As it happens this past weekend, I chose to view the biographical film Capote, which featured the Oscar winning performance of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Its plot dealt with the incidents and events surrounding Capote’s “non-fiction novel,” In Cold Blood. There is also a motion picture based on Capote’s book, and since film is inherently a visual medium, it featured the lyrical, haunting black and white cinematography of Conrad Hall in place of Capote’s moving prose.
In truth, as to a biographical film, I preferred Toby Jones’ characterization of Capote—a role I feel he was born to play—in the lesser known film entitled Infamous. Yet my purpose now is to observe there is something in murders and sociopathic murderers that fascinates and attracts people, rather like the murderer Perry Smith drew Capote to him (although what both films show contradicts what biographer Gerald Clarke wrote).
Until one morning in mid-November of 1959, few Americans—in fact, few Kansans— had ever heard of Holcomb. Like the waters of the river, like the motorists on the highway, and like the yellow trains streaking down the Santa Fe tracks, drama, in the shape of exceptional happenings, had never stopped there. The inhabitants of the village, numbering two hundred and seventy, were satisfied that this should be so, quite content to exist inside ordinary life—to work, to hunt, to watch television, to attend school socials, choir practice, meetings of the 4-H Club. But then, in the earliest hours of that morning in November, a Sunday morning, certain foreign sounds impinged on the normal nightly Holcomb noises—on the keening hysteria of coyotes, the dry scrape of scuttling tumbleweed, the racing, receding wail of locomotive whistles. At the time not a soul in sleeping Holcomb heard them—four shotgun blasts that, all told, ended six human lives. But afterward the townspeople, theretofore sufficiently unfearful of each other to seldom trouble to lock their doors, found fantasy re-creating them over and over again—those somber explosions that stimulated fires of mistrust in the glare of which many old neighbors viewed each other strangely, and as strangers.
Yet I cannot help but remember the quotation—whatever its origin—that “a Single Death is a Tragedy; a Million Deaths is a Statistic.” I excerpted Capote’s writing not merely to show his narrative power but to contrast a comparatively insignificant event of the murders of four human beings with the work of a journalist, Vanessa Beely, whose work I discovered by viewing an interview with her conducted by Daniel McAdams at Ron Paul’s site. Ms. Beely writes about the Syrian catastrophe; her prose lacks Capote’s beauty but it has the power of truth. Her Journey to Aleppo contains harrowing descriptions and images of devastation, not merely to the landscape but to human beings:
Aleppo is, indeed, under siege, but that siege is being imposed by the “moderate opposition” groups on civilians in western Aleppo and those living under a terrorist occupation in eastern Aleppo. Humanitarian convoys heading into western Aleppo are forced to pass through high-risk areas occupied by the Nusra Front and the myriad other terrorist groups operating there.
“I feel nothing but rage when I see these thugs and criminals on the other side of the city pouring thousands of litres of clean, fresh water into the disease infested river under the noses of the thirsty Syrians they are claiming to liberate. They are the terrorists, they are the monsters in this story and they are committing daily mass crimes against the citizens of Aleppo but this is never mentioned by the western media. Are we not Syrian? Does our plight mean nothing, does our story not count? This is Aleppo, the real Aleppo, not the western media fantasy, this is our sleeping, waking, perpetual nightmare of life under terrorist occupation.”
One Syrian man in Aleppo told me:
“Almost everything they blame the government or the army for in the last five years was actually carried out by the terrorists, by NATO. They are targeting infrastructure, hospitals, kids, women. They are raping women. They are using chemicals, chlorine, mustard gas.”
I’ve withheld his name out of respect for his safety–a common issue in a city that has been under a constantly evolving media and terrorist siege since the NATO intervention gathered momentum in Syria almost six years ago.
The information siege has been imposed upon Aleppo by American and European mainstream media, as well as various offshoot media funded by the Gulf states or Turkey that rely heavily on al-Qaida as sources. It has ensured that little real news has been able to escape the propaganda tent erected over a city that resisted all attempts to be drawn into the armed insurrection from the very beginning of the dirty war on Syria.
And this dirty war is one that had been incubating long before it officially began in December 2011, as demonstrated by State Department cables released by WikiLeaks, which show that plans to destabilize Syria and overthrow the government had been forming as early as 2006.
In addition, Ms. Beely has investigated the “White Helmets” and her findings include the following facts:
The White Helmets claim to be a “neutral, impartial, humanitarian NGO, with no official affiliation to any political or military actor and a commitment to render services to any in need regardless of sect or political affiliation.”
I will now present evidence that should demonstrate the illegitimacy of these claims: Son of Thunder: The Sp... Buy New $12.00 (as of 05:35 EDT - Details)
1: The White Helmets receive funding from UK ($65m via UK Foreign Office), US (US State Dept via USAID $ 23m), Holland ($ 4.5m), Germany ($ 7.87m) and Japan (undisclosed sum from the Intl Cooperation Agency), Denmark (undisclosed sum)—via the Mayday Rescue “foundation” that was set up by the British ex-military trainer of the White Helmets in order to transfer funding to the White Helmets. The White Helmets also receive equipment and supplies from various EU member states. This funding is concealed behind the generic heading of “Emergency Health and Relief Support to the Population Affected by the Crisis in Syria”, through the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG-ECHO), formerly known as the European Community Humanitarian Aid Office.
2: The White Helmets were established in Gaziantep, Turkey, not in Syria. They are largely trained in Turkey and Jordan, not inside Syria.
3: The White Helmets are embedded exclusively in areas of Syria occupied by listed terrorist organisations including Nusra Front and ISIS, along with various associated ‘moderate rebels’ such as Ahrar al Sham and Nour Al Din Zinki. All these groups are responsible for carrying out ethnic cleansing operations and mass executions of the Syrian people. Nour Al Din Zinki was recently videoed beheading 12 year-old Palestinian child, Abdullah Issa. Like the White Helmets, all of these terrorist factions receive funding, training, equipment and support from the United States and its Coalition partners. A fact that is extensively documented.
Yet now, of the utmost importance, Ms. Beely alerts us of the intention to use the “responsibility to protect” to create a “No Fly Zone” over Syria:
Presently, the Syrian Arab Army and allies are advancing inexorably towards the liberation of Aleppo from the hordes of US coalition-funded terrorist brigades, headed up by Al Nusra Front aka Al Qaeda, and Washington’s foreign policy is in turmoil. Despite its best efforts, the US coalition ‘intervention’ in Syria has been an unmitigated disaster, having hit the brick wall of President Bashar Al Assad’s popularity and the fortitude of the Syrian people in withstanding everything the US coalition has flung at it, militarily and on the multi-million dollar propaganda front. Now an increasingly frustrated US coalition has pulled what they believe to be the Ace in their pack of public-perception-altering cards.
Once again, the activist website Avaaz has been deployed, the flagship of the fleet of media and propaganda vessels all pouring forth the narrative that supports the US coalition demands for a “we-fly-you-don’t-zone”. This week, Avaaz launched their No Fly Zone petition. The infamous No Fly Zone petition that heralded the destruction of Libya in 2011, has now been tailored and dressed up, to be used against Syria. The language is clear: this petition calls for war.
The term “No Fly Zone” sounds benign, I think; one imagines Russian and Syrian jets voluntarily grounded and the uninvited American Coalition nonchalantly soaring over the Syrian skies. Yet as The Saker has written this is what a No Fly Zone truly entails—tremendous destructive power: The Cloak of Freya: Th... Buy New $14.00 (as of 05:25 EDT - Details)
The way the US doctrine mandates imposing a no-fly zone is pretty straightforward: it begins with an intensive series of USAF and USN cruise missile strikes and bombing raids whose aim is to disable the enemy air defenses and command and control capabilities. At this stage heavy jamming and anti-radiation missile strikes play a key role. This is also when the Americans, if they have any hope of achieving a tactical surprise, will also typically strikes at enemy airbases, with a special emphasis on destroying landed aircraft, runways and fuel storage facilities. This first phase can last anything between 48 hours to 10 days, depending on the complexity/survivability of the enemy air defense network. The second phase typically includes the deployment of air-to-air fighters into combat air patrols which are typically controlled by airborne AWACS aircraft. Finally, once the air defense network has been destroyed and air supremacy has been established, strike fighters and bombers are sent in to bomb whatever can be bombed until the enemy surrenders or is crushed.
Russia has taken countermeasures against such an attack, including the deployment of its S-300 systems. As Stephen Cohen has discussed in a recent interview with John Batchelor, there are grave risks for both sides:
The consequences of failed diplomacy in Syria are already evident. American politicians and media are calling for military action against Russian-Syrian forces, in particular, imposition of a “no-fly zone,” which would almost certainly lead to war with Russia. Others call for more economic sanctions against Russia, perhaps to ward off growing West European attitudes favoring an end to existing sanctions. In any event, developments in Syria have now deepened the new Cold War in words and deeds, and this is the case in Moscow as well. Putin, who has long pursued negotiations with the West over the objections of his own high-level hardliners, now seems resolved to destroy the jihadist forces encamped in Aleppo without the American partner he had hoped for. Meanwhile, talk of war also fills Russian media, and the Putin government has just began a highly unusual nation-wide “civil defense” exercise to prepare the country for that eventuality.
In short, the collapse of diplomacy in Syria has fully remilitarized US-Russian relations and brought the countries closer to war than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Unlike during the preceding Cold War, none of this is being discussed critically in establishment American media. The Times and The Washington Post, for example, publish articles and editorials, one after the other, declaring Putin to be an “outlaw” and “rogue” leader unfit to be an American partner on any front. In the mainstream, no one proposes § or is permitted to propose—any rethinking of US policies that may have contributed to this dire situation. No one asks, for example, if the Kremlin might be right in insisting that the overthrow of the Assad government, the primary US goal, would only strengthen terrorist forces in Syria, whose defeat is Moscow’s primary objective. In this connection, Moscow charges that détente in Syria failed in large part because Washington and its allies continue to arm and coddle, directly or indirectly, Syrian terrorists and their “moderate” anti-Assad abettors. This factor, for which there is considerable evidence, also is not explored or discussed in the US media, even in a presidential election year. Instead, CBS News’s 60 Minutes, which, like the Times, was once a gold standard of professional American journalism, recently broadcast a nuclear warmongering segment giddily marveling that the United States would soon have more “usable” nuclear weapons to deploy against Russia.
Cohen’s most recent broadcast notes the following:
The man with whom the Obama administration proposed to partner with in Syria only two weeks ago is now denounced as a “war criminal” for Russia’s fight against terrorists in Aleppo, which was to be “liberated” by the now aborted US-Russian military alliance. The Washington Post was more specific, publishing a leaked account of how Putin might be arrested outside of Russia and put on trial.
In response to Batchelor’s question, Cohen again points to a historical precedent of a way out in dark times in US-Russian relations, when President Reagan decided to meet Soviet leader Gorbachev halfway in the mid and late 1980s, though, he adds, no such leader seems likely to occupy the White House any time soon. He also adds that while the possibility of war is the constant and primary subject in the Russian mainstream media, its near total absence in the America media is itself a very bad sign. Meanwhile, Cohen points outs, US-Russian cooperative relations created over decades, under Republican and Democratic administrations and Congresses, are being systematically destroyed both in Washington and Moscow. Here, too, relations have not been as ominous since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. Cohen argues that we should be “shocked” less by Donald Trump’s sex talk or by Hillary Clinton’s misdeeds as secretary of state than by the entire political-media establishment’s indifference to Washington’s drift toward war with Russia. Since the breakdown of the Obama-Putin agreement to cooperate militarily against terrorists in Syria, which Cohen blames primarily on the Obama administration, Washington has escalated its warfare rhetoric against the Kremlin and Russian President Putin in particular.
Analysts are even warning of potential false flag attacks, which would back even Donald Trump into a corner, should by some miracle he be both elected to the office of President and be able to resist the agenda of the “Deep State.”
- The repainting of the US fighter jets into Russian color scheme wasn’t a “regular training;”
- Ukraine regime send their international passenger jet into a war-zone to be taken down by an American fighter jet masquerading as a Russian jet to put a blame on Russia;
- As a variant, the US shoots down a Ukrainian plane over the territory controlled by the US terror army (ISIS, Daesh, Al Nusra, Kurds) and blames Russian S-300. On the territory controlled by the American terrorists, it would be impossible to prove otherwise, just like in Donbass with MH17.
- For the past two weeks, the American reconnaissance jets conducted several flights along Crimean coastal line, to get a reading on the parameters of the Russian radars. because the US needed to know the exact parameters of the radars to be able to calculate what they see in order to produce the Russian AZAZ 909 transponder signal and ADS-B signals.
- There were no AZAZ imitating jets flying over Maryland, but it’s an attempt to fool civil radars and to use flight trackers to falsify flight information. In essence to post on the civil radars fake information about non-existing aircraft that Pentagon wants the general public to find on the flight trackers. In this instance, Pentagon wants people to think that two Russian reconnaissance jets flew over Washington.
- Usually, other flight trackers confirm certain interesting information. In this case, they are all quiet. Are they all quiet because they know that it’s fake? It could be that “Yaniv Schwartz” is a part of some kind of plot and he/they are distributing this information with the aim to cause a panic among the gullible American public.
Of course, no such convoluted scheme is necessary; as Ms. Beely noted, violence committed by the “rebels” and blamed on Syria may be sufficient to initiate a No Fly Zone.
As usual, they made a lot of humanitarian-sounding noise about suffering children of Aleppo. Why Aleppo, and not Mosul with its mounting victims? Just because the killers of Mosul are supported by the US? Why not Yemen, where Saudi troops using American weapons (procured after giving a hefty bribe to Clinton’s war chest) to kill more children than there are in Aleppo? And where is this great sisterly supporter of Mme Clinton, Mrs Albright who famously said “it was worth it” to kill five hundred thousand children of Iraq?
There is no doubt, the Aleppo children and grown-ups suffer, and there is a simple way to stop their suffering: to remove the “terrorists” and to allow more moderate forces to join in the political process. But on this way, Assad and Russians will remain in control of the bulk of Syria.
I have no doubt Mr. Shamir, who resides in Russia, identifies the true reason for the escalation of threats by the Washington and Paris and it is astonishingly it is Ahab’s “for hate’s sake…”
And still, these are just rationalisations of the true thing. I’ll tell you the real reason.Why the war? For the fun of it. American leaders appreciate brinkmanship, I was told by a very prominent American insider. This is a human quality. Young kids like to walk at the edge of the precipice. This is their way of proving they are better than their mates. Grown ups do it too, for the same reason.
Brinkmanship is the practice of causing a situation to become extremely dangerous in order to get the results that you want, says a too-rational dictionary, but in real life of elites, the reason (“in order to get the results that you want”) has been forgotten. It is pure art, brinkmanship for the sake of brinkmanship.
For quite a while, the US leaders competed over who can push the Russian bear further, who will take the world more close to the edge of the abyss. Why? Just because it is there, as Mallory said on climbing Everest. Perhaps, by its size, by its ostensible clumsiness (“giant on clay legs”), by its nearness, Russia wakes up such a suicidal desire in the hearts of powerful leaders, from Napoleon to Hitler.
Viewing the most recent presidential debate, I cannot help but remember Anthony Esolen’s brilliant analysis of Lady Macbeth:
Lady Macbeth, urging her husband to the murder of his king and benefactor, would for the sake of ambition violate a woman’s holiest and most natural bond:
I have given suck, and know
How tender ’tis to love the babe that milks me:
I would, while it was smiling in my face,
Have plucked my nipple from his boneless gums,
And dashed the brains out, had I so sworn as you
Have done to this. (Macbeth, I.vii.54–59)
And Lady Macbeth, for all her bald materialist assumptions about good and evil—“A little water clears us of this deed” (II.ii.66), she says, wiping her distraught husband’s hands after the murder—will be plagued with sleeplessness and guilt, beyond the cure of herb or potion. Says the doctor who witnesses her sleepwalking:
Do breed unnatural troubles. Infected minds
To their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets.
More needs she the divine than the physician.
God, God forgive us all! (V.i.75–79)
Esolen, Anthony. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization (Politically Incorrect Guides (Paperback)) (Kindle Locations 3090-3093). Regnery Publishing. Kindle Edition.
If the West, including America, is suffering from any terminal affliction it is hubris:
The sort of insult Aristotle has in mind is hubris, which he defines in the Rhetoric (Bk. II, Chap. 2) as a belittling of another for the sheer pleasure of causing pain through shame. Such a belittling may be directed also at the other person’s family, friends, homeland, or race, and the natural response to it is spirited anger.
Aristotle. Poetics (Focus Philosophical Library) (p. 9). Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
Russia is truly angry and warns America and the world:
Washington plays a very dangerous game in Syria, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said commenting on recently appeared reports that the US is considering military strikes on the Syrian army. Lavrov noted that Moscow has enough capabilities to protect its military installations in the country, including the Khmeimim Air base and Tartus naval base.
“This is a very dangerous game, given that Russia, being in Syria at the invitation of the legitimate government of this country and having two bases there, has air defense systems there to protect its assets,” he said in an interview to the Russian state-run “Russia One” TV channel on October 9.
Returning to Israel Shamir’s essay, his conclusion is both horrifying and heartbreaking:
Russians aren’t worried about the forthcoming war. There is neither panic nor fear, just cool stoic acceptance of whatever comes. This week, some forty million people participated in a huge civil defence exercise. Shelters of Moscow and other cities have been aired and repaired. They do not want war, but if it comes, it will be met. The Russians have fought many wars against the West; they never started a war, but invariably fought to the finish.
An American attack on Syrian or Russian bases in Syria could be a starting point for the avalanche. I am truly amazed by the Russian spirits: they are considerably higher than they were in the days of Korean war, of Vietnam war or the Cuban crisis. Then, they were scared of war and ready for sacrifices to avoid MAD. Not anymore.
This readiness for the Armageddon is the most unexpected and scary feature I observed. It is even more unexpected, as the daily life of an average Russian has greatly improved. Russia probably never lived as good as she does now. They have much to lose; it is only the feeling of being cornered and unjustly so, that makes them to react in such a way.
I can offer no solutions; I truly see that war is unavoidable. All that we can do—people of faith, people of good will, people who love peace—is to become Witnesses to the Truth, to make others aware of the work of Vanessa Beely and Professor Stephen Cohen. Even if we were to march by the million to Washington, I have no doubt its denizens’ hearts are too hardened.
Their understanding of power is violence, not the power of love. As Dr. Donald Miller wrote in his perceptive and powerful essay on Wagner on this site:
The Ring is not a fascist, or a socialist, or a communist work—understanding that fascism, socialism, and communism are three strains of the same species of collectivist political animal. These breeds are motivated foremost by their desire for power, acquired by whatever means necessary. For such people the end—to obtain measureless power to control others and rule one’s country and ultimately the world—justifies the means employed—murder, enslavement, gulags, and forced psychiatric hospitalization of dissidents. The Ring warns against seeking power. It teaches instead that the pursuit of power is incompatible with a life of true feeling, that wielding power destroys the capacity for love and poisons people who seek it.
I am not hopeful we ordinary people with no access to the levers of power can make a difference; for I fear that if the ones with the power to start war are not stopped, thousands of millions will have been murdered—in cold blood.