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Neoclassical Pseudo Theories and Crooked and Bought Economists as Fifth Column of Financial Oligarchy

There is no economics, only political economy, stupid

News Casino Capitalism Recommended Links Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Number racket Efficient Market Hypothesis Economism and abuse of economic theory in American politics
Supply Side or Trickle down economics Invisible Hand Hypothesys Twelve apostles of deregulation Monetarism fiasco Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy Samuelson's bastard Keynesianism Greenspan as the Chairman of Financial Politburo
Libertarian Philosophy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite The Iron Law of Oligarchy Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few The Deep State
Free Market Fundamentalism Friedman --founder of Chicago school of deification of market Lawrence Summers Corruption of Regulators Glass-Steagall repeal Rational expectations scam Free Markets Newspeak
In Goldman Sachs we trust: classic example of regulatory capture by financial system hackers Mathiness GDP as a false measure of a country economic output Introduction to Lysenkoism Republican Economic Policy Think Tanks Enablers  Small government smoke screen
Hyman Minsky John Kenneth Galbraith  Bookshelf History of Casino Capitalism Casino Capitalism Dictionary :-) Humor Etc
Is it really necessary for every economist to be brain-dead apologist for the rich and powerful and predatory, in every damn breath?

Bruce Wilder in comments to Clash of Autonomy and Interdependence

Smith briskly takes a sledgehammer to any number of plaster saints cluttering up the edifice of modern economics:

"assumptions that are patently ridiculous: that individuals are rational and utility-maximizing (which has become such a slippery notion as to be meaningless), that buyers and sellers have perfect information, that there are no transaction costs, that capital flows freely"

And then...papers with cooked figures, economists oblivious to speculative factors driving oil prices, travesty versions of Keynes's ideas that airbrush out its most characteristic features in the name of mathematical tractability.

And then...any number of grand-sounding theoretical constructs: the Arrow-Debreu theorem, the Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium model, the Black-Scholes option model, Value at Risk, CAPM, the Gaussian copula, that only work under blatantly unrealistic assumptions that go by high falutin' names - equilibrium, ergodicity, and so on.

The outcome of this pseudo-scientific botching is an imposing corpus of pretentious quackery that somehow elevates unregulated "free markets" into the sole mechanism for distribution of the spoils of economic activity. We are supposed to believe that by some alchemical process, maximum indulgence of human greed results in maximum prosperity for all. That's unfair to alchemy: compared with the threadbare scientific underpinnings of this economic dogma, alchemy is a model of rigor.

How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism

How many others are being paid for punditry? Or has the culture of corruption spread so far that the question is, Who isn't?

PAUL KRUGMAN, NYT, December 19, 2005

"MIT and Wharton and University of Chicago created the financial engineering instruments which, like Samson and Delilah, blinded every CEO. They didn't realize the kind of leverage they were doing and they didn't understand when they were really creating a real profit or a fictitious one."

Paul Samuelson


Introduction

When you see this "neoclassical" gallery of expensive intellectual prostitutes (sorry, respectable priests of a dominant religion) that pretend to be professors of economics in various prominent universities, it is difficult not to say "It's political economy stupid". Those lackeys of ruling elite are just handing microphone bought by financial oligarchy.  Here is am Amazon.com review of  ECONned How Unenlightened Self Interest Undermined Democracy and Corrupted Capitalism eBook Yves Smith that  states this position well:

kievite:
Neoclassical economics as a universal door opener for financial oligarchy

There are many good reviews of the book published already and I don't want to repeat them. But I think there is one aspect of the book that was not well covered in the published reviews and which I think is tremendously important and makes the book a class of its own: the use of neoclassical economics as a universal door opener for financial oligarchy. I hope that the term "econned" will became a new word in English language.

Neoclassical economics has become the modern religion with its own priests, sacred texts and a scheme of salvation. It was a successful attempt to legitimize the unlimited rule of financial oligarchy by using quasi-mathematical, oversimplified and detached for reality models. The net result is a new brand of theology, which proved to be pretty powerful in influencing people and capturing governments("cognitive regulatory capture"). Like Marxism, neoclassical economics is a triumph of ideology over science. It was much more profitable though: those who were the most successful in driving this Trojan horse into the gates were remunerated on the level of Wall Street traders.

Economics is essentially a political science. And politics is about perception. Neo-classical economics is all about manipulating the perception in such a way as to untie hands of banking elite to plunder the country (and get some cramps from the table for themselves). Yves contributed to our understanding how "These F#@king Guys" as Jon Steward defined them, economics professors from Chicago, Harvard, Columbia, Princeton and some other places warmed by flow of money from banks for specific services provided managed to serve as a fifth column helping Wall Street to plunder the country. The rhetorical question that a special counsel to the U.S. Army, Joseph Welch, asked Senator McCarthy: "Have you no sense of decency?" applies.

The main effect of neoclassical economics is elevating unregulated ( "free" in neoclassic economics speak) markets into the key mechanism for distribution of the results of economic activity with banks as all-powerful middlemen and sedating any opposition with pseudo-mathematical mumbo-jumbo. Complexity was used as a powerful smoke screen to conceal greed and incompetence. As a result financial giants were able to loot almost all sectors of economics with impunity and without any remorse, not unlike the brutal conquerors in Middle Ages.

The key to the success of this nationwide looting is that people should be brainwashed/indoctrinated to believe that by some alchemical process, maximum level of greed results in maximum prosperity for all. Collapse of the USSR helped in this respect driving the message home: look how the alternative ended, when in reality the USSR was a neo-feudal society. But the exquisite irony here is that Bolsheviks-style ideological brainwashing was applied very successfully to the large part of the US population (especially student population) using neo-classical economics instead of Marxism (which by-and-large was also a pseudo-religious economic theory with slightly different priests and the plan of salvation ;-). The application of badly constructed mathematical models proved to be a powerful tool for distorting reality in a certain, desirable for financial elite direction. One of the many definitions of Ponzi Scheme is "transfer liabilities to unwilling others." The use of detached from reality mathematical models fits this definition pretty well.

The key idea here is that neoclassical economists are not and never have been scientists: much like Marxist economists they always were just high priests of a dangerous cult -- neoliberalism -- and they are more then eager to stretch the truth for the benefit of the sect (and indirectly to their own benefit). All-in-all this is not unlike Lysenkoism: state support was and still is here, it is just working more subtly via ostracism, without open repressions. Look at Shiller story on p.9.

I think that one of lasting insights provided by Econned is the demonstration how the US society was taken hostage by the ideological views of the neoclassical economic school that has dominated the field at least for 30 or may be even 50 years. And that this ideological coup d'état was initiated and financed by banking establishment who was a puppeteer behind the curtain. This is not unlike the capture of Russia by Bolsheviks supported by German intelligence services (and Bolshevics rule lasted slightly longer -- 65 years). Bolsheviks were just adherents of similar wrapped in the mantle of economic theory religious cult, abeit more dangerous and destructive for the people of Russia then neoclassical economics is for the people of the USA. Quoting Marx we can say "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce".

That also means that there is no easy way out of the current situation. Ideologies are sticky and can lead to the collapse of society rather then peaceful evolution.

So it's no surprise that there is a strong evidence that neo-classical economics is not a science, it's a political ideology of financial oligarchy masquerading as science. Or a religious cult, if you wish.

So it's no surprise that there is a strong evidence that neo-classical economics is not a science, it's a political ideology of financial oligarchy masquerading as science. Or a religious cult, if you wish.

The cult which served as a Trojan horse for bankers to grab power and wealth by robbing fellow Americans. In a way this is a classic story of a parasite killing the host. The powers that be in academia put their imprimatur on economic ‘theory,’ select and indoctrinate its high priests to teach it, and with a host of media players grinding out arguments pro and con this and that, provide legitimacy sufficient for cover of bankers objectives. Which control the disposition and annuity streams of pension fund assets and related financial services. In his new documentary Inside Job, filmmaker Charles Ferguson provides strong evidence of a systematic mass corruption of economic profession (Yahoo! Finance):

Ferguson points to 20 years of deregulation, rampant greed (a la Gordon Gekko) and cronyism. This cronyism is in large part due to a revolving door between not only Wall Street and Washington, but also the incestuous relationship between Wall Street, Washington and academia.

The conflicts of interest that arise when academics take on roles outside of education are largely unspoken, but a very big problem. “The academic economics discipline has been very heavily penetrated by the financial services industry,” Ferguson tells Aaron in the accompanying clip. “Many prominent academics now actually make the majority of their money from the financial services industry, not from teaching or research. [This fact] has definitely compromised the research work and the policy advice that we get from academia.”

... ... ...

Feguson is astonished by the lack of regulation demanding financial disclosure of all academics and is now pushing for it. “At a minimum, federal law should require public disclosure of all outside income that is in any way related to professors’ publishing and policy advocacy,” he writes. “It may be desirable to go even further, and to limit the total size of outside income that potentially generates conflicts of interest.”

The dismantling of economic schools that favor financial oligarchy interests over real research (and prosecuting academic criminals -- many prominent professors in Chicago, Harvard, Columbia and other prominent members of neo-classical economic church) require a new funding model. As neoliberalism itself, the neoclassical economy is very sticky. Chances for success of any reform in the current environment are slim to non existent.

Here is one apt quote from Zero Hedge discussion of Gonzalo Lira article On The Identity Of The False Religion Behind The Mask Of Economic Science zero hedge

"They analyze data for Christ sakes"

Just like Mishkin analyzed Iceland for $120k? a huge proportion in US [are] on Fed payroll, or beneficiaries of corporate thinktank cash; they are coverup lipstick and makeup; hacks for hire.

Like truth-trashing mortgage pushers, credit raters, CDO CDS market manipulators and bribe-fueled fraud enablers of all stripes -- they do it for the dough -- and because everybody else is doing it.

It's now a common understanding that "These F#@king Guys" as Jon Steward defined them, professors  of neoclassical economics from Chicago, Harvard and some other places are warmed by flow of money from financial services industries for specific services provided managed to serve as a fifth column helping financial oligarchy to destroy the country. This role of neo-classical economists as the fifth column of financial oligarchy is an interesting research topic. Just don't expect any grants for it ;-).

As Reinhold Niebuhr aptly noted in his classic Moral Man and Immoral Society
Since inequalities of privilege are greater than could possibly be defended rationally, the intelligence of privileged groups is usually applied to the task of inventing specious proofs for the theory that universal values spring from, and that general interests are served by, the special privileges which they hold.

I would like to stress it again: they are not and never have been scientists: they are just high priests of dangerous cult -- neoliberalism -- and they are more then eager to stretch the truth for the sect (and that means their own) benefits. Fifth column of financial oligarchy. All-in-all this is not unlike Lysenkoism: at some point state support became obvious as financial oligarchy gained significant share of government power (as Glass-Steagall repeal signified). It is just more subtle working via ostracism and flow of funding, without open repressions. See also Politicization of science and The Republican War on Science

Like Russia with Bolsheviks, the US society was taken hostage by the ideological views of the Chicago economic school that has dominated the field for approximately 50 years ( as minimum over 30 years). Actually the situation not unlike the situation with Lysenkoism is the USSR. It's pretty notable that the USA suffered 30 years of this farce, actually approximately the same amount of time the USSR scientific community suffered from Lysenkoism (1934-1965)

Rules of disclosure of sources of financing for economic research are non-existent


"Over the past 30 years, the economics profession—in economics departments, and in business, public policy, and law schools—has become so compromised by conflicts of interest that it now functions almost as a support group for financial services and other industries whose profits depend heavily on government policy.

The route to the 2008 financial crisis, and the economic problems that still plague us, runs straight through the economics discipline. And it's due not just to ideology; it's also about straightforward, old-fashioned money."

Peter Dormat noticed amazing similarity between medical researchers taking money from drug companies and economists. In case of medical researchers widespread corruption can at least be partially kept in check by rules of disclosure. Universities are being called out for their failure to disclose to public agencies the other, private grants researchers are pulling in. This is not perfect policing as the universities themselves get a cut of the proceeds, so that the conflict of interest exists but at least this is theirs too.

But there is no corresponding policy for economics. So for them there are not even rules to be broken. And this is not a bug, this is  feature.  In a sense corruption is officially institualized and expected in economics. Being a paid shill is the typical career of many professional economists. Some foundations require an acknowledgment in the published research they support, but that's all about “thank you”, not disclaimer about the level of influence of those who pay for the music exert on the selection of the tune. Any disclosure of other, privately-interested funding sources by economists is strictly voluntary, and in practice seldom occurs. Trade researchers can be funded by foreign governments or business associations and so on and so forth.

In this atmosphere pseudo-theories have currency and are attractive to economists who want to enrich themselves. That situation is rarely reflected in mainstream press. For example, there some superficial critiques of neo-classical economics as a new form of Lysenkoism (it enjoyed the support of the state) but MSM usually frame the meltdown of neo-classical economic theory something like "To all you corrupt jerks out there: shake off the old camouflage as it became too visible and find a new way misleading the masses...". At the same time it's a real shocker, what a bunch of toxic theories and ideologies starting from Reagan have done to the US economy.

That suggests that neo-economics such as Milton Friedman (and lower level patsies like Eugene Fama ) were just paid propagandists of a superficial, uninformed, and simplistic view of the world that was convenient to the ruling elite. While this is somewhat simplistic explanation, it's by-and-large true and that was one of the factors led the USA very close to the cliff... Most of their theories is not only just nonsense for any trained Ph.D level mathematician or computer scientist, they look like nonsense to any person with a college degree, who looks at them with a fresh, unprejudiced mind. There are several economic myths, popularized by well paid propagandists over the last thirty years, that are falling hard in the recent series of financial crises: the efficient market hypothesis, the inherent benefits of globalization from the natural equilibrium of national competitive advantages, and the infallibility of unfettered greed as a ideal method of managing and organizing human social behavior and maximizing national production.

I would suggest that and economic theory has a strong political-economic dimension. The cult of markets, ideological subservience and manipulation, etc. certainly are part of neo-classical economics that was influenced by underling political agenda this pseudo-theory promotes. As pdavidsonutk wrote: July 16, 2009 16:14

Keynes noted that "classical theorists resemble Euclidean geometers in a non Euclidean world who, discovering that in experience straight lines apparently parallel often meet, rebuke the lines for not keeping straight --as the only remedy for the unfortunate collisions. Yet in truth there is no remedy except to throw over the axiom of parallels to work out a non-Euclidean geometry. SOMETHING SIMILAR IS REQUIRED IN ECONOMICS TODAY. " [Emphasis added]

As I pointed out in my 2007 book JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES (Mentioned in this ECONOMIST article as a biography "of the master") Keynes threw over three classical axioms: (1) the neutral money axiom (2) the gross substitution axiom, and (3) the ergodic axiom.

The latter is most important for understanding why modern macroeconomics is dwelling in an Euclidean economics world rather than the non-Euclidean economics Keynes set forth.

The Ergodic axiom asserts that the future is merely the statistical shadow of the past so that if one develops a probability distribution using historical data, the same probability distribution will govern all future events till the end of time!! Thus in this Euclidean economics there is no uncertainty about the future only probabilistic risk that can reduce the future to actuarial certainty! In such a world rational people and firms know (with actuarial certainty) their intertemporal budget constrains and optimize -- so that there can never be an loan defaults, insolvencies, or bankruptcies.

Keynes argued that important economic decisions involved nonergodic processes, so that the future could NOT be forecasted on the basis of past statistical probability results -- and therefore certain human institutions had to be develop0ed as part of the law of contracts to permit people to make crucial decisions regarding a future that they "knew" they could not know and still sleep at night. When the future seems very uncertain, then rational people in a nonergodic world would decide not to make any decisions to commit their real resources -- but instead save via liquid assets so they could make decisions another day when the future seemed to them less uncertain.

All this is developed and the policy implications derived in my JOHN MAYNARD KEYNES (2007) book. Furthermore this nonergodic model is applied to the current financial and economic crisis and its solution in my 2009 book THE KEYNES SOLUTION: THE PATH TO GLOBAL PROSPERITY (Palgrave/Macmillan) where I tell the reader what Keynes would have written regarding today's domestic crisis in each nation and its international aspects.

Paul Davidson ghaliban wrote:

July 16, 2009 15:34

I think you could have written a shorter article to make your point about the dismal state of economics theory and practice, and saved space to think more imaginatively about ways to reform.

A bit like biology, economics must become econology - a study of real economic systems. It must give up its physics-envy. This on its own will lead its practitioners closer to the truth.

Like biological systems, economic systems are complex, and often exhibit emergent properties that cannot be predicted from the analysis of component parts. The best way to deal with this is (as in biology) to start with the basic organizational unit of analysis - the individual, and then study how the individual makes economic decisions in larger and larger groups (family/community), and how groups take economic decisions within larger and larger forms of economic organization. From this, econologists should determine whether there are any enduring patterns in how aggregate economic decisions are taken. If there are no easily discernable patterns, and aggregate decisions cannot be predicted from a knowledge of individual decision-making preferences, then the theory must rely (as it does in biology) on computer simulations with the economy replicated in as much detail as possible to limit the scope for modeling error. This path will illuminate the "physiology" of different economies.

A second area of development must look into "anatomy" - the connections between actors within the financial system, the connections between economic actors within the real economy, and the connections between the real and financial economies. What are the precise links demand and supply links between these groups, and how does money really flow through the economic system? A finer knowledge of economic anatomy will make it easier to produce better computer simulations of the economy, which will make it a bit easier to study economic physiology.

"Markets uber alles" or more correctly "Financial oligarchy uber alles"

In her interview What Exactly Is Neoliberalism  Wendy Brown advanced some Professor Wolin ideas to a new level and provide explanation why "neoclassical crooks" like Professor  Frederic Mishkin (of Financial Stability in Iceland fame) still rule the economics departments of the USA. They are instrumental in giving legitimacy to the neoliberal rule favoured by the financial oligarchy:

"... I treat neoliberalism as a governing rationality through which everything is "economized" and in a very specific way: human beings become market actors and nothing but, every field of activity is seen as a market, and every entity (whether public or private, whether person, business, or state) is governed as a firm. Importantly, this is not simply a matter of extending commodification and monetization everywhere-that's the old Marxist depiction of capital's transformation of everyday life. Neoliberalism construes even non-wealth generating spheres-such as learning, dating, or exercising-in market terms, submits them to market metrics, and governs them with market techniques and practices. Above all, it casts people as human capital who must constantly tend to their own present and future value. ..."

"... The most common criticisms of neoliberalism, regarded solely as economic policy rather than as the broader phenomenon of a governing rationality, are that it generates and legitimates extreme inequalities of wealth and life conditions; that it leads to increasingly precarious and disposable populations; that it produces an unprecedented intimacy between capital (especially finance capital) and states, and thus permits domination of political life by capital; that it generates crass and even unethical commercialization of things rightly protected from markets, for example, babies, human organs, or endangered species or wilderness; that it privatizes public goods and thus eliminates shared and egalitarian access to them; and that it subjects states, societies, and individuals to the volatility and havoc of unregulated financial markets. ..."

"... with the neoliberal revolution that homo politicus is finally vanquished as a fundamental feature of being human and of democracy. Democracy requires that citizens be modestly oriented toward self-rule, not simply value enhancement, and that we understand our freedom as resting in such self-rule, not simply in market conduct. When this dimension of being human is extinguished, it takes with it the necessary energies, practices, and culture of democracy, as well as its very intelligibility. ..."

"... For most Marxists, neoliberalism emerges in the 1970s in response to capitalism's falling rate of profit; the shift of global economic gravity to OPEC, Asia, and other sites outside the West; and the dilution of class power generated by unions, redistributive welfare states, large and lazy corporations, and the expectations generated by educated democracies. From this perspective, neoliberalism is simply capitalism on steroids: a state and IMF-backed consolidation of class power aimed at releasing capital from regulatory and national constraints, and defanging all forms of popular solidarities, especially labor. ..."

"... The grains of truth in this analysis don't get at the fundamental transformation of social, cultural, and individual life brought about by neoliberal reason. They don't get at the ways that public institutions and services have not merely been outsourced but thoroughly recast as private goods for individual investment or consumption. And they don't get at the wholesale remaking of workplaces, schools, social life, and individuals. For that story, one has to track the dissemination of neoliberal economization through neoliberalism as a governing form of reason, not just a power grab by capital. There are many vehicles of this dissemination -- law, culture, and above all, the novel political-administrative form we have come to call governance. It is through governance practices that business models and metrics come to irrigate every crevice of society, circulating from investment banks to schools, from corporations to universities, from public agencies to the individual. It is through the replacement of democratic terms of law, participation, and justice with idioms of benchmarks, objectives, and buy-ins that governance dismantles democratic life while appearing only to instill it with "best practices." ..."

"... Progressives generally disparage Citizens United for having flooded the American electoral process with corporate money on the basis of tortured First Amendment reasoning that treats corporations as persons. However, a careful reading of the majority decision also reveals precisely the thoroughgoing economization of the terms and practices of democracy we have been talking about. In the majority opinion, electoral campaigns are cast as "political marketplaces," just as ideas are cast as freely circulating in a market where the only potential interference arises from restrictions on producers and consumers of ideas-who may speak and who may listen or judge. Thus, Justice Kennedy's insistence on the fundamental neoliberal principle that these marketplaces should be unregulated paves the way for overturning a century of campaign finance law aimed at modestly restricting the power of money in politics. Moreover, in the decision, political speech itself is rendered as a kind of capital right, functioning largely to advance the position of its bearer, whether that bearer is human capital, corporate capital, or finance capital. This understanding of political speech replaces the idea of democratic political speech as a vital (if potentially monopolizable and corruptible) medium for public deliberation and persuasion. ..."

"... My point was that democracy is really reduced to a whisper in the Euro-Atlantic nations today. Even Alan Greenspan says that elections don't much matter much because, "thanks to globalization . . . the world is governed by market forces," not elected representatives. ..."

 


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Old News ;-)

I find an attempt to elevate academic finance and economics to sciences by using the word "scientism" to be bizarre. Finance models like CAPM, Black-Scholes and VAR all rest on assumptions that are demonstrably false, such as rational investors and continuous markets.

May 11, 2012 at 1-40 pm

[Apr 21, 2018] The Blight of Ukania

I always thought that Brexit was UK populati0on protest against neoliberalism.
Notable quotes:
"... Then there is of course the ongoing Brexit shambles. The inflexible Eurocrats have always only had one position on Brexit: accept our terms for leaving the EU or you get nothing. ..."
"... Ukania's chief Brexit negotiator, David Davies, is a retired special-services commando who was given the job because he is the Conservative's most dyed-in-the-wool anti-EU ideologue. ..."
"... On the other hand, this Empire 2.0 fantasy also serves a more sinister purpose. The Brexiteer dream is basically a fusion of neo-imperial illusions with a no-holds-barred neoliberalism. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

Tom Nairn coined the phrase "Ukania" to designate the confused and disorganized hotchpotch of an island-nation off the coast of northern Europe, tottering on the nation-state equivalent of varicose-veined and arthritic legs, and further enfeebled by an unproductive nostalgia for Empire (aka Empire 2.0).

... ... ...

"Dilapidation" is the word to describe the UK today. I was last there in November and will be there again in July. Frequent, indeed daily, contact with family and friends confirms that the UK is indeed Nairn's "Ukania".

This week London overtook New York as a "murder capital". Brits were shocked, because this reversed their notion of the US as a place where gun nuts can kill whenever they want.

I tried to reassure my Brit friends and family that the murder statistics for New York don't include police killings of unarmed black men, and that inclusion of the latter statistic in the murder toll would probably tell a somewhat different story.

Ukania has stringent gun laws, but nearly all the killings in London are stabbings. Acid attacks have also become increasingly common.

The causes for this outbreak of knifings and acid-throwing are almost certainly multiple. A decaying social fabric caused by nearly a decade of Tory austerity, high youth unemployment as well as employed youth who nonetheless dominate the precariat, and savage cuts in police numbers (a result of deliberate Tory policy to hand over policing to private security firms, who in turn donate generously to the Tories), are almost certainly key factors here.

The Tories however have "none of the above" on their list of causes for London's crime wave. For them and their allies in the rightwing media, drugs, a form of rap known as UK drill, and social media are to blame!

This ignorance is obviously contrived -- absolutely unlike the social media-illiterate geriatric US senators who questioned Mark Zuckerberg on the issue of Facebook's data leaks, and who in their genuine bafflement were unable to tell the difference between Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp, among other things.

Unlike the technologically-senile US senators befuddled by contemporary social media and its associated technologies, the Tories know damn well the underlying conditions for London's stabbing and acid-throwing epidemic.

Then there is of course the ongoing Brexit shambles. The inflexible Eurocrats have always only had one position on Brexit: accept our terms for leaving the EU or you get nothing.

The Ukanians in response alternate hopelessly between faux bravado ("we're prepared to leave with nothing") and conciliatory placation ("please, oh please, can we come to a fresh understanding of what's on the table? ").

The Eurocrats see right through the phony bravado and dismiss it outright, while responding to pleas for a "fresh understanding" with a bored shrug– in effect saying that it is "you deluded Brits who need to understand we are not having negotiations about the terms of your departure, but only about such minutiae as the timetabling of this this or that move that (according to us) needs to be made".

The intransigent Eurocrats thus insist that negotiations can only be about "process", while the Ukanian government persists in thinking the door is somehow still open for negotiations about "substance".

Alas, those who insist on talking about "process" have held all the cards from the beginning. The Ukanians have not helped themselves by sending absolute third-raters to deal with the meritocratic wolves in Brussels. The EU wolves make it to the top by speaking two to three, or more, languages fluently, by graduating from Europe's top schools of international relations and public administration, and by having decades of experience in international diplomacy.

Ukania's chief Brexit negotiator, David Davies, is a retired special-services commando who was given the job because he is the Conservative's most dyed-in-the-wool anti-EU ideologue. Davies sits at the Brussels negotiating table without a piece of paper in front of him, while his guileful and well-schooled EU counterparts consult bulky folders as they take the woefully underprepared and intellectually underwhelming ex-commando to the woodshed. It is, in sporting terms, the equivalent of the lard-encased Donald Trump presuming he can win an Olympic race against Usain Bolt.

Ukania's self-deceptions are not confined to its dealings with the wolves of Brussels. Most of the Brexiteers (not to be confused with Lexiteers, of whom I've always been one) are gripped by nostalgic imperial fantasies. The neo-imperial fantasy of these Brexiteers is that the former members of their Empire will fall in line, dutifully, in order to conclude trading agreements with their ex-imperial master– the Brexiteer hope being that these Empire 2.0 "agreements" will somehow compensate economically for the cessation of trading links with the EU countries. This is simply not going to happen, given the dynamos driving post-imperial economic development.

The EU exists for the purpose of extending and sustaining the European embodiment of the current neoliberal order, and in so doing maintaining the very comfortable livelihoods of its Eurocratic elite. But that, or its equivalent, alas, is also the "mission" of the members of the ex-Empire, who are supposed by the Brexiteers to salute and fall in line when asked to do so by their erstwhile imperial master!

The raison d'etre of such countries as India, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, etc., is precisely to subserve the exigencies of the forms of capitalist of accumulation prevailing in their countries, forms which in turn coincide more or less with the needs of their national elites.

And this post-imperial raison d'etre is clearly not congruent with daydreamed requirements imposed by a post-Brexit Empire 2.0 nostalgia on the part of Ukania. Australia and New Zealand now have their economic systems attuned, profitably, to demand from China and the rest of the Pacific Rim; Canada likewise with regard to the US; and India in relation to the economies of the Gulf States; and so on.

Ukania will get nowhere with Empire 2.0 après Brexit unless it can provide terms of trade and revenues matching or surpassing those now available to its former colonies.

... ... ...

On the other hand, this Empire 2.0 fantasy also serves a more sinister purpose. The Brexiteer dream is basically a fusion of neo-imperial illusions with a no-holds-barred neoliberalism.

The EU at least insists on health and safety standards that are better than India's. But why shouldn't India's standards be good enough for Ukania's pampered workers? The latter's ancestors worked in dark satanic mills, so surely these f*@#ers can work in factories recycling toxic metals from discarded computers and mobile phones? The EU's food inspection standards are better than China's, but why should Ukania hold itself to a standard higher than China's? Milk "supplemented" with de-icer fluid anyone? The EU has minimal standards on bank operations and financial transactions – get rid of these and Ukania can be freed to become the world's premier haven for tax-dodgers and money launderers. Okay, it already holds the latter title, but Ukania will be able to lower the bar even more on money laundering once it gets rid of the EU's regulatory shackles.

... ... ...

[Apr 19, 2018] Imran Awan's Father Transferred USB Drive To Ex-Head Of Pakistani Intel Agency Zero Hedge

Apr 19, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The father of Imran Awan - a longtime IT aide from Pakistan who made "unauthorized access" to the House computer network - reportedly transferred a USB drive to the former head of a Pakistani intelligence agency , alleges the father's ex-business partner, Rashid Minhas.

Imran Awan and wife Hina Alvi

Minhas told the Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) - which traveled to Pakistan to interview those involved - that Haji Ashraf Awan, Imran Awan's father, had been giving information to Rehman Malik - former head of Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and current senator. Malik was appointed to Interior Minister in early 2008, only to step down in 2013 after he lost a Supreme Court hearing over holding dual UK citizenship.

Minhas told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Imran Awan's father, Haji Ashraf Awan, was giving data to Pakistani official Rehman Malik, and that Imran bragged he had the power to " change the U.S. president. "

Asked for how he knew this, he said that on one occasion in 2008 when a "USB [was] given to Rehman Malik by Imran's father, my brother Abdul Razzaq was with his father ." - DCNF

"After Imran's father deliver (sic) USB to Rehman Malik, four Pakistani [government intelligence] agents were with his father 24-hour on duty to protect him," he said - however Minhas did not say what was on the USB.

[insert: Foreign_Secretary_in_Pakistan_(4727720266).jpg ]

British Foreign Secretary William Hague (left), Rehman Malik

The House watchdog, Inspector General Michael Ptasienski, charged in September 30, 2016 that data was being siphoned off of the House Network by the Awans as recently as two months before the US presidential election.

The Awan family had virtually unlimited access to Democratic House members' computers, including classified information.

Nearly Imran's entire immediate family was on the House payroll working as IT aides to one-fifth of House Democrats , and he began working for the House in 2004. The inspector general, Michael Ptasienski, testified this month that " system administrators hold the 'keys to the kingdom' meaning they can create accounts, grant access, view, download, update, or delete almost any electronic information within an office. Because of this high-level access, a rogue system administrator could inflict considerable damage ." - DCNF

https://www.youtube.com/embed/x6I2ikJIzjU

According to Minhas - "Imran Awan said to me directly these words: ' See how I control White House on my fingertip ' He say he can fire the prime minister or change the U.S. president," Minhas said. " Why the claiming big stuff, I [didn't] understand 'till now ."

" I was Imran father's partner in Pakistan, " Minhas said, in two land deals in Pakistan so big that they are often referred to as "towns." In 2009, both men were accused of fraud , and Haji was arrested but then released after Imran flew to Pakistan , "allegedly exerting pressure on the local police through the ministry as well as the department concerned," according to local news. Minhas and multiple alleged victims in Pakistan also told TheDCNF Imran exerted political influence in Pakistan to extricate his father from the case . - DCNF

Minhas is currently sitting in US federal prison for fraud, and the Daily Caller says they can not confirm whether Minhas' claims about the USB is true. That said, Minhas says that neither the DOJ nor the FBI ever interviewed him about the Awans , which is odd considering that he's available and connected to Imran Awan.

He is also one of many people with past relationships with the Awans who have said they believe they are aggressive opportunists who will do anything for money . And parts of Minhas's story correlate with observations elsewhere. Haji's wife, Samina Gilani -- Imran's stepmother -- said in court documents that Imran used his IT skills to wiretap her as a means of exerting pressure on her.

Haji would frequently boast that Imran's position gave him political leverage, numerous Pakistani residents told TheDCNF. " My son own White House in D.C. ," he would say, according to Minhas. " I am kingmaker ."

Senator Malik has denied any relationship with the parties reportedly involved, saying "I am hearing their names for the first time. I am in public and people always do name-dropping."

Imran Awan's attorney Chris Gowen says Minhas's claims are "completely and totally false."

The Awans were banned from the congressional network on Feb 2, 2017 by House Seargant-At-Arms, Paul Irving - after the IG report concluded that the Awans had been making "unauthorized access" to House servers. The Awans were logging in using Congressional members' personal usernames , as well as breaching servers for members they did not work for. After several members fired them, the Awans continued to access their data , says the IG.

The behavior mirrored a "classic method for insiders to exfiltrate data from an organization," and "steps are being taken [by the Awans] to conceal their activity," reads the report.

Shortly before the 2016 election, the House Democratic Caucus server was breached by Awan - who authorities believe secretly moved all the data of over 12 House members' offices onto the caucus server.

The server may have been " used for nefarious purposes and elevated the risk that individuals could be reading and/or removing information, " an IG presentation said. The Awans logged into it 27 times a day, far more than any other computer they administered .

Imran's most forceful advocate and longtime employer is Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who led the DNC until she resigned following a hack that exposed committee emails. Wikileaks published those emails, and they show that DNC staff summoned Imran when they needed her password . - DCNF

Shortly after the IG report came out, the House Democratic Caucus server - which the Awans were funneling data onto, was physically stolen according to three government officials. During the same period of time, the Awans were shedding assets at a rapid pace.

In January 2017 they took out a loan intended for home improvement, falsely claimed a medical emergency in order to cash out their House retirement account, and wired $300,000 overseas , according to an FBI affidavit. - DCNF

The FBI arrested Imran Awan at Dulles Airport in July 2017 while trying to flee to Pakistan with a wiped cell phone and a resume that listed a Queens, NY address. Imran and his wife, Hina Alvi, were indicted last August on charges of bank fraud - which prosecutors contend was hastened after the Awans had likely learned that authorities were closing in on them for various other activities .

That said, neither Imran nor Hina have been charged over the unauthorized access concluded by the House's own Inspector General, after reviewing server logs. Three other suspects, Jamal and Abid Awan, and Rao Abbas, have faced no charges whatsoever.

[Apr 18, 2018] Criminal Referral Issued For Comey, Clinton, Lynch And McCabe; Rosenstein Recusal Demanded

Apr 18, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Eleven GOP members of Congress led by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) have written a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Attorney John Huber, and FBI Director Christopher Wray - asking them to investigate former FBI Director James Comey, Hillary Clinton and others - including FBI lovebirds Peter Strzok and Lisa Page , for a laundry list of potential crimes surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Recall that Sessions paired special prosecutor John Huber with DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz - falling short of a second Special Counsel, but empowering Horowitz to fully investigate allegations of FBI FISA abuse with subpoena power and other methods he was formerly unable to utilize.

The GOP letter's primary focus appears to be James Comey, while the charges for all include obstruction, perjury, corruption, unauthorized removal of classified documents, contributions and donations by foreign nationals and other allegations.

The letter also demands that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "be recused from any examination of FISA abuse ," and recommends that " neither U.S. Attorney John Huber nor a special counsel (if appointed) should report to Rosenstein. "

The letter refers the following individuals for the following conduct:

James Comey - obstruction , perjury , corruption , stealing public property or records , gathering transmitting or losing defense information , unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents, false statements .

Hillary Clinton - contributions and donations by foreign nationals

Loretta Lynch - obstruction, corruption

Andrew McCabe - false statements, perjury, obstruction

Peter Strzok and Lisa Page - obstruction, corruption,

"Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI personnel connected to the compilation of documents on alleged links between Russia and then-presidential candidate Donald Trump known as the "Steele dossier."

The criminal referrals for the group allegedly responsible for FISA abuse include: obstruction, deprivation of rights under color of law, corruption.

Read the full letter below...

[Apr 17, 2018] After Greeks and British, now Italians reject neoliberal EU. Not many ideas what to put in its place. Defend Democracy Press

March 5, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press

After Greeks and British, now Italians reject neoliberal EU. Not many ideas what to put in its place. 06/03/2018 Italian election results: How the world's press reacted

Italy's governing centre-left Democratic Party has seen disappointing losses in the election result, while the populist League and Five Star Movement have had remarkable gains. Here's how the world's press reacted to the vote.

Read more at https://www.thelocal.it/20180305/italian-election-results-how-international-press-reacted

Eurosceptic Italy in race to form majority government

Five Star Movement and the League vie to form a coalition, but ultimate decision is held by President Sergio Mattarella

Mon 5 Mar 2018

The two populist parties that won major upsets in the Italian election – the Five Star Movement (M5S) and the League (La Liga) – are in a race to be the first to try to form a majority government after the election produced a hung parliament.

The decision will ultimately fall to Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella, who could take weeks to determine whether the anti-establishment M5S, which took 32.6% of the vote, or a fragile centre-right alliance led by the League's bombastic Matteo Salvini, with 35.7% of the vote, are better equipped to create a majority government.

Read more at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/05/italy-turns-back-on-europe-as-election-points-to-hung-parliament

[Apr 16, 2018] Self-Centered, Self-Serving Jackass : FBI Insiders Furious After Comey Interview

Notable quotes:
"... Prior to becoming the DNC's most wanted, Comey and his team notoriously let Hillary Clinton off the hook for her private server and mishandling of classified information - having begun drafting Clinton's exoneration before even interviewing her, something which appears to have been "forgotten" in his book. ..."
"... You left out the fact that he was instrumental in the formation of the Clinton Foundation. ..."
Apr 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Current and former FBI agents are furious after former Director James Comey gave his first interview since President Trump fired him last year to ABC's George Stephanopoulos on Sunday night, reports the Daily Beast - which was privy to a play-by-play flurry of text messages and other communications detailing their reactions.

Seven current or former FBI agents and officials spoke throughout and immediately after the broadcast. There was a lot of anger, frustration, and even more emojis -- featuring the thumbs-down, frowny face, middle finger, and a whole lot of green vomit faces .

One former FBI official sent a bourbon emoji as it began; another sent the beers cheers-ing emoji. The responses became increasingly angry and despondent as the hourlong interview played out. - Daily Beast

" Hoover is spinning in his grave ," said a former FBI official. " Making money from total failure ," in reference to Comey plugging his book, A Higher Loyalty .

Jana Winter of The Beast adds that when a promo aired between segments advertising Comey's upcoming appearance with The View , the official "grew angrier." " Good lord, what a self-serving self-centered jackass ," the official said. " True to form he thinks he's the smartest guy around ."

... ... ...

Comey was fired by President Trump on May 9, 2017, after which he leaked memos he claims document conversations with Trump to the New York Times, kicking off the special counsel investigation headed by Robert Mueller - whose team started out looking at Russian influence in the 2016 election, and is now investigating the President's alleged decade-old extramarital affairs with at least two women. Truly looking out for national security there Bob...

... ... ...

Prior to becoming the DNC's most wanted, Comey and his team notoriously let Hillary Clinton off the hook for her private server and mishandling of classified information - having begun drafting Clinton's exoneration before even interviewing her, something which appears to have been "forgotten" in his book.

Oldguy05 -> nmewn Mon, 04/16/2018 - 20:54 Permalink

Cumey is nothing but a small man in a big car.

hxc -> Oldguy05 Mon, 04/16/2018 - 21:57 Permalink

I would rather have RP if he had the charisma/gusto and also tactical genius of DT. However, I worry that Ron, as a guy that delivered babies and educated people on nonagression, as opposed to running a something-billion dollar cutthroat RE empire, might be more at risk of A) being unable to overcome political roadblocks and destabilization, and B) something bad happening to him.

Fish Gone Bad -> FireBrander Mon, 04/16/2018 - 19:43 Permalink

I once saw this on a T-shirt: Those who think they are the smartest person in the room, really piss off those of us who are.

Comey is a narcissistic traitor .

NoDebt -> Bitchface-KILLAH Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:00 Permalink

Comey was always the most enigmatic figure to me in this sad, troubling series of events involving the FBI.

THE GOOD NEWS: Everyone hates him now. The Rs hate him, the Ds hate him. Who's Christmas party did he get invited to last year? I'm guessing the invitations were few. His own ego has turned him into plutonium. And he deserves even worse than that.

Bitchface-KILLAH -> NoDebt Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:03 Permalink

Every agency has a Jim Comey in it... you know the guy. Their CV just has an implied "team skills and natural ability to get a deep brown nose" at the very top of it.

JimmyJones -> Bitchface-KILLAH Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:55 Permalink

He really is a traitor

FireBrander -> Bitchface-KILLAH Mon, 04/16/2018 - 19:41 Permalink

Comey reminds me of all the "executives" I've known that married the owners daughter prior to getting hired.

nmewn -> NoDebt Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:19 Permalink

So, to review.

Comey was the FBI Director when warrants were issued to spy on Trump and his associates. Warrants gained in part or in whole by, false evidence (the Steele dossier) presented to a FISA court judge(s), gathered by, a foreign national former spy (Steele) who was in contact with his old Kremlin pals, who (Steele) was then paid by the DNC, Fusion GPS via Perkins Coie to give Hillary Rodham Clinton (affectionately known here as The Bitch of Benghazi) some distance from the fake "evidence".

Now besides Comey knowing the source of "the dossier" one of his deputies (McCabe) was at the same time "colluding" with a couple FBI agents (Strzok & Page) in a "counter-intel operation" (on the taxpayers dime) to gather dirt on candidate Trump. McCabe's wife (we might recall) got a sizable "donation" from Terry McAuliffe (another Klinton sleezebag) for her political run in Virginia.

And we haven't even touched on Comey's theft of government documents or his turning over those documents to his friend so the friend could turn them over to the Alinsky NYT's for the purposes of...getting his mentor Grand Inquisitor Mueller a gig as "special prosecutor" (as he admitted to under oath).

He should be arrested and sent to Gitmo.

???ö? -> nmewn Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:27 Permalink

Mueller's investigation is tainted with fruit of the poisonous tree and the entirety of seized evidence will be unceremoniously thrown out by a 5-4 US Supreme Court.

The First Rule -> nmewn Mon, 04/16/2018 - 18:51 Permalink

There is only one thing keeping Comey out of Prison: Jeff Sessions. If we someday get a real AG, who is willing to man up and appoint a second special prosecutor, Comey is finished. But for the moment, Mr. Magoo is saving his ass.

Ajax-1 -> The First Rule Mon, 04/16/2018 - 20:32 Permalink

Don't hold your breath. The clock on the statute of limitations is ticking away. I wish someone could provide me with an honest rational as to why Trump hasn't fired Jeff Sessions.

Hulk -> nmewn Mon, 04/16/2018 - 19:04 Permalink

He is one stupid ass. ALways stuns me to hear him speak...

Boxed Merlot -> nmewn Mon, 04/16/2018 - 20:02 Permalink

...Comey was the FBI Director when...

And if he wasn't aware of every fact as stated, the whole enchilada is even more bogus than you have represented.

Shut it down.

jmo.

Dilluminati -> nmewn Mon, 04/16/2018 - 20:03 Permalink

https://translate.google.com/m/translate?client=ob&hl=en&ie=UTF8&sl=en&

GreatUncle -> nmewn Mon, 04/16/2018 - 20:08 Permalink

But ... but .. but this is the new normal.

We all need to take a leaf out of Comeys behavior ... that's the way to play this game.

Honesty and integrity no longer needed ... time for everybody to lie to the government.

Duc888 -> nmewn Mon, 04/16/2018 - 20:17 Permalink

You left out the fact that he was instrumental in the formation of the Clinton Foundation.

NumberNone -> nmewn Mon, 04/16/2018 - 20:25 Permalink

Problem is that a sizable portion of the US population view Comey's actions in the 'if you could go back in time and kill baby Hitler...' perspective. Yes it's illegal, yes it's unconstitutional...but was trying to save the 'World' so it's justified.

I think you framed it similar...this is the same as injecting bleach into our veins in the hope in clears up a pimple on our nose.

[Apr 16, 2018] Russia Reveals Who Staged Syria Gas Attack, As US Claims Moscow May Have Tampered With Site

Apr 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The Russian envoy to the chemical weapons watchdog group, OPCW, said that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) funded by the UK and US carried out the April 7 chemical attack in the Damascus, Syria suburb of Douma.

Russia's permanent representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Alexander Shulgin, said Russia has irrefutable evidence that there was no chemical weapons incident in Douma .

"Therefore, we have not just a "high degree of confidence ," as our Western partners claim, but we have incontrovertible evidence that there was no incident on April 7 in Douma and that all this was a planned provocation by the British intelligence services, probably, with the participation of their senior allies from Washington with the aim of misleading the international community and justifying aggression against Syria," he stated. - Sputnik

Shulgin added that the US, UK and France are not interested in conducting an objective investigation of the attack site. " They put the blame on the Syrian authorities in advance, without even waiting for the OPCW mission to begin to establish the possible facts of the use of chemical weapons in Syria ," he said.

The nine-member OPCW mission people has yet to deploy to the city of Douma according to the organization's Chief, citing pending security issues.

"The Team has not yet deployed to Douma. The Syrian and the Russian officials who participated in the preparatory meetings in Damascus have informed the FFM Team that there were still pending security issues to be worked out before any deployment could take place . In the meantime the Team was offered by the Syrian authorities that they could interview 22 witnesses who could be brought to Damascus ," OPCW Director-General Ahmet Uzumcu said as quoted by the organization.

The Russian Envoy says that the controversial " White Helmets " were one of the anti-Assad "pseudo-humanitarian NGOs" which staged the event. As Disobedient Media and others have reported, the White Helmets are funded in large part by the United States.

"The Syrian Civil Defense Force (aka the White Helmets) is funded in part by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) . Included here are two links showing contracts awarded by USAID to Chemonics International Inc. (DBA Chemonics). The first award was in the sum of $111.2 million and has a Period of Performance (POP) from January 2013 to June 2017. It states that the purpose of the award will be to use the funds for managing a " quick-response mechanism supporting activities that pursue a peaceful transition to a democratic and stable Syria ." The second was in the sum of $57.4 million and has a POP from August 2015 to August 2020. This award was designated to be used in the " Syria Regional Program II " which is a part of the Support Which Implements Fast Transitions IV (SWIFT IV) program." Via Disobedient Media

https://www.youtube.com/embed/8aAaReVn2I4

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Moscow says they have confirmed that " these structures [NGOs] on a fee-based basis cooperate with the governments of the United States, the UK and some other countries ."

Russian experts who conducted the verification of reports on the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian city of the Douma, found participants of video filming, presented as evidence of the supposedly occurring chemotherapy, according to the Russian Envoy to OPCW . - Sputnik

"Everything has been developing according to the script that was prepared in Washington. There is no doubt that Americans are playing the 'first violin' in all of this . The United States, the United Kingdom, France and some other countries after the "fake" addition from the White Helmets and their ilk in Douma, immediately pounced upon the Syrian authorities with accusations," Shulgin said.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has alerted the OPCW that Russia "may have tampered" with the chemical attack site in Douma ...

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"It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site," U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Ward said at a meeting of the OPCW in The Hague on Monday.

" It is our concern that they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission to conduct an effective investigation ," he said. His comments at the closed-door meeting were obtained by Reuters .

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shot back in a BBC interview, saying " I can guarantee that Russia has not tampered with the site ."

Earlier, Britain's delegation to the OPCW accused Russia and the Syrian government of preventing the international watchdog's inspectors from reaching Douma.

The inspectors aim to collect samples, interview witnesses and document evidence to determine whether banned toxic munitions were used, although they are not permitted to assign blame for the attack. - Reuters

"Unfettered access is essential," the British delegation said in a statement. "Russia and Syria must cooperate."

Moscow says the OPCW delay is due to the Western air strikes. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the British accusation that Russia was to blame for holding up the inspections was "groundless".

"We called for an objective investigation. This was at the very beginning after this information [of the attack] appeared. Therefore allegations of this towards Russia are groundless ," Peskov said.

***

On Friday we reported that Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow has "irrefutable evidence" that the attack - which allegedly killed over 40 people, was staged with the help of a foreign secret service.

" We have irrefutable evidence that this was another staged event, and that the secret services of a certain state that is now at the forefront of a Russophobic campaign was involved in this staged event ," he said during a press conference according to AFP.

According to defense ministry spokesman, Major General Igor Konashenkov, the Kremlin has evidence that Britain was behind the attack.

Quoted by Reuters , he said: " We have... evidence that proves Britain was directly involved in organising this provocation ."

As RT further adds , the Russian Defense Ministry presented what it says is " proof that the reported chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged." It also accused the British government of pressuring the perpetrators to speed up the "provocation." During a briefing on Friday, the ministry showed interviews with two people, who, it said, are medical professionals working in the only hospital operating in Douma, a town near the Syrian capital, Damascus.

During a briefing on Friday, the ministry showed interviews with two people, who, it said, are medical professionals working in the only hospital operating in Douma, a town near the Syrian capital, Damascus.

During a briefing on Friday, the ministry showed interviews with two people, who, it said, are medical professionals working in the only hospital operating in Douma, a town near the Syrian capital, Damascus.

In the interviews released to the media, the two men reported how footage was shot of people dousing each other with water and treating children, which was claimed to show the aftermath of the April 7 chemical weapons attack. The patients shown in the video suffered from smoke poisoning and the water was poured on them by their relatives after a false claim that chemical weapons were used, the ministry said.

"Please, notice. These people do not hide their names. These are not some faceless claims on the social media by anonymous activists. They took part in taking that footage," said Konashenkov.

"The Russian Defense Ministry also has evidence that Britain had a direct involvement in arranging this provocation in Eastern Ghouta," the general added, referring to the neighborhood of which Douma is part. " We know for certain that between April 3 and April 6 the so-called White Helmets were seriously pressured from London to speed up the provocation that they were preparing ."

According to Konashenkov, the group, which was a primary source of photos and footage of the purported chemical attack, was informed of a large-scale artillery attack on Damascus planned by the Islamist group Army of Islam, which controlled Douma at the time. The White Helmets were ordered to arrange the provocation after retaliatory strikes by the Syrian government forces, which the shelling was certain to lead to, he said.

The UK rejected the accusations, with British UN Ambassador Karen Pierce calling them "grotesque," "a blatant lie" and "the worst piece of fake news we've yet seen from the Russian propaganda machine."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/LKE6YKw5Y40

So when will Moscow release their evidence for the whole world to see? Or is it maybe waiting for the US to first release its own proof that Assad launched the attack?

If so, we'll be waiting for a long time.

[Apr 16, 2018] Fucking amateur hour. The site supposedly hit by 70 missiles still standing

Apr 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Joiningupthedots Mon, 04/16/2018 - 14:50 Permalink

The blast area of just ONE cruise missile is 150ft/2 = 7000m/2

How many hit this target allegedly? You can even see the matrix caused by the layering of the photo shopping software when you zoom right in (its not present on the first photo) Fucking amateur hour LMAO

tangent Mon, 04/16/2018 - 16:15 Permalink

There really is not even a conspiracy theorist out there who would suggest it was a Syrian government operation any way. Only batshit crazy raving lunatics have suggested it was the Syrian government. This is clearly the stupidest thing Trump has done. It makes the USA look like a bunch of circus freak losers. Very sad and shockingly insane. This is the stupidest piece of propaganda in modern history. The USA looks very, very bad. It looks like, from any reasonable perspective, that they are actively aiding terrorists on purpose. Wow. Interesting cosmetics. Interesting optics.

Its almost as if the USA government hates itself and actually wants a nuclear war where everyone dies. I think the only thing that should be considered is whether the nutty freaks in charge are actually humans. Humans are a great disappointment, so likely, yes, human beings really can be that mentally deficient. Trump really is such a level of mental retard that he hates himself and wants to be nuked, so he bombs Syria knowing full well they have nothing to do with it. He hates his career now and wants out.

[Apr 16, 2018] There is no magic way to make this stuff go away. Incineration doesn't solve the problems of the metal containers. All of this stuff would be making its way into their environment, causing illness and death in the coming years. It takes decades to properly neutralize this stuff. Lighting it up with Tomahawks definitely isn't the best way, and without a doubt some of it would be immediately released into the surrounding area. However small or not so small that amount is:

Apr 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Canadian Dirtlump -> Pearson365 Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:40 Permalink

So the barrels of chlorine that we've seen multiple times that the West / Saudis have provided to the "rebels" are stored inertly?

How is that?

The calling card of this false flag is the simple fact that such a crude munition was used.

Gimme a break Walter White jr.

gatorengineer -> Canadian Dirtlump Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:52 Permalink

chlorine gas is no big deal. Sarin is destroyed by fire.... There is a reason everyone stores these away from People. Not saying Orange is right, by any means in fact the opposite, but this story is a bit of a reach.

Decoherence -> gatorengineer Mon, 04/16/2018 - 13:33 Permalink

Not necessarily. There is no magic way to make this stuff go away. Incineration doesn't solve the problems of the metal containers. All of this stuff would be making its way into their environment, causing illness and death in the coming years. It takes decades to properly neutralize this stuff. Lighting it up with Tomahawks definitely isn't the best way, and without a doubt some of it would be immediately released into the surrounding area. However small or not so small that amount is:

https://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-09/fyi-chemical-weapons-

RAT005 -> Decoherence Mon, 04/16/2018 - 14:51 Permalink

I used to manage a small apartment complex swimming pool. Dry Chlorine was mixed into a 40gal concentrated tank and a small squirt was pumped into the filter circulation all day long. A newbee once lifted the top off the tank to have a look inside. Lucky I was there (telling him, don't do thattttttt) I about had to carry him out of the room. There would be reports all over that area if a few hundred gallons or more of Chlorine had been blasted into the air.

[Apr 16, 2018] Do Brits try top prevent OPCW team getign to the site?

Apr 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Dangerclose Mon, 04/16/2018 - 13:09 Permalink

I emailed the OPCW yesterday. I asked for the location of the Douma inspection team at precisely the time the research center was attacked. I heard that they were at the airport and only hours away from the site. I thought this would give credence to the theory that the site was attacked just so it would interfere with a proper inspection. They declined to release any info for the protection of their workers and the integrity of their work. I guess we will have to wait for the report.

[Apr 16, 2018] Paul Craig Roberts Has One Awkward Question For Washington Warmongers

Apr 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

US officials and the presstitutes tell us that the illegal US missile attack on Syria destroyed chemical weapons sites where chlorine and sarin are stored/manufactured.

This satellite image, taken Monday morning, shows the Barzah Research and Development Center in Damascus after it was struck by coalition forces.

If this were true, would not a lethal cloud have been released that would have taken the lives of far more people than claimed in the alleged Syrian chemical attack on Douma?

Would not the US missile attack be identical to a chemical weapons attack and thus place the US and its vassals in the same category as Washington is attempting to place Assad and Putin?

What about it, you chemical weapons experts?

Do chemical weapons only release their elements when they explode from intended use but not when they explode from being militarily attacked?

There is no evidence in Syria of chemical residue from the chemical weapons facilities allegedly destroyed by US missiles.

No dead victims.

No reports of hospitals treating Syrian casualties of the American chemical attack.

How can this be if such sites were actually hit?

When I was a Wall Street Journal editor newspapers had competent journalists to whom such a question would occur. But no more. Stephen Lendman takes the New York Times to task for its unprofessionalism . The NY Times is no longer a news source. It is a propaganda megaphone.


BennyBoy -> QueenDratpmurt Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:51 Permalink

The OPCW said there was no chlorine and sarin there.

Remember when....March 31, 2005 - The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction reports that the intelligence community was "dead wrong" in its assessments of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities before the US invasion.

EuroPox -> BennyBoy Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:54 Permalink

That is the site that the Pentagon says was hit with 76 missiles!

19 JASSMs and 57 Tomahawks!

Does anybody believe them?

SafelyGraze -> EuroPox Mon, 04/16/2018 - 12:59 Permalink

the lendman article suggests that missiles deliberately targeted and destroyed non-chem-weapons sites that were being used to develop anti-cancer drugs.

that information is completely mistaken because otherwise the official reports would be incorrect.

hugs,
nyt subscribers

JRobby -> SafelyGraze Mon, 04/16/2018 - 13:03 Permalink

Good argument just because it sure DOESN'T look like a large scale chemical manufacturing site........

But it is destroyed.

D503 -> JRobby Mon, 04/16/2018 - 13:19 Permalink

And on the left here you'll see our chemistry lab cleverly disguised as an office building. We have no need for any of the essential components such as reasonable delivery methods, power supply, storage tanks, pipes, etc. We're cutting edge, unlike all those American plants:

https://www.iscgrp.com/projects/

JimmyRainbow -> Klassenfeind Mon, 04/16/2018 - 13:10 Permalink

ever heard of the ship extra built to burn the nerve gas shit out on sea?

there is one, maybe just one worldwide

and if it were so natural and clean to just burn the shit, why the ship?

hundreds of tons nikki said.

a vial enough to kill a town. something always escapes.

additionally the rubble does not look burnt at all

another nice story: there is a phosgen producing site in germany,

phosgen is a weapon-gas but also used in fabrication of plastic.

the whole reactor is shielded by a few 1000 tons of alcohol because that neutralizes phosgen.

in densly populated germany no risk is taken

[Apr 16, 2018] I suggest that Russia act as marginal producer and refuse to sell oil, gas or raw petroleum products for less than double the price of other suppliers.

Apr 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

honestann Sun, 04/15/2018 - 21:58 Permalink

I suggest that Russia act as "marginal producer" and refuse to sell oil, gas or raw petroleum products for less than double the price of other suppliers.

All of a sudden... thing will change.

After the treatment Russia has gotten for the past year or more, they are more than justified to adopt this policy.

[Apr 16, 2018] In late March, the U.S. State Department warned European corporations that they will likely face penalties if they participate in the construction of Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, on the grounds that the project undermines energy security in Europe

Apr 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

spyware-free -> Pernicious Gol Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:47 Permalink

What's going on?
Read this:
"In late March, the U.S. State Department warned European corporations that they will likely face penalties if they participate in the construction of Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, on the grounds that "the project undermines energy security in Europe"

The Nord Stream 2 project and the denial of pipelines through Syria territory is what's eating at the zio-cons. This is power politics and Russia / China are too much of a threat.

Chupacabra-322 -> spyware-free Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:43 Permalink

@ spy,

March, 14, 2017:

The Russian central bank opened its first overseas office in Beijing on March 14, marking a step forward in forging a Beijing-Moscow alliance to bypass the US dollar in the global monetary system, and to phase-in a gold-backed standard of trade.

Apr 3 2017 - Europe approves Nordstream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany

April 6 2017 - need to attack Syria.

Coincidentally, with a new government a gas pipelin can be run from Qatar to Europe and cut-off Russian gas revenue.

Nord Stream 2 Project Gets Green Light From EU

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201704031052232006-nord-stream-eu-gas-pip ...

*Three Mediterranean EU countries and Israel agreed on Monday to continue pursuing the development of a gas pipeline ... EU countries and Israel ... April 3, 2017 ...*

EU, Israel agree to develop Eastern Mediterranean gas pipeline

https://www.rt.com/business/383410-eu-israel-mediterranean-gas-pipeline/

The Optics of the Inter National Geo Political Crises would suggest that The Criminal Oligarch Cabal Bankster Intelligence Deep State Crime Syndicate are going "All In."

Brace YourSelves.....

spyware-free -> Chupacabra-322 Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:52 Permalink

The petroyuan project is the key. It will smash the petrodollar zio-world. Saddam Hussien thought of doing that in the 80's by consolidating Arab oil into a basket of currencies backed by gold. The problem for him was he was a disposable puppet and not able to defend that project. China and Russia are a different matter. It's driving the zios batty.

Chupacabra-322 -> spyware-free Sun, 04/15/2018 - 18:43 Permalink

And, the Yuan is now in the IMF basket of SDR's. Ultimately, the Petro Dollar will meet its demise & it will be decided by which is the cleanest, dirtiest shirt to put on among the SDR's.

[Apr 16, 2018] I can only imagine what Putin et al are thinking. They know they and Assad were not behind that attack, and they know we know, or should know. What this means is that they will have to come to view our government the same way America used to view the Communists. As dangerous, fanatical lunatics.

Apr 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

RedDwarf Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:03 Permalink

Great, I voted for Trump in the hopes he would not be a warmonger since Hillary certainly was. Looks like I should not have bothered after all.

I can only imagine what Putin et al are thinking. They know they and Assad were not behind that attack, and they know we know, or should know. What this means is that they will have to come to view our government the same way America used to view the Communists. As dangerous, fanatical lunatics.

Once you come to view someone not as a rational actor, but as deranged, the dynamics change, and in very dangerous ways. You cannot appease or come to terms with a lunatic. All reasonable options begin to disappear, leaving behind only the last resorts.

[Apr 16, 2018] Trump voters dissatisfaction now reached boiling level

Apr 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Whoa Dammit -> Adolph.H. Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:35 Permalink

The reason we voted for Trump is because we are tired of this sanctimonious hypocritical horse shit. Instead we get more of what we didn't vote for. All Russia did was kindly not sink any of our war ships when we attacked Syria on an assumption.

crossroaddemon -> Whoa Dammit Sun, 04/15/2018 - 18:19 Permalink

You got exactly what you voted for... because if you were dumb enough to think you could actually get an outsider maverick anywhere near the white house I have to think you are too dumb to figure out how to turn on a computer.

Lore -> JohninMK Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:14 Permalink

Trump's in deep over his head. It was an open question whether he posed any genuine obstacle to the pathocracy, but it seems more clear now that, one way or another, he has been brought more tightly under their control. THAT, much more than any individual false-flags or other deceptions or wrongs, should be cause for the rational world to fear. The psychopaths are still on the march, and Trump is at least paying lip service to their chicanery. The further out on a limb he goes, the more reluctant and then helpless he will be to backtrack as pathology becomes more extreme and events escalate under their own momentum. With markets looking more precarious than ever, how long will it be before the psychopaths commit more and bigger false flags?

Sid Davis -> serotonindumptruck Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:55 Permalink

Cornered animal; that sounds like Trumps modus operandi. Notice that anyone who criticizes him gets lambasted with personal attacks instead of a reasoned response.

We need a President who understands freedom and who is a reasonable person, neither of which traits are possessed by Trump. He didn't win the election on his own qualification but on Hillary's lack of qualification. This speaks to the point, "The lesser of two evils is still evil".

silverer Sun, 04/15/2018 - 21:47 Permalink

Trump sucks. He started out good, but now that's over. I expect things to continue to deteriorate daily.

VW Nerd Sun, 04/15/2018 - 21:48 Permalink

I love the smell of unprovoked missile attacks and sanctions in the morning. Reminds me of........desperation.

[Apr 15, 2018] We know this empire is destined to eat itself up due to greed and hubris. My only concern is how long that will take.

Notable quotes:
"... This is very clear path toward a confrontation with Russia. America is not going to stop . Russia continues to be punished because does not leave Syria and does not bow to America. ..."
Apr 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

serotonindumptruck -> Janet smeller Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:44 Permalink

Russia knows that this diplomatic, economic, and military aggression will never stop. These military strikes and economic sanctions from the West represent the death throes of a dying empire. A dying empire is like a gravely wounded, cornered animal.

This is an extremely dangerous animal, because it is willing to arbitrarily kill anyone and anything before it dies.


serotonindumptruck -> spyware-free Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:00 Permalink

I still believe that the USA and its European allies will be the first to use nuclear weapons.

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping no doubt recognize the grave circumstances, and they are using the utmost restraint to avoid the provision of a military pretext that the West/USA is seeking in their effort to greatly escalate hostilities.

GoinFawr -> serotonindumptruck Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:07 Permalink

" I still believe that the USA ... will be the first to use nuclear weapons . "

Eg. Nagasaki and Hiroshima

dirty fingernails -> serotonindumptruck Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:12 Permalink

The US will only use nukes to secure their dominance. The people in change aren't beholden to any country or continent being filthy rich and/or dual citizens. So the plan is to deny the US an excuse to use nukes while cutting the empire off at the knees.

Otherwise, I agree it'll be a NATO country that nukes first. That's part of the desire to make smaller nukes. "Small" nukes are seen as a way to nuke but not start a global exchange. Fucking insane people gambling with all higher life forms.

Chupacabra-322 -> dirty fingernails Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:38 Permalink

"Small Nuke."

You make it sound like she's just "a little pregnant."

dirty fingernails -> spyware-free Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:01 Permalink

Russia will tolerate it as long as possible. The delay only weakens the US and allies. All have serious issues domestically and even alliances are strained. Don't interrupt when your enemy is making a mistake

serotonindumptruck -> dirty fingernails Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:22 Permalink

That is certainly some excellent Sun Tzu advice.

However, Sun Tzu never calculated criminal insanity into his logical strategems.

When your enemy refuses to concede defeat, and is willing to suicide the entire world in their obstinance, the only winning move is not to play.

Pernicious Gol -> serotonindumptruck Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:48 Permalink

He did talk about that.

dirty fingernails -> serotonindumptruck Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:50 Permalink

True, but look around us. There is no need to nuke cities and military targets in the US. Shut down the electrical grid and the population would lose it in a matter of hours. Within days it would be chaos on so many levels that it would take a long time to recover. We really are our own worst enemies because we are so fractured and polarized of the stupidest shit.

serotonindumptruck -> dirty fingernails Sun, 04/15/2018 - 18:01 Permalink

If limited global depopulation is the ultimate goal, then yes, the USA will suffer the most due to the prevalence of firearms and the general hostility that is clearly evident within its citizenry.

That's obviously not the main objective for the warmongers and neocons in DC.

The ultimate objective is global dominance, and the complete and total subjugation of humanity.

Like I said, criminal insanity is the paradigm that rules the West.

Sid Davis -> serotonindumptruck Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:55 Permalink

Cornered animal; that sounds like Trumps modus operandi. Notice that anyone who criticizes him gets lambasted with personal attacks instead of a reasoned response.

We need a President who understands freedom and who is a reasonable person, neither of which traits are possessed by Trump. He didn't win the election on his own qualification but on Hillary's lack of qualification. This speaks to the point, "The lesser of two evils is still evil".

Cosmicserpent -> Adolph.H. Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:42 Permalink

We won't hit bottom without taking everyone with us. The Republic was lost when JFK was assassinated.

spyware-free -> Adolph.H. Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:43 Permalink

This will work out about as good as Obama "isolating" Russia. Nothing more than a ziocon jerkfest.

khnum -> I woke up Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:51 Permalink

That proposition plus a ban on all US agricultural produce is currently being put up in their parliament

veritas semper -> FBaggins Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:43 Permalink

This is very clear path toward a confrontation with Russia. America is not going to stop . Russia continues to be punished because does not leave Syria and does not bow to America.

This recent American fiasco in Syria is just the opening overture. In May we have the moving of American embassy to Jerusalem and the unilateral withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal. I think we will not reach the end of the year without a big war : America is losing power and needs it.

Jumanji1959 -> FBaggins Sun, 04/15/2018 - 18:26 Permalink

Actually the terrorists were sent by Israel and more specifically, the Mossad, who trained them. Israel wants to expand its territory by committing a GENOCIDE.

keep the basta -> FBaggins Sun, 04/15/2018 - 20:25 Permalink

The chemical weapons organisation in Damascus and elsewhere in Syria found NO chemical weapons at the site the USA UK And FR bombed for that. The only chemical weapons are those found in the tunnels in East Ghouta after Syria bussed the militant occupiers away. The 40 tons of chemicals have manufactuer names, serial numbers and addresses eg Porton Down Salisbury.

Occams_Razor_Trader -> Occams_Razor_Trader Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:38 Permalink

Cui Bono? Trump says he's going to pull out of Syria -- Things never looked better for Assad -- and he gets the bright idea, to turn the world against him by gassing gassing his own people? I'm not buying it. I-F-F (Israeli False Flag)

[Apr 15, 2018] World cup as a political game

Apr 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Danedog Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:13 Permalink

The west wants to destroy the world cup for Russia so that things will heat up before June to the point of war. So much money was invested in the stadiums that Russia expects the visitors to help pay. The US will deny this through false flags and lies. I am so ashamed of this nation that has changed to the point that I do not recognize it from my childhood.

ExPat2018 -> Danedog Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:16 Permalink

Yep. they tried the same shit before Sochi Olympics

The used the LGBT Nazis to demonize Russia.

Come to find out that its NOT illegal to be gay in Russia and there are gay bars and discos there.

its ILLEGAL to push GAY education on children (same law that the UK had for years).

[Apr 15, 2018] Syria: What Just Happened?

Apr 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Sun, 04/15/2018 - 17:30 112 SHARES Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

What happened right after the second direct U.S.-missiles invasion of Syria, which had occurred on the night of April 13th, could turn out to have momentous implications - far bigger than the attacks themselves...

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons headlined on April 14th, in the wake of this U.S.-UK-France invasion of Syria that was allegedly punishing Syria's Government for allegedly having used chemical weapons in its bombing in the town of Douma on April 7th, "OPCW Fact-Finding Mission Continues Deployment to Syria" , and reported that:

The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) team of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will continue its deployment to the Syrian Arab Republic to establish facts around the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma.

The OPCW has been working in close collaboration with the United Nations Department of Safety and Security to assess the situation and ensure the safety of the team.

This means that the effort by the U.S. and its allies on the U.N. Security Council, to squash that investigation , has failed at the OPCW, even though the effort had been successful at blocking U.N. support for that specific investigation .

The OPCW is not part of the U.N., nor of any country; it, instead (as introduced by Wikipedia ):

is an intergovernmental organisation and the implementing body for the Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force on 29 April 1997. The OPCW, with its 192 member states, has its seat in The Hague, Netherlands, and oversees the global endeavour for the permanent and verifiable elimination of chemical weapons.

In conformity with the unchallenged international consensus that existed during the 1990s that there was no longer any basis for war between the world's major powers, the Convention sought and achieved a U.N. imprimatur, but this was only in order to increase its respect throughout the world. The OPCW is based not on the U.N. Charter but on that specific treaty, the Chemical Weapons Convention, which was formally approved by the U.N.'s General Assembly on 30 November 1992 and was then opened for signatures in Paris on 13 January 1993. According to the Convention's terms, it would enter into effect 180 days after 65 nations signed it, which turned out to be on 29 April 1997.

So, although the treaty itself received U.N. approval, the recent Russian-sponsored resolution at the U.N.'s Security Council to have the U.N. endorse the OPCW's investigation of the 7 April 2018 Douma incident, did not receive U.N. approval. It was instead blocked by the U.S. and its allies . Nonetheless, though without a U.N. endorsement, the OPCW investigation into the incident will move forward, despite the invasion.

This fact is momentous, because a credible international inspection, by the world's top investigatory agency for such matters, will continue to completion, notwithstanding the effort by the U.S. and its allies on the U.N. Security Council, to block it altogether. This decision was reached by the OPCW -- not by the U.N.

Among the 192 signers of the Chemical Weapons Convention are U.S., Russia, and Syria, as well as China, Iran, and Iraq, but not Israel, nor North Korea and a very few other countries. So: all of the major powers have already, in advance, approved whatever the findings by the OPCW turn out to be. Those findings are expected to determine whether a chemical attack happened in Douma on 7 April 2018, and, if so, then perhaps what the specific banned chemical(s) was(were), but not necessarily who was responsible for it if it existed. For example, if the 'rebels' had stored some of their chemical weapons at that building and then Syria's Government bombed that building, the OPCW might not be able to determine who is to blame, even if they do determine that there was a chemical attack and the chemical composition of it. In other words: science cannot necessarily answer all of the questions that might be legal-forensically necessary in order to determine guilt, if a crime did, in fact, occur, there.

If the investigation does find that a banned chemical was used and did cause injuries or fatalities, then there is the possibility that its findings will be consistent with the assertions by the U.S. and its allies who participated in the April 13th invasion. That would not necessarily justify the invasion, but it would prove the possibility that there had been no lying intent on the part of the U.S.-and-allied invaders on April 13th.

However, if the investigation does not find that a banned chemical was used in the Syrian Government's bombing of that building, then incontrovertibly the U.S.-and-allied invasion was a criminal one under international laws, though there may be no international court that possesses the authority to try the case .

So: what is at stake here from the OPCW investigation is not only the international legitimacy of Syria's Government, but the international legitimacy of the Governments that invaded it on April 13th. These are extremely high stakes, even if no court in the world will possess the authority to adjudicate the guilt -- either if the U.S. and its allies lied, or if the Syrian Government lied.

For us historians, this is very important. And, for the general public, the significance goes much farther: to specific Governments, to their alleged news media, and to the question of: What does it even mean to say that a government is a "democracy" or a "dictatorship"? The findings from this investigation will reverberate far and wide, and long (if World War III doesn't prevent any such findings at all).

* * *

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity .

[Apr 15, 2018] We are entering the psyops and propaganda phase of a war. In this phase we are ordered to only say what they want us to, and this goes for both sides. They don't care about the truth, just where and when the shooting will start.

Apr 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

DavidC Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:35 Permalink

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE? THESE IDIOTS?!

DavidC

holdbuysell Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:36 Permalink

These people are delusional and extremely dangerous. There's been zero proof of who actually used the chemical weapons (if there were chemical weapons at all?) and they're making statements about it as if it were a verified and universally recognized fact.

Stolypin -> holdbuysell Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:39 Permalink

We are entering the psyops and propaganda phase of a war. In this phase we are ordered to only say what they want us to, and this goes for both sides. They don't care about the truth, just where and when the shooting will start.

[Apr 15, 2018] Any good reason we shouldn't just start calling the 5(+1)-eyez media environment the Oceania State News Network (OSNN) right now?

Apr 15, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

r0mulus -> Whoa Dammit Sun, 04/15/2018 - 16:41 Permalink

Here we go again- the ever-plotting West trying to create reality on the fly- attempting to make the alleged chemical weapons attack into a fait accompli , painting the tape of reality with the shadow-puppets of the operation mockingbird-controlled, corporate (MIC) media!

Any good reason we shouldn't just start calling the 5(+1)-eyez media environment the Oceania State News Network (OSNN) right now?

[Apr 13, 2018] Yet when you consider the broader context and what the Russian side is now saying, it is just plain idiotic to own the S P 500 at 24X. After all, earnings that have been going nowhere for the past three years (earnings per share have inched-up from $106 in September 2014 to $109 in December 2017), and now could be ambushed by a hot war accident in Syria that would rapidly escalate.

Apr 13, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Folks, like some alien abductors, the Deep State has taken the Donald hostage, and with ball-and-chain finality. Whatever pre-election predilection he had to challenge the Warfare State has apparently been completely liquidated.

Trump's early AM tweet yesterrday, in fact, embodies the words of a man who had more than a few screws loose when he took the oath, but under the relentless pounding of the Imperial City's investigators, partisans, apparatchiks and lynch-mob media has now gone stark raving mad. To wit:

"....Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and "smart!" You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!

Yes, maybe Wall Street has figured out that the Donald is more bluster than bite. Yet when you consider the broader context and what the Russian side is now saying, it is just plain idiotic to own the S&P 500 at 24X. After all , earnings that have been going nowhere for the past three years (earnings per share have inched-up from $106 in September 2014 to $109 in December 2017), and now could be ambushed by a hot war accident in Syria that would rapidly escalate.

Indeed, did the robo-machines and boys and girls down in the casino not ponder the meaning of this message from the Kremlin? It does not leave much to the imagination:

# Russian ambassador in beirut : "If there is a strike by the Americans on #Syria , then... the missiles will be downed and even the sources from which the missiles were fired," Zasypkin told Hezbollah's al-Manar TV, speaking in Arabic.

Sure, the odds are quite high that the clever folks in the Pentagon will figure out how to keep the pending attack reasonably antiseptic. That is, they will bomb a whole bunch of places in Syria where the Russians and Iranians are not (after being warned); and also deploy stand-off submarine platforms to launch cruise missiles and high-flying stealth aircraft to drop smart bombs, thereby keeping American pilots and ships out of harm's way.

Then, after unleashing the Donald's version of "shock and awe" they will claim that Assad has just received the spanking of his life and that the Russians and Iranians have been messaged with malice aforethought.

But our point is not that Douma is Sarajevo, and, besides, this is still April, not August. What should be scaring the daylights out of Wall Street is that we are even at the point where the two tweets quoted above are happening.

For crying out loud, there is a brutal, bloody and barbaric civil war raging in Syria where both sides are bedecked in black hats; both sides have committed unspeakable atrocities; and where it is a documented fact that the rebels possess chemical weapons and have launched false flag gas attacks in the past---even as 1,300 tons of Assad's inventory, which may or may not have been the totality of it, was destroyed according to the certification of the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

In that context, who can tell whether the alleged chlorine gas release last Saturday in Douma originated in a bomb dropped by Assad's air force or came from a rebel stockpile that was hit by a bomb? Or whether it was another deliberate false flag attack staged by the jihadists or perhaps that it never happened at all.

The evidence comes mainly from rebel forces opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. One of these was the Violations Documentation Center, a virulent anti-Russian organization funded by George Soros. Another was the White Helmets, a completely comprised operation financed by the US and UK and which has operated only in rebel held territories--- often check-by-jowl with the al-Nusra Front and other terrorist elements.

Indeed, Washington's fabled spies in the sky and taps on every node of the worldwide web can read your email and spot a rogue camel caravan anywhere in a Sahara sandstorm. But they can not tell whether dead bodies are the victims of bullets, bombs, collapsing buildings or chlorine gas. You need to be on the ground and perform chemical tests for that, and Washington just plain isn't there.

Besides, even if a careful investigation--like the one proposed by Sweden and which the US and UK vetoed at the UN---were actually completed, why is it Washington's prerogative to administer a spanking to the culprit?

For one thing, if you are in the spanking business owing to bad behavior, then just within the region you would also need to administer the rod to al-Sisi in Egypt and Erdogan in Turkey; and also to Washington's on and off wards in Baghdad and to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia for his genocidal attacks on Yemen. While you were at it, why would even Bibi Netanyahu be spared the birch---given his periodic "lawn mowing" exercises on the Gaza strip?

The point is, Assad has never attacked, threatened or even looked cross-eyed at the United States. So you would have thought that administering spankings to international malefactors is the business of Washington's permanent War Party, not the leader of America First.

To be sure, the only evidence we have to date is the gruesome images posted on the internet by the "Douma Revolution", which we don't credit because it is a tool of the good folks of Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam), who were holding 3,200 pro-Assad hostages in cages when the attack happened. But even if Assad is culpable, why is the Donald getting out the birch switch if he doesn't mean to effectuate regime change?

Yes, inconstancy is his middle name. But how in god's name could even the Donald have rearranged the modest amount of gray matter under his great Orange Comb-Over so quickly and completely with regards to Syria?

As a reminder, this is what the Donald said just last week:

"We'll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon," Trump said on Thursday, "Let the other people take care of it now. Very soon, very soon, we're coming out....We're going to get back to our country, where we belong, where we want to be."

The fact is, it's way too late to drag Bashar Assad behind the Moammar Khadafy Memorial Jeep to be ritually sodomized by his enemies. That's because he's already won the civil war (red area in map below).

What's left is not remotely conducive to regime change because the majority Arab population of Syria (regardless of Alawite, Shiite, Sunni, Christian, Druse etc. religious affiliation) would never consent to be ruled by the small minority of Kurds (who control the yellow, largely desert areas). And besides, a Kurdish Syrian state in part or whole would guarantee a Turkish invasion and a blue (Turkish controlled areas surrounding Afrin in the northwest) versus yellow war where Washington would be on both sides.

Indeed, the only thing that a regime change attempt at this late date would accomplish is a resurrection of the remnants of ISIL (small black specs) or an upwelling of chaos from the three or four islets (green areas) that warring gangs of rebels, jihadists, salafists and blood-thirsty warlords now nominally control.

So the map below, in fact, tells you what is really going on. To wit, the neocons and deep staters around Trump--with the Walrus Mouth (Bolton) now literally shouting in his ear----are really about picking a fight with Iran and Russia. These are really Imperial Washington's designated enemies, and the purpose of the impending attack on Syrian military installations is to intimidate them into backing down----even as they issue hostile warnings and rhetorical fulminations (especially the Iranians) against America.

Stated differently, the Orange Comb-Over is being lured not so much into an Assad spanking exercise or regime change maneuver as into a Proxy War with Iran and Russia. The latter is literally manna from heaven for the Warfare State.

Indeed, with the defense budget already cranked up to the absurd level of $720 billion , the Deep State and its military/industrial/surveillance/congressional complex allies would like nothing better than maximum rhetorical belligerence (and occasional provocative acts) from Russia and Iran in order to keep the national security gravy train inflating toward the $1 trillion funding mark.

Needless to say, the contractual droppings from these staggering budget levels will keep the beltway think tanks, NGOs and pro-war lobbying apparatus in clover for years to come, thereby fueling the ugly secret of Imperial Washington.

Namely, since America lost its only real enemy in 1991, Washington has become an unhinged war capital. It is now endangering the entire planet in a doom-loop of expanding military muscle, multiplying foreign interventions and occupations, intensifying blowback from the victims of Washington's aggression and an ever greater chorus of Empire justifying experts, apparatchiks and politicians getting fat on the banks of the Potomac.

[Apr 13, 2018] Neoliberalism's deceptively seductive offer of increased individual choice comes at a heavy price, rendering individuals more and more vulnerable

Apr 12, 2018 | nyupress.org

It is difficult to ignore the cross-cultural parallels prompted by the growth of neoliberalism, an economic and moral philosophy in which sociologist Zygmunt Bauman notes, "the responsibilities for resolving the quandaries generated by vexingly volatile and constantly changing circumstances is shifted onto the shoulders of individuals -- who are now expected to be 'free choosers' and to bear in full the consequences of their choices" (Bauman 2007:3–4). Bauman essentially argues that neoliberalism's deceptively seductive offer of increased individual choice comes at a heavy price, rendering individuals more and more vulnerable.

Neoliberal economic policies have increasingly impacted individual lives throughout the world through the unprecedented untethering of workers and the workplace so that those in positions of power and privilege have less direct contact with or responsibility for those who work at the lowest levels of the same industry. Such new labor practices are a constant reminder to workers that they are expendable, easily replaced, and thus not in a position to negotiate the terms and conditions under which their labor is carried out.

Such vulnerability is even more pronounced for those who already inhabit the margins of social life because of their poverty or other forms of social exclusion. This is particularly true for situations wherein particular types of state-endorsed socioeconomic inequalities create a larger pool of feminized labor that is typically lower paid, less respected, and less able to u

[Apr 13, 2018] Embodying the Sexual Limits of Neoliberalism by Sealing Cheng

Notable quotes:
"... While market competitiveness is idealized as the engine to advancement for all, labor competition is circumscribed for particular groups (e.g., through a household registration system that prevent migrants from accessing certain jobs, rights, and benefits in China) and in specific ways (e.g., only certain sectors of the labor market are considered legitimate -- not sex work or surrogacy, for example). The discourse of national competitiveness and collective welfare pushes forward a conservative moral agenda in the face of these changes. ..."
"... Political Theory ..."
"... Theory and Society ..."
Apr 13, 2018 | sfonline.barnard.edu

S&F Online

The Scholar & Feminist Online is a webjournal published three times a year by the Barnard Center for Research on Women I begin this article by reflecting on one of the biggest professional mistakes I have ever made. I became a part of corporate humanitarianism in 2006, when IOM Korea invited me to be part of a research project on trafficking of Korean women overseas, sponsored by the Bom-bit Foundation, an NGO set up by the wife of the CEO of the biggest insurance company in South Korea. She had been concerned about the barrage of news reports that were circulating both in and out of Korea about the trafficking of Korean women into forced prostitution overseas. She wanted a global research project, "Korean women victims of sex trafficking in five global sites": South Korea, Japan, Australia, and the East and West Coasts of the United States. The ultimate goal was to find solutions to end such outflow and to save these women. The principal researcher, a male Korean academic, drafted a survey questionnaire laden with assumptions about coercion, violence, and sexual abuse. Even though the final reports from different sites came back with little evidence of trafficking, they did not prevent the principal investigator from producing a final report about the "serious problem of sex trafficking of Korean women into the global sex trade."

The first woman who I interviewed for this project was working in a massage parlor in Queens, New York. She came to the United States after the Korean police cracked down on her in her home, after they had obtained her address from her employer in Seoul in an antiprostitution raid. She explained her work in the United States:

Jin: Some people only come in for table showers, massage, and chats.
Interviewer: Are they the good clients?
Jin: No, they are not.
Interviewer: So who are the good clients?
Jin: Those people who finish quickly, they are the good ones. Those who have shower and then have sex and go. They are the best.

This response exploded the entire premise of the research and its assumptions about the inherently victimizing nature of sexual labor for women. Those who demand sex rather than conversations are the good clients -- if they finish quickly, get themselves cleaned before having sex, and leave immediately after sex. Jin situated sex squarely within a repertoire of labor performance, along with other physical and emotional work, and identified sex as more efficient ("quick") in providing return to her labor. She made between $11,000 and $22,000 per month. On that note, let me move on to some important points in the discussion about gender and neoliberalism within the context of South Korea.

Neoliberalism is useful as a term only to the extent of understanding macro-historical shifts and setting a framework for investigation. But its history, manifestation, and effects can be so diverse in each location that it cannot be a useful analytical category without empirical analysis. For example, contrary to the trend of de-democratization [ 1 ] observed in the United States, in South Korea, neoliberal reforms coincided with the democratization of civil society and the state in late 1990s, following four decades of military and authoritarian rule. In 1997, just when the first civilian democratic leader Kim Dae-jung became president, South Korea went through a major financial crisis and received the largest IMF bailout. The president supported a new wave of civic/human-rights organizations, set up the first National Human Rights Commission, and founded the Ministry of Gender Equality. During the same period, structural readjustment also ensured the flexibilization of labor and the weakening of trade unions, rendering many lives of more precarious as they became underemployed or unemployed.

In my work, I am grappling with how individuals like Jin live and make sense of their lives within a number of paradoxes/contradictions in neoliberalism:

1) The apparent amorality of neoliberalism and its facilitation of conservative moral agenda. The deployment of market principles to reconfigure the relationship between sovereignty and citizenship not only remakes economic, political, and cultural life, but also remakes citizen-subjects as entrepreneurs and consumers. While market competitiveness is idealized as the engine to advancement for all, labor competition is circumscribed for particular groups (e.g., through a household registration system that prevent migrants from accessing certain jobs, rights, and benefits in China) and in specific ways (e.g., only certain sectors of the labor market are considered legitimate -- not sex work or surrogacy, for example). The discourse of national competitiveness and collective welfare pushes forward a conservative moral agenda in the face of these changes.

2) The depoliticization of social risks and the hyperpoliticization of national security. The emergence of an ethics of self-management and risk-taking justifies some form of retrenchment of the state in the social sphere. Yet this by no means suggests a weakening of the state. What we witness in neoliberal transformations is the assertion of the state through more hard-lined enforcement of criminal justice and border control. The consequence is an uneven emphasis on and legitimation of the self-enterprising individual, invoking national crisis, social danger, and self-harm to justify state intervention or exclusion. These measures have significant gendered repercussions -- reshaping discourses on domesticity, sexuality, and mobility.

3) The concomitant and continuous ravaging of vulnerable populations and celebration of humanitarianism/human rights responses from state and civil society. Neoliberal developments create vulnerable populations by polarizing resources and wealth, and concomitantly generate a set of humanitarian/human rights responses from the state and civil society. Rather than being a set of problems that are being held back or eliminated by a set of solutions, they seem to grow symbiotically together. In effect, many humanitarian/human-rights interventions turn out to reiterate dominant interests, reproducing conservative gender, racial, class, and national hierarchies and divides.

How are these contradictions lived? Maybe Jin has some answers for us -- not just from her personal trajectory, but also in what she said:

I am working hard and making money for myself. I am saving money to start my own business back home/to further study. I am not dependent on the government or my family. I am not harming anyone, even though this is not a job to boast about. I don't understand these women's human rights. These activists don't understand us. They are people from good background. I am not saying the antiprostitution laws are wrong. But do they have to go so far?

My research since 1997 on sex work and migrant women in South Korea and the United States is located right at the intersection of these paradoxes. As women who strategize their immigration and labor strategies for self-advancement as sex workers, they embody the sexual limits of neoliberalism. While they may personify the values of self-reliance, self-governance, and free markets in a manner akin to homo economicus, they violate the neoliberal ideals of relational sexuality and middle-class femininity. [ 2 ] As many critics have attested to, even though the antitrafficking movement hails women's human rights, gender justice, and state protection, its operation predominantly through the crime frame reinforces gender, class, and racial inequalities. As such, antitrafficking initiatives, as they have taken shape in the twenty-first century, are part of neoliberal governance, and underlying the claims of equality and liberty are racial, gender, and sex panics with nationalist overtones that justify the repression of those who step outside these limits.

I think antitrafficking initiatives need to be situated within a broader set of political and social transformations in order to analyze the undercurrents of gender and sexuality across different sites. In South Korea, there was a strong gender and sexual ideology pervading the expansion of social policies in the post-1997 era. While the government could claim credit for addressing the needs of certain vulnerable populations (the unemployed, the homeless, migrant wives, women leaving prostitution, etc.), public anxieties about the breakdown of the family (runaway teenagers, old-age divorce, the fight for women's equality) that started during the 1997 crisis have continued into the new millennium (same-sex families, "multicultural families," single women). As national boundaries seem to have weakened with the incorporation of "multicultural families," the heteronormative nuclear family became more reified, and the domestic sphere as the proper place for women was reinscribed in a range of social policies. These include protection for "prostituted women," since 2004, and support provided to migrant wives -- both policies designed to harness these women's reproductive powers for the future of the Korean nation, and to reproduce their class location.

It is also important to be wary of claims to promote "women's human rights" and how these claims are circumscribed within certain spheres -- only in sex work, and not in the gendered layoffs during an economic crisis, or in relation to the homeless women who have been excluded as legitimate recipients of government support. "Women's human rights" have been hurled around to legitimize activism and policies that turned out to make lives more difficult for some women, rendering them either as targets or instruments of criminal law.

We also need to ask why the law is resorted to so consistently for women activists to make claims on the state. And why does the general public have so much faith in the law to enforce morality?

I would like to see cultural struggles become a more important site to extend into, building on a solid economic and political critique. As we witnessed i the Occupy movement, as well as with the sex worker festivals in different global locations, creativity, humor, and conviviality have a lot of power to draw attention, if not to incite solidarity. The new sex workers' organization in South Korea calls itself the Giant Girls ("GG" also means "support" in Korean), and organizes its own seminars, holds a sex work festival celebration, and produces its own podcasts, in which everyday conversation and serious discussion take place in a light-hearted manner, often with bursts of laughter. The fists-in-air protests are no longer the main part of the movement, marking a significant departure from the victimhood discourse. I am hopeful that this will appeal at least to a younger generation of potential coalition partners in the LGBT community, labor movements (for women and migrants), and cultural movements. This could be a refreshing -- and possibly transformational -- shift in feminist politics and critique in South Korea, and in other sites in Asia.

Footnotes
  1. Brown, Wendy (2006). "American Nightmare: Neoliberalism, Neoconservatism, and De-Democratization." Political Theory 34(6): 690-714. [ Return to text ]
  2. Bernstein, Elizabeth (2012). "Carceral Politics as Gender Justice? The 'Traffic in Women' and Neoliberal Circuits of Crime, Sex, and Rights." Theory and Society 41(3):233–59. [ Return to text ]
Tags class law neoliberalism policy sex work sexuality

[Apr 12, 2018] Bolton And Mattis Feud Over Syria Strike As Assad Evacuates Weapons

Note dramatic change of Zero hedge audience attitude toward Trump. And generally ZeroHedge attracts people who were former Trump base.
Apr 12, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Mattis said that the U.S. aim in Syria is to defeat Islamic State, not "to engage in the civil war itself." But referring to the use of chemical weapons, Mattis said that " some things are simply inexcusable, beyond the pale " and require a response. - Bloomberg

The Wall St. Journal reports that Mattis "brought those concerns directly to the White House on Thursday, where White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the national security team didn't agree on a response."

Exactly two weeks ago Mattis met Bolton - telling the bemoustached bringer-of-death "I heard you're actually the devil incarnate, and I wanted to meet you."

... ... ...

"If these strikes start, it could end very tragically and it's impossible to predict the outcome -- that's the nature of military actions," said Russian Senator Frants Klintsevich in a phone interview, adding that there are "no madmen" among Trump's top military advisors. " These are professionals who aren't populists and know what this could lead to. "

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia issued a stark warning on Thursday that there was a danger the war could escalate beyond Syria because of Russia's military presence.

"We cannot exclude any possibilities [of war between Russia and the U.S.] unfortunately because we saw messages that are coming from Washington," Mr. Nebenzia said. " They were very bellicose. "

In an attempt to settle things diplomatically, Russia asked for an open Security Council emergency meeting on Friday morning, calling for UN Secretary-General António Guterres to brief the council, according to the Wall St. Journal .

Meanwhile, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says they are sending a team of investigators to Syria on Saturday to collect samples from the site of the alleged chemical attack last weekend.


algol_dog -> Gen. Ripper Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:30 Permalink

Will Bolton be sending his grandchildren to the front?

ne-tiger -> algol_dog Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:32 Permalink

Fucking orange clown, that's why the fucktard brought in Bolton.

BaBaBouy -> ne-tiger Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:35 Permalink

Thump Hired Bowlton, End Of Story ...

You don't need to be Einstein to see where this is Going...

directaction -> ne-tiger Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:36 Permalink

That maniac, Trump, has sure surrounded himself with a swarm of sick, twisted, psychotic mass killers.

Walter White -> ne-tiger Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:37 Permalink

orange clown will send his kids to war...yes?

Truther -> ne-tiger Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:37 Permalink

HANG THE MOTHER FUCKERS.. HANG THEM ALL.

dirty fingernails -> ne-tiger Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:38 Permalink

Mad props to Mattis for calling him the devil incarnate to his face even if couched tactfully.

But remember, Bolton is just a scare tactic, he isn't really a demented bloodthirsty demon. He wants to go balls out against a nuclear power over a false flag but it's a bluff. /s

Walter White -> ne-tiger Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:37 Permalink

orange clown will send his kids to war...yes?

Truther -> ne-tiger Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:37 Permalink

HANG THE MOTHER FUCKERS.. HANG THEM ALL.

dirty fingernails -> ne-tiger Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:38 Permalink

Mad props to Mattis for calling him the devil incarnate to his face even if couched tactfully.

But remember, Bolton is just a scare tactic, he isn't really a demented bloodthirsty demon. He wants to go balls out against a nuclear power over a false flag but it's a bluff. /s

VladLenin Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:32 Permalink

Let's see. Who's responsible for toppling (or trying to) one strong man after another in the Middle East and leaving the place in a shit storm? USA! USA! USA!

carlnpa Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:32 Permalink

Trump

Leave Syria alone, your interference will result in the slaughter of the Christians that remain in Syria.

besnook Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:32 Permalink

will someone remind these guys that they haven't won a war in awhile. they are not very good at this war stuff so maybe they should stop.

Steaming_Pile Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:33 Permalink

And the academy award for best makeup artist goes to.....

RationalLuddite Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:35 Permalink

while President Trump told reporters on Thursday "We're looking very, very seriously, very closely at that whole situation, and we'll see what happens, folks, we'll see what happens. It's too bad that the world puts us in a position like that."

The lack of self awareness and the victim mentality in this cry-bully statement is breathtaking. Akin to projectile vomiting on someone them blaming them for smelling disgusting. Extraordinary .

besnook Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:35 Permalink

for once in my life i wish i could watch undoctored video of people throwing parties because the usa army is in town.

khnum Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:36 Permalink

Is there a Praetorian guard they used to handle these situations quite efficiently

Gregor Samsa Thu, 04/12/2018 - 21:38 Permalink

"It was very disconcerting when I saw that an attack is planned on Mosul, an attack is planned. ... Why do we have to talk about it? Why? I never saw anything like this. Every time we are going to attack somebody, we explain. We're going to attack, we'll be attacking at three, noon on March 25. I don't know, unless you disagree with me, wouldn't it be better if we were going to go after Mosul to not say anything and do it, as opposed to announcing -- they're announcing all over television they're planning to attack Mosul." -- Donald J. Trump

[Apr 10, 2018] The brand of [neoliberal] "rationality" when the market interest is the only rational motive that too many people in the West subscribe to is a brand of smug pseudoreligious fanaticism that is itself "irrational."

Notable quotes:
"... So, in a different way, were old American political operators, at least when it came to domestic politics, as they had to manage multitudes of groups who had diverse worldviews who didn't take kindly to moral lecturing by politicians. ..."
"... Nowadays, though, this seems a worldview that many in "western" societies are running low on. Too many people start their argument by asserting their beliefs, why they believe them, and, implicitly, even if not made explicit, why they are right and others should be "persuaded" to believe them (since the "others" are "obviously" irrational.) ..."
"... Condemning the other, who are "obviously wrong," I suppose, makes people feel better, all the more so if one's own worldview can be justified by the Scripture or "science." ..."
"... An important point, however, is that for action to be 'rational' in this sense, it has, in some manner, to be appropriately calculated to the purposes envisaged. A difficulty lies precisely in the ambiguity about purposes which is implicit in this whole tradition. ..."
Apr 10, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

kao_hsien_chih , 4 years ago

Thank you for the thoughtful reply.

I agree entirely with your view. In order to make sense of the "purpose" behind actions taken by various political actors, it is necessary to take seriously their worldview and value system. It is not necessary that one should "respect" them or believe them for oneself, but recognize that these do actuate the choices that they do make.

I suppose this might sound like a sort of backhanded compliment, but this is something that the old British were really good at -- and lay behind successful management of the empire.

So, in a different way, were old American political operators, at least when it came to domestic politics, as they had to manage multitudes of groups who had diverse worldviews who didn't take kindly to moral lecturing by politicians.

Nowadays, though, this seems a worldview that many in "western" societies are running low on. Too many people start their argument by asserting their beliefs, why they believe them, and, implicitly, even if not made explicit, why they are right and others should be "persuaded" to believe them (since the "others" are "obviously" irrational.)

Condemning the other, who are "obviously wrong," I suppose, makes people feel better, all the more so if one's own worldview can be justified by the Scripture or "science." (not the science based on logical deduction and empiricism, but something that is vaguely "right" because it "just is.") But that certainly rules out actually dealing with the other side responsibly to accomplish something.

I still feel that the brand of "rationality" that too many people in the West subscribe to is a brand of smug pseudoreligious fanaticism that is itself "irrational." It may be itself "rational," given the context, as much as beliefs in witchcraft might be, but it is not what its believers think it is. When such beliefs clash with other, comparable beliefs, nothing good can come out of such encounters.

David Habakkuk , 4 years ago
kao_hsien_chih,

'One great irony is that, at least among "serious" academics in economics and other social sciences, the only definition of "rational" that is accepted is that there is some purpose behind it.'

This takes me into areas where I get out of my depth.

But the link of 'rationality' to purposive action is certainly very much in keeping with the tradition which goes, through Collingwood, into areas of British anthropology (exmples chosen from limited knowledge, Evans-Pritchard, Wendy James, Paul Dresch.)

An important point, however, is that for action to be 'rational' in this sense, it has, in some manner, to be appropriately calculated to the purposes envisaged. A difficulty lies precisely in the ambiguity about purposes which is implicit in this whole tradition.

So if one of one's basic conception of human purposes is to keep a kind of social order 'on the road', then beliefs which may be 'irrational', in the sense of indefensible in terms of canons of Western science which are, patently 'rational', may have a 'rationality' of their own.

An example is the analysis by Evans-Pritchard of the witchcraft beliefs of the Azande.

Implicit in this is a nightmare possibility which is lurking in a manner which is often hysterical, but not necessarily 'irrational' manner, in a tradition of conservative thought: that what is 'rational' in terms of scientific enquiry may be subversive of what is 'rational' in terms of the need to maintain functioning societies.

kao_hsien_chih , 4 years ago
One great irony is that, at least among "serious" academics in economics and other social sciences, the only definition of "rational" that is accepted is that there is some [market-related] purpose behind it.

Most people who rant about what "social science" says about the universe and how it should be are sophomoric thinkers who don't know what the "science" part of social science is. The tragedy is that they are what the rest of society expects social science to be about, to rant about morality of this or that mode of politics, and not engage in hard headed analysis based on logic and evidence.

[Apr 10, 2018] Trump says the US will be pulling out of Syria and a week later White helmets spread diinforation about Assad poisoning civil population in Douma and Trump believe this propaganda calls Assad an animal and blames Putin.

Apr 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

chunga Sun, 04/08/2018 - 12:37 Permalink

The context of the entire Russia mania is ludicrous and the fake news is so ridiculous that war must be close.

A) Congress votes unanimously to sanction Russia for tampering the election by hacking and everybody in DC makes believe they've never heard of the dead staffer.

B) Putin decides to poison some guy right before their election using a special poison only Russia has. Their involvement in the "investiagtion" is forbidden,

C) The maverick outsider says the US will be pulling out of Syria and ~ a week later Assad decides to shoot chemicals at people like no one will ever find out. Trump calls Assad an animal and blames Putin.

There are a few possibilities. Trump could truly be a dotard moron and believe this shit or he's being strong-armed.

It's either that or some sort of wacko plan. Even the most ardent deplorables are having a hard time with this.

Griffin -> chunga Sun, 04/08/2018 - 18:20 Permalink

First reports about Syria chemical attack said at least 150 killed, according to white helmets. Shortly there after the number falls to 70.

https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/8amk7l/150_dead_in_syria_ga

[Apr 10, 2018] The "Russian" Poisoning of the Skirpals In Context

Notable quotes:
"... U.S. government documents declassified in October 2017 admitted that a very high-level 1962 meeting of U.S. government officials – separate from the Joint Chiefs of Staff – also discussed: The possibility of U.S. manufacture or acquisition of Soviet aircraft . There is a possibility that such aircraft could be used in a deception operation designed to confuse enemy planes in the air, to launch a surprise attack against enemy installations or in a provocation operation in which Soviet aircraft would appear to attack U.S. or friendly installations in order to provide an excuse for U.S. intervention. ..."
Apr 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Unless you've been living under a rock, by now you know that the British government falsely claimed that irrefutable evidence proved that the Russian government was behind the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter using a "Novichok" nerve agent.

In response, the UK and US carried out the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats in history.

Now that the wheels have come off this farce, it is interesting to note previous examples of the West falsely blaming Russia for bad acts.

Official German intelligence service documents show that, in 1994, the German intelligence services planted (original German ) plutonium on an airplane coming from Russia, as a way to frame Russia for exporting dangerous radioactive materials which could end up in the hands of terrorists and criminals.

This frame-up job was so successful at whipping up fear that it got German Chancellor Kohl re-elected, and the U.S. used it as an excuse to "help" secure Russia's nuclear facilities, as a way to get access to Russian nuclear secrets.

While everyone "knows" that the Kremlin poisoned Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko with radioactive polonium, a very high-level French counterterrorism official, Paul Barril, alleges that French, US and UK intelligence worked together to kill Litvinenko and to frame Russia: And see this .

U.S. government documents declassified in October 2017 admitted that a very high-level 1962 meeting of U.S. government officials – separate from the Joint Chiefs of Staff – also discussed: The possibility of U.S. manufacture or acquisition of Soviet aircraft . There is a possibility that such aircraft could be used in a deception operation designed to confuse enemy planes in the air, to launch a surprise attack against enemy installations or in a provocation operation in which Soviet aircraft would appear to attack U.S. or friendly installations in order to provide an excuse for U.S. intervention.

Newsweek ran an article headlined (all caps in original Newsweek title):

U.S. GOVERNMENT PLANNED FALSE FLAG ATTACKS TO START WAR WITH SOVIET UNION, JFK DOCUMENTS SHOW

The article notes:

The U.S. government once wanted to plan false flag attacks with Soviet aircraft to justify war with the USSR or its allies, newly declassified documents surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy show.

***

False flag attacks are covert operations that make it look like an attack was carried out by another group than the group that actually carried them out.

Indeed, falsely blaming other countries for terrorism or violence is the oldest way to create a "justification" for war.

Update: Why the Russian Double-Agent Skripal Could Not Have Been Poisoned with "Novichok"

Umh Sun, 04/08/2018 - 08:58 Permalink

The governments have certainly learned how to mess with the thinking gear of people. I spent most of my life working with inanimate objects not spending much time figuring out how people think. Most of the people that I did try to figure out were personally known to me. It was only in the last few years of my career that I paid any real attention to how people are manipulated. I knew people were easily manipulate for years, just think about how the war in Iraq in 2003 was so popular amoung most people.

are we there yet -> DuneCreature Sun, 04/08/2018 - 17:56 Permalink

Hi, I am from the government. I am here to lie to you. I have so many lies on top of other lies that sometimes they are true. Even the government has lost track. I am not sure if even MIC or Israel knows anymore.

[Apr 09, 2018] It remains unclear if US neocons staged Dauma provocation to prevent the US troops withdraval annonced by Trump

Apr 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

HopefulCynical -> Enoughalready Mon, 04/09/2018 - 07:56 Permalink

Someone didn't RTFA: " President Trump recently announced his intention to pull US troops out of Syria - although the neocons that now dominate the Trump national security team have been aghast at such a suggestion, and have managed to convince the president to slow-roll this. It remains unclear if they staged the false flag chemical attack in Syria with the help of Israel, or on their own. "

[Apr 09, 2018] Israel Launched Deadly Airstrike Against Syrian Airbase

Apr 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Despite President Trump adopting his harshest rhetoric yet to condemn Russia and the government of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad for an alleged chemical attack in rebel-held eastern Ghouta, a missile strike carried out overnight on a Syrian airfield was not the US's doing.

Instead, Russia and Syria have accused Israel of carrying out the strike on Syria's T-4 airfield, situated about halfway between Homs (Syria's third-largest city) and Palmyra (famously the site of ancient ruins). RT reports that two Israeli F-15 jets fired eight guided missiles at the airfield from Lebanese airspace. The jets never entered Syria.

Of these, Syrian air defenses intercepted five. The attack left roughly 14 people dead, including Iranians and Syrians, the Associated Press reported.

Russia and the Syrian military blamed Israel for a pre-dawn missile attack Monday on a major air base in central Syria , saying Israeli fighter jets launched the missiles from Lebanon's air space. A war-monitoring group said the airstrikes killed 14 people, including Iranians active in Syria.

Russia's Defense Ministry said two Israeli aircraft targeted the T4 air base in Homs province, firing eight missiles. It said Syria shot down five of them while the other three landed in the western part of the base. Syrian state TV quoted an unnamed military official as saying that Israeli F-15 warplanes fired several missiles at T4. It gave no further details.

Israel's foreign ministry had no comment when asked about the accusations.

Since 2012, Israel has struck inside Syria more than 100 times, mostly targeting suspected weapons' convoys destined for the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which has been fighting alongside Syrian government forces.

Most recently, Israel hit the same T4 base in February, after it said an Iranian drone that had violated Israeli airspace took off from the base. The base, which was used as a launching pad for counter offensive attacks against Islamic State militants who were at one point stationed close by, is near the Shayrat air base, which was targeted by U.S. missiles last year in response to a chemical weapons attack.

Monday's missile attack came hours after President Donald Trump warned there would be a "big price to pay" after a suspected poison gas attack Saturday on the last remaining foothold for Syrian rebels in the eastern suburbs of Damascus. At least 40 people were killed in that assault, including families found in their homes and shelters, opposition activists and local rescuers said.

Eight missiles were launched by two Israeli Air Force F-15 jets at the T-4 airfield located about halfway between Homs and the ancient city of Palmyra. Israel previously launched a strike against the base back in February after an Iranian drone ventured into Israeli airspace, provoking an alarmed response.

This isn't Israel's first unprovoked attack on a Syrian military installation: most recently, Israel launched an attack against a government installation near Damascus almost exactly two months ago. Before that, the Israelis launched another unprovoked attack back in September.

Lebanon's Al-Mayadeen reported Monday that Israeli reconnaissance aircraft had been spotted close to the border with Syria during the attack. The missiles crossed Lebanese airspace over Keserwan and Bekaa before heading toward Syria.

France, which we had initially suspected might be behind the attack, along with Israel...
While the US was quick to pin the chemical attack in Ghouta - the last rebel stronghold in what's considered suburban Damascus - on Russia and Assad, the US jumped to a similar conclusion a year ago when Trump authorized a fusillade of tomahawk missiles to strike a Syrian airbase. It was later learned that the US had no proof to suggest that attack was orchestrated by Assad's government.

As for Israel's desire to provoke another regional war, it is understandable in light of growing Iranian influence on its border, while President Trump recently announced his intention to pull US troops out of Syria - although the neocons that now dominate the Trump national security team have been aghast at such a suggestion, and have managed to convince the president to slow-roll this. It remains unclear if they staged the false flag chemical attack in Syria with the help of Israel, or on their own.

Meanwhile, the Guardian says the IDF views the chaos in the West Wing as the latest sign that it must take matters into its own hands, and not wait for explicit US approval. However, with a UN Security Council meeting scheduled for Monday over recent events in Syria, we now wait to see what kind of response Russia and Assad will decide on, and how Moscow will respond to this provocation by Netanyahu, who has been friendly - at least superficially - with Putin in recent months.


topspinslicer -> J. Peasemold G Mon, 04/09/2018 - 07:30 Permalink

The jews will use madeline Albright reasoning of we had to kill the Syrian children to protect the Syrian children

EuroPox -> topspinslicer Mon, 04/09/2018 - 07:36 Permalink

The story is now getting widely confirmed. Looks like it was actually 4 jets not 2:

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/breaking-lebanese-military-confirm

2 for the attack and 2 to provide countermeasure support.

The Russian Defense Ministry has also said that medics in Douma received no patients with signs of chemical poisoning: