Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 18, 2018

Weekly Review And Open Thread 2018-07

Feb 12 - On Sending Troops And Bombs At Times Square

The U.S. bombs Afghanistan to prevent bombs from going off in Times Square. Meanwhile bombs go off in Times Square to stop the U.S. from bombing Afghanistan. A perpetual motion machine ... profitable for some.

Feb 14 - Consolation Post

On various interesting issues ...

Feb 15 - Syria - New 'Chemical Weapons' Fake Planned - Chlorine Though Will Not Do

Touches on the reasons why chlorine is not a battlefield weapon ...

Feb 16 - White House: "Iraq Has Anthrax Virus" "Russia Launched NotPetya"

Computer viruses and malware are very difficult to attribute. The U.S. has shown zero evidence for its attribution of the NotPetya malware to Russia.

Feb 17 - Mueller Indictment - The "Russian Influence" Is A Commercial Marketing Scheme

No Russian activity had any influence on the election. Nowhere did Russia collude with Trump or his campaign. But Cold War 2.0 is needed to sell more weapons ...

 Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on February 18, 2018 at 14:35 UTC | Permalink


Had Putin provided Syria with the assistance it needed from the beginning and had he not called off the war and allowed the enemies to reboot over and over again, many horrors would have been avoided and the situation now would not be as it is. What is it? Exact opposite to what many are saying. The US and its allies basically now own half of Syria. They cannot be dislodged without a confrontation between the US and Russia, which Russia quite reasonably has no stomach for. Such a confrontation had to happen at some point if the US was to be made to back down from its conquest of Syria - make no mistake, this has always been the US' conquest of Syria - but it could have happened without a lot of pain in the earlier days of the war. Now it cannot happen without WW3 and obviously no one wants that.

So now the US owns Syria. Assad is left with a rump state that will not last. This means the US has taken a huge step towards global hegemony. All so that Putin could be the big DEALMAKER. And he may fail even to be that. I think the US destruction of Russian forces was meant, in part, to embarrass Putin in Russia. I think it will be effective. I doubt that Putin will survive this politically. He is being exposed in Syria as a man who sent troops to a war he had no ability to win and no intention to win. He sacrificed Russian people and Russian prestige to no purpose. I don't think the folks in Russia are going to like this, once the reality sets in.

Posted by: paul | Feb 18 2018 15:14 utc | 1

To use an American metaphor, you knocked it out of the park this past week.

Posted by: Maracatu | Feb 18 2018 15:16 utc | 2

By the way, Ecuador Says It Will Continue to Shelter Assange in London Embassy.

Posted by: Maracatu | Feb 18 2018 15:18 utc | 3

Netanyahu does it again,

"Don't Test Israel", Benjamin Netanyahu Tells Iran, Brandishing Drone Piece at public event

Posted by: Anon | Feb 18 2018 15:55 utc | 4

A Crisis in Intelligence: Unthinkable Consequences of Outsourcing U.S. Intel (Part 3) Consortium News

Privatized intelligence operations have become a favored practice of the U.S. and other Western governments, but the tactics of so-called spies for hire are often unethical and possibly illegal, explains George Eliason.

Highly recommend reading this series.

Posted by: integer | Feb 18 2018 16:15 utc | 5

@ integer 5
Yes indeed , well worth a read. However everything is for sale in the US, and certainly the truth has been for sale in decades. Most of the European countries are not as corrupt as the US and we have more opportunities to fight back, paradocically because "united we stand", well to some extend..

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Feb 18 2018 16:30 utc | 6

Tell us again, Paul, what small percentage of the Syrian population is in that pro-ASSAD "rump?"

When you were a child, your perspective was undoubtedly influenced by a belief in the literal accuracy of Mercator maps.

Need I add a /sarc/ tag?

Posted by: zakukommander | Feb 18 2018 16:42 utc | 7

from alastair crooke today - putin's grand bargain to israel.. can israel digest it?

Posted by: james | Feb 18 2018 17:38 utc | 8

@5 integer... wasn't christopher steele, the guy who wrote the dossier for the mueller investigation a 'so called spy for hire?'

Posted by: james | Feb 18 2018 17:41 utc | 9

All one of your postings for this week needs to be is a repeat of the one with the picture of Powell and the vial. Just replace him with the latest picture of Netanyahu waving his purported drone piece.

The drums of war are getting louder but I am not sure who all are listening. The brainwashing machine seems to be on the fritz and is not producing the throngs of sheeple expected. That is a shame. We can only hope it continues.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 18 2018 17:47 utc | 10

4;yahoo is nuts.UN redux.Paul,a zionist?

Posted by: dahoit | Feb 18 2018 17:47 utc | 11

@ paul | 1

I agree w/ your view that Russia could have done more to both save Syria and break US dominance (and probably ease the pressure Russia's got on its back in the process).
Russia's armed forces have no less than 3 divisions of airborne troops at their disposal, but we haven't seen any of those during the whole war. They claim that they have enough transport capabilities to airlift a whole regiment at any one time. That would have been perfect to curb the Kurdish advance, to dislodge US bases, to get a hold of Tabqa dam, to beat the US to Al-Tanf, etc.

As a matter of fact, the US are at war with Syria. But there's never been any declaration of war, of course. We all keep pretending that this war between nation states is not happening, or is something else. So the fact is never acknowledged and for every step on the way of US aggression, we are offered some false pretext. But it's exactly this nefarious (I like that word) approach that could have been turned into a lever with which to break US resolve.

If there is no war on Syria, but just anti-terrorism operations and if Al-Tanf is not in fact occupied by a foreign enemy - unleash a barrage on the area. There's just stateless terrorists there, right? So bomb them, WWI style, and afterwards occupy the place with force. Fake surprise at the dead US soldiers that you're going to find, because there shouldn't be any there, right? Act all innocent, take the matter to the UN, and kindly offer the US all your help in recovering their dead.

We've seen it repeatedly, if the heat turns up, the smaller of the US allies (Belgium eg) will be gone in no time. And the big threat, the US itself, will be at a loss at least for some time.

And after all, what's Russia afraid of? That the 'west' might come up with sanctions? That the west might highjack international organisations like the UN or OPCW in order to harm Russia? That they might embark on an arms build-up? It happened anyway.

Posted by: Scotch Bingeington | Feb 18 2018 20:36 utc | 12

Kurds have agreed to hand Afrin back to SAA as it begins massive offensive to once and for all eliminate the terrorists from East Ghouta. Outlaw US Empire's hockey team gets shutout 4-0 by Russia at political Olympics; US coach refuses to shake hands with Russian coach. German Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel at Munich Security Conference says he can "no longer recognize" America among other choice remarks. And Adam Garrie provides some comments about that same Conference.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 18 2018 21:39 utc | 13

Paul 1
Unless the U S interests can break the Russo/Chinese alliance Putin is still in a central and strong position . I am sure that is what worries the U S !

Posted by: ashley albanese | Feb 18 2018 21:44 utc | 14

To summarize B's excellent post on the FBI indictment ... Russians were involved in a small time, cash flow positive operation, to net about $2M a year, ($210k gross revenue per month minus overhead). They did this by posting to FB, paying for some ad's and generating ad revenue and by catering to the marketing appetites of the FB community. This accounts for the diversity of posts in the fraudulent accounts.

Our FBI (Mueller is a proxy for the FBI), represented this as a 'massive' effort to cause discord in the U.S. democratic process because as we all know, merely posting contradictory views to FB can destroy the U.S. republic.

The Democrats are calling this Pearl Harbor, the Republicans are saying, 'it's time to unite against the real enemy, the Russian regime'. If the FBI is correct then this is the worst, and most predictably bad, Russian espionage operation on record. Occam's razor suggests that B is correct.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Feb 18 2018 21:51 utc | 15

@13 karlof1 - elijah j. m. has a post up on afrin / kurds and more - The US is observing the return of Afrin into the arms of Damascus with great concern

Posted by: james | Feb 18 2018 22:27 utc | 16

karlof1 | Feb 18, 2018 4:39:35 PM | 13

Iran is testing TR and Rus to see if they'll give Iran's shares in Afrin, Nubbul, Zahra.

Posted by: ConfusedPundit | Feb 18 2018 22:34 utc | 17

Well, I bit the bullet and read the indictment to the best of my ability to stay awake despite the painfully redundant statements. I found it interesting that they tossed out the $1.25M number in 'count 1' regarding the election interference charge which is borderline anti-Constitutional IMO while in count 2 they omitted mentioning any dollar amount about the more straightforward charge of financial fraud.

In count 2 they discussed financial fraud such as opening bank accounts with false identities, selling and buying ads, etc. Are they trying to disguise the fact that this was a cash flow positive operation and therefore a simple case of fraud rather than an espionage operation? If they were filing charges against the Mafia (doesn't exist) they would most certainly focus on the financial gain aspect of the operation.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Feb 19 2018 0:48 utc | 18

Here we have a presumed Liberal advocating the abolition of the office of President based on the current and previous presidents's performances. The item's extraordinarily weak, but it's salvaged by the comment by x1jodonn that ought to have been part of the article's body. The contrast with This Garrie article I posted earlier is rather stark. The American academic is clearly blinded.

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 19 2018 0:53 utc | 19

"Russian interference in U$A elections", Oh! the horror of it all. BFD, "What goes around comes around."

Unlimited sums of $ in politics is the REAL problem. Buying a senator, or a house member is the best investment going. Lobbying is nothing more than legalized bribery. Shovel enough $ at these corrupt legislators, they'll change the laws to accommodate the highest bidder..

" It's only business" Ya' know..

Posted by: ben | Feb 19 2018 1:05 utc | 20

ben @21:

I agree about the $$$ in politics part. There's got to be a way for all candidates to be equally heard by the voting population. Perhaps a law that requires all media outlets, during elections, to treat each candidate equally. Neutralize the need for candidates to raise funds for campaigns, and the corruption would greatly be reduced.

Posted by: Ian | Feb 19 2018 1:25 utc | 21

Ian @22--

Publically financed elections; 3 month campaign period; media must provide equal ad time to all candidates; all votes made on paper ballots tabulated by humans--no mechanization of vote count whatsoever--no results made public until the Monday after the weekend-long election.

There also must be regulations for political parties--or maybe they ought to be disallowed?

Posted by: karlof1 | Feb 19 2018 3:26 utc | 22

If I were a political science professor, I would offer a course on maintaining moral superiority. "As we all know", moral superiority is highly desirable. For example, once it reaches a certain stratospheric level it allows to engage in activities that can be called "dubious at best" and still enjoy comforts of M.S. A historical perspective: in remote past, morality was simpler -- what we do is OK, what they do is not, so there was no need for M.S. Or monarchs had divine status and freely determined what is good and what is bad. But in the last centuries B.C. some countries had more elaborate doctrines that required some work before M.S. was proven, Rome and Confucian China being prime examples.

Fast forward to the present. It seems that U.S.A. resembles Rome and ancient China in the desire for moral superiority, but the methods that are deployed seem to be more archaic, roughly, what we do is good and, more important, better because it is rather clear that we did it, or we consider the hypothetical that we did it. Thus what Russians did was not done by us, and hence inferior (when we consider the hypothetical that they did it).

On the far side of NYT payroll there is a slew of articles on interference in elections in the light of recent VERY IMPORTANT revelations of the Office of Special Council, the infamious 13 of Moscow. One of the themes seems to be "we are not a banana republic, yet. One article actually claims that it is not possible to find a political trend actually caused by Russian trolls, and even quantifying their ability to magnify the trends they presumably like is not possible. But the article I have read is this one: "Russia Isn’t the Only One Meddling in Elections. We Do It, Too. By SCOTT SHANE, FEB. 17, 2018"

[deleted a copy of that Scott Shane piece... b]
[PS: Scott Shane is known to be the CIA's man at the NYT. His piece is a sorry CIA excuse for "exceptionalism" - if the U.S. meddles it is all for good cause. ...]

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Feb 19 2018 3:41 utc | 23

A canuck, here. Just read what I thought was a satirical piece in the Toronto Star re "OAR" curling team use of the Sharapova/Afghani drug. It seemed so 'over the top' was sure it was satire. Reread it - nope. We the (screwed) north.

Posted by: spudski | Feb 19 2018 3:47 utc | 24

With regard to the Consortium News article I linked to @ 5, I thought this part was particularly interesting:

Joel Harding wrote the information policy for Ukraine. Myrotvorets is what it led to right away. This is the first product of the information policy, Ukraine’s infamous kill site. Ukraine maintains the right to kill anyone on listed on it, anywhere in the world, any time they choose to. And the Ukrainians use this to find and murder people who talk, post article links in social media, or write articles they don’t like.

Andrew Weisburd started his website at the same time Myrotvorets came online. He taught the Ukrainians how to catch entire networks so they could be put on the list.

Eliot Higgins and Aric Toler of Bellingcat taught the Ukrainians to find the people in the networks that are on the kill list at Myrotvorets.

Ronnie Miller was 17 years old when he was put on this list. He’s never been to Ukraine before. Three out of four of these unlawful combatants are Americans working for a foreign country that is attacking Americans in United States!

Just for consistency, I think it would be a good idea for Trump to initiate a thorough investigation of Ukrainian influence in the 2016 election. A good starting point would be the connections of Alexandra Chalupa and Crowdstrike co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch to the DNC. At one point, even the MSM was reporting on Ukrainian efforts to interfere with the 2016 election:

Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire Politico

Report: $412,000 DNC insider, Ukraine officials spread dirt on Trump Washington Examiner

Posted by: integer | Feb 19 2018 3:52 utc | 25

karlof1 @23:

Your last point is an interesting idea that I've been thinking about for sometime now.   Ban political parties.   Or is it really a ban?   One could see it as a Party of One.   LOL   The representative is suppose to represent the constituency anyway.   Coalitions can be formed and broken without triggering an election.   The only downside I can see, is that it'll be more difficult to pass laws.

Posted by: Ian | Feb 19 2018 4:17 utc | 26

@ 27
Ralph Nader had a view of the two parties, because when there are only two parties they don't have to be very different from each other, and then they don't have to respond to any real public needs.

"Our two parties are basically one corporate party wearing two heads and different makeup," Nader said. "There is a difference between Tweedledum and Tweedledee, but not that much."

Nader had great difficulty getting on to ballots in many states, where the local pols make it difficult or impossible for third parties to get on the ballot. Also Kerry and the Dems went to the state courts in various states to challenge Nader's attempt to get on ballots. Nader wrote a book about it: Crashing The Party.

But remember, Russians are attacking our democracy. We shouldn't be swayed by the facts.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 19 2018 5:04 utc | 27

james @16

The author of the article you mentioned, whom I really respect, is probably a bit too optimistic IMHO that YPG would accept the "whole bouquet" offered/demanded by Syria Government. According to RT report, it's only military support, Reuters citied Badran Jia Kurd, an adviser to the Kurdish self-government:

“When it comes to the political and administrative matters in the region, it will be agreed upon with Damascus in the later stages through direct negotiations and discussions,”

Deal reached for Syrian army to enter Afrin, claims Kurdish official

Posted by: mali | Feb 19 2018 10:07 utc | 28

The US hockey team got its ass kicked by Russia; 4 - 0.
The asshole US coach (Granata) refused to shake hands with the Russian coach, after both teams lined up and shook hands.
Such a sportsman, Granata, no?
I expected no better...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Feb 19 2018 10:07 utc | 29

paul@1, Scotch Bingeington@12

I agree most of the arguments you've brought up regarding Russia's tactics in Syria. It is rather frustrating for me to see whenever SAA & its allies built up the mommentum to crash the hell of out of the terrorist groups, such as in Idlib and Deir ez-Zor, Russia would put its foot on the pedal and begin to offer negotiations, and then the terrorist groups get re-supplied.

This kind of indecisive/less determined Russian tactics leads to the current Balkanization of Syria and Turkey and Isreal become the biggest winnters.

- With basically no personal loss, US army is now occupying ca 1/3 of the best part of Syria, e.g. 50% oil field and bread basket areas.

- With less than considerable costs, Turkey is now occupying 1)huge junk of land north of Aleppo, 2)entering into Afrin and 3)setting up monitorring line all along from north to south in Idlib where the SAA stops its battles. Given Turkey's land-grabbing history and Erdoğan's new Ottoman ambition, it will never return these pieces of Syrian land voluntarily.

- With US and Turkey occupy NE and N. & NW plus ISIS and HTS running around in south (Daraa), west (Idlib), east (Deir ez-Zor desert) as well as US controlled Al-Tanf, Isreal is happy another strong Arab country is done.

-Meanwhile dozen(s) of Russia mercenaries got bombed by US Air Force, this would definitelly affect the opinion of some voters in the coming president vote in Russia, which of course will affect Putin's decision-making.

-Loser are Syria, to some extent Hezbollah and Iran.

It is understandable that Russia come to Syrai mainly to defend its interests and do not want to be dragged into Afghanitan 2.0 with lots of body bags. But the US Empire and its Masters would NEVER give any chance to a real peaceful solution to Syria war no matter how much compromise Putin has offered and is willing to offer. The more hesitated and undetermined Russia is, the more aggresive and nefarious US & its Masters would become.

Hope Putin and Russia give up any illusion that they still have about the US and its Masters.

Posted by: mali | Feb 19 2018 11:38 utc | 30

Through 250+ year of histroy, the Empire only knows killing native people, grabing their land and resources and exploiting human being as slaves to make money. War is in the DNA of the US Empire.

PS. Sometimes it amazing to see how proud Americans celebrate its 250+ short history without giving a damn to the real long history before the white land-grabbers came, since Native American, the orginal owner of this land, have never been regarded part of the Anglo-Sason-centered "proper" US history, while people from the rest of world, from China to Egypt, from India to Iran, from Greece to Italy, are trying to trace back their history as much as they can and to cherish their long history with every bit of pride.

Posted by: mali | Feb 19 2018 12:02 utc | 31

FYI The only people using #FakeNews were domestic idiots doing it for profit.

Russia’s disinformation campaign during the 2016 presidential election relied heavily on stories produced by major American news sources to shape the online political debate, according to an analysis published Thursday.

The analysis by Columbia University social-media researcher Jonathan Albright of more than 36,000 tweets sent by Russian accounts showed that obscure or foreign news sources played a comparatively minor role, suggesting that the discussion of “fake news” during the campaign has been somewhat miscast.

Albright’s research, which he said is the most extensive to date on the news links that Russians used to manipulate the American political conversation on Twitter, bolsters observations by other analysts. Clinton Watts, a former FBI agent who is now a disinformation expert at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia, said that by linking to popular news sources, the Russians enhanced the credibility of their Twitter accounts, making it easier to manipulate audiences.

“The Kremlin, they don’t need to create a false narrative. It’s already there,” he said. “You’re just taking a narrative and elevating it.”

Some well-chronicled hoaxes reached large audiences. But Russian-controlled Twitter accounts, Albright said, were far more likely to share stories produced by widely read sources of American news and political commentary. The stories themselves were generally factually accurate, but the Russian accounts carefully curated the overall flow to highlight themes and developments that bolstered Republican Donald Trump and undermined his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Posted by: UserFriendly | Feb 19 2018 12:07 utc | 32

Turkey’s New Maps Are Reclaiming the Ottoman Empire

Posted by: mali | Feb 19 2018 12:11 utc | 33

@26 Ian,

You really think making it harder to pass laws is a problem? You really think coalitions against the people's interests being formed and reformed without the people's consent serves the people's interests? You really believe the Big Lie that representation of the people is equivalent to representation of the people's interests, when in reality it's no more representational than a dildo? I hope you're being thickly sarcastic.

@31 mali,

It's a source of great laughter to me in science and technology, for example, when people idolize the (Western) rediscoverers of something discovered centuries before elsewhere, as if those rediscoverers were special. Anything to sell the Whig Theory of History.

Posted by: Jonathan | Feb 19 2018 12:21 utc | 34

I don't agree with the negative observations on Russia in Syria. Russia, despite coming in late when the US and its ISIS were on a roll, has successfully shepherded, strengthened and supported a weakened SAA, worked creative deals on no-conflict zones, developed a partnership with Turkey and Iran, promoted military victories, and forced the US to fight ISIS. Russia has saved Syria, which has regained control of the populated part of its country. Even notable people in Washington's Syria effort are saying that the US lost in Syria. Obama's prediction that Russia would be bogged down in Syria with Russians going home in body bags has been abandoned.

As a result the US has been forced into a crazy relationship with the Kurds, and Israel is desperately pushing the panic button and foolishly talking about going on offense against Hezbollah and Iran. It's because Russia has been a winner in Syria, militarily and diplomatically. Let's give credit where credit is due.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 19 2018 14:18 utc | 35

@ Jonathan 34
You really believe the Big Lie that representation of the people is equivalent to representation of the people's interests, when in reality it's no more representational than a dildo?
Excellent. Representation by people elected in narrowly controlled elections who are controlled by establishment money and supported by establishment media is not democracy, is it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 19 2018 14:24 utc | 36

Don Bacon | Feb 19, 2018 9:18:45 AM | 35

I do not agree with the negative take either; you've given an accurate chronology of positive moves by Russia in Syria.
The U.S. has no policy; just weapons and hubris...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Feb 19 2018 14:28 utc | 37

And how about that Russia-Turkey alliance, breaking up NATO?

Acknowledging that ties with Turkey are at a “crisis point,” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pledged cooperation with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government but also issued new warnings over the erosion of democratic norms and the country’s plan to sign a defense deal with Russia. . .here

"democratic norms" -- heh

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 19 2018 14:38 utc | 38

The ancient Athenians successfully limited the power of the rich in their politics by choosing by lot most of their officials.

Posted by: lysias | Feb 19 2018 15:24 utc | 39

@Don Bacon 35, @V. Arnold 37

Though what you describe is true, you do realise that you are talking mostly from the pointview from Russia: "It's because Russia has been a winner in Syria, militarily and diplomatically." While I am taking a stand of Syria. That's where our facts do not fit in each other.

Btw, I do not beileve for a second that Turkey would ever leave NATO. ONLY by staying being a NATO memeber can Turkey have the biggest possible leverage to play US/EU against Russia to get the best deals for its interests, just like what it gets in Afrin and has carved a large piece of land of north Allepo while still backing teorrist in Idlib.

Posted by: mali | Feb 19 2018 15:39 utc | 40

@Jonathan 34

Do Americans still celebrate Columbus Day for his "discovery of America?" What a brazen lie/joke!

Posted by: mali | Feb 19 2018 15:43 utc | 41

@ mali 40
My response was a reaction to your (and other) unwarranted criticism of Russia's performance in Syria.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 19 2018 16:09 utc | 42

@ mali who wrote:
Do Americans still celebrate Columbus Day for his "discovery of America?" What a brazen lie/joke!

Do Monotheistic religions still believe they hold the answer for humanity? What a brazen lie/joke!

Just couldn't resist.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 19 2018 16:11 utc | 43

On a lighter note, size doesn't always matter as evidenced in this "road rage" video. (I'm looking at you, US and Syria.)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Feb 19 2018 16:20 utc | 44

mali | Feb 19, 2018 10:39:19 AM | 40

I'm not concerned with who or whom my pov aligns; I'm concerned with accurate information.
The U.S. has no moral or legal ground to stand on in Syria.
As the saying goes; the U.S. is wrong as two left shos....

Posted by: V. Arnold | Feb 20 2018 0:32 utc | 45

Here is a story from ZH that I want to share

Munich Security Conference: "For The First Time In Decades We Are Facing Threat Of Nuclear Conflict"

The ending quote
Ian Bremmer, the founder of the Eurasia Group told Handelsblatt that, "We’re in trouble, because, you know, pretty much every geopolitical conflict out there is escalating, none of them are getting fixed, and no one has any solutions. This was not a good meeting."

And because there are no solutions we will all die........./sarc Got Fear?

I suppose one has to expect a certain amount of patriarchal chest beating at a global security conference but the stupidity of our situation from an anthropological perspective is saddening.....our species wouldn't win a dog show.....

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 20 2018 4:03 utc | 46

Dem Rep Jarrold Nadler: "Russian election attack equivalent to Pearl Harbor"

Remember that Nadler was recently made ranking minority leader on the House Judiciary Committee as a result of John Conyers being moved out after allegations of sexual misconduct. Nadler, besides being a Jewish big-time supporter of Israel, also happens to represent the largest Jewish constituency in the country.

Regarding Nadler's use of the term "Pearl Harbor"

Yes, one could make the case that he is merely posturing before his support base, but then again, maybe not. It is no secret that Israel wants Russia out of the Middle East, just as she has from the very beginning, a fact proven with her attack on the USS LIBERTY in 1967 that brought the US and the USSR to within mere minutes of nuclear war with each other, and things have not changed in this regard, and especially considering Russia’s new assertiveness in the region viz a viz Syria and Iran.

Posted by: Gemayel | Feb 20 2018 4:21 utc | 47

"Cold War 2.0 is needed to sell more weapons..." Speaking of which:
Canadian Arms Manufacturer Hopes To Sell [100,000] Assault Rifles To Ukraine

Posted by: John Gilberts | Feb 20 2018 5:49 utc | 48

WSWS three part series on recen iran protests

Posted by: Ninel | Feb 20 2018 5:49 utc | 49

"However, the defence of Iran against imperialism does not mean support for the clerical-bourgeois regime, consolidated through the suppression of the democratic and social strivings of Iran’s workers and toilers. The Iranian bourgeoisie’s pursuit of its own selfish class aims weakens and endangers Iran, at every point, in the face of imperialist intrigue and bullying"

Posted by: Ninel | Feb 20 2018 5:57 utc | 50

A point of clarification please: Am I to understand that the Duran is persona non-grata here?
For what reason, if true. Thanks

Posted by: V. Arnold | Feb 20 2018 11:33 utc | 51

Mahmoud Darwish: The Girl / The Scream

"There is a girl on a sea shore
And the girl has a family
And the family has a house
And the house has two windows and a door.
And at sea there's a warship playing a game
of targeting those taking a stroll on the shore.

Four five seven drop to the sand.
The girl is spared by a sleeve of mist
a certain celestial sleeve came to rescue her.
She calls out: Dad, my Dad, let's go home, this sea is not for us.
And the father does not reply.

He lies there in an agony of absence, wrapped in his shadow in an agony of absence.

Blood in her palms blood in the clouds,
Her scream flies away with her far from the sea shore and higher.
She screams in the night of a wilderness

The echo has no echo
And the girl becomes the eternal scream of a breaking news event made obsolete by the planes' return
to bomb a house with two windows and a door."

(Note: Palestinian Mahmoud Darwish was born in al-Birwa in Galilee, a village that was occupied and later razed by the Israeli army. Because they had missed the official Israeli census, Darwish and his family were considered “internal refugees” or “present-absent aliens.”

In the 1960s Darwish was imprisoned for reciting poetry and traveling between villages without a permit. Considered a “resistance poet,” he was placed under house arrest when his poem “Identity Card” was turned into a protest song)

Posted by: Gemayel | Feb 20 2018 13:07 utc | 52

Canadian FM Chrystia Freeland at Munich Security Conference:

"Pleasure meeting the US Congressional Delegates at the Munich Security Conference 2018. It is an honour for Canada to work with the US to make the world a safer place."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Feb 20 2018 18:59 utc | 53

@52 john gilberts..

here is one for you from a week ago - john helmer on chrystia freeland and more.. -

Posted by: james | Feb 20 2018 19:24 utc | 54

Turkish Artillery Bombs Syrian NDF Convoy Heading to Afrin

Turkey is NATO's trojan horse in Syria. It's using "Kurds" as an excuse to invade and occupy Syrian land, and attack resistance forces (like the YPG and pro-government forces). Turkish trolls will say the Syrians or Russians "secretly" allowed the Turks to bomb the convoy. You have blood on your hands.

Posted by: David | Feb 21 2018 0:28 utc | 55

it seems i missed a few different posts.. sorry..

@28 mali.. - i think you are correct... someone over at sst was explaining it better.. my thinking is russia will not allow a confrontation with turkey and syria.. @55 davids post states "“Turkish forces bombed residential areas near the presence of the Popular Forces..." which is not the same as bombing the popular forces..

@46 psychohistorian.. i agree with your conclusion..

@51 v arnold.. i think that is correct, and i have no idea why.. i thought it was the same with saker links too..

Posted by: james | Feb 21 2018 1:42 utc | 56

james | Feb 20, 2018 8:42:15 PM | 56

The Saker as well?
Thanks, I do find that somewhat bizzare though...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Feb 21 2018 2:02 utc | 57

v arnold.. just going on memory here.. you can always try and if it doesn't go thru, you will know why!

Posted by: james | Feb 21 2018 2:16 utc | 58

latest dispatch from propaganda central - usa daily press briefing..

" The Assad regime’s siege-and-starve tactics are creating a humanitarian disaster – or I should say are adding to the humanitarian disaster there. The horrors of East Aleppo are being repeated in East Ghouta with the ongoing slaughter of trapped civilians and woefully inadequate access for humanitarian actors. In such a dire situation, we should express our admiration and our deep appreciation to the medical workers and also the first responders in East Ghouta who both risk and lose their lives every day trying to help civilians.

We call on all parties to commit to the unconditional de-escalation of violence. Russia must end its support of the Assad regime and its allies. They are responsible for the attacks, for the dire humanitarian situation in East Ghouta, and for the horrendous civilian death toll."

no mention of usa's destruction of people and buildings in raqqa.. that is never mentioned... oh and the bombs flying into damascus from those 'moderate rebels' the usa supports - no mention of any of that either... i would hope the reporters at those daily press briefings are sophisticated enough to see propaganda when it is staring at them in the face, but i am not certain!

and further down on the same link

"QUESTION: I wanted to ask about the indictment that came out Friday against the 13 Russians and some entities, since we haven’t had a chance to talk about that here yet. The special consul laid out in exquisite detail some of what happened in the meddling in our election. I was curious whether that information has increased the sense of urgency here at the State Department to take some actions in response to that, perhaps to use some of those sanctions authorities that we’ve discussed, became available to you in the recent weeks.

MS NAUERT: This is something that has been on our radar ever since the Secretary came into his position as Secretary of State. I think the number of questions that we’ve gotten about Russia and Russia’s meddling in our elections has sort of ebbed and flowed. We’ve had times where reporters and the outside world has been very interested in this; other times where they have not. The Secretary has spoken very openly about his opinion that Russia meddled in our elections. He’s been very clear about that. The Secretary just spoke to Fox News within the last week or two and spoke to the fact that we believe that they are interested in becoming entangled in our overall elections process. That is no secret.

Let me remind you the U.S. Government and the State Department has done a lot when it’s come to holding Russia accountable for its actions back in the 2016 elections. We’ve talked a little bit about CAATSA. A lot of you have said, “Oh my gosh, you haven’t imposed those sanctions just yet.” Remember, January 29th was the first day that we could impose sanctions. Among the things that we have done – and I’ll have other things I want to talk about in addition to CAATSA. But among the things that we have done, we have sent out ALDAC cables to all of our posts around the world, where those posts have been instructed to speak with their host governments about the new CAATSA law. In explaining to those countries, here’s what you could face if companies, if individuals are involved in these sorts of activities that meet a certain threshold that would contribute positively to Russia’s defense and intelligence and other sectors that are similar to those."

and further down -
" MS NAUERT: Yeah. So they are well aware of our position on this. Secretary Tillerson has said to the Russians – and he said this publicly – it has to stop. We’re watching what you’re doing. The issue of bots – we’re still seeing bots out there. This is not just a U.S. Government approach, but the private sector needs to do something as well. We are somewhat limited in terms of what we can do. We don’t regulate Facebook. We don’t regulate Google. Some of these private sector companies need to stand up and they need to be good American citizens and help us to prevent this. The FBI is involved with this; DHS is heavily involved with this.

And the Secretary has asked and has spoken to Congress about setting up a new bureau here at the State Department that would handle cyber activity. You all have talked and you’ve asked me in the past about our special envoy for cyber. Well, we’re changing that. The goal is to change that to make it a cyber bureau that would be headed up by an assistant secretary. So if anything, we’re elevating the importance of cyber activity and cracking down.

QUESTION: Heather, two very brief things on that.

MS NAUERT: Yeah. Okay.

QUESTION: When you said – first of all, I just want to make sure that I understood this. You said – in his interview that you referenced just now, you said the Secretary said it’s his opinion that the Russians did interfere or meddle or however you want to say it --


QUESTION: -- in 2016. Is it – is that his opinion or is that just – is that a fact?

MS NAUERT: He views that as a fact. I mean, look, I don’t need to go over this again --

QUESTION: Okay. No, no, no.

MS NAUERT: -- but the Intelligence Community --


MS NAUERT: -- has put together its reports and the Secretary has reviewed those reports.

QUESTION: I just – I just wanted to make sure I got that right.


more crazy shit at the link above for anyone still interested...

Posted by: james | Feb 21 2018 2:31 utc | 59


Western media is depicting East Ghouta as a major humanitarian disaster. The thrust is this: Assad has crossed the line (again!) between war and genocide.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Feb 21 2018 3:26 utc | 60

@60 jr.. sorry - i didn't see your post til now... yes - and they continue to do this.. i made some comments on the syrian 'new chemical weapon' thread earlier...

for today from the usa daily press briefing propaganda dispatch... more demonizing russia.. it never stops! no mention of the usa's role in any of this, other then one of benevolence of course... see link at bottom for more bs...

" I’d like to address something that took place in Ukraine. And as many of you know, our deputy secretary was just in Ukraine yesterday. I’d like to turn your attention to that matter, where Russia continues to perpetuate a conflict that has now claimed more than 10,000 lives. Yesterday we received new reports that a 23-year-old Ukrainian medic was killed while he was trying to aid civilians near the line of contact. The incident is a reminder that the conflict in eastern Ukraine continues to rage on. Civilians and first responders face real dangers every day.

It’s also worth repeating that Russia manufactured this conflict in 2014 and continues to control its proxy forces in Donbas. Russia has demonstrated repeatedly that it can stop the violence whenever it chooses. The United States once again calls on Russia to order its proxy forces to implement a complete ceasefire, to withdraw its forces and heavy weapons from eastern Ukraine, and to agree to a robust UN peacekeeping mission.

I mentioned our deputy secretary was just there, and I’d like to read a quote from an address that he gave yesterday in Kyiv. Quote, “Given the high stakes, it’s important to be clear about U.S. policy toward the conflict: Crimea is Ukraine. The Donbas is Ukraine. We will never accept trading one region of Ukraine for another. We will never make a deal about Ukraine without Ukraine.”

I just mentioned the deputy secretary’s travel, so I’d like to give you a bit of a readout on some of the places that he’s visited so far. He arrived in Kyiv on Tuesday evening, and on Wednesday morning toured the Heavenly Hundred Memorial and the War Dead Wall of Honor, which memorialize those who lost their lives during the 2014 Euromaidan protests and thousands of soldiers who died as a result of Russia’s aggression in eastern Ukraine."

Posted by: james | Feb 23 2018 1:47 utc | 61

is this how they are going to tie russia into the mueller investigation?

Yevgeniy Prigozhin - recognize the name?

Putin ally said to be in touch with Kremlin, Assad before his mercenaries attacked U.S. troops

Posted by: james | Feb 23 2018 2:32 utc | 62

Here is a piece that I suspect you won't see anywhere in MSM land unless they are forced into it

Moscow Begins Crypto-Elections Testing: Thumbs Nose At U.S.

This is an excellent use of Blockchain, IMO and will scare the shit out of the Western elite and their bought can't come too soon.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 23 2018 6:20 utc | 63

Turkey Threatens to Invade Greece

The mad Sultan Erdogan wants to turn Greece into part of his neo-Ottoman caliphate. Excellent work by Dahboo.

Posted by: David | Feb 24 2018 0:51 utc | 64

So here is the latest escalation in the ME

US Embassy Moving To Jerusalem On Israel's Independence Day, May 14, 2018

Iran Threatens To Abandon Nuclear Deal If Western Banks Don't Start Doing Business

If I were an adult nation I might start beating the drum for a new Bretton Woods meeting of nations about finance.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 24 2018 2:15 utc | 65

Let me add a link to the waking up of more Americans over the latest Florida shootings

Understanding Trump’s School Shooting Listening Session, and the Cheat Sheet

People are seeing a very poor "actor" in action.

I continue to dream about totally public finance from the waking of the public dragon....sigh

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 24 2018 3:28 utc | 66

As a follow on to my link about the coming move of the US Israel embassy

32 Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers in West Bank, Gaza

I believe this is a report of what has been happening before the announcement today...see quote below
About 32 Palestinians were injured in cashes that broke out between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian demonstrators in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on Friday, medics said.

The protests in the Palestinian territories have been going on every Friday since the declaration of United States President Donald Trump in December 6 that Jerusalem is the capital of the state of Israel.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Feb 24 2018 3:59 utc | 67

@ psychohistorian | Feb 23, 2018 9:15:32 PM | 65, 66

A perusal of U.S. modern history clearly shows that country HAD a publicly controlled banking system through the administration of President Lyndon Johnson. The following administration subverted both the Judicial administration of law as well as that established banking system, opening the administration of that system to the acolytes of the neoliberal theology, referred to by Philip Mirowski in "Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste" as a 'thought collective'. Curiously, about the same time the business world found great need for trained MBA's, schooled in 'neoliberal economics', giving great demand for those lecturers in the subject throughout academia and the best salaries as well. This is history. In the half century since, that thought collective has permeated and controls the entire field of economics save for some 2% dissident still in existence. The aim was to replace the public regulation of the banking sector with those trained in the theology of neoliberal belief. Please note that neoliberal theology lacked any perception of economic process outside what was accomplished in their 'black-box' of MARKET. They have yet to answer the Queen of England's question "Why did this happen?" concerning the 2007-8 economic crisis. Also history.

Curiosity begs: What makes you think anything generated by the current zeitgeist will produce anything other than a complete disaster? Can you tell me that you would trust the judgment of a congress of Nancy Pelosi's after seeing what she has done to her face? Completely absent is any trace of economic knowledge, not only in your Congress, but Executive as well as Judicial branches of government. Nary a trace is found in all of academia outside UMKC's MMT and a scattering of actual economists that still exist, Steve Keen being more prominent of that class that never gets exposure to public consciousness. The neoliberal economic thought collective is in complete control of all economic power and is not even likely to relinquish their power; it is delusional to even dream differently.

Since you seem not to have the maturity or the capacity to respond to my questions, I have relegated seeing your remarks as coming from ill informed and wilful ignorance and suggest others do the same. You do have an idea but that idea is defeated by lack of definability in actual economic terms, and a distorted perspective of recent history, incorporating as much propaganda as fact. There is a place for repetition in overcoming trauma; be careful about using that technique promoting your beliefs, you could mislead easier than illuminate.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Feb 24 2018 12:03 utc | 68

Addendum #68

Obviously no reply will come; how very infantile of you 'psychohistorian', it is what would be expected by one with the social development of someone in kindergarten. In the past, I have stated that I found some agreement with whatever you were attempting to say but thought your ideas needed developing, and I still do, but could be best developed through the dynamics of dialogue. Compared to many, I have had a fairly extensive and eclectic exposure to economic literature as well as its history. That reading contains information that would well support your contentions but in a slightly different manner. Your choices have closed the door to that information, I shall take it to my grave without ever sharing with you. Best of luck braying away, you have not developed any further than what you were braying several years ago; I doubt you have the capacity to go beyond that, that capacity is as of yet - unobserved - and probably will never be observed. Another brayer of opinion found themselves 'out in the cold' by also playing childish games, but that is another story. Bray away to your hearts content.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Mar 2 2018 12:06 utc | 69

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