Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 15, 2019

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2019-54

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

- Bolton Leaves the National Security Council in Ruins - Foreign Policy

- The Spy Who Failed - Scott Ritter / Consortiumnews - Recommended

- Look to 2013 787 grounding to see how Boeing will return MAX to service - Scott Hamilton / Leeham
- India Plans to Conduct Its Own Checks on Boeing 737 Max Jets - Bloomberg

"India plans to conduct its own checks and demand simulator training for all pilots before Boeing Co.’s 737 Max jets can fly in the country again, even if the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration were to clear the grounded jets ..."

- Iran Rejects U.S. Accusations Over Saudi Oil-Facility Attacks- WSJ

"The coordinated strikes forced Saudi Arabia to suspend production of 5.7 million barrels a day of oil, more than half of its output and over 5% of the global supply.
A U.S. government assessment has determined that up to 15 structures at Abqaiq suffered damage from the strike on their west-northwest-facing sides.

One person familiar with the damage at Abqaiq said the facility was “a wreck.” The person said production capacity was “heavily impacted.” "

Other issues:

- September 11 2001: 30 minute long on-the-ground footage I hadn't seen before
Mark LaGanga's WTC 9/11 Video (Enhanced Video/Audio & Doubled FPS) - Youtube

- 'Pro-democracy' protesters ...

SCMP Hong Kong @SCMPHongKong - 13:47 UTC · Sep 15, 2019
A video going viral online shows a middle-aged man being beaten up by protesters this afternoon. He was later found lying injured at Gloucester Road. Paramedics treated him; he was conscious vid

There were several such incidents today. These rightwing 'protesters' are extremely aggressive.

- On the demise of the Guardian
How the UK Security Services neutralised the country’s leading liberal newspaper - Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis / Daily Maverick

- American Renewal: The Real Conflict Is Not Racial Or Sexual, It’s Between The Ascendant Rich Elites And The Rest Of Us - Joel Kotkin / Daily Caller (!)

- The Only Way to End ‘Endless War’ - First, America has to give up its pursuit of global dominance. - Stephen Wertheim / New York Times

"American war-making will persist so long as the United States continues to seek military dominance across the globe. Dominance, assumed to ensure peace, in fact guarantees war. To get serious about stopping endless war, American leaders must do what they most resist: end America’s commitment to armed supremacy and embrace a world of pluralism and peace."

- President Trump Called Former President Carter To Talk About China - WABE, Apr 14, 2019

Carter suggested that instead of war, China has been investing in its own infrastructure, mentioning that China has 18,000 miles of high-speed railroad.

“How many miles of high-speed railroad do we have in this country?”

Zero, the congregation answered.

“We have wasted I think $3 trillion,” Carter said of American military spending. “… It’s more than you can imagine. China has not wasted a single penny on war and that’s why they’re ahead of us. In almost every way.”

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on September 15, 2019 at 14:35 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

All true. But looking at the spheres, I am beginning to wonder if the anti shia and anti Iran alliance has enhanced the attack to drum up support for a major counter strike.
The houthi strike made KSA look like a war zone, but judging by the lack of scorching on the spheres, they added nothing to the smoke and flames seen on the early pics out of KSA.
There is also the number of drones launched by the Houthi. Take out the eleven spheres and you have left over about the number of successful hits for the number of drones launched, as GeneO observed.
I found pics on twitter of one drone or cruise missile that had come down in the eastern desert so not all made it to target.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 16 2019 5:03 utc | 101

A UN experts' panel reported in January on the deployment of longer-range drones "that would allow the Houthi forces to strike targets deep into Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates."

. . . Beginning in August 2018, the Panel began noting the deployment of extended-range unmanned aerial vehicles with a range that would allow the Houthi forces to strike targets deep into Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Based on the evidence available, the Panel observed that, unlike in 2015 and 2016 when the Houthi forces used complete or partially assembled weapons systems supplied from abroad, such as extended-range short-range ballistic missiles, they now increasingly rely on imports of high-value components, which are then integrated into locally assembled weapons systems, such as the extended-range unmanned aerial vehicles. . . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 16 2019 5:09 utc | 102

Grieved 99

Russia has taken Trump's nuclear posture review seriously, and because of it specifically named Iran as an ally. I do not know of Russia ever actually naming another country as an ally.

As to if US will use its new doctrine or not on Iran is hard to tell. A number of strategic papers put out in the US speak of US having to reduce its number of allies down to a few critical partners and doing things (war) with just a few partners or on its own rather than forming large coalitions.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 16 2019 5:16 utc | 103

Greived @99:

I cannot agree with the unspoken premise in a lot of the speculation here that the US can attack Iran and get away with it.

Many of us could not fathom how Madeleine Albright and her neocon friends could kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children and claim: "We think it's worth it".

Guess what, they got away with it.

... recall how the bully acts when punched by the victim.

Well, the bully doesn't change UNTIL he's punched.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 16 2019 5:16 utc | 104

Grieved, Peter AU 1

I don't think USA would use nukes of any kind except for two circumstances:

1) bunker-busting (with use of nuke not acknowledged);

2) a major set-back like the sinking of an aircraft carrier.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 16 2019 5:20 utc | 105


Peter. Everyone keeps looking for false flag or similar as a way to provide justification for an attack on Iran. But no one has yet explained how it is even possible for the US to attack Iran AND bear the undoubted pain of the consequences.

Explain that, then maybe we can drum up some third-party incentive to nudge the US into an action that it CANNOT take.


Nothing changes the fact of the damage to Saudi oil production. Now, maybe the reports are wrong about the damage to production - this might change some things, but I don't see any reports or challenges here yet. So we have a measurable impact on KSA production that the US is planning to open its strategic reserve to help offset.

Now, maybe it's all a big mind game orchestrated from deep in the old rabbit hole. Or maybe it's as real as it claims to be, and the Houthi actually have the capacity and the connections to do what was just done. And the odds are strong that they can do it again.


Have you ever seen the root structure of mushrooms? Forgive my lack of scientific words, but they extend for hundreds upon hundreds of miles. Spore life exists in networks across unimaginably vast areas, and it contributes to the health of the soil in countless ways.

I suspect that Iran and its many "honorable and free" allies exists in a similar network through the entire region.

And wondering how objects or knowledge can travel without being seen by the clumsy folk on the surface or in low orbit is to miss the environment in which the action is happening. The Houthi, I suggest, are fully autonomous in their war effort. But they are not - and I say this in the fully mushroom sense - alone.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 16 2019 5:26 utc | 106

@92 psychohistorian - "What sort of attack to destabilize and degrade Iran can they get away with and not have their asses handed to them?"

I'm afraid you're wasting your breath, and I guess we both are, but the unproved assumptions in the thread regarding the military might of the good ol' USA - let alone, as you suggest, the geopolitical constraints imposed by Russia and China - are appalling.

The US cannot attack Iran because that battle is already lost. The US is outmatched and knows it. Hell, it was outmatched in Venezuela.

I have to go now, but glad to take the moment to chat and support your view.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 16 2019 5:40 utc | 107

@101 Don Bacon

Thanks for that reminder, and for your earlier contributions on the Houthi strike.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 16 2019 5:45 utc | 108

Its possible that a response is limited to Iranian assets and personnel in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. At least initially.

Just that alone would lead to increase US, British, French, Australian, etc. troops in the region. That could be an interim step. Iranian resistance to attacks then means further increases. A stealth build-up in preparation for a real attack.

But I think that with every passing day there is a fear that Iran restarts/advances its nuclear efforts. Nukes on an accurate missiles is a nightmare for USA-Israelis-Saudis. And that argues for attacks on Iran asap. Augmented by a "regime-change" uprising orchestrated by MEK.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 16 2019 5:45 utc | 109

@ Grieved
Thanks for your replies. All the factors you mentioned need to be taken into account when weighing up the pros a cons of a possible US strike.
Re houthi strike and spheres. The houthi strike created a lot of damage and spectacular smoke and fires, but those spheres are really odd. No scorching so unlikely any smoke and fires from them, and just the number of the spheres is too large for the number of drones the houthi say they launched. Also the accuracy. local sabotage - possible, but no scorching. They would have needed to be empty and most likely filled with inert gas to have the appearance they are showing.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 16 2019 5:46 utc | 110

Grieved @106: The US is outmatched and knows it.

We will soon see if Trump's "locked and loaded" tweet is any indication.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 16 2019 5:51 utc | 111

I believe that the military of empire knows that it is outmatched and that MAD would be the outcome of ANY use of nukes.

Trump is a TV bully that will be overruled by the military on any use of nukes or we are a failed species experiment and the MIC doesn't love their children

I agree with others and have posited myself before that WWIII will be over before 2020 US (s)elections

48K UAW workers are on strike, as of somebody's midnight, against GM and what can empire do to obfuscate their demands?

The house of cards is falling, IMO

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 16 2019 6:07 utc | 112

The International News bulletins were 'interesting' yesterday.
CGTN's snippet about the attack on Saudi Barbaria's refinery differed from reports from the West's Jew-controlled Media (JCM). Chinese Media described the Houthi as 'Houthi rebels'. The Christian Colonial JCM uniformly described them as 'Iranian-backed Houthi'. CGTN focused on the Iranian spokesman's dismissive retort to Pompeo's bluster and finger-pointing:

"The AmeriKKKan's Maximum Pressure policy has transformed into a Maximum Lying policy."

Given that Iran's stated policy is to reduce "Israel" to rubble if it is attacked by anyone, the chances of a military assault on Iran are remote - to put it mildly.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 16 2019 6:12 utc | 113

Looks like oil futures coming off their highs of the day.

Assuming Iran and its allies hold together, what sort of strike does not put Israel and the House of Saud in extreme jeopardy.

Posted by: necromancer | Sep 16 2019 6:17 utc | 114

to DontBelieveEitherPr @4<= I fail to see how Houthi war success implicates Iran; maybe you could produce some evidence.. ? Houthi, have admitted the feat, they have been making steady progress against the Saudi. If i were to look for a third party, I might suggest Oman; they are certainly at odds with the Saudi in Yemen

it is said, Trump said, locked and loaded waiting on Saudi Arabia..? Earlier before links were removed, it was discussed how easy it is to use off the shelf technology obtainable at cheap prices to assemble drone weapons. Is it possible the false blame 9/11 model, that invaded innocent Iraq, is being called upon to start a war with Iran?

Posted by: snake | Sep 16 2019 6:22 utc | 115

I would agree there will be no conventional strike on Iran. The test runs in Syria has let the US know the results.
The US as a declining power is going down but rather than preparing for and trying to soften the landing, they are fighting it all the way, trying to retain some form of dominance. Also, Israel seems to considered as a US state and is protected as such. Will the US still be able to do this when they have lost a lot of their power in the world.
Throughout history, countries have stated wars that lead to their own demise.
Trump, or the Trump regime, constantly bluffing. Perhaps this is all he will do or perhaps like a boxer feinting, he will strike if he sees what he considers a chance.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 16 2019 6:25 utc | 116

GeneO & Peter AU 1

As far as the scorch marks go, it would be even cheaper and easier to add them in photo production. At the level of resolution of the "declassified" photos you might even be able to do it in Photoshop Lite.

Posted by: Loneplateau | Sep 16 2019 6:28 utc | 117

If the Houthi knew anything about oil refining, they'd have known that the most obvious and vulnerable target for an attack would be the Catalytic Cracker(s).
A Catalytic Cracker is the heart and soul of a refinery and is the tallest structure in any refinery. Crude is pumped in at the bottom and heated to circa 300 degrees C. The temperature within the Cracker is very tightly controlled to enable various "fractions" of the feedstock to be extracted at different levels within the Cracker. Any lighter "fractions" which don't condense at the top-most extraction point exit to a tall vertical pipe, are ignited, and 'flared off' - which is the flame one sees when passing a refinery.

The largest refinery complex in the world would have multiple Catalytic Crackers.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 16 2019 7:19 utc | 118

In the satellite images it can be seen 17 points of impact in key infraestructures in Abqaiq with stunning precision; for example the holes in the storage spheres are all exactly in the same position, and all the 11 spheres hit
Posted by: DFC | Sep 15 2019 22:19 utc | 43

From the article:

"The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies in August had identified that region as the plant's stabilization area. That zone included "storage tanks and processing and compressor trains — which greatly increases the likelihood of a strike successfully disrupting or destroying its operations," the center wrote at the time."

Aha! The Houthis said they had local accomplices, now we know their names. CSIS provided the reconnaissance data for the drone attacks, according to their own admission, and (I assume) made it available directly to the Houthis via their website. MbS, you need to arrest CSIS immediately, imprison them in the same luxury hotel where you interrogated your fellow princes - i.e. strung up upside down by their feet - and "gently" (as normal) interrogated.

Hmm, the Houthis have got some more homework to do as well: Nice high-res satellite images provided by their other accomplices, the US government, showing exactly which targets have already been hit and which ones remain outstanding.


Posted by: BM | Sep 16 2019 7:24 utc | 119

Jackrabbit #85, I fully accept that analysis as well. From my observation Brennan is absolutely egomaniacle. His 25 years in CIA would mean that Russian intelligence would be fully aware of his motivations and quirks. I reckon the FSB would have been just as willing to burn their own plant in their employment if they could exploit that channel. After all the Russian Government only sacked him and I think that was their 'reward' for him being a useful idiot.

I view this circumstance in light of the immediately preceding major breach of USA national security by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who kept ALL her official email on an unsecured server at her home. There is every probability that it was regularly swept for info by a few foreign powers and all with impunity.

Perhaps the USA knows that all of their material flowing in that corrupted circuit is openly shared. THAT is the reason for russiagate and we are observing a side show.... still! I do not expect Barr to go there. But the Obummer/Clinton axis will never forgive Trump's campaign trail sarcasm/threat that 'perhaps the Russians could help USA find her emails' that Hillary claimed she lost.

Fascinating to watch this charade.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 16 2019 7:45 utc | 120

hoarsewhisper #117, thanks for that and that was my initial surmise. I dont take zero hedge too well and his clever image work is fine but the holes may well be critcal pressure resease valves etc. (there is a hint of bellingcrap nonsense here). I think i will wait for more images before leaping in too far. My guess is that it was indeed the crackers that were targetted as people talk about 'major damage', 'month plus to repair' etc.

I am sure that that Houthis gratitude for local loyalists was very important and that the shia solidarity is unshakeable.

It did cross my mind that if there is a dense array of radio telemetry on the crackers and fractionating colums etc, they would make a bold target to home on to. The Houthis have certainly won the battle here if not the war.

Do the UK and Israel buy much Saudi Oil?

My prediction is coup in KSA within a week or two.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Sep 16 2019 8:02 utc | 121

The sites that are blackened appear tobe mostly crackers or distillation towers. The spheres either were not hit, or whatever hit them failed to rupture the tanks.

Fox news "Only the Iranians, the world’s worst diplomats, would mastermind a significant attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities just days before the United Nations General Assembly opens."

Houthi did a reasonable amount of damage, but it looks like the US are trying to blow it up more with perhaps photoshopped images as Loneplateau suggested.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 16 2019 8:13 utc | 122

Who could those "loyal" to the Houthi's in Saudi be? Some possible answers might be found in this Margolis article:

Posted by: Blue | Sep 16 2019 9:49 utc | 123

Posted by: somebody | Sep 16 2019 0:25 utc | 63

"Trump has probably done to Republicans what Boris Johnson is doing to British conservatives just now - they are not going to recover for quite some time."

And meanwhile the Democrat Party leadership is determined to put up a literally senile retard as their candidate.

If only both Sodom and Gomorrah parties would destroy themselves once and for all.

Posted by: Russ | Sep 16 2019 12:50 utc | 124



Posted by: GENERAL WALTER KURTZ | Sep 16 2019 14:42 utc | 125

NYT today has a report strangely placed in Opinion section, strangely because it is a droll recitation of facts without any opinions. "Where the are fishes in the tap water and women uteruses fall out". It is about human conditions in eastern Ukraine, the part that was "liberated" from "rebels".

"Separatists" call these territories "occupied", and the report/opinion shows how indifferent and heartless the occupation is. There are several "practical reasons" for the abject deprivation described in the article, but one general reason: people who dominate the government of Ukraine absolutely hate the people under occupation. Pretty similar to Israeli occupation of West Bank.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 16 2019 15:15 utc | 126

lol.. @ 122 peter au quote "Fox news "Only the Iranians, the world’s worst diplomats...." that's pretty funny coming from the voice of america - fox news... are they trying to give the usa state dept a run for their money?? these buffoons no no bounds to their lies and bullshit!

Posted by: james | Sep 16 2019 15:16 utc | 127

"What is the chance that the SA oil facility attack was a false flag to divert global attention away from the UAW strike?"
Much more likely that the GM strike is designed to divert workers' attention from the corruption indictments against the last two UAW Presidents.

Posted by: bevin | Sep 16 2019 16:51 utc | 128

Helmer: Putin Endorses Netanyahu For Re-election - Shoigu and Lavrov React

"On Friday afternoon in Sochi, President Vladimir Putin kept Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waiting for three hours, and then publicly endorsed him for re-election. Putin's endorsement was unconditional: he could have warned against Netanyahu's election pledge, revealed last week, to annex the West Bank of Palestine, but he didn't. Putin could have warned against Israeli air force and missile strikes on targets in Syria, but he didn't.

'We have absolutely identical positions,' Putin declared, according to the official Kremlin record. Putin was speaking only for himself. That was made plain to Netanyahu during the Sochi session by the Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov..."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Sep 16 2019 17:27 utc | 129

Kotkin article:

The anger of the Third Estate, both the growing property-less Serf class as well as the beleaguered Yeomanry, has produced the growth of populist, parties both right and left in Europe, and the election of Donald Trump in 2016. In the U.S., this includes not simply the gradual, and sometimes jarring,  transformation of the GOP into a vehicle for populist rage, but also the rise on the Democratic side of politicians such as Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, each of whom have made class politics their signature issue.

The division into Estates is confusing, as the orginial 1st estate is The Royals (not mentioned), the 2nd estate, Clerisy, in Coleridge’s description, includes the media, cultural movers (absorbing what is often called in US contemp. terms, the 4th estate..)..The 3rd estate, originally Commoners is of course rift with splits. The analogy to ‘neo-feudalism’ fails. Pas sérieux.

Main reaon. Feudalism was, ressource-wise, tied almost exclusively! to land ownership, control. — Noteworthy that land ownership is a *taboo topic* in contemp. analysis, see for ex. the Church in Greece, never mentioned (by MSM, analysts, etc.) in the Greek crisis, nor for Brexit, large land-owners in GB, under the radar. Yet, see for GB (the report ref. to in article):

sidebar. C. H. Smith defines 9 classes in the US. Useful.

Kotkin imagines a kind of centrist politically correct stream, which is not defined, attacked by ‘populists’ from the ‘left’ and the ‘right’ rising in Europe, i.e. far away from the US, with the exception of the Trump election.

The GOP has not become a vehicle for populist rage, in fact the GOP is practically invisible in the MSM, international news, it is concentrated on conserving whatever power it has, and what is it doing on the ground? I’d like to know? Sanders and Warren have concentrated on class issues? Only marginally, and for the gallery.

I could go on, but the article is total BS.

see steven @ 1, makes great points in detail, which prompted my post, a summary of another kind.

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 16 2019 17:33 utc | 130


"The hits were extremely precise. The Yemeni armed forces claimed it attacked the facility with 10 drones (or cruise missiles). But the hits on these targets look like neither. A total of 17 hits with such precise targeting lets me assume that these were some kind of drones or missiles with man-in-the-loop control. "<

What is the problem with "precision target"?

Some commentators have explained in details of possibility of coordination and locking drone by some fixed signals emitting from ground, In couple of days ago. Assume an accomplice plants  two/three radio transmitters in refinery site, drones reach destination and lock to the ground signals, it will function more precise than GPS signal. That is it. Slow moving drone  functions more precise than fast moving missiles in this scenario. Why Houthi can not do it? They are doing almost every week on other fronts. They did a similar attack on Shaybah oil field on east of SA near UAE a month ago. This technique is cheaper and more precise than dinosaur technology of Raytheon and Lockhead. As long as some some signals from ground  are available it is doable.

Repair of Pressure vessels ( 30m dia) can not be done on site. Vessels can not be repaired, should be replaced. Pressure vessels  after fabrication goes to stress relief treatment heating chamber,  after stress relief documented properly, a certifying authority will issue a certificate, then an insurance company issue a safety certificate and approve it for use. Otherwise it will not be allowed to use on a site that foreign engineers and workers are working. Safety certificate of pressure vessels subjected to explosive attack are void. A repaired pressure vessel needs a fresh safety certificate. Without heat treatment and stress relief a safety certificate wont be issued.

Hallmark of the operation

There was no life lost, there was no casualty, no blood spill. That is the the main PRECISION point.  That is Shia hallmark. Other technical and technological points are ubiquitous.

Posted by: arata | Sep 17 2019 0:24 utc | 131

@131 arata

Thank you for all those points. They all fit perfectly. And there must be plenty of people inside KSA who have spent a long time meticulously mapping out every way to destroy the reign of the current monarchs.

I don't know why so many people keep looking for any other cause except the Houthi. Did the same thing happen in 2006 when the Israelis lost to Hezbollah? I suppose it probably did, but none of this denial changes the fact that the old ways have met their natch in the new ways, and the Houthi are very, very good at fighting - perhaps even the most successful in the entire region.

Personally, I am profoundly impressed by this strike. There's no way it was done by anyone less than great warriors.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 17 2019 1:09 utc | 132

And in Venezuela, AP reports:

Split emerges in Venezuela opposition over talks with gov’t

Sep. 16, 2019 at 11:00 am Updated Sep. 16, 2019 at 5:58 pm

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A minority group of opposition parties in Venezuela agreed Monday to enter negotiations with President Nicolas Maduro’s government without the participation of U.S.-backed opposition leader Juan Guaidó, eroding his efforts to hold together a coalition to confront the socialist administration.

The agreement was signed by representatives of several opposition parties alongside Maduro’s top aides in a nationally televised event attended by foreign diplomats.

It marks the first significant split in the anti-Maduro camp since Guaidó, as head of the opposition-controlled congress, declared himself interim president in January, citing what was seen as Maduro’s fraudulent re-election last year. Guaidó quickly drew recognition from the U.S. and more than 50 nations.


The attack on KSA's oil farm may take weeks to months. Never mind the bravado on releasing oil from the SPR. The orange one will need to tweet lifting sanctions. California says pretty please.

Posted by: Likkelmore | Sep 17 2019 1:33 utc | 133

Great posts! I am actually getting ready to across this information, is very helpful my friend.

Posted by: bubble shooter | Sep 17 2019 5:00 utc | 134

I read this morning that the US Fed is seriously into QE4 that started a few weeks ago

QE = privatize the profits and socialize the losses

Today the Fed bought $53+ billion of private finance dreck with $10+ billion being mortgage backed securities, I am sure of the best grade..../snark

We are in WWIII over the fact that China is determined to keep its core banking as a public utility rather than controlled by a private cult like global finance of the West.

Go to ZH and look for the Repo articles if you want more detail.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 17 2019 16:19 utc | 137

As a follow on to my QE comment above I should have added the additional snark quote from Obama in 2008....."Is all legal".

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 17 2019 16:21 utc | 138

Al Masdar News is reporting "Syrian military finds militant base hidden inside cave in Khan Sheikhoun".
The only caves in Khan Sheikhoun I've seen mention of are the ones that contained the Syrian Civil Defence base that featured so prominently in the black propaganda operation know as the Khan Sheikhoun Sarin Attack which seem to have been bombed by the Russians later on the day of the black propaganda operation.
BTW, when is the OPCW going to send a team to Khan Sheikhoun to investigate the operation. They might perhaps find traces of sarin in the paintwork.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Sep 17 2019 17:09 utc | 139

What it REALLY means to let Amazon take over all the book market

Posted by: Mina | Sep 17 2019 17:59 utc | 140

Serbia files (Part 3) released with link at tweet. Also, please read very important comment thread for some surprising info. More people are learning about Dilyana's work as shown by the vast increase in her tweet comments. You can get though to the article if you're persistent. I use my connection trouble shooter to get through the sort of block being used. Here's one damning paragraph of many:

"Silk Way Airlines, which the Saudi Ministry of Defence commissioned to transport the Serbian weapons on diplomatic flights, is an Azeri state-run company. Diplomatic notes, which were leaked to me in 2017, revealed that Silk Way Airlines carried out 350 diplomatic flights with weapons for terrorists in Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen and Africa. The flights were chartered by the Pentagon, Saudi Arabia and UAE. Diplomatic flights are exempt from inspections and air bills. The same air company, Silk Way Airlines, was chartered by the Pentagon to transport Serbian mortar shells to Afghanistan on 8 May 2018. Such weapons from the same lot as those transported to Afghanistan appeared in a recent Islamic State video in Yemen."

These happenings are all recent--2018-19--and prove TrumpCo's involvement in selling arms to terrorists.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 17 2019 18:19 utc | 141

I just read a short ditty on Reuters about the US suing Snowden for his new book, “Permanent Record".

It seems to me that will just increase sales because it validates the contents.

I hope all here have seen the movie, Snowden.....all Americans are not bad people but the current leadership is very compromised to the God of Mammon cult of global private finance.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 17 2019 18:37 utc | 142

Corbyn op/ed published. Yes, I know it's The Guardian, but its Corbyn's words, not theirs. It's the same proposal he made in his TUC speech, but all spelt out for everyone to read.

psychohistorian @142--

ACLU on lawsuit:

"This book contains no government secrets that have not been previously published by respected news organizations. Had Mr. Snowden believed that the government would review his book in good faith, he would have submitted it for review. But the government continues to insist that facts that are known and discussed throughout the world are still somehow classified."

Much more at link!

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 17 2019 18:55 utc | 143

Thanks for link to Dilyana
France certainly assisting the same people who bring weapons in Africa (resulting now in daily attacks in Mali and Burkina) and pretending to complain of the cost of having to keep its army there and of a lack of solidarity from the Europeans... SIC

Posted by: Mina | Sep 17 2019 19:13 utc | 144

But....what happened to this bar in my absence? I can hardly recognize anybody here...A total facewash or what?

Just almost landing from Cuba....Well, what to say? The island is like a garden in its whole, well, more exactly a barren terrain at all and lots of water...which gave me the hunch that they will never be left alone...They are having a hard time because of oil shortages...which affected my own movements ( thank you Americans!..) through such "paradise island" ( if it not were the unsuferable ( for me...) hot humid weather, ...But the island is also an American cars´ museum...Those damned witty Cubans managed to add to those flamboyant beauties the last advances in comfort, like air conditioning...and, dammit, they keep their cars so clean and brilliant I felt so much pitty for mine....

But leaving aside the touristic issues, I got to know that the symbiosis amongst the trio composed by the US mafia, US business community, and US Intelligence Services, did not start at that other infamous and fake "paradise island" of late topicality...but was well stablished in Cuba before the socialist revolution...spreading vice and corruption as if there was no tomorrow....Curiously, the other day, I was strolling alone through Museo de la Revolución, just placed inside of what was Batista´s presidential palace in Old Havana, when a thoughtful "tourist", who clearly idetified me as a compatriot, approached me asking if I had viewed the film The Godfather, and, in that case, if I recognized that salon with beautiful paitings as the one where The Godfather was dancing in a ball....Sadly, I had to answer that I had not viewed the film enough times so as to recognize the place, but that he should photograph the lounge to test it viewing the film again once back at home....

In one of the books they were selling at one corner of the museum titled The Mafia in Havana, Larsky was stating "we made Havana, and we could move to any other place if needed"...

For the rest, the myth of Ché is alive and well...venerated like a saint ( you must keep silent inside his mausoleum and can not go in with anything.., he reigns like a hero from his walking statue( yes Pat, in spite of your efforts...)in guerrilla he died with his boots put in...a thing others can not say...even when boasting all day of belonging to the higuest standards of the military...always in the leassons of everything...

Last, but no least, what to say of the Cuban people...charming, good and proud people in their necessity whose accesion to all branchs of education with no limits in time gets out real virtuoses in music...but the most astonishing is that innate rythm when they dance and move their bodies in winding undulating curves from head to toe...It is a beauty to observe how there is no patent racism in Cuba, where its population comprise all the possible tonalities from white to black... This is very patent in the multiple groups of son cubano ...In this, they, yes, really show like an island in their isolation where the destructive winds of racism, blowing from the opressor at the North, do not land....and most probably will never land...

A future oasis in a future fascist world?????

P.S: You have a really horrible bulding in Havana as shows like a bunker...just in front of an esplanade curiously called Tribuna harsh contrast with the beautiful Spanish embassy, strategically place in the limit of Old and Center Havana with astonishing views....

Posted by: Sasha | Sep 17 2019 21:06 utc | 145

@145 Sasha

Thank you for that wonderful report.

Posted by: Grieved | Sep 18 2019 1:17 utc | 146

While the US is tied up trying to tie Iran to the recent strike on Saudi oil, Iran and Russia have been connecting up their banking systems.
"Governor of the Central Bank of Iran says Iran and Russia have connected their financial messaging services to handle two-way banking transactions.

Outlining details of his talks with the Russian delegation in Turkey, Abdolnasser Hemmati said banks in both countries are now connected through the Russian SPFS and Iran’s SEPAM.

The initiative is to be used as an alternative to payments through SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) for protection against third country sanctions.

This was first reported by the Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov on Friday.

“To protect bilateral trade and economic ties from the sanctions of third states, we are taking measures to expand direct settlements, use national currencies, and establish interaction between the Russian financial messaging system and Iran's SEPAM, as an alternative to making payments through SWIFT", Ushakov told reporters."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 18 2019 9:32 utc | 147
"Gone are the days of wanting to be Americans or Europeans."

Interesting is that it is witnessed by USA person, who we can call "American missionary" of 1990s. Rotary club, etc.
Perhaps not malevolent, but definitely stepping down to less lucky lost nation, back then.

Posted by: Arioch | Sep 18 2019 9:45 utc | 148

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 18 2019 9:32 utc | 147 who wrote about Russia/Iran financial integration update

Thanks for that. I had read about the proposal and glad to now see it become a reality. I expect China to follow as well as other nations using China/Russia bypass to SWIFT/BIS private banking tools.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 18 2019 9:59 utc | 149

Below is a link about Erdogan's desire to create a safe city in Syria for refugees

Erdogan proposes creation of ‘refugee city’ at Syria peace talks

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 18 2019 10:13 utc | 150


We are watching the multi-polar world take shape. b's last thread on Iranian- Russian strategy, Grieved's comment on the Iran centered alliance in that region, and I thought about the networks being created, how two countries that are hostile to each other often have common friends that can mediate - all tying into the multipolar world.
This multi-polar world is not just about weapons systems or economics, but a new system including culture in international relations. A complete system and very attractive alternative to the post WWII US centric system.

I ran on to mention of the Iran Russia connection at Sharmine Narwani's twitter acc. A bit further down, she had this comment...
"If every country had Russian S-400s, there'd be no air wars. Sweet."

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 18 2019 11:02 utc | 151

@Posted by: Arioch | Sep 18 2019 9:45 utc | 148

That seems to be a loable initiative, I tend to distrust any US NGO, especially when including amongst its ranks "former CIA" ( like Ray MacGovern, former companion of Pat Lang at VIPS...)I find that this "intitiative", while showing an alleged very respectable goal, seems to be focused in recruiting "friendly" pro-American contact throughout the Russian Federation and to promote the capitalist system in Russia.

Call me paranoid if you want, but as I found you as a regular at Smoothie´s blog, being Smoothie one of the few people who can freely comment in Pat Lang´s blog, along with being also published by the US Naval Institute, well, allow me to suspect all the way of this "peaceful" way to infiltrate the RF population for possible future anti-government riots nation wide...

That the Russian people is not hostile to the US people is obvious since their government is not so, thus no need to go finding Russians friendly to the US. You just need to put pressure on your government to return to professional diplomacy and an environment of collaboration where is needed and win-win agreements. For that you do not need to travel to Russia, nor to anywhere. Do it at your own country....

BTW, that in my succint report on my last travel to Cuba, I forgot to mention that I got astonished at the almost inexistent expressions of hostility towards the US in Cuba. But this could well be out of the fact the Cubans are educated in love, instead of in hatred, which they see as a real lost of time and energy.
Very few expressed disgust with their government, is spite of the shortages, but these were those more prone to try to fool the tourist, the mafiosi style one could say, those who would sell their mothers into slavery again to improve themselves at any cost....Very few indeed....

Posted by: Sasha | Sep 18 2019 15:30 utc | 152

My today's reporting on US QE4 shows an over subscription to socializing the losses by the private banking system. As ZH reports
20 minutes after today's repo operation began, it concluded and there was some bad news in it: as we feared, yesterday's take up of the Fed's repo operation which peaked at $53.2 billion has expanded substantially, and according to the Fed, today there was a whopping $80.05BN in bids submitted, an increase of $27 billion, or 50% more than yesterday.

It also meant that since the operation - which is capped at $75BN - was oversubscribed by over $5BN, that there were participants who did not get the last-minute liquidity they needed, and that the Fed will see demands to either expand the size of its operations, or implement a fixed operation and/or transition to permanent open market operations, i.e. QE

Once again the American public is being screwed by the private banking system...but don't worry, it is all legal, as Obama told us in 2008.

As I have posited before and repeatedly, we are in WWIII and it is all about whether the world continues to be directed by a global cult of private finance owners or if sovereign owned public banking like China has will become dominant....I vote for the latter.

Get ready for the US to declare bankruptcy as I have also posited before is one of the potential strategies in this war.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Sep 18 2019 15:38 utc | 153

While being at Cuba, and through the few minutes of internet connection I could enjoy there... I could see that Pompeo has started on a diet....after having been nearly to explode...

It seems that the disagreements inside Trump´s WH go beyond those alleged with Bolton....

Posted by: Sasha | Sep 18 2019 19:46 utc | 154

Btw, on the winds of change...just knew a news most probably nobody told you about... that the municipal elections in Moscow were won by the Communists...then all the media tell you that the main oposition to Putin are the tinily supported liberals...

Of course, there is an international plot to bury the fact that there is a clear resurgence of communist and socialist ideas around the world...

In the municipal elections of Moscow the communists have won, although the Western media sell it to us as a borrowed vote. If he had won the right-wing opposition they would have opened the news.

Posted by: Sasha | Sep 18 2019 20:09 utc | 155
"TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Wednesday that the US has not still given him a visa for attending the UN General Assembly meeting."

One thing that must happen in the future is a chunk of US territory around the UN be cut off from the US and made an international territory. As US have and are abusing the privilege of having the US head quartered there, it may as well be US territory that is taken for an international territory.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 19 2019 5:40 utc | 156

I made my occasional web search "Tulsi Gabbard" and I found two gems. One was a reasonable, IMHO, article about her in Fox Nex. The second was a headline that I did not click (my brain has still some neurons to loose):

James Carafano: Venezuela is still carrying out Chavez's strategy to poison America, but Trump can stop it

A diabolic plan to contaminate our body fluids with fluoride? In good old time this was a stuff for comedies, and even in those comedies, it was raving of maniacs. Actual raving maniacs were a bit more sane. I must conclude that American scene lets you read as wide gamut of opinions as in my native Poland, from moronic to seriously insane.

NYT is good as moronic stuff. Nicholas Kristoff concludes comments on the most recent crisis:

Our task instead should be to cooperate with European countries to get out of this muck and find a way back into the Iranian nuclear agreement.

<<<< Almost reasonable, isn't it?

However, why dusting off the abrogated agreement and issuing instructions to the sanction apparatus to comply with it requires "cooperation with European countries"? Because Murkans are functionally illiterate? Some are, but surely not all!

More importantly, there is also Yemen issue that actually is the real cause. In the absence of Trumpian sanctions, Iran could be inclined to be more circumspect with assistance to anti-KSA Yemenis, but then again, the tolerance for starvation, murder and wholesale deprivation of fellow Shia would have some limits. But the policy of assisting KSA and UAE, for a fee, comes back to Obama, embraced by Trump, so it is hard for Kristoff to discuss.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 19 2019 12:56 utc | 157

Piotr Berman @157: Yes, lunatic theories, conspiracies, and cults are as American as Cherry Pie. We have always had a luxuriant growth of people here who intend to "make their own reality", and more than willing to pretend if real reality is not cooperative enough. In many cases as with TV-Christianity here it has gone mainstream, favors from the Diety on sale every Sunday. The jingo militarist factions here tend to get particularly spittle-flecked when one of their dogmas is questioned. The mass media has amped all that up until it comprise the majority of the content in media here, various kinds of political and marketing bullshit, all day every day, hunting you down wherever you go and trying to "nudge" you into doing something or thinking odd things you would never think of by yourself.

Posted by: Bemildred | Sep 19 2019 13:37 utc | 158

Posted by: Sasha | Sep 18 2019 15:30 utc | 152

> That seems to be a lovable initiative, but... seems to be focused in recruiting "friendly" pro-American contact

Which per se is the goal of any diplomacy, so it is not inherently evil.
"Sour friendship is better than good fight"

> Call me paranoid if you want, but as I found you as a regular at Smoothie´s blog, being Smoothie one of the few people who can freely comment in Pat Lang´s blog,

He can, me not :-)

Perhaps Smoothie has some privileges - maybe for being out of military cadre and working in that capacity for US gov't, maybe for being US citizen, maybe keeping conscious where Pat's berserk button is and careful to sweet-talk around it. Or maybe just for having blog of his own, whatever.

I don't quite recall when Pat started purges, 2017 or 2018, but I am non grata there :-D

> to suspect all the way of this "peaceful" way to infiltrate the RF population for possible future anti-government riots nation wide...

But this is two-way street, it may also be seen as bringing US citizens into Russia for brainwashing and tuning them to riot against benevolent DC regime.

> That the Russian people is not hostile to the US people is obvious since their government is not so,

1. I am not sure this implication actually holds universally
2. US MSM and peer pressure though claims that both gov't and Russians, being as we know genetically subpar to Americans, are hostile. For that purpose making first-hand account might be bursting a hole in the otherwise hermetic la-la-land of MSM and politicians.

> BTW, that in my succint report on my last travel to Cuba, I forgot to mention
> that I got astonished at the almost inexistent expressions of hostility towards the US in Cuba.

Which might be dangerous, exactly for "finding people friendly to US and willing to riot", don't you think?
I mean, if you think paranoia is needed to save Russia, then so should be for Cuba.

> But this could well be out of the fact the Cubans are educated in love,
> instead of in hatred, which they see as a real lost of time and energy.

Seems so. It is not that Americans are hostile to specifically Russia, it seems they have that in-bred ambient hate, "war of everyone against everyone". EuroUkrainians kind of.

Like three persons come together to start small repairshop. Good old American dream, right?
Then one person starts stealing from their common business, and kind of justifies it that another peer is woman and she does not know a thing about life, cars and repairs. All while his main investment was sharing part of his house for the shop.
So, yeah, he makes few good steals, then the business busts, then other shareholders come with police for their share of ex-business stuff, and in the end he has two peers less and one business less, but with unused empty garage in his house and what remained of his thefts.
And then he can not move on and tries to track that woman mates and set them against "evil b*tch", for years!

It is crazy. Like that story about poisonous snake over a turtle, and "her nature". Some urge to destroy everything shared? and to be the first one, so allegedly carving larger piece?

When about 2012-2014 there were articles in Russia that US society would get at one others throats as soon as economic pillaging of the rest of the world ceases, I considered them between wishful thinking and propaganda. I am not so sure now...

Posted by: Arioch | Sep 19 2019 14:59 utc | 159

Also there is that one ex-politician in America

"Macron .... current assignment .... taking advantage of Russia’s longing to join the Western world."

If anyone indeed gave Macron such a task today, pass the guy my sympathy.

But maybe PCR is just stuck in his ivory tower and just cannot stop flogging his long dead horse?
I wonder, who is his target audience that he has to build his props on that old "axiom" ?

Posted by: Arioch | Sep 19 2019 15:05 utc | 160

...a chunk of US territory around the UN be cut off from the US and made an international territory

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Sep 19 2019 5:40 utc

You suppose UN wants to be divorced from USA, which might be or not be so.

The United States remains the largest donor to the United Nations, contributing more than $10 billion in 2017, roughly one fifth of the body’s collective budget. President Donald J. Trump, however, has raised questions about how much the United States will continue to contribute.
These mandatory contributions help fund the United Nations’ regular budget, which covers administrative costs and a few programs, as well as peacekeeping operations. In 2018, the United States paid 22 and 28 percent of these budgets, respectively, but it has proposed reducing peacekeeping contributions to 25 percent in 2019.

If you really see UN as all principled organization, that would prefer hunger to dirty money, then how could KSA be presiding Human Rights council?

And, compare with EU PACE

Russia joined the bloc in 1996 with an annual budget contribution of €33m, out of a total budget of €454m.

And two years late PACE is busy luring Russia (and Russian wallet) back onto the leash. Because of less than 10% of donations.

Posted by: Arioch | Sep 19 2019 15:16 utc | 161

@Posted by: Arioch | Sep 19 2019 15:16 utc | 161

If you really see UN as all principled organization, that would prefer hunger to dirty money, then how could KSA be presiding Human Rights council?

And how it could be that Vanessa Neumann, named representative of Guaidó in UK, former operative of Pentagon´s Asymmetrical Warfare Group, and current CEO of private contractor Asymmetrica has been admitted as part of UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED)?

Posted by: Sasha | Sep 19 2019 15:26 utc | 162

Considering some entries in his Wikipedia article, particularly wrt his book - can it be that the new NSA O'Brien heralds a kind of Trumpian Foreign Policy (that one with relation to which in 2016 there were rumours about a revival of "Kissinger"-like strategies)? Trump's economic nationalism and the permanent cautioning of the Pentagon against transfer of technology to China (as the rising main rival) and the damage to relevant industries in terms of sovereign armament production are prone to join anyway. And that moment when Pentagon officials told Trump what cost a full-fledged attack on Iran would cause might have be the end of any concessions towards Neocon hardliners. That in turn may make them double down on triggering by force their war (in a series of false flags). My question to fellow barflies (and many apologies if I have missed pertinent discussions here or elsewhere): Is the appointment of O'Brien the most obvious sign of there being a third foreign policy party in DC?.

Posted by: franziska | Sep 19 2019 16:11 utc | 163

Btw, on the winds of change...just knew a news most probably nobody told you about... that the municipal elections in Moscow were won by the Communists...then all the media tell you that the main opposition to Putin are the tinily supported liberals...
Posted by: Sasha | Sep 18 2019 20:09 utc | 155

Actually, according to Reuters, Communists had relatively good results in Moscow, but the bottom line is that pro-government candidates got a bit above majority of the city council, and Communist are on the second place, with about 1/3 of the seats. So-called liberals got disqualified from running on the basis of invalid signatures they collected, which is roughly the way minor parties are excluded in New York city. On some parameters, Moscow is run better than NYC, the subway system runs 99.9% on time, and it expands every year to keep with the expansion of the metropolitan area. Street traffic is described as horrible, as a result commuting by public transit is reliable, cheap and twice faster that using cars. By the way of contrast, NYC traffic is short of horrible, just bad, but public transit is bad, so the best commuter option seems better in NYC. Actually, recently I had some business in NYC so I took rented car/hotel/suburban bus combination and it was OK. I also read a "horror story" about a part of Moscow were due to roadworks and subway work the connection to the outside was basically broken for more than a week. I would guess that living in Moscow is a paradise compared with Mexico City, and comparable to NYC. Surely it is good to throw out city council from time to time, and it seems easier in Moscow than in NYC.

Liberals in Russia could fare better if they were not hopelessly anti-Russian. Try to explain to an average Russian that regardless how horribly Ukrainians treat their Russian citizens, the latter should meekly follow dictates, neglect and repressions so the territorial sanctity of Ukraine be preserved. If you convince, say, 5%, you should be congratulated of seemingly impossible feat. Then there is a funny pretzel of worshipping the West and demanding that Russia keeps retirement age at 60, 55 for women while in the West, including neighboring Finland, Estonia, Latvia etc. it is 65 ot 67 for all. Communist may pose such demands with a straight face, Liberals, not so much. Same about toll roads and other pocket book issues.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Sep 19 2019 16:37 utc | 164

to Sasha # 162. Unbelievable! Wow. My jaw just hit the desk. You are an amazing researcher. A new milestone in scoundrelcy. I read that Guido himself has been photographed hugging and kissing with some colombian narco-thugs.
But 'murk loves him, nonetheless. Must be the Harvard T-shirt.

And thanks for the lovely journey to cuba.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Sep 19 2019 20:17 utc | 165

PS. No link, sorry, but you can find the photos of Guido along with a story detailing the criminal investigation into Guido at Perhaps this has been a factor in the recent coming together of a part of the opposition with the government of Maduro.

Posted by: Miss Lacy | Sep 19 2019 20:28 utc | 166

Sabotage on ISS ?

The "failed" docking system "KURS" was unplugged.
After plugging back it went back to operation seamlessly.

Then, hokes drilled in vehicles...

Posted by: Arioch | Sep 20 2019 10:36 utc | 167

Hiya decent humans, invertebrates & bunnies!

I recognize that many humans are arguing the toss over an issue, which mostly free from the restrictions of those pesky details known as facts, enables us all to strut our stuff.

Here we go indulging bias whilst claiming we are merely 'testing the bounds', but nevertheless there are scuffles between the two halves of the imperial war party.
These scuffles are a little different cos they are still sensitive to a reality defined by facts.

Some may have noticed that the Wapo and the New York Times have been blathering something about trump, treason and a whistle blower.

The Wapo began on wednesday, NYT next on Thursday, intimating that the Orange Moron had said something untoward to a foreign 'Head of Government'.

Both fishwraps have been wittering away about SFA, while insinuating that the dingbat D.Trump had told that reprehensible, homicidal villain, V Putin crucial details of the nation he was head of.

Shock Horror! I'm no fan of either of these two chaps but, I am unsurprisingly obliged to highlight that the allegations may be short of a decent alligator, though nevertheless they are a complete load of tosh.

Allegedly the crime Orange Inc committed was to request that the chief prosecutor of the Ukraine arrest and charge former Vice Prez Joseph Biden's son Hunter, with receiving bribes and perverting the course of justice.

While they are at it, perhaps they could stick daddy Joe, with perverting the course of justice, just as a favour to an old friend you unnerstand.

Apparently the 'hotelier' can read - well well, bugger me etc.

He saw an article on the US politics web site 'The Hill" which told the story of how when Vice Prez and declared white house point man for the Ukraine, Joe Biden (such major tasks the Oblammer trusted Joe with), our Joe told the then prez of the Ukraine that unless a corruption investigation into a scam by which Joe's son was banking a bit over US $150,000 per month was closed , the Ukraine could forget about collecting an IMF loan for billions of US $$$'s.

I don't wanna read this article again - it makes any halfway human individual feel awfully grubby, so may have screwed up a detail. But if you read this piece in The Hill you will understand how perverse this tosh is.
However much donald may have been trying to cop a political win, the Biden clan were interested solely in lining their pockets to the detriment of everyone esp Ukrainians.

The entire 3 day fable is a construct of the Biden wing of the dems, ie those people desperate to keep their scummy 'think tank co-ordinator' gig and bugger the ninnies who do as we say, they can be screwed along with the rest of the plebs, are gambling that if they can accuse orange of the crime Joe actually and easily proven, did, then many voters will miss what Joe did in favour of what the orange dingbat may have done.

Better to look at it another way if yer a dem - Biden has no chance of beating Trump cos like the Hillary, he has exactly the same flaws with none of the panache. Find someone else if you want to win dems.

Joe Biden what a mensch.

Posted by: A User | Sep 20 2019 10:38 utc | 168

Epstein and Iran Contra - the connections keep growing.

Epstein, John Brockman and MIT

t wasn’t meant to be that way. Back in 1991, John Brockman – the world’s most successful digital impresario, and, until recently, my literary agent – was touting the emergence of the “third culture” that would finally replace the technophobic literary intellectuals with those coming from the world of science and technology. “The emergence of the third culture introduces new modes of intellectual discourse and reaffirms the pre-eminence of America in the realm of important ideas,” wrote Brockman in a much-discussed essay.

Brockman, who would later connect Epstein to dozens of world-famous scientists, most of them his clients, made it seem as if it were people like him who built this “third culture” – out of their perceptive genius. The cardinal error of such analysis, however, lies in its tendency to mistake structural transformations of global capitalism for zeitgeisty trends in the history of ideas.
There was no better original exponent of the “third culture” than Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of the MIT Media Lab and a new kind of applied intellectual, full of big ideas on technical subjects. The lab was ahead of its time in understanding that the industry and the government alike needed cooler, more interactive technology that was not provided by the traditional cold war contractors.
Everything else followed suit. Thus, Negroponte became a speaker at the very first Technology, Entertainment, Design conference (the famous Ted Talks) in 1984, which, a few decades later, emerged as the pre-eminent promoter of the “third culture”: no politics, no conflict, no ideology – just science, technology, and pragmatic problem-solving. Ideas as a service, neatly packaged in 18-minute intellectual snacks.
“Third culture” was a perfect shield for pursuing entrepreneurial activities under the banner of intellectualism. Infinite networking with billionaires but also models and Hollywood stars; instant funding by philanthropists and venture capitalists moving in the same circles; bestselling books tied to soaring speaking fees used as promotional materials for the author’s more substantial commercial activities, often run out of academia.

Nicholas Negroponte is the younger brother of John Negroponte of Latin American - Contra - CIA fame.

Epstein laundered CIA money would be my guess.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 20 2019 19:18 utc | 169

somebody @169--

Yes, as expected from outset.

Here's one for our many computational barflies, "Applying Moore's Law to Quantum Qubits" which will eventually have a drastic effect on encryption.

Posted by: karlof1 | Sep 20 2019 21:42 utc | 170

E Pluribus Unum vs. Yaweh ex machina

Why is USA Education Dept funding national security programs? Doesn't religious preference in funding programs violate the First Amendment of the US Constitution?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Trump administration orders Duke, UNC to address alleged pro-Islam bias or lose funding

The Trump administration is threatening to cut funding for a Middle East studies program run by the University of North Carolina and Duke University, arguing that it's misusing a federal grant to advance "ideological priorities" and unfairly promote "the positive aspects of Islam" but not Christianity or Judaism.

. . .

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos ordered an investigation into the program in June after North Carolina Rep. George Holding, a Republican, complained that it hosted a taxpayer-funded conference with "severe anti-Israeli bias and anti-Semitic rhetoric." The conference, titled "Conflict Over Gaza: People, Politics and Possibilities," included a rapper who performed a "brazenly anti-Semitic song," Holding said in an April 15 letter.

. . .

The inquiry joins a broader Education Department effort to root out anti-Semitism at U.S. universities. Speaking at a summit on the topic in July, DeVos attacked a movement to boycott Israel over its treatment of Palestinians, calling it a "pernicious threat" on college campuses.

. . .

In the UNC-Duke case, the department's findings did not directly address any bias against Israel but instead evaluated whether the consortium's proposed activities met the goals of the National Resource Center program, which was created in 1965 to support language and culture initiatives that prepare students for careers in diplomacy and national security.

. . .

Jay Smith, a history professor at UNC and vice president of its chapter of the American Association of University Professors, said the letter amounts to "ideologically driven harassment." He said the Education Department official who signed the letter, Robert King, "should stay in his lane and allow the experts to determine what constitutes a 'full understanding' of the Middle East."

. . .

Department officials instructed the consortium to provide a "revised schedule of activities" for the next year and to explain how each offering promotes foreign language learning and advances national security interest.

That last sentence indicates that US Dept. of Education have become minders that imposed a 'national security' filter that restricts free speech. Doesn't imposing current national security priorities on teachers effectively make them into agents of the state? This seems well beyond the grant mandate to promote education that prepares students for jobs in national security/foreign relations.

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

The description of the program (which originated in 1965) does not mention "national security":

The program provides grants to establish, strengthen, and operate language and area or international studies centers that will be national resources for teaching any modern foreign language. Grants support: instruction in fields needed to provide full understanding of areas, regions or countries; research and training in international studies; work in the language aspects of professional and other fields of study; and instruction and research on issues in world affairs.
And the agencies that benefit from the program are not only focused on national security; they include:
- US Dept of Agriculture

- US Dept of Health and Human Services

- US Dept of Justice

- US Dept of Labor

-Peace Corps

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Sep 21 2019 14:19 utc | 171

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