Friday, September 29, 2017

Troubling

"Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet?" (Greenwald).  Parry has been on a roll recently:  "The Slimy Business of Russia-gate" and "WPost Pushes More Dubious Russia-bashing".  "Warner sees Reddit as potential target for Russian influence"!  Be prepared for eight years of this crap, because, frankly, the Clintonistas/Democrats have no real substantive policy differences from Trump, and an overwhelming need to change the subject so nobody will notice ("The Rise of the New McCarthyism"), and thus have no other options but to make up stuff to satisfy news cycles inside the Beltway.

"The Killing Of History" (Pilger):
"Returning to the US, I am struck by the silence and the absence of an opposition - on the streets, in journalism and the arts, as if dissent once tolerated in the "mainstream" has regressed to a dissidence: a metaphoric underground.

There is plenty of sound and fury at Trump the odious one, the "fascist", but almost none at Trump the symptom and caricature of an enduring system of conquest and extremism."
 Looks like BuzzFeed is going to be gawkered, perhaps the only victim of the Steele dossier!:  "Is the Steele Dossier About to Have Its Moment of Truth?".

"Bill Clinton’s Stone Mountain Moment".  It is funny how this crime bill was a big part of black voter non-turnout which was critical in Killary's loss, and the Clintonista response is the largely symbolic one of monument removal.  Is Stone Mountain on the list?

"Israel covers up role in Myanmar crimes against Rohingya" (Abunimah).

Interview with Rania Khalek (Part 1/Part 2):
". . . there's an ideological basis, an ideological foundation for why ISIS did the things that they did. It doesn't happen in a vacuum. It doesn't come from nowhere. Its ideology is based in Salafism and Wahhabism and it's an ideology that is the state religion of the U.S.'s greatest ally in the region, Saudi Arabia.

And that's something that Yazidis kept saying to me that I never, ever, ever see expressed in any articles that I read about the Yazidis is they always, always say, "How come Saudi Arabia is allowed to push these ideas everywhere." That's where this comes from. This is who did this to us as this ideology. And they mention the Saudis and they mention the U.S.. For some reason, this will be in other articles I have coming out about this issue, but I never, ever read about this. And so if anything, hearing the kinds of stories I heard, at the end of the day, as atrocious as they were and as traumatic as they were to hear, what made me angriest is that nobody's talking about the ideological basis behind this, which is a fascistic ideology that is tolerated because it comes from America's number one ally in the region.

AARON MATÉ: Yeah, and really on this front I have to point out, for raising this issue in the same way that we've seen supporters of Israel call critics of Israel anti-Semites. I've recently been seeing some critics of yours paint your argument as Islamophobic for pointing to the particularly dangerous facets of Wahhabism in the Saudi Arabian version which I found a very interesting parallel. I don't know, a brief comment on that?

RANIA KHALEK: Well, yeah, so I think that that's a really great way you just put it is if anything, the people who want to defend Wahhabism have adopted a similar strategy as we've seen Israel's most excited supporters take views against its critics, which is to call anybody who criticizes Zionism or Israel or the policies of Israel, an anti-Semite. And it's really sad to me to see people taking that strategy and applying it to the issue of Islamophobia. Especially at a time when in America, Islamophobia is at its peak. It's at its worst it's ever been. We have a president right now who literally got elected on hatred for Muslims.

So, it's not something that should ever be, I feel like it makes a mockery of Islamophobia to try and say that and austere strain of Sunni Islam like Wahhabism, to say that criticizing that is somehow Islamophobic. It's absolutely absurd. And beyond that, I will tell you right now, it is not just, this is the fascistic ideology in the Middle East is Wahhabism and Salafi-like Jihadi style thinking, which comes directly out of Wahhabism.

And so for someone like me, who's a Middle Easterner, who at the moment is based in the region, I can tell you right now this is a conversation here that people are having and they don't see this being Islamophobic whatsoever, and it's really absurd for people in the West to be projecting Western dynamics of Islamophobia onto a region that actually does have to deal with groups that want to impose, Sharia Law that want to impose Al-Qaeda style laws. Because we do have Al-Qaeda in this region that does want to impose this on people, that wants to wipe out minorities, that wants to wipe out secular people, that wants to wipe out anybody who doesn't agree with them.

And so I think it's just really, there's a lot of conversations happening among progressives in the U.S. about how it might be Islamophobic to be criticizing, like I said, Wahhabism and Salafism, but from my vantage point in this region, it just looks so absurd and so disconnected from reality.

AARON MATÉ: The term that I think Max Blumenthal coined, correct me if I'm wrong is “Woke Wahhabism.”

RANIA KHALEK: Yeah, [laughs] “Woke Wahhabism.” I don't think people understand. It's so insane. Wahhabism literally preaches like, supremacy. It's like the Middle East's version of white supremacy is Wahhabism. It's like these Al-Qaeda groups, these ISIS groups are the Middle East's version of the KKK and of these white nationalist groups you see in the U.S., and so if anything, these are kind of similar symptoms of something I see happening around the globe which is this sort of rise of fascism, but we always have to remember that in the Middle East, in the context of the Middle East and even beyond the Middle East, Wahhabism isn't rising naturally. Salafism isn't rising naturally. Saudi Arabia has spent a hundred billion dollars plus over the past several decades with the U.S.'s approval and participation supporting this ideology in Muslim communities around the world. And this is something we need to be talking about or else we end up conceding the conversation about these issues to the far Right, which is just going to blanket brush every single Muslim as being a part of the Wahhabi style doctrine, which isn't true.

And so, I think that this is a conversation that the Left needs to be having. It needs to be on the forefront of because at the end of the day, Wahhabism is really just a tool of American imperialism because the Saudis don't do anything without America's approval and without America participating in helping them do it. So that’s something to consider when we do have these conversations. “Woke Wahhabism.” [laughs]."
 "The Awkward Moment When The State Department "Celebrates" Saudi Women Being Allowed To Drive" (Durden).

"Anthony Weiner sentenced to 21 months in prison for sexting with teen girl".  This is the sentence for the crime of interfering with Killary's coronation.

"John Helmer: Washington Post Misses Manafort’s Real Crimes".  I'm as ready as anyone to see Manafort as a crook, but this just looks like a commercial dispute that could have been avoided by the oligarch with a proper contract and appropriate monitoring of what was going on.  Speaking of big players being pushed around by inattention to detail, this part of the Musk grift is incredible:  "How California Enabled Tesla By Forcing Competitors To Subsidize A Losing Business Model" (Durden).  Grifters, like sharks (so they say), can never stop swimming:  "Elon Musk plans to put all of SpaceX’s resources into its Mars rocket".

Tweet (Ben White):
"Corbyn's reference to "the oppression of the Palestinian people" is criticised as "troubling" by @BoardofDeputies"

"Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince Admits He Banned Daily Stormer Because Jews".  I'm afraid they nail it.

"Trial and Terror".  The War on Patsies.

"Out in the Open: Monsanto’s Involvement in the Retraction of the Séralini Paper".  So confident they can't even be bothered with 'under the table'.

"Taking Stock of the Ties That Bind Harvard’s Kennedy School and the CIA".  Part of the background of the Manning embarrassment. They didn't run the new hire past the boss.

From Cryptome, the American government approval of the Canadian purchase of F-18s, interesting as it might signal the non-purchase of the greatly inferior pilot-killing F-35s.  Of course, Canada, as well as many other countries, would like to quietly slink away from the purchase of this greatest symbol of American imperial decline.

"Fact Check: Updating Cold War Myths About Thailand" (Thomas).  The whole world faces the same problem - the United States is too weak and fucked up and in obvious decline to be a reliable ally, yet is still too strong and malicious to publically walk away from.  At the moment, the United States is only useful for most countries as part of a bargaining chip in negotiating a better deal with China.  Similar:  "“India Is Our Brother, China Is Our Friend”: Navigating Great Power Rivalry in Southern Asia".

"Ontario bill will reveal drug company payments to doctors".  It is always going to be amusing that 'progress' is a law disclosing the bribes that shouldn't be allowed in the first place.
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