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23 July 2017

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John_Frank

Fyi, A little while ago, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, and Bahrain issued the following statement, as reported by the WAM Emirates News Agency:

Statement by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, and Bahrain relating to new terror designations
http://wam.ae/en/details/1395302624531

Al Arabia has also reported the same statement:

Boycotting countries announce new list of terrorism backed by Qatar
http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2017/07/25/Boycotting-countries-announce-new-list-of-terrorism-backed-by-Qatar.html#.WXZ4a6v8dO8.twitter

The text of the full statement reads:

The United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Arab Republic of Egypt declare that in their firm and solid commitment to fight terrorism, cut off sources of funding, prosecute those who are involved in it, combat extremist ideologies and hate speech incubators; and in continuous assessment, the four countries have announced the designation of 9 entities and 9 individuals on the lists of terrorist groups: Entities: 1-AL- Balagh Charitable Foundation - Yemen.

2-Al-Ihsan Charitable Society - Yemen.

3-Rahma Charitable Organization - Yemen.

4-Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council - Libya.

5-Al-Saraya Media Center- Libya.

6-Boshra News Agency - Libya.

7-Rafallah Sahati Brigade - Libya.

8-Nabaa TV - Libya.

9-Tanasuh Foundation for Dawa, Culture and Media - Libya.

Individuals: 1-Khalid Saeed al-Bounein (Qatari Citizen).

2-Shaqer Jummah al-Shahwani (Qatari Citizen).

3-Saleh bin Ahmed al-Ghanim (Qatari Citizen).

4-Hamid Hamad Hamid al-Ali (Kuwaiti Citizen).

5-Abdullah Mohammed al-Yazidi (Yemeni Citizen).

6-Ahmed Ali Ahmed Baraoud (Yemeni Citizen).

7-Mohammed Bakr al-Dabaa (Yemeni Citizen).

8-Al-Saadi Abdullah Ibrahim Bukhazem (Libyan Citizen).

9-Ahmed Abd al-Jaleel al-Hasnawi (Libyan Citizen).

The terrorist activities of the aforementioned entities and individuals have direct and indirect ties with the Qatari authorities. The three Qatari individuals on the list, along with a Kuwaiti individual, have engaged in fund-raising campaigns to support Al-Nusra Front and other terrorist militias in Syria. The three Yemeni individuals and the three organisations in Yemen, have provided support to Al- Qaeda, and have conducted actions on its behalf, mainly by using significant funding from Qatari charities, which are designated by the four states as terrorist entities. The two Libyan individuals and the six terrorist entities, affiliated with terrorist groups in Libya, have received substantial financial support from the Qatari authorities and played an active role in spreading chaos and devastation in Libya, despite serious international concern over the destructive impact of such practices.

While noting that the Qatari authorities had previously signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States to stop terror financing and then announced that it was amending its terror combating laws, the four states consider this step, even if it is a submission to the tough demands to combat terrorism and one of many awaited steps to achieve the Qatari authorities' return to the right track, not enough.

Qatar's 2004 law neither led to combating extremism, terrorism, hate speech, nor did it end its financing and harbouring of extremist individuals and groups. To the contrary, these individuals and groups have expanded their presence and activity in and through Doha. The Qatari authorities have a long history in breaking all signed and binding agreements and legal obligations, the latest of which was the 2013 Riyadh Agreement and the 2014 Supplemental Agreement. Moreover, it continued harboring terrorists, financing attacks and promoting hate speech and extremism.

The next long awaited practical step is taking an urgent action by the Qatari authorities to make legal and practical actions to prosecute terrorist and extremist individuals and entities, especially those on this current list and the previous one, which was announced on the 8th of June 2017 so as to confirm the credibility of its seriousness in renouncing terrorism and extremism, and its engagement in the international community fighting terrorism. To that end, the four states, along with their international partners, will monitor the Qatari authorities' commitment in not harbouring terrorist, supporting and financing terrorism, ending promoting of extremist and hate speech, and financing of extremists inside and outside Qatar.

The four countries also affirm the continuation of their current measures, and possible future measures that might be taken, until the Qatari authorities are committed to fulfilling all the just demands, which ensure countering terrorism and maintaining security and stability in the region.

So, did Qatar, after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE, and Bahrain shaved back there public demands from 14 to 6 "win," or have we now entered a process, which could go on for some time?

After the Qatari Emir gave his public address, and the UAE Foreign Minister responded, but before the latest round of statements and visits to the region by various foreign dignitaries, including the Turkish President, Hassan Hassan tweeted on July 21:

Both Qatar & its opponents have made statements that clearly show the long game is now underway, as I argue here: https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/doha-must-negotiate-its-way-back-into-the-fold-or-face-years-of-isolation-1.610332
https://twitter.com/hxhassan/status/888492218599780352

In that regard on July 19, the National (UAE) published the following op-ed by Mr. Hassan:

Doha must negotiate its way back into the fold or face years of isolation
The quartet are comfortable for the current crisis to drag on, because Qatar is unwilling to truly compromise https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/doha-must-negotiate-its-way-back-into-the-fold-or-face-years-of-isolation-1.610332

It would seem, based on the statement issued earlier today and despite all the entreaties, that Qatar is being put to the test by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, who are taking a firm stance and willing to allow the process to go on as long as needed until their concerns are fully satisfied.

(I make these comments with great respect in light of our hosts opinion as reflected in a post titled Little Qatar has bested the GCC and Egypt. Mufaja'a! http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/07/httpssouthfrontorgsaudi-led-bloc-drops-list-13-demands-qatar-introduces-demand-accept-six-broad-princi.html. It will be interesting to watch and see how events unfold.)

turcopolier

All

A lot of these comments are getting to be wildly off topic. If I wanted to give you guest author rights I would do so. Other comments are auto-therapy and yet others are just vents for people's anti-Americanism. The Canadians afflicted with penis envy are the most annoying of those. I am not running a forum here for free expression. Write comments to the posts or expect me to delete your remarks. pl

Henshaw

Fisk likely to be present when General Suheil Al-Hassan shakes hands with General Issam Zahreddine on the outskirts of DZ? I hope so.

Also interesting (but unsurprising) that Kurds have independent contact with SAA and Russians. Clearly, they are not putting all their eggs in the US basket.

John_Frank

As to the situation in Syria, two developments:

1. Earlier today it was reported that:

Jihadist group cements control of Syria's Idlib province: rebels
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-rebels-idlib-idUSKBN1A80T1

(The press remains in a quandary over how to describe Hayat Tahrir al Sham, since the US State Department has not designated HTS as a terror organization, despite the involvement of what was Al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Al Nusrah Front in this force.)

2. Over the weekend we learned:

De-Escalation Deal Between Government And Militants Reached In Eastern Ghouta http://dlvr.it/PXj17c

At today's briefing by the Russian military, maps were shown laying out the boundaries of the de-escalation zone in south western Syria as well as in eastern Ghouta. It was also reported that Russian militiary police had begun to deploy as monitors.

While the cease fire in south western Syria continues to hold, the cease fire in eastern Ghouta has been marred by ongoing violations.

Meanwhile, Rudaw, a Kurdish media outlet based in Erbil, Iraq has published an interview of the Russian Foreign Minister on its website:

Sergey Lavrov to Rudaw: Referendum is expression of Kurdish people’s aspirations
http://www.rudaw.net/english/interview/24072017

The interview is fairly long. On Syria:

Rudaw: Let’s now move to the question of Syria. The continuation of the crisis in Syria prolongs crisis in the Middle East. Russia has a vital role in the process to find a solution for Syria. In your view, what development is expected to happen with regards to Syria in a near future? What can Russia do to end the crisis in Syria and combat terrorism in the region? Sergey Lavrov: First and foremost we should be talking about the fact that Syrian parties must and can decide for themselves because the solution of that crisis is in their hands and counts on them. It has been discussed and signed on at the Security Council that only the people of Syria themselves can decide their own future. The international community, foreign players and neighboring countries must do all they can do eliminate the threat of terrorism and create the best atmosphere in which Syrians themselves can reach an agreement on the negotiating table as to how they want to live. There is something that we cannot escape from and it is that we cannot avoid negotiations. In the documents of the Security Council it says that Syria must be a democratic secular country. That is very important as many of the opposition groups who have built themselves on a democratic basis reject that which is important for reassuring that the future Syrian state is a secular state and a kind of state in which all groups among them Islamic and all political groups are reassured of their rights and have their security guaranteed and that all will be able to participate in state institutions. That is the general framework on which all have agreed and within that limited framework a solution could be found to the Syrian crisis. We are working with a number of countries so create that environment and that began with fighting ISIS, al-Nusra Front and their likes which are all known as terrorist organizations in the Security Council. And we also work to protect the ceasefire between the Syrian government and some of the opposition groups, those that have no terrorist characteristics. That is important to make sure any group that qualifies for the ceasefire also becomes a participant in the process. Another one of our works is delivering humanitarian aid to people, people affected by the war and for that we have, with Iran and Turkey, created safe zones in the Astana talks. And in implementing the safe zones we brought the United States and Jordan into the agreement and on July 7, Russia, US and Jordan agreed to create the first safe zone south of the Syrian Arab Republic. In recent days and now the details of that safe zone are being discussed and analyzed, for example the organization that monitors the ceasefire, reassurance about the delivery of aid and about the borders of the safe zone in a way that people can enter and leave the safe zone. That is a window for a solution which we agreed on in Astana, and it is being implemented now. In my opinion, apart from the safe zone of southern Syria, three other safe zones will be created. That window of solution will organize many things such as protecting the lives of people through the end of the armed conflict and delivery of aid to places that are most in need. Many admit that the Astana talks have been great help to the Geneva talks which had stagnated for nine months and were reactivated January this year. We are ready and we work very actively with Staffan de Mistura and all other participants for a solution. We work with the representatives of the Syrian government and all governments that want to help find a solution. We work with European countries, the United States, all Muslim and regional countries. Certainly, the best effort is for direct talks between Syrian government representatives and the opposition to take place. I mean those who have taken up arms against each other, opposition groups and the Syrian government, they are the most important players in this process and we agree for representatives of the political opposition parties to join the Geneva talks and among those who have migrated and become displaced can defend their country with arms on the condition that it is all within the boundaries of the Syrian state. Rudaw: About the constitution project that Russia had proposed for Syria, what is the latest outcome of it? Sergey Lavrov: The process is just starting, we published it at the time as a sample of the draft constitution, which was our point of view to what we were seeing not as what was being said outside the country or what was being imposed. It meant that if you want, go ahead and we have put together this, and at that time last year few people could talk about the constitution and they each had their own interests in mind if they came to power. Each one of them had their own purpose in finding a solution for the Syrian crisis. That project is an example of a constitution in which everyone will have a role in society. Why is that important? Because some were saying that they will topple Bashar al-Assad then solve all the problems. Those people were not thinking about the country, and were only thinking about reaching power. Some were saying they were not ready to hold any political negotiations unless there was a ceasefire all across Syria. They said that but they were not correct because it was shown that that was not possible. They could at least have asked for a stop to the war on terror. We could also say that for a long time our partners in America could not differentiate terrorists from the good opposition groups. Now we have been able to do just that in the safe zones and the results could be seen. And those who said that without complete victory over terrorism no solution could be found anywhere in Syria, did not do a good thing and did not help with the Geneva talks. We fully believe that that constitution project reassures everyone in Syria, the groups that I talked about, all religious, non-religious and political groups will feel reassured in the new law, in the important laws drafted for the Syrian government, and when those groups feel they have guarantees it will be, I believe, easier for them to reach an agreement on power-sharing. It will then be easier to make suggestions for government posts and will be easier to maintain the balance and preventing chaos. We stand by the outcome of the latest round of Geneva talks and what de Mistura suggested in terms of four directions. First one is how would Syria be able to keep control in the current stage in a way that benefit could also be derived from the opposition. The second is how to prepare the constitution, third is how to lay the ground work for elections and the fourth is to make sure the war against terrorism continues. I think that development in the Geneva talks is acceptable by all, except the extremist rebel groups. But they could be put outside the political process because they have proven that they are unable to reach agreements. Rudaw: In this process, how does Russia see the rights and obligations of Syria’s Kurds? Sergey Lavrov: As part of and like all the other groups I mentioned we see the Syrian Kurds and that they must be part of the agreements and they must believe that their rights are protected within Syria.

P.S. According to reports Congress continues to move forward with the Russian sanctions bill. The President's opponents, both Democratic and Republican are simply being political opportunists. Mr. Obama, before leaving office, imposed punishment on Russia for alleged election interference. What has changed, other than much political hoopla? As to the portion dealing with Iran and North Korea, is Congress not getting ahead of itself? IMV the President should veto the bill, but will he?

jld

Excuse me but how could comments in an Open Thread be "off topic"?

johnf

Good news:

"52% Say US Would Lie About Foreign Chemical Weapons

American Public Twice as Skeptical as Mainstream Media

A statistically significant poll of the American adult Internet population reveals that 52.4% believe the US government would mislead them "about a foreign government’s use of chemical weapons in order to justify US military action." 45.7% responded that they did not believe the US government would mislead them, while the remainder (1.9%) provided other responses.

http://original.antiwar.com/smith-grant/2017/07/24/52-say-us-lie-foreign-chemical-weapons/

Philippe T.

From my experience in Afghanistan (1978 - 1995) I draw the following lesson : give money to those NGOs who are directly supporting the local health and/or social assistance systems, not to NGOs sending their own international staff. I witnessed, in Kabul during the 90', that Afghan doctors were resigning from local hospitals to get hired as drivers by French medical NGOs, with a higher salary. And it is not even proven that an international medical staff are more efficient than local ones, since the local health facilities can cope more easily with poor technological environments and specific cultural patterns. And don't forget that after war comes peace, and that it is quite impossible to rebuild a health system where international NGOs are omnipresent.

Chris Chuba
Keith Harbaugh quoting WaPo, "Russian government were to offer grants in the United States to NGOs that promote voting rights for minority citizens, or that fight corruption in our politics, that would be the equivalent of what the United States did in Russia, and we would have no cause to complain."
LOL The Russians are allegedly supporting an environmental groups against Fracking and we don't like it one bit (nor should we). The problem is one person's 'anti-corruption campaign' is another's partisan color revolution. Who's to say that Golos isn't a weapon to punish insolent Russian politicians? I'm certain we would love it if a Russian NGO monitored our elections and cried fraud just because the bigger Russophobe won.

I have noticed that these so called non-partisan democracy indexes track how pro-western or pro-U.S. a country is as if that is the true measure of democracy. I don't trust them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index
Ukraine is higher than Russia? The fact that they have disenfranchised 15% of their population should immediately kill their rating. One of the Baltic countries doesn't let ethnic Russians vote even though they were born there and their families have lived their since the 30's, light blue?

This is just an example of how NGO's can be weaponized. We are the masters of information warfare.

Lyttenburgh

"Russian immigrants in the US are feeling the heat now and it is very much like the McCarthy years. "

Who's feeling the heat? What "Russians"? Not Maria Alexandrovna "Masha" Gessen, not Garry Kasparov, not Julia Ioffe, and most surely not the Pussy Riot. As long as they do the usual routine of spitting on the cross and trampling it with their feet (or continue to be virulent sources of "native" Russophobia) they are safe.

Here's an article (http://observer.com/2017/06/russophobia-hurts-trump-helps-putin/) which actually shows that, maybe, there is, indeed, some issues like that in the big cities with pro-Dems leaning. The article also shows that no matter what these emigrants will remain anti-Russian no matter the level of verbal abuse and, thus, they will also be willing to promote the correct narrative.

Naturally, I have not idea what is happening right now in the "Russian" emigrant community or what passes for it in the US. If what you say is true, then they are offered the classic choice: ether lead the charge of what they are associated with, or become disillusioned with their past trendy "opposition" to the "Regime" and embrace it, seeing as you gonna be associated with it anyway.

In the Ukraine its even worse. All "Russian" demshizoids which ran away here after 2014 at first were enamored with the country of "victorious Democratic Revolution". Soon it became apparent, that the local nationalists see them as "Moskals" no natter their official position re:Putin. And the government there was also less than helpful to them, even to the ATO vets. Besides - the Ukraine is simply poorer and more corrupt than Russia, so they, obviously, have to migrate even further away - those with the right ancestry to Israel or the USA, the rest to Czechia (there is RFE/RL station here) or Baltic countries. The aim here - to hook up with some grants giving think-tank or NGO. And the money work like a balm to personal feelings of those who try to emulate Solzhenytsin's "living not by a lie" (c)

turcopolier

jld

My remark applies to all categories. pl

Lyttenburgh

Thank you for the link to the book, Keith. I will absolutely read it. Surprisingly, I haven't heard about Shafarevich before - again, thank you for making me know about him. He was born in Zhitomir, a city to the west of Kiev in Volhynia, which was rather lately incorporated into Russian Empire. According to the 1897 census, there were 31 000 Jews, 17 000 Russians, 9000 Ukrainians and 7000 Poles among the citizens. His father graduated from the Moscow University, so this rules out being Jewish. Pole, then?

In later 1919 the city was de-facto capitol of the Petlyura's Ukraine, and then a rallying point of Pilsudski's initial invasion of the Ukraine in early 1920. Shafarevich's parents were from the Old intelligentsia and, inevitable, were dragged into all those events before his birth in 1923. Also inevitably, this influenced his childhood and personality.

What I read so far about his "Russophobia" is discouraging. He seems to use such things as "Jewish ritualistic murder" (sic) to describe the execution of the former Czar's family. Also, his theory of the "Small Nation" is borrowed outright without any critical analysis from the early XX c. French historian Augustin Cochin, who in his works goes totally conspiratorial and ignores the economic reasons for the revolutions. Both Cochin and, apparently, Shafarevich, mistake causes and effect. Besides, Shafarevich fails to define the term "Russophobia" itself, which is counterproductive for a work with such title. US NAS even demanded from him to renounce his work or voluntarily renounce his membership therein (so mentioning his award in this context is rather... awkward).

Still, I will read his work, but I won't promise that I gonna treat something written by a precise sciences scientist on history as equal to something written by professional historian. I, for example, am in no rush to start mass producing works on the String Theory.

At the same time, it is undeniable that the tactic of historical nihilism, employed by the so-called "liberal" and "democratic" dissidents during Perestroika and Yeltsin's 90s, and the same tactic used to smear Russian history and symbols important to the Russian people, bear frightening similarity to what is used in the West in promotion of the "Politically Correct" view on the history, past and present. Only in Russia's case they overdid with the nihilistic part of the revisionism - no sane person will tolerate megatons of crap flung daily at their country, their people and their past UNLESS there is some positive alternative offered or some real gains are experienced by the vast majority of the people. Thus 30 years later "liberal" in Russia became a swear word ("liberast") and the national consensus now (thankfully!) is firmly on the patriotic position and talking points. All attempts to "shame" Russia into something actually have the incentive to make it "pay and repent", which is also not gonna happend.

Thus all those propagandists who have to work in Russia and its near abroad (Baltic states are the best for that) are currently in the bend. Only talks about anti-corruption seem safe enough for them - but even this doesn't work in Russia. The ugly truth is that Russians are not really averse to corruption. Those kiddies whom Navalny managed to entice to attend his unsanctioned rallies, promising "10 000 Euros from the ECHR" (c) if they get arrested, and the parents of these kiddies are gladly engaging in daily corruption. How do they plan to "protect" their male offspring from the draft? Why, by bribing local Military Commissariat and the Medical Commission so that their sonny will have "White Ticket". which makes him miraclously unfit for the service! Or, better yet, they will use their ties and connections to get their child into one of prestigious Uni's, which are, naturally, providing draft immunity to their students. And they will keep paying bribes for their child to remain student therein, lest the Dean decide to expel them either due to the criminal record (which surely bound to appear if they persist in attending unsanctioned rallies) or because of the falling grades.

And these people are pretending to honestly fight corruption? Please!

Old Microbiologist

Not just sugar. There is also a clear and proven relationship to the bacterial flora and mental status. I have witnessed this personally as an associate of mine was infected with Brucella in his University lab and went literally insane for several days (and periodically for years after as his particular strain was completely drug resistant). The same things has been observed with HIV patients. There are cytokines released from lymphocytes and macrophages as part of the immune response which have direct impact on the nervous system. There is a direct link between the immune and nervous systems (penile erection is caused by the release of nitric oxide from macrophages and that is obviously under mental stimulation). So, it is not particular surprising that infections or even imbalances can drive a person mad. I worked for a time doing research on dental patients looking at blood cultures and all patients having any invasive dental procedure causing a very large infection into the bloodstream which can last for days. The lower limit of detection is 1 bacteria per ml of blood so finding infections is surprising given our large volume of blood so small numbers actually represent big infections.

There was some excellent work done comparing moods in people (the group studied) who ate probiotics (yogurt). Yogurt had a calming effect which was statistically significant.http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159115000884

Old Microbiologist

It was decided that organisms containing dangerous recombinant DNA would not be permitted to be released into the environment. I didn't attend but was very interested in the subject. The guidelines were important and held for a period but were ignored when recombinant Pseudomonas was deliberately released in California to stop frost damage (Pseudomonas bacteria lower the temperature at which ice crystals form). It went downhill from there and now we have GMO crops which secrete their own pesticides (which are actually neurotoxins) and have never been tested for safety in large populations. We are "testing" it now as it is now pervasive in the US food system. This is happening on a very broad scale and is completely unregulated since Bush Jr. policies where companies are self-regulating.

More here:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asilomar_Conference_on_Recombinant_DNA

ex-PFC Chuck

Stockman is shrill, and that's a good thing in this age. But he does have some curious views, for example his idiosyncratic understanding of the views of John Maynard Keynes. He constantly decries the central banks' quantitative easing policies as "Keynesian," whereas in my limited, self-acquired understanding of economics this is deeply misguided. True, Keynes did advocate deficit spending as a response to economic down turns, but but he advocated that such spending be funneled in such a way that it broadly increased consumer demand. QE has essentially bailed out the plutocrats who own securities and has also incited speculation bubbles in those securities as well as in real estate. It has not boosted consumer demand much. From my limited understanding of Keynes he would not have been a supporter of QE as it is currently practiced by the developed world's central banks.

ancient archer

The Guardian has been an exceptional neocon mouthpiece and they are leading the attack on Trump this side of the pond. Does anyone know why they are so rabidly neocon? The newspaper is owned by a trust, so presumably it is independent of owner's whims like with WaPo or the NYT. Just wondering what causes the Guardian's views to be so pro-neocon and anti-Trump. Any ideas?

turcopolier

ancient archer

WAPO is now Bezos' blog. pl

Thomas

For what its worth, Clifford has been over in China, I believe as a visiting scholar. He has appeared from time to time on CGTN's english language program Dialouge. The first time the moderator was in absolute shock (though pleasantly) when hearing an American talk common sense. SST goes global.

Keith Harbaugh

First, let me add a practical suggestion to the "Russophobia" reference:
It is a densely written work, one I find difficult to read online.
If you print it, and your PDF print software allows 2x2 printing,
i.e., putting four logical pages on each physical sheet of paper,
that may be a good idea.
That works well, starting with either page 1 or 2 and going up to page 39.

Now, as to the comments from Lyttenburgh:
Lyttenburgh wrote:

Shafarevich fails to define the term "Russophobia" itself,
which is counterproductive for a work with such title.
Actually, Shafarevich introduces the word in section 6, on page 22, with:
It is difficult to characterize the feelings that move the authors
[that he has been extensively quoting, discussing, and analyzing for the previous 20 pages]
as anything other than RUSSOPHOBIA
(whereby both meanings invested in the term "phobia"—
fear and hatred—
are perfectly apt).
Seems like a pretty good definition to me. if you have read the previous pages.
Let me give a sample from those pages,
which I believe summarizes what he means by "Russophobia".
In section 4, paragraph 4.4, on page 13, Shafarevich writes (but I have added the emphasis):
Let us recall how much effort has been expended to
denigrate our people's history and whole character.
One can see what annoyance is aroused in our authors by
the fear that
our future will be based on this country's historical traditions.
On the term "Little People",
since that very term may be controversial to some,
perhaps it is worth quoting the full paragraph in which Shafarevich introduces it,
in section 4 on page 14 (but I have added the emphasis):
One of the most interesting students of the French Revolution
(in terms of both the freshness of his ideas and his remarkable erudition),
Augustin Cochin paid special attention in his works to
a certain social, or spiritual, stratum he called the "Lesser People."
In his opinion, the decisive role in the French Revolution was played by
a circle of people that had been established in
the philosophical societies and academies, Masonic lodges, clubs and sections.
The specific features of that circle consisted in the fact that
it lived in its own intellectual and spiritual world:
the "Lesser People" among the "Greater People."
He could have said the antipeople among the people,
since the world view of the former was based on
the principle of the obverse of the latter's world view.
It was there that the type of person necessary for a revolution was developed,
a person for whom
everything that constituted the nation's roots, its spiritual backbone—
the Catholic faith, honor of the nobility, loyalty to the king, pride in one's own history, and attachment to the distinguishing features and privileges of one's native province, one's estate or one's guild—
was alien and disgusting.

The societies that brought together the representatives of the "Lesser People"
created a kind of artificial world for their members,
a world in which their entire life took place.
Whereas in the ordinary world
everything is tested by experience
(for example, historical experience),
there the general opinion decided everything.
What was real was what others believed;
what was true was what they said;
what was good was what they approved of.
The ordinary order was reversed:
doctrine became the cause, rather than the effect, of life.
Lyttenburgh's statement that
[Shafarevich's] theory of the "Small Nation" is borrowed outright without any critical analysis from the early XX c. French historian Augustin Cochin,
who in his works goes totally conspiratorial and ignores the economic reasons for the revolutions.
Both Cochin and, apparently, Shafarevich, mistake causes and effect.
ignores a lengthy (three page!) discussion of the concept, which includes three historical examples,
the Calvinists and Puritans (Colonel Lang should enjoy this. They get slammed), 19th C Germans, and 19C Russians.

All that said,
there are parts of "Russophobia" that have been overtaken by events,
and parts I disagree with.
But it is a rich work with high relevance to events in the 21C West,
and one well worth study.
Don't let the strongly biased (I believe) reviews discourage you.

optimax

OM

I always thought certain attributes of the opposite sex caused erections.

kodlu

Thank you.

Larry Kart

Sorry if this has come up before, but any thoughts on Daniel Hoffman and what he says in this NYT op-ed?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/28/opinion/the-russians-were-involved-but-it-wasnt-about-collusion.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region&_r=0

J

Colonel,

The Chinese had a 3 1/2 hour PLA parade citing their 90 years.
https://youtu.be/VUqeM-_FmUY

Keith Harbaugh

Colonel Lang, since you have strong ties to VMI,
if you are not already familiar with the passage below,
I think you might find it of interest.
It is from:

“How the Intellectuals Took Over
(And What to Do About It)”

by David Gelernter, 1997-03-01
https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/how-the-intellectuals-took-over-and-what-to-do-about-it/

The following is the excerpt from that article;
it contains an internal quotation.
(Please note that I do not endorse what is said below,
but merely think these words from 1997 may still be of interest.)

...

The Virginia Military Institute used to be male-only.
The elite didn’t like that, and set to work.
Thus Geoffrey Norman in the American Spectator:

A Washington Post columnist wrote that
VMI existed in a “medieval time warp,
in which brotherhood is forged through sadomasochistic rituals
in a forgotten monastery supported by the state
for its own Byzantine purposes.”
A state senator from Virginia notified the world that she had
“trouble with young men who want to shave their heads and shower together.”
The elite hated VMI,
and no doubt VMI hated the elite—
another even match-up, except that,
when it occurred to the elite one afternoon
on the way to the water cooler
that VMI’s way of life ought to be wiped out
(just a casual notion, inasmuch as the likes of VMI
hardly matter to the elite one way or the other),
it was duly wiped out.
The old VMI was crushed like a beer can under a tank tread
and the Institute is now, needless to say, co-ed.
Having put things right and fundamentally refashioned the quirky, proud old college,
the elite is unlikely to think about it again for the next 100 years.
Again, this is no conspiracy;
the lawyers who argued for the Justice Department,
the reporters who covered the case,
and the Supreme Court majority that decided it
just happened to see eye-to-eye with the intelligentsia.

turcopolier

Keith Harbaugh

I don't think women at VMI have made much of a change. I am a VMI alum (1962) and a former professor at West Point so, with great respect to the Citadel I think I have "done" the two premier military colleges in the US. That would include the other four year federal service academies. There are not a lot of women at VMI (around 50) and they typically have accepted the rigorous life there without complaint. The decision was made after the VMI alumni association spent 14 million on the court case and the Institute lost that standards would not be changed to accommodate the women and this largely neutralized the belief that the place had gone to hell, etc. There were a couple of bad incidents. In one a Russian immigrant girl who had been given a full scholarship by the alumni association was expelled for cheating. That was unfortunate. She had been well liked and accomplished. In another a male staff member was found to have become altogether too friendly with a woman cadet and they both left. Other than that there have been few problems with the women. I used to lecture there quite a lot and found the place essentially unchanged from my cadet days. One problem that exists there is that some "rats" (Freshmen) find after arrival that the regimen of a disciplined life together in the barracks is too difficult for tham. Some resign and then their parents take up the cry that since their children are "all above average" the child's failure is the Institute's fault. the school is rated high in terms of academics, has a very high employment placement rate at graduation and is well endowed. Most graduates do not go into the military as a career. Medicine, the clergy, civilian government and engineering are favored paths. I was an English major and followed the drum in life. That combination is/was unusual. IMO VMI's major problems result from its existence in a world of American colleges that are increasingly going toward treating students as children rather than adults. As a result there are now a counseling center for cadets, a group that teaches some cadets proficiency that they should have arrived with and a "safe space" where cadets who feel oppressed can go and hide for an hour or so a day. male upper class cadets have discovered that this is a good place to pick up freshman girls, so I suppose the place has some utility. Financially, VMI is in very good shape. Alumni are loyal to their alma mater and give well. The budget derives from fees, endowment (alumni controlled) and state appropriations in roughly equal proportions. Buildings are constructed or renovated with private money and then deeded to the Commonwealth. The system works well. we have many enemies who see VMI grads as a rival elite. We see it that way also. pl

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