The group has brought together Arab journalists, artists, politicians, diplomats, Quranic scholars and others who share a view that isolating and demonizing Israel has cost Arab nations billions in trade. They say it has also undercut Palestinian efforts to build institutions for a future state, and torn at the Arab social fabric, as rival ethnic, religious and national leaders increasingly apply tactics that were first tested against Israel.
The wisdom that comes to mind: “The enemies of Israel defeat themselves.”
In modern thought, however, I believe in humanist ethics and principles that over time defeat family, feudal, and tribal pressure and torque while at the same time degrading the motivations for war itself. We have only one planet; we are all of the Earth herself; and whether we like it or not, we are going to have to arrange and contain ourselves for our sense of efficacy, freedom, and survival.
Too often, those who drive conflict — who incite others to violence — have for themselves aggrandizement and greed in mind foremost. Only to a certain extent may they define “the way of the world”. The way of the world is everyone else, and the truth is “everyone else” gets tired of being victimized by other people’s made-up battles — or psychoses.
All who want more death, more injury, more jealousy, more resentment, more fear, more authority, more force for suffocation of the human spirit . . . keep fighting. Everyone one else — take care of everyone else.
How much more should any authentically patriotic American need to here or see?
If America’s yawing Ship of State — still fresh on the Internet Ocean — needs a bit of swing away from the Far (White) Right, it may be getting it as so many Republicans consistently display themselves as bullying, disingenuous, and altogether untrustworthy talkers.
The question is not whether or not he was responsible for holding up the aid. He was. The question is not whether everybody knew it. Apparently, they did. The question is what are we prepared to do about it? Is there any accountability? Or are we forced to conclude that this is just now the world that we live in — when a President of the United States can withhold vital military aid from an alley at war with the Russians, an alley fighting our fight to defend our country against Russian aggression. Are we prepared to say in the words of Mick Mulvaney, “Get over it”? Or “Get used to it”. (Pause) We are not prepared to say that.
Quotation starts at 10:56 from the cited video.
Well, there is history made, and while this editor left the Democratic Party with consideration for candidate Obama’s relationship with old Far Left radical Bill Ayer’s, any good feelings toward the Republican Party have been dimmed by its seemingly endless bullying, contemptuous, disingenuous, and rancorous approach to the deceiving and handling of ordinary American voters.
President Trump’s “Shifty Schiff” didn’t shift an inch in this afternoon’s final remarks.
Wanted by Either Party: A Few Radical Moderates.
BackChannels hopes it is not the only lonesome blogger sickened by the aggrandizing and bellicose conservative reactionary rhetoric led in tone by a President to whom rules –not in business, not in marriage, not in politics — seldom, if ever, apply.
“She understood that corruption was the ‘Achilles heel,’ so to speak, of Ukraine,” a former State Department official who knows Yovanovitch told CNN Thursday prior to the release of the complaint. “And so Masha, by doubling down on corruption and making it kind of her leitmotif of her tenure as ambassador, was doing exactly what she should have been doing and what US policy has been in Ukraine for quite some time.”
Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch had been doing her job as prescribed by law, and yet President Trump chose to have her removed and out of his way.
Sworn in as ambassador to Kyiv in August 2016, Yovanovitch has been at the forefront of U.S. efforts to help stabilize Ukraine’s shaky economy and push reforms to root out endemic corruption.
She’s also been at the forefront of U.S. backing for Ukraine in its ongoing fight with Moscow over Russia-backed fighters battling Ukrainian government forces in eastern regions since 2014.
Yovanovitch drew attention in early March when, weeks before Ukraine’s March 31 presidential election, she called on Kyiv to fire the country’s special anti-corruption prosecutor. The speech was notable not only for its timing but also its bluntness.
Lutsenko alleged that she made a “do-not-prosecute” list and disseminated it in Ukraine, an accusation that she strenuously rejected and which Lutsenko himself retracted.
Lutsenko is himself deeply implicated in the Ukraine scandal and has been accused of colluding with Giuliani to launch investigations in Ukraine into Trump’s political enemies, specifically Joe Biden’s son Hunter.
The Washington Post has a December 2018 piece on those who have been fired or positioned to resign from their posts in relation to President Trump’s decision-making or handling. Causes cited range from attempts to damage the Mueller Investigation to dismissal for abuse of Department funds for personal security and travel. Be that as it may, disruptions involving America’s Justice and Security systems may be most disturbing, from the firing of James Comey at the FBI to the resignation of General Jim Mattis as Secretary of Defense.
Perhaps President Trump listens to his inner voices and no one else’s — and now he has few educated, experienced, and powerful others of the first rank to whom to listen.
Over time and with energies dispersed by curiosity and a great range of interests — the editor cannot “track” the whole world and every dimension of it 🙂 — BackChannels has kept folders for others now absent from the Trump Administration: John Bolton, Dan Coats, Nikki Haley, and Sue Gordon (“the highest-ranking career intelligence official in the country” according to CNN’s Samantha Vinograd in her analysis, “Sue Gordon’s departure is bad news for Trump and country” [CNN, August 12, 2019]). Conclusion: Trump has been either abandoned by or removed quite a few of America’s best and brightest in the assessment of threats domestic and foreign.
With the dismissal for Marie Yovanovitch, President Trump has notably removed a most dedicated, experienced, patriotic, and well prepared and talented diplomat of note and, above and beyond those attributes, one possessed of great integrity and spine.
Listen to the high notes: Arms Deals, Trade Deals, Expanding Markets.
Mentioned: Turkey’s participation in the building of the F-35 air frame. While that mention may score points with the less informed public, Turkey’s participation in NATO defense manufacturing in relation to the American fighter jet program has created heat and a now discomfiting defense relationship. The following description of the depth of Turkey’s participation in the F-35 Program tells why:
Eight Turkish companies make parts for the fuselage, landing gear and cockpit displays of the aircraft, according to Lockheed Martin. Some of them have been producing F-35 parts since 2004. For example, Fokker Elmo manufactures 40 percent of the F-35’s electrical wiring and interconnection system.
These companies are set to do $12 billion in work on the F-35 program over the life of the jet, according to USNI News.
The move — which in early 2020 would end contracts with major Turkish defense contractors such as Turkish Aerospace Industries, Roketsan and Tusas Engine Industries, among many others — is just one of many steps the U.S. Defense Department intends to take to strip Turkey from the F-35 program, according to a June 6 letter from acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.
On the F-35 matter, the White House noted in July, ” Unfortunately, Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible. The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities.”
Freedom House metrics involving civil liberties and political rights rates Erdogan’s Turkey as “Not Free”. On the matter of Freedom of Speech, a matter that President Trump has baldly attacked with the accusation “Fake News!” aimed at America’s responsible mainstream media, Erdogan’s state has made itself notorious for the inhibition and jailing of Turkey’s journalists. Wikipedia’s “Censorship in Turkey” tells that story.
Erdogan has a card to play against Europe, as he confirmed in a speech on October 10. That card is a refugee card, the threat of a flood. There are 3.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. “Come to your senses,” he told the EU in that speech, given to his party in Ankara. “I will say this once again: If you try to label our current operation an occupation, our job becomes easier: We will open the gates and send the 3.6 million refugees to you.”
Despite this threat, several EU nations have responded to Operation Peace Spring, imposing arms embargoes on Turkey. These nations include Germany, France, Sweden, and Finland.
BackChannels has long maintained a quick reference list for copy-paste relay of Moscow’s post-Soviet play in the narrative around Islamic Terrorism. It begins with David Satter’s account of the “Moscow Apartment Bombings”, back-fills with Anna Politkovskaya’s observations on the Russian Army’s brutalizing of Chechen villages, moves through Ayman al-Zawahiri’s whistle-stop in Russia (published in Business Insider), and ends near the U.S. military observation of Russia’s supplying the Taliban (today) with arms and materiel. Here it is*:
Moscow’s persistent Orwellian (and paternally authoritarian) character may come through as it dawns on the reader that the state appears to manipulate its public with something like “KGB Theater” (again, read David Satter on the “Moscow Apartment Bombings”).
The production of “The Syrian Tragedy” well displays the form as Bashar “The Butcher” Assad chose to barrel bomb Syrian noncombatants while al-Qaeda types gathered in his space and eventually distilled into “ISIL” or, today “Islamic State” — see https://conflict-backchannels.com/2016/12/09/syria-assad-isil-background/ for related argument and the basis for it in references.
Basically, BackChannels believes Assad — as flanked by Putin and Khamanei — chose his enemy, i.e., an “enemy preferred” or a dumb foil he knew he would beat (with Russian assistance), and which victory would redound to his glorious (malign and narcissistic) appearance.
By choosing amity with President Erdogan, President Trump has stepped into the Great Neo-KGB Theater of History, but with one immense issue: a spirited American public and system in part armored against the dawning of totalitarian control and related debasements and indignities. In lieu of the Soviet Communist project that gave up the ghost on December 25, 1991, the (E)State Capitalism — the making and hoarding of money by any means no matter what the costs to humanity — associated with Vladimir Putin appears to be working — and Americans (and the North American and European presses) seem slow to catch on.
*Mixed formatting has to do with the editor’s interest, purpose, and time–for the blog: okey dokey; for a monograph some time in the future, Chicago rules.
Inspiration for the post: a tirade against the specter of Democratic Socialist America in the fashion of the Soviet Communist sphere of influence and the detritus of the irresponsible authoritarian mafia states left behind for western conscience and vision to address.
” . . . who despite enjoying the benefits and protections of a free society . . . ” (would vote the Democratic ticket).
Life has its hooks, ladders, and chutes, of course, and will never be perfect for everyone, but the numbers represent some systematic decimation of a modern — not 1950s white bread — culture. Are those of the middle class and of the privileged supposed to completely turn away from the social epidemiology swirling around the apparently Lost of America?
We should know who is in the mix — and why — and get that unholy street stew separated and channeled in some helpful way.
If Americans hadn’t “social conscience”, there would be no laws involving environment, health, labor, housing, or much else that has brought and held the nation together as a unified polity. Politicians on the Left / Far Left have walked down their own streets and asked about the same questions for the same reasons. Now it would seem up to radically responsible moderates to steal that flame to produce an overall healthier state, not an environment fit to elite, rapacious, and ruthless personalities.
Some Red-Green elements that have flowed down from the Soviet Era machinery have infected America’s Democratic Party with the familiar Far Left cocktail of anti-capitalist, radical, and anti-Semitic (anti-Zionist) cant that in effect poisons their own projects before they can progress. The social conscience of the Democratic Party as stamped by Presidents Roosevelt in the 1930s and Johnson in the 1960s appears well under attack by the vanguard of a bullying old White Right political culture that really doesn’t care to address the misery it has learned to overlook.
Far be it, however, for BackChannels to overlook Hollywood’s role in the glamorizing and promoting of the very scourges that have both enriched the world’s mafia and — with dollars cleaned and spiffy — spilled back into working communities — here: read about Vancouver’s pleasant (not really) influx of wealth — as to make economic retreat and the decoupling from evil virtually impossible.
Generally speaking, I believe that excessive and malignant narcissistic process takes off with damage early in life, and there’s a term for that: “Narcissistic Mortification”. The humiliation of the child, negative response to what is good, etc., will do it, and if it’s really bad, the personality will cover the damage (hiding the shame) and split an heroic image for self-concept that may be built with boasts, brags, lies, and the deep and tireless manipulation of others around himself.
Pause: narcissism is natural — most of us take pride in our internal motivations, our appearance, the things we do, and some of the things we acquire. Narcissism is not a bad thing but part of a healthy life. Moreover, not all narcissists are evil; many are reparative — we’re natural do-gooders, lovers, husbands, wives, shepherds, and stewards of what comes into our separate domains. We care, and goodness, integrity, and truth matter.
The malignant — the despotic — put on a show.
The fireman sets the fire, so he may show up to put it out and obtain admiration for his heroism.
Related look-up: “Moscow Apartment Bombings”.
“Gas lighting” goes with a malign narcissism as may “messianic delusions of grandeur” — also loss of those boundaries and limits that account for respectful privacy and natural and normal legal and social tendencies. The malignant lose a good part of their humanity on their way to “greatness” — and their greatness is in their heroic image.
After all these years, I don’t know who else has been mining this seam in relation to political psychology.
We may today know more about dictators — how they tick — than we do their followers, but some of the mechanics are known too, and much of the existence of each distills to force, leverage, and money that provides for measures of bribery, induction of dependency, intimidation, and patronage. The inner circles and close followers of dictators would seem generally in on the game with the greater public bought off, fooled, impressed, mollified, and patronized.
Most hated by the dictator: a free press that more accurately conveys his reflection and does so broadly, publicly, universally.
The official presentations of peace have become surreal.
Most understand that with the repression of democracy, especially through the jailing of journalists and the shuttering of publications, Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan has all but denounced democracy for a turn “east” toward dictatorship.
America’s President Trump has agreed to the program but with one difference, i.e., claiming credit for peace in the region. He has nonetheless praised the Turkish leader, essentially hollowing out the meaning of “NATO” and the related Western ideals, principles, and values that were to be defended before the “Phantoms of the Soviet”, i.e., the forces of feudalism and associated criminals, political criminals, and tyrants.
Turkish news channels ran a countdown clock at the top of their screens to let the country know when the ceasefire in northern Syria would end. Military and political commentators tried to outdo each other’s prognostications about what would come out of the meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in the city of Sochi. In the end, the presidents spent six hours discussing their path forward in northern Syria.
BackChannels expects the powerful mainstream media (Fake News!) to take note of the discrepancies illustrated here by juxtaposition.
It appears some wealthy — way “up there” in wealth born of thuggery — have in some states displaced democratic processes, evolving liberalism, rule of law and become powers unto themselves acting in their own feudal and wholly narcissistic and malign interests.