Syrian Narratives: the Worthy, the Scurvy, and the Topsy-Turvy

The Worthy, from newsbud.com (h/t Café denizen Jacob Freeze)

The Worthy: According to RT:  Jeffrey Sachs,  economist, UN special adviser, and Colombia University professor told MSNBC’s Morning Joe program that the current situation in Syria is a “US mistake that started seven years ago.”

Those seven years have been a “disaster,” he said, recalling a covert CIA operation called ‘Operation: Timber Sycamore.’ The US “started a war to overthrow a regime.”

“This is what I would call the ‘Permanent State.’ This is the CIA, this is the Pentagon wanting to keep Iran and Russia out of Syria, but we have no way to do that. And so we have made a proxy war in Syria.

“And so, what I would plead to President Trump is: Get out, like your instinct told you… Get out. We’ve done enough damage in seven years,” he said.”

‘Operation Timber Sycamore And Washington’s Secret War On Syria; To start this conflict and then keep its fires burning the US and its Satellites have spent billions of dollars’ by Martin Berger: DIA Docs: West Wants A “Salafist Principality In Eastern Syria” By Robert Barsocchini, mintpressnews.com

In part:

“To start this conflict and then keep its fires burning the US and its Satellites have spent billions of dollars. It’s curious that the New York Times has recently uncovered the criminal role that the CIA played in the Syrian war, reporting that members of the Obama administration have told them that Saudi Arabia is sponsoring the absolute majority of overseas unannounced overseas wars, to keep the role played in them by Washington a secret. At times the US and Saudi Arabia would share their intelligence, while in some cases Riyadh just hand out large sums of money to CIA operatives, without asking any questions.

Back in 2013 the CIA and Riyadh have agreed on launching an operation under the code name the Timber Sycamore that is aimed at toppling Syria’s elected officials through the continuous training and supported provided to all sorts of radical militants. Under the deal the Saudis contribute both weapons and large sums of money, and the CIA takes the lead in training the rebels on AK-47 assault rifles and tank-destroying missile. Moreover, Turkey, Jordan and Qatar have all been involved in this criminal design, even though exact amounts of money that the above mentioned states handed over to the CIA will always remain a secret. Still, the New York Times states that Saudi Arabia has been the major sponsor throughout all this time, allocating billions of dollars in a bid to bring down the government of Bashar al-Assad.”

More from the internal NYT ‘U.S. Relies Heavily on Saudi Money to Support Syrian Rebels’, NYTimes.com, Jan. 23, 2016

“WASHINGTON — When President Obama secretly authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to begin arming Syrias embattled rebels in 2013, the spy agency knew it would have a willing partner to help pay for the covert operation. It was the same partner the C.I.A. has relied on for decades for money and discretion in far-off conflicts: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Since then, the C.I.A. and its Saudi counterpart have maintained an unusual arrangement for the rebel-training mission, which the Americans have code-named Timber Sycamore.

By the summer of 2012, a freewheeling feel had taken hold along Turkey’s border with Syria as the gulf nations funneled cash and weapons to rebel groups — even some that American officials were concerned had ties to radical groups like Al Qaeda.

 The C.I.A. was mostly on the sidelines during this period, authorized by the White House under the Timber Sycamore training program to deliver nonlethal aid to the rebels but not weapons. In late 2012, according to two former senior American officials, David H. Petraeus, then the C.I.A. director, delivered a stern lecture to intelligence officials of several gulf nations at a meeting near the Dead Sea in Jordan. He chastised them for sending arms into Syria without coordinating with one another or with C.I.A. officers in Jordan and Turkey.

Months later, Mr. Obama gave his approval for the C.I.A. to begin directly arming and training the rebels from a base in Jordan, amending the Timber Sycamore program to allow lethal assistance. Under the new arrangement, the C.I.A. took the lead in training, while Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency, the General Intelligence Directorate, provided money and weapons, including TOW anti-tank missiles.”

And again, h/t Jacob Freeze, more Imperial Scurvy: ‘Syria Will Stain Obama’s Legacy Forever; The arc of history is long, but it won’t ever judge the president’s Syria policy kindly’, David Greenberg, foreignpolicy.com, Dec. 29, 2016, accompanied by the obligatory photos of the White Helmuts ‘saving’ wee chirren.

Self-explanantory in the main, but:

“Since the Syrian uprising began in 2011, Americans have regarded the carnage there as essentially a humanitarian disaster. For Obama, contemplating his legacy, the awful death and destruction that Syria has suffered — the 400,000 deaths, the wholesale wasting of civilian neighborhoods, the wanton use of sarin gas and chlorine gas and barrel bombs, the untold atrocities — has raised the old question of how future generations will judge an American president’s passivity or ineffectuality in the face of mass slaughter.”

Here Barsocchini features some of the docs that are hard to read on the pdfs: ‘DIA Docs: West Wants A “Salafist Principality In Eastern Syria”, Robert Barsocchini, 26 May, 2015, Countercurrents.org, (plus he helpfully adds a few related definitions, and more history re: the Sauds.

Clearly this is the Scurvy: Graham E. Fuller’s ‘What is the U.S. Fighting for in Syria?, (former senior CIA official), April 18, consortiumnews.com, and he did he did face some strong objections in the comments, but not enough, imo, as did Sybil Edmonds’ hits on Bartlett and Beeley…even as he got some of it right, of course.  A few bits:

“The power struggle between the Assad regime and the array of diverse insurgents has oscillated over seven years. Initially, when the government faced the first outbreak of domestic insurgency in 2011, it appeared that he might not last long in the evolving Arab Spring. But he proved resilient.”

[wd here: Ah, the CIA-George Soros, anti-Communist Otpor- sponsored Arab Spring; have you forgotten your roots, dude?]

“He was willing to strike back ruthlessly at the early uprisings and nip them in the bud. He was aided by the fact that the Syrian population was itself highly ambivalent about any collapse of his government. As regional regimes went it was unquestionably autocratic but not more brutal than usual in the region —at least not until early insurgent forces challenged the regime’s existence and  Damascus began to show real teeth.

In fact many Syrians did not want civil war—understandably enough since the human and material costs would be devastating. Second, large numbers of Syrians who had no fondness for Assad had even greater reason to fear what might come after him: very likely some combination of radical jihadi forces. Indeed, victorious jihadis might likely then have gone on to wage an internecine power struggle among themselves, just like the civil war among the Afghan mujahideen after the withdrawal of Soviet forces in 1988; it all but destroyed the country.”

“The world has learned that any state that does not accept the U.S.-designed order in the Middle East by definition becomes a “rogue regime”—hence losing any sovereign rights on the international scene. And Washington’s policies have all along been heavily driven by Israel’s own regional agenda. It’s a bitter pill then: acceptance of Assad’s remaining in power until the international order can eventually craft some new political process that offers more representative government there.”  (blink, blink)

Worthy from Caitlin Johnstone, the Worthy: ‘America’s Long History of Trying to Determine Who Rules Syria’, April 12, 2018, consortiumnews.com; some excerpts:

The 2006 William Roebuck Cable

A December 13, 2006 cable published by WikiLeaks reveals how five years prior to the beginning of the violence, the US government (USG) was seeking out weaknesses of the Assad government which could be exploited to undermine it. William Roebuck, an official at the US embassy in Damascus, said this in his summary of the cable:

“We believe Bashar’s weaknesses are in how he chooses to react to looming issues, both perceived and real, such as the conflict between economic reform steps (however limited) and entrenched, corrupt forces, the Kurdish question, and the potential threat to the regime from the increasing presence of transiting Islamist extremists. This cable summarizes our assessment of these vulnerabilities and suggests that there may be actions, statements, and signals that the USG can send that will improve the likelihood of such opportunities arising.”

(She links to more information on that at Truthout.org, Oct. 9)

The 1986 CIA Memo

A CIA document declassified last year exposed a plot to overthrow the Syrian government by provoking sectarian tensions all the way back in 1986.  Here are a few juicy excerpts:  [wd here: I’ll provide a couple]

“We believe that a renewal of communal violence between Alawis and Sunnis could inspire Sunnis in the military to turn against the regime.”

“Sunni dissidence has been minimal since Assad crushed the Muslim Brotherhood in the early 1980s, but deep-seated tensions remain–keeping alive the potential for minor incidents to grow into major flareups of communal violence… Excessive government force in quelling such disturbances might be seen by Sunnis as evidence of a government vendetta against all Sunnis, precipitating even larger protests by other Sunni groups.”

“Mistaking the new protests as a resurgence of the Muslim Brotherhood, the government would step up its use of force and launch violent attacks on a broad spectrum of Sunni community leaders as well as on those engaged in protests. Regime efforts to restore order would founder if government violence against protestors inspired broad-based communal violence between Alawis and Sunnis.”

Rebutting the Scurvy and Topsy-Turvey: On April 21, the good Stephen Gowans deconstructed some creepiness at the Intercept in his ‘Mehdi Hasan, beautiful soul, and his diatribe against the consequential Left’

“If it wasn’t already clear, The Intercept’s Mehdi Hasan, wants us to know he’s a beautiful soul. In an April 19 diatribe against “Bashar al Assad apologists,” Hasan professes his distaste for war crimes, torture, and dictatorship, no matter the source, but devotes particular attention to the violence and restrictions on political and civil liberties attributable to the Syrian president. Assad, Hasan concludes, “is a war criminal even if he didn’t gas civilians,” and leftists should stop defending him. The journalist, who once worked for the Qatari monarchy’s mouthpiece Al Jazeera, then proceeds to recite a litany of charges against Assad, some undeniable, some unproved or unprovable. One gets the impression that he’s peeved that the latest chemical weapons allegations against the Syrian government, ridiculously thin to begin with, and now largely demolished by Robert Fisk’s reporting, have failed to stick.” [snip]

Hasan has turned the distinction between goals and methods on its head. In Hasan’s view, leftists are defined not by what they’re trying to achieve, but by the methods they use. Torture, dictatorship, abridgement of civil liberties, warfare that produces collateral civilian casualties—all these things, according to Hasan, are signs of a contra-left political orientation. Thus, he argues, with illogic, that “Bashar al-Assad is not an anti-imperialist of any kind, nor is he a secular bulwark against jihadism; he is a mass murderer, plain and simple.” The illogic is evident in the false dichotomy that lies at the center of his argument. Mass murderer (if indeed Assad can be so characterized) does not exclude anti-imperialist and secular bulwark against jihadism; but in Hasan’s world, mass murderer and secular anti-imperialist are mutually exclusive. They are so to Hasan, because he has transfigured Leftism into the concept of avoiding all choices that have potentially awful consequences.

The beautiful soul retreats from the political struggles of the real world into impotent moral posturing, where no choices are ever made, because the consequences of all choices are awful to one degree or another. Success, then, in any political struggle is transformed from acting on the world to change it into avoiding any step that might have terrible consequences—a recipe for impotence, paralysis and failure. To the beautiful soul, the only leftist political movement that is worthy of support is the one that fails, never the one that comes to power and implements its political program and fights to overcome opposition to it.

To Hasan, the Syrian State’s position on the political spectrum is unrelated to its goals: overcoming sectarian and other divisions in the Arab world, safeguarding Syria’s political independence, and achieving economic sovereignty. Nor does it matter that Damascus is engaged in a struggle against (to use Hasan’s own words) “rapacious U.S. foreign policy”, “Saudi-inspired extremism” and “Israeli opportunism”—in other words, the aggression of conservative and reactionary forces that are more powerful individually to say nothing of collectively than the Syrian State by many orders of magnitude. To the Mahatma, all of these considerations are irrelevant, and all that matters in the evaluation of Assad’s political orientation is whether the methods Damascus has used to defend the gains it has made in the direction of asserting its right to equality and sovereignty are methods that that are suitable to a State in periods of stability, normalcy and safety. It’s as if what Hasan deplores about a war cabinet, for example, is not the war that made the war cabinet necessary, but the very fact that a war cabinet was created in response to it, as if carrying on in the regular manner could somehow make the war go away.” [snip]

“So, faced with these enormous challenges, what should Assad do? Whatever it is, Hasan can’t say. The best The Intercept writer can do is demand: “Is it the only way you know how to oppose” US, Saudi and Israeli aggression? Well, it does, indeed, appear to be the only way the Syrian government knows how to resist forces many times stronger than itself.  But if not this way, then what way? “Should we shoot balloons at the opposition?” Assad once asked another beautiful soul.”

Gowans added a bit more reality on Hasan’s ‘diatribe’ today with: ‘Meet Syria’s real mass murderers’

Related, of course: William Blum’sOverthrowing other people’s governments: The Master List’ (since WW II)  Spoiler alert: it’s a long list, and ends:

“Q: Why will there never be a coup d’état in Washington?

A: Because there’s no American embassy there.

art by anthony freda



(if you like what i copy/paste together, you might consider a small and painless donation,)

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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wendy davis's picture

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Blowing up muslim weddings is our job!

An airstrike on a wedding party, carried out by the Saudi-led coalition waging war in Yemen, killed more than 20 people and wounded dozens of others, including the groom, Yemeni officials said Monday.
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wendy davis's picture

@gjohnsit

"Rescue workers struggled to reach the site because of its rugged terrain and because fighter jets remained in the air, spreading fear that more strikes were coming.

Eissa al-Rajihi, a Yemeni photographer who said he had visited the hospital where the survivors were taken, reported a painful scene, saying that some of the children were missing limbs or had lost eyes. About 17 of the wounded were children, he said, and the groom had shrapnel scattered across his body."

there must be little in yemen that hasn't been bombed. how tragic. i just looked for images or tweets from al-rajihi; mybe it's good for now that i found none....

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wendy davis's picture

‘Dear Salafist Wahhabist Apologists’ by Paul Larudee / April 22nd, 2018, dissident voice

“Mehdi Hasan (MH) can hardly be blamed for the ignorance that he displays in his Intercept article, “Dear Bashar al-Assad Apologists: Your Hero Is a War Criminal Even If He Didn’t Gas Syrians.” He has apparently never been to Syria, doesn’t often do research on Syria, and gets his information from proponents of a single point of view, representing a bunch of idealists that want to usher in their idea of a liberal democracy in Syria, without benefit of electoral niceties until their power is already ironclad. What’s wrong with this picture?”

“Those of us whom MH accuses of being pro-Assad are nothing of the sort. We believe that Syrian sovereignty and territory should be fully respected (as MH also claims to believe), but we think it is important to counter the fake news and propaganda that are being used to justify the invasion of Syria. MH is in love with fake news. He prefers not to mention the killing of police in the uprisings that he describes as “peaceful demonstrations”. He prefers to cherry-pick the opinions of Syrian refugees in Germany rather than the views of the vast majority of refugees (displaced persons) who evacuated to government areas without leaving Syria. He produces the Human Rights Watch report on 50,000 morgue photos but not the deconstruction by investigator Rick Sterling. And he repeats the al-Qaeda claim and false film footage that Madaya was starving and in need when it was, in fact, sitting on a mountain of aid supplies being denied by the fighters themselves to the population.

If MH can’t see the difference between being pro-Assad and not falling for interventionist propaganda, that’s his problem. What’s astonishing is the number of “leftists” that rail against interventionism but base their views on the drivel purveyed by the interventionists themselves in the mainstream media, and that originates from propaganda mills like the White Helmets, the Aleppo/Ghouta Media Center and other lavishly funded set designers for warmongers. If MH is not an interventionist, he’s nevertheless making their case for them.”

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wendy davis's picture

same shit different day from DN!

and from 'our partners in peace':

was this diary just too long to read, or of little interest? same at the café, although folks there often comment a day or three later...

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Amanda Matthews's picture

Just The same old corrupt bullshit, another day, week, month, year...

Our lives are not going to improve unless we make some really big changes, and that starts with the total abandonment of Al From/Bill Clinton’s Koch-Brothers-financed Turd Way Neo-liberal ‘New’ Democratic Party.

Overthrowing other people’s governments: The Master List

https://williamblum.org/essays/read/overthrowing-other-peoples-governmen...

Who here hasn’t commented on our government’s greed, cruelty, and corruption before? I’ve been pissing and moaning since Vietnam. So far it’s not done one bit of good even though we thought we’d really done something, getting us out of there and running Nixon out of D.C. We were wrong. And in the end it was all for nothing. TPTB brought in the Turd Way conservative corporatists and made sure that with the rise of their Clinton puppets the ‘Left’ became the enemy.

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

wendy davis's picture

@Amanda Matthews

but i’d hoped that actual evidence (CIA, DIA syria, sauds) might be keepers, as well as outing more of the Fake Left, even the intercept, and some at consortium news. but by your statement about abandoning the third way demshits, etc., maybe therein lies the reason that so many recent screeds against dems and ‘don’t vote stats’, ‘anchors were told not to feature bernie sanders’, ‘dems to sue (i forget: wikileaks? russia?), ‘republicans are scared of teachers’ (wsws sorta debunked that D/R one earlier, as far as CO, anyway) have so many comments is that essentially better dems might be the answer to our collective travails and oppression/immiseration?

now i don’t hold w/ that idea for a lot of reasons, including blum’s master list. but CIA and ‘defense’ think tanks and compromised NGOs are non-partisan in the end, and according to most...comprise a lot of ‘the deep state rules’ rubric.

but i had hoped that this compilation might have made folks even more aware of what might wake up more of us to the fact tht it’s NOT a red/blue construct. as a side note, before i clicked in i’d been transferring some of my saved messages from my laptop to the msm cloud, and came across two that collided mightily. one was glenn greenwald’s column at salon in 2010 (?) averring that citizens united was correctly decided, and the other was a copy of emily dickinson’s ‘i felt a funeral in my brain’. oh, my, and what a collision it was, smile!

thanks again, amanda for giving me food for thought. and by the by: what's your avatar? i've long meant to ask.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@wendy davis You have stretched my limited supply of axons to the limit, thus compromising already reduced processing ability. First of all, in response to your question to Amanda, the "only good Demonrat" is a non-governmental/CIA Dim. (note, in the interest of peace I eschewed {rhymes with chewed} any reference to mortality).

My first question is how you were able to write that essay without gagging protractedly? Cast iron stomach, stronger than mine.

. He produces the Human Rights Watch report on 50,000 morgue photos

One thing I learned in Alligator University's School of Forensic Science is that a corpse can never tell you who killed it. Now, the Demonrats claim to have that skill, just as they possess a fluorescing light to detect urine stains on people's skin and transmitted that forensic ability to Chris Steele.

Now, I wish to debunk the theory that George Soros, Illuminati, and the Klinton Crime family have distorted and the destroyed "core" Democratic concepts, such as pro bono publica. Their principles have now been located by AU's Astronomical Observatory:

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Alligator Ed

I imagine her and her family as the Jetson's, living in some glorious cartoon future with flying cars and robot servants.

You've been on fire lately, too. A regular idea hampster, you are. Thanks for keeping the fires stoked.

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

but hell yeah, we even have jetpacks and daleks (dr. who) as servants, and live in bumbfuck county, CO (h/t ed abbey) ach, tryin' to access our google earth location, but the image browse thingie's flummoxing me tonight, so i can't manage it. but: the boondocks, lol.

but thanks for the teasing, pluto, i needed it, didn't i?

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wendy davis's picture

@Alligator Ed

messaging to to help poor wd’s diary out w/ a comment. but as to neurons, i have more lacunae than grey cells by now, and as to not barfing, it’s partially because i’ve been blogging anti-war, anti-imperialism since before josh marshall closed down the Café there, as we were gettin’...a little too rowdy for his comfort (smile). as a side note, it took quite a while for a (gasp) ‘woman’ to earn enough street cred to be noticed, and that was in the days of petreus having written the forward to a book on ‘afghanistan’s new silk road to riches’ or some title like that. sound familiar?

but sure, i need breaks to restore myself, as i reckon jefrey kaye and other do.

i love your ‘One thing I learned in Alligator University's School of Forensic Science is that a corpse can never tell you who killed it.’ and the rest, but srsly, it’s one thing about teevee series in the UK noting that MEs ‘speak for the dead who...cannot speak’. but yes, i do get your drift. and the colorized photo of what i assume is our galaxy...is beyond compare. our house is full of bird portraits and images from the hubble telescope: perspective, as we are just less than dots in the larger scheme of things...helps. venus is the evening star in the west just now. aldeberan in taurus, mr. wd keeps showing me when he (har) ‘accompanies’ my lame ass down the long driveway to skywatch, but...i fail to recognize her on her own.

anyway, love and solidarity to you and your kin, gator.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

I was spontaneously responding to Ed's comment:

wd, you've done it again.
You have stretched my limited supply of axons to the limit, thus compromising already reduced processing ability.

I hadn't yet read your essay, yet. Unsurprisingly, it was horrific for me because I am acutely aware of the toxin-smeared sub-humans you are discussing: (the foreign policy tools, think-tank lizards, zionist fluffers, mouth-piece journalists, and the media IEDs like the Intercept, in particular). These are the filth of our culture, who have self-selected to distribute the poisonous propaganda about the sovereign nation of Syria (comprised of the Syrian people) and their democratically-elected President, Bashir al Assad.

Particularly disgusting, coming from all sides, is the omitting of any consideration of the Syrian people's Human Right to Self Determination. This is the moral mandate that a sentient society must themselves determine the type of government and leaders they will allow into their lives. Self Determination is the ultimate human right for anyone who plans to survive going forward from here. To my ears, it sounds obscene for any non-Syrian to talk about the government they will install for the Syrian people. When that notion is allowed to float like a stinking turd in the proverbial punchbowl of the human gene pool — without being confronted and denounced for the sick perversion against humanity that it is — it hurtles the entire species backward through evolution, leaving them profoundly dumber about everything. A century of this imperialistic thinking explains why the American people are so helpless. A smarter world would expel US embassies and build a wall around that entire country. They suffer from an infectious disease of the brain.

All that aside, I appreciate how you deconstructed the Syria situation with HazMat-like discipline, humor, and reference points. I believe this is what prompted Ed to remark:

My first question is how you were able to write that essay without gagging protractedly? Cast iron stomach, stronger than mine.

Heh. Ed and I are both snowflakes, reeling and gagging over normal, every-day savagery, while you step over the deplorables, like Joan of Arc, and perform a premature autopsy. And this is where the forensics begin. The narrative that you weave tells a terrible truth, one that must be spoken. We need to leave an emotional record and warning — on the off-chance that humanity survives its 21st century — so that our descendants can easily spot the greedy, paranoid, capitalist psychopaths before they can fully emerge and unleash their banal evil again. Regarding that narrative, I noticed that the contextual markers of the Benghazi attack and the events of the 2012 Presidential election were missing. For me, the words and weird behaviors of Hillary and Obama, during the timespan of your narrative, provide the most cynical evidence of the propaganda-based brain damage that ultimately broke the American People's moral compasses, once and for all.

In the meantime, I relish everything you write and especially your deep-diving research. Your work is chock-full of facts and very illuminating. But it can be a little intimidating, too, with your unique, flash-flood pacing. You raise the bar, but I imagine you constantly challenge yourself to really deliver the goods. That's not uncommon, here, where there tends to be a little less sizzle but a lot more steak. These days, I belabor my responses so they reflect my respect for the community. I should probably lighten up, but the whole nation seems to be in a mood, don't you think?

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Pluto's Republic

blockquote.png

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snoopydawg's picture

@Pluto's Republic & Wendy

I can't seem to follow if you are writing something or if you're copying the article. I get lost on what is being discussed. Block quotes help me with this.

was this diary just too long to read, or of little interest?

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Governments exist preeminently to maximize the profits, resources and the power of the wealthy

mimi's picture

@snoopydawg

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wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

what i write is in black, quotes are colorized. as i've said a number of times (including to mimi below) is that i compose diaries at the café, then use the easy copy (html source code) that johnny taught me to cross-post. i get that y'all are used to the boxes, i don't care for them (nor emoticons), nor does my wordpress site have them, so i reckon i'll just have to live with some of you not caring to read my diaries. i don't mean to be rude about it, but...there it is.

but i do appreciate your explanation, snoop.

on light bulb edit: i just realized that if a person is color blind, that would make it harder.

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travelerxxx's picture

@wendy davis

... so i reckon i'll just have to live with some of you not caring to read my diaries.

Oh, no ... nope. It's not that at all! It's the opposite. With respect, I think the complaints (and these are rather mild complaints) are simply asking for better readability. I think this would especially be true when one considers folks who may stumble in to C99, and are not familiar with your writing style and/or constructs.

WD, your essays are damn hard hitting. It's my opinion that they deserve easy accessibility. Or at least easier accessibility. It's not the content. Not one bit. It's format. That's all.

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wendy davis's picture

@travelerxxx

but i dunno how to explain it any better than i have, save that i misspoke here when i'd said "...i'll just have to live with some of you not caring to read my diaries." i should have said more along the lines of 'not finding them readable, thus breezing by them'. IF i wanted to make boxes (which i don't, they jangle my nerves), i'd have to build a cross-post from the ground up, which would entail a lotta learning this blogging platform, and far more time and energy than i have.

i'm fooking 66 years old (65? i allus forget), 'otherly-abled', thus slow doing RL chores, and i really never learned to type. so i reckon that unless JtC requires it, i'll just have to easy copy from the café...or not post here, though i don't care for that extreme option at all. i do hope that most peeps here can read them easily, even those used to rectangles, lol. and i sincerely hope that you can, amigo.

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travelerxxx's picture

@wendy davis

i'd have to build a cross-post from the ground up

Valid reason. I understand.

which would entail a lotta learning this blogging platform, and far more time and energy than i have.

Also, understandable.

i'm fooking 66 years old (65? i allus forget), 'otherly-abled', thus slow doing RL chores

I get it; I'm a year behind you ... if I remember correctly. Further, I keep certain NSAID manufacturers in business, I think. I get it.

and i really never learned to type

Glad my dear Grandmother insisted that I learn way back in the day. For not having really learned, you are doing quite well.

i do hope that most peeps here can read them easily, even those used to rectangles, lol. and i sincerely hope that you can, amigo.

I will make whatever effort it may take - and frankly, it doesn't take much. Your content is solid gold. Your writing is actually fun - it's probably that I am a speed-reader (trained, no less!) and you just cannot do that with some of your posts. There's certainly something good about that. It forces me to slow down and think. I don't know when that's ever a bad thing.

Sorry about the rectangles....

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wendy davis's picture

@travelerxxx

blesssings on you again, and i’m glad you are a speed reader. by now, in my dotage, i’m a bit slow and often need to read twice. but when mr. wd read my comment, he said ‘er...dear, you’re 67’. i accused him of gaslightin’ me. ‘do the math’, was his rejoinder. ‘fuck me, if i could, i might know the fook how old i am!!!!’

sigh on the NSAIDs, tho. i eat a gelcap of high cbd cannabis and one motrin in the mornin’, and they help. but for fast pain relief, i do have a shot of liquor, reckoning it’s almost better for my liver that NSAIDs, but in the end...i ain’t hopin’ for a long life (save for mr. wd), and otherwise never get sick. haven’t been to a doc save for knee surgery in thirty years. i get so tired of all of this, but in my dreams...oh, yes, i can fly on the ground, rarely need crutches, and odd as it sounds. travel along a particular road uphill to the east toward durango on a body-sized skateboard i can propel with my darling hands. that said, i never reach the top of the hill, and i suspect the reason is: no brakes (smile).

thanks again, buster keaton.

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snoopydawg's picture

@wendy davis

writing style or can't remember which color is which? Or we're supposed to remember the code? I do have problems seeing red writing.

I'm not trying to be rude , but as traveler stated, making the format easier to read would help. Remember, you asked if people didn't like your essay or is something else. Wendy, it's something else for me ..

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Governments exist preeminently to maximize the profits, resources and the power of the wealthy

travelerxxx's picture

@snoopydawg

Yeah, maybe the color thing. That's a real problem for some. Hell, I can barely tell the difference between green and blue and absolutely cannot differentiate between dark blue and black. Greens are super bright to me, and yet reds are always very faint.

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wendy davis's picture

@snoopydawg

yes, you asked, and while i'll try to remember not to use red, i'll admit my brain's RAM is about half a day deep. i think i italicized the cranberry color quote in my new diary, but...i can't be sure if it's the case here. i'll say sorry ahead of time, but...if needs must, please, please...feel to walk on by.

p.s. on morning edit: part of my code is using quotation marks around what other people write and say, lol,

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

but of course you know just how horrific the ongoing disinformation and agitprop are and have been half of forever, from compromised NGOs, but most egregiously from the compromised ‘fake leftists’, such as GG and his friends at the Intercept. actually it’s exactly the right name, imo, as pierre’s stable of what: a 100 now?- fearless investigative journalists is evidently about controlling the news, not exposing lies. one of the chiches snowden and greenwald always had w/ wikileaks, and especially assange, was that he’s dyed-in-the-wool anti-imperialist and anti-war. everything TI published was given to the military to redact as ‘needed’, pffffft.

and GG’s highly touted ‘must read!!!’ new essay objecting to ‘the silencing of assange’ is such a fucking bunch of virtue signaling, as when wikieaks was kicked out of the anonymous funneling of contributions by the freedom of the press foundation, not a peep from GG or several other members. and the Intercept did at least two personal hits on assange, one by the ever-odious micah lee. how many did the daily beast do?

““Much had changed since the foundation was formed. Today it has a $1.5 million annual budget and a staff of 15. Taking donations for WikiLeaks and other groups has become only a tiny part of the foundation’s work. In 2013, for example, the foundation took over development of SecureDrop, an open-source tool designed to make it safer for whistleblowers to submit information to reporters. Under the foundation’s stewardship, SecureDrop today is running in dozens of newsrooms, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Associated Press, and Bloomberg.”

Feel the burn PropOrNot approved list? So…it’s not a stretch to imagine that it’s so, or even worse. Maybe the Rockefeller Foundation, Gates Foundation, or other Imperial Foundations will fund them soon. Pffffft on the FPF Imperial Compradors.”

now i just checked, and this is my fourth diary on syria, largely because it’s ground zero for the proxy wars, and is another deposed-the-duly-elected leader in progress...although that changes with the wind...allegedly. but my guess is that in some of those diaries, a few folks mentioned that assad was duly elected, although i can’t be sure because: memory like swiss cheese. but as w/ russia, VZ, syria, the elections were illegal! as in the USA: russian collusion, wikiLeaks, and tra la la.

but yeah, graham fuller (formerly CIA) in the OP at consortium news, no less, writing:
“It’s a bitter pill then: acceptance of Assad’s remaining in power until the international order can eventually craft some new political process that offers more representative government there.” because: the spoils of balkanization come next, don’t they? as in afghanistan? the oil, the port at tarsus, who knows what all?

and i suppose you’re correct in believing that the population has given into imperial power constructions like r2p.amerikan exceptionalism (nato and puppet clients, or is amerika the client of israel?) that it does act as devolutionary.

hmmmm. i’d thunk that the (odd and curious) NYT paragraphs i’d brought showed obomba’s true lying colors, and the same piece may have included...benghazi, or someone’s did johstone’s? O, for a memory again!

and yes, to leave a record, and this is part of it, isn’t it? and how kind your praise is, pluto, if unearned. so...lol, did you click the ‘donate if you appreciate my copy/pastes’ link at the end? hope you do, dagnabbit, and the gator, as well.

best heart and solidarity,
wd

p.s. thank you for the formatting hints, but i loathe those boxes. my shrink diagnosed it as 'fear of rectangles'. i don't use the quote thingies at the café, either, and i just use the easy copy html code johnny showed me to cross-post here

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

This makes me want to break out one of my unpublished copy-and-paste Syrian essays — and go forth and multiply my own amusements.

As happens so often these days, my longish comment to you was actually a preface and introduction to the salient point I wanted to make. But I got myself so worked up, I forgot to make my point altogether.

My point was that you've written a complex essay to explain a complex system that promises increasing complexity in motive and motivation, all of it fogging up the view of the future. Which is, of course, accurate, if incomplete. I feel, then, compelled to produce the Cliff Notes version, which is the single, one-sentence idea that explains everything that has happened and that drives everything that is going to happen.

But first, a word about proxy wars. I think of them as clinical trials. They take place in a certain order under certain restrictions, with an eye toward the finished product. The duration of the trials can be abruptly short, or they can be extended and ongoing. New tangential studies can begin; pop up proxy wars. Ukraine served that purpose, even as it was in long-term incubation by the NGOs. Syria could not have happened without the clinical trials in Iraq and Libya. The pop-up proxy war in Yemen had to be triggered to concentrate the focus toward Iran, which also required a near pop-up in Oman to amplify the signal. They can be seen as the playoffs that precede or preempt uncertain wars.

The global aspirations of the military alliances, the commodity Shogun, and the contraband cartels all dovetail in the geopolitical chokehold of the Middle East, whose own powerful syndicates and geographic advantages hold the keys to future wealth. Amid the international sandstorms of shifting loyalties, synergy, and strengths, each power group has a very specific goal to achieve. The US, for example, demands Empire rulership and sees the Eurasian alliance as a competitive block to its exceptional authority. This is the number one strategic concern for the US. However, the US must fulfill the sweeping goal of Saudi Arabia (which influences OPEC) in order to maintain a global demand for US Dollars via oil sales. China poses a threat here with the preconditions of its own vast oil purchases in Yuan Gold Bonds.

Which leads to my Cliff Note version of the Syria narrative: We are in the Middle East to fulfill the demands of Saudi Arabia and Israel. All action eventually leads to the extermination of every last Shiite in the region. Everything we do there is done for that purpose, first.

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mimi's picture

@Pluto's Republic
thanks for giving me the courage to say that, Pluto.

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QMS's picture

@mimi @mimi assault on simplistic reduction?

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mimi's picture

@QMS

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

taking pity on a poor blind widdy on the dole! and i hope it was as painless as promised. yes dear: go forth and multiply!

grand thinking on proxy wars ‘clinical trials’, srsly. and the >>>narrative evidence you’ve provided so handily. and the rest of your paragraph on shifting loyalites (i’d add both military and economic, not always the same, sometimes 'just bidness', no?).

i sense that you believe that obomba’s pivot to asia was his understanding that mackinder’s heartland theory is correct, and may be some of orange julius’s trade war with china? or is he even that aware of the ASEAN developments or just a MAGA piss-pot? pepe escobar is writing that the EU is rather terrified on the new silk road (BRI, Obor, whatever nomenclature of the day). but china is used to playing the long game, no?

but yes, i like your cliffs notes version, and beware shiites everywhere, but how does russia fit into your calculations, then? RT has this headline: ‘One of the world's longest gas pipelines from Russia to China almost complete’. and russia reaching accords with the hindu nationalist thug modi, ugh x 2. and the tankies on twitter are predicticting more and more protests against him on several issues.

this as we speak:

and i'll drop this here as well; too long to feature the key parts of the press release:

thanks again for your original thinking, pluto.

p.s. on evening edit: re: ukraine. as soon as it's not a 'friend of nato', or 'under nato's umbrella', etc. and ponies up enough money (3.5% or so of its GDP) it will enter officially. the IMF has practically given $$$ to Ukraine to spur that, and then a new proxy war w/ russia will commence, imo. the neo-nazis seem to be at least half...in control. and again, the western hegemon discounts that, by and large.

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Amanda Matthews's picture

@wendy davis

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

wendy davis's picture

@Amanda Matthews

thanks for explaining; i'd kinda wondered if t'were from some film i'd never seen.

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wendy davis's picture

author of ‘Washington’s Long War on Syria’ is up with a new critique today in his ‘Another Beautiful Soul: Counterpunching the Global Assault on Dissent’ (sound familiar? as in: ‘Pullin’ their Counterpunches? (you decide)’, both at the café and c99%)

“I was recently alerted to Sonali Kolhatkar’s Truth Dig article, “Why Are Some on the Left Falling for Fake News on Syria?”, which Counterpunch found important enough to republish under the title, “The Left, Syria and Fake News.” Kolhatkar’s article was introduced to me as the work of a “beautiful soul.”

There’s certainly reason to believe the Truth Dig columnist fits the description. She urges us to consider “nonmilitary alternatives to ending the complex [Syrian] war”, but can’t think of any, much as Mehdi Hasan, in his rant against supporters of the Syrian government’s struggle against the aggressions of what he concedes are rapacious US foreign policy, Saudi extremism, and Israeli opportunism, can’t think of the benign alternatives the Syrian government should employ to defend itself (but thinks Assad should come up with some, all the same.)

Beautiful souls appear not to recognize that the war in Syria is a concrete political struggle connected to a specific social system related to empire; it is the struggle of the United States to extend its dictatorship over all of the Arab world and of Arab nationalists in Damascus and their allies to counter US imperial designs. All the beautiful soul recognizes is that people are being killed, families are being uprooted, small children are being terrorized, and they wish it would all just end. They’re not for justice, or an end to oppression and the dictatorship of the United States, or for equality; they’re for the absence of conflict. And they don’t seem to particularly care how it’s brought about.

Kolhatkar accepts US-orchestrated war propaganda against Syria as true, and brands the challenges to it (which she deems fake news) as false. She deploys illogic (the White Helmets may be funded by the US but that means nothing because so are other groups) and then says our analysis “needs to be far more sophisticated.”

and so on. it’s quite good as a critique, haven’t had time to read kohlaktar’s (non-counterpunchin’).

also, gowans had also tweeted this on april 27; i’ll link to it rather than embed it so that you (hopefully) can see the discussion below. “Assad is successfully thwarting US neo-colonialist designs, yet many leftists respond to Mehdi Hasan by denying that they see Assad as a hero. If the left seeks to overcome imperialism, why would it not regard an effective leader of an anti-imperialist struggle as a hero?

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wendy davis's picture

@wendy davis

kohlhatkars’ op-ed at counterpunch? is worse than i’d imagined and gowans had reported, imo; not just illogical as gowans had said, but...vapidly and stupidly Imperial all the way. dig it:

“For years I excoriated the left for ignoring Afghanistan, a war that continues today. I can only conclude that there is little motivation among American leftists to protest a war where there is no charismatic anti-American strongman to defend.”

“Many are citing Robert Fisk’s reporting this week from Syria on a doctor who was not a witness to the attack and yet claimed that the dozens of Syrians who died were asphyxiated by dust rather than poisoned by chemicals. Fisk made no attempt to explain the many reports of a chemical smell and of white foam at the mouths of victims. His report directly contradicts that of Associated Press and Guardian newspaper journalists who managed to corroborate with multiple sources including survivors that there had been a chemical attack from the sky. Earlier investigations by Al-Jazeera and The New York Times also concluded that the claims by survivors of the attack were accurate. Are we to believe that The New York Times, Al-Jazeera, AP and The Guardian are all part of some grand conspiracy to push the U.S. to bomb targets important to Assad?

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QMS's picture

fleecing the flock for a buck.

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wendy davis's picture

@QMS

in the OP prostituting/pressituting themselves (other than the foreign policy mag/rag)for dollars? or the CIA docs, the NIA docs and the wikileaks johnstone had linked to, sir billy goat? without that specificity, it's hard to know how to respond. but if the latter, it's for complete command and control of the planet with added capitalistic fervor (why is 'neoliberalism' mentioned so often? what kind of capitalism exists now other than that?

if you mean the former, i may have a theory i'll bring soon, even though you'll already know it by now.

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QMS's picture

@wendy davis guess I'm just sour about getting charged for this madness.

the human and material costs would be devastating

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wendy davis's picture

thank you all for the discussion. as a bit of an antidote to the current zeitgeist, i'll leave this for a lullaby. larry long’s song for leonard peltier. barring some miracle, sick, old and innocent of the charges, he'll die in prison w/o seeing his family again. for all of the political prisoners around the world, and for all of us:

one of leonard's many paintings 'warrior in the woods'

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