Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Stuff

I should have an important piece up later today. In the meantime...

The big debate. I did not watch it, not in real time. I caught the gist of it later.

The only aspect of the thing that truly interested me was whether Webb would find some way to grab attention. He did not. After the debate, all of the pundits declared that they did not expect to see his face next time.

The next debate won't be a real debate unless someone decides to come down hard on Hillary's disastrous turn as Secretary of State. Webb should have done this task last night. He blew it.

So what's left? Those of us seeking an alternative to neoconservativism are reduced to the search for tiny clues. Clinton, Sanders, Biden: Which one displays any hint of independent thought when it comes to foreign policy? As I see it, Hillary still has one big thing going for her: She counts Max Blumenthal's father among her close friends. Otherwise, I see little reason for hope.

(I'm talking about foreign policy here. On the domestic front, she's obviously much better than any of the Republican crazies.) 

The big Democratic blogs gave the night to Sanders. So do the Chicago Tribune and columnist H.A. Goodman. The polls aren't in yet, but my guess is that many Dems will declare Bernie to be the winner. Nevertheless, The Washington Post and Politico want you to believe that Hillary crushed it.
She was, in short, a man among boys. And that’s why the debate was so important to Clinton. She may have had a rough time as the Democrats’ presidential front-runner, but her advantages in experience and composure were clear when she shared a stage with her rivals for the first time. Vice President Biden, if he was still pondering a run while watching the debate on television, would find the rationale for his candidacy diminishing.
"A man among boys"? Obviously, Dana Milbank chose those words precisely because he wants online feminists to spank him. So spank away. He wants it.

Third term. A couple of days ago, Obama said during a speech that he could win a third term if he were allowed to run. This is probably true, given the weaknesses of the GOP roster. Naturally, the wingnut sites are interpreting these words as a declaration that Obama will, in fact, grab a third term, through fair means or foul. Will someone please explain the 22nd amendment to these fools?

Propaganda springs eternal.  The first thing you have to know about the Dutch report on the MH-17 incident is that Russia cooperated fully and the United States did not. This fact tells us much.

What bugs me most is not so much the contents of the report but the way our journalists have covered it. For example...
...I just heard NPR’s Moscow correspondent, Corey Flintoff, say that the missile that hit the airliner was fired by Ukrainian separatists who lack the technical ability to operate the system. Therefore, the missile had to have been fired by a Russian.

There is nothing in the Dutch report whatsoever that leads to this conclusion. Flintoff either is incompetent or lying or he is expressing his view and not the report’s conclusion.

The only conclusion that the report reaches is one that we already knew: if a Buk missile brought down the airliner, it was a Russian-made missile. The Dutch report does not say who fired it.
Earlier, I said that Dana Milbank needs a spanking. In truth, most of our pseudojournalists deserve to be horsewhipped.

One exception is Robert Parry, who refuses to join the New Cold Warriors. He has been following the MH-17 story closely, and his response is a must-read.

Parry focuses on an important point that also caught my attention: According to the Dutch report, the airliner was brought down by an ancient, discontinued BUK surface-to-air missile. This fact means that the Ukrainians are the likeliest culprits.
As for the missile’s firing location, the Dutch report said the launch spot could have been anywhere within a 320-square-kilometer area in eastern Ukraine, making it hard to determine whether the firing location was controlled by the rebels or government forces. Given the fluidity of the frontlines in July 2014 – and the fact that heavy fighting was occurring to the north – it might even have been possible for a mobile missile launcher to slip from one side to the other along the southern front.

The Dutch report did seek to discredit one alternative theory raised by Russian officials in the days after the shoot-down – that MH-17 could have been the victim of an air-to-air attack. The Dutch dismissed Russian radar data that suggested a possible Ukrainian fighter plane in the area, relying instead of Ukrainian data which the Dutch found more complete.

But the report ignored other evidence cited by the Russians, including electronic data of the Ukrainian government allegedly turning on the radar that is used by Buk systems for targeting aircraft. Russian Lt. Gen. Andrey Kartopolov called on the Ukrainian government to explain the movements of its Buk systems to sites in eastern Ukraine in mid-July 2014 and why Kiev’s Kupol-M19S18 radars, which coordinate the flight of Buk missiles, showed increased activity leading up to the July 17 shoot-down.

The Dutch-led investigation was perhaps compromised by a central role given to the Ukrainian government which apparently had the power to veto what was included in the report. Yet, what may have spoken most loudly in the Dutch report was the silence about U.S. intelligence information. If – as Kerry claimed – the U.S. government knew almost immediately the site where the fateful missile was launched, why has that evidence been kept secret?
Our mendacious media won't tell you any of this.

The use of gays in propaganda. How many times have you heard our media score Putin for being bad on gay rights? Even Obama has gotten in on the act. Oddly enough, nobody in our ever-so-docile media talks about China, where gays are subjected to shock therapy.

You can't say that our journalists don't have standards. Double standards.
Comments:
Trump today said he did not know who fired the missile and we may never find out.
 
@William Webber - Leave it to Trump to somehow manage to be both the most insane and the most rational in the entire GOP field.

As for NPR distorting reality, recall back when one of Karl Rove's prime directives was to replace the board of directors and other influential persons within the NPR hierarchy with ideologues sympathetic to the political right. As soon as they accomplished that mission they quieted down quite a bit about de-funding public radio.
 
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/10/democratic-debate-las-vegas-clinton-sanders-omalley-chafee-wbb.html

A drive by or live blog Lambert Strethers and some great comments.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/10/john-helmer-autopsy-of-mh17-crash-and-the-dutch-report.html

On Amerikas silence on this, there was war games going on with an awac and it's navy sister in the air. The navy missile cruiser with advance radar and both saw the whole thing in real time. The one other fact the Russian brought up there was the latest Amerikan satellite that job is to see launch's from the earth was overhead. It's what Amerika does best lie then start the propaganda noise machine.

Then on the side, Malaysia govt. had just bashed israel on the attacks on Gaza.
 
Blogger John Helmer has some very detailed and interesting comments to make about MH17.

http://johnhelmer.net/?p=14240
http://johnhelmer.net/?p=14084
http://johnhelmer.net/?p=14153
http://johnhelmer.net/?p=13071
http://johnhelmer.net/?p=11177
http://johnhelmer.net/?p=14270

And despite its denials the Ukraine government also possessed BUK missiles at the time of the downing of MH17.
 
Joseph, I recently came across commentator Alexander Mercouris and I have been blown away by the quality of his reporting and political analysis. For those interested:

The Dutch government inquiry findings on MH17
The Ukraine conflict and the EU -- recent developments
Ghouta sarin gas attacks

More here. .... Cheers.
 
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