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Thursday, November 24, 2016

@DrJillStein's "regrets" are too little, too late

Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein announced yesterday that she is calling for a recount in three critical states that made Donald Trump president. Since August this blog has taken the her to task. While warning that Donald Trump can only win if Jill Stein stays in, we asked her to withdraw her candidacy and join the campaign to defeat Donald Trump. She didn't, and the rest is history.

As we feared, it was Jill Stein's candidacy that put Donald Trump over the top. We showed, by analyzing the final vote, that if all the Jill Stein voters in just three states, WI, MI, and PA had voted for Hillary Clinton, and in PA another 20,000 voters had come out to vote for Clinton, she would be president instead of Trump. Since the Jill Stein campaign focused on denigrating Clinton as compared to Trump, and even claimed that Trump was the "lesser evil" with regards to relations with Russia, it's very likely that she suppressed a lot more Clinton votes than she won for herself. This data is from Politico [updated 24 Nov. 2016]:

Candidate Count % Michigan [16] Wisconsin [10] Pennsylvania [20]
Donald Trump 61,201,031 47% 2,279,805 1,409,467 2,912,941
Hillary Clinton 62,523,126 48% 2,268,193 1,382,210 2,844,705
Difference 11,612 27,257 68,012
Jill Stein 802,119 0.7% 50,700 30,980 48,912

We know this is the case because whereas Jill Stein was running between 2%-4% in the polls leading up to election day, she actually got less than 1% of the vote, so it it clear that many Jill Stein supporters didn't vote for her and since the ultimate betrayal of her would have been to vote for Hillary Clinton, they probably just stayed home and didn't vote at all. It was those stay at home progressives and Jill Stein voters in WI, MI & PA that put Donald Trump over the top.
This shows us that as tiny as the Left is, and insignificant as the US Green Party may appear to be, it held the balance of power in this election. That Left made Donald Trump president. There can be little doubt that had Jill Stein and her supporters on the Left, like Democracy Now, taken the tact advocated by Linux Beach and said "this time is different, this is a good time to choose the lesser evil, and then fight for change under a Clinton rather than a Trump administration," that is the future we would now be facing.
A quarter million people are under siege in East Aleppo. They
are being murdered by the flag Jill Stein celebrates here.

Apparently, Jill Stein has her "regrets" because now she is calling for a recount in WI,MI & PA. The hope must be to show that Hillary Clinton really did win the popular vote in those critical states even without the Jill Stein voters. Given the high stakes, we can only wish that she could succeed, but being of this world, and not of some alternate reality, we have to recognize that the chances of success of this recount effort are about the same as Jill Stein's chances of being elected president or even getting 5% of the vote.

Getting 5% of the vote was suppose to be the "realistic" Green Party goal. They asked progressives to opt out of the presidential decision making process so that less progressive citizens could decide who the next president is and so that the Green Party could get millions in federal dollars. Enough progressives did vote Green or stayed home to make Donald Trump president, but Jill Stein is still missing those millions, so a cynic might think that the real goal in raising millions to defeat Trump after the election is just a ploy to make up lost ground in the fund raising department. CNN is reporting:
Jill Stein, liberals seek voting hack investigation

By Tom Foreman, Tom LoBianco and David Gracey
24 November 2016
Washington (CNN)Green Party nominee Jill Stein launched a bid Wednesday to seek a vote recount in three key Rust Belt states as pressure builds among liberals to challenge election results.

The Stein campaign said it needed to raise over $2 million by Friday to pay for recounts. That goal was reached by early Thursday morning, and the campaign has now increased the target to $4.5 million.

"Over the last 48-72 hours, reports have come in from experts, cyberexperts, who are reporting to us some very troubling news about the possibility of security breaches in voting results across this country," Stein campaign manager David Cobb said in a video posted to Stein's Facebook page Wednesday afternoon.

Stein and others are seeking an audit and recount of the November 8 voting results in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, following reports that voting security experts alerted Hillary Clinton's campaign to the possibility of hacks in key counties in those states.

President-elect Donald Trump claimed Pennsylvania and Wisconsin -- wins that helped push him comfortably over the threshold of 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory -- while Michigan remains too close to call, more than two weeks after Election Day.

While the loss of those states played a large part in Clinton's downfall, her lead in the popular vote has continued to grow. She now has close to 2 million more votes than Trump -- and pressure has been mounting among liberals for an investigation into what happened on Election Day.
"Demand an audit. Make the call," filmmaker Joss Whedon tweeted late Tuesday, with a picture of Clinton reading "She Won."
It's an ironic twist from just a month ago, when Trump was cautioning that the election results would be "rigged" and that he may not accept the outcome.

Stein, who ran as an independent, third-party candidate in 2012 and 2016, does not stand to benefit personally from the proposed recounts -- she received only 1.1% of the vote in Wisconsin and less than 1% in Pennsylvania.
She launched her effort after computer scientists reportedly told Clinton campaign officials that the election may have indeed been rigged -- in Trump's favor. More...

My other recent posts relating to this unique election cycle:
Where #NoDAPL covers for mass murder
Did Wikileaks call this election 10 years ago?
Did @DemocracyNow help elect President Trump?
Did the Green Party's @DrJillStein help Trump win?
How Green Party's Jill Stein tells two lies at once
Donald Trump wants to be the Last US President
Trump/Stein -- Stronger Together
Will Wikileaks "salt" the Clinton-Podesta emails before the election?
Trump Super Predator behavior is Workplace Sexual Harassment writ large
Is US Green Party's Jill Stein a holocaust denier?
Jill Stein now claiming Donald Trump is less of two evils
Did Dishonest Jill Stein change her Syria statement on the sly?
Republican support for Green Party @DrJillStein is emerging
Why "Jill not Hill" is a pro-Trump slogan
Donald Trump can only win if Jill Stein stays in
Does Donald Trump's secret plan to defeat ISIS involve using nukes?
Why doesn't "What's the Triad?" trump "What is Aleppo?"
Green Party Jill Stein's campaign in context
What should the Green Party do?
Greens could give White House to Trump as poll numbers even
Why Green Party's Jill Stein should drop her presidential bid
Amy Goodman should address this extremely important statement by her guest
How Jill Stein Tweets for Trump
HuffPost item shows how @JillStein campaign whitewashes @realDonaldTrump
Trump tells his '2nd Amendment people election will be stolen to prepare for insurrection
Trump didn't threaten Hillary, he threatened violent insurrection
Meet Green Party's Jill Stein, Putin sock-puppet & Assad apologist

Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!
Click here for a list of my other blogs o

Monday, November 21, 2016

Where #NoDAPL covers for mass murder

In spite of being one of the biggest petroleum producers and pipeline users in the world, Putin's Russia has been a big supporter of the popular struggle in the United States against the Dakota Access Pipeline project. This is an important struggle in the US right now. It has brought progressives together with indigenous peoples to take up one of the central struggles of our time: Whether the people or the capitalists will control our energy sources, our natural resources, and our future on this planet.

The Russian government's English language propaganda outlet, RT.com has run dozens of articles in support of the #NoDALP movement. This support goes far beyond opposition to a competing energy source. They have had reporters on the scene of the protest sites, spoken out in support of indigenous rights, and against "genocide," they have interviewed indigenous leaders about the struggle, as well as prominent US Leftists like Jill Stein and Amy Goodman, and during the US election, they shined a light on Hillary Clinton's failure to support the anti-pipeline movement.

All the while, they have had over a million people under siege in Syria. In East Aleppo, they have 250,000 people surrounded, cut off from supplies and under constant bombardment by Syrian and Russian war planes. They haven't allowed any food or medical supplies into the besieged area in weeks and in the past week they have managed to destroy the last remaining hospital. They are methodically carrying out the destruction of the government opposition in East Aleppo, 90 thousand children among them. The New York Times reported yesterday:
Aleppo Bombs Leave Quarter Million ‘Living in Hell’ and Without Hospital Care

By Alissa J. Rubin and Hwaida Saadnov
20 November 2016
BEIRUT, Lebanon — The remaining hospitals on the rebel-held side of Aleppo, Syria, have been badly damaged and forced to stop providing care amid an intensifying bombardment, according to the World Health Organization.

Bombs launched by the Syrian government over the past three days seriously damaged two general hospitals that were providing trauma care in the war zone and hit the only children’s hospital, according to doctors, nurses and residents.

The destruction left more than a quarter-million people in eastern Aleppo without hospital care, the W.H.O. said. It is unclear if the hospitals will be able to reopen.
...
Dr. Omar, the last neurosurgeon in eastern Aleppo, who declined to provide his full name out of fear for his safety, sounded desperate when reached at the height of the bombing on Friday.

“We no longer have hospitals to operate in,” he said. “You can’t imagine what it’s like living in Aleppo right now. It feels like we are living in hell. Our neighborhoods are in flames, and bombs are raining down from the sky. We urgently call on the international community to send help.” More...
CNN posted this video to YouTube:



Today's headlines are even more ominous, and the involvement of Russian troops is revealed. Today The Telegraph reports:
Syrian regime advances on rebel-held eastern Aleppo

By Sara Elizabeth Williams, Amman
21 November 2016
Syrian regime forces have made a fast-moving advance in opposition-held areas of eastern Aleppo, storming ahead in a new phase of the Russian-backed offensive that began last Tuesday.

Government forces backed by Iranian and Russian troops and fighters from Lebanon's Hezbollah have penetrated the eastern part of the Masakan Hanano neighbourhood, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor. More...
“I would say the worst scenario is that we will be martyrs,”
                       Abu Roma on the fate of the 250,000 people trapped in East Aleppo
So now the long feared ground invasion of East Aleppo is under way and the attendant slaughter of civilians growing, as the Syrian government and its allies make it clear that no one will stop them this time. AP is reportings today:
Syrian government refuses UN truce terms for Aleppo

BEIRUT -- The Syrian government refused the UN envoy's latest proposal for a truce in Aleppo on Sunday, calling on insurgents to withdraw and saying it would not grant autonomy to the rebel-held east in exchange for calm. More...
To many it looks like the first holocaust of the 21st century in kicking into high gear, but the reporting on these events on today's RT.com is, not surprisingly, very different. The last paragraph of a story claiming the Russians have proof that it is the "terrorists" who are using poison gas in Aleppo, and not the government as others have reported, says:
On October 18, Russia halted its airstrikes in Aleppo, which remains split between Syrian government forces and the terrorists, hoping the initiative would lead to a long-awaited ceasefire. It has also been regularly organizing 10-hour “humanitarian pauses” in the city.
These are simply boldface lies told by war criminals, with nothing said about these unexpected hospital closings at all. However they did have hypocritical outrage at how the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters were treated last night. RT.com reported today:
400 DAPL protesters ‘trapped on bridge’ as police fire tear gas, water cannon (VIDEO)

21 November 2016
Demonstrators protesting against Dakota Access Pipeline say they are trapped on a bridge as North Dakota police fire tear gas, water cannon and concussion grenades at them, according to live reports on social media.

The demonstration is taking place on Highway 1806, just north of the main protest camp against the pipeline.

Officers have deployed water cannon on the protesters in below-freezing temperatures, and are using LRAD sound devices. Earlier, there were reports of rubber bullets fired. Vehicles which appear to be armored humvees have arrived at the scene. More...
Russia has used its support for the anti-DAPL movement to buy itself goodwill among US progressives, while prosecuting slaughter in Syria that they too often overlook. An examination of the record shows a clear pattern. Below is a chronological list of the major RT.com headlines on DAPL in green interspersed with headlines in red they didn't seem to have room for at the time from other news sources:

16 Nov What about DAPL? Obama administration cancels oil & gas lease on native land in Montana
15 Nov Russia bombards Syria hours after Putin speaks with Trump - Fox News
15 Nov Russian bombs rain down on civilians in Aleppo as warships and planes bomb city  - Mirror
15 Nov Anti-DAPL protesters hold ‘Day of Action’ across US
15 Nov Aleppo airstrikes restart as Russia announces major Syria offensive - The Guardian
08 Nov The Latest: Airstrikes in Syria Kill 21 Civilians - ABC News
05 Nov  Journalist hit with rubber bullet at DAPL protest (VIDEO)
05 Nov Huge Russian bombing in Aleppo kills dozens of civilians - The New Arab
The strikes hit predominantly civilian areas to the West of Aleppo [AFP]
05 Nov Russia and Assad to pound rebels as east Aleppo braces for attack - The Guardian
02 Nov A nation built on genocide: Dispatches from the DAPL protest (E352)
On this episode of Watching the Hawks, Tyrel Ventura is joined by independent journalist Derrick Broze to talk about his horrific experiences at the #DAPL protest. Jill Stein joins us with short commentary on the #DAPL protests.
02 Nov Police shoot rubber bullets at Dakota Access Pipeline protesters
01 Nov National Guard threatens Dakota Access protesters with arrest on public lands
01 Nov North Dakota DAPL protester charged with attempted murder of police officer

31 Oct Putin to launch full scale attack on Aleppo while world is distracted by US election - Metro UK
30 Oct Tribe leaders vow to protest Dakota pipeline through winter
29 Oct The saga continues: Clinton’s emails, Assange, & #DAPL (E350)

28 Sep Russia’s Brutal Bombing of Aleppo May Be Calculated, and It May Be Working - NY Times
Civilians and rescuers at the site of an airstrike in Aleppo, Syria, on Tuesday.CreditKaram Al-Masri/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
28 Oct ‘Dakota pipeline is about big money, not indigenous people rights’
28 Oct Russian military ask Putin to resume bombings of Aleppo - Pravda
27 Oct Dakota Access pipeline protesters occupy Hillary Clinton campaign HQ
The campaign headquarters of Hillary Clinton in Brooklyn, New York, was taken over Thursday by protesters against the Dakota Access Pipeline being constructed in North Dakota and three other states. They’re demanding the candidate declare where she stands.
While RT.com used the #NoDAPL movement against Hillary Clinton, as did Jill Stein and Amy Goodman, none bothered to expose Donald Trump's investment of more than $500,000 in Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the pipeline, another half-million dollars he has with Phillips 66 which will own a quarter of the completed pipeline, and another $50,000 he stands to make off of interest, dividends and capital gains, according to his financial disclosure form. They used the DAPL to put Hillary Clinton in a no-win situation because any position she took would cost her votes, while they gave pipeline owner Donald Trump a free ride.
27 Oct Syrian airstrikes hit school, killing 20 children, rescuers say CNN
27 Oct Police warn of eviction 'at any time' as Dakota Access protesters refuse to leave private land
25 Oct Indigenous indignities at #DAPL & Rescinding pay for returning vets (E347)
25 Oct Oklahoma, Pennsylvania pipelines spill oil and gasoline over week-end

24 Oct Dakota Access Pipeline: Police fire on media drones, mass arrests, treaty rights declared
11 Sep Arrest warrant for Democracy Now! journalist Amy Goodman over North Dakota pipeline protest 


11 Sep Hopes fade for peaceful Eid in Syria as over 100 killed - Aljazeera
More than 100 people were reported killed in a series of bombing raids on rebel-held parts of Aleppo province in the north of the country, and in Idlib in the north-west.

The worst strikes were in Idlib city, the capital of the province of the same name, where they hit a market, killing 55 civilians.

"A Russian fighter jet targeted a residential area and a market in Idlib," said Al Jazeera's Adham Abu al-Husam, reporting from the city as civil defence forces, firefighters and paramedics worked to pull survivors from the rubble.

"The marketplace was full of civilians shopping for the upcoming Eid holiday."

In Aleppo, at least 46 civilians, including nine children, were killed in a bombardment of opposition-held areas, an Al Jazeera correspondent in the city said.

The raids on Idlib and Aleppo were believed to have been carried out by Syrian army fighter jets, or those of its main ally Russia.
10 Sep Polls are false, Bernie’s ‘Our Revolution’ sells out, DAPL protests get insane
08 Sep Obama dodges Dakota pipeline question, fails to back Native American protesters
06 Sep Aleppo under heavy bombardment from Assad regime and Russian jets - Daily Sabah
06 Sep Jill Stein charged for spray-painting bulldozer in Dakota pipeline protest
18 Aug Little boy in Aleppo a vivid reminder of war's horror - CNN

His whole family was wiped out by a Russian airstrike
16 Aug Syria/Russia: Incendiary Weapons Burn in Aleppo, Idlib - HRW
                   Increasing Attacks on Civilian Areas Since Joint Operation Began
12 Aug Arrests made as Native American tribes, landowners protest Keystone XL rival - CNN

The #NoDAPL movement should publicly repudiate this opportunistic Russian support and stand in solidarity with the indigenous peoples of Aleppo against their oppressors. The failure of the #NoDAPL movement, including prominent supporters like Jill Stein and Amy Goodman, to show solidarity with the people of East Aleppo and forcefully denounce the Russian backed offensive against them could lead some to believe there is something of a quid pro quo going on where silence on Syria is exchanged for favorable publicity on RT.com. While we know this is not the case, it is important that the Syrian struggle is given more exposure and the Russian role in the slaughter be condemned regardless of RT.com's position on #NoDAPL.

My other recent posts relating to this unique election cycle:
Did Wikileaks call this election 10 years ago?
Did @DemocracyNow help elect President Trump?
Did the Green Party's @DrJillStein help Trump win?
How Green Party's Jill Stein tells two lies at once
Donald Trump wants to be the Last US President
Trump/Stein -- Stronger Together
Will Wikileaks "salt" the Clinton-Podesta emails before the election?
Trump Super Predator behavior is Workplace Sexual Harassment writ large
Is US Green Party's Jill Stein a holocaust denier?
Jill Stein now claiming Donald Trump is less of two evils
Did Dishonest Jill Stein change her Syria statement on the sly?
Republican support for Green Party @DrJillStein is emerging
Why "Jill not Hill" is a pro-Trump slogan
Donald Trump can only win if Jill Stein stays in
Does Donald Trump's secret plan to defeat ISIS involve using nukes?
Why doesn't "What's the Triad?" trump "What is Aleppo?"
Green Party Jill Stein's campaign in context
What should the Green Party do?
Greens could give White House to Trump as poll numbers even
Why Green Party's Jill Stein should drop her presidential bid
Amy Goodman should address this extremely important statement by her guest
How Jill Stein Tweets for Trump
HuffPost item shows how @JillStein campaign whitewashes @realDonaldTrump
Trump tells his '2nd Amendment people election will be stolen to prepare for insurrection
Trump didn't threaten Hillary, he threatened violent insurrection
Meet Green Party's Jill Stein, Putin sock-puppet & Assad apologist

Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!
Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

Did Wikileaks call this election 10 years ago?

The best party is but a kind of conspiracy against the rest
of the nation.
                                  - Lord Halifax
This quote comes from a blog written by Julian Assange titled Conspiracy as Governance almost 10 years ago, 6 December 2006, when Wikileaks was in its infancy. Fast forward to the US presidential election of 2016 and no close observer can doubt that the one-sided release of DNC and Clinton-Podesta emails by Julian Assange have had a very significant, perhaps decisive, influence on the outcome of the election. That makes something else he said in that paper ten years ago far more interesting:
Literacy and the communications revolution have empowered conspirators with new means to conspire, increasing the speed of accuracy of the their interactions and thereby the maximum size a conspiracy may achieve before it breaks down.

Conspirators who have this technology are able to out conspire conspirators without it. For the same costs they are able to achieve a higher total conspiratorial power. That is why they adopt it.

For example, remembering Lord Halifax’s words, let us consider two closely balanced and broadly conspiratorial power groupings, the US Democratic and Republican parties.

Consider what would happen if one of these parties gave up their mobile phones, fax and email correspondence — let alone the computer systems which manage their subscribes, donors, budgets, polling, call centres and direct mail campaigns?

They would immediately fall into an organizational stupor and lose to the other.
Apparently Clinton's email wanted to be freer than Trump's 
Of course the Democratic Party didn't voluntarily give up its email communications in some sick social experiment. They were "given up" by Julian Assange, and behind him, most likely Russian hackers. Since the GOP is not known for its technological sophistication, there can be little doubt whoever hacked the Democrats would have been equally successful if they had set their sights on the Republicans. The election was close enough that had they done that, the outcome of the election would have likely been very different. Donald Trump barely survived his public tweets and rants, one can only imagine the results if the scandals and outrages lurking in his private emails had been made public.

Julian Assange knew ten years ago how he could swing a US election. He used his mad tech skills and connections to target his old enemy, the Clintons, and in doing so he made Donald Trump president. He may still be a virtual prisoner, still hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, but Julian Assange is probably feeling very much like the king maker today, but he will have a lot to answer for on judgement day.

My other recent posts relating to this unique election cycle:
Did @DemocracyNow help elect President Trump?
Did the Green Party's @DrJillStein help Trump win?
How Green Party's Jill Stein tells two lies at once
Donald Trump wants to be the Last US President
Trump/Stein -- Stronger Together
Will Wikileaks "salt" the Clinton-Podesta emails before the election?
Trump Super Predator behavior is Workplace Sexual Harassment writ large
Is US Green Party's Jill Stein a holocaust denier?
Jill Stein now claiming Donald Trump is less of two evils
Did Dishonest Jill Stein change her Syria statement on the sly?
Republican support for Green Party @DrJillStein is emerging
Why "Jill not Hill" is a pro-Trump slogan
Donald Trump can only win if Jill Stein stays in
Does Donald Trump's secret plan to defeat ISIS involve using nukes?
Why doesn't "What's the Triad?" trump "What is Aleppo?"
Green Party Jill Stein's campaign in context
What should the Green Party do?
Greens could give White House to Trump as poll numbers even
Why Green Party's Jill Stein should drop her presidential bid
Amy Goodman should address this extremely important statement by her guest
How Jill Stein Tweets for Trump
HuffPost item shows how @JillStein campaign whitewashes @realDonaldTrump
Trump tells his '2nd Amendment people election will be stolen to prepare for insurrection
Trump didn't threaten Hillary, he threatened violent insurrection
Meet Green Party's Jill Stein, Putin sock-puppet & Assad apologist

Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!
Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

Sunday, November 20, 2016

What's next for the left's troubled relationship with Syria?

Republished from The New Arab:
What's next for the left's troubled relationship with Syria?

In 2015, the Stop The War Coalition campaigned to end airstrikes in Syria [Getty]
Loubna Mrie
15 November 2016
Why are many Syrians - especially those who have long promoted human rights and greater democratic freedoms and/or were active in the revolution - critical of some voices on the western left?

First, let's talk about one source of tension: the issue of regime change.

Syrians today are divided between pro-government and pro-revolution camps - but that does not mean we cannot make any claims about the popular demands of Syrians, especially in the initial stages of the revolution. And during much of 2011 and 2012, millions of Syrians called for regime change ("Al-Sha'ab yureed isqat al-Nizam") - as soon as the the government began shooting us as we peacefully protested.

I would know - I was one of those protesters.

And we didn't do it on the orders of America, or to support alleged interests of large oil conglomerates. We did it after decades of repression and humiliation at the hands of a brutal regime, and we did it in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya and other parts of the Middle East.

When the revolution started, I was 19 years old, and many people, like me, had no previous interest in politics - but we decided to join the demonstrations. In their first weeks, these protests did not go as far as calling for regime change, but were in solidarity with the city of Daraa - the first to protest against the government.

Did I care if America supported the uprising? Of course not; no-one on the street cared what Washington thought. It was an organic revolution fuelled by anger. We hoped it would bring change to the country in which we had grown up believing that all walls had ears, and that criticism of the government - even within your own home - was not allowed.

Now in 2016, the conflict is much more complex, but many on the Western left refuse to acknowledge the reasons and context in which Syrians originally called for regime change. In addition, they refuse to accept that millions of Syrians will always consider a Syrian government dominated by the Assad family illegitimate, because of the brutal violence it has inflicted and continues to inflict on them.Failing to recall this fact, or to always prioritise the US as the centre of analysism, denies Syrians our agency - especially because there is a very good argument that Washington may indeed have been a marginal actor in the conflict.

And at worst, it replicates some of the most patronising forms of Orientalism in which westerners tell Syrians which of their aspirations are legitimate.

Of course, taking the most recent fragment of this conflict and drawing conclusions is a much easier task. Trying to understand the longer-term chain of events or its timeline, however, requires time and energy.

Furthermore, it appears that many care much more about a future, theoretical US-western-oriented policy change on Syria - such as some kind of "safe zone" - rather than about the hundreds of thousands of Syrians who are being killed right now, the majority by the combined air forces of Damascus and Moscow.

I think this misplaced emphasis is probably the biggest frustration for many Syrian activists. It appears the western left cares more about holding civilian rescue groups accountable for allegedly insufficient transparency over sources of funding, than about the barrel bombs which necessitate the presence of the rescue workers in the first place.

I want to be crystal clear: Syrians will always care more about their children being murdered from the skies than whomever may have helped pay the salaries of Syrians who tried to rescue them from under a collapsed building. Full stop. More...

Syria is the Paris Commune of the 21st Century!

Click here for a list of my other blogs on Syria

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Did @DemocracyNow help elect President Trump?

Democracy Now has done some very good exposure pieces on Donald Trump this week, after he was elected President of the United States. Before the election, not so much, as we will see. Before the election DN host Amy Goodman focused her fire first and foremost on Hillary Clinton. She also was a big supporter of the Green Party's Jill Stein and had her on the show many times, including for its election night coverage, but not since. They claimed the differences between Clinton and Trump weren't significant. They strongly oppose voting for the lesser of two evils. They claimed Trump didn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of being elected. All of these mistaken views were a positive support to Trump and helped him get elected.

Let us now review Democracy Now's election year coverage in more detail. Since it has a habit of tweeting out its most important stories, a look at the @DemocracyNow Twitter timeline can give us a handy road map of their election year coverage.

Lion's Guard militia copied Nazi badge
To make trends easier to spot, I have put a red background behind tweets that I think are essentially pro-Trump or anti-Clinton and a blue background behind those I think pro-Clinton and thus anti-Trump. I assume a binary choice, which is why Green Party, Wikileaks related, etc tweets are backed with either red or blue according to which of the two contenders it would seem to benefit. Your opinion may differ, of course, so the tweets are provided along with my commentary.

July

There wasn't a lot before July, when the election coverage really heated up. Before the DNC, DN showed a lot of support for Sanders, but unlike Sanders, when it came down to a binary choice between Clinton and Trump, they did not support Clinton.


Targeting Trump's campaign racism was important, it's what won him the White House.


Given the progressive demographic of DN's audience, arguments against voting at all could only help Trump. The status quo is gone. That's for sure. Now Trump threatens our lives. Have we jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire?


Sadly, in a binary election, voting for Jill Stein was the next best thing to voting for Trump.


Thanks to campaigns like this, enough did to hand the White House to unapologetic white supremacists, which Hillary Clinton, for all her flaws, is not.


If Hillary Clinton had no control over what this supporter said, this was a cheap shot.


Funny how Trump used the Russian hacked, Wikileaks emails in the same spirit a day earlier:
Well, maybe not so funny now.


Now this is funny. DN really didn't have much that could be called anti-Trump in July. This probably shouldn't be blue either.

August



This one is a classic: Amy Goodman hosts Julian Assange's defense of Jill Stein. All three are Putin friendly #NeverHillary activists. This means a Trump win, the only real world alternative, is what they have been working for. I congratulate them on their success.


This amplified the message of the Trump campaign began the month with:

Trump's threats of extra-legal and para-military action deserve a lot more coverage than they got.


Again, its really hard to call this one pro-Clinton because it amplifies Trump's claim and then validates it to some degree.


Again we find Democracy Now and the Trump campaign are on the same page:
All through the campaign, Amy Goodman was able to filter and tweet out Trump's messages to a progressive audience that wasn't following him on Twitter.


This isn't really anti-Trump either. Its just a stock news item. He does look more presidential when you don't see his face, doesn't he?


Yes, and let others elect the greater of the two evils. Putin didn't have any problem with that. Stein & Baraka will still be welcome in Moscow.


Breitbart Editor in Chief Steve Bannon is one of the principal leaders of the white nationalist Alt-Right movement. Calling him a "Conservative Media Influencer" to a progressive audience is to do him a kindness.



The younger generation has a short memory, but that should not be taken advantage of. Instead they should be taught history.


Not the worst thing that could be said about Trump. but it is anti-Trump.


If Wikileaks hadn't been trickling out the stole Clinton emails all season long, one can only wonder what Donald Trump, Jill Stein and Democracy Now would have done. It played a key role for the #NeverHillary activists.


It was good of them to give more coverage to Steve Bannon. The talk now is that he may be the next White House chief of staff.





The Clinton Foundation does a lot of good work, for example CNN reported:
In more than 70 countries, according to the foundation, it helps 11.5 million people, including 800,000 children, with HIV/AIDS get their medication at 90% lower cost -- more than half the adults and three-quarters of the children getting treatment in the world today.
It also takes one of the lowest "administrative cuts" of any major charity but because it accepts foreign donations, it has made for an easy target, but if they succeed in killing the Clinton Foundation without replacing it, they will be killing a lot of children at the same time.





For one week in August, DN shined a light on the white nationalists foundation of the Trump campaign, after that, they pretty much let it go dark, and it was back to focusing on the Clinton Foundation.




This is not a duplicate. DN tweeted it out two days in a row.



Actually, since Jill Stein, Julian Assange, and Mike Flynn, Trump's top general, all partied with Putin in Moscow last October, you can't blame the linkage entirely on the Clinton Camp.

That's the back of Jill Stein's head on the right. Julian Assange made a video appearance:


Julian Assange on video link                             Stein & Flynn at Putin Party

September





As you can see they did a little light exposure of Trump in the first half of September.



Funny he should be on DN and calling people trying to marshal every vote to stop Trump "bigots," given how little use that word got in describing the Trump campaign on DN.


Funny she should say that given her claim that Trump is no more evil than Clinton, when black people are being beaten up at his rallies and he is promising a national stop and frisk program. I would have said that defeating Trump is extremely important to ensuring that police do not have impunity to wreak havoc in communities of color, but that's not how Jill and Amy saw it. Now we are likely to get Rudy Giuliani, the father of "stop and frisk" as our new Attorney General.


October



Now is crunch time for the election and DN reminds us that Donald Trump's been a racist for a long time.


But the Clintons have forced black people to face famine.



They are hammering home their view that it really doesn't matter which one is the next president. That's why Amy & Jill want them judged on the basis of corruption, because there is no debate over which one is more racist. I guess that shouldn't matter. Is that why they generally stayed away from that question and used Ralph Nader to create confusion about what bigotry really is?


All the media covered this strongly anti-Trump story, and DN covered it just like everyone else.


This really isn't an indictment of Trump either but I'll paint it blue and give DN the benefit of the doubt here again.


This would seem to support Trump's charge that the media was colluding with the Clinton campaign


Now Trump will remove all barriers to taking carbon out of the ground and putting it in the air. It seems that this evil doesn't even believe global warming exists, but never mind that. Clinton refused to pledge to stop any new pipelines or fracking, so screw her, even if it screws us. 



This one is both explicitly pro-Trump and anti-Clinton at the same time. It invokes Trump to support the anti-Clinton claim about Haiti DN made in its 9 October tweet above.


We generally look to DN to tell us stuff we aren't already hearing on CNN and Fox News but when it comes to Trump they aren't breaking any new ground.



Stein and Putin agree: Hillary Clinton is the warmonger, Donald Trump is the anti-war candidate that promised to rebuild the US military and wonders why we can't use nukes. Now we will see.


Even if it would cost her votes and throw the election to Trump!


Did it even occur to them to occupy Donald Trump's campaign headquarters and make the same demand? He is the one with the power now and I don't see him re-routing any pipelines.


Like most claims coming from the hacked emails, this sounds much more sinister than it is.  With 55,000 private communications to chose from, it was easy to find phrases that that could be used against Clinton.


DN wasn't exactly breaking news here but it does represent an anti-Trump utterance, at least when said to a progressive audience.


This was the day after FBI Director James Comey made his bombshell announcement that they had found a new batch of emails on Anthony Weiner's laptop and they had no idea what was in them but they may be relevant to the Hillary Clinton private email server investigation. At the time Trump was way behind in the polls and this was just the break he needed. He took it and he demagogued it.

The link in the tweet above leads to the DN headline "FBI Reopens Investigation into Hillary Clinton Emails, Shaking Up Election." This was also Trump's take on it. Nine days later, Comey would say "never mind," but in the run up to election day Trump could get away with calling it "the biggest scandal since Watergate." On the same day as the DN tweet, Trump said at a 31 Oct campaign stop in Michigan:
"As you know, the FBI has reopened its investigation into Hillary Clinton and discovered — you heard this yesterday, it’s hard to believe — and discovered another 650,000 emails. Hillary lied under oath when she said she turned over all of her work-related emails – just one more lie out of so many."
But that was not true. The FBI never "reopened" the Clinton email investigation. That was the Trump spin on the initial announcement, but it was a gross exaggeration, and soon any respectable journalists who fell for it were dialing back their rhetoric. For example:
Even Fox had the good graces to surround the word "Reopened" with quote marks in its headline the day before, but not DN, by the end of October it was a stowaway on the Trump Train. Wikileaks also chimed in:
As much as 40% of the voter may have already cast their ballots by the time Comey there was nothing to see here. In the meantime the pro-Trump forces had a field day.

November




Finally, on the election's eve, we get a spat of critical Trump pieces that target his fascist and white supremacist  connects, as well as the extreme danger he represents, and the FBI investigation "reopened" has turned into a "probe" in which she has been cleared. All too late to make any difference, of course.





Thanks Amy, 

Your specifically anti-Clinton use of the most widely distributed and best known progressive radio and TV show helped Trump win. Now you will have many more years to be critical of now Commander in Chief Donald Trump, provided he allows it.

Less Regards,
                           
Clay Claiborne

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