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January 20, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-04

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:

This week saw another fake story about Trump and Russia. A newly released chapter of Matt Taibbi's book Hate Inc. (available for free) touches on the issue: BuzzFeed's big scoop and the media's giant factual loophole. Doug Johnson Hatlem lists all the Russiagate stories the media retracted or seriously corrected. He is at number 37 so far.

Two weeks ago Senator Lindsay Graham argued against screwing the Kurds in Syria:

SEN. GRAHAM: Well, I had lunch with the president last week and I came away a bit encourage. There are three things that we want to accomplish as part of a withdrawal. We want to make sure that when we leave the Kurds do not get slaughtered. And I don't trust Turkey to take care of the Kurds. It'd be like Putin trying to police Assad. That didn't work well. We need a plan to protect the Kurds from Turkey and others.

The same Senator Graham is now pushing for screwing the Kurds:

"So I told President Trump if you withdraw and do not think this through, you are creating a nightmare for Turkey. President Obama created a nightmare for Turkey by arming elements of the YPG that are clearly tied to the PKK and in the eyes of Turkey this was devastating," Graham said in a statement to reporters in Ankara on Saturday.

Graham believes the US and Turkish militaries are already coordinating on a plan to disarm the YPG.

“Here’s the good news: General Dunford, I think, has a plan that he’s working on with the Turkish military that can accomplish these objectives and they are to move the YPG elements away from Turkey,” said Graham, adding that heavy weapons in particular should be taken away.

Did anyone else publish about the Hersh piece? I have seen none. There are many more interesting bits in there, on Reagan's Star Wars for example, that I did not point out.

Part of old/new star wars plan is new technology to kill missiles shortly after they take off. The idea is bollocks:

A 2012 National Academy of Sciences report puts it very plainly: “Boost-phase missile defense—whether kinetic or directed energy, and whether based on land, sea, air, or in space—is not practical or feasible.”

The latest from Spire FM: The officer, who was hospitalised after being exposed to novichok last March, is on duty once again. - Yulia Skripal recovered in less than ten weeks. Why did it take the doorknobichok™ Det Sgt Nick Bailey a full ten month to come back to work?

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on January 20, 2019 at 14:37 UTC | Permalink

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@ financial matter with the "roots in the ground" comment....thanks

Somehow the West continues to live the illusion of a paradigm with roots. But the folks that continue to control the narrative also reinforce the faith based belief in the roots being good for them.

Extend and pretend until the new sheriff exposes the Western roots for the social cancer they represent. I continue to hope it happens soon.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 22 2019 16:06 utc | 101

This is what Canadian 'progressives' are treated to on

All NATO Members at Risk of Russian Hacking: General Jay Janzen

"The information environment has become weaponized,' said Brigadier General Jay Janzen. 'The deciding factor in future information warfare will be narratives - whose story wins..."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jan 22 2019 16:58 utc | 102

Alastair Crooke on Pompeo's Cairo speech introduces us to historian Michael Vlahos in order to make sense of Pompeo's gibberish. Vlahos tries to replace one mythical narrative with another mythical narrative we ought to pay attention to since that narrative is one that's currently being pushed onto the American people as the neocons have yet to abandon their 1996 goal of fulfilling the Yinon Plan. One key clue that Vlahos is blowing smoke is his belief that something called "American virtue" exists when it's every bit as mythological as Exceptionalism and Manifest Destiny. Then there's the absolutely silly notion that many of those of the "Red" persuasion listened to Pompeo's speech, or that "Blues" thought highly of what Obama said in Cairo. Clearly, Vlahos's America's restricted to the Beltway and an ideological mishmash that exists only in his mind. It's worth clicking the link to Vlahos's essay Crooke borrows extensively from. His fundamental premise--"Civil division and its conquests are the true makers of America"--I would argue is 100% wrong as he's using presentism to explain history, rendering his premise a fallacy.

So why look at and contest this? It's trying very hard to support the several false narratives currently in circulation in an attempt to wage further war for empire. Within the USA, the current ongoing conflict is between the citizenry and the federal, and in some cases state, government(s), the controllers of which have tried to engineer the Blue versus Red cultural conflict to divide the citizenry thus deterring the solidarity required to enact pro-people policies instead of pro-corporate war policies. Such division's belied by polling showing the genuine popularity of pro-people policies, from taxation to healthcare to employment to disbelief in false narratives and corresponding fake news. But such Red/Blue solidarity cannot be mentioned in any "mainstream" publication as the pretension of conflict must be preserved and advanced regardless of actual truth--current and historical.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 22 2019 17:07 utc | 103

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 22, 2019 12:07:04 PM | 104

"His fundamental premise--"Civil division and its conquests are the true makers of America"--I would argue is 100% wrong as he's using presentism to explain history, rendering his premise a fallacy."

Seems to me that the genocide/subjugation of the First Nations and relentless ecocide are two things regarding which there's been very little division among the American (or Canadian) "civil".

Posted by: Russ | Jan 22 2019 17:48 utc | 104

@105 "Seems to me that the genocide/subjugation of the First Nations and relentless ecocide are two things regarding which there's been very little division among the American (or Canadian) "civil"."

That is certainly true of the past. Nowadays the division exists between those who feel guilty and those who just want to forget.

Posted by: dh | Jan 22 2019 18:13 utc | 105

karlof1, Russ, dh

Civil division is allowed when it doesn't interfere with Empire.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 22 2019 18:18 utc | 106

Follow-up @97

Hannigan's resignation is important for showing the depth of MI6 involvement. MI6 wouldn't be involved if CIA didn't want them to be.

McCain also plays an important role in passing on the dossier. Why would McCain be helping Hillary?!?!

And then there is the people that Trump has chosen to work with: VP Pense (McCain's buddy); soon-to-be AG William Barr (Bush Sr-guy, friendly with Mueller); Gina Haspel (Brennan's acolyte); John Brennan (neocon ideologue). No to mention swamp creatures like Mnuchin (Goldman Sachs guy) and Wilbur Ross. These are the choices of a populist outsider.

Welcome to the rabbit hole.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 22 2019 18:29 utc | 107

These are NOT the choices of a populist outsider.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 22 2019 18:29 utc | 108

@97 jackrabbit... i think i did see your reply to yeah, right... i suppose my main thing is it really doesn't matter who gets in power in the usa because the usa no longer represents any semblance of democracy or freedom anymore.. it has become the opposite.. a cheap facade is all it is at this point.. behind the facade are predatory players vying for their interests.. meanwhile the ordinary person in the usa is treated like fodder.. i would like to get beyond the facade, just as much as others here.. part of it for me is not seeing any real difference between trump or clinton... either one could have done the job that is still a work in progress.. going to ww3 with russia is still on track.. nothing trump has done has changed anything here.. i don't believe it would have been any different with clinton..

Posted by: james | Jan 22 2019 18:36 utc | 109

when i think of it more, if trump wasn't elected a similar mueller type investigation would have been on russia stealing the clinton e mails and election, as opposed to being obsessed about trumps russian connections... it still would be something, as the main theme of going to war with russia needs to be the main theme..

Posted by: james | Jan 22 2019 18:39 utc | 110


The roles are clear: Clinton was the establishment candidate and presumptive President and Trump was the underdog populist.

MAGA is about manufacturing consent for war. The resolve needed for NWO hegemony requires patriot fervor and crushing dissent. It's not rocket science or "Deus ex Machina" stuff - Hitler was very effective at this more than 70 years ago.

That's why Trump's election was so important, and why making Trump himself is self-defeating (they win when we argue about Trump's personal failings and forget about policy). It's the undemocratic Deep State manipulation that we must fight, not front man Trump.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 22 2019 19:04 utc | 111

Posted by: dh | Jan 22, 2019 1:13:10 PM | 107

@105 "Seems to me that the genocide/subjugation of the First Nations and relentless ecocide are two things regarding which there's been very little division among the American (or Canadian) "civil"."

That is certainly true of the past. Nowadays the division exists between those who feel guilty and those who just want to forget.

Fake guilt, but not enough of the real thing to cause any change in their actions.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 22 2019 19:08 utc | 112


The roles are clear: Clinton was the establishment candidate and presumptive President and Trump was the underdog populist.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 22 2019 19:16 utc | 113


MAGA lays the groundwork needed to manufacturing consent for war. It is 'exceptionalism' wrapped in the flag.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 22 2019 19:23 utc | 114

jr - lol... fine by me however they are defined... bottom line - still war 24/7 on russia regardless of who leads the usa..

on smoothies site, he shared a saker article from a year ago.. i hadn't read it before, but i found the exchange in the comments section at the top worth reading and the article more generally worth it too..
Why is Putin “allowing” Israel to bomb Syria?

Posted by: james | Jan 22 2019 19:26 utc | 115

@113 Oh I think some people (young white ones especially) feel genuinely guilty about the past. They (we) just don't know how to change it. Non-native Americans for instance are not going en masse back where they came from. Some people perhaps are making an effort to consume less but not enough to make much difference.

Posted by: dh | Jan 22 2019 19:37 utc | 116

john @ 98

Thanks. I get the same impression. Also honest. Just that sometimes very bright people go down rabbit holes so I wanted an outside opinion.

She sees us as heading towards a repressive and Fascist dispensation. Hope she's wrong there.

Posted by: English Outsider | Jan 22 2019 22:02 utc | 117

@120 A lot of people think Steve Martin only plays banjo. Not so. He also plays a mean trumpet. In fact he's been called the white Louis Armstrong.

Posted by: dh | Jan 23 2019 0:33 utc | 118

Civil division is required to maintain empire. It is essential for the survival of capitalism at any level, and more so at capitalism's highest imperial level.

karlof1 makes a great point @104 to which I would only like to emphasize that the "Blue versus Red" divide in the USA (and Europe as well) is absolutely NOT a left/right divide. What the populations of both the US and EU have been fooled into thinking is left/right has nothing to do with the real left/right divide, which is all about who controls the economy and by which mechanism. Left/right has nothing to do with thinking good thoughts about "People of Color" or protecting unborn babies from abortion.

This is crucially important because it explains how portions of the populations that we are supposed to be fooled into believing are "right" are embracing traditional left wing positions like fighting the corporate elites, and also why portions of the so-called "left" are embracing traditionally hardcore right wing things like imperial aggression. This is important because it informs us of which portions of the faux left need to be written off, and which portions of the supposed right might actually be on our side.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jan 23 2019 0:46 utc | 119

@ William Gruff and karlof1 about civil division

karlof1's last line
But such Red/Blue solidarity cannot be mentioned in any "mainstream" publication as the pretension of conflict must be preserved and advanced regardless of actual truth--current and historical.

The example of public versus private finance is the ultimate case in point. The only ones that support private finance are those with vested interests. Unfortunately, the brainwashing is so effective that many believe that the tools of finance are public in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.

Left/right is a myth promulgated and maintained by the top of the top/bottom reality we live in the West.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 23 2019 1:28 utc | 120

In the last Open Thread a few days ago I left a link for the US thing about the Catholic Prep school boys from Kentucky being offensive to another person and its become such a thing that Trump is rumored to be inviting the boys to the white house....

But that is not exactly why I am here. What I think the link below will show you is another jaw dropping moment like when you saw the first picture of Jesus riding in on the back of a Brontosaurus.

Ever feel like all your prayers go unheard? The Catholic Church has an app for that - Move over One-Click shopping, Click to Pray is here (some of the comments are very funny)

It makes my skin crawl much more than the thought of the merit based social monitoring system that China is exploring.

Full disclosure. I went through 12 years of Catholic education, the last 4 with the Jesuits who kept hacking me with wooden paddles because I asked questions they didn't like and was otherwise different then they thought I should be.....1962 -1966 time frame

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 23 2019 2:00 utc | 121

William Gruff @123--

As the polling I alluded to portrays, there's very little divide over some extremely important issues that affect everyone, which is why the artificial Culture Wars were instituted and are sustained generation after generation--predating modern communications by centuries as the Class War proves. And that's the danger presented by Sanders, AOC, etc--they know the division's artificial and are trying very hard to get that truth across despite every dirty trick in the book being used against them. Our flag ought to mimic this Benjamin Franklin cartoon, but with the snake segments named for different societal factions.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 23 2019 2:26 utc | 122

it sure looks like someone is talking to themselves on this thread.. not mentioning names.. it is pretty obvious to the regulars...

Posted by: james | Jan 23 2019 2:35 utc | 123

Syria once again demand that UNSC act on Israel. Russia refuse call as usual.

"Damascus Threatens to Respond to Israeli Attack With Strike on Tel Aviv Airport"

Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic to the United Nations Bashar Jaafari said that it was time that the United Nations Security Council took action to stop constant Israeli attacks on Syrian territory, adding that Damascus might exercise its right to self-defence and respond to the Israeli attack on Damascus Airport with a symmetric strike on Tel Aviv Airport.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 23 2019 8:31 utc | 124

@129 Zanon "Syria once again demand that UNSC act on Israel."

As well they should, since this is an unprovoked attack by one member state upon the soil of another member state. That is exactly the situation that the UNSC should act upon.

"Russia refuse call as usual."

Err, when did the UNSC consist of just "Russia"?

Syria is demanding that the UN Security Council act on this outrage.

Syria isn't demanding that "Russia" act, and "Russia" alone can not act through the venue of the UNSC unless all five permanent members agree to that action.

Honestly, your propaganda is so transparent.

Not everything is the sole responsibility of "Russia", and certainly not in the UNSC which *by* *design* ensures that one permanent member can not act alone.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 23 2019 11:15 utc | 125

Yeah Right

Actually it is Russia responsibility in this case, not only that this is the mandate UNSC (to stop aggression) have but also who else would create the resolution but Russia?

You seems to believe there is a burden for Russia to put a resolution condemning Israel. Perhaps you are right consindering Putin's refusal to do just this.

Putin's refusal is as bad as the US blocking of resolutions against Israel past 40 years. Perhaps israeli money is the reason not only for US behavior but also for Russian?

If this isnt the time to put an end to israeli strikes, when is the time? When Israel kill 40-50-100 syrian soldiers?
By that time it is way too late.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 23 2019 12:26 utc | 126

- Moon Of Alabama has mentioned the investigation site Bellingcat several times here on this blog. But Bellingcat has received funding from GOOGLE. And there are more people who have "egg on their face".


"Omidyar’s Intercept Teams Up with War-Propaganda Firm Bellingcat"

"Despite promoting itself as an “independent” and open-source investigation site, Bellingcat has received a significant portion of its funding from Google, which is also one of the most powerful U.S. military contractors and whose rise to prominence was directly aided by the CIA."


Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 23 2019 20:05 utc | 127

@John #6 and Uncle Tungsten #15
Prof. Skidmore was also a guest with James Corbett, they seemingly concluded
(were loth in assuming) that the all-purpose mechanism of state's secrets
would be used to smooth over this outrageous bookkeeping malarkey and the fantastic
amount of dollars involved. IOW, No Go for the Bean Counters, so to speak.
You will have to pry those dollars from the Pentagons cold dead hands. Or something.

Posted by: Mishko | Jan 25 2019 3:40 utc | 128

@128 willy2... anyone who looks more closely at google, will come away very depressed... fuck google.. ditto the intercept dude..

Posted by: james | Jan 25 2019 5:53 utc | 129

New Integrity Initiative leak: Make Muslims love NATO, target anti-frackers, plan for nuclear war

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 26 2019 18:34 utc | 130

Cambridge Analytica strikes again, in art this time. Getting the data of thousands of people who are ready to pay a hundred euros for a hipster' anti-Sovietic propaganda artshow. Head hunters?
The scandal caused by the revelations about the role of CA in the event led it to be canceled in Germany, but Le Monde rightly explains that this is not a problem for the French (and won't tell its readers more about CA).

Posted by: Mina | Jan 26 2019 20:12 utc | 131

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