Sunday, October 16, 2016

Voices Of Reason

Duly Considering,

"This Conflict is About World War 3": 
Interview in English, with Syrian President Bashar al Assad, a London-trained Ophthalmologist, who is eloquent and fully expressive in English. 
Full transcript is the quicker read, but do hear President Assad speak, please. 
He is spontaneous and sincere.

Chas Freeman is a career US diplomat, who was chief interpreter when Nixon met Mao (WOW!). He has a deep and broad diplomatic insight, which is not what is wanted in the current power-driven US foreign policy climate. (He was, for 6 hours, Chairman of Obama's National Intelligence Council in 2009, until AIPAC got wind of it.) He has held multiple ambassadorships and was Assistant Secretary of Defense. 
This is what the face of American diplomacy should be, and is not. 
His assessments and criticisms are no less clear for their polite expression. Truly excellent.

The US and Saudi Arabia have agreed to grant free passage to thousands of Islamic State militants before the Iraqi city of Mosul is stormed.  "More than 9,000 Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) militants will be redeployed from Mosul to the eastern regions of Syria to carry out a major offensive operation, which involves capturing Deir ez-Zor and Palmyra.”  (Why kill a perfectly useful enemy, ya'know?“Washington must somehow counter Russia’s achievements in Syria, try to diminish their importance.”

The Truth About the War in Aleppo, David Stockman : 
"This is starting to sound pretty ominous. The Washington War Party is coming unhinged and appears to be leaving no stone unturned when it comes to provoking Putin’s Russia and numerous others."

Major Threat, but vague and plausibly deniable to Americans... Vice President hints at your tax dollars at work threatening Russia.
“We have the capacity to do it, and, uh,... it’ll be at a time of our choosing, and under circumstances that have the greatest impact. ... will be proportionate in what we do." Todd again interrupted his interviewee, and said, “So, a message is going to be sent. Will the public know?” Biden replied, “Hope not.” Thanks Eleni.

Documentary about systematic militarization of America's police forces:
“The search warrants, we’re told, are always used for massive drug dealers and kingpins, and then we run in these homes and we never found anything,” Atkinson said. Instead, the filmmaker repeatedly found himself watching police with military-grade weaponry executing dubious search warrants. The frequency of the raids was particularly shocking, with one of the officers in the film claiming his team does 200 such operations a year. By comparison, Atkinson notes, his father performed a total of 29 search warrant raids over his entire 13 years in SWAT — according to some estimates, SWAT teams now carry out between 50,000 to 80,000 raids across the country annually.

"What Triggers Collapse? Massive disruptions often happen quickly." Charles Hugh Smith

Angela Merkel makes it clear that the UK can not get "full" market access to EU, without freedom-of-movement across borders. The UK has the highest non-native population in the EU now (for various reasons, like colonialism), so borders are core to Brexit. 
(The opening for negotiation here is how much market access can be bought, at what price, while keeping a secured border.)

"Considering the Coming Megadrought in the American Southwest:

Obituary: Great Barrier Reef, 25 million BC - 2016
The Great Barrier Reef of Australia passed away in 2016 after a long illness. It was 25 million years old. 
For most of its life, the reef was the world’s largest living structure, and the only one visible from space. It was 1,400 miles long, with 2,900 individual reefs and 1,050 islands. In total area, it was larger than the United Kingdom, and it contained more biodiversity than all of Europe combined. It harbored 1,625 species of fish, 3,000 species of mollusk, 450 species of coral, 220 species of birds, and 30 species of whales and dolphins.

For those living in or near Austin, Texas, Jill Stein MD, Green Party candidate for President, will speak at the King-Seabrook Chapel at Huston-Tillostson University Monday, 10/17/16 from 6:30 - 9:00 PM. (I'm working that day and the next, myself.)

Voice Unheard  

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