A tweetable state of the mess in the middle east

Syria today: rogue actors like Iran, Russia, ISIS & the Assad regime commit countless war crimes on a daily basis. The international community (UN…) supports them not only diplomatically. Some of them, like the USA, are responsible for war crimes, too.

There’s no worse term than ‘the war on terror’. It’s abused to slaughter & displace millions of peaceful people, mostly sunni muslims, with impunity - not only in the middle east. It created the so-called ‘refugee crisis’.

In fact, today the label ‘war on terror’ stands for ruthless state terrorism carried out by tyrants as well as international powers against the people of Syria, Iraq, … for the sole purpose of fighting their desire for freedom and dignity.

All major world powers, especially the USA, Russia, China … as well as most EU countries, directly and/or indirectly support, arm and train terrorist organizations like Hezbollah or PKK. None of these states developed a sane strategy against terrorism.

One can’t defeat terrorists by making (tactical) use of other terrorists. It makes no sense to support Hezbollah & PKK (Russia, USA) against ISIS. Substitution of a terrorist occupation force in any area only creates even more militants from the ranks of the oppressed people.

It’s very important to understand that the root cause for terrorism is oppression, not ideology, and especially not religion. Arab tyrants, installed post-colonialism, backed by all countries ‘for the sake of stability’ since then, created the bloody mess in the middle east.

When the Iranian mullahs installed a terrorist regime, not better or perhaps even worse than Arab tyrannies in the region, and began to intervene in their neighbors internal affairs, they added sectarianism to the cooking pot of animosities in the middle east.

Naturally, local resistance against Arab tyrants spilled over into western countries over time, because those countries were rightfully recognized as guarantors and supporters of the Arab tyrants, and a zionist apartheid regime (another oppressor) installed by them.

The Iranian mullahs, shia muslims, were delighted to support (even sunni) militant movements all across the planet, because creating chaos and power vacuums fits their evil agenda, allowing them to sneak in and dominate foreign countries via proxies.

There’s no such thing as a democracy in the middle east. Not even in Israel, where the children and grandchildren of an oppressed european minority who were faced with a genocide brutally oppress the Palestinians. The whole region is ruled by fascists.

The closest thing to democracy in the middle east are the local coordination committees and local councils elected in liberated towns and villages in Syria. On this level, each leader’s performance is monitored on a daily basis, by the people she/he rules.

A leader not acting in the very best interest of the people gets challenged, and, eventually, replaced by the people if necessary. This process is defined in and ruled by Islamic law, and such decisions are carried out without harming anyone except possibly convicted criminals.

Because such local self-government works that well, even in a war-economy since 2011, it’s a major threat to the nation’s tyrant, Bashar al-Assad, as well as to all rulers in the middle east and their foreign backers.

Imagine those local councils gather on a regional level (governorate) to elect regional leaders. Next the governorate’s people representatives could elect a national leadership, or even call for nationwide fair elections. D’oh!

Each and every Arab tyrant as well as all his international backers must avoid such a scenario at all costs. A middle east ruled by the will of its population would threaten the profits of international (oil) companies, which fund the tyrants.

That’s why all the world’s countries let the Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad and his Iranian and Russian allies continue the genocide, which killed at least one million, wounded millions more, and displaced at least 11 million Syrians, many of them to foreign countries.

That’s why world powers like the USA and Russia literally invent so-called terrorist groups, locating those in the liberated areas of Syria, in order to have an excuse to bomb the civilians out of their homes, forcing them to flee Syria or waste away in IDP camps.

Each and every IDP or refugee is a win for Bashar al-Assad and Iran, assisting their demographic re-engineering towards a tyrant-ruled Syria without any opposition. Gazillions of Iranians and shia foreigners already took over properties of displaced natives.

Every society includes (fundamentalist) extremists, by the way America and Europe way more than Syria. Extremists ain’t good at all. In case of Syria, very few extremists on the ground are used by foreign powers to label the whole Syrian society extremist.

Labelling the whole liberated areas of Syria as ‘al-Qaeda land’ is not only plain wrong. It’s an attempt to criminalize the peaceful Syrian people who want to get rid of a brutal tyranny by all means necessary.

The tyrant Bashar al-Assad waged a war on the Syrian people peacefully calling for freedom and dignity. His regime shot protesters, deploying tanks, air force, and even chemical weapons against protesting civilians.

No wonder most of the Syrian army defected, turning their weapons against the regime to protect the Syrian people. Assad imported foreign terrorists like Hezbollah and Iranian troops in order to crush the rebellion.

Meanwhile the former ‘Syrian Arab Army’ degenerated to a catering service serving foreign militias, most of them designated as terrorist organizations by all world powers.

Despite that, Assad’s mafia clan, who brutally runs Syria as a family farm considering all Syrians as slaves, is considered a ‘government’ by the international community. In fact, Assad’s mafia clan is an occupation force.

Assad’s mafia clan is not the sole occupation force. Meanwhile Iranian and Russian troops joined his shabiha militias in oppressing the Syrian people. Rogue states, including North Korea and Venezuela, support Assad.

The formerly peaceful Syrian movement against Assad’s terror, asking for freedom and dignity, was forced to take up arms in self-defense, such became an armed rebellion not only against a local tyrant, but an army fighting foreign occupation troops.

The peaceful movement is still alive. Each and every Friday Syrians in liberated areas come to the streets to protest against Assads’s tyranny, often killed by the bombs of Russian as well as Assad’s fighter jets and choppers throwing barrel bombs onto them.

So what’s about the extremists in Syria? They’re considered enemies by Syrians. Syrians fought countless battles against ISIS, and managed to chase them out of most liberated areas.

Assad’s regime, as well as the Russians and the Iranians fighting on Syrian soil, mostly supported ISIS in battles against free Syrians. Openly. Even today, in November 2017, Russians and Assad’s militias fight alongside ISIS terrorists against Syrian rebels in Hama.

As long as there’s an Assad regime, ISIS terrorists, as well as other extremists, will exist in Syria. As soon as there’s put an end to the Assad tyranny, those extremists will vanish, naturally, because they can’t exist without a totalitarian regime.

Unfortunately, the USA and all their allies back Russia as well as Assad in their war against the free Syrian people. It seems, the USA has an interest in prolonging such conflicts.

Also, by carpet bombing civilian neighborhoods, weddings, and even mosques in the middle east, not even trying to target terrorists but solely killing civilians, the US breeds new generations of militants hostile to the criminal US regime.

That’s done intentionally. Not even the most dumbfounded US general could believe that targeting civilians over decades could bring peace to this planet. They commit war crimes and crimes against humanity for the sole purpose of keeping their military going.

Rogue states like Russia and Iran, and most probably soon China, make the most out of the American state terrorism. They do win on the ground, enabled by an America that pretends to be their foe but is their best friend.

America is doomed. It just didn’t occur to leading American assclowns, that decades of trying the same bullshit approach over and over again won’t produce different results in each iteration.

Many millions of slaughtered muslims in the middle east pay the price for this weird American dream.

The people of the middle east ain’t solely killed by American pilots, American artillery or cruise missiles, but also by countless local extremists raised by American wars, American diplomacy, and US economic power.

As long as the current America has a presence in the middle east, enabling Arab tyrants as well as (not only) Kurdish and Shia terrorists to oppress the population, the daily killing won’t end. It will increase. It will spill over to all western countries.

May peace prevail by an imploding America caused by Trump’ish self-destruction, an imploding Russian imperialism caused by the greed of Putin’s comrades, bankruptcy of China for pissing off everyone, as well as an implosion of european power that actually never existed.

ʾIn shāʾa llāh

(Pick a quote you like and agree with, then tweet it. Thanks in advance.)

PS: I’m totally not anti-American. I suffer from a zero-bullshit-tolerance. And yes, ‘refugee crisis’ is a term as evil as ‘war on terror’. (Clarification added in response to reactions.)

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Context to my activities on social media

You might be curious why the heck a geek stops posting pamphlets on Web development, search, and whatnot in favor of supporting the revolution in a remote country in the middle east. Well, here’s the story: I do care.

Syria’s recent history

Since the coup of 1970, Assad’s mafia clan occupies Syria, operating the country like a farm and treating the Syrians like slaves. The oppression of the Syrian people is unprecedented.

The Assad clan carried out horrible massacres, for example 1982 where they killed 40,000 people in Hama for opposing the tyranny. In Assad’s dungeons, torture is the standard operation procedure. They torture to kill. These facilities produce dozens of corpses daily, each of them, and there are dozens. Don’t believe the official prisons are any better than the secret detention centers.

In March 2011 the Syrian people began to protest against the Assad regime.

After many months of peaceful protests faced with live bullets and even tank fire from Assad’s militias and the regime army, the people began to take up arms in self defense. Army and police defectors, joined by civilians, formed local Free Syrian Army brigades in order to defend the still peaceful protests against the regime’s onslaught. A few months later, they began to liberate their hometowns from Assad’s occupation.

The Syrian army (SAA), weakened by defections, supported only by hired criminal gangs (shabiha), began to crumble in 2012, losing more and more ground to the rebellion, so Assad imported Iranian, Iraqi, and Lebanese terrorist forces like Hezbollah to defend his regime.

Today the former SAA is reduced to a few thousand hardcore regime supporters, mostly from Assad’s clan (and sect), commanding tens of thousands of ‘conscripts’ captured in nightly roundups in Damascus and the coastal region, who most possibly lack any will to fight the rebellion by killing their very own people, friends, and relatives. Tens of thousands of regime supporters in fighting age fled to Turkey, Lebanon, or Europe. The pathetic remains of the SAA are led by Iranian generals now, and rebels across the country fight mostly foreign mercenaries (from various countries, mostly funded and commanded by Iran’s ‘revolutionary guards corps’ (IRGC), a terrorist entity sanctioned by UN, US, EU et al) on the battlefields.

Since the protests for freedom and dignity began in 2011, the Assad regime has killed half a million people, wounded at least another million civilians although the real figure of the injured is thought to have reached two million in 2015, and displaced at least half of the Syrian population, that is 12 million homeless people. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are besieged in the outskirts of Damascus, Homs, and elsewhere, without access to water, power, food, medicine, nor anything. In these areas especially children die by the hundreds for various reasons, most of them starve to death.

The UN stopped counting casualties early in the conflict, there are no robust stats any more so the numbers above are educated guesses. Most probably reality is worse.

Assad forces deliberately target doctors, nurses, and medical facilities, as well as all civilian infrastructure in rebel held areas from bakeries over court houses to roads, bridges and highways in order to drive people who oppose Assad out of the country.

Assad’s death squads crawl over the country killing civilian activists, journalists, elected members of local coordination committees governing liberated areas - just all people who speak out against the regime terror, but not the Daesh thugs, also known as IS, ISIL, or ISIS in the west. In fact, the Assad regime supported Daesh, a baathist organization like Assad’s official front-end, in capturing a lot of liberated territory from rebels.

In mid 2015, Assad had lost three quarters of the Syrian territory:

After Syrian rebels wiped out Daesh in Idlib, Hama and most of Aleppo in January 2014, the unholy ‘Islamic State’ controls the less populated eastern deserts bordering Iraq from Raqqa to Palmyra, and advances towards Suweida, Damascus and Homs. Assad’s share in August 2015 was central Damascus, tiny parts of Dara’a, Quneitra and Suweida (where the Druze population ain’t keen on Assad’s rule so the regime’s grip is challenged all over the governorate) in the south, a corridor from Damascus via Homs and Hama to the coastal strip (Tartous, Latakia) in the west, as well as 40% of Aleppo city and some of its suburbs in the north. Kurds held a few areas near the Turkish border, and shared territory in the northeast with the regime. Most of the north (Idlib, Aleppo, Latakia, Hama) and south (Dara’a, Quneitra, Ghouta/outskirts of Damascus) of the country was liberated by the rebellion, as well as some areas in between, like the Rastan pocket in the central Homs governorate, and parts of Qalamoun. Rebels were advancing on all fronts. Despite his air power (rebels don’t operate aircraft and lack any air defense weapons), Assad lost.

Out of resources (especially man power) and facing defeat within months, Assad asked Russia for help beyond the ongoing replacement of burned tanks, defunct aircraft, and shiploads of ammo. Keen on annoying the USA and its allies, dictator Putin joined the Syrian theater with a force of some 50 jets, air defense batteries, dozens of choppers and armored vehicles, all manned by probably only a few thousands Russian soldiers.

Putin fooled the UN and everyone by claiming Russia went to Syria to fight Daesh, but after the first bombs fell on Assad’s opposition, not on Daesh terrorists, it became clear that Putin is here to support the Assad regime.

Russia didn’t fight Daesh at all, even supported Daesh ground offensives against rebels with close air support. Just for statistical purposes Russia actually bombed Raqqa, which is occupied by Daesh, killing scores of civilians but not a single Daesh fighter.

On behalf of the murderous Assad regime, Russia now bombs hospitals, IDP/refugee camps, markets and civilian neighborhoods, killing and wounding thousands on a daily basis with impunity, driving millions of desperate Syrians out of the country (or into improvised IPD camps near the borders, since most neigboring states closed their borders).

Russian propaganda outlets claim they destroy terrorist ammo dumps (in fact grain silos), weapon factories (in fact bakeries), command and control centers (in fact hospitals), and huge gatherings of terrorists (in fact improvised camps for internally displaced families), defeating Daesh in 30 days where the US led coalition bombed them (in fact not only terrorists, the USAF killed hundreds of civilians and many rebels too) in Syria since ages without results.

The only problem with the actual truth is, that Russia bombs liberated parts of Syria, but absolutely no terrorist forces, not to speak of Daesh which took the cheap opportunity to grab a few towns and villages from both the regime as well as from rebels under Russian air cover.

The role of the western countries, led by the United States “from behind”

Meanwhile the U.S.A. does its very best to prove its label ‘great satan’ gets applied rightly.

America, on behalf of Obama’s Iranian buddies, not only sabotages the rebellion against the tyrant Assad where it can, contrary to its cheap diplomatic talk claiming the opposite, it actively sponsors the Syrian genocide committed by the Russian and Iranian occupation forces as well as by Hezbollah, Iraqi shia militias and Assad’s death squads.

It does so both with all of their diplomatic activities since the Geneva talks that only bought Assad’s regime more time to kill, as well as their deeds on the ground and in the air that support Iran and Assad, and now Russia, under the label of a war on terror that fails to defeat terrorists but solely strengthens those and their best friends, the dictators of the middle east.

The US government uses each and every dirty trick to make sure that the self defense forces of the Syrian people (rebels like the Free Syrian Army and a few bigger Islamic groups, as well as many local brigades defending their villages and towns against the foreign aggressors) can’t cope with the military might Russia brought to the Syrian battlefields, especially with air strikes.

The US administration allows Saudi Arabia to supply the rebels with a few anti-tank missiles, but blocks all shipments of air defense weapons to rebels since 2012. In October 2015 rebels destroyed 123 Russian tanks of the Assad regime, while Russia and Assad’s air force flew thousands of sorties, each of them killing dozens of civilians and often more when they targeted populated markets or IDP camps. Without air defense weapons, the rebels can’t protect the civilians against air strikes.

Totally aware that the majority of all Syrian civilian casualties (hundreds of thousands til today!) were caused by air strikes, the US still says that downing Assad’s jets and choppers dropping tens of thousands of barrel bombs on civilians is not necessary, way to risky, and even counter productive.

Of course a single volley of Tomahawks could destroy all of Assad’s aircraft and render the few runways still under his control useless -without putting American pilots at risk, without boots on the ground, a cheap strike that would save millions of lives without dragging America or its allies into another war. (By the way, the US operations against ISIL, which so far failed to even annoy the terrorists but will go on for a few decades according to the president, cost way more in a single month than such a strike that would end the Syrian genocide within a few weeks, and with that the major reason why Daesh/ISIS still exists.)

Not that the USAF owns the Syrian skies since months, don’t even mention that Syrian rebels hoping for US air support destroyed most of Assad’s air defense facilities in countless bloody battles during the last 4 years - the US still denies the suffering Syrian people a no-fly-zone (NFZ), despite its responsibility to protect the victims of a genocide. Now with the Russians in the game it became a little more complicated, but still doable, with ease.

So even if (big IF) the US fears of air defense weapons falling into the wrong hands were legit (of course that’s plain bullshit, because there are enough simple ways to prevent that), denying the Syrians air defense AND a NFZ equals a death sentence to hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of innocent civilians.

Don’t even think that any of the other world powers didn’t betray the Syrians. All of them did. The EU countries, Canada, Australia and many others followed Obama’s doctrine of letting a genocide happen with impunity in “someone else’s civil war”.

They just sent over a few bucks to finance UN humanitarian aid, which mostly landed in Assad’s deep pockets. China, Russia, and a few other countries even actively support the Syrian genocide, openly with UNSC vetoes against the condemnation of Assad’s war crimes and crimes against humanity, but didn’t fund the WFP food shipments to Syria nor the huge refugee camps hosting a faction of the 4 to 5 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries.

Since 4.5 years the EU countries refused to take any real action to stop the Syrian genocide. Now that the Syrian refugees knock on their doors in the hundreds of thousands, they still don’t, but ask Turkey to stop the flood of refugees before they cross EU borders. How silly is that? The world’s inaction has created the ‘refugee crisis’. If you guys let a dictator kill gazillions of his people pretty close to your borders for 4.5 years, are you really astonished that many of the survivors, looking for a place to live in peace, that is safe from Assad’s barrel bombs, start walking your way? Assclowns!

How to fuck-up a real mess by declaring war on a minor player

Assad’s oppression and his ongoing genocide is the major recruiting tool for Daesh. Many Sunni Muslims facing only death and pain delivered by Assad’s mafia clan, while rightly feeling abandoned and ignored by the whole “free” world, which doesn’t lift a finger to oppose or even stop the Syrian genocide, have no alternative to joining Daesh (under Daesh occupation it’s “join or die”).

Each and every bomb delivered by USAF jets that kills civilians in Daesh occupied areas, creates more Daesh fighters. No wonder that more than a year of US bombing campaigns over Syria and Iraq have only strengthened Daesh.

The “war on terror” is a complete failure, because the tactics applied just create more terrorists with each strike, regardless whether a strike targets a wedding party, or, in some rare cases, might have the potential of having the remote chance of hitting a guy who’s said to being related to someone who might know a relative of another guy who actually is opposed to US imperialism. Most importantly, there’s no strategy.

Western brute force attacks targeting al-Qaeda failed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, everywhere. The same approach tried in the “war on ISIL/ISIS” failed again, in Iraq and Syria. US foreign policy, adopted (sometimes under pressure, sometimes voluntarily) by most countries, is best described as “trying the most absurd and forseeable fault-prone approach over and over again, expecting different results in each iteration”. Since the almighty USA has only one single hammer, its military, in the toolbox, all the problems it’s faced with resemble a nail.

A strategy to “contain and destroy ISIL/ISIS” solely based on military measures is not only no strategy at all, it doesn’t even count as tactic. Not supporting the people on the ground who fight Daesh since ages is just one of many grave mistakes of the Obama administration. Not understanding that fighting Daesh is way more a social project than a military task, is even worse. Not addressing the major cause of the ongoing Daesh expansion, Assad’s genocide in Syria, is a willfull neglect of reading the situation on the ground. Not listening to experts within the administration who’ve warned Obama since the “Syrian mess” began in 2011 might have been just careless. Sacking those experts or forcing them to leave, just because their expertise didn’t fit the president’s phantasmal plan of bringing the terrorist Iranian regime back in from the cold, is plain criminal intent.

I’m not spinning an alien agenda or laying out conspiracy theories. Here are some examples:

Obama says that bombing oil wells controlled by Daesh as well as destroying trucks transporting oil from those wells will cut off the most important stream of revenue of Daesh. That’s not true. Fact is, that the most important oil revenue for Daesh is from deals with the Assad regime, and that most of this oil flows through pipelines that the USAF must not target, because Iran vetoes US strikes, and Obama’s not willing to endanger the nuclear deal with the mullahs in Tehran. Also, all liberated areas of Syria rely on low-quality ‘Daesh diesel’ for generators, transport and heating, because Turkey doesn’t allow fuel exports to Syria. That means, the US destroys the trucks that deliver diesel to hospitals, bakeries, and millions of Syrians who’re cut off from power by the Assad regime, and out of firewood to survive the coming winter. That’s a catastrope. Syrian winters are harsh, without fuel tens of thousands of Syrians will die for one of Obama’s silly ideas.

Obama says that US interventions helped to cut off donations to Daesh from Gulf countries. That’s false. Gulf countries have prevented that by themselves, in their very own interest. Balance sheets captured from Daesh showed that donations counted for less than 5% of their income in the past years.

Actually, Daesh funds its terror “state” by pressing out the people under its brutal regime. Daesh can perfectly survive from taxes pulled from the 6-8 million Syrians and Iraqis living in Daesh occupied areas. They just don’t need no fucking external revenue streams, which mostly exist only in the wet dreams of western analysts. Even if (big IF) the west would figure out how to cut the energy supplies to the Assad regime, Daesh would still laugh all the way to the bank.

Obama says that the US bombing campaigns have contained Daesh both in Syria as well as Iraq. That’s a lie. Since the start of the US air campaign Daesh has multiplied the number of its well trained fighters mostly equipped with US weaponry by a factor of at least 3, possibly 5. Maybe Obama believes what he tells the American people and the world, but that’s because US intel was massively censored and manipulated to adjust the “truth” to fit his wishful thinking.

Obama says that the US supports forces on the ground. Well, that’s partly true. The US supports Kurds, but most of them are members of a terrorist organization (PKK) that not only is at war with the US ally and NATO member Turkey, but also is in bed with the Assad regime, and therefore fights Syrian rebels on various fronts, even attacking them from behind when they defend their homes against Daesh, for example in Syria’s Aleppo governorate.

Kurds have no interest in liberating non-Kurdish land from Daesh, also Arabs wouldn’t accept a Kurdish occupation force. Since most of the areas mostly populated by Kurds are already free of Daesh, the Kurdish forces are no potential ally when it comes to liberate Daesh occupied provinces like Raqqa or Deir Ezzor. That means, the Kurds can’t help the US campaign any more. They’ll defend their land, a tiny percentage of Syria and Iraq, but won’t move on. The Kurds are totally useless with regard to the goal of defeating Daesh in Syria.

Of course there are local forces totally opposed to Daesh in all other parts of Syria, which liberated whole provinces from Daesh’s occupation in bloody battles with thousands of casualties, but the US doesn’t support those. Actually, the US totally ignores them, and often sabotages their supply lines. We’re not talking about a few small local armed groups, but a well organized rebel army having at least 200,000 soldiers under arms, protecting millions of civilians from Daesh and the Assad regime. Some of their fighters are extremists, but that’s a minority, and in the Syrian society extremists are an even smaller minority.

Those Syrian rebels, properly supported, could defeat Daesh in months, once the Assad regime (which doesn’t equal the Syrian state institutions which it just hijacked) is toppled. As long as the Assad regime exists, no one in Syria will accept an ISIS-first approach propagated by the western countries, because Assad killed, injured, imprisoned, tortured, and otherwise oppressed a gazillion more Syrians than Daesh ever will target. Way more than 95% of all deaths in Syria since 2011 were caused by the Assad regime, less than a single per cent by terror organizations like Daesh.

Let these numbers sink in. You’ll get the priority of the Syrian people. You’ll understand why supporting the Syrian people in their rebellion against the murderous tyrant must stay the very first priority. Daesh will get expelled from Syria once the butcher Assad hangs from his neck in Damascus, or flees to Iran.

Not a conclusion, just an appeal to apply common sense

To bring my point home, the Syrian mess wasn’t caused by Obama and all the western leaders who followed his gruesome foreign policy of actively supporting the genocide in Syria after the first peaceful protests in 2011. Assad started it, now Iran and Russia carry out the genocide since Assad lost most of his manpower to the rebels. Obama et al just prolonged the suffering of the Syrian people, and they made a political solution impossible. I just ask you not to buy the lies of your leaders any more.

Especially when your politicans claim that “there’s no (political) solution for Syria without Russia/Iran/Assad”, you should be skeptical. First, there’s no such thing as a possible “political solution”, because the dictator Bashar al-Assad doesn’t negotiate (he even dismissed the recent Vienna statement calling for a “transition”, although it’s signed by his closest allies Iran and Russia on a sneaky false-flag mission). Second, both Iran as well as Russia are part of the problem. Because they sit in the same (sinking) boat as Assad, these rogue states can’t be part of a solution. Iran is the biggest supporter of terrorism on this planet, and Russia arms those terrorists. Both Iran as well as Russia are responsible for the majority of all war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Syria (and other countries as well). Asking Russia and/or Iran for help/participation in solving any mess in the middle east equals making Adolf Hitler the custodian of Jewish wealth and welfare some 70+ years ago. One can’t promote the perp to ombudsman, adjudicator, prosecutor, or even judge.

In the mainstream media you read about a “civil war” in Syria. It’s not a civil war, and it’s not a conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims. It’s not a conflict that endangers any minorities like Christians, Druze, or Alavites due to the rebellion. The war was started by a brutal mafia clan that abused oppressed minorities in order to mobilize them against the oppressed Sunni majority. It’s a rebellion of the majority against the murderous tyranny of a criminal kleptocracy. The propaganda of a “sectarian conflict” is totally made up by the Assad regime, which is in no way “secular”. Iranian mullahs would never ever defend a secular regime with tens of thousands of troops and billions of aid. They defend a regime that sucks up to them and allows them to supply Lebanon’s Hezbollah with shiploads of hardware those terrorists shouldn’t possess at all.

The above said is a pretty much simplified version of the events since march 2011. I didn’t even mention that Assad killed thousands with chemical weapons, nor the absurd reaction of the world/UN to those war crimes. To cover 4.5 years of Syria’s suffering from a murderous regime’s war on its own people who just requested dignity and freedom, one would need to write a book; well, no, many books.

To learn more, feel free to browse my 300k bookmarks on Twitter (@SebastianX) that document the Syrian revolution since the beginning. Or ask me something on Twitter to provoke a potential follow-up post (I can’t promise anything, I’m very busy feeding my family while supporting Syria).

For now I hope you not only tolerate and ignore my tweets/retweets about Syria, but maybe actually read them ;-)

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Purchase yourself a link (bargain!)

Since my campaign links for t-shirts failed miserably, probably because I forgot to put up a shipping address, I thought of new ways to boost my shady tiny link monkey business.

The recent trend to SEO cannibalism (SEOs outing their former clients for inbound links which the SEO agency purchased, fabricated, stole, faked, or bartered on behalf of said ungrateful clients; as well as SEOs outing other SEOs with no purpose other than getting rightfully slammed for being assclowns) inspired me to start this auction:

Get yourself an inbound link!

This a.w.e.s.o.m.e. inbound link goes to the highest bidder:


Of course I can’t ship the whole link, just the value of the HREF attribute, and only the left part before the #. You can use this URI on every page you own. Search engines will love you for your relevant linkage, because this site provides value for every industry and each niche within.

Here’s the deal: You bid a fortune in the comments, and if I decide to sell you my awesome link, I’ll cut the bold part of

<a href="http://sebastians-pamphlets.com/#home”>TOP NOTCH INBOUND LINK</a>

out of my source code and email it to you in exchange for your bucks. You get a great URI to spread, and my link on this page will still work without all this protocol, server name and trailing slash stuff. That’s clearly a WIN-WIN situation, isn’t it?


If you’re not a professional Inbound Marketer, here’s a protip: in your bid admit that you’re a complete douchebag. I understand that spelling the meaningless term ‘Inbound Marketer’ is way too complicated, therefore I’ll accept ‘douchebag’ as a valid job title.

Not an inbound marketer?

Don’t panic. Of course I sell links to outbound marketers, too:



The deal is the same, with one exception: I still accept great t-shirts (XXXL) for outgoing links pointing to my pamphlets.

Terms and conditions

Don’t you think that not participating in my link auction saves you from underground marketing activities (formerly known as email spam) in your inbox or my graffiti on your SERPs (formerly known as webspam). If you don’t bid, I’ll unleash my cookies!

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Dear webmaster, don’t trust Google on links

I’m not exactly a fan of non-crawlable content, but here it goes, provided by Joshua Titsworth (click on a tweet in order to favorite and retweet it):

What has to be said

Google’s link policy is ape shit. They don’t even believe their own FUD. So don’t bother listening to crappy advice anymore. Just link out without fear and encourage others to link to you fearlessly. Do not file reinclusion requests in the moment you hear about a Googlebug on your preferred webmaster hangout, because you might have spread a few shady links by accident, and don’t slaughter links you’ve created coz the almighty Google told you so.

Just because a bazillion of flies can’t err, that doesn’t mean you’ve to eat shit.

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About time: EU crumbles monster cookies from hell

Some extremely bright bravehearts at the European Union headquarters in Bruxelles finally took the initiative and launched a law to fight the Interweb’s gremlins, that play down their sneaky and destructive behavior behind an innocent as well as inapplicable term: COOKIE.

Back in the good old days when every dog and its fleas used an InternetExplorer to consume free porn, and to read unbalanced left leaning news published by dubious online tabloids based in communist strongholds, only the Vatican spread free cookies to its occasional visitor. Today, every site you visit makes use of toxic cookies, thanks to Google Web Analytics, Facebook, Amazon, eBay and countless smut peddlers.

Not that stone age browsers like IE6 could handle neat 3rd party cookies (that today’s advertising networks use to shove targeted product news down your throat) without a little help from an 1×1 pixel iFrame at all, but that’s a completely other story. The point I want to bring home is: cookies never were harmless at all!

Quite the opposite is true. As a matter of fact, Internet cookies pose as digestible candies, but once swallowed they turn into greedy germs that produce torturous flatulence, charge your credit card with overprized Rolex® replicas and other stuff you really don’t need, and spam all your email accounts for the time being until you actually need your daily dose of Viagra® to handle all the big boobs and stiff enlarged dicks delivered to your inbox.

Now that you’re well informed on the increasing cookie pest, a.k.a. cookie pandemic, I’m dead sure you’ll applaud the EU anti cookie law that’s going to get enforced by the end of May 2012, world-wide. Common sense and experience of life tells us, that indeed local laws can tame the Wild Wild West (WWW).

Well, at least in the UK, so far. That’s quite astonishing by the way, because usually the UK vetoes or boycotts everything EU, until their lowbrow thinking and underpaid lawyers discover that previous governments already have signed some long-forgotten contracts defining EU regulations as binding for tiny North Sea islands, even if they’re located somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean and consider themselves huge.

Anyway, although literally nobody except a few Web savvy UK webmasters (but not even its creators who can’t find their asshole with both hands fumbling in the dark) know what the fuck this outlandish law is all about, we need to comply. For the sake of our unborn children, civic duty, or whatever.

Of course you can’t be bothered with researching all this complex stuff. Unfortunately, I can’t link to authorative sources, because not even the almighty Google told me how alien webmasters can implement a diffuse EU policy that didn’t make it to the code of law of any EU member state yet (except of the above mentioned remote islands, though even those have no fucking clue with regard to reasonable procedures and such). That makes this red crab the authorative source on everything ‘EU cookie law’. Sigh.

So here comes the ultimative guide for this planet’s webmasters who’d like to do business with EU countries (or suffer from an EU citizenship).

Step 1: Obfuscate your cookies

In order to make your most sneaky cookies undetectable, flood your vistor’s computer with a shitload of randomly generated and totally meaningless cookies. Make sure that everything important for advertising, shopping cart, user experience and so on gets set first, because the 1024th and all following cookies face the risk of getting ignored by the user agent.

Do not use meaningful variable names for cookies and decode all values. That is, instead of setting added_not_exactly_willingly_purchased_items_to_shopping_cart[13] = golden_humvee_with_diamond_break_pads just create an unobtrusive cookie like additional_discount_upc_666[13] = round(99.99, 0) + '%'.

Step 2: Ask your visitors for permission to accept your cookies

When a new visitor hits your site, create a hidden popunder window with a Web form like this one:

Of course

Why not

Yes, and don’t ask me again

Yup, get me to the free porn asap

I’ve read the TOS and I absolutely agree


Don’t forget to test the auto-submit functionality with all user agents (browsers) out there. Also, log the visitor’s IP addy, browser version and such stuff. Just in case you need to present it in a lawsuit later on.

Step 3: Be totally honest and explain every cookie to your visitors

Somewhere on a deeply buried TOS page linked from your privacy policy page that’s no-followed across your site with an anchor text formatted in 0.001pt, create an ugly table like this one:

My awesome Web site’s wonderful cookies:
_preg=true This cookie makes you pregnant. Also, it creates an order for 100 diapers, XXS, assorted pink and blue, to be delivered in 9 months. Your PayPal account (taken from a befriended Yahoo cookie) gets charged today.
_vote_rig=conditional If you’ve participated in a poll and your vote doesn’t match my current mood, I’ll email your mother in law that you’re cheating on your spouse. Also, regardless what awkward vote you’ve submitted, I’ll change it in a way that’s compatible with my opinion on the topic in question.
_auto_start=daily Adds my product of the day page to your auto start group. Since I’ve collected your credit card details already, I’m nice enough to automate the purchase process in an invisible browser window that closes after I’ve charged your credit card. If you dare to not reboot your pathetic computer at least once a day, I’ll force an hourly reboot in order to teach you how the cookie crumbles.
_joke=send If you see this cookie, I found a .pst file on your computer. All your contacts will enjoy links to questionable (that is NotSafeAtWork) jokes delivered by email from your account, often.
_boobs=show If you’re a male adult, you’ve just subscribed to my ‘weird boob job’ paysite.
_dicks=show That’s the female version of the _boobs cookie. Also delivered to my gay readers, just the landing page differs a little bit.
_google=provided You were thoughtless enough to surf my blog while logged into your Google account. You know, Google just stole my HTTP_REFERER data, so in revenge I overtook your account in order to gather the personal and very private information the privacy nazis at Google don’t deliver for free any more.
_twitter=approved Just in case you check out your Twitter settings by accident, do not go to the ‘Apps’ page and do not revoke my permissions. The few DMs I’ve sent to all your followers only feed my little very hungry monsters, so please leave my tiny spam operation alone.
_fb=new Heh. You zucker (pronounced sucker) lack a Facebook account. I’ve stepped in and assigned it to my various interests. Don’t you dare to join Facebook manually, I do own your name!
_443=nope Removes the obsolete ’s’ (SSL) from URIs in your browser’s address bar. That’s a prerequisite for my free services, like maintaining a backup of your Web mail as user generated content (UGC) in my x-rated movie blog’s comment area. Don’t whine, it’s only visible to search engine crawlers, so your dirty little secrets are totally safe. Also, I don’t publish emails containing Web site credentials, bank account details and such, because sharing those with my fellow blackhat webmasters would be plain silly.
eol=granted Your right to exist has expired, coz your bank account’s balance doesn’t allow any further abuse. This status is also known als ‘end of life’. Say thanks to the cookie community and get yourself a tombstone as long as you (respectively your clan, coz you went belly up by now) can afford it.

Because I’m somewhat lazy, the list above isn’t made up but an excerpt of my blog’s actual cookies.

As a side note, don’t forget to collect local VAT (different percentages per EU country, depending on the type of goods you don’t plan to deliver across the pond) from your EU customers, and do pay the taxman. If you’ve troubles finding the taxman in charge, ask your offshore bank for assistance.

Have fun maintaining a Web site that totally complies to international laws. And thanks for your time (which you would better have invested in developing a Web site that doesn’t rely on cookies for a great user experience).

Summary: The stupid EU cookie law in 2.5 minutes:

If you still don’t grasp how an Internet cookie really tastes, here is the explanation for the geeky preschooler: RFC 2109.

By the way, this comprehensive tutorial might make you believe that only the UK has implemented the EU cookie law yet. Of course the Brits wouldn’t have the balls to perform such a risky solo stunt, without being accompanied by two tiny countries bordering the Baltic Sea: Denmark and Estonia (don’t even try to find european ministates and islands on your globe without a precision magnifier). As soon as the Internet comes to these piddly shore lines, I’ll report on their progress (frankly, don’t really expect an update anytime soon).

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My Top 10 Predictions for 2012

  1. SEO refuses to die. In other words, SEOs who grasped HTML5 might survive. Flash on the other hand, died earlier.
  2. Google delays the launch of their mind-reading-search-implant (beta) after Altavista threatens to give away their babelfish earpiece for free.
  3. Yahoo launches a huge comment link spam attack in order to boost the ranking of its few remaining Web facilities at Bing.
  4. Earth becomes flat, at least on-line, after the presidential elections.
  5. Counting is overrated.

While working hard on tomorrow’s hangover, I remembered that posting drunk ain’t good for unknown reasons.

If you’ve nothing better to do, feel free to complete this post in the comments. Don’t. I hate experienced optimists.

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Geo targeting without IP delivery is like throwing a perfectly grilled steak at a vegan

So Gareth James asked me to blather about the role of IP delivery in geo targeting. I answered “That’s a complex topic with gazillions of ‘depends’ lacking the potential of getting handled with a panacea”, and thought he’d just bugger off before I’ve to write a book published on his pathetic UK SEO blog. Unfortunately, it didn’t work according to plan A. This @seo_doctor dude is as persistent as a blowfly attacking a huge horse dump. He dared to reply “lol thats why I asked you!”. OMFG! Usually I throw insults at folks starting a sentence with “lol”, and I don’t communicate with native speakers who niggardly shorten “that’s” to “thats” and don’t capitalize any letter except of “I” for egomaniac purposes.

However, I didn’t annoy the Interwebz with a pamphlet for (perceived) ages, and the topic doesn’t exactly lacks controversial discussion, so read on. By the way, Gareth James is a decent guy. I’m just not fair making fun out of his interesting question for the sake of a somewhat funny opening. (That’s why you’ve read this pamphlet on his SEO blog earlier.)

How to increase your bounce rate and get your site tanked on search engine result pages with IP delivery in geo targeting

A sure fire way to make me use my browser’s back button is any sort of redirect based on my current latitude and longitude. If you try it, you can measure my blood pressure in comparision to an altitude some light-years above mother earth’s ground. You’ve seriously fucked up my surfing experience, therefore you’re blacklisted back to the stone age, and even a few stones farther just to make sure your shitty Internet outlet can’t make it to my browser’s rendering engine any more. Also, I’ll report your crappy attempt to make me sick of you to all major search engines for deceptive cloaking. Don’t screw red crabs.

Related protip: Treat your visitors with due respect.

Geo targeted ads are annoying enough. When I’m in a Swiss airport’s transit area reading an article on any US news site about the congress’ latest fuck-up in foreign policy, most probably it’s not your best idea to plaster my cell phone’s limited screen real estate with ads recommending Zurich’s hottest brothel that offers a flat rate as low as 500 ‘fränkli’ (SFR) per night. It makes no sense to make me horny minutes before I enter a plane where I can’t smoke for fucking eight+ hours!

Then if you’re the popular search engine that in its almighty wisdom decides that I’ve to seek a reservation Web form of Boston’s best whorehouse for 10am local time (that’s ETA Logan + 2 hours) via google.ch in french language, you’re totally screwed. In other words, because it’s not Google, I go search for it at Bing. (The “goto Google.com” thingy is not exactly reliable, and a totally obsolete detour when I come by with a google.com cookie.)

The same goes for a popular shopping site that redirects me to its Swiss outlet based on my location, although I want to order a book to be delivered to the United States. I’ll place my order elsewhere.

Got it? It’s perfectly fine with me to ask “Do you want to visit our Swiss site? Click here for its version in French, German, Italian or English language”. Just do not force me to view crap I can’t read and didn’t expect to see when I clicked a link!

Regardless whether you redirect me server sided using a questionable ip2location lookup, or client sided evaluating the location I carelessly opened up to your HTML5 based code, you’re doomed coz I’m pissed. (Regardless whether you do that under one URI, respectively the same URI with different hashbang crap, or a chain of actual redirects.) I’ve just increased your bounce rate in lightning speed, and trust me that’s not just yours truly alone who tells click tracking search engines that your site is scum.

How to fuck up your geo targeting with IP delivery, SEO-wise

Of course there’s no bullet proof way to obtain a visitor’s actual location based on the HTTP request’s IP address. Also, if the visitor is a search engine crawler, it requests your stuff from Mountain View, Redmond, or an undisclosed location in China, Russia, or some dubious banana republic. I bet that as a US based Internet marketer offering local services accross all states you can’t serve a meaningful ad targeting Berlin, Paris, Moscow or Canton. Not that Ms Googlebot appreciates cloaked content tailored for folks residing at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, by the way.

There’s nothing wrong with delivering a cialis™ or viagra® peddler’s sales pitch to search engine users from a throwaway domain that appeared on a [how to enhance my sexual performance] SERP for undisclosable reasons, but you really shouldn’t do that (or something similar) from your bread and butter site.

When you’ve content in different languages and/or you’re targeting different countries, regions, or whatever, you shall link that content together by language and geographical targets, providing prominent but not obfuscating links to other areas of your site (or local domains) for visitors who –indicated by browser language settings, search terms taken from the query string of the referring page, detected (well, guessed) location, or other available signals– might be interested in these versions. Create kinda regional sites within your site which are easy to navigate for the targeted customers. You can and should group those site areas by sitemaps as well as reasonable internal linkage, and use other techniques that distribute link love to each localized version.

Thou shalt not serve more than one version of localized content under one URI! If you can’t resist, you’ll piss off your visitors and you’ll ask for troubles with search engines. Most of your stuff will never see the daylight of a SERP by design.

This golden rule applies to IP delivery as well as to any other method that redirects users without explicit agreement. Don’t rely on cookies and such to determine the user’s preferred region or language, always provide visible alternatives when you serve localized content based on previously collected user decisions.

But …

Of course there are exceptions to this rule. For example it’s not exactly recommended to provide content featuring freedom of assembly and expression in fascist countries like Iran, Russia or China, and bare boobs as well as Web analytics or Facebook ‘like’ buttons can get you into deep shit in countries like Germany, where last century nazis make the Internat laws. So sometimes, IP delivery is the way to go.

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Bizarre facettes of war in social media

As a matter of fact, wars happen in social media, too. I don’t mean flame wars. I don’t refer to Arab dictators who, closely following the #ArabTyrantManual, during uprisings shut down Facebook, Twitter, or even the whole friggin Interwebs. I admit, those scumbags are somewhat creative. For example Syria’s junior dictator Bashar al-Assad, wo launched a huge amount of hashtag spambots diluting every piece of information leaking out from cyber activists, while reforming his people with T-72 shellings and mashine gun live rounds. With a little help from a fellow assclown based in Iran, he even managed to jam sat phones, cutting off the opposition’s lifeline to YouTube.

So when even –alleged– ‘third world’ autocrats utilize high sophisticated techniques gaming social media in their war on their own people, we can safely assume that there’s way more interesting stuff to know about the role of social media in today’s wars. You’ve read the headlines announcing cyber squads and such. Of course that info was outdated for decades before it hit the mainstream press. Also, the average (that equals IT-wise clueless) journalist blathers about DoS attacks and such, usually ignoring the more subtle aspects of cyber war. I’m not exactly a fan of rehashed news, so I refuse to discuss the obvious.

Recently, I’ve stumbled upon a pretty sneaky cyber war tactic. Well thought out, although I can’t tell how effective it actually is. The setup is kinda minimalistic: one Facebook account, and a few hundred (Ok, as of today that’s 1.6k) blog comments written by PsyWarriors:

In North Africa, where peaceful Libyans turned freedom fighters are struggling in a bloody conflict with a ruthless regime that performs atrocities on a daily basis, NATO somewhat acts as the ‘Free Libyan Air Force’, officially just enforcing the UNSC resolution #1973. Nothing wrong with that, since –despite some Gaddafi troops defected to the opposition– the so-called ‘rebels’ are civilians defending themselves, their families, neighbors, and even countless foreigners who weren’t able to flee before Gaddafi’s henchmen crawled all over the country in their brutal war on Libya’s population.

Herein lies the problem. We’ve epic amateurs barely able to handle an AK 47 on the ground, and professionals in the air. Both fighting the mad dog’s professional forces without direct lines of communication to each other. The rag-tag freedom fighters lacked structure, command, communication, experience, strategy and everything with regard to warfare. After the initial strikes by American, British and French armed forces, NATO joined the battlefield with a plan. Its step by step execution wasn’t exactly compatible with the high expectations of the then still amateurish freedom fighters, who even suffered from occasional friendly fire after carelessly celebrating with AA tracer fire, and cruising through the desert in seized tanks, towards liberated towns.

Of course the tourists carrying high sophisticated gadgets in their huge olive green bags, brought in via tour operator helicopters from their shiny gray yachts sailing near the Libyan coastlines, sorted out some of those misunderstandings. But since the Libyan freedom fighters totally lacked a chain of command, it didn’t help much that the few savvy leaders who actually talked to these tourists got enlightened, because the rag-tag troops consisting of untrained citizens chaotically advancing and retreating in the desert were out of their reach. Qatari military advisers on the ground, helping Libyan citizens carrying seized weapons get into shape, as well as very few consultants and military advisers from UK, France, and Italy, who arrived later on, had just started to train freedom fighters.

Also, the message had to be carried out to the Libyan people, and to Libyans in the diaspora as well, without revealing too much sensitive info that Gaddafi’s loyalists could find interesting. All that with most of the recepients on the ground cutted off from all their information channels besides Libya State TV and few other satellite channels, because cell phones and ISPs were jammed by the government, land lines were insecure … a dilemma. The Transitional National Council (NTC) in Benghazi was the sole institution that was able to reach out to the people inside Libya.

Al Jazeera’s Libya Live Blog (URI changes often, so please click through from the index page) was heavily trafficked since the uprising began (on 17 February, 2011), attracting gazillions of page views and receiving thousands of comments daily. And here we introduce Gerhard Heinz, perhaps a former NVA pilot or not, who frequently updates the audience with strategical as well as tactical information, written in very plain English with a heavy east-german accent. Like: ‘a good tip for tank comanders in tripoli stay away from your tanks ,conkret in the air’ (refers to smart, that is GPS and laser guided, 660-pound concrete bombs used by coalition fighter jets to destroy tanks in residential areas without much collateral damage).

He delivers spot on reports of NATO sorties as well as clashes on the ground as they happen, alledgedly based on timely sat images, SIGINT, HUMINT and whatnot, long before they appear in the (western) press after NATO announcements. Most of his stuff gets confirmed by other sources later on. He even makes predictions that come true, and not all of those are easily guessable and likely to happen. He explains NATO tactics in layman terms, tells why NATO requested the freedom fighters must not advance towards Brega for weeks (to create a sneaky trap for an elite brigade and lots of reinforcements from Sirte), and so on. When NATO is dead sure that particular pro-gaddafi troops can’t communicate after air strikes on CCC infrastructure, so no warning can reach them in time, Gerhard Heinz addresses those, advising them to defect, or at least to run and hide quickly before ‘fast flying silver birds lose some eggs’ above their positions.

Obviously all that is insider knowledge, scraped from NATO and NTC/FF sources. Since NATO doesn’t act on this ‘leak’ they must be aware of, I’m jumping to the conclusion that Gerhard Heinz is a weapon of mass disinformation, and mass education as well. It’s not him alone, by the way, but he’s the most prominent case (Gerhard Heinz has a large fan club) I’ve spotted until now. He informs and educates Libyans hungry for every tiny bit of reliable info with regard to the conflict, scanning Al Jazeera’s website for updates 24/7, then spreading the word through all channels available, including social media.

I may be wrong in details, because I’m by no means an expert when it comes to all the military stuff. But I know that an organization like NATO has the capability to deal with sensitive information leaking out to the public domain for weeks. If it’s not happening on purpose, they just lost my respect.

I do think that this dude mixes in personal information that might be true, for example his military background. Also, his strong opinions (for example about a weak German government and its cowardly FM who cares more for his personal political affairs than for the Libyan people, and the widespread opposition to the official politics within the German armed forces) are believable. At least it sounds authentic and consistent throughout more than 1,600 blog comments. And that’s doable even by a PsyOps team, considering that Gerhard Heinz posts at times when he should sleep. He openly admits that he’s backed by staff gathering and processing the facts from various sources, but denies all ties to NATO.

So, maybe, I should leave it to that with the words of a blog commenter on Al Jazeera’s website, who said:

@Gerhard Heinz
You have earned a lot of rep. back for Germany, they really owe you some thanks for your work and dedication in this.
It would be interesting to have an article in german newspapers about what you did, when all this is over, and more of it can be told.
For now its kind of a mystery (at least to me), what a german is doing in the middle of all this, and how he can be so well informed. I am very curious to hear how you did it.
Lots of respect from me.

Just make sure, dear reader, that you keep your natural scepticism when you read –regardless where, and that includes the mainstream press as well as social media– about a war. There might be an aganda behind every sentence.

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Get IE9 today! Free download - start surfing fast and safe, instantly!

Days before Microsoft is going to release their new-ish Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), you can get your free copy of a state-of-the-art Web browser here:


The Internet says thanks to James Groome from London, UK, for an amazingly short IE9 download URI: GetIE9.com. Of course, you can still download the best and fastest Web browser out there from its original, longish, download URI.

Go get your new Web browser today, to start surfing safe and fast, instantly. Never worry about Web browser updates any more, because your new Web browser updates itself when neccessary.

This page is best viewed with Chrome or Safari. You may have spotted that getie9.com not really leads to something like Internet Explorer 9. #GeekHumor

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Get the Google cop outta my shopping cart!

So now Google ranks my shopping SERPs by its opinion of customer service quality?

Do not want!

Google CopI’m perfectly satisfied with shopping search results ordered by relevancy and (link) popularity. I do not want Google to decide where I have to buy my stuff, just because an assclown treating his customers like shit got coverage in the NYT.

If I’m old enough to have free access to the Internet and a credit card, then I’m capable of checking out a Web shop before I buy. I don’t need to be extremely Web savvy to fire up a search for [XXX sucks] before I click on “add to cart”. Hey, even my 13yo son applies way more sophisticated methods. Google cannot and never will be able to create anything more reliable than my build-in bullshit-detector.

Of course, it’s Google’s search engine. Matt’s right when he states “two different court cases have held that our search results are our opinion and protected under 1st amendment”. The problem is, sometimes I disagree with Google’s opinions.

Expressing an opinion about a site’s customer service by not showing it on the SERPs that more than 60% of this planet’s population use to find stuff is a slippery slope. A very slippery slope. It means that for example I cannot buy a pair of shoes for $40 (time of delivery 10 days, free shipping), because Google only points me to shops that sell the same pair of shoes for $100 (plus fedex overnight fees). Since when did Google’s mission statement change to “organize the world’s shopping expeditions”? Maybe I didn’t get an important memo.

Not only that. Google is well known for producing heavy collateral damage when applying changes to commercial rankings. A simple software glitch could peculate the best deals on the Web, or ruin totally legit businesses suffering from fraudulent review spam spread by their competitors.

And finally, cross your heart, do you trust a search engine that far? Do you really expect Google to sort out the Web for you, not even asking how much of Google’s opinion you want to get applied when it comes to judging what appears on your personal search results? Not that Google will ever implement a slider where you can tell how much of your common sense you’re willing to invest vs. Google’s choice of goog, er, good customer service …

Well, I could live with a warning put as an anchor text like “show what boatloads of ripped-off customers told Googlebot about XXX” or so, but I do want to get the whole picture, uncensored.

End of rant.

Lets look at the algo change from a technical point of view:

Credit where credit is due, developing and deploying a filter that catches a fraudulent Web shop “gaming Google” out of billions of indexed pages within a few days is not trivial (what translates to ‘awesome job’ coming from a geek).

It’s not so astonishing that this filter also picked 100 clones of the jerk mentioned by the New York Times for Google’s newish shitlist. Of course it didn’t catch just another fishy site, same SOP, owned by the same guy. That makes it kinda hand job, just executed by an algorithm. Explained in my Twitter stream: “@DaveWiner I read that Google post as ‘We realize there is a problem that we can’t solve yet. We have a short term fix for this jerk.’”, or “so yeah, I stand by my statement: it’s a hand job to manipulate the press and keep the stock from moving.”

And that’s good news, at least for today’s shape of Google’s Web search. It means that Google does not yet rank the results of each and every search with commerial intent by Google’s rough estimate of the shop’s customer service quality.

Google’s ranking is still based on link popularity, so negative links are still a vote of confidence.

There are only so many not-totally-weak signals out there, and Google’s not to blame for heavily relying on one of the better ones: links. I don’t believe they’ll lower the importance of links anytime soon, at least not significantly. And why should they? I surely don’t want that. And I doubt it makes much sense, plus I doubt that Google can do that.

As for the meaning of links, well, I just hope that Google doesn’t try to guess intentions out of plain A elements and their context. That’s a must-fail project. I’ve developed some faith in the sanity and smartness of Google’s engineers over the years. I hope they won’t disappoint me now.

Of course one can express a link’s intention in a machine-readable way. For example with a microformat like VoteLinks. Unfortunately, nobody cares enough to actually make use of it.

Google’s very own misconception, er, microformat rel-nofollow, is even less reliable. Imagine a dead tired and overworked algo in the cellar of building 43 trying to figure out whether a particular link’s rel=”nofollow” was set

  • to mark a paid link
  • because the SEO next door said PageRank® hoarding is cool
  • because at the webmaster’s preferred hangout nofollow’ing links was the topic of week 53/2005
  • because the webmaster bought Google’s FUD and castrates all links except those leading to google.com just in case Google could penalize him for a badass one
  • to express that the link’s destination is a 404 page, so that the “PageRank™ leak”, er, link isn’t worth any link juice
  • because the author thankfully links back to a leading Web resource in his industry that linked to him as a honest recommendation, but is afraid of a reciprocal link penalty
  • because the author agrees with the linked page’s message, but doesn’t like the foul language used over there
  • because the author disagrees with the discussed, and therefore linked, destination page
  • just because some crappy CMS condomizes every 3rd link automatically for reasons not known to man

Well, not even all Googlers like it. In fact, some teams decided to ignore it because of its weakness and widespread abuse.

The above said is only valid for links embedded in markup that allows machine-readable tagging of links. Even if such tags would be reliable, they don’t cover all references, aka hyperlinks, on the Web. Think of PDF, Flash, some client sided scripting, … and what about the gazillions of un-tagged links out there, put by folks who never heard of microformats?

Also, nobody links out anymore. We paste URIs into tiny textareas limited to 140 characters that don’t have room for meta data like microformats at all. And since Bing as well as Google use links in tweets for ranking purposes (Web search and news), how the fuck could even a smartass algo decide whether a tweet’s link points to crap or gold? Go figure.

And please don’t get me started on a possible use of sentiment analysis in rankings. To summarize, “FAIL” is printed in big bold letters all over Google’s (or any search engine for that matter) approach to rank search results by the quality of customer service based on signals scraped from unstructured data crawled on the Interwebs. So please, for the sake of my thin wallet, DEAR GOOGLE DON’T EVEN TRY IT! Thanks in advance.

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