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[personal profile] nairiporter
The doubling down on the imagined "alt left" he invented to balance out the alt right aside, it took president Trump at least two days to explicitly name the organisations and movements that drowned Charlottesville in blood and chaos. And just a day to make a U-turn again, and accuse "both sides" for the tragic clashes that took the life of a 32 year old woman, who had come alongside hundreds of protesters to voice their opposition to the far-right formations that marched in defense of racist "heritage". The perpetrator was a 20 year old man, failed soldier, outsider, and someone who espoused radical racist views.

Of course, Trump's mixed messages drew an almost universal condemnation, including from the elite of his own party. Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, John McCain and Steve Scalise all were among the Republicans who said outright that the reason for the violence in Virginia was white supremacism, and the president should not be equating victims to perpetrators. The only public persons who supported Trump's position were the white supremacists themselves, like the former KKK grand master David Duke, and the neo-Nazi Richard Spence who became (in)famous for his "Hail Trump" salute. Things went so far that the White House had to disseminate an internal memo to the Republican governors that declared the president was "correct; both sides are guilty for the violence".

Read more... )
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[personal profile] dreamville_bg
Trump finally condemns Charlottesville racism, days after violence

Wow, he sounded so convincing. NOT.

Trump said what he had to, not what he wanted to and he was reading his speech from a teleprompter and he was advised to do it. Impossible to believe anything coming out of his mouth or tweets. It resonates untrue or insincere. In the last 200 days Trump proved us that he has no moral fiber and any intelligence. He is vain, arrogant, brutal, uncultivated and a downright racist and a pathological liar. He is not a leader.

His speech about Charlottesville came 2 days later, let's not forget about it. So what took him so long, eh? Could it have something to do with the white supremacists being very thankful to him for not condemning them?

Some people are saying Trump lost a chunk of his base by this talk. Nonsense. The delay in giving these remarks is all the indication they need that Trump didn't mean a word of it.

The fact that it took two days to get Trump to read this statement is disgusting.

There are confederate rallies going on all over the country. Some folks sure are going to be busy.

Sorry but this is the base he appealed to along with the rest of the as, McCain has always declared,. "The party of Lincoln". My question to McCain is to which Lincoln are you referring to, John? Cannot be Abraham. This seems to be the new base of the Republicans, good luck folks. Looking forward to seeing you pay for years for your cowardly performance.
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[personal profile] johnny9fingers

Most of us who have been following the information about where the funding for Islamic fundamentalist terrorism originates have a pretty good guess as to what is in this report. What is also interesting is the way Saudi Arabia has tried to blame Qatar for as much terrorist funding as it can, somehow trying to link Qatar and even Al Jazeera to both Iranian sponsored terrorism and ISIS, in a move designed to deflect attention, no doubt.

Of course 45, in his recent trip to Saudi, bought this line; not having a good relationship with intelligence agencies liable to give him better information, or even having an especially good relationship with intelligence per se.

But is sitting on this report the classic case of conflict of interest?

Muslim folk are a minority of under 4% in the U.K., the vast majority of whom are law-abiding and decent. These are folk who don't deserve to be targetted by xenophobes. However, it appears our government would prefer that than actually expose where the money to fund terrorism is coming from in case it disrupts income stream to our arms manufacturers, or alienates a business partner with deep pockets, lots of oil, and a fundamentalist creed and mentality.

As a nation the U.K. has, of late, really embraced the concept of conflict of interest. It is becoming as British English as queuing. This joins Brexit as another massive stupidity we can ascribe to years of educational underfunding, which is surely the greatest conflict of interest a democracy can exhibit. I mean it's not as if we don't know where the money comes from, but sitting on the report which confirms it, for diplomatic reasons, exposes ordinary Muslims to obloquy and xenophobic attack.
[identity profile]
Just a brief question.

When a bunch of Muslim radicals plunge a truck into a crowd of random people in a street, then start shooting at people or stabbing them with knives, that's terrorism, right?

So how come when a Christian British native plunges a truck into a crowd of random Muslim people in front of a mosque, then attacks them with a knife, that's hate crime and a revenge?

Where does this semantic difference come from? Same question about the reactions. In the former case, we hear "Let's not jump to conclusions" and "Let's not paint all Muslims with the same brush", and "This has nothing to do with Islam". But now we hear nothing of the sort, after the Finsbury Park attack?

How, who and what radicalized that father of several children who until yesterday used to just go to work, look after his family, and probably spend a couple hours with his pals in the local pub watching Premiership football on a daily basis? What caused him to go and massacre people he doesn't know, and then sit in the police van on his way to jail and smile back at the watching journalists, as if he had just won the lottery? "A job well done", he says. How's he NOT a terrorist?

Is there a double standard here, or am I perhaps just reading too much into this?
[identity profile]
And more responses.

The knife-wielding arseholes who drove a rented van into folk and then went on a stabbing spree died in a hail of bullets. What is also becoming apparent is that people are prepared to fight back. All sorts of people actually went after the terrorists in the hope of stopping them.

Does the panel think that this will make it more difficult for the terrorists?
Or will it just lead to vigilantes stringing up people on suspicion of being Muslim? Or beating them up for walking around with an offensive Hijab on?

Also how many more of these sort of outrages need to occur before all of Europe (the U.K. included) push further towards fascistic anti-Islamic policies? We've already had that manic Hopkins woman advocating a final solution in the Daily Heil (and resigning over it). How many more outrages will incline the majority of voting people to go properly Third Reich on ordinary Muslims arses? Because, after all, in a democracy, the majority will is paramount, and constitutions can bend and stretch and be reinterpreted according to requirements.
[identity profile]
We've seen the outcry about Hillary's "basket of deplorables" remarks. You can't lump people into the same pot and paint them with the large brush, the argument was. Well, to be frank, it's hard not to. Especially when seeing comments, reactions and the general behavior of A LOT of Trump's supporters. The inability and/or unwillingness of a huge number of them to recognize the danger of their chosen candidate's inflammatory rhetoric, is beyond staggering. Case in point:

Trump’s supporters talk rebellion, assassination at his rallies

"In an arena normally reserved for ice hockey, the Donald Trump crowd was on edge. Some wore shirts with slogans like “[Expletive] Your Feelings” or, in reference to the female Democratic nominee, “Trump that Bitch.” Others had buckets of popcorn, ready for the show. When the media entourage entered, thousands erupted in boos.

Anger and hostility were the most overwhelming sentiments at a Trump rally in Cincinnati last week, a deep sense of frustration, an us-versus-them mentality, and a belief that they are part of an unstoppable and underestimated movement. Unlike many in the country, however, these hard-core Trump followers do not believe the real estate mogul’s misfortunes are of his own making.

They believe what Trump has told them over and over, that this election is rigged, and if he loses, it will be because of a massive conspiracy to take him down.

Read more... )
[identity profile]
The so-called "alt-right" is an American political movement described as containing elements of nativism, white-nationalism (sometimes including separatism or supremacy,) a belief that Christianity is a core and essential element of "Western Civilization," as well as sometimes antisemitism and neo-reactionary opposition to Democratic forms of government. While this kind of movement is certainly not unique to the U.S., its popularity is, and that demands some examination.

As stated above, while the adherents of "alt-right" philosophy would deny that it has any one specific definition, it's become clear that it is, if not fundamentally aligned with, at least friendly with white nationalism and christian dominionism, and is at least somewhat hostile to democracy. This presents a problem: the vast majority of American citizens reject these things (or at least their most overt manifestations.) Most Americans were raised to believe in the ideals of the Enlightenment, the ideals held by the Founding Fathers: ideals of democracy, equality of race and gender, and freedom of religion. Admittedly, the U.S. has not always adhered to these ideals perfectly (sometimes not at all,) but they have always been held up a goal, an ideal to strive towards, and our understanding of them has only broadened over the centuries. In the early twentieth century, it likely would not have been hard to find folks who'd agree, at least in part, with the philosophy espoused later by the Nazis. Today, it would be much harder to find people willing to agree with that.

Enter the alt-right. The alt-right is facing a problem: most folks reject what they are offering, when it's presented openly and honestly. Most Americans do not want nativism, white nationalism (or white separatism,) neoreactionism, or dominionism.

The alt-right has a solution to this problem.

16 points. )

Cognitive Dissonance )

What does this have to do with the alt-right? )

Sunlight )
[identity profile]
We have heard a lot of radical Islam in Europe lately. Yesterday's attack in Munich provided another reason to talk about it. But few have spoken of the reversed, the Islamisation of radicalism. I am talking about marginalised people who seek for an incentive to oppose society as a whole - and often find the appropriate ideological excuse for their radical actions in Islam.

After the bloodbaths in Nice and now Munich, especially with the latter one where the indications are that the perpetrator was not even radicalised but was rather an outsider with issues who sought a way to vent, the problem has become even more acute. The problem with European societies is that they have provided a fruitful soil for growing radicalism. This includes problems that probably have a lot more to do with social instability and insecurity than anything religious or politically ideological. Most terror attackers so far have either had dual citizenship, or have lived there for generations, but have failed to integrate.

Read more... )
[identity profile]
The inevitable is about to happen (some have falsely reported that it has happened already), and Bernie is going to endorse Hillary, in order to, as he vowed, defeat Trump at any cost. So some of his supporters are now turning the "bern" on him. And in quite a hostile way:

Reading some of those posts, I see people who seem to have wrapped their whole identity in their unrealistic ideal of who Sanders is and what he stands for - or even how politics and the world is supposed to work. It's no different than reading the thoughts of cult members. Their magical thinking goes beyond support for a political candidate and feels more like desperate people seeking some kind of personal meaning and validation. It's also emotionally and intellectually immature. I feel for these people - they'll never find any person or any cause pure enough to fix whatever they need to be repaired within them. It's the only thing I can think of that would account for such absolute blind rage and feelings of betrayal.

A nation so divided, even within the same political camp that is supposed to seek unity and work together towards a common goal, should not expect anything good in the future.
[identity profile]
A lot has been said in the wake of the Brexit vote. Many believe the time of populism is at hand in Europe. Indeed, if we just take a look at Europe and imagine what it would look like, and most of the world by extension, if France ends up with Le Pen for president, if the Freedom Party gets a Chancellor in Austria, and if Wilders and his people come to power in Holland, and if, on top of everything, Trump becomes US president, things would start looking rather alarming. And no one can guarantee at this point that such a scenario would not play out, if not completely, at least partially.

But like many have said these days, we shouldn't hasten to panic. The new elections in Spain may have brought some additional clarity on the issue, but the positions of the leftist populists were actually weakened. In other words, there are indications that the voters are not always susceptible to emotional manipulations.

Read more... )
[identity profile]
Maybe you missed it since “pray for Baghdad” didn't trend on Twitter, and Facebook didn't give you the option of overlaying an Iraqi flag on your profile picture, but something truly horrific happened there Sunday morning.

Guess what it was? You have three attempts.

Nah. I'm sure everyone's praying for Baghdad right now, just as they were praying for Beirut, and Aleppo, and Medina, and Dhaka, and Istanbul. Right?

By the way, I've been hearing "These men are No True Muslims; they have no regard for Islam". That's kinda cute. I'd go further and say anyone who uses religion as a political tool is clueless about religion itself. And that's the majority of people these days. Islamic extremists (here! I said it!) being just the tip of that iceberg. The crowds of people who tacitly support their agenda, either by actively approving it or just staying passive about it, are no better, if less violent.

Religion is a bane on society. Has always been. All specious pretexts and excuses like charity and morality notwithstanding. But that's another topic.

The point right now is, have you finished your prayer for Baghdad yet?
[identity profile]
We've all been gazing a bit too much on Daesh regarding Syria, while almost completely ignoring the ambitions of another major group there, Al Nusra. The local branch of Al Qaeda. It seems we have forgotten how dangerous they could be.

Sure, IS's territorial advances could only be halted through military means, since those guys understand only one thing: the language of bullets. And the root cause for IS's ascent should be tackled through ideological and social/economic means, as it's a much deeper issue. Sure. The international community is happy to announce that this advancement has been halted, the momentum has been turned, and Daesh is losing territories in Syria. In the meantime, its advances in Libya being a concern.

But there`s a catch )
[identity profile]
OK, here's a more real story than the previous one. I'm sure there'll be plenty of "shit happens" sort of hand-waving, but still. Let's look at the facts that are known at this point.

About 1000 men, moving in groups of 20-30 around the German city of Cologne on New Year's eve, assaulted, robbed and tried to rape local women who had gathered at the square in front of the central railway station to celebrate the event. This happened in front of the eyes of thousands of people, in the open, and with impunity.

Here`s a real story for ya... )
[identity profile]
I recently talked with a friend of mine who's a Lebanon-born Christian. We were watching an Egyptian movie from the 60s, the golden age of Arab cinema. You may ask, what does this have to do with the terror attacks in Paris, Sinai, Beirut, Ankara, Iraq and Yemen? Well, do bear with me.

The movie was about a group of holiday-makers, several family couples who had a dispute of some sorts, so they decided to play a football match, men vs women, and whichever side lost would be temporary servants to the other. Somehow the women won the game, and for some time their men had to do the cleaning, laundry, etc. The story may sound naive, and it certainly doesn't sound like an Arab movie. If we look at the films, books, photos, magazines and newspapers from the 50s and 60s (and partly the 70s) that came from countries like Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, we'd be shocked how they looked like. You'd wonder how come the Arab world has transformed so radically for the last few decades. You'd never see a woman with a hijab in those old movies. Chances are, you'd even see some nudity on screen. Cairo was the Arab Hollywood back then, and Beirut the Paris of the East. So how did that all change, and why?

Read more... )
[identity profile]
So, worthy of note is that at this point Daesh and its semi-ally semi-thrall Boko Haram are conducting a fairly large-scale war on two continents. The latter, of course, is now the official deadliest terrorist organization.

Boko Haram, equally curiously, is conducting this full-scale conflict in a very oil-rich country with a conspicuous absence of the usual suspects who, if oil is indeed the sole and only motivation of their actions should be clustering over this like ants on a picnic. If oil indeed is the prime mover of imperial politics, whither the West in Nigeria? Why is African oil less of a focus than that in Syria and Iraq? Given the sheer size of Nigeria, profits for weapons would reap an even bigger profit there given the greater number of people involved and the ability, of course, to finance both sides. So where are the economic hitmen?

Daesh, meanwhile, in its quest to collect all the nuclear powers as adversaries, has now as well declared war on Hamas:

Given that Hamas, too, is yet another of those Iranian proxies out there waging war on Israel and Daesh's ongoing conflict with Hezbollah, this was of course predictable. But it renders more glaring the absence of the most predictable target of all these fanatical movements and that unlike literally every other movement of its kind out there bar Boko Haram, this movement has yet to engage in major hostilities with the Israelis. Well, as it turns out.....

^Likud is reaping a pretty profit from smuggled oil. I presume all the people who were champing at the bit to punish Turkey will equally be champing at the bit to punish the Israelis, no? Not so? To be sure, this makes explicitly clear *why* Daesh isn't biting the hands that feed it, but I don't expect people will either remember this or make anywhere near an equivalent fuss over the reality that the Israelis are exploiting this war for profit in a fashion that shows the Irgun hasn't really changed its stripes since the 40s and 80s.

On the plus side for the Israelis, with the war stretching on seemingly into infinity, business will literally be booming. 
[identity profile]
Donald Trump is a political hooligan. And that's exactly the reason that he's been scoring so well so far. Despite his xenophobic, sexist, and outright insulting statements. He's posing as a genuine maverick who's opposed to political correctness and the establishment. He knows no shame. And he can't be intimidated. Trump brings up issues that most would rather not discuss so directly. And he instigates people against the establishment. Which is why a considerable segment of the conservative base (the Tea Party segment, I presume, but I could be wrong) applauds him so enthusiastically, and speaks of him with such pride as if he's their champion - which he really isn't (but don't tell them that). The sharper and ruder his assault on "the system", the more scandalous the attack, the better for him. At least for the time being.

And this is a curious development. We're witnessing the emergence of some social and political circles in Ameican society who are OK with scandalous rhetoric and political confrontation. Circles who despise the political compromise, which is at the core of modern constitutional democracy. These people are filled with anger, distrust and fear from politics, because the economic, social and cultural conditions are changing too fast for them. It's no surprise that migration is among the hottest topics in the Republicans' election campaign - it resonates with these disillusioned "Joe Sixpacks".

Read more... )
[identity profile]
ISIS has made the news for its atrocities in the recent months, but it's even more interesting how they stay in power at the time when the AK47s and RPGs are silent. Not to mention that it's important to understand what sustains their power, if we want to be able to move on from engaging them in violent conflicts (which is the first step) to creating conditions that would further prevent their re-emergence (i.e. off-war time management).

War has changed in recent times. We've been hearing of hybrid warfare, asymmetric warfare, etc. The thing is, war has ceased being about states and standing armies clashing in a conventional conflict. Now it's mostly a clash of states with non-state players. It's telling that most peace agreements of our time have been between a state and a non-state group. Which is why we have to understand how these groups work, what drives them, and what keeps them afloat. And this doesn't only concern the way they fight and the reason they fight, but also what they're doing while they're not fighting. In other words, we need to know the whole picture.

Some examples )
[identity profile]
Modern society seems to have lost its taste for consensus, its appreciation of shared values. If a couple of decades ago there was a drive for democracy in what we today call the "young democracies", and a craving for a market economy and a modern civilizational choice, now that's all mostly gone. But a similar process is going on in the older and more advanced democracies as well (Germany, France, to name but a few). People are losing their trust in the traditional parties too easily, as the mainstream parties are looking increasingly similar to each other, sharing the same cold pragmatism and the same goals, methods and rhetoric.

The mainstream media are losing their appeal as well, having worked along the lines of the idea of the "useful consensus" for decades. More and more analysts are ringing the alarm: the Western society is in crisis, there's a real struggle, people are confused and too susceptible to radicalization. This can be particularly clearly seen in the media, who've been going through a transformation. The media democracy that we're so used to, where the big mainstream media had a central role, is now gradually becoming a democracy of indignation dwelling in the hidden digital space of blogging, social media, and encouraged by invisible semi-anonymity. The traditional centers of power and the media monopolies are losing ground. Now anyone can say anything, and demand that it be viewed with the same validity as any other assertion. And then we end up with everyone being outraged with everyone else, and about anything they could think of.

This also fully applies to the schizophrenic, hysteric world of internet conspiracy theorists. It's a fact that the Internet has provided the perfect ground for the thriving of an infinite number of crazy theories, and an alarming number of people, after getting exposed to that stuff, get caught into its webs, and take the bait, hook, line, and sinker. That's a natural reaction to the long dominance of the mainstream media and the established political narrative - now people want and love to diverge from consensus in politics and the media, often just for the sake of it, for the sake of saying "No, I have a brain, and I can use it on my own". Even if that means ironically falling prey to another sort of manipulation.

The grand Internet conspiracy... or something. )
[identity profile]
Originally posted by [ profile] politic_zone at ISIS frightens China?
Even powerful sees threat for Asia region. I found a chinese magazine in NZ. According to the translation, it is talked about possible invasion of ISIS in asian territories.
As we know there are several reasons of being afraid. China has problems with Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. . And China's authorities may be think the same way.
This region is a place of
East Turkestan Islamic Movement activities. This group is fighting for creation Sharia islamic state. I guess, there will be a lot of interested in supporting this idea. In 2008 there were demonstrations and terrorists attacks in China. Fighters  claimed independence. China saw how ISIS become a real state. So,
the Celestial Empire does not want it's part to become a new caliphate.

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