Sunday, June 19, 2016

A Bee in Obama’s Thimble

GOP’s Trump says US should consider profiling Muslims 
DDGD June 20, 2016
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The Makers Of The Noise That Precedes The Silence That Comes Before The Storm: Our presence is deafening. More so our absence.  

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. 

Holding steady at 9.4 is in fact quite a feat considering the continuing fallouts of the terrorist attacks at Orlando, and the recent assassination of MP Joe Cox.

Featured Quotes

“Now the very unity of Europe is being called into question, in no small part because of the refugee problem out of Syria. This is beyond Syria. That we did not expect in 2012.” --Robert Ford, former US ambassador to Syria

“Senior officials in this administration have reportedly, from time-to-time, registered with President Obama their own deep reservations about their government's failure to complicate and mitigate Assad's campaign of collective punishment and mass homicide.  It is time for them to make one last attempt to convince the President that "Never Again" is indeed applicable to Syria, and that peace negotiations are utterly futile as long as Assad is perfectly free to do his absolute worst to civilians.” --Ambassador Fred C. Hoff, former special adviser for transition in Syria with the US State Department

The Deliricon

Contrarian Thoughts Repellent (CTR): A top-secret industrial drug made available in the form of body spray but only to certain high-level politicians and other public figures from around the world. The drug is said to make its users particularly impervious to any argument that goes contrary to their deeply cherished beliefs, no matter how rational it happens to be and irrespective of the amount of direct evidence supporting it. U.S. President Barack Obama is believed to be “highly reliant” on the drug, with former members of his administration claiming that he is, in fact, a full-blown addict. Other well-known figures known for their CTR addiction include: American presidential candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, Syrian Dictator and Maniac-in-Chief Bashar Al-Assad, and Russian potentate Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

The Delirica

Images show the transformation of Mohammad Abdulazeez, who killed five service members in a rampage in Chattanooga, Tenn., in July 2015. His family said he had a history of depression and addiction. He was killed shortly after the attack. Facebook and Yearbook

Confluences & Challenges: Mateen had a troubled past. Why isn’t that the story? Indeed, why is the Islamist label so hard to shake when it comes to lone-wolf attacks perpetrated by people from Muslim background? Because there is a high-profile terrorist organization out there openly calling for such attacks to take place and not simply engaging in hate speech or speaking in hypothetical terms. That its calls tend to resonate more profoundly with troubled and mentally ill individuals is natural. The way the process of radicalization works in this situation, relying as it is on self-motivation, makes preemption well-nigh impossible. Yet, the absence of direct linkage between most attackers and the organization does not take away from the role of ideology in cementing the resolve of the attacker during those crucial moments leading up to the attack. The personal dimension, psychological and social, prepares the ground for radicalization, but it takes ideology to seal the deal.

The Western media’s preoccupation with the background of the attackers is equally natural considering their awareness of the overall geopolitical context for the attacks. If there is any bias here, at least in regard to how mainstream media outlets handle the situation, it comes often as a reflection of the media’s structural affinity for sensationalism rather than an inherent anti-Muslim bias. But restricting the usage of the “terrorist” label only to cases of Muslim attackers does speak of a latent bias, perhaps stemming from the lingering “otherness” of Muslims in popular Western consciousness. This phenomenon needs to be properly addressed by those in charge of running mainstream media. There is a need for the adoption of clear objective standards in this regard.

Yes, the West’s Muslim population should be concerned about the overall impact of this situation on their future wellbeing. But fear of rightwing backlash does not justify silence or recalcitrance in the face of the hate within. Islamists represent a problem for Muslims above all, and can only be defeated by other Muslims. Traditional Muslims, however, need not give up their cherished beliefs. As is the case with other traditional faith systems, Islam is being continuingly reinvented by its followers, and not all reinventions are good or popular. This process is not simply natural and unstoppable: it’s gone on hyper-drive these days due to a variety of socioeconomic and political factors. Agreeing on a “right” and “modern” version of Islam is not what’s stake here and should not be. This would be a fool’s errand. In matters of faith, disagreement and reaching different conclusions on all sorts of issues is the rule, and the idea is to find ways that allow for this disagreement to manifest without causing social instability or harming individual and collective rights. In other words, Muslims need to agree on one thing: that there is no worldly authority tasked with determining which faith and which version of the faith is true, and that only the most extreme interpretations and practices, those calling for violence and bloodshed, and for restricting the basic freedoms of various individuals and groups need to be rejected and criminalized. The real challenge facing Muslims today revolves around the need for revising their understanding of the concept of public and private spheres, expanding the role and area of the latter. 

Murdered British Lawmaker Jo Cox Advocated for Syrians in This Powerful Speech. “On refugees, given the escalation of the violence in Aleppo and lack of medical care available there now, what further can the U.K. do to get the most vulnerable people out of harm’s way?” Cox asked. “And surely, given what we know about the horror that many of the refugee children in Europe have fled, isn’t it time to end the government’s shameful refusal to give 3,000 unaccompanied children sanctuary here in the U.K.?”

The Daily Delirynth

America’s Consoler-in-Chief can still relate to his own pain.

The Man With The Teflon Conscience: U.S. State Department Officials Call for Strikes Against Syria’s Assad “Dozens of officials sign confidential document protesting Obama administration policy, urge regime change.” The mid- and high-level diplomats who signed the letter are the ones who are responsible for implementing, explaining and more importantly justifying the administration’s policy to colleagues from all over the world, and to Syrians. They have not had an easy time of it since day one, especially in regard to justification. Theirs is a President with a Teflon conscience, a man obsessed with the kind of guarantees only God could deliver before embarking on a serious action. Yet, if there is anything that conflicts such as the one in Syria could demonstrate, it’s the total irrelevance, if not absence, of God. Since the beginning the President has been concerned with the possibility of being sucked into a potential black-hole, which is why he avoided intervention, except in the minimalist possible sense. But the problem with man-made black-holes is that they have the nasty habit of calling on those who try to ignore them.

This is how IS was born, and this why it quickly evolved from a JV team into an international threat, and a domestic one. People like Omar Mateen, Syed Farooq, Tashfeen Malik and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev might be motivated more by personal issues than ideology, but that does not matter. Thanks to the fearmongering and racism of politicians like Donald Trump and other Republican figures, and the IS propaganda machine America is already feeling the impact of the Syrian conflict. In fact, it is just beginning to do so. Indeed, the situation has become so bad U.N. Genocide Watchdog had to speak out against it:

“At a time when there was greatest need for sympathy and solidarity, I was appalled by the immediate and shameful efforts of some political and religious leaders to manipulate and politicize the events in Orlando to fuel fear, intolerance, and hatred,” Adama Dieng, the U.N. special advisor to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the prevention of genocide, said Friday in a statement. Dieng stopped short of calling out Trump by name. But he criticized calls by “some politicians to cite radical Islam as the cause of the attack in Orlando, to ban Muslims from the United States, and to label all Muslims as terrorists.”

In Europe, the refugee crisis, driven mostly by those escaping the Syrian conflict, has created an existential crisis that might spell the end of the EU. Meanwhile, it’s creating a rightwing backlash that threatens social and political stability in many countries. Soon, both in Europe and the United States, violence and acts of terrorism perpetrated by the Far Right will soon exceed anything Islamist terrorist have ever done or could do, at least on the short term, in the foreseeable future on Western soil.

Not that any of this will matter to he who sets impossible standards for giving a damn about stopping mass slaughter, not even if the reports about John Kerry’s endorsement of the Dissent Letter were true, and despite the fact that not only  diplomats think that the administration’s Syria policy was a disaster: many top journalists and pundits who have been following the tragedy as it unfolded in real time also do, for instance the stars of MSNBC The Morning Joe. The man is impervious to dissent – a psychological trait that puts him in the same rank as Bashar Al-Assad. just as Bashar Al9Indeed, it’s not surprising to how swiftly the President has given the brush-off to his critics. His is a Teflon conscience, and he will be out of White House long before he has to worry about any of his Syria decisions coming to take a generous bite out of his flabby ass. With this in mind: White House Rejects Internal Critique of Syria Policy. And Moscow never really needed to issue any warnings. The thing didn’t even amount to a tempest in a teapot, and was more like a solitary old bee caught buzzing in a thimble and was crushed for her troubles by the owner’s pitiless thumb without having a chance to sting.

Syrians have become all too familiar with this particular side of President Obama

While, Obama keep giving his backside to Syrians, the Russian keep giving them their bombs, delivered straight to their homes, hospitals and schools. Indeed, in what seems like a response to the SD dissenters, Putin just bombed the shit out of U.S.-backed rebels in the southern parts of the country near the borders with Jordan. He is a better postman, and is willing to ring twice come snow or sleet.

Russian aircraft have not been active in this area of Southern Syria for some time, and there were no Syrian regime or Russian ground forces in the vicinity," a senior defense official said. "Russia's latest actions raise serious concern about Russian intentions. We will seek an explanation from Russia on why it took this action and assurances this will not happen again."

Ultimately though, I judge Obama’s Syria policy by its results: it’s a policy that let a nonviolent protest movement devolve into an armed rebellion ushering the way to a bloody civil war that got more and more complicated by the day. It’s a policy that generated half a million dead, 12 million displaced and untold millions of wounded and handicapped. In the process, it has also generated a global terrorist threat, that will not disappear even after the defeat of IS in Iraq and Syria, as well as an ongoing threat to Europe’s unity. It helped further inflame the proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and allowed for the resurgence of an aggressive Russia on the global stage with repercussions far beyond the borders of the Middle East. It is allowing for a major abuser of human rights to retain power and to keep perpetrating his abuses, seemingly unstoppable, making a mockery out of various international conventions and norms often invoked and backed by the U.S. thus undermining its credibility as well as its ability to deter similar developments in the future. A resurgent far right wing in Europe and the U.S. is using the refugee crisis, generated mostly by the Syrian conflict, as well as the terror threat emanating from it, as a way to create a new mass appeal for its xenophobic and racist policies, and is succeeding to an alarming degree as the rise of Donald Trump in the U.S. and the assassination of British Labor MP Jo Cox demonstrate.

Yet, at every step of the conflict and down to this current moment in time, President Obama, his advisors, and their supporters in the policymaking community and academic circles continue to argue that intervention would have been worse. If that’s so, if the best that they could do is to give us a choice between allowing this kind of mayhem or creating an even worse one, then, this is a very sad commentary on the leadership skills of the people involved, and tells more about the limits of their vision, imagination and their moral sense than about the limits of power per se. The insanity of the Obama administration and the political class supporting it is a mere symptom of a greater malaise with which the country needs to deal, a malaise that infects both the Left and the Right, the poor and the rich, and the highly educated as well as the minimally so. We need to diagnose the nature of this malaise first, and reach some consensus on that in a large and diverse enough circle of public figures before we can do proceed to tackle it.

Mr. Obama came to office in 2009 scoring George W. Bush for the high price of his interventions abroad. In the human and strategic tragedy that is today’s Syria, the world is learning that the failure to intervene can exact an even higher price.

Still, and despite the pervasiveness of Syria-related fuckery these days, some Syrian immigrants still managed to rise well high above the fray: Syrian Immigrant Who Said 9/11 ‘Changed The World For Good’ Is A Homeland Security Adviser. “Laila Alawa was one of just 15 people tapped to serve on the newly-formed HSAC Subcommittee on Countering Violent Extremism in 2015 — the same year she became an American citizen. Just last week, the subcommittee submitted a report to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, recommending that the DHS avoid using Muslim terminology like the words “sharia” and “jihad” when discussing terrorism.

Hedging One’s Bet: Putin says accepts U.S. is sole superpower, dilutes Trump praise. Smart move by a smart man. Now that Trump’s chances seem to be on the slump again, there is no harm in backtracking a little, and walking back certain comments. But, in the meantime, one still needs to manage the affairs of the realm, and so… Russian defense minister meets Assad, inspects Khmeimim airbase in Syria in what amounted to a surprise inspection of sorts, as Assad himself is heard saying in the video below “we didn’t hear that you yourselves would be coming.” In fact, according to sources on the ground, the Russian minister went directly to the airbase, and Assad was brought there to see him, and was not even told whom he will be meeting until he was there.

And who really cares what the officials at DoD think: DoD Officials Express Strong Concerns Over Russian Airstrikes in Syria.

Still, not all is well with the realm: Putin’s Once-Mighty Bank for Pet Projects Now on Chopping Block. No wonder Putin feels an affinity to Trump. They both know how to bankrupt institutions. 

Rise of the Sunniphobia: Australia Boots Iranian Cleric Who Says Gays Must DieIn the wake of the Orlando massacre, Sheikh Farrokh Bahram Sekaleshfar’s incitement to murder is seen as too much for Canberra.” Not much coverage in the U.S. of this particular hateful figure. Would that have been the case if he were a Wahhabi Imam supported by Saudi Arabia? I doubt it. The selectivity of coverage involved is troubling. It seems that we are dealing more with Sunniphobia than Islamophobia. This is how you create a problem and make it worse. 
Scene from Crystal’s nightclub in Doha

The Stakes: I thought I was a Eurosceptic, but what I saw in Qatar will make me vote RemainThe world's global powers are not liberal democracies. The ideals of our culture are in retreat, and the only way to protect them is within a close-knit European family.” That is it in a nutshell: liberal democratic values are under threat. The lethargy and hubris of democratic leaders following the end of the Cold War have encouraged the adoption of policies that have finally backfired. But only those who abhor liberal democracies would celebrate. The spread of western pop culture is not necessarily conducive to or an indication of the spread of greater awareness or appreciation of liberal democratic values.

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.

No people deserve to be represented in the public sphere by the worst elements in their midst, but almost all people are thus represented, even those living in democracies. The problem seems more a reflection of the nature of the political class per se than the governance systems involved. Indeed, by their nature, politics, even when they take place within the framework of democratic systems, tend to favor the cantankerous, the opportunistic and the vile more so than the decent bunch attracted by the idea of public service.

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Cartoons: The Cauldron

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