Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 16, 2019

Max Blumenthal Says He Is A "Cynical Salesperson Posing As Journalist". He Is Right.

 


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In July 2017 we took on three "cynical salespersons" in the 'progressive' media who took part in a "disinformation campaign aimed at convincing Americans to support decapitating another Middle Eastern government and let Al Qaeda and co. fill the void." Those three "cynical salespeople" were then and still are "posing as journalists".

Five years after the war on Syria began those three "cynical salespersons", who had consistently propagandized for more war on Syria, turned around and started to write in favor of the Syrian government side while either forgetting to mention or even hiding their earlier position.

From our 2017 piece Syria - The Alternet Grayzone Of Smug Turncoats - Blumenthal, Norton, Khalek:

Max Blumenthal is a well connected and known author who has done work on the Palestinian cause from a somewhat leftish perspective. He is also an arrogant and ignorant showman.

Blumenthal currently edits the Alternet Grayzone project. In their recent writings he and his co-writers profess to dislike the al-Qaeda led opposition in Syria. Yet it is exactly the same opposition they earlier vehemently supported.

Yesterday the Real News Network interviewed Blumenthal on his recent piece about CNN's al-Qaeda promotion. The headline: Max Blumenthal on How the Media Covers Syria. During the interview Blumenthal laments the failure of progressive media on Syria:

...

Blumenthal is outraged, OUTRAGED, that "progressive" media peddle the Syria conflict along "the official line".

Yet in 2012 Max Blumenthal resigned as columnist from the Lebanese paper Al Akhbar English because the paper did not write along "the official line". He publicly (also here) smeared and accused his Al Akhbar colleagues for taking a cautious or even anti-opposition position on Syria.

The Al Akhbar writers challenged the mainstream narratives while Blumenthal, with his resignation and his writing about it, solidly aligned with the imperial project. Back then he himself went along "the official line".
...
Now Max Blumenthal has found an outlet that pays him for writing along the very line he condemned when he resigned from Al Akhbar. Nowhere do I find an explanation by Blumenthal for his change of position. No public apology for smearing his former colleagues has been issued by him.

From March 2011 to mid 2016 Max Blumenthal and his sidekicks Ben Norton and Raina Khalek were rabidly 'pro-rebel'. They were vehemently attacking everyone who had a different view. After five long years of cheering on Al Qaeda and consorts, who were all along killing Syrian people left and right, they turned their coats and started to write in favor of the Syrian government side of the war.

To hide their 'change of opinion' they deleted their old tweets and articles. Only after we and others continued to point out their dishonesty  did they publish a podcast to deliver a muddled Mea Culpa. That was in May 2018, two years after the three had changed their direction by 180°. Just like Max's old tweets and writings that podcast has since been deleted. But partial transcripts others made still exist. They are linked in The Turncoats Deliver A Poor Excuse - by Daniel, who listened to, quoted and commented on the podcast:

Yes, Max "didn’t take a serious look at what was actually going on" in Syria. And didn't for five more years.
...
It would also be nice for Max to explain why, once he changed his position on Syria after Russia had helped turn the tide, he, Ben and Rania scrubbed all their anti-Syrian/pro-"rebel" posts from the internet without explanation. How Orwellian.

But he "just haven’t really had the chance to sit down and write" an apology and explanation.

And once Russia stepped in, Max was "pretty relieved" he didn’t "have to engage in" the Syrian disaster and so he "sort of tapped out." Wait. I thought he just said that was when he finally "tapped in" and began investigating and writing about what had really been going on.

So, he goes on to say that after the "eastern Aleppo operation", he "started to come to" his "senses" "BECAUSE I STARTED TO REALIZE THAT AN INTERVENTION AT THIS POINT BY THE US WOULD BE A RECIPE FOR CATASTROPHE"! Wait! What? It was too late for "intervention", so Max changed horses? And then he finally took a few weeks to read what he could about Syria and do his "due diligence."

Today Max Blumenthal is at it again. He denigrates other 'journalists' for doing exactly what he himself has done, writing pro-war propaganda. Quoting a tweet by Professor Max Abrahms the turncoat Max Blumenthal comments:

Max Blumenthal @MaxBlumenthal - 5:01 UTC · Dec 16, 2019

It wasn’t a failure, it was a disinformation campaign aimed at convincing Americans to support decapitating another Middle Eastern government and let Al Qaeda and co. fill the void. After Iraq and Libya, this required real effort. And cynical salespeople posing as journalists.

Quoted Tweet

Max Abrahms @MaxAbrahms - 0:39 UTC · Dec 16, 2019

Media has failed in its coverage of the #Syria conflict.
In my life studying international relations, I’ve never seen anything remotely this egregious.
The #Iraq & #Afghanistan wars have nothing on Syria.
The discrepancy between the mainstream narrative & reality is gigantic.

I do not mind when people honestly change their opinions or standpoints. I do that too once a while. But deleting one's own former work from the public view while denigrating those who still stick to the talking points one had previously espoused is deeply dishonest. It must be called out.

Not being able to consistently explain why one's view has changed lets others assume that ulterior motives must be in play.

Salespersons get paid for selling the products they peddle. They change their company when a different one pays them more for peddling a different product. Some salespersons who sold Fords as "the best care ever" now sell Toyotas with a similar slogan.

It seems that money was the reason for Blumenthal & Co to change their view on Syria. They simply started to peddle a different 'product' because it was more profitable for them. As they are "cynical salespersons" they deleted their public record of peddling Fords. Their public record now only shows that they peddle Toyotas.

That is Orwellian, as Daniel remarked: We've always been at war with Eastasia.

Who by the way finances Blumenthal's Grayzone. Its website does not reveal that.

Will money also be the reason when Blumenthal & Co will do their next 'change of mind'?

Posted by b on December 16, 2019 at 19:22 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Excellent analysis of Blumenthal disinformation: Max Blumenthal is Still a Servant of the Regime Change Business Class, Always Has Been - https://www.youtube.com/user/churchdog42/channels

Posted by: Michael Lidia | Dec 17 2019 19:20 utc | 201

how about this, i shall view future posts by either max blumenthal or barbara mckenzie with skepticism. blumental has been doing good work on venezuela and bolivia so far, if he switches to advocating wars that will be very noticeable. he needs to explain his about face imo. people i respect like caitlin johnstone support his present work. i'm not familiar with mckenzies work, but a short visit to her site dredged up this dreck--
https://barbaramckenzie.wordpress.com/2018/10/19/is-bernie-sanders-planning-to-use-climate-catastrophism-to-accelerate-agenda-21-and-global-governance/

i do hope she apologises for this soon.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 17 2019 19:29 utc | 202

I thank b for his post and for allowing so many comments, negative and positive, here. I found the most accurate description of what a legitimate reporter would do in Martin's comment @ 138, in a nutshell, "proactively self-critique". It is all very well to say we all make mistakes, but as we've seen in other journalistic about faces, the task then is to say "I did this, and I thought this, but the facts are...thus and so" about the entirety of one's mistaken beliefs, in order to re-educate the public which you have misinformed. If you don't do this, those errors may still be believed by any who rely on your ongoing work.

We were all misled, those of us who first voted for Obama into taking for granted that he was genuinely in opposition to what had come before. Instead, he proceeded to refuse any accountability for previous governmental policies - professing that we would move forward and not look back. And 'move forward' meant double down on the crimes that ought to have been repudiated and brought to justice. He disaffected huge numbers of young people who were invigorated by his campaign and who voted for him. He betrayed them without a backward glance.

So, now, after so much kicking of the bloodstained can down the road, in this country it isn't enough to sweep all of our misdeeds under the rug. Sorry to mix metaphors, but isn't it time for a bit of righteous indignation?! And a whole lot of scepticism?!

Only last week I told how I had an argument with a good person who has been misled by 'journalists' such as Blumenthal - who voted for Hillary because Putin is a 'war criminal' and Assad is a 'war criminal'. It wasn't enough for me to disagree - all I could do was ask him to please look at Moon of Alabama.org. Maybe he trusts Blumenthal - okay. Let Blumenthal thoroughly self-critique and set the record straight, as b is asking him to do!

Time's a-wasting.

Posted by: juliania | Dec 17 2019 19:29 utc | 203

Yeah, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.....

I am embarrassed to admit that up until well into the Gulf War that toppled Saddam....I was a very pro-American interventionist, etc.

But eventually the penny dropped...and once the scales fell from my eyes...there was no going back.

I don't think this background disqualifies me from making posts critical of USA foreign policy...just because once I would post in support of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & Blair...(Jesus, I just had a nasty bout of conversion disorder...paralysis of my hands...a coping mechanism...typing those last few words, lol.)

Posted by: Guy THORNTON | Dec 17 2019 19:45 utc | 204

@184

Yes, I know what a Trotskyist is.

Do Norton and Blumenthal know what a Trotskyist is?

I believe that the Norton and Blumenthal story is just an attempt to blame Trotskyists for misleading them (an evasion of responsibilty) and is just not credible.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 17 2019 19:46 utc | 205

@204
Uh-oh, you drank the Flavor-Aid! "Dreck" lmao, G-d forbid anyone question apologist for empire Little Lord Nepotism Max B.
("But he got better, we swear!")

Posted by: TIME POLICE | Dec 17 2019 19:51 utc | 206

Thank you for yet another fine topic, b. This time the comments are even more interesting than the original article.

The amount of astroturf that has been cropping up, and the speed at which it sprouted, is a jaw-droppingly amazing sight to behold. Not even the 737 topics got that much loving from the professional spinners.

Many kudos to oldhippie for swiftly and succinctly pointing out the fuming corpse. No amount of astroturf is able to cover up that one, and almost all of the trolls carefully avoid the issue, probably well aware of the impossibility of avoiding to further spread the stench when they breathe near to it.

Facts don't lie: 95% of the apologists are new arrivals, while 95% of the regular posters see right through the lies and obfuscation. What a coincidence...

For the remaining 5% of regulars who still don't get it yet, you need to read up a little on such concepts as "leading the opposition" and "limited hangout". They have a whole bag of such tricks. Do you seriously believe that only the big mainstream media has fake news and journalistic "assets"? Wake up!

To the person who wrote that he thinks it is a good idea to direct still-asleep family and friends to such limited hangouts, well what can I say... If they really need that treatment, they likely don't even want to wake up.

All the fools who chant that opposition needs consensus are irredeemably comatose.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 17 2019 19:53 utc | 207

As Blumenthal wrote about the funding of the White Helmets, I don't think this is off-topic. The Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media has published an important briefing note on James Le Mesurier.

Posted by: Cherrycoke | Dec 17 2019 20:01 utc | 208

Personally I find the work of the Grayzone crowd quite important and quite well researched. I'm not sure what the purpose of this type of hit-piece is as it does essentially nothing but note a positive change in perspective by some of those at Grayzone. More appropriate targets for concern I would think, would be places like CounterPunch and Democracy Now, where supposed "progressives" shill the CIA regime-change propaganda lines shamelessly. I've never noted anything remotely similar at Grayzone:

https://thegrayzone.com/2018/12/17/inside-the-temple-of-covert-propaganda-the-integrity-initiative-and-the-uks-scandalous-information-war/

Posted by: Gary Weglarz | Dec 17 2019 20:10 utc | 209

Hi everybody,

In 1968, Jacques Lanzman wrote this song for Jacques Dutronc. I think, it is a very accurate portrait of Max B. It's called "The opportunist"

Jacques Dutronc - L'opportuniste

You can have a translation in English here:

L'opportuniste - English lyrics

Posted by: Gilet Jaune | Dec 17 2019 20:19 utc | 210

@Posted by: ADKC | Dec 17 2019 19:46 utc | 207

Trostskyites are to blame for a lot of, amongst that the current discredit of the real left.

Anyway, I fail to understand why a person who claims having been a former Trotskyite jumps so fast to condemn Blumenthal and the others. Why you can change and Blumenthal and the others not? Trotskyites have always supported American interventionism everywhere....if you are so intelligent and on the side of the people, how could you have been Trotskyits anytime, when everybosy and their dogs knows Trotsky was a US agent? Well, of course, if you are also a US agent the cognitive dissonance dissapears...

For what is worth, I have just come to be surprised on how some people here who for around the time I have been reading and commenting here have appeared as kinda socialists and just opposed to capitalism ( although, strangely always repeating the same message one way or the other... ) now reveal themselves as paleoconservatives, an ideology which is in the origins of the "alt-right", just a sworn enemy of the left, as the UK elections have recently demonstrated, or previsouly had the Italian and Spanish ones....

As conservatives, the paleoconservatives support the same capitalist antisocial policies than the nazis and moreover try to wipe out women from social sphere reserving them a paleo-role more proper of the times of the first settlers in the US ( hence that of paleo...), and the return of paleo-influence of the church in government ...As I have guessed, Franco could then be considered a Paleoconservative, which is an euphemism for nazi-catholicism, as anyone reading the comments section at the Unz Review could easily discern are those overwhemingly commenting there, n owonder which authors they alloow to publish stuff there so as to spread squid ink...that is the strategy of the "alt-right" and conservatism in these times of late decaying capitalism.

IMO, there could be currently more people, apart from Blumenthal and the rest, who may be involved in intelligence operations on misleading people to think that it is leftist what it is not.
This was the Bannon´s strategy ( an epythome of paleocnservative, btw, according with wikipedia, article just edited today at midday... ),stole from Leninism and Marxism what could sound like social to atract the masses, to then make a u-turn around elections calling the vote for Trump, so as to convince the people that for to have social policies they must vote their own executors....In fact it is the same tactic he uses Putin, btw.....Another Paleoconservative...

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 17 2019 20:20 utc | 211

@204 pretzelattack

Barbara McKenzie is a curious case. She did good work on Bana Alabed, and her take on Norton, Blumenthal and Khalek is helpful. On the other hand, as I have stated above, she is a raving right-wing lunatic wrt other areas.

Posted by: Cherrycoke | Dec 17 2019 20:25 utc | 212

To Lurk @209 (and all similar comments):

As a "first timer" who tried to make a sincere comment, let me say that being called a "troll" or too stupid to know what a "limited hangout" is just might be counterproductive -- or perhaps stupid! You know nothing about me. I know little about you, but by your rather juvenile comments, I'd be pretty comfortable matching my understanding to yours. God, what a lot of condescending crap in these comments -- fortunately mixed with a number of good ones on both sides.

Posted by: pjay | Dec 17 2019 20:33 utc | 213

@213 Cherrycoke
"You're a right wing lunatic if you don't support global governance!"
Gee I wonder who is behind this post.

Posted by: TIME POLICE | Dec 17 2019 20:36 utc | 214

Nu, was it a slow news day? A lot of people, myself included, have changed their opinion of what has been going on in Syria over the last eight years. At the time, my own, and the common perception, was that Syria, and the other "Arab Spring" uprisings were spontaneous, thoroughly justified protests against despotic governments. Over the years, the amount of US interference became increasingly apparent, and, at some point, I, and others like Blumenthal, et al, changed our minds. Overall they are some of the brightest young stars in the media, and I think that things they wrote eight years ago should not be held against them, nor do I think it wrong for them to delete such writings, which they no longer believe in. Live and learn.

I've been following your blog for a couple of years, and generally appreciate your point of view. I'll forgive you for this clunker! :-)

Posted by: Martin Holsinger | Dec 17 2019 20:37 utc | 215

@Posted by: Cherrycoke | Dec 17 2019 20:25 utc | 213

And could not be that being that Barbara Mackenzie a raving right wing lunatic, she would want to discredit Blumenthal and the others once they have gone kinda to the left...???

I wonder whether some people are expecting Blumenthal and the rest at Greyzone going full anti-Trump ( as they are doing denouncing the shameful Trump policy in Venezuela and Bolivia ) from now to elections in the US, and thus the "alt-right" needs them to be destroyed...I, along with that other commenter pointing at it, am astonished by some regulars expressing such hatred towards this Blumenthal, all of a sudden when before we have not read anything of the sort here, including from those who seem to pass 24/7 collecting breaking info out there..

I, for one, will continue reading Ben Norton, and viewing Rania Khalek´s Soap Box, which, btw, has no waste and tells the truths even more straightforward than some at MoA, I mean without inventing any excuse for Trump and the US Army...

From now on, I am considering also reading Blumenthal, especially when US elections are about to start...

Posted by: Sasha | Dec 17 2019 20:41 utc | 216

Rather late to the party:

The scale of the disinformation effort on behalf of the various subsets of - in James Corbett's common usage - the Powers That Should Not Be, has been literally mind bogglingly vast. Thousands of people deployed to hide and distort the truth. Including many limited hangouts.

Like many people of my age who decades ago began to try to delve into what was actually going on geo-politically, I ended up with quite a pile of books by Noam Chomsky, and learned from him, before coming to the at first painful, then instructive, realization that his role has included that of being in effect vile dissembler on behalf of elements of the before mentioned PTSNB.

I wasn't a journalist, but I have been fooled, especially when I was young. And it would seem that many younger so called journalists are propagandists or paid shills without actually having the self-awareness to realize it. Udo Ulfkotte in his book on the Presstitutes admits to his own previous clueless participation in what was not journalism, but in effect public relations or propaganda. But Ulfkotte's Mea Culpa seemed genuine, and he revealed much inside info and named a lot of names. And so he earned my renewed confidence.

I think b deserves commendation, in his article above and his previous one on the subject of Max Blumenthal's conversion, for not tippy toeing around the subject of previous vile propagandists on behalf of war who now claim in an unconvincing manner to have seen the light.

Posted by: Robert Snefjella | Dec 17 2019 20:42 utc | 217

JR @194 Excellent summation; I recall having similar questions about Democracy Now, and the bit I was able to find out led to my discounting them as a wholly trustworthy news resource.
As for the larger MB matter, my first reaction is along the lines of, "well, there's more rejoicing for a reformed sinner than there is for a life-long saint." By the same token, MB's apparent standing on the shoulders of journalists who actually have put in the ground reporting (and I read the resignation letter b linked to; it's pretty shocking how insulting MB's tone is) without giving due credit, is unseemly at best.
I think I recall reading a report somewhere (sorry for lack of exact sourcing) shortly after MB was arrested that made mention of the specific charge being minor assault (for shoving a pro Random Guai demonstrator), and also made mention of his joining those inside the embassy, thus implying (at least) that his opinions were in line with those trying to prevent an illegal takeover of the Venezuelan mission...for what it's worth (like I said, I can't exactly recall where I read that). I remember thinking at the time that the arrest, et al was obviously meant to be an inconvenience to him, and a subtle reminder as to who it was that MB was potentially fkg with. I thought too, "he's a lot luckier than Gary Webb or Michael Hastings;" whether or not that luck is founded on his family's connections is an interesting question...
Suffice to say, if MB thinks he even came close to what Julian Assange has experienced in defense of the truth, then he's in for a rude awakening.
That MB has "seen the light" is an apparent good thing; truth needs all the help she can get these days. Given the demonstrable previous reporting angles and personal behavior, the obvious close connection to blood-soaked halls of decision making, and potentially imperialist funding sources for his publishing platform, I can see why many might have questions regarding MB's trustworthiness.
Excellent report as always, b; thanks for being there.

Posted by: robjira | Dec 17 2019 20:46 utc | 218

Does MoA think he writes only for a club of ol' fellas who are shocked to take notice MoA is read by many people who don't leave ten comments at least (or even a single one) after any MoA article?
What does the Serena Shim Awards for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism stand for on the Main Page of this MoA site?
As Max Blumenthal, Ben Norton, Rania Khalek were awarded that award along with MoA and a long list of people whose journalism I follow and appreciate on a regular basis... Is MoA going to attack the Serena Shim Awards for lack of uncompromised integrity in ... awarding journalists exactly for that quality?
Who's next on that list, MoA?

This futile, sterile and even counterproductive controversy about something Max Blumenthal and his two colleagues Ben Norton and Rania Khalek have already admitted must surely please many people in some far-right places, like NATO and such. Just smile and slap some five with all the Luke Harding, Eliott Higgins, Ben Nimmo etc.. out there and be proud of yourselves.

"Funny" (or reavealing) the paronoia of some ol' regs in the comment section, who definitely see as "trolls" every single comment in defense, or praise, of the present work of Max Blumenthal and "the trio" attacked. That kind of mentality really stinks, and has nothing to do with "uncompromised integrity".

@Cherrycoke ... 160...

Perhaps it is of interest that Blumenthal as early as February 25, 2014, denounced the US for supporting neo-Nazis in Ukraine. This was Clinton's policy and therefore presumably also his father's. What do we make of this?
I just wanted to fix your link to Max Blumenthal's Salon article, which does not work: here it is.

Posted by: Red Corvair | Dec 17 2019 20:55 utc | 219

Martin Holsinger @216:

At the time, my own, and the common perception, was that Syria, and the other "Arab Spring" uprisings were spontaneous, thoroughly justified protests against despotic governments. Over the years, the amount of US interference became increasingly apparent, and, at some point, I, and others like Blumenthal, et al, changed our minds.

Yet another comment that conflates victims and victimizers.

Max B.'s father is an insider. Max B. has always had easy access to info about what the Empire is really up to. He's not like you and I who had to sort through the bullshit. Max was creating the bullshit (likely with full knowledge of what he was doing).

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 17 2019 21:04 utc | 220

Thank you, Red Corvair.

Posted by: NOBTS | Dec 17 2019 21:11 utc | 221

@ b in comment # 199 who wrote
"
Interesting that this thread attracted so many people who never before commented on MoA. They seem to have a largely common view of the issue.

All are of course invited to stay on and to contribute. They will hopefully learn from it.
"
LOL!!!! Your the man b. Maintain the course

I was thinking of counting all the pro Max comments but abandoned that idea now that the total comment count is over 200.

At this point they might start to realize that they have overplayed their hand in an environment in which we regularly discuss sheep dog "journalists" and their tactics to control the global narrative........"Believe me, believe me, I am here to help you understand our complex world! Just don't follow the money!"

The Western social contract with the dictatorship of global private finance at its core is in a civilization war with those parts that don't like that social contract. While they can still pay filthy lucre to folks to come spread their deceit, the memes of Might-Makes-Right and that the inherited elite are doing God's work and deserve to own everything are failing.

Keep up the good work b. Maybe some of those new barflies will stick around and learn something from you...we can always hope so.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 17 2019 21:12 utc | 222

@ 220 Red Corvair

Thank you! Working on it.

Posted by: Cherrycoke | Dec 17 2019 21:18 utc | 223

Gary Weglarz @210 and others,

It is possible to find the work of Grayzone important and well researched AND to retain a stance of skepticism toward its ultimate purpose and orientation, has been pointed out by myself @182 and by many others on this thread.

One need not have a negative view of Blumenthal to find the *erasure* of the full record of his journalism on Syria somewhat suspicious. To me, the *erasure* of the record is more odd than the fact that he changed his mind.

But, again, to reiterate the point I already made: Blumenthal could go a long way toward putting these suspicions to rest--for most of us, probably not for Jackrabbit :)-- simply by explaining his reasons for erasing his earlier tweets, etc. That he has not done so is disappointing.

We might *want* to be able to trust Blumenthal, but this does not mean we are warranted in doing so, especially if we are aware of just how extensive and complex intelligence-directed disinformation campaigns can be.

What b is pointing out is not what a lot of people want to hear. But b is great because he does not care what people want to hear; he cares about the truth. This is why his analysis is ALWAYS worth taking seriously, even if it is sometimes wrong or incomplete.

Posted by: WJ | Dec 17 2019 21:23 utc | 224

pjay @ 193 and @214... hey pjay... i read your comment @193.. there are many here who avoid the use of the troll word and feel it is counterproductive... i appreciated your comment, but don't see it quite the same as you... to take issue with others comments is a choice we all make... b raises some good questions in this article that i personally feel require an answer.. i don't need to call anyone a troll who doesn't agree with me on this either... if you do stick around - and i hope you and many others do - the best way is to engage in a positive manner and not take personally the comments of some who have a different point of view, but instead say your bit and lets others say theirs.. this way, there's less friction in the comment section!

@194 jr - ditto @ 219 robjira's comment to you..

@218 robert snefjella... better late, then never!!

@ 225 wj... thanks again for your measured and thoughtful comments on this thread..

Posted by: james | Dec 17 2019 21:28 utc | 225

I will admit that when I first heard of the conflict in Syria I was fooled and bought the mass media illusions, but that only lasted until about thirty seconds into a conversation with a Syria expat that I met in Bogota. I had never accused anyone of being an "Assad apologist". In fact if I had ever even heard that phrase used prior to meeting that Syrian traveler in Bogota then my opinion about the crisis in Syria would have been corrected that much sooner.

What are the assumptions people have to make in order to believe that apologists exist in the general population for brutal dictators from elsewhere on the planet? Do "dictators" like Ortega, Qaddafi, or Assad really have massive secret globe-spanning propaganda operations fooling people into defending them? Do they go around handing out wads of cash to buy people off? We certainly know that the corporate mass media and the CIA fulfill these functions for the empire, but do these leaders of relatively impoverished countries being targeted by the empire for regime change do the same thing? Is there any rational way to assume that they would even have the means and resources to accomplish this?

It is not unexpected for sub-sentient individuals to regurgitate an accusation like "Assad apologist!" that mass media fed them in order to fend off cognitive dissonance. Max Blumenthal is supposed to be a cut above sub-sentience, though. Any intelligent and rational person with even just a few fragments of knowledge about the target country will know that the "Apologist!" charge cannot possibly be true. Individuals who are not sub-sentient making such a charge are cynical salesmen of imperial slaughter trying to dismiss anything that counters the narratives they are trying to sell.

Until today I hadn't known that Max Blumental had accused others of being "Assad apologists", and not just for a few months while getting his head straight on the issue but for years! I had not known he was associated with a notable CIA front organization. I didn't even know his father was Sidney Blumenthal. Yesterday I would have defended him. Today? Well, today Max has some explaining to do.

As for Max possibly being a Trotskyist? I consider that a point in his favor.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 17 2019 21:29 utc | 226

B - Usually you are calm, cool and factual. I am sorry that you not on this issue. It's clear you have not done your research and are emotional regarding Blumenthal. Have you read ANY of his books? His "Goliath" about Israel and the new "Management of Savagery" are excellent. Easy reading but packed with good information. Blumenthal and the GZ team have been excellent in exposing lies and disinformation about Nicaragua, Venezuela, Hong Kong and elsewhere. You, Max Blumenthal, Aaron Mate, Ben Norton and Sharmine Narwani are ALL winners of the Serena Shim Award because ALL of you in different ways have been exposing the crimes of Empire. Our enemy loves it when we are fighting amongst ourselves.

Posted by: Rick Sterling | Dec 17 2019 21:40 utc | 227

@psychohistorican 223

Ok. I was ready to sign off on this depressing discussion, but then I read your post. Yes, maybe some of us poor dupes can learn something! As I said above, the condescension is unbelievable.

For the record, I, for one, am not "pro-Max," as my original comment should have indicated. Also, I have been a *daily* reader of MoA, and often the comments, for many years. I am familiar with (and usually agree with) b's positions and always appreciate his information. I am even familiar with your contributions, psychohistorian, and usually like them as well. On this particular issue I disagree, and decided to comment. I'm not exactly new to this area of inquiry -- been around about as long as you. But because some of us have questions about this particular issue we are treated as children who don't know about "sheep-dog" journalism.

Treating trolls with contempt is one thing. But such arrogant condescension toward those of us who should be seen as allies in this discussion is extremely counterproductive.

Posted by: pjay | Dec 17 2019 21:42 utc | 228

@James 226

I just saw your comment after I posted my last one. Thanks. I appreciate the sentiment and will try to take it to heart.

Posted by: pjay | Dec 17 2019 21:49 utc | 229

Why the BIG DEAL? Because this is about REGIME CHANGE WARS. Pretty much the biggest deal there is since that is the only foreign policy of this country toward every country that is not a vassal state. By 2011, it should have clear to anyone who was paying attention that this was a bad idea. But, apparently, not Max.

Posted by: RenoDino | Dec 17 2019 21:51 utc | 230

Pjay, I never called you stupid. But I'll be square, you are and so am I. We are all stupid and prone to be misled. We have to learn to accept our limitations and deal with being pointed out our mistakes. I am not going to throw a tantrum about being called "arrogant and condescending", I am instead trying to evaluate any reasonably valid claims to that point. If there are none, then it's just noise. If there are some then I have to reconsider my position. Demanding to be nursed and comforted through the emotional upheaval of being confronted by reality is only a reasonable proposition for a toddler.

Also, I nor anyone that I noticed called YOU specifically a troll. What I did say is that the smell of astroturf is exceptionally poignant in this topic.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 17 2019 21:59 utc | 231

Is b holding MB to a higher standard? Perhaps, but as others have noted, it’s really the actions of MB himself which almost demand questioning.

Changing one’s mind, especially after having been exposed to new information, is hardly worthy of damnation. In fact, if one took it upon himself to always be questioning, and felt warning vibes from one’s initial position, and did the work to discover new information himself, and then did everything in one’s power to “undo” whatever damage one might have caused by taking the initial position so that any who might have been led astray is given that new and important information, along with an explanation of how that caused one to change his mind…that is actually commendable—at least a teacher, and potentially a prophet. After all, aren’t the “conversion stories” of the atheist converting to religious, or the fundamentalist becoming an atheist, some of the most powerful? But notice those individuals are always eager to tell of the completeness and conviction of their earlier position, and all of the adventures, missteps, epiphanies, etc. that led to their finally reaching the tipping point, where they simply had to change their previous position.

This, I gather, is b’s beef. With a genuine “conversion” from the dark side, it seems very natural that a reporter, of all people, would be eager to tell the whole story. Eager to point out all the many ways he discovered he had been misled (or intellectually lazy) or whatever before, and all of the many amazing steps he had taken to investigate all of the old beliefs, disproving them all, and all the new and more accurate truths he had discovered. Hell, the Pulitzer is practically writing itself!

The point b seems to be making is that MB pretending he never had contrary views , and in fact actively trying to erase them from history, and taking zero steps to explain the pilgrimage he made from the dark to the light, is actually the antithesis of what one would expect if this were a real change. The change IS the story. Thus it is an absolutely valid question to ask why, and to what end.

Posted by: J Swift | Dec 17 2019 22:12 utc | 232


Jimmy Dore is good at sniffing out the BS, that is why I like to get my news from a jaggoff comedian on YouTube

@jimmy_dore
There is real persecution of journalists in America by the government, it’s not Jim Acosta, it’s courageous truth tellers like @MaxBlumenthal who go against the establishment narrative and the governments war mongering.

youtu.be/WWJbdIqwJBU  via @YouTube

“Gov. Drops False Charges Against Journalist Max Blumenthal”

Jimmy Dore brilliantly outs a large number of people defaming Max

Posted by: Stever | Dec 17 2019 22:24 utc | 233

One thing's certain: Few understand the importance of the Socratic maxim of skepticism, particularly when an informant's credibility's compromised. It's as if those of us commentators making that point are completely ignored by the newly arrived herd.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 17 2019 22:31 utc | 234

Mondoweiss’s uncritical support/endorsement of the Libya thing and the Syria thing stood out like a sore thumb at the time. Many posters/activists at the site pointed it out. This was Max’s spot in the early 2010s, he was a Mondoweiss “company man”. You could tell that all of the in house pundits there had a hard time skirting this issue, while simultaneously excoriating Israel for its latest cruelty. The silence in response to this criticism from the commentariat was deafening. It’s like everyone there was told not to touch it.

I am glad MB is ostensibly on the right side currently, but there is absolutely no way he was “tricked” about this. Threatened, maybe. Another thing, this arrest business smells an awful lot like a writer talking up his new book. And while I’m glad that such a book has been written, one who has followed Max’s career knows that much of the legwork was surely done by others before him.

I’m ambivalent, since most of this info is already out there, and while a few normies may read it and become enlightened - I’ll admit I’ve rec’d it to acquaintances for its educational value - it doesn’t feel like an organic work.

We have to lose this notion of an unassailably righteous journalist, even being able to play act as one comes from a place of extreme privilege in the 21st c west.

Posted by: Sejomoje | Dec 17 2019 22:33 utc | 235

@234,

b is the opposite of those currently defaming Blumenthal from the right. He is noting and criticizing something that is actually *true* about Blumenthal's record. That Blumenthal is being attacked by corporate and government hacks for all the wrong reasons does not mean that b is not right to point out what he does.

Posted by: WJ | Dec 17 2019 22:33 utc | 236

Stever @234--

I saw that tweet by Dore and thought of posting it here, but I didn't because Dore's defense needs to be questioned just as Blumenthal's turnabout must, as I doubt Dore has all the info he needs to make such a statement.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 17 2019 22:35 utc | 237

@Cherrycoke and Red Corvair

I just read that Salon piece by Max Blumenthal. It contains no new information to me. The whole OUN-B nazi ethnic outreach Republican clusterfuck had long been known in researcher circles. Dave Emory hosted many hours of lectures on that subject. It must have been clear and obvious to informed Democrat insiders that this would be part and parcel of any US subterfuge operations in Ukraine. That these facts and circumstances are farfetched or even incongrent to consumers of the big money media is not surprising.

The takeaway from the Salon piece is that it suggests that all of the nazi angle to the Maidan coup is "just another Republican thing". But that is misdirection. The Maidan operation was run by a Democrat white house and state department. Obama, Biden and Kerry should and very likely did know about the involvement of the nazis and they let, no made it happen. In that sense, the Salon article is a piece of misdirection, because it steers the focus away from the present responsibility of the Democrat government and onto the murky past of Reagan era politicrooks.

And I am not turning this into a Democrat versus Republican issue, because to me there is little difference between the two. But for Max Blumenthal there very likely is an issue. His father Sidney Blumenthal being so intimate with Hillary Clinton, it is almost impossible to assume that Max does not know Hillary personally. That is a very big issue.

How can someone claim to be critical of the machinations of empire not be frank about his probable close acquaintance with such a paragon of impirial subterfuge as Hillary Clinton herself?

Grayzone fanboys are clueless beyond belief for not asking these questions, and downright questionable themselves if downplaying and evading the subject.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 17 2019 22:35 utc | 238

@239 Thank you for your reply. Good points. The piece contained no new information for me as well. But he reported on the neo-Nazis, a few days after the false flag massacre on Maidan, which I thought was courageous. As for the Democrat/Republican angle, I will have to re-read the article.

More generally: There are questions, yes, but I believe one shouldn't get too paranoid. It is bad enough as it is.

Posted by: Cherrycoke | Dec 17 2019 22:43 utc | 239

I lurk here regularly, b. I went through the same change of opinion Max did on Syria. I still think Assad is a war criminal, but the opposition is worse and mainstram coverage of Syria has been Orwellian.

And this post of yours was childish, self righteous, and petty. I am disappointed.

Posted by: Donald | Dec 17 2019 22:57 utc | 240

It is a good example of an information operation. Damning information that was already known to informed circles and that was sooner or later bound to become wider known was seeded with a specific angle and as such framed away from the circles that Max Blumenthal is tentatively part of.

Is that a paranoid suspicion or is it a pragmatic interpolation?

Max Blumenthal's closeness to Hillary Clinton and thus the hallways of imperial power is rather noteworthy in relation to his posture as a progressive journalistcum investigative reporter when henever reports on or investigates his own potentially very compromizing relations to power.

Moreover, people close to him cannot fail to take notice and claim to be informed and sincere at the same time either, it is contageous.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 17 2019 22:58 utc | 241

Moreover, people close to him cannot fail to take notice and claim to be informed and sincere at the same time either, it is contageous.

Jimmy Dore and friends take notice, I should add...

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 17 2019 23:02 utc | 242

Moreover, people close to him cannot fail to take notice and claim to be informed and sincere at the same time either, it is contageous.

Jimmy Dore and friends take notice, I should add...

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 17 2019 23:02 utc | 243

Moreover, people close to him cannot fail to take notice and claim to be informed and sincere at the same time either, it is contageous.

Jimmy Dore and friends take notice, I should add...

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 17 2019 23:02 utc | 244

(oops, sorry for that triplification mishap above)

@Donald | Dec 17 2019 22:57 utc | 241

The question to you is: did you also try to hide your initial misestimation and did you evade scrutiny of the reasons for it? We all make mistakes, what mistakes and how we make them is what makes the difference.

What are your reasons for believing Assad to be a war criminal? Do you think he is more of a war criminal than say, Obama or Bush? Why (or why not)?

And I find your post was also childish, self righteous, and petty. At least b provides some reasoning and arguments

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 17 2019 23:11 utc | 245

@ Posted by: pjay | Dec 17 2019 21:42 utc | 229 who is critical of my comment

We are now 240 comments into this discussion about integrity....who has it and who doesn't.

I am 71 and an American who has been shunned and berated since my early 20's when I learned how the global private finance folk ruled the Western world and spoke out about it in public. I am an outcast of ALMOST Naked Capitalism after many years there providing strong support and even taking credit card donations through my business for her one year. Because I continued to call out private finance, she called me crazy pants and I came to MoA where I beat the same drum as before.

I don't always agree with the perspective that b places on his postings but it is quite clear to me that Bernhard has way more integrity than Max will ever have, or deserve to have. The enemy of my enemy is not always my friend.

Given the time that I have spent here it is clear to me that b provides this blog from a sense of personal integrity and passion for sharing truth to power across all sorts of subjects. He is not flying, or being flown, all over the world to provide credibility for his point of view.

To your last point
"
Treating trolls with contempt is one thing. But such arrogant condescension toward those of us who should be seen as allies in this discussion is extremely counterproductive.
"
Why should b or I see you as an ally? Until this thread I had no idea you existed and while you express some respect for my opinions, when have I read of this support before? Trust and respect are earned, not assumed. And why should b show anything but "arrogant condescension", if that cast is accurate, for the sort of push back against his call out of Max that is seen in hundreds of previous comments in this thread by mostly newbies or flybys? Is it our fault that you and Max have not clearly seen how the world works before now? And I see Max as skirting the core truth about how our world works while b goes straight for the bulls eye with everything I have read from him....it is called integrity.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 17 2019 23:31 utc | 246

I'm hoping this psychotic episode is about done.

Posted by: NOBTS | Dec 17 2019 23:56 utc | 247

Lurk on one level You and many others here remind me of AntiFa thugs sniffing out fascists pre-emptively , and beating up anyone who doesnt agree with them .... You and Your Clique are always the best informed and anyone who disagrees is a Troll, a disinformation agent , an ignoramus , a gatekeeper....it scarcely encourages previous non-commenters from ever commenting again and perhaps that is exactly the point.

Which also happens to be precisely the kind of behavior employed by intelligence agency agents provocateurs throughout the last couple of hundred Years and no doubt before ... beware of those most loudly calling out Trolls , and Fascists pointing the finger at all and sundry ...away from themselves , while subtlety steering the group into self destructive waters... all that horseshit siting percentages of new commenters to somehow make the case for Maxes troll army ... a standard device used to halt serious thought or discussion , ridiculous.. You are the one being Fucking Childish... have You never heard of the Mukhabarat Syria's feared secret Police.. is the mere fact of mentioning that fact gatekeeping too???.....

Anyone who thinks Assad Fils has no blood on his hands at all is deluded, everyone has blood on their hands , all governments are corrupt and oppressive those with the most power do the most harm ... an obvious point, Assad's crimes pale by comparison to that of the Anglo American Empire , but so what?

others Crimes do not absolve him, or any other government or leader...

Assad , Putin and China are not some Magical force for unbridled good who are going to save the World from the Evil unilateral Empire.. that is a comic book fantasy , as pitiful as the American Fantasy of being Exceptionally great , a force for nothing but virtue in the world put here on gods green earth to civilize the inferior savages..by saving it with shiny chromeplated capitalism/democracy.

Posted by: Marb | Dec 17 2019 23:58 utc | 248

marb... better take a look in the mirror my friend... frequently a post says more about the poster then those they are apparently addressing..

Posted by: james | Dec 18 2019 0:05 utc | 249

Last comment read: Dec 18 2019 0:05 utc | 250

If "people" want to continue digging at this point they're being too obvious or are oblivious enough to be ignored :)

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Dec 18 2019 0:19 utc | 250

Pop Psychology cliches James , another Barrier to actual thought.

Posted by: Marb | Dec 18 2019 0:24 utc | 251

i stand by what i say.. cheers..

Posted by: james | Dec 18 2019 0:37 utc | 252

Just curious, Marb @249, but what qualifies you to judge "Assad , Putin and China"? You, who almost certainly have more blood of innocents on your hands than all three of them combined?

Let me guess: "My Democratic™ government, a form that I am so desperately eager to export to the world, isn't actually very responsive and does all of the killing without me being responsible for it!"

Bullshit. You're a psycho killer. Embrace that truth and you won't have to take as many drugs to help pretend otherwise.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 18 2019 0:50 utc | 253

I read The Grayzone occasionally, but didn't quite like the language. It appeared a bit like a tabloid style alt-media outlet. There are a couple of other sources that provide the same information, in general. Indeed I often had the feeling I saw something on Grayzone that I have read already elsewhere. The Grayzone wandered lower and lower in my bookmark list. Yesterday I deleted the bookmark.

The same happened with a lot of bookmarks. You read something interesting, without knowing that it has been posted days ago by other, more original sources. It takes some months until you find out which outlet is original or only a copy. Which authors write good sounding articles and in other topics fail miserably, and which authors you can really trust. As others already pointed out, alternative media has become an industry on its own, with the same problems that occur in mainstream media.

Posted by: Phil | Dec 18 2019 0:56 utc | 254

@ Marb | Dec 17 2019 23:58 utc | 249

Your rant lacks structure and substance.

You still have not pointed out any reasons to consider Bashar Assad a war criminal or mass murderer. Syria's secret police is a) not exceptional in the region, nor in the world in general, b) its reputation largely predates Bashar Assad's presidency.

Did you study the genesis and evolution of the Syrian republic, the various religions, tribes and clans that make up its society? The problems and violent uprisings caused by the muslim brotherhood?

Question to you: in the years preceding the Syrian war, did you determine if the Syrian civil rights situation improved or deteriorated under Bashar Assad's leadership?

Finally, as you admit that even Assad's tentative crimes pale in comparison to those of the US leadership, why then is Assad so often singled out for ritual public incrimination? What is the point of that.

Oh and I am not a marionette for any "Assad, Putin or China" strawman. If you see any reason to imply me with those, please bring references to any statements of mine that warrants such inference as you imply. Hollow accusations should not go unaccounted for.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 18 2019 0:57 utc | 255

This post seems too "circular firing squad" for me. I support both Moon and Grayzone. It was not clear to me that Grayzone is even associated with Alternet anymore, and that's good. I haven't bothered with Alternet (except when Grayzone was there). I get my empire view from the leading warpage, the NYTimes, so why bother with any copyists? It's a small world of Antiwar analysts I've found worth reading: Moon, Grayzone, ConsortiumNews. I haven't a single friend that follows my line all the way as much as those 3 do.

Stick with current mistakes of competitors, not past ones, would be my preference. I haven't myself seen anything objectionable on Grayzone since I started reading it last year or so. They do great background and write as we as well as anyone. They have the correct side now on everything I've seen recently. My own evolution is apparently timely and similar to Max's, and I'm a lot older and should have known better.

Trust? Trust No One. Everyone makes mistakes, or worse. Moon is great for deep background also, but it seems to me the predictions sometimes fail from leaping too far.

One has to read multiple sources from different angles to have any hope of understanding anything. That is how it has always been, and always will be. Though I've never had patience for MSCIA. If I had infinite patience and time, I should keep up with them too.

Posted by: Charles Peterson | Dec 18 2019 3:37 utc | 256

Maybe things are bigger than the wars? Maybe the real goal of some of these journalists is simply as a back up plan to keep the corrupt system in place and lend it credibility after the coming exposure of both corrupt parties? Maybe they, by now carrying the truth narrative, are the ones that will lead the flow of the river after the deluge? Its interesting that many of these folks are also Jewish and progressives who appear to be leading the way. Maybe the chaos is intentional and the elite felt it was time to destroy the US from within while they shift the poles and move the center of the world to Russia and Israel? Maybe its all massive deception.

Posted by: Carey Felder | Dec 18 2019 3:44 utc | 257

The Greyzone has not covered the recent OPCW scandal and this is highlighted by their virtually ignoring the resignation of Tareq Haddad from Newsweek. Haddad is a journalist that a naive reader might expect to have been embraced by Max B./Greyzone especially in light of Max B.'s own recent arrest.

Furthermore, despite Haddad's treatment by Newsweek, Max B. chose to draw attention to a what appears to be a propaganda backgrounder from Newsweek, writing a comment that suggested that the story was pro-Iranian/anti-imperialist (from MSM?). It's impossible not to note that this Newsweek cover story is extraordinarily similar to what Barbara McKenzie warned us of with respect to the re-branded anti-Syrian Left.

More below.

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

Just two days ago, Max B highlighted a scaremongering ISIS-in-Iran story from Newsweek:

Max Blumenthal @MaxBlumenthal · Dec 15
FDD neocons and Pahlavi/MEK types are freaking out about this logically sound piece on the instrumental role Iran has played in the defeat of ISIS (after the US and its allies fueled its rise)

As might be expected from Mainstream Media (MSM), the story isn't really the Iranian government puff-piece that Max B. hints at. Instead it's a complex backgrounder that appears to lay the groundwork for exactly what Barabara McKenzie warned of in The Re-Branding of the Anti-Syria Left (previously linked @97 and @136):
The role of the thirdwayers, should there be a colour revolution in Iran, remains to be seen, but having now adopted the role of anti-imperialists, they will be in a better position to claim Iran as a genuine revolution, or to push for external intervention before the ‘revolution’ is taken over by jihadists.

The Newsweek story's propaganda importance is highlighted by it's being the cover story for January 2020. While it mentions Iran's participation in the fight against ISIS, it is mostly concerned with nascent efforts by ISIS to position itself to benefit from revolution in Iran.

In light of the resignation from Newsweek of Tareq Haddad, only a week before, one might expect that Max B (who calls himself a "dissident journalist") would be wary of highlighting a Newsweek story. And even more strange is the fact that Greyzone never bothered to write about Haddad's resignation from Newsweek over the magazine's decision not to cover the OPCW scandal!!

Greyzone's only story on that day (Dec. 7) was: US government drops case against Max Blumenthal after jailing journalist on false charges. Wouldn't a story about a prominent fellow journalist that is blocked from telling the truth have fit well with the "persecution" that Max has claimed (though greatly hyped) to have suffered?

Maybe, but it would have also: 1) highlighted a real anti-establishment journalist taking an action with real consequences; and 2) spread truths about controlled media that are uncomfortable for Max B given his history and pedigree.

In contrast, Moon of Alabama covered the Newsweek resignation over OPCW and b had no qualms about repeating Haddid's conclusion:

The U.S. government, in an ugly alliance with those the profit the most from war, has its tentacles in every part of the media—imposters, with ties to the U.S. State Department, sit in newsrooms all over the world. Editors, with no apparent connections to the member’s club, have done nothing to resist. Together, they filter out what can or cannot be reported. Inconvenient stories are completely blocked. As a result, journalism is quickly dying. America is regressing because it lacks the truth.

Notes

1) Max B retweeted Haddad's tweet that informed his twitter followers that he had resigned (Max B didn't add any comment).

2) The Greyzone has not covered the recent OPCW scandal despite earlier articles about the likely false flag, including an interview with Ted Postol. The only mention has been retweets of Ben Norton (Nov. 18) and Aaron Mate (Nov. 18). This is in sharp contrast to most other reputable alt-media/bloggers.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 18 2019 4:46 utc | 258

@259

I forgot to add that there was a second Grayzone retweet of Aaron Mate on Nov. 19.

No OPCW-related tweets or stories at The Greyzone website in December: no coverage of Haddad or the Wikileaks document dump.

Here is Caitlin Johnstone's reporting after the Wikileaks document dump: Deluge Of New Leaks Further Shreds The Establishment Syria Narrative, and Caitlin Johnstone about Haddad: Journalist: Newsweek Suppressed OPCW Scandal And Threatened Me With Legal Action.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 18 2019 5:27 utc | 259

and caitlin johnstone has written posts that support blumenthal.
!!
i finally saw him on a recent jimmy dore youtube, my first impression is he is narcisstic and has a very self righteous attitude, toward reporters currently pushing the empire line on assad, as he did once upon a time. if he's a cynical salesperson, the product he is currently selling on south america is good. it's kind of like sic semper tyrannis, if you ignore the nutjub south shall rise again promotion, and the science denial, it's a good place for analysis about syria or the impeachment farce. i mean even this barbara mckenzie fanatic may well be right about some things.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 18 2019 11:00 utc | 260

Max’s book “The Management of Savagery” is a great read about the War in Syria.

Based on that, and his recent visit to Damascus, it’s fair to give him the benefit of the doubt. He, like many of us, didn’t become aware of the multi-billion dollar propaganda campaign against Assad until 2015-2016.

The Grey Zone does great Investigative reporting on Latin America and the Middle East.

Posted by: Jon Victory | Dec 18 2019 11:43 utc | 261

Jon Victory @263

Max made himself part of the "multi-billion dollar propaganda campaign against Assad". If he is so stupid that he participated in that campaign without being aware of the campaign, then is he anyone worth listening to? How do we know he wont enroll himself in the next imperial disinfo campaign to come down the pipe?

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 18 2019 12:03 utc | 262

... Oh bother...

Many "anti-" Max Blumenthal seem to me simply ideollogically(/psychologically?) impaired...
Only one instance of this: About The Grayzone supposedly "not covering" the OPCW scandal...
@260... Jackrabbit... Reductio ad absurdum:

The Grayzone:

Nov 18, 2019: Whistleblower: OPCW suppressed Syria chemical evidence after US pressure

Nov 26, 2019: White Helmets Whitewash: founder's death, OPCW scandal lift mask on al-Qaeda's ally in Syria

Nov 16, 2019: Syria scandal: New whistleblower claims chemical weapons watchdog OPCW suppressed Douma evidence

Posted by: Red Corvair | Dec 18 2019 12:17 utc | 263

My last question about Max B.

True skeptics of the western narratives about Syria consider investigators like Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett to be courageous heroes in the fight against disinformation. If Max B really has come to his senses and recognizes that the pro regime change stance has been wrong all along, then shouldn't he also recognize the tremendous contributions these two and others have been making all along while he was supposedly "duped by the propaganda"? Shouldn't these two now also be courageous heroes in the fight against disinformation for Max B as well? Shouldn't Max B now feel more than a little shame for having attacked their characters? Shouldn't Max B now be trying his hardest to undo any damage to them that his attacks on them caused?

Instead Max B is pretending that he never attacked them and is making no move to undo his evil deeds. Isn't this problematic?

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 18 2019 12:17 utc | 264


Making propaganda for war is itself a war crime. That is what Max did.

Any "change of heart" would need to be evidenced with acts of contrition and with long penance. There is no sign of this from Max. He is and has always been a privileged child and an arrogant SOB.

All posters speaking of how it took them time to learn what was going on in Syria are immediately suspect. How much would you need to know? US went to war again. A blatant war of aggression. Prima facie criminal. Posters saying they bought the R2P story or the evil monster Assad story even briefly are proclaiming themselves dumb as rocks. Proclamations of stupidity that stink of motive and are simply not believable.

Posted by: oldhippie | Dec 18 2019 12:22 utc | 265

Suuuure, Max Blumenthal "like many of us, didn’t become aware of the multi-billion dollar propaganda campaign against Assad until 2015-2016".

FYI, Max Blumenthal is the son of Sidney Blumenthal. Go and type "Sidney Hillary" into your favorite search engine and take a sampling of the results. Max's dad prides himself on manipulating the press for political purposes. That is the type of nourishing stew that little Maxie was raised on.

Sid and Hill go way back as close pals, back to when Bill was still the local overseer at Mena and Max was just a little Maxie. That puts our intrepid investigative reporter a little too close to the murky Clinton waters, and all of the scary creatures lurking in its depths.

Yet, no word from Max Blumenthal about any of those curious connections. Mum's the word when Sid's your dad. Really, how can people ignore these glaring issues that are staring into the face of anyone doing even the smallest due diligence?

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 18 2019 12:25 utc | 266

Duh, "smallest amount of due diligence"

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 18 2019 12:29 utc | 267

Assad , Putin and China are not some Magical force for unbridled good who are going to save the World from the Evil unilateral Empire.. that is a comic book fantasy , as pitiful as the American Fantasy of being Exceptionally great , a force for nothing but virtue in the world put here on gods green earth to civilize the inferior savages..by saving it with shiny chromeplated capitalism/democracy.
- @ Posted by: Marb | Dec 17 2019 23:58 utc | 250

In this specific case, yes, they are.

Once in a blue moon, History is pretty much black and white and straightforward. This is one of those moments.

Posted by: vk | Dec 18 2019 12:29 utc | 268

Personally I wouldn't put my hand in the fire for the proposition that Russia (or Putin as a pars pro toto), is out there to save the world.

Jumping into the mess in Syria at the critical moment was possibly the best offensive defense to defuse the jihadist time bomb that has been stewing for decades, in preparation for its destabilizing deployment in Russia's soft underbelly.

That would also explain some of Russia's alignment with Lybia's Haftar, who is fighting against more or less the same jihadist mobs.

While China is not openly seen participating on those stages, I whould not be surprised if it has the same strategic interests regarding the roaming jihadist armies.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 18 2019 12:39 utc | 269

@ Posted by: Lurk | Dec 18 2019 12:39 utc | 272

So, you're putting Russia's effort to stop ISIS on the same moral level as the USA's effort to support ISIS?

Posted by: vk | Dec 18 2019 12:51 utc | 270

Field day for denouncing "traitors" on MoA, and on the most spurious of arguments and the most controversial "evidence"... Is it often like this here on MoA?
All you will succeed to do is discouraging any interest for MoA and so maybe you will remain among yourselves, old "lefty" fogeys, bigots of "the truth", to jerk off about "purity" in "journalism".
This article and many of the rants that go with it are a good illustration of the problem among "a certain left": cultism and self-destruction.
Note that the phenomenon is not uncommon in the the far-right as well, as illustrated recently in Venezuela and Bolivia (where the coup leaders are now disemboweling one another)... by many articles by Max Blumenthal and The Grayzone collaborators, among others. (How many by Moa? None!!! How come? What MoA does he stands for then??!! But let's leave it for another "fascinating" thread of commments...)
Who cares among MoA's impassioned "admirers"... I'm still stunned by how many of them start their comment with a message of thankful praise for MoA's latest article, as if he were some kind of supra-human being one has to appease first and kiss his leader's ass before anything is said... Simply ludicrous!

Posted by: Red Corvair | Dec 18 2019 13:00 utc | 271

@ vk | Dec 18 2019 12:51 utc | 273

So, you're putting Russia's effort to stop ISIS on the same moral level as the USA's effort to support ISIS?

Obviously, defending oneself against criminal terrorism is in a wholly different league than inciting criminal terrorism.

So no, I was certainly not trying to do that.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 18 2019 13:20 utc | 272

@ William Gruff, comment 267

I agree. Eva Bartlett and later Vanessa Beeley were the first sources I learned about the betrayal in Syria. It didn't take long for me to realise they were among the few voices that can be trusted. This was before I even knew about Moon of Alabama. Karin Leukefeld (https://leukefeld.net) and Daniele Ganser were also, and still are, important sources, although not well known in English speaking countries.

Another thing: just watch an interview of the evil monster the media is painting. I was sincerely interested to see the 'butcher' al-Assad speaking and reasoning. What I saw was a well-informed gentleman. Looks and words can deceive, but there is also body language that cannot be faked. For me it was very clear when I started researching that this man cannot be this monster. It's impossible.

I am not a journalist. I cannot afford to spend hours per day for research. But just a little bit of research was enough to lift the veil of lies of our media. And it is not the first time either. Actually it can be said, what the MSM is saying, the contrary is correct. Mr Norton and Mr Blumenthal had enough time, as journalists, to find out what everyone is able to find out. It is therefore not trivial what b has said. It is not bickering or about 'who was first', 'who is the best'. It is about integrity, real journalism, authentic research for truth. Not about fame or tabloid headlines.

Posted by: Phil | Dec 18 2019 13:21 utc | 273

@ Posted by: Red Corvair | Dec 18 2019 13:00 utc | 274

So, you're saying that it is ok for the likes of Max Blumenthal to lay waste on the "left camp" of journalism (including, apparently, throwing Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett under the bus) and then come back and be received with open arms as if nothing ever happened, but not ok to denounce him by this sudden and inexplicable act of hypocrisy?

What if he's infiltrated?

If, one month from now, Max Blumenthal suddenly support the USA side on Libya, will the "left" condemn him again, only for him to pretend to be sorry again (after the USA lose another proxy war), and only for him to be received with open arms again?

And I have access to both "leftist" Spanish and Portuguese alternative media, I can attest you Blumenthal is far from being the only source on Bolivia. Not only that, he's not even the first to break out the news on this subject.

Truth doesn't have the obligation to be political neutral on the Western-invented Left-Right political spectrum. More often than not, it has a side.

Posted by: vk | Dec 18 2019 13:27 utc | 274

@ Red Corvair | Dec 18 2019 13:00 utc | 274

Congratulations for completely evading the controversial "evidence" of the Clinton connection. Surely that was no biggie for the likes of you.

Also thank you so much for another rich sampling from your special toolbox. Now please go away, because here at MoA we do not like to play ball on an astroturf field. It just does notfeel natural.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 18 2019 13:30 utc | 275

Red Corvair @266

That's not a fair reading of my comments @260 and @261.

I wrote that they covered OPCW but not the latest developments - despite having previously covered it in some detail and even though Haddad's defense of journalistic integrity seemed to fit well with Max B.'s arrest.

Why did Greyzone back away from their coverage? Caitlin Johnstone and b have less resources but they covered it because it is so important (and covered it well).

And why is Max B. calling attention to a Newsweek propaganda piece - especially so soon after Haddad's resignation showed that Newsweek's reporting is biased in favor of US government?

And isn't it noteworthy (at least) that Max B's interest in Newsweek's ISIS-in-Iran cover story is just the kind of thing that Barbara McKenzie's warned about wrt the "re-branded Anti-Syrian Left"?

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 18 2019 14:31 utc | 276

This is some petty shit, Bernard. You’re better than this.

Posted by: nwwoods | Dec 18 2019 14:41 utc | 277

@ nwwoods | Dec 18 2019 14:41 utc | 280

Whoah dude, your arguments are sooo... overwhelming and convincing!

Why don't you invite all of your friends here to come and make some more of these wonderful sponsored announcements. They really do add to the overall quality of the discussion.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 18 2019 14:46 utc | 278

Robert Snefjella @219

re Chomsky, I held him in high regard -- once upon a time. However, his 9/11 "spin" (in this case, a generous term) changed all that. Could never figure out whether he was afraid, or if something else was going on.

Posted by: Evelyn | Dec 18 2019 14:58 utc | 279

"All posters speaking of how it took them time to learn what was going on in Syria are immediately suspect." --oldhippie @268

That's certainly not unreasonable, but I raised the issue because I learned of the crisis in Syria while I was backpacking around Latin America. By that point I had learned just the rudiments of survival Spanish and was neither plugged into North American mass media nor could I get much from local media due to language issues. The only info I had gotten by then was some images on the TV and the claims of some Kiwis I had run across (who knew Kiwis were just as badly brainwashed as Americans? I didn't back then). At a social gathering of local students and expats of various nationalities in La Candelaria I had made ignorant and disparaging remarks about Syria's president ("You know he is a crook because he has both eyes in the same socket!"). That prompted a Syrian expat at the gathering to explain what was going on in his country. Less than a minute later my opinion "evolved".

This was in early 2011, so it is not as if I nursed an illusion for very long... perhaps a week at the most? A week during which I spent far more time trying to figure out how to buy those delicious looking things that I didn't know the names of from street food vendors than I spent on trying to understand geopolitical issues. The point here is that if I figured out what was going on in Syria fairly quickly and under rather adverse conditions, why is it that someone whose job it was to research what was happening in Syria, understand it, and then communicate that understanding to the public took five years to come to the same conclusion that I did the first time that I gave the issue any real thought?

Maybe Max B just never met a real Syrian like I did?

Or maybe I am some sort of supergenius?

In any case I think it is clear that Max B's retarded (as in "delayed"! It's not a "bad word"!) enlightenment is in need of a more thorough accounting.

Posted by: William Gruff | Dec 18 2019 15:00 utc | 280

Blumenthal is an agent of Empire. Meant to police the far Left side of US political discourse. That's why he pushes "blowback/innocence" theory of Empire. Ruling class is too dumb to understand the results of their "misadventures".

Policing the borders of the political discourse affects the mainstream discussion (in US context, I suppose NYT, Washington Post, CNN, etc.) to the extent that it keeps the people at the borders from encouraging people in the mainstream to do something else. It’s about containing social change, which is, of course, going to start at the periphery, as it always has.

It’s also not just about the individual effect of some individual talk that Blumenthal gives to Democracy Now. It’s about the collective effect of everyone in public life selling the same swill, as if no other rational possibility exists. It’s sorta like what J.K. Galbraith said about car commercials. They’re not just about getting people to buy a Chevy or a Ford. It’s about selling them on the necessity of a car.

@AKDC Oh, okay. I just thought you should know that doesn't mean everyone who reads a Trot website is trot. I read WSWS and I'm not...


Posted by: David | Dec 18 2019 15:25 utc | 281

William Gruff, I really can't fault most people too harshly for not understanding the Syrian conflict from the get-go or even now. The majority is still asleep in front of the mind control altar in their living room. I rejoice at every sign of a new soul starting to wake up, even if I know that the process of fully waking up is long, arduous and traumatic. Many don't make it all the way and prefer to go back to a more comforting sleep instead.

While I am probably not as old as oldhippie and also less hippie (although I am old enough to have quit smoking weed, lol), the Syrian conflict did not mystify me much at all. Once you have picked up the scent of the animal, once you recognize its pawprints, it is pretty evident when and where it is roaming about.

At least I am old enough to remember how Taliban used to be Mujahedeen and how we gave 'em all these Stingers to shoot at the Soviets. I was surprised that so many people had forgotten all that. Although I was less surprised that so many people fell in trance to the September Reichstag shock, it still was painful to see that even the more intelligent ones fell prey to it so easily and on such a massive scale.

Instead of awe-gazing at the endless repeats of planes and burning and crashing sky scrapers, I frantically read the net and just in time witnessed the website of that air defense base in D.C. being taken offline, and when it came back, all mention of its task and means to protect the skies over the white house and the pentagon had been memory holed. What a coincidence.

I was never shocked by the events of 911. Rather I was shocked at dubya's selection, or more precisely, the return of all the creepy crawlies from the Reagan and poppy Bush times in his wake. With those people back in the front seat of power, things like 911 are a logical and almost predictable corrollary.

For quite some time now I have been able to study the political zoo. It has been an uncomfortable, but luxurious position. I can't fault other people for not knowing what I do know. I am even unable to inform them of what I know, because most of the time, it hurts them too much. Even though I know that by remaining ignorant, they risk getting hurt much more seriously, it is almost impossible to confer useful knowledge to them.

However, regarding Max Blumenthal:

Based on what I have gathered, it is almost impossible for me to believe that Max Blumenthal is one of these uninformed sleepwalkers.

Not only must he be a personal acquaintance of the Clintons (when your dad is one of their best friends, you don't have to be a best friend too, but you are at least a personal acquaintance), but I would not be surprised when he had actually at some point in his childhood sat on Hillary Clintons's lap. Okay, the latter is mere speculation, but at least it has a very high likelihood. (And isn't "likely" the new golden standard of evidence nowadays?)

One cannot have been so close to Hillary Clinton and claim to not have been aware of a multi-billion dollar Syria project. After all, less than one year before the overt start of the Syria campaign, Hillary Clinton was still the US secretary of state and she and Sidney Blumenthal where for all intents and purposes practically sitting on each other's lap.

How can this guy be so close to the Clintons for such a long time, time during which the Clintons and their coterie (including his father) compromised themselves on a massive scale time after time, not be utterly revolted about all that he must have heard about or even witnessed first hand?

It all just beggars belief.

And in turn, people who demand to remain ignorant of these considerations are begging to be confronted over their willful ignorance or even sinister duplicity.

Jimmy Dore has an occasionally entertaining show, I even like a lot the impersonations they do (although the Bernie ones are boring and lack all substance), but he and his associates discredit themselves severely by not adressing these issues.

As I have said earlier, the Blumenthal - Clinton issue is contageous.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 18 2019 16:24 utc | 282

Jon Victory @263

"The Management of Slavery" by Max Blumenthal reads like a novel. It has the same cadences and style. Right from the opening line, which is written very much in the style of Raymond Chandler:

"It was the week after labor day and Washington was filling up again with its chattering class, just back from summer sojourn up and down the street."

Notice the alliteration "chattering class" quickly followed by "summer sojourn....street" - some may feel that its use is a bit heavy-handed, but it is not too noticeable, and definitely psychologically comforting - A small thing, perhaps, and some will just go "pfft" but that was the work of a good, poetic kind of writer, but one who takes the easy option (there is nothing easier than alliteration using "s" words.)

Compare Blumenthal's opening line, in cadence, to the opening line of "The Long Goodbye:

"The first time I laid eyes on Terry Lennox he was drunk in a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith outside the terrace of The Dancers."

A very memorable opening line, at least I've never forgotten it, and it even has very subtle alliteration "Rolls Royce...Wraith".

Can you feel the similarilty in rhythm and cadence?

Blumenthal: "It was the week after labor day..."

Chandler: "The first time I laid eyes..."

-----

Blumenthal: "...and Washington..."

Chandler: "...on Terry Lennox..."

----

Blumenthal: "...was filling up again with its chattering class, just back from summer sojourn..."

Chandler: "...he was drunk in a Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith..."

-----

Blumenthal: "... up and down the street."

Chandler: "...outside the terrace of The Dancers."

To be clear this is not plagiarism but it is the use of the novel (story telling) form not the documentary form.

There is an obvious problem in writing what should be factual book in the form of a novel and that is you cannot reliably trust such a book because you cannot be sure what has been omitted or altered to fit the story the author is trying to convey. Obviously, there has to be some omission because there is a limitation of space, brevity, knowledge, verification, time, etc. but you have to be able to trust that such ommissions are nor manipulative and selective, are not intended to deceive.

"The Management of Slavery" isn't really about the Syrian conflict as you impute. Oh, sure the Syrian conflict is part of the book put the strapline makes clear that the book is about "How America's National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, Isis, and Donald Trump" - the basic case is to makes is to push the blowback (untended consequences) theory. The strapline also equates Trump (and, by implication, his supporters) with Isis and Al Qaeda.

So, let's be clear here, Blumenthal's book might be a good read but it is not a work of rigorously researched, impartial and objective fact, it is a work of propaganda.

And I think the message of the book is encapsulated by the lead epigraph, a quote by Hilary Clinton:

“Let’s remember here the people we are fighting today we funded twenty years ago and we did it because we were locked in a struggle with the Soviet Union...So there is a very strong argument which is - it wasn’t a bad investment to end the Soviet Union. but let’s be careful with what we sow because we will harvest."

Hardly groundbreaking stuff (the quote is over 10 years old), but this isn't the full quote, which is quite long, but goes into more detail about what the US did and how all the institutions and politicals were in on it - The full quote is rather more damning on the US (but, nothing that most readers don't already know).

The last two chapters of the book "Attacking Our Team" and "Extinction of the Grayzone" (which, I haven't and don't intend to read) convey the impression that the reader will be in for some good old fashioned Blumenthal and co as victims and some self-publicity,

Personally, I doubt Blumenthal actually wrote the book.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 18 2019 16:25 utc | 283

David @284

"Oh, okay. I just thought you should know that doesn't mean everyone who reads a Trot website is trot. I read WSWS and I'm not..."

I don't have anything against Trotskyists at all.

I just think Blumenthal/Norton blaming of Trotskyists is an utter lie, not credible, shameful evasion and sets up grounds for witch-hunts (of Trotskyists) in the future.

I noticed that William Gruff felt that I was being a bit unfair (@202 made them sound "sinister") to Trotskyists. I'll just take this opportunity to say that this was not what I intended. However, if you refect it is really Norton/Blumenthal that are presenting Trotsykites as something sinister and they do because Trotskyists are an easy target.

Posted by: ADKC | Dec 18 2019 17:16 utc | 284

@ 274 red corvair... thanks for outing yourself in that post... just like @ 250 marb!! it looks like the only reason the 2 of you came to moa is to shit on b, which is quite different then thanking him for shining a light on this.. of course you'd have a problem with an attitude of gratitude...

i wanted to take up this comment by

old hippie @268 "All posters speaking of how it took them time to learn what was going on in Syria are immediately suspect."

i get the impression a lot of posters here are americans.. i am in my early 60's and grew up in vancouver... my first exposure to us imperialism was via the war on vietnam and meeting draft dodgers in vancouver in my late teens.. the fact that all the shit happened in all the years since, and they all had the air of usa imperialism stamped on them seemed pretty clear to me... so when syria's assad being resurrected as the latest hitler came into the news, it was just another really bad re-run of all the same shit from our neighbours to the south of us... i would agree with old hippie here as a consequence, but being canadian maybe that has helped a wee bit... not that canada is much different in terms of what we do - rubber stamp all this same shit most of the time - the war on iraq and cuba being a few exceptions...

what neither red corvair or marb are able to do is tell us why max b can't offer an explanation of his past, the funding for greyzone and etc. etc... why is that? instead in corvairs last post, he is more into attacking the posters! why am i not surprised??

Posted by: james | Dec 18 2019 17:22 utc | 285

i think chomsky may tend toward the let it happen interpretation of 911, but don't know.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 18 2019 18:25 utc | 286

I know they don't need my concurrence, but I certainly second the sentiments of William Gruff @267 and oldhippie @268. I have no idea where people get the notion that an Empire--any Empire at any time historically--can be considered benevolent, that there's a valid reason for the support of Empire, that it's somehow morally/ethically okay. But we've been treated to an inundation of people who are either myopic or in the service of Empire. And to be in the service of Empire is to abet its crimes and become just as guilty. In a way, this is Bush's maxim in reverse--Either you're with Empire or against it.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 18 2019 18:43 utc | 287

james:

old hippie @268 "All posters speaking of how it took them time to learn what was going on in Syria are immediately suspect."

What's even more suspect is these posters conflate victim and victimizer by saying that Max B. (and presumably others pushing the anti-Assad line at the time) only recognized the problems inherent in supporting the Jihadis when the public did.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 18 2019 18:58 utc | 288

What is the point of this? This is the exact same article b and “daniel” wrote two years ago.

I have to say, it sounds as if your problem when it comes to Max is somehow personal or envious. Perhaps some self-reflection is in order.

Posted by: Trouvere | Dec 18 2019 19:06 utc | 289

so karlofi, should jimmy dore and caitlin johnstone give publicity to grayzone or not? dore just had a video with blumenthal, johnstone published a supportive piece after his arrest.
what if grayzone continues to have good coverage of the empire's wars in central and south america, in your opinion should that be linked to?

Posted by: pretzelattack | Dec 18 2019 19:23 utc | 290

@ Trouvere | Dec 18 2019 19:06 utc | 292

Judging by the number of people who come here to complain about the topic but are evidently ignorant of the undeniable issue, the matter is still very relevant indeed.

So nice to see you too sidestepping the actual issues and instead resorting to contrived ad hominem attacks on the messenger.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 18 2019 19:38 utc | 291

Hi all. This is my first post here and I would like to thank B and many of commentators who I have been reading for a number of months now. I have learned a ton from being here.

I have a personal relationship with Aaron Mate' (we both go to the same gym in Brooklyn) and have been conversing with him over the last few years mostly about the Russiagate hoax that he has diligently been exposing for 3 years or so. I have been reading the grayzone since
Aaron first told me it was starting. When we starting to talk about Syria one time in 2018 I think, he quickly volunteered that he had gotten Syrian wrong for about 5 years and had only gotten in right in the last 2 years. He brought this up (no hiding of the fact!) and I was a bit astounded and perplexed by it.

I just have been listening to the Moderate rebels interview that was linked here in post 73 by J. L. Seagull. It explains a lot. If you have not listened to it and still think that Blumenthal has not admitted his mistakes publicly then it is must listen for you. In it he admits and explains why he got it wrong and how it was his worst mistake as journalist and that he owes a big apology to those he cricicized who got it right from the start. He and Khalek (who is a Lebanese Druze who has relatives in Syria) talk very knowledgeably about what they know now and how/why they were wrong at the start about Syria.

For those who are making claims about the Grayzone being some Deep State cover or other similar negative sentiments, you need to spend more time looking at that site. It has done some excellent work including stories about the OPCW getting it wrong on Douma, etc. I personally find it laughable to characterize Aaron Mate' as a deep state cover. I have spent way too much time hearing what he says about the current state of affairs in the US to believe that he is not a major contributer to the oppostion of US hegemony and Deep State desires.

Best to all who spend time and contribute here. I find it highly valuable.

Blake

Posted by: Blake | Dec 18 2019 19:47 utc | 292

Thanks b for a timely post. I watched a GZ video yesterday whith Mate interviewing Taibbi and was underwhelmed by the narrow and vacuous content. Your wakeup post is appreciated and the intensity of the retorts has been illuminating. I appreciate their reporting but have found it too starbucks style to be a regular.

I find it a bit telling when we have no idea where the bankroll comes from even after 200 posts. Can any of the pro GZ commenters here enlighten me on that point?

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 18 2019 20:28 utc | 293

@ Posted by: uncle tungsten | Dec 18 2019 20:28 utc | 296 who asked
"
I find it a bit telling when we have no idea where the bankroll comes from even after 200 posts. Can any of the pro GZ commenters here enlighten me on that point?
"

Somewhere back in the comments Jackrabbit wrote that it looks like the funding for GZ is coming from Soros but you are correct that no GZ folks have answered b's question about where Max get his money.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 18 2019 20:37 utc | 294

Thanks *b*.
I got to the 6th comment here and, well the "father comment" aka *Sidney Booming-all* said-it-all to me.
Who's Max's father, could it be the Sid B-guy I asked myself now?
YES.
Max's dad was intimately/directly involved in the grotesque murder of Mummar Khaddafi.
Right up to the minute Khaddafi was murdered, Hildabeast Rotten Clinton was in direct telephone contact with.....Max's dad Sid.
Even though wikipedia is mostly a psy-op, let see what they write about 'dear old dad':

-Blumenthal was a full-time employee of the Clinton Foundation from 2009 until 2013 and served as a consultant for the foundation from 2013 until 2015, earning about $10,000 per month.[25][26] Critics charge that Blumenthal's work at the foundation was inappropriately politically motivated and that during his time at the foundation, he blurred the lines between the foundation and Secretary Clinton's role as Secretary of State.[27][28]

During the 2011 uprising in Libya against Muammar Gaddafi, Blumenthal prepared, from public and other sources, about 25 memos which he sent as emails to Clinton in 2011 and 2012, which she shared through her aide, Jake Sullivan, with senior State Department personnel. In the form of intelligence briefings, the memos sometimes touted his business associates and, at times contained inaccurate information.[29][30]

The United States House Select Committee on Benghazi, headed by Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, subpoenaed Blumenthal in May 2015.[31][32] Blumenthal gave testimony in a closed-door session the following month.[33]

Blumenthal's name came up during the October 22, 2015 full committee public questioning of Hillary Clinton regarding the Benghazi incident, as one of the alleged sources of Clinton's intelligence.
-

Well-well.
Imagine that.
Anyway, I heard about Max about 3 years ago.
I ID-ed him immediately as a 'controlled opposition'-type.
But, after seeing who his dad is well....
I'll use a am. English colloquial that describe Sid & Max. i.e. Scumbags.
Nefarious predilections runs in the family I guess.

Good Call *b*.
Best Regards X-

Posted by: Veritas X- | Dec 18 2019 20:46 utc | 295

VK said...

'Once in a blue moon, History is pretty much black and white and straightforward. This is one of those moments.'

I agree with VK [and others] on this...

As for 'Lurk'...who is suspiciously ambivalent of the forces for good...ie the forces trying to bring us back to a sane world of multilateralism and an end to wanton imperialist aggression and crimes against peace...his narrative has gaping holes...

He claims Russia went into Syria for self-interest to fight terror that could afflict its 'soft underbelly' of its Muslim populations...

Here's a news flash for you 'Lurk'...Russia, throughout the 1990s was ALREADY a target for terrorism and secessionism...and which terrorism and secessionism was in fact sponsored by Washington...

That is part of the historical record...

Putin said he raised the issue with then-U.S. President George W. Bush, who promised to ‘kick the ass’ of the intelligence officers in question. But in the end, Putin said the Russian intelligence agency FSB received a letter from its ‘American counterparts’ who asserted their right to ‘support all opposition forces in Russia,’ including the Islamic separatists in the Caucasus.

--Chechnya, the CIA and Terrorism

So Russia has for a long time been a victim of US state-sponsored terrorism...in the same way that we are seeing with Syria...

China too is increasingly targeted...there are an estimated ten thousand Chinese nationals [Uighurs] among the terror army fighting in Syria...an several thousand from Chechnya and Russia's Caucusus...

It is now well-established that this terror army was marshaled, funded, transported, armed, trained and deployed in Syria by the CIA and its collaborators...

Considering the past history of CIA-sponsored terrorism [Chechnya, Bosnia and other places]...we can safely deduce that international terrorism is in fact a weapon created and used by the CIA and its imperialist masters...

Nothing new or particularly surprising about this...

Btw 'Lurk'...interesting to see your back and forth with 'Marb'...it's almost like tag-team work...the good-cop, bad-cop routine...LOL

Like Edward Curtin wrote recently...'the bread of truth is essential to concealing untruth...'

Posted by: flankerbandit | Dec 18 2019 20:56 utc | 296

@ Blake | Dec 18 2019 19:47 utc | 295

Maybe I missed some specific post that you implicitly refer to, but AFAICS nobody claims that Aaron Maté is "a deep state cover". The issue here is specifically with Max Blumenthal and, to a lesser extent, Norton and Khalek. BTW I think that while Aaron Maté's initial inability to see through the propaganda doesn't make him an 'agent' of sorts, it does paint him in a not so very favorable light as an 'independent' reporter.

You would do well to consult Eva Bartlett and Vanessa Beeley on the question of whether Max Blumenthal's admissions count as full and genuine. After all, they are the ones who were smeared so viciously by Max Blumenthal for courageous reporting of facts that went counter to the establisment narrative that Blumenthal defended in his "alternative media".

Apart from Max Blumenthal's faux pas in matters of the Syrian war, there is a much bigger issue with his silence about his very close connections to the Clintons. Perhaps you can grill your friend Aaron about that. Why hasn't Aaron himself raised that issue already with Max Blumenthal? Not investigating this issue does not reflect favorable on Aaron Maté's competence. The Max Blumenthal problem is contageous.

Posted by: Lurk | Dec 18 2019 21:12 utc | 297

pretzelattack @293:

... should jimmy dore and caitlin johnstone give publicity to grayzone or not?

Caitlin Johnstone's opinion piece about Max B.'s arrest is definitely problematic. In imagery (see the pic) and text ("First they came for Assange .. Then they came for Max"), she likens Max B. to Assange. Max B. is not deserving of such a boost in statue.

To Max B. shamelessly thanked Caitlin on twitter without objecting to her likening him to Assange.

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

Jimmy Dore interviewed Max about 5 days later (it seems that Jimmy Dore he couldn't ignore the hype of Max B.'s arrest) and allowed him to keep digging the hole he had made with his hyped "persecution" then asked simple pertinent and important questions:

About his arrest ...

Jimmy Dore: I can't wait to see your reporting when you figure out, you know, when you figure out who gave this order to go ahead and arrest you. Who ...

Max B (interrupting): It's the Trump Administration, it's the Justice Department, it's the Federal Government. We know that.

... and about his release

Max B.: And then I was led out into a courtroom and ah.. a Judge let me go on my own recognizance ... I got to see her [the Judge] send other people to holding cells for several days ...

Jimmy Dore: Why did, why did ...

Max B.: ... but I was let go because the prosecutor said I could go on my own recognizance.

Jimmy Dore: Why did the prosecutor say that?

Max B.: I don't know, uh .. I mean, I don't want to get into any details but that's the way it went down.

Jimmy Dore: Ok. [making a facial expression that conveys: not really ok]


Max B, hadn't tried to find out who gave the order to arrest him and had no intention of doing so. Anyone can see that his answer is simply obstructive as Max B. was arrested on a charge of "simple assault" by the D.C. police (not FBI or Federal Marshals). Any real journalist that wanted to investigate the arrest (which Max B. termed "persecution!") would start with simple facts like who ordered the arrest.

But if Max B. was being "persecuted" why did was the PROSECUTOR so generous?

Jimmy Dore did a good service by bringing this to light.

Also note: During the interview Max B. asserts "I'm not Assange" but also promotes the notion that his "persecution" is like Assange when he says that he "though a lot about Assange" while he was in jail.

And anyone that cares to notice can see Max B. stumbling over answers that should come easily over a week after he was arrested.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Dec 18 2019 21:12 utc | 298

pretzelattack @293--

Since I've already linked to items by all involved, clearly I'm in no position to tell others not to use them as sources. In fact, I wrote prior to my 290 that provided their premises are corroborated by other credible sources, then there should be no issue with them. Thus, the horns of the dilemma. What would Justice Jackson say or the moral philosopher? Is this a case of The enemy of my enemy's a friend? Given the fact Cointelpro never ceased, how suspicious/cautious should we be? As far as I can tell, the trio in question are what's known as secondary sources, although they have acted as additional primary sources when reporting on events from where they're occurring, meaning they aren't the "essential" documenters of those events as other primary and secondary sources exist. What was it Reagan said, "Trust, but verify."

Frankly, the entire criminal matrix infiltrates most everywhere, sort of like East Germany where even family members ratted on each other. That's the nature of Totalitarianism, and we're quite likely living within a hybrid variety of totalitarianism. When we think of that, then Blumenthal and those akin cease to be the main problem as it's the System that made them a problem, and it's the System that needs to be eradicated. Once gone, those that worked for the System either rehabilitate or kill themselves--sort of like a Borg becoming disconnected from its hive. In the end, we all must live with our self; simply deleting the past doesn't alter what you are within.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 18 2019 22:07 utc | 299

What we all need to do is oppose our own tendency to trust people and place loyalty in them and instead develop our critical sense.

b. is usually helpful to me in trying to do that. Not so much in this post, however. But I'm opposing my tendency to be disappointed just as I oppose my tendency to trust.

Posted by: Gene Poole | Dec 18 2019 22:09 utc | 300

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