Thom Hartmann Interviews Max Blumenthal

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Zionism & Israel’s war with Hamas: A conversation with Max Blumenthal RT — The Big Picture

There’s no transcript for the above linked-to video in which Thom Hartmann interviews Max Blumenthal. At some future time, when I have the time and energy, I’ll possibly review the video and take notes so that I can offer you something here. In the meantime, I’ll just note that the interview is largely about the situation in Gaza and focusses mainly on the recent 2014 assault on Gaza by Israel. (And I’ll present my online, disappeared, comment below.) The Israelis named that latest mass murder “Operation Protective Edge” (which Max says is also called “Strong Cliff”). The interview was essentially a review of Max’s book, titled “The 51 Day War – Ruin And Resistance In Gaza.” Anyone who cares about Palestinians and human rights needs to read Max’s book. Max is actually in Gaza for some time during the assault. He, and his friend Dan Cohen, bravely set out to see for themselves what was going on and to interview the besieged Gazans. If you don’t choke up reading this account, then you’re not human.

I commented about the show, once I figured out how to register, but the comment never appeared. The following is my online comment, in its original typo-ridden form, in response to the above linked-to post:

Well, I’ve read Max from time to time. His reportage on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is important. I just did a blog post that used material from books I have, two which I’m still reading, by Noam Chomsky, Illan Pappé and Max. The book I’m reading by Max is his recent book, “The 51 Day War.” We can learn much from all of those people.

But when Max, who clearly is aware of the great game, suggests that Israel doesn’t have the same degree of support in the US as it had, I am not sure he’s on the right track. As Chomsky and others note, Israel is the US’s stationary aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean (along with Saudi Arabian, Turkey and Egypt). When Western journos talk about Israel as being a Western democratic outpost in the Middle East, they are right about the outpost part of it. Of course, the West, including the compliant, corporate owned, media are going to call Israel democratic, even while the Knesset passes a law (2010) that requires (‘future’ citizens, unlike the original form of this law which would have included present and future citizens of Israel) to swear an oath of loyalty to the ‘Jewish’ state. But if you had democracy in the Middle East and in the wider region, then the US would be asked to get the hell out, which we can’t have. That’s why we can’t have democracy there, not even within Israel’s grand jail called Gaza, where Hamas won an election that the Congressional Research Service called “free and fair,” as Max recounts in his book. Of course, Western journos all report that Arabs see Iran as the big threat in the region. But they shamelessly ignored the Arab main street and reported what the Arab people’s traitorous leaders want.

The US, playing its great game – of domination of the planet, which requires it to be vigilant to prevent the rise of any bloc, such as a Eurasian bloc that includes, naturally, Russia – that might have the power to go its own way (outside of the Washington Consensus), has encircled Russian and China. Recklessly. Ukraine could go very wrong, and hasn’t gone entirely right for the US. It’s pushed Russian to accelerate positive programs within its borders, including re-industrialization, while it grows closer to China. Readers here can check out Natylie Baldwin’s and Kermit Heartsong’s “Ukraine – Zbig’s Grand Chessboard & How The West Was Checkmated,” to get much good information about all of this. (I have some issues with the book, but its an awesome resource.)

Israel is essentially a base. As others have noted, Israeli leaders long ago decided to embrace alliance with the US and the West rather than pursue peace with its Arab neighbors and rather than treat its Palestinian charges with fairness and compassion. It’s only gone downhill since then. Illan Pappé bemoans the way leaders in Israel (like elsewhere, including the Ukraine, where Jews would not be welcome) have poisoned the minds of the youth of Israel. They’ve become bloodthirsty, racist monsters who see ‘all’ Palestinians as combatants worthy of destruction.

Max misses the fact that the Israel, however disrespected its leaders may be in some circles in Washington, is an important component in its great game. That won’t change until a higher power puts an end to that game and the greater game that its part of, namely the godless game of ‘riches for the strongest’.

I’m also not keen on Max’s characterization of the recent slaughter of Gazans as a war. Is it bravado? Is it Max’s attempt to honor Gazans, Hamas and the Qassam Brigade’s principled, brave approach to resistance? That wouldn’t be too bad, but I think Max needs to be clear about it because there’s a downside to employing that characterization. It’s precisely the characterization that Israel and it’s supporters use to evade the charge of having committed crimes in it’s slaughters of Palestinians. However brave and principled the Qassam Brigages are, they are still part of a people who are occupied. Israel actually has, legally, responsibilities toward the Gazans, as an occupied people. And that’s what makes it’s assaults major crimes. Take that context away and you have a weaker narrative.

RT 3

I emailed RT about my disappeared post. I received no reply. A couple weeks later, I emailed RT again, specifically about their commenting feature. I had popped into the site again to have a look around. I checked the comments attached to the Blumenthal interview. There was no change and only one comment. Hmmm. Anyway, Another show caught my attention. It was about Russia bashing. It was so so. I thought I’d add a comment and so I registered again, since I seemed to have lost my computer-generated password for the site. Again, I didn’t know whether it was me or RT, but I couldn’t figure out how to change my password and that’s when I decided to email RT again.

I asked whether I could change my password or not. To my dismay, I cannot. RT has attitude, like those who attack it and Russia. And that’s because Russia and RT are a part of the wild beast of corporatocracy and don’t have God’s blessing. That’s how it works. RT seems fine (relatively), but its not angelic. I’ll still visit it and I’ll still denounce those opportunists who attack RT because they want to curry favor with the US, which plays its great game and is ramping up Cold War II, which involves promoting, via lies and propaganda, hatred of Russia, which in turn involves rhetoric about evil communists and the Russian plot to expand and take over the world. Opportunists like Michael Weiss and Peter Pomerantsev are happy to trade in this Orwellian, provocative cold war thinking and language because they have surveyed the geopolitical landscape, know the score in that regard and they see an opportunity to get attention and make money by siding with uncle Sam in his contest with Russia (and China). They therefore act accordingly.

My email exchange with someone (whose first language isn’t English, I would wager) follows. First, You’ll see the reply from someone at RT. Then you’ll see my email to RT, which he (or…) replied to, below that:


Unfortenately you can’t change the password, but you can get a new one

About comments, we don’t delete them for political, personal or any other reasons.
We have some rules for posting comments on our web site (, you should read them before you post your comment.
Your comment may be no offensive (it’s only one of the rules), but if it breaks other rules it will be delete.

Best regards,
RT team

От: Arrbyy . [my email address]
Отправлено: 9 ноября 2015 г. 14:59
Тема: Gatekeepers?

I attempted to register with RT a few weeks ago. I was looking for info about Max Blumenthal, whose book “The 51 Day War” I had just read. I found an interview of him by Thom Hartmann. I then thought I’d toss in a comment. I had a hard time registering, partly because it’s not clear that a couple of separate emails will be sent, with a password only in the second email. Then I found that there is no way to change the password. Either that, or the participant’s settings is not easy to find. I can’t find it. I’ll keep my machine generated password until I can change it to something I’ll remember.

If you can clue me in here that would be great.

Also, I’ve already emailed you about my disappeared comment, in connection with the Hartmann interview of Max Blumenthal. I received no response and have decided to blog about it. I don’t know whether that’s RT or gatekeepers ( within RT. It doesn’t change the fact that my polite, uncontroversial (I would think) comment was disappeared. I have a section on my blog dealing with disappeared posts. That’s what my first comment to RT now is, officially. I will publicize the fact that my comment (which I will include in my post) to RT was disappeared because that’s what I do. If you want to say something about it, that’s fine. I’m all ears. I only mention it to you, in this email, because I happen to be emailing you about my password problem.

Thanks in advance.

[my name]


RT doesn’t, as my email correspondent notes, ‘delete comments for political, personal or any other reasons’, but that only means something if they don’t also have a long list of ‘do nots’ that they explain ‘can’ lead to the deletion of your post or posts. The list is so long that it would be the easiest thing in the world for someone to find a reason to disappear any post, no matter how polite or what the content is. Your post can be deleted for complaining about a deleted post! That’s attitude, plain and simple. Your post can also be disappeared for containing standalone links. That isn’t explained, but I assume that what is meant is standalone links that are not related to the comment you make. I sometimes throw in links, outside of the main body of my comment, when I post comments online. But they are always related to the comment or subject I’m commenting on.

You get the reputation you give yourself, in the long run. Here’s RT’s commenting rules, which my friend told me I should read:

Posting rules

The spirit of our ‘Question more’ motto should guide your stance towards online etiquette, posting, and people protocols. We encourage you to share views, express opinions, agree and disagree with others, discuss and debate.

We expect you to do so in a civilized manner and respect the rights of others to views and beliefs that are not yours. RT retains the right to delete or edit any comments we deem detrimental to discussion or which violate site protocol.

Posting protocol

Your post will be deleted if it is

rude, insulting, a personal attack, abusive, derogatory or defamatory, sexual in nature

Your post will be deleted for containing

hate speech; racist, sexist, homophobic slurs; if it is discriminatory
incitement; advocates violence, public disorder or criminal behavior
profanity (as well as attempts to bypass profanity filters by substituting letters with symbols for instance), crude language
pornographic text or web links
spam, self-promotion, advertisements
messages pertaining to hacking, cracking, warez or other illegal activities
copyright material posted without permission
complaints about your posts being deleted
any privacy violation whatsoever

RT may delete comments if they are:

written in any language other than English
repetitive, duplicates
incoherent, inconsistent with what is considered normal writing
irrelevant to the story, post, video, image
meaningless, contain stand-alone links
written by individuals with inappropriate usernames
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quoting a message violating any of the above mentioned rules

Opinions and information contained in the comments belong to the authors of the comments. While RT strives to keep all objectionable messages off the site, it will not be held responsible for the content of comments posted by users. If you come across a comment that you think should be brought to the attention of the moderators, please use the feedback form to share your concerns.

These rules are subject to change without prior notice. Serial offenders will be banned from posting the comments. By posting your messages on this site you give RT permission to publish/reproduce them on the website or in other media platforms.

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