Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Lancing the 'Berl' on America's 'Brane'

Fake news.  Propaganda. Leaks. Hacks and the horsepellets than make us free.  America relies on the media, repeating 24/7, the daily dose of 'factoids' that drive the nation to greatness.

Yesterday a piece from a think tank, published in NewsWeek, stated that the Trump Organizaion was deliberately 'losing' Syria to the Assad regime, after 'winning' it from ISIS. That was followed by the White Hiuse threatening (and Nikki Haley repeating in a Tweet) the Assad government with big trouble,  the next time it gassed its people.  Some watchers stupidly thought that was an 'invitation' for ISIS, or what's left of it,  to make another issue of 'beautiful dead babies' for Donald to weep about and Nikki Haley to shake before the UN. And a darn good reason to 'blitzkrieg' Damascus with the force of  'punkerpans' so carefully built-up in Northeastern Jordan.


Getting the Goods on Gassing

The Leftists Knoweth naught about the Rightists

And finally, on the last time Assad gassed his own people.

There was (is) yesterday's MASSIVE' attempt by those 'russian hackers' to take over he world's Windows systems, or at least 'corner' the Bit Coin Market. Strange that every affected computer lit-up with the same MSDOS message about how to fix it and where to buy the ticket - in English! That must have been the CIA 'part' of the 'stolen'  hacking tool used to do it.

Get the Word out!

BitCoin EUkrainia

And thien there's today's brouhaha about 'Bullshit" - all courtesy of the Voice of America: CNN.

 First off a CNN producer is taped talking about what is passed-off as news, particularly about Russia.  He called it "Bullshit". But he could be a 'commie' plant, too.

Calling Bullshit on the Big Lead

And to ice that cake we have the story of a story appearing on a CNN site - the kind of thing that prefaces another 'blreakout blurb for the TV treatment, about another spurious 'meeting' between another Trump admin employee and another mysterious Russian business man. But this meeting didn't happen at all, and that got noticed. The three dopes who created that writing - for it was 100 percent bullshit - were immediately fired.  I'd be wondering how they got the idea and if there was some 'source' for the info, aside from a few Buds and a possible Pulitzer.

Three lying Liars who lie get axed

That all turned into a riposte from the WH press office and some 'shox and aw' from the US media about all being "inflamed' with the same brush.

CNN a Disgrace to Journalism

Hey! We been Inflamed!

This is just more turds in the teacup,  for the 'saga' will contnue.  Unless there's a real war.

I guess we're giving up on the notion that China 'hacked' the SatNav system and the world time clocks - at least in that small part of the world off the coast of Japan - long enough to turn the 7 Dwarves' container ship into a Kamikaze 'ramming device' to catch the USN with its gatchies on deck.  The dead heroes werre buried yeasterday at a mass 'mourning' event. No word on posthumous citizenship for the Philippino sailors in the Destroyer's crew, the other Philippinos are still 'under investigation' in Japan.

Farewell and Adieu

Remember the downing of a Syrian jet last week for 'ilegally dropping bombs'?  Turns out the 'jet jockey' called that shot, and informed  UNICOM afterward.   This after it was wondered A) why the super duper stealth F22 ranging at will over Syria didn't do it and B) there were some questions about 'the shoot down' that they didn't know the answers to in Doha, Qatar.  Of such things do wars get started.

And an update or 2:  The Hacking Saga - Amended

NYT Retraction

AP's 'correction'

Was is "surreal".

Monday, June 26, 2017

I'll Drink to That

One of the Province of Ontario's 'better ideas', or luckier ones, is the little golden-egg layer somebody invented to keep a lid on the Province's drinkers.  What started off, in the mists of antiquity, as a do-gooders wet dream to reduce the number of public toss-pots,  has grrown into a home, feeder and positive cash stream for the public purse. The Liquor Control Board of Ontario  or , as it is now styled,  'The Ontario Alcohol and Gaming Commission' has grown into the diamond on the public tiara and a pillar of financial strength. So much is that the case,  that every decade or so, some 'less government' government comes-up with the good idea of peddling it to 'private enterprise',  in return for some fast cash and a bagful of magic beans.

And every decade, or so some, 'marketing whiz' at he head office gets the idea that he needs to get a bigger bonus due to an 'uptick' in sales.   While you can only 'advertise' some prople into drinking more ... faster, a sure fire way to get everybody off their duffs and pushing  a shopping cart around the 'liquor store',  is to make them think it's Chritmas  ...  or that there is the looming likelihood of a 'dry spell'. It's the latter that's the subject of this piece.

Long reputed to be the domain of 'real men' - at least in the faceless days of selecting your poison from a numbered list and paying somebody who looked like a  graduate of a Gulag - a Gulag  that might at least have had a human rights committee -  having it delivered, wrapped in an AA-aproved brown paper bag with which you scuttled, hopefully unnoticed, out tthe door, the  'Booze Barn' has bencome an 'equal opprtunity employer'. It's also user friendly and very much better-lit - even if the general population isn't.  But if stories are to be believed, it is told that A) women are definitely still on the distaff side of management (demographically)  and B)  they are more likely than trhe 'guys'  to have part-time positions.  Although, again if stories are to be believed,  part-time positions seem to be an operating 'principle' at the Liquor Stores.  It is usually quite easy to upset the staff, then, by threatening cuts,  or rollbacks, or hiring more part-timers etc, and get them to do something 'organized' like going  on strike. Or threatening to.

The secret here, marketing-wise,  is to allow the situation to 'go down to the  (well announced) wire'.  Let the public know that,  if they're not careful,  the bottom of the Jim Beam jug might be all the 'good times'  they'll be seeing for a while. It really 'gets the wind up' and the customers out. A summer without 'refreshment' is a tragedy.

And so it was, almost,  this week. To-day was the potential 'Black Monday'.  But like other 'Black Mondays',  in the pas, t the day has come, and gone and a settlement has been found. Yes the shelves may be dimished, but the computerized stiock control and automated order system will take care of that. And laying-off the part timers who got the dear old LCBO  (almost like a 'gay' thing, isn't it? How appropriate is that this week!) should help provide the cost savings,  while the 'consumers' consume their unintended 'wet bars'.   Lord knows the full-timers will need a time to catch breathes before all that product recption, de-packaging and shelf stocking has to be done.

In the meantime,  it makes one wonder that, having a lot more 'imbibables' (*Hef invented that one) than normal,  does the rate of alcohol consumption rise - like the 'tic' in liquor sales and associated tax revenues?  And will that  all qualify somebody(somebodies) at head office for a healthy kick in the pay packet?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Eid Al Fitr - a Feast that Keeps On Keeping On

 For most of the 'civilized' world it's shaping up to be the 'end of June' weekend. Summer is risen almost fully-formed from the busom of one of the screwiest Springs in recent memory - not that that has much to do with 'GW' or anything. But it's great to see the 'normality'.

 A couple of  local interest stories:

Laydee liberty - Russian Oiligarch blocks the Vu.

A Twist of Fate and into the Lake

Charlie Manson:Remember? Somebody Does.

America is besotted with the Warmbier saga.  Perhaps besotted is a term best reserved for Trump and innernational relations  ... which has done a caca-hole swirl this past week.  The 'apparent' Chinese hacking of the GPS system used by the US Navy and international freighters, or something, resulted in the ramming of the "Fitzgerald" - somebody's already working-up a C&W tune about dead swabbies in the crushed 'accommodation space', there's a 'hero' now and everything required to start a war - except, as usual,  the proof. Add to that the Chinese failures really apreciate the best slice of chocolate cake ...  ever.. and to yank the leash of their Korean lapdog, and there is cause for some serious 'considerations' in Washington.   The Norks returning damaged US goods to an America waiting to tar and feather the little creep,  has resulted in that cognitive dissonance that makes somebody stop firing before the clip is empty.   Praise be to  Jebus that Dennis Rodman had his 'nine inches' involved, real patriots can blame him for the treachery.

Some of what Warmbier had coming.

Some of what he was getting, over getting caught

Dennis Rodman: the Prince for the Peasant

And then there's the reason for THE season - a 'new' holiday of which most most westerners weren't aware. It seems that them 'Moslems' do a fast (that means they don't eat much) for a whole month, or so, once during the year.  That's called Ramadan, and it's over this weekend.  That's supposed to be a fairly tough thing - like Lent is for the Catholicks, but like Catholicks  probably the only ones who 'have to do it',  are women (part of what makes us better, again - here nobody has to go hungry unless its their own choice and it doesn't involve religion). Anyway - at the end of it all  they have a big blow-out,  a real yahoo - holidays, feasting and shopping and gifting - it's their biggest 'retail event' of the year!  And that should be interesting for us,  for there is  very little reason  for us to be out to the Mall for much more than the July holiday booze and barbecue season - and the dollar store for  flags and patriotic Chinese-made bunting and fireworks.  Marketers take note!

Hey Mr. Moon, Moon bright and shiny ... No it ain't about Korea!

They do have a sweet tooth

Hit the Mall and Shop for Vict'ry

Those Eid Feasts can be like Seders too: I DO love ponies Bubbe!

And then there are the good things like Christmas amnesties or  trenchline present swaps - truces in the frontlines, Piece on Erth,  goodwill toward somebody, etc. Just like real people do.

A truce in the Philippines - sort of.

Another tyrant tries to distract attention from all their evil.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Hystery Repeats Itself?

In July 1914 - some three months after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo - the Austrian governent officially got around to making-up its mind about 'who dunnit' and what they wanted in return.  They announced the delivery of an 'ultimatum' to the Kingdom of Serbia - which was blamed for 'supporting terrorists' - and gave that country 48 hours to accede to a list of 13 demands.

The Austrian Ultimatum

We're seeing that same variety of phony affront repeating itself, to-day, in the Persian Gulf, with the Government of Qatar this week receiving an 'ultimatum' fom Saudi Arabia, and a 'coaltion' of  its Arab allies.  They have 10 days to  respond  to the 13 demands raised for 'solution' , no indication been made of the ultimate part of the ultimatum  - what happens if the 'solutions' aren't forthcoming.

We know what happened to the civilized world in August 1914,  after the Serbians agreed to comply with only 12 of the  points.  Could the same thing happen again over a squabble in the 'royal houses' of Arabia?

It  is said that, in 1914, the nations of Europe went to war as a result of political alliances and an over-reliance on the necessity of putting 'war plans'  into effect, frst, to attain a quick victory.  They also went to war over the superiority of 'stupid'.  We are 'celebrating'  the centennial of the third year of that 'great failure' this year in 2017. There's another anniversary year to go. They might not be as bloody - unless your'e a casualty - but  our recent wars have taken the cakes for longevity.

While the 'first' world nations may not  have formal 'alliances' and 'treaties' with the Arab World,  its interests are very much tied-up with theirs.   The 'civilized nations' of the world, often by mutual 'agreement'  have been engaged in active wars there for 17 years now - another one would hardly come as news.  But this one could be the 'doozie' that the others, so far, have failed to be.-  the one that gets us out of the Mall and away from Bushco the Second's  'shopping for the big win'.

Thus far we've told ourselves we've been fighting 'insurgents' and 'terrorists' and 'extremists'  and  their goats, but so far we haven't had 'the beauty of our weapons' blessed with 'vict'ry' and we've used most everything in the arsenal of 'democrazy' (save the ultimate thundermug) to beat them.  What we haven't really done, yet, is actually go to war - or a war that would affect us almost as much as we've affected millions. We're still looking for somebody 'beatable' to fight. We've found them (Russia, Iran, Turkey(?)) and now we may actually be 'on' to fighting  them.

Donald Trump recently visited Saudi Arabia. Along with signing the largest weapons deal in Saudi history, he also addressed a gathering of the allied 'Arab States'.  The keynote of his address was that America was finally fed up with ISIS and terror -  and the Arabs were going to have to stand up and do more about that.   Within days the Sauds were complaining that the Qataris  was 'dissing them' in official announcements. For a while it appeared that the ubiquitous 'Russian hackers' were involved, again, but the Sauds weren't mollified by merely blaming Putin's goons.

 The response came two weeks later when Saudi Arabia started fingering the Emir of Qatar as the latest version of Dr. Evil and the fountainhead of all that is terrible. It blamed Qatar for the spread of what America calls 'islamic terror' - the major supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Hamas and Hezbolleh  terror networks in Gaza and Lebanon.  It didn't mention DAESH or ISIS because thery're sponsored, I guess , by Saudi Arabia and  other 'good'  members of the UAE.  Qatar was blockaded in a number of ways and a list of grievances was to be prepared.

That list was presented on June 22.

The Saudi Ultimatum

So far the reaction of states involved has been muted. Obviously the Sauds and the Qataris are exchanging negative views  and the infamous Al Jezeera - something the Sauds want shut-down - is cotinuing to broadcast, very cogently,  the Qatari side of the argument.  Qatar immediately found itself on the receiving end of some surprising support - the US State Deaprtment questioned Donald Trump's stated position on the opening salvo and since then, at least, he has piped-down.  To-day America announced it sees the situation as a 'family squabble' and is willing to send family therapy workers. The Turks, very suprisingly, announced their support for Qatar and even flew in some troops.  If the Sauds were expecting any votes of support from western nations that reponse has been highly muted. Nobody is calling for any humanitarian  bombings of Doha,  or volunterring the air forces to do it.

Another cypher, so far, is Iran - a nation with which Qatar shares an oil field, some trade relations - and incidentally - a non-antagonistic public policy.  One of the thirteen points objects to Qatar breaking-step with the Sauds on the 'evil that is Teheran'.  The Iranians announced that they were sending in food aid.  They also fired rockets across Iraq onto "ISIS targets' in Syria - missing to the chckling from Washington  - but perhaps a gentle reminder that Riyadh is closer? Theyalso didn't get huffed when the Sauds shoy up an iranian fishiung boat inthe Gilf - two days later announcing they had 'stopped' an armed incursion by Iranian Special forces aimed at seizing islets in the Gulf.

Iran Misses the Mark?

As a subset to all of this are recent developments in Saudi Arabia.  As most people don't know, every single one of the numerous Kings of Saudia Arabia - those Shriners in sunglasses we've all seen photos of since childhood,  have ALL been brothers.  Starting with King Saud who took over when the big daddy of them all,  King AbdulAziz, popped-off in 1953 the sons of Addul Aziz  in order of seniority, (at least one was passed-over due to obvious incompetence) have taken it, in turn, to sit on the throne. The current incumbent - Salman is the last of the brothers.  He has taken the unique step of changing the succession process - which after his death is 'up for grabs' - by  naming his son Prince Mohammed,  as the heir to the throne. In doing so he effectively eliminates all the other potential heirs - the sons of the other Saud Kings - as  candidates for the crown.  At last count that was about 25 000 Saudi Royals.

Mr. Everything

It could be that Mohammed - who as Saudi Foreign Minister would have overseen Saudi Arabia's latest 'interventions' in Syria and Libya and who 'owns' the intervention in Yemen, is now 'angling' for some kind of 'victory' to shake at his, possibly envious, cousins.  He needs some success to 'blood himself' as a  real warrior-king before his 82 year-old papa slips away and leaves him undefended.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

In the News - Father's Day Weekend

In the News

Stealth works!   A hi-tech  'Stennis' class USN destroyer , operating off the coast of Japan,  was 'run down' early yesterday morning , by a Philippino container ship, after the US navy vessel, apparently, tried to steam across its bows. 14 US sailors are missing and the destroyer is being 'returned to 'port' for evaluation and repairs after taking-on water.   While it would appear the destroyer 'Fitzgerald' was unaware of,  or ignoring,  the container ship.  It could very well be that the 'Fitzgerald' - a ship with stealth configuration  may not have been 'visible' to the crew of the cargo vessel.  Although the cargo ship's engines were reported to have been 'stopped' at the time of the incident.

Down by the starboard quarter

The Republican congressman on second base will be fine. This   after a disgruntled Bernie Sanders 'suppoorter' who had 'gone to Washington', from his home Illinois, gave him a 'Forrest Gump wound' during a baseball practice in Alexandria Va.  The 66-year-old shooter,  who had been living in a van and using the facilities at a nearby 'Y' to clean-up,  also shot a congressional aide - numerous times - as well as two members of the 'security detail',  before himself being shot to death in an incident, described by some witnesses, as "Iraq".   So while his actual reasons for his actions (definitely not terrorism??) are unknown,  the incident is being laid at the foot of increasingly radical 'leftists' and 'liberals'  and their willingness to 'go to the dark side' to 'promote their hate and  their 'free-dumb'.

The war zone in Alexandria - the game played on

Speaking of the sinister part of the world, Oliver Stone  America's left-wing answer to Oliver North, was pilloried on  the Stephen Colbert Show  for his recently-completed four-hour 'lustration' of everything Putin. A program that is to be aired, in totality, on totalitarian TV in Russia. Naturally Oliver, who with Steven Segal and that weird guy who looks a bit like Nick Nolte and  'star' of a couple of reality detox shows - seems to have a constant erection when in the presence of a 'Czar' of any kind - has made the kind of 'mawkish expose' once reserved only to a Pope or other potentate - like the Kaiser or Joe Stalin.  Ollie apparently did the kind of interviews once laid on 'the Bambino' - slo-ball lobs with the expectation to see him swat the spheroid out of the park, past Old Glory, to cure sick lads anywhere.   He hardly 'axed' the Russian Prexy any hard questions at all  - like why he keeps on running for office?  Or why  the bank of Cyprus nearly went bust from all the boodle he's stashed in it?  Or when he's invading Europe?  Nope! Ollie reprised Baba Wawa and was asking him about growing-up in Leningrad and his dead brother and his heroic daddy, his doggy and how he felt about his kids,  Shit nobody wants to hear about a bloodspattered killer - at least before the execution.  'The one-eared wonder'  only  wanted to know if Ollie had sucked Russian dick and the audience was lapping-it-up.

Saudi Arabia declared war on Qatar this week - well not actually a declaration of war  per se, but the same kind of thing that made the Balkans  in 1914 so much of a 'hotspot' - along wth an 'embargo' and a 'blockade' (usually taken as being acts of war).  The Sauds - well actually the Saudi Foreign Minister princeling Mahmoodi the 34th , trying-out some 'political strength and influence' chops with a view to getting his youngish ass promoted, over thousands of senior cousins, as the 'Heir to the Date Palm Throne"  to make up for the 'military strength and warrior' chops he's  been pissing-up a against a sand dune in Yemen for two years - asked for the 'support' of his 'coalition allies' in presenting the Qataris with an ultimatum or 10. (Run-on ye mighty sentences of state!)  Blackballed by virtually everybody on Earth, the Qataris responded with  "WTF are you talking about  Willis?" and accepted military assistance from the Turks. They also withdrew their forces, operating with the Saudi coalition in the Horn of Africa,  but not the Qatari forces helping to  subjugate Yemen - that's still a 'shared concern', as was,  supposedly, until last week, the well-being of salafist forces and ISIS operations around the world.  This week Qatar is being 'pegged' as the sole identified source of all that terror.  So far the Emir of Qatar has refused to bow and scrape before 'the Sheik of Araby''. Although the US forces, stationed in Qatar, are remaining 'strictly neutral',  no doubt they'd stand willing to uphold, or restore if necessary, 'the rule of law and order'.

running out in Qatar

Putin 'put down'  another 'widespread protest' this past week. Thousands of 'freedom loving Russians'  took to the streets to demand that he, and Medvedev, step dow and let somebody nicer take over.  They have  chosen as their emblem of freedom the 'rubber ducky' and they have a new revolutionary song called "Dimon" - which tells about the greedy devil whom they have elected Prime Minister.  The 'leader' of Free Russia wa arrested leaving home to attend a protest and later sentenced to 30 days in the hooscow for 'organizing an unlicensed gathering'  again,  Hundreds of innocent protestors were 'rounded-up ' by Putin's goons and loaded into police buses - some even having to be carried as they had been deprived of the power to move their legs! The US government demanded their immediate release.  Other than those facing 'criminal behaviour charges'  (most of them) - a nasty Russian gulag filler - totally unlike what America jails rioting black folks about - most of those detained were later released. The rest got fed up and went home.

Their Ducklings yearning to quack free

Among the arrested in St. Petersburg? 'Dilde' the blow-up duck.  He/She/It  (the LGBTx mantra??) was reportedly "repeatedly mounted" at the local militia barrack and remains in captivity.  The US State Deparment is now involved.

For distraction only

To wrap-up for the day:  Wikileaks to day released a list of consumer and other types of commerically retailed routers which support the 'Cherry bonb' software that allows security agencies to use these to trace and record internet activities carried out by 'subjects of interest'. The 'Cherry Bomb' software also allows outside sources to reverse access your computer.  The wiki list, while detailing every model compatable with the spyware, indicates that so far the number of companies that have cooperated to include 'Cherry Bomb' in their proprietory software remains limited. 

Stone on cyber surveillance as part of the Putin interviews

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Comey and the Rest of the BS

                                          the 'fleg' of the (terrorist) UVF flies outside  #10

Eizabeth May thought that she could take some advantage of how quiet things were by  having a 'snap 'election , she explained to the Brits that it 'needed' to be done to pave the way for a successful Brexit negotiation - and to help Britain 'stand'  tall among the warrior-nations of the earth.  Apparently ISIS punctuated her sentiments with a couple of terror attacks - during 'the campaign'. Despite an outpouring of world empathy and massive security drills at home, the attacks failed in their purpose of engendering support for more 'rigor' in security or 'vigor' in the fight. May is 'hanging on' to-day 'supported' by the 10 votes Ulster 'loyalist' DUP.   The shortly forthcoming Brexit negotiations - due to her ruptured ducky-ness' - are more tendentious now than ever, peace in Ulster, possibly, as well. .

In the rest of the world the beat goes on.

US forces in Syria claimed another attack made on 'threatening' government forces. A number of vehicles were destroyed,  as was an 'attacking' enemy drone. Government forces advanced to reach the Iraqi border northeast of the 'coalition' positions at Al Tanb -  re-esatablishing a government claim to control of its eastern border and cutting-off any further unopposed advance by the coalition or its Al-Nusra employees. In a late-breaking story, it was reported that two vehicles and a number of the latter had been 'eliminated' after trying to infiltrate Jordanian territory. This was taken as the 'rebel force' withdrawing, or retreating, from Al Tanb back to safety in Jordan - and being 'discouraged from' (killed for)  doing that.

In  liberated Aleppo  the saga of the little chap who became the poster boy for all Assad's evil - that the white helmets  couldn't mention  had a new chapter added.  Needless to say now that the boy and his family are safe in government-held Aleppo, their story is changed:

Whether the change is due to being safe in the regime area again, or because they have been forced to recant their former support for all things good and holy, is debatable.  It would appear that they did lose a child in the incident that brought brief fame to their younger son,  this loss is no longer mentioned nor are their other experiences 'being rescued' from a collapsing home. 

New news reports a rupture of sorts in the amity that were the Gulf States. It was announced that Saudi Arabia had given the government of Qatar an ultimatim to 'cease supporting terror', shut down Al Jazeera, stop telling lies, cut-off trade relatons with Iran and stop selling oil cheap .... or else.  The war cry was soon taken-up in the form of an embargo by all the Gulf neighbours except Iran, and most of the Arab coalition forces fighting for freedom in the Horn of Africa and Yemen.  It was looking like Qatar was 'in extemis' when Donald Trump weighed-in with his castigation.  Since then, in the absence of any more 'kinetic' activities, Qatar has receved military assistance from Turkey and humanitarian support from Iran , Morocco and a number of other states. Along with this all is a notable lack of action at the UN which will probably play-out in some action directed at an 'agressive' Saudi Arabia.   This is all being laid-off to Trump's recent visit to the Middle East and his blessing on Saudi arms.  It was announced on Wednesday that Qatari forces are being withdrawn from the Arab mission to the Horn of Africa. 

In Russia, yesterday, it was 'Down with  Crooked Crap Day' and , we are told, thousands of Russians - in cities aross the land - took to the streets to protest the Prime Minister's reported wealth - as well as reports that Putin is the richest man on earth. To head things off,  the opposition leader, Navalny, was arrested as he headed-out to protest, Afterwards 'thousands more' - but maybe not all the same thousands protesting - were arrested. Standing-up for Russian freedom,  the US government demanded that they all be released.  Most of the peaceful demonstrators were, but not the leader who was sentenceed to 30 days for calling another inllegal public gathering,  or the 'emblem' of the protest - a large inflatable Rubber Duck. '  We are told the ptotestors were singing a song about ' the  Dimon' a prerjorative form of Dmitri (Medvedev) . That seems to bear a close resmblemnce to the 'Old Shoe' and the 'Men of the 303' - the emblem and theme song to go with the contrived farce in  the 'Wag the Dog' film . 

Here's an interesting little segue from the on-going purification that is Qatar, Emirate of.    It tells the updated story of an unique character from the tale of freedom that is revolutionary Libya - a rebel leader who spoke with a thick Irish brogue.  In the light of Irish links to the recent terror attack in Manchester comes this tale to explain how a perfectly good 'freedom-fighter has been rebranded as an "ISIS-sympathizing terrorist" by the Trump organization. 

Then there is  what passes for news from the Senate Select Committee hearings - the National Circus in X acts. I imagine these ARE 'selected' Senators,  because almost to an individual they all seem convinced that Russia hacked something, sometime , somewhere - although for the life of them they can't offer any proof beside what they've been told by 'all 13 US security agencies' - the same ones the 'bodacious  but bloody' Megan Kelly referenced to, and  had dismissed as 'ludicrous' by, Vlad the detailer.   As far as I've been able to tell,   those 'reportS'  are all  based on one report from 'Crowd Strike Inc' of California  - which is so secret is hasn't been vetted by any other Cyber minder - except perhaps the one in Kyiv, and another top secret report commissioned from and generated by a  former agent of MI6 - which details the possibility that Putin could  be  blackmailing Trump with some Russian porn.  All  this week,  members appearing on the committee and answering their questions have all prefaced their remarks, or questions , with the fervent belief that they know who dunnit and look forward to finding out fer sure.  What's 'been done' should be so clear, for the rest of the week seems like an interminably boring and unenlightening exercise in "Don't listen to what I say, listen to what I mean."   

I can't wait for the 'blonde bomber' to show-up  as he said he would, and be sworn-in to give his side of the fantasy - but I'm not holding my breasts. 

Sunday, June 04, 2017

The 6 Day War - Coming-up on 50.

50  years ago I was a summer student working in a factory.  The radio was on for light entertainment - to keep us from being bored exploring the different patterns you could use to insert 6 bolts into an electrical box, put it in a carton and seal it closed.  A thoroughly boring job - but enlived one morning when the radio announced that Israel had struck out at its surrounding enemies in the middle east.  The 'Six Day War' was 'on' and the eager western media - radio, as well as TV and the papers - was filled, over the following days, with the divine destruction wrought be a people justified in gaining back what had been taken from them. I admired those gallant Israeli warriors and their war.

Along with the victories Israel more than doubled in geogrphic size. While it later returned the Sinai peninsula to Egypt and withdrew to the eastern flank of the Golan Heights. Israel kept the Gaza Strip and the West Bank - it 'occupies' and 'overwatches' those terrritories,  and their people, to this day.

A few years later the Yom Kippur War got off to a rockier start but wound-up much the same way in justified Jewish glory and another 'run' on Cairo and Damacus by Israel's indomitable panzers.

The subsequent 'peace' looked hopeful - as Israel 'lost' a couple of enemies. And 'gained that West Bank that apparently the Jordanians were willing to make peace without demanding back.   But it didn't take long for more enemies to be developed  - in Lebanon.  It was there that I started to wonder what the 'heroes' were really all about,  for it seemed they started trying to defeat ordinary Arabs  more than so-so Arabs' armies. It was after Yom Kippur that Israel went to its 'dark side' and the lessons it learned (aside from blitzkrieg) from the Nazis of recent memory (if it hadn't been doing that all along). I don't think it has ever, or will ever be, back.

Coming up to the sesquicentennial of all that military glory, I found this to-day, from Haaretz, witten by an Israeli and an (obviously  'self-loathing Jew' - the standard charge for this) , or two  -  Gideon Levy sand Alex Levac

Here's what they penned:

"What I've seen in 30 years of reporting on the Israeli occupation
The occupation has its own language: An Arab is a 'terrorist,' detention without trial is 'administrative,' the occupying power is forever the victim and writing about its crimes is treason

By Gideon Levy    and Alex Levac    | Jun. 3, 2017 | 9:23 PM | 40

Two weeks ago on Saturday, a few dozen Israelis attended the opening of a new exhibition at the Ben Ami Gallery in south Tel Aviv. The artist, whose work was on show for the first time, sat on a chair. She is unable to stand, nor can she breathe unaided. In fact, she can’t move any part of her body, other than her face. She paints with her mouth.

The artist is a 15-year-old girl. She was extremely excited at her debut – as was her father, who’s been nursing her day and night for the past 11 years. By harrowing coincidence, the exhibition opened precisely on the 11th anniversary of her tragedy. A day when almost her entire family was annihilated; only she, her younger brother and their father survived the smart missile fired at them by Israel’s “moral” air force. She came out of it severely disabled, confined to a wheelchair, hooked up to a ventilator.

Maria Aman was four years old when the missile struck the family car, which had been purchased just that morning. She was standing on her grandmother’s knees in the back seat and dancing, her mother next to her, just before the projectile slammed into the vehicle and destroyed her chances for a normal life. The commander of the air force dissociated himself from the incident, which took place in 2006 in the Gaza Strip. The Israel Defense Forces never dreamed of apologizing, the pilot’s identity was never revealed and he never took responsibility, and Israelis were unmoved by one more missile that wiped out most of one more innocent family.

The firing of the missile that wounded Aman so severely is not considered an act of terrorism in Israel, and the pilot who fired it is not considered a terrorist – after all, he didn’t mean it. They never mean it. For 50 years Israel hasn’t been meaning it. Israel never meant it; the occupation was seemingly forced upon it, against its will. Fifty years: All have been well-meaning, with good, moral and ethical intentions, and only the cruel situation – or should we say the Palestinians – have forced all the badness on us.

The show includes a painting by Aman of three trees, evoking her family’s three survivors, along with a burned car. Also a self-portrait in a wheelchair and a painting of her mother in heaven. Her family was killed “by mistake.” Aman was paralyzed “by mistake.” Israel never meant to hurt an innocent girl. Or the more than 500 children it killed in the summer of 2014 during Operation Defensive Edge, in the Strip. Or the 250 women it killed that same summer, some of them next to their children, sometimes together with their whole family. The road to hell was always paved with Israel’s good intentions, at least in its own eyes.

>> Six-Day War - 50 Years on: Special Coverage >>

On the day after the tragedy, I visited the Aman family’s home in the Tel al-Hawa refugee camp in Gaza. It was one of many visits I made to the homes of devastated families there, during the years in which Israel still allowed Israeli journalists to enter the Strip. At the time, Maria was hovering between life and death at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City; her father, Hamdi, didn’t want to talk to us. He limped around the sand-covered backyard – he too had been wounded in the missile attack – glaring furiously at us. His cousin spoke with us.

In all the years that I’ve covered the occupation, that was one of only a small handful of cases I recall in which a victim didn’t want to talk to us. Thirty years have brought us to hundreds of victims, usually not long after their tragedy struck, and they always opened their homes and their hearts to us, uninvited Israeli guests whom they’d never heard of. It’s not hard to guess what would happen in the opposite case – a Palestinian journalist visiting an Israeli victim of terrorism on the day after an attack. But that’s just one of the differences.

Daring to compare

I began to write about the occupation almost by chance, after many years during which, like all Israelis, I had been brainwashed, convinced of the justice of our cause, certain that we were David and they Goliath, knowing that Arabs don’t love their children the way we do (if at all) and that they, in contrast to us, were born to kill.

Dedi Zucker, then a Ratz MK, suggested that we go see a few olive trees that had been uprooted in the grove of an elderly Palestinian, who was living in the West Bank. We came, we saw, we lost. That was the beginning, gradual and not planned, of exactly three decades of coverage of the crimes of the occupation. Most Israelis didn’t want to hear about it and still don’t want to hear about it. In the eyes of many citizens, the very act of covering this subject in the media is a transgression.

Treating the Palestinians as victims and the crimes perpetrated against them as crimes is considered treasonous. Even the depiction of Palestinians as human beings is viewed as provocative in Israel. What a furor was generated in 1998 by Ehud Barak’s answer to the simple question of what he would have done if he’d been born a Palestinian (it’s likely he would have joined one of the resistance organizations, he said).

How can anyone even compare? I remember the soldiers who threatened me with cocked rifles at a checkpoint in the West Bank city of Jenin, after I asked them what they would do if their father were dying and being evacuated in a Palestinian ambulance, while soldiers played backgammon in a nearby tent and held up the ambulance for hours. How dare I compare? How dare I compare their fathers to the Palestinian in the ambulance.

But my first visit to the occupied territories is one I’d like to forget. It was the summer of 1967, and a 14-year-old boy went with his parents to see the liberated areas of the homeland, just weeks after the end of a war before which he, like everyone, was certain the country was on the brink of destruction. Holocaust II. That’s what we were told, that’s what we were trained to think. And then, within a few days, we visited the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem (for some reason we had a copper model of Rachel’s Tomb in a cabinet at home).

I was thrilled. I didn’t see people at the time, only white sheets on balconies, and places that we were told were holy. I was participating in Israel’s vast religious-nationalist orgy, which began then and has never ended. My hangover took 20 years to arrive.

The majority of Israelis don’t want to know anything about the occupation. Few of them have any conception of what it is. They’ve never been there. We have no idea what’s meant when we say “occupation.” We have no idea how we would behave if we were under its regime. Maybe if Israelis had more information some of them would be shocked.

Only a minority of Israelis are happy about the existence of the occupation, but the majority aren’t perturbed by it in the least. There are people who ensure that things will remain as they are. There are those who protect the quiet, indifferent majority and allow them to feel good about themselves – untroubled by doubts or moral qualms, convinced that their army – and country – are the most moral in the world, believing that the whole world is only out to annihilate Israel. Even when in our backyard, so close to our own home, darkness hovers, under whose cover, all those horrors are perpetrated day and night – we’re still so beautiful, in our own eyes.

For not a day or a night goes by without crimes being committed just a short distance from Israeli homes. There’s not a day without them, there’s no such thing as a quiet night. And we haven’t yet said anything about the occupation as such, which is criminal by definition. It has undergone transmutations over the years, been less onerous and more onerous at times, but it has always remained an occupation. And it has always left Israelis unmoved.

To cover up its crimes, the occupation has needed a propaganda-driven media that betrays its honest mission, an education system that has been recruited for its purposes, a duplicitous security establishment, politicians lacking a conscience and a civil society that doesn’t have a clue. A new, occupation-adjusted system of values had to be developed in which the cult of security allows, justifies and whitewashes everything, in which messianism becomes valued by the secular population, too, a sense of victimization functions as a cover-up, and a feeling of “Thou hast chosen us” doesn’t hurt, either.

It was also necessary to come up with a language of newspeak, the language of the occupier. According to this newspeak, for example, arrest without trial is called “administrative detention” and the military government is known as the “Civil Administration.” In the occupier’s language, every child with a pair of scissors is a “terrorist,” every individual detained by the security forces is a “murderer,” and every desperate person who tries to provide for his family at any price is “illegally present” in Israel. Hence the creation of a language and a way of life in which every Palestinian is a suspicious object.

Without such assistance, which the security establishment has provided us by means of the pliant media, reality might have proved disturbing. Unfortunately, Israel possesses an abundance of assistance. The first 50 years have seen rapid improvements in brainwashing, denial, repression and self-deceit. Thanks to the media, the education system, the politicians, the generals and the immense army of propagandists abetted by apathy, ignorance and shutting of eyes – Israel is a society in denial, deliberately severed from reality, probably an unparalleled case in the world of a purposeful refusal to see things as they are.

Lost interest

The curtain has fallen. In the past 20 years the occupation has disappeared from the Israeli public agenda. Election campaigns come and go without any discussion of the most fateful issue for Israel’s future. The public has lost interest. The number of assistant teachers in kindergartens is a pressing issue; the occupation isn’t. At the outset, it was a topic at the table of almost every Sabbath-eve meal: In the 1970s bitter arguments were waged over what should be done with “the territories.”

Today an increasing number of Israelis deny the very existence of an occupation. “There’s no occupation” is the latest buzz, the offspring of Prime Minister Golda Meir’s declaration that “There are no Palestinians,” and just as ludicrous. When you claim that there is no occupation, or that there are no Palestinians, you effectively lose contact with reality in a way that can only be explained with recourse to terminology from the realm of pathology and mental health. And that’s where we are.

A basic black-and-white situation of occupier-occupied is presented to Israelis as a “complex reality.” Military despotism in the backyard is presented as part and parcel of the only democracy in the Middle East, the consequence of an unavoidable war of survival. And Israel’s refusal to end the occupation morphs in the hands of the propaganda machinery into a “no partner” situation. It’s a rare historical case: The occupier is the victim. Justice is on the side of the occupier only, and the ongoing war is being fought for his security and existence. Was there ever anything like it?

Above all this hovers the lie of the temporary. Israel has succeeded in deceiving itself and the world into thinking that the occupation is a transient phenomenon: In another minute, it’ll be gone. From its first day until its first jubilee, the occupation has worn a mask of transience. Just let the Palestinians behave nicely and the occupation will disappear. Its end is seemingly waiting around the corner. For 50 years, it’s been waiting there. There’s no greater lie. Israel has never considered ending the occupation, not for a minute. The proof: it has never stopped building settlements. Those who build a shack across the Green Line don’t intend to evacuate it. The occupation is here to stay.

What has changed during these 50 years? Everything – and nothing. Israel has changed, and so have the Palestinians. The occupation remains the same occupation, but it has become more brutal, as happens with every occupation. If in 1996, Israelis were slightly shocked at the story of the first Palestinian woman who lost her newborn when soldiers at three different checkpoints refused to allow her to get to a hospital, until the infant died, apparently of exposure – the subsequent cases hardly moved anyone.

“The Twilight Zone” has reported stories of other women in the throes of birth who lost their babies at checkpoints, and Israel yawned from a lack of interest. Some 30 years separate the first column from the latest one, and there’s no difference between them. “You keep repeating yourself,” we’re told, as though it’s not the occupation that repeats itself. It undergoes tempestuous, deadly periods, and other times that are calmer. There are months when the blood flows, and others in which we’ve dealt with groves of trees that were cut down, homes that were demolished, inhabitants who were deported and people detained without trial.

In the meantime, the land has filled with settlements, with hundreds of thousands of settlers who went on multiplying the longer the “peace process” continued. That’s the only result of the “process.” Every semblance of progress has always been accompanied by more and more settlers, in the best tradition of extortion and surrender. The Oslo Accords doubled and tripled the number of settlers. Ehud Barak, the fellow who almost, just about made peace, was the greatest of the builders in the territories. In Israel, even today, you can be in favor of two states and still build in the territories.

Israel has killed more than 10,000 Palestinians in these 50 years, and jailed about 800,000. These incomprehensible numbers are also accepted as a matter of routine, self-evident, unavoidable, and of course altogether just. The blame lies entirely with those killed and jailed. Israel believes with all its might in the IDF, in the Shin Bet security service and in the military justice system, all of which have always found an excuse for everything and have never admitted to anything, not even after all their twisted lies were exposed. Even to cast doubt on them is untenable. In most languages that’s called blindness.

Erased Green Line

In the center of the traffic circle at the Etzion Bloc junction, one of the busiest places in the West Bank, packed with Israeli and Palestinian vehicles, an Israeli flag flies. There are far more of these national flags visible in the West Bank than in Israel. And far more of those flags fly in the West Bank than the flag of the people that constitutes the absolute majority of that occupied area. There are hardly any road signs for Palestinian towns and villages, only for the settlements; those that are sign-posted are soon effaced with black paint. Yet, so pervasive is the insecurity that the settlers believe that by erasing the names of the Palestinian communities, they will make them disappear.

What has been erased is the Green Line. The only separation that exists in Israel is ethnic, not geographic. Israel is one state, stretching from the sea to the Jordan River, without borders and with two different regimes for two peoples. It’s been like that for the past 50 years, and there’s no plan to change it. The settlers are Israel and so, too, is the occupation: The two are no longer separable. The bank branch in Tel Aviv’s fancy Kikar Hamedina square has a twin in the urban West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim. The clinic in Jerusalem’s ritzy Rehavia neighborhood has a mirror image in the settlement of Karnei Shomron. All Israelis are partners in this. The notion that there is Israel and there are occupied territories – as separate entities – is another one of the deceptions borne on a yellow wind. It allows people to love Israel and hate the occupation. But the separation is as fake as it is artificial.

The founding fathers were from the Labor movement – no one bears greater blame than them for the occupation. Moshe Dayan is more to blame for the occupation than Avigdor Lieberman, Yigal Allon is responsible for more settlements than Gilad Erdan. Golda Meir, Israel Galili, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin established more settlements than Benjamin Netanyahu, Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked combined. The Gush Emunim movement lit the flame and the Labor Party devotedly supplied the fuel, together with deceit and a protective umbrella. The pretext offered by Shimon Peres for building the settlement of Ofra was the need for an antenna at the site, and everyone pretended to believe the lie.

Never has a single Israeli prime minister seen the Palestinians as human beings or as a nation with equal rights, nor has there ever been one who seriously wanted to end the occupation. Not one. The talk about two states made it possible to play for time, the peace process provided the world with a cover for remaining silent and to underwrite the occupation. All the peace plans now gathering dust in drawers bear an amazing resemblance to one another, and they all have shared a similar fate: rejection by Israel. In this, too, Israel has thus intentionally kept lying to itself, by saying it wants peace. The list of occupation lies keeps getting longer.

Walking dead

The bereaved parents have aged, the young people participating in the first intifada are the middle-aged population of 2017 and those of the second intifada are walking dead. Some of the heroes featured in this column have been forgotten, others not. Images crowd the memory now, during the jubilee festival.

Here’s a row of amputee youths in their wheelchairs, having a cigarette next to the window in the corridor of Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital, victims of the appalling shelling of strawberry fields in Beit Lahia, which wiped out a family. And the child survivors of the attack in which Hamas leader Salah Shehadeh was assassinated– the IDF initially claimed that he was liquidated in an “uninhabited lean-to.” Here’s the young woman from Gaza on the first and last visit of her life a few years ago to the Ramat Gan Safari, Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv and to that city’s beach, on the eve of her death – she died of cancer after arriving fatefully late for medical treatment in Israel. And the boy from Bethlehem who was sentenced to six months in prison – one month for every stone he threw, though they hit no one and caused no damage.

There was the visit to the administrative detainee in a military prison who smuggled out his letters in dense, Shakespearean English. The bridegroom who was killed on his wedding day; the father from the Qalandiyah refugee camp who lost two sons within 40 days, while another son was killed a few years later when the commander of the IDF Binyamin Brigade shot him in the back as he fled; the paralyzed single mother whose only daughter was killed by a missile that struck their home in Gaza as she held her in her arms. And the children of the Indira Gandhi Kindergarten who saw their teacher killed before their eyes, whom we wrote about after our last trip to Gaza, more than 10 years ago; the head of the architecture department at Bir Zeit University, who was tortured by the Shin Bet; the physician from Tul Karm who was assassinated.

There was the father who was missing one hand and both legs, in room 602 at Shifa Hospital, in Gaza City, in June 1994, who was trying to feed his dying son; Lulu, the girl from the Shabura camp outside Rafah in the Gaza Strip, who died 10 years after soldiers shot her in the head; the three men from the Deheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem who lost their eyes; the amputee boy from the al-Fawwar refugee camp south of Hebron who was arrested and beaten; the boys of the knives and the girls of the scissors who were needlessly shot to death at checkpoints in recent months; and the stone-throwing demonstrator described on these pages last week who suffered a night of abuse at the hands of soldiers, in which he was beaten, humiliated and had patches of his hair cut off. What happened to Bara Kana’an, the young carpenter from Beit Rima, near Ramallah, happened two, three and four decades ago to many Palestinians.

The IDF, the Border Police and the Civil Administration always justified, supported, found excuses for, whitewashed and often plain lied when providing their automatic responses. Nor did they ever apologize, admit mistakes. They rarely expressed regret, and certainly never offered compensation. As far as they – and most Israelis – are concerned, everything was conducted properly.

Work of art

At the opening of Maria Aman’s exhibition two weeks ago, you could see for yourself just how properly everything has been conducted in the past 50 years. Here’s Aman, paralyzed and on a ventilator – who lost her mother, grandmother, toddler brother and her aunt during an innocent drive on a busy Gaza City street, in the midst of the assassinations season. In a rare instance, Israel departed from custom and, after a stubborn struggle by Aman’s family and others, agreed to allow her to undergo rehab in Israel. What she shows is life and death as a painting. Aman has an exhibition in Tel Aviv. Thousands of other victims, who suffered a similar fate to hers, never had that chance. Maria became a symbol; her handicapped mates remain anonymous, their fate unknown in Israel.

The few dozen Israelis who attended the opening, some of whom have accompanied this girl and her amazing father for years, are among the few in Israel who know that not everything was conducted properly between 1967 and 2017. The first 50 years of the occupation were one long atrocity."


As I read this I was struck by Israelis being asked to put themselves in the places of Palestinians, how this causes some 'dissonance' and that Israelis to-day prefer to avoid thinking like that. I was struck too,  in the notion that the nation of 'never again', Israelis are expecting modern Palestinans to 'do' what so very many Jews did when faced with Nazi occupation - nothing.   Or even worse - help the occupiers organize the destruction of their people. What they're getting is the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and they're handling 'their' Palestinians almost as  well as SS General Stroop did 'his' Jews.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Get Your Strangelove Here!

Anti-propaganda is the salient feature of a number of propaganda 'mushrooms' popping-up all over the place.  False News' has given rise to even more false news and computer hacking - or at least the kind that can derail an election with 'lies' - can best be combated, as it recently was in the French example - by letting them 'hack' wads of 'contrived email' - this 'taints' everything legitimate, don't you see?  For,  hacking aside,  what derailed the recent American election was the truth about candidates and their actions - not lies.  Since then  a barrage of shifting accusations, of purported actions, with little or no evidence,  has replaced even that. A series of hearings and investigations are then themselves derailed by new -'startling'  testimony and revelations that themselves obfuscate, complicate and warrant a round of new investigations. Nothing is ever proven,  or settled in the on-going media hoo-hah.

 And that's only the 'fun part', for underlying all the sheeple-duffing is a steady parade of 'frightening attacks, horrible outrages, and assaults on our values and freedoms'  with the drumbeat leading to more 'humanitarian intervention' and warfighting. 

Shocking Footage - get used to it, or not?  End Times.


Hey! Look out! The Russians are hacking!  Well not actually.

But look, Putin just admitted it. He just admitted it!!!!!   Well not really, again.'Could' doesn't mean 'Did' - but we'll settle for any admission we can get.

Putin's slant.

The American slant.

Then there's the Miracle-worker

Friday, June 02, 2017

The War on ISIS; Kill 'em All. Let Allah Sort them Out

Re: Omelet, making a .. and the requisite eggs, broken

Listen to women screaming in the background.  I think there assholicism at work here.

One of the success stories of modern times was the one about how the Iraqi Armed Forces - which fled before the invasion of their country by ISIS from Syria, were able to re-form their ranks and, re-armed and advised by western 'coalition forces' began the slogging match that has taken two years to liberate much of their captured country.   Remarkable in those early day stories were those of ISIS brutality and the terrorization of innocent civilians - Yazidis and Kurds.  To-day the shoe is on the other foot - ISIS is getting it in the neck.  But so too are those 'civilians', again.  This time they are guilty of 'siding with the terrorists'. While the west bemoaned the 'brutality' of Assad regime 'tamping-down insurgent (ISIS) forces in Syria', we cheered the 'liberation' of  Kirkkuk, Fallujah  and of late Mosul.  We watched, and later awarded,  the sometimes staged atrocities laid at the door of an evil regime and gave a fee pass to similar evils done by those we call our allies. We just either ignored it, or told the story a different way - theirs.  In the one country there is nothing more evil than the government and nothing better than freedom fighters, in the other there is nothing worse than the same freedom fighters and nothing better than the government.  In both situations the same horrors are still being perpetrated still on ordinary people and civilians.

Imagine sending an 'expeditionary force' with one objective: to find and terminate any citizens of your country found to be in arms fighting for what is defined as a 'terrorist force'.  It's payback like that that makes one hope that either they have no friends or relatives left behind, or the ones they might have are the 'solid citizen' variety.  The US started the innovative thinking that citizens lose their natural rights to life, liberty and being happy when they leave the USA and 'put themselves in the gun sights' of the US military - or the US military for whatever reason puts its gun sights on them.

France sends in a 'hit squad'.

And shit happens.

They must have gotten this idea from Assad? And they have been 'doing this for thousands of years', anyway.

That French snuff squad?

Kurdish 'payback' or ethnic cleansing?

Thursday, June 01, 2017

The Endlosung Posterboy ist Gestorbt!

Another one has bitten the dust:   Reinhold Hanning  the latest former member of the Waffen SS and worker in a 'Death Camp' - and who was convicted of complicity in the deaths of almost a half million** people no less,  has 'croked'.  Unfortunately before he could begin to serve the jail sentence he no doubt so justly deserved.  But like some nailbiters in the world,  I'm wondering where the feck was he and what was he doing since the end of the last war?  Apparently he wasn't in hiding anywhere and might actually have been drawing a German war veteran's pension or something.  It seems to me that having caught most of the big fish and more obviously guilty ones - who received short shrift at Nuremburg and a number of local 'show trails', we have this notion that we now need to get some more before the supply is exhausted.

 What there doesn't seem to be much shortage of,  is witnesses.  Maybe not witnesses to what the individuals did, they seem to be notoriously prone to the 'false identification' thing that eyewitnesses to anything get, but witnesses to let courts know how bad things were and have been since. The latest kind of 'witnesses' are the proxy kind, who having never actually been in a death camp, but know somebody who was and bear witness to their memory. Canada is full of Indian people who have vivid troubling memories of granny having been in a residential school.  And while there's some more suffering to be done - and a possible evidenciary trip to testify somewhere to be had - who would want to give up such a burden?

One of the remarkable features of Hanning's trial, last year, was a courtroom full of  Weisenthal Centre graduates from the four corners of the World, come together in one place - as they had once at a concentration camp or 6 - to tell their story, have it recorded for posterity or the German court record and used to convict somebody of being there - 'under orders' and 'helping'. If that passes for justice in regard to war crimes,  there are a couple of generations of modern warriors who might have reason to fear a change of political climate might impair  their future tranquility. For this was a change of political climate and a political trial with a political (or pseudopolitical) purpose - the fascist right wing rising in Germany over Islam and immigrants needs to be tamped-down before it spreads the same kind of infection that drove Germany 'nuts' over its Jews.

Hanning is only the latest in a number of octo- and nonogenarians being reminded that what they were doing in their teens has left marks.  The recent spate started a few years back with one of those 'outed' post-war refugee Ukrainians - fleeing the Red Terror that had engulfed their land - a good Catholic, resident in America - where he had made a home and a family and, probably, worked and cheered America's battle with communism. Geez,  had he been able to hold on, John Demjanjuk might have made Ukrainian 'aliyah' and been received as a heroic patriot and freedom fighter.  But somebody accused him of being THE  'TodtAngel'  "Ivan the Terrible"  and his life hit the skids.

His trial in the land of the righteous, initially, convicted him on the evidence of a number of eye-witnesses who recalled him as 'Ivan the Terrible' the bane of the poor Jews.  Evidence was uncovered, however, that indicated that Demjanjuk was not THE "Ivan the Terrible" of ill-fame,  because he was serving at a different camp, in Poland, for most of his war.   Being saved from the noose didn't save him from another trial in Germany on revised charges - like Hanning's - of 'aiding and abetting' a genocide. He was convicted and sentenced to jail where he died a few years later.   His US citizenship had been revoked when it was a claimed that he had lied on his application to emigrate as a DP. His US pensions were revoked as well.

Since Demjanuk, the net has been spread - catching a few other elderly Germans in the war Crimes net:



A Dutchman

Women fared a little differently, although there is at least one getting a look.

Ilse Wallisch - England

Compared with the sexed-up bevy of toxic Teutons tried at the end of the war.  'Looker' Ilse Grese - the ' Beast of Belsen' who was hung for her performance.

Numerous countries began last-minute investigations into possible members of Nazi criminal organizations and found numbers of them resident:

Canada was one

Britain was another


South American countries served as havens for ex-NAZIs,  as did parts of the Middle east (another reason to kill arabs), Asia and Africa.  If they remained in eastern Europe they were largely hunted-down and imprisoned by communist governments, the worst offenders were executed.  These activities came to a halt after the fall of the USSR and many of these people returned home - unmolested. In some eastern European nations to-day, there has been a resurgence of the 'national honor' that gave a rationale  for their wartime outrages.

Given the fact that we're still doing this - both war trials ands war crimes - we should get enough of this stuff to make ourselves sick, or sicker.

Some latterday evil-doers tried and in some cases punished for 'war crimes' by 'the winners'.

Omar Khadr


Charles Taylor



Saddam Hussein