The inspiration for this post was a “Stop the Lies” (Facebook Group) video showing a well-informed Israeli taking apart an argument made by a pro-BDS type standing up for the “suffering of the Palestinians under occupation”, an Orwellian trope if ever was. Here’s the truth:
The nationalism may be off-putting for showing little regard for the Palestinian main base — those who are ruled — in light of the politically corrupt and suppressive atmospheres maintained by both the PLO/PA (the “phantoms of the Soviet”) and the Islamist Hamas. Israelis may benefit from more widely acknowledging the general political insecurity of the Palestinians (whose repression really is hideous) and the intent of their leaders to keep them intellectually disinformed, misguided, and deeply weaponized (the basic message being “The Jews stole your land and God wants you to take it back!”).
Palestinian laws associated with collaboration and cooperation with Israelis have been barbaric (I haven’t looked in a while, but the general condition remains that of war and thus the military occupation and [COGAT] presence in aspects of Palestinian life (http://www.cogat.mod.gov.il/en/about/Pages/default.aspx ).
Pro-Israel liberals may wish to look over the “talking point” that would be the defense of Pro-Israeli Palestinians and Palestinian dissidents who need security for speaking their minds and for civil action.
It’s a trope here on BackChannels, and it has an analog:
“Feudal Political Absolutism v Democratic Checked and Distributed Power”
More state of mind than state, “Kurdistan” has already its “Medieval v Modern” civil separation, and perhaps unwittingly, the Soviet-Era PKK, a NATO and U.S. State Department designated terrorist organization, remains mired in the flipped absolutism of the Bolshevik Revolution.
Another BackChannels trope, this one about Russia: “Two major revolutions in one-hundred years (1917-2017), three forms of government, and not one change in the nation’s affections in relation to ‘paternal authoritarianism'”.
For that last label, “paternal authoritarianism”, credit the late scholar Richard Pipes, but BC will not be looking up the specific source at this time.
The affection for strongmen — and perhaps helplessness before their “politically absolute” organizations — has the medieval world clawing the modern one backward.
Of course, the defectors from medieval worlds, those made refugee by them, those left bereft and without defenses, essentially drain the tapped resources of the same, leaving those worlds to become spiritually hollow, absent of conscience, lacking in their own humanity, and burnt out and purposeless.
Moscow, that “Third Rome”, has deals — call it what it is: “leverage” — with everyone: Assad, Khamenei, Hezbollah — low-hanging fruit: the “Syrian Tragedy”, BackChannel’s term, could not have taken place without Moscow’s endorsement and direct military support in arms and occasional actions (like bombing hospitals); Erdogan: “Turkish Stream” – Big Energy project demanding Ankara’s cooperation with Moscow: France – Marine Le Pen and the Newest Nationalism — but France is more brave in its defense of its still revolutionary democracy — Le Pen lost her bid for the presidency; Germany – energy supply dependence; Hungary – Orban’s bromance and narcissism; USA – only Mueller knows . . .
FTAC: From the BackChannels Reading Page on Facebook, January 2, 2019
The Phantoms of the Soviet, a government dissolved in bankruptcy more than 26 years ago, continue to haunt or shadow the Kurdish Community in its bid for survival against the emergent Turkish Sultanate, as BackChannels views it, still supported by NATO, and ISIS, which is “handled” by Damascus as flanked by Moscow and Tehran.
In the ganglion of the Syrian Tragedy, too many threads lead back to Moscow — and Moscow has well demonstrated its peculiar absence of conscience in the general support of Assad the Tyrant, its own repeated bombings of Syrian hospitals, and its defense of Iranian advanced missile manufacturing.
Moscow has also partnered with Ankara on the Turkish Stream energy project.
The true battle is one having to do with time: the medieval world of feudal absolute power — the power known to the world’s dictatorships, none of them responsible to either the Earth or Humanity — wishes to overrun the modern one built on the freedom accompanying democratically checked and distributed power.
According to Gutman, the Kurds appear stuck with both old habits of mind and with the organizational habits that have flowed down from the Soviet Era.
Of late, Kurdish representatives online have taken to pairing the United States and NATO with the backing of Turkey, a state no longer even proto-democratic and one long bent on the cultural annihilation of the Kurds. While the rhetoric may be shrugged away, the character of the PKK, well described by Roy Gutman (as cited) but also by Kyle Orton (as referenced below) may not be so easily covered over or glossed.
What portion of the Kurdish People remain behind or with the PKK?
That’s an open question for BackChannels.
Defectors from the conscripted ranks of the organization apparently (so noted by Gutman) have some options within “Kurdistan”, but the impression made by the Soviet affiliate would today repulse all humanity-, freedom-, and peace-loving advocates of influence in western politics who would otherwise more enthusiastically support a true indigenous people’s striving for autonomy and self-determination.
The flag better known to represent “Kurdistan” in the west (as judged at least by the “Flag of Kurdistan” page on Wikipedia):
During the seven-year course of the KGB Theater’s Production — call it “guided” (most likely) — of “Assad v The Terrorists”, Bashar al-Assad has managed to barrel bomb half his state into rubble and destroy or displace nearly half of his population (as known in 2011). He has won for his efforts the expansion of Russian and Iranian military interests on his formerly sovereign property and through related sadism — reference: Sednaya Prison — lost entirely the respect of the modern world.
As regards Soviet / post-Soviet alignment with Moscow, much less Damascus, the Kurds may not expect to sustain their alignment with the ruthless (who would even provide the useful enemy known as ISIS) while currying the favor of the democratic, humanist, liberal, and deeply socialized west.
The Sudanese have only to look toward Syria to know how bad revolution before a tyrant may become. While the spectacle of the Syrian Tragedy may have been expected to quell enthusiasm for a similarly motivated revolution in Sudan, it appears to BackChannels at this hour that caught between starvation and a tyrant, the Sudanese motivation — and perhaps the motivation of the military as well — may grow the violence and the level of direct threat encountered by President(-for-Life) Omar al-Bashir.
Of particular and peculiar interest in that story may be the bonding expressed between dictatorships
In Ankara, deputy chairperson of the ruling Justice and Development party Cevdet Yilmaz also expressed support for Al-Bashir’s government after a meeting with the Sudanese ambassador on Wednesday
“We support the legitimate government of Sudan. Turkey has faced similar ploys many times,” Yilmaz said, adding that Turkey is confident that the government is sensitive to the demands of the Sudanese people and would avoid violence.
Although Erdogan’s Turkey exploits NATO for its military defense from Russian aggression in that dimension, it has effectively destroyed democracy in the state and bonded with Russia — or leveraged itself — with the “Turkish Stream” energy project. Basically for the Turks, liberal democracy and freedom have died in their homeland, and they have become part of an increasingly family-run business masquerading some as a sultanate.
“In most of Sudan’s almost 170 cities and big towns, someone has been shot. In some of them, more than 15 people have been shot. The shooting is happening through unofficial types of militia that the regime is using,” says Khansaa Al Kaarib, a Sudanese human rights lawyer and activist.
“For 30 years, this is what the Sudanese people have been getting from Bashir: Killing, killing, killing and more killing. People are simply fed up with this and they want to change this regime. They want to get out of the perception of a people lying under an ICC-wanted criminal, as soon as possible.”
The Sudanese story has had a similar start with a modest protest driven by hunger — i.e., economic protest with ecological variables in play — met by escalating means of repression, including live fire that taken or produced martyrs that in turn have become the focus of additional protests.
For Sudanese now active in shutting down Bashir’s goverment and replacing with a government more modern, responsive, and responsible, here is the voice from that other protest against continued (and Russian) feudal political absolutism as once represented by the corrupt and thuggish Viktor Yanukovych:
BackChannels awaits the Sudanese version: “I am Sudanese, and we have tired of the war criminal in Khartoum . . . .
Moscow (CNN)Syria inadvertently shot down a Russian military plane after an Israeli attack on Syrian positions, killing 15 people on board, Moscow said.
The Russian military said Tuesday that the Russian maritime patrol aircraft was shot down by Syrian regime anti-aircraft artillery amid the Israeli attack on Monday, state news agency RIA-Novosti reported.
Moscow blamed Israel for putting its aircraft in the line of fire, Russian state news agency RIA-Novosti reported.
While it’s good that the IDF took out advanced weapons manufacturing facilities focused on producing missiles intended to challenge Israel’s existence (from the CNN report: “from which systems to manufacture accurate and lethal weapons were about to be transferred on behalf of Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon”), the attack will bring into focus the greater east-west conflict and run-up, perhaps, to greater direct engagement between Russian and Israeli (western-backed) forces.
Here’s the verbatim from earlier comment the editor made on Facebook:
Clearly, “Assad v The Terrorists” has half destroyed Syria (in the years since 2011 — give him a few more years in power, and the state will be gone altogether) but in a surreal fashion clings to the hope of destroying Israel and the Jews. The IDF’s target(s) appears to have been advanced weapons manufacturing facilities from which the output would have been used to challenge Israel.
Medieval Russia has been trying to recover its imperial and imperious attitude in its middle east presence. It may be suggested — at least I will do it — that it may have been shielding the Syrian manufacturing site with the presence of its surveillance aircraft. If true — and we may never know — that would account for Israel short notification to Russian military.
In the larger window: Washington has closed the PLO office serving as a proto-embassay and expelled its representative, a move congruent with the expulsion of Russian spies in the past couple of years. Before that closure, there has been of course the advancing of the U.S. Embassy into Jerusalem, another step forward toward forcing a conclusion to the middle east conflict.
This latest attack may represent further progress against what I have been calling the “phantoms of the Soviet”, i.e.,the continuation of older KGB-managed arrangements in the middle east.
This morning, one of BackChannels contacts said in a brief audio exchange, “The Syrian people are closer to the west anyway. They would rather have Israel prevail in Syria rather than Assad and Iran.”
BackChannels doubts that Vladimir Putin, whose forces have bombed so many Syrian hospitals and abetted so much horror, pain, and sorrow visited on the children of Syria — adults and children — that the west would have him were he to somehow pivot westward. Again, he has engaged in or produced active — blood soaking — conflicts in Syria and Crimea and appears to be surrounded in the chaos and horror he himself may have wanted as the “Phantom of the Soviet”.
Also from the awesome conversation:
The timing of this news is propitious, for today marks the evening start of Yom Kippur. The Jewish high holy days remain ever the target dates for anti-Semitic aggressors, essentially pulling the IDF and their support out of the synagogues and away from family on the most cherished and respected of religious observances.
Update – September 18, 2018
MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed Tuesday that Israel did not shoot down a Russian military reconnaissance plane with 15 people on board, saying the downing of the plane by Syrian air defenses was a “chain of tragic accidental circumstances.”
But Konashenkov on Sunday accused Israel of using the hotline to mislead Russia about its plans. He said the Russians were unable to get the Il-20 to a safe place because an Israeli duty officer had misled them, telling them of an Israeli operation in northern Syria while the jets were actually in Latakia, in the country’s west.
Konashenkov said an Israeli fighter jet flying over Syria’s Mediterranean coast shortly before the downing deliberately used the Russian plane as a shield, reflecting “either lack of professionalism or criminal negligence.”
The Palestinians may end the occupation any day by ceding Israel to Israel and establishing peace between themselves in the Preoccupied Territories. Decency in governance would follow and the recognition of an authentic Palestinian state would follow on that.
What and who are holding up the Palestinians?
There’s no cliffhanger left in the above question.
Assad regime forces destroyed the Palestine Hospital in the Yarmouk Camp. Body parts are strewn in the streets & many civilians are trapped under the rubble – intense regime bombardment prevents their rescue https://t.co/MDJuLn25Mq
In the Soviet / post-Soviet medieval time bubble, the spectacle attending the bombing of a Palestinian hospital in the Palestinian enclave of Yarmouk in Syria appears that of a Palestinian Sunni force pitted against independent Sunni extremist forces to which, for enmity as viewed by Liwa al-Quds, the western-leaning Free Syrian Army appears appears to have been attached, although western alignment would seem also pitched against ISIS and other Sunni (and Shiite) extremists.
Among Liwa al-Quds allies, the Phantoms of the Soviet Era align: Ba’ath Brigades, Hezbollah, (Syrian) National Defence Forces, Russia, Syrian Armed Forces, Syrian Armed Forces, each defending “political absolutism”, the survival of dictatorship itself — and of dictatorships, BackChannels has long remarked, “Different talks — same walk!”
The walk seems to be that of a march toward the accumulating of wealth and power without end, without limit, and without purpose other than the experience of it (in the political psychology, the malign narcissistic process may begin with “narcissistic mortification” and end with “narcissistic supply”).
Among Liwa al-Quds opponents: minus the Free Syrian Army, defenders of the very same thing!
Missing from the picture: family, financial, and personal relationships. The interlocking details involving persons and personal interests would be another and more granular level down in public reporting, and such investigative work might be unwelcome where it would be gathered.
The Syrian regime bombed #Palestine hospital in #yarmoukcamp, the last service provider for the 1500 civilians in the area. The bombing killed the only ambulance driver in Yarmouk. Bombing hospitals is a war strategy for the Syrian regime. The hospital is out of service #Damascuspic.twitter.com/luAyUECKRg
It was the Soviet Union that poured $1 billion itself into America’s domestic Vietnam Era anti-war movement. Its cause: totalitarian perceptual control.
The SU had also funded a host of organizations within the World Peace Council with interest in the seduction and leveraging of the same. When Soviet tanks started appearing in the SU’s satellite state, many organizations withdrew from the WPC and Soviet support. They had gotten the sweet picture — the sweet words — on their way into business with the Soviet but had gotten a clear picture of how Moscow really worked as east-west politics, essentially authoritarian “political absolutism” v democratic liberalism, really worked.
The phantoms of the Soviet, which dissolved in bankruptcy and much reviled in Russia some 26 years ago, remain in the character and spirit of Russia’s political administration today, while terms like “active measures” — also “information warfare”, “hybrid warfare”, “reflexive control”, etc. — remain obscure.
When will the world wake up from the control of dictatorships?
It appears that the Phantom of the Soviet — capitalized and singular, there can be only one — wishes to replay WWII and the end of the Cold War with KGB methods in political (and perceptual) control intact.
Now everyone has a problem, not least the state of ______: do the leaders of the world — and the worlds of business, finance, and politics — want the present to recycle into the future using totalitarian techniques — or does it want authentic progress on behalf of our species and the planet that hosts all of us?
I have come to know — no longer just think — the Moscow believes that political issues and perceptions can be invented and controlled from ‘behind the curtains”. Knowing the little I know of wildness in nature and evolutionary unpredictability, I would counsel against that Orwellian ambition.
Place the blame for 9/11 on “east-west competition” for political and resource (“Grand Game”-related) control; post-Cold War realignment, perhaps — the idea that western security services would cooperate with Moscow’s on crime, for example, or on “fighting the terrorists” (after Moscow has positioned them) where it belongs and in proportion to the contribution to design. Of the two, “Moscow” and “Washington”, the data I have dredged from the web points to Moscow’s so-far persistent totalitarian ambition.
There’s much to hash in the above message, but all will distill into the two familiar and very different worldviews so often referenced by BackChannels as “Medieval Political Absolutism v Modern Democratic and Liberal Distribution of Power”.
In which world would you rather live?
Point by point —
First, official Saudi Arabia revoked Osama Bin Laden’s citizenship over the crime visited on the United States of America on September 11, 2001. That leaves unofficial KSA and other actors as possible donors to the Wahhabi al-Qaeda enterprise, but as the sovereign state has maintained its innocence, the potential rogues within have made themselves only potential persons of interest for internal policing. At this time, about 17 years later, a KSA-USA alliance has been established and is being promoted as reliable online.
Regarding reliability, we shall see, as it seems in the nature of history and politics to be full of surprises.
Second and in regard to the news articles cited, BackChannels has noticed from the Cold War Era a kind of symmetrical diplomacy attending “east-west relations”. When, for example, the Soviet Union reclaimed its nuclear missiles from Cuba, the United States moved back its forward-based Jupiter missiles from presence near the Soviet Union’s fringe. Whatever the two states may have been saying to one another, they were saying it at the same time. In popular history, the more dramatic and visible recovery of “nukes” from Cuba was more quietly matched by similar behavior in Europe. It would not be much of a stretch, if any, to suggest that as the Soviet Army retreated from Afghanistan, the American CIA similarly pulled back from its involvement with the Mujaheddin even though that would leave the proxy available to the next Russian state, which was to announce its presence, however pale, with the appearance of the Russian Tricolor raised above the Kremlin on the morning of December 26, 1991.
Finally, BackChannels may wish not to know what took place in 1992 between business interests and multiple state security services with the Cold War presumed over, Communism defeated in Russia, and some new western-leaning and capitalist state about to be born. It would rather — and so will — fast forward to today’s “Phantom of the Soviet” and the destruction brought to Syria and Ukraine (Crimea), the revival of feudal ambitions spurred in EU/NATO targets by the reflexive response to Islamic terror attacks, and in both Turkey and nascent Kurdistan the leverage applied to ego by Putin’s “energy politics” and appeals to narcissistic aggrandizement in leadership in both geopolitical spaces.
Today’s Hamas-produced political theater on Gaza’s border with Israel smacks of Soviet Era spectacle. While nothing would appear to have changed from earlier days, much has changed as regards “state-sponsored terrorism”. The Soviet Union passed into history more than 25 years ago, and the phantoms of it in search of the source of their dark souls must find it absent. In its place now stands the autocratic “Mafia State” fully willing to destroy innocents in its chosen combat arenas, induce greater chaos in the world (seldom more so than in Syria and in Ukraine’s Crimea), bomb hospitals with impunity, and revive the Soviet’s most criminal and pernicious practices and programs.
If Gazans, who in the main have gotten very little out of decades of so-called — and violent — “resistance” only knew for what and for whom they were protesting . . . .
The Internet is fully up: now the Palestinians may know (and know well who has lied to them and how) and — if and when determined to extricate themselves from the powers that have profited off their sustained suffering — make themselves truly free within their own community and more genuinely nascent Palestinian state.