The G-20 Tango Fandango

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fan·dan·go: NOUN  a lively Spanish dance for two people, typically accompanied by castanets or tambourine;  a foolish or useless act or thing: “the Washington inaugural fandango”

(A prequel of sorts): ‘What Trump Can Expect from Putin’, Ray McGovern, July 1, consortiumnews.com

(In the style of a President’s Daily Brief for President Trump:), some deserving outtakes:

“Putin’s generals, like yours, are required to impute the most provocative intentions to military capabilities; that is what military intelligence is all about. Thus, they cannot avoid seeing the ABM deployments as giving the U.S. the capability for a first strike to decapitate Russia’s ICBM force and, by doing so, protecting the U.S. from Russian nuclear retaliation.

And, as Putin has made clear, the Kremlin sees U.S. claims that the deployments are needed to thwart a strategic strike from Iran as insultingly disingenuous – all the more so in light of the 2015 multilateral agreement handcuffing Iran’s development of a nuclear bomb for the foreseeable future.

Yet, the U.S.-Russia strategic balance becomes more and more precarious with the deployment of each new ABM site or warship, together with rising concerns at the possibility of a U.S. technological breakthrough. With the time window for Russian leaders to evaluate data indicating a possible U.S. nuclear strike closing, launch-on-warning becomes more likely – and so does World War III.

Your visit to Warsaw en route to Hamburg for the G-20 summit will shine the spotlight on the threat Putin sees in the deployment of missile defense systems in Poland – as well as Romania and elsewhere on Russia’s periphery.

It is no secret that Russian leaders feel double-crossed by NATO’s steady creep eastward, but Russia’s strategic planners seemed to believe they could handle that – up to a point. That point was reached with the Feb. 22, 2014 coup d’etat in Ukraine, which Moscow viewed as one U.S.-backed regime change too many and one that installed a virulently anti-Russian government along a route historically used by foreign invaders.

On April 17, 2014, the day before Crimea was re-incorporated into Russia, Putin spoke of what motivated Russia’s strong reaction. The “more important” reason he gave was the need to thwart plans to incorporate Ukraine and Crimea into the anti-ballistic missile deployment encircling Russia.

Putin explained: “This issue is no less, and probably even more important, than NATO’s eastward expansion. Incidentally, our decision on Crimea was partially prompted by this.” [snip]

(Well, the warm water port at Sevastapol is pretty important, too.)  ;-)

“Putin’s misgivings were hardly allayed by President Obama’s ten-second pas de deux five years ago with Dmitry Medvedev in South Korea. An ABC open mike picked up their private conversation on March 26, 2012, at a summit on nuclear security in Seoul.

Obama is heard assuring then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that the missile defense issue “can be solved,” but that it was “important for him (Putin) to give me space.” President Obama asked Medvedev to tell Putin that Obama would have “more flexibility” after being re-elected. More flexibility or no, the missile defense program proceeded unabated, with Washington shunning bilateral talks.

It is now five years later, but there will be a residue of distrust on Putin’s part with respect to ABM deployment. We still expect Putin to show his characteristic reserve, but you will be dealing with someone who feels he’s been diddled on this key issue, and who, on occasion, gets angry when others don’t grasp the gravity of this potentially existential moment.” [snip]

“Since the Ukraine crisis, U.S. media and political circles have subjected Putin to an unrelenting demonization, including comparisons of him to Adolf Hitler and an over-the-top campaign to blame him for Hillary Clinton’s defeat and the Trump presidency.

Yet, while the tone of the Russia-bashing in Washington has reached hysterical levels, the Defense Intelligence Agency has just published a balanced assessment of “Russia’s Threat Perceptions,” which offers a view from Moscow’s vantage point:

“Since returning to power in 2012, Russian President Putin has sought to reassert Russia as a great power on the global stage and to restructure an international order that the Kremlin believes is tilted too heavily in favor of the United States at Russia’s expense.

“Moscow seeks to promote a multipolar world predicated on the principles of respect for state sovereignty and non-interference in other state’s internal affairs, the primacy of the UN, and a careful balance of power preventing one state or group of states from dominating the international order. …

“Moscow has sought to build a robust military able to project power, add credibility to Russian diplomacy, and ensure that Russian interests can no longer be summarily dismissed without consequence.”

A fair assessment, in our view.”

Ray McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years, during which he served as chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch.

Now we don’t actually know what the Putin-Drump two and a quarter hour discussions comprised, as it was a closed-door session with the four principals and two translators, according to Pepe Escobar’s ‘Putin and Trump stage-manage a win-win meeting’; With a ceasefire in southwestern Syria in the works, meeting proves diplomacy beats demonization, July 8, atimes.com

He mentions the agreement on the multi-party enforced cease-fire in Southern Syria, but gives The Real Big Story, i.e., the Putin-Xi Jinping three days earlier in Moscow.  You’ve likely read it by now, but the cheat sheet is this:

“Xi repeatedly extolled the “strategic alliance”, or “the fast-growing, pragmatic cooperation”, or even the “special character” of China’s ties with Russia.

Putin once again pledged to support the New Silk Roads, or One Belt, One Road initiative (Obor), “by all means”, which includes its interpenetration with the Eurasia Economic Union (EEU).

The Russian Direct Investment Fund and the China Development Bank established a joint $10 billion investment fund.”, and they apparently ‘kept discussing a military cooperation roadmap’.

But interestingly, when Popular Resistance sent Escobar’s piece in their newsletter, part of it was this interview by ‘Putin Apologist’/s Russian expert Stephen Cohen.  And fancy: Cohen can only get gigs with Tucker now?  I can’t remember the last time Amy Goodman had him on.  Tweety  (of ‘Sarah Palin gives me a shiver uo my leg’ fame) goes full-tilt Roossia berzerk!

This one was on the right sidebar, an given the provocative title, his reasoning is nuanced and pretty durned sound, imo.

Scholar: Assault on Trump is greatest threat to our country, May 16, 2017

‘G20 is desperately trying to save a failed world order’, The G20 agenda utterly fails to break with the tired, broken free-market policies that brought devastation to our world, Nick Dearden,  director of UK  Global Justice Now, aljazeera.com

“We shouldn’t be fooled. The G20 agenda utterly fails to break with the tired, broken policies of the free market. In other words, those very policies which, by increasing inequality and devastating communities, turning everyone into a self-interested individual, have unwittingly given rise to the likes of Trump. And that’s to ignore the “Trumpism” in European politics – the barbaric immigration policy at Europe’s borders through which thousands of desperate migrants die in the Mediterranean every year.”

“Merkel crowns her benevolent agenda a “Partnership for Africa”. But as Zimbabwean activist Fanwell Bokosi told this week’s G20 counter-summit – “a partnership normally means both sides are at the table and agree”. In fact, this partnership is about using Western aid and power to politely suggest African countries might want to change their policies to make life easier for western multinationals to “invest” in their countries. It also means they will be able to avoid their taxes, and repatriate their profits back to the west when they’ve fleeced the continent.”

‘After Hamburg protests, German government plans crackdown on left-wing views’, 11 July 2017, andre damon, wsws.org

“In a long-planned military-police operation, some 20,000 police were mobilized from throughout Germany and the European Union to suppress largely peaceful demonstrators. As helicopters and fighter jets flew over the city of Hamburg, heavily-armed police, some brandishing machine guns and carbines, carried out hundreds of arrests, beat protesters with batons, sprayed them with water cannon, and doused them with tear gas and pepper spray.

Incidents of vandalism by a small group of petty-bourgeois anarchists were used as the flimsy pretext for this massive police crackdown. Amid widespread infiltration of anarchist groups by German police, there can be no doubt that actions by police agent provocateurs, planned and coordinated ahead of time, played a major role in the disturbances.” [large snip of extreme quotes and legislative wish lists and Nazi-esque concerts]

“Since the last federal election in 2013, both parties have been conspiring, with the support of the media, to bully the public into accepting a revival by Germany of great-power imperialist politics. This has entailed a massive rearmament and expansion of the country’s military and intelligence forces and the promotion of fascistic intellectual figures such as Jörg Baberowski, the Humboldt University academic who notoriously declared that “Hitler was not vicious,” as part of an effort to whitewash the crimes of German imperialism.

The moves against left-wing political organizations constitute an effort to pre-empt and intimidate widespread popular opposition to militarism and social inequality, expressed in the results of a recent EU poll that found that young people overwhelmingly believe the “gap between the rich and poor is widening,” and that “banks and money rule the world.” More than half of those polled said they would join a “large scale uprising.”

Oh, and a few folks aren’t terribly impressed with the Putin-Trump ‘reset’.

(‘As Trump and Putin Met, US and UK Defense Chiefs Discussed Ways to Deter Russia’, July 7, 2017)

37 responses to “The G-20 Tango Fandango

  1. oh, my po’ slo’ brain. i left out the biggest news of the day! ‘Vatican rules the Body of Christ can’t be gluten free’; Pope Francis has weighed in on the matter of religious bread-making by reminding his flock that the Body of Christ is not gluten-free.”

    • and no crunchitarians can take the body & blood either. who knew the secret ingredient to the hocus pocus was gluten? why wasn’t that in the Nicene creed? who knows? who can decipher the miracle, the mystery, indeed the authority of Holy Mama Church?

      • I thought it was just metaphorical gluten but I guess the Vatican’s stance is that it is, at once, both symbolic and real. Halle glu, ja!

        • do it for the boss

          Gluten Tag! sperm are never metaphors either. little tadpole metaphors? that’s crazy talk.

          I grew up in a household where HRC, I mean RCC, was called the Whore of Babylon, Babylon Mystery Religion, and etc. I feel largely inoculated against her whiles and the tattoo on her thigh.

          A’ did in some sort, indeed, handle women; but then
          he was rheumatic, and talked of the whore of Babylon.-Quickly, giving Falstaff’s swan song. rheumatic? he got the pox or the gout from someone, that’s for sure.

  2. after this comment, we can say for ay, maybe, this hobbyhorse is forgot. people who listen to Gladwell types, Economist readers & the like, find it impossible to imagine that the G20 is a forum to discuss more efficient raping & pillaging. the complete distrust the bottom 50% of the global population rightly feels toward these g20 pricks is b/c they are uneducated. aka “stupid.”

    now I think i’ll go attend a lecture on the effect of a permanent income on thought. let me guess if I can summarize what i’m likely to hear in one question: Jason, if you so smart, how come you ain’t rich like us?

    • dunno which comment, which hobbyhorse you mean, but yeppers to g-20 as global raping and pillaging, but don’t ever forget: it’s all done for the benefit of the pillaged in the end. rising tides lift all boats, no?

      i’d liked that nick dearden had noted that: “The G20 came to prominence in 2008 after the financial crash meant the richest G8 countries needed the wealth of emerging nations to stabilise the world economy. The likes of Saudi Arabia and Turkey were granted a seat at the table. In London in 2009, they patted themselves on the back on a job well done.”

      and “Liberal German daily Der Spiegel said, under a leader titled “the G20 farce”, “the group meeting here is an exclusive club that is mostly interested in preserving a creaking system of financial market-driven capitalism”. srsly? whooosh.

      but srsly, i’d just been telling a friend the other day that christ’s body was not gluten free. udderwise, the host could be a wee cheerio, ‘made for little hands’, couldn’t it? but yes, what about the blood? catlicks use wine, no, while udders use does tiny glasses of welch’s grape juice? that sure goes great wid your morniing toothpaste…

      • i’m in the middle of a ginormous pepita sauce project, so i’d forgot to address this: ‘let me guess if I can summarize what i’m likely to hear in one question: Jason, if you so smart, how come you ain’t rich like us?’

        your A answer would be: cuz i have a conscience and a fine moral compass. also, about eradicating the whole damned nest from space: think davos, as well, where the true masters of the universe meet greet take spas together love ‘get rest’ (a serious topic at the last confab) lite to the imf, word bank, assholes like faux-lanthropist bill gates, and all of the star power bonos, et.al. but that’s only if ya let your imagination travel a bit further, of course./s

        but while playing ‘the wall’ w/ eastern instruments, i spied this cyndi lauper from berlin 5 ? years ago. and sure, why not be ‘ode-b-joyful in their shoes, AND in the original german beethoven. ;-)

        • when you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose. except my hearing aid.

          no gentleman ever has any money. nothing to commend me but my debts.

          here’s to our public intellectuals. no being & all nothingness.

  3. I cannot imagine why several journalists having their press accreditation retroactively revoked by the host country would not make headlines. There must be more important news elsewhere. The coverage this did receive, either via tweet from said journalists…

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
    (hooray, Twitter, democracy!!)
    …or a single-line blurb in the GatekeeperDotCom

    “A number of journalists working for leftwing German newspapers reported on Friday that their press accreditation had been withdrawn without explanation.”

    …which is how technology serves us so well, after all. For what newspaper could have envisioned their improved ability to inform the discerning media consumer who’s balancing citizenry with a busy schedule of wage slavery by providing Roundup sections for events that warrant extended coverage? It’s not like this style of one-stop story shopping would be curtailing their function at all.

    What was I on about? Oh, yeah… press accreditation. Of course, German language coverage was easier to find, it being the tongue d’ head of the land, this time round, tasked with the niggling arduousness to giveth with the one hand, and taketh away with the other hand… or the same hand… the main point being the takething away, after all. Bear with me, my trans-telling tells that it says, roughly, that the accreditation

    „is done in two steps consisting of, on the one hand examining journalistic character, and on the other hand processing the security clearance requirement for the occasion, which is carried out by the Bundeskriminalamt [Feds]“.

    …That per the Fedspeaker hisself. The photographer Björn Kietzmann was one of the 30 or so journalists to have his credentials revoked, so to speak. He said that he was in the press center to upload photos when…

    “A federal agent told me he had to revoke my accreditation,” Kietzmann said. “He didn’t give me a reason.“ Up to now he still hasn’t gotten one, although he filed the request with both the BKA [read FBI] and the BPA [Federal Press Agency].

    The director of the German Journalists Union (dju), Cornelia Haß, called the procedure “extremely dubious”…

    “One gets the strong impression that unpleasant reporting is to be prevented.” she said. “This is a procedure that violates democratic principles. We have therefore lodged an objection with the authorities on our members’ behalf.

    In many cases, explain several journalists, their credentials were simply ignored by the police. That is, it’s as if once shit got rolling and the stripping of accreditation became so routine, they were just routinely denied standard access. Here are some questions posed in a letter to BKA-President Holger Münch [compare: Robert Mueller]:

    “Were the police instructed by directors of operations regarding the special roll of the press?” Or: ” What is meant by ‘security concerns’?“ And: “Why were journalists initially accredited, and then barred as soon as the riots began?”

    But my fave bit comes from the same outlet, via spin from Green Party Chancellor candidate Cem Özdemir, who wants to create the impression that he wants to get to the bottom of things. He is, in my opinion, using the fact that 4 of the 32 revoked passes were of journalists who had worked in the Kurdish regions of Turkey, to focus attention on the bad guys over the border (in fairness, well, yeah, but…). After blah-blahing the standard “I expect a quick and comprehensive explanation from the governing coalition [read: parties not my own (in fairness: well, yeah, but…)]. I demand a complete clarification.” He then adds:

    “Should the suspicion be substantiated that foreign intelligence agencies influenced this list, it would be unprecedented. When the administration is host to the despots of this world like Putin and Erdogan, is does not mean that they are to curtail press freedom as they do.”

    You know, cuz we don’t do that. Remind anybody of “this is not who we are”?

    • sorry to be so long, davidly. i’d peeked into wsws to see if they’d covered journalists losing their accreditation in their several exposés of the police occupation of berlin. but it seems not, i found sole, but brief, mention of it at sputnik news, how handy. but hey Cem Özdemir, we love your narrow focus: ‘When the administration is host to the despots of this world like Putin and Erdogan…’ putin evil, saudi heir to the throne (salman?) not a despot. whoooosh.

      but echoing your righteous skewering of the green candidate for chancellor, wsws had noted these trends in the piece i’d featured in the OP::

      “CDU Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière declared, for his part, “The events surrounding the G20 summit must be a turning point in our view of the left-wing scene’s readiness to use violence.”
      He boasted that “several hundred” people had been turned away from Germany’s borders in recent days on the basis of their left-wing political views as a result of tightened border security measures ahead of the G20. Other members of the CDU called for these temporary measures to be made permanent, claiming that the border controls led to the capture of criminals.” and…

      “If anything, the nominally “left” Social Democrats have taken the more extreme position. After a series of disastrous electoral failures, reflecting this broadly despised organization’s loss of credibility as a party of social reform, the SPD is seeking to appeal to fascistic elements previously attracted to the extreme-right Alternative for Germany (AfD).”

      but i love the hell outta this from your guardian link:

      “A day of violent clashes between police and protesters culminated on Friday evening with the bizarre spectacle of the heads of the world’s 20 leading economies listening to Beethoven’s Ode to Joy at the top of a shiny high-rise building while police used water cannon, teargas and speed boats to keep at bay an angry crowd of thousands. Germany’s second-largest city had been eager to showcase its recently opened Elbphilharmonie concert hall to the rest of the world, but it may come to rue its ivory-tower symbolism after a week of chaotic scenes on the edges of the conference hall.” (Pepe Escobar’s new ‘welcome to hell’ piece had mentioned it, but it seemed he was just phonin’ it in, although i might have been too grouchy when i’ read it.

      so let’s listen to this flashmob version of ‘ode to joy’; i love it cuz the chirren, especially.

      oh, and i never could learn how to html a hyperlink; kinda sucks this commenting software doesn’t have that capability, doesn’t it? even the $500/yr or whatever thing doesn’t.

      • they can’t not smuggle the ode to joy in their little coven. all the good sex, all the good food, all the good drugs, all the good free time, it’s all already there in their little fenced in w/tanks pleasure garden. they’ll be smuggling oxygen in there pretty soon.

        but they are also working hard. cutting brush & shit. don’t doubt it for a second. among the tillers in Mars’ field, these are the true workmen. bored dragons pulling wings off of butterflies.

    • Perhaps the non-corporate, independent and leftish press would have reported on at least parts of the protestors’ planned kettling of the G-20. We did get to hear that Melania was put into ‘cant get there from here’ status… hmmm…

      • Pre-emptive counter-kettling?

      • sacred chicken egg of the world soul

        I don’t well understand that. protestors kettling? maybe the leftish press was embarrassed at the too many protestors who bro’t their spitwad shooters to a bazooka fight? and they didn’t want to demoralize the crack brigade of world revolution? so they skipped a bit? moved on to the batons swirling & tear gas flowing? just like a leftist. sneaky of them.

        melania can’t get where from here? but she can still eat cake, right? think that’s all that needs to be said about Melinda gates.

    • thanks for the info. but german gives some of us a toothache.

      compare the sturm in a tea saucer over the WWE Raw/CNN kerfluffle brought to you by Adobe Photoshop. I think people like Tommy Friedman got Trump’s message just fine. zero distortion, loud & clear. crank the two volume knobs on Russiagate to 11 (verbiage, shrillness). while the stormtroopers are protecting the plans of the g20 death star. Emperor Ming flies in from D.C. and immediately belches in the gala reception punch bowl. everyone still takes a big gulp, even if palace coups are always on the table. fighting over the spice on Arrakis or whatever.

      tip from the soviet for all you homeless lazy bums out there: construction zones are great places to find bulldozers. steal them and just start plowing down walls. anywhere, everywhere. first we take Brentwood country club? and then Berlin? we need to get our veterans motivated to put their skills back to good use.

    • the stupid is spread on thick all over ain’t it? no room at the inn, huh? like common refugees? when i think of heroic moments in Amerikan history, Granada & such, i’ll happily add Trump’s struggle to find a hotel room and take comfort that victory is at hand b/c in the end Trump carries more weight overseas than Obama does. as proven, after much labor & sweat, by him finding a place in the end.

  4. An interesting trend that parallels Russian security services (the soloviki) and other countries with private paramilitary police starts appearing with the union of KKK-Oathkeepers (and likely NRA) and US local and state police, and the emergence of similar patterns in Europe, Australia, and other countries. The interesting part of the trend is the slow neo-Nazification of the right as this trend occurs, including reappropriating the symbols of 100 years ago. Hamburg, Charlottesville VA, Austin TX – – where else has it appeared? Police defending unarmed black bloc from militias armed with permitted assault-style rifles. Or police protecting violent alt-right protesters.

    Austerity drives the extremes. The absolute power of oligarchic capitalism drives the austerity. Nice little perpetual motion machine — until the wheels fall off.

    McGovern is what used to be called a small-r realist. The ability to game the perceptions of the other government was a real skill when it was used to understand policy. The current bunch want to go running up to the tips of the point of a bull waving a red flag and beating their chest. Na-na-na-na-na-na-toro. You don’t have me. Pamplona always find one or two drunken Americans who get gored. This year it was a guy from North Carolina, who says he’s going back.

    There are actually three parts to the Trump administration: the admirers of the oligarchic nationalism that Putin has brought in Russia. Bannon and possibly Flynn (who also carries water for Erdogan) are two of the most high profile ones. The Trump appointees who are from the Pamplona school of wishful thinking; Mattis and McMaster and a whole lot of the deep state fit this, not to mention the now-disempowered Kagan crowd, fit this. The Pampona Crowd are the ones who rolled the missile defense right up to the Russian borders in the Baltic and Central Europe and then began working on Southeastern Europe. The third part is, of course, Trump and his tweeter.

    If there is an economic counterpart strategically to the Fulda Gap it is trade infrastructure that allows trade between Western Europe and China. Angela Merkel’s comment that Mr. Xi has the opinion that Germany is on a Eurasian peninsula wryly captures her clarity of the situation. But she does want the infrastructure and the trade if it can be managed politically. It places Germany at the center of Europe and Europe at the center of “the West” just at the time at which the US is either fading or withdrawing its global leadership from military and economic exhaustion. The next move is for France and the rest of the rump European Union a the UK sorts out what it is really going to do and might slowly dissolve its “special relationship” with the US built out of World War II.

    And the new rush for Africa has officially begun. Macron and Merkel are talking about it. China is incorporating troops into its African infrastructure projects to protect its investment. The US is already there in some depth. And none of the African nations are eager to be reformed by outsiders once again. I would suspect that over the next few years its wars replace Middle Eastern wars in the news. Unless there is a new burst of generosity (cough, non-austerity).

    What the diplomacy at the G-19+Trump showed was the extent that the rest of the world is working to build diplomatic channels with the US around Trump. Nominally, Tillerson is the point man on this, but he can’t look like anything is going on. One wonders what the military and intelligence service instructions are relative to Trump, without going into insubordination as far as Stanley McChrystal did.

    It seems to me that finally now after six months on the job, the folks around Trump have gone into pretend mode and are hanging on to their jobs.

    Pepe’s readout of Russian sources point to that; the Der Spiegel editorial bluntly stating that Trump was unfit to be President point to that; the craziness of the media and Trump surrogates point to that.

    That does not mean that he is soon to be gone. My expectation, based on Nixon’s trajectory is stuff breaks heavy in August 2018. Check in then to see how heavy it is. It will take that long for the Mueller investigation and other investigations to do their work.

    • lots here, amigo, but…for me, i either play hooky from the café or from RL, (whatever that is) (smile). i’m closing in on my several big projects, but now, it’s time to fashion some dinner. back as i’m able.

    • part I:
      this is something you’ve seen, thd? “Police defending unarmed black bloc from militias armed with permitted assault-style rifles. Or police protecting violent alt-right protesters.” news to me, unless you mean some weirdness about hippie-punching at the Milo (?) college event?

      the first i’d seen the more recent use of the SS symbol on flags was in the ukraine, sometimes in ‘battles for crimea’

      on second edit: and up jumped the devil!: ‘Ukraine: Tables turned as nationalists pepper spray POLICE as clashes hit parliament’, today wolfsangels on the shirts a flags? oh, no, vicki still can’t control her nazis!

      on edit: re-birth symbolism of a lightly different sort than expressly nazi:

      http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-(world/world/americas/venezuela/article160763494.html a puff piece, of course, ahead of another attempted coup by other means)

      the wheels have begun to fall of the PPM as per berlin; stay tuned to what’s next, of course. perhaps also in what you’re calling ‘the rump EU’, explain that if you would. i do like your Pamplona metaphor, although i might need more time to think it through for a couple reasons.

      along the way, it occurred to me that nationalism and nativism may be entwined, but a quick study at wiki notes that there are many sorts of nationalism, some cross-overs, but if i may, i’d think ‘class’ is extremely key to what really underlies it all.

      to me, the new rush looks a lot like the old rush to rape, pillage, destabilize for r2p humanitarian military assaults (oh, i mean ‘help’) africa, but there are always compradors to invite the pillage and destabilization, as we know. my guess it’s one reason paul kagame was chosen to head the african union.

      now as far as i know, the only chinese military bass is the one near camp lemonnier, or perhaps as east as nick turse knew it in april. but this is great: “”Just as the U.S. pursues strategic interests in Africa, international competitors, including China and Russia, are doing the same,” laments AFRICOM in its 2017 posture statement. “We continue to see international competitors engage with African partners in a manner contrary to the international norms of transparency.”

      but sure, africom has been at war on the sly for years. and it will get worse, of course, esp. in the proxy resource wars in the vastly mineral rich great lakes region.

      on edit: baffling; from the wiki: “On January 30, 2017, it was announced that Chad’s Moussa Faki would become the next Chairperson (of the AU). sorry for the mistake; someone was wrong on the interwebs…

    • THD: “That does not mean that he is soon to be gone. My expectation, based on Nixon’s trajectory is stuff breaks heavy in August 2018. Check in then to see how heavy it is. It will take that long for the Mueller investigation and other investigations to do their work.”

      which investigations, please? firing comey? trump, jr.’s emails?

  5. life is what happens while you’re…tra la la. too much hurtin’ at the end of a long day to even read right, much less think coherently. zo…i’ll go zone out w/ my twin peaks watching-paint-dry jason homework. okay, the giant who looks like ‘the traveler’ in STNG is interesting, as was some military major’s ‘vision’ as well.

    censored by your host and overlord for 2 much whingeing.

    • bring out the sacred chickens

      it’s a detective story. some of it is just misdirection.

      or is it? can one find true north by going north by northwest? even the misdirections are interesting.

      before going into battle, the romans would consult the sacred chickens. can’t always wait for birds to show up in the sky when the enemy is beating down

      • sacred chickens??? seems as though they shouldda consulted the evil owls and the talking log, eh? dunno. at least i discovered i was right about who the large ‘japanese bidnessman’ was. should i have started w/ season II? it may just be that i’m not sophisticated enuff to appreciate high camp soap opera satire. could that be it?

        • yes. you know, they bro’t augury down from the sky.

          it’s not everybody’s log to saw on. i’m old in everything except experience so, you know…it’s freshness may be a little stale for some. looking on the brighter side, now you’ll be able to say you wasted some time, a good college try, on overrated once in a t.v. phenom, twin peaks. the log lady makes her gum from the tree resin. and the new gum. our constantly recycling consumerism will def. bring many a psycho-killers fav gum back in style. hell, it may be something in the gum for all we know. anyway, I tho’t that was funny.

  6. The 24/7 takeaway from the G20 makes it seem like the only thing the G20 is, is a place where people turn up that we might have to ban from turning up. Like a street fest, without the fest. This self-reflecting, domestic what’r’we gonna do?! perspective is represented by the standard push from the journalistic classes, who are quick before any other analysis to 1) condemn any violence that comes from those not weaponized by the state to commit it 2) pledge allegiance to those who are 3) set leftwing radicalism in the frame with rightwing nationalism and, hence present black block vandalism and neo fascist murder as two sides of the same extremist coin 4) present apparently thoughtful treatises about how the way from left autonomy to bigoted bourgeoisie is astonishingly direct

    Seriously, number 4 was the editorial snapshot (headline) at the Deutsch AriannaOnLine, and it was written by a freelancer, which in Huff’n’Po parlance can only mean somebody lining Her Heiressness’ pockets with free labor. I’ll not bother with the details of the essay other than to mention that the most misleading thing he says is that people have a right to protest peacefully when justice isn’t working: For the injustice he was alluding to, police state violence, was precisely what hindered the right to peaceful protest. Whether or not the marauding that took place was in any way a response to police rough-housing might be irrelevant, but extensive reports, including video and photography, of cops committing violence against protesters preceded the more massive melee that ensued. What I mean is, if the one doesn’t justify the other, then the other doesn’t justify the one.

    My fave satirical rag, Titanic (the ones who I featured briefly at the end of my “Reunited?” entry here, in their function as the satirical, but real party Die Partei), does a nice job showing what all this spin looks like:
    The text says Hamburg: Left violence escalates!
    So cowardly, autonomist assail the police
    (with the cop crying “Ow, help!”):

    • hah; what a great graphic! as far as i’ve read, yep, it was the occupation forces who been the underlying cause of the mayhem, and wsws also posited that any number of agents provocateurs had infiltrated black bloc, as we’d seen so many times during Occupy. remember the enlargements of the vibram soled police issue boots? (okay, spellcheck wanted to substitute ‘vibrator’ for ‘vibram’, lol.)

      “What I mean is, if the one doesn’t justify the other, then the other doesn’t justify the one.”: yes to this. somewhere i’d read someone poking fun of ‘Verizon’ coverage of the fandango, but yes, it was Huffpo. small wonder that nick deardon had noted that there’s such immense support for the protestors this week.

      yes, close all open spaces to ‘leftist’ protests that will be violent and endanger lives, murder! property destruction! by the by, wsws had indicated that covering one’s face with a mask equaled ‘violence’. but yes, keep them all out of germany in any event; those borders are not fer nuthin’ now. oh, and it was great that protestors were blasting jimi hendrix to compete w/ that beethoven from the tower. gotta love that.

    • the apprentice

      who you gonna trust, your own yes, or those words in that pic?

      how to not see. the kid showed a supertuber video of “skaters vs. haters: cops edition” in which not-yet-fully-blossomed snowflake took this ginormous hill at 90kmh (time to adopt the metric system) and the cop at the bottom just barely nudged his car forward. and we all like watching kids do tumbling acts over the hoods of cars right? add acrobatics to your resume, kid.

      the scariest thing of all is not what the cop did. it’s the reaction of the parent sitting w/their skater kid watching this video.

      all the cops have to do is turn around. the rats are all behind them. look, they’ve gathered in a circle. time to pounce. can piggies fly? no, but they can declare no fly zones. w/their guns. any time they want to.

      to all the coppers at g20, don’t let the criminals get away. your dream career as prison guard awaits you. turn around, & lock ’em all in.

  7. all part of a piece, of course, but send them love, not hate:

    ‘Modi and his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced the upgrading of ties between India and Israel to a “strategic partnership,” while casting their two countries as embattled champions of “democracy.”

    Underscoring the importance Israel attaches to courting Modi and further strengthening ties with India, Netanyahu gave the Indian Premier a grand reception. This included Netanyahu and his entire cabinet greeting Modi on the tarmac at Tel Aviv International airport on his arrival July 4. Only US presidents and the Pope have previously been granted such treatment.
    In welcoming Modi, Netanyahu said Tel Aviv had waited for such a visit for “70 years,” i.e. since the creation of Israel itself.’ wsws.org the pope, wtf?

    ya reckon the IDF will help train modi’s forces to shoot more kashmiri muslims?

    • as i couldn’t recall where i’d read that kagame’d been elected to chair the AU, i wondered about ann garrison, bu what i did find was this jewel that i’d missed (or egad, worse: forgotten):

      Israel’s African Darling: Paul Kagame: An Interview with Robin PhilpotMarch 31, 2017, CP

      “On Sunday morning, 03.26.2017, Rwandan President Paul Kagame became the first African president to address the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which also identifies itself as “America’s Pro-Israel Lobby.” Kagame was also the only foreign head of state to address this year’s conference besides Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself.

      On the same day, a full page ad for the Champions of Jewish Values Gala in NYC at the end of May appeared in the Washington Post. The event, it said, will celebrate “the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem,” meaning the Israel Defense Force’s seizure of Temple Mount – a holy site to Muslims, Christians, and Jews – during the 1967 Six Day War. Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer and Alan Dershowitz will be among the presenters, and awards will go to Martin Luther King III, David Friedman, Jose Maria Aznar and others. Paul Kagame will receive the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Prize for Outstanding Friendship with the Jewish People.

      I spoke to Robin Philpot, author of ‘Rwanda and the New Scramble for Africa, from Tragedy to Useful Imperial Fiction’ about the special relationship between Israel and Rwanda.

      okay, gloves off, fuck kagame, bibi, narenda ‘the lion’, aaaaand bill gates and his mechanized african farming, plus: smart phones will increase your yields!, remember?

      Thoreau at 200: Don’t Let Bill Gates Ban the Hoe’ by Nancy Burton, july 12, CP

      • trying to forge axes of influence against each other. china in berlin, modi in Palestine (sic; i’m not using Israel any more either. I’m onna start calling the US the Sioux Nation or the 6 uncivilized tribes or whatever. also. too.)
        trump dallying w/putin. japan just did some big thing too didn’t they? some deal w/oligarchs of Russia?

        association w/the US & Israel just breeds corruption. one of the main purposes of biz w/Israel is their weapons are tested. in country. you set up shop w/Israel b/c Israel is the model of the future. light unto the nations indeed, darkness visible. walls & checkpoints & starvation. all “children of men” all the time. imagine what india can do standing on shoulders of such giants.

        • thanks for invective and re-brandings, city of fowl. i wanna barf in all their shoes, or get my cat to shite in them. i tried to find something else pithy to feature from the philpot interview, but nope: it doesn’t lend to outtakes.

          darkness ‘not quite visible’, of course. genocidaires (kagame, modi) can hire the best PR firms and be ‘reborn’.. i used to know which one came up with the ‘saddam stole the incubators out from under babbies’ one. wish i could have grasped what the REM song was about, but the march sounds didn’t lend well to my ears hearing the lyrics.

          sleep well if you can, mi amigo. the world can be a terrible place, even while so many citizens seem to know that we’re all made off stardust.

          • city of chicken merdes

            standing on the shoulders of giants leaves me cold. my kingdom for a voice-king of birds

            yeah, but enough of it is visible. the pleasure cages of the rich at Brentwood & G20. ooh! ooh! can I get in? what does all the barbed wire & dark knights carrying projectile weapons mean? that peace is at hand? will there be many positions open for stretcher bearer soon? I wonder.

            what does that piece of iceberg that just went a DE sized plop in the ocean mean???? argue argyl bargyl whether the earth is “really” getting hotter. no, it’s only getting hotter on the thermometers.

            hey did you know that in the pleasure gardens of the rich they do sick twisted eerie evil godless twisted stuff? do you want in???? and what do we see? what is the forbidden fruit being offered to us, at least at Brentwood?

            leisure time. (e.g., golf. sorry, i’m not quite done w/the well paid perfumist Malcold Gladwell.) so we spend the days of our lives, unable to stop the sun. b/c the answer for my envy of the rich’s free time is ENVY itself, and punishment. rather than sharing. & so the sun never ceases from all its labor. b/c rather than the rich giving the poor more free time, the rich need to work harder. and so the sun never stops. never sees even a yellow light. all we do is make it run. I mean, if we are tobaggining over the cliff on melting snow, slowing down is kind of important ain’t it? whoah son, slow down. talking crazy again. (and let’s let Malcolm sprinkle more pixie dust in our faces w/his bullshit about the tax code. oh, the tax code is unfair is it? just how did you get that 1+ million dollar book deal? was it using your pseudo-social science to justify a “broken windows” model of policing? crazy talk. conspiracies only exist in people’s minds. only the “transformers” side of mass culture production is a con job. As world-bestriding super journalist R Stone asked so artfully on the NPR this a.m.: “Do you think these people [Trump supporters] can tell the difference b/n TV & politics??? why do you think trump sat in that big chair on the Apprentice?” I told my herrendoktor Heidelberg professor living in 1938 Amerika Uber Alles that Malcolm G started his golfing spiel by squirting perfume in your face (“I work for Chanel”) and then putting his eye out w/ a piece of barbed wire fence. and the rest was easy. b/c you are already blind to the significance of this barbed wire fence right here. it’s a giant twisted magic act: make the Nazis disappear. w/the pixie sprinkles of hours on the golf coast & the admittedly awful property tax code [again w/the class resentment! of rich vs. filthy rich. hurray]. as applied to golf courses. and cemeteries. what a fucking con.)

            Ovid thought of Phaethon & Zeus’ arrows a long time ago. nothing new under sun, but no one listened the first time. i’m onna go sit in my rocking chair & tell the horses of the sun to slow down. what’s the hurry?

            • but see? the uber-wealthy nationalists invented the walls; the upper middle class then stole the idea and invented ‘gated communities’ w/ standards i tell ya, standards! covenants, really. perhaps: no neeegroes, jews, nor sigma nus (except for golf caddies who are required to wear crowns of barbed wire?), only for-car garages permitted, doors must all be black enamel, ‘window ‘treatments’, not just ole ‘curtains’, and so forth.

              the icebergs will be towed to drought-struck areas for re-purposing see?

              (sorry, but i’ve been keeping my head down to try to paste together a hella dreck new diary…)

              • the icebergs will be towed to drought-struck areas for re-purposing see?

                we are fucking making lots & lots lemons. uh, duh, what do we do George? put wendy on the team coach. I bet she comes up w/sumfin superior to g(mo)20 nonsense. i’ll bet all the bitcoins in the world.

                we horde, that’s we do. like in the zombie commie movies everywhere. if there ever was a time for sharing, the end of the world is not it. i’m now gonna give my Ripley ‘which species is worse?’ speech from the 2nd Alien movie (Alien – now more of ’em), applied to zombies:

                zombies share, you capitalist swine.

                and caterpillars really are parasites. the 1st time the sacred chickens around here saw these big tomato destroying caterpillars, they were scared of ’em. but I bet they figured it out eventually. we are rich. in them dirt countries, they’d have taken those worms into the kitchen & bbq’d ’em. in chocolat or what have you. mmmm, crunchy. if god had meant that caterpillar to become a butterfly, why is s/he frying in my pan right now?

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