So much to say, so little time!
First, a limerick which explains why I don't like modern song lyrics:
There once was a "poet" named Peter
Who never could comprehend meter.
It went over his head,
So he shrugged and he said:
Only a slime would rhyme "time" and "divine."
Properly, more than the vowels must align.
And now let's quickly deal with some political news...
CNN had an infuriating moment which I wish I could find on YouTube. A guest dared to suggest that no evidence linked Assad to the recent "sarin" attack -- and before this guest could complete this forbidden thought, everyone else on the panel beat him down as though he had advocated raping puppies. The host assured the audience that the U.N. had irrevocably determined Assad to be the culprit, a brazen lie which meets even the strictest definition of "fake news."
It has become impermissible to suggest that Assad did not commit the 2013 attack, even though the UN found that the rebels were responsible
, even though M.I.T. came to the same conclusion
, and even though the NYT backtracked
on its initial claim of Assad's responsibility.
I would offer the same conclusion about both the 2013 and 2017 incidents. The fact that victims were civilians exonerates the Syrian government. Think: In World War I, were chemical weapons targeted at civilians
? Armies targeted armies because killing civilians would have served no practical purpose. As a general rule, any CBW attack on a small group of civilians must
be the work of either (A) terrorists or (B) covert operatives hoping to frame some opposing political entity.
Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson
is usually a welcome presence on liberal and mainstream cable news shows, though not right now. No-one in his right mind would accuse him of being a Russian stooge or an Alex Jonesian nutjob. Here's what he has to say about Syria:
“Assad’s military has gained a decisive advantage over the rebels and he had just scored a major diplomatic victory with the Trump administration’s announcement that the U.S. was no longer seeking ‘regime change’ in Syria. The savvy Assad would know that a chemical weapon attack now would likely result in U.S. retaliation and jeopardize the gains that his military has achieved with Russian and Iranian help. (…) But logic and respect for facts no longer prevail inside Official Washington, nor inside the mainstream U.S. news media.”
“In fact most of my sources are telling me — including members of the team that monitor global chemical weapons, including people in Syria, including people in the US Intelligence community — that what most likely happened (and this intelligence was shared with the US by Russia in accordance with the de-conflicting agreement) is that they hit a warehouse that they intended to hit and had told both sides, Russia and the US, that they were going to hit. This is a serious air force, of course. And this warehouse was alleged to have ISIS supply in it and indeed it probably did. And some of these supplies were precursors for chemicals (or possibly an alternative they were phosphates for fertilizing)… Conventional bombs hit the warehouse and the wind dispersed these ingredients and killed some people.”
notes the absence of CIA Director Mike Pompeo and other intelligence officials in an official photo of Trump ordering the attack on that Syrian air base. The fact that the administration keeps inflating the claimed damage done to Assad's Air Force informs us, yet again, that Team Trump loves to tell whoppers that would have made Goebbels blush.
Before the photo was released on Friday, a source told me that Pompeo had personally briefed Trump on April 6 about the CIA’s belief that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was likely not responsible for the lethal poison-gas incident in northern Syria two days earlier — and thus Pompeo was excluded from the larger meeting as Trump reached a contrary decision.
While Tillerson’s comment meshed with Official Washington’s hastily formed groupthink of Assad’s guilt, it is hard to believe that CIA analysts would have settled on such a firm conclusion so quickly, especially given the remote location of the incident and the fact that the initial information was coming from pro-rebel (or Al Qaeda) sources.
Here are the parts Rachel Maddow left out.
Thus, a serious question arises whether President Trump did receive that “high degree of confidence” assessment from the intelligence community or whether he shunted Pompeo aside to eliminate an obstacle to his desire to launch the April 6 rocket attack.
If so, such a dangerous deception more than anything else we’ve seen in the first two-plus months of the Trump administration would be grounds for impeachment – ignoring the opinion of the U.S. intelligence community so the President could carry out a politically popular (albeit illegal) missile strike that killed Syrians.
Normally, I love the way Maddow opens each show with a Michener-esque barrage of backstory. (James Michener couldn't write a novel called Hawaii
without prepping us with the entire geological history of the islands going all the way back to the pre-Cambrian age.) A couple of days ago, she gave us the entire post-WWII political history of Syria -- yet for some odd reason, she left out certain important bits of the story.
We're talking about some really, really significant bits. Bits that place the narrative in a new light. Bits that might change how you view the Syrian situation. Bits that will help you understand how your tax dollars are being spent.
Would you like to know what those bits are? You should. They're important. And that's why we're going to tell you what those bits are...right after this.
(Insert commercial here)
Here's the Syrian history that Rachel Maddow missed: She left out everything labeled "CIA" and everything labeled "oil pipeline."
Fortunately, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. gives us an excellent history lesson
which includes the stuff that TRMS ignored. In the graphic to your right, note that the purple line is the proposed US-backed pipeline while the red line is the proposed Russia-backed Iranian pipeline.
(Next year will see the anniversary of the assassination of RFK Jr's father. I suspect that when Maddow covers that story, she will once again leave out the bits labeled "CIA.")
RFK Jr.'s Syria story prompted this response
from Stanley Heller:
He quotes Robert Parry. “No one in the region has clean hands, but in the realms of torture, mass killings, [suppressing] civil liberties and supporting terrorism, Assad is much better than the Saudis.” In fact his torture to death prisons are much worse than the Saudis. Remember the “Caesar photos” alone showed 6,786 corpses of people murdered in prisons.
In my view -- and I am hardly alone in this -- "Caesar" is simply another "Curveball": See my earlier pieces here
. Caesar's work was funded by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. (Refer to the pipeline graphic above. Note where the purple line starts.)
Everyone now forgets that the crux of Caeasar's argument was that Assad created ISIS -- a truly absurd propapaganda meme which stood reality on its head, and which was abandoned years ago because it fooled precisely no-one. In fact, the Saudis and the Qataris
funded ISIS in its early days, as Hillary Clinton herself privately acknowledged
. Incidentally, Caesar's handler was one Mouaz Moustafa, a hireling of WINEP, a front for AIPAC
For much more on the Caesar imbroglio, see here
. The photos are exposed as fraudulent on this site
. And yet Heller cites Caesar as though no-one had ever questioned his credibility.
Caesar's atrocity photos receive very little mention on cable news today, even by those most intent on drumming up support for Trump's attack on Syria. This telling omission suggests that mainstream reporters understand the "Caesar=Curveball" equation, even if they won't mention that equation in public.
Have you noticed that few of the talking heads on teevee bother to mention that the anti-Assad rebellion was and is led by ISIS and Al Qaeda? On the rare occasions when Al Qaeda does
get mentioned, the organization is treated like the cuddly old grandpa of Middle Eastern politics. How things have changed since 2001!
Louise Mensch and Cassandra Fairbanks.
After I wrote my post on Cassandra Fairbanks (the allegedly far-left BernieBot turned Alt Rightist), I learned that she has filed some sort of legal action against Louise Mensch. This rather smarmy piece
in NY Magazine implies that Mensch accused Cassandra of posing as the 15 year old girl who engaged in sexting with Anthony Wiener. Actually, that is not what Mensch claims
; she explicitly says that she could not discover the girl's identity. It's getting hard to escape the conclusion that there is an organized effort to "Hillary" Louise Mensch.
Buzzfeed says that there really was a 15 year-old girl
, and that they -- Buzzfeed -- have spoken to her. Perhaps so. Still, we should note Buzzfeed's failure to mention the precedent of "Betty and Veronica," two allegedly underaged girls who convinced Mediaite reporter Tommy Christopher that they had engaged in sexy chat with Weiner. Those girls turned out to be actresses. When their antics became too high-profile and raised too many questions, they pulled a Keyser Sose: Poof!
They were gone. Who hired them?
For years, that question has driven investigators nuts. (Literally
nuts, in the case of one reporter whom I used to respect.)
Any catfight between Fairbanks and Mensch would be nothing but a distraction (especially if it were to involve mud or oil). The real question is: Was Fairbanks sincere when she posed as a Bernie-or-bust leftwinger? In my experience, an instantaneous far-left-to-Alt-Right conversion simply does not happen
. Infiltration, manipulation, covert ratfucking: These things do
happen. People like Fairbanks always have some sort of explanation or strained rationalization for what they do and say, but I've become far too cynical to sit still for that guff.