Thursday, August 18, 2016

Shell-Shocked


Brought to you by…

Lord Fanamort Associates: We empower corrupt autocrats, because it pays a lot you guys.

21:43

Hate Is Blind

Family: Son killed by neighbor who called him 'dirty Arab'. … it all came to a head last week when the man, Stanley Vernon Majors, walked up to the front steps of the family home and shot and killed Khalid Jabara, police said. "The frustration that we continue to see anti-Muslim, anti-Arab, xenophobic rhetoric and hate speech has unfortunately led up to a tragedy like this," it said. Hillary Clinton comments on murder of Tulsa's Khalid Jabara; fundraiser started for family.

People say that love is or should be blind. The way I understand things hate is blind and love should see people and things as they really are and learn to appreciate them as they are, unless, of course, they were hateful beings. Khalid Jabara saw with the eyes of love and he deserved to live. His killer was blinded by hate and he deserves to spend the rest of his unnatural life behind bars.

21:13


20:46

Quote of the Day

NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small.Sam Biederman, spokesman for the NYC Parks Department on removing the naked status of Donald Trump

The emperor has no balls indeed, just plenty of unjustifiable gall.


20:29

Briefly Noted, because tired.  

Russian Forces Surpasses ISIS in Killing Syrian Civilians. “State’s Terrorism is more Atrocious than the Terrorism of Extremist Groups.” Yet, watching CNN and perusing the pages of certain newspapers might leave one with the impression that Russia would make a good partner with whim the U.S. can work in Syria.

Russia deploys jets at Iranian Airbase to combat insurgents in Syria. It seems that the dark alliance is not as troubled as we were being led to believe.

Hezbollah Drone Is a Warning to the U.S.The cheap commercial drone the militant group deployed to bomb Syrian rebels in Aleppo could soon be seen above battlefields all over the world—and it’s way ahead of U.S. defenses.” The future of asymmetric warfare looks more promising.

South Syria rebels ordered to not attack regime-held town: report. “The Amman-based MOC instructed the Southern Front not to launch an offensive on Daraa's Sheikh Maskin.” The southern front has its own complex calculations.

Trump aide Manafort implicated in pro-Russian protests against US troops. Those stupid idealist anti-war activists! You want to protest your countries alleged war-mongering? Might as well make a buck, or few million bucks, out of it.

U.S. Held Cash Until Iran Freed Prisoners. “Exchange was tightly scripted and specifically timed to the prisoner release.” A ransom by any other name would seem as dirty. Also, A State Department spokesman confirmed Thursday the cash paid to Iran hinged on the release of three Americans the country was holding prisoner.

18:24

White Hairs & Tears


“Who’s behind it [the air strike], we do not know.” But we do, and from the moment it happened. And, yes, it matters. The truth that Russia, Iran the Assad regime are the worst human rights offenders in Syria matters. Because these are the facts, and for journalism this is what really matters. If they embarrass our leaders, that’s their problem. If they call for action, then we should act. Spare us your tears, they mean nothing, if you’re not willing to report the facts.

Journalists who know how to cry but not how to report facts, and leaders who acknowledge their white hairs but not their red lines. What next?

16:27

Silver Lining

The White Helmets wake up every day to save the lives others are trying so hard to take. These volunteer rescue workers have saved 60,000 lives in Syria and for that, they are under constant attack. Unarmed and impartial, they have just been nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. Stand in solidarity with them.

15:23

'The worst place on earth': inside Assad's brutal Saydnaya prison. “Syria’s most notorious jail has been a journalistic blank spot. Now ex-detainees and architects have built an accurate model, using ‘ear-witness’ testimony, of the president’s hellish torture house.

15:05

'I filmed the Syrian boy pulled from the rubble - his wasn't a rare case'. “Aleppo-based journalist Mustafa al-Sarout filmed five-year-old Omran Daqneesh after he emerged from the rubble of his home.

“I’ve seen so many children rescued out of the rubble, but this child, with his innocence, he had no clue what was going on,” said Mustafa al-Sarout, an Aleppo-based journalist who filmed the video that has now gone viral on social media. “He put his hand on his face and saw blood. He didn’t know even what happened to him.

“I’ve photographed a lot of airstrikes in Aleppo, but there was so much there in his face, the blood and the dust mixed, at that age.” […]

For Mohammad, who treated Omran, the devastation of this latest attack is worsened by the knowledge that it will not be the last. “We have been living the daily reality of children and innocent civilians being killed for five years,” he said. “The dumb missiles and barrel bombs do not discriminate.

“Stop the killing. It’s not logical that the regime and Russian air forces can keep killing people and innocent civilians and the world stays silent.

14:18

Shame on CNN: part 2

Another segment on Omran Daqneesh by CNN, and no hint of Russia’s and Assad’s culpability. It’s like doing a story segment on Kim Phuc, the crying naked Vietnamese girl from that iconic Vietnam War photograph, while avoiding any mention of America’s role in her fate. The interview that followed the above segment was with the spokesman for the Western anti-ISIS coalition and focused on Russia’s lack of credibility in regard to fighting ISIS, but not its commission of war crimes such as the one produced this new viral image. This is clearly an editorial policy and not some isolated incident, and it’s misleading. CNN may not be in a position to tell with certainty whether the planes in the incident involved belonged to the Syrian regime or the Russian government, but, since the two sides are working together, they represent the same side and should be named as such. Moreover, Omran was not caught in the crossfire, as the commentator suggested, he was hurt as part of the Assad-Putin policy of targeting civilian infrastructure in Aleppo and other rebel-held territories.    

We should also be mindful of the involvement of foreign Shia militias funded by Iran and of the fact that Iran has now opened some of its basses to allow Russia to conduct strikes in Syria from there. This, in fact, could have been one of those strikes.



13:28

Shame on CNN

The boy in the picture, Omran Daqneesh, was the victim of an airstrike. The only powers with airplanes in the Syrian conflict are the Assad regime, Russia and the Western Anti-IS coalition. Since, the Western coalition does not conduct air strikes in the area where Omran was hurt we can safely assume that the responsibility here lies with Assad and Russia, and Iran by implication, since they are all members of the same coalition targeting that part of Aleppo from land and air. However, anyone watching CNN coverage of this tragic development would end up thinking that ISIS is the main culprit here and that Russia is the party trying to stop the violence. The development did not happen as part of the war on ISIS, but as part of Assad-Russia-Iran war on rebels and the civilian communities sympathetic with their cause. The facts in this regard are well-established, and CNN’s unwillingness to reflect that clearly in their coverage is shameful. The truth is not something at which you shyly hint as though it were a crime; it’s something that you have to highlight all the time so that your audience becomes aware of it, especially the causal viewer.

11:40

Some suggest that Putin’s foot might look good in that particular Mufti
Russian mufti calls for genitalmutilation of all women. While the call by Mufti, hand-picked by Putin, is sickening, this response by a “controversial Russian Orthodox cleric and blogger, the Church's former spokesman Vsevolod Chaplin,” coming in defense of this allegedly “time-honoured tradition" among Muslims, adds another layer of fuckery to the mix:

"You probably don't need to 'circumcise' all women, there's no need with Orthodox women as they don't fornicate anyway."

The practice of FGM predates Islam in the societies where it is still prevalent. Its incorporation into the Sharia never reflected a consensus among scholars and remains subject of controversy to date.  

11:25




10:59

Inside Saydnaya: Syria's Torture Prison

A regime that runs this kind of prisons cannot be rehabilitated. And this is how the regime has always treated its political prisoners, irrespective of their ideological affiliations and ethnic backgrounds. Sectarian motivations, however, became quite prevalent since the early days of the revolution. 



People are dying from starvation. They’re not getting even the most basic health care, and are dying from infected cuts and ingrown fingernails. Many have been brutally beaten, raped, given electric shocks and more, often to extract forced “confessions”.

10:12

Ignore Him!

The victim of a Russian airstrike

Yes. This image and all reports surrounding it are nothing more than a campaign of emotional blackmail. But, if you were a realist, or a current member of the Obama administration, it will not sway you. You’ve seen and ignored worse images and realities than this, and what’s the worst that happened: you gained an extra white hair or two on the sides of your head. That’s it. That’s the worst of it. Anyway, it’s too late in the game now to develop a conscience, isn’t it?

09:29

The Putin-Trump Mind Meld, A Wondrous Enterprise

Anti What Establishment?

If a billionaire entrepreneur who pays little or no tax, invests more outside the country than inside, employs illegal migrants to work in his businesses, periodically file for bankruptcy, often commiserate with other billionaire entrepreneurs and corrupt officials, including dictators, from around the world, and who employs the most notorious of advisers to corrupt global autocrats to manage his presidential campaign, and whose most trusted family member, to put it mildly, is seen commiserating with mistresses of autocrats who have repeatedly declared their disdain of democratic values, not to mention American values and power, if this figure can be seen by his followers as anti-establishment, then the establishment they are against must be founded and populated by mostly decent folk. Flawed, yes, but decent. And Trump’s followers are not really motivated by any noble anti-establishment sentiments, but by a deep-seated desire to be part of it, in fact, to control it and have it work exclusively for them. Theirs is envy, and their righteous anger is a reflection of their inability to accept a system that cannot be exclusively controlled by them and working for them.

The same set of motivations seems to apply to Trump himself as well. He, too, feels that he doesn’t belong as well. He is not anti-establishment. His animus is specifically aimed at the American establishment, perhaps because he has never been taken seriously by its members, despite his perceived “successes.” Perhaps he was even ridiculed, and the more he tried to compensate for the rejection he received through his continuing endeavor to build and market his personal brand the more he was ridiculed. Trump is not out to make America great again. He’s out to bring the entire house down.

09:22

We won’t be fooled again.

Poll: Most Americans say send ground troops to fight ISIS. “…the improvement here comes entirely among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. Among that group, 57% now say things are going well against ISIS, up from 43% in October, while the share of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who say things are going well has held steady at 19%.

The American people have just proven that they are smarter and more principled than their political leaders. My faith in democracy and civil society has just been reinforced, unless Trump wins in November.

09:18

Different Priorities!


The Obama administration has always been far more interested in cultivating its own mercenaries in Syria than actual reliable allies. The incompetence of the Syrian political opposition has made their job easier. Considering the priorities that Putin and Obama have set for themselves in Syria, they were both served well by their respective militias and their political representatives. Putin (and Khamenei) could have not have prayed for a better “partner” in Syria than Assad that can help legalize his (their) virtual take-over of the country, and Obama could not have wished for more useless allies than the Syrian political opposition, whose incompetence is helping him justify his dithering and fuckups.


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