Daily Archives: April 2nd, 2017

Inside the Dangerous Convergence of Men’s-Rights Activists and the Extreme Alt-Right

David Futrelle reports for New York Magazine:

ImageJames Jackson had a plan. Traveling by Bolt Bus from his home in Baltimore to New York City, the 28-year-old Jackson hoped to strike a blow for the beleaguered white race by carrying out a bloody massacre of black men in Times Square, using a two-foot sword he’d brought with him for the occasion.

He didn’t get that far, turning himself in to NYC police after stalking, stabbing, and killing 66-year-old can collector Timothy Caughman in midtown in a “trial run” for the planned massacre. In a jailhouse interview, he told the New York Daily News that the murder had been a mistake. He had intended to kill a “young thug” or “a successful older black man” out with a blonde, an act he somehow thought would scare “white girls” away from black men.

It’s not hard to see where Jackson picked up at least some of his noxious views. He was, he told the Daily News, a regular reader of the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer; on YouTube he subscribes to the channels of a vast assortment of alt-rightists and fellow travelers, from Hitler-worshiping revisionist “historians” who call themselves things like Esoteric Truth and the Impartial Truth to conspiracy-addled right-wingers like Alex Jones and the resolutely anti-feminist, anti-Muslim YouTube “philosopher” Stefan Molyneux.

But what is equally disturbing is that Jackson also subscribes to a vast collection of channels promoting the “Men Going Their Own Way” movement, a more radical and openly hateful version of men’s-rights activism, sans even the pretense of activism. MRAs may do precious little actual activism in the real world, but they do have a range of issues that they discuss on a regular basis, some of them legitimate issues they have seized upon largely for propaganda purposes (like male suicide and workplace safety), others generated from their own paranoid fantasies (the supposed epidemic of false rape accusations that leaves every man at risk of being jailed based on nothing more than a woman’s word).

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Who Bankrolls Breitbart News?

Amy Goodman recently spoke to Jane Mayer about Robert Mercer and his family’s bankrolling of Steve Bannon’s Breitbart News, as well as some of Bannon’s film projects. (Democracy Now!)

WikiLeaks’ Latest Leak Shows How CIA Avoids Antivirus Programs

Joe Uchill reports for The Hill:

WikiLeaks' latest leak shows how CIA avoids antivirus programsWikiLeaks released its third package of CIA documents on Friday which highlight source code used by the CIA to avoid antivirus programs.

The source code is for a tool called “Marble,” what is known as an obfuscator or packer.

Obfuscators are principally designed to jumble the execution of malware so that programs designed to spot malware have trouble determining what it is.

The Marble toolkit includes a variety of different algorithms to accomplish that task.

In its release, WikiLeaks describes the primary purpose of Marble as being to insert foreign language text into the malware to cause malware analysts to falsely attribute code to the wrong nation.

This appears to be an inaccurate description of the primary purpose of the code, however.

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Julian Assange Waits for Ecuador’s Election to Decide His Future

Esther Addley, Jonathan Watts and David Crouch report for The Guardian:

Image result for assange ecuadorFor Ecuador’s 15 million inhabitants, Sunday’s presidential election runoff will pose a fundamental question: whether to continue with a leftwing government that has reduced poverty but also brought environmental destruction and authoritarian censorship, or to take a chance on a pro-business banker who promises economic growth but is accused of siphoning money to offshore accounts.

But they are not the only ones for whom the result will be critically important. Thousands of miles away, in the country’s tiny embassy in central London, Julian Assange will be watching closely to see if his four and a half years of cramped asylum could be coming to an abrupt, enforced end.

Guillermo Lasso, the businessman and leading opposition candidate, has vowed that if he wins, the WikiLeaks founder’s time in the embassy will be up. Lasso has said he would “cordially ask Señor Assange to leave within 30 days of assuming a mandate”, because his presence in the Knightsbridge embassy was a burden on Ecuadorian taxpayers.

 

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The Odds Against Antiwar Warriors

Andrew J. Bacevich reviews War Against War: The American Fight for Peace 1914–1918 by Michael Kazin for The American Conservative:

Image result for War Against War: The American Fight for Peace 1914–1918slog, but not without rewards: that’s what best describes this account of Americans who opposed U.S. participation in the European War of 1914–1918. While Michael Kazin, a historian of progressive bent who teaches at Georgetown University, tells an important story, his book suffers from a want of zip. The narrative meanders. The prose lacks sparkle. Still, for the patient reader, War Against War offers much to reflect upon.

Kazin’s subject is what he calls “the largest, most diverse, and most sophisticated peace coalition” to that point in all U.S. history. Not until the Vietnam War a half-century later would there be an antiwar movement “as large, as influential, and as tactically adroit.”

Perhaps so, but the American peace coalition that flourished a century ago failed abysmally. It succeeded neither in keeping the country out of the war nor in insulating the home front from war’s corrosive effects once the U.S. eventually intervened.

In what was not even remotely a contest of equals, the forces favoring war proved overwhelming. An approach to “neutrality” that mortgaged American prosperity to Anglo-French victory fostered decidedly unneutral attitudes on Wall Street and in Washington. Ultimately, however, arguments for staying out of war fell prey to vast ideological pretensions. As the stalemate on the Western Front dragged on, more and more Americans succumbed to the conviction that Providence was summoning the United States to save Civilization itself. Foremost among those Americans was President Woodrow Wilson.

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Aiding Saudi Arabia’s Slaughter in Yemen

Gareth Porter recently to Dennis J Bernstein of Consortium News:

Saudi Arabia continues to escalate its war against Yemen, relying on the strong support of the U.S. government even as the poverty-stricken Yemenis are pushed toward starvation, according to investigative reporter/historian Gareth Porter.

Porter says the U.S. corporate press has failed to report the Saudi slaughter in a way in which it could be fully understood.

I spoke with Porter, an independent investigative journalist who wrote  Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare and whose articles on Yemen include “Justifying the Saudi Slaughter in Yemen.”

Dennis Bernstein: Is Saudi Arabia using starvation as a weapon of war against Yemen where there is mass hunger bordering on a famine? Gareth Porter has been writing extensively about this for Consortiumnews and other sources. I want to … begin with a bit of an overview because a lot of people don’t really understand the level of suffering, and the situation in Yemen. So, just give us a brief overview of what it’s like on the ground now. How bad is it? And then I want to talk to you about this new policy about starvation as a weapon.

Gareth Porter: Sure. Well, unfortunately the way this war in Yemen has been covered, thus far, with a few exceptions, of course, the public does have the impression that this is a war in which a few thousand Yemenis have been killed, and therefore, it’s kind of second to third tier, in terms of wars in the Middle East. Because people are aware that Syria is one in which hundreds of thousands of people have died. So, and I think that’s the frame that most people have on the conflict in Yemen.

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Obama’s Foreign Policy Was a Mess, Trump’s Is Even Worse

Michael Brendan Dougherty writes for The Week:

Image result for Obama's Foreign Policy Was a Mess, Trump's Is Even WorsePresident Trump is barely two months into his term, and already he’s on course to make the foreign policy mistakes of the Obama administration much, much worse. Instead of cutting American losses in unwinnable situations, moving toward retrenchment, and re-assessing America’s long war in the Middle East, the Trump administration seems to be taking bigger gambles in operations, loosening the rules of engagement for the military, and doubling down on conflicts that only have the most marginal relation to core U.S. interests.

It’s a bitter result for those who hoped that a candidate opposed by most foreign policy hawks would turn out to be a dove as president. But getting to a more peaceful and restrained foreign policy was always going to be a problem for Trump. As a candidate, Trump was always of two minds on foreign policy. Non-interventionists and other peaceniks hoped that Trump would lean toward his conviction that the United States has been fighting dumb wars for years, and that these wars resulted in gains for our enemies and enormous costs in blood and treasure for America.

But candidate Trump didn’t just criticize our leaders for their impulsiveness and stupidity. He also lambasted them as weaklings who followed politically correct rules and had lost the will to achieve victory. He said that’s he’d bring back worse than waterboarding, and that he wouldn’t rule out nuclear weapons. He would “knock the hell out of” the Islamic State, and we would win wars again.

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3,330 Killed in Iraq During March

Margaret Griffis reports for Antiwar:

Image result for iraq mapAt least 3,330 people were killed during March, and another 929 were wounded. These figures are a very conservative estimate of the casualties occurring in Iraq. The true figures could be hundreds or even thousands higher. The government has refused to give any honest figures; however, there is evidence that the numbers are being underreported.

According to news reports, at least 1,126 civilians, 104 security personnel, three Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.) guerrillas, and 2,097 militants were killed during March. Another 798 civilians, 82 security personnel, and 49 militants were reported wounded. The figures add up to 3,330 killed and 929 wounded. During February, at least 2,748 people were killed and 1,224 were wounded in the conflict.

These estimates are unsurprisingly low, with the possible exception of Islamic State fatalities. Because there is little to no independent reporting from behind enemies, it is unclear if these figures are valid. The Iraqi government could be elevating the number of militant fatalities for propaganda purposes. Or, the numbers may be accurate, but the dead may include civilians, such as militant wives and children.

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