syria

Airstrikes Destroy Bakery in Syria’s Aleppo
AP, Sep 29 2016

BEIRUT — The latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):

3:30 p.m. – Syrian activists say airstrikes have hit the last remaining bakery serving a town north of the besieged city of Aleppo, putting it out of service. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says a number of airstrikes hit the town of Anadan and its bakery Thursday, and put the bakery out of service. Adnan Medlej, an activist from Anadan, says the bakery was hit shortly after it distributed bread to the town’s remaining 2,000 residents and others in nearby villages. After coming under intense bombing and devastating its infrastructure, most of the town’s residents have fled to other areas in rural Aleppo. A video shot by Medlej shows the bakery destroyed and a crater outside, with water leaking and walls torched. On Wednesday, government shelling near a bread distribution center in Aleppo killed six people.

2:00 p.m. – Erdogan says his country is determined to eliminate the “corridor of terror” along its border with Syria by clearing Daesh and Syrian Kurdish fighters from the area. Addressing a group of local administrators on Thursday, Erdogan reiterated that a secure no-fly zone which Turkey would like established in Syria would help end the flow of refugees to Turkey and beyond. Turkey last month sent troops and tanks into Syria to help Syrian opposition rebels re-take IS strongholds near the Turkish border and curb the advance of Syrian Kurdish militia. Erdogan said some 30,000 people had returned to the Syrian town of Jarablus since it was freed from Daesh by the Turkish-backed rebels last month.

12:40 p.m. – Syria’s military has released a video of its new advances in the contested Syrian city of Aleppo, showing destruction and ruins in a neighborhood that is hundreds of years old. The video released Thursday shows damaged traditional buildings, with arched ceilings and stone walls, in the Farafra neighborhood that rests at the foot of the old citadel in Aleppo city. The video shows mounds of debris, twisted metal bars and broken ceilings with fighters walking past. The Syrian government claimed it had repelled rebels from Farafra Tuesday, in the first such advance in old Aleppo. Since last week, the government has waged a major air campaign in Aleppo and threatened a wide ground offensive. MSF says more than 270 civilians have been killed in the advance.

12:00 p.m. – A top Russian diplomat says a Pindosi threat to halt cooperation with Russia in the Syria conflict constitutes an “emotional breakdown” and says Russia is willing to support a 48-hour ceasefire around Aleppo. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Thursday rejected Washington’s calls for a seven-day pause in hostilities, but said Russia is willing to support a 48-hour truce for humanitarian purposes. Ryabkov’s comments follow Jackass Kerry’s warning that Pindostan will stop coordinating with Moscow unless Russian and Syrian attacks on Aleppo end. Ryabkov was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying of Pindostan that “a certain emotional breakdown occurred.” He also reiterated Russia’s stance that a seven-day pause in the Aleppo offensive would give militant groups time to regroup.

Pindostan weighs tougher response to Russia over Syria crisis
Jonathan Landay, John Walcott, Matt Spetalnick, WaPo, Sep 29 2016

WASHINGTON – Obama admin boxtops have begun considering tougher responses to the Syrian government assault on Aleppo, including military options, they said on Wednesday. The new discussions were being held at “staff level” and have yet to produce any recommendations to Obama, who has resisted ordering military action against Syria. But the deliberations coincide with Jackass Kerry threatening to halt diplomacy with Russia on Syria and holding Moscow responsible for dropping incendiary bombs on rebel areas of Aleppo. It was the stiffest warning to the Russians since the Sep 19 collapse of the truce. Even administration advocates of a more muscular response said on Wednesday that it was not clear what the president would do, if anything, and that his options “begin at tougher talk.” One said that before any action could be taken, Washington would first have “follow through on Kerry’s threat and break off talks with the Russians.” But they said the failure of diplomacy in Syria has left the Obama administration no choice but to consider alternatives, most of which involve some use of force and have been examined before but held in abeyance. These include allowing Gulf allies to supply rebels with more sophisticated weaponry, something considered more likely despite Washington’s opposition to this until now. Another is a Pindo air strike on a Syrian air force base, viewed as less likely because of the potential for causing Russian casualties, the officials told Reuters.

The options being weighed are limited in number and stop well short of any large-scale commitment of troops, which Obama, who has only four months left in office, has long rejected. Critics of Obama’s policy in Syria argue that he set the goal of Assad’s departure without providing sufficient means to achieve it by arming the rebels earlier and more extensively, allowing Pindo vassals to do so or using Pindo military might to tip the scales in the conflict. Further, foreign policy experts inside and outside the administration have said Obama erred when he pulled back from launching air strikes on Syria to enforce a “red line” he set against the Assad government’s use of chemical weapons. The result, they argued, was to diminish Pindo credibility in Moscow, Damascus and elsewhere because the perception took hold that Obama would not keep his word and follow through on his threat. Two of them said the speed with which the Syrians have advanced in Aleppo and the diplomatic track has collapsed caught some in the administration off guard. The fall of Aleppo would restore Assad’s rule over western Syria’s most important city and deal a devastating blow to the rebels. As a result, one of the officials said, the list of options is narrowing to supporting rebel counter attacks elsewhere with additional weaponry or even air strikes, which “might not reverse the tide of battle, but might cause the Russians to stop and think.” Another official said any weapons supplies would not include shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, or Manpads, which the Obama administration fears could fall into the hands of Islamic State militants or al Qaeda-linked groups.

The most dramatic option under consideration, but considered less likely, would be a Pindo air strike on a Syrian air base far from the fighting between Assad’s troops and rebel forces in the north. Other ideas under consideration include sending more Pindo SOF to train and advise Kurdish and Syrian rebel groups, and deploying additional Poindo & vassal naval and airpower to the eastern Mediterranean, where a French aircraft carrier is already en route. Pindo boxtops had considered a humanitarian airlift to rebel-held areas, which would require escorts by Pindo warplanes, but this has been deemed too risky and has been “moved down the list,” one of them said. State Dept spox Adm (retd) Kirby said on Wednesday that boxtops involved in the interagency process that deals with national security had discussed other Syria options “that don’t revolve around diplomacy.” He declined to elaborate. Boxtops cautioned that no decisions were imminent with Ashtray Carter traveling and Obama and other senior turds planning to attend Peres’s funeral in Israel on Friday.

Pindostan threatens to suspend bilateral engagement with Russia over Syria
Karen DeYoung, WaPo, Sep 28 2016

The Obama administration threatened Wednesday to suspend plans for coordinating counter-­terrorism strikes in Syria with Russia unless Moscow moves to stop its assault on the city of Aleppo and restore a collapsed cease-fire. Adm (retd) Kirby said:

Jackass Kerry, in a telephone call to his Russian counterpart, made it clear that Pindostan and its vassals hold Russia responsible for this situation, including the drastic escalation of its military actions in recent days and its refusal to ensure the safe passage of humanitarian aid to government-besieged areas. Pindostan is making preparations to suspend Pindo-Russia bilateral engagement on Syria unless Russia takes immediate steps to end the (bombing) in Aleppo.

There is a growing sense that Pindostan is powerless to (intervene), or is at least unwilling to take steps that might force Moscow and Damascus to change their calculations. Those possible steps, including Pindo military action, increased arms shipments to Syrian rebel forces or additional sanctions, have changed little. All are again being reviewed by the administration, including at a National Security Council deputies meeting Wednesday. But just as the alternatives are the same, so are the perceived drawbacks and internal opposition to each of them. If anything, the fast-approaching end of the administration and the complications of the conflict have made them even less attractive. Jackass and Obama believe that none of the options “are better, in the long run, for the Syrian people than trying to get a diplomatic solution now,” Kirby said. He and others declined to define “immediate” in the context of Wednesday’s demand for Russian action and emphasized that the door remains open to Moscow. In Moscow, Lt-Gen V Poznikhir of the Armed Forces General Staff said, according to Interfax:

At the behest of the Russian president, we shall further continue the joint work with our Pindosi partners on the Syrian problem.

The threat of suspending “bilateral engagement” largely refers to ongoing Pindo-Russia talks in Geneva. Late last week, the government of Syria declared the truce at an end and began a new offensive intended to retake eastern Aleppo from the now-surrounded rebels. Amid continued Syrian and Russian airstrikes, using incendiary and bunker-busting bombs, critics were quick to belittle the administration’s response. Walnuts McCain and Lindsey Graham, who last week called Jackass “delusional” for trusting Russia, sarcastically remarked in a Wednesday statement:

(This threat is) a real power move in Pindo diplomacy. We can only imagine that having heard the news, Vladi­mir Putin has called off his bear hunt and is rushing back to the Kremlin to call off Russian airstrikes on hospitals, schools, and humanitarian aid convoys around Aleppo.

Jackass said:

Where’s the congressional vote for force? Talk is cheap. I have my own views about what we ought to do, but I’m not going to be arguing about them publicly. The cause of what is happening is Assad and Russia wanting to simply try to pursue a military victory, and it would be diplomatic malpractice not to try to pursue whether or not through some kind of diplomatic effort you could actually wind up reducing the violence. And what’s the alternative? Today there’s no ceasefire, and we’re not talking to them right now. What’s happening? The place is being utterly destroyed. Okay? That’s not delusional. That’s a fact.

Although Obama has overruled Pentagon objections to cooperating with Russia, he has long been unwilling to approve any Plan B for what to do if diplomacy or limited efforts to arm the opposition fail. While still on the table, military options such as bombing Assad’s airstrips now seem impossible with Russia’s participation in the air war. Some boxtops have continued to advocate allowing the Toads & Thanis to supply them with more sophisticated weapons, including shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles. But long-standing fears that the weapons could fall into terrorist hands now seem even more acute, with the increased mixing on the ground of rebel groups and the potent forces of Jabhat al-Nusra. A Western boxtop said:

I just don’t see (any Pindo military steps) at the moment. This White House hasn’t got much longer, and there’s a reluctance to do anything that would bounce a future administration into a course of action. The French Foreign Minister proposed a new UNSCR for an Aleppo ceasefire. The goal is to shame Russia. But Russia has shown that it isn’t easily shamed.

Warplanes knock out Aleppo hospitals as Russian-backed assault
Ellen Francis, Tom Perry, Reuters, Sep 28 2016

BEIRUT – Russian or Syrian warplanes knocked two hospitals out of service in the besieged rebel sector of Aleppo on Wednesday and ground forces intensified an assault in a battle which the UN said had made the city worse than a slaughterhouse. Two patients died in one of the hospitals and other shelling killed six residents queuing for bread under a siege that has trapped 250,000 people with food running out. The week-old assault, which could herald a turning point in the war, has already killed hundreds of people, with bunker-busting bombs bringing down buildings on residents huddled inside. Only about 30 doctors are believed to be left inside the besieged zone, coping with hundreds of wounded a day. Mohammad Abu Rajab, a radiologist at the M10 hospital, the largest trauma hospital in the city’s rebel-held sector, told Reuters:

The warplane flew over us and directly started dropping its missiles at around 4 am. Rubble fell in on the patients in the intensive care unit.

M10 hospital workers said oxygen and power generators were destroyed and patients were transferred to another hospital. Photographs sent to Reuters by a hospital worker at the facility showed damaged storage tanks, a rubble strewn area, and the collapsed roof of what he said was a power facility. There were no initial reports of casualties there, but MSF’s Syria head Carlos Francisco said:

Two patients were killed at the other hospital, in shelling which took it out of service as well, leaving east Aleppo with only seven doctors in a position to undertake surgery. And this comes at a time when east Aleppo has been under siege since July and is suffering the bloodiest indiscriminate bombing since the beginning of the war.

The government of President Bashar al-Assad has launched a massive assault to crush the rebels’ last major urban stronghold. Aleppo has been divided for years between government and rebel zones, and taking full control of the city would restore near full government rule over the most important cities of western Syria. The offensive began with unprecedentedly fierce bombing last week, followed by a ground campaign this week. Washington says Moscow and Damascus are guilty of war crimes for targeting civilians, hospitals, rescue workers and aid deliveries, to break the will of residents and force them to surrender. Syria and Russia say they target only militants. Asked by a reporter at the UN whether Syria had bombed the two hospitals hit on Wednesday, Syrian ambassador Bashar Ja’afari appeared to laugh. The Syrian army said a Nusra position had been destroyed in Aleppo’s old quarter, and other militant-held areas targeted in “concentrated air strikes” near the city. Another hospital, M2, was damaged by bombardment in the al-Maadi district, where at least six people were killed while queuing for bread at a nearby bakery, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The collapse of the peace process leaves Pindo policy on Syria in tatters and is a personal blow to Jackass Kerry, who spoke to Lavrov on Wednesday.

Assad’s Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah allies have said in recent days the war will be won in combat. But the rebels remain a potent military force even as they have lost control of urban areas. The collapse of peace efforts ends a proposed scheme to separate Western-backed fighters from hardened Jihadis. It has also raised the question of whether the Turks, Toads & Thanis will increase military backing to rebels. The rebels’ main demand has long been for the provision of anti-aircraft missiles, but Washington has resisted this, fearing they could end up in the hands of Jihadis. Pindo boxtops told Reuters in Washington that the collapse of the Syrian ceasefire had heightened the possibility that the Toads might arm rebels with SAMs. A senior rebel commander said it was not out of the question that this could happen. He said:

The Pindosis might thinking about doing something, but nobody knows how big it will be.

Another rebel commander, Colonel Fares al-Bayoush, told Reuters his group had received deliveries of Grad surface-to-surface rockets, with a range of 22-40 km, in “excellent quantities.” Fierce fighting accompanied by air strikes was reported on Wednesday in northern Hama province between Syrian government and allied forces trying to recapture territory lost to insurgents this week, and rebels who made some advances, the Observatory and a rebel group said. A senior official in Aleppo-based rebel group said pro-government forces were mobilizing in apparent preparation for more ground attacks in central areas of the city. A Nusra fighter told Reuters:

There have been clashes in al-Suweiqa from 5 am until now. The army advanced a little bit, and the guys are now repelling it, God willing.

Another rebel official, Zakaria Malahifij, head of the political office of the Fastaqim group, said from Turkey:

Government forces are attacking the Handarat refugee camp a few kilometers to the north of Aleppo. It doesn’t seem that their operation in the old city is the primary operation, it seems like a diversionary one so that the regime consumes the people on that front and advances in the camp.

France wants UNSCR on Aleppo to ‘force Russia’s hand’
John Irish, Michelle Nichols, Reuters, Sep 28 2016

PARIS/ UN – France’s foreign minister said on Wednesday he was working to put forward a UNSCR for a ceasefire in Aleppo, and that any country that opposed it would be deemed complicit in war crimes. Speaking to the French Parliament, Jean-Marc Ayrault accused Syria, backed by Russia and Iran, of carrying out an “all-out war” on its people, something that Paris could not sit by idly watching. Ayrault said:

At this very moment, we are proposing to discuss a resolution to obtain a ceasefire in Aleppo. This resolution will leave everyone facing their responsibilities: those who don’t vote for it, risk being held responsible for complicity in war crimes. We will not let Aleppo become the Guernica of the 21st century.

A senior French diplomatic source said Paris had prepared a text that it wanted to discuss with Britain and Pindostan before presenting it to the Russians. He said:

The idea is not to get a Russian veto, but to have a proper discussion with them on ending the violence, enabling humanitarian access and putting a mechanism in place to enforce the ceasefire. If they don’t play the game, then we will have no qualms taking this to the UNSC even if it means a Russian veto.

Britain’s deputy UN Ambassador Peter Wilson said diplomats were looking to “move on this as quickly as we possibly can.” A senior council diplomat said it was time to force Moscow’s hand. He said:

We’re trying to embarrass Russia into doing the right thing on the ground. Our priority is action on the ground. If that doesn’t work then I think we’re back in the UNSC.

France has also been pushing for a separate UNSCR after a joint investigation by the UN and the global chemical weapons watchdog OPCW found that Syrian government troops were responsible for two toxic gas attacks and Daesh used sulfur mustard gas. Ayrault said:

The UNSC must condemn the use of chemical weapons under chapter (AUMF – RB).

Pindostan gives Russia ultimatum to halt Aleppo attacks
Deutsche Welle, Sep 28 2016

In a telephone call with Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday following a brutal regime offensive against rebels in Aleppo, Jackass Kerry threatened to end Washington’s engagement with Russia in Syria. State Dept spox Adm (retd) Kirby said:

He informed the foreign minister that Pindostan is making preparations to suspend Pindo-Russia bilateral engagement on Syria … unless Russia takes immediate steps to end the assault on Aleppo and restore the cessation of hostilities. He made clear that Pindostan and its vassals hold Russia responsible for this situation, including the use of incendiary and bunker buster bombs in an urban environment, a drastic escalation that puts civilians at risk.

Shortly after his comments, the Russian military said in a statement it was “ready to continue joint work with our Pindosi partners on the Syrian issue” and send a delegation to Geneva to “relaunch consultations.” Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday described the onslaught of rebel-held Aleppo as worse than a “slaughterhouse” saying:

Those using ever more destructive weapons know exactly what they are doing. They know they are committing war crimes. Deliberate attacks on hospitals are war crimes. Denying people access to essential health care violates international humanitarian law.

Earlier Wednesday, airstrikes and shelling destroyed two out of the eight remaining hospitals in rebel-held Aleppo.

Pindostan has discussed non-diplomatic responses to Syria violence: State Dept
Reuters, Sep 28 2016

The Pindo administration has discussed non-diplomatic options to respond to the violence in Syria after the collapse of the ceasefire, a State Dept spokesman said on Wednesday, but he declined to say what the options might be. Adm (Retd) Kirby said thast boxtops involved in the interagency process that deals with national security had discussed other options “that don’t revolve around diplomacy” to address the situation in Syria. Kirby also said Russia had an interest in stopping the violence in Syria because extremists could exploit the vacuum to attack Russian interests or Russian cities.

Russia says ready to continue to work with Pindostan on Syria
Reuters, Sep 28 2016

Russia said on Wednesday it was ready to work with Pindostan on Syria and would soon send experts to Geneva for talks with Pindo counterparts. The ministry quoted Lt-Gen V Poznikhir as saying in a statement the initiative was a result of a telephone call earlier on Wednesday between Sergei Lavrov and Jackass Kerry. Poznikhir said:

The Russian Defence Ministry and the Foreign Ministry, on instructions from the President of the Russian Federation, are ready for further continuation of the joint work with our American partners on the Syrian problem. We count on our Pindostani partners to be ready to work together (with us). The situation in Syria has deteriorated significantly. Opposition groups, taking advantage of the seven-day truce, have replenished ammunition and weapons reserves, regrouped and moved to active offensive operations to capture new territories. Russia has also learned that terrorist groups are preparing chemical weapons attacks on the Syrian army and residential areas in the eastern part of Aleppo. But delivery of humanitarian aid to the most affected areas is being carried out.

SNC: Political solution “no longer viable option” in Syria
Reuters, Sep 28 2016

BEIRUT – The opposition Syrian National Coalition (SNC) said on Wednesday a political solution was “no longer a viable option” for the Syrian conflict. Muwaffaq Nyrabiya, vice-president of the Turkey-based SNC, said in a statement:

The armed Syrian opposition will be considering all options to defend the Syrian people against the Russian aggression on Syria. The armed and political oppositions are working on closing ranks and arranging their priorities in light of the fierce military campaign waged by the regime and its allies and their violations of international resolutions.

lying turds train labour activists, well, maybe

Jewish activists criticize Labour anti-Semitism training
Asa Winstanley, Electronic Intifada, Sep 28 2016

160928-jackie-walkerJackie Walker (center right) at a meeting in June. (Momentum Brighton and Hove)

The vice chair of the Jeremy Corbyn support campaign Momentum has slammed as an “outrage” a training session at the Labour Party conference which conflated criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. Anti-racism activist Jackie Walker, who is Jewish and Black, attended the Jewish Labour Movement training session along with other individuals active in the Palestine solidarity movement, including boycott activist Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi and London School of Economics professor Jonathan Rosenhead, who told EI on Wednesday that the group, all of whom were Jewish, were “concerned to understand how the Jewish Labour Movement thought training on anti-Semitism should be carried out, but became aware of serious defects.” EI observed the session, which was part of the official program at the Labour Party annual conference in Liverpool. The group did not heckle or interrupt, but asked questions when invited by the speaker. But others in the room did heckle these Jewish critics of the Jewish Labour Movement. Walker’s contribution was repeatedly interrupted, in one instance by mocking laughter. Speaking to EI by phone on Wednesday, Walker slammed the JLM for apparently leaking a video of the training to right-wing media, as part of an ongoing campaign to have her suspended from the Labour Party for her political views. Earlier this year, she was briefly suspended before a successful campaign led to her reinstatement. Jewish Labour Movement vice chair Mike Katz ran the session. At one point, he claimed that the “standard” definition of anti-Semitism was the “EUMC definition.” Many in the room immediately objected. In fact, the 2005 EUMC discussion paper on anti-Semitism has always been controversial. Critics of the EUMC paper have always said it was not suitable because it conflated anti-Semitism with criticism of Zionism. It proposed that any claim that the foundation of Israel was a “racist endeavor” was tantamount to anti-Semitism. Despite never being formally endorsed by the EU agency, the paper has long been promoted by pro-Israel groups, who pressure governments and institutions to adopt it officially. In 2013, the Simon Wiesenthal Center conceded that the EUMC definition had no official status and had been ditched by the Fundamental Rights Agency, the EUMC’s successor. Speaking to The Electronic Intifada, Momentum’s Jackie Walker accused the JLM of a potential breach of UK data protection laws. EI observed JLM campaigns officer and Labour councillor Adam Langleben filming Walker during the training. The Daily Telegraph published a story on Wednesday attacking Walker, with the apparent intent of having her suspended from the party:

A number of people made comments in a private training session run by the Jewish Labour Movement. As we all know, training sessions are intended to be safe spaces where ideas and questions can be explored. Anyone who goes to a Labour Party training space has to be careful what they say.

She accused the Jewish Labour Movement of running a “propaganda space” where those who dissented from its views supporting Israel were not welcome. In the training, Walker said:

In terms of Holocaust Day I would also like to say, wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust Day was open to all peoples who have experienced holocaust?

This statement, and an obviously mistyped tweet that Walker quickly corrected were seized upon as part of what looks like a renewed effort to expel her from the party.

Walker said of a potential suspension or expulsion:

If they do I’ll fight it.

She pointed to a definition given by UK comedian David Schneider as one she endorsed. She said:

In the session, a number of Jewish people, including me, asked for definitions of anti-Semitism. This is a subject of much debate in the Jewish community. I would never play down the significance of the Shoah [Holocaust]. Working with many Jewish comrades, I continue to seek to bring greater awareness of other genocides, which are too often forgotten or minimized. If offense has been caused, it is the last thing I would want to do and I apologize.

LSE professor Jonathan Rosenhead told EI that Walker, who spoke on panels at a Momentum event during the conference, was “a deeply serious person who impressed the entire audience with her commitment and indeed her balanced perspective which included the treatment of BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic – RB) members as well as Jewish members. The UK’s government-endorsed Holocaust Memorial Day Trust does recognize other genocides apart from the Nazi Holocaust, although only after WW2. There seems to be no mention of the slave trade. It is estimated that 12.5 million people were transported out of Africa by transatlantic slave traders, of whom 10.7 million arrived in the American colonies alive. Walker recently fought off an effort to expel her from the party over comments on Facebook in which she referred to the Atlantic slave trade as an “African holocaust.” In May, she was cleared of anti-Semitism and the suspension of her Labour membership was lifted. The Jewish Labour Movement has faced intense criticism from Jewish Labour Party activists over its pro-Israel positions. Its new full-time director worked as an Israeli embassy officer for the last year. A speech by the the JLM’s Mike Katz was heckled by Jewish Palestine solidarity activists on Tuesday.

Glyn Secker told EI that he and Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi had said:

We’re Jewish, you don’t represent all Jews in the Labour Party.

3648 Jeremy Newmark, the chair of the JLM

Momentum vice-chair under pressure to resign over anti-Semitism row
Jessica Elgot, Graun, Sep 28 2016

Momentum’s vice-chair, Jackie Walker, is facing calls to resign after she incorrectly criticised Holocaust Memorial Day at a party anti-Semitism training session for commemorating only Jewish victims. Walker also took issue with the definition of anti-Semitism used at the training event, which was organised for members at the annual Liverpool conference by the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM). She told organisers, heard in a recording of the event:

In terms of Holocaust day, wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust day was open to all people who experienced holocaust?

Holocaust Memorial Day is intended to commemorate all victims of the Nazi Holocaust, and other genocides, including atrocities in Bosnia and Rwanda. (No one else may use word ‘holohoax’ – RB). After shouts from participants, Walker said that was not how she viewed the event. She said:

In practice, it’s not actually circulated and advertised as such. I was looking for information and I still haven’t heard a definition of anti-Semitism that I can work with.

Walker was previously suspended from the Labour party after posting during a Facebook discussion that Jews were “chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade,” and arguing that “the Jewish Holocaust does not allow Zionists to do what they want.” She was readmitted to the party after an investigation. During the training event, Walker also questioned why Jewish organisations, including schools, said they needed high security to protect themselves from anti-Semitic attacks. She said:

I was a bit concerned by your suggestion that the Jewish community is under such threat that it has to use security in all its buildings. I have a grandson, he is a year old. There is security in his nursery and every school has security now. It’s not because I’m frightened or his parents are frightened that he is going to be attacked.

One participant replied:

Are ISIS going to attack your grandson like they attacked a school in Toulouse?

Jeremy Newmark, the chair of the JLM, said Walker should resign reconsider or resign from her position in Momentum. He said:

I am appalled that somebody who has already caused great hurt and pain to so many Jewish people by promoting an antisemitic myth would come to a training session designed to help party activists address antisemitism and use the occasion to challenge the legitimacy of the training itself. To denigrate security provision at Jewish schools, make false claims about the universality of national Holocaust Memorial Day and to challenge recognised definitions of antisemitism is provocative, offensive and a stark example of the problem facing the Labour party today. (She has) consistently failed to demonstrate any sensitivity to the impact of her words and actions upon the Jewish community. She must now consider her position, show some sensitivity and contrition or resign.

The training event on Tuesday was an official party module on “confronting antisemitism and engaging Jewish voters”, an outcome of one of the recommendations in the report into antisemitism in the party by the Labour peer Janet Royall. Momentum has not responded to a request for comment, but in a statement Walker denied questioning the need for security at Jewish schools and also apologised for any offence she may have caused. She said:

I did not raise a question on security in Jewish schools. The trainer raised this issue and I asked for clarification, in particular as all London primary schools, to my knowledge, have security and I did not understand the particular point the trainer was making. Having been a victim of racism, I would never play down the very real fears the Jewish community have, especially in light of recent attacks in France. In the session, a number of Jewish people, including me, asked for definitions of antisemitism. This is a subject of much debate in the Jewish community. I support David Schneider’s definition and utterly condemn antisemitism. I would never play down the significance of the Shoah. Working with many Jewish comrades, I continue to seek to bring greater awareness of other genocides, which are too often forgotten or minimised. If offence has been caused, it is the last thing I would want to do and I apologise.

down with the canary mission anonymous blackmail site

1,000 scholars condemn pro-Israel blacklist site
Nora Barrows-Friedman, Electronic Intifada, Sep 27 2016

More than 1,000 members of faculty have condemned a website that blacklists students and educators who criticize Israel. The scholars say in a statement initiated by students:

We reject the McCarthyist tactics used by Canary Mission. We urge our fellow admissions faculty, as well as university administrators, prospective employers and all others, to join us in … standing against such bullying and attempts to shut down civic engagement and freedom of speech.

The aim of the shadowy website, Canary Mission, is to punish students for their activism by harming their future academic and professional careers. Its anonymous administrators contact potential employers and graduate student admissions committees, claiming that the students are engaged in anti-Semitic bigotry and sympathy towards terrorism. The site is part of an increasing wave of tactics by right-wing groups on Pindo campuses intending to silence criticism of Israel. While Canary Mission’s creators hide behind anonymity, notorious Islamophobic demagogue Daniel Pipes admitted to Max Blumenthal and Julia Carmel that he knows who is responsible for the site. Pipes also acted as a go-between, conveying comments he said came from Canary Mission’s administrators to the journalists. Cynthia Franklin, an English professor at the University of Hawai’i (sic – RB) told EI:

(The statement is) a reassurance to students that faculty have their back on this. I really think it is incumbent on faculty to stand strongly in support of students and to do that in a very visible way, especially those of us with tenure.

Franklin helped author the statement along with other scholars, students and members of JVP, which has previously said:

JVP advises potential employers, university administrators and other outside parties to disregard Canary Mission because it is not a legitimate source for student or faculty recommendation or evaluation.

While some students have felt a chilling effect on their public activism after being targeted by Canary Mission, others are speaking out. Franklin, who is also a member of FJP, said:

There’s been a split between graduate students who are so appalled by the ugliness of these tactics who are willing to say, ‘we’re not going to be silenced by this’ and those who have family in Palestine who worry that they will not be able to get home.

Recent graduate Sumaya Awad, a founding member of SJP at Williams College, told EI:

As Palestine solidarity activism and the BDS movement continue to gain support, the existence of sites like Canary Mission proves that activists are creating a threat for Israel-aligned groups. Their fear is what’s causing them to react this way. It should be a push for us to continue the struggle forward, to continue connecting it to the different movements that already exist in Pindostan and elsewhere. Without any collective struggle against this site, and other blacklists that exist that are continuing to target people, this harassment and intimidation is just going to continue. I faced backlash from the very start both by the administration and various Israel-aligned groups on campus. I found out I was targeted by Canary Mission midway through my senior year. I scrolled through my profile, which very meticulously documented every single political activity I participated in at Williams and at Columbia University. I was very proud of all these things I had done. But then the very real world effects of Canary Mission started to sink in. The first thing that comes up on a search of my name is my Canary Mission profile. As a visible Muslim without Pindostani citizenship, I was overcome with constant dread over the profile and how it could impact my student or visa status. It was pretty terrifying that this is the first thing that employers would see if they googled me. We’re already living in a world ravaged with Islamophobia and discrimination. But I’m pleased to be part of a fight back. This is the way to combat this site and other sites of this sort, whether they are targeting Black Lives Matter activists or Muslims.

David Lloyd, a professor at UC Riverside, told EI:

Some students have faced attacks by anonymous users of the website who have threatened them with violence and sexual assault. For women students in particular, this is a very threatening place to end up. The website’s creators are covered by their anonymity and they’re attacking people who have had the courage to speak out on a controversial issue. Far from repelling graduate admissions committees or potential employers, the fact of someone’s engagement with social justice issues would actually be a sign of the very qualities one wants to include in a graduate program.

syrian sanctions

Pindo & Euro sanctions are punishing ordinary Syrians and crippling aid work UN report reveals
Rania Khalek, Intercept, Sep 28 2016

Internal UN assessments obtained by The Intercept reveal that Pindo and Euro sanctions are punishing ordinary Syrians and crippling aid work during the largest humanitarian emergency since WW2. The sanctions and war have destabilized every sector of Syria’s economy, transforming a once self-sufficient country into an aid-dependent nation. But aid is hard to come by, with sanctions blocking access to blood safety equipment, medicines, medical devices, food, fuel, water pumps, spare parts for power plants, and more. In a 40-page internal assessment commissioned to analyze the humanitarian impact of the sanctions, the UN describes that Euro & Pindo measures as “some of the most complicated and far-reaching sanctions regimes ever imposed.” Detailing a complex system of “unpredictable and time-consuming” financial restrictions and licensing requirements, the report finds that Pindo sanctions are exceptionally harsh “regarding provision of humanitarian aid.” Pindo sanctions on Syrian banks have made the transfer of funds into the country nearly impossible. Even when a transaction is legal, banks are reluctant to process funds related to Syria for risk of incurring violation fees. This has given rise to an unofficial and unregulated network of money exchanges that lacks transparency, making it easier for extremist groups like Daesh & AQ to divert funds undetected. The difficulty of transferring money is also preventing aid groups from paying local staff and suppliers, which has “delayed or prevented the delivery of development assistance in both government and besieged areas,” according to the report.

Trade restrictions on Syria are even more convoluted. Items that contain 10% or more of Pindo content, including medical devices, are banned from export to Syria. Aid groups wishing to bypass this rule have to apply for a special license, but the licensing bureaucracy is a nightmare to navigate, often requiring expensive lawyers that cost far more than the items being exported. Syria was first subjected to sanctions in 1979, after Pindostan designated the Syrian government as a state sponsor of terrorism. More sanctions were added in subsequent years, though none more extreme than the restrictions imposed in 2011 in response to the Syrian government’s deadly crackdown on protesters. In 2013 the sanctions were eased but only in opposition areas. Around the same time, the CIA began directly shipping weapons to armed insurgents at a colossal cost of nearly $1b/yr, effectively adding fuel to the conflict while Pindo sanctions obstructed emergency assistance to civilians caught in the crossfire. An internal UN email obtained by The Intercept also faults Pindo and EU sanctions for contributing to food shortages and deteriorations in health care. The August email from a key UN official warned that sanctions had contributed to a doubling in fuel prices in 18 months and a 40% drop in wheat production since 2010, causing the price of wheat flour to soar by 300% and rice by 650%. The email went on to cite sanctions as a “principal factor” in the erosion of Syria’s health care system. Medicine-producing factories that haven’t been completely destroyed by the fighting have been forced to close because of sanctions-related restrictions on raw materials and foreign currency, the email said.

As one NGO worker in Damascus told The Intercept, there are cars, buses, water systems, and power stations that are in serious need of repair all across the country, but it takes months to procure spare parts and there’s no time to wait. So aid groups opt for cheap Chinese options or big suppliers that have the proper licensing, but the big suppliers can charge as much as they want. If the price is unaffordable, systems break down and more and more people die from dirty water, preventable diseases, and a reduced quality of life. Such conditions would be devastating for any country. In war-torn Syria, where an estimated 13 million people are dependent on humanitarian assistance, the sanctions are compounding the chaos. In an emailed statement to The Intercept, the State Dept denied that the sanctions are hurting civilians. The statement recycled talking points that justified sanctions against Iraq in the 1990s. It said:

Pindo sanctions against Assad, his backers, and the regime deprive these actors of resources that could be used to further the bloody campaign Assad continues to wage against his own people. The true responsibility for the dire humanitarian situation lies squarely with Assad, who has repeatedly denied access and attacked aid workers. He has the ability to relieve this suffering at any time, should he meet his commitment to provide full, sustained access for delivery of humanitarian assistance in areas that the UN has determined need it.

Pindostan continued to rationalize the Iraq sanctions even after a report was released by UNICEF in 1999 that showed a doubling in mortality rates for children under the age of 5 after sanctions were imposed in the wake of the Gulf War, and the death of 500,000 children. (About which Madeline Albright remarked, “We think it’s worth it.” – RB) Meanwhile, in cities controlled by Daesh, Pindostan has employed some of the same tactics it condemns. For example, Pindostan-backed ground forces laid siegeto Manbij, a city in northern Syria not far from Aleppo that is home to tens of thousands of civilians. Pindo airstrikes pounded the city over the summer, killing up to 125 civilians in a single attack. Pindostan replicated this strategy to drive Daesh out of KobaneRamadi, and Fallujah, leaving behindflattened neighborhoods. In Fallujah, residents resorted to eating soup made from grass and 140 people reportedly died from lack of food and medicine during the siege.
Humanitarian concerns aside, the sanctions are not achieving their objectives. Five years of devastating civil war and strict economic sanctions have plunged over 80% of Syrians into poverty, up from 28% in 2010. Ferdinand Arslanian, a scholar at the Center for Syrian Studies at the University of St Andrews, says that reduction in living standards and aid dependency is empowering the regime. He said:

Aid is now an essential part of the Syrian economy and sanctions give regime cronies in Syria the ability to monopolize access to goods. It makes everyone reliant on the government. This was the case in Iraq, with the food-for-oil system.

Despite the failure of sanctions, opposition advocates are agitating for even harsher measures that would extend sanctions to anyone who does business with the Syrian government. This, of course, would translate into sanctions against Russia. Joshua Landis of the University of Oklahoma says:

Sanctions have a terrible effect on the people more than the regime and Washington knows this from Iraq. But there’s pressure in Washington to do something and sanctions look like you’re doing something. The opposition likes sanctions. They were the people who advocated them in the beginning, because they want to put any pressure they can on the regime. But it’s very clear that the regime is not going to fall, that the sanctions are not working. They’re only immiserating a population that’s already suffered terrible declines in their per capita GDP.

edgar broughton: “american boy soldier” (1970 bremen tv)

useful obedient timing (RT says converse, of course)

MH17 was shot down by Russian missile fired from rebel-held area: prosecutors
Toby Sterling, Anthony Deutsch, Reuters, Sep 2016

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NIEUWEGEIN, NETHERLANDS – A Malaysian airliner shot down in eastern Ukraine was hit by a Russian-made Buk missile launched from a village held by rebels fighting Ukrainian government forces, international prosecutors said on Wednesday. The findings challenge Moscow’s suggestion that Malaysia Airlines flight 17, en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur in Jul 2014, was brought down by the Ukrainian military. The Buk missile system used to shoot down the plane fired one missile from the village of Pervomaysk and was later returned to Russia, said the prosecutors, from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine. They told a news conference in the central Dutch city of Nieuwegein that the investigative team had identified 100 people who were described as being of interest to them but had not yet been formally identified individual suspects. It was not clear whether an order had been given for fighters to launch the missile or whether they had acted independently, the prosecutors said. A civilian investigation by the Dutch Safety Board also concluded last year that MH17 was hit by a Buk missile fired from eastern Ukraine, but Moscow denied that pro-Russian rebels were responsible. Repeating those denials on Wednesday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said:

First-hand radar data identified all flying objects which could have been launched or were in the air over the territory controlled by rebels at that moment. The data are clear-cut. There is no rocket. If there was a rocket, it could only have been fired from elsewhere.

The investigators said they had not had access to bothered to look at the new radar images on which Moscow was basing its latest statements. Prosecutors cannot file charges because there is no international agreement on what court a case would be heard in. The downing played a significant part in a decision by the EU and Pindostan to impose sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine conflict. Ukrainian and Western officials, citing intelligence intercepts, have blamed pro-Russian rebels for the incident. Russia has always denied direct involvement in the Ukraine conflict and rejects responsibility for the destruction of MH17. Prosecutors have sought legal assistance from Moscow since Oct 2014, and visited in person for a week in July. They said in a statement at the time:

Russian authorities have offered information in the past, but have not answered all questions.

Russian radar data shows no missile attack on MH17 from rebel side, indicates Ukraine involvement
RT.com, Sep 26 2016

Newly discovered raw data picked up by a civilian radar station on the day of the crash shows no signs of a missile being fired at the plane from territory controlled by rebels, the Russian military and radar producer said. The existence of raw data was announced last week by Almaz-Antey, the producer of the Buk missile system. The system is believed by an international investigation to have caused the 2014 crash over Ukraine. One of Almaz-Antey’s subsidiaries is the producer of the Utyos-T civilian radar station. One such station is deployed near Ust-Donetsky village in western Russia. According to Almaz-Antey, memory chips from that station were replaced in Jul 2014, shortly after the tragic incident, and were discovered recently. Until now no raw radar data of the situation around MH17 at the time it was destroyed was thought to exist. The Lianozovsky Electromechanical Plant, the producer of Utyos-T, presented the raw data on Monday at a media briefing in Moscow. The data showed three civilian aircraft in the vicinity, including the MH17. The one closest to it was flying about 30km from the Malaysian Boeing at the time it was shot down. Viktor Meshcheryakov, the company’s chief radar designer:

The Ust-Donetsky radar picked up no foreign objects near the Malaysian plane which could have caused its destruction.

This contradicts the scenario maintained by Kiev, under which a Buk missile could have been fired from the rebel-controlled village of Snezhnoye. The missile could have not been picked up by the radar if it had approached from a direction along the line connecting the radar station and the airliner, Meshcheryakov noted. Gen Andrey Koban, the head of the Russian Air Forces’ radar troops, said the Russian civilian radar easily located an Orlan-10 surveillance drone circling closer to the Russian-Ukrainian border over Russian territory at the time of the incident. A Buk missile would have been easier to detect than the drone, he said. The Russian military said Ukraine’s refusal to publish its radar data, the positions of air defense batteries it had deployed in the area, and communications between MH17 and the Ukrainian traffic controller directing its flight towards the rebel-held areas in eastern Ukraine, made it look suspicious. The general said:

The Ukrainian side has air situation data in the area of the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 crash from both civilian and military sources. The fact that Ukraine has not published radar data leads us to the conjecture that the missile, if it was a Buk, was launched from territory under the control of the Ukrainian military.

It resembles the way Ukraine acted in 2001 after shooting down a Russian plane flying from Israel over the Black Sea, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said during the briefing. The shooting down of Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 in Oct 2001 claimed 78 lives but, Gen Igor Konashenkov said:

Despite irrefutable facts that put the blame for the Tu-154 crash on the Ukrainian military, Ukraine refused to take any responsibility.

Kiev and its sponsors have accused Russia of supporting the rebels with arms, including the Buk missile which shot down the Boeing. Russia has denied the allegations and says that the evidence which Pindostan claimed to have, such as the satellite images reportedly showing the launch of the missile, was never made public for scrutiny. The Joint Investigation Team, which is meant to provide court-admissible evidence relating to the MH17 case, is to present the first results of its probe on Sep 28. Ukraine is part of the team, although Russia is not. Earlier a technical report into the crash confirmed that it was hit by an anti-aircraft missile.

allah & the CIA have always been close friends

a useful (if hostile) history of the so-called ‘alt right’

Defining the Alt Right and the New American Fascism
Shane Burley, Counterpunch. Sep 28 2016

As Hillary Clinton gripped the podium in Truckee Meadows Community College, she jumped from a jovial introduction into a line of rhetoric that was almost frantic in delivery. Until now she had walked a line on calling out Donald Trump’s racism, a choice that made sense since his racially motivated quips had actually propelled his rise. Instead, her focus had been to make inroads with the left populism of the Bernie Sanders camp before going after low-hanging fruit. Trump’s “dog megaphone” racial language had finally seen a tipping point, and the Clinton campaign decided to run a campaign ad and delivery a speech outlining Trump’s KKK support, the champion he has found at Breitbart and Infowars, and his Internet fandom on the Alt Right.

Race-baiting ideas. Anti-Muslim and anti-Immigrant ideas, all key tenets making up an emerging racist ideology known as the ‘Alt Right.’

Hillary went on to discuss the Breitbart and Alex Jones connection to the Alt Right, going after the conspiratorial claims of Infowars and offensive headlines at Breitbart that were especially hateful towards women. She drew a straight line between the social media culture of the Alt Right white nationalism and the populism of Trump, making the angry racism bubbling over at his campaign appearances a key point of her counter-strategy. For those who have been watching the growth of the Alt Right as a frightening evolution of fascist politics, her unequivocal identification of their role could be seen as vindicating. At the same time, while media outlets are scrambling to figure out how a fringe political movement threatens to sway a Presidential election, most are confused as to where the movement came from, how it relates to conservative media empires like Breitbart, and how to break down its ideology.

Dissidents to the Right
The Alt Right saw its earliest beginnings as a growing dissident movement at the end of paleocondom began coalescing around explicitly racial politics and the influence of European New Right philosophy. Richard Spencer, a former Assistant Editor at the Pindosi Conservative who had moved on to Taki’s Magazine, coined the term along with right-wing academic Paul Gottfried. Both had been involved in the H L Menken Club, a proto-White Nationalist organization that attracted people like VDare founder Peter Brimelow, paleocon ideologue Pat Buchanan, and advocates of race and IQ arguments like Steve Sailer. Within this world, Spencer noticed a growing disaffection with conservative politics, which had become the territory of neocondom and hawkish foreign policy. Instead, Spencer idolized the “Old Right” class of isolationism, the aristocratic conservatism of people like Madison Grant, and often considered himself more an acolyte of Friedrich Nietzsche than William Buckley. He used to jokingly refer to himself as a Nietzschecon. Inside of these circles he was meeting hardline libertarians, radical Traditionalist (capital ‘T’ connotes Guenon – RB) Catholics, heathens returning to pre-Christian European religions, race realists, eugenics proponents, and other people who were more right wing than they were “conservative” in the Pindosi (sheeple – RB) sense. It was with this thrust that he left Taki to create Alternative Right, a webzine that would bring together these dissident forces under a “big tent” of far right wing ideas. In its first few years it gained prominence by publishing people like Jason Richwine, who lost his position at the Heritage Foundation after his Harvard dissertation surfaced where he cited “racial differences in intelligence.” Since then the term Alt Right has gone on to signify a certain type of politic, namely a form of white nationalism that attempts to define itself as an intellectual movement with a hip internet culture. Instead of the blue-collar roots of many white nationalist movements of Pindosi history, the Alt Right had more in common with the neo-fascist intellectual and political traditions in Europe. As the movement grew and diversified, it became a catch-all for an Internet-focused White Nationalism that more and more relied on internal jargon, key philosophers, and a few central tenets.

Race is Their Politics
It was not until places like The Right Stuff entered the foray that the Alt Right became the Twitter-force that we know it today. The Right Stuff and its signature podcast The Daily Shoah was birthed in message-boards and private Facebook groups by men dissenting from radical libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism. Heading into a racialist mindset, they wanted to take the fun they had with “shock jock” radio shows like Opie and Anthony and give them a white nationalist groove. With their signature podcast The Daily Shoah they wanted to mock Jewish claims that another Holocaust could be brewing, and they were dedicated to sacrificing all the sacred cows of contemporary liberalism. In doing so they took the intellectual currents that the Alternative Right had built its philosophical underpinnings on and reclaimed a casual racism along with it. Racial slurs, Holocaust Denial, genocide jokes, and trolling attacks on leftist writers would all be a part of their tools. Since they relied on anonymity and catchy memes they did not have to take part in the consequences these views often hurled on their proponents. While the Daily Shoah helped to popularize many of the key Alt Right talking points, Pindosi Renaissance (AmRen) had been crafting that message for twenty years. Begun in 1990 by former West Coast editor for PC Magazine Jared Taylor, AmRen was founded to be a voice for the newest stage of the White Nationalist movement. Focusing on what they called “race realism,” the newsletter published studies on race and IQ by blacklisted (by whom? – RB) scientists like J Philippe Rushton and Richard Lynn. Once they founded their conference in 1994, they rode the wave of The Bell Curve into becoming a focal point for arguments about black crime, intelligence, sexual restraint, and ability to create “civilization.”

Right from the start AmRen did something that most white nationalists never dreamed of: they invited Jews. Over the years their speakers have included nationalist politicians from Europe, former beltway conservatives like John Derbyshire and Sam Francis, and have had a range of people from controversial university professors to racist radicals. It was AmRen that helped give the growing Twitter army its baseline ideas about race, crystalizing talking points that they could shoot out to “prove” the perils of diversity or the mental differences between ethnic populations. This segment of the Alt Right really developed on its own through the power of social media, mainstreaming the ideas of AmRen through the hyper-offensive language of The Daily Shoah. The ideas, both race realist and politically nationalist, were crystalized once Richard Spencer took over the National Policy Institute. Here he created an entire “indentitarian” brand, launching the Radix Journal and using its publishing wing, Washington Summit Publishers, to give a voice to controversial philosophers. Spencer’s notion was to take many of the “meta-political” approaches that European nationalists had developed over the years, building an “intellectual movement” that could be a sort of “Frankfurt School of the radical right.” Besides AmRen, the National Policy Institute’s conference became a “who’s who” of the Alt Right, mixing the snark of The Right Stuff with the prowess of European fascist academics like Alain De Benoit. Over the years NPI has only grown, including musicians from the edge of the neo-folk music scene, long criticized (by whom? – RB) for its connection to fascist organization and “folkish” European pagan revivals. At this November’s upcoming conference they will even host Asian reality star Tila Tequila, who in recent years has become open with her anti-black racism, Holocaust Denial, and flat earth theories. Though Spencer wants to brand the Alt Right as something akin to serious political movement, even he cannot reject the appeal of celebrity.

The Essence of the Alt Right
As Alternative Right headed into its own, and its podcast Vanguard Radio became popular in the growing Alt Right scene, Spencer was pressed about what the “essence” of the Alt Right was. He was able to answer that without much trepidation: inequality. Whether it was joining National Anarchist Keith Preston on Voice of Reason Radio or speaking to the Traditionalist Britain Group, he noted that the Alt Right was built on the truth that “all men were created unequal.” In Jared Taylor’s most recent video attempting to define the Alt Right in response to the giant wave of traffic his websites had garnered, he said that while it was a range of perspectives, “They all agree about one thing: equality is a dangerous myth.” This focus on inequality is the broadest agreed-upon position in the Alt Right, where the say that egalitarian thinking is a war on the “distinction” between peoples. People are unequal as individuals within racial groups, and racial groups themselves are unequal when compared to each other. This comes down to one of the key political precepts of the movement, agreed upon no matter if they identify as Nazis, neo-monarchists, or neo-reactionaries. A society is healthier when it has strict hierarchies, castes, and stratifications. The distinctions they cite are solidified in the racial nationalism that has become central to the Alt Right. As the confusion has grown between the traditional Alt Right and what they are calling the “Alt Lite,” which is outlets and individuals mainstreaming their message in a softer form such as Milo Yiannopoulos and Breitbart, many places like the Radix Journal, The Right Stuff, and The Daily Stormer have fought to make their more extreme ideological positions clear in the Alt Right brand.

Greg Johnson, the publisher behind the Alt Right book house and website Counter Currents, published an article recently called The Alt Right is White Nationalism … Or It Is Nothing. This White Nationalist perspective, the idea that white people should live in a monoracial “ethnostate,” is monolithic within the Alt Right. While they often state that they support racial nationalisms for other groups, they are clear that this is a White movement for White people. This focus on inequality and racial nationalism comes together in the common acceptance of Human Biological Diversity, a term coined by Steve Sailer to update a movement previously known as race realism. This is the notion that different racial groups have had recent evolution that has given them different innate qualities. Unsurprisingly, white nationalists attempt to prove that black people have innately lower IQs, are more prone to crime and sexual violence, and do not have the genetic gifts necessary to build “Western civilization.” They are continuing to resurrect discredited (by whom? – RB) theories about eugenics, the biological essentialist differences between men and women, and the belief that we need an aristocratic elite caste to rule the masses that are of a lower intellectual and spiritual level. The racial ladder used often puts African descended folks and Australian Aborigines at the bottom, with whites towards the middle and East Asian people far above them. The top spot, however, is saved for Ashkenazi Jews, which edges at the source of the anti-Semitism that is a staple in the Alt Right. As people have seen with the (((echo))) meme and other caricatures of Jews, the conspiracy-laden rhetoric that Alt Right trolls recycle is the same that led up to Kristallnacht. Jews are seen as powerful players in government, finance, and media, using “degeneracies” degeneration (Max Nordau’s title – RB) and multiculturalism to undermine Western host societies.

A World of White National Empire

This anti-Semitism has taken a few steps further as they have centered on a few anti-Semitic tracts, specifically by former University of California at Long Beach professor Kevin MacDonald. Over the course of several books, MacDonald put out a theory that Judaism was a “group evolutionary strategy” to beat out other ethnic groups for vital resources and social standing. This plays largely into the Alt Right’s notion of geopolitics where global conflicts can be reduced to ethnic sectarian conflicts, manifesting both as consciously and unconsciously racial wars. MacDonald proposes that Jews use their high IQs and ethnocentric values to create ideological smokescreens that penetrate the “healthy racial consciousness” of European whites. This would be the source of capitalism, communism, Freudianism, the Frankfurt School, and, of course, mass immigration. While this may sound like the ranting from the back row of the Internet, it is central to almost all the most popular Alt Right commentators, from The Right Stuff to Millennial Woes. In a macro sense, there is some disagreement inside of the Alt Right as to where they would like to be once the modern world has been brushed away. The neo-reactionaries often glow about a time of monarchism before the French Revolution wiped away natural castes. Many of the racial pagans want to reignite the Viking warrior spirit, or return to the sacrificial steps of the Roman Empire. While the specifics vary, it is usually a type of “traditionalism” that they argue, returning to an ethnically homogenous society where the traditional family reigns, women knew their places, and there was a clear, and enforced, hierarchy.

Esoteric philosopher Julius Evola has become a favorite, as he has been in some of the most extreme movements in European nationalist terrorism. His view of the world, based on a reading of the Vedic prophecies, was that we were in the Kali Yuga, or Dark Age when proper hierarchies have been abandoned and degeneracy runs wild. Many on the Alt Right stand with a similar assessment, wanting to return to a priestly age, a palingenetic mythic past that, historically, exists only in their minds. Their view is often that the West is a culture that is genetically linked to European descended peoples. Through this vision, which is also echoed by establishment voices like Pat Buchanan, they have resurrected far-right writers like Oswald Spengler. In his book The Decline of the West, Spengler outlined an apocalyptic vision where the uniqueness of Europe would be destroyed by non-white immigration at the hands of the Jews. Through the Alt Right’s attempt to create an academic canon similar to left-wing intellectual traditions there has been an effort to dig even deeper into some of the more marginalized philosophical traditions. The Conservative Revolution that influenced the nationalist cauldron that formed the National Socialist movement has been key, as have the alternative vision of traditional ethnocentric living offered up by French authors like Guillaume Faye.

A Uniquely Pindosi History
While they bring their philosophical character from Europe, their growing ideological kernel started from inside of the Pindosi Conservative Movement. The National Policy Institute was originally founded around the ideas of Sam Francis, a paleocon author made a move to explicit White Nationalism and traditionalism. Francis really made a name for himself at the Washington Times and with the National Review crowd, but his connections to Pindo Renaissance and the Council of Conservative Citizens could no longer be ignored after making statements in his regular column condemning miscegenation. Even today his books are being put into print by Spencer and Washington Summit Publishers, a move that helps the Alt Right to carve out its own niche as a mix of different fascist ideologies with the edges of the paleocondom. Though the paleocon movement may have hit a high-water mark with the 1992 Pat Buchanan Presidential bid, there are still echoes of it in mainstream conservatism through places like the Pindosi Conservative and National Review. The hardline racialist elements dissipated into the Alt Right, leaving behind the strong libertarianism for Ron Paul and the Mises Institute. While those most racially inclined from paleocondom headed into the white nationalist institutions that have evolved into the Alt Right, the same can be said for most explicitly racist organizations as well. Though appearing new, the most organized and ideological of these Alt Right institutions all trace directly through Pindostan’s racist history to moments where nationalism and nativism broke into the public mind. The White Citizens Councils, Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign, the National Youth Alliance, the Liberty Lobby, and David Duke are all features that have made their way into places like Pindosi Renaissance and the National Policy Institute. Combining with a new generation of tech-savvy angry white men they have found a new voice for old bigotries.

Ur-Fascism
When the ideas are put onto paper, when the principles are outlined in detail, they are indistinguishable from the KKK. In the recent slew of attention on the Alt Right, many commentators have put out videos and statements attempting to define it, especially to separate it from the more moderate “Alt Lite” phenomenon of Breitbart and Milo Yiannopoulos. Places like Counter-Currents, the Right Stuff, and the Daily Stormer agree: the Alt Right is defined by racial nationalism, the inequality of people and races, the need for traditional gender roles, the necessity of hierarchy and general anti-democracy, and anti-Semitism. When compared with screeching neo-Nazis waving swastika banners what separates the Alt Right is its tech-savvy adherent, clever memes, and upper-middle-class, college-educated constituencies. In the cleanest sense it can be described as the most updated and maintained stage in an ongoing fascist movement, one started in the interwar period as the crystalized political expression of the impulse towards reactionary violence and the reinstatement of traditional power. Most of history has treated fascism as a brief political movement defined by authoritarianism and a sort of “anti-philosophy,” but there are conscious social ideas that run at its core even if the associated populism is not as keyed into the philosophy. The Alt Right then represents those ideas becoming conscious, advocating for fascist politics in a 21st century, tech-dominated social technocratic society (a what? – RB).

Most fascist politics, especially specific sub-topics like race realism or anti-Semitism, need crossover points into the general culture. Anti-Semites in neo-Nazi circles did this for years by gaining entry into conspiracy theorist communities with Holocaust Denial, attempting to “teach the controversy” and to exploit a general distrust in dominant narratives about state and power. Inside of Palestinian support circles they have tried to activate latent anti-Semitism by confusing Israeli state policies with its Jewish citizenry, drawing historical caricatures and theories about Jewish power into the real political issues during the siege on the Gaza Strip and the settlements in the West Bank. People like David Duke have developed an entire career trying to exploit these gray areas, taking left talking points about Israel and supplementing a political critique with an anti-Jewish narrative. The Alt Right’s trolling has brought in many of the younger men who would be attracted to a “hip” reactionary current, one that has been developed on backchannel web boards and first made public in Men’s Rights and Pick-Up Artist sects. The space to mainstream Alt Right politics, their crossover point, has been found in the “edgeysphere” of Bretibart, Milo, Ann Coulter, and Donald Trump. This “Alt Lite” sector has provided them with enough of a political crossover to gain entry to the culture, popularizing terms like cuckservative and anti-feminist talking points while providing a stepping-stone to their own brand of White Nationalism. With this they can have a political outlet that is not burdened with their race and IQ arguments or Holocaust Denial right off the bat, but can inject their unique jargon and personality into general conservatism so that they can easily move new readers over to their more extreme corner. The growing popularity of Alt Lite websites and commentators has been so meteoric that it has even created a problem among the actual core Alt Right sources. While the Alt Lite softens their edges, it has also allowed many to dismiss the Alt Right talking points as unserious trolling and to even allow Jewish writers to don the Alt Right label. Richard Spencer, Greg Johnson of Counter Currents publishing, and the Right Stuff are all advocating for maintaining the hardline about Alt Right politics so as to keep the White Nationalism central.

Popular Anger
The Alt Right itself is seeing a moment of overwhelming attention unseen in decades of White Nationalist attempts at popular attention. Using the populism of Donald Trump and the white angst of a White working class that has been abandoned, they have created a cultural force that has the ability to influence both elections and racist street violence. With the ‘Trump Republican’ phenomenon they have been provided with shock troops that can grow their ranks and make their rhetoric more than just podcast banter. The question this inspires is what kind of longevity these movements actually have and what challenge the organized Left can present. This means re-engaging the White working class, creating a strong movement to undermine systemic and individual racism, and understanding the fundamental nature of the Alt Right. As their blogs multiply and more Twitter handles are injected with raw ideology, the left needs to be able to identify their politics clearly so that a movement can build to confront its fascism in the same way that anti-racist movements have challenged these ideas historically. What the Alt Right wants more than anything is to get its talking points into the culture and to create new converts without challenge. Now that they are gaining more clicks and headlines the anti-racist left needs to use this peak in web traffic and public awareness to shift the conversation from one of iconoclastic right-wing politics to the threat of impending fascist revolutionaries. As Black Lives Matter and indigenous solidarity movements grow, this creates a multiracial and multicultural base to build movements that can not only confront fringe racist movements like the Alt Right, but also to continue target institutional and interpersonal racism that echoes through our culture daily. The challenge to the Alt Right is baked into the ongoing struggle against racism, and now we have the tools to make that struggle just as conscious as the racist Right has become.

nice note at the end

Pentagon chief outlines US plans for nuclear war with Russia
Bill Van Auken, WSWS, Sep 28 2016

Ashtray Carter delivered a speech on Monday to “missileers” at the USAF Global Strike Command base in Minot, South Dakota, defending the massive modernization of the Pindo nuclear arsenal and issuing bellicose threats against Russia. His trip to Minot was the first he has taken to a nuclear missile base since becoming Sec Def in Feb 2015. It coincided with the steady escalation of conflicts pitting Pindostan against Russia and China. The thrust of Carter’s speech was a defense of the Pentagon’s proposed $348b plan to rebuild Washington’s so-called nuclear triad of strategic bombers, missiles and submarines. Estimates are that over a 30-year period, this nuclear buildup will siphon fully $1 trillion out of the Pindo economy. Delivered to the officers and enlisted personnel tasked with launching Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles, each carrying warheads with 60 times the destructive capacity of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the speech at times seemed to echo Dr Strangelove. He said:

(Nukes have provided) the bedrock of security (that has) enabled millions and millions to get up in the morning to go to school, to go to work, to live their lives, to dream their dreams and to give their children a better future… Given what we see in today’s security environment, it’s also likely that our children and their children will probably have to live in a world where nuclear weapons exist.

In reality, assuming the continuation of the present “security environment” and the continued existence of nuclear weapons, there is good reason to fear that the world will be incinerated in the lifetimes of “our children and their children.” While using the anodyne Pentagon jargon of “our nuclear enterprise” to refer to the Pentagon’s nuclear war arsenal, Carter’s speech contained passages hinting at the undeniable fact that the threat of a nuclear conflagration is now greater than at any time since the height of the Cold War. He warned:

In the more than seven decades since 1945, nuclear weapons have not again been used in war, that’s not something we can ever take for granted. In today’s security environment, one that’s dramatically different from the last generation, and certainly the generation before that, we face a nuclear landscape that continues to pose challenges … that continues to evolve, in some ways less predictably than during the Cold War, even though many around the world and even some in Pindostan are stuck in the Cold War in their thinking.

What has changed in the wake of the Cold War and the Stalinist bureaucracy’s dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 is the eruption of Pindo militarism, based on the conviction of the Pindo ruling establishment that, with the demise of the USSR, it could freely employ its military might in a bid to assert world hegemony and reverse the global economic decline of Pindo capitalism. The wars fought over the last quarter century, particularly in the Middle East, have produced a series of debacles and a world historic catastrophe for the peoples of the region. At the same time, they have metastasized into broader conflicts pitting the US ever more directly against Russia and China. In a press conference after his speech, Ashtray gave vent to the mounting frustration in Washington over the failure of its five-year-old proxy war for regime change in Syria. This has taken the form of ever more hysterical denunciations of Russia for “war crimes”; this from a government responsible for well over a million deaths in the region. Carter told the media:

What’s going on now in Syria is tragic, disgraceful, preventable, and as I think everyone around the world has been emphasizing over the weekend, Russia and the Syrian regime bear responsibility for the violence, particularly against civilians.

The real concern in Washington is not the loss of civilian lives, but rather the prospect that the Syrian government, backed by Russian airpower, is on the verge of overrunning east Aleppo. Attacking Russia in his speech, Ashtray said:

Moscow’s recent sabre-rattling and building of new nuclear weapons systems raises serious questions about its leaders’ commitment to strategic stability, their regard for long-established abhorrence of using nuclear weapons and whether they respect the profound caution that Cold War-era leaders showed with respect to brandishing nuclear weapons.

The Obama administration, which recently signalled its decision to abandon even the Democrat president’s pretense of renouncing a nuclear first strike as official Pindo policy, has attempted to portray Russia as responsible for igniting a new nuclear arms race. Given that Russia’s military budget is little more than one-tenth that of Pindostan, and less than that of the Toads, this amounts to an absurd pretext. The nuclear sabre-rattling is being carried out by the Pindo government, and Carter’s trip to Minot was part of it. He said:

(Strategic weapons) enable (ground forces) to accomplish their conventional missions around the world. As you know, they’re standing with our NATO vassals and standing up to Russia’s aggression in Europe.

He went on to operations in “the vital Asia-Pacific region,” “deterring North Korea’s provocations,” and “countering Iran’s malign activities in the Middle East.” Referring to the relentless Pindo-NATO military buildup against Russia, Ashtray declared:

Across the Atlantic, we’re refreshing NATO’s nuclear playbook to better integrate conventional and nuclear deterrence to ensure we plan and train like we’d fight and to deter Russia from thinking it can benefit from nuclear use in a conflict with NATO, from trying to escalate to de-escalate, as some there call it.

Pindostan and its NATO vassals are deploying thousands of troops on Russia’s western border and have created a 40,000-strong rapid reaction force in preparation for war. The stated commitment to “integrate conventional and nuclear” forces in this effort has placed the threat of nuclear war on a hair trigger. Last week, TASS quoted the commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force, Sergey Karakayev, as reporting that the latest Yars mobile ballistic missile systems are being deployed to the Tver region, the country’s westernmost ICBM command. Moscow is carrying out the deployment in response to Washington’s positioning of an antimissile defense system in Romania and plans to set up similar batteries in Poland. While the Pindo pretext is that the systems are directed against Iran, which has no nuclear weapons, Moscow sees the deployments as an attempt to make a first strike against Russia more feasible. It also charges that the ABM systems can easily be converted to fire short- and medium-range offensive nuclear missiles. In his speech Monday, Ashtray also made a brief reference to a Pentagon effort to boost morale among the military personnel assigned to launch a nuclear war, saying it was “bearing fruit.” In 2013 and 2014, over 100 officers and enlisted personnel at nuclear bases were implicated in a scandal involving drug abuse, cheating on proficiency tests and gross security violations. The nuclear war command also saw a series of top officers removed from their posts. The claim of improved morale was called into question, however, with the court martial in June of one member of the security forces at the F E Warren nuclear missile base in Wyoming on charges of using and distributing LSD. Fourteen other airmen have been suspended for suspected drug use there.

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Campaign Against Anti-Semitism demands ‘urgent action’ by Jeremy Corbyn to get tough on abuse
Rob Merrick, Sep 28 2016

Labour’s anti-Semitism problem has deepened, with new research suggesting almost nine in ten British Jews believe the party is soft on abuse. All other political parties scored far lower in the poll, which asked whether Jews believed they were guilty of leniency towards anti-Semites amongst MPs, members and supporters. The Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA) pointed to the research as further worrying evidence that “Britain’s Left is now descending into darkness.” Joe Glasman, the organisation’s head of political investigations, said:

Urgent action is needed by the parties of the Left, which have talked the talk, but now need to walk the walk. Jews are the canaries in the coal mine, and in large numbers are falling silent in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. The whole nation should listen to that silence and shudder.

The campaign group is launching a manifesto today to step up the fight against anti-Semitism in political parties, calling on them to adopt the international definition and strict disciplinary procedures. A total of 1,864 British Jewish adults were surveyed, of which 87% said they believed the Labour Party is too tolerant of anti-Semites in its ranks. That compared with much lower, but still sizeable, figures for the Green Party (49%), Ukip (43%), the Liberal Democrats (37%) and the Conservatives (13%). The CAA said:

The Labour Party and left-wing parties were once responsible for leading the fight against racism. This polling shows that British Jews now consider them to be the most tolerant of anti-Semitism … the Jewish community does not believe that those policies are implemented firmly when it comes to anti-Semitism.

This week, Corbyn has sought to assure Jewish Labour supporters of his commitment to stamping out anti-Semitism within Labour. He pledged to move ahead with implementing the recommendations of the Chakrabarti report, published in the summer. In a statement, Mr Corbyn said:

Let me be clear. I stand against all forms of prejudice and discrimination and will not tolerate any forms of it in our party. Anyone who is found to have been involved in anti-Semitic abuse or instances will be dealt with through our party structures.