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Demonization of Putin

‘Vladimir the Terrible’: the US Deep State desperately needs a Russian Villain to cover its tracks;
Unending series of neoliberal MSM witch hunt and false flag operations by Western intelligence agencies designed to weaken and discredit Russian leader

Reuters/David W Cerny

PseudoScience > Who Rules America > Pathological Russophobia of the US elite

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Europe has manufactured an artificial "Russian enemy"
 in order to create an artificial "European identity"

Guy Mettan

Demonization of Putin is integral part of policy of the US and British elite toward Russia, designed to weaken, and, if possible, dismember the Russian state. It is also an instrument of increasing national unity by creating a demonized external enemy.

Russophobia of the US elite should be understood in the context of Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism as Russia represent an obstacle for complete domination of the globe by the US neoliberal empire. Nothing personal here, just business. Recent statements by Putin made at Valday club in Sochi (October 24, 2014) also do not produce any love to Putin from the global and first of all the USA neoliberal elite as well as London-based financial oligarchy. Not accidentally for both the US and GB elite Putin is a "Great Satan".

Like anti-Semitism, Russophobia is based on standard mechanism of Demonization (Wikipedia):

In colloquial usage, the term demonization is used metaphorically to refer to propaganda directed on delitimization of particular individual or group.

Delegitimization is the psychological process which undermines or marginalizes an individual or entity by presenting value judgments as facts which are construed to devalue legitimacy. The ultimate goal of justifying harm or war.

The concept applies to a wide spectrum of social contexts but generally means categorization of individual or groups into extreme social categories which are ultimately excluded from society. Delegitimization provides the moral and the discursive basis to harm the delegitimized group, even in the most inhumane ways.

It is related to stereotyping in a sense that it leads to prejudice when people emotionally react to the name of the person, ascribe evil intention and characteristic to the person or group without evaluating objective evidence.

As always in such cases three-letter agencies are in the vanguard of such complains (Is the CIA Running a Defamation Campaign Against Putin - Russia Insider)

A major topic in the Russian media is mystification with how Putin is portrayed in the Western media. Wildly popular at home, and seen as a decent, modest, an admirable person, and Russians don't understand how there can be such a disconnect with Western impressions.

Recently, leading Russian commentators and politicians have been suggesting that this can only be explained by a deliberate campaign to defame Putin, by governments or other groups.

Yesterday, at a briefing to foreign journalists, Sergey Ivanov, Putin's chief of staff, arguably the 2nd most powerful man in Russia, spoke of an "information war" consisting of "personal attacks" on Putin.

The western media hit a new low...
>The day before another member of Putin's inner circle, Vyasheslav Volodin, made similar remarks, telling foreign journalists "an attack on Putin is an attack on Russia."

The logic, they argue, is that by defaming the leader of a country, you weaken his power domestically by undermining popular support for him, and internationally, by rallying popular opinion to support policies against that country. The ultimate goal, they argue, is to weaken the country itself. They also talk about regime change.

They argue that if one looks at the facts, that there is evidence of ongoing character assassination which cannot be explained by a vague popular zeitgeist in the West, but is more likely the result of a dedicated effort to introduce this defamation into the news flow.

Newsweek has been one of the most virulent Putin-bashers for years

The issue of manipulation of news by intelligence services has been in the news recently with revelations that the CIA and German Secret Service (GSS) have long-running programs to influence how media executives and top journalists convey and interpret the news, including direct cash payments.

Here are some examples they point to:

RI sat down with The Saker, a leading analyst of Russia in international affairs, and asked him what he thinks:

So, is there any credence to this line of thinking, or is this conspiracy theorists running wild?

There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the US is waging a major psyop war against Russia, although not a shooting war, for now, and that what we are seeing is a targeted campaign to discredit Putin and achieve "regime change" in Russia or, should that fail, at the very least "regime weakening" and "Russia weakening".

And the Economist has been the very worst of them all...

So this is a US government program?

Yes, Putin is absolutely hated by certain factions in the US government two main reasons:

1. He partially, but not fully, restored Russia's sovereignty which under Gorbachev and Yeltsin had been totally lost … Russia then was a US colony like Ukraine is today … and,

2. He dared to openly defy the USA and its civilizational model.

… a free and sovereign Russia is perceived by the US "deep state" as an existential threat which has to be crushed. … this is a full-scale political assault on Russia and Putin personally.

So what the Russians are saying, that the constant personal attacks against Putin in the global media are partly the result of deliberate efforts by US intelligence services, … basically, planted stories…

Yes, absolutely

It seems like “Operation Mockingbird” all over again… Are you aware of other instances aimed at Putin?

(Editors Note: Operation Mockingbird was a CIA program started in the 1950s to influence the US media, which was gradually exposed by investigative journalists starting in the late 60s, culminating in sensational televised congressional hearings in 1975 which shocked the nation, forcing the program’s termination. Critics maintain that the same tactics have continued since, under different programs. Wikipedia)

Yes, of course. Since this defamation has very little traction with the Russian public … Putin's popularity is higher than ever before .., there is an organized campaign to convince them that Putin is "selling out" Novorussia, that he is a puppet of oligarchs who are making deals with Ukrainian oligarchs to back-stab the Novorussian resistance…

… So far, Putin's policies in the Ukraine have enjoyed very strong support from the Russian people who still oppose an overt military intervention…

… but if Kiev attacks Novorussia again - which appears very likely - and if such an attack is successful - which is less likely but always possible - then Putin will be blamed for having given the Ukrainians the time to regroup and reorganize.

Warm and fuzzy...

So you are saying that if the Ukrainian military strengthens its position enough to deliver a serious blow to the East Ukrainians, the US can use this as a method to strike at Putin’s support base…

Yes, that’s right ... there are a lot of "fake patriots" in Russia and abroad who will reject any negotiated solution and who will present any compromise as a "betrayal". They are the "useful idiots" used by western special services to smear and undermine Putin.

Is it limited to government special ops, or are there other groups who might have an interest in doing this?

Yes, well here is something that most people in the west don’t appreciate… there is a major behind-the scenes struggle among Russian elites between what I call the "Eurasian Sovereignists" (basically, those who support Putin) and what I call the "Atlantic Integrationists" (those whom Putin refers to as the "5th column).

The western media talks about this as the struggle between Russian liberals and conservatives, reformers and reactionaries, right?

Well its sort of like that, but not exactly…

The former see Russia's future in the Russian North and East and want to turn Russia towards Asia, Latin America and the rest of the world, while the latter want Russia to become part of the "North Atlantic" power configuration.

The Atlantic Integrationists are now too weak to openly challenge Putin - whose real power base is his immense popular support - but they are quietly sabotaging his efforts to reform Russia while supporting anti-Putin campaigns.

Regarding the revelations of CIA activities in Germany, do you think this is going on in other countries, in the US?

I am sure that this is happening in most countries worldwide. The very nature of the modern corporate media is such that it makes journalists corrupt.

As the French philosopher Alain Soral says "nowadays a reporter is either unemployed or a prostitute". There are, of course, a few exceptions, but by and large this is true.

This is not to say that most journalists are on the take. In the West this is mostly done in a more subtle way - by making it clear which ideas do or do not pass the editorial control, by lavishly rewarding those journalists who 'get it' and by quietly turning away those who don't.

If a journalist or reporter commits the crime of "crimethink" he or she will be sidelined and soon out of work.

There is no real pluralism in the West where the boundaries of what can be said or not are very strictly fixed.

Ok, but is it like what has been revealed in Germany, …similar specific operational programs in France, the UK, Italy, Latin America, etc.

Yes, one has to assume so – it is in their interests to have them and there is no reason for them not to.

As for the CIA, it de-facto controls enough of the corporate media to "set the tone". As somebody who in the past used to read the Soviet press for a living, I can sincerely say that it was far more honest and more pluralistic than the press in the USA or EU today.

Joseph Goebbels or Edward Bernays could not have imagined the degree of sophistication of modern propaganda machines.

If the US is doing it, can't one assume other governments are too? Are the Russians doing it against western leaders?

I think that all governments try to do that kind of stuff. However, what makes the US so unique it a combination of truly phenomenal arrogance and multi-billion dollar budgets.

The US "deep state" owns the western corporate media which is by far the most powerful media on the planet. Most governments can only do that inside their own country ... to smear a political opponent or discredit a public figure, but they simply do not have the resources to mount an international strategic psyop campaign. This is something only the US can do.

So foreign governments are at a great disadvantage in this arena vis-a-vis the US?

Absolutely.

Quotes from Putin speech and answers to the questions at the meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club

 


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[Oct 25, 2020] Putin On The Role Of The State In The Economy

Notable quotes:
"... When everything is fine, and the macro economic indicators are stable, various funds are building up their assets, consumption is on the rise and so on. In such times, you hear more and more that the state only stands in the way, and that a pure market economy would be more effective. But as soon as crises and challenges arise, everyone turns to the state, calling for the reinforcement of its supervisory functions. This goes on and on, like a sinusoidal curve. This is what happened during the preceding crises, including the recent ones, like in 2008. ..."
"... So, again, no model is pure or rigid, neither the market economy nor the command economy today, but we simply have to determine the level of the state's involvement in the economy. ..."
"... In the U.S., since 1980, money has increasingly become the source of political power. This is dictatorship. The U.S. has transformed itself from an imperfect democracy, into an almost perfect 'oligarchic dictatorship' where the corporations oversee the government, rather than the government overseeing the market. This is the very definition of fascism. And under such a system, the U.S.'s market economy has been transformed into an economy of serial monopolies. ..."
"... i continue to believe the planet is being screwed by big finance.. ..."
"... Very true jadan, your view on Putin, and every time I read an excerpt or a speech by him I notice he is far above our western "leaders" with their meaningless chatter and hollow phrases. ..."
Oct 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Most of the commentators on yesterday's post were right. It was the Russian President Vladimir Putin who said this :

Many of us read The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry when we were children and remember what the main character said: "It's a question of discipline. When you've finished washing and dressing each morning, you must tend your planet. It's very tedious work, but very easy."

I am sure that we must keep doing this "tedious work" if we want to preserve our common home for future generations. We must tend our planet.

The subject of environmental protection has long become a fixture on the global agenda. But I would address it more broadly to discuss also an important task of abandoning the practice of unrestrained and unlimited consumption – overconsumption – in favour of judicious and reasonable sufficiency, when you do not live just for today but also think about tomorrow.

We often say that nature is extremely vulnerable to human activity. Especially when the use of natural resources is growing to a global dimension. However, humanity is not safe from natural disasters, many of which are the result of anthropogenic interference. By the way, some scientists believe that the recent outbreaks of dangerous diseases are a response to this interference. This is why it is so important to develop harmonious relations between Man and Nature.

It was a part of a talk he gave at this year's Valdai Discussion Club meeting.

I found the excerpt remarkable because it included this, on might say, anti-capitalistic statement:

.. an important task of abandoning the practice of unrestrained and unlimited consumption – overconsumption – in favour of judicious and reasonable sufficiency, when you do not live just for today but also think about tomorrow.

That 'green' statement will rile those people who argue for free markets and a right to sell bullshit in ever more flavors. In their view the fight against such 'communists' thinking must be renewed.

As the full English transcript of Putin's speech and the two and a half hour Q&A is now available I can also quote another interesting passage where Putin talks about capitalism and the role of the state. His standpoint seems very pragmatic to me:

Question : Mr President, there has been much talk and debate, in the context of the global economic upheavals, about the fact that the liberal market economy has ceased to be a reliable tool for the survival of states, their preservation, and for their people.
Pope Francis said recently that capitalism has run its course. Russia has been living under capitalism for 30 years. Is it time to search for an alternative? Is there an alternative? Could it be the revival of the left-wing idea or something radically new?

Putin: Lenin spoke about the birthmarks of capitalism, and so on. It cannot be said that we have lived these past 30 years in a full-fledged market economy. In fact, we are only gradually building it, and its institutions. [..]

You know, capitalism, the way you have described it, existed in a more or less pure form at the beginning of the previous century. But everything changed after what happened in the global economy and in the United States in the 1920s and 1930s, after World War I. We have already discussed this on a number of occasions. I do not remember if I have mentioned this at Valdai Club meetings, but experts who know this subject better than I do and with whom I regularly communicate, they are saying obvious and well-known things.

When everything is fine, and the macro economic indicators are stable, various funds are building up their assets, consumption is on the rise and so on. In such times, you hear more and more that the state only stands in the way, and that a pure market economy would be more effective. But as soon as crises and challenges arise, everyone turns to the state, calling for the reinforcement of its supervisory functions. This goes on and on, like a sinusoidal curve. This is what happened during the preceding crises, including the recent ones, like in 2008.

I remember very well how the key shareholders of Russia's largest corporations that are also major European and global players came to me proposing that the state buy their assets for one dollar or one ruble. They were afraid of assuming responsibility for their employees, pressured by margin calls, and the like. This time, our businesses have acted differently. No one is seeking to evade responsibility. On the contrary, they are even using their own funds, and are quite generous in doing so. The responses may differ, but overall, businesses have been really committed to social responsibility, for which I am grateful to these people, and I want them to know this.

Therefore, at present, we cannot really find a fully planned economy, can we? Take China. Is it a purely planned economy? No. And there is not a single purely market economy either. Nevertheless, the government's regulatory functions are certainly important. [..]

We just need to determine for ourselves the reasonable level of the state's involvement in the economy; how quickly that involvement needs to be reduced, if at all, and where exactly. I often hear that Russia's economy is overregulated. But during crises like this current pandemic, when we are forced to restrict business activity, and cargo traffic shrinks, and not only cargo traffic, but passenger traffic as well, we have to ask ourselves – what do we do with aviation now that passengers avoid flying or fly rarely, what do we do? Well, the state is a necessary fixture, there is no way they could do without state support.

So, again, no model is pure or rigid, neither the market economy nor the command economy today, but we simply have to determine the level of the state's involvement in the economy. What do we use as a baseline for this decision? Expediency. We need to avoid using any templates, and so far, we have successfully avoided that.

Then comes a paragraph that shows where Russia differs from the current 'western' economic policies of negative interest rates and deflation:

Of course, the Central Bank and the Government are among the most important state institutions. Therefore, it was in fact through the joint efforts of the Central Bank and the Government that inflation was reduced to 4 percent, because the Government invests substantial resources through its social programmes and national projects and has an impact on our monetary policy. It went down to 3.9 percent, and the Governor of the Central Bank has told me that we will most likely keep it around the estimated target of around 4 percent. This is the regulating function of the state; there is no way around it. However, stifling development through an excessive presence of the state in the economy or through excessive regulation would be fatal as well. You know, this is a form of art, which the Government has been applying skilfully, at least for now.

Keeping inflation up by a bit will make it easier for Russian consumers and companies to pay back their loans. It is economically healthier than the deflationary policies of western societies.

Russia is well on its way to overtake Germany as the fifth biggest economy. Putin's pragmatic positions towards the role of the state in the economy and his relative generous policies of social programs and large national projects have contributed to that.

The many questions and answers on foreign policy in the Valdai talk show a similar pragmatism on other issues. For those interested in those here is again the link to the transcript .

Posted by b on October 24, 2020 at 18:00 UTC | Permalink


ADKC , Oct 24 2020 20:08 utc | 13

Putin was (is) an important figure in rescuing Russia from the collapse, and western carpetbagging, of the nineties but in no way has he moved Russia towards communism or prepared the path (structurally) for a future communist state. Despite everything that Putin has achieved, in no way has he created a system that is separate from that of the west. The external impostion of sanctions (by the west) has had much more effect than anything Putin has done (in terms of separting from western dogma).

This talk of "overconsumption" is totally irrelevant to Russia (Russians are still largely poor and "under"-consume) as well as much of the rest of the world. And Russia is a huge producer of the resources (oil, gas, coal), and a huge consumer of these same resources, that we are told are destroying the world. So Putin is not really addressing Russians or the majority of the world, and western governments are used to hearing this kind of guff (because they say the same, frequently).

So, Putin is not referring to a Communist (economic) state; he is referring to a mixed economy just like every other western state (yes you could also say "just like every other state in the world" but what I am demonstrating is that, at best, Putin desires to adhere to conventional western economic dogma).

Putin is 68 and the average life expectancy on Russia is 72 (only 65 for males). Putin will be gone soon enough and what he has built is a proud independent nation that is integrated into the world economy and is well able to defend itself. But he has not changed the fundamental economic relations that were established in Russia after the collapse of the USSR.

So, this "remarkable...anti-capitalistic statement" is either meaningless or a signal of compliance to western/world capitalist elites who, perhaps, wish to bring the free-market to an end and entrench their position as a permanent elite - and that would not be communism, rather it would be feudalism.

With the advent of the industrial revolution, capitalism, mass education, democracy and then the proto-communist states it was thought impossible (and undesireable) that social structures could regress. But, has the (within technical capacities) ability to capture data on everyone all of the time (and analyze and interpret that data in real time) and deep understandings of behavoiuralism, human psychology and sophisticated, convincing and all pervasive propaganda resulted in a fundamental change? In short, that it is no longer held that all humans are free, can make their own choices, and are capable of organising society for and by themselves (even as some kind of future objective) - and that this has been replaced by a belief that humanity is best run by a "benevolent" elite.

Laguerre , Oct 24 2020 20:13 utc | 14

I'm not sure that the concept of neo-liberalism is really applicable to Russia. What happened under Yeltsin was a simple pillage of the state, as anyone would do if they can, as he was too drunk to notice. The same thing is happening today in UK.

Putin has spent his time trying to recover from that situation to more control, as a conservative nationalist, but its not so easy.

dh-mtl , Oct 24 2020 20:44 utc | 15
Posted by: oldhippie | Oct 24 2020 18:22 utc | 3

"... I am confident that what makes a state strong, primarily, is the confidence it's citizens have in it. That is the strength of a state. People are the source of power, we all know that."

Yes! 'People are the source of power' is the definition of democracy.

In the U.S., since 1980, money has increasingly become the source of political power. This is dictatorship. The U.S. has transformed itself from an imperfect democracy, into an almost perfect 'oligarchic dictatorship' where the corporations oversee the government, rather than the government overseeing the market. This is the very definition of fascism. And under such a system, the U.S.'s market economy has been transformed into an economy of serial monopolies.

Russia is rapidly developing; the U.S. is rapidly failing. No need to wonder why!

William Gruff , Oct 24 2020 20:54 utc | 16
Depending upon who you ask , somewhere between 33% and 70% of Russia's economy is still state controlled. You can never say "we" when talking about directing a capitalist market economy because "The Market" will always be boss. Though Russia suffered a catastrophic capitalist counterrevolution, it is this large share of the economy that is not entirely subservient to market forces that gives Putin the luxury of talking in terms of "we" , despite his submissive attitude towards capitalism.

The fact is that capitalism ( "The Market" ) cannot develop Russia. This has been the case for more than a hundred years, which is why they had a revolution in the first place and why the privatizations have been halted and are now (grudgingly) being reversed.

Putin's strength lies not in his ideology because his strength of conviction to that ideology is that of an overcooked noodle. This happens to work out OK though because his ideology is neoliberal capitalism. Clinging to that ideology isn't serving any leader in the world right now, as we can see in Europe and the US. Rather, Putin's strength is in his patriotic pragmatism. He doesn't want to build "Socialism with Russian Characteristics" , but pragmatics forces him in that direction.

Jen , Oct 24 2020 20:56 utc | 17
Kemerd @ 11:

Russia will be moving to a progressive income tax regime from 2021 onwards. The current personal income tax regime is a flat 13%. From next year, individuals earning 5 million rubles or more annually will be subject to a 15% tax rate. Sounds like little but these sorts of reforms have to take time and have to be done in small increments.

It's my understanding that the bulk of Russia's tax receipts currently come from the energy sector. I'm sure way back in 1998 Putin wrote a PhD dissertation on the use of natural resources as the basis of economic development and growth, and taxation of energy companies would be one method of using land resources to achieve this growth.

Eric , Oct 24 2020 21:10 utc | 18
Keeping inflation up by a bit will make it easier for Russian consumers and companies to pay back their loans. It is economically healthier than the deflationary policies of western societies.

That's a great idea, except both government and household debt in Russia are among the lowest in the world (probably the lowest of any industrialized country). Both Putin and the foreigners who fawn over him, including myself not very long ago, are the first to tout this fact. This way inflation in the Russian economy means consumers get to enjoy rising costs of living, and the state and companies rising costs of raw materials, energy etc. while there's virtually no debt on the other side of the equation for inflation to devalue. There's still a lot of corporate sector debt in Russia, but the bulk of it is still, incredibly, denominated in dollars, euros, Swiss franc, and so on. Ruble inflation and falling exchange rates don't make this debt to cheaper to service, but of course the opposite.

It's a great thing that the rate of home ownership (without associated mortgage debt) is so high in Russia, and it's probably the only result of the privatization drive that was actually a good outcome. There's no reason that Russians should now be loaded up with huge debts in order to own a house or an apartment. Access to personal credit for things like a car is difficult and expensive in Russia, which obviously means a lot of people can't afford a car, but on the other further helps to ensure the indebtedness of households is kept low. At the same time, like Putin (and b) does here, many in Russia apparently want to pretend that their economy is like a Western economy, and that accordingly its households are partially relieved financially by inflation when they actually only suffer from increased prices. It's absolutely bizarre.

The reality is that Russia's leadership has an unparalleled commitment toward, and talent for, getting the worst of all worlds economically. Thanks to them Russia is probably the only major economy in the world with high inflation but microscopic domestic currency debt (and correspondingly low investment in the domestic economy). This way Russia has gotten to enjoy, historically, very high inflation but much lower growth rates than other developing economies. (The high growth rates in the 2000's came from high raw materials prices, resulting merely in accumulation of foreign exchange reserves which the Russian government itself then said could not be efficiently converted into rubles and invested in the Russian economy. Growth in industrial and agricultural production, or in fixed assets like infrastructure, was accordingly much smaller, if even existent.)

There's also the continuing Wild West capitalism where oligarchs have gotten to keep their stolen assets in potash, gold mining, coal mining etc., even in strategic industrial sectors like steelmaking, power engineering or the automotive industry, while at the same time even Chinese investors are discouraged from investing through opaque regulation and unpredictable Russian state intervention. In other words, stability for the oligarchs who openly tried to destroy the Russian state and turn it into a Hong Kong-style neo-feudal hellhole, and who today just as before continue to asset strip the last residues of Soviet-era manufacturing, but a Great Wall against the Asians who want to come in and develop petrochemicals plants, e-commerce, timber industry or whatever.

Through the entire 2000-2012 era, the Russian government came down like a hawk on ruble-denominated debt, while corporations (both private and state-owned) could take out basically unlimited loans in foreign currency. State-owned companies like Rosneft actually led the foreign currency indebtedness, helping enormously to ensure that Russia's only real advantage and asset in the post-Soviet era, the trade surplus resulting from its oil and gas exports, is sent out of the country as interest payments to American and European banks, rather than (as China has done) paying for the imports of Western machinery and technologies to help develop domestic manufacturing.

Certainly, Russian companies are now much more restricted in the amounts of foreign currency credit they can accept, but access to ruble credit is highly limited as well. The result is of course austerity in the economy, with anemic growth and falling living standards.

Another important "benefit" was that the West had an easy way to put pressure on the ruble. They simply forbade Russian companies from rolling over their debt, forcing them to come up with huge sums of foreign currency in short order. That crashed the rouble, thereby dramatically forcing up prices (and equivalently, inflation) in the, by its own design, almost completely import-dependent Russian economy. The crash in oil prices (again, simply limiting Russia's income in dollar terms, much of which they needed simply to pay back Western creditors anyway) was just icing on the cake.

One could keep going like this forever. If China and South Korea had political and corporate elites with this mentality, and with this level of commitment to neo-liberalism and globalization, but (critically!) only to its worst aspects and outcomes, these countries would have been very lucky to be at the level of development of Thailand today. That's the reality and attacking people who raise these criticisms as enemies of Russia, as many did to me in the last thread about thread on these topics, does nothing to help matters. In fact, with "friends" like you, maybe Russia does not need enemies.

Paco , Oct 24 2020 21:41 utc | 19
I've been having fun listening and reading the reactions and selected excerpts in the media to the long, very long Putin conference, three hours with the question and answer segment, the most substantial and interesting, but five hours total considering that he appeared two hours late, no doubt preparing until the last minute and over the speech as could be seen in the notes that he held and that somehow the sound technicians did not filter out completely, which was a bit annoying.

Checking out the chaotic notes that I took, there is one little detail that most surely won't get any attention, his recourse to widely used popular expressions like when he asks himself rhetorically:

what is a strong state? What are its strengths?

The Russian word for strength could be translated as power too, and any an every Russian recalls the great hero of the dark 90's, the late Serguey Bodrov in the film "The Brother 2", partly filmed in Chicago, Bodrov asks a panicked businessman: Tell me American, where is the power? is the power in money? I think the power is in truth . a phrase that everybody knows and feels proud of in Russia.

Vlad not only plays complex accords for foreign consumption, he plays for the home team first, just in case .

https://youtu.be/DzlHX_i6nhY

Et Tu , Oct 24 2020 21:52 utc | 20
Putin, like all politicians, is more about what he says and less about what he does.

Fair enough, i challenge anyone in his position to do better... I actually admire the man, but let's not delude ourselves. Russia stands to benefit from global warming more than any other country in spite of all the damage it will still cause it. On the overall balance, it will average out ahead of everyone else, in relative terms, so don't look to them for answers.

As for "the State"... so what if it's his mates who benefit instead of oligarchs, what is the difference when most of the people in Russia are broke and have no realistic prospects or chances of progressing beyond their predetermined fates? The cynic in me ultimately thinks he just wants the oligarchs to pay their taxes to make his job easier, keep the people happy, so he can get reelected more easily.

james , Oct 24 2020 22:02 utc | 21
@ Eric | Oct 24 2020 21:10 utc | 18.. eric, i was intrigued by your ideas in the previous thread and i am again here... how do you come by this particular vantage point?? do you have a particular background in finances, or is it just a special interest that you have cultivated to come by the position you share in your post here? i am genuinely curious! i don't have enough knowledge to comment and wish someone like Michael Hudson could comment on this specific topic that you seem to excel at holding a very specific and fairly negative outlook on with regard Russia... thanks for your comments either way.. it is above my pay grade to respond with any authority..

i continue to believe the planet is being screwed by big finance.. it seems hard to see thru the maze a way out of this... your suggestion that russia is also caught in this maze would not surprise me... what is the way out, if i might be so bold??

Eric , Oct 24 2020 22:06 utc | 23
@20, Et Tu

I think your post points to a fundamental worrisome feature of Russia. It's very unclear who actually has a stake in the prosperity, power or even existence of the Russian state in 50 or 100 years' time. People can pretend that the Russian Orthodox Church plays this role but there's very little to suggest it really does. India, I think, unfortunately struggles with the same problem, but the destruction of India at the hands of British goes a long way to explain it in my view. In China or Iran, with all the issues of their own that those two countries have, there's however very little ambiguity in this regard.

I'm not even sure I would place the blame on Western-style representative democracy in Russia, as the same basic problem seems to have been there both before the October Revolution and at the very least during the post-Stalin era of the Soviet Union. The question is if Russia, despite everything, as a Christian civilization isn't ultimately a participant in the Western world's anomie and decline.

deschutesmaple , Oct 24 2020 22:28 utc | 25
Yes! Absolutely capitalism is rapidly destroying the planet. Of this there is no question. Nothing can be left alone: 'undeveloped' land must be 'developed', i.e. forests cut down and replaced by subdivisions, parking lots, McDonald's, office buildings, etc. Capitalism is truly insidious: look at how the once mighty Amazon rainforest has been utterly wiped out by greedy cattle farmers looking for a quick buck with the blessing of Bolsonaro. Where there were once massive old growth forests across N. America, there are now only 'tree museums', i.e. national parks which save less than 1% of what there once was before Europeans came and destroyed everything–in the name of profit. Capitalism not only destroys natural resources, it destroys people: slavery has been replaced by wage slavery: and the wage slave's earnings from his 'mcjob' invariably go to his landlord, or other parasites. Your employer is your master in capitalism: he is your god and you serve him. Any excess profit you make all goes to him, not you. If you look at him wrong, or have a bad attitude you are replaced–and NO good reference for you! What a miserable shit system craptialism is.
Eric , Oct 24 2020 22:29 utc | 26
@21, james

I have been strongly influenced by Michael Hudson's writings over several years now. Basically everything in that post is either a point he already made about Russia or a direct application of his overall thinking on Russia's economy. For this reason I was very surprised by the hostility of certain commenters, in particular karlof1, who also could be called followers of Michael Hudson. karlof1 even suggested I should spend a couple of years researching Russian economic development, even though I've quite obviously already done that (which doesn't mean everyone has to agree with my conclusions). I have to wonder if he and Martyanov either never came across Hudson's criticisms of Russian economic policy (one of the actually less harsh examples here - if you search his site michael-hudson.com you can find others) or consider him also an ignorant anti-Russian commentator but are able to appreciate him in spite of that.

karlof1 , Oct 24 2020 22:44 utc | 27
I wrote about this part of Putin's speech back on the 22nd when he made this appraisal:

" only a viable state can act effectively in a crisis ."

I bolded the text then and I've done so again because that's one of the most important points he raised, IMO, particularly in relation to the clearly unviable Outlaw US Empire and EU. I even turned my commentary into a short article at my VK space that will be expanded once I digest all the Q & A.

I recently made an observation about Russia's banking and finance systems in that they're controlled by the public via the state, not by some private entities separate from the state doing all they can to avoid any type of regulation and oversight, which was based on this item I linked here at the time. I later made the observation that the moral/ethical grounding of who/what's in charge of those systems matters greatly when it comes to making an equitable society--and it will matter even more as we get into the having steady-state economies as resource depletion mounts into the crisis it will eventually become. Putin showed that he knows and understands all that, which is well beyond the capacity of the vast majority of those known as politicians--especially those in Neoliberal nations. Putin used the term "balance" 7 times, imbalance once, in his speech. I suggest readers use the CTRL-F function to search the text for that term to see what it's in reference to so they can learn a bit more about the man and his mind and the importance of seeking balance in attaining equitability.

At the tail end of the Q & A, Putin is asked: "what you can advise and offer to Russian youth?" Putin's answer conforms completely with his policy toward the promotion of families and urging young people to strive for their aspirations -- unlike many Western politicos, he backs his admonitions with robust policies to make them possible, something I've long admired about him. Here's most of Putin's reply:

"But what can we offer? We believe we will give young people more opportunities for professional growth and create more social lifts for them. We are building up these instruments and creating conditions for people to receive a good education, make a career, start a family and receive enough income for a young family.

"We are drafting an increasing number of measures to support young families. Let me emphasise that even during the pandemic, most of our support measures were designed for families with children. What are these families? They are young people for the most part.

"We will continue doing this in the hope that young people will use their best traits – their daring striving to move ahead without looking back at formalities that probably make older generations more reserved – for positive, creative endeavours. Eventually, the younger generation will take the baton from the older generation and continue this relay race, and make Russia stronger."

The difference in that regard between Putin's vision and his actions when compared to the Outlaw US Empire and other Neoliberal nations is beyond stark--it's as if they inhabit two different solar systems.

The reason Putin's hated by the West is he took an unviable Russia and made it more than viable again. IMO, he's the unequaled Dean of what few Statesmen exist in today's world, which makes him an asset for humanity.

Jen , Oct 24 2020 23:04 utc | 29
Eric @ 18, James @ 21:

There used to be a regular commenter at Mark Chapman's Kremlin Stooge / The New Kremlin Stooge - I forget his KS name but he was a physicist (and not a very good-tempered one at that, he had regular shouting matches with one other commenter Yalensis there) -- but he was of the opinion that interest rates set by the Central Bank of Russia have been too high and have discouraged small business investment in Russia. The head of the CBR may still be Elvira Nabiullina -- I haven't checked lately. She and others in the government who help set monetary policies in Russia are suspected of being neoliberal and Atlanticist in their outlook.

As President, Putin is not responsible for setting domestic policies - that's Prime Minister Mishustin's job.

vk , Oct 24 2020 23:41 utc | 30
Putin spoke all that in a very specific environment (in a room full of rabid liberals/pro-capitalists), so we should be care about its content.

There are some incongruousness in his speech we must correct here:

1) It is a myth the State, during the golden age of liberalism (16th-19th Centuries) was "minimal". On the contrary: there was a ton of State intervention in the people's daily life - including the right of the State to separate whole families and use their children in servile labor. The difference here is that the gross of that intervention was directed to the dispossessed, i.e. the working classes. There was also a ton of regulations over slave ownership. The age of classical liberalism is considered one of minimum State because the freedom of the powerful slave owners and industrialists was almost zero; it's the History told from the point of view of the capitalists. That's why Putin clearly said "[capitalism] the way you have described it [...]"

2) The mixed system between what he calls "State intervention" (welfare of the people, command or planned economy) and "free market" is the scientific definition of socialism. Marx wasn't an idealist: he was a materialist. He knew a direct transition to communism was impossible, therefore he imagined a system of transition, where communism and capitalism would exist together. This transition system was called socialism. That's why China, still governed by a Marxist-Leninist Party, considers itself socialist and not capitalist, or even "mixed" for that matter;

Another observation: the Western countries didn't enter deflation/low inflation because of ZIRP/NIRP. They were already suffering from it before those policies. The opposite is the true: precisely because they were having a too low inflation, they resorted to ZIRP/NIRP.

Jen , Oct 24 2020 23:47 utc | 31
Yep re my comment @ 29: Nabiullina is still CBR head according to her Wikipedia entry. Since becoming CBR head back in 2012 or 2013, she has consistently followed a policy of tackling inflation first to the extent of keeping interest rates higher than they perhaps should be. This probably helps explain some of the issues Eric @ 18 raises about Russians' access to personal credit.

Interestingly Nabiullina's Wikipedia entry shows she worked with Alexei Kudrin in the past. Kudrin has a reputation for preferring neoliberal economic policies. Currently he is Inspector General in the Russian govt's audit office where he can mouth off all he likes about how he'd reform Russian economic policies if he got the chance but not actually do much damage: a case of Putin keeping potential enemies somewhere where they can be watched.

Eric does raise the issue about how Russian oligarchs were allowed to keep their gains and not be forced to pay back taxes they owed way back in the early 2000s, but this was on condition that they not meddle in Russian federal politics and buy influence, and pay all their future taxes and other obligations, like paying their employees, promptly and in accordance with Russian laws. Those who refused ended up in prison (Khodorkovsky) or fled overseas (Berezovsky). Roman Abramovich paid an unusual penalty: he was made Governor of Chukotka in far eastern Siberia near the Bering Sea for a couple of years at least. He paid for all that territory's infrastructure improvements. Of course the people there must love him!

psychohistorian , Oct 25 2020 0:05 utc | 32
So why are not all barflies writing and thinking about the role of the state in the economy within the context of current private control of finance in the West?

What is blinding you all to not state the obvious role issue of those that own global private finance not being any "state" of transparency?

We are in a civilization war about the fact that a current state in our world, China, has a public finance core of government which is opposed to the Western cult of global private finance. Wake up.

Reading the entrails of the Russian economy that has been ravaged for decades by the cult of private finance and its followers in Russia does us no service to b's question of what role the state should have in the national and world economy. Because Russia is still having to operate with the shit show called empire they are limited in their response. I was taught 50 years ago that a 2% inflation rate was optimal but because Russia is trying to build its population, it is spending more money supporting that segment of the overall population and saying the inflation rate is worth the investment.

The role of the state in the economy

History has shown positive results from what are called mixed economies. The US is a mixed economy with the state, at various levels, supporting energy, transportation, USPS, water, sewage treatment, police and fire protection, education, SSI, regulations, etc. There are and have been attempts to privatize all those things under the canard that the service can be provided "better" with profit as the motive other than service to others.

There is no magic mixed economy formula for any one state and it will change over time like Russia is choosing to do. But the state has limited control of the economy if the tools of finance are privately held and not integrated into state functionality....and it is my understanding that the Central Bank in Russia for example is not entirely a sovereign entity...what sayest our most recent barfly, Eric?

Please join in a more reasoned contextual discussion of our world. I am tired of reading about "ism"s. More reality please.

Smith , Oct 25 2020 0:14 utc | 34
The lingering question remains: after Putin, who?
juliania , Oct 25 2020 1:10 utc | 40
Thank you b for continuing this conversation. The speech and Q&A were most interesting. They were consistent with what Putin has said before, but done so this time with more confidence as even the oppression of the covid situation was dealt with in honorable fashion - if one can honor a virus, that is. It is always, with Putin, that the people come first, and he made that statement at the beginning.

Countries, all countries, have that obligation in their governance that it be for the people's welfare. So, to him, whatever system a country has is only important in that respect and each country, drawing on its own history and its assets, decides for itself what that style of governance will be.

This is different from any outside system being touted as the ideal. There isn't an ideal. It all depends on how the people wish to be governed, based on what they feel is important to them. That is democracy in its loosest terms. He said several times that any philosophy of government imposed by outsiders will never work.

At the same time, his support for the UN system on a world wide basis is as unconditional as his first premise.

One size doesn't fit all---what a relief!

juliania , Oct 25 2020 1:17 utc | 41
I meant to add that casting my mind back to the last debate, the one thing being said about the people was Biden intensely eyeing us and telling us about the empty chair at the kitchen table - nice!
circumspect , Oct 25 2020 1:20 utc | 42
.. an important task of abandoning the practice of unrestrained and unlimited consumption – overconsumption – in favour of judicious and reasonable sufficiency, when you do not live just for today but also think about tomorrow.

We need to land somewhere between North Korea and the US on consumption. John Judge used to talk about how 30 houses on a street need 30 lawnmowers. Why not buy one lawnmower, share it and maintain it? I ditched my lawns long ago as that is also over consumption but I use it as an example of what type of society we have built.

"... I am confident that what makes a state strong, primarily, is the confidence it's citizens have in it. That is the strength of a state. People are the source of power, we all know that."

It is not just confidence it is having an educated competent citizenry. Our top education institutions, especially the ivy league, are cranking out students trained to protect the status quo hence things will not changed easily.

Moon is going to end up on the Russian disinformation agitators list.

vk , Oct 25 2020 1:35 utc | 44
@ Posted by: psychohistorian | Oct 25 2020 0:05 utc | 32

This "mixed economies won the Cold War" is an old story already. Eric Hobsbawn left a letter claiming just before he died, in 2012.

The problem with the Scandinavian economies is this: who's gonna do the dirty jobs? You cannot simply make a nation of designers and white collar workers. The social-democracies of the post-war solved this problem with the Third World countries, but now those countries are not accepting this role anymore.

Besides, there's the objective fact even the Scandinavian economies are declining, with inequality skyrocketing since the end of the 1990s. They, too, are susceptible to the laws of capitalism.

V , Oct 25 2020 1:49 utc | 45
"Strengthening our country and looking at what is happening in the world, in other countries, I want to say to those who are still waiting for the gradual demise of Russia: in this case, we are only worried about one thing -- how not to catch a cold at your funeral", Putin said on Thursday at a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club.

Love it! Just so Putin...

Smith , Oct 25 2020 1:52 utc | 46
@ vk

That's an interesting question. How are the underclass workers (construction, janitors, street sweepers) wage and social benefits in the Nordic countries in comparison with China, S. Korea and Japan?

ptb , Oct 25 2020 2:03 utc | 47
@eric 18 et al

Those are important points. It seems to be a common pattern in neoliberal economics. The answer to "why" that I pieced together is this: It is all about the oligarchs in combination with their immediate overseas business partners. Typically they own a considerable portion of the foreign-jurisdiction bonds lent to their own nations. It is a straightforward money laundering arrangement.

The Russian government cannot simply remove the domestic oligarchs**, no more than a US or EU government could do the same against equivalent local business powers. Rather, they come to a livable equilibrium. Preventing investment from China, EU etc, is, in addition to defending national sovereignty, also a case of the government defending the domestic oligarchs from foreign rivals -- rivals who would have greater financial resources with the backing of their own larger home regions.

However, the big difference in the case of Russia, compared to most countries victimized by the neoliberal pattern, is that the government is powerful enough to quite reliably protect the local oligarchs from their foreign rivals, including pretty much anything that the foreign rival's home governments can possibly throw at them (i.e. the various regime change toolbox). This protection is a massively valuable service. For this reason, the Russian government can, if it is halfway decent and perhaps above-average in managing the difficult internal politics, negotiate a better (i.e. more long-term sustainable) arrangement with the local oligarchs, in terms of how the citizens are affected.

[** but with all the sanctions etc, this balance of power actually shifts]

Dr. George W Oprisko , Oct 25 2020 5:59 utc | 54
You do realize that the Russians have three (3) vaccines, and the Chinese one (1) in late stage 3 trials, with Sputnik V due to complete theirs next month and to go into serial production shortly. Putin's strategy is to vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate.

Mishustin is busy holding trade fairs promoting the Russian arctic. Business residency for $$RUB$$$. Ski resorts on the Kola peninsula...

While his enemies implode under the second COVID-19 wave....

INDY

willie , Oct 25 2020 7:08 utc | 55
24#

Thank you Alicia for putting up that interview. I like very much the articles Orlov writes, and many of them I find translated in French. He has humour, unlike more well known geopolitics analysts. Try this one:

https://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2020/10/nefarious-objectives.html

kiwiklown , Oct 25 2020 7:14 utc | 56
That Valdai speech / Q&A was a master class in governance. While Putin thinks and talks like a sane man, Western leaders reveal daily that they are now not sanity-capable, not logic-capable, not sanity-capable, not shame-capable.

Putin shows a commanding grasp of his nation's people, economy, culture, history, environment, geo-strategic needs, impressively rattling off numbers, statistics, reason, rationale, logic and pragmatic good sense. In all that, he reminds me of that other great world-class leader, Lee Kuan Yew, whom Kissinger once called the Wise Man of Asia. Russia is fortunate to be governed by a world-class leader and his team today, but good luck to the Great Toilet Bowl Stirrers in the West.

kiwiklown , Oct 25 2020 7:21 utc | 57
Putin: "But I would address it more broadly to discuss also an important task of abandoning the practice of unrestrained and unlimited consumption – overconsumption – in favour of judicious and reasonable sufficiency, when you do not live just for today but also think about tomorrow..... After all, it is within our power to stop being egoistical, greedy, mindless and wasteful consumers.... We just need to open our eyes, look around us and see that the land, air and water are our common inheritance from above, and we must learn to cherish them, just as we must cherish every human life, which is precious. This is the only way forward in this complicated and beautiful world. I do not want to see the mistakes of the past repeated."

Was Putin talking about Russians? or about Americans? Who are those exceptional 4% of the global population who demands to consume 40% of global resources?

kiwiklown , Oct 25 2020 8:59 utc | 58
Putin: "So, we want the voice of our citizens to be decisive and to see constructive proposals and requests from different social forces get implemented.... what you call your political system is immaterial...."

It doesn't matter if it is a 'democratic' or 'socialist', but governments that primarily serve the people's needs (not the elite's greed) will listen to, and DO, the people's will. Out of that, the people give their CONSENT to be governed.

Today, ALL governments use a mix of democratic and socialist tools, eg. China, Russia, UK, USA. But, unlike the West, who boast that their system is more perfect, China and Russia serve their people primarily.

As Deng said, it does not matter if the cat is black or white.

Mark2 , Oct 25 2020 9:51 utc | 59
How much of America's policy's are run out of pure jealousy of Russia and China ? Rather than being a supper power, they have regressed into immature petulant juvenile tantrums. Self-distruction and self-harm.
jadan , Oct 25 2020 11:40 utc | 64
Putin is a "statesman". A few squalid pretenders in the political class here may aspire to that title, but It is not a badge you pin on yourself, it is awarded by general acclaim. Putin has stepped into the vacuum of world leadership left by the US Idiocracy when Trump took over with the help of his free market, anti-government cohort, the Koch's, Robert Mercer, Paul Singer, and etc.

Putin is the champion of arms control, multilateralism & cooperation, and following this address certainly, environmentalism. All attempts to demonize Putin on the part of the neoliberal US oligarchy collapse when the diminutive Russian Mongol begins to speak. I join in the applause. It is so refreshing to listen to a leader talking sense for a change! I don't care if he is a benevolent authoritarian anti-democrat, I am so grateful for his intelligent leadership that I salute! And I thank b for bringing this Valdai event to our attention. The poverty and ideological blindness of our media conglomerates is just outrageous!

William Gruff , Oct 25 2020 12:26 utc | 67
"Overconsumption" , in and of itself, isn't the problem. The problem is the distortion of value that capitalist empire introduces. If the effort required to acquire some thing accurately reflected the effort to produce that thing then consumption would be naturally self-limiting. After all, who could every day consume products containing two days worth of effort if they had to work two days for every day worth of their consuming? "Overconsumption" can only occur because the empire expropriates massive amounts of produced value from its vassals and uses that robbed value to buy off its domestic population. Likewise, capitalism over-rewards certain portions of the domestic population (typically no-skill "professionals" such as journalists and middle managers) who act as "insulation" for the elites from the working class.

Note that you don't see "overconsumption" among factory workers in Bangladesh or Malaysia. Child slave laborers working on African cocoa plantations for your Hershey bars could never be accused of "overconsumption" . It would even be unjust to accuse Chinese workers, as much as their standards of living have exploded over the last couple decades, of indulging in "overconsumption" .

When China is successful in replacing the US$ with a scientifically managed "currency basket" for international trade and currency reserve then the problem of "overconsumption" will correct itself and the Global North will go on a diet. I am not sure that will be possible though without some "kinetic" events between now and then.

H.Schmatz , Oct 25 2020 13:26 utc | 70
On the role of the state on the economy...and on everything else...things not discussed at Valdai, nor at MoA for that matter, and which contribute to promote the disintegration of states so wished by the neorreactionaires due the lose of confidence of citizens in the state-

Making the broth to fascism, on the verge of coming "curfews" to be stablished in Spain ,and other European countries...One wonders why the hell Thiel & associated, those owners of hedge funds and managers of our personal data on behalf of already fascist givernment like that in the US, need to follow trying to implant their so wished feudal state where the masses are submitted into slavery, when all that is this already here...and without complaints from our part...

From home to work and from work to home: the coronavirus makes the capitalist dream of a controlled and militarized population come true

(...)A recent article by Carlota García Encina, an analyst at the Elcano Royal Institute, described the coronavirus pandemic as "an opportunity for NATO." Specifically, it stated that "the universality of the coronavirus means that NATO must defend the 30 as if they were one, going from" one for all and all for one "to" all for all ".

In 2003, and anticipating events like the cheating poker player who anticipates his results, NATO released - it was not secret - the Urban Operations in the Year 2020 report, a socio-economic analysis of the situation in Europe where it anticipated a crisis unprecedented in the history of capitalism, where urban poverty "could grow significantly in the future, leading to possible uprisings, civil unrest and threats to security that will require the intervention of local authorities".

The analysis was only a preview of the crisis that the capitalist system was forging. The United Nations evaluated in 2019, and counting on the data as of December 31, 2018 (that is, less than a year and a half after the "coronavirus crisis"), that 26.1% of the population in Spain, and 29.5% of those under 18 years of age were in a situation of poverty. That more than 55% had difficulties to make ends meet, and that 5.4% had severe deficiencies (access to electricity, drinking water, heating, etc.). Official unemployment was 13.78%, more than double the EU average, and youth unemployment was 30.51% among those under 25 years of age. We insist, before the State of Alarm decreed on March 14, 2020.(...)


(...)Any investigation of an event ("coronavirus crisis") has to start from the circumstances that surround it to obtain accurate conclusions, and not the other way around. The origin of this crisis that is impoverishing millions of people cannot be limited to March 14, 2020, because as we have seen, the problem came from long before.

If we add to this that many of the decisions that are transforming society towards a privatist model (locked up at home) and individualistic (normalizing the suppression of rights) were made based on the criteria of a "committee of experts" that has not existed, we can never set off an alarm that this is not just a "fucking virus."

But the second question that we need to verify is the deterrent effect of the exercise of those rights which imply these decisions, because even the left is accepting the official account of the events with astonishing passivity.(...)

(...)Paul Von Hindenburg, who came to power thanks to his family fortune, and with credentials manufactured by that fortune, ended the German Weimar Constitution of 1919 by signing the Reichstag Fire Decree and ushering in something that at the time of being approved no one called fascism. In the current context, the succession of regulations of this "new exceptionality" grants an extraordinary delegation of functions to the police or civil guard officers.

With this empowered power, there is no place to turn back. The curfew that will be established in the next few hours may one day be eliminated from the BOE, but the meaning of this measure is that mass psychology incorporates a disciplined attitude towards the reality that surrounds us into its behavior.

And what surrounds us is what we already know. Faced with the question of whether or not we should comply with the restrictions imposed by the State (confinement, isolation, no meetings, no leisure), we must ask ourselves (as we should have done before March 14) if we are willing to accept or not that poverty and repression are part of our lives .

steven t johnson , Oct 25 2020 13:36 utc | 71
The stock market crash of 1987, the savings and loan debacle, the tech bubble, the Asian tigers meltdown, the world "recession" of 2008 and today's global slump (which preceded the pandemic, a point neglected by the apologists for capitalism,) show that capitalism doesn't work as advertised, even on its own limited terrain. All claims about how "I" (whether it's Putin, Trump, Boris Johnson, Macron, a miscellaneous German, whoever) am smart enough to solve the minor details of finance responsible have been proven by history to be lies. Whether born of sincerely felt megalomania or calculated perfidy doesn't matter, instability and inequality (which is a bad thing, not a good one, no matter what secret feelings may be harbored,) *are* the normal operations of market economies.

When you add to that the way the global capitalist system is creating a global environmental crisis, the shamelessness of the capitalist apologists is staggering. Putin is a fool.

The fraud Proyect seems to think Xi is actively commanding the Chinese economy in such a fashion as to be personally responsible for, well, everything, conveniently omits that Xi is to be condemned precisely for *not* taking charge the way needed, for advancing the power of the Chinese bourgeoisie even at the expense of the future of China. But then, Proyect is anticommunist/pro imperialist, a champion of barbarism using pious phrases.

Lastly, the notion that "overconsumption" is the problem, is basically an attack on the masses of the people. The problem is the accumulation of capital, of money, which is not consumed, but "invested" for yet more money. There's a fake left website called Crooked Timer where the oh-so-refined-sensibilities of a clot of academics is offended by the rabble eating meat...but they're not offended by billionaires having more money than they can spend! This is the same thing. The pursuit of money, profit, is not overconsumption, but that, not overconsumption, distorts the economy. Starting with vague notions like overconsumption reflects a deep ideological disorientation...or a commitment to capitalism, imperialism and ultimately barbarism.

H.Schmatz , Oct 25 2020 13:42 utc | 72
Things not discussed at Valdai...on the "eco-scam", how the Spanish IBEX35 giants, private great corporations on energy, transports and clothing, claim thousands of millions from European Funds ( which come from tax payers money, not from the private bank accounts of European officials, do not forget...) on the alibi of "energetic transition" and "sustainability"....This is the new scam after that of rescuing big banks in 2008, for the bailing out and profit of those of always while the population impoverishes at galloping pace and without any prospect of recovery, austerity seems to be our only prospect...

https://twitter.com/Amor_y_Rabia/status/1319182926152597504

This is why Putin is not always right, nor is he God´s envoy personified, since he tells half the film...at Valdai...

H.Schmatz , Oct 25 2020 14:04 utc | 73
On the "pipelines war", also discussed at Valdai, of which it is part the alleged "Navalny poisoning" also briefly discussed without naming that unimportant, at Russian and world level, person, how to explain that Germany must cut off Nord Stream 2 pipeline development on the grounds of not linking its energetic sovereignty to Russia, and then Europe must link its energetic sovereignty to Israel, when the EU has been an historical defender of Palestinian people´s rights and with this link Europe will be submitted to blackmail on the part of Israel anytime it dares criticize Israel´s apartheid measures against Palestinians?
After diplomatically recognizing Israel, the UAE signed a contract through the MRLB with the Israeli company EAPC (which manages the Eilat-Ashkelon pipeline) to transport crude oil to Europe without having to cross the Suez Canal

https://twitter.com/Amor_y_Rabia/status/1319170266627452930

willie , Oct 25 2020 15:14 utc | 78
64# jadan

Very true jadan, your view on Putin, and every time I read an excerpt or a speech by him I notice he is far above our western "leaders" with their meaningless chatter and hollow phrases. That's why you will never read the slightest alinea by Putin in der Spiegel,le Monde ,or le Figaro.The vile venal journo's can't afford to print it and keep up their unmerited credibility at the same time.Same for Lavrov,Assad,Xi and Khadafi.

xeno , Oct 25 2020 16:11 utc | 80
American grocery stores - 80 pct of the items are not necessary and are likely harmful to some degree. Junk food outlets, it's been known for decades that this stuff leads to obesity, diabetes, and who knows what else. The authorities could mandate changes to low fat, sugar and salt contents that would apply to all of them with no real harm to their business, but it doesn't get done because the right people get paid off.
Noirette , Oct 25 2020 16:22 utc | 81
Putin stands out like a shining light amongst what are called world leaders.

Some are just bosses of crime syndicates, follow my eyes (USA). Others are just hopeless idiot figure-heads, like Trudeau. (I am biased, particularly dislike him. Macron is in the same bin.)

Putin's statements about the 'economy' are calculatedly 'judicious' and unassailable. Note, he only says one has to question the role of the State in the 'economy' in the sense of control of it, with the State as a mega-regulator + law-maker wielding authority from the top - not as negotiator, as far as I have understood Putin.

That 'State control' should be different in different conditions -- regions, epochs, etc., is a truism. Putin projects the feel of 'reasonable control' and 'piloting' (encouraging xyz.. or the opposite..) which rejects both despotic, authoritarian stances, often 'arbitrary' (or experienced as such), as well as, on the other side, anarchy and unbridled profiteering -> racketeering, monopolies, cartels, fraud, violence, coercion, etc. Some call that capitalism, others gangsterism.

Russia, land + ressource rich, with a 'low' population density, with well-educated ppl (as compared to many others), its 'economy' at least not plunging or even stagnant (GDP per capita or some such), is well positioned to put forward such 'reasonable' thoughts.

Humanity's dilemma or rather looming disaster sink-hole - see: ressource extraction, trashing the environment, irreversible tipping points, 'peak oil' (gone out of fashion with fracking in the US), and other over-consumption (sand for ex.), destruction (soils.. rivers.. ocean.. global warming..), over-population, global warming.. will not be reversed or in any way solved, by reasoned Putin-type discourse. (see pnyzx at 4, vk 30, psychohistorian 32 and others..)

For sure, Putin's job is not to solve the world's problems but to protect and nurture Russia and its people and he does that very well.

Schmoe , Oct 25 2020 18:38 utc | 83
Eric @18

"while at the same time even Chinese investors are discouraged from investing through opaque regulation and unpredictable Russian state intervention."

I wonder if they are becoming more open to western investors. Nordstream 2's financing is ~50% European, and this from Oilprice.com:

". . . .No wonder, then, that a number of banks have pledged a total of $9.5 billion in funding for Novatek's second LNG project, the Arctic LNG 2. According to a Reuters report, the China Development Bank and German Euler Hermes are among the lenders that have made pledges, and French Pbifrance is yet to decide on the funding. The China Development Bank is, unsurprisingly, the most generous backer of the $21-billion Arctic LNG 2 project, with $5 billion.

Arctic LNG 2 will have a liquefaction capacity of $19.8 [sic] million tons of LNG annually divided among three liquefaction trains."

PS - Good to see you posting after you were virtually assaulted last week.

bystander04 , Oct 25 2020 19:01 utc | 84
Den lille Abe,
I nowadays start to read comments from the "bottom up" - in order not to fall into the traps of some trolls, some of those I know by name, and this prevents me to read their comments. In other words, if you continue reading from top down, you don't know who's comment you read...

generate plutonium warhead fuel.

Hoarsewhisperer , Oct 26 2020 0:02 utc | 88
Interesting transcript. Simple, no-frills English. Judging from the English subtitles in Oliver Stone's 4-part series The Putin Interviews, Putin is no stranger to refreshingly frank, clear and unambiguous communication, No wonder Russians love him.

Huge contrast with the mendacity of pseudo-Christian ratbags masquerading as Western Leaders on the world stage. Evidence of the Scum Mo Government's laughably opaque and unaccountable corruption is seeping out of every crack in the facade of what passes for 'democracy' in Oz.

[Oct 25, 2020] The Damage Russiagate Has Done -

Oct 25, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

GlassSteagall , 49 minutes ago

Continung to demonize Russia is a bad idea

07564111 , 41 minutes ago

Yes because ....

A powerful & game-changing Russia/China military alliance is 'quite possible' in future but not on the cards yet, says Putin

https://www.rt.com/russia/504345-moscow-beijing-military-alliance/

And it certainly will happen ;-)

NachoLiebor , 30 minutes ago

China is looking at Russia like a hungry pork chop.

See Bear and the Dragon by Tom Clancy. But China has better tech and Russia *still* has better snipers.

NachoLiebor , 36 minutes ago

Toria Nuland and Hilldawg tried to goad Russia into a war with the EU and US over the Ukraine.

So, what's your point?

Revolution_starts_now , 32 minutes ago

operation "Jumping Jack Flash". Why should Trump not unleash some fica warrants on Biden?

Even if he wins he is doomed before he takes office.

They did it to Trump, why not pass along the favor?

Magnum , 40 minutes ago

Highly recommended is a look at The Magnitsky Act

Specifically the role of Bill Browder, his history and involvement. Piraya Films created this and it was banned. I believe you can still watch it. Obama admin was a complete disaster. It is in everyone's interest to get along with Russians, who are different culturally but mean no harm to us.

https://swprs.org/the-magnitsky-act/

Ron_Mexico , 21 minutes ago

the Amish are compelled to pit Caucasian against Caucasian. The browns are easier to control.

NachoLiebor , 44 minutes ago

Never again. Never ever again.

The people (and I use the term loosely) responsible for this fabricated Russian witch hunt

against President Trump need to be put somewhere they can't hurt anyone ever again.

Ideology in Practice , 49 minutes ago

The crimes against Kavanaugh and Flynn were perhaps more heinous than the ones directly carried out against Trump.

But he should seek vengeance at this point since every person they injure is a way of injuring him too.

NachoLiebor , 17 minutes ago

Flynn was a lure and the [DS] swallowed him whole.

Xena fobe , 25 minutes ago

Republican and Trump supporter, Eric Early is challenging Adam Schiff. Early has a chance. People are furious about rioting, covid lock downs, the homeless, etc.

Didymus , 40 minutes ago

" Authoritarian liberals "

Nimrod doesn't understand the difference between authoritarianism and totalitarianism. Authority is good. Parents have authority. Marxist regimes are totalitarian. The USA is a totalitarian neoliberal empire.

milo_hoffman , 13 minutes ago

It will continue and continue and continue until some very high ranking prep walks happen or some people are put up against the wall.

Zorba's idea , 20 minutes ago

"When one chooses to decieve, what a tangled web they weave." That's as modestly as one could explain the mountainous corruption and Tyrranical Lawlessness our constitutional republic has been subjected too. Next comes Robespierre, I suppose. Jefferson's tree is parched.

DonGenaro , 23 minutes ago

I've known for some 30+ years that the USG had devolved into a glorified crime syndicate
(because nothing is beneath those that start wars for profit ).
Russiagate just made it obvious to all but the most willfully-ignorant.

bshirley1968 , 2 minutes ago

" All anybody (if they're a Democrat) has to do to escape accountability and justice for very serious crimes is to shout "Russia!"

All anybody (if their republican) has to do to escape accountability and justice for any crime or delinquency of responsibility is shout "Fake News!"

It's an old game......they call it the "blame game"......and it cuts both ways.

Just sayin'.

cjones1 , 16 minutes ago

The fabricated Russiagate investigation was a conspiracy used against the Trump campaign and his administration by Obama administration officials who enga grrr ed in official misconduct, corruption, and worse to keep a lid on investigating rampant national security violations associated with the Clintons, Bidens, and who knows who engaged in money grubbing, "pay to play" diplomacy.

The Obama administration's deal with the Iranians provided ample cash for Gen. Soleimani to post bounties on U.S. personnel.

The Democratic party and their sympathizers in the MSM and Social Media have become a clear and present danger to our 1st Amendment rights in enjoying a free press.

Good thing Trump came along because this undermining of the United States government by the Democratic party's supporters in and outside of government is coming into clear view.

[Oct 25, 2020] RNC Spox Liz Harrington- Everything Democrats Accuse Us Of Doing Is What They Did With The Steele Dossier - Video - RealClearPolitics

Oct 25, 2020 | www.realclearpolitics.com

RNC Spox Liz Harrington: Everything Democrats Accuse Us Of Doing Is What They Did With The Steele Dossier Posted By Tim Hains
On Date October 23, 2020

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1319351107253141504&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.realclearpolitics.com%2Fvideo%2F2020%2F10%2F23%2Fgop_spox_elizabeth_harrington_everything_democrats_accuse_us_of_doing_is_what_they_did_with_steele_dossier.html&siteScreenName=rcpvideo&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

RNC's national spokesperson Liz Harrington battled CNN's Christiane Amanpour for refusing to engage with allegations of corruption against Joe Biden and his family after years of hyping unverified Trump-Russia allegations.

"Why don't you want to report this? This is one of the most powerful families in Washington," she asked. "And you're okay with our interests being sold out to profit Joe Biden and his family, while we're suffering during a pandemic from communist China?"

me title=

https://c5x8i7c7.ssl.hwcdn.net/vplayer-parallel/20200902_2348/ima_html5/index.html

https://c5x8i7c7.ssl.hwcdn.net/vplayer-parallel/20200902_2348/videojs/show.html?controls=1&loop=60&autoplay=0&tracker=a71d2729-c152-42a5-b839-e31cfd08bff8&height=227&width=402&vurl=%2F%2Fd14c63magvk61v.cloudfront.net%2Fvideos%2Fdgv_rcp%2F20201024150810_5f9441771320b%2Fdgv_rcp_trending_articles_20201024150810_5f9441771320b_new.mp4&poster=%2F%2Fd14c63magvk61v.cloudfront.net%2Fvideos%2Fdgv_rcp%2F20201024150810_5f9441771320b%2Fdgv_rcp_trending_articles_20201024150810_5f9441771320b_new.jpg


"Absolutely, absolutely," CNN's Amanpour replied. Related Topics: Liz Harrington , Hunter Biden

[Oct 25, 2020] Monkeys Or Children- Russia Chooses Neither, Dooming Germany -

Oct 25, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Monkeys Or Children? Russia Chooses Neither, Dooming Germany by Tyler Durden Sat, 10/24/2020 - 09:20 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,

Russia is done with the European Union. At last week's Valdai Discussion Forum Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made this quite clear with this statement.

Those people in the West who are responsible for foreign policy and do not understand the necessity of mutually respectable conversation–well, we must simply stop for a while communicate with them. Especially since Ursula von der Leyen states that geopolitical partnership with current Russia's leadership is impossible. If this is the way they want it, so be it. (H/T Andrei Martyanov)

Lavrov's statements echo a number of statements made in recent months by Russian leadership that there is no opportunity for diplomacy possible with the United States.

We can now add the European Union to that list. Pepe Escobar's latest piece goes over Lavrov's comments about the European Union and they are devastating, as devastating as when he and Putin described the U.S. as " Not Agreement Capable " a few years ago.

Lavrov reiterated this with the following comments at Valdai last week.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/zV_W3b_4G50

But as badly as the U.S. has acted in recent years in international relations, unilaterally abrogating treaty after treaty, nominally with the goal of remaking them to be more inclusive, Lavrov's upbraiding of the current leadership of the European Union is far worse.

Because they have gone along with, if not openly assisted, every U.S.-backed provocation against Russia for their own advantage. From Ukraine to MH-17, to Skripal to now Belarus and the ridiculous Navalny poisoning, the EU has proved to be worse than the U.S.

Because there can be no doubt the U.S. views Russia as an antagonist. We're quite clear about this. But Europe plays off U.S. aggression, hiding in the U.S.'s skirts while telling Russia, usually through German Chancellor Angela Merkel, "Be patient, we are reluctantly going along with this." But really they're happy about it.

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So Russia is ultimately caught between the U.S. and Europe on all basic issues of trade, politics, and international law.

Adding to Lavrov's frustration, Andrei Martyanov, as an astute analyst on Russian politics as anyone, is correct when he says (H/T to Pepe Escobar).

You do not negotiate with monkeys, you treat them nicely, you make sure that they are not abused, but you don't negotiate with them, same as you don't negotiate with toddlers. They want to have their Navalny as their toy–let them. I call on Russia to start wrapping economic activity up with EU for a long time. They buy Russia's hydrocarbons and hi-tech, fine. Other than that, any other activity should be dramatically reduced and necessity of the Iron Curtain must not be doubted anymore.

And the truth is that Russia is dealing with monkeys in the U.S. and toddlers in the EU. And Martanyov's right that it's time Putin et.al. simply turn their backs on the West and move forward.

Lavrov's statements at Valdai were momentous. They sent a clear signal that if Europe wants a future relationship with Russia they will have to change how they do business.

The problem is however, that the EU is suffused with arrogance on the eve of the U.S. election, mistakenly thinking Joe Biden will beat Trump.

Merkel has betrayed Putin at every turn since 2013. And Germany's appalling behavior over the Alexei Navalny poisoning was the last straw.

That what was another sabotage effort to stop the Nordstream 2 pipeline and add grist to Trump's re-election mill was given even a cursory glance by the highest levels of the German government was insulting enough.

That Merkel allowed her Foreign Minister Heiko Maas to run his mouth on the subject, and then throw the decision to sanction Russia (again) over this to the EU parliament and give it any kind of political play was truly treacherous.

And it proved, yet again, that Merkel's word is worth less than nothing. She tells Putin one thing and then does the exact opposite. Glenn Deisen writing for RT chalked this up to Germany's plans for domination. He rightly sees Germany using Russia to get what it wants in Europe.

Germany has taken the lead in advancing "European integration" and therefore prioritizes Eastern European member states that push for a more aggressive stance towards Russia. Economic connectivity with Russia is no longer an instrument for building trust and cooperation in the pan-European space, rather it was intended to strengthen Germany's position as the center of the EU. Moscow should work with Berlin to construct Nord Stream 2, but not forget why Nord Stream 1 was built while South Stream was blocked.

This is a point I've been making for years. Nordstream 2 is a political tool for Germany to reroute gas coming in from Russia which Merkel can use as a political lever over Poland and the Visegrads.

And it is the Poles who have consistently shot themselves in the foot by not reconciling their relationship with Russia, banding together with its Eastern European brothers and securing an independent source of Russian gas. Putin and Gazprom would happily provide it to them, if they would but ask.

But they don't and instead turn to the U.S. to be their protectors from both Russia and Germany, rather than conduct themselves as a sovereign nation.

That said, I think Mr. Diesen misses the larger point here. It is true Germany under Merkel is looking to expand its control over the EU and set itself up as a superpower for the next century. Putin himself acknowledged that possibility at Valdai. That may be more to dig at the U.S. and warn Europe rather than him actually believing it.

Because under Merkel and the EU Germany is losing its dynamism. And it may even lose control over the EU if it isn't careful. If you look at the current situation from a German perspective you realize that Germany's mighty export business is surrounded by hostile foreign powers.

  1. Russia -- Merkel cut off the country from Russian markets. Even though some of the trade with Russia has returned since sanctions over Crimea went into place in 2014 she hasn't fought the U.S.'s hyper-aggressive use of sanctions to improve Germany's position.
  2. The U.K. -- French President Emmanuel Macron looks like he's engineered a No-Deal Brexit with Boris Johnson which will put up major export barriers for Germany into the U.K. cutting them off from that market.
  3. The U.S. – Trump has all but declared Germany an enemy and when he wins a second term will tighten the screws on Merkel even tighter.
  4. China – They know that the incoming Great Reset, which will have its Jahr Null event in Europe likely next year, is all about consolidating power into Europe and sucking it away from the U.S., a process Trump is dead-set against.

However, don't think for a second that the Commies that run the EU and the World Economic Forum are teaming up with the Commies in China. Oh no, they have bigger plans than that.

And what's been pretty clear to me is Europe's delusions that it can subjugate the world under its rubric, forcing its rules and standards on the rest of us, including China, again allowing the U.S. to act as its proxy while it tries to maintain its standing.

I know what you're thinking. That sounds completely ludicrous.

And you're right, it is ludicrous.

But that doesn't mean it isn't true. This is clearly the mindset we're dealing with in The Davos Crowd. They engineered a mostly-fake pandemic to accelerate their plans to remake the world economy by burning it down.

The multi-polar world will see the fading U.S. and U.K. band together while Russia and China continue to stitch together Asia into a coherent economic sphere. Trump is right to pull the U.S. out of Central Asia and has gotten nothing but grief from the U.S. establishment while Europe, through NATO, continues trying to expand to the Russian border, now with openly backing the attempted coup in Belarus.

This was the dominant theme at Valdai and the focus of Putin's opening remarks.

[Oct 25, 2020] Blaming Russia for Hunter's problems was a big misstep, Joe, and it may prove to be your downfall

Oct 25, 2020 | www.rt.com

Chris Cottrell, 1 day ago

Blaming Russia seems to be today's version of the dog ate my homework.

ariadnatheo, 1 day ago

I am disappointed that Russia once again interfered in the US elections without using Novichok.

TrishArch, 1 day ago

Always Russia's Fault. Little wonder no one listens to biden.

The_Celotajs, 1 day ago

Like Russian President Vladimir Putin once said, Russia has no need to interfere in the United States Elections when they have the Democrats doing it to themselves.

brianeg, 15 hours ago

There was of course an obvious Russian connection and that was the $3.5 million given by the wife of the Mayor of Moscow to Hunter. Was this a birthday present or what?

Doodle_Dandy, 1 day ago

One wonders when Masha and the Bear will get the blame?

[Oct 25, 2020] Putin on preserverion of Earth for future generations

Oct 25, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

JC , Oct 23 2020 17:50 utc | 4

Guess who said this:

Many of us read The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry when we were children and remember what the main character said: "It's a question of discipline. When you've finished washing and dressing each morning, you must tend your planet. It's very tedious work, but very easy."

I am sure that we must keep doing this "tedious work" if we want to preserve our common home for future generations. We must tend our planet.

The subject of environmental protection has long become a fixture on the global agenda. But I would address it more broadly to discuss also an important task of abandoning the practice of unrestrained and unlimited consumption – overconsumption – in favour of judicious and reasonable sufficiency, when you do not live just for today but also think about tomorrow.

We often say that nature is extremely vulnerable to human activity. Especially when the use of natural resources is growing to a global dimension. However, humanity is not safe from natural disasters, many of which are the result of anthropogenic interference. By the way, some scientists believe that the recent outbreaks of dangerous diseases are a response to this interference. This is why it is so important to develop harmonious relations between Man and Nature.

No cheating please. Guess. Who said the above?

Please let us know your first guess in the comments.

Putin, yesterday: http://en.special.kremlin.ru/catalog/keywords/47/events/64261


Gregory Purcell , Oct 23 2020 17:55 utc | 7

Putin's 2020 Valdai Club Speech

karlof1 , Oct 23 2020 18:22 utc | 18

Wow! What a mind blunder! Of course, it was VVP. Too much reading! Ha!! Pepe's article has its own merits. Even more important is this revealing editorial , "How Russophobia Wrought Death of the United States:"

"The surprise election in 2016 of Donald Trump to the White House so disturbed the political class that it was compelled to delegitimize his presidency by alleging that it was due to Russian interference. The relentless and irrational Russophobia to undermine Trump by his domestic political enemies has only transpired to fatally weaken American global power. The political squabbling and infighting has wreaked havoc on the moral authority and legitimacy of American institutions of governance. The legislative government, the presidency, the judiciary, the intelligence apparatus, the legacy media, and so on. Every supposed pillar of American democracy has been eroded over the past four years with alarming speed.

"A big part of this precipitous demise is due to Russophobia: the relentless sowing of doubt and confusion in American institutions, primarily the presidency, with insinuations of Russian interference. In their attempts to delegitimize Trump, his domestic enemies among the U.S. establishment have ended up delegitimizing public esteem of American democracy. How paradoxical! America's own worst enemy turns out to be itself ." [My Emphasis]

I've long maintained that the enemies of the USA and its people are ALL Domestic and have been from the outset. Lots of truth fit into that short essay!

Jen , Oct 23 2020 19:23 utc | 27

The tone sounds like Vladimir Putin in English translation and the timing of B's post suggests he said it during his closing speech at this year's Valdai Club meetings. Putin has always been keen on conservation issues and often spends what free time he has in short camping adventures. The Siberian tiger conservation program is a pet project of his.

The other possibility might be Chinese President Xi Jinping as the ideas of modest consumption or consumption that fulfills a person's needs and of humans living in harmony with nature appear in the speech, and these ideas have been incorporated into recent Chinese government policies. The drive to eradicate poverty not only achieves one goal (fulfilling people's needs) but also helps achieve the other, as impoverished communities are often driven by forces beyond their control into marginal areas where they end up upsetting the ecology and destroying in order to survive. Among other things his also brings exotic pathogens in contact with humans through the disturbance of plant and animal life (insects in particular) and the consumption of bushmeat and its trade.

Significantly in recent years much of the Earth's land surface as measured by satellites that has become greener has been in China and India as a result of large-scale conservation and tree-planting schemes and better use of land. This has sometimes involved relocating entire rural communities in parts of China to areas where they can access services that help to improve their lives. An example might be a community I read about recently that lived on top of a small mountain or plateau where the only access to schools and markets was through a winding series of narrow staircases cut into the mountain's sides. One child did not start going to school until she was 11 years old because her mother was afraid that she'd fall while using the stairs. The local authority later built a bridge connecting the mountain to lower areas, cutting travel time from 3 hours to 1 hour. Recently the entire community agreed to relocate and its old village on top of the mountain is to be preserved and developed as a tourist attraction.

powerandpeople , Oct 23 2020 19:56 utc | 33

The URL is:
https://valdaiclub.com/events/posts/articles/vladimir-putin-meets-with-members-of-the-valdai-club-transcript-17th-annual-meeting/

Note that not all the questions and answers after the speech have been transcribed yet.

This is another of Mr.Putins masterpieces of common sense and analysis, courteously and clearly telling truth as no global 'leader' even could let alone would.

It is an exceptionally important and wide-ranging analysis of the nature of humans, the planet, and governance.

[Oct 25, 2020] Navalny Goes Va Banque Part III

Notable quotes:
"... Vyacheslav Volodin, Speaker of the State Duma believes that Navalny has been too outspoken: "This guy is a competely shamless fraud." And pointing out how much was done to save his unworthy ass: From the pilots who emergency-landed the plane in Tomsk; to the doctors and nurses who fought ferociously to intubate him; to the President himself who personally gave permission to fly this recidivist to a prestigious German clinic Dante should have designed a special circle in Hell for such an ingrate, who now spits on the entire Russian nation. ..."
"... Putin's Press Secretary Peskov: "We should clarify that CIA specialists are working with Navalny, and give him various instructions. And moreover, this is not the first time, either." ..."
"... Navalny was upset by Peskov's words, he blustered back saying that Peskov is skating on very thin ice [little joke there], and said he planned to sue the man for libel: "He must prove that I actually have ties with American intelligence." Well, that's easy: Just ask Pompeo. ..."
"... Akopov himself believes that Navalny is more than just a "CIA project", he is more like a "joint venture" with all the Westie agencies. And this project also includes the Russian Neo-Liberal elite and the Westernizing section of the Oligarchy. ..."
"... Everybody who has studied Navalny and Navalniada, know what is actually going on here: Navalny and his neo-Liberal kreakle supporters represent that class of bourgeois intelligentsia who came along maybe 5 or 10 years too late to participate in the Yeltsinite plundering of the Russian people. ..."
"... They are only millionaires now, but they want to be billionaires. [yalensis: Although some evil tongues claim that Navalny has actually lost his fortune somehow and is fleeing from his creditors; hence the current crisis.] Putin stands in the way of the kreakles because he (and his caste of functionaries) have somewhat curbed the openly pirate proclivities of the Russian bourgeoisie; partially nationalized them, made them go to Church, and forced them to follow certain rules. ..."
Jan 01, 2020 | www.bunicuta.net

Navalny Goes Va Banque – Part III

Этот Германн, -- продолжал Томский, -- лицо истинно романическое: у него профиль Наполеона, а душа Мефистофеля. Я думаю, что на его совести по крайней мере три злодейства. Как вы побледнели!..

"This Hermann fellow," Tomsky continued, -- "a truly romantic-era personality, the profile of a Napoleon, and the soul of Mephistopheles. I believe that on his conscience lie at least three crimes.

Oh my, you just turned pale!" -- Pushkin, The Queen of Spades "And that's not even counting KirovLes!" Tomsky should have added.

Dear Readers: Today concluding my review of this piece by reporter/analyst Petr Akopov.

Where we left off, we saw that Navalny may have overstepped the line (just a tad) by directly accusing Putin of poisoning him.

According to my blog-commenter James, Navalny is now busy on the talk-show circuit, doing a full Ginsburg on all the imperialist propaganda media.

Describing what it feels like to be poisoned – "Ow! it hurt so much!" in full pathos.

And Westie Navalny Goes Va Banque – burghers no doubt lapping up this farce because it's more entertaining than the circus. –Meanwhile, back in Russia, members of the government are not very happy with Navalny's wild improvised performance.

Vyacheslav Volodin, Speaker of the State Duma believes that Navalny has been too outspoken: "This guy is a competely shamless fraud." And pointing out how much was done to save his unworthy ass: From the pilots who emergency-landed the plane in Tomsk; to the doctors and nurses who fought ferociously to intubate him; to the President himself who personally gave permission to fly this recidivist to a prestigious German clinic Dante should have designed a special circle in Hell for such an ingrate, who now spits on the entire Russian nation.

For 7 long days, Navalny lay in a fake-coma does that work for the 7 card? Furthermore, in a no-shit kind of epiphany, Volodin opines that this whole poisoning scenario was scripted by the Westies: "In order to create tension within Russia, and to prevent Belorussia from asserting its sovereignty." Captain Obvious concludes with: "Navalny himself clearly works with the special services and organs of goverments of [various] Western countries."

After such a shocking utterance, the Kremlin felt the need to clarify: Uh, it's not so much that Navalny works for the CIA; as the CIA works for him! Uh huh, that makes perfect sense. As comedian Yakov Smirnov might say: In America, Secret Agent works for CIA. But in Russia, CIA works for him!

Putin's Press Secretary Peskov: "We should clarify that CIA specialists are working with Navalny, and give him various instructions. And moreover, this is not the first time, either."

Navalny was upset by Peskov's words, he blustered back saying that Peskov is skating on very thin ice [little joke there], and said he planned to sue the man for libel: "He must prove that I actually have ties with American intelligence." Well, that's easy: Just ask Pompeo.

Akopov himself believes that Navalny is more than just a "CIA project", he is more like a "joint venture" with all the Westie agencies. And this project also includes the Russian Neo-Liberal elite and the Westernizing section of the Oligarchy.

They are all in this together as partners. [yalensis: And these knuckle-heads couldn't come up with anybody better than Navalny as their Leader?] Akopov would not even want to venture a guess, which one of these "partners" holds the "controlling interest" in Mr.

Navalny's person.

Although it is plausible that shares might be redistributed during Navalny's stay in Germany. The question du jour is whether or not Navalny will return to Russia. Gentlemen and Countesses, you are free to place your bets on this one. Akopov believes that, yes, Navalny not only will, but must, return to Russia. Why? To complete his Quest. What is his Quest? To change the internal political structure and geopolitical vector of Russia.

Here is how Navalny himself describes the pathos of the current situation: "A struggle is taking place between those who stand for Freedom, and those who wish to push us backwards. Into the Past, into that strange Orthodox imitation of the Soviet Union, only decorated with Capitalism and Oligarchs." "I win!" Hm I hate to admit it, but Navalny's words actually have a ring of truth to them, which is why, if they were to come out of the mouth of a real freedom-fighter, then they might bear some weight.

But you know what people say: If you want to sell a lie, then you have to sprinkle it with truth.

Everybody who has studied Navalny and Navalniada, know what is actually going on here: Navalny and his neo-Liberal kreakle supporters represent that class of bourgeois intelligentsia who came along maybe 5 or 10 years too late to participate in the Yeltsinite plundering of the Russian people.

They regret this, and wish for an opportunity to make their own fortunes, on the backs of said Russian people.

They are only millionaires now, but they want to be billionaires. [yalensis: Although some evil tongues claim that Navalny has actually lost his fortune somehow and is fleeing from his creditors; hence the current crisis.] Putin stands in the way of the kreakles because he (and his caste of functionaries) have somewhat curbed the openly pirate proclivities of the Russian bourgeoisie; partially nationalized them, made them go to Church, and forced them to follow certain rules.

This is what drives Navalny and his ilk crazy. They want it all, and they want it now! Putin, for his part, in his endless balancing act, trying to maintain two incompatible things, as Pushkin might have said (=capitalism and Russian patriotism) has scrambled to win the support of the patriotic bourgeoisie and the clergy, the two pillars of the Lost Russia he strives to re-build.

Navalny again:

"A part of society repeats Putin's rhetoric about how the country needs to follow its own path. They are talking about restoring a kind of monarchy, based on certain spiritual values. And against them stand such people as myself, who consider this to be a lie and hypocrisy, and who are convinced that Russia must develop only according to the European model."

Ah, Navalny! You had me at "monarchy" but lost me at "European model" – you wretch! "It's curtains for you, buster!"

Akopov, it goes without saying, is one of those intellectuals whom Navalny despises as supporting the "Putinite" model of Russian development: Rely on a strong Russian state (which Navalny mockingly calls an "imitation of the USSR"), lean on the Church, develop one's own geo-political vector, etc.

Navalny and his crowd regard these types as complete zombies, whose proposed model is worthless.

But the only thing that Navalny counter-punts are equally worn-out ideas of what Lenin would call "the highest stages of capitalism" and which would, in reality, demote Russia to the level of an American colony.

Same as the rest of Europe! Akopov concedes, however, that Navalny's "vision", if one could call it that, of a European Russia imbued with "democratic values" does, in fact, enjoy mass support -- among the Muscovite intelligentsia.

This kreakle mass [Akopov does not say, but there are estimates that the Navalnyite program enjoys as much as 30% support among the residents of Moscow, not so much in the rest of the country] believe in exactly the same things that Navalny does.

And have been "fighting" for this program (in one way or another) for the past 30 years.

This section of the Russian bourgeois intelligentsia punts against Putin's "national project" and now awaits eagerly for the return of their poisoned, and poisonous, hero. [THE END]

[Oct 25, 2020] Blaming Russia for Hunter's problems was a big misstep, Joe, and it may prove to be your downfalld by Micah Curtis

Oct 25, 2020 | www.rt.com

is a game and tech journalist from the US. Aside from writing for RT, he hosts the podcast Micah and The Hatman, and is an independent comic book writer. Follow Micah at @MindofMicahC

23 Oct, 2020 15:07 / Updated 1 day ago Get short URL Blaming Russia for Hunter's problems was a big misstep, Joe, and it may prove to be your downfall © Getty Images / David McNew / Staff 203 Follow RT on RT Joe Biden recently suggested that stories circulating about his son Hunter were part of a Russian disinformation campaign. Whatever he has or hasn't been up to, blaming another nation is unwise and won't go down well with voters.

It's safe to say that Hunter Biden, the son of former vice president and current presidential candidate Joe Biden, is having a rough time. After the contents of his laptop, including details of his international business dealings, came into the public domain, it transpired that the computer had been the subject of a subpoena in a money-laundering investigation. Now, former business partners are beginning to turn on him, and one of them has said that he's turning " everything " over to the FBI and the Senate. Another one claimed that Biden was consulted with regard to Hunter's foreign deals.

During the second and final presidential debate, Biden made a key mistake when it came to addressing these issues. Instead of simply stating that he had no comment to make, he decided to blame Russia for the fact that Hunter's emails had been leaked from the laptop's hard drive. Ah yes. So we're back to that old 'reliable' narrative. I'm assuming that Joe may have missed the embarrassment that was the Mueller investigation .

Maybe Biden doesn't like Russia. Whether he does or doesn't is inconsequential. It is a very bad idea to blame his problems on a foreign power. In fact, it's not the proper behavior of someone who wants to be president. Here's the truth. Hunter Biden's dealings across the pond likely had some issues. It's hard to say exactly what these might be, because there's an ongoing investigation. I don't think that Biden is so dumb that he doesn't realize that this hurts his chances of the presidency. However, there is a big lack of responsibility here. Blaming what's happening on anyone except Hunter is a bit silly. I'd even argue that it's incredibly irresponsible.

ALSO ON RT.COM By backing censorship of Hunter Biden story, mainstream media only hurt their own cause

What's even more obvious is the desperation. Biden and the Democrats in general want this story, whatever it is, to be squashed. It's why you have seen so little coverage on left-leaning TV networks. If Donald Trump Jr was in a similar situation it would be a story on every single one of them, and likely the subject of a Don Lemon lecture or five.

What Biden may not realize is that when voters see something being blamed on Russia, they tend to roll their eyes. It invokes the image of Boris and Natasha grabbing a laptop in the hopes of finally grabbing the moose and squirrel. It's cartoonish. And what happens if the worst-case scenario for Biden comes true and his son is indicted for something? Well, at that point it's more than just a ' Russian disinformation campaign' . It's very real indeed.

And this is where Biden could end up with plenty of egg on his face. If he and his son are in trouble, then no amount of blaming another country is going to change that. And it wouldn't surprise me if this becomes a major factor in the upcoming election. Why would you vote for someone who can't, or won't, take responsibility for what is going on with their own family?

What Biden needs to do at this point is come clean on what his level of involvement was, and simply be a dad to his son instead of a politician. Then again, Biden has been a politician longer than he's been a father, so it's hard saying which hat he plans on wearing for the next two weeks.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

MakeAmericaFree 1 day ago The world is witness to the blatant corruption and deceit at the highest levels of American government. Trump has tried to clean things up and he has a lot more left to do. We should wish him well in those efforts. I am starting to think Attorney General William Barr has capitulated though. Where are all the indictments, Mr. Barr? Reply 14 ariadnatheo MakeAmericaFree 1 day ago Barr? The CIA offspring? He does what he is told, not necessarily by his official boss SJMan333 1 day ago If Joe is running against another regular Republican politician, Hunter Biden's corruption would have been a non-issue. The US politics is a cesspool of corruption, money laundering, sex and all forms of moral decay. Each politician is in it for self-serving purposes. Position, power, money, etc etc. A big section of naive Americans believe their politicians are there to serve the people's interests. Politicians from both sides of the aisle have a tacit understanding NOT to cross a red line. They will never accuse their opponents of corruption. 'You make your money, I make mine.' is their omerta. They put up huge shows of debating with each other in public purportedly in defense of the people's welfare and benefits. Behind closed door, they celebrate their loots from the nation's tax money and illegal brides from businesses in camaraderie together. I don't like Trump. But his exposure of the alleged crimes of the Biden family is something to be applauded, even he's doing it for self-serving purposes. DukeLeo 1 day ago Joe Biden is using Hillary's methods. Not wise. You don't use the same fraud twice. shadow1369 DukeLeo 1 day ago Well the CIA have used the same lies for 75 years. White Elk shadow1369 1 day ago Must be a bit worn out by now. Reply 2 shadow1369 White Elk 1 day ago You would think so, you would also think that everybody would have seen through them by now, but not at all. The CIA orchestrated coup in Kiev used exactly the same methods as the one they orchestrated in Iran in 1953. The details of Operation Ajax are now publicly available, but few bother to look into it. allan Kaplan White Elk 1 day ago Not worn out but perfected! Lois Winters 1 day ago I am not surprised at anything Biden says after seeing his performance in these debates. He is obviously a tired old man and relies on sheafs of notes with the same old so called empathic statements to the citizens of America. It is a wonder that he's a presidential candidate at all. After all the original candidates finally were eliminated, no one but these two want this thankless job. allan Kaplan 1 day ago Now that the shameless "mind managers" the msm propagandists are in the opens, we, the people (an old cliche) must start making noises of holding these anti-American mouth pieces accountable. Compel to change the FCC Rules to take away their broadcasting licensees, penalized those self proclaimed journalists of zero integrities, jailed most of them, and never again allow such ego bloated nincompoops ever to come near the radio and TV stations and banned them from entering any newspaper offices as well. Other punitive measures must be enacted to deface and disregard these paid mouths of fake news and disinformation msm Complex! I'm starting a business of manufacturing toilet bowls and the pubic urinals with the faces impregnated into the ceramic of all those who exploited American freedom of speech to advance their personal careers and that would certainly include almost all the politicians and the tech giants etc. What do you think as a statement to test the real FREE SPEECH?

[Oct 25, 2020] Using covert actions, UK made Russia pay 'higher price than they had expected' for Salisbury poisoning ex Downing Street aide

So looks like Navalny poisoning was a join operation of Western intelligence agencies with MI6.
Oct 25, 2020 | www.rt.com

The explosive claim comes from Lord Mark Sedwill, who until last month served as the most senior adviser and head of the civil service in Johnson's cabinet. He held the same positions under former prime minister Theresa May, during whose term the Salisbury affair unfolded.

Speaking to Times Radio, Sedwill said Russia has "some vulnerabilities that we can exploit." So London's response to the incident included not only publicly accusing Russia of being behind the attack and expelling its diplomats, but also "a series of other discreet measures including tackling some of the illicit money flows out of Russia, and covert measures as well, which obviously I can't talk about," the former official said.

The Russians know that they had to pay a higher price than they had expected for that operation.

Sedwill would not explain how stopping illicit money flowing out of Russia would hurt the Russian government or why the UK didn't act sooner to crack down on those financial crimes. Presumably, in his view, President Vladimir Putin's power relies on allowing crooked officials and businessmen to siphon the Russian national wealth and the British government was content with it as long as the UK was on the receiving end.

A different view is taken in Moscow, where officials have repeatedly accused the British of harboring Russian criminals and welcoming illicitly gained cash.

The Times implied that the "covert measures" mentioned by Sedwill included the UK using its cyber offensive capabilities against Russia.

ALSO ON RT.COM US senators suggest going after Putin's 'personal money' in response to alleged poisoning of opposition figure Navalny

The Salisbury poisoning happened in March 2018. Former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were injured by what the British government described as a uniquely Russian chemical weapon, but have since recovered. London identified two people from Russia as the culprits, calling them agents of the Russian military intelligence.

Moscow denied any involvement in the poisoning and said London had stonewalled all attempts to properly investigate what had happened.

[Oct 24, 2020] Kremlin Says US Elections Have Become -Competition In Russophobia- -

Oct 24, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Kremlin Says US Elections Have Become "Competition In Russophobia" by Tyler Durden Fri, 10/23/2020 - 20:00 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

This week's perhaps overly dramatic announcement Wednesday night by the heads of multiple federal agencies - foremost among them Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe - alleging new major efforts by Russia and Iran to interfere in the US presidential election formed a key question and talking point by debate moderator Kristen Welker Thursday night.

Welker even referenced as somehow undisputed and settled "truth" the now debunked "Russian bounties" story . Over a month ago the Pentagon and other intelligence heads concluded after an exhaustive investigation that there's simply no evidence to suggest Russian military intelligence paid Afghan fighters to target Americans.

Final 2020 US presidential campaign debate in Nashville

Russia was certainly paying attention to the debate and was not amused. The Kremlin on Friday blasted what it said was "Russophobia" at the center of the debate .

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists Friday that " competition in Russophobia has become a constant in all US electoral processes, regrettably."

"We are fully aware of this and can only express regret," he added as quoted in TASS.

"After all, probably, it is the American electorate who is the target audience of these debates, that is, common Americans. It is up to them to decide who won the debate, not us," the spokesman said.

Indeed the American public is by and large likely growing tired of the endless Russia scapegoating too.

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National security pundit and research fellow at Columbia University's Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies Richard Hanania had this to say about just how vapid foreign policy questions have become in this election (when they are offered at all):

Notice how the entire debate on foreign policy was about who was "nicer" to China, Russia, or some other "enemy," not say whether we should go to war more or less often. There's a primitiveness and stupidity surrounding discussions of foreign policy that we don't accept elsewhere , he pointed out .

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Over the years Putin himself has increasingly mocked and laughed about the degree to which he personally gets blamed for almost all ills of American society - from election meddling to "weaponizing" race relations to supposedly seeking to take out the national power grid.

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[Oct 24, 2020] Russophrenia... Or How A Collapsing Country Runs The World by Patrick Armstrong

Oct 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Patrick Armstrong via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

I am indebted to Bryan MacDonald for this brilliant neologism: Russophrenia -- a condition where the sufferer believes Russia is both about to collapse, and take over the world .

An early example comes from 1992 when the then- Lithuanian Defence Minister called Russia a country "with vague prospects" while at the same time asserting that "in about two years' time [it] will present a great danger to Europe" (FBIS 22 May 92 p 69).

Vague prospects but great danger. Given the vague demographic prospects of his own country , it was a rather ironic assertion given that Lithuania's future would appear to be a few nursing homes surrounded by forest. But he said it in the days of the full EU/NATO cargo cult. In 2014 U.S. President Obama immortalised this in an interview :

But I do think it's important to keep perspective. Russia doesn't make anything. Immigrants aren't rushing to Moscow in search of opportunity. The life expectancy of the Russian male is around 60 years old. The population is shrinking. And so we have to respond with resolve in what are effectively regional challenges that Russia presents.

Wrong on all counts: all he did was display how poorly advised he was .

Russia, Russia ever failing: will fail in 1992, finished in 2001, failed in 2006, failed in 2008, failing in 2010, failed in 2015. Russia's failing economy , isolation , ancient weapons , instability ; a gas station masquerading as a country . Doomed to fail in Syria and losing influence even in its neighbourhood in 2020.

A country with GDP comparable to that of Australia cannot afford to be a superpower, fight a protracted war in Syria, fight in the Ukraine and develop its own stealth fighter and other equipment to match the United States.

In 2016 Stratfor, predicting the world of 2025, thought it unlikely that the Russian Federation will survive in its current form . And neither will Putin. He was only a petty dictator with a Swiss bank account in 2000; a Lt. Col. Kije in 2001; another Brezhnev in 2003; facing his biggest crisis in December 2011 , under dire threat and l osing his leverage in January 2015; weak and terrified in July 2015; overextending his reach in May 2016; losing his shine in June 2017; losing his grip in October 2018; losing their trust in June 2019; losing control in September 2019; his house of cards was wobbling and he was the symbol of Russia's humiliation in August 2019. His political demise was near in January 2020; more crises and coronavirus could topple him in April, another biggest crisis in May; losing popular support in June; running out of tricks in August; holed up in isolation, another gravest crisis in October . Soon gone. Russia's economy won't last much longer either: smaller than Spain's or California's in 2014; in tatters and facing a slow and steady decline in 2015; surprisingly small in 2017; about the size of Belgium plus the Netherlands and smaller than Texas' in 2018; headed for trouble in 2019. Weak energy prices its Achilles heel in 2020. And on and on: really weak in 2006; its three biggest problems in 2013; Russia is not strong. And Putin is even weaker in 2015. Don't fear Russia, marginalize it because it's weak and has a rapidly aging and shrinking population in 2018. Still weak in 2019 and Paul Gregory tells us that's it's weak but with nukes in 2020.

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Occasionally -- very occasionally -- someone, more acute than most, wonders How Did A Weak Russia Ever Become A Great Power Again? or why with less money than Canada and fewer people than Nigeria , it "runs the world now". But the explanations are facile: too much butter spent on guns or a passing situation:

In the emerging post-Cold War-era Russia, no matter how poor it is in many key areas, can be #2 in the world for many years to come. Only when China rises in the next 20 years or a new kind of President emerges in the United States will that change. Until then Vladimir Putin can play his games to his heart's content.

Of course all of these headscratchers assume that the exchange rate of the ruble is the true measure of Russia's economy; which is a pretty silly and misleading idea .

* * *

But at the same time Russia is an enormous, dangerous, existential threat functioning with enormous effectiveness in all dimensions.

Far from having the deceptively weak military of 2015, it is developing the world's most powerful nuclear weapon in 2018 and in future wars the U.S. will have nowhere to hide . The next January we're told that it and China are building Super-EMP bombs for 'Blackout Warfare' . Russia has imposed aerial denial zones and fields eye-watering EW capabilities ; it has "black hole" submarines , a generational lead in tanks , an unstoppable carrier-killer missile and devastating air defence . It's working on a new missile threat to the U.S. homeland . General Breedlove, former NATO Supreme Commander who did much to poke the bear, gives us a particularly striking example: he now fears that a war " would leave Europe helpless, cut off from reinforcements, and at the mercy of the Russian Federation ." The British army would be wiped out in an afternoon , NATO would lose quickly in the Baltics -- NATO's totally outmatched . The Russian threat is unlike anything seen since the 1990s. The worry is that Nato has under-reacted.

Putin was the world's most powerful man and, linking up with China, could soon become more powerful than the U.S. in 2018. He was wielding Russia's formidable military and powerful economic policies in 2019. And never forget Russia's major hacking threat and deadly malware . Its interference and influence in Western voting is stupendous: the 2016 U.S. election ; Brexit ; Canada ; France ; the European Union ; Germany ; Catalonia ; Netherlands ; Sweden ; Italy ; EU in particular and Europe in general ; Mexico : Newsweek gives a helpful list . And, long before Putin: " 100 years of Russian electoral interference ". As a covert influence actor and purveyor of disinformation and misinformation Russia is the primary threat in the U.S. election.

Putin was a threat to the Rules-Based International Order in February 2007 , May 2014 , January 2017 , February 2018 , May 2018 , June 2019 and many months before or since.

During two decades as Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin has rarely concealed his contempt for Western-style democracy and the rule of law. The poisoning of Russian political activist Alexey Navalny, amid a widening Russia-supported crackdown on opposition leaders in Belarus, indicates the lengths to which Putin and his cronies will go to silence their enemies and maintain power.

* * *

So, on the one hand Russia is a failing country, with a trivial economy, a greatly over-rated military led by someone who is always facing a catastrophe at home. Nothing to worry about there: presently weak and future uncertain. On the other hand, Russia has a tremendously powerful military, an economy that does whatever its ever-young autocratic permanent ruler wants it to. Its propaganda power is immense and unbeatable, the background determinant of the world's action. Russophrenia.

And, out of the blue, COVID gives him another opportunity to bamboozle the helpless West and undermine its precious Rules-Based International Order. Somehow. See if you can make sense of this incoherence :

This should worry the West once the pandemic has passed. Not because Russia poses a serious long-term threat to our interests; it doesn't, although Putin would prefer us to think that his shrivelled realm does. But because Russia is not the only authoritarian state seeking to learn lessons from the current crisis which could be used in a future conflict.

Russia's Vaccine Stunt which experts worry is dangerous is being supported by attacks on the Oxford vaccine which Russia tried to steal . Russians, Russians everywhere!

Russophrenics are unaffected by reality. Russia's success? Forget maleficence and try competence . Its military is designed to defend the country, not rule the world : a less expensive and attainable aim. Its economy -- thanks to Western sanctions -- has made it probably the only autarky in the world . Election interference is a falsehood designed to damage Trump and exculpate Clinton which has been picked up by Washington's puppies. But don't bother with mere evidence; As the author of this New Yorker piece explains :

Such externally guided operations exist, but to exaggerate their prevalence and potency ends up eroding the idea of genuine bottom-up protest -- in a way that, ironically, is entirely congenial to Putin's conspiratorial world view.

Or as the Washington Post memorably put it: " Especially clever is planting tales of supposedly far-reaching influence operations that either don't actually exist or are having little impact ."

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Scott Adams understands the process perfectly:

Absence of evidence is evidence.

Pretty crazy isn't it? And getting crazier.

All this would be funny if it were Ruritania ranting at the Duchy of Strackenz.

But it isn't: it's the country with the most destructive military in the world and a proven record of using it ad libitum that is sinking into this insanity. And that's not good for any of us.


PGR88 , 7 hours ago

Russia merely wants to protect itself, its culture, and its interests from an increasingly insane American globalist deep state.

teutonicate , 1 hour ago

Russophrenia... Or How A Collapsing Country Runs The World

Much as cabalist-run propaganda mill The Strategic Cultural Foundation would like it to be true, Russia is not collapsing. The only thing wrong with Russia is that it is a predominantly White Christian country that refuses to kowtow to Israel - and therefore in cabaliist-dominated Western political circles it must be defined as the enemy - regardless of reality.

It must really irk cabalist central bankers and globalists that Russia simply doesn't need them. It is has a real economy that doesn't completely depend on being pumped up with an endless supply of rapidly devaluing fiat.

www.germanica.org

LibertarianMenace , 5 minutes ago

Facts have that unfortunate tendency to be, "anti-semitic, as you say, not me.

[Oct 24, 2020] Who sells weapons to whom

Oct 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

antibeast , says: October 23, 2020 at 6:35 am GMT

@Menes losphere that came the closest to ruling the whole world. And China knows that Russia is a part of European civilization, that will switch sides as soon as geopolitics and geoeconomics change.

Au contraire , the fact that NATO exists is why Russia has to partner with China, to ensure its own national survival. If anything, it's NATO that has no feasible future because the USA is not even a European country, masquerading as the "protector" of Europe, against Russia! The Chinese saying "one mountain cannot contain two tigers" applies to the USA because it has no business being the dominant power in NATO to keep Russia out of Europe.

[Oct 24, 2020] Russia and the EU- "Business as Usual" is over by Pepe Escobar

Russia is too weak to disengage with EU. Technologial superiority is still on the side of EU and the USA (EU mostly acts as a vassal of the USA.) They need to suffer this humiliation, and try to gain strength.
Oct 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Sergey Lavrov, Russia's Foreign Minister, is the world's foremost diplomat. The son of an Armenian father and a Russian mother, he's just on another level altogether. Here, once again, we may be able to see why.

Let's start with the annual meeting of the Valdai Club , Russia's premier think tank. Here we may follow the must-watch presentation of the Valdai annual report on "The Utopia of a Diverse World", featuring, among others, Lavrov, John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, Dominic Lieven of the University of Cambridge and Yuri Slezkine of UCLA/Berkeley.

It's a rarity to be able to share what amounts to a Himalayan peak in terms of serious political debate. We have, for instance, Lieven – who, half in jest, defined the Valdai report as "Tolstoyian, a little anarchical" – focusing on the current top two, great interlocking challenges: climate change and the fact that "350 years of Western and 250 years of Anglo-American predominance are coming to an end."

As we see the "present world order fading in front of our eyes", Lieven notes a sort of "revenge of the Third World". But then, alas, Western prejudice sets in all over again, as he defines China reductively as a "challenge".

Mearsheimer neatly remembers we have lived, successively, under a bipolar, unipolar and now multipolar world: with China, Russia and the US, "Great Power Politics is back on the table."

He correctly assesses that after the dire experience of the "century of humiliation, the Chinese will make sure they are really powerful." And that will set the stage for the US to deploy a "highly-aggressive containment policy", just like it did against the USSR, that "may well end up in a shooting match".

"I trust Arnold more than the EU"

Lavrov, in his introductory remarks, had explained that in realpolitik terms, the world "cannot be run from one center alone." He took time to stress the "meticulous, lengthy and sometimes ungrateful" work of diplomacy.

It was later, in one of his interventions, that he unleashed the real bombshell (starting at 1:15:55; in Russian, overdubbed in English): "When the European Union is speaking as a superior, Russia wants to know, can we do any business with Europe?"

He mischievously quotes Schwarzenegger, "who in his movies always said 'Trust me'. So I trust Arnold more than the European Union".

And that leads to the definitive punch line: "The people who are responsible for foreign policy in the West do not understand the necessity of mutual respect in dialogue. And then probably for some time we have to stop talking to them." After all, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen had stated, on the record, that for the EU, "there is no geopolitical partnership with modern Russia".

Lavrov went even further in a stunning, wide-ranging interview with Russian radio stations whose translation deserves to be carefully read in full.

Here is just one of the most crucial snippets:

Lavrov: "No matter what we do, the West will try to hobble and restrain us, and undermine our efforts in the economy, politics, and technology. These are all elements of one approach."

Question: "Their national security strategy states that they will do so."

Lavrov: "Of course it does, but it is articulated in a way that decent people can still let go unnoticed, but it is being implemented in a manner that is nothing short of outrageous."

Question: You, too, can articulate things in a way that is different from what you would really like to say, correct?"

Lavrov: "It's the other way round. I can use the language I'm not usually using to get the point across. However, they clearly want to throw us off balance, and not only by direct attacks on Russia in all possible and conceivable spheres by way of unscrupulous competition, illegitimate sanctions and the like, but also by unbalancing the situation near our borders, thus preventing us from focusing on creative activities. Nevertheless, regardless of the human instincts and the temptations to respond in the same vein, I'm convinced that we must abide by international law."

Moscow stands unconditionally by international law – in contrast with the proverbial "rules of the liberal international order" jargon parroted by NATO and its minions such as the Atlantic Council.

And here it is all over again , a report extolling NATO to "Ramp Up on Russia", blasting Moscow's "aggressive disinformation and propaganda campaigns against the West, and unchecked adventurism in the Middle East, Africa, and Afghanistan."

The Atlantic Council insists on how those pesky Russians have once again defied "the international community by using an illegal chemical weapon to poison opposition leader Alexei Navalny. NATO's failure to halt Russia's aggressive behavior puts the future of the liberal international order at risk."

Only fools falling for the blind leading the blind syndrome don't know that these liberal order "rules" are set by the Hegemon alone, and can be changed in a flash according to the Hegemon's whims.

So it's no wonder a running joke in Moscow is "if you don't listen to Lavrov, you will listen to Shoigu." Sergey Shoigu is Russia's Minister of Defense, supervising all those hypersonic weapons the US industrial-military complex can only dream about.

The crucial point is even with so much NATO-engendered hysteria, Moscow could not give a damn because of its de facto military supremacy. And that freaks Washington and Brussels out even more.

What's left is Hybrid War eruptions following the RAND corporation-prescribed non-stop harassment and "unbalancing" of Russia, in Belarus, the southern Caucasus and Kyrgyzstan – complete with sanctions on Lukashenko and on Kremlin officials for the Navalny "poisoning".

"You do not negotiate with monkeys"

What Lavrov just made it quite explicit was a long time in the making. "Modern Russia" and the EU were born almost at the same time. On a personal note, I experienced it in an extraordinary fashion. "Modern Russia" was born in December 1991 – when I was on the road in India, then Nepal and China. When I arrived in Moscow via the Trans-Siberian in February 1992, the USSR was no more. And then, flying back to Paris, I arrived at a European Union born in that same February.

One of Valdai's leaders correctly argues that the daring concept of a "Europe stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok" coined by Gorbachev in 1989, right before the collapse of the USSR, unfortunately "had no document or agreement to back it up."

And yes, "Putin searched diligently for an opportunity to implement the partnership with the EU and to further rapprochement. This continued from 2001 until as late as 2006."

We all remember when Putin, in 2010, proposed exactly the same concept, a common house from Lisbon to Vladivostok , and was flatly rebuffed by the EU. It's very important to remember this was four years before the Chinese would finalize their own concept of the New Silk Roads.

Afterwards, the only way was down. The final Russia-EU summit took place in Brussels in January 2014 – an eternity in politics.

The fabulous intellectual firepower gathered at the Valdai is very much aware that the Iron Curtain 2.0 between Russia and the EU simply won't disappear.

And all this while the IMF, The Economist and even that Thucydides fallacy proponent admit that China is already, in fact, the world's top economy.

Russia and China share an enormously long border. They are engaged in a complex, multi-vector "comprehensive strategic partnership". That did not develop because the estrangement between Russia and the EU/NATO forced Moscow to pivot East, but mostly because the alliance between the world's neighboring top economy and top military power makes total Eurasian sense – geopolitically and geoeconomically.

And that totally corroborates Lieven's diagnosis of the end of "250 years of Anglo-American predominance."

It was up to inestimable military analyst Andrey Martyanov, whose latest book I reviewed as a must read , to come up with the utmost deliciously devastating assessment of Lavrov's "We had enough" moment:

"Any professional discussion between Lavrov and former gynecologist [actually epidemiologist] such as von der Leyen, including Germany's Foreign Minister Maas, who is a lawyer and a party worm of German politics is a waste of time. Western "elites" and "intellectuals" are simply on a different, much lower level, than said Lavrov. You do not negotiate with monkeys, you treat them nicely, you make sure that they are not abused, but you don't negotiate with them, same as you don't negotiate with toddlers.

They want to have their Navalny as their toy – let them. I call on Russia to start wrapping economic activity up with EU for a long time. They buy Russia's hydrocarbons and hi-tech, fine. Other than that, any other activity should be dramatically reduced and necessity of the Iron Curtain must not be doubted anymore."

As much as Washington is not "agreement-capable", in the words of President Putin, so is the EU, says Lavrov: "We should stop to orient ourselves toward European partners and care about their assessments."

Not only Russia knows it: the overwhelming majority of the Global South also knows it.


SteveK9 , says: October 21, 2020 at 6:26 pm GMT

Russia is a European Country with a European Culture they should leave the door open. Politics change, and it would be a terrible shame if the West lost Russia and vice versa.

The Alarmist , says: October 21, 2020 at 8:08 pm GMT
@SteveK9 "comment-text">

Russia is a European Country with a European Culture they should leave the door open. Politics change, and it would be a terrible shame if the West lost Russia and vice versa.

Most of the Europeans I know (and I know quite a few because I live in Europe) do not consider Russians to be European. It's not the Russians who have closed the door they are merely ensuring it doesn't hit them in the nose. That is indeed a shame, because, as Escobar suggests, the EU is setting itself to be colonised by the global south, as is the U.K. and the Hegemon. 1992 and beyond was indeed a great squandering of opportunity.

A123 , says: October 21, 2020 at 10:19 pm GMT

No One Can "Do Business" with the EU

Look at the EU's persistent irrationality trying to negotiate with the UK. How long have Brexit talks been blocked by EU Elite intransigence?

They cannot even cope internally. The Dark Heart of Europe keeps trying to kill freedom & individual rights. In response, the Christian Populist members of the EU have positioned themselves to veto Merkel's fascist budget trap. (1)

While all 27 EU heads of state and government approved the budget and recovery package at a summit in July, national parliaments must still ratify the budget and a so-called Own Resources Decision, which provides the EU with legal guarantees from its member countries regarding budget revenues.

Council President Charles Michel declared triumphantly that he had succeeded in ensuring there would be strong rule-of-law protections as part of the package. But Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki also claimed victory, saying the wording had been softened enough to give them the ability to veto any proposed regulation.

Everyone should abandon attempts to do business with the EU. The only solution is to end the flailing unworkable mess in an peaceful and orderly manner.

Of course, the SJW Sharia Globalist MegaCorporations hate that idea. It would derail their goal of undercutting infidel (Christian & Jewish) workers via faux-refugee migration.

PEACE

aleksander , says: October 22, 2020 at 1:23 am GMT

Europe has gone full ... Globo-Homo. Putin knows he can't trust homos. He CERTAINLY can't trust the Pope.

brabantian , says: October 22, 2020 at 5:59 am GMT

Culturally, the old Communist East that is within the EU, has more in common with Russia than with the Western Europeans

Tho it is taking time for the old anti-Russian instincts to fade away

And even within the West, there are regions and countries – the perhaps-soon-independent Flanders, and much of Italy as things proceed – for whom this also is in part true

Russia needs only to wait

Steven80 , says: October 22, 2020 at 12:03 pm GMT

Russia is NOT Europe. Anyone who considers this either has no clue of history and has never been there, or both, or has just been to Moscow for a while and has the wrong impression.

Contemporary Russia is a military descendand of the Golden Horde, (Altun Orda), absorbing the tartar, nogai and kalmyk nobility by resettling them to Moscow upon conquest. Their medieval rulers had tartar titles such as beylerbeg, used tartar outfits and arabic script on their coins. Russian state organised its existence based on military districts similar to those of the mongols (hence Belarus for example – white russia – white is the mongolian west wing of the army district in the mongol system, before that belarus was call Zhmutia).

Russia is also spiritual descendant of the Byzantine and Bulgarian states (bulgarians such as Saint Cyprian and Grigori Tsamblak actually delivered byzantine ortodoxy rites to russia due to similarity of languages, not greeks). Old church slavonic is actually old bulgarian, and this greek-slavonic culture has its peculiarities – in the eastern rites, the person closest to god is not the richest , but the one who has more faith. This in consequence makes those societies look for "saints" as rulers, and be never content with the people they rule them. Stability is achieved only with mild tyranny or the presence of extraordinary rulers, hence the economy is always behind the collective west. Anyway, the topic is too damn long, the short story is – don't ever beleive Russia is part of europe such as austria for example.

Russia is not part of Europe. It is something else – just like Malta, that speak semitic and the locals look like north africans, but some people say it is Europe.

The westernization of the muscovite tsardom only started in the 17-th century, and the process has been stopped several times (napoleon, one of the alexander kings, bolsheviks, now putin). the westerners still beleive Russia can be subdued because the slavs are savages and lack economy.
Eastern ortodoxy brings a peculiar mindset, that is hard to grasp by western politicians, and it is not materialistic – it brings things like being content with your position in the world without wanting more stuff, and the same time each one has to reach god by himself and no other authority is valid. Pepe doens't grasp this aspect – the overwhelming non-commercial, truth seeking part of the russians that westerners cannot see because of savage and poor looks and blunt directness. It will play us all a bad joke in the next war.

anon [225] Disclaimer , says: October 22, 2020 at 1:17 pm GMT

Mearsheimer did nice work popping the pus out of the Israel lobby so we could all go, Ew, so it's sad to see him fixate on discredited CIA realist doctrine when the civilized world has moved on:

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IntOrder/Pages/IEInternationalorderIndex.aspx

De Zayas should have been at Valdai instead of Mearsheimer because this is what the G-192 thinks, that is, what everybody thinks. If the SCO has to enforce this consensus at gunpoint, they're fine with that. We should be too. It's everybody in the world including us against the CIA regime, hostis humani generis.

Magro , says: October 22, 2020 at 2:12 pm GMT

Great Pepe Escobar. Excellent article. See '75 years after 'Stunde Null,' collapse in Russian-German relations is driven by Berlin's renewed desire to dominate Europe' by Glenn Diesen explaining Germany role on that.

Anonymous [120] Disclaimer , says: October 22, 2020 at 5:13 pm GMT

Some stupid (that is to say all of them) loud mouthed low browed EU bigwig only needs to get a bit too fresh and uppity with Turkey's Erdogan, (you know the kind of thing, some third rate tosser starts sounding off about 'human rights' to make himself look big and pompous), and therefore tick Erdogan off a bit too much, for Erdogan to retaliate by unleashing 3 million plus 'refugees' into the EU. Knowing the absolutely appalling lack of caliber and intelligence of EU bigwigs, this will inevitably happen in the near future. Just watch this space.

That day will certainly head the eventual and inevitable dissolution of the EU.

It's just all so fucking clear and obvious to anyone who's got a brain.

Anonymous [120] Disclaimer , says: October 22, 2020 at 6:37 pm GMT
@Menes

The trouble with this 'analysis' is very very simple:

Namely, that the brainless *SHIT* which runs the EU – who, by, the way are real deal undemocratic unelected unaccountable tyrants and dictators – *absolutely* could not give a fuck about *real* ethnic genetic Europeans.
All they care about are third worlders, of whom they wish to stuff as many into the EU as possible. Remember Merkel?

Most intelligent Europeans know this.
The Russian high command knows this.
The Chinese know this.

So your 'point' is pure garbage.

Hojer , says: October 22, 2020 at 8:05 pm GMT
@brabantian

Culturally, the old Communist East that is within the EU, has more in common with Russia than with the Western Europeans

From another point of view the old West has now more in common with communist-like totalitarian zeitgeist and rule of propaganda then old communist East, only colours changed from red to anti-white globo homo.
Not happy with that having experienced 17 years of vanishing red rule, now seeing it rebranded on the rise again in one of the EU bound countries affected (Czechia). Just saying.

syd.bgd , says: October 22, 2020 at 11:38 pm GMT
@Steven80 hat is the stuff that can be found in prayers ahead of meals yap, redneck and conservative assholes and meaning of them has nothing to do with availability of Mac Donald's or home deliveries.
For us death, hunger, desperation and bestial violence are fresh memories. They are in each and every family. We know where suffering came from and because of which of earthly reasons. ("Why" is a much deeper question and the answer is in reflection inside Orthodox Christian teachings.)

So, long story short. That's why S. Lavrov, since nobody there cares about warnings, now even more politely says: "F ** k off, you lawless hypocrites."

GeeBee , says: October 23, 2020 at 8:08 am GMT
@Steven80 commercial dominance.

We in the West therefore live under the unyielding yoke of Modernism, whereby we have become so used to its shallow, arid materialism, that has been carefully and artfully crafted for us over the past 150 years; its wall-to-wall advertising and huckstering; its population of zombified careerists and status-seekers, that we are now like the proverbial goldfish in its bowl, blissfully unaware that there is a wider, more varied and fulfilling world outside the narrow confines it inhabits.

One thinks of Hamlet: "I could be bound in a nutshell and count myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I have bad dreams".

Levtraro , says: October 23, 2020 at 8:10 am GMT
@The Alarmist

I know many Europeans too, and many Russians. Contrary to what you say, the Europeans I know consider Russians to be Europeans. The fact that nearly all Russians in Europe have white skin, blue eyes, blonde to light brown hair, come from the same Continent, and share European values, helps a lot!

Levtraro , says: October 23, 2020 at 8:18 am GMT
@Steven80

Eastern ortodoxy brings a peculiar mindset, that is hard to grasp by western politicians, and it is not materialistic – it brings things like being content with your position in the world without wanting more stuff, and the same time each one has to reach god by himself and no other authority is valid.

Bollocks. I know many Russians personally. They are indistinguishable from western Europeans, to me they are just like Finns and Swedes, even the accent.

GMC , says: October 23, 2020 at 9:32 am GMT

So Russia and Putin was willing to open up 8 time zones to the Europeans and they replied – No – we'd rather go to war with you and take it all.

WP , says: October 23, 2020 at 1:03 pm GMT
@SteveK9

...Hopefully, most Russians (except the Navalny types) are still proud of their unique civilization and culture, and will continue to resist...

Vojkan , says: October 23, 2020 at 2:55 pm GMT
@SteveK9

Every time the Russians leave the door open, it ends up with a Western attempt on Russia. The West represents roughly 10% of the world population, is declining rapidly and brings nothing to the table except promises of nuisance. If I were Russian, I would ditch relations with the globohomo West and seek partnerships among the 90%.

Vojkan , says: October 23, 2020 at 3:10 pm GMT
@coolhand850

If you speak of the capacity to project her troops on any point on Earth, you're right. The thing is, they don't need it and probably regard it as vanity of fools. If on the other hand you consider their capacity to incinerate you before you incinerate them, well, dream on.

A123 , says: October 23, 2020 at 3:35 pm GMT
@MLK this was a gift to Russia and Germany, but it's much worse than that. Why isn't anyone else curious as to who got what in return?

The blockage of Nordstream 2 is about The Dark Heart of Europe not Russia. Christian Europe is terrified of Mutti Mullah Merkel's highly authoritarian regime. Why would any of the V4 nations accept energy dependency on flows via Germany?

This is one of Putin's few serious errors. He would be much better off pushing gas projects that flowed through Christian European nations thus allowing them leverage against German anti-Christian SJW aggression.

PEACE

AnonFromTN , says: October 23, 2020 at 4:03 pm GMT
@coolhand850

Current US is a colossus with the feet of clay. Dems in their mad attempts to undermine Trump succeeded in undermining America. Just wait for November 3.

Putin's and Xi's policy towards the US follows the saying "when you see your enemy committing suicide, do not interfere". The same applies to the EU, as well as Brexited UK.

Times are a-changing. The West is destroying itself and behaving as if it's it is still hale and healthy. It was said that when God wishes to punish someone, He takes away that person's mind. This applies to countries, particularly to the Empires.

AnonFromTN , says: October 23, 2020 at 4:13 pm GMT
@Menes ckquote>

That's a deranged dream of neocons, and it won't come true. The policies of Russia and China are sane and pragmatic, whereas the policies of the Empire and its sidekicks are suicidal.

As far as civilizational divide goes, Russia is neither Europe nor Asia, it is a separate civilization. When the US and Europe succeed in destroying themselves, many Russians would miss them due to cultural ties with their predecessors, but that won't drive Russian policies. Not just Putin's (in fact, he appears to have a soft spot for Europe, characteristic of his generation), but policies of whoever runs Russia after him. There would be no gorbys or yeltsins any more.

AriusArmenian , says: October 23, 2020 at 4:47 pm GMT

Europe is a glove on the US hand and is easily led around by its nose by the CIA and MI6 that infest the MSM and run one false flag after another.

Politicians in the EU are mediocre creatures that crave the dollars stuffed into their pockets by the US. They are enjoying the ride while it lasts until they go down with the US.

Majority of One , says: October 23, 2020 at 5:05 pm GMT
@Steven80 es who make up modern Sweden–the Scanians, the Goths and the Svear. Both Kiev and Novgorod were founded by them and the original, etymological basis for Russia is "Rus". The royal line, beginning with Rurik and the nobility of the Rus , were of a Scandinavian-Slavic blend.

Though Muscovy may have later become dominated by the descendants of the Mongols and their allies, the northern, forested part of Russia features a native set of peoples who only rarely evince the features of their fully conquered brethren in the steppe lands of the south. In all truth, Putin, whom I believe was born in Tver, could easily pass for one of my Nordic cousins And that is the blue-eyed truth.

Flubber , says: October 23, 2020 at 10:04 pm GMT

I'm a British Brexit voter – primarily because the EU is run by arseholes with an absolutely loathing for any sort of democratic accountability.

So Russia's impression of the EU is totally realistic.

For four years I have had to watch the spectacle of the UK trying to form a fair deal, when the EU's explicit goal has been to punish the UK for leaving pour encourager les autres.

What a waste of time. The EU only understands blunt force and blunt actions.

[Oct 24, 2020] Indonesia Refuses To Host American Spy Planes Amid Sino-US Cold War

Oct 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoyeru , Oct 22 2020 19:08 utc | 11

a bit of good news about USA trying to encircle China:

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/indonesia-refuses-host-american-spy-planes-amid-sino-us-cold-war

Indonesia Refuses To Host American Spy Planes Amid Sino-US Cold War


The US and China are smack dab in the middle of a new Cold War. The observation in itself should not be startling to readers - as President Trump's trade war metamorphosed into a technology war over the Chinese tech companies' global dominance. Rapidly deteriorating relations between both superpowers, especially since the virus pandemic, has resulted in increased military action in East Asia.

In the last couple of years, we've pointed out the US has constructed a Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth jet "friends circle" around China. More recently, there's been a significant uptick in US spy planes changing their transponder codes to disguise themselves during operations near China.

In the attempt to increase spy plane presence in East Asia, US officials made multiple "high-level" attempts in July and August to Indonesia's top defense and government officials to clear the way to allow Boeing P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance planes to land and refuel on the Southeast Asia country.

Four senior Indonesian officials familiar with the matter told Reuters that defense officials rejected the US proposal because Indonesia has a well-established policy of foreign policy neutrality - and does not permit foreign militaries to operate across its archipelago.

Reuters notes the P-8 "plays a central role in keeping an eye on China's military activity in the South China Sea, most of which Beijing claims as its territory."

Indonesia rejected the US spy plane presence because it has developed increased economic and investment ties with China over the years.

"It does not want to take sides in the conflict and is alarmed by growing tensions between the two superpowers, and by the militarization of the South China Sea," Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told Reuters.

"We don't want to get trapped by this rivalry," Retno said in an interview in early September. "Indonesia wants to show all that we are ready to be your partner."

Dino Patti Djalal, a former Indonesian ambassador to the US, said the "very aggressive anti-China policy" projected by the US has become troubling for Indonesia.

"It's seen as out-of-place," Djalal told Reuters. "We don't want to be duped into an anti-China campaign. Of course, we maintain our independence, but there is deeper economic engagement, and China is now the most impactful country in the world for Indonesia."

Greg Poling, a Southeast Asia analyst from the Washington, DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Washington's attempt to pressure Indonesia into giving up land rights so US spy planes can fly in and out of the country is an example of "clumsy overreach."

"It's an indication of how little folks in the US government understand Indonesia," Poling told Reuters. "There's a clear ceiling to what you can do, and when it comes to Indonesia, that ceiling is putting boots on the ground."

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Both China and the US have recently ramped up military exercises in the South China Sea. The US has increased naval freedom of navigation operations, submarine deployments, and spy plane flights, while China has increased naval missions in the region.

To sum up, the new cold war has pressured Southeast Asian countries to take sides; they must choose between the US and or China. As for Indonesia, they quickly decided to be neutral with a lean towards China. Does this mean China's gravity in terms of its size and its influence is overwhelming the US?

[Oct 24, 2020] Interesting pair of articles about Russia - from RT about the relationship with Germany

Oct 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

the pessimist , Oct 23 2020 6:05 utc | 79

Interesting pair of articles about Russia - from RT about the relationship with Germany:

https://www.rt.com/russia/504238-berlin-dominates-europe-moscow/

and from Strategic Culture on "Russophrenia":

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/10/20/russophrenia-or-how-a-collapsing-country-runs-the-world/

and then Putin at Valdai:

https://thesaker.is/russian-president-putin-delivers-speech-at-valdai-discussion-club-2020/

[Oct 24, 2020] Open Thread 2020-84

Oct 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 18:19 utc | 6

Putin's Valdai Club appearance video and beginnings of a transcript are now posted at the Kremlin's website. Here again is the paper Putin's responding to with his opening speech. What I'll call his introduction is as follows:

"From the onset of the pandemic in Russia, we have focused on preserving lives and ensuring safety of our people as our key values. This was an informed choice dictated by our culture and spiritual traditions, and our complex, sometimes dramatic, history. If we think back to the great demographic losses we suffered in the 20th century, we had no other choice but to fight for every person and the future of every Russian family.

"So, we did our best to preserve the health and the lives of our people, to help parents and children, as well as senior citizens and those who lost their jobs, to maintain employment as much as possible, to minimise damage to the economy, to support millions of entrepreneurs who run small or family businesses.

"Perhaps, like everyone else, you are closely following daily updates on the pandemic around the world. Unfortunately, the coronavirus has not retreated and still poses a major threat. Probably, this unsettling background intensifies the sense, like many people feel, that a whole new era is about to begin and that we are not just on the verge of dramatic changes, but an era of tectonic shifts in all areas of life.

"We see the rapidly, exponential development of the processes that we have repeatedly discussed at the Valdai Club before. Thus, six years ago, in 2014, we spoke about this issue when we discussed the theme The World Order: New Rules or a Game Without Rules. So, what is happening now? Regrettably, the game without rules is becoming increasingly horrifying and sometimes seems to be a fait accompli."

This is the 17th session of the Valdai Club, and I ask: Where is there an equivalent in the so-called democracies of the West which are allegedly the guardians of free speech and debate, where there supposedly exists a "marketplace of ideas"?

[Oct 24, 2020] The Q A portion of Putin's Valdai Club Speech transcript have been posted

Oct 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Oct 23 2020 17:17 utc | 135

The Q & A portion of Putin's Valdai Club Speech transcript have been posted, and they run longer than his speech. In his first query, I completely agree with Putin that too many people have yet to learn the fundamental lesson the pandemic ought to have taught:

"However, the pandemic is playing into our hands when it comes to raising our awareness of the importance of joining forces against severe global crises. Unfortunately, it has not yet taught humanity to come together completely, as we must do in such situations."

But his answer wasn't directed at ignorant citizens. Putin's ire was directed at the Outlaw US Empire:

"I am not referring now to all these sanctions against Russia; forget about that, we will get over it. But many other countries that have suffered and are still suffering from the coronavirus do not even need any help that may come from outside, they just need the restrictions lifted, at least in the humanitarian sphere, I repeat, concerning the supply of medicines, equipment, credit resources, and the exchange of technologies. These are humanitarian things in their purest form. But no, they have not abolished any restrictions, citing some considerations that have nothing to do with the humanitarian component – but at the same time, everyone is talking about humanism .

"I would say we need to be more honest with each other and abandon double standards. I am sure that if people hear me now on the media, they are probably finding it difficult to disagree with what I have just said, difficult to deny it. Deep down in their hearts, in their minds, everyone is probably thinking, 'Yes, right, of course.' However, for political reasons, publicly, they will still say, 'No, we must keep restrictions on Iran, Venezuela, against Assad .' What does Assad even have to do with this when it is ordinary people who suffer? At least, give them medicines, give them technology, at least a small, targeted loan for medicine. No." [My Emphasis]

If I could speak to Putin, I'd tell him that they have no hearts, they are soulless, completely bereft of any sense of morality, and cannot be reasoned with whatsoever. They are ghouls, incapable of being shamed or made to feel guilt. You look at them and see a human, but they're not human at all; they are parasites cloaked in human form. They differ little from the Nazis of 75+ years ago and need to be eliminated once and for all. The pandemic has fully exposed them for what they are.

dh , Oct 23 2020 17:43 utc | 139

@134 Has anybody seen a comment yet from the Honorable Chrystia Freeland or the Lima Group regarding the election result in Bolivia? Maybe they are too busy strangling Venezuela.

[Oct 24, 2020] Lavrov says Moscow might suspend EU dialogue over Navalny case

Video
Oct 24, 2020 | www.ruptly.tv

October 13, 2020

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow might halt dialogue with the European Union, during the online presentation of the report of the international discussion club "Valdai" on Tuesday.

"Those people who are responsible for foreign policy in the West and do not understand the need for a mutually respectful conversation, perhaps we should just stop communicating with them for a while, especially since [President of the European Commission] Ursula von der Leyen says that with the current Russian authorities, the geopolitical partnership does not work.

So be it, if that's what they want," said the Russian Foreign Minister

[Oct 24, 2020] The buzz about Navalny is that he and some partners were running an anti-corruption blackmail racket getting compromising information on various enterprises and individuals

Oct 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

the pessimist , Oct 23 2020 7:32 utc | 90

m@84 the buzz about Navalny is that he and some partners were running an anti-corruption blackmail racket getting compromising information on various enterprises and individuals and Navalny decided to cash out without informing or consulting with his partners. Nothing to do with the Russian government.


the pessimist , Oct 23 2020 15:04 utc | 113

m@89 I got a rather detailed explanation from a Russian friend who just spent several weeks there. Navalny started out as an anti corruption reformer but got involved with partners that figured out how to monetize the dirt he was digging up. This is over a period of years, not something recent. There is no conspiracy between the Russian government and the Germans. Navalny was not a threat to governmental power in Russia - this was strictly a business matter. See the RT article I linked to:

https://www.rt.com/russia/504238-berlin-dominates-europe-moscow/

and the Russian government is not happy about how the case was used by the Germans for their own ends.

librul , Oct 23 2020 15:06 utc | 115

Which are the dumbest false flags of recent memory?

My selections are:

#1) Journalist Arkady Babchenko - he gets every prize!
He faked his death, complete with blood soaked pictures,
and then showed up the next day alive at a news conference.
They should name a drink after him, "Noah's Ark Ark Ark"- glacier water mixed
with glacier water, stirred not shaken.

#2) Saudi Intelligence Service - they air shipped printers
with incomplete bombs in them to the US and Britain from Yemen.
The Saudi agents revealed that they kept the tracking slips of the bombs!
I'll drink to that. And the Saudis played heroes by providing the tracking
numbers to the US and Britain in the nick of time. And I'll drink to that!

#3) Just this week CrowdStrike (yes, they still enjoy "credibility" in some circles)
let us know that Iranian hackers included a video with their email threats.
And that clever video:
"The video showed the hackers' computer screen as they typed in commands to purportedly hack a voter registration system.
Investigators noticed snippets of revealing computer code, including file paths, file names and an internet protocol (IP) address."
How does the Saudi Intelligence service say, "Skol!"?

[Oct 23, 2020] Russia are mixed with Iran in a new wave of election hacking hysteria

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... The sustained tosh from the good old boys at state, cia, fbi & nsa isn't worthy of comment, given that it is 100% evidence-free accusations which surprise surprise 'just happens' to align with these provenly corrupt organisations' most prioritsed foreign policy goals. ..."
Oct 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Silly Season

Washington Post , November 19, 2017

Justice Department pushing Iran-connected charges in HBO hack, other cases

Last month, national security prosecutors at the Justice Department were told to look at any ongoing investigations involving Iran or Iranian nationals with an eye toward making them public.

The push to announce Iran-related cases has caused internal alarm, these people said, with some law enforcement officials fearing that senior Justice Department officials want to reveal the cases because the Trump administration would like Congress to impose new sanctions on Iran.

Washington Post , October 22, 2020

U.S. government concludes Iran was behind threatening emails sent to Democrats

U.S. officials on Wednesday night accused Iran of targeting American voters with faked but menacing emails and warned that both Iran and Russia had obtained voter data that could be used to endanger the upcoming election.

The disclosure by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe at a hastily called news conference marked the first time this election cycle that a foreign adversary has been accused of targeting specific voters in a bid to undermine democratic confidence -- just four years after Russian online operations marred the 2016 presidential vote.

The claim that Iran was behind the email operation, which came into view on Tuesday as Democrats in several states reported receiving emails demanding they vote for President Trump, was leveled without specific evidence .
...
Metadata gathered from dozens of the emails pointed to the use of servers in Saudi Arabia, Estonia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, according to numerous analysts.

Reuters , October 22, 2020

U.S. intelligence agencies say Iran, Russia have tried to interfere in 2020 election

The emails are under investigation, and one intelligence source said it was still unclear who was behind them.
...
... the evidence remains inconclusive.

The claims that Iran is behind this are as stupid as the people who believe them.

I for one trust (not) those 50 former intelligence officials who say that all emails are Russian disinformation. They are intended to 'sow discord' which is something the U.S. has otherwise never ever had throughout its history.

Politico , October 19, 2020

Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say

More than 50 former senior intelligence officials have signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent disclosure of emails ... "has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation."
...
While the letter's signatories presented no new evidence, they said their national security experience had made them "deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case" and cited several elements of the story that suggested the Kremlin's hand at work.

"If we are right," they added, "this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this."

No, this doesn't make any sense. It is not supposed to do that.

Posted by b on October 22, 2020 at 7:21 UTC | Permalink


Debsisdead , Oct 22 2020 8:11 utc | 1


The sustained tosh from the good old boys at state, cia, fbi & nsa isn't worthy of comment, given that it is 100% evidence-free accusations which surprise surprise 'just happens' to align with these provenly corrupt organisations' most prioritsed foreign policy goals.

We know that these yarns align in syncopation with what the amerikan empire most wants to promulgate, yet bereft of even a a cunt hair's worth of evidence, the only truth which can be inferred from this foggy bottom tosh is the obvious one - that is that the empire is becoming so desperate they will happily toss their credibility with the many to the winds if they can, please sir, just convince a few of the few.

Tuyzentfloot , Oct 22 2020 8:14 utc | 3
Stuff like this is a suitable test of how the media are supposed to represent our interests and help us in not getting fooled. You report, and afterwards you test what your readers believe.

Independently of questionable bias issues serious newspapers will defend news like this with formal justifications of journalistic code
- neutrality and objectivity: we just report but don't judge.
- null hypothesis of trustworthiness: official sources are to be trusted unless proven otherwise. At least, proven otherwise by someone we consider trustworthy.
The propaganda is already embedded in the lofty ethics codes journalists will proudly adhere to.

Antonym , Oct 22 2020 8:42 utc | 4
"Other documents that have emerged include FBI paper work that reveals the bureau's interactions with the shop's owner, John Paul Mac Isaac, who reported the laptop's contents to authorities. The document shows that Isaac received a subpoena to testify before the U.S. District Court in Delaware on Dec. 9, 2019 . One page appears to show the serial number for a MacBook Pro laptop and a hard drive that were seized by the agency." https://www.ibtimes.sg/signed-receipt-hunter-bidens-name-delaware-laptop-repair-store-surfaces-52672

So the FBI kept Hunter Biden's bomb shell HDDs under wraps for almost a year. Enough time to figure out they where not filled with Russian kompromat.

Down South , Oct 22 2020 8:46 utc | 5
hunter-biden-story-russian-disinfo

Hunter's attorneys emailed the repair shop owner asking for the hard drives back.

Giuliani has handed over pictures of underage girls found in the laptop to Delaware police so we will know soon enough if they are fake.

Rutherford82 , Oct 22 2020 8:46 utc | 6
If you needed a leaked email to understand why it was corrupt for Hunter Biden to be getting 50k a month to be on the board of a Ukranian energy company, then you are likely already so propagandized that you will vote for Joe Biden no matter what gets printed.

Really this propaganda is a brilliant move for those who control what is in print. They have a clear circle of blame in Russia, Iran, or China, who are to blame for everything, and this allows the media to limit the scope of discussion greatly by suppressing real criticisms towards actual problems (the Bidens being corrupt across multiple generations) and deflecting that energy into hating Russia, China, and Iran, which are the main targets for imperialism. It is also a crude and vague lie to use anonymous sources to blame foreign entities for these types of things, which actually makes it an elegant argument for a simpleton as it is difficult if not impossible to disprove.

Because the media is really owned and operated by so few people who all have a hive-mind about money and power, the messages are consistent, even though ridiculous, and they resonate with many of the readers who really ought to know better, but have become inured to the damaging effects of the lies they have consumed for decades. Stories like these will keep working for a long time. If one of the sources in the article reported 'Up is Down, Left is Right!', there would be a wave of car accidents until they issued a retraction.

kiwiklown , Oct 22 2020 9:05 utc | 7
The Russians ( Putin / Lavrov) say ever so politely that the US is not agreement-capable.

I add that the US ( politicians, Wall Streeters, MSM, think tanks ) are:
-- not truth-capable;
-- not ethics-capable;
-- not shame-capable;
-- not honour-capable.

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?
He turns into a ghoul without a soul, says I, a devil without human-ness!
How dare they call us deplorables when they are the despicables?

Et Tu , Oct 22 2020 9:35 utc | 10
In America, Truth is a Foreign Agent and World Peace is a threat to National Security.
Miranda , Oct 22 2020 10:21 utc | 12
More than 50 former senior intelligence officials have signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent disclosure of emails ... "has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation."

Do American journalists actually believe it's still in Russia interest to re-elect Trump? Washington-Kremlin relations have deteriorated rapidly under Trump.

S.O. , Oct 22 2020 10:32 utc | 13
@11 Miranda

It's quite doubtful many of them ever did. It's simply a useful control function.

kiwiklown , Oct 22 2020 10:49 utc | 14
Posted by: Et Tu | Oct 22 2020 9:35 utc | 9 -- "In America, Truth is a Foreign Agent and World Peace is a threat to National Security."

Nice one... Meet Mr Truth, un-registered foreign agent !!! and Mr World Peace, national security threat !!!

American leadership would not be so despicable IF they do not pretend to be "spreading freedom / democracy" when they wreak their global malice.

They do not even care for their own people (covid19 fiasco, anyone?), but pretend to care for the Chinese people so much they would regime-change the CCP; they pretend to care for the Russian people so much they would sooner shoot Putin's plane from the sky; they pretend to care for the Iranian people so much they block their access to covid19 medicines.

Circe , Oct 22 2020 10:50 utc | 15
To address the 2nd part of your post:

Here's a part of a comment I posted back in February 2020 that none of you took seriously.

Posted by: Circe | Feb 28 2020 20:29 utc | 124:

The planet of extremely bad karma SATURN is moving into Bloomberg's sign, Aquarius, right after mid-March and forming a square to Biden's sign, Scorpio. This is a very malefic aspect.

People under these two signs, Aquarius and Scorpio ie Bloomberg and Biden will experience obstacles, setbacks and challenges, create hidden enemies , and aging will be accelerated and serious health issues could emerge.

So I was criticized for injecting astrology into that election thread, mostly by AntiSpin.

Turns out as usual I hit the mark.

Bloomberg lost close to a BILLION dollars and failed badly in the primaries. That's what I call a major setback. However, as of December after a 6-month retrograde into Capricorn, Saturn is returning to Aquarius, so it ain't over for Bloomberg and things will get complicated for Biden , for the U.S. and the rest of the world.

I also stated back then that nominating Joe Biden would be a greater risk for Dems than nominating Bernie Sanders because Joe Biden was heading for serious astrological head winds relating to something unseen at the time involving a serious family issue.

While I was certain that whatever the issue was would come to light and could affect him in the Presidential campaign, I couldn't figure out the family aspect at the time, since he appears to have a solid marriage and tragedy is in the rear view now.

Last night however it all suddenly became clear and I've come to the realization that I was 100% right when I wrote that comment back in February 2020. Tonight I realized that the family issue...is Hunter Biden!

I was sounding the alarm that something bad would come to light because Saturn was headed into Aquarius, Biden's Home and Family sector squaring Biden's sign.

However, to make matters worse, it turns out that Hunter Biden is an Aquarian and Saturn the karmic taskmaster is headed on a collision course to upend his life.

At the time I wrote the comment I obviously couldn't predict exactly what would unfold, how or the precise timing, only that it would be bad and that's why I warned back then that Democrats should have chosen Bernie. I believed Bernie could beat Trump and I was right, because Trump is in total mental meltdown and self-destructing with his handling of the pandemic.

Now even if Saturn will square Biden's Scorpio that's not to say that Biden won't still win, but we are approaching a very bad full moon on October 31st. There is massive tension building, subterfuge lurking and the situation is going to get ugly. A battle royal is brewing. This is a powder keg moment.

Trump will not behave at the debate today. Must see t.v. With Obama's scorching speech yesterday seething in Trump's brain, and his Iran stunt unravelling and ineffective at distracting from the spotlight from Obama and the laptop bone clenched between his teeth; he's a rabid dog fit to be tied. Give him a padded cell, already.

As for the U.S. and the world: The pandemic started with Saturn crossing Pluto's path in Capricorn and entering full force into Aquarius in March when the world shut down.

So what will happen when karmic Saturn crosses Pluto again on it's way out of Capricorn and enters Aquarius for the next 3 years?

Fasten your seat belts everyone...we're heading into major turbulence. There's so much karmic tension gathering steam; it's very scary.

How much does it cost to get a trip to the moon?

I'll get back to sleazy Giuliani and his Pandora's box. There's too much to unpack there than meets the eye. Just know that when circumstances appear too convenient-it's because they are.

Trump's dirty play is a day late and a dollar short plus he's not playing with a full deck. Must be one of those Covid long-term effects.

It's time...to get these scum-sucking, misery mongers out of the damn White House already!

Jen , Oct 22 2020 10:56 utc | 16
You know the US government is suffering from severe Alzheimer's disease when it claims that Iran (of all nations) sent threatening emails to Democrat voters demanding that they vote for a President who authorised the murder of a popular Iranian military general back in early January this year.
Christian J. Chuba , Oct 22 2020 11:11 utc | 17
Kabuki theater on FOX

Brian Kilmeade and morning crew run the fake Iranian emails story by former CIA station Chief Daniel Hoffman.

Kabuki Actor Hoffman:
'[Uses opportunity to say Iranian Mantra] Iran has been attacking us for years, they have attacked our shipping in the Gulf (???, that's a new one) blah-blah-blah.
'Iran and Russia are attacking our democracy because that is what they fear most about America. Democracy would be the end of both regimes (Iran has no other motive to dislike the U.S. such as us killing their top General, the Stuxnet virus, murderous sanctions, ...)'
So they hate us because of our freedoms, a classic.

Kabuki Actor Kilmeade:
'Can't we do something about this?' [note, the U.S. is the perpetual victim, never the bully]
'Can't we pushback?' [The aggrieved victim, the U.S. is defending itself]
'Iran is doing this, Russia is sending bombers, can't we blow up an oil well?'

Kabuki Actor Kilmeade represents the entire degenerate U.S. public, unable to process information that views another country as having rational motives or our Intel agencies of being deceptive.

God, if you exist, You must hate this more than I do. How long?

Abe , Oct 22 2020 11:14 utc | 18
Guys.

All that rubbish is distraction. Discussing it is just playing to Borg's music.

They come up with so outlandish and jaw dropping crap that half he people thinks "it is so outlandish it gotta be true, who would lie so much?" and other half that knows better is in such a shock and disbelief that it needs some time to come to its senses and start tearing apart the lie piece by piece BUT.... Time is lost, distraction worked and MSM/Borg come up with next outrageous lie for next round. Russia, China, Navalny etc. etc.

And while marry go round Borg is doing it's deeds in dark while people is obsessing with Trump's knickers.

Debsisdead , Oct 22 2020 11:21 utc | 19
Barack oblamblam held off until as long as he possibly could, a move most likely connected to two realities, (1) not wanting to contradict what he, oblamblam said back in march "do not underestimate Joe's ability to screw anything up" and (2) Oblamblam's desire not to be found to be associated with sleepy joe's blatant corruption. Mud sticks n all that. Oblamblam was much more subtle in lining up wedges to be trousered. eg. Try as people might they have yet to uncover how a community worker turned prez found the dough to purchase a 45 acre Martha's vineyard estate off a notorious billionaire and Oblambam is reluctant to do anything which could prompt those questions,

Hence it wasn't until the 2020 election was mostly over that some DNC extortionists managed to convince oblam to say a few words, or else, to the Philadelphia african american males who chose to stay home on election day 2016.

Barack can claim 'he paid his dues' whilst keeping as much space as he can organise between himself and crooked joe, who has already brought oblamblam's prezdency into disrepute with the shameless & ugly ukraine rort that he and his bagman hunter had concocted.

There we mentioned the philly speech oh rabid, irrationally superstitious dembot.

Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 12:28 utc | 20
Here's my prediction
Trump re-elected I fortell will mean more racist murdering thugs on the street. an guess what they'l be In uniform and directly or indirectly trained by Israel.
And then there's the military presence on your streets -- you ain't seen nothing yet.
Wake the f up your gunna be massively oppressed by a fascist govenment ya skin couloir won't matter, nore who you voted for. You already live in a one party dictatorship.
ie the elite. Face it your redundant as a human being replaced by a micro-chip.
Revolt I tell you revolt !!
Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 12:37 utc | 21
The greater American public are about to become the next oppressed Palistinians ! oppressed devalued and slowly distroyed. Like a frog in a heated pan.
You won't notice till it's to late will you ?
No really, will you ?
librul , Oct 22 2020 12:52 utc | 22
Everything use to be blamed on witches. If your cow died - witches! If a tree fell on your fence - witches! If the reverend's wife died - witches!

Now it is, I lost the election - Russians, some ducks died in a park in Salisbury - Russians, someone fell sick - Russians.

When you hear, "Russians", just substitute in your mind "witches", the weight of evidence is the same.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rMsgmaBV8g

Witches must feel left out these days.

oldhippie , Oct 22 2020 13:14 utc | 23
So far Circe has Obama's speech described as fiery, blistering, and scorching.

Everyone else on this planet listens to Obama and falls asleep.

Jpc , Oct 22 2020 13:25 utc | 24
@ Tuyzentfloot 3

Journalism love's that high minded nonsense.
They write what they are paid to write.
Looking at the guardian wrt Assange
these clowns are beneath contempt.
Don't know if you are familiar with the box populi blog.
There a very good set of chapters from a book about journalist ethics.

pretzelattack , Oct 22 2020 13:29 utc | 25
i'm just surprised they haven't brought in venezuela and bolivia yet. that's supposed to be sarcasm, but reality keeps outstripping sarcasm. i am actually worried they are ramping up for a war in biden's first 100 days, either against iran or some serious provocation of russia like provoking some incident in azerbaijan and blaming armenia. they're f/n batshit.
pretzelattack , Oct 22 2020 13:32 utc | 26
mark2 i think you're correct about more jackbooted government thugs on the street, but that's gonna happen under either trump or crime bill joe/copmala. you're right about the israeli training too, they trained cops in that kneeling on the throat technique. field tested on palestinians.
pretzelattack , Oct 22 2020 13:42 utc | 27
iirc no ducks died, it's a miracle, the deadliest nerve poison ever invented is helpless against ducks. and house pets.
augusto , Oct 22 2020 13:45 utc | 28
Idiotic.
The united States was once a nest of excellence in nearly everything. Now it s a hub of naked idiocy.
The Russians have nothing to fear from the US or Nato, except in the economy but they can fix it. The Iranians have enough of what it takes to keep the Zio anglos away and at bay: thousands of missiles to target Israel, Saudiland, a 25 year economic alliance program with Beijing.
And clearly the time and opportunity where it was possible to still erase in a single coup the Iranian military might is over.
Josh , Oct 22 2020 13:46 utc | 29
Looks like they are imagineering again...
arby , Oct 22 2020 14:01 utc | 30
"Breaking WaPo: The U.S. government has concluded that Iran is behind a series of threatening emails arriving this week in the inboxes of Democratic voters, according to two U.S. officials. https://washingtonpost.com/technology/202"
Richard Steven Hack , Oct 22 2020 14:08 utc | 31
Posted by: librul | Oct 22 2020 12:52 utc | 22 When you hear, "Russians", just substitute in your mind "witches", the weight of evidence is the same.

Absolutely correct. You win the thread.

Neither Iran nor Russia nor China give a rat's ass about the US election. There may be literally thousands of private enterprise hackers who want to breach US election servers precisely to get the Personal Identifying Information which is coin of the realm on the Dark Web, but they couldn't care less about the election itself. It's physically impossible for any country outside of the US to significantly influence the election in a country of 300 million people - and every country knows that. The only country that *doesn't* know that is the US, which is why it spends scores and hundreds of millions of dollars - up to five billion in Ukraine, allegedly - to influence foreign elections. That's the level of effort needed to influence a foreign election more than the influence of the actual inhabitants of that nation. But every time some private group in Russia launches an ad campaign for a couple hundred thousand bucks tops, with zero effect on the US election, Putin gets blamed for some plan to mastermind the overthrow of "democracy."

It's a crock.

Christian J. Chuba , Oct 22 2020 14:21 utc | 32
I rather liked Obama's speech If for no other reason than the tone was completely different from the two candidates.

1. I'm tired of Trump's narcissism .

2. Can't stand Biden's fake 'I'm one of you'. He is corrupt, feels guilty about it, and has to reassure us that he's Lunch Box Joe .

I've noticed this about Biden for a while, he conjures up these fake memories ...

'You know what I'm talking about because I've been on that park bench at noon when you only have 20 minutes to eat your lunch because that whistle going to blow and you have to run back to your Tuna canning station or lose your job and with that your health insurance, car, and home.'

Okay this is not a literal quotation but it is a pattern and you know what I'm talking about :-)

Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 14:45 utc | 33
Pretzelatack @ 26
Yes to all you say their.
Re-reading my above comments they sound pretty harsh !
I am sorry, and do apologise !
It was part desperation and part morbid humour in the spirit of b's post.
Comparing Americans to a frog in pan may be a bit much !
I am in the U.K. we had a gen election one year ago !
I WAS THAT FROG IN A PAN.
Now I live in a pox ridden bankrupt banana republic run by a bunch of Israel bootlickers.
I don't go down well at party's.
Circe , Oct 22 2020 15:01 utc | 34
@19 Debsisdead

Barack can claim 'he paid his dues'

Hate to break it to ya all-knowing one...

obama-to-visit-miami-on-saturday-to-campaign-for-biden

And it's not superstition when the facts start to align with planetary motion.

How do you explain the Moon's effect on nature?

You think it's the only celestial body in the Solar System that influences life on Earth? That cosmic order is inescapable. Astrology is thousands of years old dating back to the Babylonians and has evolved through centuries of study and cannot, should not be dismissed as mere superstition.

I'm not an expert at all, but I recognize order and higher authority when I see it and believe me those planets are there for a reason and they rule everything. They're like carrots and sticks (IMHO mostly sticks). Now who put them there and to what ultimate purpose besides order and evolution is another matter.

I don't often bring it into a discussion, especially not to throw a discussion off topic, except when I intuitively feel fate present in important events both personally and on a universal scale.

This is a time of fated/karmic events, the pandemic being the most important (lesson) of these.

Paco , Oct 22 2020 15:05 utc | 35
Two hours delay and counting, Valday Club waiting for Vlad, something hearty must be getting cooked back stage...
Paul , Oct 22 2020 15:09 utc | 36
It's time for Grunter Biden to discover his inner Khazar and convert to judaism, why not it worked for both the Clintons and the Trumps.
Perimetr , Oct 22 2020 15:14 utc | 37
I think a more appropriate title would be "Fascist Season" . . . Fascism has come of age here in the land of the fee. The "intelligence agencies" create disinformation campaigns to overthrow the elected President while the "justice department" et al withhold evidence and fail to prosecute all the oligarchs and crooks who are busy censoring information and preparing to rig and disrupt the impending presidential election.

There are No Consequences for Anything when the Deep State and Central Banks run the show.

Of course, US corporate fascism has been developing for a very long time (see The U.S. Did Not Defeat Fascism in WWII, It Discretely Internationalized It ) . . . maybe more accurate to go back to the takeover of the US currency by the Federal Reserve in 1913 and the first Banker World War (see All Wars are Bankers' Wars! )

But technology and the "progressive" (pun intended) destruction of the US Constitution has led the dumbed-down US masses (don't forget Canada and Australia lol) into a whole new world of Orwellian lock-downs and wholesale economic destruction aimed at finishing off what was left of the US middle class. Soon we will have our cash taken away and replaced with a digital currency that can always be taken away or tailored for limited use, subject to negative interest rates that it cannot escape, etc. And all this is ushered in via hyperinflation leading to a collapse of the bond and equities markets, and finally the collapse of the US dollar (and all other Western fiat currencies).

Nothing like freedumb and democracy

Virgile , Oct 22 2020 15:27 utc | 38
The USA is so naive. They have been interfering in so many elections using money, blackmail,CIA operations. There was no way for other countries with less means to do the same to the USA. Now with social media they can, and they are absolutely right to take their revenge for all the troubles they got into with the USA plotting to promote a pro-US leader.
Now the battle is equal and the USA does not have the monopoly of interfering in other countries election!
Tit for tat...
Noirette , Oct 22 2020 15:32 utc | 39
All these stories are risible. Note the struggle to clarify who these 'malign' Régimes are attacking the US, and why.

Russia-R-R for Trump, but Iran-Ir-Ir for Trump doesn't quite hit the spot so now Iran is trying to damage Pres. Trump (from one of the articles..) .. is Iran trying to promote the election of Kamala Harris? What? Russia is for Trump and Iran against ?

The fall-back is a blanket, these evil leaders are trying to 'undermine democracy', influence 'US voters', meddle in 'our freedom-loving' politics, etc.

The attempt to stir up the spectre of threatening enemies far off is a hackneyed ploy. In the case of the USA, it is now melded with the promotion and control of planned internal strife, with internal enemies being natives (not islamist terrorists who sneak in and are under cover before erupting in murderous madness..) - Color Revolution Style.

-- BLM + Antifa haven't been active recently (or not in MSM top stories) as the election is approaching. Such would be upping the Trump vote for "law-and-order."

(imho from far off..) Many in the US don't take any of this seriously, it is just game-playing, false alarm, pretend concern.

"Oh wow, Iran is targetting Trump, did you know, real serious, did you hear, tell me is Zoe-chick divorcing that creep Edmond, I want to know, did you have that interview with Gov. X for the job? Is she hot? How much "

The credentialised class and the movers and shakers just roll their eyeballs, and the poor are in any case stuck in a desperado cycle of struggle against misery, what is going on with Putin / Iran / Xi is off the radar.

observer today , Oct 22 2020 15:39 utc | 40
Look! Look! A Squirrel!

Vilification of China (hate hate hate); claimed by the media and the pundits and our "Fearless Covid Conquering Leader" and all the good little parrots, to be the source of evil itself... Scapegoat extraordinaire... Hacking and Cheating and Aggressing and exercising Brutality towards its own citizens... The worst of the worst per our "intelligence" apparatus (and blind ideologues). Existential threat numero uno.

But wait!

The US is being attacked! Attacked they say; by all of the "bad" guys simultaneously.

The forces of evil out there are broad and out to get us. They hate our (imagined) freedoms.


Evidence (not):


Justice Department pushing Iran-connected charges in HBO hack, other cases

U.S. government concludes Iran was behind threatening emails sent to Democrats

U.S. intelligence agencies say Iran, Russia have tried to interfere in 2020 election

Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say


Invariably in all cases, The Voice of "Intelligence" (not bloody likely from ANY of this crew) deeply intoned to impart the "certainty", neatly encapsulated in the words "highly likely", delivered without a scrap of proof but loud, prominent, regular, mind numbing pontification.

Trust me! We lie, We cheat, We steal; and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

The US, all on its own, engenders distrust within the population because the US and all its political and Executive, and Legislative and Judicial and "intelligence" bureaucracies are corrupt to the core... Worse, they make no bones about it if you pay attention. And Partisanship is nothing but distraction because they are ALL corrupt and morally bankrupt; without empathy, remorse, sense of guilt or shame.

It was the US itself that thought it could subjugate the world through its faux "democratic" business practices and its claim of natural superiority... Its self declared Rules of Order instead of adhering to and supporting consensus established International LAW... Hegemon pompously declaring it has a RIGHT to Full Spectrum Dominance and slavish obedience.

Not the Iranians, not the Russians, not the Chinese, not the CCP, not the North Koreans, not the Venezuelans; none of them are disrupting, threatening or meddling in the US elections.

If you believe what the morons are smearing across the public consciousness through every communication medium possible you are a sucker... Totally disconnected any critical thinking faculties that may have been present. The very definition of sheeple... baaaa! (the sound drowns out reason and thought).

The rest of the World beyond NATO and Five Eyes isn't attacking the US or its institutions. They have all been attacked every which way from Sunday BY the US and its Satraps (targets of, victims of, and willing accomplices to our sophisticated excessively funded and supported global protection racquet).

The US, our Government, always blames our designated and non-compliant, non-obeisant existential threats for all the things we do to them.


And all this cacophony of alleged evil "attacks" from outside right now?

Look!!! Look!!! Over here!

Don't pay any attention to who and what decided to put us in the position we find ourselves in and what we have done to vast swaths of the world's populations "over there".

Now go vote for one of two degenerate teams, both of which are headed by supremely unqualified psychopaths.

Dissonance of cognition anyone? Orwell???

gottlieb , Oct 22 2020 15:43 utc | 41

The CIA really needs a new playbook. The Russia/Iran thing is laughable to the rest of the world, and to many 'Americans' as well. Unfortunately Partisans run the country, and those folks are addicted to the Kool Aid of MAGA – just different versions.

This October is like an Advent Calendar of October Surprises with plenty of time still on the clock for some great Golden Shower or Democratic child orgy deep fakes. Who the hell knows at this point – the acceleration of events this year makes Future Shock look like an Ambien commercial.

Trump is toast and good riddance. And sure Biden et al are war criminals and corrupt creatures of the Swamp. The Establishment is a much easier target to resist vis a vis policy than a crazy cretin without any policy but his own self-aggrandizement.

Lawrence Miller , Oct 22 2020 15:44 utc | 42
@15

[***]

"Astrology believers tend to selectively remember predictions that turn out to be true, and do not remember those that turn out false. Astrology has not demonstrated its effectiveness in controlled studies and has no scientific validity.[6]:85;[11] The study, published in Nature in 1985, found that predictions based on natal astrology were no better than chance, and that the testing "...clearly refutes the astrological hypothesis."[10] " https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astrology

Erelis , Oct 22 2020 15:50 utc | 43
As for getting voter US state voter databases, most states allow people to purchase part of a voter's information. Other parts like birth dates remain private. But the publicly available list is probably enough as it identifies party affiliation, voting history as when dates they voted (not how they voted). All the other private information is more useful to identity thieves and Indian scam centers. And as one poster noted, those databases like gold on dark web.

As for email addresses that implies those must be acquired through party officials and candidates off donor lists. Off hand I do not know that an email address is required to register to vote--I seriously doubt it. I know that Bernie famously refused to give his donor database to Hillary. The emails imply some sort of inside job or some false flag.

james , Oct 22 2020 15:54 utc | 44
@ librul | Oct 22 2020 12:52 utc | 22 When you hear, "Russians", just substitute in your mind "witches", the weight of evidence is the same.

ditto that...

vinnieoh , Oct 22 2020 16:04 utc | 45
Just read the story on Truthout of voters in Alaska & Florida, and possibly Pennsylvania and Arizona receiving threatening messages if they should vote against Trump. "We know you're a Democrat and we have access to your voting records..." Metadata indicates servers located in the kingdoms of Israel's new friends...

Well, I just went to the Board of Elections website for my county here in Ohio and I can, with a few clicks, generate a report from their site of a county listing of voters filtered in over a half-dozen ways - i.e. by Party affiliation and including addresses. Comes under the heading of "Voter and Candidate Tools."

So some concoct a tale which blames Iran, Russia, etc. for information freely available from your State's BOE? This information has always been available, but not exploited before in this way by US neo Nazis.

So, even though your ballot is secret, intimidation is easy to engage in based solely on Party affiliation of record. If Trump loses, should some people expect bricks through their windows, or perhaps fire-bombings? Trump and his supporters are certainly ratcheting up the apocalyptic messaging, working themselves into a frenzy - that is obvious and not even debatable.

I never read Dante; which circle of hell are we entering now?

Circe , Oct 22 2020 16:05 utc | 46
Everyone here knows I was 100% behind Bernie Sanders for the Presidency because I felt he was the right person for these times, but the mass is dumb and blind. I agree with the comment I read on the previous thread I think by someone called Horseman that portrays Bernie's goal as moving the Dem Party to the Left and not sheepdogging, but recognizing the stakes involved superceded Left purity.

At the same time I was totally against Biden because he is much more Zionist than Bernie, therefore more corrupt, as Zionism is counter-evolutionary being inherently supremacist, entitled, and undemocratic.

However, Trump is exponentially worse! He is a fascist Zionist and totally depraved. There is a choice here of monumental significance. Short term loss for greater future gain.

Biden is very flawed, but I'm inclined to view a man who suffered multiple life-altering tragedies to reach this point and who is grappling with embracing a son, Hunter, who probably was destroying his life, than a narcissistic less than evolved baby-man pig with a god complex who squandered life and daddy's money on material and artificial pursuit and has no notion of humanity, as the only sane choice.

Yes, Joe Biden should face his flaws and answer for whatever corruption exists in him, but that laptop issue should not be a reason to stop people from getting Trump, the most corrupt President in my lifetime next to Bush OUT. That goal is paramount. This is 2nd to the pandemic in fated events. If people do not make the right choices and learn something from these events then let this planet devolve into hell because that will be what is deserved! The stakes right now are astronomical and super-fated!

Don't blow a singular opportunity to get rid of that Fascist pig Trump over a laptop that's really a Pandora's box being used by Shmeagol Gollum Giuliani as a trap to unleash misery for years to come.

William Gruff , Oct 22 2020 16:08 utc | 47
This is clearly the Deep State and imperial establishment spouting obvious nonsense in order to discredit themselves and therefore to help in Trump's reelection bid! Henry Kissinger told me so! What incredibly subtle and intricate plans they have!

Or... maybe it is just a bunch of incompetent baboons in the Deep State control room randomly flipping switches and pulling levers in the desperate hopes that something, anything, works.

Nah! This is all part of the Great Plan! It just seems like abject stupidity because we cannot grasp its intricate complexities.

NemesisCalling , Oct 22 2020 16:20 utc | 48
All these new threads are defaulting to election threads. Sorry, b.

But I'll bite.

In the case of a Biden victory, which do you think will happen first?:

1) Renewed hostilities w/ Assad in Syria leading to his violent ousting and thrusting the west into violent confrontation w/ Russia...

Or...

2) Forcible entry into the Armenian/Azerbaijan conflict and establishing a no-fly zone...

Or...

3) a combination of both and would throw us into a direct confrontation with either Russia or Iran or both?

It looks like the demonizing of Iran is ramping up with the mail-threats telling dims to vote Trump or else. Dims don't like hostile, foreign powers helping the Don and swaying elections. It's a nice tip-off as to what Biden and the dim establishment might consent to once Obama-era sycophants and technocrats move back in to the White House.

karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 16:30 utc | 49
Seems to be the year of anniversaries; another's being celebrated today but not by the Outlaw US Empire. China & North Korea Celebrate 70th Anniversary of China's intervention in Outlaw US Empire's invasion of Korea , which is how it's being portrayed, "China, N. Korea stand together 'for self-protection against US hegemony' like 70 years ago" reads the headline at the link. To mark the anniversary, China has published an official history , explaining its decision "To resist US aggression and aid Korea, China had no choice but to fight a war;" the 3-volume work is The War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea . From China's perspective, it defeated Outlaw US Empire forces; so, it's not "forgotten" at all. Xi's using the occasion to give a major speech, the subject of which hasn't been disclosed.

Just 12 days to go until the refusals to abide by the outcome day arrives. If one wants to look, there's lots of illegal foreign influence happening but from sources that go unmentioned: Corporations that have foreign owners, which most do, who provided campaign contributions in any form to any entity associated with the election.

arby , Oct 22 2020 16:31 utc | 50
Gruffy said

"Nah! This is all part of the Great Plan! It just seems like abject stupidity because we cannot grasp its intricate complexities."

Perfect,))

karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 16:38 utc | 51
HeHeHe!!! The first bits of Putin's appearance at the Valdai Club today are being published . In a jab back at those accusing Russia of interfering in elections and such Putin said:

"Strengthening our country and looking at what is happening in the world, in other countries, I want to say to those who are still waiting for the gradual demise of Russia: in this case, we are only worried about one thing -- how not to catch a cold at your funeral."

There's more, although a transcript has yet to be published.

Circe , Oct 22 2020 16:47 utc | 52
@48NemesisCalling

There's a thread right before this one on International Events. Why don't you go spew your poisonous Trump Kool-Aid there instead of polluting with Trumpian-laced propaganda here?

I know-I know, Election threads raise the common sense factor further and that leads to Trump's demise, so you can't help but rush in to correct that dangerous shift. Why don't you do something equally meaningless like pounding sand down a rat hole?

vk , Oct 22 2020 16:53 utc | 53
After the Russiagate fiasco I thought the Americans had learned their lesson, but it seems I was wrong.

Honestly, this may be the beginning of an irreversible process of ideological polarization of the American Empire.

The thing is it's one thing to wage propaganda warfare against a foreign enemy to your domestic audience: the foreign enemy will be destroyed either way, so they will never be able to tell their version of the story, plus the domestic audience can give itself the luxury of living the lie indefinitely as it doesn't affect their daily lives. Plus they'll directly benefit from the conquest of a foreign enemy, e.g. cheaper gas to your car after the destruction and conquest of Iraq; the abundance in the shelves of Walmarts after the subjugation of China, and so on.

It's a completely different story when you wage propaganda warfare against yourself: the Trump voter knows he/she didn't vote for Trump because of Russian influence, while the Hilary Clinton/Joe Biden voter knows he/she didn't vote in either of them because of Chinese influence. But each part will believe the half of the lie that benefits them against the other, creating a vicious cycle of mistrust between the two halves.

Meanwhile, the American economy (capitalism) continues to decline. Time is running up:

US economy looks to be on indefinite life support from government, Professor Wolff tells Boom Bust

At the same time, there's excess money in the USA:

The Fed's $4 Trillion Lifeline Never Materialized: The Fed was meant to take $454 billion and drastically expand it. So far, it has lent $20 billion.

It was a shock-and-awe moment when lawmakers gave the package a thumbs up. Yet in the months since, the planned punch has not materialized.

The Treasury has allocated $195 billion to back Fed lending programs, less than half of the allotted sum. The programs supported by that insurance have made just $20 billion in loans, far less than the suggested trillions.

The programs have partly fallen victim to their own success: Markets calmed as the Fed vowed to intervene, making the facilities less necessary as credit began to flow again.

So, the very announcement of the Fed it would lend indefinitely and unconditionally made such loans unnecessary!

I didn't like it at the beginning, but the term "Late Capitalism" is growing on me.

mk , Oct 22 2020 17:16 utc | 54
This "Circe" chick is mentally retarded and should not be allowed to roam free outside a looney bin.

Oh boy is she not deranged.

elkern , Oct 22 2020 17:16 utc | 55
MSM pushing the the Iran angle shows that they are more anti-Iran than anti-Trump.

What effect would Iran intend by sending fake threatening emails from right-wing guns nuts to Democrats? I doubt it would discourage those Democrats from voting (for Biden), and I doubt Iran would think it would. The only effect it would have is to increase the fear, distrust, and disgust Democrats already have for those groups - which is "sowing discord", not "meddling with elections".

The Trump regime pushes this because it makes Trump look good & makes Iran look bad (at least the way it's been framed). MSM generally doesn't like Trump, but prints this because hyping fear & loathing toward Iran matters more to them than dumping Trump.

Paco , Oct 22 2020 17:17 utc | 56
Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2020 16:38 utc | 51

Great that they are working on it, I was taking notes but kind of lousy its not easy to listen and write at the same time. Started kind of nervous, but right now it is Putin at his most relaxed and eloquent.

Paco , Oct 22 2020 17:22 utc | 57
Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2020 16:38 utc | 51

It is interesting to see how Putin is way more at ease when answering journalist's questions than when exposing his part of the event. Right now they asked him about his image, punk, criminal etc etc. Answer: my function is the main thing, and I do not take it personally, now the chinese will ask.

Circe , Oct 22 2020 17:36 utc | 58
@47 William Gruff

In case the truth gets lost in your purposely misleading translation. This hare-brained scheme was cooked up by Trump and his newly-appointed right-hand bootlicker RATcliffe, at DNI and delivered to the American people by the latter as a desperate distraction minutes after Obama smacked down Trump on every air wave.

It immediately gave off an offensive odor, as I stated previously, of Trump turd floating in golden toilet.

And that's why Chris Wray looked so awkward and uneasy behind that RAT.

Tuyzentfloot , Oct 22 2020 17:45 utc | 59
@
Paco , Oct 22 2020 17:53 utc | 60
Three hours of serious talking about any and all world problems. I wonder how long Lunch Box Joe could hold on his own. The orange man probably could do it, but just talking about himself. The US need someone like VVP.
Circe , Oct 22 2020 17:53 utc | 61
@54 mk

Projecting much?

@57 Paco

I knew Paco was a strange name for a Russiabot!

Russia is now averaging 13,000 to 15,000 infections and close to 300 hundred deaths daily. I wouldn't laugh first if I were Putin.

karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 17:53 utc | 62
Paco @56&57--

I ought to listen while also reading the Russian close-captioning so I can rebuild my Russian language facility and catch the body language messages, but I still need to read/hear it all in English. As for his response to questions, IMO Putin knows what to expect from media reporters but not from other experts in the audience whose questions are usually more complex. Then there's the need to remain tactful, although there are times when he does need to get indignant, as with the issue of illegal sanctions that harm nations's abilities to deal with the pandemic--the utter immorality and inhumanity of the Outlaw US Empire that never gets the attention it deserves.

Haven't seen this nickname for Biden--Lieden.

Christian J. Chuba , Oct 22 2020 17:56 utc | 63
Fake emails: cui bono

What would Iran gain by scaring lower end of the spectrum Democrats into voting for Trump, is that desirable for Iran?

Ah ... but it was a pump fake, Iran thought that people would think that the emails were genuine, arrest a few of the Proud Boys and this would hurt Trump by associating him with a domestic terror group. Not only is this scenario convoluted but it is extremely risky because it might scare a handful of impressionable Democrats into voting for Trump and any investigation would uncover hacking of some kind.

Most likely suspect, Israel. They have the means to hack and the contacts in the U.S. to suggest Iranian origin.

karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 17:58 utc | 64
As Putin said, Russia was able to find "balance" in its reaction to COVID; and as with China but unlike the Outlaw US Empire, it put the safety of the Russian people first and foremost. The Empire is experiencing yet another big outbreak nationwide and has yet to put the interests of its citizenry first.
Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 17:59 utc | 65
Is Circe deranged?
I don't know but I doubt if she spends trillions of dollars each year on murdering inocent men women and children.
Mmmmm
Perhaps to people living in a ''loony bin'' (America) people outside must seem quite strange !
I live near Glastonbury finest bunch of people you'd ever meet. Not known for genocidel tendency's.
Any ways Iran, Russia interfering in America's elections -- -- - pure paranoid delusion (weaponised)
William Gruff , Oct 22 2020 17:59 utc | 66
The Mighty Wurlitzer has begun to sound more like the New York Philharmonic tuning up while riding the Empire State Express as it crashes endlessly into Grand Central Station.

Symbolism not unintentional.

Paco , Oct 22 2020 18:06 utc | 67
Posted by: Circe | Oct 22 2020 17:53 utc | 61

Dear Circe, each language is a world view, I wish I had the resources available today when I was younger, I would speak as many as possible, I consider that with the means available today speaking half a dozen would be no problem at all. You have the blessing and the curse of speaking english, so no need for anything else, but that is your problem, you are so relaxed about it that you're not able to spell correctly the name of one of your best known cities, San Francisco, with a c before the s.
Again, come up with something else, the bot label is as primitive as your knowledge of your own language and geography.

William Gruff , Oct 22 2020 18:06 utc | 68
"I doubt if she spends trillions of dollars each year on murdering inocent men women and children."

She votes for it, though.

Oriental Voice , Oct 22 2020 18:19 utc | 69
kiwiklown@14:
They do not even care for their own people (covid19 fiasco, anyone?), but pretend to care for the Chinese people so much they would regime-change the CCP; they pretend to care for the Russian people so much they would sooner shoot Putin's plane from the sky; they pretend to care for the Iranian people so much they block their access to covid19 medicines.

Well said, although rather sad! The last pretension reveals exactly the mentality that was behind the genocide upon the Native American centuries ago, resorting to tactics such as passing out smallpox infected blankets, dispensation of whisky, as well as outright slaughters of course.

Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 18:22 utc | 70
Gruffy @ 68
Maybe but she martches to a different drum beat. Not the trump drum beat of war that you follow, and will lead you all over the cliff.
Don't get me wrong ! You'd have to squeeze my nuts pretty dam hard (tears in my eyes) before I'd vote for Biden.
But you must know two things -- -
A. Trump is bat shit crazy and has his finger on the button whilst the Dems are money mad and there is know profit in Armageddon.
And
B. I'm antifa my hobby is smashing the filthy fascists !!
Who's streets ? Our streets !!
karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 18:43 utc | 71
Without mentioning its name, Putin in his speech pinned the tail on the donkey regarding TrumpCo's pandemic failure:

"The values of mutual assistance, service and self-sacrifice proved to be most important. This also applies to the responsibility, composure and honesty of the authorities, their readiness to meet the demand of society and at the same time provide a clear-cut and well-substantiated explanation of the logic and consistency of the adopted measures so as not to allow fear to subdue and divide society but, on the contrary, to imbue it with confidence that together we will overcome all trials no matter how difficult they may be.

"The struggle against the coronavirus threat has shown that only a viable state can act effectively in a crisis ..." [My Emphasis]

Yes, it didn't begin with Trump, but he sure did accelerate the process of making the domestic part of the Outlaw US Empire dysfunctional, which for me makes this "silly season" even worse than usual.

Sakineh Bagoom , Oct 22 2020 18:47 utc | 72
I view this as shit-against-the-wall policy. You throw it up there. Sometimes it sticks, sometimes it doesn't.
This is how lowly vermin do foreign policy nowadays.
Remember the story -- first reported as Russians, then Iranians -- paying bounty to the Talibs to kill (as if they needed motivation) American soldiers?
Well, in that case, I guess neither story really stuck, but you see where I'm going with this. It's all shite
William Gruff , Oct 22 2020 18:53 utc | 73
And silly season continues with self-proclaimed anti-fascists who don't know what fascists are.

Fascism doesn't necessarily have anything to do with race or religion. Is there any racial difference between Ukropians and Russians? Fascism is simply a tool that capitalists use to smash class consciousness. Literally any differences can be used by the capitalists to direct the violent mobs at their victims, even differences that are completely imaginary and don't really exist except in the group mind of the mob.

Now I wonder... who is it that will attack someone for saying "But ALL lives matter!" ? Who is smashing class consciousness?

karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 18:59 utc | 74
71 Cont'd--

And this is why the USA is turning into a failed state and Russia isn't:

"Nevertheless, I am confident that what makes a state strong, primarily, is the confidence its citizens have in it . That is the strength of a state. People are the source of power , we all know that. And this recipe doesn't just involve going to the polling station and voting, it implies people's willingness to delegate broad authority to their elected government, to see the state, its bodies, civil servants, as their representatives – those who are entrusted to make decisions, but who also bear full responsibility for the performance of their duties .

"This kind of state can be set up any way you like. When I say 'any way,' I mean that what you call your political system is immaterial. Each country has its own political culture, traditions, and its own vision of their development. Trying to blindly imitate someone else's agenda is pointless and harmful. The main thing is for the state and society to be in harmony .

"And of course, confidence is the most solid foundation for the creative work of the state and society. Only together will they be able to find an optimal balance of freedom and security guarantees ." [My Emphasis]

What a brilliant collection of words emphasizing the absolute requirement for the state to do its utmost to support and develop its human capital--its citizens--while also saying citizens have their own duty to ensure the quality of the state, which means installing representatives that will work for them and promote their interests first and foremost since they are the backbone of the state. Don't feed and care for the citizenry as in the USA and you'll have a corrupt, feeble state when it comes to keeping itself strong. And IMO the primary difference that's making Russia stronger while the USA atrophies is that Russia listens to its people and genuinely cares for and acts in their interests while in the USA the demands of the citizenry have fallen on deaf ears for decades, regardless the political party running the government.

Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 19:14 utc | 75
Gruffy is trying to conflate perpetrator as opposed to the victim/ victems !
Classic -- -
US geo-politics.
Blame shifting fascist tactic.
Learned far right tactic.
Or
Psychopathic projection.
Example -- --
US attacks Iran &Russia but blames them for attacking The US.
Also Gruffy I note how you side step a point well made by
Asking a deliberately distracting question. Yawn
William Gruff , Oct 22 2020 19:23 utc | 76
"Blame shifting" absolutely is part of smashing class consciousness. Shift the blame for people's difficulties from capitalism to various parts of the working class. Those who participate violently in this process are fascists and perpetrators. Of course, they are also victims because they are destroying their own class consciousness. Class consciousness is necessary if they are ever to be able to address the real issues causing them hardship.
Paco , Oct 22 2020 19:26 utc | 77
Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 22 2020 18:59 utc | 74

When the question and answers segment comes online it is worth reading his opinion about the Karabakh conflict and how it is a very difficult situation for Russia since both countries involved, Armenia and Azerbaijan are part of a common family. The question implied that Russia would unequivocally side with Armenia based on religion, to which Putin answered that 15% of Russia population professes the islamic faith and that he considers Azerbaijan a country as close to Russia as Armenia, with over two million nationals from each of the warring countries living in Russia and as part of a very influential and productive community.

Interesting too his take on Turkey, admitting that there are a lot of disagreements Putin had good words for Erdogan admitting that he is independent and that he is someone able to uphold his word, the Turk Stream project, it was agreed upon and completed, compared to the europeans to whom he did not spare in his almost contemptuous words insinuating their lack of sovereignty.

Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 19:38 utc | 78
Gruffy error !!
In this context the 'mob'
Is trump followers.
The thugs in uniform.
The proud boys.
The US forces abroad and at home.
Gruffy 'you' ARE the mob.
I feel you watched to many cowboy films portraying native Americans as the bad guys! It shows.
I won't be replying more. as I see your very shabby diversionary tactic. Nice try though. We see you !! What you are and what you do.
karlof1 , Oct 22 2020 19:46 utc | 79
Paco @77--

Thanks for your reply! Even before the Q&A Putin skewers both the Empire and EU in this paragraph:

"Genuine democracy and civil society cannot be imported.' I have said so many times. They cannot be a product of the activities of foreign 'well-wishers,' even if they 'want the best for us.' In theory, this is probably possible. But, frankly, I have not yet seen such a thing and do not believe much in it. We see how such imported democracy models function. They are nothing more than a shell or a front with nothing behind them, even a semblance of sovereignty. People in the countries where such schemes have been implemented were never asked for their opinion, and their respective leaders are mere vassals. As is known, the overlord decides everything for the vassal . To reiterate, only the citizens of a particular country can determine their public interest." [My Emphasis]

And that "particular country" is one where both the citizens and the government share "confidence" in each other such that they work in "harmony." Thus the #1 goal of the Outlaw US Empire to sow chaos within nations so such confidence and harmony can't be established; and if they are, then destroyed.

Kooshy , Oct 22 2020 19:50 utc | 80
No one has ever lied to American people more than the American regime and her terrorizing intelligence community organization, Snowden is the living proof of this . Anyone still alive and living on this planet if it ever believed a word on anything coming out of the USG not only is a fool and a total idiot but his/her head must be seriously checked. Regardless of their party affiliations they have no shame of lying cheating steeling those United oligarchy' Secretary of State is the proof that.
William Gruff , Oct 22 2020 19:58 utc | 81
This poster is on neither "side" . More like Putin looking in pain over Azerbaijan and Armenia killing each other at the prompting of some third party that doesn't care about either of them. This poster is neither faux left nor right wing; however, this poster's grandmother was Cherokee. There is no anger directed your way for your failure to understand, though.
Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 20:11 utc | 82
If Americans had any backbone they would be on the streets protesting about this sham election prior to the election, of false choice no choice.
You earn your democracy or you loose your democracy.
Iran, Russia bashing ! Just how low have you people sunk.
No hind sight, no insight and no foresight !
No hope. Spineless.
Jams O'Donnell , Oct 22 2020 20:36 utc | 83
Totally weird! You all, please get behind re-electing Trump. He is doing such a good job of destroying the US empire and its pretensions. If you are really a leftist, this is a GOO:-D thing!

The alternative is to vote Independent or Green but they don't have a chance right now.

Tom , Oct 22 2020 20:41 utc | 84
Posted by: Circe | Oct 22 2020 10:50 utc | 15

My horrorscope has Biden circling Uranus.

Kooshy , Oct 22 2020 20:42 utc | 85
Walking only 3 miles on Wilshire Blvd in Los Angeles , going west I have counted 47 homeless (male,females,wht,black,Asian)asking for handouts. These lost soles are the ones who have paid the price for the for ever wars to secure the Israel' realm,
The propose of yesterday's security show at FBI was to convince the public that all negative comments and cretics coming their way by internet blogs, email , media etc. is not really from disfranchised Americans public, but rather foreign countries operation that they do not like our democracy and way of life, It was solely meant to make people not to subscribe and believe what negativity they hear or read on US( non existing)democracy ,
This is a cheap standard operation by totalitarian regimes.


Mark2 , Oct 22 2020 21:07 utc | 86
Thanks kooshy for that and all your comments !
A true voice of sanity with heart and soul.
I hear you.
winston2 , Oct 22 2020 21:24 utc | 87
53
That money went to the ESF,what else do you think is levitating stocks and bonds ?
You assumed wrongly, but Kudlow let slip they(ESF) were broke and actually stated the money was going to them in a presser.
Debsisdead , Oct 22 2020 21:29 utc | 88
I dunno why I'm bothering to do this because astrology is such a lame easily disproven superstition that gets by because there are just so many con artists making predictions that occasionally some must be correct - the stopped clock effect, but here goes.
The moon's effect on our planet's oceans is proven to be caused by a known phenomenon, gravity. These stars whose positions we are told influence our human lives (just another anthrocentric load of bulldust what about beings on other planets?) are thousands of light years away from earth, meaning when the con-artists draw up their star charts or WTF they call 'em, they are looking at formations that happened thousands of years ago - all different depending on a particular star's distance from earth.
Claiming to be able to predict anything rational from such a mish mash of incorrect data is risible, sad really and goes much to explain the house dembot's mania.

As for oblammer in Miami? I guess the dnc know where quite a few oblammer bodies are buried.
My view is changing, Biden is so crooked that even though if he wins, the corporate media will try hard to leave him alone, but he's just too clumsy, so that some dems are going to side with the rethugs to impeach him and fast, however that may be what the oligarchy is counting on, as that brings bad karmala harris to the fore, a women so unpopular with dem rank and file she withdrew from the primary before any votes were cast, how's that for 'democracy'.

This is the real issue, both dem & rethug prez candidates are crooks through and through, if the dems win, then the spotlight the corporate media shone on orangeutan will be turned off. At least some of trump's worst rorts were stopped by a fear of being found out, but if the dems win dopey joe will have no such constraint - until he does something so over the top eg kick off nuclear war, that the media finally wakes up. too late but at least now they're awake.

Richard Steven Hack , Oct 22 2020 21:39 utc | 89
Posted by: vinnieoh | Oct 22 2020 16:04 utc | 45 If Trump loses, should some people expect bricks through their windows, or perhaps fire-bombings?

That is the threat. If either side loses, there will be massive civil unrest - at least it's very likely that is (part of) "the plan" - whatever the plan actually is. In any event, plan or not, it's predictable. Most of the preppers I follow on Youtube are urging everyone to stock up on food and water because there's a good chance that everyone will be back on movement restrictions of some sort, if not full-on martial law, within the next couple months. As I said before, this country is going to start looking like Turkey or Italy in the 70's when the Grey Wolves and the Red Brigades were terrorizing those countries. It may not be "civil war", but it's likely to be uglier than what happened this summer.

NemesisCalling , Oct 22 2020 23:01 utc | 90
@89 rsh

Massive civil unrest if Trump loses?

Wtf? You...smoking? Man!

Lol.

There will be cries of joy in the streets and maybe some celebratory looting, all from the urban left.

Trump's supporters might assemble peacefully in a very sparse manner, but I would bet most would simply take the newly alotted time from the Biden-victory to prep and ready a little more before the real fireworks begin. Violence would only erupt from the urban left attacking those demonstrations.

Real men are lying in wait. The city is not their playground any longer.

kiwiklown , Oct 23 2020 0:23 utc | 91
Posted by: Debsisdead | Oct 22 2020 11:21 utc | 19 -- "Barack can claim 'he paid his dues' whilst keeping as much space as he can organise between himself and crooked joe, who has already brought oblamblam's prezdency into disrepute with the shameless & ugly ukraine rort that he and his bagman hunter had concocted."

Thanks for your astute observations. Am learning much.

A compromised man never escapes blackmail: he is but a tool in the hands of his owners. It is not IF, but WHEN he will be used / abused. Over and over again, like a banker's boot stomping on his arrogant face.

But then, who is to say that Obanger Obummer was unaware of his VP, that Basement-Biding Bidet Biden's 'arrangements' for wealth accretion? And more (there is always more), who is to say that Obanging Ohumming gets NO share therefrom at some 'convenient' time?

Evil thinks himself clever to hide in the dark, yet lives in daily fear of the light. Thusly Obanging Ohummer's calculations that you noted above, and his dark demeanour these days. He knows he is walking on a knife edge, with a sword hanging over his head, and a safety net (those 17 intelligence agencies?) that can turn into a fowler's snare (sorry, mixed metaphors!)

Yet, looking at the happier demeanour (she used to scowl all through 2017/2018) on that shallow face called Michelle Ohummer, we can guess that she thinks they have escaped clean with their 'rewards of office'.

Christian J. Chuba @17 asked, "How long?" I ask, how does an immoral leadership ever going to turn moral? When does America get the leadership that she deserves?

Smith , Oct 23 2020 0:39 utc | 92
I doubt there will be much protests if Biden wins, the "right" in America is basically toothless.

There will be much violence when Trump wins though, much money will be spent to rile things up, just like when he won the first time.

Grieved , Oct 23 2020 1:00 utc | 93
@71 karlof1 - "only a viable state can act effectively in a crisis" - Putin

What a brilliant equation from Putin. Even more penetrating and useful than the formerly existing observation that socialist-style societies have performed best in response to the virus. Putin's criterion cuts exactly to the essence of the thing.

What the US has demonstrated from the virus response is that it is not a viable state. The benchmark now exists. Thanks for bringing it over.

Grieved , Oct 23 2020 1:03 utc | 94
@81 William Gruff

I have a friend of Cherokee ancestry. She told me how once she was speaking with an elder woman of the tribe, and described herself as "one-eighth Cherokee".

The old woman shook her head and said, "The Cherokee spirit cannot be diluted."

Yeah, Right , Oct 23 2020 1:18 utc | 95
Reuters: "The emails are under investigation, and one intelligence source said it was still unclear who was behind them."

No, it's perfectly clear who was behind them: Hunter Biden.

Honestly, the lies are now so brazen that they are no longer credible, they are just insulting.

Those are Biden Hunter's emails. QED the person "behind them" is Hunter Biden

Q: How do you know?
A: F**k me, dumbass: he wrote them, ergo, he is responsible for them.

Rob , Oct 23 2020 3:26 utc | 96
This comments thread reads like a collection of D-minus essays from a creative writing class.
Formerly T-Bear , Oct 23 2020 10:15 utc | 97
Should any here be interested, Wikipedia has aa extensive listing of governmental scandals for the 20th and 21st century administrations. Note the number of executive, legislative and judicial scandals for each administration. Note also the volume of scandals as administrations go from Franklin D. Roosevelt through to D.J. Trump for both executive and legislative branches. The political parties of the malfeasant are of interest as well - trending can be discerned, maybe, for the observant.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Electoral_College

Formerly T-Bear , Oct 23 2020 10:25 utc | 98
@ 97

That link should be:

List_of_federal_political_scandals_in_the_United_States

[Oct 23, 2020] Hating Russia is a full time and well paid job

Neocons do not want to fight Russia, they just want to profit from Russophobia while getting nice money from the US MIC.
Oct 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Mister Delicious , 7 hours ago

  1. Introduction
  2. The euphemisms
  3. Hostility to Putin's Russia is largely a Jewish phenomenon
  4. The media
  5. A de facto violation of free speech
  6. Shutting down an honest examination of Russian history
  7. The best alt-media journalists are neutered
  8. Much of what is written about Russian relations and history becomes meaningless and deceptive
  9. A lesson in relevance from the Alt-Right
  10. Malice towards none
  11. The problem extends to all areas of public life
  12. We need serious scholarship and analysis
  13. Low expectations from the existing alt-media
  14. A call for articles and support
  15. https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/hating-russia-is-a-full-time-job/
ebear , 6 hours ago

Has any nation on Earth suffered more destruction and loss of life in the 20th century? And yet, there they still are.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btff8DmOg1k

John Hansen , 7 hours ago

I'd have more hope for Russia if the Russian ruling class weren't so obsessed with the West and didn't send their children to Western (woke) schools, etc.

theallseeinggod , 7 hours ago

They're not doing that well, but they're not repeating many of the west's mistakes.

Normal , 5 hours ago

Now the West has rules only for poor people.

Helg Saracen , 6 hours ago

Advice to Americans (for the sake of experiment): prohibit lobbying in US and the right of citizens with dual citizenship to hold public office in US. I assure - you will be surprised how quickly Russians go from non-kosher to kosher for Americans and how American politicians, the media will convince Americans of this at every intersection. :) Ha ha ha

Nayel , 5 hours ago

If the [Vichy] Left in America weren't so determined to project their own Bolshevik leanings on to a possible great ally that their ideology now fears, Russia would be just that: a great ally that could help America shake the Bolsheviks that have infiltrated the American government and plan the same program their Soviet forefathers once held over Russia...

Arising 2.0 , 1 hour ago

Western zionist controlled propaganda reminds me of Mohamed Ali- he used to talk up the ******** so much before a fight that when the time came to fight the opponent was usually traumatised or confused. Until Ali met with Joe Frazier (Russia) who didn't fall for all the pre-fight BS.

ThePinkHole , 39 minutes ago

Time for a pop quiz! Name the two countries below:

Country A - competency, attention to first principles, planning based on reality, consistency of purpose, and unity of execution.

Country B - incompetency, interfering in everything everywhere, planning based on hubris and sloppy assumptions, confusion, and disunity.

(Source: Adapted from Patrick Armstrong)

foxenburg , 3 hours ago

This one is always good for a laugh....the Daily Telegraph's Con Coughlin explaining in 2015 how Putin will fail in Syria...

https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/6990/russia-failure-syria

Money-Liberty , 6 hours ago

We have all this talk of the 'Ruskies' when in fact it is not the ordinary Russian people but rather a geopolitical power struggle. The ordinary US citizen or European just wants to maintain their liberty and be able to profit from their endeavours. The rich and powerful globalists who hide behind their military are the ones that play these games. I am no friend of Putin but equally I am no friend of our own political establishment that have been captured by Wall Street. I care about Main Street and as the US dollar loses its privilege there will be real pain to share amongst our economies. The last thing we need is for the elites of the Western alliance to profit with cold/hot wars on the backs of ourselves.

Having been behind the iron curtain as a young Merchant Navy Officer I found ordinary citizens fine and even organized football matches with the local communist parties. People have the same desires and aspirations and whether rich or poor we should respect each others cultures and territories. http://www.money-liberty.com/gallery/Predictions-2021.pdf

[Oct 23, 2020] In politicizing intelligence, America is blaming everyone but itself for its self-inflicted woes -- RT Op-ed

Oct 23, 2020 | www.rt.com

In politicizing intelligence, America is blaming everyone but itself for its self-inflicted woes Scott Ritter Scott Ritter

is a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer and author of ' SCORPION KING : America's Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump.' He served in the Soviet Union as an inspector implementing the INF Treaty, in General Schwarzkopf's staff during the Gulf War, and from 1991-1998 as a UN weapons inspector. Follow him on Twitter @RealScottRitter 22 Oct, 2020 18:48 Get short URL In politicizing intelligence, America is blaming everyone but itself for its self-inflicted woes John Ratcliffe © REUTERS/Loren Elliott 64 3 Follow RT on RT In the latest episode in the US' single-minded crusade toward self-destruction, Russia and Iran are being fingered for election interference based on intelligence that doesn't pass the smell test.

You would be justified in thinking that the various news conferences put on by US law enforcement and intelligence officials in which foreign actors – Russia, China and Iran are the usual suspects – are accused of meddling in all things American are little more than a giant practical joke, a parody of how a government should behave, instead of the damning indictment of reality that they are.

The most recent iteration of this embarrassing spectacle took place on Wednesday evening, during a hastily convened press conference suspiciously timed to coincide with former president Barack Obama's inaugural stump speech in support of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Normally, the citation of such coincidences would relegate any subsequent analysis to the rabbit hole of conspiracy theory. However, we do not live in normal times. The press conference was convened by the Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, who was in turn accompanied by the Director of the FBI, Christopher Wray.

ALSO ON RT.COM Iran issues diplomatic protest over 'absurd' accusation of US election meddling

Ratcliffe has come under fire from Congressional Democrats for his selective declassification of documents pertaining to allegations of Russian involvement in the 2016 US presidential campaign. Former CIA director John Brennan, who was the subject of some of the leaked documents, accused Ratcliffe of releasing them to "advance the political interests" of President Donald Trump ahead of the November 3 election.

The declassification caper was followed by Ratcliffe's unsolicited intervention regarding the acquisition by the FBI of computer hard drives allegedly belonging to Joe Biden's son, Hunter. Ratcliffe declared that the contents of the drives were not part of a Russian disinformation campaign and thereby drew the ire of Democrats, who view the sordid computer story as a smear campaign against the former vice president.

The October 21 press conference followed in the path of Ratcliffe's prior interventions, and appeared to be little more than an insufficiently sourced allegation wrapped in highly politicized conclusions. Ratcliffe claimed the US intelligence community had " confirmed that some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran, and separately, by Russia ." This was the gist of the press conference, and it added virtually nothing to the statement released by Ratcliffe in August in which he noted that the US intelligence community was " primarily concerned about the ongoing and potential activity by China, Russia, and Iran ."

ALSO ON RT.COM Iran sent fake 'Proud Boys' emails to intimidate American voters & 'damage President Trump,' US spy chief and FBI director claim

What made Ratcliffe's announcement even less spectacular was the fact that the data he accused Iran and Russia of stealing was publicly available, leading some anonymous intelligence officials to speculate that the hacking operations were little more than an effort to avoid paying the fees associated with accessing this data. As far as crimes go, this one was eminently forgettable.

Ratcliffe noted that the US officials " have already seen Iran sending spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump ," referring to a scheme alleged to have been implemented by Iran, using this information, to disseminate emails to potential voters claiming to be from the controversial Proud Boys organization, that threatened physical violence unless the recipient voted for Trump in the coming election.

The purpose of this scheme appears to be less about actually changing votes (voting is done in secret, so the sender of the letter would have no way of confirming an outcome, thereby negating the threat) and more about undermining confidence in the electoral process as a whole. Both Iran and the Proud Boys have denied any involvement in the letter writing campaign.

This latest incursion by the US intelligence community into the topic of election interference by outside powers has been loudly condemned by the Democrats, with the House Homeland Security Committee, chaired by Mississippi Democrat Bennie Thompson, tweeting " Ratcliffe has TOO OFTEN politicized the Intelligence Community to carry water for the President ."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1319095427375968256&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fop-ed%2F504300-politicizing-intelligence-election-russia-iran%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

But Ratcliffe's actions only continue in the vein of a history of electioneering by the US intelligence community during contentious presidential elections. Much of the Democrats' current ire against Ratcliffe stems from his exposing documents that point to similar politically motivated interventions by John Brennan and others during the 2016 election, ostensibly for the purpose of undermining the campaign of then-candidate Trump.

The fact is, what passes for domestic US politics is virtually impossible to manipulate by outside agencies. The effort by Cambridge Analytica to predict voting preferences in 2016 by accessing the confidential online data of millions of Americans has been shown to have been spectacularly ineffective, and it exceeded by some way the sophistication and data collection activities attributed to foreign powers such as Russia, China, and Iran.

The mind of the American voter is influenced by a wide variety of inputs that are highly individualized and, in many instances, virtually unquantifiable. The notion that a sophisticated data mining organization such as Cambridge Analytica, or the intelligence services of any of those three nations, could succeed in doing over the course of months what American political organizations have been struggling to achieve over two-plus centuries is not only laughable, but insulting.

Yet the level of domestic political insecurity that exists today is such that both political parties, lacking confidence in their own inherent messaging capability, have succumbed to the psychosis of political victimhood, blaming others for their own inherent failures. By allowing the work of the US intelligence community to be used as a foil in this self-destructive blame game, a succession of US intelligence professionals, led by John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey, Richard Grenell, John Ratcliffe, and others, have turned the once respected profession of intelligence into a politicized joke.

In this, however, it is in good company, joined by both political parties, the US media and, frankly speaking, the US electorate. American democracy is a mirror image of the nation it purports to serve, and, at the moment, the reflection displayed is a thoroughly tragic one.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

[Oct 23, 2020] The key difference between China and Russia as for US election influence: Putin apparently "interferes in US elections" but China simply buys up one of the parties and owns the candidate and his family

Highly recommended!
For all practical purposes Biden work as a well paid lobbyist for China.
Notable quotes:
"... So Navalny was "poisoned by Putin" and sent to a Berlin hospital so that conclusion could be defined ? USSR was so incompetent with bio-weapons it cannot create a lethal organophosphate poison yet US/Uk can develop VX which worked definitively on King Jong-Un's half-brother ! ..."
Oct 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
play_arrow

Sandmann , 40 minutes ago

So Navalny was "poisoned by Putin" and sent to a Berlin hospital so that conclusion could be defined ? USSR was so incompetent with bio-weapons it cannot create a lethal organophosphate poison yet US/Uk can develop VX which worked definitively on King Jong-Un's half-brother !

Then again China can develop effective bio-weapons which expose the E=West and especially NATO armed forces as unprepared, incompetent, ineffectual and in Chinese terms "paper tigers"

So more and more sanctions on Russia and more and more orders for PPE and other goodies from China.

Russia is Post-Communist but China is VERY VERY Communist.

Putin apparently "interferes in US elections" but China simply buys up one of the parties and owns the candidate and his family

[Oct 23, 2020] Will it be a new Yeltsin after Putin ?

Oct 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com


play_arrow


shazzdan , 1 hour ago

Russia won't get interesting until Putin dies. It doesn't have the established institutions to survive a transfer of power.

Captain Nemo de Erehwon , 2 hours ago

https://imgflip.com/i/3eadzv

NOT EPS TYING , 2 hours ago

...How about Curveball and the 911 Hoax? How about Bibi Netanyahu and Oblock? They are all corrupt. They should all be in jail.

Sound of the Suburbs , 3 hours ago

How did Putin come to power anyway?

That was Jeffrey Sach's fault.

Everything looked very positive with Russia under Gorbachev, but the West thought his reforms were too slow.

A BBC documentary covers a young, naive Jeffrey "Joe 90" Sachs and other US free market fundamentalists as they headed into Russia to make a right mess of things and pave the way for Putin.

https://thoughtmaybe.com/the-trap/#top

Part 3 – We will Force You to be Free (36 – 44 mins)

The BBC is an official Western media outlet, so it must be the truth.

No arguing.

[Oct 21, 2020] Why the Struggle with China is not a replay of the Cold War by Chas Freeman

Oct 21, 2020 | responsiblestatecraft.org

Crucially, China is not the Soviet Union: China has no messianic ideology to export; China is not engaged in regime change operations to create an ideological sphere of influence; China's relationships with foreign nations are transactional rather than sentimental; China's economy dwarfs that of the USSR; China already possesses one-fourth of the world's scientific, technological, engineering, and mathematics workforce; China's "Belt and Road Initiative" is an order-setting geoeconomic strategy with no Soviet parallel; China spends two percent or less of it GDP on its military vs. the estimated 9 to 15 percent of the USSR -- and China has not built a nuclear arsenal to match that of either the United States or Russia.

Equally important, the United States of the 2020s is not the America of the early Cold War. As the Cold War began, the United States produced one-half or more of the world's manufactures. It now makes about one-sixth. During the Cold War, the United States was the uncontested leader of a bloc of dependent nations that it called "the free world." That bloc is now in an advanced state of decay. Further, legacy U.S. alliances formed to contain the USSR have little relevance to American contention with China: US-European alliances like NATO are withering and no Asian security partner of the United States wants to choose between America and China.

Since 1950, the Taiwan issue has been a casus belli between the United States and China. But U.S. allies see it as a fight among Chinese to be managed rather than joined. If the U.S. mismanages the Taiwan issue, as it now appears to be doing, it will have no overt allies in the resulting war. No claimant against China in the South China Sea is prepared to join the U.S. in naval conflict with China. In short, this time is different. Sino-American relations have a history and dynamic that do not conform to those of the US-Soviet contest. And the United States is not equipped to inspire and lead opposition to China. The US-China contention is far broader than that of the Cold War, in part because China, unlike the determinedly autarkic USSR, is part of the same global society as the United States. The battlefields include global governance, geoeconomics, trade, investment, finance, currency usage, supply chain management, technology standards and systems, and scientific collaboration, in addition to the geopolitical and military domains in which the Cold War played out.

The United States is isolated on a widening list of issues. It has withdrawn or excluded itself from a growing number of multilateral instruments of global and regional governance and is no longer able to lead the international community. Americans have repeatedly declined to recapitalize or cooperate in reforming international financial institutions to meet new global and regional investment requirements. This has led China, India, and other rising powers to create supplementary lenders like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank.

Four years ago, the U.S. unilaterally decided that geopolitics are inherently driven by great power military rivalry that precludes cooperation. The newly pugnacious U.S. stance legitimizes xenophobia and justifies bilateral approaches to foreign relations that ignore issues like global terrorism, pandemic diseases, climate change, migration, nuclear proliferation, or regional tensions, and cripple the global governance and international coordination needed to tackle them. The United States is going out of its way to demonstrate its indifference to the interests and sensibilities of its past and potential partners. It is withdrawing from international organizations it can no longer dominate. These actions amount to unilateral diplomatic disarmament and the creation of politico-economic vacuums for others -- not just China -- to fill.

Future historians will puzzle over why Americans have chosen to dismantle and discard the connections and capacities that long enabled the United States to direct the trend of events in most global and regional arenas. When they unravel this mystery, they will also need to explain the simultaneous collapse of the separation of powers structure on which the American republic was founded and on which its liberties were built. Fortunately for post-Constitutional America, China's political system, despite the stability and prosperity it has fostered, has even less appeal beyond China's borders. Both China and the United States are now repelling other nations rather than attracting them. If the U.S.-China contest were military and didn't go nuclear, the United States, with its battle-hardened and uniquely lethal military, would enjoy insuperable advantages. But armed conflict is not the central element in the Sino-American confrontation.

After World War II, the United States made the rules. American statesmen crafted a world order that expressed American ideals and served American interests. In the post-Cold War period Washington began to disengage from the global institutions and norms it had sponsored. The United States has failed to ratify international compacts that regulate a widening range of arenas of importance to it. These include conventions on the law of the sea, nuclear testing, the arms trade, human rights, and crimes against humanity. Washington has withdrawn from or suspended compliance with conventions on the laws of war and agreements on arms control, combating climate change, and trade and investment. It has ceased to participate in or sought to sabotage a growing list of United Nations specialized agencies and related institutions. Notwithstanding the current global pandemic, these include the World Health Organization.

America's withdrawal from its traditional role in global rule-setting and enforcement deprives it of the dominant influence it long exercised through the institutions it created. Other great powers remain wedded to the American-led order expressed in the United Nations Charter, but America's exemption of itself from the comity of nations and its spontaneous metamorphosis from world leader to global dropout have left it unable to aggregate the power of other nations to its own. Washington's resort to abusive language, threats and coercive measures has grown as its capacity to apply its power non-coercively has declined, further reducing the numbers of foreign allies, partners, and friends willing to bandwagon with America.

The decline in U.S. clout is made even more consequential by the fact that China has resources, including money, to offer its partners. The United States does not. The United States' budget is in chronic deficit. Even routine government operations must now be funded with debt. America has spent trillions of borrowed dollars on wars in the Islamic world that it can neither win nor end. Its "forever wars" siphoned off the funds needed to keep its human and physical infrastructure at levels competitive with those of China and other great economic powers. They also crippled U.S. statecraft by defunding non-military means to advance American interests abroad and curtailing U.S. contributions to the international institutions charged with assuring global peace and development.

Coercive approaches to statecraft are inherently alienating. Claims to superiority that are not empirically substantiable are unpersuasive. Asking countries to choose between China and the United States, when China is clearly rising and America is simultaneously stagnating and declining, guarantees the progressive eclipse of American prestige and power. Advocating democracy abroad while deviating from it at home destroys rather than enhances American credibility. America's addiction to debt risks eventual financial collapse even as it limits immediate policy options both at home and abroad.

Unless the United States cures its fiscal feebleness, rebuilds the capacities and competence of its government, upgrades its human and physical infrastructure, and reopens itself to trade, investment, and immigration, America's roles in global governance, trade, investment, finance, supply chain management, technology standards and systems, and scientific collaboration will continue to contract as those of China and others expand. The United States' capacity to innovate will decline, as will American well-being and self-confidence. This diminishment of the United States is not the consequence of Chinese predation but of American hubris, political ineptitude, and diplomatic decrepitude .

The essence of any s trategy is the efficient linkage of resources and capabilities to feasible objectives. Current U.S. China policy is strategy-free. With neither resources nor institutional capabilities to back it, it amounts to puerile fantasy. U.S. China policy at present is a classic example of demonizing a foreign foe to rally support at home and divert attention from festering political, economic, and social problems. This approach is highly unlikely to result in a Cold War-style victory for the United States or the Enlightenment values that gave birth to it. Quite the opposite. Written by
Chas Freeman Share Copy Print Related Posts China wins, India loses in Trump's gamble on crushing Iran by Fatemeh Aman

[Oct 21, 2020] I think the whole thing was a carefully-concocted operation that Lyosha was fully briefed-in on

Notable quotes:
"... Perhaps the plot extended beyond those who directly participated but I don't think it was a high level operation. Navalny took a gamble that his sponsors would have no choice but to follow his lead. It now makes no practical difference as to whom planned it. ..."
Oct 21, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

PATIENT OBSERVER October 18, 2020 at 4:15 pm

Navalny on CBS 60 Minutes:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/alexey-navalny-poisoning-putin-russia-60-minutes-2020-10-18/

A skeptical 5-year old could see through the BS but the intrepid Leslie Stahl hangs on his every word.

MARK CHAPMAN October 18, 2020 at 5:55 pm

Alexey Navalny: It's a banned substance. I think for Putin– why– he's using this chemical weapon to do– do both, kill me and, you know, terrify others. It's something really scary, where the people just drop dead without– there are no gun. There are no shots and in a couple of hours, you– you'll be dead and without any traces on your body. It's something terrifying. And Putin is enjoying it.

So am I. It's very intriguing, the constant plot twists – Navalny is recorded live 'moaning in anguish' but he was not in any pain! Perhaps the very thought of such an amazing human being and exceptional leader – himself, naturally – struck down in his prime was just so sorrowful that he could not stifle his sadness.

It's 'something really scary', is it? Why? So far nearly everyone poisoned by it has survived with no apparent medium-to-long-term damage. The deadliest toxin in the world by a wide margin has so far managed to kill one barbag who was also a drug addict, and completely incidentally – she was not ever a target.

According to the Russian record of its use as a murder weapon, though, on the sole known occasion it was so used, it killed the target in just a few hours. It also killed his secretary, who used the same phone to call an ambulance, and the pathologist who did his autopsy.

So whoever is copying Novichok for its terror effects is not doing a very good job. Like Porsche, there is no substitute.

PATIENT OBSERVER October 19, 2020 at 5:03 am

The "moaning in anguish" was likely Navalny's theatrical assumption that Novichok creates intense pain. When he learned, after his performance, that Novichok does not create intense pain, he changed his story on the fly.

This, and a few other things, brings up an interesting conjecture. The Navalny stunt may have been a free-lance operation done without prior knowledge of Western intelligence agencies. He and his posse concocted the scheme betting that the the US and Germany would be backed into a corner and had to play along. They really had no choice as they could not abandon this asset without the entire "fearless opposition to the tyrant Putin" collapsing into the cesspool it was built upon.

If so, it was an audacious move that only a sociopath could do. However, it does suggest that Navalny is finished after the last bit of propaganda value is wrung out. His future could be either termination under a convenient pretext (i.e. Putin finally got him) or to become a professor of BS at some US University or the like. The main point is that he is too unreliable to conduct further operations.

MARK CHAPMAN October 19, 2020 at 9:42 am

I think the whole thing was a carefully-concocted operation that Lyosha was fully briefed-in on. His howls and screams would have been necessary in any case, with or without pain, because it was imperative that all on board be convinced that a terrible event was taking place and that emergency actions were absolutely called for. It's hard to imagine the same dramatic effect could have been achieved by Navalny flopping out of the toilet like a gaffed bass, and whispering to the flight attendant, "I just have this feeling that says body, we are done". Everyone including the flight attendant would assume he was drunk or something that was no particular cause for alarm, and maybe even for amusement. Until they learned that the flight was being diverted so this fuckwad could get off.

ET AL October 19, 2020 at 10:57 am

I don't know and I don't care who's cuning plan this was. It's got him all the publicity he needs and also those in the west with their standard 'no smoke without fire' level of foreign policy 'evidence.' I think he's actually looking to sell his life story for a Netflix series. Nothing else makes logical sense.

MOSCOW EXILE October 19, 2020 at 10:34 am

Yes, maybe -- apart from the fact that one of his posse is British agent who has been controlling FBK investigations into corruption for quite a while now and apparently was stuck to Navalny during his last foray into the provinces like shit to an army blanket.

PATIENT OBSERVER October 19, 2020 at 10:57 am

To Mark and ME;
The Navalny show still has an ad hoc feel to it. Perhaps the plot extended beyond those who directly participated but I don't think it was a high level operation. Navalny took a gamble that his sponsors would have no choice but to follow his lead. It now makes no practical difference as to whom planned it.

MOSCOW EXILE October 18, 2020 at 9:47 pm

More proof that Trump is a Kremlin Stooge?

Навальный пожаловался, что Трамп не осудил произошедший с ним инцидент
19.10.2020 | 07:59

Navalny has complained that Trump has not condemned what happened to him
19.10.2020 | 07:59

Blogger Aleksei Navalny has expressed the opinion that US President Donald Trump should have also condemned what happened to him, as did European politicians, TASS reports.

"I think it is especially important that everyone, including, and perhaps first and foremost, the US president, speak out against the use of chemical weapons in the 21st century", Navalny said.

["Я думаю, что особенно важно, чтобы все, включая и, возможно, в первую очередь президента США, выступили против применения химического оружия в XXI веке".]

On August 20, Navalny was taken to a hospital in Omsk after he had fallen ill on an aeroplane. Omsk doctors said that the main diagnosis was metabolic disorders. Then Navalny was transported to Germany. He was in a coma for two weeks. German doctors announced that he had been poisoned with substances from the Novichok group. Russia has asked Berlin for more detailed information on the test results, but has not yet received a response.

Currently, Navalny has been discharged from the hospital and is undergoing rehabilitation.

Big gobbed gobshite shouting his big gob off -- or did his US controllers really urge him to make that statement? Is the CIA really using him as part of the Democrats "Russiagate" arsenal?

MARK CHAPMAN October 19, 2020 at 8:48 am

Got it in one; I was going to say, until I read your last couple of lines, that this is further suggestion that Navalny is a Democratic project. The US State Department is full of Democratic appointees. They want to get all the mileage out of him they can before interest fades.

MARK CHAPMAN October 19, 2020 at 9:11 am

Miraculously, he recovered from the poison that is so dangerous people fear to mention its name, for fear that doing so might encourage tongue cancer, and is today fit as a flea; can't wait to return to Russia for Round Two. If they were wise, they'd kill Lyosha themselves for his stem cells. Then world leaders could be protected against Russian assassination attempts.

MARK CHAPMAN October 19, 2020 at 9:04 am

Certainly capitalizing on his new-found fame, isn't he? Now he feels comfortable telling the US president how he ought to behave, and chiding him for not appropriately recognizing Navalny's importance to the world. Dear God, what a swellheaded prat.

If the Chief Bullshitter really feels so concerned for the safety of his family, he will leave them all abroad and return to Russia alone – I mean, he's not a bit afraid for himself, he's said as much. Go on, Lyosha – go back home and rally the great restless throng of oppressed ordinary Russians who cry out for your leadership!!

Not on your life. He's got the sweetest gig ever going on right there, newspapers beating a path to his door to find out what he likes to eat for breakfast and whose shirts he wears, no worries about income or housing, hobnobbing with world leaders who listen respectfully to his opinions, and all he has to do is rant about Putin all day long. The Americans are finally getting their money's worth out of Lyosha. Whereas what would happen if he went home?

It would quickly become clear that his support still comes exclusively from the same group – a few disaffected intelligentsia such as Boris Akunin, the Atlanticist liberatsi who endlessly predict the collapse of Putin, and the angry kiddies who feel like they are part of some great Thunberg-like global freedom movement that will bring them a comfortable life but absolve them of responsibility for working for it – you know; the way they live in America!

[Oct 21, 2020] PATRICK LAWRENCE- The Damage Russiagate Has Done by Patrick Lawrence

Oct 21, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

October 19, 2020

Authoritarian liberals have unleashed a censorious syndrome peculiar to our national character, dating to 17th century Quaker hangings in Boston.

A n inhabitant of Twitterland named "Willow Inski" took to the keyboard on Oct. 11, asking why anyone still accepts official accounts of the crucial theft of emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign manager John Podesta in the spring of 2016.

Excellently observed, Willow. And at just the right moment. At this point we are amid a frenzy of what Hannah Arendt called "defactualization" in a 1971 essay she titled "Lying in Politics." Facts are fragile, Arendt astutely observed, because they can so easily be manipulated to produce a desired image. "It is this fragility," she wrote, "that makes deception so very easy up to a point, and so tempting."

The latest example of this phenom concerns the emails of Hunter Biden, candidate Joe's errant son, which persuasively incriminate both in very profitable influence-peddling schemes when Papa was Barack Obama's veep.

Nobody denies the facts as published last week in The New York Post , not even Biden père et fils , but the facts are once again mutilated with assertions that it is another case of the Rrrrrrussians spreading disinformation.

This is what we get after four years of the Russia collusion b.s., otherwise known as Russiagate. Anything goes if implicating Russia solves a political problem for the Democrats and keeps the war machine going for the Pentagon and the national security state. It defers the moment -- at some point it will come -- when the press is exposed for its radically stupid overinvestment in the Russiagate nonsense. The price America has already begun to pay is very high.

Willow's expression of perplexity comes after an especially lively season of revelations as regards what must count as the largest disinformation op in U.S. history. It is now six months since the Russiagate hoax -- and I am fine with President Donald Trump's term for it -- began its final crash into a pile of piffle. While it remains to be seen whether more evidence of political chicanery is coming, what evidence we already have is more than sufficient to identify Russiagate as the probable criminal fraud it was from the start.

I am refreshed that Willow Inski, who describes herself as an "attorney, wife, mother, proud American," sees through this extravagant ruse. And yet, as she notes, a lot of people don't. A lot of people are "still taking at face value" all the misinformation, disinformation, and outright lies our newspapers, magazines, and broadcasters have purveyed incessantly for the past four years.

Why is a very large question. All possible answers are disturbing. But here is another big one we get to before that: When we consider together all its many consequences, has Russiagate destroyed what remained of American democracy before illiberal liberals, spooks, law enforcement, and the press colluded to erect the dreadful edifice?

The Damage Done

Your columnist's answer rests on the most scrupulously precise definition of Russiagate one can manage: What we have witnessed these past four years is an attempted palace coup against a sitting president.

Cold comfort it is that the gang that couldn't shoot straight bungled the job. It has also created a Democratic default position: When wrongdoing by Democrats is credibly exposed, automatically blame Russia. Among much else, that has led to unnecessary tension with a nuclear power. This damage will long stay with us.

Russiagate's foundation stone -- baseless allegations that Moscow was responsible for the 2016 DNC email intrusions -- crumbled long ago. We've known since July 2017 that nobody hacked the email servers in question.

This was confirmed by the Dec. 5, 2017, closed-door congressional testimony of Shawn Henry, president of CrowdStrike, the firm the Democrats hired to examine the DNC servers. It was made public only on May 7, 2020. Henry said under oath: "There's not evidence that they [the emails] were actually exfiltrated. There's circumstantial evidence but no evidence that they were actually exfiltrated. "

The emails were most likely compromised by someone with direct access to them, probably a DNC insider. 'Twas a leak, not a hack.

But incessant propaganda and a sloppy but effective coverup have kept the fable going since then. All has been open game these past years, scabrous, apparent false-flag poisonings -- the Skripals, Alexei Navalny -- baseless tales of Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers' heads. The press has reported this sort of rubbish for years as if it were confirmed fact. Spectral evidence has reigned.

It is this coverup that has been falling apart since last spring.

First came news that the collusion case against Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser, was bogus and that Flynn entered his two guilty pleas when prosecutors threatened to indict his son if he refused. When the Justice Department dropped its case against Flynn, it simultaneously forced the House Intelligence Committee to release documents showing that no "evidence" of a Russian email hack ever existed, even as the Democrats, the spooks, and the press missed no chance to bang on about it.

Those who got my goat at the time were people such as Adam Schiff, the Democratic congressman from Hollywood and leader of the charge on Capitol Hill, who knew there was no evidence of Russian involvement but repeatedly insisted they had seen it whenever they faced a CNN camera.

You are right, Ms. Inski: Crowdstrike, the grossly corrupt firm that was supposed to have all the evidence one could ever want, never had any. Former FBI Director James Comey admitted in testimony that the FBI asked for but never gained possession of the DNC server, even though this would be the "best practice." We can surmise that this was so, so that the bureau could deny responsibility for what amounts to a psyop perpetrated against Americans. In June 2019 it was reported that CrowdStrike also never gave the FBI a final report because none was ever produced since the FBI never asked for one.

Among the congressional testimonies released last spring, two top Clinton campaign operatives, Podesta and Jake Sullivan, acknowledged that they met after Trump's election with the principals of Fusion GPS, the infamous orchestrator of the Steele Dossier, to keep the Russiagate ball rolling. What a difference speaking under oath makes.

Actually, what got my goat a second time was that none of this, as in none, was reported in The New York Times or anywhere else in the mainstream media. Our once-but-no-more newspaper of record has made an absolute dog's dinner of itself since its leadership decided to buy into the Russiagate junk. At this point I am convinced its ties to the spooks are as dense and corrupt as they were during the worst of the Cold War decades, when the publisher signed a covert agreement to cooperate with the CIA.

Clinton Approved Plan

As if any more reports were needed to deflate the Russiagate balloon, the evidence continues to accumulate. At the end of September John Ratcliffe, director of national intelligence, informed Senator Lindsey Graham that intelligence agencies had information "alleging that U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Putin and the Russians' hacking of the Democratic National Committee." Some of us knew this four years ago.

While Ratcliffe's letter adds that spookworld "does not know the accuracy of this allegation," it goes on to note that the intel in question was serious enough for John Brennan, then the CIA director, to brief President Barack Obama about it and forward it to Comey and Peter Strzok, respectively FBI director and deputy assistant director of counterintelligence at the time. This is the referral, of course, that Comey now claims he cannot recall a damn thing about.

Given the Podesta and Sullivan testimonies, the Ratcliffe disclosures stitch the case: In my view, the Clinton campaign's active role in starting and prolonging the Russiagate propaganda operation is now open-and-shut. (It was first reported in October 2017 by Consortium News and predicted by me in Salon on July 26, 2016 and three days before the 2016 election by CN 's editor).

I wrote back then in Salon :

"Making lemonade out of a lemon, the Clinton campaign now goes for a twofer. Watch as it advances the Russians-did-it thesis on the basis of nothing, then shoots the messenger, then associates Trump with its own mess -- and, finally, gets to ignore the nature of its transgression (which any paying-attention person must consider grave)."

Declassifications Ignored

In the matter of goats, the Ratcliffe letter seems to have gotten Trump's. A week later he took to Twitter calling for the declassification , without redaction, of all documents related to the Russiagate probes.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1313640512025513984&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2020%2F10%2F19%2Fpatrick-lawrence-the-damage-russiagate-has-done%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Although Trump did not issue an official order to this effect, this amounts to a direct challenge to what he has been all along referring to as the Deep State. (Trump first "ordered" the declassification, and was ignored, in September 2018.) Last Thursday Ratcliffe formally requested an investigation of the "Intelligence Community Assessment" of January 2017, a worthless put-up job that purported to confirm Russian "meddling." The CIA's inspector general ignored an earlier such request.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=true&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1316823015796154380&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fconsortiumnews.com%2F2020%2F10%2F19%2Fpatrick-lawrence-the-damage-russiagate-has-done%2F&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Will more come out? Will the investigation Trump ordered earlier this year by Assistant U.S. Attorney John Durham get all the way to the bottom? This is hard to say. We've since had credible reports that CIA Director Gina Haspel, known for authorizing post–2001 torture and destroying evidence of it, has personally blocked the release of Russiagate-related documents from the CIA's files. And the repellent Haspel may win this one, given the record in such matters.

The Russiagate "narrative" is at this point so preposterous that these recent disclosures have also gone either badly reported or unreported in mainstream media. We ought not expect more in days to come. The press has only one alternative at this point: Either black it out or allege that Russia is using people such as Ratcliffe, just as we're now asked to believe Moscow is manipulating The New York Post .

What an ungodly mess Russiagate has made of our splendid republic.

We have watched an attempted coup not much different from the CIA's covert ops elsewhere over the decades, then gave the coup plotters three years to investigate the plot, and no one, as things now appear, will be brought to justice for these travesties.

Send in the historians. One hopes they're already here.

The CIA, in breach of its charter, has now licensed itself to operate on U.S. soil in a probably unprecedented alliance with domestic law enforcement and a major political party. And it has told us in open defiance that it has no intention of submitting itself to executive or congressional control. No voice is raised, we must note with astonishment.

Government Without a Press

In 1787, when he was our new nation's minister in Paris, Jefferson wrote home to a friend that "were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." We are stuck with a government without newspapers now, given the ties our press has consolidated its ties with political and bureaucratic power in the course of imposing the Russiagate ruse upon us.

They only look like newspapers now. The liberal media are now bulletin boards for those they serve -- the Democratic Party, the spooks, and all the interests these two represent. Do they think that, once Trump leaves office, they can cavalierly reclaim the credibility they have profligately squandered in the service of Russiagate?

I see no chance of this. And here we have a silver lining: Russiagate will prove a key moment in the emergence of independent media (such as Consortium News ) as important sources of accurate information and perspectives. This is already evident. At this point The New York Times is to sound reporting what Applebee's is to a proper tavern serving good draft beer.

The worst consequence of Russiagate, in my view, is the swoon of hysteria it has sent many Americans into, a syndrome peculiar to our national character dating to the Quaker hangings in Boston during the early 1660s and repeated many times since. We are divided once again between the paranoid and the rational.

And there is an ideological distinction here that we must not miss. Willow Inski is a conservative and appears to be a Trumper. She addressed Paul Sperry, a New York Post reporter closely following the Russiagate debacle and also a conservative.

The paranoids, the Puritan preachers, the witch hunters, those who think censorship is a fine thing are this time one and all authoritarian liberals apparently determined to make everyone think as they do or else see to their banishment from the circles of the elect.

Let us debate opinions until the kingdom comes. But these people propose to debate facts because they understand the fragility Arendt noted all those years ago. This is not on.

"Under normal circumstances the liar is defeated by reality, for which there is no substitute," Arendt wrote. "No matter how large the tissue of falsehood that an experienced liar has to offer, it will never be large enough, even if he enlists the help of computers, to cover the immensity of factuality."

One hopes Arendt turns out to be right. One hopes the immensity of factuality eventually prevails. "Defactualization" in the service of all the Russiagate rubbish has gravely undermined numerous of our key institutions. As things now stand, this leaves us well short of what we need to reconstruct a working democracy.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune , is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century (Yale). Follow him on Twitter @thefloutist .His web site is Patrick Lawrence . Support his work via his Patreon site .

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

[Oct 21, 2020] Another possible Russian provocation against UK: UK Officer In Charge Of Submarine's Nukes boarded staggering drunk while clutching BBQ chicken

This do not have Congressmen Schiff so this version did not got traction. Yet. Because Boris Johnson is generally very close, as his behaviour during Skripals false flag suggests. BTW why they need to inflate "Russian threat" if their own people can be sufficient for the annihilation of the United Kingdom. Still let's wait for the Guardian to tell us about those evil Russians
Oct 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

On Monday the UK Ministry of Defence confirmed a hugely embarrassing incident involving a security and operations lapse aboard the British nuclear submarine HMS Vigilant while it temporarily was docked during a mission at a US naval base, specifically Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia.

The officer in charge of overseeing the vessel's nuclear warheads arrived to his shift "staggering drunk" while strangely carrying a bag of barbecue chicken .

The scene immediately sparked concern that the officer, later identified as Lt. Commander Len Louw "was not in a fit state to be in charge of nuclear weapons" as there was something "seriously wrong" according to UK media reports .

... ... ...

The BBC noted that as the weapons engineering officer on the submarine he was "responsible for all weapons and sensors on board." The sub is armed with Trident ballistic missiles and is thus subject to stringent safety and security measures.

And more astounding, according to the Daily Mail , i s that :

The Royal Navy officer had been preparing to start a shift during which they would offload the 16 nuclear missiles - which each weigh 60 tons and have the combined power to kill almost the entire population of the UK.

He reportedly clocked in for his shift after a full night of drinking aboard one of only four submarines that make up the UK's nuclear deterrent.

A week ago the nuclear sub was in the news due to a reported COVID-19 outbreak after crew members were caught breaking port call rules to go to strip clubs and bars.

No doubt American military authorities at Kings Bay naval base will also have serious questions, considering they've just witnessed a significant operations lapse aboard a foreign allied 'top secret' nuclear submarine docked in US waters.

_arrow

No1uNo , 17 hours ago

I raced Yachts with a UK Submarine commander for over a decade, this story is so out of sync with the character and personalities recruited into probably one of the most responsible jobs in the world - that the narrative asks many more questions than the story.

- Either he was spiked with a narcotic behaviour cocktail or what's being asked of him is not within his ethics code that something broke.

Freeman of the City , 17 hours ago

Well stated, Military Esprit de corps standard of officer conduct, period. No one rises to this level of responsibility without deep long term vetting.

This 'news' story sounds more like agitprop to undermine confidence in elite UK submariner forces. Sedition within the UK govt, from Labour or Marxists...

Propaganda Phil , 17 hours ago

It came out 6 years ago that most of everyone manning our missile silos were cheating on testing and using drugs. 9 USAF officers fired and around 100 were caught cheating. It only was discovered when 2 of the cheaters were caught in a drug investigation.

& Secret Service getting high and banging hookers in Colombia.

Then there was the Fat Leonard scandal in the USN. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fat_Leonard_scandal

Getting guys wasted ain't new. He just got caught.

No1uNo , 17 hours ago

Missile silos are a very different thing, such people can be inspected observed or called out as needed. Subs are gone for months at a time and decisions made on own recognisance. As Freeman says the vetting process is lengthy and those who get through it are precise thoughtful engineering types and committed team players. Aside of that Subs are frequently used to pick up and drop off espionage packages in locations that would create international incidents if caught. The recruitment process is very very careful, whatever one's views on Nuclear subs or nation states. I feel he was 'got at'

No1uNo , 16 hours ago

I still find this story incredible, these guys are not that well paid, most take it v. carefully before going to richer defence sector for a few years before retirement. The hammer can drop on them when they realise who they were fighting as 'enemies' were really desperate people pushed to the edge by geopolitical designs and greed acquisitions of Military Industrial Intelligence Complex. More will come out: honey trap, interrogation and drugging or possibly as Propaganda Phil says - he lost it - perhaps from a drunken epiphany that caused him to doubt belief in what he was doing?

Doctor Faustus , 15 hours ago

Maybe there was a family connection somewhere that allowed this officer in. Remember Hunter Biden? Got kicked out of the Navy for cocaine. Only way he got in was through his dad, Joe Biden.

Propaganda Phil , 14 hours ago

Like wrongway McCain the disaster of a pilot and admiral's son.

indus creed , 14 hours ago

Didn't McCain cause some major damage on the deck with some deaths? The affair was all hushed up. He reportedly was escorted away by Navy police, as the sailors onboard wanted to kill him.

Arrow4Truth , 13 hours ago

"who they were fighting as 'enemies' were really desperate people pushed to the edge by geopolitical designs and greed acquisitions of Military Industrial Intelligence Complex." Well said. It's never, ever delivered in that package, but instead called "National defence" as Freeman put it. When one determines that the scenario you described is true it blows the national defense theory all to hell... but most never make that jump because the repetitive indoctrination has been soooo effective. Any argument that they must be alert to the possibility that the "nation" could be under attack at any moment loses all it's luster when one realizes that the "national interest" is the cause.

Ex-Oligarch , 14 hours ago

Upvoted, not because this behavior is unthinkable for military officers, but because of the idea that the officer may have been drugged, or intentionally removing himself from his command position.

Something about this story stinks.

Let's start with this: why was a British submarine offloading its nuclear missiles in a US port?

U4 eee aaa , 13 hours ago

Just blame Putin. They do it everywhere else.

tyberious , 17 hours ago

Damn Russians!

Helg Saracen , 17 hours ago

Was it Novichok? :)

Eyes Opened , 9 hours ago

Yeah ... he slept it off ... like the other "victims" ... 😷

aaronvta , 16 hours ago

It was later verified that he had been drinking vodka. Authorities are looking into the possibility of Russian influence.

Peterus , 17 hours ago

Oh well, that's an unfortunate lapse. But the more important thing for continuous safety and prosperity of UK is that army hit diversity quotas for 2022 in sex, sexual orientation and bame categories.

land_of_the_few , 16 hours ago

Their army can have tr@nny parties with spin the bottle to decide who gets the clinic pass to have their t1ts sliced off -to make them a small, tubby boy! for real, yeah! - and who gets the testosterone syringe for their butt cheeks so they can be proper Barnum & Bailey sideshow exhibits.

Maybe UK needs soldiers that are already used to elective mutilation and self-inflicted degradation?

Dr. Bendover , 17 hours ago

Now maybe Hunter Biden has a place to look for a real job.

Eyes Opened , 9 hours ago

I bet he curses like a sailor.. and he has a pipe... sure he's halfway qualified already !! 🧐

trysophistry , 17 hours ago

Coming to a theater near you, The Hunt for a Molson Blue October.

Westsail32 , 15 hours ago

The Royal Navy officer had been preparing to start a shift during which they would offload the 16 nuclear missiles - which each weigh 60 tons and have the combined power to kill almost the entire population of the UK.

Definitely a missed opportunity.

Alice-the-dog , 16 hours ago

So what? The Democratic Party is hoping you elect a senile old criminal who doesn't remember where he is and has trouble forming a comprehensible sentence to be in charge of the entirety of US nuclear weapons.

thunderchief , 17 hours ago

"His condition was as fitting and useful and also as waistful and reckless, at the same time, as the UK's need for a nuclear armed submarine fleet."

My own comment.

koan , 15 hours ago

U.S.S Hunter Biden

Svastic , 16 hours ago

I am surprised he didn't turn up in full drag. It's in keeping with the British character. Furthermore, officers are often picked for their political correctness and old-boy connections. Many are ho-mos.

Yamaoka Tesshu , 17 hours ago

Love how the "Daily Mail" hams up the fake nuke fear by telling us each missile can kill everyone in the UK. In truth the Vigilant can deliver less destructive power than a single B-52. But it's far more effective at looting the taxpayer while at the same time holding him hostage to the threat of annihilation.

Anyone seeing through the scamdemic can analyze that template and discover it fits nicely over the nuclear weapons con job.

This is the only conspiracy theory that cheers people up. But they downvote anyway. Just like telling gays AIDS is fake. They get mad when they should be relieved.

Mad Muppet , 8 hours ago

Let me guess: he was drinking Vodka. Russian Vodka!!!!

I just knew it was Putin's fault.

Herodotus , 15 hours ago

The Russians drugged him. DNA samples taken from the barbecue chicken places its origin in or around the Duchy of Muscovy.

10LBS_SHIT_5LB_BAG , 15 hours ago

They also laced the BBQ bag with Novichocken.

Helg Saracen , 15 hours ago

Oy vey! :)

Smiddywesson , 13 hours ago

Drunk while returning to the ship is one thing, drunk on duty is another, a career ending incident.

Genoves , 13 hours ago

I prefer officials drunks that officials killing people.

TheRecluse , 13 hours ago

So whats wrong with Barbecue chicken? It goes down great after getting drunk.

Captain Archer , 13 hours ago

"Big Bo" Can't be beat.

seryanhoj , 12 hours ago

He could reheat it real quick in the reactor.

oracle_man , 14 hours ago

Yo Ho Ho And A Bottle Of Rum Fifteen men on a dead man's chest Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum Drink and the devil be done for the rest Yo ho ho and a bottle of Rum!

[Oct 20, 2020] So as usual, nothing but the Foreign Orifice's word and they wouldn't make stuff up, especially on order when the government is under heavy domestic pressure? No. Never.

Oct 20, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

ET AL October 19, 2020 at 11:12 am

SkyNudes: US charges six Russian hackers over global attacks that hit Novichok probe, French elections and Winter Olympics
https://news.sky.com/story/us-charges-six-russian-hackers-over-global-attacks-that-hit-novichok-probe-french-elections-and-winter-olympics-12108610

"It went on to target broadcasters, a ski resort, Olympic officials and sponsors of the games in 2018. The GRU deployed data-deletion malware against the Winter Games IT systems and targeted devices across the Republic of Korea using VPNFilter."

The Russian hackers' alleged attempt to cover their tracks included using certain snippets of code and techniques to try to confuse investigators into think they were from China and North Korea.

The UK's National Cyber Security Centre, a branch of GCHQ, believe Russia's aim was to sabotage the running of the games, the Foreign Office said .
####

So as usual, nothing but the Foreign Orifice's word and they wouldn't make stuff up, especially on order when the government is under heavy domestic pressure? No. Never.

I wonder if Tokyo has been asked for comment or given 'evidence?' Again, absence of information gives it away.

Other outlets are putting out this FO press release with little comment, as usual.

MARK CHAPMAN October 19, 2020 at 11:36 am

"The Russian hackers' alleged attempt to cover their tracks included using certain snippets of code and techniques to try to confuse investigators into think they were from China and North Korea."

Just by the most marvelous coincidence, other bogus source codes in the Marble Framework tickle trunk are those of China, North Korea and Iran.

https://thehackernews.com/2017/03/cia-marble-framework.html

So what do we have now? The CIA imitating Russia imitating China and North Korea? Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

[Oct 20, 2020] If this is the caliber of the workforce that currently inhabits our intel agencies, someone explain to me why they still deserve to exist: 50 Former Intel Agents Flush Their Credibility and Show Why Their Agencies Should Be Blown Up

The proper term is probably the "national security parasites"
Oct 20, 2020 | www.redstate.com

If this is the caliber of the workforce that currently inhabits our intel agencies, someone explain to me why they still deserve to exist.

Apparently, 50 former intel agents have run to Politico to sign a letter, a favorite tactic during the Trump era to push non-authoritative nonsense as authoritative, claiming that the Hunter Biden email scandal is actually Russian misinformation.

... ... ..

Oh, it has all the classic earmarks? Well, that settles it, right? I mean, who needs actual evidence of to push a wild, partisan conspiracy theory when you are trying to counter a myriad of evidence to the contrary, including an actual receipt that shows the laptop was dropped off at the repair shop by Hunter Biden.

(see Repair Shop Receipt for Hunter Biden Laptop Revealed, Media Narrative Burns to the Ground )

[Oct 20, 2020] Feds Confirm Biden Emails Are -Authentic-; '50 Former Intel Officials' Wrong On Russian Disinfo -

Oct 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Update (1930ET) : In yet another death blow to Adam Schiff and the '50 former senior intelligence officers' "Russia, Russia, Russia" claims, the FBI and DOJ have told a Fox News producer that they do not believe that Hunter Biden's laptop and its contents are part of a Russian disinformation campaign , confirming that the 'current' intelligence community agrees with DNI Ratcliffe's comments yesterday.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1318673941624426497&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fnot-russian-hoax-tucker-carlson-has-seen-nonpublic-information-proving-laptop-was-hunter&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Additionally, a Federal Law Enforcement Official also confirmed to Fox News' Martha MacCallum that the emails are "authentic".

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1318681219740127234&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fnot-russian-hoax-tucker-carlson-has-seen-nonpublic-information-proving-laptop-was-hunter&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

All of which leaves on big gaping unanswered question (that we all know the answer to)...

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1318703211348459521&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fnot-russian-hoax-tucker-carlson-has-seen-nonpublic-information-proving-laptop-was-hunter&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

We look forward to the reporting from other mainstream media news agencies now that federal law enforcement has confirmed this is not a 'hoax' and we assume that the NYPost will once again be allowed to tweet since this is now as 'factual' as anything thrown at Trump for the last five years.



y_arrow Fizzy Head , 9 hours ago

Excuse me, but Who cares what these "former" senior officials think? I want names and party affiliations, that will tell the tale.

and furthermore, if these former guys can muster up a letter why can't the real officials muster up something, anything? They've known for months!! This is growing more ridiculous as time goes by.

Han Cholo , 8 hours ago

"former" -- Meaning they are mostly looking from the outside in and have no clue.

[Oct 20, 2020] Is Russia's Dialogue with the EU Coming to an End

EU is stronger and as such can harass Russia with almost total impunity. Navalny false flag is a proof.
Oct 20, 2020 | www.themoscowtimes.com

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dropped a bombshell on Tuesday, warning that Russia might halt all dialogue with the European Union. Mr. Lavrov offered no explanation for what was probably the most severe public statement on the EU of his career. Perhaps he was reacting to extended talks he recently held with EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell -- talks that, by all appearances, did not go well.

Naturally, the EU will respond to his statement with great displeasure and indignation, but Lavrov's comment was actually rooted in a process that began long before the current crisis, all the way back to when Russian-EU relations looked positively upbeat and promising.

Common, but shaky ground

The modern Russian state and the EU came into existence at practically the same time -- the former in late December 1991 and the latter in February 1992 -- and they soon laid the groundwork for their mutual relations. The two parties signed a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in 1994 -- and ratified it in 1997 -- that made their relations so close as to be considered "strategic" at one point.

This differs significantly from the slogan of a "Europe stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok" that former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev coined in 1989 to connote a common European homeland that, in reality, had no document or agreement to back it up.

By contrast, the Russian-EU partnership was based firmly on the idea of integration. While Brussels never offered Russia full EU membership, it offered general, though indefinite assurances that its eastern neighbor would play a suitably substantial role in the "Greater Europe" that was then being built.

At the core of this "Greater Europe," as it was then envisioned, was a rapidly expanding European Union that wound up more than doubling in size from 1992 to 2007 -- and which, it was expected, would eventually include Russia as well as other Soviet republics. A sort of pan-European space was created, although Russia's status in that new entity was never described or even discussed. Both sides simply assumed that Russia would be part of Europe. NEWS EU Sanctions FSB Chief, Senior Kremlin Officials Over Navalny Poisoning READ MORE

In hindsight, it seems that Russia and the EU understood that partnership differently.

However, they agreed at the time that everything from the structure of the state to economic regulation should be based on the legal and regulatory framework of the EU -- which they both considered clearly superior. Ideally, every country that was included in that European space would have adopted European rules and regulations, after which they would either become EU members -- some, strictly due to their size -- or else, as in the case of Russia and Ukraine, associate members. Every newcomer was expected to bring its laws and regulations into line with the European standard.

And in this regard, it differed fundamentally from Gorbachev's idea of a "Europe stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok." Although the Soviet leader did not offer any details regarding the pan-European homeland, he clearly anticipated a partnership of equals.

The Soviet leader looked to a coming convergence, a mutual rapprochement in which each player -- the Soviet Union, the European Community and the West as a whole -- would contribute their strongest qualities, each somehow coming together in a whole that was more than the sum of its parts. In was, in a word, utopia, but not a tenable plan.

Significantly, it was not former President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s who made the greatest efforts to achieve Russia's integration into the European space based on European principles, but President Vladimir Putin during his first term in the early 2000s.

Yeltsin had to overcome Russia's internal crisis before there could be any talk of integrating with Europe. By the 2000s, when the state and its apparatus had stabilized and oil revenues filled government coffers, Putin searched diligently for an opportunity to implement the partnership with the EU and to further rapprochement. This continued from 2001 until as late as 2006.

The honeymoon had ended

Russia's potential had grown significantly by that time, as had its expectations for the role it would play in a partnership with the EU.

Russia rejected as illegitimate the expectation that it comply unquestionably with European norms and felt that any partnership must be based, if not on strictly equal terms, then at least on special conditions. However, the EU never even considered Russia a special case, arguing that any reconsideration of its rules violated the very principles of European integration.

For this reason, the very idea of a strategic and integration partnership between Russia and the EU began eroding around the mid-2000s. This erosion occurred very gradually, not only because Russia's domestic and foreign policy had begun to change significantly, but also because the EU unexpectedly faced a crisis, one that reached full force in the early 2010s.

By that time, although the partnership agreement first drawn up in the early 1990s remained unchanged -- as it does today -- the reality of Russia's relationship with Europe increasingly diverged from its original configuration. Both sides' objectives and, more importantly, their self-perceptions, grew further and further apart. NEWS EU's Navalny Sanctions Miss the Mark READ MORE

The most striking illustration of this was the obvious disconnect between the words spoken at the final Russia-EU Summit, held in Brussels in late January 2014, and the reality on the ground.

The Maidan protests were raging in Kiev, only three weeks remained before Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych would flee and new authorities would come to power, and relations between Russia and the EU -- that stood on opposite sides of those barricades in Kiev -- could not have been worse.

While President Putin and EU Commission President Manuel Barroso stood before the cameras and repeated the very same mantras they had been uttering for years, even decades, about partnership, a common space, road maps and so on, their faces betrayed what they were really thinking -- namely, that nothing of the sort was going to happen.

But they had no other options on the table. Pure inertia from the process begun in the early 1990s compelled them to repeat the same tired calls for a close future partnership.

Then came the game-changing events in Ukraine, and much more besides. The long-standing framework for Russian-EU relations turned into an anachronism overnight, giving way to heated antagonism and competitiveness. Nevertheless, both sides continued paying lip service to partnership, dialogue and, in general, a state of affairs that had last existed 25 years earlier.

Fast forward to the present, and we have Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov indirectly acknowledging how bad things have actually become. In effect, he has simply stated what everyone already knew -- namely, that the old framework for Russian-EU relations no longer exists.

This does not mean an end to all relations, only an end to relations as they were.

The same, only different

A new framework is needed now, but it will probably be a long time in coming. And the framework Russia might want for its relations with Europe will not materialize for the very reasons mentioned above: present circumstances are simply too unfavorable.

Of course, no new Iron Curtain between Russia and the EU will fall from the sky. Their mutual humanitarian and economic relations remain very strong, despite some damage from sanctions, and cultural and even political ties remain intact. However, these are strictly utilitarian relations, without any pretense of common goals, and they take a backseat to Moscow's bilateral relations with individual European countries. Russia and Europe are devolving into coolly polite neighbors that have no real interest in each other, but who are forced to interact simply because they live next door to each other.

In fact, Russia must now focus more on its main neighbor, China. Although Russia's quarrel with the West plays some role in this pivot eastward, it is the enormously long Russian-Chinese border and the fact that China is rapidly becoming, if not a world hegemon, then at least one of the two pillars of the new world order that compels Moscow to devote far more attention to this neighbor than it is accustomed to.

More importantly, and what will cause fundamental change to Russia's relations with Europe, is the fact that, for better or worse, the global balance is shifting towards Asia. As a result, the focus that Russia has had on Europe and West for the past 300 years no longer corresponds to the global reality. Russia cannot afford to treat Asia as a secondary priority, although it often still does. If Moscow continues in this way, Russia could find itself facing a creeping expansionism from the east.

In any case, Russia's former model of relations with the European Union has clearly ceased to function, and one way or another, the two sides have started to acknowledge this openly.

This article was first published by Vtimes.

[Oct 20, 2020] Article 275 of the Criminal Code "High treason" certainly applies as regards the actions of Lyosha Navalny , as does article 128.1 of the Russian Criminal Code on "Slander"

Oct 20, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOW EXILE October 19, 2020 at 12:36 am

Article 275 of the Criminal Code "High treason" certainly applies as regards the actions of Lyosha Navalny , as does article 128.1 of the Russian Criminal Code on "Slander"

But as I have already said more than once, if Alyosha is issued with a foreign passport by the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation, and Alyosha himself repeatedly violates laws and remains free whilst concurrently serving two suspended sentences, this means that someone needs him -- so much so that even these mountains of shit, which thanks to his diligence have been poured on Russia in recent months, also do not count.

There is such a term "protest sewerage". It was born of German politicians in the '50s of the last century as a tool to counter protests against social injustice and militarization. And it proved to be surprisingly effective. Roughly speaking, individual cadres were allowed a lot in exchange for their discrediting protest movements. In Russia, Navalny has long been playing this role, whilst feathering his own nest here and there. And as time passed, a big problem for Lyosha's curators was his close work with the CIA. And the threat through Navalny to such a global project as Nord Stream 2 makes not only Navalny himself, but also these very "curators" traitors to the Motherland.

source

JAMES LAKE October 19, 2020 at 5:41 am

What is all this Navalny publicity tour for?

The American/ European audience or the Russian audience

Is he going to be promoted like Juan Guaido ?

He just looks like a paid puppet on an anti-Russia tour.

All these stage managed images and interviews.

I am finding it difficult to see the point in all this.

In my view – he is best ignored by the government
Report in detail his disloyal behaviour – but nothing more.

ATIENT OBSERVER October 19, 2020 at 6:13 am

Not aimed at the Russian audience, definitely not.

It serves as a pretext for more sanctions for those looking for any excuse and to force public officials to "condemn" Russia. I am 100% sure Trump is on to the game so his decision will be solely based on political expediency. If he believes he can win the election, he is likely thinking that he can not jump on the bandwagon thus will not join the Putin bashing party.

MARK CHAPMAN October 19, 2020 at 9:50 am

Easy to say, but I'm pretty sure if you were accused of something heinous and knew you were not guilty, that ample evidence was available to prove it but that it was being kept from you while the accusations went on and on that establishing your innocence would be a priority for you. Even when your attempts fell on deaf ears. Because perhaps the hardest thing, for a group or individual accused of something, is to know you did not do it, but keep silent and allow your accusers a free hand.

I imagine Washington would love to declare Navalny the 'legitimate President of the Russian Federation", and its musing on what a wonderful world it would be if Joe Biden was President of the United States and Navalny was President of Russia might well b e a tentative trial balloon to see what public opinion makes of it. But it is not a very realistic possibility, for a couple of reasons. One, Washington already has a pair of governments-in-waiting that it is supporting, to little or no effect, and adding another risks introducing too many balls for the juggler to keep in the air, plus the resulting loss of confidence in Washington as a game-changer that makes its own rules. Two, whatever blabber the media generates, the real power-brokers know Navalny has no significant support at home, and that trying to foist him on the Russian people over their clear preference for the present leader has no hope of succeeding.

They will have to continue with the make-believe for yet awhile, and hope for an opportunity.

PATIENT OBSERVER October 19, 2020 at 6:20 am

A pretty impressive but utterly useless display:

https://sputniknews.com/world/202010191080815705-action-packed-footage-shows-royal-navy-using-iron-man-style-jet-suits-to-practice-storming-vessels/

These guys flying jet packs that require use of hands to point the auxiliary jets for a modicum of control will be more vulnerable than clay pigeons. The noise alone will alert any vessels within a few miles that they are coming.

I suppose that they could board a very large vessel at night that has been commandeered by a few pirates without certainty of being shot down.

A far more useful application would be as part of a rescue team to bring aboard a small vessel in distress urgently needed supplies or a trained EMT. Seems like a drone could do the same.

MARK CHAPMAN October 19, 2020 at 10:08 am

Wow. You can fly in still or light airs from a carrier vessel that is right alongside – I wonder what prospective boarding candidate is going to permit that? Added to the criticism you have already pointed out that the 'iron man' is already quite busy controlling his direction and altitude, and is essentially defenseless. A speed of 200 mph or less is like an engraved invitation to a Gatling-gun style air defense system like Phalanx or Goalkeeper, and you would not have to hit a man in a rubber suit very often with a 20mm round to make him lose interest – Goalkeeper is a 30mm system if I remember correctly, and consequently would be even less encouraging. For purposes of comparison, a .50 cal round that would lift you right out of your shoes is a .127mm.

There's no denying it is interesting technology that should stimulate discussion and ideas, but a clever new system which will revolutionize opposed boarding it is not, not yet. There might be rescue applications as you suggested, but it does not look like the system has enough lift to carry the operator plus average deadweight.

JENNIFER HOR October 19, 2020 at 11:55 am

The Iron Man flyboys work well in sunny weather with little wind but I wonder how well they will fare in heavier weather when visibility will be poor and landing platforms may not be stable. Shouldn't these Iron Man pilots also have better face and eye protection against the elements?

PATIENT OBSERVER October 19, 2020 at 7:03 am

Even more nonsensical that the jet-pack warriors mentioned above

https://sputniknews.com/military/202010191080813393-us-army-reportedly-developing-cannon-touted-as-able-to-blast-through-air-defences-as-far-as-moscow/

The US Army is developing a new cannon it claims will have a range of more than 1,000 miles, writes Popular Mechanics.
The Strategic Long Range Cannon (SLRC) is touted as potentially being able to strike targets at up to 1,150 miles (1,850 km) away and fire 50 times farther than existing guns.

Earlier, the outlet had published leaked photos of the SLRC, touted as able to bring about a revolutionary breakthrough in artillery warfare.

Super duper long range artillery has been tried in the past:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_HARP

A 1,000 mile range would require a trajectory that would peak at hundreds of miles. The shell must use rocket assist and include various electronics for guidance. It would required heat shielding to resist high temperatures during reentry into the atmosphere. The shell may leave the muzzle at a few thousand mph but need to accelerate to a much high velocity using a rocket. If the shell weighs, say, 200 pounds, then warhead certainly could not weigh more than 50 pounds with the balance being the rocket, heat shield, fins and actuators for steering and guidance electronics.

You'd think they would have learned their lessons from the Zumwalt destroyer long range gun debacle:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Gun_System

Up to $1 million per round for a gun with far less capability than now being proposed.

The main purposes are to keep the artillery boys happy and to keep the cash flow river to the MIC running deep and fast.

PATIENT OBSERVER October 19, 2020 at 11:01 am

It's wunderweapons to the rescue!


[Oct 20, 2020] The CIA's domestic propaganda campaign has been massively successful over the past four years. There are tens of millions who literally believe that Trump is a Russian agent.

Oct 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com


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Patrick Bateman Jr. , 44 minutes ago

The CIA's domestic propaganda campaign has been massively successful over the past four years. There are tens of millions who literally believe that Trump is a Russian agent. They believe that everyone should wear masks on their faces, forever, and they believe there are Nazis everywhere. They believe there were no riots this summer, that thousands of blacks are murdered every year by police, and that Christians are trying to establish a theocracy in the US. They believe that little children should be able to have their genitals surgically removed. They believe that the 2016 election was stolen, but that the one coming up cannot be, even if ballots without postmarks show up on trucks ten days after November 3rd.

These are just a few of their insane beliefs that have been put into their heads through social media and television.

Trump never had any power to stop this. Both the Democrats and Republicans are completely in thrall to the intelligence and police agencies. It's all an act. There's no democracy left in this country and there is no chance of reforming this system, ever. It has to collapse or be seized and turned mercilessly against those who are perpetrating this horror show.

Dragonlord , 59 minutes ago

FBI and CIA betraying the country is no longer surprising, what surprising is how fast tech giants jump onto the scum train even though some only exist less than 20 years. This reveal why quickly the globalists can turn anyone into scumbags.

Finally, depths of Biden corruption proves our hypothesis that the so called ruling class like Nancy, Obama, Clinton, etc, are not at the top echelon, there is a group or class of people higher than them. They are probably the overlord class of the globalists.

philmannwright , 56 minutes ago

The FBI has always been a tool. Recall J Edgar.

Big Tech has enabled all of this. NSA/Data collection - Big brother goodbye freedom. seems like a natural progression.

Gold Pedant , 1 hour ago

Hahaha, William Colby is the third man in the newspaper clipping above, but he isn't even mentioned. Well after he retired from the CIA, he was assassinated to send a message. Look up "WHO MURDERED THE CIA CHIEF?" It's a good quick read.

4Y_LURKER , 23 minutes ago

Original article on the death:

https://apnews.com/article/15163c14ce9e9c8387bf4c8f7a5c8eec

"Colby was fired on Nov. 2, 1975, as head of the CIA after being accused of talking too much. He was said to have been too candid in testimony to congressional investigators; he had long ago aroused the ire of the agency's old guard for trying to channel more effort into the gathering, evaluation and analysis of information and less into covert operation."

4Y_LURKER , 13 minutes ago

Also: this:

https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Document:The_Franklin_Cover-up

Anarchyteez , 44 minutes ago

Peter Strzok needs a rope n a short drop.

FightClubPanties , 42 minutes ago

And Lisa Page, Andrew McCabe, Weissman, Sally Yates, Bruce And Nellie Ord, James Baker, Comey, Rosenstein, the entire brench of the FISA Court, and about 500 Senators and Congressmen out of 535. It's a start.

Eastern Whale , 1 hour ago

"National Security" in the US is the get out of free card for politicians and the rich with clout. paedophile, corruption, murder you name it.

PigmanExecutioner , 23 minutes ago

Anytime I hear "Russia" or "Democracy" these days, I have to ponder for the fate of mankind. Imagine being that infantile in one's worldview and devoid of the ability to critically analyze information? "National Security" is a made up term to excuse criminal actions that somehow leaked out through unauthorized channels.

philmannwright , 1 hour ago

So, we have all been educated on how when the Democrats accuse, they are most likely projecting upon their target their own behavior. Over and over again we see the blatant and obvious hypocrisy in almost everything we hear from the likes of Hillary, Pelosi, Schumer, Shiff, Obama, and on and on.

It stands to reason then, that what is going on now is no different and involves all of them, including the left wing media - they are actually and in reality agents of the Kremlin/China/the communist world order, aligned in agenda, and working toward tipping the largest Domino, and I believe they have the U.S. teetering on the ropes.

It seems like it's either 1) the left is a national security risk or 2) Trumpers, welcome to reeducation camp.

kudocast , 46 minutes ago

Yes we agree that JFK and MLK were assassinated by a group including the CIA, NSA, FBI, Mafia, Nixon, LBJ, Bush and more.

But to suggest that Trump is in a similar situation as JFK and MLK, and on their moral, intellectual, and visionary level is ludicrous.

Trump's a criminal, looting, lying, incompetent idiot. Why would the CIA, NSA, FBI, and others waste their time trying to destroy Trump? Fat Orange Man accomplishes that all by himself, no assistance required.

PigmanExecutioner , 31 minutes ago

Imagine thinking that the US was any different than the Soviet Union all these decades? They just hid the tyranny better due to all the material distractions.

KGB, CIA.............All the same demons.

Automatic Choke , 23 minutes ago

my aha moment came when i started subscribing to John Williams "Shadow Govt Statistics" to track the markets.....way back nearly 20 years ago. it quickly became clear that our trusted government financial agencies were no more trustworthy than the old soviet "5 year plans" that we all (in the US) used to laugh at. a mirror is a painful thing.

turkey george palmer , 54 minutes ago

empire looks pretty shaky. suppose a lot will go wrong. at least we have bill and melinda talking about basic human rights are a threat to the population and only those who are billionaires can decide what goes in your body. ok sure.

they say there will be a trade your debt for ubi. give up personal property. live where and how by state dictate. unplanned breeding a crime. isolation camps for non compliance. wonder where all the property will end up. I know there's only one type of person they all say are the bad ones just one color. mein

[Oct 20, 2020] US charges six Russian 'intelligence agents' with hacking Ukraine, Georgia, France and 2018 Olympics -- RT USA News

Oct 20, 2020 | www.rt.com

Cover up of OPSW fiasco with Douma false flag ?

US charges six Russian 'intelligence agents' with hacking Ukraine, Georgia, France and 2018 Olympics 19 Oct, 2020 21:24 Get short URL US charges six Russian 'intelligence agents' with hacking Ukraine, Georgia, France and 2018 Olympics FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich announces charges against 'six Russsian intelligence officers' at the Department of Justice, October 19, 2020. © Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS 14 Follow RT on RT The US Justice Department has announced charges against six alleged officers of Russian military intelligence, accusing them of cyber attacks against Georgia, France, the UK, the OPCW, Ukraine and the 2018 Winter Olympics.

A grand jury in Pennsylvania indicted the six men for "conspiracy, computer hacking, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and false registration of a domain name," the DOJ announced on Monday, describing them as officers in Unit 74455 of the Russian Main Intelligence Directorate, or GRU.

The indictment identifies them as Yuriy Sergeyevich Andrienko, Sergey Vladimirovich Detistov, Pavel Valeryevich Frolov, Anatoliy Sergeyevich Kovalev, Artem Valeryevich Ochichenko and Petr Nikolayevich Pliskin.

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According to the charges, they used malware like KillDisk, Industroyer, NotPetya and Olympic Destroyer to attack everything from networks in Ukraine and Georgia to the Olympics held in PyeongChang two years ago – in which Russian athletes were not allowed to participate under their national flag, due to doping allegations made by a disgruntled doctor.

The six are also accused of undermining "efforts to hold Russia accountable for its use of a weapons-grade nerve agent, Novichok, on foreign soil" – referring to the March 2018 claims by the British government that Russia "highly likely" used the toxin against a former spy and his daughter, an accusation Moscow repeatedly denied.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers has claimed that "No country has weaponized its cyber capabilities as maliciously or irresponsibly as Russia, wantonly causing unprecedented damage to pursue small tactical advantages and to satisfy fits of spite."

ALSO ON RT.COM 'State actor' behind NotPetya cyberattack, expect 'countermeasures' – NATO experts

Monday's indictment is hardly a surprise, considering that NATO and US officials have blamed the 2017 NotPetya outbreak on Moscow for years, even though the malware struck numerous Russian companies – from the central bank to the oil giant Rosneft and metal-maker Evraz – as well.

The October 2019 Georgia attack was "in line with Russian tactics," declared CrowdStrike, the same security company that was tasked with dealing with the 2016 "hack" of the Democratic National Committee. CrowdStrike's president had secretly admitted to Congress that they had no actual evidence of the hack itself.

The indictment also accuses the "GRU officers" of trying to breach the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The international body faced a scandal after whistleblowers revealed that a report blaming chemical attacks in Syria on the country's government omitted details that did not fall in line with the narrative pushed by the US and the UK.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?creatorScreenName=RT_com&dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1318254380555141123&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.rt.com%2Fusa%2F503953-six-russians-indicted-hacking%2F&siteScreenName=RT_com&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

In announcing the indictment, the DOJ thanked the authorities in Ukraine, Georgia, New Zealand, South Korea, and UK "intelligence services" – as well as Google, Facebook and Twitter – for "significant cooperation and assistance" with the investigation.

The same "GRU unit" and Kovalev specifically were previously indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for alleged "meddling" in 2016 US elections. As with Mueller's indictments, Monday's charges have largely symbolic value; the accused are not likely to ever see the inside of a US courtroom. The only indictment that was actually contested in court – against the so-called IRA troll farm – was dropped by the DOJ in March, due to lack of evidence.

Russia's military intelligence has not gone by the name of GRU since 2010.

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[Oct 19, 2020] MI6 outgoing chief: the perceived threat posed by Russia and China against the UK is overstated and distract from addressing the UK's domestic problems

And that's by design. False flags like Scripal Novichok saga are just a smoke screen over UK problems, the ciursi of neoliberalism in the country, delegitimization of neoliberal elites and its subservience to the USA global neoliberal empire, which wants to devour Russia like it plundered the USSR in the past.
But why outgoing MI6 chief decided to tell us the truth? This is not in the traditions of the agency.
Oct 19, 2020 | www.rt.com

After years of focusing on combating terrorism, US Special Forces are preparing to turn their attention to the possibility of future conflict with adversaries Russia and China. The outgoing head of MI6, the UK's clandestine intelligence service, says that the perceived threat posed by Russia and China against the UK is overstated and distract from addressing the UK's domestic problems. Meanwhile, his replacement insists that the threat posed by Russia and China is real and is growing in complexity. Rick Sanchez explains. Then former US diplomat Jim Jatras and "Going Underground" host Afshin Rattansi share their insights.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is meeting for a for a final day of deliberations before the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's controversial pick for the US Supreme Court. RT America's Faran Fronczak reports. RT America's Trinity Chavez reports on the skyrocketing poverty across the US as coronavirus relief funds dry up and the White House stalls on additional stimulus. RT America's John Huddy reports on the backlash against Facebook and Twitter for their suppression of an incendiary new report about Democratic nominee Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden and his foreign entanglements.

[Oct 19, 2020] The Emails Are Russian- Will Be The Narrative, Regardless Of Facts Or Evidence by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
Oct 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via CaitlinJohnstone.com,

Fight it all you want, but there's nothing you can do. "The emails are Russian" is going to be the official dominant narrative in mainstream political discourse, and there's nothing you can do to stop it. Resistance is futile.

Like the Russian hacking narrative, the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, the Russian bounties in Afghanistan narrative, and any other evidence-free framing of events that simultaneously advances pre-planned cold war agendas, is politically convenient for the Democratic party and generates clicks and ratings, the narrative that the New York Post publication of Hunter Biden's emails is a Russian operation is going to be hammered and hammered and hammered until it becomes the mainstream consensus. This will happen regardless of facts and evidence, up to and including rock solid evidence that Hunter Biden's emails were not published as a result of a Russian operation.

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1317449899860951040&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Femails-are-russian-will-be-narrative-regardless-facts-or-evidence&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

This is happening. It's following the same formula all the other fact-free Russia hysteria narratives have followed. The same media tour by pundits and political operatives saying with no evidence but very assertive voices that Russia is most certainly behind this occurrence and we should all be very upset about it.

"To me, this is just classic textbook Soviet Russian tradecraft at work," Russiagate founder and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is heard assuring CNN's audience .

"Joe Biden – and all of us – SHOULD be furious that media outlets are spreading what is very likely Russian propaganda," begins and eight-part thread by Democratic Senator Chris Murphy, who claims the emails are "Kremlin constructed anti-Biden propaganda."

"It's not really surprising at all, this was always the play, but still kind of head-spinning to watch all the players from 2016 run exactly the same hack-leak-smear op in 2020. Even with everyone knowing exactly what's happening this time," tweets MSNBC's Chris Hayes.

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"How are you all circling the wagons instead of being embarrassed for peddling Russian ops 18 days before the election. It's not enough that you all haven't learned from your atrocious handling of 2016 -- you are doubling down," Democratic Party think tanker Neera Tanden tweeted in admonishment of journalists who dare to report on or ask questions about the emails.

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Virtually the entirety of the Democratic Party-aligned political/media class has streamlined this narrative of Russian influence into the American consciousness with very little inertia, despite the fact that neither Joe nor Hunter Biden has disputed the authenticity of the emails and despite a complete absence of evidence for Russian involvement in their publication.

This is surely the first time, at least in recent memory, that we have ever seen such a broad consensus within the mass media that it is the civic duty of news reporters to try and influence the outcome of a presidential general election by withholding negative news coverage for one candidate. There was a lot of fascinated hatred for Trump in 2016, but people still reported on Hillary Clinton's various scandals and didn't attack one another for doing so. In 2020 that has changed, and mainstream news reporters have now largely coalesced along the doctrine that they must avoid any reporting which might be detrimental to the Biden campaign.

"Dem Party hacks (and many of their media allies) genuinely believe it's immoral to report on or even discuss stories that reflect poorly on Biden. In reality, it's the responsibility of journalists to ignore their vapid whining and ask about newsworthy stories, even about Biden," tweeted The Intercept 's Glenn Greenwald recently.

"You don't even have to think the Hunter Biden materials constitute some kind of earth-shattering story to be absolutely repulsed at the authoritarian propaganda offensive being waged to discredit them -- primarily by journalists who behave like compliant little trained robots ," tweeted journalist Michael Tracey.

Last month The Spectator 's Stephen L Miller described how the consensus formed among the mainstream press since Clinton's 2016 loss that it is their moral duty to be uncritical of Trump's opponent.

"For almost four years now, journalists have shamed their colleagues and themselves over what I will call the 'but her emails' dilemma," Miller writes. "Those who reported dutifully on the ill-timed federal investigation into Hillary Clinton's private server and spillage of classified information have been cast out and shunted away from the journalist cool kids' table. Focusing so much on what was, at the time, a considerable scandal, has been written off by many in the media as a blunder. They believe their friends and colleagues helped put Trump in the White House by focusing on a nothing-burger of a Clinton scandal when they should have been highlighting Trump's foibles. It's an error no journalist wants to repeat."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-2&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1316900508775280642&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Femails-are-russian-will-be-narrative-regardless-facts-or-evidence&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

So "the emails are Russian" narrative serves the interests of political convenience, partisan media ratings, and the national security state's pre-planned agenda to continue escalating against Russia as part of its slow motion third world war against nations which refuse to bow to US dictates, and you've got essentially no critical mainstream news coverage putting the brakes on any of it. This means this narrative is going to become mainstream orthodoxy and treated as an established fact, despite the fact that there is no actual, tangible evidence for it.

Joe Biden could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and the mainstream press would crucify any journalist who so much as tweeted about it. Very little journalism is going into vetting and challenging him, and a great deal of the energy that would normally be doing so is going into ensuring that he slides right into the White House.

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If the mainstream news really existed to tell you the truth about what's going on, everyone would know about every questionable decision that Joe Biden has ever made, Russiagate would never have happened, we'd all be acutely aware of the fact that powerful forces are pushing us into increasingly aggressive confrontations with two nuclear-armed nations, and Trump would be grilled about Yemen in every press conference.

But the mainstream news does not exist to tell you the truth about the world. The mainstream news exists to advance the interests of its wealthy owners and the status quo upon which they have built their kingdoms. That's why it's so very, very important that we find ways to break away from it and share information with each other that isn't tainted by corrupt and powerful interests.

* * *

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack , which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported , so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook , following my antics on Twitter , throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal , purchasing some of my sweet merchandise , buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers . For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I'm trying to do with this platform, click here . Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I've written) in any way they like free of charge.

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[Oct 19, 2020] Hunter Biden's Laptop -Is Not Some Russian Disinformation Campaign-; DNI Ratcliffe Slams Schiff

Oct 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

It appears the "Russia, Russia, Russia" cries from Adam Schiff and his dutiful media peons is dead (we can only hope) as Director of National Intel John Ratcliffe just confirmed to Foxx Business' Maria Bartiromo that:

"Hunter Biden's laptop is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign."

As Politico's Quint Forgey details (@QuintForgey) , DNI Ratcliffe is asked directly whether accusations leveled against the Bidens in recent days are part of a Russian disinformation effort.

He says no:

"Let me be clear. The intelligence community doesn't believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that."

" We have shared no intelligence with Chairman Schiff or any other member of Congress that Hunter Biden's laptop is part of some Russian disinformation campaign. It's simply not true. "

"And this is exactly what I said would I stop when I became the director of national intelligence, and that's people using the intelligence community to leverage some political narrative."

"And in this case, apparently Chairman Schiff wants anything against his preferred political candidate to be deemed as not real and as using the intelligence community or attempting to use the intelligence community to say there's nothing to see here."

"Don't drag the intelligence community into this. Hunter Biden's laptop is not part of some Russian disinformation campaign. And I think it's clear that the American people know that."

Of course, this 'fact' from 'intelligence' is unlikely to stop the "emails are Russian" narrative growing ever louder as MSM attempt to distract from the actual content of the emails. As Caitlin Johnstone noted:

So "the emails are Russian" narrative serves the interests of political convenience, partisan media ratings, and the national security state's pre-planned agenda to continue escalating against Russia as part of its slow motion third world war against nations which refuse to bow to US dictates, and you've got essentially no critical mainstream news coverage putting the brakes on any of it. This means this narrative is going to become mainstream orthodoxy and treated as an established fact, despite the fact that there is no actual, tangible evidence for it.

Joe Biden could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and the mainstream press would crucify any journalist who so much as tweeted about it. Very little journalism is going into vetting and challenging him, and a great deal of the energy that would normally be doing so is going into ensuring that he slides right into the White House.

If the mainstream news really existed to tell you the truth about what's going on, everyone would know about every questionable decision that Joe Biden has ever made, Russiagate would never have happened, we'd all be acutely aware of the fact that powerful forces are pushing us into increasingly aggressive confrontations with two nuclear-armed nations, and Trump would be grilled about Yemen in every press conference.

But the mainstream news does not exist to tell you the truth about the world. The mainstream news exists to advance the interests of its wealthy owners and the status quo upon which they have built their kingdoms. That's why it's so very, very important that we find ways to break away from it and share information with each other that isn't tainted by corrupt and powerful interests.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13084989113709670?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13084989113709670-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com&rid=www.zerohedge.com&width=890

* * *

As we detailed previously, as the Hunter Biden laptop scandal threatens to throw the 2020 election into chaos with what appears to be solid, undisputed evidence of high-level corruption by former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, the same crowd which peddled the Trump-Russia hoax is now suggesting that Russia is behind it all .

To wit, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who swore on National television that he had evidence Trump was colluding with Russia - now says that President Trump is handing the Kremlin a "propaganda coup from Vladimir Putin."

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-1&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1317432785070706688&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fhunter-bidens-laptop-not-some-russian-disinformation-campaign-dni-ratcliffe-slams-schiff&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) has gone full tin-foil , suggesting that Giuliani was a 'key target' of 'Kremlin constructed anti-Biden propaganda.'

2/ Russia knew it had to play a different game than 2016. So it built an operation to cull virulently pro-Trump Americans as pseudo-assets, so blind in their allegiance to Trump that they'll willingly launder Kremlin constructed anti-Biden propaganda.

Guiliani was a key target.

-- Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) October 17, 2020

Headlines in major publications are perhaps even more conspiratorial:

And of course, propagandists are doing their thing...

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-3&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1317443500330373120&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fhunter-bidens-laptop-not-some-russian-disinformation-campaign-dni-ratcliffe-slams-schiff&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

Yet, if one looks at the actual facts of the case - in particular, that Hunter Biden appears to have dropped his own laptops off at a computer repair shop, signed a service ticket , and the shop owner approached the FBI first and Rudy Giuliani last after Biden failed to pick them up, the left's latest Russia conspiracy theory is quickly debunked .

* * *

Authored by Larry C Johnson via Sic Semper Tyrannis (emphasis ours)

This is the story of an American patriot, an honorable man, John Paul Mac Issac, who tried to do the right thing and is now being unfairly and maliciously slandered as an agent of foreign intelligence, specifically Russia. He is not an agent or spy for anyone. He is his own man. How do I know? I have known his dad for more than 20 years. I've known John Paul's dad as Mac. Mac is a decorated Vietnam Veteran, who flew gunships in Vietnam. And he continued his military service with an impeccable record until he retired as an Air Force Colonel. The crews of those gunships have an annual reunion and Mac usually takes John Paul along, who volunteers his computer and video skills to record and compile the stories of those brave men who served their country in a difficult war.

This story is very simple – Hunter Biden dropped off three computers with liquid damage at a repair shop in Wilmington, Delaware on April 12, 2019. The owner, John Mac Issac, examined the three and determined that one was beyond recovery, one was okay and the data on the harddrive of the third could be recovered. Hunter signed the service ticket and John Paul Mac Issac repaired the hard drive and down loaded the data . During this process he saw some disturbing images and a number of emails that concerned Ukraine, Burisma, China and other issues . With the work completed, Mr. Mac Issac prepared an invoice, sent it to Hunter Biden and notified him that the computer was ready to be retrieved. H unter did not respond . In the ensuing four months (May, June, July and August), Mr. Mac Issac made repeated efforts to contact Hunter Biden. Biden never answered and never responded. More importantly, Biden stiffed John Paul Mac Issac–i.e., he did not pay the bill.

When the manufactured Ukraine crisis surfaced in August 2019, John Paul realized he was sitting on radioactive material that might be relevant to the investigation. After conferring with his father, Mac and John Paul decided that Mac would take the information to the FBI office in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mac walked into the Albuquerque FBI office and spoke with an agent who refused to give his name. Mac explained the material he had, but was rebuffed by the FBI. He was told basically, get lost . This was mid-September 2019.

Two months passed and then, out of the blue, the FBI contacted John Paul Mac Issac. Two FBI agents from the Wilmington FBI office–Joshua Williams and Mike Dzielak–came to John Paul's business . He offered immediately to give them the hard drive, no strings attached. Agents Williams and Dzielak declined to take the device .

Two weeks later, the intrepid agents called and asked to come and image the hard drive. John Paul agreed but, instead of taking the hard drive or imaging the drive, they gave him a subpoena. It was part of a grand jury proceeding but neither agent said anything about the purpose of the grand jury. John Paul complied with the subpoena and turned over the hard drive and the computer.

In the ensuing months, starting with the impeachment trial of President Trump, he heard nothing from the FBI and knew that none of the evidence from the hard drive had been shared with President Trump's defense team.

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The lack of action and communication with the FBI led John Paul to make the fateful decision to contact Rudy Giuliani's office and offer a copy of the drive to the former mayor. We now know that Rudy accepted John Paul's offer and that Rudy's team shared the information with the New York Post.

John Paul Mac Issac is not responsible for the emails, images and videos recovered from Hunter Biden's computer. He was hired to do a job, he did the job and submitted an invoice for the work. Hunter Biden, for some unexplained reason, never responded and never asked for the computer. But that changed last Tuesday, October 13, 2020. A person claiming to be Hunter Biden's lawyer called John Paul Mac Issac and asked for the computer to be returned. Too late. That horse had left the barn and was with the FBI.

John Paul, acting under Delaware law, understood that Hunter's computer became the property of his business 90 days after it had been abandoned.

At no time did John Paul approach any media outlet or tabloid offering to sell salacious material . A person of lesser character might have tried to profit. But that is not the essence of John Paul Mac Issac. He had information in his possession that he learned, thanks to events subsequent to receiving the computer for a repair job, was relevant to the security of our nation. He did what any clear thinking American would do–he, through his father, contacted the FBI. When the FBI finally responded to his call for help, John cooperated fully and turned over all material requested .

The failure here is not John Paul's . He did his job. The FBI dropped the ball and, by extension, the Department of Justice. Sadly, this is becoming a disturbing, repeating theme–the FBI through incompetence or malfeasance is not doing its job.

Any news outlet that is publishing the damnable lie that John Paul is part of some subversive effort to interfere in the United States Presidential election is on notice. That is slander and defamation. Fortunately, the evidence from Hunter Biden's computer is in the hands of the FBI and Rudy Giuliani and, I suspect, the U.S. Senate. Those with the power to do something must act. John Paul Mac Issac's honor is intact. We cannot say the same for those government officials who have a duty to deal with this information.

* * *

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-4&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1317486264086560769&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.zerohedge.com%2Fpolitical%2Fhunter-bidens-laptop-not-some-russian-disinformation-campaign-dni-ratcliffe-slams-schiff&siteScreenName=zerohedge&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

[Oct 19, 2020] The neocon/NATO aggressive expansionism and anti-Russian hysteria has many purposes, but one is surely domestic repression: to gaslight and cause fear-the-foreign-bogeyman trauma among the American and British people

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The neocon/NATO aggressive expansionism has many purposes, but one is surely domestic repression: to gaslight and cause fear-the-foreign-bogeyman trauma among the American and British people as a whole and make most of them become docile and lose their critical thinking skills and their ability to analyze their own societies. ..."
"... One of the best ways to lobotomize the publics of the US and UK is to very gradually impose martial law in the name of protecting national security and ensuring peace and harmony at home. ..."
Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Dao Gen ,

Dao Gen , Oct 17 2020 18:05 utc | 19

The neocon/NATO aggressive expansionism has many purposes, but one is surely domestic repression: to gaslight and cause fear-the-foreign-bogeyman trauma among the American and British people as a whole and make most of them become docile and lose their critical thinking skills and their ability to analyze their own societies.

One of the best ways to lobotomize the publics of the US and UK is to very gradually impose martial law in the name of protecting national security and ensuring peace and harmony at home.

After several color revolutions succeeded, the Russiagate/Spygate op was carried out in the US, with British assistance. This op has been largely successful, though there has been limited resistance against its whole fake edifice as well as with the logic of Cold War2.0. Nevertheless, Spygate has shocked many tens of millions of Dems into a stupor, while millions more are dazed and manipulated by the Chinese bogeyman being manufactured by Trump.

The most dangerous result of the martial law lite mentality caused by Spygate and its MSM purveyors is the growing support for censorship of free speech coming mostly from the Dems, such as Schiff and Warner. The danger inherent in this trend became very clear when FaceBook and Twitter engaged in massive and unprecedented arbitrary censorship of the New York Post and of various Trump-related accounts.

This is the kind of thing you do during Stage 1 of a coup. Surely it was at least in part an experiment to see how various power points in the US would respond. Even though Twitter ended the censorship later, it was probably a successful experiment designed to gauge reactions and areas of resistance.

In November, there could be further, more serious experiments/ops. If so, the current expansionist movements being made and planned by the US and NATO may well be integral parts of a new non-democratic model of "American-style democracy" -- not constitution-based but "rules-based."

[Oct 19, 2020] Could U.S bureaucrats be so short sighted where they cannot see the culture they are creating?

Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bren , Oct 18 2020 1:23 utc | 87

"As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?"

I ask myself this question seemingly every day. Could U.S bureaucrats be so short sighted where they cannot see the culture they are creating? Any sane follower of international relations understands that poking a nuclear power with a stick is the work of fools. My nightmare, that I have feared since I was a child, is a nuclear confrontation that would result in the end of the human race.

Does rationality and common sense ever win out in Washington? I fear that our "endgame" will result in a mushroom cloud....

[Oct 19, 2020] A joke circulating Russia internets today

Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

BG , Oct 17 2020 20:24 utc | 46

A joke circulating Russia internets today:

"German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas:

"North Stream 2 will be built 100%!"

A journalist asks:

"But what about Navalny?"

Maas replies:

"Well, unfortunately Navalny doesn't produce 55 billion cbm of natural gas per year..."

___

[Oct 19, 2020] To be fair, Russia was never given a time to grow. It was sanctioned, sanctioned and sanctioned.

Oct 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

steven t johnson , Oct 18 2020 10:52 utc | 112

Not sure who this Andrei Martyanov is, but underlying all the comments is the proposition that Putin-managed capitalism works great, will work great forever, will not have a crisis ever and will make Russia totally independent in all ways. Stated so forthrightly, no doubt it sounds too stupid to admit to. Nonetheless this is the claim. I say capitalist restoration did not improve the Russian economy in the way implied by Martyanov. Putin is still a Yeltsinite, even if he is sober enough to pass for competent.


Smith , Oct 18 2020 11:44 utc | 113

To be fair, Russia was never given a time to grow. It was sanctioned, sanctioned and sanctioned.

China did have a sweet time from the 80s to 10s where they serve as the world factory.

michael , Oct 18 2020 11:47 utc | 114
@vk | Oct 17 2020 17:32 utc | 12

I take the opposite view: Looking from today, Russia is lucky that the USSR collapsed in 1991. It shed its debt, its currency passed through hyperinflation, and their economy collapsed and rebuilt. The US and most Western countries still have that coming for them, and soon.

Plus beyond that the strict Communist/Marxist atheism over 70+ years lead to a rebirth of Christian values in Russia, their biggest advantage in this cultural war. And they practice science, not scientism.

Note: Russia and China are more capitalist than the US, for quite some time now. (12+ years)

Yeah, Right , Oct 18 2020 12:01 utc | 115
@110 Abe as far as I understand it, the economic argument goes like this: take the number of rubles generated/spent/whatever in Russian economic activity, then use the current conversion rate to convert that into an "equivalent" amount of US dollars.

Then see what you can buy with that many US dollars.

If you went shopping in the USA, the answer would be that this many US dollars doesn't buy you much, ergo, Russian economic activity is pathetically low.

An example: the Russian government might budget xxx (fill in the figure) rubles to buy new T-90 tanks. In Washington they would convert that into US dollars, and then declare that this is chicken-feed. Hardly enough to buy less than 10 Abrams tanks.

Only the Russians aren't buying Abrams tanks from the USA, and are not spending dollars. They are buying T-90 tanks, and for the amount of rubles spent they'll get 50 tanks.

Every metric the US analyst are using tells them that the USA is vastly, vastly outspending the Russians on military equipment, to the point where it is obvious that the Russian military must be destitute and decrepit.

But if they every took the time to look they'll see 50 brand-spanking new T-90 main battle tanks. Weapons that their assumptions say that the Russians can't afford, and would wonder "Huh? Where'd they come from?"

If they ever looked, which is doubtful.

vk , Oct 18 2020 14:56 utc | 116
@ Posted by: Andrei Martyanov | Oct 18 2020 4:11 utc | 96

I agree that comparing Russia's economy with the likes of Italy and Spain is ridiculous, but it's not that simple. Capitalism is not what is appears to be.

If a (capitalist) nation wants to get something from another (capitalist) nation, it needs to export something. There's no free lunch in international trade: if you want to import, you have to export or issue sovereign debt bonds (treasury bonds).

In this scenario, either Russia produces everything it needs in its own territory or it will have to export in order to import the technology it needs to do whatever it needs to do. Remember: the Russian Federation is a capitalist nation-state, it has to follow the laws of motion of capitalism, which take precedence over whatever Putin wants. To ignore that economic laws exist is to deny any kind of theory of collapse; nation-states would then be eternal, natural entities with no entropy.

Even if Russia produces everything it needs in its own territory, it is still capitalist. It would need, in order to "substitute imports", to super-exploit its own labor force (working class) in order to extract surpluses for its industrialization efforts. That's what the USSR did during Stalin.

If Russia is doing the imports substitution in the classical way (the way Latin America did during the liberal dictatorships of the 1950s-1980s), then it is trying to sell commodities to industrialized countries in order to import technology and machinery necessary to industrialize its own territory. That is probably the case here.

Assuming this more probable case, then I'm sorry to tell you it won't work. It may work in the short or even medium term, but it will ultimately fail in the long term. The thing is that, in a system of capitalist exchange between an agrarian and an industrial nation-state, the industrial nation-state will always have the advantage (i.e. have a trade surplus). That's because of Marx's labor theory of value: industrialized commodities ("manufactured goods") have more intrinsic value than agrarian/raw material commodities - just think about how many kilos of bananas Brazil would have to export to the USA in order to import one single unit of an iPhone 12, to use an contemporary example. As a social result, industrialized countries have a higher organic composition of capital (OCC) than agrarian countries, as they need more value to just keep themselves afloat (as a metaphor: it's more expensive to keep a big mansion than a little flat in a stationary state). Value (wealth) then tends to flow from lower OCC to the higher OCC, this is the material base that divides the First and Third World countries until today.

To make things even worse, raw materials/agricultural products have an inelastic demand, which means their prices fall when production rises, and their prices rise when production falls, relative to overall demand. You will pay whatever the water company will charge you for the cubic meter of water - but you won't consume more or less water because of its price, hence the term "inelastic": demand tends to be more or less constant on a macroeconomic level. The same problem suffers the commodity exporter nations: there will come a stage where their exports' overall value will collapse vis-a-vis the machinery and technology they need to import.

As a result, the commodity exporter nations will have to get more debt overseas, by issuing more T-bonds, just to keep the trade balance afloat. What was the quest for progress becomes a vicious battle for mere survival. A debt crisis is brewed.

And that's exactly what happened to the Latin American countries in the 1980s-1990s: their debt exploded and they were put to their knees by the USA (the country that issues the universal fiat currency). The USA then charged their debt, which triggered a wave of privatizations of everything those countries had built over decades. This is what will happen to Russia if it falls for the lure of imports substitution.

That's why I urge the Russians to review their concepts and try to get back to the Soviet times. It doesn't need to be exactly how it was before: you can make the due reforms and adopt a more or less Chinese model of socialism. That's the only way out, if the Russian people doesn't want to be enslaved by the liberals (capitalists).

pretzelattack , Oct 18 2020 15:11 utc | 117
looks like the fbi is still in bed with the cia on russiagate, they are now pivoting to investigating the laptop as a russian intelligence operation.
pretzelattack , Oct 18 2020 15:14 utc | 118
@vk from what i'm reading (stephen cohen: soviet fates and lost alternatives) the chinese adopted something like bukharin's nep policies, which stalin did his best to wipe out in the ussr. i've got some problems with cohen's last book, "war with russia?" but he has a lot of good information on the history of the ussr.
pretzelattack , Oct 18 2020 15:17 utc | 119
russia is not "lucky" that it went through a massive collapse following idiotic u.s. austerity policies in the 90's. it is still recovering from that.
vk , Oct 18 2020 15:42 utc | 120
@ Posted by: pretzelattack | Oct 18 2020 15:14 utc | 118

On the surface, yes: the comparison between Reform and Opening Up and NEP are irresistible. But it is not precise: the only merit it has is in the fact that it is fairer than simply classifying Deng Xiaoping's reforms as neoliberalism (Trotskysts, Austrian School) or capitalism (liberals).

The key here is the difference of the nature of the Chinese peasant class and the Russian peasant class. The Chinese peasant class, besides suffering a lot (millions of dead by famine) in the hands of a liberal government for decades (Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Government) (while the Russian equivalent - the "February Revolution" - only lasted a few months, engulfed by their insistence on continuing with the meat-grinder of WWI), had a different historical subtract.

Chinese late feudalism was much more developed, much more manufactured-centered than Russian late feudalism. As a result, the Chinese peasant was much more proletarian-minded than the feudal Russian peasant. Also, the Chinese didn't have the kulak problem (peasant petite-bourgeoisie) - instead, they had regional warlords who self-destructed during the chaotic republican period (1911-1949). When the warlords were gone, what was left was a much more proletarian-minded, egalitarian-minded, small peasantry. This peasantry didn't bother to migrate to the cities to work in the industry or to start their own factories in the countryside itself. That's why Deng Xiaoping's Reform and Opening Up was successful - not because of his genius, but because he was backed up by a capable people.

The Chinese peasantry, for example, didn't hoard or directed their grain surplus to exports in order to starve the proletariat to death in the cities - they sold it to the Chinese market. The Chinese peasantry also trusted their central government (CCP) and saw itself as part of the project - in complete opposition to the feudal-minded Russian kulak, who saw his piece of land as essentially an independent and self-sufficient cell/ecosystem.

That's why the Reform and Opening Up was successful (it survives until the present times) and the NEP soon failed - following the good harvest of 1924, came the awful harvest of 1926, which triggered a shit show where the peasantry hoarded the grain and almost starved the USSR to extinction, and which led to Stalin's ascension and the dekulakization process (forced collectivization).

pretzelattack , Oct 18 2020 15:59 utc | 121
@vk thanks for your detailed and thorough response, i will keep it in mind as i read.
pretzelattack , Oct 18 2020 16:11 utc | 122
i should add that i know little about the actual history of communism, but capitalism is revealing itself as a monstrous failure, and not all the propaganda in the world is succeeding at covering that up.
Abe , Oct 18 2020 16:32 utc | 123
Yeah, Right @ 115

I know how economic reasoning comes to that conclusion, but IRL comparing such different countries only by GDP metric is insane and beyond stupid.

Eg. Russia has GDP similar to California!

Yes, in US centric GDP metrics that favors and cheats US itself (surprise!).

But. One of those countries sent man in space, produces everything, has vast resources and is self sufficient nuclear superpower.
Other one cant even feed and provider water to its population without outside help.

GDP means nothing when sh*t hits the fan. What will "richer" country do if it goes to war with "poorer"? Throw money at them while they launch nukes at it?

vk , Oct 18 2020 17:43 utc | 124
@ Posted by: pretzelattack | Oct 18 2020 16:11 utc | 122

There certainly are similarities between the NEP and the Reform and Opening Up. It's very possible Deng Xiaoping took Lenin as inspiration.

Forgot to mention the Scissors Crisis, which erupted in 1923, and triggered the NEP. That crisis is one more evidence that shows manufactured products are inherently more valuable than raw materials/agrarian products.

Andrei Martyanov , Oct 18 2020 19:57 utc | 125
@Eric.
The facts are that even in 2020 Russia does not have anything close to gas turbines that can replace Siemens

Before posting anything--learn your facts. You, obviously, have issues with accessing them.

https://www.interfax.ru/russia/694526

Again, for products of Western "education" basic logic and ability for a basic extrapolation seem beyond the grasp: there are no issues for Russia to produce anything, other than time and some money. Country which produces best hi-tech weapons in the world, dominates world's nuclear energy market (this is not your iPhone "hi tech") and has a full enclosed cycle for aerospace industry, among many other things, will have little trouble in substituting pretty much anything. I remember a bunch of morons, who pass for "analysts", from either WSJ or WaPo declaring 6 years ago that sanctions will deny Russia access to Western extraction technologies. Sure, for a country whose space program alone will crush whole economies of UK or Germany should they ever try to recreate it, will have "problems" producing compressor or drill equipment with the level of Russia's metallurgy and material science. Generally speaking, West's present pathetic state is a direct result of utter incompetence across the board in a number of key fields of human activity and your post, most likely based on some BS by Western media, is a good demonstration of this state of the affairs.

Andrei Martyanov , Oct 18 2020 20:00 utc | 126
@Jason

Per immigration policy, you can easily find a a truck load of resources, especially on the web-sites of Russian diplomatic missions (Embassies, Consulates etc.), easily available. Per cats--Russian love for cats is boundless and intense. You may say that Russia is a cat-obsessed country;)

steven t johnson , Oct 18 2020 20:05 utc | 127
vk@120 posits a mystical cultural difference in Russian and Chinese peasants, which unfortunately has pretty much the same content as the hypothesis of a racial difference. That the morally superior race is supposed to be Chinese doesn't really help. As often, some strange assertions of facts that aren't so accompany such bizarre thinking. The rich peasants in China (what would be kulaks in Russian history,) were notorious for moneylending. As ever, the inevitable arrears ended in the moneylender's family taking the land. Collectivization came early in China, well along the way by 1956. And a key aspect of it was the struggle against the Chinese equivalent of the kulak class. As for the insistence that private farming is superior, the growth of inequality in land drove millions, a hundred million or more, into the cities. Without residence permits this floating proletariat was effectively superexploited by the new capitalist elements, as Deng meant them to do. Nor did the warlords discredit themselves, not as a group. If anything the young warlord who forced Chiang to reject active war against the Communists, in order to fight the Japanese invaders, was the one who kept the GMD (KMT in Wade-Giles,) from discrediting itself. [Xian incident] And what warlords had to do with the Chinese rich peasantry *after* the Revolution is a complete mystery.

Socially, the deliberate uneven development promoted by Deng and his successors, is eroding the social fabric of the larger countryside. This, in addition to the neocolonial concessions, the growing links to the Chinese bourgeoisie of the diaspora suggest that as Dengists may go even back/forward to a new form of warlordism. The thing about comparing Bukharism/NEP to Dengism/the "Opening" is that Bukharin's program failed spectacularly. But modern China is not next door to Nazi Germany. Even more to the point, Stalin's victory over Hitler has provided a kind of moral shield for China, even under Deng, inspiring fear of losing a general war. If Bukharin had beaten Stalin, we can be as sure as any hypothetical can be, the USSR would have been defeated, not victorious. In modern China, the Bukharin won. There is an excellent chance the national government of today's China will be defeated.

Eric , Oct 18 2020 20:53 utc | 128
@125 Andrei Martyanov

That article describes a 110 MW turbine that has now finally been put into production (while Siemens, General Electric etc. produce utility-class gas turbines up to about 600 MW, with far higher efficiency and most likely reliability). The article further describes 40 GW of thermal electrical production to be "modernized" until 2031 (11 years from now), and apparently a microscopic 2 GW of new capacity from "domestic and localized" 65 MW turbines to be commissioned 2026-2028. (I don't understand Russian so I had to rely on Yandex's machine translation.) That's admittedly some kind of progress, but is simply not going to cut it. Nowhere close.

Imagine if China set the ambition to build its own semiconductors and its own turbofans for its stealth fighters sometime around 2040. Imagine if China was still producing a third of the amount of electricity of the United States instead of about double, etc., and considered this to be adequate. It would be akin to abandoning its ambitions for technological and industrial independence from the West, and that is exactly what Russia is doing in the realm of gas turbines. There is apparently no capability and no seriousness going into translating Russia's world-class research and science into actual large-scale, modern industrial production, and everything points to this continuing, while you can blather on all you want about people with "Western education" simply not getting anything.

Andrei Martyanov , Oct 18 2020 21:16 utc | 129
@Eric
That's admittedly some kind of progress, but is simply not going to cut it. Nowhere close.

That's admittedly you switching on "I am dense" mode and trying to up the ante with 600 MW, which are a unique product, while you somehow miss the point that 110 MWt MGT-110 of fully Russian production has completed a full cycle of industrial tests and operations (an equivalent of military IOC--Initial Operational Capability) and is in a serial production. But instead of studying the issue (even if through Yandex translate) with Siemens which when learning about MGT-110 offered Russia 100% localization with technology transfer, Russians declined, you go into generalizations without having even minimal set of facts and situational awareness. In fact 110 MWt turbines are most in demand product for a variety of applications. Get acquainted with this.

https://power-m.ru/en/customers/thermal-power/gas-turbines/

I am not going to waste my time explaining to you (you will play dense again) what IOC means and how it relates to serial production, I am sure you will find a bunch of unrealted "argumentation".

Imagine if China

I don't need to imagine anything, as well as draw irrelevant parallels with China.

There is apparently no capability and no seriousness going into translating Russia's world-class research and science into actual large-scale, modern industrial production, and everything points to this continuing, while you can blather on all you want about people with "Western education" simply not getting anything.

This is exactly what I am talking about. Hollow declarations by people who can not even develop basic factual base.

Grieved , Oct 18 2020 21:16 utc | 130
@125 Andrei Martyanov

It's great to see you here with your excellent facts and perspectives on Russia. I'm sorry you have to deal with people whose minds are too small to grasp the immense scale of Russia - scale in physical size, civilizational depth and importance to the balance of power in the world.

Russia alone stopped the creeping gray hegemony from the west that had looked like it would just ooze over the whole world and suffocate it in bullshit and tribute payments. And then China joined in the fun. The world has a future now, when a decade ago this didn't seem possible, at least from my view in the US. Geopolitically, Russia gave us this future, and China has come to show us how much fun it's going to be.

Many thanks to you and your people.

vk , Oct 18 2020 21:31 utc | 131
@ Posted by: steven t johnson | Oct 18 2020 20:05 utc | 127

There's no mysticism here because we know how the kulaks emerged in Russia: they were the result of the catastrophic capitalist reforms of the 1860s, which completely warped the old feudal relations of the Russian Empire.

The reforms of the 1860s were catastrophic for two reasons:

1) it freed the peasants slowly. The State serfs - the last who gained their freedom - were left with no land. A complex partition system of the land, based on each administrative region, created a distorted division of land, where very few peasants got huge chunks of land (the future kulaks) and most received almost nothing (as Lenin demonstrated, see his first book of his Complete Works, below the rate of subsistence);

2) it tried to preserve the old feudal privileges and powers of the absolutist monarchy.

As a result, the Russian Empire had a bizarre economic system, a mixed economy with the worst of the two words: the inequality and absolute misery of capitalism and the backwardness and lack of social mobility of feudalism.

But yes, you're right when you state Mao's era was not an economic failure. His early era really saw an attempt by the CCP to make an alliance with the "national bourgeoisie", and this alliance was indeed a failure. This certainly led to a more radical approach by the CCP, still in the Mao era (collectivization). Life quality in China greatly increased after 1949, until the recession of the Great Leap Forward (which was not a famine, but threw back some socioeconomic indicators temporarily back to the WWII era). When the Great Leap Forward was abandoned, China continued to improve afterwards.

All of this doesn't change the fact that China's "NEP" was a success, while the original NEP wasn't. Of course, there are many factors that explain this, but it is wrong to call late Qing China as even similar to the late Romanov Russia.

I'm not saying Stalin's reform were a failure. Without them, they wouldn't be able to quickly import the Fordist (Taylorist) method they needed to industrialize. The USSR became a superpower in just 19 years - a world record. The first Five-Year Plan was a huge morale boost and success for the Soviet people - specially because it happened at the same time as the capitalist meltdown of 1929.

--//--

@ Posted by: Eric | Oct 18 2020 20:53 utc | 128

The thing with semiconductors (and other very advanced technologies) is that it is an industry that only makes sense for a given nation to dominate if they're going to mass produce it. That usually means said production must be export oriented, which means competing against already well-established competitors.

China doesn't want to drain the State's coffers to fund an industry that won't at least pay for itself. It has to change the wheels with the car moving. That's why it is still negotiating the Huawei contracts in the West first, why it still is trying to keep the Taiwanese product flowing first, only to then gradually start the heavy investment needed to dominate the semiconductor technology and production process.

They learned with the Soviets in this sense. When computers became a thing in the West, the USSR immediately poured resources to build them. They were able to dominate the main frame technology, and they were successfully implemented in their economy. Then came the personal computers, and, this time, the Soviets weren't able to make it integrate in their economy. The problem wasn't that the Soviets didn't know how to build a personal computer (they did), but that every new technology is born for a reason, and only makes sense in a given social context. You can't just blindly copy your enemy's technology and hope for the best.

Andrei Martyanov , Oct 18 2020 23:03 utc | 132
@Grieved
The world has a future now, when a decade ago this didn't seem possible, at least from my view in the US. Geopolitically, Russia gave us this future, and China has come to show us how much fun it's going to be. Many thanks to you and your people.

Thank you for your kind words. As my personal experience (my third book is coming out soon)shows--explaining economic reality to people who have been "educated" (that is confused, ripped off for huge tuition and given worthless piece of paper with MBA or some "economics" Bachelor of "Science" on it) in Western pseudo-economic "theory" that this "global" "rules-based order" is over, is pretty much an exercise in futility. And if a catastrophe of Boeing is any indication (I will omit here NATO's military-industrial complex)--dividends, stocks and "capitalization" is a figment of imagination of people who never left their office and infantile state of development and swallowed BS economic narrative hook, line and sinker without even trying to look out of the window. They still buy this BS of US having "largest GDP in the world" (in reality it is much smaller than that of China), the de-industrialization of the United States is catastrophic (they never bothered to look at 2018 Inter-agency Report to POTUS specifically about that)and its industrial base is shrinking with a lighting speed, same goes to Germany which for now retains some residual industrial capability and competences but:

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-germany-economy-manufacturing/german-manufacturing-output-to-shrink-4-this-year-bdi-says-idUKKBN1XT1D6

This is before COVID-19, after it Germany's economy shrank worst among Western nations, worse even than the US. It is a long story, but as Michael Hudson stated not for once in his books and interviews, what is "taught" as economics in the West is basically a pseudo-science. Well, it is. Or, as same Hudson stated earlier this year:"The gunboats don't appear in your economics textbooks. I bet your price theory didn't have gun boats in them, or the crime sector. And probably they didn't have debt in it either." And then they wonder in Germany (or EU)how come that EU structures are filled with pedophiles, "Green" fanatics and multiculturalists. Well, because Germany (and EU) are occupied territories who made their choice. And this is just the start. What many do not understand here is that overwhelming majority of Russians do not want to deal with Europe and calls for new Iron Curtain are louder and louder and the process has started. Of course, there is a lot of both contempt and schadenfreude on Russian part. As Napoleon stated, the nation which doesn't want to feed own army, will feed someone else's. Very true. Modern West worked hard for it, let it "enjoy" now.

karlof1 , Oct 18 2020 23:52 utc | 133
Andrei Martyanov @132 & elsewhere--

It's good to see you commenting here as barflies seem more inclined to listen to you than me. Did you watch Russian documentary on The Wall , which I learned about from Lavrov's meeting with those doing business within Russia on 5 Oct? I asked The Saker if his translation team would take on the task of providing English subtitles or a voice over but never got a reply one way or the other. IMO, for Russia to avoid the West's fate it must change its banking and financial system from the private to the public realm as Hudson advocates most recently in this podcast . As for Mr. Lavrov, he surprised the radio station interviewers by citing Semyon Slepakov's song "America Doesn't Like Us," of which barfly Paco thankfully provided a translation of the lyrics.С наилучшими пожеланиями крепкого здоровья и долгих лет жизни!

Smith , Oct 19 2020 0:01 utc | 134
So I don't get it, who won that engagement, Andrei or Eric?

Can Russia produce that turbo thingie or not?

Eric , Oct 19 2020 0:18 utc | 135
@132 Andrei Martyanov

I think you an Grieved misunderstand somewhat where I am coming from here. Michael Hudson would be (and has been) the first to describe how Russia's elites (and to a large extent it seems also the people) bought into a bogus neoliberal ideology teaching that somehow Russia needs to earn the money it needs to build its own economy in the form of foreign currency through export revenues. Apparently these economists and politicians in Russia never bothered to look how Western economies actually operate (as opposed to what they preach to countries they want to destroy), or for that matter how China has developed its economy (in all of these countries, the necessary credit is created on a keyboard.) The export revenues that Russia earns in the form of dollars and euros are sold to the central bank for the roubles that Russia's government needs to function. Bizarrely, this creates just as much inflation as it would if the central bank had just created the roubles without "backing" foreign currency. In fact, there is more inflation created, because in times of high oil prices, corresponding amounts of roubles are suddenly thrown into a domestic market that is underdeveloped, for example in its infrastructure and its food processing. There are reasons why China can expand its money supply by much greater proportions each year and still suffer far less inflation than Russia.

Unlike China, Russia had already attained much of the technological expertise for the equipment that it later decided it was unable to produce inside the country. A good example of this are the turboexpanders whose design was perfected (though the basic idea was a bit older) by Pyotr Kapisa in the 1930's in the USSR. This same technology went into the turbopumps of the rocket engines in the Energia boosters. These engines are still to this day, 30 years after the Soviet collapse, imported by the United States. As these rocket engines including the turbopumps are still produced in Russia, the know-how to manufacture was obviously not lost.

I read just the other day that as part of its import substitution program, Russia is considering to produce the turboexpanders for processing natural gas (separating methane from ethane) inside the country. Russia, with the world's largest natural gas reserves and production, and as I described already possessing the expertise to produce the turboexpanders needed for cryogenic separation, chose to hand over possibly billions of dollars to the West to import this machinery over the years, only to be helpless when the West introduced technological sanctions against its oil and gas sector. Very likely, in a couple of years we will receive the announcement that the drive to produce them domestically has been abandoned, after it was realized that their production will require new factories and new machinery, which do not fall out of the sky in Russia as they apparently do in the West and in China. Putin will announce that great business awaits whichever Western investor ready to provide the funds. (Spoiler: They won't! The West is not very interested in investing into building up Russia's industrial capabilities, preferring instead to loot its natural resources and to suck out its skilled worked and scientists.)

While Russia sits and waits for higher oil prices or foreign dollar credit on the one hand, and with unemployed skilled labor and rotting industrial infrastructure on the other hand, China spends the equivalent of trillions of dollars (in yuan, obviously) into fixed capital (not least infrastructure) each year. The funds for this are all created by keystrokes by the PBOC and provide employment for the domestic workforce. You don't have to ponder long on which model has been hugely successful, and which has been an unmitigated disaster.

I can't find the exact figures right now, but Russia produces something like 300,000 STEM graduates every year, more than the United States. (I may very well have read this originally on your blog, by the way.) Many of them will still be forced to emigrate to find gainful employment, even 20 years after the 1990's ended and Putin became President. These graduates remain even in post-Soviet times of a very high quality, and undergraduate students in Russia are trained at a higher level in mathematics and physics than in particular Americans are even as post-graduates. By refusing to invest in its own scientific infrastructure and industry the way China has done and does, Russia gives away all the education and training that were provided to these students, especially to the same Western countries that are seeking to destroy Russia. This is completely unforgivable.

I should add that I myself study physics in Germany. I have great appreciation for the Russian methods of teaching mathematics and physics, as many do here. I have learned, preferentially, mathematical analysis from Zorich, mechanics, electrodynamics etc. from Landau-Lifschitz, much about Fourier series from Tolstov, and so on, and have very often been awestruck and inspired in a mystical fashion by these works. I am not somehow unaware of the unparalleled quality (in particular after the destruction of Germany in WWII) of the USSR's and Russia's math/physics education or unfamiliar with the achievements of the USSR in science and engineering. It's precisely because I am familar with them that it frustrates me immensely how Russia's potential is needlessly wasted.

Digby , Oct 19 2020 0:28 utc | 136
What many do not understand here is that overwhelming majority of Russians do not want to deal with Europe and calls for new Iron Curtain are louder and louder and the process has started. Of course, there is a lot of both contempt and schadenfreude on Russian part.
Andrei (132), do you have a link to an opinion poll that supports this? Thanks in advance.
james , Oct 19 2020 1:01 utc | 137
@ Digby | Oct 19 2020 0:28 utc | 136.. if you haven't already listened to the lavrov interview that b linked to in his main post - it is a question and answer thing - you would benefit from doing so and it would help answer you question some too.. see b's post at this spot -"In a wide ranging interview with Russian radio stations" and hit that link
Digby , Oct 19 2020 2:17 utc | 138
@ james (137)
Well, I looked into the interview. While it is informative in its own right (at some point it briefly touches on Russo-Japanese relations), and some of the interviewers do show some concerns, I'm still not sure how it helps answer my question (maybe I missed something?). My initial impression was that Mr. Martyanov was referring to Russian civilians - not just radio interviewers.
Thanks anyway for the heads up.
james , Oct 19 2020 3:37 utc | 139
@ 138 digby... my impression was the radio interviewers questions were a reflection of the general sentiment of the public.. i could be wrong, but it seems to me they have completely given up on the west based on what they ask and say in their questions to lavrov...

on another note, you might enjoy engaging andrei more directly on his website which i will share here...

https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/

cheers..

[Oct 18, 2020] Does This Explain Why Facebook Was So Quick To Suppress Hunter Biden Revelations- -

Oct 18, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Does This Explain Why Facebook Was So Quick To Suppress Hunter Biden Revelations? by Tyler Durden Sun, 10/18/2020 - 15:20 Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print

Authored by Andrea Widburg via AmericanThinker.com,

The moment the New York Post reported on some of the sleazy, corrupt details contained on Hunter Biden's hard drive, Twitter and Facebook, the social media giants most closely connected to the way Americans exchange political information, went into overdrive to suppress the information and protect Joe Biden. In the case of Facebook, though, perhaps one of those protectors was, in fact, protecting herself.

The person currently in charge of Facebook's election integrity program is Anna Makanju . That name probably doesn't mean a lot to you, but it should mean a lot – and in a comforting way -- to Joe Biden.

Before ending up at Facebook, Makanju was a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. The Atlantic Council is an ostensibly non-partisan think tank that deals with international affairs. In fact, it's a decidedly partisan organization.

In 2009, James L. Jones, the Atlantic Council's chairman left the organization to be President Obama's National Security Advisor. Susan Rice, Richard Holbrooke, Eric Shinseki, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Chuck Hagel, and Brent Scowcroft also were all affiliated with the Atlantic Council before they ended up in the Obama administration.

The Atlantic Council has received massive amounts of foreign funding over the years. Here's one that should interest everyone: Burisma Holdings donated $300,000 dollars to the Atlantic Council, over the course of three consecutive years, beginning in 2016. The information below may explain why it began paying that money to the Council.

Not only was the Atlantic Council sending people into the Obama-Biden administration, but it was also serving as an outside advisor. And that gets us back to Anna Makanju, the person heading Facebook's misleadingly titled "election integrity program."

Makanju also worked at the Atlantic Council. The following is the relevant part of Makanju's professional bio from her page at the Atlantic Council (emphasis mine):

Anna Makanju is a nonresident senior fellow with the Transatlantic Security Initiative. She is a public policy and legal expert working at Facebook, where she leads efforts to ensure election integrity on the platform. Previously, she was the special policy adviser for Europe and Eurasia to former US Vice President Joe Biden , senior policy adviser to Ambassador Samantha Power at the United States Mission to the United Nations, director for Russia at the National Security Council, and the chief of staff for European and NATO Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She has also taught at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and worked as a consultant to a leading company focused on space technologies.

about:blank

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me title=

Makanju was a player in the faux Ukraine impeachment. Early in December 2019, when the Democrats were gearing up for the impeachment, Glenn Kessler mentioned her in an article assuring Washington Post readers that, contrary to the Trump administration's claims, there was nothing corrupt about Biden's dealings with Ukraine. He made the point then that Biden now raises as a defense: Biden didn't pressure Ukraine to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin to protect Burisma; he did it because Shokin wasn't doing his job when it came to investigating corruption.

Kessler writes that, on the same day in February 2016 that then-Ukrainian President Poroshenko announced that Shokin had offered his resignation, Biden spoke to both Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. The White House version is that Biden gave both men pep talks about reforming the government and fighting corruption. And that's where Makanju comes in:

Anna Makanju, Biden's senior policy adviser for Ukraine at the time, also listened to the calls and said release of the transcripts would only strengthen Biden's case that he acted properly. She helped Biden prepare for the conversations and said they operated at a high level, with Biden using language such as Poroshenko's government being "nation builders for a transformation of Ukraine."

A reference to a private company such as Burisma would be "too fine a level of granularity" for a call between Biden and the president of another country, Makanju told The Fact Checker. Instead, she said, the conversation focused on reforms demanded by the International Monetary Fund, methods to tackle corruption and military assistance. An investigation of "Burisma was just not significant enough" to mention, she said.

Let me remind you, in case you forgot, that Burisma started paying the Atlantic Council a lot of money in 2016, right when Makanju was advising Biden regarding getting rid of Shokin.

In other words, there's a really good chance that Sundance was correct when he wrote at The Conservative Treehouse :

NEVER MISS THE NEWS THAT MATTERS MOST

ZEROHEDGE DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX

Receive a daily recap featuring a curated list of must-read stories.

That's right folks, the Facebook executive currently blocking all of the negative evidence of Hunter and Joe Biden's corrupt activity in Ukraine is the same person who was coordinating the corrupt activity between the Biden family payoffs and Ukraine.

You just cannot make this stuff up folks.

The incestuous networking between Democrats in the White House, Congress, the Deep State, the media, and Big Tech never ends. That's why the American people wanted and still want Trump, the true outsider, to head the government. They know that Democrats have turned American politics into one giant Augean Stable and that Trump is the Hercules who (we hope) can clean it out.

[Oct 18, 2020] More Pressure On Russia Will Have No Effect

Notable quotes:
"... Russia is militarily secure and the 'west' knows that. It is one reason for the anti-Russian frenzy. Russia does not need to bother with the unprecedented hostility coming from Brussels and Washington. It can ignore it while taking care of its interests. ..."
"... As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint? ..."
"... The nightmare scenario for the Anglo-Americans is a Germany-Russia-China triangle. If that happens it is game over! ..."
"... They don't want an actual war. They just ratchet up the tensions to keep Europe subdued and obedient and Russia off balance and thereby prevent any rapprochement between the two. ..."
"... The strong hatred and hostility coming from the US and the EU are due to the understanding that they don't have much time, and they must act now, or tomorrow it will be too late. ..."
"... Years ago Barack Obama gave speech to West Point graduates, proclaiming US moral and racial superiority (because they mix'n's*it) over whole world, Goebbels would be proud. Germany has long history of hating all those Slavs, and Israel... Lets not go there with how they threat those inferior brown people. ..."
"... Of course that end-point is money for military contractors and power for the FP elite in government and think-tanks which also means money. Yes, there are true-believers who see a mighty struggle between "good" (the USA) an "evil" (Russia/China) but they are incompetent. As for the American people they will believe whatever the NY Times says since they are militantly ignorant of history, geography, foreign affairs in general, and, above all, political science. ..."
"... The USA is lucky the USSR collapsed in 1991. If it managed to somehow survive for mere 17 years more, it would catch the 2008 capitalist meltdown ..."
"... It looks like the USA imported the Irish and imported their luck, too. ..."
"... This loathing was made blatantly manifest during WWII, of course, but it didn't die out because that generation and more likely their children remain with us. Ditto the generational Anglo-American hatred of Russians (yes, for the UK, and their haute bourgeoisie, it has deeper historical roots than the 20thC) and the USSR even more... ..."
"... "Maas added that Germany takes decisions related to its energy policy and energy supply 'here in Europe', saying that Berlin accepts ' the fact that the US had more than doubled its oil imports from Russia last year and is now the world's second largest importer of Russian heavy oil .'" [My Emphasis] ..."
"... The neocon/NATO aggressive expansionism has many purposes, but one is surely domestic repression: to gaslight and cause fear-the-foreign-bogeyman trauma among the American and British people as a whole and make most of them become docile and lose their critical thinking skills and their ability to analyze their own societies. ..."
"... One of the best ways to lobotomize the publics of the US and UK is to very gradually impose martial law in the name of protecting national security and ensuring peace and harmony at home. ..."
"... At the time, I thought it was just Trump and his followers freaking out, now I think it's the NatSec people, who have finally seen the truth of their situation. As one can see in the Atlantic Council piece B posted, they are still trying to keep the old narrative patched together too. ..."
"... As I've said numerous times -- Fuck the US Empire and it's minion bitches. Jesse Ventura commented this past week that EVERY US Incumbent politician should be voted out of office this election. 99% of them are scum. ..."
"... That was the whole point of the first Cold War. It is the whole point of creating a Cold War 2.0. Absolutely nothing has changed. ..."
"... If the Russian Federation really has an ongoing imports substitution program, then this explains everything. Germany is an exports-oriented economy. It wants to integrate with the Russian economy in the sense to keep it as an agrarian-extrativist economy to feed it with cheap commodities to feed their industry. Germany's ideal Russia is Brazil. ..."
"... A Russia that also exports high-value commodities (manufactured commodities) is a direct threat to Germany, as it competes with it directly in the international market. That's the reason Germany doesn't want the BRI to come to Europe, as Merkel once said: Europe must not become China's peninsula. China is Germany's main competitor, as it is also a big manufacturing exporter. ..."
"... Perhaps the US only has one script in the playbook: to balkanise, disrupt and foster 5th columns until their opponent becomes a dysfunctional or failed state. ..."
"... The US and EU attempts to break Russia's independent foreign policy are just stepping stones to the eventual goal of a breakup Russia itself, never forget Albright's comments in the 90s about how Siberia shouldn't belong to Russia alone. ..."
"... We may yet see a Cuban missile crisis scenario but it looks more likely to be caused by arms sales to Taiwan than conflict in the Caucasus. ..."
"... I also think its naive to see these as "fires burning at Russia's borders" instead of as deliberately set bear traps . Azerbaijan is in a strategic location between Russia and Iran and the conflict with Armenia comes just before Russia is about to sell advanced weapons to Iran. ..."
Oct 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Over the last years the U.S. and its EU puppies have ratcheted up their pressure on Russia. They seem to believe that they can compel Russia to follow their diktat. They can't. But the illusion that Russia will finally snap, if only a few more sanctions ar applied or a few more houses in Russia's neighborhood are set on fire, never goes away.

As Gilbert Doctorow describes the situation:

The fires burning at Russia's borders in the Caucasus are an add-on to the disorder and conflict on its Western border in neighboring Belarus, where fuel is poured on daily by pyromaniacs at the head of the European Union acting surely in concert with Washington.

Yesterday we learned of the decision of the European Council to impose sanctions on President Lukashenko, a nearly unprecedented action when directed against the head of state of a sovereign nation.
...
It is easy enough to see that the real intent of the sanctions is to put pressure on the Kremlin, which is Lukashenko's guarantor in power, to compound the several other measures being implemented simultaneously in the hope that Putin and his entourage will finally crack and submit to American global hegemony as Europe did long ago.
...
The anti-Russia full tilt ahead policy outlined above is going on against a background of the U.S. presidential electoral campaigns. The Democrats continue to try to depict Donald Trump as "Putin's puppy," as if the President has been kindly to his fellow autocrat while in office. Of course, under the dictates of the Democrat-controlled House and with the complicity of the anti-Russian staff in the State Department, in the Pentagon, American policy towards Russia over the entire period of Trump's presidency has been one of never ending ratcheting up of military, informational, economic and other pressures in the hope that Vladimir Putin or his entourage would crack. Were it not for the nerves of steel of Mr. Putin and his close advisers , the irresponsible pressure policies outlined above could result in aggressive behavior and risk taking by Russia that would make the Cuban missile crisis look like child's play.

The U.S. arms industry lobby, in form of the Atlantic Council, confirms the 'western' strategy Doctorow describes. It calls for 'ramping up on Russia' with even more sanctions:

Key to raising the costs to Russia is a more proactive transatlantic strategy for sanctions against the Russian economy and Putin's power base, together with other steps to reduce Russian energy leverage and export revenue. A new NATO Russia policy should be pursued in tandem with the European Union (EU), which sets European sanctions policy and faces the same threats from Russian cyberattacks and disinformation. At a minimum, EU sanctions resulting from hostilities in Ukraine should be extended, like the Crimea sanctions, for one year rather than every six months. Better yet, allies and EU members should tighten sanctions further and extend them on an indefinite basis until Russia ends its aggression and takes concrete steps toward de-escalation.

It also wants Europe to pay for weapons in the Ukraine and Georgia:

A more dynamic NATO strategy for Russia should go hand in hand with a more proactive policy toward Ukraine and Georgia in the framework of an enhanced Black Sea strategy. The goal should be to boost both partners' deterrence capacity and reduce Moscow's ability to undermine their sovereignty even as NATO membership remains on the back burner for the time being.

As part of this expanded effort, European allies should do more to bolster Ukraine and Georgia's ground, air, and naval capabilities, complementing the United States' and Canada's efforts that began in 2014.

The purpose of the whole campaign against Russia, explains the Atlantic Council author, is to subordinate it to U.S. demands:

Relations between the West and Moscow had begun to deteriorate even before Russia's watershed invasion of Ukraine, driven principally by Moscow's fear of the encroachment of Western values and their potential to undermine the Putin regime. With the possibility of a further sixteen years of Putin's rule, most experts believe relations are likely to remain confrontational for years to come. They argue that the best the United States and its allies can do is manage this competition and discourage aggressive actions from Moscow. However, by pushing back against Russia more forcefully in the near and medium term, allies are more likely to eventually convince Moscow to return to compliance with the rules of the liberal international order and to mutually beneficial cooperation as envisaged under the 1997 NATO-Russia Founding Act.

The 'rules of the liberal international order' are of course whatever the U.S. claims they are. They may change at any moment and without notice to whatever new rules are the most convenient for U.S. foreign policy.

But as Doctorow said above, Putin and his advisors stay calm and ignore such trash despite all the hostility expressed against them.

One of Putin's close advisors is of course Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. In a wide ranging interview with Russian radio stations he recently touched on many of the issues Doctorow also mentions. With regards to U.S. strategy towards Russia Lavrov diagnoses :

Sergey Lavrov : [...] You mentioned in one of your previous questions that no matter what we do, the West will try to hobble and restrain us, and undermine our efforts in the economy, politics, and technology. These are all elements of one approach.

Question : Their national security strategy states that they will do so.

Sergey Lavrov : Of course it does, but it is articulated in a way that decent people can still let go unnoticed, but it is being implemented in a manner that is nothing short of outrageous.

Question : You, too, can articulate things in a way that is different from what you would really like to say, correct?

Sergey Lavrov : It's the other way round. I can use the language I'm not usually using to get the point across. However, they clearly want to throw us off balance , and not only by direct attacks on Russia in all possible and conceivable spheres by way of unscrupulous competition, illegitimate sanctions and the like, but also by unbalancing the situation near our borders, thus preventing us from focusing on creative activities. Nevertheless, regardless of the human instincts and the temptations to respond in the same vein, I'm convinced that we must abide by international law.

Russia does not accept the fidgety 'rules of the liberal international order'. Russia sticks to the law which is, in my view, a much stronger position. Yes, international law often gets broken. But as Lavrov said elsewhere , one does not abandon traffic rules only because of road accidents.

Russia stays calm, no matter what outrageous nonsense the U.S. and EU come up with. It can do that because it knows that it not only has moral superiority by sticking to the law but it also has the capability to win a fight. At one point the interviewer even jokes about that :

Question : As we say, if you don't listen to Lavrov, you will listen to [Defense Minister] Shoigu.

Sergey Lavrov : I did see a T-shirt with that on it. Yes, it's about that.

Yes, it's about that. Russia is militarily secure and the 'west' knows that. It is one reason for the anti-Russian frenzy. Russia does not need to bother with the unprecedented hostility coming from Brussels and Washington. It can ignore it while taking care of its interests.

As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?

Posted by b on October 17, 2020 at 16:31 UTC | Permalink


james , Oct 17 2020 16:45 utc | 1

thanks b.... that lavrov interview that karlof1 linked to previously is worth its weight in gold...

it gives a clear understanding of how russia sees what is happening here on the world stage... as you note cheap talk from the atlantic council 'rules of the liberal international order' is no substitute for 'international law' which is what russia stands on.... as for the usa campaign to tar russia and claim trump is putins puppet.. apparently this stupidity really sells in the usa.. in fact, i have a close friend here in canada from the usa with family in the usa has bought this hook, line and sinker as well.. and he is ordinarily a bright guy!

as for the endpoint - the usa and the people of the usa don't mind themselves about endpoints... it is all about being in the moment, living a hollywood fantasy off the ongoing party of wall st... the thought this circus will end, is not something many of them contemplate.. that is what it looks like to me.. maga, lol...

Michael Droy , Oct 17 2020 16:52 utc | 2
Belarus - this is happenstance, not long term planning. Like Venezuela - indeed neither original Presidential candidate nor his wife had a Wikipedia entry a week or so before being announced as candidate (much like Guaido 2 weeks before Trump "made" him President.

Yes the Western media make the most of it, and yes there are many in place in and besides the media whose job it is to maximise any noise. But little is happening in Belarus. Sanctioning is all anyone can do now. (Sanctions = punishment therefore proof of guilt without trial or evidence).

US pressure is based on the Dem vs Rep "I am tougher on Russia than you" game spurred on by the MIC.
European pressure is based on the Euro Defence force concept and a low key but real desire to rid itself of Nato. So again we have Nato saying "without US/us Europe would be soft on Russia" and Europe saying we are tough on Russia whatever.

Meanwhile China takes over the real world.

Down South , Oct 17 2020 16:56 utc | 3
What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?

It is about driving a wedge between Europe and Russia. The nightmare scenario for the Anglo-Americans is a Germany-Russia-China triangle. If that happens it is game over!

They don't want an actual war. They just ratchet up the tensions to keep Europe subdued and obedient and Russia off balance and thereby prevent any rapprochement between the two.

Putin has repeatedly stated he wants a Lisbon to Vladivostok free trade area.

The Anglo-Americans will never permit that. That Europe is committed to a course that is against their own best interest shows just how subservient they are to the Anglo-Americans.

I think it was the first head of NATO that said the purpose of the organization is to "keep the Russians out, the Germans down and the US in"

Absolutely nothing has changed since then.

bjd , Oct 17 2020 17:01 utc | 4
There is no endpoint. Those who argue for it, the Western think-tank industry and security and intelligence industry, are recipients of huge sums of money. It is bread and butter for large numbers of people. And the acceptance of the conclusions and advice of the immense stacks of papers thus produced mean money towards the defense industry and the cyber warfare industry. In the end, all this is driven by elites' fear of their own populations. Sowing FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) makes these populations docile. Rinse and repeat.
Passer by , Oct 17 2020 17:05 utc | 5
>>As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is.

The reason was probably the new Russian Constitution, which is basically a declaration of independence from the West. This has caused serious triggerings in western elites, although their reaction took some time to crystalise due to the Covid Pandemic.

>>What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?

The endpoint is - EU and NATO move into Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Georgia, Belarus, Armenia.

A puppet government of someone like Navalny is installed Russia. That government further gives up Crimea, Kaliningrad and Northen Caucasus. In the long run, a soft partition of Russia into 3 parts follows (as per the Grand Chessboard 1997).

The possibility for that happening is overall negative, as the West is on a long term decline, that is, it will be weaker in 2030, and even weaker in 2040 or 2050.

OECD economies were 66 % of the world economy in 2010 but that share is estimated to drop to 38 % of the world economy in 2050 (with further drops after that).

The strong hatred and hostility coming from the US and the EU are due to the understanding that they don't have much time, and they must act now, or tomorrow it will be too late.

Seeji , Oct 17 2020 17:15 utc | 6
Apt cover picture!
Abe , Oct 17 2020 17:18 utc | 7
Well, the hostility in "western" "elite" (rulers) towards Russia is on much more primal level than money and power IMO. It is pure racial hatred combined with Übermensch God complex. Main controllers in modern "west" are US, Israel and Germany.

Years ago Barack Obama gave speech to West Point graduates, proclaiming US moral and racial superiority (because they mix'n's*it) over whole world, Goebbels would be proud. Germany has long history of hating all those Slavs, and Israel... Lets not go there with how they threat those inferior brown people.

Seeji , Oct 17 2020 17:19 utc | 8
@ Down South #3

Yes. And it was so depressing that Germany played the Navalny Novichok hoax recently borrowed from the Perfidious Albion!

Bemildred , Oct 17 2020 17:24 utc | 9
They forsee not having to admit they are incompetent yet.
Chris Cosmos , Oct 17 2020 17:26 utc | 10
"What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?"

Of course that end-point is money for military contractors and power for the FP elite in government and think-tanks which also means money. Yes, there are true-believers who see a mighty struggle between "good" (the USA) an "evil" (Russia/China) but they are incompetent. As for the American people they will believe whatever the NY Times says since they are militantly ignorant of history, geography, foreign affairs in general, and, above all, political science.

The problem as I see it is Europe generally, and Germany in particular. Why do they follow Washington diktats?

gottlieb , Oct 17 2020 17:31 utc | 11
Well let's see, the USA is $30 trillion in debt and counting, faces an upcoming economic depression to rival the 'great' one, with a citizenry on the brink of civil war and a political system that makes a 'banana republic' look like ancient Greece. Desperate is as desperate does.
vk , Oct 17 2020 17:32 utc | 12
As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?

For a very simple reason: there's no other option. Capitalism can only work in one way. There's a limit to how much capitalism can reform within itself without self-destructing.

The West is also suffering from the "Whale in a Swimming Pool" dilemma: it has grown so hegemonic, so big and so gloated that its strategic options have narrowed sharply. It has not much more room for maneuver left, its bluffs become less and less effective. As a result, its strategies have become increasingly linear, extremely predictable. The "whale in a pool dilemma" is not a problem when your inner workings (domestic economy) is flourishing; but it becomes one when the economy begins to stagnate and, ultimately, decline (albeit slowly).

On a side note, it's incredible how History is non-linear, full of surprises. The Russian Federation is inferior to the Soviet Union in every aspect imaginable. Except for one factor: it now has an ascendant China on its side in a time where the West is declining. (Historical) context is everything.

The USA is lucky the USSR collapsed in 1991. If it managed to somehow survive for mere 17 years more, it would catch the 2008 capitalist meltdown and have an opportunity to gain the upper hand over capitalism (plus have a strong China on its side). Socialism/communism wouldn't have been demoralized the way it was in the 1990s, opening a huge flank for revolutions in the Western Hemisphere (specially Latin America). NATO would be much weaker. Since the USSR was closed to capitalism, the USA wouldn't be able to enforce as crippling economic sanctions on China and the USSR. The USSR would be able to "reform and open up" in a much safer environment (by copying China, instead of Yeltsin's neoliberalism), thus gaining the opportunity to make a Perestroika that could actually work.

But it didn't happen. Well, what can I say? It looks like the USA imported the Irish and imported their luck, too.

Anne , Oct 17 2020 17:37 utc | 13
Abe @7 - I would agree and have raised somewhere (old age?) that part of what we are seeing in this latest western-NATO cooked up charade re Navalny is, in part at least, a deep historical supremacist loathing of the Slavs an in general and the Russians in particular by the haute bourgeois Germans. This loathing was made blatantly manifest during WWII, of course, but it didn't die out because that generation and more likely their children remain with us. Ditto the generational Anglo-American hatred of Russians (yes, for the UK, and their haute bourgeoisie, it has deeper historical roots than the 20thC) and the USSR even more...

The pressure on Russia is enormous and I would enlarge on the economic sanctions aspect (siege warfare): Belarus, Armenia-Azerbaijan (Erdogan once again playing his role for the US/NATO - in this business, Iran is also a target), Kyrgyzstan - all on or very close to Russia's borders and thus dividing and draining (intention) Russia's focus and $$$$ (the Brzezinski game) in order to open it up to the western corporate-capitalist bloodsuckers. And I suspect that as the US (and UK) economies drain away, so these border country "revolts," "protests" etc. will grow...

Russia really needs to join with China in full comity. Bugger the west - they do not respect the rights of either country to their own culture, societal structures, mores, perspectives...nor apparently even those countries' rights to their own coastal waters, air space...

One wonders how the USA would react to Chinese and/or Russian warships in the Gulf or traversing (lengthwise) the Atlantic or Pacific????

karlof1 , Oct 17 2020 17:50 utc | 14
It appears Lavrov's saying we'll just ignore the EU and its major components for awhile got quick results as Germany's FM just announced "Nord Stream 2 will be completed" ; but he also said this:

"Maas added that Germany takes decisions related to its energy policy and energy supply 'here in Europe', saying that Berlin accepts ' the fact that the US had more than doubled its oil imports from Russia last year and is now the world's second largest importer of Russian heavy oil .'" [My Emphasis]

Now isn't that the interesting bit of news!! The greatest fracking nation on the planet needs to import heavy oil (likely Iranian, unlikely Venezuelan) from its #1 adversary. As for the end game, I've written many times what I see as the goal and don't see any need to add more.

winston2 , Oct 17 2020 18:02 utc | 17
"The Russians are coming' is a long standing fear built the American psyche almost from the very start. Russian colonization of the California Territory outnumbered the US population. The Monroe Doctrine was all about that,not S.America at all. The Brits ruled S.America by mercantile means until WWI cut the sea lanes, then and only then did it fall into the sphere of Yankee control.

Then there is Alaska. The Sewards Folly documents are almost certainly fakes, the verified Russian copy says a 100year LEASE,not a sale. The National Archives refuses examination by any but its own experts. Unless they are forgeries and they know it there can be no real reason for their stance. There is much more background to the antipathy than many are aware.

Rob , Oct 17 2020 18:02 utc | 18
@bjd (4) You nailed it, my friend. Cold wars are immensely profitable for certain sectors of the economy and the parasites who run them. The supreme imperative is always to have enemies--really big, bad, dangerous enemies--whether real or imagined. I will be voting for Biden, but I don't have much hope for positive change in American foreign policy. Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, etc. will continue to be vilified as nations to be feared and hated.
Dao Gen , Oct 17 2020 18:05 utc | 19
The neocon/NATO aggressive expansionism has many purposes, but one is surely domestic repression: to gaslight and cause fear-the-foreign-bogeyman trauma among the American and British people as a whole and make most of them become docile and lose their critical thinking skills and their ability to analyze their own societies.

One of the best ways to lobotomize the publics of the US and UK is to very gradually impose martial law in the name of protecting national security and ensuring peace and harmony at home.

After several color revolutions succeeded, the Russiagate/Spygate op was carried out in the US, with British assistance. This op has been largely successful, though there has been limited resistance against its whole fake edifice as well as with the logic of Cold War2.0. Nevertheless, Spygate has shocked many tens of millions of Dems into a stupor, while millions more are dazed and manipulated by the Chinese bogeyman being manufactured by Trump. The most dangerous result of the martial law lite mentality caused by Spygate and its MSM purveyors is the growing support for censorship of free speech coming mostly from the Dems, such as Schiff and Warner. The danger inherent in this trend became very clear when FaceBook and Twitter engaged in massive and unprecedented arbitrary censorship of the New York Post and of various Trump-related accounts. This is the kind of thing you do during Stage 1 of a coup. Surely it was at least in part an experiment to see how various power points in the US would respond. Even though Twitter ended the censorship later, it was probably a successful experiment designed to gauge reactions and areas of resistance. In November, there could be further, more serious experiments/ops. If so, the current expansionist movements being made and planned by the US and NATO may well be integral parts of a new non-democratic model of "American-style democracy" -- not constitution-based but "rules-based."

Posted by: Dao Gen |

Ike , Oct 17 2020 18:13 utc | 21
"As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?"

I think the answer is clear. The US economy is collapsing and likewise those wedded to the US dollar system. The USA spent 90% more than it received last year. They are desperate to have access to Russia's largely untapped resources and it doesn't want any competition for its position as world hegemon. Thus Russia and China are in the crosshairs.

Fortunately the corruption in the USA has resulted in a weaker military capability over time and they are reduced to behaving in clandestine and terroristic ways to try and achieve this. The turmoil enveloping the USA is scape goated on Trump and Covid19 but is ultimately due to their faltering economy and a big helping of financial corruption. Talk about your chickens coming home to roost

Bemildred , Oct 17 2020 18:27 utc | 22
Posted by: Ike | Oct 17 2020 18:13 utc | 21

Talk about your chickens coming home to roost."

Sounds like thunder, all those chickens. I appeared to me that whomever is in charge here, they started pulling all the levers they could lay a hand on a couple weeks back in terms of stirring up trouble. Throwing sand in the eyes of ones enemy.

At the time, I thought it was just Trump and his followers freaking out, now I think it's the NatSec people, who have finally seen the truth of their situation. As one can see in the Atlantic Council piece B posted, they are still trying to keep the old narrative patched together too.

Paco , Oct 17 2020 18:27 utc | 23
Posted by: vk | Oct 17 2020 17:32 utc | 12

Politfiction, or what could have happened if is an entertaining but futile exercise. Everybody agrees, there was no need for the USSR to dissolve, it was like a big jackpot for an amazed rival that rushed to declare himself the winner. The price has been high, on both sides of the fence but of course with a lot more victims and destruction on the other side of the fallen wall. Gorbachov a tragic figure and Yelstyn a sinister one, in spite of his being a clown, a tragic one at that, bombing his parliament and laughing at the world together with the degenerate Clinton, the 90's were somber indeed. The west paid its price, a self declared victory that did not bring any benefit, the peace dividend never was, to the contrary, military budgets never stopped growing year after year. The end of history was proclaimed, no need to match or better the rival ideology, there is none, so proles you better stop complaining, or else and that's where we are.

Laguerre , Oct 17 2020 18:34 utc | 25
Just to repeat the obvious, for the US actually to go to war is out of the question these days -- the US public would not tolerate the casualties. Therefore other methods have to be found to achieve the same objectives -- the maintenance of an eternal enemy in 1984 style, to keep up military budgets and world hegemony, neither of which are the elite ready to abandon. Economic sanctions have been the weapon of choice in the age of Trump, but there isn't really any other. Sometimes they are better aimed and sometimes not.

In any case I am not sure I agree that the EU is really submissive to the US in this respect. They don't want to offend the US, and some leaders have genuinely swallowed the Kool-Aid, but others haven't, and the continuation of Nordstream 2 is where they haven't.

steven t johnson , Oct 17 2020 18:38 utc | 26
Doctorow wrote "Of course, under the dictates of the Democrat-controlled House and with the complicity of the anti-Russian staff in the State Department, in the Pentagon, American policy towards Russia over the entire period of Trump's presidency..."

The Senate is more important for foreign affairs and has been Republican for Trump's entire term. The House was also Republican for half of Trump's term. Lastly the "staff" is not really able to run things in the presence of a minimally competent administrator, at the head of the State Department, acting under leadership of a competent, energetic president. There is no sign Doctorow is particularly intelligent or insightful.

I have long ago lost track of where the bar's consensus on Turkey is, whether the failing US means Erdogan must become the follower of the skilled, brave and indefatigable Putin...or whether his sultanship is suicidally persisting in thinking Russia cannot actually deliver anything his sultanship really needs and wants. At any rate it is entirely unclear what "international law" Lavrov thinks supports Russia.

As to the China Russia "alliance," the difficulty is that Putin has so very little to offer.

Steve , Oct 17 2020 18:39 utc | 27
I can hazard a guess to answer your final question. I think corruption is probably the main reason. Those involved in this are mostly interested in self-enrichment through the gullibility of their societies. I don't think the stenographers and the hot-heads neo liberals pushing for a show-down with Russia are intent on committing suicide by igniting a hot war with Russia, but they hope that Moscow could be intimidated and surrender eventually. As you rightly said, it is a pipe dream of course, but they get paid heavily for the hot air they emit.
Norwegian , Oct 17 2020 18:39 utc | 28
@James2 | Oct 17 2020 18:29 utc | 24
The west insulted the people's intelligence!!!
But unfortunately, the people didn't notice that.
dh-mtl , Oct 17 2020 18:46 utc | 29
'As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?'

The endpoint is quite clear: 'Global Governance, by Global Institutions under control of the 'Globalists' (i.e. the Davos crowd).' For this, the 'Globalists' must subdue Russia.

Russia is not only blocking the 'Globalist's' plans in its own right, but, since 2013, it has been protecting other nations from falling prey to 'Globalist' colonization (Syria, Eastern Ukraine, Iran, Venezuela, Libya, Belarus, etc.). And Russia is the lynch-pin to enable the 'Globalists' to corner China.

In addition, together with China, Russia is offering the world an alternative to 'Globalism', a 'Multi-Polar World Order' that is much more attractive than becoming a 'Globalist' vassal.

For the 'Globalists' time has become critical. They are facing revolts in their home countries (Trump, Brexit, Gilets-Jaunes, etc.). The main source of their geo-political power, (since they can no longer challenge Russia and China militarily) the U.S. dollar, is on the verge of collapse as the World's reserve currency. And the economic growth of China means that China has become the most important trading partner for most of the World's nations.

The window of opportunity for the 'Globalists' to create their 'Global Governance' system may have already closed. But, as usual, the losers of any war are usually the last to know. The desperation with which the 'Globalists' are fighting their last battles, against Trump, against Russia, against Brexit, is testimony to the fact that for the 'Globalists' losing this war means their extinction as a ruling elite.

james | Oct 17 2020 18:55 utc | 30

@ steven t johnson | Oct 17 2020 18:38 utc | 26..

c'mon steve.... what is the usa offering turkey here?? they could give a rats ass about turkey, or any other country in the middle east, excluding their 24/7 darling israel... the usa presence on the world stage is meant to sabotage any and all who don't bow down to the exceptional nations philosophy of 'might makes right'... the obvious benefits of russia-china synergy are apparent to both countries and they continue to capitalize on this, in spite of what you read in the usa msm.. russia as a lot to offer china... the fact that the nation apparently masquerading as a gas station has so much to offer is also the reason that all the pillage of the 90's hasn't turned out the way the harvard boys had envisioned... that you can't see the vast wealth and value of russia has nothing to do with the reality on the ground... keep the blinders on, lol...

Laguerre , Oct 17 2020 19:09 utc | 31

The EU's attitude to the US is much like its attitude to Britain and Brexit. They don't want to split with the US, because, after all, there might be war, and NATO would be needed, but it's becoming increasingly less likely. In the same way, they would have preferred to stay in good relations with Britain, until Britain insisted on a hostile Brexit. Basic interests come first, and that will also be the case in the future with the US.
Abe , Oct 17 2020 19:11 utc | 32
Anne @ 13

Russia and China are already de-facto alliance. Militarily they cooperate at every level and will soon extend shared anti ballistic shield over China too. It is clear to any outside enemy (except for most retarded ones) that nuclear attack on one will be treated as attack on both of them. Not having formal alliance is somewhat an advantage (eg. limited attack on one of them by enemy that can be easily handled will not complicate situation) as it controls escalation. Lack of escalation control led to WW1 so...

Apart for military, Russia is one of rare fully self sufficient countries in the world. Having vast natural resources and territory, knowledge and industrial capacity to built EVERYTHING they need, they can afford to be sanctioned by whole world and close borders completely if needed. Having 100% secure land borders with China and already huge (and increasing) trade, including oil & gas, only make Russia's self sufficiency even more stable. It also strategically benefits China, as its main weakness is lack of those same resources Russia has in abundance and is willing to share.

So, if sh*t hits the fan, and Russia and China say f*ck it and close borders to rest of the world (even though China trade profits wouldn't be happy), both countries form self sufficient symbiosis that can carry on for centuries.

Which brings me to all those little fires US is starting in Russia's neighborhood. They don't matter. Unlike USSR, Russia's mission is self preservation only, not changing whole world into communist utopia (even though @VK here repeatedly fails to acknowledge it). And survive it will. All it needs is to wait few generations.

Unlike Russia, collective west is going down the drain. Soon enough, all those Slav hating in Bundestag, UK parlament and elsewhere will have more urgent problem of Islamic head choppers that became majority in their countries, while US will have problem to recruit enough men,women and "others" from pool of rainbow colored too-fat and unfit, godless faggot from broken family snowflakes.

joey_n , Oct 17 2020 19:36 utc | 34
@Down South (3)
At least someone still understands. For what it's worth, Lurk and I briefly discussed in the Brexit thread about England doing all it could to prevent comity between continental powers (e.g. Russia and Germany before the first world war).
https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/10/its-a-hard-brexits-a-gonna-fall.html?cid=6a00d8341c640e53ef026be41afef7200d#comment-6a00d8341c640e53ef026be41afef7200d
Laguerre , Oct 17 2020 19:37 utc | 35
As China has been mentioned, I think it is worth saying that although I have full confidence that Putin will maintain his usual good sense in international conflicts, I have more doubts about the Chinese regime. I don't really understand their policy, which is becoming more nationalistic and edgy. I don't see why. They have great economic success; they should be more relaxed, but they aren't. The first signs came with their attitude towards the Muslims in China. One, the concentration camps in Xinjiang - in that case the Uyghur jihadists in Syria must have provoked anxiety in Beijing. But also increasing pressure on the Hui Muslims in central China (who are native Han) to become more "national". Some years ago they weren't bothered. Now they are.

This suggests that the question of Taiwan could blow up, apart from HongKong. They are less tolerant in Beijing.

Andrei Martyanov , Oct 17 2020 19:41 utc | 36
@Down South
It is about driving a wedge between Europe and Russia. The nightmare scenario for the Anglo-Americans is a Germany-Russia-China triangle. If that happens it is game over!

It is a tired and false concept. There cannot be a "triangle" which includes Germany, due to Germany's increasingly diminishing status. Moreover, Russians do not view Europe as a viable part of Russia's future--the cultural gap is gigantic and continues to grow--the only place of Europe in general, and Germany in particular, in Russian plans is that of a market for Russia's hydrocarbons and other exports. A rather successful program of export-substitution in Russia in the last 6 years dropped technological importance of Germany for Russia dramatically. In some fields, such as high-power turbines made Germany irrelevant, as Siemens learned the hard way recently.

Laguerre , Oct 17 2020 19:49 utc | 37

Andrei Martyanov | Oct 17 2020 19:41 utc | 36

due to Germany's increasingly diminishing status.

Difficult to believe.

CitizenX , Oct 17 2020 19:54 utc | 38

@b on October 17, 2020 at 16:31 UTC

"U.S. and its EU puppies have ratcheted up their pressure...

The 'rules of the liberal international order' are of course whatever the U.S. claims they are. They may change at any moment and without notice to whatever new rules are the most convenient for U.S. foreign policy."

Outstanding assessment and thank you for addressing it.

As I've said numerous times -- Fuck the US Empire and it's minion bitches. Jesse Ventura commented this past week that EVERY US Incumbent politician should be voted out of office this election. 99% of them are scum.

Every politician, corporate CEO Banker and Media whore, Judge, CIA filth should have a pitchfork held to their throat and be tried for treason and war crimes. MIC/Pentagon should be destroyed. Majority of Americans are propagandized dumbfucks. Sounds a bit like an American Cultural Revolution is exactly the medicine.

There will come a day for reckoning and true justice, hopefully it is sooner than later. There should be no mercy. For those committing their treasonous crimes, they know better but have chosen poorly, they should be broken.

Russia, Putin and Lavrov have remained the adults in the room while the Empire Brats tantrum themselves.
Anyone else notice that the Anti-Russia rhetoric increased after Snowden was trapped in Russia?

... ... ...

Stonebird , Oct 17 2020 20:01 utc | 40
"Alas, repent, the endpoint is near...."

I agree with Ike and others who think the US money situation is the problem. But I also think that the underlying endpoint is hyperinflation, not just the loss of the dollars' "reserve status." Hyperinflation is when so much "money" has been produced that it no longer has any value and the Central Bank cannot control what comes next.

There is a point at which people want to get rid of dollars and panic buy or "invest" in assets, or anything solid or simply anything (Gold, land etc. bread) At which time the money they want to get rid of looses value continuously, as others don't want it either. A Rush for the exits happens.

Who has the MOST money - the Rich and the sovereign Nations? (Althought the latter may also be in the same situation as the US.) Russia has more or less got rid of all it's US holdings. The Chinese must be alarmed by the thought of the Fed issuing ONLY new-digicoins, and then the US simply refusing to pay debts to the Chinese at some future point. They might want out now. Not so much dumping everything but a steady reduction of US denominated "assets" or reserves.

Most of this becomes self-sustaining panic, as happened in the Weimar Rep. What can be considered "assets" to grab? ie Russia, minerals and it's Gold, China and its Gold. Then the choice might be to invest in the US military and use it while there is a residue of belief in the Dollar.

The only thing about a panic exit is that it happens very quickly. About a month or two between when the first bright sparks try to get out and when everyone else tries to grab part of a rapidly restricted choice of things to buy with an unending pile of "empty" dollars.

Buy wheelbarrows.

David , Oct 17 2020 20:07 utc | 41
Germany should've been conquered by the Soviet Union entirely as it was won with Soviet, largely Russian, blood. Germany is increasingly irrelevant to Russia's needs now as Martyanov points out above. Germany's existence today should be that of a Russian oblast, same with Eastern Ukraine from Kharkiv to Mariupol and Belarus.

Ask yourself what Germany produces that Russia can't produce for itself with import substitution schemes or similar schemes within a 10 year period. Russia's GDP by PPP is the size of Germany's already and depending on how it deals with the impact of COVID, may continue an upward year-on-year growth trend (People's Republic of China is the only major economy forecast to expand in fiscal quarter this year). The fact of the matter is that Russia's population is much larger, its industrial base, at least in heavy industry, is nearly self sufficient (not much light industry to speak of) and Germany depends on Russian oil and gas to keep its lights on. Russia can carry on without Germany just fine. There may be a noticeable impact now if Russia were cornered into doing that, but it's nothing that can't be overcome in short order.

juliania , Oct 17 2020 20:08 utc | 42
Thank you, b, and before reading comments, I will give my take on your last question:
As this is so obvious one must ask what the real reason for the anti-Russian pressure campaign is. What do those who argue for it foresee as its endpoint?

The whole 'rules based order' became very clear when the Trans Pacific Partnership, TPP, was being debated,and what happened then is what many have noted, the 'rules' were all to advantage the US. So, you might say that was the beginning of the end for the oligarchy. And the partnership reformed after it had taken out that problem, to be fair to all participants. All the oligarchy can do is keep on keeping on until it can't. This is really about survival for that class of individuals who intend to keep on being in charge here in the US and wherever its tentacles have reached. The only endpoint they see is their continuance. And I suppose their fear is that it is simply not possible for that to be the case.

Hopefully there will just come a point where, as in Plato's Republic, the dialogue simply moves on. There, it begins in the home of the ancient one, Cephalus, with a polite discussion, and the old man says his piece, to which Socrates responds:

"What you say is very fine indeed, Cephalus...but as to this very thing, justice, shall we so simply assert that it is the truth and giving back what a man has taken from another, or is to do these very things sometimes just and sometimes unjust? Take this case as an example of what I mean: everyone would surely say that if a man takes weapons from a friend when the latter is of sound mind, and the friend demands them back when he is mad, one shouldn't give back such things, and the man who gives them back would not be just, and moreover, one should not be willing to tell someone in this state the whole truth."

"What you say is right," he said.

[Allan Bloom translation]

In the dialogue, the old man leaves to 'look after the sacrifices', handing down the argument to his heir, Polymarchus. To me, Socrates has adroitly caused this to come about in much the fashion that Lavrov answers his press questioners in the link b provides. That is, he has done so with diplomacy, and a lesson to his younger companions which perhaps Cephalus is no longer able to understand. Quod erat demonstrandum.

m , Oct 17 2020 20:15 utc | 43
Spent much of your money for weapons, brag with your military and wonder why you are perceived as a thread ...
Josh , Oct 17 2020 20:24 utc | 47
https://tass.com/world/1213379
Down South , Oct 17 2020 20:26 utc | 48
Andrei Martyanov @ 36

It is a tired and false concept

Yet in your disparaging comments of Europe and Germany in particular you proceed to show how successful the Anglo-Americans have been in creating a wedge between Europe and Russia actually validating my original point.

"Keep the Russians out, the Germans down and the US in"

That was the whole point of the first Cold War. It is the whole point of creating a Cold War 2.0. Absolutely nothing has changed.

Passer by , Oct 17 2020 20:30 utc | 50
Posted by: m | Oct 17 2020 20:15 utc | 43

By whom exactly? US & several euro puppets? Typical racist thinking that Europe and its former colonies are somehow "the world" or "the international community".

Meanwhile opinion of Russia is positive in India (1,3 billion people, more than the whole West combined) and China (1,4 billion, more than the whole West combined).

Those who don't spend for their own weapons, spend for their master's weapons (like europuppets).

Btw your master (US) spends on weapons too. What are you going to do about it?

norecovery , Oct 17 2020 20:45 utc | 51
@ laguerre -- This interview with Pepe Escobar by Moderate Rebels will answer some of your questions regarding China's treatment of Muslim minorities.
https://soundcloud.com/moderaterebels/the-coronavirus-pandemic-and-us-hybrid-war-on-china-with-pepe-escobar
Down South , Oct 17 2020 21:01 utc | 55
joey_n @ 34

As was rightly pointed out in that discussion, British foreign policy towards Europe was to ensure that no single power was to be allowed to achieve hegemony over Europe. The famous "balance of power"

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_balance_of_power

The Cold War with Russia is merely a British and US continuation of that exact same policy.

vk , Oct 17 2020 21:01 utc | 56
@ Posted by: Andrei Martyanov | Oct 17 2020 19:41 utc | 36

If the Russian Federation really has an ongoing imports substitution program, then this explains everything. Germany is an exports-oriented economy. It wants to integrate with the Russian economy in the sense to keep it as an agrarian-extrativist economy to feed it with cheap commodities to feed their industry. Germany's ideal Russia is Brazil.

A Russia that also exports high-value commodities (manufactured commodities) is a direct threat to Germany, as it competes with it directly in the international market. That's the reason Germany doesn't want the BRI to come to Europe, as Merkel once said: Europe must not become China's peninsula. China is Germany's main competitor, as it is also a big manufacturing exporter.

Down South , Oct 17 2020 21:19 utc | 57
https://youtu.be/ZVYqB0uTKlE

Watch in full. UK policy towards Europe in a nutshell

Digby , Oct 17 2020 21:24 utc | 58
@ David (41)
If I recall correctly, after WWII Stalin wanted a united, independent and Russia-friendly Germany, and even rejected the Morgenthau Plan.

https://thesaker.is/stalin-about-allies-idea-of-division-of-germany/

Eventually the Allied zones of occupation became West Germany, and the Soviet occupation zone became East Germany.

H.Schmatz , Oct 17 2020 21:40 utc | 60
@Posted by: vk | Oct 17 2020 21:01 utc | 56

But...it is not China currently main market for German exports...and Turkey second? In detriment of the EU....

Laguerre , Oct 17 2020 21:46 utc | 61
Posted by: Down South | Oct 17 2020 21:19 utc | 57

Old stuff. It's why Britain is losing today. They haven't kept up.

Smith , Oct 17 2020 22:04 utc | 63
Unlike China, Russia lacks the weight of population and reliance on the globalist capitalist system to throw around, China will not shut itself up for Russia when it can trade with EU & Turkey instead.

Russia is increasingly put into weak position, where Russian troops are sent to do the dying, while the Chinese business whoop in afterwards to get all the juicy business deals. In other words, Russia does the dying while China enriches itself.

Russia only hope is that it becomes friendly with the EU, otherwise, it is going to be crushed between two superpowers, the EU and China.

kemerd , Oct 17 2020 22:08 utc | 64
I think the point of the sanctions and all the pressure on Russia is an appeal to Russian elite, Just a reminder that they are isolated from the rest of the elite and hope that it would help them throw Russian nationalists from power. I think this might succeed as Putin did no really take on the new Russian capitalist class, and that will probably be his undoing.
Don Bacon , Oct 17 2020 22:12 utc | 66
@vk 36
That's the reason Germany doesn't want the BRI to come to Europe

BRI in Europe - 16 countries: Austria*, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Ukraine * shaky

SCMP - Aug 17, 2020: China's rail shipments to Europe set records as demand surges for Chinese goods amid coronavirus

> July saw 1,232 cargo trains travel from Chinese cities to European destinations – the most ever in a single month
> Once regarded as merely ornamental, freight service along belt and road trade routes has become increasingly important as exporters turn to railway transport. . . here

c1ue , Oct 17 2020 22:18 utc | 67
Lavrov, Shoigu and Putin are calm, but the domestic economic situation is not. While I have noted before that Russia is better positioned to survive low oil prices than Saudi Arabia - it doesn't mean this is fun.

Couple that with COVID-19 economic losses, and stresses on the domestic Russian economy are enormous.

Among other signs: after bouncing around in the 60s for some time, the ruble just hit 80 to the USD. Anecdotally, I am hearing a lot of direct personal accounts of businesses not being able to pay their people because their own customers aren't paying.

Russia has done relatively little extra to assist with COVID-19 related economic harms, so this isn't great either.

norecovery , Oct 17 2020 22:30 utc | 68
@ laguerre -- The interview with Pepe Escobar deals with the whole range of issues in the hybrid war against China, but the information you're looking for Regarding the suppression and re-education of Muslim terrorists starts just past the 1-hour point.

https://soundcloud.com/moderaterebels/the-coronavirus-pandemic-and-us-hybrid-war-on-china-with-pepe-escobar

H.Schmatz , Oct 17 2020 22:30 utc | 69
@Posted by: c1ue | Oct 17 2020 22:18 utc | 67

One would say you are describing the state of affairs in the US... Projecting?

norecovery , Oct 17 2020 22:34 utc | 70
@ laguerre -- Start at 1:09:40
Don Bacon , Oct 17 2020 22:36 utc | 71
@ Laguerre 35

the Chinese regime. I don't really understand their policy, which is becoming more nationalistic and edgy.

No, it's become more multi-national and sensible. Take the BRI: Launched in 2013, it was initially planned to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes between Eurasia and China, but the scope of the BRI (Belt & Road Initiative) has since extended to cover 138 countries, including 38 in sub-Saharan Africa and 18 in Latin America and the Caribbean.

they should be more relaxed
China has been an open target for the US, which doesn't even mention China any more (Pompeo) but dumps on the "CCP" (Chinese Communist Party). China (like Russia) has not responded in kind.

their attitude towards the Muslims in China
The US State Dept slash CIA has been fomenting terrorism in Xinjiang for years and China has had to contend with it.

the question of Taiwan could blow up
Taiwan like some other places in the world, including Hong Kong, has been another place where the US has fomented instability. This has increased recently with Taiwan "president" Tsai declaring that Taiwan (January this year, BBC interview) is a separate country, which it isn't. China is being pushed to do his Abe Lincoln thing and save the union.

They are less tolerant in Beijing
Chinese by nature are tolerant, and Beijing has been tolerant in the face of US naval fleets and bomber visits in their near seas, plus political attacks, sanctions and tariffs.

winston2 , Oct 17 2020 22:38 utc | 72
66 watch what they do and have done and not what they.
Construction started four years ago on enlarging and modernization of the railway marshaling yards in Duisburg.
The volume of Chinese freight trains arriving daily is already quite amazing and planned to increase to one every hour next month 24/7.They are not returning empty. The oil and gas pipeline corridors also had ten plus railway tracks built alongside .Germany is already at the center of the BRI expansion into Germany and it started four years ago.
vk , Oct 17 2020 22:42 utc | 73
@ Posted by: H.Schmatz | Oct 17 2020 21:40 utc | 60

That's why Germany is not full anti-China.

--//--

@ Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 17 2020 22:12 utc | 66

Just because Germany doesn't want it, it doesn't mean it's not getting.

--//--

@ Posted by: c1ue | Oct 17 2020 22:18 utc | 67

I agree. Capitalism is a dead end for Russia. It's all about when Putin dies. After he dies, it will be a coin flip for Russia: it could continue its course or it could get another Yeltsin.

Smith , Oct 17 2020 22:48 utc | 74
@ vk

Germany being against BRI is news to me. Any proof? And it is very unlikely that China will be able to fool the europeans lile the american. The EU has regulations and aren't purely about profit.

And they still have strong domestic industry.

Patroklos , Oct 17 2020 22:54 utc | 75
Perhaps the US only has one script in the playbook: to balkanise, disrupt and foster 5th columns until their opponent becomes a dysfunctional or failed state. Then send in the acronyms (IMF etc), establish a provisional administration under trusted local elites but commandeer resource-rich areas under direct provincial command. That's US imperialism and it won't stop until they encounter opposition effective enough to resist it. That's why they'll never forgive Putin for Syria. In the end they want to finish doing to Russia (by other means...) what the Germans began in '41; and not just Russia, but anywhere their markets are prevented from calling the shots.
emersonreturn , Oct 17 2020 23:31 utc | 77
thank you, @72. the chinese learned much from their century of humiliation & clearly one of the important lessons was trade both ways, rather than take their silver, sell them tea, silks & porcelain & need nothing they offered.
Grieved , Oct 17 2020 23:40 utc | 78
@77 emersonreturn

That's an excellent observation, and a concept I had not encountered before. Thank you. How consciously China holds that narrative, if at all, I couldn't say.

But it's a great dynamic - kind of like keeping your enemies close. And if the German increase in reciprocal railroad trade with China is as it was stated up-thread, it would seem to be working.

emersonreturn , Oct 18 2020 0:02 utc | 79
@78, thank you, grieved...i've long admired you. in times such as these it can be a challenge to keep sight of the positive but as china prospers & wishes her trading partners to as well, & so long as russia continues to strive toward the high road rather than descend to the barroom floor perhaps we can also learn to rise...i'm reminded of a sufi saying: 'rise in love do not fall'. may we all.
Yeah, Right , Oct 18 2020 0:05 utc | 80
Do they even think about an endpoint? Is it really on their radar?

Or is this all being done because they are spoilt, and are throwing a tantrum because they aren't getting their way?

I assume that there are sober heads in the Pentagon that wargame possible "endpoints". If not sober at the beginning then sober when the results play out to their bitter end.

Or... maybe not. Post-retirement board seats are at stake, dammit! Full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes!

Grieved , Oct 18 2020 0:10 utc | 81
#35 Laguerre

I'm truly astonished that you don't know the truth of Xinjaing - in sum, that the concentration camps are a huge lie that can be revealed as such by any satellite, and that China has developed a progressive and worthy solution to the foreign-provoked terrorism within its border.

Fortunately, Qiao Collective, a great expert source on China, has recently compiled a treasure trove of links to know the truth:

Xinjiang: A Report and Resource Compilation - Sep 21 Written By Qiao Collective

Based on a handful of think tank reports and witness testimonies, Western governments have levied false allegations of genocide and slavery in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. A closer look makes clear that the politicization of China's anti-terrorism policies in Xinjiang is another front of the U.S.-led hybrid war on China.

This resource compilation provides a starting point for critical inquiry into the historical context and international response to China's policies in Xinjiang, providing a counter-perspective to misinformation that abounds in mainstream coverage of the autonomous region.

kooshy , Oct 18 2020 0:29 utc | 82
Posted by: Andrei Martyanov | Oct 17 2020 19:41 utc | 36

Andrei

A good justification on Russian German transitional relation, and we hope Russia is not fooled again, by hopes. Those of us who hope for containing and reducing western dominance over the world affairs, politics and economy, hope that Russians have learned from their experience of the 90's joining G7, seat at NATO, joining western sanctions on smaller powers, etc. all those efforts were the carrots thrown at Russia to tame the bear, one would think up to Georgian war, it worked, that war perhaps woke the bear. Russians felt they are part of Europe,part of western community of privileged nations (first world) but all that was a decoy to move the NATO to Russian borders. I hope Russians once for all have learned, as long as they have a big modern military and plenty of energy resources that is not under the western (you read US) control they will never be accepted as a "western" country, Ironically, Russia is the largest European country.

As a strategist you know better than most to circumvent western power and to bring back the rule of international law, it would be impossible without having the Russian defensive political and military power (as in Syria) on the side of resistance. We just hope you are right Russia, will not be bought out again. IMO as you say, is just impossible for Germany, or even France to decouple from the US grip on europe.

jared , Oct 18 2020 1:04 utc | 83
Seems to me its been terribly effective. Russian economy pretty weak heavily reliant on raw materials, fracturing at the periphery. China and Russia seem less than alies.

Seems US has Germany, France by the short hairs. US had to bail them out in 2009. Europe is having some problems with solvency and cohesion - whats a bureaucrat to do? Its not really about the sovereigns, that's only for appearances.

jared , Oct 18 2020 1:06 utc | 84
Also seems maybe Russians are growing tired of lack of progress.
Don Bacon , Oct 18 2020 1:17 utc | 85
@ 77
The Century of Humiliation from 1842 to 1949 and the contemporary discourse around it are a driving narrative of contemporary Chinese history, foreign policy, and militarization of its surrounding regions like the South China Sea. The expansion of the Chinese navy in numbers, mission, and aggression is directly fueled by China's previous weakness and exploitation at the hands of western nations. . . . here
c1ue , Oct 18 2020 1:19 utc | 86
@H.Schmatz #69

The US economy is definitely in trouble, but the US has spent roughly $2 trillion this year to help its economy = a bit under 10% of 2019 GDP.

The difference is structural. The US economy is a service one - and lockdowns are literally the best way to damage it.

The Russian economy is still heavily dependent on natural gas and oil sales. Despite the initial devaluation, ongoing low oil prices plus increasing competition in natural gas (for example, Azerbaijan is now selling natural gas to Italy) is hurting its economy.

Nor has Russia spent much to compensate for COVID-19 losses beyond its existing health and social safety nets - the Russian plan was $73B / 5 trillion rubles = 4.3% of 2019 GDP.

Circe , Oct 18 2020 2:00 utc | 88
I am anti-war and I am an anti-war crimes liberal (examples of war crimes: ethnic cleansing, proof of genocide, torture, collective punishment via deprivation and occupation of dispossessed land). Yet, I am also a non-interventionist except in extreme circumstances but I am against regime change for the sake of neutralizing competing powers or converting them religiously or politically.

All this implies exercising the highest integrity and blocking out all external influence and pressure if one is a true liberal, and relying solely on conscience and wisdom.

Therefore, I don't like the term liberal sullied and usurped by fake liberals, neoliberals and Zionist liberals, and I also take offense to the way liberal as a general term is denigrated in this article.

Andrei Martyanov , Oct 18 2020 2:24 utc | 90
@vk

Germany is an exports-oriented economy. It wants to integrate with the Russian economy in the sense to keep it as an agrarian-extrativist economy to feed it with cheap commodities to feed their industry. Germany's ideal Russia is Brazil.

True, it was about 10 years ago. Economic reality, of course, is such that Germany already beat the record by consecutive 20 months of real economy shrinkage. In general, Germany's energy policy is suicidal and Russia is increasingly independent from imports.

A lot to be done in the future yet, of course, but as the whole comedy with high-power turbines and Siemens demonstrated, Russia can do it on her own, plus General Electric is always there, sanctions or no sanctions. It is a complicated matter, but it is Germany which increasingly becomes irrelevant for Russia as an old image of technologically-advanced Germans getting their hands on Russia's resources and ruling the world--this image is utterly obsolete, completely false and doesn't correspond to the reality "on the ground".

It is really a simple thing which many Westerners cannot wrap their brains around, that the country which has a space program which operates ISS and second fully operational global satellite navigation constellation, or which produces hypersonic weapons and whose shipbuilding dwarfs that of Germany will have relatively little troubles in developing other crucial industries and removing Western interests from those. Simple as that.

Yeah, Right , Oct 18 2020 3:01 utc | 91
@90 Very true. Every time I read someone proclaiming that the Russian economy is no bigger than Italy's, or Spain's, or ..... (fill in the blanks) I simply think to myself: "This word, I do not think it means what you think it means".

Because it should be obvious to everyone that Italy can not produce all the things that Russia produces.
Equally, Spain can not produce all the things that Russia produces.

So if someone has measured "economy" in such a way that the numbers for Russia are the same as the number for Italy - or Spain - is simply admitting that their economic models are flawed.

Don Bacon , Oct 18 2020 3:13 utc | 92
Map of the World's Manufacturing Output 2018

here

BiloxiMarxKelly , Oct 18 2020 3:20 utc | 93
PLEASE SHARE, THANK YOU MOA
https://youtu.be/kr04gHbP5MQ
Kadath , Oct 18 2020 3:28 utc | 94
The US and EU attempts to break Russia's independent foreign policy are just stepping stones to the eventual goal of a breakup Russia itself, never forget Albright's comments in the 90s about how Siberia shouldn't belong to Russia alone.

Ultimately, though the US and EU nation states are nothing more than tools of the globalist elite whose dream of a fully economically integrated world where the power of labour is completely crushed by the power of capital to move instantly across the planet is already falling apart. The economic elite have already pillaged all of the minor nations in the world and the two grand prizes, Russia and China are too powerful to attack directly now. unable to control their unbridled greed they've begone the process of auto-self cannibalism, destroying their own states (or killing their hosts as Michael Huddson would say) in order to completely centralize all capital within the 0.1%.

This will make them very rich, however hundreds of millions of Americans, Australians, Canadians, Japanese and Europeans will be impoverished in order to do this. When this is eventually realized by the majority of the people in these states, the economic elite will be lucky if they "just" lose everything but their lives in mass nationalization campaigns. I see very little evidence that the Russian or Chinese states would be willing to offer safe harbour for the criminal oligarchs of the West, like London has offered to criminal Oligarchs fleeing justice in Russia

Yeah, Right , Oct 18 2020 4:09 utc | 95
@92 Don Bacon Would be very interesting to know how they define "manufacturing".

I suspect very much that it includes many things that aren't actually, you know, "manufactured".

Andrei Martyanov , Oct 18 2020 4:11 utc | 96
@Don Bacon.

Before posting here monetarist propaganda BS form Western "economic" sources learn to distinguish monetary expression of product and actual product in terms of quantity and quality.

Just to demonstrate to you: for $100,000 in a desirable place in the US you will be able to buy a roach-infested shack in a community known for meth-labs and high crime, for exactly the same money in Russia you will buy a superb brand-new house in a desirable location.

To demonstrate even more, for a price of a single Columbia-class SSBN ($8 billion+) which does not exist other than on paper yet, Russia financed and produced her 8-hulls state of the strategic missile submarines.

UK economy is dwarfed by Russia even in accordance by IMF and World Bank, in fact, it is, once one excludes still relevant RR and few other manufacturers, is down right third world economy. I am not going to post here all data from IMF, but even this can explain why you posted a BS. Anyone "counting" real economic sector in USD and Nominal GDP has to have head examined and is probably dumbed down through "economics" programs in Western madrasas, aka universities.

https://www.investopedia.com/insights/worlds-top-economies/

In related news, learn what Composite Index of National Capability (CINC) is and check energy consumption and production of Germany and Russia, just for shits and giggles.

https://yearbook.enerdata.net/total-energy/world-consumption-statistics.html

But, of course, feel free to remain reliant on economic BS produced by Western "economists".

Grieved , Oct 18 2020 4:16 utc | 97
@92 Don Bacon, @95 Yeah, Right

Yes, and also it should be said that obviously these metrics aren't the correct ones to judge the power of a country among its peers.

Perhaps a better metric is for any nation to ask: Of all these countries, which one do we NOT want to punch us in the face?

This, after all, is how geopolitical stature is measured.

It's not what you produce, it's how you deploy it that matters.

Grieved , Oct 18 2020 4:35 utc | 98
@97 more

And of course, Martyanov @96 is absolutely correct - the relative values of currencies are proved to be nothing more than the entries of bookkeepers and bankers, all "sound and fury, signifying nothing." What matters is what the home unit of currency will buy at home.

A better question is as Andrei suggests, what does it cost for Russia to produce something that works, as opposed to what it costs the US to produce something that doesn't work because of theft and cost inflation in the delivery chain?

The ultimate - MAD - question that the US should ask itself is this: How much does it cost Russia to destroy the US, compared with the cost involved for the US to destroy Russia?

~~

The cost of living is higher in the US. The cost of doing anything is higher. But none of that means the quality of the result is greater - I certainly don't hear anyone lately saying the living is good, compared to what people pay for it.

Jackrabbit , Oct 18 2020 4:41 utc | 99
b quotes Gilbert Doctorow:
Were it not for the nerves of steel of Mr. Putin and his close advisers, the irresponsible pressure policies outlined above could result in aggressive behavior and risk taking by Russia that would make the Cuban missile crisis look like child's play.
We may yet see a Cuban missile crisis scenario but it looks more likely to be caused by arms sales to Taiwan than conflict in the Caucasus.

I also think its naive to see these as "fires burning at Russia's borders" instead of as deliberately set bear traps . Azerbaijan is in a strategic location between Russia and Iran and the conflict with Armenia comes just before Russia is about to sell advanced weapons to Iran.

!!

[Oct 18, 2020] Navalny false flag as a ploy to destroy Russian-German ties using German Atlantics as a ram

Oct 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Oct 15 2020 19:02 utc | 2

Much of importance is emanating from Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs via Lavrov and Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. As reported by TASS :

"The statement made by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, in which he said that the situation around Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny does not form part of Russian-Germany bilateral agenda is a ploy to hide Berlin's course to destroy relations with Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said during Thursday's briefing.

"'We consider such statements as some tactical ploy that serves to hide Germany's course for destruction of bilateral ties. I would like to remind you that it was Berlin that used this situation to put forward unfounded accusations, ultimatums and threats against our country, openly disregarding its own international legal obligations on providing practical aid to Russia in the investigation of the incident with the Russian citizen. Once again, it is acting as the locomotive of new anti-Russian sanctions within the EU and other multilateral structures,' Zakharova pointed out."

That followed on the heels of yesterday's activities involving FM Lavrov. I previously linked to Lavrov's interview with several Russian radio stations, and to that I add the joint presser following his session with Italy's FM:

"Question: In response to the European sanctions, which I believe will follow in the wake of the 'Navalny case,' you said yesterday that Russia will have to suspend its contacts with European foreign ministers. Does this mean that today's meeting with Luigi Di Maio may be the last with an EU foreign minister?

"Sergey Lavrov: The EU is increasingly replacing the art of diplomacy with sanctions. Clearly, the bad example of the United States is contagious. We see this not just as a bad example by the Americans, but also as a result of direct US pressure on its European allies and colleagues. Indeed, what we are saying now is that we want to understand what the EU is trying to accomplish. But this EU policy will not remain without consequences....

"With this EU approach in mind, where it completely ignores the real state of affairs regarding the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the fact that they have been blocked by official Kiev, we cannot disregard the statements coming from Brussels. In particular, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said that Russia has adopted a position that openly undermines EU interests, and that restoring the strategic partnership between Russia and the EU is out of the question before Russia changes its behaviour. I have already covered the Ukraine crisis, which is one of the key crises now, as it unfolds, and who precisely is blocking the implementation of the peace agreements.

"We are seeing similarly unfounded accusations in the case of Mr Navalny, which you mentioned. We hear our partners say that establishing the facts is of paramount importance. The trouble is that the facts concerning Mr Navalny's time in Russia, on a Russian plane and in the Omsk hospital are well known and have been established by us inasmuch as we could, since several people involved in this incident have fled to Great Britain and Germany, and we do not know of their whereabouts. We are asking to be granted access to these people, but no constructive response is coming our way. We do not have the necessary facts. The West has them, but we are denied access to them. Yesterday, during a conversation with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, and today during talks with Luigi Di Maio, we heard a reiteration of the need to establish the facts. First off, the other side has no facts. Second, as we know, during a Monday meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, the participants discussed the need for imposing sanctions, but Mr Borrell assured me that before such a decision can be made, it is imperative to study the facts that Germany and France promised to provide as part of a certain technical group that is now being created . We very much hope that these facts will be presented not only to a narrow group of European countries, but also directly to the party that is being, without proof, accused of all conceivable sins and crimes." [My Emphasis]

Today sanctions were applied without the promised examination of the facts. As reported by TASS , a partial response was made by Zakharova:

"'We call on the German foreign minister to refrain from interfering in domestic affairs of our union nation, either in word or in deed. We are convinced that the Belarusians need no instructions either from Berlin or any other capital city to reach accord on socially important matters they are concerned about,' she said. 'Aggressive interventions of the collective West in the internal political processes in third countries only entail the emergence of more crisis foci on the global map.'"


Passer by , Oct 15 2020 19:44 utc | 6

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 15 2020 19:02 utc | 2

Thanks for posting russian official reactions to recent geopolitical issues with the EU, so that people can understand what is happening. And what is happening is that the EU has defined itself as enemy of Russia. Something many people could not believe it is happening.

In connection with that, i will repost a discussion of mine from another place.

Me: "Anyone who was talking about "independent EU", or "russian-german alliance", "EU rebellion against US", "Europe joining Russia and China", "European Army independent from NATO" has shit for brains and does not understand politics at all, no matter what his name or education or job was."

Commenter: "By this token, does it mean Patrick Lawrence has "sh*t for brains" for writing this piece? (About Europe allegedly moving closer to Russia in recent days)

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/10/06/patrick-lawrence-europe-going-its-own-way/
I guess I'll have to also inform Patrick Armstrong this once he writes his next Sitrep. I wonder what he'll think."

Me: "I actually saw that article of him before several days and i wondered whether to make a comment on that too, as an example of an "analyst" who does not understand at all what is happening.

Point 1: Nord Stream 2. He fails to understand that this is not a divorce with the US, rather an old german policy to buy russian energy. For example Germany approved pipelines from the USSR over Reagan's objections in the 80s. Did that mean that Germany was not hostile to the Soviet Union? Was not part of the Western block? No. It was a part of NATO containment strategies against the USSR and hoped to take over Eastern Europe after the USSR loses the Cold War.

Not to mention that there is talk that the pipeline will only be used at half capacity.

The fact that someone (Europe) likes money does not mean that that same someone does not secretly hate you, and will not stab you in the back as soon as it is safe to do so.

Point 2: more and more evidence emerges that Germany organised the Novichok incident with Navalny (see John Helmer on that).

Point 3 - failed to understand that it was Germany who pushed for sanctions on Russia after the Ukraine affair. Not to mention that Germany was involved in the anti-russian coup in Ukraine, as part of its old strategy of "drang nach osten" - "pressure to the east" - to take over Eastern Europe and its labor pool and use it the way the US uses Latin America.

Point 4 - failed to understand that the biggest force behind the colour revolution in Belarus was the EU, playing far bigger role than the US. Now, who tries to take over a russian populated country, near Moscow, histrorically part of the Russian Empire, where millions of russians died to stop the german invasion, a situation that will also seriously imperil the Kaliningrad enclave? Only someone who is hostile to Russia. This is a strategic act of hostility towards Russia.

Point 5 - failed to notice that France and Sweden recently put sanctions on aviation and industrial equipment for Russia.

Point 6 - is not aware that anti-chinese hatred in Europe has increased to all time highs, according to recent surveys.

Point 7 - mentions several empty statements from Merkel and Macron as a sign of "rebellion" without mentioning many other statements countering that - such as France and Germany saying that Russia should not be allowed back in G-7, or that Borrell (EU foreign policy chief) called Russia an old enemy of Europe, or that the french EU minister recently called on Europe to unite against Russia, or that the EU comission chief called for Europe to stand up to Russia, or that the European Parliament called the russian constitution "illegal" and called for the "democratisation of Russia" (aka colour revolution), or Germany stating recently that no european army independent from NATO is possible or will be supported by Germany, or the 5 german parties that begged the US not to withdraw troops from Germany.

Point 8 - has no idea of recent official russian statements on the EU, meaning that he lives in an alternate Universe.

"France and Germany are now leading the anti-russian block within Europe".

"There will be no more business as usual between Russia and France and Germany".

"Russia will not follow EU and US rules".

"Russia will no longer be dependent on the EU".

"Europeans have delusions of grandeur".

"Those people in the West who are responsible for foreign policy and do not understand the necessity of mutually respectable conversation--well, we must simply stop for a while communicate with them. Especially since Ursula von der Leyen states that geopolitical partnership with current Russia's leadership is impossible. If this is the way they want it, so be it. "

These are all statements by Lavrov and Zacharova.

So Lawrence does not even understand that there is a decoupling between Russia and EU taking place, and worsening of relations, instead of them getting closer, as he dreams in the daylight.

Analysts who understood the hostility of the EU towards Russia are M. K. Bhadrakumar and Alastair Crooke, and they wrote plenty on that recently."

Stonebird , Oct 15 2020 19:49 utc | 8

A supplement to Karlof1's post at no 2

This is a report from John Helmer.
http://johnhelmer.net/the-german-defence-ministry-ordered-the-swedish-defence-laboratory-to-find-novichok-in-navalnys-blood-or-else/

One part is particularly worth keeping in mind and that is the physical condition of Navalny before leaving for Germany is known to the Russians. Note the alchohol and the massive internal formation of acetone in the body

Acute metabolic disorder....

- - - -
(repeat of my post on the last open thread. No. 333)
In the meantime in Omsk, where two days of blood, urine and other biomarkers were recorded for Navalny, Alexander Sabaev issued a report on Navalny's prior medical conditions and his biomarkers after the alleged poisoning. Sabaev is head of the acute poisoning department of the Omsk Emergency Hospital No. 1, chief toxicologist of the Omsk region and of the Siberian Federal District.

According to Sabaev, Navalny's blood levels were "six times higher than the norm for amylase, sugar and serum lactate; twice the normal level of leukocytosis, and the maximum level of acetonuria. In addition, alcohol (0.2 ppm) was found in the urine ...These are the metabolites, the substances which have been produced. These substances in large quantities cause pathological changes." According to Sabaev, "Navalny did not suffer from diabetes, so the tests showed that he had an acute metabolic disorder. 'An increase in the level of lactate and lactic acid, its excessive formation makes acidification of the blood. It should not be in such a quantity. There should be an indicator, let's say of 2; but we had an indicator of 12, that is six times more,' he said. According to the doctor, the level of internal acetone in Navalny's body was at maximum... Normally, acetone should be negative; that is, it should be excreted from the body, the specialist added. 'In this case, the carbohydrate metabolism suffered and completely different scenarios of development occurred. The body began to destroy itself from the inside."

_________

The Germans are being trained to transport US nukes in the newest NATO exercise called "steadfast moon". I wonder what is really going on and if the total lockdown is in expectation to the programmed start to a False-flag.
(Striking Syria because of the upcoming White helmets chlorine FF, or somewhere else?)


[Oct 16, 2020] A Russiagate Film Full of False Assumptions -

Oct 16, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Alex Gibney's new, four-hour documentary on election meddling does little to seek the facts, and descends into conspiracy. Vladimir Putin meddles in the 2016 election. (By Willrow Hood/Shutterstock)

OCTOBER 15, 2020

|

12:01 AM

MARK EPISKOPOS

With the U.S. presidential election only several weeks away, the specter of Russian election interference has again become a mainstay media topic. Four years removed from the 2016 election, researchers and politicians are still trying to make sense of what happened: what exactly did the Russians do, and what lessons are we to draw from it? Filmmaker Alex Gibney -- who is enjoying a rising profile with his hotly anticipated COVID-19 documentary Totally Under Control -- has applied himself to these questions with a freshly released deepdive into Russian election meddling.

Agents of Chaos is an epic-length documentary, spanning four hours across two episodes, released last month on HBO. The first episode opens with a prelude of sorts. To explain the roots of Russian information warfare, Gibney walks us through the 2014 Euromaidan Revolution in Ukraine, Russia's subsequent annexation of Crimea, and the outbreak of the ongoing Donbass War. The Ukrainian conflict, claims Gibney, was the stomping ground for a nascent industry of Russian internet trolls looking to smear the new government in Kiev as 'fascists' and 'neo-nazis.'

https://lockerdome.com/lad/13045197114175078?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13045197114175078-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com&rid=www.theamericanconservative.com&width=838

The Ukraine tie-in is thought-provoking, but altogether unsatisfying in its execution. For one, the strategic circumstances are not at all the same. The film is anchored around the idea that Russia wants to sow chaos, but the Kremlin's approach to Ukraine was guided by concrete policy goals that involved supporting specific politicians and parties. It is also comically shortsighted to claim that Russian internet trolls sought to "drive a wedge" between eastern and western Ukraine, when the country's two halves are already separated by centuries of Imperial history and the bitter legacy of two world wars. To the extent that Russian trolls were "targeting" eastern Ukrainians, they were already speaking to an overwhelmingly pro-Russian and anti-Maidan audience. None of this bears any resemblance to the trolls' activities in America. Without so much as an attempt to square these circles, the Ukraine analogy feels contrived.

Drawing on the help of cybersecurity researcher Camille François and several Russians with first-hand knowledge, Gibney proceeds to outline the Russian internet trolling operation. Almost all of the work was done from the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a chaste office on the outskirts of St. Petersburg. The film tells us little that we don't already know from the Mueller investigation and Senate intelligence committee report: there was a concerted effort by certain Russian nationals to impersonate American activists, political groups, and media outlets for the purpose of undermining "Americans' trust in democratic institutions." The goal was not necessarily to elect Donald Trump, but to strain the American political system by facilitating conflict between polarized factions.

But how much did the Kremlin know of, and to what extent did they endorse, the IRA's activities? Agents of Chaos provides no substantive answers. The film's only evidence of a link between the IRA and the Kremlin is that the former received funding from Yevgeny Prigozhin, a major Russian businessman with ties to Vladimir Putin. Not only is there no proof that the IRA coordinated directly with any Russian government agency, but it's not even clear to what extent Prigozhin himself oversaw the IRA's agenda. Gibney admits as much, but claims it's all part of a plausible deniability ploy: Putin shields himself by delegating unsavory, extra-legal tasks to private cronies who technically don't work for him. This is probably true in a general sense, but it doesn't get us any closer to understanding the level on which specific decisions to interfere in U.S. politics were made.

A similar problem emerges in Gibney's discussion of Fancy Bear, a Russian cyber espionage group. Gibney proceeds on the assumption that Fancy Bear is the hacking arm of Russian military intelligence (GRU), which itself has not been conclusively established with publicly verifiable information. Gibney posits that Fancy Bear's American activities were conducted with blessing from the Kremlin, an even more flimsy assumption. A responsible analysis of Russian election interference has to grapple with countless nuances: were the actual hacks conducted by GRU personnel, or contractors? Was there an order to target the DNC, or did an overeager operator make a unilateral decision? If the former, on what level was the order given? Who set Fancy Bear's agenda, and how closely did they stick to said agenda? Was the Kremlin truly interested in destroying American institutions, or was it perhaps driven by the more pragmatic goal of signaling its cyber capabilities to Washington as a deterrent against future American meddling in Russian politics?

me title=

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To truly understand what the Russians did, we have to understand how and by whom the orders were given, how they trickled down the chain of command, and how closely they were followed by field operators. You have to understand institutional forces, like the longstanding rivalry between the GRU and SVR that could lead the former to take unsanctioned risks. You also have to consider that, as with any Caesarist system, Putin's many subordinates sometimes take the initiative in doing things to please him that he himself would never have approved of.

Gibney jettisons all these complexities, instead resigning himself to a convenient abstraction: the "Russians" did it. And who are the "Russians?" Well, it all boils down to the guy in charge. This conceit of an omnipresent leader is simply not a realistic view of how any political system, let alone Putin's Russia, operates, but it is all too often used by journalists and politicians as a substitute for serious Russia analysis.

The rest of the film is a fairly linear exploration of the major milestones in the Russian meddling saga: the Assange-DNC imbroglio, the FBI counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign, and a précis of Trump's questionable contacts with Russians. It is here that the film's editorial stance is fully laid bare: the Obama administration and U.S. intelligence community are portrayed as patriots doing their best to foil a foreign plot on American soil -- their only mistake is not going far enough in prosecuting the Trump campaign (and, in Comey's case, having the gall to announce an investigation into Hillary's use of private email servers).

Trump and the Trump campaign, meanwhile, are de facto -- if not de de jure -- traitors who colluded with a foreign government to win the election. Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was given a sympathetic platform to dismiss serious objections to the FBI's behavior, especially concerning the FISA warrant to surveil Trump campaign associate Carter Page. McCabe was not asked to comment on FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who pleaded guilty to submitting falsified documents to renew a surveillance warrant against Page. Page, meanwhile, was maligned as an eccentric stooge too "unsophisticated" to realize that he was being used by his "Russian spy handlers" to establish a backchannel with the Trump campaign.

The film offers an uncritical platform to some of the more outrageous Trump-Russia conspiracies that even the mainstream news networks were reluctant to publish, including the notion that the Kremlin wanted to use Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort as an intermediary to secure a deal with a potential Trump administration for the partition of Ukraine.

Gibney proceeds to recount all the stations of the cross of the Russiagate narrative; these include the Trump Tower meeting, Trump's infamous request for Russians to hack Hillary Clinton, alleged Russian efforts to suppress the black vote, and alleged coordination between wikileaks and the Trump campaign. That part of the film feels less like a critical-minded documentary and more like a heartfelt homage to the old 'stab in the back' theory of the 2016 election -- namely, the idea that Clinton never really lost, but was instead betrayed by fellow Americans who conspired against her with a hostile foreign power.

Agents of Chaos was branded as a fresh look at Russian election interference, cutting past the fog surrounding intelligence work to uncover the truth of what really happened in 2016. What we got instead was a summa of Russiagate's greatest hits, packaged and presented with all the slick polish that can be expected from an award-winning filmmaker.

"National security," concludes Gibney in his closing narration, "isn't just about our enemies. It's also about us. National security starts at home, with our own resilience, our own politics, and the honor of our leaders." I commend these words without reserve. Nevertheless, there is room for a nuanced discussion about Russian interference in 2016 and what can be done to deter foreign meddling in the future. Whether or not Agents of Chaos adds anything of value to that discussion is a rather different matter.

If the film offers any unique strain of thinking, it lies in Gibney's poignant observation that Russian interference only worked to the extent that it did because we are needlessly vulnerable to such incursions. Any foreign agent working to destabilize American society would find no shortage of socio-political faultlines to exploit, of bitter resentments to manipulate. The Russians didn't do that -- we did that to ourselves. Mending our torn social fabric is, in this sense, one of the foremost national security challenges of our time.

Mark Episkopos writes on defense and international relations issues. He is also a PhD student in History at American University .


stephen pickard 2 days ago

What we , the general public know , is that Manafort would not disclose all of what he did with the Russians. We know that he was deeply indebted to them. That he was fearful for the safety of his family. And ultimately fell on his sword, rather than come clean.

He did not do it to save Trump. Trump did not understand That Manafort was more evil than he was. Stone got to Trump to hire Manafort. Manafort was the best source for the interference. He got deep into the politics of the Russians and others.

Trump was just a stooge. Carter,et al were wannabes. Flynn was corrupt, but wanted to be a powerful player on the national scene. He like everyone else in Trump's orbit , played Trump. The Russian thing got out of control because of Session's misstatements. If he had conducted the investigation, the whole Russia gate would have been buried.

The interference was simply the clever use of social media.. and the gullibility of too many ordinary citizens. Who wanted to think that they knew the secret. Never minding that there were no secrets.

Just ordinary politicians, their handlers, the misfits and a few savvy operatives that took advantage of the simpleton in the oval office. How we could have elected Trump is the disgrace of the matter. We did this because the citizenry hated Clinton more than we understood. Pretty simple.

View my documentary, it is five minutes long

Kitu Bica 2 days ago • edited

Facebook pages are easy to monetize when large enough. IRA was a profitable company using that business model, mostly on Russian social network VK.

"... IRA's Facebook spending between 2015 and 2017 at just $73,711.

Russian-linked accounts spent $4,700 on [Google] platforms in 2016"

Far from proving the Russian threat, it proves the hard work of American domestic agencies and the media on their own propaganda operation.

I would add that this sort of highly effective professional gaslighting beats any Stalinist system of propaganda and censorship. I don't know if America can still consider itself a free country with such top-effort malicious missinformation

Scaathor Kitu Bica 2 days ago • edited

The 2016 election debacle is a self-inflicted wound, but the democrats and deep states elites can't bear to look in the mirror at their own corrupt natures, so they concoct a Russia straw-man to bear the blame.

The average Joe Shmuck in the street is too stupid to realize he has been conned, so the elites get away with their appalling conduct.

alan 2 days ago • edited

Careers were made on the basis of this dis-information imbroglio called, Russian interference. The victors in this information war waged upon the American people by the stalwart "liberal press," have inflicted damage on the American psyche which is incalculable.

SatirevFlesti a day ago • edited

Sounds like it's an apologia for US intervention in the Ukraine fomenting a coup in 2014. News for Gibney: the coup installed government in the Ukraine was in fact heavily supported by extreme neo-Nazi Ukrainian nationalist factions. That's not Russia-bot dis-info. I have better things to do with 4 hours of my life.

Feral Finster a day ago

I know people who fought and died on both sides of the war in Ukraine. Many of those who fought for the US-backed junta were actual live neonazis. By contrast, my friends who fought for Donbass are the best people that I know.

Now I have learned that this is all Russian propaganda. Whom should I believe? Alex Gibney or my own lying eyes and ears?

M Orban Feral Finster 11 hours ago

What makes one a neonazi in the Ukrainian context?

Feral Finster M Orban 10 hours ago

In some cases, openly identifying as such.

ZizaNiam Feral Finster 9 hours ago

https://platform.twitter.com/embed/index.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-0&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1316643494933528577&lang=en&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fdisqus.com%2Fembed%2Fcomments%2F%3Fbase%3Ddefault%26f%3Dtac1%26t_i%3D%26t_u%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.theamericanconservative.com%252Farticles%252Fa-russiagate-film-full-of-false-assumptions%252F%26t_e%3D%26t_d%3DA%2520Russiagate%2520Film%2520Full%2520of%2520False%2520Assumptions%26t_t%3DA%2520Russiagate%2520Film%2520Full%2520of%2520False%2520Assumptions%26s_o%3Ddefault%26l%3Den%23version%3D900e78819fa4dfb9144bc0efc6ba5838&theme=light&widgetsVersion=ed20a2b%3A1601588405575&width=550px

M Orban ZizaNiam 6 hours ago • edited

Thanks! ...pretty shameful bad stuff.
(the Twitter thread, that is)

Fran Macadam a day ago

It could only be treason that caused Hilary Clinton not to be acclaimed as Madame Presidente. Russian mind control rays created the zombie Deplorables who thwarted her assured victory. Hell Hath No Fury like a Clinton scorned.

Carlton Meyer a day ago

This is a simple story. The American empire took advantage of the end of the Cold War by marching eastward and adding nations to its collection of vassal states. It wanted Ukraine, but its democratically elected President refused. The Obama team organized coup that led to much violence, so Russia was blamed. The people of Crimea disliked the turmoil so 94% voted to rejoin Russia. Russia reannexed Crimea as requested. Russian troops did not invade, they were already there for a century. More here:

https://cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FnW7lNABfDVk%3Ffeature%3Doembed&display_name=YouTube&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DnW7lNABfDVk&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FnW7lNABfDVk%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=21d07d84db7f4d66a55297735025d6d1&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube

SatirevFlesti Carlton Meyer a day ago

Indeed. Russia built the Crimea. It was an Ottoman backwater before Catherine the Great and Potemkin began building new cities and ports, and it was only an accident of internal USSR border manipulations in the '50s that caused it to be part of the Ukraine instead of Russia after 1991. Russia in 2014 just reclaiming what is rightfully its territory.

ray farrell a day ago

"But how much did the Kremlin know of, and to what extent did they endorse, the IRA's activities?"

You have got to be joking. Every intelligence agency in the world knows that the IRA is an FSB front organization. Most do not even consider this to be a secret. I conclude that the author is either willfully blind or himself in Russian pay.

MrSomeone2018 a day ago • edited

I thought Taxi to the Darkside, by Alex Gibney, was pretty good. From this overview at any rate, his Russia-gate film sounds very poorly researched -- at best. For goodness sakes, all you have to do is look at the electoral choices of Ukrainians since their independence in 1991 to see the stark geographic division in that country, something every competent political scientist has known since forever. And yet, for Gibney, that stark east-west division was a fiction created by Russian bots?

[Oct 15, 2020] Anti-Chinese Racism Sets Stage for New McCarthyism by John V. Walsh

Oct 15, 2020 | www.unz.com

Anti-Chinese Racism Sets Stage for New McCarthyism JOHN V. WALSH OCTOBER 13, 2020 1,400 WORDS 3 COMMENTS REPLY Tweet Reddit Share Share Email Print More Photo: Li Lin/Unsplash

More than a dozen young visiting scholars from China had their visas abruptly terminated in a letter from administration of the University of North Texas (UNT), Denton, on August 26, in a letter dated August 26! The letter informed the students that they could return to campus from their lodgings to pick up belongings, but all other access was closed to them. The students and fellows were given no explanation . They were left with no legal basis to be in the U.S. and began scrambling for the very few and very expensive flights back to China.

At first the UNT administration simply stated that all those funded by the Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC) were terminated. According to Wikipedia , the CSC is the main Chinese agency for funding Chinese students abroad (currently 65,000 with 26,000 of them in the US) and an equal number of foreign students in China, some from the US. (Americans interested in CSC scholarships to study in China can easily find information here . There is nothing secret or nefarious about CSC; the US has agencies that offer similar aid to scholars.)

The University at last offered an explanation of sorts in a statement by its spokesperson, the Vice President for Brand Strategy and Communication (VP for BS and C) as reported on September 10 by the North Texas Daily: "UNT took this action based upon specific and credible information following detailed briefings from federal and local law enforcement." The VP for BS and C was "unable" to provide more details. Local police later denied any role in such briefings. It was the feds who provoked the discharges.

If these young students were doing something illegal or in violation of University rules, then they should be told what it is and presented with evidence so they could answer such charges. That is what we in the U.S. claim to believe in. If their crime is simply soaking up ideas, that is what education is all about and most assuredly that is what science is all about. If certain areas of research are classified, then scholars working in those areas should be screened and get classifications. And if the US does not want CSC-sponsored students here, then reasons should be given and no more visas allowed. None of that has been done. The students were found guilty of something, they know not what, and dismissed!

Although UNT may not be well known nationally, it is rated as an "R1" or top tier research university , one of about 130 institutions falling into that top category and receiving federal research funding. It is troubling that such action by an institution in this category and the beneficiary of federal largesse has not drawn more condemnation for its action. And it is even more troubling that this occurs in an atmosphere of anti-Chinese hostility in the wake of Covid-19, marked by physical attacks on Chinese Americans.

Have we forgotten the racism directed against Chinese and codified into federal law the Chinese Exclusion act of 1882 , the only U.S. law ever enacted to prevent all members of a specific ethnic or national group from immigrating to the U.S.? Other such legislation followed, such as the Immigration Act of 1924 which effectively barred all immigration from Asia, including of course Chinese. The rationale given by the politicians for all such heinous legislation was that Chinese were stealing "our jobs". Sound familiar? Notoriously the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 gave rise to the "Driving Out" period where Chinese were physically attacked to the point of brutal massacres designed to drive Chinese out of unwelcoming communities, the most infamous being the Rock Springs and Hells Canyon Massacres.

The anti-Chinese and anti-Asian sentiment has continued down the years in one form or another but it has had a resurgence recently with the meme that China's prosperity has been at the expense of Americans. This narrative does not remind us that U.S. corporations and investors offshore jobs for greater "returns," but claims that Chinese are pilfering our technology.

Some time back The Committee of 100, a prestigious organization of leading Chinese Americans, commissioned a study on Chinese and other Asians charged under the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) ., covering a period from 1996 to 2015 Some of its conclusions are as follows:

Up to 2008, Chinese were 17% of the total defendants charged under the EEA; from 2009-2015 under Obama this percentage tripled to 52%. 21% of Chinese were never convicted of espionage, twice the rate for non-Asians. In roughly half the cases involving Chinese the alleged beneficiary of the espionage was an American entity; roughly one third had an alleged Chinese beneficiary.

In sum a much higher rate of indictment for Chinese but a lower rate of convictions. So the additional "attention" given Chinese was not warranted. It seems that something changed after 2009. What was it? This time was the period when Obama's Asian Pivot was put into play. The Pivot targeted China both militarily by moving 60% of US Naval forces to the Western Pacific and economically with the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) designed to isolate China from its neighbors. Is the increased harassment of Chinese under the EEA another aspect of the strategy expressed openly in the Pivot?

This legal attack on Chinese has continued under the present administration, but the NTU case adds a new wrinkle. Here there was no legal action, but an action apparently taken by the University. However, hidden pressure to oust the students came from a federal agency or agencies. This should be no surprise since it fits in with FBI Director Christopher Wray's "Whole of Society" approach to confronting China unveiled last February and reiterated din July when he said, "We're also working more closely than ever with partner agencies here in the U.S. and our partners abroad. We can't do it on our own; we need a whole-of-society response. That's why we in the intelligence and law enforcement communities are working harder than ever to give companies, universities , and the American people themselves the information they need to make their own informed decisions and protect their most valuable assets." (Emphasis, jw) It looks like the FBI and or its "partner agencies" gave UNT officials "the information they needed" to throw out the Chinese students without any reason given or charge made.

Consider the position of those UNT officials when they found themselves visited by federal "authorities" and "asked' to cooperate. When the FBI "asks" for cooperation, it is making an offer that is perilous to refuse. It would take considerable courage to say "no". But that is precisely what the UNT administrators should have done if they were to live up to the presumed values and ideals of our society and universities. The question also arises as to how many other universities have been approached to take similar steps. It seems unlikely that UNT is alone. But it is very likely that other Universities, wealthier and with a bevy of VP's for BS and C, might have handled the whole matter in a discrete way and in a way that makes it appear that such suspensions are not a wholesale matter. Perhaps other more "polished" university authorities would not own up to the dirty deeds but keep them as secret as possible.

Let us take it a step further. What if you were approached by one of these federal agents and "requested" to keep an eye on a Chinese colleague, friend, neighbor or co-worker. Would you have the courage to refuse? And as the confrontation with China heats up, a peace movement is arising to counter it. In fact, anti-interventionists are popping up across the spectrum on left and right to oppose policies that take us on the road to war with China. Will the peace advocates be targeted in the same way, on the sly as well as within a "legal" framework by the FBI and other federal agencies? And will the precedent established in cases like the UNT case make such federal actions more acceptable? Will those working for peace be labeled as puppets of Xi?

"First they came for the Chinese," it might be said. And in the future, under the "Whole of Society" approach, they may come for anyone who chooses to work for peace with China rather than take a path to war. Anti-Chinese racism, repugnant in and of itself, is also one part of setting the stage for a new and more dangerous McCarthyism. It is time to stop the madness before it devours us all.

This essay was first published on Antiwar.com

Wyatt , says: October 15, 2020 at 1:21 am GMT

"First they came for the Chinese," it might be said.

No, first, they came for whites.

[Oct 11, 2020] Putin on the US Presidential race and the myth that Trump, one of the most hostile to Russia presidents in history, is somehow a "Putin puppet"

Highly recommended!
The problem with American imperialism that like tiger it can't change its spots. In this sense Trump vs Biden is false dilemma. "Bothe aare worse" as Stalin quipped on the other occasion. Both still profess "Full Spectrum Dominance" doctrine at the expense of the standard of living of the USA people (outside of top 10 or 20%)
The problem with Putin statement is that both candidates are marionette of more powerful forces. Trump is a hostage of Izreal lobby, which in the USA are mostly consist of rabid Russophobes (look art Schiff, Schumer and other members of this gang). Biden is a classic neoliberal warmonger, much like Hillary was, who voted for Iraq war, contributed to color revolution in Ukraine, and was instrumental in the conversion of Dems into the second war party. So there is zero choice in the coming election unless you want to punish Trump for the betrayal of his electorate, which probably is the oonly valid reason to vote for Biden in key states; otherwise you san safely ignore the elections as youn; influence anythng. In a deep sense this is a simply legitimization procedure for the role of the "Deep State", not so much real elections as both cadidates were already vetted by neoliberal establishment
The key problem with voting for Bide is that this way you essentially legitimizing Obama administration RussiaGate false flag operation. But as Putin said, chances for extending the Start treaty might worse this self-betrayal.
Oct 11, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Like much of the American public, the Russian public is no doubt weary of the prior couple years of non-stop 'Russiagate' headlines and wild accusations out of Western press, which all are now pretty much in complete agreement came to absolutely nothing. This is also why the whole issue has been conspicuously dropped by the Biden campaign and as a talking point among the Democrats, though in some corners there's been meek attempts to revive it, especially related to claims of "expected" Kremlin interference in the impending presidential election.

Apparently seeing in this an opportunity for some epic trolling, Russian President Vladimir Putin in an interview with Rossiya 1 TV days ago said it was actually the Democratic Party and the Communist Party which have most in common.

Putin was speaking in terms of historic Soviet communism in the recent interview (Wednesday) detailed in Newsweek. "The Democratic Party is traditionally closer to the so-called liberal values, closer to social democratic ideas," Putin began. "And it was from the social democratic environment that the Communist Party evolved."

"After all, I was a member of the Soviet Communist Party for nearly 20 years" Putin added. "I was a rank-and-file member, but it can be said that I believed in the party's ideas. I still like many of these left-wing values. Equality and fraternity. What is bad about them? In fact, they are akin to Christian values."

"Yes, they are difficult to implement, but they are very attractive, nevertheless. In other words, this can be seen as an ideological basis for developing contacts with the Democratic representative."

The Russian president also invoked that historically Russian communists in the Soviet era would have been fully on board the Black Lives Matter movement and other civil rights related causes. "So, this is something that can be seen, to a degree, as common values, if not a unifying agent for us," the Russian president said. "People of my generation remember a time when huge portraits of Angela Davis, a member of the U.S. Communist Party and an ardent fighter for the rights of African Americans, were on view around the Soviet Union."

So there it is: Putin is saying his own personal ideological past could be a basis of "shared values" with a Biden presidency, again, it what appears to be a sophisticated bit of trolling that he knows Biden won't welcome one bit. Or let's call it a 'Russian endorsement Putin style'. The Associated Press and others described it as Putin "hedging his bets", however.

Another interesting part of the interview is where the Russian TV presenter asked Putin the following question:

"The entire world is watching the final stage of the US presidential race. Much has happened there, including things we could never imagine happening before but the one constant in recent years is that your name is mentioned all the time," Zarubin said. "Moreover, during the latest debates, which have provoked a public outcry, presidential candidate Biden called candidate Trump 'Putin's puppy.'"

"Since they keep talking about you, I would like to ask a question which you probably will not want to answer," the interviewer continued. "Nevertheless, here it is: Whose position in this race, Trump's or Biden's, appeals to you more?"

And here's Putin's response:

"Everything that is happening in the United States is the result of the country's internal political processes and problems," Putin said. "By the way, when anyone tries to humiliate or insult the incumbent head of state, in this case in the context you have mentioned, this actually enhances our prestige, because they are talking about our incredible influence and power. In a way, it could be said that they are playing into our hands, as the saying goes."

But on a more serious note Putin pointed out that contrary to the notion some level of sympathy between the Trump administration and the Kremlin, much less the charge of "collusion", it remains that US-Russia relations have reached a low-point in recent history under Trump. The record bears this out.

Putin underscored that "the greatest number of various kinds of restrictions and sanctions were introduced [against Russia] during the Trump presidency."

"Decisions on imposing new sanctions or expanding previous ones were made 46 times. The incumbent's administration withdrew from the INF treaty. That was a very drastic step. After 2002, when the Bush administration withdrew from the ABM treaty, that was the second major step. And I believe it is a big danger to international stability and security," Putin explained.

"Now the US has announced the beginning of the procedure for withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty. We have good reason to be concerned about that, too. A number of our joint projects, modest, but viable, have not been implemented – the business council project, expert council, and so on," he concluded.

But then on Biden specifically Putin said that despite "rather sharp anti-Russian rhetoric" from the Democratic nominee, it remains "Candidate Biden has said openly that he was ready to extend the New START or to sign a new strategic offensive reductions treaty."

"This is already a very significant element of our potential future cooperation," Putin added of a potential Biden presidency.

[Oct 11, 2020] Putin's Got His Problems, Too by Pat Buchanan

Oct 11, 2020 | www.unz.com

Before the first Trump-Biden debate, moderator Chris Wallace listed the six subjects that would be covered:

The Trump and Biden records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, the economy, race and violence in our cities, and the integrity of the election.

According to a recent Gallup survey, Wallace's topics tracked the public's concerns -- the top seven of which were the coronavirus, government leadership, race relations, the economy, crime and violence, the judicial system, morality and family decline.

As an issue, national security did not even break Gallup's Top 10. It ranked below education and homelessness, just above climate change.

Which raises a question?

Can a nation as divided as we are and as distracted as we are by the most lethal pandemic in 100 years, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and the worst racial crisis since the 1960s, conduct a global policy to contain the ambitions of two rival great powers on the other side of the world and to create a U.S.-led democratic world order?

Can we build, lead and sustain alliances of dozens of nations to contain Vladimir Putin's Russia and Xi Jinping's China as we did the Soviet Union during more than 40 years of the Cold War?

Are we still up to it? And must we Americans do it?

Or should we let the internal problems and pressures on these two nations do the primary work of containing their external ambitions?

Case in point: Vladimir Putin's Russia. While our Beltway elites are obsessed with Russia and Putin, seeing in them a mortal threat to our democracy, close observers are seeing something else.

"Putin, Long the Sower of Instability, Is Now Surrounded by It," runs a headline in Thursday's New York Times. The theme also appears in The Financial Times in a story headlined, "Putin Watches as Flames Engulf Neighborhood."

Consider the situation today in Russia's "near abroad," the former republics of the USSR that broke from Moscow's rule between 1989 and 1991.

The Baltic States -- Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia -- are already in the U.S.-led NATO alliance. Georgia in the Central Caucasus, the birthplace of Stalin, fought a war against its Russian neighbor in 2008 and is now a friend and de facto ally of the United States.

Ukraine, the most populous of the 14 republics to break away from Moscow, is now the most hostile to Moscow, having watched its Crimean Peninsula in the Black Sea be amputated by Putin in 2014.

Now, Belarus, Russia's closest neighbor to the west, is in a political crisis with weekly demonstrations demanding the ouster of Putin's ally, longtime autocrat Alexander Lukashenko, after a fraudulent election.

Putin could be forced to do what he has no desire to do -- forcefully intervene to put down a popular uprising that could cause Belarus to follow Ukraine into the Western camp.

Now, in the South Caucasus, two former republics of the USSR, Azerbaijan and Armenia, are again in an open war over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian enclave wholly within Azerbaijan.

While Armenia, an ally of Russia, is pleading for intervention by Moscow to halt the war, Turkey is aiding the Azeris militarily, and they seem to be gaining the upper hand.

Four thousand miles away, in Russia's Far East, in the city of Khabarovsk, which is as close to China as Dulles Airport is to D.C., anti-Putin rallies have become a constant feature of politics.

Last summer, Putin's political rival Alexei Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, a nerve agent developed in Soviet laboratories. Navalny has now become a live martyr and more potent adversary as the Kremlin has failed to come up with a satisfactory explanation for what appears to have been an attempted assassination. New German and French sanctions on Russian officials could be forthcoming.

Russians are tiring of Putin's 20-year rule. His popularity, though high by European standards, is near its nadir. And Russians have suffered mightily from the coronavirus and what it has done to their economy.

Now, the pro-Putin regime in Kyrgyzstan on the Chinese border appears to have been overthrown after another fraudulent election, and Beijing is telling everyone to stay out.

And how have Putin's imperial adventures gone?

While his intervention in Syria saved the regime of Bashar Assad and Russia's sole naval base in the Mediterranean, the war continues to bleed Mother Russia.

Putin's intervention on the side of the rebels in Libya, however, has not gone well. Last year's rebel drive to capture the capital of Tripoli failed, and the rebel forces have been forced to retreat back to the east.

Meanwhile, Russia's economy remains only one-tenth the size of China's economy, and its population is also only one-tenth that of China.

Perhaps time is on America's side in the rivalry with Russia, and war avoidance remains as wise a policy as it was during the Cold War.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.


No Friend Of The Devil , says: October 9, 2020 at 5:45 am GMT

This doesn't sound like you Pat. Did someone ghost write it ?

Andrea Iravani

Diversity Heretic , says: October 9, 2020 at 7:10 am GMT

I couldn't finish this article. The notion that Russia has any "expansionist aims" is so far-fetched that I wonder what the weather is like on "Planet Pat." Pat, to summarize, has no real problems with a drive for American hegemony, but just thinks that it ought to be achieved for less.

Pat was right and I was wrong back in the 1990s when he saw the threat of outsourcing. Now he's wrong about Russia and Vladimir Putin. I saw a recent press conference in which Putin did an on-the-spot translation of a question asked by a German journalist (in German) into Russian for his Russian audience. Can anyone imagine the clowns that we've see on our screens in these "debates" doing anything like that? Russia is governed by serious men who are doing their best, although they make mistakes like everyone else. The United States is governed by freaks that should be in a circus sideshow.

gsjackson , says: October 9, 2020 at 7:17 am GMT

Pat really is a Beltway creature, isn't he?

exiled off mainstreet , says: October 9, 2020 at 7:40 am GMT

Though Buchanan has had a great career as a sceptic of yankee imperialism, some times his views are infected by the remnants of a belief in it he has been unable to fully shake.

obwandiyag , says: October 9, 2020 at 8:13 am GMT

What a bunch of lies. Just plain old-fashioned lies. Quite refreshing after all the casuistry on this site.

anonymous [245] Disclaimer , says: October 9, 2020 at 9:49 am GMT

He cultivates a reputation for "non-interventionism," but Mr. Buchanan has been fundamentally faithful to the Establishment, always careful to leave Russia and China cast as enemies.

It's been a while since he has taken a break from carnival barking the next Most Important Election Ever with an Exceptional!, RussiaBadChinaToo column like this one. The propaganda pronouns, personalization of the autocratic bad guys, and cliché buzzwords are many , and it's important to pull back a bit to examine how "Mr. Paleoconservative" wraps them in his faux dissidence:

Can a nation as divided as we are and as distracted as we are by the most lethal pandemic in 100 years, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and the worst racial crisis since the 1960s, conduct a global policy to contain the ambitions of two rival great powers on the other side of the world and to create a U.S.-led democratic world order ?

Can we build, lead and sustain alliances of dozens of nations to contain Vladimir Putin's Russia and Xi Jinping's China as we did the Soviet Union during more than 40 years of the Cold War?

Are we still up to it? And must we Americans do it?

Or should we let the internal problems and pressures on these two nations do the primary work of containing their external ambitions?

See how it works? Uncle Sam's ( our ) prophylactic goodness goes unquestioned, the evil "ambitions" of others presumed. By suggesting that maybe "we" can't afford to protect the rest of the world so much these days, Mr. Buchanan endorses the narrative.

It's telling that Mr. Buchanan remains on record endorsing the bipartisan Beltway premise that (July 7, 2017) "Americans are rightly angry that Russia hacked the presidential election of 2016." (That bit's omitted in today's column, what with the more immediate need to herd enough GOP sheep back to the polls to legitimatize the system.) The columns and comment threads of July 20 and 24, 2018, and May 31, 2019 -- where I first asked Mr. Buchanan's fans why he seemed willfully ignorant of the observations of people like William Binney -- are further evidence.

His fans rationalize that he's doing what he can without losing his platform, but Mr. Buchanan effectively serves Washington. Look around and think critically for yourself and you'll see that when it comes to electoral politics he's Stagehand Right in the puppet show, and in discussions of US imperialism the Right sash of the Overton window.

Renoman , says: October 9, 2020 at 10:22 am GMT

Russia is not threatening or bothering anyone, the USA is threatening and bothering pretty well everyone. the people of Crimea overwhelmingly wanted and voted to leave Ukraine, Russia did not TAKE it. Get over it children.

peter mcloughlin , says: October 9, 2020 at 10:26 am GMT

Pat Buchanan is correct: "war avoidance remains as wise a policy as it was during the Cold War."
But it is a difficult policy when neither Washington nor Moscow has the control they had during the Cold War, especially with the hegemonic rise of China. Chaos is producing the conditions where any nation will have to go to war: existential threat. Ordering the world can avert our destruction – in theory – but only by accepting some harsh realities.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

Mikael_ , says: October 9, 2020 at 11:07 am GMT

The bullshit is strong in this one.

I especially like amputated .

Realist , says: October 9, 2020 at 11:30 am GMT

Meanwhile, Russia's economy remains only one-tenth the size of China's economy, and its population is also only one-tenth that of China.

It's nuclear weapons are ten times China's.

Realist , says: October 9, 2020 at 11:31 am GMT
@gsjackson

Pat really is a Beltway creature, isn't he?

Yes, and a doddering old fool to boot.

Spender_CGB , says: October 9, 2020 at 11:35 am GMT

I've always had a soft spot for Pat Buchanan. But lately (the last few years) his articles appear more and more workmanlike. In other words just going through the motioms.

In this article he seems to have accepted the official narrative on almost everything.
"Last summer, Putin's political rival Alexei Navalny was poisoned with Novichok,"
Novichok appears to be the most inefficient lethal poiaon in existence with around 75% survival rate, yet Buchanan accepts the narrative without question. Pat Buchanan up to the 90's would have laughed at this.

The fire in him appears to be waning.

Petermx , says: October 9, 2020 at 11:43 am GMT

There is a liberal democratic strain in Russia with some power that wants what the west has, celebrations for homosexuals, radical feminism and maybe women with penises too. I have met a few young Russians that don't like Putin. We will see. If by some miracle the US can continue to run an economy not thru work but by having the Federal Reserve creating money and distributing it, then maybe Russia will lose Putin and start looking more like a multi-culti western country too. But more likely, the US will suffer a major economic fall and then perhaps Russia will think twice before turning Russian beauties into western style women telling men to stop "mansplaining".

What Putin has to do if he hopes to keep Russia from turning into a Cultural Marxist cesspool is find someone that believes in and can continue his policies but if he's like Trump and is surrounded by people that want to be far left, Russia will become a western style country too after Putin leaves office. If Russia wants to stay Russian and Europe has any hope of turning the tide against its destruction, a new international movement has to be popularized that values European / Western traditions and values the different peoples and cultures of the world. The western European countries will first need to develop some self respect so they have a reason to preserve their peoples and traditions.

BuelahMan , says: October 9, 2020 at 11:48 am GMT

Koolaid Pat:

distracted as we are by the most lethal pandemic in 100 years

Had to stop right there seeing him regurgitate the official line.

JonL , says: Website October 9, 2020 at 1:22 pm GMT

This article is surprising in its comprehensive lack of factuality.

1. A gallop poll (not referenced) tells us what we already know: The American public does not think like the elite tell them to think. How rude. Well, our government might be 'of, by, and for' somebody, but it ain't 'The people.'
2. Contain Russia? And the Soviet Union and China did not serve to contain the US?
3. Are we still up to it? Up to what? American exceptionalism? The rest of the world is starting to take issue with that. A century of 'Yankee Go Home' has grown teeth.
4. The Baltic states are as much use to Russia as they were to Sweden. Don't overestimate their importance as anything other than a springboard for another group that does not represent its populace: NATO.
5. Georgia 'fought a war against Russia ' and lost.
6. Ukraine suffered a violet coup. Crimea 'self-amputated' via legal referendum.
7. Belarus. Well, now. Belarus is like Ukraine pre-Maidan. The fog of diplomacy is much too thick and oily to really see who is pulling whose strings there.
8. Putin could be forced to do anything. Time will tell what he and Mr. Lavrov have in mind. Let's not limit his set of options and condemn him for something he hasn't done yet. That's political TINA.
9. Azerbaijan and Armenia are suddenly at war. Again, at whose instigation? Why now? Is this a resurrection of the Crusades since it is a Muslim country fighting a Christian country? Old bigotry drug out of history's spare room and repurposed? Again, do either the Azerbaijanis or the Armenians personally want any of this? Maybe Gallup can take a poll.
10. Khabarovsk is in an uprising? Again, who says? Why now? And aren't the same things going on in American cities? You keep talking about sudden unprovoked uprisings as if they are popular revolutions. I don't think that word means what you think it means.
11. Navalny does Novichok. Really? The dissident with less than five percent popularity in Russia? The political court jester with Western style health issues taken down by the deadly poison genetically modified to miss its target? This is a joke, right?
12. You've got a point about Russians being tired of Putin. I was there for three weeks in 2018 on a trip across Siberia on the Trans Siberian Railroad and spoke to people in places like Ulan Ude (as close to Mongolia as Dulles is the D.C.) and Khabarovsk (ditto.) I found that how people perceive Putin depends on which side of the 'Crazy Nineties' they sit. People who remembered the Soviet era and reconstruction were more likely to support Putin unconditionally, including a school teacher I spoke with who remembered trading lessons for lunch, whereas younger people acknowledged what he did for Russia but just wanted a change of face in the Kremlin. One man admitted that there are no alternatives worth considering. Hardly a stinging repudiation. By the way, I was also in Vladivostok, as close to North Korea as Dulles is to , well, you know. Not much dissent there. Yes, it's a military town but is as secular as any western jarhead city.
13. Russia 'remains' one tenth the size of China? How imprudent.
14. Putin's imperial adventures are 'failing' and 'bleeding' Mother Russia? And how have ours been doing lately?
15. Time is on America's side? Time is a fickle ally and has a habit of switching sides in the long run.

This article contains significant spin with little or no analysis. Did you have someone do your homework for you?

Exile , says: Website October 9, 2020 at 1:34 pm GMT
@Diversity Heretic

Exactly. The Pat Buchanan of the 1990's or even the 00's would rather have asked:

"Is it in America's interest to have either Russia or China so unstable and backed into a corner by NATO expansion or other U.S. policy that they and their large nuclear arsenals might come under the command and control of more desperate and unstable men than their current leaders?"

As a previous commenter notes above, it's as is someone else is writing these columns under Pat's byline now.

Patricus , says: October 9, 2020 at 1:39 pm GMT
@Realist

Russia has many nukes but it won't do them any good. All the forces in WW II had extensive supplies for gas warfare. All had masks and elaborate tactics ready. No one used gas attacks because they knew about the gas horrors from WW I. Even facing destruction of an army or city no one wanted to release that genie from the bottle. Russia could let loose a nuclear barrage then quickly witness the end of Russia. The Chinese are sensible as they refrain from wasting money for a massive nuclear arsenal.

anonymous [400] Disclaimer , says: October 9, 2020 at 2:01 pm GMT

Can we build, lead and sustain alliances of dozens of nations to contain Vladimir Putin's Russia and Xi Jinping's China

Russia is not expanding. Rather, as pointed out, it's the US/NATO that has expanded all the way up to the Russian border, a threatening move. China is a competitor, not a militarily expansionist country. With their economy they can wheel and deal better than the US but whose fault is that?

forcefully intervene to put down a popular uprising that could cause Belarus to follow Ukraine into the Western camp.

Just another made in the US color revolution, not popular at all. Ukraine is hardly an example to follow. Much of the rest is about how Russia is collapsing, people rising up against Putin, etc etc. All stuff that's been said for the past hundred years. Before it was because they were communist. Now it's because what?

Perhaps time is on America's side

No. Demographics, Mr Buchanan, demographics. The US has turned itself into a semi-Brazil where a good third of the population is non-white and getting larger. The greatest resource of any country is it's people and in this regard the US has diversified itself into chaos and a downward spiral.

Robert Konrad , says: October 9, 2020 at 2:54 pm GMT

Seldom have so many commentators agreed in their criticism of a post. Seldom has a post on UR been so inept, so unfit for publication. Maybe the truth is quite banal: aging commentators who once used to be intellectual powerhouses have simply succumbed to senile infantilism. In addition to Pat Buchanan, another obvious example is Michel Chossudovsky. Paul Craig Roberts is also not doing well. Like great athletes, they simply don't know when to quit.

TGD , says: October 9, 2020 at 3:23 pm GMT

I don't see any deviation in Buchanan's argument (since he turned "paleo right wing") that the USA should mind its own business and stay out of foreign entanglements.

Biden will surely win the US presidency over the dopey Trump. Biden is the perfect tool of the "deep state," elements of which arranged for his winning of the Democrat's nomination. Expect a hot war with Iran, the revival of the "Trans Pacific Partnership," mass amnesty, continued loss of industry, curtailment of constitutional rights and much more money thrown at the educational establishment to train up the population for the "jobs of tomorrow" etc etc.

tyrone , says: October 9, 2020 at 3:50 pm GMT

Putin ? ..sower of instability???? ..to quote the world's most famous Alzhiemers patient "COME ON MAN"!

Fr. John , says: October 9, 2020 at 4:30 pm GMT
@No Friend Of The Devil href="https://russia-insider.com/en/new-constitution-means-russias-political-stability-strong-while-west-sinks/ri30819"> https://russia-insider.com/en/new-constitution-means-russias-political-stability-strong-while-west-sinks/ri30819

Either that, or gracefully fade into the background. You've outlived your political capital.
And you no longer are viable.
https://truthtopowernews.com/culture/reagan-cia-spook-forecasts-next-100-years-consumerism-and-debt-slavery-ftn-podcast

Rahan , says: October 9, 2020 at 4:35 pm GMT
@Petermx left" (the Russian far left would rather send all trannies to the Gulag), but the "liberals", which in Russia is what they call the deregulation-obsessed corporate right wing.

A "liberal" means someone larping as a local Tory, in the sense of wanting to privatize everything, sell it off, and then let in all of Central Asia as cheap workers. These days they are also the ones who will accept child trannies in exchange for offshore perks. Not the far left. The Russian far left would hang the Western far left on lamp posts, and send their families to fell wood in Siberia.

Rurik , says: October 9, 2020 at 4:36 pm GMT

Putin's political rival Alexei Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, a nerve agent developed in Soviet laboratories. Navalny has now become a live martyr and more potent adversary as the Kremlin has failed to come up with a satisfactory explanation for what appears to have been an attempted assassination.

Just as they've failed to "come up with a satisfactory explanation" for the Skripal obvious lies and idiocy.

Ditto the MH17 lies and idiocy

or the 'Russian hacking' lies and idiocy

or the 'Russian aggression in Ukraine' lies and idiocy..

Is that the way it works now Pat, you simply parrot the puerile piles of puke put out by the ((narrative machine)) as if it was all God's truth?

When we all know it's the opposite.

Perhaps time is on America's side in the rivalry with Russia,

You're not Pat Buchannan.

Buchannan simply could not have uttered such an egregiously grotesque gargantuan infamy of perfidious, pusillanimous palaver- even if he tried.

He'd choke on such words, (I'd hope ; )

"America's side"

If this is America's side, then God speed to Vlad Putin!

Rurik , says: October 9, 2020 at 4:45 pm GMT
@TGD s a comeuppance for 'four hundred years of slavery, genocide and a systemic racism that has had the White man's knee on POC's necks for four hundred years and counting..

All of that ends in January, 2021.

A packed SC will end the Second Amendment, and it will be all she wrote.

So why does Buchannan allow an article full of horseshit about Putin and Russia to get published in his name? When the reason for the 'most important election ever', is wokeness', and the war on Iran (and possibly Russia) that will come when ((wokeness) is firmly in power again?

Robert Konrad , says: October 9, 2020 at 5:34 pm GMT
@Rurik

"you simply parrot the puerile piles of puke put out by ," "infamy of perfidious, pusillanimous palaver."

Wow, you are a master of alliteration. Can I quote you on that? Needless to say: agreed.

Ponder , says: October 9, 2020 at 6:30 pm GMT
@Patricus re MAD.
• further, the US refused to denounce "first use of nuclear weapons" with a no first use policy. This indicated(s) their intention. Russia still has a no first use policy with caveats. US is the aggressor here.
• if you understand the above, then all other US plays come into focus. Why they killed the INF treaty in order to move into Europe nuclear missiles of that prohibited range, why they have started to try and reduce nuclear payload so that they can use nuclear weapons without triggering the nuclear threshold of nuclear retaliation by pleading low yield etc.
Loldjdjdjdjd , says: October 9, 2020 at 7:07 pm GMT
@Robert Konrad

I thought I was the only one who cringed when Paul Roberts mixed in his obviously misguided opinions in with obvious facts. Seems Giraldi is the last man standing. We need new authorities on truth.

Loldjdjdjdjd , says: October 9, 2020 at 7:08 pm GMT
@Robert Konrad

That's the guy from V for Vendetta. Didn't you know? That P from Pendetta.

Minnesota Mary , says: October 9, 2020 at 7:12 pm GMT

I have been a fan of Pat Buchanan's most of my life. But since the Trump phenomenon began I can't for the life of me understand what has happened to him. It's as if he has drunk the Qanon Kool-Aid.

KenH , says: October 9, 2020 at 8:22 pm GMT

Not sure if Pat is writing his own articles these days but this sure qualifies as establishment drivel. It's America that has troops in Poland near Russia's border as well as trying to topple leaders in the region that are friendly to Putin and Russia. If Putin moved troops and missile batteries near the Rio Grande the American establishment would literally have a coronary.

Pat writes as if Putin is on a worldwide offensive against America and its interests but it's been thankfully stymied. Most of what Putin and Russia have done and are doing has been a reaction and in response to the unrest and instability that American actions have helped bring to certain countries and regions.

Anonymous [169] Disclaimer , says: October 9, 2020 at 8:35 pm GMT

"pusillanimous pussy-footers" – attributed to Spiro Agnew

I do so pine for the days when Pat was making Agnew look bright.

Anonymous [169] Disclaimer , says: October 9, 2020 at 8:54 pm GMT

What with the proven sterling safety record that Novichok has demonstrated in recent assassination attempts, I understand it is now in Phase #3 trials as a treatment for covid.

Toxik , says: October 9, 2020 at 11:26 pm GMT
@No Friend Of The Devil

i agree. doesn't sound like pat.

follyofwar , says: October 10, 2020 at 12:57 am GMT
@Rurik

Yes! Well said, Rurik! I haven't read such great alliteration since Spiro Agnew's "nattering nabobs of negativity" when referring to the Nixon hating press. (Speech written by William Safire).

Why have you become an Old Cold Warrior again, Pat?

TG , says: October 10, 2020 at 3:23 am GMT

One is reminded – that pretty much all of the problems that Russia faces in its 'near abroad' – Ukraine, Belorussia, etc. – have been deliberately created by the west. Given that Russia could still obliterate the west if it really felt that it had been backed into a corner, is that wise?

pogohere , says: October 10, 2020 at 5:11 am GMT
@Anonymous

What with the proven sterling safety record that Novichok has demonstrated in recent assassination attempts, I understand it is now in Phase #3 trials as a treatment for covid.

Laugh out loud funny!

What If , says: October 10, 2020 at 7:51 am GMT

First I thought it was a satire, sarcasm,,, Holly crap, Pat went Biden,

Exile , says: Website October 10, 2020 at 10:53 am GMT
@Patricus much as I think it does, they'd be willing to launch if we foolishly backed them into a corner. It was seriously discussed in the Kremlin in the 1980's.

China's smaller arsenal is not a matter of the supposed uselessness of nukes. China has advantages over Russia in population, wealth and production, sea routes, and a number of other factors which make nukes less of a necessity, and they're also building on their own past legacy as a poor nation, while Putin's Russia is hanging on to the arsenal of a superpower whose infrastructure was laid down when the USSR had more resources and manpower to call on than Russia does today. Apple-Orange.

alwayswrite , says: October 10, 2020 at 11:38 am GMT
@No Friend Of The Devil class="comment-text">

This actually sounds like someone telling the truth for once about Russia and the Putin regime!

Unfortunately there's been far to much blather about Putin over the years,oh and all his hyperbole about super weapons

The Russian economy is not just one tenth of china its also not particularly competitive,languishing in 30 th position in terms of global business rating

Its demographics are terrible without any chance of recovery

And to cap it all China will soon try and claim parts of eastern Russia as Chinese

Verymuchalive , says: October 10, 2020 at 11:56 am GMT

Buchanan is 82 years old next month. For several years now, the input of his "assistants" has been more and more noticeable. This article, however, appears to have been entirely ghost written by one or more of them. It sounds entirely out of character with what Buchanan was writing even last year.
Buchanan must retire immediately. If he does not, more ghost written articles like this will irremediably taint his legacy.
I have held Mr Buchanan in high regard ever since I became aware of him in the 1990s. Sadly, I will not read any new articles "written" by him.

Tono Bungay , says: October 10, 2020 at 12:44 pm GMT

I am pretty ignorant about poisons, and I'm a bit allergic to conspiracy theories, but on this Novichok business I can't help wondering, If the stuff is really so toxic as is claimed, then why is it that more than one supposed victim has survived?

Corvinus , says: October 10, 2020 at 1:19 pm GMT
@Diversity Heretic

To the contrary, Patrick hit a home run with this post. Putin still uses his KGB tactics and allies to do his dirty work for him, especially poisoning political opponents and cracking down on the media. Putin has enriched himself and his oligarch pals under the guise of muscular Orthodoxism. Putin has always put into play policies designed to expand "Mother Russia".

You are just too damn stubborn to admit these facts.

alwayswrite , says: October 10, 2020 at 1:22 pm GMT
@Verymuchalive

Russia and the Putin regime have set themselves against the USA,therefore why should Buchanan agree with a regime who have people pushing for the destruction of America and the US led international order????

Wouldn't that simply make Buchanan a traitor by supporting a foreign regime ?

Maybe Buchanan has woken up and smelt the coffee

follyofwar , says: October 10, 2020 at 3:46 pm GMT
@TG without a terrorist attack.

I would have loved to see the faces of John McCain and "F the EU" Nuland if Putin had done so. The Russian forces would have mopped up the coup leaders in a week, and Obama/Biden could have done nothing but complain to the UN. It's very likely that many Ukrainian lives would have been saved.

Buchanan's incredible statement that Putin "amputated" the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine, when the vast majority of those who lived there voted to return to Mother Russia, is patently ridiculous. C'mon Pat, return to your senses or it's time to retire.

anonymous [245] Disclaimer , says: October 10, 2020 at 4:50 pm GMT
@Corvinus

Speaking of ghost writers, the Tom Parsons (1984) act here is a little too much for the real Corvinus. The "home run" and "damn" are out of character, too.

Next time, aim more for that Unitarian Sunday School teacher voice.

Per/Norway , says: October 10, 2020 at 6:23 pm GMT

Dear lord, allowing such garbage will ruin the reputation of the unz blog.

RoatanBill , says: October 10, 2020 at 6:37 pm GMT

I haven't read a Pat article in months but thought I'd give it one more try.

I'm not reading any more of his prose as it is now about as coherent as Biden's emanations.

I guess we all get old and at some point things start to deteriorate. He was a good writer and thinker.

Corvinus , says: October 10, 2020 at 7:06 pm GMT
@anonymous

"Speaking of ghost writers, the Tom Parsons (1984) act here is a little too much for the real Corvinus. The "home run" and "damn" are out of character, too."

Right on cue is the Russian bot. I guess your programming does not tire in trying to denigrate your social betters.

"Next time, aim more for that Unitarian Sunday School teacher voice."

I will take that under advisement, Mel Blanc.

Verymuchalive , says: October 10, 2020 at 7:22 pm GMT
@alwayswrite

Your carer needs to stop you commenting under the influence ( CUI ) I will ignore all future comments from you in the future.

Anonymous [285] Disclaimer , says: October 10, 2020 at 8:25 pm GMT

As to Russian aggressiveness, you have to admit they did have the temerity to expand right up to their own borders, thereby surrounding us on all sides: our NATO in the west, our Ukraine and Georgia in the south, our arctic in the north, and our Japan and South Korea in the east.

Exile , says: Website October 10, 2020 at 8:55 pm GMT
@Corvinus

Ashkepathic comment. Ukrainian Jew-grade Russophobia.

Realist , says: October 10, 2020 at 10:37 pm GMT
@Patricus ss="comment-text">

Russia has many nukes but it won't do them any good.

Not true it is a great deterrent.

Russia could let loose a nuclear barrage then quickly witness the end of Russia.

Same can be said about the US The US could let loose a nuclear barrage then quickly witness the end of the US.

The Chinese are sensible as they refrain from wasting money for a massive nuclear arsenal.

But they do have a nuclear arsenal so they must see some value in it.

Corvinus , says: October 10, 2020 at 11:39 pm GMT
@Exile

"Ashkepathic comment. Ukrainian Jew-grade Russophobia."

You have an odd way of characterizing my truth about Putin. But I get it, your Russian masters demand you be good lil Cossack.

GomezAdddams , says: October 11, 2020 at 12:27 am GMT

Fester suggests USA should take preemptive action and drain the USA nuclear stockpile for the sake of South Chicago–the pinnacle of USA freedom -- democracy and societal values. Then when global cooling returns to USA -- re-open the coal mines and build gas guzzlers.

Awash , says: October 11, 2020 at 12:36 am GMT
@Diversity Heretic

Powerful nations tend to expand. I guess Pat is saying Russia is weak to make major expansions. They did destroy Syria and annexed Crimea, that is it for now. His assessment of Russia's weakness is ok. I doubt though Putin poisoned the opposition leader, not because he cannot be mean. But because it seems amateurish. Russia failing to poison and kill an individual? I don't know.

anonymous [245] Disclaimer , says: October 11, 2020 at 1:43 am GMT
@Awash

They did destroy Syria and annexed Crimea, that is it for now.

By "They," do you mean Russia? If so, then how did Russia "destroy Syria"?

gsjackson , says: October 11, 2020 at 3:15 am GMT
@Anonymous

I think Safire gets credit for "nattering nabobs of negativism" (the press). Pat was an alliterator too?

[Oct 11, 2020] About "The Insider":

Oct 11, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

MOSCOW EXILE October 10, 2020 at 12:18 am

About "The Insider":

ABOUT THE PROJECT
The Insider is an online publication specializing in investigative journalism, fact-checking and political analytics.

The Insider has received numerous international awards, including the Council of Europe Innovation Award (2018), The European Press Prize (2019), Free Media Award (2019) and many others.

An important source of funding for The Insider is regular donations, so we encourage everyone who wants to support our publication to subscribe to regular donations.

CONTACTS
Moscow office: 119072, Bersenevskaya nab. 6, building 3, office 1.

theinsidersru@gmail.com

From Russian Wiki:

"The Insider" is a Russian online publication. Founded in November 2013 by a member of the movement "Solidarity" , a journalist and political activist of liberal-democratic orientation Roman Dobrokhotov , who is the editor-in-chief of the publication.


Dobrokhotov. As I live and breathe -- a "kreakl"!!!!

In September 2018, in collaboration with "Bellingcat" Eliot Higgins, "The Insider" conducted an investigation, allegedly publishing copies of official documents of the Russian Federal migration service for passport application in the name of Alexander Petrov, one of the suspects of the British authorities in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, which may indicate his connection with the Russian special services.

In February 2020, "The Insider", jointly with "Bellingcat"and "Der Spiegel", conducted an investigation and stated that the murder of Zelimkhan khangoshvili in Berlin in August 2019 was organized by the special unit of the FSB "Vimpel". They said that the FSB special assignment Centre was preparing a repeat killer, Vadim Krasikov, for this murder, and they also gave some details of Krasikov's movements around Europe.

On November 10, 2017, "The Insider" received from "The World Forum for Democracy" an award for innovation in democracy with the following wording:

"'The Insider' is an investigative publication that seeks to provide its readers with information about the current political, economic and social situation in Russia, while promoting democratic values and highlighting issues related to human rights and civil society. In addition, 'The Insider' carries out the project 'Antifake', the task of which is to systematically expose false news in the Russian media, which helps its audience to distinguish real information from false news and propaganda".

In 2019, "The Insider" and "Bellingcat" received the European Press Prize for establishing the identity of the two men allegedly responsible for the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal .

How drole! "The insider" likes to shout out "Fake!" yet seems to work closely with "Bellingcat".

[Oct 11, 2020] A new twist in Marina Pevchih story about the bottle

Oct 11, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com


MOSCOWEXILE October 9, 2020 at 12:42 pm

By the way, further to the Pevchikh saga, another twist to the tale has turned up in the Russian media concerning those allegedly "Novichok" contaminated bottles that she dutifully retrieved from Navalny's hotel room in Tomsk as soon she heard that his Moscow bound flight was making an unplanned landing at Omsk.

She couldn't fly directly to Omsk from Tomsk, so she claims she drove from Tomsk to Novosibirsk, whence she flew to Omsk, where she boarded the aircraft kindly provided by the Germans and which took Navalny and her and the bottles to Berlin.

Small problem: the investigations that have been taking place concerning her claims reveal that she had no bottles with her, either on her person or in her baggage, at the Novosibirsk and at Omsk airports when she went through security there. And there is video evidence of her baggage being opened and searched there. No bottles. But she handed over these bottles, she says, to the German authorities, which bottles were then sent to the Bundeswehr labs in Munich, allegedly.

And get this: Navalny and Pevchikh claim there was a bomb scare at Omsk airport that was intended to prevent the aircraft on board which the US agent was howling and screaming. though he wasn't in pain, he says,

This planting of a bomb at Omsk airport, according to the bullshitter, was done so that he would not be hospitalized in Omsk and would therefore die on board the aircraft.

It now turns out, according to the cops, that there had been a call claiming that a bomb had been planted at Omsk airport. And the call originated in Berlin. Nothing in the Western media about this, of course, though plenty in the Russian media.

I'd provide links but I can't be arsed because I'm writing this in bed on my iPhone.

MARK CHAPMAN October 9, 2020 at 3:44 pm

Well. Those certainly are interesting developments. Not that it would make any difference in the mainstream media, where the narrative die is already cast – just more of Russia's 'pathetic evasions' as it tries to twist out from under the weight of accumulated evidence against it.

MOSCOW EXILE October 9, 2020 at 11:46 pm

Here you go -- some linked Russian language articles concerning the Pevchikh bottle tale, still almost unreported in the free world press:

№1
VESTI.RU

08 октября 2020 16:21
Транспортная полиция: "бутылок Навального" в багаже не было, аэропорт "заминировали" из Германии

08 October 2020 16:21
Transport police: "Navalny's bottles" were not in the luggage, the airport was "mined" from Germany

[the Russian term for placing a bomb somewhere. e.g. as a terrorist act, is "to mine" a place -- ME]

The office of the Siberian Transport Prosecutor has questions for an employee of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) Maria Pevchikh to answer as regards the case of the hospitalization of Aleksei Navalny. However, she evaded giving evidence and flew from Omsk to Germany. Despite a summons and communication with her lawyer, Pevchikh has not appeared at the preliminary investigation.

Maria Pevchikh has not replied to the investigator's questions about how the items allegedly taken from Navalny's room in a Tomsk hotel were removed. The transport police have reconstructed the Pevchikh route and got together all their videos concerning this, Interfax reports. And then the surprises begin, which do not fit in with the version that Maria Pevchikh took from Tomsk to Berlin a bottle, on which traces of a neuroparalytic poisonous substance from the Novichok group were later allegedly found .

Firstly, after Navalny's hospitalization, Maria Pevchikh travelled from Tomsk to Novosibirsk by car together with Georgy Alburov [Alburov is the one who, allegedly, was an FBK front man, posing as head of the investigatory section of Navalny's "fund", but Pevchik, it seems, was really the investigation boss, very likely directing investigations into corruption in "Putin's Mafia State" under the guidance of MI6, though nobody had ever heard of her at FBK until questions started being asked about her role after she had flown to Germany from Omsk with the Bullshitter -- ME] , and then flew to Omsk.

Secondly, at Novosibirsk Tolmachevo airport , during pre-flight checks, there were no containers and bottles of more than 100 milliliters in Maria Pevchikh's suitcase and rucksack. She did buy, however, a half-litre bottle of "Svyatoy Istochnik" ["Holy Spring" NOT "Saint Spring"! -- ME] water in the sterile zone [namely after having passed through baggage and security checks and before boarding her flight -- ME], with which she flew to Omsk.

Earlier, Anton Timofeev had said that after Navalny had been hospitalized, the people accompanying him seized three bottles of water from his room, which were given to Georgy Alburov. Alburov then flew from Novosibirsk to Omsk together with the Pevchikh. But there were no bottles in his luggage either. The moment of the acquisition of a bottle of "Holy Spring" water by Pevchikh, as well as images from the X-ray scanner installation at the airport, prove this.

In addition, Sergey Potapov, deputy head of the transport investigation department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the Siberian Federal District, announced that on the day of Navalny's hospitalization, an anonymous message had been received about the mining of Omsk airport. It was sent via a free e-mail service whose servers are located in Germany. On this issue, Russia then addressed Germany in order to establish the identity of the person who sent the message. The police believe that the message about the pseudo-mining [i.e. a bomb scare -- ME] of the airport came in order to prevent the aircraft with Navalny on board from urgently landing at Omsk. Aleksei Navalny himself thanked the pilots who landed the aircraft at Omsk, although the airport had been "mined". And here is another inconsistency: information about the "mining" of the Omsk airport was closed and was not disclosed to anyone.

[Shooting his big gob off again, see! -- ME]

The police have also to check how Aleksei Navalny, who was in a coma at the Berlin Charité clinic, got hold of this information about the "mining" of Omsk airport, at a time when he had already lost consciousness whilst on board