October Café Babylon Moar War and War Propaganda Report

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GIs guarding poppy fileds

(The September War and Peace Report is here.)

‘Afghanistan; It’s the Heroin, Stupid’, Pepe Escobar, 9/29/2016, strategic-culture.org

He begins with the recent Pentagon Precision Strike™ in Nangarhar province in which 13 civilians became bug splat, then on to the «Butcher of Kabul» Gulbuddin Hekmatyar (having been recently pardoned by Ahraf Ghani, now amassing power in Afghanistan.  Pepe had been trying to track him down as far back as 2002.

He doesn’t name the intel source, but quotes him/her in part:

“It gets much juicier when the operative details what few have had the courage to spell out; the CIA’s real agenda in Afghanistan:

«The CIA used the heroin proceeds for external operations and so their revenue had been cut off when the Taliban were in power. This way they could always circumvent the US Congress. Heroin; that is why we are still there. Terrorism is engineered through Operation Gladios as this is being used to justify these interventions. Most Western intel agencies are connected to this trade. 93 % of the world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan. After the US invasion heroin growing was immediately restarted. The military convoys from the Pakistan ports to Afghanistan carried back as backhaul the heroin for world distribution. The Taliban and Osama had absolutely nothing to do with 9-11».

The US-NATO combo has just pledged «to help fund Afghan security forces to the tune of around $1 billion annually over the next three years». Few will be aware that offers splendorous extra incentive to CIA-run heroin traders plying their wares across the EU.

Hekmatyar by the way was never connected to the heroin trade.”

Bonus: Escobar’s primer on the Non-Aligned Movement (NOM), 9/22/2016

Don’t give me a pop quiz,if you please; I haven’t read it yet.  ;-)

Holy Imperial Propaganda, Batman!  ‘Worse Than a Slaughterhouse: 250,000 Trapped in East Aleppo Amid Devastating Bombing Campaign’, September 29, 2016, Democracy Now!

Full-blown anti-Assadist, anti-Russian

(the transcript)

We’ve seen it before, haven’t we, but they done got the goods!  From the BureauInvestigates.com: ‘Pentagon Paid for Fake ‘Al Qaeda’ Videos’; A controversial foreign PR firm known for representing unsavory characters was paid millions by the Pentagon to create fake terrorist videos.

The Pentagon gave a controversial UK PR firm over half a billion dollars to run a top secret propaganda program in Iraq, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism can reveal.
false-flags

Bell Pottinger’s output included short TV segments made in the style of Arabic news networks and fake insurgent videos which could be used to track the people who watched them, according to a former employee.

The agency’s staff worked alongside high-ranking U.S. military officers in their Baghdad Camp Victory headquarters as the insurgency raged outside.

Bell Pottinger’s former chairman Lord Tim Bell confirmed to the Sunday Times, which has worked with the Bureau on this story, that his firm had worked on a “covert” military operation “covered by various secrecy documents.”

Bell Pottinger reported to the Pentagon, the CIA and the National Security Council on its work in Iraq, he said.”

Read the rest at the Daily Beast; the Times publication is behind a paywall, at least for me.

You’ll no doubt remember the UK Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s ‘Name the Dead (assassinated by drones) project.

‘John Helmer: Four MH17 Questions – The Answers to Which Prove the Dutch Police, Ukrainian Secret Service, and US Government Are Faking the Evidence of the MH17 Shootdown’Naked Capitalism September 30, Naked Capitalism

An exhaustive investigation by Helmer; whooosh.

A polemical version of a recording obtained by the NYT in which John Kerry is speaking to Syrians behind closed doors at the UN: ‘Diplomatic Frauds: Kerry, Power, Kirby Lying and Shilling for ‘Body Bags’ and War in Syria’, twentyfirstcenturywire.com

‘BAE to begin work on UK’s multi-billion pound nuclear fleet’, via RT, 1 Oct, 2016 16:55

And last, the Pontiff’s war on LGBT (as if people ‘choose’ their genders, or educating kids about gender-beyond-binary is evil), and Pfffft:

Okay, one more for the comic relief of it:

43 responses to “October Café Babylon Moar War and War Propaganda Report

  1. Yes on Pepe’s piece about (1) Hekmatyar and (2) CIA drug running to avoid Congressional limits on finances.

    Aleppo is a theater of war and is also a major city. The object of Russia and Syria is to eliminate Daesh and the rebel forces, particularly Nusra. The US is diplomatically trapped between its traditional allies (Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia) and its allies of convenience (Iraq, Syria, various Kurds factions, Iran, and Russia) in eliminating Daesh. That makes US policy oscillating and contradictory and Kerry having to put a happy face on it. My reading of his text is that he was in the past (like at the time of the “red line in the sand on chemical weapons”) proposing regime change but now is working on negotiations. Given the domestic political whipsawing going on in Congress and with the election, Kerry really does not understand except moment to moment what sort of authority to reach a negotiated settlement he has. US interests are to restabilize the regime, eliminate ISIS and seek to win accommodations with the Syrian government with US traditional allies (if US domestic politics permits alignment with Syria and Russia). And then there is the matter of the Tartus base that Russia has in Syria. That is a huge problem for Kerry personally because no matter where he personally stands in his recommendations, the neocons have heartburn over that base and Sebastapol, wanting to deprive Russia of both of them.

    Still expecting Aleppo to grind onward and Syria and Russia to eventually solidify control of East Aleppo. Also expecting the beginning of the siege of Mosul within the next few weeks. As for Power and Kirby, they likely represent two different factions of what is a divided administration on how to move forward in Syria. Kerry is the one most comfortable with a diplomatic settlement.

    So the UK still has the “great power” delusion. If Europe fragments, that might look like wisdom, but if Europe fragments a lot of the archtecture of continental peace from post-World War II goes down the drain. People are underestimating the adverse consequences of that. And the nationalist resurgence as a result of austerity aids in taking European peace for granted.

    RT is trolling again calling forth new “Putin is trying to rig our elections” trolling by the Clinton campaign. In fact, Clinton was trying her best to be sympathetic but stumbled over “better loan terms” instead of a student debt jubilee and public financing of higher education. But Greens are having fun trolling Hillocrats with “basement dwellers”. As long as it keeps the pressure on on student loans and is humorous it is a welcome relief from the rumblings of a racist refusal to accept election results. This Southerner does not welcome a re-enactment of the elections of 1875 and 1876. Those were essentially 1% (planter-class) coups.

    • so iran/contra, post-viet nam air-shipping drugs, isn’t it? wasn’t there a name for that overall op? but i reckon there’s plenty of heroin money siphoned off the top, and there’s a hella lot of incentive to keep the war funding going far past ‘the next three years’. how many contract mercenary forces are being funded secretly, i wonder.

      i expect you may be right about kerry now, but if so, ‘oscillating’ is a good term, as at least according to headlines, he does seem to change his mind. and a lot of it depends on how much US money and arms are being funneled to the various opposition forces.

      i think i’d read that aleppo is the largest city in syria; thanks for your take on the aims of russia and syria. aleppo seems to be ground zero for monumentally opposing ‘good guys v. bad guys’ narratives (i’ve been reading up on the white helmets a bit given the immense fray.)

      yeppers on reconstituting the british navy, but then the tridents won the vote, shockingly i’d thunk at the time. but austerity *and* refugees are driving the nationalists’ surge, no?

      lotta media carried the ‘basement dwellers’ story, and my guess is that the bernistas would be pissed as all giddy-up about it, yanno: since the bern is out there campaignin’ w/ her?

      does kirby have a position as spox? i dunno, but sammie sure seems to, as does miz clinton….

      on edit: explain this, please, mr. encyclopedic historian? i wiki-ed, it seemed too much to follow, save for pre-17th amendment: “This Southerner does not welcome a re-enactment of the elections of 1875 and 1876. Those were essentially 1% (planter-class) coups.”

      • On 1875 and 1876, see Stephen Budiansky, The Bloody Shirt: Terror after Appomattox
        In 1875, vigilantes took over the governments of Mississippi and Louisiana and tried to take over the government of South Carolina. President Grant was unwilling to send in troops for a new Civil War and allowed the coups to stand. In 1876, terrorism marked the campaign and election day in all of the former Confederate states. In South Carolina, a Red Shirt campaign led with a wink-wink nod-nod distance by former Confederate General Wade Hampton succeeded in electing Hampton governor through voter intimidation and precinct level corruption. Voter intimidation consisted of Red Shirts conducting night rides through the countryside and assasinating or threatening black elected officials and Republic Party leaders.

        • that’s four orders of magnitude past: state legislators electing congress critters. thank you for the super-cliffs notes version.

          and you see a potential parallel due to: “the rumblings of a racist refusal to accept election results”. this is by trumpeters? will the election results be ‘real’; i can’t say. would one side jimmy the diebold machines more than t
          other? or will R voter disenfranchisement rule in some states? i do wish i cared more post: gore gave it up.

  2. just in time for this:
    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2016/10/03/pers-o03.html
    as that big book says: the way of peace they have not known. just feel the gloating.

    • blink, blink. looks like the army is wanting as much as the navy’s gotten, or (cough) begging for, doesn’t it. but how kind of them to have set the table for the ‘always and forever’ enemies of the hegemon:

      “But, as the document cautions, “The Army cannot focus solely on these types of conflicts.” It must prepare for what “we’ve called ‘the next big war’—involving very capable adversaries, high levels of death and destruction, and perhaps hundreds of thousands of US troops.”
      The Atlantic Council roots the likelihood of such a war in what it calls “Russia’s resurgence,” which requires NATO to “seriously prepare for the possibility of a Russian attack on one or more of its members for the first time since the end of the Cold War.” China, likewise, has “become increasingly aggressive.”…

      as well, Contingency plans for war on the Citizenry !!! er…was that from the Big Blue Book? j/k/ but my guess is that the trotskyites must have read all 54 pages, or indeed divvied them among themselves. they may be correct that the deep state and military will carry on by themselves no matter who’s elected (a putsch?). thanks, knowing what’s being done in think tanks is better than…not knowing.

      boots on the ground? only in the US, one might think. isn’t air power and off-shore power the way wars are fought now? except for CIA and special ops to ‘keep the peace’…ooops, i mean: foment insurrections on the ground?

      on edit: i hope you can make the time to read the cordeliers storify on clooney i left you on the Sept. report.

      • argh. i caught a few minutes of trump’s speech largely about “cyber security” on fuchs newz. “general somebody or other said in 2003 we will need 300k troops to occupy iraq. when i’m president, we’ll get them.” “i will prosecute every whistleblower to the full extent of the law.” hard to outdo HRC for fellating the military/etc., but he’s doing a bang up job trying.

        i read the clooney thing when you posted it!

        • ha! didn’t he also say he’d go into iraq and take all the oil as repayment, or some such? ‘repayment for what’ might be the question, as well as it being an international crime… but yes, again i saw a headline that X number of generals had signed onto his campaign. i’m to the point where it’s hard to care who wins; no matter, we’ll lose, the Rabble, that is.

          but hey: former panther angela davis says ‘vote clinton, cuz trump’. what if celebrities stopped doing that? i say, how ’bout voting for ajamu baraka?

          on edit: speak of the devil; i’ll wait for the transcript, i think: ‘Ajamu Baraka explains how his party would approach foreign policy on Israel, Palestine, Syria, and Saudi Arabia’, at trnn

          glad you read it; i was blown away.

  3. more anti-russian, anti-assad reporting. it seems to be true that those who care at all are quite divided over ‘who’s to blame’ for syria:

    i’d seen the above in the Twitterverse, and what had caught my eye was the bit about ‘civil defense…has received funding from USAID…has become the subject of lurid conspiracy theories’. i know, i know, but i’d seen it as USAID having become the subject of conspiracy theories, i guess because so few seem to get that USAID is largely CIA. so, i clicked in, and found murtaza hussein advancing, i’d say, the case for the white helmets being what the West wants them to be.

    an interview with raed al-salel, white helmets for the nobel peace prize, Netflix movie, syrian civil defense, all of that. plus garnering russian syrian G attention: more bombings of their positions, yada, yada.

    now i will say that it’s become a major food fight at TI (350+ comments), but lots of the earliest comments were on the order of “fuck this shit propagandizing!” lots of folks provided links to deconstructing who the white helmets are, funded by whom, and i read a hella lot of them, plus digging up one i vaguely remembered that b at MOA ha written. oh, and quite a few peeps offered lists of subjects that Omidyar’s reporters don’t cover, which was telling, imo.

    this may have had the full round-up of beeley’s investigations, videos, and corroboration by mark toner at state (iirc), but included this, although the footnotes references a book, so…no easy source.

    White Helmets NGO: A “Rescue and Assist” Operation under Guise of Human Rightsintl reporter

    ““White Helmets was founded by James Le Mesurier, an admitted former British army officer and mercenary with the Olive Group, a private contracting organization that is now merged with Blackwater-Academi into Constellis Holdings.[1] Although White Helmets half-heartedly attempts to hide its source of funding, the organization is linked to George Soros through a PR firm named Purpose Inc., a pro-war firm that argues for Western intervention against Assad. The co-founder of Purpose is Jeremy Heimans, who also helped found Avaaz, a “pro-democracy” group connected to Soros’ Open Society Foundation, SEIU, and MoveOn.org.”

    and pepe, of course: ‘Syria: Ultimate Pipelineistan War

    opinions? so like amy goodman’s ‘aleppo’.

  4. Poor comprador-devils always pleading for sympathy while boasting their practicality.

    • were you commenting on the ‘white helmets’ story at TI, or just in general. if the former, they are in the way of lionizing themselves for er…total psyop domination? this will make you laugh, though. the tankies on twitter are hell on Imperialist switches, juan cole and r2p libya, for one.. ben norton may not have switched; it’s unclear.

      now b, whom they usually reTweet, rec’d this: ‘Inside the Shadowy PR Firm That’s Lobbying for Regime Change in Syria’, By Max Blumenthal, AlterNet, October 3, 2016

      then along came a spider who sat down beside him; they also note that rhania khalek is scrubbing her earlier regime change stuff, and is now onboard with No NATO, or free-fly zones…

      • I had particulars, first of all Adam Hoschild’s acquiescence to War over Revolution per the WS editorial:

        Having affirmed that a social revolution was taking place, [Hoschild] also presents it as doomed to fail and standing in the way of a successful prosecution of the war against Franco. This is the other plank of the “Authorized Version” about the Spanish Civil War propagated at the time, and passed on as common sense down to today.
        Hochschild simply and superficially reproduces it in his book without having to strain himself too much. He defends Stalinist “centralization” and the suppression of the popular militias, remarks on the unworkable character of the socialistic economic measures spontaneously implemented by workers and peasants in Republican-controlled areas, and dismisses the notion that the working class is “the world’s key revolutionary force” as “wildly wishful thinking.

        Also the doomsayer Homer-Dixon (HA HA HA, watta name) serves as exemplar, peddling his povertous neoliiberal consummation in this debate

        That wonky murk Tarheel exposits rhymes as well.

        US interests are to restabilize the regime, eliminate ISIS and seek to win accommodations with the Syrian government with US traditional allies

        HA HA HA. I guess it took Putin to teach the US where its real interests lie. HA HA HA. Barf.

        Yeah, that Arab compradork, Hussain.

        “They are targeting us because we have become a critical source of information about what is happening in Aleppo. We document the attacks against civilian neighborhoods, and we pass the messages from the ground to the world.”

        Hey, shithead, you provided info that the double-tappers are killing your own perps and you don’t seem concerned there’s been no Amurkan policy revision. HA HA HA HA. I guess Amurkans can be counted on only to rile up!
        He goes on to claim his White Helmets are the only ones to call on for support in Aleppo … this is a fraud as Syrian aid still functions in West Aleppo which gets terrorist-bombed, probably by his Helmets too.

        I scanned that Blumenthal essay and it doesn’t strike me that that equivocation “the mere existence of Western meddling does not automatically make Assad a subaltern anti-imperial hero” makes him a cheerleader for regime change. The anti-anti-war left has a deeper hypocrisy – they are willing to confuse a revolution of masses with a color revolution because, like Hoschild, they really don’t believe in one anyway.

        • interesting parallel you’re drawing; i wish i knew the relevant history enough to appreciate it. ;-)

          are you objecting to THD’s analysis, or just the wonkiness of it. i reckon he just needs the same amount of daily tequila to take ya on a magic carpet ride like pepe. but please be polite to other guests, including…yanno, me.

          yep, hussain channels al-saleh pretty durned well, doesn’t he? phil greaves gripe on that particular essay was “Blumenthal mitigates NATO’s ‘white helmets’, calls em “local groups”; also claims that they’re not tied to AQ or al nusra (it seems they are, no?). Myth-making under guise of criticism”, much as the schlock you note below.

          but a couple of new entries:

          and hussain’s link to deplorable conspiracy theories had gone to a sputnik page with a couple lines of cyrillic; i think this the one.

          • C’mon. Wonk and wonky are entwined. Specifically, Tarheel talks as if he knows US interests while the securers of the national interest are confused about them.

            Damn, how did those revolting neocon hegemonsters bewitch all naive Amurkan protektors, Tarheel? Good think you’re shepherding them back to the meadows of enlightenment.

            HA HA HA HA HA.

          • Uhhh. “phil greaves gripe on that particular essay was “Blumenthal mitigates NATO’s ‘white helmets’” … but the essay preceded the Helmets, comrade. Couldn’t find the quote, so don’t know what’s whacked.

            Seems the vindicated are now preparing the guillotines for their tormentors.

            • greaves was talking about maxie’s essay on the white helmets/civil defense from today; i’d named it up yonder, but hadn’t but the link in. and i just read the comments at TI, and apparently rania’s recent conversion really amounted to ‘the left is split on intervention in syria’, according to a couple folks. but yep; the intercept itsownself is takin’ a drubbin’, and about time. ryan deveraux’ piece on syria was about the same as hussain’s, iirc.

            • b looked more closely at blumentha’s new essay (would-be exposé), given some assists on twitter, perhaps? and GG/hussain, yes, a bit of a squabble if ya pop open GG’s in a new window. good.

      • The thousands of Syrians that signed up with the UN or humanitarian organizations are civilians,” they continued. “They not only joined to get a salary but in hopes of doing something good for other Syrians. This campaign [by The Syria Campaign] is humiliating all of them, labelling them as supporters of one side and making them lose hope in becoming agents of positive change in their own society.

        Awwwwh, poor comprador NGOists. Who’d a thunk crapitalist philanderpists (or counter-intelligence agencies) would have ulterior motives? Who’s the unpragmatist now?

        HA HA HA HA HA.

      • What exactly did Rania scrub? (Walk this way, Rania.) She’s under attack by pseudo-anti-anti-war mongers so I wouldn’t be surprised that the accusation of hypocrisy is more profiteer hysteria.

        • she’d scrubbed tweets. it’s been a whole Twitterfest for a few weeks. ‘no fly zone’, insurgents were involved in a color revolution, as i remember it. but: she’s on board now at the intercept w/ no regime change…or close. the tankies have no profit motive, as far as i can tell. explain what “pseudo-anti-anti-war mongers might be?

  5. Boo!

  6. ‘Propaganda Techniques of Empire’, by James Petras / October 2nd, 2016

    in the past i haven’t cared much for petras, but this is pretty good w/ scanning. i like the ‘Entertainment Spectacles on Military Platforms’ especially well, given clooney, bono, beatty, et.al. bringing not only AEI [on edit: council on foreign relations] neoconism, but war by other means as well.

    “Much admired, multi-millionaire musicians and entertainers of all races and orientations, present war to the masses with a humanitarian facade. The entertainers smiling faces serve genocide just as powerfully as the President’s benign and friendly face accompanies his embrace of militarism. The propagandist message for the spectator is that ‘your favorite team or singer is there just for you… because our noble wars and valiant warriors have made you free and now they want you to be entertained.’

    The old style of blatant bellicose appeals to the public is obsolete: the new propaganda conflates entertainment with militarism, allowing the ruling elite to secure tacit support for its wars without disturbing the spectators’ experience.”

    one of jason’s fortés is military and spy psyops in film, by the by.

    • present war to the masses with a humanitarian facade.

      Crapitalism sells it’s final product the way it knows how, by spectacle.

  7. conflate[…] entertainment with militarism, allowing the ruling elite to secure tacit support for its wars

    ANNNND to keep the compradors united, comrade.

    I’ve paid my dues
    Time after time.
    I’ve done my sentence
    But committed no crime.
    And bad mistakes ‒
    I’ve made a few.
    I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face
    But I’ve come through.

    (And I need just go on and on, and on, and on)

    We are the champions, my friends,
    And we’ll keep on fighting ’til the end.
    We are the champions.
    We are the champions.
    No time for losers
    ‘Cause we are the champions of the world.

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. Maybe he snorting some Tony Montana snow at the time.

  8. Damn, how did those revolting neocon hegemonsters bewitch all naive Amurkan protektors, Tarheel?

    Glad to know that the hegemonsters are so all powerful that there is no alternative. Conflation of private interest with national interest is my guess. You are talking about the folks who are always making money off of being Amurkan protektors, aren’t you, and not just senile poor schlubs like me? I see what I see and write my opinion in as sufficient detail as I can muster; it is a weird hobby, isn’t it. But I don’t have much longer on this for the moment green earth. Would like some degree of sanity around before I kick off; I’ve lived in no other world than one of nuclear madness.

    i reckon he just needs the same amount of daily tequila to take ya on a magic carpet ride like pepe

    I’ve got a new penny jar. A step up from Tecata.

    • cerveza? can i toss a few pennies in for moar tequila? or mezcal? i reckon pepe eats the worm…

    • “in as sufficient detail as I can muster” qualifies it as weird, comrade ,,, HA HA HA HA HA HA.

      What drove Amurkans to concur there was no alternative to greed, comrade? Perhaps when they were convinced that, without their greed, nothing else mattered? Shall we say that the way of that fallacy was long prepared?

      Legend has Medusa turn onlookers to stone. My favorite interpretation is that her horror is an entrancing and devastating judgment … which annihilation the warriors welcome.

      Can we say that looking upon her was the high point of their lives?

      • please.fucking.stop.it, Rax or you’ll be asked to leave. and here you’d been dong so well. also, one or two ‘HA’s’ seem to be enough; less irritating, yanno?

        on edit: it must be hard to be the smartest one in the room always; much like wayoutwest.

      • What drove Amurkans to concur there was no alternative to greed, comrade?

        It seems to be a characteristic of settler colonialist societies created by at least the European form of imperialism in the modern era, Comrade. If you ever got beyond the classics, you might discover some of that information. When you have a society that was founded by stealing land, stealing labor, and being deadbeats in order to steal capital, you find that the habits of the prominent trickle down to the compradors (do I get a royalty for using this word) and then trickle down to those who merely consent. For most, given the institutional forms, there really is no alternative to at least appearing to think that there is no alternative to greed. In job searches, people who seem not to be motivated by greed might be passed over as untrustworthy, not sufficiently American, loyal, and saluting the flag.

        No need for Medusas when there are Charleston Manigaults and Middletons, and New York Livingstones and lots of nameless Yankee merchants whose example set the pace. And nothing like a Cold War with a cap-C “Godless Communist” government to solidify capitalism as the only option. The “no alternative” attitude got locked in with the Reagan Revolution. Prior to then there were a certain amount of utopian alternative motivations allowed but never implemented too much.

        • No, you’d pay a royalty or bill a mention, comrade.

          ” … never implemented too much.” Are you now provoking me, dear comrade?

          “Given the institutional forms …” The compradors support these forms, comrade, they don’t acquiesce. They drink the trickle-down, they don’t absorb it.

          I was intrigued by your disparagement of our founding deadbeats. Do you advocate repossession?

          What drove Amurkans to prioritize profit? Terror. Fraud and terror. And you don’t have to be a settler-colonist to be wrenched by terror and fraud. Sometimes I think this industry of American historical expose has ulterior motives, comrade. Are we now damned?

          Medusa is for our time, for our intellectual patriarchs, who gaze into her tortured visage and moan, “It is finished.”

    • mmmmm. we harvested everything in the garden ahead of a ‘red flag freeze warning’ for tonight, whether edible, smokable, or flower-vase-able. but i’d prepared the fixin’s for roasted poblano rellenos before that, and wouldn’t they have tasted fine with a shot of tequila?

      sleep well, all.

  9. In a 2013 Chomsky chat, Chomsky relates that in the 4th century the kwistians were inducted into the imperium, going from persecuted to persecutors. The papists were eager for imperial intercourse, like our anti-anti-war mongers are too eager to solicit the empire’s democracy. Is this a tendency of imperial decline?

    • this the chat of which you speak? ‘Noam Chomsky: U.S. used to have people killed for practicing what Pope Francis preaches’?

      “He said that the 1962 Vatican II conference had restored the Gospels to the Roman Catholic Church for the first time since the 4th Century, when the Roman Empire took over Christianity as its official religion, and this had a profound effect on religious leaders in Latin America.”

      (Wiki: Christianity in the 4th century was dominated in its early stage by Constantine the Great and the First Council of Nicaea of 325, which was the beginning of the period of the First seven Ecumenical Councils (325–787), and in its late stage by the Edict of Thessalonica of 380, which made Nicene Christianity the state church of the Roman Empire.)

      at least in the later films and writings about the massive power of the catholic church,then the reformation, many cardinals and bishops amassed huge sums of money, goods, land-holdings w/ castles, artwork, and were often at the center of palace intrigues, no?. but the inquistions in many nations and nation-states didn’t start until the 12 century, iirc what i read.

      • We are certain that the [double-headed eagle] emblem is one of the oldest in the world, and from its nature we are justified in believing that it symbolizes a duality of power, a blending of two names, two functions and two dominions in one body. As Enlil or as Ningersu, it stood for a union of solar and celestial [light and dark, good and evil] forces; as a royal crest it has stood for power and dominion, and as a religious seal it stands for truth and justice.

        According to his Confessions, after nine or ten years of adhering to the Manichaean faith as a member of the group of “hearers”, Augustine became a Christian and a potent adversary of Manichaeism (which he expressed in writing against his Manichaean opponent Faustus of Mileve), seeing their beliefs that knowledge was the key to salvation as too passive and not able to effect any change in one’s life.

        “I still thought that it is not we who sin but some other nature that sins within us. It flattered my pride to think that I incurred no guilt and, when I did wrong, not to confess it… I preferred to excuse myself and blame this unknown thing which was in me but was not part of me. The truth, of course, was that it was all my own self, and my own impiety had divided me against myself. My sin was all the more incurable because I did not think myself a sinner. (Confessions, Book V, Section 10)”

        Augustine of Hippo (354–430) converted to Christianity from Manichaeism, in the year 387. This was shortly after the Roman Emperor Theodosius I had issued a decree of death for all Manichaean monks in 382 and shortly before he declared Christianity to be the only legitimate religion for the Roman Empire in 391. Due to the heavy persecution, the religion almost disappeared from western Europe in the 5th century and from the eastern portion of the empire in the 6th century.[27] According to his Confessions, after nine or ten years of adhering to the Manichaean faith as a member of the group of “hearers”, Augustine became a Christian and a potent adversary of Manichaeism …

        So the budding rhetorician who “flounder[ed] in the broiling sea of […] fornication” embraced guilt [through fallacious reasoning] for a career of persecuting Manichaens.

        Shite.

        “Fideism” is the name given to that school of thought—to which Tertullian himself is frequently said to have subscribed—which answers that faith is in some sense independent of, if not outright adversarial toward, reason. In contrast to the more rationalistic tradition of natural theology, with its arguments for the existence of God, fideism holds—or at any rate appears to hold (more on this caveat shortly)—that reason is unnecessary and inappropriate for the exercise and justification of religious belief. The term itself derives from fides, the Latin word for faith, and can be rendered literally as faith-ism. “Fideism” is thus to be understood not as a synonym for “religious belief,” but as denoting a particular philosophical account of faith’s appropriate jurisdiction vis-a-vis that of reason.

        I suspect the Byzantine Eagle only masquerades as “a religious seal that stands for truth and justice”.

  10. Adam Johnson describes ‘The 14-Minute ‘60 Minutes’ Infomercial for Cold War’; The viewer is left with the impression that the rising threat of a nuclear war is an entirely Russian problem’ at the Nation.

    sixty minutes is still on? this david martin character must sleep in a coffin, BEWARE of your psyche is you read or watch. i can’t even choose a portion to bring, Martin is as bellicose as breedlove.

    wsws is reporting that as india’s threats to pakistan grow more inflammatory, pakistan is now upping their rhetoric concerning tactical nukes if india launches a full-scale attack. ash carter says US/india relations are ‘closer than ever’. but this is a big deal i hadn’t known:

    “No mention is ever made of India’s concerted push under the 28-month old Hindu supremacist BJP government to “change the rules of the game” with Pakistan. This has included: instructing the military to take a more aggressive posture at the border, which led in 2015 to months of cross-border shelling; vehemently opposing the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, on the grounds it will pass through parts of the former British Empire princely state of Kashmir that New Delhi claims are hers; and backing the Balochi ethno-nationalist insurgency, effectively threatening Pakistan with dismemberment.”

  11. Plan Colombia Vindicated: Colombia Rejects Peace

    The accords accordingly had provisions for agrarian reform, political participation for the insurgents, transitions from an illicit drug economy, and reparations for victims of the conflict.

    Campesino leaders in the rough and rundown frontier town of Maicau on the Venezuelan border, where drug running and sales of contraband are mainstays of the local economy, spoke about the agrarian struggle. The “oligarchs,” they explained, want to “ethically clean” the countryside of small farmers to make way for transnational agribusiness. Yesterday they spoke of the great hope they had for a “si” vote to defeat the oligarchy.

    Today Colombia voted against peace and against that hope.

    Presumptive president-elect Hillary Clinton has been on the campaign trail stomping for Plan Colombia as the world model for the military subjugation of those who oppose the extension of the US neoliberal empire.

    The October 2nd “no” vote on peace in Colombia will have repercussions around the world.

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