why was Viacom introducing to this younger audience a war criminal and treating him like some great statesman?

Then, the Obama Administration (Ash Carter specifically) gave Kissinger the Distinguished Public Service Award, the highest award our country can grant to a civilian.


But then, in one of the debates against Bernie Sanders, HRC gave a shout out to Kissinger as a dear friend whom she has gone to for advice on foreign policy for decades, and to whom she would seek out his “wise counsel” if elected President.

And then the previous couple of years of gradually refurbishing Kissinger made sense.

Why people with liberal/progressive values - or simple humane values - didn't immediately see that as disqualifying for a Democratic candidate is beyond me.

Posted by: Daniel | Nov 12 2017 21:04 utc | 2

Sputniknews, citing Haaretz and Israeli Channel 10 on Bibi Netanyahu corruption case, the Police is Read to charge on bribery. Bibi's chief of staff turned state's witness.

An ongoing Israeli law enforcement investigation now has enough evidence to bring formal charges of bribery against the country’s prime minister, according to reports.

Prosecutors involved with the bribery and money laundering case are currently working out the details to an indictment for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a wealthy businessman whose collaborators have been tied to the notorious Panama Papers that reveal how the rich hide assets from tax collectors, cited by Haaretz.

According to a Friday report by Israel's Channel 10 News, sources involved in the ongoing investigation have revealed that there is now sufficient evidence to charge Netanyahu and his wife with bribery for accepting tens of thousands of dollars worth of gifts from well-heeled business associates.[.]

But isn't that the norm? - accepting gifts from "friends" - Now, if you gonna be bribed, go big and deep in the seven figure $$$millions; some for your legal defense and the rest to enjoy after jail time.

Posted by: likklemore | Nov 12 2017 21:10 utc | 3

An attempt to drive up oil and distract from the MBS purge?

Posted by: Alaric | Nov 12 2017 21:12 utc | 4

some might find this educational and interesting... The ambitious United Arab Emirates Driven by an energetic crown prince, the UAE is building bases far beyond its borders.. explains the uae role in yemen and perhaps mbz role in giving mbs tutelage..

Posted by: james | Nov 12 2017 22:20 utc | 5

@ nhs | Nov 12, 2017 3:19:22 PM | 1

A very good example as to why Krishnamurti called this society 'profoundly sick'.

Although we now know that it is much more than that. Instead of being profoundly sick, this society is terminally ill.

This happening is reminiscent of the practices the Fascists devised in Germany. The media depicted the most rabid war criminals as loyal followers of the Führer. In other words, they were above the law and shielded from any public scrutiny (by the same kind of 'media') until they ended up at the Nuremberg Tribunal, in which the big boys got scot free and the little guys were hung. Which in turn led to the German 'proverb' "Die Kleinen hängt man und die Grossen läßt man laufen." (The little ones are hanged and the big ones walk away.)

So, by itself there is nothing new about that. What is most disturbing though, is the impunity the so called 'news' 'media' displays when lying to the public. One day the chicken will come home to roost.

The archaic leadership delusion needs to go. Abolish the office of the most dangerous man on earth. The government is public enemy number one and there are two ways of denial about it:

The first is related to 'inexterminateable' obedience. There are really still people out there that believe all the shit the 'media' churns out on behalf of the owners of this planet (at least that's how see themselves).

Secondly, those who are told at every possible opportunity how 'exceptional' they are, are also likely to accept the war crimes of their leaders, as these are of course exceptional leaders.

The U.S. can unilaterally withdraw from all treaties against war crimes and attack anybody at will - because 'exceptional' countries must be given the freedom to do what their decrepitude demands.

The U.S. has destroyed life, liberty and the pursuit of survival of millions of innocent people. Only the most repugnant folks are okay with that and with those who ordered the war crimes.

But the problem is that a large part of the population suffers from instilled amnesia and does not know what war crimes these psychopathic puppets need to be tried for.

Because killing one million innocent people for resources sounds about right for the average Joe and Jane. Got to fill that SUV up. The destruction of sovereign countries based on lies poses no problem for the average Joe and Jane. Incubator lies, WMD lies, Sarin gas lies are all reason enough to bomb a place that contains more ancient artifacts than any other country into smithereens. Plus, it's job security to commit war crimes.

After all we only do it to protect the American people and their allies from all these dictators that we have prepped up prior. With the exception of Syria, that is on the regime change wish list of public enemy number one since 70 years.

Thanks for the link, even though I had some stomach fluid coming up at the sight of these pathetic excuses for what goes for a Human Being.

Sigh. It really looks like it will get a lot worse before it can get slightly better.

Posted by: notheonly1 | Nov 12 2017 23:56 utc | 6

Workers' rights being attacked from all flanks since the meltdown of 2008. Not even the first world countries are safe:

End of an Era: Germany Considers Abolishing Eight-Hour Working Day

Posted by: VK | Nov 13 2017 0:38 utc | 7

On this comment:

Why people with liberal/progressive values - or simple humane values - didn't immediately see that [Kissinger support] as disqualifying for a Democratic candidate is beyond me.
Posted by: Daniel | Nov 12, 2017 4:04:02 PM | 3

It's really easy to understand, once you recognize that Kissinger ran against Nixon on a "missile gap" with the Soviets in 1960, and that as soon as JFK was in office, he ramped up spending on military-industrial programs in nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs 2-3 times more than during the Eisenhower era.

I know all about this because my first interest in that era was in terms of tracking the rise of the U.S. nuclear, chemical and biological weapons complex. JFK, liberal champion of so many deluded American citizens, was God's gift to the military industrial complex, in terms of funding, it's undeniable. Cleverly, JFK also recognized that imperial agendas were going to be unpopular unless presented as a global movement to spread "human rights and democracy" to the savage natives (a complete replay of the British Empire approach).

If we take this up to the modern era, well, the Arab Spring pro-democracy protests? Those were savagely attacked by "liberal humanitarian pro-democracy advocate" Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton:

What began as protests against food prices, corrupt leaders and lack of government accountability has assumed ominous dimensions. From the rampant but largely unreported human-rights abuses in the post-Moammar Gadhafi Libya to the increasing bloodshed in multiethnic, autocratic Syria, the developments are making the future of the Middle East and North Africa more volatile and uncertain.

Bahrain, which hosts the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, stands out for carrying out the region’s most-successful suppression of an Arab Spring movement, thanks to a Saudi-led military intervention and continuing Western backing.

Whereas Cairo’s Tahrir Square has come to epitomize the power of ordinary people to rise up against tyranny, Bahrain’s Pearl Roundabout was simply obliterated with bulldozers — an action that was followed up with arrest and torture of activists as well as of the doctors and nurses who treated the injured.

Look this up on Wikileaks, you can find emails from Hillary Clinton howling at the US embassy because they'd met with opposition protesters. Liberal Democrats, when they go abroad are violent imperial dictators in bed with similar Republicans. The Pelosi-McCain axis.

So, it shouldn't be beyond you. This is a complete propaganda system. Sold to the American public by a dishonest corporate media, which almost never discusses the reality. Every once in a while, some shell-shocked CNN reporter might present facts on the ground as they are, however, like this CNN clip in Bahrain from 2011:

This time around, though, I think the Saudis and the UAE and their Israeli cohort are looking to fall flat on their faces. The blockade on Yemen is a clear war crime; Lebanon has learned from 2006 and 2008 what all the Israeli-Saudi-CIA games are all about; Europe wants to cut economic deals with Iran - it's now the US, Israel and the GCC monarchies who are isolated on the world stage.

What they all live in fear of, I think, is waking up some morning to find that radical protests against the House of Saud have broken out all across Saudi Arabia, as happened in Iran in 1978-1979. That could spread to the UAE and Bahrain and the whole imperial program could come crashing down - except in Qatar. Qatar, with its joint deal with Iran over Pars gas field development, could be its own story.

Posted by: nonsense factory | Nov 13 2017 3:31 utc | 8

Ponder this--
The US leader of the free world™ has lost control of events.
>South Asia -- China is now in charge with the US trying to grab India as an ally, a poor second
>Korea -- Tiny, poor North Korea is jerking the impotent US around
>Middle East -- Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia vying for control, US/Israel has lost it
>Europe -- Russia outplaying US in eastern Europe, while turning eastward to Asia where the growth is and not in declining western Europe
>Africa -- Fastest economic growth in world, China deeply involved, the US, focusing on petty military activities, not a factor
>Even at home the US is deeply divided by corruption, election fraud and investigations leading -- where?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 13 2017 3:38 utc | 9

It sounds like brainwashing is alive and well in Europe, Poland to be specific....and they fell for the Donald .
The link is a WSJ article writeup so we don't link to their website

60,000 Neo-Nazis March On Warsaw Under 'We Want God' Slogan Taken From Trump Speech

Cannot the Poles read/remember enough history to understand just where in the pecking order they were in Hitler's eyes?

Just another example of how brainwashed some folks are about how the world works and their part in it.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 13 2017 4:15 utc | 10

@ph 11
Perhaps the WSJ engaged in some verbal excess regarding the national day observance in Poland, 60,000 Neo-Nazis March In Warsaw Under a Slogan etc.
How do 60,000 march under a slogan?
>news report
by Vanessa Gera, Associated Press (excerpts)
Police estimated that 60,000 people took part. Many were young men, some with their faces covered or with beer bottles in hand, but families and older Poles also participated. . .Many carried the national white-and-red flag as others set off flares and firecrackers, filling the air with red smoke. Some also carried banners depicting a falanga, a far-right symbol dating to the 1930s. . .Some participants expressed sympathy for xenophobic or white supremacist ideas, with one banner reading, "White Europe of brotherly nations." . .Chicago Tribune

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 13 2017 5:00 utc | 11

RE: VK End of an Era: Germany Considers Abolishing Eight-Hour Working Day

also in Germany, another sign of the times:
Syrian Man Arrested for Raping Pony in German Kid's Zoo

Posted by: Perimetr | Nov 13 2017 6:08 utc | 12

“Russia assumes the responsibility of repaying Venezuela's debt estimated to be anything between 90 and 130 billion dollars. The agreement has already been reached and it's expected to be signed on November 15.

Russia in turn, through its state owned petrochemical companies will take charge of distributing Venezuela's oil to the International markets, circumventing US sanctions. The sanctions imposed on that country by Washington have rendered a number of Venezuelan oil field inactive for lack of necessary parts to operate. Russia will bring those back to life too.

By this move, Russia places under its control the biggest deposits in the world and quite possibly secures port facilities for its navy in that Latin American country.

A move necessary to secure its investment against the actions of those who would like to see the Venezuelan government overthrown and replaced with a more pro-western puppet regime in the Ukrainian model.

Once again Moscow pulls off another master stroke and leaves Washington wondering what happened.” (George Ades, FB)

Posted by: x | Nov 13 2017 6:32 utc | 13

@14 Amazing! Link? Txs.

Posted by: Lozion | Nov 13 2017 7:46 utc | 14

@ ikklemore 4

Can anyone remember a leader of a nation starting a war to get a criminal case off his back?

Iran / Golen / Lebanon will go hot before Bibi is in cuffs, and in the chaos a prosecutor or two will conveniently become victims of those dastardly Shite terrorists...

Posted by: old playbook | Nov 13 2017 7:59 utc | 15

nonsense factory says:

Every once in a while, some shell-shocked CNN reporter might present facts on the ground as they are

yeah, remember?

Posted by: john | Nov 13 2017 8:32 utc | 16

Yes, links please. Doesn't match anything I've read.
Great if true...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Nov 13 2017 8:35 utc | 17

@15 -- all I have is the recent Facebook entry (veracity?)

Posted by: x | Nov 13 2017 8:39 utc | 18

@19 (cont'd) -- as of about 10 hours ago when asked for source/link etc ("Is it written in the news?") he states: "Russian press. Wait to hear of it in the western press in the next couple of days."

Posted by: x | Nov 13 2017 8:49 utc | 19

Poor Hariri, as described by Paul Khalife, the correspondant of Radio France in Lebanon, an hour and a half interview of a tired, hesitant and pale man, hanging to his glass of water, with tearing eyes at some point.
This whole joke is about the "peace" process of course: after Hamas has been reined in, it's time to coherce Hizbollah so they don't mess up when sensitive issues such as the right to return aka relocalizations are addressed. But MbS seems to think he'll get away with his archaic behaviour which seems preposterous (kidnapping your enemies and rivals to force them into negociation; arresting ppl who have diplomatic imunity; bombing the hell out of Yemen because he can't admit he's been defeated by guys wearing skirts and flip-flops...)

Posted by: Mina | Nov 13 2017 9:06 utc | 20

@18 -- try this by Telesur...

Posted by: x | Nov 13 2017 9:10 utc | 21

x | Nov 13, 2017 4:10:16 AM | 22

The Telesur article matches what I've read elsewhere; it's a far, far cry, from what you posted.
I for one, wouldn't believe anything on Facebook if they told me it was a sunny day; and I was out in it...
I do not do social media; it's poison...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Nov 13 2017 9:28 utc | 22

EU finds that elections are undemocratic.

"BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union foreign ministers approved economic sanctions including an arms embargo on Venezuela on Monday, blaming regional elections last month for deepening the South American country’s crisis." approves-arms-embargo-idUSKBN1DD0UN

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 13 2017 10:04 utc | 23

oldplaybook 16

How I remember - all those years ago - when I first heard Netanyahu's voice and saw his face . I almost felt sick and was deeply disturbed .
I write this because it was the first and only time I have experienced such a thing!

Posted by: ashley albanese | Nov 13 2017 10:28 utc | 24

Just what you don't want to hear:

Boeing 757s are vulnerable to hacking - first proof of concept outside the laboratory

On the bright side, the Israeli police are ready to charge Mielekowski with bribery.

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 13 2017 10:59 utc | 25

Daniel 3
At one point, Jon Stewart wondered how he could have these people on (like Cheney or Rice) and give them such softball questions considering that he normally tore into them during his monologues. And I wondered what kind of act this was ... because he repeated it. It reminded me of Jesse Ventura's quip that these people are like pro-wrestlers talking trash about each other in the ring/public but dine together and pat each other on the back at other times. I was also curious on why if the US were infested with terrorists that they never went after these war criminals.

Posted by: Curtis | Nov 13 2017 11:22 utc | 26

PS Daniel 3
Hypocrisy all around. GOP pays lip service to anti-abortion cause as saving innocent lives while okay with wars that take innocent lives. DEMs and their supporters claim to be anti-war while supporting Obama/Killary wars on Libya and Syria.

Posted by: Curtis | Nov 13 2017 11:26 utc | 27

>>>> Peter AU 1 | Nov 13, 2017 5:04:31 AM | 24

As usual, where the organ grinder goes, the monkeys quickly follow:

From last Thursday:

US imposes sanctions against 10 Venezuelan officials over election

The US Department of Treasury has imposed sanctions against ten Venezuelan officials, including a member of the recently elected Constituent Assembly, several electoral officials, and a diplomat.

From today:

EU ministers approve sanctions on Venezuela, arms embargo

EU foreign ministers approved economic sanctions, including an arms embargo, on Venezuela on Monday. They will decide which individuals to target at a later stage, according to officials. Ministers agreed the arms embargo and the legal basis for travel bans and asset freezes without debate at a meeting in Brussels, Reuters said.

They were so keen to satisfy their masters in Washington that they couldn't be bothered to name any individuals or even debate the subject. No wonder the EU is in serious disrepute.

OBNs all round

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 13 2017 12:32 utc | 28

The United States gets schooled in unintended consequences:

Russia squeezing US out as agricultural superpower

The US is being pushed out of the grain market as Russia's bumper wheat harvest has dragged down prices to record lows. Russian agricultural exports are booming thanks to a weaker national currency and massive investment.
“We are pushing America aside in some markets, and we are satisfied with this,” said Russia’s Agriculture Minister Aleksandr Tkachev.

This year Russian farmers are expected to harvest the biggest crop in over a century. Russia will produce at least 83 million tons of wheat in the current growing season, according to estimates by The Wall Street Journal.
The US Wheat Associates trade group announced the shutdown of its office in Egypt, the world’s biggest wheat importer.

A couple more years of sanctions and export agriculture in western Europe and the United States could be history.

And with wheat being so cheap and readily available from non-American source, the effectiveness of United States sanctions on North Korea is reduced, even though there are supposed to be no restrictions on food imports by North Korea contrary to what some western media imply and the United States wants to achieve with its unilateral sanctions.

For example:

Russia donates 800 TONNES of flour to warmongering North Korea - despite strict sanctions

Analyst: Latest US Sanctions on North Korea Will Result in Full Trade Embargo

Western media and propaganda outlets publishing fake news - I don't believe it.

Posted by: Ghostship | Nov 13 2017 13:06 utc | 29

@14, while it can be fun to read eventually, I have no clue how you manage to take those George Ades post seriously…

Posted by: roflmaousse | Nov 13 2017 13:24 utc | 30

@ x 14, 22

“Russia assumes the responsibility of repaying Venezuela's debt estimated to be anything between 90 and 130 billion dollars. The agreement has already been reached and it's expected to be signed on November 15.”

No, according to Bloomberg and RT, not the entire debt of Venezuela, just theirs:

Bloomberg, November 8, 2017

Russia Says Venezuela Accepts $3 Billion Restructuring Terms

Venezuela and Russia have agreed on terms for restructuring about $3 billion of the Latin American country’s debt and the deal will come soon, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in Moscow.

“The Venezuelans have confirmed the terms we’d agreed on, and that’s why the process will move into the concluding phase,” Siluanov told reporters on Wednesday.

Russia had offered to reschedule debt payments over two stages, with payments on most of the state loan to be delayed to the second phase, Siluanov said late last month. He declined to give further details of each stage or the amount of money involved, saying calculation of the terms is for negotiation with Venezuela.[.]

Posted by: likklemore | Nov 13 2017 14:14 utc | 31

Russia gives 800 tonnes of wheat to N. Korea
Oh, that explains the histrionics on cable news (forgot if it was CNN or FOX) about how Russia was secretly propping up N. Korea in their standard 'Russia is evil' story. Does food aid even violate U.N. sanctions? I wish Russia would deliver food aid to Yemen and dare the Saudis to fire on their ships. I'd burn candles to icons of St. Putin all night if he did that.

Iran supports Al Qaeda
Here is an article by Ned Price, so far the only in depth article, other than B's on refuting this claim...
salient points ...

" I was a CIA counterterrorism analyst when bin Laden was killed and was serving on the National Security Council staff when the intelligence community assured the White House—and, in turn, the public—that all of the bin Laden files of significant public interest and suitable for de-classification had been released.
This document and others analyzed to date add texture to but do not alter the fundamental and longstanding understanding of the consistently tense, and occasionally openly hostile, relationship between Iran and al-Qaeda.
This effort reeks of former vice president Dick Cheney’s consistent false allegations of links between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the 9/11 attacks"

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Nov 13 2017 14:26 utc | 32

Pepe Escobar's latest is not to be missed, "Tikrit and Najaf: the agony and the ecstasy." Pepe reviews the infamous Speicher Massacre of 2014, abetted by Obama and the Outlaw US Empire to drive Maliki from office--info Pepe omits. Pepe then switches to provide an overview of the annual celebration of Arba’een, which is marked by the largest Islamic pilgrimage, wherein Pepe provides numerous links for those seeking more information.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 13 2017 16:19 utc | 33

" We humbly submit that one of the the crucial differences between us and other news and analysis sites is that we quote or translate sources that, because of their source language, are either not available or are scarcely available to Eastern or Western readers, respectively. Knowledge and concepts presented exclusively from the standpoint of one´s own culture and language create misunderstandings and mistrust of the Other that prevent peaceable intercourse between cultures and peoples. The news media thus become promoters of an adversarial mentality, sometimes unintentionally, sometimes on purpose and sometimes maliciously.

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 13 2017 17:00 utc | 34

@ 35
re: ". . . war can be prevented simply – disarmingly simply – by transmitting the facts and concepts known in one culture to members of the other culture that mistakenly think we are adversaries."

Would that that were so. Unfortunately there is a lot of money in war and peace is cheap.

"WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives." -- General Smedley Butler, USMC, double recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 13 2017 17:18 utc | 35

An interesting article to come out directly after what happened in Saudi Arabia. donors-stopped-giving-2612259
"During the 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton’s critics suggested that donors to her family’s foundation were seeking access or political influence from her family — and her prospective White House. A year after the election, Donald Trump is president, the Clinton Foundation has only a handful of new corporate donors — and many of its previous sponsors have not made new contributions."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 13 2017 17:36 utc | 36

NSC hacked.nyt.Trump looked a fool group handshake.wapo.yuck.

Posted by: dahoit | Nov 13 2017 18:09 utc | 37

Don Bacon

Perhaps (money as a the problem), but I think this quote following in the next paragraph puts the finger on it though,

"The fact is, all war is due to ignorance – ie, not what we know but what we do not know about the Other. This includes ignorance of the fact that there is no such thing as an adversary nation, only a group that is a victim of its own and our own misconceptions. Therefore, war can be prevented simply – disarmingly simply – by transmitting the facts and concepts known in one culture to members of the other culture that mistakenly think we are adversaries."

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 13 2017 19:40 utc | 38

For Christ sake!

Spain: Wikileaks and Russia behind Catalonian mess

Posted by: Moronic spain | Nov 13 2017 21:51 utc | 39

I stopped watching TV when the FCC dropped the Fairness Doctrine (1949 - 1987) in news reporting

Now they are becoming clear about their God of Mammon intentions as well.

More media “deregulation”

Here is a takeaway quote
The body charged with ensuring media companies serve the public interest has opened the door even wider to treating news as a profit-motivated medium operated to benefit shareholders, rather than as a key element of American civic life.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 14 2017 1:14 utc | 40

Nonsense Factory @9.

Sounds about right. Though please know that the US State Department admitted funding and steering the “Arab Spring” from the start. Like the Soros-funded “Color Revolutions,” the Arab Spring began with local groups of sincere dissenters with serious and genuine grievances. But then, the spooks moved in to manipulate and largely control the movements to their own ends.

I would add that, though JFK and his brother were elected as strong Cold Warriors (including conning the public about JFK’s claimed greater “strength” regarding Cuba than Tricky Dick Nixon), they evolved once in office. I think the best description of that evolution is James Douglass’ “JFK And The Unspeakable.”

BTW: I have a “theory” on that JFK/Nixon - Cuba thing, which I think was replayed, though less artfully by Romney/Obama in 2012. To wit: JFK had already been given the Presidential Briefings on foreign policy, hence he likely knew about the plans for what came to be known as “The Bay of Pigs.” So, during the one debate they held, JFK said that Nixon/Ike were “soft on Cuba” and that as President, he would take any action necessary to “free” the Western Hemisphere of the “Communist Scourge.”

But Nixon, being a Deep State insider, knew he couldn’t just blurt out “well, we already have that plan,” so he just bit his tongue and came off as outclassed/outgunned. JFK played that bit of theater brilliantly. Of course, the Kennedy brothers had actually been to Vietnam years earlier, and their writing about it showed they both believed the Vietnamese people deserved to be allowed independence, and that a French/US war against their Independence would not succeed.

Well, in the 2012 (s)election, the US was still friendly with Russia at least officially. But Romney had also been given the Presidential Briefing and so I contend, knew that we were about to do a “Pivot” and rekindle the Cold War. So, in that debate, he named Russia as our greatest foreign rival, hoping to sound prescient when the Ukrainian coup kicked in the next year. And of course, the Ukrainian "pro-democracy Maidan protests" was yet another "Color Revolution."

But Obama ridiculed Romney with his “the 1980s called and they want their foreign policy back” line. Brilliant theater.

And then, a year later, Obama was calling Russia our greatest adversary, but no one seemed to notice that he now embraced the very policy stand the “liberals” had mocked Romney for.

Posted by: Daniel | Nov 14 2017 3:27 utc | 41

Yep, Curtis @27/28.

I’m sure you also heard, as I did, “liberals” claiming that Obama’s war crimes were not so bad as Bush II’s because so few USians died under Obama, and he included the war costs in the budget instead of adding in special funding bills later.

Like the only lives that matter are US American ones, and more transparent bookkeeping of the theft of our money to fight their wars is “straight talk.”

Posted by: Daniel | Nov 14 2017 3:32 utc | 42

Great news Ghostship @30 on the Russian wheat harvest. And this after losing much trade with Ukraine, which we were told was the “breadbasket” for Russia. And of course, Ukraine’s GDP has crashed as a result of the coup and putsch regime policies.

The AAZ Empire crumbles as the "multi-polar" world dynamics takes root (and seed).

Posted by: Daniel | Nov 14 2017 3:38 utc | 43

Just want to point to a masterful essay by Caleb Maupin today...

I always look for this guy on this site...others may know him as the RT reporter in New York...

He's actually a lot deeper than that job might suggest...

Posted by: flankerbandit | Nov 14 2017 3:50 utc | 44

Since this is the Open Thread, here's a brief glimpse into Tin-foil-hat land for this week:

There are apparently hundreds of sealed indictments that have been filed in various district courts in the last week as seen on the Pacer records system. So, not a rumor, but the total number is regularly inflated in Tin Foil Hatistan (highest I've seen was 900 or so claimed). Even two or three hundred is a number far beyond what might be normal for the entire year in the US. If the indictments are part of a nationwide criminal sweep, then they will be unsealed after the relevant rats are rounded up. Speculation is anything from MS13 gang roundup to international sex trafficking ring busts to a Clinton Foundation/DNC/Saudi money takedown. Maybe all three? In any case, something big/secret is cooking, but nobody knows exactly what.

The deluge of sealed indictments started after Saudi Arabia. One theory is that the two are related, and bank records / transfers were the real goal, not the imprisoned royals assets (but might as well grab them, too). The Saudi bank records contributed evidence to nab 'the bribed' in the US.

The initial thought (when the count was a couple of dozen) was Trump/Russia, but that number defies logic based on what we know so far. But who knows?

The grand announcement and unsealing would have to be soon - like this week - because the word would be out among the guilty by now. If nothing came of it this week, then everyone will really be scratching their tin-foil hats. This many indictments remaining under seal for much longer would really be bizarre - yes, even for the US government.

Some conspiracy-types see this as a lead up to Trump's Night of the Long Knives, 'Draining the Swamp', CIA-takedown, NEOCON purge, etc. when he returns. I'm far too jaded to think anyone is ever going to clean up Washington, especially Trump, but will cheer the unlucky few frog-walked off to jail. I deserve the entertainment - it's the least the Titanic crew can do for us passengers.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 14 2017 5:02 utc | 45

Looking at the goings on in SA, it seems that to date, MBS and Trump/Kushner have posted net gains and Nutty has not posted a gain or a loss. MBS gets total control of SA, Trump has the 9/11 head of the Saudi US embassy facing the sharp edge of Saudi justice, plus funding to his domestic enemies in the US has been frozen. Seems like a win win deal between Trump and MBS.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Nov 14 2017 5:24 utc | 46

Peter AU 1@47 - I'll find the whole Saudi purge another dimension of fascinating if they do have the bank records. Since so many other foreign heads-of-state would be implicated by Saudi bribster records, I also doubt they'll ever see the light of day. Chop some heads, burn some records and the political elite live comfortably and worry-free to see another day. Maybe put a few of those records somewhere safe and send the formerly-bribed a copy. "Hello. We now own you. Further instructions will follow..."

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 14 2017 6:12 utc | 47

...I also seem to be the only one on the internet that thinks access to their financial records is of any importance. Am I that far gone? Maybe I belong on 4chan?

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 14 2017 6:21 utc | 48

Tinfoilhatistan.. haha..

Posted by: Lozion | Nov 14 2017 6:30 utc | 49

Horrible people,

UK PM May calls Russia chief threat amid abysmal domestic ratings, blast and warn about Russia in every way possible!

This how you create peace?

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 14 2017 7:34 utc | 50

@48 -- Doubt they need bank records for control: every major casino and brothel in Europe/Asia would have years of juicy video records starring the frolicking KSA elite up for sale.

Posted by: x | Nov 14 2017 7:41 utc | 51

@ PavewayIV who asked about financial record importance

Thanks for the heads up about coming popcorn time....history is written by the winners

We live in a world run globally by private finance. It is delusional to not believe that all international financial transactions and then some are tracked and available to be reported else do you think currency manipulation takes place? Global financial transactions have been tracked longer than probably any other data.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 14 2017 7:41 utc | 52

PavewayIV @49:
I hope you stay. The format in 4chan drives me nuts. Always enjoyed reading your posts here, SF, and previously on ZH. No, you're not that far gone. It never occurred to me to think about the financial angle (i.e. Capone). Convictions from financial crimes would help .gov save face, preserving what little is left of the public's faith in them. Would it be better to convict on financial or other more heinous crimes? Which path would be best to take out your opponent, without revealing information too sensitive for public consumption, and preventing the public (especially in foreign allied nations) reaching for their pitchforks?

Arrests ordered by MbS makes sense as it keep Trump's domestic enemies in the dark, saves The Kingdom from the wrath of Americans for past transgressions, and consolidate his power before he takes the throne. We'll know for sure when they're extradited back to the US or their heads are rolled off.

Posted by: Ian | Nov 14 2017 8:07 utc | 53

Hollywood actor George Takei has blamed the spread of sexual assault allegations against him on .....Russian bots!

Posted by: Anonymous | Nov 14 2017 8:28 utc | 54

Iran supports Al Qaeda
Regarding my post 33 by Ned Price

When Ned Price states ... "all of the bin Laden files of significant public interest and suitable for de-classification had been released."

Is he saying, in an indirect manner, that the 19 pages regarding 'the deal', that it is a CIA plant? This is an aspect of his statement that I did not fully appreciate before. Curious if others read it the same way.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Nov 14 2017 13:52 utc | 55

The most deadly mass shooting in recent times in the USA, with 58 shot dead like pheasants in the bushes, and several hundred (?) injured, at a joyful public venue, was covered up and shunted out of the news. The most clueless person has to realise that various societal control / repression mechanisms do not function.

Police, fed. authorities (FBI..), public lawmakers, judiciary, pol apparatus in the shape of governors and so on, are ‘posturing’ front organisations who make a grand show of “following rules, jurisprudence, laws, humane procedures,” etc.

The circles of influence, resting on long term finance sharing deals, corruption, blackmail, cross org. lines to extract as much profit aka illegal revenue as possible. The state and para-state orgs. are 100% busy with ripping off and exploiting ordinary citizens, in long chains of conventional, allowed, actions (often opaque as to their rationale, but enforced by superiors, the lowly obey.) The no. 2 bullet point of the agenda is defending the pie-slice that might be taken over by others, which may ofrten means submission and kow-towing, negotiation, the art of the deal, and accepting a temp. loss.

The LV shooting was not a ‘terrorist attack’ (generally understood to apply only to massacres where rabid muslim-s kill US citizens out of some kind of existential terminal rage..? - there have been none in the US since Trump), but was allegedly a no-motive mystery lone shooter.

Where did the victims go? The standard scenario of a terror attack puts the victims front stage (see Boston Bombing..), and has ample sobs and compensation for them. Streches to internal strife, for ex. Charlottesville, Heather Heyer, see Go Fund Me campaigns ( greed), etc. The LV victims have been buried in all senses of the term. A few news snippets right after, puts forward victims with sob prose, as the MSM thought the ‘usual’ would apply, then oopsie they ding-dong got the message, not this time folks. (I guess some pay-offs will be done with rigid non-disclosure agreements.)

Shoving the ‘attack’ away: LV shoot was a ‘hoax’ a ‘false flag’, all ta-ra acted by snobby crisis actors. A novel form of denial which lets US citizens imagine no real harm was done and their ‘Guvmint’ is faking, producin’ a TV show, displaying disquieting murderous staged plays in the real world, just to enact stiffer GUN CONTROL. Apparently such nonsense is completely acceptable to many US citizens, which I find terrifying.

So what happened in Las Vegas? Is that of any interest?

Posted by: Noirette | Nov 14 2017 16:31 utc | 56

"There are apparently hundreds of sealed indictments that have been filed in various district courts in the last week as seen on the Pacer records system. So, not a rumor, but the total number is regularly inflated in Tin Foil Hatistan (highest I've seen was 900 or so claimed). Even two or three hundred is a number far beyond what might be normal for the entire year in the US. If the indictments are part of a nationwide criminal sweep, then they will be unsealed after the relevant rats are rounded up."

Look for President Trump's message: "Dear fellow Americans, a storm is upon us..."

And the MSM silence about Dona Brazille's revelations re Seth Rich is deafening...

In the meantime the bio-weapon threat from the cabal is still real, not only in the US:

DHS Prepares Biological Attack Drill On Infrastructure In Oklahoma

77th Holistic Doctor Shot Dead In Her AZ Home With Her Entire Family

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Nov 14 2017 19:18 utc | 57

PavewayIV @46 #SA/banking

Possibly a different sequencing. Recent sanctions bill include requirements on regular international financial reporting, including Russian oligarchs & illicit finance--widely expected by 2 Feb; +North Korea financing, etc; + in there and elsewhere, terror financing.

SA banking system presumably must follow Islamic code (no usury, gambling, etc), and is more connected to other Islamic countries financials and less to the Western system. So their info may be not as easily available as pressing an ATM button but not too difficult either (Western banking presence there, etc). At some point, info was downloaded and used, in SA, neighboring countries, and perhaps USA, as you point out. But royal arrests may be a consequence, not the source of the info.

It's not too likely Westerners will keep their moneys in an interest and stock gambling free Islamic system. So it may be not specifically targeting Trump domestic opponents (like saying, the Weinstein dickgate is not specifically after B & HR C)

Posted by: Don Karlos | Nov 15 2017 0:34 utc | 59

Don Karlos@60 - Mostly agree, but the transactions of interest (to the US) would be either 1) those transfers out of KSA Islamic banks/banking system to offshore accounts or shady western charitable foundations, etc. for bribes or 2) transfers directly to other Islamic banks that are known to be part of the finance ratlines used by terrorists or their front groups. Chicken or egg, though?

My guess is that the US wouldn't have had enough for the full picture based on intel prior to the arrests, but had enough to encourage bin Salman to go ahead with the corruption arrests and seizure of bank records/accounts.

Bin Salman's primary concern was locking up adversaries, but welcomed US interest in 'proving' bribery (of US officials) and terror financing, if that was the case. The more dirt on bin Salman's rivals, the better for him. Of course, that would also come with US guarantees to ignore any dirt that turned up in the records (or otherwise) on bin Salman and cronies. Bin Salman is shielded from 9/11 stuff and accusations of financing terrorism by the US itself (Trump, CIA, whomever...) while his al Saud rivals are blamed for everything.

The US is able to appear (MSM-wise) tough on the Saudis despite the fact that they were complicit with KSA in everything from 911 to ISIS. My fellow Americans are remarkably brain-dead - they'll buy it if Anderson Cooper says so.

As for the KSA and bin Salman, they don't need proof of anything for anybody. If the king (or crown prince) announce that the arrested are guilty for any reason, then that's it. No courts, no appeals, no nothing. An absolute monarchy is easy like that.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 15 2017 3:09 utc | 60

I hope it's not double posting, but finally we're starting to the lists of enemies:

"List of Soros" names 226 MEPs in Europe who are under the complete control of George Soros

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Nov 15 2017 13:01 utc | 61

What do you make of this?

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Nov 15 2017 13:53 utc | 62

But, Noriette @ 57, what about all the lawsuits after the Las Vegas Massacre? Don’t they prove it played out exactly as the official story says? (I mean, at least one of the official stories, since they’ve given us so many variants to choose from).

Since the lone, crazed gunman was repeatedly referred to as having great wealth, and the literal cash-accumulating machine of the Casino/Hotel he filled with a cartoonish-number of firearms had clearly failed to perform even the level of security they enforce for people who pack a few bottles from their rooms’ mini-bars, there’s a LOT of lawsuit money to make the “holocaust survivors” rich beyond their dreams.

And with such a high-profile case, the throngs of high-dollar celebrity lawyers would be batting each other away with their gold-lamé bound legal pads, competing to represent the mourning families of their dearly departed.

Really, haven’t you seen all the coverage of the progress of the greatest number of personal and Class Action lawsuits springing from “the worst mass shooting in modern history?”

Oh… Wait…

Posted by: Daniel | Nov 15 2017 17:59 utc | 63

I wonder if it's true? Russian army receives giant modernised nuclear mortars

The Urals Transport Engineering Plant upgraded the Tulip mortar, which fires nuclear mines.

The hardware was equipped with new systems of communication, aiming and navigation. The exact number of modernised mortars has not been exposed for reasons of military secrecy.

2C4 Tulip is a Soviet 240-mm self-propelled mortar artillery of the Supreme High Command. The mortars were used in Afghanistan, where their high-explosive mines could easily destroy clay fortifications and fortresses of the enemy.

The ammunition of the 2C4 also includes nuclear shells with a capacity of 2 kilotons, incendiary Saida napalm mines, as well as neutron Smola and Fata shells.

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Nov 15 2017 18:30 utc | 64

Why Donna Brazile's Story Matters – But Not for the Reason You Might Think
Everyone knew the primary was rigged. The real question is: Why did they bother, when they would have won anyway?

Matt Taibbi asks the question that I have also posed. I haven't seen anyone else considering this question. Matt's conclusion is that "liberals" seek results over process. That is a rather tame and forgiving explanation.

Furthermore, Matt Taibbi points out that Donna Brazil's claims of Hillary's campaign controlling Party finances were known by April 2016. SANDERS MUST HAVE KNOWN about this but didn't push it. Just has he had ignored Hillary's winning 6 of 6 coin tosses in Iowa and the overwhelming support that Hillary got from a "free press", among other things.

What Taibbi fails to mention, however, is Obama's misuse of intelligence. Why has that been forgotten? Because Susan Rice denied it? We know how credible she is./sarc

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

A year after Hillary lost, she's still in control of the Party. The Party is still organized around its powerful donors and consultants. And fake progressives practicing identity politics STILL argue that wresting control of the Party is a better strategy than forming a new Party around progressive principals.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 16 2017 9:45 utc | 66

Apparently Georgian snipers confess to targeted Maidan killings along with Lithuanian counterparts on Italian TV.

Should be interesting.

Posted by: Smoking Gun | Nov 16 2017 10:00 utc | 67

PeacefulProsperity@63 - I would love to see them all with matching ankle bracelets and force to use the humiliating orthopedic boot trick to hide them, but the Chelsea picture is from 2012 when she gnawed off her own toe out of boredom during one of her mother's speeches. No credible reports of Chelsea under house arrest or wearing a GPS tracker today.

As for anyone else arrested as part of the now, I guess, 1100 sealed indictments, well... I won't keep my hopes up. This is the USA - laws are for little people, not the political elite. The elite might start cannibalizing each other (just like rats) if the US crashes and burns, but that's really not much comfort to me.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Nov 16 2017 17:37 utc | 68

I find it interesting the China is reporting support for the old king of SA (see link) and Trump has been reported supporting the new SA prince....Hmmmmm

Xi commits unwavering cooperation in phone call with Saudi king Salman

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 17 2017 7:19 utc | 69

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