News Blues IV

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Dear readers,

It is Friday again and that means it is time for the News Blues. Though due to the rainy weather in Berlin it would be rather time for some proper Blues music.

Anyway, we will start off with a quote by Hanna Arendt, published in 1978 by the New York Review of books and originating from an interview from 1974. And her point about lies is more valid than ever:

“The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. On the receiving end you get not only one lie—a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days—but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.”

By the way, it is good to see that a civilized discussion started between Roy Gutman and some of his critics in The Nation. It is also nice to see that both sides refer to my blog to and a critical article I wrote together with Michael Cruickshank. Sadly though Gutman`s critics take on more a role of “emotional” Pro-Kurdish activists than “neutral” journalists – and Gutman himself repeats some of his claims without new facts. But the discussion is at least a start.

Covering a similar topic the Rolling Stones has published an in-depth reportage on the foreign fighters supporting the YPG in Syria – definitely a must read: LINK

One of the main trendy topics in the last days was the case of Milo Yiannopoulos, the “devils advocate” of the alt-right movement. After statements from him surfaced where he supposedly defended pedophilia the conservative right dropped him like a hot potato. Which is in itself a bit moronic as they defended him as long has he only slurred out antisemitic, racist or misogynistic phrases – it seems the conservative right has a high tolerance for these kind of ideologies.

Dale Baren wrote on Medium an in-depth article on the 4chan culture and where the alt-right first arose: LINK

Angela Nagle tried to pinpoint where the alt-right movement borrowed their left wing aesthetics and tries to show the problems with that at the Jacobin Magazine: LINK

And Laurie Penny took on the job to ride with the “Milo Bus” for some time to get an insight into his supporters: LINK

This all culminates in an article throwing a spotlight on the rise of right wing terrorism in the US itself, fueled by the alt-right and the reemergence of the traditional white supremacist movement: LINK

But lets move to another topic – radical Islam and several strange or revealing cases involving the US, former East-European special forces as well as women joining the Jihad:

Ishaan Tharoor shows how the Taliban indoctrinates kids via schoolbooks which where payed by the US during the Cold War: LINK

Than there is the really eerie case an elite “Blackwater” styled group of former Soviet Union fighters who now train Jihadist all around the world: LINK

And in the ongoing series “crisis and conflicts” Flora Bagenal takes an in-depth look on the different ways women are affected by Islamist radicalization – as victims as well as perpetrators: LINK

And to shift to yet another topic let’s move on to Russia and two very strange cases indeed: Ali Watkins writes about “The Strange Case Of The Russian Diplomat Who Got His Head Smashed In On Election Day”: LINK

And Ben Farmer works on the reconstruction on Russia`s deadly plot to stop Montenegro from embracing the West: LINK

This should be enough reading material to bring you through the weekend. And I hope to see you all again next week again! Stay safe and peaceful out there wishes your

Benjamin Hiller

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