Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 13, 2019

The Moon of Alabama Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-03

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:

We had the suspicion that Bolton was freelancing with the conditions and time table he set for a U.S. move out of Syria. A later Wall Street Journal piece confirmed that. It included this great line:

“Nothing has changed,” one defense official said. “We don’t take orders from Bolton.”

The piece is an attempt to stay up-to-date on the various Trump-Russia narratives. It is a quite long read. For the gist read the intro, section 3 and the conclusions.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on January 13, 2019 at 18:35 UTC | Permalink

next page »

poor donald trump getting spied on by the fbi cause Obama.

Seriously. Poor poor donald trump, someone give the shitstain a participation trophy.

Posted by: Sabine | Jan 13 2019 19:20 utc | 1

Question to #1

What else do you like about Obama? His torture? His destruction of Libya and Syria? His bailout of the Big Bankers and failure to prosecute a single one of them? His yellowstreak firing of Shirley Sherrod? His total betrayal of the people who voted for him in 2008?

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 13 2019 19:32 utc | 2

still no sign of debs is dead...

“Matters related to the European energy policy must be decided upon in Europe, not in the United States,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated earlier this week.

Posted by: james | Jan 13 2019 19:32 utc | 3

there are many folks in the usa that want trump impeached... it is fascinating how obsessed they are about it.. apparently wanting to work with the russians is cause for impeachment.. that is how fucked up things have gotten in the rotting empire to the south of me..

Posted by: james | Jan 13 2019 19:37 utc | 4

As with everything else in this government, now that it's enshrined it'll never go away. So when/if there's another Democrat president (I'm not sure there will be) that administration will be subject to the same totalitarian program. Thus the bureaucracy continues its ascendance over whatever rump of an elected government (as opposed to a sham facade) there still is.

Unless Obama's even more stupid than I thought, he must've known that. But then he always despised the Democrat Party and only became a Democrat as a calculated career move.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 13 2019 19:47 utc | 5

@ James 4

You forgot to mention the scribbler is an admitted FBI snitch, part of this same bureaucratic coup attempt.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 13 2019 19:49 utc | 6

Prior to the downing of the Russian IL-20 and the Khashoggi killing, I felt Trump was preparing or positioning for a military attack on Iran.
It seems the the firing of three mortars into the greenzone in Baghdad early September 2013 was to be used as the excuse.
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House’s national security team last fall asked the Pentagon to provide it with options for striking Iran after a group of militants aligned with Tehran fired mortars into an area in Baghdad that is home to the U.S. Embassy, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
The request by the National Security Council, which is led by John Bolton, sparked deep concern among Pentagon and State Department officials, the newspaper reported, citing current and former U.S. officials."

And this from Pat Lang.
"The "options" asked for were alternative attack plans for retaliation against Iran. The Pentagon/Joint Staff does not generate option papers for the use of "soft power." They generate attack options to be presented to the president/commander in chief once the NSC staff has mulled them over. They would be presented for a possible presidential decision on an Execute Order for one of them. Understand?

Someone in the Pentagon (perhaps Mattis?) was understandably horrified at the "cavalier manner" in which the Boltonistas made such a request . That is why this was leaked."

Trump's plans for an attack on Iran were shot down with the IL-20 and Khashoggi, but it only now, with little chance of an attack going ahead, that the pentagon has leaked those plans.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 13 2019 20:34 utc | 7

@7 russ... you are right.. i was just making another sweeping generalization and using her site as an example!! pardon my sweeping generalizations!

Posted by: james | Jan 13 2019 20:35 utc | 8

Here is a VERY revealing article by Alison Weir, for Counterpunch: “Why is the US Honoring A Racist Rabbi”

Below are some of the late Chabad Lubavitcher Rabbi Menachem Schneerson’s words, who was regarded as a messiah and is predicted to reincarnate as the actual messiah in the near future, as quoted by two respected Jewish professors, Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky, in their book ‘Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel’.

Despite Schneerson’s global importance and the fact that his world headquarters is in the U.S., most people don’t know about this aspect of Schneerson’s teaching (from the quotes below) because, according to Shahak and Mezvinsky, such teachings are intentionally minimized, mistranslated, or hidden entirely.

For example, the quotes below were translated by the authors from a book of Schneerson’s recorded messages to followers that was published in Israel in 1965. But there has NEVER been an English translation of this volume.

Some of Schneerson’s rarely reported teachings:

“The difference between a Jewish and a non-Jewish person stems from the common expression: “Let us differentiate.” Thus, we do not have a case of profound change in which a person is merely on a superior level. Rather, we have a case of “let us differentiate” between totally different species.”

“This is what needs to be said about the body: the body of a Jewish person is of a totally different quality from the body of [members] of all nations of the world … The difference in the inner quality between Jews and non-Jews is “so great that the bodies should be considered as completely different species.”

“An even greater difference exists in regard to the soul. Two contrary types of soul exist, a non-Jewish soul comes from three satanic spheres, while the Jewish soul stems from holiness.”

“As has been explained, an embryo is called a human being, because it has both body and soul. Thus, the difference between a Jewish and a non-Jewish embryo can be understood.”

“…the general difference between Jews and non-Jews: A Jew was not created as a means for some [other] purpose; he himself is the purpose, since the substance of all [divine] emanations was created only to serve the Jews.”

“The important things are the Jews, because they do not exist for any [other] aim; they themselves are [the divine] aim.”

“The entire creation [of a non-Jew] exists only for the sake of the Jews.”

According to Shahak and Mezvinsky (who translated the quotes above from Hebrew) “Almost every moderately sophisticated Israeli Jew knows the facts about Israeli Jewish society that are described in this book.

These facts, however, are almost completely unknown to most interested Jews and non-Jews outside Israel who do not know Hebrew and thus cannot read most of what Israeli Jews write about themselves in Hebrew.”

Posted by: anonErg7 | Jan 13 2019 20:46 utc | 9

Question for anonErg7 #9

Two books by the authors you mentioned are available Internet Archive.

Not knowing the language, and having virtually no other sources, how do I know if a couple of neo-nazis aren't trashing this near Saint? Or conversely, how can I determine if the authors aren't covering up vastly worse things said and done by the dirty old man?

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 13 2019 21:31 utc | 10

Israel plan more attacks on Syria, Iranians

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 13 2019 22:13 utc | 11

@ juliania

More China material. I recall that you were concerned to know how well China deals with its multiple ethnic and tribal groups. The answer in general is that it deals very well with them all, weighting special consideration for the minorities in all its national policies and developments. This derives from ancient Chinese practice, rather than from any modern, "enlightened" approach that may be learned from the west.

This is not a practice of egalitarianism, but the opposite, giving preferential treatment to minorities, as a way of keeping them secured from damage in their social and geographic niches within China. In the west, we would look for the reasons to do this, the "payoff" - because our values are so corrupted by the mercantile. But in China it's what always made sense. I have all this from Jeff Brown.

So what about the Uyghurs? How is China dealing with this part of its nation? Godfree Roberts is a writer I have found useful on China. He has a new article this weekend up at Unz Review on this topic:
China and the Uyghurs

As always, nothing about China can be considered without also accounting for the imperialist attack on China for hundreds of years and continuing today. Part of the article details the western subversion of the Uyghurs for decades - all of which we now recognize, with NED and NGOs and all the trappings of CIA proxies, foreign training, radicalization and color revolution.

I've read elsewhere an even more detailed report on China's approach to re-educating the Uyghurs, but I can't find it now. It tallies with Roberts. A large part of the program is using economic development to make them more affluent. The re-education part itself is what gets vilified in the west, as if there were no such thing as the CIA training and Wahhabi indoctrination from the attacking side.

The comments to Roberts's article that I read are appalling, ignorant beyond belief. The propaganda veil over China is not only modern but also built upon centuries of western racism. As I noted before, the study of China offers an opportunity for all of us to examine our legacy prejudices.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 13 2019 22:53 utc | 12

@Zachary Smith #10: Find the original books in Hebrew and use Google Translate and Yandex Translate. (I don't know whether the claims are true or not, I'm just answering your question.)

Posted by: S | Jan 13 2019 23:08 utc | 13

Pepe Escobar's latest article does a remarkable job of explaining China's ancient view of the world and philosophy of conduct, in readable terms and within a modern context.

All under Heaven, China’s challenge to the Westphalian system

He illustrates the Chinese view of the world as an entirety, to be considered as itself. In this sense, China goes far beyond nationalism and breathes life into true globalism, by giving the world a life of its own, instead of looking at it as a collection of pieces to be conquered.

Tingyang shows that the Tianxia concept refers to a world system where the true political subject is the world. Under the Western imperialist vision, the world was always an object of conquest, domination and exploitation, and never a political subject per se.

So we need a higher and more comprehensive unifying vision than that of the nation-state – under a Lao Tzu framework: “To see the world from the point of view of the world”.

The Asia Times comments are pretty poor, but one comment does point out that Escobar isn't really talking about a post Westphalian world so much as a pre Westphalian world, as it ever was considered to be, at least by the great civilizations. It's a good point, I think.

One more quote from the article is valuable. Escobar cites the Chinese view of the west as being driven by a logic of combat:

From the point of view of Chinese intellectual and cultural traditions, Tingyang shows that since Christianity won over pagan Greek civilization, the West has been driven by a logic of combat. The world appears as a bellicose entity, with groups or tribes opposing one another. The (Western) “mission of conquering the world destroyed the a priori integrity of the concept of ‘world’. The world lost its sacred character to become a battlefield devoted to the universal accomplishment of Christianity. The word became an object.”

So, China. The great globalizer. The great respecter of the world as it is, as it lives and breathes.

Posted by: Grieved | Jan 13 2019 23:08 utc | 14

@ S #14

Your suggestion was so sensible I went looking for a Hebrew version of the book. Unless I made a mistake with my search, it's not online.

I'm somewhat comfortable with Shahak because I have one of his books, and anonErg7's reply made me feel better about the other fellow. Still, this is a problem for a US-American who can read only English. It's not unheard-of for tricksters to set out "bait" for unsuspecting or gullible people. Ask Dan Rather about that one. This is why I'm kind of paranoid about my sources, and when purchasing a controversial book try very hard to get the original rather than an 80-year later 'reprint'. An internet copy I treat as I do Wiki - it's just a starting point requiring much verification.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 13 2019 23:27 utc | 15

Some interesting connections IMO. Trumps daughter and son in law, and Trumps Bayrock business partner Felix Satter are Chabad members, “Putins Rabbi”, is a Chabad Rabbi from Brooklyn who came to Russia in the same year Putin returned, and a certain Russian-Israeli oligarch who funded both.

Add to that the US declaration by Congress in 1991 (signed by Bush) that the US was founded based on the principles of Seven Noahide Laws (not the biblical Mosaic laws) and the annual proclamation by every President since Jimmy Carter in 1978 calling the Chabads Chief Rebbes (believed to be the Messiah) Birthday as a holiday called Education day (he had taught that all gentiles are to follow Noahide laws as Mosaic laws apply to non gentiles who have superior souls).

1978 coincidentally is when the BBC and their backers helped Islamic Fundamentalism and the Ayatollah take over Iran and Brzezinski began using Islamic Extremists in Afghanistan , and coincidentally a young and relatively unknown Bibi held the Jerusalem Conference on Terrorism that was attended by many officials from the US

Orthodox Chabad Lubonovitch has been called by some Evangelical Judaism and reaches out globally promoting what some see as Global Zionism . Perhaps the New Jerusalem/illuminati capital has been built in Kazakhstan near the old Jewish state of Khazaria by the name Astana?. The numerical value of Astana in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

Meanwhile there is legislation calling for criticism of Israel to be considered a Civil Rights Violation and boycotts of Israel to be penalized.

As for the late Rebbe Schneerson belief in different souls. This is not an original thought.

The late Rabbi Yosefs quotes. (I broke the link in 2 )


“Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel.”

“In Israel, death has no dominion over them… With gentiles, it will be like any person – they need to die, but [God] will give them longevity. Why? Imagine that one’s donkey would die, they’d lose their money.
“This is his servant… That’s why he gets a long life, to work well for this Jew.”

“Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat… That is why gentiles were created.”

Most Jews don’t believe this bumpkin, just goes to show racism is not limited to white Christians.

Posted by: Pft | Jan 14 2019 0:17 utc | 16

I am reading the Marcon has written a long letter to the public challenging them to make suggestions for "change". I am sure others will come forward with a better description of his letter but the minute someone in charge asks for suggestions I am right out there with mine.

To the French MoA barflies I want to ask if there is any Public Banking sorts of activities going on in France or is that issue not discussed? I am hopeful that it is one of the issues pushed forward by the French that can catch fire in other countries.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jan 14 2019 0:39 utc | 17

Trump may be exiting troops from Syria, but he's only doing that to mobilize the military for a potential attack on Iran.

Trump admin asked Pentagon for far reaching options to attack Iran

Posted by: Circe | Jan 14 2019 0:41 utc | 18

@Zachary Smith #16

I have found the relevant passage from Shahak's book using Google Books search:

In 1962, a part of the Maimonidean Code referred to above, the so-called Book of Knowledge, which contains the most basic rules of Jewish faith and practice, was published in Jerusalem in a bilingual edition, with the English translation facing the Hebrew text.[20] The latter has been restored to its original purity, and the command to exterminate Jewish infidels appears in it in full: ‘It is a duty to exterminate them with one’s own hands.’ In the English translation this is somewhat softened to: ‘It is a duty to take active measures to destroy them.’ But then the Hebrew text goes on to specify the prime examples of ‘infidels’ who must be exterminated: ‘Such as Jesus of Nazareth and his pupils, and Tzadoq and Baitos[21] and their pupils, may the name of the wicked rot’. Not one word of this appears in the English text on the facing page (78a). And, even more significant, in spite of the wide circulation of this book among scholars in the English-speaking countries, not one of them has, as far as I know, protested against this glaring deception.

And here are the relevant notes at the end of the book:

[20] Published by Boys Town, Jerusalem, and edited by Moses Hyamson, one of the most reputable scholars of Judaism in Britain.

[21] The supposed founders of the Sadducean sect.

So we must look for English-Hebrew bilingual edition of Book of Knowledge (part of Maimonidean Code), published in 1962 in Jerusalem by Boys Town, edited by Moses Hyamson, widely circulated at the time among scholars in English-speaking countries (so it must be available in a large library in the U.S.). Then look for page 78a for the English translation, then look for corresponding page in Hebrew (presumably, 78b) and translate it using machine translation, double-checking the result using a Hebrew-English dictionary. Seems doable.

Posted by: S | Jan 14 2019 1:02 utc | 19

Israel continues to attack Syria with impunity. So much for s-300s, etc.

Watch your back Maduro when Putin shakes your hand.

Posted by: paul | Jan 14 2019 1:14 utc | 20

China gets a lot of credit. Too much IMO

Lets start with the Uighur’s. They are a Turkic people of ancient Muslim culture who have nothing in common with China except proximity.  Their once independent nation , until the Manchu invasion in 1876 , was once again independent and called the East Turkestan Republic before it was invaded and gobbled up in 1949 by China, much like Israel gobbled up Palestine

A year later, China began invaded independent Tibet.  China’s aim there was to crush Tibetan national resistance to Chinese rule and wipe out as much as possible of Tibet’s ancient feudal and religious culture. 

China’s strategy in Tibet and Eastern Turkestan has been what one may call ‘ethnic inundation., Han Chinese are brought in from afar to settle Muslim and Buddhist lands, relentlessly swamping the local population who become a policed minority. Much like what happened with the American Indians and Palestinians in Israel
No wonder China rarely criticizes Israel for its repression of Palestinians.

But obviously people will talk about its economy, and it truly has been a transformation to behold. As someone who witnessed it first
hand from the 80’s into the 21st century can attest. I still remember the first KFC opening in Shanghai in the early 90’s attracting a line almost 1 mile long. Funny how that memory lingers. At that time when looking across the Bund all one saw in Pudong were 3 story gray factory buildings spewing black smoke. Nothing to see there. Lol, much different picture 10 years later , more so today.

But does the party deserve all the credit? What if the US did not provide China with MFN? What if they had treated China like the Soviet Union, Cuba , Iran, Venezuela over its Communist system and lack of Human Rights. Could China have established their economy without the west investing trillions, and more importantly providing technology transfers, injecting tens of trillions more by purchasing product made by labor working under horrendous
conditions, at terrible cost to the Wests own working class who lost manufacturing jobs. What a gift. If the West did that for the Soviet Union it never would have broken up. Cuba would be a paradise.

Now China has about the same degree of wealth inequality as in the neoliberal west, with less freedoms , and their social welfare system is not as efficient and comes at a high cost in taxes for the workers.

BRICS sounds like a neat idea although their hookup with Eric Prince makes one wonder. It
may be just a different form of neocolonialism for resource exploitation. What gets built up is based on loans which result in infrastructure confiscation by China if they don’t get paid off.

So call me a cynic

Posted by: Pft | Jan 14 2019 1:17 utc | 21

@ Zachary Smith | Jan 13, 2019 4:31:56 PM | 10
@ anonErg7 | Jan 13, 2019 5:03:42 PM | 11
@ Zachary Smith | Jan 13, 2019 6:27:55 PM | 16

The book your are referring to: Jewish Fundamentalism In Israel by Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky, yes? Well worth a read, and available online. (sorry, don’t have a url handy)

Norton Mezvinsky is also the uncle of Chelsea Clinton’s husband (Mark? Mezvinsky), not that that means much or detracts from the scholarly work Shahak and Mezvinsky published. On the other hand, it has been alleged that Mezvinsky has since had a change of mind and (re)joined Chabad. This is also where (reportedly) Trump’s daughter and son-in-law went to pray on the evening of 6 November 2016.

Alison Weir’s book, Against Our Better Judgment, is IMHO the best Intro 101 out there. Well written and concise – 93 pages – with an additional +/- 150 pages of endnotes, citations, and index. This is the book I give to family and friends when they begin to question…

Intro 101, second semester, would be Thomas Suarez’s “State of Terror – How Terrorism Created Modern Israel”. This book covers The Mandate Period, and is the result of years extensive research at the (British) National Archives in Kew. If you have/had doubts about Zionist mendacity this should straighten it out. It’s been SOP for more than 100 years.

A link: 1:12:33

Disclosure: If you accept/believe in the idea of “Jews as a race” (I do not) then I am a Jew. My personal belief is that there is only one “race”, The Human Race, and we had better figure that out soon… before it’s too late.

Posted by: Desolation Row | Jan 14 2019 1:25 utc | 22

Why was Trump even at that White House Steno Pool Dinner and why did Obama and his hired court jesters target Trump so strongly? Is it possible that was done to endear him to eligible voters who hated Obama?

If anyone thinks it was done simply because Trump made an ass of himself by making himself so prominent in the “birther” crowd, well why did the establishment media effectively anoint him “spokesperson” of that movement in the first place?

What I’m realizing is that the “free publicity for DJT” started years before the election.

Thoughts, anyone?

Posted by: why ask why | Jan 14 2019 1:39 utc | 23

too bad we couldn't have an open thread dedicated to all things jewish and israel... that way, i wouldn't have to skip over them.. i would just skip over the whole thread, lol..

Posted by: james | Jan 14 2019 1:43 utc | 24

psychohistorian @18

Did you read Macon's letter?

He names a number of things that are non-negotiable. His "lets talk" letter feels like a trap. He will make a few minor concessions to those that engage with him and use that engagement to declare victory and crackdown on anyone that is unsatisfied.

Looking forward to hearing from French readers.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 14 2019 1:44 utc | 25

@12 Zanon "Israel plan more attacks on Syria, Iranians"
@21 Paul "Israel continues to attack Syria with impunity."


Netanyahu is suffering the ultimate indignity: he continues to launch pinprick attacks on Syria, and those attacks are so ineffective and so underwhelming that the Syrians can't even be bothered to laugh at how pathetic they are.

Think about that: the Israelis launch their missiles, and the Syrians swat them aside without a second thought.
Like a mosquito that keeps buzzing around, but isn't worth more than a distracted wave of the hand to fend off.

It really doesn't get any more humiliating than that..... no wonder Netanyahu keeps Threatening To Escalate.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 14 2019 1:45 utc | 26

why ask why @24

Hillary was first to question Obama's birth place. I think Trump took up the Birther cause because he supported Hillary.

IMO the Clintons and Trump Family were closer than we are led to believe.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 14 2019 1:54 utc | 27

@27 Not only that but he keeps hitting the same warehouse at Damascus Airport. One would think the Iranians stopped using it a long time ago.

Posted by: dh | Jan 14 2019 1:56 utc | 28

@ Grieved | Jan 13, 2019 6:08:20 PM | 15
Escobar cites the Chinese view of the west as being driven by a logic of combat: From the point of view of Chinese intellectual and cultural traditions, Tingyang shows that since Christianity won over pagan Greek civilization, the West has been driven by a logic of combat. The world appears as a bellicose entity, with groups or tribes opposing one another. . . So, China. The great globalizer. The great respecter of the world as it is, as it lives and breathes..
I follow the military news, Recent headline from Defense News:
Here’s how the Army acquisition chief plans to equip soldiers for the next war
Fact: The US is threatened by no ground force. But sure as shootin', there'll be another war. Where? Washington will decide. The US has a half-million strong army and knows how to use it. This, while China is developing its trillion-dollar Belt & Road Initiative, to extend commerce without taking over. Without a "next war."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2019 2:26 utc | 29

@ dh | Jan 13, 2019 8:56:39 PM | 29
Not only that but he keeps hitting the same warehouse at Damascus Airport. One would think the Iranians stopped using it a long time ago.
Yes, the last US missile attack after a "gas attack"™ was against empty buildings.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2019 2:32 utc | 30

@Jackrabbit | Jan 13, 2019 8:54:24 PM | 28
IMO the Clintons and Trump Family were closer than we are led to believe.
Opinions are a wonderful thing, except facts are better. Personally I can't imagine anything close between Trump and Clinton. In fact I think the idea is ridiculous.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2019 2:36 utc | 31

@29 dh True, because everyone knows that the only functioning airport in Syria is the one in Damascus.

Honestly, does Zanon and his fellow travellers not know that these attacks amount to nothing but a despirate attempt by the Israelis to appear to be relevant, and that the correct response is that being shown by the Syrians: swat away the missiles as the inconsequential minor-annoyance that they are.

Nothing would piss off a Zionist more than to be regarded as being as unimportant as they are incompetent. Assad's military is treating them as both. Not Even Worth Paying Attention To.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 14 2019 2:41 utc | 32

Trump tweet:
Starting the long overdue pullout from Syria while hitting the little remaining ISIS territorial caliphate hard, and from many directions. Will attack again from existing nearby base if it reforms. Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2019 2:43 utc | 33

@24 "Why was Trump even at that White House Steno Pool Dinner".

Chasing pussy?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 14 2019 2:44 utc | 34

RT & Zerohedge are now reporting that Trump has threatened ‘devastate Turkey economically’ if it attacks the Kurds in Syria, via twitter of course. I can sort of understand why Trump as a person would do this, Turkey has been demanding the US stop supporting the Kurds for years and now that Trump announced the pull-out he's catching flak from the pentagon that he's abandoning their favorite caw's paw. So Trump being Trump (and an American), immediately issues a threat via the most convenient and public method available to prove he's taking their concerns to heart. However, Erdogan is perhaps the only leader in the world, more vain and even thinner skinned than Trump (and possibly even more cunning). So I imagine he'll respond in his own way, let's see if Turkey and Russia make a major announcement in the coming weeks regarding Syria. The Khashoggi looks like it's closed but lets see if more details about the murder or the events leading up to the murder leak out in response to Trump tweet.

Posted by: Kadath | Jan 14 2019 2:46 utc | 35

@19 Circe The Pentagon missed a golden opportunity there. The "military option" they could have drafted should have begun thus: First we propose shoving an Assault Rifle in John Bolton's soft little hands, then kick his sorry draft-dodging ass in the direction of Tehran. Then we send some follow-up troops to recover his corpse.

They could then double-dog-dare the NSA to push that plan up the chain-of-command to the POTUS

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jan 14 2019 2:54 utc | 36

The transnational corporate WEF is being challenged in multiple actions already

Today, 50 people have defied the bad weather and took to the streets for the first time this year against the World Economic Forum.

Action Against Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse at Stauffacher was devitrified and decorated with paint.
It was attacked because it is a long-time strategic partner of the WEF.

They are thus responsible for war, crisis and climate change all over the world. The attempts to solve this crisis from above are doomed to failure.

Today in Zurich, next Saturday in Bern: Let's fight capital and fascism! Militant, solidary, and collective, we fight for a revolutionary perspective!

Posted by: No WEF 2019 | Jan 14 2019 2:55 utc | 37

from Turkey's Hurriyet:

Turkey and the United States will intensify talks this week to shape the latter’s withdrawal from Syria amid differences over the status of the YPG and Turkey’s preparations for a new military incursion into the eastern Euphrates.
Diplomats and military officials will resume talks in the Turkish capital in order to follow up last week’s comprehensive negotiations chaired by White House National Security Advisor John Bolton and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s chief advisor, İbrahim Kalın that sought coordination of the U.S. withdrawal so that no vacuums would be created to the advantage of the terror groups. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2019 2:56 utc | 38

Rosa Luxemburg in opposition to censorship: messages for the left at a time when there is continued intolerance towards alternative perspectives and NewsGuard flags all non-NATO media
“Freedom only for the supporters of the government, only for the members of one party—however numerous they may be—is no freedom at all. Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently.”

Posted by: No WEF 2019 | Jan 14 2019 2:59 utc | 39

Pft @ 22:

Begging your pardon about the Uyghurs but the area they occupy in NW China (part of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, hereafter XUAR) was once the homeland of Mongol-speaking Buddhist Dzungars. The Dzungarian kingdom was destroyed in the 1750s by the Manchu government ruling China with soldiers drawn from Manchu, Uyghur and other Mongol-speaking groups. Survivors of the Dzungarian kingdom fled deep into the Russian empire and ended up on the northwest shores of the Caspian Sea where they are today known as Kalmucks.

The territory left behind was resettled by the Manchu Qing government with settlers drawn from Uyghur, Chinese and Chinese Muslim (Hui), Kazakh and other communities.

So while the Uyghur people may have a long history and an old culture, their residence in the northern part of the XUAR where the major cities and towns are located is surprisingly short in comparison: European settlement in the eastern parts of the North American continent is at least a century older than Uyghur residence in NW China.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 14 2019 2:59 utc | 40

@ Don Bacon #32

Go check out pre-election society news gossip. By all accounts "close" was a good description. I've read in more than one place that Bill Clinton played a part in "recruiting" Trump to run for President. While golfing together he'd just urge the Donald to go for it. Other things they "allegedly" had in common (and to talk about) were their trips on that pervert's big jet airplane with underaged girls. Same gossip said Clinton would often leave his Secret Service people on the ground. Of course another prod was Obama's deliberate humiliation of Trump at one of those public dinners they used to have.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 14 2019 3:01 utc | 41

@ Jen | Jan 13, 2019 9:59:36 PM | 41
Thanks for that on Uyghurs in China, a group being stirred up by Washington.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2019 3:04 utc | 42 don u might wanna scratch a little harder. Proof slick Willie and the don were/are close is barely epidermis deep. Epstein ring a bell? Try playboy bunnies:) Yep pretty ridiculous indeed. Might be thoughts are just as ridiculous as opinions,especially when facts are considered. Just a few thoughts eh:)

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Jan 14 2019 3:11 utc | 43

Posted by: Jen | Jan 13, 2019 9:59:36 PM | 41

I call cr*p on that, it's very tendentious history, even fake. According to Wiki, the Dzungar Khanate existed in the 17th and 18th centuries. That's modern history. The Uyghurs were there already at least in the 9th century in Sinkiang. There was a big war (with Tibet, I think), which finished in 840. They were not Muslim then, obviously. Frontiers change evidently, but I don't think there were Mongols in Sinkiang before Genghis Khan.

Posted by: laguerre | Jan 14 2019 3:36 utc | 44

Don Bacon @ 43:

I omitted to provide links for reference, here are a few:

Jonathan Seeler, "The Dzungar Genocide"

"The Lasting Impact of the Dzungar Genocide"

"Remebering [sic] Xinjiang of China: Dzungar people's genocide by emperor Qianlong"

Incidentally Vladimir Lenin had a Kalmuck grandparent. The mind boggles at what might have happened in Russia 150 years later if all the Dzungarians had been killed and there had been no survivors.

Posted by: Jen | Jan 14 2019 3:41 utc | 45

recent news:
President Trump is "seriously considering" declaring a national emergency over the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump told Sean Hannity this week he has "the absolute right" to make such a declaration if an agreement cannot be reached with congressional Democrats on funding for his proposed border wall.//

I used to keep track of US presidential executive orders declaring national emergencies, which expire unless renewed annually. Under Obama there were about thirty (30) national emergencies, renewed every year. I'm serious. But Trump has not renewed most of them.

eliminated national emergencies:
WMD, terrorists, narcotics traffickers, Cuba, Sudan, Western Balkans, export control, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Syria, Belarus, Dem Rep of Congo, Lebanon, North Korea, Somalia, Libya, transnational criminal orgns, Yemen, Ukraine, South Sudan, Central African Republic, malicious cyber-enabled activities, Burundi. . .see them here

under Trump we have these seven (7) national emergencies (by title) declared by executive order:
Venezuela (3), Iran, election interference, America's adversaries and Nicaragua. . . .And maybe southern border. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2019 3:53 utc | 46

The Memo That Helped Kill a Half Million People in Syria
January 13, 2019 •

The memo shows the advice Hillary Clinton was getting to plunge the U.S. deeper into the Syrian war. As Trump seeks to extricate the U.S. the memo has again become relevant, writes Daniel Lazare

so now it is republished at consortium, but says it was was written by James P Rubin addressed to Hillary Clinton
Rubin worked at State under Hillary Clinton

Posted by: mauisurfer | Jan 14 2019 3:54 utc | 47

I think the consortium article is mistaken when it says Rubin worked at State for Hillary. He had worked when Bill Clinton was president, and in 2008 he supported Hillary, but he was NOT employed by State during Hillary's reign
as Sec/State. So says wiki

Posted by: mauisurfer | Jan 14 2019 4:00 utc | 48

Hillary Clinton, US secretary of state, motto: diplomacy in action, spent a good part of her tenure designing a shadow government for Syria, a government State told Congress was "a dead man walking." This included important meetings in Istanbul and Cairo with promoters of democracy like Saudi Arabia and Qatar designing regime change in Syria. She was the Secretary of State for the United States, with the mission statement:
"The Department's mission is to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere. This mission is shared with the USAID, ensuring we have a common path forward in partnership as we invest in the shared security and prosperity that will ultimately better prepare us for the challenges of tomorrow."
Actually the goal was to destroy Syria, as in Iraq, Libya etc.
My favorite prospective Syria PM from that era was a guy from Texas. Ghassan Hitto was "elected" prime minister on 18 March 2013 by a narrow margin over former Syrian Arab Republic agricultural minister Assad Mustafa. Hitto resigned on 8 July 2013. A Texas-based businessman [Murphy, TX] Hitto had lived in the US for over 30 years.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2019 4:13 utc | 49

Playboy bunnies and Epstein? You need more than that otherwise you are exhibiting TDS where Trump is guilty first and before all.

I look at it this way: Trump flirts with powerbrokers because rubbing shoulders is in his interest.

But look at the state of the Clintons in the wake of the 2016 election. Clinton Foundation shuttered, Slick Willy-Bob laying low and probably dickin' blondes, Hillary unable to fill speaking events and offering groupons for their hilarious attempts to stay relevant, and Chelsea's Political-attempts DOA.

There were results to the 2016 election. With the Clintons loving power, and with Hillary as the True-Believer of the two, you can be assured that their loss in 2016 has indeed left them crestfallen and doomed to obscurity. And with Trump popularizing the Anti-Nafta movement, Billy is destined to be judged correctly as the globalist shill he was.


P.s. Does anyone find it funny that there is little meat on the Interweb detailing what went on in the Clinton's campaign HQ during election night? To my knowledge, there was only a few anecdotal stories of Hillary screaming and writhing in agony, while Bill evidently threw his phone off a balcony in a rage for not getting to Hillary about campaigning in the Rustbelt.

My point is that a clearer image should have been presented of this moment if a story was indeed being spun about complicity in Hillary's camp concerning Trump's election. But the stone cold question mark of the evening there has me thinking that there indeed was some serious emotion playing out and enough blame to make her secretary Huma cry even after emerging from Starbucks with a $8 dollar skinny latte.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Jan 14 2019 4:15 utc | 50

Don Bacon @32:

Personally I can't imagine anything close between Trump and Clinton. In fact I think the idea is ridiculous.

Zachary Smith @42:
By all accounts "close" was a good description... trips on that pervert's big jet airplane with underaged girls.

Tannenhouser @44:

wow don u might wanna scratch a little harder. Proof slick Willie and the don were/are close is barely epidermis deep. Epstein ring a bell? Try playboy bunnies:) Yep pretty ridiculous indeed.

Even their daughters are/were close:

Despite all the insults throughout the presidential campaign, Ivanka said they’ve been able to stay friends. "We’ve stayed close to one another, maybe a little less publicly so, but she’s a good friend.

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

Don, why is it that the things you ignore, overlook, or find ridiculous are often quite relevant and/or interesting to the rest of us?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 14 2019 5:00 utc | 51

I take it back.
The consortium article does NOT say Rubin worked for Hillary when she was sec/state.

Posted by: mauisurfer | Jan 14 2019 5:02 utc | 52

Open letter to Bayer CropScience by Rosemary Mason

“This charming company operated a factory and camp at Auschwitz during the WW2. The UK and US governments are now allowing it to control global farming methods, GM crops, so-called ‘advanced technologies’ and pesticides.” – Rosemary Mason

Full text at

Posted by: slit | Jan 14 2019 5:37 utc | 53

@3 james

He had mentioned some trouble with the comments system before he stopped. I hope it hasn't put him off posting permanently.


Please do come back or at least let us know if you're faring well. I haven't been around for long, but I look forward to your very informative comments as much as b's posts.

Posted by: Drive-by Commenting | Jan 14 2019 6:51 utc | 54

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 13, 2019 8:44:06 PM | 26

"[Macron] names a number of things that are non-negotiable. His "lets talk" letter feels like a trap. He will make a few minor concessions to those that engage with him and use that engagement to declare victory and crackdown on anyone that is unsatisfied.

Looking forward to hearing from French readers."

Yes, no one who's on the level would claim it's possible to negotiate or compromise with Macron. I don't know about France, but here in America those wanting to negotiate would be the co-opters, the hijackers. Like the way the Democrats tried to hijack Occupy before helping to destroy it. (I forget the name of their astroturf; the flunkey Van Jones headed it up.)

Posted by: Russ | Jan 14 2019 8:36 utc | 55

Posted by: Pft | Jan 13, 2019 8:17:08 PM | 22 At that time when looking across the Bund all one saw in Pudong were 3 story gray factory buildings spewing black smoke. Nothing to see there. Lol, much different picture 10 years later , more so today.

This is the open thread, so. Made me look up some pictures, like this one. Can't say that doesn't impress me, more so as I imagine this has taken place in the many industrial regions of china.

Posted by: radiator | Jan 14 2019 8:37 utc | 56

Unfortunately the Yellow Vests (according to the pieces I've seen), while still getting out there, have become domesticated to the point of only going out each weekend. That means that for the moment things have greatly died down and it's no longer an acute crisis for the government. As long as Macron or the police don't do anything atrocious to reinvigorate the movement, it's dying down for now.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 14 2019 8:41 utc | 57

Good piece on the predicament of the Rojava movement and the lessons any anti-imperial, anti-globalist, land-based movement should draw from it.

As for the liberal/leftish imperialists shedding crocodile tears for Rojava in order to justify continued US aggression, this is just another variation on the longstanding US use and abuse of the Kurds. If the US and its allies attained dominion in the region they'd then crush the Rojava movement.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 14 2019 9:53 utc | 58

RE: Posted by: Zachary Smith | Jan 13, 2019 2:32:02 PM | 2

I think blaming "the President" is exactly what they want you to do.

There will be no savior of humanity in the Presidency. Only when such a position is abolished and the cabal that uses those kind of people rules over us is destroyed - the globalist oligarchy in all four corners of the world - will people be free.

Posted by: flayer | Jan 14 2019 10:38 utc | 59

Russ says:

Unfortunately the Yellow Vests (according to the pieces I've seen), while still getting out there, have become domesticated to the point of only going out each weekend

it's always been a weekend movement(folks gotta work), but it's not dissipating. sounds like the real risk is the violence escalating.

Posted by: john | Jan 14 2019 11:51 utc | 60

@nemesis. No TDS here, just providing a few of the many dots that connect to the don and willy being chummy is all. Not that it matters Don will just ignore them, for the record I think Donald is the best thing to happen in a while. Everyday he removes more and more clothes of empire and soon it will be naked to all.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Jan 14 2019 12:13 utc | 61

Russ | Jan 14, 2019 4:53:37 AM | 59

Thank you for this valuable link. Hopefully it motives readers to evaluate the Rojava-Problem not only from an anti-imperialistic view but take into account how people in the Near East want to live. An important amount of them is fed up with living under conditions where different governments permanenty try to coerce own ideologies on them. Baathist, islamist, neoliberalist - they have enough. This is the real explosive stuff Rojava has to offer to them.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Jan 14 2019 13:24 utc | 62

S | Jan 13, 2019 8:02:57 PM | 20

Various editions are available on Abe Books for around 30 quid:

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 14 2019 13:42 utc | 63

@anonErg7 #11, @Zachary Smith #16, @S #20

An online bilingual copy of Sefer Madda (Book of Knowledge) is available at Chabad's website. Tzadok is only mentioned in one chapter of the book (the other two chapters showing up in search results don't actually contain the name), specifically, in Teshuvah (Repentance), Chapter 3, which does indeed mention Christians:

The following individuals do not have a portion in the world to come. Rather, their [souls] are cut off and they are judged for their great wickedness and sins, forever: the Minim, the Epicursim, those who deny the Torah, those who deny the resurrection of the dead and the coming of the [Messianic] redeemer, those who rebel [against God], those who cause the many to sin, those who separate themselves from the community, those who proudly commit sins in public as Jehoyakim did, those who betray Jews to gentile authorities, those who cast fear upon the people for reasons other than the service of God, murderers, slanderers, one who extends his foreskin [so as not to appear circumcised].

[…] There are three individuals who are considered as one "who denies the Torah": a) one who says Torah, even one verse or one word, is not from God. If he says: "Moses made these statements independently," he is denying the Torah, b) one who denies the Torah's interpretation, the oral law, or disputes [the authority of] its spokesmen as did Tzadok and Beitus, c) one who says that though the Torah came from God, the Creator has replaced one mitzvah with another one and nullified the original Torah, like the Arabs [and the Christians]. Each of these three individuals is considered as one who denies the Torah.

[…] When does the statement that these individuals do not have a portion in the world to come apply? When they die without having repented. However, if such a person repents from his wicked deeds and dies as a Baal-Teshuvah, he will merit the world to come, for nothing can stand in the way of Teshuvah. […]

Thus, according to Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (Maimonides), the second most important authority in Judaism after Moses, Christians "do not have a portion in the world to come", "their [souls] are cut off and they are judged for their great wickedness and sins, forever" (unless they repent, but then they can no longer be considered Christians).

However, there is nothing in the English translation by Eliyahu Touger about "exterminating them with one's own hands" or even "taking active measures to destroy them". Unless these statements are made in a different part of the book; but if I'm reading Shahak right, he's saying it's all on the same page. I'll take a look at the Hebrew text next and see if there's anything there. Obviously, there may be differences in the Hebrew text between various editions.

Posted by: S | Jan 14 2019 14:22 utc | 64

@ Russ #58

The Gilets Jaunes protests are not fizzling out. The number of protestors was greater than ever on Saturday, 12 January (with even police estimates of 360,000 protestors out on the streets)

And this despite the total media black-out on covering these protests and despite the increasing police brutality being used against the GJ protestors.

The only way to find out about these protests now is on blogs that are banned by the French government, and so if you're in France, you need a VPN just to see them

However here’s one English language blog that's not banned in France, as far as I know, and although it’s not very well done or easy to navigate you should be able to see four recent videos showing that the GJ protests are not dying down at all, that their numbers are in fact growing and this despite the increasing force and brutality being used against GJ protestors by the police

The first video shows evidence of police brutality, the second one shows the protest in Paris on January 12, and the 4th one shows he city of Nîmes on January 12, where banks were targeted and smashed.

Some coverage of the revolt that's not being shown by the media, can also be found on Twitter such as David Dufresne’s account @davduf

Posted by: Etienne | Jan 14 2019 14:31 utc | 65

Intersting stuff:

Following Russian intervention in the Syrian war in September 2015, Israel and Russia came to an agreement allowing Israel to continue carrying out such strikes. Under the deal hammered out between Jerusalem and Moscow, Russian servicemen stationed inside the anti-aircraft batteries Russia deploys in Syria would switch off their systems once Israel notified Russia of an impending strike, minutes in advance.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 14 2019 14:36 utc | 66

Russ | Jan 14, 2019 3:41:05 AM | 58

GJ died down? Wrong, wrong, wrong!

320,000 this past weekend.

Domesticated? Oh that's why the state has banned media coverage and now wants to ban demonstrators from participating!

Where do you get your infomation from?

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 14 2019 15:09 utc | 67

Re the Yellow Vests

I'm glad the demonstrators are still turning out in big numbers and confronting the police. My characterization of the action dying down was based on the fact, which no one disputes, that it's nevertheless a part-time demonstration which unless the police do something to revitalize it is likely to peter out through attrition, according to the record of history.

If they really are psychologically switching back and forth between domesticated employees during the week and quasi-revolutionary demonstrators on the weekend, that's a new one to me. In all the revolutions and insurrections I ever read about I never heard of something like that before.

I was told "people gotta work", but that wasn't the attitude in Petrograd in February 1917 where ever greater numbers went out on strike and into the streets for the duration. Historically that's what people do when they've really had it.

I sure would love to see something new here.

Some people asked what I read about this. Mostly at this site, though also at Counterpunch and a few other places.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 14 2019 15:48 utc | 68

@ Zanon | Jan 14, 2019 9:36:05 AM | 67
Interesting stuff:
You didn't quote the most interesting part of the article. It's a losing battle which means the Zionists need to reform their warlike ways or the state of Israel will die.

Israel is determined to continue countering the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah and the establishment of Iranian military bases.
But in its current form, that’s probably a losing battle: The hundreds of Israeli strikes since 2012 failed to prevent Hezbollah from significantly augmenting its rocket and missile arsenal.
Such strikes are also ineffective in countering Iran’s influence over the Syrian Army and the local Syrian militias it backs, to say nothing of Iranian efforts to win the hearts and minds of Syrian civilians, mainly through targeted humanitarian and financial relief. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2019 15:50 utc | 69


Hasn't GJ always been a weekend protest? It's not organized like Occupy.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jan 14 2019 15:55 utc | 70

Russ | Jan 14, 2019 10:48:23 AM | 69

Who knows where it's headed. But what is clear is that the 'traditional' left copped out from jumpstreet, thus it's a plague on all your houses as far as the GJs are concerned. The trade unions condemned it, the Communist Party condemned it, the various 'socialist' parties condemned it.

What is also clear that unlike 1968, which was largely a middle class phenomenon, this rebellion is firmly rooted in the working class. What it needs now is coherent leadership that can focus demands aka 'Bread, Peace and Land!' I have no idea where such leadership will come from or whether it even exists.

However, politics in France (and elsewhere in Europe, but not in the utterly backward UK), will never be the same again.

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 14 2019 16:01 utc | 71

@37 Yeah,Right

That is not a cogent, fact-based argument. The truth is that Trump is ramping up threats against Iran, he's trying to organize an Arab NATO, MESA, that would constitute a significant military threat to Iran. His administration is hosting a major anti-Iran summit in Poland in mid-February. He has Bolton and Pompeo around specifically to instigate regime change in Iran by various means including, psy-ops which have begun, black ops and as the article states, having the Pentagon prepare for a far-reaching attack on Iran.

You can't deny this isn't happening because Trump has been Iran-obsessed since day one. So, he's put Syria on the back burner and in place is ramping up hostile machinations against Iran. So how is he different from his predecessors on regime change? -- He's not! He's just moving on to Iran that has always been the ultimate target of Neocons.

Posted by: Circe | Jan 14 2019 16:05 utc | 72

Don Bacon

While all that is true. Question is if all that matters more than israeli outpowering of syrian&iranian/hezbollah abilities to strike back - which they havent one single time past 4 years.
All the strikes (and agreements with Russia) have diminished Iran in Syria, and that some syrians do support Iran - missiles from Israel could strike any time. Same goes for HEzbollah, which havent sent any rockets on Israel in return for israeli attacks for years.

I agree though that Israel will need to change its tactics if they want to win "big", guess that is what we will be seeing soon:

Netanyahu: We may intensify air campaign against Iranian army

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 14 2019 16:10 utc | 73

Russ says:

I was told "people gotta work", but that wasn't the attitude in Petrograd in February 1917...

in Petrograd in February 1917 the people were HUNGRY. when the people get hungry, the rules change.

Posted by: john | Jan 14 2019 16:13 utc | 74

Posted by: Etienne | Jan 14, 2019 9:31:18 AM | 66

Ah, a Gilets Jaunes bigging up his movement! No, the Gilets Jaunes weren't more numerous than ever last Saturday, as claimed. I was out among them in Paris, so could see. They were more numerous than just before Christmas, but not as many as at the beginning. There seems to be a change in the composition, with a return to older people and women, with less violent young males (les casseurs). They're not really menacing any more, not like they used to be.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 14 2019 16:15 utc | 75

Zanon is getting to be a really boring straight hasbarist. Israel good, everybody else bad. He really ought to be banned as a simple nuisance on the threads.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jan 14 2019 16:17 utc | 76

Trump tweet yesterday...
. . .It is now time to bring our troops back home. Stop the ENDLESS WARS! . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2019 16:19 utc | 77

@Zanon | Jan 14, 2019 11:10:01 AM | 74
Netanyahu: We may intensify air campaign against Iranian army
Sure, and I may give up drinking red wine.(not)

“Israel struck an Iranian weapons depot at the Damascus International Airport. This is part of our policy and determined efforts to prevent Iran from establishing itself militarily in Syria. If need be, we will intensify our attacks.”. . .here

Intensifying attacks -- he thinks Russia would allow him to strike two empty terminals instead of one? It has no effect on anything.

personal note: Looking at 77, you might consider halting your mindless cherry-picking of pro-Israel propaganda and concentrate on commenting on this blog. You are capable of it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2019 16:41 utc | 78

Don Bacon 78

I had also looked at that tweet. For a time I thought there was a contradiction between Trump's opposition to endless wars vs his military build up. It is only endless wars or pointless wars that do not profit the US that Trump is opposed to. Because he is opposed to the endless wars the US have indulged in of late, many think he is opposed to any type of war.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jan 14 2019 17:05 utc | 79

Don Bacon

Intensifying attacks -- he thinks Russia would allow him to strike two empty terminals instead of one? It has no effect on anything.

Why wouldnt Netanyahu?
Putin just last week made an agreement on military collaboration with Israel in Syria:

Russia expects that coordination with Israel on Syria will continue in order to ensure the safety of the Russian military in Syria and security of Jewish state, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said


That is the reality of russian-israeli relationship, if you want to call it israeli propaganda by them, not a concern for me.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 14 2019 17:05 utc | 80

Posted by: William Bowles | Jan 14, 2019 11:01:23 AM | 72

"Who knows where it's headed. But what is clear is that the 'traditional' left copped out from jumpstreet, thus it's a plague on all your houses as far as the GJs are concerned. The trade unions condemned it, the Communist Party condemned it, the various 'socialist' parties condemned it.

What is also clear that unlike 1968, which was largely a middle class phenomenon, this rebellion is firmly rooted in the working class. What it needs now is coherent leadership that can focus demands aka 'Bread, Peace and Land!' I have no idea where such leadership will come from or whether it even exists.

However, politics in France (and elsewhere in Europe, but not in the utterly backward UK), will never be the same again."

Agree 100% with that. That's why I washed my hands of "the left" some years ago - they seem to have lost contact with anything that's really happening in the world. Ironically, by now they're a type of reactionary in that they still believe in the technocratic state.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 14 2019 17:41 utc | 81

Posted by: john | Jan 14, 2019 11:13:24 AM | 75

"in Petrograd in February 1917 the people were HUNGRY. when the people get hungry, the rules change."

Yes, people in the West aren't hungry enough yet, physically or spiritually.

Posted by: Russ | Jan 14 2019 17:42 utc | 82

@81 Zanon

His exact words quoted in the same article:

"We expect that cooperation with Israel on Syria will continue in the way that will not jeopardize the lives of Russian military, will not create problems for effort of President of the Syrian Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad in fight against terrorism with our support, and will of course ensure security of Israel," the senior Russian diplomat said.

Their quotation marks, not mine. Don't know why you wouldn't include that. Anyway, it reads more like a warning than a statement of cooperation doesn't it?

And,then a week later, Israel tries to lure Syria into downing two civilian airliners.

Go figger...

Posted by: b4real | Jan 14 2019 17:48 utc | 83

until syria attacks israel for the attacks on syria that israel regularly commits, nothing is going to change... israel the bully hiding under the usa and wests skirt, has to be challenged directly.. until that happens, there will be a lot of talk - empty talk... clearly israel is the deranged monkey in the dynamic... until it gets put in a cage, the bs will continue..

Posted by: james | Jan 14 2019 18:03 utc | 84

from the man who knows most

Alastair CROOKE | 14.01.2019 | FEATURED STORY

Entering a Major Regional Re-set – The Syria Outcome Will Haunt Those Who Started This War

Posted by: mauisurfer | Jan 14 2019 18:09 utc | 85

I know that many people here will likely be triggered by Andre Vltchek's article below, but he raises some Politically Incorrect issues that citizens of the (snicker) "democratic" West would rather spindoctor away.

Namely, the citizens of the West--especially major imperial predator nations like America, Britain, Canada, and Western Europe--are not so much ignorant of their countries' crimes against humanity but rather *choose* to be ignorant out of self-interest.

And they choose to be ignorant because their own way of life and economy are based upon maintaining Western imperial dominance of the planet--and the crimes required to maintain this dominance.

This contradicts the self-serving alibis that many American/Western apologists peddle that Western citizens are innocent and only the elites are guilty--or even more laughably, that Western citizens are "victims" themselves.

No, the morally bankrupt Euro/American elites are only a reflection of the morally bankrupt Euro/American people themselves.

They are ALL guilty.

This is the Gorilla-in-the-Living Room issue that most people--including supposed Alternative Media(TM)--seek to obfuscate.

Indeed, the more these Euro/Americans sanctimoniously run their collective mouths about their cherished civilizational lies like Freedom, Democracy, Human Rights, the Rule of Law, blah, blah, blah ... the more the Euro/Americans rape, loot, and colonize the world.

That's not a coincidence.

The ideologies of Freedom and Democracy in reality exist as propaganda deceptions to justify Euro-American plunder and pillage.

Freedom and Democracy are the 21st century ideological version of the White Man's Burden--the newest mask of Euro-American (neo)colonial exploitation and genocide.

Western Crusaders of the past often invoked Christianity to justify their wars of aggression and colonial pillage.

Today, Western neo-Crusaders invoke Liberal Democracy and Human Rights.

from: Western Public “Does Not Know”, or “Does Not Want to Know”?

"Mostly, the fact is not always that the ‘population in the West is brainwashed’. That would really be quite a good scenario: and something relatively easy to correct.

The problem is much greater: The inhabitants of the West do not want to know, because deep inside, they do not want the system to change. They don’t want the world order to be modified.

They intuitively feel that if what is being proposed by Russia, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Iran and other countries were implemented, their personal privileges would vanish. Their countries would become equal to all other countries on earth; they would have to obey international laws, and their people would be forced to work hard for their living. Plundering the planet would be banned. Privileges would stop.

Therefore, it is better ‘not to know’, not to understand. This way, the ‘pie’, or call it ‘carrot’, would not be lost.

The ‘ignorance’in the West, I believe, is subconsciously ‘self-inflicted’. With knowledge, comes responsibility. With responsibility, an obligation to act (because not to act would be clearly immoral). All this could only lead to the loss of privileges.

The propagandists of the West are very well aware of the situation. I was told by some leading psychologists, that both psychiatrists and psychologists are employed and used in the process of ‘shaping the public opinion’, therefore, working for propaganda-makers. They study and analyze the ‘mood of the public’. They know public’s desires and aspirations.

All this is not as easy as it appears, is it?

Sadly, there is a silent (unpronounced and unsigned) agreement between the Western public and its establishment, as well as the corporate world, that the status quo should be maintained at all cost (paid for by “the others”); the West should be controlling the planet, and at least some part of the booty has to be shared among the (Western) masses.

What they are fighting over on the streets of Paris and other European cities is ‘how big the part of the pie that goes to the pockets of the common European people’ should be. There is absolutely no struggle to end the plunder of the world by the West.

Unfortunately, the world cannot count at all on the European or North American public for support in the struggle to destroy and end imperialism, neo-colonialism and the continuous deadly plunder.

It is not because the public in the West ‘doesn’t know’, but because it does everything it can in order not to know. Or if it knows or suspects, it makes sure to act as if it is ignorant. For its own selfish interests. For its own privileges."

Posted by: ak74 | Jan 14 2019 18:09 utc | 86


That have no value (what Russia say about Syria) since Russia still works with Israel while they attack Assad. This is what the coordination means unfortunately.

Posted by: Zanon | Jan 14 2019 18:11 utc | 87

@86 mauisurfer.. thanks for the crooke link.. it is quite good.. the only quibble i have with it is the thought that the insane monkey israel is going to back down... and, the usa will continue to support the insane monkey... the thought that russia has any positive regard for israel is really a joke at this point.. being responsible for the downing of the surveillance plane with russian crew on board was probably the last straw for russia with regard to israel...

we are probably now in the most difficult and scary part of this war on syria, as we have a fully deranged israel continuing with it's insanity and everyone else seeing that their insanity has to stop... it is much the same as it was before, except any facade of israel being some positive is completely gone here... now the world has to deal with an israel gone beserk.. how to deal with it is the 64,000 question..

Posted by: james | Jan 14 2019 18:52 utc | 88

@Laguerre. I dont think hes hasbarist. He's just anti Putin/Russia in the sense that he see's collaboration or acquiescence to the settler state by Russia no matter what it does.
He's not wrong.......His reasonings for it are tho IMO. Time will tell. Russia plays ball because it's way easier than turning them nuclear desperate. On day soon it will stop for good....until then we get posturing attacks for domestic audiences of the apartheid state.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Jan 14 2019 19:15 utc | 90

Hi b,

Hope you are having a good day. I read Patrick Armstrong’s article this morning and a very nice compliment was included at the end of his article about the “cricket-gate”

“PS. My neighbours often ask me from where I get my news when I tell them something they've never heard of. Well not from the Guardian or the NYT or NBC or the others that boomed this fake story: I learned from Moon of Alabama that it was crickets waaaay back in October 2017 when he (a one-man operation who does more reporting than the entire NYT building) beat the NYT by 14 months. You should read him too so you too can get next year's NYT headlines today.”

I think this how most of us feel here. Congratulations.

Posted by: Alpi57 | Jan 14 2019 19:53 utc | 91

aka 74 87
Following the Parisian demonstrators over many weeks with the RT camera patrol, one sees the Corsican ' black Moorish / Arab flag rfegularly at the symbolic centre of things !

Saturdays coverage moving up towards the Arch de Triomph showed MAO posters placed before the marchers - hardly images that show a totally Eurocentric focus.

Posted by: ashley albanese | Jan 14 2019 19:53 utc | 92

Laguerre says:

He[Zanon] really ought to be banned as a simple nuisance on the threads

since you haven't been very clear, i was just wondering where your sympathies lie in regard to Macron wanting to ban GJ activities.

Posted by: john | Jan 14 2019 21:03 utc | 93

Russ @ 59

With respect, this is not an authoritative article that you cite -

I'm afraid the Counterpunch article gets the Rojava Kurds wrong, as I believe Graeber does. The left, sometimes the mainstream left and often the radical left, sees what it wants to see in Rojava and it isn't always there.

Here's what they want to see -

"The developments in Kurdistan — and especially in Rojava, the Kurdish region in northern Syria — have tickled the radical imagination of activists around the globe. The revolution in Rojava has been compared to Barcelona in 1936 and the Zapatistas in Chiapas, Mexico. The radical left needs its own mythology as much as everybody else, and in this sense Rojava, Barcelona and Chiapas serve as hopeful reminders that there is an alternative; that it is possible to organize society in a different way."

But it may not go that deep -

"Kurdish families still aren’t really open to the new system, Democratic Autonomy. They haven’t yet internalized it. We, the activists, have very much internalized it and it’s our responsibility to make change, to impart the ideas of Democratic Autonomy to families, even if it’s only in small steps. We can start talking about it at home the way we do outside. When our families see how seriously we take it, that will affect them. Of course, discussions are often very difficult. Doors get slammed, people shout. But a lot of perseverance and discussion has also begun to create change in families."

It should be possible to tell the difference between earnest disciples of Bookchin and a group of Kurds ethnically cleansing an Arab village. I don't think many, such as the writer of the Counterpunch article above, or such influential writers as David Graeber, take the time to do so.

That is wrong. The radical left has done a great disservice to the Syrian people as a whole by romanticising communities or movements in Syria that on the face of it resemble what they would so much like to see in the West. So, for example, we hear of "workers communes" in Idlib. These are supposed to flourish in the midst of Jihadis who are far removed indeed from the "progressive" values these communes are supposed to exemplify. I don't for one moment believe it's like that at all, but it sounds good.

This romanticising might account for the quiescence of the left when it comes to opposing what we in the West were doing in Syria. It get's around and is gospel for all sorts of people. So, for instance, we find get Peter Tatchell, a progressive icon here, insisting that Assad is persecuting genuine left wing movements in Syria -

- and that when face to face with people who do know a little more about what's happening on the ground.

The reason I think this is important is that the left's idealisation of such movements in Syria isn't that far removed from the neocon's fantasy of "moderate rebels". In fact it reinforces that neocon narrative.

Please don't think that I'm saying it's all black or all white. It's not, but one has to know a lot more about what's happening on the ground before one can assert that any Syrian social movement springs from the same roots or is more than superficially similar to movements an anarchist or a left radical might wish to see in the West.

It is the intellectual slovenliness of the left in failing to understand this, or even to bother to find out what's happening on the ground, that is in my view partially responsible for the failure of the Western mainstream left to mount effective opposition to neocon policies in Syria. The uninformed and self-indulgent projection of left wing fantasies on to Syria translates, in reality, to death or destruction for millions.

Posted by: English Outsider | Jan 14 2019 21:15 utc | 94

Seems China called BigLie Media's bluff about the situation in Western China as Korybko reports:

"The Hybrid War on CPEC received an unexpected setback after one of the so-called “Balochistan Liberation Army’s” (BLA) top terrorists was assassinated in Afghanistan right before the New Year, which occurred just a few weeks before China’s unpreceded diplomatic* and journalistic* opening in Xinjiang when it recently allowed members of both professional communities to visit some of its education and job-training facilities that it constructed there as part of its anti-terrorist operations in the strategically located province. Beijing even announced that UN officials are welcome to travel to the region* as well, provided of course that they follow the proper procedures and don’t interfere in the country’s domestic affairs. These two developments are the reason why the weaponized narratives that were unleashed against both countries are now being tweaked." [* Links at original]

Korybko argues that both Pakistan and China are being targeted by this latest Hybrid-war, anti-BRI Psyop attempt. Lots of good info in what appears to be Korybko's best effort of the new year after writing a few disappointments. He's quite correct to include a warning within his conclusion:

"A globally renowned US-based information platform [Business Insider] is openly being used by what many consider to be a terrorist-connected organization to spread its dangerously false innuendo that PM Khan is a hypocrite/infidel/apostate who was paid off by China to remain silent about the supposed plight of fellow Muslims, and that’s extremely alarming."

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 14 2019 21:33 utc | 95

Years ago I went on holiday to China. The guide told us that if one of us tourists had any drugs on us, no matter how little, to throw the drugs away immediately. The guide explained that Chinese policemen were within their rights to kill drugs dealers on the spot.

Today I read in the "Globe & Mail" that a Chinese court sentenced a Canadian to death for drugs trafficking. The man has previous convictions for similar offences in Canada, so the claim is credible. The readers' comments show people are having a hard time accepting that "Western" standards no longer are seen as superior, or desirable.

Posted by: passerby | Jan 14 2019 21:52 utc | 96

An update of The Kashmir Crisis argues that the UNSC-47's call for a plebiscite must at long last take place ASAP lest the ongoing crisis be allowed to escalate again. Pakistan has arguably completed what UNSC-47 mandated it do, yet India says this isn't so thus enabling it to maintain its ongoing occupation of Kashmir which is the source of the crisis and Kashmiri strife.

Given the effort to generate a hybrid war against Pakistan and China by inflaming radical Muslim factions within Pakistan, China and Afghanistan, the relative ease for solving Kashmir must be pursued.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 14 2019 21:55 utc | 97

passerby @97--

The Sputnik piece on this I read this morning said the first sentence was for 15 years, but it was appealed; and upon that appeal, the court decided because he was a member of an international drug smuggling cartel, that his sentence was too light and decreed death. There's a lesson there, and it has nothing to do with Meng Wanzhou"s kidnapping.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jan 14 2019 22:03 utc | 98

@ karlof1 | Jan 14, 2019 4:33:36 PM | 96
Pakistan is blaming India for anti-CPEC events. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Jan 14 2019 22:05 utc | 99

"It is the intellectual slovenliness of the left in failing to understand this, or even to bother to find out what's happening on the ground, that is in my view partially responsible for the failure of the Western mainstream left to mount effective opposition to neocon policies in Syria." @95
Intellectual slovenliness and wishful thinking but largely, political cowardice: a refusal to break definitively with imperialism.

Posted by: bevin | Jan 14 2019 22:06 utc | 100

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