National Security Analyst Irina Tsukerman Explains the Conflict Between Armenia and Azerbaijan Over Nogorno-Karabakh

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Posted to YouTube by ATZMedia Official October 13, 2020.

Reference | Irina Tsukerman: https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/experts/view/irina-tsukerman#bio


One giant chunk of asphalt landed on the roof of Sergei’s block of flats. He accuses Azerbaijan’s closest ally, Turkey, of fuelling the war and encouraging the violence. To counter that, many in Nagorno-Karabakh want Russia to side openly with Armenia and provide military support. Sergei doesn’t believe that will happen.

“I used to respect [President Vladimir] Putin,” he says, “but he betrayed us long ago.

“He does business with Turkey. He’s building them a nuclear power station. What Putin needs to realise is that if we’re destroyed, the whole of the Caucasus and southern Russia will end up under Turkish rule. If we die, so will Russia.”

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-54522278
10/14/2020/0500/GMT -4

Related Online: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/14/red-cross-says-hundreds-of-thousands-affected-live-updates (10/14/2020)| https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/13/opinions/nagorno-karabakh-conflict-we-cant-ignore-bociurkiw/index.html (10/13/2020)


Posted to YT by Al Jazeera English, October 14, 2020.

Note: Nagorno-Karabakh hosts gas and oil pipelines between sources and world markets (e.g., ref., https://www.reuters.com/article/us-armenia-azerbaijan-energy/energy-markets-on-edge-over-armenia-azerbaijan-conflict-idUSKBN26J225 9/28/2020).


Wikipedia. “Nagorno-Karabakh”.

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A Note on the Political Destabilization of the West

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From the Awesome Conversation

ISO Radical Moderates.

Cultural extremists and party zealots may be laying the groundwork for extraordinary blowback. However, that reflexive response would call for a renewal of enthusiasm for the most advanced standards of western culture and its modern (rather than medieval) devotions.

Has EU / NATO, much less the United States, the educated and enlightened empiricist and humanist populations for that?

We’re certainly living through the process of finding out.


States contributing to political incoherence associated with or within EU/NATO might include Hungary, Italy, Poland, Turkey, and the United States of America. Authoritarianism, extremism, feudalism (family as state mafia), and unreasoning religious faith have long had their posts in the medieval world. The learning modern west has battled even longer, however, to overcome its own worst tendencies to produce a world and associated politics steeped in compassion, empiricism, equality in justice, humanism, and mutual responsibility for improving (rather than degrading) Qualities of Living (QOLs) across Europe, throughout North America, down through Latin America and against the intellectually limited and nefarious dictatorships of the world.

How goes the battle for mankind’s more enlightened future?

Three generalist organizations provide clues: https://cpj.org/ | https://freedomhouse.org/ | https://www.occrp.org/en .

The blood-and-soil nationalism buoyed by revivals of church and military enthusiasm following 9/11 and numerous other Islamist attacks (perhaps associated with Moscow’s covert influence) has marched a portion of the 21st Century political establishment headlong into the political models of the 19th.

How else to interpret the big picture for the BREXIT or Trump narratives?

Add the Syrian Tragedy as challenge and goad to Western resolve.

Obama had offered Putin his “Come Westward” in 2011 (it’s now hard to find that moment online, but I recall the same as the “Syrian Gambit”), and Putin said “Nyet!” while Obama scoffed at the return to the “KGB Playbook”.

Well, here we are — and here is EU/NATO — talking up Western Values while nonetheless losing momentum and a handful of compromised or, as with Hungary and Turkey, philosophically and spiritually traitorous states.


While lumping America’s President Trump with others possessed of autocratic and martial patriotic fervor, I would note that his Administration’s actual policies and postures fall into line with greater American state tendencies in judgment and policies. For example, he has not been wrong about China (i.e., https://conflict-backchannels.com/2020/07/16/barr-chinas-abuses-of-power-and-privilege-against-client-states-and-the-west/). Moreover, the Trump Administration’s leveling of sanctions against Crimean officials (“so-called”) has been especially caustic as well as damaging.

One might suggest with relation to Donald Trump that he has been a worse candidate, one deeply inspiring his own opposition, than American President.

In any case, the United States is not Hungary, and while Viktor Orban has been able to degrade his state’s political character, I believe the present polarization and related turmoil in the United States will abate with a greater general want of return to “normalcy” — and normal in the United States involves much, much greater mutual concern and regard for one another and related practical political reason and compromise.

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FTAC From On High: “Jews who vote Democratic . . . .”

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I’ve tired quite of Punch the Democrat and Judy the Republican on Facebook. I’ve been at it long enough to abandon the aisle while the mud flies overhead.

This is a short personal take on the present state of affairs in the United State but inspired by a conversation hosted in Canada, I’ve add a small plea for remembering that our seeming adversaries online are also our neighbors, and we used to talk — or we used to be able to talk — with compassion, better than superficial knowledge, and reason with the intent of grappling with difficult cultural, environmental, political, and social issues. That near past seems to me much better than this descent into hurling frequently vicious memes and slogans in every direction.


From the Awesome Conversation

Jews who vote Democratic will do so because it has been Democrats who appear to most care about distressed ordinary Americans. The Dems have blundered terribly with COVID-19, but at least they are asking questions about our cultural and social pathologies and their victims. All that takes is a walk down an urban street.

The President’s leadership in vicious demonizations and of what appears to be a supine Republican Senate has, predictably, inspired some flight into the Biden camp.

The Dems, sadly, carry the burden of the Far Out Left and the Soviet Era Communist legacy in global perception, and that’s killing them here but for one thing: the better comportment of strident moderates like Biden and Schumer (I don’t really know the camp, but I’m tired of the Republican Senate, and that’s coming from an initially conservative position in all of this).

All of this has been complicated by the COVID-19 response (please note that my liberal state’s governor is a Republican, and we have been shut down as much as any) and the creation of conditions for the peonage (slavery by way of mounting personal debt) of millions of Americans of both parties. The political reaction on both sides of the aisle: throwing money (or borrowing and spending) into the air to encourage evidently set allegiances.

We should wake up in America and Canada to regard our conversational adversaries as Americans and Canadians rather than North American extremists who (somehow) aren’t like ourselves.


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Let the GOP Know About The Real America, Inclusively Multicultural and Multiracial

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Posted to YouTube by “The Missing Cousins”, May 8, 2016.

Are conditions — or police — that bad that the lanky Old Left must be compelled to promote the latest in anti-authoritarian lunacy, i.e., “Defund Police!”?

I don’t think so.

Christian conservative and thoughtful Americans have been jumping off the Republican bandwagon too.


Elizabeth Neumann, former American Homeland Security official, August 26, 2020.

Echoes from American Business and Political History

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America_First_Party_(1943) | https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_L._K._Smith | https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/mvke38/all-the-evidence-we-could-find-about-fred-trumps-alleged-involvement-with-the-kkk | https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/02/28/in-1927-donald-trumps-father-was-arrested-after-a-klan-riot-in-queens/ | https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/28/us/politics/donald-trump-housing-race.html | https://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2017/02/trump-fbi-files-discrimination-case-235067

Institutionalized and systematic racism, private or public, leaves lasting impressions in the cumulative online media memory of the world.


Mr. Smith, whose career as a master extremist began in 1934 and continued until his death, seemed mystified that because he was anti- black, anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic and pro-Fascist, he was shunned by many persons he would have liked to know.

โ€œThere is nothing worse, nothing more deadly,โ€ he said in an interview a few years ago, โ€œthan never getting to talk to anyone but people who agree with you.โ€

https://www.nytimes.com/1976/04/16/archives/gerald-lk-smith-dead-anticommunist-crusader.html – April 16, 1976.

America’s Greatest Post-Civil War Civil Rights Milestone

https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2004/summer/civil-rights-act-1.html & https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2004/summer/civil-rights-act-2.html

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FTAC: Trump — The Bad News President

In Trump’s World, power has in part turned out the power to condemn and demean without substance: “Fake News!” “Crooked Hillary!” “A real nut job” (referring to James Comey while chatting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in 2017), and so on. Applying the most medieval, primitive, and tribal of techniques — name calling! ๐Ÿ™‚ — it should come as no wonder that an admirer suggest he must have a second term with which to prosecute those whom he has capriciously accused of wrongdoing.

From the Awesome Conversation

Addressing he who had named names (like Hillary Clinton) that had been marked for investigation at Trump’s behest —


They’re not criminals.

Trump is this man: https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/columnists/mike-kelly/2020/01/24/donald-trump-still-owes-money-to-contractors-who-built-taj-mahal-atlantic-city/4547037002/

Trump is the man who inspired books like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Room-Where-Happened-White-Memoir/dp/1982148039 — and this one: https://www.amazon.com/House-Trump-Putin-Untold-Russian/dp/152474350X They are both extraordinary books, well documented, clearly told.

Trump has been the kind of man who fires people like this: https://conflict-backchannels.com/2019/11/17/marie-yovanovitch-the-kind-of-person-president-trump-fires-from-his-administration/

Trump is the kind of man who hires for a campaign manager someone like this one: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/402125-manafort-guilty & https://gothamist.com/news/convicted-felon-paul-manafort-indicted-on-new-fraud-charges-in-new-york

Trump expected criminal behavior from this guy — and got it: https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/27/politics/michael-cohen-donald-trump-oversight-committee-russia/index.html

Trump, the working man’s President, couldn’t wait to brag the line reported here: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/12/you-all-just-got-a-lot-richer-trump-tells-friends-at-mar-a-lago-after-signing-tax-overhaul

Trump has inspired his opposition from within the Republican Party: https://www.youtube.com/c/RepublicanVotersAgainstTrump/videos — and every single video represents someone who has been for a long time conservative, Republican, and conscionable.

You gotta love who he lets into his buildings: https://newrepublic.com/article/143586/trumps-russian-laundromat-trump-tower-luxury-high-rises-dirty-money-international-crime-syndicate

I’ve started to wonder what kind of people now insist on defending Trump.

Trump’s acumen as a businessman has been legendary — https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/donald-trumps-business-failures-were-very-real — and possibly nowhere more so than with New York’s attorney general whose legitimate investigations (acknowledged so by the Trump organization) have been so far stymied by lack of cooperation (https://ag.ny.gov/press-release/2020/attorney-general-james-takes-action-force-trump-organization-comply-ongoing) .

Perhaps some here will reconsider the purpose of having caged themselves in the reactionary echo chamber of conservative and once moderate politics.


Related Online

URLs, as above, conveyed without fanfare (life (‘s short — and for this editor speeding past 65, getting shorter).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nicknames_used_by_Donald_Trump

https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-trump-comey-insults-20180415-htmlstory.html (5/10/2017)

https://www.rollcall.com/2018/08/02/top-10-trump-nicknames-and-why-they-stick-to-his-foes/ (8/2/2018)

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Suggested Thoroughly Independent End-of-Summer Reading for Lovers of Freedom, Knowledge, and Western Civilization

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Summer Reading, Hunter Hill, Hagerstown, Maryland, August 20, 2020

This post has been on my mind for at least a month and rather held up by the sorry habit of reading “long form” in bits and pieces. Advancing age, declining energies, the web’s own “Electronic Attention Deficit Disordering”, and the plain fact that I’ve reached about the final less-than-third of life’s journey surrounded by a personal library (of about 2,250 volumes) offering me more choices for reading than may be read or re-read toward the looming end account here for my relaying more of what might be helpful to fellow travelers than I have taken in myself.

However, I have read each of these suggestions in part or whole — and if in part have bookmarked — and have been trying to transition from “Life Online” (how it has turned out thus far) to more of the aesthetic and literary manse beloved ever by romantics and old souls.


Dictatorships have powerful tools in capricious censorship, denunciations, frames (how the despotic present issues as well as rivals for power and targets for crushing), and, ultimately, force by threat and by violence. By comparison, democracies would seem soft with conscience, empathy, and sentiment — and not much else before the armed might of absolute state power. Nonetheless, how much abuse must democratic constituencies take before facing the choice of withering before despotic forces or standing up to them?

Were it not for the desperation, greed, ignorance, and laziness of our own — and perhaps ourselves — we may not have reached this point where the apparent most patriotic and pious of Americans may have put into power the most questionable and selfish representative of America’s reactionary wealthy. Well, we’re sure in it together now and might wish to clarify what it means to be Americans and what it may mean to govern ourselves with more adult comprehension, selfless wisdom, and a much, much greater magnanimous and shared American spirit.


Applebaum, Anne. Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism. New York: Doubleday, 2020.

Bolton, John. The Room Where It Happened. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2020.

Hitchens, Christopher. Thomas Paine’s Rights of Man. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006.

Paine, Thomas. Collected Writings: Common Sense, The Crisis, and Other Pamphlets, Articles, and Letters. Rights of Man; The Age of Reason. Eric Foner, Editor. New York: Literary Classics of the United States, 1995.

Soros, George. In Defense of Open Society. New York, Public Affairs, 2019.

Soros, Tivadar. Masquerade: Dancing around Death in Nazi-Occupied Hungary. New York: Arcade Publishing, 1965.

Stawrowski, Zbigniew. “Is Democracy Moral?” Church Life Journal, October 25, 2019.

Stewart, Katherine. The Power Worshippers. New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2020.


Posted to YouTube by KEXP, September 15, 2009.

Posted by Republican Voters Against Trump, August 18, 2020.

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America for Sale?

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How does one go about purchasing the United States of America?

First ruin it.

Give it a bad cold.

Shut it down.

Throw the lesser capitalists out of their own small businesses; throw their employees out of their jobs.

Next: take their your own profits in trade and purchase what the little people couldn’t hold.

It’s a free world, financially speaking, after all.

And funny thing — more and more (of everything – businesses in bankruptcy, related debt, foreclosures, even people) will may be coming up for sale as debt rises and capacity to return both interest and principle diminishes.


Related on BackChannels: “FTAC: COVID-19: The West’s Big Blunder”, May 10, 2020.

Related Online: “China: A loan shark or the good Samaritan?” DW, May 9, 2019; “How much U.S. Debt Does China Own?” Investopedia, Updated January 15, 2020; “The U.S. is About to Vastly Increase Its Debt. That’s a Good Thing” by Neil Irwin for The New York Times, March 27, 2020

โ€œOne of the primary reasons to be fiscally responsible during periods of economic expansion is to have the capacity to fight downturns or emergencies,โ€ said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. โ€œThis is precisely the kind of moment, where borrowing is warranted and necessary, that we should have been preparing for over the past years.โ€


Even if the Big Picture looks good, the financial suffering attending the country’s COVID-19 response and related response to that on the street may nonetheless continue degrading productivity and the sustaining of wealth in short order. One may wonder with what might be coming whether the complacent “we shall see” really hacks it for the public.

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FTAC: A Short Note on the Demonizing of George Soros

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That a certain portion of conservative and reactionary Republicans have chosen to develop and spread lies about George Soros — it’s practically an industry — comes as no surprise. Push-back, however, seems to me comparatively rare. The Political Correctness of the Far White Right immediately demonizes those who would defend the billionaire’s spacious philanthropy on behalf of authentic democracy, freedom, and progress.

The post that follows came about through involvement in one such conversation.


From the Awesome Conversation

Soros’s funding engages and liberates. Some of the people you hate so much appear to be fashionably “Marxist” but in fact hustling capitalist and modern Americans themselves, but they are leveraging substantial American challenges (involving bigotry) into careers.

The Anti-Defamation League has commented twice in the past two years on the demonizing of George Soros: https://www.adl.org/blog/the-antisemitism-lurking-behind-george-soros-conspiracy-theories & https://www.adl.org/blog/soros-conspiracy-theories-and-the-protests-a-gateway-to-antisemitism.

Sometimes, some features of the “New Nationalism” and its Christian focus may remind many of the mission taken up by Gerald L. K. Smith (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_L.K._Smith) and his own (failed) “America First Party” — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America_First_Party(1943).




BackChannels has come to regard the co-founds of Black Lives Matter as fashionably “Marxist” — the term has been overplayed as a dog whistle for the nation’s reactionaries — but in fact deeply “capitalist” — i.e., making their way — as modern moral entrepreneurs, each uniquely engaged in the address of the more stubborn aspects of America’s issues with class and race.

https://www.ted.com/speakers/alicia_garza

https://www.ted.com/speakers/opal_tometi

https://www.ted.com/speakers/patrisse_cullors


With the Trump Administration playing up the term “Antifa”, some easily seduced may come out to play, as it were, and by doing so actually create an organized and visible Antifa movement, but for the most part, such claims have been Big Lies and undeniably fake news, e.g., “FBI did not say teacher is the most common occupation of antifa activists” (Ali Swenson for AP, July 9, 2020).

The Trump Administration lies to Americans — not as yet a still conscionable FBI (please do look up “FBI, Antifa” up to this day (August 8, 2020) and let BackChannels know of any substantiation of claims about either “Antifa” and “Black Lives Matter” as the direct drivers of protester violence.

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