The Café Babylon May War & War Report

‘war never ends’ by brian d. morgan

Given that there are so many wars, both expanding military ones, and of so many sorts of oppressions of the citizenry in various locales in the news (well, alternative news in the main), I’m providing titles and just a taste for most of them, so that you might choose which ones to explore further.  I’d thought to include ‘wars on the inconvenient rabble in amerika by presidential budget proposal’, and they are epically Disastrous proposals, but may prove even too much for especially the R team and a few Ds to approve in the end.  So, they’ll have to take a backseat, at least for now.

‘US launches raid in Yemen as Trump concludes Middle East trip’ by Bill Van Auken,, 24 May 2017

“On Tuesday, as President Donald Trump was wrapping up his three-day trip to the Middle East, US Special Operations troops carried out a raid deep into Yemen, with the US Central Command claiming that they killed seven members of Al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Both Centcom and local Yemenis reported that the raid conducted in Yemen’s central Ma’arib province was accompanied by intense air strikes by US planes, drones and helicopters.

A Centcom spokesman claimed that the raid was not aimed at killing or capturing any individual, but rather at capturing computers, hard drives and cellphones that could yield information on the AQAP’s plans.”

Libya – Massacre At Brak al-Shatti May Trigger Larger Civil War’;  by Richard Galustian, May 23 at Moon of Alabama

“Egypt, the UN and Arab governments try to mediated between the two governments in Libya. A massacre at an air base interrupted the process and threatens to intensify the civil war.

(Cairo) Nobody has their eye on Libya with all “western” media preoccupied with DC machinations, Russiaphobia and the first overseas trip of President Trump.

What about the implosion we are on the brink of seeing in Libya following the murder of all LNA Air Force personnel at the Brak al-Shati AFB?

The death toll in the attack of a Libyan National Army airbase, in south Libya, rose to over 140, a spokesman for Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar said on Sunday.

Remarkably it was militia (called ‘the third force’) of the UN unelected Government of National Accord (GNA) under Faez Serraj that attacked and executed the unarmed men in the Brak al-Shati Air base. There were allegedly foreigners among the attackers possibly aligned with al-Qaeda.

LNA spokesman Ahmad al-Mesmari said on Friday most of the fatalities were maintenance and support Air Force personnel including some pilots. He added the victims included many civilians such as cooks and cleaners who worked at the airbase or were in the nearby area, adding that barbaric summary executions were carried out one by one, all head shots. “Many of the young airmen were returning from a military parade. They weren’t armed but still were executed,” the spokesman said.”

‘US ramps up bombing in Afghanistan as Trump mulls troop surge’ from RT, 24 May, 2017

“As the Pentagon lobbies President Donald Trump to send up to 5,000 more troops to Afghanistan, US jets have stepped up bombing operations to levels last seen in 2012, in an effort to crush an Islamic State affiliate before it establishes a foothold.

The latest airpower report released by the US Central Command (CENTCOM) shows 460 bombs, missiles and other weapons released over Afghanistan in April. This is more than the ordnance used in the previous two months combined, a sevenfold increase over the 62 weapons used in April of last year, and the most bombs dropped since August 2012, when 589 weapons were used.” [snip]

“The use of MOAB was reportedly a surprise even to Defense Secretary James Mattis, according to a recent profile in The New Yorker. Nicholson was apparently following through on orders by the Trump administration that delegated even more authority to local commanders, and instructed them to “annihilate” IS, rather than simply push it out of territories the terrorist group has occupied.”

(CENTCOM’s press releases can be found here.)

by Shamsia Hassani

War against Israeli apartheid: ‘Palestinian Prisoners Hunger Strike Enters Day 37’, May 23, by SAMIODUN, the Palestinian Prisoners Solidarity Network, Black Agenda Report

Completely unnoticed by US corporate media, 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners are engaged in a hunger strike, a literal fast to the death demanding human rights in Israeli prisons and jails.  As with most actions undertaken by prisoners, their tools and options are seriously limited. Most options are in the hands of the authorities, and those of us outside the walls.  They’re standing up.  We know where the Congressional Black Caucus stands.  Where are you standing?

1500 prisoners – out of a total of approximately 6500 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails – launched the strike on 17 April 2017, Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. Throughout that time, strikers have consumed salt and water only to protect their lives and health.

Palestinian hunger strikers have faced harsh repression from Israeli occupation prison authorities. They have been denied legal and family visits, thrown in isolation and solitary confinement, abusively transferred repeatedly from prison to prison and had their personal belongings confiscated, including in many cases the salt on which they rely.”

At TRNN: Art as a Form of Nonviolent Resistance: Palestine; Palestinian political cartoonist Mohammad Saba’aneh talks about his art and its importance to him and to the Palestinian people

‘In visit to Israel, Trump escalates attacks on Iran’ by Bill Van Auken, wsws, 23 May 2017

“Donald Trump made clear from the moment of his arrival in Israel Monday that the purpose of his trip, promoted by the White House and the media as part of a quest for “Middle East peace,” is the consolidation of reactionary regional alliance in support of a US military buildup against Iran.

The US president flew to Tel Aviv directly from Saudi Arabia, where he delivered an inflammatory speech designed to consolidate a military alliance of Sunni oil monarchies and dictatorships against Iran. Portraying the struggle as one of “good against evil” and invoking “god” nine times, Trump made a clear appeal to sectarian divisions to promote what amounts to a holy war by the Sunni regimes against the predominantly Shia Iran.

Trump kept up his anti-Iranian rhetoric in statements made during meetings with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Speaking alongside Rivlin, Trump said, “There is growing realization among your Arab neighbors that they have common cause with you in the threat posted by Iran.

“Most importantly,” he added, “the United States and Israel can declare with one voice that Iran must never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon—never, ever—and must cease its deadly funding, training and equipping of terrorists and militias, and it must cease immediately.”

An interesting and plausible angle comes from Peter Ford, the former UK ambassador to Syria and Bahrain, at RT, May 22:  ‘Arab NATO’ reserve force to fight terrorism is ‘myth & propaganda’

“US President Donald Trump on Sunday addressed leaders of 55 Muslim-majority countries who gathered for the Arab-Islamic American Summit in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh.

Washington and Middle East countries signed a new pact that promises to provide extra troops to fight terrorists. The so-called Riyadh declaration says leaders of those Islamic countries are ready to provide a reserve force of 34,000 troops when needed.

RT asked analysts where this “reserve force” of 34,000 troops will be used?

Peter Ford said he thinks “it’s a myth.” In his opinion, the Saudis and Emiratis “cannot count on the loyalty of their own troops.”

“It is a symbolic gesture so Trump can look good in the eyes of the American and the wider Western media. Let’s be realistic here: this whole visit was not about advancing the fight against terrorism, or advancing Middle East peace – it was about Trump trying to recover some prestige after his battering back home in Washington. So these symbolic gestures and these pictures of him doing Saudi dancing in Riyadh,” Ford said.

This entire Saudi trip “was designed to restore Trump’s image,” the former ambassador added. “If he were serious, then in his big speech yesterday we would have heard some acknowledgment of the two countries, which are doing most to resist ISIS. That is the government of Iraq and the government of Syria. But Trump did not make any acknowledgment whatsoever of these countries, and he also tried to portray Iran, as the biggest threat in terms of terrorism, while this is a blatant distortion that has not been one single instance that Trump could point to of Iranian-inspired terrorism in the West,” he said.”

A blow against NATO exposé: ‘If NATO Wants Peace and Stability it Should Stay Home’, Ulson Gunnar, May 20,

“A curious op-ed appeared in The National Interest, penned by Hans Binnendijk and David Gompert, adjunct senior fellows at the RAND Corporation. Titled, “NATO’s Role in post-Caliphate Stability Operations,” it attempts to make a case for NATO involvement everywhere from Libya to Syria and Iraq in fostering stability in the wake of a yet-to-be defeated Islamic State.

The authors propose that NATO step in to fill what it calls an impending “vacuum left as the caliphate collapses,” heading off alternatives including “chaos or Iran, backed by Russia, filling the void, with great harm to U.S. and allied interests in either case.” The op-ed never explains why Iran, neighboring Syria and Iraq, is less qualified to influence the region than the United States which exists literally oceans away and shares nothing in terms of history, culture, language or shared interests in stability and peace.

The op-ed would literally claim:

‘NATO is the only security organization with the skills and breadth to take on this task. The U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition of 68 partners is ill equipped to engage in this complex task. A more cohesive organization such as NATO should lead, but in ways that allow continued Arab participation. A creative version of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) coalition could provide the answer.’

It was an interesting choice by the authors to showcase one of NATO’s most stupendous and continuing failures in Afghanistan with mention of the ISAF, a force that not only has failed to bring stability to the Central Asia nation in over a decade and a half of occupation, but has presided over the emergence of the Islamic State there where previously it had no presence.

The reality of what NATO is versus what The National Interest op-ed attempts to pass it off as, resembles more of a sales pitch for a shoddy product than a genuine attempt at geopolitical analysis or problem solving. But the truth goes deeper still.”

subheadings include:

‘NATO is a Global Wrecking Ball, It Cannot Create Stability’
‘Really Stopping the Islamic State Means Really Stopping Support for It’

Herr Trump is in Brussels for the next two days, and oh, will they be busy courting campaign ‘US out of NATO’ Herr Trumpeter the Tweeter bigtime.  But then he’d also campaigned on ‘no regime change’, as well.  Yeah well, so it goes…

File this under: all too believable:  ‘BWC Violations in Georgia and Ukraine: “Two Grey Research Bio Weapons Banana Republics”, Henry Kamens, May 15,

“As Gordon Duff of Veterans Today wrote last year: “Despite treaties prohibiting the use of biological and chemical weapons, treaties prohibiting the development and use of nuclear weapons and the wars, some passive through sanctions and others, wholesale slaughter such as the invasion of Iran in 2003, something entirely different is going on.”

Take biological weapons for instance, as highlighted by a recent media release. The Russian foreign ministry reported that the US is surrounding Russia with labs specialising in biological weapons.

The Russian Foreign Ministry is now making official what many insiders know is true – that there is a US “military-biological infrastructure” on the borders of Russia and this is a “real and present danger”. To add injury to insult, the MFA describes how the US is refusing to answer questions as to what is being dispatched from these alleged military bio weapons labs.

(A) Message was published on MFAs’ web-site because of disagreements with American position, outlined in State Departments’ report towards abidance of disarmament and non-proliferation agreements by States. The MFA also writes about US imposing sanctions based on “far-fetched excuses” and intensification of NATO bases close to Russia’s borders. After follows blocking the Convention which prohibits biological and toxic weaponry. It is indicated that US blocked the researching work on compromise exactly at the decisive moment.”

Silverman has repeated many times in the Russian and Georgian media that this lab, and the PR associated with it, are attempts to bypass the Bio Weapons Convention (BWC), which prohibits research into, and the development of, bioweapons. Basically, this treaty bans anyone from conducting further research into dangerous biological agents (substances) which can be weaponised.

The BWC is a legislative charter (binding treaty), and prohibits the existence of biological weapons and their use, and also the testing of them on humans.

The US based Veterans Today publication has identified bioweapons facilities in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Libya, Romania and, of course, the United States.

All these labs claim to be studying various diseases. However this curious and unexplained research, which seldom or never leads to any findings, is little more than a childish cover for mischief, which in Georgia, as we can read below, is now long proven.”

What do you think?

War by other means, and yeah, this is startin’ to

US Policymakers Openly Plot Against Venezuela’, May 24, 2017, Tony Cartalucci, land destroyer (LD)

“The US media has been paying increasing attention to the unfolding crisis in the South American nation of Venezuela. As the US media has done elsewhere, it is attempting to portray the unfolding crisis as a result of a corrupt dictatorship fighting against a “pro-democracy” opposition.

In reality, it is simply a repeat of US-driven regime change aimed at toppling Venezuela’s independent state institutions and replacing them with institutions created by and for US special interests.”

The “opposition” is comprised of US-backed political parties and US-funded fronts posing as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) many of which are listed on the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED) website.”

Tony may a bit late to the party, but good on him.  #HandsOffVenezuela on twitter; and online

An op-ed from the ‘It’s no coincidence that Bahrain’s bloodiest day since 2011 happened after Trump’s visit’  #BahrainProtests

“Trump’s show of support for Saudi Arabia sent a message: the US backs the repression in the Gulf. Expect violence in Bahrain to continue.

On Sunday, a Bahrain court sentenced Sheikh Issa Qassim, Bahrain’s most prominent Shia figure, to a year in prison, suspended for three years.   It was a guilty verdict in a clearly politicised trial that was undoubtedly a travesty of justice, but there were fears that he would receive a much more severe sentence.

A small glimmer of hope after a torturous six-year struggle? Not in Bahrain.

Within hours, security forces armed with tear gas and shotguns entered the sheikh’s hometown of Diraz, in an aggressive show of force. 

On Tuesday evening, the Ministry of Interior announced that five “outlaws” – or simply protesters in normal terms – had been killed during this onslaught.

This marks the bloodiest day in Bahrain since the protests began in 2011. It is nothing short of a massacre. 

As the situation continued on Wednesday, there were reports of hundreds injured, and at least 250 people in detention, as well as internet services being cut out.”

You’ll remember that the Shia majority population is ruled (and oppressed) by the  Sunni Al Kalifah ruling family minority (even if a bit of an over-simplification).  In 2011 Saudi tanks helped…quell the protests, the bastids.

I should have invited you all to include other links and stories, perhaps on what’s further afoot in the Syrian proxy ‘wars’, or ‘claimed to be afoot’ in the #notProp msm?

From ‘Veterans [to] Oppose Trump Policies, Wars; Rally at Lincoln Memorial; March to White House’

“On Tuesday, May 30, at 11:00 am, veterans and supporters will mass at the Lincoln Memorial. Speakers include Veterans For Peace President Barry Ladendorf, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, David Swanson, Medea Benjamin, Chris Hedges, Brian Becker, Col. Ann Wright, Mara Verhayden Hilliard, Michael McPhearson, and Matt Hoh. Music will be provided by Lyla June Johnston, Pat Scanlon, Ariel Zevon, and the Fugs, who will lead an attempt to exorcise the White House as they did 50 years ago.

“Donald Trump and company are hell-bent on destroying what’s left of our democracy, the environment, and whatever chance we have of world peace. Veterans will not be silent while he does it,” says Matt Hoh, former Marine Captain (two tours in Iraq) and State Department official, who resigned in protest from his post in Afghanistan over U.S. strategic policy and goals.”

A small quibble: Abbie’s schtick was to levitate the Pentagon, not the WH (among other great pranks against the Machine), but I hadn’t remembered the Fugs had…helped.

I like war’ by anthony freda

69 responses to “The Café Babylon May War & War Report

    max keiser & stacy Herbert discussed this thieves’ kitchen on their Tuesday show. as long as trump/pence troop on w/their privatization plans, this lot could care less about these scandals going nowhere in this congress. of course max & stacy opine that the scandals are intentional distractions from the privatization agenda. clearly also distractions from trump’s global freedom agenda, that program whereby unkie sam frees millions of their lives. the domestic war marches on too, let’s not forget.

    thanks for the links on bio chem stuff in E Europe et al. expecting an anthrax outbreak in Tblisi, are we?

    • different sort of SALT conference, eh? loved this, though:
      “For many on Wall Street, deregulation and tax reform matter more than a border wall or travel ban.” ya think?!?

      blast, though, i kept following links to ‘restore glass-steagal’ (a pig’s eye’ promise from campaign T), break-up the TBTFs, tra la la. but yep, the hedge funders and banks really need to get those needles regulations out of the way! and remember: ‘rising ties lift all boats’. (they just have holes and sink, no matter…)

      so…you may be indicating that somethin’ seriously fishy IS going on in those labs? re: tbilisi: remember all the news about trump tower deals in georgia, and his big alliance with saakashvili, who got ru outta dodge after mccain’s war w/ russia? he ended up in ukraine as some sort of ruler, then had to flee again? he’s a bad penny the west loves, sorta in the same vein as ahmed chalabi, one of my favorites. in, out, in, out…of favor. ya needed a score card.

      which domestic wars are you thinking about? there are sooo damned many. p.s. mr. wd had said the galustian link failed, so i went back to grab a fresh copy, and read the comments. not many, of course, cuz as he’d said, few eyes are on that bll any longer. but a link to the many ways the O admin actively helped to ruin south sudan were in turns infuriating and depressing.

  2. gotta love the hell outta this. time mag plagiarized that cover, stole it from mad magazine! of course, the time ‘creator’ will note that HE added the blood red paint… ;-)

    margaret kimberly has it at BAR in her ‘Freedom Rider: Endless Propaganda’, Tue, 05/23/2017 , but i wanted the danged image here; took a while…

  3. whoa, nellie:
    Human rights propaganda in support of imperialist war; The Return of History, Conflict, Migration and Geopolitics in the 21st Century’ by Roger Jordan, 18 May 2017

    “The recently published book The Return of History, Conflict, Migration and Geopolitics in the 21st Century by academic Jennifer Welsh, which has been widely promoted by Canada’s state-funded broadcaster, provides an indication of the mounting concern among so-called liberal sections of the ruling class about how to deal with the reemergence of imperialist conflicts and deepening social inequality. Based on human rights propaganda and a dishonest presentation of the virtues of international law, Welsh argues that the West, including Canadian imperialism, has to act more aggressively to defend its supposedly cherished liberal democratic values against terrorism and a resurgent Russia.

    Welsh is a professor of international relations at Oxford University and, perhaps more significantly in the context of her latest volume, special adviser to the United Nations Secretary General on the responsibility to protect (R2P) doctrine. R2P was developed by an international commission in the early 2000s funded by the Canadian government and has served as the ideological justification for a series of US-led wars and military interventions, most prominently in Libya in 2011.

    Welsh’s central thesis is that the West, and above all the United States, has become too complacent about its position in the world and must more actively uphold “democracy” and other values in the face of new emerging challenges. She acknowledges that the capitalist triumphalism in the wake of the dissolution of the Soviet Union proved to be overly optimistic. The world is not moving inexorably towards democratic capitalist uniformity, as so many ideologists predicted in the early 1990s, but is showing signs of a return to past conflicts and divisions. “If we continue to muddle along,” Welsh writes, “lulled by the conviction that our model is best, that current challenges will ultimately not defeat us, and that everyone else in the world wants what we want, we will not be able to respond to an unforeseen shock or an emerging sign of decay.”

    Behind the rhetoric, Welsh’s call for a more forceful upholding by the US of values such as “democracy” and “human rights” amounts to a plea for an even more aggressive assertion of its imperialist ambitions, as becomes clear throughout the book.

    (the rest is here, and it’s a barn-burner.)

    • “not everyone wants what we want.” now why is that Frau Doktor Professerin? (why german when she’s a brit? oh nevermind.) it’d be funny to listen to her explain just why the afghanis do not want the cornucopia of enlightenment & prosperity ISAF is bringing them. watch her head explode as she considers that abu ghraib was not an aberration.

      • lol. nah, she just comes off as an Imperial frau doktor, but she’s a canuck. impressive resumé for her ilk, and a host of similar publications. purdy noteworthy that she slid by the clusterfuck that’s now libya, eh? i’m so glad you read it, j.

        and how strange that you’re the sole commenter on this thread. too depressing seeing it all stacked in one big ol’ uriah heep? but given it was so, it gave me ample time to weigh in a ian welsh’s site on ‘identity politics’. what a strange commentariat he has there.

        and you never said what you’d meant by ‘remember the domestic wars’.

        • well, as the talking heads sang in Mr. Jones, it’s a holiday.

          when I said “domestic wars” I really was thinking of the social misery in the works by the slash-and-burn privatization schemes of the gov’t.

          but see st. clair’s blurb in the weekend CP about his neighbors’ run-in w/ICE.

          we all look back and pay some kind of lip service to the uprising in the warsaw ghetto. hey, people even shot Nazis. to death.

          of course one can get in trouble for what I am about to say, but only b/c it’s true: what’s the diff b/n ice and the fucking Nazis?

          now if only zbig brznznznznznsi’s plans had died w/him.

          • yes, his vaunted ‘infrastructure project’ and privatization of anything that ain’t nailed down, even national parks and monuments, including schools that once were. quite the federalized ‘sagebrush rebellion’, eh?

            i’ll go read it, but it took a hella long time to get ‘the ICEman cometh’ to the boards. guess they want to sell hard-copies too.

            yep on wishing zbig’s ideas died w/ him. his last tweet:

            (click to see the comments beneath) and from feb.:

          • ooof. javier’s story about his amigos. yes, nazi-like. but can i ask you two things? are they just ‘following orders’ or enjoying their vicious authority cuz that’s who they are? and do you consider them evil, as nazi-esque? and that one’s because i used the term recently, and later felt guilty about having done so.

            and given that, i’d thought of putting up an open discussion on Evil, even after reading the extensive wiki about various cultural/psychological/religious understandings about the term.

    • ‘Take up the White Man’s burden,
      Send forth the best ye breed
      Go bind your sons to exile,
      to serve your captives’ need;
      To wait in heavy harness,
      On fluttered folk and wild—
      Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
      Half-devil and half-child.

      Take up the White Man’s burden, In patience to abide,
      To veil the threat of terror And check the show of pride;
      By open speech and simple, An hundred times made plain
      To seek another’s profit, And work another’s gain

      ~rudyard kipling

    • Thanks for the barn-burner and your war/war report, wendye. I went hunting and found this at

      Time to Ban the Bomb – Alice Slater
      Friday, 26 May 2017, 11:03 am
      Article: World Beyond War

      Time to Ban the Bomb

      By Alice Slater
      This week, the Chair of an exciting UN initiative formally named the “United Nations Conference to Negotiate a Legally Binding Instrument to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, Leading Towards their Total Elimination” released a draft treaty to ban and prohibit nuclear weapons just as the world has done for biological and chemical weapons. The Ban Treaty is to be negotiated at the UN from June 15 to July 7 as a follow up to the one week of negotiations that took place this past March, attended by more than 130 governments interacting with civil society. Their input and suggestions were used by the Chair, Costa Rica’s ambassador to the UN, Elayne Whyte Gómez to prepare the draft treaty. It is expected that the world will finally come out of this meeting with a treaty to ban the bomb!

      This negotiating conference was established after a series of meetings in Norway, Mexico, and Austria with governments and civil society to examine the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear war. The meetings were inspired by the leadership and urging of the International Red Cross to look at the horror of nuclear weapons, not just through the frame of strategy and “deterrence”, but to grasp and examine the disastrous humanitarian consequences that would occur in a nuclear war. This activity led to a series of meetings culminating in a resolution in the UN General Assembly this fall to negotiate a treaty to ban and prohibit nuclear weapons. The new draft treaty based on the proposals put forth in the March negotiations requires the states to “never under any circumstances … develop, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess, or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices … use nuclear weapons … carry out any nuclear weapon test”. States are also required to destroy any nuclear weapons they possess and are prohibited from transferring nuclear weapons to any other recipient.

      None of the nine nuclear weapons states, US, UK, Russia, France, China, Indian, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea came to the March meeting, although during the vote last fall on whether to go forward with the negotiating resolution in the UN’s First Committee for Disarmament, where the resolution was formally introduced, while the five western nuclear states voted against it, China, India and Pakistan abstained. And North Korea voted for the resolution to negotiate to ban the bomb! (I bet you didn’t read that in the New York Times!)

      [ to be continued below]

      • this is a great antidote, juliania, and i’m very glad you’ve brought the rest below. i’ll read it soon, with eagerness, but for now the wind’s dropped a bit and i need to go out to our wee gardens to help mr. wd decide where to plant some things in walls of water. i also some some baffling things on dave swanson’s twitter account about the vets for peace being banned from the may 30 parade, but i can’t find similar info a world beyond war.

        also, some bizarro claims about putin, nato, and crimea. back soon, and thanks again.

  4. Al-Qaeda’s Godfather Is Dead – Good Riddance’, b at moa

    “The ruthless U.S. imperialist Zbigniew Brzezinski died last night. Good riddance.

    Brzezinski was the godfather of al-Qaeda and similar groups.
    As National Security Advisor of U.S. President Jimmy Carter Brzezinski devised the strategy of using religiously motivated radical militants against secular governments and their people. He sent Saudi financed Wahhabi nuts to fight the government of Afghanistan before the USSR intended to send its military in support that government. His policy caused millions of death. Brzezinski did not regret that:
    ‘What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?’”

  5. My post above was a bit hard to read in the narrowing format, so here is the rest of it:

    “…By the time the resolution got to the General Assembly, Donald Trump had been elected and those promising votes disappeared. And at the March negotiations, the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, flanked by the Ambassadors from England and France, stood outside the closed conference room and held a press conference with a number of “umbrella states” which rely on the US nuclear ‘deterrent” to annihilate their enemies (includes NATO states as well as Australia, Japan, and South Korea) and announced that “as a mother” who couldn’t want more for her family “than a world without nuclear weapons” she had to “be realistic” and would boycott the meeting and oppose efforts to ban the bomb adding, “Is there anyone that believes that North Korea would agree to a ban on nuclear weapons?”

    The last 2015 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) five year review conference broke up without consensus on the shoals of a deal the US was unable to deliver to Egypt to hold a Weapons of Mass Destruction Free Zone Conference in the Middle East. This promise was made in 1995 to get the required consensus vote from all the states to extend the NPT indefinitely when it was due to expire, 25 years after the five nuclear weapons states in the treaty, US, UK, Russia, China, and France, promised in 1970 to make “good faith efforts” for nuclear disarmament. In that agreement all the other countries of the world promised not to get nuclear weapons, except for India, Pakistan, and Israel who never signed and went on to get their own bombs. North Korea had signed the treaty, but took advantage of the NPT’s Faustian bargain to sweeten the pot with a promise to the non-nuclear weapons states for an “inalienable right” to “peaceful” nuclear power, thus giving them the keys to the bomb factory. North Korea got its peaceful nuclear power, and walked out of the treaty to make a bomb. At the 2015 NPT review, South Africa gave an eloquent speech expressing the state of nuclear apartheid that exists between the nuclear haves, holding the whole world hostage to their security needs and their failure to comply with their obligation to eliminate their nuclear bombs, while working overtime to prevent nuclear proliferation in other countries.

    The Ban Treaty draft provides that the Treaty will enter into effect when 40 nations sign and ratify it. Even if none of the nuclear weapons states join, the ban can be used to stigmatize and shame the “umbrella” states to withdraw from the nuclear “protection” services they are now receiving. Japan should be an easy case. The five NATO states in Europe who keep US nuclear weapons based on their soil–Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, and Turkey– are good prospects for breaking with the nuclear alliance. A legal ban on nuclear weapons can be used to convince banks and pension funds in a divestment campaign, once it is known the weapons are illegal. See

    Right now people are organizing all over the world for a Women’s March to Ban the Bomb on June 17, during the ban treaty negotiations, with a big march and rally planned in New York. See

    We need to get as many countries to the UN as possible this June, and pressure our parliaments and capitals to vote to join the treaty to ban the bomb. And we need to talk it up and let people know that something great is happening now! To get involved, check out

    Alice Slater serves on the Coordinating Committee of World Beyond War

  6. Sorry that was so loooong. I just felt it was a good enough antidote before May ends as ’twas the one peace (perhaps) bromide on offer, the merrie monthe of May having been not so verrie merrie.

    • lol. in my defense, i did end with ‘From ‘Veterans [to] Oppose Trump Policies, Wars; Rally at Lincoln Memorial; March to White House’, but yes, it was arguably overwhelmed by the big uriah heep of endless war.

      thanks, and i did send myself notification of the women’s ban the bomb efforts, and the date. now if i can just remember not to delete it.

      but i dunno if there’s anything in this as far as helping the process, but ‘‘Bolivia’s Sacha Llorenti “Ready” to Assume UN Security Council Presidency’, telesur

      The presidency of the Security Council changes each month, with Bolivia scheduled to hold the seat in June.

      The Bolivian Chancellor Fernando Huanacuni also announced that the South American nation’s agenda for June would focus on the ongoing Syrian conflict, Colombia’s peace process, and foreign aid to Haiti.

      Huanacuni went on to indicate that Bolivia’s President Evo Morales intends to attend the security council beginning in June.”

      now evo has given citizen rights to the environment, so i’d think he and llorenti might be fertile fields for this seed. but i dunno how much actual influence they might have.

  7. juliania2, thanks for that update on both the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the effort to prohibit nuclear weapons.
    What makes it difficult for the current holders of nuclear weapons is (1) their sunk costs to become nuclear power; (2) the perception that prohibition would diminish deterrence against other forms of war; (3) the feeling of power the leaders of nuclear states experience.

    The history of North Korea’s walking out of the NPT has to do with W’s Axis of Evil speech about Iraq, Iran, and North Korea all pursuing nuclear weapons. We know that Iraq wasn’t; we know that Iran might not have been until that speech; we know that North Korea kicked out the IAEA and left the agreement after that speech.

    I hope the 130 non-nuclear nations keep the pressure up on this. Collectively, they do swing some weight, which is why diplomatically the US tries to pick them off one-by-one.

    Nikki Haley does what she is instructed to do and does it with all the rhetoric she can muster. Unlike her recent predecessors, she does not have a deep background in international politics or an independent viewpoint.

  8. i did discover that the vets to oppose war marches were banned in NY state, not deecee. or at least they were directed not to carry peace signs, but i got a bit confused zooming around.

    but ewwww. on a piece at wsws talking about all the weirdnesses via trump at the g-7, the author added this:

    “In 1998, the G7 was expanded to include Russia and became the G8. Russia was expelled in 2014 for its annexation of Crimea. The conflicts and tensions between the remaining members are now growing. These developments not only call into question the continued existence of the G7, but also NATO, the most important military alliance of the past 70 years.
    Observers took notice of Trump’s refusal during his Brussels visit to reaffirm his commitment to Article 5 of NATO, which commits all member states to come to the assistance of a NATO member in case of attack.

    in a comment below the piece, a commenter directed us to juan cole at informed comment who went a tad ahistorical and anti-putin in his: ‘Only Putin is happy with Trump’s NATO Bull-in-China-Shop Catastrophe’ By Juan Cole, May. 26, 2017

    after mentioning trump’s refusal to recommit to article 5:

    “The omission was significant because after Vladimir Putin’s unilateral annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and then interference in East Ukraine, European countries are depending on the US to see that the Russian Federation does not go any further.”

    yes, knows about krushchev, russian heritage in the east, ringing russia w/ missiles, yada, yada…

    “But also in today’s world you can’t do things like annex and intervene unilaterally and by fiat, with no semblance of the rule of law. Crimea should have a referendum under UN auspices and the Minsk process should end in normalization and restoration of rule of law. And if you know the history of Poland, which Russia at some points arranged not to exist at all, you understand the fears, and the significance of Trump’s refusal to allay them.”

    some of his commentariat pushed back, as here:

    Correct. Right on the money. You might also have mentioned that Crimea requested annexation by Russia several times prior to the US fomenting o coup in Ukraine, but Russia refused to honor these requests until the Ukrainian coup was followed by a referendum in which Crimeans overwhelmingly voted to rejoin Russia and Russia finally accepted their request. Russia is not the aggressor here, we are. Shame on Juan the historian for not keeping up with current events and uncritically accepting American propaganda.”

    later cole claimed this:
    2017.05.27 09:18
    ‘The Russian Federation Unilaterally annexed the territory of a fellow UN member, and permanently incorporated that territory into itself with no international negotiation process that would have legalized these actions. That cannot be excused by what other countries have done, more especially if they have not annexed another country’s territory permanently. If the allegation is that Crimea actually belonged to Russia all along, that should have been negotiated. Lots of such claims could potentially exist. Does Germany actually own Alsace-Lorraine and Gdansk? Does France own Genoa? Does Italy own Tirana? What are legitimate Turkish claims in the Balkans? You can’t settle things like that by military annexation or you get WW III. Stop apologizing for Putin’s thuggishness.”

    now just to be positive, i double-checked, and ukraine is not a nato member, and no matter how hard the organization tries to call them an ally, under our umbrella, sends them money to make them eligible, sends them money for weapons, etc. to fight the russians, etc., they are not members, juan. but then he promoted r2p libya heavily, remember, then denied it?

  9. The Brzezinski vision for Russia. It seems to be still around as a US policy wet dream:

    A loosely federated Russia — composed of a European Russia, a Siberian Republic, and a Far Eastern Republic — would also find it easier to cultivate closer economic relations with its neighbors.

    …a decentralized Russia would be less susceptible to imperial mobilization.

    • well, at least zbig got the importance of eurasian land mass geopolitics, eh? and what term did you use for kissinger’s credo? pragmatic something? i remember looking it up and reading a page or two about it, but…it’s leaked out of my memory.

      oh, and i’d asked why you’d named putin as a fascist, and had given examples of what you might have meant. explain please? and i suppose it would be nice if you could amplify on the official okey-dokey of oligarchical rule by patriarch kyrill. do you imagine that that was a bit of a swap for bringing the church back to the people, and that it acts to consolidate his power?

      • To the extent that fascism is, as Mussolini formulated it, the unity of political and economic power in the state, the unity of the oligarchs and state as brokered by Putin is a fascist state. But it is not a secular fascist state like those in the 1930s were (despite Pius XII’s winking, as dramatize in Rolf Hochuth’s The Deputy).

        Religious institutions have always either been opposed or aligned with state power because of their cultural force in legitimizing policies and actors. Kyrill appreciates not being a suppressed institution anymore and even being almost an arm of the state; Putin shows his support by suppressing anti-religious actors like Pussy Riot. Kyrill’s clergy are advocates of the status quo. “Bringing the church back to the people” is a bit of a stretch; even in suppression, the patriarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church were close to the Kremlin; some were suspected of selling out to the Soviets (or was that US propaganda). The people in Russia are split on the church just as they are in most Western countries. Privileging Russian Orthodox members would be the new form of privileging Communist Party members; I don’t know that the church-state unity has gone quite that far yet.

        The relationship among a particular bunch of oligarchs, the Religious Right, and the state is not that much different from Trump’s working coalition. In both Russia and the US, the religious supporters have to “transcend” many of the judgemental attitudes that they apply to most all other politicians in order to preserve “party unity”, whether that be United Russia or the Republican Party.

        • i appreciate your explanation, thd. i suppose i hadn’t even considered that obama’s brand of inverted totalitarianism was secular, at least secular as opposed to *overtly* religious, of course (and yes, i’m thinking of the devotion to finance capital as quasi-religious, money-changers in the temple, tra la la). ;-) gads, i need to catch up on the news of the day; i’m sure some of it must be good.

          • sorry, I can’t quote chapter & verse on this, but isn’t the top dog in the rooskie ortho church (papa kyrill?) amassing a huge personal fortune from his position? “selling indulgences” and “sprinkling the holy water” on the gov’ts’ actions, putin esp, is good for the pocketbook.
            In religion,
            What damned error, but some sober brow
            Will bless it and approve it with a text,
            Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?

            • I’d love to see your sources, j, since I’m rather personally bereft of information about the church situation in Russia. The only thing I know is that the indulgence practice is historically linked to Roman Catholicism and was never part of Orthodox theology. But perhaps you meant that whimsically.

              Your final comment is most poetical – might it also have a source elsewhere, or is it your own?

              (My most beautiful Orthodox church was a tiny converted garage, so I’m sympathetic to the idea of outrageous ‘fair ornament’, though we did our best to create beauty in a small space, and to my mind succeeded. A star, a cave, barnyard animals is how it begins, after all.)

              Ah, but I read again you can’t quote chapter and verse. I’ll keep hunting. ;)

              • sorry can’t. and yes wd got the quote. as I wouldn’t paint the whole whore of Babylon w/the brush of the antichrist, I mean the catholic church & the pope (paging martin luther), so the orthos & the various patriarchs. as w/govt’s and nations, the people are one thing, the hierarchy something else.

                well, there is this:
                some of this may be propaganda and/or western provocation (e.g., pussy riot.). but some of it confirms my biases, i’ll admit, about people at the top of gigantic institutions.

                • my favorite bits were: “…occupied by the Patriarch’s long-time friend businesswoman (variously described as Kirill’s “sister”, “second cousin”, or “wife”) Lidia Leonova.” and

                  ““However, Nathaniel Davis said that “… There is no evidence that Metropolitan Kirill has actually embezzled funds. What is more likely is that profits from the importation of tobacco and cigarettes have been used for urgent, pressing Church expenses.”

                  now clicking thru the nat davis (US diplomat) hyperlink is quite a read, as well.

            • how timely. having been bugged by ‘putin returning the church to the people’, i’d assumed juliania may have said that. but even if memory failed, i went a huntin’ last night, and found this:

              Putin’s Games: ‘How Vladimir Putin helped resurrect the Russian Orthodox Church’,

              among other interesting tidbits including putin’s endorsing homophobic church policy,
              “Long before he turned his attention to such international celebrations, Mr. Putin oversaw the resurrection of the Russian Orthodox Church, including the reconstruction of some 23,000 churches that had been destroyed or fallen into disuse. The Church on the Blood is not included in that count, since it’s a completely new house of worship, completed in 2003.

              Both the Kremlin and the church have benefited from resuming their centuries-old alliance. Early in Mr. Putin’s rule, a law was passed returning all church property that had been seized during the Soviet era, almost surely making the Moscow Patriarchate the largest landowner in Russia. State-owned energy companies have contributed billions of rubles to the reconstruction of churches around the country.”

              how veddy vatican of the church. kyrill himself? dunno. nice quote, though. (how could i not have guessed it was from ‘the merchant of venice’?

              ya want dirt on kyrill? can’t say i’d trust these pages, but…


              and may i please ask any of you what the origin of the term ‘snowflake/s’ was born? or what the derogation of the term ‘safe spaces’ was born and what it means, as well? as the café wasn’t busy, i spent parts of two days making a case in a post on ‘identity politics’ at i. welsh’s place to push back against the nativist, racialist, commenters on the thread. 159 comments or so by now, ugh. i’d figured the author (guest post by ‘mandos’) needed some help. but i expect that welsh created the mess, having pretty much touted trump for weeks, then kinda trying to say he hadn’t.

              • Back from my hunt and you found some further links to pursue, wendye and j – I don’t think I ever said the Putin quote though. In the following link that gives a good historical perspective it is actually Gorbachev who starts the process.


                The article is long but accurate I think, and it was interesting to see that Kirill didn’t attend the annexation of Crimea proceedings. Here’s one quote:

                “…Kirill refuses to participate in the political process (whether in elections, parties, or parliamentary legislation) but does exercise his duty to articulate the Church’s views and interests. One should therefore not mistake abundant rhetoric for abundant power; his intent is to create a consensus, to win support, and to persuade believers and unbelievers in the historical and moral logic of the Church’s perspective…”

                Important to me is the clear distinction made between spheres of influence of church and state plus a careful explanation of the extremes of sensibility within Orthodoxy itself. The description of the influence of the “unchurched” – Russian citizens who don’t attend church regularly but consider themselves Orthodox is an accurate one as well as the point that both Putin and Kirill are extremely popular.

                • it seems a happy coinidence that i’d attributed it to you, thus causing us all to a-huntin, juliania. oof, thanks for the cliff’s notes: that’s one long piece! but it was gorby under perestroika (i mean his ‘ill-fated perestroika)….yes, the percentages of russians self-identifying as orthodox was huge, even though it was noted that a certain percentage also said they were atheists.

                  “unchurched”. ;-)

  10. ‘Victory for Palestinian Prisoners as 80% of Strike Demands Met’, telesur

    “We know that there is a long struggle to come, for liberation for the prisoners and liberation for Palestine,” stated a solidarity network.”

    and as day follows night or night follows day:

    ‘No more dependence on allies, Europe should take its fate into own hands – Merkel after G7’,from RT

    “At the summit, G7 leaders failed to secure a pledge from US President Donald Trump to keep America in a key climate change accord, the Paris Agreement. The chancellor described the talks on the issue as “very difficult, not to say very unsatisfactory” afterwards.

    In her Sunday speech, Merkel said: “We Europeans must really take our destiny into our own hands, of course in friendship with the United States, in friendship with Great Britain, with good neighborly relations wherever possible, also with Russia and other countries – but we have to know that we have to fight for our future and our fate ourselves as Europeans.”
    She added that good relations with France’s newly elected President Emmanuel Macron is necessary to cement European ties.”

    on edit: i’d like to add ‘Melania Trump Turns Heads in $51,500 3D Flower Jacket in Sicily With D&G Pumps‘ (at the g-7).

    and curse me, do i love fine fabrics and clothes! damn, is this gorgeous. wish i could find one at the humane society thrift store.


  11. gotta few other related pieces to offer:

    Will Europe Finally Rethink NATO’s Costs?’, Ray McGovern, May 29, 2017

    The existential threat to NATO comprises a different kind of Russian “threat,” which owes much to the adroitness and sang froid of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who flat-out refuses to play his assigned role of a proper enemy – despite the Western media campaign to paint him the devil incarnate. Over time, even the most sophisticated propaganda wears thin, and more and more Europeans will realize that NATO, in its present form, is an unnecessary, vestigial organ already a quarter-century beyond its expiration date – and that it can flare up painfully, like a diseased appendix. At a time when citizens of many NATO countries are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet, they will be reluctant to sink still more money into rehab for a vestigial organ.

    That there are better uses for the money is already clear, and President Trump’s badgering of NATO countries to contribute ever more for defense may well backfire. Some are already asking, “Defense against what?” Under the painful austerity that has been squeezing the Continent since the Wall Street crash nearly a decade ago, a critical mass of European citizens is likely to be able to distinguish reality from propaganda – and perhaps much sooner than anyone anticipates. This might eventually empower the 99 percent, who don’t stand to benefit from increased military spending to fight a phantom threat, to insist that NATO leaders stop funding a Cold War bureaucracy that has long since outlived its usefulness.” [snip]

    “And so, for the nonce, Western propaganda captured the narrative. How long this distortion of history will continue is the question. The evolution of Europe as a whole (including Russia) over the past half-century, together with the profound changes that this evolution has brought, suggest that those of the European Establishment eager to inject life into the vestigial organ called NATO – whether for lucrative profits from arms sales or cushy spots in NATO’s far-flung bureaucracy – are living on borrowed time.”

    he includes disconsolate video remarks from senator bill bradley at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs in 2008

    ha; i’d let it click thru to the next video, and hear my favorite ‘putin apologist’ from the next room:
    ‘According to Russia historian Stephen F. Cohen, Russian political leaders see NATO expansion as an ongoing threat. This Carnegie Council event took place on May 19, 2010.

    U.S. Increases Nuclear Energy Spending as It Fights Global Weapons Ban’, David Swanson of World Beyond War says the Trump administration is increasing nuclear energy spending while seeking to thwart a landmark global campaign for a UN treaty banning the possession and use of nuclear weapons’, (TRNN transcript and video interview)

    Does NATO Confront Threats, or Create Them?’, As President Trump is criticized for declining to endorse NATO’s mutual aid clause, Professor David Gibbs of the University of Arizona argues that the alliance creates threats that previously didn’t exist’ (the correct answer isn’t even debatable, is it?), TRNN

    (transcript’s up now)

  12. “are they just ‘following orders’ or enjoying their vicious authority cuz that’s who they are? and do you consider them evil, as nazi-esque?” how would the people answer that who are being deported back to places ravaged by US econ/military policy? at this point, who would not understand some folks just opening up w/the heated lead when ICE shows up? who could blame them? i’m not in that situation so I hesitate to answer whether it’s “right” or not to respond in such a way so it boils down to a practical decision which no one can really answer: do acts of violence against terrorist, gestapo agents of the state “work”? do they lessen or increase the repressive nature of the state? should we rather go on hunger strikes or other “non-violent” actions? I don’t know.

    as far as this gov’t being every bit as vile as hitler’s, or even worse, I don’t hesitate to answer that question in the affirmative. the most likely explanation for what happened in Manchester is that *MI5 staged an operation* using elements cultivated by then-Home Sec now PM Theresa May. the immediate purpose of this deep state action is to influence the upcoming june elections. I know this is the UK, but this kind of thing is the nature of the beast and *every single thing* these gov’ts do w/o exception is of this fear-mongering, violent, deceptive, manipulative character. every action & every policy. any & each seeming exception to this rule is part of a marketing PR scam.

    the problem for many USAians is the totalitarian nature of the gov’t is masked by this consumerist Skinner box we live in whose boss is effectively your boss. the staggering amount of control the employer has over the lives of the employed in the capitalist marketing Matrix is the first line of tyranny. and so we can delude ourselves that the state that generates “wealth’ by guaranteeing privatized prisons a gigantic quota of prison labor (are we Nazis, fascists???) is something “over there,” not something my fucking boss is the chief representative of in my life. being able to afford more or less of the garbage Wal-Mart sells as a bribe for the serf’s fealty to the liege-boss is part of the masquerade. that 100 inch flat screen tv w/1000 shopping channels you can afford is part of the compensation package.

    as for fascist corporatism, the 5 top co’s by market cap on the s&p 500 are FAANG(/A): Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix (sic???), Google (now Alphabet.) not only, until recently, did 4 of these 5 co’s not actually make anything beside a software platform for advertisers & spooks, all of them are making their wealth from soft- and hard-ware products developed by DARPA or other agencies of military research. (oh, we thought Jobs & Zuckerborg & Bezos were Ayn Randian heroes, did we?) there is undoubtedly a lot of financial speculation & BS going on in a market where Netflix is more valuable than GM or Ford, theft of real wealth & theft of paper wealth, but media platform & content providers are most valued b/c manipulating public consciousness is as valuable as oil.

    as the wsws notes in its obit for Zbig, just one operation (admittedly a gigantic one) has cost a desperately poor country 2 million lives over 40 years and incalculable misery for millions of others. the ripple effects across the world from Op: Cyclone is ineffable, a sublime evil, esp. when the millions more who perished at the fall of the USSR is thrown in. and these millions upon millions of dead mean NOTHING to men like Zbig, who, let’s face it, are the leadership norm for our society.

    anyway, this is long & random enough. this is from a prayer for the “Solomonic/Messianic” ruler, Ps 72.
    he delivers the needy when he calls, the poor and him who has no helper. 13 He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy. 14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and *precious is their blood in his sight*.

    forgive us, o earth, that we are so meek w/these your butchers. one of my closest friends is from iran, family forced into exile during the revolution. and, in the same obit for zbig, wsws reports zbig advised the shah of iran to drown the uprising in blood. for his crimes in T Mann’s Dr. Faustus, the faust character is punished by being forced to listen to the screams & wails of “civilization’s” murdered children for eternity. sounds like a fitting end to that zbig motherfucker & everyone like him.

      can’t recommend enough. goes into brit security & the irish wars, the obvious BS surrounding the reporting of the Manchester event itself (e.g., not a suicide bomber), etc., concluding w/a devastating critique of England’s own Bernie sanders, Jeremy “more $$ to the security services” Corbyn and of the notion, mouthed by Corbyn, that Manchester was “blowback” from misguided policy, rather than the policy & goal itself. human life means nothing to these ghouls.

      I post this song cuz, dumb me, I just now realized what it’s about. and b/c Captain Amerikka has been in Europe talking about “paying fair shares.” dispossessing the natives ain’t cheap. and the dispossessed prison population managed by the “light unto the nations” at ft. zion is the experimental model for the population of the earth.

      • given your rec, i’ll really try hard to read the spy culture link soon. but the lyrics were hard for me to make out, so i wend and found them. but given….everything, including thd and juliania not being able to even listen, watch, thus notice whose brown faces are in the video, i hit the wiki on the song:

        “Beds Are Burning” is a protest song in support of giving native Australian lands back to the Pintupi, who were among the very last people to come in from the desert. These ‘last contact’ people began moving from the Gibson Desert to settlements and missions in the 1930s. More were forcibly moved during the 1950s and 1960s to the Papunya settlement. In 1981, they left to return to their own country and established the Kintore community, which is nestled in the picturesque Kintore Ranges, surrounded by Mulga and Spinifex country. It is a community with a population of about 400. Kintore and the town of Yuendumu are mentioned by name in the lyrics, as are vehicles produced by the Holden company”

        i just put this up at another venue, seems just right here:

        ‘We’ve taken up the white man’s burden
        Of ebony and brown;
        Now will you tell us, Rudyard
        How we may put it down?’

        ~ an anonymous poem published in the New York World 100+ years ago

        oh, and i’d heard of that sort of punishment for the masters of war and misery, but hadn’t known it was about faust. others have suggested they watch continual-loop-tapes of the deaths and screams of what they’ve wrought. and i (ahem) borrowed your psalms to answer this vacuous sophistry over yonder, and thank you. from RC:

        “Social justice is great, and worth fighting for, but it does not include a requirement to excuse all bad behavior by the groups being oppressed. Each must be responsible for one’s own actions and choices, or no society can function in a rational fashion. It is disturbing to see how many on the left are of the opinion that no criticism is ever appropriate for their pet groups.”

        prick a librul, find an alt-right fascist.

    • i’d posed my initial question since you’d brought in ‘authenticity’ earlier. the main things about shooting them is those fascists (and i do believe they hadn’t been ordered to make all of them lie down in the cold snow, but they did it cuz they enjoy their privileged work) is that the ice agents would mow them all down, including the chirren, and that none of them were likely armed, right?

      as far as the palestinian hunger strikers, they won a few rights, but they were already incarcerated in the zionist prison complex, so what other means of semi-power did they actually have? gotta go for now, but whooosh; what barn burning polemical rhetoric is the rest of your comment. back as i’m able; and i’m so glad you’re here workin’ for the ‘morally/ethically right side™’.

      • j is for justice

        yes, w/me on team justice again, why are we losing?????

        i’m sorry I missed that incident w/iCE you are referring to. theater of cruelty. of course any individual or small group of people acting against something like ICE deportations will only heighten the certainty of greater levels of violence. no doubt. larger numbers (how large?), different story. but at that point using violence, esp. against personnel…what’s the point? well, do I have it figgered out? nah.

        • jeffrey st. clair’s ‘javier’ story, silly mon. but yes, when group potentials as per: ‘arise like lions…….we are many, they are few’, only by then it might not even take lead, but captivity, or so i’ve always hoped.

          now ‘why are we losing’ you only know too well. a lobotomize populace, taught to pass the Imperial Masters’ rat-race and distractions tests in every way conceivable. one is your credo presented in the next midnight oil song just after burning beds, and it’s called…blue sky mine. thanks for introducing them to me, j team justice.

          blue sky mine

    • i’ve only seen headlines on the manchester bombing, including some the tankies on twitter tossed in, noting “all gladio, all the time”. there’s a piece at CP linking it to the cackling red queen of ‘we can, he saw, he dies’ fame.

      on edit: and obomba; here it is.

      i think b may have featured her part, as well. i’ll have to be content w/ your spy culture one; there’s too much to keep up w/, and those things just get in the way for me, i reckon, as in: i don’t do disasters. oh, save for one. i did a piece at my.fdl on why ‘i’m not charlie hebdo’. fuck them.

      • i’ll give a quick summation: suspicion that this was suicide is warranted b/c of who the supposed attacker was & the nature of the target, a “soft” target that doesn’t require suicide to penetrate. plus the whole host of info connecting this guy & his family to UK ops in Libya, his travels to Syria etc., multiple other parties reporting this guy was on their watch list and they warned the UK about him, MI5/6’s history of false flag bombing ops in & re Ireland, the timing of the attack (as in France, before an election), the PM’s relation to these jihadis-in-exile centered in Mancester, etc., etc., etc. (but UK’s MI5/6 wouldn’t target their own teens would they? nah, crazy talk.

        calling the Manchester attack blowback is intentionally misleading in the case of someone like Corbyn, saying the security services are well-intentioned actors, maybe engaged in a “misguided” foreign policy but noble-minded nonetheless, who “made a mistake”, one more time. b/c they are overworked due to lack of resources (fuck Corbyn big time.)

        anyway, on the utility/morality of violence issue, part of me leans Quaker. enough of the violence already. we won’t fix anything that route. I can see it. I really can. peace the goal, peace the path. but however one answers that question, the State will always attempt to assert that it decides what the significance of a person’s life is, what the meaning of death is. you can be Che or MLK, doesn’t matter. enemies are enemies. e.g., in the lionization of Zbig, the lives & deaths of millions of people from policies he articulated is completely silenced. the blazing sunlight of his greatness blinds us to all else. this is the threat the state holds over every one: we have the power to decide the means of your death and the meaning of your death. the state as arbiter of who is inside, who outside the human family, worthy of life & memory or banished to outer darkness.

        and one just has to accept that if you oppose the state and die for it, you will be either completely slandered or completely forgotten. it’s not something under one’s control. “we are the dead,” as Winston smith said. some fortitude from religion/spirituality is helpful for the courage of acceptance, imo. esp. that the *meaning* of one’s life is not determined by those who claim, falsely, an absolute power & right to kill.

        Cowards die many times before their deaths,
        The valiant never taste of death but once.

        • Well done

        • i do thank you for the synopsis; i’d peeked in and had seen how many words were there, and backed right out. same for wsws’s righteous nuking of zbig; i simply couldn’t handle it, more on that in a sec. but yes to all, especially your final several sentences, reminding me (sigh x 10) of proctor: ‘leave me my name!’ (knowing he would be hung immediately for testilying that he’d consorted w/ lucifer; and he was.)

          i was undone earlier by popular resistance, ‘the Peoples’ Memorial Day’ including:

          “Kevin Basl, an Iraq war veteran, remembers the eight friends he has lost to suicide, a few of the twenty soldiers who commit suicide every day. He also writes about soldiers who were poisoned by toxic burn pits and Agent Orange, which impacts the lives of their offspring. And he writes about the translators and service workers who died in hazardous areas.”

          War Is A Moral Injury To The Nation
          “Jacob George a veteran and antiwar activist who joined us at Freedom Plaza at the Occupation of Washington, DC talked about “moral injury.” This was the injury that killed him. He was one of the thousands of vets who take their own life each year. He sang “Soldiers Heart”:

          ‘I’m just a farmer from Arkansas, there’s a lot of things I don’t understand, like why we send farmers to kill farmers in Afghanistan. I did what I’s told for my love of this land. I come home a shattered man with blood on my hands.
          Now I can’t have a relationship, I can’t hold down a job. Some may say I’m broken, I call it Soldier’s Heart. Every time I go outside, I gotta look her in the eyes knowing that she broke my heart, and turned around and lied.’

          “The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. put this moral injury into societal terms when he said: “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual doom.”

          On this Memorial Day let us contemplate the moral injury we do to our nation every day in the never ending wars of the 21st Century as we march toward spiritual doom and recognize that another future is possible if we organize to create it.”


          and from alternet and elsewhere; can’t remember where i’d fist seen it; guess the vets: ‘The Untold Story of Memorial Day: Former Slaves Honoring and Mourning the Dead’

          “During the spring of 1865, African-Americans in Charleston, South Carolina—most of them former slaves—held a series of memorials and rituals to honor unnamed fallen Union soldiers and boldly celebrate the struggle against slavery. One of the largest such events took place on May first of that year but had been largely forgotten until David Blight, a history professor at Yale University, found records at a Harvard archive. In a New York Times article published in 2011, Blight described the scene. While it is difficult to pinpoint the precise birthplace of the holiday, it is fair to say that ceremonies like the following are largely erased from the American narrative of Memorial Day.” (the horrific rest is here.)

        • thanks for the comments. I just want to clarify that in my initial comment on violence against the state, I was referring to self-defense, in the case of ICE & the indocumentados in j St. clair’s piece.

          I think the assertion of the absolute right of self-defense against the agents of the state is valid and should be trumpeted loudly. I know in the RW this is complicated. how do you defend against meagre snap benefits being cut & state-sponsored scarcity & malnourishment? why not take a page from Uncle Sam’s preemptive prerogatives & strike first (only an option for those w/means)? I don’t have an answer & don’t think one is necessary for all these scenarios in order to assert the right of self-defense of one’s person, family, home, etc. a salutary reminder that the overwhelming violence of the state does not confer legitimacy and no, we ain’t gonna take it. if you pick up that sword, whether cop, potus, senator, lawyer or major general, etc, get ready to die by it. (everyone on this planet has the right of preemptive strike against the USG, condemned as it is by its own words alone.) you think your guns & badges & shields & little pieces of paper from some bureaucrat legitimize your actions? in certain scenarios, the proper answer is: eat lead copper! ok, maybe not the “proper” answer, but more legitimate. fer sher.

          • i understood your earlier comment, and that you’re channeling young angela davis, after giving her interlocutor some of the violent racist history she’d lived through, then: ‘and you’re asking ME about violence?’

            and sure, that’s one of the reasons the black panthers were formed, originally for community self-defense, later for the many ways they aided all in their communities w/ breakfast programs, health care, etc. for all of the poor, which is in the end why they had to go. nixon said, no, we can’t have that, can we?

            sure, one can make a worthy academic case for killing in self-defense, maybe some can make even justify it as a moral one. but given that the entire system is violent and authoritarian, where would one start, and more importantly, stop, pointing guns? killing another human being should be the hardest thing in the world for anyone, although by and large in this culture, it’s all too easy. we’re all capable of killing another in the right circumstances. of course, even i, but to plan for such choice ahead of time…nope, i won’t ever do that. aren’t some who are advocating for armed violence essentially framing the argument as ‘kill or be killed’? i’ll have to take the latter, unless it involves trying to kill or disable someone who’s intent on killing someone i care about, and that would simply be a reflex, no forethought.

            but i’ll keep mulling the many dimensions of this all over anew, fer sure. ;-)

            • i hear you. when it comes to myself, I can be as Quaker as I want to be. questions of justice always involve someone else. can my act of self-defense be preemptive protection of someone else, given that rapists rape, killers kill, thieves have more than one sticky finger, what’s done to me will inevitably be done to another?

              or do I “turn the other cheek”? in terms of what “works,” no one really knows the answer to that question. there’s an element of “leap of faith”. such a leap is easier in a community of like-minded people, I think.

              “they are meek who have no other cause.” comedy of errors. there is a “meekness” that comes from being battered & beaten down by life, aka docility, timidity. and there is a “meekness” that is an ethical stance, aka, gentleness, kindness. one is an absence, the other an assertion, of ego, of self. the last thing the sage jesus says in the “sermon on the mount” is people can build their lives on shifting sand or on solid rock. one path leads one direction, called “destruction,” one somewhere else, called “life”.

              and if one follows the death dealers “honor code,” that the true man (sic; meekness is for chicks & infants) is revealed in the personal satisfaction & material reward (aka plunder) that come from vengeance, or from mastery & domination in general, one is on the path of destruction.

              to quote Falstaff (false staff), I have much to say in honor of that Falstaff…
              PRINCE HENRY
              Why, thou owest God a death.
              Exit PRINCE HENRY
              ‘Tis not due yet; I would be loath to pay him before
              his day. What need I be so forward with him that
              calls not on me? Well, ’tis no matter; honour pricks
              me on. Yea, but how if honour prick me off when I
              come on? how then? Can honour set to a leg? no: or
              an arm? no: or take away the grief of a wound? no.
              Honour hath no skill in surgery, then? no. What is
              honour? a word. What is in that word honour? what
              is that honour? air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it?
              he that died o’ Wednesday. Doth he feel it? no.
              Doth he hear it? no. ‘Tis insensible, then. Yea,
              to the dead. But will it not live with the living?
              no. Why? detraction [slander] will not suffer it. Therefore
              I’ll none of it. Honour is a mere scutcheon: and so
              ends my catechism.
              Exit [scutcheon-ornamental shield used at funerals.]

              • and falstaff made his decision. that was great, wot an hilarious rascal he be!

                but okay, you’re presenting a case for either turning the other cheek, or what, dispatching ‘ can my act of self-defense be preemptive protection of someone else, given that rapists rape, killers kill, thieves have more than one sticky finger, what’s done to me will inevitably be done to another?’ as in, it was done to you, so the miscreant will do it to others, thus it’s both pragmatic and defensible? or do you believe that you know the identities of same?

                personally i could give a crap about thieves, unless of the wall street and faux-lanthropic sort. but no, *preemptive* killing of that sort makes you quite akin to the blacks killed extra-judiciously once every 28 hours in 2012. as in: judge, jury, and executioner. now as fer reflexive instance, and haven broken up fights of multiple males, esp., are beating down one person, i have indeed leapt into the fray quite stooopidly; a couple one on ones, two on ones, as well.

                but i can’t see any way that i wouldn’t have jumped into the po-po fray as they were beating, tasing, and squashing kelly thomas to death in fresno. and i use him as an example cuz there are citizen videos out there in which people are kinda calling the play-by-play without helping him. 2 cops were tried, not guilty, one…they dismissed all charges after the NG verdicts.

                those who sat on porches w/ shotguns (whites as well) during freedom summer in the 60s, waiting for the klan and cohorts, killing them on the spot would have been just fine with me, as in: justified.

                • i am not necessarily advocating a position that might be understandable, like preemptive killing. I can’t rationalize preemptive strikes, but I can understand how someone might. e.g., the constant drumbeat of threats from the US to Iran. given the character of the USG and that its threats cannot be taken lightly, a gov’t, if it actually has the capacity, might say “screw it” and strike first. would this be a good thing? of course not. but the onus is not on iran to not take the belligerent US at its word. we might say to a kid today, you taking out a cop is not going to help anything, is terribly wrong, etc., etc. but it’s the cops that make this conversation necessary, this attempt at persuasion to a course of nonviolence. and no one should be surprised when cops get what they dish out on an hourly basis. we swim in the discourse of preemptive violence. whose fault is that?

                  Falstaff, I think, represents the medieval “ethical hedonism” that is about to be destroyed by emergent modern nationalism. he’s a big “fuck you” to empire builders.

                  PRINCE HENRY
                  …I prithee,
                  lend me thy sword.
                  Nay, before God, Hal, if Percy be alive, thou get’st
                  not my sword; but take my pistol, if thou wilt.
                  PRINCE HENRY
                  Give it to me: what, is it in the case?
                  Ay, Hal; ’tis hot, ’tis hot; there’s that will sack a city.
                  PRINCE HENRY draws it out, and finds it to be a bottle of sack [vino seco; sherry, strong Spanish wine]
                  PRINCE HENRY
                  What, is it a time to jest and dally now?
                  He throws the bottle at him. Exit
                  pbs fairly recently replayed a recent version of BBC’s The Hollow Crown, retelling the war of the roses thru the bard’s plays. they really toned down Falstaff, cuz he’s a great subversive, jolly SOB.

                  • we did watch the hollow crown, in fact, although i’d had to look it up on imbd to make sure, lol; (spaghetti for brains).

                    i absolutely know the causes of the conversation being necessary, and i hadn’t meant to imply that my beliefs are…correct, just what they are at any moment in time. i’ve forgotten how many cops have been killed ‘in the line of duty’, but they even made it clearer to the security state that not only do #bluelivesmatter more (than the rabble’s, especially), but states are changing laws to make that clear. ND may have the boldest new laws either passed or pending, mebbe minnesota, i forget them all, but such fukkery as ‘it’s okay to run over protestors in the line of duty’.

                    • the brits have done the hollow crown a couple of times. I found the very recent version to be disappointing. these plays aren’t g.d. LOTR. the carnivalesque, Rabelaisian spirit is lost if you can’t understand what they are saying. and I found even somewhat lesser characters like the marvelous Hotspur to be impossible to understand; that molasses thick Scottish accent was not chosen for ease of comprehension among a general audience. O. Welles’ Falstaff: Chimes at Midnight is far better despite basically making 1 & 2 H 4 into one play.

                • that video was very hard to watch. oh of course the good citizens standing by should have started unloading on those pigs. “Speak, hands, for me!” and the legal system that exonerates the cops would have thrown those good Samaritans on to death row to be tortured for the remainder of their days by the cops’ clones in prison, but they still should have done it. take a gigantic swig of whiskey (for a future DUI defense) & plow your car right into the middle of those fuckers. ok, maybe not that, but *do* something.

                  if someone had preemptively struck/shot a klan member in the 60’s, there would have been a 25% chance that klan member was an FBI agent or paid informant. (as we know, similar kinds of infiltration & manipulation go on all the time.) one should be at the least hesitant to engage in actions like preemption that form the basis of the enemy’s power. doesn’t mean there aren’t occasions to reject that caution. but the extraordinary disparities in power b/n your ordinary person & the quasi-cyborg super soldier exo-skeleton wearing cop hopped up on donuts, coffee, roids and meth make confrontations w/cops & other enforcers (soldiers) way more practically difficult now than 50, 100, 300, etc years ago.

                  • to say the truth, i couldn’t even watch it again, but the first few times? oh, the adrenaline spike! i felt a minor version of that rage at the cavalier onlookers, as well. yes, we all would have been thrown to the incarceration wolves, but reflex doesn’t allow one to think of that, does it?

                    small wonder that in this age over over-militarized po-po, former combat vets get hiring preference. logical, as they know how to use the weapons of war, and have been brain-washed to open fire on ‘the other’.aside from ‘death in custody’, the other category of kills by police that boi my blood are hits on the mentally disturbed. such easy prey, esp. as they are often, as w/ kelly, ‘able to submit to orders. like james boyd in the hills outside of abq. pigs is all i can utter, with all apologies to porcines. apd got put under federal consent decree, but it was pretty much of sham in the end. i can’t even recall if perez or sandy were convicted, but james’ family did win a civil suit award. but their defense counsels brought in expert witness to show ‘why the cops rightfully feared for their lives’ in courtroom reenactments (one scotus justification of ‘a good shoot’).

                    oh, and i hadn’t known about fibbies inside the klan.

            • cynicalseeker

              Very astute comments, wd and j. It’s been awhile since I posted here, I’ve been having health and personal problems, which started right after I won another trial against the banksters (victory was especially sweet after the smug smiles exchanged by the bank lawyer and witness when I rejected their ridiculous “settlement offer” and told them I thought I could win the case).

              But then the steady beat of the kinds of things discussed in this thread, e.g. cruel ICE raids, gladio bombings, lionization of zbig, etc. have plunged me into a deep depression, haven’t gone full clinical since 2014. Thanks to everyone here for reminding me I’m not alone, best wishes to you all.

              • welcome back stranger. nice to hear you won the trial, but how hard it is to hear you’re in full depression mode and maybe otherwise ill. for me, being here, doing this, helps me to stave off the deep blues for the most part. yanno; keyboard warriors and all that.) ;-) but no, always remember that you are Not Alone.

                contact me if there’s anything i might be able to do to help. (it’s under ‘contact me’ on the right sidebar categories list.)

  13. I have to thank everyone for the links here, and also for sending me on a hunt – found a lot of fascinating stuff (to me) that I didn’t know about, some really good articles I enjoyed as a nice distraction from the war-war crazies. I just use duckduckgo, and that site seems to be increasingly truncated – went looking for what I’d remembered about the Russian church wanting clemency for the girls and two of their links were totally bamboozled on my wee machine, couldn’t access at all. The first was one about the girls decrying the chopping down of four Orthodox crosses, which I thought would be an interesting read but no go. And here’s the second – a big video gets plastered on the screen each time I try it, so maybe don’t, but the heading is what I was looking for:

    I’ll just say I’m sure some of what’s going on in Russia is tainted – no question. But there’s a whole lot of distortion also, the demonization factor, and I can’t believe it isn’t better than it was under Ivan the Terrible, Stalin, and Kruschev. Kirill and Francis are wrong about a lot of things but they aren’t evil; Russians aren’t evil; Pussy Riot isn’t evil.

    We’ve got evil.

    • as i understand it, ww, duck-duck is by way of a more secure search engine, and doesn’t anticipate your habits and need for products as google does. i mainly stick w/ firefox/bing since it does remember the places i go to frequently. ;-)

      interesting that some of the church hierarchy wanted pussy riot freed, and i gotta say, i love femen, and look for them at all the big oligarch get-togethers akin to davos. and at least they didn’t head into the sanctuary, lol. no, they’re not evil, and hoo, boy, do we got Evil.

      i did want to let you know that one of our perennial flowers that hadn’t killed during the heavier freezes lately is the peonies (paonias in spanish), and this week we’ve had veritable armloads of the claret-colored ones to bring inside. five large vases-ful right now, and the flowers are larger than softballs. magnificent altogether. sleep well, dream well if you can. love, wd

    • you in particular will love this, juliania: ‘Stunning ‘southern lights’ illuminate night sky above New Zealand’, via RT

      • That’s a better one than those I was viewing over at ODT – but these show the variety of the spectacle as well.

        In the seven months I was living down that way I never did see the aurora – though one time in college in Maryland the northern one actually came to visit, spooked me totally as my roommate dragged me out of bed without telling me what it was. We had stars colliding overhead – I thought it was the end of the world!

        Thank you, J, for that Falstaffian post – for the first time I saw his speech turning in a double helix with Hamlet’s famous soliloquy, the latter having been freshly interpreted by somebody I heard or read as following on after “Seems? Nay madam, I know not seems…”

        “To be or not to be…

        Ah, when I moved down Otago way for those wind-ravaged seven months, I had a little house on the harbour side, which one day I discovered had quite literally been built on sand…

        • windbag Harold bloom of yale fame said the bard’s two most fully developed characters are hamlet (duh) and Falstaff. I haven’t read merry wives of Windsor (yet), but he’s a socratic figure, as his death in Henry 5 makes clear. is he the corruptor of youth or the savior of the city? is he, loosely speaking, plato’s philosopher king? he’s the character in WS who most often quotes or alludes to the Bible. is it an accident that the play that most often quotes/alludes to the bible, even in its title, is all about the treatment of prostitutes and sexual transgressors, measure for measure?

          Come, I’ll be friends
          with thee, Jack: thou art going to the wars; and
          whether I shall ever see thee again or no, there is
          nobody cares-the prostitute doll tearsheet in 2 h 4.

        • stunning display, omg. believe it or not, we saw them here a few decades ago. simply transfixing watching them change hues, shapes, and waves. never again have they come, but i admit that i’d signed up for that free service named something like ‘aurora watch’ that would notify a person if they might be viewable from X location. when we first took our adopted ute daughter as a foster babbie, her name was princess dancing sky _. ugh. unable to call her princess, we called her ‘the boo’ for her stand up spikey hair. when we adopted her, we left her her middle name, but gave her aurora as a first name. rather redundant, of course, but rory is a great shortened version. she insists on being called aurora now, though

  14. to all. im sorry that i’m spread so thin, or ‘that i’ve spread myself so thin’, just as likely. but w/ trying to transplant things into the garden on a crutch (even though bless mr. wd for building me one free-standing garden at the east end i’d intended to build w/ some awesome old rough-cut 4 x 12’s, communicating w/ family and friends, and er…making some attempts to try to make the whyte-righers see reason, i have.

    tomorrow’s ‘sposed to be 4-loaves0f bread day, and i have scant notes for a discussion of ‘evil’ post, but i was jubilous upon reading this comment:

  15. no more spaces left above j, but i just sent O. Welles’ Falstaff: Chimes at Midnight to mr. wd to score thru our local inter-library loan. i can’t believe that it’s a free service.

    • for Falstaff he is dead,
      And we must yearn therefore…
      Let us to France; like horse-leeches, my boys,
      To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck! H5

      An I have not
      forgotten what the inside of a church is made of, I
      am a peppercorn…F, in 1 H 4.

      F dies cuz Hal has banished him. “Banish plump Jack & banish all the world.” F’s death marks a change in the nature of the world (qua si), seen in the eruption of nationalism & imperialism in H5’s invasion of France.

      T Mann has the exact same motif in The Magic Mountain, his allegory of Europe on the cusp on ww1. except the Falstaffian character, Myndheer (mind here?) Peeperkorn, commits suicide.

      part of my fascination w/Falstaff is the notion that the age we have entered upon is *anti-pleasure.* & this notion is confusing to USAians b/c we confuse, as we have been taught, *consumerism* and *pleasure.* (so we get the widespread but false, silly, and cruel notion that we are all now diabetics b/c we are addicted to pleasure, can’t delay gratification, etc., etc. so stupid.) the organization of our lives collectively & individually is anhedonic, w/o pleasure, and antihedonic, against pleasure, except to the very limited degree that hyper-manipulated & manufactured emotions (like fear) are satisfied via shopping & rigid conformity in one’s work life, beliefs, emotional expressions, etc.

      can you imagine a politico type running on a platform of helping people have more fun in life? even when a B Sanders pays his little lip service to a microscopic expansion in social services & benefits to the commons, it is always w/a view to creating better workers. always. obese children are a national security threat, as that ogress michelle Obama said. no one gives a shit that these children are also miserable and that they are obese b/c people like Michelle Obama live to manipulate & pervert the pleasure & fear centers of people weaker than them.

      Falstaff is dead. and we must yearn.
      on this violence v non-violence WWE Raw smack down, we must remember that your average Joe & Jane aren’t creating the conditions where people consider crashing planes into the IRS building cuz they will never ever pay off their g.d. student loan debt. and a whole host of unspeakably worse things. is anything cooked up in this society that’s not from hell’s kitchen?

      ugh. back to the RW

      • thank you, j, and briefly cuz i’m bushed: sometime in the past joseph stiglitz was hired to create a french ‘happiness index’ for one of the french pols, sarkozy perhaps. ;-)

        ugh RL? hope it ain’t too ughy.

  16. ach; it’s a hard world out there.

  17. speaking of self-defense this a.m.’s popular resistance newsletter contained ‘Veterans are training to “re-deploy” to their own communities to defend against Trump’s attacks’ by
    “Veterans from all over the country are converging in Tennessee for the “About-Face Action Camp,” preparing to use their military skills to support communities under attack: by Big Oil, by ICE, by emboldened white supremacist groups, and by Trump himself.

    “Never have we seen so many veterans wanting to translate the skills to serve frontline communities fighting back against Trump’s destructive platform,” said Matt Howard, a Marine Corps veteran who deployed twice to Iraq.
    Howard is the Co-Director of Iraq Veterans Against the War, a grassroots organization of post-9/11 active duty service members and veterans. IVAW was originally formed in 2004 as a space for vets to speak out against, and rectify their involvement in, the unpopular and unjust wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    okay interesting, no link to twitter, but i clicked into their facebook acct., and their banner is tada! the white house totally painted blood red, and with onion domes. Pfffft.

    but anyhoo, i did click in ‘events’ on the IVAW site, and they have held trainings in tennessee for 50 vets over the past several days. probably the most fascinating part is:

    “The camp trainers come from the illustrious Ruckus Society, a 21-year-old grassroots training outfit led by women of color. Indigenous veterans who were also at Standing Rock will be serving as camp trainers, including Krystal Two Bulls, an Oglala Lakota and Northern Cheyenne woman who served in the Army for 10 years. For Two Bulls, the camp is about more than direct action: “I hope to support the healing and learning of fellow veterans in how to translate our unique skill sets into service to the movement,” she says, “and truly learn what it means to serve The People.”

    i did check their twitter accts. and neither wes clark, jr. nor michael wood are involved, fwiw. how well they did in standing rock seems to be in the eyes of the beholder, eh? oh, and dave archambault has some competition for tribal chairman. ;-)

  18. talk about ‘preemptive self-defense’!:

    “They have to kill us because they can’t break our spirit.”
    ~ John Trudell (his biography)

  19. cynicalseeker

    Thank you, Wendye, for your kind words of support. It means a lot to me. I think I am going to e-mail you someday soon, if nothing else, I would like to share some of my art and music with you. (I’m putting this reply up here because I’m on my phone and way down there it has become a single line of type again).

    What triggered this depression was reading the comments section at some website, can’t even recall which one, and seeing the hatred, the cruelty, the bloodlust, and the overriding clueless ness in the comments. For awhile there I thought maybe I was starting to see some signs of awakening, but I no longer see that.

    And this was no right-wing website either. I don’t frequent too many of those, except zerohedge, sometimes they have some good articles but the comments section can be a cesspool. It seems that a lot of people who are starting to wake up to how we are propagandize to demonize countries our deep state wants to attack are also virulent racists and xenophobes; a tiracists I used to respect are now beating the war drums and beatifying St. Barack, and so on and so on…..seems to me the propaganda masters are getting better at sowing total confusion. I talk about the evils of central banking in its current form and get accused of dogwhistling antisemitism (!) and at the same time many of those who agree with me ARE actual antisemites. I thought partisanship was dying but it seems like I’m seeing more of it.

    I’m not too worried about the depression though, I have a lifetime of experience in dealing with it and I’m getting much better at it. I’m about to do a good workout which will get the endorphins flowing. I have lots of tricks in my bag for getting out of it, it used to cripple me for months, now six days is a long time….

    But whoosh (sorry to appropriate your unique whimsical styling but I love this about your writing) I want to talk to you about Jeremy Corbyn. Once again I find myself in the dubious position of defending a mainstream politician, but I myself wouldn’t be too hard on him for describing the recent UK attacks as blowback. I mean, if he started talking about Gladio and demanding investigations, seems to me he could easily be painted by the opposition as a nutcase. False flags are still outside the radar of the dumbed-down electorate, and I know from reading British blogs he is viewed on the right as “soft on terrorism.” Corbyn, imho, for all his faults, is no Barack Obama or Bernie Sanders on foreign policy and I really hope he wins this election. Of course, I could be wrong. I guess we’ll see if he wins and British foreign policy remains the same, then we’ll know electoral politics are useless against the deep state across the pond. This brings to mind Jasun Horsley over on the auticulture blog (don’t know if you’re familiar; I find that site fascinating). Jasun thinks when too much is revealed to the public too soon, it causes masses of people to shut down and double down on putting the blinders on. I’m not sure I agree with this but it’s food for thought. Anyway, my point in bringing this up is, not to be snarky at all, but I’d really like to know your opinion: how do you think he should address the attacks, given the current climate and mental capacity of the electorate?

    Anyway, thanks again for your response, your blog, and for just being you. This has certainly brightened my day. :)

    • you’re quite welcome to share your music and art, c seeker, in fact i’d love it. but be forewarned: last time i’d checked, i occupy at least two of the top five slots for ‘worst e-mail correspondent it the world’. or was it just in amerika? i’ve forgotten. but most of my emails are akin to ‘here’s this one thing for now, i swear i’ll try to write more later!’

      i’d thought i might have a few suggestions for your fibromyalgia, although from my experience, that’s more a set of symptoms that can be addressed than an aggregate ‘disease’. of course, that view has always pissed of people, including my bodywork clients back in the day. ;-) but still.

      damn, online and anonymous, people can be so fucking ugly, can’t they? one ‘progressive’ i visit from time to time (rather ill-advisedly). but a lot of this ugliness is down to end-time capitalism, which has sparked nationalism and ‘other-ism’ as inequality grows beyond belief.

      but as far a corbyn, i have to remain agnostic, due to my inattention. but i will say that i no longer see any politicians who are the ‘answer’, given all have clay feet, and turn into other people if elected. last one i’d had high hopes for was alexis tsipris, and look how that turned out. i do remember babylonian jason saying ‘fuck corbin’, but i don’t remember…why.

      but cool you can still work out; i so often envy mr. wd who runs on the HS track every sunday, and comes home rather high. also remember, tears bring endorphins as well, and have the added effect of expressing our grief/sorrow/anger-turned-inward, and so on. i just grabbed horsley’s site; i’ll take a look if i can remember to, that is. best to you; don’t let the mean gurls get ya down for crissake!

      • Yeah, I’m with you on Tspiras. What a letdown that was! I long ago gave up on politicians being “the answer” too. Rather, I look to Corbyn’s “victory” (I must confess I didn’t understand until yesterday that the British don’t vote directly for PM but it’s all based on seats and building coalition governments ) as like a Petri dish, providing a better environment for true revolutionary movements to grow than if the Tories or “New Labor” had carried the day. With the added benefit of further discrediting neoliberalism.

        I liked Corbyn’s speech about terrorism being related to British policies of supporting jihadist in Libya and Syria. I hope he takes it a step further in ordering investigations into MI6 involvement in false flags, but this might be too much to hope for. It’s been an open policy under May to encourage Salafist residents of Britain to go train and fight with other jihadist in Libya and Syria and other places.

        Anyway, I’m getting ready to do another workout and then head into the office to work on bankruptcy stuff, maybe I’ll find time to e-mail you from there where I have an actual workout. Don’t worry about being a bad correspondent, so am I. In my world of 200 clients and trying to have a relationship, it’s hard to find time for anything. About the workouts, I have always been into exercise but I stopped when I started having the symptoms later diagnosed as fibromyalgia. My shrink told me to work out, he said it’s counterintuitive but it really helps. And it did! If I didn’t regularly lift weights, run sprints and swim laps it would be much, much worse.

        I don’t know why on earth people would get angry at your theory that it is a collection of symptoms , seems as good a theory as any given the lack of understanding of fibromyalgia in the medical community. But I can’t understand why people get so angry about differences of opinion in general. Think about it, don’t you find it a little weird that people get so angry about differences of political opinion? Short of someone advocating open fascism or the right to cannibalize babies, I assume most of us want the same thing, a sane and just world, but differ on what is the best course of action to achieve those goals.

        I do get frustrated with those who refuse to see evidence in front of their faces, or are so brainwashed that they seem incapable of examining anything outside the establishment narrative, but not to the point of anger. I used to be like that though so I can’t be too hard on them, I guess it’s part of the wisdom that comes with age.

        • my apologies for not having the time now to answer longer, most especially since i have to sadly disagree with this you’ve written: “I assume most of us want the same thing, a sane and just world, but differ on what is the best course of action to achieve those goals.” that might take half an hour in itself, (not)cynical seeker. ;-) but sure, email me at will, and i’l respond as i can.

          but yes, you’re so correct in that failure to sleep and depression/anxiety are two of the main underlying causes of the set of symptoms that add up to a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, a well as in the bigPharma meds that are prescribed to ‘cure’ it.

          on edit: yes, it seems that may’s scheme backfired big time, and whether or not she can form a govt. will be interesting, and how long it survives before another no confidence vote will be fascinating to watch.

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