Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 01, 2018

The MoA Week In Review And Open Thread 2018-14

An idea for your next Easter brunch, or for a caption contest:

via English Russia - bigger

Last weeks posts:

Two short items on Syria:

  • The last part of terrorist bastions in east-Ghouta will shortly be handed over to the government:
Elijah J. Magnier @ejmalrai - 2:08 PM - 1 Apr 2018
#Duma deal:
Falyaq al-Rahman to #Idlib
Jaish al-Islam to Jarablus/#Turkey controlled area
All heavy weapons delivered to the Syrian Army
A local council with a city, unarmed, to run local needs with #Damascus approval.
End of #easternGhouta and safety to #Damascus #Syria.
  • Trump's proclamation that the U.S. military will leave Syria 'very soon' is likely not serious. It is a bargaining strategy to get the Saudis to pay for the occupation they want. The Zionists, Saudis and the dimwits at the Washington Post editorial board argue that the U.S. must stay in Syria to prevent an Iranian role in that country. But the only reason why Iran is playing a security role in Syria at all is the attack on and occupation of that country by foreign forces. When the attacks stop and the occupiers leave Iran will no longer have such a role. The real intent of those who argue otherwise is 'regime change' in Syria and in Iran.

Use the comments as open thread ...

Posted by b on April 1, 2018 at 15:09 UTC | Permalink

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@97 don... the way he runs his website is infantile as i see it..

@99 christian.. i think what is going on here is opcw has been hijacked by the west... this would be the reason russia is also asking the opcw a number of questions which it had asked britian and france earlier yesterday or the day before..

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2018 18:24 utc | 101

Slavoj Zizek has a very good new article on Assange.

Some quotes:

"The biggest achievement of the new cognitive-military complex is that direct and obvious oppression is no longer necessary: individuals are much better controlled and “nudged” in the desired direction when they continue to experience themselves as free and autonomous agents of their own lives. And this is another key lesson of WikiLeaks: our lack of freedom is most dangerous when it is experienced as the very manifestation of our freedom. Because what can be more free than the incessant flow of communications which allows every individual to popularize their opinions and forms virtual communities at the user's own volition? This is why it is absolutely imperative to keep the digital network out of the control of private capital and state power, i.e., to render it totally accessible to public debate. Assange was right in his strangely ignored key book on Google (When Google Met WikiLeaks, 2014) in his understanding of how our lives are regulated today, and how this regulation is experienced as our freedom. Meaning, we have to focus on the shadowy relation between private corporations which control our commons and secret state agencies."


"No wonder that the Guardian, which extensively reports on the Cambridge Analytica “scandal,” recently published a disgusting attack on Assange as a megalomaniac and fugitive from justice. Now, as far they are concerned, write as much as you want about Cambridge Analytica and Steve Bannon, just don’t dwell on what Assange was drawing our attention to: that the state apparatuses which are now expected to investigate the “scandal” are themselves part of the problem.

Assange characterized himself as the spy of and for the people: he is not spying on the people for those in power, he is spying on those in power for the people. This is why the only ones who can really help him now are we, the people. Only our pressure and mobilization can alleviate his predicament."

Posted by: George Lane | Apr 2 2018 18:26 utc | 102


A good rule of thumb - take for granted that the US is doing, or has done, whatever evil it accuses a targeted country of doing.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 2 2018 18:30 utc | 103

@CC 99
Phoenix was especially bad. There are reports that none of the tens of thousands detainees survived, either tortured to death or thrown out of helicopters (two detainees went up, one came back to talk). The "body count" was quite popular and heavily reported.

The scale isn't as great but currently we see some variations on the old themes. Reagan outlawed foreign assassinations by Executive Order. The Bush CIA (after 9/11) jacked up its detain & torture, then Obama outlawed that by EO but embarked on foreign assassinations of "suspected terrorists" which got into the behavior studies we blogged on recently. Obama (supposedly)okayed the kill lists, heavy on drone-fired rockets, which included US citizens. The Pentagon regularly reported on the killing of suspected terrorists, defined as anybody resisting US military operations anywhere, or being with those who did, or just being.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 2 2018 18:41 utc | 104

The Phoenix Program was the template for the death squad operations in Latin America in 1970s/80s.

The death squads were in turn revisited in Iraq as the US turned to exploiting sectarian division. The Pentagon described it as the "Salvador Option", taking credit for the sponsored terror campaign they strenuously denied back in the 1980s.

Posted by: jayc | Apr 2 2018 18:47 utc | 105

I may be off track but I have a sneaky feeling that Trump and Putin are working together. Sure some things happen that would suggest otherwise but you have to remember that Trump has a lot of enemies in Washington that what to destroy him and Russia. I think the Skripal case was organised without Trumps knowledge and he had no choice but to go along with it and expel Russian diplomats. Perhaps that's why he announced straight after that the U.S was pulling out of Syria. Also no sooner had the Russian diplomats left than Trump said Russia could send over 60 replacements. Now we have Trump inviting Putin to Washington for a summit. If he pulls this off this would be the biggest coo for a US president in over 30 years. I believe Trump is a risk taker and he really means to drain the swamp. I hope I am right , only time will tell.

Posted by: Kitty | Apr 2 2018 18:55 utc | 106

Posted by: Kitty | Apr 2, 2018 2:55:33 PM | 106

Yep, neocons don't seem happy. They are putting their hope into John Bolton now.

It is theater. The meeting does not mean anything. US withdrawal from Syria and Iraq will.

Neither US nor British oligarchs want to lose Russian investment.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 2 2018 19:09 utc | 107

@GL 102
I'm sorry about Assange, but I don't need Assange to tell me how to be free. I know how. I also know that a big part of the digital network is not free. I have the bannings to prove it. It is not totally accessible to public debate. But hey, we're all smart enough to read the news and make up our own minds, right? I enjoy reading the government's position, as promoted on many blogs, because it clarifies my own thinking. I enjoy social media, but it doesn't determine my life. Meanwhile let's accept the world the way it is while maintaining our own best way through it. It is really quite an adventure, quite a voyage even given all the rocks and shoals.

My advice, for people who want truth, is to take a hike. Go into the woods and mountains. There is truth. The rocks, the trees, the birds, the hills .. .they all are what they are. No fakery, no BS. That hill must be climbed and all the PR from any agency can't make it go away.

"I came into this world, not chiefly to make this a good place to live in, but to live in it, be it good or bad." . . .Henry David Thoreau

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 2 2018 19:09 utc | 108

Lithium is not a rare earth metal. Major deposits exist in the Atacama desert in South America. China certainly not sole source of Lithium.

Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Apr 2 2018 19:41 utc | 109

Thanks all for commenting on Phoenix.

Death squad was the word I was groping for. If they arrested / killed 80,000 then the scale was massive. When I read 'targeted assassinations' I was thinking a few dozen or hundred at most, but once you get into the 10's of thousands, they aren't that targeted.

Posted by: Christian Chuba | Apr 2 2018 20:14 utc | 110

@ Lavrenty 100

I scrutinized the sources you provided and I considered the source. They are bafflegab.

I'm a two-fisted atheist. The RC cult and the Pope confirmed liars.

The official denial of sinners going Pffft! is actually a affirmation of the notion that sinners go Pfft.

Citing Pope Paul VI, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says that Catholic teaching "affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, 'eternal fire.' The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs."

The second sentence negates the first. Although it might seem that sinners get shish-kabobed in hell for eternity, the chief punishment is a separation from god, and so eternal fire is, for pain and anguish purposes, no punishment at all.

I will believe a 93 yo atheist over the Pope any day.


Posted by: DineroDProfit | Apr 2 2018 20:37 utc | 111

@102 george lane... thanks.. quote from the article "Assange characterized himself as the spy of and for the people: he is not spying on the people for those in power, he is spying on those in power for the people."

britian is fucked in the head on this issue... it is interesting to see the head of human rights watch hold equador to account on no internet, but not a word on britian, or cambridge analytica for that matter...

@108 don bacon... why the callous attitude towards assange? while it's true we don't know need him to tell us how to be free (i didn't think he was!), but his work in and with wikileaks have been invaluable... that he is everything the empire hates ought to solicit a degree of compassion.. but maybe you have the same attitude as some of those folks who are in power who want to keep him out of the conversation? weird don.. i don't understand that about you..

Posted by: james | Apr 2 2018 20:55 utc | 112

a must read, skripal cousin interview to russian media with main points translated in english by Valentina Lisitsa ;)

complete translation should follow on ollie richardson account

Posted by: roflmaousse | Apr 2 2018 21:21 utc | 113

It came to me out on my walk today after I saw three bald eagles soaring above me at about 500 feet...they are slowly returning to America's Northwest

Anyway, I was pondering the significance of the Pope saying there was no Hell and it came to me that the aliens have not just landed but have made initial contact.....think about the Enlightenment period, we are about to go through another.

And it certainly explains the circus we see today as the elite scurry around trying hard to rearrange the deck chairs on what they call civilization.

So there is your tin foil hat story of the day

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 2 2018 22:57 utc | 114

james @ 112

yah ive noticed that about him to...somedays Don puts out good pieces of conversation and info...and some days hes just a fargin grumpy old asshole...but mostly that makes him just human...good days, bad days



Posted by: oldenyoung | Apr 3 2018 1:55 utc | 115

@ perimeter & Piotr Berman
I never thought I would find the image of a rabid dog chewing out itys own guts so appealing but the shit being flung back and forth by the NYT/WAPO/Guardian nexus against the Sinclair/Fox nexus is fucking diverting entertainment. Both groups are chocka full of talking heads worried that their brilliant careers as anchors pseudo journos (there is nothing quite as dispiriting as trying to converse with a recent journalism graduate and discovering that not only do they know SFA about the world around them, they have zero interest in remedying that - for them the job is about celebrity and all the baubles they imagine go with it)
The thing is though, this will result in some extremely bad shit happening. I've said this before but it sort of bounced off everybody without penetrating. After gutenberg did his thing and printing presses capable of churning out mass pamphlets popped up all over europe, there was no control - a good thing, but just like right now many people lapped up what was in the pamphlets or or their social network, without applying the sort of analysis that is essential to, among other things staying sane, but also getting a grip on the actuality of their world.
Like now, people read the pamphlets written by people they agreed with.

Things got really bad in England since a largely protestant population indoctrinated by the puritanism which went hand in hand with early protestantism began living under a monarch, Charles 1 who was an unabashed catholic plus he was arrogant and totally divorced intellectually and socially from his population.
At one extreme were the middle class protestants tradespeople & small business who could read but thus far had only had the bible to read, at the other end the aristo class many of whom, considering themselves above the hoi polloi hung on to papism. Both sides flooded the public conciousness with tales of papist debauch (priests keeping harems of nuns) or protestant heresy and deals with the devil.
Of course there were some who spoke out against either/both gangs of idiots but since their pamphlets weren't nearly so salacious they weren't well circulated.

Ultimately war broke out between the two rabid teams - the English Civil war. The papist controlled army was better organised initially and hammered the proddies into the ground, but support from the new proddie communities in amerika joined with Oliver Cromwell's organisational abilities to form the 'new model army' and the cavaliers ended up being demolished by the roundheads. Charley had his head chopped off Cromwell took over and in about his first move demanded control of all printing presses. Even now in england all newspapers have to be registered with the government who can if they desire 'de-register' and stop circulation - altho this is pretty rare especially for any fishwrap owned by a billionaire if the russians still depended on printing presses to get their news out I betcha they would have been silenced by may a coupla weeks back.

The arseholes on both sides whose news is about as real as a three dollar bill will push so hard somewhere that there will be a conflict. A lot of us will be casualties when it finishes arseholes will still be in charge but censorship across the net will have an excuse that most people who don't want to die will agree to.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 3 2018 1:57 utc | 116

@116 oldenyoung.. thanks.. that is a fair comment / observation...

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2018 3:11 utc | 117

Ottawa is Trying to Interfere in Venezuela's Election

"The Trudeau government is engaging in a wide-ranging campaign to weaken Venezuela's elected government. Last week the UNHRC passed a resolution condemning the economic sanctions the US, Canada and EU have adopted against Venezuela. When Russia has been accused of a much more mild form of intervention every party in Parliament is quick to condemn them. Is there no voice in Parliament willing to denounce Canada's interference in another country's electoral process?"

Apparently not.

Posted by: John Gilberts | Apr 3 2018 3:13 utc | 118

@ Debs 117
To continue the case against jolly old,
How Fake News Becomes Fake History: British Propaganda and World War 1
..and then we could move to WWII

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 3 2018 3:31 utc | 119

@105 jayc. Yep, Negroponte's gig..

Posted by: Lozion | Apr 3 2018 3:43 utc | 120

@oldenyoung 116
. . .somedays Don puts out good pieces of conversation and info...and some days hes just a fargin grumpy old asshole.
Your appraisal is noted. I have been blogging on various pages for, oh, fifteen/twenty years or so and in that time I have always tried to treat even disagreeable readers with some degree of respect, or perhaps some disrespect, w/o calling them playground names like asshole. Perhaps you may get there some day.
You can expect my close attention to your comments in future, in light of your infantile attitude.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 3 2018 3:47 utc | 121

A good article at Strategic culture on Russia's unannounced military tech. Well worth the read.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 3 2018 3:48 utc | 122

Don 122

The part that stood out in oldenyoung's post was "but this just makes him human". A simple recognition of the stuff stuff that makes us individuals, rather than a shot at you I think.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Apr 3 2018 7:07 utc | 123

"Yes, there are people from Saudi Arabia [but not me] who financed terrorist groups."

Clown prince-ling, MbS would have to qualify as #1 in the current "Dajjal" pageant. Amazing what modern plastic surgery can achieve. (*)

Negative interest rates in Palestinian Gaza persecutions by latter-day Zionist Cult experiments in Occupied Palestine; and hyper positive interest in exterminating Muslims in the Yemen. "False"; "lie"; and "deception" are underestimates!

"Saudi Crown Prince Admits Saudis 'Financed Terrorist Groups', Blesses Israeli Statehood" -- ZH link


(*) -

Posted by: imo | Apr 3 2018 7:16 utc | 124

It's now all clear: the porridge was on the door, and White Snow's stepmother is the real culprit

Posted by: Mina | Apr 3 2018 8:08 utc | 125

@126 -- Gotta love these phrases: in addition to said "porridge", the "potentially-deadly", the mother-in-law's tongue, and the "secret bank account" -- i.e., <$2 worth of cereal; not deadly poisonous; a family feud; and just a deceased estate bank account with proceeds of a 50% house sale by ex-wife of brother. Yawn!

I don't know which is worse: reality TV UK style or USA style?

Posted by: imo | Apr 3 2018 8:47 utc | 126

This is excellent analysis of what could go horribly wrong if John Bolton and the White House Warmongers actually manage to push things too far. Frankly, I think they're too stupid and blind blindly ideological to think about what might happen if they push Russia into a corner.

Posted by: Tyronius | Apr 3 2018 10:13 utc | 127

I see Mr Corbyn has been having a bit of fun at the expense of the zionist lobby. He has even managed to put the zionist shit rag, the Guardian in the uncomfortable position of wanting to call him an anti-semite, but not being able to for attending Passover leder at Jewdas, a jewish organisation which is outspoken in its condemnation of apartheid israel.

Jeremy Corbyn has been criticised for attending a Passover event with a leftwing Jewish group highly critical of mainstream Jewish communal bodies, and which has described the protests against the Labour leader as “faux outrage greased with hypocrisy and opportunism”.

Corbyn attended a Passover seder, the traditional meal of the Jewish festival, in his Islington constituency that was organised by Jewdas, which last week accused the Jewish Board of Deputies, Jewish Leadership Council and Jewish Labour Movement of “playing a dangerous game with people’s lives”.

The group – which runs alternative Jewish parties, events and a satirical website – said in a statement last week over the Enough Is Enough protests that much of the furore over antisemitism in Labour was “the work of cynical manipulations by people whose express loyalty is to the Conservative party and the right wing of the Labour party”.

IMO this is fucking great, the zionist lobby has been dragging out the same hackneyed tropes about equating the movement to protect Palestinian humans rights to anti-semitism for so long they just have no notion of how to square the circle of a truly reknowned anti-racist as Mr Corbyn is, outspokenly defending Palestinianss while he parties with jews who share his views.

The Board of Deputies and Jewish Leadership Council have gotten away with their bullying and smearing of decent people for so long they have no idea of what to do when someone famous who has what they consider a lot to lose from being called out, agrees with them that judeophobia sucks and has the chops to prove he loathes racism, but remains 100% unabashed in his criticism of the apartheid state.
They must have thought for a minute that Labour Party opposition to the false imprisonment, torture, rape and murder of the indigenous people of the Jordan Valley was a thing of the past, an artifact which could be oppressed into nothingness by the usual slanders - HEHEH thay are very wrong.

I particularly like the line by Momentum founder, Jewdas member and jew Jon Lansman when he said;
"For those in the community who want to paint Jeremy’s attendance as an act of provocation, rather than an attempt to listen, engage, and share our festival with us, it’s actually just alienating many young Jewish people further and validating Jewdas’ very existence.” The old zionists have really stuffed themselves between a rock and hard place because the zionist generation has aged, is losing power and is being replaced by younger jews who see the ersatz state as an embarassment and a provocation to so-called anti-semitism.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Apr 3 2018 12:51 utc | 128

Don @ 122

Looking forward to chatting with you too...Assange has provided alot of good documentation to the world, that no one else was going to provide...your assessment seemed somewhat unreasonable and grumpy...unlike many of your other comments...when i get that way...i try to keep em in my head and go have a beer...



Posted by: oldenyoung | Apr 3 2018 13:18 utc | 129


let me repeat one final time: I have a Belgian SIM and I am not registered. And I didn't buy it at the Gare du Nord ...

Posted by: Mh505 | Apr 3 2018 14:50 utc | 130

Syrian Army Uncovers Large Ammo and Mass Grave at ISIS Strong-hold

Posted by: Andrea Iravani | Apr 3 2018 15:07 utc | 131

@Debs 129
The basic problem is that criticism of the Jewish state of Israel is considered to be anti-Semmitism. The US State Department’s definition of anti-semitism, which broadly includes criticism of Israel or attempts to “delegitimize” Israel’s status as a Jewish state, or even “focusing on Israel” for human rights investigations or urging peace.

The State Department’s definition, shared by the European Union, states, “Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, towards Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

Examples include, among other things:
Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews
Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust
Demonizing Israel by blaming it for all inter-religious or political tensions
Judge Israel by a double standard that one would not apply to any other democratic nation

Israel has never called itself a Jewish State, but that will change.
news report, Mar 15, 2018

Nazareth, Israel - After seven years of delays, the Israeli governing parties have agreed the final terms of controversial new legislation that would define Israel exclusively as "the nation-state of the Jewish people".
The bill is now expected to be fast-tracked through the Israeli parliament and on to the statute books in the coming weeks. Approval by the parliament's justice committee this week of the Basic Law, which carries much greater weight than normal legislation, marks a dangerous turning-point for Palestinians, according to analysts.
Amir Ohana, the committee's chair, called it the "law of all laws", while a government minister termed it "Zionism's flagship bill". It effectively blocks any chance for Israel's large Palestinian minority - one in five of the population - to reform Israel in the future into a normal, Western-style democracy. . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Apr 3 2018 15:16 utc | 132

Gary Aitkenhead, chief executive of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, told Sky News: "We were able to identify it as novichok, to identify that it was military-grade nerve agent.

"We have not identified the precise source, but we have provided the scientific info to government who have then used a number of other sources to piece together the conclusions you have come to."

Now, scientists say they are unsure of the links. Aitkenhead added: "It is our job to provide the scientific evidence of what this particular nerve agent is, we identified that it is from this particular family [Novichok] and that it is a military grade, but it is not our job to say where it was manufactured."

He suggested the substance required "extremely sophisticated methods to create, something only in the capabilities of a state actor".

Aitkenhead said there is no known antidote to novichok, and that none was administered to either of the Skripals.

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2018 15:32 utc | 133

"Porton Down’s boss would not comment on whether the lab had developed or keeps stocks of novichok, but dismissed suggestions the agent used to poison the Skripals came from Porton Down.
“There is no way anything like that could have come from us or left the four walls of our facility,” said Mr Aitkenhead.
It comes as the chemical weapons watchdog said it would hold a special meeting on Wednesday into the UK government’s claim that Russia was behind the attack.
The OPCW (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons) said its executive council would meet in the morning in The Hague, on Russia’s request.
In a letter, Russia’s ambassador to the OPCW, Alexander Shulgin, asked for the meeting to discuss Britain’s allegations “in a confidential sitting”.

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2018 15:45 utc | 134

meanwhile... exercise toxic dagger was happening for a few weeks in the same time frame... what a friggin' coincidence...

Posted by: james | Apr 3 2018 15:46 utc | 135

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