the master of the macao sands casino, possessor of trillions of black market domestic RMB

Clintonites knocked out platform opposition to ‘occupation’
and ‘settlements’ out of fear of Adelson, Zogby says

Philip Weiss, MondoWeiss, Jul 25 2016


Clintonites on the Democratic Party platform committee knocked references to Israeli “settlements” and “occupation” out of the platform out of fear of Sheldon Adelson, a Sanders rep on that committee said today in Philadelphia. James Zogby of the Arab American Institute spoke at a panel convened by the Pindosi Campaign to End the Occupation at the Democrat convention. He said that he and other Sanders delegates to the platform committee had a simple plan going into the platform debates in June and July, to knock out a reference in the platform to Jayloomia being the undivided “capital of Israel” and also strike the platform’s opposition to BDS. But they lost on those points, and their strategy was off. The fight ended up being about including references to “occupation” and “settlements,” and they lost on that too. Zogby:

Frankly we wanted to strike the BDS line out, strike out the line on Jayloomia, I thought that would be the fight. I had no idea the fight would end up being over occupation and settlements. And what occurred to me was that, as I looked around the table at the folks who were there, some of whom are good people, and smart policy people, is that something happens in this game where they take their policy brain out and put it some place, I ain’t telling you where,. and they substitute their politics brain, which they think is a smart brain. “We can’t do it because it’s,” here’s what they told me, “We can’t do it because Sheldon Adelson will come out against us.” Jesus, he’s going to come out against you no matter what you do! And the people who like Sheldon Adelson, they’re not going to vote for you!

Sheldon Adelson is an 82-year-old Thug who is supporting Trump in this election, and who supported Newt and Mitt in the last cycle. These members of the platform committee were speaking of the Jewish politics of the issue. They know that Jews give a “gigantic” and “shocking” amount of the money that Democrat candidates rely on, according to a J Street panel of experts this spring, and that Sheldon Adelson, who called on Obama to nuke Iran, is little different from a lot of other older Jews who regard Israel as a great thing. So the Clintonites are afraid that these Jews would not give money to the Democrat Party, and withdraw their votes too, if the platform didn’t grovel to Israel. That’s what went down. Zogby said the irony is that Bernie Sanders was “was actually playing to his base by talking about Palestine.” Young people, liberals, people of color, they all increasingly support Palestine. On Wednesday, the Arab American Institute will release polling, Zogby said, that shows how much the Pindostani sheeple has changed on the issue and how much it approves of boycott. On the boycott issue, “Is boycotting Israel a legitimate tool to use to stop them from building settlements?” Democrats say yes overwhelmingly, 47 to 14, and the rest are unsure. The numbers aren’t bad on the Thug side either. 42-24. The poll also showed that a majority of Pindosis “for the first time have an opinion that too much foreign aid goes to Israel, that’s something that we never saw before,” he said to applause. And Zogby spoke of Sanders’s achievement in changing the discourse of Palestine:

It took the work of a mass movement and a courageous person like Bernie Sanders. Because remember if Bernie hadn’t elevated it, it wouldn’t have happened. … He gave us a qualitative boost forward. Now the question is, what do we do? and my feeling is, That we don’t let it go. The conversation is beginning again, and it cannot end. It cannot be where we put it back on hold again for another 20 years. The lives of people in the region cannot tolerate that. I think Pindosi interests, Pindostan’s ability to function in the world, when we fight for Palestine, we make Pindostan better, we make Pindostan smart, we make Pindostan save itself! We’re going to help Pindostan save itself whether it wants to or not! … I refuse to let the Palestinian people take a back seat again to any other conflict. It’s happened way too many times. We heard that shit during the First Gulf War in 1990-1991. “Can’t talk about it because we have to fight this war. After the war we’ll get to it.” “After the– after the–” Never get to it. This issue must be dealt with!

mckinney goes loopy

Former Georgia congresswoman claims in tweet Israel responsible for France, German terror attacks
JTA, Jul 25 2016

A former Georgia congresswoman claimed in a tweet that Israel is responsible for recent terror attacks in France and Germany. Former Georgia Rep Cynthia McKinney tweeted Saturday night:

Same Israeli photographer captures Nice and Munich tragedies. How likely is that? Remember the Dancing Israelis?…

The tweet includes a link to a video about the photographer’s coincidence on the “Veterans’ Today” site. Dancing Israelis refers to a conspiracy theory that five Israeli men were detained by police in New Jersey on 9/11 after being caught celebrating the attack on the World Trade Center. The photographer in question, Richard Gutjahr, is not Israeli, but is married to Israeli Einat Wilf, a former MK for the Labor Party. Wilf served in the prestigious IDF intelligence Unit 8200. McKinney was the Green Party presidential nominee for the 2008 Presidential race. Gutjahr tweeted photos from the sites of both attacks, though he later said that the Munich photos accidentally were deleted from his camera.

gulen just like dr mabuse

Ankara mayor suggests Gülen uses genies to ‘enslave people’
Hurriyet, Jul 24 2016

ANKARA – Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek has suggested that Fethullah Gülen uses genies to “enslave” people, speaking after the Jul 15 failed coup attempt, which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) says the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ)” was behind. The host of a TV show on private broadcaster CNN Türk asked Gökçek:

How can Fethullah Gülen control such a large number of people? What makes him different?

The Ankara mayor replied using a Turkish phrase to refer to the word “genie.” He said:

This may sound funny to you, but he does it with a strange method. He does it with the ‘three-lettered things.’ Everyone now can debate this. He enslaves people with the ‘three-lettered things.’ It’s obvious that a lot of people have been enslaved in previous times and then saved. He has the ability to do this too. People have become mesmerized and enslaved.


Wasserman Schultz steps down as DNC chair
Marc Caputo, Daniel Strauss, Jeremy Herb, Daniel Lippman, Jake Sherman, Anna Palmer, Gabe Debenedetti, Politico, Jul 24 2016

The embattled chair of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, announced she would resign at the end of her party’s convention this week, a victim of her toxic relationship with peers and a trove of embarrassing internal emails. The Florida Congress crittur said Sunday in a written statement:

Going forward, the best way for me to accomplish those goals is to step down as Party Chair at the end of this convention. As Party Chair, this week I will open and close the Convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Pindosis.

Donna Brazile, a Democrat stalwart and long-time Clinton family friend and political ally, is slated to run the DNC through the election. Brazile, who briefly served as chair in 2011, will temporarily suspend her role as a CNN contributor while she serves as DNC interim chair. And she’s still subject to a party vote this week in Philadelphia. Clinton and Obama paid tribute to Wasserman Schultz in separate statements. Clinton also made Wasserman Schultz an honorary chair for her presidential campaign. But no amount of new titles or praise could overcome the spectacle of party disunity and drama after WikiLeaks released emails Friday in which Wasserman Schultz, who was long accused of using the party apparatus to help Clinton against primary challenger Bernie Sanders, made sharply disparaging remarks about Sanders and his campaign manager. Wasserman Schultz’s abrupt fall from grace was a bitter and ironic twist for the once-powerful chairwoman who just last week gleefully needled her Thug counterpart when the GOP convention briefly erupted in chaos. Wasserman Schultz tweeted to RNC Chair Reince Priebus:

I’m in Cleveland if you need another chair to help keep your convention in order.

But Wasserman Schultz became fatally damaged goods in her own party after the WikiLeaks release showed Wasserman Schultz referring to Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver as a “damn liar” and an “ASS” and said:

(Bernie has) never been a member of the Democrat Party and has no understanding of what we do.

The emails fed the criticism from progressives and Sanders supporters that Wasserman Schultz and her team were hostile to his campaign from the start and had done their best to help Clinton win the Democrat nomination at the Vermont senator’s expense. Before the tussle with Sanders, Wasserman Schultz clashed with fellow Democrats in Congress, the White House and even a top party donor in Florida called John Morgan. Throughout, Wasserman Schultz resisted repeated calls to resign. Morgan, a long-time Clinton supporter who became a Wasserman Schultz foe after she trashed his Florida ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana:

This is so humiliating. Even though she said she’s quitting at the end of the convention, if she speaks, she’s going to be booed. The Sanders people have a right to be angry, because these emails confirm their worst suspicions: that Wasserman Schultz is for Democrat dirty tricks what Richard Nixon was for Thug dirty tricks.

Wasserman Schultz spent Sunday afternoon hiding from reporters, sources said, huddling with advisers and Democrats connected to Clinton who urged her to quit. She was nowhere to be found in Philadelphia, where delegates were gathering for this week’s convention. She cancelled a speech before the DNC credentialling committee. Democrats had been discussing lowering Wasserman Schultz’s profile at the convention for weeks, fearing boos and blowback from Sanders supporters. But the situation escalated rapidly in the last week, especially after Sanders himself renewed his call for her to resign Sunday. DNC vice chair R T Rybak, the former Minneapolis mayor who was considered for the top job in 2012:

The emails included some disturbing information that required the DNC to take immediate action. I think the chair made a good move for the sake of the party. Now it’s essential for all of us to unify behind Hillary Clinton.

This final blow to her reputation caps a long, slow-motion fall from grace for Wasserman Schultz, who now faces her first Democrat primary opponent in 24 years, Tim Canova, who searched his name in the WikiLeaks database and saw that he was mentioned in about 70 emails. He said it appeared that DNC staff was acting like an arm of Wasserman Schultz’s reelection effort, and might have violated campaign finance laws. Canova told Politico:

We think there might have been a violation of the law and we’re checking with lawyers. I might file an FEC.

Canova remarked that one of Wasserman Schultz’s emails, in which she asked the DNC finance chair to help her obtain seven tickets to the Broadway musical “Hamilton” for herself and her college roommates underscores just how out of touch and deceptive she has been with the race for Florida’s 23rd Congressional District. Canova said:

She said she has no time to debate me because she’s busy trying to score tickets to Hamilton. Well now she’s in quarantine by the party, and it’s time for her to come back to the district.

Morgan also singled out her effort to obtain the “Hamilton” tickets by saying it was evidence of her “grotesque self-dealing.” The volume of criticism directed at Wasserman Schultz stood in marked contrast to the muted defense of her earlier in the day. One long-time friend of hers who would only speak to Politico on background, said:

She has lots of friends, but the problem is she has enemies who are just louder.

Wasserman Schultz is scheduled to speak Monday at a Florida delegation breakfast, where she’s likely to receive a warm welcome. After Wasserman Schultz’s resignation, Clinton issued a statement of support:

I am grateful to Debbie for getting the Democrat Party to this year’s historic convention in Philadelphia, and I know that this week’s events will be a success thanks to her hard work and leadership. There’s simply no one better at taking the fight to the Thugs than Debbie.

Obama praised her as well, saying:

For the last eight years, Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has had my back. This afternoon, I called her to let her know that I am grateful.

Obama has also endorsed Wasserman Schultz in her Florida primary, as has Biden, who later issued another statement of support and is scheduled to have an Aug 5 fundraiser for her in the Miami area. Earlier in the day, in multiple Sunday-show appearances, Sanders went on the war path against Wasserman Schultz. Sanders said on ABC This Week:

I think she should resign, period. And I think we need a new chair who is going to lead us in a very different direction. I’m not shocked by the leaked emails. I’m disappointed, and that’s the way it is.

On CNN State of the Union, Sanders was asked about emails from DNC boxtops questioning his religion and proposing using his faith against him in the primary and replied:

It is an outrage, and it’s sad that you would have people in important positions in the DNC trying to undermine my campaign.

A top staffer at the DNC, CFO Brad Marshall, apologized Saturday for those emails. Marshall wrote on Facebook:

I deeply regret that my insensitive, emotional emails would cause embarrassment to the DNC, the Chairwoman, and all of the staffers who worked hard to make the primary a fair and open process. The comments expressed do not reflect my beliefs, nor do they reflect the beliefs of the DNC and its employees. I apologize to those I offended.

Many want Marshall to resign as well. In Philadelphia, Rep Marcia Fudge of Ohio will serve as chair of the Democratic convention, a move that was ratified by the convention’s Rules Committee on Saturday night. Privately, some Democrats were surprised at how WikiLeaks toppled Wasserman Schultz. After all, the email trail indicates she and her staff made catty or inappropriate statements about Sanders and his allies in response to criticism from Sanders’ camp. None clearly showed Wasserman Schultz was rigging the system or being partial. One top Democrat said via email:

She was fastidiously neutral during the primary. Dutifully as an officer. And we wouldn’t be even talking about Donna if the Putin/Trump WikiLeak thing had emails on her.

Robby Mook had suggested earlier Sunday that the email dump was an effort by the Russian government to help Trump, who has sought to drive a wedge between Clinton and Sanders by suggesting that Sanders’ supporters should back him instead. Trump tweeted Friday:

Leaked e-mails of DNC show plans to destroy Bernie Sanders. Mock his heritage and much more. On-line from Wikileakes, really vicious. RIGGED.

A day later, he was at it again, tweeting he tweeted:

The WikiLeaks e-mail release today was so bad to Sanders that it will make it impossible for him to support her, unless he is a fraud!

On Sunday, he mocked Wasserman Schultz tweeted:

Today proves what I have always known, that @Reince Priebus is the tough one and the smart one.

Priebus told a news conference in Philadelphia:

I know first-hand how hard it is being chair of a national party. (Debbie’s behaviour made) this kind of outcome inevitable. I think obviously the end has come, and I don’t think there was any other outcome that was foreseeable.

The leaked emails have also created a sense of tension among rank-and-file Democrats on the eve of the Philadelphia nominating convention. During the Rules Committee meeting here on Saturday, protesters outside of the committee ballroom chanted:

Shame, shame on DNC! We don’t see no unity!

But Sanders was pleased. He said in a statement Sunday afternoon:

Debbie Wasserman Schultz has made the right decision for the future of the Democratic Party. While she deserves thanks for her years of service, the party now needs new leadership that will open the doors of the party and welcome in working people and young people. The party leadership must also always remain impartial in the presidential nominating process, something which did not occur in the 2016 race.

fucked up turkey, erdogan so “bad boy”

Turkey keen for mention in G20 communiqué, but rejected
Jan Strupczewski, Gareth Jones, Reuters, Jul 24 2016

ISTANBUL – Turkey wanted the final communiqué of the world’s financial leaders meeting in China this weekend to include an endorsement of the current government but did not succeed, G20 officials said. Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek, attending the meeting, denied Ankara had sought such a reference, tweeting:

We have no such initiative.

But European Commissioner for Economic Affairs (Pierre Moscovici) confirmed on Sunday that Turkey had sought such a mention, telling a news conference:

It is true that Turkey wanted a line on that. That was debated in the drafting sessions. But the minister, after talking to a few of us, estimated that it was wiser not to raise this issue in the G20 session itself. That was wise.

Finance ministers and central bank governors from the G20 met in the Chinese city of Chengdu. The Turkish government wanted the final communiqué, closely watched by markets, to include a paragraph on Turkey. The additional paragraph was to say:

Strengthening the rule of law is fundamental for sustainable development and we support the legitimate government of Turkey in its endeavours to enhance economic stability and prosperity.

Officials from EU countries, however, did not support that and the final communiqué did not mention Turkey.

jackass handflaps ‘flawed’

Jackass’ Syria plan with Russia faces deep skepticism
Yara Bayoumy, Jonathan Landay, John Walcott, Lesley Wroughton, John Irish, Maria Tsvetkova, Idris Ali, Reuters, Jul 24 2016

Jackass after meeting the anti-Daesh Coalition in Faschinstein, Jul 21 2016. (Photo: Joshua Roberts)

FASCHINGSTEIN – Skeptics in the Pindosi government, European allies vassals in the anti-Daesh coalition and the main Syrian opposition, distrustful of Russia’s intentions, are questioning Jackass Kerry’s latest proposal for closer Pindo-Russian cooperation against extremist groups in Syria. Several Pindosi military and intelligence boxtops called the plan naive, and said Jackass risks falling into a trap that Putin has laid to discredit Pindostan with moderate rebel groups and drive some of their fighters into the arms of Daesh and other extremist groups. Some European members of the coalition against Daesh have expressed concern about sharing intelligence with Russia, which they say has been an untrustworthy partner in Syria. The current proposal, which Jackass hopes to conclude within weeks, envisions ways in which Faschingstein and Moscow would share intelligence to coordinate air strikes against the AQ-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra and prohibit the Syrian air force from attacking moderate rebel groups. Jackass’s State Dept and White House allies say the plan is the best chance to limit the fighting. In the end, according to two officials who support Jackass’ efforts, there is no alternative to working with the Russians. Former White House Middle East advisor Philip Gordon, now with the CFR, said:

There are reasons to be skeptical, as with any approach in Syria, but those who criticize this plan as unlikely to work or flawed on other grounds, like working with Russia, have the responsibility of presenting something better or more effective.

Jackass’ critics say the plan is flawed, in part because as it now stands it would leave the Russians and Syrians free to use ground troops and artillery against moderate groups fighting Assad. They also say targeting Nusra is difficult because in some areas its fighters are comingled with more moderate rebels. One Pindo boxtop said:

That underscores two basic problems that Jackass seems to be ignoring: One, the Russians’ aim in Syria is still either keeping Assad in power or finding some successor who is acceptable to them and two, Putin has proved over and over again and not just in Syria, that he cannot be trusted to honor any agreement he makes if he decides it’s no longer in Russia’s interest.

Jackass and Lavrov will have an opportunity to meet this week at the ASEAN summit in Laos. Jackass told reporters on Friday that Obama had “authorized and ordered this track” and that the plan would be based on specific steps, not trust. But even Jackass has refrained from voicing optimism, instead saying the effort was showing “a modicum of promise.” A European boxtop said:

Jackass and Lavrov have agreed to draft a map showing where Jabhat al-Nusra operates. The two sides would then through joint analysis, decide who to target, by getting Pindostan in the same tactical room. Moscow would then have to guarantee that Assad’s planes stopped bombing. He is optimistic, in his Jackass way, but the devil is in the details, and we’re not convinced that Moscow is serious.

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said at an event in Washington:

Pindostan and Russia have an understanding to minimize the danger of aircraft interfering or colliding with each other, and that the British are covered by that, but it certainly does not extend to any cooperation over targeting, and we would not welcome that.

Many Pindo boxtops are concerned that sharing intelligence with Russia could risk revealing intelligence sources, methods and capabilities. Andrei Klimov, deputy chairman of the international affairs committee in Russia’s upper house of parliament, told Reuters:

Even if the plan is agreed upon, it will be until the next administration takes office, in January. I’m afraid Assad will expect tricks from the Pindosis. They have been saying constantly he’s an outcast, and now they’re about to tell Assad: “You know, please, give us a day’s advance notice before you want to trash someone with your forces.” Every time while talking to Assad we have to convince him, give arguments, additional guarantees. We can’t give him orders, he’s on his own soil.

Following a meeting with Putin last week, Jackass expressed concern about indiscriminate bombings by Syrian forces, but did not mention Russian violations of a cessation of hostilities agreement, although the CIA publicly has pointed to them. Another Pindo boxtop emphasized that Jackass had left out the “inconvenient facts” about Russian violations, saying:

What’s striking is not what Kerry has said, but what he’s failed to say.

Robert Ford, a former ambassador to Syria and now a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington, told Reuters:

It’s not clear to me that the Russians can deliver on their side of the deal.

The Syrian opposition said it was concerned whether Russia could succeed in getting the Assad’s government to ground its air force. Basma Kodmani, a member of opposition High Negotiations Committee, told Reuters in Faschingstein last week:

The administration has put its bet on the good faith cooperation of the Russians, with so far very disappointing results.

this is the thing that flynn retweeted, then erased his retweet & apologised for

more putin menace

Pindosi Media Blames Putin Conspiracy for Homegrown Trump Phenomenon
Adam Johnson, AlterNet, Jul 20 2016

Donald Trump is the media’s favorite excuse to bash Official Pindostani Enemies. His Rorschach politics that shift almost weekly allows overworked writers to project onto Trump whatever traits they need to make an analogy stick (and deadline met). Over the past year Trump has been Nicolas MaduroJoseph Stalin, Kim Jong-Il, Saddam Hussein, an African dictator, Bashar al-Assad, Bernie Sanders, Fidel Castro, Ayatollah Khomeini, Hugo Chavez (a dozen times!), Mao Zedong, a Chinese communist (present day), a Chinese communist (1980s), Caligula, Rodrigo Duterte, Jeremy Corbyn, Pinochet, Norse god LokiBrexit, Napoleon, Barry Goldwater, Mussolini, Nero, Andrew Jackson, Voldemort, Groucho Marx, Adolf Hitler, Moqtada al-Sadr, Joseph Goebbels, L. Ron Hubbard, King George III, Richard Nixon, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Basically the entire cast of Game of Thrones, Batman vs. Superman, and Donald Trump himself. Twice. The Daily Beast alone has accused Trump of simultaneously being a communist, a fascist, an Iraqi Shia cleric, an Iranian Shia cleric, a Republican president from the ’70s, a Russian president from the present, a Roman emperor, and a cult leader. Put simply, Trump is whomever we need him to be.

pasted image 0

And the most popular and geopolitically convenient person pundits need him to be is Russian “strongman” Vladimir Putin. The liberal hawks who comprise a great deal of the Democratic and media establishment love nothing more than to use far-right boogeymen like Trump as a means of bashing foreign enemies, and Putin satisfies this impulse with little effort or imagination. Trump bad, Putin bad, both vain and ideologically unpredictable, the takes practically write themselves. Above all, the Trump-bashing as a means of mocking Official Enemies permits one to appear anti-fascist and anti-racist while still properly ingratiating oneself to the NatSec crowd. For careerist center-left pundits it’s a win/win with no downside; thus its ubiquity. With regard to Putin, this trope has been taken one step further. Not only is Trump similar to Putin, he is now secretly plotting with him. This innuendo-laden take reached new lows with a Slate piece earlier this month by Franklin Foer, a fellow at the State Dept-funded (see, guilt by association is fun) New America:

>Putin’s Puppet: If the Russian president could design a candidate to undermine American interests, and advance his own, he’d look a lot like Donald Trump.

The entire premise of the piece relies on the paranoid assumption that Putin wants to “destroy the West”:

Vladimir Putin has a plan for destroying the West, and that plan looks a lot like Donald Trump.

Wait, what? Putin may want to undermine the West. He may want to curb the expansion of NATO, but destroy it? Is he Magneto? This is the type of unhinged, over-the-top language that goes unchallenged when discussing Pindostan’s favorite Eastern menace. Note, the author never outright says Trump is actually “Putin’s puppet,” only that they have been nice to each other in the past and Trump’s nominal lack of hostility toward Russia serves the interests of Putin. But the provocative headline and political attack ad-like scary black-and-white photos of a menacing Putin leering behind Trump let the reader’s mind fill in the blanks. Indeed, if you’re trying to link two people who have never actually met, just photoshop them together. That’s how photojournalism works, right?


The primary complaint of the piece is that Trump and some of his advisers have overlapping business interests in Russia. But this, of course, is true of Clinton with several countries. The problem isn’t the underlying issue of conflicts of interests (an otherwise serious problem), it’s who those conflicts are with. This is a political issue, not an ethical one, rendering Putin-Trump pearl-clutching arbitrary at best and hypocritical at worst. Is it possible that Putin prefers Trump? Of course, it is. But the gap between other countries leaders liking a candidate and secretly controlling them is light years wide. On Monday, liberal hawk Jon Chait of New York Magazine took it one step further, asking the positively Alex Jones-esque question: “Is Donald Trump Working for Russia?” The article went on to do what any YouTube conspiracy theory video does: make a lot of innuendo, show a few links and use a “hey, I’m just asking questions” framing. Chait doesn’t actually think Trump is working for Russia, but it doesn’t matter. Donald Trump wanted to take some bellicose language out of the RNC platform aimed at Russia and this is a gesture that can only be done by someone who is a secret FSB agent. Never mind that by removing support for lethal aid to the pro-Pindo Ukrainian government the RNC’s position is now exactly that of President Obama’s. Chait had Cold War paranoia to sow and a candidate to mock. HuffPost joined the “Putin controls Trump” drumbeat Tuesday with “The Real Winner at the GOP Convention Is Vladimir Putin,” co-authored by Akbar Shahid Ahmed who writes for the Global Post, a joint partnership between HuffPost and the billionaire-funded pro-EU think tank Berggruen Institute:

Who’s to blame for the tensions between Putin and the West? Weak Europeans, for failing to deal with their continent’s problems, and President Barack Obama, for failing to make Putin respect him. Add in, of course, anyone who has a problem with Putin’s persistent support for the dictator of Syria, a man Trump sees as an “A”-grade leader despite his responsibility for the rise of the Islamic State group and the ongoing refugee crisis, and others who dispute Putin’s cleverly twisted depiction of Pindosi foreign policy.

First, it should be noted the link that supposedly shows Trump saying Assad is a “grade A” leader is 100% false. ABC is mixing up, either deliberately or accidentally, something Trump said about Putin, not Bashar al-Assad. Here’s what ABC wrote:

“I think in terms of leadership, he’s getting an A and our president is not doing so well,” Trump said of al-Assad during an interview with Fox News in September.

And here’s what was actually said, as tweeted out by Fox News last September:

@realDonaldTrump on Putin: “I think in terms of leadership he’s getting an ‘A’ and our President is not doing so well.” #OReillyFactor

While this “mix-up” may seem relatively benign, it displays how little fact-checking or thoroughness goes on when one is using the Trump spectacle to fan the flames of Cold War rhetoric. The piece went on to repeat a claim that Trump adviser Michael Flynn has “quite literally been on the payroll of Moscow” for taking a speaking fee from RT, a staunchly pro-Russian government cable network. By this standard, any pundit or journalist who has taken a speaking or appearance fee from RAND, VoA, the Urban Institute, New America Foundation, Brookings or dozens of other think tanks and media outlets has “quite literally” been on the payroll of Washington, since the government provides funds for these organizations. But it doesn’t matter since, as we know, the same standards don’t apply to both governments, because only one is uniquely clever and sinister. It’s important to be clear, because this point will be lost on many: none of this is to defend Flynn or Putin or Trump, because this trope isn’t really about any of them. It’s about policing foreign policy consensus, and piling on anyone who comes close to deviating from it. Russia is an enemy of Pindostan and must be uniformly seen as such or those making gestures of rapprochement must be stooges or spooks. Again, conspiracy theories that would never pass editorial muster are entirely routine when written about Official Pindosi Enemies.

One theory, casually repeated in a NYT op-ed in September of last year, that the 1999 Moscow attacks were FSB false-flag attacks so Putin could have a pretext to invade Chechnya, sounds strangely similar to popular conspiracy theory stateside that would have one blackballed from proper company. Pindosi editorial standards when it comes to bashing Russia, it seems, are in direct proportion to the tensions between our two countries. It bears repeating once more, for those who will invariably (and likely deliberately) misread this piece, this is not at all a defense of Putin, nor is it a defense of Trump, who is indeed a xenophobic, sexist, racist demagogue. But a secret plot by Russia is not needed for a Pindosi leader to possess such qualities. And the assumption that it is, just as with those who blamed Putin for Brexit, displays an arrogance and denialism on the part of Western media about their own countries’ faults. Certainly our otherwise tolerant and liberal political discourse could never breed such an extremist, right? No, clearly it must be a foreign influence. Like delusional middle-class parents convinced their drug dealer son is being corrupted by hip hop, Western media needs Russia to explain away its inability to keep its own house in order. In this case Pindostan’s own well-documented history of racism, xenophobia and chauvinism that, inevitably, vomited out the Trump spectacle. Blaming this entirely homegrown problem on Putin is an all-too-convenient trope and one that isn’t any less more convincing when couched in ostensibly liberal, pro-Democrat Party trappings.

The Hunt for Red Trump-tober
Justin Raimondo,, Jul 25 2016

Julian Assange has done it again: exposed the inner workings and crimes of our political class, that is. This time his target is Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, whose emails were hacked by a Romanian who calls himself “Guccifer 2.0,” and posted online by WikiLeaks. As revelations tumble out of the enormous data dump. such as that DNC staffers conspired to target Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish, as an “atheist,” the collusion of the party leadership with the Clinton campaign to marginalize Sanders threatens the Democrats with a potential explosion on the eve of their convention. It’s “gas meets flame,” as one Democrat party leader put it. The Clinton campaign has responded by pushing a bizarre conspiracy theory that recalls the darkest days of the cold war. The DNC leak, they claim, is part of a plot by the Kremlin to elect Donald J Trump as POTUS. Yes, seriously. Here is Clintonista-in-chief Robby Mook telling Jake Tapper:

Experts are telling us Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, and other experts are now saying the Russians are releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.

Echoing neoconservative complaints that efforts to insert a call for giving Ukraine offensive weapons were scotched by the Trump campaign, Mook pointed to this as “evidence” that the Russians have infiltrated and taken over the Republican party. That’s their answer to the flood of scandal pouring out of the DNC emails: a reiteration of the plot of “The Manchurian Candidate,” with a little bit of “Red Dawn” thrown in for good measure. Who are these vaunted “experts”? On the technical side, Mook is referring to a company being paid by the DNC to “investigate” the hacking of their server. If you think there’s a bit of a conflict of interest that throws CrowdStrike’s objectivity into question, you may be quite right. Other experts, with no financial stake in this, disagree with the widely-touted contention that the hackers were Russians or Russian agents:

What top technologists know for sure is that at least two groups of hackers were willing to take a major risk and make a substantial investment to access the DNC’s network. Who is behind the attacks remains unclear and, unfortunately, a satisfying answer isn’t likely to come any time soon. Nathaniel Gleicher, the head of cyber-security strategy at Illumio, told Time: “Attribution is incredibly difficult. I wouldn’t say impossible, but it’s very difficult. Investigations like this do not wrap up quickly and often do not wrap up at all, because it’s very hard to tell where they came from.” Amit Yoran, the president of the cyber-security firm RSA, was also non-committal on whether there’d ever be a smoking gun. He told Time: “I think attribution is one of those topics that people like to rush to, because it makes for sexier reporting. You want to make a meaningful story for non-technologists. Saying you know who was responsible makes for a very compelling story. But it’s also very hard to do well in the cyber domain, especially over a short period of time with a sophisticated actor.”

Gleicher was the National Security Council’s White House cyber-security director but, hey, compared to Robby Mook, what does he know? The other category of “experts” Mook cites are specialists in the fine art of smearing, like fired New Republic editor Franklin Foer, who proclaimed Putin the “real winner” of the Republican National Convention, Jeff Stein at Newsweek, who wrote “Does Donald Trump have a subversive partnership with Vladimir Putin’s propaganda machine?” and Israel’s unofficial ambassador to the Pindosi media, Jeffrey Goldberg, who takes the lead in the hunt for red Trump-tober, writing:

The Republican nominee for president, Donald J Trump, has chosen this week to unmask himself as a de facto agent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a KGB-trained dictator who seeks to rebuild the Soviet empire by undermining the free nations of Europe, marginalizing NATO, and ending America’s reign as the world’s sole superpower.

This election is rapidly turning into one of those unintentionally campy anti-Communist movies from the 1950s. A recent “story” in the increasingly ridiculous Daily Beast is headlined: “Trump Invites Putin to Invade Melania’s Home Town,” which brings to mind the classic 1949 film “I Married a Communist!” Only in the case of that epic, the studio were too embarrassed to release it under its original title, and changed it after the previews to “The Woman on Pier 13.” The Clinton campaign and their neocon fellow-travellers, lacking the capacity for embarrassment, have no problem with plainly enunciating their McCarthyite theme. This tidal wave of hysterical cold-war-era propaganda depicts Russia, a ramshackle nation in decline with a plummeting birth rate, a crippled economy and a military budget that palls in comparison to that of Pindostan and its NATO allies vassals, as practically all-powerful. Just look at the list of recent developments and political personalities the Kremlin is said to be manipulating: not only the victory of Donald Trump, but the triumph of Brexit, the success of Jeremy Corbyn, the DNC leaks, the rise of Hungary’s Victor Orban, the rise of the European far right, the rise of the European far left, the rise of the National Front, the views of the President of the Czech Republic, and the actions of the Republican platform committee.

Like all crackpot theories, the Clintonista version of None Dare Call It Treason imbues the Russians with nearly supernatural powers: it’s Alex Jones for blue-staters. Whenever the political class decides that someone has gone “beyond the pale,” they attack him as exemplifying “the paranoid style in Pindosi politics,” a trope invented by neocon precursor and fake-historian Richard Hofstadter. As is so often the case, this is merely a projection of their own paranoia, which is richly mocked by Adam Johnson in his dissection of Franklin’s Foer’s farrago of falsehoods:

The entire premise of the piece relies on the paranoid assumption that Putin wants to ‘destroy the West’: “Vladimir Putin has a plan for destroying the West, and that plan looks a lot like Donald Trump.” Wait, what? Putin may want to undermine the West. He may want to curb the expansion of NATO, but destroy it? Is he Magneto? This is the type of unhinged, over-the-top language that goes unchallenged when discussing Pindostan’s favorite Eastern menace.”

It would be a mistake to attribute this hopped-up rhetoric to election year theatrics. It points to trends that have been building for quite a while, and will transform both the political landscape and the international scene. As I’ve written here before, the Pindosi political spectrum periodically undergoes a switch in polarities when it comes to foreign policy. During the 1930s and 40s, the GOP and the “right” were “isolationist,” i.e. pro-peace, and it was the “left” and the Democrats who were clamoring for military and diplomatic intervention abroad. With the coming of the cold war, the parties and their attendant ideological movements switched sides, with the rightists calling for a military “rollback” of the Soviet bloc and the left cautioning against foreign intervention and the danger of a nuclear conflict that could destroy all life on earth. When the communist colossus fell, yet another polarity switch was in the works until the 9/11 attacks delayed the process, which is now proceeding apace. With the ascension of Trump, who threatens to get us out of NATO, out of the Pacific, and out of the business of defending the rest of the world from itself, the Republican party and much of the conservative movement is rejecting the globalist conception of Pindostan as the world’s gendarme-in-chief. Yes, there’s still the aftermath of the 9/11 Effect to deal with, and the blowback from our ‘war on terrorism’, but you’ll note that Trump always says he’s going to pulverize ISIS ‘quickly’:

We’re going to do it fast!

Whether or not we should believe him is another matter: the point being that he feels obligated to pay lip service to the now established principle of “Pindostan First”: distaste for foreign meddling. Hillary Clinton represents the exact opposite worldview. Hers is a decidedly protracted interventionist vision of Pindostan’s role in the world, and she’s apparently settled on a new global bogeyman in order to rationalize her program of serial regime change: Russia. Having likened Putin to Hitler, she is now following up with her own domestic “brown scare,” which bears an eerie resemblance to the “red scare” we Baby Boomers remember with not a trace of fondness. If and when Mrs Clinton makes it to the White House, she and her Myrmidons will launch a new cold war that could quickly escalate into a very hot one. Once again, the threat of war with nuclear-armed Russia will be center stage, and perhaps the day is not far when Pindo schoolkids will once again be going through a “duck and cover” routine in the classroom, and every family will be urged to build a backyard bomb shelter. The new era certainly has its ominous aspect, but there are also hints of sunshine behind the storm clouds. The Trumpian takeover of the GOP means the exodus of the neocons, the command center of the War Party, and their re-entry into the Democrat foreign policy Establishment. We are already beginning to see this with the defection of such neocon notables as Robert Kagan and Max Boot. The abortive third party efforts of the #NeverTrump crowd didn’t amount to much anyway, and the rest of the clan will troop however reluctantly back to where they, or rather, their ideological forefathers, came from in the first place. As I predicted in 2007:

For these guys, it’s rule or ruin: they don’t care about regaining control of Congress (they gave up on that distant possibility a long time ago) or saving a conservative vote on fiscal and other matters. They care about one issue and one issue only: war and more war, as far as the eye can see. When they’ve run the GOP into the ground and reduced it to a mostly regional party, they’ll abandon the dried-up husk and emigrate back to where they came from:the Scoop Jackson wing of the Democrat Party, where they can join Joe Lieberman, Joshua Muravchik, and Hillary Clinton’s neocon fan club in ginning up a war with Iran.

With the tilt of the Democrats toward becoming the party of war as well as Big Government, complementary aspects of the same organizing principle, the Republicans will inevitably trend in the opposite direction. The political polarities are switching once again and this presents the anti-interventionist movement with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Trump, for all his inconsistencies and incoherence, is defining the GOP’s line of march from this day forward, and as he put it in his acceptance speech, it is going in one direction:

Pindostanism, not globalism, will be our credo.

Our task now is to define what that means in terms of policy, and to defeat the new incarnation of the War Party and its neocon brain trust.

Red scare: Beltway crowd lashes out at Trump as Putin’s tool to ‘destroy the west’
Philip Weiss, MondoWeiss, Jul 25 2016

Something really is breaking loose with the Donald Trump nomination. He has so frightened the establishment with his refusal to hire the usual experts and his trashing of the “media elites” and his comments against NATO that the Beltway crowd has gone haywire, striking back by saying that Trump is a tool of the Russians! And not only that but the Russians hacked the Democrat Party emails and gave them to Wikileaks to help Trump. This has to be seen to be believed. In the last week a whole crowd of neocons and liberal internationalists has made the assertion that Trump is acting in Russia’s interest. Trump’s understanding of Pindostan’s role in the world “aligns with Russia’s geostrategic interests,” Jeffrey Goldberg explained at the Atlantic. While Franklin Foer at Slate said that Trump is serving Vladimir Putin in Putin’s effort to “weaken” Pindostan and “destroy the west.” The Clinton campaign is joining in on the craziness. On CNN today, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager said that “Russian state actors” were behind the leaks of 20,000 DNC emails that so embarrassed the Dems on Friday; and Trump has a hand in it, because he reshaped the Thug platform to make it pro-Russian! Those emails have now resulted in the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the chair of the DNC, because they revealed that she was not playing fair with Bernie Sanders And Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, is blaming the Russians, per the WaPo:

Mook said on Sunday’s CNN State of the Union: “There’s evidence Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole those emails, and there are experts saying they are releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump. I don’t think it’s coincidental these emails were released on the eve of our convention here. We need to be concerned Trump and his allies made changes to the platform to make it more pro-Russian, and we saw him talking about how NATO shouldn’t intervene. So I think when you put it all together, it’s a disturbing picture.” In a statement emailed to the WaPo, Trump’s campaign called that assertion a “joke.”

It’s no joke at Slate, where Franklin Foer went in this week for a fresh form of redbaiting:

Trump’s inner circle is populated with advisers and operatives who have long careers advancing the interests of the Kremlin.

The echo chamber here on the Russian story includes members-in-good-standing Robert Kagan, David Brooks, Paul Krugman, Josh Marshall. It sure looks like someone has been circulating talking points about Trump as Putin’s trojan horse; and that it would be worth it to have a new cold war with Russia and Iran, if we can only get Hillary Clinton elected. Foer says Putin wants to “destroy” the West, using Donald Trump. Look at this chain of airtight logic:

In the end, we only have circumstantial evidence about the Russian efforts to shape this election: a series of disparate data points and a history of past interference in similar contests. But the pattern is troubling, and so is the premise. If Putin wanted to concoct the ideal candidate to serve his purposes, his laboratory creation would look like Donald Trump. The Republican nominee wants to shatter our military alliances in Europe. He cheers the destruction of the EU. He favours ratcheting down tensions with Russia over Ukraine and Syria, both as a matter of foreign policy, and in service of his own pecuniary interests. A Trump presidency would weaken Putin’s greatest geostrategic competitor. By stoking racial hatred, Trump will shred the fabric of Pindosi society.

Notice the Syria reference. This laboratory geopolitics makes Putin and Iran the main stirrers-up of trouble in the world, thereby meshing with the claim that Iran is the chief fount of terrorism in the world, which has been promoted by Hillary Clinton’s brains trust and the anti-Iran deep state inside the Obama administration. Clinton has played these cards directly, in an ad saying that she has “taken on Putin.” That ad shows Clinton on a stage with Bibi. That right-wing strongman reached into our politics last year and tried to undermine the greatest global diplomatic achievement of the post-Iraq era, the Iran deal. And his militantly racist policies are doing more to destroy Pindostan’s reputation than even Donald Trump on a bad day. He seems a lot worse than Vladimir Putin. When is someone going to talk about his influence? Maybe that’s the point.

This hits Richard’s weak spot, his Russophobia…

Trump-Putin-Lieberman and the Axis of Evil
Richard Silverstein, Tikun Olam, Jul 22 2016

The media has done a decent job eviscerating Trump’s acceptance speech and its panoply of lies. So I don’t need to go over well-ploughed ground. But I did want to note several mid-east-related foreign policy lies which have been neglected in media commentary. First, Trump said that Iran “Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons.” There isn’t even a guarantee that Iran was on the path to nuclear weapons before the recent nuclear deal. But it certainly isn’t on the path to getting them now, nor can it be for another fifteen years, when the deal ends. He also went on the warpath about the existential threat posed by Islamism to this country:

To make life safe in Pindostan, we must also address the growing threats we face from outside Pindostan: we are going to defeat the barbarians of ISIS. Once again, France is the victim of brutal Islamic terrorism.

Not so fast. To say France was once again the target of terrorism might be accurate. But there is no proof so far that the Nice attack was Islamist terror. Note also, that Trump didn’t use the word “Islamist,” which I just did. He used the far more sweeping term “Islamic,” which connotes that Islam itself is a religion of terrorism. Yet another of the hateful, racist Islamophobic Trumpisms which have made him infamous. French authorities have arrested a number of possible accomplices of the Nice killer. All one can say at this point is that they all are Muslim. No French authority has provided any direct evidence of contact between any of them and ISIS. It is possible that this was an Islamist terror plot. Or it may have been an expression of rage at the failure of the life of a Tunisian immigrant to France who had a dead-end job and a rancid life immersed in bisexual conquest and sexual excess. Trump made an even greater error when he said this about the Orlando shooting:

In Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Pindosis were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist. This time, the terrorist targeted our LGBT community. As your President, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBT citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.

The only evidence Omar Matin had any connection to ISIS is 911 calls which he made to police. But nothing else in his life shows any interest in politics or Islamism. In fact, everything else in his life points in an entirely different direction. He was a closeted gay male who largely failed in his attempt to reach out to other gays for love or understanding. As with the Nice attack, Matin seems to have been a deeply troubled individual with mental health issues. But if you’re Donald Trump, why let truth or facts get in the way of a good story? In today’s NYT, Paul Krugman offers an alarming critique of Trump’s fawning admiration (sic – RB) for Vladimir Putin. He calls him the “Siberian Candidate” (an ironic reference to the film, The Manchurian Candidate). Trump sees in Putin a self-made man like himself. A man’s man. A tough man. But a man who can be reasoned with given proper terms. Like Trump, Putin is a man who disdains formalities, who despises convention. They are both men who believe in a few simple ideas whose authority derives from their own personalities. Given that Pindo policy for the past decade has been based on a profound suspicion of Putin’s motives and an attempt to contain his wild, expansionist impulses in Ukraine and elsewhere, Trump as president would take our foreign policy into completely uncharted waters. Trump has expressed profound scepticism of NATO and the alliance calling for mutual aid in the event of Russian attack. All this has to be music to Putin’s ears. Any western leader who himself favours disbanding alliances predicated on containing Russian power is a friend to the Russian leader.

everybody worries their bosses are making friends with putin

Russian arms for Hizballah cross Israel’s red line
DEBKAfile, Jul 24 2016


Whenever he talks to Bibi, which is roughly every week to ten days, Putin turns aside all his complaints about Russian arms supplies to Hizballah. The issue is also raised without results by Israeli boxtops on trips to Moscow, including Mossad Director Yossi Cohen on Jul 1. Nonetheless, Bibi persisted in complaining again about the Russian arms reaching Hizballah in his latest phone conversation with Putin on Saturday Jul 23. Our military sources say he made the call primarily to raise another topic, the UAV flights from Syria into Israeli airspace on Jul 17. Sfter their conversation, the Kremlin issued a bland statement saying that the two leaders discussed issues related to the war on terrorism, and that both agreed to continue the ties between the countries at “various levels.” Our military sources report that the conviction gaining ground now among AMAN and IAF chiefs is that the drone was not Iranian or Hizballah-made, but Russian. They take a grave view of the episode, especially because the UAV, which hovered for some hours over the Golan and northern Israel, appears to have been a “Searcher,” the reconnaissance drone developed by Israel and manufactured by Russia under Israeli license as “Forpost.” Moscow is making use of the sophisticated “Forpost” UAV for surveillance and intelligence-gathering in Syria, Ukraine and terrorist targets in the Caucasian mountains. If IDF chiefs are correct, then a Russian drone developed by Israel was used by to spy on Israel after it was launched from an Iranian or Hizballah base in the Syrian Qalamun Mountains. This action crossed more than one Israeli red line. Adding insult to injury, the drone’s electronic jamming devices were activated to disarm the missiles and aircraft Israel scrambled to intercept it. This issue is a further irritant on top of the Russian arms supplies to Hizballah, which elude Israel’s efforts to interrupt them by mean of two covert tactics:

  1. Russian weapons consignments to the Syrian army are in excess of the recipient’s requirements, and the surplus is secretly diverted to Hizballah. Israeli airstrikes only smash the Iranian and Syrian weapons convoys known to be heading out of Syria to Lebanon on the strength of data provided by AMAN. But the traffic missed by AMAN goes through to its destination. Our military sources report that by this tactic, Hizballah has succeeded in basing most of its fighting units, not only in Syria but also in Lebanon, on Russian weaponry, last year at battalion level, and by Jun 2016 including company level. Their hardware is not limited to personal sidearms from Russia, but also anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles.
  2. Where do they come from? The Russian military industry is the main supplier of raw materials for Syria’s arms manufacture, including missiles. Without this assistance, the Assad regime would not have been able to manufacture the Scud C mid-range ground-to-ground missiles or the Fateh-110 missiles. Some of these missiles made in Syria are quietly consigned to the Hizballah. Our sources have found that Putin habitually acts surprised and feigns ignorance whenever Netanyahu raises the issue of the Russian weapon supply to Hizballah. He then promises to look into Israel’s complaint and get back to him with an answer. Weeks go by and the Russian president informs the prime minister that the thorough examination he ordered found no evidence of any Russian military or civilian body supplying Hizballah with weapons. Bibi shows his disbelief each time he speaks with Putin, and continues to raise the issue. Meanwhile, the Russian arms supply to Hizballah goes on, with Israel constrained from interfering.

These occurrences demonstrate that the military and intelligence relations between Israel and Russia are in fact a far cry from the entente cordiale presumed in Israel and Western capitals. Indeed, working relations are handicapped by the effect of such incidents to erode even the limited understanding the two leaders reached to coordinate military intelligence and air force operations in the Syrian arena.

little tiny blast in bar

Ansbach terror attack: one dead and 11 injured after ‘deliberate’ blast
DEBKAfile Jul 25 2016

One person has been killed after a blast in a bar in the southern German city of Ansbach. Ten others are injured. The city’s mayor said “an explosive device” caused the blast. The area around the bar is now under lockdown and a nearby music festival has been cancelled. According to German sources, the explosion at Eugens Weinstube took place at around 10:00 pm local time on Sunday. It said that Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann was on his way to the scene.

A Syrian refugee kills a woman with machete in another attack in Germany
DEBKAfile Jul 24 2016

German media report that a Syrian refugee of 21 killed a woman with a machete and injured two others Sunday in the south-western city of Reutlingen before being arrested by police. Reutlingen police could not immediately be reached to provide further details or the reason for the attack. Germany is still reeling from the killing Friday of nine people in Munich by an 18-year old of Iranian descent and the ISIS-claimed axe murder that wounded five people on a Munich train five days earlier.


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