Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 22, 2018

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2018-69

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:

One of the two companies who wrote the Senate reports was caught running a fake "Russian influence" campaign:

One participant in the Alabama project, Jonathon Morgan, is the chief executive of New Knowledge, a small cyber security firm that wrote a scathing account of Russia’s social media operations in the 2016 election that was released this week by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

An internal report on the Alabama effort, obtained by The New York Times, says explicitly that it “experimented with many of the tactics now understood to have influenced the 2016 elections.”

The project’s operators created a Facebook page on which they posed as conservative Alabamians, using it to try to divide Republicans and even to endorse a write-in candidate to draw votes from Mr. Moore. It involved a scheme to link the Moore campaign to thousands of Russian accounts that suddenly began following the Republican candidate on Twitter, a development that drew national media attention.

“We orchestrated an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet,” the report says.

The U.S. military will retreat from the al-Tanf border area in the southeast of Syria where it was blocking the crossing between Syria and Iraq. The reopening of the border will help the economies of both countries.

As expected the Russians are taking the initiative to put the northeastern area back under Syrian government control over. A delegation of the Kurdish YPG and the SDF forces will shortly visit Moscow where they will receive new orders.

This Daily Beast piece confirms our take that Trump torpedoed the neocons' plans for Syria. He took the offer Erdogan made as a chance to escape the trap: Bolton’s Hawkish Syria Plan Backfired, Pushing Trump to Get Out - The national security adviser expanded U.S. goals in Syria to challenge Iran. But Trump wasn’t on board, senior officials say, and Turkey took an opportunity to push the U.S. out.

How long until Bolton gets fired?

A good read from Matt Taibbi on the lunacy of the domestic U.S. discussion: We Know How Trump’s War Game Ends - Nothing unites our political class like the threat of ending our never-ending war

Unlike Taibbi I expect the discussion to die down over the coming holidays. If it does not do so, Trump will create some new outrage to divert from the issue.

Service announcement: Over the next five days your blog host will be visiting family and do a lot of cooking. Posting will be light.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on December 22, 2018 at 9:17 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Have a nice holiday. Your blog is one of the best. Interesting, informative, and a lot of knowledgeable commenters.

Posted by: Peter Schmidt | Dec 22 2018 9:42 utc | 1

Enjoying the fake left aka resistance exposing theselves further by demanding more war. Bolton, Mattis and co have served as pretty good stooges in a final act.

Erdogan must have read Art of the Deal. Fair play.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Dec 22 2018 10:13 utc | 2

Merry Christmas everybody. Thank you Mr Putin for your excellent weaponry and zeal for international law. I'm happy for the global situation, but not my debt fuelled economy.

Posted by: jezabeel | Dec 22 2018 10:13 utc | 3

Thanks for your efforts b, I hope 2019 will make you expand even more and get the credit you deserve.

Posted by: Zanon | Dec 22 2018 11:51 utc | 4

The Demiurge-in-waiting was repotedly caught off guard by Trump's quick surrender to demands the US pull troops from Syria. Trump ended his recent phone conversation with Erdogan by emphasizing his promise to withdraw from Syria, not explaining how, repeating the pledge a second time to makie sure the message was received -- perhaps pouncing on an opportunity and/or executing a script.

The bullshit about Bolton and others being aghast as they looked on and listened to the Trump/Erdogan phone call is just that, total b.s.

Come like gangsters Erdogan has been told he can pay for US support if he so desires (Patriots is a euphemism) whilst on another front the war in Afganistan will be fully privatised.

Next up, Donald Trump appoints Eric Prince new Secretary of Defense.

Posted by: None-ya | Dec 22 2018 12:09 utc | 5

Regarding II, what's interesting about the French cluster is that half of them are officials, not even half indepependent spooks hiding behind charities and offshore companies.
I wonder if anything has been reported in the Baltic newspapers.

Posted by: Mina | Dec 22 2018 12:46 utc | 6

I know it isn't true, but seeing this headline written in a MSM American newspaper is simply delicious:

It’s official. We lost the Cold War. -- By Dana Milbank <>

Posted by: vk | Dec 22 2018 13:04 utc | 7

It seems WaPo now has a paywall.

Here's a functional link to comment number 7:


Posted by: vk | Dec 22 2018 13:11 utc | 8

Let's not get too far afield here. Yes: wicked good news about Syria and the US announced withdrawal. Be sure, though, the ISIS/Saudi/Israeli elements will do all they can to prove Trump wrong. However, the focus will likely shift to the Ukraine. The Syrian situation has played itself out with no good neocon-approved outcome.

Ukraine is fresh. Focused NATO-involved and with US/UK/EU encouragement, there is well-founded speculation for another military provocation seeking to entrap Russia. That will be the biggest challenge to Trump and Putin: not to pull the trigger over Ukraine.

Not having a Ukrainian conflict would be the best gift we all could have.

Posted by: BThePrisoner | Dec 22 2018 13:44 utc | 9

There is a hilarious journalism scandal in Germany involving the US, where a renowned German journalist just invented stuff playing to German prejudice on American small towns.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 22 2018 13:49 utc | 10

Ah, the annual family cooking MoA tradition. I nearly forgot. I would love to play spy when you cook for your family and educate the small and bigger children about Syria, NATO, Ukraine.. Maybe tell some dark (but true) Märchen about the evil man with the crazy mustache instead of normal chirstmas stories.. Böser Bolten or something.

Anyway, have fun, get some rest, and allow us to benefit from your knowledge for many years to come!
So i don't need to have another breakdown like some weeks ago when you posted you were sick.. ;)

All the best!

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPropaganda | Dec 22 2018 14:26 utc | 11

The journalism scandals are just beginning.
Craig Murray today publishes accounts from the "Integrity Initiative" showing that journalists in Scotland are receiving retainers of 2500 a month Sterling, plus expenses and payment for actual articles published.
And if this is going on in Scotland we can be quite sure that it is actually happening in North America and Europe, generally, and, of course, in the less prosperous parts of the world where standards of integrity are just as low as they are hereabouts.
We can be actually confident not just that the journalists in the MSM are on the payroll but that the invoices and accounts for their bribes are carefully preserved.
Murray's blog is almost always worth following, just as 'b's is. Yesterday more news about the Skripal case emerged: it seems that the British government was prepared well in advance for the sudden attack on Skripal.
What we are witnessing is the complete incompetence of those running the Empire. While malicious, indeed deadly, they simply cannot keep up with the critics of imperialism. Their power rests entirely on their ability to use force, both physical and financial. Their attempts to use social medias to their advantage are lame and ineffective. It seems clear to me that they will soon be reduced to using their power not just to hobble but to cripple critics- net neutrality is already finished.

Posted by: bevin | Dec 22 2018 14:33 utc | 12

I know it isn't true, but seeing this headline written in a MSM American newspaper is simply delicious:
It’s official. We lost the Cold War. -- By Dana Milbank
Posted by: vk | Dec 22, 2018 8:04:44 AM | 7

Absolutely hilarious - and I'm talking about the garbled babies' bable in the content, not the title! As to the title, it rings true in important respects - but the loss is due to Trump's predesessors, demented neocon savages in his administration, and demented Dem opponents/the media, rather than (substantively) Trump himself. That irony is of course lost on the half-wit hack of this article.

Posted by: BM | Dec 22 2018 14:35 utc | 13

it seems that the British government was prepared well in advance for the sudden attack on Skripal.
Posted by: bevin | Dec 22, 2018 9:33:42 AM | 12

That is a development. Can you give us a link, Bevin?

Posted by: BM | Dec 22 2018 14:43 utc | 14

Trump has thrown Erdogan in a trap. The Turkish army have been highly Islamized since the coup. They would fight without hesitation on the more liberal YPG than then would dare to confront ISIS.
Until now Erdogan has been avoided confronting ISIS and other Islamist groups. He left the task to the US, the Kurds, the Shia militias, the Russians and the Russian army. He failed to expel the Islamist miliatias in the Edlib buffer zone because they are too close to him ideologically.

He now made a promise to Trump to take care of ISIS and got a green light to crush the Syrian Kurds and invade their land.
The Russians and the Syrians are eager to finish them off in Edlib, but could not proceed for fear of a human disaster. The left the task to Erdogan.
Now they have the choice, either wait and see if Erdogan is able to deal with them without the support of the USA, or get the Kurds to join the Syrian army and invade Edlib, Afrin etc... thus kicking out the Turks, the FSA and ISIS.
Erdogan is counting on the fact that ISIS may not get financial support anymore from Saudi Arabia and thus will be ready to compromise without fighting.
Erdogan is in a bind, if he shows sign of failure in dealing with Islamist militias in Edlib then Iran, Russia and Syria will move on in Edlib and confront the Turks and their allies. That is what Bashar al Assad wants: kick out the Turks and the FSA. Is Trump trying to weaken Erdogan before the overdue pPalestinian plan is announced?

Posted by: virgile | Dec 22 2018 14:43 utc | 15

BM @14

BM, I think bevin was referring to the last two articles at

Posted by: spudski | Dec 22 2018 15:03 utc | 16

Kelly, Haley and now Mathis leaving. Their replacements will make 2019 interesting. Happy Holidays to all!

Posted by: Lozion | Dec 22 2018 15:17 utc | 17

I do not know if this was included in "b"´s reports on Integrity Initiative, but worth the hour of reading ( without linking the hyeprlinks )

Briefing note on the Integrity Initiative

From what I have understood ( and as well you will, by extensive reading ) this, and other till now seeminlgy unknown initiatives, is the source of the whole Russian meddling campaign, and Skripal and other "poisonings" issue, the rise of neonazis in Ukraine and the rest of Europe, the provocations in the Kerch Strait, various "colour revolutions" along European history, "independentist movements" and last wars in Europe and the Middle East, or money laundering schemes for unconfessable activities, with special chapter dedicated to the recruiting, conditioning and military trainning of Muslim youth from disadvantaged outcomes/neighborhoods to alleged "increase of opportunities", which has all the look of the formation of our well know "proxy" army to use in the Middle East and various "terrorist attacks" in European soil, where the perpetrators always resulted having a close relation, or were "well known" with the intelligence services.

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 22 2018 15:38 utc | 18

In the last post i mentioned living in the U.K. you would’nt know our government’s view of Trump pulling out of Syria ! Well I think I now know ! It’s not good ! We’re in a hell of a mess over ‘ Brixit ‘.
What we need now is a major outside distraction ! Let’s think, ooh I know how about a ‘world war 3’ ? That’l do it ‘">">
So to find out the British news this is the place to look !! Apparently

Posted by: Mark2 | Dec 22 2018 16:01 utc | 19

Sorry about above mess up ! Not me I checked, but happened in transit. Worth a look though.

Posted by: Mark2 | Dec 22 2018 16:05 utc | 20

Happy holidays and extra Xmas puddings to b!

Notice also reports (Saudi prince owned) Twitter snuffed Wikileaks channel
+ report southern NY judge is allowing a civil case on 9/11 explosives go to grand jury.

WL (and others) could have leaked copies of wtc vault materials, that might explain mad DC rush to ditch KSA under Kashoggi - Yemen cover .... impacting on Turkey - Syria dynamics, and massive info warfare investment of Silicon Valley & II in UK. After all, Condi went straight to DropBox from DC, and isnt Patraeus there too (not counting the record flood of spooks who reportedly ran for dem ticket offices in 2018.

Re Ukraine, Biden-Nuland clique are going to be the spanner in that works for DJT. Uniparty alums like Graham will be prostituting themselves to open the channels. Trump will have to work hard not to remember how the whole of GOP lined up to back Hilary in 2016! He will have too much ego to roll over for Biden. If ingratiation with rank and file troops is a truly personal calculated strategy, we should see more public overtures to listen to them.

Posted by: slit | Dec 22 2018 16:13 utc | 21


"money laundering schemes for unconfessable activities"

ZeroHedge reports carnage . . . how to launder $21Trillion back into circulation?

Watch the war criminals and banksters "find religion" with waves clinton foundation avatars. (II and Silicon valley troughs just the first few drops)

Posted by: slit | Dec 22 2018 16:24 utc | 22

Brett Mcgurk resigns, effective Dec 31st.. :)

Posted by: Lozion | Dec 22 2018 16:26 utc | 23

“US Embassy Shopping List” - New dump from WikiLeaks on US embassies being used for international spying - procurement forms of equipment. There is total mainstream media silence in English-speaking countries on WikiLeaks releases following the original Vault 7 documents, I would not be surprised if this was intentional and based on wrongly guilty feelings among liberals at those outlets that they lost Hillary the election. We’ll see what excitement 2019 brings but hopefully it will see a retreat of the neoliberals as well as the far-right in favor of left-wing politics #socialism #communism #anarchism

Posted by: An anticapitalist voice | Dec 22 2018 16:57 utc | 24

Lemme resurrect this article from the past to impress on all Trump suckers just how Machiavellian he really is.

Trump's Syria scam

Sooo, while MbS is securing or rather wreaking havoc on one front, Trump can free up for the biggest target of all. IRAN. Now you know why Trump was protecting MbSs ass! And don't think Netanyahoo wasn't in on Trump's game!

Boy I hate to say told ya so again! Throw away the Trump juice already! Sheesh, I hope you're finally awake.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 22 2018 17:07 utc | 25

That post was meant for Syria thread. News is breaking that MbS is deploying troops into Syria to take over for U.S.

Posted by: Circe | Dec 22 2018 17:10 utc | 26

Great interview with Michael Hudson at

Posted by: spudski | Dec 22 2018 17:23 utc | 27

thanks b and merry christmas! merry christmas to all the wonderful posters at moa as well...

i enjoyed the rolling stone article you linked to above.. here is a quote - "We’ll see a lot of hand-wringing today from people who called themselves anti-war in 2002 and 2003, but now pray that the “adults in the room” keep “boots on the ground” to preserve “credibility.”

Part of this is because it’s Trump, but a bigger part is that we’ve successfully brainwashed big chunks of the population into thinking it’s normal for a country to exist in a state of permanent war, fighting in seven countries at once, spending half of all discretionary funding on defense.

It’s not. It’s insane. And we’ll never be a healthy society, or truly respected abroad, until we stop accepting it as normal."

craig murray has written some great articles over the years... the integrity initiative and all that it might expose is fascinating..

regarding wikileaks being shut down on twitter and etc.. yes, the silence in the msm on anything wikileaks is very pronounced.. it is hard not to view twitter, fb and other social network platforms as the new msm, equally willing to carry water for the 1%...

@15 virgile... i agree with you... thanks for stating that..

Posted by: james | Dec 22 2018 17:39 utc | 28

Saudi Arabia's military is worthless, as they have shown in Yemen.

Posted by: lysias | Dec 22 2018 17:51 utc | 29

Distracted by the timing of the call from Erdogan, I forgot how the US used ISIS (as it was then) against al-Maliki. They're not too keen on Abdul-Mahdi today, nor do I think they are so pleased the IRG has had its wings clipped. Turkey's army doesn't equal Erdogan's megalomania, but it can certainly keep YPG occupied. US withdrawal doesn't just give Erdogan a greenlight, but what's left of ISIS as well.

What it does not signify is the slightest respect for the autonomy of the Syrian secular national government, nor for its sovereign rights to make alliance with Russia and Iran in an existential conflict.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Dec 22 2018 18:41 utc | 30

While not specifically labeled, this look like an open thread. So....

The French MSM (and the BBC) are doing the usual underreporting of the numbers involved in todays GJ activities. If interested, check out the RTL coverage: the “reporter” is standing on a street that is filled shoulder to shoulder as far as the lens can see with yellow vests, and states “there are about 50, maybe a hundred people here...”

The police concentrated their manpower around Versailles, and the GJ are everywhere but there, so no gas, no violence. The infiltrators/casseurs didn’t get the memo.

Speaking of the gas, one of the men seen bathing in the stuff these past weekends has put out (FB? Twitter? This is being passed along from my French family members) that he has been diagnosed with cyanide poisoning. I am not a chemist, but I don’t think this is a usual component of “tear gas ”. Probably the Russians tampering with the gendarmes CS supply.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Posted by: NotBob | Dec 22 2018 19:07 utc | 31

Merry Christmas to B. and the MOA barflies, if it ain't out o' keepin' with the situation.

♪ O, Bernhard, O Bernhard
Wie treu sind deine Blogeinträge! ♪

Posted by: Ort | Dec 22 2018 19:28 utc | 32

Screw the news. We want recipes!

Posted by: so | Dec 22 2018 20:15 utc | 33


This would explain a lot. MSM has long been controlled but recent months I have seen some rather unusual turns by some alt media journalists on other sites that I have long admired that have had me wondering if a carrot or stick were used on them. Maybe its both but with twitter, google and facebook censoring hurting revenue some may be more susceptible to such influence, at least on certain topics. US and UK march in
Lockstep on such issues

Posted by: Pft | Dec 22 2018 20:41 utc | 34

WL should take its millions of followers and open a new platform, TWIKI or some such.

Re Caitlin Johnson's coverage:

"It is worth noting here that Dorsey has an established record of lying to Twitter users about the social media outlet’s censorship practices. In the lead-up to the 2016 election, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was asked point-blank if Twitter was obstructing the #DNCLeaks from trending, a hashtag people were using to build awareness of the DNC emails which had just been published by WikiLeaks, and Dorsey flatly denied it. More than a year later, we learned from a prepared testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism by Twitter’s acting general counsel Sean J. Edgett that this was completely false and Twitter had indeed been doing exactly that to protect the interests of US political structures by sheltering the public from information allegedly gathered by Russian hackers."

..."Even if Twitter does end up restoring access to all or some of these accounts, the fact that the site would shut them down at all is deeply disturbing. A massive Silicon Valley giant’s willingness to operate as an extension of the national security state to an even limited extent does not say good things about the future of free information access."

Posted by: slit | Dec 22 2018 20:51 utc | 35

B: thanks for the excellent posts recently.

Back when the SAA took Deir Ezzour many expected immediate confrontation with the US/SDF forces east of the Euphrates.

I suggested at the time there would be a delay while the SAA consolidated the desert, the Golan and the southern border first. I stated that the key indicator the SAA would be ready to reclaim the area east of the Euphrates would be the stationing of the S300 in Deir

Posted by: les7 | Dec 22 2018 21:09 utc | 36

Thank you b for a great year of informed writing and thanks to all you comrade barflies for your harmonious buzzing and supportive research and surmises. I have been spreading some xmas cheer to the USA audiences celebrating the resignation of the man who stood on top of the $21trillion waste heap. Its just my idea of bringing the message home.

Barflies rule!!

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 22 2018 21:10 utc | 37

B: My read of the current situation is that Russia must avoid an obvious triumph- the Ukraine will be used against it if there is too much publicity given to Russian or Syrian success. Instead a low key ground confrontation beteeen the SAA and SDF will proceed while a lot to PR focuses on autonomy talks and the drafting of the Syrian constitution.

Posted by: les7 | Dec 22 2018 21:15 utc | 38

B: Should Kurdish arms need twisting the Turkish army will conduct incursions. I expect a long drawn out process - again the issue is to downplay Russian success

With the US forces out of the area I would not be suprised to see Putin invite Trump to be part of the Astana process.

Posted by: les7 | Dec 22 2018 21:18 utc | 39

A rather ironic and extremely telling observation:

"How many senior American government officials resigned from their posts when Iraq’s invasion and bombing of Libya campaigns were announced?

"That’s right, nobody, God forbid Trump ends a conflict, all hell breaks loose."

I recall a few minor officials resigning in 2003, but nobody "senior."

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 23 2018 1:14 utc | 40

Isn't this just "The Apprentice" writ large?

Posted by: V | Dec 23 2018 2:32 utc | 41

The Wikileaks Twitter accounts are back up. It appears that DDOS attacks threw the accounts into a security mode:

Posted by: Grieved | Dec 23 2018 4:11 utc | 42

Obama the Nobel Peace Prize winner was Commander in Chief when the US led the war of aggression against Libya, and during his 'watch' there was key US involvement in overthrowing the Ukrainian government in 2014 under Obama, and the continuation of US wars and military postures and subterfuge in many places. For example: "U.S. policy in Honduras, particularly during the Obama administration, is directly responsible for part of the immigration crisis now gripping the U.S., argues Joseph Nevins."

Obama was largely a media darling, and for many people, a political heart throb.

After two years of the 'bungling, rabid, incompetent, dishonest, etc etc etc' Donald Trump, during which almost all mass media and just about the entire political establishment of the western world have directed so much invective at Trump as to threaten themselves with chronic frowning foaming at the mouth apoplexy, well, there have been:

With much criticism of Trump from all directions for his North Korean related gyrations and bombast and love-fests and apocalyptic tweets, the North and South Koreans have made enormous sudden strides towards reconciliation after decades of violent antipathy.

Trump has just in time for Christmas announced that the US will be withdrawing from (its illegal and evil occupation of) Syria and Afghanistan, and the western world cries foul.

And then there is this Trumpian addiction to tweeting: Stylistically, tweeting directly to the public is just so unpresidential.

No chance Trump will win a Nobel Peace Prize or Times' man of the year if he keeps this up.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Dec 23 2018 5:21 utc | 43

The liberal centre has been ripping into Corbyn over his continued backing of Brexit and have successfully gaslighted much of the left into accepting it. This is sickening and infuriating. The Labour Party ran on a pro-Brexit platform (87% of voters chose pro-Brexit parties!) and yet this is being spun as a “betrayal.” Brexit has been turned into a cultural issue which is ridiculous and utterly mad given that it’s about a glorified trade cartel. The EU is NOT friendly to refugees or worker’s rights! The RussiaGate nonsense is wheeled out with the liberals hating on Seumas Milne and JK Rowling billionaire has gotten involved. Ughh.... here is some further comment I made on this on Consortium News:

Identity politics-obsessed liberals have made Brexit appear like an exclusively reactionary project when in reality it is objectively the left-wing economic position regarding the EU – and this includes France! The EU rules are purely political and neoliberal, with France under liberal NATO servant Macron allowed to break the rules while Italy is forced to back down even if they come near that limit. They are totally arbitrary and exist to punish governments outside the centrist consensus. France Insoumise and Die Linke must prioritise leaving this crazy arrangement. As for Jeremy Corbin, good on him for recognising reality and not allowing his brain to be pickled by PC intersectionality whining about leaving a coal and steel cartel. We need a United SOCIALIST Europe that replaces the EU entirely. Only sovereign governments can stand up to the transnational corporations and the BusinessEurope trade group (a supporter of total intergration by 2030!)

Posted by: Anne Jaclard | Dec 23 2018 6:54 utc | 44

The EU was founded by and for Christian Democrats and Liberals (all anti-communist and no social democrats!) in the 1950s, backed by the CIA. It continues to be at heart a TRADE ORGANISATION. I guess when Trump pulls out of the WTO, the liberals will fashion it as woke? This cult around the EU flag and the symbols of European unity are sickening and are not left wing at all! This is a case of socially liberal international students and London marketing and finance professionals dictating class politics in the way that Silicon Valley Atari Democrats do in the USA. These are the jobs at risk from Brexit, it won’t matter to a worker clearly if they live in the EU or not (hundreds have died outside homeless this winter!) The EU puts on a green face while allowing pipelines with Turkey and Israel and calling for the TTIP to boost fracking...allowed in the UK by Tories and Fib Dems. And Moria continues to fill with helpless and desperate people locked in detention camps by the EU in an alliance with Erdogan. The Remainers icon Tony Blair’s own Think Tank calls for restrictions on poor people fleeing war or economic hardship (refugees) to appease the right wing but no restrictions on students or high value professionals...this is the “Brahmin left,” no concern at all for the people who the left wing exists to protect- poor people, refugees, desperate and homeless. The EU is anti-humanism! Nobody is willing to say any of this on the media outside of George Galloway, that’s it, even he doesn’t go far enough. It’s all a mass hysteria, metropolitan elite marketing consultants pulling the wool over people’s eyes.

Posted by: Anne Jaclard | Dec 23 2018 7:11 utc | 45

@ Anne Jaclard

Liberals are pro-globalization and pro-imperial, so it's easy to see why they oppose Brexit. But yes, it's bizarre how many self-alleged anti-imperialists, faced with an actual prospective blow to the globalist EU structure, run home to globalist mama and oppose Brexit.

That's part of why I gave up on "the left". Most aren't true radicals but just fake ones.

Posted by: Russ | Dec 23 2018 7:29 utc | 46

@ Grieved with the Twitter outage info.

What is going to happen if the Twit in Chief can't Twitter?

Martial Law I presume until and after full service is restored.

Hail to the House of Twits and its Chief Twit! May he Twit off into oblivion.

My positive and most grateful thoughts go out to the host of MoA, b, for his ongoing efforts to provide both stellar journalism and moderating a global community of barflies that add depth and value to the web site.

Thank you b and all barflies for an amazing 2018!

And the world keeps spinning like our galaxy and the universe, all based on the law of conservation of angular momentum.

Ad Astra!

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 23 2018 8:07 utc | 47

My main problem with "immigration" is that apparently in this world order that we have established, millions of people feel the need to flee thousands of kilometers in order to live their lives in peace. I don't know about you, but that doesn't seem right to me. I wouldn't want to feel forced to travel 2,000 miles on foot just to be able to live in peace and feed my family.

On top of that, the relatively few highly educated people in poor countries (Africa, India, South East Asia, etc) tend to apply for legal immigration in an attempt to, in their own words, "win the lottery" of getting to live in Europe or the United States. This means that those educated people, who are capable of working in advanced fields - fields that are necessary for an advanced economy capable of competing with the West - don't work to build up any such advanced economy in their own countries, but rather work for western bankers and shareholders.

Take India for example. Why does it continue to be a somewhat poor country despite its huge population (it can't compete with China, for example)? There are no doubt countless of reasons, but one of them, I think, is the following: a lot of Indians who are capable of working in fields that earn them lots of cash leave India and go to the United States. The results of this are illustrated here (I'm assuming that Indians and Hindus overlap quite significantly). Now, I'm certain that a fair portion of them are native born at this point, but there are no doubt also thousands who immigrate as "skilled workers" - thereby depriving India of their skills.

On top of that, large migration streams will always produce social unrest in the country of destination. Just think about it: if a million Europeans were to move to Iran, that'd cause huge unrest in Iran. That's not because Iranians are a bunch of racist xenophobes, but because Iranians - like Europeans - are human beings with their own cultures. The European immigrants wouldn't be accustomed to that culture, they'd break local laws and disrupt social norms. This is the simple reality of humanity.

A sane global society would strive to limit immigration - not by creating hard borders and building walls, but by creating social equality across the globe so people don't feel a desperate need to immigrate.

Posted by: flayer | Dec 23 2018 8:48 utc | 48

Posted by: flayer | Dec 23, 2018 3:48:29 AM | 48

Let's try small things first - try to get jobs to the countryside.
People are forced to live in cities in cramped conditions because - in the age of globalization - companies are incapable to move jobs to where people want to live.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 23 2018 10:38 utc | 49

Anne jaclard
Have you sen that?

Posted by: Mina | Dec 23 2018 11:42 utc | 50

@33 so

My favourite use of left over turkey

Posted by: TJ | Dec 23 2018 12:46 utc | 51

Alfred Schaefer's letter to the German police

(Alfred Schaefer’s father managed to escape from one of Eisenhower’s death camps. Alfred explains this in a letter to the German police after turning down a request to be interrogated by them over his alleged anti-Semitism)

9 - minute video:

Posted by: Robin | Dec 23 2018 12:52 utc | 52


"A sane global society would strive to limit immigration - not by creating hard borders and building walls, but by creating social equality across the globe so people don't feel a desperate need to immigrate."

At the same time, it cannot be up to west to manage this, people in those countries need to fix this primarily.
The immigration wave to europe should have been stopped long time ago but the liberals in power do everyhing to get as many refugees as...well is there a limit for liberals?

Posted by: Zanon | Dec 23 2018 12:54 utc | 53

people that are refugees from countries the u.s. invades and disrupts are supposed to fix the problem?

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 23 2018 15:20 utc | 54

People in European countries and the USA (and everywhere else of course if possible) should allow refugees into their countries, there is no harm to it for anyone involved. It is the fault of the corporations and war mongers from NATO that people in the Global South continue to be impoverished (capitalism devotes resources into the pockets of the rich and multinationals). There is more in common between us and 99.9 percent of foreigners than between us and the business directors who profit off of ecocide and an agenda that kills both peoples and planet.

Posted by: Anne Jaclard | Dec 23 2018 15:50 utc | 55

It seems Canada will learn the hard way:

Canada will pay for its bad behavior (Global Times Op-ed) <>


About the "immigration problem"

This is a false dichotomy. In capitalism, every facet of human life is commodified, i.e. transformed into a commodity. A commodity is characterized by the fact you have to purchase it in order to consume it. Direct production is an anathema to the capitalist system: you produce something to sell, not for your own consumption. Hence Marx's characterization of capitalism as the world of individual producers selling among themselves in a completely anarchic way/pattern.

This "anarchy" is not accidental: it must be that way if you want a world where everything is a commodity.

In this world where everything is a commodity, labor is a commodity. Humans sell their labor (i.e. they become workers) to the owners of the infrastructure (means of production) in exchange for a certain amount of money, which the worker then spends to purchase an amount of commodities equal to its subsistence necessities.

The main difference between the classical slave and the worker is that:

1) the worker is able to reproduce itself, i.e. come back and work another day (this includes biological reproduction, aka being able to have a "family"), while the classical slave worked until he/she dies and is not allowed to have children (the only way to "produce" slaves in the Ancient times was through conquests).

2) the worker is also a commodity, so it has to be free circulating by definition -- i.e. free to sell its labor power to whichever ownere of the means of production it wants. This is necessary because, otherwise, the capitalist system wouldn't be able to define the price of labor.

Point number 2 is essential to understand immigration patterns in capitalism. A worker needs to be paid in money to function as a a worker in the capitalist sense. So it needs to go somewhere where it can be paid in the money form in order to exist as a worker. Since, nowadays, capitalism is already pretty much global, even poeple from the most poor countries have nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. And where the money is? That's right, the so-called "first world countries", which function as the HQ of the capitalist system.

In conclusion: the immigrants are not going to Europe or the USA because they are fancy or have that nice welfare state (the welfare state is already destroyed either way); they are going to those places because that's where money is being syphoned into. And labor always go from the environment with less money to the environment with more money -- that's a conditio sine qua non of the capitalist system.

Posted by: vk | Dec 23 2018 16:03 utc | 56


Of the 2003 alums Scott Ritter is the one who most distinguished himself by his steadfast commitment to integrity, despite surround sound disparagement, imo.

His work/voice remains under valued and under utilized even by peace activists:

I.e., he laid out the innards of Russiagate WAY way Way back:

“According to reporting from the Washington Post, sometime during this period, CIA Director John Brennan gained access to a sensitive intelligence report from a foreign intelligence service. This service claimed to have technically penetrated the inner circle of Russian leadership to the extent that it could give voice to the words of Russian President Vladimir Putin as he articulated Russia’s objectives regarding the 2016 U.S. Presidential election — to defeat Hillary Clinton and help elect Donald Trump, her Republican opponent. This intelligence was briefed to President Barack Obama and a handful of his closest advisors in early August, with strict instructions that it not be further disseminated.

The explosive nature of this intelligence report, both in terms of its sourcing and content, served to drive the investigation of Russian meddling in the American electoral process by the U.S. intelligence community. The problem, however, was that it wasn’t the U.S. intelligence community, per se, undertaking this investigation, but rather (according to the Washington Post) a task force composed of “several dozen analysts from the CIA, NSA and FBI,” hand-picked by the CIA director and set up at the CIA Headquarters who “functioned as a sealed compartment, its work hidden from the rest of the intelligence community.””

aka kangaroo court

If we could get Ritter and Tulsi together (assuming they are not), who knows the impact!

Posted by: slit | Dec 23 2018 16:14 utc | 57

EU censoring the internet over refugees and so called smuggling networks - tech collaberatiota use system designed to track “terrorist propaganda” (this was always an excuse) to catch pro-refugee posts and arrest people. These same filters will be used against so called fake news of course to block out “Russian Propaganda” ie independent media on far left and right via the EU “Commission on Fake News”

Posted by: Anne Jaclard | Dec 23 2018 16:24 utc | 58

@ Robert Snefjella | Dec 23, 2018 12:21:03 AM | 43
re: honoring status quo warmonger Obama, dishonoring Trump the change agent.

Edward Abbey:

The purpose and function of government is not to preside over change but to prevent change. By political methods when unavoidable, by violence when convenient.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 23 2018 16:55 utc | 59


Workers are not slaves.

Lots of workers make great money and lead pretty sweet lives.

" A worker needs to be paid in money to function as a a worker in the capitalist sense."

Genius..that means glass beads don't work?

Posted by: peter | Dec 23 2018 16:55 utc | 60

I remember that whole disarmament of Iraq episode with Scott Ridder. For his trouble he was labeled a child molester for some alleged online activities only to be caught doing it online with a minor some years later and convicted. Colonel Hackwoth came out on CNN as a paid analyst saying the whole Iraq thing was BS. That was his last appearance on CNN and he died a few months later of cancer. I watched as the UN effectively disarmed Iraq. It was highly reported on at the time across the board

Some agency could have a high level source near Putin and I am sure Putin preferred Trump over Hillary just based on what Trump was saying and what Hillary was saying. The 140 million the Russians gave the Clinton foundation apparently did not buy much of value to them.

All in all the DNC got what they wanted out of this investigation. They damaged and distracted Trump. Muller's investigation may be coming to an end soon with a report being delivered to Congress so they can proceed with a year of impeachment proceedings being handed off to the Senate for trial.

Trump will be under the gun of conviction. Guilty or not he will have to comply with what Lindsey Graham et all wants or else. Sounds like a perfect two years of distraction, compromise, and continuous shelling by the press. Meanwhile, the real hardcore war party candidates are shuffling the deck getting ready to take over from Trump.

Posted by: dltravers | Dec 23 2018 17:02 utc | 61

@ Anne Jaclard | Dec 23, 2018 11:24:54 AM | 58

My guess is most barflies do not read German.

Regarding the document:
After having read the PDF the conclusion of yours is a bit a stretch. Are the EU folks going to at least try censor the internet? Probably yes. Do they have to resort to legislation dealing with migrant smuggling? I don't think so.

In my book battling organized crime smuggling migrants, aka the most desperate and vulnerable, is a good thing.
After all, there's been way to many dead people in sealed truck trailers in the last couple of years -sometimes up to 70 people, old and young.

Posted by: Hmpf | Dec 23 2018 17:38 utc | 62

@ 60

"Workers are not slaves."

If you need to beg for a "job", working for a "boss", in order to procure "money" in order to live, you're a slave. No human society ever was set up that way, only slavery-based ones.

(I suppose indentured servant or serf might be a more precise term than slave, but it's close enough. And as fossil fuels run out, the elites (if their regime still exists) definitely will try to go back to de jure slavery. There's no doubt at all about that, every trend is heading directly toward it.)

Posted by: Russ | Dec 23 2018 17:58 utc | 63

@ 7 vk

What universe is Dana Milbank inhabiting? He literally sounds delusional.

Posted by: jrkrideau | Dec 23 2018 18:04 utc | 64

@61 dktravers... that sounds about right...thanks...

about immigration and money... yeah, people in other countries want a better quality and way of life.. they see what others have and want something similar.. the oligarchs or corporations - i view them as much the same thing - are all into screwing the little guy.. sure, they will screw each other too over a few bucks, but we have mostly moved on from having kings or queens with serfs and slaves to having oligarchs and corporations with serfs and slaves... india and china no different.. they just have more people and maybe a few more oligarchs to deal with..

as pyshcohistorian has said many times, until private finance ends, the world is going to be dealing with immigration and all sorts of shit like what we are dealing with here... that is my take... most people want equality... some want power and don't care for equality for all... those are the ones that are screwing it for everyone on the planet at this point...

Posted by: james | Dec 23 2018 18:06 utc | 65


Under feudalism common people included peasants, serfs, and slaves. Surfs were bound to the manor (the fiefdom), peasants were bound to the land. Peasants could be free or indentured.

If a large and medium-sized corporations are comparable to a fiefdom, then skilled employees that work for them are surfs and small businesses owners (shops and services) are peasants (generally rooted in their local community). Slaves today would be comparable to: undocumented immigrants, prison labor, welfare-to-work (WTW), and minimum wage jobs paying no benefits.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 23 2018 19:18 utc | 66

Trump doubling down. Mattis out by the end of the year.

Posted by: lysias | Dec 23 2018 19:20 utc | 67

@ Posted by: Russ | Dec 23, 2018 12:58:15 PM | 63

Slave is human as an object. He/she is literally a property of his/her master (who is necessairly a person), and cannot have children. In Ancient Rome, slaves were the pillar of everthing: they were teachers, accountants, secretary, farmers etc. etc. etc. The only job they could not do was serving in the military (legions) and having a public life (i.e. politics). In every period of Rome between the late Republic and the High Empire, slaves were easily the majority of the entire population (as things, that meant Roman citizens were the minority within their own republic/empire).

Serf is the property of the land. During the Middle Ages, the nobility had the right to execute and charge tributes from the serfs within its fiefs, but they didn't have the right to displace them from the land. And this position was inheritable: the son of the serf was equally bound to the land of his father and so on. The only time a serf was allowed to leave his/her land was when he/she needed to pay tribute in labor, by cultivating in the noble's land.

Worker is a human who sells his/her labor power to any owner of the means of production. The difference to the slave is that the worker doesn't sell him/herself, but his/her labor power only. What's the difference? Time. A worker is only a "slave" to the capitalist for a precontracted amount of time (today, it hovers around 40 hours per week). When the journey is over, the worker is, technically, a free human. Another essential difference is free circulation of commodity: since labor power is a commodity, it must freely circulate in capitalism. In concrete terms, that means a worker can, technically, abandon his/her job anytime he/she wants. The last big difference is that, since labor power must freely circulate, that means that, physically, the human being that embodies this labor power must also have the "right" (not necessarily the means) to freely circulate around the capitalist world.

Posted by: vk | Dec 23 2018 19:34 utc | 68

@ Posted by: peter | Dec 23, 2018 11:55:14 AM | 60

I was pointing out to the people here advocating for blocking immigration to the first world that this is useless effort: these people are immigrating precisely because there isn't any money to be made in their home countries, so they are going to the countries that have the money to pay for the labor force -- they won't simply revert to the stone age and live from cultivating the land for the simple fact the world is capitalist now. To advocate artificial barriers to free movement of labor is the same as to advocate against the free market.

Posted by: vk | Dec 23 2018 19:38 utc | 69

@ jrkrideau | Dec 23, 2018 1:04:15 PM | 64

What universe is Dana Milbank inhabiting? He literally sounds delusional.

The late, great social critic Joe Bageant asserted that the vast majority of US residents, including its would-be "intelligentsia", were deluded and occluded by an overclass-imposed sociopolitical fantasy; he called it “The Hologram”. It's been defined as a self-referential corporatist theater state in which the consciousness of its denizens has been mutated by an endless parade of consumer spectacle.

The Hologram pre-dates Trump, although his nominally successful career has taken place in, of, and for the Hologram. Ironically, Trump's election so traumatized the soft progressive-liberal orthodoxy that they developed Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). It's mass hysteria-- life imitating Ionesco's "Rhinoceros".

That's the universe Milbank inhabits; like someone lost in the desert without water to drink, he has succumbed to delirium.

No offense, but I assume you're not from the US, or haven't paid much attention to US corporate mass-media since Trump's controversial election-- especially the mass-media consent manufactories in the Washington, DC area.

I say this because Milbank is hardly an exception. He literally sounds delusional because he literally is delusional. But he's not an isolated case, or outlier; he's just one exemplar of the New Normal.

Posted by: Ort | Dec 23 2018 19:45 utc | 70

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 23, 2018 11:55:08 AM | 59

"Edward Abbey:
The purpose and function of government is not to preside over change but to prevent change. By political methods when unavoidable, by violence when convenient."

Well Don, Abbey's quote more or less fits through history, for governments that are made up of, or which function on behalf of, entrenched power. There is the pertinent note in Herodotus, who was referencing Pindar if I recall correctly, who said "custom rules."

But there have also been very many governments which intended or accomplished important change. In our age, when dysfunctional or corrupt or deeply criminal and pathological power is widely served by or entrenched in governments, Abbey's quote, again roughly speaking, doesn't lack for examples.

There is the 'when corporations rule the world' and 'when bankers rule the world' and 'when intelligence agencies rule the world' and perhaps increasingly 'when AI rules the world' (not my preference) modern complication to what it is that constitutes 'government'.

But given the rapid modern trajectory of environmental collapse, for the example the recent death of much life in the North Pacific Ocean, or the rapid decline in insect populations observed widely, and the ongoing teetering on the edge of nuclear war by intention or unfortunate inattention, and the unsolved problems pertaining to nuclear reactor waste and safety, among many 'challenges' that one might list, business as usual has a rather dire panoply of destinations.

I think it's important to believe as achievable good and appropriate government, which in our present circumstance must be visionary, must be capable of expediting necessary change. We have now so much amazing potential to do so much good on Earth, and to leave behind the ideology of human on human predation and I win/you lose, glorified greed, etc.

The oceans don't have to have another hundred billion plastic bags added to them; another city doesn't have to be bombed into rubble on behalf of lies and stupidity and evil.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Dec 23 2018 20:25 utc | 71

The Integrity Initiative had nothing to do with the Skripal affair.

(I have always been convinced that the UK Gvmt. was not informed. May played catch-up. More another day.)

is the doc I read, refs to Skripal:

Oct 2018. By Duncan Allen, puts forward the usual … “The nerve-agent attack on Sergey and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury on 4 March 2018 was not just a brazen violation of UK sovereignty. It was also a UK policy failure. Following the murder of Aleksandr Litvinenko in 2006..” It simply takes for granted that Russians poisoned Sergei and Yulia, there is no info of any kind at all, the piece is a think-thank blurb. It is rubbish from start to finish, and even within the confines of the genre, lame and unprofessional.

Piece below is mentioned, and credits Victor Madeira in some ? fashion. (March 2018, Madeira not the author.) Again, ties to Litvinenko case are highlighted.

…the documents quoted under 17.2.7 on Skripal

1) 10 March 2018. short blurb, same story as above, ties to Litv.

2) 11 March. idem, stresses that UK response has been too weak to deadly attack (Skripal) adds in Berezovsky. Strongly urges countering Russian agression.

3) 15 March. by Greg Rowett. Proposes to monitor Social Media to see how news spreads, to identify new threats by cyber monitoring, etc. (Superficial buzz. “SENTINEL automatically identifies key words and atmospherics..” !)

4) 18 March. Ana Alonson, Sp. La tensión entre los aliados y Rusia aumenta tras el primer ataque con gas nervioso en Europa desde la II Guerra Mundial. same old re-hashed.

5) (not a report) 16 March. Tweet. Ariana Gic links /Skripal/ to Yushenko in 2004 with a gruesome photo of Y. “Russia may change its poisons.” ! Tweet refers to a Reuters news article (with same old.)

6) (not a roundup) 15 March about. A twitter thread on the matter which quotes Moon of Alabama (!) and typically goes all over the place, with pix of bottles of Novichok, etc.

7) 23 March. Another twitter thread.

The few other refs. are all the same. One touts a seminar to become aware of 'reliable info' etc with Skripal case as an ex.

All the I. I. did was to exploit the Skripal affair and attempt to push or fix the narrative in one direction (blame Russia), in surprisingly ignorant and uncreative ways. (At high cost, it almost looks like a scam.)

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 23 2018 20:30 utc | 72

Happy Holidays b and all!

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 23 2018 20:44 utc | 73

To repeat: If you need to beg for a "job", working for a "boss", in order to procure "money" in order to live, you're a slave. No human society ever was set up that way, only slavery-based ones.

Posted by: Russ | Dec 23 2018 20:45 utc | 74

I wrote out my forecast of the elites' end goal here.

Posted by: Russ | Dec 23 2018 20:51 utc | 75

Posted by: Russ | Dec 23, 2018 3:45:16 PM | 74

All I can say is that you haven't the faintest idea what "slavery" means and meant.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 23 2018 21:30 utc | 76

Harsh words from Global Times: "Canada will never get sincere support from international society. No country is so foolish as to not understand the real situation." Unfortunately, the amateurs running Canada's foreign policy are in fact refusing to understand the situation, and have opted for a chauvinist stance which magnifies the politicized nature of this problem while continuing to insist it is not politicized at all.

Dana Milbank apparently was not informed the Soviet Union imploded almost thirty years ago.

From the NY Times, on the Alabama political "experiment": "...he said it was impossible that a $100,000 operation had an impact on the race." That observation seems just common sense, but no one notices that it is received wisdom that the Russians allegedly swung the election for Trump for less money in a vastly more expensive contest.

Posted by: jayc | Dec 23 2018 21:48 utc | 77

Thanks b for the many excellent articles over the year(s). I wouldn't miss one. Happy Christmas to you and your family.

Just on a lighter vein, here is how NORAD followed Father Christmas on his travels during the first cold war

Of course Father Christmas has now been modernized for the second cold war. He met a Musk (ox) called Elon who sold him a terribly expensive car. Now he can text while travelling on automatic, with only occasional side trips into stationary police cars or burn-outs. But there is one thing that poses an existential problem for me ; With global warming and eoliens, solar heating, nuclear or gas, how does he get down all those little "chimneys"?

Posted by: stonebird | Dec 23 2018 21:50 utc | 78

Japan probably has the third or fourth largest nuclear arsenal: the myth of the "pacific Japan"

Joseph Trento's Report on the Pivotal US Role in Creating Japan's Plutonium Stockpile <>

Posted by: vk | Dec 23 2018 21:56 utc | 79

Today Macron chastised Trump for failing to be a reliable ally. Guess where? In Idris Deby's Chad. For a model of long term French ally, he could not find better!! Bye bye human rights, democracy, whatsoever!

Posted by: Mina | Dec 23 2018 22:01 utc | 80

Thankfully, there's some good news at last!

Now there's a place where Germans can go to turn in their own family for anti-semitic Thought Crime.

From the article linked below: “Victims of anti-Semitic attacks in Germany will be able to report incidents on a new online platform.”

Finally the innocent and decent wandering jew, powerless and persecuted for centuries and for no reason by evil gentiles will have a platform to complain about the endless poor treatment at the hands of the cattle (that’s you goyim)...and complaining about ill treatment is something they are normally loathe to do.

From the article: “It's run by an anti-Semitism research group and will include events that do not involve a crime in its tally.”

It will also include events that never actually happened in its tally. Hmm, that sure sounds familiar.

From the article below: “Germany is launching an online site for victims to report anti-Semitic attacks, Felix Klein, Germany's commissioner for Jewish affairs, said Thursday.”

Honestly, it's about time. If there's one segment of the population subject to irrational hate and completely unable to fight back, perhaps with a hypothetical full control of the media, educational system and government, it's the (((chosen)))

from the article: “We cannot leave fighting anti-Semitism in this country to the Jews," said Klein, who has been in office since May and reports to Chancellor Angela Merkel's government via the federal Interior Ministry.”

No, You need to install a communist spy in your own head and live in constant fear. You need to pick up the slack for the wealthy merchants who want you violently dead. The rampant and appalling crimes being committed by immigrants against you don't matter. You weren't chosen. Get in that hole, goyim....Die

"Every anti-Semite in this country has a problem with our democracy and with our civil-law state ... that effects all of us in this country," said Klein.

"Daddy, what's democracy?"

"As far as I can tell, it's mostly about with worshiping the jew and dying for Israel."

The reporting center will receive start-up funding of €243,000 ($278,320) in funds from 2019 and will be supported in the long-term by funds from Germany's Ministry for Family Affairs.

Don't worry, you'll get the bill, shkotzim.

Daniel Botmann, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said the reporting center is necessary because police statistics exclude many non-criminal, anti-Semitic attacks. He said the initiative will be able to provide information of the development of anti-Semitism in Germany.

These non-criminal "attacks" were real in my mind.

Posted by: WS | Dec 23 2018 22:16 utc | 81

The hypocrisy of the anti-war left is so on display right now. They didn't oppose the destruction of secular Syria and Ghadaffi's Libya which had the highest per capita income in North Africa. Instead they cheered regime change in both countries when Obama and Hillary followed the neocon script. Combined with Bush's destruction of Iraqi society caused Al Qaeda and ISIS to form and metastasize in these countries with thousands of radical Islamic militants from Chechnya to Uzbekistan to flood the area and create complete and total mayhem.

Much to the chagrin of the anti-war left and the DC establishment (political, think-tank and media elites) and to the delight of the Deplorables, who actually fight and die in these endless wars, Trump exercising his constitutional powers has commenced the ending of US interventionism in these endless wars, keeping his campaign promise.

So lovely to see all the exploding heads hysterical about the pullout of the US military from Syria and Afghanistan. If Trump continues this, just as he has with criminal justice reform, his support will increase beyond the Deplorables to many who see that despite the incessant attacks by the DC establishment he is the first reformer in decades.

Merry Christmas!

Posted by: ab initio | Dec 23 2018 22:28 utc | 82

More of the same insanity !

Posted by: Mina | Dec 23 2018 22:37 utc | 83

@82 But what about Assad The Brutal Dictator Who Gasses His Own People? The neocons may have written the script but the left lapped it up. The same technique that worked so well with Saddam and Ghadaffi.

Surely the anti-war left aren't going to let Assad get away with it.

Posted by: dh | Dec 23 2018 22:53 utc | 84


Slaves had it better. Free housing, food, clothing, health care , debt free, no taxes and never jobless. Didnt have to pay for the kids education and no funeral expenses.

Slaves were valued as capital and assets of their owner who paid good money for some of them and wanted to breed them and realize capital gains. Thats how 500K imported slaves into British NA became 4.3 million at the start of the civil war (slaves and freemen).

The Elite in London recognized that slavery , when their was a sufficient labour force was a bad deal for capitalism and began a movement to end slavery throughout the world in the 19th century. Better to pay healthy workers without having to worry about their health, diet , family and housing. If they got sick and couldnt work just fire them and hire a healthy one. The poor workers could be exploited with debt so as to feed and house their family, and they had to pay taxes. Oh joy, wage slavery is so much more profitable.

The key of course is having a sufficient labour force. Industrialization, feminism, immigration all served to ensure surplus labor. Thats the reason immigration is permitted today. Throwing CEO who hire illegal workers would end that, but then wages might rise. Even under Trump the number of illegal workers has not changed much because his approach is ineffective and he knows it. Going after the employer and not the worker is the only way

Posted by: Pft | Dec 23 2018 23:48 utc | 85

@WS 81
Thank you, so I guess we will see the same site or a duplicate that specifically reports the antisemitic assaults on the Palestinian faction of semitism. Balance and all.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 24 2018 0:10 utc | 86

Two true narratives that ought to be employed to defeat all the false narratives circulating: The stories of MK/ULTRA and The Downwinders: The USA Attacking its Own Citizens with Impunity. And if those don't stick, then there are others to employ--there are plenty, far too many!!

A great many problems have their root in money-based economies--examine English Imperialism for graphic examples.

slit @57--

Thanks for your reply! Ritter was a great! He spoke at the massive march I attended in San Francisco in 2003. That Pelosi refused to allow Impeachment to proceed against BushCo is one of the major forgotten crimes from that era. Obama refusing to arrest BushCo as soon as he was inaugurated effectively disqualified him from holding office. And the list goes on and on. But, sadly, Truth Justice and The American Way died well before Korea in 1950--1947's National Security Act ended it all. The 1963 film, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, says quite a lot about American cultural values, or the lack thereof.

Happy Solstice all you Pagans, Infidels, and Heretics!

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 24 2018 0:11 utc | 87

@ab initio 82

The tiresome conflation of all things left with hypocrisy is a banal display of ignorance.

The anti war left remains exactly the same.
It did not ever cheer for an attack on Libya or anywhere else. That cheering noise was the neocon war mongering democrats and their scabrous hangers on and media servants. The democats: deceptive untrustworthy scumbags, just like the republicans.

Any person with a modicum of intellect can see the difference between sincere peace believers and opportunist sh!ts.

At this time of year it is worth remembering that the human who is willing to march in rank and file to the strains of music is beneath contempt. They received their magnificent brain by mistake: a mere spinal column would suffice.

The anti war left remains resolute and is found in many nations and even wears a yellow vest because the interests of peace are everyone's interest no matter what class, what wealth, what race.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 24 2018 0:22 utc | 88

@ Robert Snefjella | Dec 23, 2018 3:25:45 PM | 71
re: there have also been very many governments which intended or accomplished important change.
Edward Abbey was an anarchist who believed that "No man is wise enough to be another man's master. Each man's as good as the next--if not a damn sight better" and "A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government."
So I tend to go along with that, reinforced by my belief in the wisdom of Henry David Thoreau who believed that we should not do good, rather we should be good, living simply. (That's really where blogs are important. They don't have any affect upon government, but the do contribute to self-development.)
Thoreau, in Walden: "I learned this, at least, by my experiment [living two years in a self-built cabin]; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Dec 24 2018 0:35 utc | 89

I heartily endorse the link given by spudski @ 27! Prof. Hudson gives a very clear exposition of the manner in which the US public and perhaps the world has been propagandized on the economic question as blatantly as (and more successfully than) we have been hoodwinked on geopolitical matters. For instance, do we really know what the phrase 'a free market' means, or should mean?

Lots to digest here, and lots to fix!

Merry Christmas, all.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 24 2018 0:40 utc | 90

uncle tungsten @88

With the exception of Tulsi Gabbard and Ro Khanna none that I can see among the anti-war left is supporting the withdrawal from Syria and Afghanistan.

Posted by: ab initio | Dec 24 2018 0:45 utc | 91

Posted by: Pft | Dec 23, 2018 6:48:38 PM | 85

Slavery works for agriculture not for capitalism. As far as that your analysis is correct. Not the joke about slaves having it better. You forget the small detail that a worker can leave his/her employer and move on if he/she finds a better one, can organize for better conditions, is free to do as he/she wants outside of the workplace, and - very small detail - owns his/her own body.

Posted by: somebody | Dec 24 2018 0:48 utc | 92

@90 Ron Paul applauds Trump's decision. So does his son. But they are still lone voices.

Posted by: dh | Dec 24 2018 0:50 utc | 93

ab initio @90--

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez needs to be added to an all too short list.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 24 2018 1:01 utc | 94

dh @92

Ron Paul has been a lone and consistent voice against US military interventionism overseas. He has long called for foreign military bases to be closed and our soldiers returned home. He was also a lone voice against warantless mass surveillance and the national security state as he noted they were the antithesis of liberty and a constitutional republic. While his son Rand does not hold a candle to his father he is imbued with similar principles. Rand did have the courage to speak out in support of Trump's orders and mocked Graham for his warmongering. Good on him.

Posted by: ab initio | Dec 24 2018 1:05 utc | 95

Political cartoon gift for barflies celebrating Winter Solstice!

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 24 2018 1:07 utc | 96

karlof1 @93

Thank you for noting Alexandria's position. She also noted that Congress happily pays itself while some of the government is shut. I would support the docking of Congressional pay and shutting down of most of the government, even permanently, especially all the "organs of state security".

Posted by: ab initio | Dec 24 2018 1:10 utc | 97

Russ @ 75: Thanks for the link, hope folks will read it. It's very relevant, the way things seem to be progressing.

An excerpt;

"Permanent mass unemployment is their intent. The only tricky part is getting the sheep to accept it as the norm, the way they’ve accepted everything else so far."

"Those who have jobs will suffer low wages, zero bargaining power, few or no benefits, nasty work conditions, and the constant threat of being fired as the penalty for any kind of dissent. This ideological enforcement is already advancing."

Hope all here have a nice holiday season.

Posted by: ben | Dec 24 2018 1:37 utc | 98

thanks b, have a wonderful holiday. same to everyone here.

Posted by: annie | Dec 24 2018 1:44 utc | 99

This is getting ridiculous! Clive Lewis and other normally Cornynite MPs are saying Brexit is a "cultural issue" above all else...they're pushing upper class identity politics while attaching George Galloway. How anyone could look at the EU and see a place welcoming to refugees and migrants is beyond me, Fortress Europe was opposed in the Respect Party's 2005 platform and elsewhere even before that. Fortunately at least until now this media barrage of elite propaganda has failed and support for the Liberal Democrats has fallen to lower than 2015! But these idiots have their hands on the windpipe of public discourse and are spreading lies that will hurt poor people and disenfranchised.

Posted by: Anne Jaclard | Dec 24 2018 6:22 utc | 100

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