TABACCO: What is the No. 1 Trick in the Sophists’ PLAYBOOK? “Ignore the message; focus on the messenger!”
In the `1960s, the Mainstream Media (MSM) spread the story that Martin Luther King, Jr., was cavorting with other women, not named Coretta. This ‘Strategy’ was meant to discredit King in the eyes of the Public, particularly Blacks, and thereby ignore his Message.
It matters NOT whether the ‘Story’ was True or Not; what is important is the MESSAGE, NOT THE MESSENGER!
Blacks did not follow MLK because he was ‘Holy’; we followed him because we believed he would lead us to the PROMISED LAND!
Had we listened to the ‘Sophists’ Trickery No. 1’, the Civil Rights Movement itself would have been derailed.
Whenever Jews or Israelis are verbally challenged and accused of Abominations, what is the usual response? “ANTISEMITISM!”
Ed Koch was one of the Prime Practitioners of this variation of Sophists’ Trickery No. 1. It mattered not that Ed himself was being questioned, not the Jewish Religion. Ed defended himself, not by answering the Charge, but by name-calling – ANTISEMITE! Ed pretended Judaism was under Attack, not himself! See how that works!
There are a plethora of Examples of this ‘Sophists’ Trickery No. 1’, but I won’t enumerate them all here and now.
“AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM” Or
Published: September 11, 2013 479 Comments
MOSCOW — President Vladimir V. Putin has been many things to President Obama: a partner at times, an irritant more often, the host of the elusive Edward J. Snowden and “the bored kid in the back of the classroom” who offered so little on the administration’s foreign policy goals that Mr. Obama canceled plans to hold a summit meeting in Moscow last week.
Yet suddenly Mr. Putin has eclipsed Mr. Obama as the world leader driving the agenda in the Syria crisis. He is offering a potential, if still highly uncertain, alternative to what he has vocally criticized as America’s militarism and reasserted Russian interests in a region where it had been marginalized since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Although circumstances could shift yet again, Mr. Putin appears to have achieved several objectives, largely at Washington’s expense. He has handed a diplomatic lifeline to his longtime ally in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad, who not long ago appeared at risk of losing power and who President Obama twice said must step down. He has stopped Mr. Obama from going around the United Nations Security Council, where Russia holds a veto, to assert American priorities unilaterally.
More generally, Russia has at least for now made itself indispensable in containing the conflict in Syria, which Mr. Putin has argued could ignite Islamic unrest around the region, even as far as Russia’s own restive Muslim regions, if it is mismanaged. He has boxed Mr. Obama into treating Moscow as an essential partner for much of the next year, if Pentagon estimates of the time it will take to secure Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile are accurate.
“Putin probably had his best day as president in years yesterday”, Ian Bremmer, the president of Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy, said in a conference call on Wednesday, “and I suspect he’s enjoying himself right now.”
In an Op-Ed article in The New York Times released on Wednesday, Mr. Putin laid down a strong challenge to Mr. Obama’s vision of how to address the turmoil, arguing that a military strike risked “spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders” and would violate international law, undermining postwar stability.
“It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States,” Mr. Putin wrote. “Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it.”
When Mr. Putin returned to the presidency a year ago, he moved aggressively to stamp out a growing protest movement and silence competing and independent voices. He shored up his position at home but, as his government promoted nationalism with a hostile edge, passed antigay legislation, locked up illegal immigrants in a city camp, kept providing arms to the Syrian government and ultimately gave refuge to the leaker Mr. Snowden, Mr. Putin was increasingly seen in the West as a calloused, out-of-touch modern-day czar.
Now he appears to be relishing a role as a statesman. His spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, said in an interview that the Russian president was not seeking “ownership of the initiative,” but wanted only to promote a political solution to head off a wider military conflict in the Middle East.
“It’s only the beginning of the road,” Mr. Peskov said, “but it’s a very important beginning.”
To get started, Mr. Putin sent his foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, to Geneva on Thursday to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry, in hopes of hammering out the myriad logistical details of putting a sprawling network of chemical sites under international control in the middle of a deadly civil war.
Even that step was another indication of just how much the circumstances have changed in such a short time. Only a week ago, Mr. Putin was accusing Mr. Kerry of lying to Congress about the presence of militants allied with Al Qaeda in Syria. “He’s lying”, he said in televised remarks. “And he knows he’s lying. It’s sad.”
TABACCO: See, folks! The proper course here is for Mr. Kerry to answer the Charge, not for the NY Times to undermine President Putin in order to make Kerry’s response unnecessary. [Sophists’ Trickery No. 1]
On Wednesday, when Russia submitted a package of proposals to the Americans and others ahead of that meeting in Geneva, Mr. Peskov again used the opportunity to try to paint Russia as the peacemaker to the United States’ war maker. Mr. Peskov declined to release details of the plan, other than to say Russia’s most important condition was that Syria’s willingness to give up its weapons could only be tested if the United States refrained from the retaliation Mr. Obama has threatened. “Any strike will make this impossible,” Mr. Peskov said.
From the start of the war two and a half years ago, Russia has been Syria’s strongest backer, using its veto repeatedly to block any meaningful action at the Security Council. While Russia has ties to the country dating to the Soviet era, including its only naval base left outside of the former Soviet republics, Mr. Putin’s primary goal is not preserving Mr. Assad’s government — despite arms sales that account for billions of dollars — as much as thwarting what he considers to be unbridled American power to topple governments it opposes.
Mr. Putin’s defense of Syria, including continuing assertions that the rebels, not government forces, had used chemical weapons, has at times made him seem intent on opposing the United States regardless of any contrary facts or evidence. Russia has long had the support of China at the Security Council, but Mr. Putin had won support for his position by exploiting the divisions that appeared between the United States and its allies. That was especially true after Britain’s Parliament refused to endorse military action, a step Mr. Putin described as mature.
He also slyly voiced encouragement when leaders of Russia’s Parliament suggested they go to the United States to lobby Congress to vote against the authorization Mr. Obama sought — something he himself would deride as unacceptable interference if the table were reversed.
Mr. Putin’s palpable hostility to what he views as the supersized influence of the United States around the world explains much of the anti-American sentiment that he and his supporters have stoked since he returned as president last year after serving four years as prime minister under his anointed successor, Dmitri A. Medvedev. It was under Mr. Medvedev that Russia abstained in a Security Council vote to authorize the NATO intervention in Libya that ultimately toppled that country’s dictator, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi. Mr. Putin has made it clear that he would not repeat what most here consider a mistake that unleashed a wave of extremism that has spread across the region.
For now, Mr. Putin succeeded in forcing the international debate over Syria back to the Security Council, where Russia’s veto gives it a voice in any international response. With Russia’s relations with Europe increasingly strained over economic pressure and political issues, the Security Council gives Russia a voice in shaping geopolitics.
At the same time, Mr. Putin carries the risk of Russia again having to veto any security resolution that would back up the international control over Syria’s weapons with the threat of force, as France proposed.
Not surprisingly, given the Kremlin’s control over most media here, Mr. Putin’s 11th-hour gambit was nonetheless widely applauded. “The Russian president has become a hero in the world these days,” the newscast of NTV began on Wednesday night before going on to note that Mr. Putin should be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize if he averted the American strike.
There was also satisfaction that it was Mr. Putin, who gave an American president whom he clearly distrusts a way out of a political and diplomatic crisis of his own making. Aleksei K. Pushkov, the chairman of the lower house of Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, wrote on Twitter that Mr. Obama should gratefully grab Russia’s proposal with “both hands.”
“It gives him a chance not to start another war, not to lose in the Congress and not to become the second Bush”, Mr. Pushkov said.
Andrew Roth contributed reporting from Moscow, and Rick Gladstone from New York.
A version of this article appears in print on September 12, 2013, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: As Obama Pauses Action, Putin Takes Center Stage.
TABACCO: Did you note anything in the previous NY Times Article, which in any way responds to President Putin’s charges despite Putin’s obvious SINNER STATUS? Why do you think that is? Is NY Times writer, Andrew Roth suffering from an eye disease, or do you think he’s illiterate or stupid?
OR do you think he is merely your everyday RUN-OF-THE-MILL Sophist?
By VLADIMIR V. PUTIN
Published: September 11, 2013
MOSCOW — RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.
Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.
The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades.
No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.
The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.
Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country. There are few champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government. The United States State Department has designated Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the opposition, as terrorist organizations. This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world.
Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali. This threatens us all.
From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.
No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.
It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan “you’re either with us or against us.”
But force has proved ineffective and pointless. Afghanistan is reeling, and no one can say what will happen after international forces withdraw. Libya is divided into tribes and clans. In Iraq the civil war continues, with dozens killed each day. In the United States, many draw an analogy between Iraq and Syria, and ask why their government would want to repeat recent mistakes.
No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect.
The world reacts by asking: if you cannot count on international law, then you must find other ways to ensure your security. Thus a growing number of countries seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction. This is logical: if you have the bomb, no one will touch you. We are left with talk of the need to strengthen nonproliferation, when in reality this is being eroded.
We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.
A new opportunity to avoid military action has emerged in the past few days. The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government’s willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction. Judging by the statements of President Obama, the United States sees this as an alternative to military action.
I welcome the president’s interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria. We must work together to keep this hope alive, as we agreed to at the Group of 8 meeting in Lough Erne in Northern Ireland in June, and steer the discussion back toward negotiations.
If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust. It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.
My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American Exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.
Vladimir V. Putin is the president of Russia.
A version of this op-ed appears in print on September 12, 2013, on page A31 of the New York edition with the headline: A Plea for Caution From Russia.
TABACCO: I republished the Times Articles in reverse order so that Putin’s words would be fresh in your minds from this point on rather than the Sophists’ Trickery No. 1 efforts of the Times in the first republished Article.
If the New York Times takes the Lead in perpetuating ‘Sophists’ Trickery No. 1’, is it not understandable why CNN, CBS and the ‘Rest of the MSM Gang’ would follow the New York Times example and lead!
ANALYSIS OF ‘AMERICAN
America does not export Democracy – America exports Capitalism and its many Failures & Favoritism of the Elite for every country to emulate.
Capitalism is the Tool of Choice to separate the Rich Elite from the masses. Capitalism puts the eras of Kings & Queens, Pharaohs, Sultans, Potentates, Tsars, Shahs & lesser Royals and Mercantilism to shame when it comes to sweeping up the bulk of Money and Assets to those at the Very Top of each Disciple Country’s Economic & Social Pyramid, while forcing the bottom 95% to bow, scrape and grovel for whatever “trickles down” from on high.
To add Insult to Injury, these Elitists propagandize us to revere Capitalism – the Real Source of the People’s Economic woes – while concurrently parroting their denigration of any form of Socialism although Capitalists themselves deploy Corporate Socialism (“Too Big To Fails”) whenever they screw themselves as well as ‘We The People’ – that occurs about every 10-years. Even Capitalists cannot survive without SOCIALISM!
But in hard times when Elitists get government subsidies, handouts and favor, these Elitists and their Political Puppets cut Entitlements for the Masses and force US to stick to Failing Capitalism, while they Enjoy the Benefits of CORPORATE SOCIALISM!
Never forget that Entitlements are for the Middleclass and Poor – Rich men do not live until their next paycheck, until the Social Security or Unemployment Check arrives or drive used cars. When George W. Bush used to speak to his audience and the TV camera and use the all-inclusive “your money”, he only spoke to Haves and Have-Mores – you just dumbly assumed he was talking to you! He wasn’t! “ASS-U-ME”!
When those poor slobs rally against ObamaCare for a mere 30 pieces of copper, they rail against their own best interests. The Rich will get their Healthcare – as if they really needed it! Only the Insurance Industry, among the Elite, gives a flying fu_k about ObamaCare. Without it, only you and I (the little guys) will suffer!
Democracy is a Myth! One man, one vote is a joke! In America MONEY BEGATS MONEY! Voters vote their Prejudices and their Ignorances, not their own best interests!
Yes, it is possible to rise up in America, but that is the EXCEPTION, NOT THE RULE! Perhaps that is what is meant by “American Exceptionalism”!
Nobody is without Blame on this planet! Not Ed Koch, not the Jews, not the Israelis, not the Christians, not the Muslims, not the Atheists, not the MSM, not Americans, not President Obama, not President Putin, not the Russians, not you, not I, etc. etc…..
“Let him, who is without Sin,
cast the first stone”
– Jesus Christ said that! He was deploying his own brand of Sophistry. If we adhered to that Advice, there would be NO JUDGES, NO JURIES, NO COURTS & NO SOCIETY! No potential Judge or potential Jurist is ‘without sin’! And certainly NO EXECUTIONER!
Jesus was NOT dumb, but he was NOT above using Sophistry himself when it suited his own purposes. Jesus had to deal with Sophists 24×7 so he knew how!
Hell, I use it too sometimes. When I do, I presume that most Readers won’t spot my own Hypocrisy! That Strategy has worked brilliantly for me without incident for 8-years now! I have been challenged, but not on one of my own Hypocrisies! Hypocrisy is NOT always easy to spot! And so far, I have been smart enough or lucky enough to get away with it just like the MSM has and is doing.
June 6, 2013, e-mail to Tabacco from David Sirota:
Is American Exceptionalism Always Desirable?
** June 7, 2013
FYI: Attached is my syndicated column running in newspapers across the country. It looks at the notion of “American exceptionalism” – and whether we should always want to be so exceptional. – D
Rethinking American Exceptionalism (http://www.salon.com/2013/06/07/american_exceptionalism_is_nothing_to_brag_about/)
The U.S. can’t guarantee its citizens healthcare — but it can execute them without due process
By David Sirota
Creators Syndicate, 6/7/13
http://www.salon.com/2013/06/07/american_exceptionalism_is_nothing_to_brag_about/“American exceptionalism” is perhaps the most misunderstood phrase in politics. If, like the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, we define “exceptionalism” as “the condition of being different from the norm” – then it’s certainly true that America is exceptional. But we rarely stop to ask: Should we always want to be exceptional?
The assumption in our culture is yes – but it’s not always so clear-cut when you consider the key ways we are exceptional in comparison to other industrialized countries.
America, for instance, has an exceptional economy. GDP-wise, it is the largest in the world, making it the planet’s most powerful engine of technological innovation and wealth creation. At the same time, the economy is exceptional for creating the industrialized world’s most financially unequal society; producing one of the industrialized world’s highest rates of childhood poverty; and mandating the industrialized world’s least amount of off time (paid sick days, maternity leave, etc.).
In terms of health care, we have an exceptional system that stands out for spending more than any other nation’s. According to the Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner, that gets us a system that “is at the top of the charts when it comes to surviving cancer (and) drives much of the innovation and research on health care worldwide.”
Then again, America’s health care system is also exceptional for being the only one in the industrialized world that doesn’t guarantee health care to every citizen. Results-wise, that contributes to a society that, according to a recent National Academy of Sciences report, is far more unhealthy than 16 other developed nations.
“Americans have been dying at younger ages than people in almost all other high-income countries,” the report noted. “Not only are their lives shorter, but Americans also have a longstanding pattern of poorer health that is strikingly consistent and pervasive over the life course.”
In terms of freedom, even with the post-9/11 crackdown on civil liberties, America remains exceptional for how our laws safeguard free speech. But we are also exceptional for having the industrialized world’s only president who asserts the right to execute citizens without due process. Similarly, we are exceptional in incarcerating more citizens than any other nation on Earth.
In terms of military might, America is exceptional for having the planet’s most dominant fighting force. We are also exceptional for our spending – we devote more resources to military programs than the next 19 biggest-spending nations combined. And compared to the rest of the industrialized world, we are exceptional in the number of ongoing wars we prosecute; the amount of people we kill; and the amount of casualties we regularly incur.
So, again, in many ways America is indeed quite exceptional. But that’s not always a positive thing, which raises the ultimate question: Is there a way to remain exceptional in ways that benefit us while also being a bit less exceptional in the ways that harm us and others?
Can, for instance, we have an exceptional economy without the exceptionally crushing inequality and poverty? Can we preserve the exceptional parts of our health care system, but also have a system that is less exceptional for how it denies access to all citizens and often delivers substandard health outcomes? Can we preserve exceptional freedoms while also being a less exceptional in our incarceration policies? And can we preserve an exceptionally effective military but be a little less exceptional in how much we spend on the Pentagon, how many wars we initiate, how many casualties we incur and how many people we kill?
The pessimistic answer to these questions is no. But the true sign of American exceptionalism is an America that starts saying yes.
David Sirota is the best-selling author of the books “Hostile Takeover,” “The Uprising” and “Back to Our Future.” E-mail him at email@example.com (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) , follow him on Twitter @davidsirota or visit his website at www.davidsirota.com (http://www.davidsirota.com/).
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Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.
Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!
In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.
T.A.B.A.C.C.O. (Truth About Business And Congressional Crimes Organization) – Think Tank For Other 95% Of World: WTP = We The People