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25 April 2017

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Croesus

I've been reading Scott Anderson's "Lawrence in Arabia."
Neither the author nor Lawrence speculated on signs and portends.

Anderson did, however, detail the intricate betrayals and back-stabbings; the underhandedness and deceptions -- of self and others.

Lawrence held the French to blame for many evil occurrences.
British bureaucracy and racism accounted for a large share of death and destruction -- not least of British warriors.
Of Mark Sykes, Anderson wrote:
"It's hard to think of any figure who, with no true malice intended and neither a nation nor an army at his disposal, was to wreak more havoc on the twentieth century than the personable and brilliant young aristocrat from Yorkshire . . ."

The gods require the minds and hands of man to put in motion cosmic -- or evil -- designs; the laws of nature play out for good or ill, but never in ways contrary to nature's own logic. Sometimes those designs take the shape of a crane toppled by a windstorm; sometimes, the shape of a dapper Amateur diplomat.

Valissa

Looking forward to hearing from you about such an encounter ;)

kooshy

"if they had to pay the full cost of their "military protection" they probably would have less generous social safety nets. It's not a bad trade for the Europeans when you look at it that way. "

Yes absolutely true , i have heard this exact words from many around europe, first time in late 70s from a german who was an auto engineer in Stuttgart. They know this well and they enjoy this free ride fronting, as long as is available.

LeaNder

Still puzzled by the second paragraph, or the part suggested behind the "thoughtful" dots. Is this what you have in mind?

http://www.wcvb.com/article/mattis-tillerson-call-out-russia-in-overseas-remarks/9213086

Both Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis criticized Russian involvement in Ukraine. Mattis, appearing with his British counterpart in London, also called out the Putin regime for "mucking around" in other people's elections -- a particularly notable claim coming at a time when federal and congressional investigators are probing alleged Russian meddling in the US elections last November.

"We look to engaging with Russia on a political or diplomatic level, but right now, Russia is choosing to be a strategic competitor," Mattis said during a news conference with Michael Fallon, the UK defense secretary. He also said "Russian activity" in Afghanistan "gives us concern," though he stopped short of saying the Putin government was arming the Taliban.

*******
Context, transcript joint news conference March 31 2017, Fallon & Mattis. Who is the general Mattis is alluding to?

https://www.defense.gov/News/Transcripts/Transcript-View/Article/1137368/joint-press-conference-with-secretary-mattis-and-secretary-fallon-in-london-eng/

SEC. FALLON: A British question -- (inaudible).

Q: Secretary Mattis, one of your generals has said that Russia maybe -- arming the Taliban in Afghanistan and there's also the presence of Islamic State in the country. How concerned are you by these factors? And what will you do about it? And so Michael- the same question for you about Russia. And also, will the U.K. send combat troops back to Afghanistan as it steps in its global war post-Brexit? Thank you.

SEC. MATTIS: We have seen Russian activity vis-a-vis the Taliban. I'm not willing to say at this point if that has manifested into weapons and that sort of thing. But certainly, what they're up to there in light of their other activities gives us concern.

I would -- I would just say that we look to engaging with Russia on a political or diplomatic level. Right now, Russia is choosing to be a strategic competitor and we're finding that we can only have very modest expectations at this point of areas that we can cooperate with Russia, contrary to how we were just 10 years ago, five years ago. It's no longer a cooperative engagement with them. Right now, it's when we're going to have carve out diplomatically some kind of maneuver room here, assuming Russia can change its behavior and act in accordance with international norms and international law.

Thirdeye

Not likely. Like so many of the US-centered trade and financial arrangements, there's a quid pro quo between favor in economic relationships and alignment on security. In things like TTIP and the theoretical TPP the US draws "partners" into its militarily hegemonic sphere with trade and financial deals that are highly favorable to them. They're essentially bribes. In the case of the petrodollar the bribe goes from the Gulfies to the US to enmesh the US in their interests. And boy do those sons of bitches use that situation to their maximum advantage.

LeaNder

oops, haven't checked if I closed the italics. I wanted to, but forgot.

Pat, if I caused trouble, be so kind and simply delete both these mails. It was nothing but 'loud thinking' anyway. ;)

Thirdeye

Pretty good description of how the US is bringing about the Chinese Century double time. IMO China is the potential big winner with the Korean brouhaha, especially if China ends up playing a more direct role in the affairs of the North and/or the US ends up alienating the South. There's already a lot of tension in the US-ROK-Japan arrangement, especially with resurgent arrogant nationalism in Japan that's rubbing raw a lot of old wounds in Korea. Japanese diplomacy seems to suck as badly as it did during the Imperial era. China could be in a position to offer ROK an alternative if they can cool things down with PDRK. And anybody in ROK with any awareness knows that their most important economic relationship in the coming years is going to be with China.

It seems all but inevitable that Russia and China, and probably Iran, will be forced into a pretty tight partnership by the blunders of western global elites, and it will be formidable. China would lose very little by turning away from the west and towards Russia for its tech partnerships. "High tech" and "Russia" don't belong in the same sentence to a lot of people, but I suspect we've been underestimating them for years, even decades.

I don't see the Chinese "Communist" Party bringing back communism. They're pragmatic technocrats and they will stick with what works best from a pragmatic standpoint.

LeaNder

Hmm, Puritans imitate the Israelis, via Cyrus the Great as in the Book of Ezra?

Valissa

Babak, in the course some research I discovered there is a slight problem with the idea of using Latin in this situation.

Apparently they did not know of or eat bananas in the Roman Empire http://www.therthdimension.org/AncientRome/RomanFoodDrink/body_romanfooddrink.htm#UnknownFoods

However, if one goes to Google Translate, there is a translation of bananas into Latin: Musa sapientum fixa. An interesting mix of words.

Musa https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musa_(genus) The genus Musa was first named by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.[2] The name is a Latinization of the Arabic name for the fruit, mauz (موز). Mauz meaning Musa is discussed in the 11th-century Arabic encyclopedia The Canon of Medicine, which was translated to Latin in medieval times and well known in Europe.[Note 1] Muz is also the Turkish and Persian name for the fruit.

So eventually someone figured out how to say 'banana' in Latin, but it's cumbersome not concise. Not sure why the fruit was considered wise (sapientum) :)

Balint Somkuti, PhD

DT's promises divided by his actions equals dissapointment so far for an outsider like me.

LondonBob

http://www.unz.com/efingleton/north-korea-why-trump-should-kims-feet-to-the-fire/

None have been better at that than the East Asian countries, good piece by Eamonn Fingleton explaining why NK should be dealt with to free the Trump admin up to deal equitably with those nations and not gut the US economy in return for military dominance of the region.

Lurker

paraphrasing a very secular saying: those whom God intends to destroy are made mad first

LeaNder

thanks to 8 years of the big O we have sharia in America which you so kindly point out.

Obama brought sharia law to the US? Now that is an interesting idea. How did he? With his speech in Egypt? Not going to Israel before?

I was highly fascinated by the extend to which "Western Males" join the camp of our Western Feminists. But strictly it doesn't feel that genital mutilation is part of 'sharia law'. Or the Koran. You can enlighten me though. I am no expert.

For whatever reason your link does not work for me. And notice, I haven't read it.

https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/04/14/detroit-doctor-charged-with-female-genital-mutilation-of-7-year/22039928/

William R. Cumming

Agree with your analysis!

William R. Cumming

Thanks for this analysis P.L.!

Babak Makkinejad

https://www.amazon.com/Genesis-American-Origins-Israeli-Conflict/dp/0374535124/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

and

https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Crusade-Christian-International-Political/dp/1845117557/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1493393864&sr=1-7&keywords=The+Dark+Crusade

and

https://www.amazon.com/New-Israel-England-Puritans-America/dp/1558499202/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

and

https://www.amazon.com/Albion-Ariel-American-University-Studies/dp/0820423033/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Babak Makkinejad

Thanks.

There is poem in Persian - roughly translated:

"Phoenix's domain is not fit for the fly."

ای مگس حضرت سیمرغ نه جولانگه توست

عرض خود می‌بری و زحمت ما می‌داری

I need to ask for help to find some choice political insult in Latin literature in the same vein.

Pundita

jld,
So you didn't like my campfire tale, eh? I didn't mention the exact date and hour that the crane crashed into the mosque. So here's more of the tale:

"The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) insisted to the 9/11 Commission that fighters would have intercepted Flight 93 before it reached its target in Washington, D.C., but the commission disagreed, stating that "NORAD did not even know the plane was hijacked until after it had crashed" and concluding that had it not crashed it probably would have arrived in Washington by 10:23 a.m."

Also, the counterattack from passengers aboard Flight 93 launched at 9:57 a.m. The flight crashed at 10:03 a.m. The storm in Mecca that toppled the construction crane must have been nearing its height around that time. Moreover:

"A strong thunderstorm developed over Mecca at about 4 p.m. local time Friday (9 a.m. ET), bringing gusty winds that shifted direction and caused the local temperature to drop from 42 to 25 degrees Celsius (107.6 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit), CNN meteorologists reported."

In other words, the storm arose just around the time the hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 was steered into the North Tower at 1 World Trade Center, which was at 8:46:30 a.m.

The storm in Mecca continued throughout the time that corresponds to the time of the entire 9/11/01 attack on Americans by purportedly devout Muslims.

As to exactly when the storm ended, I don't know; one news report noted that it initially hampered rescue efforts at the mosque. Photographs of ambulances taking away the injured show that the storm had as much ended by then. So the storm continued for some minutes after the crane toppled into the mosque, then stopped or greatly abated.

The mosque was described by some news reports as one of the holiest in Islam, but Wikipedia's article on the Masjid al-Haram (Grand Mosque) flatly states that it is the holiest mosque in the Mohammedan religion (as well as the largest).

That would make sense because the mosque surrounds the most sacred object for Mohammedans, the Kaaba and its Black Stone, the viewing of which are the major goals of pilgrims to Mecca.

As how close the crane tower or its massive hook came to smashing into the Kaaba -- from the Daily Mail September 12 report:

"Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Mansouri, the spokesman for the presidency of Mecca and Medina mosque affairs, said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency that the crane struck a circular area around the Kaaba and a nearby walkway."

So striking are the time convergences between the crane incident and 9/11 events that at the time some Muslims maintained the Americans created the storm that toppled the crane into the mosque.

Yes, our thunderstorm machine is stored right next to the earthquake machine in a basement at the Pentagon, although I'd better insert a chuckle here because this era is not kind to sardonic people. No matter how broad the joke, whatever we say can and will be interpreted literally by those who can fall prey to certain kinds of superstition.

Perhaps to this day Thierry Meyssan still maintains that the devastating earthquake in Haiti was done by an American earthquake machine, and very definitely he still believes the 9/11 attack didn't actually happen, or was an inside job -- a belief shared by "9/11 Truthers."

Goes to show that superstitious beliefs are by no means the exclusive province of the religious.

However, many beliefs considered superstitious are rooted in the survival instinct and thus serve an important purpose if interpreted simply as a warning. I think that would be the case for the crane incident.

The incident happened within hours of the opening on September 10 of the Flight 93 Memorial Center near Shanksville -- 14 years after passengers on that flight managed to force down the plane, thus averting an attack on Washington, DC that would have been psychologically crippling to Americans.

It also happened little more than two weeks before the Russians officially began air operations in Syria, on September 30 -- a situation that informed observers believed would never occur.

At the time of the crane incident I was focused on its connection to 9/11, and didn't start paying close attention to Syria until after the Russians began air operations there. So it was only with hindsight that I saw the incident could be read as a warning to both the KSA and the USA.

Both governments had accumulated a tremendous store of merit over periods of decades:

Whatever can be said against the Saudis they have been very good stewards of the global economy and played a large role in helping establish the modern version of the global economy. And while critics of Wahhabism are loath to admit it, the Saudis have done a huge amount of genuine charity in some of the world's poorest nations, and helped restore pride in Islam throughout the Muslim world.

As to the United States, its role in rescuing the world from the ruins of World War Two is so great it is almost beyond reckoning.

Yet just as with a rich man's savings account, even the largest store of merit can be drawn down. When that happens, the bad actions of a government come into ever sharper focus.

With the Russian intervention in late 2015 the true situation in Syria, and America's role in it, was coming into public view. With that, it was becoming evident that the American government, in helping the Saudis attack Syria, was helping to destroy an ancient multi-confessional society, one whose present government was the only secular bulwark against the destruction of Christianity and other minority religions in the Middle East.

From that point of view the crane incident at the Grand Mosque could be read as the strongest of warnings to Al Saud. If the crane had been blown just a few more feet, the most sacred object in Islam, the Kaaba, would have been destroyed or at least badly damaged. The very object that Al Saud was sworn to protect.

The incident could also be read as a warning to the American government that its close alliance with the Saudis had, in the years leading up to 9/11, gone from self-destructive to where it was by 2015: a grave threat to the whole of humanity.

Are these observations what you call "delirium," jld? Then let me be delirious in the manner of the oracles of old when I speak to my fellow Americans: Turn back, turn back, before you and all you love are destroyed.

Maha

In the end game- at the very end- the US New World Order objective is to dump the petro-dollar and all currencies to bring in digital control via SDRs. So is it not actually consistent with their designs for the $ to go extinct?

Maha

Are they really steaming to Koreas? One was found to actually be off Singapore. Disinfo to media as it swims towards Persian Gulf? No Gen or anyone of significance has paid visits to VIPs in Japan, China, E Russia, Taiwan or Guam like the Gens have to Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Saudi in recent days. More call up of reserve units to Kuwait, incl entire 35th Infantry Division of Kansas- first time since 1944. And many others. Dont here comparable troop deployments to Asia

LeaNder

Babak, I stumbled across allusions to the religious context, more then once. And yes, I surely remember Kiracofe's comments here.

Culver looks very interesting, and I remember Judis as an interesting dissenter on New Republic.

Michael Hoberman, on a fast check, is a bit more difficult for me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzNjdaXleEM

citation starts at about 10:27

"The second principle I mentioned is more important for the book, and that is, that American Protestants have always been fascinated by Jews and by Judaism. In early America their interest in Jews was in itself an eternally destabilizing force, and it helped to produce such an amount of argumentative discourse--among American Protestants (emphasis)--that it contributed inadvertently to the New Nation's adoption of something that we call religious freedom."

I stopped here to look at reviews, wondering to what extend a lot of other factors may have mattered. Some on my mind, beyond his initial "lip service", as he calls it, to Anti-Catholicism. Or that "the Jews" may have profited from that state of mind. Anti Anglican Church, theologically? But yes, obviously, that isn't his task given the perspective.

Random pick:

Two reviews more randomly:
https://muse.jhu.edu/article/505689

https://academic.oup.com/ahr/article/118/3/837/42855/Michael-Hoberman-New-Israel-New-England-Jews-and

Hoberman is not trying simply to retell the stories of prominent Jews in New England. He rightly acknowledges that other historians have already told those stories. Instead, Hoberman hopes to demonstrate that Jews had a “centralizing influence” upon Puritan theology and identity (p. 3). This reviewer was not persuaded that Hoberman's study had the scope necessary to provide insight into something so unwieldy as Puritan theology and identity. His command of Puritan social thought lacks confidence and insight and is largely dependent on the summaries and interpretations of others. But if one restricts Hoberman's ambition to the theological opinions of particular Puritans such as Cotton Mather or Ezra Stiles (two prominent case studies in his book), his study is more persuasive and his narrative more valuable.

that's what his statement made me suspect.

Pundita

I forgot to include in my previus comment an important quote from a news source:

On September 11 a crane at a Binladen Group construction site crashed into Mecca's Grand Mosque at a fateful moment. Yes this is the same construction conglomerate that is run by a brother of Osama bin Laden and founded by his father. But it's the moment the crane crashed into the mosque that is the jaw-dropper.

The incident happened at 5:24 p.m. local time according to Saudi Civil Defense Director Maj. Gen. Suleiman al-Amro. That means it happened at 10:23 a.m. on September 11 in the eastern part of the United States.

To return to the account I provided earlier, if the passengers of Flight 93 had not taken over the plane, then according to calculations of the 9/11 Commission, it would have crashed into a target in Washington, DC probably at 10:23 a.m.

You read that right. Fourteen years to the day after the crash of Flight 93, just a few hours after the Flight 93 Memorial was finally opened, a crane crashed into Islam's holiest site and came close to wrecking its most sacred objects, the Kaaba and its Black Stone -- and probably at just the moment Flight 93, if the hijackers had been successful, would have crashed into the American seat of government.

For those who may be wondering, the official toll from the crane incident was 118 killed and 400 injured.

Thirteen days after the incident, more than 2,400 Hajj pilgrims were killed in a crush-stampede at Mina in Mecca with hundreds still missing according to AP's count in December 2015. It was the largest death toll of its kind in the recorded history of the Hajj by the AP count, which greatly conflicted with the much lower official death toll.

LeaNder

Hmm, ok, you feel I should have paid closer attention to the misspelling in the review* of the name Haberman versus Hoberman beyond a basic, more anecdotally assembled dislike, for something like a Judeo-Christian tradition, which he alludes to earlier?

What ya think? As someone that thinks religions matter. Which no doubt they do.

* 1) https://www.mackinac.org/bio.aspx?ID=403

* 2) https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=%22author:Moots%20author:G.%22

Thomas

"And yes, I surely remember Kiracofe's comments here."

Then read his book.

LeaNder

Babak, considering the last PS this is another not deeply reflected PSS.

Seems some of my synapses malfunctioned. Basic personal pretty old rule, whenever criticizing someone, double check. If you don't, inner demons might interfere. I didn't, I realized. ....

Anyway: Since unfamiliar with the name, seems I mentally substituted Hoberman with Haberman. ...

As "closet antisemite" I was close to ask Pat (with cc to confusedponder incidentally)* to not publish it. But: beyond studies sponsored versus such non-sponsored, or adjunct prof getting the job versus outed, my core German-bad-conscience: take your pick, do I seriously have the time to move beyond my acknowledged antipathy/prejudice versus the Puritans and would it help, if I read Hoberman? ...

* ...

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