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Neoliberalism

 The ideology that dare not speak it's name is actually a New, More Dangerous, Form of Corporatism

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Skepticism and Pseudoscience  > Who Rules America > Neoliberal Brainwashing

News An introduction to Neoliberalism Recommended books Recommended Links Neoliberalism war on organized labor Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich Globalization of Financial Flows
Brexit as the start of the reversal of neoliberal globalization Neoliberal rationality Neoliberal "New Class" as variant of Soviet Nomenklatura Neoliberalism and Christianity Key Myths of Neoliberalism Ayn Rand and her Objectivism Cult Anti-globalization movement
Zombie state of neoliberalism and coming collapse of neoliberalism Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism  Over-consumption of Luxury Goods as Market Failure Definitions of neoliberalism Neoliberal Brainwashing Neoclassical Pseudo Theories  US Presidential Elections of 2016 as a referendum on neoliberal globalization
Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neocons New American Militarism Casino Capitalism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism War is Racket Inverted Totalitarism
Financial Crisis of 2008 as the Crisis of Neoliberalism and shift to neo-fascism Neoliberal corruption Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy Corruption of Regulators "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries   Deconstructing neoliberalism's definition of 'freedom' Resurgence of neofascism as reaction on crisis of neoliberalism and neoliberal globalization
Alternatives to Neo-liberalism Elite Theory Compradors Fifth column Color revolutions  Key Myths of Neoliberalism Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"
If Corporations Are People, They Are Psychopaths IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Gangster Capitalism Neoliberalism as a Cause of Structural Unemployment in the USA Neoliberalism and inequality Blaming poor and neoliberalism laziness dogma Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime
Peak Cheap Energy and Oil Price Slump The Deep State Predator state Disaster capitalism Harvard Mafia Small government smoke screen Super Capitalism as Imperialism
The Great Transformation Monetarism fiasco Neoliberalism and Christianity Republican Economic Policy  In Goldman Sachs we trust: classic example of regulatory capture by financial system hackers Ronald Reagan: modern prophet of profligacy Milton Friedman -- the hired gun for Deification of Market
Libertarian Philosophy Media domination strategy Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few YouTube on neoliberalism History of neoliberalism Humor Etc


Even though I agreed with him, I warned that whenever someone tried to raise the issue, he or she was accused of fomenting class warfare. “There’s class warfare, all right, "Mr. Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning."

- New York Times

Make no mistake, the neo-Liberal fuckers are just as bad as the Stalinists

May '68 and its Afterlives [Review]

GB: once a great cultured nation, now a poorly-educated gangster mafia state, ruled by oligarchs and inhabited by soccer hooligans

The Kremlin Stooge

Greatly simplifying Neoliberalism = Casino Capitalism = "Transnational elites, Unite!"  It is a neo-Trotskyism with the word "proletarians" substituted by the word "elites"  in famous  slogan  "Proletarians of all countries, Unite!" and permanent "Color revolutions" as a variation and enhancement of Trotsky idea of  "Permanent revolution"

Neoliberalism is a very interesting social system which by-and-large defeated and replaced both New Deal capitalism and socialism (and facilitated the dissolution of the USSR by buying out Soviet nomenklatura, including KGB brass). It is the only social system in which the name of the system is somehow is prohibited by MSM to mention.  In this system, like under Stalin's version of socialism, the state play the leading role in enforcing the social system upon the people, brainwashing them with wall-to-wall 24 x 7 USSR-style propaganda an, if necessary, by state violence (As Sheldon Wolin mentioned neoliberalism try  to use violence selectively, as overuse of state violence undermines the social system, see  Inverted Totalitarism).

Instead of regulating predatory tendencies  of capitalism like under New Deal, state became just a corrupt policeman that serve large corporations and against the people. In this sense any neoliberal country is to certain extent is an "occupied country" and the neoliberal regime is occupying regime, much like Bolsheviks (with their theocratic state) were in USSR space. Much like during Robber barons era, when the state helped to squash West Virginia miner upraising in 1912-21.

The neoliberal state justifies its decisions, policies and rules in terms that are commensurable with the logic of markets. Neoliberalism might therefore be defined as the elevation of market-based principles and techniques of evaluation to the level of state-endorsed norms. To the level of a secular religion in which "market" and "competition" are new deities.

Neoliberalism radically transforms welfare state. The idea of welfare is not abolished. But under neoliberalism only corporations are desirable welfare recipients and the bigger they are, the more handouts they suck up.

In labor relations  neoliberal pursue a staunch anti-unit stance. Labor is atomized, unions suppressed and individuals put on the market "naked" on conditions dictated by employees. Which means squeezing goo paying job in favor of terms and contractors, outsourcing and other anti--labor measure designed to preserve falling profitability in the market condition characterized by falling consumer demand (due to lower standard of living for the majority of population). And this is done at any cost. Even at the cost of human life. That situation gave rise to the term "naked capitalism". 

Neoliberalism sees competition as the defining characteristic of human relations. that gave a rise of verious (often stupid) metrics and cult of "performance reviews". It redefines citizens as consumers, who exercise they political power mainly buying and selling, the process which supposedly rewards merit (producing market winners) and punishes inefficiency. It postulates a primitive (and wrong)  dogma that “the market” always delivers benefits that are superior and could never be achieved by planning. Which is definitely untrue for military contractors. In a way "market" under neoliberalism is a kind of  "all powerful deity". Which makes neoliberalism a variation of a secular religion (compare with "God building" faction of Bolsheviks Party which included such prominent figures as Lynacharsky). As such neoliberalism, like Marxism before, is very hostile to Christianity. And while Marxism absolutize the power of human compassion and redefines paradise as a social system that supposedly can be built on Earth (communism), neoliberalism denigrates the power of human compassion and enforces "greed is good" and "homo homini lupus est" morale. Which turns into law of jungle for lower and middle class. In this sense it is more like a branch of Satanism, with greed as a virtue ("Greed is good"), speculation as a noble activity (while according to Chris Hedges "Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged." )  and the slogan "Homo homini lupus est" as one of the key Commandments.  See Neoliberalism and Christianity

This social system can be viewed as dialectical denial of socialism and represents the other extreme in classic triad "Thesis, antithesis, synthesis". We do not know yet what the synthesis will be like, but neoliberalism as a social system after 2008 shows definite cracks. Much like the USSR after the WWII when people serving in Red Army discovered what the standard of living was in Central and Western European workers and start to understand that "state socialism" as practiced in the USSR can't deliver promise high standard of living.

And that helped decimated communist propaganda once and for all, although Bolshevism as a social system still was around for another 40 years or so. Like Bolshevism before it, neoliberalism proved to be unstable social system. A utopian system which is unable to deliver promised benefits to the common people, and which destabilizes capitalism in comparison with  New Deal capitalism, producing periodic crisis with increasing severity. The first of such crisis was "savings and loans" crisis, followed by dot com bubble burst, and the financial  crisis in 2008 which led to the Great Recession. 

In 2008 the large banks, which are the core of neoliberal economics, were saved from facing consequences of their  "transgressions" only by massive state intervention. All powerful market was unable to save those sick puppies. The consequences of 2008 crisis did buried neoliberal ideology which from this point looks like cruel and primitive hypocrisy designed to restore the power of financial oligarchy to the level the latter enjoyed in 1930th.   In 2016 it led to the election of Trump who managed to defeat establishment candidate, neocon warmonger Hillary Clinton despite all the efforts of the neoliberal/neocon establishment to derail him.  Trump pursues the version of neoliberalism which can be called "bastard neoliberalism" -- neoliberalism limited to the USA with implicit  rejection of globalization (or at least large part of it).  Which makes Trump_vs_deep_state somewhat similar to Stalinism. Unlike Trotsky Stalin did not believed in the "World  Revolution" mantra.

In the absence of alternatives neoliberalism managed somewhat recover after 2008 debacle, and even successfully counterattacked in some LA and European countries (Argentina, Brazil, Greece),  but the Great Recession still left of huge and ugly scar on the neoliberal face. In any case glory days of triumphal march of neoliberalism all over globe are over.

Also the lowering of the standard of living of the  middle class is no longer possible to hide ("it 's not enough cookies for everbody"). Outsourcing and offshoring of manufacturing in the  USA -- the citadel of neoliberalism led to epidemic of opiod abuse similar to epidemic of alcoholism among workers in the late USSR.

Impoverishment of lower 20% of the society (those who have so called McJobs) reached the level when we can talk about a third world country within the USA.

All those factors created pre-conditions for a sharp rise of far right nationalism.  In a way neoliberalism creates far right  nationalism splash much like  Gilded Age and the maker crash of Sept 4, 1929 capitalism created precondition for the rise of national socialism. Reading NDSAP 25 points program (adopted in 1920) we can instaltly feel that many problem that exited then are now replayed on the new level.  After approximately 40 years of global dominance is shows cracks. Backlash against neoliberal globalization became strong enough to provide upsets, albeit temporary, which demonstrated itself in Brexit, and election of Trump. Who, despite his election-time claims to be a fighter against neoliberal globalization, for restoration of local jobs, and against the wars for expanding neoliberal empire, folded in two-or three months  after the inauguration.  

Like Soviet version of Communism before it,  Neoliberalism failed to meet its promises of rising standard of living  (and the key idea of justifying of raising of inequality and redistribution of wealth up under neoliberalism was "rising water lifts all boats" mantra, or as Kenneth Galbraith famously defined it  “Trickle-down theory - the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows.” ). We can stress again, that the current opiod epidemics in the USA is not that different from epidemics of alcoholism in the USSR under Brezhnev's "well developed socialism".  It is important to understand that under neoliberalism the key priority is the maintenance of global neoliberal empire for the benefits of multinationals (with the associated idea of Global Neoliberal Revolution  which makes is similar to Trotskyism).  Opening new markets is vital for the interest of transnational corporations and that means that the USA government supports the war for neoliberal empire explosion at the expense of interests of regular US citizens. Outsourcing and atomization of the US workforce (squeezing unions) means that neoliberal government has an  adversarial attitude towards its common citizenry. They are, by definition, the second class citizens (Undermensch or as Hillary Clinton elegantly coined it "basket of deplorables" ) .  While neoliberal themselves ("creative class") are new Ubermench and like old aristocracy are above the law.  So the idea Implemented in Soviet nomenklatura is now replayed on a new level.

As it evolved with time, neoliberalism is a somewhat  fuzzy concept ( much like Bolshevism evolved from Leninism to Stalinism and then to Brezhnev's socialism  ). In various countries it can morph into quite different "regimes", despite the common "market fundamentalism" core.  The simplest and pretty precise way to define is is to view it as "socialism for the rich, feudalism for the poor" or, more correctly "Trotskyism for the rich" ("Elites of all countries unite !"  instead of “Proletarians of all countries, Unite! ...).  So Stalins's idea of socialism in a single country mutated into "socialism for the upper strata of population and corporations, especially transnationals".

In this sense neoliberals are as "internationalists" as communists were at their time, and may be even more. Thhe term "globalism" is commonly used instead of "internationalism".  And like "Communist International", the  "Neoliberal International" accepts the elite from any country, but only a very narrow strata of the elite and only on a certain conditions, with the leading role reserved for the USA elite and part of G7 elite.  Much like in Comintern the role of Moscow as a leader was something that can't be even discussed.  Only taken for granted.  Although spying capabilities of "Neoliberal International" via "five eyes" are tremendously more powerful then the rudimentary capabilities of Comintern and the technology of staging "color revolutions" is more polished then Trotskyite approach to staging proletarian revolutions.

Neoliberals also have more money and that matters.  The allow to create a powerful "fifth column" in countries other  then G7 who are on the receiving end of neoliberal expropriation of wealth to the top countries of Neoliberal International.  Like in Comintern, "all pigs are created equal, but some pigs are more equal then others."

The key idea of obtaining power by training the cadre of "professional revolutionaries" introduced by social-democratic parties and, especially, Bolsheviks  are replaced with no less effective the network of neoliberal think tanks. In other words neoliberalism borrowed and perverted almost all major ideas of social-democratic parties. The party core typical for Bolsheviks, and instrumental to the success of their coup d'état in October 1917 against Provisional government by Kerensky was essentially replaced by the network of thinktanks that Koch and other billionaires have sponsored. Monte Perelin society (the initial neoliberal think tank)  explicitly tried to adapt successful idea of western social democratic parties and Bolsheviks to neoliberal doctrine. One such "appropriations" is the level of secrecy and existence of "underground" part of the party along with "legal" parliamentary faction (a set of honorable (in a sense, what hey such politicians for example in the USA congress (honorable politician is the one who after he was bought stays bought) politicians are just a tip of the iceberg), . Some important work was also done by renegade Trotskyites in the USA (aka neoconservatives, especially by James Burnham as well as staunch neoliberals like James Buchanan (The Guardian)

The papers Nancy MacLean discovered show that Buchanan saw stealth as crucial. He told his collaborators that “conspiratorial secrecy is at all times essential”. Instead of revealing their ultimate destination, they would proceed by incremental steps. For example, in seeking to destroy the social security system, they would claim to be saving it, arguing that it would fail without a series of radical “reforms”... Gradually they would build a [well-paid] “counter-intelligentsia”, allied to a “vast network of political power” that would become the new establishment.

It also created it's own Neoliberal newspeak  and a set of myths ("greed is good", "invisible hand", "the efficient markets hypothesis", "rational expectations scam", Shareholder value scam, supply side voodoo aka "rising tide lifts all boats", etc).  In "neoliberal newspeak" the term "freedom" is used as the excuse for ripping down public protections on behalf of the very rich.  For example "free market" means the market free from any coercion by the state (read "free from regulations") which makes it the corporate jungle where the most powerful corporation dictate the rules of the game and eat alive small fish with complete impunity.  In no way neoliberal "free market" is fair.  Actually neoliberals try to avoid to discuss the issue of farness of the market. This is anathema for them. As such neoliberalism has distinct Social Darwinism flavor and  enforces scapegoating and victimization of poor and unemployed

It facilitates over-consumption and getting into the debt both on the country (neo-colonialism)  and on the individual workers (debt-slavery) levels, and has sophisticated mechanisms  of  enforcing this situation on unsuspecting population (IMF, World banks on the level of the countries), credit card companies, mortgages, student debt on individual level. And a worker with a large debt is, essentially,  a debt-slave. Atomization (neoliberalism is openly and forcefully anti-union) and enslavement of the workforce is exactly what neoliberalism is about: recreation of the plantation economy on a new technological and social levels. Not that unions are without problems in their own right, but crushing the union is the goal of every neoliberal government starting with Thatcher and Reagan. The same model that is depicted in famous song  Sixteen Tons. With replacement  of the company store debt and private corporate currencies with credit card debt. 

Like Trotskyism it is pretty militaristic creed and the dream of global Communist empire led from Moscow was replaced by the dream of global neoliberal empire led by Washington.  Neocons in this sense is just a specific flavor of neoliberals --" neoliberals with the gun" as in Al Capone maxim "You Can Get Much Further with a Kind Word and a Gun than with a Kind Word Alone" ;-). This "institualized gangsterism" of the US neocons represents probably the greatest threat to the survival of modern civilization.  

Neoliberalism elevates of market-based principles and techniques of evaluation to the level of state-endorsed norms. The authority of the neoliberal state is heavily dependent on the authority of neoliberal economics (and economists). When this authority collapses the eventual collapse of neoliberalism is imminent. This is a classic "the castle built of sand story. "

Due to the size the introduction was moved to a separate page --  Neoliberalism: an Introduction


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(Research materials to the paper Neoliberalism: an Introduction)

Neoliberalism Bulletin, 2017 Neoliberalism Bulletin, 2016 Neoliberalism Bulletin, 2015 Neoliberalism Bulletin, 2014 Neoliberalism Bulletin, 2013 Neoliberalism Bulletin, 2011 Neoliberalism Bulletin 2009 Neoliberalism Bulletin 2008

[Apr 21, 2018] The vast majority of supposed 'NGO's' are fronts for jihadists 'rebels' who want an Islamist state

NGO now are favorite cover of intelligence agencies.
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

MartinSilenus -> imperium3 , 13 Apr 2018 14:13

"Remarkable how Saddam Hussein gassing Iranian troops by the thousand, while world powers helped him do it and covered for him at the UN is treated as a minor exception to non-use of chemical"

He also used poison gas to kill thousands of his own Kurdish civilians, the Reagan administration was in many ways a moral cesspit. They knew exactly what he was doing. A spokesman said the Iranians - who never used Chemical Weapons on principle - used the poison gas, on Iraqi Kurds. I think Reagan never really understood this, that is my assessment of his character, he saw what reality he wanted to see, but nothing else.

LiviaDrusilla -> Bangorstu , 13 Apr 2018 14:12
There has been no independently gathered or assessed medical evidence. None.

What is this 'NGO' you speak of? The vast majority of supposed 'NGO's' are fronts for jihadists 'rebels' who want an Islamist state.

wryape , 13 Apr 2018 14:12
" Back then the death toll in Syria stood at around 100,000. More than 400,000 have died since that day. The proof is there if we can bear to look at it. Inaction, too, can be deadly"

And how many died after the war was "won" in Iraq. And how many would have died trying to remove assad. Toppling assad would almost certainly not have brought peace. Your analysis is simplistic and blinkered and definately doesn't contain any proof of anything. Sometimes there's just not a solution. The current proposed bombing campaign smacks of somethingmustbedoneism. Those responsible for the gas attacks must face justice. But it might have to be further down the line.

NHSmonami -> Laurence Bury , 13 Apr 2018 14:12
Western countries have been guilty of mudering hundreds of thousands in starting Middle East wars.

[Apr 21, 2018] Neoliberal media and goverment talking points

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

creelo -> sejong , 13 Apr 2018 14:57

We're now in a strange position where the media is actually behind the government. May is doubtful about bombing because she's a politician and so has to constantly monitor her popularity, but the only people left still writing in 'newspapers' are still programmed to want war and bombing because it always used to sell.

"Since you're here..."

HarrytheHawk -> JackDowland , 13 Apr 2018 14:56
'There is overwhelming evidence...'

Where?

Let's see it.

You might want to show it to James Mattis while you're at it as he doesn't seem to be willing to settle for accusations.

Jazzfunk23 , 13 Apr 2018 14:56
The UN duly investigated and in October concluded unambiguously that the Assad regime had used sarin gas.

You omitted to mention that the same report also concludes that ISIL deployed Sulphur Mustard, isn't this the same gas that France claims to have evidence regarding the recent incident?

Besides, how much evidence do we need? Even before Douma, Assad's use of chemical weapons had been documented seven times this year alone.

The link you provided to back-up this claim contains no substantiative evidence to attribute those incidents to Assad.

Clearly both sides in this conflict appear to have used chemical weapons, making assumptions or false accusations of blame at this stage is incredibly dangerous. I'm in total agreement with Jeremy Corbyn, we need a solid investigation on which the international community can act. Any potential escalation of this awful conflict must be avoided at all costs, particularly when it involves a nuclear armed superstate, considering the on-going humaitarian crisis in Syria and how it has already affected the world. Furthermore we must not allow a cabinet of a minority government to make any final decisions on the UK involvement in further militrary action, our elected representatives MUST be allowed to debate and decide a course of action, otherwise our democracy is in a far worse state than I could have possibly imagined.

thatotherbloke , 13 Apr 2018 14:54
Theresa May leads a minority government propped up by an unlawful bung to a right wing extremist group. May, her Cabinet of half wits and her self serving party have a mandate for sweet FA, and that includes killing people in our name.
sejong , 13 Apr 2018 14:52
MSM has gone full neocon on Syria.

Bomb like it's 2003.

psoptim11 , 13 Apr 2018 14:52
There is massive, overwhelming opposition in the UK to May's attempt to join Trump & Macron in bombing Syria and to by-passing our democratic parliament, but who would have thought it?

The media are generally presenting Theresa May with a free ride to cause death and destruction on a massive scale. Claiming she's joining an international coalition (even though it consists of only 2 other countries) and having the backing of the Cabinet and therefore possessing the authority to go to war.

The reality is that she's virtually politically isolated and working in defiance of the British people. Labour - and most other opposition parties, including the Lib Dems, SNP, Plaid, and the Greens are totally against military intervention and calling for a full, democratic debate in Parliament.

Then the Conservative Party itself is bitterly divided over the issue.

And only 22% of British people would support the war effort, according to a poll in the Times.

The timing is being forced by Donald Trump and the US, so where's the substance in the Conservative claim that they're 'taking back control'?

And then any intervention is likely to cost billions, so what about The Deficit? And what about that magic money tree?

Moreover, the Government maintain we cannot allow such inhumanity in Syria to go unchallenged. So where is the outcry at defenceless citizens being killed in Gaza? And in Yemen? And in Saudi Arabia? What accounts for the blatant double standards? What are they not telling us?

And why does the British Goverment justicfy selling all these lethal and inhumance weapons to these countries in the first place?

Where is the media reminding the Government of what happened in Iraq, in Libya and in Afghanistan?, whenever we intervened?

Where is the media remembering the findings of the Chilcott Report?

If this was Labour nationalising the railways or expropriating land in an emergency bill to launch a massive house-building programme, the BBC and mass media would quote every adversary and critic they could muster and express total outrage at any attempt to by-pass Parliament.

The Syrian conflict is a hugely complex quagmire and we enter it at our peril. We need a much more objective Press to scrutinise Government policy, before this lunacy unravels and triggers a seriously calamitous hot war between the Superpowers, from which we'd all be losers.

Jeremy Corbyn is often mocked and scorned by the media for his measured reactions, but his call for the UK to use its influence to defuse tensions makes him one of the only responsible and mature political leaders around right now!!

dumbwaiter , 13 Apr 2018 14:52
The government and the BBC have been using the words "suspected chemical attack" in Syria and that Russia is "highly likely" to be responsible for the Salisbury affair.

Now if that isn't official doubt I don't know what is.

Still May happy to drop bombs on this basis without parliamentary approval (if Donald says so that is)!

[Apr 21, 2018] OK - its the We Cannot Do Nothing, Therefore We Must Do Something, Therefore We Must Bomb Them argument.

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

bubmachine , 13 Apr 2018 14:39

OK - its the We Cannot Do Nothing, Therefore We Must Do Something, Therefore We Must Bomb Them argument.

Convinced? No.

DZ76 , 13 Apr 2018 14:39
This is pathetic. The mouthpieces of the British government (Guardian and BBC) have spent the last week on a steady pendulum of demanding war, shitting themselves, then when the rhetoric calms down a bit, demanding war again. The U.K., its security agencies and its house-trained media are destabilising the world.

[Apr 21, 2018] How about some basic honesty about the role the US and it's allies have played in fostering and continue if this civil war

Notable quotes:
"... How about some basic honesty about the role the US and it's allies have played in fostering and continue if this civil war. That, coupled by a complete retreat of US imperial neoliberal ambitions across the entire region, you know, might just be incredibly effective ..."
"... Are we seriously going to pretend we and our allies haven't provided financial, technological, diplomatic, political and military support to this extremely heterogenous group of rebels, without which the whole uprising (a legitimate uprising, sure, but certainly not a viable one) would have been over in a few months, without any of the atrocities, tragedies and destruction of the past 6 years? ..."
"... For Europe and the US to have any credibility the double standards applied has to come to an end ..."
"... Sorry but the arguments in the article don't hold water. Reeks of the longstanding agenda of the war profiteers and the Clinton gang to invade this country. On hypocritical reasons. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

HoublaHoubla , 13 Apr 2018 14:44

Here's an idea Jonathan for another solution. How about some basic honesty about the role the US and it's allies have played in fostering and continue if this civil war. That, coupled by a complete retreat of US imperial neoliberal ambitions across the entire region, you know, might just be incredibly effective
notndmushroom , 13 Apr 2018 14:42

But nor can we watch the brutal dictator slaughter his own people

Why not? We're watching Israelis shoot and kill unarmed Palestinians, we're watching our favourite Saudis bomb and kill Yemeni civilians, we're watching our Nobel-winning inspirational Myanmar leader oversee the persecution, massacre and forced displacement of an entire people, we're watching the North Korean leader oppress and starve his people while stepping closer to a nuclear war against a currently volatile superpower, we're watching the Philipino head of state launching a literal war against low-level drug dealers and junkies, we're watching several central Asian dictators imprison and torture dissidents and oppress their people while robbing them of their national wealth, we're watching the Chinese and Russian leaders do pretty much the same, we're watching the Turkish leader kidnap dissidents from EU countries, imprison thousands of alleged dissidents and invade a neighbouring country to fight against part of said countries' inhabitants, we're watching corrupt politicians, media and judges completing the final touches of a coup in the fifth largest country in the world, and then there's Africa, which is a whole other chapter.

What specifically is it about Syria that made you decide that yeah, all these things are pretty bad, but that's the one thing we really have to do something about?

Perhaps that was why, five years ago, the House of Commons voted to leave the Assad regime untouched. Back then the death toll in Syria stood at around 100,000. More than 400,000 have died since that day. The proof is there if we can bear to look at it. Inaction, too, can be deadly.

Inaction? Really? Are we seriously going to pretend we and our allies haven't provided financial, technological, diplomatic, political and military support to this extremely heterogenous group of rebels, without which the whole uprising (a legitimate uprising, sure, but certainly not a viable one) would have been over in a few months, without any of the atrocities, tragedies and destruction of the past 6 years?

fishandart , 13 Apr 2018 14:42
For Europe and the US to have any credibility the double standards applied has to come to an end. Israel has to comply with UN resolutions and the US has to stop using its veto to block those resolutions that seek to make Israel comply to international standards of acceptable behaviour.

If we can't do that we can forget getting Assad or Putin or anyone else to respect anything we have to say. As it stands the so called West has no moral authority in the Middle East.

Ziontrain , 13 Apr 2018 14:41

But nor can we watch the brutal dictator slaughter his own people

Why is this supposed slaughter such an imperative when we seem to approve of and even profit from selling weapons to slaughters elsewhere in the region

Sorry but the arguments in the article don't hold water. Reeks of the longstanding agenda of the war profiteers and the Clinton gang to invade this country. On hypocritical reasons.

[Apr 21, 2018] Pay for what? Be President of a country marked out for regime change by the West and successfully managing to fight off the West's proxy armies of terrorists over seven years in defence of that country?

Notable quotes:
"... Conveniently missing from this short history of Syria: That the US was actually heavily involved using the CIA in getting rid of Assad. Had that not been the case, perhaps there would have been no prolonged civil war. ..."
"... Oh, I know challenging the holy West and its exceptional leading nation is verboten nowadays, but can we at least be honest about what is really going on today? Syria is being punished for not joining the coalition of the willing in 2003 by being subjected to the same illegal war by false claim as Iraq was then. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

MightyBuccaneer , 13 Apr 2018 14:14

Conveniently missing from this short history of Syria: That the US was actually heavily involved using the CIA in getting rid of Assad. Had that not been the case, perhaps there would have been no prolonged civil war.

It would be just another dictator, the likes of which can be found all over the world without columnists noticing it.

Strangely though, all that is deplored is that the US didn't do even more. That they didn't also do a full blown invasion.

NewWorldOutOfOrder , 13 Apr 2018 14:14
"Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship

Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

– Hermann Goering (as told to Gustav Gilbert during the Nuremberg trials)

Briar , 13 Apr 2018 14:14
Pay for what? Be President of a country marked out for regime change by the West and successfully managing to fight off the West's proxy armies of terrorists over seven years in defence of that country?

Oh, I know challenging the holy West and its exceptional leading nation is verboten nowadays, but can we at least be honest about what is really going on today? Syria is being punished for not joining the coalition of the willing in 2003 by being subjected to the same illegal war by false claim as Iraq was then.

solidstae , 13 Apr 2018 14:14
Assad has always acted in this like any other authoritarian government anywhere in the Middle East would, fighting a civil war. Israel is just as ruthless when facing a threat to its authority.

This mess was financed, planned, egged on and armed by the U.S., it's junior partners and its clients in Turkey and the Gulf. And it goes back years before the rebellion against Assad. The Wahabbi rebels have been given billions in cash, arms and training, funneled through Turkey and the Gulf states.

Now we have Washington, London and Paris shrieking outrage and promising revenge against a strongman they unleashed as the result of yet another regime change adventure. And then there's the incredible hypocrisy and cynicism of using Al-Qaeda affiliated actors to do it.

Assad's wartime iteration, like ISIS, is the result of American greed, ambition, pride and the old imperialist bent for aggression as a way of imposing its geopolitical will.

[Apr 21, 2018] These children are not the casualties of a gas attack

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

gragor , 13 Apr 2018 13:48

Watch the Unbearable video gain. The children are no foaming at the mouth, their colouration is not cyanotic, they do not appear to be in respiratory distress. The premise of the argument is not based on fact. These children are not the casualties of a gas attack. GROW UP and recognize the propaganda.
minutehands , 13 Apr 2018 13:38
The article takes a self-righteous moral high ground while calling for some vague affair of violence. I can't help but notice that these articles by people who pretend to be moderates and centrists have a habit of turning reality and morality on their head. It's dangerous and very Orwellian stuff.
entropyrules , 13 Apr 2018 13:44
The question that I struggle to answer is, "Are journalists like this actually duped by propaganda themselves, or are they knowingly part of the process of dissemination?"
What I do not struggle to see is that they are undoubtedly part of the prevailing neolib/neocon philosophy which we rapidly need to dismantle.
ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 13:36
Cui bono?

Who would gain by getting the US back on the ground in Syria?
Who would gain from Russia and the US coming into conflict?

Rogue elements in the US?
Israel certainly
ISIS terrorists?
Saudi Arabia?

[Apr 21, 2018] It's a tough old world and we are certainly capable of a Salisbury set-up and god knows what else in Syria.

Notable quotes:
"... It is perfectly possible that the British government manufactured the whole Salisbury thing. We are capable of just as much despicable behavior and murder as the next. ..."
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

wheelbarrow1 , 13 Apr 2018 14:37

Why is the prime minister of the United Kinkdom on the phone discussing whether or not to bomb a Sovereign country with the highly unstable, Donald Trump?

Can she not make up her own mind? Either she thinks it's the right thing to do or it isn't. Hopefully, the person on the other end of the phone was not Trump but someone with at least half a brain.

Proof, let's have some proof. Is that too much to ask? Apparently so. Russia is saying it's all a put up job, show us your facts. We are saying, don't be silly, we're British and besides, you may have done this sort of thing before.

It is perfectly possible that the British government manufactured the whole Salisbury thing. We are capable of just as much despicable behavior and murder as the next.

Part of the Great British act's of bravery and heroism in the second world war is the part played by women agents who were parachuted into France and helped organize local resistance groups. Odette Hallowes, Noor Inayat Khan and Violette Szabo are just a few of the many names but they are the best known. What is not generally know is that many agents when undergoing their training in the UK, were given information about the 'D' day landings, the approx time and place. They were then dropped into France into the hands of the waiting German army who captured and tortured and often executed them.

The double agent, who Winston Churchill met and fully approved of the plan was Henri Dericourt, an officer in the German army and our man on the ground in France. Dericourt organized the time and place for the drop off of the incoming agents, then told the Germans. The information about the 'D' day invasion time and place was false. The British fed the agents (only a small number) into German hands knowing they would be captured and the false information tortured out of them.

Source :- 'A Quiet Courage' Liane Jones.

It's a tough old world and we are certainly capable of a Salisbury set-up and god knows what else in Syria.

I_Wear_Socks , 13 Apr 2018 14:37
From The Guardian articles today that I have read on Syria, it makes absolutely clear that if you in any way question the narrative forwarded here, that you are a stupid conspiracy theorist in line with Richard Spencer and other far-right, American nutcases.

A more traditional form of argument to incline people to their way of thinking would be facts. But social pressure to conform and not be a conspiratorial idiot in line with the far-right obviously work better for most of their readers. My only surprise it that position hasn't been linked with Brexit.

ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 14:37
Did anyone see the massive canister that was shown on TV repeatedly that was supposed to have been air-dropped and smashed through the window of a house, landed on a bed and failed to go off.

The bed was in remarkable condition with just a few ruffled bedclothes considering it had been hit with a metal object weighing god knows what and dropped from a great height.

MartinSilenus -> ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 14:36
"More than 40 years after the US sprayed millions of litres of chemical agents to defoliate"

The Defoliant Agent Orange was used to kill jungles, resulting in light getting through to the dark jungle floors & a massive amount of low bush regrowing, making the finding of Vietcong fighters even harder!

It was sprayed even on American troops, it is a horrible stuff. Still compared to Chlorine poison gas, let alone nerve gases, it is much less terrible. Though the long term effects are pretty horrible.

"Some 45 million liters of the poisoned spray was Agent Orange, which contains the toxic compound dioxin"
http://theconversation.com/agent-orange-exposed-how-u-s-chemical-warfare-in-vietnam-unleashed-a-slow-moving-disaster-84572

120Daze , 13 Apr 2018 14:36
Who needs facts when you've got opinions? Non more hypocritical than the British. Its what you get when you lie and distort though a willing press, you get found out and then nobody believes anything you say.anymore. The white helmets are a western funded and founded organisation, they are NOT independent they are NOT volunteers, The UK the US and the Dutch fund them to the tune of over $40 million. They are a propaganda dispensing outlet. The press shouldn't report anything they release because it is utterly unable to substantiate ANY of it, there hasn't been a western journalist in these areas for over 4 years so why do the press expect us to believe anything they print? Combine this with the worst and most incompetent Govt this country has seen for decades and all you have is a massive distraction from massive domestic troubles which the same govt has no answers too.
LiviaDrusilla -> Bangorstu , 13 Apr 2018 14:36
LOL are you having a larf?

The same organisation that receives millions of quid in funding from USAID?

Whose 'executive director' used to work for USAID?

Who have campaigned for 'no fly zones' (ie US bombing)?

Who are affiliated to the Iranian terrorist group MEK?

Who only happen to run hospitals in 'rebel' held areas?

You have a strange idea of 'politically neutral'. Your 'NGO' are fighting for an Islamist state. Enjoy them.

Dominique2 , 13 Apr 2018 14:32
https://www.theguardian.com/world/shortcuts/2013/sep/01/winston-churchill-shocking-use-chemical-weapons

""I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes," [Winston Churchill] declared in one secret memorandum."

The current condemnation by the international community and international law is good and needs enforcement. But no virtue signalling where there is none.

CaptTroyTempest -> StoneRoses , 13 Apr 2018 14:27
But we're still awaiting evidence that a chemical attack has been carried out in Douma, aren't we? And if an attack was carried out, by whom. But before these essential points are verified, you feel that a targeted military response is justified. Are you equally keen for some targeted military response for the use of chemical weapons, namely white phosphorus, in Palestine by the Israaeli military? Unlike Douma, the use of these chemical weapons in the occupied territories by the IDF's personnel is well documented. But we haven't attacked them yet. Funny that.
CMYKilla , 13 Apr 2018 14:26
Instead of "chemicals" why not just firebomb them - you know like we did to entire cities full of women and children in WW2?

Hamburg 27 July 1943 - 46,000 civilians killed in a firestorm
Kassel 22 October 1943 - 9,000 civilians killed 24,000 houses destroyed in a firestorm
Darmstadt 11 September 1944 - 8,000 civilians killed in a firestorm
Dresden 13/14th February - 25,000 civilians killed in a firestorm

Obviously we were fighting Nazism and hadn't actually been invaded - and he is fighting Wahhabism and has had major cities overrun...

Maybe if Assad burnt people to death rather than gassing them we would make a statue of him outside Westminster like the one of Bomber Harris?

Tom1982 , 13 Apr 2018 14:24
Remember the tearful Kuwaiti nurse with her heartrending story of Iraqi troops tipping premature babies out of their incubators after the invasion in 1990? The story was published in pretty much every major Western newspaper, massively increased public support for military intervention............................and turned out to be total bullshit.

Is it too much too ask that we try a bit of collective critical thinking and wait for hard evidence before blundering into a military conflict with Assad; and potentially Putin?

BlutoTheBruto , 13 Apr 2018 14:21
Didn't General Mattis quietly admit at there was no evidence for the alleged Sarin attacks last year by Assad?

http://www.newsweek.com/now-mattis-admits-there-was-no-evidence-assad-using-poison-gas-his-people-801542

Hmmmm.... call me skeptical for not believing it this time around.

AwkwardSquad , 13 Apr 2018 14:19
Well, this is the sort of stuff that the Israelis would be gagging for. They want Assad neutralised and they are assisting ISIS terrorists on the Golan Heights. They tend to their wounded and send them back across the border to fight Assad. What better than to drag the Americans, Brits and French into the ring to finish him off. Job done eh?

Are you sure you are not promoting an Israeli agenda here Jonathan?

Incidentantally what did we in the west do when the Iraqis were gassing the Iranians with nerve agents in the marshes of southern Iraq during the Iran Iraq War? Did we intervene then? No, we didn't we allowed it to happen.

I say stay out it.

dannymega -> fripouille , 13 Apr 2018 14:18
Come on frip, you have to admit there was absolutely no motive for Assad's forces to carry out this attack. Why do you think the Guardian and other main stream media outlets are not even considering the possibility the Jihadi rebels staged it to trigger western intervention? I know, I know.. it's all evil Assad killing his own people for no other reason than he likes butchering people... blah blah. The regime change agenda against Syria has been derailed, no amount of false flag attacks can change the facts on the ground.
Preshous , 13 Apr 2018 14:18
Tucker Carlson of Fox News has it nailed down....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M28aYkLRlm0
ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 14:16
More than 40 years after the US sprayed millions of litres of chemical agents to defoliate vast swathes of Vietnam and in the full knowledge it would be have a catastrophic effect on the health of the inhabitants of those area, Vietnam has by far the highest incidence of liver cancer on the planet.

Then more recently we have the deadly depleted uranium from US shells that innocent Iraqis are inhaling as shrill voices denounce Assad.

CodeNameTwiglet , 13 Apr 2018 14:15
The Syrian people are heroically resisting and defeating western imperialism. This "civil war" has been nothing but a war for Syrian resources waged by western proxies. So now, In desperation borne out of their impending defeat, the imperialists have staged a chemical attack in a last throw of the dice to gain popular support for an escalation in military intervention. Like military interventions of the past, it is being justified in the name of humanitarian intervention. But if we have a brief browse of history we can see that US & UK governments have brought only death, misery and destruction on the populations it was supposedly helping. Hands off Syria.

[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 aprčs 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 21, 2018] In another development (probably to run with the Syria script) the UK announces it has a dossier that proves Russia was experimenting with delivering nerve agents from door handles.

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

ChairmanMayTseTung , 13 Apr 2018 13:27

In another development (probably to run with the Syria script) the UK announces it has a dossier that proves Russia was experimenting with delivering nerve agents from door handles.

Not as hilarious as breathlessly closing a children's playground near the Skripal's days after the event for "contamination checks" even though it had been raining in the days in between (the narrative was presumably the dastardly Russian agents planned to kill a few innocent kids for good measure).

[Apr 21, 2018] We are absolutely being lied to, left right and centre.

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

andersen100 -> zardos , 13 Apr 2018 14:05

We are absolutely being lied to, left right and centre.

People who actually know what is happening are being gagged, which is ironic in this digital age.

Time was that we kind of trusted our politicians- to some extent, anyway.

No longer, and especially when information is conveyed by tweets by possibly the most important person in the world.

We also have a Prime Minister who would like to bypass parliament at any given time.

honestjohn -> SummerPatch , 13 Apr 2018 14:00
'No one is suggesting they want to become new parties in the war.'

They have been involved from the start:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/29/syria-crisis-where-do-the-major-countries-stand
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23849587
https://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/05/world/middleeast/brutality-of-syrian-rebels-pose-dilemma-in-west.html ?
https://edition.cnn.com/2015/09/16/middleeast/syria-al-assad-interview/index.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_involvement_in_the_Syrian_Civil_War

fakeamoonlanding , 13 Apr 2018 14:02
As usual, our wise men are busy preparing the evidence dossier for this gas attack. Hacking someone's phone is now evidence of you delivering chemical weapon. I wonder how many doses of novichok NOTW managed to deliver to its phone hacking victims.
Анатолий Ямсков , 13 Apr 2018 14:01
Hope everyone understands that telling lies is not good, and it is especially disgusting when lies form the basic argument for launching a war or some prolonged military assaults.
Please, compare the articles, this one and those mentioned below, and judge for yourself whether J. Freedland can be trusted.
1. J. Freedland, about the West: "The notion of inaction, of standing by and watching as Assad kills and kills and kills, And yet that's what we've done".
O. Jones: "The US has been bombing the country and supplying arms to rebels for some time. Our client states ... have funnelled weapons and billions of dollars into the conflict, backing extremist groups responsible for multiple atrocities". https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/apr/13/attack-syria-disastrous-warmongers-middle-east-unjust
2. J. Freedland: "The taboo on the use of such (chemical) weapons held, with exceptions, for nearly a century. It meant there was a limit".
For the actual details of such "limit" see: https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/theresa-may-syria-war-uk-chemical-weapons-attack-iran-iraq-thatcher-russia-a8300881.html
3. It looks like J. Freedland is sure only Assad "kills and kills and kills" in this civil war. Does anyone believe this, i.e. that the opposing jihadists have never killed during the war?
NoLivesMatter , 13 Apr 2018 13:59
Why the automatic evidence-free assumption that Assad must be responsible?

According to the New York Times, Islamic State have been behind 52 chemical attacks in Syria and Libya:

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/world/middleeast/isis-chemical-weapons-syria-iraq-mosul.html

LiviaDrusilla -> ID9265089 , 13 Apr 2018 13:58

they're quite happy to gloss over the absolutely vile nature of Assad's regime.

Strawman. It's a nasty regime in all sorts of ways but no more so - probably less so - than many regimes enthusiastically supported and armed by the British government.


If we're talking about culpability, it's worth noting that the rebel groups have become radicalised over time -

That old fib! This was an Islamist uprising from day one. How does a liberal pro-democracy type suddenly morph into a bearded Islamist overnight?


And yes, we gave aid to the rebels. Did it prolong the war? Possibly.

Possibly? It didn't prolong the war, it pretty much caused the war.


Should we have done nothing? Possibly yes, but hindsight is always a wonderful thing.

Hindsight eh? So you thought "Yup, let's join in with the Saudis and other Gulf dictatorships in arming extremist Islamist rebels in a crucial Middle Eastern country. Nothing could possibly go wrong! That sort of thing has been a roaring success everywhere it's been tried."

Seriously. Talk some sense.

HerbGuardian , 13 Apr 2018 13:55
Make Assad pay ?.......pay for what Johnny .... for defending his people from murderous insurgents who are being constantly ferried into and supplied by hostile countries with the intent of horrifically slaughtering anyone they can get their claws on in order to initiate a reign of terror that they hope will weaken the moral of the people and the government? ......Jesus, I don't think I've read such a nastier piece of pure propaganda than this in the Guardian ever before.
imperium3 , 13 Apr 2018 13:55
Remarkable how Saddam Hussein gassing Iranian troops by the thousand, while world powers helped him do it and covered for him at the UN is treated as a minor exception to non-use of chemical weapons, whereas Assad's is some unprecedented crime.

And let's not pretend that Saddam paid for his use of chemical weapons - the West punished him for the transgression of threatening Saudi Arabia, nothing more.

OldDevil , 13 Apr 2018 13:54
In August 2012, as reported by the Times , William Hague writes that discussions are taking place with the Free Syrian Army:

"This week, on my instructions, my ambassador-level representative to the Syrian opposition has contacted and is meeting political elements of the Free Syria Army."
"We want to deter those committing war crimes by making it possible for them to be held to account. We will provide urgent training and equipment to Syrian human rights activists, including cameras, video recorders and forensic equipment.
The aim is to help them to document human rights violations, identify the military commanders responsible and gather medical forensic evidence to be used in trials. Britain has already trained more than 60 Syrian human rights activists to collect information to support criminal investigations. This new assistance will enable others to do the same."

The Guardian headline on this subject reads: "Syria: UK to give £5m to rebels":

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/aug/10/syria-aleppo-live

Cameras, video recorders and forensic equipment.

SMKirov , 13 Apr 2018 13:52
Why are the Guardian and its writers continuing to peddle the lie that the Syrian Government has been proved to have used chemical munitions? For seven long years now the Syrian people and their government have had to fight off a jihadi onslaught armed and financed by NATO and the Gulf autocracies. With help from Russia and Iran, they are winning: they have no need to use chemical weapons and they know that doing so is to invite intervention on the side of the Islamist terrorists. The terrorists, by contrast, know that their only chance lies in such intervention and that convincing the World that the Syrian Government has used chemical weapons is the best way to bring it about.

It is also obscene for Mr Friedland to ascribe all of the casualties of the Civil War to the Government while ignoring the terrorist tactic of occupying and defending populated areas. The Syrian Arab Army is no more responsible for the resulting casualties than were the pro Western forces for the destruction of Mosul during its liberation from ISIS. I am sick to the teeth of formerly respectable media like the Guardian and the BBC functioning as propagandists for jihadi murderers and terrorists, particularly now that doing so is pushing us towards a very dangerous international conflict.

kenna , 13 Apr 2018 13:41
I watched that idiot Jo Johnson last night going on about how the international community had banned chemical weapons in 1925 and no one pulled him up on it. Britain developed and stockpiled chemical weapons all through the 20th Century- the 'greatest' Britain of all time Churchill regularly argued for their use on 'lesser' races. The US (our allies in this) is the same US that dumped unbelievable amounts of agent orange on Vietnam at the same time it bombed a poor undeveloped country 'into the stone age'.

A woman in the audience pointed out the sheer hypocrisy of abhorring Asssad's actions (quite rightly) but at the same time arming the Saudis to kill more civilians and supporting the Israeli government (which whilst clearly not in the same league as Assad or the Saudis is still a major human rights violater). Unsurprisingly she was cut off and the 'left-wing' BBC moved on and ignored her points

diddoit , 13 Apr 2018 13:36
We went into Iraq because Blair warned, in the sternest terms, British cities could be under imminent attack from Iraqi WMD. How ridiculous do those grave statements, made to a hushed HoC, look today?
q321gg8cla -> tomprice129 , 13 Apr 2018 13:33
£35 billion arms contracts overseen by May,Johnson and Cameron to Saudia Arabia who are in Syria!Think about it !
Tom1982 , 13 Apr 2018 13:31
Graun, genuinely bugger off with this drumbeat for war. Seriously, hasn't the current murderous anarchy in Libya given you pause for thought?

There's no definitive evidence yet available that proves Assad's forces carried out a chemical attack. Furthermore, whilst it's not inconceivable that he did, it does seem to defy logic. Why invite Western intervention when you're winning the war? The Syrian opposition had far more to gain from the deployment of chemical weapons than Assad did.

Assad is a loathsome individual, but he's probably the only thing standing in the way of a Jihadist Theocracy being established in Syria. To put in bluntly, it's in our interests that he wins this war. The alternative is worse.

Denis61 , 13 Apr 2018 13:31
I wish I could say I was shocked by the latest pro war tub thumping by this increasingly unrecognisable paper. Sadly it's has become all too synonymous with its support for Theresa May and its attempts to persuade an unwilling public to join the hysteria. Freedland says that Assad's guilt is beyond doubt; no it isn't. He talks of the effectiveness of bombing in the Balkan conflict, conveniently ignoring Iraq and Syria. He ignores the obvious incentive for ISIS or perhaps he would prefer "rebels", to launch an attack in a a desperate attempt to recover a war they are losing. He ignores the war in Yemen and the murderous regimes around the world that we seem totally uninterested in putting right. No, Mr Freedland, I and I think many others are not giving Mrs May her Falklands moment at your behest.

[Apr 21, 2018] Macron potion on Douma false flag attack

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

AndiMcDodle -> ManUpTheTree , 13 Apr 2018 14:51

Agreed Macron is so proud about the weapons Saudi Arabia bought of him. And strangely enough Saudi Arabia supports the ISIS head choppers in Syria, I think of a coincidence. And I didn't mention the gaz pipeline crossing Syria, that if Russia/Assad win, will be beyond the control of Europeans, a real bummer, given that Russia controls the supply east of Germany. I guess civilian death, is the only thing in the forefront of the France/UK/US preoccupations. Surely, they wouldn't condone civilians dying for geo-political reasons?
NapoleonXIV -> Richmar , 13 Apr 2018 14:48
Yes, I remember Rice, Cheney, Bush, and Rumsfeld telling the world that they had evidence that Saddam was hoarding WMD. I'm still waiting to hear what it was. Now M. Macron spouts the same ambiguous nonsense expecting us to take his word for it.

Trump publicly states that US troops are being withdrawn from Syria. The next thing you know, Assad is allegedly gassing civilians. That makes a whole lot of sense doesn't it? If there's a sure-fire way of making sure you're on the wrong end of a bit of American 'shock and awe,' it's gassing innocents. Assad must have a death wish; or so they'd have us believe. The more I read about this fiasco, the more I think David Icke is the most rational man on the planet.

Ziontrain -> rustledust74 , 13 Apr 2018 14:47
From Pinochet to Mobuto, Kagama and many more, I'd think you'd better to review what the policy of the west actually IS.

[Apr 21, 2018] But where is the incontrovertible proof that the regime is in fact responsible for the attack rather than 'rebel groups' now on the point of final defeat, who'd wish to draw in the major NATO powers

Western neoliberal governments lost the remnants of patina of legitimacy on international scene and now look like bloodthirsty predators, they always were.
Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Labourist , 13 Apr 2018 14:46

But where is the incontrovertible proof that the regime is in fact responsible for the attack rather than 'rebel groups' now on the point of final defeat, who'd wish to draw in the major NATO powers? Why would the regime afford the US, France and UK the pretext to do one thing that'd undermine Assad's otherwise certain victory? The timing seems odd indeed while Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel act with impunity against minority populations. Each of the latter has form and interest the destruction of Syria in this proxy war.
comrade1 , 13 Apr 2018 14:50
Let me see if I have this right....

The UK thinks it's "highly likely" Assad is to blame for the chemical attack. France says it has evidence Assad is responsible but won't say what it is. US Secretary of Defence Mattis believes a chemical attack took place but says there's no evidence. And depending on the day of the week, Russia believes there was either no chemical attack or if there was then it was staged by the UK.

And for good measure we appear to be going headlong into war on the basis of all this.

SMKirov -> ID9265089 , 13 Apr 2018 14:46
The UN investigations concluded that the chemicals had come from Syrian Army stocks which there wasn't much doubt about to start with. Where they were less conclusive was the matter of who had deployed them given the capture of large stocks of munitions by the terrorists early in the war. On the basis of cui bono? it seems more likely that it was the terrorist side who sought to provoke Western intervention by staging chemical incidents rather than the Syrian Government who had little to gain and much to lose from the use of any kind of WMD.
ReLuke631 , 13 Apr 2018 14:45
We never learn.

First Blair holding onto an idiot's shirt tails to attack a Middle Eastern country based on hearsay and no coherent withdrawal policy. Now we have May and Macron holding the hands of an even bigger idiot whose populist thoughts change by the minute so no hope of any withdrawal plan.

Does May and her hawks (Gove, Johnson) really want to be compared with Trump, Kim, Putin, Assad, W Bush, Blair et al in the history books?

solidstae , 13 Apr 2018 14:45
The rebels in Syria have a history of using sarin, chlorine and mustard gas against troops and civilians. But Washington, London and Paris are completely dummy on this. Not a whisper. Rather straight to accusations and threats against the regime they have been trying to overthrow for years.

I don't know who did it. But I know who lies every time they take a breath if they consider it in their interests. Truth is the first casualty. I don't believe any of them.

irishinrussia , 13 Apr 2018 14:45
Noticeable that the Guardian live coverage provides Western refutations of Russia's claims of evidence regarding a staged false attack, but doesn't actually cover the evidence the Russians have provided - testimony from medical staff who claim to be witnesses. Now I'm not so stupid as to take these claims as gospel, the Russians are just as capable as anyone of finding a couple of fake or pressured witnesses. However the failure of the Western press to even elaborate on the evidence, even just to ridicule and debunk it, is suspicious.

[Apr 21, 2018] Oceania was at war with Eurasia; therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia

Apr 21, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Amaranthus_ , 13 Apr 2018 15:04

It is getting very tiresome tying to read between the lines of what Britain, America, Russia, etc, etc, etc spin to us in a constant barrage of disposable half truths. The worrying part is that it is now harder then ever to gauge if these 'bastions of truth' really believe their own bullshit or not and end up dropping us all into a war of no return.

"Oceania was at war with Eurasia; therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia."

tomspen -> dannymega , 13 Apr 2018 15:02
The White Helmets were set up by a Briton (I can't remember exactly but I think he was ex intelligence services). They've consistently been shown to have links with extremists. It wouldn't surprise me at all if what the Russians are claiming is accurate.
AndiMcDodle -> bobthebuilder234 , 13 Apr 2018 15:02
Well the problem is that the vast majority of Syrians support Assad. This chemical attack, if it is confirmed by the OPWC investigation, could have been staged by the ISIS head choppers, or it was Assad. Nobody has a clue, so we need an investigation and see, whether, this is just propaganda bullshit from the head choppers. One thing is sure, if you care about civilian life, the best option is to accept that Assad and Russia won. Else, well you a hypocrite, and you don't care about civilian lives at all, but care more about the UK/US and France gaining the geo-political upper hand, without a care in the world about civilian life. Hence, you just as big a sociopath than Assad.
diddoit , 13 Apr 2018 15:02
Tony Blair is still laughing at everyone too.

Ultimately, that is the problem. There is no mechanism in the UK to hold such people to any sort of account. No checks and balances.

carlevans -> tomspen , 13 Apr 2018 15:01
Yes Millions of Gallons of Chemicals were rained down on Vietnam including Agent Orange and Napalm during the war.
Plus White Phosphorous was used by the US in Iraq as an "anti-personnel" weapon.
120Daze -> GuardianOfTime , 13 Apr 2018 15:00
Look, the Russians have a microscopic force in Syria, about 30 jets, very low army presence, usually one soldier per SAA Unit. The West and especially that inadequate May can look good by bombing some camels and then letting the Daily Mail and the BBC do the rest. Yes the Russians have S400 missiles in Syria but only to protect important targets and they simply don't have enough missiles to shoot down 100+ allied cruise missiles. The Russkies will just have to take the hit (again) but it will change nothing in the long run, except relations will deteriorate even further.
Anyman , 13 Apr 2018 15:00
One has the impression poodles Macron and May, in their ridiculous eagerness to assist Trump with his nice new smart shiny social media bombing of Syria, appear pathetic, even stupid, for their precipitate grandstanding now that the USA has, for the time being, reigned back from an immediate punishing strike on Syria.
Cousin_Jack -> Etagere , 13 Apr 2018 14:59
The "slaughter his own people" phrase is western spin; even the anti-government SOHR quotes a more or less even split between government forces, rebels and civilians, which means as civil wars go, this one is comparatively humane.

Compare the death toll of hundreds on the final assault on Aleppo with that on Raqqa (thousands) or Mosul (tens of thousands) or the civilian toll in Indo-China and Korea (>10 million) and you'll realise the identity of the greatest war criminal of them all

[Apr 21, 2018] Ultimately Trump is a typical playground bully

Apr 21, 2018 | theguardian.com
MetellusScipio, 13 Apr 2018 13:23
Ultimately Trump is a typical playground bully, he's a bullshitter, a blowhard. All talk. Trump was the same with Kim, and is the same with Putin and Assad.

Like all bullies underneath he is a coward, he threatens Putin with ridiculous teenager Tweet threats, but as soon as Putin but back Trump backpeddles.

Don't look to Trump for solutions.

[Apr 20, 2018] How about the West which has been trying to build a gas pipeline through Syria into Turkey to supply Europe with gas and break Russia's monopoly of European gas supplies.

Notable quotes:
"... How about the West which has been trying to build a gas pipeline through Syria into Turkey to supply Europe with gas and break Russia's monopoly of European gas supplies. Don't believe me read the Doha agreement where the west recognised the Syrian rebels, this pipeline was a pre requisite for that recognition. ..."
"... And why would Assad who is winning the war do the one thing that would give America and other western countries the chance to get involved because of outrageous moral indignation. Assad and Outing really aren't that stupid. ..."
Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

dumbwaiter -> Kevin Watson , 13 Apr 2018 15:31

How about the West which has been trying to build a gas pipeline through Syria into Turkey to supply Europe with gas and break Russia's monopoly of European gas supplies. Don't believe me read the Doha agreement where the west recognised the Syrian rebels, this pipeline was a pre requisite for that recognition.

Israel? which is not happy with Iran and Lebanon having a presence in Syria, worried that America was withdrawing.

AlQaeda or the Syrian Rebels, many are both who are losing the war and this is a last desperate attempt to drag in America and the west?

You've also got Turkey and the Kurds (the Kurds were abandoned by the West after they had fulfilled their useful purpose), both also players in the region but I can't see a motive here.

And why would Assad who is winning the war do the one thing that would give America and other western countries the chance to get involved because of outrageous moral indignation. Assad and Outing really aren't that stupid.

Any or all of the above could be the true motivation. I am no fan of Assad, Putin, or Trump or May (or the Blair clone Macron) but the question you have to ask yourself is who gains from this? And is. this in the interests of a resolution to a conflict, to your safety or is it something else?

[Apr 20, 2018] The most simple explanation for the disaster in Syria is that a sovereign state protected its national interest from an international contingent of mercenaries.

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

harveybrown , 13 Apr 2018 15:37

In an interview on BBC 1 on 8 February 2004, UN Weapons Inspector, Hans Blix accused the US and British governments of dramatizing the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in order to strengthen the case for the 2003 war against the government of Saddam Hussein.
Ultimately, no stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were ever found.

In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Blix said, "I have my detractors in Washington. There are bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty things in the media."

[ It is interesting to note that Allan Ramsay likewise deplored "a friendly alliance between the camp and the counting-house" for exactly the same reasons (Letters on the Present Disturbances, p.34). Ramsay maintained that of the evil consequences of such alliance "the two last wars carried on by England against France and Spain, furnish a most melancholy illustration. To obtain the sole and exclusive commerce of the western world, in which the French and Spaniards were their rivals, was the modest wish of our merchants, in conjunction with our Americans. The fair, and truly commercial, method of effecting this would have been, by superior skill, industry and frugality, to have undersold their rivals at market: but that method appearing slow and troublesome to a luxurious people, whose extraordinary expences* required extraordinary profits, a more expeditous one was devised; which was that of driving their rivals entirely out of the seas, and preventing them from bringing their goods at all to market. For this purpose, not having any fleets or armies of their own, the powers of the State were found necessary, and they applied them accordingly" (ibid., pp.32 f.).

Knorr, K. E. 'Ch02-Part2 British Colonial Theories 1570-1850'. In British Colonial Theories, 1570-1850. The University of Toronto Press, 1944. ]

Jay_Q123 , 13 Apr 2018 15:36
Your article appears to apportion blame solely to Assad and you don't even attempt to address the opposition in Syria. Nobody seriously questions that the Syrian governments war has killed many thousands and thousands of civilians. How can you not refer to the international jihad and the make up of these fighters, as well as the sieges they laid on villages, town and cities and the cruelty they inflicted upon the people?

The Syrian Arab Army is a composite of Sunni, Shia, Christians, and different ethnicity's, what convinces you that they have in any way wantonly killed civilians? The soldiers have family all over Syria, plus no mention of the 300,000+ civilians that have been liberated from Eastern Aleppo and Eastern Ghouta in the last several months.

I find this article very bizarre indeed. The most simple explanation for the disaster in Syria is that a sovereign state protected its national interest from an international contingent of mercenaries. There are Moroccans and Chechnyans, Uighurs and Brits, Saudis as well as Syrians in this armed army. What other options did a state such as Syria have when fighting against ISIS, Al Qaida, Al Nusra and 'The Army of Islam', Jaysh Al-Islam? All have which have direct connections to our major ally in the region, Saudi Arabia.

Somebody correct me if I am wrong but I can not find any reference at all to the enemy in this article. It's written as if the 8 year war has simply been an extermination war against civilians and completely out of context with reality.

Check out Operation Timber Sycamore for more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timber_Sycamore

[Apr 20, 2018] Should Assad subsequently fall - and that is the actual aim of intervention - then Syria will become another anarchic wasteland ruled over by fundamentalist warlords.

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Vermithrax , 13 Apr 2018 15:39

Freedland recently put this argument on Newsnight.

It is flawed to the point of dishonesty.

He talks of removing assets as if the process was being conducted under laboratory conditions. There are ten nations enmeshed in a warzone with numerous factions under no one's control. It is magical thinking that cannot be achieved and will only result in rapid, uncontrolled escalation. The idea that there will be no collateral damage is laughable and I regret to suggest that it is deliberately misleading.

Moreover, in engaging Assad when he is on the brink of victory, the Syrian Civil War will be extended. The Syrian people will then pay the price.

Should Assad subsequently fall - and that is the actual aim of intervention - then Syria will become another anarchic wasteland ruled over by fundamentalist warlords. The spiral of migration will be renewed bringing loons wrapped in the dispossessed to our own streets. Worse, the militants next stop will be Lebanon and then Israel will be directly involved. Freedland advocates acting against Assad without even attempting to predict the consequences. At the very least I would expect the usual misdirection 'of course this time we must have a plan for rebuilding Syria', secure in the knowledge that by that time there will be another crisis and Syria can be left in entropy.

No good can come from military intervention. The satisfaction of commentators that the right thing has been done is an irrelevance. The right thing is always just public relations. Every bit of ruthless geopolitics has to have a casus belli to make the killing all righteous and unavoidable. It has always been thus. For resources to be expended on this kind of scale there has to be a rock solid bit of bankable realpolitik. In this case its the struggle for regional hegemony between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Syria can either be part of a supply chain selling Sunni gas/oil to Europe or Shi'a gas/oil to Europe. This is about killing Syrians for the glory of Saudi Arabia. You can see why there has to be a casus belli because thats not something that can be sold. We know the proceeds will go unmentioned into offshore havens and the London property market. Britain would derive no geopolitical benefit as a whole. The benefits would accrue only to a kleptocracy who think they have a right to use our country as a loan shark's leg-breaker.

It is therefore my contention that Freedland is promoting an immoral act that will have serious consequences without offering any serious improvement in the situation. This is arguably the most dangerous situation since the Cuban Missile crisis and an analysis that advocates pouring oil on the flames is either ridiculously stupid or calculatedly duplicitous.

thousandautumns -> balancedman , 13 Apr 2018 15:39
"Up to" 13,000 "opponents" killed over five years during a period of war. I'm assuming that number of "opponents" includes a large number of out and out terrorists who have thrown the country into chaos.
Brianto , 13 Apr 2018 15:39
What is Porton Down manufacturing?
oldeborr , 13 Apr 2018 15:38
The UK andcFrance bares a heavy responsibility for the current situation in Syria. The cavalier attitude that the ConDems took to international law during the Arab spring encouraged the Saudi s and their proxies to distablise the recognised Govt. Assad is no paragon of virtue, but prior to the insurgency steps were in place to make the country a better place for its citizens, and whilst its true poltical dissent was not allowed, people could live their lives and go about their business in safety.

[Apr 20, 2018] The Syrian situation was made far worse by the USA / France and the UK arming extremist Islamic groups during the ' Arab Spring ' in an attempt to depose the legitimate ruler of a sovereign nation.

Notable quotes:
"... The best solution being that he defeats all rebel forces as quickly as possible. The UN Chemical Weapons people can then go in ( or even before ) and try to collect some evidence. ..."
"... It is all about oil and supremacy in the region. Since when has our government or that of any western Country - cared about their people. Canon fodder - that is what we are. ..."
Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Artusov , 13 Apr 2018 15:56

'.....Given Russia's presence, it would not be easy...... '

Understatement of the century. If you start bombing strategic military targets you are quite, likely to hit Russian planes and troops.

As I said yesterday - What is the point ? Assad ( helped by his ally Russia ) has all but won the war ( which makes his use of chemical weapons surprising / a big mistake ) - The best solution being that he defeats all rebel forces as quickly as possible. The UN Chemical Weapons people can then go in ( or even before ) and try to collect some evidence.

Meanwhile, the Saudis are bombing Yemeni children with UK manufactured bombs.

The Syrian situation was made far worse by the USA / France and the UK arming extremist Islamic groups during the ' Arab Spring ' in an attempt to depose the legitimate ruler of a sovereign nation.

We don't say much about China's interference in Tibet these days, do we ?

Or the effect of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War ?

MartinSilenus -> Norman_Finklesteen , 13 Apr 2018 15:50
"here are many, many notable historians who state the death toll as high as 135,000 "

The biggest single death toll in WWII was the low level firebombing of Tokyo, large areas of Japans capital city were wiped out. With houses as flammable as you can ever imagine, an unimaginably horror filled event. The Japanese death toll was around 100,000 dead. You are saying more died in Dresden?

"On this day, U.S. warplanes launch a new bombing offensive against Japan, dropping 2,000 tons of incendiary bombs on Tokyo over the course of the next 48 hours. Almost 16 square miles in and around the Japanese capital were incinerated, and between 80,000 and 130,000 Japanese civilians were killed in the worst single firestorm in recorded history."
https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/firebombing-of-tokyo

mudlark123 -> BoomersStealingMoney , 13 Apr 2018 15:50
It is all about oil and supremacy in the region. Since when has our government or that of any western Country - cared about their people. Canon fodder - that is what we are.
rockyrex -> LordThumpworthy , 13 Apr 2018 15:50
OK so let's attack Saudi for what they are doing in Yemen. And Myanmar for their behaviour. Then there's Mexico, where the cartels keep murdering people. Really, let's apply the same standards everywhere.

How will this proposed action change anything? The Syrians have hidden everything that matters, the Russians will get 90 minutes warning of the targets .... It's a PR exercise on the usual lines of "Something must be done .... this is something ..... "

[Apr 20, 2018] Russia has transferred forty Pantsir-S1 air defense systems to Syria' Air Defence

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

tayacase

, 13 Apr 2018 15:50
Russia has transferred forty Pantsir-S1 air defense systems to Syria' Air Defence.
This is the latest air defence technology (the system is in service since 2012) - a combined short to medium range surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft artillery weapon system against aircrafts, helicopters, precision munitions, cruise missiles and UAVs.

https://southfront.org/russia-delivered-40-pantsir-s1-air-defense-systems-to-syria-state-media /
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantsir-S1

[Apr 20, 2018] It is hard to be pro interventionist after the epical f up in Iraq and Libya and previous chemica weapons false flag staged by jihadists

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Israeli's deep incursions in Syria and the bombing of military bases also used by Russian military have provided a lot of information about the capabilities and limitations of the Russian military technology deployed in Syria.


StephenDaedalus -> JackDowland , 13 Apr 2018 15:47

Sure, here's the UN OPCW investigation report which directly blames the Assad forces for chemical attacks. Take as much time as you need.

https://undocs.org/S/2016/738

I couldn't find the paragraph which directly blames Assad's forces.

I note it does refer (at para 44) to Assad's allegation that a video had been staged. It concludes that the patients on the video "appear relatively unaffected by the typical symptoms. No red eyes, tearing, paleness, sweating, cyanosis or breathing difficulties can be observed from the footage. The patients interviewed in the video show little or no signs of having been exposed to a toxic chemical".

This is also consistent with other documented attempts of video-making to trigger the western bombs.

Surely you can see why people might at least reserve judgment about the latest video emanating from Jaish al-Islam controlled territory?

LiviaDrusilla -> SummerPatch , 13 Apr 2018 15:47
As I've said , I consider the term 'putinbot' - infantile and indicative of a lack of logical argumentation as it is - as a compliment, since it appears to be code for those who retain the ability to think for themselves and not fall glumly for the latest official line.

since the OPCW proved it was Putin who tried to murder British civilians with nerve agents.

Actually, they proved no such thing, but in any case it's irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

BoomersStealingMoney -> thousandautumns , 13 Apr 2018 15:47
I would like to cargo the arm chair generals into the battlefield of Syria.

Let Asad deal with them.

Terry Haller , 13 Apr 2018 15:47
Personally I am uncertain what has happened regarding the chemical attack in Syria however it is pretty clear to me what has happened and continues to happen in Yemen and Palestine.
Fomalhaut88 , 13 Apr 2018 15:47
Send Dearest Jeremy to Damascus with one of his megaphones and a bunch of his most loyal.
I am not sure what he will yell down the megaphone, but whatever it is I am sure it will make him feel better about protesting, something.
Rumbero -> dannymega , 13 Apr 2018 15:47
so you have an answer for the Russian narrative but not for the British viewpoint.
Laughable and ridiculous. What source do you have for the Russian military's claim ?
Let me guess ? Some obscure blog site or RT?
OlivesNightie , 13 Apr 2018 15:46

The notion of inaction, of standing by and watching as Assad kills and kills and kills, racking up a death toll in Syria of 500,000

On May 12, 1996, Madeleine Albright defended UN sanctions against Iraq on a 60 Minutes segment in which Lesley Stahl asked her "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?" and Albright replied, "We think the price is worth it."'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4

Kokkos -> dharps , 13 Apr 2018 15:46
And who presents the Summons to the United States for Vietnam....and the other countries,where they used chemicals.
BabylonianSheDevil03 -> grumpybrewer , 13 Apr 2018 15:46
From tomorrow the weather in some parts of the UK stops being an utter bastard and starts to look like spring. The sun will get its hat on, hip, hip, hip, hooray!
Go out and listen to the birds, look at the blossom. Lots of good in the world.
Xerxes2 , 13 Apr 2018 15:46
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Haverer -> circuit , 13 Apr 2018 15:46
Yes of course. Russia could just cross over into Alaska and from there ithey can easily drive their tanks down through Canada to reach the US.
DZ76 -> DZ76 , 13 Apr 2018 15:46
Just in case anyone asks for an example of US diverging from Israeli objectives (I realise that I did not elucidate on that in my post), US air strikes have focused entirely on ISIS and have, up to now, left the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah alone. There's no doubt that the Americans are very closely tied to Israeli objectives, but they certainly aren't being controlled by a 'Zionist elite', America still fights for America. As I outlined above, it's really only the British government that doesn't appear to have anything even beginning to resemble an independent foreign policy.
pash meia -> harveybrown , 13 Apr 2018 15:46
so kets excuse putin and assad shall we based on a labour govt fuck up
gooner4thewin -> urbanegorrila , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
Corbyn has not been a proponent of boosting our military budget.
BoomersStealingMoney , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
Not a single terrorist attack on British soil has been inspired by Shiah Islam.

And yet we arm the Wahabis to dislodge the secular Asad.

Our government is crooked.

georgina45 -> Squadra , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
I watched RT for the first time last night and it was interesting.
But right now its like we are being ruled by lunatics. It is absolutely sickening. Quite literally some moron in the White House is tweeting, 'My bombs are bigger than yours' and 'The missiles are coming.' And they still let him in rule one of the most powerful countries on the Earth with a vast mass of WMD and Theresa May is trying reason with a fucking moron. Hey Guardian if Trump is talking like this my swearing is the least of our problems, so please don't moderate. We need someone to Moderate the madmen.
TheKingOfHate -> mikew67 , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
How do you compare a serial killer with twenty kills to one with one kills?

Why, they're both serial killers.

/That's/ how we compare the blood on our hands to those drenched to our shoulders.

Sceptical Walker -> NHSmonami , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
UK
ID3555673 , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
Whatever the strategic complications are that would prevent this, Assad deserves a Tomahawk enema.
gooner4thewin , 13 Apr 2018 15:45
hallelujah - the Russians have decided to allow the UN chemical weapons inspectors to now visit the site. Of course they vetoed it initially because out of a sense of tidiness, they wanted to clean up the place before guests came.
billhicks00 , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
The red line is the use of chemical weapons it seems. Bullets, conventional weaponry and starvation are OK.
Swilkerin -> dharps , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
Overthrowing the B'aathist regime would also cause chaos. You have several proxy wars going on in Syria. Having jihadists groups with links to Saudi/ Iran etc fill the void is hardly a great prospect. We've just seen the back of ISIS after all.
dannymega -> Rumbero , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
Perhaps the place they visited to check if an attack happened was the wrong place, who knows? Does seem rather perverse though to predict an impending gas attack and then go and carry it out yourself.
junglecitizen -> LeftOrRightSameShite , 13 Apr 2018 15:44

We, along with the US, France and Gulf states have supported, armed and trained "rebels" in Syria the whole time. We've had, as have others, special forces operating inside Syria


So, there would never be rebellions against totalitarian dictators if it weren't for the CIA and MI6.

I don't buy this. It's very convenient if you're an anti-war person who doesn't want to face an ethical dilemma. But it's not real.

LordThumpworthy , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
This is a sensible article. Funny how those shouting abuse offer NO alternative and would rather turn a blind eye to children being gassed, than be part of a country that has the moral fibre to stand up to this butchery.
pash meia , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
st petersburgh on double bubble it seems.
Guimard -> Succe55 , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
They been doing for years , there is nothing new about it .
They just got 'better ' at it .
SummerPatch -> LiviaDrusilla , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
Sergei, you are the one with imagination. I wonder why the putinbots have gone quiet about salibusry since the OPCW proved it was Putin who tried to murder British civilians with nerve agents.
NHSmonami -> dharps , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
Evidence that would not stand up in court.
oreilly62 , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
Stop the conflict,here comes Freedland to save the world.
pash meia -> Krautolivier , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
better the devil than allah looking at the state of the islsmic world maybe?
but meanwhike lets excuse putin and asdad...
you are jeremy corbyn and i donate my 5 pounds to charity
mudlark123 -> RLB2808 , 13 Apr 2018 15:44
Thanks Colonel Blimp. I do, however, entirely agree with you.
Blackdawn , 13 Apr 2018 15:43
If it came to it, i wouldn't fight. Story is.. ordinary people head to the front the elite, politicians and royals head to their bunkers.
Celtiberico , 13 Apr 2018 15:42

The Syrian Negotiation Commission has called for action to deter Assad from killing civilians. What they envisage is that each time Assad launches a deadly attack on noncombatants, allied forces reply by taking out one of the strategic assets he uses to kill civilians. It could be an airfield, it could be a command centre. If the target were aircraft, that would simultaneously inflict a cost on the regime and deprive it of the means of dropping its barrel bombs and toxic, yellow cylinders. The objective would be to make Assad pay a price for killing his own people, a price he has not paid until now. Eventually, or so runs the hope, he would be deterred.

That kind of reminds me of when Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress were explaining how to get rid of Saddam without plunging Iraq into mayhem and destabilising the wider region.

[Apr 20, 2018] Skripal and Douma incidents were preceded by extremely intense diplomatic activity between Saudi Arabia, Washington, Paris and London this year, with multiple top level visits between capitals, is presumably supposed to be coincidence.

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

dumbwaiter -> Kevin Watson, 13 Apr 2018 15:50

I'm going to post a comment by another user posted yesterday as he said it far more eloquently than I could

R Reddington InterestedReader2 1d ago

Your just another armchair warrior.

So you think going to war is a good idea well you first then and dont forget your flack jacket and rifle.

The media onslaught has moved past the attack in Salisbury by a "weapon of mass destruction" (quoting Theresa May) which could only be Russian, except that was untrue, and was extremely deadly, except that was untrue too. It now focuses on an attack by chemical weapons in Douma which "could only be" by the Russian-backed Assad regime, except there is no evidence of that either, and indeed neutral verified evidence from Douma is non-existent. The combination of the two events is supposed to have the British population revved up by jingoism, and indeed does have Tony Blair and assorted Tories revved up, to attack Syria and potentially to enter conflict with Russia in Syria.

The "Russian" attack in Salisbury is supposed to negate the "not our war" argument, particularly as a British policeman was unwell for a while. Precisely what is meant to negate the "why on earth are we entering armed confrontation with a nuclear power" argument, I do not know.

Saudi Arabia has naturally offered facilities to support the UK, US and France in their attempt to turn the military tide in Syria in favour of the Saudi sponsored jihadists whom Assad had come close to defeating. That the Skripal and Douma incidents were preceded by extremely intense diplomatic activity between Saudi Arabia, Washington, Paris and London this year, with multiple top level visits between capitals, is presumably supposed to be coincidence.

I am not a fan of Assad any more than I was a fan of Saddam Hussein. But the public now understand that wars for regime change in Muslim lands have disastrous effects in dead and maimed adults and children and in destroyed infrastructure; our attacks unleash huge refugee waves and directly cause terrorist attacks here at home. There is no purpose in a military attack on Syria other than to attempt to help the jihadists overthrow Assad. There is a reckless disregard for evidence base on the pretexts for all this. Indeed, the more the evidence is scrutinised, the dodgier it seems. Finally there is a massive difference between mainstream media narrative around these events and a deeply sceptical public, as shown in social media and in comments sections of corporate media websites.

The notion that Britain will take part in military action against Syria with neither investigation of the evidence nor a parliamentary vote is worrying indeed. Without Security Council authorisation, any such action is illegal in any event. It is worth noting that the many commentators who attempt to portray Russia's veto of a Syria resolution as invalid, fail to note that last week, in two separate 14 against 1 votes, the USA vetoed security council resolutions condemning Israeli killings of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza.

The lesson the neo-cons learnt from the Iraq war is not that it was disastrous. It was only disastrous for the dead and maimed Iraqis, our own dead and maimed servicemen, and those whose country was returned to medievalism. It was a great success for the neo-cons, they made loads of money on armaments and oil. The lesson the neo-cons learned was not to give the public in the West any time to mount and organise opposition. Hence the destruction of Libya was predicated on an entirely false "we have 48 hours to prevent the massacre of the population of Benghazi" narrative. Similarly this latest orchestrated "crisis" is being followed through into military action at a blistering pace, as the four horsemen sweep by, scything down reason and justice on the way.

[Apr 20, 2018] The United States, fully aware it was Iraq who gased Kurds, accused Iran, Iraq's enemy in a fierce war, of being partly responsible for the attack. The State Department instructed its diplomats to say that Iran was partly to blame."

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Andersie , 13 Apr 2018 14:45

I've just stumbled on this absolute gem, from the New York Times, 17/1/2003:

"Analysis of thousands of captured Iraqi secret police documents and declassified U.S. government documents, as well as interviews with scores of Kurdish survivors, senior Iraqi defectors and retired U.S. intelligence officers, show

(1) that Iraq carried out the attack on Halabja [a 1988 chemical attack on Kurdish villages that killed 5000 civilians], and

(2) that the United States, fully aware it was Iraq, accused Iran, Iraq's enemy in a fierce war, of being partly responsible for the attack. The State Department instructed its diplomats to say that Iran was partly to blame."

[Apr 20, 2018] The USA and WMD

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Justin Thyme , 13 Apr 2018 15:31

The USA and WMD

@S

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld helped Saddam Hussein build up his arsenal of deadly chemical and biological weapons. As an envoy from President Reagan 19 years ago, he had a secret meeting with the Iraqi dictator and arranged enormous military assistance for his war with Iran. Mr Rumsfeld, at the time a successful executive in the pharmaceutical industry, still made it possible for Saddam to buy supplies from American firms. They included viruses such as anthrax and bubonic plague, according to the Washington Post.
The USA provided $1.5 billion worth of Pathogenic, toxigenic and other biological research materials were exported to Iraq; 1985-89.

1) US based company, Alcolac International exported mustard gas to Iraq; 1987-88.
2) Almost 150 foreign companies supported Saddam Hussein's WMD program; 1975-
3) US directly attacked Iran by hitting Iran's oil platforms; 1987.
4) US directly attacked Iran's navy in unproportioned and unreasonable war; 1988.
5) US shot down Iranian civilian airliner in the Iranian territory; 1988.

This is the equivalent of a pathological paedophile giving a sermon against child abuse when the US preaches its corrupt moral practices regarding Syria!!!

[Apr 20, 2018] That is why Tony Blair, Jack Straw and Alistair Campbell fought so hard to oppose invasion of Iraq. I feel terrible for them

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

ID3052003 , 13 Apr 2018 14:11

"Trump is a congenital liar who is devoid of empathy, a narcissist with a nihilist's view of the world. These are not mere character defects; they have a bearing on the decisions the de facto leader of any action in Syria would take. Among the reasons I opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq was my fundamental distrust of George W Bush and his circle, especially on the matter of motive. "

That is why Tony Blair, Jack Straw and Alistair Campbell fought so hard to oppose invasion of Iraq. In the end they had to resort an academic paper to do it. I feel terrible for them.

[Apr 20, 2018] A briefing room somewhere in Damascus

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

ChairmanMayTseTung, 13 Apr 2018 13:18

A briefing room somewhere in Damascus

Assad: So tell me, what is the military situation?

Generals: We are winning and winning decisively Mr President and the terrorists are pulling out of East Ghoutta

Assad: Excellent news. I suggest we kill a few dozen innocent civilians in a gas attack to celebrate.

Generals: Mr President, this would be utter folly. It would serve no possible military purpose and would risk catastrophic air strikes against our military assets.

Assad: Do it anyway! ** strokes fluffy white cat with a Mwwahh, mwah, mwah. **

[Apr 20, 2018] Striking Syria now will not halt the suffering of the Syrian people

Notable quotes:
"... it's pretty obvious what the likes of Isis would have done to the non-extremists in Syria - the Christians and anyone not of their puritanical strain. ..."
"... Assad is no more a butcher than the countries that armed, trained and financed the rebels, the USA prominent among them ..."
"... The problem with Syria is from the start the West saw Assad as an easy domino that will fold like Saddam and Gadaffi ..."
"... Something I also notice not mentioned is the amount of billions that weapons manufacturers and their lackeys in the foreign office make out of these destabilized countries. ..."
"... When Hitler launched his V1 cruise missiles us killing 5,000 Londoners we called them a vengeance weapon... But somehow 70 years later cruise missiles are liberators when deployed by us. ..."
Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

beingsentient , 13 Apr 2018 13:12

The situation in Syria is more nuanced than just calling out Assad as a butcher of his own people. For one, he is a butcher of some of his own people, for many others he must seem like a saviour as without his regime's resistance it's pretty obvious what the likes of Isis would have done to the non-extremists in Syria - the Christians and anyone not of their puritanical strain.

The real issue is that the established powers are struggling to cope with a multi-polar world. It was only a few decades ago that the world's capitalists were looking forward to a 'new world order' without any serious opponents. But then things went wrong, and countries refused to lay down for their new masters. Not only that, but Russia re-awoke and rejected the funnelling of its wealth into the coffers of the West via a few carefully selected oligarchs. Putin is undoubtedly not to liberal tastes, but he is the kind of leader Russians are historically used to and who has put Russia back on the map as a world power.

Striking Syria now will not halt the suffering of the Syrian people, and it will place the whole world in jeopardy. The potential price is too high. The best thing that could happen now is that Trump is removed from office and replaced by a sane politician intelligent enough to look after America's interests peacefully. Would the Syrian rebels have even started their uprising if they hadn't thought that they would be backed-up by the liberal West? We should withdraw from Syria and allow history and the Syrian people to make their own peace from the rubble.

Andersie , 13 Apr 2018 13:12
The two main points of this argument are so hypocritical that I want to start yelling at the screen.

First, that Assad is a butcher because the war made half a million victims. No, Assad is no more a butcher than the countries that armed, trained and financed the rebels, the USA prominent among them. If they hadn't done that to advance their own strategic objectives and to topple dictator they didn't like (because there's a lot of dictators that they like), the war wouldn't have even started. The 500000 victims are on the US's conscience, not Assad's.

Second, the idea that "It is indeed strange, but the extra revulsion at the use of chemical weapons is not groundless. The taboo on the use of such weapons held, with exceptions, for nearly a century."

Respectfully, it's bullshit. It emerged in 2013 that Saddam was helped by the USA gassing 50000 Iranians, both soldiers and civilians, in the 1980s- with chemical weapons developed with the help of American, British and French companies, among others. Exactly those that find unacceptable now the idea that 40 civilians *might* have been killed in a chemical attack by the "butcher" Assad. So tell us, when are these countries going to bomb themselves, as a just retribution for their heinous crimes?

HellHoundOnMyTrail -> radical , 13 Apr 2018 13:10
But there is *no* evidence that Assad has even done this. On the contrary, Russia has even accused the U.K government of being complicit in Douma.

Just apply logic to this: why would Assad do this? He has, buttressed by Russia, all but 'won' this wretched, heartbreaking civil war. So, on the cusp, he decides do use chemical weapons which all but guarantees the U.S will stay in Syria funding the 'rebels' that he's fighting. Sorry, it's just ludicrous to think he would do this.

supercool , 13 Apr 2018 13:10
The problem with Syria is from the start the West saw Assad as an easy domino that will fold like Saddam and Gadaffi, but with one subtle difference Syria is a government that has the backing of Iran, Russia and Hezbollah from the start. That they will not let Assad fall easily to have a puppet regime installed in Damascus that will do the West's bidding. No way that was going to happen. Iran saw it as a chance to consolidate itself as a hegemon in he Middle East and Russia as chance for payback time for their humiliation in Iraq and Libya, they were treated as an irrelevant country.

Assad is lucky and knows it, the West does not seem to learn that their interventions are resented around the world and smacks of neo-colonialism. Syria is third time unlucky, Russia, Iran and Syria are goading the West. It is your move and one false move they will be laughing for a long time. Lesson in this is let countries resolve their problems by themselves, Syria will not be the first or last country to see the use of Chemical weapons. It is vile & disgusting way to attack civilians but remember we supplied Saddam the same weapons to attack Iran in the 1980's and the world did nothing then. The West is not part of the solution in Syria neither from the start or now. Read the history books on who put the Alwaites and Assad's in power. It was France, the same France claiming they have evidence against Assad now. Please!

CanWeNotKnockIt -> Etagere , 13 Apr 2018 13:09
What is your plan?
What is your aim?
Has recent history taught you nothing?
ManUpTheTree -> LeftOrRightSameShite , 13 Apr 2018 13:09
Something I also notice not mentioned is the amount of billions that weapons manufacturers and their lackeys in the foreign office make out of these destabilized countries.
jane carter , 13 Apr 2018 13:03
The West is capable of lying and fabricating reasons to go to war. The lies told to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003 are evidence enough of that.
HelenWilsonMK , 13 Apr 2018 12:46
When Hitler launched his V1 cruise missiles us killing 5,000 Londoners we called them a vengeance weapon... But somehow 70 years later cruise missiles are liberators when deployed by us. The war crime committed by Bommer Harris on the people of Dresden shows you cannot bomb people into peace... So why are we still trying?

[Apr 20, 2018] Growing disillusionment of mass audience in neoliberal MSM

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

David williams , 13 Apr 2018 15:23

Not a supporter of any of the criminal operations that masquerade as governments worldwide, but it's way past the time when I can believe a word the Western powers utter in their quest to spread their vile economic doctrine.
For me the biggest question now is how best to avoid financing the evil they perpetrate
dannymega , 13 Apr 2018 15:22
So the Russian military claimed a month ago that Syrian rebels were planning a chlorine chemical weapon attack somewhere in Syria, three weeks later a chemical weapon chlorine attack happens in Douma... but the UK government along with all the UK mainstream media do not question perhaps it's the Jihadi/rebels who staged this attack, they ALL automatically blame Assad? Stinks to high heaven.

[Apr 20, 2018] President Assad and his wife, daughter of a UK BP man lived comfortably near my brother in London's Chelsea for several years. Now he is the evil incarnate. This all reminds me that Imperial behaviour not much has changed since ancient times. It is about monopoly on plunder.

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

harveybrown , 13 Apr 2018 15:29

President Assad and his wife, daughter of a UK BP man lived comfortably near my brother in London's Chelsea for several years.

This all reminds me that the roles may have reversed nowadays but otherwise not much has changed:

[ It is interesting to note that Allan Ramsay likewise deplored "a friendly alliance between the camp and the counting-house" for exactly the same reasons (Letters on the Present Disturbances, p.34). Ramsay maintained that of the evil consequences of such alliance "the two last wars carried on by England against France and Spain, furnish a most melancholy illustration.

To obtain the sole and exclusive commerce of the western world, in which the French and Spaniards were their rivals, was the modest wish of our merchants, in conjunction with our Americans.

The fair, and truly commercial, method of effecting this would have been, by superior skill, industry and frugality, to have undersold their rivals at market: but that method appearing slow and troublesome to a luxurious people, whose extraordinary expences* required extraordinary profits, a more expeditous one was devised; which was that of driving their rivals entirely out of the seas, and preventing them from bringing their goods at all to market. For this purpose, not having any fleets or armies of their own, the powers of the State were found necessary, and they applied them accordingly" (ibid., pp.32 f.).

Knorr, K. E. 'Ch02-Part2 British Colonial Theories 1570-1850'. In British Colonial Theories, 1570-1850. The University of Toronto Press, 1944. ]

[Apr 20, 2018] How come other countries are not getting involved in a Iraq 2.0 just the same warmongers who want to test their new toys... USA, France and us

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

ISON2015 -> uncommodified , 13 Apr 2018 15:25

As much bad as Assad did, nothing is more worse than the killings on civilians done my the "freedom fighters". Why is it for us Syria so important? How come other countries are not getting involved in a Iraq 2.0 just the same warmongers who want to test their new toys... USA, France and us... fighting a fight that costs us so much, plus the Brexit, plus the eventual payment afterwards , I really do not understand. What the frick are we doing in Middle East? Is there a English colony that we have forgotten? Or a France colony or even a USA colony? This strikes me as a fight for either resources or for influence or for pleasing the master Israel. I am clear of how this White Helmets operate , Eva Bartlett told us, and do not forget that there are plenty of vids on the whole internet of how they operate "Lights camera action" actors.

[Apr 20, 2018] How neoliberal MSM twist facts

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Ruby4 , 13 Apr 2018 14:15

Labour calls for the attack on Douma to be "fully investigated". That sounds unarguable. But then what? Jeremy Corbyn issued the same call after the chemical attack that killed at least 74 at Khan Sheikhoun a year ago: demanding there be a "UN investigation and those responsible be held to account". The UN duly investigated and in October concluded unambiguously that the Assad regime had used sarin gas. But Corbyn greeted that verdict with silence.

The report that Mr Freedland provides a link to, actually says:

"5. While the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission in the Syrian Arab Republic works to establish the facts surrounding allegations of the use of toxic chemicals for hostile purposes in the country, it is not mandated to reach conclusions about attributing responsibility for chemical weapons use. 1 Following a determination by the FactFinding Mission that a specific incident in the Syrian Arab Republic involved or likely involved the use of chemicals as weapons, the Mechanism conducts an investigation to identify, to the greatest extent feasible, the perpetrators, organizers, sponsors or those otherwise involved. In conducting its investigation, the Mechanism relies on findings of the Fact-Finding Mission regarding the use of chemicals as weapons in each incident and pursues a rigorous independent examination of the available information surrounding such use so as to identify, to the greatest extent feasible, those responsible."

It doesn't appear to be claiming to be concluding "unambiguously that the Assad regime had used sarin gas." Am I missing something here?

Mr Freedland's allegation that "Corbyn greeted that verdict with silence" is highly suspect:

"RT:Today, Moscow says it has evidence that rebels have used sarin gas. Earlier Britain said that Assad forces were behind the chemical attack. But why didn't Britain and the US come forward with the same sort of hard evidence that Russia has come forward with?

JC: That's an interesting question. I can't speak for the British or the US governments, but they made these allegations about the use of chemical weapons – and there are apparently stocks of chemical weapons being held in Syria, which may well have fallen into opposition hands, or may still be in government hands, or maybe both – but the assertion was made that they had been used. But no hard evidence came up, and indeed, there was a great deal of skepticism surrounding the evidence that was never presented. And the Russian evidence today appears much stronger, and they said they were going to put that evidence in the hands of the United Nations - that has got to be a good thing. However, proving or not proving this doesn't end the crisis, there has to be the rapid resumption of talks by Geneva too, all parties must be involved – including Iran. If we're to bring about a settlement, there's got to be involvement of Iran, as well as all the different parties in Syria."

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/syria-chemical-weapons-evidence-926 /

[Apr 20, 2018] As the British government release shedloads of crocodile tears over their paid for White Helmet video footage, and moan like spiteful children how they want to bomb more people, let look at some other inconvenient facts

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Metreemewall , 13 Apr 2018 15:27

This post by Just in Thyme has just been mode rated:

"As the British government release shedloads of crocodile tears over their paid for White Helmet video footage, and moan like spiteful children how they want to bomb more people, let look at some other inconvenient facts.

The Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights announced on March 25 that the Saudi-led war had left 600,000 civilians dead and injured since March 2015. The United Nations says a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of food aid, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. Meanwhile the Saudis shovel their bits of silver into the empty coffers of the NATO warmongers.

Who said money cannot buy influence, Its was the UK that backed Britain backed Saudi Arabia's election to the United Nations top human right's body as part of a vote trading deal – despite the Gulf State's appalling abuse record. Secret cables reportedly show that Britain approached Saudi Arabia about the trade ahead of the 2013 election for membership of the Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The Saudi regime has executed 135 people since January on charges ranging from murder to witchcraft.

The lynch mob government, we all voted for, and this is what democracy is really all about???"

Would anyone like to say why?

[Apr 20, 2018] Iran didn't instigate the Twin Towers or the London attacks, didn't instigate the invasion of Iraq, didn't instigate the overthrowing of Libya, didn't instigate the war in Syria, didn't instigate the war in Yemen and didn't fund and arm ISIS.

Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

denzel185 -> Guimard , 13 Apr 2018 15:29

Iran didn't instigate the Twin Towers or the London attacks, didn't instigate the invasion of Iraq, didn't instigate the overthrowing of Libya, didn't instigate the war in Syria, didn't instigate the war in Yemen and didn't fund and arm ISIS.

The gave support following US intervention. Mmm, I wonder why they have such an issue with the US?

http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/08/26/exclusive-cia-files-prove-america-helped-saddam-as-he-gassed-iran/

[Apr 20, 2018] In an age of fake news and endless propaganda it's very difficult these days to see the woods from the trees

When Hitler launched his V1 cruise missiles us killing 5,000 Londoners we called them a vengeance weapon...
Apr 20, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com

Patrick Ryan , 13 Apr 2018 13:28

In an age of fake news and endless propaganda it's very difficult these days to see the woods from the trees... The words butcher and thug are easily thrown around in the Syrian civil war.
It appears some people have short memories as it wasn't that long ago when we were witnessing the alternative world of Islamic State in Syria. Head choppers running amok and anyone suspected of being gay being chucked off tall buildings. Women being flogged to death for trumped up charges of adultery. Kids having their hands cut off for stealing apples.
To make matters worse these sadistic psychopaths were armed and driving around in vehicles supplied by the West... It had developed into a living hell for many as the death cult of Isis took hold.
I remember the so called thug Putin saying someone had to take on these terrorists...
The West were reluctant to do the dirty work required... So it came down to Russia to get boots on the ground to help defeat Islamic State.
jparmetler , 13 Apr 2018 13:27
Why does the UK supply the terror supporters of the Arabian Peninsula with weapons while fighting and vilifying Assad? This is real hypocrisy. Yemenis suffer horrendously from Saudi attacks, the UK's close friends. Assad always guaranteed religious freedom and Syrians enjoyed much more freedom than any of the Middle Eastern countries.
Karega , 13 Apr 2018 13:23
What's actually is disconcerting is the fact that mainline media have taken the alleged chemical attack as a fact. They don't have their reporters on the ground or even Western military personnel in the area. But a claim and some unauthenticated videos from headchoppers are taken as a fact. A fact which is not allowed to be tested or critiqued. Does it mean they just want more bombs and missiles to hammer Syria and any reason/justification would do?

[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 19, 2018] Merkel is a CIA asset. She has skeletons in her closet from her time in East Germany, and her meteoric rise to power was clearly engineered by a third party she herself lacked both the experience and the power base within the party for doing it herself

Judging from German press, Germany really looks like a US colony, not even vassal state.
Notable quotes:
"... She was promoted over Kohl's natural successor, Schaeuble, who was discredited using comparatively trifling allegations of accepting improper donations (aka bribes) on behalf of the party. ..."
"... Merkel has betrayed German interests at every turn, most blatantly in the context of the Greek debt fiasco and the refugee fake crisis. She goes along with imposing sanctions on Russia, which hurts export-oriented Germany like no other Western country. ..."
"... Merkel's selection as chancellor does not explain why German electorate keep electing her party as majority, which then is in the position to name her as chancellor. German people have been lobotomized and neutered after decades of Soros-Neocon brainwashing. ..."
Apr 19, 2018 | www.unz.com

WorkingClass , April 17, 2018 at 2:47 pm GMT

The most interesting aspect of this false response to a false flag attack is the non participation by Germany. Turkey has one foot in both camps. Germany will be next to turn. Time is working against Imperial Washington.

Mike P , April 18, 2018 at 5:50 pm GMT

@WorkingClass

German expat here.

Merkel is a CIA asset. She has skeletons in her closet from her time in East Germany, and her meteoric rise to power was clearly engineered by a third party -- she herself lacked both the experience and the power base within the party for doing it herself. She was promoted over Kohl's natural successor, Schaeuble, who was discredited using comparatively trifling allegations of accepting improper donations (aka bribes) on behalf of the party.

Merkel has betrayed German interests at every turn, most blatantly in the context of the Greek debt fiasco and the refugee fake crisis. She goes along with imposing sanctions on Russia, which hurts export-oriented Germany like no other Western country. At the same time, the "ultra-right" (i.e. common sense) party "Alternative fuer Deutschland" is forever mired in ridiculous infighting, which regularly escalates just ahead of elections -- funny how that is. Must be those meddling Russians.

Long story short, hell will freeze over before Merkel decides herself what is for breakfast, never mind for policy. I wish we could clone Putin and import him.

Avery , April 18, 2018 at 6:30 pm GMT
@Mike P

Merkel's selection as chancellor does not explain why German electorate keep electing her party as majority, which then is in the position to name her as chancellor. German people have been lobotomized and neutered after decades of Soros-Neocon brainwashing.

There is no other explanation for people who are committing slow self-extermination as a distinct ethnos. Same with the French electorate: they had a chance to elect a true French patriot and instead chose another globalist weirdo poodle.

Mike P , April 18, 2018 at 7:49 pm GMT
@Avery

Merkel's party has no majority – actually her party's share of the vote is at historic lows with less than one third (traditionally it was 45-50%). She has moved that formerly conservative party to the left by co-opting green and welfare agendas of the competing parties. The other formerly strong party, the Social Democrats, have been reduced to a status of auxiliaries in an eternal "grand coalition". In spite of infighting, the new "right-wing" AfD came in third in the last elections.

But of course, as you say, the people's failure to get rid of her is due in large measure to relentless media brainwashing, they swallow the refugee nonsense because it is subliminally suggested that it atones for the "holocaust" etc. I don't read a single German newspaper anymore, the manure is just too depressing.

Sean , April 18, 2018 at 8:39 pm GMT
@Mike P

Militarily subsidised by Nato, Germany spends next to nothing on its own defence and is keeping wages down even more than usual by importing immigrants, thereby aiding its deindustrialising of the rest of the EU. Russia is declining in national power compared to Germany by getting into silly pissing contests with America. Adolf Hitler always said it would be necessary to sacrifice millions of Germans to make Germany Great. He would approve of Merkel.

Mike P , April 18, 2018 at 9:47 pm GMT
@Sean

What keeps German wages down, in real terms, is the Euro, not the migrants.

You are correct on the neglect of the armed forces. I have griped about it often, but I have recently changed my tune. If the forces were indeed up to snuff, this would only cause the U.S. to "ask" for their deployment in their many endless idiotic wars. Letting the troops degrade to some sort of war museum on wheels is a sly way of getting out of that – can't deploy in the short term, sorry, no spark plugs, but will be more than happy to go along for the next war so I now see this as one of the few things Merkel got right.

[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 18, 2018] Russia, China, Iran and others are increasingly concerned with curtailing the damage that the US can still inflict

Notable quotes:
"... The clearing of Ghouta puts a serious dent in this plan. Demoralizing the population of Damascus is now almost impossible. ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org
Jackrabbit , Apr 18, 2018 11:59:00 AM | 145
Don Bacon
PavewayIV

The West wins by making Syria a hell on earth. That means no reconstruction funding, no trade, and continuous harassment by "rebels".

The clearing of Ghouta puts a serious dent in this plan. Demoralizing the population of Damascus is now almost impossible.

But Lebanon is only about 15 miles from Damascus, and US/Israel would have to deal with Hez at some point anyway, so why not sooner rather than later?

Grieved | Apr 18, 2018 12:00:50 PM | 146

@131 WJ and 134 Don Bacon

I appreciate this discussion.

On a side note I would add that 3-4 years ago when Ukraine was boiling, much of the discussion by concerned people focused on countries outside of the US, and the damage caused by the US. The US, in this context, was largely regarded as an evil but coherent entity.

But that coherence has now come more and more into question. Discussion shifted gradually, as the US made more and more mistakes and lost battle after battle in so many theaters, and revealed itself as a failing actor. And in the last year or two there's much more discussion about the US itself, largely trying to pierce the obscurity of how that country is actually run and by whom. This shift was already happening, and Trump of course added to the fascination.

I was glad to see that gradual shift. To me it indicated the war itself was won, while many battles were yet to be fought. I think it's true that Russia, China, Iran and others are increasingly concerned with curtailing the damage that the US can still inflict. Every day they increase in actual, effective power, and the US decreases in that power. Yesterday's battle will be fought differently tomorrow, because the balance of that power will have shifted again by then.

Syria has been an enormously useful magnifying glass to show us so much about the relative power balances of many nations. And even as the US lashes out in its death throes, it is increasingly cornered and stymied. The same is true of Israel. It's reaching the point - if not already there - that every move made by the US will result in clear damage to itself, with no gain, and no damage to its targets.

The other side has had sufficient time to wargame countless contingencies, and think them through and make preparations for them. Increasingly, it gets to choose what damage to allow and what to stop, because the costs of every action have now been calculated - and the passage of time reduces the costs too, so the equation constantly updates.

This is true outside of Syria also, in all theaters and on many planes of activity.

[Apr 18, 2018] The US Deep State doesn't want to "conquer" any country. Then they'd have to pay the bill for the destruction they caused... think an actual Marshall Plan, not the Iraq and Afghan Debacles. It is not trying to "win". It is trying to destroy those countries' ability to function outside the iron-fist influence of the IMF/BIS

Notable quotes:
"... Trumpty Dumbdy is trapped, just trying to convince his base that he really is getting the US out ..."
Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

A P | Apr 18, 2018 1:42:41 PM | 160

The US Deep State doesn't want to "conquer" any country. Then they'd have to pay the bill for the destruction they caused... think an actual Marshall Plan, not the Iraq and Afghan Debacles. It is not trying to "win". It is trying to destroy those countries' ability to function outside the iron-fist influence of the IMF/BIS/etc. banks/economy.

... ... ..

As for US operations in Syria being handed off "to others", i.e. to Prince's latest iteration of Blackwater/Xi/Academia, the last we heard of Erik was trying to sell a budget airforce/drone system to countries in Africa. What a joke.

Not going to happen in Syria, because Russia, Iran, Hezbolla and Syria would have no qualms about directly assaulting Prince's Kurd/Arab/Wahabbist mercenaries... Eric may be a self-serving parasite, but he's not stupid enough to directly take on the Russian military, or even the SAA for that matter. Especially with no NATO air cover...

Killary is not around to unilaterally impose a Libya-style no-fly-zone.

Trumpty Dumbdy is trapped, just trying to convince his base that he really is getting the US out of being Israel's and the Rothschilds' bitch, but that is not a potential reality.

It would involve dismantling the FED and cutting off the yearly $multi-billion military aid tap to Israel. I doubt he is smart or informed enough to comprehend the situation he is in. Any sane, intelligent person would walk away and tell the Zionist/Rothschild/Deep State to find another patsy.

[Apr 18, 2018] Obama vs Trump: That is how the political mechanism of faux populism works.

Apr 18, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit | Apr 18, 2018 11:42:04 AM | 142

Don Bacon

Trump's actions have not matched his election rhetoric. Just like faux populist Obama. Obama also "caved" to pressure, and even set himself up for failure by emphasing "bipartisanship".

That is how the political mechanism of faux populism works.

Obama: Change you can believe in
Trump: Make America Great Again

Obama: Most transparent administration ever
Trump: Drain the Swamp

Obama: Deceiver: "Man of Peace" engaging in covert ops
Trump: Distractor: twitter, personal vendettas

Weakened by claims of unpatriotic inclinations:
Obama: Birthers (led by Trump who was close to Clinton's) - "Muslim socialist"!
Trump: Russia influence (pushed by 'NeverTrump' Clinton loyalists) - Putin's bitch!

There's more but I won't belabor the point.

[Apr 17, 2018] The Guardian view on bombing Syria: a decision for parliament. Editorial

Apr 17, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

Theresa May's decision to authorise British military action over the skies of Syria by royal prerogative rather than obtaining the backing of parliament was the wrong thing to do. Even if the prime minister thinks it was done for the right reasons. It was wrong because the government's plans should have been articulated so that MPs could have had a chance to endorse – or reject – a motion to bomb Bashar al-Assad's weapons factories. It was wrong because there was no emergency – an exception used when after a debate MPs retrospectively endorsed action against Muammar Gaddafi's Libya . It was wrong because only prime ministers can recall parliament – and there was time to do so. It was wrong because decisions about how to police the unlawful use of weapons of mass destructive terror in Syria turn upon judgment rather than available facts.

Parliament is the best place to assess whether the use of military force serves the overall interests of a nation in such cases. This is especially true of a government without a majority of its own. Jeremy Corbyn's resurrection of an old idea for a war powers act , which would force the PM not to authorise the active and large-scale deployment of British forces overseas without the approval of the House of Commons, ought not to be dismissed.

But it should be accompanied by a wider recognition that the days of self-regulation of cabinet government are over. Observing the parliamentary convention would be better than creating an act where fractious disagreements over the precise nature of the circumstances in which the law is to be applied – especially in a situation as fluid and volatile as war – prevail.

[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] Macron takes fire for Syria attack

Macron is a neoliberal. As such he is a Washington marionette. So what other behaviour you would expect from him ? He is no Charles de Gaulle
And UN charter was violated by the USA already so many times, that it is difficult to take its existence seriously. The USA clearly view itself above the law at least since 1991.
"Ten days ago, President Trump was saying 'the United States should withdraw from Syria.' We convinced him it was necessary to stay." Thus boasted French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday, adding, "We convinced him it was necessary to stay for the long term."
Apr 16, 2018 | www.presstv.com

On Monday, the head of the far-left France Insoumise party, Jean-Luc Melenchon, said that there was no proof of the chemical attacks which were used as a pretext to the US-led strikes.

"It's in this context that morals and the adherence to the resolution of the United Nations does not fully prove advantageous, that we intervened, without any proof. I'm not saying without certainty or conviction. I'm not saying that intelligence services are incapable of evaluating the situation," he added.

"But according to international law and international action, we can only act based on proof confirmed by institutions that are responsible. However, these institutions were in the process of conducting their investigations at the time of the strikes," he said during parliamentary debate on the airstrikes.

He further noted that strikes were carried out without a mandate from the United Nations "I'm adding that not only did we not have any mandate from the United Nations, but we did not at all consider any regional organization involved in the situation in Syria, or at least Western ones," he added.

Melenchon went on to stress that the attacks were carried out without consideration of "the people in whose name we claim to act."

The leader of the far-right Front National, Marine Le Pen, also said that Macron had not offered any evidence of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime.

On Sunday, Macron defending the strikes claiming that he convinced US President Donald Trump to keep troops in Syria. Wh ,> 1 hour ago

Think about it, the three stooges strikes chemical sites irresponsibly in order to make them
airborne to kill more civilians. Fortunately non of the sites that were bombed did NOT have
any airborne of chemical syndrome, that meant there were no chemical weapon at those
sites. Douma must have been targeted but those missiles were shoot down. They will make
false flag again in order to destroy Douma to erase false evidence.

[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] Syria: chemical weapons inspectors barred from Douma site

That's very suspicious. Do Brits try top prevent OPCW team getting to the site?
Apr 16, 2018 | www.theguardian.com
Russia and the Syrian regime have been accused by western diplomats of denying chemical weapons inspectors access to sites in the town of Douma, where an attack killed dozens and prompted US-led missile strikes over the weekend.

Russia and Syria had cited "pending security issues" before inspectors could deploy to the town outside Damascus, said Ahmet Üzümcü, the director-general of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, at a meeting of the OPCW's executive council.

Syrian authorities were offering 22 people to interview as witnesses instead, he said, adding that he hoped "all necessary arrangements will be made to allow the team to deploy to Douma as soon as possible".

Meanwhile, the Trump administration delayed action on sanctions against Russians suspected of helping Syria's chemical weapons programme, contradicting remarks on Sunday by the US envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley.

[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] British Propaganda and Disinformation An Imperial and Colonial Tradition by Wayne MADSEN

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... For decades, a little-known section of the British Foreign Office – the Information Research Department (IRD) – carried out propaganda campaigns using the international media as its platform on behalf of MI-6. Years before Syria's Bashar al-Assad, Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Libya's Muammar Qaddafi, and Sudan's Omar al-Bashir became targets for Western destabilization and "regime change." IRD and its associates at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and in the newsrooms and editorial offices of Fleet Street broadsheets, tabloids, wire services, and magazines, particularly "The Daily Telegraph," "The Times," "Financial Times," Reuters, "The Guardian," and "The Economist," ran media smear campaigns against a number of leaders considered to be leftists, communists, or FTs (fellow travelers). ..."
"... After the Cold War, this same propaganda operation took aim at Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Somalia's Mohamad Farrah Aidid, and Haiti's Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Today, it is Assad's, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's, and Catalonian independence leader Carles Puigdemont's turn to be in the Anglo-American state propaganda gunsights. Even Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, long a darling of the Western media and such propaganda moguls as George Soros, is now being targeted for Western visa bans and sanctions over the situation with Muslim Rohingya insurgents in Rakhine State. ..."
"... Through IRD-MI-6-Central Intelligence Agency joint propaganda operations, many British journalists received payments, knowingly or unknowingly, from the CIA via a front in London called Forum World Features (FWF), owned by John Hay Whitney, publisher of the "New York Herald Tribune" and a former US ambassador to London. ..."
Apr 16, 2018 | www.strategic-culture.org

When it comes to creating bogus news stories and advancing false narratives, the British intelligence services have few peers. In fact, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI-6) has led the way for its American "cousins" and Britain's Commonwealth partners – from Canada and Australia to India and Malaysia – in the dark art of spreading falsehoods as truths. Recently, the world has witnessed such MI-6 subterfuge in news stories alleging that Russia carried out a novichok nerve agent attack against a Russian émigré and his daughter in Salisbury, England. This propaganda barrage was quickly followed by yet another – the latest in a series of similar fabrications – alleging the Syrian government attacked civilians in Douma, outside of Damascus, with chemical weapons.

It should come as no surprise that American news networks rely on British correspondents stationed in northern Syria and Beirut as their primary sources. MI-6 has historically relied on non-official cover (NOC) agents masquerading primarily as journalists, but also humanitarian aid workers, Church of England clerics, international bankers, and hotel managers, to carry out propaganda tasks. These NOCs are situated in positions where they can promulgate British government disinformation to unsuspecting actual journalists and diplomats.

For decades, a little-known section of the British Foreign Office – the Information Research Department (IRD) – carried out propaganda campaigns using the international media as its platform on behalf of MI-6. Years before Syria's Bashar al-Assad, Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Libya's Muammar Qaddafi, and Sudan's Omar al-Bashir became targets for Western destabilization and "regime change." IRD and its associates at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and in the newsrooms and editorial offices of Fleet Street broadsheets, tabloids, wire services, and magazines, particularly "The Daily Telegraph," "The Times," "Financial Times," Reuters, "The Guardian," and "The Economist," ran media smear campaigns against a number of leaders considered to be leftists, communists, or FTs (fellow travelers).

These leaders included Indonesia's President Sukarno, North Korean leader (and grandfather of Pyongyang's present leader) Kim Il-Sung, Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser, Cyprus's Archbishop Makarios, Cuba's Fidel Castro, Chile's Salvador Allende, British Guiana's Cheddi Jagan, Grenada's Maurice Bishop, Jamaica's Michael Manley, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega, Guinea's Sekou Toure, Burkina Faso's Thomas Sankara, Australia's Gough Whitlam, New Zealand's David Lange, Cambodia's Norodom Sihanouk, Malta's Dom Mintoff, Vanuatu's Father Walter Lini, and Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah.

After the Cold War, this same propaganda operation took aim at Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Somalia's Mohamad Farrah Aidid, and Haiti's Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Today, it is Assad's, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's, and Catalonian independence leader Carles Puigdemont's turn to be in the Anglo-American state propaganda gunsights. Even Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, long a darling of the Western media and such propaganda moguls as George Soros, is now being targeted for Western visa bans and sanctions over the situation with Muslim Rohingya insurgents in Rakhine State.

Through IRD-MI-6-Central Intelligence Agency joint propaganda operations, many British journalists received payments, knowingly or unknowingly, from the CIA via a front in London called Forum World Features (FWF), owned by John Hay Whitney, publisher of the "New York Herald Tribune" and a former US ambassador to London.

It is not a stretch to believe that similar and even more formal relationships exist today between US and British intelligence and so-called British "journalists" reporting from such war zones as Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, and the Gaza Strip, as well as from much-ballyhooed nerve agent attack locations as Salisbury, England.

No sooner had recent news reports started to emerge from Douma about a Syrian chlorine gas and sarin agent attack that killed between 40 to 70 civilians, British reporters in the Middle East and London began echoing verbatim statements from the Syrian "White Helmets" and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

In actuality, the White Helmets – claimed by Western media to be civilian defense first-responders but are Islamist activists connected to jihadist radical groups funded by Saudi Arabia – are believed to have staged the chemical attack in Douma by entering the municipality's hospital and dowsing patients with buckets of water, video cameras at the ready. The White Helmets distributed their videos to the global news media, with the BBC and Rupert Murdoch's Sky News providing a British imprimatur to the propaganda campaign asserting that Assad carried out another "barrel bomb" chemical attack against "his own people." And, as always, the MI-6 financed Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an anti-Assad news front claimed to be operated by a Syrian expatriate and British national named Rami Abdel Rahman from his clothing shop in Coventry, England, began providing second-sourcing for the White Helmet's chemical attack claims.

With President Trump bringing more and more neo-conservatives, discredited from their massive anti-Iraq propaganda operations during the Bush-Cheney era, into his own administration, the world is witnessing the prolongation of the "Trump Doctrine."

The Trump Doctrine can best be explained as follows: A nation will be subject to a US military attack depending on whether Trump is facing a severe political or sex scandal at home.

Such was the case in April 2017, when Trump ordered a cruise missile attack on the joint Syrian-Russian airbase at Shayrat, Syria. Trump was still reeling from the resignation of his National Security Adviser, Lt. General Michael Flynn, in February over the mixing of his private consulting business with his official White House duties. Trump needed a diversion and the false accusation that Assad used sarin gas on the village of Khan Sheikoun on April 4, 2017, provided the necessary pabulum for the war-hungry media.

The most recent cruise missile attack was to divert the public's attention away from Trump's personal attorney being raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a sex scandal involving Trump and a porn actress, and a "tell-all" book by Trump's fired FBI director, James Comey.

Although these two scandals provided opportunities for the neo-cons to test Trump with false flag operations in Syria, they were not the first time such actions had been carried out. In 2013, the Syrian government was blamed for a similar chemical attack on civilians in Ghouta. That year, Syrian rebels, supported by the Central Intelligence Agency, admitted to the Associated Press reporter on the ground in Syria that they had been given banned chemical weapons by Saudi Arabia, but that the weapons canisters exploded after improper handling by the rebels. Immediately, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Syrian rebel organizations operating out of Turkey claimed that Assad had used chemical-laden barrel bombs on "his own people." However, Turkish, American, and Lebanese sources confirmed that it was the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) that had badly bungled a false flag sarin nerve agent attack on Ghouta.

Few Western media outlets were concerned about a March 19, 2013, sarin nerve agent by the Bashair al-Nasr Brigade rebel group linked to the US- and British-backed Free Syrian Army. The rebels used a "Bashair-3" unguided projectile, containing the deadly sarin agent, on civilians in Khan al-Assal, outside Aleppo. At least 27 civilians were killed, and scores of others injured in the attack. The Syrian Kurds also reported the use of chemical weapons on them during the same time frame by Syrian rebel groups backed by the United States, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. The usual propaganda operations – Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Doctors Without Borders, the BBC, CNN, and Sky News – were all silent about these attacks.

In 2013, April 2017, and April 2018, the Western media echo chamber blared out all the same talking points: "Assad killing his own people," "Syrian weapons of mass destruction," and the "mass murder of women and children." Western news networks featured videos of dead women and children, while paid propagandists, known as "contributors" to corporate news networks – all having links to the military-intelligence complex – demanded action be taken against Assad.

Trump, now being advised by the notorious neocon war hawk John Bolton, the new National Security Adviser, began referring to Assad as an "animal" and a "monster." Bolton, along with Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff Irving Lewis "Scooter" Libby, helped craft similar language against Saddam Hussein prior to the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq. It was not coincidental that Trump – at the urging of Bolton and other neocons – gave a full pardon to Libby on the very same day he ordered the cruise missile attack on Damascus and other targets in Syria. Libby was convicted in 2005 of perjury and illegally disclosing national security information.

The world is being asked to take, at face value, the word of patented liars like Trump, Bolton, and other neocons who are now busy joining the Trump administration at breakneck speed. The corporate media unabashedly acts as though it never lied about the reasons given by the United States and Britain for going to war in Iraq and Libya. Why should anyone believe them now?

Tags: UK al-Assad Propaganda

Wayne MADSEN Investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club

[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 15, 2018] Wonder how Monbiot feels now Syrians are being killed by western bombs?

Apr 15, 2018 | off-guardian.org

Harry Stotle says April 14, 2018

Wonder how Monbiot feels now Syrians are being killed by western bombs?

Will he be slightly suspicious about the urgency of the attack (which took place just before the inspectors were due to go in) or indeed lack of parliamentary scrutiny about the necessity for such extreme measures, not to mention the potentially catastrophic consequences of provoking Russia?

The US is not under threat and neither is the UK – the Syrians have not asked for bombs to be dropped on them.

The information sources alleging the use of chemical weapons come from the same tainted Sunni extremists using weapons supplied by the west to destroy Yemen.

Francis Lee says April 14, 2018
Yep, those Jihadi pals of Monbiot and co, need all the help they can get now that they are losing the war against the legitimate government of Syria. Next time there is a jihadi outrage against London, Manchester, Paris or St.Tropez, let's see what the likes of Monbiot and the rest of the liberal-imperialist scum at the Guran has to say. This is Iraq all over again. Every time the US-NATO wants to bomb a recalcitrant country they invent a pretext. The Gulf of Tonkin incident, Saddams fabled WMDs and now the fake chemical attack in Syria. Is there anything worse than liberal imperialism? This has been a political game changer. It is now apparent beyond doubt that the liberals are on the side of the most vicious ultra-right warmongering crazies.
Jen says April 14, 2018
What I find troubling about George Monbiot's opinions on President Assad and his supposed habit of celebrating SAA victories by gassing the very people who voted him back as President in 2014 (maybe they can't get enough of being gassed by sarin and chlorine, eh, George?) is his use of strong and often bullying language towards critics like Tim Hayward, Patrick Henningsen and Vanessa Beeley. He has the hide to question Beeley on who funds her work and insinuates that she is in the pay of the Russian government. If he only stuck to his opinion and dubious Just War reasoning – he would be all for invading Syria if, say, Denmark or Sweden were in charge of leading the cavalry – at least he would be tolerable. But to tell Hayward that he should listen to a suspicious and sinister character like Oz Katerji – who openly flaunts his friendship with takfiris – "for [his own] sake" amounts to harassment.

Such behaviour seems borderline psychotic.

writerroddis says April 14, 2018
Quite.
vexarb says April 14, 2018
Meanwhile, back in the real Syria:

Briefing by official representative of Russian Defence Ministry Major General Igor Konashenkov Full Transcript

http://eng.mil.ru/en/news_page/country/more.htm?id=12171238@egNews

The Russian Centre for Reconciliation jointly with the Syrian authorities is completing the large-scale humanitarian operation in the suburbs of Damascus – the Eastern Ghouta. In total, 170,152 people have been evacuated during the operation, including 63,117 militants with their families.

All the settlements in the Eastern Ghouta are currently under the control of the Syrian government.

The Russian military police has been deployed in the Eastern Ghouta in order to monitor situation and maintain law enforcement.

As environment in the suburbs of Damscus stabilizing, people are making their way back home. In total some 63,000 people have return to their homes now. It makes a half of those who had left the area.

The Syrian government working on rehabilitation of destroyed civilian infrastructure. Power and water supply systems have been recovered; reconstruction is underway in the area. People are provided with medical assistance.

Thus, the present-day Eastern Ghouta is far from a "black hole" where no one could get to, but a capital suburb returning to peaceful life.

intergenerationaltrauma says April 14, 2018
Excellent article. I suppose I shouldn't be too terribly surprised by Monbiot's irrational and immoral stance on Syria, as it's lack of logic and ethical coherence dovetails nicely with his new found support for nuclear power as a solution to climate change – inspired no less by the events at Fukishima. Quite amazing actually!

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/mar/21/pro-nuclear-japan-fukushima

Kev says April 14, 2018
I used to respect Monbiot Silly me

If Monbiot wanted to find out what was happening he could find out just as easily as we found out. Hes a fake, a traitor and a supporter of the destruction of a securer democracy by British backed Al Qaeda terrorists on the orders of the zionist state.. There are no excuses.

I have nothing but contempt for Monbiot or the people he works for and nothing but respect for the Syrian people who stand against Monbiots head chopping, child killing, family burning, evil cannibalistic scum

Kathy says April 13, 2018
Some times people become so lost in their own ego through education and privilege that they no longer have capacity to recognize anything but hubris. The whole education system pushes this mindset through reward and accolade to the most susceptible students. This system encourages a level of blind faith in the theories that are taught to them to the the point that the student forgets that what they are being taught is only theory and indoctrination that they should have learned to question. These students are the ones that life opens up for. They are afforded the best jobs, high life styles, nice houses with big mortgages effectively trapping them in a spiders web that becomes difficult to escape from even if they do wake up. Deep down they realize that they are out of their depth but keep up the pretense. These people become the perfect mouth pieces for the state and don't even necessarily realize they have been hijacked and compromised by their status. This makes it difficult for them to recognize others opinions and to question them selves or the narrative they hold. To query there stance unhinges them. This is the point that they often become dogmatic, dismissive and angry . The worst ones are often the ones who see them selves as liberal as they really do believe that they have got where they are by being intelligent and informed. Guardian journalists seem particularly susceptible to this belief. The most sinister part about these journalists is they do manage to manipulate their readers on an insidious level lulling them with their {liberalism}.
Paul says April 13, 2018
I appreciate the force and elegance of Prof. Hayward's argumentation. I'm not sure, though, why he would stop at (or, for that matter, start with) the loyalty of the Syrian army. He was, after all, elected and even after several years of violence, it could probably be fairly plausibly confirmed (or disconfirmed), in principle at least, that he has majority (indeed increased) support among the population. Another argument subject to (dis)confirmation would be that a very significant number of the "rebels" and the vast bulk of their funding, training, weapons and diplomatic / media cover are not Syrian. They would not, then, be part of a rebellion but foreign mercenaries or (largely Salafist) fundamentalist legions in a regime change operation that happens to be consistent with American policy towards Syria since the 1940s.
Harry Law says April 13, 2018
During the time [around 2011] Monbiot was asking people about their opinions on Syria an opinion poll on Syria was published, "According to the latest opinion poll commissioned by The Doha Debates [ the sponsors of the debate no supporters of Assad by any means] Syrians are more supportive of their president with 55% not wanting him to resign". One of the main reasons given by those wanting the president to stay in power was fear for the future of the country". Then in the 2016 presidential election Assad won gaining 88% of vote. Followed by Parliamentary elections when the Ba'ath party won 200 out of 250 seats. The Syrian army is majority Sunni and the majority of the Government is Sunni. He has overwhelming support inside and outside Syria, in Lebanon for instance there was a huge turnout for Assad with tens of thousands queuing up to vote for him.
How anyone can voice support for the "rebels" is beyond me, since they are made up mostly of Jihadis who want to slaughter any opposition to themselves. They say so themselves.
Harry Law says April 13, 2018
Sorry Presidential elections were in 2014, the Parliamentary elections were in 2016.
Mulga Mumblebrain says April 13, 2018
Very early on in the jihadist attack on Syria, there was a massive demonstration in Damascus of two million, where a huge Syrian flag was held aloft by the crowd, in support of the Government. It was broadcast on the Austfalian SBS 'multicultural' TV as an 'ANTI-Assad' demonstration ie a complete LIE, but one as far as I know never acknowledged or retracted.
Thereafter, until today, the SBS, has been the vilest of all our filthy fakestream propagandists working for a takfiri victory. The Syrian Government is 'the regime'. The salafist child crucifiers 'rebels', the favoured media source the al-Jazeera sewer controlled by the vile Wahhabist Qatar regime, one of the prime sponsors of the death-squad butchers. The SBS even has a coterie of female voice-over operatives, whose histrionic utterances, spitting out the hate propaganda, often verge on hysteria.
I've often wondered why they took this position. I suspect Zionist influence, all pervasive in this country, but NEVER dared to be mentioned (the PM Turnbull represents the richest electorate in the country with a large Jewish constituency, and his groveling is epic)and Saudi. For decades the Sordid Arabians have been allowed to finance Wahhabist proselytisation in this country, including in Moslem schools, a decision of bizarre stupidity. As a result we sent scores of enthusiastic wannabe head-loppers to Syria, one of whom was photographed grinning as his seven year old son held up a severed head. While these butchers were used in Islamophobic hate propaganda, the scum death-squad army they were members of, was still afforded TOTAL support by the local fakestream as 'rebels' against 'animal Assad'.
writerroddis says April 13, 2018
This is excellent. Far from being 'too kind' to Monbiot, its restraint, both in tone and in substantive argument – not making claims that can't be defended, and being precise on such as the difference between high probability and empirical or logical certainty – is a great strength. Hayward stands head and shoulders above Monbiot not just in his arguments but in his scrupulous manner of advancing them.
stevehayes13 says April 13, 2018
Monbiot is a fake. His role is to help maintain the fiction that there is a diversity of opinions in the corporate media, which enables them to pretend there is no rational dissent from the official narrative when the pretend left and the centre and the right all agree, such as when they all say: Assad is bad.
Etegere says April 13, 2018
This is a very well put together piece on a very troubling individual. Monbiot has always been deeply suspicious in my view. He issues his statements (often lies) and never engages his critics, evidently viewing criticism as an intolerable offense. Not the behaviour of an honourable man.

I would very much like to see a follow-up piece similar to this but that looks wider and takes apart his deception on issues other than Syria.

Ultimately, he should not be working as a so-called journalist. His ability to push lies is deeply offensive to those of us with an interest in truth and integrity. He is truly a stain.

Binra (@onemindinmany) says April 13, 2018
The feeling I get from Tim Hayward's article is of lost love – but not in the romantic sense – for Monbiot – who he used to feel part of, believe in, stand side by side with? Is this a long letter TO G.M?

There's another feeling I get over the incitement to war on Syria – and that is of the many being forced, terrorized, or convinced at least that going along with the pressure to act out the line or at least not challenge it – is the choosing of a lesser evil.

However I do not see any convincing actors on the stage in the 'case' for making war on Syria. Only of assets by one means or another.

We may be misled about most everything, perhaps because the mind from its earliest adaptations to sense of loss of love, support and connection, learns to mask pain and seek protection in strategies of self justification.

Since the earliest catastrophic beginnings of the development of this peculiarly split human consciousness, the gods that terrorised us from above were sacrificed to in supplication of appeasement. So that which sends fire and plague is entreated to save us from it. Nothing has changed but the costumes of its human reenactments.

I feel it is time for a New Story.
Don't fight over narrative – just read where it comes from with some compassion. The promise of 'power and protection' reveals a hollow and pathetic dependency. We feed a monster as if to 'survive'.

The capacity for introspection is also the capacity to uncover a fundamental humanity within even the worst of times. Everyone acts in self interest as in that moment they define themselves to be in relation to it. The lie is considered bad to be exposed in – but necessary to hide by.

But if everything is subjugated to serve a lie (too big to fail) then there is nothing true – excepting the power to say so and enforce it, and is that not the 'thinking' to which we have been trained to suckle?

I cannot make another man (or woman's) choices. I can only live my own and by tasting the results, learn to make better choices. But this absolutely depends on self-honesty. We cannot lie to others and be true to ourself nor lie to ourself and be true to others. And if we try to make the lie true – we will project the mind of it into the perceptions of others – whether they extend a true willingness or a deceit – we wont be able to tell.
That is the recipe for hell – because everything reflects a hidden hate that 'threatens' to destroy or violate our defences. But the enemy is not 'OUT THERE!' – even if there are many with grievance.

The lie and the father of the lie sets us against our Self – each other and our world.
"No it doesn't – it protects me from chaos, powerlessness, humiliation and loss of self!"
Yet all these things has it delivered while pointing the finger away.
There is a heart prayer from Hawaii
The mind is erected against saying it:

"I'm sorry, please forgive me, I love you , thank you".

Mulga Mumblebrain says April 13, 2018
Monbiot sold out to protect his well-paying sinecure. Old story. Alternative possibility-blackmail or some other form of coercion.
Toby says April 14, 2018
[My first comment at this site.]

This is an excellent article among many here, but Binra's comment really resonates with me.

I see a direct link between:

unconditional love (love is unconditional, or it isn't love),
learning how to become part of love's continuing evolution,
learning how to avoid war.

For me, the quality of being that is love is the nature of the personal choices we each must make if we are to learn – both as individuals and by extension as larger groups – how to navigate the sinister and deceptive propaganda this article addresses, and hopefully put an end to it one day. We otherwise fall prey to its machinations and are lost to history's darker forces.

"I'm sorry, please forgive me, I love you , thank you".

Humility, love and gratitude are strong when undertaken with courage, perseverance and patience. This is not easy to do. But we know that. The right way is the hard way.

jag37777 says April 12, 2018
This article is too kind to Monbiot. He's a fake, always has been. And a nasty piece of work with it.
physicsandmathsrevision says April 12, 2018
Monbiot is, like Naom Chomsky, a Khazarian Jew. His (and Chomsky's) preferences are so defined.

Their sophistry and faux-empathy works endlessly towards a single end.

Support for the globalist finance plutocracy nexus that, like Monbiot and Chomsk, is (whatever their poses) the real enemy of all.

writerroddis says April 13, 2018
Congratulations! I've always argued for OG removing the 'dislike' button. You made a convincing case for keeping it.
Admin says April 13, 2018
to everything there is a season
mohandeer says April 14, 2018
Well sai Philip.
I wish he would revise something other than physics and maths – he's got a serious problem.
Mulga Mumblebrain says April 13, 2018
Cobblers. Probably hasbara to discredit this place.
Susanna Farley says April 14, 2018
"Monbiot is, like Noam Chomsky, a Khazarian Jew " What the hell has this to do with the point you are trying to make?

Are you trying to say that all Khazarian Jews (or all Jews?) "support the globalist finance plutocracy." etc.? Unlike the very justified condemnation of the massacre of unarmed Palestinian protesters at the Gaza/Israel border by the Israeli army, this is genuine anti-semitism.

It's fine to criticise Monbiot and Chomsky as individuals, however harshly. but there should be zero tolerance for attributing the "sophistry and faux-empathy" you see them exhibiting to their ethnicity.

The global capitalist elite are indeed our enemy. They are mostly white and male but share few other characteristics.

Mulga Mumblebrain says April 14, 2018
Susanna, that type of idiot with their stupid stereotyping of whole groups, are often, I suspect, frauds, sent to discredit those around them. So, some Ashkenazi Jews are descended from the Khazars who converted to Judaism. So what-as Shlomo Sand shewed, a number of groups over time converted to Judaism, when it was more proselytising than now, just as groups converted to Islam or Christianity. That makes no difference to how Chomsky acts (pretty well as far as I can see) or Monbiot (increasingly very badly, and shamefully).
alan moore says April 12, 2018
Page not Found ???
Vaska says April 12, 2018
Fixed. [A technical glitch we couldn't find an explanation for.]
Mulga Mumblebrain says April 12, 2018
Monbiot's arrogance is innate. It got him into strife when he tackled the formidable Edward S Herman over the phony Srebrenica 'genocide' and was savagely mauled, but, as expected, he declared himself the victor and retreated to smear his adversaries from the sidelines.
He propagandises as he must, or he'd get the Pilger treatment, and his nice sinecure at the Fraudian would disappear. And since the Sorosification and the other measures taken to turn the Fraudian into the sewer of disinformation and hate-mongering that it is today, working so frantically for a jihadist victory in Syria and Syria's vivisection, to the greater glory of Eretz Yisrael, Monbiot has simply goose-stepped ever further Right, as scores of his type have done, over the years.
vexarb says April 13, 2018
Polonius: This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!

I have been thinking lately this might apply even to villains, as in Peer Gynt. Then if you are really strong black and white but sincere, the Divine Photographer has a chance to season you in acid gall and reduce you in sulfite until your positive emerges Lily White. But if you are just a misty inbetween maundering Boyg of a man, you have to resort to Photoshop to provide a fake identity.

"Those who were neither for God nor for Devil but only for themselves . So many, I had not thought Death had undone so many". -- Dante, The First Circle

vexarb says April 14, 2018
Sorry, the above post should have been addressed to Binra who said something similar to the advice Polonius gave Laertes. Ibsen's Peer Gynt goes further: even a villain who is true to himself may be valuable in the scheme of things; but people like the Fraudian journoes who just drift the way the wind blows are puffballs that carry no seed.
Mulga Mumblebrain says April 14, 2018
Puff-balls carry spore, not seeds. Fraudian presstitutes as a species of toadstool? I like it, very much.

[Apr 15, 2018] The Syria bombing is a disgraceful act disguised as a noble gesture by Moustafa Bayoumi

Apr 15, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

The US-led barrage shows just how little interest the global powers have in ending Syria's ghastly war

Contact author

@BayoumiMoustafa

Sat 14 Apr 2018 10.42 EDT Last modified on Sat 14 Apr 2018 13.52 EDT

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email View more sharing options Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest Share on Google+ Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger Close 'Regional and global powers now exploit Syria for their own advantage and apportion out its territory for repeated bombing.' Photograph: Giuseppe Lami/EPA

The bombing of Syrian government targets by the United States, Britain, and France is a disgraceful and ineffectual act masquerading as a noble gesture. Far from preventing a more vicious war, the bombing instead legitimizes the continuation of the conflict. In fact, what this barrage of weapons really reveals is how little interest the global powers have in ending Syria's ghastly war.

ss="rich-link"> Syria: who are the key players in the conflict? Read more

Similar to the attacks on Syrian government targets that Donald Trump ordered just over a year ago, the airstrikes this time will not seriously damage Bashar al-Assad's larger military capacity, nor are they intended to. Instead, we're told that the western bombing campaign has specifically aimed munitions at locations where the storage and testing of chemical weapons occurs.

But wasn't last year's attack meant to put an end to Assad's use of chemical weapons, and aren't these the weapons that he was supposed to have destroyed under international auspices in 2014? At this rate, should we expect that an aerial bombing mission to finally and completely destroy Assad's chemical weapons will be launched every April?

The question is ridiculous, of course, but so is the idea that this attack will accomplish anything beyond boosting the war-making egos of its protagonists and enabling Assad, his reprehensible regime, and his allies to complain of being the perpetual victims of western aggression. Beyond the bombast on both sides, Syria's daily misery will continue.

These strikes mark the first timeTheresa May of Britain and Emmanuel Macron of France have committed their respective militaries into combat, and they have done so, according to May, "to protect innocent people in Syria from the horrific deaths and casualties caused by chemical weapons, but also because we cannot allow the erosion of the international norm that prevents the use of these weapons."

May's words might sound more intelligent than those of Donald Trump, who in his statement about the attacks told the American people: "Hopefully, someday we'll get along with Russia and maybe even Iran, but maybe not." But what May's words really reveal is not the ethical reasoning of a head of state but the devastating lack of moral concern by the international community when it comes to the people of Syria.

The fact that three of the world's most powerful militaries have now been mobilized into action, even for a limited campaign such as this one, to prevent "the erosion of the international norm" of using chemical weapons is far from comforting. Since the war began, Assad's regime has engaged in the repeated and dreadful use of barrel bombs and mass starvation, the systematic torture of thousands of citizens and the laying siege to multiple cities, the killing of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of more than half the population. Yet, all of this horror does not seem to "erode an international norm" and certainly has not motivated these western leaders to any meaningful action to end the war.

On the contrary, regional and global powers now exploit Syria for their own advantage and apportion out its territory for repeated bombing. At this point, the country has been bombed by the Assad regime, the United States, Britain, France, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, and the UAE.

Rather than limiting war, this latest bombing of Syria normalizes the war's ongoing brutality. Forget the chemical weapons for a moment. The bombing of Syria by the western powers essentially and unconscionably establishes near total warfare on civilians as an acceptable "international norm." Our politicians will wallow in their most recent action, calling the bombing a great success for our civilization. In fact, it's much more akin to our demise.

Moustafa Bayoumi is a Guardian US columnist

[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 11, 2018] German MSM - leftish or rightish, doesn't matter - mindlessly repeat what our US colonial masters are telling them to

Notable quotes:
"... There is not a shred of independent, intelligent journalism left anywhere around here - and interestingly there is an amazing number of people who have completely given up believing the MSM and/or our government. ..."
Apr 11, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Martin MS | Apr 11, 2018 2:17:21 PM | 86

@ BM: My take on the situation in Germany: the MSM - leftish or rightish, doesn't matter - mindlessly repeat what our US colonial masters are telling them to.

There is not a shred of independent, intelligent journalism left anywhere around here - and interestingly there is an amazing number of people who have completely given up believing the MSM and/or our government.

But what can you do when the published opinions are completely manufactured and anyone has to suppose his neighbours all believe this idiocy?

Hmpf | Apr 11, 2018 2:06:44 PM | 113

@73 aaaaa

That's a bit of a stretch. Germans were demoralized long before, as each sane person knew the war will end in defeat from mid'42 on. Back in the days I had the somewhat questionable pleasure of talking to German ex-soldiers (two of my grand-uncles) that were deployed to the Eastern Front. Compared to the kind of warfare that was going on there, the fighting in the west and south was almost akin to being on vacation - I'm serious about that.

On average the Soviets, mainly comprised of todays Russian peoples, lost 16-18000 people a day, this is evidence of the fierceness of fighting and, also, to what amount of a beating the Russians can take without losing sight of their goal.

The Soviet Union did the real fighting against German forces. At all times there'd been about 85% of all German forces deployed to the east, without this there would had been no bombing campaign against Germany simply because the number of fighter aircraft available against allied bombers would had been overwhelming.

Except for a few elite units, hastily re-deployed from the east, the main force was inexperienced draftees with both a lack of proper training and equipment. All other experienced units stayed east in a desperate attempt to hold back the red army as long as any possible.

A very good friend of mine, who died a couple years back at age 84, was one of these unfortunate souls. When he turned 17 in late Dec.'44 he received an official letter that read 'A gift from the Fuhrer' - it was his draft note. That's been the kind of opponent the western allies faced late in the war, a bunch of badly under-equipped troops consisting of exhausted regulars and youths, that were scared shitless (his words, not mine).

Russia's a different kind of animal. They won WWII - European theater almost singlehandedly but had to pay dearly.

[Apr 11, 2018] It's surreal to watch such staggering levels of dishonest incompetence among our globalist "elites".

Apr 11, 2018 | www.unz.com

Anonymous [280] Disclaimer , April 10, 2018 at 5:33 am GMT

It's surreal to watch such staggering levels of dishonest incompetence among our globalist "elites".

This is worrying. Nobody is that stupid so it's more like they don't care about credibility going forward. Like it won't matter.

Kiza , April 10, 2018 at 5:40 am GMT
We have moved way beyond the Skripals case now. Simply put, if US shoots in Syria, Russia will shoot back this time, yes back at US. USS Donald Duck has been placed as a bait to be sent to the bottom of Mediterrenain sea by the Russians, similar to Arizona et al at Pearl Harbour.

Many dissenter websites are currently under attack by the cyber forces of the Western regimes and Israel, one of them being this one. Another site under attack is my favorite johnhelmer.com. In addition to saying that he is under attack, the current message from John is:
WHEN THE RULE OF LAW WAS DESTROYED IN SALISBURY, LONDON AND THE HAGUE, AND THE RULE OF FRAUD DECLARED IN WASHINGTON, THAT LEAVES ONLY THE RULE OF FORCE IN THE WORLD. THE STAVKA MET IN MOSCOW ON GOOD FRIDAY AND IS READY. THE FOREIGN MINISTRY ANNOUNCED ON SUNDAY "THE GRAVEST CONSEQUENCES". THIS MEANS ONE AMERICAN SHOT AT A RUSSIAN SOLDIER, THEN WE ARE AT WAR. NOT INFOWAR, NOT CYBERWAR, NOT ECONOMIC WAR, NOT PROXY WAR. WORLD WAR.

The West is utterly bankrupt, morally as well as financially and we are experiencing the Western remedial plan and actions – war!

annamaria , April 10, 2018 at 5:52 am GMT
"In 2016 an official British government inquiry determined that Bush and Blair had indeed together rushed to war. The Global Establishment has nevertheless rewarded Tony Blair for his loyalty with Clintonesque generosity. He has enjoyed a number of well-paid sinecures and is now worth in excess of $100 million."

– The character of Blair and the Establishment is well established: Blair is a major war criminal supported by the major war profiteers. His children and grandchildren are a progeny of a horrible criminal.

What is truly amazing is the complacency of the Roman Catholic Church that still has not excommunicated and anathematized the mass murderer. Blair should be haunted and hunted for his crimes against humanity.

With age, Blair's face has become expressively evil. His wife Theresa Cara "Cherie" Blair shows the same acute ugliness coming from her rotten soul of a war profiteer.

Blanco Watts , April 10, 2018 at 6:34 am GMT
The UK is governed by the same Neo-liberal psychotic cabal that runs the US, Israel and France.
JR , April 10, 2018 at 7:06 am GMT
Keep in mind how long ago all this is:
Skripal was recruited around 1990 and arrested in 2004. Guess that the Russian attitude towards Skripal took the chaos of the 90′s as mitigating circumstances into account.
Skripal served his sentence of only 13 years till 2010 when he was pardoned and given the option to leave. Russia did not revoke Skripal's citizenship. The UK issued Skripal a passport too. On arrival in the UK Skripak was extensively debriefed by UK intelligence services. Skripal has lived for 8 years in the UK now.

And now out of the blue this incident nicely dovetailing with May ratcheted up anti Russia language only a few months before this false flag incident and the rapidly failing traction of the Steele/Orbis/MI6 instigated Russia collusion story on the basis of that fake Trump Dossier. By the way Orbis affiliated Steele and Miller have been among Skripal's handlers.

Ronald Thomas West , Website April 10, 2018 at 8:43 am GMT
From the Steele dossier lies falling apart to the Skripal lies falling apart to the 'Assad did it' lies falling apart:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2018/04/08/open-letter-to-die-linke/

^

Paul Craig Roberts is correct when quoting The Saker:

"The Russian view is simple: the West is ruled by a gang of thugs supported by an infinitely lying and hypocritical media while the general public in the West has been hopelessly zombified." -- The Saker

I expect that makes the Russians right

[Apr 11, 2018] Unfortuntely, even among friends and aquaintances, the story about evil Assad killing Children is often readily believed

White Helmets was the greatest war propaganda invention since Goebbels "big lie"
The sheeple might realize that they were duped only when it's too late... It's all very darwinian: Elite is too nasty and common people are too stupid and too busy with surviving in economic uncertanty to decipher lies
Notable quotes:
"... "the West is ruled by a gang of thugs" ..."
"... It is depressing to see that there are very few people in the MSM speaking out for reason. One of the few ones is Tucker Carlson. ..."
"... The US, British etc. taxpayer funded propaganda arm of Islamists, the media trained "white helmets" are delivering videos that look almost as real as Hollywood products and most of the sheeple in the western world don't question their propaganda narrative. ..."
"... Well here you go Dutti. Both Glen Greenwald and Amy Goodman are out there in media land championing the 'truth' for good old Isramerika. ..."
Apr 11, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Stuck on Zero -> IridiumRebel Tue, 04/10/2018 - 23:16 Permalink

No other nation will go to war with the U.S. They are too smart. All they have to do is wait till we burn ourselves out and fight amongst ourselves.

IridiumRebel -> Stuck on Zero Tue, 04/10/2018 - 23:18 Permalink

This is my hope.....

beepbop -> IridiumRebel Tue, 04/10/2018 - 23:23 Permalink

"the West is ruled by a gang of thugs"

Those THUGS are Jewish Neocons/Zionists/Bolsheviks. They've got the USG in their pockets. They're the HIDDEN HAND .

Let's tell it like it is.

Dutti -> DownWithYogaPants Tue, 04/10/2018 - 23:38 Permalink

It is depressing to see that there are very few people in the MSM speaking out for reason. One of the few ones is Tucker Carlson.

Unfortunately, even among friends and acquaintances, the story about "evil Assad killing Children" is often readily believed.

The US, British etc. taxpayer funded propaganda arm of Islamists, the media trained "white helmets" are delivering videos that look almost as real as Hollywood products and most of the sheeple in the western world don't question their propaganda narrative.

Very sad and disheartening.

FBaggins -> Dutti Tue, 04/10/2018 - 23:45 Permalink

Well here you go Dutti. Both Glen Greenwald and Amy Goodman are out there in media land championing the 'truth' for good old Isramerika.

http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=168513

[Apr 10, 2018] There was no chemical weapons attack," Nebenzia told the council. "Through the relevant channels we already conveyed to the US that airstrikes under mendacious pretext against Syria where, at the request of the legitimate government of a country, Russian troops have been deployed could lead to grave repercussions."

There is an interesting, probably greased by US and Uk governments money, connection between Guardian and white Helmets
Apr 10, 2018 | www.theguardian.com

"There was no chemical weapons attack," Nebenzia told the council. "Through the relevant channels we already conveyed to the US that armed forces under mendacious pretext against Syria – where, at the request of the legitimate government of a country, Russian troops have been deployed – could lead to grave repercussions."

A few hours earlier, Donald Trump said his administration was on the brink of deciding its response to the Douma attack. "We are meeting with our military and everybody else, and we'll be making some major decisions over the next 24 to 48 hours," he said at a cabinet meeting. "We are very concerned when a thing like that can happen. This is about humanity and it can't be allowed to happen."

Pressed by reporters, Trump went further, saying: "We'll be making that decision very quickly, probably by the end of today. But we cannot allow atrocities like that. Cannot allow it."

Trump ordered airstrikes against a Syrian airbase after a previous chemical weapons attack, in April last year. The latest use of poison gasprovoked from Trump unprecedented direct criticism of Putin, something he had previously been at pains to avoid.

... ... ...

In his address, Nebenzia suggested a visit to Douma by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) might be possible under Syrian and Russian military protection. The UK envoy to the UN, Karen Pierce, said the Russian proposal was "an offer worth pursuing" but she added that OPCW inspectors would have to have complete freedom of action and of access.

[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:
https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201804091063359321-douma-medics-pati

Slack Jack -> Manthong Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:52 Permalink

This latest chemical attack in Syria is yet another FALSE FLAG.

Just like all the previous chemical attacks in Syria were FALSE FLAG attacks.

Just like the Skripal "chemical attack" in Britain was a FALSE FLAG attack.

Jim in MN -> nmewn Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:20 Permalink

OK, let's take a moment to re-set the stage.

The natural regional powers are Iran, Turkey and Egypt. Just look at any population map and/or economic activity indicators.

Israel has only technology and 'influence' to create a temporary, brittle form of power. Saudis have only oil and 'influence', ditto.

Hence, by a short-term accident, Israel and KSA can effectively create death and destruction in the region, killing babies for their own greed and power.

BUT ONLY IF THE US HELPS. The IDF is essentially useless on the ground, ditto the Saudis, and neither can handle Russian intel and air superiority on their own.

So this populist insurrection is indeed a pivotal moment, coming as it does when the global balance is shifting toward Eurasian integration, global peace and prosperity. A 'Chinese Peace' with Russian muscle. The main idea being to not blow up shiny new Chinese ports, roads, etc.

So the tiny, tiny minority of war-mongering, globalist traitors in these very, very few countries (Israel, KSA, and the 'Five Eyes') has essentially NO other cards to play. Use WMDs against civilians, false flags, try to get their own killed to trigger war fever.

The very best part right now is: we're already past the tipping point. No one cares, and almost no one believes them.

Pretty much game over, but a very dangerous end game. I think we should round up all these sociopaths pronto before they murder more babies.

Faeriedust -> Jim in MN Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:52 Permalink

Take it one step farther. The US public is on to the con. BUT the US economy still depends on the MIC. And the MIC depends on maintaining the constant state of little brush wars around the globe to sell their hardware. Every Israeli or KSA plane, missile, and bomb is stamped "Made in the USA". As China and Russia step in to impose peace in Eurasia and the Saudi oil runs out, the petrodollar ceases to be the world reserve currency. The US has two economic pillars: the MIC and Big Ag. With a failing currency and no customers for war toys, it becomes locked into the position of being a global commodity supplier: pork, wheat, corn, soybeans, peanuts. Historically, agricultural commodity suppliers are third-world nations, forced to accept low prices on highly-competitive products while paying high prices for monopolized industrial goods.

This is the END for global US dominance. One can understand why the PTB are desperate to keep going no matter what the resistance at home or abroad. A major war is likely. Victory is not.

optimator -> valjoux7750 Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:08 Permalink

And if the Syrian Air Force launched missiles from Jordanian air space against an Israeli Air Base nothing would happen? By the way, the Golan Heights does not belong to Israel so they launched from Syrian territory. Whatever......hopefully no U.S. Ships are in the way.

ChaoKrungThep -> egerman Mon, 04/09/2018 - 08:50 Permalink

Five missiles out of eight shot down - by Syrian (old) defense systems. Not too bad. Russia is not there to stop Israel. It's there to stop Daesh, which it's done. Smart, patient, focused strategy.

strannick -> ChaoKrungThep Mon, 04/09/2018 - 08:56 Permalink

Putins patience is what keeps the peace. Like that Russian sub captain in the cuban missle crisis who wouldnt pull the trigger.

Pardon me thou bleeding piece of earth if i am meek and gentle with these butchers.

God bless and keep Vlad Putin. Pray for him.

[Apr 09, 2018] US Will Respond To Syria Gas Attack Regardless Of Security Council's Decision

Notable quotes:
"... Nikki Haley claims that the US "Will Respond" To Syria Gas Attack Regardless Of Security Council's Decision ..."
"... Last year, the US destroyed more than a dozen aircraft, as well as oil storage facilities and other structures, and killed at least seven people when it fired 59 missiles at Syria's Shayrat Airbase following a chemical weapons attack that the US also pinned on the Syrian government. ..."
"... Both the UK and France have suggested they're considering military action in Syria. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he and his French and US allies agree there should be "no impunity for those that use such barbaric weapons." ..."
"... However, Johnson added that Monday's emergency meeting of the UN Security Council would be "an important next step in determining the international response" and that "a full range of options should be on the table." ..."
Apr 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Nikki Haley claims that the US "Will Respond" To Syria Gas Attack Regardless Of Security Council's Decision

Update (4:15 pm ET): US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Monday that the US would retaliate against the attack in Syria regardless of what the UN Security Council decides.

"History will record this as the moment when the Security Council either discharged its duty or demonstrated its utter and complete failure to protect the people of Syria. Either way, the United States will respond."

She described the victims in graphic terms.

"I could hold up pictures of babies lying dead next to their mothers, in their diapers, all lying together, dead, ashen blue, open eyed and lifeless, white foam bubbling from their mouths and noses."

Haley added that "the world must see justice done" in Syria.

* * *

Before heading into his Monday afternoon cabinet meeting, President Donald Trump condemned a chemical weapons attack in Ghouta, Syria during an impromptu press conference. The president said "even with the world as bad as it is, you just don't see things like that" before saying he'd decide on a response "probably by the end of today."

And while the US was "having trouble getting people in" to the town, Trump added that he would definitively determine which states were involved in the attack - be it Syria, Iran, Russia (or presumably all three).

https://www.youtube.com/embed/CFCy-5c_imc

With Trump and his most trusted advisors still debating the proper response, several anonymous Pentagon officials have told the Washington Examiner that the US is considering several options including a missile barrage similar to the strike carried out on a Syrian air base last year.

The Israeli F-15s launched a lethal strike on a Syrian airbase early Monday, killing 14 people with the US's tacit approval .

The options being considered now are similar to the options that were provided to the president before last year's strike. The US has several ships armed with tomahawk cruise missiles stationed in the region - including the USS Donald Cook, a guided-missile destroyer that just completed a port call in Cyprus and got underway in the eastern Mediterranean. The ship is within range of Syria and could presumably strike at any target the president orders.

Last year, the US destroyed more than a dozen aircraft, as well as oil storage facilities and other structures, and killed at least seven people when it fired 59 missiles at Syria's Shayrat Airbase following a chemical weapons attack that the US also pinned on the Syrian government.

But according to one official who spoke with the Examiner , Trump could be considering a "more robust" strike this time around, considering that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad didn't quite get the message last time.

Both the UK and France have suggested they're considering military action in Syria. UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he and his French and US allies agree there should be "no impunity for those that use such barbaric weapons."

However, Johnson added that Monday's emergency meeting of the UN Security Council would be "an important next step in determining the international response" and that "a full range of options should be on the table."

[Apr 09, 2018] Guardian neoliberal presstitutes still call Magnitsky a lawyer and financial racketeer Browder a victim. Magnitsky he was Broder tax avoidance accountant and was an auditor by training

Nov 18, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Originally from: Putin accuses British anti-corruption campaigner Browder of three murders World news The Guardian

The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has accused prominent British businessman Bill Browder of being a "serial killer" – the latest extraordinary attempt by the Kremlin to frame one of its most high-profile public enemies.

Court documents seen by the Observer reveal that Russian state investigators have named Browder, a London-based hedge fund manager, as the suspect behind the mysterious murders of three men.

All three deaths are linked to a £174m fraud believed to have involved Russian officials -- a crime that was uncovered by Browder's Russian lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, in 2008. Magnitsky was subsequently imprisoned on charges widely considered to be false, and died in jail amid claims he was tortured.

Browder, once the largest foreign portfolio investor in Russia, has infuriated Putin by lobbying western governments to punish those responsible for Magnitsky's death. A number of countries have imposed sanctions on individuals believed to be involved.

[Apr 09, 2018] In my opinion, the forces that push for war know they are lying and don't care if a small percentage are on to them. They have the microphone and we do not.

Notable quotes:
"... Without sufficient domain knowledge, you have no immunity from MSM narratives. And, to acquire that knowledge you need to read non-MSM sources (or know people with first-hand experience). ..."
Apr 09, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Babak Makkinejad -> Prince Monolulu , 4 hours ago

Reasonably intelligent people? Like this Iranian woman (in US) whose postings during the war for Aleppo was full of righteous indignation for the rebels. when I told her that the people whose fate she was bemoaning would do many evil things to her as a Shia Iranian woman; she would not hear of it.
ceasley7 -> Babak Makkinejad , 2 hours ago
Couldn't agree with you more Babak. My dad is a 78 year old Orthopedic physician here in the US. He would be considered intelligent by most people. And he is. Except when it comes to Geopolitics. He believes everything the MSM parrots and I gave up long ago in voicing my opinion to him. It's hopeless. And consider the vast majority of the citizens of my country are far less intelligent than him. In my opinion, the forces that push for war know they are lying and don't care if a small percentage are on to them. They have the microphone and we do not.
Prince Monolulu -> Babak Makkinejad , 4 hours ago
Yes, people like that. Without sufficient domain knowledge, you have no immunity from MSM narratives. And, to acquire that knowledge you need to read non-MSM sources (or know people with first-hand experience).

[Apr 09, 2018] Hi, I am from the government. I am here to lie to you

The Brits blinked and did not punish the criminal liar Blair. Since then, the war profiteering based on false flag operations has become a national British pastime.
Notable quotes:
"... The problem for governments using false flag operations like this is many more people are no longer trusting their own governments and quite rightly so. ..."
Apr 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

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.

GreatUncle Sun, 04/08/2018 - 10:51 Permalink

The problem for governments using false flag operations like this is many more people are no longer trusting their own governments and quite rightly so. Human minds are reinforcing the concept of untrustworthy governments that actually lasts far longer than the elected period of time of those who purport to represent the population we now know to be a deceit.

As example, take Blair ex-UK prime minister who concocted the whole Iraq dodgy dossier in the UK who most people I know now call him a war criminal but nobody will put on trial in the Hague. He has not been PM since 2007 but nobody forgets the criminal acts he instigated and supported and will be remembered for a long time for this. So how do you make Blair appear human again to the population?

You can apply this concept to so many elected criminals in the west ... join it up those that rule us are in fact criminals not ordinary people. The psychos rule over us and to them we are no more than dead meat.

[Apr 09, 2018] The big game is the eradication of Western sponsored terrorists and ending of the Syrian civil war

Apr 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Joiningupthedots Mon, 04/09/2018 - 08:48 Permalink

The big game is the eradication of Western sponsored terrorists and ending of the Syrian civil war.

This is on schedule and nothing can stop it. It will be over soon.

Russia sees EVERYTHING flying over the entire theatre and in due course the SAA will be supplied with the means to destroy the IDF over Lebanon also.

The IDF attacks are nothing more than an irritation and will be dealt with in the fullness of time. 5 from 8 is nothing to brag about at all. In mission planning terms its a disaster really and will lead to failure in a full war.

Only a direct attack on the Russian military will elicit a direct response from Russia. It has been stated publicly enough times.

Any response from Russia in that instance will come from missile launches from Russia (hundreds of them at that) The antagonists know this.

Syria is winning its war and that's all that matters.

God is The Son Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:53 Permalink

Assad is fighting Sunni Insurgency, their all RADICAL. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Gulf States are funding them. AL-Qaeda, ISIS, and all the other groups, all SUNNI's. This pocket in SYRIA is filled with Sunni's, their fighting force are all RADICALS.

Look at one of the groups that USA supported a Jihadist Sunni Division, who went to KITCHEN grab a cooking knife and cut off the head of 10 year old KID.

THE USA, FRANCE, UK, are all in BED with Sunni's, Ironically, It's Sunni's that are also committing TERROR attacks in EUROPE. Yet Jew Boss's in USA and EUROPE want make Sunni the Allies and SHIA the enemy.

Look at the CRIMINALITY going on.

[Apr 09, 2018] The US is in Syria illegally and that manes that guerilla attacks of the USA troops in occupied areas might intensify

Apr 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Mike Masr Mon, 04/09/2018 - 07:32 Permalink

US Interference and Regime Change Bullshit

"Secret cables and reports by the U.S., Saudi and Israeli intelligence agencies indicate that the moment Assad rejected the Qatari pipeline, military and intelligence planners quickly arrived at the consensus that fomenting a Sunni uprising in Syria to overthrow the uncooperative Bashar Assad was a feasible path to achieving the shared objective of completing the Qatar/Turkey gas link. In 2009, according to WikiLeaks, soon after Bashar Assad rejected the Qatar pipeline, the CIA began funding opposition groups in Syria."

Regime change is the only reason we or any of our proxies are there. We have NO GOOD REASON being there other than this BS.

Truth Eater Mon, 04/09/2018 - 07:34 Permalink

Dammit Trump! Get control of your staff and get out of Syria leaving the Kurds all the AA stinger missiles they need to take out Turk aircraft. And on the way out, rip the Turk invasion force to shreds, then just say, "oops, sorry."

davatankool Mon, 04/09/2018 - 07:38 Permalink

Massive Propaganda Push Re. Syria Gas Attack

William Dorritt Mon, 04/09/2018 - 08:08 Permalink

Israel wants the US to fight to the last American

one reason Israel remained silent even though it seems clear they had advanced knowledge of the 9-11 attack; and allowed them to proceed. Israelis Agents filming the attacks were arrested and later deported, more than 70 of them.

Fortunately, Bibi was ready to take the microphone minutes after the 9-11 attack and define the enemy for the American public, resulting in the deaths of thousands of American service men and $7 Trillion wasted in the shit hole middle east.

The Anglo Jewish Alliance continues to try to provoke a war between the US and Russia, Iran, and Syria.

Trump is right to get the US out of the shit hole as fast as possible, months not years.

Former CIA Steele claims that the Epstein Compromise Kiddie Sex tapes from the Lolita Express, the palm beach estate and probably six other Epstein properties are in Israel for Control-Blackmail purposes. The next time Bibi calls Trump, Trump should tell Bibi to fuck off. What happened on the 300ft yacht ?????

CFR and AIPAC and all Globalist and Foreign lobbyist organization must be registered as Foreign Agents, and forced to meet at the State Dept, and cut off from contact with the rest of the US govt.

JPMorgan Mon, 04/09/2018 - 08:12 Permalink

Israel is US by proxy.

DingleBarryObummer -> JPMorgan Mon, 04/09/2018 - 08:15 Permalink

+1

Perhaps if you flipped it around, it would be even more accurate.

RagnarRedux -> DingleBarryObummer Mon, 04/09/2018 - 08:34 Permalink

Correct.

Former CIA Intelligence Officer Michael Scheuer: Israel Owns US Congress

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_T1VrzdaKs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Scheuer

Former CIA Operations Officer Valerie Plame: American Jews Are Starting Wars

http://www.newsweek.com/americans-jews-are-starting-wars-jewish-former-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valerie_Plame

Former British Foreign Secretary & MP Jack Straw: Jewish Money Prevents Peace

https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4445810,00.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Straw

Lostinfortwalton Mon, 04/09/2018 - 10:04 Permalink

"a missile strike carried out overnight on a Syrian airfield was not the US's doing."

The Israelis only used US provided weapons from US provided aircraft.

BGO Mon, 04/09/2018 - 10:19 Permalink

The plan is for Israel to conduct however many cowardly missions it takes until their murderous ways are considered normalized behavior.

Someday in the not so distant future, israel hopes conversations such as "did you hear Israel told an incidious lie then killed a bunch of innocent people?" to which a typical brow beaten dufus responds "yes, but it had to be done," become as common place as banter about the weather.

Lizards. Lizards everywhere.

[Apr 09, 2018] Publication by the USA formula of Novichok was probably a fake as in case it is real it put Israel into tremendous danger

Notable quotes:
"... Basically, Mirzayanov claims that it is relatively easy to make the Novichok nerve agents. So, some enterprising Arabs could buy a few chemists to make a few tons of it and then spray it all over the little Satan. Do you really think that the Jews who run the United States would allow the publication of information that could lead to thousands of deaths in Israel? ..."
"... Remember, Mirzayanov was given residence (and a University position) in the United States after he was kicked out of Russia. There are also a number of "people who should know" that have stated that there is zero solid evidence for the existence of the Novichok nerve agents. For example: Robin Black in Development, Historical Use and Properties of Chemical Warfare Agents (2016): ..."
"... "In recent years, there has been much speculation that a fourth generation of nerve agents, 'Novichoks' (newcomer), was developed in Russia, beginning in the 1970s as part of the 'Foliant' programme, with the aim of finding agents that would compromise defensive countermeasures. Information on these compounds has been sparse in the public domain, mostly originating from a dissident Russian military chemist, Vil Mirzayanov. No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published." ..."
"... "There has never been a 'Novichok' research project conducted in Russia,... But in the West, some countries carried out such research, which they called 'Novichok,' for some reason." ..."
Apr 09, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Slack Jack -> Slack Jack Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:54 Permalink

Remember, the evil people, Theresa May, Stoltenberg, Trump and the rest, are damning Russia with obvious lies.

The Novichok nerve agents don't even exist.

HERE IS THE PROOF:

The Novichok nerve agents are supposedly much more toxic than the nerve gases VX or Sarin (and yet the Skripals are still alive!?).

Mirzayanov's book, published in 2008, contains the formulas he alleges can be used to create Novichoks. In 1995, he explained that "the chemical components or precursors" of Novichok are "ordinary organophosphates that can be made at commercial chemical companies that manufacture such products as fertilizers and pesticides."

https://www.amazon.com/State-Secrets-Insiders-Chronicle-Chemical/dp/143

Basically, Mirzayanov claims that it is relatively easy to make the Novichok nerve agents. So, some enterprising Arabs could buy a few chemists to make a few tons of it and then spray it all over the little Satan. Do you really think that the Jews who run the United States would allow the publication of information that could lead to thousands of deaths in Israel?

Do you really think they would protect the publisher of such information by giving him residence in the United States?

Remember, Mirzayanov was given residence (and a University position) in the United States after he was kicked out of Russia. There are also a number of "people who should know" that have stated that there is zero solid evidence for the existence of the Novichok nerve agents. For example: Robin Black in Development, Historical Use and Properties of Chemical Warfare Agents (2016):

"In recent years, there has been much speculation that a fourth generation of nerve agents, 'Novichoks' (newcomer), was developed in Russia, beginning in the 1970s as part of the 'Foliant' programme, with the aim of finding agents that would compromise defensive countermeasures. Information on these compounds has been sparse in the public domain, mostly originating from a dissident Russian military chemist, Vil Mirzayanov. No independent confirmation of the structures or the properties of such compounds has been published."

https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/03/the-novichok-story-is-i

And, Alexander Shulgin, Russia's representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (2018):

"There has never been a 'Novichok' research project conducted in Russia,... But in the West, some countries carried out such research, which they called 'Novichok,' for some reason."

CONCLUSION: The Novichok nerve agents don't even exist.

[Apr 09, 2018] Former President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa shut down the US base at Manta. His successor, Lenin Moreno, has proven to be some kind of neoliberal mole

Apr 09, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

PrairieBear , Apr 8, 2018 5:04:50 PM | 17

@11 Yes, Maracutu, shivers are pretty much a daily thing for me in these times. An "accidental" bombing of Latakia was the spark that finally set off WWIII in the old, but still popular, nuclear apocalypse novel Alas Babylon .

@ all Meanwhile, as all the Mad Magazine "Spy vs Spy" nonsense spins out in the UK, the Empire is keeping busy on the other side of the pond. In late March, a couple of nice folks from the US Southern Command paid a courtesy "friendship" visit to Ecuador:

https://actualidad.rt.com/actualidad/266769-ecuador-funcionarios-comando-sur-eeuu

Also, we apparently have US troops in Ecuador once again:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2nClTjCs3I

During his term as President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa had (not very) politely and very firmly invited US military personnel to go home (or at least elsewhere than Ecuador) and he shut down the US base at Manta. His successor, Lenin Moreno, has proven to be some kind of neoliberal mole who wormed himself into the Alianza Pais and has completely betrayed the Citizens' Revolution. In less than a year in office, he has wrecked most of the progress slowly and steadily made under 10 years of Correa's leadership. In the past month or so, there have been three "terrorist" attacks on the Colombian border. These are supposedly connected with FARC. There had been NO troubles with FARC under Correa.

So far, I have not found any English-Language media talking about any of this. I have not found mention of how many US troops are involved. I have seen that there are now 500 additional ones in Peru to help with security for some summit Trump is going to. Of course, the ones in Ecuador are only there to be "helpful" to the country.

Also: RIP Nash Van Drake and his guinea pig siblings (has anyone heard what their names were, if any?). The murder of these pets may just be a weird side story to this madness, or it may have been to cover up and destroy evidence. The explanations for their deaths seem very suspicious to me. Some years ago, I had a male cat whom I let outside sometimes. He got himself shut in the neighbor's garage one afternoon. I looked everywhere, placed want ads, etc. No luck. Having basically given up, I discovered by accident he was in there after a week. I called the neighbor, who came out late at night and opened the garage up and I coaxed him out. Cat was very happy to be home and glad to see his food and water dish, but he was hardly malnourished. He essentially was no worse for wear, physically.

It takes quite a long time without food for a healthy, well-fed house cat to become "severely malnourished," unless perhaps there are some other special health problems already or special needs. I don't know the timeline of when they went in and found him. Two weeks? Three? Even then, look at all the videos out there of sick, malnourished cats rescued and nursed back to health.

I know a lot less about guinea pigs, but similar with them. If they had a bottle waterer mounted on the side of their cage, it was probably kept refilled pretty often. Even if already down by half, it should have lasted a while. How much water would they drink in normal house temperatures in the UK in late winter?

[Apr 08, 2018] The UK and France are in deep economic trouble and need an external enemy such as Russia using an incident such as the Skripal affair to deflect the people from focusing on removing their government leaders

Notable quotes:
"... The UK and France are in deep economic trouble and need an external enemy such as Russia using an incident such as the Skripal affair to deflect the people from focusing on removing their government leaders. If all else fails, the UK Royals will have a couple of weddings and babies to take up the front pages for most of this year. Meanwhile, like the Skripals, several UK/EU agents involved in the HillaryGate Steele dossier trail of evidence such as Christophe Steele, Joseph Mifsid, and Gianni Pittella have disappeared: ..."
"... In the UK case of May and BoJo, any alternative will result in a continuation of the decline of the society. To be honest, much of the decline is baked in structural with the loss of income from former "slave" colonies and the decline of North Sea oil and gas reserves. Staying in the EU against the will of the people will continue to further drain resources to Germany, which has structurally colonialized Western Europe. ..."
"... France, like the UK, has extracted the wealth from their former colonies and facing a reduction in tribute from these sources. Macron has attempted to maintain control of some colonies such as Mali and really wants to conquer Syria. I suspect the meetings between Macron and MbS will result in an agreement for Saudi Arabia to buy French weapons while France getting financial aid to expand French troop bases in Syria. ..."
"... Almost all sectors of the French society are protesting against the neo-feudal policies of Macron, FIRE economy participants and his dwarves in the National Assembly. There are strikes among: ..."
"... The EU is also experiencing internal dissent with the Visegrad four (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia) plus Italy and Austria and thus needs an external enemy to distract its members. I suspect that a Ukrainian invasion of DPR/LPR will once again be used as a flash point create "two minutes of hate" against Russia ..."
Apr 08, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Krollchem , Apr 8, 2018 5:18:42 PM | 18

The UK and France are in deep economic trouble and need an external enemy such as Russia using an incident such as the Skripal affair to deflect the people from focusing on removing their government leaders. If all else fails, the UK Royals will have a couple of weddings and babies to take up the front pages for most of this year. Meanwhile, like the Skripals, several UK/EU agents involved in the HillaryGate Steele dossier trail of evidence such as Christophe Steele, Joseph Mifsid, and Gianni Pittella have disappeared:

https://disobedientmedia.com/2018/04/all-russiagate-roads-lead-to-london-as-evidence-emerges-of-joseph-mifsuds-links-to-uk-intelligence/

https://via.hypothes.is/https://www.buzzfeed.com/albertonardelli/the-mysterious-professor-at-the-center-of-the-russia-trump?utm_term=.paVe5QKjLR#.imWM6VNRLp

https://www.buzzfeed.com/albertonardelli/the-mysterious-professor-at-the-center-of-the-russia-trump?utm_term=.paVe5QKjLR#.imWM6VNRLp

In the UK case of May and BoJo, any alternative will result in a continuation of the decline of the society. To be honest, much of the decline is baked in structural with the loss of income from former "slave" colonies and the decline of North Sea oil and gas reserves. Staying in the EU against the will of the people will continue to further drain resources to Germany, which has structurally colonialized Western Europe.

France, like the UK, has extracted the wealth from their former colonies and facing a reduction in tribute from these sources. Macron has attempted to maintain control of some colonies such as Mali and really wants to conquer Syria. I suspect the meetings between Macron and MbS will result in an agreement for Saudi Arabia to buy French weapons while France getting financial aid to expand French troop bases in Syria.

Somehow, the current revolution in France is blacked out in the Western Media. Videos of the current revolution are common on Youtube such as: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g21_myERteQ

Almost all sectors of the French society are protesting against the neo-feudal policies of Macron, FIRE economy participants and his dwarves in the National Assembly. There are strikes among:

For a schedule of the rolling strikes in France see: http://www.cestlagreve.fr/

Macron has already deployed the CRS assassins and the street war will begin when EU police and military invade to crush to protestors. This will be far more violent than May 1968 and may usher in the 6th Republic. Unfortunately, Macron would prefer the cities to burn rather than resign and turnover the government to the President of the Senate.

The EU is also experiencing internal dissent with the Visegrad four (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia) plus Italy and Austria and thus needs an external enemy to distract its members. I suspect that a Ukrainian invasion of DPR/LPR will once again be used as a flash point create "two minutes of hate" against Russia :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4zYlOU7Fpk

These EU conflicts will not end peacefully as the system will fight back rather than step aside.

[Apr 08, 2018] Do brighter minds incline to honesty by James Thompson

Apr 08, 2018 | www.unz.com

Simon Gächter & Jonathan F. Schulz. Intrinsic honesty and the prevalence of rule violations across societies. Nature, Letter doi:10.1038/nature17160

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3c4TxciNeJZS0JfOGZQNnBhVkE/view?usp=sharing

The authors argued thus:

Good institutions that limit cheating and rule violations, such as corruption, tax evasion and political fraud are crucial for prosperity and development. Yet, even very strong institutions cannot control all situations that may allow for cheating. Well-functioning societies also require the intrinsic honesty of citizens. Cultural characteristics, such as whether people see themselves as independent or part of a larger collective, that is, how individualist or collectivist a society is, might also influence the prevalence of rule violations due to differences in the perceived scope of moral responsibilities, which is larger in more individualist cultures.

If cheating is pervasive in society and goes often unpunished, then people might view dishonesty in certain everyday affairs as justifiable without jeopardising their self-concept of being honest. Experiencing frequent unfairness, an inevitable by-product of cheating, can also increase dishonesty. Economic systems, institutions and business cultures shape people's ethical values, and can likewise impact individual honesty.

I described Gachter and Schultz's work in April 2016, and thought I could immediately see a problem with the interpretation that the authors placed on the results. Putting forward a different perspective took a few days. Getting that new approach published has taken 2 years. For how long will researchers put up with these absurd delays which impede the prompt assessment of arguments?

http://www.unz.com/jthompson/honestly

The authors of this very interesting study, having revealed the cheats, interpreted the national differences as being due to cultural factors, particularly whether there were institutions in each society which encouraged honesty. Of course, this leaves open why one society would have such institutions and another would not. Culture must come from somewhere. A reasonable hypothesis is that the institutions of a county are built by the people who live there. Here is our reply:

Honesty, rule violation and cognitive ability: A reply to Gächter and Schulz
Heiner Rindermann, David Becker, James Thompson.
Intelligence, Volume 68, May–June 2018, Pages 66–69.

https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1Wl5h_3fG8aUwo

Our argument is that both institutions and honesty are determined by the intelligence of people, and that bright people can see the long-term benefits of honesty and of institutions that support honest behaviour. Any institution with a code of conduct leads its members toward probity, and shows prospective applicants what standards are expected of them. However, those institution do not arise randomnly.

Gächter & Schulz assumed that institutional rules affect individual honesty.
We added cognitive ability as further factor explaining national differences.
Stronger effect of IQ (total 0.55) than of rule violation (total −0.34) on honesty.
Stronger effect of IQ (total −0.68) than of honesty (total −0.26) on rule violation.
________________________________________
Abstract
Gächter and Schulz (2016) assumed an effect of institutional rule violation on individual honesty within societies. In this reply we challenge this approach by including a nation's cognitive ability as a further factor for cross-national variations in the prevalence of rule violations and intrinsic honesty. Theoretical considerations, correlational and path analyses show that a nation's cognitive ability level (on average β = |.62|) better explains and predicts honesty and rule violation. While institutional and cultural factors are not unimportant, cognitive factors are more relevant.

The paper argues that there is a causal link between intellectual development and moral awareness: the individual process of development represents an advance from cognitive egocentrism to de-centered thinking, from ethical egocentrism to the consideration of the interests and rights of others.

Cognitive ability seems to have the strongest causal effect on the honesty of a society:

The same pattern holds true if you assume that social levels of honesty intermediate individual levels of honesty as shown by rule violation.

Either way, it seems that intelligence explains whether some societies cheat at games and cheat in real life.


KA , March 23, 2018 at 2:15 pm GMT

Society rots from top and doesn't matter who is at the top. It still remains valid even when the so called least intellectually developed honest poor people get shafted for hundred of years by so called high IQ nations who bring cheating,dishonesty,and violations of existing laws and destruction of existing institutions without replacing them nationwide. Often these newly created institutions are nothing but vehicle to whitewash the corrupting and corrupted new system.

Public moral status has a lot to do with corruption at the top -both local and international in these days of neoliberalism and post -colonization. It sounds painful and hurtful though.

res , March 23, 2018 at 3:18 pm GMT
Interesting work! I am amazed academics have the patience to deal with such a long lag time for letting arguments play out.

Is there any chance of you publishing a scatter plot matrix of the variables you used and/or the data itself?

Do you have the correlation matrix for your variables? By any chance did you try single and multiple variable models to try to predict rule violation from the other variables? It would be interesting to see how much variance an assortment of those models explained.

Has anyone explored the idea of "cheater fraction" (analogous to smart fraction) to explain dishonesty in societies?

James Thompson , Website March 23, 2018 at 5:28 pm GMT
@res

Cheater fraction sounds interesting. I assume that if it is higher than 16% then the society in question is worth avoiding, if at all possible.

Santoculto , March 23, 2018 at 8:17 pm GMT
Honesty can be anything, it's look like obedience to authority instead true or pure honesty
Santoculto , March 23, 2018 at 8:34 pm GMT
@Santoculto

I mean, based on proto-concept used.

Santoculto , March 23, 2018 at 8:37 pm GMT
So ashekl jews [on very avg or not] are the exception in collective terms **
Miro23 , March 23, 2018 at 11:59 pm GMT
It's an interesting question. Some years ago The Economist did a "European Honest Test " leaving a wallet with a fair amount of cash in it (but also including clear contact details of the owner), in capital cities around Europe.

The test was to see how many wallets were returned – and they found that the Scandinavians returned almost all of them, and the Italians returned almost none – with a clear North/South gradient in the results.

By coincidence, at about the same time, I found a wallet beside some rubbish bins with € 400 in it and some credit cards (one from my own bank). So on my next visit, I told them about it and soon got a call from the owner ( a Spanish carpenter working in Germany). His reaction was 1) to check that the money was still in the wallet 2) say that not many people would return a wallet with € 400 in it 3) leave 2 bottles of wine at my front gate.

I checked this reaction with my secretary at the time, and asked her what she would have done, with the answer that it would be a "Regalo de Dios" (Gift of God), i.e. it was not going to be returned to the owner, so there seems to be some anecdotal evidence for the result.

Godfree Roberts , Website March 24, 2018 at 12:31 am GMT
China's position on the Intrinsic Honesty chart is puzzling both at the macro level (remarkably honest, competent policy-makers) and at the individual level (above average IQ).

The Edelman Corporation, which has a lock on international surveys of personal and institutional honesty has consistently found the Chinese to be among the most trusting people on earth, as have World Values Surveys in their own, independent polls of the Chinese.

The source of the discrepancy appears to be the source of the data: "a n indicator of political rights by Freedom House that measures the democratic quality of a country's political practices; the size of a country's shadow economy as a proxy for tax evasion; and corruption as measured by the World Bank's Control of Corruption Index (Supplementary Methods)".

Relying on George Soros' Freedom House for information about China is akin to relying on the neighborhood fox to keep an eye on your chickens while you go on vacation. Garbage in, garbage out

https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vSwBCAPkkvGYMGa-7qn79nTF-eX-EnPauQYK8a_NqIAxY7nO7gwjp-m4u9BpRpcOOGZXnkrfe65MOaz/pub .

James Thompson , Website March 24, 2018 at 8:19 am GMT
@Miro23

Regalado.

Anonymous [388] Disclaimer , March 24, 2018 at 10:30 am GMT
I would rate Japan pretty high for getting things returned, but this ethic has eroded over the past three or four decades.

Also, in the past you'd see adult males scolding unrelated misbehaving teens in public, who'd slink away with their tails between their legs. This you do not currently see: men are less masculine and assertive and some teens at least are more beligerant.

Dieter Kief , March 24, 2018 at 11:38 am GMT
I think, David Perkins' findings about high IQ-people being also very tribal would make for a nice addendum here, to better understand how IQ and honesty are related.

I refer to Jonathan Haidt's argument, that he bases explicitly on Perkins' findings, that because of the tendency of high IQ-people to be even more tribal than the lower IQ ranks, ist is so crucial, to understand with J. S. Mill's On Liberty (and I add: with Kant and – – the Kantian Habermas' "Theory of Communicative Action"), that the core achievement of modernity is the institutionalization of disconformation in the democratic/liberal rational discourse and liberal public sphere (universities, the media, etc.).

Here's Jonathan Haidt, referring to Perkins and Mill to make clear, how important the institutionalization of disconformation actually is:

Ilya G Poimandres , March 24, 2018 at 12:12 pm GMT
Correlation≠causation. Maybe honesty leads to brighter minds. Is it your knowing the right answer that makes you follow it, or is it you looking at the situation, as it is, considering evidence and proof, and getting the right answer through correct deductive reasoning, which is then to be followed? You can't be honest and act ideologically, because by definition you follow your observations of the world, not your ideas of the world. An honest person is bound to direct observation, an intelligent person is not. Honesty is probably primary to an accurate understanding of the world.
Wizard of Oz , March 24, 2018 at 1:57 pm GMT
@James Thompson

I think that 16 per cent is a bit arbitrary. In a class or caste dominated society you might, if of a class which can choose to avoid countries, decide that it really doesn't matter if your butler and housekeeper have to terrify the lower orders to stop them ripping you off (and the butler and housekeeper have enough relations they want to place in employment to keep them to the rules as to how much they cheat you).

Wizard of Oz , March 24, 2018 at 2:12 pm GMT
@Miro23

I recently lost my wallet for a short time in a supermarket-plus-other-shops complex as I wheeled my trolley to the car park. I thought my pocket had been picked so went to a nearby poluce station to see if they could accelerate access to CCTV. Mr Plod was useless and unhelpful. (Fortunately I didn't start cancelling credit cards immediately as he pretty well demanded). Back in the shopping centre I was directed to a caretaker's office where a 30 ish man of Pakistani origin had my wallet that had fallen out of my pocket as I went up a ramp. He had taken the trouble to count the cash and wrap it separately with a note on it that the amount was $915 or whatever. I never bothered to count it myself or even unwrap it for several days. What does that say about the standard of civilisation in one of Australia's biggest cities?

Wizard of Oz , March 24, 2018 at 2:41 pm GMT
As anyone who has seen how inadequate religion is today to form moral young people may have thought, the obvious starting point is to ask oneself how I bring up my children and what moral rules I rub in (preferably by example as well as preaching). One knows children are not going to be cunning ruthless sophisticates by nature – unless psychopaths – and will not benefit from being taught to think immediately how they can get away with some theft or lie. So you bring them up with rules which will help to make sure they are both trusted and trustworthy – seeing you return the small amount of change over paid for exsmple to rub in the message about rules they should still be obeying without thought when they have children. Morality is about the customs of the tribe, its mores, and children are rarely done any sort of favour by not being trained to be strictly moral (even if taught Christian forgiveness, especially for the "poor in spirit"). However ..

It occurs to me that the place of intelligence in this may extend to what hss been called Divergent Thinking (does this overlap with Lateral Thinking? Or imagination?)
A quick imaginative laterally thinking brain may think of several ways some dishonest subterfuge may go wrong almost st the moment temptation arises. So honesty for him he quickly concludes is the best policy. And so down the speculative path on which little evidence is to be found. After all what is one to make of the arrogant lawyer that one reads about in the big tax case who thought arrogantly he could get away with something and the Mr Plods of the tax office would never sus him out and prove his wrongdoing to a court?

James Thompson , Website March 24, 2018 at 4:19 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

I was guided by my recollection of the modelling of neighbourhood crime risk, but it is a sliding scale, I agree. I assumed, years ago, that at the 16-20% level one would begin to notice a difference from base rate. See, in this particular example, Fig 2 and Fig 3

http://www.lagriffedulion.f2s.com/hood.htm

Miro23 , March 24, 2018 at 8:06 pm GMT
@Wizard of Oz

What does that say about the standard of civilization in one of Australia's biggest cities?

It doesn't really say anything. You need some standardized parameters and a reasonable sample size. Then you can draw some conclusions and assess the level of accuracy – like The Economist did with their wallet test – quite a good experiment.

However , at the individual level, a continuing positive outcome would be the wallet owner saying thank you, and being more inclined to return the favor one day.

Wizard of Oz , March 25, 2018 at 1:52 am GMT
Yep. Fair enough. (All of it).
Wizard of Oz , March 25, 2018 at 2:08 am GMT
@James Thompson

It occurs to me that 5 per cent might be a horrible worrying prospect if you, as a lawyer or doctor, thought it applied to the five or ten thousand you might come across as fellow professionals in your city or state. But then it could be that you rarely gossip about others and only regard as liars and cheats those who have done it to you (apart from the few who have been busted for insurance fraud). Maybe 16 per cent sometimes fudge or fiddle something but you don't know so you remain happily (and honestly) complacent, and proud of your profession.

Jonathan Mason , March 25, 2018 at 3:24 am GMT
More intelligent people may be more adept at calculating the possible negative consequences of personal dishonesty and they are likely to have more to lose. However, put them in a corporate situation and no doubt they will be as gung-ho as anyone to figure out ways to rip off customers.
Drapetomaniac , March 25, 2018 at 4:13 am GMT
@Miro23

I only look at the lost wallet in one light: it's not my property.

One of the factors I consider when looking at whether a person is a member of mankind or humankind – property.

szopen , March 25, 2018 at 8:57 am GMT
@Miro23

I've lost a wallet once and then I was visited home by shop owner, who carefuly tracked where I could live by using data from the wallet. She wanted nothing in exchange.

On university, I also was also given back a wallet once; I got back also a cellphone (which was quite expansive at the time) I left somewhere few years ago.

OTOH once I left a wallet with cash at university and it was not returned.

So, here you are my anecdotal evidence from Poland: three wallets and one cellphone, one time not returned, two plus one times returned.

szopen , March 25, 2018 at 9:07 am GMT
@James Thompson

"my recollection", " _I_ assumed, years ago" ??? Does that mean La Griffe du Lion is you?!?

Svigor , March 25, 2018 at 9:28 am GMT

More intelligent people may be more adept at calculating the possible negative consequences of personal dishonesty and they are likely to have more to lose. However, put them in a corporate situation and no doubt they will be as gung-ho as anyone to figure out ways to rip off customers.

The purpose of the institution in question is to "figure out ways to rip off customers." It's neither dishonesty nor cheating. The trick is not to have a culture that puts corporate/employer concerns first.

Obviously smarter people are going to tend to be more moral; you need to know what the fuck morality and ethics even are, and assess the circumstances, before you can make your decisions. Retards can't even get to the point of making a decision. Stupid people are great at missing the moral implications of their behavior. Smart people are the ones who need to come up with rationalizations.

animalogic , March 25, 2018 at 9:54 am GMT
All "honesty" begins with the self. Lying to your self, about your self is the basis of delusion and
in-authenticity. How can you know reality when reality is constantly reinterpreted to fit the needs of a run-away ego ?
The general point, that intelligence is linked to long term thinking seems sound to me. Dishonestly is often about immediate gratification: a question of gaining or avoiding immediate pleasure/displeasure. Honesty is a strategy that "pays off" over the long term.
Honesty, or truth telling (in so far as one can) is also a factor in an Honour culture. The liar is a "base" person, a person who has no sense (or no care about) their own social (self conscious) standing. Honesty also has a close correlation with such things as "loyalty", "promising" etc.
animalogic , March 25, 2018 at 10:02 am GMT
@Jonathan Mason

Oh yes !
That's the joy of the corporate structure: no one is responsible. EVERYONE acts because they "owe" obligations to another. (Executives to higher executives; Higher executives to the Board; the Board to Shareholders) Personal, moral responsibility becomes entirely lost in this deliberately confected ethical melange. The Large organisation is the perfect environment for crafting crimes safe from individual consequence.

animalogic , March 25, 2018 at 10:06 am GMT
@Wizard of Oz

It says you are damn lucky. If I had $ 915 in my wallet I'd super-glue the damn thing to my chest. Rather lose a couple layers of skin than that kind of dosh.

animalogic , March 25, 2018 at 10:25 am GMT
@Ilya G Poimandres

Self honesty is a long tortuous process.
Ideology is a relief: it removes the constant anxiety of needing to "question".
Science is -- should be -- the strictest form of public honesty.
Its frightening how many reports we so often get now about the systemic "dishonesty" in the scientific realm. (Dishonesty driven usually (not exclusively) by the demands of corporate profits)

m___ , March 25, 2018 at 10:46 am GMT
Sublime opportunism, entwined inside collective incentives, converges into supreme ethics, moral behaviour.
Sadly, the convergence is beyond the gradients of our elites.
The why of hard-wired human elites as are, cannot transcend to long term survival strategies, and society resembles a chicken coop.

To add another factor randomly, embedded into the above, it does not matter, how intelligence plays out between individuals, because individual opportunity feeds back into a pool of extended family, group, tribe, waves of culture and ad-hocs, lastingly and durably not encased in cognitive ambition, itself a consequence of cognitive genetic effort. Colleges and universities worldwide are a better example of petty games.

The "truth" and other concepts of "honesty" are a psychological, relative variant, depending on context. The agnostic concept of real and it's pursuit is unknown to our archaic, analogue brain without the preposition of a limited context, opportune in the now.

EliteCommInc. , March 25, 2018 at 1:35 pm GMT
I would be interested in how honesty was explicated. And the valuation of cross cultural rules that note the value of said rule equally across cultures. Now perhaps, these are fully layed out in the study, but I was unable to access the sight provided.

I would also be interested how the study rated honesty as a national value. Thus far the model looks to be applied by survey data. As I was reading I kept thinking of the multiple national scandals in which dishonesty played a central role. Once one figures out the definition and meaning of what constitutes honesty among individuals and or societal groups as agreed upon by those groups, then a model of measuring said honesty is built. This is essential because the article indicates that the difference in variable is largely cultural. So I have to conclude that a standard was established that recognizes what honesty is across cultures.

Because even withing culture, honesty varies. If intelligence is the key demarcation than one would expect those groupings with supposedly higher intelligence to have a higher degree of honesty. But again, even withing culture an agreed upon understanding of honesty is required.
Assuming intelligence matters to some set post of morality, in this case honesty -- could the model replicate supposed intelligence to honesty withing a given system in which the rules are more readily identifiable and agreed upon. Assuming that the students at the US military academies rank higher in intelligence than say the students at any comparable sized university would the students among the military academies rank higher or lower as to the being or practicing honesty. Considering the value placed on meritocratic institutions such as Harvard when measuring that intelligence grouping demonstrate a higher degree of hon