The event may be wrapping up, but it should persist on YouTube and remain here in the BackChannels’ record of witness.
This morning, BackChannels copied and pasted to its Facebook “reading page” the following quotation:
— At a gathering point east of Gaza City, organizers urged demonstrators to burst through the fence, telling them Israeli soldiers were fleeing their positions, even as they were reinforcing them. —
The Guardian posted about the the same thing: “Israeli troops kill dozens of Palestinians in protests as US embassy opens in Jerusalem – live updates” (May 14, 2018).
Such statements are not untrue — who? did what? to whom? — but incomplete and superficial.
Hamas chose to play the joyful occasion of the inauguration of the American Embassy in Jerusalem as just right for drama — and it chose to lie in a most functional or practical way to fairly order ever hopeful, ever strung along, ever disinformed, misled, and infuriated Palestinians toward the world’s best defended border and the troops that have made that so.
Related on BackChannels:
Palestinians will truly “defy the odds” when they find the courage and wherewithal to stand up to those who keep them most captive, channeled, and ill-informed: Fatah and Hamas. Until that day, they will repeat what they have been told about themselves, go around in circles somewhere between a frustrated complacency and a volcanic violence, and find themselves where they began, duped by Moscow, led by thugs, and subject to a part of the world’s most corrupt and piratical leadership.
Some should be asking Abbas about his new airplane.
Some should be asking Hamas how the Israelis could have been running away when they were firing to clear their fence line.
banking, communitarian politics, conservative progressive politics, economic development, economic disparity, economic distribution, free trade, human agency and choice, humanism, Kano Lamido Sanusi II, leadership, liberal economics, Nigeria, post-colonial Africa, values
Authentic Popular Democracy, feudalism v democracy, global financial elite, illusion of political control, medieval v modern, money and global political influence, Money for Money, Potemkin Democracy, Reflexive Control, Viktor Vekselberg
Brooke Seipel’s piece in The Hill, “Trump threatens to remove news networks’ press credentials over negative coverage” (May 9, 2018) provided the remark on the BackChannel’s reading page that inspired the following — and rather drifting — comment.
Trump should not have stepped off with denouncements of the Fourth Estate. However, BackChannels believes the location of tension in the world is that between the Modern and Medieval political worlds, and in the 21st Century, the medieval is a world of lies and manipulations. Motivation: money — for its own sake.
I need to update this piece —
The observation a year ago was that Islamic Terrorism had been prodded, channeled, and used _by Moscow_ to produce a reflexive “New Nationalism” in the EU / NATO states as part of Moscow’s efforts to degrade cohesion among the western democracies and within the military alliance defending them.
In an update, I would want to look over the potential integrating and related interference and shaping of Russo-American relations at highest levels. I’m a little tired as a volunteer poli-sci / poli-psy blogger, but were there encouragement plus a few $$$, that’s where intuition would send me.
There is obviously — and from the start with this Administration — a global class of immensely wealthy business personalities who appear to help one another along while also moving their hosting nations around in ways that address a number of issues.
BackChannels has to this point generally promoted “Authentic Popular Democracy” (APD) — not Potemkin Democracy operated by global elites. The guys (generally speaking) mixed up in these “Russian connection” investigations seem to believe otherwise, and that their money may purchase controlling influence.
Is that a world that is wanted from a democratic perspective?
President Trump’s “Russian Thing” becomes ever more complex and deep with the latest explorations into the working of financial clout by one of Russia’s wealthiest men, Viktor Vekselberg (the look-up may be left to the reader because the web has made that part of the blogger’s work almost superfluous).
Aleksandr Kogan / Aleksandr Spectre has a chat with the British government.
Complicated world and this is a small proof-of-principle involving an ABC News feed to Facebook (public) with an address that has evidently come through on this WordPress blog.
The Cambridge Analytica scandal involves Facebook Civilization’s (54 billion souls?) handover, somewhat unwitting, private information useful for those who make money manipulating public perception.
Also cogent to awareness of the the just-make-it-up news:
AN INTERVIEW WITH an 11-year-old Syrian boy broadcast last week on Russia’s main state-owned news channel, Russia-24, appears to have been filmed not in the boy’s hometown, where a suspected chemical attack took place, but at a Syrian army facility where Russian military advisers were present.
The report, claiming to prove that video of the attack’s aftermath was fake, is considered so important by Russian officials that Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations, plans to screen it for the Security Council.
So Moscow wags the dog.
War may be a business — there’s a theme for BackChannels — but ask any victim of war if war is show business.
This may be a temporary post. I didn’t say much. Still . . . multiple sources, one live, one reportage, one an old film. Cool.
Just as the authors identify the factors that are predictive of those individuals and situations that are most likely to give rise to torture, they also identify the psychosocial sequelae of engaging in torture. These include dissociative personality splinters, social isolation, avoidance of reminders, self-condemnation with guilt and shame, intrusive thoughts and flashbacks, nightmares and sleep disturbances, high arousal states with the inability to concentrate or sleep well, and drug and alcohol abuse to forget and painful emotional states upon remembering. Lastly, the authors identify the practices that can be put in place to protect individuals from crossing the line into perpetrating abuse, atrocities, and torture upon those placed in their custody. Torture, as noted by Article 1 of the United Nations Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatments (United Nations, 1984; 1987):
Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
Speckhard, Anne and Charles Figley and Ardian Shajkovci. “Psychosocial Drivers, Prevention and Sequelae of Engaging in Torture.” International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism, April 17, 2017.
. . . the thoughtful individual needs to examine some core questions—the first being—does torture in any of it’s forms, including “torture lite” work? The answer appears to be a resounding no. Torture for the most part fails as a tactic because it does not leads to credible information, is problematic later for anyone we wish to prosecute, and may actually contribute far more to terrorism recruitment rather than to curbing terrorism. When dealing with al Qaeda for instance we must understand that most hardened terrorists who have blood on their hands have committed themselves to the idea of “martyrdom” and may be adept at misleading us when we believe they have cracked under torture. And when we resort to anything that is morally bankrupt they will later use it against us to show their constituents and potential recruits our “true colors”.
By contrast, interrogation that relies on rapport building has shown itself to yield positive results . . . .
Among other topics expertly engaged, Dr. Anne Speckhard has been working the issues on the subject of torture for many years.
If the repercussions are so bad and the results so thin, why do we persist with the same in practice?
BackChannels may suggest that engagement in torture represents the power of ownership of another experienced by the malign narcissist and is in the end, always, an expression of unbridled absolute power, i.e., the power to inflict suffering on others with impunity.
In his classic Russia Under the Old Regime, scholar Richard Pipes remarks on the meaning of sovereignty in the recession of Mongol power and subsequent princely Russian attitude toward property and persons as being alike — the power to destroy either the demonstration of sovereign ownership (approximate pages 70-80).
Note: between age, interests, and sedentary lifestyle at the desktop, your BackChannels editor is tiring and has two choice regarding loose scholarship: read less and slowly with pen, foolscap, and note cards at hand; continue remembering generally; or move off to a different kind of writing. As regards Pipes, he’s masterful with analysis, complexity, and detail, and he will take the reader into the locking mechanisms between political exigency, political evolution in language, and the projection of political power.
For the purposes of this blog, the editor believe Moscow has deeply narcissistic issues supporting “absolute power” and all of the horror rightly associated with the demonstration of the complete absence of conscience in relation to the suffering of others.
On a more near historic note, author Anna Funder relays the testimony of a former Stasi prisoner arrested first for seditious leafleting and then again — having been motivated by the former imprisonment — for having attempted a crossing into then West Germany. The form of torture during the second stay was sleep deprivation. Here’s how that went down:
On the eleventh night, Miriam gave them what they wanted. ‘I thought, “You people want an underground escape organisation?” Well, I’ll give you one then.”
Fleischer had won.
‘There,’ he said, ‘that wasn’t so bad now, was it? Why didn’t you tell us earlier and save yourself all this trouble?’ They let her sleep for a fortnight, and gave her one book each week. She read it in a day, then started memorising the pages, walking up and down in the cell with the book to her chest.
‘In retrospect it’s funny,’ Miriam says, ‘but at the time it was pure, unalloyed frustration. I cooked them up a story I would not have believed myself, even then. It was utterly absurd.”
‘Miriam’ was on the far side of sixteen at the time she “cooked them up a story” in exchange for a little sleep.
One nasty morning Comrade Stalin discovered that his favorite pipe was missing. Naturally, he called in his henchman, Lavrenti Beria, and instructed him to find the pipe. A few hours later, Stalin found it in his desk and called off the search. “But, Comrade Stalin,” stammered Beria, “five suspects have already confessed to stealing it.”
This joke, whispered among those who trusted each other when I was a kid in Moscow in the 1950s, is perhaps the best contribution I can make to the current argument in Washington about legislation banning torture and inhumane treatment of suspected terrorists captured abroad. Now that President Bush has made a public show of endorsing Sen. John McCain’s amendment, it would seem that the debate is ending. But that the debate occurred at all, and that prominent figures are willing to entertain the idea, is perplexing and alarming to me. I have seen what happens to a society that becomes enamored of such methods in its quest for greater security; it takes more than words and political compromise to beat back the impulse.
Through torture, it would seem the torturer learns most of all about himself, if he learns anything, and when it’s over, he may be treated to the sight of himself in media as ever deranged, infantile, sadistic, and tyrannical.
The recent Russian rejection of an American initiative at the UN Security Council for the world community to express solidarity with the Iranian protesters in the face of the Islamist regime’s brutalities did not come as a surprise. In fact, given the history of Russia’s imperialistic behavior towards Iran, the rejection came as a natural move on the part of Putin. In this article I am going to make a survey of Russian imperialism in Iran and indicate what America can do to neutralize that threat and consequently bring Iran back to the West.
One more excerpt as a teaser to this reading highly recommended:
The Tudeh’s professed goal, according to Abrahamian (Iran Between Two Revolutions, 1982), was to “adapt Marxism to the local environment” so that in the end a Soviet-style Communist revolution can be brought about in Iran. In other words, as Iran was mostly a Shiite Muslim community, the Tudeh would use Shiite religious jargon and lore in order to attract the attention of the masses. This ploy would later play into the hands of the revolutionary Islamists who took over in 1979.