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December 02, 2018

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2018-64

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:

A former German Foreign Minister, Siegmar Gabriel, warned that the Ukraine is trying to pull others into its war:

"I think we should not let Ukraine draw us into a war, and Ukraine tried to do that," Gabriel said in an interview, voicing concerns over the situation in the Sea of Azov.

Robert Fisk has the same concern expressed in the above piece and an earlier one. It is Trump's Middle East policy, build around Saudi Arabia, that will bring him down:

So I have a prediction. If the Trump regime collapses – for regime it is – I suspect it will not be his frolics with the Russians which destroy it. Nor his corruption, nor his domestic lies. Nor his misogyny. Nor his anti-immigrant racism. Nor his obvious mental instability, though this clearly connects him to his friends in the Arab world. The Middle East has already got its coils into the White House. Trump is a friend of a highly dangerous state called Saudi Arabia. He has adopted Israeli foreign policy as his own, including the ownership of Jerusalem and wholehearted support for Israel’s illegal colonisation of Palestinian Arab land. He has torn up a solemn treaty with Iran. He has joined the Sunni side in its sectarian war with the Shias of the Middle East, in Iran, in Lebanon, in Syria, in Bahrain and, of course, in Saudi Arabia itself.
[T]he Arabs and Muslims who live in territory which many of the American supporters call the holy land may well decide his future; after all, he thinks he can decide theirs.

Use as open thread ...

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Posted by b on December 2, 2018 at 09:34 AM | Permalink

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IMO Trump is as much a "friend" of Saudi Arabia/MbS as he is of Russia/Putin or North Korean/Kim. Which is to say, he is no friend of any of them.

IMO Trump is the "good cop" to these recalcitrants while US Deep State is the "bad cop".

Domestically, the situation is reversed. The Democrats are the "good cop" who support the Deep State against Trump. The Democratic Party's alliance of convenience with the Deep State would be deeply troubling - if the Democrats actually believed in democracy. Caitlin Johnstone drives home the point:

And this is really the lesson we can take from all this. The noxious strain of American liberalism which promotes Russia conspiracy theories, supports the prosecution of government transparency advocates, and only attacks Trump as an idea rather than actually resisting his actual policies was never about any principle of any kind. There were preexisting agendas against Russia, alternative media, WikiLeaks, and government transparency long before Trump took office, and all of those agendas have been systematically advanced by the powerful using the “us vs them” herd mentality of the McResistance. These people aren’t supporting the prosecution of a leak publisher because of their ideological values, they are supporting it because that’s what powerful manipulators want them to do.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 2, 2018 10:25:46 AM | 1

IMO Trump is a traitor to his popular base but the base is irrelevant to the outcome..what is relevant is the charade that the constitution matters and voters actually have some say in the government, that is why so much money is spent during elections to polarize the elements of both sides (essentially, elections are a massive propaganda opportunity for those who control the power. Those in control use elections to find weaknesses in their methods and to reaffirm their authority to rule).

Voters were faced with a binary, elect Hellarary or Trump. Since Lincoln was shot, the people with money in the private sector and holders of positions of power in government have been determined by organized crime.

regards "[T]he Arabs and Muslims who live in territory which many of the American supporters call the holy land may well decide his future; after all, he thinks he can decide theirs" A race between the American people and the holy land tribes is on, if the tribes win, there will be a new constitution and new type of government in America, if the American holy land supporters win, the existing government will continue its corruption, but either way Trump will not be a part of it.

Posted by: snake | Dec 2, 2018 11:33:18 AM | 2

IMO Trump is as much a "friend" of Saudi Arabia/MbS as he is of Russia/Putin or North Korean/Kim. Which is to say, he is no friend of any of them.

Well, JR, of course you are correct, FWIW (IE, nothing). These are global capitalist opportunists and co-conspirators, or "partners" as Putin often terms himself and his neoliberal colleagues at the top of the international food chain, who play act at being political opponents sometimes and political allies at other times for the sake of alternately placating or exciting their own domestic herds of sheep as circumstances require.

Oh, and also for playing the rubes from everywhere who try way too hard to find some sliver of relative moral righteousness in the actions of any one over the other.

Of course this group doesn't include "North Korea/Kim", who is well beside any point you may be trying to make. "North Korea/Kim" was merely a momentary Trump stage prop to play for a cheap and easy "historical breakthrough" that was pure sham from the get-go. And one which Trump quickly discarded when he realised he wouldn't be winning any Nobel Peace Prize anytime soon for his phony summit/photo op with Kim.

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 2, 2018 11:46:41 AM | 3


You are making false equivalencies again. I don't believe that the new Cold War is faked by Putin, Xi, and Trump. USA-led West drove Russia and China together. That now threatens the hegemonic NWO that the West had assumed was well established.

Yes, it was phony Summit but that sparked the good cop / bad cop dynamic as Democrats were critical and Deep State sympathizers expressed skepticism. Before the Summit, Trump was a huuge critic of "Rocketman". Now he is the "good cop".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 2, 2018 12:14:26 PM | 4

thanks for the coverage b.. of course the former german foreign affairs minister is correct... i am glad someone is saying this in a public context, but it is unfortunate it can only be those who no longer have political power... john gilberts points out how canada is essentially in bed with the western ukraine neo nazis, as ukraine descends into a dictatorship while trying to egg on ww3..

alastair crooke has an article out for those who would like to read it.. the khashoggi effect erdogan inverts the paradigm whilst gulf allies sink in quagmire ...

trump seems like the perfect leader of the exceptional nation to lead the world over the cliff..i think he is doing a fine job so far... anyone who thought he was going to do something good seems sorely disappointed, outside of israel, ksa or climate change disaster of course! but in fact i don't believe he is helping israel or ksa either..he is just doing what all the usa leaders for quite some time have been doing - wall st and military industrial complex prioritizing... i see it much like @ 2 snake.. the criminal element runs the usa and has for a long time..

this larry johnson guy has written a few good articles at pat langs site, this one being his latest.. Felix Sater--The Rosetta Stone for the FBI/CIA Conspiracy Against Trump?

Posted by: james | Dec 2, 2018 12:46:50 PM | 5

@donkeytale: Right on point. They are all "partners" in their neoliberal crimes. Those ppl like the Saker, who are trapped in their borderline black/white world view sadly dont get it.
While our "western" politicians are worthy of any critisism and hate they get, their "partners" in Russia, China or elsewhere are not born again Jesus here to save the world.

They are where they are because they are part of the elites, and because they played ball.

NK, Iran and Venezuela are the only countrys which dont match into this, but their elites are equally corrupt, just not in a western neoliberal way.

i understand that one wants to defend for example Putin and his State when it gets attacked with propaganda, and i guess 80% of the time it is right to do so.
But there are valid points of critique, and if someone truely wants to stand with e.g. the Russian people, one can act like Putin didnt rise to power as protege of Jelzin and his gang.
Plus many people mistake the Stavka's actions for Putin's..
For example concerning Israels downing of the Russian plane and the consequenses, where the Stavka openly rebelled and cornerd Putin into action (Which he just recently tried to soften up again when he met his friend Bibi).

It is hard i know. But the reflex to ALWAYS defend ANYTHING hurts only one's own credibility, and ultimately, the pursuit of the deeper truth.
When one decides to stand with/against someone of something, every chance of objectivity is impossible. It human nature, but not one that helps said pursuit.
There are no saints.. We, those people the elites look down on, need to take power. WE need to force change. Hoping that one of those elites will be the one to saviour us is a childish dream.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | Dec 2, 2018 1:00:32 PM | 6

I have always been a fan of Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The later Roman emperors, many of whom came to power through murder and intrigue, knew that their fate depended on the goodwill of the military. More and more of the Imperial revenues were handed to the legions - “donatives” - to buy their loyalty, and the generals would naturally back the claimant who promised and distributed the most. Is this so different from Washington today?

Posted by: Montreal | Dec 2, 2018 1:20:31 PM | 7


According to Meduza (a couple of weeks ago) ( via @meduzaproject):

“.……….The Russian Attorney General’s Office announced on Monday that it is investigating financier and economist Bill Browder as a suspect in the death of Sergey Magnitsky, who died in November 2009, after 11 months in pretrial detention. Russian officials believe Magnitsky and several other “Browder criminal associates” might have been poisoned secretly with certain “chemicals containing aluminum compounds.”……..”

Broder was also accused by Russia in the deaths of three businessmen associated with the Magnitsky case ( This latest charge is so absurd as to invite ridicule - and it seems to be related to the expected election of a Russian as President of Interpol. Broder was recently arrested in Spain on an Interpol warrant, but was released because the EU considers the case against Broder to be political. Russia is fully responsible for the wrongful death of Magnitsky and trumped up charges on Magnitsky and Broder. Does anyone (besides Patrick Armstrong) believe the lies of the Russian government?

Russian Alexander Prokopchuk was expected to be elected President of Interpol; however, intense lobbying by the US probably prevented his election (Meduza):

“.……..In a recent op-ed for Forbes, conservative think tank Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Ted Bromund said, “There is literally no one in the world who bears a more direct and personal responsibility for Russia’s abuse of Interpol than Alexander Prokopchuk.” According to Bromund, “The only possible explanation for this, if it comes to pass, is that a majority of those nations agree with Russia and China that Interpol is an instrument of power, not of law. In other words, they accept and welcome the abuse of Interpol because they abuse it, or plan to abuse it, themselves.” In his article, Bromund argues that Western democracies should consider leaving Interpol, if Prokopchuk is elected…….”

A South Korean was elected instead in a win for the west as well as law and order.

Posted by: craigsummers | Dec 2, 2018 1:23:25 PM | 8

but you can trust what cut and paste craig says, lol... criag you are slowing down my man! you cut and paste this one in the past week or two... what is happening? are you running out of stupid shit to share???

Posted by: james | Dec 2, 2018 1:29:42 PM | 9

James @9

" cut and paste this one in the past week or two... what is happening?......."

I apologize if I did. I may have forgotten to copy it. It's a faily typical post exposing run of the mill Russian lies. Nothing special.


Posted by: craigsummers | Dec 2, 2018 1:45:25 PM | 10

I enjoy Craig Summer’s posts although they do tend to be in the “I am right and you morons are wrong” style.
The Browder story is, as the Russians would say, a dark one and I defy anyone to claim full ownership of the truth here, (beyond an instinctive conviction that Browder is a real horror.) Red Notice my ****. Did you pick up the bit where he gets all his info on beneficial ownership of oligarch-owned off-shore companies from CDs he buys in the street markets in Moscow? Yeah right.

Posted by: Montreal | Dec 2, 2018 1:49:22 PM | 11

"A former German Foreign Minister, Siegmar Gabriel, warned that the Ukraine is trying to pull others into its war"

Do not mistake the SPD with Germany. This declining party is getting hammered, losing even more influence than the CDU.

The greens are taking over their votes. And the german greens are anti-russian. According to many polls now the greens are more popular leftist party than the SPD - the most popular leftist party in Germany. They owned the SPD in Bavaria's recent elections.

SJW identity politics are taking over the german left, and SJWs hate Russia with passion.

As for Merkel's CDU successors - the woman wanted to ban russian ships in the EU and the man is religious atlantist.

Posted by: Passer by | Dec 2, 2018 2:19:24 PM | 12

Regarding the protests in France, shouldnt NATO have bombed France by now?

Posted by: Zanon | Dec 2, 2018 2:21:16 PM | 13

On UK/Russia relationships, I don't know whether you saw the latest entertaining story reported on the radio today, whereby the Brits arrested a Russian journalist outside the HQ of 77th Brigade in Hermitage, and accused him of spying. He was doing something like a piece to camera on public land outside the base. 77th Brigade was delicately described as responsible for "psychological operations", whereas in fact they're the British equivalent of the supposed Russian operation out of Sushkina st (is that right?) in St Petersburg to write fake comments on blogs and media comment columns, no doubt including MoA. The Brits arrest a Russian for reporting on something they themselves complain endlessly about when it's the Russians doing it. I never heard of a Western journalist being arrested for being outside the Russian building. No doubt others will find more details than I have.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 2, 2018 2:48:25 PM | 14

Well, if Gabriel is really concerned, he should just tell Poroshenko that EU will downright refuse to help them if they end up in a genuine war against Russia.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Dec 2, 2018 2:58:20 PM | 15

re Zanon and the French

The gilets jaunes movement is essentially a populist movement against decline of the economic position of people, similar to the main stimulus towards the Brexit vote in Britain, and the election of Trump in the US. Last week there were many women and children in the protests. This week, yesterday, there was a change, the few families who came were all of a sudden outnumbered by a thousand or two young males, who then went on the rampage which has been reported. They were what the French call les casseurs (the "breakers"). The change was complained about by the old gilets jaunes on the TV. Evidently something organised.

My French friend refused to believe that this was the French who organised this. My thoughts went to Bannon and friends. They've said recently they were going to intervene in European politics. Last year, the American far right did try to intervene in the French presidential elections, but they failed completely, because they didn't understand French politics. This year they may be doing better, by putting money to les casseurs, difficult to understand otherwise why there should be such a violent explosion.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 2, 2018 3:39:10 PM | 16

It's good of CS to put a banner up so I don't have to read further. Saves time.

Posted by: dynkyd | Dec 2, 2018 3:56:36 PM | 17

craigsummers or someone like him. Riddle me this - when is a dead child like a blocked toilet?

Posted by: daffyDuct | Dec 2, 2018 4:14:55 PM | 18

"Vice Admiral Scott Stearney, who oversaw US naval forces in Middle East, was found dead at his home in apparent suicide."

Stearney was the commander of US Naval Forces Central Command and of the US Navy's Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet, which is responsible for patrolling the Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, Red Sea, Arabian Sea and parts of the Indian Ocean.

In recent years, the fleet has dealt with potential threats from pirates and weapons smugglers as well as Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats and Houthi rebels firing missiles at commercial ships from Yemen."

Posted by: daffyDuct | Dec 2, 2018 4:18:14 PM | 19

Seeing the Oil prices begin their dive weeks before Trump announced huge exemptions on Iran sanctions, and stock market buying frenzy a week before backing down on tarrifs against China it appears insider trading has reached new levels.

Perhaps thats the entire point of these continuous fake threats followed by retractions. Not only do we have fake news, fake science and fake political battles but as I have postulated before, many of the conflicts with Russia, China, iran, Saudi Arabia and the EU are fake as fake wrestling. Welcome to the New Fake Order led by Trump the sucessor to Bush and his New World Order.

I suppose there are a few real conflicts with the small fry (Venezuela, Cuba, Yemen, Syria, etc), but the US/Global elites wrote Russias constitution enforcing an independent BIS controlled Central Bank on them, helped the Communists take China by witholding aid to KMT after WWII, and built it into a Super power by allowing free trade (unlike Cuba and FSU), they were behind the take down of the Shah and bringing Khomeini to power (flew in from France), and of course behind the scenes worked to create the undemocratic EU to roll back democratic socialist policies with enforced austerity measures.

Posted by: Pft | Dec 2, 2018 4:24:00 PM | 20

Laguerre @16

Whenever there is a threatening popular protest movement the government will send in agents provocateurs to instigate violence and discredit the cause. In the US during the early labor union movements the targeted companies sent in bullies and scabs to instigate violent repression. In the 60’s the Students for a Democratic Society, the Black Panthers, and civil rights protestors were infiltrated with rock-throwers and window-smashers. This is government standard operating procedure.

Posted by: A. Person | Dec 2, 2018 4:35:05 PM | 21

I have to LOL at Fisk

“He has adopted Israeli foreign policy as his own, including the ownership of Jerusalem and wholehearted support for Israel’s illegal colonisation of Palestinian Arab land. “

Has he been living under a rock for 40 years? Aside from a few half hearted (perhaps fake) attempts at being impartial mediators between Israel and Palestinians, this had defined US foreign policy which Trump is simply continuing (albeit w/o and pretenses about helping Palestinians)

Curiously since 1978 every President has each year proclaimed a holiday celebrated on Rebbe Schneersons hebrew birthday date called Education Day, including Trump. The late Rebbe who is of the Chabad Lubovitch sect made it a point to educate non Jews they must follow the 7 Noahide Laws and not the 10 Mosaic Laws of the Old Testament, the latter of which is only meant for Jews. His sect also points to the difference in souls. In 1991 the late Bush signed a resolution from Congress recognizing the US was founded based on principles of the 7 Noahide Laws. Anyways, this sect originated in Russia before setting up HQ in Brooklyn around WWII. Its a world wide group now. In Russia the Chabad Rabbi from Brooklyn is known as Putins Rabbi, as he has been appointed the official leader of the Jews in Russia by Putin. The Kushners are members as is Ivanka, and Trumps Russian business associate Felix Sater. No conspiracy theory here I just find it interesting given our blind support for Israeli policies.

Posted by: Pft | Dec 2, 2018 4:58:30 PM | 22

Three things Petro Poroshenko gets wrong, in calling for NATO countries to send warships into the Sea of Azov:

- first, the 1936 Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits gives Turkey the right to regulate who can pass into the Black Sea through the Bosporus Strait and restricts naval warships from countries that do not border the Black Sea from entering into it

- second, on the assumption that NATO warships do manage to pass through the Bosporus Strait (over President Erdogan's own prostrate and lifeless body presumably) or through the Danube River, they still have to pass through Russian maritime territory to reach Kerch Strait:

- third, Kerch Strait is shallow (18 metres at its deepest) and the Sea of Azov is shallow as well (up to 14 metres in depth) and I hear that US Navy frigates typically have a draft of 10+ metres so they are going to need a lot of tugboats to get them through the Kerch Strait to fight any naval battles on Ukraine's behalf.

Looks like Poroshenko has a long tab open and running of things he can still get wrong.

Posted by: Jen | Dec 2, 2018 5:18:00 PM | 23

pft @22

On conspiracy, as you know:

It exists when two or more people agree (plus perform one over act) to do something illegal or to do something legal in an illegal way.

Hence, (lol) at any given moment there are roughly 10 to 30 million conspiracies going on.

Posted by: A. Person | Dec 2, 2018 5:34:11 PM | 24

Posted by: paid jerk-off | Dec 2, 2018 1:23:25 PM | 8

Browder is a slimy oligarch wanna be. Anyone with merely a passing familiarity with Browder's war against Putin knows that his claims are untrustworthy. Only a paid jerk-off would afford Browder any credibility.

This was made crystal clear by the film “The Magnitsky Act Behind the Scenes”. Although it is difficult to find now (it was pulled from vimeo), it is available here ($5 cost) or one can read an excellent summary by Eric Zusse: Private Investigations Find America’s Magnitsky Act to Be Based on Frauds.

The independent filmmaker that made the film WAS HIRED BY BROWDER but found that Browder's claims could not be substantiated so he re-worked the film into an expose about Browder himself. The filmmaker documents that:

> Browder claimed Magnitsky was a lawyer but Magnitsky was actually an accountant;

> Browder claimed that Magnitsky had accused the police of wrong-doing but there were no records of that;

> Browder claimed that Magnitsky was beaten to death by 7 guards but that could not be possible in the close confines of the jail cell;

> When confronted with such suspicious details, Browder reacts in a manner that indicates guilt.

That is only a small sample of info from the film.


Take your hands out of your pants and get a real job.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 2, 2018 5:59:26 PM | 25

breaking news, sputniknews is reporting that Syrian military claims that the US launched several missile attacks on Syrian military positions in the country's east. so far it appears to be a fairly minor attack so (presumably a threat to the Syrians about moving troops to protect themselves from the US invaders). time to tell if this attack leads to something larger, but it certainly seems like odd timing for the US to launch a major operation

Posted by: Kadath | Dec 2, 2018 6:13:49 PM | 26

Posted by: A. Person | Dec 2, 2018 4:35:05 PM | 21

Didn't take long for an otherwise unknown Bannon troll to move in and defend the US right.

Posted by: laguerre | Dec 2, 2018 6:17:52 PM | 27

As to the situation in France, one possible positive development reported to me by French family members is that in the more rural areas the demonstrators were brought together largely through social media. These people, who have mostly gotten most if not all of their news and political information from MSM (mostly television) have been introduced to different information sources by their new contacts, and are discovering just how much BS they are being and have been fed. New seeds are being sown in the agricultural areas that may bear some very interesting fruit in the future.

Would any of our learned commenters who are in France be able to confirm this, or shed some light on how much effect this is or is not having?

Posted by: NotBob | Dec 2, 2018 6:46:04 PM | 28

Laguerre @ 27

You concluded your previous post with, “…difficult to understand otherwise why there should be such a violent explosion.”

My comment supports your post: agents provocateurs were surely involved.

(fyi, I do not engage in any common political endeavors. I am autonomous, doing all I can to under-throw the tyrannical US government through oblique, soft revolution.)

Posted by: A. Person | Dec 2, 2018 6:58:19 PM | 29

I posted this comment on the previous open thread way down, but because it deals with a photo-op at the recent G-20 and I believe the picture I'm referring to is worth a thousand words, it should be on this new thread, AND I expect everyone to start shedding whatever hypocrisy and double standard they're clinging to.

Lately, I've been starting to lose respect for Putin. First, you have Trump bragging:

President Putin also is helping Israel, and we both spoke with ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu and they would like to do certain things with respect to Syria, having to do with the safety of Israel. ”He continued, “I think their working with Israel is a great thing – and creating safety for Israel is something both President Putin and I would like to see very much.”

Then, Putin's doing a bro-shake with that butcher, war criminal, binSawman and they're laughing it up together, I thought my lunch was going to give way! How on earth could Putin put on a spectacle like that with a tyrant who sent mercenary jihadists into Syria and who's waging a barbaric assault on the Yemeni people and had a journalist hacked to pieces. He may as well be shaking hand with the Prince of the head choppers or Satan himself!

And what exactly does Trump mean by Putin is working with Israel on Syria and helping Israel??? Putin must have sold out to Zionists.

After that G20 photo-op I don't need to know more; I'm done with him!

And please don't reply it's some Zen master's game Putin is playing, 'cause I ain't buying any bull. So, only one explanation is credible: Putin sold out.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 2, 2018 7:11:17 PM | 30

More fuel to my "soft power erosion" theory.

The NYT published two eulogies to G H W Bush -- both remembering and praising his blue blood:

George H.W. Bush’s Uncommon Grace, by Frank Bruni <>

The Patrician President and the Reporterette: a Screwball Story, by Maureen Dowd <>

George H W Bush was a republican, but he was born to rule; he was a WASP from Connecticut, who studied in Yale (he was captain of Yale's baseball team). The fact that he moved to Texas didn't erase that. And that's why even the liberals respected and accepts his presidency. The same case applied to George W Bush: the liberals protested the Iraq invasion, but they never questioned his legitimacy to rule America.

The USA likes to paint itself, since its first foundation in the 1500s, as a classless society. But, in practice, that's not the case.

Posted by: vk | Dec 2, 2018 8:29:23 PM | 31

Posted by: plaguesummers | Dec 2, 2018 1:23:25 PM | 8

Guess how surprised I wasn't when I scrolled down to see who said that?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 2, 2018 8:36:43 PM | 32

This is why we're entering in another very belligerent phase of capitalism:

World trade in goods has ground to a halt

In this well-summed article, there's this important quote from the European Central Bank (ECB):

“A sudden deterioration in economic growth prospects or a cost shock could, however, undermine corporate profitability, while rising trade protectionism may hamper the profit-generating capacity of export-oriented firms.”

To sum up: trade has stopped growing, so the cake's size is what it is for now. Capitalism is now on a pyramid scheme mode, but it won't last: WWIII will happen, probably sometime the mid-2020s-2030s.

Posted by: vk | Dec 2, 2018 8:45:54 PM | 33

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 2, 2018 8:36:43 PM | 32

On the other hand, considering the number of fish you hooked, your bait-selection skills are superb :-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 2, 2018 9:16:27 PM | 34

@26 kadath... muraselon has an article on it too..

Posted by: james | Dec 2, 2018 9:47:52 PM | 35

Re the Robert Fisk snippet reproduced above...

I've always liked Fisk's work. He's been a consistent critic of the Judeo-Christian Colonial war on Syria and he's usually a plain speaker. So it's interesting that his prediction is so conditional (If the Trump regime collapses) and convoluted. In effect Fisk is saying that nothing can bring Trump down EXCEPT his alignment with Saudi-Israelia.

But Trump has made it quite clear that his bromance with Saudi Barbaria hinges on whether or not they fulfill an ambiguous undertaking to buy $100 Billion+ of profitable pseudo-military junk from US corporations. Considering the fact that the Saudis are mulling the purchase of cutting-edge military tech from Russia, then anything that could go wrong with Trump's deal probably will. And when it does the worst criticism that could be directed at Trump will be that he licked the Saudi boots in anticipation of a BIG DEAL.
And that variety of bootlicking is NOT A CRIME in Biz World.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 2, 2018 10:30:22 PM | 36

Gabbard said, “Since 9/11 alone, we have spent trillions of your taxpayer dollars to pay for these regime change wars, these unnecessary wars of choice that have been counterproductive in every single way, making it so that we don’t have those resources to address the very real and urgent and pressing needs of the people of our communities right at home.”

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 2, 2018 11:34:46 PM | 37

Circe, 30

And what exactly does Trump mean by Putin is working with Israel on Syria and helping Israel??? Putin must have sold out to Zionists.

Totally. Beria's wiggling his toes.

Posted by: Stumpy | Dec 2, 2018 11:52:35 PM | 38

Putin's 'High-5' with MbS at G20.

Not the smartest thing to set up for the msm cameras -- although I've come to believe all these msm shots are carefully planned and choreographed to signal something to the global/domestic audience.

However, given the MbS-(not)CIA-Putin nexus implied this may well be a Russian middle figure to Trump and his dynamic team of post-exceptionals on their way sliding down the global ranking pole dance of geopolitical influence.

For my sensibilities, it's not that MbS knocked off a expat citizen of the Saudi family feudal estate gone rouge, Obama's Tuesday kill list did far many more (that we know about), rather it is the absolute criminal slaughter of Yemen that should have been the excuse for a zone of exclusion around MbS for all at the G20.

It's clear Putin & Co have 'interests' rather than friends, and this high-5 may be a very carefully engineered event to signal something, but he has given a opening in the western media to reinforce the image of 'evil' Russian etc. However, I find the hypocrisy of those other mainly European states, like the UK and France, that fain 'outrage' at an Istanbul spy intrigue while being more than happy to supply Saudi with all the weapons and services they desire to slaughter Yemen's weddings, women, and children without comment.

Posted by: imo | Dec 2, 2018 11:54:36 PM | 39


All you wrote still doesn't explain what Putin did. I don't expect much from spineless EU leaders. The Saudi monarchy is the patron of jihadists in Syria. It was a disgusting spectacle for Putin to debase himself with that savage abomination. Here I imagined Putin would make Russia a counter balance to the evil Empire, Instead he's doing the bro-shake with Prince Jihadi-Wahhabi and committing to Israel's security at the expense of Iran, of course. Too bad Iran doesn't have nukes along with all their oil and gas. Then it could play in the big leagues with integrity. Iran should never have trusted Obama. Unfortunately, the Evil ZioAnglo Empire only respect nukes.

Zionists and Wahhabis are the most destructive, corrupt cults on the planet, and Putin getting in bed between these two? I have lost all faith that Putin is the leader who can challenge the Empire. Stick a fork in him; he's done. Zionists used Trump to reel in Putin. How stupid can he be to fall into that trap! There is no hope.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 3, 2018 1:16:25 AM | 40

UK MOD start propaganda farm in ukraine,

Posted by: Marron | Dec 3, 2018 1:16:58 AM | 41

Circe, imo: Putin's 'High-5' with MbS at G20.

Recent developments that may have played a role:

1) Trump-Erdogan reconcillation:
> USA supported Turkey's occupation of Idlib by threatening to bomb if Idlib is attacked for any reason;

> Turkey released the pastor

> USA Deep State - where the power really lies - attacked MbS for Kashoggi's murder.

2) Turkey unwilling/unable to control Jihadis in Idlib: Russia & SAA now forced to attack Idlib?

3) Erdogan's offer to 'mediate' Kerck Strait dispute (note: not siding with Russia!). Erdogan's "mediation" is potentially perilous as Turkey controls Bosporus Strait?

4) Saudi-USA expectation of each other differ: seems that each wants the other to deliver on their promises before they do:

>> USA wants: arms purchase; Aramaco IPO;

>> Saudis want: USA to win Yemen war for them; termination of 9-11 court action

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

We appear to be getting closer to a point where we can say where Erdogan's loyalties lie with some certainty. Erdogan's "turning east" is more in doubt than ever. If anything, he is playing both sides and also making a play for regional leadership (eclipsing the Saudis).

I've been skeptical of Erdogan and the 2016 apparent coup attempt for a long time. Distancing of USA and Turkey after the coup attempt helped each as: Turkey got Russian sanctions lifted and Erdogan was strengthened (he now has dictatorial powers), and USA got an opportunity to be closer to the Kurds (which were initially skeptical of US given their NATO alliance with Turkey).

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 3, 2018 1:49:25 AM | 42


I agree with you, certainly Russia cannot be trusted on Syria,

Past hours:
US-led coalition attacks Syrian Army in Homs province

But No S300 for Syria. Putin simply cares too much for Israel.

The russian involvment in Syria looks more of the folly Soviet commited in Afghanistan. It doesnt make much sense anymore. They struck ISIS but defending Syrian state against US, Saudi, Israeli attacks - no.

Posted by: Zanon | Dec 3, 2018 2:22:27 AM | 43


From what I reckon a majority support the Yellow West protests.

Rightwing extremists? Smells like propaganda by Macron, wouldnt surprise me if there are gov. agent provocateurs (regarding the violent actions).

Posted by: Zanon | Dec 3, 2018 3:50:57 AM | 44

I have still not recovered from the hi-5 between Putin and MBS. Has anyone able to decode of what let Putin to resort to this stupidity.

Posted by: AG17 | Dec 3, 2018 3:55:38 AM | 45

"From what I reckon a majority support the Yellow West protests."

No-one would dispute that; of course anyone would. People need to live more easily. But that wasn't what happened in Paris at the weekend. The demo was taken over by violent casseurs. Why they should be government provocateurs is not at all obvious. You've just pulled it out of thin air. There's zero evidence. On the other hand, the Bannon-style crowd have talked extensively about intervening in European politics. It's privatised foreign policy, where wealthy individuals finance operations. Copied, as it happens, from Muslim jihadis, who are financed from private sources in Saudi.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 3, 2018 5:51:27 AM | 46

Among the 400+ ppl arrested most are French males who came from the province and regions i.e. heart of the movement, where you can get food, see a doctor, go to work without a car (and no alternative, public transports havingbeen severly cut off in the last 20 years)
) Plus a number of suburban kids who came later that day for the show and are responsible for the lootings.
Rather than Bannon you can blame Macron for ordering no close contact to the police and leaving the arc of triumph unprotected (while it was for the 2t/11 demo)
He seems to have thought that violence would help divide the movement.
Our elites can be so stupid lately...

Posted by: Mina | Dec 3, 2018 6:03:17 AM | 47


Considering how Macron have approached the protests he benefit if they become violent which they just did. That little napoleon cant accept that ordinary people protesting against his policies.

Why a international right wing group would be behind this seems a bit fat fetched to claim, condering no evidence of that or "plans" to do this at all.

Regardless, why are Macron and your focusing on violent people, the people starting the movement is sure not the same people now hurt the same cause. Go figure who benefit from just that development.

Posted by: Zanon | Dec 3, 2018 6:31:05 AM | 48


"Why a international right wing group would be behind this seems a bit fat fetched to claim, condering no evidence of that or "plans" to do this at all."

You haven't kept up; you're denying known facts. The american far right intervened in the French presidential election in 2017, but failed completely. They've been talking about intervening in Europe for months, but apparently you don't know it.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 3, 2018 6:40:26 AM | 49


Les casseurs took over the demo at on Saturday, not "later in the day". I was watching the TV and particularly the vox pops.

Posted by: Laguerre | Dec 3, 2018 6:44:13 AM | 50


No I dont know it, because there is nothing to know.
Somehow you and french gov. want to talk about violence and right wing conspiracies - not the big protest movement that is legitimate and peaceful. Wouldnt surprise me if Macron start blaming russian agents soon.

Macron refuse to listen to the people and will move on with the tax cuts for the rich/corporate seems to be the latest news.

Posted by: Zanon | Dec 3, 2018 7:09:35 AM | 51

One curious detail about detaining Ukrainian Military ships near Crimea.

Coastal Guards of Russia reportedly arrested 24 Ukrainian servicemen, from Navy and from SBU.
Reportedly there was also one Ukrainian serviceman killed by SBU counter-intelligence enforcers. Or maybe just rumours.

Normal crew, however, for those ships reportedly was 6+6+3=15 men
So there were 9 "extra" men who do not fit into "regular innocent passage" narrative.

Some of those men allegedly tried to start casualties with Russian Coastal Guards.
When they failed to force it and their detention became inevitable - what should spies do? Destroy evidence and secret materials.

Does anyone remember Sherlock Holmes and THE TREASURES OF AGRA ?
The overall scenery is from 53:00
But the crucial part is maybe starting at 01:00:00 and till 1:08:30

Posted by: Arioch | Dec 3, 2018 8:26:00 AM | 52

DBEP @ 6

Yes, very well stated, especially the part where you agreed with me (jk). Actually, you expanded and surpassed my comment. Of course, people want to believe in something greater than ourselves at the end of the day. This is basic human impulse and will never change until we all become zen masters (and I'm only about 1% towards reaching that goal myself). The problem is these same people who reject global capitalism are clueless as well as powerless to figure out how to do anything axcept give in to the fake populism of the nascent fascist tendency. Leftism can only advance by advancing within the system until the system crashes and even then there will result a power struggle for control of what remains.

And I say this knowing my words ("Leftism can only advance by advancing within the system") will be taken completely out of context and dismissed as the usual "donkyetale is an establishment Democrat so ignore him" claptrap etc. But here is the real truthiness: The only people who truly exist outside the system are like those who live on Sentinel Island or in one of the few remaining plots of Amazonian jungle.

Blogging as if we are somehow outside the system because we have such and such a take and read this cool blogger of the moment, or Pepe, or Saker, or b, or we are superiour because we don't live in the US... I hate to say but it doesn't mean shit.

This critique isn't even new, of course. Read some Frankfurt School (apparently, having rejected Lenin of all people. Lol). "The Culture Industry." Or McLuhan "The Medium is the Massage."

Content doesn't matter, people, therefore blogging doesn't matter except as escapist infotainment. And yes, I am as guilty as the rest, nay and more guilty in fact, as I am hypocritically enough willing to admit it.

It cracks me up how posters in this thread are scratching their heads and wondering why for instance, Putin joshed around with MbS, or so easily complied with Erdogan on Idleb, or why he backed down to Bibi when his spy plane was shot down, or why he won't confront the US over Syria, or why Trump and Xi so easily agreed to a 90 day suspension of tariff increases, or why Trump allowed Iran to remain in SWIFT and sell oil instead of the (constantly predicted for the prior decade at least) US bombing raid on Tehran which will surely start World War III.

Uhm, like, d'uhhhhh.

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 3, 2018 9:24:52 AM | 53

I have still not recovered from the hi-5 between Putin and MBS. Has anyone able to decode of what let Putin to resort to this stupidity.
Posted by: AG17 | Dec 3, 2018 3:55:38 AM | 45

It's about putting diplomacy ahead of emotional pantomimes. If MbS needs a shoulder to cry on Putin's will be near the top of the list.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 3, 2018 9:58:07 AM | 54


Blogging is not meaningless as it spreads awareness.

The political left/institutional left is completely compromised. Some of us think that matters.

No one is suggesting self-exile. It is simply counterproductive to act in a way that legitimizes a corrupt system.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 3, 2018 10:09:55 AM | 55


Ummm...duuuh is not an explanation. Please spell it out. What do you know that we don't? Or am I right when I write that Trump the quintessential agent of Zionists brought Putin over to the dark side -- that Putin is selling out to Zionists. There is no other explanation for Putin getting so chummy with a Wahhabi monarch who funds Jihadi mercenaries in Syria.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 3, 2018 10:12:52 AM | 56

Hoarsewhisperer @54

Yeah. But also KSA is acting out its disappointment with USA policies and actions (or lack thereof). It feels like they want to be treated as a first class ally like Israel. Thus, they expect that USA will treat KSA interests as its own: USA should openly and aggressively side with KSA in its dispute with Qatar; should provide all resources necessary to win in Yemen; should provide KSA with nuke technology (if they so desire); should suppress news that is unflattering to KSA (Khashoggi), etc.

And to the extent that USA are NOT doing what is expected, KSA seems to be hedging its bets by talking to the Russians about sales of arms and technology. Is that to pressure USA or is a split actually possible/in the works?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 3, 2018 10:29:26 AM | 57

16% of the comments on this open thread are Craig Summers related. Worse, few if any directly refute his (deliberately?) false representations of events. Can you not see where this is going? It is the equivalent of someone coming into my favorite bar, shitting in the middle of the floor and other patrons deliberately tracking his mess around the room.

CS is a professional. I must admit, I admire his talent, he is articulate, well-spoken, portrays his misrepresentations in a well thought out fashion. He is civil, well read, and highly educated. If we must have a troll here at MOA, we at least have the best I've encountered in my 30 years of tele-communicating. Still, there is no reason to feed him, but as long as he portrays his (likely paid for) opinions in a civil manner, he is as b has stated, entertainment value only.

I would ask all MOA patrons to respect b's admonishments in regard to engaging Mr. Summers, but if you cannot resist, please limit your responses to directly refuting his "on-topic" attempts to spread his biased version of events.

Thanks for that.

Just an FYI, There was a book published 04/16 Online Trolling and Its Perpetrators Under the Cyberbridge, that was (I believe but am not willing to put any more effort into confirming) edited by a "Craig Summers". In this day and age, there is no way to verify that our CS and this CS are the same person, or whether he just (coincidentally?) adopted his nom de guerre, however we may simply be being used for research. Either way, he is harmless. Those who do not immediately recognize his falsity are only setting themselves up for a rude awakening one day, and for those who do, no harm, no foul.

You can have your own opinions, but you can't have your own facts.


Posted by: b4real | Dec 3, 2018 11:02:15 AM | 58


So you're saying then that Putin is considering putting the S-300 or S-400 and other Russian weaponry in the hands of a Jihadi-Wahhabi, when he won't even give Syria any advanced weaponry, a Wahhabi tyrant who will later when this charade heads south again turn around and use it on a Russian ally like Syria. BinSawman can court Putin do the bro shake, or blubber on Putin's shoulder, but no disinfectant can remove the stench of that visible treachery. The Saudis are responsible for trying to destroy Syria completely.

What is Putin thinking? This stinks.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 3, 2018 12:04:51 PM | 59

You know how when the Khashoggi incident first broke I wrote that it had a Mossadi feel to it? Well I think I may be right. It's starting to look like the Israelis helped the Saudis get Khashoggi.

Apparently, Khashoggi was working with other dissidents to set up a cyber army to take down MbS. IMO, the monarchy was afraid it might eventually take down the entire house of Saud. Of course the Israelis would rush in to help derail Khashoggi.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 3, 2018 12:18:12 PM | 60

@58 b4real

Thank you. I was going to jump in when Hoarsewhisperer at #34 noted how good that entity's "bait selection" skills were. I'm continually amazed at how many bite the hook. I decided not to comment, from disgust with the thread, to be frank. But trolls destroy a thread and lots of good people help it happen.

This thread is essentially worthless. I have limited time so I often come and read a whole thread of up to 100 comments. One gets a feel for the thread. This one was early destroyed, and that's probably why other commenters are staying out of it. The work required to develop a majority feel of sanity in this thread is simply not worth it.

I've said before that the Internet long ago understood the principal rule of discussion, which is not to feed the troll. But some otherwise good people do, because they feel it's valuable to correct the record for the naive who also read the thread and can't identify the disruptors (and there are at least 4 or 5 in this thread).

Yesterday I remembered the other rule of the Internet, which perhaps even precedes the troll rule: LURK. We don't hear this much nowadays, but the first rule in any forum should be to lurk silently for some time until you feel familiar with the place and think you have something to add.

The two rules together form a bulletproof system. First you lurk to learn what's what. By the time you join in you've already identified the people worth talking to and the ones who aren't. So there's no need to engage with trolls to protect the views of the newcomers - they should simply follow the rule to lurk.

People here breaking that system of hard-earned wisdom are indeed, as you suggest, tracking the shit around the bar.

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 3, 2018 1:27:49 PM | 61

@58 b4real... thanks... i am reminded i'm a recovering rantaholic...

about putins handshake with the clown prince... it's called diplomacy... it is all a front.. i wouldn't be fooled by it into thinking their is some deeper message in it.. that is like thinking their is some deep love every time a politician kisses a baby, or something superficial like that.. their isn't..

@laguerre... i liked this article from rt on the topic of the yellow vests challenge... Revolution in Ukraine? Yes, please! Revolution in France? Rule of law!

Posted by: james | Dec 3, 2018 1:37:51 PM | 62

MBS a more useful idiot than Trump. Trump can’t go all in with MBS because of massive US airbase in Qatar. With oil prices tanking and Qatar jumping out of OPEC, Saudis need some friends in the oil market. Should have kept Tillerson instead of pompous CIA rat as SoS.

Posted by: Stumpy | Dec 3, 2018 1:38:31 PM | 63

Alastair Crooke weaves Hudson's new book into his discussion about the crisis facing the EU and Outlaw US Empire, but primarily the EU. IMO, it ought to have its own thread.

IMO, Hudson's work is going to cause a wholesale revisioning of Western Civ's historical dynamics that cannot help but challenge the power structure that's existed almost continuously for the past 2K+ years. Many know, but still a great many don't know, that along with the Outlaw US Empire the other Great Power that must be defeated is the Money Power.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 3, 2018 2:35:33 PM | 64

I think that the high 5 was due to Saudi Arabia and Russia making progress. I think one of the next things up on Russia's list is to make progress on the Palestinian issue.


dh-mtl @ 136 agree

Saudi Arabia Gets a Friend in Need – Russia

""The game changer was a meeting in September 2016 in Hangzhou, China, when on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, Putin met the Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman (MBS, as is commonly known.)""

""In effect, Saudi Arabia and Russia are assuming the leadership of the oil producing countries and helping them take consensus decisions. At the same time, Russian-Saudi bilateral energy cooperation has also made a solid beginning. The two countries have investment plans within the ambit of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF). Saudi Arabia is expected to take a big stake in the LNG project Yamal Phase 2 in the Russian Arctic with equity next only to Novatek. They are discussing swap deals in countries such as India. (Interestingly, Al-Falih sees good prospects for Russian companies’ involvement in Aramco’s ambitious downstream strategy.)""


I think part of this 'friendship' also included an agreement for MBS to tone down his terrorist funding which Russia seems serious to fight (as opposed to the fake US fight)

Posted by: financial matters | Oct 23, 2018 9:56:08 AM | 141

Posted by: financial matters | Dec 3, 2018 2:45:13 PM | 65

I don't recall seeing Putin using a high 5 before. Certainly not in a state to state setting. As he initiated it with MBS and very publicly, there is a message there for somebody. Most likely as others have said, the message mostly directed to MBS.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 3, 2018 2:58:28 PM | 66

A former German Foreign Minister, Siegmar Gabriel, warned that the Ukraine is trying to pull others into its war

While there may be many Russia-haters amongst the neo-Nazis, Poroshenko and other Ukr. elites - Gvmt. and oligarchs - have absolutely no interest in war or ‘subjugating the Donbass’. Ukraine is a failed state, and was already on the skids well before the ’14 coup.

The Ukr. top-dogs aim is to pander to the powerful, obtain approval and *stupendous* amounts of monies from the US (+ poodle ‘West’), and secure their own positions, including a safe haven if needed after flight. They tried to copy the Israel model - agression and killing of ppl right ‘at home’ (Palestinians, Donbass) on ‘terrorist’/rebel/etc. grounds, which the US loves and will reward. (Depending… !) They also upped impoverishing and repressing their own population, popular with the US as well. So Ukr. poking of the Russian bear is half-hearted, a show relying heavily on symbolic moves, bit of a sham really, destined to never lead anywhere.

So, one can see it as the other way round: it was the US (followed by poodles) who tried to pull the Ukraine into an anti-Russia stance and actions, and thereby enter its wars.

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 3, 2018 3:05:41 PM | 67

I would suggest to Circe that critical to Putin's actions in public is the continuing encroachment upon Russian territorial protections being orchestrated by the West under Nato and under sanctions increasing and not diminishing. It is not about Israel, which may or may not have a part in many nasty schemes. It is about keeping his country viable in world economic matters (he's an economist I think) so it is about the current situation with respect to oil. Long term that is very important since that is what is keeping Russia intact. As to any deals, Russia has I think very little foreign debt and wants to keep it that way as things go haywire for the West.

There are different priorities here than we may wish to see. The US thrives (currently) on making enemies. Russia does not, and can not.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 3, 2018 3:12:23 PM | 68

@ 25 Jackrabbit

As the most blatant exponent of his ilk, Browder was chosen by Putin as a message to hedge funds that Russia was off limits to them. This is when the anti Russia campaign began in earnest. There was a case where an Australian company was given the old mafia shakedown by private equity. The company was called Myer and, as usual, all its retail freeholds were sold off. The Australian tax authorities, unused to the activities of these criminals, demanded substantial tax payments for the billion or so looted. Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone personally warned the Aussie govt to shut up or lose future investment.

Posted by: Lochearn | Dec 3, 2018 3:13:30 PM | 69

I recall reading of this phenomenon some time ago:
Could it be that this "craigsummers'" point of origin...?

Posted by: robjira | Dec 3, 2018 3:17:47 PM | 70

Good post on... Revolution in Ukraine? Yes, please! Revolution in France? Rule of law!

When violent protests shook Kiev in 2013, Western analysts and leaders quickly threw their support behind the anti-government ‘revolution’ — but after weeks of Yellow Vest protests in France, the reaction has been very different.

Posted by: Zanon | Dec 3, 2018 3:22:00 PM | 71

Peter AU 1 @ 69

Just shows that putin does no tskr kindly to foreign meddling, I suppose the Saudis do not either.
I cry crocodile tears for the wahabists missing, a a dead or missing Wahahabist is a good one. As is a nutter Zionist.
Zionists and Wahabiss makes the best soil improvements you can ask for. If you are growing veggies or beef cattle look it up. (I dont know if it is co2 neutral :)

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Dec 3, 2018 3:37:04 PM | 72

zanon.. i take it you don't read my posts... i guess i will do the same with yours here forward..

Posted by: james | Dec 3, 2018 3:37:35 PM | 73

karlof1@67, thank you for that link. Since listening to the Engdahl interview, I have been puzzling over US debt and gold being an advantageous foundation for finance since there is with that no entity one is indebted to. My question would be then, is this not simply a problem of individual debt forgiveness, as in peasant vs. overlord, but importantly a matter for entire countries and their debts? I hadn't thought of Hudson's work in those terms, so this is a bit mind-blowing.

When I was following the EU's treatment of Greece, that indeed seemed to be the dynamic in play, nonforgiveness-wise. And certainly the US is really, really on the hook in that respect also.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 3, 2018 3:38:24 PM | 74

>>The political left/institutional left is completely compromised. Some of us think that matters.

>>Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 3, 2018 10:09:55 AM | 55

In Uncle Sam Land there is no Left. It died decades ago when the state killed Martin Luther King Jr, when the police killed Black Panthers in their beds, when the War on Working People and Troublemakers was christened as the "War on Poverty" and the "War on Drugs", when sincere troublemakers like Abby Hoffman were driven into hiding, when the Occupy Movement was literally smashed in the middle of the night, and when professional troublemakers turned into grant junkies funded by corporate-controlled foundations.

History as written by Our Dear Leaders claims that the FBI's COINTELPRO program ended. But the strategies and tactics developed by the FBI are still very much in use today. I saw it up close and personal during my time with the IWW. Even small mostly ineffective groups like the IWW are closely watched by Our Dear Leaders. Dealing with both obvious and suspected police infiltrators was a constant struggle. Don't do anything clearly illegal or say anything you don't want in the headlines is a good policy. *Everything* is against some law, written or otherwise, but why make it easy for 'em?

Today it is a piece of cake to keep watch on everybody since so many people voluntarily report on themselves via Facebook and Twitter. The East Germans would be green with envy if they still existed! Using computers to watch people is less effort and more effective than recruiting a spy for every apartment block.

It's easy to despair under present conditions. There is no clear path ahead. Divide and Conquer, also known as "identity politics", has been incredibly effective in Uncle Sam Land. I knew it was all over for the Labor Movement when Reagan fired the air traffic controllers and the AFL-CIO did... nothing. In the decades since then organized labor has all but disappeared. The few "business unions" still operating mostly just act as another boss. Today workers go on strike for less pay, fewer jobs, and worse conditions. Not always, but that's what usually happens by the time the strike is over.

In most workplaces there is little feeling of solidarity because workers have no social connections with each other once they punch the timeclock. The big organizing drives of a hundred years ago took place in communities where everyone in one factory or mine lived in the same neighborhood, went to the same churches and bars, shopped at the same (company) stores, married each other, and were buried in the same cemeteries.

None of that happens today. Communities have been shattered and atomized. Close-knit urban working-class neighborhoods were bulldozed in a program called "Urban Renewal", also known as "Urban Removal". Everyone is afraid of everyone else and constantly fusses over who is the biggest victim and deserves a higher place in the hierarchy.

Troublemakers will have to find some other basis for organizing working people to resist the Empire. The Black Panthers had the right idea with their breakfast and other programs. But we all know what happened to them. Decades ago I speculated that when conditions got bad enough to seriously threaten their kids' well-being that Uncle Sam's peons would resist. The housing collapse of ten years ago disproved that idea. Millions of families were tossed out of their homes.... and nothing happened. We took it in the shorts and kept our heads bowed... just like Uncle Sam's slaves have been doing for 400 years.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Dec 3, 2018 4:12:15 PM | 75

(I left out the conclusion of my previous post)

I see little reason for optimism in the near term. In spite of that the collective struggle will go on, in some form, organized or not. Personally I hope to be grit in the gears of the machine for a while longer. The alternative is to just lay down and die. I'm not quite ready to do that.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Dec 3, 2018 5:04:32 PM | 76

@64 Grieved

You are a very talented writer and express yourself well. You are absolutely correct in your two rules and thank you for expanding upon this.

@65 James

You make me laugh more than anyone here. I know sometimes you just can't help yourself. It is one of the reasons you and Mr. Lang get along so well. :)

Posted by: b4real | Dec 3, 2018 5:12:22 PM | 77

Alastair Crooke explains Hudson, and agrees

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 3, 2018 6:52:57 PM | 78

Patrick Armstrong:

> So, if you, as I do, think that the Western version of the MH17 story is a bit fishy, doubt that Assad is dumb enough to do the one thing that would invite Western missiles, regard Whitehall's Skripal story as laughably incoherent, doubt that Litvinenko could write a perfect English sentence, find it absurd to assume that Putin kills people by such easily noticed means, know that there were Russian troops in Crimea all along, notice that the White Helmets have received millions yet can only afford dust masks and flip flops, had heard of the Crimean Tatars before, notice that NATO has expanded up to Russia's borders and not the other way around, know something about Ossetian-Georgian relations, know what the Ukrainian Constitution says about getting rid of presidents, remember Nuland's telephone call, can remember all the people falsely demonised by the Western propaganda machine... If you dare to think those thoughts, these people will call you a victim of (or accomplice in) Russian disinformation and say you need re-education. Certainly they don't want you to be heard.
> Reflect on what produced this contemporary Russian bittersweet joke: "Pravda lied to us about the USSR, but it told the truth about the West".
> So, in the end, Russians didn't "drink the Kool-aid". Willing once to believe, they believe no more. And that is Russia's sin. It's not bolsheviks lusting for blood, with nooses in their hands, charging down Park Lane and Wall Street these days, it's Russians stubbornly being Russian. And that is unforgivable to a West that has lost the confidence that its positions stand strong and unaided.
> Which it has. Why else these attempts to manipulate public opinion and block disagreement? It is, in a word, Soviet behaviour. The side that's mostly telling the truth isn't afraid of the other side's lies. Again, a child could figure it out.

> But the "Russia information war" pays good money for people who can say with a straight face: "Novichok is deadly except when it isn't" or "Our intelligence agencies rely on Bellingcat to tell them what's going on" or "Assad gasses civilians when he's winning because he likes being bombed" or "Putin kills all his enemies except the ones who are telling you he does" or "the Panama Papers prove Putin's corruption even though his name isn't mentioned" or, indeed, "Russia swung the US election with a trivial number of social media posts". Oh, and RT is rotting our minds. Even if no one you know has ever watched it.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Dec 3, 2018 6:54:15 PM | 79

Trailer Trash

Thank you for that perspective. What I find heartening is the few, like yourself, that haven't lost your humanity. Its good, I think, to pass that on as much as one can. The yearning for humanistic guidance, almost spiritual in scope, can be found in the popularity of Bernie. Those disillusioned with Bernie have learned a valuable lesson.

What I wrote was in response to donkeytale who urges us to willingly participate in the scam. By your words, I'm assuming that you would not agree with donkey's advice.

You might like to read Caitlin Johnstone's latest post. Here's an excerpt:

In a system where money both (A) translates directly to political power and (B) comes most abundantly to whoever is sufficiently cold and unfeeling to do whatever it takes in order to become immensely wealthy, we naturally find ourselves in a world ruled by sociopaths. These plutocratic rulers use their political influence to amass more power/money for themselves and create a system that is more and more favorable to the immensely wealthy, and they buy up media outlets to manufacture public support for that system. This ongoing propaganda campaign is what I see as the key weakness in the armor of their machine, and it’s the point I spend my energy attacking here.

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. Understand this key point and you’ll understand why plutocrat-controlled media outlets are constantly smearing Julian Assange, why they never fail to fall in line to support a US-led military agenda, why they pay massive amounts of attention to some political candidates while completely ignoring others, and why they put so much energy into keeping everyone arguing over the details of how the status quo should be maintained instead of debating whether it should exist at all. The unelected power establishment uses its control over politics and media to determine what the public believes about what’s going on in their world in order to keep them from rebelling against a status quo which does not serve them; without the ability to effectively propagandize the masses in this way, they cannot rule. I therefore concentrate most of my energy here in attacking that propaganda machine and weakening the unearned trust that the public has placed in the mass media.

. . .

I do not believe humanity will be able to wake up from the propaganda narrative matrix and create a healthy world without a massive shift in the way we think and perceive. While most tend to look at what is commonly called spiritual enlightenment as an esoteric religious concept, or at most a lofty personal aspiration, I see it as a powerful yet mundane agent of social metamorphosis with far-reaching political consequences. The fact that it is possible for human beings to radically shift their relationship with thought means that it is possible for us to collectively transcend our current fear-based, easily manipulated relationship with the world and evolve into something unprecedented together. Our unprecedented ability to network and share information already in and of itself represents a drastic change in the way humans relate cognitively with the world, and there are reasons to believe a collective awakening could already be unfolding for us. Simply the fact that enlightenment is a potential that human beings have, combined with the fact that we have pressed ourselves into evolve-or-die time, indicates such a collective transcendence is a very real possibility.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 3, 2018 7:30:54 PM | 80

@76 b4real.. thanks..your sense of humour is good - better then mine!

ditto your comment to grieved.. i hadn't heard that before, but it makes a lot of sense.. i am the kind of person to shoot my mouth off first and think about it later - as everyone here probably knows..

Posted by: james | Dec 3, 2018 7:52:44 PM | 81

b4real @58

I appreciate the compliments, but I am no different than most posters like yourselves. No one pays me. Period. I enjoy posting at alternate media sites (like the Intercept since 2014). I have been banned from 2 sites. ConsortiumNews, for example, just could not deal with alternate opinions. Consortium has an extremely sanitized comment section. I realize I can consume a thread by what I post, but I have not posted anything to interrupt the conversations here - purposely. You can respond to my post if you want. "b" is an incredible political analyst. It's hard to believe he could do this without any help. His posts are always well researched. I would highly recommend this blog to those who agree and disagree with his opinions (sincerely).

Posted by: craigsummers | Dec 3, 2018 8:51:40 PM | 82

Posted by: paid jerk-off | Dec 3, 2018 8:51:40 PM | 81

b4real is misinformed. You're third-rate propaganda is easily refuted.

And you've lied and been vindictive. That is far from professional.

You lie again when you say that you are not paid. If your compensation isn't cash then it comes from feeding your pathetic need for attention.

Take your hand out of your pants and get a real job.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 3, 2018 9:08:31 PM | 83

What MbS told Putin

Like I wrote earlier: this picture's worth a thousand words. Putin is totally exposed; it's like he couldn't help himself. Done and done! You can't deny the truth.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 3, 2018 10:19:45 PM | 84

Posted by: juliania | Dec 3, 2018 3:12:23 PM | 68
(Re Putin (he's an economist I think))

Just for the record... VVP graduated in Law in 1975 from Leningrad U.
Imo it shows - almost every time he opens his mouth :-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 3, 2018 10:47:19 PM | 85

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 3, 2018 1:27:49 PM | 61
(Trolls, rules, self-discipline etc)

Forgive me for jumping in, and thanks for the kind thoughts, but my #34 was the result of a Homer Moment in the wake of my #32 (Du-oh! I've just outsmarted myself!).

If you think about what inspired you to type this passage from your 'guidance' meme...

"I've said before that the Internet long ago understood the principal rule of discussion, which is not to feed the troll. But some otherwise good people do, because they feel it's valuable to correct the record for the naive who also read the thread and can't identify the disruptors..."

...could you be tempted to agree that it reflects a mindset of Unsolicited Benevolent Wisdom - or a bout of Sudden Onset Sharpest Knife In The Drawer Syndrome?
I'm plumping for the latter as the cause of my #32. #34 was my attempt at a Get Out Of Jail Free card - with the benefit of hindsight.

We all have to be careful about the kind of bs we tell ourselves, and believe, from time to time...
No offense intended :-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Dec 4, 2018 12:43:49 AM | 86

Den Lille Abe 72

I use the neighbours cats to add organic matter to my veggie garden, but Putin has incorporated a lot of wahhabi's into the soil of Chechnya and Syria.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Dec 4, 2018 2:02:25 AM | 87


Yeah, so why's he laughing it up with the Prince of Wahhabism now?

Posted by: Circe | Dec 4, 2018 2:39:35 AM | 88

JR @ 55

Once again I agree with all your points which I notice you carefully structured in the abstract to avoid argument (or maybe avoid collision with the unpleasant, observable reality I presented).

However, and this is a big however, of course, willing miscomprehension (to put this form of self-delusion kindly) is a form of corruption. Willing or unwilling spread of disinformation is a form of corruption.

Corruption of thought and language will not defeat political corruption. It will simply multiply political corruption.

The current unrest in Paris takes place within the political system, imho. Does that help to clarify where I'm coming from?

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 4, 2018 8:17:19 AM | 89

My take on craigsummers is same as most everyone else, except the "don't feed the troll" advice is misapplied wrt him.

CS isn't a troll. An ad hom attack on him is trolling.

Either ignore him (or me or anyone else for that matter) or challenge him with opposite ideas, relevant links, etc. that expand the debate not quash it.

I write my comments as much to please myself as inform or educate or whatever self-justification we muster in order to participate in the culture industry with a clear conscience. So, when no one responds to my "self-obvious brilliance", or merely trolls me in response, I take it as a sign no one has a coherent counter-argument. And I much prefer a good counter-argument, especially one that proves my point was incorrect and needs to be re-thunk.

The internet re-wires the culture industry into a rejection of sorts of mass media even while it 100% requires mass media to exist. The internet is a far better reactionary force than Adorno and Hockheimer ever dreamed because it both divides and conquers all opposition into easily observable sub units.

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 4, 2018 9:00:49 AM | 90

JR @ 4

Where I do disagree with you is that the US, Russia and China are participating in something called "a new Cold War."

That is a load of nonsense. Geopolitical rivals might be mre accurate, but there is a complete lack of war building tension except in the overheated imaginations of certain propagandists in the US, Russia and not even really in China from what I have observed. It's much closer to a coffee clatch than a war IMHO.

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 4, 2018 9:10:28 AM | 91

donkeytale @89-91:

The current unrest in Paris takes place within the political system, imho.

IMHO it's not within the political system. The political system abors property destruction and violent protest.

I write my comments as much to please myself ...

That is clear.

complete lack of war building tension

LOL. Pleasing yourself again.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 4, 2018 10:17:52 AM | 92

JR, show me evidence of something that's actually occurring and fomenting war between Russia and US or China and US then I may believe you.

Are you 100% sure of this? The political system abors property destruction and violent protest. Many believe this violence is actually created by the political establishment to help oppress the protest movement.

Nah, man, this is nothing...until they burn down the Palaces and/or start a shooting war with the PTB this is relatively mild protest with a few car fires thrown into mix. Relatively normal stuff... at this stage.

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 4, 2018 10:42:39 AM | 93


show me evidence

I'm certainly not the only one to talk a new Cold War. Do your own research.

relatively mild protest

It is widespread and anti-establishment. What I've read indicates a complete lack of trust that the political system can address their grievances of which the fuel tax is only a symptom. And there's a good chance the protests will spread to other countries just like the 1968 protests did.

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

As usual, your comments slyly support the establishment.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 4, 2018 12:03:54 PM | 94

missing: about

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 4, 2018 12:04:32 PM | 95

A notable development occurred at G-20 is further developed by Melkulangara Bhadrakumar--the RIC Trilateral Summit on the G-20's sidelines, which is becoming an annual event. The escalating coordination between the RIC I see as very important along with the pace and content of improving India-China relations. All of which leaves Pompeo and Bolton with nothing but bombast as they have nothing of substance to add.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 4, 2018 2:03:00 PM | 96

pat lang rant on trump being completely crazy when it comes to mbs and etc, is pretty interesting coming from pl... seems like the light bulb really went off in pats head on trump in the past few months.. and i thought pat thought pat was so smart?

Posted by: james | Dec 4, 2018 11:59:21 PM | 97

No, JR, my comments don't support the establishment at all despite your blatantly misleading rhetoric which is yur own opinion and nothing else. Unfortunately, very few of your opinions are reality-based but re-hashed propaganda from a small circle of propagandists most of whom reside ("slyly" in your terms) on the rightwing.

Posted by: donkeytale | Dec 5, 2018 9:46:35 AM | 98

donkey dembot has found the vast right wing conspiracy.

Give my disregards to Hillary.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 5, 2018 11:35:55 AM | 99

@88 So he can sell him those S-400 complexes you numbnuts, allowing a way for KSA to migrate away from the racket the US has been imposing on the Kingdom for decades: Petro-dollars for oil on the condtion of weapons purchase so those US$ go back to the same Corp coffers. The post dollar world is upon us and energy futures will be traded in various currencies. Move on or sink with the ship..

Posted by: Lozion | Dec 5, 2018 12:32:17 PM | 100

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