Is perception reality?
Should The People leave Big Business to Big Daddies?
Should we all just adore our Great Leaders?
Is perception reality?
Should The People leave Big Business to Big Daddies?
Should we all just adore our Great Leaders?
American political cohesion, despotism, Donald J. Trump, malignant narcissism, military honor, Military Parade, Military Parades, military remembrance, political self-aggrandizement, Soviet / post-Soviet politics, Vietnam Era, Vietnam veterans, Vladimir Putin
American holidays and strong community interaction with the military honor the military. Related concerts and parades are today legend for binding the nation into a coherent and cohesive entity worth defense and worthy of respect all around.
There are ancillaries in air shows and show components, e.g., Blue Angels, in other events.
The parading of missiles and tanks has been for most who produce that spectacle a boast and a threat associated with lesser power, not greater.
The Vietnam generation of military cannot be compensated nor, perhaps, repaired adequately, but all have been permanently honored, memorialized, remembered on the Mall and beyond that in America’s communities. If and where long-term disservice has been done, perhaps that conversation is the one that should be led by an American President.
(c)1996 J. S. Oppenheim & DRB Productions
Hey, old college kids, remember the fatigue jackets, the grass, the Mobilization on the Mall, and the whole trippy deep ecology and far out peace thing?
Know that the Soviet Union invested $1 billion in the environmental and peace movements of the day (perhaps labor was already under way), and it got its money’s worth in the sabotaging of domestic will for that war. It would also come to lose influence with the hip when it demonstrated its true methods in “realpolitik” as it drove tanks into the Soviet satellite states that it had completely demoralized with its own narcissistic claptrap and thuggery.
I was young at the time — the last of the babies of the baby boomers — and on the draft rolls only briefly before our troops were brought home.
The “Active Measures” part of the Vietnam War is active today on Moscow’s part: disinformation, election meddling, war by proxy in support of kleptocratic dictatorships. If you approve of such methods and ends — much including the ownership of other humans as mere property and as well demonstrated by Moscow-aligned Bashar al-Assad and Iranian Grand Ayatollah Ali (“Hang ‘Em High”) Khamenei — do nothing, say nothing. If that’s not the world in which you wish the next generations to live, look back, get caught up on Orwell — or Hitchens on Orwell — for a start — and look forward to engaging in this now really different kind of war.
BackChannels reminds: Putin appears to have bombed Moscow apartments with interest in blaming Chechen rebels for the deeds (“false-flag operations”) and then gone on to brutalize Chechen villages into pushing their men into the ranks of experienced and ready Chechen rebels.
The Soviet Union dissolved in bankruptcy with official finality on December 25, 1991.
The moment had a backstory, one well worth the reading.
The west may have been too quick to believe Russia would then evolve into a capitalist democracy, free and vibrant. Instead, and much as scholar Karen Dawisha has unearthed, it became by design an elitist’s kleptocracy and one that now apparently revolves around its own “Vertical of Power”.
BackChannels believes the strong have cause to celebrate through national holidays and shared American events, but it is the weak that needs must put their muscle on display in parades.
When one works a few ideas around to a compressed or distilled state, one hates to lose them in cascades of commentary published through the social networks. Blogging helps preserve such thoughts and keep them available via keyword searches. This passage comes from an earlier take on the same theme:
With President Trump, the American public faces three deep challenges:
1) how do deal with disinformation in the long term — “Active Measures” from Russia’s machinery, deflection and related strategies involving information and (“Fake News!”) rhetoric;
2) how to resist our own deepening divisions to return to quintessential American ideals, principles, and values, starting with the valuing of integrity in business and government and consequent distaste for corruption;
3) how to address enemies that have found ways to blend and practice war indirectly, not only by proxy but with “frozen conflicts” aiding the movement of arms and narcotics worldwide and ability to deeply manipulate terrorism (e.g., see “Moscow Apartment Bombings”; read Anna Politkovskaya’s observations on the brutalizing of Chechen villages).
We may be in a little bit of trouble because the Cold War didn’t end quite where we thought it had and not much has prepared EU / NATO constituencies for its apparent phantoms and their still medieval political ambitions and views.
Iran Protests, Dec 30, 2017 – chanting slogans against Khamenei in Tehran University – NCRI
Demonstrators were reportedly heard yelling slogans like “The people are begging, the clerics act like God”. Protests have even been held in Qom, a holy city home to powerful clerics.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42519054 – 12/30/2017
Other demonstrators chanted “leave Syria, think about us” in videos posted online. Iran is a key provider of military support to the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
Twenty-one hours ago:
One theme emerging from the protests: faith in President Trump’s determination to battle back dictatorships and groom democracies.
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly taken aim at Iran, denouncing its government as a “fanatical regime” and accusing it of violating an international agreement aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear program, refusing to certify its compliance with the deal.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert also addressed the protests.
“The United States strongly condemns the arrest of peaceful protesters. We urge all nations to publicly support the Iranian people and their demands for basic rights and an end to corruption,” she said in a statement.
The prompt: opprobrium for much of President Trump’s other actions and utterances with glowing exception for announcing the moving of the American Embassy to Jerusalem.
Trump has to respond to internal personal as well as external political pressures. He has to make decisions with those two universes somewhat in balance.
The “Jerusalem Declaration” sense a message to (you know what I’m going to say — fill it in), and the timing is right as Israel is somewhat surrounded by PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, and Russia (which has military stationed about eight miles from the Golan).
The West has symbolically re-planted its flag at the Israeli bridgehead with what used to be more predictable despotic “eastern” dictatorships or “politically absolute” governments (some of them, of course, plainly hideous).
Russo-Iranian imperial aggression in the middle east has pushed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia westward, and the same has focused the remaining liberal states of EU / NATO (so perhaps not Turkey or Hungary or Poland) on resistance to extremist and tyrannous politics). The President’s move in Jerusalem nudges the other side to back off or up its game. We hope that Moscow axis will “hold” where it is and reconsider its ambitions and the means now applied — including election meddling and real fake news — toward achieving them.
— 33 —
The latest to pop up on Facebook:
Trump praised the organization in a speech—“I love WikiLeaks”—on October 10th. He tweeted about WikiLeaks on October 11th. The next day, WikiLeaks, seemingly encouraged by the coördination, sent another private message to Trump, Jr.: “Hey Donald, great to see your dad talking about our publications. Strongly suggest your dad tweet this link if he mentions us.” Fifteen minutes later, Donald Trump tweeted, “Very little pick-up by the dishonest media of incredible information provided by Wikileaks. So dishonest! Rigged system!” Two days later, on October 14th, Trump, Jr., tweeted the link that WikiLeaks had provided. The entire political world wanted to know whether the Trump campaign was actively coördinating with WikiLeaks, an organization that Trump’s own C.I.A. director would later call “a nonstate hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.”
For the public, perhaps, the encounter with so much information buzzing around — rather like electrons around a nucleus — may well be jading or numbing; still, one may wonder about the Trump narrative in relation to Moscow and its still feudal methods of handling and influencing political events in the states it targets.
Have Americas voters by way of weaknesses in election-related processes — including the defense of Party (either) information assets, the defense of the American People against “Active Measures'” disinformation in the American “Information Space”, and, in the end the defense of American principles and values — handed “Washington” to “Moscow”?
BackChannels will miss Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, whose dictatorship this morning is on the ropes.
This blog has often cited as rye observation and warning Mugabe’s stay in power as proof that a wily dictator may indeed make a life of it and hope to die contented and peacefully in his sleep. Alas, continued political life in Zimbabwe is not looking much good today for President-for-Almost-Life Mugabe. He has been expected to resign, and, as expected, he has so far refused.
On the home front, the nimble pack of the Fourth Estate has been circling our oafish President Donald J. Trump and producing reports of unwanted connections in the open manner (as opposed to the closed represented by Mueller’s legal hounds).
Herewith, BackChannels own bookmarks, unfiltered, unfixed, but for the “link rot” of disappeared web pages, ever present on the web.
What to make of so much reportage?
Should the BackChannels reader wish to live in a world where gangsters get what they want and hold on to it, where the world is ever at war but one cannot with accuracy comprehend why, where souls repeat themselves endlessly as if on a zoetrope spinning the same moving images against a wall (for as long as it spins), and where Orwell no longer matters, then stop here, for all is spinning as designed, albeit not designed by God (nature, or the universe) but by the same lot that incubated ISIS in fine Totalitarian KGB Theater style.
Nobody does it better . . .
. . . than Luke Harding when it comes to development of intimate knowledge of the Russian “mafia state”.
The desktop pigeon — that would the blog’s editor — appears to have a bad read-save read-save habit unattached, so far, to being fed, and the saving while surfing has been complicated only by the question, “where should this go?” The links that follow were shrugged into the “Trump Kompromat” bin, and, in the way of the all-day web surfer, forgotten. Even without titles and dates, it is something to see even a few on this course listed in one space.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-idUSKBN14V18L | “Trump accuses U.S. spy agencies of Nazi practices over ‘phony’ Russia dossier”. Related on BackChannels: “Paranoid Delusional Narcissistic Reflection of Motivation“.
http://news.postimees.ee/3977431/estonian-foreign-intelligence-in-the-spotlight – “A meeting between a member of US president-elect Donald Trump’s close circle and a pro-Putin member of the Russian State Duma in a Eastern European country was picked up by the Estonian Information Board, Newsweek wrote yesterday, based on information from several people with ties to the agency.”
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article176003346.html – “Fugitive Kazakh clan has deep ties to Trump associates”:
The Khrapunovs, with the help of a partner of Sater’s, later purchased and quickly flipped three condos in the Trump Soho hotel and condo complex. They are accused in Kazakhstan of embezzlement and money laundering. The Khrapunovs face civil lawsuits in New York and Los Angeles that seek to claw back what the Kazakh government says is stolen money. Some of the cash allegedly washed through U.S. real estate, including the Trump properties.
The Soviet Union officially dissolved itself in bankruptcy on December 25, 1991. It did so with plans for the survival of the privileged of the Party — reference: Karen Dawisha’s groundbreaking book _Putin’s Kleptocracy_.
KGB Colonel and today President Putin has ditched the old banner, Communism, for “State Capitalism” and rebuilt essential elements of the Russian cultural-political experience: KGB/FSB, Centralized Power (that would be himself), and Aristocracy (“the oligarchs”).
The general public’s knowledge of the Cold War has been dimmed by time and the passing of a generation that needed to impart a base of knowledge in foreign affairs to the general public and failed to do that.
Putin has displayed preference for other autocrats — Erdogan, Orban, Le Pen, Trump — and the cause for that has been the reinstalling of the feudalism and the medieval worldview in the states of the European Union and NATO, and he gotten far with that project using Islamic Terrorism as a goad to getting there.
Read a little bit considerately, independently (no spin — your thoughts only), and quietly.
And look up “Zawahiri, Russia”.
Clinton, for all the many faults of the family and its character, knew the post-Cold War history and what it meant for the United States of America and the open democracies of the west. I don’t defend her; I didn’t vote for her. What I’ve come to observe — and I edit Back-Channels — are the processes by which my fellow Americans have been driven toward polarized extremes.
If BackChannels didn’t post it here, it would be lost somewhere beneath Sean Hannity’s latest Facebook comment about Susan Rice, a thoroughly partisan info-morsel for his hungry crowd — better to preserve it in an obscure blog that matters — or should matter — more and more as the free world, the European Union, and NATO approach Putin’s politically absolute and frequently criminal Moscow.
Think back a little bit.
Hicks also asked other superiors why Susan Rice, US ambassador to the UN, had said the attack might have been a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Islamic video. That video was a “non-event” in Libya, Hicks said, adding that it seemed clear from the first that the assault was a terrorist attack.
“The sense I got was I needed to stop the line of questioning,” Hicks told the House panel.
Related more recently by former diplomat Gregory Hicks:
When asked about security at Benghazi on Sept. 11, Mrs. Clinton has repeatedly asserted her lack of responsibility. Initially, she said that she never read any of the reporting on security conditions or any of the requests for additional security, claiming that “she delegated security to the professionals.” More recently, she stated that “[I]t was not my ball to carry.” But the law says otherwise. Sound familiar?
The Benghazi attack and Hillary Clinton’s explanations — it was a video that did it, but no it wasn’t; security was left to the experts, she reportedly said, but the buck had been by law made to stop at her own desk . . . and she delegated downward and away from herself — became strong talking points for conservatives.
Now there comes a full suite of talking points for liberals questioning President Donald J. Trump’s (” . . . you grab ’em by the pussy”) character and the weight of complex business and political relationships involving “Moscow”, the metonym here for the “Russian State” as headed by Vladimir Putin.
Posted by mtvnations February 13, 2017.
Putin’s Kiss is available for viewing via Amazon by purchase or by subscription to Amazon Prime.
BackChannels assumes, or presumes, that readers wish not to live in President (Forever) Putin’s “Nashti” proto-fascist state (for further reference, enjoy in the World Affairs Journal Malik Kalyan’s “Mysterious Circumstances Surrounding Russian Murders, Deaths” (March 3, 2017).
Well then . . . .
Are you making the allegation that President Obama conducted electronic surveillance of Trump Tower in your capacity as President of the United States based on intelligence or law enforcement information available to you in that capacity?
If so—that is, if you have executive branch information validating that either a FISA wiretap or a Title III wiretap took place—have you reviewed the applications for the surveillance and have you or your lawyers concluded that they lack merit?
In Benjamin Wittes’ piece, eight additional question follow for President Trump as regards alleged wiretapping by former President Obama.
Let’s move on with moving back in memory.
There’s the Steele report —
https://conflict-backchannels.com/2017/01/17/address-christopher-steeles-2016-report-involving-president-elect-donald-j-trump/ – 1/17/2017 & https://conflict-backchannels.com/2017/01/14/trump-vs-steele-an-emerging-credibility-gap/ – 1/14/2017
Add to the above, the continuing FBI investigation of Trump-associated relationships with “Moscow” (3/4/2017).
Add: The Flynn resignation.
Add: The Sessions recusal.
Worst of all: Rachel Maddow’s connecting the dots between a Russian mogul and a Trump real estate sale, which would not be so bad were Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross not at the center of (the art of) the deal (Feb. 27, 2017).
When an obscure blogger asks that question, it’s time to roll out the ROTFLMAO!
However, please do note this blog’s — this blogger’s — providing ample reference to many (most) of the most reliable sources in journalism and the think-tanks.
When an American President asks / demands trust, that’s something else.
Posted by The Guardian, March 3, 2017.
David Remnick’s most powerful bona fide: the Pulitzer Prize winning Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire (1993).
Posted by CNN, February 28, 2017.
The complete quotation having to do with absolute power and corruption: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”
Published February 8, 2017 in The Chicago Tribune (by Steve Chapman):
Asked about Melissa McCarthy’s portrayal of him on “Saturday Night Live,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer had some advice for the actress: “Dial it back.” May I suggest the president adopt that phrase as his administration motto?
So far, Donald Trump has made it a practice to obliterate every known limit and pump up every grievance. Harvard law professor and former Reagan administration official Charles Fried, marveling at the president’s Twitter volleys at federal judges, said, “There are no lines for him. There is no notion of, this is inappropriate, this is indecent, this is unpresidential.”
Perhaps the word order in this post’s title needs to be changed from the alphabetical “credibility, integrity, trust” to what comes first and last:
Integrity –> Credibility –> Trust
Although this piece would seem to end with Trump, it may be thought to go back some decades to Carter and Reagan (remember “Iran-Contra”?), to Mr. Clinton (how would you define what is and what is not sex) and forward to Obama and Clinton and the New Guy, but it’s that last with whose grandiose posturing and promises and tweets the nation awakes or falls to sleep.
Alex Jones? “Active Measures” – confusion, disinformation, information warfare, manipulation — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_measures
Track the themes – 1, 2, and 3 – and have your say as I’ve had mine.
Intervening and other variables:
— President Elect Trump may be getting the education through briefings that he seems not to have had when standing before the public as Candidate Trump.
–President Elect Trump has not “stepped off” as President in either action or words.
IF in his foreign affairs he gives NATO full support and continues blocking neo-imperial Moscow at Crimea and continues the struggle with Syria, good, but if he caves to his authoritarian narcissism in the manner of Erdogan and Orban, we may never recover our meaning or stature — and Moscow will happily continue spreading its absolutism and the chaos and destruction it pushes ahead of itself.
Not only America but the free world — EU, NATO, the “democratic open societies of the west” and other democratic societies worldwide — have worries with President Elect Trump.
Those who have suffered beyond imagination in Syria in relation to Bashar al-Assad’s shaping of that war into “Assad vs The Terrorists” exist today inside a purgatory special to totalitarian Hell, a place between Assad’s sadism matched by Moscow’s own and its military presence, and, sigh, “The Terrorists”, whom Assad helped developed (go ahead and click and look over the points and references made the earlier BackChannels post).
Ukraine, which “leaned west” in its revolt against Viktor Yanukovych and his manner of little black book keeping, works with a different problem, i.e., Moscow’s occupation of Crimea, but it has the same worry: what does America mean today? What does and what will “Washington” represent in the spectrum of politics between “political absolutism” — autocracy, fascism, kleptocracy, totalitarianism — and a responsible and responsive democratic governance possessed of integrity?