Greek civilization vs. American snipers & the Kochtopus. (Plus: The Kwisatz Haderach vs. ISIS!)
On behalf of the city Baltimore, I apologize to the rest of the northeastern coast of the United States. The blizzard that hit you so hard seems to be treating us rather gently.
Elsewhere, things are happening...
Great news from Greece! Congratulations to the Greek people for putting Syriza (the lefty party led by Alexis Tsipras) into power. Watch out for American spooks, my Greek friends -- they've screwed you over in the past, and you can bet the Parthenon that right now, at this very moment, they are planning to do it again.
I hope that everyone in Syriza understands that the NSA will log their every text, every phone call, and every email. The spooks will seize upon anything that they can use to undermine this new government. The success of Syriza would undermine the plans of neoliberals everywhere, and could even un-ossify economic thinking in this country. If there's one thing that scares our Establishment, it's the threat of a successful alternative.
Go here for an amazing interview with the fellow charged with putting the economy together again.
Paul Krugman offers some worthwhile observations about the triumph of Syriza here.
So now that Mr. Tsipras has won, and won big, European officials would be well advised to skip the lectures calling on him to act responsibly and to go along with their program. The fact is they have no credibility; the program they imposed on Greece never made sense. It had no chance of working.
If anything, the problem with Syriza’s plans may be that they’re not radical enough. Debt relief and an easing of austerity would reduce the economic pain, but it’s doubtful whether they are sufficient to produce a strong recovery. On the other hand, it’s not clear what more any Greek government can do unless it’s prepared to abandon the euro, and the Greek public isn’t ready for that.
Maybe they should bloody well get ready. It may be necessary to ditch the euro and to fundamentally rebuild the Greek nation -- with BRICS.
Jeffrey Sterling convicted. You may recall our previous post about Jeffrey Sterling, the former CIA whistleblower who gave reporter James Risen information about the potentially disastrous Operation Merlin -- a bizarre covert op designed to give nuclear information to the Iranians.
(Why on earth did the CIA want to do that? Because certain parties want war with Iran, that's why. Can't have a war without a casus belli.)
Naturally, this administration decided to hurl the book at Sterling, as it does with all whistleblowers. Marcy Wheeler, who has been covering the Sterling trial, gives us this sad report...
After having deliberated for slightly over 2 days, the jury today found Jeffrey Sterling guilty of all nine counts today.
The jury even found Sterling guilty of obstructing justice because he deleted an email (with unclassified info) that he sent to Risen in 2003! (There may be grounds for appeal here, since the trial was held in Virginia, and the deletion did not occur there.)
One of Marcy's readers draws what I consider an instructive comparison:
So Sterling is convicted and Aipac’s Rosen and Weissman totally let off the hook. The investigation into their espionage activities and charges did not even make it into the court room . All just dropped. No double standards there.
American Sniper. You want the truth behind the hype? Max Bumenthal gives some important background here. (Or here.) I would embed the video -- a Real News interview -- but embedding has been disabled for this item.
When I pointed out on Twitter that this film was basically a vehicle to help America overcome Iraq war syndrome, that it portrayed an unrepentant, sadistic killer as an anguished figure who was deeply reflective as he mowed down faceless Iraqis and I attempted to de-exceptionalize the portrayal of American troops in this film, I was daily reached with death threats and hate tweets from the bowels of white America.
The billion-dollar Kochtopus. The Koch brothers will put roughly $900 million into the next election. That's more than double the amount that the RNC put into the last election cycle -- yet that number is only about one percent of what the Kochs are worth.
My response: This turn of events makes electing a Democratic president -- any Democratic president, however depressing -- imperative in 2016, even if one must C-clamp one's nose shut while casting one's ballot.
The reason? The Supreme Court.
The Citizens United Decision is what allows the Kochs to commandeer the system, and only a new Supreme Court can change that decision. The next president may get the chance to appoint one or two justices -- Scalia is nearly 79, Ginsburg is nearly 82. I'm sorry, but whatever else you may say about Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, their four appointees have been better than the five chosen by the Republican presidents.
Agents' use of the radars was largely unknown until December, when a federal appeals court in Denver said officers had used one before they entered a house to arrest a man wanted for violating his parole. The judges expressed alarm that agents had used the new technology without a search warrant, warning that "the government's warrantless use of such a powerful tool to search inside homes poses grave Fourth Amendment questions."
Strangely enough, this matter has already been adjudicated. In 2001, the Supreme Court ruled that the cops can't use thermal cameras without a warrant.
Does ISIS have an Air Force? Yes it does, according to Bashar Assad...
So what do you think Israel’s agenda is? They are supporting the rebels in Syria. It’s very clear. Because whenever we make advances in some place, they make an attack in order to undermine the army. It’s very clear. That’s why some in Syria joke: “How can you say that al Qaeda doesn’t have an air force? They have the Israeli air force.”
As for the role of the United States...
The question that we have is, how much will does the United States have to really fight terrorism on the ground? So far, we haven’t seen anything concrete in spite of the attacks on ISIS in northern Syria. There’s nothing concrete. What we’ve seen so far is just, let’s say, window-dressing, nothing real. Since the beginning of these attacks, ISIS has gained more land in Syria and Iraq.
The Turks are the real issue here. If the US were serious about stopping ISIS, Obama would not be seeking an authorization for military force -- he would be pressuring the Turks to stop the flow of ISIS fighters into Syria.
It’s not about greater involvement by the military, because it’s not only about the military; it’s about politics. It’s about how much the United States wants to influence the Turks. Because if the terrorists can withstand the air strikes for this period, it means that the Turks keep sending them armaments and money. Did the United States put any pressure on Turkey to stop the support of al Qaeda? They didn’t; they haven’t.
And while we're on the topic...
SHE SPEAKS JAPANESE TOO?!? Okay, I'm starting to think that Maram Susli (Syrian Girl) really is the Kwisatz Haderach. In the following video, she discusses the Syrian civil war with a Japanese friend, with a particular focus on the Japanese hostages who were recently murdered by the fiends of ISIS.
Yes, they converse in Japanese, with excellent subtitles. Seriously, is there anything Maram Susli can't do?
Maybe her very name will soon become a killing word. Maybe the soldiers in the Syrian Army can disintegrate their enemies by chanting "Maaaaaaaa-RAM!" And then she'll triumphantly enter Aleppo while riding a gigantic sand worm that has risen from the Syro-Arabian desert.
Syrian Girl reminds me of the new movie "Lucy". Just saw a coming attractions clip (that's all I ever see). In the clip a Black man of authority is saying, "we only use 10 percent of our brain", and then Lucy comes walking down the hallway and the authority figure is saying " what happens when she reaches 100 percent?"
posted by Hildy : 11:03 AM
Jospeh, I do hope when you type the repugnant name Koch you're pronouncing it correctly. Neither epoch, loch (Ness)nor even Molloch ryme with Coke. It's time America gets of the Koch.
The Greek Election is:HUGE. And yet what I've been hearing all day and night and day again is: the mega storm that wasn't. Not to dismiss the discomfort of Long Island or Rhode Island and points north but . . .the snow will melt, the power will be restored and we'll move on to other things.
The Greek election is here to stay with enormous ramifications, hopefully positive change for Greece herself and a big fat raspberry to the troika's attempt to starve and pulverize an entire nation.
And yet, what do I read? Well, of course, the Marxist tag, the danger of a radical left government working for the population rather than the oligarchs. Oooo, scary. To it's shame, the NYT is still peddling the myth that 'austerity' in a country suffering its worst and longest Depression in 80 years is the cure to Greece's problems. This is not economic advice, it's quackery, the same sort that's peddled by the austerity choir in the US--bleed the patient, pain will set you free--completely dismissing the misery of the population. Greece has finally said: Enough! Throw the quacks and greed heads out!
It's likely Spain will follow suit. The tide could include Portugal, Italy and Ireland, all the EU's periphery countries who have had to listen to the comfortable sitting bankers and financiers preach the Sermon on the Anthill.
Huge news conveniently downplayed by the US press! This will slowly become the howling season, propaganda galore because Greece will demand a renegotiation on their debt load. Or default. And the bankers and investment class? I can hear the neoliberal screeches now.
This isn't an end. It's a beginning.
posted by Anonymous : 5:00 PM
Alia was the Abomination, who was a Reverend Mother before birth, but she was not the Kwisatz Halderach: She could not look in the male place, no woman could.
The Bene Gesserit hated her because Jessica allowed her to undertake the ritual and absorb the ancestral memories of the other Reverend Mothers.
She also had limited access to the prescience that Paul had, but that had more to do with the intake of the spice melange and nothing to do with special powers. It was the same thing that allowed Third Stage Navigators access to the future to plot the jump point of the heighliners.
And, if you allow the extended books in it turns out Paul wasn't the Kwisatz Haderach, either. It was Duncan's ghola. But that's just silliness.
posted by Anonymous : 6:31 PM
There are other theories of Alia. My point came from the official Dune Wiki, which you should not sneer at because it's like all official and stuff.
At any rate, the Kwisatz is as the Kwisatz does, and a Kwisats is recognized by ACTING like a Kwisatz. Who is like unto Maram Susli? When she stands at the gate of Aleppo, I, her prophet, shall shout to the multitudes: "And how can this BE? For she IS the..."
Well, you know the rest.
By the way, did you ever hear the tale of how I single-handedly destroyed the David Lynch film version of Dune? This is serious...