On Syria: Use Your Principles, If You Have Any

This is an article about Syria. In it, I won’t be going into depth about who did what to whom and where and when and how. I won’t be analyzing the shadows in photographs or whether that dead child is actually from Gaza or Pakistan. Doing so as the basis of one’s arguments is stepping willfully into a carefully laid propaganda trap. This will primarily be a discussion of principles.

On the Left we’ve been bombarded with repetitive pleas to pay attention to and agitate for the Syrian “rebels.” This always takes the form of berating: we’re not doing enough, we’re not vocal enough. Never does it consider that a true Left stance must be anti-imperialist. This means our positions cannot coincide or dovetail with the grand designs of the West’s ruling classes.

The “do something” Left seems only capable of ignoring that something is always very much “being done,” and that’s precisely why Syria was thrust into chaos. In 2014 fake Left poseur Molly Crabapple was kindly offered space in the historically leftist The Guardian newspaper to exhort her fellow goth liberals to support a no-fly zone in Syria. Two years later her comrade Hillary Clinton amplified that plea in her run for president. If your arguments are useful to power, you are its pawn. If you don’t see it as your job to at least oppose anything the ruling class has planned, you’re not on the Left and have no business addressing people who are.

In this vein I’m sick to death of fact- and analysis-free pleading from my stable of Facebook liberals, armed with dumbfuck juvenile narratives citing the pure, reasonless evil of the Assadoputinist mass-murdering totalitarian thugs, changing their avatars to FSA flags.

Just look at this clip of this smarmy mealy mouthed worm from The Hill, who has never stepped foot in Syria, challenging reporter Vanessa Beeley, who had just spent three days in liberated East Aleppo and was joining in from Damascus. “Did you ask the dead babies and children what they think?” He spoke in sound bites and click bait-caliber outrage of things he read third hand from probable liars. She, on the other hand, spoke passionately, her voice trembling with the reality that she had witnessed, the scenes of devastation and also relief of a people brutalized and imprisoned for years by religious-fanatic contras. The crystal-clear difference between these two journalists, one an utter fake parroting Beltway propaganda from within the Beltway, the other an independent scribe simply reporting what she had seen and heard directly from Syrians. Liberals batted it aside. “It’s on RT,” one disingenuous Facebook ass said, as if the venue changed the authenticity of the live video exchange and the facts presented.

(We don’t even have to do intellectual acrobatics to expose the anti-democratic aims of the rebels; they very plainly state it for us.)

That they are wrong about how to do anti-imperialism doesn’t make them bad people, and all the invective I spew comes from frustration. Frustration with a self-identified Left that has no principles, no demands, no intellect, no standards. Frustration with people who are willing to ally themselves with liberals to undercut the Syrian state thereby allowing the West and its puppets to better propagandize and ultimately destroy Damascus for ruling-class plans of economic domination. Frustration with assholes who embrace the Euro exceptionalism it requires to accept as fact that various Oriental types: Russians and especially Arabs, are slaughtering children for no reason at all, or as an “inevitable” “reaction” to whatever.

Hm. Actually, you know what? Fuck them all. They should have learned long ago to keep their stupid mouths shut when they don’t KNOW ANYTHING. Especially when they act on cartoonish stereotypes to demand the destruction and subsumation of an entire socialist nation to Western financial capital. They are bad people for reveling in and broadcasting their total stupidity and intellectual venality. How many more wars will they allow themselves to be lied into supporting, even after every other one is exposed as based on total fucking lies? How many more incubator babies have to not exist and mass graves not be dug up for them to take one second pause from squawking for the next psy op on cue like a trained parrot? These dimwitted dupes are addicted to being on the side of power. They still see themselves on the side of essential, innate cultural and institutional Euro-American virtue despite the truth that it was all a scam outing every single time, the racist pigs. I wish Bashar the Butcher ™ would personally drop some of them out of planes stuffed inside barrel bombs.

How many of them are cheering at the murder of the Russian ambassador to Turkey in alleged retaliation for the “taking” of Aleppo? Even if not outwardly, many liberals are smirking in satisfaction at the “justice” of this assassination. I fully expect to see hot takes from the Game Theorists in the coming days [that didn’t take long], but in the meantime, check out these optics! The killer is already a meme for his couture Islamism. There’s a lot of photo dissection from well-meaning sleuths but this is a trap. We can unpack the bullshit without so much amateur blood spatter analysis.

What we won’t see is mention of the direct naming of foreign intelligence agents apparently in Aleppo. The Syrian ambassador to the UN rattled off a list of US, Turkish, Israeli, Jordanian, Qatari, and naturally, many Saudi citizens he says are attempting to escape the city. We’ll see dizzying spin applied to the American jihadi Bilal Abdul Kareem’s display of “fighters” wearing suicide bomb belts because, allegedly, they don’t trust the Syrian Army not to kill them when they board the evacuation buses from East Aleppo. We’re not supoosed to wonder why this Genghis Khan-like force doesn’t just swoop in and bomb the shit out of them instead of acting out a bizarre charade to evacuate and then kill everyone. I guess minds of pure sadistic evil are truly unknowable. And of course, the great drama of Bana Alabed, the 7-year-old girl trapped in East Aleppo under a cascade of Evil Assad’s barrel bombs, has come to an end with her being cuddled on the lap of ISIS-backing Turkish President Erdogan. I’m not joking or exaggerating.

“Thank you for supporting the children of Aleppo and help us to get out from war. I love you.” 🙄

But again, dissecting photos and memorizing rebel-faction alliances is, in my opinion, a distraction from principles. In many cases I think the citing of these antfucky factoids is meant as a purposeful overload of discourse. Just peep this diarrheal comment on my Facebook, on a post where I simply posted a photo of happy women cleaning a church in East Aleppo. One of my “friends” posted this to “correct” my view of the conflict:

I seriously overestimated you, overrated you, really thought you were a sharp, cultured, politically savvy kid with the brain power and logic of a Greek philosopher. I guess you have just let me down. Big time. I don’t know where to begin to school you on what has been happening in the Mideast for the past 5 years. To mix and mangle all players and label and paint them with one single broad brush is not only ignorant, it’s just factually wrong. Ahrar Al-Sham is not ISIS. ISIS is not Nusra, they are rivals. They fought one another. ISIS is allied with Assad because they were created by him, CIA, Mossad (they never attacked Israel and have been consistently fighting Syrian rebels, Nusra and the Kurds. ISIS is the ace in the hole that Assad has been playing against the West. “Either me, or SIS!” The West gobbled it up, meantime Assad went on to gas his people just like Saddam did, drop made-in-Iran barrel bombs indiscriminately on heavily populated areas in Idlib, Homs and Aleppo. He then brought Russia in to do the dirty work because his military was a joke (or should we say Putin invited himself in). Putin claimed he intervened to fight ISIS but he ended up doing anything but. His true motives were to gain a firm foothold in the Mideast, test Russia’s new weapons and sell these new weapons around the world (Russia weapon sales skyrocketed since they started the bombing in August 2015) as well as an oil pipeline. Putin outfoxed Obama after the red line debacle and then went in and aided and abetted the killing of mostly Syrian civilians. You can bet that they never attacked ISIS, or maybe sparingly did for propaganda purposes, but instead focused solely on weakening and destroying the FSA. Now, Hezbollah: true they were heroes at first after they drove Israel out of Southern Lebanon in 2000, but then once the Syrian war started they got sectarian (they are Shia, and Assad is Alawite, an offshoot of shiism) and backed Assad at the behest of Iran. Iran always wanted to achieve a “Shiite crescent” extending from Qom, through Baghdad, Damascus and then Beirut. This was its chance., Iran mobilized Hezbollah which is its proxy in the Mideast, funded and armed by Iran, and threw its support behind the Syrian dictator. Hezbollah turned terrorist overnight in Syria began slaughtering Sunnis and raising its sectarian flag. Yesterday’s heroes turned today’s zeros. The triumvirate – Iran, Hezbollah and Russia – were instrumental in saving Assad from a certain defeat. The rebels failed to rally behind a credible political leadership, failed to unite on the front line, and were plagued by inner fighting, and the presence of ISIS, which was fighting the FSA, Nusra and the Kurds, made it worse and turned Western political opinion against them. But the real tragedy is that the biggest victims were the civilians who were not spared by Iranian militias, Hezbollah’s soldiers and Russian relentless air attacks. The FSA was supported by Gulf Countries for their own personal gain, which was a proxy war with Iran but all that support was financial, unlike Iran’s, which was both financial and boots on the ground. Anyway, here’s a[n Ezra Klein] video that will explain to you the Syria in 5 minutes: [video]

The Ezra Klein hat tip sent me into a giggling fit. Vox dot com is this guy’s authority on Syria. When I pushed back on his characterization of Hezbollah, he flat-out admitted they were once heroes but now were essentially vampires. He posted a pap-crammed Washington Post piece by a Clinton operative meant to emotionally manipulate me and when none of this worked, he declared me a supporter of totalitarianism. People have allowed their own consciences to be weaponized by the Empire.

When “news” gives us as much proven, sourced facts as the dumbest whiny exploitative op-eds, and two weeks after the indiscriminate rape and pillage of a huge city we still have seen only images of people cheering and cleaning up rubble, people must know — MUST KNOW — that at least — AT LEAST — there is something suspicious about the narrative we’re being force-fed. But hey use Occam’s Razor: did these same assholes lie to us about every other thing? Yes?? Then why in holy fuck would anyone assume they’re telling the truth now?

To be an effective anti-imperialist — and by “effective” I simply mean not willfully becoming a regurgitator of imperial arguments for war — you must support the Syrian state against its powerful enemies. Yes, even if you don’t like Bashar al-Assad and think there needs to be reform or even a complete change of government. If you oppose empire you have no choice but to keep your opinions about Syria to yourself and instead vocally, adamantly support the Syrian Army and government in its fight for survival against all odds. Yes, censor yourself. There’s more at stake than your bourgeois individualist desire to express your personal political ideals in this moment when people are dying and the rulers of the world are trying to kill yet another independent nation.

But frankly, given the steps the Assad government has taken to accomodate all demanded political reforms — even enacting this preamble to the 2014 constitution: Syria is “the beating heart of Arabism,” at “the forefront of confrontation with the Zionist enemy and the bedrock of resistance against colonial hegemony on the Arab world and its capabilities and wealth” — if you dislike Assad I’m at a loss as to how to integrate you into any meaningful Left at all.

Long live Bashar the Lion. May the Empire meet its doom under his foot.

The Bloviations of Christiane Amanpour, Queen of Fake News

Yes. I do plan to continue mining my Facebook for blog fodder. Liberalism has found its ultimate distillery in that social media platform’s ability to boost vapid sound bites and contextless yet profound proclamations. My friends solemnly swear not to let one more Muslim be pushed around on the subway. First, they came for such and such group, fast-forward to gays in a Drumpf-run version of Dachau. I could and will go on in other posts, but first, the fake “fake news” hysteria is metastasizing and I’ve been made aware anew of Christiane Amanpour. The very name raises my hackles. Her unctuous voice makes my skin crawl.

The last week has peppered my feed with a clip of Amanpour accepting an award from the Committee to Protect Journalists, those most valuable of all citizens if you ask a journalist. Having worked in “alternative” foreign-policy journalism for years, I’m familiar with this walking talking intel op’s career shilling for US foreign policy, and it ain’t pretty. But watching this speech made me actually feel my face turning red, my heart pump a little harder. This hack had the gall to warn us about the dangers of “fake news.” This, from the mouthpiece who had a major hand in the media demonization of the Serbian people that made it easier for the US to intervene in the Balkans wars and finish off the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. They bombed Serbia for 78 days, killing around 500 people.

She also sneered at the “kangaroo courts” journalists often find themselves in after being accused of subversion (in bad non-Western countries, of course). In that room perhaps only she might recognize the irony that her own stenography in the 90s got Slobodan Milosevic, the last resistant leader in the Balkans, tossed into one himself. Even so, he made such convincing arguments in that courtroom that he never made it out alive. The court later investigated itself and found that he had deliberately poisoned himself with a drug impossible for him to attain in a bid to get treated in Russia and then escape. If a prisoner had actually poisoned himself in a Serbian jail NATO would have bombed it and Amanpour would have written reams about the transparent ludicrousness of a suicide by poisoning in a maximum-security prison. Now imagine another inmate has also “committed suicide” in the same prison, the same week, charged in the same case. That’s what happened to a Croatian Serb general in the same prison as Milosevic. Nothing to see here.

Amanpour was instrumental in spreading the fabrication that was the Milosevic-ordered, Serb-executed massacre of Muslim women and children at Srebrenica. She gleefully parroted the outrageous, baseless claims that 100,000 Kosovo Albanians were slaughtered by the Yugoslav army.

The CNN star is married to James Rubin, the spokesperson for the Clinton State Department from 1997-2000 and considered Madeleine Albright’s “right-hand man.” Amanpour routinely regurgitated her husband’s bosses’ talking points, shoring up their credibility. Thusly she became and remains a respected reporter at one of the top news networks. What would be called near-nepotism if it happened in one of those weird eastern countries is just a professional coincidence, you see. While Rubin liaised with the Kosovo Liberation Army during the railroading of Yugoslavia into “asking for” the US bombing campaign, Amanpour propagandized for the US-backed terrorist group.

The sickest part is not just that it’s Amanpour talking about so-called fake news. She’s horrible and provides a perfect example of the irony of this particular situation, but she’s not a bad apple. Her audience at the CPJ function is just as complicit. Journalism under capitalism is essentially just advertising. It’s the informational side of diplomacy, also a corrupt endeavor under capitalism. The product is state and corporate policy, which are of course one and the same. The consumers are everyone lulled into acceptance at the savagery of this economic system, we subjects of the imperial core.

To illustrate, consider the fact that crack babies aren’t real, that Iraq had no WMDs, that African mercenaries were not being used to attack Gadhafi opponents, that the toppling of that Saddam statue was staged, that Aristide was not having his loyalists behead Haitians, that the Soviets were not giving MIGs to Grenada, that the Sandinistas did not kill 200,000 people, that bin Laden’s huge mountain fortress didn’t exist, that Jessica Lynch was neither a heroic warrior nor was she mistreated in captivity, that there were no concentration camps in Bosnia. All of the above were reported as fact in the news media. [See more in this helpful thread from @cordeliers]

The US government has spent decades planting disinformation in the news, from Floridians paid to libel Cuba in the 90s to painting Iran’s Mossadegh as a molestor in the 50s all the way back to the incident that coined the term “yellow journalism,” the blowing up of the USS Maine.

Absorbing all that — just the tip of the iceberg, really — who could dare say these criminals are the arbiters of what’s real and fake, what is actually propaganda and what is merely journalism. They’re not, because they’re not even trying. They’re liars. But you can see it, if you read between the lines.

“The problem is not merely that reporters and academics are misinformed,” Professor Fernando Gil-White told Stephen Gowans after researching source material on the untrue allegations of Milosevic’s virulent nationalism. “It appears to be a conscious effort to misinform.”

Scum like Amanpour operating from within anti-imperialist countries are the reason why those places ever needed laws curtailing the hallowed “freedom of the press.” Words ARE weapons, and the West knows this, which is why from its much richer, more powerful, and frankly, more sophisticated — from a marketing perspective — perch, it can launch a million missiles in every direction and demand its targets drop their shields. After all, communist propaganda is allowed in the US (now). You won’t really be able to find a job making it but hey, it’s your right to be poor! But this speech freedom isn’t uniformly recognized even in the West. The US will still lock you up for, say, broadcasting Hezbollah content. And much of Western Europe, at least officially, disallows the glorification of Nazism. And this is good. But let’s not pretend those who run the West truly think there’s an unalienable human right to free speech. It’s as provisional as it is under socialist revolutionary governments fighting for their lives against the Empire.

“Fake news.” News is fake. The higher the stakes for the ruling classes, the more you can be certain the mainstream news about it will be as fake as fuck and conversely, reports deemed fake by those same fakers should be duly considered on their merits.

Thanks to Tarzie for input on this post.

Trump’s Foreign Policy ‘Missteps’ Are Destructive to Diplomacy. Good!

I’m not ready to stop gloating about the loss of Hillary Clinton yet. When Trump is inaugurated I’ll turn the knives on his administration — for now, it’s still the Obama-Clinton administration and I’m still focusing on these cretins.

Liberals don’t even know there’s a forest, forget seeing it for the trees. This week in Facebook includes people horrified that Trump would even acknowledge the government of Taiwan, let alone congratulate its new president! This will enrage China, our largest trading partner! They even brought out the specter of WWIII, which they laughed at when it was said it would be Clinton who would start it. Thing is Clinton was going to start it by following through on a promise to bomb Russian troops in Syria. All Trump did was talk to the leader of a country that the United States arms and is sworn to protect — from China. And hey, China knows this. If these morons think China is just concerned with being “dishonored” *gong sound, deep bow* they’re not just racist, they’re also so stupid as to be dangerous. Give felons back their vote and disenfranchise these criminals of common sense.

These same “pragmatic” types will nonetheless spend their time shitting on the legacy of Fidel Castro who despite lifting millions out of extreme poverty, did terrible things to innocent people that objectively pale in comparison to anything the US has done to its own minorities, but forget that. It’s about the morality — but just in that case.

That’s not all Trump “fucked up” on the foreign policy front. In less than a week he praised the “dictator” of Kazakhstan, said he’d — horrors!! — like to visit Pakistan, “a terrific country,” and treated the British Prime Minister as if she were the leader of any other of the world’s countries. That last “disaster” involved him calling Theresa May only after calling NINE probably non-white leaders.

Anything that makes US diplomats “aghast” is fabulous by me. These slimebags deserve much worse for what they’ve done to the world’s people. They’re the ones who keep every country softened up for the plunder and just in case any objections arise, war. As I said in 2014

“Diplomacy” is what Washington calls its imperial scheming and the left falls for it. Diplomacy is cold war, and it often enough leads to hot war. It is not a peace-making endeavor. It is not a good thing to encourage. It is good to disrupt it, as Chelsea Manning — whose birthday is today! — did. Thanks to her, we know so much about the nasty, petty, vindictive, stupid, lying, thieving, murderous shit our hallowed diplomats do every day in subjugated nations around the globe. These are rich, powerful, high-born criminals that have served time in the upper echelons of our own evil government and its largest parastate corporations. They’re scum, and their work is the devil’s. The only real question is, why do these countries allow it?

I’m not interested in whether or not Trump knows that what he’s doing is destructive to the diplomatic system. It’s irrelevant. I know that the outcome must be good if these enemies of all good people are upset by it. That tells me all I need to know. Diplomacy as a tool of empire predates the birth of Donald Trump and unfortunately will outlive him. If he can put a few dents, intentionally or not, in these fuckers’ Mercedes well I’ll fucking take it.

UPDATE

Trump tweeted that the new Air Force One planes being built by Boeing were too expensive and should be canceled. When the markets opened this morning the Boeing stock took a dive! Can you think of a more deserving corporation to take such a hit? I’m loving the Trump presidency and it hasn’t even started.

The True Terror of a Trump Presidency

We are literally negative dozens of days into the Trump administration and people are blaming everything from arrests to pipelines on him. Yes, he’s appointing all sorts of — in the liberal parlance currently in fashion — “dumpster fires” to his cabinet, probably, and for some of us life will get marginally worse and for others of us marginally better. That’s usually how a change in president and party at the same time goes. As it goes for citizens of the empire, so it goes for the rest of the non-US-aligned world but usually to far more horrific results.

In my last post I had a lot of fun saying I hoped Vladimir Putin literally changed the votes in the recent election so that the putrid Hillary Clinton would lose. Of course, he didn’t. He probably didn’t truly even exert much more influence than RT America, the Russian state-owned news channel targeted to the US audience, ever did. It’s likely negligible.

In recent days Facebook has been alight in outrage over “fake news.” To an extent, I agreed, because I thought they meant bullshit like “meme” propagators who over-distill complex issues into typically very stupid, factually incorrect gotchas. Think “Being Conservative” or “Occupy Democrats” Facebook groups. But while this was the original thrust in some quarters, I was wrong. There are segments of the commentariat calling for broad sections of the web to be censured as literal Russian propaganda.

So, in their hands they hold a list of this Lying Press, and on it is basically every good Left site, some libertarian sites, and a smattering of Nazi sites. Now they’re not explicitly saying it’s all the same but… well, they’ll leave the same reader/voter they consider to have been easily duped by Russian agents to decide that. The same people who would hit “Share” on a probably pretty good MTV clip about why “reverse-racism” isn’t a thing are now equating Black Agenda Report with Daily Stormer. I’m not exaggerating. And amusingly, they seem to be real mad about a website called HangTheBankers. Huh. Wonder why.

This jingo scum must know that the United States government and its many MANY intelligence agencies run all manner of news and “information” outlets, both openly and secretly and the gray areas between. But you don’t have to go far or analyze too deeply to realize, as Arthur Silber did today, that, well — what in the fuck is Voice of America if not propaganda aimed at the enemies of Washington?

Here’s the danger, the real in-your-face in-practice Actually Existing Fascism. Not some swastikas drawn by people who…. well, sure seem to have been paid to inflate hate-crime statistics. But US liberals, those nasty little fucks who think they’re the very end of philosophical history despite adhering to no discernibly coherent set of moral rules, all the while claiming to oppose fascism simultaneously propagate anti-Russian (you absolutely can read “Soviet” in there) allegations in the form of the silencing of critics. See, where these snakes will slither their scaly way out of any Serious talk of fascism is that they’re not calling on the government to ban these websites. Why, they’d never! That would violate their Voltairian notions of absolute free-speech rights. No, they simply want a market-based, voluntary rejection/ nullification/ dealgorithmization/ disappearance — in the active sense, as in, when they made people disappear in US-backed South American dirty wars — of every news site that ever criticized Hillary Clinton. Yup.

This includes Wikileaks, naturally, even though Silber noted in his recent piece

I assume it must be distant history since it appears that everyone, and most particularly those who mercilessly attacked Wikileaks several years ago, has failed to grasp that the views of Wikileaks have been reversed in this latest episode. We can therefore conclude with full confidence that neither the liberals nor the conservatives hold their positions vis-a-vis Wikileaks on the basis of any kind of principle. How old-fashioned and quaint such a concern would be. Can a principle fix your broken leg? No. Will a principle buy you dinner? Of course not. Will a principle help the candidate you prefer get elected? No siree.

The List also more disturbingly for me includes Antiwar.com, where I worked for ten years and still consider my former coworkers dear friends. Before there even was a Trump on the horizon, before there was even a fucking Dubya in the running, there was Antiwar.com opposing the war in the Balkans. Yes, that venerable website has been spitting at all the wars and other murderous thieving intrigues perpetrated by this Death State since, potentially, some of the interns who cobbled together The List were even fucking born. But it was itself born to oppose the Clintons, and for that it is verboten.

On a lighter note, please enjoy this spoof of The List by roasty, who makes his own list of Fed-paid actual fake-news sites to “watch out” for. He plucks from the original perhaps the most telling line: “Support them by subscribing, if you can!”

I always thought the goofy 80s movie about a Soviet invasion of the US, Red Dawn, appealed more to Republican types but it looks these days like it may be saved more on the liberal’s Netflix queue. That, and wide-open McCarthyism. The most threatening part of a Trump presidency may not be the man himself, but the newly, nakedly revealed fascism of his opposition. If they can’t be the Left, then nobody can.

UPDATE:

tldr version

If Putin Did Rig the US Election: Good

6ddc93b8-ebda-49f4-a1e9-5b8d878f9ae9-1394-000002d18293cd32_tmpFirst, liberals laughed at the idea that the election could be rigged. And since this is a woke blog yes of course every election is a sham meant to allow the plebs to let off steam while the real decisions are made far above the pay grade of mere mortals. But some embraced the idea that certain, eh, corrections were necessary to achieve the correct result. One commentator on my Facebook, during the dying embers of the Bernie battle after Clinton was anointed, said yes, this is what Our Party does — they assure results that will give us the most electable nominee. Of course, her personal, professional, lettered, Brooklyned self naturally thought Julia Caesar more electable than someone who was obviously warm and passionate and approachable and likeable as a human being in exactly the same way people said about George W. Bush — despite the fact that she was contradicted by actual fucking polls! (I remind the reader that George W. Bush was elected our 43rd president.) Then during the final phases of the debate cycle, I literally saw a comment from a professional-type asshole using ten-dollar words celebrating this ruling-class rigging, in praise of the Electoral College, and its role in protecting us from barbarians like Donald Trump — and thank goodness for that!

Now, well, it turned out that absolutely none of that was true and we now have Donald Trump, whom the Atlantic-readers told us could not win because thankfully the election is rigged in the proper way, as our president-elect. And after scrolling through Facebook these last couple days, I must admit that I couldn’t be happier.

Sure, some of the less sophisticated liberals are just howling at the moon, crying for the end of this barbarism called the Electoral College, because a vote of 50%+1 is actually so much more democratic and just. But some of the more erudite sore loser-ass bitches are actually calling for the EC to “do its job” and vote for Clinton as president. This is not what the Founders intended! bemoaned one writer friend. You’re right, they intended to protect their vast landholdings and literal ownership of this country and its ruling institutions and a good percentage of its inhabitants. They literally couldn’t imagine a future in which a homosexual travel writer would call on their ghosts to install a woman who actually turned the shores of Tripoli into a haven for headchopping pirates as president. I mean she’s VERY rich and like Thomas Jefferson also devastated Haiti through predatory economic policies but otherwise I think they’d probably disapprove and maybe go for the schmuck in the gold tower.

In any other setting we’d call this a tantrum, and a pretty incoherent one at that. Wahh, the EC was meant to prevent elections of bad men we don’t like, now let’s get rid of it and/or appeal to it to not do the job we just got finished saying is critical to the survival of democracy in a polity of crazies. Sure all of this comes from different actual people in my feed but it truly, honestly! to me illustrates the utter intellectual bankruptcy of liberalism as a political identity, the complete fraudulence of its claim on logical superiority.

Earlier today people were passing around a link to Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein’s attempt to collect millions of dollars to “ensure the integrity of elections” — basically, it’s a recount. And as if people weren’t already tapped dry despite this fabulous Obama recovery, they’re being asked to fund it themselves — and five million dollars has been collected! Maybe this is to appease those cosmopolitan Clintonites who might want to grab her pussy in new and terrifying ways. But it certainly does seem like even the great green hope is not only actually lesser-eviling us, she’s buying into the Cold War Russophobia. Coming back in from that Moscow cold. And fuck that.

President Putin himself has smarmily ridiculed, in most satisfying fashion, the very idea that Russia could sway a United States election.

“Does anyone seriously think that Russia can influence the choice of the American people? Is America some kind of banana republic? America is a great power. If I’m wrong, correct me.”

Now I do want to remind you that the alleged rig was done via hacking, liberation and dissemination of actual, true information about the clownishly disingenuous, war criminal Hillary Clinton. Nobody serious is actually talking about the direct hacking by Russia of the actual voting machines, just of unjust influence via enlightenment upon the lowly scum we allow into a small, usually meaningless part of our political process.

But I just want to say this loud and clear right now. If Vladimir Putin and Russia had anything at all to do with the successful rigging — the actual hacking of the vote tallies — of the elections of this rotten, disgusting country, nothing short of tripping over a big currency war-devalued sack of rubles would make me happier. Nothing. If for once someone hit back at the United States successfully, I as an anti-imperialist must only cheer, and that’s even if it were just in a vindictive, destructive fashion. But if Putin were worried, as many were, that Clinton would go to war with Russia starting in Syria, then Russians AND AMERICANS owe a huge debt of gratitude to this great leader of men. He has not only kicked the empire in the nuts, he has potentially saved his people, and us, from a disastrous conflict. Not to mention the crossfire that would certainly be primarily borne by the tortured citizens of the Middle East.

Vladimir Putin, my hero. Thank you for being better than the Electoral College ever could. Instead of disenfranchising yokels, you did it to the banks, the arms manufacturers, the tech and media conglomerates, the real-estate speculators. I don’t know what a Trump presidency will truly bring, but in this moment, right here in the afterglow of this amazing display of lulz such as to make Anonymous jealous, I thank and appreciate you.

Comrade.

Paying to Play in the Strategy of Contention

My but how quickly liberal political correctness is jettisoned when the sweet-talking wing of the fascist party doesn’t get its way! By which I mean to say, loses. LOSES! I cannot contain my glee but then I’ve never pretended to be anything but that which I am: a very vindictive, schadenfreude-driven self-ordained spokesperson for the proletariat. The kind which it may now be polite in liberal circles to call an effete bitchy little faggot. I’ll take it with a pirouette.

You may have heard the most recent Trump-era outrages — NODAPL protesters doused with water in frigid temperatures despite, well, Obama still being president and in favor of the pipeline. Oh wait that’s not it. Oh it’s this scary bunch of waddling brownshirts seig-heiling the new Fuhrer. No that’s not it either. Oh yes! It’s the daughter of president-elect Trump and new chief of his businesses Ivanka Trump being given the codes to the nuclear suitcase. I mean wait, merely sitting in a seat, in her father’s office, during an informal meeting with the Prime Minister of Japan. You’re acting like they’re discussing the partitioning of motherfucking Manchuria.

Witness, feminist blogs now warning us to keep our keen don’t-need-no-man eyes on that Trump succubus, that devious calculating female who should stay in her place, where ALL women belong: with Bill Clinton’s cigar rammed up their reproductive organs. And in case you spent the last eight years thinking ridiculing people’s appearance and not the content of their character was, uh, “so totally not ok,” well bitch it’s the Trump years now and we can call his kids inbred retards to our black hearts’ content. Because deep down in this patriarchal, ableist society, liberals have always wanted to live up to our full potential as the beneficiaries of racist imperialism and, like the newly emboldened “alt-right” scum in that “leaked” Atlantic video, we’re feeling freer than ever to show our true colors. Cheeto-ass gimp offspring!!!! Man that feels good, huh.

I know, the real “concern” is the new openly signaled pay-to-play suggestion like in those yucky weird Russiany-Asiany countries (like pick one lol) over which Jezebel is so worked-up, where they do terrible things to people but we “forgot” to mention host tons of US bases whose boss is Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces President Barack Obama. Well we didn’t forget, we just didn’t know because we’re stupid but also don’t care.

Now of course this sort of thing is disturbing and “not cool” if you consider America, like, not an unstoppable mass-murderous, thieving, endlessly plotting, hypercorrupt juggernaut of an evil empire. But it is and always has been, it’s just that this has somewhat benefited you and your family and — jumping to conclusions here — likely also your race as a whole. But forget all that and for a moment just focus on this recent election cycle alone. Do you know, uh, fucking anything at all about Chelsea Clinton? Are you remotely aware that she’s essentially married to a Jared Kushner doppelgänger? And that their wedding cost three million American dollars and was paid for by the Clinton Foundation, an uh, foundational example in the modern concept of pay-to-play? Just ask the people of Haiti, whom the Clintons haven’t stopped raping since the 90s.

Forget Chelsea. What were Hillary’s credentials for coming up with an entire fucking health-care plan during the Bill Clinton administration? Don’t get me wrong, she is a brilliant person and a skilled political maneuverer… although, not quite skilled enough huh lol. But what gives the president’s wife the ok to make policy prescription when she’s as far from elected as Socks the fuckin cat?

If none of that bothered you then, or even if you didn’t care to pay attention because you blindly trust the officials of the political party with which you personally identify regardless of the outcomes of their actions, then immediately clamp shut your dumb traps you lobotomized pieces of garbage. I hate you and your petty outrage sustains me. My pleasure would be deeper and more satisfying if the Obama-Clinton regime’s body count weren’t so big as to rival the Holocaust you revolting overeducated cretins. Go drown in a pool of useless school debt.

Fuck You Liberals, You Arrogant Assholes

Mmmm roasty gets hatey 😈

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The sheer bullshit ARROGANCE of these fucking liberals.

“It has been one of the longest weeks in human history…” begins a Salon/Alternet article, referring to the fact that Trump won the presidency.

Fuck you, yes you Janet Allon.

Fuck your insistence that the rest of the world see your tantrums over your preferred fascist being pushed aside for a different one as a tragedy. Fuck you, you mealy-mouthed shit for brains excuse for a human being.  Nothing more than that, just fuck you.  How DARE you have the fucking arrogance to declare presidential election results in the Imperial core as “the longest week in history”.  Tell that to these folks.  Or these ones.  Or these.

Fuck you. You deserve to be run over by history, ground into meaningless dust when your precious empire finally some day falls. Truly despicable.

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Yah Um So Like Guys? This Is Like Tewtally Not Okay. Okay?

Facebook is where I have been hanging out to get my daily fill of liberal tears over President Trump. It’s not all glee, I do take the time to make useful if inconvenient comparisons between what Trump claims he’ll do and what Obama already has done. For example, people calling Trump a monster for his deportation plans don’t realize it’s actually just taking the immigration baton straight from Obama in one uninterrupted pass.

You know how liberals love to object to things not by saying THIS IS BAD but instead, wagging finger at the ready, solemnly proclaiming something “not ok”? There’s been a rash of this but one example in particular is the self-flagellation over this one instance in which some true human bag of shit held up a sign saying RAPE MELANIA at one of those NGO-organized and -paid protests outside Trump Tower.

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Discussion on Facebook has endlessly recycled this very language, even before the linked Mic piece was written. “Not ok.” “Not cool.” “This is not who we are.” No, it’s worse than not ok, it’s definitely far beyond the idiotic descriptor “not cool”; it’s a fucking crime and the person holding this sign should have had his head kicked in. But then, the proponents of these protests have also beseeched each other to keep them “nonviolent” and even to avoid damaging property. Protest the dying of the light! And don’t break any lightbulbs. So they’d probably approach this scum with their hands on their hips and frown at him when they should, in all honesty, be killing him. I’m an incorrigible digressor. The discussion continued on to include accusations that this guy was a plant, paid by Trump.

Guys.

You’re all plants of some kind! You’re being manipulated and you love it. Now that is not cool.

But I’d like to get to my main point which is that, in actually demonstrated fact, THIS IS PRECISELY WHO YOU ARE. Maybe not directly, but if people who voted for Trump are responsible for his potential future actions or those of violent racist assholes energized by his election, then you are responsible in a similar way for the crimes of Hillary Clinton and boy… that’s a long rap sheet. But let’s just focus on one crime in particular.

That’s your great humanitarian almost-leader celebrating the knife-rape, to a not-swift end, of the very effective anti-imperialist pan-Africanist leader of Libya, Muammar Gadhafi. Forget Benghazi, Clinton was instrumental in the complete obliteration of an actually existing socialist nation in which races and genders were equal, and that was a force for anti-European and -US self-development in Africa. We know the status of women in the new Libya. We don’t actually know the status of black Libyans because they were ethnically cleansed, one of their main cities now a ghost town.

So no, you’re wrong. This is you. You ratify this, whether or not you fully understand that. Maybe you defer to those, like Sec. Clinton, who “know better.” But foreign policy is killing. Mass, mass murder. It’s hard to take any of you seriously when you proclaim your safe-space humanitarianism while simultaneously calling for a new Cold War.

Cheer Up Liberals: You’re Still in Charge

Go ahead, blame racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia. It’s sooo easy to throw it off on someone else. It feels magnificent to retroactively, automatically define your values as the most important ones and those of others as inconsequential and selfish. Make no mistake: Trump’s presidential win was the fault of the Democratic Party. They chose a demonstrably corrupt, very rich, connected insider candidate over one — Bernie Sanders — shown by polling to have a better edge over all Republican candidates. It was a spectacular failure of the Clinton machine to consider the impoverished, postindustrial Midwest as a given despite decades of policy neglect. Hillary Clinton herself underestimated just how very unlikeable a person she is. Trump is a sack of trash but that’s just how little people like Clinton and fear her Beltway aura. Liberals are melting down across the Internet, exposing their biases and breathtakingly narrow comprehension of the universes inhabited by others.

Take one of my Facebook friends, you know the type: the gripey liberal who posts everything about their life in dramatic terms, where everything is a personal attack on them and everything bad that has ever happened to them is the fault of someone else, someone else BAD and DUMB. Only they know how the world should be, and that world is one in which they uniquely thrive and their values rule. This person posted, early on Election Day, that anyone who voted for “him” or is a “special snowflake” who cast a protest vote or anyone who didn’t vote should unfriend them now.

But the plain fact is all the people who voted for Clinton could have voted for Jill Stein, or Workers World Party candidate Monica Moorehead. But they didn’t want to. Because these people represent an actual left wing, whereas Clinton is a status-quo neoliberal who will only take a token amount of their money and privilege — enough to assuage their guilt and quench their equally token thirst for social justice — but not completely rearrange the playing field so that those born in an immovable class position no longer have to beg for scraps. The special snowflakes are actually these gainfully employed, well-educated people who have so little to worry about materially that they can’t even imagine a demographic, a white demographic especially, which would feel so desperate and afflicted that they could vote… differently. Nobody questions why Clinton lost the formerly unshakably Democratic Rust Belt? Because racism I guess. Because trans bathrooms probably. Yeah that’s it. Not their entire world having collapsed around them — literally in large part thanks to Bill Clinton — and nobody offering them a hand up aside from a meager handout.

It’s breathtaking to witness rich people — yes, rich, by any useful sense of the word — spit vicious hatred at desperate people suffering generations of poverty. Already there’s a preemptive theme on my social media that no, actually, urban liberals who care super hard about minorities and LGBT+ etc. actually are better than the backwater shitstains who only care about themselves, food on the table or no. We care! Like, a lot! And anyone who says anything else well that’s bullshit, and I don’t have to back it up because I’m literally paid to create the dominant media narrative of the world. Another friend posted that he’d get behind an Obama-led coup, because “democracy only works when the population is educated,” presumably to his level and above.  If Clinton had won and a Trump supporter said something similar the ghost of Janet Reno would be dropping napalm while my friend here cheered at the aroma of crackling skin.

Some less vengeful liberals are posting things they consider uplifting — “the fight has just begun!” — but even these betray their biases. “Let’s organize to help those who will be most devastated by this election.” Fine, yes. But this is happening at the same time half the continent is dying the slow death of disinvestment. Even in their own backyards, during the Obama presidency, did they do much more than repost Black Lives Matter memes? Did they call for the massive redistribution of wealth within their own cities that would have made a true difference to black lives? Naw. This would have endangered their own comfortable financial position and frankly, aesthetic environment. These are the bringers and beneficiaries of gentrification, after all, despite their mild, occasional social-media handwringings. Too much hope and change is well, a little too far. And that’s why they vote Democrat, and for Clinton, and not Green, or WWP, or the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Because socialism and liberation is too much too soon, and they have 401ks to which to contribute.

Please explain to me this scenario. A Seattle-area friend who lives in the farther working-class suburbs came to work to his inner-city, wealthy liberal coworkers bitching that his neighbors “voted us into fascism.” In the same breath, this rich shit complained about the passing of a transportation bill that would raise their taxes: “If they want Trump so bad they can pay for their own buses.” Here’s someone who probably calls themselves a progressive attacking actually existing progressivism because their taxes will go up a split hair, and potentially benefit unworthy types, “deplorables.” Maybe these people wouldn’t feel the need to “shake things up” if they had had what they needed to thrive all along. But then your misty piney mossy café-flanked Seattle townhome might have to fit only one Subaru in the garage.

A friend told me that today, the NY subways were silent. Good. I bathe in and relish your temporary tears you sniveling little brats. You’re sulking all the way to your gainful, benefit-saturated employment in a world-class city where you have the benefit of infinite opportunities and cultural activities. The cares of this world will not truly brush up against your plush existence outside of the pages of the New Yorker. That “evil” Trump voter, who on the flip side is enjoying this temporary glee, will wake up tomorrow still underemployed in a backwater with poor infrastructure and few prospects for advancement. They don’t even have free internships to complain about in these places. In many cases, your employment may literally be something that ensures their continued unemployment: an investment bank, a tech firm, an apparel company sending work overseas. So liberals: check your overwhelming fucking privilege, you whiny shitbags.

Don’t worry. You actually won, because you always win. It’s hard to take your play anguish seriously when you fail to see just how fabulous your life is, GOP control or no. And all the profitable wars Clinton would have continued and expanded? Don’t worry, a Trump administration will surely create plenty of opportunities to make a killing in defense stocks. Now get out there and do something meaningfully revolutionary or shut right the fuck up.

Iraq Was Better Under Saddam

It’s amazing that 13 years after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath and that political party’s complete evisceration swiftly followed by the entire country itself, it is still taboo to consider the idea that maybe shit was just better before. Not for the first time, I’m in trouble for suggesting Iraq under “Saddam Insane” (90s kids!?) was not just a charnel house for his political enemies but simultaneously, and for many more people, it was the best thing that ever happened to them.

This is the third time I am using this title on a blog. The first, in 2005, was on an ancap website I ran that was the bane of the libertarian movement. It was an argument against crypto-Republicans who were very upset about another post I wrote, the subject of which is clear from the title: “A Grim Milestone: 159,000 Troops Remain Alive in Iraq.” (Would I take a different tack in my old age, probably.) In the comment section one of these Koch-funded think-tank brats attempted to quantify how many lives the US invasion “saved.”

“The Ba’athist regime averaged 60,000 Iraqi murders a year. During the past 3 years, 60,000 Iraqi civilians have died. Even if the majority of those civilians were killed by American troops (and I dare you to claim they are, really, I do), by my grim math that’s 40,000 civilians/year x 3 years = 120,000 civilians we’ve directly saved due to our invasion of Iraq.”

This utterly ludicrous comment prodded me into performing an uncharacteristic task: math.

(Stats — search for Iraq)

Human Rights Watch estimates that 290,000 Iraqis were killed by Saddam’s regime — EVER. That’s 24 years from 1979 to 2003. That’s 12,083 a year. The US Govt says 300,000. That’s 12,500 a year. Keep in mind that this includes 1991, right after the US told the Shi’ites and the Kurds “Go ahead and rebel, we’ll back you up.” They rebelled, they didn’t get backed up, and they were crushed. 60,000 Shi’ites were killed. That’ll teach them to trust the US. We also have no idea how many Ba’athist apparatchiks this includes — dictators routinely purge their ranks.

 

There is also some questioning of the 290K number — the Red Cross wouldn’t even back it up. From John Laughland: “Their report speaks of an estimated 290,000 missing, ‘many of whom are believed to have been killed.’ In other words, their deaths have not been established…”

 

Even current Iraqi politicians, who have an incentive to lie and exaggerate, say that Saddam killed a million people. That’s still 41,666 per year.

 

HRW even says “by the time of the March 2003 invasion, Saddam Hussein’s killing had ebbed.” By the time of the invasion, Saddam likely wasn’t killing much of anyone but major rivals and outspoken opponents, like Muqtada al-Sadr’s father. Certainly nothing like crushing rebellions. So in reality, the US has greatly accelerated the killing.

 

Pretty much all you had to do in Saddam’s Iraq was shut the hell up and mind your own business. Before sanctions, the economy was one of the best in the Arab world, women’s rights were light years ahead. That was before the US and UK bombed and sanctioned Iraq for 12 years, decimating the economy and causing at least a million to die due to malnutrition and limited access to basic drugs for easily-curable diseases. The US killed a million Iraqis before they ever stepped foot on that patch of dirt.

 

Add all this to the fact that the war is crushing the Iraqi economy, and that the insurgents are attacking precisely because the US is there, and you have a veritable holocaust — triggered by the United States of America. Furthermore, the insurgency is widely backed by the general population (or else it couldn’t exist). Journalists report civilians helping out, too. For example, a man who has lost a son to a trigger-happy hick will, after a long day of tending his date palms, plant a roadside bomb for US troops, and then head home to the rest of his devastated family.

 

The reason this is so important is because there are all kinds of people spouting off many different numbers, plenty of which seem to have come right out of their asses in an attempt to further demonize Saddam and make the US look like angels simply because they have killed less people. There are other factors to take into account, like the fact that the people who were killed by Saddam knew how to avoid it. They knew it was coming at some point (and just to preempt some of the simpleminded out there who think I’m praising Saddam — no, this did not make it okay). Saddam was the hurricane to the US earthquake.

 

The people killed by US troops and the insurgents attacking because of the former’s presence have absolutely no idea how or when or where they will be killed. The news is filled with stories about Baghdadis who never leave their house, and go out once a month on a militarily-planned run for food. I mean, this is great for concrete barrier and razor wire manufacturers, but I think most people familiar with the most basic economics know this puts the Iraqi economy squarely in the gutter — along with Iraqi life. Life under Saddam’s regime was immeasurably more enjoyable and normal than the complete disaster Iraqis are forced to suffer post-Saddam. Couples went on dates, women could wear what they wanted, bookstores had poetry readings at 2am, fine restaurants served gourmet cuisine, kids ran around the streets eating ice cream in the hot summers, and went home to their fully-electrified, air-conditioned home. It wasn’t London or Paris or New York by any stretch of the imagination, but it was infinitely more so than staunch US ally Riyadh. And that was WITH 12 years of sanctions that crushed Iraq’s poorest underfoot but which left Saddam unscathed.

I expanded a bit on this theme in 2011, mostly to gloat that I was right and to point out mainstream-media bias against the plain fact that Iraqis missed Ba’ath rule. I bring it up again because of an interaction I had with one of those cute young British soi-disant MENA experts who tweet a lot about places they’ve scarcely or never been.

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Despite this being quantifiably true, it’s extremely rude to say. Hafidh’s tweets really aren’t so bad, but it seems his parents are Iraqi so he’s not having any “revisionism.”

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There are a few other branches of the conversation, which you may explore, but they’re not important. I was taken right back to 2003 when to be against the overthrow of the Iraq government was to be the new Nazis.

An interesting discovery was, while looking a few things up for this post, I came across an article on the same subject which actually interviewed Hafidh on the arguments — from actual native Iraqis in Iraq — about whether or not Iraq was better off without Saddam.

“I wouldn’t refute for a minute the good that he did, in terms of infrastructure. Generally, in terms of gender equality, not bad,” said Hasan Hafidh…

Huh.

Absolutely nothing I say about Saddam Hussein is meant to forgive his administration’s horrors. But once again — through the prism of imperialism — one might understand why governments Westerners would consider “oppressive” do what they do. A case in point is this documentary from 1989. Iraq had already invaded Kuwait — that innocent gas-thieving, caste-based oiligarchy — and George Bush I was ready to launch the Gulf War.

It’s remarkable because the American filmmaker was so nakedly hostile to the idea that Iraq was a decent place to live. His subjects clearly considered his leading questions dumb. “Do you love Saddam Hussein?” he’d ask. They’d look confused and reply something to the effect of “Uh, what? We love his principles, this is an important distinction. He is just a man.” And yes, there was a noted hesitation so as to not say the incorrect thing on record, and Ba’ath Party minders were always following the film crew, but with an enemy like the United States and war on the horizon, it’s no wonder they were concerned about messaging.

Also notable: a few years before gay issues would get positive mainstream attention in the West after being drowned by the AIDS crisis, Saddam’s Iraq had a flamboyant homosexual nightclub owner and fashion designer partying it up in a downtown chain hotel without a care in the world. If “Israel” is “moral” in 2016 for its trivial gay-rights gestures, certainly 80s Baghdad should get some credit.

What struck me most was the interviewer’s obsession with free speech, and the Iraqis attempting to explain in poor English to this apparent moron that verbal expression isn’t all there is. To explain why a society under constant imperial attack may have to curtail certain freedoms that could undermine development under that juggernaut is a herculean task.

I wonder how many of those people survived the truly abject horrors of the next twenty-five years, brought to them by Enlightened Western Civilization.

Thanks to @galterwlass for the video link and Phil Greaves for help finding a link about development stats.