Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 31, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2019-18

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:

More morsels on the case:

El Pais: North Korean embassy assailants filmed the attack to prove their actions, say Spanish police

The 10 individuals who broke into the North Korean embassy in Madrid last month, assaulting staff members and taking audiovisual material with them, had micro-cameras that they used to provide evidence of their actions to whoever ordered and financed the operation, according to Spanish investigators.
The 35-year-old is a US resident with a Mexican passport who “owns several dubious companies and is in contact with various intelligence services.

Investigators are now exploring whether Hong Chang played a role “in other violent incidents against North Korean interests in other countries.” Near the Madrid embassy, the police found an Italian driver’s license belonging to Hong Chang but showing a fake name. The North Korean ambassador to Italy has been missing since January, and is presumed to have defected.
Investigation sources say the attack was perfectly planned down to every last detail, something that would require “significant infrastructure and financing, which the individuals involved lack.”
Even though the assailants – mostly young South Koreans living in the US and trained in military action – took away the hard drives of the embassy’s security cameras, the police was able to partially recover the footage before its automatic deletion. This is what allowed investigators to observe the intruders’ “extremely violent and professional” behavior, and to identify them.

The CIA cover group has gone silent. It may be that Adrian Hong gets another gig. Not again Libya from where he transferred Islamist to the Syrian war theater, but how about Venezuela?

Free Joseon says it is going on a hiatus

Most notably, according to AFP, Hong was spotted in Tripoli, Libya, during the Libyan civil war in 2011. He helped Libyan war victims receive treatment at hospitals in Jordan.

Mystery group tied to break-in at DPRK embassy in Madrid will suspend activities

Notably, the source said that South Korea’s embassy in Madrid also had some knowledge of the incident shortly before it took place and immediately after.

Presumably to prevent that the case gets buried, North Korea finally acknowledges the raid:

North Korea said Sunday it wants an investigation into a raid on its embassy in Spain last month, calling it a “grave terrorist attack” and an act of extortion that violates international law.
The North’s official media quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying that an illegal intrusion into and occupation of a diplomatic mission and an act of extortion are a grave breach of the state sovereignty and a flagrant violation of international law, “and this kind of act should never be tolerated.”

He claimed an armed group tortured the staff and suggested they stole communications gear.

Yves Smith: Boeing Doubles Down on 737 Max, Rejects Need for Simulator Training

Southwest Airlines contract with Boeing says that Southwest will get $1 million rebate per plane if 737 MAX pilots need extra simulator training for it.

Matt Taibbi: On Russiagate and Our Refusal to Face Why Trump Won

A long read about Pete Buttigieg, a Democratic candidate for the next presidential election.

    All About Pete

The rage with which the piece was written is beautiful.

You will be sold Buttigieg’s small-town milliennial neoliberalism the way they’re trying to sell you Beto O’Rourke’s skateboard neoliberalism. Hey kids, you like Medicare For All? So does this guy! But he’s young and from the Midwest and likes Hamilton! Bernie is old. You don’t need an old man. You need young hip progressivism.

Do not be deceived by this.

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on March 31, 2019 at 17:42 UTC | Permalink

next page »

Thank you b
"various intelligence sources", nobody wants to call out Mossad by name I guess.

Does anybody remember how the Intercept was supposed to be a platform for publishing the Snowmen leaks?
Glenn Greenwald is a big fat sellout with a big fat salary.

Posted by: mourning dove | Mar 31 2019 18:02 utc | 1

Snowmen lol. I actually previewed that comment but I missed that :p

Posted by: mourning dove | Mar 31 2019 18:08 utc | 2

A long read about Pete Buttigieg, a Democratic candidate for the next presidential election.

Wonderful link, and I've already sent it out to relatives by email. Previously my only suspicions about Buttigieg involved his extraordinary vagueness about everything.

Pig-in-a-poke Presidents - I was badly burned by Obama and a bit more than half of the US has been taken to the cleaners by Trump. No more of that!

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Mar 31 2019 18:31 utc | 3

b. you should do a piece on invasions of Embassies and Consulates, which app. is becoming en vogue, as are appropriations of territory (the similarities, the differences)

This briefing by Maria Zarakhova mentions a few I wasn't aware of. At around 09:30 min.

Appalling precedents are created before our eyes.

Posted by: bjd | Mar 31 2019 18:43 utc | 4

well, that was fast
FBI has data stolen from North Korea embassy by anti-regime group
A group calling for the overthrow of Kim Jong Un has given the FBI data seized in a raid of North Korea's embassy in Spain, a law enforcement source says.

"....Receiving intelligence stolen from a foreign embassy in a NATO country puts the FBI in a delicate position, but there is no U.S. legal prohibition against the American government making use of the material, legal experts say....."

Posted by: michaelj72 | Mar 31 2019 18:49 utc | 5

Noel Casler worked 6 seasons of The Apprentice

Trump crushes adderol and snorts the powder.

Whereas, Obama maintained a cool composure as he lied - those whoppers!; and as he expanded Corporate and MIC power and Cut Taxes on the rich, while smiling and telling you he was on your side, but gosh darn it - those mean republicans....

Obama seemed the Cyborg. Not on drugs, but who knows? He's got Michael's big pecker, so he's content; and he'll make lots of money and live a jet set lifestyle of the rich and famous. Easy. He's smart and slicker than cat shite. He guided the USA farther down the path to the New World Order. No problem.

Now Trump and Dubya. These guys share certain drug induced behaviors. Harder to control. Neither is very bright or curious. Bit of a loose cannon, harder to control. So you see these ticks and twitches and highs and lows.

And Kushner. Too Young and inexperienced to do all that he does.

It points to puppet masters pulling their strings.

Trump just wanted some good looking pussycats to come up to his suite; and some hamberders.

Posted by: fast freddy | Mar 31 2019 19:04 utc | 6

"U.S. Regime blocks international waterway" [actual story, Reuters title story] ... "Iranian fuel oil cargo sits off Malaysia as U.S. urges sanctions compliance"
I cannot stand the tone of this article, apparently the U.S. was able to coerce Singapore and Malaysia into not buying Iranian oil. The story is peppered with the usual loaded terms such as, 'evading U.S sanctions' as if they are lawful. If Iran blocked access to the Persian Guld would we hear stories about Qatar and the Saudis 'evading Iranian sanctions'?

What got my attention post this common story was this statement ...

talks were to make sure Malaysian and Singaporean authorities “are alert and make important decisions about whether or not to even allow the vessels to come through their waterways.”

So now it is somehow acceptable to block a merchant ship from an international waterway? WTF. This is an act of war.

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Mar 31 2019 19:08 utc | 7

Thanks for another week of insightful and varied posts. Also for the CA link to the Buttigieg piece; invaluable.

Posted by: dilijan | Mar 31 2019 19:27 utc | 8

Download site is I’ve never previously used it.

Global Warming: Elements of Risk

Windows Reader

The other day I uploaded the reader and a book to another file hosting site. When I tried to fetch the address of the reader for this post I noticed both links had been wiped out. Making a trial run of the current site caused a note to appear I hadn’t seen before – this is a 7-day trial run. So if you have the slightest interest in this, don’t delay.


Swiss Re produced its first publication on climate change - Global Warming: Elements of Risk - in 1994. This report was ground breaking for the simple fact that it came from a financial services company and argued that the repercussions from climate change “could be enormous, with threats posed not only to citizens and enterprises, but also to whole cities and branches of the economy, even entire states and social systems.’’ With that as a starting point, the company has continued to establish its leadership position on this issue through efforts aimed at building awareness with clients and the broader public. Between 1995 and 1998, the company released four publications and conducted three client seminars on the topic.
So this isn’t a bunch of giggling liberal snowflakes getting excited about the latest 'ecology' fad. Swiss Re is a huge company which insures ordinary Insurance Companies when they encounter a “Katrina” or something like the latest Midwest Flooding which might otherwise break their bank accounts.

The report writer declares at the start his audience includes “insurance specialists”, “catastrophe protection experts”, and “decision makers” of many kinds. The reason I kept the file was a point made at the end of the report. It has haunted me for quite a long time.

”Once We Know For Sure, It’ll Be Too Late”

Twenty five years have passed since this was written, and it may already be too late. But I think we owe it to ourselves to try to bypass the corporate psychopaths and the know-nothing politicians who have come and gone since 1994.

Bill Clinton – worthless
George Bush – worthless
Barack Obama – worthless
Donald Trump – worthless

Trump looks especially bad because he has been the most honest of the four. He knows nothing, and cares less, but the man is willing to come right out and brag about both his ignorance and indifference. Quite unlike the others who pretended “to care”. Are there any candidates for Congress or the Presidency who really are concerned? I don’t know, but we’re running out of time to find them. If these people exist. If there is still time.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Mar 31 2019 19:35 utc | 9

More and more "resistance" type Twitteratti get shadowbanned, that is, their posts dont appear in the Twitter feed though they are visible on their profiles. Find out if you are shadowbanned here:

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 31 2019 20:33 utc | 11

Oh and txs to fellow barfly dh for the previous link..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 31 2019 20:35 utc | 12

Robinson is dubious. The politics of Buttigieg doesn't omit being gay. Omitting to comment on this gives his game away I think, which is to savage the gay guy. The kinds of things wrong with Buttigieg characterize practically every female candidate talked up. Robinson is probably #metoo feminist and woke, but there is a lot of anti-sex in #metoo, especially male sexuality, which gay men tend to have.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 31 2019 20:37 utc | 13

@ steven t johnson #14

The politics of Buttigieg doesn't omit being gay. Omitting to comment on this gives his game away I think, which is to savage the gay guy.

I'm not sure what "omitting to comment" means, but my browser found six instances of the use of the word "gay" in the piece as well as the phrase "his sexuality".

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Mar 31 2019 21:16 utc | 14

@ Lozion #12

Until recently I didn't know the word "shadowbanning", but that was what happened to me several years ago. The managers of the Indianapolis Star had given their forum to the tender care of a mix of Libertarians, rightwingnuts, and devoted followers of the Holy Cesspool south of Syria. Gradually I realized nobody was responding to my posts, and only by accident did I learn those posts were invisible to everybody else. Only when I was logged in could I see them myself.

So that's why I have gone cold turkey on the only Indianapolis newspaper. I'd recommend it only for folks whose parakeets need a lining for the bottom of the bird's cage. Their editorial page works best for that application.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Mar 31 2019 21:24 utc | 15

It truly amazes me that there are people who apparently can not understand the motivations behind Climategate.

Its a movement backed by the elites using the power of their foundations and control of science and government. Between the government and the foundations hundreds of billions have been spent in research grants, subsidies and development of a technocratic infrastructure to reach their objective. Their objective is total control of people using Technocratic Tools to limit energy and food resources and indirectly reduce life expectancy. They will determine who gets credit and how much credit and control who can marry, reproduce, travel, etc. A green religion will serve as the new opiate of the people so they will surrender their freedom and sacrifice for others to save the planet from being consumed with fires from Hell due to mans CO2

Insurance and finance companies as well as economists /accountants rub their hands in glee anticipating the rewards.

Insurance companies can raise premiums justified by false climate models which will increase profits.

A Federal Reserve researcher warned in a report on Monday that “climate-based risk could threaten the stability of the financial system as a whole.” But possible fixes — using the Fed’s buying power to green the economy — are currently against the law. Oh joy, change the law to give the Fed more buying power. BTW, who do you think is going to control and trade all those carbon credits. Same guys who control and trade the reserve currencies.

Big Oil? They get to eliminate their competitors,preserve their finite reserves, knowing full well that the world will never be free of oil consumption and using their cash reserves to jump in and control subsidized alternative energy markets. Exxon does not even bother funding climate research anymore and the Rockefellers are all in on Climategate.

Demand for economists and accountants will explode with a GND as will salaries, and don’t think they don’t know it (just follow nakedcapitalism to see how eager they are).

Posted by: Pft | Mar 31 2019 21:33 utc | 16

open thread stuff - via xymphora site

Shot 25 times while he was asleep

No doubt some of these brave peace officers will be promoted for their unbelievable heroism and courage in the face of such danger.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Mar 31 2019 21:56 utc | 17

@17 Pft

Exactly! You'd think with so many governments, elitists, compromised "scientists" & non-critical thinkers on board with AGW/CC & the carbon tax scheme, that that would be a red flag justifying further research & examination, but no...

Then again maybe I'm just suffering from Oppositional Defiance Disorder...

Posted by: xLemming | Mar 31 2019 22:09 utc | 18

Zachary Smith@15 apparently thinks a long article on candidate Barack Obama back in 2008 that mentioned he was black six times would have been an in-depth analysis. Buttigieg has zero chance because he's gay, which means the article is entirely unnecessary. It's only purpose is to keep any gay male from getting even a hint of approval as overdue representation, which is what almost all the mob of moderate/semi-moderate women have to recommend them. It's a pre-emptive strike.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 31 2019 22:14 utc | 19

open thread

Arbitrator sides with Ontario parent who refuses to immunize children, cites anti-vaccination 'expert'

That "arbitrator" might as well be a judge, for his ruling is legally binding. In addition, he ruled the father of the children (who had wanted his kids vaccinated) must pay $35,000 for his ex-wife's legal fees. The story also mentions how the kids in question became ill with whooping cough during the legal proceedings.

So the US of A has added "stupidity" to its list of exports to the world.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Mar 31 2019 22:16 utc | 20

All about Pete was awesome.

Don't miss the final section, "A Plea For No More Pete's".

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 31 2019 22:17 utc | 21

@ steven t johnson #20

Zachary Smith@15 apparently thinks a long article on candidate Barack Obama back in 2008 that mentioned he was black six times would have been an in-depth analysis.

If I'm not mistaken, you believe mention of the word "gay" 6 times in an opinion piece having 11,400 words was unjustified.

I'm curious: what number would you have preferred? Zero? Two hundred?

As a matter of fact I've been getting a little worried on account of "Pete" receiving a lot of favorable publicity lately. After seeing the article I'd say that's because he is a satisfactory stand-in for the likes of Obama or Hillary - someone the nation's Elites could like a lot.

Can't have a crazy Socialist elected as President, can we? That is something I think I can declare "Pete" definitely isn't.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Mar 31 2019 22:31 utc | 22

@12 Zachary. Yeah I first encountered the phenom during the last days of the 2014 Euromaidan while reposting info on Facebook about sniper fire coming from opp held rooftops. I couldnt understand why interaction on the subject stopped until someone confirmed via the chat that none of my posts with the word "Ukraine" appeared in the feed. They must've triggered FBs early filter algorithm. I have since left the Ministry of Truth..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 31 2019 23:55 utc | 23

Zachary Smith
I want to thank you again for making me aware of Palestine:The Reality. I'm about 2/3 through it now. I had only a very vague outline of the events following the Balfour Declaration. Jeffries account of this period is so richly detailed, and many of his statements are so relevant today. Unfortunately, I was about halfway through when I realized that I should have been taking notes, or saving certain passages. I'll go through it again after I've finished it and try to pick some of those things out of it. I am really appreciating it. Thank you.

Posted by: mourning dove | Apr 1 2019 0:29 utc | 24

@b - thanks for the link to Current Affairs. How do you find the time to read all this?


The essay, "All About Pete" is a superb piece of political commentary. The author elaborates and demonstrates its every nuance to illustrate his deconstruction point by point. It's a diligent work, and in the end a skillful plea to see through the meaningless nature of much of today's political discourse.

The comments here opposing the article are in turn a superb demonstration of straw-man argumentation. It's all we'll get capable of opposing such a fine article. Sadly, we'll probably get it endlessly.

But the danger is much more clever than simple straw man.

As Robinson concludes in his essay, Pete will get very good at speaking the language of the electorate. The machine is going to groom only the finest looking people, and present only those most perfectly aligned with desirable attributes, and - ignoring all the nuts and bolts of policy - beat us down with only the most vacuous words.

I feel exhausted already. Are we really about to embark on another mortifying election spectacle?

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 1 2019 0:31 utc | 25

I second the thanks for the link to the article on Pete Whatshisname, and also offer thanks to dove for the link to the article on the shuttering of the Snowden archive at The Intercept (re: Jeremy Scahill, for whom I once had great respect, I wonder if the fear of Michael Hastings's fate was put on him?).
Thanks b, and barflies.

Posted by: robjira | Apr 1 2019 1:19 utc | 26

Ramin Mazaheri has started another 8-part series, and on China again. This time he takes on the Cultural Revolution, and describes its huge benefits from the evidence of the countryside, not the city. He draws from a Chinese study that is the first of its kind, deconstructing the Communist Party's own formal view of that outrageous event, and showing its great merits.

I have suggested before that our own prejudices concerning China are most in play when we examine ideas about that society that conflict with what we may have long believed to be true.

And if it's hard to overturn our conception of Mao, and start to see him instead as the great - and successful - revolutionary leader that most of China sees him as today, then even harder must be to overturn what we all think of the Cultural Revolution. This was the moment, there seems no doubt, that China went mad.

But was it really madness, or was it actually one of the bravest social actions ever undertaken, to uproot privilege and sow in its place the sapling of today's powerhouse economy, within a society that is eliminating poverty and sharing its wealth at the same pace as its productive capacity captures the world?

You decide: A necessary revolution in discussing China’s Cultural Revolution: an 8-part series (1/8)

Be careful with Mazaheri's opening paragraph. If you ignore the unnecessary point about gender equality and go straight to his main underlying theme of city and country inequality, you'll be where the rest of his writing is going.

Everything in a nations' culture happens in its cities. Its country is marginalized. News and history are written, war and peace are decided, laws and governance are executed, culture and arts are manifested, all in the cities of nations. But Mao saw clearly that 80 percent of China was in its country, not its cities, and this was where the injustice of old had to be rooted out.

The Cultural Revolution was targeted and enacted as a rural action. But its stories have all been written in the cities - until now, in this study that Mazaheri is distilling into his new series. He still recommends we buy the Chinese study, which is a unique memoir in English from those in the countryside who experienced the Cultural Revolution at first hand. It's unique data, never before sought or compiled.

Mazaheri also shows how the economic surge of China started, not with Deng and the Great Leap Forward, but ten years earlier in the Cultural Revolution itself, which actually gave rise to it. This one fact on its own should be enough to stop us and force us to ask, what in the world - and in economics - actually did happen at that time?

Enjoy the article. It's not that long. I've seen Jeff Brown suggest the benefits of the Cultural Revolution before, by the way, but not with as much data as this work promises.


By the way, Mazaheri in passing mentions the only other government-endorsed cultural revolution in the world, which is that of Iran. Mazaheri is Iranian, and has written about this in his series on Iran, also at the Saker - search the archives.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 1 2019 1:26 utc | 27

open thread

Late at night when I'm bored, but with a little time on my hands before bedtime I sometimes go to youtube and randomly roam around. Recently I found a flying demonstration which just took away my breath. And still does.

MIG-29 Showing Off

I suspected some kind of fake until I ran into another video with a Pakistani pilot doing a version of this. When I later watched two MIGs in a slow motion ballet a few feet above the ground, I had to stop doubting.

My impression of fighters dates to reading about WW2 and Cold War models. Jets just shouldn't be able to do this kind of stuff.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 1 2019 1:29 utc | 28

@ mourning dove #25

You're welcome. Two other titles I was going to recommend you watching for at your library are these:

"From Haven To Conquest" by Walid Khalidi and
The Transfer Agreement by Edwin Black

The former is a 900 page source book which includes 80 short pieces, one of which is from Jeffries "Palestine: The Reality". The second is about the agreement Hitler made with the Zionists to evade a world-wide Jewish boycott of Germany at a time when this would have hurt. Neither book is inexpensive, so I was surprised to see both of them at the Internet Archive available for downloading.

Tel Aviv City of the Jews 1939

This is just a short magazine article from 1939 describing life in a Jewish town in Palestine. The last two pages give a hint of the way the Zionists used violence and even terror against their fellow Jews to keep them in line.

Destiny Southern States

Another topic altogether, but this 1854 newspaper essay gives a taste of what the South planned for Central and South America. The Northern victory in the Civil War turned out to be badly flawed, but a Southern one would have brought on evils beyond imagining.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 1 2019 1:55 utc | 29

@ Grieved with the Saker/Mazaheri link

I have been reading snippets of this alternative perspective on the Cultural Revolution and appreciate having a link to this series....Thanks!

I am sending it out to friends that need a little more push to break away from the USA USA USA brainwashing

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 1 2019 2:28 utc | 30

Thanks bigly for Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone Why Trump Won article, b. In spite of his own antipathy, he has nailed the fact that Trump is a master at playing a crowd and controlling and/or hijacking a narrative. I couldn't help chuckling about his characterisation of Trump as vulgar - a view shared by every member of the Intellectual Snobbery crowd on planet Earth. But Taibbi deserves a Humble Pie Eater Of the Year prize for admitting it AND putting it in writing...

"I belong on this infamous list myself. In one of the worst mistakes of my career, I ended up changing my mind about “free-falling” Trump’s chances, spending the stretch run predicting doom for Republicans. I read too many polls and ignored what I was seeing, i.e. that even the post-Access Hollywood Trump was still packing stadiums."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 1 2019 2:39 utc | 31

ZS @ 29: Remarkable, but, sure looks like CGI stuff..

Posted by: ben | Apr 1 2019 3:07 utc | 32

reply to
ZS @ 29: Remarkable, but, sure looks like CGI stuff..
Posted by: ben | Mar 31, 2019 11:07:08 PM | 33

It is CGI, but the reality is close to it. Not the upright positioning just over the field, but close.

Posted by: frances | Apr 1 2019 3:15 utc | 33

@ Zachary Smith, ben and frances

I can't speak to the video but if you want to the see the real thing in the US go to Saline valley in Death Valley where Air Force pilots play. They fly low enough for you to see them wave to you from the cockpit and blow tumbleweeds all around while they blast your ears out. At night they come in low so you don't hear them while you are in the hot springs tubs and then stand the plane up over your head and turn on the afterburners......Our tax dollars hard at work

The view of the Milky Way from Saline valley is amazing but not as good as almost anywhere in Australia......

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 1 2019 4:03 utc | 34

@ frances #34

So I was suckered? The machines looked to be too small to be real fighters, but far too large to be models. Besides, I didn't think even a model airplane could do that sort of thing.

Time to learn skepticism!


Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 1 2019 4:12 utc | 35

Robjira@27 You're very welcome
I was so angry after reading that article, it's inexcusable. Part of the answer might be found here-this is kind of an old article, but it's a good overview of the owner of the Intercept. You might appreciate reading it.
If you are interested in a more in depth look at Omidyar, this is the last of a 3 part series, with links to the first 2 parts in the intro.

Posted by: mourning dove | Apr 1 2019 4:23 utc | 36

Zachary Smith
Thank you again, I appreciate the recommendations. I'm going to read the articles now and then look for the books.

Posted by: mourning dove | Apr 1 2019 4:33 utc | 37

Zachary Smith
I'm not familiar with file dropper, not sure how to access the articles.

Posted by: mourning dove | Apr 1 2019 4:37 utc | 38

"CGI" has been something I knew about, but only in theory. I had no idea the art had advanced to the point "reality" could be closely approximated. Then I remembered some headlines.

Police body cams can be tampered with: Researcher
August 17, 2018

Something has to be done about the security of those things, and who has access to them after an "incident". Already police forces tend to drag their feet as long as possible on their public release while they do their 'internal investigations'. What's to prevent them from hiring a shadowy outfit to make some alterations. Seems to me a skilled professional could create a mighty convincing remake of that "incident". The changes could be quite subtle - like a hand convincingly moving towards a pocket or elsewhere. Just enough to provide 'cover' to the police. The policeman said it happened that way, the camera now says it happened that way, and the other guy is pushing up daisies.

I can imagine framing somebody in a retail store by doing a "reverse pickpocket" and slipping the expensive item into their pocket, then preparing some footage showing the newly minted criminal stealing it. Good way to take down a politician you don't like... Ex-wife... Boyfriend who jilted you...

You want to get rid of an employee? Have the security cameras show him spying, doing sabotage, or even molesting another employee. The CGI guy would have as much raw material as he could possibly need from old footage.

Voices: a relative told me of her getting a call from a 'Sheriff' demanding money to release her grandson. She didn't recognize the kid's voice and refused. What if the voice had been an exact match?

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 1 2019 4:54 utc | 39

ZS @ 29: Remarkable, but, sure looks like CGI stuff..
Posted by: ben | Mar 31, 2019 11:07:08 PM | 33

The steam in the exhaust is an intriguing feature. Oz Petrol Heads used to add water-injection to the goodies on their cars in the '80s. Not sure why. But it must do SOMETHING if it's been added to the goodies on an MiG.

Anyhow, forget the aerobatics, I want a movie camera which will lock-on to a moving air craft and keep it centre-screen with zero deviation for more than half a minute.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 1 2019 4:56 utc | 40

@ mourning dove #39

It's just a file hosting site. When I click on the link, I see a bunch of graphics which include (on my browser) a big gray button labeled "Download This File". Clicking that turns up a simple captcha to complete, and then my standard download screen appears offering to "open" or "save" the file. DJVU files need the Windows Reader from my #10 post - unless you're using Linux. My Linux desktop has a built-in viewer for these files. I'm told the Android Store has an app for phones to read djvu, but I don't use the handhelds and have never tried it.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 1 2019 5:05 utc | 41

Zachary Smith
The first part of that is the same for me, but after the captcha it just goes back to the beginning without the download option. Maybe it's my phone. I'll make it up to the library soon with my laptop, there's some other stuff that I've been wanting to do there, and the weather is starting to warm up a little. I'll try again from my laptop, I'm using Linux so it shouldn't be a problem.

Walid Khalidi has a number of books that I'd like to read. I'll look for him at the library too. The Internet Archive has mislabeled what they have, it's something else. Not sure what's up with that. A couple of other sites had it though. I'm looking forward to reading it, and The Transfer Agreement. I'm aware of the agreement, but not in detail.

Thank you again for the suggestions, I do appreciate them, very much.

Posted by: mourning dove | Apr 1 2019 5:30 utc | 42

psycho h @35 A friend and I were soaking in the Sunrise pool at Saline Valley and were treated to a mock dogfight between an F16 and an F22; pretty amazing stuff (this after having been buzzed by what I took to be an F18); we may not have public health care, high speed rail, or other perks associated with "first world" living, but we have some kickass war toys.
dove @37 Many thanks, I will check those out. I've read one article that sheds some light on Omidyar; I guess it should come as no surprise that The Intercept vacilates between "safe" investigative reporting and imperialist stenography.

Posted by: robjira | Apr 1 2019 6:35 utc | 43


Thank you for that comment I will enjoy that series and I salute Mao and his return to liberate rural china. I am reminded of a book that influenced my early years of changemakin: Village at ten mile inn. It covered the weeks and months of social and land reform as the communist liberation forces swept over the japanese and kuomingtang reactionaries. I t detailed the ways villages reorganised, redistributed and took power from the accumulated wealth of the ruling class.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Apr 1 2019 6:48 utc | 44

@Zachary Smith #29: If you want to see the real thing, watch this: Sukhoi Su-30MKM Dances in the Sky over Singapore with Thrust Vectoring Maneuvers. The “gravity-defying” stuff you like starts at 6:30. The plane is piloted by Royal Malaysian Air Force pilot Lt. Col. Mohd Faizal bin Abu Bakar.

Posted by: S | Apr 1 2019 7:41 utc | 45

I agree with the author who dissected Pete B.'s auto-bio, but here's the problem I have. His analysis is way too long. Less words; more INTUITION please. Why can't people recognize vapid, or stupid or corrupt or megalomania right off, like me? Why do they need to be woken with a litany of so many words??? I could have told you Mayor Pete is an empty suit without a jacket in fewer words. He's an establishment upstart. I might come off as pretentious but INTUITION should be an essential pre-requisite for every human being. No, it's not like judging a book by its cover, quite the contrary. Give me the rumpled Nader, the goofy-looking Kucinich, the bottle cap specs intellectual Chris Hedges, the disheveled curmudgeon Sanders, the skinny yammering Ron Paul and I won't pre-judge! However, put a slick-talking Obama in front of me and I'll cry foul, fraud and coward! Put Trump in front and I'll look away in total disgust.

There are no really good choices except maybe Gabbard and Sanders, but right now I'd hold my nose for anyone who can beat Trump and then from their frst day on hold their feet to the fire all the way.

Posted by: Circe | Apr 1 2019 7:48 utc | 46

On the subject of ass-holes, traitors and political trash, the creature from the black lagoon reared its ugly head again to spake this treachery against Jeremy Corbyn:

Posted by: Circe | Apr 1 2019 8:04 utc | 47

pfft there was no climategate, the motivations were by some goddamned corporate shills to cherrypick quotes to smear the scientists and the science, and here you are many years later pretending it was some kind of legitimate criticism. yeah, i know, fossil fuel companies are powerless to defend themselves by funding science, right? just like big tobacco. stop the oppression of giant corporations, comrades, etc. i can't believe you keep trying to sell this crap.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Apr 1 2019 9:27 utc | 48

@ 49

And meanwhile your species of denier keeps selling the "green capitalism", "green new deal"-style crap, that your inherently ecocidal civilization can exploit and produce and buy and sell and destroy its way to a healthier climate, end the mass extinction, etc. The binge must go on, at all costs. That way you hope to complete the destruction before the lights go out on you for good.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 1 2019 9:52 utc | 49

@40 Science has developed software that allows you manipulate video with an actor.

If my memory serves me correctly, Nvidia has taken this further, using their video (graphics) cards.

Here is a link to the original demonstration

Essentially, video is now untrustworthy as evidence...

Posted by: Some Random Passer-by | Apr 1 2019 9:55 utc | 50

Hoarsewhisperer @ 32

i called Trump's victory three or four months out based strictly on the slew of videos showing the enormous crowds come to bask in his glow.

well, he's still doing it. the prosperity gospel endures.


Posted by: john | Apr 1 2019 10:38 utc | 51

Zachary Smith, you were only half hoodwinked. The footage is genuine but the MiG is a model- that's why it's captioned "Essential RC" as in Radio Control.
Models are essentially more aerobatic due to their low polar moment of inertia.

Posted by: Cousin Jack | Apr 1 2019 10:41 utc | 52

@51 Some Random Passer-by

Deepfakes for video and voice style transfer for audio.

Posted by: TJ | Apr 1 2019 11:49 utc | 53

Multiple US airlines facing delays due to system outage

Posted by: arby | Apr 1 2019 12:21 utc | 54

Russ @50 et al:

There are some significant substantive differences between the Green?Blue!Deal (the one those 42 Senate Ds plus one D-leaning independent "strategically" didn't support last week) and the #realDeal -- the Green Party's version, summarized at

and covered in more detail here:

Posted by: John Anthony La Pietra | Apr 1 2019 12:35 utc | 56

"Woman attacks 2 veil-wearing teenage girls in Turk3y (CCTV footage)"

Real title should have been: "J3wish woman unprovoked attacks muslims in public in Turk3y".

"Because 'we are the j3ws'. We gobbled up Pal3stine, the G0lan, Eastern Syr1a, North Gr3ece capital, the ME and now we will goble up West 1nstanbul. We like to gobble up stuff and Real Estate all around the world. Nom Nom Nom! M.A.G.A! Long Live Yisrae1! Support the Y1non!".....

Grab M.a.g.a!

Posted by: Grab M.a.g.a | Apr 1 2019 12:39 utc | 57

BLOCKQUOTE>Most notably, according to AFP, Hong was spotted in Tripoli, Libya, during the Libyan civil war in 2011. He helped Libyan war victims receive treatment at hospitals in Jordan.

Copy cat Operation/s in 2013 but for Syria:
Targets: Gr3ek Emba5sy in Dama5cus. Some thousands of blank passports reported stolen after break in at the lightly guarded Embas5y with personel duties being suspended because of hostilities during Syr1an war 2013. About weeks appart local doctors of hospitals in major towns of Cr3te, identified 1srael1 persons acting as local security at 1srael1 "VIPs" "vacationing" in Cr3te, visibly carrying guns (gun holsters, ussualy attached at chest, waist, tied under the knees) that were visiting local hospitals at morning and afternoon hours inquiring repeatedly about total number of beds and ussual percentages of numbers about empty ones. Might even be exact same people.
I do believe after 2015 instead AirBnb was used for leasing appartments as cover. Maybe Mr.M.A.G.A's Son in Law - J.Kushn3r would give out logs if asked politely? Doesn't he own partly the servers locations or at least some traffic hubs appart from a large percentage in stocks of that real estate online venture?

Posted by: Grab M.A.G.A | Apr 1 2019 13:27 utc | 58

Interesting how the hit piece on Mayor Pete gets published right after Rush Limbaugh talks him up as the democrat to watch in the campaign. Rush made the comments respectfully, I might add. So the "Big Voice on the right" gets answered by a pipsqueak on the left.

Posted by: morongobill | Apr 1 2019 13:28 utc | 59

Posted by: john | Apr 1, 2019 6:38:59 AM | 52
(called Trump's victory three or four months out)

I picked up a useful amount of pocket-money by betting that Trump would scare he crap out of Crooked Hillary on Election Day. i.e. Trump may not win but it will be too close for comfort.

What I find most frustrating is that having openly challenged the supremacy of The Swamp, Trump can't afford to be predictable. The 'wait and see' Prez.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 1 2019 13:39 utc | 60

In the Comments of Craig Murray's current blogpost which touches on the alternative media:

April 1, 2019 at 10:38
As far as I can see the ‘alternative media’ has largely ignored the Integrity Initiative. It’s been Kit at Sputnik who has kept banging away on that topic. As per usual, the ‘alternative media’ is too busy claiming that having a black person in a film is ‘cultural Marxism’, complaining about feminists, and accusing random people of being child molestors. The ‘alternative media’ being little more than a white Christian identity movement at this point in time…"

Which elicited this reply from Murray:
craig Post author
April 1, 2019 at 10:57
"I think you are conflating the terms alternative media and alt-right. I would include this blog, Moon of Alabama, Another Angry Voice, Wings Over Scotland and arguably Sputnik as examples of alternative media."

Posted by: bevin | Apr 1 2019 13:45 utc | 61

@ S | #46

Oh my! Best part - that's a far more convincing video.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 1 2019 14:03 utc | 62

Zachary Smith@23 asks a rhetorical question about how many mentions of "gay" would have been enough. It was his error to think simply saying the word serves as discussion. The first place is whether Buttigieg is doing an Ellen, playing nice, nice, nice to keep from frightening the horses. The second is whether Buttigieg as an outsider has any hidden sympathies for other outsiders. The third is what kind of gay politics Buttigieg practices. The fourth is whether Buttigieg is a candidate free of "toxic masculinity," and thus a superior candidate. The fifth is whether a gay candidate deserves a look because representation is a common standard nowadays.

Robinson is doing a hatchet job based on an autobiography, without even bothering to wonder Buttigieg has likely been practiced at passing as just another regular guy, hiding his true self. Even in its own terms this is kind of stupid. I don't know what Buttigieg is really like, but I don't care because Buttigieg isn't getting nominated. And unlike Robinson I'm not working for some woman whose record has been just as bad or worse for much longer.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Apr 1 2019 14:11 utc | 63

Grieved @28 Thanks for the link. Neglect of the peasantry has been the abiding failure of socialists for most of the past two centuries. I am now going to read the book that he reviews in his 8 part series.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 1 2019 14:18 utc | 64

The 757 and 767 are a more obvious airframe to build upon, as a response to the Airbus the new 737MAX design was very poorly thought out, it's airframe vs. engine placement and thrust. Having trained on Boeing 767-300ERs myself a pilot becomes very in tune with it's quirks and it does have them, speed bugs and so on. When you watch certain aircraft taking off in routine operations, unreasonable angles of attack V-speed, now many pilots will engage 1 autopilots minutes after take off while flaps are partially extended still(it stabalizes a positive rate of climb), this is so that the aircraft is more efficient, cost effective and reaches it's crusie altitude and destination on time. The 767 has 3 autopilot computers, 2 of them recieve data as to angle of attack and speed when the stall warning activates as the stick shakes, the autopilots are off, period, no more input from the computers other than warnings - these too can often lead to confusion and sometimes with fatal results. Sometimes you will re-enage one after you've corrected the airspeed(nose down) and stall to regain and maintain a efficient airflow lift. Although in some cases the pitot tubes malfunction to due ice, so trusting what the machine was telling the pilots can be fatal.

The pilot simply cannot take full control the aircraft when he needs to do so. Hence the pilots in the 737MAX cases scrambling to work through the problem by checklist, if you're doing this something is going wrong and will be wrong.

Ever notice the difference between a soft smooth landing and a 'rough one' that shakes passengers - note these are totally normal landings, the compueter assisted ones in clear blue skies and calm winds are not. That's the pilots on a VFR or visual landing which the computer usually tries to interfere with, if a hybrid semi-assited landing, especially on an ILS glideslope in bad weather. A pilot should know these skills but many now do not. They have to rely on the input from the computers and Boeing tried unsuccessfully to introduce this new MCAS system seamlessly, when you've got 3 auuopilots why is only 1 recieveing the flight data of angle of attack and v-speed?!

Posted by: Gravatomic | Apr 1 2019 15:23 utc | 65


"...Give me the rumpled Nader, the goofy-looking Kucinich, the bottle cap specs intellectual Chris Hedges, the disheveled curmudgeon Sanders, the skinny yammering Ron Paul and I won't pre-judge! However, put a slick-talking Obama in front of me and I'll cry foul, fraud and coward! Put Trump in front and I'll look away in total disgust..."

Well said, Circe, until you get to Trump. Seems like a non-sequitur - at least as far as 'rumpled, goofy-looking, disheveled' go, although I'll grant he's not skinny (does yammer though) and definitely not an intellectual. Love your list, though - and maybe 'total disgust' does describe the spirit of those voting last time around. Whose integrity I'll continue to maintain was as indicative of the sheer frustration of the US citizenry as will be what we face ahead in the 2020 (shudder) 'election season'.

I can't prognosticate, but there are fissures in the dam of democracy. And we're getting a ton of rain and melting snow in the heartlands here.

Posted by: juliania | Apr 1 2019 15:31 utc | 66

Does anybody remember those Princeton studies that showed that the US is an oligarchy not a democracy, and that public opinion has zero effect on public policy?

Posted by: mourning dove | Apr 1 2019 16:15 utc | 67

The Brits are demonstrating with their arrogance a fine example of what will happen when you try to outsmart and screw others. You can't have your cake and eat it too! This is the well-deserved lesson that Brits are getting.

Hey, Boris, you want your people set free from pharaoh? Here's a plane, jump. Oh, you want pharoah to give you a Golden parachute too? FU!

Posted by: Circe | Apr 1 2019 16:24 utc | 68

Correction to @68
Public opinion has a "near zero" effect on public policy.

Posted by: mourning dove | Apr 1 2019 16:45 utc | 69

mourning dove

Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens

When the preferences of economic elites andthe stands of organized interest groups are controlled for,the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 1 2019 17:27 utc | 70

Thanks jackrabbit
I'm not sure why you addressed that to me though.

Posted by: mourning dove | Apr 1 2019 17:35 utc | 71

Although his article's thrust begins with China, Pepe Escobar's latest has an excellent translation of a comparison made between Russian military professionals and the current "acting" actor in charge of the misnamed Department of Defense and its "Trojan Horse" strategy. To go beyond Pepe's description, he links to a Red Star article translated and published at Southfront that deals with the recent general assembly meeting at Russia's Academy of Military Sciences, which covered the following:

"At present, we are seeing the expansion in the variety of kinds of war, and their content is undergoing significant change. There are more actors participating in armed struggle. In addition to sovereign states’ armed forces, various bandit formations, PMCs, and self-proclaimed “quasi-states” also participate.

"We can expect active use of economic, political, diplomatic, and informational pressure, as well as demonstrations of military force in order to enhance the effectiveness of the non-military measures. Military force is used when non-military methods have not succeeded.

"Moreover, Russia’s geopolitical rivals do not conceal their desire to achieve their political aims through not only local conflicts. They are preparing to wage war against 'high-tech adversary' using high-precision weapons from the air, sea, and space, and active information warfare.

"In these conditions, our Armed Forces ought to be ready to fight wars and armed conflicts of the new type using classical and asymmetric methods. Therefore the search for optimum strategies for waging wars with various adversaries acquires paramount importance for the development of theory and practice of military strategy.

"We must review the form and content of military strategy, principles of preventing wars, preparing for wars, and conducting wars. We also ought to further develop various forms of using the Armed Forces, mainly in the realm of strategic deterrence, and continue to improve the organization of the state’s defenses."

Pepe also links to his most recent Hybrid War discussion, which I provided here earlier, that if you missed it you should add to the cocktail. I should note that Strategic Culture has several other items worthy of perusing, particularly the ones by Bridge and Samo.

And I'd be woefully remiss on April Fool's Day if I didn't mention the fact that a comedian got the highest vote total in the Ukrainian election and will face Porky only because diaspora Ukrainians in Russia weren't allowed to vote for "security reasons." Otherwise, it's likely Boiko would have finished 2nd, which is a shame for Ukrainians.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 1 2019 17:49 utc | 72

@ mourning dove | Apr 1, 2019 1:35:20 PM | 72

I'm not Jackrabbit, but I'll bet Jackrabbit will confirm that he kindly supplied the link to the Gilens & Page article because your previous post, beginning with "Does anybody remember those Princeton studies..." could readily be read as a request to provide the source.

I thought so at first too, and then realized that you may have simply been reminding readers of its existence.

Posted by: Ort | Apr 1 2019 18:00 utc | 73

@73 karlof1

That's a great piece by Escobar, and it contains snippets from his talk with Ishchenko, which I recall he said was coming but which I don't think I ever saw anywhere until now.

I have to quote this perfect illustration of Putin from Ishchenko:

Putin understands that both the loser and the winner lose in the confrontation. Therefore, he always offers a compromise for a long time, almost to the last opportunity, even to those who clearly do not deserve it, moving to other solutions only after the opponent has clearly crossed all possible red lines and can pose a threat to the vital interests of Russia. An agreement based on consideration of each other's interests is always stronger than any short-term ‘victories’, which tomorrow will result in the need to reaffirm their status of the winner again and again. It seems to me that Putin understands this well. Hence the effectiveness of his actions.

As to Pepe's main theme, that the Pentagon is hardening its stances, it's well reported, and fits nicely with the latest piece from Whitney Webb, which Escobar linked form his Facebook page, by the way (I get a lot of good "heads-up" links from there). I'll post it in the next comment.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 1 2019 18:16 utc | 74

@Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 1, 2019 1:49:10 PM | 73

Good stuff, preemtpting the preempters, the beheamoth|(The Elephant and Tiger), the US was slow to get this new warfare into motion because of GWOT.

Russia has leap frogged over to this new hybrid warfare and beyond. Russian common sense I would say.

Yeah, Aprils fools! who get's the last laugh? How cynical we have to be, what are ordinary western Ukranians thinking. I'm sory they never were the brightest bulbs in the chandalier.

Posted by: Gravatomic | Apr 1 2019 18:23 utc | 75

more from #75

Speaking of hardening, Whitney Webb's latest shows exactly how the US plans to act in Venezuela:

Guaido Set to Enact Uprising Rooted in US Regime-Change Operations Manual

Webb's story is about the newly developed RED team, the "sole contractor" to USAID with regard to Venezuela. The piece illustrates both the exact playbook to be used in Venezuela and a hardening of stance in the covert activity sphere equal with the military sphere's hardening that karlof1 cites @73:

For instance, one respondent asserted that the RED Team system would “restore the long-lost doing capacity of USAID.” Another USAID official with 15 years of experience, including in “extremely denied environments,” stated that:

"We have to be involved in national security or USAID will not be relevant. Anybody who doesn’t think we need to be working in combat elements or working with SF [special forces] groups is just naïve. We are either going to be up front or irrelevant … USAID is going through a lot right now, but this is an area where we can be of utility. It must happen.”

This seems to speak a lot of the Trump administration's true ambitions in the Rambo theater of fantasy and cruelty. This RED team is armed with cash and weaponry for offensive violence, along with an entire vocabulary of institutional words that almost seem harmless until you explore the implications, as Webb does.

I have to say in passing that I just don't know if we've ever been able to see so clearly before - i.e. at the level of one magazine article citing the published declarations of the actors - the exact and precise methods by which regime change will attempt to be imposed on a target country.

Presumably Gerasimov and the rest of the Russia team are hip to every one of these moves, and will counter effectively and creatively.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 1 2019 18:24 utc | 76

Thank you. It didn't make sense to me. I'd have thought my comment @70 would have clarified that, but my communication skills are ineffective at times. I didn't include a link because I think that if someone is invested in believing that an election will bring about any kind of substantive change won't read something that disputes that belief but that anyone interested might look in to it themselves.

Posted by: mourning dove | Apr 1 2019 18:26 utc | 77

Well well...What do you know?
MSNBC: "Did Sau di Ar abia Intentionally Hack Bezos' Phone?"

It would only make sense that even owners' of WP assets would be tampered with. Why stop with some columnist named Kha shoghi right?
Though nobody ever posts the real culprits name. We just say "various intelligence services" or "the C I A" or the Saudi s etc etc. Because they are the big mean Global Kompromat Machine working for the oligarchs at London who run the Global Circus, aren't they?

Posted by: All Things Pegasus | Apr 1 2019 18:30 utc | 78

Re:737MAX, it also started to make sense to me that many pilots will program their FMC in a similar way, everything goes into that flight management computer, from the flight number/weight/fuel/number of legs/to crz efficiency. A 767 can be flown by hybrid-assist autopilot while the LNAV VNAV is turned off, as in we the pilots will tell the aircraft when to bank and what direction next, not the FMC connected to the autopilots. In older aircraft, this may be different according to airline policy, cost index and o on. I suspect that the pilots on the new 737MAX were stil programming the FMC, unexperienced pilots, that control \LNAV and VNAV, I prefer to leave the FMC disconnected from the 1st autopilot. It's wacky, and sometimes, providing bad info based on it's input.

Posted by: Gravatomic | Apr 1 2019 18:35 utc | 79

So this Buttgig guy is gay?

Here is the way the CIA planned it from way back in Ronald Raygun's presidency:

PotUS 41: Bush Sr, CIA Don.
PotUS 42: Slick Willy, recruited by the CIA to report on anti-war activism from Oxford back in 1968.
PotUS 43: Bush the Lesser, raised by the CIA.
PotUS 44: Slick Willy's ambitious cling-on who forced her way into the CIA scheme back in the 1970s. Intended to be the first woman President. This symbolic faux-progressive "victory" was intended to paralyze what remains of America's left while she worked for the interests of the capitalist elites. Plan failed, but not too badly. CIA candidate who was doing the trial run for PotUS 45 and getting some election cred won instead. "No big deal!" sez the CIA, "44, 45 and 46 are all interchangeable anyway." Instead we get America's first Black President, which serves to paralyze the left with identity politics in exactly the same way that the first woman President would. (Aside: Obama's mamma was a CIA mule channeling financing to death squads in Indonesia via the CIA cutout the Ford Foundation. The CIA crime family keeps tabs on all of their used assets in case they get chatty and need to be quieted down. This brought boy Obama to their attention and allowed them to groom him from infancy to be their tool)
PotUS 45: Originally intended to be the "First Black President!" but switched out for Clinton when plans SNAFUed in 2008. Hey, "First woman President!" works just as good to choke criticism from the left, right? Right?
PotUS 46 (2024): What can you follow "First Black President!" and "First woman President!" with to leverage identity politics and render the left impotent? Why, the "First gay President!", of course! With a name like Buttgig they are shoving it right in our faces.

But the American electorate threw a monkey wrench (or an orange buffoon?) into the works and screwed everything up. Trump was just floated as a "heel" (pro wrestling term) or "foil" to be beaten, and in the process of being beaten reinforce the identity politics of the victor and discredit populism. Not having any better ideas, and not having any idea why their plans failed, the CIA is just charging ahead with their idea of installing a gay President in 2024 and giving the electorate some exposure to their tool now. Unfortunately for the CIA and neoliberal establishment, Trump's unexpected win ("Damn you ornery American voters!") has mortally wounded identity politics as an ideology, so the corporate mass media has tons of work ahead of them for getting plans back on track, if it is possible at all.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 1 2019 18:38 utc | 80

Grieved @75--

Thanks for your reply! The Red Star paper is great and allows one to judge what Russia's learned from its Syria experience. Note how the bomber visit and specialist transfer both served to confound the Outlaw US Empire's Trojan Horse attempts. Then there's likely backchannel diplomatic action that occurred with South American nations to deter the planned military aspects of the operation. The hysteria displayed in US rhetoric confirms the effectiveness of Russia's response. I presume China's closely watching; and unlike with Syria, its vocal response was very important to be heard by South America. Some here have written-off Brazil and suggested it be barred from BRICS, which I see as 100% wrongheaded. I also sense pressure being applied to Ecuador over its criminal treatment of Assange. Oh and do please note the mention of the relationship between military science, national security and the economy in the Red Star piece and think about the massive inefficiency Pepe notes:

"Call it Russia’s response to Made in USA Hybrid War. With the major incentive of being a value for money operation; after all the Russian General Staff, unlike the Pentagon, is not in the business, for all practical purposes, of stealing trillions of dollars from taxpayers for several decades."

Russia must be gloating just a little over the fact that it's already "won" the latest Arms Race before it's even began. Imagine the US military trying to operate on a $40 Billion/yr budget. The quantitative and qualitative differences are so vast they're gross. One wonders what Russia could field if it were provided with $5 trillion over 10 years!

Adding to its mix, Guatemala and Honduras are now threatened along with Cuba and Nicaragua. Gee, will Trump reinvade Puerto Rico too?! I think they're coming unhinged in the Swamp as the world's beginning to laugh at the Naked Ape Emperor's Agents. Saudi has definitely stated the nuclear bribe wasn't enough to get it to endorse Trump's Golan declaration, and many are asking WTF regarding what seems a clear violation of the NPT. And so it goes. Looking forward to whatever "heads-up" links you provide!

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 1 2019 18:53 utc | 81

One wonders what Russia [military] could field if it were provided with $5 trillion over 10 years!

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 1, 2019 2:53:08 PM | 82

There exists a low of diminishing returns, and the aspect that people often neglect is that at some point the again from, say, another billion dollars, becomes negative.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 1 2019 19:05 utc | 82

Adding to its mix, Guatemala and Honduras are now threatened along with Cuba and Nicaragua. Gee, will Trump reinvade Puerto Rico too?! Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 1, 2019 2:53:08 PM | 82 (great post!)

karlof1 overlooked that Guatemala and Honduras are not threatened with an invasion but a cut in subsidies, and Puerto Rico is very much on the receiving end (with they share of angry tweets too). 1st hit in "Google News: Trump + Puerto + Rico":

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 1 2019 19:17 utc | 83

Karlof1 @82

Agreed. Writing off Brazil (and India and South Africa for that matter) just because the empire has succeeded in swinging an election or two in those places, or because the empire's lawfare scams seem to be working at the moment, is a mistake. These conspicuous successes of the Empire of Chaos, as Escobar calls America, do not significantly change the anti-imperialist attitudes of the populations in these countries. There will be backlash against the fascists in Brazil, and the right wing leaderships in governments elsewhere in Latin America that the US has maneuvered into place as these leaders fail to deliver material gains to their populations. And fail they will considering we are in late-stage capitalism.

Posted by: William Gruff | Apr 1 2019 19:29 utc | 84

Jrabbit @ 71; Thanks for the Princeton article, and to md for the reminder of the system we are all caught up in.

Which brings me to the Mueller report, the Republican version of the Benghazi cover-up. Both designed, IMO, to suck the oxygen out of any debate about issues the American public cares about. Health care, infrastructure repair, minimum wage increase, and other vital issues, will now be shoved to the back burners. Which, I think, is very satisfying to our ruling oligarchs.

We'll see how long this new distraction lingers...

Posted by: ben | Apr 1 2019 19:42 utc | 85

P.S. Re my 86; The point of both cover-ups, obviously, is cover for illegal behavior on both accounts, but in the last analysis, it benefits the ruling classes by distracting the peons.

Posted by: ben | Apr 1 2019 20:07 utc | 86

William Gruff @81--

Thanks for that agenda recap! And for a pointed, unstated, reminder that voting does make a difference. And to undo that CIA scenario, Grass Roots promoting and voting will be paramount in the nomination campaign--even for the Republican nominee.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 1 2019 20:11 utc | 87

Jonathon Cook writes "Three lessons from the ‘failed’ Mueller inquiry"

Just as too many on the left sleep-walked through the past two years waiting for Mueller – a former head of the FBI, the US secret police, for chrissakes! – to save them from Trump, they have been manipulated by liberal elites into the political cul-de-sac of identity politics.

At the end Cook predicts that if the US elects an equivalent to the UK's Jeremy Corbyn (now who might that be?) he will "undoubtedly face a Mueller-style inquiry, and one far more effective at securing the president’s impeachment than this one was ever going to be."

That's an angle I hadn't thought of in terms of 2020, but I've long said if President Al Gore had refused to attack Iraq, President Lieberman sure would have. There is more than one way to skin a cat, if you get my meaning.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 1 2019 20:31 utc | 88

Zachary Smith@30
A very interesting old article and a good reminder not just of what the Slave Power has always wanted-starting with Cuba and raiding and raping all the way to Cape Horn-but that the coalition behind Trump is the Slave Power of old reincarnated.
And much of the blame for creating the political conditions necessary to produce this falls on the practitioners of Identity Politics who with their constant whittling away at society that looked as if it might be about to form a community, have ensured that the handful of weird extremist positions that Trump attracts- the fundamentalist bigots, the islamophobic racists, the dregs of an idealised Confederacy, Zionists, warmongers and opportunist filibusters- while actually fronting for the oligarchy of wealth is now in a position where it can set out on a campaign of recolonisation in Latin America.
The point has been made-William Gruff@85- that there is no future in this, that the Macris and Bolsonaros cannot last long and that the masses in South America will end up by getting rid of them.
But that doesn't bother Trump, Bolton, Pompeo and their mob. They think quarter by quarter. Immediate gratification is the name of their game. They know that "in the long run we are all dead". And they don't care what happens then. Just as they don't care-genuinely don't give a damn- about the environmental disasters and the demographic cataclysms which is our real Rendezvous with Destiny.
Talking of the Slave Power reminds me that Robert Rhett, the nullifier and seceder from South Carolina, was famous for arguing most fiercely with those closest to agreeing with him. That is a suicidal political habit into which Trump's natural enemies and Latin America's natural friends, the left, have long practised. Identity politics, shattering every coalition before to can gell, is an example of that.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 1 2019 20:46 utc | 89


Trump was just floated as a "heel" (pro wrestling term) or "foil" to be beaten, and in the process of being beaten reinforce the identity politics of the victor and discredit populism.

How, pray tell, is Trump Hillary's 'foil' when:

1) Trump was the ONLY (MAGA!) candidate in the race after Kissinger had urged MAGA in his WSJ Op-Ed of August 2014 (10 months before Trump entered the race) as he called for a response to the challenge raised by Russia-China;

Note: Hillary is a big fan of Kissinger, as was McCain. Kissinger describes the Russia-China challenge as "grave crisis" to the global order/NWO.

2) Hillary (not Trump!) did things that made no sense if she wanted to win the election (alienating progressives and whites, taking the black vote for granted, etc.)

Trump did his part, but that 'part' wasn't to be Hillary's "foil". He promoted the Russiagate narrative by hiring Manafort and calling on Russia and Wikileaks to release Hillary and DNC emails, and talking in a way that suggested his admiration for Putin. Russiagate helped CIA/MI6 to portray Wikileaks as a Russian 'agent'.

The Deep State wanted a populist nationalist and that's what they got.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 1 2019 20:49 utc | 90

One of my Twitter sources is touting in this thread an essay by Joshua Landis:

"This 👇by @joshua_landis is MUST READ on this critical period of #Syria ‘s modern history. This thread is merely a brief summary of this outstanding chapter detailing how and why Damascus found itself entering the 'resistance camp' nearly 70 years ago."

It can be found here. This is its thesis:

"In retrospect, it is easy to argue that Syria should never have pushed for war in Palestine. Had Syria not acted as the whip in the Arab League driving the others toward war, the United Nation’s partition plan might well have been carried out; and Israelis would have lived in a much smaller country. After all, who can deny that the Palestinians would have been better off had the Arab League not entered the conflict? King Abdullah was determined to work out a peaceful partition with the Jews; the British were ready to oversee it."

I've yet to read it and am passing it along based on the recommendation cited above. The recap of it provided within the linked thread certainly prompts curiosity.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 1 2019 21:12 utc | 91

@ bevin #90

But that doesn't bother Trump, Bolton, Pompeo and their mob. They think quarter by quarter. Immediate gratification is the name of their game. They know that "in the long run we are all dead". And they don't care what happens then.

Your viewpoint is the same as that of Jonathon Cook. He says "Russiagate" was a faction fight between two groups of the Power Elites. One wanted to keep 'putting the lipstick on the pig' which is predatory Capitalism, and the other wants to let it all hang out and rape the planet NOW. Just as there was a clueless "liberal" cheering group for Mueller, the Looters have a fan club among the "right". Both sets of the applauding groups are just puppets. And of course neither has recognized their true role in the unfolding dramas.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 1 2019 21:14 utc | 92

Hi Mourning Dove @ 25, these are two other good books on Israel and the USA. Perhaps you will enjoy them.

Truman, American Jews, and the Origins of the Arab/Israeli Conflict -
John B. Judis

Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine - Ilan Pappe"

The links are to the publishers' websites.

Posted by: roza shanina | Apr 1 2019 21:17 utc | 93

View from the Alt Right

Okay, I’m not really alt right, whatever that means, but I do enjoy reading their politically incorrect, uncensored blogs from time to time, just for laughs, and because they will say things that no one else dares to say

And as far as I can tell, NO ONE on the alt right is still supporting Trump. Most now refer to him as Blompf, or President Jew, and instead of MAGA, they now call his Agenda MIGA or (Make Israel Great Again)

Most on the alt right say they will not be voting again, but for those who are still planning to vote, it seems like the only Presidential candidate they support is the Asian American Democrat Andrew Yang, who’s running on a single issue, a Universal Basic Income (UBI) of $1,000 a month for every adult American, aged 18 or older

And I have no idea whether this support for Yang is serious, or whether they’re being ironic

Also, I’m not linking to the Daily Stormer here, of course not and yes, I know, I know, I’m a horrible person for occasionally visiting that site, but they do have an astonishing article up now, in case anyone wants to secretly check it out (the site has been censored and shut down quite a number of times so the latest address is dailystormer dot name, however I don’t recommend going there at all, because that would be anti-semitic)

Anyway, the article is called Pictures of Jared Kushner Monitoring his Goy Slave Donald Trump

The article starts off like this:

“Jared Kushner is in literally every single meeting Donald Trump has, monitoring him.

He is always staring directly at him with his horror movie like creepy evil face.

Just look at it.”

Followed by around 20 photos of Kushner starting at Trump, during his meetings

These photos are creepy as hell, and if a picture is worth a thousand words, it sure looks like Kushner is really the one in control here, and that Trump is just following orders

Posted by: Rafa Torre | Apr 1 2019 21:17 utc | 94

Caitlin Johnstone provides a new direction regarding Narrative Control:

"This is because no abuser is simply violent or cruel: they are also necessarily manipulative. If they weren’t manipulative, there wouldn’t be any “abusive relationship”; there’d just be someone doing something horrible one time, followed by a hasty exit out the door. There can’t be an ongoing relationship that is abusive unless there’s some glue holding the abusee in place, and that glue always consists primarily of believed narrative."

Currently, the best example of the above is MSNBC's Maddow who can't let go and continues to dig her hole ever deeper over the failure of Russiavape.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 1 2019 21:32 utc | 95

@ karlof1 #92

Everything would have been OK if only the dirty Arabs had stayed out of it? Nonsense. A casual look at the Zionist agenda dating back to the turn of the previous century showed they were going to steal for themselves a new homeland, and that meant the former residents had to either die or otherwise disappear. Consider the planning and maneuvering which went into preparing the stage for the Third Land Grab War of 1967:

CIA Discusses Jordanian Anger 1966

The king of Jordan had been busting his butt to get along with Holy Israel, so it was necessary to change his attitude. That 1967 war would have been postponed if they hadn't sufficiently enraged the king, for how else could they "defensively" grab the rest of Jerusalem and the West Bank?

The Brits were in on it from the beginning (Balfour) and despite all their thrashing around in the Twenties and Thirties they saw to it the Arabs were not well armed and ignored the Zionist arms shipments. During WW2 a very special Jewish Infantry Brigade Group was formed -with Jewish Officers - to give the Zionists state-of-the-art combat training. After WW2 with the right connections you could buy military equipment for pennies on the dollar, and the Zionists had those connections. During the First Land Grab War the Arabs didn't have a chance in the world, despite the pap people read in novels like Exodus.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 1 2019 21:34 utc | 96

add to 96--

Seems Max Blumenthal anticipated what Caitlin wrote, or perhaps it's the other way-round. Anyway, if it delivers on its title--The Management of Savagery--then Max will have returned to being the independent writer that initially made him important.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 1 2019 21:38 utc | 97

Juan Guaidó Confesses Being Behind the Sabotage of Venezuela’s Electric System

Just say it like it is. Follow Bolton, Abrams, Pompeo and Trump's examples. I don't think the VZ people will be intimidated.

Posted by: linda gentsch | Apr 1 2019 21:48 utc | 98

Random Dude's legal troubles escalate:

"The Supreme Court of Justice of #Venezuela ratifies precautionary measures to Juan #Guaidó: prohibition to exit the country, prohibition to transfer his property, blockade and immobilization of bank accounts or any other financial instrument in Venezuela."

"The Supreme Court of Justice imposes a fine on Juan #Guaidó and asks the National Constituent Assembly to lift the parliamentary immunity after Guaidó broke the prohibition of leaving the country."

What will be the next "Or Else" utterance by the Naked Emperor's Agents be? Will they threaten to throw the table holding all those possibilities? Perhaps also add the chairs?

Meanwhile, China delivers another freighter full of medical supplies.

Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 1 2019 21:50 utc | 99

That thesis specifically contradicts the Jeffries book, Palestine: The Reality, 1939, that I am reading now. The British made a treaty with Hussein promising the independence of Arabs within a boundary that included Palestine, which had traditionally been considered a province of Syria. This treaty was to enlist the Arabs in WWI as a British ally, and their assistance was incredibly valuable in many ways. Hussein consistently opposed Palestine being removed from the terms of that treaty and refused to accept partition.
As to the inhabitants of Palestine, even the existing Jewish communities strongly opposed the Zionist project. It is completely unfair, and a misrepresentation of the actual history of Palestine, to place any part of the blame for what had happened upon the Arab League.

Posted by: mourning dove | Apr 1 2019 21:54 utc | 100

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