Antiwar.com – Your Best Source for Antiwar News?

By Maidhc Ó Cathail
January 9, 2012

Launched in 1995, Antiwar.com describes itself as a site “devoted to the cause of non-interventionism” whose “initial project was to fight against intervention in the Balkans under the Clinton presidency.” Explaining their “key role” in the battle for public opinion during that seminal “humanitarian intervention,” the editors write:

Our goal was not only to inform but also to mobilize informed citizens in concerted action to stop the war. The war at home was an information war: an attempt by the government to both limit and shape the information that Americans had. It was, above all, a propaganda war, one in which the American government and its allies in the media were bombing and strafing their own people with hi-tech lies.

Back in the early days of the internet, Antiwar.com did indeed do a very good job of countering the interventionist narrative. Writers such as John Laughland, Chad Nagle, Justin Raimondo, Christine Stone, and George Szamuely showed readers what was really going on in the Balkans and elsewhere, helping many to understand the imperative of non-interventionism. Today, only Raimondo still writes for Antiwar.com.

By 2011, the information war had shifted from the former Yugoslavia to the Middle East and North Africa, as country after country was being destabilized by a wave of supposedly “spontaneous” uprisings against the region’s dictators — not unlike the one that toppled Serbia’s Slobodan Milosevic in 2000 — dubbed an “Arab Spring” by some dubious cheerleaders (the term was originally used by Israel partisans such as Charles Krauthammer to refer to an “initial flourishing of democracy” in 2005) and an “Arab Awakening” by others. But while the people were still being bombed and strafed by the interventionists’ lies, Antiwar.com appeared to be either missing in action or even to have gone over to the other side.

As the media focus quickly shifted from a “liberated” but devastated Libya to a besieged Syria, there was disturbingly little to distinguish between mainstream reports and those in Antiwar.com. Apparently having forgotten the interventionists’ need to “limit and shape the information” getting to the public, Antiwar.com managed to limit and shape it even further by providing a largely uncritical daily synopsis of mainstream reporting of suspect opposition claims, without even the mainstream’s caveat that “the opposition claims could not be independently verified.”

Its reliance on the interventionists’ “allies in the media” for its “news” on Syria can be gauged from examining its research editor’s choice of sources. In a survey of 10 news reports on Syria between December 14 and December 27, Jason Ditz linked to a total of 24 outside sources, 16 of which were from mainstream media such as the BBC, New York Times and Haaretz; two were from Voice of America, the official external broadcast institution of the US government and a key instrument of its regime change agenda; two from Monsters and Critics, a web-only entertainment/celebrity news and review publication with political commentary and news; and one was from Human Rights Watch, to which billionaire hedge fund manager and prominent “pro-democracy” advocate George Soros (astutely described in an excellent February 2001 Antiwar column as a “False Prophet-At-Large”) pledged $100 million last year, enabling it “to deepen its research presence on countries of concern.” The remaining three were taken from SANA, the Syrian Arab News Agency, whose claims were briefly mentioned only to be dismissed with a cynicism clearly absent in the credulous treatment of opposition sources.

The almost exclusive reliance on mainstream sources was clearly reflected in the content of the news reports. By far the most popular phrase appears to have been “At least … killed,” which appeared in at least 36 separate headlines on Syria in 2011, such as “Good Friday Massacre: At Least 88 Protesters Killed in Syria Crackdown” (April 22), “At Least 60 Killed as Protests Grow in Syria” (June 3), “Hama Massacre: At Least 140 Killed in Syrian Tank Offensive” (July 31), “Syrian Navy Attacks Latakia, At Least 31 Killed” (August 14), “At Least 16 Killed as Syrian Troops Launch New Crackdowns” (August 25), “At Least 17 Killed in Syria Protest Crackdown” (September 2), “At Least 40 Killed as Syria Protesters Call for ‘No-Fly Zone’” (October 28), “At Least 65 Killed in Two Days Since Syria Announced Arab League Deal” (November 3), “At Least 57 Killed in Two Days as Syrian Opposition Express Fear of New Massacre” (December 10) and “At Least 30 Killed as Syrian Forces Shell Homs” (December 26). A September 4 report typically entitled “At Least 24 Killed as Syria Crackdown Continues” encapsulates Jason Ditz’s tendentious analysis of the situation:

The violence marks continued public protests against the Assad regime and months of security forces attacking the demonstrators under the assumption that the attacks will eventually end the nationwide rallies.

Massive Negative Reader Feedback

Throughout the crisis in Syria, dismayed readers have pointed out Antiwar’s complicity in the propaganda war, despite the clear parallels with previous interventions, particularly the most recent one in Libya. In response to that September 4 report entitled “At Least 24 Killed As Syria Crackdown Continues,” someone called “keltrava” commented:

Let me get this wrapped around my head.

The article says as a matter of fact 24 “more” people killed. Yet when it comes to Syrian troops killed it is qualified as “reported by state media”. Why is it written in stone that 24 people [were] killed[?] What are the sources? This is typical of the reporting from Syria and Libya.

Even one of Antiwar’s top columnists was prompted to point out the obvious flaws in Jason Ditz’s reporting. Commenting on the July 31 “Hama Massacre” report, Phil Giraldi wrote:

Any story that is unsourced or is sourced to the rebels or to any of their supporters, as this story is, should be considered suspect. I don’t know what is happening in Syria but nor does any antiwar editor or any source that has a stake in what is going on and is probably writing his account from a hotel in Beirut. The US has clearly sided with the rebels and is doing everything in its power to advance their cause, including easing the passage of their propaganda into international media.

In stark contrast to the readers’ concerns about another Libya-style intervention, Ditz displayed what might most charitably be described as wishful thinking. In an October 25 report predictably entitled “At Least 24 Killed as Syrian Protestors Mass Nationwide,” he averred:

Enthusiasm has tended to grow in protest cities when other regimes fall, and while the situation in Syria isn’t the same as the one in Libya, the causes are largely the same. The protesters are hoping the end result will be too, though ideally without the multi-month civil war and the post-dictator mess Libya is facing.

Despite what another reader accurately described as “massive negative reader feedback,” Jason Ditz appears neither to have responded directly to the criticism nor to have let it in any way moderate his subsequent reports. Antiwar’s response to its readers’ (including at least two of its own writers’) concerns appears to have been mainly in the form of a moderator’s snide remarks attached to some of the more persistent critics’ comments. On December 29, an exasperated Gordon Arnaut exclaimed:

Even as readers have been pointing out the gaping holes in your so-called coverage…you have done NOTHING to address these problems…

You are a WASTE OF TIME…for anyone who is truly interested in truth about current events…

His criticism elicited this response from Thomas L. Knapp:

[Moderator's Note: Mr. Arnaut, if you consider Antiwar.com a waste of time, why do you waste so much time here? Pull down your hem, dear, your agenda is showing - TLK]

Arnaut replied:

Mr. Knapp:

Yes I have an agenda…it’s called THE TRUTH…

Yes I waste time here because I can’t stand FAKE NEWS…

On other occasions, Knapp did attempt to make a slightly more reasonable defence of Antiwar’s coverage. For example, in response to this writer’s question as to how its uncritical reporting of claims coming from Western-based and -backed opposition sources has differed from the pro-war propaganda in the mainstream media, Knapp replied:

If I could snap my fingers and cause Antiwar.com to be able to afford to send its own correspondent to Syria and environs to get the real scoop, I’d snap them immediately. Since I can’t, I try to be understanding of the fact that Mr. Ditz et. al have to rely on outside sources and try to squeeze the truth from the information they can get, a process that’s obviously vulnerable to error.

But as David Daniels had commented on a rather belated “Obama Secretly Preparing for Syria Intervention” on December 28:

And instead of leading the fight with facts and hard research against the lies that stimulate the R2P instinct, this website has once again fallen for all of the lies that led NATO into Libya and the various overt and covert interventions (like the lie of the “Green Movement”).

This is important and all readers should take note: Antiwar.com has repeatedly pushed the lies that lead NATO to attack. Draw your own conclusions. The “moderators” here will say that they just don’t have enough information and any mistakes are not theirs. Do you believe that, readers? Are you that gullible, or did you first come here as I did to see behind the bull**** of the mainstream propaganda machine?

If Antiwar.com had tried a little harder “to squeeze the truth from the information they can get” (or even paid better attention to the information that all too infrequently appeared on its own site) they would find that the reality in Syria (see a more recent and comprehensive analysis here) was quite different from what their research editor would have its readers believe. Moreover, it wasn’t as difficult as some seem to have have found it to see who was pushing hardest (as they had done in Libya and in previous interventions) to get America to take the “humanitarian” road to Damascus.

Ideological Blinders

While most readers were perplexed by Jason Ditz’s blatant bias in favour of the Syrian opposition, a look at some of his earlier writings provides an explanation. In a March 3, 2008 post on the Antiwar Blog entitled “In Defense of Non-Violence,” Ditz opined:

Rather, we know precisely what strategy the Israeli military employs in response to non-violence, because it is the only strategy available to it. Indeed it is the only strategy militaries ever employ in response to non-violence, and we saw it clearly this weekend.

Escalation.

Seeing the path of non-violence to its necessary conclusion is not easy for precisely this reason: that every act of non-violence [sic] defiance is met with an act of increasingly disproportionate violence in the hopes of realizing a violent response and vindicating the claim that the posture of non-violence is an insincere one.

[…]

The people of the Gaza Strip must hold firm in their resolve for non-violence. They must make it clear to the Israeli military that they will not be swayed, nor will they respond violently. They must leave the Israeli government with only two choices: acquiescence or committing genocide. And despite what Israel’s Deputy Defense Minister or anyone else may say, they must remain confident that Israel cannot choose the latter.

This weekend may have been a setback for non-violence, but it is nothing resembling failure. Non-violence remains not just an option for the Palestinians in the face of occupation, but at the end of the day, the only one.

In March 2005, Ditz was the first to respond to a message on an Anti-State.com discussion forum entitled “Ideas for How Somalis can defend themselves” in which someone called “chemical_ali” notified participants of the Albert Einstein Institute’s release of Robert Helvey’s On Strategic Nonviolent Conflict as a free PDF. Describing “chemical_ali” – a rather odd choice of pseudonym for an advocate of nonviolence – as “probably my favorite new poster in the past year,” Ditz didn’t raise any questions (nor did anyone else in the discussion) about why Gene Sharp’s nice-sounding “nonviolent resistance thinktank” might be offering a book on strategic nonviolent conflict for free by the former military attaché at the US Embassy in Rangoon.

As luck would have it, Antiwar.com soon provided an answer. In his column on April 16, editorial director Justin Raimondo noted the collaboration between a key sponsor of nonviolent revolution (who later told the Wall Street Journal that he had given a sum in the “low eight figures” to the Albert Einstein Institute) with one of the more notorious proponents of violent regime change:

“Say You Want a Revolution,” is the title of a piece by neoconservative Michael “Faster Please” Ledeen, a tireless advocate of the U.S. waging endless wars of “liberation,” and Peter Ackerman, chairman of the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). Its theme: more U.S. tax dollars to fund “revolutionaries” in a new model of “regime change” – as in Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan. According to these two, Iran, Lebanon, and Syria are next. Now, before you say anything, it’s just a coincidence that all these countries are in the Middle East and just happen to be Israel’s worst enemies – stop being such a killjoy! Besides, the “revolutionaries” are ready to roll, but they can’t do it without U.S. tax dollars and other assistance.

Observing that Ackerman’s ICNC had been “at the center of machinations that have felled regimes from Belgrade to Bishkek and back,” Raimondo traced the business ties of its founding vice-chairman, Berel Rodal, to then Defense Policy Board member Richard Perle, whose short-lived controversial venture capital company, Trireme Partners LLP, invested in technology, goods, and services related to Homeland Security. Pointing out that “[t]he little stormtroopers of the ‘democratic’ revolutions are in most cases unwitting foot-soldiers of War Profits, Inc.,” Raimondo concluded that the seemingly idealistic advocates of nonviolent resistance and the most extreme warmongering ideologues were little more than two sides of the same deceptive coin:

Chameleon-like, they readily assume “left” and “right“-wing forms, appropriating the language of whatever audience they’re trying to manipulate: they speak the harsh language of nationalism and super-patriotism as well as the more polite PC lingo of “humanitarian intervention” and “human rights” internationalism. Ledeen invokes Mussolini’s ghost, while the ICNC channels Martin Luther King and Gandhi.

Interestingly, it was reported in an April 2005 profile of Ackerman in The New Republic, aptly entitled “Regime Change, Inc.,” that he had sent a trainer to Palestine “to spend twelve days creating a nonviolent vanguard to challenge Hamas” – three years before Antiwar’s Jason Ditz opined that nonviolence was the Palestinians’ only option.

Platform for Regime Change, Inc.

Yet despite Raimondo’s exposure of the nonviolent revolutionaries, the chameleon-like channelers of King and Gandhi continued to be given a platform at Antiwar.com. On February 28, 2011, its Viewpoints section featured a link to an interview with Gene Sharp entitled “Teaching People Power,” just as, in the words of Reason Magazine’s Jesse Walker, “the revolutionary fire lit in Tunisia in December was burning across the Middle East and Africa.” On December 5, as that Regime Change, Inc.-kindled fire was being directed against Damascus, Antiwar’s Viewpoints featured Gene Sharp’s “Choices for Defecting Syrian Soldiers,” in which “The 83 Year Old Who Toppled Egypt” offered strategic advice to the few who had already defected, suggesting that they “help the regime’s other soldiers also to defect from the Assad regime.”

While Regime Change, Inc.’s aging intellectual guru appears to have at least one or two fans at Antiwar.com, its “publicist within the progressive community,” Stephen Zunes, is even more popular there. During the so-called “Green Revolution” in Iran, they reprinted his “Iran’s Do-It-Yourself Revolution,” in which the well-paid chair of the academic advisory committee of Peter Ackerman’s International Center on Nonviolent Conflict attempted to deny the democracy-meddling establishment’s self-confessed role in that and other “colour revolutions.”

On one of the rare occasions that Regime Change, Inc.’s role in the so-called “Arab Spring” was actually acknowledged at Antiwar.com, Zunes appeared semi-anonymously in the comments section to pooh-pooh the very idea. In a June 24 column entitled “Invasion of the Mind Snatchers,” Nebosja Malic reviewed “The Revolution Business,” a documentary that shows veterans of Otpor, the Sharp/Helvey/Ackerman-linked Serbian youth group that toppled Milosevic, training the activists who directed the not-so-spontaneous-after-all “Arab Spring.” Touting one of the Serbian trainer’s “anti-imperial” credentials, “StephenZ” commented:

And does Malic really think that a handful of Serbs can get millions of peoples out on the streets? Does he really think that Arabs are simply sheep that a few white Europeans lead to a popular insurrection against entrenched US-backed dictatorships? Get real!

StephenZ did not respond to my comment inquiring whether this was part of his responsibilities as chair of the academic advisory committee for the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

More recently, “the great Stephen Zunes” was interviewed by Scott Horton on Antiwar Radio in which he argued that the Arab Spring was “the culmination of decades of peaceful rebellion against tyrannical governments.” Despite his collaboration with Otpor alumni in training activists in Egypt and elsewhere in nonviolent conflict (an important fact that was deftly obscured during the interview, unless we count Zunes’ oblique reference to having “met” Syrian activists), the ICNC’s academic advisor claimed that the US had “very little” to do with these “really exciting” developments.

But as Professor William I. Robinson, the author of the seminal critique of the “democracy promotion” establishment, Promoting Polyarchy: Globalization, US Intervention, and Hegemony, has written of the man who funds Zunes’ work:

That Ackerman is a part of the U.S. foreign policy elite and integral to the new modalities of intervention under the rubric of “democracy promotion,” etc., is beyond question. There is nothing controversial about that and anyone who believes otherwise is clearly seriously misinformed or just ignorant.

When it comes to Antiwar.com, however, one certainly cannot rule out the possibility of ignorance. Asked by Russia Today’s Adam Kokesh in early August “to help put what’s going on in Syria into the broader context of modern history in the Arab world,” Antiwar Radio producer Angela Keaton offered this astounding explanation of the mainstream media’s supposed “reluctance” to report the Syrian government’s alleged atrocities:

I mean, you know, [inaudible], Assad’s a US puppet.

Change We Can Believe In?

While there had been a few exceptions to Antiwar’s biased coverage of Syria throughout 2011, most notably from Justin Raimondo, Philip Giraldi, Eric Margolis, and Pepe Escobar, the prevailing impression one got from reading it was a simplistic narrative of peaceful protestors being killed by a tyrannical regime. However, in his January 2, 2012 column, Justin Raimondo wrote:

The last bastion of Ba’athist secular rule in the region has been rocked by anti-government riots, with groups of well-armed men taking on the Syrian military and hundreds killed and wounded in violent street demonstrations. What’s interesting is that we hear much about the latter in the Western media, while the former is downplayed or not reported at all.

As the intensity of the anti-Syrian propaganda war picks up in the “mainstream” media – which focuses on alleged atrocities committed by government forces while maintaining a soft focus on the violence of armed rebel groups – the news that the Obama administration is making plans to intervene comes as no surprise. Indeed, the Americans are already intervening behind the scenes: the question is, will they come out in the open and call for “regime change”?

Considering that Jason Ditz’s reporting on Syria has been marked by the exact same bias, Raimondo’s criticism of the mainstream media seems disingenuous to say the least. Ironically, Raimondo’s link to “alleged atrocities” takes the reader to VOA News, one of his colleague’s most trusted sources, regularly cited as evidence of Assad’s alleged violent crackdown on peaceful demonstrators.

In a recent op-ed piece not published on Antiwar.com, Professor James Petras warns against the “anti-imperialism of the fools”:

The long history of imperialist manipulation of “anti-imperialist” narratives has found virulent expression in the present day. The New Cold War launched by Obama against China and Russia, the hot war brewing in the Gulf over Iran’s alleged military threat, the interventionist threat against Venezuela’s “drug-networks”, and Syria’s “bloodbath” are part and parcel of the use and abuse of “anti-imperialism” to prop up a declining empire. Hopefully, the progressive and leftist writers and scribes will learn from the ideological pitfalls of the past and resist the temptation to access the mass media by providing a ‘progressive cover’ to imperial dubbed “rebels”. It is time to distinguish between genuine anti-imperialism and pro-democracy movements and those promoted by Washington, NATO and the mass media. (emphasis added)

If Antiwar.com wants its claim to be “the central locus of opposition to a new imperialism that masks its ambitions in the rhetoric of ‘human rights,’ ‘humanitarianism,’ ‘freedom from terror,’ and ‘global democracy’ to be taken seriously, they will need to heed that warning.

However, if it is to regain the trust of its readers, Antiwar.com will also need to address the serious concerns raised in this report. An important first step would be to undertake an internal review of its reporting of last year’s tumultuous events in the Middle East and North Africa. For it to be worthwhile, it should provide its many disillusioned readers with satisfactory answers to the following questions:

1. Are all members of staff qualified to comment on foreign policy? Have some staff members allowed their ideological biases to adversely affect their analysis of complex foreign policy issues?

2. Why has well-documented information provided by readers that challenge its interpretation of events either been ignored or treated with contempt? Why do critical comments by certain readers either get deleted or have to be approved by the site admins before they appear publicly, while comments by others are banned altogether?

3. Why does it provide a platform for those who are “integral to the new modalities of intervention” while ignoring the work of others who could have provided a genuinely non-interventionist perspective on last year’s events? Among those overlooked by Antiwar.com in 2011 were Prof. Mark Almond, Ibrahim al-Amin, Michael Barker, M K Bhadrakumar, Jeffrey Blankfort, Alistair Crooke, Sibel Edmonds (banned from even posting comments on the site), Belén Fernández, Jeff Gates, Prof. David N. Gibbs, Diana Johnstone, Dr. Franklin Lamb, Prof. Joshua Landis (apart from a couple of references in articles by others), John Laughland, Dr. Rania Masri, Cynthia McKinney, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Maidhc Ó Cathail (despite the submission of articles published in mainstream media), Gearóid Ó Colmáin, Dr. Adrienne Pine, Prof. William I. Robinson, Prof. Jeremy Salt, Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, Dr. Stephen J. Sniegoski, Julien Teil, and Amjad Yamein.

4. How can readers be assured that one or more of its “generous” but anonymous “angels” do not have an interest in interventionism?

Maidhc Ó Cathail is an anti-war journalist and Middle East analyst.

341 Comments

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341 responses to “Antiwar.com – Your Best Source for Antiwar News?

  1. I guess that I was far too generous in excusing their pieces as ill-informed or ignorant rather than part of a whole that had degenerated altogether.

  2. Unfortunately one could put together a piece like this on any number of sites, with varying issues. For example, one could point out that Global Research very often re-directs attention from Israel. The following article makes no reference to Israel at all:

    War Plan Iran: China Snubs Washington’s Best-Laid Plans to Destabilize Iran’s Oil Industry

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CUN20120110&articleId=28584

    It does, however contain the obligatory catch-all re-direction though:

    “Washington’s war-making in Libya, East Africa, the Persian Gulf and Central Asia is driven in large measure to wrest US hegemony from the perceived competitive threat of China.”

    This pattern is repeated in almost every piece posted there.

    No explanation is ever given as to why the US allows SINOPEC to be one of the biggest energy producers in the US if it is so critical to deprive them of access to Asian resources. Why stoke the Chinese economy with practically the entire US manufacturing sector if it is such a perceived threat?

  3. Good catch, Aletho. I would say that re-direction away from Israel might even be the defining characteristic of much of the so-called alternative media.

  4. not important

    I was directed here from your post in the comments at Moon of Alabama. You are now bookmarked!

    In that thread of comments (2 posts above yours) I record my correspondence with Angela Keaton at Antiwar.com, and also the email that I sent to her after reading b’s post.

    I was perplexed by the reply that I received from her (in its entirety):

    “Thank G-d. I hate racists. 
    Peace,
    Angela ”

    In the email that I sent – as shown at M of A – there was nothing at all that could be construed as racist other than, of course, mentions of zionism.

    So, I tried to find out more about Angela Keaton. There was little biographical information to be found, but several videos. She is quite evidently Jewish and, while that of course doesn’t make her a zionist, it does increase the probability. Couldn’t find out anything about Ditz but wouldn’t be surprised to find that he shares the same cause.

    So, my point is that having contributed money to Antiwar.com and then having commented to the same email address as my acknowledgments I have never managed to get past Angela Keaton (even though some of my emails have been addressed to Justin Raimondo). I wonder if – apart from and likely together with their new funding arrangements – there has been an internal takeover of Antiwar.com by zionist sympathisers and question whether Justin is fully appraised of the criticisms being made.

    Keep up your good work.

  5. Thank you very much for sharing this, and for the kind words of encouragement.

  6. Jeff Blankfort

    I agree with Maidhc, and find it unfortunate but not surprising that much of the otherwise alert alternative media seems to stumble and miss the big picture when it comes to Israel and acknowledging the power of its agents, operating openly as the official Jewish establishment in the US and other Western countries, in shaping the foreign policy of those countries with regard to everything that happens in the Middle East affecting Israel.

  7. brian

    FYI Blankfort has been shilling for the war on Libya:
    http://www.redress.cc/global/jblankfort20110329

  8. Brian,

    I’ve had my differences with Jeff (and Redress) over Libya but to describe this nuanced piece as “shilling for war on Libya” is a travesty of what he actually wrote.

    Subsequently, Jeff generously invited me on his radio show to discuss our differing views on the whole “Arab Spring” business.

  9. brian

    Jeff first burst onto the Libyan scene with attacks on a blogger David Rothscum who early wrote an artlcie on Libya and Gadaffi: this article:”
    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=23474
    in Daves blog comments .
    attacking Gadaffi with the sort of venom id attribute to a hardened zionist! So i have no sympathy with him. Like so many on the left, who attack Gadafi, they pretend they are enemies of NATO and support the people of Libya…however the bulk of the people support Gadafi and see any attack on him as an attack on their Jamahirya.
    Theres nothing nuanced with Jeff calling Gadaffi a ‘ murderous Libyan dictator’! LOL either he knows nothing about gadafi, who was a leading figure supporting both the AU and Mandela, or he has agenda.
    Nuanced? id call it deceitful.

  10. brian

    if youve not read it, i recommend this article on Libya and the left:
    http://redantliberationarmy.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/%E2%80%98left%E2%80%99-delusions-regarding-libya-syria/
    Nice to have differing views, but not if your country is being wiped off the map

  11. brian

    an eg of the sort of libel that escalates thru fantasy into fact: Blanfort writes:
    ‘While the odds are that this so-called “humanitarian intervention” will end badly for the people of Libya, one factor that has been studiously ignored by its opponents and that effectively was used to justify the intervention in the first place was the repeated threats by both Muammar Gaddafi and his playboy son Saif al-Islam to carry out a door to door bloodbath against the people of Benghazi. ‘
    =============
    well DUH! ‘its opponents’? Notice how the insurgents become ‘the people of Benghazi’…these ‘people’ are the ones who burned down govt buildings , killed policemen in their barracks, and raided an army barracks killing thos soldiers who did not join them…not your standard ‘people’.

    Meanwhile.l what these ‘people’ were doing was beginning a campaign of genocide, as that region is known for its hatred of black africans.
    http://humanrightsinvestigations.org/2011/09/26/libya-ethnic-cleansing-tawargha-genocide/

    His article is not ‘nuanced’ its full of the sort of cunning deceit used to manipulate govts to waging war.
    Jeff is acting to justify the war on Libya,.while protecting himself with quibbles in the ‘Humanitarian intervention’…This is all standard demonsation: colour revolution 101: blacken the enemy, provide support for armed terrorists called ‘peacefil protestors’, and give them aid and support.We see it happening again in Syria.
    I notice youve not written much on Libya: what do you know of Libya, Gadafi the Jamahiya, the RATS(frebels and traitors)? i admin some Facebook pages on Libya, and have been studying this issue for months.

  12. “I notice youve not written much on Libya….”

    You should do a little more research before you disparage me too.

    Try this Google search: site:thepassionateattachment.com Libya

  13. “‘Unfortunately one could put together a piece like this on any number of sites”

    Yup. Just like one can “prove” that the moon is made of green cheese, or that JFK was assassinated by a time-traveling Gary Coleman. All you have to do is be willing to imagine a [insert favorite bogeyman here] conspiracy, ignore anything and everything that doesn’t support your theory, feed steroids to anything and everything that does, and BAM — you’re off to the races.

    Further comments, in reply to other commenters and/or to the general theme:

    * No, Keaton isn’t a Zionist (I am, and openly so, and she’s tried to cure me).

    * If your email was addressed to Raimondo, it went to Raimondo.

    * If slagging Antiwar.com makes you feel better, have at. But no, it probably won’t accomplish the obvious objective (making Boiling Frogs popular at Antiwar.com’s expense). Quality content, and perhaps cutting down on the crack, are the best ways to do that.

  14. Jeff Blankfort

    Brian, I am not a shill for dictators as many on the so-called Left, among them a number of old friends of mine appear to be although obviously they wouldn’t see it that way and consider my depicting them that way as unfair. But what can one about those who justify a dictatorship of 42 years in which many of the rights we value and have fought for (and largely, take for granted), like free speech, the right to organize, publish and protest, are denied and where those who have tried to exercise them end up dead or in prison?

    In 1996, your man, Qaddafi, responded to an uprising of political prisoners demanding better conditions at Tripoli’s Abu Salim prison and had 1200 of them murdered, 30 times the number that Rockefeller had murdered at Attica in 1971. After Tripoli was freed from the clutches of this creature, the NY Times published photos of the prison and they made Guantanamo look like a Boy Scout camp. (I guess because they were in the NY Times and not on Global Research you paid no attention to them.)

    I would say that I know a great deal more about Qaddafi than either you or Rothscum because I have been following his career since reading a detailed two-part story in the London Observer in 1971 how the US had prevented a coup against Qaddafi in his second year in power.

    In Lebanon, in 1983, I first learned how Qaddafi had “disappeared” the progressive head of the country’s Shia community, Imam Mousa Sadr, when he visited Libya in 1978 as the colonel’s guest, who is still so revered in Lebanon that posters of his face can be found on walls throughout the Shia areas of Beirut and South Lebanon.

    Already before that, he had some interesting dealings with the CIA which he would renew after 9-11 when he became an eager participant in Bush’s “war on terror,” and in Washington’s rendition program which he continued right up until the uprising, a fact that didn’t seem to bother his American and European cheering section. But’s let go back in time and look at the case of Ed Wilson and Col. Qaddafi’s Libya:

    1955-1971: Edwin Wilson works for CIA predominantly in the Middle East.

    1971-1976 Wilson works for naval intelligence Task Force 157, running covert shipping companies.

    1976: Ed Wilson moves to Libya. He later tells the Washington Post that this was at the request of the CIA and Associate Deputy Director Ted Shackley. Wilson claims his various arms deals were part of a “cover” to spy on Libya for the CIA.

    1977: Wilson begins recruiting Green Berets to train Libyan and Palestinian commandos. One cell allegedly trained by Wilson’s operatives was the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, (PFLF-GC) commanded by a former Syrian Army Captain, Ahmed Jibril. That group is later implicated in the Lockerbie bombing investigation. Meanwhile, one of Wilson’s Green Beret’s is later
    arrested for the murder of a Libyan dissident in Colorado.

    April 1977: A Washington Post article on Wilson’s Libya activities lead to a major restructuring of the CIA’s clandestine service.
    You’ll find that timeline here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:qEPsLowY8LYJ:betrayalforoil.com/terrorism_12_3335208550.doc+Ed+Wilson+Libya&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESj_rc_TVILEG4t3LsFooBHTfez-H902OeZQniXzJdLmQWdZMXSE7usF5FegolW7TtmvthM6QitQjgO6HwLUL7XWE6RpCcA3J5_fCr4R-DVzbbVRpeibNIdl8iRUaT2rjUY-8pEr&sig=AHIEtbQwwKKAma2P7ABvBmR7xBktMGFY8g.

    Finally, you question my statement that the public threats by Qaddafi and Saif to eliminate the rebels in Benghazi by going “house to house, door to door, room to room,” was virtually an engraved invitation for foreign intervention. Do you not think he meant what he said or that he was not capable of doing it? It was after all, the families of those prisoners that Qaddafi had murdered in the Tripoli prison who began the protests against his regime.

    This does not mean and was not intended to mean I supported the NATO intervention because I am well aware that there is no such thing as an “humanitarian intervention” nor am I surprised that what began as a legitimate uprising against a ruthless dictator was soon co-opted by outside forces with agendas that had nothing to do with the welfare of the Libyan people. We see the same thing happening throughout the region

    But what folks like you, Brian, don’t realize or refuse to realize, is that what you and I think about what was happening in Libya or in Syria today has no bearing on the outcome. What appears on CounterPunch or Global Research has absolutely no bearing on the outcome, as interesting as their articles may or may not be . Get that? The best we can do is analyze the situation and try to educate ourselves and others about what is actually going on rather than taking sides as if we were fans watching a football game which is generally how both the Left and Right behave.

    I might add that I have been to the Middle East, mostly Lebanon, a number of times over the past 41 years and have many Arab friends there and here and not a single one has ever trusted or supported Qaddafi.

  15. Jeff,
    “what can one about those who justify a dictatorship of 42 years in which many of the rights we value and have fought for (and largely, take for granted), like free speech”

    Is your focus appropriate? Why not take on the House of Lords or demand that Germany free its thousands of thought prisoners?

    “Qaddafi, responded to an uprising of political prisoners demanding better conditions at Tripoli’s Abu Salim prison and had 1200 of them murdered, 30 times the number that Rockefeller had murdered at Attica in 1971. After Tripoli was freed from the clutches of this creature, the NY Times published photos of the prison and they made Guantanamo look like a Boy Scout camp.”

    And since when does the NYT have any credibility whatsoever? What are we, complete naifs?

    Jeff, supporting interventionism is simply inexcusable. Be it under Bush or your guy, Obama, it’s criminal and you know it.

  16. Jeff Blankfort

    Aletho, I do not support interventionism and I did not support it in Libya. Perhaps, you need a course in remedial reading or in defining hypocrisy. If you think the NY Times manufactured those photographs, perhaps they or someone else manufactured out of whole cloth the story of Qaddafi’s murder of 1200 prisoners who were demanding better conditions. Is that what you believe? Do you actually believe everything you read in Global Research?

    What all this has shown me is that when push comes to shove there is very little difference between the ideologues of the so-called Right and the so-called Left. To borrow a phrase from FDR who was referring to Somoza in Nicaragua and apply it to shills like you for dictators like Qaddafi, “he may be a son of a bitch, but he’s your son of bitch.”

  17. Mr. Knapp,

    Contrary to your typically snide assertion, the sole objective in writing this report was to document just how far Antiwar.com has strayed from its mission “to inform but also to mobilize informed citizens in concerted action to stop” interventionist wars.

    As for “quality content,” do you mean the promotion of Regime Change, Inc. by Stephen Zunes et al. that you facilitate? Or is it the daily rehashing of unverified mainstream reports on Syria and other targeted regimes by your resident acolyte of “strategic nonviolent conflict”?

    Perhaps it’s you who needs to cut down on the crack.

  18. “[T]he sole objective in writing this report was to document just how far Antiwar.com has strayed from its mission “to inform but also to mobilize informed citizens in concerted action to stop” interventionist wars.”

    Well, you know what they say: If at first you don’t succeed …

    Better luck next time.

  19. Care to address my questions?

  20. niqnaq

    Once upon a time, Samuel Beckett wrote a monologue entitled “Krapp’s Last Tape.” Something tells me that soon we shall be able to place another one alongside it, called “Knapp’s Last Tape”.

  21. Unsupported allegations don’t magically become “questions” just because you stick a question mark at the end of them. The next time Antiwar.com supportis interventionism or military adventurism will be the first time.

    Have a nice day.

  22. Care to refute even one specific “unsupported allegation” in my report?

  23. not important

    Some of my emails were adressed to Raimondo (particularly those addressing the blatant neglect of 9/11). The only replies I ever received were from Keaton. Some questions about your bold statement therefore arise:
    1) “If your email was addressed to Raimondo, it went to Raimondo.” What is your justification for this statement, and can you provide proof?
    2) If you think that you can (without a statement from Raimondo that he did receive them but chose either not to reply or to reply through Keaton), can you ask him why he did not respond to the questions of a generous donor but did so only through Keaton?
    3) Since you seem to know everything that goes on at Antiwar.com, could you please ask Raimondo to provide a comment here, particularly why respected commentators such as Sibel Edmonds and your current host are now banned from posting?
    Probably you could prove that the moon is made of green cheese entirely to your own satisfaction. But not to mine.

  24. not important

    Somehow Krap seems more appropriate, not sure how.

  25. not important

    As an addendum. If Keaton is such an anti-zionist (trying to convert you – spare me) why did she construe the mild comments that I cited about zionists as racism?

  26. not important

    Bet he doesn’t answer any of your questions, or any of mine on Antiwar.com added above. Indeed, I would take a big wager with anyone who cares that he rather rapidly “disappears”. In my personal opinion, however – having been an admirer of his courage for many years – I think the criticisms of Jeff Blankfort are misguided. We cannot agree on everything obviously, but to my mind Blankfort’s heart is in the right place.

  27. “Care to address my questions?”

    OK, fine.

    “As for ‘quality content,’ do you mean the promotion of Regime Change, Inc. by Stephen Zunes et al. that you facilitate?”

    I didn’t have Zunes specifically in mind when alluding to “quality content” (my own reading pleasure tends more to Raimondo, Giraldi, Vlahos). I do find it odd, though, that you’d cite Zunes (who has a long record of denouncing US meddling in Syria) as objectionable, and criticize Antiwar.com for entertaining his viewpoints, while simultaneously wailing that Antiwar.com is in the tank for US/NATO intervention in Syria’s internal affairs.

    “Or is it the daily rehashing of unverified mainstream reports on Syria and other targeted regimes by your resident acolyte of ‘strategic nonviolent conflict’?”

    I just checked the front page of Boiling Frogs. Three Syria links — two to Iranian state media, one to Canadian mainstream media (the Globe and Mail). In what way are these any more “verified” than the plethora of sources for Antiwar.com’s coverage?

    I’ll also hit the questions from “not important” briefly.

    “1) ‘If your email was addressed to Raimondo, it went to Raimondo.’ What is your justification for this statement, and can you provide proof?”

    I’m not sure how I’d go about “proving” that when you send an email to x@y.com, it does indeed go to x@y.com as opposed to someoneelse@y.com. Did you perhaps mean that when you send emails to some generic address at antiwar.com, hoping they’ll randomly land on Raimondo, that doesn’t necessarily happen?

    “2) If you think that you can (without a statement from Raimondo that he did receive them but chose either not to reply or to reply through Keaton), can you ask him why he did not respond to the questions of a generous donor but did so only through Keaton?”

    I can do better than that. If you want something stovepiped directly to Raimondo and don’t have a personal address for him, send it to backtalk at antiwar dot com, labeled something like “personal to Justin Raimondo,” and I’ll forward it (please allow up to 48 hours — since the purpose of that mailbox is to populate the weekly letters column, I occasionally let it go unchecked for a day).

    “3) Since you seem to know everything that goes on at Antiwar.com”

    Not even close, nor have I ever claimed to.

    “could you please ask Raimondo to provide a comment here, particularly why respected commentators such as Sibel Edmonds and your current host are now banned from posting?”

    See above — I’m willing to facilitate you asking him yourself — but I doubt he’d have an answer to that question, if by “posting” you’re referring to comments. He’s not involved in comment moderation.

    I am, but I have banned neither Edmonds nor Cathail. If they’ve been banned, I don’t know who did it (we have several moderators), and can only guess that the rationale would be similar to my rationale in banning one other participant in what appears to be at least a semi-organized campaign to promote Boiling Frogs at Antiwar.com’s expense.

    That rationale was “question / comment on the quality or objectivity of Antiwar.com’s Syria coverage all you like, but no, we do not have any obligation to host 15 comments a day from you claiming that we’ve gone interventionist when we’ve done no such thing, or darkly hinting, without any evidence whatsoever, that we’ve been bought out by the forces of evil.”

  28. “I do find it odd, though, that you’d cite Zunes (who has a long record of denouncing US meddling in Syria) as objectionable, and criticize Antiwar.com for entertaining his viewpoints, while simultaneously wailing that Antiwar.com is in the tank for US/NATO intervention in Syria’s internal affairs.”

    Is training the Syrian opposition not US meddling? And who do you think pays Zunes to train activists in “nonviolent warfare”? In case you missed it in my report, Justin Raimondo answered that question in his Antiwar.com column on April 16, 2005:

    “Say You Want a Revolution,” is the title of a piece by neoconservative Michael “Faster Please” Ledeen, a tireless advocate of the U.S. waging endless wars of “liberation,” and Peter Ackerman, chairman of the International Center for Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC). Its theme: more U.S. tax dollars to fund “revolutionaries” in a new model of “regime change” – as in Ukraine, Georgia, and Kyrgyzstan. According to these two, Iran, Lebanon, and Syria are next. Now, before you say anything, it’s just a coincidence that all these countries are in the Middle East and just happen to be Israel’s worst enemies – stop being such a killjoy! Besides, the “revolutionaries” are ready to roll, but they can’t do it without U.S. tax dollars and other assistance.

  29. “Is training the Syrian opposition not US meddling?”

    That depends on whether or not it’s the US who’s training the Syrian opposition, doesn’t it?

    If you (citing Raimondo) are asserting that Zunes is a vector for US “soft interventionism” via NGO money, I’ll take your word for it, and I certainly don’t support such activities … but quoting Raimondo condemning it seems to be an odd way of implying that Antiwar.com supports it.

    Your campaign is not very subtle. It’s an attempt to create the illusion of a gap between Antiwar.com’s stated and actual positions, using whom Antiwar.com talks or listens to as the wedge, for the purpose of promoting Boiling Frogs as the alternative to Antiwar.com (presumably on the basis of some past dispute, real or imagined, between the two sites or their personnel).

    Apart from the transparent McCarthyism (“I have a list! Are you now, or have you ever been, a Bilderberg?”) involved, it also suffers a huge tu quoque vulnerability.

    Do you really expect anyone to believe that PressTV or Russia Today — two picked at random from the front page of Boiling Frogs — are any less agenda-driven than other sources?

    Or that Ms. Edmonds, who cites as credentials the fact that she’s been “featured on CBS 60 Minutes, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and in the New York Times, Washington Post, Vanity Fair” isn’t the pot calling the kettle black when she complains that those sources are sometimes relied upon at Antiwar.com?

  30. Jeff,

    Do you actually believe everything you read in the NYT? Or just what they present that demonizes Ghadafi?

    Ever hear of Photo Shop?

    Despite your silly and gratuitous attacks, opposition to warmongering and interventionism does NOT constitute “shilling for dictators.” Shame on you for resorting to ad hominem rather than facing up to the failure of your argument.

  31. “If you (citing Raimondo) are asserting that Zunes is a vector for US “soft interventionism” via NGO money, I’ll take your word for it, and I certainly don’t support such activities … but quoting Raimondo condemning it seems to be an odd way of implying that Antiwar.com supports it.”

    Raimondo exposed the ICNC in 2005, yet its academic advisor still appears on Antiwar.com. Have you all been stricken by amnesia? Or has Antiwar.com changed its attitude since then?

    “Your campaign is not very subtle. It’s an attempt to create the illusion of a gap between Antiwar.com’s stated and actual positions, using whom Antiwar.com talks or listens to as the wedge, for the purpose of promoting Boiling Frogs as the alternative to Antiwar.com (presumably on the basis of some past dispute, real or imagined, between the two sites or their personnel).”

    The only “campaign” going on here is to expose the ever-widening gap between Antiwar.com’s stated and actual positions. Do you think that all those angry comments day after day on Jason Ditz’s pro-opposition reports on Syria is part of an orchestrated campaign?

    If you have a problem with Boiling Frogs, please address your comments to that website.

  32. Knapp, your argument is beyond paranoid. Nobody is “promoting Boiling Frogs as an alternative to Anti-war.com.”

  33. “Raimondo exposed the ICNC in 2005, yet its academic advisor still appears on Antiwar.com.”

    Your point? Antiwar.com has opposed the US invasion and occupation of Iraq since the beginning — and interviewed General Julian Sanchez, commander of US ground forces in occupied Iraq on its Antiwar Radio show.

    Antiwar.com exposed the perfidy of Judith Miller in hopping up alleged WMD intel — and still cites the New York Times, where she worked.

    Antiwar.com is “devoted to the cause of non-interventionism,” not “devoted to the cause of making sure to never quote, cite or publish those with whom some non-interventionists may disagree.”

    “If you have a problem with Boiling Frogs, please address your comments to that website.”

    I have no problem with Boiling Frogs. Boiling Frogs (where, IIRC, the article we’re discussing first appeared) seems to have a problem with Antiwar.com. I’m not sure what the exact nature of the problem is; I can only guess, because you’re hiding the real nature of it behind a bunch of propagandistic crap.

  34. Mr. Knapp:

    In my inbox, I have correspondence which speaks volumes about you and how you have contributed to the demise of Antiwar. To refresh your memory, it was about the 2009 elections. If I were you, I would swallow a humility pill.

  35. Ms. Ulrich,

    Feel free to share.

    The only correspondence I recall between us are two letters of yours I’ve published on Antiwar.com this year (here and here).

    As far as my “contribution” to the “demise” of Antiwar.com is concerned, I doubt that it has anything to do with any elections in 2009. I didn’t start working at Antiwar.com until mid-2009, and the only thing I did at that time was edit the letters column. I was asked to pitch in with comment moderation starting in late 2010.

    With a single exception, I don’t believe I’ve ever exerted any influence on Antiwar.com’s general editorial line (that exception was a case in which several staffers, myself included, took public exception to a column published on the site — because that column focused on domestic rather than foreign policy). As both letters editor and comment moderator, I’ve both implemented and argued for more, rather than less, tolerance of criticism. I’m cleared to blog there, but I do so only on rare occasions.

    And just to be clear here, I am not at this site on orders from anyone at, or as any kind of official representative of, Antiwar.com. I didn’t notify anyone at Antiwar.com that I’d be commenting here, nor did I ask for permission from anyone at Antiwar.com to do so, nor have I run my comments by anyone else for comment or approval.

  36. niqnaq

    Look, Mr Knapp: Is Sibel banned from posting comments at AntiWar.com or is she not? Get us a straight yes or no, please.

  37. heywood

    I tend to agree that antiwar.com is just another polished impressive (at first glance) news source targeted mainly to left leaning people.

    I have not spent enough time at antiwar.com to know all the details, but I have spent enough time at rawstory, huffpost, alternet and the nation to know for certain that they are shills for war and fascism with the Obama Democrats as their target audience.

    It amazes me how so many people can easily see through the dirty pro war lies of Fox News and their ilk targeting right wingers……………yet they are blind as can be when their messiah Obama tells them to support another “peace war” In Libya, or covert wars in Syria, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, and Somalia.
    How can the same people who rightly wailed about Bush and his torture, murders by drone, and domestic crackdowns on peace activists sit around and believe it is somehow better or less frequent under Obama?
    HOW? Simple. Highly sophisticated propaganda outlets like antiwar.com, Huffpost, alternet, rawstory, and democracynow are working as planned.

    All progressives are well advised to take a close look at their news media of choice. Hold them to the same standards you held Bush and CNN to.
    Be prepared to change your mind and adapt to new information. Do not underestimate your enemy (fascism) and the ability of well funded alphabet agencies to impact YOU with propaganda.

    For my part, I like globalresearch.ca, washington’sblog, and Sibel Edmonds boiling frogs.
    IMO any site that supported the Libya war is as dirty as FoxNews, or worse.
    Good on Maidhc for raising the big topic of fake progressive sites selling war to good liberals with greasy lies.

  38. I have no idea whether or not Ms. Edmonds is banned from posting comments at Antiwar.com.

    I know I didn’t ban her (assuming she posts under her real name as opposed to a pseudonym I wouldn’t recognize, that is).

    There’s no easy way to check on whether someone else might have banned her, for several reasons ranging from the organizational to the technical

    1) We have several moderators. I’m not even sure who all has moderation privileges. I know that Justin Raimondo doesn’t, or if he does he doesn’t use them, because when he sees a comment that needs moderator examination, he “reports” it like a regular user. None of our moderators answers to me — if you’re looking for the bottom of the Antiwar.com totem pole, I’m it.

    2) Antiwar.com is actually broken up into several domains for commenting purposes; each domain has its own moderation and ban filters. And within each of those sets of filters, one of the usable ban designators is IP — there’s no way for me to look at a page full of numbers and know that one string of numbers means “Sibel Edmonds.”

    3) If she has been banned, and if that ban is a matter of intentional policy vis a vis Sibel Edmonds (as opposed to some kind of glitch or mistake — IP overlap between her and another commenter who’s been banned, for example), then I’ve not been told about it, and see above: Nobody at Antiwar.com answers to me. If they want to make a statement on the matter, they will. If they don’t, they won’t. I’ll be glad to pass on your request to e.g. Keaton and Garris if you like, but I suspect you have their email addresses yourself.

  39. heywood,

    You got the number on Alternot etc…

    We definitely do need to be prepared to “change our minds and adapt.”

    There’s a flavor of propaganda for every target, in Anti-war’s case young Libertarian types were targeted.

    They have endless resources to launch these phoney opposition institutions. Often they operate without exposing their agenda for years until a critical moment, such as the lead up to war. This outfits are completely expendable. Often many of the people involved are entirely unaware of the fact that they are being used.

  40. niqnaq

    I see. You don’t know. As Olivier Roy once put it, the person who is responsible is always somewhere else; the horses are in the mountains and the truth is in the depths of the well. Well then, Mr Knapp, let me ask you another question: why is Sibel listed among the ‘additional contributors’ to AntiWar.com, in the right sidebar of your index page, when as far as I can make out, she has never ‘contributed’ anything at all, and the only thing linked from her name is a six-year-old, unsourced news report regarding her prosecution, and an unsourced capsule bio? I put it to you, Mr Knapp, that the reason she is listed there is to give the incautious reader the impression that, as a contributor, she must support your positions. I wonder how many other ‘additional contributors’ are having their names used by you in the same way? Wouldn’t you agree, Mr Knapp, that this amounts to political fraud?

  41. Antiwar.com’s orientation has always been libertarian — until lately, mostly right-libertarian — and always openly so. Over time Antiwar.com has become more and more open to left non-interventionist perspectives, but the key word there is “non-interventionist.”

    As best I can grok Cathail et. al’s main discontent, it’s that they think Antiwar.com is insufficiently sensitive to its sources’ agendas.

    That might not be an unreasonable complaint were it not strained to the point of unreasonable implied conclusions.

    I believe one commenter at Antiwar.com itself even hinted that perhaps George Soros is secretly funding us to get us in the tank for his NGOs. I don’t keep the books at Antiwar.com, but I doubt it. If we had Soros’s money or anything of the kind, we wouldn’t be straining to meet our modest quarterly fundraising goals (and nobody would notice if the fundraisers went away because we were flush — it would be like the dog that didn’t bark).

    As plainly and simply as I can put it, no, Antiwar.com does not support US intervention in Syria, or the middle east, or anywhere else, whether it be of the direct military type, or of trumped-up “color revolutions,” or of funneling taxpayer money through pet NGOs to rig outcomes. If it ever starts supporting any of those things, I’ll be the second person out the door (only because Angela Keaton will hear about it before I do, and because I like walking behind her).

  42. niqnaq

    The direct military type of US intervention in Syria is upcoming, Mr Knapp, because the trumped-up “color revolution” in the form of a Muslim Brotherhood-led insurrection, paid for by taxpayer money funneled through pet NGOs to rig outcomes, has already occurred. AntiWar.com is supporting this process passively, by suppressing accurate reports regarding it. And certainly Angela is very nice, though my taste inclines to the rather leaner figure. Also, I have a problem that is the converse of yours: without being a zionist myself, I tend to be attracted to girls who are zionists, whereas you, a zionist… still, we must stick to the point.

  43. “As best I can grok Cathail et. al’s main discontent, it’s that they think Antiwar.com is insufficiently sensitive to its sources’ agendas.”

    The fact is that Anti-war.com with it’s in house reports by Ditz etc… disseminates the MSM propaganda without critical analysis. That is not simply a matter of “insufficient sensitivity.” When one repeats the demonization of a target in the run up to war, like Jeff Blankfort did in the lead up to the bombing massacres in Libya, one is participating in war mongering.

    Perhaps you, Mr. Knapp should think about how committed you are to US military action in Nigeria. Ditz has been posting one-sided hate mongering pieces about Boko Haram. Is that something that you folks at “Anti-war” have much knowledge of? Is it something that you just felt compelled to cover in a half assed manner? And did it never occur to you that you were facilitating acquiescence to war crimes?

  44. “why is Sibel listed among the ‘additional contributors’ to AntiWar.com, in the right sidebar of your index page, when as far as I can make out, she has never ‘contributed’ anything at all, and the only thing linked from her name is a six-year-old, unsourced news report regarding her prosecution, and an unsourced capsule bio?”

    Antiwar.com has gone through at least three article/author archiving systems that I know of. Under one of them, Edmonds is credited with no fewer than 16 pieces at Antiwar.com up through 2006, and apparently there were others mis-filed, for some unknown reason, under the name “Porter” (Gareth Porter, perhaps?).

    I’m not sure how to get article counts by author from the other systems (my admin permissions are limited in the “original articles” domain), but Google returns more than 1,500 results for the string “by Sibel Edmonds” at antiwar.com. She’s had numerous pieces published there (I used to read them, long before I worked there), and IIRC has appeared as a commentator on Antiwar Radio numerous times.

    If Ms. Edmonds is no longer a contributor at Antiwar.com, or no longer wishes to be listed as such, I’m sure she knows how to go about having her name removed from its masthead.

  45. aletho,

    “When one repeats the demonization of a target in the run up to war… one is participating in war mongering.”

    In a word, bullshit.

    The strongest non-interventionist is argument is to explain why intervention exacerbates, rather than cures, the problem of demons, not to refrain from noticing that said demons exist.

    To pretend that the Assad regime, Boko Haram, al Qaeda, the mullahs in Iran, et. al are one iota less evil than the regimes in Washington and Tel Aviv isn’t “critical analysis.” It’s either stupidity or willful deception.

  46. Jeff Blankfort

    Aletho, had the US not waged war on Saddam and were he still in power when the Arab Spring arrived and, as could expected, there was an uprising in Iraq similar to what we have seen throughout the region (and quite apart from the external efforts to misdirect it) whose side would you have been on, Saddam’s or those rebelling against him? I think we no the answer.

  47. Jeff Blankfort

    Make that “know the answer.”

  48. The fact is that your coverage relies exclusively on one side’s narrative.

    That is war mongering propaganda even if it is done under the guise of critique. How many liberals have ever heard anything that honestly approximates the Taliban position? Ditz’ claim that the Boko Haram leader believed the world is flat is just a repetition of inane propaganda. Did he get that from a Boko Haram press release? No. It has no merit as “noticing that said demons exist.” It is nothing more than stupid ignorant repetition of war mongering lies.

    Which side of the door are you on? Not out yet? The “demons” are all around you Knapp.

  49. Which side? That’s easy. The side of peace.

    That would not require for me to disseminate NYT war mongering propaganda.

  50. niqnaq

    But Thomas, in addition to being blocked from posting, she says her e-mails are simply being ignored.

  51. I don’t know to whom her emails are going, or why they would be ignored, but I’m happy to help if I can.

    By “help,” I do not mean refereeing or intervening in any kind of dispute that may be going on. At that level, either everyone’s acting as an adult or they’re not; if not, my involvement would not likely change that.

    But if she’s wanting to get a message directly in front of any particular person and that’s not happening, I will be happy to receive it, acknowledge receipt, make sure it gets to that person, ask that person to acknowledge receipt, etc. That, at least, would help us figure out whether there’s just a communication problem.

    If she’s wanting her name removed from the masthead or whatever, I’d certainly pass that on, and follow up, and throw as much of a fit as I have to to get it done. Nobody should be forcibly associated with anyone he or she doesn’t care to associate with.

    I answer the mail at backtalk at antiwar dot com, and I have no reason to treat Ms. Edmonds with anything but respect and all reasonable cooperation. If anyone wants to let her know this, please do (and she can feel free to label her emails “not for publication” and have that respected as well).

  52. From now on, ONLY comments related to Antiwar.com will be approved.

  53. To be more specific, ONLY comments relevant to the case made against Antiwar.com in the above report will be approved.

  54. Interesting headline.

    The video crapped out on me (Youtube error, and not responsive on reload) at about 8 minutes, up to which point the columnist in question, Ivan Eland, had said almost exactly, but not quite, the opposite of the opinion you attribute to him in that headline.

    That is, he agrees that Turkey is probably actively helping the Syrian opposition, but thinks that the US and Israel may not be so much “hot to get rid of Assad” as “positioning themselves to manage the fallout.”

    Does he change that expressed opinion to “there’s no plot” at some subsequent point, or are you just sensationalizing?

  55. Where does Ivan Eland acknowledge the well-documented regime change agenda against Damascus?

  56. In the video. He attributes it to Turkey, with the US and Israel less “all in.”

    I’m not sure I agree with him, but having a different opinion than you on the composition and internal dynamics of a plot is not the same thing as denying the plot, even if you think your opinion is “well-documented.”

  57. I just received this well-considered response from Antiwar.com’s Managing Editor:

    “Hey, I get it. We won’t run your articles, must be a conspiracy.”

  58. The Asia Times article is interesting, but does point up the difficulty with situation analysis.

    It quotes a State Department official telling Congress that the US will pursue “regime change,” but then a CIA refusal to sign off on analysis supportive of the pro-intervention agitprop.

    Without a Beltway scorecard, it’s often difficult to tell what the fuck is going on in DC, or coming out of it. In the runup to Iraq it was neocons in Defense working against “realists” at State and CIA to shape the US regime’s internal debate. Now the neocons are running State, the “realists” still seem to carry some weight in CIA, and DoD seems to be more reluctant to support additional adventurism.

    My gut feeling is that Hillary Clinton and her eager beavers at State are (with the implicit or explicit approval of Obama) funneling every bit of support she can to the opposition, trying to create a situation conducive to making the case for direct military intervention.

    But I’m so far removed from the grapevine as compared to someone like Eland that that gut feeling is all I really have to go on. I guess it comes down to whether or not one trusts that Eland knows what he’s talking about. I generally do.

    And, once again, he didn’t say what your headline implied he said (unless it was later in the video). He specifically affirmed a likely plot; he just thought that the US and Israel were holding said plot more at arm’s length than you seem to think they are. Pretty weke rede to advance your critique of Antiwar.com with, IMO.

  59. Which is more likely to be true: a, b, or c?

    a. Knapp: Your campaign is not very subtle. It’s an attempt to create the illusion of a gap between Antiwar.com’s stated and actual positions, using whom Antiwar.com talks or listens to as the wedge, for the purpose of promoting Boiling Frogs as the alternative to Antiwar.com (presumably on the basis of some past dispute, real or imagined, between the two sites or their personnel).

    b. Garris: Hey, I get it. We won’t run your articles, must be a conspiracy.

    c. Ó Cathail: The sole objective in writing this report was to document just how far Antiwar.com has strayed from its mission “to inform but also to mobilize informed citizens in concerted action to stop” interventionist wars.

  60. The sole objective in writing this report was to document just how far Antiwar.com has strayed from its mission “to inform but also to mobilize informed citizens in concerted action to stop” interventionist wars.

    Then like I said — if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. I look forward to seeing if your future attempts hold more water than this one did.

  61. Anything to avoid facing the charge. Create a diversion.

  62. Yep. Also, we have corrupted your precious bodily fluids and one of our agents is hiding under your bed right now. Aboogaboogabooga! Run!

  63. niqnaq

    Thomas, don’t use the ad hominem reductio ad absurdum. It’s a mere playground response.

  64. Neither of the two fallacies you merged there describe anything in the comment you’re replying to.

    That’s not to say you might not find a fallacy in the comment. But if you do, it will be neither of those.

  65. niqnaq

    I am referring to your statement to Aletho about “precious bodily fluids”, Thomas.

  66. Ah, ok. I thought it was to the other post.

    Here’s the thing: The perception of omnipresent conspiracy is like a hammer. Someone who’s holding it sees everything as a nail that the hammer “explains.” Anything that tends to prove a plot proves a plot. Anything that tends to disprove a plot is obviously disinformation intentionally sown by the plotters.

    Sooner or later, anyone asserting or implying that Antiwar.com is advancing a pro-war or pro-intervention agenda is going to have to come to grips with the simple, irrefutable fact that Antiwar.com has always, every time, vocally opposed all wars and all interventions, and never, at any time, either overtly or subtly, supported any war or any intervention, particularly by the US or NATO (I thought Raimondo perhaps came a little too close to doing so with respect to the Russia/Georgia conflict, but at least his analysis looked a lot closer to the truth than the US line on the matter).

    One need not support intervention in the Syrian situation — directly or through proxies — in order to suspect, as Eland does, that the US and Israel aren’t quite as brainlessly joyous at the prospect of “regime change” as the two regimes’ critics believe them to be.

  67. niqnaq

    As I have already stated, AntiWar.com is passively supporting the regime change program in Syria by not reporting the facts, which are abundantly reported elsewhere, regarding US- and UK-led organising and funding of the Free Syria Army and various smaller groups. As for Eland’s purported doubts about US or Israeli enthusiasm, this is just part of a larger, fictitious narrative according to which the Muslim Brotherhood is a radical threat and a menace, whereas it should be clear by now that it is an obedient tool of the Saudi and Qatari rulers, who in turn are obedient tools of the US and Israeli ones. There comes a point where professed ignorance regarding all this reveals itself as deliberate disingenuousness.

  68. And there also comes a point where professed knowledge regarding the agenda of another reveals itself as an idée fixe, not subject to disproof under any circumstances.

    If Jason Ditz marches buck naked through the Castro tomorrow, waving a Syrian flag and displaying tattoos of Hafez and Bashar on his respective butt cheeks, you’ll just assume the lotus position and chant “thoroughly documented, passively supporting, fictitious narrative” until you’ve convinced yourself it never happened.

    And Antiwar.com will continue fighting the good fight long after the sheer mass of your theories has finally sucked you within their event horizon such that you can’t lift a teacup up to drink without imagining that you see Ditz’s face peering back out of it at you.

    Good night, and good luck.

  69. niqnaq

    It’s possible that no-one has ever used the expression “ad hominem reductio ad absurdum” before, but it’s a perfectly accurate description of your debating tactic.

  70. not important

    Everything that Knapp has said and defended convinces me that my initial post was correct. Zionists have surreptitiously taken over Antiwar.com and it is now entirely suspect re all aspects of the wars in the middle east.

    Note too that he was entirely selective in the points that he chose to defend and in the manner that he chose to defend them. Thus, although it might appear to be trivial, it really is most certainly not a trivial point that Keaton rudely abused a financial donor as racist after he cited a posting on zionists.

    On this point Knapp brushes it aside by saying that he is an avowed zionist but that Keaton has tried to dissuade him (try not to laugh).

    Mr Knapp. How did she try to influence you? Why? And what was your response? Is Ditz also a zionist, or has Angela Keaton managed to persuade him otherwise? It would also be informative to see a timeline relating the changes in editorial policy of Antiwar.com, the loss of regular columnists and the new funding arrangements laid alongside the appointments of Knapp, Keaton and Ditz to key positions.

  71. If you (or Eland, Ditz et al.) had properly read that “interesting” Asia Times article, you couldn’t think that “the US and Israel were holding said plot more at arm’s length” more than Aisling Byrne and many others (see the list at the end of my report) who have actually done some research on the issue “seem to think.” Let me quote a relevant passage from the first page of Byrne’s well-researched three-page article:

    What we are seeing in Syria is a deliberate and calculated campaign to bring down the Assad government so as to replace it with a regime “more compatible” with US interests in the region.

    The blueprint for this project is essentially a report produced by the neo-conservative Brookings Institute for regime change in Iran in 2009. The report – “Which Path to Persia?” [3] – continues to be the generic strategic approach for US-led regime change in the region.

    A rereading of it, together with the more recent “Towards a Post-Assad Syria” [4] (which adopts the same language and perspective, but focuses on Syria, and was recently produced by two US neo-conservative think-tanks) illustrates how developments in Syria have been shaped according to the step-by-step approach detailed in the “Paths to Persia” report with the same key objective: regime change.

    The authors of these reports include, among others, John Hannah and Martin Indyk, both former senior neo-conservative officials from the George W Bush/Dick Cheney administration, and both advocates for regime change in Syria. [5] Not for the first time are we seeing a close alliance between US/British neo-cons with Islamists (including, reports show [6], some with links to al-Qaeda) working together to bring about regime change in an “enemy” state.

    Arguably, the most important component in this struggle for the “strategic prize” has been the deliberate construction of a largely false narrative that pits unarmed democracy demonstrators being killed in their hundreds and thousands as they protest peacefully against an oppressive, violent regime, a “killing machine” [7] led by the “monster” [8] Assad.

  72. Meanwhile, Antiwar.com’s true believer in nonviolent resistance still appears to be blissfully unaware that this is central to Regime Change, Inc.’s strategy, and not something that just gets “sidelined” by “Western forces”:

    …it does seem the conflict on the ground has moved increasingly away from regime attacks on civilians to a battle between two belligerent forces with the civilians trapped in the middle.

    In many ways this mirrors what happened in Libya, where pro-democracy protesters were eventually sidelined as Western forces chose to back more belligerent opposition factions with an eye toward civil war.

  73. not important

    Somewhat confirms that Ditz has an agenda.

  74. not important

    Maybe Keaton failed to convert him into a non-zionist?

  75. He may just be a useful idiot for Regime Change, Inc., which indeed has close ties to Zionists. See my “The Junk Bond ‘Teflon Guy’ Behind Egypt’s Nonviolent Revolution.”

  76. not important

    These people are more than useful idiots. They serve as (exceedingly well -funded) guides directing the useful idiots. And I still get the weekly begging letters from Keaton that she denies. Today’s for example:

    “Antiwar.com is a 15-year-old, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the cause of anti-interventionism. Accepting no government money, we rely solely on the generous support of readers just like you. How can you help us spread a policy of peace?

    Lots of ways. Forward this newsletter to your friends and encourage them to subscribe. (We don’t spam!) Fill out an application for the Antiwar.com Capital One credit card. Have a clunker in the driveway? Give it to us and then write it off! Want to donate your car, trailer, boat, or other junk to Antiwar.com? Please call 1-800-240-0160 for free next-day pickup. Or just make a good old-fashioned donation. Questions? Call 323-512-7095 or email akeaton [at] antiwar [dot] com.”

  77. not important

    ps Mr Knapp.
    Could you please email this post to Justin Raimondo?

  78. You can find all of their email addresses here.

  79. “Mr Knapp. How did she try to influence you? Why? And what was your response?”

    1) Through argument.
    2) Because she thought I was wrong
    3) I listened.

    Can’t say I change my mind much, though. I’m still a Zionist, and I still believe that “[a]nything good and righteous remaining in Zionism exists outside the context of the state of Israel, and suffers that state at its existential peril.”

    “Is Ditz also a zionist”

    How the hell should I know?

    “It would also be informative to see a timeline relating the changes in editorial policy of Antiwar.com”

    To the best of my knowledge, the single change in editorial policy (and an unnoted one at that) since 1995 has been a reduction of emphasis on the letters column, That’s because 20 years of widespread Internet access has changed habits — people are more prone to comment inline than to write letters to the editor these days.

    “the appointments of Knapp, Keaton and Ditz to key positions.”

    Wow, I’m in a “key position” now? I should probably ask for a raise!

  80. niqnaq

    Mises.org was supported until the time of his death by the gold bullion dealer Bert Blumert (gently described in the obituary there as if he was a mere numismatist). There are always gold dealers to support gold bug publications, because the success of such publications contributes at least slightly to pushing up the price of gold. Perhaps we should consider the possibility that, as with Hitler’s ‘Winter Help’ scheme for ordinary German housewives to send woollies to soldiers on the Eastern Front, this pose of penuriousness is more of a propaganda ploy than a real necessity.

  81. niqnaq

    Those are the most eccentric statements about zionist history I have ever seen, but we must try to keep the focus of the thread on AntiWar.com itself, or else Maidhc will ruthlessly excise us.

  82. not important

    As a letters moderator of course you are in a key position. As a gatekeeper of all correspondence to Antiwar.com, of course Keaton is in a highly influential position.

    You don’t know Ditz? Never met him? I think that you are full of the same shit that you are trying to spread here.

    In fact, your silly, vacuous reply simply confirms my suspicions.

    And – after all your promises about forwarding emails etc – did you email that comment to Raimondo as requested?

  83. “As a letters moderator of course you are in a key position.”

    Not really. Letters editor is pretty much a janitorial position — digging through spam, looking for real letters — these days. I wish it were otherwise.

    “As a gatekeeper of all correspondence to Antiwar.com, of course Keaton is in a highly influential position.”

    Well, she would be, if she was any such thing. She’s not.

    “You don’t know Ditz? Never met him? I think that you are full of the same shit that you are trying to spread here.”

    I’ve never met Ditz. I’ve never met Garris. I’ve never met most of the staff at Antiwar.com, as I’ve never set foot in the city where its offices are located. I live halfway across the United States from San Francisco, in St. Louis, Missouri.

    I’ve met Keaton because we were both involved in the Libertarian Party at one time.

    I met Raimondo once, long before I worked for Antiwar.com, when he spoke at a university in my area.

    “And – after all your promises about forwarding emails etc – did you email that comment to Raimondo as requested?”

    I can’t forward emails that I haven’t received. My address is backtalk at antiwar dot com. I’m not sure why you’d need me to forward anything, though, as Raimondo’s address (justin at antiwar.com) is publicly listed right there on the site.

  84. not important

    I didn’t ask you to forward an email. I asked you to copy and paste my comment on this thread and to send it to him in order that we might be re-assured that he is not being led by the nose by you and fellow zionists who have taken over the organisation of which he is the (?puppet) figurehead.
    Would you mind doing this? If not, why not, since you are so open about everything else that you purportedly know about Antiwar.com?

  85. Aside from the fact that I’m not your secretary, exactly how is me telling you that I sent Raimondo something “reassuring” as to his status?

    How would you know I wasn’t lying when I said I had forwarded it?

    How does adding a link to the chain of correspondence, when you have his direct email address, tend to increase rather than decrease your confidence that you’re actually reaching him?

    When I receive correspondence at the backtalk @ antiwar dot com address which is clearly intended for Raimondo, I forward it to Raimondo, because that’s part of the job. Filling his inbox up with random comments from around the Intertubes isn’t.

  86. not important

    As an afterthought, Raimondo may have nowhere else to go. But until I see him reporting here, on this site – having read the main piece by Maidhc, and all of the comments – that he is still committed, has no concerns about the loss of his major columnists, and is entirely comfortable with the current zionist-inspired propaganda appearing on the site, then I will believe that, perhaps, there hasn’t been a zionist takeover. I doubt if we will see such a statement from such an honorable man even if he is desperate to keep his position.

  87. not important

    Your response appeared after my last post. All I can say to that is that I don’t believe a word that you say until we see a genuine, certified post from Raimondo himself (and not from Keaton posing as Raimondo).

  88. not important

    As an anti-zionist who tried to persuade you “through argument” why did she write to me “G-d I hate racists” when I cited a post that mentioned zionists?

  89. I note that Mr. Knapp has failed to address the charges leveled at Anti-war.com and simply chosen to make a complete fool of himself in order to avoid dealing with the issues.

    With spokespeople like that, it’s little wonder that Anti-war.com is being trashed on forums across the internet.

  90. niqnaq

    Just a couple of oblique thoughts, justified I hope by their possible bearing on the real politics of the AntiWar.com staff:

    (1) If Angela really used the expression”G-d”, then that means she is an observant Jew. In some people’s minds (although I hold this to be an outdated view), there is an antithesis between religious Judaism and the supposed secularity of Zionism. It is still possible even today to hear a fanatically activist ultra-Orthodox settler polemicizing against “Zionism” because he is using the old and misleading definition of it as being an anti-religious ideology. To the rest of us, this is quite meaningless once we understand it, but seriously misleading until we do. This may then mean that Angela is not a “Zionist” in the (outdated) secular sense, because she is a Zionist in the religious sense, whereas Thomas is a secular zionist.

    (2) Thomas’s particular style of invective is absolutely full of gay slang. There is absolutely no reason to suppose that any of the people he is abusing are gay, or are interested in the particular form of cultural radicalism which Thomas, or Justin, or possibly others at AntiWar.com, may associate with gay culture. But it does appear that he is trying to play on a homophobia he imagines to exist in the people he is abusing. Two examples, one quoted by a victim and one illustrated by Thomas himself: the first is the extraordinary and doubtless completely irrelevant quote from him to someone, “Pull down your hem, dear, your agenda’s showing,” and the second is “If Jason Ditz marches buck naked through the Castro tomorrow … displaying tattoos … on his respective butt cheeks …”

  91. Is Peter Ackerman’s ICNC disavowing its raison d’être?

    Almost three years ago, Richard Perle brazenly attempted to deny his own existence as a leading pro-Israel architect of the Iraq war, when he stated, “There is no such thing as a neoconservative foreign policy.”

    Now, the “nonviolent” manifestation of that regime change agenda (promoted by the likes of the supposedly “non-interventionist” Antiwar.com) appears to be following suit.

    On January 4, Bloomberg Markets magazine noted Peter Ackerman’s efforts to apply his longstanding “passion for grass-roots democracy” around the world to the American political scene in a surprisingly critical report entitled “Internet Picks Presidential Candidate If Ackerman Gets His Way.”

    Continue reading here…

  92. niqnaq

    Further developing these thoughts: if my theory is correct, then Thomas may not have meant what we thought he meant when he said that Angela had “tried to convert him.” We thought — and were intended to think — that he meant, she tried to convert him from Zionism to non-Zionism. But he may really have meant that she tried to convert him from secular Zionism to what I call “religious Zionism”, but the ultra-Orthodox refuse to call Zionism at all.

    My other after-thought concerns the possible logical relationship between the question of Zionism and the question of the gay cultural pose. I speculate that it may be widely believed among Jews that Judaism is permissive regarding homosexuality in a way that Christianity is not. Of course, few if any of us are Christians in the practicing, religious sense, but I have found that almost all Jews tend to think of us as “Christians”, generically, because they have a very deeply rooted cultural memory of us as having been such. If this is the link, then it suggests that the gay pose stands in as a symbolic substitute for Jewishness.

  93. Pingback: Is Peter Ackerman’s ICNC disavowing its raison d’être? « The Passionate Attachment

  94. “If Angela really used the expression ‘G-d’, then that means she is an observant Jew.”

    Get out your dictionary and look up the term “non sequitur.”

    “Thomas’s particular style of invective is absolutely full of gay slang.”

    Interesting assertion. The mother of my children will no doubt be heartbroken to discover that I’m a repressed homosexual. But on the up side, at least I didn’t have to spend several thousand dollars on psychotherapy to find out.

  95. not important

    I don’t really understand it, but (as my kids say) cool. This time I don’t think we will hear back from dear Mr Thomas Knapp because we are getting too close to the truth and his silly lies are becoming too apparent.

  96. Quite the rabbit hole you’re digging there!

    To the best of my knowledge, Ms. Keaton is not a practicing religious Jew, nor a Zionist of any kind. I didn’t say that she tried to “convert” me. I said that she tried to “cure” me. That phrasing was intentional. So far as I can tell, she regards Zionism as a disease or affliction, or possibly a poison. She’s stridently pro-Palestinian.

    As for my own religious beliefs, I was brought up in a fundamentalist Christianity which has a hard pro-Israel tendency (per its dispensationalist orientation and interpretations of biblical prophecy), but abandoned that theology many years ago. I ultimately concluded that the religion taught by Christ was Judaism, but declined to adopt said religion.

    My own current religious beliefs fall within the broad range occupied by Quakerism and Universal Sufism. Congratulations — you now know more about my religious beliefs than I’ve ever divulged to anyone at Antiwar.com.

    As far as Judaism being “permissive regarding homosexuality,” surely you jest. Mosaic law prescribes the death penalty for it.

  97. not important

    She did, and I received the email. But who knows. Truth is scarce. I didn’t think that you would dare show your face here again but such brazenness is, apparently, characteristic.
    Now that you are here again, could you please address some of the questions about (your ? puppet) raised above?

  98. niqnaq

    Ok, Thomas, I admit I over-reached myself there. But we know for a fact that Angela is religious enough to use the expression “G-d”, don’t we? On the other hand, she is certainly not ultra-Orthodox. I mean, she is no practitioner of tzeniut (modesty). In fact, I have quite an entertaining story about this, which I posted on the day this thread began, but Maidhc has been holding it back because, quite frankly, it’s a bit risqué. There are all sorts of graduations in Jewish feminine religiosity. I met a Sefardi girl online who was religious enough to share the aversion to “Zionism” as being a secular ideology, but zionist enough in the broad sense to share the expansionist ideology. She wasn’t too given to tzeniut either.

  99. Which questions, about what (alleged) puppet?

    I see somewhere above that I’m referred to as a “spokesman” for Antiwar.com. As I’ve mentioned before, no, I am not only not officially representing Antiwar.com here, but I’ve not asked permission of, or even notified anyone at, Antiwar.com that I am commenting here.

    I’m not sure why you think my “brazenness” is “characteristic,” given that fully half the complaints here about Antiwar.com seem to revolve around the fact that its personnel aren’t dedicating themselves 24/7 to responding to your “rinse/repeat” complaints schedule.

    I’m here because I enjoy the conversation. And now that you’ve worked yourselves up to a full lather, escalating from “we don’t like Antiwar.com’s sources/reportage” to “the Mossad has taken over Antiwar.com and is keeping Justin Raimondo strapped to a La-Z-Boy® on a strict diet of LSD and hasbara,” I doubt that you’re going to find anyone else there interested in humoring you.

  100. “But we know for a fact that Angela is religious enough to use the expression ‘G-d’, don’t we?”

    Actually, my guess is that she used that expression by way of yanking your chain.

  101. niqnaq

    Who can comprehend the movements of the Jewish soul? It is, to borrow Churchill’s 1939 description of Russia, “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.”

  102. Mossad Assassinations: Antiwar’s Chomskyan Covering of US-Israel Relationship

    On the Antiwar.com Blog, John Glaser seeks to diminish Eli Lake’s report of Israeli responsibility for the assassination of Iranian scientists…

  103. niqnaq

    You’ve changed your line of ridicule, Thomas. Something I said must have hit home.

  104. heywood

    Antiwar does demonize selected enemies of the USA, often.

    While honest decent anti-war sites documented NATO lies about Libya, Antiwar was engaging in simplistic belligerent demonization of Gadhafi and falsely reported on the ‘rebels’
    Antiwar.com did not report on the racial killings by NATO mercenaries, did not report on the wonderful social programs in Libya.
    They just hurled insults at Gadafi and went along with FoxNews & CNN in attempting to create the impression of a legitimate rebellion in Libya in order to minimize opposition to the pending US invasion. Most stupid Americans Europeans and Canadians who claim to oppose war somehow supported the Libya invasion. Take a bow antiwar.com, along with huffypost, rawstory, and democracynow.

    Just one example of that.
    http://news.antiwar.com/2011/02/24/major-clashes-reported-as-protests-near-libyan-capital/

    This Thomas Knapp apologist has a tough job. Covering up lies designed sell war whilst attempting to present as a pacifist. No wonder he fails in such spectacular fashion. The truth has an anti war bias…..

  105. heywood,

    I don’t know where you think I’ve “attempted to present as a pacifist,” but the only place I know of where that might be true is in your imagination.

    Which would be the same place that you came up with the fantasy that Antiwar.com supported US or NATO intervention in Libya, just because we didn’t go out of our way to pretend that Gaddafi was anything other than the slime he was.

  106. It’s interesting that a segment of the “anti-war” establishment discovered that Ghadafi was a “slime” only in the lead up to military aggression on Libya. Funny how that works.

  107. When you figure out whether you’re criticizing Antiwar.com for a) not singing Gaddafi’s praises recently, or b) not hating on him early enough, let me know.

  108. I’ve been quite clear. I criticize anti-war.com for warmongering.

  109. “I’ve been quite clear. I criticize anti-war.com for warmongering.”

    OK, so we’ve narrowed your problem down to either derangement or dishonesty. Unfortunately, not being equipped to cure the former or tolerate the latter, I’m not the guy you need to be talking to. Try a psychiatrist or a priest.

  110. That’s a winning come back there. You are really quite a convincing little boy.

  111. niqnaq

    The thing is, whenever we try to get anything specific out of Thomas, he either resorts to irrelevant sarcasm or says he doesn’t know. I’m content regarding my original question, which was about Sibel Edmonds, because both Thomas (here) and Jason (there) have said that she is not banned from posting comments. So, I guess, Maidhc (or anyone else, but at least she knows who he is) should let her know this, and encourage her to post a comment on some relevant thread and see what happens.I would suggest the one in which I raised the matter with Jason and he said she wasn’t banned from posting comments, viz, this one:
    http://news.antiwar.com/2012/01/10/assad-vows-to-crush-opposition-says-victory-is-near/

    However, we are getting nowhere on the question of their Syria coverage, because Thomas just isn’t facing the questions honestly. For instance, when I tell him in so many words, “AntiWar.com is passively supporting the regime change program in Syria by not reporting the facts, which are abundantly reported elsewhere, regarding US- and UK-led organising and funding of the Free Syria Army and various smaller groups,” he just starts talking about Jason’s butt-cheeks.

    Now, it so happens that while Ivan Eland on RT CrossTalk says he doesn’t believe the US is directly helping the Syrian insurrectionists, the text box at the bottom of the CrossTalk video is saying that unmarked NATO planes are dropping arms to them. But Thomas says that he was only able to watch the first 8 minutes of the video, and that he thinks what Eland said was merely that the US and Israel may not be so much “hot to get rid of Assad” as “positioning themselves to manage the fallout.”

    Then he says “I’m not sure I agree with him, but having a different opinion than you on the composition and internal dynamics of a plot is not the same thing as denying the plot.” If he had taken the trouble to watch the whole thing, at YouTube or at Russia Today (which has its own video server), then he would know that, as I said, Eland says he doesn’t believe the US is directly helping the Syrian insurrectionists. And here he will return to the “I don’t know, it’s above my pay grade” line.

  112. Good idea, niqnaq.

    I’ve forwarded your suggestion to Sibel Edmonds, with a link to that thread.

  113. The Truth about Syria (that you are unlikely to read at Antiwar.com)…

    In this rapidly changing environment Syria is a holdout state, standing firm against the US and Israel on the one hand and the rising Islamist/salafist trend on the other. The peaceful opposition was swamped in violence a long time ago, with the army still battling ‘defectors’ and the armed gangs the media keeps telling us are an invention of the state. The western media has yet to interview the families of the thousands of soldiers and civilians who have been killed by ‘defectors’ and other armed bands to see what they think about what is happening in their country. Relying on the unverified accusations of ‘activists’ or suspect sources outside Syria, the media has played a critical role in the development of a false narrative. Last week the Guardian hit a new low point with the accusation by of a London-based ‘activist’ that the Syrian security forces are packing detainees into container ships and dumping them at sea. It had no evidence for this claim, but then this is how the Guardian has been ‘reporting’ this crisis throughout. When Damascus was bombed, both the Guardian and the BBC led with the claim that these bombings were the work of the government – according to activists. They had no evidence for this accusation either, literally made while Syrians were still washing the blood off the streets and picking up the body parts of the civilians who had been killed. When the Arab League issued an interim statement on the work of its monitors in Syria, it called for an end to the violence by the state and by armed gangs. On its web page, the BBC reported only that it called on the Syrian government to end the violence.

  114. niqnaq

    Where is TLK? Has he finally given up? We’ve been going at him for almost six days straight.

  115. Maybe he doesn’t work at the weekends.

  116. niqnaq

    He claimed he wasn’t coming here in a work capacity, but just hanging out, for fun. But certainly he must be exhausted. I couldn’t have handled it the way he did. I wouldn’t even have tried. By the way, it’s definitely true that your “Notify me of follow-up comments via email” button doesn’t work for me. I mention this so that others on this thread may chime in that theirs does or doesn’t, to give you a quick and useful indication of whether the problem is a general one. On my own blog, I disabled the function intentionally for a while, and lost quite a lot of readers as a result, because some people didn’t visit at all unless a thread that already interested them was active.

  117. not important

    And of course, not surprisingly, not a squeak from Justin Raimondo. I wonder if he is aware of these criticisms and chooses to keep his head down (while all other, decent correspondents have fled) or lives on in blissful ignorance, protected by the “anti-zionist” Angela Keaton?

  118. Yes, I work weekends — but not as much (and my schedule is such that my weekend is Friday and Saturday — Sunday is effectively my Monday).

    This isn’t work, it’s personal conversation. I’ll try to get back to it later today.

  119. niqnaq

    There’s a great deal of mid-east news for you to digest. I am doggedly maintaining (including in several comment threads here on Maidhc’s blog or blogs, because he has two) that the multiple indications of a US-Israel split which have appeared over the last few days are all elements in a gigantic deception campaign. No-one has taken me up on this yet, and I cannot imagine my theory gaining much traction among AntiWar readers. It is too complicated (always my occupational hazard).

  120. I too noticed that the whole thing is nothing more than a theatrical creation, nothing actual about the on again off again US/Israel military exercise.

    I congratulated myself for not having posted anything on it as I’m sure that Anti-war has foolishly done.

    You ought to write that up as an article. Pointing out how much unwarranted traction the story got.

  121. niqnaq,

    Like you, I’m skeptical of there being any real daylight between the US and Israel on Syria policy, and consider claims of such to be likely disinformation.

    But, getting back to Antiwar.com’s Syria coverage specifically (which seems to be your focus, as you state on your own blog), it seems to me that there are three possibilities:

    1) Antiwar.com’s coverage is just peachy. No problems at all.

    2) There are problems with Antiwar.com’s coverage, but they are problems of an unintentional nature.

    3) There are problems with Antiwar.com’s coverage, and those problems indicate that Antiwar.com is intentionally doing something evil. That something evil, in terms of possibility or allegation, ranges from a generic “passively supporting” the regime change agenda by lying down on the job to actively supporting said agenda through disinformation, perhaps because we’ve been co-opted by e.g. Soros.

    I’ve worked in journalism on and off for more than 30 years, and I don’t think possibility “1” should ever be settled upon by any party.

    On the other hand, I’ve seen nothing to convince me of the likelihood of possibility “3” (of course, I could be part of the conspiracy, right?).

    In my view, possibility “2” is the most likely by far, and response/non-response to that possibility is at worst attributable to any publication’s natural resistance to the idea that they’re not getting things right.

    Also in my view, at least some of those attempting to imply possibility “3” have an agenda of their own, based not so much on the actual problems as on a desire to use those problems to promote a preferred other source versus Antiwar.com.

    But, I must admit, my view is clouded by the fact that I’m physically located 2,000 miles from Antiwar.com’s offices (so I don’t hear the “water cooler talk”); by the fact that a number of Antiwar.com staff are friends of mine even outside the context of Antiwar.com itself; and by the fact that I get a general impression of a “falling out” between Sibel Edmonds and Co. with Antiwar.com at some point in the not-too-distant past (I get that impression mostly from Edmonds & Co.’s end), but am not privy to any details of what, if anything, happened there.

    So, while I am absolutely personally certain that possibility “3” is not the case, I’m also well aware that my certitude is based on subjective factors and therefore may not be justified. I’m biased; these people are friends of mine, some of them for more than a decade; their accusers are people whom I know, at most, by reputation. I’m probably not going to get un-biased.

  122. heywood

    Getting your sorry ass kicked in the fact based department, you resort to petty semantics. Weak.
    You don’t like the word pacifist, clearly. Sorry to offend you with it, but my point was that something calling itself ANTI freakin WAR should actually oppose immoral illegal wars of conquest based on lies. Your dirty CNN-esque style of reporting on the Libyan invasion was disgusting and you know it.
    Again, one link to a typical pro war propaganda story from antiwar.com so people can see what greasy lies you told. Shameful.
    http://news.antiwar.com/2011/02/24/major-clashes-reported-as-protests-near-libyan-capital/

  123. “Mercenary forces” attacking protesters eh?

    Too bad for the defender of the lie machine that there never were any in actuality.

    They are left with their odious lies as testament to their utter, craven, lack of caution and credulousness. Or worse, an example of their being used or perhaps deliberately being useful for the war agenda.

    Given the lack of contrition and the asinine behavior of their representative on this thread we can assume the worst.

  124. Please feel free to point out which part of that story was not true (actually not true, not just “the slant I read into it does not accord with what I want to hear”).

    Now, once again, where is it that you imagine I’ve “attempted to present as a pacifist?”

    I briefly considered myself a pacifist. Back in high school. Before my ten years as a US Marine Corps infantryman.

  125. heywood

    Hi aletho, I am sure you know that Libya had FREE guaranteed education, interest free mortgages, free quality healthcare, safe streets, clean drinking water and a unique creative wonderful ‘parliament’ that kept the peace.
    The Knappster can’t handle that truth and that says much about him…and the antiwar.com site. What NATO did to Libya is a crime against humanity. The small role played by Knappster and antiwar.com in defending that crime is shameful.

    Demonizing Gadafi with lies to pave the way for that Obama war of choice is classic pro war propaganda. The Knappster resorting to the ‘slime’ pejorative shows all the class and accuracy of a FoxNews hack.
    Amazing how these sneaky pro war shills just keep on lying while easily verifiable facts about the living conditions in Libya under Gadafi are just a click away.

  126. I don’t recall ever making any public comment on living conditions in Libya under Gaddafi.

    And I agree, what NATO did was a crime against humanity, from end to end.

    That doesn’t mean that I have to pretend that Gaddafi was anything other than the murderous despot he was.

    I consider all regimes — including those of the US, Israel and western Europe — “slime.” I’m an anarchist.

    And sorry, there’s no such thing as “free” education or healthcare. Somebody’s paying for it.

  127. Yes, demonizing with lies is what they did. And right below my comment at January 15, 2012 at 8:27 pm which quotes Anti-war.com pushing the “mercenary” lies Knapp demands proof of any actual lies.

    Shameless buffoonery. I suppose he still has the faith. Either that or he is just being intentionally incoherent. Shills they are.

    And paving the way to war is more criminal when you go around claiming to be the “anti-war” alternative.

  128. heywood

    Choice 3 please.
    Removing your over the top language, it is clear that by trumping up (fake CIA) led rebellions and reporting on them as legitimate, antiwar helped sell the US led war on Libya that was sure to follow.
    Mind numbingly stupid lies about Gadaffi also helped Americans accept and approve of that war.
    Now you run the same game on Syria…………why not, it worked before!
    With obvious lies, selective use of facts and a refusal to write about the civilian casualties caused by NATO and our spies in Libya and Syria, you and antiwar again shill for war.
    antiwar.com is just one of hundreds of Orwellian puppet shows that deceive and confuse people, doing the opposite of what its name implies, and you know it.

    All insults aside, if you seriously want to get ‘unbiased’, you should read half a dozen articles at globalresearch.ca and at stephen lendemanblog on Libya.
    Then use your own journalistic skills and compare it to the antiwar.com coverage. It would be impossible for any sane thinking person to conclude that antiwar.com is not in the bag for the war machine.

  129. aletho,

    There are three categories of soldiery:

    1) Unpaid volunteers;
    2) Conscripts; and
    3) Mercentaries.

    Are you really suggesting that each and every one of the Gaddafi regime’s troops fell into one of the first two categories?

  130. And there we have it. Knapp gives it up.

    By Knapp’s standard for reporting on Libyan security forces every single US personnel should be reported on using the term “mercenary.”

    I’m having trouble locating that at Anti-war.com

    Oh, yes, they must have some other standard for reporting on regimes other than those targeted for destruction by the West. Yes.

  131. “And there we have it. Knapp gives it up.”

    Thanks for admitting that your entire routine is about playing a convoluted game of “gotcha!” rather than about actually discovering fact or truth.

    Yes, every single US troop since the draft ended — including me, when I was one — was/is a mercenary.

  132. niqnaq

    I don’t think we can say anything further about Sibel Edmonds’ issues unless she once again reports that she is being blocked from posting comments at AntiWar.com, and/or that her emails (or snail mails, for all I know) are being ignored.

    Maidhc very explicitly asked us not to deviate from the subject of AntiWar.com itself, because there was a long diversion into questions about Jeff Blankfort’s attitude to Muammar Gadhafi, which was clearly irrelevant to AntiWar.com. I don’t have any views on AntiWar.com’s treatment of Libya, because I wasn’t paying close attention to that specific question at the time. But I have always found that it’s so confusing to discuss multiple cases simultaneously. I would suggest we stick to issues that are current and rather crucial right now, as Syria is.

    I’m willing to accept Thomas’ possibility 2, at least provisionally, for the following reason. The only person I have accused of outright deception (in the sense that he just has to know better) is Ivan Eland, who was not speaking on AntiWar.com’s behalf when he appeared on RT’s CrossTalk. I don’t think Eland should be regarded as a spokesman or representative of AntiWar.com just because he regularly writes columns there. Rather, we should be considering the attitudes of the commissioning editors at AntiWar.com, who choose who to invite to write on some given subject at some given time, and who to ignore. And the most I can accuse them of is consistently avoiding asking anyone to contribute who may have a strong theory of US/NATO intervention in Syria.

    News writers like Jason Ditz and John Glaser are setting editorial news policy, in practical terms, so they are legitimate subjects for us. Opinion writers like Justin Raimondo don’t interest me so much, because their explicitly ideological writing is at a considerable remove from the news selection process. But on the other hand, they undoubtedly set editorial policy, because they are celebrities and are seen as embodiments of AntiWar.com’s ideological stance.

  133. Vis a vis Libya, Antiwar.com’s editorial line was always in opposition to US/NATO intervention (and contra a claim somewhere above, Antiwar.com ran several pieces that referenced the roundups/murders of non-Arab Africans by “rebel”/NATO forces).

    Likewise, Antiwar.com has and will continue to rigorously oppose any and all US/NATO intervention, whether it is direct military intervention or the funneling of aid to opposition through NGOs, in Syria.

    The question seems to reduce to three things:

    1) The claim that Antiwar.com’s news coverage gives too much credence to a “mainstream” narrative that tends to promote intervention. That’s a reasonable/plausible claiim, whether I agree with it or not.

    2) The claim that (1) is intentional on the part of Antiwar.com, which. I do not agree that that is the case.

    3) The claim that editorial antipathy toward the regimes intervened against supports, or is tantamount to supporting, US/NATO intervention to overthrow those regimes. Not only do I not agree with that claim, I think it’s complete horseshit. Gaddafi was, and Assad is, no more worthy of support than Obama, Netanyahu, Putin, et. al.

  134. niqnaq

    To say that “Antiwar.com’s news coverage gives too much credence to a “mainstream” narrative that tends to promote intervention in Syria” isn’t quite strong enough for me. There is a policy there, not just a tendency. But the policy is based on a certain geopolitical theory, which would be difficult to define precisely. Can I get you to roll your eye down the comments to this Glaser article?
    http://news.antiwar.com/2012/01/14/us-worries-about-impending-preemptive-israeli-strike-on-iran/

  135. And by this standard we would have to expect that Anti-war.com would denounce Obama as a brute upon his assassination by a Santorum supporter.

  136. “Now, it so happens that while Ivan Eland on RT CrossTalk says he doesn’t believe the US is directly helping the Syrian insurrectionists,”

    I’ve finished watching the video. Twice. I’m not sure where you think that Eland said any such thing.

    He very explicitly stipulated to the US directly helping the insurrectionists. He did say that it “has not been demonstrated” that the US is directly arming the insurrectionists.

    Whether or not the US is arming the insurrectionists is a matter of fact. Either it is or it isn’t. Whether or not it has been demonstrated that the US is doing so it entirely a matter of the opinion viewing the alleged demonstration.

    I’m perfectly willing to believe that the US is arming the Syrian insurrectionists, but the only “demonstrations” of the claim I’ve personally seen are Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov saying so (quoted on Global Research in November), and Sibel Edmonds saying so on the basis of unnamed sources (on RT in December).

    Apparently that level of demonstration doesn’t satisfy Eland.

  137. Sure. Just did. I particularly like your closer:

    “the question of ‘which is dog and which is tail’ is wrongly posed, because it assumes that distinct national elites within distinct nation-states confront one another, rather than that transnational elites flow between the nation-states.”

    Very true (and if you’ve read my stuff at C4SS, you already knew that I agree with that).

    However, I would say that in the case of Antiwar.com, it points to an unfortunate credibility-attributing tendency playing out, rather than to a policy being implemented.

    I’m somewhat anomalous at Antiwar.com, as a left-libertarian. Most of the staff there are right-libertarians, of a particular stripe which tends to give more credence than I think reasonable to what used to be called the “realist” faction of the political class.

  138. niqnaq

    Peter Dale Scott is a master of this ‘transnational elites’ thing. He tends to describe them as ‘transnational criminal gangsters’ rather than ‘elites’, though. Individuals who belong to the USraeli ‘transnational elite’ are easy to spot, though; Maidhc has written about a number of them.

    Connie Bruck at the New Yorker has written about a whole string of them, all in real estate, finance or media: Sheldon Adelson, Philip Anschutz, Eli Broad, Haim Saban, Sam Zell, Lew Wasserman, Edgar Bronfman, Gerald Levin, George Soros … the list goes on and on.

  139. niqnaq

    I just thought: Antiwar.com’s relative neglect or dismissal of Syria may be precisely because it is Russia’s key ally in the region. If there’s one thing they don’t like at AntiWar.com, it’s Russia.

    Anyway, it’s midnight UK time so I’m outta here. Goodnight, all.

  140. Antiwar.com not liking Russia? They definitely took Russia’s side on the Ossetia/Abkhazia/Georgia thing, and Raimondo seems to have a huge man-crush on Putin.

  141. niqnaq

    Mises and Hayek and Rothbard and Ayn Rand wouldn’t have approved at all. Not since Putin started reversing the effects of the Chicago treatment, anyway.

  142. niqnaq

    Mark Perry’s sources say that within weeks of taking office, the Obama Administration “drastically scaled back joint US-Israel intelligence programs targeting Iran.” But Phil Giraldi says that just recently, according to his intelligence contacts, Obama issued two Presidential findings authorizing further anti-Iranian covert ops as well as covert ops against Syria. Giraldi is more credible than Perry’s sources, who say disingenuous things like “We don’t do bang and boom.” And Giraldi is prepared to talk about US covert ops in Syria. But Giraldi writes entirely on the basis of unattributable inside sources. That fact alone worries me. He could just be feeding us snippets of what he knows we want to hear. He’s a case study in his own right, for somebody sometime.

  143. But just wait till Jason Ditz turns his “nonviolent” attention to Regime Change, Inc.’s war on Russia.

  144. Took Russia’s side against the Israeli-backed provocateur in Tiblisi who nearly started WWIII? I guess Antiwar.com isn’t all bad.

  145. Here’s another example of what’s wrong with Antiwar.com.

    In a piece today entitled “Qatari Emir Pushes for Attack on Syria,” Jason Ditz writes:

    With the Arab League’s monitoring mission continuing in Syria, Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani took the unprecedented step of urging the Arab League to organize a military attack against Syria.

    Apart from the fact that he got the story from Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News, one has to go to Moon of Alabama to get some crucial (and genuinely antiwar) context:

    But what is really curious here (and what only Qatar’s AlJazeera(!) reports) is that the CBS interview is old:

    In an interview due to be aired on Sunday with US broadcaster CBS for the news programme 60 Minutes, Sheikh Hamad was asked if he was in favour of Arab nations intervening, to which he replied: “For such a situation to stop the killing … some troops should go to stop the killing.”

    The interview was recorded in mid-November.

    Why and on who’s request did CBS hold back this interview for two month?

    Were the preparations not yet finished for the NATO intervention in Syria? Was some additional time needed to make the Arab League observer mission fail to convince other Arab states to agree to the next war phase?

    The interview was given after Syria in early November agreed to an Arab league cease fire plan which the rebels immediately rejected. “Western” news by now is always forgetting that last point. Despite continuing attacks from the opposition the Syrian government has largely followed the agreement, pulled back tanks, released prisoners and is implementing reforms. The observer mission was agreed to on December 19. Unless renewed it will run out in five days.

    But it seems that all along the plan was not to allow for a peaceful solution for Syria. Why else would the Emir of Qatar, in an interview for the U.S. public, call for troops to attack Syria back in mid November?

    So here we have an amateur — in the best sense of the word — blogger doing what the “professional” writer is paid to do by Antiwar.com’s naïve donors.

  146. niqnaq

    That’s quite paradigmatic, yes. I saw the Moon of Alabama analysis, but I just couldn’t get down into the nitty-gritty of it, so I dealt with it on my own blog simply by copying Russia Today’s report, but headlining it What the US has been ‘waiting’ for: an Arab call for armed intervention in Syria. Notice the scare quotes around ‘waiting’. I try very hard to present everything in as compressed a way as I can, and sarcastic headlines are my usual way of doing that.

  147. Pingback: Exposing Emir’s Declaration of War on Syria: Amateur blogger does what Antiwar.com should be doing « The Passionate Attachment

  148. niqnaq

    I just posted a real doozy under Justin’s latest effort. I flatter myself that he won’t be able to ignore this one.
    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2012/01/15/under-a-false-flag/
    and scroll down.

  149. heywood

    Above on this thread you attempted to go off on all sorts of weird tangents and to steer the discussion away from antiwar.com.
    Samuel Becket, Gold dealers, Zionism, bodily fluids etc. Odd.

    How antiwar reported on Libya is very important………sorry just because YOU sat that one out does not give you a right to dismiss it.
    Libya is ongoing as Bushbama now has over 10,000 troops poised to enter Libya……..I got that from a genuine anti war source, Cynthia McKinney.

    The identical game plan used to destroy Libya is now being played out on Syria from troops to media pigs.
    1, fake color revolution with over the top western media coverage
    2. Sensationalized media coverage on target ‘violent’ governments response to fake revolution.
    3 Nato led, sponsored and controlled mercenaries are presented as a legitimate peoples army
    4 Nato to the rescue with military intervention such as TEN THOUSAND bombing sorties on Libya killing thousands………….yeah I can see why niqnak is so quick to dismiss Libya and just move on.
    5 Dirty western media must continually hype the revolution and cover, ignore or LIE about Nato war crimes and the drastic destruction of civilians and their infrastructure.

    Since antiwar.com followed the script on Libya and does so again on Syria it is clear that they are shills for war. Knapp is the blunt instrument response from antiwar behaving like a FoxNews thug. Is niqnaq the clever stealthy response?
    Colonel Flagg lives!

    All of us need to be brave enough to question our trusted news sources and hold them to a few basic litmus tests.
    911 truth, Libya, the entirely fake Republicans v. Democrats theatrical production, are just a few key topics that reveal much about any news source. Slamming a few Republican nut cases and giving support to the Obama wars just doesn’t cut it.
    antiwar.com is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to clever sites selling war.

  150. Knapp kind of resembles Avigdor Lieberman in his picture, or perhaps it’s his style of engagement. I wonder if he also worked as a bar bouncer prior to his gig at Anti-war.com

  151. As a matter of fact, I did work briefly as a bouncer, 20-odd years ago. I assume I was hired because I fared well as a customer when a drunk attacked me (he broke my nose, then I broke him — pretty much ruined my date).

    Worked the door part-time for about a year. Only had to physically remove one person that entire time (it was a fairly laid-back club in that respect). I’m older and fatter now, but I wouldn’t mind having five minutes alone with Lieberman to adjust his attitude.

    I’ve also been a produce clerk, a gas station attendant (both of those during high school), a boat builder, a forklift driver, a roadie, a US Marine, an office furniture assembler, a bookstore assistant manager, a framer/carpenter, a mustard miller … never managed to knock down a gigolo slot, though.

    Your point?

  152. heywood,

    You’re absolutely correct about the Libya pattern of intervention being repeated in Syria, and about Antiwar.com’s complicity in the “humanitarian” destabilization of both countries.

    But from what I’ve read here, I think you’ve misconstrued niqnaq’s position. Rather than attempting to steer the discussion away from Antiwar.com and Libya, he was actually responding to my call for an end to a distracting row over a separate writer’s views on Gaddafi.

    This point is not only directed to you, but we should all try to take the utmost care to understand someone’s position before making inflammatory accusations. Earlier on this thread I was accused of ignorance of and indifference to Libya — even though a simple google search would show that I had written extensively on the subject.

  153. Not important

    A lot of the Antiwar.com bullshit appears to be coming from Jason Ditz. I couldn’t find out much about him through simple Google searches. Does anyone know his background and just how he rose to such prominence at this site? Is he, perhaps, related to Keaton in some way?

  154. Not important,

    He does seem to be the most egregious propagandist for Regime Change, Inc. at Antiwar.com.

    Apart from what I’ve written in the report of his familiarity with at least one of the Peter Ackerman-funded Albert Einstein Institute’s key works (by someone who vehemently denies widespread suspicions of his working for the CIA) and his ideological commitment to its strategy of nonviolent conflict, Ditz appears to be ill-qualified as a Middle East analyst. A graduate in Mathematics and Optical Physics from Saginaw, Michigan, whose hobbies are pacifism, vegetarianism and text-based video games, he has probably never been outside the U.S., let alone set foot in the Middle East.

    It would be interesting to know on what basis he was hired by Antiwar.com as a research editor.

  155. David Daniels has a deliciously sardonic comment on Ditz’s piece.

  156. niqnaq

    The net effect of people inserting their comments in the supposedly “correct” position in this truly mammoth thread is that nobody else knows they are there. Their replies get ‘nested’ somewhere half-way up the page, and no-one is going to go scrolling up and down through it on the off-chance that someone has added a reply somewhere in an earlier ‘nested’ sequence. The reader cannot select a simple chronological display of comments and just get to see what has been added.The blog owner can select nesting or simple chronological display, the reader cannot. I don’t use nesting on my blog, just a simple chronological display. That requires people who are replying to much earlier comments to say so, and occasionally it becomes unclear what they are responding to, but it has the advantage that the reader immediately sees what has been added since they last visited.

  157. niqnaq,

    I’ll try to sort it out tomorrow.

    Due to the unprecedented interest in this thread, this is the first time that such a problem has arisen.

  158. niqnaq

    Maybe the “Notify me of follow-up comments via email” thing works for other people, or maybe they’re using RSS. But I just noticed, more by luck than anything else, a reply from Thomas way up there somewhere in which he says he watched the Eland CrossTalk tape again and he still can’t see where Eland denies that the US (or NATO) is (or are) directly assisting the Syrian insurrectionists. Well, Thomas, he says “If they are, AND I DON’T THINK THEY ARE, then they should stop.” I am not going to watch it again so as to give you an exact time into the recording when he says it, but he does.

  159. niqnaq,

    I’ll watch it yet again and try to find that.

    Somewhere up above, someone gives Antiwar.com a partial pass on whatever Eland says because he’s actually with the Independent Institute, but I think it best to decline that pass. Antiwar.com has carried Eland’s columns, featured him on its radio show, etc., for years, so it’s safe to say that we treat him as at least an “expert witness.”

    My own analysis tends to be more of the “blunt instrument” variety than Eland’s. I’m not big on nuance, nor do I place much trust in the internal dynamics of e.g. Washington and Tel Aviv to produce rational decisions.

    So while he makes a pretty good case for “the US and Israel may have thought they wanted Assad gone, but now they’re maybe not so sure,” I’m more willing to believe that they’re in “bull in china shop” mode and dropping everything short of tactical nukes to a co-opted, or even completely fabricated, “opposition.”

    At the same time, though, I detect something of the same flavor as Eland’s approach in the analysis of Antiwar.com as (“passively” or otherwise) carrying water for the interventionists. The attribution of intentionality to perceived narrative bias may be assuming too much about how we do what we do — or, to put it more bluntly, it seems more likely to me that we’re unintentionally fucking up than that we’re intentionally fucking over our audience.

  160. niqnaq

    That was me, Thomas, bending over backwards to be fair and accept at least provisionally your possibility (b). But what Eland is doing there is issuing a deniable denial. You work with propaganda, you see this all the time.

  161. niqnaq,

    Maybe that’s why Thomas has left so many questions unanswered, so many charges unchallenged…

    Or maybe Antiwar.com just needs another staff member here in an unofficial capacity to defend them.

  162. niqnaq

    What I really like about it is that around the same time, the text box at the bottom is stating for a fact that unmarked NATO planes are dropping either “arms” or maybe just “supplies” to them. I’m trying to be as precise as possible.

  163. Could he be issuing a “deniable denial?” Sure.

    Is he issuing a “deniable denial” rather than simply expressing an honestly informed opinion? I’m not nearly as certain of that as you seem to be.

    I’m less prone than you, apparently, to assume that disagreement on narrative or detail is evidence of complicity. That may have to do with my own past history.

    I was against the 2003 Iraq war long before it actually started. I hadn’t been a non-interventionist for that long at that point (I had libertarian/anti-state tendencies my entire life, but reservations about non-interventionism into the late 1990s; I was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1995 and fairly unthinkingly accepted interventionist logic for some time after).

    I opposed the war, period. I polemicized against it, I marched in demonstrations against it, etc. But on one particular issue, I tended to disagree with many interventionists.

    That issue was the whole “Saddam has chemical weapons stockpiles and an active WMD program.” I thought he probably did. I was biased toward the notion that he was just obsessively a chemical weapons type of guy (if for no other reason than that I’m pretty sure, based on both symptoms and Czech survey/monitor reports that US DoD discounts, that I got an unhealthy snort of sarin in 1991).

    I didn’t take that position in order to “passively support” intervention. In fact, I argued, the likely presence of WMD was a very good reason to NOT invade.

    Nor did I believe or pass on any of the official BS about Saddam having “kicked out” UNSCOM inspectors in 1998 (they left under their own steam after Saddam credibly accused them of espionage on behalf of the US beyond the USCOM mandate).

    As it turns out, I was wrong — the only chemical weapons found in post-Saddam Iraq have been pre-1991 artillery shells that were likely not under his control in the post-1991 era. But there’s a difference between wrong and being intentionally wrong; and especially between being wrong and being intentionally wrong as a way of furthering a hidden agenda.

  164. Well, yeah, the comment threading is a big counter-intuitive and I’ve found myself hopping back and forth trying to keep track. But no real complaints here about that.

    If you care to list the questions I haven’t answered, I’ll take a shot at answering them.

  165. niqnaq

    No, Thomas, what I am doing now is loading that CrossTalk video in another browser so that I can be 100% exact. I have been saying for the last two or three days that i was going to do this, and I should have done it already.

  166. So can I guess that 160-odd comments is atypical for your blog, Maidhc?

  167. “If you care to list the questions I haven’t answered, I’ll take a shot at answering them.”

    Well, apart from the serious concerns raised in the report that (snide remarks aside) remain unaddressed, take a shot at the following from the past 24 hours:

    January 16, 2012 at 6:24 am
    January 16, 2012 at 6:35 am
    January 16, 2012 at 6:51 am
    January 16, 2012 at 6:05 pm
    January 16, 2012 at 6:41 pm
    January 16, 2012 at 7:18 pm

  168. January 16, 2012 at 6:24 am: “But just wait till Jason Ditz turns his ‘nonviolent’ attention to Regime Change, Inc.’s war on Russia.” That’s not a question.

    January 16, 2012 at 6:35 am: A snarky comment — from me. That’s not a question, either.

    I’m going to stop there for the moment, on the assumption that WordPress.com gives you timestamps in your time zone, and me in mine.

  169. “So can I guess that 160-odd comments is atypical for your blog, Maidhc?”

    If you had even bothered to look at the home page, you wouldn’t need to ask.

    But I assume it’s just a rhetorical question intended to diminish a substantive critique of your employer that Antiwar.com is either unwilling or incapable of responding to in a professional manner.

  170. It’s not intended to “diminish” anything. I’m hoping that it indicates that your substantive critique, even though I disagree with it, is getting quite a few eyeballs on it.

  171. “That’s not a question.”

    I wrote “so many questions unanswered, so many charges unchallenged…”

    We’re looking at the same comments, but I’m still waiting for you to address any of them properly.

  172. “Antiwar.com is either unwilling or incapable of responding in a professional manner to this critique”

    They really messed up in that they could have ignored it altogether. But, oops.

  173. “… it indicates that your substantive critique, even though I disagree with it, is getting quite a few eyeballs on it.”

    As I’ve already pointed out on a number of occasions, the purpose in writing it was none other than to get Antiwar.com to live up to its mission.

    I and a lot of other disillusioned readers are still waiting.

  174. niqnaq

    Right-o, people, here is my extracted highlights from the Crosstalk show.

    TEXT BOX, 04:33 — NATO CLANDESTINELY ENGAGED IN SYRIAN CONFLICT, TURKEY TAKES LEAD AS U.S. PROXY
    TEXT BOX, 04:55 — UNMARKED NATO PLANES DELIVERING WEAPONS AND VOLUNTEERS FROM GADAFFI’S ARSENALS
    TEXT BOX, 09:45 — NATO CLANDESTINELY ENGAGED IN SYRIAN CONFLICT, TURKEY TAKES LEAD AS U.S. PROXY
    TEXT BOX, 10:00 — UNMARKED NATO PLANES DELIVERING WEAPONS AND VOLUNTEERS FROM GADAFFI’S ARSENALS
    TEXT BOX, 12:52 — NATO CLANDESTINELY ENGAGED IN SYRIAN CONFLICT, TURKEY TAKES LEAD AS U.S. PROXY
    TEXT BOX, 13:02 — UNMARKED NATO PLANES DELIVERING WEAPONS AND VOLUNTEERS FROM GADAFFI’S ARSENALS
    TEXT BOX, 09:45 — NATO CLANDESTINELY ENGAGED IN SYRIAN CONFLICT, TURKEY TAKES LEAD AS U.S. PROXY
    TEXT BOX, 10:00 — UNMARKED NATO PLANES DELIVERING WEAPONS AND VOLUNTEERS FROM GADAFFI’S ARSENALS

    I. Eland, 16:30 — “The real question from my perspective, I deal with U.S. policy, should the U.S. policy, should the U.S. be meddling around in there, no, if they are giving aid to some groups, armed groups in Syria, which I don’t think has been demonstrated, if they are, they should stop it… ”

    TEXT BOX, 17:38 — UNMARKED NATO PLANES DELIVERING WEAPONS AND VOLUNTEERS FROM GADAFFI’S ARSENALS
    TEXT BOX, 19:30 — NATO CLANDESTINELY ENGAGED IN SYRIAN CONFLICT, TURKEY TAKES LEAD AS U.S. PROXY
    TEXT BOX, 19:48 — UNMARKED NATO PLANES DELIVERING WEAPONS AND VOLUNTEERS FROM GADAFFI’S ARSENALS

    I. Eland, 21:16 — “And certainly, Syria has a nuclear wea-, a nuclear plant, a nuclear facility was destroyed in Syria… ”

    TEXT BOX, 22:32 — UNMARKED NATO PLANES DELIVERING WEAPONS AND VOLUNTEERS FROM GADAFFI’S ARSENALS
    TEXT BOX, 19:30 — NATO CLANDESTINELY ENGAGED IN SYRIAN CONFLICT, TURKEY TAKES LEAD AS U.S. PROXY

  175. niqnaq

    Make that “GADDAFI’S ARSENALS” throughout. Otherwise, checked and double checked.

  176. niqnaq,

    I find it odd that you would connect the RT text boxes with anything Eland said. Guests on TV shows normally don’t see — in fact, normally can’t see, at least in my experience — whatever the station may happen to be scrolling across the screen below them. They’re looking at a camera and talking.

    Furthermore, RT scrolling a text box below the screen saying “unmarked NATO planes delivering weapons, etc.” is roughly as much a “demonstration” that the claim is true as was Judith Miller writing “Saddam is developing a nuclear weapon.”

    Maidhc, my purpose in being here isn’t to “live up to Antiwar.com’s mission.” I found the discussion interesting and decided to join it. I did so without informing, or requesting permission from, anyone at Antiwar.com. If Antiwar.com wants to respond “officially” through a representative, I’m sure they will. They’re not doing so through me.

  177. “Interesting” is an interesting word to use to describe your motivation for a time-consuming, unofficial participation in an online discussion of your employer’s potentially fatal flaws, isn’t it?

  178. Well, if it wasn’t interesting, it would be boring, and I wouldn’t bother.

    Also, while I’ve seen some evidence that Antiwar.com does have flaws, none of them look even close to being “fatal.” Our job is to oppose war. We’re happy to leave other jobs, such as endless agonizing appraisals of narrative, and tortured attempts to impute conspiracy to, um, you.

  179. “Also, while I’ve seen some evidence that Antiwar.com does have flaws, none of them look even close to being ‘fatal.'”

    I’m sure that many of your well-intentioned donors might consider they’re wasting their money paying all your salaries if they were aware of the following flaw mentioned above:

    [Jason Ditz] does seem to be the most egregious propagandist for Regime Change, Inc. at Antiwar.com.

    Apart from what I’ve written in the report of his familiarity with at least one of the Peter Ackerman-funded Albert Einstein Institute’s key works (by someone who vehemently denies widespread suspicions of his working for the CIA) and his ideological commitment to its strategy of nonviolent conflict, Ditz appears to be ill-qualified as a Middle East analyst.

  180. I’m sure that all of our well-intentioned donors will consider anything and everything they think worth considering when they’re considering future donations. If that includes your material, that’s their call to make.

    I’m not sure why you think that a former physics student being familiar with one of the Albert Einstein Institute’s “key works” is indicative of CIA associations — and you’re the only one I’ve ever heard any hint of “widespread suspicions” about that from.

    As far as “qualifications” as a “Middle East analyst” are concerned, the only thing I can tell about you from your Internet bios is that you’re a writer. Is there something that makes you “qualified” in a way that Ditz is not, aside from your own absolute certainty that you’re always right?

  181. “… and you’re the only one I’ve ever heard any hint of “widespread suspicions” about that from.”

    Obviously not. Watch this teaser for “How to Start a Revolution” (from 2:45).

  182. niqnaq

    I have to admire your ability to miss the point, Thomas. The amusing irony of the selective transcript from CrossTalk does not at all depend on the assumption that Eland can see the text box. Why should it?

    I admire Eland’s own technique, too. You see, I think that his apparent incoherence is

  183. niqnaq

    deliberate. “And certainly, Syria has a nuclear wea-, a nuclear plant, a nuclear facility was destroyed in Syria… ” is mastery.

  184. It’s been a while since I’ve been back to Antiwar, in part because its new direction became so painfully obvious.

    But, as a long time commenter at Huffington Post, and quite familiar with Jason Ditz’s writing on Iran, I am sure that if there was a profile for CIA/NED regime change artist, then Jason would fit.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if Antiwar’s hewing to the Huffington Post template, which started with similar gatekeeping and opinion herding ‘moderation’ and indicative lists of who was not allowed to submit articles there. I’m sure Justin will be quite rich one day, following Arianna’s formula.

  185. That’s one breadcrumb trail I can’t really follow up on. I refuse to visit HuffPo, for the same reason I refuse to cross picket lines.

  186. niqnaq

    If you only read sources whose party politics you agree with, Thomas, then you aren’t doing either political journalism or media analysis at all, you are just a partisan cheerleader.

    I want to dwell on this thing about Syria’s presumed “nuclear wea-” (pons program). I would postulate that whatever it was the Israelis so famously bombed in 2007, it had about as much to do with nuclear weapons as the al Shifa phamaceutical plant in Sudan had to do with chemical warfare. Eland should be aware of the controversy regarding this, and hence should not use the word “certainly”. Nor should he use the present tense “has”.

  187. “I’m not sure why you think that a former physics student being familiar with one of the Albert Einstein Institute’s “key works” is indicative of CIA associations…”

    Notwithstanding your admirable ability to miss the point yet again, it’s not Jason Ditz’s simply “being familiar” with one of the Albert Einstein Institute’s key works written by a suspected CIA/NED agent that’s the problem, but “his ideological commitment to its strategy of nonviolent conflict.”

    As I wrote on The Passionate Attachment blog:

    What makes someone like Jason Ditz, a self-described pacifist, so insidious is that he can say he opposes intervention — and even write against it — without ever acknowledging that his uncritical reporting of unverified claims of regime atrocities by Regime Change, Inc.-backed “pro-democracy” activists helps prepare public opinion for the intervention he claims to oppose.

  188. niqnaq,

    I read plenty of sources that I disagree with. I just don’t provide traffic to sources with (so far as I know) as yet unresolved writers’ strikes.

    Maidhc,

    ICNC is allegedly “funded exclusively through a private family endowment and maintains a strict policy of not accepting funding from nor collaborating with any government or government-funded entities.”

    Should I assume you discount that claim?

  189. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is “a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world.”

    Should I assume you accept that claim?

  190. niqnaq

    You “don’t provide traffic”? That’s your ‘circulation war’ model at work again, though in a not very libertarian way you are taking about it as if it were a trades union issue. When we all arrived here — over a week ago, now! — you claimed that Boiling Frogs was engaging in a circulation war with AntiWar.com. You have a commercial mentality. But HuffPost is a very important case study for the implantation of zionist propaganda. As such, it is obtuse to ignore it.

  191. Maidhc,

    No, I don’t accept the claim that NED is “private,” because it is openly funded by the US Congress and USAID. ICNC claims that it is not funded in any such manner. Do you believe they’re lying?

    niqnaq,

    It’s not a “circulation war” issue. My IWW red card may be inactive (I participated in party politics for awhile and thus became ineligible for full membership), but I’m a union guy. I refuse to visit (“provide traffic”) to HuffPo because I don’t cross picket lines, not because I “disagree with” their content.

  192. niqnaq

    haha, Thomas , you are one of a kind. A libertarian, ex -Wobbly ‘union guy’.

    It’s interesting how internet journalism differs from the old days, isn’t it. Newspapers used to try to attract readers away from one another on the assumption that most would only buy one paper. Internet journalism is precisely the opposite: it’s all about intertextuality. It’s the stories with the most links to other stories embedded in them that attract the most intelligent readers.

  193. “ICNC claims that it is not funded in any such manner. Do you believe they’re lying?”

    It’s funded by Peter Ackerman, who, if you’ve actually read the report we’ve been discussing for the past week you’ll know, is “part of the U.S. foreign policy elite and integral to the new modalities of intervention under the rubric of ‘democracy promotion,’ etc.”

  194. niqnaq

    Thomas might be absent for a minute because they just hit the update button over at AntiWar.com, if my arithmetic is correct: “Updated January 16, 2012 – 11:47 PM EST”.

  195. I’m not involved in the daily updates. I moderate comments (at my convenience, through the day), get up a letters column once a week (if there’s material for it), and blog when I feel like it. I spend less time working for Antiwar.com most days than I’ve been spending here lately.

  196. I am, however, usually busy this time of night with my own newsletter. Got it put to bed early tonight, though.

  197. niqnaq

    I was just thinking sbout the libertarian unionist thing. It can be related to Thomas’ strange form of zionism, which he talks about here:
    http://c4ss.org/content/2736

    The relationship is this: the Wobblies in their heyday were the US embodiment of syndicalism. Syndicalism in its European form led directly to fascism, strange though that may sound. The key figure here is Georges Sorel. Mussolini was a syndicalist. And this leads to zionism, because Mussolini was a sponsor of Jabotinsky’s revisionist zionists. He provided training facilities for their youth movement. Lenni Brenner in “Zionism in the age of the dictators” quotes the March 1936 issue of L’Idea Sionistica, the magazine of the Revisionists’ Italian branch, describing the ceremonies attendant to the inauguration of the Betar squad’s new headquarters at Civitavecchia:

    “The order – “Attention!” A triple chant ordered by the squad’s commanding officer – “Viva L’Italia! Viva Il Re! Viva Il Duce!” resounded, followed by the benediction which rabbi Aldo Lattes invoked in Italian and in Hebrew for God, for the king and for Il Duce … Giovinezza [the Fascist Party’s anthem] was sung with much enthusiasm by the Betarim.”

  198. niqnaq,

    Look at the link you posted. I call specific and negative attention to Zabotinsky’s “revisionists” and their roots in Mussolinism. I’m a non-Jewish anarchist who happens to be a Zionist, but I’m not affiliated with any Zionist organization or movement.

    I joined IWW because I wanted, for personal reasons, to remain union after leaving my factory job (United Food and Commercial Workers) and becoming a freelance writer and editor, and IWW is happy to take individual dues-payers who don’t belong to organized bargaining units. I am not, strictly speaking, a committed syndicalist, but my main “job” is as part of a unanimous consent cooperative.

  199. niqnaq

    Yeah, but Thomas, the account you give of Jabotinsky’s revisionist zionism is completely wrong. You say:

    “Likud traces its roots back to the 1935 split between David ben Gurion and Chaim Weizmann’s “practical Zionism” (which called for independent Jewish settlement in Eretz Yisrael) and Ze’ev Jabotinsky’s “revisionist Zionism” (which insisted on the creation of a Jewish state as the overriding priority of the Zionist movement).”

    This is not true at all. Ben Gurion’s Labour Party was a social democratic party, with a philosophy similar to Britain’s (Britain having been its main state sponsor, via Weizmann). This is what Justin calls “menshevism”. Then you say:

    “In the early 20th century, the kibbutzim were the vital heart of the Jewish return to Eretz Yisrael, reclaiming land from the deserts and swamps of Palestine, making it bloom, living peacefully in cooperative society and taking responsibility for their own security and defense. By 1948, the kibbutzim had been drafted into the project of creating a new state. New kibbutzes were built not necessarily on the best land for their own purposes, but in spots most likely to influence the drawing of future state borders. As it became increasingly clear that a state would be declared, they paid a heavy price fending off attacks, then bore the brunt of much of the fighting in the War of Independence.”

    This is also completely wrong. To the extent that the main kibbutz movement, Kibbutz Me’uhad, differed from ben Gurion’s labour party, it was because it was to the left of it. Kibbutz Me’uhad was dominated by members of the Palmach. In 1947 the Palmach was emphatically pro-Soviet. Political officers in the Palmach during the war of Israeli independence were referred to by the Soviet term politruks, which gives you an idea. But no sooner was Israeli independence gained than ben Gurion purged all the pro-Soviet elements, assumed a pro-US and anti-Soviet posture, and abolished the Palmach.

  200. niqnaq

    The reason your account of Jabotinsky is wrong, which I somehow skipped there, is that Jabotinsky presented himself in situ as a ‘classical liberal’, an opponent of the strong and supposedly socialist state, a proponent of free enterprise, and so forth, just like your libertarian buddies do. There are still Israeli websites that present Jabotinsky this way, such as this one:
    http://www.liberal.org.il/

  201. Niqnaq,

    Interesting history lesson, but it still doesn’t explain how I’m a Jabotinskyite/revisionist Zionist (which I’m not at all) because I’m a syndicalist (which I’m not exactly).

    You’re trying to map me onto a pre-determined schema of category relationships which simply don’t obtain. Before almost anything else, I’m an anarchist. Nearly everything else I might be either flows from that or is modified extensively by it, and there are some complex cognitive dissonances involved.

    Furthermore, my personality and influences are small issue in the instant discussion, which can be reduced to factual issues upon which they have no substantial bearing. It might be interesting that the janitor at the local high school is an Auschwitz survivor with Parkinson’s disease and an expired membership in the local Rotary Club, but that hardly sheds any light on whether or not there are errors in the school’s chosen Trigonometry I textbook.

  202. niqnaq,

    For once, I agree with Thomas. Let’s get back to the more pertinent question of Antiwar.com’s complicity with Regime Change, Inc.

    Thomas,

    Did you have a chance to watch Col. Robert Helvey’s testy denial of the accusations that he works for the CIA? A case of The Spook Doth Protest Too Much, perhaps.

  203. Maidhc,

    I don’t see any video of Helvey referenced in this article/thread, but Helvey certainly fits the profile (Army w/attache duty, Harvard International Affairs, and so forth).

    Been doing a little more reading on Ackerman as well, and based on his Freedom House/CFR affiliations, I’m becoming somewhat more skeptical of ICNC as a genuinely “private” organization.

    I’m still not seeing Antiwar.com’s position in this web of complicity you’re weaving. But I’m willing to assume for the sake of argument that that’s a problem with my own frame of reference, as opposed to with your claims.

    Perhaps this is the point where Keaton shows up at my door with a briefcase, a pistol, and a cyanide tablet.

  204. Helvey’s in this teaser for “How to Start a Revolution” (from 2:45).

    Do you not think that Antiwar.com is complicit with this regime change agenda, in part, through Jason Ditz’s ideological commitment to Helvey, Sharp and Ackerman’s strategic nonviolent conflict?

  205. Interesting teaser. I’m going to have to see the whole film.

    No, I do not think that Antiwar.com “is complicit with this regime change agenda,” etc.

    Rather, I think you’re mistaking many separate, but sometimes overlapping, agendas for one agenda, and assuming more cohesion, coordination and complicity among actors than the evidence warrants.

    But, I could be wrong.

  206. heywood

    Hi Maidhc.
    Funny how niqnaq and the Knappster have taken this thread off in a dozen different directions over the past few days…………what a mess, mission accomplished. They must be pleased.
    What was the original topic again?
    Anything other than linking the antiwar.com Libya coverage with their current Syria lies and propaganda effort.

    One common troll tactic uses polite interaction and humor with numerous attempts to change the topic at hand and flame the thread with dozens of new dumb silly topics. Admonishing people to stay on topic is always part of that game. See any of that round here?

  207. Fair cop, Heywood. You’re right. It’s a conspiracy. And I’m under your bed getting the mind control ray gun ready right now.

  208. niqnaq

    Thomas, check the batteries first. I think you’ll find that my agents have quietly removed them.
    ;-)

  209. Getting back to Antiwar.com’s alleged complicity with Regime Change, Inc., I see that today’s Viewpoints links to a WaPo op-ed by Trita Parsi, who has been on NED’s payroll.

    Who makes these daily selections? And on what basis?

  210. I’m not sure of the exact labor division, but my guess would be that the Viewpoints selections are made by Matthew Barganier (editor) and/or Jeremy Sapienza (senior editor).

    Viewpoints selections are intended to bring Antiwar.com’s readers a broad cross-section of foreign policy commentary, and as the top of the Viewpoints page clearly states, “do not necessarily reflect the views of Antiwar.com.”

    Is there some particular problem you have with the op-ed, or is it all about trying to connect dots of personal association until you get a drawing of a conspiracy?

  211. Side note: I heard from another Antiwar.com staffer (who shall remain anonymous, as I did not ask his/her permission to identify) today, to the effect that (s)he objects to my characterization of most of Antiwar.com’s staff as “right-libertarians.” That particular staffer does not consider his or her self as “on the right” at all and objects to the characterization. So please consider said characterization withdrawn, at least by me.

  212. The CIA/NED-sponsored Parsi also appears to have blogging privileges at Antiwar.com.

    To me, and many others, that’s further evidence of either:

    a. Complicity through ignorance.

    b. Complicity by design.

  213. Trita Parsi’s Hindu family were dispossessed victims of the 1949 partition of India. I wonder if Anti-war.com has any Muslim victims of partition for balance.

  214. Thomas,

    Speaking of option a. above, does that Antiwar.com staffer also wish to withdraw his or her characterization of Assad as “a U.S. puppet”?

  215. “The CIA/NED-sponsored Parsi also appears to have blogging privileges at Antiwar.com.”

    I see that there’s one entry in Antiwar.com’s blog listed as authored by him. Whether that means he “has blogging privileges,” or that someone at Antiwar.com got permission from him to post a piece he wrote, I have no idea.

    “I wonder if Anti-war.com has any Muslim victims of partition for balance.”

    While I don’t know their exact relationships with Antiwar.com, I do know that both Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad (born en route to the US of dispossessed Palestinian parents) and the late Edward Said have been published by Antiwar.com and interviewed on Antiwar Radio.

    I’m unaware of any Antiwar.com staffer calling Assad a “US puppet.” I spent a little time on Google with that one, but found the expression only in comments.

  216. “I’m unaware of any Antiwar.com staffer calling Assad a “US puppet.” I spent a little time on Google with that one, but found the expression only in comments.”

    If you had read the report you say you disagree with, you wouldn’t need to have spent any time on Google.

    To save you the trouble of having to read it (again?), here’s an Antiwar.com staffer calling Assad a “US puppet.”

  217. I read it. I didn’t memorize it. No, it wasn’t Keaton who complained about being called a “right-libertarian.” But I’m not going to further narrow it down, as the point was that I don’t intend to identify the person.

    OK, so Keaton says “it’s a typical thing, you know, Assad’s a US puppet …” until it becomes apparent that the opposition is going to win, then the US changes sides …

    … Is there some particular reason why that opinion is inadmissible? Bashar al-Assad would be far from the first politician in the region to talk a good anti-US/anti-Israel line while reaching a behind-the-scenes modus vivendi to maintain the regional status quo and secure his own goals.

  218. But if Antiwar.com’s goal still is “not only to inform but also to mobilize informed citizens in concerted action to stop the war” against targeted countries such as Syria, aren’t you doing a pretty shoddy job?

    And instead of disseminating Regime Change, Inc. talking points, doesn’t Antiwar.com have a responsibility to at least get its facts straight?

  219. And if Keaton, like Ditz and others at Antiwar.com, wasn’t so gung-ho in her support for the NED-backed “pro-democracy” protestors, she would do a better job of informing Antiwar Radio listeners of what’s really happening in Syria by getting an independent expert like Prof. Jeremy Salt on the show instead of the ICNC’s Prof. Zunes.

  220. heywood

    That dogshit Wapo article by Parsi reeks of pro war lies.
    The very idea that these clowns from antiwar.com defend it is absurd. Why not just feature a few op-eds from Darth Cheney or Poppy Bush and call it fair and balanced?? Oh yeah, someone has that slogan already.

    The very first paragraph in the Parsi piece totally misrepresents the fact that Iran was the first to offer congratulations to Obama the night of his Presidential win with a handwritten letter containing some compliments and calls for peace. At the time Tippi Livni said Obama should not respond as it would project weakness……so he didn’t.
    Months later Obama at his inauguration used language that would have suited W Bush just as well in challenging Iran to stop being a danger to the world and then we would maybe respect them. What crap!

    A link to that.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/07/world/middleeast/07iran.html

    The first line of the puke inducing Parsi gag fest……….

    “Just 13 minutes into his presidency, Barack Obama indirectly reached out to Iran in his inaugural address, offering America’s hand of friendship if Tehran would unclench its fist…..”

    antiwar.com is so obviously in the bag for the war industry. Shameful.

  221. It’s not obvious to me that

    – “Maidhc Ó Cathail’s General Theory of the Fundamental Interconnectedness of All Assad Critics” = “getting the facts straight” or “what’s really happening.”

    – “heywood’s proof that displaying a link to a column on a page clearly labeled ‘STUFF THAT’S NOT FROM US AND THAT WE MAY NOT EVEN AGREE WITH'” = “so obviously in the bag for the war industry.”

    And so on, and so forth, really hold much water.

    It all kind of smacks of “I just found out that your third cousin’s ex-girlfriend’s daughter’s dog’s former owner’s mother once lived in the same apartment building as Henry Kissinger. So, for exactly how long have you been a CIA plant?”

  222. The general consequences of being “informed” by visiting Anti-war.com would be for the reader to come away thinking that the monster must be destroyed because there is no reasoning with him.

    This is the obvious result from repetition of fear mongering and demonization.

  223. Thanks for the link to the NYT piece, Heywood.

    Significantly, the Livni warning against U.S. rapprochement with Tehran was contributed by Ethan Bronner, the Times’ bureau chief in Jerusalem whose son enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces.

    Considering Parsi’s closeness to the Israel lobby/Regime Change, Inc., his omissions are not surprising.

    Apparently, Antiwar.com doesn’t have a problem with promoting this kind of state-sponsored propaganda.

  224. “Getting the facts straight” would start with not making the laughable claim that Assad is a “U.S. puppet.”

    And your attribution to me of an absurd “General Theory of the Fundamental Interconnectedness of All Assad Critics” is a pretty desperate and transparent attempt to evade this specific charge:

    Keaton, Ditz and others at Antiwar.com are gung-ho in their support for the NED-backed “pro-democracy” protestors.

  225. heywood

    Antiwar mission statement, first part.

    “This site is devoted to the cause of non-interventionism and is read by libertarians, pacifists, leftists, “greens,” and independents alike, as well as many on the Right who agree with our opposition to imperialism…..:

    By demonizing Assad and Ahmadinejad just like they did with Gaddafi, the antiwar.com site helps people accept the idea that these crazy leaders must go. War on Iran, Syria or Libya, all made easier when their leaders are the focus. You antiwar scum never focus on the women and kids who will take the DU bullets, but you spend all fucking day telling us how bad their leaders are.

    By trumping up and (lying through their teeth) attempting to legitimize “revolutions” in both Libya and Syria antiwar.com helps sell the idea of war to westerners.

    These two propaganda functions are clearly on display at antiwar.com on Syria and Iran now, and their dirty work on Libya is easily seen with google searches.

    Maidhc and several smart commenters here have cited antiwar efforts hyping war. Each time, the Knappster rushes in to defend these pro war efforts. What a POS!
    Belligerent demands for proof, mixed in with dismissive snide responses to links, the Knappster is all over the freakin map. But I suppose if one is tasked with defending antiwar.com from legitimate criticism for its pro war ways, it is hard not to look like a fool.
    Knappy, you really didn’t do a very good job here. Sorry, you get an F for not getting the job done.
    A++ for your Jehovah Witness-esque determination though. Well done!

  226. Prof. Jeremy Salt describes the critical role played by the media’s reliance on the unverified accusations of ‘activists’ or suspect sources outside Syria in the development of a false narrative:

    Last week the Guardian hit a new low point with the accusation by of a London-based ‘activist’ that the Syrian security forces are packing detainees into container ships and dumping them at sea. It had no evidence for this claim, but then this is how the Guardian has been ‘reporting’ this crisis throughout. When Damascus was bombed, both the Guardian and the BBC led with the claim that these bombings were the work of the government – according to activists. They had no evidence for this accusation either, literally made while Syrians were still washing the blood off the streets and picking up the body parts of the civilians who had been killed. When the Arab League issued an interim statement on the work of its monitors in Syria, it called for an end to the violence by the state and by armed gangs. On its web page, the BBC reported only that it called on the Syrian government to end the violence.

    And these are the sources that inform Jason Ditz’s daily reports.

  227. Heywood,

    Please tone down the language.

    They say that once you’ve begun swearing you’ve lost the argument — but nothing could be further from the truth in this case.

  228. Agreed. He lost the argument long before he started swearing.

    At well over 200 comments, I can’t see any way in which this discussion hasn’t run its course. You’re committed to your conclusions, and I’m just not seeing the path you reach them by. So, have a nice life, etc.

  229. Good riddance, Knapp.

  230. And so, more than a week after the publication of this 3,800-word critical report at Boiling Frogs Post, Dissident Voice and Foreign Policy Journal, the official response from Antiwar.com:

    Hey, I get it. We won’t run your articles, must be a conspiracy.

  231. Evil_Reason

    And so, more than a week after the publication of this 3,800-word critical report at Boiling Frogs Post, Dissident Voice and Foreign Policy Journal, the official response from Antiwar.com:

    Hey, I get it. We won’t run your articles, must be a conspiracy.

    The length of a rant in no way reflects its merits. The answer you got was perfectly honest. Remember, when seeking the answer to a perceived problem, the simplest answer is usually the best. The simplest answer here is that a non-interventionist is worried about the very real murder of civilians.

  232. “The simplest answer here is that a non-interventionist is worried about the very real murder of civilians.”

    If you were so worried about the murder of civilians, you might think a little more about the consequences of aiding and abetting the destabilization of countries like Libya and Syria.

  233. niqnaq

    It has finally dawned on me that there is a war going on behind the scenes at AntiWar.com between what I shall call the ‘Giraldi faction’ and the ‘Eland faction’. Giraldi wrote this a month ago. It’s the source of the statements in Russia Today’s CrossTalk fact box which contradicted what Ivan Eland was saying. – RB

    NATO vs. Syria (extract)
    Philip Giraldi, AmConMag, Dec 19 2011

    NATO is already clandestinely engaged in the Syrian conflict, with Turkey taking the lead as US proxy. Ankara’s foreign minister, Ahmet Davitoglu, has openly admitted that his country is prepared to invade as soon as there is agreement among the Western allies to do so. The intervention would be based on humanitarian principles, to defend the civilian population based on the “responsibility to protect” doctrine that was invoked to justify Libya. Turkish sources suggest that intervention would start with creation of a buffer zone along the Turkish-Syrian border and then be expanded. Aleppo, Syria’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, would be the crown jewel targeted by liberation forces. Unmarked NATO warplanes are arriving at Turkish military bases close to Iskenderum on the Syrian border, delivering weapons from the late Muammar Gaddafi’s arsenals as well as volunteers from the Libyan Transitional National Council who are experienced in pitting local volunteers against trained soldiers, a skill they acquired confronting Gaddafi’s army. Iskenderum is also the seat of the Free Syrian Army, the armed wing of the Syrian National Council. French and British special forces trainers are on the ground, assisting the Syrian rebels while the CIA and US Spec Ops are providing communications equipment and intelligence to assist the rebel cause, enabling the fighters to avoid concentrations of Syrian soldiers.

  234. niqnaq

    Notice though that the “unmarked NATO warplanes are arriving at Turkish military bases close to Iskenderum on the Syrian border,” i.e. Iskenderun, in Turkey, not making airdrops into Syria, which is what the factbox suggests.

  235. niqnaq

    To be fair, AntiWar.com did feature a link to it under “Viewpoints” on Dec 20. But that’s all. This essential article was written for AmConMag, not for Antiwar.com themselves. That may partly explain how it got sidelined, but only partly.

    It might be argued that Iland is technically correct in saying that, even granting as true what Giraldi has written in this article, he doesn’t “think has been demonstrated” that the U.S. “are giving aid to some armed groups in Syria,” i.e. actually over the Turkish-Syrian border. But there is no doubt in my mind that Giraldi and Eland are, so to say, spinning the facts in opposite directions.

  236. niqnaq,

    I think you’re reading too much into it.

    If there is a behind-the-scenes war there, it’s a bit one-sided with the “pro-democracy” cheerleaders holding all the decision-making positions.

  237. niqnaq

    Giraldi, as I said, wasn’t writing for AntiWar.com when he wrote that article, “NATO vs. Syria”, he was writing for AmConMag. Now in today’s Guardian there is a ‘Comment Is Free’ article by Jonathan Steele in which he says:

    No reporters have followed up on a significant recent article by Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer who now writes for the American Conservative – a magazine that criticises the American military-industrial complex from a non-neocon position on the lines of Ron Paul, who came second in last week’s New Hampshire Republican primary.

    Eland, whatever he is, doesn’t look like a Ron Paul man to me.

  238. heywood

    Thanks for checking out that NYT link Maidhc. I remember when Iran congratulated Obama, how the media scum quickly went to work justifying the Obama snub with the evil empire narrative. The Wapo article featured by antiwar.com continues that lie and expands upon it, just one of so many examples of antiwar pro war propaganda.

    Nice way you have of making your point re foul language.

    Notice how the Knappster jumped all over it (clueless as to its meaning) taking his best chance to try to divide people.

    I find that the best way to interact with swine like him is by using factual documented information with the hope of impacting other readers. I expect nothing positive or honest in return from him. The predictable set of responses we get from pro war shills like him do cause everyone to get upset, whether we admit it or not.

    The greasy pro war shills know this and must take some pleasure from it (they sure don’t get any by being wrong all the time) so I don’t pretend not to be irritated by their dirty tricks. I treat them like crap because they deserve it, but at a nice blog such as this one I am happy to ease up on my swearing. In any case I see you have moved on to bigger and better things with a new article, so I will too.

    Peace, and fcuk the pro war shills!

  239. Here’s one of the commentators, who, for whatever reasons, appear to be personae non gratae at Antiwar.com (and who also challenged Knapp in this thread), taking part in a fascinating discussion entitled “Taunting Iran” on Russia Today’s Crosstalk.

  240. Pingback: Regime Change Inc | Opinion Maker

  241. A June 16, 2005 Financial Times article entitled “Opposition exiles train in ‘non-violent conflict’ tactics” makes a mockery of Antiwar.com’s purported opposition to U.S. interventionism:

    The proponents of non-violent, internally driven regime change such as Mr Ackerman are gaining ground in the State Department.

    Addressing a forum organised by the State Department a year ago, Mr Ackerman said non-violent resistance movements usually could not be instigated externally but they “can be nurtured by external assistance”.

  242. niqnaq

    Maidhc, these Regime Change Inc operations are multiple. What makes this one special?

    By the way, the Giraldi AmConMag story I dug out is on Information Clearing House today. Tom at ICH has redated it “Jan 18 2012″! It really seems that people had failed to spot it until now. I had spotted it at the time; I remember the spelling mistake, “Iskenderum”, which I expect was caused by Giraldi confusing Iskenderun with Erzerum, so much for CIA omniscience. I refrained from copying it to my own blog as I normally would, because I happen to know that AmConMag’s lawyers, or Giraldi’s, are a bit finicky about their material being copied verbatim. One of them emailed me about a previous Giraldi story I had copied, pretending to be a would-be advertiser.

  243. niqnaq

    This from Russia Today:

    According to PressTV reports quoted in the Turkish daily Milliyet, former FBI employee Sibel Edmonds has said the bureau started a training program in Turkey back in May. She also mentioned that the US was involved in smuggling arms into Syria from Incirlik military base in Turkey in addition to providing financial support for the Syrian rebels. Russia’s Kommersant daily also reported in November on operations being managed from Turkish territory.

  244. “Maidhc, these Regime Change Inc operations are multiple. What makes this one special?”

    Nothing special, niqnaq.

    It’s just more damning evidence of Antiwar.com’s complicity in State Department-backed regime change operations. Remember that Prof. Stephen Zunes, academic advisor to Ackerman’s ICNC, was recently invited on Antiwar Radio to spread the disinformation that the U.S. had “very little” to do with the “Arab Spring” — even though he himself had taught workshops in nonviolent resistance for activists in Egypt and elsewhere.

  245. niqnaq,

    I think you’re being unfairly critical of Philip Giraldi. He and Nebosja Malic are the only ones at Antiwar.com — remember, they are only columnists there — who have really challenged the site’s gung-ho support for the “pro-democracy” NED-backed opposition movements.

  246. niqnaq

    My only actual criticism of Giraldi is that he has written, I think, two articles for AntiWar.com since his “NATO vs. Syria” article appeared at AmConMag, which gives the impression that he doesn’t really care if they choose to suppress accurate stories about Syria.

    I have compiled a list of Sibel Edmonds pieces dealing with US/NATO covert ops against Syria over the last two months, and I have posted one example, with links to the others, on Niqnaq. There are about half a dozen. Sibel’s complaint against AntiWar.com seems to me to be just one example of the more general suppression in western media of stories about this.

  247. niqnaq

    Maidhc, since your strength appears to lie in political and institutional network analysis, why don’t you have a go at Eland’s Independent Institute?

  248. “… gives the impression that he doesn’t really care if they choose to suppress accurate stories about Syria.”

    In a December 09, 2011 Antiwar Radio interview, Giraldi said he found Antiwar.com’s uncritical reporting of Syrian opposition claims “discouraging.”

    (Note that Scott Horton had earlier revealed his sympathies when his said, “I always like it when people overthrow their government.”)

  249. niqnaq

    I did briefly make an effort to follow those radio packages, but it’s so time-consuming. I like the Horton quote, though, that’s a keeper. I was expecting you to say, “why don’t you do the “political and institutional network analysis” on the “Independent Institute”, Rowan? And I was going to reply that my own strength does not lie in this area, but in historical and ideological analysis, which I think is true. And this is a much more long-term form of activity. It takes years to form an accurate mental picture of what people believe and why.

  250. Hi Maidhc,

    I am one of the co-editors of Color Revolutions and Geopolitics. My partner Jeff and I are delighted that you discovered our re-post so quickly, and especially that you liked what we did.

    Although it should be obvious already, know that we thought you did a fantastic job with the article. Not only is your truth-telling indignation palpable and energetic. But you also successfully found a way to draw attention to “regime change inc” (one big project) by way of the selling of “humanitarian war” (another big project), both of which helped you with a third objective–the primary one–which was to expose a website that has been doing harm. Excellent construction!

    Jeff and I attempt to draw attention to issues of this nature almost exclusively, as you know.

    Perhaps we will be fortunate enough to “collaborate” with you once again.

    Until then,

    Best,

    Eric

  251. niqnaq

    Just for the record, Sibel actually does state that US/NATO operations extend across the Turkish-Syrian border, even if Giraldi didn’t say so. Here is a summary of her story. Col Riad al-Assad, head of the Free Syria Army, has been working since May 2011 with the US and NATO from inside the USAF base at Incirlik, smuggling US weapons into Syria, participating in US psychological and information warfare inside Syria as the middle-man whom Syrian protesters tend to trust, and helping to funnel intelligence and military operators across the border and organise night-time drop-offs by air. The joint US/NATO secret training camp in the USAF base at Incirlik began operations in Apr-May 2011 to organize and expand the dissident base in Syria. Since then, in addition to Col Riad al-Assad, several other high-ranking Syrian military and intelligence officials have been added to operations HQ in the USAF base. Weekly weapons-smuggling operations have been carried out with full US/NATO participation since last May. The HQ also includes an information warfare division where US-NATO crafted communications are directed to dissidents in Syria via the core group of Syrian military and Intelligence defectors.

  252. niqnaq

    I listened to Giraldi’s Dec 9 interview with Scott Horton, and I read the associated Dec 7 Giraldi article, “Washington’s Secret Wars”. I noticed that Scott pushed Syria into the last two and a half minutes of the twenty minute interview, though Giraldi had three times previously in the interview mentioned Syria with some emphasis. Giraldi when he finally gets to say what he thinks says “We don’t know what is going on in Syria.” It’s not clear whether he means that we the investigative public don’t know, or that the US policy-makers don’t know, or both. But Giraldi’s AmConMag piece “NATO vs. Syria”appeared on Dec 19, ten days after the Horton interview and twelve days after “Washington’s Secret Wars”. Giraldi says that the Free Syria Army are based at Iskenderun in his Dec 7 piece; Sibel says they are inside the USAF Incirlik base. Another important ambiguity is that the NATO planes Giraldi talks about are bringing arms and volunteers from Libya to Turkey; Sibel’s planes are going over the Turkish border into Syria doing “night-time drop-offs”. So Giraldi is not as hard-line as Sibel, but there is a perceptible hardening in Giraldi’s line between Dec 9 and Dec 19.

  253. niqnaq

    Regime Change Inc at work in Cuba

    Alan Gross was tracked by Cuban authorities since 2004 and traveled there at least five times in 2009 to set up sophisticated wireless Internet networks, according to a leaked court filing. The document gives blow-by-blow descriptions of his work with Cuban Jewish communities to establish independent, satellite-based wireless networks in synagogues in three cities. It alleges he recruited US citizens as “mules” to help him bring restricted telecommunications equipment to the island. It cites files recovered from a seized memory stick that talked about “communicating securely in repressive environments” and mentioned “political activists who operate in non-permissive environments.” It also said Gross told users of the wireless networks he set up not to use their last names in their email addresses.

    Gross’s employer DAI “operates with US democracy-promotion funds.” It received $382,491,550.13 from USAID in 2010.

  254. Thanks, niqnaq.

    Have you been reading about the Lugar report, “Latin American Governments Need to ‘Friend’ Social Media and Technology”?

  255. Today, Sibel Edmonds checked Antiwar.com, and this is what she came up with:

    Of approximately 50 or so headlines provided on Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Turkey … They have 11 Headlines taken straight out of ‘Washington Post,’ 14 from ‘BBC,’ and 4 selections go directly to ‘NPR,’. Meaning: over 50% of their supposed alternative news came from 3 or 4 major mainstream media sources with very little or no credibility who have been consistently serving the Neocon and War Machine propaganda for decades.

  256. niqnaq

    I popped my summary version of Sibel’s story about Colonel Riad al-Assad of the Free Syria Army, with a couple of sentences about Phil Giraldi’s report of unmarked NATO planes from Libya, onto a Syria thread at the Jerusalem Post. In due course, I shall attempt to get it onto other mainstream broadsheet sites in the UK and Israel. It will be fascinating to see whether it survives and if so whether it attracts any responses. I also bunged it in under Justin Raimondo’s latest screed, which is a defense of those people at ThinkProgress, plus a rehash of all his favourite stories about US anti-interventionist right-wing politicians.

  257. niqnaq

    That’s an interesting piece about Lugar Report etc. I wonder, in the extract from AP about the leaked Cuban court report on Alan Gross, do the phrases “communicating securely in repressive environments” and “political activists who operate in non-permissive environments” ring any specific bells for you?

    I never thought I’d say this, but I have the feeling that Justin Raimondo is now just engaging in Israel-bashing (which is after all extremely easy to do) as a sort of Pied Piper of Hamelin tune to lead his readers nowhere much.

  258. “…do the phrases “communicating securely in repressive environments” and “political activists who operate in non-permissive environments” ring any specific bells for you?”

    Funny that you should mention that. Here’s one particular bell that it rings for me…

    US trains activists to evade security forces

    The US government, Posner [the assistant US secretary of state for human rights and labor] said, has budgeted $50 million in the last two years to develop new technologies to help activists protect themselves from arrest and prosecution by authoritarian governments.

    And it has organized training sessions for 5,000 activists in different parts of the world.

    A session held in the Middle East about six weeks ago gathered activists from Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon who returned to their countries with the aim of training their colleagues there.

    “They went back and there’s a ripple effect,” Posner said.

  259. niqnaq

    Let’s keep an eye out for those exact phrases. They sound like jargon drawn from an instruction manual. The Alan Gross case is interesting in a Peter Dale Scott sort of way, because the Jewish-Cuban mafia in Florida is part of his network of supra-national criminal syndicates. The money DAI gets from USAID for its world-wide operations is astonishing: over a million dollars a day!

  260. “The money DAI gets from USAID for its world-wide operations is astonishing: over a million dollars a day!”

    In a 2005 interview, former CIA officer Philip Agee talked about DAI’s role in NED’s destabilization campaign in Venezuela:

    I would say, first of all, that the amount of money that was being put into Venezuela up until the failed military coup attempt of April 2002 was about one million per year. That was National Endowment for Democracy money being channeled through the so-called core foundations of NED, which are the foundations of the AFLCIO, the US Chamber of Commerce, and the Democratic and Republican parties; there are four of these foundations. In the wake of this failed coup against Chavez, a decision was taken in Washington to expand dramatically the amount of money and the types of operations that have undertaken to that point. In June of 2002, the decision was taken – and you have to see this as some kind committee decision of all the agencies involved in this intervention in Venezuela, which would be as a minimum the Department of State, the Dept. of Defense, the CIA, the USAID, and probably two or three others… They decided in June that USAID would contract a private consulting firm as they had in Nicaragua which would carry our the major investment of money in Venezuela as they had in Nicaragua. In Nicaragua this private consulting firm, which was the key to the successful election operation against the Sandinista Front, and was called the Delphi International Group. This time it is an organization in Bethesda, Maryland, right next to Washington, which is called Development Alternatives Inc.

    The contract with this consulting firm was signed at the end of August 2002, and they were required to move a team of people in here immediately, hit the ground running, and start spending five million dollars for the year Sept 2002 to Sept 2003 – that is five times the amount of money put in through NED. The contract calls for a second year option of another $5m (in fact it is slightly more), and these two years provide $3.5m to be given out by this Development Alternatives Inc., this consultant firm… $3.5 million dollars to Venezuelan organizations leading up to and beyond the general strike (which was from early December to early February), which caused great damage to the Venezuelan economy. But some of that money went into the TV ads that were run constantly during the strike; regular programming on all of the Venezuelan television channels, save one which is the government channel; all the others suspended their regular programming and they played commercial after commercial after commercial, and interviews of course, all promoting the strike trying to bring down the Chavez government. Some of this propaganda was financed through the five million dollars which had been given in September to Development Alternatives, Inc.

  261. niqnaq

    A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money. :-)

    This remark is attributed to Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen, but researchers have been unabe to determine its authenticity.

  262. Today on Antiwar.com, the top item in its “Highlights” reads:

    Fighting Dictatorship, Opposing Intervention

    Not mutually exclusive, says Bassam Haddad

    It links to an article that originally appeared on Al Jazeera entitled “The Idiot’s Guide to Fighting Dictatorship in Syria While Opposing Military Intervention.

    One can’t help but suspect that highlighting this piece, which must have been seen as a godsend, is Antiwar.com’s oblique way of responding to its critics.

  263. niqnaq

    Let me offer a general rule: never even bother to read any article that is illustrated with a picture of some idiot posing with paint on hands or face.

  264. “…a picture of some idiot posing with paint on hands or face.”

    That would be No. 26 in Gene Sharp’s 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action: “Paint as Protest” listed under “Symbolic Public Acts.”

  265. niqnaq

    According to Tom at Information Clearing House:

    A long time supporter of Information Clearing House has generously offered to match any donation of $100.00 or more made this month by readers like you. Your donation will be doubled by our benefactor.

    What does that remind you of?

  266. For some reason, it reminds me of this:

    George Soros, philanthropist and financier, today announced a challenge grant of $100 million over 10 years to Human Rights Watch. The grant from his Open Society Foundations, the largest that he has ever made to a nongovernmental organization, will be used to expand and deepen Human Rights Watch’s global presence to more effectively protect and promote human rights around the world.

    The grant challenges Human Rights Watch, which accepts no government funding, to raise an additional $100 million in private contributions to match the gift.

  267. niqnaq

    Members of Turkish Parliament Human Rights Committee:
    Syrians Being Trained in Guerilla Warfare in Camps in Antioch

    H Sabbagh, Syrian Arab News Agency, Jan 21 2012

    Members of the Human Rights Committee at the Turkish Parliament said on Saturday that there are special camps in Antioch areas in which individuals who fled Syria are staying and are being trained in guerrilla warfare. Committee Member Refik Yilmaz said that the Turkish authorities didn’t allow Committee members to visit one such camp where this training is taking place for security reasons, quoting local officials as saying that there are 131 Syrian men in this camp along with 41 of their wives and 91 of their children. Yilmaz said that the Turkish government provided these Syrians with more support than what it provided to the victims of the earthquake that struck eastern Turkey, including financial support and communication and internet services, adding that officials from the British and US embassies in Ankara visit these camps periodically. Yilmaz called on Syrians who fled to Turkey to not allow themselves to become tools in the conspiracy aiming to cause sectarian strife in Syria and the region.

    Antioch is about fifty miles south of Iskenderun. You recall that Giraldi wrote:

    Unmarked NATO warplanes are arriving at Turkish military bases close to Iskenderum on the Syrian border, delivering weapons from the late Muammar Gaddafi’s arsenals as well as volunteers from the Libyan Transitional National Council who are experienced in pitting local volunteers against trained soldiers, a skill they acquired confronting Gaddafi’s army. Iskenderum is also the seat of the Free Syrian Army, the armed wing of the Syrian National Council. French and British special forces trainers are on the ground, assisting the Syrian rebels while the CIA and U.S. Spec Ops are providing communications equipment and intelligence to assist the rebel cause, enabling the fighters to avoid concentrations of Syrian soldiers.

  268. niqnaq

    This phrase will come in handy: according to Benjamin Ginzberg’s The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State (Chicago Univ Press, 1993, p. 124), in the 1950s the AJC developed a technique it called “dynamic silence”. Officials of the AJC and ADL would approach the publishers of major newspapers and owners of radio stations to ask that certain individuals be given no coverage whatsoever. If they failed to cooperate on a voluntary basis, they were threatened with boycotts by Jewish advertisers.

  269. Soros’s investment is paying off.

    Human Rights Watch chides West for aversion to Islamist groups in Middle East

    HRW praised the United States and European Union for their tough stance on the late Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi’s brutal crackdown on protesters, which eventually led to a UN Security Council authorization for military action to protect civilians.

    The NATO intervention in Libya’s civil war led to Gadhafi’s ouster and death at the hands of rebel forces.

    After initially hesitating over Syria, Roth said the United States and EU imposed sanctions on President Bashar Assad’s government for a crackdown on pro-democratic demonstrators that has killed at least 5,000 civilians, according to UN figures.

  270. niqnaq

    If this man Roth really thinks that “many Arabs have come to see political Islam as the antithesis of autocratic rule,” then he’s remarkably naive about the Muslim Brotherhood.

  271. niqnaq

    I’ve got the source for Ginsberg’s story about the “dynamic silence” strategy. It is Glen Jeansonne, Combatting Anti-Semitism: The Case of Gerald L K Smith, in David Gerber, ed., Anti-Semitism in American History (Univ of Illinois Press, 1986), pp. 152-166.

  272. niqnaq

    Previous evidence that Ditz may be anti-‘war’, but he isn’t anti-regime-change by other means:
    http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20101123/COLUMNS/101129958/1078

  273. Pro-Israel Hawk Celebrates ‘Liberals’ Joining the Topple Assad Argument

    Feigning concern for the Syrian people, Max Boot is “glad to see some distinguished friends and colleagues joining the argument that the U.S. needs to do more to bring down Assad.”

  274. niqnaq

    The question in my mind now is: does AntiWar.com actually have a conscious policy of favouring what they would call “non-violent regime change,” as long as it doesn’t involve overt military intervention? This would be disingenuous, because it would involve turning a deliberate blind eye to the whole system of covert regime change by means of insurgencies trained, armed, and supported with communications technology by the US. You’ve been looking at them critically for a while, Maidhc, and you have a particular eye out for what you call “Regime Change Inc” , i.e. Gene Sharp type operations; can you recall any occasions on which they have either written about these, in op-ed style, or reported them as links in their news aggregation? Because if not, we might have stumbled on an experimental program of perception management, the purpose of which is to determine the extent to which selected audiences with an anti-militarist bias can be conditioned to ignore these. Your Scott Horton quote, “I like it when people overthrow their governments,” suggests a pseudo-anarchist vulnerability to this approach.

  275. niqnaq

    Thanks for listing those. Let’s look at the dates: “Shy U.S. Intellectual Created Playbook Used in Revolution” is NYT, Feb 17 2011; “U.S. Training Quietly Nurtured Young Arab Democrats” is WaPo, Mar 13 2011; “U.S. Trains Activists To Evade Security Forces” is AFP, Apr 8 2011; and “U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings” is NYT, Apr 15 2011. So the two they missed are subsequent to the two they caught, the break-point being somewhere between Mar 13 and Apr 8 2011. How would a policy decision within that time range square with the rather complex chronology of your article?

  276. Policy change after March 13th?

    That seems to indicate that they were happy to acknowledge US influence while the dissident element was enthralled with what was happening in Tunisia and Egypt. Once the UN resolution 1973 was passed on March 17th the situation had developed beyond uprisings and into the realm of military intervention. In order not to undermine the basis for the intervention they had to obscure the US links to the unrest.

    This does not indicate that they were part of some previously coordinated conditioning, but rather they chose to accommodate the unfolding US policy.

  277. niqnaq

    But ostensibly they oppose all the interventions, don’t they? My hypothesis is that while opposing overt interventions, they wink at covert ones.

    Anyway, something else is happening with the Free Syria Army and the Syrian National Council, now. My guess is that SNC leader Burhan Ghalioun is opposed to a NATO invasion, and in conjunction with Gen al-Sheikh, is trying to unseat FSA leader Col Riyad al-Assad, who Sibel has told us is working directly for NATO from inside the Incirlik USAF base in Turkey. But why the Turks should have frozen Col Riyad al-Assad’s bank accounts I don’t know.
    http://news.antiwar.com/2012/01/23/reports-free-syrian-army-may-split-in-leadership-battle/

  278. niqnaq

    Jason Ditz says something there which suggests that he is not living in anarchist cloud cuckoo land:

    Much of the final decision will be based on which of the two gains NATO’s support.

  279. Throwing a spanner in the works of your March 13 hypothesis, here’s another key article (from February 16) that Antiwar.com seems to have overlooked:

    Rosenberg, Tina. “Revolution U: What Egypt learned from the students who overthrew Milosevic,” Foreign Policy, February 16, 2011.

  280. Check out this Middle East Institute publication, “Revolution and Political Transformation in the Middle East,” featuring Stephen Zunes’ “The Power of Strategic Nonviolent Action in Arab Revolutions” and “People Power: The Real Force Behind the ‘Bad Year for Bad Guys'” co-authored by Srdja Popovic.

    The Middle East Institute’s Board of Governors includes such noted advocates of nonviolent anti-imperial revolution as Anthony C. Zinni, former Commander in Chief of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM); Richard A. Clarke, former chief counterterrorism adviser on the National Security Council; and William H. Webster, the only American to serve as both Director of Central Intelligence and Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

  281. In “The Power of Strategic Nonviolent Action in Arab Revolutions,” Prof. Zunes parenthetically reveals his uncanny powers of prediction:

    (Indeed, my visits to Egypt and meetings with pro-democracy activists led me to predict in an article posted on the Foreign Policy in Focus web site in early December that “Egypt could very well be where the next unarmed popular pro-democracy insurrection takes place of the kind that brought down Marcos in the Philippines, Milosevic in Serbia and scores of other autocratic regimes in recent decades.”6)

    It might be worth keeping an eye on his Institute for Policy Studies-affiliated FPIF column (regularly republished by Antiwar.com) to see where Zunes “predicts” the next “unarmed popular pro-democracy insurrection” is likely to spontaneously occur.

  282. Pingback: The Arab Spring’s National Security Cheerleaders « The Passionate Attachment

  283. And here’s a line from Zunes that may be familiar to readers of Antiwar.com:

    In Syria, the violence from the antiregime side appears to have come almost exclusively from dissident security forces, not the civilians.

  284. niqnaq

    Hypotheses are made to be knocked down, especially mine, which are usually completely derived from off the top of my head. There may be no simple hypothesis at all to explain AntiWar.com’s zigs, zags, blind spots and evasions. But if there was a simple hypothesis (such as that they were a conscious part of a State Dept ‘perception management’ operation, at the extreme) it would be worth all the effort involved in lumbering towards it.

    Shamus Cooke of Workers’ Action/ Workers’ Compass has written an unusually clear article on Syria. He implies that it is idle to look to General al-Sheikh for an anti-invasion faction in the Syrian National Council; he says they are all NATO puppets. That would explain why Turkey has stopped Colonel Riad al-Assad’s bank acccounts; they want to put the General in charge, to make it all look more official.

  285. niqnaq

    Maidhc, there is one thing that has been worrying me: is there not, after all, a possibility that Sibel fell for disinformation from inside the Syrian government (that Colonel Riad al-Assad has been working since last May from inside USAF Incirlik), and has been too embarrassed to admit it? Perhaps she should be asked whether, to put it diplomatically, “there has been an absence of corroboration since,” or something of that sort.

  286. Interesting piece of information from Zunes’ “prophetic” December 7, 2010 FPIF column:

    A conference held earlier this year in New York, on the future of democracy in Egypt, concluded that a possible explosion in popular protest could occur in the near future in response to repression and economic injustice.

  287. niqnaq

    Look at this nonsense from Eland today:

    The indigenous democratic revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt seem to be progressing … Although bumps on the road may arise and both of these countries may not have completely Western-style liberal democracies, their prospects for being long-term democracies look much brighter than in the three countries in which outside force was used to remove oppressive regimes.

  288. Is everyone there channeling Zunes?

  289. niqnaq

    Maidhc, this is getting serious. Either AntiWar.com is a disinformational construct, and all these people are plants, including Giraldi, or the whole US commentariat, except for a few ultra-leftists, is under mass hypnosis. There’s a term in hypnosis studies for not being able to see something or someone when they are right before your eyes, e.g. seeing a chair as empty when there is someone sitting in it: it’s called “negative hallucination”.

  290. Speaking of which, I received this email response to my Middle East Institute post from Jason Ditz:

    I’m not at all clear what the lesson of this article is.

    1. Some stodgy DC think tank ran some professor’s article six months ago,

    2. Some washed up general and some equally washed up CIA guy are on their board of directors,

    3. Antiwar.com ran some different articles by that same professor both before and after that.

    Can you draw me a map or something?

  291. Sadly it’s all quite simple.

    Where you have people earning their keep, you have twisted perspectives and behaviors. This is not that dissimilar to tribalism which, after all, does entail an implicit quid pro quo; security in exchange for loyalty.

    Once you obtain more than insignificant gains from publishing royalties or once you have invested in an academic career your viewpoint is inevitably altered.

    Some may kid themselves that they are fighting the good fight etc… others are more honest about it.

    In terms of the writers that Anti-war uses, I would characterize some as having only peripheral attachment. Furthermore, as with any operation, the knowledge of the true agenda would be on a need to know basis. I would imagine that the conformity is enforced through self censorship and subtle guiding toward broad themes that have been given the sanction of authority. Conformists must struggle to ascertain the norm.

    Rebels are frequently tolerated as token objects until they become effective, at which time they become victims of character assassination.

  292. A general tactic for subverting dissent entails organizing hierarchically managed publications or institutes and gradually altering the positions so as to drag the whole unit to one direction.

    This strategy requires only the very top level to be aware of the ruse. Participants that are motivated by solidarity, ethics or ideology may fall away, whereas pliable group- think types or those with base motives identify the new direction and alter course.

  293. Recommending this report, Dr. Adrienne Pine has written on her website:

    If there’s anything MLK would roll over in his grave for, it’d be being used by white people to silence expressions of anger at racism, and by groups like ICNC (or another group I’m not generally at odds with with whose end-of-year fundraising email bragged about their bringing MLK to Egypt’s “non-violent revolution”) to smother grassroots anti-imperialist struggle using a diversity of tactics. The same slippage that has turned MLK into a product spokesman for “non-violent revolution” exportable by the CIA and its former employees and allies like Jack DuVall & co. has made feasible the irresponsible reporting last month that, e.g., Egypt Raids Offices of Nonprofits, 3 Backed by U.S.. Freedom House, NED non-profits?? Backed by the U.S.? How about almost fully-funded private agencies of the State Department and Congress, respectively? Of course the mostly rich white men (and their paid lackeys) behind NPIC “peace” operations are some of the most violent people one might never hope to come across in person, as I have experienced personally in receiving the vitriol of Ackerman and Al Giordano, and also of ICNC six-figure “consultant” Stephen Zunes, who emailed my superiors at AU in an attempt to get me silenced/fired after I started mildly criticizing ICNC on my blog. Democracy and free speech, indeed. Peace, brothers.

  294. niqnaq

    This is the money quote from Zunes’ ““The Power of Strategic Nonviolent Action in Arab Revolutions” – literally:

    There were a couple of seminars organized by Egyptian pro-democracy groups which brought in veterans of popular unarmed insurrections in Serbia, South Africa, Palestine, and other countries along with some Western academics who have studied the phenomenon, but these seminars focused on generic information about the history and dynamics of strategic nonviolent action, not on how to overthrow Mubarak. Neither the foreign speakers nor their affiliated institutions provided any training, advice, money, or anything tangible to the small number of Egyptian activists that attended. As one of the academics who lectured at one of these seminars, I can vouch that the Egyptians present were already very knowledgeable and sophisticated in terms of strategic thinking about their struggle. None of us foreigners can take credit for what later transpired. The writings of Gene Sharp, the noted US academic who brought the study of strategic nonviolent action into the realm of serious social science, was studied by Egyptian activists, along with other theorists, but its application to the Egyptian situation was of their own making.

    You can reconstruct what he imagines persons of ill-will might be thinking, from those denials.

  295. niqnaq

    Democracy “in accordance with US government policy”:

    Political Party Assessment
    Project Duration: Dec 2005 – Feb 2006
    In cooperation with an expert from ARD, Glenn Cowan led an assessment of USAID’s political party assistance strategy in advance of the 2006 Palestinian legislative elections. The DI-ARD team worked with the USAID mission to design future programs in support of the development of Palestinian political parties.

    West Bank and Gaza Political Party Assessment Report
    Project: Political Party Assessment
    Expertise: DG Analytical Services
    Date: Jan 2006
    Democracy International conducted a political party assistance assessment during the first two weeks of Dec 2005 at a time of both domestic and international transition for Palestinian leaders and political parties. During the team’s visit we had meetings and conversations with representatives of the US government, USAID program implementers, Palestinian Authority officials, PLC members and staff, Fatah party leaders and activists, the leadership of the CEC, local NGO leaders and others from civil society, opinion researchers and university faculty and students. In accordance with US government policy we did not knowingly meet with any members of Hamas nor did we travel to Gaza. In this report, DI recommends that future party program shift emphasis from active election-based politics to institutional reform and party structural improvement.
    File (pdf)

  296. niqnaq

    This from the file:

    Hamas, until quite recently, had virtually none of the attributes of a political party but in the last year has begun a rapid metamorphosis into an effective, if not democratic, electoral organization. Hamas now operates what amount to constituent service centers, names candidates for local and PLC office, makes substantive political statements, produces voter education materials, actively campaigns, runs what appear to be effective election day Get-Out-The-Vote operations, and engages actively in debates over election process and timing. Nevertheless, Hamas is not a modern political party and in large measure still more closely resembles an advocacy organization actively supporting candidates who agree with its stated policies and goals. More
    problematically, Hamas’ current designation as a terrorist organization by the US and EU disqualifies them from inclusion in any democracy and governance program funded by USAID. It is not reasonable to expect USAID to support political training designed to improve the capacity of Hamas as a political entity when the same lessons ensure arguably to their capacity to mount terror campaigns.

    Hamas, if it is to prosper as a party, must modify its more radical positions and separate its armed resistance and political factions. Hamas as a political force in the local councils and the PLC will have to either act responsibly as a loyal opposition or even governing party or eventually fail to command continued electoral support. If Hamas moderates its positions and maintains constituent support, the international community cannot under such circumstances maintain its current non-engagement policy towards Hamas, unless willing to abrogate any continued influence over Palestinian policies and governance.

    Recognizing that US government (USG) policy currently prohibits even indirect engagement with Hamas, there are certain practical and political realities of future party programs that demand the possibility of all party participation if they are to be successful. Principal among these are: 1) the likelihood that excluding Hamas risks increasing their popular support at the expense mainly of Fatah; 2) such exclusion risks fostering a continued focus on the issues of occupation, liberation politics and multi-national relations instead of good governance; and 3) without Hamas support for necessary election and party institutional reform measures, these are likely to fail even if instituted.
    • Hamas is the governing party in some number of local governments and a governing partner in others.
    • Hamas is a fact of future Palestinian national government as they will win a substantial number of PLC seats. It is not beyond question that Hamas could command a governing majority or lead a governing coalition.
    • The Government of Israel will continue to work with local governments controlled or partially governed by Hamas-elected councilors.
    • The Gaza gate opening formalities have been accomplished with Hamas as a full partner in their implementation.
    • Hamas’ stated positions if not their Charter will continue to moderate.
    • Fatah’s Charter and armed factions are viewed as comparable to those of Hamas by many Palestinians who remain puzzled by the USG’s distinction between them.
    Given these observations, it is our strongly held view that party programming that fails to offer the opportunity for all parties to participate will be so unproductive and even dysfunctional that we would recommend against these programs under such conditions.

  297. Thanks for the very interesting information on Democracy International’s work in Palestine.

    I see that Gene Sharp will be speaking in London on January 30 on the theme of “From Dictatorship to Democracy.” The event is being hosted by the Frontline Club, whose founder has kindly offered his large and comfy manor house as a bail haven for Julian Assange, an Antiwar.com cause célèbre whose Wikileaks played a key role in fomenting the “Arab Spring.” And guess who is behind Vaughan Smith?

    Mr. Smith set up Frontline by borrowing £3 million ($5.7 million) against his family’s estate in Norfolk, England, and has received financing for its events from the Open Society Institute, a philanthropic organization set up by the billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros.

  298. niqnaq

    The worst I’ve ever said about Assange is that he’s an anarchist, but in the context of what we have already established vis-a-vis AntiWar.com, being an anarchist (in their naive sense) means being a sucker for Uncle Sam’s global “democracy promotions”. By the way, Russia Today will air a chat show hosted by Julian Assange, it was announced yesterday. RT said that the programme will be written and hosted by Assange and will feature 10 guests who are “iconoclasts, visionaries and power insiders.” The channel’s editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan wrote on her Twitter feed yesterday: “The first episode will be in the middle of March. Assange will record it while under house arrest. It will be amazing TV, I’m sure of it.”

  299. “Shamus Cooke of Workers’ Action/ Workers’ Compass has written an unusually clear article on Syria.”

    Agreed. But then he too falls for the Antiwar.com/Regime Change, Inc. narrative of a spontaneous, anti-imperial “Arab Spring”:

    The U.S. has proven on multiple occasions that military solutions solve nothing, having torn asunder the social fabric of Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Libya. The working people of Syria and Iran do not desire “help” from the U.S. government and its allies to prevent bloodshed. The working people of these countries could liberate themselves from their authoritarian governments, as did the Tunisians and Egyptians, which is precisely the point: the U.S. is intervening militarily to re-gain control over a region that slipped out of its hands during the Arab Spring.

  300. niqnaq

    Thanks for fixing the URL on that, Maidhc. It’s on Global Research, too. I see your point: he concludes that “the region slipped out of the hands of the US during the Arab Spring.” But the counter-argument is that the so-called “Arab Spring” itself is a US construct, from top to bottom.

  301. niqnaq

    What it boils down to is that everybody is cherry-picking insurgencies that they have a horse in. Cooke’s trotskyite outfit, whichever it is (there are innumerable trotskyite groupuscules, all at daggers drawn with one another) supports a particular insurgent faction in Syria, namely the ‘National Coordination Committee ‘, which is not part of the ‘Syrian National Council’. Presumably it has cadres of revolutionary trade unionists in it.

  302. niqnaq

    Excuse the mixed metaphors.
    :-)

  303. “I’m not at all clear what the lesson of this article is…. Can you draw me a map or something?”

    Mr. Ditz,

    Your facetious attempt to downplay the significance of Antiwar.com promoting the exact same narrative on the Arab Spring, touted by a (supposedly anti-imperial) well-rewarded advocate of strategic nonviolent action, as a think tank sponsored by the military-industrial complex is further evidence of your site’s complicity — either through ignorance or by design — with the interventionism you fervently claim to oppose.

  304. But since you seem to require a map, Mr. Ditz, this comment I posted in response to Prof. Zunes’ most recent appearance on Antiwar Radio might help you navigate the issue.

    In “Regime Change, Inc.: Peter Ackerman’s Quest to Topple Tyranny,” Franklin Foer wrote:

    “When some of State’s desk officers don’t want to create international incidents by advising activists on how to overthrow governments, they gently suggest visiting Ackerman, who has fewer qualms about lending a helping hand.”

    U.S. Department of State > Ackerman > Zunes > activists > regime change.

    Get it?

  305. How Do You Escape a Color Revolution?

    Authors’ Introductory Note: the following essay was prepared in the style of an “open letter” intended to be read by leaders and policy-makers of nation-states targeted for “regime change” by the West.

  306. niqnaq

    I wonder how many would-be readers of that article will be put off at the outset by François Gérard’s Cupid and Psyche.

  307. Displaying a Knapp-like ability to miss the point, Jason Ditz has responded:

    Since your lower map seems to miss Antiwar.com entirely, I’ll just have to infer from the upper comment that you imagine interventionism as some sort of communicable disease transferred by either direct or indirect contact with infected hosts.

    It seems a particularly perplexing position for someone who has had their writing published in so many different places to imagine that this is the case, but maybe those outlets are putting you through massive indoctrination campaigns before letting you in the door. I can assure you that’s not the way normal editorial writing works.

  308. niqnaq

    The more I think about it, the less impressed I am by “How Do You Escape a Color Revolution?”. It’s not just the pornographic François Gérard painting, it’s the whole thesis. If Eric Pottenger and Jeff Friesen had read Marcuse’s “Eros and Civilization” (not to mention Norman Brown’s “Life Against Death”), they would understand that you can’t just transition from a puritanical, religious mass culture to a libidinous one (encoded in the article as “self-reflection; derision; laughter; art; indifference; transcendence”) without bringing about the exact result you are trying to avoid (but which of course was what Marcuse and Brown wanted).

  309. For anyone who might be interested, the discussion of Antiwar.com’s complicity with Regime Change, Inc. has temporarily moved to here.

  310. Pingback: ‘Alternative’ media scratches the surface of NYPD’s anti-Muslim video scandal « The Passionate Attachment

  311. Like most so-called “alternative” media, this Real News report only scratches the surface of a very dirty NYPD iceberg, which, as I’ve briefly described in “Adam, Get Their Guns,” is intimately linked to a Tel Aviv agenda…

  312. Antiwar.com’s idea of “non-interventionism”…

    Today, its Viewpoints section features another op-ed from the NED-backed Trita Parsi, who opines:

    After all, no US president has come as close as Obama in reaching a diplomatic breakthrough with Tehran, no other US president has managed to create this degree of international mobilization against Iran, and no other US president has been able to impose so many crippling, indiscriminate sanctions on the Iranian economy.

    Iran was fast expanding its influence in the region during the George W. Bush Presidency. “Iran was on a roll,” one Obama Administration official told me. But in the past three years, it has lost its regional momentum. Iran’s domestic political situation is much more unstable following the fraudulent 2009 elections, its source of soft power in the region has take a hit following the Arab uprisings, its economy is hurting under the crushing weight of government mismanagement and sanctions, and its ability to play the major powers against each other has been severely limited since Obama took office.

  313. Yes, anti-war.com always has promoted the indefensible, fraudulent incitement that “Iran’s elections were stolen.”

    Shameful that.

    Shame on Noam Chomsky, Robert Dreyfus and The Nation for participating in the smear also. The meme relies on mutually re-enforcement; Chomsky and The Nation are reporting it so why question the claim. Their credibility is gone.

  314. This line from the Leveretts’ review of Trita Parsi’s A Single Roll of the Dice applies to all those who profess to be “anti-war” at the same as they contribute to the delegitimisation of the targeted country:

    But by depicting an Islamic Republic that does not follow his preferred path as illegitimate, with no evidence that most Iranians living in Iran want what he wants, Parsi is facilitating a potential U.S. war he professes to oppose.

  315. Pingback: We are all cynics now? « The Passionate Attachment

  316. Poor Antiwar.com! Despite the trojan efforts of Jason Ditz et al. to promote the interventionist narrative of peaceful protesters being massacred by tyrannical regimes, it wasn’t enough to avert the wrath of Redress editor Nureddin Sabir.

  317. In his latest column, Justin Raimondo claims:

    Although the “Arab Spring” looks to have taken the US by surprise, Washington moved quickly – via the NED and USAID – to coopt the movement.

    See my “A Response to Raimondo’s ‘Arab Spring’ Surprise Claim”.

  318. Pingback: The Regime Change, Inc. sandstorm mistakenly dubbed the ‘Arab Spring’ « The Passionate Attachment

  319. Nebosja Malic, a lone voice at Antiwar.com exposing Regime Change, Inc.’s role in the Arab uprisings, notes:

    Last summer, as the Sandstorm mistakenly dubbed the “Arab Spring” swept across North Africa, a cadre of professional revolutionaries the Empire created in Serbia bragged about their role in the revolts to some European videographers.

  320. Winston Smith

    I am very surpised by this debate.

    American policy-makers did not move to co-opt the Arab Spring, they created it in the first place.

    The most disturbing articles have been appearing on another site, Stopnato.com and even in the British mainstream press.

    Antiwar.com appear to have accepted the view of secular western-style demonstators all being shot/beaten up whilst demonstrating, whilst ignoring the explosive nature of the situation in Syria as Sunni Islamicist radicals do the demonstrating and fighting.

    As the British articles say, this is highly explosive as they are opposed to a secular society and hate the Shia, Alawites, Druze, Sufi, Christians….

    It is also a formula for sectarian fighting and ethnic cleansing, but Western governments are blind to it and so is Antiwar.com, despite all efforts to put it to them, and they still believe no intervention has taken place yet.

  321. It’s fundraising time again at Antiwar.com, and Justin Raimondo is “frankly appalled at the dearth of contributions…”

  322. In response to Justin Raimondo’s latest plea for more funds, a lively discussion is now taking place in the comments section. The highlight so far is this response to Sibel Edmonds:

    I am the Director of Operations at Antiwar.com. I make decisions everyday before anything is foisted upon the editors (who have very exacting standards) at Antiwar.com.

    Your pieces were rejected because they are simply not good. Often the articles on your site are substandard and in one case, sub-literate.

    Your reputation is also that of a highly difficult contentious prima donna who loathes women and Jews. Over the past years, I have had concluded that is an accurate assessment.

    Angela Keaton
    323-512-7095

    This is a bit rich coming from someone who told Russia Today that the mainstream media was downplaying the Syrian government’s atrocities because “Assad’s a U.S. puppet.” Now that’s certainly “alternative” news!

  323. Pingback: Antiwar.com’s ‘Alternative’ Reality « The Passionate Attachment

  324. Quote of the day from Angela Keaton on Facebook:

    One of the joys of working at Antiwar.com is knowing that 98% of your critics are racist garbage cans.

  325. Do you believe in Antiwar.com’s “angels”?

    And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were offered matching funds…

    You’re Not Seeing Double

    Antiwar.com’s angelus ex machina may not convince too many readers to part with their hard-earned money this time, however, as comments such as this one suggest:

    “We are currently experiencing the worst fundraising drive we have ever conducted. I am frankly appalled at the dearth of contributions, because if we continue at the present rate we are going to have to start winding down Antiwar.com, and – yes – even close up shop.”

    Will someone PLEASE inform Justin that Amerika is in the midst of one of its worst economic recessions ever, one that is affecting more and more people with each passing week and that is gradually morphing into the “Greater Depression?” I would venture to say that many, perhaps even most of his readers are lucky to have access to the internet at all right now, never mind being able to dig into their pockets to cough up a few precious bucks for a particular web site. And maybe, just MAYBE, as other disaffected readers have posted here, AWC no longer has the firm backing that it once did, for the reasons Sibel Edmonds cites and many others voiced here and elsewhere. If you really had the backing of the broader anti-war constituency, a hundred grand or so might not be a problem to raise each quarter. That this amount is becoming harder and harder to come by with each new calendar quarter sends the message that not only are regular contributions beyond the means of most of the readership, but that what little disposable income they have is better contributed to other sites that better serve their readership’s interests (and that are probably a bit more consistent and honest in their standards).

    Maybe fundraising time is a time for some introspection as well.

  326. As I wrote on January 13, “From now on, ONLY comments related to Antiwar.com will be approved. To be more specific, ONLY comments relevant to the case made against Antiwar.com in the above report will be approved.”

  327. brian

    Knapp:
    ”To pretend that the Assad regime, Boko Haram, al Qaeda, the mullahs in Iran, et. al are one iota less evil than the regimes in Washington and Tel Aviv isn’t “critical analysis.” It’s either stupidity or willful deception’

    Since when has the Assad govt(NOT ‘regime’) ever been as evil or brutal as US or Israel regimes? Its this sort of casual libel that renders sites like Antiwar little more than echoes of the MSM..they aer especially libelous on Zimbabwe.But need i reminde Mr Knapp that a states first duty is to protect its country and citizens from armed insurgency. The role of the media is to obscure this and make it seem the target govt is the one commiting the brutality.

    alqaeada is an arm of US military strategy..if they didnt exist itd have been necessary for the US regime to invent them!

  328. brian

    ”As I wrote on January 13, “From now on, ONLY comments related to Antiwar.com will be approved. To be more specific, ONLY comments relevant to the case made against Antiwar.com in the above report will be approved’

    fine…but FYI itd be nice if you did an article on the ‘Libyan prison riots’ with its alleged 1200 dead…as there is no evidence whatsoever to support it AND its invariably used as the single event that is said to show Gadafi as ruthless tyrant…This meme wil continue to be used to hammered home the need for his ‘removal’ until finally its admitted it never happened…

  329. brian

    Knapp writes: ‘Which would be the same place that you came up with the fantasy that Antiwar.com supported US or NATO intervention in Libya, just because we didn’t go out of our way to pretend that Gaddafi was anything other than the slime he was’

    would Knapp care to elaborate why Gadafi is ‘slime’? and thanks for showing me how antiwar.com indeed looks the same way as the US propaganda and war machine.Libyan women may not agree tho: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25806
    as susan Lindauer shows us

  330. brian

    Knapp writes: ‘That doesn’t mean that I have to pretend that Gaddafi was anything other than the murderous despot he was.’

    only he wasnt….Even Jeff only came up with the 1200 dead prison riot ironically refuted by Wikipedia! So id like to see Thomas substantiate his libel… and please explain how a man can help alleviate womans situation(as revealed by Susan Lindauer), use libyan money to provide housing and education to the people and be called ‘despot’…it be easier to call Thomas a murderous despot…or perhaps nearer to home: a lying anarchist editor. Its these little gems of vitriol that show the real face of Antiwar.com

  331. brian

    Knapp invokes the african mercenary meme:
    ”aletho,

    There are three categories of soldiery:

    1) Unpaid volunteers;
    2) Conscripts; and
    3) Mercentaries.

    Are you really suggesting that each and every one of the Gaddafi regime’s troops fell into one of the first two categories?
    ====================
    there never were any (african mercenaries) .This meme has been used to justify the genocid e of black africans and blac libyans by racists of Misrata and benghazi>Max Forte shows the origin of this meme in racist tweets: http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/forte200411.html

    HRW has also refuted it…so why keep alluding to it? Because its such lies that gadafi hating Antiwar needs to justify its attacks

  332. Raimondo loses the plot, libelling me as a White nationalist, anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist!

  333. norm sunden

    Paul Craig Roberts had to leave Anti War.com because of censorship about 911. The best way to handle your opposition is to control it.

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