My candidate for US President 2020

It’s simply not enough to go back to “the pre-Trump normal.” Because the pre-Trump normal meant drone strikes, forever, massacres, and mass surveillance. Pre-Trump gave us Trump. The way to escape the hell of Trump is by finding something better, not just returning to the old.

This is the man who read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record. Gravel’s video on Twitter:

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Fluid Reality


President Donald Trump has overturned decades of US policy by saying it is time to recognise Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, which it captured from Syria in 1967.…

Israel annexed the Golan in 1981 in a move not recognised internationally.…

Richard Haass, a former senior US state department official who is now president of the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank, said he “strongly disagreed” with Mr Trump. He said such recognising Israeli sovereignty would violate a UN Security Council resolution, “which rules out acquiring territory by war”.…

But the formal US recognition doesn’t change anything on the ground: Israel was already acting with full military authority.

So critics have concluded this was a blatant attempt to give Mr Netanyahu a boost in a hotly-contested election.

If so, it’s one that violates important principles of international law, they say: Mr Trump has endorsed the seizure of territory, and will have no moral authority to criticise Russia for doing so in Ukraine’s Crimea.

For the BBC it’s “Ukraine’s Crimea”, but “the occupied Golan Heights” — not “Syria’s Golan Heights”. One grumbling murmur of dissent is heard in the voice of a former senior state department official. There is nothing to see here, nothing is changed on the ground. While critics may claim “important principles of international law” have been violated, the BBC isn’t about to say that. The BBC’s hard-hitting analyst asks only “Was Trump’s tweet a surprise for his aides?”

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“I can’t understand why the President would, once again, disparage a man as exemplary as my friend John McCain: heroic, courageous, patriotic, honorable, self-effacing, self-sacrificing, empathetic, and driven by duty to family, country, and God,” the Utah senator Mitt Romney wrote on Twitter.

McCain continued to speak out against Trump until his death, delivering a speech in which he decried “half-baked, spurious nationalism” in a thinly veiled reference to the president.

Trump was not invited to McCain’s funeral last year, which featured speeches by former presidents, including George W Bush and Barack Obama. Trump was not mentioned by name, but a stark contrast was drawn to his brand of politics.

What does it mean to be a hero in 21st Century America? What does it mean to be a courageous politician? To Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “John McCain’s legacy represents an unparalleled example of human decency and American service.” Liberal media like The Guardian here without irony present George W Bush to argue John McCain’s nobility in counterpoint to Donald Trump.

Once the moorings have been lost, how are they to be regained?

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Kennen Sie Georg Linke?


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Die Antwort der Kanzlerin auf die Kritik des amerikanischen Botschafters am Haushalt der Bundesregierung brauchte nicht lange. Sie wolle “etwas zurechtrücken”, sagte sie. Auch andere Politiker tadeln US-Botschafter Richard Grenell.


Politicians in Germany lashed out at President Donald Trump’s ambassador to their country on Tuesday, with some criticizing the diplomat and even calling for his expulsion from Berlin.

Richard Grenell was appointed by Trump in May of last year, and has drawn significant controversy in his relatively short tenure as ambassador. On Tuesday, Grenell openly criticized Germany’s defense spending, arguing it sent a “worrisome signal” to NATO allies. Those comments led to swift and severe backlash from several members of parliament.

The difference in tone between these two articles is really interesting. The audiences subscribe to, and will be encouraged to maintain, two fairly different views of their respective countries and the place each holds in the world.

Newsweek’s sources for their story are Deutsche Welle, The Financial Times, and The Guardian. Newsweek also links to previous pieces written by Newsweek Staff Writers Damien Sharkov, who says “Email me in English, Russian, Spanish or French,” and Jessica Kwong, who “grew up speaking Spanish, Cantonese and English, in that order.”

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Nach wie vor

Und sie widersprachen sich ständig. Der Zweck war einfach, die Presse­kampagne gegen uns am Kochen zu halten, egal mit welchen Argumenten. Ich hörte und las das alles und dachte verzweifelt: »Merkt denn niemand, wie sie dauernd lügen? Haben die Leute alle so ein kurzes Gedächtnis, daß sie sich nicht mehr an das erinnern, was man ihnen zwei Wochen vorher erzählt hat?«

—Margrit Schiller, »Es war ein harter Kampf um meine Erinnerung«, (Hamburg: Konkret Literatur Verlag, 2000), 152.

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Kubicki will Richard Grenell zur Persona non grata erklären

Zeit Online:

Bundestagsvizepräsident Wolfgang Kubicki (FDP) hat die Ausweisung des US-Diplomaten Richard Grenell gefordert. Er wolle, dass “Richard Grenell unverzüglich zur Persona non grata” erklärt werde, sagte Kubicki der Nachrichten­agentur AFP. “Wer sich als US-Diplomat wie ein Hochkommissar einer Besatzungsmacht aufführt, der muss lernen, dass unsere Toleranz auch Grenzen kennt.”

Exciting times.

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Deutschland muss US-Drohneneinsätze prüfen


Inwiefern nutzt die amerikanische Regierung den Militärstützpunkt Ramstein bei Drohnenangriffen im Jemen? Künftig muss die Bundesregierung aktiv nachforschen, ob Einsätze gegen das Völkerrecht verstoßen.


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Von deutschem Boden

Wenn ich über die Verbrechen der nord­amerikanischen Militärs in Vietnam las, stieg in mir tiefer Haß hoch, der nach einem Ventil und praktischer Umsetzung suchte. Wenn ich las, wie von deutschem Boden US-Flugzeuge und aus deutschen Häfen US-Schiffe zum Krieg gegen das vietnamesische Volk starteten; wenn ich in Büchern entdeckte, wie deutsches Geld, deutsche Firmen zusammen mit nord­amerikanischen, französischen oder britischen die Länder der Dritten Welt zerstörten und die Bevölkerung immer mehr ausplünderten; daß unendlich viele Menschen nichtweißer Hautfarbe sterben mußten, damit die herrschende Klasse in Europa und den USA immer reicher wurde — dann kam ich immer wieder zu der Überzeugung, daß bewaffneter Kampf auch in der BRD richtig und berechtigt war.

—Margrit Schiller, »Es war ein harter Kampf um meine Erinnerung«, (Hamburg: Konkret Literatur Verlag, 2000), 95-96.

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Addressing party brokers and leaders in the city of Dover, Mr Biden, 76, said that it was time to restore the country’s “backbone”, but that they needed political consensus to move beyond what he called today’s “mean”, “petty” and “vicious” political landscape.

“I’m told I get criticised by the new left,” he said, referring to a group of popular new left-wing Democrats that includes congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. “I have the most progressive record of anybody running for the United- ”

He then corrected himself, saying: “Anybody who would run.”

Speculation that Mr Biden would announce his candidacy has reached feverish levels.


The Delaware governor, John Carney, said Biden “doesn’t just look like he’s back; he looks like he’s ready for a fight”.

Just minutes before Biden’s slip of the tongue, Carney told the crowd: “In my humble opinion, we have never needed Joe Biden more than we need him right now.”

Irony, parody, pale.

It’s just all so damned interesting! Some things I want to capture just to be able to look back in a year or two, and say “This happened. I witnessed it. I was there.”

Biden. George Packer’s The Unwinding section on Biden is worth reading. I wonder how many people remember the plagiarism scandal of Biden’s 1988 campaign? I remember 1988. We can validly say 2019 is strange times, but boy, talk about strange times — in 1988 George Bush entered the White House fresh from Iran-Contra, competing with Republicans Pat Robertson, Al “I am in control” Haig, Donald Rumsfeld, facing off against Democrats Michael “Look at me in this tank!” Dukakis, Joe Biden, Lyndon LaRouche, and David Duke. I kid you not: David Duke. I remember 1988. The SFPD sent me to the hospital for suggesting I had a First Amendment right to speak publicly against the ICJ-condemned US war against Nicaragua. A year after the election Bush invaded Panama, but he was just getting warmed up, a year after that invading Iraq. Thirty years pass and what the world learns of Bush is that in death he had a sweet dog. The US follows withdrawing consent to ICJ jurisdiction by refusing to join the ICC, refuses visas to ICC judges, and the American Democratic Party may decide that what the US really needs now is Joe Biden.

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