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Fri, 21 Jan 2022
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Puppet Masters


France and China sign nuclear and airline deals

French executives accompanying the country's president on a trip to China today closed deals worth €20bn (£14.4bn) to sell nuclear reactors and Airbus planes to the communist state.

Nicolas Sarkozy, on a visit focusing on trade relations, welcomed the lucrative agreements but also warned of the environmental costs of China's rapid economic growth.

Bad Guys

Proto-Fascism in America

©David Neiwert
Bo Gritz burned a U.N. flag at a 'Preparedness Expo' in 1998.

It's clear by now, I hope, that fascism isn't something peculiar to Europe, but in fact grew out of an impulse that appears throughout history in many different cultures. This impulse is, as Roger Griffin puts it, "ultra-nationalism that aspires to bring about the renewal of a nation's entire political culture."

We needn't look far to find this impulse at play in the American landscape -- social, religious and political renewal all appear as constant (though perhaps not yet dominant) themes of Republican propaganda now. But it is especially prevalent on the extremist right; indeed, it's probably a definitive trait.

Comment: David Neiwert's series:


I. Projecting Fascism

II. Understanding Fascism

III. The Core of Fascism

IV. Tracking Fascism

V. Proto-Fascism in America

VI. Crossing the Lines

VII. The Transmission Belt

VIII. Official Transmitters

IX. Media Transmitters

X. Reaching the Receivers

XI. Dualist Receivers

XII. Divine Transmissions

XIII. Fascism and Fundamentalism

XIV. The War on Liberals

XV. Waiting for Godwin


Monkey Wrench

China deals blow to Western efforts to punish Iran

China has dealt a blow to Western efforts to increase diplomatic pressure on Iran over its nuclear program by dropping out of a meeting to discuss tougher sanctions against Tehran.

Russia, which like China opposes further U.N. sanctions against Iran, added fuel to the fire by announcing on Friday that the U.N. nuclear watchdog would soon start inspecting and sealing atomic fuel bound for an Iranian reactor.


IAEA: Iran generally truthful on nukes

A report from the U.N nuclear watchdog agency on Thursday found Iran to be generally truthful about key aspects of its nuclear history, but it warned that its knowledge of Tehran's present atomic work was shrinking.

The White House said it would continue to push for a third round of U.N. sanctions against Iran despite the findings by the International Atomic Energy Agency report.


Hamas rounds up Fatah activists after Arafat rally in Gaza

Hamas has rounded up scores of Fatah activists in the Gaza Strip following a Monday rally that drew more than 200,000 supporters and ended in gunfire that killed seven people, officials said on Tuesday.

Islam Shahwan, spokesman of the Hamas-led Executive Force, said it had detained about 50 Fatah members since the rally.

Fatah supporters running for cover during clashes at Monday's major Gaza rally in honor of Yasser Arafat.

Comment: Interesting that this article makes exactly the opposite claims from this one:
Fatah gangsters spoil Arafat's commemoration in Gaza

Another difference is that the present one is published in an Israeli run newspaper, while the other one is featured on a Palestinian news site.


Arafat the obstacle has been exposed as a myth

The Palestinian leader's portrayal by the west and Israel has been a barrier both to understanding the conflict and to peace


China's media scorns Blair's £200,000 'cash raking' lecture trip

Tony Blair earned the scorn of the Chinese media yesterday for accepting £200,000 for a three-hour spin through southern China, during which he gave a "cliched" speech and fitted in a quick jaunt around a high-class villa complex.

"Is he worth the money?" asked some Chinese newspapers and compared the former prime minister's oratorical insights to those of a village official.


DOJ Torture Memo # 6 Identified

I recently examined how the Bush Justice Department was developing a "Culture of Torture," that is, the Bush Administration's addiction to torture has become its defining element. Opposition to torture policies is not tolerated, as Daniel Levin and Michael Mukasey have learned. Silence can be tolerated among career employees, perhaps, but it will certainly check their advancement.

And now, courtesy of the ACLU, we learn some more about the logical corollaries of the culture of torture: secrecy and lies.

Bad Guys

Propaganda Alert - MI5: Al-Qa'eda recruiting UK children for terror

Muslim children as young as 15 are being recruited by al-Qa'eda to wage "a deliberate campaign of terror" in Britain, the head of MI5 has said.

Comment: Given their previous track record it would seem that Al-MI5da are being typically Machiavellian and accusing their 'enemy' of just that which they are doing themselves.

As a pretext for longer detentions without trial the idea that teenagers are being recruited to the "terrorist cause" has to be one of the weakest yet.


The "Bin Laden Option" and the Missing Minot Nuke

Right before September 11, 2001, the alarm bells were ringing across trading floors about some unusual trading in the US stock options market. An extraordinary number of trades were bet that American Airlines stock prices would fall.

The trades are called "PUTS" and at least 450,000 shares of American Airlines stock were involved. What raised the alarms was that more than 80 percent of the orders were "puts" and they far outnumbered "call" options (those betting the stock would rise). Usually, the numbers are fairly balanced on these kinds of trades so this imbalance caught traders' attention.

The next day, four American passenger jets were hijacked in a terrorist attack on American soil. Three of these jets belonged to American Airlines. Two allegedly crashed into the World Trade Center and one allegedly crashed into the Pentagon. The fourth aircraft was a United Airlines passenger jet that allegedly crashed into a field near the town of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.