BackChannels believes history unified: when all has been truthfully reported, the parts may be found to fit all the way through. The greater public will with time dismiss lies and liars alike, and clarity and peace may emerge and prevail.
Well, for the sake of realpolitik, perhaps it is better to have walked on to the bridge than to have continued throwing mud balls from opposite banks.
More than likely, and in light of basic necessary Israeli-Palestinian cooperation (as with COGAT), interaction (growing, voluntary, social), and trade, peace will well up from beneath the headlines to essentially drown the conflict in modern Palestinian doubt, fair-mindedness, humanity, and indecision — and appreciation and love. New ideas and information may do that. The once-Soviet Era poison as installed will slowly evaporate as light works its way into and through the community.
Barrel Bombs, Chemical Weapons, “Red Lines” — The United States chose to sponsor pro-democracy forces against the Assad regime while repeatedly failing to apply force itself to ending the atrocities and injustices meted by that regime through the long course of now eight years of continuous destruction, depopulation, and horror.
Perhaps the west has become inured to mindless sadism after experiencing so many images and so much footage recording Assad the Tyrant’s infinite obscenities. Either way, and whatever our reasoning or weaknesses otherwise, it appears evil has prevailed in Syria.
Talmud 7:16 as Quoted by Rishon Rishon in 2004 Qohelet Raba, 7:16 אכזרי סוף שנעשה אכזרי במקום רחמן
Kol mi shena`asa rahaman bimqom akhzari Sof shena`asa akhzari bimqom rahaman
All who are made to be compassionate in the place of the cruel In the end are made to be cruel in the place of the compassionate.
More colloquially translated: “Those who are kind to the cruel, in the end will be cruel to the kind.”
Rule by the Rich — Trump’s Tax Cut Legislation Largest Contributor to $4.1 Trillion Added to the National Debt
The biggest contributor to the $4.1 trillion that will be added to the national debt through 2029 is the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This signature tax cut legislation signed by Trump in 2017 single-handedly increased the debt by $1.8 trillion, according to CRFB.
Is our governance — the governance of the United States of America — modern?
Is it representative, responsive, responsible?
Rule by the Vicious — Trump’s Remarks Sting West Baltimore
President Trump applied to “West Baltimore” one of his favorite words for those places not up to his standards (and perhaps not likely to be helped by him either): “infestation”. He applies it in proximity to people — or how he imagines people — he doesn’t particularly like as well. In this instance, he called Rep. Elijah Cummings, Democratic head of the House Oversight Committee, a “brutal bully” — and in the words of The Wall Street Journal — “for criticizing conditions at the Southern border and declared his district—which includes a large part of Baltimore—as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” (https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-portrays-baltimore-district-of-democratic-rep-cummings-as-rodent-infested-mess-11564248241 – July 27, 2019).
Fairly, a personal source suggested that Baltimore has become the heroin capital of America, but still the President’s vitriol was neither matched nor softened by any offer of greater Federal assistance or support in the addressing of the problems besetting Rep. Cummings’ district.
Baltimore fought back.
Off the headlines —
Dubbed the “heroin capital” by the Drug Enforcement Agency, there are estimates that put the rate of drug addicts in the city as high as 1 in 10 residents. Baltimore is now designated a High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area by the federal government so that local police receive more funding to try to combat the issue.
Despite the better and more practical relationship between “West Baltimore” and the Federal government, the impression made by the President’s belittling and contemptuous mouth for all who are not his nor his adoring base would seem to be paving the way for the ascent of the vicious (and surreal) in American politics.
Rule by the Immune?
Rep. Ken Buck (R) Colorado: Could you charge the President with a crime after he left office?
Robert Mueller: Yes.
Buck: You believe he committed . . . you could charge the President of the United States with obstruction of justice after he left office?
Who says the President has to leave office (ever)?
The true test for Americans would seem to be that of appreciating the Constitution and supporting its intents and its work in the creation and sustaining of the nation’s so far authentic and fully working democracy. Bullies, demagogues, malignant narcissists were not meant to last long in power in this nation, but where such do or may, one might suggest that the constituents themselves allowed that to happen.
According to Karen Dawisha, recently deceased, the Soviet as administered by the Party Nomenklatura had in place in the mid-1980s a contingency plan for its own dissolution (just in case) — source: Putin’s Kleptocracy — so when the state dissolved (Dec. 25, 1991), the assets it had controlled were released to the “privileged of the The Party”. While the state transitioned into its federated form, the state was essentially lawless and without power to impose order on the chaos that ensued. (Aside: the power of the sovereign to police Russia has been always weak in terms of recognized police assets x area x population — the space has been historically underserved in that regard). The “Vory” coming out of the Gulag would present an especially egregious challenge to the new state and, so BackChannels believes, would be incorporated into the “mafia state“, effectively centralizing organized crime in the shadows beneath Vladimir Putin’s full sweep of power.
Now take in Craig Unger’s observations and blend with Russia’s Soviet / post-Soviet obligations and relationships involving all but support for Communism, which ideology was effectively neutralized by the official disempowerment of “The Party” at the end of the Cold War: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria | PLFP, PLO, Hezbollah, et al. | other former Communist Party alignments and former Loyalist (White Russian) extensions from the Imperial Period.
Russia’s mafia state, narcoterrorism, integration with big “transnational crime organizations (TCOs)” . . . — Oh! Add a few other states with their active criminal and terrorist funding portions and then imagine the money sloshing about in the pockets of the middlemen — the facilitators, the smugglers — who can’t spend all that dirty loot without cleaning it up some.
NOW, good civic minded citizen (who knows not to ask too many questions), imagine receiving it clean.
What would you do with it?
What if it stopped arriving?
In recent years and now weeks, money laundering scandals have surfaced in various ways: “Panama Papers”; HSBC; Danske Bank; Norde Bank.
The gum shoes and journos do their investigative things; we get the information and the infotainment; and we cluck: “How awful!
Wait a minute — that cash, indecipherable from other cash — is in someone’s economy serving as capital or reserves or as loose dough attractive to business, charity, labor . . . everyone for everything.
Is there a price? A benefit?
One generation does the crime — and behold: Las Vegas.
And the next: good educations; good businesses; good jobs; decent enough rule of law.
Delivered every which way: America’s Addicted: 2.5 million souls.
In the pipeline and driven by corporeal and financial insecurity associated with corruption, crime, and related impoverishment and violence: Central and South American mass migration.
While the Democrats have some post-Soviet issues on the Far Left — and the Republicans seem to draw the White Far Right — I believe Americans are perceiving a deeply paranoid, aggressive, and vindictive Administration freighted with shady figures (like Manafort) on the ride in and packed with sycophants (like Stephan Moore, the latest nomination for the Fed), today.
It was just one book (by a liberal) and may be let go, but since its publication, there have been many others, each researched and defended by its author, most with impeccable credentials. Now even the Mueller Report is being redacted — whatever the “eyes only”, the public isn’t getting the whole story, so there has to be something of value in the volume worth keeping from the public.
Whatever this report says, here’s what I know: when I was at Cambridge Analytica, the company hired known Russian agents, had data researchers in St Petersburg, tested US voter opinion on Putin’s leadership, and hired hackers from Russia – all while Bannon was in charge.
Christopher Wylie in the below displayed tweet.
In the way of communists and fascists alike, Bannon, the “populist”, has decamped himself into an Italian monastery befitting his own self-concept.
Such impressions add up, albeit among those who follow the news and query the Internet. The image of the President and his helper has not been authentically “populist”.
With Donald Trump, his once-trusted lawyer, his once-esteemed campaign manager, his brag, “I just you all a lot richer”, his Miami real estate, one of the world’s dirtiest / most glamorous markets, the story’s just not going to wash away, not matter how loud he may be about vindication.
I own it, haven’t read it, but it’s the kind of thing that pops up on Amazon with the search string, “Trump, Collusion” — there are also Trump collusion dismissals, but in that category, Roger Stone places high — I’d rather read (and trust) Guardian veteran Luke Harding.
BackChannels cited a BackChannels post on Craig Unger’s book. Here’s the direct link to the book on Amazon:
Many of them have fled from town to town to town under bombing. They have seen the most terrible things in war. And yet they are true believers. It’s going to take a lot to get them to change their minds.
US-supported forces besieging Islamic State holdouts in the Syrian village of Baghouz cannot cope with the more than 43,000 men, women and children who fled the battlefield and are currently being held in an internment camp and prisons in the north. Among those who fled are 500 foreign jihadi wives and children. The women, who are held in a separate compound from other escapees, say their husbands are fighting, are fugitives, are dead or are in prison.
The Pentagon rerouted millions of dollars’ worth of weapons and vehicles from Iraq to Syria in the second half of 2018, Al-Monitor has learned, as US-backed forces cornered the last remnants of the Islamic State (IS). In a series of notifications to Congress reviewed by Al-Monitor, the Defense Department said it had determined that a bevy of supplies purchased by the Pentagon for the Iraqi military would instead go to the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The Pentagon sent lawmakers its last reprogramming notification for 2018 on Dec. 31, 12 days after President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw US troops from Syria.
While much of the U.S. presence in Syria has been diminished, the transfer of war equipment and materiel to SDF forces tells Damascus (Moscow and Tehran) that nothing’s over as regards their intents to sustain medieval absolutism (and its characteristic sadism, power in that mode being the power to inflict suffering on others with impunity).
While some idiots view east-west conflict in the region as being all about oil, the cynicism conveniently overlooks the more compelling of ethical and moral arguments for the defense of some goodness still in the world.
BEIRUT — As Syria’s government consolidates control after years of civil war, President Bashar al-Assad’s army is doubling down on executions of political prisoners, with military judges accelerating the pace they issue death sentences, according to survivors of the country’s most notorious prison. In interviews, more than two dozen Syrians recently released from the Sednaya military prison in Damascus described a government campaign to clear the decks of political detainees. The former inmates said prisoners are being transferred from jails across Syria to join death-row detainees in Sednaya’s basement and then be executed in pre-dawn hangings.
God must be in the mind and a malign narcissism in the heart that produces so painful a mission as that of doing God’s will on earth by striking terror into the souls of others. Add: beheading, burning, enslavement, mass murder, rape, and torture.
God has helped the Islamic State jihadists in Baghouz lose everything but their madness.
Cohen’s hearing before the Congressional committee turned into a fine display of Republican viciousness. Cohen, convicted of earlier Trump-associated crimes, i.e., lying to Congress to protect The Boss, made a fair target for discrediting, but the barrage of indictments and innuendo launched by Representatives Jordan, Green, Comer, Hice, and Gosar, among others, either served to deflect attention from President Trump or to provide a lasting display of the kind of persons the Republican Party has seen elected to power.
Below: C-Span’s live feed of the hearing.
Showing up on Twitter during the early portion of the hearing:
Start with the cassus beli on this long journey backward to barbaric feudalism and wars founded in religious animosity and contempt.
(SRINAGAR, India) — The death toll from a car bombing on a paramilitary convoy in Indian-controlled Kashmir has climbed to 41, becoming the single deadliest attack in the divided region’s volatile history, security officials said Friday. A local Kashmiri militant rammed an explosive-laden van into the convoy along a key highway Thursday. In addition to the dead, the attack wounded nearly two dozen other soldiers, India’s paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force spokesman Sanjay Sharma said.