McCarthyim on steroids or the ferocious aggressiveness of Anti-Assad-Propagandists

RT brought a story about a new entry on medium.com called International Assadists References Directory” listing alleged ‘Assadist’, i.e. people that whitewashed or defended Bashar Al-Assads regime or actions in any way.

Apart from the fact that the page contained factual errors, the page labels anyone an ‘Assadist’ that dares to say that the Syrian conflict is not black and white and sees faults and responsibility for the conflict not only by Assad alone.

I came in contact with Kester Radcliff, the creator of the article, about two years ago. We were friends on facebook where he spilled his propaganda blaming Assad and Assad alone for the situation in Syria. When I pointed out that the reality was not so black&white as he portrayed it and posted a link to an article by Robert Fisk, he got wild. After a few exchanges of arguments – if I can call his answers arguments – he blocked me from his fb page and cancelled the friendship. No more dialogue.

Kester Radcliff is a good example of what I would call Anti-Assad-Propagandist (AAP). The characteristics of how these AAP behave and ‘argue’ is as follows:

  1. put all the blame on Assad
  2. propagate that view emotionally (i.e. use expressions like “the worst mass murderer of the last 65 years”, “genocide”, etc.
  3. don’t tolerate other views. If someone disagrees, get as much angry as possible and discredit the person for even thinking outside of the above parameter.
  4. do not argue on an intellectual level. Just use emotions to discredit the other. “You want to defend the worst mass murderer …”, “how dare you to say … when 500’00 people have been massacred.”,
  5. do not accept the standpoint ‘neutral’

As it was rather difficult to get trustworthy information about Syria and the Western media – as usual – favoured the NATO view, contradicting someone that and calls himself a “human rights activist”, holds a seemingly rock-solid opinion and passionately defends it, is not so easy. Especially when you are part of the “volunteering family” you will not want to loose your community. I guess many agree therefore or at least do not oppose the view as they want to save the friendship and not end up as an “outcast”.neurality

Kester Radcliff is not the only one. There were other people I met on facebook behaving similarly. A woman deleted all posts critical to her original posts that tried to whitewash the “White helmets”. First she retorted in short phrases like “Educate yourself before you comment please”, then she had to enter the discussion as the poster showed that he was educated. But a day later only the reaffirming posts remained on the page. See the page before and after. (At least she had a discussion even when deleting it after.)

The question is not about political opinion. The question is that a some people are trying to suppress any meaningful discussion before it even starts and demand loyalty. By bullying people into adopting an emotion-based opinion that is entirely black&white and refusing to acknowledge the existence of – fact-based – other perspectives is not at all in accordance with the alleged ideals of liberal Western democracies this people claim to represent. On the contrary, their behaviour resembles – in essence – much more those authoritarian dictatorships where censorship is standard and deviation from doctrine is forbidden. A free society where plurality of opinion is honoured and welcomed would neither bully nor censor. Welcome to Western hypocrisy.

Kester Radcliff’s list that can be described as McCarthyim on steroids” would be laughable had it not so many followers that praise it.

But anyhow, as Eva Barlett wrote:

“In fact, instead of successfully smearing us, Kester has compiled a go-to list of people to follow for original and truthful content on important international issues today, particularly Syria, Palestine, and Yemen,”

So, Kester, put me on that list, too. I would be an honour!

***


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Russia hysteria as Anti-Sanders campaign

The whole Russia hysteria that storms through the Western world (Swiss newspapers are full of Anti-Russia rhetoric)  is at the bottom line a big Anti-Sanders campaign. The Democrats to not want to acknowledge the epic failure of their neo-liberal candidate Hillary Clinton so they do everything to invent and pad out Trump as a “Manchurian candidate” that was voted in by fraud and manipulation by a foreign power. This focus on Russia’s alleged interference will allow to keep Trump’s neo-liberal achievements and continue on that path but present an illusion of change to the public — especially to the liberal-left — when Trump is gone. The Russia hype is a (desperate) smoke screen to hide the failures of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic party on one side and prevent focusing on Trump’s real sins: dismantling of environmental regulatory bodies, tax cuts for the rich, increased military spending … i.e. the full spectrum of Trump’s hard-core neo-liberal policies. Focusing on real issues would demand that the Democrats would reverse such decisions once in power.

Hillary Clinton’s loss against one of the weakest opponents in history and Sanders popularity in addition clearly demands that the Democrats nominate Sanders in 2020—or at least correct their party program massively to the left. Such a step would be the most logical conclusion. But the Democrats showed soon signs that a correction of the neo-liberal path was not a goal. Favouring Tom Perez over Keith Ellison was a clear indicator that the Dems did not have any aspiration to change the elite-run party to more grass-root participation. In other words, the «consultant-ocracy»*, making sure that the interests of the 0.1% of society always come first, was not challenged.

With the Russia frenzy occupying the minds of the public the Democrats have a useful alibi to not take steps to move the party line to the left and address real issues like environment, climate change, demilitarisation, education, poverty and all other topics that demand a clear rejection of neo-liberalism.

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One sidedness in anti-Assad posts in fb

I repost here a text that was posted on fb.  After commenting it briefly, I was – as expected – blocked by the other original poster. Those who reduce the crisis to Assad only, do not tolerate different opinions.

The Post

1. Assad continues to commit genocide, bombing his people daily. He has murdered half a million people. If you’ve ever wondered what you would’ve done during the Holocaust, you’re doing it now.

The term genocide is not appropriate even with all the war crimes committed by the Al-Assad regime. It is a civil war fuelled and prolonged by outside powers. Those that supported militant groups have at least the same responsibility. The US funded, trained and armed militant groups with $ 7 billion.

2. The world together agreed that using chemical weapons is one of the most heinous acts you can commit. It is strictly outlawed internationally. Assad is responsible for 214 chemical attacks (SNHR).
These are not unverified or false flags. Aside from our timelines filled with endless videos of children frothing at the mouth and dying the most agonising death imaginable, independent bodies like WHO confirm these attacks are without question.

It is without question true that chemical weapon attacks are one of most heinous crimes and that chemical weapons are banned. But it is a very different question to proof who used it. The situation is not as clear. Further, the only body that is entitled to decide about military actions in case of violations against the ban of chemical weapons is the UN. Unilateral strikes are forbidden (a war crime) and undermine the authority of the UN.

3. Strikes from the UK, USA and France isn’t ‘war’. It isn’t ‘bombing’ as the term is usually used either. Technology has moved on a great deal. Taking out Assad’s chemical and airforce capacity is the only way to stop his daily attacks.

Such statements should hardly be necessary to comment. To say our bombs are not bombs but love is sheer cynicism. These strikes were not legalized by the UN and are therefore a clear act of aggression. Such actions undermine the authority of the UN and weaken international law in future.

4. In this type of action a few people might get hurt. But tens of thousands more may be rescued. There are no reported casualties from the night before last.

History shows that acts like those committed by US/GB/FR hardly save people. It increases aggression and leads to more victims. The strike is therefore counterproductive.

5. There is no evidence that this action would escalate into war, just as it didn’t several times recently.

First, this action does not escalate INTO war it IS an act of war. Secondly, there is evidence in history that Russia was wise enough to save the world and de-escalate situations in the past like during the 1963 Cuba crisis when Kennedy risked the lives of 600 million people. We can only hope that Russia does not strike back. The provocation was surely there.

6. What is being proposed is vastly different to what happened with Iraq, Libya and so on. It’s pointless to compare this situation with those. Avoid ‘whataboutery’.

Ignoring history is a decent way to obscure likely outcomes and push people into emotional decisions without reflections about the consequences. In other words: stop thinking, let’s follow emotions … That is propaganda, pure and simple!

7. Yes, Trump and May no doubt have many other horrible reasons for this action. Yes they ignore Syrian refugees. Yes we sell arms. Yes we ignore other similar situations elsewhere. But in the face of a cowardly world, this action is all we currently have.

No, we have plenty more. Refugees can be given asylum and cared for. Turkey and Saudi-Arabia pressured not to support militant groups; diplomacy on a realistic level can be resumed. But it means that the US has to stop aiming at regime change. As long as the main objective is the weakening or removal of Assad, there is no change of truce and peace.

8. Assad has blocked all other types of diplomacy. Again and again and again. Russia vetoed peace talks eight times. The situation has continued for many years. This is a last resort, not a reactive impulse.

This is propaganda. The diplomacy of the US always intended to make Russia cast a veto. Preconditions like Assads removal were made clearly anticipating a rejection and failure of the talks so war could be sold as the ‘last resort’.

9. The current actions won’t end Assad’s regime or the war, nor are they intended to.

What is the intention then? Only the UN has the legal position and the authority to call for a military strike to punish an actor that used chemical weapons. A «punishment» by the US/GB/FR is just a provocation that will most likely lead to heaver conventional bombing. The people will pay the price.

Articles like this seem to have to only goal of fomenting hatred against Assad and reduce the crisis to a single cause. Simple problem – simple solution. The removal of a dictator, however, does hardly change a country into democracy – Libya and Iraq the recent examples.

If the militant, Islamist groups win, Syria will deteriorate into chaos were competing war lords will be fighting for power leading to a second Libya or Afghanistan in the 1990.

If the US enters with troops on the ground (unlikely), we can expected an Iraqi scenario.

If the Syrian government recaptures Syria, the chance for a lasting truce is real. Fighting and bloodshed will end.

Over a period of 20 years a transition to democracy might then be possible.

 

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Trump’s decision most anti-semitic act of last 30 years

With his decision to formally recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, Trump committed probably a massive disservice to Israelis in particular and Jews in general. The future victims of this decision will be Israelis and Jews worldwide. The decision will make it much more difficult for Israel in finding a peaceful settlement with the Palestinians and the Arab world. It will create massive, negative feelings toward Israelis and Jews – from the world community in general to the Arab world and Palestinians in particular. Israel as a neo-colonial entity that unilaterally annexes territory and ignores UN decisions is once more confirmed.

The Jews world-wide will feel more aggression towards them because of this decision. And the price of a potential third intifada (apart of the Palestinians themselves) will be paid by the Israeli-Jewish public. It will be the Jewish Israelis that have to endure security checks when going to a restaurant, avoid buses and public places out of fear of bombs and it will finally be the Israeli public that suffers from suicide attacks – not Donald Trump or Jared Kushner who is the mastermind behind this decision.

In short, Trump’s action is probably the most anti-Semitic one of the last three decades.

 

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Outraged at Sean Spencer’s appearance?

If you outraged about Sean Spencers appearance this years’s Emmy Awards then understand that “there [is] nothing whatsoever surprising about any of this, as it is the logical and necessary outcome of the self-serving template of immunity which D.C. elites have erected for themselves.”

So if initiating an aggressive war (which the Nuremberg Tribunal called “the supreme international crime”), instituting an international torture regime (which Ronald Reagan called “an abhorrent practice” that no circumstance can justify), and embracing the full model of presidential lawlessness does not result in ostracization, sanction, or exclusion from polite society, why on earth would anyone expect that Sean Spicer would face any sort of actual recrimination or consequence?

Glen Greenwald, The Intercept

Read the full article here. Highly recommended!

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The man who saved the world

‘I was just doing my job’: Soviet officer who averted nuclear war dies at age 77

https://www.rt.com/news/403625-nuclear-soviet-officer-died/

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Quote of the day

It is no longer unusual to hear leftwing activists turn FBI or CIA apologists, since these agencies became a home for a covert opposition to Trump and the source of many leaks.

Serge Halimi, https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/as-bellicose-as-ever

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