Crazy Cruz. Ted Cruz has referred to Richard Dear, the Planned Parenthood shooter, as a "transgendered leftist activist." Those three words -- never mind anything else that Cruz has said: Those three words alone -- tell us that Cruz is way too nutty to be handed the powers of the presidency.
The "transgendered" myth, which has become incredibly popular on the right, apparently derives from a typo on a voter registration form. Of course, to a conspiracy-crazed right-winger, there are no accidents.
The "leftist activist" claim is pure hallucination...
The Times’ profile also identifies him as “generally conservative,” having been raised as a Baptist, but as someone who did not discuss politics much. According to his ex-wife, “he believed wholeheartedly in the Bible” and believed that abortion was wrong. He also distributed pamphlets criticizing President Obama to his neighbors in Colorado. On the voter registration form with the gender discrepancy, his party is listed as “UAF,” meaning unaffliated.
Dear claimed that he was angry about "baby parts," an obvious reference to a right-wing video which falsely claims that Planned Parenthood profits from aborted fetus parts.
Right-wing cowards refuse to admit the truth: Their beloved "alternative" media is a machine that emits clouds of psychotoxins. It is a machine designed to create capital-C Crazy. Occasionally, and unsurprisingly, those who suffer from long-term exposure to these psychotoxins will commit acts of violence. I think that it is fair to say that the manipulators who run the far-right media freak show bear no small measure of guilt when guys like Dear start firing bullets into the innocent. Similarly, Goebbels bore no small measure of guilt for the crimes of the Third Reich.
(Screw Godwin's Law. In this case, the historical reference is quite justified.)
Remember when...? Reactionaries are never more creative than when they feel compelled to convince themselves that mass killers are actually leftists, even though they almost always enter the crime scene from stage right.
They did so in the case of James Holmes, the Dark Knight killer, whom they immediately tagged as a representative of the Occupy Wall Street movement -- based on zero evidence. (Their reasoning, if we can even use that word, had something to do with the fact that Holmes was reported to have worn black. So did Zorro. So, for that matter, does Batman.)
There were attempts to portray Adam Lanza, the mentally ill Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter, as a "liberal." In reality, Lanza's mother was a conservative gun nut who irresponsibly made firearms available to her unhinged offspring -- and paid the price.
In 2011, the right-wing crazy-makers went to extraordinary lengths to convince the public that Jared Loughner -- the nutjob who shot Democratic congresswoman Giffords -- was a "leftist assassin." At the time, I tried to trace the origins of this canard. Here is what I wrote:
Nevertheless, in the aftermath of the Tucson shooting spree, the right wing media infrastructure quickly repackaged Jared Lee Loughner as a "leftist."
"The hard left is going to try and silence the Tea Party movement by blaming us for this," Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips wrote. "The left is coming and will hit us hard on this. We need to push back harder with the simple truth. The shooter was a liberal lunatic. Emphasis on both words."
This sentiment was not confined to a single nutjob -- it became the party line of the day throughout right-wingerland. From the New American:
Far from being a tool of the right, it appears as if Jared Loughner, the notorious mass murderer who killed six persons last week in Arizona, was schooled in a program hatched by that American terrorist par excellence, Bill Ayers. World Net Daily reports that Loughner was a student in one of Ayers' radical education projects. And the man who ran the program, WND adds, is "a former top communist activist who is an associate of Ayers."
Turns out, however, he went to a high school associated with radicals and communists — most notably, Ayers. The school program to which the high school was attached was funded by the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, whose chairman at the time was Barack Obama...
And so on. This has to be the loopiest conspiracy theory I've heard all month. Even someone as nutty as Jared Lee Loughner might have a hard time believing that Barack Obama somehow managed to turn Arizona high schools into communist training grounds.
Here's that ever-reliable propagandist for psychopathology, Jerome Corsi:
Jared Loughner, the alleged Arizona assassin, may have been inspired by the radical leftist punk-rock band Anti-Flag, one of his favorite bands, according to a schoolmate who posted on Twitter.com her reminiscences about her association with Loughner.
By this logic, I must be an anti-Semite because I listen to Wagner. I must also be a neurotic Jew because I listen to Mahler.
Now looky here:
LOUGHNER - LEFTIST ASSASSIN - USED GLOCK 19
In real life, Loughner had no discernible links to the left. Quite the opposite. He was a freak who adored an inane video called Zeitgeist (reviewed here). That bizarre conspiracy compendium somehow combines Jesus mythicism with 9/11 balderdash and what I would call "gonzo libertarian" economics. The controlled demolition theory of 9/11, highlighted in that film, was invented by right-wingers and is now most closely associated with Alex Jones -- who (as noted in our previous post) has become a functionary of the Republican Party.
This useful article lists a number of mass killers whose motives can be traced, without any stretching of the evidence, to the consumption of right-wing media:
On Aug. 10, 1999 White supremacist Buford O. Furrow, Jr., fired 70 rounds with an Uzi-type submachine-gun inside the lobby of the Jewish Community Center in Granada Hills, CA wounding three children, a teenage counselor and an office worker. He then carjacked a woman’s Toyota at gunpoint, dumped it behind a motel and murdered US Postal Worker Joseph Santos with a Glock 9mm handgun.
On July 27, 2008 Former U.S. Army private, Jim David Atkinsson, who hated Democrats, liberals, African Americans and homosexuals, using a Remington Model 48 12-gauge shotgun, murdered two people and injured seven others inside the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, TN.
The day after Obama’s inauguration, white supremacist Keith Luke went on a killing spree in Brockton, Massachusetts. His goal was to kill as many Jews, blacks and Hispanics as possible. When questioned by investigators, the deranged gunman who had stockpiled hundreds of rounds of ammunition, proclaimed that he was fighting the extinction of the white race.
A little over a month later, Dannie Baker, a former Republican campaign volunteer shot five Chilean immigrants in Florida. Those who knew him said he was obsessed with the fear that illegal immigrants were taking over the country.
In April of 2009, Richard Popalowski, a white supremacist in Pittsburgh, shot and killed three police officers following a domestic disturbance call. He apparently thought that Obama was part of a government conspiracy to seize all guns, and he feared the government would take his guns away.
Later the same month, a Fort Walton Beach Florida man who thought the Obama administration was conspiring against him, shot and murdered two sheriff’s deputies.
On May 31, 2009 Dr. George Tiller was murdered in his own church by a right-wing “pro- life” gun man who decided to express his belief in the sanctity of human life by executing a medical doctor.
Eleven days later a right-wing white supremacist and Holocaust denier walked into the National Holocaust Museum and killed an African-American security guard. Two weeks later, three Neo-Nazis were arrested for bombing a diversity office in Scottsdale, Arizona.
On April 20, 2010 a member of the Sovereign Citizen movement was arrested after a failed attempt to take over a Tennessee county courthouse.
Exactly one month later, in West Memphis Arkansas, Sovereign citizens Jerry and Joe Kane murdered two police officers before they themselves were shot and killed in the ensuing shoot out with police.
On July 18, 2010 Byron Williams, an angry unemployed man, was arrested by police after they discovered a car full of weapons and ammunition that he had planned to use to kill progressives. He was on his way to the non-profit Tides Foundation Center, a favorite target of vitriol from Glenn Beck’s radio show.
On Jan. 8, 2011 22-year old Jared Lee Loughner killed six people, including a judge and a nine-year old child, and wounded 13 others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), using a 9mm Glock 19 pistol during a public meeting in a supermarket parking lot near Tuscon, AZ.
On Aug. 5, 2012 Wade Michael Page, a 40-year old white supremacist and U.S. Army veteran murdered six people and wounded four others inside a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, WI with a Springfield XD(M) semi-automatic pistol.
Rightwingers, the time has come to face the facts: Your inflammatory media is both addictive and poisonous. Consumers of right-wing "news" spiral into ever-heightening levels of rage-gasm. They live for the high and constantly seek something stronger. The comments sections on right-wing sites are filled with deranged rhetoric -- violent, dehumanizing, eliminationist, fascistic. The proprietors of right-wing conspiracy sites make money by publishing incitements to mob violence.
Richard Dear and his fellow right-wing killers were the inevitable by-product of this sick subculture.
Right-wingers keep saying "Guns don't kill people" -- and you know what? They're right. Guns don't kill people: Right-wing conspiracy theories kill people. History teaches us that ideas do not always remain in the realm of the ideal, and that an incitement to violence can, in fact, beget violence.
A brief discourse on faulty logic -- or: Meet the Fukers!
The right-wing media has spent years demonizing Planned Parenthood, one of the most useful and virtuous institutions in this country. A white maniac from a Deep Red state shoots up a Planned Parenthood clinic, and what happens? The right-wing press instantly politicizes the situation, while simultaneously accusing the left of politicizing.
You can find many examples of this phenomenon, but the most flagrant might be this offering from Alex Jones' Infowars.
There was a time when AJ pretended to be above and beyond traditional right/left distinctions, but now he is firmly established as a functionary of the Republican party. Basically, he is the RNC's ambassador to the craziest suburb of Crazytown. Of course, if you call him a Party animal, Jones will deny the charge. But what of it? His websites provide all the evidence one could ever desire.
Let's take a closer look at this particular article. The headline is lovely:
Left Turns Mentally Ill Shooter Into White Extremist -- Democrats call for grabbing guns
Here's a key paragraph:
“While we still do not know the shooter’s motive, what is clear is that Planned Parenthood has been the subject of vicious and unsubstantiated statements attacking an organization that provides critical health care for millions of Americans. I strongly support Planned Parenthood and the work it is doing and hope people realize that bitter rhetoric can have unintended consequences,” Sanders said in a statement.
According to the Alex Jonesians, Sanders' perfectly reasonable words "demonstrate the faulty logic and shameless opportunism of liberals."
Let us pause to savor this phrase. The very idea of AJ (or one of his minions) accusing anyone else of "faulty logic" or "shameless opportunism" is hilarious. The phrases "faulty logic" and "shameless opportunism" pretty much summarize AJ's entire business plan.
You want an example of opportunism? Just a few inches away from the photo of Sanders on that page, one can find an ad for an Infowars-brand health supplement called Super Male Vitality, an herbal concoction which promises to turn any man into a combination of The Incredible Hulk and John Holmes -- all for the low, low price of $44.99.
Super Male Vitality is specifically designed to assist the body in regulating proper balance to create superior vitality in males, and has been used by Alex Jones in order to maximize vitality when working up to 12 hours a day or more in the fight for freedom.
"When I spoke to Dr. Edward Group about formulating a male vitality formula, I was excited about the idea of what it could do for me. Folks, let me tell you, this product works so well for me that I actually had to stop taking it before I go on air or else I would want to do hours and hours of overdrive with complete focus on the topics at hand...."
This is all very droll, but let us now return to the Infowars article about the left's horrifying response to the Planned Parenthood shooting.
Remember: The Jonesians scored Sanders for faulty logic. So it is fair to ask: What sort of "logic" is displayed by Infowars in the following passage?
Meanwhile the leftists over at Daily Kos want to “bomb white terrorist strongholds in US” in response to the shooting. Daily Kos does not indicate where these “strongholds” are or who the “white terrorists” might be. In hysterical knee-jerk fashion, they pander to the racist hatred espoused by the Black Lives Matter crowd because it conforms to the Marxist classist nonsense they support.
Did anyone at Kos actually say that? Because if nobody at Kos has actually asked for the dropping of bombs, then we must conclude that this Infowars writer possesses a logic quotient somewhere in the neighborhood of Screwy Squirrel. Kos ain't exactly my favorite website -- as many of you know, I stopped linking to the Kossacks back in 2008 -- but I could not believe that any writer there would call for bombing whites (or anyone else) in the U.S.
And yet our Jonesian friend insists that he has evidence that this very sentiment has appeared on Kos. Here it is:
When will GOP demand we bomb white terrorist strongholds in US, spy on churches & ID white men?
That's the headline of a story by David Harris Gershon, a writer for Tikkun (not a publication normally associated with calls to bomb white Americans). His piece was republished on Daily Kos. Here's the relevant text:
Within the past week alone, as GOP leaders have tried to convince Americans to fear Muslims, radicalized white men bearing assault rifles and wearing masks stalked a mosque in Texas, white supremacists shot and injured Black Lives Matter protesters in Minnesota, and now a white terrorist has shot up a Planned Parenthood in Colorado, murdering three.
And yet, barely a word of condemnation has been uttered by conservative leaders about these developments. Instead, we’ve seen Donald Trump suggest Muslims wear ID badges. We’ve seen Marco Rubio suggest all locations where radicalized Muslim-Americans gather, including cafes and diners, be closed. We’ve seen Jeb Bush, justifying his view that the US should only accept Christian refugees from Syria, say that “there are no Christian terrorists in the Middle East.”
Perhaps that’s because a majority of these Christian terrorists are housed here, in the US, and in ‘Western’ democracies around the world. And it’s these very terrorists GOP leaders are inciting to violence as they pander to racists and religious extremists within the Republican base.
However, now that white terrorism is striking at the heart of America, will GOP leaders call for the US to bomb white terrorist ‘strongholds’ in Colorado, close churches where white terrorists are radicalized, spy upon white communities or force white men to wear special ID badges?
No, for to do so would not only be anti-American, but an admission that a portion of the GOP base is the most dangerous element in American society.
Nobody at Kos has advocated dropping bombs. Gershon's obvious intent is to illustrate the double standard of the anti-Islamic right, which advocates oppressing an entire group for the sins of a few -- except in the case of pale-skinned Christians.
The Alex Jonesians have become such fevered rage-junkies that they can no longer understand the plain meaning of any text. And yet they speak of logic.
Now let's examine some of the comments inspired by the Infowars story on the Planned Parenthood shooting. Let us sample the "logic" displayed by the kind of people who turn to Alex Jones for information:
This so call shooting is staged we all know that ... Because White people can not be terrorists , white people can not kill innocent people , if white people kill is just in self defense .... This shooting has been staged just to make white people look bad and to take the right of white people to own guns.... Wake up white people
(The author of this fragrant text calls himself Bruno Max. That'd be a good name for the bad guy's brainless henchman in, say, an episode of Daredevil.)
60 million innocent, defenseless little infants butchered in and just out of the womb at Planned Abortionhood slaughter mills since 1973 and these demonic democ-rat pieces of sh!t have the audacity to label this madman shooting an act of domestic terrorism???? Who are the terrorists again?
Anyone can do any evil no matter what or who they are. But you liberals and atheists Have mastered evil and murder.
Lol 'false flag!'
I was on VigilantCitizen the other day and it was said that these mass shooters are usually mentally ill to began with and the government brainwashes them similar to MKUltra to carry out there plans. I believe in MKUltra so it's definitely possible to me.
You right therefore we need to also investigate why kind of legal drugs is issis on or every single terrorist in the Middle East
I dare you to read that last one out loud three times without giggling. I dare you.
when have they ever blamed it on the libtards? There may be some, but I seriously can't remember a time when that happened.
Since, as any truly thinking person already knows, our government has perpetrated a series of Grand Conspiracies on us. Federal law enforcement is in on it. State law enforcement is in on it. Local law enforcement is in on it. Plus there are all the actors who have agreed to perpetrate a fraud on their fellow Americans and have kept their mouths shut because, as we all know, they believe in the government's effort to take away our guns by staging these false flag events. Greatest hoax in history, right JImbo?
You right the poor white guy was just was just trying to rob the bank owned by Jews .. Because he can not get a job due to the fact that all the jobs are given to immigrants or blacks thanks to affirmative action ... Therefore he was forced to steal to feed his precious white family but the Jews who owned the media will make him look like an evil terrorist white guy just because he tried to rob their bank
Crawl into your grave already you nasty little progressive baby boomer troll. You're so happy with yourself and your godly mouse powers. Shows an immense amount of homosexuality within you.
Molon Labe fukers...
This phrase bewildered me, so I looked it up. The phrase "Molon labe" is Greek for "come and get it" -- as in, I dare you to try to take my beloved guns. The words were first uttered by King Leonidas of Sparta, though not in reference to guns. I'm still not sure about the etymology of "fuker," but I suspect that this term does not have classical roots.
It sadness my heart to see how the Anglo Saxon people is being criminalized in the Jewish media
A decades long pogrom.
When trump gets elected things will change you'll see
Rememebr: These words were uttered by people who would be incensed at the suggestion that right-wingers would ever politicize a tragedy. The article which gave rise to this commentary is dedicated to the idea that only those on the left would ever politicize such an event.
"Mass shooters" killed hundreds of people in the Twentieth Century ...
Abortion jihadists killed 60,000,000 in the US and hundreds of millions worldwide ....
Governments killed 262,000,000 of their own people and in ever case they disarmed them first.
This is all going to plan, veterans are the new terrorists. They put this guy there to create the narrative to attack right wing gun owners. The is obviously a manufactured attack by the political establishment.
The left has good reason to fear vets. We're the only ones with training besides their hand picked revenue enforcement.
Wow. I'm often considered to be somewhere on the left. Apparently, I have hand-picked some of those revenue enforcers which have been bothering you so much. And I didn't even know it!
The US Military would attack and destroy 97% or more of American judges, politicans, and government administrators if the USA army had virture. Soon, God !estroys your filthy armies as He destroys your Satanic Government and people.
You'll love the way this one is punctuated:
Why is this even "Considered", a SURPRISE ? . . . ANY EXCUSE to "Whine", is considered VALID ! . . . You "Can't" fix, STUPID !.
The author calls himself Howling Mad. Perhaps he should rename himself "HOWLING, . . . "Mad,?"" At any rate, I must concede his expertise on the topic of STUPID.
Their is no such thing as right wing terrorist. That's a contradiction. How can a conservative or Christian be a terrorist? Because their not really a Christian or conservative if they are doing these awful acts. Also this was a crazy mentally ill man he does not represent conservative,Christian or even republican views. Where as liberals and atheists have no moral fiber and have nothing collectively that teaches these acts are wrong. The almost 60 million babies died collectively by u liberals is way worse than what some random crazy individual does. The Islamic terrorists you liberals support who are destroying countries like Syria is far worse than what one crazy mentally ill man does.
It's the left wing libs like yourself that are the new sickness out there.. you probably knew him didn't ya.. he's your dad isn't he
Are you starting to get the impression that some of AJ's readers have been popping way too many of those Super Male Vitality pills?
Remember: We are supposed to believe that the "fukers" who read Alex Jones are not guilty of "faulty logic" -- while Bernie Sanders is.
Alex Jones is not the far-right Joseph. The far right, for all intents and purposes, is Ramzpaul, Gavin McInnes, 8chan /pol/, a legion of twitter trolls, Stormfront, and hundreds of shills and paid informants.
Alex Jonesians are ridiculed by both the left and the right.
posted by Anonymous : 10:54 PM
Anon from above-just to clarify, the shills and paid informants are, to the best of my ability to discern, not simply agents of the right, but more-so members of the establishment corporate middle paid to demoralize, confuse, and discredit the alt-right.
posted by Anonymous : 11:12 PM
There are shills aplenty on the internet, anon. But not THESE guys. Not the "fukers." You can just smell the crazy on them.
How did Benny Hinn get so rich? I suspect that there is a massive overlap between his crowd and AJ's crowd. If you're in the business of selling claptrap, you'll find yourself talking to a very large mob.
I agree with anon, just because we have crazy rat fukers spouting how things will get better when Donald Trump is president does not necessarily mean that Donald Trump has their back nor that they are not paid shills posting to make it look like Trump supporters are crazy. Donald Trump has gone out and led the Republican pack in the manner in which a mile race will have a "hare" sprint to the front in an effort at the beginning of the race to create a fast pace and possible record. The Hare usually but not always fades away by the end of the second or midway through the third lap. Time will tell if Donald Trump has more gears, but these crazies spouting off who claim to be in favor of Trump are probably most upset at how their own government and the banking system is making it harder and harder to get any kind of a break when times are tough. I find the "take our guns" argument somewhat silly simply because turning off the water and power is the most effective way to either demoralize or reduce the population, far more effective than trying to pull the guns out of gun owner's hands. Almost makes one wonder if the guns out of our hands meme's aren't being generated by our own counterintelligence groups.
Best line ever: "I'm not sure about the etymology of "fuker", but I suspect that this term does not have classical roots."
I agree with the commenters though. This IS all too silly. Some of its real, but there has to be a lot of paid shills in this. There is regular crazy and there is shill crazy, sometimes hard to distinguish.
Also, I vote for more kitty cat pictures talking about crazy PEOPLE.
posted by Hildy : 10:54 AM
Trump is the only candidate I see being attacked by both parties establishments AND the media. There seems to be a general fear of him, much as there was for Ron Paul. Trump has my vote for this reason.
posted by Anonymous : 12:34 PM
Isn't it odd that the names of the PP victims have not been released - only the cop? Now the narrative is all about the heroic cop trying to save those heathen abortionists - without faces or names! Are the Colorado police playing politics here! There is no legal reason to withhold the other victims names - but it does dehumanize them! Surprised the media is not questioning this!
These are funny quotes. The authors remind me of a description written by Samuel Johnson: (from memory, not an accurate quote) To be sure the lady was born with low intelligence but the level of stupidity she attained required many years of practice.
These guys have taken this a step further -- many people over many years perfecting an unprecedented level of collective stupidity.
The Planned Parenthood shooting spree. I'm sure you've all heard about the latest horror.
A gunman opened fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs on Friday, shooting at police from within the building during a five-hour standoff that ended with his surrender.
Three people, including a police officer, were killed, Colorado Springs Police Department Lt. Catherine Buckley said. The police officer who was killed was a member of the University of Colorado Colorado Springs police department, she said.
The gunman walked out of the facility just before 5 p.m. local time and officers took him into custody, officials told NBC News.
Three law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation identified the suspect as Robert Dear, 57.
Nine people, including five Colorado Springs police officers, were shot and wounded, Buckley said. All were in good condition at area hospitals, Buckley said.
The first thought that came to my mind was probably the same thought that popped into your head: Why hasn't the news media proclaimed Dear to be a terrorist? You know damned well that if he were of Arab heritage, journalists would not hesitate to use the T word.
The full name of the gunman appears to be Robert Lewis Dear, age 57. An internet search has revealed that there is a 57 year-old Robert L. Dear who is a resident of California, although he was born in South Carolina. He has a website in which he identifies himself as a "Code Compliance Officer - County of Kern Bakersfield, California." Bullet hole imagery adorns his site. Cute!
If I have mixed up two separate 57 year-old Robert L. Dears, my apologies to the guy in Bakersfield. But right now, I'm pretty sure that we're dealing with the same person.
UPDATE: Turns out the shooter is 59. The Robert L Dear who put up that website listed his age as 57 in 2013. The shooter is said to hail from North Carolina. The Robert L Dear who lived in Kern County has lived in both South and North Carolina. And there is a facial resemblance. So I feel safe in saying that this is the same guy. Unfortunately, his blog has been scrubbed clean, if every it held anything. Previously, he has been arrested on minor beefs -- animal cruelty, eavesdropping, vehicular violations.
The rich do no time. Robert H. Richards IV, the wealthy scion of the DuPont family, was found guilty of raping his three-year-old daughter. The judge decided not to sentence Richards to prison, on the grounds that he "would not fare well" behind bars.
Do you think that you could get out of jail by claiming that you would not "fare well" in prison?
Fascism returns to Paris. In France, the hysteria over terror has led authorities to shut down blogs that offer alternative sources of information. We're not talking about pro-terror blogs: We're talking about blogs which try to go beyond mainstream news sources.
Les Moutons Enrages, Sputnik France and Fawkes are other popular alternative media sites which ‘Le Blog De La Resistance’ author Z references in his post. Most remain defiant, with the first promising to ‘open up in Russia if necessary’. Z points out that Francois Hollande has been promising to silence ‘conspiracy theorists’ since January this year.
Here’s a question: when leaders keep telling us not to allow terrorists to change our way of life, why is crushing dissent the first thing they do when something horrific happens? Isn’t dissent part of living in a free world? Aren’t protests and asking tough questions of those in power just a couple of the liberties we are supposedly trying to ‘spread‘ around the world? Isn’t that part of what makes democracy so great?
"arrested for animal cruelty", is not a minor beef.
posted by CBarr : 10:37 AM
Why the constant need to demonize Christians, Joseph? Abortion is a grisly procedure, and it's one who's true nature is largely sterilized by our media. It's a wonder this sort of thing doesn't happen more often, and, if anything, a testament to the teachings of Christ that it does not. Islam does not teach such mercy for it's enemies, and neither does Judaism.
posted by Anonymous : 11:50 AM
Neither Islam nor Judaism have a problem with abortion either. If you want to piss off reactionary anti-choice Christians , ask them to cite any scripture to support their position. They won't be able too because there isn't any. My personal theory is that its due to "the Apocalypse of Peter" a text popular among Christians in the first and second centuries that didn't make the cut for the New Testament but promulgates a Neo-Platonic conception of the soul and contradicts the Talmud regarding the sinfulness of abortion.
posted by igd : 4:26 PM
Oh, please. There's no facial resemblance at all, Joseph, except that they're both white guys in their late fifties. I think you have a promising career ahead of you working for DHS, where you can while away the hours adding innocent people to the no-fly list because their names are similar to that of a Gitmo detainee.
In a previous post, we noted that ISIS-brand oil is being sold to Bilal Erdogan, the son of Turkey's thuggish leader Recep Erdogan. Since Turkey is our ally, the United States has done nothing that might impede the profits flowing to the Erdogan crime family. Instead, this government has shut down any of Erdogan's competitors. This is classic gangsterism.
Our previous post on this topic linked to one story which suggested that Bilal was selling ISIS oil to Israel. I was cautious in accepting this claim because the source material seemed a bit iffy. Now we have more, from the London-based newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed. A few excerpts:
But who buys it? Who finances the murderous brutality that has taken over swathes of Iraq and Syria? How does it get from the ground to the petrol tank, and who profits along the way?
IS sells Iraqi and Syrian oil for a very low price to Kurdish and Turkish smuggling networks and mafias, who label it and sell it on as barrels from the Kurdistan Regional Government.
It is then most frequently transported from Turkey to Israel, via knowing or unknowing middlemen, according to al-Araby's investigation.
Al-Araby has obtained information about how IS smuggles oil from a colonel in the Iraqi Intelligence Services who we are keeping anonymous for his security.
The information was verified by Kurdish security officials, employees at the Ibrahim Khalil border crossing between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan, and an official at one of three oil companies that deal in IS-smuggled oil.
The Iraqi colonel, who along with US investigators is working on a way to stop terrorist finance streams, told al-Araby about the stages that the smuggled oil goes through from the points of extraction in Iraqi oil fields to its destination - notably including the port of Ashdod, Israel.
Once inside Turkey, IS oil is indistinguishable from oil sold by the Kurdistan Regional Government, as both are sold as "illegal", "source unknown" or "unlicensed" oil.
After paying drivers, middlemen and bribes, IS' profit is $15 to $18 a barrel. The group currently makes $19 million on average each month, according to the intelligence officer.
In August, the Financial Times reported that Israel obtained up to 75 percent of its oil supplies from Iraqi Kurdistan. More than a third of such exports go through the port of Ceyhan.
According to a European official at an international oil company who met with al-Araby in a Gulf capital, Israel refines the oil only "once or twice" because it does not have advanced refineries. It exports the oil to Mediterranean countries - where the oil "gains a semi-legitimate status" - for $30 to $35 a barrel.
"The oil is sold within a day or two to a number of private companies, while the majority goes to an Italian refinery owned by one of the largest shareholders in an Italian football club [name removed] where the oil is refined and used locally," added the European oil official.
"Israel has in one way or another become the main marketer of IS oil. Without them, most IS-produced oil would have remained going between Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Even the three companies would not receive the oil if they did not have a buyer in Israel," said the industry official.
Apparently, "oil laundering" is a thing.
Yes, I know that this article relies on non-named sources; nevertheless, I find this highly-detailed report persuasive. If America were serious about defeating the Islamic state, the buyers of ISIS oil -- including Italy, France and Israel -- would face serious consequences.
Update: What the money pays for. As it turns out, religion does not motivate most ISIS conscripts in Syria. It's all about money. Many people in ISIS-controlled regions are destitute, and ISIS pays very well by local standards: $700 to $900 a month, in a region where one can rent a house for $50 a month.
According to Abu Khaled, a large number of people are joining ISIS because they need money. After joining the militants, people are paid in US dollars instead of Syrian liras.
Emphasis added. Take note of that.
"There is no work, so you have to join them in order to live," al-Jassem told the Post. "So many local people have joined them. They were pushed into Daesh by hunger."
According to Newsweek, there is a widening gap in living standards for those under ISIS rule. Members of the organization have access to food, free medical care, and desirable housing. In contrast, people who aren't ISIS members suffer under a barely functioning economy with rapidly increasing prices.
You should read the rest; it's a fascinating article -- marred by one bullshit paragraph:
ISIS can afford to pay people seeking to join its ranks through four main sources of income: oil, the sale of looted antiquities, taxation, and kidnapping ransoms.
There isn't much tax money to squeeze out of the impoverished. Syrian peasants do not pay their taxes in U.S dollars.
"Kidnapping for ransom" refers to the hostages from other countries, some of whom we have seen in those horrifying videos. Yes, some countries do pay; no, the cash cannot amount to that much.
As we have seen in a previous post, no museum or major art buyer is going to pay big bucks for a piece with an iffy or nonexistent provenance, because the Getty scandal and similar controversies have put the fear of God into the art world.
The NYT (not a reliable source, thanks to its flagrant pro-neocon bias) says that ISIS makes around $40 million a month from oil; as we have seen, the actual amount is probably half of that figure. Oil brings in a lot of money -- maybe $250 million a year -- but not enough to fund all of those soldiers. (There are at least 100,000 paid ISIS fighters; you can do the math.)
The rest comes from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. This is the great fact of modern politics which the American media hates most to admit.
Yes, ISIS is not just about terrorism, it's about jobs. Like I posted in the comments section a few days ago...Grab a book or grab a gun, which one is more of a sure thing for an adolescent reaching adulthood in many parts of the Middle East.
Then the other gotcha is, the more we fight ISIS, the more we leave guns behind. That's the thing about war, as soldiers are killed their guns are taken and given a new home with the opposing side. So amping up war against ISIS also means leaves guns behind as casualties mount.
In 2003, this nation made one of the worst mistakes it has ever made. I spoke against it at the time, but my voice did not reach beyond the ears of those who knew me personally. A frustrating situation.
Now my country is repeating the same horror on a grander scale. The U.S. is using ISIS as an excuse to topple the legitimate government of Syria, we are aiding the barbaric Saudi invasion of Yemen, we launched a coup which brought Nazis to power in Ukraine, and we are needlessly re-igniting the Cold War. Worst of all, much of our media tells incessant lies about these matters of life and death. Every minute of every day, our well-paid pundits and pseudojournalists lie and lie and lie.
But 2003 is not 2016. Now, whenever I decry these outrages, thousands hear. Not millions -- not enough to make a difference. But an audience of a thousand people is a thousand more than I had back in 2003.
A small blog such as this one cannot do much to amplify a voice. My hope is that the readers of these words will do their own research, and then speak out wherever they can. Tell the truth in other corners of the web. On Facebook. At work. At family gatherings. If an impoverished, lonely oddball like yours truly can reach thousands, you can reach thousands. A thousand voices can become a million voices, and a million can become ten million.
One person is easy to ignore. A collective shout will be heard.
In their hearts, most Americans do not want war -- yet those who vocalize their opposition to war are always made to feel strange, eccentric, unpatriotic. Our culture demonizes anyone who refuses to think the way the teevee tells us to think.
Be brave. Say what needs to be said. Say it boldly, in mixed company. Defy the ill-informed dupes who believe the lies they hear on cable news. Your opponents, however misled, are not evil. People are suckers for the truth once they hear it.
Every time you decry the warmongers, you normalize the argument for peace.
It's time. It's past-time. I've renewed the cry, and I've seen others begin to do so. Thanks. Nice post for today.
posted by Prowlerzee : 7:17 PM
Want to do your bit to help prevent WW3?
Here is a draft letter people could send to their representatives:
******************************* I write to urge you to hold the government (e.g. US, French, British, Turkish) to account for its apparent contempt for UN Security Council Resolution 2249 (20 Nov 2015), which calls on member states that have the capacity to combat Daesh (ISIS) to coordinate their efforts.
Those member states include Russia, and it is therefore the (US, French, British, Turkish) responsibility to coordinate its efforts with Russia. *******************************
I wondered earlier whether Putin would be viewed by Daesh as the Dajjal, the False Prophet in Islamic eschatology. As those who have read Daesh's zine Dabiq will be aware, this is a serious question.
"I think Putin will eventually fall on his own sword. He will be - to put it in Christian terms - the anti-Christ for every single Sunni in the Middle East."
The poor soul probably doesn't know what "fall on his own sword" means; I reckon he thinks it means to be brought down by a mess of your own making.
But the second sentence could be something he's been told by a US official or at Chatham House in London, and it indicates what it seems the "coalition" plan actually is, namely to build up strong support for the Daesh caliphate.
Almost all Muslims know the Islamic teachings about "Doomsday". It's not like Christians and the Book of Revelations.
The massing of armed forces of five great powers (the US, China, Britain, France, Russia) and some lesser powers (Turkey, Iran) near or in Syria is remarkable.
Christian fundamentalists (to use a now dated term) please note: after the Dajjal comes into the fray, one of the things that is predicted to happen is that Issa - known to Christians as Jesus - will come again...clutching the Koran.
posted by b : 10:50 PM
Can't you find anybody to help you install a share button on your site?
@b 10:50 PM Not to forget about the rapidly approaching 2000th aniversary of the destruction of "the" temple, 2079.
posted by -> : 7:46 AM
Great post Joe, all true. Spreading the word, when we can, within our sphere of influence, is a great way to start. For all of us.
posted by ben : 12:26 PM
I'm dying here. Everywhere I turn I come across neocon mutual backslappers dressed up in their think tank camouflage. It's as if I've stumbled upon some hillbilly, back woods militia, all of them with disturbing signs of inbreeding and a lust for killing Muslims.
Clare Lopez --"She is a senior fellow at the neoconservative Center for Security Policy (CSP), vice president of the Intelligence Summit, a senior fellow at the Clarion Project, and a former executive director of the hawkish Iran Policy Committee. Along with many of her colleagues at CSP and Clarion, Lopez is a vocal proponent of the notion that the U.S. government—and in particular the Obama administration—has been infiltrated by Islamic extremists tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. She is the author of a conspiratorial 2013 Gatestone Institute report alleging the group's involvement in a decades-long plot to infiltrate the U.S. government and spread "Sharia law" in North America through "front groups" like the Muslim Students Association and the Council on Islamic-American Relations, among other mainstream U.S.-based Muslim organizations."
All the usual suspects are there -- all of them -- with Israel sitting in the middle of every group. Every lie is reproduced ("Saddam was working with bin Laden", Iraqi wmds, Iranian threat...). An anti-Islam clash of civilizations figures prominently.
These people are more alive and dangerous than ever, yet our media seems blissfully unaware of them.
posted by fred : 9:18 PM
On a positive note, Happy Thanksgiving, Joseph. And a huge thank you for your invaluable work.
ISIS, Turkey, oil -- and the NYT's outrageous hypocrisy
The NYT has published yet another story intended to give gullible, confused readers the impression that Assad and ISIS are pals rather than enemies. And they're bringing Russia into the mix as well...
The Treasury Department on Wednesday announced sanctions against a Syrian construction executive it said was helping President Bashar al-Assad buy oil from the Islamic State, as well as against a Russian businessman who leads the World Chess Federation and who is accused of having financial dealings with the Syrian leader.
The moves are the latest attempt by the administration to financially squeeze Mr. Assad, who President Obama has said must step down to bring an end to the four-year-old Syrian civil war, and to choke off the Islamic State’s cash flow. It is also the first time that the American government has issued sanctions against an individual for helping Mr. Assad do business with the militant group.
Where to start?
First: Assad is the legitimate leader of Syria, so this businessman -- his name is George Haswani -- should be free to do all the deals he wants with Assad. After all, we do business with the monsters who run Saudi Arabia.
Second: While it has indeed been widely alleged that Assad has been forced to buy oil from the very rebels who are trying to topple him, we should note that ISIS also sells to the Kurds. Like Assad, the Kurds are fierce enemies of ISIS. Unlike Assad, the Kurds are supposed to be our allies.
But the vast majority of ISIS oil goes elsewhere. Specifically: Turkey.
This is a huge scandal. But you're not going to hear about that in the NYT, because Turkey is an ally.
The man who is getting filthy rich handling all of that sweet, sweet ISIS-brand oil is Bilal Erdogan, the son of ultra-corrupt Turkish president Recep Erdogan. (Bilal is pictured on the right.) Here is a brilliant piece (by F. William Engdahl) which details the unholy alliance between the Erdogan family and ISIS.
More and more details are coming to light revealing that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, variously known as ISIS, IS or Daesh, is being fed and kept alive by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish President and by his Turkish intelligence service, including MIT, the Turkish CIA. Turkey, as a result of Erdoğan’s pursuit of what some call a Neo-Ottoman Empire fantasies that stretch all the way to China, Syria and Iraq, threatens not only to destroy Turkey but much of the Middle East if he continues on his present path.
In October 2014 US Vice President Joe Biden told a Harvard gathering that Erdoğan’s regime was backing ISIS with “hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons…” Biden later apologized clearly for tactical reasons to get Erdoğan’s permission to use Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base for airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, but the dimensions of Erdoğan’s backing for ISIS since revealed is far, far more than Biden hinted.
ISIS militants were trained by US, Israeli and now it emerges, by Turkish special forces at secret bases in Konya Province inside the Turkish border to Syria, over the past three years. Erdoğan’s involvement in ISIS goes much deeper. At a time when Washington, Saudi Arabia and even Qatar appear to have cut off their support for ISIS, they remaining amazingly durable. The reason appears to be the scale of the backing from Erdoğan and his fellow neo-Ottoman Sunni Islam Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu.
In addition to son Bilal’s illegal and lucrative oil trading for ISIS, Sümeyye Erdoğan, the daughter of the Turkish President apparently runs a secret hospital camp inside Turkey just over the Syrian border where Turkish army trucks daily being in scores of wounded ISIS Jihadists to be patched up and sent back to wage the bloody Jihad in Syria, according to the testimony of a nurse who was recruited to work there until it was discovered she was a member of the Alawite branch of Islam, the same as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who Erdoğan seems hell-bent on toppling.
Turkish citizen Ramazan Başol, captured this month by Kurdish People’s Defence Units,YPG, as he attempted to join ISIS from Konya province, told his captors that said he was sent to ISIS by the ‘İsmail Ağa Sect,’ a strict Turkish Islam sect reported to be tied to Recep Erdoğan. Başol said the sect recruits members and provides logistic support to the radical Islamist organization. He added that the Sect gives jihad training in neighborhoods of Konya and sends those trained here to join ISIS gangs in Syria.
The story gets better. Guess where much of that ISIS oil in Turkey ends up? According to one source, it goes to Israel.
Will the NYT tell you these things? No, it will not. The NYT will never look into the allegation that ISIS-brand oil finds its way into Israeli bulldozers. Instead, the NYT prefers to publish misleading tripe intended to convey the idea that Russia and ISIS are somehow allied.
Funding ISIS. If you followed the links given above, you'll see that one of them goes to this NBC story, which quotes Treasury undersecretary David Cohen. Near as I can tell, Cohen is the main source for the claim that Assad buys oil from ISIS. Is this claim credible? Is Cohen credible?
Unlike al Qaeda, he said, ISIS gets only a small share of its money from deep-pocketed donors. It relies mostly on black-market oil sales, extortion and ransom payments, Cohen said.
Although the oil trade has become increasingly lucrative, ISIS gets most of its walking-around money from Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States. The Obama administration does not care to admit that fact, so it has been forced to come up with a series of unlikely alternative scenarios.
The most ridiculous of these claims held that ISIS has been selling stolen antiquities on the art market. If you know anything about the recent history of that market, you'll laugh at this assertion. The Getty scandal left buyers scared. Now factor in the movement to repatriate both the Elgin marble and the art stolen by the Nazis, and what do you have? You have an atmosphere in which no museum director in his right mind would pay big bucks for any piece with an iffy provenance. If the piece was burgled by ISIS, the day may soon come when the work will have to be repatriated, leaving the buyers SOL.
The same goes for bank heists. Although ISIS was widely credited with making off with $400 million when it took Mosul, in northern Iraq, in July 2014, The Financial Times described the seizure as the biggest heist that “never happened.”
Kidnapping for ransom also seems less than lucrative in an economy inside ISIS-controlled territory that is going increasingly downhill. Ditto local taxation.
And what about all of that oil? Here, matters become murky, because we have wildly differing estimates of the amounts involved. The United States, ever protective of the Saudis, has every motive to exaggerate the numbers.
While illicit oil sales may play an important role, they are also probably not as profitable as believed. Assuming they were filled to the brim, the 116 tanker trucks that U.S. planes destroyed on Monday may have contained a hundred barrels of crude each, oil that, at today’s prices, ISIS would be lucky to sell for around $30 a barrel. Thus, the damage to the Islamic State’s “treasury” weighs in at a relatively minor $350,000 or so.
Roughly 100,000 ISIS fighters get $300 to $800 a month, which means that the monthly bill is pretty damned high. The money is coming from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as has always been the case.
Evidence of broad regional support is abundant even if news outlets like The New York Times have done their best to ignore it. Some of the highlights of this money trail:
–In a 2009 diplomatic memo made public by Wikileaks, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”
So Cohen is just flinging bullshit. Check very carefully before you believe anything that guy says about Assad. Or ISIS. Or George Haswani. Or anything having to do with Russia.
Great stuff as usual, Joe. You may also find the Kirsan Ilyumzhinov strand interesting. He's the guy who's head of the World Chess Federation and who the US has just slapped sanctions on. He's also the ex-dictator of Kalmykia in the Russian Caucasus. And, typical for down in the Caucasus, he was once a boxing champion. He believes he was in contact with aliens (that link shows him talking about it) - and in alignments that go through Notre Dame in Paris. (Well, don't we all? The source is his autobiography, memorably named The President's Crown of Thorns). I've read his autobiography. It's like Hitler's Mein Kampf, maybe filtered through Trevor Ravenscroft, but without the racism. Hard to imagine, maybe, but I'm serious. He has a fanatical belief in himself as a man of destiny.
Kalmykia was where those Tibetan-flavour Buddhists found dead in Berlin in 1945 came from. (Originally, anyway. I am told they first went to Yugoslavia for a couple of decades.)
I wonder whether Ilyumzhinov could get himself viewed by Daesh (ISIS) as the Dajjal, in their eschatology. Or will that title go to Putin?
Because it's going to go to somebody, we can be sure. We underestimate Daesh's apocalypticism at our peril. It's beginning to get talked about in some western periodicals (here and here), but I still don't think they've got their heads round the role of either the Dajjal or Khorasan in the eschatology. (I'm saying this because I'm aware of the equation of Khorasan with a region of Iran and believe it to be simplistic.)
"Cars floating in rivers that were once streets, water gushing through ceilings and people sailing to work on boats – that’s the current picture in Qatar and Saudi Arabia, both desert countries, which should be dry and sunny for the whole year."
Russian weather weapon? Just askin'.
posted by b : 6:02 AM
Excellent work, Joseph. The war on terrorism seems to be at least partially about the money, as most wars have been. The Turks have been profiting hugely from stolen oil marketed by ISIS, and thanks for introducing Erdogan's son into the mix. Don't discount the quantities of oil involved; Bilal Erdogan reputedly just bought an oil tanker vessel for $35 million, but that was just before the Russians claimed to have destroyed over 1000 tank trucks hauling oil from Syria to Turkey. They had videos which showed at least hundreds of trucks amassed on the ground and in the process of being destroyed, along with videos of oil storage tanks being systematically bombed. (Fort Rus? Sputnik? Moon of Alabama?) It is my belief that this was the direct cause of the Turk shootdown of the Russian aircraft.
Where will the Turks get stolen oil at discounted rates now that the Russians are cutting off their source? Maybe they will have to go back to buying oil from Iran at the going rate instead, and that's a bitter pill to swallow, not to mention the loss of income for the Erdogan family with enough money left on the table for Israel to make a few shekels out of it.
b: Yeah, damaging floods in Saudi and Qatar? What are the odds at this particular moment? I thought about weather warfare also.
posted by Makarov : 7:22 AM
Daesh (ISIS) is receiving money not just from Saudi and Qatar, but also from the US. (The money is "routed through" the US, in the euphemism.) This has been stated by captured Daesh commander Yousaf al Salafi.
Lest anyone be accused of whitewashing Russia, it's worth pointing out that Russia isn't quite the monolith it presents itself as. True, the head of the Chechen republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, has asked for Chechen infantry to be sent to Syria to fight Daesh. But other Chechens are already there, fighting for Al Qaeda's Al Nusra Front and in some cases for Daesh. Chechens have also fought on both sides in the Ukraine, a country where Daesh is said to have a presence.
A key concept here, so little mentioned in the mainstream media but widely understood throughout the Middle East to explain important features of Daesh's strength, is the concept of the mercenary soldier.
posted by b : 7:44 AM
Guys, let me just say that I've tried before to research the amount of money ISIS makes from oil. The published estimates vary so widely that I soon gave up the task. We often hear that ISIS makes a million dollars a day from that trade, but this seems a questionable figure. Right now, I see no way to be certain.
Well, we can be certain of this: If we can trust the estimate of how much ISIS spends monthly, then oil revenue covers less than half, even if we accept the one million a day figure. One million a day equals 30 million a month, right? 100,000 soldiers receiving an average of 500 bucks a month equals 50 million, just to pay their wages. There are lots of other expenses beyond that, of course.
So if my very rough estimates are anywhere close to reality, then Bilal Erdogan is making a nice bundle from his oil deal, but ISIS still needs help from the Saudis.
The Obama administration's selective prosecution of Haswani but not Erdogan means that the US is simply making sure that ISIS has no choice but to sell to our Turkish friends.
What's the heroin angle? Bashar Assad's uncle Rifaat used to be among the biggest heroin traffickers in the world. Have Daesh and Erdogan taken over some of that trade?
posted by b : 11:02 AM
I too read the story and was shocked by the boldness of the NY-Times propaganda piece, but since the staff at the NY-Times would be brought up for War-Crimes [aiding and abetting] "Wars of Aggression" in Iraq/Libya/Syria, if we were to use Nuremberg criteria, it's hard to see this as anything more than compulsive criminality*. But I am grateful when somebody writes out all the flagrant deceits.
I read the NY-Time to understand what today's "intellectuals" are being told to think...it's easier to listen to them blather when you know what they are going to say...and where they got their "independent" thoughts from. It's a surreal world where people who think of themselves as intelligentsia and yet mutter what they're told with all the thought of cows chewing cud.
*Free speech does not include inciting other to commit/support the murder on innocents.
posted by S Brennan : 1:03 PM
In a couple of hours I will be dining with family. We always go around the table and say the things for which we are thankful. These days, I am quite cynical and desperate for this world we continue to F up. I do not know what i will say today, but I want to tell Joseph and you all - Thanks for for all you do. For that i am truly thankful.
posted by Mike : 2:15 PM
I've found that about these five israelis guys : http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=123885&page=1
The great Matt Taibbi offers a superbly-written piece on the public's newfound willingness to accept, and even reward, hyper-mendacity from our political candidates. The following paragraphs demonstrate why so many people believe Taibbi to be one of the great stylists of our time:
This is a horrible thing to have to say about one's own country, but this story makes it official. America is now too dumb for TV news.
It's our fault. We in the media have spent decades turning the news into a consumer business that's basically indistinguishable from selling cheeseburgers or video games. You want bigger margins, you just cram the product full of more fat and sugar and violence and wait for your obese, over-stimulated customer to come waddling forth.
The old Edward R. Murrow, eat-your-broccoli version of the news was banished long ago. Once such whiny purists were driven from editorial posts and the ad people over the last four or five decades got invited in, things changed. Then it was nothing but murders, bombs, and panda births, delivered to thickening couch potatoes in ever briefer blasts of forty, thirty, twenty seconds.
What we call right-wing and liberal media in this country are really just two different strategies of the same kind of nihilistic lizard-brain sensationalism. The ideal CNN story is a baby down a well, while the ideal Fox story is probably a baby thrown down a well by a Muslim terrorist or an ACORN activist. Both companies offer the same service, it's just that the Fox version is a little kinkier.
When you make the news into this kind of consumer business, pretty soon audiences lose the ability to distinguish between what they think they're doing, informing themselves, and what they're actually doing, shopping.
Better than Mencken, that. And I speak as a lifelong Mencken fan.
Taibbi focuses on The Donald's great gaffe about dancing Muslims on 9/11. Here, alas, the great writer goes all limpy and wimpy.
When Trump started to take heat, he at first did something one journalist I know calls "panic-Googling." Panic-Googling is saying or writing something dumb, then frantically rushing to the Internet to see if you can luck out into evidence for what you've already blabbed in public.
Trump thought he lucked out, digging up a September 18, 2001, Washington Post article by reporters Serge Kovaleski and Frederick Kunkle. The old clip claimed a few people had been detained after allegedly being spotted celebrating in "tailgate-style" parties on rooftops in northern New Jersey.
Seizing upon this factoid, Trump tweeted, "I want an apology! Many people have tweeted that I am right!"
At no point does Taibbi make the point that I did a few posts down: The Washington Post piece from 2001 does not mention Muslims at all. That old WP story contains a somewhat garbled reference to the "dancing Israelis" who were seen videotaping the strikes on the Twin Towers. Both strikes.
If there were any news broadcasts offering evidence of cheering Muslims in New Jersey, we would all know about it. The video would be as famous as those break-the-internet photos of Kim Kardashian's butt.
No such video clip ever existed.
However, there were plenty of broadcasts and mainstream news stories which mentioned those celebratory Israelis. Those guys were real. They were apprehended and interrogated for months. We even know their names: Sivan Kurzberg, Paul Kurzberg, Yaron Shmuel, Oded Ellner and Omer Marmari.
No serious student of the incident denies that those five young men were Mossad "helpers" (not actual agents), as was their employer, Dominik Suter. The five even appeared on Israeli television and admitted that their job was to document the strike on the World Trade Center.
The "dancing Muslims" are a delusion. The "dancing Israelis" are a fact. So why doesn't Taibbi tell you about this almost-forgotten fact (which Trump, in his blundering way, has re-inserted into the national debate)?
In 2008, Taibbi wrote a terrific book called The Great Derangement, which detailed his adventures with religious nuts and conspiracy buffs, with a particular focus on the 9/11 "Truthers." As longtime readers of this humble blog know, the so-called Truthers have always made my skin crawl -- and they seem to have had the same effect on Taibbi.
Here are a couple of excerpts from his book:
I was struck particularly by a meeting of 9/11 Truthers in Austin, Texas, in which a “discussion” of what to do about the conspiracy in Washington devolved into a speech-making session. A group of twenty-five to thirty Truthers filed into a little church on the outskirts of town and, led by a breezy, est-counselorish moderator who enforced tolerance for the viewpoints of all, each participant got up and offered his or her own individual angry theory about the nature of the conspiracy. Some blamed the royals, others the bankers, others the Trilateral Commission, all blamed decades of Bush family iniquity, and one woman even talked about a conspiracy to hide the discovery of alien technologies at Area 51; everyone made his or her speech, and then the meeting was over with nothing accomplished except a decision to have another meeting.
But none of that even matters nearly as much as what 9/11 Truth says about the mental state of the population. The whole narrative of the movement is so completely and utterly retarded, it boggles the mind. It’s like something cooked up by a bunch of teenagers raised on texting, TV, and Sports Illustrated who just saw V for Vendetta for the first time and decided to write a Penguin History of the World on the strength of it. A genius on the order of a Mozart or a Shakespeare would be hard-pressed to dream up the awesome comedy that is the alleged plot from the point of view of the plotters.
At this point, I'll add something that would probably alienate Taibbi if ever he were to read these words (which is doubtful). If you immerse yourself in the literature of intelligence operations -- and I'm talking about real books about real spooks, not kook books written by conspiracy cranks -- one tactic becomes very clear: The best way to hide the truth is within the proverbial "bodyguard of lies."
It ain't easy to find a Hershey's Kiss in a pile of horse manure. As Margaret Thatcher's friend and aide Lord Alistair McAlpine once said (in a book about business strategies inspired by Machiavelli):
First, create a situation where you are wrongly accused. Then, at a convenient moment, arrange for the false accusation to be shown to be false beyond all doubt. Those who have made accusations against both the company and its management become discredited. Further accusations will then be treated with great suspicion.
I agree with just about everything Taibbi says about the so-called Truthers in his book. Those naive ninnies functioned according to the McAlpine plan. They provided the buckets of horseshit that hid the Hershey's Kiss.
In my view, the Hershey's Kiss at the center of 9/11 comes down to the tableau of those five giggling Israelis who mounted a camera on that New Jersey rooftop before the first jet struck. Did Bush know? No. But those five kids: They knew. They admitted on television that they knew. You can see a video on YouTube in which one of them more-or-less blurts out the truth.
I am not here constructing a wild, massive theory, and I am not arguing beyond the demonstrable facts. Don't accuse me of promoting a narrative: I don't have a narrative, and I do not claim to know the answers. What I have are a number of news stories, interviews and documents about six guys from Israel. Unlike Taibbi, and unlike every "respectable" writer now enjoying mainstream visibility, I refuse to ignore the existence of those news stories, interviews and documents.
Sivan Kurzberg, Paul Kurzberg, Yaron Shmuel, Oded Ellner, Omer Marmari and Dominik Suter: Somehow, they knew.
I cannot begin to tell you how much I despise the 9/11 AntiTruthers and their ludicrous blatherings about controlled demolitions and holographic jets and space lasers and Building Fucking Seven and God-knows-what-else. The only thing that those clowns ever accomplished was to bring discredit to anyone trying to pursue a potentially important line of investigation. Thanks to the bizarre antics of AntiTruthers (a.k.a. The McAlpine Brigade), great writers like Matt Taibbi are now afraid even to mention the names of those six guys from Israel.
Mark my words: In every important investigation, the McAlpine Tactic will come into play. Every. Single. Time. And you can bet the mortgage money that dolts like Alex Jones will buy into the bullshit. Every. Single. Time. AJ ought to re-name his radio show the McAlpine Hour.
* * *
NOW HEAR THIS!
As always: I will never allow assholes to use this blog to blather on about "controlled demolition" and similar nonsense. In my opinion, those myths were deliberately created to deflect attention from the tale of Suter and his lads.
Alas, I know full well that if the "controlled demolition" nutcases get a foot in the door, they will barge in and wreck the joint. One must never argue with such people, not even for a moment. They are like Holocaust revisionists and those dolts who think we never went to the moon: Utterly unworthy of debate.
Therefore, the only person allowed to discuss 9/11 on this blog is yours truly. You may not discuss the issue here from any perspective. An unfair rule? Perhaps, but experience is a harsh teacher, and I learned my lesson nearly a decade ago. The "controlled demolition" bozos must not be allowed even the slightest opening.
It's a big internet, folks, and there are other sites. Dig or split.Permalink
"Sivan Kurzberg, Paul Kurzberg, Yaron Shmuel, Oded Ellner, Omer Marmari and Dominik Suter: Somehow, they knew." It's been a while, but I read that, from their perspective, they knew as a lot of Jewish people knew (i.e., those whom didn't show up in office rooms that day in the Twin Towers), from Israeli intelligence. What's the big deal here? Everyone knows this was picked up on the intelligence wire before the fact, but not acted on by US intelligence. These person's relied upon an intelligence that they had access too. Doesn't mean anything further imo.
Just a quick note....the dancing Israelis was indeed the original story, but that does not make it fact. Before the rubble had even begun to be cleared the original CT was that the Jews stayed home from work that day.
posted by prowlerzee : 2:35 PM
Lets not forget that Youtube was not created until February 15, 2005 and then took a couple of years until codecs and faster computers made it easier to upload videos. So it's possible that video could have been taken on videotape, and may actually be sitting in someone's closet perhaps never to be played again.
On the tenth anniversary of 911 I heard really loud middle eastern type music and celebration going on from a restaurant nearby that went from 10pm at night until 2 in the morning. I found out later it was a wedding reception. The weird thing was I NEVER heard music coming from that location, only on the tenth anniversary of 911.
Hate to gainsay a blog I love. But the Israeli guy said he was documenting 9/11 in the sense of /he was recording it/ like everyone else with a camera that day. Not denying the whole saga of those guys is almost unaccountably weird - just saying it serves no one and least of all the truth to pretend his document line was a sinister admission.
If there was a 9/11 conspiracy beyond the one we know about it - the Al Qaeda one - then it can be untangled starting with the milieu at Huffman Aviation and the international drug traffickers attached to that company when the terrorists were training there.
Elsewhere, at the CIA, I've always found it suspicious that operatives at Alec Station ran interference against specific FBI warnings about the 9/11 terrorists. There have been suggestions that the CIA was following the 9/11 terrorists and might have even infiltrated them for whatever reason, and wanted to protect them from other agencies' meddling.
Finally, there are the neocons at the top trying to deflect the CIA's urgent and increasingly detailed warnings of an attack (those warnings seemingly at cross-purposes with the aforementioned CIA obfuscation) by claiming it was /Saddam/ trying to distract America with false rumors of an Al Qaeda threat. Too strange.
Protests? Of course there are protests. There damned well ought to be. I'd be ashamed of this country if the citizenry accepted such an outrage without protest.
Many writers will try to bog you down in the minutia of what Laquan McDonald did and what Jason Van Dyke did, but -- beyond a certain point -- all such discussion is misleading. The killing of McDonald was horrifying indeed, and I am glad that Van Dyke will be prosecuted. But the ongoing cover-up is an even greater horror.
A murder is a crime committed by an individual. A cover-up is a crime committed by a system.
The sad fact is that we will always have bad individuals, at every level of society. But we can no longer tolerate such a hideously corrupt system.
An autopsy report was changed. The official account of the incident was an exercise in fiction: It says that McDonald "lunged" at police, when he clearly did no such thing. That deceptive report reflects on the entire department, and demonstrates a widely-shared guilt. It is perfectly obvious that if the dashcam video had not been released, Van Dyke would never have been charged.
As most of you know by now, a cop destroyed surveillance video taken by cameras owned by a local Burger King. This part of the story is still giving rise to official mendacity. See here:
Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez on Tuesday addressed questions surrounding missing footage from a security camera located fewer than 100 yards from where 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot and killed by a police officer last year.
"Forensic testing was done on the Burger King surveillance system to determine if anyone tampered with the evidence and the testing did not reveal any such evidence," she said.
She declined to comment on which agency conducted the tests, however.
Surveillance footage is constantly re-recorded over the same media: Every day, new video is recorded over old video. That's how such systems work. There is no way that "forensic testing" can determine whether a footage was erased more than a year ago on a camera that has been in continual use.
Besides, law enforcement is clearly the guilty party here -- therefore, any "forensic testing" done by the CPD (or any group linked to the CPD) is valueless. Would you have trusted Nixon's investigation of the Watergate burglary?
Even Homer Simpson would be bright enough to see through Alvarez' ludicrous lie. Here are the facts:
After the shooting, according to Jay Darshane, the District Manager for Burger King, four to five police officers wearing blue and white shirts entered the restaurant and asked to view the video and were given the password to the equipment. Three hours later they left, he said.
But according to Darshane, both the cameras and video recorder were all on and working properly the night of the shooting.
"We had no idea they were going to sit there and delete files," Darshane said. "I mean we were just trying to help the police officers."
Darshane's testimony (which others in the store can confirm) seals the case. Screw Alvarez and her "forensic testing."
A spokesperson for the Independent Police Review Authority tells NBC in a statement, “We have no credible evidence at this time that would cause us to believe CPD purged or erased any surveillance video.”
"No credible evidence"? Bullshit. Again: Darshane has zero reason to tell an untrue story.
“Our first time down at the Burger King restaurant when we started talking to employees, watching the Burger King video, when we realized video had been deleted, or is missing, absolutely we knew something was up,” Jeff Neslund, an attorney for the McDonald family.
Chris Hayes reported that Burger King security footage from within the restaurant actually shows the cops speaking to employees. I have not confirmed that claim from another source, but I trust Hayes, who has been covering this story for a long time.
Prosecuting Van Dyke is necessary, but utterly insufficient.
Absolutely everyone who has contributed to the official fabrications about this case -- including Alvarez, McCarthy, and the CPD's internal affairs -- must lose their jobs.
A systemic crime requires a systemic solution. Here's one idea: Offer Van Dyke a plea deal. Tell him that prosecutors will seek a reduced penalty if he identifies his co-conspirators.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (whom I've always disliked) has stated that only "one individual" should be held accountable. Only one? No. This is a conspiracy. And if Rahm cannot bring himself to admit that fact, then he himself must be considered a co-conspirator.
Agreed that everyone down the line who misrepresented facts should be charged.
Such cover-ups no longer need to happen, however, after the Supreme Court ruled last week that police officer judgment as to the level of threat they face must be deferred to. That is why the lawyer for the officer in this case is out in front this morning claiming that the officer involved felt in mortal danger and that the dashboard camera footage was inadequate in determining what was really happening. The Supreme Court ruled that the benefit of the doubt goes to the officer.This is the Rodney King gambit, sanctified now by the highest court.
posted by Anonymous : 12:59 PM
You're right, anon. And I guess the Supreme Court is the reason why we have to vote for the one most likely to appoint more liberal justices.
Shaun King and others over at Daily Kos have written some great pieces about Cook County Prosecutor Alvarez. She's very corrupt. It's also insane that we're extorted into voting for neocons like Hillary because she might nominate a sane SCOTUS justice. The corporatist Dems are holding a gun to our collective heads.
posted by Anonymous : 2:48 PM
Am I reading that correctly? The Supreme Court of the USA essentially just put a bulls eye on every persons head that is in this country? That basically gives every police officer in the land a license to kill anyone they want to kill for whatever reason they want to. That is very, very grave news. Forget about Trump being a fascist. We are officially there no matter who gets elected. Roberts, Scalia, Alito and Thomas have to be the most radical Supreme Court Justices of all time. They really need to be impeached for this kind of crap. It isn't about Conservative or Liberal anymore. The kinds of decisions they have continually made are as anti-democracy and pro totalitarianism as it gets.
posted by GregoryP : 5:27 PM
Something to keep in mind that all Burger Kings have Cams back in the Kitchen where the office is located that is where the recorded footage would be , which means when the police entered the kitchen area to review and delete the footage they were recorded doing it, which is how the store manager knows how long they were sitting in there deleting the footage they have them on video doing it,
One of my clients claimed that Russia was financing and providing arms to ISIS.....
The host of "Here and Now" is Robin Young, who brags of "25 years of broadcasting experience." Translation: When a neocon says "Blow me," she drops down so fast that her knees punch two evenly-spaced holes in the concrete. (I'll apologize for that last remark when Young apologizes for that insane statement about Putin and Assad.) For more about NPR, go here.
UPDATE: A reader informs me that the inane comment was probably made by substitute host Indira Lakshmanan, not Robin Young. So apologies to Young; please apply insult to Lakshmanan. I'm not feeling too apologetic because, at this moment, I'm just too damned pissed off at our whole warmongering media infrastructure. It's 2003 all over again.
My comment from a very recent article of yours...."Allegedly when a moment of silence was announced at a public sports event in Turkey, the fans BOOED. Turkey seems to get very little scrutiny. May I assume they own an atom bomb or two? So Turkish forces would be used in Syria?" end quote.
I hope the US did not put Turkey up to shooting down the Russian Plane, and I also hope that the US sides with Russia instead of Turkey.
"More recently, the Turks summoned Russia’s ambassador to Ankara after an attack on ethnic Turkmen in Syria. 'It was stressed that the Russian side’s actions were not a fight against terror, but they bombed civilian Turkmen villages and this could lead to serious consequences,' according to Turkey’s foreign ministry. This fits the Russian pattern of bombing enemies of the Assad regime except Islamic State — a useful reminder that Mr. Putin is not a fit partner in the coalition to fight ISIS." (emphasis added)
Has anyone got a reasonable explanation here other than that the US government wants war with Russia?
posted by b : 7:29 PM
I started listening to NPR in the early 1980s when I lived in a cabin in the woods with no TV. What I most appreciated about it was that it was one of very few American media that considered reporting of foreign events worthwhile. I always considered it rather subversive (one of my friends called it "The Commie News")and I was always afraid to give them any money because I feared that doing so might get me on some kind of government list.
When I saw "Fahrenheit 9/11" I was stunned. I asked myself "Why didn't I hear about any of this stuff on NPR?" And then after the discrepancies between the 2004 vote counts recorded electronically and the exit polls I was stunned to hear a program host (Schieffer? Simon?) sneer at exit polls.
Then we have these breathless young women holding forth on military strategy as if they knew anything about it, and weren't simply repeating what some handsome PR flack in cammos was telling them.
And then there were these constant reports of "sectarian violence" every time a car bomb blew up in a market square in Iraq--as if they had gone out to the site, interviewed the witnesses, as if the perps had been identified, and as if they knew who had done it. And when any reasonable person has to suspect that Blackwater had done it to make themselves indispensible in the chaos, they violated journalistic ethics by reporting as facts what were only speculations on their part.
Joseph, when I started following you around 2005 or so you impressed me with your understanding of journalistic ethics--an understanding that greatly exceeds that of these NPR folks. Brad Friedman was another one who demonstrated such understanding. We need you guys to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted and try to keep our country honest. Thank you for your service to our country.
posted by Anonymous : 7:33 PM
In the context of Ukraine and Syria, NPR stands for NATO Propaganda Regurgitation.
Joseph, you most definitely owe Robin Young an apology, since she is on vacation this week. The reporter was a substitute, Indira Lakshmanan. Let me add that I have been one of Robin Young's fans for years. She has always struck me as one of the most human and decent people I hear on the radio. She never forgets that she's talking about human beings, which is something I'd expect you to appreciate.
You might even have heard of her in the aftermath of the Marathon bombing. She knew Dzokhar Tsarnaev because he was good friends with her nephew and had been one of the guests at the graduation party she hosted for her nephew. She never joined the stampede of demonization, nor did she make excuses. Instead, she focused on what she knew (and also got her nephew interviews on other shows besides her own) and tried to keep reporting on the bombing factual.
I did not hear the show live, but I just listened to the segment online (http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/11/23/brussels-lockdown-raids) and suggest that you do the same. I think the context of the question is relevant. Additionally, the guest, a security analyst from MIT, is clearly not a neocon and spends most of the interview debunking neocon fearmongering. This is one time you should have done your homework.
posted by CambridgeKnitter : 9:41 AM
Also, a bit of trivia from the Small World Department. Robin Young lives on the same one-block-long street near Harvard Square as Priscilla McMillan.
posted by CambridgeKnitter : 10:08 AM
I also started listening to NPR in the 80's. They were independent and very critical of the Reagan (read Bush 1) administration's CIA war in Nicaragua and somewhat anti-corporate. Not any more. Reagan threatened to defund them and All-Things-Independent became All-Things-Lapdog. That was a great link to the expose' on NPR, thanks.
PS.. Remember when a friend of Victor Marchetti's son (Marchetti wrote The CIA and the Cult of Intelligence) shot up CIA headquarters during the morning commute to HQ? I may have to review and do a piece on that.
If, in this context, defeating the Islamic State means restoring to power Mr. Assad in Syria and Iran’s puppets in Iraq, that outcome is neither feasible nor desirable.
Of course that outcome is feasible. If it is feasible for the Gulf States to be run by brutal Sunni dictators, why isn't it feasible for Syria to be run by a secular leader who has always respected the rights of Christians and other minorities? A leader who has never done anything to harm American interests? Bolton considers this outcome undesirable only because the increasingly fascistic leaders of Israel long ago pegged Assad for removal.
And please note: If defeating ISIS means that Assad stays, then Bolton would rather not defeat ISIS. He says this.
Bolton's big idea: Carve a Sunni state out of Syria and Iraq. In other words, he wants to codify the Islamic State -- to change its status from de facto state to de jure. This guy thinks that the way to defeat ISIS is to give 'em exactly what they want.
This Sunni state proposal differs sharply from the vision of the Russian-Iranian axis and its proxies (Hezbollah, Mr. Assad and Tehran-backed Baghdad). Their aim of restoring Iraqi and Syrian governments to their former borders is a goal fundamentally contrary to American, Israeli and friendly Arab state interests.
Bolton here comes close to admitting the truth: America, Israel and the Gulf states instigated this civil war -- a war that has created misery for millions.
Notions, therefore, of an American-Russian coalition against the Islamic State are as undesirable as they are glib.
There's that word again: "undesirable." The use of the passive voice allows Bolton to avoid stating who is doing the desiring.
We average Americans sure as hell did not desire this war. Most Americans do not have ludicrous dreams of empire. Bolton does not speak for us; he speaks only for a small clique of conspirators.
The Syrian civil war was instigated by the Machiavellian monsters who call themselves neoconservatives. The same monsters brought us the Iraq debacle (which Bolton still defends). The same monsters brought Nazis to power in Ukraine. The same monsters funded ISIS. The same monsters formulated the Plan for a New American Century. The same monsters wrote the truly diabolical "Clean Break" document, which talked about the need for waging a proxy war against Syria.
The best argument for an American-Russian coalition is the fact that beasts like Bolton hate the very idea.
John Bolton is as undesirable as he is criminal. In a sane world, he and his fellow war-lovers would have faced justice at a Nuremberg-style trial.
Following the downing of the Russian fighter aircraft in Turkey CNBC provided this commentary:
"Defense consultant Paul Beaver told CNBC that the downing of the jet was an incident that had been 'waiting to happen. The Russians are very cavalier in the way they operate their aircraft,' he told CNBC Tuesday. 'Traditionally, they've always been less than scrupulous in terms of air traffic management. Given that, I feel that this incident was inevitable.'
Which is a lie because the Russians and the US have implemented protocols specifically to avoid needless air conflict incidents.
In 2003, Paul Beaver was appointed a Specialist Adviser to the UK House of Commons Defence Committee. He is also a signatory of the Statement of Principles of the British neoconservative think tank the Henry Jackson Society.
UK academics Tom Griffin, Hilary Aked, David Miller, Sarah Marusek have written a detailed study on the development of the Henry Jackson Society, its history, membership and financing:
"Although the HJS continues to claim to be a bipartisan think tank as it still retains some limited support from interventionist liberals in parliament, our report illustrates that the activities of the society are distinctly neoconservative:
• Promoting a strongly pro-Israel agenda; • Organising anti-Islam activities, focusing particularly on British Muslim students; • Advocating a transatlantic military and security regime."
John Bolton is the chair of the Gatestone Institute, a New York based offshoot of the Hudson Institute, and all the usual faces are there in spades:
"The institute was founded in 2011 by Nina Rosenwald, an heiress of the Sears Roebuck empire who has been a key philanthropic backer of anti-Muslim groups and individuals in the United States.
Rosenwald is reportedly also a financial donor to the Henry Jackson Society.
posted by fred : 3:34 PM
Nice post, Joe. Something tells me small-j joseph isn't going to like this too much, however. He'd rather muddy the issue by claiming racism than admit to the diabolical machinations so inherent to the neocon ilk.
This makes it appear [see link], that Obama is all in with the ISIS/Al-Qaeda/Turkey/Saudi/Qatar et al gang. It's where the money is and Obama just has to keep the big players happy for a few more months and Clinton's $150-200,000,000.00 after presidency payola will look like a church mouse's crumbs.
But I don't know, the bomb planted on a Russian civilian airliner by US proxies didn't make Putin lose his cool, but it looks like this provocation did. I'm sure today's version of General Bat Guano is assuring Obama that the Russians won't escalate...and if they do, the US can "handle it", but that's the thinking that started WW I, which bequeathed us WW II.
If the Peace Prize Prez does miscalculate and winds up starting WW III, will his fanboy stop clapping...or use the NSA's Staci powers to insure we all clap louder? God help this country of mine...we're ruled reasonably sounding Sociopaths[D] and tourettes symptom Sociopaths [R]...apparently, Sociopaths[D]seem to be, if not more evil, the more effective evil of the two.
UK academics Tom Griffin, Hilary Aked, David Miller, Sarah Marusek have written a detailed study on the development of the Henry Jackson Society.
posted by fred : 4:28 PM
On the payroll of Saudi Arabia? This is what they wanted all along, a stable state there that they could take away the oilfields from Syria and Iraq with... the plan all along. Once they have the state, they take out ISIS too.
The Republican Presidential candidates are apparently getting their foreign policy advice from the same source: the John Hay Initiative. Supposedly containing 250 "experts" it's essentially a reprise of Mitt Romney's foreign policy team from the Foreign Policy Initiative, a war mongering coalition of neocons intent on ME wars. Jim Lobe explains.
posted by fred : 5:21 PM
"The same monsters brought Nazis to power in Ukraine" -> The same monsters brought THE Nazis to power.
Why does Hillary's chief adviser want ISIS to succeed?
All of the war drumming and fear porn on your TV screens right now can't hide the truth. America will not defeat ISIS unless and until it does two things:
1. Work with Putin.
2. Give up the sick dream of toppling Bashar Assad.
That very point is made by Democratic congressperson Tulsi Gabbar (of Hawaii) who is interviewed by Wolf Blitzer in the interview embedded above. It's a pretty good interview: Wolf doesn't lay on the stupidity too thickly until the end, when he tries to give the impression that Assad is a bloodthirsty demon who killed hundreds of thousands of civilians simply to prove how evil he is. No, Wolf: The only people Assad's forces have been killing are fighters for ISIS and Al Qaeda -- and he damned well ought to kill those people.
I was pleased by the Russians’ intervention against the armies invading Syria. With their support, the Syrian Army has made dramatic strides against the terrorists...
It was an unlawful war of aggression by foreign powers determined to force a puppet regime on Syria. General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe, revealed that by 2001, Western powers had developed plans to overthrow Syria. Yet after fifteen years, of military subversion, NATO, Saudi Arabia and Qatar still cannot identify a single leader who enjoys popular support among the Syrian people.
Foreign powers have no right to overturn legitimate elections and impose their will on the Syrian people. Syrians alone must determine their destiny, free of foreign intervention. I am disappointed that the UN has turned a blind eye to the unlawful interference in Syria’s internal affairs.
On the right and on the left, people are waking up.
Unfortunately, Robert Kagan -- a key neocon supporter of (and adviser to) Hillary Clinton -- wants you to go back to your worst nightmare. (Kagan, you will recall, is married to vile Victoria Nuland.)
Try not to vomit as you read:
The only alternative is to address the crisis in Syria and Iraq, and with it the terrorist threat posed by Islamic State. But just as in the 1990s, when Europeans could address the crisis in the Balkans only with the U.S. playing the dominant military role, so again America will have to take the lead, provide the troops, supply the bulk of the air power and pull together those willing and able to join the effort.
What would such an effort look like? First, it would require establishing a safe zone in Syria, providing the millions of would-be refugees still in the country a place to stay and the hundreds of thousands who have fled to Europe a place to which to return. To establish such a zone, American military officials estimate, would require not only U.S. air power but ground forces numbering up to 30,000. Once the safe zone was established, many of those troops could be replaced by forces from Europe, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other Arab states, but the initial force would have to be largely American.
In addition, a further 10,000 to 20,000 U.S. troops would be required to uproot Islamic State from the haven it has created in Syria and to help local forces uproot it in Iraq. Many of those troops could then be replaced by NATO and other international forces to hold the territory and provide a safe zone for rebuilding the areas shattered by Islamic State rule.
At the same time, an internationally negotiated and blessed process of transition in Syria should take place, ushering the bloodstained Mr. Assad from power and establishing a new provisional government to hold nationwide elections. The heretofore immovable Mr. Assad would face an entirely new set of military facts on the ground, with the Syrian opposition now backed by U.S. forces and air power, the Syrian air force grounded and Russian bombing halted. Throughout the transition period, and probably beyond even the first rounds of elections, an international peacekeeping force—made up of French, Turkish, American and other NATO forces as well as Arab troops—would have to remain in Syria until a reasonable level of stability, security and inter-sectarian trust was achieved.
In other words, Kagan wants ISIS and Al Qaeda (the two are pretty much indistinguishable) to take power in Syria. When you cut past the double-talk, that's what the guy is really saying. Why else would Kagan want us to stop Russia and Syria from bombing the hell out of the jihadis?
"With the Syrian opposition now backed by U.S. forces and air power..." Do you understand what the man is really saying here? Let's make one point very, very clear:
ISIS and Al Qaeda ARE the freakin' Syrian oppositon!
(I think that's the first time I've ever used underlining in this blog. Go ahead and accuse me shouting at the reader. Some things need to be shouted.)
Kagan here admits that he wants the US to fight for ISIS, not against ISIS. There are no actual moderate forces to speak of in the Syrian rebellion. Even Barack Obama, in one of those rare bursts of candor which have pockmarked his presidency, has admitted that this idea is a "fantasy."
Neocons like Kagan often pretend that they support "moderate" rebels, but this is pure fiction. The "moderate" Free Syrian Army is a joke -- in fact, Al Qaeda (a.k.a. the Nusra Front) and the FSA have joined forces. Although our press refuses to discuss such things, the FSA's record on human rights was always pretty horrific, and we should be glad that the group is now little more than a phantom. The FSA was never much more than a mask worn by Islamist warriors when they went begging for weapons and money; arms and ammo given to the "moderate" FSA tends to end up with the Islamic State.
For people like Kagan, the war on ISIS is a pretext: It's all about regime change. He pretty much admits that toppling Bashar Assad is the only thing he really cares about. ISIS is simply a means to that end.
All of this talk about democracy-at-bayonet-point is pure deception: Kagan is bright enough to know that American intervention will not transform Damascus into the Athenian ideal. Removing Assad will simply create the same chaos we manufactured when we removed Saddam Hussein from power. Assad has already won a fair and free election, and he would win again tomorrow if another election were held -- presuming his name appeared on the ballot, which our president would never allow.
Remember: Both ISIS and the Nusra front sprang from Al Qaeda in Iraq -- a group which did not exist until we foolishly sent troops into that country.
If, during this campaign season, you ever get the chance to ask Hillary Clinton a question, ask her if she will ever rid herself of the consummately evil Kagan clan. Those warmongering schemers are monsters. Monsters.
Allegedly when a moment of silence was announced at a public sports event in Turkey, the fans BOOED. Turkey seems to get very little scrutiny. May I assume they own an atom bomb or two? So Turkish forces would be used in Syria?
Kagan is a, if not the, grandee of bipartisan neoconservativism - armchair commander-in-chief, one of the great living exemplars of the political class's Greek-columned pseudo-intellectualism. He says Assad will face new "facts on the ground" because with American boots on the ground the Russian bombing will be - just like that - "halted." Which I suppose is true, if in the sense that the Russian bombers will have been largely redirected to the European and American theaters.
It's as if the neocons are speaking to us, we of this world, from another dimension or an alternate reality. What is there left to be said about the neo-conservatives' dream logic? How could you even begin to respond to Kagan? It'd be like trying to disabuse Hitler in his final days in the Fuhrerbunker. There's the same blind faith that the Russians will just disappear - though it also must be said that the divisions the neocons control are quite real.
posted by Anonymous : 1:43 AM
All the signs are that the US does not intend to work with Putin. Obama is pressuring Hollande to maintain economic sanctions against Russia and the US has upgraded its training of Ukrainian militia to now include regular units of the Ukrainian army.
posted by fred : 4:26 AM
Joe, it would be a pleasure to read an article wherein you apply your analytical capabilities to the current situation in Syria as it relates to the Oded Yinon plan for A Greater Israel. I've seen this mentioned repeatedly at both MofA and ZH and it does appear to go a long way towards explaining the ultimate strategic goal of all these wars we've been executing.
Your worries about Israeli, well let's skip the euphemism, Jewish domination of the Middle East and of course then the world, from whence does it come? Do you think Jews are just naturally smarter than everyone else? Do we have some secret knowledge that gives us this power? Perhaps Jews are in league with the devil? Mind control maybe? Or is it something else, I just can't imagine what else it would be.
Honestly, what's to like in Israel? It's a proto-fascist state actively engaged in genocide towards the native Palestinian people and I strongly believe Israel has done more to undermine the United States than any other "ally" on the planet. We have too many dual-citizens of Israel occupying our government and the near monolithic control over the money supply is suspect, too. I give respect where respect is due, but I don't mistake intelligence for a lack of humanity.
j, nobody in his right mind believes any of the standard anti-Semitic tropes of yesteryear. I know that many defenders of Israel WANT to think that that critics are motivated by those inane Medieval prejudices, but it's not the case.
Our problem with Israel is fascism, which often manifests as racism. All intelligent critics of Israel must understand that one cannot fight racism with racism.
The virus of Fascism also afflicted the Italians, whom I consider part of my own heritage. Hell, Mussolini invented the term. I have to own up to that history. That history forces everyone of Italian heritage to confront himself. One day, j, you will have to come to a very similar confrontation with yourself.
And speaking as an American, I also have to confront the fascist strain within this country. So do you.
Uh, James, I don't like Israel's excessive influence on U. S. foreign policy either, but that bit about Jewish domination of the economy is a myth. The majority of rich folks in this country are, and always have been, Gentiles. (Disclosure: I'm a goy myself.)
The real situation is bad enough without spouting quasi-Protocols buncombe.
As I wrote in the earlier post, the Washington Post, on September 18, 2001, wrote:
In Jersey City, within hours of two jetliners’ plowing into the World Trade Center, law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks and holding tailgate-style parties on rooftops while they watched the devastation on the other side of the river.
Cue the outrage and indignation! Trump had it right all along!
Except: He didn't.
It is obvious that the WP's 2001 article is a hideously abbreviated (and somewhat garbled) account of the five "dancing Israelis" who worked for Dominik Suter's scammy moving company, Urban Moving Systems. The young Israelis, who looked "Middle Eastern," reportedly had set up a camera before the event and celebrated as it occurred. They gave every appearance of having foreknowledge.
The New York Times reported Thursday that a group of five men had set up video cameras aimed at the Twin Towers prior to the attack on Tuesday, and were seen congratulating one another afterwards. (1)
Police received several calls from angry New Jersey residents claiming "middle-eastern" men with a white van were videotaping the disaster with shouts of joy and mockery. (2)
"They were like happy, you know … They didn't look shocked to me" said a witness. (3)
[T]hey were seen by New Jersey residents on Sept. 11 making fun of the World Trade Center ruins and going to extreme lengths to photograph themselves in front of the wreckage. (4)
Witnesses saw them jumping for joy in Liberty State Park after the initial impact (5). Later on, other witnesses saw them celebrating on a roof in Weehawken, and still more witnesses later saw them celebrating with high fives in a Jersey City parking lot. (6)
"It looked like they're hooked in with this. It looked like they knew what was going to happen when they were at Liberty State Park." (7)
(If you are confused by the numbers, I should explain that they refer to end notes in the linked article. The cites all go to contemporary news reports.)
True, someone did call the cops saying that "Palestinians" dressed in white "sheikh" clothing had loaded suspicious materials into a white van. It was a day of high excitement, so we can forgive a rattled witness who thought he saw swarthy miscreants dressed up like Lawrence of Arabia. A moment's thought would tell you that the very idea is ridiculous: Palestinians don't dress that way in the Middle East, and certainly would not do so while skulking around New Jersey.
Besides, how would the caller know that he saw Palestinians? The use of that term is, perhaps, quite revealing. It is possible that the caller was a co-conspirator intentionally trying to "false flag" the Palestinian people.
If so, the trick did not work, since the cops soon found the van and identified those within it.
When a van fitting that exact description was stopped just before crossing into New York, the suspicious "middle-easterners" were apprehended. Imagine the surprise of the police officers when these terror suspects turned out to be Israelis!
According to ABC’s 20/20, when the van belonging to the cheering Israelis was stopped by the police, the driver of the van, Sivan Kurzberg, told the officers:
"We are Israelis. We are not your problem. Your problems are our problems. The Palestinians are your problem." (10)
Why did he feel Palestinians were a problem for the NYPD?
The police and FBI field agents became very suspicious when they found maps of the city with certain places highlighted, box cutters (the same items that the hijackers supposedly used), $4700 cash stuffed in a sock, and foreign passports. Police also told the Bergen Record that bomb sniffing dogs were brought to the van and that they reacted as if they had smelled explosives. (11)
The FBI seized and developed their photos, one of which shows Sivan Kurzberg flicking a cigarette lighter in front of the smouldering ruins in an apparently celebratory gesture. (12)
A trace of the van's license plate revealed that it was owned by Suter's company. Fascinatingly, a Jerusalem Post report of the incident left out the all-important detail that the people in the van were Israeli! This omission prefigured Trump's error.
A few days after the attacks, Urban Moving System's Israeli owner, Dominick Suter, dropped his business and fled the country for Israel. He was in such a hurry to flee America that some of Urban Moving System's customers were left with their furniture stranded in storage facilities (21).
Suter's departure was abrupt, leaving behind coffee cups, sandwiches, cell phones and computers strewn on office tables and thousands of dollars of goods in storage. Suter was later placed on the same FBI suspect list as 9/11 lead hijacker Mohammed Atta and other hijackers and suspected al-Qaeda sympathizers, suggesting that U.S. authorities felt Suter may have known something about the attacks. (22)
The Jewish weekly The Forward reported that the FBI finally concluded that at least two of the detained Israelis were agents working for the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, and that Urban Moving Systems, the ostensible employer of the five Israelis, was a front operation. This was confirmed by two former CIA officers, and they noted that movers' vans are a common intelligence cover. (23). The Israelis were held in custody for 71 days before being quietly released. (24)
"There was no question but that [the order to close down the investigation] came from the White House. It was immediately assumed at CIA headquarters that this basically was going to be a cover-up so that the Israelis would not be implicated in any way in 9/11." (25)
I apologize for the lengthy quotation of a piece which is itself filled with long quotes. I tell this story in detail to emphasize one point: Our right-wingers (most of whom are strong supporters of Israel) made a hilariously unwise decision when they dredged up this matter.
We have zero evidence that there were "Muslims" celebrating on that day. The September 18, 2001 WP report does not mention Muslims; it obviously refers to "Dominik's boys." If we view that WP story in conjunction with all of the other contemporary news coverage, it soon becomes clear that those young Israelis were the only rooftop "partiers" questioned by police.
There are no contemporary reports of celebratory Muslims -- just celebratory Israelis.
Were those Israelis merely conducting surveillance, as many have alleged (and as they themselves claimed on Israeli television)? Initial news reports held that the van was carrying explosives. If so, then we have no choice but to consider the theory that these Israelis were planning to destroy the bridge -- on the same day that the twin towers came down. (For more on the explosives, see the video embedded above.)
Anyone who doubts the sourcing for this story need merely double-check the citations. Or go to Google and look up the relevant terms -- Dominik Suter, "Urban Moving Systems," "Dancing Israelis," Sivan Kurzberg, Paul Kurzberg, Yaron Shmuel, Oded Ellner and Omer Marmari.
Millions saw the horrific images of the World Trade Center attacks, and those who saw them won't forget them. But a New Jersey homemaker saw something that morning that prompted an investigation into five young Israelis and their possible connection to Israeli intelligence.
This report is surprisingly good for a mainstream news piece, although it downplays the darker implications. ABC makes no mention of the explosives, or of the reports that the Israelis set up cameras before the event. (The fact that we have never seen their footage is very telling.) There is also no mention of the fact -- amply documented elsewhere -- that "Urban Moving Systems" was a criminal enterprise, as were many other Israeli-run moving companies in that period, operating with seeming impunity. (See here and here and here.)
My question: Did Donald Trump display a failing memory...or did he intentionally bring up an incident that Israel's blinkered fans would prefer to keep forgotten? If the former, he's a fool. If the latter, he's brilliant.
NOW HEAR THIS!
As always: I will never allow assholes to use this blog to blather on about "controlled demolition" and similar nonsense. In my opinion, those myths were deliberately created to deflect attention from the tale of Suter and his lads.
Alas, I know full well that if the "controlled demolition" nutcases get a foot in the door, they will barge in and wreck the joint. One must never argue with such people, not even for a moment. They are like Holocaust revisionists and those dolts who think we never went to the moon: Utterly unworthy of debate.
Therefore, the only person allowed to discuss 9/11 on this blog is yours truly. You may not discuss the issue here from any perspective. An unfair rule? Perhaps, but experience is a harsh teacher, and I learned my lesson nearly a decade ago. The "controlled demolition" bozos must not be allowed even the slightest opening.
It's a big internet, folks, and there are other sites. Dig or split.Permalink
So is this just an egregious error of memory from the Donald (which I can accept as more likely), or some oblique message he's sending (someone?) in a deniable way?
Either way, it picks up a rock long forgotten to expose what's crawling underneath it.
A view most will probably not take or hear about, and something easily distracted from (hey, look! a squirrel!!!)
posted by Anonymous : 5:13 PM
The Dancing Israelis story is very disturbing and may have been designed to be so. It induces a state of cognitive dissonance by which most people who hear about it simply reject the facts, and only a very few (such as you and I, Joseph) examine the facts, and only a few leap to confirmation-biased conclusions.
WhatReallyHappened's opening sentence is very telling: "A Mossad surveillance team made quite a public spectacle of themselves on 9-11." Since when do Mossad agents go around making a spectacle of themselves? Hmmmm
Dan Rather's report is that the celebrants were on a rooftop parking lot. Other reports place them in Liberty Park. Do we have TWO iterations of the Dancing Israelis? Hmmmmm.
So we're supposed to believe that the Israelis celebrated spontaneously? And they remembered to bring their Arab costumes beforehand? And they blew the cover on the Mossad's massive attack on the USA because they had to act like a bunch of drunken frat boys?
The Counterpunch writeup says they celebrated in the proximity of a white van that advertised their cover, Urban Moving Systems. And then by all accounts they were arrested in the very same van a few hours later. Was it a spontaneous reaction that they hadn't bothered to clean out the cash, the box cutters, and the explosive residue? These Mossadnicks are starting to look like Rummy and Bush.
So let's talk about the "Picture Van". This was a van stopped a few blocks from the improvised security HQ in Manhattan--stopped at King and 6th if I remember, and stopped because it had a painted mural showing an airplane attacking Manhattan. The driver was a Middle Easterner who did not speak English. He and his passenger were let go. Thus they must have been Israelis. No other explanation is possible. Did the Israelis paint a van with so provocative a scene out of spontaneous enthusiasm?
That's enough for now. I'll have some followup posts if you'll let me.
posted by Anonymous : 9:25 PM
"Since when do Mossad agents go around making a spectacle of themselves?"
Actual Mossad agents are, of course, very professional. (Usually.) But they are surprisingly few in number: There is a SEVERE personnel shortage. (This is one of the things we learn from Ostrovsky's books.) Operations thus often rely on non-pros -- increasingly, we are talking about kids fresh out of the IDF.
They are, to put it bluntly, young and dumb.
Nevertheless, these amateurs were the backbone of the biggest spy ring in the history of this country -- the "art students" ring. I ran into a few of these kids at the Northridge Mall, a number of years ago: They were sneering and paranoid and not really very bright, although they seemed to think that they were hot shit.
Honestly, I have no idea how Israeli ops are so successful when the field agents are little better than toddlers. But that's how those guys roll.
I'd bet money he got it from the following article in Investors Business Daily in early 2007: http://news.investors.com/022607-495105-northern-virginiastan.htm?p=full
I think he just lied about witnessing it himself instead of reading about it; and the location is wrong. New Jersey is mentioned as a similar place to "Northern Viginiastan's" "Taliban Towers", however.
So Joseph, you think the pro Mossad 9/11 perps somehow let it slip to the beanie-brigade that the op was coming, and the beanies spontaneously outed the op? And then after they did so, their supervisors didn't instruct them to clean out the van?
Who have you been hanging out with, lately?
You didn't address the Picture Van. Did the beanies spontaneously out the op by painting it on a van? The van shows that it was all theater.
It appears that the Mossad ordered the beanies to get arrested so they could insert in the public record the fact that they knew about 9/11 in advance. According to the German Press they had warned US authorities of 19 terrorists inside the US planning something big, and even named names.
Putting their foreknowledge in the public record would give them great blackmail material against the Bush administration.
The second benefit of the Dancing Israelis stunt was that it created a great meme to track through the internets--see who believes it, see who promotes it. Larry Silverstein's "pull it" stunt did the same thing, creating a meme to track through the internet.
posted by Anonymous : 1:46 AM
Trump's not fucking with Israel. C'mon, no candidate does that. So, yes, I reckon the statement was for tracking purposes.
If you're in CPMAJO and you're discussing who you're going to appoint as the next US President, and in what directions you're going to send the candidates, then what they say about 911 is going to get considered. So is what they say about Israel. Tweak, tweak, track, track.
But I doubt that that was the reason for those Israelis being there with the van and getting noticed and arrested in the first place. Arrogant fuckfaces in sunglasses just out of the IDF sounds more like it. Even ones moving loads of explosives about. The Zionist support network for the 911 op - Urban Moving Services, art students, etc. - was huge.
The dancing Israelis sued US officials afterwards, seeking compensation for how they'd been treated. They lost. The legal docs are on the net. No shame whatsoever. Didn't Robert Fisk call the Israeli army "undisciplined rabble"?
The reference to "thousands" suggests that someone may have slipped "New Jersey" into Trump's speech later. Perhaps the original untrue statement was that Muslims all went "Yeah!" when they heard about 911. Then somewhere in the colouring and filling-in and soundbite creation process, New Jersey gets inserted. I mean Trump does talk a hell a lot of shit. Most people probably just hear "Ayrabs wanna kill yall".
posted by b : 4:04 AM
James, under the theory that the Dancing Israelis and Picture Van stuns were the Mossad's Message to the World that they knew about 9/11 in advance. Since they had warned the Bushcists about the attacks, going public with their knowledge was an implicit blackmail threat.
If this reading is correct, then the investigation of Urban Moving Systems and the incidents would have been shut down by the Bushcists because they just wanted everyone to forget about it.
The Mossad would have dusted the van with explosives to up the ante on the blackmail (if they thought explosives had been used in the towers) and/or to further the internet-trackable meme that the Mossad blew up the towers.
Larry Silverstein's ambiguous and bizarre "pull it" remark also furthered the explosive meme, allowing the imaginations of confirmation-biased bigots to run wild with speculations that the Mossad did 9/11.
Many believe that terror attacks tend to occur during drills and simulations. Know, then, that the largest bio-attack drill ever staged will begin today in southern California, and will last until the 28th. Los Angeles county is not listed as one of the staging areas, but most other counties will be impacted.
As the week progresses, the drill will expand, requiring participants to deploy to various areas.
Temporary medical facilities will be established, and first responders will react to mock mass casualty situations, according to state officials.
Some participants will be clad in chemical protection suits and masks to create as much realism as possible, officials said, emphasizing that members of the public should not panic.
More here. We learn that the focus will be on anthrax.
Some sites claim that there were drills in Paris on the day of the recent terrorist outrage: See here.
In what can be described as an extremely strange “coincidence,” Paris-area emergency personnel and ambulance crews were taking part in a simulated emergency exercise on the very same day the Paris terrorist attacks took place.
The exact nature of the drill was a simulated mass shooting attack, according to Dr. Mathieu Raux, emergency room chief at the Pitié-Salpetrière hospital in Paris.
It is well-known that NORAD was conducted a test called Vigilant Guardian on September 11, 2001. There was a drill in London during the 7/7 event in 2005. Although you may have read claims that the Boston bomb squad was conducting a simulation at the time of the Boston Marathon explosions, this allegation appears to be groundless.
I wouldn't be overly concerned about the California event: Preparation is a good thing, and many drills have occurred on days which turned out to be completely uneventful. Nevertheless, a pattern may indeed exist. Sleep well...!
Two people in Britain have called me a "conspiracy theorist" for mentioning that many people in the Bataclan - a crowded theatre in which men fired semi-automatic AK47s to kill - died in a stampede rather than by being shot.
Recognition of the fact that this is how many people died - a fact which has been confirmed by witness evidence and is in any case obvious - is considered by many people in the west to be more than their position as submissive mental serfs is worth. No logic needed. Eyes to the front, shut up, and repeat what you see on the television.
Mustn't say anything different; it's naughty - especially when soldiers are (or soon will be) on the streets.
They even think it's disrespectful to the dead and wounded. I despair of such people.
I mention this because I think the subjective conditions are present for a western bombing attack that does not destroy ISIS but which is aimed at destroying the Syrian government.
And in that scenario, Russia will respond.
Mikhail Gorbachev's prognosis of another "cold war" is IMO mistaken.
"Cold war" is usually a superficial concept, and not just in the minds of ignoramuses who think it lasted more than 40 years, ending in 1989, and that the Fischer-Spassky chess match in 1972 happened at the height of it.
You'd be better off talking about an arms race - especially in the late 1950s and early 1960s - lots of superpower weapons in Poland and Germany etc., limited controls of technological exports, and US and Soviet war-preparatory structures of control over many countries in Europe and some further afield.
We ain't going to be getting a cold war now.
Back in those days there were only four domains of warfare, and space was new. Now there's a fifth: cyberspace.
And the psychological war has already begun. And I mean war. This isn't similar to the 1964 swap of British spy Greville Wynne for Soviet spy Konon Molody (Gordon Lonsdale), when the British press reported that whereas Molody was a spy, Wynne was just an innocent businessman wrongly accused. We are on a very different scale now.
But...hold on! The retarded "prince" Charles is on the case: he thinks "climate change" was the root cause of the war in Syria. And Reuters are distributing the "news" of what this dickhead thinks. "We're now facing a real possibility," said this fanatic of monarchistic 'natural' order, "of nature's bank going bust."
As I understand it, more carbon dioxide is produced by spiders farting than by the whole of humanity, either from our bodies or from industry.
posted by b : 5:25 AM
Simulated Anthrax attack; hmm. Wonder who is already taking Cipro. I have been waiting for the other shoe to drop since some thirty or more labs "accidentally" were sent live anthrax spores. Everybody forgot about that one yet?
I have semi-vowed to stay away from 1963 in these pages, but David Talbot's piece in Salon is worth reading. That said, I am heterodox: I do not believe that Allen Dulles orchestrated the event, although he oversaw much of the cover-up. In my view, the event itself was planned on the second floor of CIA HQ by one James Jesus Angleton, who hoped to spark World War III. A great mischief-maker, Jimmy was.
Here we are, halfway through Sunday, and the terrorist apocalypse has not yet occurred -- although there is much fear and trembling: See here and here and here.
So why am I asking you, on this day, to view a documentary (embedded above) about the well-known "exploding pizza man" case? Because a thought occurred to me: How do we know that a terrorist wearing an explosive-laden vest has donned that garment of his or her own accord? Explosives can be detonated by remote control; the technology is neither expensive nor unusual. So how do we know that the person wearing the vest is acting under his or her own volition?
If I were really, really paranoid, I might go so far as to suggest that the pizza man case is best explained as a proof of concept operation. Robbery does not seem to have been the actual motive, since the crime could never have succeeded. (It seems that the mastermind of the operation was an unhinged woman with delusions of superiority.)
"I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down, and I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down,” he said.
While there were images of people cheering the towers’ collapse in parts of the Middle East, there is no record of such celebrations in New Jersey. There were some Internet rumors of Muslims celebrating the towers’ fall in Paterson, New Jersey, but those rumors were discounted by local police at the time.
There was cheering in New Jersey on that day, but the people involved were those of whom we must never speak. (All attempts to debunk that event and to diminish its importance have been, in my view, unpersuasive and strained.)
By the way: A lot of people don't know that Dominik Suter, the guy who ran that moving company, kept an apartment in Los Angeles -- Sherman Oaks, if memory serves. I drove by the address one night. A rather posh place -- "south of the Boulevard," as we say in the San Fernando Valley. Suter was, in essence, a low-level crook: He ran one of those scammy moving companies that ripped off customers with seeming impunity. Kind of odd for a guy like that to keep up the rent on a pricey second home on the other side of the country, don't you think?
(No, dear readers, you may not discuss 9/11 here -- no matter who you are, and no matter what your perspective. If you try to do so, I will delete your comment mercilessly. Yes, I realize that I am being unfair -- but I have no choice: What happened to this blog in 2006 left a lasting scar. I will never change my stance, I will never respond to your inquiries, and I don't have to justify my decisions to anyone. Dig or split.)
I wonder: Is Trump intentionally making an oblique reference to Suter & co.?
Dunno about Muslims* cheering on 911, but I do know Turkish Muslims booed when asked to give moment of silence to the French victims of rabid Wahhabism. So from that, it's not to hard to infer what is in many Muslims hearts.
Anybody who has been to Pakistan can see for themselves how radicalizing the Saudi proselytizing madrasas are. Who ever heard of school, for which there is but one book to study? Muslims have been radicalized by the Gulf States embrace and financial support of radical Wahhabism
And let's not forget Mr. Erdoğan has been perfectly willing to aid ISIL murdering mayhem in the hopes of gaining some of the Ottoman Empire back...with the consent of the Turkish populace.
*One Israeli woman appeared on TV positively glowing, she felt 911 would cause cause American citizens to support Israels treatment of Palestinians and their territorial gains over Arab lands. [She was right].
@S Brennan - "One Israeli woman appeared on TV positively glowing, she felt 911 would cause cause American citizens to support Israels treatment of Palestinians and their territorial gains over Arab lands. [She was right]."
That formulation is far too vague. On 12 Sep 2001, the day following 911, Israeli tanks rolled into the cities of Jericho and Jenin on the West Bank. Three days later, they rolled into Ramallah, also on the West Bank.
The Israelis hadn't done anything like that since the Oslo agreement of 1995. Their military action that immediately followed 911 marked a major change: they made it absolutely clear that they were tearing up the agreement and that they were no longer going down the route of Gaza and Jericho first, followed by a Palestinian state.
posted by b : 11:00 AM
Well, if you're not going to permit any discussion, there's no point in trying to put forth a very reasonable perspective on the "Dancing Israelis" incident (hint--it is explained by the presence of the "picture van" in Lower Manhattan).