The event may be wrapping up, but it should persist on YouTube and remain here in the BackChannels’ record of witness.
Trump’s support of Israel is about respect for tribal identification and the narcissism related to it. It matches Putin’s views of a renewed and sustained feudal world — a feudal modernity — featuring absolute authority, fated and unquestionable, placed in the future rather than left to history.
Accompanying that vision: a low-intensity war of re-conquest in Crimea, Ukraine and the tragic obscenity that has been made of Syria.
Most of us carry what we value of our pasts with us through life, but we try also to leave our futures open for good things to come.
These “malignarcs” (malignant narcissists), by comparison, wish to force the future forward into the past. Their personal visions — and behavior — have been dreadful, myopic, selfish as have been the habits, in lesser and greater measures, of caliphs, dictators, emperors, and feudal lords through time: for the mafia-type power and wealth, their methods, willful and thuggish, have been more known to history than those of democracy. However, our Mr. Trump has a powerful employer and a job defining his position, and whether he personally likes it or not, he is duty-bound to promote democracy — the systems of checked and distributed power — against the political absolutism known to dictators.
As has been my habit with BackChannels, the titles promise greater and lengthier articles while format and inclination keep the verbiage down to a paragraph bloc.
Related on this blog —
With the public focused on the air assault of “9/11” (see the gems placed in reference) and numerous “Allahu Abkar” attacks worldwide across many years, the patriotic reaction has permanently altered the west’s political and security societies — and yet we wish to defend authentic democracies against the potential for the rise of the Orwellian police state and with it, indeed, a “new nobility”, an invisible, unimpeachable, unquestionable (“military-industrial”) aristocracy.
I may have developed a bad rep on FB for having had the audacity, however dull, to connect the dots back to the end of WWII and the coming “framing” and handling of the refugees of 1948 — the Palestinians — as useful for blocking the spread of democracy and liberalism and for making money for political elites in the Soviet manner. How we got to this point: https://conflict-backchannels.com/2018/02/06/set-palestinian-kgb-and-other-backchannels-observations-related-to-the-middle-east-conflict/
Some Palestinian cadre — the middle level of anti-Zionist leaders — know the page but have recovered after the initial shock and picked right up with the broadcasting of the familiar Orwellian catechism — “brutal occupation”, “Zionazis” and all the rest. The language and narratives injected more than 70 years ago into the Soviet influenced portion of Arab culture has amounted to “intellectual poisoning” and is today visible.
All sides need to wrap up WWII, Russia’s historic issues with the Jews, and for the policymakers and scholars allow the truth sink in and live on.
The most basic reminder: Herzl’s launch of Zionism took place before even the start of the 20th Century; Jewish agriculture was capitalized in the region starting with land sales from Arabs to Jews for the development of crops. The effort worked, drew general labor, and enriched the region. Frequently overlooked: the expulsion of more than 800,000 Jews from Arab states after 1948).
Bottom line from long ago: Moscow cooked up programs for Arab dictatorships and for those who were to become the Palestinians. For Moscow, the Soviet Era ended in bankruptcy with an official dissolving on December 25, 1991. Putin’s Russia — often referred to as the “mafia state” — seems a bit surreal in its continuing partnerships with Damascus and Tehran.
Reuters on the “Assets of the Ayatollah”:
From 2016, Gatestone Institute: Colonel Richard Kemp:
Posted to YouTube May 25, 2018
Posted to YouTube May 5, 2018
“Published on May 9, 2018: Infectious in beat, jarring in violence and imagery, Donald Glover’s new music video “This Is America” touches on painful racial history and our contemporary culture of mass entertainment and murder. Jeffrey Brown talks with Rolling Stone contributor Tre Johnson about the video and the ways African-American artists are reflecting the nuanced tensions in how we depict black lives in America.”
What blogger / writer needs to write when compilations are practically ready-made?
Nigerian rapper Falz the Bad Guy, a former lawyer, has released a riff on Childish Gambino’s This is America, in which the song and music video are copied and reworked.
It’s good to know which video arrived first, but I’m not certain that it matters: we’re a wild species often accurately reflected in the poets’ mirrors. However, seeing ourselves so depicted, we might consider getting ahead of some basic challenges rather than acquiescing to being forever jerked around by them.
Posted to YouTube June 30, 2017
Posted to YouTube January 9, 2018: “Reacting to the incessant killing by Fulani herdsmen across the country, Comrade Mohammed Kudu Abubakar, Deputy National President of Arewa Youth Consultative Forum maintained that President Muhammadu Buhari should immediately pronounce herdsmen as a terrorist organization.”
Ultimate hope: expand old pasturage by reversing desertification where possible and producing ranch land with grazing crops, fenced boundaries, and appropriate agricultural cycling or rotations of cattle if, where, and as possible. Such armchair suggestions are, of course, easier said than done — and BackChannels, as have many others, have heard the “ranching solution” mentioned elsewhere. The same, however, needs to be done, and most complicating: cultural habits (for that, refer to Garrett Hardin’s “Tragedy of the Commons” —Wikipedia entry; article online).
As regards Christian-Muslim enmity based in the uptick in violence and apparent disinterest of the government in responding to the barbarism — it’s really nothing else — BackChannels may note that both Boko Haram and Fulani violence may be associated with Chinese and Russian — and, most recently, American — defense sales to Nigeria. Perhaps both faith communities should appreciate Mr. Abubakar’s interest in investigating the path backward to getting AK-47s into Fulani hands.
And if AK-47s, why not later — if a civil war can be set up — MANPADS? RPGs? “Technicals”?
How much “low intensity conflict” or “small war” does it take to sell to one state or another how many billions of dollars worth of aircraft or other defense equipment and supporting systems?
It’s a cynical question but possibly one of the most interesting as regards civilizational ambitions and “realpolitik”.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has described ‘This is Nigeria’ song by Nigerian Singer, Folarin Falana, AKA, Falz the Bahd Guy, as a ‘hate video and an assault on the self-dignity of every Muslim.’
BackChannels has heard that the effort to intimidate the artist has been rebuked; however, this marks the seventh day out from that threat, so the story may be something to watch in relation to Nigeria’s cultural freedom of expression.
Posted to YouTube May 4, 2016.
In the little more than two years since the above was posted, Fulani-associated attacks on Nigerian farming villages have skyrocketed, bringing to play suspicions about a Muslim dominated government and security apparatus. One BackChannels source has suggested that all the top military and police officers have Arab names and Islamic affiliation, and, therefore, so may go the reasoning, the same have turned a blind eye to attacks in the making. Add to that, the state’s confiscation of old unregistered firearms from villagers, leaving the same completely bared to the whims of AK-47 equipped rape-and-rapine “Fulani Land Pirates”.
Not surprisingly, the complaint of Islamic Jihad and the ethnic cleansing of Christians has surfaced in more recent news.
Governor Ortom in his speech, stated that what was happening in the state was ethnic cleansing and Jihad. Ortom said, “this is not a hidden agenda, it’s known and those people who are perpetrating it did say it. They’re not hidden. They held press conferences, they came out and said they were going to resist our law, that they were going to do ethnic cleansing, it’s about Jihad, it’s about taking over the land, it’s not about herders and farmers clashes.
Related in Vanguard on this day: an editorial critical of “The probe on Army ‘partiality'”; and another, finally, on the shooting of armed herdsman in the “Gwer, Logo and Guma Local Government Areas of Benue State” — and in use: Russian Mi-35 helicopter gunships.
BackChannels has been curious about where “the bandits” have been obtaining their arms — and the mention of such curiosity alone should raise knowing and cynical smiles in West Africa: “Firearms Trafficking in West Africa” n.d., PDF.
The Boko Haram back story in relation to arms and equipage has been poked at:
However, the “tank” in the photo appears to be a Panhard ERC-90 Sagaie, a wheeled armored fighting vehicle of French manufacture. Chad and Cote d’Voire each have a few of these vehicles, and, according to one commentator, the Nigerian military has forty-two of them. If that is accurate, then it is likely that the tank and the armored fighting vehicle were stolen from a Nigerian military armory and did not come from Libya.
At least one arms shipment originating in Turkey has been interdicted; there appears at least one report of bandits armed to military standards:
Last year the police carried out a dawn raid on Orilowo-Ejigbo, a Lagos suburb, and arrested three men after seizing a cache of arms that was sufficient to outfit a 20-man army. In another incident last year, at the border town of Seme, bandits overwhelmed the huge security presence at the border post, laid in wait for traders and robbed them. Many lives were lost. As an officer testified after the incident, it wasn’t the effrontery of the robbers that unnerved him and his colleagues, but the sophistication
of the arms they used.
However acquired — and whatever the true (cultural, communal, economic, personal religious, social, tribal) motivations of Boko Haram or Fulani Land Pirates — the violence targeting the state’s peaceful (and disarmed) Christian communities has brought into view the possibilities for deep mistrust across the Christian-Muslim discriminator and forced the state to defend its integrity with greater military power, skill, and resolve, which, of course, requires heightened military spending.
Distilled: violent rogue organizations promote defense spending, i.e., they’re good for business!
Affected states, perhaps especially today Nigeria, have no choice but to heighten integrity in their ranks and push back or, over time, disintegrate down into feudal squabbles that might presage — for lack of decency in governance — meltdown into the modern dark ages of failed states.
At the same time, BackChannels fears the Orwellian possibility of state-based manipulation of bandits, jihadists, and raiders in the producing the sustained chaos and conflict profitable to two kinds of markets: 1) the black markets known to “failed states” and “frozen conflicts” in which authorities have been so compromised, corrupted, or otherwise weakened (absented in force) that anything goes and EVERYTHING illicit moves through the territory; and 2) the state-to-state business markets invested in defense economies nurtured for expansion.
Appreciate the contemplation: the truth really is Out There where ships stop in the night far out at sea and hours later smuggled arms move across the land toward the money that makes it all seem worthwhile.
What will happen if the seemingly limitless tide of young men recruited in the wild become supplied with shoulder-launched rockets?
Someone’s business will grow.
Related to Nigeria’s acquisition of A29 Aircraft
Putin: leader of nationalist Russia, master of “realpolitik” — leverage, punishment, reward — the Boss of bosses, capricious and absolute.
Whatever the game, why play one side or the other when you can own the whole board?
KGB Colonel, President, Emperor Putin has taken Russia back the one giant step to an authoritarian system reinforced by secret police — today’s FSB supports more staff per capita than ever did the KGB — capable of presenting events for public political perceptual control as with the Moscow Apartment Bombings and the Russian Army’s after-hours (deeply unofficial) brutalizing of Chechen villages in such a way as to drive the men into the waiting camps of Chechen rebels. He has succeeded in abetting greater chaos and conflict in the world, especially in Syria, while balancing the tension between adversaries that may stall change but keep all of the businesses, licit and perhaps illicit, running.
BackChannels credits Putin with turning Erdogan’s pretty little head back toward the feudal glory of the sultanate — or something like it — with the help of Turkish Stream, encouraging the family business in Hungary, and aiding with the election of the formerly more autocratic President (“Fake News”!) Trump in the United States (the French, better knowing what they’re about, didn’t quite go for his Marine Le Pen; Trump, BC presumes, has been tempered by having gotten himself into a job involving personalities as large as himself and powers greater than known in his organization — America’s democracy has not been overwhelmingly wowed or easily walked over). The popular perception of Putin may respond opposite the viewer’s interests: for old lefties, he’s the world’s greatest reactionary and using revived militarism and the Russian Orthodox Church to assuage bad feelings attending the insult of expanding financial hardship associated with related ambitions in Syria and Ukraine and, ultimately, the way the guy at the top gets his hooks into the best performing businesses.
In Russia, there’s protest and resistance to Putin, but there is no competition for the power he has amassed and his ability to . . . rearrange the world along feudal lines.
And for “righties”, he’s still the go-to for “socialist” dictatorships like Assad’s.
Never mind that Assad via the KGB-style political theatrical “Assad v The Terrorists” has been building Syria down, enough so, and so desperately so, for Putin to permanently expand Russia’s military footprint in Hafez’s old sandbox.
After the one step backward into 19th Century and earlier Russian paternal authoritarianism, aristocracy, imperialism, and resurgent nationalism, one may wonder what may be the “two steps forward” if any are ever taken as needs must be: whether Putin likes it or not, the Russian Federation is, alas, multicultural and perhaps yearning — as Navalny might have it — for the liberal devilishness that are “rule of law” and “responsive and responsible governance”.