Toxic Dump Site

    There are two books called The Wikileaks Files. One is by Jullian Assange. This is about the other one. It has contributions by Dan Beeton, Phyllis Bennis, Michael Busch, Peter Certo, Conn Hallinan, Sarah Harrison, Richard Heydarian, Dahr Jamail, Jake Johnston, Alexander Main, Robert Naiman, Francis Njubi Nesbitt, Linda Pearson, Gareth Porter, Tim Shorrock, Russ Wellen, and Stephen Zunes. Here are reviews at Amazon. And here is chapter ten online. It deals with the motives and methods of the U.S.'s involvement in Syria. 



    Whoops! I screwed up with the link to the comments. They are actually referring to Assange's book. Anyway, the link to chapter ten is good and still recommended.  

    LuLu, I'm all over the place with you.  But what's this?  I mean really, I just posted that I'm freaked out but still somewhat logical - your news summary is killing me, dude.

    Sorry, I can't help you because I am not at all sure that I understand what you are saying. 

    No, I should apologize.  I still don't understand where you're going, but it's certainly not necessary that I do.

    All this chapter shows is that  the regime change propaganda and spin produced by the US in Syria before the war was ineffective and caused nothing. The claim that it created the sectarian divide there is beyond ludicrous when the Assad regime and his father's before him were sectarian minority regimes where all power flowed to the Alawites.

    If you examine the history of the war you would see the US dropped wanting regime change to wanting Assad removed from the regime leaving it intact. The US never armed the rebels it supplied well enough to actually win outright and even talked them out of taking Damascus in 2012 because it would have destroyed the whole government. The rebels pleaded for and demanded heaviy weapons and anti-aircraft weapons and never got them yet when they aligned with al Nusra the Russ had to intervent to stop their advance.


    I thought I had been paying attention but I have never thought I had access to the truth, the whole truth, and all that bs. I did though provide a link that gives footnoted evidence that is used to construct its narrative. You give nothing except your own assertion. So far you are behind on points.

    If you examine the history of the war you would see the US dropped wanting regime change to wanting Assad removed from the regime leaving it intact. 

    If Assad is removed by revolutionary action then the Assad regime no longer exists. 

    Edited to add: Examining the history of the War in Syria is exactly what the book chapter is doing. 

    I forgot to add, thanks for reading [I think] before taking a stand one way or another.

    This chapter was about the wikileaks materal from pre-war Syria mostly with their analysis and conclusions which i dispute. Nothing that the US did before the war to advance regime change worked and i doin't think you can make any connection with that US effort and the groups who ended up fighting the Assad regime. Some if not many of the people/groups the US supported are Syrian Army defectors not some NGO sponsored activists who ended up in prison or Turkey.

    You are correct when you state that if Assad was overthrown by force the regime would collapse with him that is why the US worked to avoid that outcome even cutting off arms shipments to their rebels when they allied with al Nusra.  The US's stated and acted upon goal throughout the conflict has been a brokered transition of power with an intact Ba'athist transition government sharing power with some representitives of the rebels. The conflict was used to push that goal but a military victory would have destroyed US post-war plans. The US may learn slowly but they do learn and the lesson from Libya had time to sink in, don't destroy the governing structure or there will be chaos.

    I agree with the point made in the chapter about the US being more interested in countering Iranian influence in Syria than it was in the poor oppressed Syrian people, human rights is just a tool of hegemony. This doesn't mean that the Syrian people don't have the natural right to rise up against a bloody repressive hereditory sectarian autocratic regime. It's unfortunate they had to rely on tainted sources for arms and support but even that doesn't discredit their justified cause.

    This Marks a break in topic and a place for any later comment on the above topic.

    And now for something completely different.

     I have been revisiting a series from 40 years ago, Steve Allen’s “Meeting of Minds”.  My favorite so far is Volume 3. The guests are Roosevelt, Cleopatra, Thomas Paine, and St. Thomas Aquinas. Mike W., if you haven’t seen this before I bet you will be interested in the portrayal of T. R.  Paine and Aquinas very interesting too. 

    I have watched Volum3 twice now and it was only on the second hearing that I noticed the very surprising clapping and voicing of approval by the audience at statements by Aquinas that would be considered absolutely unacceptable to publicly approve of today, 40 years later.  

    Indignation overflows, skepticism hides its ugly head, as usual. On The Media explores several media narratives spewing around the leaks by the intelligence community. Marci Wheeler, smart as ever, is the first interviewee. Beginning in the second segment are view less commonly heard, at least so far. Segment three discusses the move by the Republicans which are being overshadowed by all the noise around possible Russian connections. 

    Trump is unknowable, unpredictable, and maybe crazy. He can do us great harm in many ways. Maybe he will. Will Democrats restrain him? Maybe in some areas. Maybe. Does this restrain him or make it easier for him to make a murderous mistake? How about this

    US Senator Lindsey Graham relayed a clear message to Moscow during the Munich Security Conference (MSC) this weekend.

    "2017 is going to be a year of kicking Russia in the ass in Congress," Graham told leaders from around the world on Sunday.

    Later he adds: "I think it is now time for the Congress to take Iran on directly in terms of what they've done outside the nuclear program," Graham said.

     But we knew this guy is a jerk. 

    Here's the problem with consortium. They take a stupid bill by one possibly senile representative and make it emblematic of the democratic party. It's likely that the bill won't get a single democratic co-sponsor. 99% of democrats will vote against it if it comes to a vote and it's highly unlikely it will even come up for a vote. It's a nothing bill that will go nowhere. It will die in committee and never reach the floor. Why is consortium even discussing this? Only because they can spin this nothing to further their distorted narrative.

    Perhaps he's trying to make a point in some dumb ass way. Perhaps he knows it will never come up for a vote and he wants to make the statement that if republicans hate the Iran nuclear deal so much they should vote to authorize war. I won't deny that there's a couple of morons that democrats elect to the house. But Consortium consistently takes some fringe idea or statement from one of those morons and spins it into a grand conspiracy. I only read consortium to see what the conspiracy minded nuts on the far left of the party are thinking. I don't take it seriously. But you seem to make it your go to site for news.

    Here is a problem with your response. It is demonstrably wrong. You reflexively but mistakenly slam what is said in the article for reasons I won’t bother to speculate upon.

    Here's the problem with consortium. They take a stupid bill by one possibly senile representative and make it emblematic of the democratic party. It's likely that the bill won't get a single democratic co-sponsor. 99% of democrats will vote against it if it comes to a vote and it's highly unlikely it will even come up for a vote. It's a nothing bill that will go nowhere.

    Maybe it will go nowhere, I hope that is the case, but that is most likely only because it is from a Democrat. There can be no rational doubt that many elected members in both houses of Congress want a belligerent aggressive stance towards Iran. Quite a few are Democrats. Some ignorant and or stupid Republicans have advocated for such bills and will in the future too. Anyone of any Party might agree or disagree with that policy and accept the inherent risks as being somehow wise or necessary, but can anyone disagree that it is the policy revealed in statements and votes of many in both major Parties? Is pointing that out so that a person can either disagree with that policy which elements of their chosen Party have adopted or else they can "own" all the implications of what carrying out that sort of policy have in the past brought about and can be expected to bring about if followed into the future. 

    Your first sentence attacks an individual article as emblematic of everything posted at Consortium and does so with the misconstrued analysis of what the article actually says.  The author begins with a short biography of Hastings which identifies him as a Democrat with a voting record on foreign policy issues that is fairly average for a Democratic Representative. It specifically makes the point that the bill in question is an aberration. Rather than saying that Hastings’ stupid bill is emblematic of the Democratic Party, it in fact says that longtime followers of Hastings are shocked that this Democrat specifically, but any Democrat generally, would offer anything this stupidly  empowering to the Trump administration. From that introductory point on the article does not use the word[s] “Democrat”  or "Democratic Party' again and only uses the word “Republican” once when it describes Congress as being “Republican led”. 

    Alcee Hastings’s voting record on war and peace issues has been about average for a Democrat. He voted against the 2002 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) on Iraq, and his 79 percent lifetime Peace Action score is the highest among current House members from Florida, although Alan Grayson’s was higher.

    The articles conclusion:

    Whatever misconceptions, interests or ambitions have prompted Alcee Hastings to threaten 80 million people in Iran with a blank check for unlimited war, they cannot possibly outweigh the massive loss of life and unimaginable misery for which he will be responsible if Congress should pass H J Res 10 and President Trump should act on it.   The bill still has no co-sponsors, so let us hope that it can be quarantined as an isolated case of extreme military madness, before it becomes an epidemic and unleashes yet another catastrophic war.  

    Do you disagree with the conclusion or did you get that far?  I do not see a distorted narrative in the article as you suggest, I do not see Hastings being presented  as emblematic of the entire Democratic Party as you claim, and neither do I see any comfort given to conspiracy minded nuts which you say Consortium, not just this individual article, plays to. 

    What is the Democratic party, or any political organization, anyway? If an analogy was to a church would the church be the preacher or the building where the congregation meets? I think of a church as the congregation itself whether they are in a dedicated building listening to the preacher or not.  A friend left his church of twenty-some years early in shock and awe because of the strong support the preacher gave to Shock and Awe while instructing the congregation to pray for the safety and success of all the 'heroic troops' but refused to ask the congregation to pray for Iraqi citizens who might suffer or die. I do not have any idea of what was in the minds and hearts of the congregation individually or as a whole but I admire my friend's action.  

    I do not see Hastings being presented  as emblematic of the entire Democratic Party as you claim,

    We can disagree how to characterize the article but this is how the editor of the blog characterized it.

    "The Democrats’ rush to rebrand themselves as super-hawks is perhaps best illustrated by the once-dovish Rep. Alcee Hastings proposing stand-by authorization for the President to attack Iran, reports Nicolas J S Davies."

    That's how Robert Parry characterized the article. The first sentence at the top of the page. That's why he posted on his site. That was his purpose and it runs through numerous articles both written by him and others. I think anyone with a fair understanding of the english language would agree that emblematic and "best illustrated" as used by Parry are synonymous. Parry is very explicitly presenting this article as emblematic of the democratic party.

    We'll see who is right when the bill gets no democratic cosponsors and dies in committee. In the unlikely event it comes to the floor I'm sure no democrat will vote for it. This bill is not the best illustration i.e. emblematic of Parry's fantasy that democrats are rebranding themselves as super-hawks. It's a fringe position that has and will receive no support from democrats.

    You spent several paragraphs on the wrong subject. I thought everyone knew the difference between a headline that is not written by the author and the article itself.

    I don’t know at what point a hawk becomes a super hawk so I won’t dispute your problem with that characterization but you must know that many Democrats in Congress as well as in the Senate have expressed an extremely hard line and encouraged military threats against Iran even since the Nuclear agreement.

    We'll see who is right when the bill gets no democratic cosponsors and dies in committee.

    I agree, the bill is is very unlikely to get any Democratic co-sponsors. If that makes you feel you are right about the whole discussion then you will probably get to enjoy that feeling.

    How is it you consistently have so much trouble comprehending simple English? Most of my comment concerned consortium as a "news" site. It seemed that was clear from the very first sentence, " Here's the problem with consortium." Notice the reference to "consortium" if you're still not getting it. Contrast that with the statement, "Here's the problem with the article." Do you see the difference? You may think discussing consortium is the wrong subject but I think critiquing the site is relevant. As is your fascination with the site.

    A few notes on unbuilding a key part of the Presidency

    The American President can blow up the world. A lot of work went into reassuring us that he won't. Now it's being undone.

    I don't want a political environment where that happens. I do want it noted when Democrats aid in creating that environment.  

    Trigger warning. Ideas presented that may be toxic. Qualude recommended before exposure.  

    [1] Much thought and discussion happening about how to grow the Democratic Party and excite its base to work for productive change. One suggestion is to not waste whatever success may come about. 

    [2] Another current topic of interest is the election  of Perez to head the DNC. There are some who believe that Ellison was attacked by the Obama/Clinton wing of the Democratic Party while others vociferously assert that to be "false news". Read this and this and this at your peril of the chance that it will piss you off that anyone would say such things about the Blue Party whether right or wrong.  

    [3] Our country's foreign policy and what it actually is, and what its methods are, and what are the reasons and driving forces behind it all, sometime get serious attention but uncomfortable answers often lead to psychological adjustments so as to stay in a comfort zone.


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