Saturday, May 14, 2016

An Enterprise of Great Pith

People walk past a mural on a restaurant wall depicting Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin greeting each other with a kiss in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on May 13, 2016. (PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP/Getty Images)

DDGD May 14, 2016
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The Brotherhood of Racist Butlers & Zombie Candidates: United for Armageddon – America 2016. And… The Drumpf Who’s Stealing Christmas! The much-awaited sequel to The Obama Who Fucked Up Syria! A cautionary tale about the unintended consequences of indifference, amoral opportunism and lethargy – coming soon to a theater near you.

Index of Global Delirium
The Index reflects the state of delirium in a particular country using a 1 to 10 count, with 10 denoting the highest level of delirium. Levels of delirium change on the basis of current development in said country, such as instability, terrorism, elections, sports events and the like,  as well as relevant global developments such financial meltdowns, certain leaks, and stock market indices. Countries shown above are among those where fluctuation in the national and local indices have a greater global impact than is the case with other countries. Note: levels of violence and delirium do not always coincide. Indeed, a country can have a high delirium level even though it is relatively stable. 

With Racist Butlers, Zombie Candidates entering or lingering in the fray in America’s 2016 electoral cycle, and the Rhodes Effect continuing to influence ongoing debate in Washington, the average levels of global delirium remain quite high. IGD Forecast for next week promises more of the same.

Featured Quote

“It may be too late for Europe to raise its drawbridges, man the ramparts and enlarge the moat; fortified Europe is a thing of the past” --Hisham Melhem

The Deliricon

The Obama Doctrine: A policy that advocates pursuits of courses of action that minimize the immediate risks while maximizing the immediate rewards for oneself, and showing little attention as to the consequences for others, and even for one’s future self. The doctrine is based on the inherent assumption that since the arc of history seems to eventually bend towards justice, there is little reason why people should overthink the long-term consequences of their policies or their immediate impact on others.

The Rhodes Effect: A sharp turn in the public debate allowing a political establishment not interested in discussing the real issue to shift the ongoing debate allowing it to focus on some vacuous yet seemingly important revelations. In that sense, it is really no different than the better known Drumpf Effect, except for the latter’s penchant for the crass and dramatic.  

The Delirica
 The Cover Up: Already dozens of articles have been written about Ben Rhodes’ revealing profile, some critical, some analytical, some offensive, some defensive, all controversial, and all miss the real point. The administration did not simply lie to get the Iran Deal; the administration became complicit in the mass murder taking place in Syria to get it, as none other than Philip Gordon, the administration’s former top adviser on the Middle East, recently hinted. The fact that the truth is so much worse than a lie reflects on all of us, and not just the administration, and this might be why all are ignoring the point. Yet by this we all become even more complicit, and part of the cover up. And make no bones about it, it is a cover up. More on this point soon.

Democracy. Secularism. Justice. I am not sure if Sadiq Khan is going to do well as mayor of London, but it is important to note here that he is a Muslim and he was ELECTED by Muslims and non-Muslims alike to be mayor of a city where the majority population is non-Muslim and where Muslims have so far had little historic imprint due to their relatively recent arrival onto the scene.

So, in secular democratic countries, and despite lingering racist attitudes and failed policies of integration, Muslims of all colors and backgrounds tend to fare far better, and even thrive, in comparison to how things are for Muslims in countries where they are often the overwhelming the majority, countries most of which remain autocratic, anti-modern and underdeveloped.

The lesson: Democracy and secularism, not Sharia rule, not taking the Quran as a political constitution, are the key ingredients Muslims need to build better lives for themselves in this world. People thrive where justice thrives, even if it’s imperfect. And justice as a notion and a human need is not something that only the followers of a particular religion can produce. 

Before it's too late: My Fellow Americans: Wise UP! Donald Trump is frankly much smarter than his opponents give him credit. For yes, it’s not beyond him to repackage and reboot himself – his life so far has been a series of moments of self-reinventions and repackaging tailored specifically to help him deal with certain developments in his life, usually that has a commercial significance. After that, he always snaps back to his usual corny self, until the next moment comes. This means that he has a real chance at winning, despite the demographic challenge facing him as a Republican in a country where the major population centers have gone steadily over the last two decades or so in the direction of the Democrats. But the Sanders phenomenon proves that isolationism is a popular choice among American these days. And as more people seem ready to vote, perhaps for the first time in decades, if not ever, in the coming elections, it is quite likely that many of them will end up choosing Trump over Clinton. In fact, Trump might be the reason why they will choose to vote.

No, this is not the most likely scenario, but this a likely scenario. Those interested in avoiding it must take it seriously and plan their campaign accordingly.

But even if Trump ended up losing this election, the loss may not signal the end of his phenomenon. Should the battle be closely fought, Trump might spend the next four years consolidating his hold on the Republican Party and reinventing it before turning up again in 2020. So, Hillary in fact needs to defeat Trump, then, have an excellent first term before we can claim that the Trump phenomenon was effectively contained. Ad we are speaking here of the phenomenon as reduced to the man himself but not necessarily to the populist isolationist nationalist ethos he presents, which is bound to linger for a while longer, or what political choices other members of his family might eventually make. 

The Daily Delirynth

Pride & Insolence: Ben Rhodes Told Activists He's ‘Not Proud of Our Syria Policy’The Deputy National Security Advisor, already in hot water over a controversial New York Times profile, may have just turned up the heat with his latest comments about Syria.” But President Obama did manage to find a moment of which to be proud in this regard, showing us all who is the real psychopath-in-chief. The fact that the Muslims Political Affairs Council has chosen to honor Ben Rhodes at this stage, making no mention of the policy on Syria is quite indicated of where the real malaise lies as far Muslims are concerned: it lies in their hearts, minds and souls where it will stay until they figure out what it means to really believe in human rights.

Full-Circle: ‘Assad must go’ demand should go, ex-White House official says. Phil Gordon, a Clinton campaign adviser, handled Middle East policy at National Security Council.

Phil Gordon, a former senior White House adviser who is now part of the Clinton campaign’s foreign policy brain trust, argued Thursday that it’s time to stop calling for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s departure, saying the demand is part of a U.S. strategy that has failed to end the conflict. The willingness of such a prominent Middle East observer to make that call, on the record at a media briefing at the Council of Foreign Relations in Washington, signals a greater openness now in bluntly stating what U.S. officials have accepted for months, if not years: Assad isn’t leaving.

What do you do with a genocidal maniac, early in the morning? Give him time to kill his back into relevance as a “necessary” “lesser” evil.  And by the afternoon of our discontent, voilà, the deed is done. It doesn’t matter here that Gordon had earlier expressed regrets about not bombing Assad back in 2013. For him, the moment has passed.


Others of Clinton’s advisers are more hawkish than Gordon. Tamara Cofman Wittes, who directed Middle East policy during Clinton’s tenure at the State Department and now advises her campaign, said openly abandoning the goal of Assad’s ouster would anger not only the beleaguered Syrian rebels but also powerful regional forces that back them, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey among them. “As long as Assad is in place, there are groups on the ground that will keep fighting and there are actors in the region that will keep supporting them,” said Cofman Wittes, who is the director of the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.

But the solution in Syria has been simple and clear since the beginning, for those willing to see it: Si vis pacem, perfide leo occidere. If you want peace, kill the rogue lion (Assad). But in fact, killing the lion has always been avoidable, even if he cannot see it. There are other ways of neutralizing him, without having to add to the crimes being perpetrated. The inevitability of Assad’s death, of his killing, is the product of the same policies and the same policymakers who made the whole carnage in Syria inevitable, a product of the realist mentality whose members had been peddlers of “Assad is a closet reformer” line before the revolution, and are now peddlers of the idea that “Assad is the least worse option in Syria.” 

Mustafa Amine Badreddine died in a “huge blast” near the Damascus airport, the group’s television network said. Credit Hezbollah, via Associated Press

Inconsequential: Meet the Pyromaniac Playboy Leading Hezbollah’s Fight in Syria. As another man of mystery meets his violent end in Syria while perpetrating crimes against humanity in the service of some self-appointed spokesasshole of God, the fate of the asshole whose death can make an actual difference in the conflict is still being hotly debated. Israel may claim responsibility, and might indeed be responsible, and Hezbollah may accuse rebels, who are more than happy to be accused, and who might have indeed provided some information to that facilitated the matter, but one cannot but wonder as to how these random acts of killing keep eliminating those accused of involvement in the assassination of the late Rafic Al-Hariri among other Lebanese figures who sought to help Lebanon rise again as a sovereign entity independent from the shenanigans and manipulations of the Assad clan and the Iranian mullahs. So, quo beneficio? Well, it’s not the Syrian people. 

Ibn Būt­­īn Al-Moskofī: Special Report: How Russia allowed homegrown radicals to go and fight in Syria. Abu Bakr Al-Baghdādī reports on the authority of Ibn Būtīn Al-Moskofī, may Satan be pleased with both of them, that the latter said: “I once saw three Chechens I didn’t like, and I seriously considered killing them, as was my habit at the time. Then, and seeing the problems that my colleague Ibn hafiz Al-Assadi was facing with all those nonviolent protesters and moderate rebels, I ended up sending all three to Syria, one to join Daesh, and the other two to spy on him.” More of my take on the usefulness of Al-Qaeda to all and sundry can be found here and here. But this is the essence of the argument I made:

…everybody loves Al-Qaeda – the terror network that manages to serve everybody’s interests even as it pushes its own agenda or appear to go “rogue” and step out of bounds. For at those rogue moments in particular, Al-Qaeda & Co. end up providing an opportunity for her underhanded sponsors yet public enemies to come together.

Bashar Al-Assad meets with Ali Abar Velayeti, International Affairs Adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader, ali Khamenei, SANA May 7, 2016

Why not? Part I: David Ignatius of the Washington Post asks: Can Assad keep crossing the ‘red line’?

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz, apparently relying on a government source, reported May 2 that Assad’s forces used sarin gas last month against Islamic State fighters after they attacked two Syrian air force bases east of Damascus. Stockpiles of this deadly gas were supposed to have been removed from Syria in 2014. Given the international silence, Israeli officials are said to fear that Assad will keep striking with the banned weapons. “With the continuation of fighting in Syria, it is reasonable to assume that the regime won’t hesitate to use these weapons again, especially after already having done so ... without any reaction,” an Israeli source told me.

The answer is simple: Assad can and will, repeatedly, because the Obama administration simply doesn’t care less. America’s interests, as understood and promoted by this administration, are not at stake. As for the humanitarian angle, the administration thinks that by being the largest provider of humanitarian aid to refugees is doing what all it can. Like the “pro-life” camp in the controversy surrounding reproductive rights, the administration is interested solely in keeping as many people alive as possible, even if at the lowest level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The administration does not see itself concerned with issues pertaining to the quality of life, to moving beyond the basics and meeting other hierarchical needs.  After all, these are the responsibilities of a Syrian government, not America’s. Isn’t it? 

Why Not? Part II: Syria: Armed opposition groups committing war crimes in Aleppo city. Why not? Everybody else is doing it and getting away with it. We cannot expect the neglected to be saints. True, war crimes are always unjustifiable, but we should not be surprised when the propensity for them spreads wherever order has been allowed to implode. 

According to the Iranian Al-Alam TV, the Russian air force accidentally bombed Iranian forces stationed in Aleppo, Syria. It appears this incident happened as Syrian army and friends (Hezbollah, Iran) were launching a new offensive against the Free Syrian Army and al-Nusra front who control areas of northern Aleppo.

The Russians can’t find Syria, but they also can’t find a better place to build their new military base in Palmyra than inside the protect zone: DigitalGlobe satellite imagery shows the construction of a military base within the protected zone of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. So much for Putin’s love for culture! But then, Syria is a video game to him. 

Bashar and Asma al-Assad on a state visit to Venezuela in 2010 (HO/AFP/Getty Images)

Here we go again: U.S. intelligence warns of Venezuela collapse. Ah, corrupt authoritarian socialist rulers! The gift that keeps on giving even from beyond the grave.

And this: Iran Has More Volunteers for the Syrian War Than It Knows What to Do WithAs Syrian troops sustain heavy losses, Iranian militias are ramping up their role.” Oh come on! This doesn’t require much thought. You can always start a new ear somewhere. Is it too early for Saudi yet?

The Exotic Observations & Propositions of Delirian Mundi
Known to those of his followers seeking his canonization and entry into the Valtheon of Deliriology, as Agnus Mundi, and to his detractors as Ranae Dei and even Capra Satanae, Delirian Mundi’s writings, mixing satire and philosophical reflections, continue to be polarizing, inspiring both adulation and ridicule. Bearing this in mind, we, the editors at DDGD, continue to publish these previously unknown series of “exotic observations and propositions,” as Delirian himself referred to them, as part of our continuing commitment to instigate debate over sensitive issues.

* Essentially, the world and history are made for and by assholes, and for and by killing. Everything else is an aberration made possible, often accidentally, by some acts of dogged determination on part of a few restless souls who care about quality of life at least inasmuch as they care about survival. These are the ones responsible for actually bending the arc of history towards justice. 

Featured Tweet(s)

Featured Video(s)

Cartoons: The Cauldron

Reversed Polarity
Delirium-inducing interviews and interviews induced by delirium with celebrities who occasionally inhabit the delirial dimension of our world on the delirial issues of the hour.
The empowering yet fabric-conservative attire Ms. QarDaeshian wore for her lecture at Harvard never risked detracting from the sheer power of her message.

 Qim Qardashian: Should Drumpf become president, I might have to break the internet again!

In a brief interview with reality TV star, Qim QarDaeshian, moments before she gave her much awaited and hugely attended lecture at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health on the dangerous public health implications of passing laws forcing transgender parents to identify with their least favorite children, the sultry public intellectual said to be seriously considering running for the high office herself at some point in the future, made clear what she really thought about the possibility that Donald Drumpf might be elected as the 47th President of the United States. “If this happened,” she warned, “it will be on account of the shameful tergiversations of the Republican establishment who failed to take a clear stand against the rampant racism and misogyny of the man.” But, she continued, “it will also come as a reflection of our failure to educate voters from both political camps them as to the real and dangerous implications of this man’s facile policy proposal, the like of which we have not heard since the time Dufus Uproarius ran for a seat in the Roman Senate as a member of the Enslave and Fuck Party.”

But, would she do to help prevent or deal with that, our RP minds wanted to know. Will she contemplate breaking the internet again? “I don’t like to resort to such radical measures very time this country goes through a crisis, but this would not be an ordinary crisis. So, yes, I will have no choice but to break the internet again should Drumpf become president.”

And how would you accomplish that this time?

“Rather than precariously balancing a champagne glass on my buttocks, I might have to insert the man himself, hands, ego and all right up there. It’ll be a mercy killing of sorts, but America deserves no less of me.” 

Attempts to solicit a response from the Drumpf Campaign have failed to produce a response.

Theatrum Ad Vere Stultum
A series of post-postmodern takes on the "classics," new and old, starring the world’s and history’s most (in)famous public figures. Notice: All characters in these scenes even the fictitious ones are real, and all their statements, especially those deemed libelous, are their own and have absolutely nothing to do with the author of this blog, no matter how delusional he may seem at times, or happen to be, for real.
The Threat: Act 1 – Scene 1

(in a surprised tone) Threats again me?

(matter-of-factly) Yes, Mr. President.

That I should be taken out of the White House and shot?

Hanged, to be precise.

Hanged? I would’ve thought that by now they would’ve come up with something more original than calling for lynching a black man.

We are not dealing with very imaginative people here, Mr. President.

That much is obvious. And it’s the Donald who said it

No Mr. President. It’s his retired octogenarian butler.

So all this uproar and you’re basically telling me the butler did it?

Precisely, Mr. President.

There’s something absolutely unedifying and somewhat anticlimactic about this.

You know Mr. President, the times they are decadent.

Indeed. I guess, there is no other choice. Have him arrested, and questioned.

The Butler, Mr. President?

No. The Donald. Might as well, you know. A little mischief before I leave office.

I’ll get right on it, Mr. President. (Leaves stage)

(looks out of the Oval Office window) To be or not to be, why is this question still relevant?  Is it because it makes us feel sophisticated, or because I am no longer down with R2P? But how can I be blamed for that? Getting down with OPP is much more fun for my bare bodkin? He can bear a fardel or two for OPP. R2P? Not so much. And enterprises of great pith and moment with this regard their currents turn awry, and lose the name of action.

© Ammar Abdulhamid 2016

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