…double, double, toil and trouble – gaza and donetsk…

…as the tumult and the shouting dies down, the light of reality and truth begins to appear…

Stepping carefully amid the rubble of US policy.

Gaza and Disappearing Palestine

(Thanks on this one) Jon Stewart had his quick comedic ‘come back’, somewhat shrewdly ‘apologetic’, to the predicted backlash for his observation on the plight of the Gazans under the relentless onslaught.

Rihanna had her brief moment of support for Palestine, something natural to those who see mindless brutality and call it for what it is. The career of Vanessa Redgrave should be instructive.

And for irony we have been guided, unwillingly, to this item on the increasingly dreadful Huffington Post news site, a confused and chaotic site that serves as echo chamber and supine stenographer for the incumbent regime. Russia Today Anchor Resigns, Admits To Spreading ‘Lies’ For Putin – we had earlier quoted talking points memo’s coverage.

HuffPo loves this stuff. If only Ms Firth had compared her former network’s coverage of the siege of Palestine with that of the US MSM, as a journalist she would have been appalled and would know the true meaning of propaganda. When these people did deign to cover the tragedy, the perspective would be totally one-sided. There was near total silence on the Gazan experience. Over at Professor Cole’s site there is a post, its title a subtle rhetorical question. Ms Firth can learn a lot about racism, lies and propaganda. Is Rula Jebreal right about US Media Bias against Palestinians?

Just this excerpt from the post,

As Greg Philo notes below, it isn’t just a matter of who is interviewed and how often, though that is important. It is also a matter of history and context. From most American media you would assume that the Israelis were minding their own business and the Palestinians of Gaza just irrationally started firing rockets at them. With rare exceptions, we aren’t told that most truces have been broken by Israel, not Hamas. We aren’t told that over 70% of Gaza’s population used to live in Israel and was ethnically cleansed and left penniless. We aren’t told that Israel has a blockade on Gaza that does not allow it to export most of what it produces, that this blockade has thrown 40% of the working population into unemployment and left 56% of families food insecurity (just on the verge of going to bed hungry). We aren’t told that Israeli occupation has left 90% of people in Gaza without potable water. We aren’t told that Gaza’s Palestinians demand an end to being kept in a big concentration camp. If Israelis were being treated as the Palestinians are, what do you think they would do about it?

Clearly Prof Cole’s post does summarise neatly the attention of the US MSM to the plight of the Palestinians, and the Gazans in particular, none.

And again, there was the Mohyeldin and NBC thing, even as Richard Engel proves more robust as a journalist than his bosses had expected. As regards WaPo and the NYT – one of the egregious examples of news coverage, the NYT would highlight the plight of one Israeli soldier, with scant mention of the scores of innocent civilians killed. Yes, by comparison RT, ‘Question More’, has been more like the voice of reason and truth, and RT does have its shortcomings.

We strive to put Palestine into sharper focus and avoid the obfuscation with this sample of posts that should also enlighten the likes of Ms Firth.

This from Prof Cole’s blog merits a return, The Map: A Palestinian Nation Thwarted & Speaking Truth to Power

And in this post over at common dreams, Phyllis Bennis, in an interview with Real News Network, considers the Palestine issue with US historic policy as frame of reference. US Complicity in Israel’s War Against Gaza. One troubling question is whether the Secretary of State, the indefatigable Inspector Clouseau of Foreign Ministers, with his Palestine initiative may go one better over one of his predecessors, and later declare, “It was more than worth it.”

Maidan, Putin The Evil, and the Maesltrom

With the US MSM giving full voice to the hysterical nonsense uttered by US officials, there was occasional but muted responses from the Russians, the obvious culprits, With the hysteria slowing down, and such utterances made as ‘record’, the separatist leaders of Donetsk turned over the ‘black boxes’ to the rightful authority, the Malaysian government. The ‘drunken rebels’, ‘Putin is responsible’, ‘tampering with evidence’, ‘stealing from corpses’, ‘moving weapons back to Russia’ – that with ‘getting the story out first’ with incessant repetition has continued to be met with huge helpings of ridicule and scorn.

In the political economy of the thing, many would know this. The economy of the Ukraine had been subsidized richly by Russia, while poverty there has been rampant and oligarchs have flourished – consequence of a chain of events similar to the Russian experience. Ukraine’s economy had earlier been earlier predicted to contract at an annual rate of 5%, now an overoptimistic estimate. To now shoulder the burden of East Ukraine would pose a severe strain on the Russian economy, a task the country would rather avoid – yes, the Crimea had been part of Russia until Khrushchev’s unilateral decision in 1954.

Thus, it seems rubbish to suggest that Russia wants to take over that area. What has instead happened is that the US can no longer control events it has provoked unnecessarily, events that have spiraled out of control, that thing about unintended, and out of control, consequences – and 28 July, just around the bend.

That victory celebration of that planned, and successful, coup d’état by Victoria Nuland with other celebrants such as the US Secretary of State John Kerry and US Senator John McCain has proved premature, a situation that gave the lie to the ‘difference’ between ‘neo-con’ and ‘liberal’, Republican and Democrat, in US politics. These players along with the US President are now being swept along in the maelstrom, nulandstraumen (?), of their own creation and from which they cannot so easily escape. The shrill and frantic outbursts now fall on deaf ears as that US$5 billion investment in the Ukraine coup continues to generate substantial cost overruns and conflict. Thus, fewer and fewer believe the cast of characters. That saying about ‘the fruits of victory…’

Even Yves Smith has a look, in her post, Ukraine Open Thread (and Links)

…as the facts come to light amid frantic efforts to fudge them, a random revisit of the recent almost non-stop hysterical coverage by Western media should be instructive – wild speculation, misinformation, disinformation and propaganda, a perilous and potent mix…

The Winds of Change Continue to Blow

And this thing of ‘the international community this’, ‘and the world that’, to whom are these people, Western politicians and their compliant media, referring? Case in point. In Fortaleza, Brazil, on 16 July there had been the BRICS and Unasur Summit. The attached link provides the details, Refusing to share: How the West created BRICS New Development Bank

A glance at the photo should provoke wry smiles. What percent of the world does China first, then both China and India, represent? And if we include the other countries as represented in the photo by their respective leaders, what percent of the world’s population? And, yes, this meeting had had scant MSM coverage – very telling. And what the photo signifies is the cause of the dilemma and panic among the Western powers that call themselves ‘the international community’, not one of whom was invited to this Summit.

And that afterthought, until recently, Latin America. What views on the Palestinian situation? Well, we would never know from the MSM would we? How Have Latin America’s Political Leaders Responded to Israel’s Siege on Gaza? An excerpt from Stephen Lefebvre’s post over at the americas blog,

…Foreign policy among the countries in Latin America conforms to the long-standing, overwhelming international consensus that opposes Israeli aggression and occupation, but it also reflects the region’s “second independence.” Over the last 15 years, most countries in Latin America have increased their ability to pursue a foreign policy agenda separate from the goals of the U.S. State Department.

Unlike the ever eager UK and a few similar Western countries, the majority of countries of Latin America (and elsewhere) refuse to follow in lockstep with the militaristic corporate policies of the US.