A Comment on ‘Trump Facebook Ban Upheld’


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Posted by ABC News on YouTube, May 6, 2021.


In the age of “Active Measures”, widespread trolling, government-funded disinformation campaigns, a sad bump in east-west rivalry with Beijing and Moscow pitted against democracy, and extraordinary agitation and propaganda, the business of shamelessly lying to the American People should be treated no differently than speech associated with conspiracy to commit crimes, libel and slander, and incitement.

Related on BackChannels: Trump and the Question of Insurrection.


Broadened Scope and Future Vision: A Note on Sheikh Jarrah, Whipped Mobs, and Middle East Peace


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Start here —

Posted to YouTube May 2, 2021.

For background from the modern Arab press —

The 28 Palestinian families arrived at the Karm al-Jaouni area of Sheikh Jarrah as refugees in 1956. Under an agreement with the Jordanian government and the UN refugee agency UNRWA, the homes were built in exchange for a revocation of their refugee status and the promise that these families would own the homes after three years.

The promise was never fulfilled, and in 1967 Jordan lost its mandate over the West Bank and East Jerusalem after the territories were occupied by Israel.

Al Jazeera, “Video shows Israeli settler trying to take over Palestinian house; Video captures Palestinian woman confronting Jewish settler in her family home in occupied East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah.” May 4, 2021.

Title issues in Sheikh Jarrah appear to go back to the 1967 Arab-Israeli War (“Six Day War”) and the redistricting that ensued. So next:

Posted to YouTube May 31, 2018.

The video makes it look like Israel just popped up on the map one day in 1948, and the Arab states were enraged by the sudden intrusion.

Well, neither Israel nor Pakistan arrived from out of nowhere in 1948. For one, a militant Islam had found itself unhappy in India, so one might suggest, and an horrific two-way mass migration formed the new state and its “frozen conflict” in Kashmir and shifting East-West alignments and related politics. As for Israel, cultural memory engraved in religion and ancient tradition, urged a return far predating 1948. A part of that history may be found here:

Rosenthal, Herman. “Agricultural Colonies in Palestine.” Jewish Encyclopedia. n.d.

Should your devotion to peace (even from your desktop, laptop, or phone — no less than mine if that) have you at least look or recall the history of Jewish habitation and investment in Palestine far predating Hitler’s atrocious crime, then consider the passage that follows.

From the Awesome Conversation

I appreciate the avarice, egotism, greed, and vulgarity involved in most wars in relation to taking property by force.

Fortunately, the tides move in both directions, making everyone miserable (if not vulgar).

WHAT IF Israeli and Palestinian officials designed together final boundaries and funded resettlement — no homeless; no “kick-outs”; no further coercion, fraud, or force — and no allowance for contempt or hate — for equal or better qualities of living where placed?

Take the emotion out of arrangements, domestic and other, and just focus on the basic human right to live in peace and free of intimidation and persecution. It doesn’t matter who you are, how you got there, what you believe or don’t believe, or even where loyalties may reside, but only that families may be settled and left to live (and work) — by mutual assent — fairly and without harassment.


Not necessarily. It’s out of necessity now that emphasis shift from immediate personal alliances, ambitions, concerns, egotism, and hurt (even) to broadened responsible modern Israeli-Palestinian cooperation. It should take only one rightly handled instance to change . . . everything.

“Masking” is what takes place when events are reported with critical missing information. In this instance, the Arab and Muslim press, the modern-looking Al Jazeera perhaps especially, overlooked the 1967 Arab challenge to Jewish survival in Israel, a war that is now an historical matter, and in standard operating procedure demonized the Jews while maintaining the innocence of Arab residents who knew their homes by having taken the same for themselves when political conditions permitted. In effect, the family had done nothing wrong with the exception of taking up residence in a geopolitical space that would again be contested, and whose outcome would be their loss by way of the restoration of previous boundaries.

Who are the thieves?

The Arab family settled in 1956?

The Jewish family pressing its case for title from before that date and after another horrendous eleven years later?

Let the finger pointing end.

Drawing to a close the instability of boundaries and related animus matters as much as the carefully and legally researched answers to legal title. To get that accommodation wants for asking those with interest to open their eyes and to think further into the future than themselves, their appreciation of themselves, and their immediate perceptions.


FTAC: “Palestinians would fare well . . . .”


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Have I, you, and we not yet tired of having the same conversations over and over and over again on Facebook, especially those related to the Middle East Conflict?

The habitual finger pointing with invective — “Israel Apartheid!”; “Palestinian Terrorists!” — should be enough to motivate the big — and big-hearted — step backward for clarity. However, few wish to take that step, and for Palestinian voices, few may be allowed the latitude needed for other than the repetition of a long surreal political theater sustained by leadership greed and related structures plus sponsoring interests (in Moscow and Tehran and elsewhere) who have little authentic interest in Palestinian well-being.

From the Awesome Conversation

Israel is not apartheid and most Palestinians would fare well with a government — or governments — up to modern standards for decency and integrity in their handling of money and relationships and with a track toward modern democracy. The toe-the-line feudal practices before power — power that remains near absolute and politically repressive — benefits small circles.

Israeli medievalism, which has less impact on the working of the modern state, both preserves the Jewish character and identity of the state but may impede civil progress in other dimensions.

As a blogger, I have found “Medieval v Modern” thematic in relation to conflict worldwide, and the arrangements that drive that axis have most to do with money and its distribution, i.e., greed.

From Vietnam long, long after the war —

Davies, Nick. “Vietnam 40 years on: how a communist victory gave way to capitalist corruption.” The Guardian, April 22, 2015.

From perhaps now nominally “communist” Communist China —

Harper, Justin. “Beijing now has more billionaires than any city.” BBC, April 8, 2021.

Posted to YouTube December 10, 2020.
Posted to YouTube April 26, 2021.
Posted to YouTube April 8, 2021.

Business, or perhaps the result of having done some business, may look about the same worldwide — well, marvelously variegated but similarly posh — where sales, revenues, gentility, and cultural and industrial talent collide.

From Russia with, perhaps, pride —

Warren, Katie. “A drive through the exclusive Moscow suburb that’s been compared to Beverly Hills and where homes go for up to $80 million made it clear where ultra-wealthy Russians’ priorities lie: privacy and security.” Business Insider, September 5, 2019.

All that glitters?

Posted to YouTube May 4, 2020.

So how is that western conservatives complain so vociferously about Communism when, from the looks of things, the old Reds or their business and political associates, cronies, or neighbors have wrapped themselves in Gold?

The myth of the Communist has not held up but for the play of the wealthy in defending their gains from the confiscating and taxing powers of states that one way or the other needs must maintain their political and social equilibrium — and the way to that: wherever else in the worlds, the answer’s the same as in the United States of America: broad, complex, forward-thinking public-private compacts.

While Karl Marx may still be bandied and bashed about from Far Out Left and Far (White) Right circles, the world he may had in mind while writing has all but disappeared from contemporary view.

What remains: the feudal-medieval habits on the part of some insecure in their positions and helpless before greed.

What’s coming — or what should come?

Some New Humanism, I hope, with human continence, cooperation, development, generosity, and imagination, and for which Qualities of Living x Area-Squared start with better balance between economic allocations, resources, and populations. While the ruthless raise the roofs, literally and in ways becoming hopelessly outdated, one hopes the more humble and responsible among the powerful, or within the ranks of those with power, raise the floor for global health, well-being, and security.


FTAC: So Russia Remains in Ukraine: A Comment


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Observed: similarity between Blinken and Pompeo’s articulation of Washington’s support for Ukraine despite the stark differences owned by their respective bosses, Trump and Biden.

From the Awesome Conversation

Stable governance associated with democracies needs must have purpose and vision greater than the length of any given Administrator’s tenure. With relation to East-West Conflict and Washington’s stance, I’ve come to believe that Putin’s Moscow has come to represent a retrograde feudal enterprise revolving around its “great leader” and his monopoly on political power that much includes the dark “mafia state” side and its association with “frozen conflicts” and numerous dictatorships. Given that perspective, and Washington’s now lowered but still present interest in “truth, justice, and the American way” — just boil the BS down to “Integrity” — the shield set before Putin’s darker and older world requires a canny reinforcement before any western demonstration of brute physical strength.

In effect, our conventional and nuclear weapons have created a world in which the potential costs of war far exceed the prospects of profit for winning. That may leave the majors “flicking” and “trading punches” (like brothers) while working other cultural and financial maneuvers to expand their footprints (e.g., Russia’s “passportization” of its “near abroad”) or cultural longevity and relevance (more China’s game at this time).

To the side and regarding Nordstream 2 — or, for that matter, Turkish Stream: Putin has succeeded in reverting a portion of EU/NATO to the feudal mode in spirit or fact. I would consider Hungary, Italy, Poland, and Turkey compromised democracies x leadership or x mafia and related internal politics, but I think Germany more robust and capable of discouraging Putin’s sense of mission to this point.

Finally, and regarding Crimea and the region north, Russia has entrenched itself militarily and produced a major bridge (2018, I think) for solidifying its invasion through trade between Crimea and Russia IF it can boost control of basic services (water first) and economic development.

The Vikings often arrived with “raid or trade” in mind.

Not much has changed.

Kerch Strait Bridge, 2018.

One may expect Russia to defend its investment, now that it has raised its own ante, in Crimea, but it will have to do that through its own development and trade and not with further theft.

Ukraine’s history with Russia has its deeply interwoven aspects in relation to political control in Kiev, but if history has been rough, it has perhaps been most abysmal for Ukraine in the 20th Century and left its mark with the Holodomer associated with Stalin.

Last week, Putin fixed his image as both the most daring and fragile of malignant narcissists. The eyes of the world were on him and the ambiguities attending his demonstration, positioning, and rehearsal for the conventional wholesale invasion of Ukraine in a manner befitting medieval war with the world most modern and devastating weapons, including the thermobaric “Mother of All Bombs”. We may thank God for the apparent but well watched “return to base” of so many forces minus a few tanks (were they that expensive to move back?). 🙂

Well, bridges make a difference, don’t they?

They are never one-way streets.

Related Online

Dickinson, Peter. “All roads lead to Ukraine in Putin’s global hybrid war.” Atlantic Council, January 5, 2021.

Meyer, Christoph. “Europe has no excuse for letting Russia surprise it again.” Politico, April 21, 2021.

Smith, Hannah Lucinda. “They Cheered Russian Rule. Now Some Have Buyer’s Remorse.” The Atlantic, June 18, 2019.


FTAC: On Israeli Nationalist and Palestinian Violence in Jerusalem


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Reference —

Syndicated Content. “Police arrest dozens in Jerusalem clashes; Israeli nationalists chant ‘Death to Arabs'”. WHTC, April 23, 2021.

From the Awesome Conversation

Related to previous post: https://conflict-backchannels.com/2018/02/06/set-palestinian-kgb-and-other-backchannels-observations-related-to-the-middle-east-conflict/

Medieval v Modern.

Absolute Power x Close Associates & Family v Democracy, Open Competition, and Merit.

Would that real life were that simple, but for the Palestinians, most of them, real life remains too medieval and beset with corruption and greed. Credit the KGB for blocking the advance of western liberalism — and democracy and rule of law — over their captive or dead bodies, courtesy of a now Ageing Arab World and the habits and machinations of an equally ageing Old Kremlin.

I’ve been dulled by the sheer stupidity of repeated political cant and conversation, but this time with the Middle East Conflict (MEC) have at least both background (“Palestinian KGB”) and perhaps insight to offer in the cause not only of quelling medieval and tribal misery but also for cheerleading the arrival of a different and modern New World. Take as signal — and convenient juxtaposition — Russian KGB/FSB President Vladimir Putin’s apparent decision to draw back Russian forces brought to Ukraine’s border after having turned military “exercise” into an ambiguous and deadly enough threat not only to Ukraine but to an ordered world that has been working in the region of history after WWII. Putin’s will and ample leverage well demonstrated the power of the medieval outlook, but it may have run into a kind of thug’s “so what?” had invasion and war ensued (and quite cautious here, I’m following the retreat as observed in the Open Source).

Symbolically, Russia’s election to retrieve its forces following its “demonstration” may and should be it — the beginning of the end of the end 🙂 — for the more obvious play of the once barbaric, brutal, and feudal world, at least as regards the leadership and trajectory of states.

One hopes that with Israel’s most recent separation of deluded and violent parties — the “eternally” fist-shaking Israeli (“Nationalist”) and Palestinian (“Revolutionary”) forces will have reached their nadir in shared stupidity as the Palestinians prove captive to and exploited by their own leaders. As for those Israeli Nationalists, not only God but State Planners as well have set their boundaries, and all that is wanted should be just a little bit of insight by both into the causes of “East-West Conflict” where both have been made to stand in place while going nowhere in time.


Ukraine: Russia’s Invasion Force and Western Posture


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Has The West lost courage and heart before Russia’s continuous press to undermine EU/NATO political coherence, cohesion, and resolve?

Have Moscow / Moscow-Tehran-associated chaos and conflict and their fallout in mass migration tired the western public and made some parts benevolent and others mean?

Have Moscow-aided (Taliban) and Tehran-sponsored terrorism (Hamas, Hezbollah) made us — citizens of the west — defensive and smaller than we were 20 years ago?

Have western leaders been compromised?

This juxtaposition represents a conjecture:

Schindler, John. “Exploring Al Qaeda’s Murky Connection to Russian Intelligence.” Business Insider, June 10, 2014.

Tiplady-Bishop, Lottie. “Costcow: Jeffrey Epstein boasted about ‘flying to Moscow to visit Vladimir Putin’ as secrets behind his millions are revealed.” The U.S. Sun, July 19, 2020.

There should be a song, “Kompromat” being so much a theme with Moscow’s mafia-style influence on the world’s foreign affairs. Whether or not some number of western leaders or their subalterns — or family members — have been compromised and leveraged — and some have already been made to bow to Russian energy projects — is something I wouldn’t even pretend to know, but I would consider it possible.

Would Russian tanks invading Ukraine then not be bombed by Ukrainian and NATO forces — or defending Russian jets not be driven from the skies by the same?

We are about 20-1/2 years out from September 11, 2001 and our Soviet/post-Soviet old Cold War foe appears on the warpath unstoppable, facing only western opprobrium and sanctions, neither of which appear to have affected any of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attitudes, behaviors, beliefs, martial and political designs, philosophies, or, perhaps, critical inner-circle relationships.

Shall we all wring our hands and say, “Oh dear”?

Should Putin not “take” Ukraine and plant nukes, for example, in Crimea — he is already defending that wholly invaded space (see, for example, Newdick, Thomas. “Russia Still Uses This Cold War Relic of an Underground Anti-Ship Missile System in Crimea.” The Warzone, The Drive, October 18, 2020)?

Where do American and related European posturing and prostration before Moscow (or Tehran) end?

Will Russia’s tanks be rolling into Ukraine before I publish this post?

Or after?

I have more questions than answers this morning.

The only man on earth who would seem to have answers would be the Russian president (whether Russians like him or not).


The Daily Mirror has had cause to report an assault force of 107,000 troops “amassed at Ukraine’s border” — a little more tease before you click to the piece:

EXCLUSIVE: Russia will soon have an assault force of 107,000 troops along Ukraine’s border, with an estimated 1,300 battle tanks, 3,700 drones, 1,300 artillery and mortar units and 380 multiple launch rocket systems —

Hughes, Chris. “Russia paints ‘invasion stripes’ on assault vehicles as forces gather near Ukraine border.” The Daily Mirror, April 14, 2021.

RUSSIAN tanks painted with “invasion stripes” are gathering on Ukraine’s border as Putin is reportedly set to deploy 30,000 more troops.

A local in the Russian Astrakhan region, 350 miles from the border, filmed the BTR 80 armoured vehicles with white crosses painted on them.

Ibrahim, Magda, Mark Hodge. “Trouble and Stripe: Russia paints ‘invasion stripes’ on tanks as Putin ‘deploys ANOTHER 30,000 troops to Ukraine.” The Sun, April 15, 2021.
April 15, 2021.
April 15, 2021.

April 15, 2021.
April 14, 2021.


Ukraine: Putin Is In Control


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Putin hasn’t to move one tank into Ukraine to control Ukraine, for he has already made himself central to Ukrainian (and NATO) awareness, fear, mobilization, and reflection.

Everything Ukraine may now do (and think) will have to do with whatever Putin chooses to do first.

Putin is in control.

Consider the Ukrainian defender’s now about seven-years-old experience and position with a belligerent and bullying Russia repeatedly and with impunity injuring or killing Ukrainian troops daily and weekly for all those years.

Where is that pain to be harbored and kept in check?

For how many more hours, days, weeks, months, years should Ukrainians tolerate the status quo of a “frozen conflict” sustained by the same criminals driven out in the 2014 Maidan?

Putin is in control.

How should Ukrainians feel about reaching out to a NATO that hems and haws over its imperfect governance while aspiring to meet modern democratic standards in rule-of-law?

Oh, has anyone had a good look lately at the degrees of corruption and rancor in relation to domestic political behavior within the United States?

At least the voting will of the American People voted out their own corrupt autocratic infection, but should any of the Atlantic Alliance have fallen so far to now have to bend over fully to pick up the reins dropped from the horse?

Hungary, Italy, Poland, Turkey have each gone at least partially — two especially — back toward family control or, alternatively, ownership of states by nobility, i.e., either way, the feudal mode in political absolutism.

Who’s next?

Putin is in control.

Posted to YouTube by France 24, April 13, 2021.

How tense the atmosphere? How dark the clouds? How near the enemy?

Putin is in control.

However far Russia dares to go with its annexation of Ukraine — and its thieving from Ukrainian business and industry and all else Ukrainian and good — Ukraine will have to stand up and go further, and God help NATO embrace and defend Ukraine.

Ukraine: is Putin in control?

Related Online

Applebaum, Anne. “Putinism: The Ideology.” (PDF). LSE Ideas, Strategic Update 13.2, London School of Economics, February 2013.

Haltiwanger, John. “Biden issues warning to Putin, proposes summit as Russian troops amass along the Ukrainian border.” Business Insider, April 13, 2021.

O’Toole, Brian, Daniel Fried. “What if Russia invades Ukraine (again)? Consider these options for sanctions escalation.” New Atlanticist, April 13, 2021.

UNIAN. “Russia’s new offensive may spill into World War 3 — Ukraine’s chief settlement negotiator. April 13, 2021:

“I heard Zelensky’s words as he said that Ukraine is ready to repel aggression. The fact is that he didn’t just say it’s ready today, it’s been ready for seven years already. It’s only that it’s a different level of readiness, because it’s hard to say when Russia might put their aggressive rhetoric to life,” Kravchuk told Current Time, a Russian language project created by RFE/RL with the participation of VOA.

He noted that Russia’s top leadership are directly threatening Ukraine and its sovereignty, including warning of “collapse of the state.”

Wikipedia. “Dark triad”.

Wikipedia. “Locus of control”.

Wikiepedia. “Malignant narcissism”.


Ukraine: Putin’s Control x Threat


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Has His Malignance Rolled or not?

It’s a little early to tell here with the Open Source.

Note: early drafts of this post were launched in the small hours, Eastern Standard Time; the latest updates now catch up with mainstream coverage.

Putin’s genius as a “malignant narcissist”: the projection of threat that makes himself central in the narratives of others.

While Ukraine may “not back down to Russian pressure,” it cannot help but be transfixed by it — and EU/NATO cannot help either being drawn to post-Maidan revolutionary Ukraine and both its democratic potential as well as its immediate security interests.

My schematic for the personal journey and process known to malignant narcissists

Narcissistic Mortification –> Covering (humiliation and shame) / Splitting (the damaged child from the image of an heroic child) –> Gaslighting and other Willful Manipulation (to create and sustain an heroic image) –> Limitless Narcissistic Supply (the experiences of public glory, the roaring approval of crowds, the validations of humanity and God).

(BackChannels Page Reference: “Malignant Narcissism”).

The power to (with impunity) threaten one’s targets is, of course, power. What those targets then do in the position of being threatened — and with Putin, boundlessly and without end — may or may not set the limits of that odious behavior.

Related Online

Axelrod, Tal. “Ukraine says it will not back down to Russian pressure.” The Hill, April 10, 2021.

BBC. “US-Russian spat over bombers landing in Venezuela.” December 11, 2018.

Correll, John T. “Intercepting the Bear.” Air Force Magazine, February 26, 2018.

Farkas, Evelyn N. “Putin is testing Biden on Ukraine. Here’s what will keep him in check.” The Washington Post, April 11, 2021.

Mackinnon, Amy. “Is Russia Preparing to Go to War in Ukraine?” Foreign Policy, April 9, 2021.

Odynova, Alexandra. “Ukraine says Russia has moved 80,000 troops to border and Crimea, and Putin won’t talk.” CBS News, April 12, 2021.

Pifer, Steven. “Ukraine: Six years after the Maidan.” Brookings, February 21, 2020.

UNIAN. “Huge Russian troop camp near Ukraine’s border shown from inside (Video).” April 12, 2021.

UNIAN. “Zelensky lodges request to talk with Putin about escalation in Donbas.” April 12, 2021.

Yegorov, Oleg. “Everything you ever wanted to know about Putin’s work in East Germany.” Russia Beyond, August 8, 2017.

Russia at the North Pole

Bratersky, Alexander. “Russia’s Arctic activity to increase with fresh strategy and more capability tests.” Defense News, April 11, 2021.

Goldstein, Lyle. “Washington should chill out over Russia’s Arctic ambitions.” Defense News, November 13, 2020.

Melino, Matthew and Heather A. Conley. “The Ice Curtain: Russia’s Arctic Military Presence.” Center for Strategic & International Studies, 2021.

VOA News. “Putin Praises Russian Military Arctic Exercises.” March 26, 2021.

Walsh, Nick Paton. “Satellite images show huge Russian military buildup in the Arctic.” CNN, April 5, 2021.