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Total number of comments: 272 (since 2013-11-28 15:55:00)

Henning Dekant

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  • Trump does Poor imitation of Tin-Pot Dictator at "Press Conference"
    • @john wilson
      You seem to be under the impression that the "dodgy dossier" on Trump was procured by the US services. The reports I've seen, don't support this. Rather this oppo research was drawn up by a former MI6 spook who was working for a private firm hired through intermediaries by a competing US Republican presidential candidate.

  • For Russian hold on Trump, follow the Money, not the Sex tapes
    • "The people who elected him knew that he had appeared in pornographic videos, liked to tour the dressing rooms of the Miss Teen contests when the contestants were naked, and gropes random women in public places."

      The point is well taken, but there is another aspect to it.

      I think it is safe to say that Trump is very vein, he even felt compelled to defend his "manhood" on the campaign stage. If a video was to show him less favorably than the mighty stud he imagines himself to be, he'd move heaven and hell to prevent it from being leaked.

  • Circus of Liars: How Trump & GOP are Twisted into Pretzels over Putin Hack
    • It seems to me, for somebody with such an outstanding social media presence, you have an oddly myopic perception of how Americans consume news these days.

      Pew research found that almost 50% of US adults get their news from Facebook. With a steady drip of Clinton counter-programming this is the platform of choice for disinformation.

      The effect would have been cumulative i.e. you wouldn't see a one time dip as with a prominent news item like the deplorable speech, but rather a steady suppression of Hillary's favorability ratings.

      link to niemanlab.org

    • Indeed.

      The "failed to have any significant effect on the outcome” line is bureaucratic ass-covering pure and simple.

    • If you can't see the difference between one kid in a basement and a concerted, state-sponsored, multi-pronged campaign, than you clearly misplaced your critical thinking skills.

  • Iran confident Trump's bond with Putin will Benefit it, too
  • Preparing for the Normalization of a Neofascist White House
    • It is an artificial scarcity created by the accumulation of wealth in fewer and fewer hands.

      Technologically and scientifically there is no barrier to growth, even the fossil fuel powered one. But the real game changer is mobile and solar, that can bring first world infrastructure into the most remote places at very low cost.

      The pains we are experiencing globally is solely due to misaligned socioeconomic structures. Similar to the dawn of fascism in the 20th century. The Haber-Bosch process was already invented, mass electrification was taking place, the political insanity was not driven by economic fundamentals but gyrations and misalignment of out of control market forces.

    • Dark, but insightful comment.

  • Top 5 Ways Obama Sanctions on Russia work for Democrats
    • "the specter in the mind of the public of Trump as a Manchurian candidate"

      In contrast to the birther lie this story line has the advantage of being highly plausible and impossible to refute.

  • Demonization of Putin as "Personally" behind Clinton Hack is old Propaganda Technique
    • If you think this sounds like out of spy novel, I suggest to take a look at the Stasi (former GDR intelligence) archives. They implemented these schemes over and over again, and Putin being ex KGB will be quite accustomed with this MO.

    • "I don’t doubt that Russian intelligence was interested in sowing discord in the US around its election. I am saying that there is no evidence that it succeeded."

      But this is not the point. Running this kind of interference is extremely aggressive, and if the Russians were behind this, there is little doubt that this had to be authenticated on the highest level, i.e. it it wouldn't have gone forward without Putin's approval.

      Then the question becomes, why would the Russian's go to such length, given the very real risk of substantial blow-back?

      I thing looking at another set of facts, will answer this question:

      1) Trump had no interest in changing the GOP platform presented at the Republican convention, with one exception, he pulled all the hawkish lingo that condemned the Russian intervention in the Ukraine.
      2) Paul Manafort spent considerable time in the Ukraine working for the former president, and Russian asset, Viktor Yanukovych. He had to step aside when this connection became too much of an obvious liability to the Trump campaign. He is now again part of the transition team.
      3) The Russian deputy minister confirmed that they were in contact with the Trump campaign through-out the election process.
      4) According to a CNN report, a Kremlin advisor admitted they coordinated with Wikileaks.
      5) Trump has considerable business interests in Russia and visited the country often.
      6) Trump exhibits considerable sexual appetite.
      7) Russian “political culture” perfected the art of compromising politicians with embarrassing material, they even have a word for it (Kompromat).
      8) Mother Jones reported that a retired Intelligence officer came forward, alleging that this is exactly what has been done to Trump.
      9) Trump nominated Gen. Flynn as national security adviser, Flynn was a regular on Russian TV and gave a paid speech celebrating 1o years of RT News in Moscow. At the event he actually got to sit next to Putin.
      10) Under Rex Tillerson, Trump designated secretary of state, Exxon signed a deal with Russian oil giant Rosneft to provide access to lucrative oil resources in the Arctic. Rosneft's largest shareholder is the Russian government. Putin attended the Exxon signing ceremony and later awarded Tillerson the country's Order of Friendship.

      All this indicates to me that there is a very good chance that President Trump is Putin by proxy.

      No demonization required.

  • No, America, it wasn't Russia: You did it to Yourself
    • A nice side-show to detract from the very real possibility that Trump is a Russian asset.

    • It's all a matter of perspective, even a dog turd looks respectable in comparison to Trump.

    • "Notwithstanding the complete saturation by the media in favour of Hillary Clinton and the complete drubbing they gave Trump, ..."

      Surely you must be joking. It was Trump 24/7

  • How Rupert Murdoch & Fox Created the Fake News Industry
    • The reason why Germany is relatively stable can be largely attributed to the fact that Murdoch never gained a good foothold in the German media market. He tried, but the German conservatives did not trust him. Shutting out Murdoch is probably Helmut Kohl's biggest contribution to the democratic culture of Germany.

  • Woman demeans Christian Assyrian-American as 'Terrorist' for Speaking Jesus' Language
    • Dennis, racism is about race. Like insisting that the Harlem Five should be put to death even after being exonerated. Or instituting a policy not to rent to black people. Or seeking the limelight with trumped up charges to delegitimize the first black president. Or how about insinuating a sitting judge is out to get him because he is Hispanic? Something even Paul Ryan called textbook racism.

      So yes, Trump by his own words and actions is a racist.

  • Neofascist Trump Appointee Bannon: "Anger is a Good thing" "if you're Fighting to Take this Country Back"
    • The idea was that the Priebus news would overshadow the Bannon appointment. The fake out didn't work very well.

      But one thing is certain, one of them is just a figure head. And it ain't Priebus.

    • Maybe it has to do with the fact that he was picked by Trump for his White House staff?

      Nah, must be a conspiracy.

  • Four years of Trump could really sink the planet
    • He already picked a lead climate sceptic to head the EPA, and announced that he plans to eventually shut down the EPA completely.

    • They are doing their part. And reforestation will help. But it is already clear that this won't suffice.

      What is needed is an industrial process on the Haber-Bosch scale.

      If you think biomass alone will do the trick than you are not paying attention.

    • This seals the deal: We will need to develop scalable and affordable technologies that can extract CO2 from the atmosphere, if we are to stand a chance.

  • How can Progressives get through the Next 4 Years? Organize!
    • Trump is no misogynist or he would not have married women.

      I think you are confusing something, here let me fix it for you:

      Trump is no gay man or he would not have married women

    • Progressives better learn to play hardball. One of the things is to make sure that people don't forget about Trump's Russian connection. Republicans don't care about any of the issues close to the hearts of progressives, but they care about national security, and they may have just voted a Benedict Arnold into the White House.

      Trump may very well be the ultimate Manchurian candidate.

      Just the facts:

      1) Trump had no interest in changing the GOP platform presented at the Republican convention, with one exception, he pulled all the hawkish lingo that condemned the Russian intervention in the Ukraine.

      2) His second campaign manager Paul Manafort spent considerable time in the Ukraine working for the former president, and Russian asset, Viktor Yanukovych. He had to step aside when this connection became too much of an obvious liability to the Trump campaign.

      3) The Russian deputy minister confirmed that they were in contact with the Trump campaign through-out the election process.

      4) According to a CNN report, a Kremlin advisor admitted they coordinated with Wikileaks.

      5) Trump has considerable business interests in Russia and visited the country often.

      6) Trump exhibits considerable sexual appetite.

      7) Russian “political culture” perfected the art of compromising politicians with embarrassing material, they even have a word for it.

      8) Mother Jones reported that a retired Intelligence officer came forward, alleging that this is exactly what has been done to Trump.

  • The Hatred that Trump's Lies will Leave Behind
    • On the one hand Trump is a puppet of Putin and on the other he’s going to pull out the launch codes.

      Obviously he'd cozy up to Russia, he has been very hard on China though, and he also expressed no reservation to use nukes on none-nuclear combatants. Think nuking Mosul (certainly would qualify as a surprise attack).

      This is something even Richard Nixon never contemplated.

    • "The authoritarian personality creates a new reality and a befuddled populace accepts it, no matter how ludicrous."

      So true, If you go to a site like zerohedge (they used to occasionally have some economic insights). It is now a fever swamp of people who create their own alt-right reality. There is no common ground any more.

  • Turkish Gov't arrests 15 Opposition MPs in Further Descent into Dictatorship
    • The US uses its military might to hastily, since you have this shiny hammer every issue seems to look like a nail to the US.

      The point is, I strongly believe the democrats in Turkey make up the vast majority of the people, and you want to strengthen them against their overreaching government, not kill them.

    • Agreed, I've been in favor of expelling Turkey from NATO for quite some time. And the talks of EU membership need to aborted ASAP.

    • @Brian, the nuke situation may already be changing.
      link to euractiv.com

    • There is such a thing as a global civil society, that has long expressed itself with organizations such as AI. When people lose their freedoms in a country like Turkey it is a moral imperative to speak up.

      Too bad, that all you are compelled to is finger pointing.

  • If he wins: The Coming Trump Market Crash and Great Recession
    • It's one thing to have to deal with a bad economic outlook without making a bad situation worse.

      Did you actually read the article? Trump's anti-trade policies will add additional fuel to the flames.

  • Die-Hard Trump Supporters want to *be* Trump
    • This is probably one of many articles to come, that will attempt to psychoanalyse Trump's supporters. Clearly there is something fundamentally wrong with them.

  • Return of Virulent Nationalism: how language is being used to mark national borders
    • A shame really that immigration changes language so much. Must be why no Brit can understand an American these days. Centuries of immigration just totally bend that language out of shape. Nobody in the states can pronounce these pesky th's any more. Sad.

  • "This Parrot is no More": The 2016 Presidential Election did not Take Place
    • Did I just imagine the Brexit vote ? The average British education doesn't seem to amount to much.

    • Side issue, nevertheless:

      Fracking was actually first pioneered to develop dry geothermal reservoirs, and if it ever gets back to these roots may very well contribute significantly to CO2 reductions goals.

      link to en.wikipedia.org

  • End of the 'Caliphate' in Iraq? After Qayyarah, Mosul hangs in the Balance
  • Syria: Can Russia & US Broker a new Cease-Fire?
  • Saudis bomb Sanaa during "Million-Person march"
    • High moral comes by easy, if one of the wealthiest countries in the world bombs its neighbor that happens to be one of the poorest.

  • Dragon Rising? China seeks Closer military Cooperation with Syria
  • People in Syria's Manbij Rejoice by Shaving, throwing off Veil as ISIL fighters Flee
  • Rep. Steve King, White People and 'Civilization'
    • The old shouldn’t be driving any more.

      If you would have left this out, this rant would have been marginally more convincing.

    • From my perspective (German) "Western" is not a code for "white". In German political discourse it is shorthand for keeping Germany anchored to the US (via NATO etc.), or seeking closer alignment with the Russians. Who's more white I leave up to you to decide.

    • Prof. Cole how can you write this, Just when Melania Trump's speech demonstrated to everybody how oppressed white people are in America?

      Blacks get all the best things, even the best words! Michele Obama was allowed to use all these wonderful sentences in her speech eight years ago, yet when a beautiful white woman uses the very same sentences, she gets attacked for it!

      How very unfair, and obviously racist is that!

      :-)

      (The sad thing is, this pretty much reflects the sophistication of Trump surrogates on TV.)

  • Turkish People Power foils attempted Coup
    • The Turkish people showed an amazing spirit, too bad their president won't.

      This will just further his paranoia.

  • A Story of Two Syrian Sieges: Manbij and East Aleppo
    • Don't know about Prof. Cole, but here's my take :

      The Daesh success builds on internal cohesion and absolute dedication to a cause, combined with flexible non-standard warfare and underground financing. Their military capabilities rely critically on a constant influx of globally recruited volunteers, and the ready availability off ammo and light military gear.

      Once denied territory the Daesh remnants will melt away and resurface as terror / organized crime organization.

  • Is Religion really Driving Middle East Violence?
    • "Thus, al-Qaeda’s destruction of the Shiite Golden Dome shrine of the eleventh Imam in Samarra in 2006 set off an Iraqi civil war. You couldn’t hurt the feelings of very many French by taking a sledge hammer to a gargoyle."

      Apples to Oranges? I think blowing up Notre Dame would get their attention.

      Admittedly though, it wouldn't be so much a matter of religion but French identity.

  • The Real Problem with the Iraq War: It was Illegal
    • I think in all fairness it should also be mentioned that there were some, not many, less sinister reasons.

      Neo-cons who believed the first Bush administration betrayed the Saddam opposition who was encouraged to overthrow the dictator at the end of the first gulf war.

      The rising death toll the continued sanction took on the Iraqi population (an especially idiotic argument in hind sight).

  • Syrian War Overflows: Radical Salafis attack Christian Village in Lebanon
    • The psychological degradation that has to occur to make these kind of suicide bombers is beyond my comprehension. These people need to receive some major treatment in padded cells, but the shere number of them is mind boggling.

  • US Elites Abandoned their Workers: Trump is their Revenge; & You ain't seen Nothin' Yet
  • As Putin Slams NATO, Russia loses Patience with US-Backed Rebels in Syria
    • "He was talking about NATO defensive moves in Poland and the Baltic states"

      NATO's massive military exercise in the Baltics is intended to be defensive in nature, but it should not surprise that Russia sees it as an aggressive stance.

      The country has been invaded too many times, to be sanguine of such a massive troop presence at its doorsteps.

  • After Trump bashed Brown Immigrants all Year, it's the British White Guy who tries to Kill Him
    • 50% in a poll hardly represents 50% of the actual electorate. British First "patriots" like yourself are obviously much more motivated to take part in the referendum, whereas the pro-EU voters are a rather apathetic lot.

      At any rate, I am sure the EU will gladly accept Scotland back in after the inevitable next referendum on Scottish independence.

  • British Trumpism? Anti-Immigrant "Britain First" White Terrorist kills Member of Parliament
    • The EU parliament is elected directly and has to confirm the commissioners, which in turn are appointed by the elected heads of states of the EU countries. The President of the European Commission is actually now voted in directly by the EU electorate.

      Hardly qualifies as undemocratic mandarines.

      But if you want to quit, just to go back to unsustainable overfishing, be my guest.

    • You are thoroughly confusing me ???

      Other than metric, all the things you mention never changed. The UK kept the pound, and has not joined the Euro, and of course they still drive on the left side of the road.

  • Top 7 ways to tell if Someone is lying about being a 'Salafi Jihadi'
    • Josh Marshall from the TPM site put it succinctly: This is not about the radicalization of Islam but the islamisation of radicalism.

  • Omar Mateen and Rightwing Homophobia: Hate Crime or Domestic Terrorism?
    • Your last paragraph wraps it up perfectly. And as is always the case after a mass shooting, an army of NRA clones descends onto social media, to push their worn out mantra that "it's not the gun it's the person".

  • Is Tel Aviv Mayor Right that Israel is unique in Occupation & denying Civil Rights?
    • You need to read up on human history if you think that this is particular unique or new. Heck, the Palestinians are essentially forced to relive the experiences of native Americans.

  • America's First Communal Muslim Funeral: Muhammad Ali
    • "Also, I don’t need any religion whatsoever nor religious background in order to pray, if I choose to do so."

      Same here, but it seems many faith seekers yearn for the communal aspects and want guidance. These people are sometimes in a vulnerable state of mind, and if they get indoctrinated towards intolerance the damage is hard to undo.

      Which is why I am always gratefull for enlightened, tolerant, inspirational and charismatic people of faith.

    • My take away is that the world needs more Sufis and fewer Salafists.

      American evangelicals have been actively spreading their narrow minded take on Christianity in Africa and South-America. It would be wonderfull, and somewhat ironic, if American Sufi inspired Islam could become a global force for tolerance and inter-faith undestanding.

  • EU: Israeli Squatter Settlements in Palestine could Lead to all-out War
    • My bad, Israel actually received the Dolphin class without AIP. This will make them a bit easier to detect, but in electric propulsion mode the sound signature will still be very low.

      link to globalsecurity.org

    • Nuclear deterrent is and always has been crazy. Hardliners like Netanyahu are certainly certifiably crazy enough.

      Any threat to Israel's existence will come from its immediate Arab neighborhood, so range isn't really an issue.

      As to the subs detectability, they will pose plenty of challenge for an Arab army. And they only have to miss one.

      link to globalsecurity.org

    • You are too glib in rejecting the nuclear threat.

      Israel has German build subs that are almost undetectable. They are most certainly equipped with nuclear missles. If Israel was overrun and occupied by conventional armies, then they still have the means, as well as the motivation for a nuclear vengeance strike.

  • British PM Cameron's tiff with Trump over Muslims: The Hypocrisy Factor
    • "Number one, I’m not stupid, okay? I can tell you that right now. Just the opposite."

      If he says so, I guess it must be true.

  • Russia declines to ask Syria to halt Bombardment of East Aleppo
    • The US does not bomb Assad's forces. The air force operates over IS/Daesh territory where Assad currently has no power whatsoever (legitimate or not) .

    • "These passages show an attachment to Bashar al-Assad not always in evidence"

      I think these passages are open to another interpretation. I.e. Russia wants to strongly emphasize the adherence to international law and institutions, since these in turn offer them protection and influence.

  • US finally acknowledging al-Qaeda factor in breakdown of Ceasefire
    • Prof. Cole is a historian by trade. Historians are trained at analyzing historic reporting and communications by taking into account the motivations of the writers and the intended effect on the audience. By comparing contradicting accounts historians are very good at establishing a picture that approaches historical truth.

      I believe it is that training, in conjunction with Prof. Cole's considerable language skills, that make him one of the best sources of information on the matter.

  • US confused over Russia’s real intentions in Syria
    • "Turkey, which has been firing artillery at Islamic State targets in Syria."

      More like at Kurdish fighters within Syria.

      This article is very badly sourced.

  • Murdering Civilians: US Drone Whistleblowers Step Out of the Shadows
    • Despite my sympathy for the man and his accomplishments, I expect history will judge Obama harshly for the drone killings.

  • Top 7 ways Harriet Tubman is the most Badass Spy & Warrior ever to grace US Currency
    • Why hasn't there been a movie about the life of this remarkable woman? Glad to see one Google search later that I am not the only one wondering this.

      link to vox.com

  • Is Hillary Clinton responsible for rise of ISIL, as Bernie's Campaign Manager Alleged?
    • "So President Bashar Assad is to blame for being strong-armed into an illegal rendition program. "

      "Not quite sure why you think a wave of the hand replaces study and reading in the consideration of foreign policy."

      OK, I get it now. You obviously just have a very shrewd sense of humor.

    • Are very much on the same page, are also quite fond of Bernie's positions, but the mindlessness of many of his supporters demonstrate nicely that Republicans don't have a monopoly on stupid.

    • This is a most bizarre tribute to a war criminal. I can see how you could have thought of Assad as "gentle and genuin" before the war, but how did you embargo yourself from the many years of news that document the regime's war crimes? Assad's regime is more old fashioned than IS/Daesh, you won't see them advertising their crimes on Youtube, but that doesn't make torture and the barrel bombs any less real. Where the heck have you been to miss these inconvenient facts?

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