Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 07, 2021

The MoA Week In Review - OT 2021-019

Last week's posts at Moon of Alabama:

> [Steven Adair, president of Volexity,] said his firm tracked the malicious activity back to early January, though researchers in Taiwan identified Exchange software bugs as far back as December.

For much of January and February, the Chinese theft of email seemed stealthy and targeted, Adair said. Then suddenly about a week ago, shortly before Microsoft issued its patch, the activity exploded. The hackers seemed to be dropping webshells on anyone running an Exchange server, he said. It was, he said, almost as if they suspected a patch was forthcoming. <

Other issues:

Fukushima Dai-Ichi - 10 years on:


Syria / Turkey:


Use as open thread ...

Posted by b on March 7, 2021 at 14:03 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

Ms. Jen

In my opinion, the accounts of the Spaniards are reliable, please see here:,human%20sacrifice%20through%20osteologic%20information.

The scale of destruction was in no way comparable to the Spanish Inquisition, whose victims are well documented.

Aztecs were only practicing, on a quantitatively larger scale, the insane practices of the Mayans....

Posted by: fyi | Mar 9 2021 14:38 utc | 201

fyi @203:

My invisible magic friend is bigger than your invisible magic friend. I know he is because he told me so.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 9 2021 15:03 utc | 202

Debsisdead @200 is absolutely correct on this matter. All wars are driven by economics. Religion is just something that the economic bosses use to get the bottom-most layers of their societies to do the fighting and dying for them. Are many of the ignorant plebes tricked into fighting over what they have been conned into believing that their invisible magic friend said they should do? Sure, but that doesn't make the conflict a religious one.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 9 2021 15:23 utc | 203

Mr. William Gruff

Either that which around us is endowed with ultimate meaning or it is not.

If it is not, by what rational argument are you - William Gruff - going to constrain someone from consuming the substance as well as the flesh of other human beings in order to satisfy his or her appetites?

Posted by: fyi | Mar 9 2021 15:34 utc | 204

@ William Gruff | Mar 9 2021 15:23 utc | 205 who wrote
Debsisdead @200 is absolutely correct on this matter. All wars are driven by economics. Religion is just something that the economic bosses use to get the bottom-most layers of their societies to do the fighting and dying for them. Are many of the ignorant plebes tricked into fighting over what they have been conned into believing that their invisible magic friend said they should do? Sure, but that doesn't make the conflict a religious one.

Thanks for that

This needs to be repeated over and over again until the folks like fyi get beyond their brainwashing. Its hard for these folks to believe they are being played. It is much easier for many of these folk to take that leap of faith to have others tell them how to think/live their lives than it is to take ongoing personal responsibility for every aspect of their lives. The myth of religion is so enticing in comparison to the reality of our cosmological ignorance. Who doesn't want to believe they are gods and that they should have dominion over all beings, etc, etc. The hubris baked into monotheistic religions is appalling.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 9 2021 15:36 utc | 205

Evidence of forcible vaccinations and resulting deaths of the elderly with dementia in care homes in Berlin:

Whistleblower from Berlin nursing home: the terrible dying after vaccination (article on

Whistleblower Video Exposes Dementia Patients Forcefully Vaccinated In Nursing Home - 8 Dead

Posted by: ADKC | Mar 9 2021 16:01 utc | 206

fyi @206

I know many atheists, but none of them have committed cannibalism. The only cannibals that I've heard about recently (BBC) have been Muslims.

I don't think people need rational arguments to avoid psychotic and antisocial behavior, but irrational arguments (religion) are useful to get people to do terrible things.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 9 2021 16:11 utc | 207

There is plenty that is rational about religion, Mr. Gruff. But I won't press the point. Faith is faith, and the heart has its reasons which reason alone cannot understand. ;)

Posted by: juliania | Mar 9 2021 17:49 utc | 208

The Anthropological Record in Oceania is what it is. I didn't devise it, but I did study it, and there's some real gems within their Creation Myths. The main point is such behavior was logical within their belief systems and judged as aberrations by those outside their systems, all of which is one component within the debate over Cultural Relativism, which when you delve upon it is what's at the core of Mr. fyi's brief. One of the important lessons Anthropology teaches is that human evolutionary development is very close to being universal for all cultures--all have passed through extremely similar stages but not at the same time. Ultimately, either all humans are exceptional or none are, just as there's no one superior "race" or ethnicity. It's unfortunate so few humans have evolved to that state-of-mind.

As for conflict being economically based, that's basically correct, but IMO it's best to go back to the basic fundamentals for conflict we see within Nature as related to the resources required for survival and species perpetuation. Ideally, humans will eventually evolve and cooperate in sharing resources instead of seeing the need for conflict or to horde, but that will require the elimination of Zero-sum thinking and behavior and related systems of thought like Neoliberalism.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2021 17:51 utc | 209

@ 196 fyi....

what kind of religion is it that you practice where you condemn shamans and nations of people - the mayans and aztecs and etc?? what religion are you practicing, other then one of extreme intolerance and ignorance??? i think @ 199 jen is correct... i am sure you would have supported the witch hunts as well... please do tell us of your special and holy religion... it looks just the opposite to me... thanks...

Posted by: james | Mar 9 2021 17:56 utc | 210

Re cannibalism in the Pacific, Specifically Papua New Guinea ENB province; In many instances this was more a question of ritual than need.

Although it had stopped by the early 70's I only know of a couple of cases, (one of which is "hearsay"), but the chances were that anyone born earlier than WWII had probably tasted human.
1) From the Pomio area of ENB province. The Christian church buried a man. Four days later someone dug him up and he was ceremoniously eaten, (or at least bits). Initation ceremony. (early 70's)
2) Tolais' initiation consisted of putting young males in a hut with a captive woman from a nearby tribe for a few days, after which she was ritually eaten. WWII ended this.

The melanesians have about one meter of intestines more than westerners do. This enables them to get more proteins in their diet. If I tried to live on the same diet I would end up very badly. Meat is not such a vital necessity. (I'm not going into argumenst about "vegan" or not, just to point out that early people living on islands had a very restricted diet. Many plants that are now eaten were introduced later).

Only one tribe (Southern Highlands) the Kuku, were well known for eating brains.

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 9 2021 18:07 utc | 211

librul @ 198

You are quite deliberately putting the cart before the horse, and indeed, some haven't ever questioned the beliefs they were born into. I would say, however, that most have. It is simply a matter of developing an intellect and using it. But some become so enamored of their own intellectual prowess (I am not saying that is you, but it is worth reflecting upon) that they consider they themselves are the authors of it. So, it's hard for them to take the next step forward.

The intellect is a fine thing, but it is not the end-all and be-all. The spirit moves where it will, and we don't stop thinking when faith finds us, however it does, which is maybe even at the very last moment. All sorts of complexities factor in; memory is a good one, for instance. But yes, there is a human connection that travels through time, a teacher to his or her disciple; I will grant you that. Christianity is really about Christ, those he loved, and those who loved them, and so on...

Posted by: juliania | Mar 9 2021 18:09 utc | 212

Mr. Stonebird

Tell them brother...the world was full of such evils before the ministry of Zartosht the Pure.

Posted by: fyi | Mar 9 2021 18:11 utc | 213

Mr. James

I respectfully decline.

Posted by: fyi | Mar 9 2021 18:12 utc | 214

juliania @210

Sure, giving injured people painkillers is rational, even when it doesn't heal their injury. Painkillers, like opiates, for the masses, don't ya know? There is logic to at least making painful conditions that cannot be changed more bearable, though of course that presupposes that the painful conditions cannot be changed.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 9 2021 18:13 utc | 215

As I reported earlier this year, Russia declared 2021 the Year of Science and Technology, and earlier today Putin met with the Minister of Science and Higher Education Valery Falkov to discuss that Ministry's vision that was driven in part by the results of a national poll:

"First of all, I would like to thank you for declaring 2021 the Year of Science and Technology. I would like to mention that the VTsIOM public opinion centre recently held a special poll on the Year of Science and Technology. In particular, it asked about the importance of developing science and technology in the country. The respondents ranked it 9.2 on a 10-point scale. In other words, an almost absolute majority noted the fundamental importance of this....

"I would like to add that when we considered a symbol for the Year of Science, we looked at the country’s history and, of course, its connection to the current age. We have chosen the armillary sphere for several reasons."

Putin notes:

"You know, I have looked through your plans. As I see, in August you plan to focus on the climate and the environment. This is a most important field for all people in general around the world and in Russia. Would you please elaborate on this?"

I suggest barflies read what the Minister has to say and Putin's replies. Also a suggestion is forwarded to provide even more state support for science and scientists to be combined with private and semi-private sources which are quite dynamic when compared with what the West is doing.

I should also note that Russia & China have signed an "MOU on building international scientific research station on moon", which comes at a time when China has approved several new carrier rockets for manufacture, including a super-heavy capable of lifting 100 tons to the moon. China's space agency, CNSA, is extremely busy when compared to its Western counterparts, and linked with Roscosmos the two are now far and away the vanguard. By comparison, NASA is so underfunded it's become a hollow relic of what is once was and isn't likely to rebound soon.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2021 18:16 utc | 216

@ 216 fyi.... thanks.... you are smart to decline as whatever religion you think you identify with - it isn't worth much of anything based on your words on shamanism, the aztecs, mayans and etc.. if this attitude was expressed towards whatever country or religion you livedand participated in, i am sure you would take a very different stance then what you put on display with your words on this thread... your words are shameful and worse, and i understand why you refuse to answer...

Posted by: james | Mar 9 2021 18:21 utc | 217

Mr. James

Mexicans voted with their feet and hearts and became Christians.

Why do they not go back to the madness of he Aztecs?

Because they consider the message of Christ to be the Truth.

Shamans have truths, but not the Truth.

Posted by: fyi | Mar 9 2021 18:26 utc | 218

Well, William Gruff @ 217, that's a bit of a misconception, at least where Christianity is concerned. "...they were stoned, they were sawn in two..." That's from Paul. And some who felt like accepting the role of follower were expected to give up their riches, which they couldn't do to follow Christ, who wasn't exactly a drug addict. No, sorry, Marx got that bit wrong. There aren't masses, any more than there are corporations; there are people. How many masses stood at the foot of the cross? It's not everyone's cup of tea. 'Blessed are...' the Beatitudes go, but they end in persecution. As did the life on earth of Christ. Not much of an opiate, that. Christians are being persecuted today, or hadn't you noticed? It's getting to be a risky business, but it always was, really.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 9 2021 18:41 utc | 219

About Religion, there was one "sect" in France (about 1176 AD to 1244-Montsegur, last survivor burned alive in 1321), which said that you don't need religion find God.

They had their reasons, as at that time the Catholic church was filthy rich, the "prince-Bishops" had real palaces, revenue from tithes and donations, "charity" and the land they "owned". The Oligarchs of the period. They didn't lift a finger to do any work, even the priests were forbidden to work (No housework either!)

The Cathars said that they didn't need anyone to decide for them who they should marry, or if they could marry. Births, deaths and other ritual celebrations didn't need an (well remunerated) official. The Catholics "crowned" Kings and "pardoned" noble thugs and other "peacekeepers". etc. (Some Bishops had a whale of a good time as they didn't actually seem to do what they preached, - abstinence and other deadly sins seem to have had a special attraction). They actually had "spiritual" control over many earthly situations.

The Cathars also gave women equality within the church (I disagree with Wikipedia about this), there were no named women "Perfects" but there were "safe" houses run by women believers. (This was possibly more to spare them the "Questions". Torture). Ordinary serfs etc. could renounce their "Cathar faith" and thus keep working to supply free food for the Catholic priests. Perfects were usually burnt.

They didn't normally eat meat but could if they wanted to. Sort of early "greens"

This didn't suit the Catholics at all who wiped them out brutally. They even organised a crusade against them.

The basic point - although there are not many of their writings left after the Catholics had finished,- was that you don't need a "priest" or a third person between you and God. Find him yourself.
They sounded like very reasonable people.

Posted by: Stonebird | Mar 9 2021 18:47 utc | 220

I feel I didn't answer you properly, Mr. Gruff, apologies. You are saying that we bear up better in difficult times (we are getting there) if we feel there is a reward coming. An example that isn't religious would be the dedication of a mountain climber, for instance. I guess it was the 'opiate' in your comment that threw me off. I would agree with you on that.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 9 2021 18:53 utc | 221

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2021 18:16 utc | 218

The carbon economy was discussed as well, and no wonder VVP is smelling the possibility of foul play, this winter has proved that there is no silver bullet and for the time being all sources of energy are necessary. Very interesting links, I'm reading ManX Prouty book, and surprise surprise, Stalin suspected that F.Roosevelt was poisoned, possibly by the British, Novichok is not that new… Oliver Stone is a great filmmaker, he plus Kubrick the best I can think of in US filmaking.

No doubt, decarbonisation is a most important activity not only in the world but in this country too. It is only important not to use it as an instrument for achieving some mercenary economic or other objectives, not to use this to our country’s detriment.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 9 2021 18:53 utc | 222

Interesting initiative from Russia and China

Russia, China ink memorandum on cooperation in creating lunar research station

"The state corporation Roscosmos and CNSA … will contribute to cooperation in creating an international lunar research station with an open access for all interested countries and international partners, with the aim of strengthening scientific research interaction, promoting research and using outer space for peaceful purposes in the interests of the entire humankind," the Russian space agency said in a statement.

Way to go, we desperately need to be shown some real science that can gather enthusiasm and actually teach people something.

Posted by: Norwegian | Mar 9 2021 19:17 utc | 223

Paco @224--

Thanks for your reply! Prouty's The Guns of Dallas is also a must read, as is his Secret Team.

Yes, Putin's quite smart and has learned much about the "carbon issue." One can see that the Outlaw US Empire would like to weaponize it, which I'm certain Putin understands.

Pepe Escobar's latest is about the Pope/Sistani "Riddle". Here's a long excerpt since it's currently behind a paywall:

"The Pope stressed, 'Ayatollah Sistani has a saying, I hope to recall it properly: ‘Men are either brothers by religion or equal by creation.’ Francis sees the bridging of this duality also as a cultural journey.

"He qualified the meeting with Sistani as delivering a 'universal message,' and praised the Grand Ayatollah as 'a sage' and 'a man of God': 'Listening to him, one cannot but notice it. He’s a person who carries wisdom and also prudence. He told me that for over ten years he has not received ‘people who come to visit me but have other political aims.'

"The Pope added: 'He was very respectful, and I felt honored, even in the final salutations. He never stands up, but he did, to salute me, twice. A humble, and wise, man. It felt good to my soul, this meeting.'

"A glimpse of the warmth was revealed in this image [Link at original], absent from Western mainstream media – which, to a large extent, tried to gaslight, sabotage, ignore, black out or sectarianize the meeting, usually under barely disguised layers of 'Shiite threat' propaganda.

"They did that because, at the core, Francis and Sistani were delivering an anti-war, anti-genocide, anti-sectarian, and anti-occupation message, which cannot but incur the wrath of the usual suspects." [My Emphasis]

(It seems the Pope and I are on the same page.) Eventually, Escobar's piece will emerge at Saker's and other usual sites for all to freely read. But until then, one can read Magnier's essay Pepe links to, which is also important.

Pepe closes by recapping, "The meeting of Catholicism and Shia Islam did revolve around a geopolitical crown of thorns:"

"Significantly, Pope Francis handed a rosary to al-Kildani, the head of the Babylon militia of the PMUs. The Pope considers al-Kildani as nothing less than the savior of Christians in Iraq. And yet, al-Kildani is the only Christian on the planet featured on the US terrorist list."

As for most of us barflies, we may not realize that we're helping the Pope and al-Sistani:

"Francis insisted this was only a 'first step,' and it involves 'risks.' The best one may hope for, as it stands, is that the Pope and his 'humble and wise' interlocutor keep stressing that divide and rule, fanning the flames of religious, ethnic and communitarian strife, benefits only – who else? – the usual suspects."

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2021 19:46 utc | 224

Thanks to karlof1 @ 218 and particularly for the 226 excerpt concerning Pepe's latest. I look forward to the full article. Thanks too for the link to Magnier's essay.

On Putin and science, it was most heartening when he eliminated the GM factor from Russia's agriculture. That was bad science, and he remedied it. As to the Pope, we in Orthodoxy have a hard time not considering Saint Francis to be Orthodox, so he has most certainly followed in the saint's footsteps.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 9 2021 19:57 utc | 225

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2021 19:46 utc | 226

I was raised catholic, and with all the reservations that I have concerning the Catholic Church behaviour in Spain during our civil war I cannot but admire the labour of the Catholic church in Latin America, in places like Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. Pope Francisco deserves a lot of credit for his trip to Irak, even though to the ultras within the Catholic Church he is almost a traitor. Compared to his predecessors he deserves a lot of credit. Thanks for Pepe's preview and the excelent links, no time to be bored.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 9 2021 19:59 utc | 226

FYI @ 203:

The Wikipedia article you quote does not say anything other than that human sacrifice was practised in the Mesoamerican cultural region, just as it was in so many other parts of the world at different times.

The extent to which the Aztecs carried out human sacrifice before the Spanish arrived and after they came is something you have to demonstrate, without resorting to the exaggerations and propaganda of the conquistadors and Catholic priests and missionaries who had powerful personal and financial interests in converting indigenous Mexicans into a brainwashed slave force for the Spanish empire. There is also always the possibility that human sacrifice increases in frequency during major political and social crisis, and the arrival of the Spanish in 1519 brought upheaval - the overthrow of the Aztec rulers, no less - that would have encouraged more sacrifices. So whatever the Spanish accounts say about the scale of human sacrifice among the Aztecs has to be taken with these warnings in mind.

BTW shamans are not so very different from sufis in Islam as the thing they have in common is being in direct contact with God or God's agents. This is why shamans and sufis alike are often either persecuted by governments or at best regarded as eccentrics and to be avoided: because they are a threat to established religious authority and convention.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 9 2021 20:01 utc | 227

Very curious political development in Nevada:

"Shortly after a slate of insurgent progressives endorsed by the Las Vegas Democratic Socialists of America pulled off a clean sweep in Nevada State Democratic Party elections over the weekend, the party's executive director notified newly elected chair Judith Whitmer that the entire staff, as well as every consultant, was quitting."


"[T]he Nevada Democratic Party establishment 'had prepared for the loss, having recently moved $450,000 out of the party's coffers and into the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's account.'"

I recall quite well the battle that took place in Nevada over delegates during the caucus there in 2016. But what does this victory hold for the nation?

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2021 20:25 utc | 228

I'm very lucky to live within the boundaries of the European Union.I'm thankful for this handy manual brought to me by the European Commission.It's very complementary to already existant debunking pages in major news outlets as Le Monde,Liberation,France24.With this new paradigm I'll be able to separate the chaff from the wheat concerning news and information.I'm glad the taxpayers'money invested gives such bright results!

Thank you Brussels!

Well,come to think of it,you could have been more concise just stating:"Follow MSM"

Posted by: willie | Mar 9 2021 20:38 utc | 229
so-called uk variant...
brought from ksa

Posted by: Mina | Mar 9 2021 20:59 utc | 230

@ fyi | Mar 9 2021 18:26 utc | 220 quote "Shamans have truths, but not the Truth."

fyi - you are just hanging yourself with more rope here, or digging a ditch deeper for yourself... you'd best stop... what is your special "Religion" where you or your religion is the authority on what is truth with a small t verses a capital T??? lacking the courage to openly state it here is what it is which leads me to believe it is a cowards religion with an adherent who is happy to hide behind prejudices as opposed to standing up for any kind of "Truth" as you like to refer to it.. i am very disappointed in you and the reason why i'm reprimanding you here... and @jen is correct to make the parallels she does as well... i am sure you wouldn't like to have your "Religion" judged in a similar light... why do you do it on others?

Posted by: james | Mar 9 2021 21:24 utc | 231

Jen #229

BTW shamans are not so very different from sufis in Islam as the thing they have in common is being in direct contact with God or God's agents. This is why shamans and sufis alike are often either persecuted by governments or at best regarded as eccentrics and to be avoided: because they are a threat to established religious authority and convention.

Thank you for that comment. I can say I have never met a shaman that I did not like or who was on any path other than of service to the betterment of this world.

On Mayans and Aztecs and their unsavory practices. They are elevated via our discourse and focus. There were many peoples in South American history and many were demonstrably peaceful and immensely creative beings. The dominant warmongers drove them to extinction or major climatic events destroyed them. Unfortunately we are fascinated by tales told of violent spaniards slaughtering violent indigenes. Not much mention of accessing gold, silver, free land, free sexual abuse.

Our imperative is to acknowledge that there have been and still are peoples with profound knowledge and social forms that obviate the resort to violence and war to settle disputes. Those ways may necessitate the engagement of clan wiringin or 'shaman' to enact ritual 'services' as an expression of the creator power taking the conflict to itself and resolving the dispute typically in ritual dance and song that may be conducted over days. Akin to a proxy system that overrules the rights of individuals to do violence against each other. This is still in place in Australia and Papua New Guinea and perhaps elsewhere in South Pacific.

If we contemporary people abided by same practices then we would develop a better world. Currently we do the opposite.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 9 2021 22:30 utc | 232

Perhaps the most important content of Escobar's essay linked @226 is its link to Magnier's own recap that contained a mixed paraphrase/citation version of Sistani's important communiqué, which Magnier described thusly:

"According to sources in Najaf, the Grand Ayatollah grasped the opportunity of the Pope’s visit to send a clear message to all Iraqis and the leaders of the Middle East and the West. His communiqué contained an implicit message also to the Pope, and several 'No (s).'"

Escobar distills the list to:

"The statement from Sistani’s office explicitly refers to 'displacement, wars, acts of violence, economic blockades, and the absence of social justice to which the Palestinian people are exposed, especially the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.'

"Translation: Iraq supports the Palestinian cause."

And I'll add Iraq supports Iran's goal of ousting all Outlaw Empire forces from the region. Escobar also mentions another dynamic:

"Rome sources confirmed there had been negotiations for months aiming at convincing Baghdad to normalize relations with Israel. A 'message' was sent through the Vatican. Sistani replied sharply that normalization is impossible. The Vatican remains mum."

IMO, the Iranian position is Occupied Palestine must revert to Palestine, meaning no settler colony will ever be recognized given the evil the British inflicted on South and Southwest Asia, damage it still continues to commit. In this essay at The Saker's I link to again is this paragraph that immediately follows an extremely important map of the region setting forth why:

"If we add total territorial areas separated from Iran by aggressive means and mischief of foreign powers in the past two hundred years, for sure, the actual territorial loss caused by Britain is far greater than that caused by Russia. Qualitatively speaking the geostrategic importance of areas lost to Britain were not any less, if not more, than those lost to Russia. It is also important to note that even Golistan, Turkmanchaai, and Akhaal treaties between Iran and Russia were the handiwork of Britain. Furthermore, if we were to catalogue national calamities exacted upon Iran and the Iranians, the backstabbing, reneging of contracts and agreements, aggressions, and plundering of Iranians’ wealth and resources by Britain, France, and the US, and killing of half the Iranian population by starvation by Britain in particular, the West wins the race in shamefulness, malevolence, and aggression by a landslide." [My Emphasis]

Clearly, the West through its greed has created an enemy that will fight it until it dies or changes drastically. Sistani's stance is no different. As I commented at Escobar's FB, the Vatican has a very painful confession to make to the world that exposes the truth of its actions since its inception, although few know that's what must be done. But I'm certainly not going to hold my breath.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2021 22:32 utc | 233

Trump to senator behind the scenes: "Taiwan is like two feet from China [...] we're eight thousand miles away. If they invade, there isn't a fucking thing we can do about it."

I agree with one of the replies: why didn't Trump tell that openly and publicly when he was POTUS? Wasn't him the "outsider" president?

Posted by: vk | Mar 9 2021 22:43 utc | 234

@ 236 *he

Posted by: vk | Mar 9 2021 22:44 utc | 235

karlof1 #226

Thank you for the link to Magnier's report on the meeting between Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Sistani and Pope Francis.

Again Sistani declined to issue a joint statement with this pope. His individual statement issued later is clear:

According to sources in Najaf, the Grand Ayatollah grasped the opportunity of the Pope’s visit to send a clear message to all Iraqis and the leaders of the Middle East and the West. His communiqué contained an implicit message also to the Pope, and several “No (s)”:

No To besieging populations: This is a position and a criticism against the US, which

imposes sieges and sanctions on people with the aim to starve countries to bring them to their knees. Accordingly, Sayyed Sistani has defined his position rejecting US policy, putting an end to rumours that the Iraqis wanted the US to stay in Iraq despite the Parliament’s decision to seek to enforce the US’s departure.

No to violence: this is a message that is also on its way – according to the source –

to the US, which is killing and bombing the Iraqis. It is also directed towards the Iraqi government, which must respect Iraq’s people and avoid the recurrence of violence.

No to injustice: A message for the Iraqi leaders, who ignore the injustices the Iraqi

people have suffered from since Saddam Hussein’s rule continuing to the US occupation – said the sources – lack of services, job opportunities and administrative corruption. This message also aims to address the US forces, which treat the world with double standards, especially in the Middle East, where the Palestinian people suffer under the Israeli occupation, and the Syrian and Iranian peoples are oppressed by unjust sanctions.

No to normalisation with Israel: The sources said that Sayyed Sistani’s statement

mentioned “displacement, wars, acts of violence, economic blockades, and the absence of social justice to which the Palestinian people are exposed, especially to the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.” This means that Iraq will not normalise with Israel, that the Palestinian cause is supported by Iraq and is the Iraqis’ concern. The message also speaks about how countries like Iran and Yemen are besieged by the US that apparently can only use “the language of war” (as the statement mentioned) to the detriment of any concern for social justice.

“Sayyed Sistani addressed his message to His Holiness when he said in his statement that great religious and spiritual leaders should limit tragedies” and mentioned the role of “these leaders with the great powers” (US) to prevail with reason and wisdom and to care for rights and mutual respect between the various followers of religious and intellectual tendencies. Here, Sayyed Sistani calls for a more effective role for the Vatican in supporting the Middle East, which suffers from the injustice created and amplified by the superpowers (the US and the West) and for which Najaf believes the Vatican is not doing enough. Sayyed Sistani – I learned – does not appreciate the fact that the Vatican was silent when the Shia lost thousands of men defending the Christians (and other Iraqis) and did not receive any attention or even an overt statement of recognition from the Pope for all these years.”

Sistani knows the true path. This pope is diminished from his visit. We, the millions of peacemakers and the people speak out daily with all our voice calling for peace. The Pope fails humanity as he cannot and will not use his voice on a daily basis to condemn this violence.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 9 2021 23:03 utc | 236

Mr. karlof1

That is a saying of Imam Ali and not Mr. Sistani.

Posted by: fyi | Mar 9 2021 23:41 utc | 237

Mr. Paco

I agree.

Posted by: fyi | Mar 9 2021 23:42 utc | 238

Ms. Jen:

I do not care to establish my assertions about the Aztecs; you can do that for yourself. Many historians have gone over those grounds.

At any rate, you are trying to defend the indefensible evil.

Sufis are not Shamans - They are on a Path that is travelled under the guidance of a Pir, lest one becomes psychotic.

Posted by: fyi | Mar 9 2021 23:45 utc | 239

Mr. James:

Ad hominem attacks now on my courage because I do not conform to your requests?

You must be some kind of Liberal.

What I stated before stands: Mexicans have found Truth in Catholic Christianity - it has been 500 years now.

Why do they not go back to the Aztec derangement; if they are gods have the same Reality as God, then they all be equivalent, no?

At any rate, unless you apologize to me, I will cease to address you or your comments.

Posted by: fyi | Mar 9 2021 23:48 utc | 240

uncle tungsten @238--

Thanks for your reply. You say:

The Pope fails humanity as he cannot and will not use his voice on a daily basis to condemn this violence.

The Pope is the leader of an Imperialist Organization that has allied itself with some of history's Bloodiest Empires and issued proclamations that dehumanized 90% of the world's humans as its intent was to prosper from the theft of wealth from those peoples. The Vatican and Roman Catholic Church as institutions have never apologized to humanity for their grossest sins that violate their religion's most fundamental laws, those supposedly given by its Divinity.

The "treasures" of the Vatican differ in no way from that of Nazi Gold, and ought to be seen in that light. One of the reasons why I want to try and visit what I call the Imperial Cities before I die is to marvel at all the wealth stolen from the masses. The two I have visited had little wealth remaining to be seen as it had already been stolen again by later Imperialists--The British with Athens and the Vatican with Constantinople/Istanbul.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2021 23:49 utc | 241

@ fyi.... i have a problem with anyone saying they know what truth or Truth is... that's all... you can provide your spin on life all you want... just remember - what you dish out on others religion can be dished out on yours as well given what you have said here...

what do you call someone who is afraid to name their religion, but willing to disparage others??? that is not something i would want any part of.. no apology will be forthcoming... cheers..

Posted by: james | Mar 9 2021 23:51 utc | 242

a non authority as authority... where have i witnessed this before??? one of the fallacies of all religions... castles built on sand..

Posted by: james | Mar 9 2021 23:53 utc | 243

My, they just can't help themselves:

Biden Iran Envoy Boasted of Depriving Civilians of Food, Driving Up Iranian Inequality in Sadistic Sanctions Manual

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 10 2021 0:18 utc | 244

james, re the last sentence in #242. I see you have joined me and you are in good company here in the Maxwell Smart Cone of Silence ;)

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 10 2021 0:33 utc | 245

lol - uncle t.... i hadn't seen any get smart in a long time.. that was fun! thanks... this crowd that has been excommunicated is going to get bigger fwiw and fyi!

Posted by: james | Mar 10 2021 0:45 utc | 246

Bemildred @246--

Thanks for pointing to that essay by Blumenthal. Richard Nephew is clearly one of the most diabolical Nazis to ever live, yet he's only one drone within a very active hive of Killer Wasps. I wonder how many similar "civil servants" like him need to be culled--I was only following orders.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 10 2021 1:02 utc | 247

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 10 2021 1:02 utc | 249

I am most impressed by their lack of self-awareness. It's strange, frankly. I believe Crooke mentioned it too. That sort of hermetically sealed ideological bubble always leads to disaster. You can't know your enemy, if you are full of your own propaganda.

Did you read the piece at Unz about Dostoevsky's "Demons"? It was kind of interesting but also Trump-friendly and alt-right oriented, so I hesitated to post it.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 10 2021 1:20 utc | 248

Bemildred @250--

I am most impressed by their lack of self-awareness.

Yes, just like the Nazis and similar types, like Death Squad Members and Terrorist Mercenaries. The complete lack of moral grounding--a Libertine like deSade.

I don't frequent Unz as my usual reading list is more than enough, so no I didn't.

The existence of Nephew and his ilk further confirms that the USA became the champion of Fascism after WW2. He's no different than those that manned the camps and managed the Holocaust.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 10 2021 1:33 utc | 249

karlof1 @ 228, thank you again for your link to Pepe Escobar's account of the meeting between Pope Francis and Ayatollah Sistani. I went to your link to at least get some details for a search, and found that it was not behind a paywall, so was able to read it in full. He makes many of Magnier's points, and contrasts this meeting with the actions of the US right up to the most recent bombing which was launched upon the same group, the PMUs, that had come to the aid of Iraqi Christians, as you pointed out.

Here is a paragraph I don't think you included in your summary:

It’s never enough to remember that the PMUs were the target of the recent Biden-Harris excellent bombing adventure on February 25/26: militants were actually bombed in Iraqi, not Syrian territory. The previous overall field commander of the PMUs was Abu al-Muhandis, who I met in Baghdad in late 2017. He was assassinated side by side with Soleimani.

Needless to say, the word 'excellent' is the height of sarcasm in this instance. To have joined the ranks of Trump and his military in this murderous exercise is the low point of the Biden term of office, as it was for Trump in his. It's like those gangland tests of would be members -- "Do this or you are not one of us." This time the test was up front, no waiting around.

There's the Vatican, and there's Pope Francis. My prayers are with the latter.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 10 2021 1:48 utc | 250

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 10 2021 1:33 utc | 251

Yes, I immediately thought of De Sade and Camus' discussion of the Romantics in "The Rebel". One sees that in our Tech Overlords too.

UNZ:: I don't hang out there, not my cup of tea, but they do publish authors I look for at times (Pepe, Cockburn) so I check them from time to time. He also has a lot of books online. If you don't read the Libertarian crap it's a useful site (IMHO). All of Melville for example.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 10 2021 1:49 utc | 251

@ 250, thanks for referencing the Unz piece on "The Demons". I've mentioned it before, but it was a good comparison, for me until the final paragraphs on the Fourth something, which rather lost me. Worth a read because the times have caught up to that novel. Would that we now might catch up to the final one!

Posted by: juliania | Mar 10 2021 2:09 utc | 252

I am sorry - I did type in your name, Bemildred @ 250. My computer must have had the hiccups.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 10 2021 2:11 utc | 253

Oops, I forgot to put the link:

Posted by: juliania | Mar 10 2021 2:16 utc | 254

Posted by: juliania | Mar 10 2021 2:16 utc | 256

No apology is needed, I was very curious about your thoughts on it. I may have to look up a copy. :-)

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 10 2021 2:25 utc | 255

everyone... thanks for the various links.. i have being reading them.. the deal with the dems in nevada was interesting... that nephew guy sounds really sick.... i guess if he knew where the shamans were, he would be sure to try to murder them off too... amazing how these narrow minded people get into positions of power.. i am always shocked at the depravity of human nature when it comes to those adhering to extreme fundamental religious and political views..

Posted by: james | Mar 10 2021 2:39 utc | 256

@258 james

Well, if you're reading links I have an uplifted one for you, that I don't think has been shared yet. Remember Clare Daly, the Irish member of the European Parliament who gave that short and fiery speech a couple weeks ago about Borrell going to see Lavrov, re Navalny, etc?

She's in the latest Renegade show in an interview, joined by her colleague Mick Wallace. The two of them tell the story of their trespass against Shannon Airport in order to show that US military planes were transiting the country in violation of Irish and international law. Her impassioned speech appears at the beginning of the show, by the way.

It's uplifting to see how people still know how to fight, and how they still can win:
Two Renegades speak truth to Europe


ps...I'll still talk to you, james, even when the absolutists decline ;) After all, it's only relative truths that we share here, which by simple logic cannot encompass absolute truths, but can at best point towards the experience of them for oneself. And one is humble enough, one hopes, to remember this always.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 10 2021 2:56 utc | 257

I have not yet read all the comments here so I venture into unknown lands.

The incipient aspiration of religious/spiritual teachings handed down worldwide through generations of humans was at core to “evolve” humans to a higher, more developed, level so as to reduce pervasive human suffering.

One need discern the difference between religious method and practice, and religious doctrine and dogma.

Core spiritual teachings are not about dogma, but method — the method of how to reduce human suffering. They are evidenced-based teachings that require one to investigate the validity of the method for oneself through practice.

Across religious and spiritual norms (or at least those with which I am familiar), this often means teaching disciples to become more kind, more generous, more compassionate, more forgiving, more vast thinking, deeper, more expansive, more skillfully compassionate, more contemplative, wise.

“God” and other cultural equivalencies such as the buddhadharma’s dharmakaya is not a limited constricted compassion but an all-pervasive compassion, an all-pervading nirvanic reality although commonly undiscerned, unrecognized.

Of course problems arise when a collectivity is indoctrinated, not illuminated, so more suffering arises, not positive human developments, as religious practices at core are method which if not practiced become dogma and fuel oppression.

Method + practice => develop into a more complete being with capacity to transcend the many sufferings of the human condition to such an extent that comfort and aid can be offered, afforded, to all other fellow sentient beings regardless.

At worst, religious practices become dogma used to manipulate, control, suppress and oppress. This is not their core substance imo, but a significant and ordinary corruption of their inner essence.

Posted by: suzan | Mar 10 2021 3:14 utc | 258

@250 Bemildred and @254 juliania

I went to the link to read Kevin Barrett's piece in "The Demons". Very interesting article. What Dostoevsky apparently was saying (I haven't read it) is a theme of successive generational neglect and decline that compounds over time into horror. I find this resonates very strongly with my observation of the west in general and the US particularly.

The concept reminds me a little of CS Lewis's Space Trilogy (Silent Planet, Perelandra, Hideous Strength). He too described how small increments of action constituting anything less than virtuous clarity accumulate into enormous evil, even without having chosen evil - and all this of course is by the sly design of evil. Evil knows not to declare itself because people will shun it. Therefore it lays a long chain of entrapment.

juliania, I wouldn't worry too much about the last part regarding the Fourth Turning: it's supposed to be a cyclical thing, but Barrett says it may turn out to be a dud after all, and not be a thing. I'm inclined to agree. The future has not happened yet and is not written.

But the present, it seems, belongs to Dostoevsky.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 10 2021 3:38 utc | 259

@260 suzan - "problems arise when a collectivity is indoctrinated, not illuminated"

Nicely put.

In one of my first classes on Buddhist meditation, our teacher said that in most fields of doctrine, all that was required of a teacher was to learn the parts well enough to restate them to students, but that in this field, it was required of the teacher to manifest the qualities about which the teaching taught.

I suspect this sense of authenticity is what billions of practitioners and worshipers seek to detect in their holy authorities, and that many find this in the Popes and the Ayatollahs of the time and place.

The Buddha Dharma actually teaches that compassion is the true nature of all sentient beings of whatever kind, and so it makes great sense that we are always on the right path as we stumble our way to making this clear for ourselves, despite the vast worldly inheritance that seems to argue that this is not true.

And because we are all so very greatly divorced from our true nature - which is nonetheless completely present in us in every moment, if we can clarify ourselves in any moment to experience this - then even the hint of this true nature in those holy authorities is enough to sustain the faith in the goodness of things.

We focus the faith to the external but it's really internal. As I saw someone write long ago, and have never found it since: "It is only by a habitual error that we identify ourselves with our perceptions, and this is the cause of all suffering."

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 10 2021 3:55 utc | 260

Grieved @ 261, it's really a prophetic work by Dostoievski, containing as it does some characters I think you would love - Shatov and his sister, for instance, both tragic figures but lovingly portrayed. And for me the main character, Stepan Trofimovitch Verkhovenski (I've probably spelled his name wrong) is such an entertaining portrayal of a liberal who has lived beyond his time that it's good to go back and read again after not being in his presence - there's a lot of humor to a very dark set of happenings gradually heading downhill. All the same, you cannot really fit it to US norms, as it is a westernizing Russia that is being portrayed, not as darkly as in "The Idiot", which I find really hard to be hopeful about, (probably Dostoievski's lowest point outside exile.) It's too Russian still to be cast as a prologue to current events, but surely helps explain Russia's past. We in the far west maybe rhyme; we don't repeat. And as I've said before, I find that hopeful with respect to where Russia is now. I'd love us to rhyme with that.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 10 2021 4:34 utc | 261

@ 259 grieved.. thanks grieved... there are a few posters here who are very consistent and you are indeed one of them! i do remember that video of the irish mp clare daly and enjoyed what i saw the last time... they are asking the right questions here.. who benefits from isolating russia? i once flew out of shannon airport - limrick in the mid 70's.. it was the last time i was in ireland... i would like to go back but this complicovidation is interfering in the process... i like what these 2 were able to do in ireland.. thanks grieved!

@ 260 suzan... thanks for saying that.. i hope someone in particular here is able to read it and comprehends it..

@ 263 juliania.... once i finish this brothers karamazov book, i think i am going to read the master and margarita... my brother got a copy of 'heart of a dog' today in a 2nd hand store... not the same book - but by the same author...

Posted by: james | Mar 10 2021 5:56 utc | 262

Shamanes in Guerrero Mexico

Posted by: Guerrero | Mar 10 2021 7:36 utc | 263

Twitter to be drastically slowed down in Russia, as a warning since they are impervious to requests. We'll get to see how powerful and above the law are the untouchable monopoly platforms, plus a warning of a full shut down if they keep ignoring the regulator requests.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 10 2021 7:54 utc | 264

Nothing like the morning news, some Ned Price from the State dept. afirms that North Stream is a "bad deal". Bad deal for whom Ned? I'm sure texans would not mind a North Stream of their own come next winter.

Posted by: Paco | Mar 10 2021 7:57 utc | 265

I never put much faith in religions, especially Abrahamics, too dogmatic.

I consider myself a pagan folkolrists who like cool stories i.e. mythology and worship our ancestors as gods, not any invisible creator.

Trees and mountains, animals (bear, wolves, cows, monkeys) and humans (national folk heroes) are easy to worship than any invisible beings. Of course, worship here means veneration and taking their positive traits as role model, and not kowtowing.

Posted by: Smith | Mar 10 2021 9:12 utc | 266

james:: Master & Margarita: I think you’ll like it. I’ve read it two or three times, I don’t do that much.

suzan:: Well let me just agree with james and the others. Needs to be said. Yes, the method is the point. There are many paths, each must find their own. It is not a contest.

grieved:: The only Lewis I have read is Screwtape, which I thought was interesting and well-written, but a little too self-satisfied. I never read Barnett because of his “style” and politics, but I made an exception, and reading that was an alternating series of outrage and pleasure. I am very catholic (small ‘c’) when looking for news & commentary. Truth is where you find it. Nobody owns it.

I’ve read the Idiot, Karenina, tried Karamazov but struggled with the language until I got the P&V translation which I think I will make it through now, parts of some others, and considerable commentary on Dostoevsky. I think I was too young, he reads better now. Translators do not get enough credit.

I would characterize Demons as juliana did, something like what happened here cast in a Russian cultural frame. It also resonates because I see in retrospect it is one of my own failures in life. I’m going to have to read it better I think.

But the last few months I have been paying attention to current affairs, so I’m not getting much book learning done at the moment. I think it is important to pay attention in times like these. Attention has power. And it’s Spring here (sort of) so I’m “off my feed” a little, a little dull-minded.

Juliana:: I remember in the 50s & 60s (grades 4-12) in Los Angeles, and the whole TV-pop-culture thing started up with rock stars and well, the whole 60s, the media circus, and thinking this is not going to end well. And since Raygun I’ve been waiting to see if I could witness the crisis to come. And thank you for your comments.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 10 2021 10:09 utc | 267

thanks bemildred... first i have to find a copy!

Posted by: james | Mar 10 2021 16:52 utc | 268

Wonderful, james - you are a trouper (in the best sense.) And Bemildred, I hear you, keeping up with what is happening now is really important. I tell people we oldies can remember when it was Russia that was getting only what news via their media that the government wanted them to hear, so they've been where we are as far as having to dig for information - that is really what 'Master and Margarita' is all about. It's when they were where we are now, or at least where we are on the threshold of. We are not as bad as it did get for them, not yet.

When I was reading all the Russian novels in college, I really had no idea of the underlying situation in Russia, it's only in retrospect...and for me earlier as a teenager coming to the US it was television that was the biggie - we hadn't had it yet in New Zealand. Ten years later going 'home' to visit, television was there and the culture had completely changed. Towns were no longer communities the way they had been before we left. I'm very glad I saw both sides, and even in the US, four years of college in the US soon after arrival took me out of that illusory media realm completely. Classical hard slog - no distractions. I bless the years I was gifted sans media. I'm no huge brain as you know; it just was good fortune, back then.

Posted by: juliania | Mar 10 2021 17:59 utc | 269

Posted by: juliania | Mar 10 2021 17:59 utc | 271

Yes, all of that, thank you. I have always considered it luck.

Posted by: Bemildred | Mar 10 2021 18:20 utc | 270

Grieved @ 262:

"It is only by a habitual error that we identify ourselves with our perceptions, and this is the cause of all suffering."

My not yet two year old grandson is going around with a bucket on his head. I was very puzzled by this, seeing it in a negative light. He can't help but hurt himself bumping into things! But his father messaged me, "I think he just likes a challenge."

I remember from watching my own children learning to walk - they fall down constantly, but they pick themselves up and that's the only way forward. You can't stop them; they have to do it. It's a positive thing about suffering that we learn in infancy but forget.

I can see that the problem of suffering is huge in countries where it is overwhelmingly present. Of course we have to try to ameliorate poverty, suffering in the extreme, and that is where compassion is the saving grace. Well-off societies don't see it, aren't immersed in it, can even ignore it or think they are better. And even in the societies experiencing masses who are poor, the elite can say 'It isn't us; why don't they do as we have? It's their fault.' I don't know a lot about buddhism and have never been in places where it is one the common faiths, but I think respecting the core beliefs of others does reveal a common human heritage going right back to the toddler stage - we all learn to walk the same way, falling down (and even putting buckets on our heads!)

Posted by: juliania | Mar 10 2021 18:21 utc | 271

@273 good comment juliania... thanks... it bears repeating... we hopefully learn from our mistakes... as an optimist, i think we do one way or the other...

Posted by: james | Mar 11 2021 20:30 utc | 272

« previous page

The comments to this entry are closed.