Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 01, 2020

The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2020-16

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

Your Man in the Public Gallery – Assange Hearing Day Four - Craig Murray

Other issues:


2001-2020: The Taliban won the war against the U.S. and its allies.
Pompeo: US ‘realistic’ but sees opportunity for Afghan peace - AP

> Dozens of Taliban members had earlier held a small victory march in Qatar in which they waved the militant group’s white flags, according to a video shared on Taliban websites. “Today is the day of victory, which has come with the help of Allah,” said Abbas Stanikzai, one of the Taliban’s lead negotiators, who joined the march. <

The U.S. has given up and signed a peace agreement with the Taliban. The Afghan government does not like it at all and will do its best to sabotage it. But the U.S. is on its way out and in two or three years the current government in Kabul will likely no longer exist.

737 MAX:

FAA Tells Boeing More Training For 737 Max Pilots May Be Needed MSN

Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on March 1, 2020 at 14:57 UTC | Permalink

next page »


Hopefully enjoying ur sunday and not too distracted by Luongo's optimistic retort, i hope his faith will be rewarded by all i see is Trump's own Katrina heading for him like a slow tsunami...

Much more curious to find out your insight into the use of drones by Turkey recently to (apparently) devastating effect on SAA assets in airspace supposedly controlled by SAA and Russia... how could they let that happen?

And now this.. is it even right to call it a contested airspace now?

What will Putin do, what can he do to respond?

Posted by: EtTu | Mar 1 2020 15:39 utc | 1

very interesting graphic

Posted by: snake | Mar 1 2020 16:28 utc | 2

IMO, the BIG QUESTION is this:

Is there any long term consequence to an individual who contracts Covid-19? In other words, is Covid-19 like HIV, or is it like regular flu? The difference is that HIV is NOT cleared by the body's immune system, whereas all influenza viruses (H1N1, etc.) are cleared by the body's immune system AND immunity is permanent or semi-permanent.

I seriously doubt anyone has the answer to this question today, but I think it should be being asked because the consequences of the answer are extraordinarily significant.

Posted by: Don Wills | Mar 1 2020 16:29 utc | 3

For Circe and Jack Rabbit
Bernie Sanders Foreign Policy Trap By Margaret Kimberley

The thing that has always bothered me about Sanders is his foreign policy. Jack Rabbit has his theory, wh,ch Sanders behavior seems to support. I am not sure what Sanders supporters intend to do about. Maybe Circe can enlighten us

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Mar 1 2020 16:33 utc | 4

very interesting UN report happened on to .. on Torture.

Posted by: snake | Mar 1 2020 16:37 utc | 5

Turkey launches Operation Spring Shield.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Mar 1 2020 16:38 utc | 6

Turkey downing of the Syrian jets over Syria's soil is a declaration of war unlike, in 2015, the so-called "accident" of Turkey downing the Russian jet.

It's on.
Syrian air defense systems down six Turkish combat drone

DAMASCUS / Syria/, March 1. /TASS/. Six Turkish combat drones have been destroyed by Syrian air defense systems, a source in the Syrian defense ministry said on Sunday.
According to the source, the drone were delivering strikes on the positions of the Syrian government army to provide backing to terrorist groups:[.]

Of note. The Interim US-Taliban peace arrangement. It was reported as the US signing a peace deal with enemy Taliban

and that left Bolton in a hissy fit, by his S hairs:

Bolton: US-Taliban Deal Poses ‘Unacceptable Risk to America’s Civilian Population'


Former National Security Adviser John Bolton has lashed out at a US-Taliban peace deal which he claimed poses an “unacceptable risk to America’s civilian population”.

“This is an Obama-style deal. Legitimising Taliban sends the wrong signal to ISIS [Daesh*] and al-Qaeda* terrorists, and to America's enemies generally,” Bolton tweeted on Saturday, referring to US President Donald Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama.

Well, we are thankful Trump fired the bastard. We could be at World War 6. How do we usher this bastard off stage? Gently, so as not to hurt his moustache.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 1 2020 16:50 utc | 7

@ Blue Dotterel #4

You can’t have imperialism abroad and democracy at home. The last President who went against the corporate-financial-congressional-intelligence-military-industrial complex?


Posted by: Noah Way | Mar 1 2020 16:53 utc | 8

@6 u know those sticks the chinese eat rice with? We can do some big ones, wrap some clothes on top not to hurt his moustache and just put him in the bin, sorry, box.

Posted by: albagen | Mar 1 2020 17:05 utc | 9

Greece is under attack ... again

Posted by: DG | Mar 1 2020 17:07 utc | 10

i think i am going to stop trying to open twitter links when only about 1/2 of them open up to anything other then 'try again'..

i saw this article in the turkish news that i thought was cool.. Making room for women maestros

the taliban won in afganistan....that is rather interesting...

coronavirus in the usa... it seems like they aren't prepared...

@ 4 blue dotterel.. foreign policy seems to be the achilles heel of sanders, not that any bernie bots are paying attention.

Posted by: james | Mar 1 2020 17:33 utc | 11

So you suggest nothing be done about this obvious issue, even if it proves to be his Achilles heel. That does not strike me as being a loyal follower.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Mar 1 2020 17:49 utc | 12

@ albumen 9

bamboo trees can grow to 6" diameter. You will need a young tree. Go for it. I'll throw in the popcorn.

This week Erdo asked Putin to step aside so he can go one-on-one with "the Assad regime"

The Kremlin has responded:

Kremlin Responds to Erdogan’s Request That Russia ‘Step Aside’ in Syria

On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters that he had asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to “get out of Turkey’s way” and to leave Ankara “face to face” with Damascus in the renegade Syrian province of Idlib.

Russia is the only country with a legitimate, internationally recognized right to station troops in Syria, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said.
“Russia is the only country which has troops in Syria on a legal basis and at the request of the legitimate Syrian government,” Peskov said, speaking to Russia 1’s Moscow.Kremlin.Putin programme on Sunday when asked to comment on President Erdogan’s remarks about what “business” Russia has in Syria.

“All other military forces of other countries are in Syria in contravention of the norms and principles of international law,” Peskov added.[.]

Peskov recalled that in addition to attacking the Syrian Army, the terrorists were also attacking Russian military units in the Arab Republic. “Therefore,” he noted, “regardless of any statements, the fight against these terrorist elements will continue.”[.]

Peskov also confirmed that Presidents Putin and Erdogan would meet on March 5 or 6 in Moscow to discuss the Syrian crisis. According to Peskov, the meeting would not be an easy one. “This will undoubtedly be a difficult meeting, [.]

Oh to have a chair in the hallway a few feet from the meeting chambers!!!

Erdo is really pushing against a string.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 1 2020 17:53 utc | 13

EtTu @ 1
The Turkish drones - the Russians agreed to allow Turkish surveillance drones over Idlib and other areas held by jihadists - Turkey weaponized them, surprised the Syrians and Russians and it's taken the SAA and RuAF a couple of days to respond - the same would apply to any country that allowed surveillance drones over a contested area - the TSK will now lose all the drones it puts in the air over Idlib and the next time Turkey asks Russia to allow it to fly surveillance drones over Idlib it'll be told where to go.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 1 2020 18:43 utc | 14

The Center for Economic and Policy Research had its analysis of the OAS' very consequential report on last autumn's Bolivian election peer reviewed. The findings agreed with CEPR, that the OAS report was based on "problematical" statistics, and that the election, rather than irregular, was in fact fairly won by Morales and his MAS party. Morales is currently in exile in Argentina, and faces, along with other party leaders, sedition and terrorism charges for his participation in an election which he fairly won.

The OAS has yet to respond to the criticism. However, this news was reported in the Washington Post, perhaps as a heads-up to the NED minders preparing "technical assistance" for the election re-do scheduled for May.

Posted by: jayc | Mar 1 2020 18:46 utc | 15

Now that the Americans have been defeated in Afghanistan perhaps they'll go back with a more critical eye to look at what happened in the Afghan-Soviet war against the mujaheddin. The Soviet Union decided to withdraw because it had reached a stalemate but the communist government managed to soldier on for three more years, and it was the collapse of the Soviet Union for financial reasons that resulted in funds being cutoff to the communist government that in turn led to the collapse of the government, so the Soviet Union was not brought down/defeated by the mujaheddin.
Will coronavirus lead to the collapse of the Washington establishment? I don't know if it will but the descendants of the mujaheddin will no doubt claim responsibility for the defeat of the United States if it occurs.
Yet again, Washington demonstrates that it doesn't really understand war.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 1 2020 18:54 utc | 16

EtTu @ 1

The damaged hardware will be replaced quite quickly if there aren't already spares in Syria. There were reports on Twitter in the last couple of weeks that a large shipment of heavy hardware had arrived in Syria from Russia. BTW, in 2009, the Russians had 1,600 2S3 Akatsiya heavy self-propelled howitzers in storage and 1,400 in active service. The "Happy Time" for Turkish drones will not last long, and will be followed by many "Black Days".

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 1 2020 19:18 utc | 17

who's willing to bet those 5000 troops from Afghanistan end up redeployed to Syria?

Posted by: EtTu | Mar 1 2020 19:24 utc | 18

Re: Erdogan's political schizophrenia

I've not been frequent enough on MoA last weeks to follow fully what's been said regarding Erdogan's curious policy switching and actions that defy surface analysis. Some have compared his position with pre-1990 Saddam Hussein. Perhaps it may well also be useful to look at the model of Manuel Noriega of Panama. Whilst coup number One has failed, Rand Corp. have published docs to suggest coup. No. Two may be at least in the heads of some.

Whilst this is vague and speculative it's a lever to apply pressure to Erdogan - when used in conjunction with the present circumstances. Erdogan is named in the US indictment and planned prosecution of the Turkish Halkbank for breach of Iran sanctions and Erdogan is concerned enough to have pressed Trump for stalling this process - to no avail.


Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers said: “Halkbank, a Turkish state-owned bank, allegedly conspired to undermine the United States Iran sanctions regime by illegally giving Iran access to billions of dollars’ worth of funds, all while deceiving U.S. regulators about the scheme. This is one of the most serious Iran sanctions violations we have seen, and no business should profit from evading our laws or risking our national security.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “As we allege today, Halkbank, a Turkish financial institution whose majority shareholder is the government of Turkey, willfully engaged in deceptive activities designed to evade U.S. sanctions against Iran. Halkbank illegally facilitated the illicit transfer of billions of dollars to benefit Iran, and for far too long the bank and its leaders willfully deceived the United States to shield their actions from scrutiny. That deception ends today. The FBI will aggressively pursue those who intentionally violate U.S. sanctions laws and attempt to undercut our national security.”

Can Erdogan be facing extradition and a potential Noriega like US custodial sentence?
Can this be enough motivation for his about face on policy?
Perhaps his aggressive erratic behaviour can be explained when seen as a cornered animal with little chance of escape. With a large US force stationed inside his Country, and a tenuous hold on a slipping economy is he vulnerable enough to exploitation by Pentagon Hawks etc to explain his actions as a last ditch USA quid pro quo?

Any Barflies that can shed any more light or insight here is much appreciated.

Posted by: dennis | Mar 1 2020 19:27 utc | 19

Opening floodgates does not solve China’s economic problems

Looks like China won't cave in to the neoclassical "remedies".

Posted by: vk | Mar 1 2020 19:48 utc | 20

Virus spreads to 60 countries. Italy hard hit. Tourism industry looking at a heavy blow.

AP:Dominican Republic records its first; an Italian man had arrived Feb 22 without showing signs of symptoms. Cruise ship denied docking.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 1 2020 20:09 utc | 21

As with any candidate, we can only know the truth about them AFTER they're elected.

DJT IMO, has been a complete failure in fulfilling his uttered promises on the campaign trail, as most of our recent POTUSes have been also.

We'll only know the truth of Bernie Sanders, IF he's "elected". Which, IMO, is looking unlikely, because, you must win the nomination first, and THAT, is looking doubtful, as the
DNC and their minions are lining up against him.

Posted by: ben | Mar 1 2020 20:19 utc | 22

Greece is getting hard measure on border. So.. Erdogan blackmail this time isn't working. Yet the Green party in Germany is calling to Greece open the gates and Merkel to pressure Russia. Are Germany's green party funded by the Muslim Brotherhood in Qatar? For real..

Posted by: Nick | Mar 1 2020 20:19 utc | 23

I heard this interesting piece about social media at WNYC's "On the Media". Since the writer is deeply enmeshed in all the various Identity Politics name-calling that goes on, I never would have found this without OTM. "This" is a very lucid explanation of how "cancel culture" works. The writing is lucid because the writer has a masters degree in psychology.

First, let me say that I am just appalled that this kind of intellectual lynch mobbing is being modeled to impressionable young people as normal behavior. But, further, it seems to me that the same techniques are being applied in our politics.

I've snipped the relevant items from a 100 minute long vblog, and removed all the ridiculous IdPol nonsense about various flavors of so-called gender. Hence the "X" and "Y" substituting for convoluted arguments about essentially nothing.

Bottom line: US foreign policy is just cancel culture writ large. They're brainwashing young people to reason this way so that they will have no issue with the way the US behaves.


Cancel culture trope 1: Presumption of Guilt

There's a traditional understanding of justice according to which, before you condemn or punish a person, you hear the accuser's side of the story and the accused's side of the story. You allow both sides to present evidence and only after everyone involved has had a chance to make their case do you pass judgment and punish the convict.

...We legally have the presumption of innocence. But canceling does not abide by the law. Canceling is a form of vigilante mob justice. And a lot of times, an accusation is proof enough. 

Now that's basically the point of the progressive slogan “believe victims.” It's a norm that was put into place in progressive spaces because out in the world at large, people generally don't believe victims. 

But I think it's pretty obvious how “believe victims” is a norm that's easy to abuse.

Cancel Culture Trope Two: Abstraction

Abstraction replaces the specific, concrete details of a claim with a more generic statement. In (some example) we've lost not only the sense of this being an unverified accusation, but we've also lost all the specific details...

And I also want to point out a linguistic shift that's happening here. When the claim was X (did something bad), the verbs in the sentence were “try” and “trick”...

But once the claim morphs into “X is toxic and manipulative”, the verb in the sentence is “is”, or “to be”. So these adjectives are characteristics of X, and it's now not his actions we're criticizing, but his personality: his toxicity, and his manipulative-ness. This is what I'll call…

Cancel Culture Trope 3: Essentialism 

Essentialism is when we go from criticizing a person's actions to criticizing the person themselves. We're not just saying they did bad things. We’re saying they’re a bad person. 
And we've also really escalated the accusation.

So this seems to me like a pretty nasty and dishonest twisting of the story, and it happened instantaneously on Twitter. Within a few days it totally dominated the conversation in a community of millions of people for weeks. 

Cancel culture trope 4: Pseudo-Moralism or Pseudo-Intellectualism

If you look at the world we live in, would you say that people are usually motivated by a sense of moral integrity and intellectual rigor? No? Maybe not...

But moralism or intellectualism provide a phony pretext for the call-out. You can pretend you just want an apology; you can pretend you're just a “concerned citizen” who wants the person to improve. You can pretend you're simply offering up criticism, when what you're really doing is attacking a person's career and reputation out of spite, envy, revenge. It could be any motivation. 

Cancel Culture trope 5: No Forgiveness

Cancelers will often dismiss an apology as insincere, no matter how convincingly written or delivered. And of course, an insincere apology is further proof of what a Machiavellian psychopath you really are. 

Cancel Culture Trope 6: The Transitive Property of Cancellation

Cancellation is infectious. If you associate with a canceled person, the cancellation rubs off.

Cancel culture trope seven: Dualism

Certain ancient religions teach their followers to understand the cosmos as a struggle between light and dark, good and evil. And cancel culture does more or less the same thing. It's binary thinking. People are either good or they're bad. 

And to add to that essentialism, if a person says or does a bad thing, we should interpret that as the mask slipping; as a momentary glimpse of their essential wickedness. And anyone who wants to remain good had better be willing to publicly condemn anyone the community has decided is bad. 

There really is something dystopian about this. You have to be willing to accuse other people to prove your own innocence. “That's the line in the sand, folks, where do you stand?” 
In the most extreme version of this, all bad people are equally bad. So collaborating with group Y means you may as well be a Y.

This implies that (ordinary) people who associate with Y, people who fail to condemn people who associate with Y, people who offer emotional support to people who fail to condemn people who associate with Y ⁠—  all of them must be treated the same way. 

I recently read a book by Sarah Schulman called Conflict is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility and the Duty of Repair. Basically Schulman's argument is that, in various contexts from romantic relationships to community infighting to international politics, the overstatement of harm is used as a justification for cruelty and for escalating conflict.

Let's apply these tropes to the case of Syria.

1. Syria is presumed guilty of various (staged or fabricated) offenses.
2. This is instantly abstracted into "Syria is an evil and illegitimate regime".
3. Then Assad is an Evil Person.
4. Followed by all the R2P psuedo-moralism used to attack Syria.
5. And what are neocons about if not "no forgiveness".
6. Its not clear whether the "transitiveness" flows from Russia to Syria or vice versa; but transitivity there is.
7. And, at bottom, we have the Manichean POV of the Deep State.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 1 2020 20:20 utc | 24

Posted by: Don Wills | Mar 1 2020 16:29 utc | 3

[.]The difference is that HIV is NOT cleared by the body's immune system, whereas all influenza viruses (H1N1, etc.) are cleared by the body's immune system AND immunity is permanent or semi-permanent.

On what basis (Research epidemiology) do you make the above statement:

whereas all influenza viruses (H1N1, etc are cleared by the body's immune system
practical meaning being, if I contract influenza [flu] virus I am lifetime free of the flu due my immunity?

that HIV is NOT cleared by the body's immune system?
It was previously thought to be the case as HIV can evade the immune system.

We all react differently to diseases.

There is now clinical [NIAID/GWAS and LTNPs] collaborative studies:- MIT, Boston and UC Davis] results of 'unique' cases [Immunobiology] published in 2019; also in Australia where "the immune system completely overcomes HIV replication without medical intervention - anti-retroviral therapy."

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 1 2020 20:45 utc | 25

@11 James

It's twitter's way of trying to make you get an account. If you refresh the page via the browser (not twitter's try again tab) it'll load every time

Posted by: Some Random Passerby | Mar 1 2020 20:52 utc | 26

appears the US-Taliban interim peace arrangement has hit a snag:

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani rejects Taliban prisoner release under U.S deal

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani rejected on Sunday a Taliban demand for the release of 5,000 prisoners as a condition for talks with Afghanistan’s government and civilians – included in a deal between the United States and the Islamist militants.

“The government of Afghanistan has made no commitment to free 5,000 Taliban prisoners,” Ghani told reporters in Kabul, a day after the deal was signed in Qatar to start a political settlement aimed at ending the United States’ longest war.[.]

was the Afghan government not a party to the negotiations? Strange!

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 1 2020 20:58 utc | 27

To those idiots here calling critque on Putins descion "anti-Putin troll": Please add Elijah J. Magnier and the Syrian and Iranian command and even Russian military commanders the same:

A significant development took place in Syria on Friday. A Russian attack on a Turkish convoy in Idlib in north-west Syria killed 36 Turkish soldiers and officers. In retaliation, Turkey launched an unprecedented armed drone attack that lasted several hours and resulted in the killing and wounding of over 150 Syrian officers and soldiers and their allies of Hezbollah and the Fatimiy’oun. The Turkish drones destroyed dozens of tanks and rocket launchers deployed by the Syrian Army along the front line. Russia ceased air support for Syria and its allies demanded from Russia an explanation for the lack of coordination of its unilateral stoppage of air support, allowing the Turkish drones to kill so many Syrian Army and allied forces. What happened, why, and what will be the consequences?

In October 2018, Turkey and Russia signed an agreement in Astana to establish a de-confliction zone along the Damascus-Aleppo (M5) and Aleppo-Latakia (M4) highways. It was agreed that all belligerents would withdraw and render the roads accessible to civilian traffic. Moreover, it was decided to end the presence of all jihadists, including the Tajik, Turkistan, Uighur and all other foreign fighters present in Idlib alongside Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (former ISIS, former al-Qaeda in Syria), Hurras al-Din (al-Qaeda in Syria), and Ahrar al-Sham with their foreign fighters and all “non-moderate” rebels. Last year, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham took full control of Idlib and its rural area under the watchful eyes of Turkey.

Over a year later, the Turkish commitment to end the presence of jihadists and to open the M5 and M4 had not been respected. The Syrian Army and its allies, along with Russia, agreed to impose the Astana agreement by force. In a few weeks, the jihadists defence line crumbled under heavy Russian bombing. According to field commanders, the jihadists left fewer than 100 men in every village, who withdrew under the heavy bombing and preferred to leave rather than be surrounded by the Syrian Army and their fast advance.

Turkey, according to the military commanders in Syria, saw the withdrawal of jihadists and decided to move thousands of troops into Syria to lead a counter-attack against the Syrian Army and its allies. This action made it impossible for Russia to distinguish between jihadists and the Turkish Army. Moreover, Turkey refrained from informing Russia – as it had agreed to according to the deconfliction agreement between Russia and Turkey – about the position of its regular forces. This was when Russia bombed a convoy killing 36 Turkish officers along with 17 jihadists who were present together with the Turkish Army.

According to decision-maker sources in Syria, the Russian Air Force was not aware of the presence of the Turkish convoy when it was almost decimated in Idlib. The Turkish command has supplied Turkish vehicles and deployed thousands of Turkish soldiers with the jihadists. “It almost appears that Turkish President Recep Tayyeb Erdogan wanted this high number of Turkish casualties to stop the successful and rapid attack of the Syria army on Idlib front, and to curtail the fast withdrawal of jihadists.”

According to the sources, Russia was surprised by the number of Turkish soldiers killed and declared a unilateral ceasefire to calm down the front and de-escalate. Moscow ordered its military operational room in Syria to stop the military push and halt the attack on rural Idlib. Engaging in a war against Turkey is not part of President Putin’s plans in Syria. Russia thought it the right time to quieten the front and allow Erdogan to lick his wounds.

This Russian wishful thinking did not correspond to Turkish intentions and plans in Syria. Turkey moved its military command and control base on the borders with Syria to direct attacks against the Syrian Army and its allies. Turkish armed drones mounted an unprecedented organised drone attack lasting several hours, destroying the entire Syrian defence line on the M5 and M4 and undermining the effectiveness of the Syrian Army, equipped and trained by Russia. Furthermore, Iran had informed Turkey of the presence of its forces and allied forces along the Syrian Army, and asked Turkey to stop the attack to avoid casualties. Turkey, which maintains over 2000 officers and soldiers in 14 observation locations that are today under Syrian Army control, ignored the Iranian request and bombed Iranian HQ and that of its allies, including a military field hospital killing 30 (9 Hezbollah and 21 Fatimiyoun) and tens of the Syrian army officers. The Turkish attack wounded more than 150 soldiers of the Syrian Army and their allies.
Turkish backed jihadists and foreign fighters preparing an attack against the Syrian Army position around Idlib.

It was now clear that Russia, Iran and its allies had misunderstood President Erdogan: Turkey is in the battle of Idlib to defend what Erdogan considers Turkish territory (Idlib). That is the meaning of the Turkish message, based on the behaviour and deployment of the Turkish Army along with the jihadists. Damascus and its allies consider that Russia made a mistake in not preventing the Turkish drones from attacking Syrian-controlled territory in Idlib. Moreover, Russia made another grave mistake in not warning its allies that the political leadership in Moscow had declared a one-sided ceasefire, exposing partners in the battlefield and denying them air cover.

This is not the first time Russia has stopped a battle in the middle of its course in Syria. It happened before at al-Ghouta, east Aleppo, el-Eiss, al-Badiya and Deir-ezzour. It was Russia who asked the Syrian Army and its allies to prepare for the M5 and M4 battle. Militarily speaking, such an attack cannot be halted unless a ceasefire is agreed to on all fronts by all parties. The unilateral ceasefire was a severe mistake because Russia neither anticipated the Turkish reaction nor did it allow the Syrian Army and its allies to equip themselves with air defence systems. Moreover, while Turkey was bombing the Syrian Army and its allies for several hours, it took many hours for Russian commanders to convince Moscow to intervene and ask Turkey to stop the bombing.

The military command of Syria and its allies believe that Turkey could now feel encouraged to repeat such an attack by Russian hesitation to stand against it. Thus Syria, Iran and allies have decided to secure air coverage for their forces spread over Idlib and to make sure they have independent protection even if Russia were to promise – according to the source – to lead a future attack and recover total air control.

It is understandable that Russia is not in Syria to trigger a war against NATO member Turkey. However, NATO is not in a position to support Turkey because Turkey is occupying Syrian soil. Nevertheless, the war in Syria has shown how little the rule of law is respected by the West. A possible US intervention is not excluded with the goal of spoiling Russia, Iran and Syria’s victory and their plans to liberate the Levant from jihadists and to unite the country. Possible US intervention is a source of concern to Russia and Iran, particularly when President Erdogan keeps asking for US direct intervention, a 30 km no-fly-zone, a buffer zone along the borders with Syria, US Patriot interception missiles to confront the Russian air force, and a protection for internally displaced Syrian refugees (at the same time as he organises their departure to Europe).

Moscow maintains good commercial and energy ties with Turkey, and President Putin is not in Syria to start a new war with Syria’s enemies Turkey, the US and Israel, notwithstanding the importance of the Levant for Russia’s air force (Hmeymeem airbase) and navy (Tartous naval base).

The options are limited: either Russia agrees to support the preparation of the inevitable Syrian counter-attack in the coming days and before a Putin-Erdogan summit, or the situation in Idlib will hibernate and remain static until jihadists attack Aleppo again in the next 6-7 months.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Mar 1 2020 21:02 utc | 28

john brewster | Mar 1 2020 20:20 utc | 26

Very good! Thanks. I'd only add that this "process" (psycop) also make inter-generational transfer of history and culture, and even family ties,void. It atomizes a population - it minds me of Thatcher's "there is no society - only individuals"...speech.

Posted by: Walter | Mar 1 2020 21:03 utc | 29

LOL now B also critizies Putin as being at fault on Twitter..
You wanna stone him too?

Fucking Putin hater, HOW DARE HE!

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Mar 1 2020 21:15 utc | 30

john brewster #26

Wow, thank you for that insight. Valuable for me.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 1 2020 21:15 utc | 31

Mark Sleboda Retweeted
Al-Masdar News
Russian Air Force launches wide-scale attack across Idlib to stop militant advance #Russia #Syria

Posted by: Walter | Mar 1 2020 21:19 utc | 32

DontBelieveEitherPr. #31

The options are limited: either Russia agrees to support the preparation of the inevitable Syrian counter-attack in the coming days and before a Putin-Erdogan summit, or the situation in Idlib will hibernate and remain static until jihadists attack Aleppo again in the next 6-7 months.

Magnier may be correct but one dimensional. Whatever, but methinks he ignores the Iranian position in this battle. The confidence of all the Middle Eastern allies including Syia must be seriously shaken at the Russian mistake (if there was one). That will generate a new battle command structure and Russia might have to work much harder and smarter to maintain its friends.

There may well be shared responsibility in that neither Syria or Russian forces thought Erdoghan would use attack drones instead of reconnaissance drones. I am gobsmacked that any one would make that mistake when dealing with Erdoghan. He is a repeat offender.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 1 2020 21:48 utc | 33

Houthis have taken the strategic city of Al Hazm, the capital of Al Jawf Governorate, paving the way to seizing control of the oil-rich Ma’rib Governorate.

Posted by: S | Mar 1 2020 21:50 utc | 34

Russia's policy of pleasing everyone will end in a disaster. They're trying to please Erdogan, Assad and Bibi all at the same time on different levels.

My hunch is that Russia sees Iran and Inranian influenc in Syria as a potential problem for them in future and wants them out. Hence the double game being played in partnership with Erdogan and Bibi. Much like what happened in Aleppo(Russia stopped providing air support) before it was re-captured by Syrian army and Iranian backed fighters, Russia will be sidelined in Idlib and the resistance axis will have to go it alone.

They "helped" get rid of Suleimani, who they saw as an obstacle to their plans in Syria.. Funny enough, it was Suleimani who brought the Russians into the war. Before that, they're hanging out in their bases and issueing useless statements about dialogue with fsa etc etc.

Posted by: Zico | Mar 1 2020 21:53 utc | 35

@28 -

Q. "On what basis (Research epidemiology) do you make the above statement:
'whereas all influenza viruses (H1N1, etc are cleared by the body's immune system'
practical meaning being, if I contract influenza [flu] virus I am lifetime free of the flu due my immunity?"

A. For example, see
No you are not "lifetime free of the flu". You are lifetime free of that particular flu virus. Generally, the flu virus mutates rapidly so the antibodies created by your immune system in response to a bout may or may not be effective against a particular flu virus ten years hence.

WIth respect to HIV, yes there are rare cases of humans being able to survive HIV without the anti-virals, but that was the exception. How many years did it take to develop the HIV anti-virals? In the meantime, how many died of AIDS?

I guess my original question is more succinctly asked like this:

How do we know the Covid-19 virus just another influenza virus for which we will develop herd immunity vs. something more dangerous like HIV?

Posted by: Don Wills | Mar 1 2020 22:12 utc | 36

Don Willis@39

COVID-19 is not a new virus. Its a new strain of an old virus. Corona virus is an old virus. It does not stay within the body like some viruses do.

For example, chicken pox virus is not cleared from the body but lies dormant, but when reactivated it causes shingles which is not very infectious. HIV stays infectious and supposedly fatal without treatment. COVID-19, even if it could somehow remain in body and be infectious , is not fatal except to 0.2-2% of people. In fact outside China and Iran it seems to be no more than 0.1% fatal, same as flu.

So in such a case, if everyone eventually harbors COVID -19, and there is no evidence for this, there is nobody left to infect, we will all be carriers, natural selection will ensure the human race will live comfortably with this virus as it does with many other viruses, becoming harmful only when the immune system fails.

Now COVID-19 might be able to reinfect people, like the flu. However, unless its like Dengue, subsequent reinfections would be milder except in a few people susceptible to immune enhancement where an overwhelming immune response due to previous sensitization might cause complications. This could explain the higher fatality rates in China and Iran which were previously exposed to SARS and MERS.

Posted by: Pft | Mar 1 2020 23:22 utc | 37

Buttigieg ends his campaign

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 1 2020 23:33 utc | 38

@ Willis 39

You hug that thought on a few "rare cases." I could present a few dozens links on peer reviewed published papers and audio on the advances made in Immunobiology and immunotherapy to include cancer as well.

Taking up the discussion on COVID-19. It may interest you that researchers in Israel say they have developed a vaccine, anticipating it will be available in 90 days. Look at their findings!

Israeli scientists:'In a few weeks, we will have coronavirus vaccine'LINK

[BUT] after scientists sequenced the DNA of the novel coronavirus causing the current worldwide outbreak, the MIGAL researchers examined it and found that the poultry coronavirus has high genetic similarity to the human one, and that it uses the same infection mechanism, which increases the likelihood of achieving an effective human vaccine in a very short period of time, Katz said.

“All we need to do is adjust the system to the new sequence,” he said. “We are in the middle of this process, and hopefully in a few weeks we will have the vaccine in our hands. Yes, in a few weeks, if it all works, we would have a vaccine to prevent coronavirus.”[.]

Akunis said he has instructed his ministry’s director-general to fast-track all approval processes with the goal of bringing the human vaccine to market as quickly as possible.

“Given the urgent global need for a human coronavirus vaccine, we are doing everything we can to accelerate development,” MIGAL CEO David Zigdon said. The vaccine could “achieve safety approval in 90 days,” he said.[.] (emphasis added)

20 global centres are rushing to develop an effective vaccine for COVID-19

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 1 2020 23:58 utc | 39

In a couple of crucial ways Sanders has indicated his radical break with the current foreign policies of both corporate Democrats and Republicans.
On Israel he has indicated that he will reverse the decision, symbolic of a major change in US policy, to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. He has also said very clearly that he supports a two state solution including Palestinian sovereignty.
Both are direct challenges to the Israeli Establishment and led to massive anti-Sanders spending in the Primaries. They undoubtedly played a part in the decision to run Bloomberg and the DNC decision to allow him to buy his way into the debates.
Sanders also indicated that he would not attend the AIPAC convention and reafformed his support for KStreet.
It might be objected that these are all old, moderate zionist and shelfworn policies. And so they are likely to prove in implementation. But that is unimportant: they represent a direct confrontation with the current (fascist) Israeli political consensus and in terms of the Democratic party and US public opinion constitute a radical and courageous challenge to a party leadership that takes all its cues from Netanyahu.
But most important is the implied challenge of Sanders' domestic policy priorities: he has said, though it really hardly needs saying, that in order to carry out his signature policies it will be necessary, firstly to control expenditure on arms and interventions abroad. And secondly to reform the tax system and shift the burden of taxation from poor to rich. This would introduce penalties for the insane jingoism that has characterised the past twenty/seventy years- which has never been a problem for the oligarchs and their intellectual pretorian guard, because wars have always been a source of profit for them, with the sacrifices of blood and treasure being left to the working class to come up with.
There is much missing in Sanders's Foreign Policy statements; there is much that most of his supporters would be pleased to see but they understand that the battles between now and November-all of which must be waged against MIC fans from the current Primary candidates on- must be about the domestic issues that matter most urgently to American families- free tuition as an alternative to debt peonage and a fear of education; Medicare for All; repealing the anti-union laws that have reduced the poor to political impotence, insecurity and poverty; defending Social Security from Biden Bloomberg, Trump et al; taming Big Pharma; addressing the real and urgent issues of climate change; and redressing the signature policies of the DNC which have led to the incarceration of a higher proportion of the population than in any other country and the criminalisation of significant proportions of the population.
You'll get your pony, but first you must break up the domination of politics by the Cold War-anti-socialist consensus.
As to the JFK

Posted by: bevin | Mar 1 2020 23:58 utc | 40

I wonder if the unilateral ceasefire by Russia was intended to allow Erdogan the chance to back off from making further mistakes in Syria. Now that he's rejected that opportunity and the Turkey/jihadists appear to have launched a drone attack on Hmymim air base, I suspect the ceasefire just ended. Now Putin has political cover for the onslaught that's going to hit the jihadists.

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Mar 2 2020 0:05 utc | 41

@39 and @43 - Thanks for addressing my question. I hope your arguments for how Covid-19 will diminish quickly, either naturally or with drugs, will end up being what happens.

FWIW, it's Don WILLS, not Willis. People think I'm crazy for using my real name in the wild, but I actually believe the Internet would be a much better place if people voluntarily used their real names in comment threads like this one.

Posted by: Don Wills | Mar 2 2020 0:17 utc | 42

@ Circe 42

Biden did well in SC due the endorsement of James Clyburn.
He has two days to keep the momentum for March 3. He is strapped for cash, unable to advertise heavily in the delegate rich states for super Tuesday and corruption tales will follow him until he follows Butti out the door.

Biden can't compete with Sanders who has campaign $$$ and his grassroots army and volunteers. Watch for Sanders in CA and TX.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 2 2020 0:18 utc | 43

bevin @ 44; Another excellent synopsis on Sanders and his position currently in the political struggle for some hoped for change in national policies..

Much better said than I could. Thank you..

He better get ahead of the "Socialist" label he'll be clubbed with, by expressing his support for our current "Mixed Economy"...

Posted by: ben | Mar 2 2020 0:32 utc | 44

From Greyzone,

Krystal Ball: panicked DNC elites try to stop Bernie’s big Super Tuesday"

Posted by: ben | Mar 2 2020 0:49 utc | 45

@26 john brewster... interesting.. thanks..

@29 Some Random Passerby .. thanks for that! i will try it next time.. i have an account.. i haven't signed into in a good 4 or 5 years! i don't feel like being nsa-oogled..

@44 bevin.... personally i think it is too late for the dems here... they need to get behind bernie asap and they aren't.. thus i think the dems chances are not great.. i would love to be wrong..

Posted by: james | Mar 2 2020 0:53 utc | 46

@ 52; Thanks for the link...Keep the faith!!

Posted by: ben | Mar 2 2020 1:14 utc | 47

bevin #44

Thank for a sane and dispassionate assessment. One step on a long march with Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 2 2020 1:19 utc | 48

Syrian counter force is assembling, Russia is participating in air cover.

Y.N.M.S. is not a bad site for immediate info here but he does sleep at night Syria time. Solidly backs Assad, the SAA and allied forces.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 2 2020 1:27 utc | 49

Bernie ridicules the billionaires here in a brief 3 minute from the Rational National who is measured and calm and very straight.

Glad to hear of buttergig being flushed down the toilet. Way to go cheatin Pete. Now we watch Warren on her single minded obstruction of Bernie Sanders and set up a contested convention.

On Biden, I speculate he is throwing the race by constantly pantomiming dumb gaffes so we think he is sincere but alzheimer affected. That way he will be able to defend against his millions carpetbagged from Ukraine. His performance is pathetic and I suspect well rehearsed as he sets up his escape route. See Consortium news four part expose.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 2 2020 1:53 utc | 50

@Likklemore #43
Even if a cure were discovered tomorrow, it would take weeks to test, months to manufacture and more months to distribute and administer.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 2 2020 2:16 utc | 51

@dennis #20
Erdogan isn't doing anything, anyone who understands Turkey's historical behavior would be shocked by.
Turkey wants to make a place for itself - it, like Iran, shares a general religion with the Middle East but is both ethnically and religiously different.
Unlike Iran or Saudi Arabia, Turkey doesn't have oil to speak of. But it does have a prime geopolitical position between the Middle East, Central Asia, Russia and Europe.
Turkey has historically played the fan dancer between whatever factions seek to extend/maintain power across these borderland regions.
Let's not forget, Turkey shot down a Russian plane not so long ago. While Turkey craves US and EU money (and still hosts Incirlik), at the same time, it has other opportunities including Qatari and Israeli gas; Russian gas cartel/Turk Stream, pipelines for gas and oil from Central Asia. On top of this, Turkey has a severe Kurd problem (large minority that is out-reproducing the natives) and an ambiguous religious position (doesn't possess a holy site for either Shi'a or Sunni).
No one should be surprised by Turkey switching positioning with the breezes.

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 2 2020 2:38 utc | 52

Yes, bevin I concur with Ben. Imagine that, we are on the same side of the struggle after all...thank you.

Posted by: donkeytale | Mar 2 2020 2:43 utc | 53

Bernie did a little better than 2016 in South Carolina, but still not a major change: 96,498 in 2016 vs. 105,197 in 2020. He gets actually 1 less delegate in 2020 than 2016: 33 vs 34, but HRC got 39 vs. Biden 35.
In 2016, there were 5 unpledged delegates but apparently there are 9 in 2020 - which are likely to not go to Bernie (7 DNCC and 2 Congress members - house of representatives).
The question then is: who will Steyer and Buttigieg endorse?

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 2 2020 2:46 utc | 54

c1ue #62

The question then is: who will Steyer and Buttigieg endorse?

no contest: those two scumbags will endorse a billionaire scumbag. NOT Bernie.

Opportunist shits and carpet baggers never endorse the good guys.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 2 2020 2:58 utc | 55

Walter @ 32, Uncle Tungsten @ 34, james @ 51

Your thanks are appreciated.

In some ways, cancel culture is like the Inquisition: the Identity of your Tribe is sacred, people are guilty if accused, only way to avoid taint is to finger others and repent.

As I said, the issue for me is that this mentality is being fed to young adults and other web users as normal behavior. Of course, reality TV has been doing this since they through the first person off the island in Survivor.

On a more ominous note, McCarthyism had similar features. So, the young are being "groomed" to be good little McCarthys. Trope 1 was at the heart of MeToo. Fire the person over 20 year old, he said, she said accusations. No trial, no process.

I also appreciated the comment that

it's pretty obvious how “believe victims” is a norm that's easy to abuse.

Posted by: john brewster | Mar 2 2020 3:01 utc | 56

Ben - the US economy is nazi socialist for the rich and free market for the poor.

Bernie is making this point very effectively, imho, to the people who are most negatively affected by nazi socialism.

My own arguments with the moderates I meet who automatically buy into the Bernie as Castro-Chavez socialist use examples of nazi socialism, as opposed to the "mixed vegetables" labelling:

1. Huge farm subsidies, huge energy subsidies....provided for the corporately wealthy.

2. Huge financial subisidies for the corporately wealth: Trump/GOP tax cuts and the ongoing federal reserve monetary supply side tricks propping up the wealth accumulations of the already obscenely corporately wealthy .

This is the nazi socialism that both parties have perfected since Reagan.

Posted by: donkeytale | Mar 2 2020 3:04 utc | 57

Bad luck for Syrian terrorists fighting for Erdoghan and GNA forces in Libya

Lindsey Snell @LindseySnell
In accordance with the MoU signed in Damascus, the first group of captured Syrian mercenaries will be deported soon. When I mentioned this development to a Hamza Division fighter today, he was dumbfounded. This possibility never occurred to them, and it’s terrifying.
Quote Tweet
· 11h
Parts of the agreement signed with the Syrian government are full Intelligence cooperation in the fields of military and counter #Terrorism and transferring all captured Syrian mercenary #terrorists to the Syrian authorities after being questioned in #libya
#HoR #LNA #Syria

There goes Erdoghan's strategy to shift the jihadis away from Turkey via Libya. He had better hope the Yemen channel remains open. It would be nice to see him stew in his own juice.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 2 2020 3:06 utc | 58

@ 65 donkeytale; Can't disagree with truth, and your call is right on, but, it is still a mixed economy, just horribly out of balance. That's why I support Sanders, and wish he would use the phrase "mixed economy" when he's accused of being a full on socialist.

Rank and file Americans hear the words Democratic Socialist, and think Communist. That perception must be changed.

Posted by: ben | Mar 2 2020 4:07 utc | 59

My youngest bloke is traveling overseas later in the week & on Friday Aotearoa had its first COVID-19 case The calm and measured way media responded has made hand-sanitizer unavailable anywhere at any price. I just wanted a small bottle for him to carry in his pocket but humans being humans buying up as much of the muck as they can, lest someone else also own some, made that impossible this (Monday) morning.
I thought I would take a look at what's in it to discover do-it-yourself hand sanitizer is indeed a thing.
There is you tube vid by a prepubescent wannabe net influencer. or

straightforward text and picture run down right here.

After some experimentation caused by the fact that iso-propyl (rubbing) alcohol is near impossible to get in Aotearoa because not only is it used for making hash oil here it is an essential solvent for home bakers. Home baking is the ancient kiwi art of turning codeine into heroin. Consequently my first attempt was with methylated spirits (90% ethanol. 2% methanol 8% H2O) not a winner so I chatted up my local pharmacist and got 450mls iso-propyl which worked well.

Of course hand sanitizer isn't essential but if more people make their own it could prevent the inevitable price jump that will accompany its return to supermarket shelves.

Posted by: A User | Mar 2 2020 4:20 utc | 60

Below are parts of a ZH article on the financial market front in the civilization war humanity is engaged in. In case you were not watching, the world markets went down significantly all last week and the financial world and a few others are wondering what Hand, The Invisible is going to do.

Update (2225ET): Well who could have seen that coming? Following The BoJ's promise to do 'whatever it takes' to stabilize the markets (though nothing about the economy of course), the reaction was delayed until someone got the tap on the shoulder to buy with both hands and feet...

NKY Futs are up 900 points from the opening lows...
Dow futures are now up 850 points from the opening lows...
WTI is soaring...
And Treasury yields have reversed dramatically higher...
Did Stevey (Mnuchin, US Treasury Sec.) make the call?
Or is The National Team on the case? (Plunge Protection Team)
Their version had graphs and pictures but you get the picture of wild fluctuations based on promises of public bailouts of private loss

Given the yet to be appreciated global economic impact of the spreading coronavirus, the next couple of weeks/months should be something to experience....grin. There may be rebounds but the trajectory seems evident and anticipated for quite some time......death by a thousand cuts and this is just the significant financial front.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 2 2020 4:29 utc | 61

Thank you again b, for the Craig Murray link concerning Day Four of the Assange hearing. At the end of his remarks, Ambassador Murray gives a clear presentation of the reason why the prosecutor's assertions regarding the 'non-link' between British law and the extradition treaty are poppycock.

Here is the link again:

Posted by: juliania | Mar 2 2020 5:38 utc | 62


The coronavirus epidemic is almost defeated in China. There were only 13 new cases diagnosed yesterday outside city of Wuhan. Most of these people have likely been infected over two weeks ago. The epicenter, Wuhan still under quarantine had only 196 new cases, less than half as many as the day before.

The number of cases outside still China follows an exponential trend. Italy had 585 new cases, twice as many as yesterday. Thousands more have been exposed and infected but are not yet showing symptoms. Three people in Finland are ill and 130 under quarantine after one tourist brings the virus from northern Italy.

The United States has 8 new cases for a total of 77. The American health care system is totally unsuited and incapable in dealing with an outbreak if the virus ever succeeds in entering the US population in general.

The previous post on Moon of Alabama sums up what is needed:

Tests must be freely available for anyone with even slight symptoms. Those who test positive must be isolated. There must be teams to trace and alarm all their contacts. All costs for COVID-19 cases, including money to pay people during for quarantine, must be paid by the government. Services must be set up for deliveries to people who quarantine themselves at home. Each new cluster must receive an immediate response on a large scale. Health staff needs to get extra pay.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Mar 2 2020 5:46 utc | 63

@A User #68

Just don’t overdo it: Overreliance on hand sanitizers may increase risk of coronavirus infection (Kyodo News). Take care!

Posted by: S | Mar 2 2020 6:23 utc | 64

ph @ 69

a few who warned ahead of the 2008 financial collapse sees the Coronavirus being the catalyst for a severe Credit Crunch and not just a supply chain disruptor.

ZH: Roubini's interview with Der Speigel "This Crisis Will Spill Over Into Disaster" - Dr.Doom Sees 40% Collapse In "Delusional" Stock Market

The Telegraph, UK: Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - subscriber pay wall.Coronavirus threatens a global credit crunch and a cascade of bond downgrades

There are mounting risks of a credit crunch in vulnerable sectors of the corporate bond market
A swath of highly indebted companies face an incipient funding shock and risk being shut out of the capital markets as the COVID-19 epidemic mushrooms into global crisis, Standard & Poor’s has warned.[.]

Clearly the view two or three weeks ago that this would peak in March is no longer appropriate. The question becoming very relevant is which companies are going to be able to refinance,” he said..[.]

{from Ambrose's article -
He presents a scary list of zombie companies, many are household names heavy in debt. A mix of US and European Zcos on the list is: Kraft-Heinz, VW, Macy, Xerox, Western Digital. Small companies will be forced to lay off workers.

Chinese companies are told to use electricity even if on skeleton staff just for appearances sake as that usage goes into the data as in measuring GDP. )

Btw, Canada Health and UK are advising their citizens to stock up on meds, food, water and daily essentials.

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 2 2020 6:35 utc | 65

A User #68

Of course hand sanitizer isn't essential but if more people make their own it could prevent the inevitable price jump that will accompany its return to supermarket shelves.

Add a few drops of tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil, maybe one drop or two of thyme oil. Not excess on the thyme. That is also a great mixture to spray on bed to refresh but mainly to slaughter dust mites. I mop the floors with that sort of mix and its great.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 2 2020 7:40 utc | 66

Circe #73

Check out this short interview of Graham Elwood by Status Coup. It's really good.

Elwood on Buttigieg and Warren

Loved it and loved the press dudes in the background studiously ignoring their banter and one focussed on recording their session.

For this election I am going to dig out 'the great shark hunt' by Hunter S Thompson as an essential primer. The chapter on Watergate is what I must read as far as I recall. It is shaping up as THE gonzo election of all time.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 2 2020 7:47 utc | 67

I thought the twitter name was just some joker but it turns out to be genuine.

U.S. Surgeon General
Feb 29
Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS!
They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Mar 2 2020 9:31 utc | 68

Two US deaths reported amid signs coronavirus has been spreading unchecked for several weeks

Where was the free press? Where were the whistleblowers?

I remember the narrative was that countries with "freedom of speech" would have an immediate response to the outbreak of the virus, therefore being much more efficient than China in containing the epidemic...

... meanwhile, cases in Italy have skyrocketed by 50% in one day.

China’s ruling elite stumbles into a ‘disaster’

Source: an exiled activist called Wu'er Kaixi.

I thought the era of making shit up from refugee stories was over with the end of the Cold War. Looks like I was wrong.

Medical staff suffers extreme fatigue as outbreak continues

Not seeing memes on the internet or other dramatic stories about the poor doctors in South Korea suffering under the heavy hand of the State.


Joke of the week:

Europe (and yes, that includes Britain) can still be a superpower

The sub is even funnier: "The key to European power projection isn’t institutional reform, it’s a shift in attitude and a willingness to cooperate"

Translation: we'll go with neoliberalism till the end.

Posted by: vk | Mar 2 2020 11:35 utc | 69

psychohistorian @ 69. "The BoJ's promise to do 'whatever it takes' to stabilize the markets (though nothing about the economy of course),"

Yes indeed.

This is one of the enduring myths we see everyday. How is the Dow doing as if that is a measure of how well the economy is doing.

These central bank funds are public funds.

Wouldn't it be amazing to see this kind of 'no holds barred' approach be applied to supplying affordable medical care and education and jobs paying a living wage?

Posted by: financial matters | Mar 2 2020 12:07 utc | 70

A User | Mar 2 2020 4:20 utc | 68 (alcohol/hand)

Astonished they've made iso hard to get in Kiwi. I see that your indigenous kitchen chemists making smack can make all the iso the might wish from acetone. Copper and chromium oxide catalyst & hydrogenation...

Wiki says 75% ethanol/25% water or 75/25 iso are equivalent as hand-sanitizers... But 75% ethyl alcohol is roughly 150 proof - Such concentration of ethyl alcohol are often sold for drinking...but dangerous (overdose) and expensive. Iso is a neurotoxin, ethyl less toxic.

I'd use the vodka approach...or wear gloves (which I do! (and not because of CV - it's an old habit))

Posted by: Walter | Mar 2 2020 12:50 utc | 71

"Yanis Varoufakis on Assange, Brexit, Greece and the health of democracy"

Duration: 53min 36sec
Broadcast: Mon 2 Mar 2020

Posted by: imo | Mar 2 2020 14:27 utc | 72

My hope is that Trump is not complete idiot and that Grenell was promoted to remove him from where he might do further harm. The US intelligence services are fairly useless anyway, except in a contrarian mode.

Giraldi takes a dim view:

Posted by: jared | Mar 2 2020 15:09 utc | 73

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Posted by: Blogger Templates | Mar 2 2020 15:09 utc | 74

France, UK, Germany, breaking the embargo on Iran
"The UK, Germany and France are offering Iran a €5 million package to help them fight coronavirus in the country.

In a statement, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) says the three nations - known as the E3 group - "express their full solidarity with all impacted by Covid-19 in Iran".

"We are offering Iran a comprehensive package of both material and financial support to combat the rapid spread of the disease," it continues.

"The material will be transported urgently by plane on 2 March and will include equipment for laboratory tests, as well as other equipment, including protective body suits and gloves.

"The E3 has also committed to providing urgent additional financial support close to €5 million to fight the Covid-19 epidemic affecting Iran, through the WHO or other UN agencies.""

Posted by: Mina | Mar 2 2020 15:45 utc | 75

Possible news later this week:

Coronavirus mutated again infecting computers that execute trading programs while also affecting human traders. Stock exchanges closed after unprecedented losses. Federal Reserve lacks quorum to change interest rates or to enact other measures. Investors run away from cities to their most reclusive second homes, including Mayor Bloomberg who terminated his run for Congress.

Later: As all Democratic contenders below age of 40 withdrew due their health worries and Pete B. withdrew already, Congresswomen from Hawaii became the only candidate running. DNC lacks quorum to decide what to do about it.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 2 2020 15:50 utc | 76

The Incompetent Sodomite Trump Just Put in Charge of ALL Intelligence Agencies by Phillip Giraldi

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 2 2020 15:58 utc | 77

The Incompetent Sodomite Trump Just Put in Charge of ALL Intelligence Agencies by Phillip Giraldi

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 2 2020 15:58 utc | 78

The Incompetent Sodomite Trump Just Put in Charge of ALL Intelligence Agencies by Phillip Giraldi

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 2 2020 15:58 utc | 87

I do not even know what did I click to post prematurely twice. I am truly disturbed by this title.

My first though was that Trump is widely known to be heterosexual, and even if he is not, the competence in bed of folks more than 70 years old is not a proper subject for discussion, least of all, for disparaging.

But this is a misreading. Still, on what grounds does Giraldi question sexual competence of Mr. Grennel? Personal experience, hearsay?

Lastly, can National Intelligence whatever be run more ineptly than in the recent past? First, most dire threats near nation's borders, Nicaragua, Venezuela and to lesser extend, Mexico, where identified and what was achieve to ameliorate this? Coup in Bolivia? Are they serious? Bolivia is 3000 miles away, and the threats are 1000 to 1400 miles away. What next: fomenting counter-revolution among penguins?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 2 2020 16:10 utc | 79

At my link above at #70 today can be found Craig Murray's essay on the confinement of Julian Assange within a glass enclosure as trial proceedings take place. Well worth a read.

This is a small excerpt:

"... A tiny bit of human comfort could do an enormous amount of good to his mental health and resilience. They are determined to stop this at all costs. They are attempting to make him kill himself – or create in him the condition where his throttling death might be explained away as suicide.

This is also the only explanation that I can think of for why they are risking the creation of such obvious mistrial conditions. Dead people cannot appeal.

I would remind you that Julian is a remand prisoner who has served his unprecedentedly long sentence for bail-jumping. His status is supposedly at present that of an innocent man facing charges. Those charges are for nothing except for publishing Chelsea Manning’s revelations of war crimes.

That Baraitser is acting under instructions seems to me certain. She has been desperate throughout the trial to seize any chance to deny any responsibility for what is happening to Julian. She has stated that she has no jurisdiction over his treatment in prison, and even when both defence and prosecution combined to state it was normal practice for magistrates to pass directions or requests to the prison service, she refused to accept it was so..."

Craig has, it seems to me, an excellent explanation of why the judge is doing this.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 2 2020 16:22 utc | 80

@ Piotr Berman | Mar 2 2020 16:10 utc | 88

I think Mr Giraldi was venting frustration in colorful terms.

It would be akin to referring to someone as a corrupt, pedophilc, Clinton supporter - it would be the Clinton supporter aspect that would be the focus of discussion.

Posted by: jared | Mar 2 2020 16:43 utc | 81

Interesting how the MSM avoid to give details regarding the possibility to access hospitals for free, country by country. Only about Africa do they say 'uh it must be complicate' without looking at their own door-step. Even inside the EU...

Posted by: Mina | Mar 2 2020 17:14 utc | 82

Re immune system rejuvenation and ability to fight viruses.....

Currently listening to interview with Valter Lingo on ‘found my fitness’ podcast.....Re fasting or ‘fasting mimicking diet’ to improve immune system function, as well as to provide other health benefits..might be more powerful than garlic and herbs too!

Worth a listen for those who want to explore how to improve the odds....

Posted by: Bluemot5 | Mar 2 2020 17:44 utc | 83

Oops! Valter Longo. Sorry about the typo.

Posted by: Bluemot5 | Mar 2 2020 17:45 utc | 84

All government is inherently EVIL. Neither Bernie Sanders nor Donald Trump will change that. Jesus Christ gave us a way to self govern. It's called the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule. If every human being followed the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule "We The People" would not need to be governed. My daily prayer is that anyone and anything that affects this planet Earth and God's beloved children in a negative manner immediately disappears forever and is instantly replaced with that which is good, clean, positive and beneficial to Earth and God's beloved children. God makes it quite clear in the Bible that he would prefer that everyone self govern and not be governed (enslaved). So when do Christian's start taking a stand and rebuking the evil (government) that has enslaved us? Oh, never mind, no one wants to take personal responsibility, they just want to "vote" for more enslavement. Reminds me of the definition of insanity.

Posted by: bottomline | Mar 2 2020 17:49 utc | 85

Posted by: ben | Mar 1 2020 20:19 utc | 24
As with any candidate, we can only know the truth about them AFTER they're elected.

DJT IMO, has been a complete failure in fulfilling his uttered promises on the campaign trail, as most of our recent POTUSes have been also.

We'll only know the truth of Bernie Sanders, IF he's "elected".

I might point out...

DJT had a long, VERY LONG, track record of fraud and pathological lying during the years of his attempt at a career in New York resulting in, among other things, the most spectacular string of bankruptcies in the history of American business enterprise.

Bernie Sanders also has a track record in public service, which is exemplary in its coherence.

Nobody who was interested in DJT had to wait until he was elected to know what a criminal he would turn out to be.

Similarly for Bernie.

Posted by: RJPJR | Mar 2 2020 17:52 utc | 86

>Bernie Sanders will also restore the JCPOA

This is like a new gangster who takes control of a neighborhood and reduces the required weekly protection payment. Hurray For Less Extortion!

Hey Bernie, how about throw away the JCPOA, restore normal diplomatic and commercial relations, and apologize for 40 years of economic warfare?

But that will never happen, because the Dummycrat policy is to destroy Iran for the crime of existence. How is it the Bernie people don't notice that Bernie always caucuses with the Dummycrats in Congress and is running on the Dummycrat ticket? We are supposed to believe that someone elected on the Dummycrat ticket won't follow Dummycrat party polices?

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 2 2020 17:53 utc | 87

Posted by: bottomline | Mar 2 2020 17:49 utc | 95

"Oh, never mind, no one wants to take personal responsibility, they just want to "vote" for more enslavement. Reminds me of the definition of insanity."

Most of all, all voters vote for continued ecocide unto collective suicide. There is 100% consensus on that goal.

Posted by: Russ | Mar 2 2020 17:57 utc | 88

"Bernie Sanders will also restore the JCPOA"

He must think the Iranians are really stupid if he thinks he can get them to fall for that one again.

Posted by: Russ | Mar 2 2020 17:59 utc | 89

Here's a video made by a Russian, but dubbed into English, which films what's actually going on in China - multiple locations including in Hubei province actual China footage under nCOV

Posted by: c1ue | Mar 2 2020 18:17 utc | 90

@Trailer Trash, 97

We are supposed to believe that someone elected on the Dummycrat ticket won't follow Dummycrat party polices?

The way American electoral politics works, Sanders doesn't really have a choice except to try and steal the Democratic party's ballot line. An independent bid would split the left vote and make it impossible to win the general election, which is winner take all.

At least that's what his supporters say. I think there's a grain of truth there. If Bernie wants to win, and not merely be a protest candidate, he has to take the ballot line of the party with the most left-wing voters, and that's not the Republican party.

Posted by: fnord | Mar 2 2020 18:18 utc | 91

Iran has stated many times that the primary precondition for any talks with the Outlaw US Empire is its return to the JCPOA.

I stopped providing weekly updates to RT's Front Running, 2020 series but note next to no discussion of them despite their importance in fleshing out D-Party candidates policy proposals. Here's the central website for all the programs. Note that episodes 7,8 & 10 have Dr. Hudson on the panel, but I don't note that to lessen the importance of the others. The videos are under 30min in length. I also suggest this episode of the Keiser Report as it discusses the Cantillon Effect and has a second half interview with Jim Kunstler.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 2 2020 18:38 utc | 92

Piotr Berman | Mar 2 2020 16:10 utc | 88

Not sexual competence, that's not the meaning.

The meaning is the guy's incompetent. (self-evident from actual deeds and education and so forth

and he's a sodomite (self-admitted I think)

Posted by: Walter | Mar 2 2020 18:48 utc | 93

The Guardian view on Europe and Britain: cherish the ties that bind

Sounds more like an epitaph.

Posted by: vk | Mar 2 2020 19:03 utc | 94

Global Times has published two editorials dealing with the COVID-19 issue. This one looks at how differing societies are reacting:

"South Korea, Japan, and European countries have suffered fewer losses in economic activities than most parts of China, although they are facing a higher risk from the epidemic than in the Chinese mainland, except for Hubei.

"It is uncertain whether their approach of 'as much prevention as available' will ultimately lead to a serious humanitarian crisis or help them become resilient to the epidemic. Much will depend on the mortality rate of COVID-19."

The second looks at the Outlaw US Empire's extreme wealth disparity and lack of insurance for millions in how it will react:

"Some Americans like to compare the US system with those of other countries. These people tend to describe how other systems are inferior to theirs, as if the US system is the standard in the world. But what really tests a country's system? It is whether the government has the ability to let all people receive equal and timely assistance.

"Due to the expensive healthcare system in the US, many people cannot afford even to pay for a test for COVID-19, not to mention the cost of treatment after diagnosis."

The initial gloating within the Outlaw US Empire at China's predicament will soon be replaced by outrage. The CDC continues to issue contradictory statements, particularly about masks and their effectiveness. Current pictures from China show Xi and his aides all wearing masks. From a WHO official: "I’m not saying you shouldn’t wear masks – you should, but there’s no guarantee." The reason there's no guarantee is the virus can enter through the eyes and ears which masks don't cover. Within the Outlaw Empire, the problem as admitted is there's only 10% of the needed amount of masks, so officials are lying about effectiveness to deter people from buying.

IMO, China's method of reaction shows it took the correct measures to protect the vast majority of its populace. No other nation will do as well because they lack China's system.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 2 2020 19:06 utc | 95

Good concise report about COVID-19 and its affects on public health policy in this election year and how it's very likely to cause a vitally needed change in direction. Sanders's statement on the matter is primarily why Trump is downplaying the extent of the rising crisis:

"The coronavirus reminds us that we are all in this together. We cannot allow Americans to skip doctor's visits over outrageous bills.

"Everyone should get the medical care they need without opening their wallet—as a matter of justice and public health."

This article discusses how Trump's used the outbreak as a political tool and worse. Apparently, the WaPost's attacks were effective, but could only be so due to Trump's behavior and willful distortions.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 2 2020 19:48 utc | 96

@ Piotr Berman @ 88

Piotr, the author of that article is not referring to Trump, but to Trump's new acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Rick Grenell. Grenell is openly gay.

Posted by: teri | Mar 2 2020 20:12 utc | 97

@ Don Wills 39 +++

Apologies for spelling error.

This is a reliable trusted site for frequent updates on Coronavirus #Cases by Countries; Deaths; Incubation, Age, Active Cases; Serious or Critical; Recovered: [includes graphs]


"Worldometer is run by an international team of developers, researchers, and volunteers with the goal of making world statistics available in a thought-provoking and time relevant format to a wide audience around the world. Worldometer is owned by Dadax, an independent company. We have no political, governmental, or corporate affiliation."

Posted by: Likklemore | Mar 2 2020 20:12 utc | 98

Israel will not allow Sanders to become president. If they have to, they will do to him what they did to JFK.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 2 2020 21:01 utc | 99

Warren will stay in the race so she can continue to divert progressive votes from Sanders. It would be interesting to know from whom she's getting funding for her campaign.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 2 2020 21:51 utc | 100

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