Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 17, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2019-15

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:


There are freshmen from Michigan and Minnesota in Congress who recently made some news with comments about the Zionist lobby. Some anti-imperialists and progressives lauded them for their efforts and defended them against attacks. But these are wolfs in sheep clothing.

Rep. Ilhan Omar Verified account @Ilhan - 1:31 utc - 16 Mar 2019
The people of Syria revolted against Assad's repressive dictatorship 8 years ago today, demanding a more just and free government. Peace loving people around the world stand in solidarity with them in this struggle!
Rashida Tlaib Verified account @RashidaTlaib - 23:46 utc - 16 Mar 2019
The anniversary of the uprising against the oppression in Syria was yesterday. We must recognize the struggle of those who organized and stood up against injustice. It is my hope that we can see a Syria that is truly free one day.

On might guess that the checks from the Muslim Brotherhood, the Turkish and the Qatari lobbies arrived.

As Ilhan Omar once wisely said:

‘It’s all about the Benjamins baby’


Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on March 17, 2019 at 17:56 UTC | Permalink

next page »

I don't know how you do it b, you have an amazing talent.

Personally, I wasn't putting too much stock in a few members of Congress, out of 535, being signs of change.

Thank you

Posted by: mourning dove | Mar 17 2019 18:14 utc | 1

They call themselves Socialists. I call them Crony Socialists. No different than their Repub or Democrat counterparts. And NYC’s DeBlasio paved they way for them.

Posted by: Jose Garcia | Mar 17 2019 18:18 utc | 2

Here is an article that takes an up-to-date look at how much the pro-Israel lobby spent in Washington during 2018:

It is interesting to see how less than one-quarter of Americans are driving Washington's pro-Israel agenda and its accompanying narrative.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Mar 17 2019 18:21 utc | 3

Tulsi Gabbard also seems to be "a wolf in sheeps clothing" as she also goes along with the anti-Assad narrative. And, despite saying that US should not intervene in foreign countries, she also agrees that USA is a "force for good" in the world.

Below is the comment I left on an earlier Open Thread (on March 13).

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

Caitlin Johnstone defends Tulsi Gabbard but fails to notice that Gabbard carefully toes the line. My comment (left on Caitlin's site):

Beware the phony left that pretends to be principled but then, strangely, breaks those principles. Sanders the ‘sheepdog’ pulled punches and supported Hillary after she conspired against his Movement. Gabbard now offers the reassuring trope that USA is the ‘good guys’ along with the lie that Syria was a (rouge) CIA effort.

The CIA reports to the President. It was Obama that ignored ISIS (dismissing its importance by calling it Al Queda’s “JV team”). It was the Obama Administration that made a ‘wilful decision’ to support ISIS because they weren’t able to bomb Syria as planned.

When Gabbard tells America the truth about the White Helmets then I’ll believe that she’s not a controlled opposition plant like Sanders.

Wake up.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 17 2019 18:48 utc | 4

thanks b.. your commentary and posts are excellent... ditto @1 mourning dove first comment..

jesus- those twitter quotes are depressing.. people can be smart in one area and completely ignorant in another.. either that, or the money they get for walking a particular line is very persuasive.. you've nailed it.

Posted by: james | Mar 17 2019 18:51 utc | 5

As I've always said, a Democrat is a Democrat is a Democrat. If someone really was something different from a Democrat, they wouldn't become a Democrat.

Posted by: Russ | Mar 17 2019 19:16 utc | 6

Can somebody please post a link to the NZ shooting. Thanks...

Posted by: dan | Mar 17 2019 19:20 utc | 7

wow. I was feeling good about Omar, Gabbard and Tlaib. must go vomit...

Posted by: paullllllll | Mar 17 2019 19:22 utc | 8

*The real live stream video

Posted by: | Mar 17 2019 19:23 utc | 9

Yes indeed very disappointing of both Tlaib and Omar.

Are they simply following the company line, or are they both Sunni? Might their form of Islam be influencing their positions on Assad?

Assad is an Alaoui/Alawite, one of several schisms of Shia Islam which the Sunnis (the vast majority of Muslims throughout the world) consider a heretical sect. (Sunni Islam also has offshoots, but they don't seem to be held in such dislike/hatred to other Sunni branches as Shias are to pretty much all Sunnis.) It can't be that he runs a secular government, surely? Although...

As for him and his government being brutal - surely no more so than Saudia's? Or that of the UAE? Or that of Israel?

If they are giving their true opinion, then they appear to have been duped, somewhat, into believing that most, if not in toto, of the uprising has derived from Syrians desperate for western-style "democracy." At least some of the origins seem to have got lost in the western government, MSM propagated propaganda - a years long severe drought which severely reduced the ability of rural areas to make a living caused over a million people to migrate to the cities, worsening if not creating poverty and other difficulties. This added to the effects of the Arab Spring which encouraged anti-Assad groups in Syria (most Syrians are Sunnis, a minority are Christian, and the Shia form another, ruling, minority) to rebel in order to overthrow the government.

Yes, Assad - or his generals, security forces - had people, Syrians, tortured; but why should that shock? Wasn't Syria one of our "black sites"? You know, for torturing purposes - I mean, why not render some of our captives into their useful hands? Can't do it all ourselves.

Moreover, how is Assad and his government, in this respect, any different to those of any of the other countries in the region, including Israel (when it comes to Palestinians, that is)? Or for that matter, in truth, how different to our own government? (That Haspel could be appointed head of the CIA - and her appointment be approved.... Only in an unethical, immoral country. But one that considers itself above the rest of the nation-state herd.)

Posted by: AnneR | Mar 17 2019 19:39 utc | 10

One more, b --

Syrians welcome Rep. Ilhan Omar's support for their struggle against Assad's regime

The New Arab & agencies

Posted by: AntiSpin | Mar 17 2019 19:43 utc | 11

It's even more impressive b that you've managed to do such excellent reporting this week despite having to deal with a water leak. I do hope everything is back to normal at home, or at least, well on it's way.

Posted by: mourning dove | Mar 17 2019 19:49 utc | 12

Weren't the protests against Asad genuine that were stolen by CIA and Wahabis for their own purpose

Posted by: RussianSoul | Mar 17 2019 19:57 utc | 13

In response to the NZ shooting, several commentators have criticised the NZ intelligence agencies (eg. GCSB) for not detecting and preventing it.
It seems to me that Intelligence agencies have only ONE response to criticism: increase surveillance of all citizens.

"You guys should have pervented it": ok, we'll spy on everyone.
"No, you guys should stop spying on Greenpeace and look for terrorists": ok, we'll spy on everyone to make sure they aren't terrorists.
"No, you guys should focus only on violent extremists": ok, we'll spy on everyone to make sure they aren't violent extremists.

It is a knee-jerk reaction with a rachet effect: "more budget and more power for more surveillance on more people" is the only response you can expect. Along with "we must do something; this is something; therefore we must do this".

Posted by: Deltaeus | Mar 17 2019 20:29 utc | 14

Nice steaming turd you left there AnneR in passing..@11
Alawite's religion is a complex syncretic mix of different beliefs and is not Shia as you posit.
For the purpose of simplicity and obfuscation (Gnosticism), they identify with Iran's Twelver Shia but have their own rites. The only Sunni groups worldwide who consider Alawis Kafir are themselves the real Takfiri, that is, Wahhabi/Salafi indoctrinated djihadists, mercenaries really, employed for ethnic cleansing, among other duties, by the same states, KSA/GCC/Israel/US, that you try to conflate with Syria's actual government. Lame..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 17 2019 20:32 utc | 15

no 5 jackrabbit
'Tulsi Gabbard also seems to be "a wolf in sheeps clothing" as she also goes along with the anti-Assad narrative. And, despite saying that US should not intervene in foreign countries, she also agrees that USA is a "force for good" in the world.'

rubbish..Tulsi has been to syria. She didnt return to claim Assad was a killer...
and shes not been voicing any anti Assad narrative ever since. Your claim is based on one interview.
yet another eg of commentorial incpompetence

Posted by: brian | Mar 17 2019 21:09 utc | 16

jackrabbit:' 'When Gabbard tells America the truth about the White Helmets then I’ll believe that she’s not a controlled opposition plant like Sanders.

Wake up.';

you should take your own advice. No sign Tulsi is a controlled anything,,,.but she does live in USA, where propaganda is thick

what has white helmets to do with this? whether she airs views on them or not....her position has been to oppose US ventures in syria...Why attack the one Democrat who has been opposed to the US war machine?

Posted by: brian | Mar 17 2019 21:13 utc | 17

@18 Brian because JR is locked in a Hegelian type dialectic where one cannot be the other.

Welcome to JR's hole..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 17 2019 21:20 utc | 18

But these are wolfs in sheep clothing.

With the only evidence for this being the tweets, I disagree. Fact is, Assad was a brutal dictator. Anyhow, generic cheers for "democracy" are supposed to be a virtue for US politicians. A recent "tweet" of Tlaib:

Rashida Tlaib ‏Verified account @RashidaTlaib

I was in my mid-20s when I first heard the name Rachel Corrie. She is uplifted every day that we continue to fight against the oppression, inequality and violence towards the Palestinian people.

The zionists aren't under any illusions these women are now secret agents of AIPAC. They're just trash-talking them.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Mar 17 2019 21:31 utc | 19

The fact remains that Tulsi had the opportunity to stick to her guns re: Assad. She met the man and if WE know the context of how hard it is to rule a secular ME state, then she should have been able to articulate that. You don't have to defend Assad per se but just push back against the brutal dictator schtick.

Dictator, after all, means something completely different in the MENA than in the west, although the globalist mind will tell you otherwise. Tulsi's timidity on this will probably spell her demise as she fades into obscurity with these tepid responses that the msm has pushed her into.

Lesson learned, muchacha.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 17 2019 21:42 utc | 20

Omar and her few supporters in the House were hazed. Hazed into voting against their own selves (words such as benjamin's and dual alegiance, which never had to do with semitism or hate in any way. Hazed with that faster than light written, introduced and passed anti-semetic turned into anti-hate bill. AIPAC won, because it's hazing distracted. ANd with the quotes in b's post we see it is still winning. Omar and friends failed. Failed miserably. It was almost embarrassing to watch from afar, had it not all been so damn predictable.

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Mar 17 2019 21:47 utc | 21

@Posted by: dan | Mar 17, 2019 3:20:19 PM | 8

The video of the shooting has been forbidden for posting, under menace of 10 years sentence by NZ court, or so I have just read, thus, beware.

Although all of us could watch it widely in the first day/minutes, it seems that the judge has decreed the secret preservation of the terrorist´s identity to not casue harm to his family...But, why now?

Posted by: Sasha | Mar 17 2019 21:52 utc | 22

@Jackrabbit A quick search was all it took.....

"Those “moderate rebels” according to Representative Tulsi Gabbard (HI) are the Islamic State, otherwise known as ISIS. The outspoken representative from Hawaii said the U.S. has been funding Al Queda and ISIS for years and she, along with Senator Rand Paul, both introduced legislation into Congress known as the “Stop Funding Terrorists Act”."

further down she's quoted -

So why should anyone believe anything the White Helmets say now about a gas attack being held in rebel territory, the same territory Gabbard says is controlled by American-funded ISIS operatives?

Posted by: Eureka Springs | Mar 17 2019 21:59 utc | 23

It seems the New Zealand Police will declare the shooter was a "lone wolf" -- besides the fact that he mentions "many" underground far-right groups.

Social media will take the blame; he may be even declared "crazy" (as officially Brevik was) -- even though he wrote a consciously, linguistically cohese and direct to the point, "in your face", manifesto.

Now, two possibilities (which are not mutually excludent):

1) either the far-right is being "brewed" by the capitalist class secretly so that they can use then to contain a revolutionary scenario (the cases of Italy and Germany happened exactly like that). And/or

2) the capitalist class is trying to contain the rise of the far-right, which is growing espontaneously, by ordering the MSM not to give free propaganda to their groups in a desperate last attempt no to plunge into absolute chaos.

Either way, the Western Civilization's situation is dire.

Posted by: vk | Mar 17 2019 22:11 utc | 24

brian @17: shes not been voicing any anti Assad narrative ever since. Your claim is based on one interview.

When one claims to be a progressive and a truth-teller, then one should tell the truth. And not just in some interviews, but all of them.

brian @18: what has white helmets to do with this?

Democratic Party's fake progressives are trying to have their cake and eat it too. They support the Empire while complaining about certain ill effects. As part of this strategy, Sanders and others have embraced the White Helmets and spout rhetoric supportive of the "Syrian people" and the "Venezuelan people". They pretend that all manner of evil that has befallen Syria and Venezuela are due to the evil dictators that lead these countries.

Syria’s White Helmets Court Bernie Sanders And Other New Friends:

Sanders told HuffPost. “The death and destruction taking place in Syria, and the brutality of the Assad regime is almost beyond belief. I was honored to meet with these incredibly brave volunteers, ordinary men and women, who risk their lives to help their fellow citizens.”

Last week, Gabbard’s office confirmed to HuffPost that the congresswoman would be willing to meet with the group, too.

Lorizon @19: JR is locked in a Hegelian type dialectic

Yeah, when Obama the magnificent told us: don't make the perfect the enemy of the good, he was voicing the same complaint. But it is now clear to many that Obama was/is a establishment stooge.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 17 2019 22:13 utc | 25

Sarah Abdallah
‏ @sahouraxo
2h2 hours ago

Tulsi Gabbard: We need strong leadership to stand up against those in the Military Industrial Complex who have benefited from, and continue to push, for these wasteful regime change wars that cost us trillions of dollars.

Posted by: brian | Mar 17 2019 22:18 utc | 26

'When one claims to be a progressive and a truth-teller, then one should tell the truth'

id like to see how you stand up in a repressive climate like USA media scrum..Tulsi has been doing a good job to resist media pressure

Posted by: brian | Mar 17 2019 22:20 utc | 27

Eureka Springs @24

I sure wish she had stuck to her guns during the interview with Colbert.

Why didn't she?

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


So very very sorry that after seeing Democratic Party's fake progressives fool us again and again that I've become skeptical and cynical.

Kool-Aid drinkers and democratic operatives who fawned over faux populist Obama and sheepdog Sanders will LOVE the next generation of Democratic Party bullshitters.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 17 2019 22:24 utc | 28

Thanks b another sharp and pointed piece. I must say Zero Hedge is powering today with a mighty interesting story from Disobedient Media on the NZ massacre and the missing arrested terrorists. Then another truly enlightening piece on the Boeing debacle.

I painfully noted that you can purchase these planes with one OR two MCAS detectors. Second one being optional not mandatory and that both downed planes had the single option. Similar options approach resulted in losing contact with MH370 with its satellite tracker.

Who needs failsafe when chance is an economic best bet.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 17 2019 22:31 utc | 29

@ Posted by: Lozion | Mar 17, 2019 4:32:06 PM | 16

Long story short, Assad is a secular muslim (hence the hate from the fundamentalists).

Posted by: vk | Mar 17 2019 22:32 utc | 30

@31 vk. Long story short: Islamic fundamentalism is but a tool to counter secularism, panarabism, Baathist socialism in order to prevent any solution to the age old elephant in the room, Palestine..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 17 2019 22:46 utc | 31

Anyone elected to Congress is bought and owned by those holding the Benjamins.

The new Dems are all backed by the Sunrise Movement and Tide Foundation thats funded by Rockefeller Family Fund, and Soros

Tulsi Gabbard is the *identity* candidate. She is a supporter of Israel and against BDS. She is a major in the US Army, a member of the Hawaiian National Guard, and a member of the House Armed Services Committee. She did TWO tours in Iraq. Meaning she volunteered to go back and do it again. Gabbard also signed to enforce sanctions on Russia. Although she opposed withdrawing from the Iran deal she only reluctantly supported the deal in the first place. Although she says she is non interventionist so didnt Trump. On Syria she said “There's no disputing the fact that he has used chemical weapons and other weapons against his people…” Seems more reasonable than most but no real change here. Obviously a better choice than Trump. She is at least a rational imperialist

Posted by: Pft | Mar 17 2019 22:56 utc | 32

Although they may be wolves in sheep's clothing, I think it more likely that when taking a "controversial" stand on one issue, under pressure people go out of their way to be accommodating on another issue, so as to defend their credentials as reasonable (or Serious) people.

The effect of taking "radical" stands on multiple issues may at least feel as if it may be cumulative.

It may also be an aspect of psyops to draw them out on multiple issues, until basically you have to redo your interlocutor's entire education (infeasible) just to make your points comprehensible (let alone acceptable).

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Mar 17 2019 23:20 utc | 33

I've defended the two Muslim congresswomen, but I'll admit I'm concerned about Tulsi Gabbard, till now my first choice for VP.

I co-sponsored H.Res.23 which reaffirms the U.S. commitment to Israel, and a negotiated settlement leading to a sustainable two-state solution that re-affirms Israel’s right to exist as a democratic, Jewish state and establishes a demilitarized democratic Palestinian state living side-by-side in peace and security. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to support bilateral negotiations between Israel and Palestine in order to bring an end to this enduring conflict.”

The woman isn't stupid, so what I see here is an endorsement of Apartheid (the "Jewish" stuff) and continued murderous brutality by the nuclear-armed pissant state against a totally helpless "demilitarized" pretend-nation of Palestians.

Do any of the viable Presidential Candidates have the guts to support BDS and totally equal rights inside or outside Holy Israel?

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Mar 17 2019 23:31 utc | 34


Duff has it on his VT site

Posted by: Pft | Mar 17 2019 23:35 utc | 35

The apartheid Jewish State is in the process of ramming through a new Florida law

I found this story at the Avedon's Sideshow site, and the blogger's comment was both short and accurate.

The bill would criminalize criticisms of Israel

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Mar 18 2019 0:19 utc | 36


You cite an article from the Qatari, pro-Muslim Brotherhood rag as proof that Syrians are galvanized behind Omar's stance against Assad? You might find greater receptivity braying at a more sympathetic site like the American Enterprise Institute.

Posted by: metni | Mar 18 2019 0:25 utc | 37

AnneR @ 11:

Bashar al Assad is currently President for 7 years (2014 - 2021) under the current Syrian Constitution that came into effect in February 2012 after changes were approved in a referendum in 2011. The changes included removing the Ba'ath party (originally founded on Arab socialist principles) as the leading party in Syrian politics and made Syria a parliamentary democracy, in theory at least. So the country's politics has changed quite considerably since the early 2000s.

The Alawites are indeed Shi'ites by origin but unlike most Muslims (Sunnis and Shi'ites alike) the Alawites also (supposedly) believe in reincarnation.

Assad himself is married to a Sunni Muslim and the majority of soldiers serving in the Syrian Arab armed forces are Sunnis.

As for Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, I'd say they're following the company line: Tlaib was born in the US and Omar came to the US as a teenager. So their education at senior high school and tertiary levels at least has been American.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 18 2019 0:40 utc | 38

it seems impossible for usa politicians to not drink some or all of the kool aid that is handed out on every corner of the usa media.. regardless, i mostly agree with jackrabbit...contradictions are a part of life.. i am not going to rule out someone has something of value and some junk at the same time too! but man, sloughing thru the usa political landscape is rough going! it is much the same in all the western countries at this point.. lies and hypocrisy are a pronounced feature.. okay - a white lie, but maybe a lot worse too - one of omission - like who is paying you to say what you say?

map.. of the different types of islam as practiced around the globe.. it appears somalia is mostly thing is for sure.. until the usa stops meddling in other countries affairs - we will be told all sorts of crazy stuff on a regular basis... can the usa stop using drones, or money to fund mercenaries in others countries?? at what point does someone return the favour to some mercenary group that wants to implement change in the usa, or western world?? or is this only a one way street where no war is ever fought on the good ol' usa's homeland? homeland security would never go for it! maybe they can all hide behind boltons mustache??

Posted by: james | Mar 18 2019 0:51 utc | 39

@39 jen... thanks for addressing all that - you and lozion... regarding your last couple of lines.. it is a shame they are unable to get out from under all the lies and bullshit they get fed 24/7... why is it omar is able to read the israel lobby loud and clear, but unable to see all of the bullshit around syria? the usa has so much bullshit to offer, if it isn't syria, it is venezuala or any number of fucked up concepts about the rest of the world.. it is truly tiring for the rest of the planet..

Posted by: james | Mar 18 2019 0:55 utc | 40

What is interesting is Omar has been doing a land office business raising money. So, were her comments truthful or simply self serving? Hard to know.

Posted by: frances | Mar 18 2019 0:57 utc | 41

Looks like the Russians are preparing to give the greenlight for the SAA to clean Idlib of the terrorists. I thought that the Russians would hold off until the U.S. forces were withdrawn but first the Pentagon wanted to keep four hundred troops in Syria, now the Pentagon wants to keep a thousand which is close to the two thousand officially in Syria currently, so I guess the Russians are going to give up on Trump's empty promises and get the job done. The Russian Su-25s are already returning to Syria. Good for them.

As for Trump's statement on the Christchurch massacre, it was mealy mouthed and pathetic

49 innocent people have so senselessly died

No, they didn't just die. They were murdered, slaughtered, butchered, exterminated, or executed but they didn't just die.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 18 2019 1:25 utc | 42

@ metni | Mar 17, 2019 8:25:53 PM | 38


You cite an article from the Qatari, pro-Muslim Brotherhood rag as proof that Syrians are galvanized behind Omar's stance against Assad?”

Nope. I cite an article from the Qatari, pro-Muslim Brotherhood rag as proof that they claim that Syrians are galvanized behind Omar's stance against Assad, a demonstrably false claim.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Mar 18 2019 1:42 utc | 43

@antiSpin 44

I'm glad you clarified that as the intent in yours @ 12 was not clear since you had not qualified the source of the article. I'm absolutely certain most Syrians see Assad's government as far more popular than ever before the war on Syria went into high gear.

Posted by: metni | Mar 18 2019 2:12 utc | 44

Representative Omar is from Minnesota, not Maryland. Proud of that young lady.....

Posted by: guy | Mar 18 2019 2:13 utc | 45

Ramin Mazaheri reports for PressTV on the Paris burnings on this 18th consecutive Yellow Vest weekend. It's astonishing to hear a reporter drive home as his main point how the protesters are completely conscious of their targets, aiming at banks and other organs of the financial economy.

He was tear gassed, and he describes this experience, which he is no stranger to. It's a refreshingly authentic analysis from the street by someone who completely understands what's going on, and who can present an appraisal of the intelligence of the popular movement.

Less than 7 minutes, and I'll give the Saker link because there are some comments there:
Ramin Mazaheri explains why the Yellow Vests torch banks in rich Paris neighborhoods

I've cited Mazaheri's writings numerous times, and I regard him as a very diligent journalist.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 18 2019 2:23 utc | 46

James @ 41:

Thanks for all your support, it's all very much appreciated.

I'd say Omar can read the Israeli lobby loud and clear because she can see the hand-greasing going on right in front of her, in Congress and places around it. With the Syrian situation, unless she's plugged in to sources (directly or indirectly) like Vanessa Beeley, Eva Bartlett, Rick Sterling, the Grayzone Project, Syrian Perspective and others reporting directly or from trustworthy sources, Omar is in the wilderness along with everyone else. She'd actually have to go to Syria and spend time there visiting factories, farms, schools and hospitals to talk to people and find out what they all think of Assad as president. Tulsi Gabbard was only in Syria for about 4 - 5 days in 2017.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 18 2019 2:26 utc | 47

@ metni | Mar 17, 2019 10:12:02 PM | 45

Glad to clear it up -- if Syrians were really galvanized against Assad, all those Syrian refugees wouldn't be flocking back into recently liberated areas by the hundreds of thousands.

By the way, the US makes the same claim, and it's still false.

Posted by: AntiSpin | Mar 18 2019 2:26 utc | 48

Many here in Canada remember the rendition of Mahar Arar to Syria after 911.
The horrors he suffered were inhuman. Not that Assad had many options at the time.

Posted by: Don Task | Mar 18 2019 2:59 utc | 49

More than a tweet by Ilhan Omar at the Washington Post. The Angry Arab replies with tweets. Perhaps we'll see an article from him on Consortium News later.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 18 2019 3:01 utc | 50

I've been looking for the vote on the additional funding for the White Helmets and am unable to find any record of a vote. Here is an article that states that the State Dept. is going to remit 5 million to the White Helmets subject to Congressional approval, but I can't find any record of a vote or more specifically, a Tulsi Gabbard vote. Any help out there please.

Posted by: guy | Mar 18 2019 3:04 utc | 51

Exerpt from the Newsweek article about Tulsi Gabbard

"Colbert addressed Gabbard’s stance with regard to the Syrian leader. “The United States should not be intervening to overthrow these dictators and regimes that we don't like, like Assad, like Saddam Hussein, like [Muammar] Gaddafi or like Kim Jong Un,” the congresswoman said.

“You got heat for meeting with Bashar al-Assad. Do you not consider him a war criminal? Why did you meet with that man?” Colbert asked.

“If we are not willing to meet with adversaries, potential adversaries in the pursuit of peace and security, the only alternative is more war,” Gabbard explained."

Full article;

Posted by: ben | Mar 18 2019 3:15 utc | 52

Gonna' hear tons and tons of BS about everyone running for POTUS. Way too early to get too excited by anything said or not said.

Bare in mind, our rulers have UNLIMITED sums of money to make you believe water isn't wet.

Posted by: ben | Mar 18 2019 3:26 utc | 53

So what! As long as Omar and Tlaib oppose Zionism, isn't that what really matters??? The Syria policy came out of Zionism! Look what happened to Tulsi for speaking the truth on Syria; she's running for President and doesn't even register 1% support in the list of candidates. All I care about is that they oppose Zionism, and they do! Even Tulsi doesn't dare take on the Lobby and takes pictures with that Zionist slob casino billionaire and Shmuley. What's next, Dershbag? Look, lot's of shet happened in Syria on all sides. I get that there's a lot of bullshet surrounding the war in Syria. I think what the U.S., Israel and KSA did there stinks! But Assad is no angel and he never really stuck his neck out for the Palestinians either. It was more a case of the enemy of my enemy is my friend, rather than reliable support. So, I don't mind writing off their tweets on Syria as long as they continue sticking it to Zionism.

And one more thing: they're wolves in sheep's clothing taking money from whomever (so you claim w/o proof!) AS OPPOSED TO WHOM exactly that you support -- TRUMP??? Trump who's bankrolled by every Zionist billionaire in the Lobby rolodex! And one more thing, I trust them more not to ever get in bed with that nitwit Netanyahoo than your precious Putin whom I still have doubts about in that regard!

Posted by: Circe | Mar 18 2019 3:56 utc | 54


That Newsweek article provides a very selective set of non-controversial quotes that paint Gabbard in the best possible light. Anyone that is interested in Gabbard's positions on Syria and US regime change should view the actual interview:

>> Gabbard affirmed her belief that Assad is a brutal dictator that gassed his people. Her attempt to provide balance fails miserably because she says BOTH Assad and "terrorist groups in Syria" have gassed people - but those terrorist groups were either directly or indirectly backed by USA and USA allies.

>> And she directs blame at CIA (as though it had gone rouge) which whitewashes the full support of Obama and his Administration for Syria regime change.

Furthermore, Gabbard doesn't object to the intent of, or (lack of) principles behind, regime change, she objects to the cost and difficulty of regime change. The OUTCOME has not been favorable to USA. Gabbard never goes further. She does not/will not point out that Israel and KSA are prime beneficiaries of USA involvement in Middle Eastern regime change operations.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 18 2019 4:16 utc | 55

Gabbard caught my eye but has now lost it. Assad is a cruel dictator who gassed his own people and kills children? No, Assad is the democratically elected President of Syria who has managed to keep his nation mostly together in the face of how many years of foreign-funded civil war.
Israel and a two-state solution? Seriously?
No, Gabbard is not the answer. Ilhan Omar? Maybe. Early days yet. But surely there must be at least one among the 535 voting members of the US Congress who is not afraid to talk true.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Mar 18 2019 4:33 utc | 56


Have you forgotten that Saudi Arabia also supported Syrian regime change? Have you forgotten that KSA/MbS now works with Israel?

As james points out, Omar is probably Sunni. And that may explain her views on Assad.

Also see comment by Ghost Ship @51

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 18 2019 4:33 utc | 57

With the Syrian government possibly planning an operation in Idlib, it is sadly likely time to prepare for the third instalment in the annual "April Syrian Gas Attack" franchise. This one will get poorer reviews because at this point it's obvious none of the powers are willing to risk nuclear war over Syria. Will still be weaponised to divide the left, though. Pass the stale popcorn.

Posted by: Blooming Barricade | Mar 18 2019 5:23 utc | 58

@ Hal Duell #57

Sir, if a current President is the only candidate, and wins with 99.7% as in 2000, or 97.6% in 2007, that's a sham "democracy". Only in 2014 did Assad allow somebody to run against him, and this time he dropped to 88.7%. I'm guessing the Russians or even the Iranians hinted to him that it would look better if he was actually running against a real person.

Ilhan Omar was born in Africa, and cannot become a US President. The other Muslim woman is probably a nice person, but she will need ten or twenty years under her belt to accumulate even minimal qualifications.

I'm really disappointed to find out about Gabbard's stance on Israel, but so far I've been unable to locate a candidate who is any better than her. Except possibly for Elizabeth Warren, the others are worse. Even Sanders is awful on overall foreign policy. 2020 could turn out like 2016 - an election where the Palestinians are screwed no matter who got elected President.

I hope Sanders can find somebody for VP who will counterbalance his own warmongering imperialism. And his devotion for Lockheed and all the other big arms makers. From what little information I could locate, Gabbard or Warren are the best currently available. We're not going to find "perfect" people, but it would be nice if our candidates managed to avoid publically kissing AIPAC's fanny.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Mar 18 2019 6:09 utc | 59

Parallel Universe: Pelosi swears herself in as president and the “world” recognizes her
by Peter F. Crowley / March 17th, 2019

Posted by: John Doe | Mar 18 2019 6:20 utc | 60

@58 Jackrabbit

No, I didn't forget KSA's involvement In Syria and stated so in my comment. Here are Tulsi and Tlaib at their finest:

Look, I disagree with Ilhan Omar on two state. it's ridiculous, and RoR is not negotiable, but she's not afraid to take on the Lobby so I'll credit her for that. Tlaib is for one state and Tulsi is for two state. Regardless, I'll take any of the 3 over Trump any day. No contest. However, I still believe the system is rigged. There is no democracy and any of these women making a big change is pie in the sky. I'd even cheer for Sanders that you don't like much! But alas, it's totally rigged by Zionists on both sides. I'm still with you on that.

Posted by: Circe | Mar 18 2019 6:30 utc | 61


I think Ilhan Omar is a Sufi Muslim, while KSA is mostly Salafi. Salafis apparently reject every other branch as apostate.

I found this cartoon that kind of explains the difference.

She of course would be the one in the green turban.😊

Posted by: Circe | Mar 18 2019 7:14 utc | 62

NZ shooting related stuff:

I belive M0$$AD has a personal spat with P.T. and Palantir (it's in the heart of US Army analytics currently) and using this to get Erdogan and also blame Russians, but this will develop to full blown WWIII.

NZ Defence Force links to Peter Thiel's software company revealed
8 Apr, 2018

The news that billionaire investor and Trump supporter Peter Thiel became a New Zealand citizen in 2011 before buying a 193 hectare estate on Lake Wanaka in 2015 has raised questions in parliament and around the world. Joining Tristram Clayton is Herald Investigations reporter Matt Nippert to discuss the latest on Thiel.
Matt Nippert
By: Matt Nippert
Business investigations reporter, NZ Herald @MattNippert

The New Zealand Defence Force has spent millions on controversial spy software produced by secretive Silicon Valley firm Palantir.
After refusing for more than a year to reveal the extent of links to Peter Thiel's big data analysis company, prompting a complaint by the Herald on Sunday to the Ombudsman, the NZDF were forced to disclose annual spending with Palantir averaged $1.2 million.

The figures suggest since contracts were first signed in 2012 the defence force has spent $7.2m with the firm.

"The Defence Force neither confirms nor denies the existence or non-existence of the information you have requested," it wrote.

After being made aware the adoption of Palantir had been reported in a 2012 copy of NZDF-published Army News, and that the NZDF hosted a publicly-available December 2015 briefing on its website detailing use of Palantir "analytical tools" by the elite SAS, the defence force reconsidered its position.

The NZDF confirmed it's contracts with Palantir were into the third three-year cycle and cover software licenses and training for 100 staff. "Palantir knowledge base and analysis capacity."


Palantir, founded in 2004, grew as an offshoot of the fraud detection operations of Thiel's other company Paypal. Initial investors - and major clients - include the intelligence agencies of the Five Eyes intelligence network.

The company's secrecy - partly due to its clients in intelligence, partly due to its status as a non-public company - has seen market and industry speculation run rampant. The company is said to be worth $25b, with Thiel its largest individual shareholder.

The company last month was caught up in the scandal surrounding Cambridge Analytica, which....

The New York Times reported a Palantir employee in London worked closely with Cambridge Analytica ....

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie told the British parliament that Palantir employees also worked on Cambridge Analytica's vast pool of illegally-obtained Facebook data.

Questions to the NZDF about what they used Palantir data to ....

More: NZ Defence Force links to Peter Thiel's software company revealed

Posted by: blurred witch project | Mar 18 2019 7:33 utc | 63

Tulsi Gabbard still leads the pack for me. And I am still backing Bernie in this imperfect world.

Could be worse, people could have to chose between Biden and Wassername as that is what the Dems would love to impose on all.

The tortuous hesitancy of Biden is a a joy to behold.

Imagine that clown being given the job of guard duty. He is such a perfect exemplar of all that is f#cked in the dems.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 18 2019 9:12 utc | 64

@39 Assad is married to an English woman. I doubt she is Muslim at all.

Posted by: Ike | Mar 18 2019 9:42 utc | 65

The current sport for kiwi cognoscenti, is reading the person before reading the card attached to the soft toy/candle/bunch of flowers placed as publicly as possible then deciding which of the two lines neolib airhead Ardern offered up within an hour of the murders, that particular person will have written on the attached card.
The most popular seems to be the probable lie "this not us" as Christchurch has had a well known & thoroughly documented problem with white supremacy since the mid 70's days of skinheads & punks - the kids of Christchurch went for skinheadism & nazi salutes when just about all the rest of Aotearoa opted for J. Rotten, safety pins & punks. The reason is the usual back then unwhite people were not in huge supply in ChCh whereas I doubt it was possible to grow up in Auckland or Wellington without Maori & Pacifica friends or family.

The other line Jacinda offered up is "They are us" They meaning kiwis who practised Islam. This more obviously inclusive line has been used but not as often as the first one. In the end it barely matters since both are simple avoidances, devices on tap to all kiwis who prefer not to think too hard about the mindsets which provide a suitable environment for a fascist to feel at home or at least a little bit at home.
Kiwi pols don't have quite as bad a record of overt racism that OZ pols including a former Oz Prime Minister.
The Australians keep electing the arseholes too.

Grafton the town in NSW where the murderer comes from, only has one industry and one employer The Department of Corrections, for Grafton is the home of the most notorious prison in Australia. Grafton prison. Most prisons in NSW are mainly staffed by screws who have a bit of a live & let live mindset translated as "If you don't cause a lot of trouble with yer penchants for sex & drugs, we won't give you any trouble" Not so Grafton prison which was the boogieman tht recalcitrant inmates would be threatened with a sojourn in if they didn't pull up their socks.
Many inmates beaten to death, tortured and maimed. Over the decades there were so many inquiries into Grafton Prison that in the end the state government gave up closed the f***er down and bulldozed most of it. That didn't impress the local Graftonites who needed a steady supply of unfortunates to torture so the government almost immediately decided to ask for tenders for a 'private correctional facility'. The locals could continue to get their rocks off but the government couldn't be held accountable. A cobber of mine who had the bad luck to spend a few years slotted up in Grafton swears that many of the prison screws are descended from the jacks who were charged with disciplining the original transportees to Botany Bay - more than 200 years of oppressing others. Of course that doesn't excuse the little creep who shot everyone from two year old children to men in their 80's but it does provide some context into the screwed up community who meet with the Grafton bible bashers tonite, also clutching signs claiming "This is not us" & replete with faux denial. No "They are us" signs were visible at the Grafton knees-up.

Posted by: he-she-it | Mar 18 2019 9:59 utc | 66

Ike @ 66:

Bashar al Assad's wife Asma was born of Syrian parents of Sunni Muslim background in London in 1975. Her father Fawaz Akhras currently works as a consultant cardiologist in a London hospital.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 18 2019 10:17 utc | 67

The French prime minister’s office says it will present plans to further crack down on “rioters”, after a new flare-up of violence the government says is linked to the so-called Yellow Vest protest movement. ref 1.

After the spike in violence, Macron offered a package of concessions worth more than 10 billion euros ($11 billion) aimed at boosting the incomes of the poorest workers and pensioners
additional links.

I comment empowered leaders in charge of the operations of the armed rule making (nation state.) structures of government.. (ARMSOGs) usually resort to the use of force against protesting masses, ..and the masses are forced to either respond with more violence or quit the protest and be denied. The ARMSOGs seem to do this to protect the structure of the state and to continue to promote corrupt or biased profiteering (engaged directly by members of government and indirectly those in the background) all of which is usually done at the expense of the masses.

AFAIC tell; Worldwide, protesters want more than a few $ raise, they want a real "active meaningful voice" in the ARMSOGs that govern their societies, they want to be real contributing parts of the decision making apparatus, not service-provider-outsiders allowed only to do the work when there is work to be done. The protesters seem to want election apparatus that allows them to have a say in the nomination and election process and a determinative input as to who is nominated, elected or appointed to important positions in government and the judiciary, they want a say in the nations spending (including government contract and military spending) and they want a say in the laws that ARMSOGs impose on their governed societies and apply to extra-national behaviors of the ARMSOGs, especially in relations of one ARMSOG with the others. The protesters want the masses to be sufficient informed to be able to have and to make significant meaningful input in how the resources (of the ARMSOGs= nation) are to be allocated and used, the protesters usually want a corruption free government with strong unbiased prosecution that actually does eliminate corruption at all levels, public and private, they want privatization reversed, non state monopoly powers eliminated, human rights fully recognized and actually accommodated and the outrageous differences in wealth taxed until the income and wealth in the societies are fairly distributed.

World wide these few demands seem to be the universal basis that generate active and passive revolutions and protest against the behaviors of those who operate or use the ARMSOGs. Just about all forms of government have been tried, and revolution after revolution has produced government after government, but no government I am familiar with has
given all the people it governs, a real equivalent say in their own governance. Yet the right to self determination is a human right and it seems the people of the world are moving toward more bottom up mass controlled government?

Everywhere I look what I see are facts that indicate the ARMSOGs (nation states) have been used to protect the corrupt and to promote wealth and privilege bias and I see that the people are beginning to understand that they have been duped, nearly everywhere, no matter their language, culture, race, religion or place of residence.. I don't think the people have figured out yet, part of their duped state results from the identity bias, but they are coming to that understanding.

It will be interesting to see what happens in France, we saw in Egypt, Brotherhood elected to office (only to have Sisi's military step. General Sisi booted the Brotherhood elected leadership, took possession of the state, and imprisoned or executed the Brotherhood members). I am no brotherhood supporter, but my point is nation states (ARMSOG) typically do not represent the interest of those who they are empowered to govern. <=that is the problem. The following link evidences ARMSOGs attempts deny its governed important and relevant information.

What bothers me the most, is that when the whole nation of people are working together as a team, the sky is the limit in what can be discovered and implemented to improve everyone's quality of life. No one should make a profit off of another man's effort and no man should be allowed to deny the other an equal opportunity to try. It all starts with universal life-time access to education.. open society and open government.. When the few are educated, the under-educated masses will be exploited.

Posted by: snake | Mar 18 2019 10:31 utc | 68

I rather think that their constituency (family?) are exiled Muslim Brotherhood. Obama had a Muslim Brotherhood strategy and that can be explained by expat Muslim Brotherhood members being part of the Democratic Party.
A lot of crazy US Middle Eastern policies can be explained by US identity politics.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 18 2019 10:33 utc | 69

@Lozion # 16

You obviously haven't been educated enough. AnnieR knows what she's talking about, and has posted here for a very long time.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Mar 18 2019 10:58 utc | 70

PM of Australia felt the need to apologise to Israel first and foremost after the attack that killed 50 Muslims.

Did anyone bring an egg for this guy?' Australian PM gives places of worship $55mn for fence & CCTV

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was accused of hypocrisy after he announced $55 million in grants for security upgrades at religious schools and places of worship in the wake of the New Zealand tragedy.
The money will be given to the country's mosques, churches, synagogues and religious schools so that worshipers can "practice their faith in safety," Morrison said on Monday at a meeting of the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce in Melbourne.

The grants range from $50,000 to $1.5 million, and are expected to cover the cost of security upgrades such as CCTV cameras, lighting, fencing and alarms.

Posted by: he-she-it | Mar 18, 2019 5:59:25 AM | 67

Isn't a special family in the outskirts of London mostly known about their banking (and philanthropist) ventures have had connections about funding correctional institutions in Britain and that directly links to the Botany Bay history you reffer to?
Haven't they be funding several shrinks and similar institutions, orphanages, grooming schools, prisons, even real sea pirate groups and also British military along with the very state of Israel, its early querrila army and through carious means established M0$$AD itself?

If I was Britain and partners I would outsource my black sites to Down Under and its little sister NZ, wouldn't I?

Posted by: blurred witch project | Mar 18 2019 11:07 utc | 71

It’s all about the Benjamins baby

and so it's always been. gold from Punt showed up in Egypt almost 3000 years before Christ. and worship of the sun, and entities like Sobek precede Ilhan Omar's religiosity by centuries.

has she commented on the fact that lately uncle sam's been bombing the shit out of her homeland?

Posted by: john | Mar 18 2019 11:31 utc | 72

The USA sponsors extremism in Eurasia -- and will continue to do so as long as it maintains its strategy to be the only superpower -- for purely geographic reasons.

The USA is in North America. Being in America, you have a characteristic that is, at the same time, a strength and a weakness: you're isolated from Eurasia (the World Island).

Being isolated from Eurasia is good (strength) as long as Eurasia remains balkanized and plunged into chaos: you're protected from "sea to sea" and has the power to intervene in the geopolitics of the World Island without any significant risks to your territory.

But, if Eurasia unites and at least becomes peaceful, being in America turns into a disadvantage, because Eurasia is the center of human civilization: it has the most population, the most land, the most natural resources and the better geographic position. It will take hundreds of thousands of years for the plates tectonics to move in order to change this societal axiom in any significant form.

That's why, for example, the USA simply refuses to leave Afghanistan and to abandon NATO: that would make it lose an important foothold in Eurasia, thus striking a blow to its capacity to directly intervene in its internal affairs.

That's why China mirrors the USA: the first wanting peace and prosperity, the second wanting misery and chaos, for Eurasia.

Posted by: vk | Mar 18 2019 11:31 utc | 73

To Jen and Lozion

Perhaps you are not into sarcasm? I am neither for nor against Assad - it simply isn't my business to interfere in the governance of Syria or any other bloody country. And that should be the worldview and behavior of our so-called exceptionally superior western political elites, too. But clearly isn't when it comes to the governments of those nations who not only won't toe our line but also hold resources our corporate-capitalists want. Meanwhile making inconceivable profits for the MIC.

And yes, I am aware that Assad was elected into his position and that he is acceptable to many if not most of the Syrian population. That his government is secular, that the population of Syria is religiously and probably also ethnically diverse. And yes, the security agencies are brutal - but as I wrote earlier, in what ways different to those of surrounding nations (I only named a few, but one might include all)? Moreover not so very different from like agencies in the west, certainly the CIA especially, for that execrable entity, when the population dealt with is not American.

That I find torture abhorrent no matter who does it, under whatever guise, rationale it is meted out, is surely okay? Or perhaps my drift was too obscure?

Posted by: AnneR | Mar 18 2019 12:09 utc | 74

To those who are interested to understand the topic - all stages of providing tomos about autocephaly to Ukrainian schismatics. Direct US participation. Political project to create a new church in Ukraine.

Posted by: alaff | Mar 18 2019 12:23 utc | 75

Regarding the very good March 12 article about Boeing's suspicious corner-cutting and laxity about quality control, especially on the 737- MAX, Seattle Times reporters have found more evidence that backs up b's points:

Posted by: Dao Gen | Mar 18 2019 13:23 utc | 76

Concerning Brexit and the EU Alistair Crooke has this at stategic Culture today
Those who defend the EU generally know nothing about it and its purpose.
There is also a good piece at Strategic Culture on the Maidan coup in Ukraine by Gordon M. Hahn

"Although the Maidan regime in Ukraine continues to deny, mostly ignore, its leading members’ role in organizing and executing the 20 February 2014 snipers massacre that targeted both police and demonstrators in order to escalate the demonstrations and that indeed led to the overthrown of President Viktor Yanukovych, some of the regime’s members and supporters are beginning to speak out against the oligarchic-ultranationalist hybrid regime’s original sin. Earlier, beginning almost immediately after the coup, numerous participating snipers from the Maidan’s ultra-nationalist and neofascist wing began acknowledging their role in the massacre. Many have named present Rada Chairman Andrey Parubii as its organizer and much evidence points to him as at least one if not the lead mastermind of the slaughter..."

Posted by: bevin | Mar 18 2019 14:03 utc | 77

Dunno if this was posted here recently, but wotrth a repost as its up there with the reccomended assassination of Assange... these guys really don't bother hiding behind the R2P line...

'...He (Maduro) needs to understand that a bullet in the head may be his only way out of Venezuela ...'

(Text and Video)


Posted by: he-she-it | Mar 18, 2019 5:59:25 AM | 67
You paint a vivid and accurate enough mental picture of the Grafton I was once familiar with. Grafton, one of the arse ends of planet earth. An easy place to drive through. Free tip.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Mar 18 2019 14:49 utc | 78

@75 AnneR "That I find torture abhorrent no matter who does it, under whatever guise, rationale it is meted out, is surely okay? Or perhaps my drift was too obscure"

Obscure yes and rather pointless I would say. Torture is abhorrent.. ok.
Imo sarcasm on a blog needs to be clearly indicated as such..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 18 2019 15:04 utc | 79

@48 jen... thanks for your many fine posts.. well, you or i didn't have to travel to syria to understand how thick the propaganda on syria is, but maybe you are correct!

@11 anneR... after reading your post again @11, maybe i read your comments too quickly.. obviously some of us here misunderstood you.. sorry about that..

Posted by: james | Mar 18 2019 15:24 utc | 80

Btw, regarding Alawis, note that there is a core component to their religion rooted in Greek Neo-Platonic gnosticism. Gnostics believed the Talmudic deity YHWE to be an impostor, known as the the Demiurge.
That might help explain the fierce resistance of Syria Vs the Outlaw Zionist entity, seen from a spiritual perspective..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 18 2019 15:35 utc | 81

Somalia is moslty from the Shafii jurisprudence. Whether Omar is Shaffi or Sufi is irrelevant. She can be both.
Sufism is not a branch of Islam but a mystical interpretation, structured similar to monastic order and has no legal

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 18 2019 15:45 utc | 82

@83 lozion.. the only folks that seems to have '''authority''' in islam, are the whackjobs in the ksa/uae headchopping cult.. correct me if i am wrong..

Posted by: james | Mar 18 2019 15:58 utc | 83

it is a beautiful construct for usa-israel to use for it's own constructs...

Posted by: james | Mar 18 2019 15:59 utc | 84

Looks like the zerohedge site has offended someone - none of my browser options work for that address at the moment. Others? .. or just here?

Posted by: imo | Mar 18 2019 16:04 utc | 85

I like Ilhan Omar very much for speaking out on Palestine, just as I like Tulsi Gabbard's efforts for understanding the ugly war in Syria.

But, please, this is America we are talking about here.

To expect someone to come along with completely fresh and clear views is dreaming.

Just like Bernie Sanders' so-called socialism or indeed anything at all about Sanders.

He's a bag of hot air.

He showed everyone what he was made of in his confrontation with the woman who plainly stole the nomination from him, Hillary Clinton.

He's never been a strong voice against empire or the secret terror of the CIA or the vast hideous waste of the Pentagon.

And then we have that genuine phony, Elizabeth Warren, making noises all the time about being progressive while voting for huge defense budgets and never opposing all those wars and offering the standard establishment poison about Iran.

I've said it many times. There are no liberals, genuine classic liberals, in the United States, at least in any positions of authority.

America is about empire and the wars required to sustain it, and that is pretty much it. The rest is window dressing.

The entire atmosphere of the place, the education system, the press, the churches, the politics - all immersed in war and the drive for empire with little room for other values.

What could be more blatantly unfair and anti-democratic than what we see in Venezuela today? Yet where are the American voices against the open use of threats and terror?

Some might claim an excuse over Syria because many things concerning who was responsible remained well hidden there for awhile.

But here, with Venezuela, we see bald-faced fascism telling people who they should vote for, who should swear himself in as President, who should control the country's assets, and destroying a national power grid, an act which undoubtedly killed and injured people and destroyed what was in millions of fridges.

Why isn't anyone shouting at the top of their lungs?

All this by men who say they respect democracy and human rights and expect to be respected in the world as leaders.

You know, Hitler gave one of the great speeches about peace, not long before starting a new war. It was reported by that great journalist and chronicler of Nazi Germany, William Shirer.

And, under the Nazis, Germany had even some window dressings of progressivity, its socialistic aspects, if you will. It even sometimes held plebiscites.

Posted by: JOHN CHUCKMAN | Mar 18 2019 16:23 utc | 86

The New Zealand Prime Minister's statements have been inclusive of the Muslim community in New Zealand. She has made it clear that the horrible events in Christchurch were the acts of a terrorist, that gun laws will be changed in parallel to what is already in effect in Australia to diminish the possiblity of such an occurrence ever again, and that the security oversight has failed the citizenry and will be scrutinized.

I'm not sure what the comments above are attacking. Do they not want these things to occur?

Posted by: juliania | Mar 18 2019 16:28 utc | 87

Short chronology of the intense Australian Racism that certainly contributed to the New Zealand Terrorist Attack: "Tears For Christchurch: Australia First Imported Hate In 1788. Now We’re In The Export Business." Seems the egged Aussie Senator's views differ little from PM Morrison:

"If we’re to find our way out of the toxic mess that we’ve built for ourselves, it’s going to require an honest reckoning of our past. That’s an enormous task, given the depth of our denial.

"In responding to Fraser Anning’s comments yesterday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison also said Anning’s views had no place in Australian Parliament. In fact, those sorts of views have always been apart of Australian Parliament.

"This is Australia’s first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton, speaking after the passage of our parliament’s first major piece of legislation in 1901, called the Immigration Restriction Act: 'All men who come to these shores with a clean record who leave behind a memory of class distinctions and religious differences of the old world are Australians. No n*gger, no Chinaman, no laska, no Kanaka, no purveyor of cheap coloured labour is an Australian.'

"That legislation was known as the White Australia Policy, and remained in force until the mid 1970s (at the time the strapline of the magazine which published the remarks, The Bulletin, was ‘Australia for the white man’. It finally closed its doors in 2008).

"So contrary to Morrison’s assertions, these sorts of comments don’t just belong in Australian Parliament, that’s routinely from where they emanate." [My Emphasis]

For those unaware of Australia's genocidal past, I suggest Robert Hughes's 1986 The Fatal Shore. IMO, there's little difference between Aussie and Zionist policy, and a shared mindset with Cecil Rhodes and South Africa's Boers. Aussie detention centers have much in common with Gitmo. It really is very obscene.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 18 2019 16:32 utc | 88

It is not to be denied that every nation probably has a shameful past and a legacy that they cannot escape. To me, that is true all over the world. And when administrations change, they inevitably carry over some of the illconceived burdens of the previous administration.

I consider the New Zealand tragedy to be that current government's Bay of Pigs experience. And the current Prime Minister has responded as did President Kennedy after that. She has said "We failed to keep our people safe." She said, "We failed." Bravo, kiwi lady!

A young man in Australia did a brave thing. He cracked an egg. Bravo, Australian!

Our past does not define us. A better future does.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 18 2019 16:49 utc | 89

Does anyone have any links to information and evidence of Assad's complicity with the CIA regarding torture and black sites? I'm skeptical but open to convincing evidence. If there was a CIA black site in Syria, where? Was it in Israel occupied Syria or government controlled Syria? If Assad was partnering with the CIA, what happened that they turned on him?

Posted by: mourning dove | Mar 18 2019 16:51 utc | 90

@76 alaff, Thank you very much for the article! Very informative and finally a timeline!
By chance, has anyone run into anything new about the Maidan government's collusion with the Manafort investigation? NABU / FBI / "Party of Regions Black Ledger" Leshchenko sort of information.
Thank you B and all the MOA folks.

Posted by: roza shanina | Mar 18 2019 16:52 utc | 91

bevin @78--

I second your suggesting Crooke's latest. In fact, I'd really appreciate b reading and commenting or composing an article on the German aspects of the topic. His thesis begins thusly:

"It would be entirely to miss the point however, to reduce what is occurring to an argument over monetary and fiscal ‘austerity’. The ‘demand for change’ reflects also, another divide -- a cultural divide. It is a ‘divide’ that lies at the heart of Germany itself, as well as within other EU states....

"Physically, the German ‘divide’ is symbolised by the River Elbe which cuts a roughly diagonal line from the North Sea to the Polish-Czech border, and which has been more than just a waterway, for at least 21 centuries. Roman emperors dared not venture beyond the Elbe: It was the eastern border to Charlemagne’s empire, too. And it somehow signifies a cultural barrier which has persisted down into modern times - with drastic effect. Three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the rift between East and West Germany is still palpable.

"An AfD leader in Saxony-Anhalt puts it this way: 'Let me make this clear: the AfD doesn’t want a revolution, but we want a thorough reform to make Germany more suitable to the mentality of the East and the impulses that are set here'. He calls for a revival of 'classic Prussian virtues such as straightforwardness, a sense for justice, honesty, discipline, punctuality, orderliness, hard work and dutifulness' -- in juxtaposition to contemporary ‘guilt-ridden’, liberalism." [My Emphasis]

As Crooke notes, this "culture crisis" is present throughout what's known as the "First World" nations--which are primarily Eurocentric, including the Outlaw US Empire. However, the crisis also exists within EU's economic structure and was in-built at its birth. So, it would seem the only way out of these twin crises is to break the EU since it appears unreformable.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 18 2019 16:54 utc | 92

Does anyone else see the similarities between the current push in Venezuela and the Haiti coup in 2004?

"Canada's Liberal government was instrumental in gathering together an exclusive coterie of international players to lay the foundation for Haiti's coup.
"Their first meeting, the so-called “The Ottawa Initiative on Haiti” (January 31 - February 1, 2003) was held at the federal government's conference centre on Meech Lake near Canada's capital.

"We now know, thanks to Access to Information, that this confab on “the current political situation in Haiti” was “envisaged to be of a restricted and intimate order to facilitate a free exchange of views and brainstorming among the invited participants.”

"Those invited to this so-called "free exchange" did not include a single Haitian, not even from the wealthy corporate elite that was so instrumental in facilitating the coup. Besides El Salvador's Foreign Minister, participants were exclusively from North America and Europe. They were also homogenous in their opposition to Haiti's President Aristide and in support of replacing him with an imposed, occupation government.

"The meeting's host was Denis Paradis, a Quebec Liberal MP who was Chrétien's Secretary of State for Latin America, Africa and the Francophonie. Canada's future Foreign Affairs Minister, Pierre Pettigrew, was also there, as were two U.S. State Department officials, Mary Ellen Gilroy and Otto Reich -- a long-time coup plotter, propagandist, and veteran of the Contragate scandal. Also on hand were the US representative to the Organization of American States, France's Minister for Security and Conflict Prevention and the Francophonie's Administrator General.

"The Ottawa Initiative" was presumably supposed to remain secret, but in March 2003, Paradis leaked some details to journalist Michel Vastel, who wrote about it in L’Actualité (March 15, 2003).

"Canada used every conceivable diplomatic trick to bring down Aristide's elected government and then legitimise the coup-installed regime.

"On February 5, 2004--while a murderous band of ex-military and death-squad leaders launched a campaign attacking Haitian government facilities, police stations and health clinics--Liberal cabinet minister Pierre Pettigrew met with Paul Arcelin. Described as the terrorist's “political mastermind” and “spokesman," Arcelin also served as diplomatic representative in Cana

"At the UN Security Council on February 26, Canadian, U.S. and French diplomats dismissed Caribbean Community (CARICOM) calls for a multinational force to protect Aristide's elected government from a coup. While Jamaica’s Foreign Minister warned, “Immediate action is needed to safeguard democracy [and] to avert bloodshed,” U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham told Aristide to resign.

"Canada, the U.S. and France immediately recognised the illegal coup regime, but CARICOM's 15 member states, Venezuela and the African Union's 53 governments all refused diplomatic recognition and demanded an investigation into Aristide’s exile...."

Two things strike me about it.
First, that Canada was reassuring the US that, despite not being able to join in the attack on Iraq, it remained a loyal, arse licking vassal.
Second, that the coup was carried out to prevent a conjunction, already begun, between the Chavez government in Caracas and Aristide's immensely popular government in Haiti.
Historically the precedent, of Simon Bolivar seeking asylum in Haiti and liberating Venezuela with the assistance of the Haitians, is important.
It is ironic that Haiti's current crisis stems, in every sense, from the cooperation between Aristide and Chavez, not to mention their popular constituencies. It is sinister that, once again, a "Liberal" government takes the lead in providing ideological cover for the brutal-Conradian-Empire.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 18 2019 16:55 utc | 93

", there's little difference between Aussie and Zionist policy, and a shared mindset with Cecil Rhodes and South Africa's Boers." karlofi

Given that Cecil Rhodes was the Boers' most powerful antagonist you may be unfair here,to one or the other. Not that they did not share an arrogant racism, though in Rhodes case the Boers were regarded as inferior, too.
It goes without saying that Aussie policy was not very different from Canada's and, though on a smaller scale and over a shorter time frame, almost as bloody and bad as that of the United States. Of whose racial and land pirating policies Hitler stood in awed admiration.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 18 2019 17:02 utc | 94

I didn't see your reference to Crooke. I agree with you. A German view on the EU and Brexit (not to mention Greece) too would be very interesting.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 18 2019 17:05 utc | 95

mourning dove @91--

The case of Canadian Maher Arar's the best known. It was very early in Assad's presidency, 2002, when he was rendered. It's highly likely compartmentalization sealed Assad from any knowledge of what specifically happened to Arar, but I'm not certain about the overall program itself. CIA Activities in Syria is a Wikipedia account that has good basic info. This Arar interview provides additional details. Beyond those are hundreds of other search results for Syria rendition. The notes provided at the Wiki link look promising for further exploration. Rendition as policy began with Reagan, although it likely existed in an unofficial manner since CIA's inception.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 18 2019 17:15 utc | 96

bevin @95--

Thanks for your reply! I didn't mean to convey that Rhodes and the Boers were allied in any manner other than their shared mindset. Admittedly, Western Colonialism was/remains Genocidal and its affects still bear Strange Fruit all too often.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 18 2019 17:24 utc | 97

>>>>> mourning dove | Mar 18, 2019 12:51:08 PM | 91

It's pretty well established that the Syrians tortured prisoners for the CIA during the Hafez al-Assad regime. Canadian citizen Maher Arar was one of the more infamous cases. I can remember a Jordanian intelligence officer at the time claiming that the United States sent people who had valuable information to Jordan for it to be extracted by torture, those the United States wanted just to suffer were sent to Syria. The prisoners to be tortured were handed over to the Syrian authorities. Mehdi Hasan who now works for Al Jazeera and The Intercept wrote this article for the Guardian.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 18 2019 17:27 utc | 98

The French BEA air accident investigators are now reporting there are ‘clear similarities’ between the two Boeing 737-MAX crashes.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 18 2019 17:38 utc | 99

Got that link wrong.

The French BEA air accident investigators are now reporting there are ‘clear similarities’ between the two Boeing 737-MAX crashes.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 18 2019 17:40 utc | 100

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