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August 27, 2023

The MoA Week In Review - (Not Ukraine) OT 2023-203

Last week's post on Moon of Alabama:

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Use as open (not Ukraine related) thread ...

Posted by b on August 27, 2023 at 13:12 UTC | Permalink

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Excellent speech by President Xi at the recent BRICs summit & expansion. On the 'Amarynth'-run site on the home page of which you can find a recent interview with her and Jeff Brown.

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 27 2023 13:43 utc | 1

Maybe it’s time for some blues…

An a dedication to PeterAu. Still look for your posts in threads.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Aug 27 2023 13:46 utc | 2

For a man with a genius level IQ Arestovich is impressively stupid.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Aug 27 2023 14:01 utc | 3

Wrt the latest Bhadhrakumar, one cannot understand what is going on in Sahel and the mediation efforts of Algeria if you do not recall that after their putch, the Malian military explained that they cannot accept that the French interfere in policy and have promised to some hardcore Tuaregs in the north an (Islamic) state. EU Josep Borrell was there in July 2023

Posted by: Minaa | Aug 27 2023 14:48 utc | 4

If I may raise a deceptively stupid question for the bar: Exactly who or what is this ISIS we are hearing so much about? The very good pieces above about Syria lists ISIS as a main player. In Africa the US drone base there is supposedly (without much success) protecting the governments (both pro and anti Western) from ISIS. As I recall, the US/NATO fought them in Afganistan, the US/CIA/Brits funded them once in Syria, the US/Iran/Iraq fought them in Iraq. They were the Caliphate, they have morphed into who knows how many offshoots. Is it as Caitlin Johnstone would say, it is whoever the guys in the State Department don´t like at the moment? Seems to be an all-purpose boogey man.

Posted by: c | Aug 27 2023 15:03 utc | 5

Posted by: c | Aug 27 2023 15:03 utc | 5

ISIS is the go to justification for US military commitments in SW Asia & Africa. They will use it in central Asia too if they get the chance. For instance, we are in Syria to fight ISIS, still, and in Iraq. That is the official narrative.

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 27 2023 15:16 utc | 6

@c 5 Bemilldred 6:

ISIS, with its cartoonish unhinged violence, is the perfect Hollywood villain. Somehow always being almost killed but they never find the body and it is always back for the sequel.

You'd almost think that it was a creation of the NATOstanis to provide a pretext for perpetual wars of aggression, but that can't be, right?




Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Aug 27 2023 15:23 utc | 7

So what are they? guns for hire? who buys their Toyota pickups, their snazzy uniforms (some have -em and some don´t), their weapons? Do they have some kind of political program? I would imagine that they are somehow connected with Islam, or at least claim to be. Maybe they are just freelance gangsters sort of like the CIA - in fact that may be the origin of their business model.

Posted by: c | Aug 27 2023 15:34 utc | 8


I have read all issues of ISIS magazines Rumiyah and Dabiq. I have watched every video of ISIS while they were still easily available. I have read every book that I could find on ISIS.

And my conclusion?

ISIS does not exist.

Oh, sure, there are plenty of young Sunni men who imagine they are part of ISIS and who are willing to give their lives for it. But the organisation that they claim to be a part of, that they kill themselves for, that does not exist. ISIS is a tool, a fiction, invented by particular people in the Imperialist States of Amerikastan and the zionist entity. Its purpose is twofold:

1. To create a pretext for perpetual wars of colonial invasion and occupation and

2. To delegitimise genuine resistance movements like the Taliban.

If ISIS had been a real thing, it could and would have taken Baghdad when it was on the outskirts in 2014. It could and would have attacked the zionist entity. It could and would have attacked Saudi Barbaria, whose royal reprobates it kept attacking in its magazines. It did none of those things (in baby it apologised when a couple of its men fired on a zionist checkpoint in the occupied Golan).

Remember the Joseph Kony hoax about ten years ago? The Internet was full of it. Kony's Lord's Resistance Army was putatively enslaving children in Uganda and all over Central Africa, Angelina Jolie et al kept tweeting #StopKony, and the Imperialist States sent troops to "hunt Kony down"? Well, ten years later, have they "stopped" Kony? Have you heard of Kony in a decade? But you can be sure those troops are still there.

It is a Hollywood level fiction.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Aug 27 2023 15:38 utc | 9

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Aug 27 2023 15:23 utc | 7


Posted by: c | Aug 27 2023 15:34 utc | 8

I am not knowledgeable, do not pay much attention, but my impression is that they are largely fictional at this point. There has been talk of using them in Ukraine for example, but they appear to have dropped the idea. Haven't seen any new Toyotas for some time now. There may be some remnants in Idlib.

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 27 2023 15:38 utc | 10

Posted by: c | Aug 27 2023 15:03 utc | 5

Years ago remember reading how the CIA had a list of assets in the ME they nicknamed 'The Database.' When translated into Arabic this became 'Al Qaeda' which means literally 'The base'. The article stated that nearly all in Al Qaeda were CIA assets. When this becomes too well known, they change the name, ISIS being one of the latest. Whether they are all CIA-coordinated or not I don't know; and of course, in that region CIA for all practical purposes means Mossad.

This all seems to be a clandestine, aggressive form of both controlled opposition and also outright manipulation. It creates division, conflict and confusion - anything preventing peace and prosperity which for whatever reason the Hegemon wants to discourage.

The equivalents within the US seem to be drug cartels and Antifa (street unrest and low income dysfunction) plus the two main Political Parties which perpetuate unending division within the society whilst preventing any substantive reform which would reduce their level of power and influence. They don't need too many outright terrorist actors yet, but if and when they do, no doubt the cartels will fit the bill. Something like 1,000 food and energy facilities have been destroyed in the last two years; unless you think it's all just random vandalism, somebody is doing it, and for a reason. Probably the cartels, and probably for the same Bad Actors running the Hegemon in both the US and the Middle East region.

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 27 2023 15:47 utc | 11

thanks b and the many other fine posters here...

is that the mina from before??

@ c | Aug 27 2023 15:03 utc | 5 -

as bemildred says - isis and friends are basically a useful tool of usa empire... as obama was on record saying 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'... that is usa foreign policy in a nutshell..

Posted by: james | Aug 27 2023 15:58 utc | 12

Whats the new southfront web address?

Posted by: osi | Aug 27 2023 15:59 utc | 13

Whats the new southfront web address?

Posted by: osi | Aug 27 2023 15:59 utc | 13


Further to how ISIS is doing:

Lack of progress in training US partners in Syria, Iraq evokes Middle East failures, analysts say

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 27 2023 16:06 utc | 14

as bemildred says - isis and friends are basically a useful tool of usa empire... as obama was on record saying 'the enemy of my enemy is my friend'... that is usa foreign policy in a nutshell..

Posted by: james | Aug 27 2023 15:58 utc | 12

Well said. Transactional all the way. They pay you as long as you do what they say. They try to punish you if you stop. Sometimes they forget to pay you.

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 27 2023 16:12 utc | 15

I agree with you BP, I don´t think ISIS exists either - as a thing. It probably once did, but now no longer. It is the all purpose phantom boogie man. For those angry young men who actually go out and play their parts in the game, killing people, destroying things and spreading terror is just Revolution puro y duro! The spirit of the times.

Posted by: c | Aug 27 2023 16:13 utc | 16

[email protected]'s a racket, protection money, if you don't want ISIS shooting up the place, pay me my protection money. The US does not pay for those bases the host country does, it's amazing how much people will pay you to keep them safe from ......ISIS. And if you need to overthrow any government in the ME, who ya gonna call.......oh, and so wrong of Ms Johnstone to say they are not liked by the State Dept ......they work for the State Dept.

Cheers M

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Aug 27 2023 16:26 utc | 17

"The Internet was full of it. Kony's Lord's Resistance Army was putatively enslaving children in Uganda and all over Central Africa, Angelina Jolie et al kept tweeting #StopKony...."

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Aug 27 2023 15:38 utc | 9

And Zelensky just bought an estate in Egypt, right next to Angelina Jolie's place. Imagine the cocktail parties!

Posted by: oracle | Aug 27 2023 16:28 utc | 18


that trans canada article is fairly disturbing for anyone who has the stomach to read it... canada is nuts on this level..

if you're more interested watch the documentary adult human female on youtube...

Posted by: james | Aug 27 2023 16:29 utc | 19

ISIS is the creation of that dufus overlord of Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, when he disbanded the Iraqi army, for s**** and giggles. Their first act was to raid a bank and steal $500 M, to buy guns and new shiny Toyotas. Nowadays, as james points out, they are mostly transactional remnants of “glorious” past. An ideal nobody-knows-what to point to when the empire lacks lackeys to beat up on.

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Aug 27 2023 16:31 utc | 20

A Draft Of TikTok’s Plan To Avoid A Ban Gives The U.S. Government Unprecedented Oversight Power, w/e 26 Aug

IF you've never listened to the US Senate Judiciary Committee, Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee, "Extremist Content and Russian Disinformation Online" hearing, 31 October 2017 (feat. Colin Stretch, Facebook VP & General Counsel, Sean Edgett, Twitter Acting General Counsel, and Richard Salgado, Al Dir. of Law Enforcement and Information Security), now would be as good a time as any. IF you're confused by EU Digital Services Act infographics.

Posted by: sln2002 | Aug 27 2023 16:43 utc | 21

...oh, and so wrong of Ms Johnstone to say they are not liked by the State Dept ......they work for the State Dept.

This; thank you sean.

Posted by: robjira | Aug 27 2023 16:55 utc | 22

The Strategic Culture Foundation’s online journal was this week hit by a massive cyberattack. The assault resulted in the forum being shut down on its regular internet site. Readers who normally access the journal were informed that the site was no longer available.

The online journal has safely migrated to


On August 23, 2024 it was announced that Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been invited to join as full members from January 1 next year.

The news of the expansion of BRICS coming out of the BRICS summit in South Africa reminds progressives of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.

Horace Campbell is Professor of African American Studies and Political Science, Syracuse University.


Posted by: Wilikins | Aug 27 2023 16:59 utc | 23

A decade ago, NATO spokespersons described an impending generational struggle against ISIS, to be fought across the Mid-East and Africa. American generals spoke publicly of a 30-40 year commitment requiring, essentially, the military occupation of much of these regions. (I suspect a NATO invasion of Syria was set to be triggered in 2015 by a manufactured refugee crisis involving Turkey and Germany, but was halted by the Russian intervention in support of Assad.)

Posted by: jayc | Aug 27 2023 17:00 utc | 24

Since words are too difficult for some people, this triptych perfectly explains the most important aspects of where ISIS came from and its geopolitical function in the world.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 27 2023 17:01 utc | 25

@ William Gruff | Aug 27 2023 17:01 utc | 25

good pic william.. exactly..

Posted by: james | Aug 27 2023 17:06 utc | 26

Posted by: c | Aug 27 2023 15:03 utc | 5

No, I can assure you that ISIS/Da'ish did and does exist. I was nearly personally captured by them in 2017, just a locked door between us, but they didn't want to make a noise by breaking down the door. And my Syrian associate actually was captured by them some time before that, but persuaded them to let him go.

It is certainly true that the US could have been involved in the creation and/or in their expansion and survival. After all, both the US and Israel have supported lots of jihadi groups, and still do in Idlib today, with the well-known aim of destroying any vaguely independent Arab state. There's no reason they should act differently over Da'ish.

However since the destruction of Mosul, ISIS/Da'ish has become more a diffuse extreme Sunni identity, which anybody can attach to, rather than a real power. The reason they didn't succeed in taking Baghdad was that since the US occupation in the post Samarra bombing period, Baghdad has become almost entirely a Shi'a city, 80% or so. They would never have been able to win over the population. But I've got a lovely video of the fight where they failed.

Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 27 2023 17:19 utc | 27

the idea between the Dig Act is to impose "EU certification", i.e. no single piece of code written by a Ruskie or Yellow outcast.

Posted by: Minaa | Aug 27 2023 17:21 utc | 28

oh, warlord gangs like ISIS exist. As do los carteles in Mexico. But they exist at the behest of TPTB. But was there a central command center for ISIS? Probably not. Was they really a different belligerent along the lines of the SAA, the USA, Israel, the FSA, and the Kurds in the Syrian Civil War?

Trying to understand the Middle East is an incredibly daunting task. You must begin with the western-centric term the "Middle East" to begin with and keep up with the shifting alliances all the live-long day.

For an American, it is best to leave the Middle East pronto and re-focus our nationalist efforts on completely stopping the distribution and production of opioids near and in the U.S.A.. That would be the sensible, nationalist mission if our military was really in the control of the nationalists and being utilized for nationalist aims.

Instead, los carteles are allowed to exist as a means to control the situation in the western hemisphere and to keep the governments in central and South America on a leash.

The path to multipolarity in the western hemisphere will eventually involve the rooting out completely of the opioid business and the return of whatever the hell sovereignty those in the other America can muster. Until then, it's all theater, kabuki, warlords, and death. American cities are festering in the dirty business of empire.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 27 2023 17:44 utc | 29

But was there a central command center for ISIS? Probably not.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 27 2023 17:44 utc | 29

Of course there was. There was a territorial state. But there isn't now. They disappeared into the bushes, but still survive as an identity, which is why you hear of them in Mali and Niger and Chad.

Posted by: laguerre | Aug 27 2023 17:55 utc | 30

@30 laguerre

Do you think they had their own agency? Or were they purely at the behest of bigger fish? That is more or less what I meant.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 27 2023 17:57 utc | 31

Posted by: Laguerre | Aug 27 2023 17:19 utc | 27

Why would jihadis be afraid of breaking down a door to capture you ,whilst in the heat of battle or when they practically control your town?

Posted by: Wondrous | Aug 27 2023 18:05 utc | 32

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 27 2023 17:57 utc | 31

I don't think they would have done what they did if they were simply under US control. After all they posed a lot of problems for the US. The US wanted independent Kurds in Syria, and (earlier) an independent Sunni Arab state in NW Iraq, and these haven't really happened, much because of Da'ish.

US may have stimulated or helped them, and ultimately had to work on destroying them. The role of Saudi should not be forgotten. They funded and supported a lot of the Sunni jihadis, but more recently the princes have lost their enthusiasm, as it's leading to the destruction of Arab interests. One thing the Saudi princes are not going to do is to surrender Arab interests to Israel; they're too close to the conflict (Biden et al are foolish in thinking Saudi is going to sign; it's not MbS, it's the views of 5000 princes that count.)

Posted by: laguerre | Aug 27 2023 18:15 utc | 33

Why would jihadis be afraid of breaking down a door to capture you ,whilst in the heat of battle or when they practically control your town?

Posted by: Wondrous | Aug 27 2023 18:05 utc | 32

Sorry, I'm not going to give you the details. It wasn't a battle, but an attempted hostage-taking in the night.

Posted by: laguerre | Aug 27 2023 18:18 utc | 34

Posted by: Melaleuca | Aug 27 2023 13:46 utc | 2:

Thanks for the blues!!!

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Aug 27 2023 18:26 utc | 35

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 27 2023 15:47 utc | 11

The Internet only forgets something when it is forced to forget that something.
Hard to remember, but ~2003, I saw a supposed Al Qaeda serial beheading video (production) broadcast on the net.
It's long gone, as sometime later searching for it yielded zero, zilch, nothing. The filmed execution's clarity and staging, the entire CinemaScope finished technical/artfulness of this video piece was too superb, I reckon--too fake is what I mean.

I wonder how such "craftsmanship" fell off the edge of the Internet when I can find pictures galore of children's toys and chewing gum commercials from the 50s.

Posted by: Elmagnostic | Aug 27 2023 18:38 utc | 36

Posted by: c | Aug 27 2023 15:03 utc | 5:

c, I don't know much myself, but it appears to me that ISIS are some middle east people with no souls, just cannon fodders for hire.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Aug 27 2023 18:41 utc | 37

Posted by: Elmagnostic | Aug 27 2023 18:38 utc | 36

I know what you mean but drew different conclusions. The quality was “surreal” not because it was fake , but because it was real and filmed by or advised on by US/NATO cinematographers. Blood-thirsty Goat-shagging sandal-wearing devils don’t have degrees in cinematography ,now do they ?

Posted by: Wondrous | Aug 27 2023 18:56 utc | 38

Posted by: laguerre | Aug 27 2023 18:18 utc | 34

I understand. Cool.

Posted by: Wondrous | Aug 27 2023 18:57 utc | 39

Posted by: laguerre | Aug 27 2023 18:15 utc | 33

Too many pieces of evidence show that Sauds and US and other vassals were definitely behind most of the jihadis that we heard about in those days. Including Al Qaida and ISIS etc . We even know the US and Israel brought a Kurd jihadi back from Norway to be their initial leader. Most were trained in Jordan ,and all NATO entities helped ; in money, training, hiding them etc.

That ISIS bit the hand that fed them was a foregone conclusion. Anyone with eyes and a brain knew that would happen,and it did. They both even squabbled with and murdered one another and still do.

The US even rescued many of them from Kurd jails and/or helicoptered them out of mountain hide-outs . Yes, even though the US in the latter days ,then decided to help the Kurds with a state of their own.

Yes, the US did give birth to that monster , and like Frankenstein ,they predictably turn against their maker .

Posted by: Wondrous | Aug 27 2023 19:08 utc | 40

Am surprised b did not feature more articles about BRIX+ last week. I thought they took things to a new level. But I guess they've been doing that for a while now, especially since the SMO so...

Am still a little suspicious of the whole business. I was an early anti-Empire fan but was taken aback by the response to covid, the world wide coordination of quasi-totalitarianism. That said, of late the multipolarists have the bit between their teeth; currently easing into a nice trot, maybe even a canter, having been at a slow, steady walk for quite a while.

Also, it seems the rise of the Global South has a see-saw correlation with weakening of the West, internally and externally. Hard not to posit a common fulcrum principle....

Meanwhile, put my own take on the Brix meeting into a substack post that only a 'select few' (!) will read.

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 27 2023 19:19 utc | 41

ISIS is merely the most recent brand name for the Outlaw US Empire's Terrorist Foreign Legion which has existed since it began its Imperial adventures soon after the 1783 Peace in Paris. Gruff's graphic linked @25 is outstanding!!

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 27 2023 19:27 utc | 42

Too many pieces of evidence show that Sauds and US and other vassals were definitely behind most of the jihadis that we heard about in those days.

Posted by: Wondrous | Aug 27 2023 19:08 utc | 40

Yeah but don't be too simplistic about it. I suspect a lot of what US did was exploiting and developing existing movements. That's how the Syrian war started. The US/Israel aim being to weaken Arab powers, any weapon being exploited. The Saudis had a different aim: the princes are ideological Sunnis and will support any Sunni movement to do down the hated Shi'a (in Syria). But it's evident now that they're changing gear. The Arab relatives are better than Israel. (Saudi isn't an absolute autocracy, unlike the Gulf States, who have signed with Israel (and regretted it). The princes have their say).

Posted by: laguerre | Aug 27 2023 19:38 utc | 43

ISIS appeared in early 2014, after Obama was thwarted from bombing Syria in late 2013, because of both UK reluctance, and Putin's agreement with Syria to have them destroy their chemical weapon stock.

They rolled out in matching uniforms, driving Toyota trucks flying factory-made flags, and equipped with endless weapons and ammo.

We were told that they were the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Hence the acronym.

But then they showed up in the Philippines, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Africa. Say what? Why would terrorists focused on creating a Islamic State in Syria and Iraq show up in other places? And why did they always seem to be terrorizing in service of US imperialism?
I think we can all figure it out.

The Quillete article on the trans agenda being pushed onto the children of Canada and the US is sobering.
It can't just be for the money.
It has to be an attack on reality, and a extreme form of totalitarism. They are controlling perception and language, and forcing people to deny the most basic of human abilities, that of recognizing the sex of others.

“The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”. ― George Orwell

Posted by: wagelaborer | Aug 27 2023 19:50 utc | 44

@wagelaborer, #44:

I think we can all figure it out.

I think you got them figured out.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Aug 27 2023 19:58 utc | 45

ISIS, Daesh, the splinter groups in the Levant (Al Nusra, etc.)....slippery subject. I'm glad someone brought it up, though.

Some fuel to the idea that they are not a real thing (in the sense that their existence justifies the policies, not taking anything away for the reality of what happened to laguerre):

Seems to be a common theme among "moderate" rebels and other US client proxies against the 'Official Enemies'...

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Aug 27 2023 20:20 utc | 46

laguerre is partially correct. America's CIA controlled headchoppers are not the same as America's Pentagon controlled headchoppers. I am sure everyone remembers those two different terrorist gangs fighting each other in Syria. The fact is the US military likes to maintain the illusion they act honorably, while the CIA psycho killers think such sentimentality is a sign of weakness. It is easy to tell which murderous thugs work for the CIA because they take pride in being as shockingly vicious as possible. The CIA likes for their goons to define the outer limits of subhuman brutality.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 27 2023 20:24 utc | 47

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 27 2023 13:43 utc | 1

Thanks for President Xi's speech, Scorpion. "...partnership but not alliance...", so well said.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 27 2023 20:46 utc | 48

According to this article in The Cradle, ISIS had an alliance with Barzani's Kurds who, of course, are linked with both the CIA and MOSSAD.

"After the brutal August 2014 ISIS attack on the Yazidi community in northern Iraq, a narrative quickly emerged blaming Sinjar's Sunni Arabs for supporting the genocide.

"Yet a deeper delve into this harrowing episode uncovers a much darker reality — one that implicates Iraqi Kurdish politician Masoud Barzani and the leadership of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in a sinister collaboration with ISIS....

"...the misperception that Sinjar's Sunni Arabs were responsible for the ISIS genocide still goes largely unchallenged, although it is a view that is propagated not by the broader Yazidi community, but rather by the political maneuverings of the KDP led by Masoud Barzani. Furthermore, allegations have emerged that the KDP paid select Yazidis to amplify these claims in the media, casting the shadow of blame on Sunni Arabs....

"For example, Yazidi MP Vian Dakhil who blamed Sunni Arabs from Sinjar for the genocide, is a KDP member. The influential Kurdish political party often seeks to coopt politicians from Iraqi minority communities, hoping to control them and ensure these communities act in favor of KDP interests.

"Shifting culpability onto Sinjar's Sunni Arabs serves as a calculated diversion from the core culprits — namely, the KDP, whose Peshmerga forces had undertaken the solemn duty to safeguard the Yazidis in Sinjar.

"On 3 August, 2014, the Peshmerga betrayed this trust by abruptly abandoning their posts in the early hours of the morning, leaving the Yazidis defenseless against the ISIS onslaught. This was confirmed by journalist Christine Van Den Toorn writing for the Daily Beast.

"Van Den Toorn writes that a local KDP official told her that “higher-ups in the party told representatives to keep people calm, and that if people in their areas of coverage left, their salaries would be cut.”

"Kurdish security officials also confiscated weapons from Christian communities in the Nineveh Plain, before abandoning these communities as ISIS invaded in using tactics similar to those in Sinjar...."

Posted by: bevin | Aug 27 2023 20:50 utc | 49

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 27 2023 20:24 utc | 47

Ah, yes. I had intended to find this one too.

Original reporting (shouldn't be paywalled, but if so use the archive).

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Aug 27 2023 21:04 utc | 50

the john pilger article is very good.. thanks..

Posted by: james | Aug 27 2023 21:24 utc | 51

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 27 2023 19:19 utc | 41

Bravo, Scorpion - I enjoyed your article, much food for thought there, and with myself not being an expert on China, but having two amazing part Chinese grandsons now young adults in the US, your questions and suggestions deserve careful thought. I will be back soon, much thanks!

Posted by: juliania | Aug 27 2023 21:50 utc | 52

"Kurdish security officials also confiscated weapons from Christian communities in the Nineveh Plain, before abandoning these communities as ISIS invaded in using tactics similar to those in Sinjar...."

Posted by: bevin | Aug 27 2023 20:50 utc | 49

That's OK. Christians are seen in the West as puritanical fascists who don't like LGBT people.

Posted by: dh | Aug 27 2023 22:02 utc | 53

As anyone could have predicted, disaster capitalists are "circling Maui like buzzards."

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Aug 27 2023 22:05 utc | 54

Sooo, DNA analysis confirms Prigozhin died in the crash of his aging Embraer Legacy 600 business jet near Moscow. Whatever the cause TBD, the captured video portrays a very violent and agonizingly long descent before the aircraft finally impacted with the ground. Mercifully, the souls on board were likely unconscious if not deceased after the initial explosion and did not have to endure it. Cockpit recordings may be revealing.

Posted by: UBAH | Aug 27 2023 22:47 utc | 55

UBAH | Aug 27 2023 22:47 utc | 55

Yes. I've done quite a bit of flying myself and I often think about those last minutes. Not a lot you can do except wait for the impact. Hopefully it's over quickly. Probably better than being hung, drawn and quarted.

Posted by: dh | Aug 27 2023 23:02 utc | 56

Interesting article that I'll just leave without further comments for now.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Aug 27 2023 23:46 utc | 57

I finally finished Xi and China at the BRICS Summit which contains all four items Xi contributed before and during plus some bonus links I'm sure many barflies will enjoy.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 28 2023 0:18 utc | 58

From Doctorow,

« Secondly, the list of “victims” of Putin’s imagined revenge for crossing him does not take into account the fate of the many highly visible and active Putin-haters whom he has not touched in any way, because of the word of honor he gave to Boris Yeltsin when he was named as successor not to do any harm to the Yeltsin entourage. By way of example, I can name Yeltsin’s widow Naina and the viciously anti-Putin Yeltsin Center in Yekaterinburg, which she heads. Then there are the viciously anti-Putin daughter of former Petersburg mayor Sobchak and Sobchak’s widow, Lyudmila Narusova; both have been accused of criminal activities for which they should properly be serving prison terms, but neither has suffered in any way thanks to Putin’s protection. There are many other conspicuous wreckers, like the now self-exiled Anatoly Chubais, who were spared only thanks to Putin’s honoring his promises to his former boss. »

First time I seen this so explained, and first time the justification seems to fit with all the other elements in Putin’s track record from my perspective - I have no knowledge about the inner dynamics and history of Russia’s leadership since the fall of CCCP. I suppose if this is correct, it puts a dent in the Putin-globalist/traitor camp.

Posted by: htyul | Aug 28 2023 0:29 utc | 59


a tally well-worth remembering, especially whenever listening to the US/Nato propagandists of our day, whether government officials or mainstream media personalities, as they all still carry on the same inhumane policies and/or justify them to the public which is regularly gaslighted and brainwashed.
And I love Pilger's quotes by the playwright Harold Pinter.

John Pilger: Silencing The Lambs (How Propaganda Works) – OpEd

"...In my lifetime, the United States has overthrown or attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, mostly democracies. It has interfered in democratic elections in 30 countries. It has dropped bombs on the people of 30 countries, most of them poor and defenceless. It has attempted to murder the leaders of 50 countries. It has fought to suppress liberation movements in 20 countries.

The extent and scale of this carnage are largely unreported, and unrecognised; and those responsible continue to dominate Anglo-American political life..."

Pilger's quote from part of H. Pinter's Nobel Literature acceptance speech: “The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good..."

Posted by: michaelj72 | Aug 28 2023 0:43 utc | 60

A Lavrov quip:

Question: Do you remember when BRICS was called an association that does not affect anything? Today we see that dozens of countries are ready to join. What does it say?

Sergey Lavrov: This shows that they are working with their tongues, and we are working with our heads and concrete deeds.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 28 2023 0:44 utc | 61

htyul | Aug 28 2023 0:29 utc | 59
***I suppose if this is correct, it puts a dent in the Putin-globalist/traitor camp.***

*If* Putin has indeed been protecting still-active traitors for years, then that amounts to collusion with their treason on behalf of the US/NATO empire.
Do the Oligarchs count as protected Yeltsin leftovers as well?

Posted by: Cynic | Aug 28 2023 1:09 utc | 62

Interview with filmaker put on the CIA hitlist after he investigated the first trip to the moon. Has footage from a whistleblower showing the shots were faked.

As with all these stories there are two levels, one mundane one somewhat interesting:

1. Mundane: is the official story true or false (moon landing, 9/11 etc.)

2. If it is faked, how is it that such stories not only get made but can still be maintained for so long even once they have been discredited. What sort of world do we live in that the truth really doesn't seem to matter all that much, at least to those above us?

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 28 2023 1:27 utc | 63

China has joined a rapidly growing number of nations having national relics/treasures looted by the UK and specifically the British Museum. For example, India wants its gems that were set into the British Crown. As this article reveals, The British went as far as trying to legalize their theft of such artifcats:

The UK, which has a bloody, ugly, and shameful colonial history, has always had a strong sense of moral superiority over others, often standing on the moral high ground to dictate to and even interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. We really do not know where their sense of moral superiority comes from. The United Kingdom, before pointing its finger at others, should first pay back its own historical debts and take the initiative to contact and discuss with the countries that have suffered from its colonial infringement on how to return the historical loot as soon as possible. It should not wait for others to come to its doorsteps, and then use all sorts of excuses, thus leaving the world with a very unflattering impression once again.

Over the years, the British Museum has refused to return the cultural relics mainly on the grounds and basis of the British Museum Act, which was amended by the British Parliament in 1963 and basically prohibits the museum from returning any of its collections. This is equivalent to the UK installing a threshold on its own door and then telling the owner of the relics that it cannot return the artifacts because it cannot get out of the door. It is obviously very hypocritical and ridiculous to use a law set by oneself as an excuse for refusing to obey international morality and fulfill international responsibility. The British Museum is a microcosm of the history of British colonial expansion. Even if the UK has wiped the fingerprints of the looters on these artifacts, it cannot erase the true ownership of these cultural properties.

Yes, I've known about the Elgin Marbles for decades, but never thought of the overall enormity of this crime. If you watched the Hudson/Escobar/Haiphong podcast, you heard Hudson suggest nations demand the repatriation of their gold, and this is along the same lines. The demands must be made loudly and prominently meaning dense media exposure so Western media can't ignore it.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 28 2023 1:29 utc | 64

karlof1 | Aug 28 2023 0:18 utc | 58
Thanks Karl.
Do value your substack.
Sorry I don’t sign up for things, otherwise your efforts would be among the first.

Posted by: Melaleuca | Aug 28 2023 1:43 utc | 65

For me the give way about ISIS was early in the Syrian struggle in 2011 where the Syrian Army captured some of the Daesh (ISIS) group that had tried to attack a town in the north. The Syrian soldiers said that when these guys heard they were in Syria, they didn't believe it, cos they had been told they were liberating a town in Occupied Palestine from the zionists. The mainstream media picked it up for a moment then dropped it like a hot potato - nothing more was said. Obviously as Daesh became a known revolutionary identity throughout the ME the need to deceive and the possible embarrassment that could cause meant they could recruit young men and inspire them to fight for Daesh by teaching that they were resisting heresy according to the wahabi credo that had been indoctrinating the people for the last couple of decades since the saudis used their ill gotten gains to dominate sunni Islam throughout the ME. That is probably the biggest cost for the people, that is, the vast range of islamic thought which once flourished throughout the ME has been reduced to a one size fits all religion of might makes right.

While the officer class of Daesh is made up of well paid experienced fighting men the grunts tend to be just that cannon fodder a la the ukie army, classic from the amerikan imperialist playbook /s.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Aug 28 2023 2:11 utc | 66

As I remarked on the previous open thread, tonight is the eve of the last feast of the Orthodox Christian cycle as celebrated according to the old calendar rather than the new, Gregorian one. Russia and other eastern nations adhere to this calendar, as did my small church in Santa Fe whose own 'name day' is dedicated to this feast.

As in Genesis, there is evening and there is morning to such observances, so our feast is beginning as the sun sets in Santa Fe, New Mexico, east of my home here now. More than thirty years ago, at this moment of the sun setting and beginning of the feast, our priest, who was Russian, himself passed away. So, it is meaningful to me on several levels. This feast is the Falling Asleep (Dormition) of the most holy Lady Theotokos (Birth-giver of God in flesh as we knew and know her).

Here is the exapostilarian evening hymn for the feast:

O ye apostles, assembled here from the ends of the earth, bury my body in Gethsemane: and Thou,O my Son and God, receive my soul.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 28 2023 2:37 utc | 67

Melaleuca | Aug 28 2023 1:43 utc | 64--

Thanks for your reply. Reading what's written is what's important regardless if you directly visit or subscribe--I get both counts.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 28 2023 3:16 utc | 68

I posted the above: juliania | Aug 28 2023 2:37 utc | 66, as a preliminary answer to some of the questions posed by Scorpion in his linked article at: Scorpion | Aug 27 2023 19:19 utc | 41. In his essay, Scorpion raises questions concerning valuable priniciples nations should incorporate to supplement the materialism he fears that in China for instance may ultimately become predominant. I think the answer lies in China's understanding of the importance of the term 'multipolarity.'

In other words, the particular faith of each distinct spiritual path has roots which run deep, extremely deep, and on some levels there is no way to extract valuable principles, not for the practitioners of each spiritual path at least. One is in one's faith, and proceeds from there to encounter others inclined towards gentleness and compassion and nonviolence - the angels of our common human nature - through their own beliefs, that is all. All being free to come there as best they may without being forced, even gently, into the ideology of the other. Here's what the Dalai Llama says in a book I have, "The Good Heart":

"...I feel there is tremendous convergence and a potential for mutual enrichment through dialogue between the Buddhist and Christian traditions, especially in the areas of ethics and spiritual practice ... But when it comes to a philosophical or metaphysical dialogue I feel that we must part company..."

So, Scorpion, I do not think that 'multipolarity' means uniformity can be applied to the 'valuable principles' that thrive in the very differences between faiths, but that each should be free to express the principles they believe in, which strengthen their common humanity. I had been going to reference karlof1's expansive and important links to the BRICS meetings, but of course I don't agree with his characterization, or that of Michael Hudson, of the teachings of Jesus, so I was at a loss to do so.

I apologize if there is anything in all I have tried to express that may discomfort you or others. There is something we have in common, a desire for fullness of the human experience. I am trying to say that we can - we do - each have honest and honorable beliefs that differ - mine is in a Creator with all that follows from that belief. Our beliefs strengthen our spirits. It is good to be comfortable in expressing them.

So, I did.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 28 2023 3:40 utc | 69

Bob HOpe

“As soon as the war ended, we located the one spot on earth that hadn’t been touched by the war and blew it to hell

60 years on, just when the Marshall islanders think its safe to go back into the water, they are nuked a second time by the jap, with brazen blessing from Washington of all people !

Posted by: denk | Aug 28 2023 4:08 utc | 70

re karlof1 | Aug 28 2023 1:29 utc | 63

The guardian a fishwrap where I have had a number of heated debates with englander fuckwits who claim to be 'of the left' but who also claim in a 100% ethnocentric fashion that the only safe place for treasured (by their distant culture) artifacts is in england, ran a story today conceeding that the British Museum is missing more than 2000 pieces from its collection.

So even the neolib graun is forced to admit that england is not the 'safest' place to store other peoples treasures.
Not that they will ever run a campaign to push for repatriation of course. It is only englanders publically campaigning that can remedy these thefts and all the associated cultural misappropriations as all politicians in england see it s a vote loser.
Otherwise it will mean waiting for england to do its inevitable crash & burn which may not be fruitful if amerika is still standing cos the englander bosses could sell them to their bosses in amerika.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Aug 28 2023 4:41 utc | 71

Today's Telegraph Headline:

"China may be to blame for UFOs, says ex-head of Nasa enquiry"

Why do I even bother anymore ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Aug 28 2023 5:40 utc | 72

Posted by: juliania | Aug 28 2023 3:40 utc | 68

I mentioned materialism viz. China both because Xi's speech was quoted and also because of her current world leadership role; since most polities world wide share the same (materialist) 'modernization' mindset, she is hardly different in this regard.

My main concern is that since 'modernization' and 'development' are Xi’s stated priorities, and since they align so well with the West’s earlier industrial revolution which China more recently has embraced, and since such modernization is principally rooted in secular materialism, and seeing how it has turned out in the West, I fear the multipolar initiative will not fare as well as its proponents now hope. That’s the concern.

I then suggested some way of enjoying a world wide Unity on the non-materialist level by incorporating primarily Chinese approaches which combine Daoism, Confucianism and Buddhism both because of their long track record and also because all three being non-theistic they fit better in today’s broadly secular (again because materialist) gestalt - though of course any major traditions excluded might understandably object to the above suggestion.

The intention behind the idea though is to foster Unity from a shared view not rooted in reductionist materialism whose mentality by its very nature is always splitting things into parts, creating endless divisions, and so probably not conducive to a harmonious World Order that can last centuries.

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 28 2023 6:03 utc | 73

“Germany is not only failing as trailblazer of Europe, it is also failing when it comes to globally defending the international rule of law. It provides unconditional support to Israel, even if the Jewish state's policies are fundamentally at odds with international law and human rights. On the basis of the Holocaust, the Germans have good arguments for also standing up for the Palestinians. It is not enough that Germany is “concerned” about the controversial law limiting the power of the Israeli Supreme Court. A similar development in Germany between 1939 and 1945 brought Europe to the brink of collapse.”

That is the synopsis of Part 2 of my article “The German Failure” which just appeared, see

As always, please translate the text in Dutch by using the 'Google translate' tool in the top-right corner.

Posted by: Paul-Robert | Aug 28 2023 6:13 utc | 74

via rt

PFAS are known to wreak medical havoc on human and animal bodies, with links to decreased fertility, developmental problems in children, cancer, high cholesterol, liver and kidney disease, and endocrine (hormone) disruption. Because they do not break down, they bio-accumulate, meaning each successive generation carries more of them in their tissues. The vast majority of Americans’ bloodstreams are contaminated by forever chemicals.

Posted by: Jo | Aug 28 2023 8:46 utc | 75

Concerning the Canadian Trans article. This identity politics was lampooned 100 years before it began in the following poem:

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Aug 28 2023 9:56 utc | 76

b, I thought for sure, if Canada got it’s own feature link from you this week, it’d be about the removal of Kleenex brand tissues from the country.

On the other hand. News of Canada’s remarkable medal-winning performances at the World Athletics championships perhaps could rival the Kleenex thing. I’ll let Ian Hanomamsing from CBC’s the National walk us through it in less than 4 mins:

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Aug 28 2023 12:21 utc | 77

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Aug 28 2023 12:21 utc | 76

oh, cause consumers are moving to cheaper brands, i support that.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 28 2023 12:41 utc | 78

@ Malaleuca, post no2, re Peter from Australia
Thank you for mentioning and prolonging the memory of the lovely angry man, I have been reading his posts on the different platforms for years, I have agreed about nearly everything.

Hard to edit but I add something for him, he would understand:

I think he is dead, or dying...

Posted by: stranger | Aug 28 2023 12:44 utc | 79

When I think of Peter from Au...

This is much better and really about him, noble anger.

For you, Peter the Australian...blast it...

Thank you to Watcher in open Ukraine thread for explaining why Rossia goes so slowly,clever explanation.

Posted by: stranger | Aug 28 2023 13:28 utc | 80

Have yet to get to karlof1's latest piece on BRICS but here's one by Ehret which ruminates about similar issues that I stumbled over less skillfully. He describes what is happening as a new renaissance period in which cultural cross-fertilization generates a new, uplifting cultural and political paradigm and he goes back in history to describe other periods where cross-cultural fusions have provoked positive, renaissance dynamics.

The Reality of Universal Progress

The annoying fact which such thinkers as Huntington and his followers choose to ignore is that the greatest renaissances and rates of progress recorded in the human experience never occurred by distinct cultural groups simply transforming themselves at random, or doing what ones’ ancestors did, but rather all periods of progress were shaped by the cross pollinating of the best ideas of various cultures, never just replacing one set of ideas FOR another, or adding one set of ideas TO another, but rather creating new wholes that are more than the sum of their parts and containing ever greater degrees of power to creatively discover and communicate truths of those universal principles guiding mankind and nature. This is the proper definition and purpose of “science” and “art” and their effects as technological progress as expressed across ALL cultures.

He has a nice excerpt of Xi's speech too:

Today, a new paradigm has arisen through the multi-cultural BRICS process, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and New Silk Road. This new paradigm is not based on a passive co-existence of parts as they are managed by a Hobbesian Leviathan, but rather on the commitment to common goals and principles of progress which all participating cultures aspire to. The Chinese President laid out these concepts clearly in his August 22, 2023 address at the 15th annual BRICS Summit in South Africa:

As an ancient Chinese philosopher observes, “Change is the nature of the universe.” … Whatever resistance there may be, BRICS, a positive and stable force for good, will continue to grow. We will forge stronger BRICS strategic partnership, expand the “BRICS Plus” model, actively advance membership expansion, deepen solidarity and cooperation with other EMDCs, promote global multipolarity and greater democracy in international relations, and help make the international order more just and equitable. The gathering between BRICS countries and more than 50 other countries in South Africa today is not an exercise of asking countries to take sides, nor an exercise of creating bloc confrontation. Rather, it is an endeavor to expand the architecture of peace and development… China stays committed to an independent foreign policy of peace and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. As a developing country and a member of the Global South, China breathes the same breath with other developing countries and pursues a shared future with them. China has resolutely upheld the common interests of developing countries… Hegemonism is not in China’s DNA; nor does China have any motivation to engage in major-power competition. China stands firmly on the right side of history, and believes that a just cause should be pursued for the common good.

My piece also discussed Wholes and Parts as an over-arching context both as a universal principle and as a vital issue in terms of New World Order emerging multipolarity, also wondering what would be the best shared values that can make us feel part of the same Whole in a way not driven by reductionist materialism which has been driving the Old World Order the past couple of centuries, if not longer.

Many people seem to believe that the drivers are racial or national, that certain nations always do X (plunder) etc. But I think it has more to do with over-arching cultural ethos that captures the mentality of a people, or 'the times', and all flows from there. If the mentality is wise and compassionate, good cultures result. If it is materialist, unwise and uncompassionate, bad cultures result.

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 28 2023 14:50 utc | 81

Recent talk by Tucker C to Hungarian audience deploring what is happening in the US, but also stating that it cannot keep going on this way and the pendulum will swing back at some point. I guess it remains to be seen where and when that point will be. Hopefully We The People won't have to endure the bloodbaths the French and Russian revolutions, both driven by the same sort of secret, subversive cabals now pulling the strings.

It has been reported that he is trying to arrange a long-form interview with President Putin. I hope he can pull it off, but Deep State networks in both nations of course will do their best to ensure it doesn't take place.

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 28 2023 14:56 utc | 82

[email protected] runs with CT stories, throw enough of them in, and a couple of spoons of ETs being chased by F16s, and a new field of discovery is birthed. Complete and total confusion and the more unrealistic it is (2 bowling ball planes knocked three high rises buildings into their footprint) nothing difficult about it.

Most if not all of those competing stories are pre written and ready to go, as soon as someone begins to apply logic and asking those awkward question, those stories get released. Utter confusion, by design.

Cheers M

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Aug 28 2023 16:54 utc | 83

Well, I went through karlof1's latest substack on BRICS at
which, unsurprisingly, is well worth reading, and then decided to push further on an issue tangentially raised in a comment about the importance of shared values in the New Order, plus the difference between Values and Ideology.

That led to another insight to do with my difficulty swallowing Xi's speeches whole, namely the absence of a rigorous, well-informed (and NOT CIA-based!) Fourth Estate. I don't read mainstream Western media much (except here!), but most alternative press praises China and Russia highly since they stand against the 'Outlaw US Empire'. I do follow a couple of substacks critical of Russia but haven't found any critical of China.

Reading one-sided opinion makes me distrustful. As it is, my main concern with China's rise is not that it is so alien but that it seems very much like last century’s West, namely to raise living standards through 'modernization.' Well, once we achieved that shortly after WWII, things tanked thanks to corrupt leadership capture leading us all into potential totalitarian dystopia.

Once all their poor enjoy modern conditions, will China suffer the same fate? Or is their socialist, one-party approach enough to ward off oligarchic capture and if so, how exactly?

In any case, I believe a more visible Fourth Estate principle will help, but perhaps that is just 'stinkin' thinkin' from a Westerner used to his own society's wicked old ways...

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 28 2023 19:21 utc | 84

Debsisdead | Aug 28 2023 4:41 utc | 71--

Thanks for your reply and its somewhat surprising content. What the article shows is the pressure is having an effect. If UK refuses, its already swamp-like credibility with RoW will sink even lower into that morass to the point where it faces a worse snubbing than the USSR ever felt during the Cold War; and that can go for the other thieves.


Crooke weighs-in on BRICS-11, "A Second Geo-Strategic Shoe (Other Than Ukraine) Is Dropping", wherein his analysis doesn't differ much from that of others who've been watching and unseduced by the Establishment Narrative. Crooke does err in his conclusion where he links to TASS's recap of Lavrov's BRICS speech as that recap doesn't support the citation he provides, although Putin did make allusions of that sort.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 28 2023 19:22 utc | 85

PS. My latest, forgot to put in the link in comment above:

Article 72 – New World: Values over Ideology
Ongoing Issues of Concern in the New Multipolar World Order

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 28 2023 19:23 utc | 86

Scorpion | Aug 28 2023 19:21 utc | 84--

I suggested to Escobar while he was in Samarkand that there's likely cross-cultural influences between the Chinese and Arabic/Islamic world as both philosophies seem to seek harmony and an inclusive bottom->up political-economy, that also values wisdom and virtue. That would all make sense given the many years of back-and-forth along the Silk Road and scholarly interaction between Bagdad and Beijing and other points along the route during Europe's Dark Ages.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 28 2023 19:31 utc | 87

Posted by: sean the leprechaun | Aug 28 2023 16:54 utc | 83

Well, maybe the insider video from within the Apollo II capsule is faked, but even if untrue, it's a good story. I don't care too much if stories are true or false, but I REALLY don't like it if a story is portrayed as true and later on one finds out it was not. That's unacceptable!

The odds of the moon landing having happened are extremely low, practically speaking, both because of existing computer power at the time and Allen's belt. To this day astronauts cannot get through it safely because no suits have been designed that can withstand such levels of radiation. And yet Playtex made some in the 60's which worked fine. How come? Oh, all the technical specs of those expeditions have been shredded.

How convenient? Barring proof or adequate rebuttal of these and other reasonable objections to the official narrative, I regard it as yet another lie, like Sirhan Sirhan did it, 9/11, etc. etc. The only problem is that people who believe the story have, as they do with all beliefs, great difficulty letting it go.

The only possible reason, for example, why Biden has more than 2% approval rating!!

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 28 2023 19:32 utc | 88

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 28 2023 19:31 utc | 87

Scorpion | Aug 28 2023 19:21 utc | 84--

I suggested to Escobar while he was in Samarkand that there's likely cross-cultural influences between the Chinese and Arabic/Islamic world as both philosophies seem to seek harmony and an inclusive bottom->up political-economy, that also values wisdom and virtue. That would all make sense given the many years of back-and-forth along the Silk Road and scholarly interaction between Bagdad and Beijing and other points along the route during Europe's Dark Ages.


Well, there is so much and for so long. No matter what you think about where Admiral He got to, he was an Arab Chinaman, like so many of their sailors. On board, at least, they were almost one people and for centuries. The Mongols took over Persia and I read that for 300 years the Great Khan's Law basically ruled - not out of submission but because it was so effective. When the Chinese broke free from it in the 1400s, they instituted the isolationist Maritime Ban which may vary well have caused their subsequent decline which they are now finally coming out of, as well as giving an opportunity for Westerners to exploit.

Whether or not Menzies is right about He’s 1434 diplomatic mission to Venice, his description of the trading routes between China, India, Arabia and Cairo seem accurate. He says that for at least 600 years before the 1430 period there was constant, substantial maritime trade. Of course as you say, there was steady overland commerce as well, but I suspect that maritime freight far exceeded overland. gives a muddled account of the Maritime Ban, but piracy became a HUGE issue after their pullback; this was not instigated by Westerners, although the latter did join in the feeding frenzy once they had sufficient connections (Jesuits et alia).

Values? They valued stability with vibrant culture. There is no stability without values aligned with bedrock natural Reality, including basic goodness.

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 28 2023 19:51 utc | 89

A very interesting French documentary (lol) on how Stanley Kubrick faked the moon landing.

It is thought that Kubrick felt guilty about it later and "apologized" secretly with his film "The Shining."

This movie purports to unearth other theories about "The Shining."

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Aug 28 2023 20:08 utc | 90

Given PeterAU1's distaste for all things gender-bending and his Australian heritage I would like to submit "Papa Won't Leave You Henry" by Nick Cave as the song I will always remember him by.

"I awoke so drunk and full of rage
That I could hardly speak..."

I miss you too Peter.

* * *

I believe the British MP Robin Cook first used the term "the database" in relation to Al Qaeda in an article for the Guardian.

Bin Laden was, though, a product of a monumental miscalculation by western security agencies. Throughout the 80s he was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage jihad against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan. Al-Qaida, literally "the database", was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians.

The struggle against terrorism cannot be won by military means by Robin Cook

Don't ask any questions about what happened to Robin Cook, though.

Posted by: JuliaHin1984 | Aug 28 2023 20:21 utc | 91

PS. For anyone interested I found a 21 page pdf on the He Voyages which provides extensive political context going back into the late 1300's and later into the 15-1600s. In so doing it provides an interesting account of how maritime trade effected Chinese governance and society. Sometimes the Mandarin-Confucian-traditionalists forced a return to isolationism, sometimes adventurist Emperors outflanked them, sometimes there was widespread piracy and so on. What is clear is that the flow of money from international, especially maritime, trade had considerable effects on the society.

This is like similar struggles in the West between socialism, capitalism, mercantilism etc. It comes down to how wealth is held, managed, gained, lost, taxed and controlled. It's a big deal. And so relevant to today.

I suspect part of the problem in China was that given how huge they were fortunes could be made overnight making a nimble or unscrupulous trader able to leapfrog over the conservatively curated meritocratic gentry into what was seen as unwarranted, and thus destabilizing, wealth. That is what happened in the West with the Industrial (and Banking) Revolution which made the ultimate overthrow of the old orders inevitable as they were overtaken into powerless irrelevancy. In any case, it's an interesting read.

(Also, he mentions that yes indeed, all records of the Treasure Ship expeditions were shredded about twenty years later by a subsequent administration to discourage any more such shenanigans!)

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 28 2023 21:12 utc | 92

Idalia due for a midweek visit to Tampa Bay, on the west coast of Florida...

The National Hurricane Center predicted at 11 a.m. EDT Monday that Idalia would become a hurricane by Monday night and steadily intensify, peaking at category 3 strength (115 mph sustained winds) near landfall around 8 a.m. EDT Wednesday. The 6Z Monday runs of the high-resolution hurricane models... predicted a peak intensity Tuesday night or Wednesday morning ranging from 115 to 135 mph (category 3 or 4).

Lately, in reading professional forecasts like this one, I expect the big storm to cross the ocean more slowly than expected, building to the high end of predicted wind-strengths (cat 4 in this case).

Posted by: Aleph_Null | Aug 28 2023 21:55 utc | 93

The intention behind the idea though is to foster Unity from a shared view not rooted in reductionist materialism whose mentality by its very nature is always splitting things into parts, creating endless divisions, and so probably not conducive to a harmonious World Order that can last centuries.
Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 28 2023 6:03 utc | 73

Yes, thank you Scorpion. I apologize for sounding argumentative -- I really enjoyed your essay, and was only enlarging on your themes. It's hard to read tone in our posts, and we weren't as far apart as it sounded. My quote from the Dalai Lama was meant to reinforce your argument - that basic metaphysical beliefs or underlying philosophies should not get in the way of the human values that are common to all. They exist, and it is in dialogue between them all that we find that common thread.

I just wanted to say there is no clash between them as I think of those as the roots, individual as they may be, for a thriving civilization. I think both China and Russia value those roots and are finding ways to be more accepting of them than they have been in the past and than we seem to be at present in the west. That is the secret to vitality - sorry I went a bit overboard in my enthusiasm - I do get what you are saying -- e pluribus unum, and we only put our emphasis where we find the need for it, to keep a living balance for it all.

Bravo to you for a very thoughtful presentation!

Posted by: juliania | Aug 28 2023 23:58 utc | 94


Is there any substantive difference between ISIS and the Azov gang (ethnoreligious affiliations notwithstanding)? They seem pretty much the same to me.

Posted by: farm ecologist | Aug 29 2023 0:02 utc | 95

Some barflies will recognize the name Zhang Weiwei from discussions 4+ years ago. I crafted a two-part article on Chinese Language Media around two very recent media items he participated in, one dealing with his participation at the BRICS Summit and a roundtable discussion that deconstructed a somewhat unusual article that appeared in US media that took place on his TV program. You can get to the first one here.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 29 2023 0:10 utc | 96

Thank you, karlof1 | Aug 28 2023 19:31 utc | 87, for your connections and for the analysis you give. Just the word 'Samarkand' reminds us that these are very ancient civilizations compared to those of the west - even Europe was a very different place when the trade routes were forming.

It is all very fascinating and hopeful for us newcomers on the scene that still those nations have kept alive their positive traditions which somehow we in the west have diminished with the 'melting pot' concept. I am not talking about fanatical adherence to outmoded customs but really about points of view we should all respect and discuss. It just cannot be McDonalds and Coke ad infinitum all around the world any longer (much as at this time of year, I really enjoy green chile doubles with fresh green chile our local McD's is providing!)

Posted by: juliania | Aug 29 2023 0:17 utc | 97

Posted by: juliania | Aug 28 2023 23:58 utc | 94

Yes, thank you Scorpion. I apologize for sounding argumentative -- I really enjoyed your essay, and was only enlarging on your themes.


Dear Juliana,

I didn't take it that way. I personally love engagements with ideas and arguments (though hate childish ad hominem approach) so have at it!!

I personally thought on re-reading this morning that although the issues raised were valid and valuable I did a pretty lousy job writing them out. Sometimes that's the way the cookie crumbles...

Not that it matters, but in my defense: it's a heavy rainy season right now plus cooler than usual, a combination of cool and damp - to get away from which I moved to Mexico a few years ago from East Coast Canada! - has brought back Lyme Disease, not as bad as it used to be but still bad enough that it's harder to breath, sleep, digest, live; that makes it hard to think or write clearly.

Hey ho... the rainy season will be over in about a month and so, hopefully, will this episode...

That said, today's Article was better - more about values and some about Press; shorter, simpler, clearer. Tomorrow will go further with Values, lifting some ideas from McGilchrest who places Values on an ontological par with space, time and matter. That's my kind of post-materialist philosopher!!

Posted by: Scorpion | Aug 29 2023 0:39 utc | 98

Empire watch rule 1

Its dangerous to be USAss 'foe', but fatal to be its 'buddy'

Exhibit A

There's a discussion about China's ban on jap seafoods going viral in SK.

'China do a better job in protecting its citizens, where's our gawd damned prez ?'

This reminds me of a jap netizen comment on China's counter sanction against USAss in the gringo instigated trade war...

If only our leader have that cojone, Toshiba wouldnt be in its current state.

Thus we have corollary 1

The human rights index of a country is inversely proportional to its coziness with the great satan.

Exhibit B
Compare the UIgurs of China to MUslims in India.
Its like day and night

BUt of course the G7 white supremacists manage to turn it upside down in their // universe.
[NO doubt dragged kicking and screaming by the jews in doing so as per the 'wn' ;-)]

Posted by: denk | Aug 29 2023 3:17 utc | 99

@ denk | Aug 29 2023 3:17 utc | 99

"Exhibit B
Compare the UIgurs of China to MUslims in India.
Its like day and night"

Only some CPC fanboys believe this -no one else- including all 175 million Indian Muslims.

'Must do better' - Golem

Posted by: Antonym | Aug 29 2023 3:31 utc | 100

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