In 2003, this nation made one of the worst mistakes it has ever made. I spoke against it at the time, but my voice did not reach beyond the ears of those who knew me personally. A frustrating situation.
Now my country is repeating the same horror on a grander scale. The U.S. is using ISIS as an excuse to topple the legitimate government of Syria, we are aiding the barbaric Saudi invasion of Yemen, we launched a coup which brought Nazis to power in Ukraine, and we are needlessly re-igniting the Cold War. Worst of all, much of our media tells incessant lies about these matters of life and death. Every minute of every day, our well-paid pundits and pseudojournalists lie and lie and lie.
But 2003 is not 2016. Now, whenever I decry these outrages, thousands hear. Not millions -- not enough to make a difference. But an audience of a thousand people is a thousand more than I had back in 2003.
A small blog such as this one cannot do much to amplify a voice. My hope is that the readers of these words will do their own research, and then speak out wherever they can. Tell the truth in other corners of the web. On Facebook. At work. At family gatherings. If an impoverished, lonely oddball like yours truly can reach thousands, you can reach thousands. A thousand voices can become a million voices, and a million can become ten million.
One person is easy to ignore. A collective shout will be heard.
In their hearts, most Americans do not want war -- yet those who vocalize their opposition to war are always made to feel strange, eccentric, unpatriotic. Our culture demonizes anyone who refuses to think the way the teevee tells us to think.
Be brave. Say what needs to be said. Say it boldly, in mixed company. Defy the ill-informed dupes who believe the lies they hear on cable news. Your opponents, however misled, are not evil. People are suckers for the truth once they hear it.
Every time you decry the warmongers, you normalize the argument for peace.
It's time. It's past-time. I've renewed the cry, and I've seen others begin to do so. Thanks. Nice post for today.
posted by Prowlerzee : 7:17 PM
Want to do your bit to help prevent WW3?
Here is a draft letter people could send to their representatives:
******************************* I write to urge you to hold the government (e.g. US, French, British, Turkish) to account for its apparent contempt for UN Security Council Resolution 2249 (20 Nov 2015), which calls on member states that have the capacity to combat Daesh (ISIS) to coordinate their efforts.
Those member states include Russia, and it is therefore the (US, French, British, Turkish) responsibility to coordinate its efforts with Russia. *******************************
I wondered earlier whether Putin would be viewed by Daesh as the Dajjal, the False Prophet in Islamic eschatology. As those who have read Daesh's zine Dabiq will be aware, this is a serious question.
"I think Putin will eventually fall on his own sword. He will be - to put it in Christian terms - the anti-Christ for every single Sunni in the Middle East."
The poor soul probably doesn't know what "fall on his own sword" means; I reckon he thinks it means to be brought down by a mess of your own making.
But the second sentence could be something he's been told by a US official or at Chatham House in London, and it indicates what it seems the "coalition" plan actually is, namely to build up strong support for the Daesh caliphate.
Almost all Muslims know the Islamic teachings about "Doomsday". It's not like Christians and the Book of Revelations.
The massing of armed forces of five great powers (the US, China, Britain, France, Russia) and some lesser powers (Turkey, Iran) near or in Syria is remarkable.
Christian fundamentalists (to use a now dated term) please note: after the Dajjal comes into the fray, one of the things that is predicted to happen is that Issa - known to Christians as Jesus - will come again...clutching the Koran.
posted by b : 10:50 PM
Can't you find anybody to help you install a share button on your site?
ISIS, Turkey, oil -- and the NYT's outrageous hypocrisy
The NYT has published yet another story intended to give gullible, confused readers the impression that Assad and ISIS are pals rather than enemies. And they're bringing Russia into the mix as well...
The Treasury Department on Wednesday announced sanctions against a Syrian construction executive it said was helping President Bashar al-Assad buy oil from the Islamic State, as well as against a Russian businessman who leads the World Chess Federation and who is accused of having financial dealings with the Syrian leader.
The moves are the latest attempt by the administration to financially squeeze Mr. Assad, who President Obama has said must step down to bring an end to the four-year-old Syrian civil war, and to choke off the Islamic State’s cash flow. It is also the first time that the American government has issued sanctions against an individual for helping Mr. Assad do business with the militant group.
Where to start?
First: Assad is the legitimate leader of Syria, so this businessman -- his name is George Haswani -- should be free to do all the deals he wants with Assad. After all, we do business with the monsters who run Saudi Arabia.
Second: While it has indeed been widely alleged that Assad has been forced to buy oil from the very rebels who are trying to topple him, we should note that ISIS also sells to the Kurds. Like Assad, the Kurds are fierce enemies of ISIS. Unlike Assad, the Kurds are supposed to be our allies.
But the vast majority of ISIS oil goes elsewhere. Specifically: Turkey.
This is a huge scandal. But you're not going to hear about that in the NYT, because Turkey is an ally.
The man who is getting filthy rich handling all of that sweet, sweet ISIS-brand oil is Bilal Erdogan, the son of ultra-corrupt Turkish president Recep Erdogan. (Bilal is pictured on the right.) Here is a brilliant piece (by F. William Engdahl) which details the unholy alliance between the Erdogan family and ISIS.
More and more details are coming to light revealing that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, variously known as ISIS, IS or Daesh, is being fed and kept alive by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish President and by his Turkish intelligence service, including MIT, the Turkish CIA. Turkey, as a result of Erdoğan’s pursuit of what some call a Neo-Ottoman Empire fantasies that stretch all the way to China, Syria and Iraq, threatens not only to destroy Turkey but much of the Middle East if he continues on his present path.
In October 2014 US Vice President Joe Biden told a Harvard gathering that Erdoğan’s regime was backing ISIS with “hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons…” Biden later apologized clearly for tactical reasons to get Erdoğan’s permission to use Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base for airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, but the dimensions of Erdoğan’s backing for ISIS since revealed is far, far more than Biden hinted.
ISIS militants were trained by US, Israeli and now it emerges, by Turkish special forces at secret bases in Konya Province inside the Turkish border to Syria, over the past three years. Erdoğan’s involvement in ISIS goes much deeper. At a time when Washington, Saudi Arabia and even Qatar appear to have cut off their support for ISIS, they remaining amazingly durable. The reason appears to be the scale of the backing from Erdoğan and his fellow neo-Ottoman Sunni Islam Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu.
In addition to son Bilal’s illegal and lucrative oil trading for ISIS, Sümeyye Erdoğan, the daughter of the Turkish President apparently runs a secret hospital camp inside Turkey just over the Syrian border where Turkish army trucks daily being in scores of wounded ISIS Jihadists to be patched up and sent back to wage the bloody Jihad in Syria, according to the testimony of a nurse who was recruited to work there until it was discovered she was a member of the Alawite branch of Islam, the same as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who Erdoğan seems hell-bent on toppling.
Turkish citizen Ramazan Başol, captured this month by Kurdish People’s Defence Units,YPG, as he attempted to join ISIS from Konya province, told his captors that said he was sent to ISIS by the ‘İsmail Ağa Sect,’ a strict Turkish Islam sect reported to be tied to Recep Erdoğan. Başol said the sect recruits members and provides logistic support to the radical Islamist organization. He added that the Sect gives jihad training in neighborhoods of Konya and sends those trained here to join ISIS gangs in Syria.
The story gets better. Guess where much of that ISIS oil in Turkey ends up? According to one source, it goes to Israel.
Will the NYT tell you these things? No, it will not. The NYT will never look into the allegation that ISIS-brand oil finds its way into Israeli bulldozers. Instead, the NYT prefers to publish misleading tripe intended to convey the idea that Russia and ISIS are somehow allied.
Funding ISIS. If you followed the links given above, you'll see that one of them goes to this NBC story, which quotes Treasury undersecretary David Cohen. Near as I can tell, Cohen is the main source for the claim that Assad buys oil from ISIS. Is this claim credible? Is Cohen credible?
Unlike al Qaeda, he said, ISIS gets only a small share of its money from deep-pocketed donors. It relies mostly on black-market oil sales, extortion and ransom payments, Cohen said.
Although the oil trade has become increasingly lucrative, ISIS gets most of its walking-around money from Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States. The Obama administration does not care to admit that fact, so it has been forced to come up with a series of unlikely alternative scenarios.
The most ridiculous of these claims held that ISIS has been selling stolen antiquities on the art market. If you know anything about the recent history of that market, you'll laugh at this assertion. The Getty scandal left buyers scared. Now factor in the movement to repatriate both the Elgin marble and the art stolen by the Nazis, and what do you have? You have an atmosphere in which no museum director in his right mind would pay big bucks for any piece with an iffy provenance. If the piece was burgled by ISIS, the day may soon come when the work will have to be repatriated, leaving the buyers SOL.
The same goes for bank heists. Although ISIS was widely credited with making off with $400 million when it took Mosul, in northern Iraq, in July 2014, The Financial Times described the seizure as the biggest heist that “never happened.”
Kidnapping for ransom also seems less than lucrative in an economy inside ISIS-controlled territory that is going increasingly downhill. Ditto local taxation.
And what about all of that oil? Here, matters become murky, because we have wildly differing estimates of the amounts involved. The United States, ever protective of the Saudis, has every motive to exaggerate the numbers.
While illicit oil sales may play an important role, they are also probably not as profitable as believed. Assuming they were filled to the brim, the 116 tanker trucks that U.S. planes destroyed on Monday may have contained a hundred barrels of crude each, oil that, at today’s prices, ISIS would be lucky to sell for around $30 a barrel. Thus, the damage to the Islamic State’s “treasury” weighs in at a relatively minor $350,000 or so.
Roughly 100,000 ISIS fighters get $300 to $800 a month, which means that the monthly bill is pretty damned high. The money is coming from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as has always been the case.
Evidence of broad regional support is abundant even if news outlets like The New York Times have done their best to ignore it. Some of the highlights of this money trail:
–In a 2009 diplomatic memo made public by Wikileaks, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”
So Cohen is just flinging bullshit. Check very carefully before you believe anything that guy says about Assad. Or ISIS. Or George Haswani. Or anything having to do with Russia.
Great stuff as usual, Joe. You may also find the Kirsan Ilyumzhinov strand interesting. He's the guy who's head of the World Chess Federation and who the US has just slapped sanctions on. He's also the ex-dictator of Kalmykia in the Russian Caucasus. And, typical for down in the Caucasus, he was once a boxing champion. He believes he was in contact with aliens (that link shows him talking about it) - and in alignments that go through Notre Dame in Paris. (Well, don't we all? The source is his autobiography, memorably named The President's Crown of Thorns). I've read his autobiography. It's like Hitler's Mein Kampf, maybe filtered through Trevor Ravenscroft, but without the racism. Hard to imagine, maybe, but I'm serious. He has a fanatical belief in himself as a man of destiny.
Kalmykia was where those Tibetan-flavour Buddhists found dead in Berlin in 1945 came from. (Originally, anyway. I am told they first went to Yugoslavia for a couple of decades.)
I wonder whether Ilyumzhinov could get himself viewed by Daesh (ISIS) as the Dajjal, in their eschatology. Or will that title go to Putin?
Because it's going to go to somebody, we can be sure. We underestimate Daesh's apocalypticism at our peril. It's beginning to get talked about in some western periodicals (here and here), but I still don't think they've got their heads round the role of either the Dajjal or Khorasan in the eschatology. (I'm saying this because I'm aware of the equation of Khorasan with a region of Iran and believe it to be simplistic.)
"Cars floating in rivers that were once streets, water gushing through ceilings and people sailing to work on boats – that’s the current picture in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, both desert countries, which should be dry and sunny for the whole year."
Russian weather weapon? Just askin'.
posted by b : 6:02 AM
Excellent work, Joseph. The war on terrorism seems to be at least partially about the money, as most wars have been. The Turks have been profiting hugely from stolen oil marketed by ISIS, and thanks for introducing Erdogan's son into the mix. Don't discount the quantities of oil involved; Bilal Erdogan reputedly just bought an oil tanker vessel for $35 million, but that was just before the Russians claimed to have destroyed over 1000 tank trucks hauling oil from Syria to Turkey. They had videos which showed at least hundreds of trucks amassed on the ground and in the process of being destroyed, along with videos of oil storage tanks being systematically bombed. (Fort Rus? Sputnik? Moon of Alabama?) It is my belief that this was the direct cause of the Turk shootdown of the Russian aircraft.
Where will the Turks get stolen oil at discounted rates now that the Russians are cutting off their source? Maybe they will have to go back to buying oil from Iran at the going rate instead, and that's a bitter pill to swallow, not to mention the loss of income for the Erdogan family with enough money left on the table for Israel to make a few shekels out of it.
b: Yeah, damaging floods in Saudi and Qatar? What are the odds at this particular moment? I thought about weather warfare also.
posted by Makarov : 7:22 AM
Daesh (ISIS) is receiving money not just from Saudi and Qatar, but also from the US. (The money is "routed through" the US, in the euphemism.) This has been stated by captured Daesh commander Yousaf al Salafi.
Lest anyone be accused of whitewashing Russia, it's worth pointing out that Russia isn't quite the monolith it presents itself as. True, the head of the Chechen republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, has asked for Chechen infantry to be sent to Syria to fight Daesh. But other Chechens are already there, fighting for Al Qaeda's Al Nusra Front and in some cases for Daesh. Chechens have also fought on both sides in the Ukraine, a country where Daesh is said to have a presence.
A key concept here, so little mentioned in the mainstream media but widely understood throughout the Middle East to explain important features of Daesh's strength, is the concept of the mercenary soldier.
posted by b : 7:44 AM
Guys, let me just say that I've tried before to research the amount of money ISIS makes from oil. The published estimates vary so widely that I soon gave up the task. We often hear that ISIS makes a million dollars a day from that trade, but this seems a questionable figure. Right now, I see no way to be certain.
Well, we can be certain of this: If we can trust the estimate of how much ISIS spends monthly, then oil revenue covers less than half, even if we accept the one million a day figure. One million a day equals 30 million a month, right? 100,000 soldiers receiving an average of 500 bucks a month equals 50 million, just to pay their wages. There are lots of other expenses beyond that, of course.
So if my very rough estimates are anywhere close to reality, then Bilal Erdogan is making a nice bundle from his oil deal, but ISIS still needs help from the Saudis.
The Obama administration's selective prosecution of Haswani but not Erdogan means that the US is simply making sure that ISIS has no choice but to sell to our Turkish friends.
What's the heroin angle? Bashar Assad's uncle Rifaat used to be among the biggest heroin traffickers in the world. Have Daesh and Erdogan taken over some of that trade?
posted by b : 11:02 AM
I too read the story and was shocked by the boldness of the NY-Times propaganda piece, but since the staff at the NY-Times would be brought up for War-Crimes [aiding and abetting] "Wars of Aggression" in Iraq/Libya/Syria, if we were to use Nuremberg criteria, it's hard to see this as anything more than compulsive criminality*. But I am grateful when somebody writes out all the flagrant deceits.
I read the NY-Time to understand what today's "intellectuals" are being told to think...it's easier to listen to them blather when you know what they are going to say...and where they got their "independent" thoughts from. It's a surreal world where people who think of themselves as intelligentsia and yet mutter what they're told with all the thought of cows chewing cud.
*Free speech does not include inciting other to commit/support the murder on innocents.
posted by S Brennan : 1:03 PM
In a couple of hours I will be dining with family. We always go around the table and say the things for which we are thankful. These days, I am quite cynical and desperate for this world we continue to F up. I do not know what i will say today, but I want to tell Joseph and you all - Thanks for for all you do. For that i am truly thankful.
The great Matt Taibbi offers a superbly-written piece on the public's newfound willingness to accept, and even reward, hyper-mendacity from our political candidates. The following paragraphs demonstrate why so many people believe Taibbi to be one of the great stylists of our time:
This is a horrible thing to have to say about one's own country, but this story makes it official. America is now too dumb for TV news.
It's our fault. We in the media have spent decades turning the news into a consumer business that's basically indistinguishable from selling cheeseburgers or video games. You want bigger margins, you just cram the product full of more fat and sugar and violence and wait for your obese, over-stimulated customer to come waddling forth.
The old Edward R. Murrow, eat-your-broccoli version of the news was banished long ago. Once such whiny purists were driven from editorial posts and the ad people over the last four or five decades got invited in, things changed. Then it was nothing but murders, bombs, and panda births, delivered to thickening couch potatoes in ever briefer blasts of forty, thirty, twenty seconds.
What we call right-wing and liberal media in this country are really just two different strategies of the same kind of nihilistic lizard-brain sensationalism. The ideal CNN story is a baby down a well, while the ideal Fox story is probably a baby thrown down a well by a Muslim terrorist or an ACORN activist. Both companies offer the same service, it's just that the Fox version is a little kinkier.
When you make the news into this kind of consumer business, pretty soon audiences lose the ability to distinguish between what they think they're doing, informing themselves, and what they're actually doing, shopping.
Better than Mencken, that. And I speak as a lifelong Mencken fan.
Taibbi focuses on The Donald's great gaffe about dancing Muslims on 9/11. Here, alas, the great writer goes all limpy and wimpy.
When Trump started to take heat, he at first did something one journalist I know calls "panic-Googling." Panic-Googling is saying or writing something dumb, then frantically rushing to the Internet to see if you can luck out into evidence for what you've already blabbed in public.
Trump thought he lucked out, digging up a September 18, 2001, Washington Post article by reporters Serge Kovaleski and Frederick Kunkle. The old clip claimed a few people had been detained after allegedly being spotted celebrating in "tailgate-style" parties on rooftops in northern New Jersey.
Seizing upon this factoid, Trump tweeted, "I want an apology! Many people have tweeted that I am right!"
At no point does Taibbi make the point that I did a few posts down: The Washington Post piece from 2001 does not mention Muslims at all. That old WP story contains a somewhat garbled reference to the "dancing Israelis" who were seen videotaping the strikes on the Twin Towers. Both strikes.
If there were any news broadcasts offering evidence of cheering Muslims in New Jersey, we would all know about it. The video would be as famous as those break-the-internet photos of Kim Kardashian's butt.
No such video clip ever existed.
However, there were plenty of broadcasts and mainstream news stories which mentioned those celebratory Israelis. Those guys were real. They were apprehended and interrogated for months. We even know their names: Sivan Kurzberg, Paul Kurzberg, Yaron Shmuel, Oded Ellner and Omer Marmari.
No serious student of the incident denies that those five young men were Mossad "helpers" (not actual agents), as was their employer, Dominik Suter. The five even appeared on Israeli television and admitted that their job was to document the strike on the World Trade Center.
The "dancing Muslims" are a delusion. The "dancing Israelis" are a fact. So why doesn't Taibbi tell you about this almost-forgotten fact (which Trump, in his blundering way, has re-inserted into the national debate)?
In 2008, Taibbi wrote a terrific book called The Great Derangement, which detailed his adventures with religious nuts and conspiracy buffs, with a particular focus on the 9/11 "Truthers." As longtime readers of this humble blog know, the so-called Truthers have always made my skin crawl -- and they seem to have had the same effect on Taibbi.
Here are a couple of excerpts from his book:
I was struck particularly by a meeting of 9/11 Truthers in Austin, Texas, in which a “discussion” of what to do about the conspiracy in Washington devolved into a speech-making session. A group of twenty-five to thirty Truthers filed into a little church on the outskirts of town and, led by a breezy, est-counselorish moderator who enforced tolerance for the viewpoints of all, each participant got up and offered his or her own individual angry theory about the nature of the conspiracy. Some blamed the royals, others the bankers, others the Trilateral Commission, all blamed decades of Bush family iniquity, and one woman even talked about a conspiracy to hide the discovery of alien technologies at Area 51; everyone made his or her speech, and then the meeting was over with nothing accomplished except a decision to have another meeting.
But none of that even matters nearly as much as what 9/11 Truth says about the mental state of the population. The whole narrative of the movement is so completely and utterly retarded, it boggles the mind. It’s like something cooked up by a bunch of teenagers raised on texting, TV, and Sports Illustrated who just saw V for Vendetta for the first time and decided to write a Penguin History of the World on the strength of it. A genius on the order of a Mozart or a Shakespeare would be hard-pressed to dream up the awesome comedy that is the alleged plot from the point of view of the plotters.
At this point, I'll add something that would probably alienate Taibbi if ever he were to read these words (which is doubtful). If you immerse yourself in the literature of intelligence operations -- and I'm talking about real books about real spooks, not kook books written by conspiracy cranks -- one tactic becomes very clear: The best way to hide the truth is within the proverbial "bodyguard of lies."
It ain't easy to find a Hershey's Kiss in a pile of horse manure. As Margaret Thatcher's friend and aide Lord Alistair McAlpine once said (in a book about business strategies inspired by Machiavelli):
First, create a situation where you are wrongly accused. Then, at a convenient moment, arrange for the false accusation to be shown to be false beyond all doubt. Those who have made accusations against both the company and its management become discredited. Further accusations will then be treated with great suspicion.
I agree with just about everything Taibbi says about the so-called Truthers in his book. Those naive ninnies functioned according to the McAlpine plan. They provided the buckets of horseshit that hid the Hershey's Kiss.
In my view, the Hershey's Kiss at the center of 9/11 comes down to the tableau of those five giggling Israelis who mounted a camera on that New Jersey rooftop before the first jet struck. Did Bush know? No. But those five kids: They knew. They admitted on television that they knew. You can see a video on YouTube in which one of them more-or-less blurts out the truth.
I am not here constructing a wild, massive theory, and I am not arguing beyond the demonstrable facts. Don't accuse me of promoting a narrative: I don't have a narrative, and I do not claim to know the answers. What I have are a number of news stories, interviews and documents about six guys from Israel. Unlike Taibbi, and unlike every "respectable" writer now enjoying mainstream visibility, I refuse to ignore the existence of those news stories, interviews and documents.
Sivan Kurzberg, Paul Kurzberg, Yaron Shmuel, Oded Ellner, Omer Marmari and Dominik Suter: Somehow, they knew.
I cannot begin to tell you how much I despise the 9/11 AntiTruthers and their ludicrous blatherings about controlled demolitions and holographic jets and space lasers and Building Fucking Seven and God-knows-what-else. The only thing that those clowns ever accomplished was to bring discredit to anyone trying to pursue a potentially important line of investigation. Thanks to the bizarre antics of AntiTruthers (a.k.a. The McAlpine Brigade), great writers like Matt Taibbi are now afraid even to mention the names of those six guys from Israel.
Mark my words: In every important investigation, the McAlpine Tactic will come into play. Every. Single. Time. And you can bet the mortgage money that dolts like Alex Jones will buy into the bullshit. Every. Single. Time. AJ ought to re-name his radio show the McAlpine Hour.
* * *
NOW HEAR THIS!
As always: I will never allow assholes to use this blog to blather on about "controlled demolition" and similar nonsense. In my opinion, those myths were deliberately created to deflect attention from the tale of Suter and his lads.
Alas, I know full well that if the "controlled demolition" nutcases get a foot in the door, they will barge in and wreck the joint. One must never argue with such people, not even for a moment. They are like Holocaust revisionists and those dolts who think we never went to the moon: Utterly unworthy of debate.
Therefore, the only person allowed to discuss 9/11 on this blog is yours truly. You may not discuss the issue here from any perspective. An unfair rule? Perhaps, but experience is a harsh teacher, and I learned my lesson nearly a decade ago. The "controlled demolition" bozos must not be allowed even the slightest opening.
It's a big internet, folks, and there are other sites. Dig or split.Permalink
"Sivan Kurzberg, Paul Kurzberg, Yaron Shmuel, Oded Ellner, Omer Marmari and Dominik Suter: Somehow, they knew." It's been a while, but I read that, from their perspective, they knew as a lot of Jewish people knew (i.e., those whom didn't show up in office rooms that day in the Twin Towers), from Israeli intelligence. What's the big deal here? Everyone knows this was picked up on the intelligence wire before the fact, but not acted on by US intelligence. These person's relied upon an intelligence that they had access too. Doesn't mean anything further imo.
Just a quick note....the dancing Israelis was indeed the original story, but that does not make it fact. Before the rubble had even begun to be cleared the original CT was that the Jews stayed home from work that day.
Protests? Of course there are protests. There damned well ought to be. I'd be ashamed of this country if the citizenry accepted such an outrage without protest.
Many writers will try to bog you down in the minutia of what Laquan McDonald did and what Jason Van Dyke did, but -- beyond a certain point -- all such discussion is misleading. The killing of McDonald was horrifying indeed, and I am glad that Van Dyke will be prosecuted. But the ongoing cover-up is an even greater horror.
A murder is a crime committed by an individual. A cover-up is a crime committed by a system.
The sad fact is that we will always have bad individuals, at every level of society. But we can no longer tolerate such a hideously corrupt system.
An autopsy report was changed. The official account of the incident was an exercise in fiction: It says that McDonald "lunged" at police, when he clearly did no such thing. That deceptive report reflects on the entire department, and demonstrates a widely-shared guilt. It is perfectly obvious that if the dashcam video had not been released, Van Dyke would never have been charged.
As most of you know by now, a cop destroyed surveillance video taken by cameras owned by a local Burger King. This part of the story is still giving rise to official mendacity. See here:
Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez on Tuesday addressed questions surrounding missing footage from a security camera located fewer than 100 yards from where 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot and killed by a police officer last year.
"Forensic testing was done on the Burger King surveillance system to determine if anyone tampered with the evidence and the testing did not reveal any such evidence," she said.
She declined to comment on which agency conducted the tests, however.
Surveillance footage is constantly re-recorded over the same media: Every day, new video is recorded over old video. That's how such systems work. There is no way that "forensic testing" can determine whether a footage was erased more than a year ago on a camera that has been in continual use.
Besides, law enforcement is clearly the guilty party here -- therefore, any "forensic testing" done by the CPD (or any group linked to the CPD) is valueless. Would you have trusted Nixon's investigation of the Watergate burglary?
Even Homer Simpson would be bright enough to see through Alvarez' ludicrous lie. Here are the facts:
After the shooting, according to Jay Darshane, the District Manager for Burger King, four to five police officers wearing blue and white shirts entered the restaurant and asked to view the video and were given the password to the equipment. Three hours later they left, he said.
But according to Darshane, both the cameras and video recorder were all on and working properly the night of the shooting.
"We had no idea they were going to sit there and delete files," Darshane said. "I mean we were just trying to help the police officers."
Darshane's testimony (which others in the store can confirm) seals the case. Screw Alvarez and her "forensic testing."
A spokesperson for the Independent Police Review Authority tells NBC in a statement, “We have no credible evidence at this time that would cause us to believe CPD purged or erased any surveillance video.”
"No credible evidence"? Bullshit. Again: Darshane has zero reason to tell an untrue story.
“Our first time down at the Burger King restaurant when we started talking to employees, watching the Burger King video, when we realized video had been deleted, or is missing, absolutely we knew something was up,” Jeff Neslund, an attorney for the McDonald family.
Chris Hayes reported that Burger King security footage from within the restaurant actually shows the cops speaking to employees. I have not confirmed that claim from another source, but I trust Hayes, who has been covering this story for a long time.
Prosecuting Van Dyke is necessary, but utterly insufficient.
Absolutely everyone who has contributed to the official fabrications about this case -- including Alvarez, McCarthy, and the CPD's internal affairs -- must lose their jobs.
A systemic crime requires a systemic solution. Here's one idea: Offer Van Dyke a plea deal. Tell him that prosecutors will seek a reduced penalty if he identifies his co-conspirators.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (whom I've always disliked) has stated that only "one individual" should be held accountable. Only one? No. This is a conspiracy. And if Rahm cannot bring himself to admit that fact, then he himself must be considered a co-conspirator.
Agreed that everyone down the line who misrepresented facts should be charged.
Such cover-ups no longer need to happen, however, after the Supreme Court ruled last week that police officer judgment as to the level of threat they face must be deferred to. That is why the lawyer for the officer in this case is out in front this morning claiming that the officer involved felt in mortal danger and that the dashboard camera footage was inadequate in determining what was really happening. The Supreme Court ruled that the benefit of the doubt goes to the officer.This is the Rodney King gambit, sanctified now by the highest court.
posted by Anonymous : 12:59 PM
You're right, anon. And I guess the Supreme Court is the reason why we have to vote for the one most likely to appoint more liberal justices.
Shaun King and others over at Daily Kos have written some great pieces about Cook County Prosecutor Alvarez. She's very corrupt. It's also insane that we're extorted into voting for neocons like Hillary because she might nominate a sane SCOTUS justice. The corporatist Dems are holding a gun to our collective heads.
posted by Anonymous : 2:48 PM
Am I reading that correctly? The Supreme Court of the USA essentially just put a bulls eye on every persons head that is in this country? That basically gives every police officer in the land a license to kill anyone they want to kill for whatever reason they want to. That is very, very grave news. Forget about Trump being a fascist. We are officially there no matter who gets elected. Roberts, Scalia, Alito and Thomas have to be the most radical Supreme Court Justices of all time. They really need to be impeached for this kind of crap. It isn't about Conservative or Liberal anymore. The kinds of decisions they have continually made are as anti-democracy and pro totalitarianism as it gets.
posted by GregoryP : 5:27 PM
Something to keep in mind that all Burger Kings have Cams back in the Kitchen where the office is located that is where the recorded footage would be , which means when the police entered the kitchen area to review and delete the footage they were recorded doing it, which is how the store manager knows how long they were sitting in there deleting the footage they have them on video doing it,
One of my clients claimed that Russia was financing and providing arms to ISIS.....
The host of "Here and Now" is Robin Young, who brags of "25 years of broadcasting experience." Translation: When a neocon says "Blow me," she drops down so fast that her knees punch two evenly-spaced holes in the concrete. (I'll apologize for that last remark when Young apologizes for that insane statement about Putin and Assad.) For more about NPR, go here.
UPDATE: A reader informs me that the inane comment was probably made by substitute host Indira Lakshmanan, not Robin Young. So apologies to Young; please apply insult to Lakshmanan. I'm not feeling too apologetic because, at this moment, I'm just too damned pissed off at our whole warmongering media infrastructure. It's 2003 all over again.
My comment from a very recent article of yours...."Allegedly when a moment of silence was announced at a public sports event in Turkey, the fans BOOED. Turkey seems to get very little scrutiny. May I assume they own an atom bomb or two? So Turkish forces would be used in Syria?" end quote.
I hope the US did not put Turkey up to shooting down the Russian Plane, and I also hope that the US sides with Russia instead of Turkey.
"More recently, the Turks summoned Russia’s ambassador to Ankara after an attack on ethnic Turkmen in Syria. 'It was stressed that the Russian side’s actions were not a fight against terror, but they bombed civilian Turkmen villages and this could lead to serious consequences,' according to Turkey’s foreign ministry. This fits the Russian pattern of bombing enemies of the Assad regime except Islamic State — a useful reminder that Mr. Putin is not a fit partner in the coalition to fight ISIS." (emphasis added)
Has anyone got a reasonable explanation here other than that the US government wants war with Russia?
posted by b : 7:29 PM
I started listening to NPR in the early 1980s when I lived in a cabin in the woods with no TV. What I most appreciated about it was that it was one of very few American media that considered reporting of foreign events worthwhile. I always considered it rather subversive (one of my friends called it "The Commie News")and I was always afraid to give them any money because I feared that doing so might get me on some kind of government list.
When I saw "Fahrenheit 9/11" I was stunned. I asked myself "Why didn't I hear about any of this stuff on NPR?" And then after the discrepancies between the 2004 vote counts recorded electronically and the exit polls I was stunned to hear a program host (Schieffer? Simon?) sneer at exit polls.
Then we have these breathless young women holding forth on military strategy as if they knew anything about it, and weren't simply repeating what some handsome PR flack in cammos was telling them.
And then there were these constant reports of "sectarian violence" every time a car bomb blew up in a market square in Iraq--as if they had gone out to the site, interviewed the witnesses, as if the perps had been identified, and as if they knew who had done it. And when any reasonable person has to suspect that Blackwater had done it to make themselves indispensible in the chaos, they violated journalistic ethics by reporting as facts what were only speculations on their part.
Joseph, when I started following you around 2005 or so you impressed me with your understanding of journalistic ethics--an understanding that greatly exceeds that of these NPR folks. Brad Friedman was another one who demonstrated such understanding. We need you guys to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted and try to keep our country honest. Thank you for your service to our country.
posted by Anonymous : 7:33 PM
In the context of Ukraine and Syria, NPR stands for NATO Propaganda Regurgitation.
Joseph, you most definitely owe Robin Young an apology, since she is on vacation this week. The reporter was a substitute, Indira Lakshmanan. Let me add that I have been one of Robin Young's fans for years. She has always struck me as one of the most human and decent people I hear on the radio. She never forgets that she's talking about human beings, which is something I'd expect you to appreciate.
You might even have heard of her in the aftermath of the Marathon bombing. She knew Dzokhar Tsarnaev because he was good friends with her nephew and had been one of the guests at the graduation party she hosted for her nephew. She never joined the stampede of demonization, nor did she make excuses. Instead, she focused on what she knew (and also got her nephew interviews on other shows besides her own) and tried to keep reporting on the bombing factual.
I did not hear the show live, but I just listened to the segment online (http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/11/23/brussels-lockdown-raids) and suggest that you do the same. I think the context of the question is relevant. Additionally, the guest, a security analyst from MIT, is clearly not a neocon and spends most of the interview debunking neocon fearmongering. This is one time you should have done your homework.
posted by CambridgeKnitter : 9:41 AM
Also, a bit of trivia from the Small World Department. Robin Young lives on the same one-block-long street near Harvard Square as Priscilla McMillan.
posted by CambridgeKnitter : 10:08 AM
I also started listening to NPR in the 80's. They were independent and very critical of the Reagan (read Bush 1) administration's CIA war in Nicaragua and somewhat anti-corporate. Not any more. Reagan threatened to defund them and All-Things-Independent became All-Things-Lapdog. That was a great link to the expose' on NPR, thanks.
PS.. Remember when a friend of Victor Marchetti's son (Marchetti wrote The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence) shot up CIA headquarters during the morning commute to HQ? I may have to review and do a piece on that.
If, in this context, defeating the Islamic State means restoring to power Mr. Assad in Syria and Iran’s puppets in Iraq, that outcome is neither feasible nor desirable.
Of course that outcome is feasible. If it is feasible for the Gulf States to be run by brutal Sunni dictators, why isn't it feasible for Syria to be run by a secular leader who has always respected the rights of Christians and other minorities? A leader who has never done anything to harm American interests? Bolton considers this outcome undesirable only because the increasingly fascistic leaders of Israel long ago pegged Assad for removal.
And please note: If defeating ISIS means that Assad stays, then Bolton would rather not defeat ISIS. He says this.
Bolton's big idea: Carve a Sunni state out of Syria and Iraq. In other words, he wants to codify the Islamic State -- to change its status from de facto state to de jure. This guy thinks that the way to defeat ISIS is to give 'em exactly what they want.
This Sunni state proposal differs sharply from the vision of the Russian-Iranian axis and its proxies (Hezbollah, Mr. Assad and Tehran-backed Baghdad). Their aim of restoring Iraqi and Syrian governments to their former borders is a goal fundamentally contrary to American, Israeli and friendly Arab state interests.
Bolton here comes close to admitting the truth: America, Israel and the Gulf states instigated this civil war -- a war that has created misery for millions.
Notions, therefore, of an American-Russian coalition against the Islamic State are as undesirable as they are glib.
There's that word again: "undesirable." The use of the passive voice allows Bolton to avoid stating who is doing the desiring.
We average Americans sure as hell did not desire this war. Most Americans do not have ludicrous dreams of empire. Bolton does not speak for us; he speaks only for a small clique of conspirators.
The Syrian civil war was instigated by the Machiavellian monsters who call themselves neoconservatives. The same monsters brought us the Iraq debacle (which Bolton still defends). The same monsters brought Nazis to power in Ukraine. The same monsters funded ISIS. The same monsters formulated the Plan for a New American Century. The same monsters wrote the truly diabolical "Clean Break" document, which talked about the need for waging a proxy war against Syria.
The best argument for an American-Russian coalition is the fact that beasts like Bolton hate the very idea.
John Bolton is as undesirable as he is criminal. In a sane world, he and his fellow war-lovers would have faced justice at a Nuremberg-style trial.
Following the downing of the Russian fighter aircraft in Turkey CNBC provided this commentary:
"Defense consultant Paul Beaver told CNBC that the downing of the jet was an incident that had been 'waiting to happen. The Russians are very cavalier in the way they operate their aircraft,' he told CNBC Tuesday. 'Traditionally, they've always been less than scrupulous in terms of air traffic management. Given that, I feel that this incident was inevitable.'
Which is a lie because the Russians and the US have implemented protocols specifically to avoid needless air conflict incidents.
In 2003, Paul Beaver was appointed a Specialist Adviser to the UK House of Commons Defence Committee. He is also a signatory of the Statement of Principles of the British neoconservative think tank the Henry Jackson Society.
UK academics Tom Griffin, Hilary Aked, David Miller, Sarah Marusek have written a detailed study on the development of the Henry Jackson Society, its history, membership and financing:
"Although the HJS continues to claim to be a bipartisan think tank as it still retains some limited support from interventionist liberals in parliament, our report illustrates that the activities of the society are distinctly neoconservative:
• Promoting a strongly pro-Israel agenda; • Organising anti-Islam activities, focusing particularly on British Muslim students; • Advocating a transatlantic military and security regime."
John Bolton is the chair of the Gatestone Institute, a New York based offshoot of the Hudson Institute, and all the usual faces are there in spades:
"The institute was founded in 2011 by Nina Rosenwald, an heiress of the Sears Roebuck empire who has been a key philanthropic backer of anti-Muslim groups and individuals in the United States.
Rosenwald is reportedly also a financial donor to the Henry Jackson Society.
posted by fred : 3:34 PM
Nice post, Joe. Something tells me small-j joseph isn't going to like this too much, however. He'd rather muddy the issue by claiming racism than admit to the diabolical machinations so inherent to the neocon ilk.
This makes it appear [see link], that Obama is all in with the ISIS/Al-Qaeda/Turkey/Saudi/Qatar et al gang. It's where the money is and Obama just has to keep the big players happy for a few more months and Clinton's $150-200,000,000.00 after presidency payola will look like a church mouse's crumbs.
But I don't know, the bomb planted on a Russian civilian airliner by US proxies didn't make Putin lose his cool, but it looks like this provocation did. I'm sure today's version of General Bat Guano is assuring Obama that the Russians won't escalate...and if they do, the US can "handle it", but that's the thinking that started WW I, which bequeathed us WW II.
If the Peace Prize Prez does miscalculate and winds up starting WW III, will his fanboy stop clapping...or use the NSA's Staci powers to insure we all clap louder? God help this country of mine...we're ruled reasonably sounding Sociopaths[D] and tourettes symptom Sociopaths [R]...apparently, Sociopaths[D]seem to be, if not more evil, the more effective evil of the two.
UK academics Tom Griffin, Hilary Aked, David Miller, Sarah Marusek have written a detailed study on the development of the Henry Jackson Society.
posted by fred : 4:28 PM
On the payroll of Saudi Arabia? This is what they wanted all along, a stable state there that they could take away the oilfields from Syria and Iraq with... the plan all along. Once they have the state, they take out ISIS too.
The Republican Presidential candidates are apparently getting their foreign policy advice from the same source: the John Hay Initiative. Supposedly containing 250 "experts" it's essentially a reprise of Mitt Romney's foreign policy team from the Foreign Policy Initiative, a war mongering coalition of neocons intent on ME wars. Jim Lobe explains.
posted by fred : 5:21 PM
"The same monsters brought Nazis to power in Ukraine" -> The same monsters brought THE Nazis to power.
Why does Hillary's chief adviser want ISIS to succeed?
All of the war drumming and fear porn on your TV screens right now can't hide the truth. America will not defeat ISIS unless and until it does two things:
1. Work with Putin.
2. Give up the sick dream of toppling Bashar Assad.
That very point is made by Democratic congressperson Tulsi Gabbar (of Hawaii) who is interviewed by Wolf Blitzer in the interview embedded above. It's a pretty good interview: Wolf doesn't lay on the stupidity too thickly until the end, when he tries to give the impression that Assad is a bloodthirsty demon who killed hundreds of thousands of civilians simply to prove how evil he is. No, Wolf: The only people Assad's forces have been killing are fighters for ISIS and Al Qaeda -- and he damned well ought to kill those people.
I was pleased by the Russians’ intervention against the armies invading Syria. With their support, the Syrian Army has made dramatic strides against the terrorists...
It was an unlawful war of aggression by foreign powers determined to force a puppet regime on Syria. General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe, revealed that by 2001, Western powers had developed plans to overthrow Syria. Yet after fifteen years, of military subversion, NATO, Saudi Arabia and Qatar still cannot identify a single leader who enjoys popular support among the Syrian people.
Foreign powers have no right to overturn legitimate elections and impose their will on the Syrian people. Syrians alone must determine their destiny, free of foreign intervention. I am disappointed that the UN has turned a blind eye to the unlawful interference in Syria’s internal affairs.
On the right and on the left, people are waking up.
Unfortunately, Robert Kagan -- a key neocon supporter of (and adviser to) Hillary Clinton -- wants you to go back to your worst nightmare. (Kagan, you will recall, is married to vile Victoria Nuland.)
Try not to vomit as you read:
The only alternative is to address the crisis in Syria and Iraq, and with it the terrorist threat posed by Islamic State. But just as in the 1990s, when Europeans could address the crisis in the Balkans only with the U.S. playing the dominant military role, so again America will have to take the lead, provide the troops, supply the bulk of the air power and pull together those willing and able to join the effort.
What would such an effort look like? First, it would require establishing a safe zone in Syria, providing the millions of would-be refugees still in the country a place to stay and the hundreds of thousands who have fled to Europe a place to which to return. To establish such a zone, American military officials estimate, would require not only U.S. air power but ground forces numbering up to 30,000. Once the safe zone was established, many of those troops could be replaced by forces from Europe, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states, but the initial force would have to be largely American.
In addition, a further 10,000 to 20,000 U.S. troops would be required to uproot Islamic State from the haven it has created in Syria and to help local forces uproot it in Iraq. Many of those troops could then be replaced by NATO and other international forces to hold the territory and provide a safe zone for rebuilding the areas shattered by Islamic State rule.
At the same time, an internationally negotiated and blessed process of transition in Syria should take place, ushering the bloodstained Mr. Assad from power and establishing a new provisional government to hold nationwide elections. The heretofore immovable Mr. Assad would face an entirely new set of military facts on the ground, with the Syrian opposition now backed by U.S. forces and air power, the Syrian air force grounded and Russian bombing halted. Throughout the transition period, and probably beyond even the first rounds of elections, an international peacekeeping force—made up of French, Turkish, American and other NATO forces as well as Arab troops—would have to remain in Syria until a reasonable level of stability, security and inter-sectarian trust was achieved.
In other words, Kagan wants ISIS and Al Qaeda (the two are pretty much indistinguishable) to take power in Syria. When you cut past the double-talk, that's what the guy is really saying. Why else would Kagan want us to stop Russia and Syria from bombing the hell out of the jihadis?
"With the Syrian opposition now backed by U.S. forces and air power..." Do you understand what the man is really saying here? Let's make one point very, very clear:
ISIS and Al Qaeda ARE the freakin' Syrian oppositon!
(I think that's the first time I've ever used underlining in this blog. Go ahead and accuse me shouting at the reader. Some things need to be shouted.)
Kagan here admits that he wants the US to fight for ISIS, not against ISIS. There are no actual moderate forces to speak of in the Syrian rebellion. Even Barack Obama, in one of those rare bursts of candor which have pockmarked his presidency, has admitted that this idea is a "fantasy."
Neocons like Kagan often pretend that they support "moderate" rebels, but this is pure fiction. The "moderate" Free Syrian Army is a joke -- in fact, Al Qaeda (a.k.a. the Nusra Front) and the FSA have joined forces. Although our press refuses to discuss such things, the FSA's record on human rights was always pretty horrific, and we should be glad that the group is now little more than a phantom. The FSA was never much more than a mask worn by Islamist warriors when they went begging for weapons and money; arms and ammo given to the "moderate" FSA tends to end up with the Islamic State.
For people like Kagan, the war on ISIS is a pretext: It's all about regime change. He pretty much admits that toppling Bashar Assad is the only thing he really cares about. ISIS is simply a means to that end.
All of this talk about democracy-at-bayonet-point is pure deception: Kagan is bright enough to know that American intervention will not transform Damascus into the Athenian ideal. Removing Assad will simply create the same chaos we manufactured when we removed Saddam Hussein from power. Assad has already won a fair and free election, and he would win again tomorrow if another election were held -- presuming his name appeared on the ballot, which our president would never allow.
Remember: Both ISIS and the Nusra front sprang from Al Qaeda in Iraq -- a group which did not exist until we foolishly sent troops into that country.
If, during this campaign season, you ever get the chance to ask Hillary Clinton a question, ask her if she will ever rid herself of the consummately evil Kagan clan. Those warmongering schemers are monsters. Monsters.
Allegedly when a moment of silence was announced at a public sports event in Turkey, the fans BOOED. Turkey seems to get very little scrutiny. May I assume they own an atom bomb or two? So Turkish forces would be used in Syria?
Kagan is a, if not the, grandee of bipartisan neoconservativism - armchair commander-in-chief, one of the great living exemplars of the political class's Greek-columned pseudo-intellectualism. He says Assad will face new "facts on the ground" because with American boots on the ground the Russian bombing will be - just like that - "halted." Which I suppose is true, if in the sense that the Russian bombers will have been largely redirected to the European and American theaters.
It's as if the neocons are speaking to us, we of this world, from another dimension or an alternate reality. What is there left to be said about the neo-conservatives' dream logic? How could you even begin to respond to Kagan? It'd be like trying to disabuse Hitler in his final days in the Fuhrerbunker. There's the same blind faith that the Russians will just disappear - though it also must be said that the divisions the neocons control are quite real.
posted by Anonymous : 1:43 AM
All the signs are that the US does not intend to work with Putin. Obama is pressuring Hollande to maintain economic sanctions against Russia and the US has upgraded its training of Ukrainian militia to now include regular units of the Ukrainian army.
posted by fred : 4:26 AM
Joe, it would be a pleasure to read an article wherein you apply your analytical capabilities to the current situation in Syria as it relates to the Oded Yinon plan for A Greater Israel. I've seen this mentioned repeatedly at both MofA and ZH and it does appear to go a long way towards explaining the ultimate strategic goal of all these wars we've been executing.
Your worries about Israeli, well let's skip the euphemism, Jewish domination of the Middle East and of course then the world, from whence does it come? Do you think Jews are just naturally smarter than everyone else? Do we have some secret knowledge that gives us this power? Perhaps Jews are in league with the devil? Mind control maybe? Or is it something else, I just can't imagine what else it would be.
Honestly, what's to like in Israel? It's a proto-fascist state actively engaged in genocide towards the native Palestinian people and I strongly believe Israel has done more to undermine the United States than any other "ally" on the planet. We have too many dual-citizens of Israel occupying our government and the near monolithic control over the money supply is suspect, too. I give respect where respect is due, but I don't mistake intelligence for a lack of humanity.
j, nobody in his right mind believes any of the standard anti-Semitic tropes of yesteryear. I know that many defenders of Israel WANT to think that that critics are motivated by those inane Medieval prejudices, but it's not the case.
Our problem with Israel is fascism, which often manifests as racism. All intelligent critics of Israel must understand that one cannot fight racism with racism.
The virus of Fascism also afflicted the Italians, whom I consider part of my own heritage. Hell, Mussolini invented the term. I have to own up to that history. That history forces everyone of Italian heritage to confront himself. One day, j, you will have to come to a very similar confrontation with yourself.
And speaking as an American, I also have to confront the fascist strain within this country. So do you.
Uh, James, I don't like Israel's excessive influence on U. S. foreign policy either, but that bit about Jewish domination of the economy is a myth. The majority of rich folks in this country are, and always have been, Gentiles. (Disclosure: I'm a goy myself.)
The real situation is bad enough without spouting quasi-Protocols buncombe.
As I wrote in the earlier post, the Washington Post, on September 18, 2001, wrote:
In Jersey City, within hours of two jetliners’ plowing into the World Trade Center, law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.
Cue the outrage and indignation! Trump had it right all along!
Except: He didn't.
It is obvious that the WP's 2001 article is a hideously abbreviated (and somewhat garbled) account of the five "dancing Israelis" who worked for Dominik Suter's scammy moving company, Urban Moving Systems. The young Israelis, who looked "Middle Eastern," reportedly had set up a camera before the event and celebrated as it occurred. They gave every appearance of having foreknowledge.
The New York Times reported Thursday that a group of five men had set up video cameras aimed at the Twin Towers prior to the attack on Tuesday, and were seen congratulating one another afterwards. (1)
Police received several calls from angry New Jersey residents claiming "middle-eastern" men with a white van were videotaping the disaster with shouts of joy and mockery. (2)
"They were like happy, you know … They didn't look shocked to me" said a witness. (3)
[T]hey were seen by New Jersey residents on Sept. 11 making fun of the World Trade Center ruins and going to extreme lengths to photograph themselves in front of the wreckage. (4)
Witnesses saw them jumping for joy in Liberty State Park after the initial impact (5). Later on, other witnesses saw them celebrating on a roof in Weehawken, and still more witnesses later saw them celebrating with high fives in a Jersey City parking lot. (6)
"It looked like they're hooked in with this. It looked like they knew what was going to happen when they were at Liberty State Park." (7)
(If you are confused by the numbers, I should explain that they refer to end notes in the linked article. The cites all go to contemporary news reports.)
True, someone did call the cops saying that "Palestinians" dressed in white "sheikh" clothing had loaded suspicious materials into a white van. It was a day of high excitement, so we can forgive a rattled witness who thought he saw swarthy miscreants dressed up like Lawrence of Arabia. A moment's thought would tell you that the very idea is ridiculous: Palestinians don't dress that way in the Middle East, and certainly would not do so while skulking around New Jersey.
Besides, how would the caller know that he saw Palestinians? The use of that term is, perhaps, quite revealing. It is possible that the caller was a co-conspirator intentionally trying to "false flag" the Palestinian people.
If so, the trick did not work, since the cops soon found the van and identified those within it.
When a van fitting that exact description was stopped just before crossing into New York, the suspicious "middle-easterners" were apprehended. Imagine the surprise of the police officers when these terror suspects turned out to be Israelis!
According to ABC’s 20/20, when the van belonging to the cheering Israelis was stopped by the police, the driver of the van, Sivan Kurzberg, told the officers:
"We are Israelis. We are not your problem. Your problems are our problems. The Palestinians are your problem." (10)
Why did he feel Palestinians were a problem for the NYPD?
The police and FBI field agents became very suspicious when they found maps of the city with certain places highlighted, box cutters (the same items that the hijackers supposedly used), $4700 cash stuffed in a sock, and foreign passports. Police also told the Bergen Record that bomb sniffing dogs were brought to the van and that they reacted as if they had smelled explosives. (11)
The FBI seized and developed their photos, one of which shows Sivan Kurzberg flicking a cigarette lighter in front of the smouldering ruins in an apparently celebratory gesture. (12)
A trace of the van's license plate revealed that it was owned by Suter's company. Fascinatingly, a Jerusalem Post report of the incident left out the all-important detail that the people in the van were Israeli! This omission prefigured Trump's error.
A few days after the attacks, Urban Moving System's Israeli owner, Dominick Suter, dropped his business and fled the country for Israel. He was in such a hurry to flee America that some of Urban Moving System's customers were left with their furniture stranded in storage facilities (21).
Suter's departure was abrupt, leaving behind coffee cups, sandwiches, cell phones and computers strewn on office tables and thousands of dollars of goods in storage. Suter was later placed on the same FBI suspect list as 9/11 lead hijacker Mohammed Atta and other hijackers and suspected al-Qaeda sympathizers, suggesting that U.S. authorities felt Suter may have known something about the attacks. (22)
The Jewish weekly The Forward reported that the FBI finally concluded that at least two of the detained Israelis were agents working for the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, and that Urban Moving Systems, the ostensible employer of the five Israelis, was a front operation. This was confirmed by two former CIA officers, and they noted that movers' vans are a common intelligence cover. (23). The Israelis were held in custody for 71 days before being quietly released. (24)
"There was no question but that [the order to close down the investigation] came from the White House. It was immediately assumed at CIA headquarters that this basically was going to be a cover-up so that the Israelis would not be implicated in any way in 9/11." (25)
I apologize for the lengthy quotation of a piece which is itself filled with long quotes. I tell this story in detail to emphasize one point: Our right-wingers (most of whom are strong supporters of Israel) made a hilariously unwise decision when they dredged up this matter.
We have zero evidence that there were "Muslims" celebrating on that day. The September 18, 2001 WP report does not mention Muslims; it obviously refers to "Dominik's boys." If we view that WP story in conjunction with all of the other contemporary news coverage, it soon becomes clear that those young Israelis were the only rooftop "partiers" questioned by police.
There are no contemporary reports of celebratory Muslims -- just celebratory Israelis.
Were those Israelis merely conducting surveillance, as many have alleged (and as they themselves claimed on Israeli television)? Initial news reports held that the van was carrying explosives. If so, then we have no choice but to consider the theory that these Israelis were planning to destroy the bridge -- on the same day that the twin towers came down. (For more on the explosives, see the video embedded above.)
Anyone who doubts the sourcing for this story need merely double-check the citations. Or go to Google and look up the relevant terms -- Dominik Suter, "Urban Moving Systems," "Dancing Israelis," Sivan Kurzberg, Paul Kurzberg, Yaron Shmuel, Oded Ellner and Omer Marmari.
Millions saw the horrific images of the World Trade Center attacks, and those who saw them won't forget them. But a New Jersey homemaker saw something that morning that prompted an investigation into five young Israelis and their possible connection to Israeli intelligence.
This report is surprisingly good for a mainstream news piece, although it downplays the darker implications. ABC makes no mention of the explosives, or of the reports that the Israelis set up cameras before the event. (The fact that we have never seen their footage is very telling.) There is also no mention of the fact -- amply documented elsewhere -- that "Urban Moving Systems" was a criminal enterprise, as were many other Israeli-run moving companies in that period, operating with seeming impunity. (See here and here and here.)
My question: Did Donald Trump display a failing memory...or did he intentionally bring up an incident that Israel's blinkered fans would prefer to keep forgotten? If the former, he's a fool. If the latter, he's brilliant.
NOW HEAR THIS!
As always: I will never allow assholes to use this blog to blather on about "controlled demolition" and similar nonsense. In my opinion, those myths were deliberately created to deflect attention from the tale of Suter and his lads.
Alas, I know full well that if the "controlled demolition" nutcases get a foot in the door, they will barge in and wreck the joint. One must never argue with such people, not even for a moment. They are like Holocaust revisionists and those dolts who think we never went to the moon: Utterly unworthy of debate.
Therefore, the only person allowed to discuss 9/11 on this blog is yours truly. You may not discuss the issue here from any perspective. An unfair rule? Perhaps, but experience is a harsh teacher, and I learned my lesson nearly a decade ago. The "controlled demolition" bozos must not be allowed even the slightest opening.
It's a big internet, folks, and there are other sites. Dig or split.Permalink
So is this just an egregious error of memory from the Donald (which I can accept as more likely), or some oblique message he's sending (someone?) in a deniable way?
Either way, it picks up a rock long forgotten to expose what's crawling underneath it.
A view most will probably not take or hear about, and something easily distracted from (hey, look! a squirrel!!!)
posted by Anonymous : 5:13 PM
The Dancing Israelis story is very disturbing and may have been designed to be so. It induces a state of cognitive dissonance by which most people who hear about it simply reject the facts, and only a very few (such as you and I, Joseph) examine the facts, and only a few leap to confirmation-biased conclusions.
WhatReallyHappened's opening sentence is very telling: "A Mossad surveillance team made quite a public spectacle of themselves on 9-11." Since when do Mossad agents go around making a spectacle of themselves? Hmmmm
Dan Rather's report is that the celebrants were on a rooftop parking lot. Other reports place them in Liberty Park. Do we have TWO iterations of the Dancing Israelis? Hmmmmm.
So we're supposed to believe that the Israelis celebrated spontaneously? And they remembered to bring their Arab costumes beforehand? And they blew the cover on the Mossad's massive attack on the USA because they had to act like a bunch of drunken frat boys?
The Counterpunch writeup says they celebrated in the proximity of a white van that advertised their cover, Urban Moving Systems. And then by all accounts they were arrested in the very same van a few hours later. Was it a spontaneous reaction that they hadn't bothered to clean out the cash, the box cutters, and the explosive residue? These Mossadnicks are starting to look like Rummy and Bush.
So let's talk about the "Picture Van". This was a van stopped a few blocks from the improvised security HQ in Manhattan--stopped at King and 6th if I remember, and stopped because it had a painted mural showing an airplane attacking Manhattan. The driver was a Middle Easterner who did not speak English. He and his passenger were let go. Thus they must have been Israelis. No other explanation is possible. Did the Israelis paint a van with so provocative a scene out of spontaneous enthusiasm?
That's enough for now. I'll have some followup posts if you'll let me.
posted by Anonymous : 9:25 PM
"Since when do Mossad agents go around making a spectacle of themselves?"
Actual Mossad agents are, of course, very professional. (Usually.) But they are surprisingly few in number: There is a SEVERE personnel shortage. (This is one of the things we learn from Ostrovsky's books.) Operations thus often rely on non-pros -- increasingly, we are talking about kids fresh out of the IDF.
They are, to put it bluntly, young and dumb.
Nevertheless, these amateurs were the backbone of the biggest spy ring in the history of this country -- the "art students" ring. I ran into a few of these kids at the Northridge Mall, a number of years ago: They were sneering and paranoid and not really very bright, although they seemed to think that they were hot shit.
Honestly, I have no idea how Israeli ops are so successful when the field agents are little better than toddlers. But that's how those guys roll.
I'd bet money he got it from the following article in Investors Business Daily in early 2007: http://news.investors.com/022607-495105-northern-virginiastan.htm?p=full
I think he just lied about witnessing it himself instead of reading about it; and the location is wrong. New Jersey is mentioned as a similar place to "Northern Viginiastan's" "Taliban Towers", however.
So Joseph, you think the pro Mossad 9/11 perps somehow let it slip to the beanie-brigade that the op was coming, and the beanies spontaneously outed the op? And then after they did so, their supervisors didn't instruct them to clean out the van?
Who have you been hanging out with, lately?
You didn't address the Picture Van. Did the beanies spontaneously out the op by painting it on a van? The van shows that it was all theater.
It appears that the Mossad ordered the beanies to get arrested so they could insert in the public record the fact that they knew about 9/11 in advance. According to the German Press they had warned US authorities of 19 terrorists inside the US planning something big, and even named names.
Putting their foreknowledge in the public record would give them great blackmail material against the Bush administration.
The second benefit of the Dancing Israelis stunt was that it created a great meme to track through the internets--see who believes it, see who promotes it. Larry Silverstein's "pull it" stunt did the same thing, creating a meme to track through the internet.
posted by Anonymous : 1:46 AM
Trump's not fucking with Israel. C'mon, no candidate does that. So, yes, I reckon the statement was for tracking purposes.
If you're in CPMAJO and you're discussing who you're going to appoint as the next US President, and in what directions you're going to send the candidates, then what they say about 911 is going to get considered. So is what they say about Israel. Tweak, tweak, track, track.
But I doubt that that was the reason for those Israelis being there with the van and getting noticed and arrested in the first place. Arrogant fuckfaces in sunglasses just out of the IDF sounds more like it. Even ones moving loads of explosives about. The Zionist support network for the 911 op - Urban Moving Services, art students, etc. - was huge.
The dancing Israelis sued US officials afterwards, seeking compensation for how they'd been treated. They lost. The legal docs are on the net. No shame whatsoever. Didn't Robert Fisk call the Israeli army "undisciplined rabble"?
The reference to "thousands" suggests that someone may have slipped "New Jersey" into Trump's speech later. Perhaps the original untrue statement was that Muslims all went "Yeah!" when they heard about 911. Then somewhere in the colouring and filling-in and soundbite creation process, New Jersey gets inserted. I mean Trump does talk a hell a lot of shit. Most people probably just hear "Ayrabs wanna kill yall".
posted by b : 4:04 AM
James, under the theory that the Dancing Israelis and Picture Van stuns were the Mossad's Message to the World that they knew about 9/11 in advance. Since they had warned the Bushcists about the attacks, going public with their knowledge was an implicit blackmail threat.
If this reading is correct, then the investigation of Urban Moving Systems and the incidents would have been shut down by the Bushcists because they just wanted everyone to forget about it.
The Mossad would have dusted the van with explosives to up the ante on the blackmail (if they thought explosives had been used in the towers) and/or to further the internet-trackable meme that the Mossad blew up the towers.
Larry Silverstein's ambiguous and bizarre "pull it" remark also furthered the explosive meme, allowing the imaginations of confirmation-biased bigots to run wild with speculations that the Mossad did 9/11.
Many believe that terror attacks tend to occur during drills and simulations. Know, then, that the largest bio-attack drill ever staged will begin today in southern California, and will last until the 28th. Los Angeles county is not listed as one of the staging areas, but most other counties will be impacted.
As the week progresses, the drill will expand, requiring participants to deploy to various areas.
Temporary medical facilities will be established, and first responders will react to mock mass casualty situations, according to state officials.
Some participants will be clad in chemical protection suits and masks to create as much realism as possible, officials said, emphasizing that members of the public should not panic.
More here. We learn that the focus will be on anthrax.
Some sites claim that there were drills in Paris on the day of the recent terrorist outrage: See here.
In what can be described as an extremely strange “coincidence,” Paris-area emergency personnel and ambulance crews were taking part in a simulated emergency exercise on the very same day the Paris terrorist attacks took place.
The exact nature of the drill was a simulated mass shooting attack, according to Dr. Mathieu Raux, emergency room chief at the Pitié-Salpetrière hospital in Paris.
It is well-known that NORAD was conducted a test called Vigilant Guardian on September 11, 2001. There was a drill in London during the 7/7 event in 2005. Although you may have read claims that the Boston bomb squad was conducting a simulation at the time of the Boston Marathon explosions, this allegation appears to be groundless.
I wouldn't be overly concerned about the California event: Preparation is a good thing, and many drills have occurred on days which turned out to be completely uneventful. Nevertheless, a pattern may indeed exist. Sleep well...!
Two people in Britain have called me a "conspiracy theorist" for mentioning that many people in the Bataclan - a crowded theatre in which men fired semi-automatic AK47s to kill - died in a stampede rather than by being shot.
Recognition of the fact that this is how many people died - a fact which has been confirmed by witness evidence and is in any case obvious - is considered by many people in the west to be more than their position as submissive mental serfs is worth. No logic needed. Eyes to the front, shut up, and repeat what you see on the television.
Mustn't say anything different; it's naughty - especially when soldiers are (or soon will be) on the streets.
They even think it's disrespectful to the dead and wounded. I despair of such people.
I mention this because I think the subjective conditions are present for a western bombing attack that does not destroy ISIS but which is aimed at destroying the Syrian government.
And in that scenario, Russia will respond.
Mikhail Gorbachev's prognosis of another "cold war" is IMO mistaken.
"Cold war" is usually a superficial concept, and not just in the minds of ignoramuses who think it lasted more than 40 years, ending in 1989, and that the Fischer-Spassky chess match in 1972 happened at the height of it.
You'd be better off talking about an arms race - especially in the late 1950s and early 1960s - lots of superpower weapons in Poland and Germany etc., limited controls of technological exports, and US and Soviet war-preparatory structures of control over many countries in Europe and some further afield.
We ain't going to be getting a cold war now.
Back in those days there were only four domains of warfare, and space was new. Now there's a fifth: cyberspace.
And the psychological war has already begun. And I mean war. This isn't similar to the 1964 swap of British spy Greville Wynne for Soviet spy Konon Molody (Gordon Lonsdale), when the British press reported that whereas Molody was a spy, Wynne was just an innocent businessman wrongly accused. We are on a very different scale now.
But...hold on! The retarded "prince" Charles is on the case: he thinks "climate change" was the root cause of the war in Syria. And Reuters are distributing the "news" of what this dickhead thinks. "We're now facing a real possibility," said this fanatic of monarchistic 'natural' order, "of nature's bank going bust."
As I understand it, more carbon dioxide is produced by spiders farting than by the whole of humanity, either from our bodies or from industry.
posted by b : 5:25 AM
Simulated Anthrax attack; hmm. Wonder who is already taking Cipro. I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop since some thirty or more labs "accidentally" were sent live anthrax spores. Everybody forgot about that one yet?
I have semi-vowed to stay away from 1963 in these pages, but David Talbot's piece in Salon is worth reading. That said, I am heterodox: I do not believe that Allen Dulles orchestrated the event, although he oversaw much of the cover-up. In my view, the event itself was planned on the second floor of CIA HQ by one James Jesus Angleton, who hoped to spark World War III. A great mischief-maker, Jimmy was.
Here we are, halfway through Sunday, and the terrorist apocalypse has not yet occurred -- although there is much fear and trembling: See here and here and here.
So why am I asking you, on this day, to view a documentary (embedded above) about the well-known "exploding pizza man" case? Because a thought occurred to me: How do we know that a terrorist wearing an explosive-laden vest has donned that garment of his or her own accord? Explosives can be detonated by remote control; the technology is neither expensive nor unusual. So how do we know that the person wearing the vest is acting under his or her own volition?
If I were really, really paranoid, I might go so far as to suggest that the pizza man case is best explained as a proof of concept operation. Robbery does not seem to have been the actual motive, since the crime could never have succeeded. (It seems that the mastermind of the operation was an unhinged woman with delusions of superiority.)
"I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down, and I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down,” he said.
While there were images of people cheering the towers’ collapse in parts of the Middle East, there is no record of such celebrations in New Jersey. There were some Internet rumors of Muslims celebrating the towers’ fall in Paterson, New Jersey, but those rumors were discounted by local police at the time.
There was cheering in New Jersey on that day, but the people involved were those of whom we must never speak. (All attempts to debunk that event and to diminish its importance have been, in my view, unpersuasive and strained.)
By the way: A lot of people don't know that Dominik Suter, the guy who ran that moving company, kept an apartment in Los Angeles -- Sherman Oaks, if memory serves. I drove by the address one night. A rather posh place -- "south of the Boulevard," as we say in the San Fernando Valley. Suter was, in essence, a low-level crook: He ran one of those scammy moving companies that ripped off customers with seeming impunity. Kind of odd for a guy like that to keep up the rent on a pricey second home on the other side of the country, don't you think?
(No, dear readers, you may not discuss 9/11 here -- no matter who you are, and no matter what your perspective. If you try to do so, I will delete your comment mercilessly. Yes, I realize that I am being unfair -- but I have no choice: What happened to this blog in 2006 left a lasting scar. I will never change my stance, I will never respond to your inquiries, and I don't have to justify my decisions to anyone. Dig or split.)
I wonder: Is Trump intentionally making an oblique reference to Suter & co.?
Dunno about Muslims* cheering on 911, but I do know Turkish Muslims booed when asked to give moment of silence to the French victims of rabid Wahhabism. So from that, it's not to hard to infer what is in many Muslims hearts.
Anybody who has been to Pakistan can see for themselves how radicalizing the Saudi proselytizing madrasas are. Who ever heard of school, for which there is but one book to study? Muslims have been radicalized by the Gulf States embrace and financial support of radical Wahhabism
And let's not forget Mr. Erdoğan has been perfectly willing to aid ISIL murdering mayhem in the hopes of gaining some of the Ottoman Empire back...with the consent of the Turkish populace.
*One Israeli woman appeared on TV positively glowing, she felt 911 would cause cause American citizens to support Israels treatment of Palestinians and their territorial gains over Arab lands. [She was right].
@S Brennan - "One Israeli woman appeared on TV positively glowing, she felt 911 would cause cause American citizens to support Israels treatment of Palestinians and their territorial gains over Arab lands. [She was right]."
That formulation is far too vague. On 12 Sep 2001, the day following 911, Israeli tanks rolled into the cities of Jericho and Jenin on the West Bank. Three days later, they rolled into Ramallah, also on the West Bank.
The Israelis hadn't done anything like that since the Oslo agreement of 1995. Their military action that immediately followed 911 marked a major change: they made it absolutely clear that they were tearing up the agreement and that they were no longer going down the route of Gaza and Jericho first, followed by a Palestinian state.
posted by b : 11:00 AM
Well, if you're not going to permit any discussion, there's no point in trying to put forth a very reasonable perspective on the "Dancing Israelis" incident (hint--it is explained by the presence of the "picture van" in Lower Manhattan).
Anonymous reports that it has uncovered evidence of an ISIS threat against various targets around the world -- Paris, Italy, Lebanon. Something will happen on Sunday, although we don't know what. The group says that it has relayed what it has learned to western intelligence agencies.
The FBI has confirmed that it knows of an unspecific threat against Atlanta, Georgia, where some sort of wrestling match will entertain local boobs.
The report also mentioned “unconfirmed” threats at the WWE Survivor Series event in Atlanta; Feast of Christ the King celebrations in Rome and worldwide; an event in Indonesia called Al-Jihad: One Day One Juz; a concert by Five Finger Death Punch in Milan; and University Pastoral Day at the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik in Lebanon.
The hacktivists said the information was received from “several pro-Daesh [IS] accounts,” and that the attacks were all meant to take place November 22.
The date is a droll touch.
1. Is it really possible for Anonymous to learn of a large-scale terror attack which remains unknown to the NSA, GCHQ, Unit 8200 and all similar Orwellian Nightmare Units?
2. In the past, FBI informants have worked their way into the heart of Anonymous. So the true author of this "Anonymous" message may be Uncle.
3. Do you recall the Anonymous spin-off which tried to mount the Great Halloween Insurrection (which never occurred?) Anonymous has within its ranks some testosterone-filled rage-junkies who are a lot like the testosterone-filled rage-junkies who join ISIS. Less effective, though.
4. Given all of the above points, is it not possible that parties within Anonymous invented this entire business?
Incidentally, the right-wing blogs were all over this story instantly. (As far as I can tell, this is the only liberal blogger to take notice. Before me, that is.) We should always be suspicious when the right side of the internet functions in a highly-coordinated fashion.
It's interesting that western news editors aren't drawing the obvious conclusion: that, as you say, the US, Britain, France, Germany etc., can't attack their enemies in the cyberspace domain (the fifth domain of contemporary warfare, after land, sea, air and space) by themselves (when did they get surpassed, eh?), but they leave that up to a gang of masked libertarian seldom-bathing hippies who owe allegiance to no state (cough cough), but who wear masks referring to Alan Moores' V for Vendetta.
That's the message that's going in to people's heads, though.
I reckon there's something, er, not true about it.
Anonymous is the CIA, just like Facebook. If they did invent it, that in itself would be no reason for the western media to channel the story in such a big way.
I'm a regular correspondent to the ABC editors and on occasions seem to have some sway with them. I'll be ripping them a new asshole this afternoon.
posted by fred : 7:28 PM
Whoops! My bad. The ABC story dates back to Aug 23. I'd arrived there following a link from today's news items and thought the issue was current. Still, there's something disturbing about a senior Middle East correspondent of a supposedly independent Western news agency citing Human Rights Watch as an independent, reliable source of commentary, and repeating the lie about the sarin gas attack on Ghouta. The political mindset is also abysmal. Not only does Sophie McNeill show little awareness of alternative political narratives or factual claims on Syria events she falls prey to the transparent nonsense that all will be sweetness and light if Assad were to go.
An Australian academic, Prof.Tim Anderson, has been providing some sensible balance. But it is disturbing to see the persistence of various propaganda myths in our media.
Sorry about the snafu, folks.
posted by fred : 8:29 PM
We'll see. I agree that some sort of infiltration has happened, and that they are coordinating their release with the conservative bloggers. Now, is it to discredit Anon, or to elevate them? No attacks and it's a bit of a wash, but also they become somewhat crying wolf. Attacks, and they become elevated; which to me, pretty much secures that they've been infiltrated and are being used to propagandize terror to a new reach that the old machines can not.
Sounds like the Jay Jonah Jamieson Spiderman Credo, "Trust no one in a mask". At least if someone else tried to impersonate Spiderman I could always tell because they never were as bad ass and their webtrails tasted different and were not environmentally friendly and always sold for less on ebay.
Joseph, I've put some notes together about Anne Applebaum with key words Legatum, NATO, CIA funding, Bildeberg, US State Department and the US ambassador to Kiev. No conclusions, just random bits that might be of interest.
There is background material in a previous comments section here.
posted by fred : 4:58 AM
"Christ the King" and "Belgium" - that's a very interesting bag of memes.
Two more links: Jean Ousset (inventor of the concept of subversion) and Belgian Rexism.
The "Rex" in "Rexism" refers to Christ being the King ("Rex"). This little-mentioned strand of fascism bigged up the concept of "Christ the King" - and also the use of torture against "subversion" - and goes back to the Catholic extreme-right in the Spanish civil war. It comes down through Latin America, Belgium and French Algeria. (As I think Robert Fisk has rightly observed, the role of Algeria in people's minds is an important factor in current developments.) This strand had far more grip at an international level than Mussolini's version ever did. Mussolini didn't get religion, and had little influence internationally except for the salute; Hitler and Ousset did.
Ousset had been the secretary of Charles Maurras, leader of Action Francaise, the monarchist party in France that was once officially supported by the Vatican.
(Before anyone points it out, I should add that many take part in the festival of "Christ the King" who are neither fascist nor Roman Catholic, and of course, very many people are one of these without being the other.)
Right now, France is cracking.
"Anonymous" - ha ha. They say they only went public because that was the quickest way of getting their "intel" to "the authorities". Bullshit!
"We wanted the authorities to know about this as quickly as possible so that we could prevent too much attention being drawn to our account (which is why we it shut down [sic], it was about getting the intel to them, not about us getting attention)"
Can anyone spot the confusion here, conveyed by this parenthetical whinging gloss?
Here it is: not having X as your aim is one thing; having the prevention of X as your aim is another.
It's a bit like when someone says "I'm not lying to you". They always are.
In actual fact, the publicity being given to Anonymous right now is very much part of the ongoing psywar.
Some big-time geopolitical psywar is going on here.
One could make the educated guess that Anonymous spoke to RT.
As Linebarger says in his book Psychological Warfare, psywar starts before the physical conflict and continues after it. I am neither exaggerating nor joking when I say that WW3 has already begun.
* Russia was completely outplaying the west in psywar, including in the relationship between psywar and the use of its physical forces in Syria and the Caspian (sea, air, cyberspace)
* ...until the Sinai plane crash, when the west landed some powerful blows (I was surprised!) and Russia was on its back foot for a while
* ...and now Russia is striking back (hello Anonymous, thanks RT)
* ...and the fight is going to another level.
Who has taken it to a new level? I don't know. But it had to go to a new level anyway. WW3 won't be called off.
France is cracking, and Russia is (for how long?) ascendant.
Anonymous are "infiltrated"? That's putting it far too mildly.
Alessandro has it right: "trust no-one in a mask".
posted by b : 8:10 AM
Maybe not off topic, but Belgium has figured largely in war propaganda before. In 1914 British newspapers were filled with stories about "plucky little Belgium" and crimes of the invading "Huns." I believe George Orwell wrote a piece about the mendacity of war propaganda, especially in regard to Belgium and the repetition of the phrase "raping nuns on tables." Of course the propaganda was used to drum up war fervor for the war that would be "over by Christmas" and ended up lasting over four years and killing millions while enriching war profiteers' families for the next three generations.
The Russians, being ignorant of how capitalism works, haven't yet realized that it is just as profitable to drop bombs for years into uninhabited deserts as it was back in the 60s and 70s to drop bombs into uninhabited jungles in southeast Asia. Good enemies are hard to find and sometimes you have to create your own. ISIS doesn't seem to have the durability of the North Vietnamese armies of the 1960s or their Viet Cong militias. But one makes do with the best materials at hand even though jihadis seem poor stuff compared to dedicated communists of the past.
The announcement by the Crisis Centre of the Belgian Interior Ministry is advising the public to avoid places where large groups gather -- such as concerts, sporting events, airports and train stations -- and comply with security checks. The rest of the nation will maintain its current terror level.
If people take the terror alert seriously, Brussels will be "shut down tomorrow," CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said.
"It suggests they have something specific and credible at the intelligence front pointing them in the direction that there may be a terrorist plot in the works," he said. "It also suggests they don't have a handle on it, that they don't know where these plotters are or where they're coming from."
Why is ISIS doing this? The group split from Al Qaeda over the very issue of mounting operations in western countries: ISIS insisted that their warriors should stay home and concentrate on establishing a caliphate in Syria. Why would ISIS mount terror attacks in Europe now? What can be gained from striking Belgium of all nations?
So far, the only sensible suggestion has been that ISIS/Al Qaeda hopes to foment an anti-Muslim reaction which would radicalize young Muslims and cause the jihadist ranks to swell. If so, conservatives in both the United States and Europe have performed their roles so well they might as well be on the ISIS payroll.
If you don't believe that the American right hopes to aid the terrorists, let me ask you one question: Why are so many politicians calling for a no fly zone over Syria?
ISIS has no air force. The people attacking ISIS have total control of the air. Why would we want to stop Russia and Syria from destroying ISIS encampments?
Why did John McCain insist that we should supply the jihadis with Stinger missiles? Why would we want to deprive the anti-ISIS forces of their great advantage?
The "no fly zone" makes sense only if we posit that the secret goal of the neocons is not to stop ISIS but to help them.
How else can you explain the wimpitude of our airstrikes against ISIS in Syria? Our air campaign -- grandly titled Operation Tidal Wave II -- is pure theater.
Moon of Alabama proves the point in an important piece which demonstrates that PBS used footage of a Russian strike against the jihadis to illustrate a story about our alleged efforts.
The U.S. military recently claimed to have hit Islamic State oil tankers in Syria. This only after Putin embarrassed Obama at the G-20 meeting in Turkey. Putin showed satellite pictures of ridiculous long tanker lines waiting for days and weeks to load oil from the Islamic State without any U.S. interference.
The U.S. then claimed to have hit 116 oil tankers while the Russian air force claims to have hit 500. But there is an important difference between these claims. The Russians provided videos showing how their airstrikes hit at least two different very large oil tanker assemblies with hundreds of tankers in each. They also provided video of several hits on oil storage sites and refinery infrastructure.
I have found no video of U.S. hits on Islamic State oil tanker assemblies.
The U.S. PBS NewsHour did not find any either.
In their TV report yesterday about Islamic State financing and the claimed U.S. hits on oil trucks they used the videos Russia provided without revealing the source. You can see the Russian videos played within an interview with a U.S. military spokesperson at 2:22 min.
The U.S. military spokesperson speaks on camera about U.S. airforce hits against the Islamic State. The video cuts to footage taken by Russian airplanes hitting oil tanks and then trucks. The voice-over while showing the Russian video with the Russians blowing up trucks says: "For the first time the U.S. is attacking oil delivery trucks." The video then cuts back to the U.S. military spokesperson.
At no point is the Russian campaign mentioned or the source of the footage revealed.
(A similarly mislabeled piece of footage was broadcast during the American invasion of Baghdad. I can discuss this at greater length in another post.)
Propaganda and reality also collide in the larger U.S. policy on Syria. President Obama claims that the "overwhelming majority of people in Syria" want the Syrian President Assad to leave. But independent British polling in Syria found (pdf) that a strong plurality of Syrians prefers him as president over any of the available alternatives.
You will never see our mainstream press refer to Assad as the elected leader of his country, although observers from other nations found the 2014 Syrian vote to be free, fair and transparent.
Bottom line: America isn't fighting ISIS because America made ISIS.
The superb "Reality Check" video embedded above compelling evidence that the west intentionally instigated a jihadist insurrection in Syria. The paternity test proves that Uncle Sam is the daddy.
This video poses a key question: Why should we believe any politician (right or left) who blathers
on about the need to combat ISIS if said pol isn't honest enough to
admit our role in manufacturing the problem?
It started in 2006 when the US decided it wanted to oust Syrian President Assad and started laying the ground work. This was proven by leaked Saudi Arabian intelligence cables hosted on Wikileaks.
The same year, the Islamic State was just a half-baked insurgent group in Iraq. The group would then migrate to Syria, where it was reinforced by battalions of defecting Free Syrian Army troops who were trained by the United States. Many of those claimed to have ties to the Central Intelligence Agency. The Islamic State truly became a child of the United States.
In 2009, the United States began secretly funding opposition groups within Syria and even provided $6 million to Barada TV, a UK-based TV channel, to produce propaganda to support “regime change” inside Syria.
Slowly but surely, the US and its allies put this plan into effect until in March of 2011 spontaneous demonstrations popped up in Syria demanding Assad step down. Of course, Huffington Post UK would later point out that these demonstrations weren’t spontaneous at all. They were orchestrated by the Central Intelligence Agency.
Throughout this time the West has tried various methods of justifying an invasion. There were claims of chemical weapon attacks perpetrated by Assad, but the only proof offered was the analysis that the weapons might have originated from the Syrian military’s storerooms. The average American was smart enough to realize that it’s a civil war and that the weapons of all sides came from the Syrian military, except of those “accidentally” dropped to Islamic State forces by the United States. The chemical weapons claim disappeared when the Kurds were hit by chemical weapons. The Kurds were fighting the Islamic State, not Assad. There were scores of unsuccessful airstrikes launched by the West. They accomplished nothing, and the Islamic State continued to destabilize Assad. NATO allies openly attacked those fighting the Islamic State.
The west's war against ISIS is pure fabrication -- an obvious lie. Why, then do so many believe in this bunk?
The average American is simply too stupid to understand that the Islamic State is Assad’s enemy. The West has successfully sold people on the idea that removing Assad is somehow benefiting the fight against the Islamic State. And people cheer.
Recap: The United States planted the seeds of revolt through propaganda, led the demonstrations against Assad, helped arm and train the Islamic State, repeatedly pushed a false narrative to gain a pretext to invade, denied proper air support to those fighting the Islamic State, and will now capitalize on the murders committed by the Islamic State to achieve its goal of ousting Assad.
If I'm not mistaken, the NDAA repealed as quaint any existing prohibitions against the military focusing its formidable psy-ops capabilities on the domestic population. In other words, every byte of officially-sanctioned "news" we receive in this country might well be distorted to advance a wartime agenda. Everything we hear, from barrel bombs to claims of Russians bombing hospitals, could likely be scripted to maximize support for an otherwise brutal and sinister agenda.
Could Belgium be a target due to the location of Nato headquarters in Brussels?
posted by Anonymous : 2:50 PM
"Average people" shouldn't be casually derided as "stupid", when the process and effect of information dissemination is rather complex. The mainstream media, like the political structure, is part of consensus reality and therefore gets the benefit of the doubt. That the media lies or the political structure is hopelessly corrupt challenges consensus reality, and acceptance or true understanding of this requires a radical shift in perception. Most people are unprepared for such a shift, as it requires a re-ordering of largely unconscious thought patterns and something of an effort. Many people are lazy or indifferent rather than stupid.
ISIS is and was a psy-op. The roll-out of the shiny new trucks was accompanied by a string of professionally produced atrocity videos uploaded directly to SITE and then widely disseminated by the MSM. Accompanying this was an orchestrated reaction across the Western political establishment, labelling ISIS as the greatest and most horrific threat ever, which required the re-positioning of NATO forces into the region for a struggle which would last, as military officials intoned, several decades. The obvious rational response - to identify and eliminate the sources of funding and supply - was never ever seriously engaged. ISIS was the tool by which the Middle East would become a NATO protectorate. These fanatic forces are being deliberately used to sow chaos in the Mid-East, in Africa, in a province of China, etc - as a form of warfare designed to extend Western corporate control across the planet.
posted by Anonymous : 4:18 PM
Yes, reports on what the French bombed. Not a single person killed. They bombed exclusively places where no one was. Old training camps, old checkpoints. Nothing there.
Janaszak describes the "apocalypse" in the theatre, the terror, the hysteria, and how, for example, even a pregnant woman got trampled.
The guy looks very human and genuine to me.
He suggests that many people were killed by stampede.
"We were 300 running... You walk on everybody. You don't care about anybody... This is the apocalypse."
He describes how he felt leaving his sister behind, thinking she was dead:
"(not) because of the guns, but because of the people running on her."
He describes how his consciousness went to his phone, and facing possible imminent death he thought of contacting his parents and saying sorry to them - but couldn't, because he'd had to turn his phone off.
He describes the terrorist, who seemed so French, and how he didn't hear any "religion stuff".
He describes how when the police told everyone to run, and not to look at anything, he and others walked on a pleading woman who was saying "help me" - and how he feels about that.
Dunno whether she's your type, Joseph, but the interviewer Sophie Shevardnadze, wearing red heels, is Eduard Shevardnadze's granddaughter - and a graduate of the Paris Conservatoire. She talks of good and evil and God.
The setting for the interview is pretty weird in places: wallpaper, peeling gilt on a picture frame.
RT left in the bit where he says innocent people are killed by advanced countries, and in particular by those countries which aim to spread the "western way of life".
"This is the end of the world (...) like the Second World War, this is the beginning of the end."
So much has occurred today, and I have had so little time to write. Sorry; please check back in a short while. For now, let me simply say this: Donald Trump and Marco Rubio have crossed the line into out and out fascism.
Actually, the F word is notoriously hard to define. It's like pornography: One knows it when one sees it. I see it.
Those who claim (as the Breitbarters and Rush Limbaugh do) that Trump is being smeared have not looked at the full evidence. The Rachel Maddow episode embedded above will make matters crystal clear.
I watched the video 1st and Trump never answered the question, but made an entirely different point. The reporter simply lied about the response. I simply assumed the best intentions when I said you had been conned, my bad.
BTW, the article has been edited to delete the full transcript. Too bad the link I gave has been broken by ?
posted by S Brennan : 1:02 PM
Another reporter has more details and points out the video editing.
The wheels are coming off the apple cart. Fascism on the rise. WWIII with the Russians and the Chinese on the horizon. Charlie Sheen has AIDS. Shits gettin real as they say. Need to buy some more popcorn tomorrow.
Gunmen attacked a luxury hotel in Bamako, Mali on Friday, taking 170 guests and hotel staff hostage, according the company that runs the hotel.
In a statement issued on its website, the Rezidor Hotel Group, which operates the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, said it “is aware of the hostage-taking that is ongoing at the property today, 20th November 2015. … Our safety and security teams and our corporate team are in constant contact with the local authorities in order to offer any support possible to re-instate safety and security at the hotel.”
Thirty of the hostages are hotel staff, the group said. The other 140 are guests. The statement said that “two persons” have locked in the 170 hostages.
Citing a security source, Reuters put the number of gunmen at 10.
The shooting at the Radisson follows a nearly 24-hour siege and hostage-taking at another hotel in August in the central Malian town of Sevare in which five UN workers were killed, along with four soldiers and four attackers.
Five people, including a French citizen and a Belgian, were also killed in an attack at a restaurant in Bamako in March in the first such incident in the capital.
Islamist groups have continued to wage attacks in Mali despite a June peace deal between former Tuareg rebels in the north of the country and rival pro-government armed groups.
Northern Mali fell in March-April 2012 to Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist groups long concentrated in the area before being ousted by an ongoing French-led military operation launched in January 2013.
Despite the peace deal, large swathes of Mali remain beyond the control of government and foreign forces.
It's important to recall that, not long ago, David Petraeus and other neocons were urging an American alliance with Al Qaeda, because the program of regime change in Syria trumps all other concerns.
According to the Telegraph, hostages are being freed if they can prove their ability to recite verses from the Koran. Apparently, Chinese nationals are among the hostages. I wonder how Beijing will react...?
The Islamic State group is aggressively pursuing development of chemical weapons, setting up a branch dedicated to research and experiments with the help of scientists from Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the region, according to Iraqi and U.S. intelligence officials.
You gotta love these stories which quote unnamed spooks. Actually, ISIS has had access to chemical weapons for a while. Here's a story from The Guardian, published in July of 2014.
On 20 June analysts for the US Defense Intelligence Agency issued a highly classified five-page ‘talking points’ briefing for the DIA’s deputy director, David Shedd, which stated that al-Nusra maintained a sarin production cell: its programme, the paper said, was ‘the most advanced sarin plot since al-Qaida’s pre-9/11 effort’.
Okay, that's a reference to Nusra/Al Qaeda, not ISIS. But everyone know that ISIS and Nusra have worked together and should now be considered "as one" operationally. I've already devoted many, many posts to exposing the fact that the anti-Assad rebels were the ones who used sarin in two Damascus suburbs in 2013.
Several recently-published stories have warned of an imminent chemical attack from ISIS. Most of these stories have appeared on right-wing sites, such as Brietbart, but some have not. See, for example, here.
I suspect that we are being readied for something.
The military-industrial-media state likes to precondition the population for future terrorist attacks so that it appears that our security services are effectively collecting intelligence as it relates to our ostensible enemies, when in reality they're only indicating exactly what their actual plans are.
"Chatter" as it relates to terrorist plans is the equivalent of a trailer before a movie; just enough to let the audience understand the gist of what they're going to experience but lacking the crucial details.
McCants pushes the message that negotiation with Daesh is impossible. I doubt that's how they see it at Langley or for that matter at the Quai d'Orsay. After all, Daesh are selling oil for money - and not just for money, but for US dollars.
But a key fact to grasp here is the apocalypticism.
Another is the role of Youtube and Twitter in Daesh's projection of its power and in its recruiting. Don't tell me the CIA or NSA couldn't stop that in the next hour if they got the go-ahead. And I don't want to hear any legal shit about what constitutes a "publisher" either. This is war, and in war you don't do the other side's propaganda for it.
McCants discusses, but doesn't advocate, a US invasion of Syria and a US strategy of giving Daesh the last battle, at Dabiq, that they desire.
He points out that
"the risks of escalation are enormous. The biggest proponent of an American invasion is the Islamic State itself."
Well yeah. And here we have the motive for attacks such as the one in Paris.
I wouldn't advocate anyone going long on the Dow Jones. I really wouldn't.
"The rise of ISIS, after all, happened only because our previous occupation created space for Zarqawi and his followers. Who knows the consequences of another botched job?"
Clue: it begins with an "a" and ends in "lypse".
At the end, McCants ends up backing a policy of talking up a non-Daeshist version of Salafism, one that backs handchopping, crucifixion and a caliphate, but some time in the future.
And at that point, his commitment to understanding politics and religion at the same time goes out of the window. The word he misses out is "Saudi". Non-Daeshist Salafism may not have a caliphate, but it already has a headchopping and handchopping state - on the peninsula - one that is extending its reach.
posted by b : 10:11 AM
The Bataclan theatre where the biggest massacre just took place in Paris was owned by a Jewish guy for decades, who used it to stage events in support of the Israeli army and "Jewish charities". He sold it in September.
He denies that the venue was chosen because of anything to do with Jews or Israel.
But that's not the question.
The question is whether he is a sayan who ever put his building at the disposal of Mossad.
posted by b : 5:02 PM
b, that's getting into potentially very ugly territory. I fail to see how the previous ownership of that building has any bearing on this episode. You're reaching.
The al-Qaeda incursion into Mali was another result of the Libyan regime-change operation undertaken by NATO and applauded across the board by the political and media establishment of NATO countries. Clear-thinking is in demand and so utterly absent where it matters.
posted by Anonymous : 3:52 AM
Previous ownership? Facts: the guy owned it for decades and was well in with the Zionists, using the building for propaganda and fund-raising. He inherited it from his father. Then he sold it two months ago but he still considers himself to have a close relationship with it.
Two months ago, he sold it!
It's not exactly unlikely that he was a sayan, who would have put the building at Mossad's disposal at very short notice.
Say they wanted it for something that would take a few weeks of preparation and required that he sell it.
How did the Daesh combatants enter the building carrying their AK47s and grenades?
posted by b : 7:40 AM
If he was a sayan, what I'm suggesting becomes very credible. And it's more than likely he was.
posted by b : 7:41 AM
One more comment: the French cops who stormed the Bataclan may have completely fucked up.
One told Le Monde that "he shot (a Daesh combatant) in the chest and then his suicide belt went off, but he still does not know if it was the bullet that caused it".
That doesn't sound to me at all like an adequately trained guy or a properly managed operation, if the aim was - as it should be - to save lives.
posted by b : 8:47 AM
Except...were there any suicide vests at the Bataclan, or is that a lie? One witness says they didn't have any. (Source.)
Will France be pressing ahead with its call for UN soldiers to police part of Jerusalem?
posted by b : 10:27 AM
The venue where the concert was held was sold on Sept 11 after 40 years of ownership. Such timing. If someone tries to ignore prior ownership, I smell a rat.
I like history. Not only are stories from the past fun to read about, they can also provide insight into current events. Consider, for example, the story of the Lavon Affair.
The Lavon Affair refers to a failed Israeli covert operation, code named Operation Susannah, conducted in Egypt in the Summer of 1954. As part of the false flag operation, a group of Egyptian Jews were recruited by Israeli military intelligence to plant bombs inside Egyptian, American and British-owned civilian targets, cinemas, libraries and American educational centers. The bombs were timed to detonate several hours after closing time. The attacks were to be blamed on the Muslim Brotherhood, Egyptian Communists, "unspecified malcontents" or "local nationalists" with the aim of creating a climate of sufficient violence and instability to induce the British government to retain its occupying troops in Egypt's Suez Canal zone. The operation caused no casualties, except for operative Philip Natanson, when a bomb he was taking to place in a movie theater ignited prematurely in his pocket; for two members of the cell who committed suicide after being captured; and for two operatives who were tried, convicted and executed by Egypt.
The operation ultimately became known as the Lavon Affair after the Israeli defense minister Pinhas Lavon was forced to resign as a consequence of the incident. Before Lavon's resignation, the incident had been euphemistically referred to in Israel as the "Unfortunate Affair" or "The Bad Business" (Hebrew: העסק הביש, HaEsek HaBish). After Israel publicly denied any involvement in the incident for 51 years, the surviving agents were officially honored in 2005 by being awarded certificates of appreciation by Israeli President Moshe Katzav.
Pick-up an AK-47, join a group of militants, enjoy instant respect, fear, and regularly reap bounty. Group is gunned down with billions of advanced military weaponry, making weapons stock holders happy.
Bored, a new group springs up when the next wave of desperate middle easternyouth pick-up an AK-47, join a group of like minded friends, enjoy instant respect, fear, and regularly reap bounty.
Stir, wash, rinse, repeat.
There is no..."only one ISIS". There is world wide credit card debt that results in each debtor paying DOUBLE for any purchase they make on a credit card if they cannot immediately pay down the credit care purchase. That world wide credit card debt derails humans from truly helping each other.
That 19 dollars a person sends to a non-profit of their choice every month actually costs them 38 dollars a month if they have ongoing credit card debt.
In the middle east It's just easier to pick up an AK-47 than try and create local economies when existing credit card debt doubles the cost of every credit card purchase made by a credit card debtor.
After Paris, Trump became more popular. Mainstream pundits are befuddled, but they ought not be. This paragraph tells us much...
“Trump makes up for his shortcomings with his force of personality,” said one Republican strategist in New Hampshire who did not want to be identified but is not working for any of Trump’s presidential rivals. “I don’t think that, on the global stage, you beat [Russian President Vladimir] Putin by offering up your own Putin, in terms of macho charisma. It’s far more involved than that.”
My god. What nonsense. Why the hell should anyone be thinking in terms of beating Putin at this stage of the game? Putin is not our enemy.
Putin did not attack innocents in Paris. ISIS did. Putin has been bombing the hell out of ISIS, while we have have spent more than year merely pretending to be against ISIS.
It's 2003 all over again: After a terror strike, the neocons think that they can transform our righteous anger into a war fever -- with America blundering into battle against someone who had no link to the terror event.
The thing is, a trick of that sort is harder to pull off the second time. In spite of a massive propaganda campaign, millions of Americans know that we are being hornswoggled. I wish I could say that a majority of America can see the truth, but most Americans are too busy thinking about the new Star Wars movie to pay attention to events in the Middle East. Nevertheless, a large number of people do understand that we are being lied to, just as we were lied to in the run up to the Iraq invasion.
Trump, like it or not, is the only candidate (Republican or Democrat) telling the truth -- hence, his bump in popularity after Paris. When he applauded Putin for attacking ISIS, did you hear a massive cry of outrage? No, you did not. Trump's logic was and is unassailable.
The enemy is not in Moscow or Damascus or Tehran. The enemy is ISIS. Russia, Iran, the Kurds, and (of course) the legitimate government of Syria are the ones who are doing actual battle against ISIS. If we want to defeat that foe, we have to befriend (at least temporarily) the enemies of our enemy.
If Syria were the only issue, I'd vote for Trump over Hillary. And you have no idea how difficult it is for me to say those words, because I have always disliked that vulgar plutocrat.
Empire only persists through the cunning use of a divide and conquer strategy, wherein local, national, and international constituencies are artificially divided along emotionally-driven fault lines in order that they can never coalesce to develop an understanding of who their true enemy is: the ruling class.
Putin and the Russian Federation are currently waging a war against the shadow armies of the empire and as such they both need to be vilified accordingly lest the domestic populations of the United States and Europe become aware of the duplicity and malevolence inherent to their political leaders.
The empire is currently in a bind because people are becoming aware of the fact that although we've been claiming ISIS is the true threat, we're also refusing to partner with the Russians to annihilate said threat. People - even some of the more stubborn - are wondering if the "war of terror" is just an elaborate psy-ops campaign designed to separate them from their money and freedoms.
Putin is playing chess while the empire is playing checkers at this point.
Joseph, please remember that Trump and Putin share an affinity because they're both neo-fascists.
Putin is maybe the only world leader Trump praises. Trump's bond with Putin is analogous to Berlusconi's well-known friendship with Putin. All three are postmodern autocrats [that's the term I'm gonna use until I can come up w a better one].
Like you, I scorn the demonization of Putin. But it's not because Putin is better than he's portrayed. He may actually be worse, as becomes evident when you start picking apart his association with men like Dugin. It's because the demonization is hypocritical, unsophisticated and so obviously in service of a vast ulterior agenda as diabolical as any emanating from the Kremlin. In the final analysis, Russia and America closely resemble each other - ever more closely all the time.
I urge you not to succumb to the sports fan's reflex of picking sides.
posted by Anonymous : 6:00 AM
Fascist? Go get yourself a dictionary.
With all that has been done by the last two presidents to bring about a police state...and all you do is is throw garbage at a populist, who for all his silly proposed laws, which have no chance of being enacted, Trump is the only guy with a ME policy that is NOT from the neocon* template, not completely insane, hence Putin's support.
BTW, I do not consider Putin's actions to be anything more than reasonable self-defense of country and assets. However, people who believe as you do WILL turn Russian into a dangerous foe, by shoving Russia into the awaiting arms of China. If anybody is an enemy of the United States, it's the people who have supported Clinton/Bush's/Obama's naked aggression toward the Russians.
I wish all these armchair warriors would study a world map and study some history, because their profound ignorance of both is killing this country.
Now that Trump has gone off the neocon reservation, the Republican establishment has fixed on Marco Rubio.
Rubio further differentiated himself from Trump and “America Firsters” in a Weekly Standard feature article inauspiciously titled, “The Republican Obama.” In an interview for the story, Rubio stakes out a decidedly neoconservative position on the increasingly failed state of Libya. According to Rubio, the bloody chaos is not a result of the vacuum created by intervention, but because President Obama failed to “help quickly bring the civil war to a decisive conclusion.”
In other words, Obama’s intervention did not go far enough.
In October, The Wall Street Journal detailed Rubio’s ever-hardening line on Putin which is, by subtle extension, an attack on Trump’s foreign policy bona fides. Rubio said, “We are barreling toward a second Cold War, and strong American leadership is the only force capable of ensuring that peace and security once again prevail,” and promised that “under my administration, there will be no pleading for meetings with Vladimir Putin. He will be treated as the gangster and thug that he is. And yes, I stand by that phrasing.”
Rubio's campaign slogan is "A new American Century." Sound familiar...?
Yes, Rubio has gone “Full-Neocon” and the echoes of grand designs past don’t stop with his blatant campaign slogan. On Nov. 5, Rubio gave a sweeping speech in New Hampshire outlining his defense policies that could, according to an expert at the Cato Institute, add upwards of $1 trillion dollars on top of current budget projections over the next decade.
It was that extra trillion dollars that GOP hopeful Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, attacked as “not conservative” in the FOX Business Debate. Rubio responded predictably by labeling Paul as an “isolationist.”
But Sen. Paul highlighted the key difference between the Tea Party and Rubio, who is not a real conservative in the fiscal sense. Rather, Rubio is a neoconservative armed with global aspirations and a staggering military-industrial wish-list to boot.
Basically, Rubio wants us to believe that the Department of Defense needs a massive build-up. It seems that our poor, under-funded military still uses bi-planes and muskets and muzzle-loading cannons.
The afore-linked article details the shadowy network of PACs pushing the Gospel According to St. Marco. Much of the big, big money is now going to Rubio -- Sheldon Adelson money, Paul Singer money, Norman Braman money. Neocon billionaires hope to buy the election.
This is Marco’s moment. Like the neoconservative brand he has franchised, Rubio has been waiting for the catalyzing event he can leverage into to transformative program to “rebuild” the world’s largest military and extend its already global-spanning reach.
That would be Paris. And if Paris doesn't do the job, something worse may happen.
On a personal level, Rubio is the most robotic candidate I've ever seen. He's about as real as Pinocchio was before the Blue Fairy showed up. Puppet pols of this sort always remind me of the old Mossad motto (which we learned about from Victor Ostrovsky): "An honest politician is one who, when bought, stays bought."
A large portion of the Republican electorate sees Rubio the same way I do. I'm talking about the libertarian faction and the "old school" conservatives. The argot they use may differ from yours and mine, but -- bottom line -- they don't much care for the neocons and their marionettes.
Alas, what alternative will they have in the general election?
Right now, Hillary leads Rubio in a head-to-head matchup, at least according to one poll. Interestingly, the same poll gives Bernie Sanders an even larger lead.
Obviously, I consider Hillary Clinton preferable to Rubio. I don't think she wants war; like Obama, she will head down the "neocon lite" path, using every trick short of war. And she will not engage in massive deficit spending to increase our already-bloated military. That's important, and don't pretend otherwise.
But the choice between Rubio and Clinton will be bitter. Either way, we're going to get burned: It's just a question of how much of your skin is going to get melted off.
The people hunger for a real alternative to the neo-consensus. Maybe Jim Webb really will run as an independent? And maybe he'll take Trump's lesson in the virtues of blunt talk?
By the way: Shortly after the 2012 election, I wrote this:
My prediction: 2016 will come down to a battle between Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio. In that match-up, Rubio has the advantage.
That old piece offers other predictions, most of which turned out to be hilariously wrong. Don't read those parts, okay?
While it's rare for me to agree with you, I wish Jim Webb well, however, in the USA,both parties [D] & [R] are resolutely united...THERE SHALL BE NO 3R PARTY. As such, Jim Webb doesn't have a prayer of getting on the ballot...and if that were not enough, he's facing a complete blacklisting by the media who refused to even mention that he was running when talking about the Democratic slate.
That is sad, Jim Webb is without a doubt the most qualified, the man who has unerringly called shots and had the balls drop as predicted...the man who has unflinchingly stood by his nation through thick and thin. Those qualities, which the gods reserve for history's most tragic heroes are Jim's in spades, but they are also the qualities most despised by the ruling elites and their sycophantic minions.
My Call; Hillary vs Trump...with the proviso that Trump isn't assassinated by those who prefer puppets without any populist notions.
posted by S Brennan : 7:15 PM
Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump. Massive, Massive voter turnout and in a never before seen twist, voters are in tears over who to vote for because they love both candidates so much.
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the presumed mastermind of the Paris attacks, may have been killed in a shootout. This report says that two were killed in a raid in Saint Denis and seven arrested; the report does not state that Abaaoud was among those killed.
Some have been wondering whether Abaaoud had "friends" within the intelligence agencies of the west. Justin Raimondo examines the initial evidence here. I'm not persuaded, but neither am I dismissive.
To begin with, the alleged mastermind, 28-year-old Belgium-born Abdel Hamid Abaaoud, seems to have led a charmed life. A high-profile jihadi, commander of the Islamic State forces at Deir-al-Zor, and their major European recruiter, he has been involved in several terrorist operations in Europe, including the incident on a train bound for Paris foiled by three Americans, as well as an attack on a church in a Parisian suburb, both earlier this year. He is the star of several Islamic State videos, including one that shows him dragging corpses tied to the back of a truck. He even did an interview with Dabiq, the official Islamic State magazine, in which Abaaoud boasted that he returned to Belgium right under the noses of the authorities...
The origins of Dabiq are murky, but that's a topic for another time. Right now, the important thing to note is that Abaaoud seems to have gotten out of one close shave after another.
“After the raid on the safe house,” he told Dabiq, “they figured out that I had been with the brothers and that we had been planning operations together. So they gathered intelligence agents from all over the world – from Europe and America – in order to detain me. I was able to leave and come to Syria despite being chased after by so many intelligence agencies. All this proves that a Muslim should not fear the bloated image of the crusader intelligence.”
Incompetence on the part of the “crusaders”– or does Abaaoud have a guardian angel sitting on his shoulder?
The failure to nab Abaaoud in Greece, in spire of the tremendous resources utilized to that end, is something of a mystery. As the Guardian reported:
“Asked if the suspected leader remained on the run after two people were arrested in Athens on Saturday in connection with the Belgian investigation, Koen Geens, the justice minister, told VRT television: ‘That is indeed the case. Last night’s arrests did not succeed in nabbing the right person. We are still actively looking for him and I presume we will succeed,’ he added.”
Or, as Abaaoud put it to Dabiq:
“Allah blinded their vision... My name and picture were all over the news yet I was able to stay in their homeland, plan operations against them, and leave safely when doing so became necessary.”
Like many of the jihadists who have carried out attacks in Europe, including the brothers who attacked the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January, Mr. Abaaoud showed far more interest in thievery and drugs when he was a young man than in Islam, particularly the highly disciplined, self-sacrificing Salafi strain favored by many militants.
Nor was his family impoverished. His father, Omar, owned a clothing store off the market square in Molenbeek, a borough of Brussels, and the family lived nearby in a spacious if shabby corner home on Rue de l’Avenir — Future Street — near the local police station.
Despite his subsequent denunciations of the mistreatment suffered by Muslims in Europe, he enjoyed privileges available to few immigrants, including admission to an exclusive Catholic school, Collège Saint-Pierre d’Uccle, in an upscale residential district of Brussels.
He was given a place as a first-year student in the secondary school but stayed only one year. An assistant to Saint-Pierre’s director, who declined to give her name, said he had apparently flunked out. Others say he was dismissed for poor behavior.
He then drifted into a group of friends in Molenbeek who engaged in various petty crimes. Among his friends were Ibrahim and Salah Abdeslam, two brothers who, like Mr. Abaaoud, lived just a few blocks away and are now at the center of the investigation into the Paris attacks.
The man was a complete ne'er-do-well and a drug thug. Did he really "get religion"?
By the way: If you want to read an intriguing account of how the CIA infiltrates the jihad underground, see this story from 2014, which touches on the lingering al-Awlaki mystery. The piece, which came to my attention only just now, may offer some additional insights into the Abaaoud affair.
The reason why. Nothing done by the Parisian terrorists benefited ISIS or Al Qaeda, so why did they commit a seemingly senseless act? Even if you posit a conspiracy theory of the Paris incident -- and right now, I'm at least semi-open to such ideas -- you still have to consider the fact that those men were willing to die for their cause. Someone told them: "If you do this, X will happen."
Solve for X. That's our puzzle for today.
So far, the only argument I've seen that makes any sense is presented here. Basically, the argument comes to this: The jihadists intend to create an anti-Muslim backlash in western societies, because alienated young Muslims are more likely to join the jihadist forces.
Altogether, these findings suggest "terror groups may try to provoke a backlash against their own ethnic or religious group in the targeted country, in order to halt the assimilation of Muslim adherents into Western society," the researchers conclude.
Indeed, from ISIS's point of view, that's an intelligent long-term strategy, as fully Westernized Muslims are likely to be far less responsive to their abhorrent ideology.
If this is true -- and I am persuaded that it is -- then the Republican response to Paris has aided ISIS immensely.
John Kasich, a man for whom I once had some respect, has argued for a government agency designed to promote "Judeo-Christian values" in the Middle East and elsewhere. This lunatic proposal, which would have horrified this country's founders, will convert exactly no-one while pressing all sorts of paranoia buttons throughout the world: "Hi, I'm Uncle Sam. I'm here to entice your kids away from your religion."
Is ISIS paying Kasich? Probably not, although the investment would be shrewd.
Airstrikes. As one might have predicted, the French are sending warplanes into Raqqa, the ISIS city-state -- but they aren't doing much harm to ISIS. Compared to the Russian strikes, which have inflicted serious damage, the French sorties appear to be mostly for show.
Nothing done by "the west" has actually hurt ISIS in Syria.
"John Kasich, a man for whom I once had some respect, has argued for a government agency designed to promote "Judeo-Christian values" in the Middle East and elsewhere. This lunatic proposal, which would have horrified this country's founders, will convert exactly no-one while pressing all sorts of paranoia buttons throughout the world: "Hi, I'm Uncle Sam. I'm here to entice your kids away from your religion."
Amen and Amen! When I saw this, I nearly fell outta my chair! We are not a Christian Theocracy, we are a constitutional Republic. This smacks of a First Amendment violation up the yang yang...
The "west" isn't going to hurt ISIS because ISIS is just another proxy army whose mission - for the time being - is to destabilize Syria so that the government can be toppled and replaced with yet another puppet of the west.
The attacks in Paris achieve several goals as far as I can tell:
1) They ingrain in the French public's mind that refugees from Syria are terrorists who should be feared and ostracized from society. 2) They provide a justification for the passage of France's version of the USA Patriot Act. 3) They increase the likelihood that a right-wing authoritarian government will rise to power. 4) They provide a pretext for French military involvement in Syria under the aegis of fighting terror, when they'll really be about smashing Syrian infrastructure and supporting the same terrorists who allegedly attacked Paris.
Have you ever seen the movie "Clean Skin" on Netflix? It does a surprisingly good job of painting an admittedly fictional portrait of how the state actually uses terrorism and terrorist patsies to accomplish its goals, all the while keeping the vast majority of both the public and the law enforcement community tasked with preventing terrorism none the wiser. I highly recommend this as a sort of introductory level course in imagining the level of sophistication, smoke screening, and subterfuge necessary to maintain the charade that is the War on (of, really) Terror.
As for those who died in this Paris operation, I would imagine that any who did sacrifice their lives were possibly true believers who were recruited by Abdelhamid Abaaoud or some other agent of the state. Notice the professional shooters in these attacks did not wear explosive vests; they all escaped. And while the media is attempting to tell us that those killed in the shoot-out this morning were the shooters who got away, we really have no way of knowing that. Regardless, dead men (and women) tell no tales and loose ends represent a very real threat to these operations, I would imagine.
I can't claim to understand how the deep state military protects its operations, but the spate of terrorist attacks to which society has been subjected in my lifetime all seem to smack of state involvement upon closer inspection, and this Paris situation is no different in that regard. Cui bono, Joseph.
"Nothing done by the Parisian terrorists benefited ISIS or Al Qaeda..." Perhaps these people were true believers, radical Salafists of the sort that are being created all over the world in Saudi-funded madrassahs and mosques. As such, they would certainly be aware, as some westerners believe, that ISIS and Al Qaeda are both creations of western intelligence services. Your synopsis above of the link marked "here" makes sense: if the terrorists were true Takfiris, then it is God's will that they kill not only Christians, Jews, and other assorted infidels, but also Muslims who are not adherents of their particular Saudi-originated sect, and radicalizing other Muslims in the process is a good thing.
Re French military inefficiency: according to Global Research (credible source?), the first French bombing attack on Raqqa damaged "a sports stadium, museum, an equestrian center and several administration buildings." The French attacks in Syria are also against international law, just like their attacks in Libya and those of the US in both places.
posted by Makarov : 1:15 PM
It could just be as simple as Columbine, a bunch of young men who are losers, finding a convenient excuse to kill people. For such people, the Saudi's Wahhabism is a flame to these soulless moths.
Now what it gets used for is something else entirely....
But...I think Putin put the west back into "check" by embracing France as tightly as any boa-constrictor, so as to prevent them from becoming a canard by which the west could stir the their dying embers back to life in Syria.
posted by S Brennan : 4:02 PM
James, so what you're saying is this: As the terrorists took bullets from the Parisian cops, as they lay dying in the street with their life's blood draining away, the last thoughts in their minds were: "At least I died to justify a French version of the USA Patriot Act."
Regardless of whether they were shot by police or blew themselves up, any of these terrorists who actually died during this attack would have needed to believe they were fighting for their cause, hence the term "true believers". I'm saying that whoever planned and carried out this attack - including providing logistics, weapons, getaway routes, fake IDs, official cover, etc. - understood why they were doing it, which is what I explained in my response.
How you managed to interpret what I wrote to mean what you replied is beyond me.
One person run into one of the terrorists at a public toilet near the stadium, short time before he blew himself off. The person observed, that the man was sweating heavily and grasping at the sink, like feeling very sick. Second, in one of the appartements searched in Paris they found seringas and other stuff, which they don't know if it was used for drugging or for bomb-making.
posted by -> : 7:09 PM
So how do we really know that Russia and Putin are telling the truth when they say they are bombing ISIS? Are there any independent reports outside of Russian sources? Western sources saying exactly opposite. I find neither side trustworthy. Is Putin knows something about who is funding ISIS then why doesn't he just say it and let the world know? He is apparently playing games too.
posted by Anonymous : 3:54 AM
Perhaps Abdelhamid Abaaoud is simply the latest Lee Harvey Oswald.
Also, Thierry Meyssan spins a fascinating web: http://www.voltairenet.org/article189300.html
posted by Anonymous : 5:15 AM
Please have a look at the glossy magazine supposedly published by Isis (Daesh) in English. You can get it online here, distributed by the pro-Israeli Clarion Project. They're the guys who made the "Third Jihad" film and you can guess what memes they push.
Said Islamic eschatology also features the second coming of Jesus.
The zine reminds me very much of Inspire, which is supposedly put out by Al Qaeda but which the Iranian government opines is actually produced by the CIA.
You know those photos that occasionally make the big western media, said to derive from unknown sources (so why publish them?), showing Arab toddlers wearing suicide belts, which they are said (also by unspecified sources) to have been encouraged to wear as part of the festivities at an Arab wedding?
How many nanoseconds of clear thought does it take to realise that no-one anywhere in the world, in any culture, ever does anything like that?
Don't forget that last month France was mooting at the UN Security Council the (Palestinian) idea that UN soldiers should help guard the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount) in al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Now look what's happened.
D'you think they're still going to espouse such an idea?
The Norwegian Labour Party's foreign affairs guy spoke at Utoya in Norway about the divestment of Norwegian state money from Israel. Then what happened? Anders Breivik went there and murdered most of the next generation of Norwegian Labour Party leaders, that's what.
Do you think the divestment's going to happen now?
Lest anyone think Norwegian divestment would be insigificant, please be aware that the Norwegian oil funds are some of the biggest sovereign investment funds in the world, easily comparable to the Saudi one.
Then think some about BDS (boycott divestment sanctions) and the idea of "red lines".
Then recall Victor Ostrovksy's info about the Zionist terror network in western countries.
Was the choice of a "death metal" concert someone's idea of a sick joke? It actually may have been. There are some fucking sick memes being pushed at a high level at the moment. Game of Thrones fans have got themselves a real-life 'red wedding'.
OK fellow free-thinkers who don't jump to attention to believe The Man, let's get going.
Let's not get bogged down by details of what the fucking French authorities say they found, whether syringes or a Koran or a picture of the Eiffel Tower with a missile drawn on it.
posted by b : 8:07 AM
@James - Daesh's reach already extends much further than Syria.
posted by b : 8:12 AM
@Makarov - "The French attacks in Syria are also against international law".
They would say they are in self-defence, which is legal under the UN Charter.
This is just FYI. I'm not saying they are justified.
The Russian action in Syria is certainly legal, being at the request of the Syrian government.
posted by b : 8:25 AM
Which countries ISIS-supporters are tweeting from ? Nice graph -> http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/11-overflow/20151116_isis_0.jpg