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Demonization of Putin

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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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[Sep 18, 2017] The Russian Hacking Story Continues to Unravel by Mike Whitney

The key problem with the "official" story of DNS hack is the role of Crowdstrike and strangely coincident murder of Seth Rich. Que bono analysis here might also help: the main beneficiary of "Russian hack" story was Hillary camp as it allowed them to put a smoke screen shadowing allegation that they nefariously has thrown Sanders under the bus. A very serious allegation which has substantial supporting evidence. In a way they were fighting for their lives. Also Imran Awan story is omitted from the official narrative. Was not this another proved large scale hacking case? They also have a motive and opportunity in DNC case.
Notable quotes:
"... The reason Assange keeps saying that Russia wasn't involved is because Russia wasn't involved. There's nothing more to it than that. ..."
"... As for the other eyewitness, Craig Murray, he has also flatly denied that Russia provided WikiLeaks with the DNC emails. ..."
"... He claims he had a clandestine hand-off near American University with one of the email sources. Murray said the leakers' motivation was 'disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the 'tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders' ..."
"... Murray says: 'The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks'. 'Regardless of whether the Russians hacked into the DNC, the documents Wikileaks published did not come from that,' Murray insists." . ..."
"... Murray said he was speaking out due to claims from intelligence officials that Wikileaks was given the documents by Russian hackers as part of an effort to help Donald Trump win the U.S. presidential election. ..."
"... 'I don't understand why the CIA would say the information came from Russian hackers when they must know that isn't true,' he said. 'Regardless of whether the Russians hacked into the DNC, the documents Wikileaks published did not come from that." ..."
"... Is Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and human rights activist, a credible witness? There's one way to find out, isn't there? The FBI should interview Murray so they can establish whether he's telling the truth or not. And, naturally, one would assume that the FBI has already done that since the Russia hacking story has been splashed across the headlines for more than a year now. ..."
"... But that's not the case at all. The FBI has never questioned Assange or Murray, in fact, the FBI has never even tried to get in touch with either of them. Never. Not even a lousy phone call. It's like they don't exist. Why? Why hasn't the FBI contacted or questioned the only two witnesses in the case? ..."
"... Could it be because Assange and Murray's knowledge of the facts doesn't coincide with the skewed political narrative the Intel agencies and their co-collaborators at the DNC what to propagate? Isn't that what's really going on? Isn't Russia-gate really just a stick for beating Russia and Trump? How else would one explain this stubborn unwillingness of the FBI to investigate what one senator called "The crime of the century"? ..."
"... "It is no secret that NSA has the technology to trace a web event, e.g., a cyber attack, back to its source. There has been no public claim, nor is it implied in either Grizzly Steppe or the ICA that the NSA has trace routing to Russia on any of these purported Russian hacks." ("The Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge", Skip Folden) ..."
"... What the author is saying is that: If Russia hacked the DNC computers, the NSA would know about it. It's that simple. ..."
"... But no one at the NSA has ever verified the claims or produced one scintilla of evidence that connects Russia to the emails. In fact, the NSA has never even suggested that such evidence exists. Nor has anyone in the media asked Director Michael Rogers point blank whether the NSA has hard evidence that Russia hacked the DNC servers? ..."
"... The only logical explanation is that there's no proof that Russia was actually involved. Why else would the NSA withhold evidence on a matter this serious? It makes no sense. ..."
"... "The FBI, having asked multiple times at different levels, was refused access to the DNC server(s). It is not apparent that any law enforcement agency had access. ..."
"... 4. Not the FBI, CIA, nor NSA organizations analyzed the information from Crowdstrike. Only picked analysts of these agencies were chosen to see this data and write the ICA ." ..."
"... The DNC computers are Exhibit A. The FBI has to have those computers, and they are certainly within their rights to seize them by any means necessary. So why haven't they? Does the FBI think they can trust the second-hand analysis from some flunkey organization whose dubious background casts serious doubt on their conclusions? ..."
"... It's a joke! The only rational explanation for the FBI's behavior, is that they've been told to "stand down" so they don't unwittingly expose the truth about what's really going on, that the whole Russia hacking fiction is a complete and utter fraud, and that the DNC, the CIA and the media are all having a good laugh at the expense of the clueless American people. ..."
"... "Adam Carter: the FBI do not have disk images from any point during or following the alleged email hack. CrowdStrike's failure to produce evidence. – With Falcon installed between April and May (early May), they should have had evidence on when files/emails/etc were copied or sent. – That information has never been disclosed." ..."
"... What people want is proof that Russia hacked the DNC servers or that Trump cozied up to Russia to win the election. Nothing else matters. All these diversions prove is that, after one full year of nonstop, headline sensationalism, the investigation has produced nothing; a big, fat goose-egg. ..."
"... Remember the January 6, Intelligence Community Assessment? The ICA report was supposed to provide iron-clad proof that Russia hacked Democratic emails and published them at WikiLeaks. The media endlessly reiterated the claim that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies took part in the assessment and that it's conclusions represented the collective, objective analysis of America's finest. ..."
"... Right. The whole thing was a fraud. As it happens, only four of the agencies participated in the project (the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.) and the agents who provided the analysis were hand-picked for the task. Naturally, when a director hand-picks particular analysts for a given assignment, one assumes that they want a particular outcome. Which they did. Clearly, in this case, the intelligence was tailored to fit the policy. The intention was to vilify Russia in order to further isolate a country that was gradually emerging as a global rival. ..."
"... Lastly, Folden's report sheds light on the technical inconsistencies of the hacking allegations. Cyber-forensic experts have now shown that "The alleged "hack" was effectively impossible in mid-2016. The required download speed of the "hack" precludes an internet transfer of any significant distance." In other words, the speed at which the emails were transferred could only have taken place if they were "Downloaded onto external storage, e.g., 2.0 thumb drive." (The report also provides evidence that the transfers took place in the Eastern time zone, which refutes the theory that the servers were hacked from Romania.) ..."
"... "There was no hack of the Democratic National Committee's system on July 5 last year!not by the Russians, not by anyone else. Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak!a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device. In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC's system." ("A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack", Patrick Lawrence, The Nation) ..."
"... Read the whole report here: " Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge ", Skip Folden, Word Press. ..."
Sep 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

A new report by a retired IT executive at IBM, debunks the claim that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign by hacking Democratic computers and circulating damaging information about Hillary Clinton. The report, which is titled " The Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge ", provides a rigorous examination of the wobbly allegations upon which the hacking theory is based, as well as a point by point rejection of the primary claims which, in the final analysis, fail to pass the smell test. While the report is worth reading in full, our intention is to zero-in on the parts of the text that disprove the claims that Russia meddled in US elections or hacked the servers at the DNC.

Let's start with the fact that there are at least two credible witnesses who claim to know who took the DNC emails and transferred them to WikiLeaks. We're talking about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and WikiLeaks ally, Craig Murray. No one is in a better position to know who actually took the emails than Assange, and yet, Assange has repeatedly said that Russia was not the source. Check out this clip from the report:

Assange has been adamant all along that the Russian government was not a source; it was a non-state player.

ASSANGE: Our source is not a state party

HANNITY (Conservative talk show host): Can you say to the American people unequivocally that you did not get this information about the DNC, John Podesta's emails ! can you tell the American people 1,000 percent you did not get it from Russia

ASSANGE: Yes.

HANNITY: or anybody associated with Russia?

ASSANGE: We ! we can say and we have said repeatedly over the last two months, that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party

("The Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge", Skip Folden)

Can you think of a more credible witness than Julian Assange? The man has devoted his entire adult life to exposing the truth about government despite the risks his actions pose to his own personal safety. In fact, he is currently holed up at the Ecuador embassy in London for defending the public's right to know what their government is up to. Does anyone seriously think that a man like that would deliberately lie just to protect Russia's reputation?

No, of course not, and the new report backs him up on this matter. It states: "No where in the Intelligence Community's Assessment (ICA) was there any evidence of any connection between Russia and WikiLeaks." The reason Assange keeps saying that Russia wasn't involved is because Russia wasn't involved. There's nothing more to it than that.

As for the other eyewitness, Craig Murray, he has also flatly denied that Russia provided WikiLeaks with the DNC emails. Check out this except from an article at The Daily Mail:

(Murray) "flew to Washington, D.C. for emails. He claims he had a clandestine hand-off near American University with one of the email sources. Murray said the leakers' motivation was 'disgust at the corruption of the Clinton Foundation and the 'tilting of the primary election playing field against Bernie Sanders'

Murray says: 'The source had legal access to the information. The documents came from inside leaks, not hacks'. 'Regardless of whether the Russians hacked into the DNC, the documents Wikileaks published did not come from that,' Murray insists." .

Murray said he was speaking out due to claims from intelligence officials that Wikileaks was given the documents by Russian hackers as part of an effort to help Donald Trump win the U.S. presidential election.

'I don't understand why the CIA would say the information came from Russian hackers when they must know that isn't true,' he said. 'Regardless of whether the Russians hacked into the DNC, the documents Wikileaks published did not come from that."

(EXCLUSIVE: Ex-British ambassador who is now a WikiLeaks operative claims Russia did NOT provide Clinton emails", Daily Mail)

Is Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan and human rights activist, a credible witness? There's one way to find out, isn't there? The FBI should interview Murray so they can establish whether he's telling the truth or not. And, naturally, one would assume that the FBI has already done that since the Russia hacking story has been splashed across the headlines for more than a year now.

But that's not the case at all. The FBI has never questioned Assange or Murray, in fact, the FBI has never even tried to get in touch with either of them. Never. Not even a lousy phone call. It's like they don't exist. Why? Why hasn't the FBI contacted or questioned the only two witnesses in the case?

Could it be because Assange and Murray's knowledge of the facts doesn't coincide with the skewed political narrative the Intel agencies and their co-collaborators at the DNC what to propagate? Isn't that what's really going on? Isn't Russia-gate really just a stick for beating Russia and Trump? How else would one explain this stubborn unwillingness of the FBI to investigate what one senator called "The crime of the century"?

Here's something else from the report that's worth mulling over:

"It is no secret that NSA has the technology to trace a web event, e.g., a cyber attack, back to its source. There has been no public claim, nor is it implied in either Grizzly Steppe or the ICA that the NSA has trace routing to Russia on any of these purported Russian hacks." ("The Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge", Skip Folden)

This is a crucial point, so let's rephrase that in simple English. What the author is saying is that: If Russia hacked the DNC computers, the NSA would know about it. It's that simple.

But no one at the NSA has ever verified the claims or produced one scintilla of evidence that connects Russia to the emails. In fact, the NSA has never even suggested that such evidence exists. Nor has anyone in the media asked Director Michael Rogers point blank whether the NSA has hard evidence that Russia hacked the DNC servers?

Why? Why this conspiracy of silence on a matter that is so fundamental to the case that the NSA and the other Intel agencies are trying to make?

The only logical explanation is that there's no proof that Russia was actually involved. Why else would the NSA withhold evidence on a matter this serious? It makes no sense.

According to the media, Intelligence agents familiar with the matter have "high confidence' that Russia was involved.

Okay, but where's the proof? You can't expect to build a case against a foreign government and a sitting president with just "high confidence". You need facts, evidence, proof. Where's the beef?

We already mentioned how the FBI never bothered to question the only eyewitnesses in the case. That's odd enough, but what's even stranger is the fact that the FBI never seized the DNC's servers so they could conduct a forensic examination of them. What's that all about? Here's an excerpt from the report:

"The FBI, having asked multiple times at different levels, was refused access to the DNC server(s). It is not apparent that any law enforcement agency had access.

The apparent single source of information on the purported DNC intrusion(s) was from Crowdstrike.

3. Crowdstrike is a cyber security firm hired by the Democratic Party.

4. Not the FBI, CIA, nor NSA organizations analyzed the information from Crowdstrike. Only picked analysts of these agencies were chosen to see this data and write the ICA ."

( "The Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge)

Have you ever read anything more ridiculous in your life? The FBI's negligence in this case goes beyond anything I've ever seen before. Imagine if a murder was committed in the apartment next to you and the FBI was called in to investigate. But when they arrive at the scene of the crime, they're blocked at the door by the victim's roommate who refuses to let them in. Speaking through the door, the roommate assures the agents that the victim was shot dead with a single bullet to the head, and that the smoking gun that was used in the murder is still on the floor. But "don't worry", says the obstructing roommate, "I've already photographed the whole thing and I'll send you the pictures as soon as I get the chance."

Do you really think the agents would put up with such nonsense?

Never! They'd kick down the door, slap the roommate in handcuffs, cordon-off the murder scene, and start digging-around for clues. That's what they'd do. And yet we are supposed to believe that in the biggest case of the decade, a case that that allegedly involves foreign espionage and presidential treason, that the FBI has made no serious effort to secure the servers that were allegedly hacked by Russia?

The DNC computers are Exhibit A. The FBI has to have those computers, and they are certainly within their rights to seize them by any means necessary. So why haven't they? Does the FBI think they can trust the second-hand analysis from some flunkey organization whose dubious background casts serious doubt on their conclusions?

It's a joke! The only rational explanation for the FBI's behavior, is that they've been told to "stand down" so they don't unwittingly expose the truth about what's really going on, that the whole Russia hacking fiction is a complete and utter fraud, and that the DNC, the CIA and the media are all having a good laugh at the expense of the clueless American people.

Here's another interesting clip from the report:

"Adam Carter: the FBI do not have disk images from any point during or following the alleged email hack. CrowdStrike's failure to produce evidence. – With Falcon installed between April and May (early May), they should have had evidence on when files/emails/etc were copied or sent. – That information has never been disclosed."

("The Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge", Skip Folden)

Read that excerpt over again. It's mind boggling. What Carter is saying is that, they have nothing, no evidence, no proof, no nothing. If you don't have a disk image, then what do you have?

You have nothing, that's what. Which means that everything we've read is 100 percent conjecture, not a shred of evidence anywhere. Which is why the focus has shifted to Manafort, Flynn, Trump Jr and the goofy Russian lawyer?

Who gives a rip about Manafort? Seriously? The investigation started off with grave allegations of foreign espionage and presidential collusion (treason?) and quickly downshifted to the illicit financial dealings of someone the American people could care less about. Talk about mission creep!

What people want is proof that Russia hacked the DNC servers or that Trump cozied up to Russia to win the election. Nothing else matters. All these diversions prove is that, after one full year of nonstop, headline sensationalism, the investigation has produced nothing; a big, fat goose-egg.

A few words about the ICA Report

Remember the January 6, Intelligence Community Assessment? The ICA report was supposed to provide iron-clad proof that Russia hacked Democratic emails and published them at WikiLeaks. The media endlessly reiterated the claim that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies took part in the assessment and that it's conclusions represented the collective, objective analysis of America's finest.

Right. The whole thing was a fraud. As it happens, only four of the agencies participated in the project (the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.) and the agents who provided the analysis were hand-picked for the task. Naturally, when a director hand-picks particular analysts for a given assignment, one assumes that they want a particular outcome. Which they did. Clearly, in this case, the intelligence was tailored to fit the policy. The intention was to vilify Russia in order to further isolate a country that was gradually emerging as a global rival. And the report was moderately successful in that regard too, except for one paradoxical disclaimer that appeared on page 13. Here it is:

"Judgments are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary, as well as logic, argumentation, and precedents."

What the authors are saying is that, 'Everything you read in this report could be complete baloney because it's all based on conjecture, speculation and guesswork.'

Isn't that what they're saying? Why would anyone waste their time reading a report when the authors openly admit that their grasp of what happened is "incomplete or fragmentary" and they have no "proof" of anything?

Gregory Copley, President, International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA) summed it up best when he said: "This is a highly politically motivated and a subjective report which was issued by the intelligence community. does not present evidence of successful or even an attempt to actually actively manipulate the election process."

Like we said, it's all baloney.

Lastly, Folden's report sheds light on the technical inconsistencies of the hacking allegations. Cyber-forensic experts have now shown that "The alleged "hack" was effectively impossible in mid-2016. The required download speed of the "hack" precludes an internet transfer of any significant distance." In other words, the speed at which the emails were transferred could only have taken place if they were "Downloaded onto external storage, e.g., 2.0 thumb drive." (The report also provides evidence that the transfers took place in the Eastern time zone, which refutes the theory that the servers were hacked from Romania.)

The Nation summed it up perfectly in this brief paragraph:

"There was no hack of the Democratic National Committee's system on July 5 last year!not by the Russians, not by anyone else. Hard science now demonstrates it was a leak!a download executed locally with a memory key or a similarly portable data-storage device. In short, it was an inside job by someone with access to the DNC's system." ("A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack", Patrick Lawrence, The Nation)

Bingo.

Bottom line: A dedicated group of independent researchers and former Intel agents joined forces and produced the first hard evidence that "the official narrative implicating Russia" is wrong. This is a stunning development that will, in time, cut through the fog of government propaganda and reveal the truth. Skip Folden's report is an important contribution to that same effort.

Read the whole report here: " Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge ", Skip Folden, Word Press.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition . He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com .

Seamus Padraig > , September 14, 2017 at 12:43 pm GMT

In related news, Craig Murray is now being sued for libel in the UK over specious accusations stemming from the Jeremy Corbyn 'anti-Semitism' scandal. Murry writes:

I am being sued for libel in the High Court in England by Jake Wallis Simons, Associate Editor of the Daily Mail Online. Mr Wallis Simons is demanding £40,000 in damages and the High Court has approved over £100,000 in costs for Mark Lewis, Mr Wallis Simons' lawyer. I may become liable for all of this should I lose the case, and furthermore I have no money to pay for my defence. I am currently a defendant in person. This case has the potential to bankrupt me and blight the lives of my wife and children. I have specifically been threatened by Mr Lewis with bankruptcy.

Source: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2017/09/save-craig-murray/

Britain is notorious for having libel laws with a reversed burden of proof , meaning that the defendant (in this case, Murray) must prove himself innocent! Some shady plaintiffs, when jurisdiction-shopping for a libel case, have been known to try and file libel charges in Britain for this very reason.

Somebody's after Craig Murray big-time.

elmer t. jones > , September 14, 2017 at 7:09 pm GMT

The ICA report was a joke to anyone with rudimentary internet skills. It had a page of infographics featuring the iconic hacker-in-a-hoodie, a short list of perps ("hairyBear69″ etc etc) and the rest of it looked like a generic corporate PowerPoint on good cyber security practices. The media of course acted like it was all damning evidence of collusion.

Jonathan Mason > , September 15, 2017 at 12:56 am GMT
Reading Unz Review you will be better off replacing the word "Jew" with the term "the member of financial oligarchy". That's also will be more correct as tribal interests of financial oligarchy are the same as attributed to Jews in Protocols of Zion Elders...

The media endlessly reiterated the claim that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies took part in the assessment and that it's (sic) conclusions represented the collective, objective analysis of America's finest.

Well, at the time, I, and probably most other people of moderate intelligence, said: "It is highly unlikely that all seventeen intelligence agencies have carried out independent investigations and come to identical conclusions without any of them being able to produce hard evidence. So this can safely be dismissed as bullshit."

People are not stupid, just like almost no one believed in Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. Apparently Colin Powell and Hillary Clinton were the only people who were fooled. And Hillary Clinton also believed that she came under fire in Serbia, having been sent as First Lady to a place where it was too dangerous for the President to go, even though he had been there in person only a few months earlier.

There is a pattern here, I think.

Miro23 > , September 15, 2017 at 3:29 am GMT

The only rational explanation for the FBI's behavior, is that they've been told to "stand down" so they don't unwittingly expose the truth about what's really going on, that the whole Russia hacking fiction is a complete and utter fraud, and that the DNC, the CIA and the media are all having a good laugh at the expense of the clueless American people.

The same that they were told to "stand down " on the plentiful 9/11 evidence that contradicts the government story (see especially what they were doing down in Florida, Daniel Hopsicker "Welcome to Terrorland" https://www.amazon.com/Welcome-Terrorland-Mohamed-Cover-up-Florida/dp/0970659164/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1505445435&sr=8-2&keywords=daniel+hopsicker ).

I'm not sure that the FBI and CIA operatives are having a good laugh. To some extent they ARE the American people, and will have some basic ideas of justice and honesty. Their political masters can bribe and coerce them but there are limits to the efficiency of a (US) system run on fear and greed.

exiled off mainstreet > , September 15, 2017 at 3:36 am GMT

Despite the massive amount of evidence exposing the fraudulent nature of the story the media keeps going along based on the assumption that the lies are facts. Many if not most of those who consume the media propaganda continue to believe this crap. It is a sort of 21st century iteration of Goebbels propaganda but with the risk of nuclear war.

dc.sunsets > , September 15, 2017 at 8:31 pm GMT

Fake news is gonna be fake.

Until recently, people believed. They believed in The System (and the System's Narrative) more fervently than did their 14th Century European ancestors believe in Christianity.

They believed we could all get rich by Government and corporations issuing more and more and more debt. They believed that a promise to pay future cash flows, from Social Security or a Teacher's Pension or a Treasury Bond maturing, it was ALL as certain as if the money was already sitting on a table in front of their eyes.

Every institution in the West is being destroyed from within by the very people who staff it and who count on it for financial income. Those working in The News make stuff up out of whole cloth, apparently believing that a public that sees their output as fiction will continue to fund the channel that accrues to their paycheck. The same holds true of FB and social media. Government officials can't keep their lies straight anymore, and everywhere we look we see a wave of awakening, as members of the public each come to reframe that which they can see.

We are past apogee on the wave of pathological trust. The path ahead is of growing distrust, and while healthy in part, it will likely overshoot a better place by as much on the downside as it trust overshot wisdom on the upside.

View everything with distrust and suspicion; by doing so now, you'll be the rush.

Backwoods Bob > , September 15, 2017 at 9:48 pm GMT

It's exasperating but the strategy from the beginning has been psychological, not evidence-based, and it has been working.

All they have to do is keep repeating the three words Russia, Trump, and Hacking in close proximity to one another. They got the vast majority of people to believe Saddam Hussein did 9/11. I visit my mother in a retirement home and the mainstream television media has them completely in their grip.

I occasionally check in with the nauseating mainstream press or talking head shows, and watched a gaggle of clowns devolve into a shouting match over Trump/Russia. It was perfectly choreographed to make sure no coherent sentence, no complete thought was ever uttered. It was just noise – which is what the CIA is paying for and the producers are serving up.

In the meantime the Awan spy ring in Congress is being investigated by citizen journalists and studiously ignored by both Congress and the media. Does that tell you anything? They're mostly either safely blackmailed or paid off. The FBI can't find a crime being committed right in front of them in broad daylight so long as the criminal is helping out the country with weapons deliveries to Al Qaeda and ISIS, opium from Afghanistan, and other charitable efforts.

CalDre > , September 16, 2017 at 7:38 am GMT

Whilst I share the view there is no credible evidence of this "Russian hacking", this article does not provide any evidence against. How is Assange a witness? Did the leaker/hacker walk into the Ecuadorian embassy in London and hand it to him? No, no doubt he thinks that because that is what Murray told him. Now Murray could be lying, or he could have been fooled: if indeed it was Russia behind the hacks, they could have hired anyone / used any asset to deliver the goods to Murray.

This just doesn't advance the ball one iota.

The Alarmist > , September 16, 2017 at 11:06 am GMT

The term "Stand Down" seems to crop up a lot in matters involving Hillary Clinton, no?

Anonymous > , Disclaimer September 16, 2017 at 11:16 am GMT

I put some effort into editing the original text by Skip Folden and put into into .odt and .pdf. Also checked the links and highlighted some problems.

Have a go, I put it on Amazon S3 (imma supporting Bezos, here), it's easier to read on the train, too:

The+Non+Existent+Foundation+of+the+Russian+Hacking+Charge.pdf

The+Non+Existent+Foundation+of+the+Russian+Hacking+Charge.odt

Logging is off BTW.

El Dato > , September 16, 2017 at 12:38 pm GMT

Meanwhile, Stripped Nuts and Loose Screws:

https://www.lgraham.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=66BF6DAD-0C50-4279-8EA2-018A8B17CAD7

"There is no credible doubt that Russia attacked our election infrastructure in 2016," said Gillibrand. "We need a public accounting of how they were able to do it so effectively, and how we can protect our country when Russia or any other nation tries to attack us again. The clock is ticking before our next election, and these questions are urgent. We need to be able to defend ourselves against threats to our elections, our democracy, and our sacred right to vote. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to create a 9/11-style Commission to defend our democracy and protect ourselves against future attacks on our country."

Lying and not realising you created the problem in the first place (Closed-source Diebold QUALITY machines etc.)

Just go back to paper, you fcsking idiots.

Seamus Padraig > , September 16, 2017 at 3:07 pm GMT

@CalDre Whilst I share the view there is no credible evidence of this "Russian hacking", this article does not provide any evidence against. How is Assange a witness? Did the leaker/hacker walk into the Ecuadorian embassy in London and hand it to him? No, no doubt he thinks that because that is what Murray told him. Now Murray could be lying, or he could have been fooled: if indeed it was Russia behind the hacks, they could have hired anyone / used any asset to deliver the goods to Murray.

This just doesn't advance the ball one iota.

Whilst I share the view there is no credible evidence of this "Russian hacking", this article does not provide any evidence against.

Oh? You want us to reverse the burden of proof, do you? Look, I don't know what country you come from, but in the US, a man is always innocent until proven guilty.

Now Murray could be lying, or he could have been fooled: if indeed it was Russia behind the hacks, they could have hired anyone / used any asset to deliver the goods to Murray.

Like Seth Rich, for example? Now that would be an elaborate plot!

Backwoods Bob > , September 16, 2017 at 6:44 pm GMT

@El Dato I can't remember hearing much about Sibel Edmond's revelations either recently.

That story disappeared faster than Oswald exiting a bookstore.

At least she's still alive. So true, El Dato. Even after the 29 pages came out and pointed to Saudi Arabian involvement like suspected, it was just dropped.

Or any number of other ghastly acts like Fast and Furious, the IRS and other organs of government being used to harass and suppress. We overthrew Ukraine and the mockingbird media made it sound like it was a Russian invasion, the story could not have been more backwards.

It's the Church Committee, Iran-Contra, and the Rosenberg's except bigger. Judicial Watch keeps digging out pay-to-play emails. A person would have to be brain dead not to see Comey obstructed investigations and let them destroy evidence. It is clear Congressmen are implicated directly, both parties, Clinton and McCain represent all the worst of our corruption. Aiding Al Qaeda and ISIS.

We have whole shipping containers at a time going to and fro from our ports under diplomatic immunity. Talk about a grotesque corruption of the diplomatic "pouch" immunity. The USSR did its industrial and defense espionage through diplomatic immunity, read Major Jordan's Diaries on the ratline through Alaska via the Lend-Lease program. But now instead of brief cases, it is international shipping containers.

Clear and Present Danger.

CalDre > , September 16, 2017 at 6:47 pm GMT

@Seamus Padraig

Whilst I share the view there is no credible evidence of this "Russian hacking", this article does not provide any evidence against.
Oh? You want us to reverse the burden of proof, do you? Look, I don't know what country you come from, but in the US, a man is always innocent until proven guilty.
Now Murray could be lying, or he could have been fooled: if indeed it was Russia behind the hacks, they could have hired anyone / used any asset to deliver the goods to Murray.
Like Seth Rich, for example? Now that would be an elaborate plot!

You want us to reverse the burden of proof

First, I never claimed that. It was the author's claim that he was "disproving" it. Second, it's not reversing the burden of proof – in a trial both sides submit evidence. The "burden of proof" only indicates who will win if there is no evidence at all. Once the part with the burden of proof submits evidence, it is up to the other side to disprove it.

Like Seth Rich, for example? Now that would be an elaborate plot!

Has Murray, who allegedly met the leaker, ever claimed it was Seth Rich? Craig isn't dead, you know.

Lawrence Fitton > , September 16, 2017 at 7:51 pm GMT

in 1947 the national security act was passed which meant politicians can lie to the American public as long as the lie is to protect national security. everything is a national security issue now. Not that politicians weren't liars before the act. but today they have cover. Remember james clapper's lies on tv? But he also lied to congress. Congress has no balls or they would have prosecuted him. they have given up their power, of which they have much. particularly when it comes to war. congress declares it; congress funds it; congress can end it. The bums we elect just know to do one thing – hold out their hands.

JackOH > , September 16, 2017 at 11:51 pm GMT

I'm not even a close follower of the "Russian hacking" theory, or whatever the hell it is, but as an ordinary, thinking human being, I find the explanation that a disgruntled Seth Rich (?) leaked those e-mails much more parsimonious than a bunch of Ivans messing about in the DNC's skivvies.

CalDre > , September 17, 2017 at 3:25 am GMT

@JackOH I'm not even a close follower of the "Russian hacking" theory, or whatever the hell it is, but as an ordinary, thinking human being, I find the explanation that a disgruntled Seth Rich (?) leaked those e-mails much more parsimonious than a bunch of Ivans messing about in the DNC's skivvies. Absolutely, Seth Rich, a leftist Jew who supported Bernie Sanders, a leftist Jew, being disgusted by the conspiring at the DNC to screw Sanders makes perfect sense.

Except Craig Murray has never claimed (or AFAIK denied) that it was Seth. One could understand him not revealing it since Wikileaks promises anonymity, and they need to keep that promise even posthumous to be effective.

Only chance of getting at that truth is if Seth's family authorizes Wikileaks to claim or disclaim Seth as the source (if they would honor such a request is another issue), but they won't do that because they are Democrat loyalists and would rather their son's death go unsolved than implicate the Democrats in a huge scandal. Seth's family actually disgusts me.

Seamus Padraig > , September 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm GMT

@CalDre

You want us to reverse the burden of proof
First, I never claimed that. It was the author's claim that he was "disproving" it. Second, it's not reversing the burden of proof - in a trial both sides submit evidence. The "burden of proof" only indicates who will win if there is no evidence at all. Once the part with the burden of proof submits evidence, it is up to the other side to disprove it.
Like Seth Rich, for example? Now that would be an elaborate plot!
Has Murray, who allegedly met the leaker, ever claimed it was Seth Rich? Craig isn't dead, you know.

First, I never claimed that. It was the author's claim that he was "disproving" it.

In a technical sense, you are right. Whitney did once above use (or misuse, actually) the word 'disprove' to mean that the other side had failed to prove it's case. But in our legal system, simply showing that the prosecution has failed to prove it's case is quite sufficient to get your man acquitted. You don't have to have proof positive of your man's innocence, so long as the prosecution has no proof of his guilt. Why? Because the burden of proof rests with the prosecution. Whitney's semantic gaffe here doesn't change that fundamental fact.

Has Murray, who allegedly met the leaker, ever claimed it was Seth Rich? Craig isn't dead, you know.

He confirmed having met the leaker in person inside the US, though it's true he never mentions Rich by name. Wikileaks strives to protect the anonymity of their sources wherever possible. However–and rather tellingly–Assange did offer a cash reward for information leading the arrest of Rich's murderer(s). Again, Assange did not come out and say plainly that Rich was the source, but it's hard to imagine him offering a reward for just anybody out there in world with no connection to Wikileaks whatsoever.

And while Craig Murray may still be alive, as I pointed out above in comment #1, he is now facing a potentially ruinous trial in Britain. A bit like the mysterious Swedish rape allegations against Assange, one could argue that this is all just some remarkably timed coincidence; but then again, it could just as well be the system's way of signalling its displeasure with Murray for cooperating with Wikileaks.

FKA Max > , Website September 18, 2017 at 1:48 am GMT

This is a pretty amusing and insightful article, that might interest Unz Review readers:

'I Get Called a Russian Bot 50 Times a Day'

How a network of little-known Twitter "rooms" helps die-hard fans amplify Trump's message, attack CNN, and spread #MAGA to the world.

[Hide MORE]

Microchip, a Twitter user who uses several different accounts and is routinely banned from the site, told POLITICO the pro-Trump rooms help him spread racist and otherwise controversial material. His dual aims are to prod the left and entice the media into covering the latest online controversy he helped stoke.

Microchip said he started several rooms in November 2015. A handful of people in other rooms confirmed that he was an "early player." But he has been blocked from many rooms because of his "wild claims," one said, as well as anti-Semitic and inflammatory remarks.
[...]
But Microchip, who described himself as an "atheist liberal that just hates immigration" and transgender people, has open contempt for most of Trump's base.

"Conservatives are generally morons," he said. "It's like herding cats."

He's just as frank about what he's peddling to Trump supporters.

"You know how I know they're spreading lies?" Microchip asked one die-hard this week. "Because I do the same thing, it's fake news and spin."
[...]
Lotan said Microchip's claims explain the link between the boomer generation in the mainstream rooms and the younger meme producers on 4chan and reddit.

"The boomers are there, thirsty for ammunition. And 4chan is so good at generating ammunition," Lotan said. "But the boomers will not go to 4chan."

People in the mainstream pro-Trump rooms said Microchip had not been active there for many months. In turn, Microchip said he maintains pseudonymous accounts to hide his identity from "brain dead" Trump supporters.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/09/twitter-trump-train-maga-echo-chamber-215470

... ... ...

JackOH > , September 18, 2017 at 8:34 am GMT

@CalDre Absolutely, Seth Rich, a leftist Jew who supported Bernie Sanders, a leftist Jew, being disgusted by the conspiring at the DNC to screw Sanders makes perfect sense.

Except Craig Murray has never claimed (or AFAIK denied) that it was Seth. One could understand him not revealing it since Wikileaks promises anonymity, and they need to keep that promise even posthumous to be effective.

Only chance of getting at that truth is if Seth's family authorizes Wikileaks to claim or disclaim Seth as the source (if they would honor such a request is another issue), but they won't do that because they are Democrat loyalists and would rather their son's death go unsolved than implicate the Democrats in a huge scandal. Seth's family actually disgusts me. CalDre, thanks. This whole story stinks badly, and the "Russian hack" blather put out on the TV blab shows by Washington gamesmen just seems to me self-serving careerism.

We're asked to believe that Russian intelligence has gathered damaging information on Hillary Clinton, then the front-runner among Democrat candidates, by hacking the DNC's computers. Then, instead of reserving this information to blackmail a future President Hillary Clinton, they turn the information over to Julian Assange. Why in hell would I, i. e ., Russian intelligence, squander good leverage over President Hillary? Are we expected to believe Russian intelligence actually thought it could swing an election by using Assange as a sort of sub-contractor?

Seth Rich, on the other hand, is an idealistic, low-level guy who has a strong motive to hurt the organization that's betrayed him.

As I mentioned, my knowledge of the story is pretty superficial, but it really does seem to me a pile of horse dung.

jilles dykstra > , September 18, 2017 at 10:50 am GMT

Even if Russia tried to interfere in USA elections, what is it in comparison with the CIA organising the murder of Allende, or Soros trying to change Hungarian law ?

Joe Hide > , September 18, 2017 at 1:13 pm GMT

This is great news. The fraudulent stories about Russia and Trump are great news. The other deep state and shadow government false propaganda are great news. This is because the level of this false propaganda is so low, so poor, so unbelievable, that sane people wake up and withdraw any allegiance to the sources of this misinformation. It is great news, because many of the politically insane citizens are becoming sane due to the misinformation being so obviously a pack of lies, that even they have to think differently.
By the way, Great Article!

Wizard of Oz > , September 18, 2017 at 1:16 pm GMT

@Seamus Padraig Forgive me if I am out of date but to say that there is a reverse burden of proof in libel cases in Britain (sic – Scotland too?) is BS according to my recollection. (I set aside the possibility that you S P are confusing a civil tort action with a criminal prosecution although your use of the wòrd "innocence" suggests that you may be).

Here's how it was for at least 150 years. Once the court decided that the words complained of were defamatory so at least some general damages were possibly claimable (maybe a farthing which meant the plaintiff would have to pay the defendant's costs) the defendant had several possible avenues of defence. One was that the words were true. If you call a man a thief you have committed an assault on his reputation and you had better have some justification for that. Are you really complaining about that? Complain all you like about so-called "stop writs" where a (typically) rich plaintiff starts proceedings which he suspects the defendant will not have the means to defend properly, and then just sits on the cade having achieved intimidation.

Then there is the defense of "fair comment on a matter of public interest" which is available to the defendant even if he can't prove the truth of his libel. Logically that can't succeed if the defendant is found to have been actuated by malice.

Finally, without pretending to cover the whole subject, the defendant can contend and provide evidence that the plaintiff had no good reputation to lose.

Having read the link I see that it does look like a move to shut him up. If the plaintiff wanted real compensation he would be suing Sky Television which didn't cut the defamatory remarks. Or has that been settled by an apology – which wouldn't be usual for Sky would it?

I am intrigued by the £100,000 costs approved by the court. Presumably this is some procedural innovation which was introduced well after I learned about libel actions and which could be justified .. except it surely leaves the law looking like an ass if the damages clImed are only £40,000!

Finally .can you tell us what the actual libel was? What did Murray say? This is a US site so the First Amendment should look after us.

Wizard of Oz > , September 18, 2017 at 1:31 pm GMT

@Grandpa Charlie

The most interesting thing in your Comment is what you claimed to have found by your "background checks" on the new Senator Obama. What can you tell us to substantiate the novel assertion that Obama was closely connected to the CIA. What sources? What relationships? What facts?

[Sep 17, 2017] The So-called Russian Hack of the DNC Does Not Make Sense by Publius Tacitus

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... 6 May 2016 when CrowdStrike first detected what it assessed to be a Russian presence inside the DNC server. Follow me here. One week after realizing there had been a penetration, the DNC learns, courtesy of the computer security firm it hired, that the Russians are doing it. Okay. Does CrowdStrike shut down the penetration. Nope. The hacking apparently continues unabated. ..."
"... I introduce Seth Rich at this point because he represents an alternative hypothesis. Rich, who reportedly was a Bernie Sanders supporter, was in a position at the DNC that gave him access to the emails in question and the opportunity to download the emails and take them from the DNC headquarters. Worth noting that Julian Assange offered $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Rich's killer or killers. 8. 22 July 2016. Wikileaks published the DNC emails starting on 22 July 2016. Bill Binney, a former senior official at NSA, insists that if such a hack and electronic transfer over the internet had occurred then the NSA has in it possession the intelligence data to prove that such activity had occurred. ..."
"... Notwithstanding the claim by CrowdStrike not a single piece of evidence has been provided to the public to support the conclusion that the emails were hacked and physically transferred to a server under the control of a Russian intelligence operative. ..."
"... Please do not try to post a comment stating that the "Intelligence Community" concluded as well that Russia was responsible. That claim is totally without one shred of actual forensic evidence. Also, Julian Assange insists that the emails did not come from a Russian source. ..."
"... Wikileaks, the protector of the accountability of the top, has announced a reward for finding the murderers of Seth Rich. In comparison, the DNC has not offered any reward to help the investigation of the murder of the DNC staffer, but the DNC found a well-connected lawyer to protect Imran Awan who is guilty (along with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz) in the greatest breach of national cybersecurity: http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/29/wasserman-schultz-seemingly-planned-to-pay-suspect-even-while-he-lived-in-pakistan/ ..."
"... I'm afraid you're behind the times. Wheeler is no longer relevant now that Sy Hersh has revealed an FBI report that explicitly says Rich was in contact with Wikileaks offering to sell them DNC documents. ..."
"... Alperovitch is not just an incompetent "expert" in cybersecurity - he is a willing liar and war-mongering, for money. ..."
"... The DNC hacking story has never been about national security; Alperovitch (and his handlers) have no loyalty to the US. ..."
"... LeaNder , 05 September 2017 at 09:59 AM ..."
"... PT, I make a short exception. Actually decided to stop babbling for a while. But: Just finished something successfully. ..."
"... And since I usually need distraction by something far more interesting then matters at hand. I was close to your line of thought yesters. ..."
"... But really: Shouldn't the timeline start in 2015, since that's supposedly the time someone got into the DNC's system? ..."
"... One could of course start earlier. What is the exact timeline of the larger cyberwar post 9/11, or at least the bits and pieces that surfaced for the nitwits among us, like: Stuxnet? ..."
"... But nevermind. Don't forget developments and recent events around Eugene or Jewgeni Walentinowitsch Kasperski? ..."
"... LondonBob , 05 September 2017 at 03:27 PM ..."
"... The Russia thing certainly seems to have gone quiet. ..."
"... Bannon's chum says the issue with pursuing the Clinton email thing is that you would end up having to indict almost all of the last administration, including Obama, unseemly certainly. Still there might be a fall guy, maybe Comey, and obviously it serves Trump's purposes to keep this a live issue through the good work of Grassley and the occasional tweet. ..."
"... Would be amusing if Trump pardoned Obama. Still think Brennan should pay a price though, can't really be allowed to get away with it ..."
"... Scott Ritter's article referenced in PT's post is terrific, covering a ton of issues related to CrowdStrike and the DNC hack. You need to read it, not just PT's timeline. In case you missed the link in PT's post: ..."
"... Dumbstruck: How CrowdStrike Conned America on the Hack of the DNC https://medium.com/homefront-rising/dumbstruck-how-crowdstrike-conned-america-on-the-hack-of-the-dnc-ecfa522ff44f ..."
"... The article by Jeffrey Carr on CrowdStrike referenced from back in 2012 is also worth reading: Where's the "Strike" in CrowdStrike? https://jeffreycarr.blogspot.com/2012/09/wheres-strike-in-crowdstrike.html ..."
"... Also, the article Carr references is very important for understanding the limits of malware analysis and "attribution". Written by Michael Tanji, whose credentials appear impressive: "spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East." ..."
"... Malware Analysis: The Danger of Connecting the Dots: https://www.oodaloop.com/technology/2012/09/11/malware-analysis-the-danger-of-connecting-the-dots/ ..."
"... His article echoes and reinforces what Carr and others have said about the difficulty of attribution of infosec breaches. Namely that the basic problem of both intelligence and infosec operations is that there is too much obfuscation, manipulation, and misdirection involved to be sure of who or what is going on. ..."
"... None of this proves that Russian intelligence - or Russians of some stripe - or for that matter hackers from literally anywhere - couldn't or didn't ALSO do a hack of the DNC. But it does prove that the iron-clad attribution of the source of Wikileaks email release to Russia is at best flawed, and at worst a deliberate cover up of a leak. ..."
"... And Russiagate depends prima rily on BOTH alleged "facts" being true: 1) that Russia hacked the DNC, and 2) that Russia was the source of Wikileaks release. And if the latter is not true, then one has to question why Russia hacked the DNC in the first place, other than for "normal" espionage operations. "Influencing the election" then becomes a far less plausible theory. ..."
"... The general takeaway from an infosec point of view is that attribution by means of target identification, tools used, and "indicators of compromise" is a fatally flawed means of identifying, and thus being able to counter, the adversaries encountered in today's Internet world, as Tanji proves. Only HUMINT offers a way around this, just as it is really the only valid option in countering terrorism. ..."
Sep 05, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Notwithstanding the conventional wisdom that Russia hacked into the DNC computers, downloaded emails and a passed the stolen missives to Julian Assange's crew at Wikileaks, a careful examination of the timeline of events from 2016 shows that this story is simply not plausible.

Let me take you through the known facts:

1. 29 April 2016 , when the DNC became aware its servers had been penetrated (https://medium.com/homefront-rising/dumbstruck-how-crowdstrike-conned-america-on-the-hack-of-the-dnc-ecfa522ff44f). Note. They apparently did not know who was doing it. 2, 6 May 2016 when CrowdStrike first detected what it assessed to be a Russian presence inside the DNC server. Follow me here. One week after realizing there had been a penetration, the DNC learns, courtesy of the computer security firm it hired, that the Russians are doing it. Okay. Does CrowdStrike shut down the penetration. Nope. The hacking apparently continues unabated. 3. 25 May 2016. The messages published on Wikileaks from the DNC show that 26 May 2016 was the last date that emails were sent and received at the DNC. There are no emails in the public domain after that date. In other words, if the DNC emails were taken via a hacking operation, we can conclude from the fact that the last messages posted to Wikileaks show a date time group of 25 May 2016. Wikileaks has not reported nor posted any emails from the DNC after the 25th of May. I think it is reasonable to assume that was the day the dirty deed was done. 4. 12 June 2016, CrowdStrike purged the DNC server of all malware. Are you kidding me? 45 days after the DNC discovers that its serve has been penetrated the decision to purge the DNC server is finally made. What in the hell were they waiting for? But this also tells us that 18 days after the last email "taken" from the DNC, no additional emails were taken by this nasty malware. Here is what does not make sense to me. If the DNC emails were truly hacked and the malware was still in place on 11 June 2016 (it was not purged until the 12th) then why are there no emails from the DNC after 26 May 2016? an excellent analysis of Guccifer's role : Almost immediately after the one-two punch of the Washington Post article/CrowdStrike technical report went public, however, something totally unexpected happened ! someone came forward and took full responsibility for the DNC cyber attack. Moreover, this entity ! operating under the persona Guccifer 2.0 (ostensibly named after the original Guccifer , a Romanian hacker who stole the emails of a number of high-profile celebrities and who was arrested in 2014 and sentenced to 4 ½ years of prison in May 2016) ! did something no state actor has ever done before, publishing documents stolen from the DNC server as proof of his claims.
Hi. This is Guccifer 2.0 and this is me who hacked Democratic National Committee.

With that simple email, sent to the on-line news magazine, The Smoking Gun , Guccifer 2.0 stole the limelight away from Alperovitch. Over the course of the next few days, through a series of emails, online posts and interviews , Guccifer 2.0 openly mocked CrowdStrike and its Russian attribution. Guccifer 2.0 released a number of documents, including a massive 200-plus-missive containing opposition research on Donald Trump.

Guccifer 2.0 also directly contradicted the efforts on the part of the DNC to minimize the extent of the hacking, releasing the very donor lists the DNC specifically stated had not been stolen. More chilling, Guccifer 2.0 claimed to be in possession of "about 100 Gb of data" which had been passed on to the online publisher, Wikileaks, who "will publish them soon." 7. Seth Rich died on 10 July 2016. I introduce Seth Rich at this point because he represents an alternative hypothesis. Rich, who reportedly was a Bernie Sanders supporter, was in a position at the DNC that gave him access to the emails in question and the opportunity to download the emails and take them from the DNC headquarters. Worth noting that Julian Assange offered $20,000 for information leading to the arrest of Rich's killer or killers. 8. 22 July 2016. Wikileaks published the DNC emails starting on 22 July 2016. Bill Binney, a former senior official at NSA, insists that if such a hack and electronic transfer over the internet had occurred then the NSA has in it possession the intelligence data to prove that such activity had occurred. Notwithstanding the claim by CrowdStrike not a single piece of evidence has been provided to the public to support the conclusion that the emails were hacked and physically transferred to a server under the control of a Russian intelligence operative. Please do not try to post a comment stating that the "Intelligence Community" concluded as well that Russia was responsible. That claim is totally without one shred of actual forensic evidence. Also, Julian Assange insists that the emails did not come from a Russian source.

Fool , 05 September 2017 at 09:01 AM

Where was it reported that Rich was a Sanders supporter?
Publius Tacitus -> Fool... , 05 September 2017 at 09:15 AM
This is one of the reports, http://heavy.com/news/2016/08/seth-rich-julian-assange-source-wikileaks-wiki-dnc-emails-death-murder-reward-video-interview-hillary-clinton-shawn-lucas/.
Anna -> Publius Tacitus ... , 05 September 2017 at 10:56 AM
Wikileaks, the protector of the accountability of the top, has announced a reward for finding the murderers of Seth Rich. In comparison, the DNC has not offered any reward to help the investigation of the murder of the DNC staffer, but the DNC found a well-connected lawyer to protect Imran Awan who is guilty (along with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz) in the greatest breach of national cybersecurity: http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/29/wasserman-schultz-seemingly-planned-to-pay-suspect-even-while-he-lived-in-pakistan/
Stephanie -> Publius Tacitus ... , 06 September 2017 at 12:12 PM
Seth Rich's family have pleaded, and continue to plead, that the conspiracy theorists leave the death of their son alone and have said that those who continue to flog this nonsense around the internet are only serving to increase their pain. I suggest respectfully that some here may wish to consider their feelings. (Also, this stuff is nuts, you know.)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/were-seth-richs-parents-stop-politicizing-our-sons-murder/2017/05/23/164cf4dc-3fee-11e7-9869-bac8b446820a_story.html?utm_term=.b20208de48d3

"We also know that many people are angry at our government and want to see justice done in some way, somehow. We are asking you to please consider our feelings and words. There are people who are using our beloved Seth's memory and legacy for their own political goals, and they are using your outrage to perpetuate our nightmare."

http://www.businessinsider.com/seth-rich-family-response-lawsuit-rod-wheeler-2017-8

"Wheeler, a former Metropolitan Police Department officer, was a key figure in a series of debunked stories claiming that Rich had been in contact with Wikileaks before his death. Fox News, which reported the story online and on television, retracted it in June."

Richardstevenhack -> Stephanie... , 07 September 2017 at 07:43 PM
I'm afraid you're behind the times. Wheeler is no longer relevant now that Sy Hersh has revealed an FBI report that explicitly says Rich was in contact with Wikileaks offering to sell them DNC documents.

It's unfortunate for the Rich family, but now that the connection is pretty much confirmed, they're going to have to allow the truth to come out.

Anna , 05 September 2017 at 09:20 AM
Mr. Dmitri Alperovitch, of Jewish descent (and an emigre from Russia), has been an "expert" at the Atlantic Council, the same organization that cherishes and provides for Mr. Eliot Higgins. These two gentlemen - and the directorate of Atlantic Council - are exhibit one of opportunism and intellectual dishonesty (though it is hard to think about Mr. Higgins in terms of "intellect").

Here is an article by Alperovitch: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/russian-cyber-attacks-in-the-united-states-will-intensify

Take note how Alperovitch coded the names of the supposed hackers: "Russian intelligence services hacked the Democratic National Committee's computer network and accessed opposition research on Donald Trump, according to the Atlantic Council's Dmitri Alperovitch.

Two Russian groups!codenamed FancyBear and CozyBear!have been identified as spearheading the DNC breach." Alperovitch is not just an incompetent "expert" in cybersecurity - he is a willing liar and war-mongering, for money.

The DNC hacking story has never been about national security; Alperovitch (and his handlers) have no loyalty to the US.

LeaNder , 05 September 2017 at 09:59 AM
PT, I make a short exception. Actually decided to stop babbling for a while. But: Just finished something successfully.

And since I usually need distraction by something far more interesting then matters at hand. I was close to your line of thought yesters.

But really: Shouldn't the timeline start in 2015, since that's supposedly the time someone got into the DNC's system?

One could of course start earlier. What is the exact timeline of the larger cyberwar post 9/11, or at least the bits and pieces that surfaced for the nitwits among us, like: Stuxnet?

But nevermind. Don't forget developments and recent events around Eugene or Jewgeni Walentinowitsch Kasperski?

LondonBob , 05 September 2017 at 03:27 PM
The Russia thing certainly seems to have gone quiet.

Bannon's chum says the issue with pursuing the Clinton email thing is that you would end up having to indict almost all of the last administration, including Obama, unseemly certainly. Still there might be a fall guy, maybe Comey, and obviously it serves Trump's purposes to keep this a live issue through the good work of Grassley and the occasional tweet.

Would be amusing if Trump pardoned Obama. Still think Brennan should pay a price though, can't really be allowed to get away with it

Richardstevenhack , 05 September 2017 at 06:23 PM
Scott Ritter's article referenced in PT's post is terrific, covering a ton of issues related to CrowdStrike and the DNC hack. You need to read it, not just PT's timeline. In case you missed the link in PT's post:

Dumbstruck: How CrowdStrike Conned America on the Hack of the DNC https://medium.com/homefront-rising/dumbstruck-how-crowdstrike-conned-america-on-the-hack-of-the-dnc-ecfa522ff44f

The article by Jeffrey Carr on CrowdStrike referenced from back in 2012 is also worth reading: Where's the "Strike" in CrowdStrike? https://jeffreycarr.blogspot.com/2012/09/wheres-strike-in-crowdstrike.html

Also, the article Carr references is very important for understanding the limits of malware analysis and "attribution". Written by Michael Tanji, whose credentials appear impressive: "spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East."

Malware Analysis: The Danger of Connecting the Dots: https://www.oodaloop.com/technology/2012/09/11/malware-analysis-the-danger-of-connecting-the-dots/

His article echoes and reinforces what Carr and others have said about the difficulty of attribution of infosec breaches. Namely that the basic problem of both intelligence and infosec operations is that there is too much obfuscation, manipulation, and misdirection involved to be sure of who or what is going on.

The Seth Rich connection is pretty much a done deal, now that Sy Hersh has been caught on tape stating that he knows of an FBI report based on a forensic analysis of Rich's laptop that shows Rich was in direct contact with Wikileaks with an attempt to sell them DNC documents and that Wikileaks had access to Rich's DropBox account. Despite Hersh's subsequent denials - which everyone knows are his usual impatient deflections prior to putting out a sourced and organized article - it's pretty clear that Rich was at least one of the sources of the Wikileaks email dump and that there is zero connection to Russia.

None of this proves that Russian intelligence - or Russians of some stripe - or for that matter hackers from literally anywhere - couldn't or didn't ALSO do a hack of the DNC. But it does prove that the iron-clad attribution of the source of Wikileaks email release to Russia is at best flawed, and at worst a deliberate cover up of a leak.

And Russiagate depends prima

rily on BOTH alleged "facts" being true: 1) that Russia hacked the DNC, and 2) that Russia was the source of Wikileaks release. And if the latter is not true, then one has to question why Russia hacked the DNC in the first place, other than for "normal" espionage operations. "Influencing the election" then becomes a far less plausible theory.

The general takeaway from an infosec point of view is that attribution by means of target identification, tools used, and "indicators of compromise" is a fatally flawed means of identifying, and thus being able to counter, the adversaries encountered in today's Internet world, as Tanji proves. Only HUMINT offers a way around this, just as it is really the only valid option in countering terrorism.

[Sep 05, 2017] Should Tillerson Resign by Daniel Larison

for some reasons Larison support neocon blabbering of Daniel W. Drezner in WaPo Why Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should resign - The Washington Post ez
If Critics such as neocon Max Boot are calling for him to resign, I want him to stay.
The "wrecking of the State Department" that By Daniel Larison is concerned, is necessary as it is too infested with neocons leftover from Hillary days, including cadre of female warmongers.
Also color revolutions zeal needs to be tamed.
Taking into account that Trump effectivly changed sided starting from infamous Tomahawk attack, the nes round of sanctions for Russia and sabersrattling with Iran and North Korea, it is difficult to forsee how the Secratary of State can be effective with such a boss. Being a bully in the schoolyard was the policy the the USA sucessfully tried for all presidencies since Reagan, so in a sense Trump is proud hier f this noble tradition.
Notable quotes:
"... Tillerson was a CEO of for the longest time head of the US largest corporation by market cap. His problem or problems no doubt reflect his tenure in the corporate world. A world where you have to get things done some work out some don't. ..."
"... Point is he is a non fit in the Swamp where dysfunction is implanted. Can readers recall how an experience career politician like John Boy ran all over the world and in the end was manipulated by the Russians to their advantage. Hillary logged millions of miles obviously to the benefit of the Clinton foundation. So until the prior ruling class gets back in office a new diplomat will have to wait. ..."
"... Even setting aside the critical matter of civilian control of the government and military in a democratic society, these days our military isn't exactly a by-word for competency, success, or even sound judgment. ..."
Aug 31, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com
calls for Rex Tillerson's resignation:

In less than seven months in the job, Tillerson has proven to be a feckless manager of his organization and a poor handler of the president of the United States. To be fair, even the savviest secretary of state would have his or her hands full with a president like Trump. The sharp contrast between Tillerson's fumblings and the more nimble footwork of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis shows that Tillerson is the opposite of a good secretary of state. Most of Trump's private-sector cabinet officials have been dreadful, but Tillerson is the worst of the lot.

Tillerson has been presiding over the wrecking of the State Department ever since he was confirmed, and he has very little else to show for his tenure. It's safe to say that the demoralization and hollowing out of the department will just keep getting worse the longer he is in charge. The trouble is that replacing Tillerson probably won't change any of that, because the gutting of the State Department has been and continues to be an administration priority. The person Trump chooses to replace Tillerson is likely to have the same disdain for diplomacy and diplomats that he has.

So while I am inclined to agree with the call for Tillerson's resignation, I can't agree with Drezner when he says "I am no longer worried about who Trump would pick to replace him." This is exactly what we should be worrying about.

Tillerson got the job at State in part because all of the other people Trump was considering were so fanatical, ethically compromised, or otherwise awful that he seemed the best of a bad lot at the time. That may have been true, but that process produced one of the least effective Secretaries of State in modern times.

Now imagine Trump going through a similar process a second time. Is he likely to choose someone more capable than Tillerson? Considering the state of Trump's administration after just seven months, would anyone who fits that description be willing to take the job? If there is someone willing, I am concerned Trump would end up choosing another former general on account of his fascination with military officers, and that would be at least one too many in this Cabinet.

Tillerson reportedly never wanted the job, so it shouldn't take much to persuade him to leave. That said, the damage already done to the State Department isn't going to be repaired anytime soon, and as long as Trump is president we should assume it will continue regardless. I have been very critical of how Tillerson has been running his department, but as one his critics I think we should acknowledge that his successor could still be even worse.

Dan Green , August 31, 2017 at 10:07 am

Tillerson was a CEO of for the longest time head of the US largest corporation by market cap. His problem or problems no doubt reflect his tenure in the corporate world. A world where you have to get things done some work out some don't.

Point is he is a non fit in the Swamp where dysfunction is implanted. Can readers recall how an experience career politician like John Boy ran all over the world and in the end was manipulated by the Russians to their advantage. Hillary logged millions of miles obviously to the benefit of the Clinton foundation. So until the prior ruling class gets back in office a new diplomat will have to wait.

icarusr , August 31, 2017 at 10:15 am
Looks like what's good for Exxon is not necessarily good for the United States.
Seven Months In 2017 , August 31, 2017 at 10:47 am
"I am concerned Trump would end up choosing another former general on account of his fascination with military officers, and that would be at least one too many in this Cabinet."

And you should be concerned. Even setting aside the critical matter of civilian control of the government and military in a democratic society, these days our military isn't exactly a by-word for competency, success, or even sound judgment.

It has failed to win on multiple battlegrounds. Judging by the recent Three Stooges performance of the Pacific Fleet, there are basic competency issues at the highest levels of command. And now we learn that both Gens. Mattis and McMaster strongly urged Trump to double down in Afghanistan, one of the worst examples of judgment and decision-making in recent memory.

So far as I know, Tillerson had nothing to do with that idiocy, so I'd leave him where he is and pray that Trump will eventually be disabused of the instinct to defer to (or rather cringe before) his generals.

collin , August 31, 2017 at 11:20 am
TBH, I can't figure out exactly why Tillerson has been so bad but I assume his lack of experience of the State Department makes him a very poor choice for President Trump. Judging by the Trump's administration G&G (General & Goldman) cabinet is very experience expertise with Job-like patience is needed to work with President Trump. Basically, it fits Drezner's toddler comments that Mattis works well with Trump because Mattis knows a lot more than the President and is willing to allow Trump to throw two hour tantrums for his policy. It is to the point that we almost need Mattis to be Secretary of State as at least we know that he can work with the President. (Dear God is wrong to state that an ex-General be our chief Diplomat.)

However, one area where Tillerson does work well is he truly dislikes taking media oxygen away from Trump so he may last awhile.

JEinCA , August 31, 2017 at 11:28 am
Why doesn't everyone resign and we'll make little "Billy" Kristol of the Weekly Standard the official Emperor of United States? Tillerson is the last voice of reason (and bulwark against the psychotic war mongering neocons) lefy in Trump's Administration.
Viriato , August 31, 2017 at 12:46 pm
@collin: We've had at least two generals serve as Secretary of State before: George Marshall and Colin Powell. And those are just two examples that I can name off the top of my head. I would not be surprised to find out that there have been other generals who served as our nation's Chief Diplomat.
Viriato , August 31, 2017 at 12:54 pm
Personally, I think Tillerson has been doing reasonably well at State. He seems to be a very articulate, thoughtful person. Certainly I much prefer Sec. Tillerson's ineffectiveness to Sec. Clinton's deadly effectiveness in Libya.

As to the gutting of the State Department. Tillerson recently stated that the hiring freeze was temporary and indeed announced a major hiring initiative: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=s8LynW4TmTU

MB , August 31, 2017 at 12:56 pm
There's probably an easily identifiable formula out there for who Trump might chose as a Tillerson replacement, based on who donated to his campaign, who has more money than Trump himself, and/or who has suspicious ties to Russian interests. Rohrabacher? Royce?
Cynthia McLean , August 31, 2017 at 1:31 pm
Tillerson should probably resign to retain his integrity and save his soul.
Swami , August 31, 2017 at 4:36 pm
Rumor is that Hillary Clinton is currently between gigs.

[Sep 05, 2017] Medvedev said that the Trump signed sanctions bill is an attempt to squeeze Russia out of foreign markets by Michael Averko

Notable quotes:
"... Actually, the tough talk and sanctions against Russia haven't worked. Trump's effort at improving relations with Russia has been greatly stonewalled. This surely isn't an act on his part. In line with the predominating Capitol Hill and US mass media groupthink, it'd be politically convenient for him to fully acquiesce to their line – something he hasn't done. Some related matters caught my eye. ..."
"... well-documented meddling in the 2016 presidential election ..."
Aug 07, 2017 | www.eurasiareview.com

The disagreement between US President Donald Trump and his main critics on Russia lingers on. In a July 31 MSNBC segment, former US Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul said that Trump was tame in his reply to the Russian government measures taken against US diplomatic interests in Russia. For McFaul, what earlier happened to Russian diplomatic staff in the US is apparently okay, unlike the Russian retaliation, which came months AFTER the US based Russian diplomatic personnel were penalized. McFaul misleadingly underscored that Trump's playing nice with Putin hasn't worked.

Actually, the tough talk and sanctions against Russia haven't worked. Trump's effort at improving relations with Russia has been greatly stonewalled. This surely isn't an act on his part. In line with the predominating Capitol Hill and US mass media groupthink, it'd be politically convenient for him to fully acquiesce to their line – something he hasn't done. Some related matters caught my eye.

... ... ...

Trump and Tillerson, have expressed a reluctance in going along with the increased sanctions against Russia, which is overwhelmingly supported by the mostly groupthink minded (on Russia) US Congress and Senate. Trump and Tillerson can make a strong case on why the sanctions are counterproductive. Specifically:

When it comes to US mass media and body politic, the last particular is very much in the too hot to handle category. The present lack of a strongly detailed Trump rebuttal to the Congress and Senate is what led Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to say that the US president has been too capitulationist. Medvedev also said that the Trump signed sanctions bill is an attempt to squeeze Russia out of foreign markets. (The bill seeks to penalize Western companies doing business in Russia.)

Within US mass media, there've been some second guessing of the Capitol Hill groupthink sanctions against Russia. David Ignatius' August 3 Washington Post column expresses that view. Notwithstanding, Ignatius clings to the faulty belief in "Russia's well-documented meddling in the 2016 presidential election ." I'd love to see him directly reply to the counterclaim on that opinion, which he presents as a clearly established fact.

The Tucker Carlson hosted Fox News show continues to provide some reasonably dissenting views. One such recent segment featured retired US Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor, who believes that Capitol Hill has been overly bellicose towards Russia. Mind you that Macgregor is no Russophile. He expressed doubt on whether the US and Russia can ever become allies and characterized the latter as a periodic 300 year menace to the West.

On this point, I expressed my disagreement to Macgregor (who I've had some prior limited discourse with) by noting that:

I haven't gotten a reply back from him. In the aforementioned Fox News segment, Macgregor noted how some special interest groups get disproportionate influence in the US. Concerning that matter, I brought to his attention the Democratic National Committee-Kiev regime collusion and a July 31 pro-Polish/anti-Russian National Interest article , which is cherry picked history – contradicting the realist image of the venue where it appeared.

I'm of the belief that patriotically minded Russians should be able to acknowledge bad moments on Russia's part relative to Poland and some others. Conversely, the same should hold true when it comes to the wrongs of others. While glorying Poland and bashing Russia, The National Interest article in question omits the following:

According to German General Heinz Guderian and some other sources, the Soviets needed a break on their WW II westward offensive. After the Stalingrad battle, the Nazis were still a threat, as evidenced by the many casualties they were still able to inflict on the Red Army. The Polish Home Army didn't initially seek to coordinate their uprising with the Red Army. That only came after the Nazi counterattack in Warsaw.

Under Stalin, the USSR had some especially brutal aspects. Nevertheless, equating the USSR with Nazi Germany is false. The former utilized a good number of Jews and Poles – something the latter wouldn't tolerate. Between the two world wars, Poland left something to be desired on the subject of respecting non-Polish minorities.

One can also go back to the early 1600s Polish subjugation of Russia, as well as the close to 100,000 Poles who joined Napoleon in his attack on Russia.

Michael Averko is a New York based independent foreign policy analyst and media critic. This article was initially placed at the Strategic Culture Foundation's website on August 6.

[Sep 04, 2017] Make no mistake, the latest US thuggery is a sign of weakness, not strength

Notable quotes:
"... " Why would they give us only 2 days? Do they really think that we cannot clear the premises from anything sensitive in 60 minutes if needed? Or are they actually trying to inconvenience our personnel? If so, do they really think that we are going to break out in hysterics? Do the Americans really think that they will find something? What? Papers proving that Trump is our agent? Maybe a hidden nuclear device? Or the computers we used to hack in every server in the USA? " ..."
"... The latest US thuggery against Russian diplomats is as stupid as it is senseless. I think that US diplomats of the era of James Baker must be absolutely mortified to see the kind of idiocy their successors are now engaging in. ..."
"... Incorrect, the author left out a key point. As the Obama team left last December, it started a fire by expelling the Russians from a vacation compound for diplomats in New York, just to be dicks. The Russians expected Trump to correct this insult, and when he spinelessly refused, they retaliated. ..."
"... Now, whoever runs US foreign policy (no one is really sure), refused to let it end. They closed more Russian compounds, just to be dicks. Meanwhile, these dicks want Russia to help with the North Korea mess. ..."
"... Whichever European power used to be the dominant one at the time, in order to be truly certified as the top dog – they sought to prove superiority over Russia. That baton was picked up by US after WW2. No European power has ever succeeded in proving superiority over Russia – at least not military one. ..."
"... Another sign of the spasmodic, directionless, almost suicidal weakness of the United States is its recent abuse of the dollar as the world's reserve currency. The United States is going around the world identifying countries and individuals who will no longer be allowed to use the dollar and the dollar-designated US-controlled international payment system for financial transactions as an instrument of its foreign policy. ..."
Sep 04, 2017 | www.unz.com

For a while already the Russian diplomats have been openly saying that their American counterparts are недоговороспособны or "non-agreement capable". This all began under Obama, when Kerry flew to meet with Lavrov and declared 'A', then flew back to Washington, DC and declared 'B'. Then there were the cases in Syria when the US agreed to a deal only to break that very same deal in less than 24 hours. That's when the Russians openly began to say that their US colleagues are rank amateurs who lack even the basic professionalism to get anything done . Now the US has slipped even lower: the Russians speak of US "hellish buffoonery" and "stupid thuggery".

Wow!

For the normally hyper-diplomatic Russians, this kind of language is absolutely unheard of, this has never ever happened before. You could say that the Russians are naive, but they believe that their diplomats should always be, well, diplomatic, and that public expressions of disgust is just not something a diplomat does. Even more telling is rather than call the Americans "evil" or "devious", they openly express their total contempt for them, calling them stupid, incompetent, uneducated and their actions unlawful (read Maria Zakharova's statement to that effect on Facebook ).

So let me explain what is happening here how the Russians interpreted the latest US thuggery concerning the Russian Consulate in San Francisco and the Russian diplomatic annexes in Washington and New York.

First, the Russians fully expected the Americans to retaliate after the Russian expulsion of US diplomatic personnel in Russia. That, by itself, is not the problem. The Russians understand that Trump is a cornered and weak President, that he has to show how "tough" he is. Sure, they smile, but they think that this is 'fair game'. The Russians also know that, as a country, the USA cannot accept the biggest reduction in US diplomatic personnel in history without reacting. Again, they don't necessarily like it, but they think that this is 'fair game'.

You know what really triggered the Russians off? The fact that the Americans gave them only 2 days to vacate the premises they would seize and that they organized some kind of bizarre search operation. Let me immediately explain that this is not a case of ruffled feathers by the Russians, not at all. But here is how they would think about it:

" Why would they give us only 2 days? Do they really think that we cannot clear the premises from anything sensitive in 60 minutes if needed? Or are they actually trying to inconvenience our personnel? If so, do they really think that we are going to break out in hysterics? Do the Americans really think that they will find something? What? Papers proving that Trump is our agent? Maybe a hidden nuclear device? Or the computers we used to hack in every server in the USA? "

To a Russian, these questions can only have one answer: of course not. So what is going on here? And then there is the only possible explanation left:

" We beat them is Syria, we are beat them in the Ukraine, they lost Afghanistan, they lost Iraq, their Navy apparently does not know how to use a radar, their soldiers are terrified to fight somebody capable of resistance, they failed to impress not only China, but even the North Koreans who are openly laughing at them. Hezbollah laughs at them. Even Venezuela refuses to be scared! The Iranians openly threaten them with consequences if they back out of the deal they signed. Even Pakistan is openly expressing its disgust with the USA. Ditto for Turkey. Heck – the Americans are losing on all fronts and the very best they can do is try to feel good about illegally harassing our diplomatic personnel! Pathetic, lame, losers! "

And they are 100% correct.

The latest US thuggery against Russian diplomats is as stupid as it is senseless. I think that US diplomats of the era of James Baker must be absolutely mortified to see the kind of idiocy their successors are now engaging in.

This is also the end of Rex Tillerson. The poor man now has only two options left: resign (that would be the honorable thing to do) or stay and become another castrated eunuch unable to even deal with the likes of Nikki Haley, nevermind the North Koreans!

A "spokesperson" for the White House declared that Trump personally ordered the latest thuggery. Okay, that means one of two thing: either Trump is so weak that he cannot even fire a lying spokesperson or that he has now fallen so low as to order the "thug life" behavior of the State Department. Either way, it is a disgrace.

This is also really scary. The combination of, on one hand, spineless subservience to the Neocons with intellectual mediocrity, a gross lack of professionalism and the kind of petty thuggery normally associated with street gangs and, on the other hand, nuclear weapons is very scary. In the mean time, the other nuclear armed crazies have just declared that they have a thermonuclear device which they apparently tested yesterday just to show their contempt for Trump and his general minions. I don't think that they have a hydrogen bomb. I don't think that they have a real ICBM. I don't even think that they have real (usable) nuclear warheads. But what if I am wrong? What if they did get a lot of what they claim to have today – such as rocket engines – from the Ukies?

In one corner, the Outstanding Leader , Brilliant Comrade, Young Master and Great Successor, Kim Jong-un and on the other, The Donald, Grab them by the xxxxx and Make 'Merica Great, the Grand Covfefe Donald Trump. Both armed with nukes.

Scary, scary shit. Really scary.

But even more scary and depressing is that the stronger man of the two is beyond any doubt Kim Jong-un.

All I see in the White House are vacancy signs.

Cloak And Dagger , September 3, 2017 at 11:49 pm GMT

We beat them is Syria, we are beat them in the Ukraine, they lost Afghanistan, they lost Iraq, their Navy apparently does not know how to use a radar, their soldiers are terrified to fight somebody capable of resistance, they failed to impress not only China, but even the North Koreans who are openly laughing at them. Hezbollah laughs at them. Even Venezuela refuses to be scared! The Iranians openly threaten them with consequences if they back out of the deal they signed. Even Pakistan is openly expressing its disgust with the USA. Ditto for Turkey. Heck – the Americans are losing on all fronts

Such is the sad state of affairs in this country and the beginning of the end of the American Empire (and none too soon). We squandered the potential for world peace when the Soviets broke up. Instead of taking advantage of the peace windfall, the neocons redoubled their efforts to dominate by projecting military power. We have been paying the price since.

Meanwhile, the Chinese have been expanding their power projection peacefully by leveraging their financial might. The gold-backed RMB is about to replace the petro-dollar. They have been quietly building alliances across the globe using trade as the incentive, while we have been killing and maiming people everywhere – and all in vain, apparently to win "hearts and minds"!

Something that amused me a few days ago was a picture of a Chinese businessman in Pakistan, escorted by two pro-government, two anti-government, and two rebel businessmen. Apparently, this assured the safety of the Chinese businessman, even if his companions hated each other. For our part, we had refused to do business there because we had not found a means to unify these warring factions – and we are supposed to be the capitalists!

A day of reckoning is fast approaching, my fellow countrymen, and the price we will have to pay is daunting. It may be a while before we can recover from the coming debacle, however, I take solace in the following:

  1. The accompanying pain will rewaken all our somnambulant citizenry to who and what has brought us to this low point in our history, and they may unite to rout the Jewish banking power that has resulted in our predicament.
  2. We will no longer be able to borrow the trillions that fund our illegal wars across the globe, and civilians can sleep peacefully once more.
  3. Without our support, and the increasing unification of the countries in the ME (note Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, ) Israel and Saudi Arabia will stand alone, surrounded by angry nations that have scores to settle. I doubt that those two mischief makers will survive another 5 years.

So, an imposed world peace is possible – even probable. With increasing Russian influence in the Middle East and the sale of advanced weaponry to the emerging coalition of Muslim countries, western invasions of these countries will become all but impossible. Already, the Syrian airspace has been shut out from Israel and the US by Russia's command of the skies, by S-300 and S-400 defenses and the Russian air force. It is only a matter of time before Lebanon, too, enjoys the same protection, as will Iraq. Iran is already unassailable. Turkey has started to distance itself from NATO, and is still smarting from the EU rejection.

Interesting, but painful times lay ahead.

Carlton Meyer , Website September 4, 2017 at 4:21 am GMT

"First, the Russians fully expected the Americans to retaliate after the Russian expulsion of US diplomatic personnel in Russia."

Incorrect, the author left out a key point. As the Obama team left last December, it started a fire by expelling the Russians from a vacation compound for diplomats in New York, just to be dicks. The Russians expected Trump to correct this insult, and when he spinelessly refused, they retaliated.

Now, whoever runs US foreign policy (no one is really sure), refused to let it end. They closed more Russian compounds, just to be dicks. Meanwhile, these dicks want Russia to help with the North Korea mess.

It seems whenever the USA threatens to destroy North Korea, their leader threatens to harm the USA if that happens. Clearly, the North Korean leader is mad, at least those dicks think so.

Cyrano , September 4, 2017 at 7:17 am GMT

Whichever European power used to be the dominant one at the time, in order to be truly certified as the top dog – they sought to prove superiority over Russia. That baton was picked up by US after WW2. No European power has ever succeeded in proving superiority over Russia – at least not military one.

I don't think that the exceptional ones believe that they can do it either, that train left the station in the 90's, together with Boris. So now the exceptional ones are throwing temper tantrums, because the bear doesn't want to lie down and play dead. They had their chance for a while and they didn't really deserve it either.

The bear that they used to know and love in the 90's was a circus animal and that circus has left town. The world is changing and if you think that the best protection against hitting the iceberg is to blow the horn, for everybody to get out of your way because you are too big to sink, you are heading straight to the bottom, only maybe with accompanying loud noise from the horn, for which the world really doesn't care too much about.

Osten , September 4, 2017 at 8:58 am GMT

American media show paranoia about Russia.
Trump Russia connections and election influence are nonsense.
Public sees the nonsense so media dropped the publicity.
Democratic Party will put on charm offensive to say they reject Antifa so to defuse Republican Trump supporters.
If Democrats succeed they will regain many Congress seats in 2018 election.
Republicans need to put pressure on FBI to complete Clinton investigation.
That completion would clear air for better relations, restore public trust in government and slap media to be more honest.
Republicans should be glad Russia is in Syria. Russia presence reduces American defense expense.
Israel wants American presence.
Saudi Arabia wants presence.
People in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon and Iraq want peace after years of American wars that cause death and refugee humanitarian crisis.
American journalists except for Seymour Hersh are not allowed to tell Americans facts about Middle East countries.

Realist , September 4, 2017 at 9:18 am GMT

@Carlton Meyer

"Meanwhile, these dicks want Russia to help with the North Korea mess."

Russia should tell the US to go shit in their hat and pull it down over your ears.

TheJester , September 4, 2017 at 10:21 am GMT

The End of Bretton-Woods I and II

Another sign of the spasmodic, directionless, almost suicidal weakness of the United States is its recent abuse of the dollar as the world's reserve currency. The United States is going around the world identifying countries and individuals who will no longer be allowed to use the dollar and the dollar-designated US-controlled international payment system for financial transactions as an instrument of its foreign policy.

Led by the BRICS, the rest of the world is racing to replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency with local currencies and/or pseudo-currencies and the US-controlled international payment system with block-chain technologies.

When the movement to de-status the dollar reaches critical mass, the United States will officially be recognized as a bankrupt Third-World country wracked by inflation. It will no longer have the luxury of recklessly printing petrodollars to pay its bills.

Not all is bleak. The collapse of the AngloZionist Empire is the sine qua non for getting our Constitutional liberties back.

KA , September 4, 2017 at 12:40 pm GMT

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/450890/iran-nuclear-deal-exit-strategy-john-bolton-memo-trump

John Bolton wants to scrap the deal, provide supports to outsiders and insiders to foment troubles against the regime and ban all commercial diplomatic and educational legal contacts to the rest of the world . He wants to inform China and Russia only after the whole thing is over ( Iran has become I guess Yemen!).

Why is he outside the high security prison or outside the administration?

anon , Disclaimer September 4, 2017 at 2:56 pm GMT

@KA

Genesis of American relentless march to stupidity has been promoted and secured by dimwit halfling midget like Bolton

Unfortunately Israel instead of keeping and maintaining the logical support from the intellectual, visionary and moral people has relied on morons like these endangering itself and USA . These morons wouldn't get a job as a third shift janitor in a slaughter house solely on merits . They did what they could – race the bottom of the barrel of dishonesty because that was their upbringing . It made them street smart without necessary IQ.

[Sep 03, 2017] Russia Urges Washington To Come To Their Senses Over Consulate, Denounces Blunt Act Of Hostility

Did the US intelligence services know something, or this just a dirty provocation by neocons entrenched in the State Department, who managed to coopt Rex Tillerson ?
Notable quotes:
"... If the international diplomatic agreements are no longer valid, then there is no longer any reason for other countries to comply with them. How can the US comp!ain, if Russia (or other countries) no longer choose to abide by the rules? ..."
"... Actually, there were MULTIPLE searches: the Trade Mission and the apartments of the Mission's employees. Let's forget for a second that the diplomats still have valid diplomatic immunity. Each search requires a separate warrant. What kind of a crime could all of them have committed that would give a probable cause to search all of their apartments in the Mission? ..."
"... Now, this shit cannot be blamed on the Kenyan fudge-packer. The warmongering cunts in Congress have nothing to do with this either. This is not just on Trump's watch – he actually ordered it! ..."
Sep 03, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Already furious over Washington's " unprecedented aggressive action, " at the Russian consulate in San Francisco, Moscow has responded with an official statement calling the "occupation" of diplomatic properties in the US a "blunt act of hostility. "

As a reminder, Russian diplomats were denied access to the trade mission building despite it being owned by Russia and protected by diplomatic immunity.

The ministry called the planned "illegal inspection" of Russian diplomatic housing an " unprecedented aggressive action ", which could be used by the U.S. special services for " anti-Russian provocations" by the way of "planting compromised items ".

Searches of the Russian premises began on Saturday, after the US State Department ordered the foreign ministry on August 31 to vacate the premises by September 2.

The FBI arrived in at least two vehicles to search the San Francisco Consulate. The minute the deadline expired, agents entered the Russian-owned diplomatic property, which in 2016 alone issued more than 16,000 tourist visas to American citizens.

Russian diplomats have posted photo and video evidence of the searches, which they call a "travesty of justice."

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

And now, as RT reports, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday. " We regard the incident as a blunt act of hostility, a gross violation of international law by Washington, including the Vienna Conventions on diplomatic and consular relations," The ministry called upon the US "to come to their senses and immediately return Russian diplomatic compounds ." "Otherwise, the US will be responsible for the continuing degradation of relations between our countries , which largely affect global stability and international security," the statement continued.

The Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations forms the basis for diplomatic immunity and defines the framework of relation between countries. It states that the premises of [any] mission "shall be inviolable" and the "agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission." Moscow pointed out that all seized properties in New York, Washington, and San Francisco have diplomatic immunity. "The US special services supported by armed police are now 'hosting' the occupied buildings," the statement added.

"The US State Department is violating the Vienna Convention; this creates a bad precedent to international diplomacy," Leonidas Chrysanthopoulos, who served as a Greek ambassador in Canada in 2000-2004, told RT. " I can't see the reason why it is happening. The relations between the US and Russia are not bad. Some people in the US are trying to make [these relations] bad. Perhaps that was the goal all along?

ET , Sep 3, 2017 3:26 PM

War is the continuation of politics by other means. - Carl von Clausewitz

It could be worse for the Russians. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8bC1DEYbI4

JohninMK -> ET , Sep 3, 2017 3:31 PM

Brilliant precedent for the US to have set. Time to increase State's budget for protection of its premises around the world. Also, every diplomatic mission in the US is now only too aware that they are vulnerable to this type of action.

ET -> JohninMK , Sep 3, 2017 3:34 PM

I'm in favor of resolving disputes through diplomacy and negotiations rather than violence and barbarism. Good leadership works toward peace and prosperity. We have had the good fortune of not having had a destructive World War in many decades. That time might be coming to an end.

Fritz -> JohninMK , Sep 3, 2017 3:50 PM

It's all just another bullshit distraction to control the news cycle.

OverTheHedge -> Fritz , Sep 3, 2017 4:30 PM

Possibly, but in a world of tit for tat escalations, what happens if the Russians now evict all US personnel from an American consulate, with zero notice, and show the world all the incriminating evidence of attempted regime change they are bound to find?

If the international diplomatic agreements are no longer valid, then there is no longer any reason for other countries to comply with them. How can the US comp!ain, if Russia (or other countries) no longer choose to abide by the rules?

I think there might be consequences that the US no longer seems capable of recognizing: does no one wargame these scenarios any more?

As a Brit, I can tell you that end-of-empire is a difficult period of readjustment, and it takes quite a lot of soul-searching to get through unscathed.

Looney -> OverTheHedge , Sep 3, 2017 4:32 PM

What's the probable cause for the searches? Lifting diplomatic immunity from the Trade Mission is not enough of a cause to conduct a search of the property.

Actually, there were MULTIPLE searches: the Trade Mission and the apartments of the Mission's employees. Let's forget for a second that the diplomats still have valid diplomatic immunity. Each search requires a separate warrant. What kind of a crime could all of them have committed that would give a probable cause to search all of their apartments in the Mission?

This is beyond weird, it's fucking scary! If this can be done to foreign diplomats covered by both the US Constitution (searches) and the Vienna Convention (diplomatic immunity), can you imagine what they can do to us, working stiffs? Rule of Law my ass!

Now, this shit cannot be blamed on the Kenyan fudge-packer. The warmongering cunts in Congress have nothing to do with this either. This is not just on Trump's watch – he actually ordered it!

As soon as I'm done typing, I'm gonna take a huge dump into my MAGA hats.

BTW If anybody wants their MAGA hats filled too, lemme know – first come, first served. ;-)

Looney

Looney -> Looney , Sep 3, 2017 4:33 PM

Here's the full text of the Vienna Convention , but check out Article 22 and, especially, Article 45 below:

Article 22

1.The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.

2.The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity.

3.The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.

Article 45

If diplomatic relations are broken off between two States, or if a mission is permanently or temporarily recalled:

(a) The receiving State must, even in case of armed conflict, respect and protect the premises of the mission, together with its property and archives;

(b) The sending State may entrust the custody of the premises of the mission, together with its property and archives, to a third State acceptable to the receiving State;

(c) The sending State may entrust the protection of its interests and those of its nationals to a third State acceptable to the receiving State.

Looney

MozartIII -> Looney , Sep 3, 2017 4:41 PM

Looney, Our pols can't and don't care to read. Why do you think they pass bills so that we can then see whats in them.

jeff montanye -> ET , Sep 3, 2017 3:48 PM

these blackhearted bastards have no interest in good leadership, peace or any prosperity but their own. we citizens have got to vote the war party out and the peace party in. break the hold that the mossad likud zionists have on our government.

president trump, when do you start to assert some authority? left to their own devices you see what the deep state will do. that the intelligentsia world wide is coming to understand this better through the exposure of such clumsy false flags as russiagate and charlottesvile is of valuable but limited consolation.

not being hillary clinton may not be enough in 2018 or 2020.

stacking12321 -> jeff montanye , Sep 3, 2017 3:51 PM

"Peace party"? Sounds like an oxymoron. People get into the government racket to take power over others through violent means. Bad means lead to bad ends. And btw, trump has no authority. The only true authority is personal sovereignty, everything else is a con game.

Dark star -> jeff montanye , Sep 3, 2017 4:17 PM

Trump is an instant one term President. He has reneged on every promise he made to his supporters; his credibility is zero.

MozartIII -> jeff montanye , Sep 3, 2017 4:38 PM

Of what peace party do you speak? The Russians are asking our leadership to come to their senses. For that to happen, we would need someone in washington with an IQ over 20. Not going to happen. With any luck Irma will strenghen to a cat 12 hurricane, hit washington & erase the swamp. We need to start somewhere!

GUS100CORRINA -> ET , Sep 3, 2017 3:59 PM

Russia Urges Washington To "Come To Their Senses" Over Consulate, Denounces "Blunt Act Of Hostility" My response: The US Legislators should be ashamed of themselves. They have pushed America's executive and law enforcement groups to do STUPID THINGS.

I am beginning to wonder if America can survive this CRAP much longer?

By the way, the DEMON released during Obama's 2nd term is called NERGAL who is a war god. You can read about this DEMON below. I really hate where this is headed!!!

http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix3/nergalhyborian.htm

Of course, the Churches in America for the most part are absolutely CLUELESS when it comes to understanding this stuff and impact on people's faith. I have truly come to believe that many of our godless US legislators are being influence by NERGAL,

OverTheHedge -> GUS100CORRINA , Sep 3, 2017 4:46 PM

From your link:"First appearance, Conan the Barbarian" Great books, and very iffy film, but hardly conclusive proof that demons are amoung us. It's fiction - made up scary stories to frighten children and entertain adults. Are you frightened, or entertained?

serotonindumptruck -> JohninMK , Sep 3, 2017 3:44 PM

Clearly, the ultimate goal behind the US State Department's illegal search of the Russian Embassy was to provoke an escalatory response from the Russians.

As the collapse of the Amerikan Empire gains steam, we should anticipate further insults and provocations to be levied against the Russian Federation by the despicable US Government.

opport.knocks -> JohninMK , Sep 3, 2017 3:45 PM

... cuz it was the Russians who gave the keys, floor plans and detailed instuctions to the invaders in Benghazi, donchano.

Not Too Important -> JohninMK , Sep 3, 2017 3:49 PM

After Benghazi who is stupid enough to be in any US mission anywhere? Except for the gay US diplomatic corp in Norway that like little kids and get Hillary's protection.

https://mic.com/articles/48277/howard-gutman-prostitution-wasn-t-even-th...

jmarshally -> JohninMK , Sep 3, 2017 4:36 PM

Right-e-o John,

Further, it makes one wonder; if the US Government has no respect for the privacy (sanctity of one's dwelling; i.e private property) of a foregin nation, it does not bode well for the privacy of a US citizen (in any venue).

J.

John Basilone -> JohninMK , Sep 3, 2017 4:43 PM

If Trump ok'd this we can then assume that he's gone full retard - or his Joo master basterds are dangling the orange haired marionette while his mad dog SecDef bloviates bellicose bullshyte ad nauseam.

chunga , Sep 3, 2017 3:26 PM

I'm right with you Russia. The depraved frauds in DC have got to go. The Imperial City is clearly a domestic and international menace.

Francis Marx , Sep 3, 2017 3:27 PM

Isn't there any US buildings they can occupy in Russia?

JohninMK -> Francis Marx , Sep 3, 2017 3:33 PM

Yes, but for some strange reason the Russians and Putin in particular seem to believe in the rule of Law. Yesterday's attitude from the US perspective.

Blankone -> JohninMK , Sep 3, 2017 3:48 PM

It is not a belief in the rule of law (although that may also be true), it is the lack of backbone.

This is NOTHING compared to all the murdered diplomats, business leaders/Putin allies, downed airliner, downed military transport with military music group, arrests of russians in the public eye on "Trumped" up charges, sanctions against business leaders, sanctions against key businesses, international arrest warrants so that business CEO's cannot travel outside Russia etc,

The current action is akin to an Arab taking off his shoe and slapping Putin across the face with it on an international live news cast. Or Clint Eastwood in a cowboy flick spitting tobacco into the face of a dirty .... The entire town is watching and knows the magnitude of insult.

Don't Poke The Bear!!! Again, well, not again, well better not again, please stop, please it's making him cry, ....

Cue the photo opp, Putin riding a horse with no shirt, Putin fishing with no shirt, Putin staring intensely during a diplomatic meeting/photo session,

the_narrator -> Blankone , Sep 3, 2017 3:56 PM

I wonder if the recent navy ship collisions and diplomat injuries in Cuba are Russian retaliation.

Blankone -> the_narrator , Sep 3, 2017 4:15 PM

The diplomat injuries in Cuba (IF they are real) may be. Should be. But why do so in Cuba, why put Cuba out there, instead do so in a US friendly country. For that reason I feel it may be a false story to begin negative PR against Cuba. I believe the travel restrictions were recently put back in place by Trump.

I doubt the ships. The ships are so huge, move so slow, any competent officer in the control structure should have been able to see it coming in the dark of night even. IMO Plus there are more than one system looking for approaching objects.

John Basilone -> Blankone , Sep 3, 2017 4:45 PM

The worst I ever witnessed during my time in the USMC was an LPD that ran aground in Australia. The ship collisions are either a sign of gross incompetence (which is unlikely) or sabotage. I tend to think it is the latter.

neutrino3 -> Blankone , Sep 3, 2017 4:07 PM

You patetic ukrop still do not undersand Dei Plan A. Dontcha?

Baron von Bud , Sep 3, 2017 3:28 PM

The Russians are right. This act was incited by a brain damaged person with poor judgment. Someone needs to talk to McCain.

chunga -> Baron von Bud , Sep 3, 2017 3:35 PM

I like to bash McCain as much as the next guy but trump is presidont.

Not Too Important -> chunga , Sep 3, 2017 3:52 PM

But, at this point, is he allowed to make any real decisions? He looks like he's been ring-fenced by the NWO.

They'd kill him like Kennedy if they could, but at this point it would cause domestic war, with little or no control on their part. So he lives, has his Twitter feed, and they run the country.

I wish someone would show us different.

chunga -> Not Too Important , Sep 3, 2017 4:10 PM

Checks and balances are long gone, US gov is run by evil forces and no one in it fights back. We need to brace for big changes.

Blankone -> Not Too Important , Sep 3, 2017 4:40 PM

He is president, he can make decisions aplenty. He is making the decisions he wants to make, they just do not match the lies he told during his campaign.

He is one of "them". But his fans will deflect blame to the point of claiming "they made him do it/say it".

BritBob , Sep 3, 2017 3:29 PM

Blunt act of hostility?

Russia tells Britain give back the Falklands before telling US what to do.

RUSSIA has told Britain it should "clean its conscience" and give back the Falkland Islands before it criticises them over their involvement in Ukraine. Moscow's ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin made the shocking remarks when responding to his British counterpart Matthew Rycroft at a UN security council meeting in New York. ( Daily Express 4 Feb 2017)

Funny thing to say when Argentina has never legally owned the Falklands. So how can they 'be returned' ?

Falklands -- Never Belonged to Argentina (single page):

https://www.academia.edu/31111843/Falklands_Never_Belonged_to_Argentina

AurorusBorealus -> BritBob , Sep 3, 2017 3:50 PM

Ok Bob, I will bite. First off, I do not want to hear any nonsense about how the British Parliament is so concerned about the 500 fishermen and their families that live on those islands. If the British government were concerned about its people, it would not be flooding your country with terrorist Muslim to blow the little Britbobs to bits in London.

Britain is using those islands to claim the vast oilfields around them as "British" property. How large are the oilfields... well... very large. Ok. So Britian is using a flag that they planted in the ground 300 years ago as an excuse to rob oil from regions that are, by international law, in the maritime zone of Argentina, and under Argentina's jurisdiction. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/05/17/rockhoppers-falklands-oil...

Do not believe me? Then why is Argentina able, by international law, to prohibit the development of the oilfields there? Why? Because these oilfields are on Argentina property. That England has managed to cajole 2,600 fishermen on a few rocks in the Atlantic to live under British rule does not give England the right to take a billion barrels of oil that rightfully belong, BY LAW, to the people of Argentina.

If I can convince 2,600 of your good Muslim friends in England to vote to renounce English rule, does that give Argentina the right to all of BPs holdings in the North Sea?

Typically British shit. Use any excuse to rob, steal, and pillage, and then call it "empire" and our "right." You are full of shit Bob.

opport.knocks -> BritBob , Sep 3, 2017 3:48 PM

Russia's opinion does not matter and ZH readers do not care Bob - talk to the nobs in your own foreign service about their policies toward Russia first.

Dark star -> BritBob , Sep 3, 2017 4:09 PM

What Vitaly Churkin said was that if Britain wished to criticise Russia over Crimea, THEN Britain should give the Falklands to Argentina.

It was a justifiable complaint about double standards, not a definitive statement regarding Russia's view of International Law.

Everybody understands that except you.

Every sane and normal person on the planet understands that Crimea had a fair referendum, (like that which Britain depended on for its stance in the Falklands), which was necessitated by the U.S. overthrowing a democratically elected Government. Western politicians who argue otherwise merely make themselves look stupid subservient poodles of the Rogue State which the U.S. has now become.

Albertarocks , Sep 3, 2017 3:34 PM

USA has just crossed the Rubicon. This is undoubtedly the most aggregious act of lawlessness ever perpetrated by the USA in its history. The sanctity of embassies is the one common sense rule and tradition that all civilized nations on earth have honored almost throughout history. Sure, Iran invaded the US embassy, but don't forget how they were chastised and demonized for it. Now it's the USA's turn to commit the same unthinkable crime.

The USA will never be trusted again, by any nation, for eternity. This is the last straw because with this one act of supreme lawlessness the US has essentially isolated itself from the rest of the world *forever*. Talk about shooting yourself in the face.

AriusArmenian -> Albertarocks , Sep 3, 2017 3:39 PM

Exactly right. Diplomatic missions from the rest of the world are aware of the lawless rogue nature of the US.

The Cooler King -> AriusArmenian , Sep 3, 2017 3:43 PM

I doubt they're unaware about (((who))) is responsible for the rogue nature of US politics.

Escrava Isaura -> Albertarocks , Sep 3, 2017 3:43 PM

You can't make this stuff up. Albertarocks : USA has just crossed the Rubicon. Just crossed? LOL.

chunga -> Albertarocks , Sep 3, 2017 3:48 PM

Pulling a stunt like this with the present situation in KN is reckless, unstable, dangerous.

Not Too Important -> chunga , Sep 3, 2017 3:58 PM

The rest of the world governments know the US is on its' last legs, period. A pit bull with steroid rage, with a lethal case of rabies. The smart thing to do is sit back and let it run its' course, while keeping a safe distance, but it'll be a few years before the dog loses his bite and no way to keep it on a leash.

How would you run your government's foreign policy under this scenario? Knowing that the only other options for safety are on the pitbull's kill list before it dies?

A thousand nukes on Russia or China will affect every country on this planet. There are a lot of world leaders shitting their pants right now, and will for the next decade until the dog rolls over and dies.

GoatHollow -> Not Too Important , Sep 3, 2017 4:04 PM

Russia has 7,000 nuclear warheads of it's own.

finametrics , Sep 3, 2017 3:31 PM

we all know why this is happening. butthurt establishment is desperate and acting out. their time is near and they know it.

Big Creek Rising -> finametrics , Sep 3, 2017 3:45 PM

Would it not be best for Russia to at least kinda sorta be on our side with the NorK debacle? We're giving Putin good reason to quietly support that chubby little dickhead that now has better nukes and missiles.

And for what benefit?

Dark star -> Big Creek Rising , Sep 3, 2017 3:56 PM

What idiot would be on the side of someone who had just kicked them in the balls? The U.S. needs friends to help deal with NK and it has none left. Why is NK only threatening the U.S.? Could it perhaps be that only the US is threatening to attack NK? Questions far beyond the ability of the U.S. State Dept

[Sep 03, 2017] It seems that nearly every week Congress is passing bills that are intended to pummel one foreign adversary or another. Russia and Iran have become particular favorites

Notable quotes:
"... sometimes stealth is employed, inserting a nugget in an otherwise innocuous bit of legislation that will provide authority to go after yet another potential enemy of the state. ..."
"... With a digital media, the Espionage Act could conceivably reach even a citizen merely reading online a classified document that has been leaked. While no longer called the Sedition Act, that was originally the title of the amendment to the Espionage Act, and remnants of its logic remain in the current Espionage Act putting anyone who disseminates information contrary to the official government narrative at risk in some way or other, entirely at the whim of the C-in-C. ..."
Sep 03, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Original title: Is U.S. Congress Declaring War on WikiLeaks The American Conservative

By Philip GiraldiSeptember 1, 2017

The United States, uniquely among nations, believes that its writ runs all over the world!and that it has a right to use its courts of law to seek retributive justice even in situations that did not involve American citizens and occurred in a foreign land. No other country sends its marshals overseas to forcibly detain fugitives from "justice." If the United States is truly exceptional, it is no doubt due to its hubris in declaring itself to be the final arbiter of what goes on all around the globe.

It seems that nearly every week Congress outdoes itself in passing bills that are intended to pummel one foreign adversary or another. Russia and Iran have become particular favorites with nary a dissenting voice when new sanctions are put in place, together with mechanisms to ensure that a puissant chief executive shall have no ability to mitigate the punishment. And sometimes stealth is employed, inserting a nugget in an otherwise innocuous bit of legislation that will provide authority to go after yet another potential enemy of the state.

The latest Senate Intelligence Authorization Act (SB 1761) , which was released by the committee on August 18 when few senators were in town, is in the nature of a routine document. It notably calls for "more" in terms of both probing and revealing Russian spying and alleged aggression, but that was to be expected due to the current panic over Moscow and its intentions. It will nevertheless almost certainly become law even though few members of congress will actually bother to read any part of it.

The bill has already been approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee and will likely go immediately to a vote in the full Senate when that body reconvenes after the August recess. It will almost certainly be approved unanimously.

That anyone in the alternative media is paying any attention at all to what the bill says is due to the last section in the document, numbered 623. It reads "SENSE OF CONGRESS ON WIKILEAKS: It is the sense of Congress that WikiLeaks and the senior leadership of WikiLeaks resemble a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors and should be treated as such a service by the United States."

Todd Pierce , says: September 1, 2017 at 8:46 am

Thanks for this very informative and important article Phil! Anyone who thinks this stops at Wikileaks is foolishly infantile, and ignorant of what has been going on in the U.S. legal system now for years. McCain, Graham, and their Democratic ally Joe Lieberman were instrumental in getting Congress to pass Sec. 1021 of the 2012 NDAA (now Public Law) which provided for arbitrary military detention of anyone deemed a threat by the Commander in Chief (FKA President).

How far that reached was shown in DOJ arguments in the case of Hedges v. Obama, where it was argued that, of course, journalists and activists were subject to military detention for their "expressive activities."

With a digital media, the Espionage Act could conceivably reach even a citizen merely reading online a classified document that has been leaked. While no longer called the Sedition Act, that was originally the title of the amendment to the Espionage Act, and remnants of its logic remain in the current Espionage Act putting anyone who disseminates information contrary to the official government narrative at risk in some way or other, entirely at the whim of the C-in-C.

Jim Bovard , says: September 1, 2017 at 9:51 am
Excellent article – the best analysis I have seen on this outrage.
IHeartDagny , says: September 1, 2017 at 10:24 am
What do people think all those taxpayer funds FORCED from the American people and given to most countries around the world is supposed to pay for?

[Sep 03, 2017] Anyone who blames the US for something it is not responsible for, in an attempt to distract from the country's economic issues for example, is an anti-American

Sep 03, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Matt , September 3, 2017 at 3:06 pm

Strawman, that many here, including Mark and PO, have tried using against me. First, I have criticisms of U.S. foreign policy, like the 2003 Iraq war, intervention in Libya, and the war in Afghanistan. This debunks the first part of your post.

As for the second: anyone who blames the U.S. for something it is not responsible for, in an attempt to distract from the country's economic issues for example, is an anti-American. Ditto for anyone who wants the U.S. to collapse, be destroyed, or makes fun of its people with stereotypes.

The above paragraph can be applied to any country in the world and is standard fare for defining phobia against a country. You and your ilk are quick to whine about "Russophobia", but when similar tactics are used against the U.S., you start calling anyone who calls them out an "imperialist".

Such extreme over-simplifications do nothing except twist my words and make it easier for you to avoid critically self-assessing your views on U.S. foreign policy. An easy way to avoid debate.

Same old, same old.

likbez , September 3, 2017 at 6:10 pm
"Ditto for anyone who wants the U.S. to collapse, be destroyed, or makes fun of its people with stereotypes."

That's too simplistic. The USA simultaneously represents a country and a global neoliberal empire led from Washington. The latter gave us all those wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen and Syria (KSA is a part of the empire).

You may want prosperity for the USA proper, and the collapse of this neoliberal empire at the same time. This is essentially Bannon's position and the position of other "economic nationalists" in the USA, who are now tarred and feathered as "Putin friends" (Putin's position is also somewhat closer to economic nationalism then to neoliberalism, although in certain areas he sits between two chairs).

The USA is a great country which among other things gave the world Internet, as we know it. As well as modern CPUs and computers ( although here British scientists and Germans made important contributions too, often as staff of foreign subsidiaries of the US companies such as Intel, and IBM) . Due to which such forums are possible.

Neoliberalism and US governed global neoliberal empire will most probably shrink or even collapse after the end of cheap oil and due to the rise of nationalist movements in almost all EU countries and elsewhere, which partially reverses the trend toward neoliberal globalization that existed before. That's uneven process. In the USA neoliberalism demonstrated amazing staying power after financial crisis of 2008, which buried neoliberal ideology.

Recently in some countries (not without some help from the USA) neoliberalism staged revenge (Argentina, Brazil), but the general trend now does not favor neoliberal globalization and, by extension, kicking the can down the road via color revolutions and such.

The typical forecast for end of cheap oil is a decade or two. KSA is the canary in the mine here. It should collapse first.

The USA as a country probably will be OK because it is rich in hydrocarbons, but the neoliberal empire will collapse as the USA probably it will not be able or willing to serve as armed enforcer of multinationals around the globe any longer. The set of ideas known as neoliberalism are already on life support. See https://www.amazon.com/dp/0199283273 A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey. Also see http://softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Political_skeptic/Neoliberalism/index.shtml

Neoliberals who control the US state after Reagan coup (or even starting with Carter) still push down the throats of Americans those dead ideas due to power of propaganda machine, but they are less and less effective. Trump election means that allergic reaction to neoliberal propaganda already is a factor in the US political life. Hillary positioned herself as quintessential globalist and warmonger for the USA led neoliberal empire and lost. Trump proved to be no better then the king of "bait and switch" Barak Obama and shed all his election promises with ease. But the fact remains. .

For the same reason we also need to distinguish between neocons, who currently determine the US foreign policy (and dominate the State Department) and the rank-and-file Americans who suffer from this imperial overreach, from outsourcing, with some of them returning home dead or maimed. There nothing bad in denigrating neocons.

I would view the current round of hostilities between Russia and the USA through the prism of the fight for the preservation of the US neoliberal empire. They need an external enemy to squash mounting resistance to neoliberalism with the USA. And Ukraine gambit was designed explicitly for that. If they can take out Russia (by installing Yeltsin-style regime, which is the goal) the life of empire might be prolonged (they tried and failed in 2012). The second round of looting also might help with paying external debt. The shot in the arm which the USA got from the collapse of the USSR led to [fake] prosperity in 1994-2000.

[Sep 03, 2017] Proper response would be for Russia to nationalize their bank

It is interesting that on Sunday, Sept 3, 2017 there was no anti-Russian hysteria in US MSM anymore. The flow of anti-Russian news just disappeared
Russia still need year to recover from Yeltsin carnage, so the best policy for Russia is just do not react on this provocation. direct retaliation is counterproductive.
Sep 03, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Son of Captain Nemo , Sep 3, 2017 4:26 PM

To the Russian Federation. If this faggot pedo of a U.S. Marine doesn't make it clear enough at this point ( http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-09-03/mattis-we-have-many-options-ach... ), after the banks attempted to control your resources post-Soviet Union for 28 years using threats of war and well "war" in your neighborhood, with paid for mercenaries in American $$$ to kill their own in places like your Southern Caucus, Dagestan

They are desperate, bankrupt financially and without resources with no equal in human history... And angry at their own worst choices going on the last 72 years and in need of a Hemorrhoid-ectomy with one of these ( http://www.mashpedia.com/RS-28_Sarmat )

TIMES UP!... GLOVES NEED TO COME OFF!... YOU GAVE IT YOUR BEST SHOT!... Now it's time to throw them out of your Country for good and tell them YOU'RE READY FOR ANYTHING THEY CHOOSE TO DO NEXT!!!

Anunnaki , Sep 3, 2017 4:40 PM

Is this draining the swamp, how? The Cheetolini is AWOL from foreign affairs.

rejected , Sep 3, 2017 4:41 PM

I really wish the Russians would respond in kind but I suspect they have too much class. Link for more videos of yet another treaty violation by the US government.

https://sputniknews.com/society/201709031057051981-russia-consulate-fbi-...

Anunnaki -> rejected , Sep 3, 2017 4:55 PM

Proper response would be for Russia to nationalize their bank

RedDwarf , Sep 3, 2017 4:54 PM

Wow, we really are heading for war with Russia. This is turning into America vs. World. It never ends well for the country that tries to go to war against the rest of the world. There is no sane reason to do this unless your desire is the destruction of America or a religious goal of bringing about the end days.

We need to find these lunatics and traitors and we need to get rid of them before they poison the Northern Hemisphere in blood and ash.

Consuelo -> RedDwarf , Sep 3, 2017 5:00 PM

There is no 'finding them', RD. They operate in plain view. But they have the 'cattle' herded in essentially any direction they so choose, by way of Fake News, Sports & entertainment and social-media distraction. It takes a thinking electorate to see and identify their machinations. Which is why they get so upset when thinking people speak...

[Sep 03, 2017] Russian consulate shutdown Deep State victory or Trumps attempt to avoid impeachment

Notable quotes:
"... On Thursday, the US State Department demanded closure of the Russian consulate in San Francisco, as well as two annex buildings in Washington and New York. The decision was motivated by the "spirit of parity invoked by the Russians" and came in response to Moscow ordering the US to reduce its diplomatic personnel in Russia, according to the US State Department. ..."
"... "One can say pretty firmly that the change of the chief of staff and other personnel in the Trump White House means that, as some would have it, the Deep State has won and this so-called 'isolationist Donald Trump candidate' is over. He's ramping up military war games on the Korean peninsula, he's ramping up troops to Afghanistan and he's ramping up troops to Russia's actual borders in the European Union countries," ..."
"... "What we're seeing here is definitely ramping up of tension with Moscow. We have to wait [and see] what the next enemy of Washington is, is it now going to be China? ..."
"... "The United States is ramping it up when it comes to the foreign diplomatic pressure, foreign military pressure. We must remember the number of times the Trump White House said 'all options are on the table' over a variety of different problems that previously have been seen as diplomatic," ..."
"... "Russia collusion" ..."
"... "A cynic might say that while this may be not very good news for Russian citizens in the United States and business partnerships and so on between the United states and Russia, this could be a means seen by some in the Trump administration of trying to curb continuous attacks on US media that Donald Trump is compromised by the Putin government in Moscow," ..."
"... "By doing this he can say 'Look, I'm no pawn of Moscow, here I am, making unprecedented closures of diplomatic facilities and actually creating more tensions with Moscow than President Obama did or did his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.' And therefore by showing this might, he's somehow independent and therefore 'Please don't impeach me'," ..."
"... because they are the biggest nuclear powers on Earth," ..."
"... "We have to wait and see whether Donald Trump himself tweets differently or indeed speaks differently, when he talks at a press conference – compared to the former CEO of Exxon, Rex Tillerson, his Secretary of State, someone much more arguably deeply allied to the Deep State." ..."
Sep 03, 2017 | www.rt.com

On Thursday, the US State Department demanded closure of the Russian consulate in San Francisco, as well as two annex buildings in Washington and New York. The decision was motivated by the "spirit of parity invoked by the Russians" and came in response to Moscow ordering the US to reduce its diplomatic personnel in Russia, according to the US State Department.

Read more US orders closure of Russian Consulate in San Francisco – State Department

While the decision will likely to ramp up tensions between the two countries, the reasons behind it might have deeper roots, Rattansi believes.

"One can say pretty firmly that the change of the chief of staff and other personnel in the Trump White House means that, as some would have it, the Deep State has won and this so-called 'isolationist Donald Trump candidate' is over. He's ramping up military war games on the Korean peninsula, he's ramping up troops to Afghanistan and he's ramping up troops to Russia's actual borders in the European Union countries," Rattansi said, adding that this is all quite in line with the recent Trump policy of heating up tensions worldwide and searching for enemies.

"What we're seeing here is definitely ramping up of tension with Moscow. We have to wait [and see] what the next enemy of Washington is, is it now going to be China?

The aggressive US policy is being watched closely by the international community and the developing countries, Rattansi said, stressing that previously purely diplomatic questions are now becoming international flashpoints.

"The United States is ramping it up when it comes to the foreign diplomatic pressure, foreign military pressure. We must remember the number of times the Trump White House said 'all options are on the table' over a variety of different problems that previously have been seen as diplomatic," Rattansi said.

Read more Lavrov to Tillerson on consulate closure: We regret escalation of tension not initiated by Russia

Such behavior might be a desperate attempt to fix the internal problems in the US and help Trump to beat the "Russia collusion" narrative, which has been plaguing his presidency.

"A cynic might say that while this may be not very good news for Russian citizens in the United States and business partnerships and so on between the United states and Russia, this could be a means seen by some in the Trump administration of trying to curb continuous attacks on US media that Donald Trump is compromised by the Putin government in Moscow," Rattansi said.

"By doing this he can say 'Look, I'm no pawn of Moscow, here I am, making unprecedented closures of diplomatic facilities and actually creating more tensions with Moscow than President Obama did or did his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.' And therefore by showing this might, he's somehow independent and therefore 'Please don't impeach me'," Rattansi said.

It's quite hard to tell how far the tensions can go, as there will always be diplomatic relations between Moscow and Washington, " because they are the biggest nuclear powers on Earth," Rattansi believes. "We have to wait and see whether Donald Trump himself tweets differently or indeed speaks differently, when he talks at a press conference – compared to the former CEO of Exxon, Rex Tillerson, his Secretary of State, someone much more arguably deeply allied to the Deep State."

[Sep 02, 2017] Moscow summons US Ambassador to submit protest note over diplomatic downsizing

Notable quotes:
"... "We consider the planned illegal search of Russian diplomatic premises in the absence of Russian officials and the threat we have received to break down the door of the building as an aggressive action, which the US intelligence service may use to orchestrate an anti-Russian provocation by planting compromising items," the statement also said. ..."
Sep 02, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Perimetr | Sep 2, 2017 11:56:25 AM | 15

US reportedly preparing to forcibly enter Russian trade mission in DC to "search" it

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/09/breaking-moscow-summons-us-ambassador.html?m=1

BREAKING: Moscow summons US Ambassador to submit protest note over diplomatic downsizing
September 2, 2017 - Fort Russ News - Paul Antonopoulos

Russia has call for the deputy chief of mission of the US Embassy in Moscow, Anthony F. Godfrey, to submit a protest letter over US plans to search the Russian trade mission in Washington, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement just made moments ago.

The statement revealed that Russian diplomats have been denied access to the trade mission building despite being owned by Russia and protected by diplomatic immunity. Because of this gross violation of diplomatic immunity, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that:

"The US authorities must stop the gross violations of international law and refuse to encroach on the immunity of Russia's diplomatic institutions. Otherwise we reserve the right to reciprocate on the basis of reciprocity."

"We consider the planned illegal search of Russian diplomatic premises in the absence of Russian officials and the threat we have received to break down the door of the building as an aggressive action, which the US intelligence service may use to orchestrate an anti-Russian provocation by planting compromising items," the statement also said.

This was triggered when days ago the US ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in San Francisco and the downsizing of its diplomatic presence in New York City and Washington DC.

[Sep 02, 2017] US Warns Russia Relationship in a Downward Spiral

Sep 02, 2017 | news.antiwar.com

US Warns Russia Relationship in a 'Downward Spiral' US Officials Say Russia Started It

Jason Ditz Posted on August 31, 2017 August 31, 2017 Categories News Tags Russia , State Department , Trump The US State Department has admitted in its statement on the US closing the Russian Consulate in San Francisco that the move comes amid a "downward spiral in our relationship." This is an unusual admission that relations are both at an all-time low, and continuing to worsen at a rapid pace .

improve relations ," this doesn't seem sincere expectation. Rather, the State Department's comments seem more interested in trying to shift the blame.

The State Department credited itself for only closing one consulate and two annexes, saying they "have chosen to allow the Russian government to maintain some of its annexes" to try to keep the situation getting worse.

One official was quoted as saying that "it is our hope that the Russians will recognize that they were the ones who started the discussion" on facility closures, citing the recent US loss of a warehouse in Moscow and a vacation house.

Absent in all official US comments were the December 2016 US moves to expel Russian diplomats and seize two vacation houses. While Russia couched their closures as retaliation for that, US officials are choosing to ignore December and present today's moves as retaliation for Russia's closures.

The comments about hoping for better relations don't appear realistic, as the closure of a consulate is a major step forward in escalation of tensions, and will almost certain oblige Russia to take further moves. These tit-for-tat measures show no sign of ending any time soon. The best we can hope is that it doesn't further escalate.

[Sep 02, 2017] Iranians and Their iPhones, and the Futility of Sanctions by Paul R. Pillar

Does the USA tried to replay Iranian sanctions round on Russia? As Russia depends on the USA companies for many technologies this can be painful.
Notable quotes:
"... That Apple's move is the result of an abundance of fear and caution is indicated by Google taking a different tack. Google has done nothing to remove Iranian-developed apps for Android phones from its Play store, and it permits Iranian developers to publish their apps in Iran provided that they do not involve purchases. ..."
"... But with the American political impulse to keep imposing still more anti-Iran sanctions, and with a resulting system of sanctions that is so complicated it can be fully understood only by a few experts in Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, many companies will take Apple's more cautious approach. ..."
"... it stimulates a turn to Iranian alternatives such as an internal Iranian online payment system. ..."
"... the overall effect on the Iranian economy is to weaken portions of that economy that are outside the regime and to strengthen the regime's influence over other parts, including the economic activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the sanctions mean more lost business for American companies. While Apple is prevented from selling its phones in Iran, one of its biggest competitors, Samsung, opened earlier this year a large sales center in Iran. ..."
Sep 02, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

U.S.-imposed economic sanctions often have been misdirected and counterproductive, but a new sanctions-related development involving Iran is especially illustrative.

First, some background. Iran has been a favorite target of American politicians who use sanctions as a vehicle for expressing disapproval for a regime, with little apparent thought about the actual effects of the sanctions. Since the entering into force of the nuclear agreement known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which in the eyes of most governments successfully resolved the issue of a possible Iranian nuclear weapon, the United States has been alone among major powers in continuing to sanction Iran. The sanctions that the United States has piled on Iran for years have become so extensive and complex, and the penalties for violation so severe, that many American companies have erred on the side of caution by forgoing business opportunities in Iran even more than is legally required. The fear of God, or rather of the U.S. Treasury Department, has made them wary of inadvertently stepping across some unclear line.

The new development is that Apple is attempting to shut down apps developed by Iranians for use on iPhones inside Iran. The sanctions prohibit Apple from selling its phones in Iran, but millions of the popular devices have been smuggled into the country from places such as Dubai and Hong Kong. Hence the market for apps that Iranians find useful, such as an Uber-like ride-hailing service known as Snapp. Apple is removing Iranian-developed apps, including Snapp, from its App Stores. The company issued a message to Iranian developers in which it attributed the move to "U.S. sanctions regulations".

That Apple's move is the result of an abundance of fear and caution is indicated by Google taking a different tack. Google has done nothing to remove Iranian-developed apps for Android phones from its Play store, and it permits Iranian developers to publish their apps in Iran provided that they do not involve purchases. Maybe Google is on firm legal ground. But with the American political impulse to keep imposing still more anti-Iran sanctions, and with a resulting system of sanctions that is so complicated it can be fully understood only by a few experts in Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, many companies will take Apple's more cautious approach.

Impeding the full use by Iranians of their iPhones does absolutely nothing to weaken the Iranian regime, to punish it for behavior we don't like, to deter it from future behavior we might not like, or to accomplish any other ostensible purpose of the sanctions that have led Apple to do what it is doing. It only takes ordinary Iranians farther away from fully enjoying an American product with an American operating system, and it stimulates a turn to Iranian alternatives such as an internal Iranian online payment system.

As with many of the U.S. sanctions, the overall effect on the Iranian economy is to weaken portions of that economy that are outside the regime and to strengthen the regime's influence over other parts, including the economic activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

An instructive irony of Apple removing apps that ordinary Iranians use is that recently Apple removed apps that ordinary Chinese were using to circumvent government censorship and gain use to non-Chinese internet sites. The Iranian regime, like the Chinese regime, blocks the use of some popular Western-based social media (although the Iranian telecommunications minister has hinted that some of these restrictions may be dropped).

The difference is that in one case Apple is responding to pressure from the Chinese government, while in the other case it is responding to pressure not from Iran but instead from the U.S. government.

Meanwhile, the sanctions mean more lost business for American companies. While Apple is prevented from selling its phones in Iran, one of its biggest competitors, Samsung, opened earlier this year a large sales center in Iran.

[Sep 02, 2017] The Costs of Ignoring Russia by Dimitri K. Simes

This is extremely week article. The problem here is the logic of neoliberalism requires crushing Russian attempt to restore sovereignty and open the country to multinationals on multinationals, not Russia. terms.
In this sense the USA play role of armed enforcer of neoliberal values around the globe and as long as it continues to play this role normalization of relations with Russia without color revolution (that Obama administration attempted to launch in 2012 but failed) are somewhat unrealistic.
Sep 02, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

...failing to arrest the downward spiral in U.S.-Russia relations poses real dangers. The most dramatic, if least likely, is a direct military confrontation leading to uncontrollable escalation and potentially a global catastrophe. Many dismiss this risk, arguing that neither the United States nor Russia wants to commit suicide and would show restraint; however, the same assumption that the other side would pull back at the last moment contributed to World War I. The truth is that no one knows what might happen if U.S. and Russian warplanes started shooting at each another or if American cruise missiles hit Russian bases in Syria. Russia could retaliate asymmetrically, perhaps in eastern Ukraine...

...Russia could double down on its emerging alignment with China. Russia and China maintain strong mutual suspicions, and China is a much stronger country by most measures. Although both are interested in normal relations with the United States, and would be reluctant to go too far in ways that could lead to a serious conflict, they are fearful of and, indeed, irritated with Washington. They are drawing closer economically and militarily, and are increasingly coordinating their foreign policies. Moscow and Beijing are concerned over American-led encirclement and, specifically, expanding U.S. antimissile systems that threaten their retaliatory capabilities. At a minimum, the worse the U.S.-Russia relationship, the more a rising China can count on Russian support in any disagreement with the United States. Emboldening China in this fashion cannot be in the U.S. national interest.

... ... ...

The obstacles to seeking a new approach to Russia are so numerous and momentous that many may feel that even trying is not a good use of President Trump's time, energy and limited political capital. Yet if it goes badly wrong, the U.S.-Russia relationship could end in nuclear conflict.

Dimitri K. Simes, publisher and CEO of the National Interest, is president of the Center for the National Interest.

[Sep 02, 2017] Washington and Moscow Must Embrace Détente -- Despite Trump by Katrina vanden Heuvel

What Katrina van den Heuvel does not understand is that American imperialism in not compatible with independent, sovereign Russia, only with vassal Yeltsin Russia. that why Russian believe that the USA is trying "regime change" via color revolution in Russia. Obama administration tried this and spend a lot of cash delivered by diplomatic mail on this exercise in 2012. They failed. So the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency" is right in reporting that "the Kremlin apparently believes the United States seeks regime change in Russia."
So as long as the USA continues building global neoliberal empire led from Washington, tensions are hostilities are inevitable
Notable quotes:
"... In Russia, the United States is seen as the aggressor, asserting itself as the global unipower. ..."
"... NATO expansion helped convince Russians that the West regards it as a permanent enemy. The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency recently reported that the Kremlin apparently believes the United States seeks regime change in Russia. ..."
"... In fact, each perspective holds more than a grain of truth. ..."
"... The United States has seen itself as the global arbiter, the "indispensable nation," dismissing the legitimacy of any other nation's sphere of influence. ..."
"... Despite all this, two countries possessing over 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons urgently need a working relationship. A working détente requires persistent efforts to find areas of agreement and to settle disputes, rather than a willingness to freeze relations, deepen sanctions and escalate military posturing. ..."
"... At the end of the Cold War, the United States and Russia could have joined in building and strengthening a zone of peace in Europe. Instead, the United States expanded NATO right up to Russia's border. ..."
"... An agreement guaranteeing Georgia and Ukraine's independence, committing them to remain nonaligned, outside of NATO and free to join both the EU and the Russian economic bloc, would greatly reduce tensions. Russia and the United States might join in pushing for the full implementation of the Minsk II Accords, providing for an end to violence and greater autonomy for eastern Ukraine. Sanctions relief might be combined with an agreement for an internationally monitored referendum on Crimea's status, under the UN's auspices. ..."
Sep 02, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

On January 26 of this year, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists reset the Doomsday Clock from 11:57 to 11:58:30 (midnight represents nuclear apocalypse). The Bulletin considers these days more dangerous than the Cuban Missile Crisis, and for good reason. The new cold war between Russia and the United States is punctuated by perilous military face-offs in three arenas: in Syria; in the skies over the Baltic Sea, on Russia's western border with three hundred thousand NATO troops on high alert and both Russia and NATO ramping up deployments and exercises; and in Ukraine.

The rising tensions express totally contradictory perspectives. In the United States, across the political spectrum, Putin is seen as a merciless autocrat with expansionist designs. He's denounced for aggression in Georgia and Ukraine, and for propping up a brutal dictator in Syria. Investigations on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election -- and possible collusion with the Trump campaign -- have generated a continuing media frenzy that poisons any discussion.

In Russia, the United States is seen as the aggressor, asserting itself as the global unipower. When Bill Clinton trampled upon repeated promises and began expanding NATO towards the Russian border, George F. Kennan, the architect of containment, warned of a "tragic mistake." NATO expansion helped convince Russians that the West regards it as a permanent enemy. The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency recently reported that the Kremlin apparently believes the United States seeks regime change in Russia.

In fact, each perspective holds more than a grain of truth. Putin does want to reassert Russia's influence on the international stage, and challenge what he sees as America's unipolar delusion. The United States has seen itself as the global arbiter, the "indispensable nation," dismissing the legitimacy of any other nation's sphere of influence. The Pentagon does designate Russia as its leading adversary. The United States has encouraged the "color revolutions" in Georgia and the coup in Ukraine. Both countries have mucked about in the others' internal and electoral politics.

Despite all this, two countries possessing over 90 percent of the world's nuclear weapons urgently need a working relationship. A working détente requires persistent efforts to find areas of agreement and to settle disputes, rather than a willingness to freeze relations, deepen sanctions and escalate military posturing.

The first priority for the United States should be reengaging Russia in efforts to reduce nuclear arsenals, and to deny terrorists access to nuclear materials. They should be working together -- as they did in the P5+1 negotiations over Iranian nuclear-weapons capacity -- to stop the spread of nuclear weapons.

The United States and Russia also have a shared concern about the terrorist threat posed by ISIS, Al Qaeda and their offshoots. In Syria, cooperation with Russia may be the only way to stabilize the nation so it can eventually recover from its horrific war. The United States has no intention of committing the troops and resources needed to overthrow Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad. Washington would do well to increase cooperation with Russia in the war against ISIS, and seek joint guarantees of a cease-fire that gives the Syrian people a respite from six years of brutal warfare, and begins to slow the refugee flows destabilizing Europe.

At the end of the Cold War, the United States and Russia could have joined in building and strengthening a zone of peace in Europe. Instead, the United States expanded NATO right up to Russia's border. That expansion will be virtually impossible to undo, but the United States and Russia could reverse the buildup of troops and stand down the military exercises on both sides of the Russian border without any formal agreement.

An agreement guaranteeing Georgia and Ukraine's independence, committing them to remain nonaligned, outside of NATO and free to join both the EU and the Russian economic bloc, would greatly reduce tensions. Russia and the United States might join in pushing for the full implementation of the Minsk II Accords, providing for an end to violence and greater autonomy for eastern Ukraine. Sanctions relief might be combined with an agreement for an internationally monitored referendum on Crimea's status, under the UN's auspices.

... ... ...

Katrina vanden Heuvel is editor and publisher of the Nation.

[Sep 02, 2017] No Russian Hacking In Durham Election - NY Times Report Belies Its Headline

NYT = neocon/neolib fear mongering and neo-McCarthyism.
If we assume that Russians can control election machine, the question arise about the CIA role in the US elections. They are much more powerful and that's their home turf. And they can pretend to be Russians of Chinese at will. Then they can cry "Thief" to divert attention. Does this that promoting Russia hacking story they implicitly reveal to us that elections are controlled by Deep State and electronic voting machines and voter rosters are just a tool to this end. They allow to get rid of human vote counting and that alone makes hijacking of the election results really easy. machine magically calculates the votes and you are done. As Stalin said it doesn't matter how people are voting, what matters is who is calculating the votes.
Dems should concentrate on removing neoliberal/Clinton wing of the Party from the leadership and making it at lease "A New Deal" Party, not sold to Wall Steer bunch of fear mongering neocons. Anti-Russian campaign is designed to sabotage those efforts.
Notable quotes:
"... All of the reported troubles are simple computer hiccups that would not have occurred in a more reasonable election system build on paper and pencil balloting. All the computer troubles have various innocent causes ..."
"... Moreover, there was no chance that these troubles in one district would have effected the general election. There was thereby no motive for anyone to hack these systems: ..."
"... The NYT headline is an outrageous lie. It promotes as causal fact completely unproven interference and troubles for which, as the article notes, plenty of other reason might exist. It is politically irresponsible. Only two out of ten people read beyond the headlines. Even fewer will read down to paragraph five and recognize that the headline lies. All others will have been willfully misled by the editors of the New York Times. ..."
"... The whole "Russian hacking" issue is a series of big lies designed and promulgated by Democratic partisans (specifically Brennan and Clapper who were then at the head of U.S. intelligence services) ..."
"... The New York Times, and other media, present these lies as facts while not providing any evidence for them. In many cases they hide behind " intelligence reports " without noting suspiciously mealymouthed caveats in those subjective "assessments" of obviously partisan authors. Hard facts contradicting their conclusions are simply ignored and not reported at all. ..."
"... "Never trust a computer with anything important." I have been relentlessly campaigning against the use of voting machines, particularly voting computers, since 2004. I have demanded openly hand counted paper ballots in hundreds of blog posts, and even have a website promoting this. ..."
"... At the end of the day it is obvious that the Deep State Syndicate controls the machines, and thus the elections. And then they have the nerve to demand that we must beware of "Russian hacking"! ..."
"... The whole Russia stole my homework meme is getting fairly old and it makes me wonder what they are really hiding with this ongoing obfuscation of the facts......if the drums of war are loud enough will they drown out the calls for justice by any of the current or recent politicians? ..."
Sep 02, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

The last piece pointed out that the NYT headline " U.N. Peacekeepers in Lebanon Get Stronger Inspection Powers for Hezbollah Arms " was 100% fake news. The UNIFIL U.N. peacekeepers in Lebanon were not getting any stronger inspection powers. The relevant UN Security Resolution, which renewed UNIFIL's mandate, had made no such changes. No further inspection powers were authorized.

Today we find another similarly lying headline in the New York Times.

Russian Election Hacking Efforts, Wider Than Previously Known, Draw Little Scrutiny

By NICOLE PERLROTH, MICHAEL WINES and MATTHEW ROSENBERGSEPT. 1, 2017

The piece is about minor technical election trouble in a district irrelevant to the presidential election outcome. Contradicting the headline it notes in paragraph five:

There are plenty of other reasons for such breakdowns -- local officials blamed human error and software malfunctions -- and no clear-cut evidence of digital sabotage has emerged, much less a Russian role in it
"We don't know if any of the problems were an accident, or the random problems you get with computer systems, or whether it was a local hacker, or actual malfeasance by a sovereign nation-state," said Michael Daniel, who served as the cybersecurity coordinator in the Obama White House. "If you really want to know what happened, you'd have to do a lot of forensics, a lot of research and investigation, and you may not find out even then."

...

the firm had not conducted any malware analysis or checked to see if any of the e-poll book software was altered, adding that the report produced more questions than answers.

All of the reported troubles are simple computer hiccups that would not have occurred in a more reasonable election system build on paper and pencil balloting. All the computer troubles have various innocent causes. The officials handling these systems deny that any "Russian hacking" was involved. Moreover, there was no chance that these troubles in one district would have effected the general election. There was thereby no motive for anyone to hack these systems:

Despite the disruptions, a record number of votes were cast in Durham, following a pattern there of overwhelming support for Democratic presidential candidates , this time Hillary Clinton.

The NYT headline is an outrageous lie. It promotes as causal fact completely unproven interference and troubles for which, as the article notes, plenty of other reason might exist. It is politically irresponsible. Only two out of ten people read beyond the headlines. Even fewer will read down to paragraph five and recognize that the headline lies. All others will have been willfully misled by the editors of the New York Times.

This scheme is the gist of ALL reporting about the alleged "Russian hacking" of the U.S. presidential election. There exists zero evidence that Russia was involved in anything related to it. No evidence -none at all- links the publishing of DNC papers or of Clinton counselor Podesta's emails to Russia. Thousands of other circumstances, people or political entities might have had their hands in the issue. There is zero evidence that Russia was involved at all.

The whole "Russian hacking" issue is a series of big lies designed and promulgated by Democratic partisans (specifically Brennan and Clapper who were then at the head of U.S. intelligence services) to:

The New York Times, and other media, present these lies as facts while not providing any evidence for them. In many cases they hide behind " intelligence reports " without noting suspiciously mealymouthed caveats in those subjective "assessments" of obviously partisan authors. Hard facts contradicting their conclusions are simply ignored and not reported at all.

Posted by b on September 1, 2017 at 11:26 PM | Permalink

WG | Sep 2, 2017 1:27:08 AM | 1

Look at what happened today in San Francisco - after ordering the Russians to shut down their embassy there in an unreasonably short timeframe, they then had the fire department respond to smoke coming out of the chimney of the building. Conveniently this brings attention to the situation and continues the narrative of 'ongoing conflict' to the American people.

The end of this story has already decided. It didn't matter who won the election, it doesn't matter that the people chose the candidate who wanted peace, and it doesn't matter that there wasn't any Russian election hacking.

blues | Sep 2, 2017 1:37:27 AM | 2
"Never trust a computer with anything important." I have been relentlessly campaigning against the use of voting machines, particularly voting computers, since 2004. I have demanded openly hand counted paper ballots in hundreds of blog posts, and even have a website promoting this.

At the end of the day it is obvious that the Deep State Syndicate controls the machines, and thus the elections. And then they have the nerve to demand that we must beware of "Russian hacking"!

Get strategic hedge simple score voting today!

psychohistorian | Sep 2, 2017 1:59:38 AM | 3
The whole Russia stole my homework meme is getting fairly old and it makes me wonder what they are really hiding with this ongoing obfuscation of the facts......if the drums of war are loud enough will they drown out the calls for justice by any of the current or recent politicians?

Yes, of course.....thats the plan.....is it working?

If not, invade Venezuela on some pretext and claim ownership of their oil....someone has to make Israel look reasonable.

Bob | Sep 2, 2017 2:01:39 AM | 4
What a bizarre article.
"We don't know if any of the problems were an accident, or the random problems you get with computer systems, or whether it was a local hacker, or actual malfeasance by a sovereign nation-state," said Michael Daniel, who served as the cybersecurity coordinator in the Obama White House. "If you really want to know what happened, you'd have to do a lot of forensics, a lot of research and investigation, and you may not find out even then."

...

the firm had not conducted any malware analysis or checked to see if any of the e-poll book software was altered, adding that the report produced more questions than answers.

They don't even know what happened. Best blame it on the Russians anyway.

Perimtr | Sep 2, 2017 3:07:52 AM | 5
The "paper of record" is just another outlet for the Ministry of Propaganda.
Kalen | Sep 2, 2017 3:22:15 AM | 6
B of course realizes that the headline of an article is almost never written by author but by an editor.

Such as blatant nonsense at NYT and elsewhere I think is possible when author wanting to get published on good NYT page would lie to editor about its contents.

Of course Editor is no idiot and in old American tradition of pretending and deniability does not read it to cover his/her butt and hence this obvious crap get published epitomizing a failure {actually Orwellian success] of editor to vet the paper, as long as bosses are happy with insinuations however baseless.

Shakesvshav | Sep 2, 2017 3:31:33 AM | 7
The Guardian still sees mileage in Pussy Riot, or at least one former member: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/01/pussy-riot-mariya-alyokhina-russian-activist-jailed-white-house
Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 2, 2017 7:21:37 AM | 8
...
Of course Editor is no idiot and in old American tradition of pretending and deniability does not read it to cover his/her butt and hence this obvious crap get published epitomizing a failure {actually Orwellian success] of editor to vet the paper, as long as bosses are happy with insinuations however baseless.
Posted by: Kalen | Sep 2, 2017 3:22:15 AM | 6

I like the theory that NYT's sub-editors are too lazy/busy/careless to read the articles they're paid to summarise and add an appealing headline. It's certainly food for thought when pondering possible Chain Of Command issues within the MSM.

When I was a regular lurker at What's Left, one notable aspect was the frequency with which Gowans' most stunning revelations were sourced from the nether regions of articles published in the NYT, WaPo et al.

Lawrence Smith | Sep 2, 2017 9:59:42 AM | 9
What this all speaks of is ineptitude and malfeasance at all levels of government. Lies covering more lies. The only things that gets done in Washington iare covering asses and those, like their wars without end, are complete and utter failures. That the Clinton mob are sore losers and press on with delegitimization of a clown president who, unlike the wicked witch of the West, feigned disinterest in war and won what's left of a hollowed out presidency is theatre of the absurd par excellence. Build the fence around the beltway and keep the psychopaths in the asylum in.
doug | Sep 2, 2017 10:44:46 AM | 10
Moreover, there was no chance that these troubles in one district would have effected the general election. There was thereby no motive for anyone to hack these systems:

Plenty wrong with that logic...gosh...give it some thought...a tiny bit will help there...

james | Sep 2, 2017 11:01:34 AM | 12
yeah - more stories on pussy riot.. a story like how pussy riot ate george soros, or putins breakfast would be good..... when i read the nyt, i want a story filled with lies and deception... i'm running away from reality and heading straight for the nyt, lol..
Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 2, 2017 11:20:17 AM | 14
...
Plenty wrong with that logic...gosh...give it some thought...a tiny bit will help there...
Posted by: doug | Sep 2, 2017 10:44:46 AM | 10

It would only be a logical fallacy if it said... "Moreover, there was no chance that these troubles in more than one district would have effected the general election." ...but it doesn't, so it isn't.

[Sep 01, 2017] America and Russia Same Old, Same Old

It is interesting to see posts of neocon Gary below and reactions of other commenters to his nonsense...
Notable quotes:
"... Angela Stent directs the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at Georgetown University and is the author of ..."
"... The "smaller or weaker" states you mention had better not involve themselves in a campaign to demonize Russia and everything Russian-but above all they should try to ..."
"... Not attack it directly like Georgia did in 2008 ..."
"... Attack it indirectly as Ukraine did after the Maidan coup in 2014 ..."
"... In both cases an appropriate and symmetric response was handed to them by Russia. You know, being small or weak does not mean that you are virtuous ..."
"... Gary believes America is protected by a comic book superhero version of Jesus that will magically intercept all of Russia's ICBM's. These people are crazies. ..."
"... Before to come to conclusions, remember please about jar of white powder Colin Powell. Where are the Iraqi nuclear weapons? When Russia invaded Using the word "invaded" compare the situation in Crimea and Iraq, or Libya. Just think about it for leisure. ..."
"... Crimea is a done deal. It is more likely that Russia would give Moscow than Crimea. As for the Donbass rebels, sure, as long as the Kiev regime ceases its brutal repression tactics across the rest of Ukraine, I believe an understanding where Donbass integrates somehow with Ukraine could be reached. ..."
"... Putin certainly came intending to negate the disasters of the Yeltsin years. He has, and Russians widely admire him for that. However, the assertion that he wants to return to the USSR and its overpowering of all neighbors is neocon dogma, not based in anything Putin has said or done. ..."
"... Putin actually said this: "Those who do not regret that the USSR has fallen apart have no heart, those who want it back have no brain" ..."
"... Every administration since 1992 has expanded NATO eastward, up to the border of Russia itself. NATO is a nuclear-armed military alliance. How would we feel if the Warsaw Pact was deploying thousands of soldiers and missiles along our southern and northern borders? ..."
"... Why are american journalists always inventing fake desires for Putin and Russia. It is like saying the US wants world domination and to defeat Russia and China. Well, it would be nice if it happened, but we are not working toward it, are we? ..."
Sep 01, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

What interests do the United States and Russia have in common? Both bear a unique responsibility as the two nuclear superpowers and share a commitment to preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, but when it comes to defining exactly what they mean by that, they cannot always agree. Both agree that terrorism is a common threat, but often have different definitions of who is a terrorist, as is clear from the difficulties they have had cooperating in the fight against ISIS in Syria. And, unlike the United States' relationship with China, for instance, it has limited common economic interests with Russia, and hence fewer stakeholders to promote continued and improved relations. Russia's main exports are hydrocarbons and military hardware, neither of which the United States needs. And the difficult investment climate and weakness of the rule of law!as well as the current sanctions regime!act as a brake on further U.S. investment.

Despite the lack of common interests, there are issues on which the United States and Russia must and can work together. The war in Syria, with its catastrophic human toll, is the most pressing issue. Beyond the current cease-fire, Washington and Moscow must continue to deconflict air operations and to provide humanitarian relief. The fact that bilateral military ties have resumed is a hopeful sign. The situation in North Korea could also be an avenue for cooperation, although Russia opposes putting further pressure on Kim Jong-un. And opening talks about designing rules of the road in the cyber sphere would be desirable.

Ukraine remains another major stumbling block to improved ties. The appointment of Ambassador Kurt Volker as special envoy for Ukraine is a welcome development. But the prospects for the Minsk agreement being fulfilled are not good. Secretary Tillerson has hinted that there may be a way forward outside of Minsk, but that will require imagination and determination on all sides to resolve the conflict.

Given the fundamental differences between the two sides on a host of issues, and the lack of trust, the U.S.-Russian relationship will at best remain a limited partnership, with cooperation on some issues of mutual interest, and disagreement or competition on others. Things are unlikely to look so different under a Trump administration from the way they did under the Obama administration, barring some major new revelation about Russian activities during the election campaign last year. That should not be surprising, since the basic issues that confront the United States and Russia have not really changed that much over the past decade. Given these realities, skilled management of a challenging relationship and avoiding a deterioration in ties are probably the most to be expected for the foreseeable future.

Angela Stent directs the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at Georgetown University and is the author of The Limits of Partnership: U.S-Russian Relations in the Twenty-First Century .

Gary -> Guest , August 18, 2017 9:52 PM

Are you saying that the smaller or weaker states on Russia's western borders must submit to Russia's control as during the Cold War? Sorry, but we are not going to let Russia bully or threaten them. They made the decision to join the NATO precisely out of distrust and fear of Russia, confirmed by Putin's belligerence and aggression in Georgia and Ukraine. Blame it on Putin's nostalgia for Russia's domination over Eastern Europe and the occupation of the Baltic states.

Roy Tyrell -> Gary , August 19, 2017 3:19 PM

Who is "we" Gary?

I'm a native born American citizen (as is my family - many generations - going back to 1850) and a voter.

No one in my Family will ever take up arms for the glorification of neocons.

CCCP -> Gary , August 20, 2017 8:20 PM

They made the decision to join the NATO In some countries (new NATO members) had a referendum on this subject?
But Crimea held a referendum on joining Russia. Abkhazia and South Ossetia held a referendum on independence and fought for their independence.
If you refer to the decision of the people, then do it always, not only when you want it.

Drinas -> Gary , August 24, 2017 6:33 AM

The "smaller or weaker" states you mention had better not involve themselves in a campaign to demonize Russia and everything Russian-but above all they should try to :

A) Not attack it directly like Georgia did in 2008

B) Attack it indirectly as Ukraine did after the Maidan coup in 2014

In both cases an appropriate and symmetric response was handed to them by Russia. You know, being small or weak does not mean that you are virtuous .

Youry Gromadsky -> Guest , August 19, 2017 2:28 PM

Yes! You right 1000000$

Gary G9 -> Guest , August 19, 2017 6:28 AM

US treats Russia a major power, not a minor country. We've got a lot of special bilateral agreements on nukes and other things. When Russia invaded Ukraine/Crimea we didnt do a Desert Storm operation or even send defensive weapons to Ukraine. Ditto with Georgia 2008, Syria in 2016. US and West knows these aren't worth risking confrontation. Russia still has its Security Council UN seat. So, I think we are "somewhere in the middle", as you say.

Russia's leaders want to dominate their smaller neighbors without the West criticising them harshly, and they want to invest their klepto-wealth in the West's safe banking and real estate world so that a future Russian leader can't re-steal it. They will probably succeed in getting one or these goals, but not both. We Westerners love to criticize bogeyman, and Russia is still more interesting in that role than the Chinese. But at least a bogeyman is respected, not ignored. Until Russia becomes part of the West, and not its own Eurasian civ, this is the best we can all hope for.

Roy Tyrell -> Guest , August 19, 2017 3:22 PM

Gary believes America is protected by a comic book superhero version of Jesus that will magically intercept all of Russia's ICBM's. These people are crazies.

Gary G9 -> Guest , August 20, 2017 2:18 AM

We Agree - that's my point. We don't treat Russia like Iraq, Panama, Libya.

CCCP -> Gary G9 , August 20, 2017 8:08 PM

Before to come to conclusions, remember please about jar of white powder Colin Powell. Where are the Iraqi nuclear weapons? When Russia invaded Using the word "invaded" compare the situation in Crimea and Iraq, or Libya. Just think about it for leisure.

Gary G9 -> CCCP , August 20, 2017 9:20 PM

How would you like me to think about Russia military intervention in southern Ukraine (i.e. Crimea), and its involvement supporting with the separatists in SW Ukraine? Are you saying these these events not happen and continue to happen? Are you saying the reporting from those areas are some sort of Western media conspiracy against pacifist Russia?

Sergey Titkov -> Gary G9 , August 21, 2017 3:58 AM

First of all most of western reporters have never been to Donbass or Crimea. They usually stay in Kiev or on Ukrainian territory close to the border with DNR/ LNR. Some of them just copy/paste each other's nonsense. If RF was involved in a conflict there would have been no Ukrainian as state in a week (remember Georgian conflict?).

There are "specialists" in DNR/LNR, nothing more. I've got some relatives there so I need neither Russian nor western media to tell me what's really going on there.

About Crimea try asking people from there or someone who has really been there recently. I guarantee that if you tell locals about "the occupation" they'll just laugh in your face.

Gary G9 -> Sergey Titkov , August 21, 2017 5:25 AM

I don't think we're saying different things. You seem to think that I think that a million RF troops and thousands of tanks are in Ukraine. I never said that, nor did I say anything about an occupation of Crimea. I said "intervention" in Crimea, and continued military support of separatists in SW Ukraine.

I guess the morale of the story is never give up your nukes, and never trust the Russians. Ukraine, Germany, Poland, Sweden should create their own independent nuclear deterrent so they aren't at the mercy of Russia, and aren't reliant on a permanent US umbrella.

Question: Why haven't you guys "intervened" in Odessa yet? Most reports I hear are that a majority of population are Russian, so you would welcomed with open arms, just like Crimea. Why are you letting your Russian-speaking brethren wallow in Ukrainian corruption and Western decadence?

Sergey Titkov -> Gary G9 , August 22, 2017 7:54 AM

Well, about Odessa it's not quite true. There is a Russian minority, they could have held two referendums as people did in Crimea (on independence from Ukraine and another one on accession to RF) but no-one would ever let them since the city is very well guarded.

Besides people are very much afraid 'cause they remember what so called "patriots" did few years ago (about 50 people burned alive). Now we come to the nuclear question. Guess what will happen if mindless nationalistic ukropithecus government gets its bloody hands on this tech (they are now talking that Rostov and Kuban' is there territory).

There will be trouble, 'cause in that case we will have to interfere in a full scale. Other countries you've mentioned will never even try to get the tech cause it is far cheaper to cry in hysterics asking US troops to defend them (they have succeeded in this). You could give them a few bombs, pols now know how to use those. But I doubt you ever will. And we do not have a million in the army. It is better to have a medium size but a highly professional army and that's what we aim for.

P.S. In some time there will be riots not only in Odessa but in all cities of Ukraine. They used to have a thief for a president, now they have thieves and murderers.

Gary G9 -> Sergey Titkov , August 22, 2017 8:57 AM

Yes, yes, of course, the Ukrainians are so much more corrupt and murderous than Russia's competent and loving government. Its a great wonder why they wanted to become independent country 25 years ago and a mystery that they haven't overthrown their corrupt leaders and asked to re-join Mother Russia.

The only possible explanation must be that the CIA has bribed its leaders and brainwashed the Ukraine population with anti-Russia propaganda, including that fairy tale about how Moscow starved 5 or 10 million of their grandparents in the 1930s. Ha hahahahah.

Come on Sergey, give me a break. I appreciate your insights about Odessa, but Russians should stop the propaganda that Ukrainians are like children and incapable of self-government.

Sergey Titkov -> Gary G9 , August 23, 2017 6:31 AM

You didn't get what I was trying to say. Every Ukrainian government was corrupt (in some way or another), but none was killing its own people, none was making the 2nd Ward War criminals their national heroes, none was blocking media, arresting and killing jurnalists, none except this one.

About their "independence": remind me what was Nuland and McCain doing there during maidan?

What was she discussing on the phone with Jim "the lord of Ukraine" Payete? What was Jo Biden's son doing there? And it is just a coincidence that in the SBU building in Kiev there are two floors with CIA personnel, and SBU agents are not permitted there, isn't it? You do not need to brainwash people a lot 'cause there are pretty many rationalists in western Ukraine. You just need to help them to come to power, all the rest they'll do themselves. I wish Ukraine could be a sovereign and neutral state, but it became a US vassal, an anti-Russian puppet. Remember who said this: "Samosa is a son of a ..., but he is our son of a ..." )? This is a huge political game.

And for God sake we do not want them to become a part of RF. It is a huge pain in a very well-known part of a body. Would you like for example Honduras to be another US state? I doubt so. And I have no illusions about our government: some of them should be hanging out somewhere in "sunny" Magadan (lots of good prisons there for them).

Sergey Titkov -> Gary G9 , August 23, 2017 6:46 AM

And about that starvation: far more Russians died in southwest of Russia than in Ukraine. This was a crime but not a crime against Ukrainians as a nation. Golodomor is a ukronationalists' and former Hitler's collaborators' lie. It has been around for about 65 years, this is not a new invention.

CCCP -> Gary G9 , August 21, 2017 4:42 PM

You speak as if someone stole your car. You somehow completely forgot about the people who live in Crimea. In the Crimea there was a referendum, 80% of the total adult population voted for joining Russia (I'm talking about the total number, not of those who went to vote).
My friends go every year to rest into Crimea with young children. Would you go for a vacation in Libya, or Iraq? Citizens would surely will make a very warm welcome for you, because you freed them from the bloody dictators and brought democracy...

Drinas , August 18, 2017 3:36 AM

"The appointment of Ambassador Kurt Volker as special envoy for Ukraine is a welcome development."

Sure, what is wrong with appointing a rabid Russophobe like Volker (John "all Russians are evil" McCain) at this position? The first move by Volker was to push for advanced weapon deliveries for Ukraine, thus fueling the now quasi-frozen conflict. Very constructive..

Roy Tyrell -> Drinas , August 19, 2017 3:15 PM

Russia would bulldoze Ukraine if they ever started stepping outside the box with new weapon systems. There would be no Ukraine left to whine about Crimea.

Gary -> Drinas , August 18, 2017 9:55 PM

Just tell Russia to stop supporting the Donbas rebels, negotiate with Ukraine on Crimea and respect the sovereignty of his neighbors. Then we can have mutual respect.

Drinas -> Gary , August 19, 2017 2:48 AM

Crimea is a done deal. It is more likely that Russia would give Moscow than Crimea. As for the Donbass rebels, sure, as long as the Kiev regime ceases its brutal repression tactics across the rest of Ukraine, I believe an understanding where Donbass integrates somehow with Ukraine could be reached.

Till then, they will fight for their freedom. As for mutual respect, how about doing something about rampant russophobia in US media, Hollywood etc? That would be a good start.

Roy Tyrell -> Drinas , August 19, 2017 3:02 PM

I'm an American and do wish to visit Russian Crimea one day. It sounds like you guys are really turning that place into quite a tourist destination (with plenty of military protection). Well done on the Turbines ;-)

Drinas -> Roy Tyrell , August 19, 2017 3:23 PM

You are more than welcome! Summertime is the best season for visiting Crimea. Another tourist attraction is on its way- https://sputniknews.com/rus...

Just don't take pictures of it! :-P Joking aside, I just hope relations will at least normalize soon. The vast majority of Russian people, though somewhat disenchanted, still very much like USA and its people!

Sergey Titkov -> Roy Tyrell , August 21, 2017 4:29 AM

And you (as anyone else) is always welcome. There are still some major problems in Crimea (electricity being turned off from time to time, Kiev regime blocking water supplies and harassing people moving through the border) but they will be solved when the bridge is finished (ukrops will likely try blowing it up so it needs to be well protected). P.S. There was a grand jazz festival in Koktebel recently with quite a number of musicians from the US. It's held every summer.

Roy Tyrell , August 17, 2017 11:10 PM

I'm sorry but America bears the bulk of the blame. This goes all the way back to the breakup of Yugoslavia and the CIA's unmitigated disastrous role in the whole sordid affair. Ending with bombing Serbia - the country that Russia literally went to global war to protect early in the 20th century.

It's all on America and it's unbridled arrogance.

Gary -> Roy Tyrell , August 18, 2017 9:44 PM

BS! The situation with the former Yugoslavia was that Serbia was trying to expand its territory at the expense of Bosnia, Kosovo and Croatia, so the Serbs started attacking the non-Serbs there hoping to drive them out and creating Greater Serbia. The Serbs were attacking Sarajevo with anti-aircraft guns, mortars and snipers resulting in death of civilians there. They also massacred over 7,000 Bosnian men and boys at Srebrenica. The UN had enough and authorized the NATO to attack Serbian targets to get them to stop killing and sit down to a peace talk.

You don't get to create an alternative history to suit your biases.

Андрей Соколов -> Gary , August 19, 2017 3:46 AM

These "7000
Bosnian men and boys" (we call these people Islamic terrorists) during their raids from Srebrenica cruelly killed three thousand Serbian women and children.

Is this also an "alternative history"?

Gary -> Андрей Соколов , August 27, 2017 8:14 PM

No, they weren't terrorists. You just pretend that they were to justify murdering them and no, they didn't killed any Serbian women. That is just your invention and YOUR alternative history.

Андрей Соколов -> Gary , August 28, 2017 3:08 AM

Do you think that the Serbs themselves killed their children in order to justify the invasion of Srebrenica?

Mark Thomason , August 18, 2017 12:14 PM

Putin certainly came intending to negate the disasters of the Yeltsin years. He has, and Russians widely admire him for that. However, the assertion that he wants to return to the USSR and its overpowering of all neighbors is neocon dogma, not based in anything Putin has said or done.

Putin has said the opposite, that while the heart may see the end of the USSR as disaster, the head must see that it was the right thing for Russia.

Putin's actions have been reactions, and he has stopped short, as when he pulled back out of Georgia after the lunatics of Georgia attacked Russia, with encouragement from the neocon lunatics of the Bush Admin led by Cheney himself.

Our problems with Russia are real, but they are not what these ideologues pretend.

We could deal with the Russians, to find a level that would feel safe enough for them to cooperate on other issues. Instead, we are set on feeding their paranoia.

Ashok Bhagat -> Mark Thomason , August 27, 2017 10:01 PM

Russia should have gone it and taken Georgia whether they were at it and put Shaskshivilli in prison. One less issue to deal with.

Sergey Titkov -> Mark Thomason , August 21, 2017 4:53 AM

You are right. Putin actually said this: "Those who do not regret that the USSR has fallen apart have no heart, those who want it back have no brain" .

And about Georgia: they attacked and killed our peacekeepers while bombing Tskhinval so literally they stacked RF. Later it was recognised by Heidy Taliaviny and EU parliament.

But no-one seem to care now 'cause we are once again called "aggressors". Quite convenient for some western politicians.

sammagus , August 18, 2017 2:59 PM

Every administration since 1992 has expanded NATO eastward, up to the border of Russia itself. NATO is a nuclear-armed military alliance. How would we feel if the Warsaw Pact was deploying thousands of soldiers and missiles along our southern and northern borders?

This is the only real problem we have with Russia, which is, like most countries we deal with, a more or less capitalistic, and more or less democratic state. There is no fundamental reason we should not be partnering with Russia to manage the difficulties of the current and developing world situation.

Jiri Klouda , August 18, 2017 6:38 PM

Why are american journalists always inventing fake desires for Putin and Russia. It is like saying the US wants world domination and to defeat Russia and China. Well, it would be nice if it happened, but we are not working toward it, are we?

if everyone in the world started making fake claims like this about our aims and then acted based on those fantasies, it would be pretty difficult.

We could of course deny it as much as we would like to, but it would only be taken as confirmation of our nefarious ways. Come on. Can we once take the Russians at their word and just agree that all they want is respect and sovereignty in their own territory and no NATO bases near their borders and just for once base our analysis on the facts rather than fiction?

Gary -> Jiri Klouda , August 18, 2017 10:12 PM

No, we can't take the Russians at their word seriously. They have been lying for so long about their goals in the hope of fooling us into dropping our guard. The former Warsaw Pact countries and the independent Baltic states will stay under the NATO protection that they want until Putin and his ilks leave.

Jiri Klouda -> Gary , August 19, 2017 4:55 PM

Gary, you are absolutely absurd. Just look at the facts. We have lied about every single war since the Cold War ended. The Russians are lying? Look at Trump for fsck sake? Compared to him, Putin is a high moral authority. Seriously, you must thing that people outside of United States are as blind, uncaring and uneducated as the people inside.

Roy Tyrell -> Gary , August 19, 2017 3:07 PM

The public record is too easy to find. It's like asking off-duty soldiers not to see wikileaks because the material is outside their clearance. Absolutely absurdity.

America's fantasy world needs to come to an end.

You have done a heroic effort to makes us all believe in ZENU and the easter bunny though

Sergey Titkov -> Gary , August 21, 2017 5:03 AM

Before speaking about lies look at your own governments starting from Clinton times, take a good look at your media as well. Goebbels would have been pleased. Remember this quotation: "tell as many lies as you can, eventually you will believe them yourself". That is happening now, do not be fooled.

Gary G9 , August 22, 2017 2:59 AM

Why do all these Russians dominate this Comments section? Does National Interest do a lot of advertsing there, or is this some kind of target for their government's disinformation campaign?

Hey Russians - is there some sort of similar Russian-based web publication I can go to give you guys my opinions on GeoPolitics, or would i be wasting my time?

Gary -> Gary G9 , August 27, 2017 8:20 PM

They are probably working at the troll factory in St. Petersburg. It is their duty to divert, deflect and lie about everything, and they have a daily quota to make many nonsensical pro-Russia and anti-American comments.

Airbrush2020 , August 18, 2017 11:38 PM

The author cites "...the difficult investment climate and weakness of the rule of law..." The problem with Russia is the internal climate of being a mafia controlled security state. The rules of the game are much different in Russia. And, given that Russia continuously tries to degrade European alliances, western organizational structures, and faithfully poses a military threat to the west...we can say that we've never had "good" relations with either the USSR or Russia.

[Sep 01, 2017] Is America Losing Its Military Edge to Russia The National Interest Blog

Sep 01, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

don huang , August 31, 2017 12:23 AM

A war with Russia will eventually go nuclear; Russia will be tempted to use the nuke option if they perceive losing the war, and the same goes for the US-led NATO forces. The biggest losers will be the Europeans because the war, if any, is in Europe. NATO is not protecting European security; rather it is serving more for the US's national interests by deploying NATO forces right up to the Russian borders. NATO's relentless recruitment of former USSR's satellite states in eastern Europe would be considered as 'casus belli', inviting aggression rather than deterring it.

Juan Manzano , August 30, 2017 7:47 PM

It's going to be 4/8 booming years for Defense contractors.

Bangash , August 31, 2017 6:07 AM

Very technical and impressive. However, it could have been more suitable if you had made it some balance approach in other words, contrasting measures. This article is actually telling the story against Russian armaments, looking from here as a villain, but where are the American Facts?

Indeed, you should also discuss other side of the coin in order to convey a message before everyone, or at least a novice.

cynicus , August 31, 2017 11:19 PM

Another one sided rubbish article from the American media. Crimea was part of Russia since 1783. In 1954 the President of the USSR gave it to the Ukraine to administer. The majority of the Crimean population, who consider themselves Russian by the way, voted in a 2014 referendum to rejoin Russia.
The billions of dollars Russia spends on arms, around $90 billion, pales in comparison to what America spend which is around $800 billion.
America is very good at bombing other countries that can't fight back, North Korea is not like them, they can fight back and South Korea would suffer, the only solution is to negotiate.

johngaltfla.com , August 30, 2017 7:23 PM

The funny thing is Russia is not ready for an offensive. By 2020, sure, possibly, but not yet. In the mean time our bureaucrats and bungling Pentagon keep trying to acquire weapons for the last war, not the next one.

The scariest part is that Russia has tested its robotic armored vehicles (small versions) in real combat situations in Syria. While we argue about the best vendor for the same.

don huang johngaltfla.com , August 31, 2017 12:44 AM

Whatever the Russians are doing today, the reality is that the USA had done it a long time ago. The Russians are depicted as an enemy for political expedient because it suits the profits of the oil and military industrial conglomerate.

johngaltfla.com don huang , August 31, 2017 6:35 AM

True. And the US is a victim of the "we have to have an enemy" paranoia to maintain the globalist military-industrial complex.

Thomas Fung , August 30, 2017 4:59 PM

It seems to this person that if additional ground troops are indeed needed in Europe, then they should be provided by Europeans, not North Americans.

don huang Thomas Fung , August 31, 2017 12:28 AM

Since it is the Americans that is actively pushing NATO forces to move into the former USSR's satellite states in Eastern Europe it is only reasonable that American troops be leading from the Russian fronts.

[Aug 31, 2017] US orders Russia to close consulate and annexes in diplomatic reprisal

Aug 31, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

The US has ordered Russia to close diplomatic offices in San Francisco, New York and Washington within the next two days, in the latest round of punitive measures between the two countries that began at the end of last year.

The secretary of state Rex Tillerson spoke to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in a phone call on Thursday. Lavrov said Moscow "regrets an escalation of tension not initiated by Russia", according to the state-run RT news channel . A senior US administration official said the call was "professional" and that Lavrov "agreed to the sentiment that it was important to find a way to improve our relations".

No Russians will be expelled in this latest move, and US officials said staff at the offices affected could be reassigned to other Russian diplomatic missions around the country. But they made it clear that the buildings had to be vacated and would have to be sold or have their leases ended.

[Aug 30, 2017] Insurgent Russia is prior target of global oligarchy

Aug 30, 2017 | eadaily.com

Three powerful groups have opposed the oligarchy: the group of insurgents Russia, the group in US led by Mr. Trump, and finally, the group in China led by Mr. Xi. These three groups are now trying to feel out the possibility of making a strategic alliance to overcome the decline. Perhaps, each group would like to keep the old game rules on conditions favorable to it.

Since there are no such conditions, they have to rise against the system. The key link in that revolt against old rules is Russia. It was the first to see that something very muddy is happening and it must be stopped.

Of course, there is no longer the Russia that won the Great Patriotic War. However, present-day Russia is awakening; it has army, a nuclear missile shield.

All these factors taken together can ensure a successful revolt. Russia announced revolt in 2013, when it stopped the US Administration and did not let it destroy Syria. Since that moment, the insurgent Russia is the prior target of the global oligarchy.

[Aug 30, 2017] Russia Fears New U.S. Bomb Ups Risk of Nuclear Strike

Aug 30, 2017 | www.msn.com
Russia Fears New U.S. Bomb Ups Risk of Nuclear Strike 2 / 46 Newsweek logo Newsweek Newsweek Damien Sharkov 44 mins ago SHARE SHARE TWEET SHARE EMAIL A woman walks past a TV screen broadcasting news of North Korea's missile launch, in Tokyo, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. North Korea fired a ballistic missile from its capital Pyongyang that flew over Japan before plunging into the northern Pacific Ocean, officials said Tuesday, an aggressive test-flight over the territory of a close U.S. ally that sends a clear message of defiance as Washington and Seoul conduct war games nearby. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi) Kim says N. Korea should conduct more missile tests into the Pacific

A B-2 Spirit Bomber from Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, drops a B61-11 "Bunker Buster" bomb casing during an exercise in this undated photo.: B61 model 11 drop © Stringer/Reuters B61 model 11 drop Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs fears updated, high-precision U.S. models of nuclear bombs will lower inhibitions to use nuclear weapons in combat, Russian state news agency Itar-Tass reported on Tuesday.

The B-61 model 12 is a weapon that the U.S. has worked on for some time, testing a mock-up of it in 2015. The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration announced on Tuesday that it had carried out another non-nuclear test of the model 12 and would continue doing so in the next three years, hoping to clear it for service. The weapon is meant to be the first precision-guided atomic bomb, and Russia does not like the sound of it.

"The advantage of the new modification of the B61-12, according to U.S. military experts themselves lies in the fact that it will be, as they put it, 'more ethical' and 'more usable'," Mikhail Ulyanov, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Nonproliferation and Weapons Control Department told Tass.

Referring to comments made by former undersecretary of defense James Miller and ex-President Barack Obama's key nuclear strategist General James E. Cartwright, Ulyanov expressed fears the U.S. may develop a more laissez-faire view of nuclear arms' use, knowing they "cause less catastrophic consequences for the civilian population.

"From this we can conclude that the clearing of such bombs for service could objectively lead to lowering the threshold for the use of nuclear arms," Ulyanov said. "This, we can imagine, is the main negative impact of the ongoing modernization."

The upgrade is, in the eyes of some U.S. defense experts, a needed replacement of an integral part of U.S. nuclear capabilities whose design dates back to the 1960s. Former U.S. General Cartwright defended the program in 2016, noting that increasing precision and shrinking the size of the arms means fewer will be needed to act as a deterrent in the first place.

Ulyanov, however, felt the U.S. and any of its NATO allies that may benefit from the upgrade sought the B-61 model 12's potential clearing in response to what they perceive as Russian nuclear posturing. Russian President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials have issued a handful of verbal reminders that Russia's own nuclear capabilities exist to back up its foreign policy if needed.

North Korea's current nuclear missile program has topped the list of concerns for the U.S. of late, with a missile test flying over Japan taking place on Tuesday morning. Though Russia formally opposes the North's nuclear program, Moscow chose to once again condemn the U.S. for provoking the test by carrying out its annual defense drill with regional ally South Korea.

[Aug 28, 2017] Bryan MacDonald

Notable quotes:
"... The portal purports to use "600 Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence efforts online" to prove how Moscow is trying to sow seeds of doubt in the Western political system, via the social network. However, the creators won't reveal the users concerned, and results seem to suggest they are mostly members of the US alt-right and alt-left. Meaning this is yet another attempt to pass off American dissent as some Kremlin "Psy-op." Which is beyond ridiculous. ..."
"... Furthermore, the names behind AFSD betray the project's real purpose: to shift blame from internal American and European factors to the convenient Russian bogeyman. Which, of course, suits its financial backers , including the State Department, NATO, and the ubiquitous weapons maker Raytheon. All of whom benefit commercially and politically from strained ties between Moscow and Washington. ..."
"... To achieve these goals they've hired the usual roll call of reliably anti-Russia blowhards. Including Estonian-American politician Ilves Toomas and rent-a-quote talking head Michael McFaul, the 'Mother Theresa of the Russia beat.' Those two are joined by neoconservative windbag William Kristol and ex-CIA chief Michael Morell. ..."
"... The dashboard itself is helmed by a chap named J.M. Berger , who was apparently an expert on ISIS and the Middle East, before discovering the Russia-bashing gravy train this summer. This week, he's taken to the pages of Politico to explain his plaything. What follows is best described as an inept and ignorant form of thrift-store McCarthyism. ..."
"... The examples become ever stranger. Berger bemoans "conspiracy theories seeking to discredit Bana al-Abed, a young girl in Syria who tweeted about the civil war." But it doesn't seem unreasonable to suggest the then seven-year-old was manipulated to serve a propaganda effort. Especially after a press interview revealed how the child couldn't understand even rudimentary English, despite issuing hundreds of perfectly crafted tweets in the language. ..."
"... America's state broadcaster's RFE/RL and VOA do in Russia where they laboriously detail the travails of nationalist politicians like Alexei Navalny and their leftist counterparts, such as Sergei Udaltsov. This is what alternative media does in every market, but it seems to be only unusual when "the Russians" are involved. ..."
"... But, not content with mulching around the bottom of the barrel, he reaches into the depths when he states "while the alt-right has a very real base of support in the United States, it also enjoys deep and undisputed ties to Russia, many of which can be found offline in the real world." Amazingly, the link he uses to justify his contention is a Daily Beast article on how American white supremacist Richard Spencer was married to an ethnic Russian. The lady involved has no profile in Russia, doesn't live in the country and is a follower of a fringe philosopher called Alexander Dugin. Who is so far outside the Russian mainstream that he can't even hold down a job in Moscow. ..."
"... Reprinted with permission from RT . ..."
Aug 26, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org
Since the German Marshall Fund of the United States unveiled its "Alliance For Securing Democracy (AFSD)," I've resisted commenting, simply because the lobby group's "Hamilton 68 dashboard" is too preposterous to merit serious analysis.

It has rightly been ridiculed by journalists and activists who never tire of knocking the Kremlin.

The portal purports to use "600 Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence efforts online" to prove how Moscow is trying to sow seeds of doubt in the Western political system, via the social network. However, the creators won't reveal the users concerned, and results seem to suggest they are mostly members of the US alt-right and alt-left. Meaning this is yet another attempt to pass off American dissent as some Kremlin "Psy-op." Which is beyond ridiculous.

Furthermore, the names behind AFSD betray the project's real purpose: to shift blame from internal American and European factors to the convenient Russian bogeyman. Which, of course, suits its financial backers , including the State Department, NATO, and the ubiquitous weapons maker Raytheon. All of whom benefit commercially and politically from strained ties between Moscow and Washington.

To achieve these goals they've hired the usual roll call of reliably anti-Russia blowhards. Including Estonian-American politician Ilves Toomas and rent-a-quote talking head Michael McFaul, the 'Mother Theresa of the Russia beat.' Those two are joined by neoconservative windbag William Kristol and ex-CIA chief Michael Morell.

Convert zeal

The dashboard itself is helmed by a chap named J.M. Berger , who was apparently an expert on ISIS and the Middle East, before discovering the Russia-bashing gravy train this summer. This week, he's taken to the pages of Politico to explain his plaything. What follows is best described as an inept and ignorant form of thrift-store McCarthyism.

Berger tells us how his dashboard displays "the near-real-time output of Russian Influence Operations on Twitter." Something he calls RIOT, for short. And he cites things like RT's coverage of Vladimir Putin's recent pike fishing trip, a jaunt also prominently featured in The New York Times, The Daily Mail and The Sun, which incidentally described Putin as a "beefcake." Meaning, either Paul Dacre and Rupert Murdoch are Russian agents, or this contention is just farcical.

The lobbyist also frets over this network's widely-shared report on Oliver Stone's Facebook post "condemning US sanctions against Russia and claiming US intelligence agencies are engaged in a 'false flag' war against Russia." Which exposes a total lack of comprehension of how news works. Because Stone is one of Hollywood's most famous figures and his name attached to a perspective like this was bound to attract plenty of attention, regardless of the messenger. It's also worth pointing out (for the really obtuse) that RT obviously doesn't control Stone's Facebook and was merely bringing to a wider audience the American writer and director's personal beliefs.

The examples become ever stranger. Berger bemoans "conspiracy theories seeking to discredit Bana al-Abed, a young girl in Syria who tweeted about the civil war." But it doesn't seem unreasonable to suggest the then seven-year-old was manipulated to serve a propaganda effort. Especially after a press interview revealed how the child couldn't understand even rudimentary English, despite issuing hundreds of perfectly crafted tweets in the language.

Rock Bottom

Our hero descends further into hogwash when observing how "the most retweeted Russia Today stories recorded by the dashboard involved scaremongering videos appearing to show refugees swarming into Spain." But, two weeks ago, a boatful of migrants did land on a Spanish tourist beach, near Cadiz, and quickly scattered to evade police detection. And numerous outlets, including The New York Times , The Guardian and the BBC prominently reported the story. But apparently, it's only an issue when RT gives it coverage.

But the garrulous quack isn't finished, asserting how RT "treads relatively carefully in their flirtation with the far right, and they devote a significant amount of space to the far left as well." Hardly news, given how the channel openly admits offering a platform for alternative voices, regardless of their political compass. Incidentally, a mirror image of what America's state broadcaster's RFE/RL and VOA do in Russia where they laboriously detail the travails of nationalist politicians like Alexei Navalny and their leftist counterparts, such as Sergei Udaltsov. This is what alternative media does in every market, but it seems to be only unusual when "the Russians" are involved.

Berger does concede one salient point: "it is important to note here again that we are not asserting Russia is responsible for creating or shaping this content," he writes. Which suggests he fully understands how his project is geared to smear anybody who opposes US policy as working for Moscow's interests.

Yellow press

But, not content with mulching around the bottom of the barrel, he reaches into the depths when he states "while the alt-right has a very real base of support in the United States, it also enjoys deep and undisputed ties to Russia, many of which can be found offline in the real world." Amazingly, the link he uses to justify his contention is a Daily Beast article on how American white supremacist Richard Spencer was married to an ethnic Russian. The lady involved has no profile in Russia, doesn't live in the country and is a follower of a fringe philosopher called Alexander Dugin. Who is so far outside the Russian mainstream that he can't even hold down a job in Moscow.

The fact Berger has to descend to such irrelevant tittle-tattle to score a few points tells us all we need to know about the moral bankruptcy of the Alliance For Securing Democracy. This is pathetic, miserable and feeble stuff and the German Marshall Fund of the United States should be ashamed of themselves for financing this sort of muck.

Reprinted with permission from RT .

[Aug 26, 2017] Why the Russian Navy Is a More Capable Adversary Than It Appears

Notable quotes:
"... The oft-unacknowledged truth is that the Russian Navy is a lot more operational now than it has been in many years. ..."
"... the next time you hear that the Russian Navy is disappearing, Russia is running out of people, out of money, or out of business, and want to test this theory, just remember to pack a life raft. ..."
Aug 22, 2017 | nationalinterest.org

The oft-unacknowledged truth is that the Russian Navy is a lot more operational now than it has been in many years.

... ... ... ...

In the interim the Russian Navy will remain a mess, but one that is slowly being cleaned up. The "kalibrzation" of the Russian Navy will continue, more Kalibr missile shooters, larger magazines and higher missile counts in storage. Russia will continue pumping out diesel and nuclear-powered submarines and refitting some of the existing Soviet platforms with current generation offensive systems as a cost-saving measure.

While the coming years will be spent on system integration and working out the problems in shipbuilding, new generation weapon systems!like hypersonic missiles!are already in development. For all its woes, the Russian Navy is actually in better shape than it ever has been in the post–Cold War period. Today ships and submarines are staffed entirely by contract servicemen, with conscripts used for shore duties. On the whole this is a service trying to recover from some of the worst decades in its history, but the Russian admiralty has room for cautious optimism.

There are still plenty of deficits to point to, but the Russian Navy isn't going anywhere; when you look at the trend lines over the near to midterm, they are actually positive.

Russia is building a navy that makes sense for its strategy. It is transitioning to a green-water force by design, while retaining and investing in capabilities that will allow it to deter or threaten stronger maritime powers for decades to come. So the next time you hear that the Russian Navy is disappearing, Russia is running out of people, out of money, or out of business, and want to test this theory, just remember to pack a life raft.

Ernesto Castillo

Kofman -- as Goremburg -- remains one of the few non-biased, well informed international analyst dealing with Russia's current military state. Tired from "Russia's 10 feet tall" and "Russia's down the sink" articles, this writing is a balanced, very well-researched and nicely written piece of fresh air.

m.Karim , August 24, 2017 9:25 PM

With limited Budget Russia managed to build powerful strategic weapons that is feared by US mighty war machines. This may have kept peace and global stability just! With wealthy China on her side could bring in some justice to vulnerable nations sovereignty and well-being from predatory activities by superpower owned by few warmongers!

Mahmud Essenbaev , August 25, 2017 4:17 AM

The US government began in late 2013 a war with Russia. But Russia does not start a war, it ends the war!

R. Arandas , August 23, 2017 1:41 AM

Is Russia's navy superior to China's?

WTF -> R. Arandas , August 23, 2017 3:03 AM

Answering the question in simplistic terms, each have their own strengths. The Russian naval strength is in their subs. The Chinese are with surface combatants.

The key question in naval strength is where it will be fought. We are not going to see a sea battle between US, China or Russia out in the open like the Battle of Midway. Chinese and Russian naval forces are on mainly defensive posture with A2/AD kill box set ups.

So if the Chinese fight the Russians in the Black or Barents Seas, high probability they will lose badly. If the Russians fought the Chinese in the ECS and SCS, the Russians will probably lose. Why? Homeground advantage -- supply lines and land batteries.

If any of the 3 major naval powers had to steam hundreds or thousands of miles to refit used ASMs, SAMs, LACMs and torpedoes, they are heading back with hollow tubes. Any ship can be sunk when attacked by planes, fast missile boats, frigates and destroyers, drones and especially ASMs saturate the target from land and sea. It's a numbers game.

[Aug 26, 2017] Total amount of capital that private Russian citizens have taken offshore exceeds one trillion dollars

Notable quotes:
"... At the recent G20 summit, finance ministers discussed closing loopholes that allow multinational corporations to stash profits in offshore tax havens such as the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. In the U.S., Senator Carl Levin has introduced the "Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act" to prohibit U.S. corporations from avoiding paying taxes on their offshore income. ..."
"... NerdWallet Taxes conducted a study of the Fortune 50 to find that 88% are stashing profits in foreign subsidiaries . But just how much tax revenue is at stake? ..."
Aug 26, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

karl1haushofer ,

August 23, 2017 at 2:44 am
Total amount of capital that private Russian citizens have taken offshore exceeds one trillion dollars (trillion dollars = 1,000 billion dollars): https://lenta.ru/news/2017/08/23/offshore/

This is three times more than the level of Russia's foreign exchange reserves.

Luckily Finland does not have an "elite" like this. Take this kind of money out of Finland and we would have nothing.

karl1haushofer , August 23, 2017 at 2:45 am
Imagine what would happen to Russian economy is even half of this capital was sensibly reinvested back to Russia.
Moscow Exile , August 23, 2017 at 3:12 am
The above linked lenta.ru article posted by the oh-so-concerned about Russia Finn is based on this source:

FROM SOVIETS TO OLIGARCHS:
INEQUALITY AND PROPERTY IN RUSSIA, 1905-2016

NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
August 2017

In the lenta.ru article the following is pointed out:

В настоящее время перекос в распределении доходов в России находится на уровне США ! 1 процент граждан получают 20-25 процентов всех доходов в стране.

Currently, the imbalance in income distribution in Russia is at the level of the USA: 1 percent of the population receives 20-25 percent of all income in the country.

Luckily Finland does not have an "elite" like that in the USA!

yalensis , August 23, 2017 at 3:20 am
Is Finland a socialist country?
karl1haushofer , August 23, 2017 at 3:28 am
More so than Russia. Stealing this kind of wealth and taking it offshore would not be possible here. And Finnish elite is a tad more patriotic than Russian.
Moscow Exile , August 23, 2017 at 3:35 am
How do you know that the wealth invested offshore by some Russian citizens has all been stolen?
karl1haushofer , August 23, 2017 at 3:45 am
If it was not stolen why would they take it out of the country?
Moscow Exile , August 23, 2017 at 3:51 am
Hmmmmm ! that's a tough one to answer.
Jen , August 23, 2017 at 4:08 am
Well, where exactly do these Russians invest their money? Do you know if the countries that receive this money are known tax havens? Is all or most of the money going into family trust funds or going into accounts based in countries where taxation of income or profit is known to be lower than in Russia?

Also you can't assume that because these people are sending the money out of Russia, that it was all stolen. For all you know, they could be sending the money out because they are not confident that Russian financial markets are stable enough or that the Central Bank is pursuing policies that would allow them to invest in enterprises or funds in Russia.

Jen , August 23, 2017 at 4:53 am
Wikipedia article on Russian billionaire Alexey Khotin:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexey_Khotin

Khotin owns stock in various companies within and outside Russia either directly or indirectly through other companies. If he has a stake in Kuwait Energy, is that evidence of guilt on his part? Where did the money come from, that he could buy shares in an energy company? Who says that Russian individuals and companies may not invest their after-tax profits in companies outside Russia?

Look at this billionaire's Wikipedia entry – aaargh, this David Iakobashvili fellow invests money stolen I mean, earned in Russia in philanthropic causes in Georgia!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Iakobashvili

marknesop , August 23, 2017 at 1:43 pm
Oh, I don't know .maybe it has something to do with taxes.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/taxes/corporate-tax-rates/corporations-hide-billions-in-offshore-profits/

At the recent G20 summit, finance ministers discussed closing loopholes that allow multinational corporations to stash profits in offshore tax havens such as the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. In the U.S., Senator Carl Levin has introduced the "Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act" to prohibit U.S. corporations from avoiding paying taxes on their offshore income.

NerdWallet Taxes conducted a study of the Fortune 50 to find that 88% are stashing profits in foreign subsidiaries . But just how much tax revenue is at stake?

[Aug 25, 2017] The US military industrial complex needs a bogey-man

Aug 25, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

Gavekal On The Coming Clash Of Empires Russia's Role As A Global Game-Changer Zero Hedge

Now for China's "dream of empire" to work, China would need to convince two important countries, and maybe three, to at least become "neutral", instead of quasi-hostile, for these new communications lines to work. Those two countries are Russia and Germany. The 3rd is Saudi Arabia, which has an interesting hand to play.

1. Russia

Russia is the main land bridge between China and Europe. So logic says that the US should be very nice to Russia and seek to establish some kind of military alliance, if only to control the movement of people and goods between China and Europe, and from Europe to China. However, in its immense wisdom, the US Senate and the entire US diplomatic corps have decided that America's interests are best served by imposing sanctions on Russia for crimes!not even proven at the time of writing!that the Central Intelligence Agency routinely commits inside countries that are nominally allies of the US!

It seems that US policymakers have forgotten Lord Palmerston's dictum that nations don't have friends, just permanent interests. And instead of following policies to maximize its national interest, the US would rather cut off its nose to spite its face. The end result is that the US seems to be working as hard as possible to make Russia join forces with China. But why would the US so consciously make an enemy out of Russia?

A starting point is that it is a little odd that a country that cannot conceivably be invaded spends more on defense then the next ten nations combined (see chart overleaf). It is also odd that the US has been involved in wars, somewhere around the globe, with very few interruptions, ever since President Dwight Eisenhower warned his countrymen about the growing clout of the "US military industrial complex".

Of course, we fully realize that even mentioning the "US military industrial complex' makes one sound like some kind of tin-potted, conspiracy-theorist prone loon. This is not our intention. But we do want to highlight that, in order to justify a budget of US$622bn, soon heading to US$800bn, the US military industrial complex needs a bogey-man

Now the natural bogey-man should logically be China. After all, China is now sporting the second biggest military budget in the world (US$192bn in 2016), is rapidly expanding its global presence (Belt and Road, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Silk Road Fund) and increasingly treats the South China Sea as a mare nostrum. Still, the past few months of broad US hysteria toward Russia make it fairly clear that US military interests would rather pick on Russia then China. Why so? The first, and most obvious explanation, is simply institutional inertia. After all, Russia was the main enemy between 1945 and 1991 and entire institutions were built (NATO, OECD, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank) with either the stated, or unstated, goal of containing Russia's influence. Such government-led institutions usually turn around as easily as a cruise ship captained by Francesco Schettino.

...As no-one in the US business community cares deeply about Russia, Moscow makes for a good, "compromise bogey man"?

A third explanation is tied to a theme we have discussed in the past (see The Consequences of Trump's Syrian Strike ), namely the unfolding civil war in the Middle-East between Sunnis and Shias. On the Sunni side of the war sits Saudi Arabia. On the Shia side of the war is Iran. And behind Iran stands Russia, who would like nothing more than to see the Saudi regime implode. Indeed, a collapse of the House of Saud would be an immense boon for Russia. The price of oil would likely surge (which would be great for non-Arab producers like Russia) and Europe would find itself wholly dependent on Russia for its energy supplies, thereby giving Moscow more geopolitical clout than it has enjoyed in decades.

At the same time, a collapse of the House of Saud would be terrible news for US, French and British arms suppliers (for whom the Middle-Eastern monarchies are big clients) and for all big oil companies which have huge contracts in Saudi Arabia and across the Middle-East to protect.

This brings us to the current make-up of the US administration which, to say the least, is somewhat skewed towards military officers (military men and the merchants of death tend to get along) and oil-men. Is it too much of a stretch to think that an administration loaded with oil and military men would, almost by default, fight Saudi Arabia's corner? Now this may be unfair. After all, it's not as if the first trip of the current US president was to Saudi Arabia, or as if that trip yielded many lucrative deals for US weapons manufacturers, US oil companies, and US financiers, was it?

Russia as a game-changer

Whatever the reason for the current anti-Russia hysteria in the US, it is now clearly in Russia's interest for it to play a very active role in the coming Chinese efforts to reduce the power of the dominant "maritime empire". This means that Chinese and European products will be able to travel through Russia for the foreseeable future, so avoiding possible threats created by the US navy should Washington ever act to disrupt trade between the two economic centers.

The reason that the US's approach to Russia is so short-sighted is that Russia's role in the coming clash between the two empires may go far beyond it facilitating communication and transport across its territory. Indeed, Russia (along with Qatar and Iran) could already be helping China break the monopoly that the US has on the payment of energy all over the world through the US dollar (see The Most Important Change And Its Natural Hedge ).

For the past 100 years, the US dollar has been the world's major reserve and trading currency. Needless to say, having the ability to settle one's (rather large) trade and budget deficits in one's own currency is a competitive advantage of huge proportions. Greater than its edge in finance, tertiary education, technology, biotech, weapons manufacturing and agricultural productivity, this "exorbitant privilege" may be the US's single biggest comparative advantage.

Now our starting point when looking at China is that the guys who run the show in Beijing are basically control freaks. After all, what else do you expect from career technocrats steeped in Marxist theory? So with that in mind, the question every investor should ask themselves is: why would control freaks yield control of their country's exchange rate and interest rate structure? Why liberalize the bond and currency markets?

For let's face it, there are few prices as important to an economy as the exchange rate and the interest rate. So if the politburo is willing to gradually lose control over them, it must be because it hopes to gain something better on the other side. And the something better is to transform the renminbi into Asia's deutschemark; the "natural" trading (and eventually reserve) currency for Asia and even wider emerging markets. In fact, internationalizing the renminbi is the lynchpin on which the whole "Belt and Road" empire rollout rests. If this part fails, then China's imperial ambitions will most likely crumble over time (for one cannot have an empire on somebody else's dime).

The rise of the renminbi

Which brings us to a key change in our global monetary system that has received scant attention, namely, the recent announcement by the Hong Kong exchange that investors will soon be able to buy and settle gold contracts in renminbi (see release). This initiative has the potential to be a game-changer for the architecture of our global monetary system.

Imagine being Russia, Iran, Qatar, Venezuela, Sudan, Uzbekistan or any other country liable to fall foul of US foreign policy, and thus susceptible to having Washington use the dollar as a "soft weapon" (see BNP, Big Brother And The US Dollar ). Then China comes along and says: "Rather than trading in dollars, which leaves us both exposed to US sanctions, and US banks' willingness to fund our trade, let's deal in renminbi. I can guarantee that ICBC will never pull the rug from under your feet ".

If you are Russia, or Qatar ( which have already signed renminbi deals for oil and natural gas) , this may be an interesting proposition. However, the question will quickly arise: "What will I do with my renminbi? Sure, I can buy goods in China, but I only need so much cheap clothing, tennis shoes, and plastic junk. What do I do with what is left over?". And the answer to that question is that the US dollar remains the world's reserve currency since the US offers the deepest and most liquid asset markets. From real estate (as shown by the Russia-Trump investigation), to equities, to bonds, there is no shortage of US assets that Americans will sell foreigners so that foreigners can park their hard earned dollars back into the US.

This brings us back to China and the main constraint to the renminbi's rise as a reserve currency. Simply put, foreign investors do not trust the Chinese government enough to park their excess reserves in Chinese assets. This lack of trust was crystallized by the decision in the summer of 2015 to "shut down" the equity markets for a while and stop trading in any stock that looked like it was heading south. That decision confirmed foreign investors' apprehension about China and in their eyes set back renminbi internationalization by several years, if not decades.

Until now, that is. For by creating a gold contract settled in renminbi, Russia may now sell oil to China for renminbi (already signed), then take whatever excess currency it earns to buy gold in Hong Kong. As a result, Russia does not have to buy Chinese assets or switch the proceeds into dollars (and so potentially fall under the thumb of the US Treasury). This new arrangement is good news for Russia, good news for China, good news for gold and horrible news for Saudi Arabia as it leaves the Middle-Eastern kingdom in between a rock and a hard place.

2. Saudi Arabia

The fact that China wants to buy oil with its own currency will increasingly present Saudi Arabia with a dilemma . It could acknowledge that China is now the world's largest oil importer, and only major growth market, and accept renminbi payments for its oil. However, this would go down like a lead balloon in Washington where the US Treasury would (rightly) see this as a threat to the dollar's hegemony . In such a scenario, it is unlikely that the US would continue to approve modern weapon sales to Saudi and the embedded "protection" of the House of Saud that comes with them. And without this US protection, who knows which way the Sunni-Shia civil war may tip (most likely in favor of the Iran-Russia axis).

Unfortunately for Saudi Arabia, the alternative is hardly attractive. Getting boxed out of the Chinese market will increasingly mean having to dump excess oil inventories on the global stage, thereby ensuring a sustained low price for oil. But with its budget deficit stuck at about 16% of GDP, with half its population below 27 and needing jobs, and with reserves shrinking by around US$10bn a month, just maintaining the current status quo is not a long-term viable option.

So which way will Saudi turn? Will Riyadh accept low oil prices forever and the associated costs on Saudi society? Or will it change horse and move to accept renminbi in order to ensure more access to the world's largest oil importer, even at the risk of triggering Washington's wrath? Investors who like to bet on form may wish to consider the second option. Indeed, King Ibn Saud (the current King Salman's father) was once a loyal British client as the Brits had helped suppress the Wahhabi brotherhood, so cementing his power. Yet in 1936, Ibn Saud's adviser Abdullah Philby (father of British traitor Kim Philby), persuaded the king to switch his allegiance to the US, by offering Saudis exclusive oil concession to Chevron/Texaco rather than BP. This is why the Saudi oil company is called Aramco (the Arab-American oil company) rather than Arbroco.

Could the House of Saud pull off the same stunt again? One indication may be who lines up as cornerstone investors in the coming Aramco IPO. If those end up as China Investment Corporation, Petrochina and the PRC's State Administration of Foreign Exchange, than perhaps Aramco will be on its way to becoming Archoco. And with that, the pricing of Saudi oil could shift from US dollars to renminbi.

Incidentally, such a move would likely solve Saudi's biggest macro hurdle; specifically, the defense of the Saudi Riyal peg to the US dollar. Indeed, with reserves shrinking so rapidly, the arrangement looks to be on a slow-moving death watch (admittedly, at the current pace of reserve depletion, Riyadh could hold out three years and possibly five). But should Saudi announce that Aramco (or Archoco!) will now accept renminbi for oil payments, the dollar would likely tank while oil prices would shoot up (as Saudi would have a willing buyer for its oil in China). A lower US dollar/ higher oil combination would, needless to say, make the Saudi peg that much easier to sustain.

Lastly, if you were King Salman and thought that the long-term sustainability of the House of Saud depended on dumping the US and engaging China, what would you be doing right now? Would you be buying as many top-end US weapons as you possibly could, knowing that, in the future, such purchases may no longer be as easy as they are today? But let us now move to the third major player in this many-part drama, namely Germany, where the situation is even more complex.

3. Germany

Unencumbered by its own "heavy" history, Germany! being at heart a "continental" nation!would probably have joined the "continental alliance" and left the maritime alliance (which may explain why the "maritime alliance" tapped Angela Merkel's phone; arguably a greater intrusion then anything the US has accused Russia of). After all, consider the advantages for Germany of joining the "land-based empire":

[Aug 24, 2017] RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 24 AUGUST 2017

Aug 24, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

THE NEW NWO AND RUSSIA. This is very much worth reading . The authors argue that in the coming (well, already here) rivalry between the American maritime power and the Chinese land power, Russia is the swing player that can hand victory to one or the other: "So logic says that the US should be very nice to Russia and seek to establish some kind of military alliance". Well, logic's voice isn't loud enough for the US Congress to hear. Also interesting is their discussion of Germany's choices and the important role Saudi Arabia could play if it changes protectors again. ( I too wondered this two years ago.

PUTIN'S POPULARITY. Some Western academics asked " But is his popularity real, or are respondents lying to pollsters?" and concluded "Putin's approval ratings largely reflect the attitudes of Russian citizens. " I didn't bother to read their paper because I know – as does any serious observer – the answer already. Of course he's popular: he is the leader of a team which has achieved a tremendous turnaround in Russia's situation. Since 2000 all indicators are up. I wish we could say the same in our part of the world.

RUSSIA INC. GDP grew 2.5% year-on-year in the second quarter ; this is the highest growth since 2013. PMI is up to 52.7 Inflation is the lowest in five years

USSR DEBT. With a payment to Bosnia, Moscow has paid off the last of the debt it inherited from the USSR . When an earlier agreement that the 15 would divide the debt fell apart, Moscow took responsibility for all of it in return for USSR assets abroad. It did this despite the fact that its creditors insisted on repayment while many of its debtors could not pay. The total was about USD80 billion and many debts to it were forgiven. I well remember how glad we all were that it took responsibility for the debts as well as the other leftovers: weaponry outside, nuclear weapons and its guarantee of Russian citizenship to any Soviet citizen who wasn't automatically given citizenship where he lived. It was only later that the last three were rebranded as evidence of imperialistic intentions.

DEMOGRAPHICS. There has been a small net decline in Russia's population this year after several years of growth. We will see if this is a bump or a trend. (Although Karlin, who is much more knowledgeable than I, predicted a return to "normal" rates two and a half years ago .)

AGRICULTURE. The Agriculture Minister estimates the grain harvest will be 110 million tonnes which would leave as much as 40 million for export . So Russia will presumably keep the title of number one.

VISA RETALIATION. My take : I believe Moscow is ready to follow Washington right down to zero representation is that's where it goes. But, if the Russiagate bubble bursts (probably the most severe blow is the exposure of the Guccifer 2.0 fake by VIPS ) then the original pretext will burst too and things can get back to normal.

MAKING WATER RUN UP HILL. Lithuania is getting LNG from the USA and Ukraine coal from the USA . More expensive but supposedly for security. Well, whatever: if they want to pay more, let them. Of course in all likelihood they will "pay" with IMF or EU loans. Payback's a problem for later.

CHANGE OR BLIP? The Prime Minister says Riga is interested in better relations with Moscow and a Polish poll shows number who regard Russia as a threat down about 50% in 3 years . After all, despite years of " Europe faces a 'real threat' from Russia " Russia still hasn't conquered anybody. But that just makes some people shout louder: " The growing Russian military threat in Europe ".

TRUMP KEEPS AFGHANISTAN GOING. Reinforcing failure . Trump Vows To Leave A Better Afghanistan For Nation's Grandchildren To Fight In . The generals rolled him, as they rolled Obama . And if it really was short skirts, then there's a lot more to that story than he, or McMaster, probably know . Today the Americans get their supplies in via Pakistan or the Central Asian countries (through Russia). Washington has made threatening noises at Pakistan and Russia. How then?

CHICKENS, HOME, ROOST . Torchlight parades in Kiev , Riga , Tallinn . And now Charlottesville . " Nationalists" there , but " Nazis" here . Some historical background for the Ukraine case ; Baltics .

AMERICA-HYSTERICA. Newsweek discovers a new bottom level. " Charlottesville's Alt-right Leaders Have a Passion for Vladimir Russian Federation President Putin ".

UKAINE. More signposts of disaster. Ukrainians now spend 50% of their income on food; not poverty says the Minister of Social Policy fatuously but because they like to eat well . The Economist rates Kiev among the ten least liveable cities . Did Ukraine supply the rocket motors to North Korea ? And, I've mentioned this before , but the longest-lasting effect of the Kiev coup may be a nuclear disaster

[Aug 24, 2017] McCain renews calls for Trump to send weapons to Ukraine

Notable quotes:
"... During his visit to Kiev, Mattis is expected to reassure the country's leaders that the U.S. remains opposed to Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, according to The Associated Press . ..."
Aug 24, 2017 | thehill.com
John McCain (R-Ariz.) is again urging President Trump to provide lethal aid to Ukraine as Defense Secretary James Mattis arrives in the country for a meeting with its president and top defense official.

"It is long past time for the United States to provide Ukraine the defensive lethal assistance it needs to deter and defend against further Russian aggression," McCain, the chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement Wednesday.

The senator's renewed calls for the U.S. to provide lethal weaponry to Ukraine as it battles pro-Russia separatists in the eastern Donbas region comes two days after Trump announced a new broad strategy for Afghanistan.

With the change of course in Afghanistan, McCain said, Trump "now has the same opportunity with regard to Ukraine."

The senior Arizona Republican argued that providing weapons to Ukraine "is not opposed to a peaceful resolution of this conflict ! it is essential to achieving it."

"As long as the status quo remains, Russia has no reason to change its behavior, and we should only expect more violence and more death," he said.

Russia has denied providing support to the separatists, but U.S. officials have claimed otherwise.

The president already has the authority to send lethal assistance to Ukraine under the annual defense policy bill. But former President Barack Obama chose instead to send only nonlethal assistance to the country.

During his visit to Kiev, Mattis is expected to reassure the country's leaders that the U.S. remains opposed to Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, according to The Associated Press .

Trump entered office in January with hopes of improving the relationship between the U.S. and Russia. But ties have grown tense amid ongoing investigations into Russia's role in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

Also fueling tensions between the two countries is a sanctions package signed into law earlier this month that penalizes Russia for its efforts to meddle in the election. Trump reluctantly signed the measures after they were overwhelmingly passed by Congress.

[Aug 23, 2017] Amerika got where it is today by being a fork tongued double dealer whose words aren't worth the paper

Notable quotes:
"... With many of the asset purchases by China based corporations there is absolutely no intention of selling them or otherwise letting go of them ever again. As I learned this is per se no bad thing, but it could be if say, too much of a nation was owned by foreigners who will never relinquish those properties. ..."
"... Most Chinese certainly China's leaders have no intention of changing their outlook one iota, but that doesn't mean they want non-Chinese to alter and adopt their values. If Xi Jinping bothered to consider that he would most likely decide he preferred Trump and the rest of the Americans to remain exactly as they are because the adulation of material gain, arrogance and inability to lie straight in bed makes people's behaviour very predictable. ..."
"... I disagree with those who think that China has been duped - there's simply no evidence that China is that gullible. One century of humiliation was enough to learn how the western world works. ..."
"... As Debsisdead points out, "Whatever China eventually does to counter these deceits may not be actioned for decades, but when it is implemented it will be apposite, well considered and impregnable." ..."
"... We keep talking about hybrid warfare, and noting the west with its color revolutions and its increasingly visible lies, but have we learned yet how to detect asymmetrical responses from the multi-polar world? Especially since it's at least possible that they will occur almost invisibly? ..."
"... No. China does not believe anything the US says in public or even in private to them. 80% of Earth ppl know the US can't be trusted, it does not do deals, even private individuals who shake hands and the like, ever (they back out, my country orders..) ..."
"... All is calculation on where it might be advantageous to seem to 'submit' or 'shut up' or conversely 'complain' and make a fuss (to the UN, WTO, the US itself ) China and Russia don't want to take on the US militarily for now (except in low level proxy wars with a positive calculated outcome, see Syria), so all this stuff is just par for the course, it is expected, it is tit for tat shadow play that on the part of the weaker groups is thought out cynically. ..."
"... Trump maybe doesn't quite know what he is doing, in the sense of measuring, anticipating the results, as he is being manipulated. That is one view. Others can be put forward. ..."
"... Backdoors created for NSA/CIA can be exploited by others too, which makes all Outlaw US military electronic systems vulnerable. I recall a video presentation by Nasrallah showing the video Hezbollah intercepted from Zionist drones scouting the ground for its assassination of Hariri--evidence for Hezbollah's defense in the affair that nobody thought they'd be capable of obtaining that demolished the Zionist/Outlaw US Empire framing of Hezbollah for that murder. ..."
"... My bet is that the Generals have taken complete charge. ..."
"... An Asymmetric war will not do for the overlords (or generals?). The "Cyber" and other parts are to control dissidents in the EU and US. Both Russai and China will be aware of this as it is not the first time that either of them has been targeted by the US-UK. ..."
"... Adopting the NATO sanctions against NK must have fit the Chinese game plan. Chinese are not that stupid. ..."
"... There is no naive China, Russia or whatever, all Nations understand that the US regime is not reliable nor trustworthy, the game most of the Nations continue to play is the game to buy time, any war with the US regime can be hard at the moment, but not in few years time. China knows is and will play the patience game til the end, Russia does the same, expect for few "no go" like Syria and the south China sea islands. ..."
"... After Iran's experience with US "lifting of sanctions", should anyone ever trust USA at all? ..."
Aug 23, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Debsisdead | Aug 23, 2017 2:25:35 AM | 38

I'm with everyone who has already noted that amerika got where it is today by being a fork tongued double dealer whose words aren't worth the paper I wipe my arse with.
There isn't a single agreement reached between US authorities and any other entity since the days of treaties with the indigenous owners of the land amerika continues to purloin that amerika hasn't breached in either the letter or the spirit, usually both.

On the other hand China isn't Iran, not only are they well aware of amerikan perfidy they are in a position to counter it.

The fact they haven't done so yet merely indicates their preference for a square up which doesn't cost China or any of its citizens. This is a culture which always plays the long game no matter how long - witness their bemusement at amerikan commercial interests bitching about listed Chinese corporations not meeting Wall St imposed quarterly 'targets'.
When I lived in Northern Australia I had a landlord for several years who never increased my rent - this in a market where property prices were shooting up thanks to the usual worthless asset appreciation that too many consider a wealth generator. When I asked my landlord who was a third generation Australian the great grandson of gold miners who arrived from Shanghai towards the end of the 19th century he said "You are paying me $25 a week correct?" I replied yes, to which he responded "Well your week's rent is considerably more than my grandfather paid for it, $25 was a fair price when we shook hands and so that is what the rent will remain at unless you move out - a deal is a deal. I'm happy if you are"

That is what happened after I did move out the building which was little more than a big corrugated iron shed was pushed over and my former landlord put an office block in its stead. On the fringes of Darwin's CBD when I moved in by the time I left the property was most def 'down town'. The family will never sell it because for them it will always be a part of the family morphology. The original settler would never have been able much less permitted to buy land in 1880's China but he innately knew exactly how it related to his family once he bought land somewhere else.

This is something that few if any of the media or business outside China fully comprehend, an assumption has been made that Chinese, just as likely they imagine of all non-western peoples, are morphing into western commercial mindsets.

We see this all the time when those nations who have a bureaucratic mechanism for scrutinizing foreign asset purchases decide at least in part on the basis that the property will eventually change hands again.

With many of the asset purchases by China based corporations there is absolutely no intention of selling them or otherwise letting go of them ever again. As I learned this is per se no bad thing, but it could be if say, too much of a nation was owned by foreigners who will never relinquish those properties.

I was initially positive about Chinese investors outbidding engander, Oz, amerikan and european buyers for big chunks of Aotearoa but now I am less positive because denying locals the opportunity to buy in their own country seems to me to be a recipe for eventual conflict.

Trump may 'get away' with his deceit, but America will not. Whatever China eventually does to counter these deceits may not be auctioned for decades, but when it is implemented it will be apposite, well considered and impregnable.

Most Chinese certainly China's leaders have no intention of changing their outlook one iota, but that doesn't mean they want non-Chinese to alter and adopt their values. If Xi Jinping bothered to consider that he would most likely decide he preferred Trump and the rest of the Americans to remain exactly as they are because the adulation of material gain, arrogance and inability to lie straight in bed makes people's behaviour very predictable.

jezabeel | Aug 23, 2017 3:34:56 AM | 39
No. Rookie fucking error by the Chinese. Take one look at the record of the US keeping its word on anything. They deserve to be done over.
Arioch | Aug 23, 2017 4:16:16 AM | 40
DoubleThink concept was coined by UK BBC propagandist.

I had a dispute with allegedly UK citizen, who at THE SAME time demanded me to agree that

1) there was no NATO promise to avoid expanding East, as there is no signed paper document today on it, and personal speaks are merely speaks.

2) there is no threat to Russia from, and hence Russia acts unreasonably demanding legally-binding documents to, those "anti-Iranian" missile stations in Europe, because "everyone told you so".

And he did pursue both lanes in the SAME argument.

-----------

Now, while i admit that US and UK are different states for long, some habits seem to die hard

-----------

They also say, Iran was promised US do not care about their invasion in Kuwait, and they also say in 19114 German kanzler was promised UK King would not do a thing about European(read: Continental) war.

paulmeli | Aug 23, 2017 7:59:17 AM | 42
"would china PLEASE pull the plug on USA and call in its debt?!"

Central banks still funding government deficits and the sky remains firmly above

Ragheb | Aug 23, 2017 8:26:01 AM | 43
US warmonging will not end until and unless military suffers heavy casualties in a war of choice or the buck goes down for the count.
somebody | Aug 23, 2017 9:27:23 AM | 44
40

Gorbachev did not care about any written statement as he assumed the cold war to be over and envisioned a common European-Russian zone from "Wladivostock to Lisbon".

"The West" assumed the same but interpreted it as taking over Russia (integrating it in the Western system) as Russia "had lost the cold war".

The West then lost the peace by their best and brightest causing a severe economic and humanitarian crisis in Russia which led to the rise of Putin and Russia realizing that they had to defend themselves.

Steinmeier just held a speech in Estonia accusing Russia of "thinking in terms of zones of influence" and geopolitics whilst disrespecting the free will of people. The speech was very coded but ended with Germany never again fighting against Russia in "blind enemity" whilst saying before that Germany would never again do something like the Hitler-Stalin Pact. Usually what you say in the end sticks in people's mind.

The way Victoria Nuland operated (and the EU/Steinmeier followed) showed Russia is not alone in geopolitical thinking never mind the free will of people and their elected representatives.

Same party as Steinmeier, Martin Schulz now campaigns with the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from Germany.

Let's see how this plays out.

okie farmer | Aug 23, 2017 10:10:20 AM | 45
Global Empire - A Conversation With Edward Said
https://youtu.be/YvR3qeroQ2M
Mina | Aug 23, 2017 10:28:34 AM | 46
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41023264
Ksa is fine but not Egypt?
Grieved | Aug 23, 2017 10:52:33 AM | 47
I agree with the voices here saying that China understands exactly what is going on. Especially thanks to Debsisdead @ 38 for the wonderful cultural insights.

I disagree with those who think that China has been duped - there's simply no evidence that China is that gullible. One century of humiliation was enough to learn how the western world works.

@41 lysias - "The McCain apparently experienced a mysterious steering failure before the collision."

I too wonder if the US Navy is experiencing asymmetrical responses from either Russia or China or both. I greatly want to know more about all this. Joaquin Flores had a speculative piece at Fort Russ the other day, making the point that the Navy's call to halt all operations worldwide seems completely disproportionate to the apparent causes. Pun intended, what's really going on below the waterline?

As Debsisdead points out, "Whatever China eventually does to counter these deceits may not be actioned for decades, but when it is implemented it will be apposite, well considered and impregnable."

We keep talking about hybrid warfare, and noting the west with its color revolutions and its increasingly visible lies, but have we learned yet how to detect asymmetrical responses from the multi-polar world? Especially since it's at least possible that they will occur almost invisibly?

Noirette | Aug 23, 2017 11:28:15 AM | 48
China deserved what they got since they were dumb enough to believe ANYHING the US. .. New Yorker at 10.

1) No. China does not believe anything the US says in public or even in private to them. 80% of Earth ppl know the US can't be trusted, it does not do deals, even private individuals who shake hands and the like, ever (they back out, my country orders..)

Are the Chinese, Gvmt., industry, military, to be considered out of that loop?

2) All is calculation on where it might be advantageous to seem to 'submit' or 'shut up' or conversely 'complain' and make a fuss (to the UN, WTO, the US itself ) China and Russia don't want to take on the US militarily for now (except in low level proxy wars with a positive calculated outcome, see Syria), so all this stuff is just par for the course, it is expected, it is tit for tat shadow play that on the part of the weaker groups is thought out cynically.

3) Trump maybe doesn't quite know what he is doing, in the sense of measuring, anticipating the results, as he is being manipulated. That is one view. Others can be put forward.

karlof1 | Aug 23, 2017 11:36:46 AM | 49
Grieved @47--

If fly-by-wire control systems can be hacked and captured on airplanes, then the same can happen to any such system regardless of what it's guiding; and there've been hints at this being done by the Multipolar Alliance. Recall Iran's capturing one of the Outlaw US Empires most sophisticated drones several years ago then reverse engineering its own version.

Lots of evidence cruise missiles went awry thanks to EW. Then there were several reports of Outlaw US Navy vessels having their systems completely shutdown via Russian EW. I imagine PavewayIV has a good recap of these incidents.

Backdoors created for NSA/CIA can be exploited by others too, which makes all Outlaw US military electronic systems vulnerable. I recall a video presentation by Nasrallah showing the video Hezbollah intercepted from Zionist drones scouting the ground for its assassination of Hariri--evidence for Hezbollah's defense in the affair that nobody thought they'd be capable of obtaining that demolished the Zionist/Outlaw US Empire framing of Hezbollah for that murder.

Detecting asymmetrical responses will be difficult since the Multipolar Alliance will be reluctant to announce such an action, while the Unipolar Hegemon will also be reluctant since it won't want the other side to learn how effective its actions are. Imagine if North Korea has the capability to redirect B-1 and B-2 bombers by taking control of their fly-by-wire systems; would you expect North Korea to announce such capability or reserve it for use?

karlof1 | Aug 23, 2017 12:08:27 PM | 50
Pepe Escobar weighs-in yet again on the "two never-ending wars with no visible benefits" in Korea and Afghanistan, http://www.atimes.com/article/korea-afghanistan-never-ending-war-trap/
Brad | Aug 23, 2017 12:15:04 PM | 51
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/08/us-china-trade-war-brewing-trade-deficit-sticks-at-25-billion-dollars.html

US want China to exit production economy and become Debt consumer Economy. US can play that stock market/futures with print money out of thin air. If Rothschilds want China to become US debt model,...it probably happens,
Or....Chinese get RIP of Rothschilds

james | Aug 23, 2017 12:18:30 PM | 52
@38 debsisdead ...

thanks for your personal insights debs.. it is interesting to me as i have lived in the vancouver area for most of my life.. the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generation chinese seem so different then the new arrivals from hong kong..

I would like to agree with your view, but this new generation primarily from hong kong, seem to have a very different mind set.. either way - thanks for sharing..

anonymous | Aug 23, 2017 12:46:42 PM | 53
@40

If you're ever confronted by any more British apologists on the issue of NATO missile systems in Poland and Romania, mention the United States could only have set up the systems by unilaterally withdrawing American signatures from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, a decade BEFORE the European Union and Ukraine 'started talks' on framing, signing, and ratifying the EU Association Agreement (violating Article Six of the Russian-Ukrainian Friendship Treaty of 1997, which required Russian foreknowledge and participation in any frameworks or any agreements Ukraine had with 'a third party') that partitioned public opinion in Ukraine and precipitated the civil war.

@44

While transcripts of the NATO-Soviet peace talks throughout 1990 haven't been released, the U.S. Secretary of State and the West German Foreign Minister literally layed out a post-war framework (the Nine Assurances in May; the London Declaration in July) publicly (it was reported in mainstream German and American media) at the end of these respective conferences BEFORE the Two Plus Four Agreement was reached.

It envisioned the 'reform' of NATO in the framework of the CSCE (now OSCE) or the replacement of NATO by the CSCE, the ratifying of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (building on other 'arms reduction measures by treaty' needed to permanently demilitarize Europe), and the invitation of the original nine Soviet Republics to NATO Summits to accept NATO Membership BEFORE post-Soviet Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Caucasus were invited to accept membership.

The framework ('collective security') was explicitly what the Soviet Politburo had been trying to achieve since the Soviet Foreign Ministry requested the British Foreign Ministry (through public conferences) and the Polish Foreign Ministry (through secret telegrams) to sign mutual security treaties in early and mid August of 1939 (which was rejected consistently by Britain and Poland).

The Soviet Politburo was quick to end the war because it seemed the 'long strategy' had worked, not because of Soviet indifference to formality. I think it was widely understood by any European (worker or statesmen) the United States would never substantially compromise to the discipline of formality, however, the Soviet Union preferred the risk and not diplomatic stagnation.

Side note:

While I personally dislike involving a notorious personality in a social or political history, I think it's interesting to speculate what would've happened if it was Chernenko who lived and Gorbachev who died in 1985. He was a militarist, but never seemed committed to decentralizing the Soviet economy and compromising so easily to the United States.

stonebird | Aug 23, 2017 1:28:15 PM | 54
Part of b's headline; "Trump cheats...." may be wrong. Does Trump control anything at all any more?

Not only the NK sanctions, but a corresponding increase in troop levels in Afghanistan, (including "unknown helicopters" ferrying militants in Mazar-i-Sharif, from the Afghan base of the 209 Afgh Nat Army corps in NATO controlled airspace, for a massacre of Hazara Shias in Sar-e-Pol province), the increase of US servicemen training Ukrainian snipers on the Donbass frontline and a reported blocking of a (small) Russian Bank from the SWIFT network, - all suggest that the military have totally taken over command in the US.

That they have decided to push everyone around as far as possible. This change in policy is since Trump "lost" his powers to Congress by massive one sided voting, and the introduction of the "new" all encompassing anti-Russian and Chinese sanctions.

I may be wrong about WHO is in control (add your own here...), but it seems fairly clear that the "Americans" (people) have been reduced to potential cannon-fodder.

My bet is that the Generals have taken complete charge.

-----

Unfortunately this is not a uniquely US phenomena. Examples in France go back to 1875 with the "Anarchists" (actually FOR worker's rights at the beginning), The "commune de Paris, (US CHicago riots) where other normal people didn't want the "status-quo" of overlord-underling to continue. Usually the movement was treated as a proto-terrorist threat, all the MSM of the time condemning the leaders - and the whole thing finishing in a blood-bath with troops firing on dissenters -- WWI was another "overlord organised restucturation" by the military).

Not really OT - but I am just trying to show that the new situation has antecedents throughout history, and if I am correct the next stage will be to cross several frontiers (by NATO or US) "accidentally" to provoke a reaction. ie NK is another.

An Asymmetric war will not do for the overlords (or generals?). The "Cyber" and other parts are to control dissidents in the EU and US. Both Russai and China will be aware of this as it is not the first time that either of them has been targeted by the US-UK.

I hope this post is not too OT!

fast freddy | Aug 23, 2017 4:47:40 PM | 55
Adopting the NATO sanctions against NK must have fit the Chinese game plan. Chinese are not that stupid.

It should be considered that official sanctions naturally encourage, promote and serve the black markets - the Mafia, Cartels, etc. The underground economy will surely not obey sanctions. It should also be noted that certain official bodies will turn a blind eye and allow certain other bodies to engage in trade, etc.

Note how the CyA brings in drugs to Mena Arkansas, for one example. And the cya plane crash in Central America - loaded to the gills.

Canthama | Aug 23, 2017 5:31:30 PM | 56
There is no naive China, Russia or whatever, all Nations understand that the US regime is not reliable nor trustworthy, the game most of the Nations continue to play is the game to buy time, any war with the US regime can be hard at the moment, but not in few years time. China knows is and will play the patience game til the end, Russia does the same, expect for few "no go" like Syria and the south China sea islands.
Alexander Grimsmo | Aug 23, 2017 7:01:10 PM | 57
After Iran's experience with US "lifting of sanctions", should anyone ever trust USA at all?
karlof1 | Aug 23, 2017 7:27:31 PM | 58
Canthama @56--

Nice to see you commenting here! Agreed that China and Russia understand but still seek dialog since that's the essence of "the patience game." But I wonder about those running Brazil; we don't discuss that much at SyrPers. Then there's India's Modi and the cadre of Hindu Neoliberals who seem to want to have their own game instead of teaming with China and Russia for a Win/Win partnership rather than the dying Zero-Sumism of the Neoliberalcons. And thanks again for all the effort you devote to SyrPers; it's quite remarkable!

[Aug 23, 2017] The U.S. Can Not Be Trusted - Case XXXIV Trump Cheats On China Sanction Deal

Notable quotes:
"... the usa needs to copyright this : ''sanctions-r-us''.... they will sell this as the good cop routine that plays to the wacky right wing nut jobs that drive us foreign policy.. it wears thin quickly though for anyone looking under the hood - something the western msm is loath or unable to do.. keeping the populace ignorant is the cause de jour for them.. some things don't change... show down in the o k corral is on it's way... ..."
"... Honestly, anyone who doesn't understand that making deals and treaties with the US is pointless when not dangerous because they will never respect them is hopeless and has lost any pretense at sanity. I've yet to see any single treaty in their whole history that the US hasn't broken at some point. Though I also have to point out that it's not merely that "Americans are treacherous and have a forked tongue" or whatever. It's hardcoded in the political system itself, which is highly unstable and at the same time doesn't punish inconsistency, stupidity and betrayal. ..."
"... China deserved what they got since they were dumb enough to believe ANYHING the US. How can anyone side with a country that is on the other side of the world against one that is right next to you? The only thing I can think of is a ploy by China to further cause the US to economically hurt itself. So many things are going on that it's hard to keep track of what's what. ..."
Aug 23, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
The U.S. Can Not Be Trusted - Case XXXIV: Trump Cheats On China Sanction Deal

During the ramp up to new UN sanctions on North Korea the Trump administration threaten to sanction China if it would not commit to further pressure. Trade measures against China were held back while the discussions about the resolution were ongoing:

An opportunity to hit North Korea with new United Nations sanctions has sidelined President Donald Trump's bid to punish China for its alleged unfair trade practice.
...
[O]n Thursday afternoon, senior administration aides postponed the announcement [of trade measures against China] at the urging of United Nations and State Department officials, who are in the sensitive final stages of convincing China to sign on to a U.N. resolution that would impose new sanctions on North Korea. U.N. and State Department officials warned that the trade announcement could kill their chances of winning Beijing's buy-in , according to the officials.

Trump himself implied that he was willing to go for a quit pro quo:

While past presidents have tried at least ostensibly to keep security and economic issues on separate tracks in their dealings with China, Mr. Trump has explicitly linked the two, suggesting he would back off from a trade war against Beijing if it does more to pressure North Korea. "If China helps us, I feel a lot differently toward trade, a lot differently toward trade," he told reporters...

A deal was made and the UN Resolution 2371 passed. China immediately implemented the relevant measures:

In an unprecedented move against North Korea, China on Monday issued an order to carry out the United Nations sanctions imposed on the rogue regime earlier this month.

China did its part of the deal. It helped pass the UN resolution against North Korea and it immediately implemented it even while that causes a significant loss for Chinese companies which trade with North Korea.

Now Trump is back at sanctioning Chinese (and Russian) companies:

The Trump administration on Tuesday imposed sanctions on 16 mainly Chinese and Russian companies and people for assisting North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs and helping the North make money to support those programs.
...
Among those sanctioned are six Chinese companies, including three coal companies ; two Singapore-based companies that sell oil to North Korea and three Russians that work with them; a Russian company that deals in North Korean metals and its Russian director; a construction company based in Namibia; a second Namibia-based company, and its North Korean director, that supplies North Korean workers to build statues overseas to generate income for the North.

These are "secondary sanctions" which block financial transactions and make it nearly impossible for those companies and people to run an international business. Moreover - China had already banned all coal imports from North Korea. It had sent back North Korean coal ships and instead bought coal from the United States. Now Chinese companies get sanctioned over North Korean coal they no longer buy? Furthermore selling fuel oil to North Korea is explicitly allowed under the new UN sanctions. There is no reason to sanction any company over it.

The Chinese feel cheated:

Reuters World @ReutersWorld - 7:12pm · 22 Aug 2017

JUST IN: China urges U.S. to 'immediately correct its mistake' of sanctioning Chinese firms over North Korea - embassy spokesman

If the Trump administration insist of holding up these sanction China and Russia will obviously become negligent in controlling the sanctions imposed on North Korea. Why should they hold to their side of the deal, at great costs, when the U.S. does not hold up its side?

They will also stop at making any further deals with the Trump administration. It has now proven to be just as lying and cheating as the Obama administration has been. The U.S. can forget about ANY further action or sanctions at the UN.

This as extremely shortsighted and stupid way of handling international relations.

How does the U.S. hope to win anything in the long run when it behaves in such untrustworthy ways?

02:41 PM | Comments (37)

Mike Maloney | Aug 22, 2017 2:58:52 PM | 1

Bannon's sayonara interview with Robert Kuttner was all about the coming trade war with China. Bannon thinks it is the key to electoral success. It will be interesting to see if his strategy lives on now that he is gone.
james | Aug 22, 2017 3:10:41 PM | 2
thanks b.... the usa needs to copyright this : ''sanctions-r-us''.... they will sell this as the good cop routine that plays to the wacky right wing nut jobs that drive us foreign policy.. it wears thin quickly though for anyone looking under the hood - something the western msm is loath or unable to do.. keeping the populace ignorant is the cause de jour for them.. some things don't change... show down in the o k corral is on it's way...
Clueless Joe | Aug 22, 2017 3:18:44 PM | 3
Honestly, anyone who doesn't understand that making deals and treaties with the US is pointless when not dangerous because they will never respect them is hopeless and has lost any pretense at sanity. I've yet to see any single treaty in their whole history that the US hasn't broken at some point. Though I also have to point out that it's not merely that "Americans are treacherous and have a forked tongue" or whatever. It's hardcoded in the political system itself, which is highly unstable and at the same time doesn't punish inconsistency, stupidity and betrayal.
ben | Aug 22, 2017 3:19:25 PM | 4
Gee, you mean the U$A doesn't want to live up to its words? Well, I'm shocked.. Not! Actions, not meeting rhetoric, is the U$A's stock in trade, in all its endeavors.

I see Trump rolled out his new infrastructure plan. Destroying other nation's infrastructure, to create more jobs in the weapons industry here at home.

Wonderful...

Peter AU 1 | Aug 22, 2017 3:25:21 PM | 5
@1
Bannon August 16..."To me," Bannon said, "the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we're five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we'll never be able to recover."
Bannon's plan of attack includes: a complaint under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act against Chinese coercion of technology transfers from American corporations doing business there, and follow-up complaints against steel and aluminum dumping. "We're going to run the tables on these guys. We've come to the conclusion that they're in an economic war and they're crushing us."

Reuters August 21... China expressed "strong dissatisfaction" on Monday with the U.S. launch of an investigation into China's alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property, calling it "irresponsible".

The U.S. Trade Representative formally announced the investigation on Friday, a widely expected move following a call from President Donald Trump earlier last week to determine whether a probe was needed.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-trade-china-idUSKCN1B10MF

fastfreddy | Aug 22, 2017 3:34:00 PM | 6
Because he is a bit dim-witted like Dubya, Trump has a way of going off script and putting his foot in his mouth. The PTB knew all along they were going to fck China - with or without the UN Korean sanctions agreement.

This would be one reason why AIPAC doesn't want Trump. That other moron, Pence, would be capable of reading his lines without the need for extemporaneous commentary.

Perimtr | Aug 22, 2017 3:34:16 PM | 7
What goes around, comes around.

When China starts turning down US dollars and Treasuries in exchange for all Chinese services and goods produced by the industries we offshored to them (only accepting RMB and gold today, thank you), we will see how this all works out.

Probably the neocon "solution" will be military (isn't it always?), but as they say, "Good luck with that!" The recent rash of US naval "accidental collisions" provides a hint of things to come.

NotToMention | Aug 22, 2017 3:34:23 PM | 8
It looks even worse for China. NK might be the epicenter of the realization that China is just as self-serving as any other country, but the ripples will have damaged China's reputation far and wide. By not enforcing the UNSC sanctions China will only prove her vote was not based on principle.
JSonofa | Aug 22, 2017 3:58:45 PM | 9
Quit Pro Quo. That actually does sound like Trump policy. Oh man, that's great! Thanks b!!!
NewYorker | Aug 22, 2017 3:59:57 PM | 10
China deserved what they got since they were dumb enough to believe ANYHING the US. How can anyone side with a country that is on the other side of the world against one that is right next to you? The only thing I can think of is a ploy by China to further cause the US to economically hurt itself. So many things are going on that it's hard to keep track of what's what.
ger | Aug 22, 2017 4:15:41 PM | 11
The words Trump and Cheat are redundant! Nobody in their right mind would buy a used car from the Big Cheat in Chief.
Oliver K | Aug 22, 2017 4:46:40 PM | 12
Isn't it obvious that any form of sanctions, "cheating" etc. by the US is the best thing for the rest of the world? Unfortunately, the "elites" in Russia, and many people in China are only too eager to lick the feet of the US. Good old fashioned corruption via trade would surely destroy (likely) Russia and China -- but, as a god-given present, the US actually behaves as the benevolent exceptional nation, really, by teaching Russia and China the necessary lessons!

Perhaps Trump is really a deep genius? Or perhaps in 50 years we will learn that ACTUALLY Putin did it! He really controls the whole West, and makes it destroy itself. :-))

jo6pac | Aug 22, 2017 4:55:29 PM | 13
That's great news and hopefully NC had to pay the same great price the Ukraine got or maybe the Ukraine will trade with NC for more rocket motors. Greed Amerikas bottom line and I wonder what the trumpster cut was?
Out of Istanbul | Aug 22, 2017 4:58:24 PM | 14
I doubt any other state actors still trust the US, regardless of what administration is in power. Power when wielded is always a blunt instrument, and as long as the US policy elite see no equal on the world stage, thanks to the US' sprawling military and extensive economic advantages (reserve currency, resource wealth, etc), they don't need to nor will play nice.
brian | Aug 22, 2017 5:39:54 PM | 15
would china PLEASE pull the plug on USA and call in its debt?!
Hesllng | Aug 22, 2017 5:43:26 PM | 16
Well in a way this serves China right, the price they pay for a treacherous act of betrayal against NK and instead thinking they can do a deal the devil. Now perhaps the Chinese will "get their logic right"
michaelj72 | Aug 22, 2017 5:49:12 PM | 17
"These are "secondary sanctions" which block financial transactions and make it nearly impossible for those companies and people to run an international business..."

I have often wondered how any nation can have such power - and continually wield it so unwisely as the United States has

apparently there's no real appeal to the use of the such sanctions (please correct me if I am wrong) so that in essence it is a world-wide dictatorial economic power exercised by one nation over all the others, and without legal recourse, the very definition of tyranny.....and even if there were current judicial recourse, the US would have corrupted that totally as well.

The Chinese and the Russian have been pretty foolish the last 10-15 years or so in trusting the US at all. the perfect case was the UN resolution on Libya which the West used to slaughter the whole country and create a failed state. at least Putin learned his lesson early on in Syria and took effective counter-measures, finally putting his foot down on this also world-wide regime change bullshit, which has really paid off since Nov 2015....

Kalen | Aug 22, 2017 5:49:40 PM | 18
Question is why they were so gullible to believe US in the first place after repeated betrayal in the past. Are they retarded? Were they really ready to strangle NK economy in a face of blatant US belligerence and provocations knowing well that only NK nukes may bring Japan and US to the peace table to end WWII and Korean War?

Is in the national interest of China and Russia collapse of NK. OF COURSE NOT. So why all those stupid maneuvers? Do they not see that US incoherence is aimed for dividing Sino-Russian alliance? Somobody have to say it if b is not saying that, fool me once, but if you fool me twice I become a fool. Are Russians and Chinese fools believing that US are something else than bunch of delusional psychotics one cannot reason with or bargain with?

Is that because they are rich delusional psychotics and pay is good?

Pnyx | Aug 22, 2017 6:08:26 PM | 19
"The U.S. can forget about ANY further action or sanctions at the UN."

I really, really hope so, B. I can't understand why China agreed to the U.N. resolution in the first place. The outcome was crystal clear from the beginning, we had it before times and again. Are the Russian and the Chinese governments to stupid to learn from experiences? Or just to gutless to 'just say no'? Or to eager to hold the neoliberal economic system afloat, they obviously immagine as the only way possible? I wonder.

ian | Aug 22, 2017 6:22:39 PM | 20
I don't feel the least bit sorry for the Chinese. They have been playing us re North Korea - North Korea starts pulling crazy shit at just the right moments, China offers to 'help'. There won't be any huge trade wars either - it is in their interest just as much as ours to avoid it and they're businessmen, first and foremost.
Julian | Aug 22, 2017 7:07:02 PM | 21
The Chinese knew this would happen, signing onto new sanctions against North Korea has absolutely nothing to do with dodging any US trade sanctions!

Totally irrelevant.

The Chinese have sanctioned North Korea for their own reasons.

Peter AU 1 | Aug 22, 2017 7:15:14 PM | 22
Chinese casualties in the Korean war.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War#Casualties
Western sources estimate the PVA suffered about 400,000 killed and 486,000 wounded,
Data from official Chinese sources, on the other hand, reported that the Chinese PVA had suffered 114,000 battle deaths, 34,000 non-battle deaths, 340,000 wounded, 7,600 missing

Either way, China shed a lot of blood for NK. The latest UN sanctions were harmless bullshit to buy a bit of time. China and Russia made a joint statement that they would not see North Korea economicaly strangled. Any NK losses would be made up in other ways.

karlof1 | Aug 22, 2017 7:18:49 PM | 23
Throughout all of history, I can't recall any nation as dishonest as the USA. In a Just World, it would be shunned, ostracized and be made to sit is the equivalent of a corner for a millennia-long time-out. But since it has a UNSC veto, it really can't be made to behave within the family of nations. The only way forward I can see is for the planet's people to push every vestige of the Outlaw US Empire out of their nations and declare it persona non grata until it's proven for at least a century that it's changed its ways. And don't go to visit it despite the scenery of its landscape; there're plenty of other outstanding places having natural beauty on the planet to visit. And don't use any of its tech products, like Google, Yahoo!, Amazon, etc. In other words, Boycott everything USA-- Everything! And don't give its Trolls the time of day.
ashley albanese | Aug 22, 2017 7:30:41 PM | 24
There is a bottom line - ww3 - the Russians and Chinese know what this means . They are terrified as Stalin was of the 'West ' in 1941. Under such pressure things must always be 'Alice and Wonderlandish' . Events of the moment are to be seen in this equivocal light.
Outsider | Aug 22, 2017 7:48:32 PM | 25
"How does the U.S. hope to win anything in the long run when it behaves in such untrustworthy ways?"

Because they're all in on it? Everyone. What other explanation is there?

It's a fake world people and it's starting to become glaring.

anonymous | Aug 22, 2017 7:49:57 PM | 26
@20

Specifically, the United States and South Korea 'start' a (yearly) variation of military exercises, North Korea responds by 'threatening' missile tests (secretly offering a mutual 'freeze' of exercises and tests), and China offers to sponsor (yearly) peace conferences.

What else can China do?

anonymous | Aug 22, 2017 7:58:16 PM | 27
They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they did.
Red Cloud
Daniel Bruno | Aug 22, 2017 8:31:51 PM | 28
1.

The State Dept, TSA, DHS et al. treats individual American citizens with the same utter contempt and scorn...that Washington has for NK, China and Russia (unless said American citizen is connected to a certain lobby / special group or status.)

2.

In light of how the US government has not upheld treaties it signed with First Nations people for 300 years, or any other organization or government that was weaker than itself at any time, it bewilders me how any modern government could expect the US to honor any treaty it signs today, unless upholding said treaty were in the immediate interest of the US.

3.

How utterly stupid is the regime in Washington?...it seems to gyrate madly, imposing sanctions here, sanctions there, threatening everybody from NK to Syria to Venezuela to China to Russia, when it should be minding its own fucking business. We need a constitutional convention in the US and we need to restore democratic governance to the USA.

OJS | Aug 22, 2017 8:32:11 PM | 29
anonymous, 27

OT continuation "they promised to take our land, and they did. Red Cloud"

First we had the land and they had the Bibles, now we have the Bibles and they have the land. Chief Dan George

http://www.azquotes.com/quote/645351

"When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land". Desmond Tutu and Jomo Kenyatta

https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/desmondtut107531.html

daffyDuct | Aug 22, 2017 8:52:26 PM | 30
Somewhat related in terms of leverage/sanctions:

http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2017/08/15/us-russia-ties-poised-to-take-incredible-turn/

"
"The Ukraine crisis ! and Russian-American relations ! reaches an inflection point with the assessment made by the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) in London that North Korea's dramatic leap in ballistic missile capability in the past year is attributable to its clandestine acquisition of a Soviet-era technology that is available in a factory near the frontline in Donbass war zone, close to the breakaway region held by Russia-backed separatists. The IISS flags that North Korea's Hwasong-14 missile, tested for the first time, twice, last month signifies an incredible leap in technology that is simply inconceivable for human ingenuity – that is, unless Pyongyang gained access to foreign technology from an established missile power.

However, the IISS report says,

The engine tested by North Korea does not physically resemble any LPE manufactured by the US, France, China, Japan, India or Iran. Nor do any of these countries produce an engine that uses storable propellants and generates the thrust delivered by the Hwasong-12 and -14 LPE. This leaves the former Soviet Union as the most likely source.

Now, there could have been clandestine transfers of the engines from either Russia or Ukraine with the knowledge of the local authorities – or more likely, there might have been clandestine smuggling by the mafia from factories that are loosely guarded. The mafia is active in both Russia and Ukraine. The IISS is inclined to point the finger at the factory in Ukraine (known as Yuzhnoye which has facilities in Dnipropetrovsk and Pavlograd), which has been in dire straits ever since 2006 when Russia stopped buying from it as part of the Soviet-era supply chain and the once-vaunted factory came to the brink of financial collapse circa 2015. To quote the IISS,

The total number of RD-250 (rocket) engines fabricated in Russia and Ukraine is not known. However, there are almost certainly hundreds, if not more, of spares stored at KB Yuzhnoye's facilities and at warehouses in Russia A small team of disgruntled employees or underpaid guards at any one of the storage sites could be enticed to steal a few dozen engines by one of the many illicit arms dealers, criminal networks, or transnational smugglers operating in the former Soviet Union. The engines (less than two metres tall and one metre wide) can be flown or, more likely, transported by train through Russia to North Korea. Pyongyang has many connections in Russia North Korean agents seeking missile technology are also known to operate in Ukraine Today, (Ukrainian) Yuzhnoye's facilities lie close to the front lines of the Russian-controlled secessionist territory. Clearly, there is no shortage of potential routes through which North Korea might have acquired the few dozen RD-250 engines that would be needed for an ICBM programme.

Several questions arise. Importantly, almost all of them will have implications for the trajectory of US-Russia relations. Most important ! the timing of the IISS report. The US-Russia relations are on razor's edge. (See my blog Russia edgy as US prepares to retaliate.)

Thus, can it be that the Russian intelligence leaked the information already available with it to respectable western sources so as to underscore in western capitals that the West has ended up creating a bleeding wound in Ukraine that is turning gangrene? (After all, IISS has profound links with Smiley's people.)

It is entirely conceivable that the CIA and the Pentagon are ahead of the IISS' scientific finding. Has this got something to do with the threatening reports that refuse to die away that the Trump administration is revisiting the moribund idea of supplying lethal weapons to hit at Russia-backed separatists in Donbass ! which Russia has been opposing tooth and nail? Simply put, is someone firing a flare into the night sky to make the point that it is a rotten idea to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine which will sooner or later find their way inevitably to non-state actors? This is one thing.

Indeed, Russia is keen to engage with the Trump administration over the Ukraine crisis. But then, Russia also hopes that progress on Ukraine would lead to an easing of Western sanctions. Now, on the contrary, the US Congress' latest bill on Russia sanctions expressly forbids the White House from negotiating the sanctions removal without its prior approval. If there is ever a Gordian knot, waiting to be cut, this is it.

The IISS concludes by stressing the high importance of the "US and its allies, along with China and perhaps Russia, to negotiate an agreement that bans future missile testing, and effectively prevents North Korea from perfecting its capacity to terrorise America with nuclear weapons. But the window of opportunity will soon close, so diplomatic action must be taken immediately."

However, such a process demands a high level of Russian-American coordination and cooperation. Of course, 'Barkis is willing'. But, is the US ready to abandon the sanctions against Russia? There is an existential choice to be made here, because Russian intelligence must be up to date on North Korea. Paradoxically, the US needs Russian intelligence inputs to protect the American people from potential nuclear radiation."

OJS | Aug 22, 2017 9:02:06 PM | 31
Economic (sanctions) war with Russia may be a piece of cake but not so easy against China. Both sides suffer. Especially China's wartime arch enemies' Japan and stupid India tagging behinds.

There were speculations what China can do - import/export/wheats/soy beans/US$... Where it hurts most, trademarks Ivanka Trump's company in China

J Swift | Aug 22, 2017 9:03:04 PM | 32
Several have said China (and Russia) are fools, or they are cowards...why would they fall for this again? Well, they aren't fools or cowards, and in fact there is every reason to think they did in fact expect the US to renege on any agreement almost immediately. Especially lately, where the US has gone completely off the rails, and no longer conceals that sanctions are aimed as much at weakening its "friends" (competitors) as its "enemies."

That said, perhaps this was intended to be another demonstration, an emphasis, particularly to the Europeans who are already getting sick of US sanctions. Why not agree to sanctions as requested by the US, knowing they will never have to be enforced because of US weaseling, while providing a strong argument to refuse all future attempts at sanctions.

frances | Aug 22, 2017 9:17:48 PM | 33
What if these Trump admin actions are a deliberate ploy to backdoor making America great again by getting other nations to set up trade barriers forcing America to return to manufacturing
Paisciego | Aug 22, 2017 9:18:39 PM | 34
Mr. Arkadin. Scorpion and frog
james | Aug 22, 2017 9:20:00 PM | 35
@17 michaelj72.. i think you have that exactly right, except in your last paragraph... it is difficult to navigate, and until russia and china are of a similar level to the usa militarily, i think they have been working towards the moment when they can do just that - pull the plug of this ponzi / mafia type set up the usa has going..

@18 kalen / @19 pnyx... see my response to michael above... it is how i see it..

@24 ashley albanese.. we see it very similar.. thanks..

@30 daffyduck.. thanks.. interesting speculation that all sounds plausible..

@32 j swift.. i tend to see it that way too, although europe is going to have to get a backbone at some point.. same deal all the usa lapdogs...

frances | Aug 22, 2017 9:36:43 PM | 36
reply to DaffyDuct 30

".. engines that would be needed for an {NK} ICBM programme."

All well and good except for the fact that NK doesn't have an ICBM capability.
The US govt admitted that the NK rockets fired were NOT ICBMs but were Intermediate missiles used in the past to launch NK weather satellites.

V. Arnold | Aug 23, 2017 12:51:34 AM | 37
karlof1 | Aug 22, 2017 7:18:49 PM | 23

Yup, I dumped google and yahoo years ago.
Yandex browser and e-mail; both are excellent.
When my anti-virus expires I'm going to Kaspersky Labs; my wife already did.

[Aug 22, 2017] Pat Buchanan

Buchanan demonstrates very superficial understanding of the result of the USSR collapse. Afghan war was just one contributing factor. It was never the primary reason. Soviet people understood pretty well that they actually faced the USA in Afghan war. Or more correctly the combination of the USA has technological superiority, Saudi money and political Islam. The fact that the USA supplied Stingers portable anti-aircraft rocket launchers. Which later will shoot down some US helicopters. The fact the the USA fe-factor put political Islam on front burner later will bite the USA several times.
Also Buchanan does not understand the role of neoliberal revolution (or coup d'état if you wish, called quite coup) of 80th in the current US troubles. Trump was the first ever presidential candidate, who companied and managed to win the elections on promises to tame neoliberal globalization. The fact that he was crushed in six month of so is not surprising, as he faced very well organize Trotskyite militants (aka deep state) - neoliberalism is actually Trotskyism for rish. Russiagate witch hunt with its Special Prosecutor is a replica of Stalin processes. As Marx used to say history repeats, first as tragedy, second as farce.
"I have not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire," said Winston Churchill. and this is the essence of Trump betrual of his election promises.
Notable quotes:
"... Is it now the turn of the Americans? Persuaded by his generals -- Mattis at Defense, McMasters on the National Security Council, Kelly as chief of staff -- President Trump is sending some 4,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to augment the 8,500 already there. Like Presidents Obama and Bush, he does not intend to preside over a U.S. defeat in its longest war. Nor do his generals. Yet how can we defeat the Taliban with 13,000 troops when we failed to do so with the 100,000 Obama sent? The new troops are to train the Afghan army to take over the war, to continue eradicating the terrorist elements like ISIS, and to prevent Kabul and other cities from falling to a Taliban now dominant in 40 percent of the country. ..."
"... Writes Bob Merry in the fall issue of The National interest: "War between Russia and the West seems nearly inevitable. No self-respecting nation facing inexorable encirclement by an alliance of hostile neighbors can allow such pressures and forces to continue indefinitely. Eventually (Russia) must protect its interests through military action." ..."
"... Trump himself seems hell-bent on tearing up the nuclear deal with Iran. This would lead inexorably to a U.S. ultimatum, where Iran would be expected to back down or face a war that would set the Persian Gulf ablaze. ..."
"... Yet the country did not vote for confrontation or war. ..."
"... America voted for Trump's promise to improve ties with Russia, to make Europe shoulder more of the cost of its defense, to annihilate ISIS and extricate us from Mideast wars, to stay out of future wars. ..."
"... This agenda did exist and Trump used it to get elected. Once he pulled off that trick he tried to get together again (unsuccessfully) with his New York Plutocrat friends. It's that New York social background. It's always been difficult to see Trump fit together economically or socially with the America that elected him, and after he got elected he quickly weakened his ties with Middle America. So why should he complain about Fake News since he got elected on a Fake Agenda? ..."
"... Trump does not even remember what he was elected to do. A man who was determined to drain the swamp is deep, up to his neck, in that swamp. The neocons and the never-Trumpers are the main decision makers in the Trump administration. All the loyal supporters have been chased out of the Trump's inner circle. A man who built his empire with his brain and shrewdness can't seem to handle the Presidency. He is trying to appease the very same people who opposed him in the election. ..."
"... For a smart businessman, Donald Trump can't seem to make any friends. There is a very simple solution to these wars of choice. Mr. Trump swallow your pride and bring the boys home. You will save American lives and will also earn the gratitude of the families of these soldiers. You may even bring peace to many countries around the world and people who have been displaced by these wars can return home. You may even solve the refugee problem in the process. You might even save your presidency. Give peace a chance. ..."
"... I think The Donald offered the lame excuse that things looks much different when you're in the oval office vs. the campaign trail. That won't be any consolation to people who voted for him in the hopes that their family members in the military would be coming home soon. And it won't be any consolation to some members of his base. ..."
"... Trump isn't going to keep his campaign promises. ..."
"... Continuing to maintain forces in South Korea continues to contribute to our bankruptcy. ..."
"... Now that the generals have gone wild under Trump we may as well admit that we're ruled by a military junta. We'll let them make all the decisions since they're so brilliant while Trump tweets and holds stupid rallies trying to convince people that he hasn't reneged on any campaign promises. ..."
Aug 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

12 Comments

"I have not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire," said Winston Churchill to cheers at the Lord Mayor's luncheon in London in November 1942. True to his word, the great man did not begin the liquidation. When his countrymen threw him out in July 1945, that role fell to Clement Attlee, who began the liquidation. Churchill, during his second premiership from 1951-1955, would continue the process, as would his successor, Harold Macmillan, until the greatest empire the world had ever seen had vanished.

While its demise was inevitable, the death of the empire was hastened and made mo re humiliating by the wars into which Churchill had helped to plunge Britain, wars that bled and bankrupted his nation. At Yalta in 1945, Stalin and FDR treated the old imperialist with something approaching bemused contempt. War is the health of the state, but the death of empires. The German, Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman empires all fell in World War I. World War II ended the Japanese and Italian empires -- with the British and French following soon after. The Soviet Empire collapsed in 1989. Afghanistan delivered the coup de grace.

Is it now the turn of the Americans? Persuaded by his generals -- Mattis at Defense, McMasters on the National Security Council, Kelly as chief of staff -- President Trump is sending some 4,000 more U.S. troops to Afghanistan to augment the 8,500 already there. Like Presidents Obama and Bush, he does not intend to preside over a U.S. defeat in its longest war. Nor do his generals. Yet how can we defeat the Taliban with 13,000 troops when we failed to do so with the 100,000 Obama sent? The new troops are to train the Afghan army to take over the war, to continue eradicating the terrorist elements like ISIS, and to prevent Kabul and other cities from falling to a Taliban now dominant in 40 percent of the country.

Yet what did the great general, whom Trump so admires, Douglas MacArthur, say of such a strategy? "War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision." Is not "prolonged indecision" what the Trump strategy promises? Is not "prolonged indecision" what the war policies of Obama and Bush produced in the last 17 years? Understandably, Americans feel they cannot walk away from this war. For there is the certainty as to what will follow when we leave.

When the British left Delhi in 1947, millions of former subjects died during the partition of the territory into Pakistan and India and the mutual slaughter of Muslims and Hindus. When the French departed Algeria in 1962, the "Harkis" they left behind paid the price of being loyal to the Mother Country. When we abandoned our allies in South Vietnam, the result was mass murder in the streets, concentration camps and hundreds of thousands of boat people in the South China Sea, a final resting place for many. In Cambodia, it was a holocaust.

Trump, however, was elected to end America's involvement in Middle East wars. And if he has been persuaded that he simply cannot liquidate these wars -- Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan -- he will likely end up sacrificing his presidency, trying to rescue the failures of those who worked hardest to keep him out of the White House.

Consider the wars, active and potential, Trump faces.

Writes Bob Merry in the fall issue of The National interest: "War between Russia and the West seems nearly inevitable. No self-respecting nation facing inexorable encirclement by an alliance of hostile neighbors can allow such pressures and forces to continue indefinitely. Eventually (Russia) must protect its interests through military action."

If Pyongyang tests another atom bomb or ICBM, some national security aides to Trump are not ruling out preventive war.

Trump himself seems hell-bent on tearing up the nuclear deal with Iran. This would lead inexorably to a U.S. ultimatum, where Iran would be expected to back down or face a war that would set the Persian Gulf ablaze.

Yet the country did not vote for confrontation or war.

America voted for Trump's promise to improve ties with Russia, to make Europe shoulder more of the cost of its defense, to annihilate ISIS and extricate us from Mideast wars, to stay out of future wars.

America voted for economic nationalism and an end to the mammoth trade deficits with the NAFTA nations, EU, Japan and China. America voted to halt the invasion across our Southern border and to reduce legal immigration to

Grandpa Charlie > , August 22, 2017 at 6:33 am GMT

I think that the case of Korea is very different from all the others, but generally I agree with Mr. Buchanan to the extent that I say: Pat Buchanan for President

Miro23 > , August 22, 2017 at 6:44 am GMT

Trump's populist-nationalist and America First agenda,

This agenda did exist and Trump used it to get elected. Once he pulled off that trick he tried to get together again (unsuccessfully) with his New York Plutocrat friends. It's that New York social background. It's always been difficult to see Trump fit together economically or socially with the America that elected him, and after he got elected he quickly weakened his ties with Middle America. So why should he complain about Fake News since he got elected on a Fake Agenda?

MEexpert > , August 22, 2017 at 7:12 am GMT

Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. This quote is so well-known that almost everyone knows it, except perhaps the politicians and the generals. Afghanistan has been called the deathbed of empires. The two recent empires to go down are the British and the Soviet. For almost 200 years the British tried to tame the Afghan tribes but couldn't. The devastation they caused did not deter the natives. It is all there in the history books for everyone to read. The Soviet empire didn't even last ten years. It cut its losses and ran.

The lack of teaching of history and geography in American schools is quite evident when one looks at the performance of American forces in Afghanistan after 17 years. Add the arrogance of the Presidents and the generals to this lack of knowledge and one can understand the disasterous results of the Afghan war. One other subject that is missing from the modern presidency is diplomacy. War over diplomacy seems to be the order of the day.

Trump, however, was elected to end America's involvement in Middle East wars. And if he has been persuaded that he simply cannot liquidate these wars -- Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan -- he will likely end up sacrificing his presidency, trying to rescue the failures of those who worked hardest to keep him out of the White House.

Trump does not even remember what he was elected to do. A man who was determined to drain the swamp is deep, up to his neck, in that swamp. The neocons and the never-Trumpers are the main decision makers in the Trump administration. All the loyal supporters have been chased out of the Trump's inner circle. A man who built his empire with his brain and shrewdness can't seem to handle the Presidency. He is trying to appease the very same people who opposed him in the election.

Trump himself seems hell-bent on tearing up the nuclear deal with Iran. This would lead inexorably to a U.S. ultimatum, where Iran would be expected to back down or face a war that would set the Persian Gulf ablaze.

It is never going to happen. Not only the Middle East would be set ablaze, but America will lose its European allies as well. The relations with Russia are already confrontational and heading fast towards an ultimate war. European allies are also confused about the US foreign policy or lack thereof. Trade war is brewing with China. The only country which is happy with this chaos is Israel.

For a smart businessman, Donald Trump can't seem to make any friends. There is a very simple solution to these wars of choice. Mr. Trump swallow your pride and bring the boys home. You will save American lives and will also earn the gratitude of the families of these soldiers. You may even bring peace to many countries around the world and people who have been displaced by these wars can return home. You may even solve the refugee problem in the process. You might even save your presidency. Give peace a chance.

Renoman > , August 22, 2017 at 8:51 am GMT

No one has ever been able to conquer Afghanistan why would America think it can? Likely just throwing a bone to the neocons. As for Iran, Trump has been beating his chest all over the World and doing nothing, again with the Neocon feeding, I don't think he has any intention of getting into anything larger than a skirmish with anyone, he's a lot smarter than he looks --

syd.bgd > , August 22, 2017 at 9:10 am GMT

Well while Mr. Buchanan is not an expert in Balkans history, or politics, as I've argued here, he is excellent in American history and politics. An article somewhat short, because he is not connecting his sharp analysis to ongoing First Amendment disaster. It comes along, obviously, but still an excellent piece.

To be copied and saved in my personal archives, anyway. I do not believe that even this site will last long. Greetings from Serbia, suicidal country controlled from that feudal fortress (US Embassy) where our Scott-Pasha resides.

Chris Dakota > , August 22, 2017 at 11:21 am GMT

It was the eclipse that swept across America to change it forever. We now know we are on our own, there is no political solution for this war. The eclipse marks the end of a war, our war, we lost. Trump extends Afghan swamp war on the very day. Eclipse was conjunct Trumps Mars, he was castrated. Doesn't mean we won't win, but it won't be via the rigged ballot box and the DC swamp.

KenH > , August 22, 2017 at 11:47 am GMT

I think The Donald offered the lame excuse that things looks much different when you're in the oval office vs. the campaign trail. That won't be any consolation to people who voted for him in the hopes that their family members in the military would be coming home soon. And it won't be any consolation to some members of his base.

Now that the generals have gone wild under Trump we may as well admit that we're ruled by a military junta. We'll let them make all the decisions since they're so brilliant while Trump tweets and holds stupid rallies trying to convince people that he hasn't reneged on any campaign promises.

But if it prevents tens of thousands of knuckle dragging Afghans steeped in a culture of violence, pedophilia and pederasty from entering America as refugees then I guess there's a silver lining.

MEH 0910 > , August 22, 2017 at 1:42 pm GMT

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/full-transcript-donald-trump-announces-his-afghanistan-policy/537552/

My original instinct was to pull out, and historically, I like following my instincts. But all my life I've heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office.

Trump isn't going to keep his campaign promises. That means he's not going to build a beautiful wall on our southern border.

Liberty Mike > , August 22, 2017 at 2:31 pm GMT

@Grandpa Charlie What is different about "the case of Korea"?

Continuing to maintain forces in South Korea continues to contribute to our bankruptcy.

Liberty Mike > , August 22, 2017 at 2:34 pm GMT

@KenH I think The Donald offered the lame excuse that things looks much different when you're in the oval office vs. the campaign trail. That won't be any consolation to people who voted for him in the hopes that their family members in the military would be coming home soon. And it won't be any consolation to some members of his base.

Now that the generals have gone wild under Trump we may as well admit that we're ruled by a military junta. We'll let them make all the decisions since they're so brilliant while Trump tweets and holds stupid rallies trying to convince people that he hasn't reneged on any campaign promises.

... ... ..

[Aug 20, 2017] A De-Putin-Nazification of America Update

Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The Washington Post ..."
Aug 20, 2017 | www.unz.com

Given the current level of hysteria, few people are going to check your facts. This is one you can really have fun with. See how far you can push the paranoia. Make up elaborate conspiracy theories. If you're not quite sure how to go about that, check The New York Times or The Washington Post they're masters of that kind of thing.

Your anti-Nazi loyalty oath should definitely not include any of the following:

(1) Any mention of the Ukrainian Nazis that Obama, Clinton, and the rest of the Resistance (before it was the Resistance, of course) helped regime-change the Ukrainian government when it wouldn't play ball with the EU and NATO. Mentioning the Resistance's support of these Nazis would only confuse those reading your oath, who might not understand that there are good Nazis and bad Nazis, and who have probably forgotten how the US government smuggled a number of actual Nazis (i.e., members of the NSDAP) into America after WWII or how, since the end of that war, the United States has mass murdered countless millions of people all over the planet (but, technically, not in a genocidal fashion, so that doesn't make us the same as Nazis).

(2) Actual membership figures on neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups, because those figures are pathetically small. Doing this would make your loyalty oath (not to mention the whole Nazi hysteria thing, generally) seem, if not paranoid, then at least absurd, or like part of some manufactured effort to whip up support for a ruling class coup by waving Nazis in front of everyone's faces. This would be extremely counterproductive. Remember, one of the primary goals of the De-Putin-Nazification program is to convince the public that Richard Spencer (and the handful of other insignificant idiots that the corporate media is showering with publicity) is about to lead an overwhelming force of tiki torch-bearing neo-Nazis into the streets of American cities to battle the hyper-militarized police, the national guard, and the US military, or some other preposterous scenario like that.

(3) Any reference whatsoever to the corporatocracy that runs the country, and that normally decides who can run for president, and which is currently making an example of Trump in order to dissuade any future billionaires from having the audacity to fuck with them. You'll be better off avoiding this subject entirely, as it only reminds folks how screwed they are, and how, odds are, they're probably all worked up about something the corporate-owned media wanted to get them all worked up about, neo-Nazis, Russian hackers, nuclear war with North Korea, Syrian gas attacks, lone wolf terrorists, weapons of mass destruction, or whatever. Take it from someone who's worked in show business. No one likes being made aware of how they are being manipulated or provided with a binary set of officially acceptable contextual parameters within which they can think and speak.

But don't worry too much about that binary stuff. There'll be plenty of time to get into all that after we rid the world of these Nazis, and these racists, and all these Confederate statues. And Trump, of course. That's the main thing getting rid of Donald Trump, and getting a Democrat back in office. Oh, yeah and the books. We need to look at the books. God knows how many Confederate books are still out there in the public libraries, and in people's homes, where children can read them. We'll need to get to the books eventually.

In the meantime, focus on Priority One. Go hard on the Nazi hysteria, at least throughout the rest of the weekend, after which they'll probably need to switch us back to the Russia hysteria, or possibly the North Korea hysteria, or damn, see? Here I go with that contextual parameter stuff again. I've really got to stop doing that. The last thing I need is to get myself accused of being some kind of Nazi sympathizer, or Confederate apologist, or Russian propagandist, or extremist, or terrorist, or, you know whatever.

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. He can reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org

Brabantian > , Website August 19, 2017 at 9:37 am GMT

Indeed it is hysteria & the madness of crowds in the USA, to a degree never seen before in our lifetimes

Perhaps the cleverness of Trump & others with him, is instinctively understanding that, this hysteria cannot be directly defused given its elite & corp media support, but now the fire must simply be left to run its course, until it burns itself out, in the end forcing a widespread recognition of the absurdity, & enduring shame for those who fostered it

This may explain including such nominal feints such as the jettisoning of 'goy' top advisor Steve Bannon to give the antifa etc hysterics more fuel for their fires

Interesting article by, of all people, David P Goldman aka 'Spengler' of Asia Times, arguing that Donald Trump may at the moment be making an extremely clever riverboat gamble -

Siding with the more common-sense ordinary people of both USA Democrat & Republican political parties, as those parties implode and split into pieces, & possibly building a new, core, more sensible political centre once the current hysteria has run its course

Trump will reach out to Democratic voters who are alienated from a leadership that has devoted most of its energy to a radical social agenda instead of bread-and-butter solutions, and he will appear to a majority of his own party. I do not know whether he will succeed; if he does, the self-inflicted wounds to the erstwhile arbiters of American opinion will be fatal.

'The Bloody Shirt of Charlottesville and its unintended consequences'

http://www.atimes.com/unintended-consequences-charlottesville/

Renoman > , August 19, 2017 at 10:54 am GMT

Good article, thank you.

War for Blair Mountain > , August 19, 2017 at 11:39 am GMT

When all the Confederate Statutes are taken down, what replaces them?

The Anti-fascist replacement:go google photos of Hillary Clinton pick the Hillary Clinton photo with Hillary wearing the most hideous of her pantsuits that's the one that will replace General Lee .A statue of a psychopathic War Criminal bulldyke who was organized and gave the order to mass murder Conservative Russian Christians in the Eastern Ukraine on behalf of Neo-Nazis.

Hillary Clinton created Al QUEDA and ISIS .enabler of Ukraino Nazis ..

Hillary Clinton..the poster girl for the Antifa Tranny Freaks .and the cucked White Protestant Male Ministers standing up to hate in Charlottesville

anonymous > , Disclaimer August 19, 2017 at 12:58 pm GMT

Nicely provocative, an essay that seems more likely than a lot published here to get through to Americans not yet divided-and-conquered.

Another way to help people you know and care about to get beyond the TV-level dumbshittery afflicting the country: posit whether ANY statue, plaque, etc., of ANY politician, military "hero," or other person being thus celebrated for exercising governmental authority is worth funding with taxation, much less squabbling over.

Every sheep gets sheared.

Michael Kenny > , August 19, 2017 at 2:14 pm GMT

Yet another panic reaction to Charlottesville, I suppose. Small correction of fact: the Ukrainian government wasn't overthrown when it wouldn't play ball with the EU and NATO. Quite the contrary, indeed. It was when Yanukovych decided that he would sign the EU association agreement that he was overthrown or, more correctly, that he simply fled. NATO was never an issue. As with Mr Zuesse, the polemical style and the pro-Putin line suggest growing fear in the pro-Putin camp.

Seamus Padraig > , August 19, 2017 at 3:48 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny Yet another panic reaction to Charlottesville, I suppose. Small correction of fact: the Ukrainian government wasn't overthrown when it wouldn't play ball with the EU and NATO. Quite the contrary, indeed. It was when Yanukovych decided that he would sign the EU association agreement that he was overthrown or, more correctly, that he simply fled. NATO was never an issue. As with Mr Zuesse, the polemical style and the pro-Putin line suggest growing fear in the pro-Putin camp. As usual, you're dead wrong. Yanuvovich ultimately did not sign the EU agreement:

The political provisions of the treaty were signed on 21 March 2014 after a series of events that had stalled its ratification culminated in a revolution in Ukraine and overthrow of the then incumbent President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. This ousting was sparked by Yanukovych's refusal to sign the agreement.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukraine%E2%80%93European_Union_Association_Agreement

As far as NATO is concerned, it is unlikely that Ukraine will be joining in the near future, because of Transnistria and because it has two border disputes with Russia. But the country can still be used as a cat's paw to get at Russia (just like Georgia under Sakashvili), which is even better from Washington's point of view, since they don't even have to give the Ukies any security guarantees if they get into trouble with Russia (again, just like Georgia under Sakashvili).

Anon > , Disclaimer August 19, 2017 at 7:05 pm GMT

You are right, hypocrisy rules. What else is new? Civil war has nothing to do with what happened in Charlottesville. These monuments stood for ~100 years or longer and caused no violence. It is important to face this fact, as well as the fact that the violence in Charlottesville was started by self-proclaimed "liberals". Considering how shamelessly they push lies in the media and how they violently suppress any opinion that differs from theirs, these "liberals" are anything but. What we are witnessing is yet another string of provocations by those who are sore that their beloved mad witch spent twice as much money as Trump and lost. Mind you, I am no fan of Trump, but I don't trust that lying corrupt to the core "alternative" an inch. As far as Hillary is concerned, from my viewpoint her gender does not matter. What matters is massive fraud in the Democratic primaries (that's why Debbie Wasserman-Schulz resigned as a head of DNC in 2016 right before the convention she presumably prepared), as well as the fact that Hillary never gave a speech w/o at least $100,000 "speaking fee", took vast amounts of money from the most unsavory sources, including Saudi Arabia (the same one that murders people by public beheading with a curved sword, exactly like ISIS, and keeps murdering hundreds of civilians in Yemen), and was openly supported by the most notorious neocons from both parties. I would not trust a male with this kind of record, either.
Trump's words that removal of monuments is "sad" and "so foolish" arguably are his first intelligent utterance in months. History does not change no matter what people do, and it has a way of punishing those who forget or try to erase it. Only cowardly scum fights monuments. I am deeply ashamed that some scenes from my country resemble those earlier seen in hopeless basket cases, like present-day Ukraine.

SolontoCroesus > , August 19, 2017 at 9:32 pm GMT

@Priss Factor https://twitter.com/Breaking911/status/898978484709666821

Look, events in Boston vindicating the Alt Right narrative in Charlottesville.

All the violence is instigated by 'counter-protesters', as the globalist CBS calls them.

They are Antifanissary thugs and lunatics who oppose free speech and side with Wall Street and the War State.

I'm glad this event happened. At this event, there were no Confed flags, no one with Nazi flag, and no extremists.

There were only patriots defending free speech, but the Antifanissary scum attack just the same.

Trump should talk about this.

Globalist War on Free Speech and Free Assembly.

Barking dogs on leash who can't tolerate the howl of free wolves.

Thank the Police on this. The State, in this case, defended those defending freedom of speech and assembly.

But the Corporations will all side with PC Proglodytes.
But there will be blowback. Just like the Jihadis supported by the US turned on the West, these Antifa scum will turn around and bite the corpies.

In a way, the bogeyman of 'nazi' is very useful to corporations. Capitalists know that the Far Left hates them and wanna smash windows, burn down Starbucks, create havoc in upscale cities like Seattle, and etc. And capitalists fear BLM and black thugs too.

If 'nazis' didn't exist, these restless Antifa and BLM would likely be doing Occupy Wall Street, rioting in gentrified parts of town, attacking yuppies and hipsters, and attacking GREED.

But if there are 'nazis' as bogeyman, the corporations can direct all Antifa and BLM rage at the 'white supremacists' who actually have no power and wealth.
Also, as having sponsored the Antifa and BLM, the corpies hope that the far-left and black thugs will be grateful and not attack them.

But there is blowback sometime down the line. you've made an important point, Priss: "Nazi," "Hitler," "Swastika" and "Holocaust ™ " are brands created by and for corporate interests; the narrative behind these brands does NOT represent history, it is the product of Bernays/hasbara. That is, its basic appeal is to emotion, deliberately bypassing reason and critical analysis.

Corporatists, zionists and Jews *** are striking back as hard as they are, and attempting to associate "hate" with "Nazi" as often as they can, in an exercise in Brand Spanking: as Sam Shama let slip the other day, spanking the Nazi etc. brand is essential because more and more people are waking up .

Charlottesville was, indeed, a set-up: some PR shop managed the affair and cucksertive media are following the script to a Tee.

On C Span on Aug 15, John McArdle hosted an exercise in propaganda so obvious you have to wonder if UVa might consider rescinding his diploma. McArdle invited callers to opine on Trump's statement on the C'ville events; in the 61 minute program, he spoke the word "hate" 41 times: once every 90 seconds.

"Hate" was associated with "white" at every opportunity.
If a caller failed to link "hate" with "white/supremacists/nationalist," McArdle prompted them to do so.

https://www.c-span.org/schedule/?date=2017-08-15

The history of the era of the European-Jewish wars is a radically different entity from the branding.

Before the history can be made more fully consistent with reality ! an absolute essential for a the "well informed citizens" in a representative form of government ! the "Nazi" etc. brands have got to be torn apart: shattered, fragmented.

One of Eddie Bermays's first triumphs was to persuade elite women that smoking cigarettes was chic.

Years and many deaths later, cigarettes now carry a warning from the Surgeon General that cigarettes can kill you.

The same thing has to happen to the deadly way the Jewish PR/media has bastardized "Nazi" Hitler" "Swastika" .

It must be made clear in every instance that the people who inserted the toxic ingredients in those brands had only their own revenue stream in view, and not full and truthful information for the American public.

!!!

*** Jews ! and they can be named & should be shamed ! were at the vanguard of branding "Nazi" "Hitler" and "Swastika" with the epithet Hate nearly a decade before a single hair on a Jewish head was so much as mussed: James Waterman Wise, son of Rabbi Stephen Wise, published a book titled "Swastika" in about May, 1933.
The book opened with the declaration that "the swastika represents hatred of the Jew."

https://www.amazon.com/Swastika-Nazi-terror-James-Waterman/dp/B00086B93S/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1472385235&sr=8-3&keywords=swastika+the+nazi+terror

In fact, and contrary to the sappy tale related in some video docs, the design of the Swastika/banner is based on a Harvard banner https://www.shutterstock.com/editor/image/197551868?exit=%2Fimage-photo%2F197551868&ref=image-photo (in the 1800s, Harvard football banners borethe letter H in a white shield, on a red field) , just as "Seig Heil" is based on Harvard football cheers.

SolontoCroesus > , August 20, 2017 at 1:58 am GMT

@Anon I've listened to nearly a 24-hour day's worth of C Span programming about Charlottesville; I've heard "hate" and "Nazi" and "KKK" and "white supremacy" said so many time my ears are numb and my cerebral cortex overdosed.

I have NOT heard, in all that C Span programming, one, single, solitary guest or journo-phoner discuss what Robert E. Lee stood for; or his correspondence with Lord Acton, about the necessity of state sovereignty to guard against an oppressive centralized power that could take a country to war with no bulwark against its force.

Incredibly ! and I have to post this for all to see: a Jewish woman called C Span to complain that Jewish interests were not represented in C Span programming on Charlottesville.
Here's what she said:

Moderator: Let's go to Virginia Beach, Virginia; Betty is on the line for Democrats:

BETTY: Good morning. Thank you for C Span. I want to say one thing. The two gentlemen you just had on were fine, *** but I'm extremely disappointed because I happen to be Jewish and I was in Connecticut, which I'm originally from Newtown, Connecticut [and spent ] the last weekend there visiting my family there.
I heard more news when I got home. But what I'm disappointed about ! I don't know if C Span ever invited ! I know you've had Jewish people on talking before, but with the Charlottesville thing, I don't know if you've invited anybody from the Anti Defamation League or a rabbi or some other Jewish person to come on, representing a group, because it's awful with the KKK but it's also awful with these Nazis marching ! Nazis marching down in Charlottesville! Both groups are – are- are terrible. It was a horrible thing to see such a thing in 2017 in the United States of America.
And one other thing, and I mean, these other networks, I mean, I don't just sit home and watch TV but I watch C Span, I watch CNN, I watch MSNBC quite a bit !
I haven't seen too many uh Jewish commentators come out and talk. And I really I appreciate and respect the Black commentators that have come on, but I don't know why there hasn't just! Let me make one more comment please:
All the Jews and people of color that are in ! I don't think there's too many, but the ones that are in the Trump administration really should resign after what he said.
I'm glad Steve Bannon is gone. But he uh he uh Trump himself in my opinion is a sympathizer to these groups, that's how I feel, I mean that's how I feel.
And just, I mean, y'know uh uh they're wimps, and especially his son-in-law. He's supposed to be an Orthodox Jew? No, I'm not even a religious Jew, but I mean in my heart, that's what I am. But I mean, he's a wimp! He shouldn't be in there with his father-in-law! He should get up and walk out! That's how I feel.
And real quick !I was so proud to get a letter from President Obama ! I was always going to write him ! I always been a big supporter of his from the very very beginning. And uh I wrote him a letter before he left office, and now I have a framed letter from President Obama on my wall and I'm very very grateful for that.
Thank you very much for allowing me to make my comments.I00:10:04

Mod. Geoff Bennett: Thank you for your suggestion about our programming. We will take it under consideration.

In fact, several persons who are "Jewish in their hearts" (or at least their names) appeared on C Span to explain the many sins of the "white supremacists."

Several highly informative Black people also were guests at the C Span table. Two of them, Robert Woodson and Prof. Bernard Anderson of Princeton University, were highly critical of the cult of victimization that is besetting the Black community. https://www.c-span.org/video/?432749-4/washington-journal-robert-woodson-bernard-anderson-discuss-race-relations-us

Over the course of 6 days, I heard only ONE (white male) guest who had been on the scene, who had a journalist's eye, and who provided a larger perspective than "Nazis . . . hate . . . white supremacist." That was Joe Thomas, a Charlottesville-based conservative radio talk show host with 30 years experience in the city. His commentary is here: https://www.c-span.org/video/?432556-3/charlottesville-radio-host-discusses-aftermath-white-nationalist-protests-violence

The one group (in addition to sound historians on Robert E Lee) that was not represented in C Span program over the course of this hysteria was a single representative of the Unite the Right project.

There are plenty of articulate voices that C Span could have hosted to better inform its audience.

Paul Craig Roberts's article, here ,

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/08/15/america-propaganda-vanquished-truth/

would make a very useful contribution to the knowledge-base of the C Span audience.

Surely C Span producers are aware of the work of persons like Roberts, and of Giraldi and Ray McGovern.

They don't want those voices to be heard.

Go get 'em, Betty; the world is your (kosher) oyster.

[Aug 19, 2017] Vassal Aristocracies Increasingly Resist Control by US Aristocracy by Eric Zuesse

Notable quotes:
"... The MIC is their collective arm, and their collective fist. It is not the American public's global enforcer; it is the American aristocracy's fist, around the world. ..."
"... The MIC (via its military contractors such as Lockheed Martin) also constitutes a core part of the U.S. aristocracy's wealth (the part that's extracted from the U.S. taxpaying public via the U.S. government), and also (by means of those privately-owned contractors, plus the taxpayer-funded U.S. armed forces) it protects these aristocrats' wealth in foreign countries. Though paid by the U.S. government, the MIC does the protection-and-enforcement jobs for the nation's super-rich. ..."
"... So, the MIC is the global bully's fist, and the global bully is the U.S. aristocracy -- America's billionaires, most especially the controlling stockholders in the U.S.-based international corporations. These are the people the U.S. government actually represents . The links document this, and it's essential to know, if one is to understand current events. ..."
"... This massacre didn't play well on local Crimean television. Immediately, a movement to secede and to again become a part of Russia started, and spread like wildfire in Crimea. (Crimea had been only involuntarily transferred from Russia to Ukraine by the Soviet dictator Khrushchev in 1954; it had been part of Russia for the hundreds of years prior to 1954. It was culturally Russian.) Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, said that if they'd vote for it in a referendum, then Russia would accept them back into the Russian Federation and provide them protection as Russian citizens. ..."
"... The latest round of these sanctions was imposed not by Executive Order from a U.S. President, but instead by a new U.S. law, "H.R.3364 -- Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act" , which in July 2017 was passed by 98-2 in the Senate and 419-3 in the House , and which not only stated outright lies (endorsed there by virtually everyone in Congress), but which was backed up by lies from the U.S. Intelligence Community that were accepted and endorsed totally uncritically by 98 Senators and 419 Representatives . (One might simply assume that all of those Senators and Representatives were ignorant of the way things work and were not intentionally lying in order to vote for these lies from the Intelligence Community, but these people actually wouldn't have wrangled their ways into Congress and gotten this far at the game if they hadn't already known that the U.S. Intelligence Community is designed not only to inform the President but to help him to deceive the public and therefore can't be trusted by anyone but the President . ..."
Aug 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

The tumultuous events that dominate international news today cannot be accurately understood outside of their underlying context, which connects them together, into a broader narrative -- the actual history of our time . History makes sense, even if news-reports about these events don't. Propagandistic motivations cause such essential facts to be reported little (if at all) in the news, so that the most important matters for the public to know, get left out of news-accounts about those international events.

The purpose here will be to provide that context, for our time.

First, this essential background will be summarized; then, it will be documented (via the links that will be provided here), up till the present moment -- the current news: America's aristocracy controls both the U.S. federal government and press , but (as will be documented later here) is facing increasing resistance from its many vassal (subordinate) aristocracies around the world (popularly called "America's allied nations"); and this growing international resistance presents a new challenge to the U.S. military-industrial complex (MIC), which is controlled by that same aristocracy and enforces their will worldwide. The MIC is responding to the demands of its aristocratic master. This response largely drives international events today (which countries get invaded, which ones get overthrown by coups, etc.), but the ultimate driving force behind today's international news is the aristocracy that the MIC represents, the billionaires behind the MIC, because theirs is the collective will that drives the MIC. The MIC is their collective arm, and their collective fist. It is not the American public's global enforcer; it is the American aristocracy's fist, around the world.

The MIC (via its military contractors such as Lockheed Martin) also constitutes a core part of the U.S. aristocracy's wealth (the part that's extracted from the U.S. taxpaying public via the U.S. government), and also (by means of those privately-owned contractors, plus the taxpayer-funded U.S. armed forces) it protects these aristocrats' wealth in foreign countries. Though paid by the U.S. government, the MIC does the protection-and-enforcement jobs for the nation's super-rich.

Furthermore, the MIC is crucial to them in other ways, serving not only directly as their "policeman to the world," but also indirectly (by that means) as a global protection-racket that keeps their many subordinate aristocracies in line, under their control -- and that threatens those foreign aristocrats with encroachments against their own territory, whenever a vassal aristocracy resists the master-aristocracy's will. (International law is never enforced against the U.S., not even after it invaded Iraq in 2003.) So, the MIC is the global bully's fist, and the global bully is the U.S. aristocracy -- America's billionaires, most especially the controlling stockholders in the U.S.-based international corporations. These are the people the U.S. government actually represents . The links document this, and it's essential to know, if one is to understand current events.

For the first time ever, a global trend is emerging toward declining control of the world by America's billionaire-class -- into the direction of ultimately replacing the U.S. Empire, by increasingly independent trading-blocs: alliances between aristocracies, replacing this hierarchical control of one aristocracy over another. Ours is becoming a multi-polar world, and America's aristocracy is struggling mightily against this trend, desperate to continue remaining the one global imperial power -- or, as U.S. President Barack Obama often referred to the U.S. government, "The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation. That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come." To America's aristocrats, all other nations than the U.S. are "dispensable." All American allies have to accept it. This is the imperial mindset, both for the master, and for the vassal. The uni-polar world can't function otherwise. Vassals must pay (extract from their nation's public, and then transfer) protection-money, to the master, in order to be safe -- to retain their existing power, to exploit their given nation's public.

The recently growing role of economic sanctions (more accurately called "Weaponization of finance" ) by the United States and its vassals, has been central to the operation of this hierarchical imperial system, but is now being increasingly challenged from below, by some of the vassals. Alliances are breaking up over America's mounting use of sanctions, and new alliances are being formed and cemented to replace the imperial system -- replace it by a system without any clear center of global power, in the world that we're moving into. Economic sanctions have been the U.S. empire's chief weapon to impose its will against any challengers to U.S. global control, and are thus becoming the chief locus of the old order's fractures .

This global order cannot be maintained by the MIC alone; the more that the MIC fails (such as in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, ), the more that economic sanctions rise to become the essential tool of the imperial masters. We are increasingly in the era of economic sanctions. And, now, we're entering the backlash-phase of it.

A turning-point in escalating the weaponization of finance was reached in February 2014 when a Ukrainian coup that the Obama Administration had started planning by no later than 2011, culminated successfully in installing a rabidly anti-Russian government on Russia's border, and precipitated the breakaway from Ukraine of two regions (Crimea and Donbass) that had voted overwhelmingly for the man the U.S. regime had just overthrown . This coup in Ukraine was the most direct aggressive act against Russia since the Cold War had 'ended' (it had actually ended on the Russian side, but not on the American side, where it continues ) in 1991. During this coup in Kiev, on February 20th of 2014, hundreds of Crimeans, who had been peacefully demonstrating there with placards against this coup (which coup itself was very violent -- against the police, not by them -- the exact opposite of the way that "the Maidan demonstrations" had been portrayed in the Western press at the time), were attacked by the U.S.-paid thugs and scrambled back into their buses to return home to Crimea but were stopped en-route in central Ukraine and an uncounted number of them were massacred in the Ukrainian town of Korsun by the same group of thugs who had chased them out of Kiev .

This massacre didn't play well on local Crimean television. Immediately, a movement to secede and to again become a part of Russia started, and spread like wildfire in Crimea. (Crimea had been only involuntarily transferred from Russia to Ukraine by the Soviet dictator Khrushchev in 1954; it had been part of Russia for the hundreds of years prior to 1954. It was culturally Russian.) Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, said that if they'd vote for it in a referendum, then Russia would accept them back into the Russian Federation and provide them protection as Russian citizens.

On 6 March 2014, U.S. President Obama issued "Executive Order -- Blocking Property of Certain Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine" , and ignored the internationally recognized-in-law right of self-determination of peoples (though he recognized that right in Catalonia and in Scotland), and he instead simply declared that Ukraine's "sovereignty" over Crimea was sacrosanct (even though it had been imposed upon Crimeans by the Soviet dictator -- America's enemy -- in 1954, during the Soviet era, when America opposed, instead of favored and imposed, dictatorship around the world, except in Iran and Guatemala, where America imposed dictatorships even that early). Obama's Executive Order was against unnamed "persons who have asserted governmental authority in the Crimean region without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine." He insisted that the people who had just grabbed control of Ukraine and massacred Crimeans (his own Administration's paid far-right Ukrainian thugs, who were racist anti-Russians ), must be allowed to rule Crimea, regardless of what Crimeans (traditionally a part of Russia) might -- and did -- want. America's vassal aristocracies then imposed their own sanctions against Russia when on 16 March 2014 Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to rejoin the Russian Federation . Thus started the successive rounds of economic sanctions against Russia, by the U.S. government and its vassal-nations . (As is shown by that link, they knew that this had been a coup and no authentic 'democratic revolution' such as the Western press was portraying it to have been, and yet they kept quiet about it -- a secret their public would not be allowed to know.)

The latest round of these sanctions was imposed not by Executive Order from a U.S. President, but instead by a new U.S. law, "H.R.3364 -- Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act" , which in July 2017 was passed by 98-2 in the Senate and 419-3 in the House , and which not only stated outright lies (endorsed there by virtually everyone in Congress), but which was backed up by lies from the U.S. Intelligence Community that were accepted and endorsed totally uncritically by 98 Senators and 419 Representatives . (One might simply assume that all of those Senators and Representatives were ignorant of the way things work and were not intentionally lying in order to vote for these lies from the Intelligence Community, but these people actually wouldn't have wrangled their ways into Congress and gotten this far at the game if they hadn't already known that the U.S. Intelligence Community is designed not only to inform the President but to help him to deceive the public and therefore can't be trusted by anyone but the President .

It's basic knowledge about the U.S. government, and they know it, though the public don't.) The great independent columnist Paul Craig Roberts headlined on August 1st, "Trump's Choices" and argued that President Donald Trump should veto the bill despite its overwhelming support in Washington, but instead Trump signed it into law on August 2nd and thus joined participation in the overt stage -- the Obama stage -- of the U.S. government's continuation of the Cold War that U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush had secretly instituted against Russia on 24 February 1990 , and that, under Obama, finally escalated into a hot war against Russia. The first phase of this hot war against Russia is via the "Weaponization of finance" (those sanctions). However, as usual, it's also backed up by major increases in physical weaponry , and by the cooperation of America's vassals in order to surround Russia with nuclear weapons near and on Russia's borders , in preparation for a possible blitz first-strike nuclear attack upon Russia -- preparations that the Russian people know about and greatly fear, but which are largely hidden by the Western press, and therefore only very few Westerners are aware that their own governments have become lying aggressors.

Some excellent news-commentaries have been published about this matter, online, by a few 'alternative news' sites (and that 'alt-news' group includes all of the reliably honest news-sites, but also includes unfortunately many sites that are as dishonest as the mainstream ones are -- and that latter type aren't being referred to here), such as (and only the best sites and articles will be linked-to on this):

All three of those articles discuss how these new sanctions are driving other nations to separate themselves, more and more, away from the economic grip of the U.S. aristocracy, and to form instead their own alliances with one-another, so as to defend themselves, collectively, from U.S. economic (if not also military) aggression. Major recent news-developments on this, have included (all here from rt dot com):

"'US, EU meddle in other countries & kill people under guise of human rights concerns' – Duterte", and presented Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte explaining why he rejects the U.S. aristocracy's hypocritical pronouncements and condemnations regarding its vassals among the world's poorer and struggling nations, such as his. Of course, none of this information is publishable in the West -- in the Western 'democracies'. It's 'fake news', as far as The Empire is concerned. So, if you're in The (now declining) Empire, you're not supposed to be reading this. That's why the mainstream 'news'media (to all of which this article is being submitted for publication, without fee, for any of them that want to break their existing corrupt mold) don't publish this sort of news -- 'fake news' (that's of the solidly documented type, such as this). You'll see such news reported only in the few honest newsmedia. The rule for the aristocracy's 'news'media is: report what happened, only on the basis of the government's lies as to why it happened -- never expose such lies (the official lies). What's official is 'true' . That, too, is an essential part of the imperial system.

The front cover of the American aristocracy's TIME magazine's Asian edition, dated September 25, 2016, had been headlined "Night Falls on the Philippines: The tragic cost of President Duterte's war on drugs" . The 'news'-story, which was featured inside not just the Asian but all editions, was "Inside Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's War On Drugs" , and it portrayed Duterte as a far-right demagogue who was giving his nation's police free reign to murder anyone they wished to, especially the poor. On 17 July 2017, China's Xinhua News Agency bannered "Philippines' Duterte enjoys high approval rating at 82 percent: poll" , and reported: "A survey by Pulse Asia Inc. conducted from June 24 to June 29 showed that 82 percent of the 1,200 people surveyed nationwide approved the way Duterte runs the country. Out of all the respondents, the poll said 13 percent were undecided about Duterte's performance, while 5 percent disapproved Duterte's performance. Duterte, who assumed the presidency in June last year, ends his single, six-year term in 2022." Obviously, it's not likely that the TIME cover story had actually been honest. But, of course, America's billionaires are even more eager to overthrow Russia's President, Putin.

Western polling firms can freely poll Russians, and do poll them on lots but not on approval or disapproval of President Putin , because he always scores above 80%, and America's aristocrats also don't like finding that confirmed, and certainly don't want to report it. Polling is routinely done in Russia, by Russian pollsters, on voters' ratings of approval/disapproval of Putin's performance. Because America's aristocrats don't like the findings, they say that Russians are in such fear of Putin they don't tell the truth about this, or else that Russia's newsmedia constantly lie about him to cover up the ugly reality about him.

However, the Western academic journal Post-Soviet Affairs (which is a mainstream Western publication) included in their January/February 2017 issue a study, "Is Putin's Popularity Real?" and the investigators reported the results of their own poll of Russians, which was designed to tap into whether such fear exists and serves as a distorting factor in those Russian polls, but concluded that the findings in Russia's polls could not be explained by any such factor; and that, yes, Putin's popularity among Russians is real. The article's closing words were: "Our results suggest that the main obstacle at present to the emergence of a widespread opposition movement to Putin is not that Russians are afraid to voice their disapproval of Putin, but that Putin is in fact quite popular."

The U.S. aristocracy's efforts to get resistant heads-of-state overthrown by 'democratic revolutions' (which usually is done by the U.S. government to overthrow democratically elected Presidents -- such as Mossadegh, Arbenz, Allende, Zelaya, Yanukovych, and attempted against Assad, and wished against Putin, and against Duterte -- not overthrowing dictators such as the U.S. government always claims) have almost consistently failed, and therefore coups and invasions have been used instead, but those techniques demand that certain realities be suppressed by their 'news'media in order to get the U.S. public to support what the government has done -- the U.S. government's international crime, which is never prosecuted. Lying 'news' media in order to 'earn' the American public's support, does not produce enthusiastic support, but, at best, over the long term, it produces only tepid support (support that's usually below the level of that of the governments the U.S. overthrows). U.S. Presidents never score above 80% except when they order an invasion in response to a violent attack by foreigners, such as happened when George W. Bush attacked Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of 9/11, but those 80%+ approval ratings fade quickly; and, after the 1960s, U.S. Presidential job-approvals have generally been below 60% .

President Trump's ratings are currently around 40%. Although Trump is not as conservative -- not as far-right -- as the U.S. aristocracy wants him to be, he is fascist ; just not enough to satisfy them (and their oppostion isn't because he's unpopular among the public; it's more the case that he's unpopular largely because their 'news'media concentrate on his bads, and distort his goods to appear bad -- e.g., suggesting that he's not sufficiently aggressive against Russia). His fascism on domestic affairs is honestly reported in the aristocracy's 'news'media, which appear to be doing all they can to get him replaced by his Vice President, Mike Pence. What's not reported by their media is the fascism of the U.S. aristocracy itself, and of their international agenda (global conquest). That's their secret, of which their public must be (and is) constantly kept ignorant. America's aristocracy has almost as much trouble contolling its domestic public as it has controlling its foreign vassals. Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity .

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Fidelios Automata > , August 19, 2017 at 2:22 am GMT

Fascism is defined as a system that combines private monopolies and despotic government power. It is sometimes racist but not necessarily so. By the correct definition, every President since at least Herbert Hoover has been fascist to some degree.

exiled off mainstreet > , August 19, 2017 at 4:21 am GMT

One bit of silver lining in the deep-state propaganda effort to destabilise the Trump regime is the damage to the legitimacy of the yankee imperium it confers, making it easier for vassal states to begin to jump ship. The claims of extraterritorial power used for economic warfare might confer a similar benefit, since the erstwhile allies will want to escape the dominance of the yankee dollar to be able to escape the economic extortion practised by the yankee regime to achieve its control abroad.

WorkingClass > , August 19, 2017 at 4:43 am GMT

Good news – The beast is dying. Bad news – We Americans are in its belly.

Wally > , August 19, 2017 at 6:00 am GMT

"America's aristocracy" = lying Israel First Zionists. Why doesn't Eric Zuesse just say the truth? What is he afraid of?

Must read:

jilles dykstra > , August 19, 2017 at 6:31 am GMT

" America's aristocracy has almost as much trouble controlling its domestic public as it has controlling its foreign vassals. "

These foreign vassals had a cozy existence as long as the USA made it clear it wanted to control the world. Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs Ben Bot made this quite clear whan the Netherlands did not have a USA ambassador for three months or so, Ben Bot complained to the USA that there should be a USA ambassador.
He was not used to take decisions all by himself.

Right now Europe's queen Merkel has the same problem, unlike Obama Trump does not hold her hand.

Grandpa Charlie > , August 19, 2017 at 6:38 am GMT

Fidelios,

Yes, of course. I don't know about before Herbert Hoover, but certainly during the 50s, business -- monopolistic or oligopolistic (like the old Detroit auto industry) -- and government (including the MIC) were closely integrated. Such was, indeed, as aspect of progressivism. It was considered by most to be a good thing, or at least to be the natural and normal state of affairs. Certainly, the system back then included what amounted to price-fixing as a normal business practice.

On the other hand, the "despotic" thing is less clear. Some assert that since FDR was effectively a dictator during World War II, that therefore the Democratic Party represented despotism ever since FDR (or maybe ever since Wilson).

Having lived through that period of time, I have to say that I am not so sure about that: if it was despotism, it was a heavily democratic and beneficent despotism. However, it is evident that there was a fascist skein running through the entirety of USA's political history throughout the 20th Century.

jilles dykstra > , August 19, 2017 at 6:40 am GMT

@Fidelios Automata

Fascism originates from Mussolini's Italy. It was anti socialist and anti communist, it of course was pro Italian, Italy's great deeds in antiquity, the Roman empire, were celebrated.

One can see this as racist, but as Italy consisted of mostly Italians, it was not racist in the present meaning of the word at all. Italy was very hesitant in persecuting jews, for example. Hitler depised Mussolini, Mussolini was an ally that weakened Germany. Hitler and Mussolini agreed in their hatred of communism.

Calling Hitler a fascist just creates confusion. All discussions of what nowadays fascism is, our could mean, end like rivers in the desert.

Priss Factor > , August 19, 2017 at 7:52 am GMT

Come on

'Aristocracy' and 'fascist' are all weasel words. (I'm the only true fascist btw, and it's National Humanism, National Left, or Left-Right.)

US is an ethnogarchy, and that really matters. The Power rules, but the nature of the Power is shaped by the biases of the ruling ethnic group.

It is essentially ruled by Jewish Supremacists.

Now, if not for Jews, another group might have supreme power, and it might be problematic in its own way. BUT, the agenda would be different.

Suppose Chinese-Americans controlled much of media, finance, academia, deep state, and etc. They might be just as corrupt or more so than Jews, BUT their agenda would be different. They would not be hateful to Iran, Russia, Syria, or to Palestinians. And they won't care about Israel.

They would have their own biases and agendas, but they would still be different from Jewish obsessions.

Or suppose the top elites of the US were Poles. Now, US policy may be very anti-Russian BUT for reasons different from those of Jews.

So, we won't learn much by just throwing words like 'fascist' or 'aristocrat' around.

We have to be more specific. Hitler was 'fascist' and so was Rohm. But Hitler had Rohm wiped out.

Surely, a Zionist 'fascist' had different goals than an Iranian 'fascist'.

One might say the Old South African regime was 'fascist'. Well, today's piggish ANC is also 'fascist', if by 'fascist' we mean power-hungry tyrants. But black 'fascists' want something different from what white 'fascists' wanted.

It's like all football players are in football. But to understand what is going on, we have to know WHICH team they play for.

Jewish Elites don't just play for power. They play for Jewish power.

jacques sheete > , August 19, 2017 at 11:42 am GMT

Good summary of where we're at, but please don't call the ruling goons aristocrats. The word, "aristocrat," is derived from the Ancient Greek ἄριστος (áristos, "best"), and the ruling thugs in this country have never been the best at anything except lies, murder and theft.

I realize that calling them violent bloodthirsty sociopathic parasites is a mouthful, and that "plutacrats" doesn't have quite the appropriate sting, but perhaps it's more accurate.

Or maybe we should get into the habit of calling them the "ruling mafiosi." I'm open to suggestions.

"Goonocrats"?

Anon > , Disclaimer August 19, 2017 at 12:56 pm GMT

and that threatens those foreign aristocrats with encroachments against their own territory, whenever a vassal aristocracy resists the master-aristocracy's will.

They also -- through the joint action of Rating Agencies, the Anglosaxon media, the vassal vassal states' media, make national debt's yield spreads skyrocket. It's been the way to make entire governments tumble in Europe, as well as force ministers for economics to resign. After obeisance has been restored -- and an "ex Goldman Sachs man" put on the presidential/ministerial chair, usually -- investors magically find back their trust in the nation's economic stability, and yield spreads return to their usual level.

jacques sheete > , August 19, 2017 at 1:42 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

These foreign vassals had a cozy existence

No doubt about it. That's how thugs rule; there are plenty of quivering sell outs to do the rulers' bidding. Look at the sickening standing ovations given to Netanyahoo by supposed "US" congresscreeps.

Jake > , August 19, 2017 at 1:46 pm GMT

@Fidelios Automata Abraham Lincoln's economic policy was to combine private monopolies with the Federal Government under a President like him: one who ordered the arrests of newspaper editors/publishers who opposed his policies and more 'despotic' goodies.

Joe Hide > , August 19, 2017 at 1:47 pm GMT

While the article favorably informs, and was written so as to engage the reader, it lacks reasonable solutions to its problems presented. One solution which I never read or hear about, is mandated MRI's, advanced technology, and evidence supported psychological testing of sitting and potential political candidates. The goal would be to publicly reveal traits of psychopathy, narcissism, insanity, etc. Of course, the most vocal opposition would come from those who intend to hide these traits. The greatest evidence for the likelyhood of this process working, is the immense effort those who would be revealed have historically put into hiding what they are.

SolontoCroesus > , August 19, 2017 at 3:04 pm GMT

@jacques sheete

"ruling mafiosi."

No way. How about Jewish terrorists ? Very few Italians in the ruling "aristocracy." Lots of Jews.

Jake > , August 19, 2017 at 3:05 pm GMT

Eric Zuesse is a nasty, hardcore leftist in the senses that matter most. Often, he reveals his Leftism to be based on his hatred of Christianity and his utter contempt for white Christians. But there is that dead clock being correct twice per day matter. In this article, Zuesse gets a good deal right.

First, he delineates the American Elites well. The USA forged by Abe Lincoln is not a real democracy, not a real republic. It is the worst kind of oligarchy: one based on love of money almost exclusively (because if a man does not love money well enough to be bribed, then he cannot be trusted by plutocrats) while proclaiming itself focused on helping all the little guys of the world overcome the power of the rich oppressors.

It is the Devil's game nearly perfected by the grand alliance of WASPs and Jews, with their Saudi hangers-on.

Second, it is fair to label America's Deep State fascist , Elite Fascist. And we should never forget that while Jews are no more than 3% of the American population, they now are at least 30% (my guess would be closer to 59%) of the most powerful Deep Staters. That means that per capita Jews easily are the fascist-inclined people in America.

The most guilty often bray the loudest at others in hope of getting them blamed and escaping punishment. And this most guilty group – Deep State Elites evolved from the original WASP-Jewish alliance against Catholics – is dead-set on making the majority of whites in the world serfs.

Third, the US 'weaponization of finance' seems to have been used against the Vatican to force Benedict XVI to resign so that Liberal Jesuit (sorry for the redundancy) Jorge Bergolgio could be made Pope. The Jesuits are far and away the most Leftist and gay part of the Catholic Church, and the American Deep State wanted a gay-loving, strongly pro-Jewish, strongly pro-Moslem 'immigrant' as Pope.

Fourth, that America's Leftists of every stripe, America's Neocons, and America's 'compassionate conservatives' all hate Putin is all you should need to know that Putin is far, far better for Russia's working class, Russia's non-Elites, than our Elites are for us.

jacques sheete > , August 19, 2017 at 3:36 pm GMT

@Brabantian Good comments.They apply to a few others around here as well, particularly this.

who mixes some truth with big lies

Priss Factor > , Website August 19, 2017 at 3:44 pm GMT

Charlottesville, Occupy Wall St And The Neoliberal Police State. Charlottesville was a Neoliberal ambush designed to crush the Alt Right once and for all. This story must be told.

https://altright.com/2017/08/19/charlottesville-occupy-wall-st-and-the-neoliberal-police-state/

jacques sheete > , August 19, 2017 at 3:46 pm GMT

@SolontoCroesus

"ruling mafiosi."
No way. How about Jewish terrorists ? Very few Italians in the ruling "aristocracy." Lots of Jews.

Very few Italians in the ruling "aristocracy."

Another common misconception is to associate the mafia with Italians mostly. The Italian mafiosi are pikers compared to the American ones of Eastern European descent. The real bosses are not the Italians.

Bugsy Siegel, Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, Longy Zwillman, Moe Dalitz, Meyer Lansky and many many others.

Even the Jewish Virtual Library admits to some of it.

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jewish-gangsters-in-america

New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, LA, Miami, and many others all dominated by non-Italian mobsters, not to mention the US government.

[Aug 18, 2017] Russia-gate Hoax About To Be Exposed by Justin Raimondo

Aug 18, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

Julian Assange has the evidence – but will he reveal it?

There's an exciting new development in the "Russia-gate" investigation, one that has the potential to blast apart what is arguably the biggest hoax in the history of American politics.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) has met with Julian Assange – the first US congressman to do so – and returned with some spectacular news:. The Hill reports :

"Julian Assange told a U.S. congressman on Tuesday he can prove the leaked Democratic Party documents he published during last year's election did not come from Russia and promised additional helpful information about the leaks in the near future."

Assange has maintained all along that the Russians had nothing to do with procuring the DNC/Podesta emails, despite the intelligence community's assertions – offered without evidence – that Vladimir Putin personally approved the alleged "hack." Yet credible challenges to this view have emerged in recent days, including from a group of former intelligence officials, that throw considerable doubt on the idea that there was even a "hack" to begin with. "Pressed for more detail on the source of the documents," says The Hill ,

"Rohrabacher said he had information to share privately with President Trump. 'Julian also indicated that he is open to further discussions regarding specific information about the DNC email incident that is currently unknown to the public,' he said."

What this looks like is an attempt by Assange to negotiate with the US government over his current status as a political prisoner: he has been confined to the Ecuadorian embassy in London for many years. Hanging over him is the threat of arrest should he leave and his rendition to the United States to face charges. Could he be making a bid for freedom, offering to provide evidence of how he got his hands on the DNC/Podesta emails in exchange for a pardon?

Rohrabacher, who has a history as a libertarian fellow traveler, has been the target of a smear campaign due to his unwillingness to go along with the Russophobic hysteria that's all the rage in Washington, D.C. these days. Politico attacked him in a piece calling him "Putin's favorite congressman," and "news" accounts of this meeting with Assange invariably mention his "pro-Russian" views – as if a desire to get along with Russia is in itself somehow "subversive."

It's a brave stance to take when even the ostensibly libertarian and anti-interventionist Cato Institute has jumped on the hate-on-Russia bandwagon. Cato cut their ties to former Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus because he refused to accept the War Party's line on the US-sponsored Ukrainian coup that overthrew the country's democratically elected chief of state. But it gets worse. Here 's Cato senior fellow Andrei Illarionov saying we are already at war with Russia:

"First of all, it is necessary to understand that this is a war. This is not a joke, this is not an accident, this is not a mistake, this is not a bad dream. It will not go away by itself. This is a war. As in any war, you either win or lose. And it is up to you what choice you will make."

And it's not just a cold war: the conflict must, says Illarionov, contain a military element:

"First, in purely military area, it is quite clear that victory in this war cannot be achieved without serious adjustments made to the existing military doctrine. Certainly, soft power is wonderful, but by itself it does not deter the use of force."

While the rest of the country is going about its business with nary a thought about Russia, in Washington the craziness is pandemic. Which is why Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Adrienne Watson felt safe vomiting up the usual bile in response to Rohrabacher's initiative: "We'll take the word of the US intelligence community over Julian Assange and Putin's favorite Congressman."

The power of groupthink inside the Washington Beltway has energized both the neo-cold warrior hysterics – epitomized by the imposition of yet more sanctions ! and the "Russia-gate" hoax to the point where it is unthinkable for anyone to challenge either. Yet Rohrabacher, whom I don't always agree with, has the balls to stand up to both, and for that he should be supported.

Assange has stubbornly resisted revealing anything about the provenance of the DNC/Podesta emails, allowing the CIA/NSA to claim that it was the Russians who "hacked the election," and also giving them a free hand to smear WikiLeaks as an instrument of the Kremlin. This meeting with Rohrabacher, and the promise of revelations to come, indicate that he is reconsidering his stance – and that we are on the verge of seeing "Russia-gate" definitively debunked.

We here at Antiwar.com have challenged the "mainstream" media's wholesale swallowing of the government's line from the very beginning. That's because there hasn't been one iota of solid proof for blaming the Russians, or even for the assertion that the DNC was "hacked." We don't accept government pronouncements at face value: indeed, we don't accept the "conventional wisdom" at face value, either. We always ask the question: " Where's the evidence? "

[Aug 11, 2017] RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 20170810

Notable quotes:
"... But short-sighted outbursts are to be expected in the final days I suppose: Congress' war with Trump displays a contemptuous indifference to its allies' interests. (Mercouris argues that Trump's signing statement hints at a Supreme Court challenge : very plausible given that there is nothing to the Russia collusion story – even the WaPo seems to be backing off – and that Trump will be able to appoint more SC judges.) ..."
"... Do you think Putin is messing with their minds? ..."
Aug 11, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com
257.a.9 ) is specifically targeted; damage to NASA ( 237 ) is carefully voided. (NASA needs the Russians to get to the ISS and to launch things but European allies can freeze in the dark .

Take that, Europeans, it's for your own good! " You can't... ask for a bigger U.S. military commitment... while... oppose nonmilitary coercive measures ").

The effect of anti-Russia sanctions since 2014 is that Europe has likely suffered more than Russia and certainly more than the USA; Russia has used the sanctions (and its counter sanctions) to increase domestic production (see below) whereas Europe has just lost markets. Well, we'll find out whether Europe has the feet to stand on that Merkel thinks it has .

Russia has many ways to respond and, as Jeffrey Carr has pointed out, Congress has shown it where to hit hardest .

Another thing to find out is whether Moscow decides it's had enough – as Medvedev suggests – and that it's time to make its "partner" hurt. (Some responses: no more rocket engines, no overflights, no supply line to Afghanistan, no US NGOs, no Russian investments in USA, no accepting US dollars in trade.

But Putin & Co will probably come up with something cleverer than anything I can think of). They will be a drag on Washington's foreign policy for decades: "never recognize" Crimea in Russia ( 257.a.3 )? well, they're going to have to some time. I am collecting negative reactions on my site.

They're another step on the downward trajectory of the USA: they will drive a wedge between Europe and the USA; push Russia closer to China; may even lead to a rapprochement between Europe and Russia. But short-sighted outbursts are to be expected in the final days I suppose: Congress' war with Trump displays a contemptuous indifference to its allies' interests. (Mercouris argues that Trump's signing statement hints at a Supreme Court challenge : very plausible given that there is nothing to the Russia collusion story – even the WaPo seems to be backing off – and that Trump will be able to appoint more SC judges.)

SANCTIONS EFFECT. Russian statistics tell us that the share of imports in the retail sector is 36%, the lowest since the 2008 crash . Food imports are down to 24% from 34% in 2014. The percentage of imports in various categories: cereals 0.2%; sausages 1.6%; flour 1.8%; poultry 4.1%; pork 8.3%. Gessen will be glad that cheese imports are 27.7%, but sad that they're down from 48.4%. Sanctions work: just not the way the US Congress thinks they do. Altogether, it's probably fair to say that Russia is now self-sufficient in food. And production is only going to become bigger: the potential of Russian agriculture has never been tapped; serfdom, the village mir and collectivisation were not very productive.

CORRUPTION. The trial of the former Minister of Economic Development has begun . He was caught red-handed taking a bribe they say. I believe he is the highest ranking official yet to be charged: some – Luzhkov and Serdyukov spring to mind – have been accused of things and been fired, but no charges laid. We are told that 45,000 people have been convicted of corruption crimes over the last three and a half years and about 350 officials have been fired this year and the same last year.

VILLAGE LIFE. Someone who often lives in the Russian countryside blasts another NYT-Russia-is-an-unchanging-nightmare piece . Agreement from an American happily living in a village .

PHOTO OP. Putin and Shoygu, alone but for photographers, go fishing in Tyva; they forget to pack shirts. Western media goes nuts. ( DMail ) ( USA Today ) ( Daily B ) ( AP ) ( Fox ) ( Time ) ( Sky ) ( WaPo ) ( TorSun ) ( News.com.au ) France 24 ) ( Telegraph ) ( You look for the rest ). Maybe he really is " the most powerful man in the world ". Bare-chested Trudeau and Obama are ever so dreamy, but bare-chested Putin isn't: CrazyLand is bigger than I imagined. ( Do you think Putin is messing with their minds?

THE THREAT. Pew has an international survey out asking about leading security threats . The following NATO members name US power as a greater threat than Russian or Chinese: Canada, Germany, Greece, Spain and Turkey. USA is named first by 19 countries, China by 9, Russia by 7. This is a competition that the US has won every time out of the gate . And rising . Interesting, eh? And after all that propaganda, too. NATO StratCom needs more money!

UKRAINE. The disaster continues. In 2001 its population was 48.5 million. Latest official estimate is 42.5. Examination of various consumption statistics suggest that this estimate is too high. About 2.5 million are in Russia and another 1.5 million in Poland . At some point, for a country constructed out of bits and pieces of other states, depopulation will become geopolitically significant.

[Aug 09, 2017] Shamir Archive

Notable quotes:
"... while average Russian salary (excepting Moscow and St Petersburg) is around $200 per month. ..."
"... Before the sanctions, rich Russians did not give a damn about their less fortunate fellow citizens. They went for holidays to Cote d'Azur, they sent their children to study at Oxford and Yale. They were as removed from ordinary Russians as Leo Tolstoy's nobles were. ..."
"... Putin, despite his macho ways, is a very cautious politician. He is not rushing into more confrontation with the US than it is strictly necessary. He is ready to wait. ..."
"... Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net ..."
Aug 09, 2017 | www.unz.com

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