What are China’s authorities hiding or trying to hide?
It’s remarkable watching the hiding of shame (or guilt) play out on the global stage.
There are people who believe — and when they’re leaders, they may be the worst of people — that any show of damage, fear, or sentiment weakens them in relation to public perception when, in fact, it is their own “inner eye” (the way the may be forced to view themselves) that cannot stand being seen as weak. In that may be the soul of “malignant narcissism” and related “civilizational narcissism”.
Such types embarrass and shame themselves, for what seems right to them looks wrong to everyone else.
Dogma may no longer serve to cover or excuse less savory designs.
Our species evolves not only physically but psychologically, and we have reached an age with sufficient global and open communications in which authoritarians, criminals, and dictators may no longer brush aside or suppress essentially truthful criticism and data. The same may not stop “black programs” and conversations “behind the curtains” — that kind of feudal and medieval egotism and power may be always with us — but by and large BackChannels believes the world evolves toward greater complexity, interdependence, and freedom. The global public may still be misled, but not for long provided the journalists have integrity and do their work.
Perspective: Related Online and With the Truth About COVID-19 in the United States
This first preliminary description of outcomes among patients with COVID-19 in the United States indicates that fatality was highest in persons aged =85, ranging from 10% to 27%, followed by 3% to 11% among persons aged 65–84 years, 1% to 3% among persons aged 55-64 years, <1% among persons aged 20–54 years, and no fatalities among persons aged =19 years.
Between the people of the United States and the nation’s most prominent authority on infectious disease and pandemic, the Centers of Disease Control, hide nothing, sugarcoat nothing but report accurately, plainly, clearly, empirically, completely–and that may be the best cure this editor might know for panic and state-driven perceptual control of “the masses”.
In America, at least, democracy has just become more directly responsive and responsible to the People.
Active Measures — The collection of Russian Agitation, Disinformation, and Propaganda Methods made evident through covert or subtle Influence Campaigns applied to wrecking the political coherence and cohesion of EU/NATO for the purpose of reestablishing Political Absolutism in the same and then using the most thuggish of feudal and medieval methods to leverage loyalty and wealth from them for contribution to the Greater Imperial Glory of Moscow, the Russian “mafia state” it has come to represent, and the immense enrichment of its oligarchy.
Indeed the west, the melange of classically liberal democratic open societies built and structured around fair dealing, freedom, and integrity and related humanist and liberal ethics, principles, and values has been unprepared for covert agent provocateur, e.g., covert agitators Far Right and Far Left, disingenuous publications, false front organizations, trolls, etc.
I’ve chosen to demur from producing “long copy” and a lengthy reference section for this post. Awareness of “Active Measures” — the kernel of Russia’s covert campaign to degrade and ruin the democracies of the west — should suffice for both the interested and the unwittingly vulnerable.
Through the Cold War Era and now with Putin leading the Russian Federation, the purpose of Soviet / post-Soviet “Active Measures” has been to fragment EU/NATO for the purpose of Russian expansion and its feudal practices. A video like this one — the same as above on this page — will help a little bit with understanding the greater east-west politics and the tension between the worlds of “Absolute Power” and the open democracies of the west.
Active Measures” represents an international (RF v EU/NATO) dispute over the future, not only an American one.
If we are at one the other’s throat, Moscow will have succeeded in exploiting our natural political arguments and issues by heightening them and undermining our national political cohesion and coherence, thereby weakening our state and degrading our democracy.
Regarding “Far Out Left” and equally distant Far Right tendencies, the related foreign and disingenuous domestic manipulations of political perception targets us all.
Who in support of our Democracy can afford to be neutral about a President who appears to be operating on an authoritarian basis using rules of his own? It has been one thing to “let the horse run”, see how he works, and watch what he does. It’s another to turn our back on a hard-won — fought for, died for, paid for — nation devoted to fair play and integrity right beside the principles and spirit that produced our foundational documents.
Admiral McRaven knew his business and his country and what he represented every day as a four-star admiral. That’s not an Obama thing or, particularly a Democratic or Republican thing. It’s an American thing unless the Nation has forgotten why it exists as a unique and now long-lived democracy.
This President shrugs off resignations by the most competitive and experienced professionals in their fields: diplomats, investigators, intelligence executives, military executives, prosecutors. He believes everything we do happens by way of political chicanery and force — or “clevers” — and not much has to do with anything worth believing in, much less dying for.
These pieces by Harbough and McRaven tell of a different America, one more admirable, more noble, more deserving of extraordinary leadership and sacrifice.
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.
“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.
My general impression has been yours, i.e., PKK fighters accepted some “rebranding” to make their image palatable to the west in their fight for survival against Islamic State. However, here is what the web turned up in related (swift) research:
The PKK launched with Soviet guidance and support in the late 1970s. Wikipedia nailed it in these two sentences: “The PKK was founded in 1978 in the village of Fis (near Lice) by a group of Kurdish students led by Abdullah Öcalan and in 1979 it made its existence known to the public.The PKK’s ideology was originally a fusion of revolutionary socialism and Kurdish nationalism, seeking the foundation of an independent Communist state in the region, which was to be known as Kurdistan.”
The political tone of the community has been in the direction of “democratic confederalism” — inclusion and input have been part of what nascent “Kurdistan” promoted when it played up the Rojava Experiment.
From the New Internationalist —
“There is no doubt that theirs is a shared ideology, one that has been formulated by their joint leader, Abdullah Öcalan, now in his 21st year of incarceration in a Turkish prison. But the PYD’s organizing principle is democratic confederalism: a system of direct democracy, ecological sustainability and ethnic inclusivity, where women have veto powers on new legislation and share all institutional positions with men.”
Within the short time since forming Rojava’s democratic experiment, child marriage, forced marriage, dowry and polygamy were banned; honour killings, violence and discrimination against women were criminalized. It is the only part of Syria where sharia councils have been abolished and religion has been consigned to the private sphere.”
American moderates and progressives would recognize the development of a social democracy — not unlike what we in fact of evolved into, i.e., a modern place with modern laws and cares. That would seem what the Trump Administration has chosen to abandon with a few teary-eyed remarks about America’s soldiery and his (narcissistic paranoid) bent toward American isolationism (after the United States leading the development and defense of democracy in the world since the end of WWII).
Opposed by the PKK and part of the character of Kurdish political incoherence: the Kurdish Democratic Party —
“The KDP has been described as a tribal, feudalistic, and aristocratic party which is controlled by the Barzani tribe.”
Method #1: detect and amplify any present national, racial, or religious suspicion into self-righteous anger and resentment — and crank it up;
Method #2: develop and deploy appropriate agitprop and agent provocateur — and for the Devil’s sake, don’t worry about anything having to do with ethics, ideals, principles, or values: in fact, dispense with the possession of conscience altogether and reduce all complexities — also, all cultural richness and intercultural relations to two essential dimensions: will and survival.
Method #3: Prepare the violence to come: arm convinced militia and move the same toward perceiving slights or promoting provocations, for either will serve the dual purposes necessary for the inhabiting of a renewed medieval world governed by feudal arrangements in support of “absolute power” (to be shared between political criminals and similar life forms).
Method #4: In hybrid, highbrow, and lowest manner, infiltrate target organizations and states for purpose of abetting their destabilization, perpetuating disinformation, and for ultimately exploiting legitimate business and labor for gain leveraged by bribery or extortion / reward for cooperation and threat for independence in either thought or action.
Centrist leaders across Europe hope the fallout from the “Ibiza scandal” will be felt beyond Austria in the European parliament elections this week, in which populist, nationalist and far-right parties have been forecast to make gains.
Strache’s apparent eagerness to embrace corruption is in stark contrast to the “drain the swamp” rhetoric populists routinely deploy in their attempts to portray politics as a battle by decent ordinary people against a venal elite. The FPÖ is a key member of an alliance of European nationalist parties led by Matteo Salvini of Italy’s League.
BackChannels has embedded with many posts the key word or phrase, “medieval v modern”, and that has worked for the editor, but what has emerged in Russia, Turkey, Hungary, and elsewhere also could be called a “Reactionary Conservatism” that fits with the anti-democratic and piratical renewal of feudal absolute power. Where such has succeeded, so far, the same has devolved into patently criminal cronyism.