3 Tweets = OMG: War Porn Rides Again

Bill Van Auken rigorously and righteously breaks it down.

As per Van Auken’s narrative:

85 responses to “3 Tweets = OMG: War Porn Rides Again

  1. colin powell bro’t a vial of anthrax into the UN? uh huh. & after the show he went & dumped it in his cup of tea.


    where did colin powell get that powder from? the sugar packets in his pocket? his coke dealer?

    I wonder if he participated in the gigantic medical experiment that occurred in the military before desert storm 1 when they forced everyone to take Cipro. bet he opted out.

    did desert storm 2 start in march or may? trying to get a handle on the schedule for Desert Storm: Syria edition.

    and Syria is not near Megiddo is it? not that it matters cuz every military conflict on this planet contains w/in it the seed of global destruction.

    • wiki says desert storm aka x, y, z, started in 2 August 1990. was it supposed to be anthrax he was holding? i’d thought the biological weapons claim was for FX nerve agents that he claimed were being made in traveling helicopters and dispersed by UAVs. i’d thunk that *that* would be the feature of the weaponized fear, but no, it was yellow cake, aluminum tubes, and babbies torn from incubators. which madison ave. ad agency helped that along; i’ve forgotten?

      did they pay judith miller a percentage? should have. but cripes, joshua frank is up at CP totally down w/ the *fact* that assad’s used sarin on ‘his own people’ twice. srsly, i’d thought that was settled as false long ago, even by that watchdog chemical weapons committee.

      RT’s saying that russia says that the syrian air force bombed a warehouse, and that may have unleashed…something. the turks claim their scientists found sarin. but once before, wasn’t it discovered that al nursa got it from saudi arabia and israel? jaysus, so many things to learn then…forget.

      • I hear ya. But I’m pretty sure that you’re right, that the 2013 gas attack was pretty much proven to be a ‘rebel’ action, even by mainstream sources. I could look it up but….Exhausted and insomniac.

  2. I’m trying to figure how to put the following in context here:

    NZ is currently under water from Hurricane Debbie remnants. I mean really, really under water. Apart from the failure of the TPP and the massive Kaikoura earthquake (said region again isolated by flooding and landslips) this has to have an economic affect. Just thinking about the multimillion dollar mansions currently sliding off cliffs – though they claim they factored this in when designing their cantilevered swimming pools – gives cause for sober reflection on the transitory nature of wealth.

    Which perhaps I can tie in thuswise: in all rhetorical pontifications such as reflected in the above three tweets (there’s a song in there somewhere – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? – ) Nature will have the last say.

    PS: I’m legal again! (Thus spake the MVD)

    • nature may (and likely will) have the last say), but as its heading that way quickly, the Empire’s resource grabs are almost hysterical now, although disguised, of course. not just food and potable water, of course, but every fossil fuel, strategic mineral, and on and on.

      in general, the mini-mansions sliding down the hills are heavily insured, and in the US the insurance on the gold coasts are also subsidized.

      hooray and congratulations, restored miz u.s. naturalized citizen!

      now i’ll try to make this more relevant than it might seem at first blush. i’ve been watching the 2004 version of ‘the manchurian candidate’. that, coupled with elon musk’s new (oh, we’re sure, not *similar!*) deep brain implants got me pinging about how some of the recent prezes seem to be automatons in a way, operating not so much as puppets like dubya, but as though acting thru voices in their craniums or something. but anyway, our hubristic, sociopathic Rulers and their minions reminded me of scenes like this (it’s only a minute long, won’t up your internet usage):

      i’d been searching for a different one that was chock full of every security buzzword imaginable, but never found it.

      • Good thing I don’t watch tv news any longer – or listen to radio blarney either. Toxic stuff.

        Nice clip, wendye. Reminds me of the tweets they’re reposting at RT of Trump back in the day criticizing Obama’s Wag the Dog. Movies are Bigger than Life, I guess. (I certainly thought so watching Tarzan as a four year old.)

        Thanks for tying in my post – and here’s Nature having its first say – just the visuals are worth a peek:


        • that was fine stuff, ww; and fancy: plunge pools and cataracts, and all as a metaphor for Brexit. speaking of ‘wag the dog’, when you have a chance, you might want to scroll to the tag end of the thread and see a link to robert parry’s ‘T’s wag the dog moment’ from yesterday. i haven’t had the chance to read it to the end yet, but it looks sincerely worth reading.

          i know you like pollack, and he has a piece up at CP channeling xi, but he may be most disappointed by what reuters said actually happened. ;-)

          the meadowlarks are back, as well as some sweetly singing finches of various varieties.

          • Thanks for the reminder, wendye – I’ve been meaning to go to Parry’s piece. There are a couple of other good ones at counterpunch – I was just wading through, and some are a bit off in my opinion, especially the ones whitewashing Obama by contrast – the ones I thought were good were by Lindorff and Whitney – we’re back in Tonkin Gulf territory. And yes, thanks to our great minds in sync I’d just read what Xi might have said but maybe thought a few times, (inscrutable, those Chinese, inscrutable!) It was a nice change of style from Pollack, enjoyed that!

            After Parry, I’m just going to enjoy Fred Couples at the Masters for a bit, rest the brain. He was my Mum’s favorite in more innocent times.

            • yah, i’d read whitney’s and lindorff’s but hadn’t brought them as containing anything truly provocative and new. but yes, good. and it was nice to see such a departure from pollack’s regular (not always easy for me to decode) tomes.

              enjoy your brain rest; mine eyes could use one, too. ;-)

              if you come back, i wonder if you had any thoughts as to what this might mean. i can’t even remember now where i’d seen it earlier… but it was concerning “what to expect from the xi/donald meeting in Mar-a-GoGo:

              “this thinking would fall into what I would broadly call the Kissinger Doctrine regarding Sino-American relations – that through wise, enlightened and thoughtful diplomatic engagement and cultural understanding based on the principles of mutual respect and mutual trust together America and China can be the best of friends and partners despite differing political, social and economic systems.”

              thd ha prompted me to look up ‘kissinger realism’, but this doesn’t seem to be that. back then, of course, only a nixon could “open up china”…dunno where to go from there.

  3. evil eyebrows

    CSI: United Nations, starring Nikki Haley! (blast “won’t get fooled again,” by you know Who also sold out.)

    all that Law & Order & Sherlockian Minds and COPS! and 24 and Homeland and Coast Guard MP’s and True Stories of the Texas Highway Rest Stop Patrol and people still can’t smell a rat? just what is the purpose of all these shows? I tho’t they passed fcc muster under the guise of community service for their educational value. you know, criminal justice & forensics & such and psychology: don’t forget columbo, magnum p.i. omg. watching these programs is like getting a degree from trump u. oh yeah, legal too. I was sure I was qualified to work in the DA’s office after watching Nation-reader & virtue’s own blind, cherubic child Sam Waterston prosecutin all those years. oh wait. you mean those shows teach nothing but that the System is rational, cops clean, prosecutors honest, thieves bad, drugs dangerous, firemen heroic, etc., etc.? oh damn.

    fascinum: the evil eye. the lure of ever more awful images of horror, control thru the Spectacle of Evil.

    as spock would say, fascinating. the claim to see all, the imperative to those under the panopticon’s gaze, is also the claim that what is being shown is true, real, etc. like the Eye atop the pyramid on the dollar bill, it’s gaze upon you controls what & how you see. you are supposed to see w/Big Brother’s eyes, or Sauron’s eye. (may be bs. but the eye on the dollar bill is literally a fascinum, an evil eye. it’s looking at you, you can’t help looking back at it & looking at the world & yourself thru its gaze. the dollar sees all.)

    “those photos sure look real…” yeah, how do you say photoshop in French? or legerdemain?

    • this is evil eyebrows at his best; thanks. zo…it’s the dollar bill eye that’s ‘watching the watchers’? atop, may i remind you, atop an unfinished pyramid, in all its supposed glorious meaning. but oh, yeah, the US empire is not actually finished showing with what evil it means to rule the world, oh, no.

      on edit: “True Stories of the Texas Highway Rest Stop Patrol” was pure-D art.

      hah. as to the photos, i scored this when i read robert parry’s essay on ‘rushing to judgement’ about the sarin in idlib province. and yes, it was he who’d brought lots of investigative pieces in earlier.

      but as to the photos, protocols, etc., this fellah Paul Antonopoulos’s questions were linked in the comments under parry’s piece.

      • thanks. unfinished pyramid. (do you see what i see?) hmmm….feeling an urge for secret handshakes…time for a meeting w/the Stonecutters. it’s keg night.

        are secret societies cabals of conspiracies? or frat club drinking parties for over the hill white guys? or both???? I think the bohemian grove might be both.

        • okay, that was funny. your attempts fo familarize those folks as social commentariat is funny, i admit. we never even allowed or chirren to watch them, and i kinda fudged on saturday mornin’ cartoons, too. hmmm; ‘those folks must have cable!’ obfuscations. they were all just such pinty, angular, evil dark characters. ish and brrrr,

          but really, in the early days, at any rate, the masons’ credo was pretty amazing: ‘be in service to others’.

      • if you see something, say something. join in the spectacle production. when you see something suspicious, report it. so we can tell you how to see.

        clearly the panoptic gaze is more aspirational than anything.

        one is supposed to think, when it comes to oneself & one’s own actions, yes, all is seen. from one’s phone, etc., etc. constant self-consciousness.

        but then how does that suspicious package get left outside a school or whatever? the panoptic part needs your help. Big Brother has no eyes but yours.

        make your goddam mind up! is you is o’ is you ain’t all-seeing? partially depends on whether one is the agent of or the object of Big B’s gaze. participant or victim.

  4. evidently no one here cared to read my recent diary on VZ being under the Empire’s gun again (yes, it’s long), but i’ll stick this on the tag end of the comments since it’s quite relevant to nikki and pals *knowing* (without evidence) that assad unleashed the gas, but russia and iran helped. or some such.

    another r2p is being threatened (i mean ‘offered’ in VZ): ‘US Southern Command Warns of ‘Response’ to Venezuela ‘Instability’, april 6, telesur
    “The statement to the Senate Committee also warns of the Russian, Chinese and Iranian “influence” in the region.
    The U.S. military’s top official for Latin America presented an ominous report to the Senate Thursday warning that Venezuela could be a “destabilizing” factor in Latin America.

    “Venezuela faces significant instability in the coming year due to widespread food, and medicine shortages; continued political uncertainty; and a worsening economic situation,” said Admiral Kurt W. Tidd, the commander of the United States Souther Command in his report to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

    “The growing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela could eventually compel a regional response. The U.S. military leader also said that the relationships fostered by Russia, China and Iran with countries in the region pose a threat to U.S. interests.”

    so here we have a four-fer: rule VZ and its oil reserves by US puppets, and drag the other ‘enemies of the Empire’ into the mix. what’s not to love, senators? gotta quash the pink tide permanently, right? domino theory rules!

  5. Syria gassing. Trump took the bait. Attacks airfield at Homs with 60 cruise missiles (think of burning $100 million in one strike). Some indications of consultations with Russia. Attack launched and completed while China’s Xi Jinping is at Mar-el-Lago “White House”. Qui bono? No one really but the narrative lines of McCain, Graham, Hillary Clinton, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel. Chest-beating exercise to signal or set rhythm of “kinetics” for North Korea. Wait for Friday news dump events. Bannon out; Kushner (half of so-called Javanka) in. Kushner in Iraq. Make America feared again. #MAFA
    —more later

    • those cruise missiles seem to have been pre-ordained, no? as far as consultation w/ russia, telesur. has it this way (perhaps from the guardian, it’s not quite clear):

      “The Kremlin said the attack was based on an “invented pretext” claiming the Syrian army did not have chemical weapons.

      Russia — a key Syrian ally — said the unilateral U.S. action would cause “significant damage to US-Russia ties” and create a “serious obstacle” to creating an international coalition to defeat ISIS.

      According to the statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin regards the strikes as an attempt to distract from the 150 civilians killed by the U.S. during attacks last week in Mosul.

      While U.S. defense department officials reported that they informed Russian military officials of the attack, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that there had been no communication at the political level with Russian officials prior to the attack.”, fwiw from tillerson: “political level”?

      you’re expecting bannon to be dumped totally, not just (officially) from the
      nsc? i’d seen that rick perry, ho ho ho, is to replace him. some of the tanies on twitter say that putin/lavrov are down with the plan to balkanize syria, but there are so many competing narratives, aren’t there? cordeliers put up the current scheme drawn by the rand corp (you’d know better than i how much juice they have):

      on edit: “Trump appears to have authorised the bombardment even as he was sitting down for dinner and a photo opportunity with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who arrived in the US just hours before and whose government has consistently aligned with Russia to defend Assad’s government.

      Among the numerous questions posed by the US strike is whether the top-level summit between Trump and Xi can even proceed. The situation is, by any standard, unprecedented for a Chinese leader. Xi will face immense recriminations in China if he is seen sitting alongside Trump in polite diplomatic talks, at a luxury golf resort in Florida, while his own government, Russia, Iran and other countries are denouncing a unilateral and illegal American act of war on Syria.

      Moreover, the Trump administration has been threatening to launch a pre-emptive attack on North Korea and trigger a catastrophic war on China’s borders. The missile strike on Syria will remove any doubt in Chinese strategic and military circles as to whether Trump would be prepared to order such action.”

      • Political level/military level.
        The US likely used its coordinating channel that keeps US flight attacking DAESH/ISIS/ISIL from drawing Russian/Syrian anti-aircraft fire as the means to notify Russia and Syria in-country. That is military-to-military coordination of operations to avoid misunderstanding intent.

        The RAND plan is a Turkish-oriented plan to cut the left-wing YPG Kurds out of the picture; YPG has aligned with Assad but expects some degree of autonomy for its support. The “International sector” glosses the issue of Kurds (not Arabs) and Sunni jihadis (SDF) being the ones who liberate Raqqa and Deir Ezzor. The SDF zone should be contiguous with Kurdish areas in Iraq, including Mosul, but concern for Sunni resistance is cutting out the Kurds, both YPG and the Kurdish Regional Government. Of course, Turkey fears retaliation for years of ethnic discrimination from even a couple of Kurdish quasi-states.

        Xi will decide whether the top-level summit will proceed. Apparently at this point Trump has accepted an invitation to Beijing. Xi is better positioned than most to survive recriminations for Trump’s stunt. He can provide Trump with the face-saving sufficient for Trump to hang himself with his own actions (metaphorically hopefully).

        What Trump actually intends to do about North Korea besides jaw-jaw is indeed the question, isn’t it. In private, Xi might have some expectation-setting on that score and some ideas of how to get their client state in line if Trump will do x, y, and z. Can Trump be bold enough to take the diplomatic opening to recognize the only country not having diplomatic recognition by the US? After all, diplomatic recognition generally brings and embassy — and a CIA station.

        The whole set-up seemed from the beginning a chance to show Xi that Trump really is that crazy (the old Nixon trick). Xi might not fall for it but use it creatively. This will be what is fascinating to watch–how two dramatically opposite negotiating traditions play out. Or fail.

        • as to the coordinated air efforts, hadn’t russia said already that that’s over? or is that a temporary feint?

          i like your thoughts on what xi might be thinking; he (beijing) is keeping his own council, as usual. and yes, i agree w/ both you and the wsws author about T showing what he’s willing to do. the only hit i got bingling for beijing’s reaction was at the india times (playing it down):

          “Refraining from joining Russia which condemned the strikes as “aggression against a sovereign state and violation of international law”, Hua, however, backed beleaguered Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying the elected choice of Syrians should be respected.

          Hua said China condemns the chemical attacks carried out in Syria recently and supports the UN in launching an independent investigation.
          She said China always opposes the use of chemical weapons by any country, denouncing chemical attacks in Syria on Tuesday in which 70 people were killed and scores injured, most of them civilians in Syrias northwestern Idlib province.

          China in the past has maintained contacts with both the Syrian government and rebels, and has teamed up with Russia to veto any UN resolution proposals sponsored by the US and its allies to sanction the Assad government since the countrys civil war broke out almost six years ago.”


          bernie, of course, joined right in with the blame assad group, but wants trump to come to congress, etc.

          i appreciate your parsing the rand plan, but my understanding is that the ypg are paid and sponsored by the US, so…we’ll have to stick a pin in that one for now, at least i will. ;-)

          on edit: if, a biggish IF, xi can help ‘solve’ north korea, that would be good. in any other reciprocity to trump, could it go down w/ a whimper to commerce deals?

  6. dancingrabbit

    The damn fools in DC setting loose the war dogs has got me pissed enough to drop down from lurkerdom. WTH do the generals and their civilian minders think they’re doing? Is American Empire really worth their mortal souls, or are they, typically, not thinking that far ahead? I’m so pissed I can’t even be witty or erudite expressing myself. Just crap. Let the Record show this is one seriously pissed off old lady. Sorry it took this to get me to open my yap again, wendye, but here I am. Count me in, ready to wo-man the revolutionary barricades on my walker if I’m too unsteady for my cane. I.Am.So.Pissed.

    • jayse, it’s good to see you, rabbit, especially since your arrival is due to righteous rage. it’s so unclear w/ the competing narratives, but it just may be that herr T’s generals just had to have their way. mattis and mcmaster, most especially, but so many in his cabinet are pro-israel, pro-saudi, to boot. and then, as thd mentioned, the neo-con political class contingent, including ‘bomb iran’ and the red queen.

      libya might be next, eh? i stuck up a link a couple weeks ago concerning the us puppet ‘provisional’, ‘semi-permanent’ or whatever government asking for military aid against…wait for it: IS. no one covers that hideous country’s condition courtesy of the coalition’s ‘rescue’. when it does come up for any reportage, the numbers of insurrectionist militias noted vary widely, but let’s say: a hella lot of em. sorry i don’t know the context or history of this quote, but i pulled it off cordelier’s twitter thang this morning.

      “They plunder, they slaughter, and they steal: this they falsely name Empire, and where they make a wasteland, they call it peace.”

      we should all be as outraged as you are. when will amerikans wake the fook up to what the Empire is really about? come again; hope you’re well; i know you’re sassy, and glad of it. ;-)

      on edit: tacitus was a roman senator and historian of the empire. but along the way, i found someone mention a line from this michael franti song. hadn’t thought of it for years, to say the truth.

      You can bomb the world to pieces, but you can’t bomb it into peace.
      –Michael Franti

    • Hmm, keep your powder dry; there’s far more going on here than meets the eye.
      Russia warned pre strike. Thus Syria also knew.
      Pictures, post strike, show very little damage and the Harpy Haley said the airbase was destroyed; far from it; two SU-24’s took off from there the next morning on a mission.
      Reports (unconfirmed) say only 23 Tomahawks hit the target; what happened to the other 36? Another report claims 44 Tomahawks hit the base; which again begs the question; what happened to the other 22? Nobody seems to know.
      Further; Trump is now free of his Putin lapdog title.
      $60 million worth of old ordinance?
      Nothing makes any sense or follows any logic unless; it’s a very crazy (Machiavellian?) way, for Trump to be able to smooth things over with Russia without being labeled Putin’s poodle.
      Trump just gained his manhood in the twisted, macho, world of the U.S. of A.
      Do I know this? Fuckin A, hell no!!!
      But with things this insane, anyfuckingthing is possible, no?

      • Addendum:
        This airstrike was planned long before “the gas attack”; just waiting for justification; that’s a fact (one of the very few).

        • There’s some controversy over the gas attack–as to whether it was a video atrocity of convenience in which the actors had to die. Or a false flag that was videoed.

          Yes, the airstrike was planned, as all actions in the US military seem to be, long before — just put in the coordinates and the time and the number of missiles to send.

      • mornin’, v. yes, the reports of damage are deaths swing here and there, as do the # of tomahawks that hit the alleged airport target. but as far as i’ve read, the runways weren’t damaged much.

        you seem to be concluding that putin was in on a bit of a conspiracy to allow herr T to get out from under his ‘putin’s poodle’ sobriquet? can’t say i’m buyin’ that one given what he’s said so far, but again: pay attention to what they DO, not what they SAY for the rubes’ consumption.

        i’d mentioned the strikes were pre-ordained, but i’ve forgotten where i’d read that. can you enlighten me?

        • Oh God no! Putin would never agree to that collusion!!
          This is all from Trump’s side; twisted as they are; it’s my conjecture; nothing more.
          Otherwise, why would the attack be so lame? 59 Tomahawks?
          That’s one hell of a lot of ordinance, no? And used effectively should have done one hell of a lot of damage; it’s like a fighter pulling his punches…for whatever reason…

          • you might understand why i’d reckoned you were implying such w/ ‘russia was warned, thus syria was warned’ and esp. this: ‘for Trump to be able to smooth things over with Russia without being labeled Putin’s poodle.

            so you’d meant instead: the DoD having called putin to warn him, then?

            • Not exactly the way you’re spinning it.
              Apparently I’m not communicating effectively here; it’s simple; DoD warned, Russia and Syria cleared important equipment and personnel before the attack.
              The attack was lame and to no lasting effect; check the bloody news from other than MSM.
              So, I’m diving deep to understand the inexplicable bullshit U.S. attack on Syria. It’s devious but not complicated given the present situation in the M.E..
              Am I right? Hell if I know…

              • am i spinning it? i’m asking what you’d meant in the end. dunno quite why you think i’m getting my news from the msm (save to satirize it), though. i’m more down w/ the wsws author noting that a large part of the strike was to demonstrate to xi in mara-a-legoland that he’s willing to do such to the dprk; apparently it worked…to an extend. xi says (according to reports) that he’s on board, noting how reckless pyonyang has been.

                and to keep the war going, as well. when assad was losing against IS, no strikes by the US alone, now: more will be radicalized, no matter how relatively scant the damage. will there be further gas attacks by the al-qaeda-esque affiliates of the empire provoking more strikes against damascus? i’d think so, wouldn’t you?

                i know i must be missing a lot, of course.

                on edit: have you read the updates i posted this a.m.?

  7. i wanna kick tarzie's puppy

    I turned on the local NPR news station this a.m. for the latest on Syria, which, when I did, I realized I hadn’t turned on npr in at least a decade.

    “it’s an epic week in Washington. trump bombs Syria and senate changes rules filibuster. Hi, I’m Robert Sméagol. We will be talking w/EJ Dionne & David Brooks this afternoon about these…” click. never again.

    did putin just sell out Syria? we’ll soon see.

    • wish i could come in as ‘tarzie can kiss mah grits‘, but even when i log out, the software seems to recognize me, dagnabbit…mebbe if i used a fake email? oh, well.

      there really isn’t a robert sméagol on npr, is there? but it’s so good to hear it’s a #VeryBiglyWeek among the most erudite of the librul pontificators, though. will they interview john bolton tonight? or the moustache of wisdom? nah, he’ll be on charlie rose, right?

      instead of reading all the new tax rubbish, i collected about a dozen links pretty much disproving the ‘assad gassed his people w/ sarin’ theme, but hell, it doesn’t matter now, does it? the idea has been reified twice now, and will stand in the same way that ‘saddam has WMD up the wazoooooo’. some crazy percentage of amerikans still believe it.

      • no, it’s Robert segal. but given his smug self-satisfaction w/his own precious, I call him smeagol.

        apparently putin is not the trump handler we were looking for. just in time for revelations that indeed he was (is, like all of us) being spied on, look! something for liberals to cheer about. a humanitarian child-safe bombing campaign.

        • rats; i thought it might have been life imitating art. ;-) guess RS is new to me. of course there’s also ‘robert smigel’, tv funhouse.

          dunno about your thoughts on putin/trump, but b had said that putin handed netanyahoo a big win (with caveats) on agreeing that as per HairBag, the capital of israel can be jerusalem. now i’d thought the whole context was moving the u.s. embassy there, so apparently i’m waaaay behind the curve on that one.

          is it mainly ‘assad gassed his people’ that’s underlying the cheering, or are amerikans that nationalistically blood-thirsty in general? does bombing deflect from daily fears and precarity? somewhere i read this a.m. that the 59 missiles was a one-off thing. i’d sure take that to the bank. especially if i had stock in raytheon. how many more will this have radicalized? oh; they may be tangentially funded by the hegemon in any event, or is that just another conspiracy?

  8. a few items from this a.m.:

    New strategy’ on North Korea in the works after Trump meets Chinese president – Tillerson’, reuters, RT

    ”Xi agreed to increase China’s cooperation with the US to pressure North Korea to end their nuclear program, Tillerson said.
    During the second day of the summit, Friday, Trump said he developed an “outstanding” relationship with Xi and made “tremendous progress” on issues, according to the White House.”

    “At the summit, Xi urged the two nations to come to an agreement on trade and investment, telling Trump that they should promote “healthy development of bilateral trade and investment,” according to Reuters.”

    ““We’re hopeful that China will find ways to exercise influence over North Korea’s actions to dismantle their nuclear weapons and their missile technology programs,”

    “US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Washington is closely following the Syrian government’s response to the US airstrike on the airbase near Homs, adding that the further actions by the US will depend on if and how Syria decides to retaliate.

    “And as we said last night, we will monitor Syria’s response to that strike in terms of whether they attack our own forces or coalition forces, or whether we detect that they are considering mobilizing to take additional chemical weapons attacks,” he said in a briefing Friday.”

    of course the russians had to have been involved, fools! why waste time investigating?

    irrefutable logic from the guardian, noting that critics say that it would have defied all logic for assad to have committed such an atrocity (my words, not hers). iow, work backwards from the conclusion: ‘Syria nerve agent attack: why it made sense to Assad; The president’s army is battle-weary, but the sarin attack and the US missile strikes show this war is far from over’

    bill van auken added a few bits:

    “The Russian government and others have pointed out the obvious fact that the elaborate attack carried out Thursday night from two US destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean had to have been planned well before the alleged incident even happened. The event was staged, with Al Qaeda-linked and US-funded “media activists” conveniently on hand to film it, in order to provide Washington with the propaganda pretext it required for its aggression.” and

    “Knowing full well that the US attack was imminent, Haley, who is acting as the council’s rotating president for the month of April, postponed a vote on a compromise resolution calling for an objective investigation into the alleged chemical attack that was being drafted Thursday by the 10 nonpermanent members of the Security Council.
    Washington has no interest in such a probe, which would almost certainly reveal that the source of any chemical weapons incident was not the government of President Bashar al-Assad, but rather the Al Qaeda elements that control that area of Idlib Province. There is also no doubt that the US strike provides the Islamist elements in Syria with every motivation for staging more chemical weapons incidents to provide the pretext for a spiraling escalation of US military aggression.”

  9. from robert parry’s ‘T’s wag the dog moment’ yesterday:

    “But a number of intelligence sources have made contradictory assessments, saying the preponderance of evidence suggests that Al Qaeda-affiliated rebels were at fault, either by orchestrating an intentional release of a chemical agent as a provocation or by possessing containers of poison gas that ruptured during a conventional bombing raid.

    One intelligence source told me that the most likely scenario was a staged event by the rebels intended to force Trump to reverse a policy, announced only days earlier, that the U.S. government would no longer seek “regime change” in Syria and would focus on attacking the common enemy, Islamic terror groups that represent the core of the rebel forces.” [snip]

    Though Bannon and Kushner are often presented as rivals, the source said, they shared the belief that Trump should tell the truth about Syria, revealing the Obama administration’s CIA analysis that a fatal sarin gas attack in 2013 was a “false-flag” operation intended to sucker President Obama into fully joining the Syrian war on the side of the rebels — and the intelligence analysts’ similar beliefs about Tuesday’s incident.”

    he demonstrates what assad won, and provides a lot of quotes from analysts who’ve deconstructed the assad sari attacks on, etc. looks like it’s worth reading more closely. and checking the links.


    but it’s interesting to note that amy goodman’s recent guests state that ‘assad did it’, and chomsky even includes the russians.

  10. Oh gee, I’ve been elsewhere of course, but I did post at MoA on war crimes and suchlike,(no need to repeat) – seeing this not from the perspective of Assad gassing his own people (again) since that seemed utterly contrivedly un-rational on Assad’s part. Why would he have needed to do this? I don’t buy it for a moment. Plus somewhere I saw that the backfire from this ‘not so bad’ strike of fifty missiles (fifty!) may encourage other nations to realize that America’s military might is actually a damp squib, so I’ll just throw that into the mix.

    I’m with dancingrabbit. Same very disappointed gut reaction, in spades.

    There was a beginning of shared responsiblity between Russia and the US in Syria with respect to fighting ISIS – that’s been officially shelved by Russia now.

  11. unemployed crisis actor

    did my precious comment get eat? oh well, check out b at MoA today.

    trump’s was a fake response to a fake chemical attack.

    • well…maybe; the ‘bana’ psyop has earned hysterical jests on twitter, as had ‘the white helmets’ fake videos. his (dilbert dude’s, really) take on it kinda mirrrors this you wrote way up yonder:

      “all that Law & Order & Sherlockian Minds and COPS! and 24 and Homeland and Coast Guard MP’s and True Stories of the Texas Highway Rest Stop Patrol and people still can’t smell a rat? just what is the purpose of all these shows? I tho’t they passed fcc muster under the guise of community service for their educational value. you know, criminal justice & forensics & such and psychology: don’t forget columbo, magnum p.i. omg. watching these programs is like getting a degree from trump u. oh yeah…”

      i’ll try to read it again when my eyes decide to behave. i couldn’t find where i thought i’d posted this earlier on this thread (sheesh, was it a differet one?), but i did retrace my steps and finally found it on parry’s earlier piece in the ‘sarin: the rush to judgement’ essay.

      ‘Something is Not Adding Up In Idlib Chemical Weapons Attack’ by Paul Antonopoulos


      the of course, and fwiw, i did grab a comment at NC, then b’s, claiming this (he was vexed that b had claimed it was sarin). well, it’s long, so i’ll bring half of it:

      “Here is a shorter version for those not into biology.
      Please, people. Educate yourselves. This is important.
      This best way to see immediately that the victims have not died from sarin intoxication is that in almost every case their skin is red/pink. Sarin turns people blue — always. Sarin makes people puke on themselves, urinate on themselves, shit themselves. Show me the evidence of sarin. Scores and scores of “sarin victims,” not a single one has the constellation of symptoms produced by sarin. Not a single one.

      The red/pink color of the victims in the vids suggests the people were executed with cyanide or carbon monoxide, which, in turn, suggests these scenes are staged after the executions. The evidence for KS is just now being collected. The evidence for Ghouta is very, very strong: those people were gassed by the terrorists using, probably, CO.”

      p.s. i disagree that it’s gonna shut russia gate down; guess we’ll have to see…

      • unemployed crisis actor

        he may not be right about trump’s response, but yeah, the gas attack was probably really nausea-induced flatulence from the locals hearing brian Williams praise the shiny beautiful explosions.

        I can be a crisis actor and play dead. same thing as sitting in a cubicle, right?

  12. well, who knows? “I am the Most Powerful Lion: hear me roar!” ‘Trump to Congress on Syria strike: US to take additional action to further its national interests’ ,at RT (and yeah, it’s everywhere)

    hello mudda, hello faddah…here we are at…Kamp Korea. Kamp is very…entertaining…and we’ll have lots of fun if it stops raining.

    • Other shoe? Did Trump agree to take care of China’s client problem while South Korea had no head of state in a position to object? Is the style going to be “Do it quickly and get it over?” even if it’s “shoot from the hip”. Lest you forget, “No Toes McCurdy” was a famous shoot-from-the-hip gunman. Unfortunately for McCurdy, his shot was faster than his draw.

      • no! i didn’t even realize that s korea has no head of state just now! well, not even remembering No Toes McCurdy seems an apt analogy. “…his shot was faster than his draw”, lol.

  13. missile command envy

    and what does this incident say about “missile defense”? certainly since Russia got involved in Syria, I’ve had the strong impression that their missile technology is superior to the US’. 20 something missiles still got thru, 40% of whatever. man I hope we can whittle that number down to 10% before the coming nuclear exchange…I know I don’t any of the details of what R did for countermeasures, beyond “electronic jamming”. but they tried. and partially failed. nothing less than 100% means anything, re nukes, that is. i’m sure missile command will give us the little missile system that could. program it to say to itself, “i think I can…I think I can…” the magnitude of the sick joke that is the pentagon budget is pretty boggling. this may be a good instance of DOD operational abilities: 60% of your shit won’t work.

    • sub missile sub commandante

      why didn’t they do a Schwartzkopfian power point presentation during this display of awesome firepower? “and here we see another one of our missiles…getting blown up.”

      “i sure wish we had us one of them doomsday devices..”(you do buck, you already do.)

    • now see, i’d forgotten that the 2013 planned missile defense was operational, although i read several times that after the tomahawks (racialist much? like ‘operation geronimo, fook them) russia planned to bolster air defense as it mooted the deconfliction memorandum.

      sick, but some piece just came in on a newsletter saying that as these tomahawks only cost about a million each, replacements will cost a hella lot more. will they be raytheons, too? but fear not, missile command envy: if nukes are used, they’ll only be the kinder, gentler, limited ones.

      and yeah, the ‘it was sarin! oops, assad did it again’ story is getting tired after so many have demonstrated that it was likely just another story. how many links have i put up indicating that? someone linked to the fact that even the NYT (!!!) had retracted its conclusions on ghouta, 2013. and if haley sticks to “delay the investigation” long enough, will there be anything left to investigate? but yes, it’s all been quite the spectacle. and how sick of brian williams.

      full command and control woman

    • You think Russia would show the full capability of their system before it was needed, especially given the heads up that the Tomahawks were on their way.

      And yes, the most expensive military in the world does not thereby constitute the most powerful military in the world.

  14. sorry, but i’m done for the day. too much time trying to make out the irs Big Book instructions, reading online, tra la la. gotta date w/ a couple pbs mysteries. ‘missile command envy’; gotta love that. grin + grin.

    • some good insights there, v. esp. the point that the Empire loves to depose secular rulers which are replaced by…puppets; never works out quite like they hope, but that doesn’t matter, either, if the point is keeping the war on terr’a going endlessly. i’m not buyin’ his epically glowing characterizations of putin, but still, the russian people are very happy to see him standing up the hegemon, *and* perhaps admire his and lavrov’s diplomatic skills as well.

      but wm. wedin’s religious demographics were fascinating; thanks. and sure, i thought you’d like b’s and dilbert dude’s take, which is why i mentioned it.

  15. Indeed, I did enjoy b’s take.

    • i’d meant to say thanks for bringing the link, although i think he’s wrong on a few cunts as i’ve said. i also was glad that william medin reminded us why we knew saddam had had wmds at one point: cuz the west gave them to him to kill iranians! while all that was being discussed back in the day, i always wondered why no one dared to bring that up.

      and the pipelines, of course, and the neo-con hit lit of nations that wesley clark had named. sadly, some of those tomahawks hit other towns and villages, killing more civilians.

      to all: remember the reportage of putin saying that his support for assad “wasn’t unconditional”? can anyone try to parse that? and heeeeere’s bana! 21st century wire

  16. Oh, sweet palm sunday, stop the presses! guess who was the intended target of the object lesson of the missile strikes on the Shayrat air basesyria? nikki and ReXXon say: roosia!

    “U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in an interview that the U.S. missile strike was intended to send a message to Russia.
    “The entire administration was in agreement that this was something that had to be done. “And this is something to let Russia know, ‘You know what? We’re not going to have you cover for this regime anymore. And we’re not going to allow things like this to happen to innocent people.'”

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson similarly criticized Russia, saying the country has not fulfilled its commitments. In 2013, Russia and the United States brokered a deal to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. Tillerson has slammed Moscow for either failing or neglecting to enforce that agreement.

    “I’m disappointed because I think the real failure here has been Russia’s failure to live up to its commitments under the chemical weapons agreements that were entered into in 2013,” Tillerson said during an interview on ABC’s “This Week.”

    Senior U.S. military officials said Friday the Pentagon is looking into whether Russia participated or assisted in the chemical attack in Syria, as well as an attack on a local hospital.” (the Hill)

    • There is going to be a war! The U.S. is just itching to put Russia down.
      The bloody fucking fools do not know or understand Russia or Russians.
      Let’s just hope it doesn’t go nuclear; but there will be war…

      • one could ascribe it to the ‘russia did x, y, z parody, but contemplating a real war w/ russia would not be a proxy war. it may come to limited nuclear strikes, but my sense is that the US knows what military strength and allies russia has, so…the war may just continue against ‘the proxies’ (syria, libya yemen), especially economically.

        no, they do not understand either russia nor china, do they? sleep well, v.

  17. i’ll try to start a new #syria thread tomorrow; i have one Very Worthy Tweet that will suffice to anchor it.

    but as an aside:
    my recent encounters with a militant vegan had prompted me to ask mr. wd to bring home bags and bags of hot dogs, brats, and chicken legs from the Slaveway Deli to snarf and gormf on. i’d pictured throwing the chicken leg bones over our shoulders after a bit or two.

    but alas, he’d thought i was jesting…wish he’d checked w/ me before he left zetroc (cortez spelled backways)…. ;-)

    on edit: i’d meant to sign off on accounta i have a date w/ mr. wd to watch ‘wolf hall’ (thomas more and oliver cromwell) on pbs. dream as well as you’re able; if not, let the dreams act as teachers of a sort if you can. nite.

  18. My spidey sense says that the Carl Vinson naval battle group being sent to the Korean peninsula is a distraction from a fairly imminent operation against North Korea’s nuclear and missile capabilities (modeled after Israel’s strike against Iraq’s ‘nuclear reactor”). Tillerson’s comment is that China agrees about the seriousness of the situation (ya think, nukes on your border). That does not mean that China necessarily agrees with with Trump intends to do.

    And it does not mean that the Trump administration has thought through the consequences after a bold strike, consequences that might involve restarting the 64-year-quiet Korean War and endangering one of the US’s economic competitors but political allies.

    Success in destroying North Korea’s new WMD capabilities might slow the Japanese drive to rearmament and the US pressure for it to get its own nuclear capability (an irony like Israel’s chemical weapons capability–still not open to OPCW inspections like Syria is).

    That the US officials said Russia was the target of the lesson, given the warning, seem a bit of disinformation unless the US actually learned of the S-300 or S-400 air defense capabilities from this easy-peasy operational test with fair warning. (Can be compared easily with the way DoD does its testing of US air defense equipment.)

    To my mind, the major ways to put Russia on a real war footing would be to operationally threaten Tartus, Sevastapol, or Kaliningrad. Or to launch a credible air attack on the Russian homeland. US warships have in the Obama administration close-pressed all three of those naval bases and drawn some aircraft buzzing sufficient to create an international incident to neoconservative satisfaction of “danger”. Spooky Kabuki. What would be a real threat for a country that depends on geographic withdrawal as its first line of defense and the weather as an ally.

    Does the Trump administration think there is some grand bargain in this brinksmanship (not that we are quite at the brink the JFK was in 1962)?

    The balance of power at the moment is US-Russia-China and in Asia, China-India-Pakistan. In Europe, Britain and France are yoked in NATO and the politics of the European Union makes Europe not a current power player. The rest of the world are spectators in the high-stakes game. A Trump action on North Korea would return North Korea to protectorate status, maybe not bad for China except for the optics of being a reliable protector. Unless the US presses its presence to the Chinese border as it has with the Russian border in Europe, China might verbally and loudly object but not react.

    And the hegemon gets the illusion of being numero uno again. The sole superpower. #MAGA before 100 days. It is the march of folly nonetheless.

    • lots to unpack here, but the carl vinson as a ‘distraction’ for a hit on drkp’s nuclear capabilities; i’d reckoned it was by way of a threat object lesson. but re: your spidey senses: you seem to be implying that some other form of delivery system/ordinance might be imminent? the battle group seems to consist of: “Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Wayne E. Meyer and USS Michael Murphy, and Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57).”

      those wouldn’t be adequate to whatever task the DoD might have in mind? also, it does seem that the DoD seems to be running the show, and that there are even internal disagreements, but maybe that’s for show, as well? i don’t remember what israel used in iraq, but i vaguely remember alleged before and after sat images.

      as far as i’ve read, ‘state media’ was expressing supreme displeasure w/ the vinson group heading to the peninsula, but it’s hard to see that xi would welcome a new korean war, w/ the north raining down nukes and whatnot on the south, isn’t it? a for japan, today may be the g-7 meeting in italy, and among the topics will be libya, ukraine, and syria. what will be let out for public consumption? but your guess is that the Empire wants japan to become part of the nuclear club? fuck, talk about short-sighted!

      re us officials and ‘message to russia’, it was only Rexxon and haley, so there is that. it may be far more personal to their long-standing hatred of putin. some in T’s cabinet have exceptional jones for getting iran; i forget the who’s-who of it all. but it all seems pretty chaoitic. oh: and i like Spooky Kabuki regarding O’s navy buzzing russia’s ports.

      as for your thoughts on china likely not reacting militarily ‘if a hit’ comes on north, korea, your guess would be better than mine as to the realpolitik at play, but i’d guess that xi would lose face as far as ‘reigning in pyonyang’s nukes’. or was it full-fledged ‘dismantling their nuclear program’?

      or would it take this one? ‘in service’ since nov. 2017. god’s blood, the waste of money it’s taking to be the sole Superpower on the planet.

      • Make Japan pay their own way instead of sitting under the US nuclear umbrella forever. That’s the crazy logic of that position.

        • ay yi yi. makes a certain amount of sense, if you apply the metaphor of herr T campaigning on ‘out of nato’, then switching to ‘europe should pony up more money!’

          can’t find a hashtag for g-7 lucca (save for one in italian), but RT put up this one; i’ll add a few more Fun Ones:

          also: he shares your spidey senses: ‘Ex-MI6 chief fears Trump will launch catastrophic war on North Korea’, RT, april 10

  19. Poppy Bush sez, I’m getting The Darn0ld Trump into Syriassly deep DOO-DOO!

  20. …hi wd

    …Came across and read this early Mon AM that USian Wicked/Evil Empire’s ( UWEE ) current WashDC WH regime”s SOS Tillerson was running off at the mouth about UWEE’ s great concern about and for global humanity and human innocents being badly treated, abused and being forced to endure hellish demonic inflicted death and destruction at the hands of evil and wicked humans.

    …Plain to see and know WashDC and this USian Empire we USians enable and empower are first rank liars and hypocrites. As it is USian Militarism has been killing innocent humanbeings since 1945 by the tens/hundreds of 1,000’s by many evil and wicked means and ways. Since late 2001 USians have been raining death and destruction down on ME, Asia, Africa and the Americas while maiming and killing humanbeings, innocents and children based on perfidious lies and deceptions.

    …Was hoping to get to April 20,2017 delurk/comment free here at cafe-b and then to June 20,2017 despite this latest installed USian Misdirection Theatre Trump WH of the ongoing reign of warmongers and war criminals led Trump/Obama/Bush/Clinton post 1992 USian WashDC regime. However today is only April 10, 2017.

    …Incredibly current POTUSEmpire Trump and MICC/CIA/NSA and assorted ranks of lesser minions and orcs in USian Empire/WashDC plus the useless and rotted out RepDem UniParty and it’s R. Vs. D junk politics of mislead/badly lead/don’t lead hacks are on a full roll and it is only April 10, 2017. So called USian Political Elections Do Not Matter. We USians do not get to elect / control CIA, NSA and Pentagon. We get MisDirection Political Vaudeville Shows and Acts.

    …Too bad Barack Obama, G.W.Bush and Bill and Hill Clinton and R.B.Cheney ( for starters ) are not already sitting in prison after having been convicted for 9/11/2001 plotting and cover up crimes and follow on so called GWOT warmongering and war crimes they endorsed, enabled and executed. Looks like Donald Trump can now be fitted for prison wear and a war criminal’s prison cell as well. Sad.

    … USians should be ashamed of how we condone the likes of WarCriminals Obama and Bush/Cheney and the Clintons while preaching R2P and telling Big Lies about who has been and is doing the big killing of innocents since 2015, 2010, 2005 or 2000, 1990 or 1980, 1970, 1960 or 1950. We USians have not been forced to see and know what war can bring about in ways that Russia, Germany, Japan or China saw firsthand during WW2. When many USian cities are looking like many German or Japanese cities were lookng like by early 1945 perhaps USians may/will only then understand what we USians have done or condoned being done to Palestine by TelAviv and Israel or done Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria and continue seeking to do to Iran.

    …Looks like not electing Killer Hillary Clinton and denying her warmongering to follow on as Warmonger/Warcrminal Barack Obama’s ongoing NeoConDemWarParty WH extension has now been fixed by PTB’s in WashDC who plainly have derailed any ideas Trump WH may have had about not needing to start a war with Russia. USians now seem set on starting a war with the Russians and likely the Chinese and Iranians then too. USians may start this warmaking but likely will not end it on USian terms or conditions.

    …One can hope the Democrats go the way of the Whigs as the D’s have sold out on/in all ways that may have or could have mattered since 1980. We now see ObamaCare timing / flaming out just weeks after it’s namesake Slick Barack “Big Lie Teller ” Obama slipped out of the WH Oval Office. Imagine that. USians were badly misled and lied to by the Dems led by the likes of Obama and Pelosi back in 2009 and 2010. Obama and Pelosi were/are charlatans.

    … Hitlerian styled USian Militarism is alive and well in post 1990 WashDC and perhaps only when WashDC, NYC, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Denver and LA / SanFranciso are smoldering ruins ( radioactive or not ) will common USians see and know what the death and destruction of war is and becomes.

    ….Too bad this all is too as it did not need to go/be this way.

    …sta…take care wd…best always to you and yours …;-)

  21. oh, arrow; what a sight for sore eyes (ha; literally, as it turns out) you are! i’ve bee so concerned by your absence that i’ve emailed you, asking if things were okay w/ you or not, given the level of precarity and ill health we’ve been seeing here, there, and everywhere…lately. but i never herd back; perhaps the address you use here is akin to a couple others i’ve tried to contact: only auxiliary accounts for blogging/commenting, or deleted ones.

    (Doug C, for one, if you’re lurking…)

    i’m not terribly surprised that reXXon would have been so hypocritically virtue-signaling that rubbish, but then remember: “we’re Exxon! we don’t care, cuz we don’t have to!” but if ya keep up w/ the twit accounts of nato, the many compromised NGOs, tra la la, ya see it all the time. there are bad guys, them, and the good guy…Us. it seems that at least reXXon has changed his mind again, and assad doesn’t *have to go* now, but that…wait for it: the syrians should decide. arrrrgh, ptui. it’s a ciil war, see, not a proxy war.

    yeah, détente w/ russia was too much to bear for some of the ruling class, wasn’t it? but my guess is the “russia eleted trump” contingent ain’t gonna stop, unless it turns to (as per pelosi, et.al.) calling for investigations of russia’s part in the sarin attacks™. but oh, fareed z: “trump is now the president!” yup, he has blood, but has since the botched seal raid in yemen, of course, and elsewhere.

    as far as this: “…Was hoping to get to March 20,2017 delurk/comment free here at cafe-b and then to June 20,2017…”, i may not be taking your meaning, but as to the march 20, you seem to have, as today is april 10, and i know this cuz Criminal Tax Day is only 8 short days away.

    i should scoot, but i’d like to say that now and again i say: ‘as shoot that arrow often says, it didn’t have to be this way’. but now i wonder if that’s altogether true. as long as the capitalist system holds sway, perhaps it did. does. but yes, if they come for us…

    bless your heart for de-cloaking, and my best to you and your partner. my e-address is in the ‘contact me’ category at the top of the right side bar, should you need it.

    on edit: i fixed it…i think. ;-)

  22. …sorry wd for the tardy error corrections…I had proof read that comment several times before posting it…dagnabit!!…aarrgghhh…🏹

    • good grief, arrow; even with an edit correction on my comments and OPs, i still mook things up. no apologies necessary, srsly. but i think i’ve followed your corrections…correctly.

  23. …thanx wd…evidently feeble minded ailments of misplaced memory have now come to stay and set in … could be a slippery slope plain to see…eventually someone will likely just take the keyboard away from me for my own good …imagine that….

    …I saw your comment about having sent an email and took some time to go rooting around amidst several email accounts pulling up inbox contents and finally did find it wd…sorry to have not seen your email earlier wd…as it is hooya has been changing lots since I first hooked up with them many years ago pre Marissa Mayer era of steep decline –during and now post MM’s Reign Of Error hooya became and has become less and less what it once was and more of something else …unhappily so…I will keep an eye out for email from you henceforth wd…thank you for being thoughtful and taking time to inquire wd …we are doing AOK…staying busy with doing the day to day / month to month things…winter seemingly was / has been an easy one and now spring is back again…companion is doing fine with his work/career and I seem to keep busy enough with projects, tasks and several ongoing inspirations and aspirations which seem to be enough to keep an old farm boy like me happy enough…wishing you a pleasant spring wd …take care …best to you and yours…🏹

    • i’m just glad to know that your and your companion are okey-dokey. but if you click the .notify me of comment by email’ (or close to that) under the comment boxes, the address you sign in w/ is where the comments will arrive. don’t be a stranger, oft’-lurker.

      degrading memory and brain functions i know only too well. having been reminded recently of what benefit ot life-force (qi) and brain function shiitaki mushrooms are, i soaked some we have in the food cellar (ish, slimey fish strips are close). so i ground a bunch of them t powder in the food processor, and am sprinkling it on about half of everything we eat.

      hope i sound sharper soon, lol.

  24. col. sanders vermont-fried spicy syrians

    US left: So Bernie Sanders now wants regime change in Syria provided Israel and Saudi Arabia are on board’, angryarab

    as the perfesser notes, not unilaterally=w/Israel & S Arabia. but the bern has said stuff like this before. he’s an lbj lib: medicare for some, napalm for others.

  25. note, col. sanders vermont-fried spicy syrians, that what he actually objected to was “pouring money down a rat hole”, ergo, a diplomatic political solution, yada, yada. “make him an offer he cant refuse’, tightening the screws on russia”. oh, and i reformatted it for ya.

    yep, and in mid-may he swears he’s gonna offer a senate version of conyers’, er.al.’s HB676 (or is it 767?) quite a lefty there, isn’t he? he’s broadcasting his people’s revolution on netflix or somewhere now i tunes, whatever that is.

    as an aside, i was just collecting a few on ‘the left’ who do much the same as the bern to illustrate a coming post on an author’s narrative of washington’s long class war on Syria.

    damnation, though, w/ your screen name, i’m kinda glad now that mr. wd hadn’t brought home all the baskets of hot dogs and greasy fried chicken i’d been askin’ for after my recent close encounters w/ a militant vegan. somebody get me a cheeseburger!

  26. the april ‘pink’ full moon rose over our local menefee mountain a bit ago; jupiter above and a bit to the south of her. la luna bella!

    i’m out for the night, and wish you all good dreaming. love those you’re able to love and make community with, even in your dreams.

  27. A very comprehensive piece over at Katehon;
    It’s written by Germán Gorráiz López, of whom I’ve never heard.
    However, well written and a rather good overview of where we are and, most importantly, how we got here; hint, it wasn’t an accident…

    • ooof. zbig’s influence can’t be over-stated, can it, v? waaay too long for me right now, but THD knows zbig well, and he’s a fast reader, too boot, so he may love reading it.

      on further edit: i can’t remember where i’d seen you rec katehon. but one day i did click in there and read the most gruesome invective about lgbtq genders that i’ve ever read. i now know there are different authors there, but that they published all that at the site is a major black mark against the place for me. just sayin’.

      • The article seems to me to be disconnected, using “Zbig” as shorthand for every scrap of US policy Brezinski ever wrote about, regardless of his influence over the policy. It also does not distinguish between when Brezinski is being descriptive and when he is making recommendations. It tends to overstate how coherent US foreign policy actually is in practice and ignore the tussles that take place both in the national security elite circles and in the deep state (as documented on the occasion in which they erupt in the public eye.)

        The unstated assumption of any foreign policy or national security adviser is the advancement of his nation’s imperial ambitions (otherwise known as “the Great Game”). Few analyses by these guys ever try to look at the world from an “objective” or “global” perspective. And they know that their job depends on telling the deciders how to best use power, which generally gets reduced to military power.

        Lopez’s article is an anachronistic hash of Brezhinski quote and geographic references going randomly over the past 40-some-odd years. And nowhere does it mention that Brezhinski has a huge ax to grind with respect to the Soviet Union (and Russia) that goes beyond US policy changes.

        Lopez never states what Brezhinski ideas he wants to validate and never puts them to the test.

        Bottom line: The framework of US policy for the last 74 years has been the notion of an American Century that cloaked longer-term imperial ambitions. Any foreign policy adviser must sign on to that framework (and so must every President) if they expect to get a hearing. This framework does not even imagine a multi-polar world nor does it ask how to make a multipolar world world better than the one that collapsed in 1914. And Kissinger and Brezhinski are now has-beens, good for an interview but rarely participating in the formulation of US policy, especially in the Trump administration.

        Katehon seems like an aggregator that takes a wide range of opinion pieces that strike a distinctly Russian think tank’s attention. The list of authors and topics was by far the most interesting part of the site. Marine Le Pen to Dean Baker is one that is not the biggest stretch of positions in the list. I can’t think of a US aggregator at all that wide-ranging while holding enough national conventional thinking not to stir up a fuss.

        • I enjoy Katehon as one of many sources of news and information well outside of MSM.
          What I took away from Lopez’s article was the intent of U.S. policies to maintain a unipolar world at all costs. The U.S. intervention in Syria (among many other countries), even after Russia’s legal assistance to Assad, is ample proof of that.
          The U.S.’s unipolarity is history and nothing the U.S. can do will alter that fact.
          In any event, sorry you found Lopez’s writing wanting.
          Sir Halford Mackinder, Spykman, and Admiral Mahan offer the best world view I’ve yet to find; and it seems to be the game that’s being played out by all of the world’s players today.

          • Mackinder, Spykman, and Mahan’s game is the one being played because the former dominant player, the United States, and the former dominant player, the United Kingdom, architected the global system to encourage that world view. The architecture of the American Century that was put into being in 1947 was satirized in 1948 (published in 1949) by George Orwell’s “Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.” Lopez fell short of making the argument that is obvious: even Donald Trump (especially #MAGA Donald Trump) seeks to maintain a unipolar world at all costs. Just look at the escalation the cost of “the most expensive military in the world.” That single fact tells the story of unipolarity. Reciting the history of the American Century diverts from the current situation.

            Interestingly, multipolarity was a possibility prior to the NATO Summit in 2012. There were enough US writers talking about “after America” about a decade ago to outline a number of possible alternative scenarios. It is clear that Obama chose to double down on unipolarity. Kerry flirted with exploring multipolarity enough at the beginning of his term to disarm Syria of chemical weapons; but the empire struck back with its Ukraine policy. And then they slowly dismantled BRICS – impeachment for Roussef; new Cold War for Russia; election of BJP for India; transition to Asia for China; AFRICOM for South Africa and Nigeria. And endless occupation of Afghanistan to put pressure at China’s western border (not to mention a nest of Islamic jihadis).

            Yes Mahan, Mackinder, and Spykman still dominate the paranoid thinking of the US national security establishment. In their view, if Asia ever has the transportation infrastructure that the US had at its peak in 1975 (population and austerity have degraded it), Asia would inspire fear in the world. Whether respect or fear is the response of the world depends on the values with which the power that infrastructure gives a nation is used and the openness to creating an actual open society that is among the elites of the society.

            American attachment to unipolarity is such that now the only visionary alternatives presented in the US (as opposed to a decade ago) are unipolarity or Armageddon.

            There was one point in the decline of the Soviet Union that I thought that the most reasonable ploy would be for US business to do a leveraged buy-out of the Soviet economic institutions and rejigger them. Behind the pretense of “shock therapy”, that was indeed what happened but not with US business but with the international informal economy.

            A conditional debt jubilee of international creditors might be the current way of unwinding the crisis. The condition of course is an absolute reduction in military infrastructure and a corresponding investment in reconstruction (demining, post-contaminant clean-up, environmental restoration, rebuilding) of everything that has been damaged in the British Imperial Collapse and the American Century.

            This is the challenge that corresponds to what the Congress of Vienna tried to do in limiting European general war in 1815. But it is a much bigger task and must now take into account the collapse of pure capitalism, which was not apparent in 1815.

            That of course depends on the reliability of the US not coming to its senses in any meaningful way internally in the next decade. Another FDR/JFK/LBJ leader in the US with broad popular support could revive limited capitalism for another round. But that will required dramatic reductions in military (and the diplomacy to achieve that) and an end to the doctrine of austerity and holding the elite harmless in paying taxes. And accepting that unipolarity is history and that it is going to take some hard diplomacy to create a more stable and creative international order.

            • thanks for this, THD. lots of good insights, although i had to go look at the #MAGA on twitter; still have no idea what the acronym stands for.

              perilous, chaotic, insane times.

            • “And then they slowly dismantled BRICS.” yeah, kind of obvious when you think of it. there is a strategy, effed up as it is.

              so terrible…the waste. the sumerians…taught the assyrians taught the Babylonians Persians greeks romans…Britons USAians. what are we teaching our successors, assuming such ever occur?

            • Interesting; Mahan (September 27, 1840 – December 1, 1914) wrote in the late 1880’s about the sea trade routes and their strategic importance. These routes had been used for thousands of years by many countries/powers. So, my quibble is about “when” this strategy came about.
              I thought Lopez was very clear the U.S. unipolarity is coming to an end.
              And last I checked BRICS was still viable, troubled but viable.
              Russia, China, and Iran do trade oil and gas in other than dollars. Russia, as you probably know, has an alternative to the SWIFT and it’s now operational.
              I’ve been out of the U.S. solidly for 14 years, in a very different culture, with not one western friend; so it’s very likely my POV will differ by a wide margine, as it apparently does.
              I had never thought of 1984 as satire; perhaps you could amplify a bit for me. I did look up satire in the Oxford dictionary to be certain of my understanding.
              If 1984 was satire; then isn’t life in the U.S. a satirical existence/experience? ;-)

              • All of the aspects that went into the Big Brother society in 1984 were visible in the immediate postwar West. Especially the shift in tone between the Roosevelt/Churchill foreign policy and the Truman foreign policy (Churchill was out an campaigning against big-C Communism). The vices, follies, and abuses being held up for ridicule include but are not limited to (1) the institutional practice of forming completely new vocabularies and syntax in order to advance political agendas; (2) the rapid rewriting of history to cover past atrocities and advance new ones; (3) the suppression of “personal issues” in advancement of corporate or government agendas; (4) the peddling of rapidly changing enemies for hating; (5) the desire of institutions and ruling institutions to be infinitely loved. A subtle ridicule not a guffawing one. The Mahan-Mackinder-Spykman thesis for all its historical footnote should be seen as the ridiculous reduction of history and national security theory that it is, and yet it still rules the fact we go from one war to another because a united Eurasia wins the game of Risk. As if that’s the only game on offer.

                The problem we face is that the world of 1948 read Nineteen Eighty-Four as an allegory about the Stalinist Soviet Union and the capitalist west breathed a sigh of relief when the year 1984 passed. And now, with Trump in the White House, it is becoming strongly relevant again. The character “Big Brother” was always a front man for an institutional presence based on certain rules of operation and enforced by willing followers bound up in whatever IngSoc meant to them at a given time.

                US analysts are less clear now that US unipolarity is coming to an end because there is the assumption that more military will force US unitary power. Trump’s adviser McMaster certainly doesn’t think US unipolarity is coming to an end.

                I think that the question is whether the US makes that a disastrous or a gracious end. Right now bets are on disastrous. How fast those other centers of polarity become economically powerful and gracious enough to work together for a common global interest will make a difference between a difficult and less difficult transition of American self-perception. Key issues in this are building an economic buffer against the US tanking the global economy again, offsetting US folly on climate change, driving forward reductions in nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, reducing the use of landmines, cleaning up the landscapes of war, and forcing the US towards the autarky it claims it wants.

                I’m not sure the satire was as apparent as recently; the shock of non-recognition was persistent in the US until about a decade ago; Brave New World seemed much more likely. Now they look parallel and interact in strange ways in analyzing current media presentation of global events and “civilized” institutions.

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