Publisher: President Trump Speeches & Press Co., – 3/30/2017
C-Span source: https://www.c-span.org/video/?426227-1/senate-intelligence-panel-warned-russians-play-sides (Morning Session) Afternoon Session as recorded at this posting: https://www.c-span.org/video/?426227-101/former-nsa-director-testifies-russian-interference-capabilities&vod
Order: reverse chronological or most recently encountered material toward the top, a flexible guide.
The Guardian’s latest:
Hundreds of protesters have been detained by riot police in cities across Russia, as some of the largest anti-government protests in years swept the country.
The call to protest came from the opposition politician and anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny, who was himself detained at the Moscow demonstration. A monitoring group said at least 700 people were detained in Moscow alone, while the news agency Tass gave a figure of 500.
The post may exist only to get the Sunday reader started on the “All Russia Protests Against Corruption” (the title is BackChannel’s interpretation of the Russian billing for the event).
Note: many of today’s gatherings across Russia in protest of the Putin regime’s feudal indulgence in theft and corruption (reference: Gary Kasparov’s Winter is Coming and Karen Dawisha’s Putin’s Kleptocracy) have not been permitted by state officials, so all who have responded to the call for protest risk arrest and other methods of political repression known to those who have challenged similar regimes in the past.
Add the supporters of opposition leader Alexei Navalny now organize such actions in dozens of Russian cities. In many places, authorities have not agreed on the meetings under various pretexts, and some are already there have been reports of detentions.
Time on the recording: 20:50 Location: Field of Mars, St. Petersburg, Russia
“I have a couple of times at the meetings asked what my personal motive and whether he is. There is a personal motive, yes. The answer is:”
“Tomsk is now”
Note: “now” was 4:14 p.m. in Tomsk, Siberia.
“Ufa. Again, no one came.”
“The leading news agencies of the country (TASS, RIA, Intefaks) about the actions taking place in different regions, not a word report.”
“Before our eyes is now crumbling propaganda myth of the ‘marginal minority’ do not enjoy the support of the people.”
Who, what, where, when: above.
“The Italian Minister of the residence and you pay for it” (machine translated); posted to YouTube March 16, 2017. English subtitles available using the “cc” (caption) control.
Experience the interview first — no filters, no judgments, no intermediaries — just you, the media consumer, and President Trump and ABC anchor David Muir.
Not thirty seconds into the interview, Trump answers a question about being changed by becoming President: “I can be the most Presidential person ever other than possibly the great Abe Lincoln . . . but I may not be able to do the job nearly as well if I do that.”
If the President does not intend to be the “most presidential” President ever — or at least up there with the finest and most fondly remembered of American Presidents — then what is that aspiration?
Ten days ago, chess champion and Kremlin critic Gary Kasparov posted on Facebook this excerpt from Abraham Lincoln’s 1855 “Letter to Joshua Speed”:
There’s Russia again – and the mention of its frank despotism.
About eight years ago, Andie Brownlow writing for the conservative American Thinker (August 30, 2009) had this to note about Soviet-style ideological subversion:
The point of this “Ideological Subversion” was to weaken an enemy country, strip its culture and corrupt their values to a point of complete vulnerability. Mr. Schuman describes it as:
[An] overt…slow process…[to] change the perception of reality of every American to such an extent that despite the abundance of information, no one is able to come to sensible conclusions in the interest of defending themselves, their families, their community and their country.
The first step, Demoralization, has already been completed in America and continues to perpetuate itself. The Obama Administration policies are accelerating the second step of Destabilization and rapidly approaching the third phase of Crisis.
As you have read, Brownlow, opining in 2009, had taken aim at the Obama Administration!
The Trump Presidency has arrived, and the laudable and scrupulous Big Press, the majors, are hot with articles on the President’s ego and the Administration’s credibility and integrity in its discussion and presentation of information.
From historical experience, the business — it is a business, and one particularly loathsome and pernicious! — of messing up someone else’s “information space” may be characterized as part of Soviet KGB “Active Measures”.
Has that been happening here in the United States?
Has Moscow had a hand in it?
Have we through our own now immense and unfettered online press — and may it be always so! — been doing it to ourselves in the cause of being strident enough for obtaining notice?
Perhaps the answers don’t matter so much.
At base, the only issue having to do with the national experience of media involves the popular and professional assessment of the credibility and integrity of information encountered.
BackChannels could promote an opinion, and perhaps has, but would rather the BackChannels reader take patient time to look into the matter as well and form some new opinion about both the Marxist-Leninist mission of the former Soviet Union and, now one month more than 25 years later, the ultra-nationalist imperialist mission of today’s Russian State — and then ask where Trump has positioned, or may position, the United States of America in light of that well-remarked — and by no less than the great President Lincoln himself — habitual Russian despotism.
For Immediate Release
December 6, 2016
Washington, DC – After more than 100 days of siege, over 2,000 airstrikes, and the closure of all hospitals in eastern Aleppo, it is with a heavy heart that SAMS announces that our facilities and staff can no longer operate in the city. Our facilities have been seized by the government, leaving too many without the critical and life-saving medical care they need.
The brutal aerial bombardment campaign over Aleppo has killed hundreds of civilians, including children and women, and forced over 50,000 people to flee their homes in the past two weeks alone. The humanitarian crisis in the eastern part of the city has reached a tipping point. Hospital have been systematically targeted with impunity. Medical personnel have been struggling to treat patients. Medical equipment and supplies have been depleted. Emergency medical evacuations have been denied.
In November, with attacks on hospitals taking place every 24 hours, all of Aleppo’s hospitals were bombed out of service.
The largest trauma hospital in Aleppo, which was supported by SAMS, was bombed out of operation despite its underground location.
In October, this facility was attacked five times in one week with illegal and unconventional weapons including, barrel bombs, bunker buster bombs, and cluster bombs.
These indiscriminate attacks on hospitals have taken an unimaginable toll on civilians- leaving more than 250,000 people, including 100,000 children, with no access to medical care. As the aerial bombardment campaign has intensified, the number of casualties and wounded civilians has reached the highest number since the beginning of the conflict in 2011. Medical personnel have been treating the overwhelming number of wounded in basements with limited resources. People are using carts to transport the wounded. Bodies of the dead are wrapped in plastic bags and left on the streets because hospitals have run out of coffins.
“A few days ago the nurses out of desperation tried to operate M2 hospital again. They went into one of the remaining basements and started two ICU beds and a small procedure room,” said Dr. Anas Moughrabieh, SAMS’s Telemedicine Chair. “They consulted me about two patients. One had minor injuries and the other one was critically injured. I asked them to prematurely give up on the latter one and I felt bad to tell them it is luxury now to care for patients with this high level of injury with limited resources. However, our medics didn’t give up on him until their location was discovered and attacked by barrel and cluster bombs.”
Since the start of the conflict in Syria, nearly half a million people have been killed, over 20,000 of them children, 11 million have been forced to flee their homes, and over one million live under the horrific conditions of siege. These astonishing numbers paint a grim picture of suffering mothers, fathers, children, and families that have been failed by the international community.
“We are shocked by the inaction of the international community that has allowed such atrocities to be committed against civilians,” said SAMS Medical Staff Member in Aleppo. “Our hospitals continue to be targeted. Now, we are hiding in basements. We feel desperate and abandoned. The UN and the international community have failed Syria.”
For nearly six years, civilians, medical workers, schools, hospitals, and residential neighborhoods have been the target of unrelenting bombardment. Innocent Syrians have been forced to endure indiscriminate and unconventional weapons that maim, chemical weapons that suffocate, and relentless sieges that starve. These war crimes continue with impunity.
“Throughout these unimaginable conditions and challenges, SAMS has continued and will continue to provide care and alleviate the suffering of civilians across Syria, regardless of their religious or political affiliations,” said SAMS’s President, Dr. Ahmad Tarakji. “Our brave medics have continued to do their job despite constant threats to their own lives. They are the true heroes and our shared duty is to protect them.”
SAMS condemns in the strongest terms the heinous attacks on civilian infrastructure in Aleppo, the inaction of the international community that has allowed innocent men, women, and children to be killed under their watch, and the vetoes from the UN member states of Russia and China of the resolution that would have allowed for a seven-day humanitarian pause. This resolution was meant to save lives. Now, more lives will be lost.
For media requests, please contact SAMS’s Media and Communications Manager, Lobna Hassairi at email@example.com.
Comment: the power sought by Assad, Putin, and Khamenei — the avatars of political absolutism and fair examples of malignant narcissists — is the power to impose suffering on others with impunity. At this hour, it appears another part of that heinous mission has been accomplished.
It was revealed today (Thursday) that for the first time, pilots from the Israeli Air Force participated in a training exercise with military pilots from Pakistan and the UAE. The joint-drill was conducted during Exercise Red Flag that ended last week in Nevada, US. Fighter aircraft from the US and Spain also participated in the drill. Exercise Red Flag is a unique training drill during which air forces from all over the world work together in several types of missions.
Estimated number of “coup plotters” killed: 24.
Civil service firings and suspensions: 50,000.
In BackChannels’ opinion, the coup — the real one — has been successful.
At the end of an interview (published July 15) with Slate contributor Isaac Chotiner, Jenny White, a professor at Stockholm University’s Institute for Turkish Studies, notes, “In previous coups the army took over because they thought institutions were not working properly or being populated with Islamists. But the institutions were still there. This time, the institutions themselves have been destroyed.”
Here follow a passel of factual and more recent reporting on the countercoup as President Erdogan consolidates his Putinesque domination (“different talks — same walk”) of Turkish politics.
Before the vote, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said that once emergency measures are invoked, the country would suspend its participation in the European Convention of Human Rights. He said the move was justified under a convention article allowing for such a suspension in times of emergency.
The detentions reported by Anadolu news agency come hours after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared a three-month state of emergency that is expected to expand the crackdown.
Already, nearly 10,000 people have been arrested while hundreds of schools have been closed. And nearly 60,000 civil service employees have been dismissed from their posts since the failed coup Friday.
Pamuk, Humeyra, and Ece Toksabay. “Turkey says no return to past repression despite state of emergency.” Reuters, July 21, 2016: “Governments can impose curfews and declare certain public and private areas off limits, and it can ban or restrict meetings, gatherings and rallies.” Add to the elimination of freedom of assembly the possibility of warrantless searches and extralegal — or capriciously approved — murder, torture, and press censorship.
Nearly one-third of Turkey’s roughly 360 serving generals have been detained. The Defense Ministry is investigating all military judges and prosecutors and has suspended 262 of them, broadcaster NTV reported, while 900 police officers in Ankara were also suspended on July 20.
Turkey’s education system has been hit particularly hard during the ongoing crackdown. The Education Ministry on July 20 added more than 6,500 new names to the list of 15,200 school employees suspended, state media reported.
Earlier, from the coup period
They think of it as recalibrating democracy, but they can’t get rid of pandering to religion because people are conservative. And Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) managed to pull that off to such an extent that they now have half the population, in part because that part of the population has been constantly pushed back and disrespected.
The 1997 “postmodern” coup that deposed Erdogan’s political mentor, Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, and led to Erdogan’s subsequent imprisonment and suspension from politics for religious incitement only reinforced the notion among non-elite Turks that the old secular establishment, of which the army was the cornerstone, would never fully cede power.
It was only when Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) co-founder Abdullah Gül won their 2007 stare-down with the military over Gül’s candidacy for president (which the army opposed because Gül’s wife wore a headscarf), that Erdogan seemed to gain the upper hand and be in position to alter the balance of power with the army for good.
Before the “Coup”
After the Coup — Rapidly Shared Links
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36868230 – Turkey coup attempt: Detentions ‘tip of the iceberg’ – 7/22/2016
The religious affairs directorate removed another 620 staff including preachers and instructors in the Koran on Tuesday, bringing to more than 1,100 the number of people it has purged since the July 15 coup attempt.
“My philosophy, inclusive and pluralist Islam dedicated to serve to human beings from every faith is antithetical to armed rebellion,” wrote the 75-year-old cleric, a former Erdogan ally who has been living in self-imposed exile in the eastern U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999.
Earlier this year some 2,000 academics signed a petition calling for an end to the conflict with Kurdish militants in Turkey’s southeast. Dozens of signatories were sacked and many were investigated for spreading what the government called terrorist propaganda.
Odman says in a militarized society, no one is safe from eruptions of violence.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-security-journalists-idUSKCN1070NO – 7/28/2016 – “Turkey dismisses military, shuts media outlets as crackdown deepens.”
Turkey on Wednesday deepened a crackdown on suspected followers of a U.S.-based cleric it blames for a failed coup, dismissing nearly 1,700 military personnel and shutting 131 media outlets, moves that may spark more concern among its Western allies.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37003819 – “Turkey coup attempt: Istanbul rally against plot” – 8/7/2016.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37009931 – “Turkey’s Erdogan unnerves West with Putin visit.” – 8/9/2016.
The leader of HDP, the pro-Kurdish parliamentary party that Erdogan has accused of terrorism, and the CHP – the Kemalist party traditionally closest to the military – denounced the coup.
Now, looking back, questions abound. Whose coup was it anyway and were ‘the people’ in fact organised mobs of Erdogan supporters, pre-warned and ready to take control of the streets? Why did the junta take control of the bridges and airports of Istanbul and various government institutions in Ankara while leaving the President free to call for supporters to fill the public squares to defy the tanks and defend democracy?
Read more by Yvo Fitzherbert in The Spectator: Erdogan’s Islamist mobs know that their moment has finally arrived | Coffee House – 7/17/2016.