Markus L comments

Posted in: Trump condemns Syria chemical attack but won't say what action U.S. will take See in context

As Joeintokyo accurately points out how could Assad possibly benefit from a sarin gas attack on innocent civilians at this point? When there's a crime, the motive needs to be thoroughly taken into account. The only people who gain from this are the largely Sunni fundamentalist terrorist groups who are invading Syria and their backers; The West, Turkey and the Gulf Kingdoms. It's the 2014 "Red Line" scenario all over again, an attack that was clearly a false flag operation. Again, ask yourself about the motive of that attack. Clearly Turkey and it's terrorist allies stood to gain from US military involvement, just as they do so now more than ever in light of Trumps recent comments about Assad's ouster no longer being a US priority. How obvious does it have to be?

Take the time to read this article, largely ignore by the MSM of course.

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

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Posted in: Patinkin says 'Homeland' trying to improve Muslim depiction See in context

Only"? I suggest you read up on history. Jordan, a leading light in the Middle East, was created wholly by Britain.

So were Syria, Iraq, Lebanon (and Israel for that matter). Syria was one of the most prosperous and stable nations in the region until "Regime Change" was decided, as was Iraq under Saddam and Libya under Gaddafi. The difference with Jordan is they have no oil (or they don't stand in the way of a natural gas pipeline from Qatar to Turkey, as Syria does.This is what has saved them from the plight of Iraq, Libya and Syria. And Jordan is not quite the"civil society" you suggest. It's prisons (an well as those of Syria) were Black Sites for the CIA when conducting interrogations (which involved torture) on prisoners captured in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just the kind of state the west aims to foster to be sure.

And it would be difficult to deny that the Sunni radicalism that has swept across, and brought violence to the region, was given a huge boost by the US, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan when Arabs such as Bin Laden were financed and encouraged to join the Jihad against the USSR in Afghanistan.There is a direct link from that to 911, the invasion of Iraq, and the sectarian violence that has plagued the Middle East since then.

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Posted in: Patinkin says 'Homeland' trying to improve Muslim depiction See in context

Fisk is outspoken in his disgust at the Middle East's autocratic rulers, many of whom, like the Governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, are supported by the US, as was Saddam for decades. The point is, nothing is solved by "Regime Change" and "Shock and Awe". It only leads to greater destabilization, increased sectarianism, radicalism and misery and death for thousands of innocent people. There is absolutely no benevolence in that policy, it's only furthering US (and it's allies) interests in the region. Ask any Iraqi if they would prefer to have Saddam back or continue life in the chaotic state that is Iraq is today, and I'm pretty sure I know how the majority would answer. And that would be the case in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan or any other country we have "helped".

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Posted in: Patinkin says 'Homeland' trying to improve Muslim depiction See in context

Well, take a look at the state of the Muslim world right now. Most of it is indeed "inherently" violent, divided, backward, intolerant, and poverty stricken. A coincidence? Yeah, right.

No it's not a coincidence. A lot of it has to do with America's invasion of Iraq, which destabilized that country and gave birth to groups like ISIS and Al Nusra. Add to that the Wests hand in overthrowing Gadaffi in Libya, resulting in a failed state run my heavily armed militias and the West's backing of terrorist groups invading Syria (with support from the West's allies Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States). This has largely become a proxy war against Iran and it's allies, as is the Saudi's brutality in Yemen. Then you have the actions of Israel in the occupied territories, again largely supported by the US and the West, and you start to get the picture. I advise you to read regularly the articles by Robert Fisk in the Independent. He speaks Arabic and has lived in Beirut for over 40 years, so I think he has a better handle on events in that region than your average CNN/Fox talking head. If you want to know more about the West's relationship with the Middle East read Fisk's "The Great War for Civilization". Im not saying the West is 100% responsible for that regions woes, but the violence, brutality, and war that we have unleashed or supported can not be overlooked in the least.And one need only look at the balance sheets of major US arms manufacturers, to see who benefits.

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Posted in: Who will casinos hit hardest? See in context

As Frank Sinatra said about another town with legalized gambling..."Las Vegas is the only place I know where money really talks--it says, Goodbye". Wise words.

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Posted in: Global casino operators mount charm offensive in Japan See in context

I think it was Frank Sinatra who said something like..."Casinos are the only place where money really does talk...and it says Goodbye".

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Posted in: Trump praises Putin for not expelling U.S. diplomats See in context

This is hilarious (and right on the money)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UkuqOrSQNk

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Posted in: Trump praises Putin for not expelling U.S. diplomats See in context

LagunaDEC. 31, 2016 - 01:09PM JST

The leaks just brought this to the attention of people who don't pay attention.

More accurately, people who believe everything they hear on CNN, Fox and other mainstream media who are rabidly perpetuating the US governments narrative that the Russians are the West's new (old) enemy. Don't drink the Koolaid people. In fact, why not check out RT or Democracy Now to get some alternative views?

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Posted in: Trump praises Putin for not expelling U.S. diplomats See in context

The debate over whether or not Russia hacked the Democratic Party shouldn't cloud over the fact that the revelations leaked were TRUE. The Clinton Foundation did accept millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who also are the two main financial and logistical backers of ISIL and other Sunni Radical Groups including Jabhat al-Nusra. Both of these groups are in fact Al Queda under different names. In other words Hillary Clinton accepted huge amounts of money from the same people who helped perpetrate 9/11 and her email acknowledges that. How can THAT not be the story?

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Posted in: Celebration, sorrow and slights greet news of Castro's death See in context

turbosat...The Christian Science Monitor, National Review and The Federalist....gee, unbiased reporting anyone?

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Posted in: Celebration, sorrow and slights greet news of Castro's death See in context

Fidel was a hero to millions of people. Despite 50 years of a crippling US trade embargo and decades of economic/industrial sabotage, Cuba is still the only country in Latin America where you don't see kids looking for food in rubbish bins and garbage dumps. No one's going hungry, and everyone get's an education and has access to public health. It's funny how the US always seems to target governments whose health and education systems rank top in their particular region (most recently pre-regime change Libya in Africa and pre-invasion Syria in the Arab Middle East). And it's pretty ironic that the site of the most glaring human rights violations in Cuba today is Guantanamo Bay where people have been held without charge or proof of guilt for decades, and where they are routinely tortured. I'm just reading Sy Hersch's book "The Dark Side of Camelot" which goes into great detail about Kennedy's pathological hatred of Castro and his attempts to murder the man utilizing the CIA and the Mafia. Very few people know that Castro was a candidate in the 1952 Cuban elections before the US supported military coup brought Batista into power and he cancelled the free elections. Only then did Castro become a revolutionary and even after seizing power in 1959 he wanted to maintain a good relationship with the US. It was the Bay of Pigs invasion that drove Castro into the arms of the Soviets. And of course since then the western media made him out to be a monster that somehow was beloved by the vast majority of his people and people throughout the developing world. Yes, he locked people up, but we all saw what kind of people they were when Castro took up President Carter's offer to welcome anyone from Cuba to the US and emptied his prisons and shipped them all to Miami. The crime rate immediately went through the roof! I still chuckle about that one.

As for the controversy about Justin Trudeau's comments, I thought they were excellent and obviously written by a man whose father was a friend of Castro and who was Prime Minister during a time when Canada wasn't just simply a patsy to the US and was proud to have some independent thought. Nice one Justin!!!

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Posted in: How autism in girls may help reveal the disorder's secrets See in context

So ridiculous that in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines? By 2001 it was completely removed from all vaccines in the US, however, it is still included in vaccines sold in the developing world.

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Posted in: How autism in girls may help reveal the disorder's secrets See in context

The suspect: vaccines.

I was skeptical about the vaccine link to autism until my daughter convinced me to watch the documentary "Trace Amounts". The evidence presented, and those individuals who supported it, were very compelling.

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Posted in: What's that smell? Could a civet be nearby? See in context

Japan seems to hate life or regards it as a nuisance.

While Japanese may regard many animals as a nuisance, wildlife actually abounds in Japan. As far as I know, Japan is the only country in Asia (other than India) where the locals don't eat everything that moves (apart from seafoods of course). Consequently, birds, mammals and reptiles that would be hunted to exhaustion (or extinction) in other asian countries, thrive in Japan. I live on the Boso Hanto and my property is alive with wild boars, various varieties of snakes (including Vipers which are almost extinct in Europe), Tanuki (raccoon dogs), North American Raccoons, Weasels and Pine Martins (try keeping chickens!), and Hakubishin. There are six species of raptors (birds of prey) that I see regularly (including Peregrine Falcons). For a lover of wildlife the Japanese countryside is amazingly diverse and abundant.

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Posted in: Japan takes aid show to Africa in China's shadow See in context

OssanAmericaAUG. 25, 2016 - 07:25AM JST >

This is where China has an edge over the United States which has an agenda to spread democracy and reacts negatively to dictatorships

Ossan, I strongly recommend you read the book "Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq" by Stephen Kinzer. Until then I won't interrupt your utopian fantasy.

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Posted in: KFC, Apple in China hit by South China Sea spat See in context

A Realist, China will simply ignore the ruling, just as the US ignored a similar Hague ruling against it's mining of Nicaraguan waters in the Caribbean, and just as it has ignored or not ratified dozens of UN conventions, including the U.N. Convention on Maritime Law. After all the Caribbean is a US pond, just as China sees the South China Sea as it's pond. The big difference is of course there aren't dozens of Chinese warships cruising the Caribbean or dozens of Chinese bases encircling the US or Chinese war-games held on the Mexican border every few months. China simply will not back down on this as it remembers well what happened to Japan when the US blockaded the South China Sea, or what happened to China when Japan controlled it. And keep in mind that Taiwan also rejected the Hague ruling as it was the Nationalist Government of China (now ruling Taiwan) who drew those lines in the South China Sea in 1947 (with Allied agreement) and the PRC has upheld them since 1949 (with Allied disagreement). And as for the Hitler comparison, Trump's xenophobic appeal to the disenfranchised American middle class; blaming many of their woes on Mexicans and muslims, is very similar to Hitler's rise by blaming the Jews for Germany's problems in the 1930's. I honestly feel that's a much closer comparison. Apples and Oranges? I'm not so sure.

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Posted in: KFC, Apple in China hit by South China Sea spat See in context

If China stopped doing this kind of stuff TODAY, the US would still be a century ahead of China on this scale of civility.

Try telling that to the many innocent muslims (and sikhs) beaten or murdered in the US after 9/11. There are ignorant nationalists everywhere, and the US is no exception. Indeed when you think that TODAY the Republican candidate for President is talking about a ban on all muslims entering the US and mass deportations, and being taken very seriously by a large percentage of the population, I would say the more alarming events are being played out there.

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Posted in: Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson rams whalers for a living See in context

Anyone who can watch the attached link and feel that these people are "terrorists" seriously needs to educate him/herself to the plight of the world's oceans and marine life in general.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM6xhglkgxs

Over fishing and poaching has resulted in catastrophic declines in many fish species and people need to wake up to that fact. We should applaud these people who have made it their life's work to stop the slaughter. Go Paul! Do whatever it takes!

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Posted in: Dylan, McCartney, Stones lined up for mega-concert: report See in context

None of them has produced anything of note in at least 37 years (The Wall).

Well that's a matter of taste I suppose. The Rolling Stones album "Tattoo You" was great and "Bridges to Babylon" is woefully underrated. Mick Jagger's solo album "Wandering Spirit" is fantastic and Keith's solo albums, particularly "Talk is Cheap" are well worth giving a listen. And as for Neil Young, "Freedom" and "Ragged Glory" are among his finest recordings, as is "Mirrorball" with Pearl Jam. I also really like "Americana" and "Psychedelic Pill". And check out "Rushes" the second album which Paul McCartney released under the pseudonym The Fireman, it's amazing. As for Roger waters I really like his solo albums since leaving Pink Floyd, and if you've ever seen him live it would be hard to say he's a has-been. I for one am very happy they are all still producing music, are touring and are still a part of my life. You don't know what you've got, until it's gone.

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Posted in: Axl Rose joins AC/DC as new singer See in context

I must say, I had misgivings but the two AC/DC tracks Guns & Roses played (with Angus) at Coachella sound pretty good. Let's hope everyone (Axl in particular) can leave their egos in the parking lot.

<http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/watch-guns-n-roses-bring-out-ac-dcs-angus-young-at-coachella-20160417

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Posted in: China lodges protest with Japan over new textbooks See in context

OK, it's all a pack of lies. The hundreds of gruesome photos and films of Japanese soldiers bayoneting civilians and holding severed heads, the eye-witness testimonials of murder and rape, including those of the Japanese press, the diaries of Imperial Japanese soldiers, the horrified reports from US soldiers upon entering Manila, the 1 in 4 Allied prisoners who died in Japanese POW camps, the thousands of indonesian slave laborers worked to death... I could go on...but it's all lies perpetrated by the evil Allies and Commies to make Japan look bad.

You make yourself morally complicit in those war crimes by ignoring the overwhelming evidence.

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Posted in: China lodges protest with Japan over new textbooks See in context

tinawatanabe: There were foreign Embassies in the capital but there were no reports from them. Did they escape? No.

What a ridiculous comment. There were indeed many westerners living in Nanjing at the time and most did flee the city when the IJA approached. However, small number of Western businessmen, journalists and missionaries, chose to remain behind and formed The International Committee, in an effort to try to protect Chinese civilians. German businessman John Rabe, who was a member of the Nazi Party was elected as its leader. Here is one of his reports...

In one of the houses in the narrow street behind my garden wall, a woman was raped, and then wounded in the neck with a bayonet. I managed to get an ambulance so we can take her to Kulou Hospital... Last night up to 1,000 women and girls are said to have been raped, about 100 girls at Ginling Girls' College alone. You hear nothing but rape. If husbands or brothers intervene, they're shot. What you hear and see on all sides is the brutality and bestiality of the Japanese soldiers.

It's also a fact that the massacre was witnessed by the Japanese Press corps (as was the Rape of Manila) but they chose not to disclose it in Japan. An editorial in the Asahi Daily Tensei Jingo in 1947 after the massacres were disclosed to the Japanese public, stated clearly "It is shameful that not one line of truth was reported in the papers" It is even more shameful that people like Tina Watanabe continue to do so despite the overwhelming evidence.

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Posted in: Japan tells U.N. it has found no evidence of forced WWII sex slavery See in context

It's not surprising there is no evidence. I would urge people to read "Researching Japanese War Crimes: Introductory Essay. There are numerous reasons discussed including the fact that after the war issues like the "comfort women" were of little interest to the Allies, the fact that the majority of documents seized were returned to Japan during the Cold War where many of them still remain classified, and the simple fact that many documents still held, have not yet been translated. However, it is the destruction of evidence prior to the Allied Occupation that is probably most relevant.

Here is an except...

Historians also confront the problem of missing war crimes evidence. The problem was particularly acute regarding Japan. Intensive Allied bombing and accidental fires destroyed many documents during World War II. Moreover, at the close of the war, Japanese authorities hid or destroyed much evidence of the country’s war crimes. On August 15, 1945, the Japanese government announced the decision to accept the Potsdam Declaration and surrender to the Allied forces, but the first Allied forces did not arrive in Japan until August 28. On August 16, Imperial Headquarters ordered Japanese military units to destroy all secret documents, many of which are believed to have contained evidence of war crimes. While it is standard practice for governments to destroy evidence in times of defeat, in the two weeks before the Allies arrived in Japan, various Japanese agencies—the military in particular— systematically destroyed sensitive documents to a degree perhaps unprecedented in history. Estimates of the impact of the destruction vary. Tanaka Hiromi, a professor at Japan’s National Defense Academy who has conducted extensive research into remaining Imperial Japanese Army and Navy documents in Japan and overseas, claims that less than 0.1 percent of the material ordered for destruction survived. Whether or not his estimate is entirely accurate, most historians agree that the vast majority of incriminating evidence was lost in the cover-up.

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Posted in: Japan tells U.N. it has found no evidence of forced WWII sex slavery See in context

“In a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.” — Albert Camus

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Posted in: Star of dolphin-killing film 'Cove' detained at Narita airport See in context

>Takano said O’Barry’s treatment sent a negative message about Japan.

Japan is a wonderful country with a generally positive image. However, when it comes to issues regarding the protection of wildlife, be it whales, dolphins and now elephants, Japan's reputation is shabby to say the least. The article below, from The Independent "Environmental Investigation Agency alleges that Japanese wildlife officials promote illegal ivory trade" is yet another example.

It has been alleged by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) that an official at the Japanese government-appointed agency that controls the country’s domestic ivory market is encouraging illegal trade in elephant tusks.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/campaigns/GiantsClub/environmental-investigation-agency-alleges-that-japanese-wildlife-officials-promote-illegal-ivory-a6820036.html

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Posted in: Which English words or expressions annoy you the most when you hear them repeatedly used by other people in conversation? See in context

North Americans often say..."Oh my gosh"

Just say "god" for christ's sake.

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Posted in: Republicans rush to shut U.S. borders to Syrian refugees See in context

These are the same morons that will fight tooth and nail against any kind of restrictions on firearms. Guns that are used to murder about 12,000 Americans annually. And this doesn't include suicide or accidental gun deaths, just outright murder. That's four times the number of people murdered on 9/11, year in and year out.

I wonder how different the world would be (or the US economy) if the family of Abdulfattah Jandali, from Homs in Syria, had been rejected by US immigration because they feared a terrorist behind every bush? His son, Steve Jobs, would likely never have founded Apple Computers, and changed the world.

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Posted in: U.S. abandons Pentagon's failed rebel-building effort in Syria See in context

“That’s exactly the kind of example that we would like to pursue with other groups in other parts of Syria going forward.”

The last time the Russian's supported one of their allies against Islamic fundamentalists covertly (and then overtly) backed by the US and it's allies (Pakistan and Saudi Arabia) it resulted in them being embroiled in a quagmire that bled their resources white and lead to the downfall of the Soviet Union. That was in Afghanistan where radical Islamists (and groups like Al Qaeda) got their start and it was those events that directly lead us to where we are today. So we've come full circle. The hawks in Washington must be over the (crescent) moon!!!

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Posted in: Obama warns Russia against helping arm Syrian government See in context

Stuart Hayward, thanks for the excellent links!

Bass, According to acclaimed journalist Seymour Hersch, the Obama Administration were indeed on the verge of making the same mistake Bush made when he invaded Iraq, based on incorrect intelligence about WMD's. Indeed it was the US Military (Joint Chiefs of Staff), who dissuaded Obama from launching a massive attack on Syrian forces after they had allegedly crossed "The Red Line" and used sarin gas. Of course once it was ascertained it was indeed likely the opposition who had released the gas, the US Government Press Secretary killed the story...

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n08/seymour-m-hersh/the-red-line-and-the-rat-line

And just a couple of days ago, hours after Obama's warnings to Russia, there was a mustard gas attack in Syria that CNN immediately reported as "likely carried out by the Syrian Regime", based solely on "witnesses seeing a Syrian Army helicopter flying nearby". However, even the US Government is now admitting it was likely IS that manufactured and released it. Again, yesterday's freedom fighters are now the bad guys. At least Russia is consistent in supporting it's allies.

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Posted in: As Europe opens its doors, Japan considers clamping down harder on asylum seekers See in context

Todd Topolski: Good move for Japan. Don't invite in this mess your country has nothing at all to do with. This is a 7th century culture fleeing violent psychos and letting in the refugees will inevitably let in the violent psychos.

I wonder how different the world would be (or the US economy) if Abdulfattah Jandali, from Homs in Syria, had been denied a visa by US immigration because they feared a terrorist (or violent psycho) behind every bush? His son, Steve Jobs, would likely never have founded Apple Computers, and changed the world we live in.

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