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Why did we get the collapse of the USSR so wrong ?

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Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA The Rape of Russia, Testimony of Anne Williamson Before the House Banking Committee Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17? From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Cold War II Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine
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Collapse of the USSR was the part of triumphal march of neoliberal around the globe. Neoliberalism as Tristyism for the rick managed to displace Marxsim as the dominant ideology for almost 50 years (from approximately 1960 to 2008.

Amazingly bad timing of the collapse resulted in severe economic rape of Russia and post-soviet republics in best traditions of neocolonialism. The standard of living of Russian and Ukrainian population outside of top 10% dropped considerably and for Ukraine actually never recovered to pre-collapse level. For Russia briefly recovered and  exceeded Soviet level, but started to drop after 2008 and then collapse of oil price in 2014.  With the current exchange rate of 60 rubles per dollar average income of ordinary Russians is not impressive and Ukrainian population dropped to Central African level of poverty (less than $2 a day).  Actually for Russia it was simply a miracle that they managed to recover after such an economic rape at all.

And it is funny (and shows the power of neoliberal propaganda) how many Russians and Ukrainians are still convinced by the Hollywood movies that everybody in the US and Europe has opportunities to earn a decent living and lives a better life.  They never heard about Wal-mart single mom.

That means that collapse of the USSR was caused by the combination of several major factors qnd well as bad  timing of Gorbachov reforms and incompetence of Gorbachov as a politician. 

Among major factors (which have complex interplay with one another) we can mention:

  1. Rising neoliberalism as a new social system that displaced both New Deal capitalism (Scandinavian model) and Soviet bolshevism.
  2. Polishing the techniques of color revolutions and growing power and coordination of Western intelligence agencies. Especially in propaganda war area and well as bribing  certain circles of "intelligencia" and government officials.
  3. Discreditation of Bolshevism both as ideology and economic system. 
  4. Stagnations of soviet economy and inability even to maintain the standard of living of population which started sliding generating discontent. Which also demonstrated in stagnation of soviet science.  Many soviet scientific magazines deteriorated to junk level.  The key source of new technological and scentic information became western magazines.
  5. Bad  timing of Gorbachov reforms and incompetence of Gorbachov as a politician. 
  6. Growing influence of Western culture on the USSR which started with Elvis Presley and Beatles.  Especially Hollywood (and generally Western) films and pop music.
  7. Fossilization and degeneration of ruling elite (aka "nomenklatura")
  8. Growing effectiveness of Western sanctions and politics of economic isolation of the USSR with Nixon china  policy.  Which increased the level of stagnation of soviet economics and deprive the USSR of technological achievement of the West, which generated discontent of population.
  9. Saudi inspired oil price drop, which deprives the USSR of currency revenue.
  10. Formation of internal neoliberal "fifth-column with the in the USSR, including large part of KGB apparatus. Probably not without help of major intelligence agencies.
  11. PC and communications revolution. Proliferation of laser printers, Personal computers with modems and appearance of first network such as FIDOnet  (based on  regular phone lines), BBC and, gradually Internet (first in the form of UUCP)  that made maintenance of "hermetic" society like the USSR impossible.
  12. Excessive power of military-industrial complex in soviet nomenklatura resulting is excessive spending on defense and the maintenance of "Soviet block."

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[Apr 22, 2019] FBI top brass have been colluding with top brass of CIA and MI6 to pursue ambitious anti-Russian agenda

Highly recommended!
"Carnage needs to destroyed" mentality is dominant among the USA neoliberal elite and drives the policy toward Russia.
They all supported neoconservative extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda directed on weakening Russian and establishing of world dominance. It also seems clear that influential journalists, such as Glenn Simpson was before founding Fusion GPS, along with his wife Mary Jacoby, have been strongly involved in this
Notable quotes:
"... There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time. It also seems clear that influential journalists, such as Glenn Simpson was before founding Fusion GPS, along with his wife Mary Jacoby, have been strongly involved in this. ..."
"... This agenda has involved hopes for 'régime change' in Russia, whether as the result of an oligarchic coup, a popular revolt, or some combination of both. Also central have been hopes for a further 'rollback' of Russia influence in the post-Soviet space, both in areas now independent, such as Ukraine, and also ones still part of the Russian Federation, notably Chechnya. ..."
"... And, crucially, it involved exploiting the retreat of Russian power from the Middle East for 'régime change' projects which it was hoped would provide a definitive solution to the – inherently intractable – security problems of a Jewish settler state in the area. ..."
"... Important support for these strategies was provided by the 'StratCom' network centred around the late Boris Berezovsky, which clearly collaborated closely with MI6. As was apparent from the witness list at Sir Robert Owen's Inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, which produced a report based essentially on a recycling of claims made by the network's members, key players were on your side of the Atlantic – notably Alex Goldfarb, Yuri Shvets, and Yuri Felshtinsky. ..."
"... it seems to me the usa and uk have been tied at the hip for a very long time... when it comes to foreign affairs policy and wars - the one will always vouch for the other without hesitation... it tells me the relationship is really deep.. ..."
"... I and my friends consider it a given that most, if not all, anglo-zionist moves in the ME are to "provide a definitive solution to the – inherently intractable – security problems of a Jewish settler state in the area. " It is an open secret that the izzies are the reason why a few Russians, some Turks, lots of Kurds and countless Arabs are dying in the Syrian battlefields. Another open secret: the takfiris and kurds have been, and are, supported by the West. That the "masters of the universe™" have been conceiving and doubling down on such disastrous policies give lie to their much-vaunted "intelligence". ..."
"... It is the very FACT of Trump even getting elected at ALL which outrages and terrifies them so much. They are used to seeing themselves as successful manipulators and engineers of every major event. They were engineering the whole electoral battlespace to get Clinton elected. The mere fact of Trump's victory in the teeth of their Electoral Engineering for Clinton is an act of defiance which they will not tolerate. ..."
"... And if they fail to bring Trump down at all, they will stand revealed as being defeatable. And this is their big fear. That if people see they have defeated the Borg once on keeping Trump in the teeth of Borg's efforts, that people might try to defeat and smash down the Borg on another issue. And then another. And then another after that. ..."
"... Because it is not possible to do on fundamental level yet, especially with US foreign policy establishment and so called consensus being built almost entirely, in ideological and, most importantly, cadres senses, on the ultimate exceptionalist agenda in which Russia is the ultimate obstacle and enemy. Establishment in saturated with neocons and likes. They are the swamp. ..."
"... They act and believe that they are Olympians. You have to wait for them to age and die before any substantive change in Fortress West's posture; say 2040 ..."
"... In 1977 Zbigniew Brzezinski, as President Carter's National Security Adviser, forms the Nationalities Working Group (NWG) dedicated to the idea of weakening the Soviet Union by inflaming its ethnic tensions. ..."
"... State Department official Henry Precht will later recall that Brzezinski had the idea "that Islamic forces could be used against the Soviet Union. The theory was, there was an arc of crisis, and so an arc of Islam could be mobilized to contain the Soviets." [Scott, 2007, pp. 67] In November 1978, President Carter appointed George Ball head of a special White House Iran task force under Brzezinski. Ball recommends the US should drop support for the Shah of Iran and support the radical Islamist opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini. This idea is based on ideas from British Islamic expert Dr. Bernard Lewis, who advocates the balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines. The chaos would spread in what he also calls an "arc of crisis" and ultimately destabilize the Muslim regions of the Soviet Union ..."
"... About relation Steele-MI6, well, you never leave your IS. Or to put it in another way, you are never out of the scope of your past IS ..."
"... No, three years at tops and could be much sooner if dimes starting dropping by exposed people that don't want to take the fall for their superiors whom they always detested. One possible thing to get the process started sooner is if the recent Russian Intelligence delegation to DC that Smoothie mentions on another thread gave the current administration, as a diplomatic courtesy of course, the audio recordings of Madame Sectary Nuland's infamous mental meltdown at Kaliningrad. No telling what beans were spilled in her moment of panic, but I am willing to bet key names were dropped. Either way the time is coming. ..."
"... Especially, once American policy-makers who saw and experienced war (Ike, George Marshall's generation) departed things started to roll down hill with Reagan bringing on board a whole collection of neocons. ..."
"... Unawareness is always dangerous, a complete blackout in relations between two nuclear powers is more than dangerous--it is completely reckless. Again, the way CW 1.0 is perceived in the current US "elites" it becomes extremely tempting to repeat it. Electing Hillary was another step in unleashing CW 2.0 by people who have no understanding of what they were doing. ..."
"... Obama started crushing US-Russian relations before any campaigns were launched and before Trump was even seriously considered a GOP nominee, let alone a real contender. New confrontation hinged on HRC being elected. In fact, she was one of the major driving forces behind a serious of geopolitical anti-Russian moves. Visceral Russo-phobia became a feature in HRC campaign long before any Steele's Dossier. This was a program. ..."
"... IMO, the bigger problem for American not shying away from wars, or being silent about them , is when your home, your mom and dad' home, the town you grew up in, are immune and away from the war. ..."
"... The security and safety of the two oceans, encourages or at least, in an all volunteer military makes it a secondary problem for regular people, to worry about. ..."
"... A particular interesting feature of those on the British side – in which we now know Christopher Steele must have played a leading role – were the bizarre gyrations those responsible were going through trying to explain away the extraordinary fact that when he had broken the story of his poisoning, Litvinenko had pointed the finger of suspicion at his Italian associate Mario Scaramella. ..."
"... Of course later reports in the Steele Dossier go hand in hand with a larger public relations campaign. Creating reality? Irony alert: as informer/source I would by then know what the other side wants to hear. ..."
Mar 10, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Steele, Shvets, Levinson, Litvinenko and the 'Billion Dollar Don.'

In the light of the suggestion in the Nunes memo that Steele was 'a longtime FBI source' it seems worth sketching out some background, which may also make it easier to see some possible reasons why he 'was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.'

There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time. It also seems clear that influential journalists, such as Glenn Simpson was before founding Fusion GPS, along with his wife Mary Jacoby, have been strongly involved in this.

This agenda has involved hopes for 'régime change' in Russia, whether as the result of an oligarchic coup, a popular revolt, or some combination of both. Also central have been hopes for a further 'rollback' of Russia influence in the post-Soviet space, both in areas now independent, such as Ukraine, and also ones still part of the Russian Federation, notably Chechnya.

And, crucially, it involved exploiting the retreat of Russian power from the Middle East for 'régime change' projects which it was hoped would provide a definitive solution to the – inherently intractable – security problems of a Jewish settler state in the area.

Important support for these strategies was provided by the 'StratCom' network centred around the late Boris Berezovsky, which clearly collaborated closely with MI6. As was apparent from the witness list at Sir Robert Owen's Inquiry into the death of Alexander Litvinenko, which produced a report based essentially on a recycling of claims made by the network's members, key players were on your side of the Atlantic – notably Alex Goldfarb, Yuri Shvets, and Yuri Felshtinsky.

The question of what links these had, or did not have, with elements in U.S. intelligence agencies is thus a critical one.

In making some sense of it, the fact that one key figure we know to have been involved in this network was missing at the Inquiry – the former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who disappeared on the Iranian island of Kish in March 2007 – is important.

Unfortunately, I only recently came across a book on Levinson published in 2016 by the 'New York Times' journalist Barry Meier, which is now hopefully winging its way across the Atlantic. From the accounts of the book I have seen, such as one by Jeff Stein in 'Newsweek', it seems likely that its author did not look at any of the evidence presented at Owen's Inquiry.

(See http://www.newsweek.com/2016/05/20/what-really-happened-robert-levinson-cia-iran-454803.html .)

Had he done so, Meier might have discovered that his subject had been, as it were, 'top supporting actor' in the first fumbling attempt by Christopher Steele et al to produce a plausible-sounding scenario as to the background to Litvinenko's death. A Radio 4 programme on 16 December 2006, presented by the veteran BBC presenter Tom Mangold, had been wholly devoted to an account by Shvets, backed up by Levinson. Both of these were, like Litvinenko, supposed to be impartial 'due diligence' operatives.

The notion that any of them might have connections with Western intelligence agencies was not considered. The – publicly available – evidence of the involvement of Shvets, whose surname means 'cobbler' or 'shoemaker' in Ukrainian, in the processing of the tapes of conversations involving the former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma supposedly recorded by Major Melnychenko, which had played a crucial role in the 2004-5 'Orange Revolution' was not mentioned.

Still less was it mentioned that claims that the – very dangerous – late Soviet Kolchuga system, which made it possible the kind of identification of incoming aircraft which radar had traditionally done, without sending out signals which made the destruction of the facilities doing it possible, had been sold by Kuchma to Iraq had proven spurious.

What Shvets had done had been to take – genuine – audio in which Kuchma had discussed a possible sale, and edit it to suggest a sale had been completed.

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

As a former television current affairs producer, I can talk to you of the marvels which London audio editors can produce, very happily. Unfortunately, the days when not all BBC and 'Guardian' journalists were corrupt stenographers for corrupt and incompetent spooks, as Mangold and his like have been for Steele and Levinson, are long gone.

All this has become particularly relevant now, given that Simpson has placed the notorious Jewish Ukrainian mobster Semyon Mogilevich and the 'Solntsevskaya Bratva' mafia group centre stage in his accounts not simply of Trump and Manafort, but also of William Browder. For most of the 'Nineties, Levinson had been a, if not the, lead FBI investigator on Mogilevich.

(On this, see the 1999 BBC 'Panorama' programme 'The Billion Dollar Don', also presented by Tom Mangold, which has extensive interviews both with Mogilevich and Levinson at

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/events/panorama/transcripts/transcript_06_12_99.txt )

In the months leading up to Levinson's disappearance, a key priority for the advocates of the strategy I have described was to prevent it being totally derailed by the patently catastrophic outcome of the Iraqi adventure.

Compounding the problem was the fact that this had created the 'Shia Crescent', which in turn exacerbated the potential 'existential threat' to Israel posed by the steadily increasing range, accuracy and numbers of missiles available to Hizbullah in hardened positions north of the Litani.

These, obviously, provided both a 'deterrent' for that organisation and Iran, and also a radical threat to the whole notion that somehow Israel could ever be a 'safe haven' for Jews, against the supposedly ineradicable disposition of the 'goyim' sooner or later to, as it were, revert to type. The dreadful thought that Israel might not be necessary had to be resisted at all costs.

What followed from the disaster unleashed by the – Anglo-American – 'own goal' in toppling Saddam was, ironically, a need on the part of key players to 'double down.' Above all, it was necessary for many of those involved to counter suggestions from the Russian side that going around smashing up 'régimes' that one might not like sometimes blew up in one's face.

Even more threatening were suggestions from the Russian side that it was foolish to think one could use jihadists without risking 'blowback', and that there might be an overwhelming common interest in combating Islamic extremism.

Another priority was to counter the pushback in the American 'intelligence community' and military, which was to produce the drastic downgrading of the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear programme in the November 2007 NIE and then the resignation of Admiral William Fallon as head of 'Centcom' the following March.

So in 2005 Shvets came to London. He and his audio editors had another 'bite at the cherry' of the Melnychenko tapes, so that material that did in fact establish that both the SBU and FSB had collaborated with Mogilevich could be employed to make it seem that Putin had a close personal relationship with the mobster.

All kinds of supposedly respectable American and British academics, like Professors Karen Dawisha and Robert Service, have fallen for this, hook, line and sinker. It gives a new meaning to the term 'useful idiot.'

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

In a letter sent in December that year by Litvinenko to the 'Mitrokhin Commission', for which his Italian associate Mario Scaramella was a consultant, this was used in an attempt to demonstrate that Mogilevich, while acting as an agent for the FSB and under Putin's personal 'krysha', had attempted to supply a 'mini atomic bomb' – aka 'suitcase nuke' – to Al Qaeda. Shortly after the letter was sent Scaramella departed on a trip to Washington, where he appears to have got access to Aldrich Ames.

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

At precisely this time, as Meier explains, Levinson was in the process of being recruited by a lady called Anne Jablonski who then worked as a CIA analyst. It appears that she was furious at the failure of the operational side at the Agency to produce evidence which would have established that Iran did indeed have an ongoing nuclear programme, and she may well have hoped would implicate Russia in supplying materials.

There are grounds to suspect that one of the things that Berezovsky and Shvets were doing was fabricating such 'evidence.' Whether Levinson was involved in such attempts, or genuinely looking for evidence he was convinced must be there, I cannot say. It appears that he fell for a rather elementary entrapment operation – which could well have been organised with the collaboration of Russian intelligence. (People do get fed up with being framed, particular if 'régime change' is the goal.)

It also seems likely that, quite possibly in a different but related entrapment operation, related to propaganda wars in which claims and counter claims about a polonium-beryllium 'initiator' as the crucial missing part which might make a 'suitcase nuke' functional, Litvinenko accidentally ingested fatal quantities of polonium. A good deal of evidence suggests that this may have been at Berezovsky's offices on the night before he was supposedly assassinated.

It was, obviously, important for Steele et al to ensure that nobody looked at the 'StratCom' wars about 'suitcase nukes.' Here, a figure who has played a key role in such wars in relation to Syria plays an interesting minor one in the story.

Some time following the destruction of the case for an immediate war by the November 2007 NIE, a chemical weapons specialist called Dan Kaszeta, who had worked in the White House for twelve years, moved to London.

In 2011, in addition to founding a consultancy called 'Strongpoint Security', he began a writing career with articles in 'CBRNe World.' Later, he would become the conduit through which the notorious 'hexamine hypothesis', supposedly clinching proof that the Syrian government was responsible for the sarin incidents at Khan Sheikhoun, Ghouta, Saraqeb, and Khan Al-Asal, was disseminated.

Having been forced by the threat of a case being opened against them under human rights law into resuming the inquest into Litvinenko's death, in August 2012 the British authorities appointed Sir Robert Owen to conduct it. (There are many honest judges in Britain, but obviously, if one sets out to find someone who will 'cover up' for the incompetence and corruption of people like Steele, as Lord Hutton did before him, you can find them.)

That same month, a piece appeared in 'CBRNe World' with the the strapline: 'Dan Kaszeta looks into the ultimate press story: Suitcase nukes', and the main title 'Carry on or checked bags?' Among the grounds he gives for playing down the scare:

'Some components rely on materials with shelf life. Tritium, for example, is used in many nuclear weapon designs and has a twelve year half-life. Polonium, used in neutron initiators in some earlier types of weapon designs, has a very short halflife. US documents state that every nuclear weapon has "limited life components" that require periodic replacement (do an internet search for nuclear limited life components and you can read for weeks).'

(For this and other articles by Kaszeta, as also his bio, see http://strongpointsecurity.co.uk ')

What Kaszeta has actually described are the reasons why polonium is a perfect 'StratCom' instrument. In terms of scientific plausibility, in fact there were no 'suitcase nukes', and in any case 'initiators' using polonium had been abandoned very early on, in favour of ones which lasted longer.

For 'StratCom' scenarios, as experience with the 'hexamine hypothesis' has proved, scientific plausibility can be irrelevant.

What polonium provides is a means of suggesting that Al Qaeda have in fact got hold of a nuclear device which they could easily smuggle into, say, Rome or New York, or indeed Moscow, but there is a crucial missing component which the FSB is trying to provide to them. By the same token, of course, that missing component could be depicted as one that Berezovsky and Litvinenko are conspiring to suppl to the Chechen insurgents.

In addition, the sole known source of global supply is the Avangard plant at Sarov in Russia, so the substance is naturally suited for 'StratCom' directed against that country, which its intelligence services would – rather naturally – try to make 'boomerang.'

According to Glenn Simpson, Christopher Steele is a 'boy scout.' This seems to me quite wrong – but, even if it were true, would you want to unleash a 'boy scout' into these kinds of intrigue?

As it is not clear why Kaszeta introduced his – accurate but irrelevant – point about polonium into an article which was concerned with scientific plausibility, one is left with an interesting question as to whether he cut his teeth on 'StratCom' attempting to ensure that nobody seriously interested in CBRN science followed an obvious lead.

In relation to the question of whether current FBI personnel had been involved in the kind of 'StratCom' exercises, I have been describing, a critical issue is the involvement of Shvets and Levinson in the Alexander Khonanykhine affair back in the 'Nineties, and the latter's use of claims about the Solntsevskaya to prevent the key figure's extradition. But that is a matter for another day.

A corollary of all this is that we cannot – yet at least – be absolutely confident that the account in the Nunes memo, according to which Steele was suspended and then dismissed as an FBI source for what the organisation is reported to define as 'the most serious of violations' – the unauthorised disclosure of a relationship with the organisation – is necessarily wholly accurate.

Who did and did not authorise which disclosures to the media, up to and including the extraordinary decision to have the full dossier, including claims about Aleksej Gubarev and the Alfa oligarchs, in flagrant disregard of the obvious risks of defamation suits, and who may be trying to pass the buck to others, remains I think less than totally clear.

Posted at 03:42 PM in As The Borg Turns , Habakkuk , Russia , Russiagate | Permalink


james , 03 February 2018 at 04:33 PM

thanks david... fascinating overview and conjecture..

it seems to me the usa and uk have been tied at the hip for a very long time... when it comes to foreign affairs policy and wars - the one will always vouch for the other without hesitation... it tells me the relationship is really deep..

JohnB , 03 February 2018 at 05:17 PM
David,

Thank you very. As ever you have illuminated a few more things for me. Kaszeta's involvement is interesting. He is someone I am in the middle of researching in relation to Higgins and Bellingcat.

turcopolier , 03 February 2018 at 06:02 PM
james

It is the closest of all international intelligence relationships. It started in WW2. Before that the Brits were though of as a potential enemy. pl

Babak Makkinejad -> turcopolier ... , 03 February 2018 at 06:10 PM
I think the English are using you, they are unsentimental empirical people that only do these that benefit the Number One.
The chief beneficiary of the Coup in Iran was England and not US.
catherine , 03 February 2018 at 06:22 PM
That Newsweek piece about Levinson is very superficial to me.

Re: Levinson

# Who suggested to who 'first' the Iran caper...Anne Jablonski to Levinson or Levinson to Jablonski? It was reported earlier by Meier that in December 2005, when Levinson was pitching Jablonski on projects he might take on when his CIA contract was approved he sent her a lengthy memo about Dawud's potential as an informant.

# Ira Silverman, the Iran hating NBC guy, pitched a Iraq caper to Levinson with Dawud Salahuddin, as his Iran contact and Levinson went to Jablonski with it.

# And what was with Boris Birshstein, a Russian organized crime figure who had fled to Israel and Oleg Deripaska, the "aluminum czar" of Russia whose organized crime contacts have kept him from entering the United States jumping in to help find Levinson? The FBI allowed Deripaska in for two visits in 2009 in exchange for his alleged help in locating Levinson but obviously nothing came of it.

I think there were more little agents/agendas in this than Levinson and Jablonski and US CIA.

Ishmael Zechariah , 03 February 2018 at 06:54 PM
DH,

As usual a wonderful analysis. I admire your insight, integrity and courage. I wish you could write more on why the Borg is so much against Trump, even though they have Kushner, Adelson and Co. running interference for them.

I and my friends consider it a given that most, if not all, anglo-zionist moves in the ME are to "provide a definitive solution to the – inherently intractable – security problems of a Jewish settler state in the area. " It is an open secret that the izzies are the reason why a few Russians, some Turks, lots of Kurds and countless Arabs are dying in the Syrian battlefields. Another open secret: the takfiris and kurds have been, and are, supported by the West. That the "masters of the universe™" have been conceiving and doubling down on such disastrous policies give lie to their much-vaunted "intelligence".

Be safe.

Ishmael Zechariah

Rd , 03 February 2018 at 07:31 PM
Babak Makkinejad said in reply to turcopolier...

The chief beneficiary of the Coup in Iran was England and not US.
..and US is the one who has been paying for it since 1979!!!

kooshy said in reply to Ishmael Zechariah... , 03 February 2018 at 08:21 PM
IZ
My guess is, that he is unpredictable, instantaneous and therefore can't be consistent and reliable, useful idiot needs to be predictable.
kooshy , 03 February 2018 at 08:43 PM
"There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time. "

David as usual fascinating work connecting the dots. One question that comes to my mind is about the above point you are making. Is it your understanding or believe that these IC individuals on both side of Atlantic, are pursuing/forcing their (on behalf of the Borg) foreign policy agenda outside of their respected seating governments? If not, why is it that incoming administration cannot stop them? So far I can't see any strategic changes on US foreign policy toward ME or Russia, at tactical level yes but not fundamentally.

different clue , 03 February 2018 at 08:49 PM
Ishmael Zechariah,

( reply to comment 6),

I am not David Habakkuk, obviously. But I will venture a little opinion anyway. It is not enough that the Borgists get their policy preferences. If it were, then Kushner, Adelson and Co. running interference would be enough for them.

It is the very FACT of Trump even getting elected at ALL which outrages and terrifies them so much. They are used to seeing themselves as successful manipulators and engineers of every major event. They were engineering the whole electoral battlespace to get Clinton elected. The mere fact of Trump's victory in the teeth of their Electoral Engineering for Clinton is an act of defiance which they will not tolerate.

And if they fail to bring Trump down at all, they will stand revealed as being defeatable. And this is their big fear. That if people see they have defeated the Borg once on keeping Trump in the teeth of Borg's efforts, that people might try to defeat and smash down the Borg on another issue. And then another. And then another after that.

So that is why the Borg cares so much. They view the Trump election as an insurgency, and they view themselves as waging a counterinsurgency, which they dare not lose.

Jack , 03 February 2018 at 08:54 PM
David,

Thanks for your analysis. I always enjoy and learn from your posts. I wish you would post more often.

In my non-expert opinion, the Borg and the media were all in for Hillary. They were convinced that she was gonna win. To curry favor with the Empress who would be certainly crowned after the election they were eager and convinced that their lawlessness would become a badge for promotion and plum positions in her administration. In their conceit, they believed they could kill two birds with one stroke. They could vilify Putin and create the mass hysteria to checkmate him, while at the same time disparage and frame Trump as The Manchurian Candidate to seal their certain electoral victory.

Unfortunately for them voters in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin didn't buy their sales pitch despite the overwhelming media barrage from all corners. Even news publications who have only endorsed Republican candidates for President for over a century endorsed her.

Trump's election win caused panic among the political establishment, the media and the Deep State. They were already all-in. Their only choice was to double down and get Trump impeached. Now their conspiracy is beginning to unravel. They are doing everything possible to forestall their Armageddon. Of course they have many allies. This battle is gonna be interesting to watch. Trump is clearly getting many Congressional Republicans on side as his base of Deplorables remains solidly behind him. That is what's befuddling the Borg pundits.

SmoothieX12 -> kooshy... , 03 February 2018 at 09:51 PM
So far I can't see any strategic changes on US foreign policy toward ME or Russia, at tactical level yes but not fundamentally.

Because it is not possible to do on fundamental level yet, especially with US foreign policy establishment and so called consensus being built almost entirely, in ideological and, most importantly, cadres senses, on the ultimate exceptionalist agenda in which Russia is the ultimate obstacle and enemy. Establishment in saturated with neocons and likes. They are the swamp. This swamp (Borg, deep state, etc.) still thinks that it can use Cold War 1.0 Playbook and address very real and dangerous American economic issues. They are wrong, since most of them didn't read the playbook correctly to start with.

Babak Makkinejad -> SmoothieX12 ... , 03 February 2018 at 10:10 PM
They act and believe that they are Olympians. You have to wait for them to age and die before any substantive change in Fortress West's posture; say 2040.
kooshy said in reply to SmoothieX12 ... , 03 February 2018 at 10:24 PM
You are right CWII is very much desired and on agenda, but i am not sure of setup, the setup/board has been changed tremendously and IMO benefits the Asian side of Bosphorus, for one thing technology is no longer exclusive, and financial burden is heavier on atlantic side.
catherine said in reply to SmoothieX12 ... , 04 February 2018 at 12:21 AM
''Establishment in saturated with neocons and likes. They are the swamp. ''

The locust keep trying and trying, destruction is their life's work.

'1977-1981: Nationalities Working Group Advocates Using Militant Islam Against Soviet Union'

In 1977 Zbigniew Brzezinski, as President Carter's National Security Adviser, forms the Nationalities Working Group (NWG) dedicated to the idea of weakening the Soviet Union by inflaming its ethnic tensions. The Islamic populations are regarded as prime targets. Richard Pipes, the father of Daniel Pipes, takes over the leadership of the NWG in 1981. Pipes predicts that with the right encouragement Soviet Muslims will "explode into genocidal fury" against Moscow. According to Richard Cottam, a former CIA official who advised the Carter administration at the time, after the fall of the Shah of Iran in 1978, Brzezinski favored a "de facto alliance with the forces of Islamic resurgence, and with the Republic of Iran." [Dreyfuss, 2005, pp. 241, 251 - 256]

'November 1978-February 1979: Some US Officials Want to Support Radical Muslims to Contain Soviet Union'

State Department official Henry Precht will later recall that Brzezinski had the idea "that Islamic forces could be used against the Soviet Union. The theory was, there was an arc of crisis, and so an arc of Islam could be mobilized to contain the Soviets." [Scott, 2007, pp. 67] In November 1978, President Carter appointed George Ball head of a special White House Iran task force under Brzezinski. Ball recommends the US should drop support for the Shah of Iran and support the radical Islamist opposition of Ayatollah Khomeini. This idea is based on ideas from British Islamic expert Dr. Bernard Lewis, who advocates the balkanization of the entire Muslim Near East along tribal and religious lines. The chaos would spread in what he also calls an "arc of crisis" and ultimately destabilize the Muslim regions of the Soviet Union

aleksandar , 04 February 2018 at 04:41 AM
David,

About relation Steele-MI6, well, you never leave your IS. Or to put it in another way, you are never out of the scope of your past IS.

Fred said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 04 February 2018 at 08:40 AM
Babak,

"they got US to bail them out during WWII" And how would things have worked out had we not done so?

Fred , 04 February 2018 at 08:46 AM
David,

"There is reason to suspect that some former and very likely current employees of the FBI have been colluding with elements in other American and British intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and MI6, in support of an extremely ambitious foreign policy agenda for a very long time."

Yes, that is what appears to be just what is coming to light. I wonder just what position Trey Gowdy is going to have since he won't be running for re-election. The rage from the left is palpable. I'm sure the next outraged guy on the left will know how to shoot straighter than the ones who shot up Congressman Scalise or the concert goers at Mandalay Bay.

Anna said in reply to SmoothieX12 ... , 04 February 2018 at 08:48 AM
"They are wrong, since most of them didn't read the playbook correctly to start with."
-- If they have read the important books at all... The ongoing scandal has been revealing a stunning incompetence of the "deciders." Too often they look comical, ridiculous, undignified. This is dangerous, considering their power.
turcopolier , 04 February 2018 at 08:54 AM
Anna

The powerful are often remarkably ignorant. pl

Babak Makkinejad -> Fred... , 04 February 2018 at 10:08 AM
England preferred NAZI Germany to USSR, this is well known. As to what would have happened, the outcome of the war, in my opinion, did not depend on US participation in the European Theatre. All of Europe would have become USSR satellite or joined USSR.
jonst said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 04 February 2018 at 11:53 AM
"unsentimental empirical people"? Absolutely disagree with you. Now the Iranians, they strike me as a singularity unsentimental people. Just general impressions, mind you.
Kooshy said in reply to catherine... , 04 February 2018 at 12:06 PM
Yes, US was the first country to proudly deliver Manpads to be used by "rebels" (Mojahadin later Taleban) against USSR in Afghanistan back in 80s. And, as per the architect of support for the rebels (Zbigniew Brzezinski) very proud of it with no regret. With that in mind, I don't see how western politicians, the western governments and their related proxy war planers, will be regretting, even sadden, once god forbid we see passenger planes with loved ones are shot down taking off or landing at various western airports and other places around the word. Just like how superficialy with crocodile tears in their eyes they acted in aftermath of the terrorist events in various western cities in this past 16 years. Gods knows what will happens to us if the opposite side start to supply his own proxies with lethal anti air weapons. "Proudly", I don't think anybody in west cares or will regret of such an escalation.
Phodges said in reply to turcopolier ... , 04 February 2018 at 12:23 PM
Sir

It seems we are being defeated by Cicero's enemy within. Zion is achieving what no one could hope to achieve by force of arms.

David Habakkuk -> catherine... , 04 February 2018 at 01:17 PM
catherine,

In response to comment 5.

I think it likely that what Meier produces is only a 'limited hangout', and am hoping that when the book arrives it will contain more pointers.

It is important to be clear that one is often dealing with people playing very complicated double games.

An interesting document is the 'Petition for Writ of Habeus Corpus' made on behalf of Khodorkovsky's close associate Alexander Konanykhin back in 1997,when the Immigration and Naturalization Service were – apparently at least – cooperating with Russian attempts to get hold of him. An extract:

'During the immigration hearing FBI SA Robert Levinson, an INS witness, confirmed that in 1992 Petitioner was kidnapped and afterwards pursued by assassins of the Solntsevskaya organized criminal group. This organized criminal group is reportedly the largest and the most influential organized criminal group in Russia, and operates internationally.'

(See http://defiancethebook.com/legal/habeas/petition.htm .)

Note the similarities between the 'StratCom' that Khonanykin and his associates were producing in the 'Nineties, and that which Simpson and his associates have been producing two decades later.

Another useful example is provided by a 2004 item in the 'New American Magazine', reproduced on Konanykhin's website:

'One of those who testified on behalf of Konanykhine was KGB defector Yuri Shvets, who declared: "I have a firsthand knowledge on similar operations conducted by the KGB." Konanykhine had brought trouble on himself, Shvets continued, when he "started bringing charges against people who were involved with him in setting up and running commercial enterprises. They were KGB people secretly smuggling from Russia hundreds of millions of dollars . This is [a] serious case, and I know that KGB ... desperately wants to win this case, and everybody who won't step to their side would face problems."'

(See http://konanykhin.com/news/the-konanykhine-case.html .)

So – 'first hand knowledge', from a Ukrainian nationalist – look at what the Chalupas have been doing, it seems not much has changed.

For a rather different perspective on what Konanykhin had actually been up to, from someone in whose honesty – if not always judgement – I have complete confidence, see the testimony of Karon von Gerhke-Thompson to the House Committee on Banking and Financial Services hearings on Russian Money Laundering. In this, she described how she had been approached by him in 1993:

'"Konanykhine alleged that Menatep Bank controlled $1.7bn [£1bn] in assets and investment portfolios of Russia's most prominent political and social elite," she recalled. She said he wanted to move the bank's assets off shore and asked her to help buy foreign passports for its "very, very special clients".

'In her testimony to the committee Ms Von Gerhke-Thompson said she informed the CIA of the deal, and the agency told her that it believed Mr Konanykhine and Mr Khodorkovsky "were engaged in an elaborate money laundering scheme to launder billions of dollars stolen by members of the KGB and high-level government officials".

(For a 'Guardian report, see https://www.theguardian.com/world/1999/sep/23/julianborger ; for the actual testimony, see http://archives-financialservices.house.gov/banking/92299ger.pdf .)

Coming back to Steele's 'StratCom', in July 2008, an item appeared on the 'Newnight' programme of the BBC – which some of us think should by then have been rechristened the 'Berezovsky Broadcasting Corporation' – in which the introduction by the presenter, Jeremy Paxman, read as follows:

'Good evening. The New Russian President, Dmitri Medvedev, was all smiles and warm words when he met Gordon Brown today. He said he was keen to resolve all outstanding difficulties between the two countries. Yada yada yada. Gordon Brown smiled, but he must know what Newsnight can now reveal: that MI5 believes the Russian state was involved in the murder of Alexander Litvinenko by radioactive poisoning. They also believe that without their intervention another London-based Russian, Boris Berezovsky, would have been murdered. Our diplomatic editor, Mark Urban, has this exclusive report.'

(For the transcript presented in evidence to Owen's Inquiry, see http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/ ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/ )

When Urban repeated the claims on his blog, there was a positive eruption from someone using the name 'timelythoughts', about the activities of someone she referred to as 'Berezovsky's disinformation specialist' – when I came across this later, it was immediately clear to me that she was Karon von Gerhke, and he was Shvets.

(For the first part of the exchanges of comments, the second apparently having become unavailable, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/markurban/2008/07/litvinenko_killing_had_state_i.html )

She then described a visit by Scaramella to Washington, details of which had already been unearthed by my Italian collaborator, David Loepp. Her claim to have e-mails from Shvets, from the time immediately prior to Litvinenko's death, directly contradicting the testimony he had given, fitted with other evidence I had already unearthed.

Later, we exchanged e-mails over a quite protracted period, and a large amount of material that came into my possession as a result was submitted by me to the Inquest team, with some of it being used in posts on the 'European Tribune' site.

What I never used publicly, because I could only partially corroborate it from the material she provided, was an extraordinary claim about Shvets:

'He was responsible for bringing in a Kremlin initiative that was walked Vice President Cheney's office on a US government quid pro quo with the Kremlin FSB SVR involving the arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky – a cease and desist on allegations of a politically motivated arrest of Khodorkovsky, violations of rules of law and calls from Russia's expulsion from the G 8 in exchange for favorable posturing of U.S. oil companies on Gazprom's Shtokman project and intelligence on weapon sales during the Yeltsin era to Iraq, Iran and Syria, all documented in reports I submitted to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and MI6.

'Berezovsky's DS could not be on both sides on that isle. His Kremlin FSB SVR sources had been vetted by the CIA and by the National Security Council. They proved to be as represented. As we would later learn, however, he was on Berezovsky's payroll at same time. The FSB SVR general he was coordinating the Kremlin initiative through was S. R. Subbotin, the same FSB SVR general who was investigating Berezovsky's money laundering operations in Switzerland during the same timeframe. His FSB SVR sources surrounding Putin were higher than any Lugovoy could have ever hoped to affiliate with.

'R. James Woolsey (former CIA DCI), Marshall Miller (former law partner of the late CIA DCI William Colby), who I coordinated the Kremlin initiative through that Berezovsky's DS had brought in were shocked to learn that he was affiliated with Berezovsky and Litvinenko. He was in Berezovsky's inner circle and engaged in vetting Russian business with Litvinenko. He operated Berezovsky's Ukraine website, editing and dubbing the now infamous Kuchma tapes throughout the lead up to the elections in the Ukraine. Berezovsky contributed $41 million to Viktor Yushchenko's campaign, which he used in an attempt to force Yushchenko to reunite with Julia Tymoschenko. It failed but would succeed later after Berezovsky orchestrated a public relations initiative through Alan Goldfarb in the U.S. on behalf of Tymoschenko.'

Having got to know Karon von Gerhke quite well, and also been able to corroborate a great deal of what she told me about many things, and discussed these matters with her, it is absolutely clear to me that she was neither fabricating nor fantasising. What later became apparent, both to her and to me, was that in the 'double game' that Shvets was playing, he had succeeded in fooling her as to the side for which he was working.

It seems likely however that the reason Shvets could do what he did was that quite precisely that many high-up people in the Kremlin and elsewhere were playing a 'double game.' In this, Karon von Gerhke's propensity for indiscretion – of which I, like others, was both beneficiary and victim – could be useful.

An exercise in 'positioning', which could be used to disguise the fact that Shvets was indeed 'Berezovsky's disinformation specialist', could be used to make it appear that 'intelligence on weapon sales during the Yeltsin era to Iraq, Iran and Syria' was actually credible.

This could have been used to try to rescue Cheney, Bush and their associates from the mess they had got into as a result of the failure of the invasion to provide any evidence whatsoever supporting the case which had been made for it. It could also have been used to provide the kind of materials justifying military action against Iran for which Levinson and Jablonski were looking, and for similar action against Syria.

Among reasons for bringing this up now is that we need to make sense of the paradox that Simpson – clearly in collusion with Steele – was using Mogilevich and the 'Solnsetskaya Bratva' both against Manafort and Trump and against Browder.

There are various possible explanations for this. I do not want to succumb to my instinctive prejudice that this may have been another piece of 'positioning', similar to what I think was being done with Shvets, but the hypothesis needs to be considered.

A more general point is that people in Washington and London need to 'wise up' to the kind of world with which they are dealing. This could be done quite enjoyably: reading some of Dashiell Hammett's fictions of the United States in the Prohibition era, or indeed buying DVDs of some of the classics of 'film noir', like 'Out of the Past' (in its British release, 'Build My Gallows High') might be a start.

Very much of the coverage of affairs in the post-Soviet space since 1991 has read rather as though a Dashiell Hammett story had been rewritten by someone specialising in sentimental children's, or romantic, fiction (although, come to think of it, that is really what Brigid O'Shaughnessy does in 'The Maltese Falcon.')

The testimony of Glenn Simpson seems a case in point. The sickly sentimentality of these people does, rather often, make one feel as though one wanted to throw up.

Thomas , 04 February 2018 at 01:24 PM
"They act and believe that they are Olympians. You have to wait for them to age and die before any substantive change in Fortress West's posture; say 2040.}

No, three years at tops and could be much sooner if dimes starting dropping by exposed people that don't want to take the fall for their superiors whom they always detested. One possible thing to get the process started sooner is if the recent Russian Intelligence delegation to DC that Smoothie mentions on another thread gave the current administration, as a diplomatic courtesy of course, the audio recordings of Madame Sectary Nuland's infamous mental meltdown at Kaliningrad. No telling what beans were spilled in her moment of panic, but I am willing to bet key names were dropped. Either way the time is coming.

SmoothieX12 -> Anna... , 04 February 2018 at 01:39 PM
- If they have read the important books at all... The ongoing scandal has been revealing a stunning incompetence of the "deciders." Too often they look comical, ridiculous, undignified. This is dangerous, considering their power.

My coming book is precisely about that. Especially, once American policy-makers who saw and experienced war (Ike, George Marshall's generation) departed things started to roll down hill with Reagan bringing on board a whole collection of neocons.

Unawareness is always dangerous, a complete blackout in relations between two nuclear powers is more than dangerous--it is completely reckless. Again, the way CW 1.0 is perceived in the current US "elites" it becomes extremely tempting to repeat it. Electing Hillary was another step in unleashing CW 2.0 by people who have no understanding of what they were doing.

Obama started crushing US-Russian relations before any campaigns were launched and before Trump was even seriously considered a GOP nominee, let alone a real contender. New confrontation hinged on HRC being elected. In fact, she was one of the major driving forces behind a serious of geopolitical anti-Russian moves. Visceral Russo-phobia became a feature in HRC campaign long before any Steele's Dossier. This was a program.

james said in reply to David Habakkuk ... , 04 February 2018 at 03:01 PM
there seems to be no shortage of money for these blatant propaganda exercises..
Babak Makkinejad -> SmoothieX12 ... , 04 February 2018 at 04:14 PM
I think the failure of Deciders is nothing new - Fath Ali Shah attacking Russia, or the abject failure of the Deciders in 1914. Europe is still not where she was in 1890.
begob , 04 February 2018 at 05:20 PM
I read the post and responses early on, so forgive me if this point has been addressed in the meantime. If the memo information on non-disclosure of material evidence to the warrant issuing court is accurate, as soon as that information came to the attention of the authorities (clearly some time ago) there was a duty on them (including the judge(s) who issued the warrants) to have the matter brought back before the court toot sweet. If that had happened it would surely be in the public domain, so on the assumption the prosecutors and maybe even the judge didn't see the need to review the matter, even purely on a contempt/ethics basis, the memo information only seems convincing if the FISA system is a total sham. I really doubt that.
kooshy said in reply to SmoothieX12 ... , 04 February 2018 at 06:20 PM
IMO, the bigger problem for American not shying away from wars, or being silent about them , is when your home, your mom and dad' home, the town you grew up in, are immune and away from the war.

The security and safety of the two oceans, encourages or at least, in an all volunteer military makes it a secondary problem for regular people, to worry about. As I remember that wasn't the case at the end of VN war when i first landed here. At that time even though the war was on the other side of the planet and away from homeland, still people, especially young ones in colleges were paying more attention to the cost of war.

spy killer , 04 February 2018 at 06:55 PM
Diana West has uncovered some interesting "Red Threads" (6 part article at dianawest-dot-net) on all the Fusion GPS folks. Seems ole Russian speaking Nellie Ohr got herself a ham radio license recently. Wonder why she would suddenly need one of those? They are all Marxists with potential connections back to Russia.
English Outsider -> Fatima Manoubia... , 05 February 2018 at 07:23 AM
Been there. I am also a latecomer to SST. You have to read the back numbers. How? My IT expertise dates from the dawn of the internet and was lamentable then but I find Wayback sometimes allows easier searches than the SST search engine. A straight search on google also allows searches with more than one term. This link -

https://twitter.com/pat_lang

- gets you to a chronological list and for recent material is sometimes quicker than fiddling around with search engines. "Categories" on the RH side is useful but then you don't get some very informative comments that cross-refer.

If those sadly elementary procedures fail resort to the nearest infant. There's a blur of fingers on the keyboard and what you want then usually appears. Never ask them how they did it. They get so fed up when you ask them to explain it again.

"Who is David Habakkuk?" That's a quantum computer sited, from internal evidence you pick up from time to time, somewhere in the Greater London area. Cross references like you wouldn't believe and over several fields, so maybe he's two quantum computers.

The "Borg"?. Try Wittgenstein. Likely a prog but you can't be choosy these days. Early on in "Philosophical Investigations" (hope I get this right) he discusses the problem of how you can view as an entity something that has ill-defined or overlapping boundaries. The "Borg" is that "you know it when you see it" sort of thing. A great merit of this site is that the owner and many of the contributors know it from inside.

In general you may regard your new found site as a microcosm of the great battle that is raging in the West. It's a battle between the (probably apocryphal but adequately stated) Roveian view of reality that regards truth as an adjunct to or as a by-product of ideology and Realpolitik and the objective view of reality as something that is damned difficult to get at, and sometimes impossible, but that has a truth in it somewhere that is independent of the views and convictions of the observer. It's a battle that's never going to be won but unless it tilts back closer to common sense it can certainly be lost and the West with it.

jonst said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 05 February 2018 at 08:11 AM
Clearly the Labor Party in the UK preferred the USSR to Nazi Germany. (cepting that short interlude where the Soviets signed the Agreement with Hitler, and the Left Organized Leadership all across Europe, for the most part, lined up with Hitler). But for the most part, Labor was Left.
Elements (the ones that won out in the end) of the Conservative Party loathed both Hitler and Stalin. An element of the Conservative Party was sympathetic, but only up to a certain point, with the Nazis. This ended in 1939, sept.

So I don't think it fair, or accurate, to say 'England prefered the Nazis....and even if it not those things, it certainly not "well known", except to the people who have used the false premise to butter their wounds from supporting Stalin in his Pact with Hitler. Or are inclined to bash the British in general.

Babak Makkinejad -> jonst... , 05 February 2018 at 08:29 AM
All right, perhaps I should have said "The English Government". Google "Litvinov", you may discover how the English Government pushed Stalin to make a deal with Hitler to buy USSR time.
Sid Finster said in reply to Jack... , 05 February 2018 at 10:26 AM
Witness the infamous State Department protest memo calling for more war on Syria.

The State Department employees that signed that memo were sure that HRC would win and that their diligent work in pushing the Deep State agenda would sure be rewarded.

Since entering office, Trump appears to have taken the line that if he gives the Deep State everything it demands, he will be allowed to remain in office, even if he is not allowed to remain in power.

Sid Finster said in reply to David Habakkuk ... , 05 February 2018 at 10:31 AM
Explain Marshall Miller's role in this, please. He is someone I know quite well. I also know one of the Chalupas.
begob said in reply to jonst... , 05 February 2018 at 10:56 AM
jonst That's broadly accurate, but specifically Attlee brought the motion of no confidence in Chamberlain, which the conservative appeasers won but which led to Churchill's opportunity. Attlee was essential in cabinet to Churchill's resistance after the retreat of the BEF.
turcopolier , 05 February 2018 at 11:18 AM
FM
What are you doing here? You said you dislike the military. Are you really in the Spanish Basque country? Bilbao maybe? break - David Habakkuk is a private scholar of the Litvinenko murder and Soviet/Russian politics and intelligence affairs. His surname comes from Wales where in the 18th (?) Century the ancestral village were all "chapel" and changed their surnames to Old Testament names. His father was master of one of the Cambridge colleges and David is himself a graduate of Cambridge. pl
Babak Makkinejad -> Fatima Manoubia... , 05 February 2018 at 11:19 AM
Yes, I am Iranian. All "Babak"s are Iranians - except some obscure ones that are Rus - Babakov.
Anna , 05 February 2018 at 02:07 PM
The hard, blinding truth: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/02/05/will-conspiracy-trump-american-democracy-go-unpunished/
"In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations." – Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
Thomas said in reply to turcopolier ... , 05 February 2018 at 02:08 PM
Colonel,

This troll showed up recently at b's place doing the same accusations. There is group that is running sacred and pulling out all the stops in "info ops" side of the spectrum. The damn fools don't or, most probably, won't get thru their thick heads and even thicker hearts that it is a failed strategy that turns bystanders into their opponents.

Richardstevenhack , 05 February 2018 at 02:36 PM
Here for your edification is the definitive analysis of the GOP memo by Alexander Mercouris over at The Duran.

And it is a masterpriece - and quite long, possibly his longest analysis of anything so far. He buries the counterarguments being passed around by the Democratic opposition and the anti-Trump media.

Mercouris writes on legal affairs alongside his foreign policy stuff and he writes with a lawyer's precision. And in this article he points out that the GOP memo is writter as a legal document - probably by Trey Gowdy - with additional political insertions by Nunes. So it should properly be referred to as the "GOP memo" or the "Gowdy memo", not the Nunes memo."

Why this is important is that the GOP memo is basically written as a defense lawyer would in contesting a case -- this case being the FISA warrant application. Which means its orientation is proving failure to disclose relevant and material information to the FISA court and in some cases rising to the point of contempt of court.

Seriously, read this! The whole thing!

Rampant abuse and possible contempt of Court: what you need to know about the GOP memo
http://theduran.com/rampant-abuse-contempt-court-analysis-gop-memorandum/

blue peacock , 05 February 2018 at 03:25 PM
Sen Grassley releases memo heavily redacted by DOJ/FBI.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-05/grassley-graham-blast-fbi-censoring-memo-calling-criminal-probe-trump-dossier

"Seeking transparency and cooperation should not be this challenging," Grassley said in a statement after posting a heavily redacted version of the criminal referral that he and GOP Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina sent to the Justice Department last month. " The government should not be blotting out information that it admits isn't secret. "

I suppose DOJ/FBI believe that by obstructing, stalling and obfuscating they can buy time and that the Republicans in Congress will get tired of the games and go home. This seems like a pretty straightforward memo, highlighting the discrepancy between Steele's court filings and the FBI's version of Steele's discussions with them. Grassley is pointing out that either Steele or the FBI is lying.

What is interesting is the difference in process and ability between the House & Senate. The House can release their memos on its own, even if not declassified by the Executive, whereas the Senate requires the Executive to declassify it's memos that are based on classified documents.

turcopolier , 05 February 2018 at 04:38 PM
FM

We have not had a self declared communist on SST before although LeaNder in her youth may have come close to that exalted status. You might want to read the wiki on me and the CV I have posted on the blog to avoid tedious accusations of this or that. I am thought by some to have some knowledge of the ME so please do not try to lecture me about how much you love the Arabs. I speak their language and have lived with them for a long time. There are people who write to SST who are pro-Trump and some who are anti-Trump. I seek a mixture of views so long as personal insult and invective are eschewed. Personally, I do not belong to a political party and would describe myself as an original intent, strict constructionist.

Trump is the constitutionally and legally elected president of the United States. Your descriptors with regard to him are, in my opinion, only plausible if seen from the point of view of various kinds of leftist including Marxist-Leninists like you. You sound very smug and self-satisfied but we will see if you can have an open mind at all. pl

Kooshy said in reply to Babak Makkinejad... , 05 February 2018 at 04:46 PM
Found him, Ali Babacan XVPM, XFM and M of finance. Yes god forbid, if he is a decendent of Ardisher Babakan and another claimant to Iranian throne, which CIA and Soros can jump on.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Babacan MBA from Northeestern
blue peacock , 05 February 2018 at 04:55 PM
...would describe myself as an original intent, strict constructionist.

Aye. Aye. Sir!

+1

That is why some of us believe the Patriot Act and FISA are both unpatriotic and unconstitutional. SCOTUS disagrees with the few of us.

Babak Makkinejad -> Fatima Manoubia... , 05 February 2018 at 05:03 PM
I do not believe Trump is a misogynists - he stated publicly that he likes beautiful women. I also do not think he is a racist. I think he is the first US leader in many decades who has been willing to publicly talk about US problems. For most other US politicians - they largely live in "the best of all possible worlds".
English Outsider , 05 February 2018 at 06:31 PM
Colonel - sincere apologies if my comment above disrupted the discussion on a fascinating article.

David Habakkuk - I should say that "Quantum Computer" referred solely to the ability to gather and collate great amounts of material. It's an ability I admire. On Steele, you are among other things setting out something that is unfamiliar to me though not to most others here, I imagine, and that is the milieu in which he is or was working as a UK Intelligence operative. That you have also done in previous articles; it doesn't seem to be a particularly savoury milieu. As far as Steele's US activities are concerned, from you I'm not getting the picture of a lone operative, all ties with MI6 neatly severed, working solo in the States on some chance assignment in 2016. I'm getting the picture of someone still very much in the swim and selected because of that.

The only problem with that second picture is the dossier, or the 30% or so of it - what Comey, I think it was, described as "salacious and unverified". Surely that's got to be amateur night. Not something that a practised professional working with other professionals would put his hand to. Does that not support the picture of an ex-operative who's gone off the rails and is fumbling around unsupervised?

The Steele affair touched a nerve. One is always I suppose aware that IC professionals are getting up to all sorts and it doesn't seem improbable that "all sorts" includes political stuff and smear campaigns. But it's not heaps of corpses in Syria or farm boys being sent to certain death in the Ukraine. And even within the UK Intelligence Community and their contractors or whatever they're called, compared with what our IC people have done in the ME or compared with what one fears Hamish de Bretton Gordon might have got himself involved in, Christopher Steele's just a choirboy. Nevertheless there's something deeply repellent about what he did. Whatever your view of Trump there he was, newly elected, obviously wanting to make a go of it, and already faced with difficulties. Then some chancer throws "Golden Showers" in his face and makes his position, not maybe for the insiders but for the general public, that bit more untenable.

So from a UK perspective the question of whether Steele was acting in concert with others in the UK becomes important. If he was truly working solo then that from a UK point of view is regrettable but one of those things. In that case MI6 would just have to tighten up its controls on what ex-operatives get up to, put out the appropriate disclaimers, and that's the end of it as far as the UK is concerned. But if Golden Showers and the rest of it was a "Welcome Mr President" from UK IC professionals as a group then those professionals should be hung drawn and quartered together with whoever set them on.

I've read your article several times now and apart from the fact that much of what you pull together isn't material I'm up on, it doesn't seem to me that you're definitely coming to one conclusion or the other. There are many more facts to come out so perhaps this question is premature, but do you think Steele was acting in concert with others in the UK or was he, at least as far as the UK is concerned, working solo?

kooshy , 05 February 2018 at 07:49 PM
Most Iranian females Named Fatima/ Fatimah after prophet' daughter, call themselves Fati, and if they are of aristocrat type, they are called Bibi Fati Khanam, which is honorable lady Fati and if they are westernized they become Fay or Fifi.
turcopolier , 05 February 2018 at 07:59 PM
EO

Much of your commentary seems directed to David Habakkuk and PT rather than I. I don't think the FBI would have started to pay him until he left UK service. pl

English Outsider , 06 February 2018 at 05:10 AM
Colonel - Further apologies - I should have submitted comment 79 as two items.

Yes, the question about Steele was in response to DH's article. The UK side of the affair is I suppose only a small part of the question you and your Committee are examining but it's a dubious part however one looks at it. Although it's early days yet I was hoping DH, with his encyclopaedic knowledge of the UK intelligence scene, might feel able to cast more light on that UK side.

English Outsider -> Cortes... , 06 February 2018 at 05:53 AM
Cortes - " ... where, exactly, do you expect the great public to look beyond the initial scabrously defamatory storytelling about the "golden showers"? "

I don't think one can expect the public, at least in the UK, to look very far beyond the initial scandal. The investigations and enquiries presently under way in the US are complex and are taking place in a different system. This member of the UK public wouldn't be able to give you a coherent account of those enquiries and I doubt many of my fellows could.

So we have to take on trust, most of us, what we're told. As far as I can tell the underlying theme from the BBC and the media is generally that Trump is subverting the American Justice system in order to ensure his own misdemeanours aren't investigated.

Some of us take that as gospel. Others of us assume that the politicians and the media are untrustworthy and ignore them. I doubt many of us go into much more detail than that. Therefore the original story will stick in our minds.

But for some in the UK there are questions in there as well. How come the UK got mixed up in all this? How much did the UK get mixed up in it?

David Habakkuk -> Sid Finster... , 06 February 2018 at 06:19 AM
Sid Finster,

In response to comment 53.

When I belatedly started looking at the Litvinenko mystery, as a result of a strange email provoked by comments of mine on SST which arrived in my inbox in March 2007 from someone who turned out to be a key protagonist, it was rather obvious that improvised and chaotic 'StratCom' operations had been put into place on both the Russian and British sides to cover up what had happened.

A particular interesting feature of those on the British side – in which we now know Christopher Steele must have played a leading role – were the bizarre gyrations those responsible were going through trying to explain away the extraordinary fact that when he had broken the story of his poisoning, Litvinenko had pointed the finger of suspicion at his Italian associate Mario Scaramella.

When I started delving, I came across some very interesting pieces on Scaramella and related matters posted on the 'European Tribune' website by a Rome-based blogger using the name 'de Gondi' in the period after the story broke.

His actual name is David Loepp, by profession he is an artisan jeweller specialising in ancient and traditional goldsmith techniques, and I already knew and respected his work from his contributions to the transnational internet investigation into the Niger uranium forgeries – an earlier MI6 clusterf**ck.

So in May 2008 I posted a longish piece on that site, setting out the problems with the evidence about the Litvinenko case as I saw them, in the hope of reactivating his interest. This paid off in spades, when he linked to, and translated a key extract from, the request from Italian prosecutors to use wiretaps of conversations with Senator Paolo Guzzanti in connection with their prosecution of Scaramella for 'aggravated calumny.'

The request, which up to not so long ago was freely available on the website of the Italian Senate, was denied, but the extensive summaries of the transcripts provided a lot of material.

(This initial post by me, and later posts by me on that site, are at http://www.eurotrib.com/user/uid:1857/diary. Three posts David Loepp and I produced jointly in December 2012, which have a lot on Scaramella and Shvets, are on his page there, at http://www.eurotrib.com/user/de%20Gondi/diary .)

The extract from the wiretap request which David Loepp posted, which like Litvinenko's letter containing the claims he and Yuri Shvets had concocted about Putin using Mogilevich to attempt to supply Al Qaeda with a 'mini nuclear bomb' is dated 1 December 2005, contains key pointers to the conspiracy. It concludes:

'A passage on Simon Moghilevic and an agreement between the camorra to search for nuclear weapons lost during the Cold War to be consigned to Bin Laden, a revelation made by the Israeli. According to Scaramella the circle closes: camorra, Moghilevic- Russian mafia- services- nuclear bombs in Naples.'

Subsequent conversations make clear that Scaramella left on 6 December 2005 for Washington, on a trip where he was to meet Shvets. The summary of a report on this to Guzzanti reads:

'12) conversation that took place on number [omissis] on December 18, 2005, at 9:41:51 n. 1426, containing explicit references to the authenticity of the declarations of Alexander Litvinenko acquired by Scaramella, to the trustworthiness of the affirmations made by Scaramella in his reports to the commission and to the meetings Scaramella had with Talik after having denounced them [presumably Talik and his alleged accomplices]. (They can talk with HEIMS thanks to the help of MILLER. SHVEZ says that he had been a companion of CARLOS at the academy; SHVEZ has already made declarations and is willing to continue collaboration. Guzzanti warns that a document in Russian arrived in commission in which the name of SCARAMELLA appears several times, these [sic] say that directives to the contrary had been given to Litvinenko. Scaramella says that he went to the meeting with TALIK in the company of two treasury [police] and a cop, Talik spoke of a person from the Ukrainian GRU who would be willing to talk and a strange Chechen ring in Naples. Assassination attempt against the pope, CASAROLI was a Soviet agent.)'

The summary of a later conversation also refers to 'MILLER':

'conversation that took place on number [omissis] on January 13, 2006, at 11:22:11 n. 2287, containing references to Scaramella's sources in relation to facts referred in the Commission, the means by which they were obtained by Scaramella from declarations made abroad, the role of Litvinenko, also on the occasion of declarations made by third parties and the credibility of the news and theses given by Scaramella to the commission (Scaramella reads a text in English on the relation between the KGB and PRODI. Guzzanti asks if its credibility can be confirmed and if the taped declarations can be backed up; Scaramella answers that there were two testimonies, Lou Palumbo and Alexander (Litvinenko), and that the registration made in London at the beginning of the assignment [Scaramella's?] had been authenticated by a certain BAKER of the FBI. As he translates the text from English, Scaramella notes that the person testifying does not say he knows Prodi but only that he thinks that Prodi ...; all those who worked for the person testifying in Scandinavia said that Prodi was "theirs." The affair in Rimini, Bielli is preparing the battle in Rimini. Meetings with MILLER for the three things that are needed. Polemic about Pollari over the pressure exerted on Gordievski.)'

In the exchanges on my May 2008 post, I mentioned and linked to some extraordinary comments on a crucial article by Edward Jay Epstein, in which Karon von Gerhke claimed that his sceptical account fitted with what her contacts in the British investigation had told her. When that July I came across her equally extraordinary claims in response to the BBC's Mark Urban piece of stenography – which Steele may also have had a hand in organising – I found she was referring to precisely that visit to Washington by Scaramella which had been described in the wiretap request.

As you can perhaps imagine, the fact that 'Miller' had featured in the conversations with Guzzanti both as a key contact, who could introduce Scaramella to Aldrich Ames (which is who 'Heims' clearly is), and with whom there had been meetings about 'the three things that are needed' made me inclined to take seriously what Karon von Gerhke said about his role.

In December 2008, I put up another post on 'European Tribune', putting together the material from David Loepp and that from Karon von Gerhke – but not discussing the references to 'Miller.' As I had hoped, this led to her getting in touch.

Among the material with which she supplied me, which I in turn supplied to the Solicitor to the Inquest, were covers of faxes to John Rizzo, then Acting General Counsel of the CIA. From a fax dated 23 October 2005.

'John: See attached email to Chuck Patrizia. Berezovsky alleges he is in possession of a copy of a classified file given to the CIA by Russia's FSB, which he further alleges the CIA disseminated to British, French, Italian and Israeli intelligence agencies implicating him in business associations with the Mafia and to ties with terrorist organizations. Yuri Shvets was authorised/directed by Berezovsky to raise the issue with Bud McFarlane scheduled for Thursday. McFarlane is unaware the issue will be raised with him.'

From a fax dated 7 November 2005:

'John: I am attaching an email exchange between Yuri Shvets and me re: 1) article he published on his Ukraine website on alleged sale of nuclear choke to Iran, which I reproached him on as having been planted by Berezovsky and 2 the alleged FSB/CIA document file that Berezovsky obtained from Scaramella, which Yuri acknowledges in his e-mail to me. Like extracting wisdom teeth to get him to put anything on paper, especially in an e-mail! [NAME REDACTED BY ME – DH] is the source McFarlane referred Yuri to re: Berezovsky's visa issue. She proposed meeting Berezovsky in London. Alleged it would take a year to clear up USG issues and even then could not guarantee him a visa. She too has access to USG intelligence on Berezovsky. Open book.'

From a fax dated 5 December 2005:

'John. From Mario Scaramella to Yuri Shvets to my ears, the DOJ has authorised Mario Scaramella to interview Aldrich Ames with regard to members of the Italian Intelligence Service agent recruited by Ames for the KGB. Scaramella, as you may recall, is who gave Boris Berezovsky's aide, a former FSB Colonel [LITVINENKO – DH], that alleged document number to the FSB file that the CIA disseminated on Berezovsky – a file that Bud McFarlane's "Madam Visa" [NAME REDACTED BY ME – DH] is alleged is totting off to London for a meeting with Berezovsky, who has agreed to retain her re: his visa issue. Quid pro quo's with Berezovsky and Scaramella on the CIA agent currently facing kidnapping charges for the rendition of the Muslim cleric? Scott Armstrong has a most telling file on Scaramella. Not a single redeeming quality.'

In the course of very extensive exchanges with Karon von Gerhke subsequently, we had some rather acute disagreements. It was unfortunate that her filing was a shambles – a crucial hard disk failed without a backup, and the 'hard copies' appeared to be in a chaotic state.

However, the only occasion when I can recall having reason to believe that was deliberately lying to me was when David Loepp unearthed a cache of documentation including the full Italian text of the letter from Litvinenko containing the 'StratCom' designed to suggest that Putin had attempted to supply a 'mini nuclear bomb' to Al Qaeda. Having been asked to keep this between ourselves for the time being, Karon insisted on immediately sending it to her contacts in Counter Terrorism Command, and then produced bogus justifications.

Time and again, moreover, I found that I could confirm statements that she made – see for example the two posts I put up on the legal battles following the death in February 2008 of Berezovsky's long-term partner Arkadi 'Badri' Patarkatsishvili in June and July 2009, which were based on careful corroboration of what she told me.

(I should also say that I acquired the greatest respect for her courage.)

And while Owen and his team suppressed all the evidence from her, and almost all of that from David Loepp, which I had I provided to them, the dossier about Berezovsky is described in a statement made by Litvinenko in Tel Aviv in April 2006, presented in evidence in the Inquiry.

(See http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613090333/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/evidence .)

Other evidence, moreover, strongly inclines me to believe that there were overtures for a 'quid pro quo', purporting to come from Putin, but that this was a ruse orchestrated by Berezovsky.

Part of the purpose of this would almost certainly have been to supply probably bogus 'evidence' about arms sales in the Yeltsin years to Iraq, Iran and Syria. Moreover, I think there was an article on the second 'Fifth Element' site run by Shvets about the supposed sale of a nuclear 'choke' – whatever that is – to Iran.

The likelihood of the involvement of elements in the FBI in these shenanigans seems to quite high, given what has already emerged about the activities of Levinson. Also relevant may be the fact that the 'declaration' which was part of the attempt to frame Romano Prodi was authenticated, in London, by 'a certain BAKER of the FBI.')

Babak Makkinejad -> David Habakkuk ... , 06 February 2018 at 09:40 AM
Thank you David Habakkuk. Truly sordid and deplorable. WWIII to be initiated on basis of lies.
Jack , 06 February 2018 at 12:06 PM
David

You may already know this but Steele was a no show in a UK court for a deposition on the libel suit.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/02/05/christopher-steele-is-no-show-in-london-court-in-civil-case-over-dossier.amp.html

Babak Makkinejad -> David Habakkuk ... , 06 February 2018 at 01:18 PM
I know something of spectroscopy. The critical issue here is the provenance of the samples and not the sophistication of the techniques used in the analysis itself or its instrumentation. The paragraph that you have quoted:

"To figure out signatures based on various synthetic routes and conditions, Chipuk says that the synthetic chemists on his team will make the same chemical threat agent as many as 2,000 times in an ..." reeks of intellectual intimidation - trying to brow-beat any skeptic by the size of one's instrument - as it were."

And then there is a little matter of confidence level in any of the analysis - such things are normally based on prior statistics - which did not and could not exist in this situation.

LeaNder , 07 February 2018 at 09:16 AM
David, it's no doubt interesting to watch how attention on Victor Ivanov in another deficient inquiry on the British Isles, was managed in that inquiry. If I may, since he pops up again in the Steele dossier. You take what's available? Is that all there is to know?

I know its hard to communicate basics if you are deeply into matters. Usually people prefer to opt out. It's getting way too complicated for them to follow. You made me understand this experience. But isn't this (fake) intelligence continuity "via" Yuri Svets what connects your, no harm meant I do understand your obsession with the case, with what we deal with now in the Steele Dossier? Again, one of the most central figures is Ivanov.

Of course later reports in the Steele Dossier go hand in hand with a larger public relations campaign. Creating reality? Irony alert: as informer/source I would by then know what the other side wants to hear.

By the way, babbling mode, I found your Tom Mangold transcription. It felt it wasn't there on the link you gave. I used the date, and other search terms. Maybe I am wrong. Haven't looked at what the judge ruled out of the collection. Yes, cozy session/setting.

According to Google search there are no other links then your articles here:
http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613093555/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000513wb.pdf ">https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000513wb.pdf">http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160613093555/https://www.litvinenkoinquiry.org/files/2015/04/HMG000513wb.pdf

**********

JAN RICHARD BÆRUG
The Collapsing Wall. Hybrid Journalism. A Comparative Study of Newspapers and Magazines in Eight Countries in Europe

Available online. Haven't read it yet, but journalism as hidden public relations transfer belt would be one of my minor obsessions. ...

Babak Makkinejad -> turcopolier ... , 07 February 2018 at 11:23 AM
I wonder too; their command of the English idiom is very au currant - noticed "opt in/opt out" reference? Too American.

They clearly are not native speakers of German.

LeaNder said in reply to kooshy... , 07 February 2018 at 12:30 PM
why California, Kooshy #18? California among other things left this verbal trace, since I once upon time thought a luggage storage in SF might be free/available now: this is my home, lady.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kish_Island#Economy

Tourists from many -- but not all -- foreign nations wishing to enter Kish Free Zone from legal ports are not required to obtain any visa prior to travel. For those travelers, upon-arrival travel permits are stamped valid for 14 days by Kish officials.

Who are the not all? Can we assume Britain is not one of those? The German link is different. How about the Iranian? or isn't this the Kish we are talking about?

LeaNder said in reply to LeaNder... , 07 February 2018 at 01:14 PM
correcting myself #94:

another Ivanov. I struggled with names (...) in Russian crime novels, admittedly. But that's long ago from times Russian crime and Russian money flows and rogues getting hold of its nuclear material surfaced more often in Europe. 90s

I see Sergei seems to share my interest in the literary genre: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Ivanov#Personal

[Apr 22, 2019] Current Neo-McCarthyism hysteria as a smoke screen of the UK and the USA intent to dominate European geopolitics and weaken Russia and Germany

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... North Stream is a problem as the goal is to economically weaken Russia, tie the EU to the USA via energy supplies and support our new client state -- Ukraine. ..."
"... But this is also related to attempts to prevent/weaken the alliance of Russia and China. As geopolitical consequences of this alliance for the USA-led neoliberal empire are very bad ..."
Jul 24, 2018 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , July 24, 2018 12:23 am

@run75441 July 23, 2018 2:02 pm

Best bet is for Russia to want to trade with the US and Europe. The gas pipeline will not be enough leverage on Germany as it provides 9% of their needs.

Yes. And that's against the USA interests (or more correctly the US-led neoliberal empire interests). North Stream is a problem as the goal is to economically weaken Russia, tie the EU to the USA via energy supplies and support our new client state -- Ukraine.

As you know, nothing was proven yet in Russiagate (and DNC hacks looks more and more like a false flag operation, especially this Guccifer 2.0 personality ), but sanctions were already imposed. And when the US government speaks "Russia" in most cases they mean "China+Russia" ;-). Russia is just a weaker link in this alliance and, as such, it is attacked first. Russiagate is just yet another pretext after MH17, Magnitsky and such.

To me the current Anti-Russian hysteria is mainly a smokescreen to hide attempt to cement cracks in the façade of the USA neoliberal society that Trump election revealed (including apparent legitimization of ruling neoliberal elite represented by Hillary).

And a desperate attempt to unite the society using (false) war propaganda which requires demonization of the "enemy of the people" and neo-McCarthyism.

But this is also related to attempts to prevent/weaken the alliance of Russia and China. As geopolitical consequences of this alliance for the USA-led neoliberal empire are very bad (for example, military alliance means the end of the USA global military domination; energy alliance means that is now impossible to impose a blockade on China energy supplies from Middle East even if Iran is occupied)

In this sense the recent descent into a prolonged fit of vintage Cold War jingoistic paranoia is quite understandable. While, at the same time, totally abhorrent. My feeling is that unless Russia folds, which is unlikely, the side effects/externalities of this posture can be very bad for the USA. In any case, the alliance of Russia and China which Obama administration policies forged spells troubles to the global neoliberal empire dominated by the USA.

Trump rejection of existing forms of neoliberal globalization is one sign that this process already started and some politicians already are trying to catch the wind and adapt to a "new brave world" by using preemptive adjustments.

Which is why all this Trump-Putin summit hysteria is about.

Neither hard, nor soft neoliberals want any adjustments. They are ready to fight for the US-led neoliberal empire till the last American (excluding, of course, themselves and their families)

[Apr 12, 2019] Managing Russia's dissolution by Janusz Bugajski

The dream of dismantling Russia is still very much alive in Washington neocon think tanks and intelligence agencies
Notable quotes:
"... This sort of drivel is nothing new, dissolution of Russia has been a long-standing intent of the US, NATO and their boot licking lackeys like the Polish government and the coup government in Kiev. Putin and fellow politicians have said precisely this on several occasions. ..."
"... "Russians paying big money to have their babies born in US" https://www.foxnews.com/us/... I don't see any Americans traveling to Russia to have their babies born there ..."
"... Isn't it amazing how so many Russians have "Faith" in the future of the United Sates and NONE in their own country of Russia that they'd flock to the US so their children can have a U.S. passport. ..."
"... Lots of people want to go USA for better life and that is a simple human desire as USA can provide at least basic living standards to majority, but the question is how they can do that... ..."
"... Answer; They print dollars, they go around and kill people and pillage countries of their human and material capital, install governments in other countries that work against their own people for the benefit of USA etc... ..."
Apr 12, 2019 | thehill.com

Jack P 3 months ago

This sort of drivel is nothing new, dissolution of Russia has been a long-standing intent of the US, NATO and their boot licking lackeys like the Polish government and the coup government in Kiev. Putin and fellow politicians have said precisely this on several occasions.
Airman48 -> Jack P 3 months ago
Thanks for the confirmation of the articles truth IVAN.

I hear Russian woman will pay big money to travel to the the U.S. so they can have their babies born here. Anchor babies with U.S. citizenship as 'Insurance' against the next inevitable Russian political/economic collapse.

"Russians paying big money to have their babies born in US" https://www.foxnews.com/us/... I don't see any Americans traveling to Russia to have their babies born there, doublely so these days with the Russian FSB looking for Americans in Russia to take as hostages.

Isn't it amazing how so many Russians have "Faith" in the future of the United Sates and NONE in their own country of Russia that they'd flock to the US so their children can have a U.S. passport.

Petar Petrovic -> Airman48 3 months ago
Lots of people want to go USA for better life and that is a simple human desire as USA can provide at least basic living standards to majority, but the question is how they can do that...

Answer; They print dollars, they go around and kill people and pillage countries of their human and material capital, install governments in other countries that work against their own people for the benefit of USA etc...

need more examples

[Apr 06, 2019] The Magnitsky Act-Behind the Scenes ASEEES

Highly recommended!
Money quote: "Instead of protecting people, the Magnitsky case helps the "bad guys" to demonstrate to their Russian compatriots that the West is rotten to the core, its policies are created by compliant stooges (lying thieves and useful idiots), and more rockets should be built to confront America's injustice towards Russia and others. A lie can never really protect anyone, in my humble opinion. But the problem is worse. It turns human rights into a hypocritical ideology to protect the interests of the powers that be, a bit like the slogans about brotherhood and justice in the Soviet Union. "
Notable quotes:
"... Taught in tandem with William Browder's book Red Notice , this film can provide students with a real-life experience in the practice of critical thinking. The film also allows us to revive a discussion of Hayden White's penetrating analysis of the ways in which the structure of the form necessarily influences the content of any artistic or historical narrative. The vehicle of the docudrama that Nekrasov uses in his film, and the competing narratives about the circumstances leading to Magnitsky's death, merit literary and intellectual analysis, along with geopolitical commentary. ..."
"... The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes is about the ways in which the notion of human rights is sometimes used as a fake alibi for white-collar crimes. Though I explore just one case, I think that I have managed to show that those ways are exceptionally sophisticated and efficient, and enlist all the major media, civil society, NGOs, governments, parliaments, and major international organizations. ..."
"... The Magnitsky Act, in my view, is not a weapon that can protect people. The Magnitsky Act was designed to punish those deemed murderers and torturers of Magnitsky. Well, if my film demonstrates that Magnitsky was not murdered (by the people Browder claims he was murdered by), nor was he tortured, the Magnitsky Act is nonsensical. You cannot punish someone for something that did not happen. Can you then say, never mind, human rights violations happen, and it's good to have a mechanism to punish violators even if there's no evidence that people named as violators are guilty? I don't think one can say "never mind". Neither legally, nor, morally. ..."
"... There is no evidence whatsoever that the government of the United States conducted independent investigations of the policemen and the judges who were supposedly involved in the death of Magnitsky. And no one seems to be concerned of course about the rights of those on the Magnitsky list, who can't even reply to the accusations, let alone have the accusations verified by an independent investigator or judge. ..."
Apr 06, 2019 | www.aseees.org

In 2016, Andrei Lvovich Nekrasov, a well-known Russian film-maker, playwright, theater director, and actor, released a docudrama entitled, The Magnitsky Act -- Behind the Scenes . Although the film won many artistic accolades, including a special commendation from the Prix Europa Award for a Television Documentary, public screenings were abruptly canceled in both Europe and the United States. Political pressure from various constituents and the threat of lawsuits from William Browder, the American-British billionaire and human-rights activist, ensured the limitation of the film to a single website. To the knowledge of this author, there has been only one public screening of The Magnitsky Act -- Behind the Scenes in the United States. In June 2016, Seymour Hersch, a renowned investigative journalist, presided over a showing of the film at the Newseum in Washington, DC, that generated much controversy. The American press has not been kind to either the film or the director, Andrei Nekrasov. The Washington Post, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and The Daily Beast all seem to agree that the film is an overt work of Russian propaganda that aims to introduce confusion about the circumstances leading to the death of tax accountant, Sergei Magnitsky, in the minds of the viewers. The Putin administration, which has been the prime target of both the 2012 Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Accountability Act and the 2016 Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, has good reason to promote a film that questions the circumstances surrounding Magnitsky's untimely death in Moscow's Butyrka Prison in 2009.

Despite a flood of persuasive articles and editorials by well-known journalists suggesting that this inconvenient film deserves no more than a quick burial, I was drawn to reconsider both the film and the political controversy that it continues to create for two main reasons. First, as the collapse of the Soviet Union and our own recent presidential campaigns show, we can never entirely prohibit the intrusion of propaganda or politically slanted content into the public sphere. Instead, as a historian and faculty member who serves at a public university, I believe that it is my job to teach our students how to diagnose an issue, and how to consider the many sides that a story necessarily involves. As an intellectual process this has immense value both in and of itself. Source criticism is a time tested and reliable means through which we can make sense of an event or a phenomenon. Our students need to learn both the mechanics and the intellectual value of analyzing a source and should be able to evaluate the nature of political content whether it is embedded in a Facebook post, a scholarly article, or a documentary.

The Magnitsky Act -- Behind the Scenes can serve as an important vehicle to introduce the contested nature of historical truth, and as a prism, it allows us to view the multiple modes through which various versions of the truth are disseminated in the twenty-first century. Taught in tandem with William Browder's book Red Notice , this film can provide students with a real-life experience in the practice of critical thinking. The film also allows us to revive a discussion of Hayden White's penetrating analysis of the ways in which the structure of the form necessarily influences the content of any artistic or historical narrative. The vehicle of the docudrama that Nekrasov uses in his film, and the competing narratives about the circumstances leading to Magnitsky's death, merit literary and intellectual analysis, along with geopolitical commentary.

Second, I am concerned by the fact that both critics and supporters have turned the debate about the film into a referendum on William Browder, his business dealings as well as his global human rights activism, and the Putin administration. In this interview with Andrei Nekrasov, I turn the spotlight back on the film-maker, his motivations for making the film, and on his political experiences since the release of the film. It is important to remember that in the past Nekrasov has made several politically charged films including Disbelief (2004), and Poisoned by Polonium: The Litvinenko File (2007) -- films that are extremely critical of the Putin administration. Nekrasov, a student of philosophy and literature, is in the unique position of having experienced censorship in the Soviet Union, Putin's Russia, and in the democratic countries of Western Europe and the United States.

1) Why did you want to make a film about the Magnitsky Act? What drew you to this project?

Andrei Nekrasov : I felt that the story of Magnitsky, in its accepted version, was very powerful and important. I thought that Sergei Magnitsky was a hero, and I wanted to tell the story of the modern hero, my compatriot. His case seemed very special because Magnitsky, a tax lawyer (in reality, an accountant) had come from the world of capitalism, to symbolize all that is good and moral in modern Russia. I believed that Magnitsky did not surrender under torture and sacrificed his life fighting corruption.

2) Who has funded the making of this film and what motivated them to invest in this production?

AN : The film was produced by Piraya Film, a Norwegian company. There is a long list of funders, and none are from Russia. (Please visit www.magnitskyact.com for further information). And they are all very "mainstream." I believe in the United States and Russia it is easier to construe the specific reasons that motivate funders, who are mostly private, to support a project. In Europe, where more public money is available for the arts, the state is more or less obliged to fund the cultural process. So I submit an idea to a producer, and if they like it, they introduce it into a complex system of funding that is supposed to be politically neutral. Only quality matters, in theory. In practice "quality" has political aspects, and its interpretation is open to prejudices.

But it would be a simplification to say the film was funded because I had set out to tell Browder's version of the Magnitsky case. Those funders who were (through their commissioning editors) monitoring the editing process, ZDF/ARTE, for example, became aware of the inconsistencies in Browder's version and supported my investigation into the truth. What they did not realize was who, and what, we were all dealing with. They did not realize that Browder was supported by the entire political system of North America and Western Europe. They realized that only when they were told by politicians to stop the film. And they obeyed, contrary to what I thought was their principles.

3) How has the role of censorship, both in Russia and the West, affected your artistic career?

AN : Censorship has had a very strong and damaging impact on my career. But while censorship in Russia had never been something surprising to me, the way that the film T he Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes was treated by western politicians was totally unanticipated and shocking. Yet, intellectually, the experience was very illuminating. The pro-Western intelligentsia of Russia, a class to which I have belonged, idolizes the West and believes that the freedom of expression is an essential and even intrinsic part of Western culture. The notion that the interests of economically powerful groups can set a geopolitical agenda and that easily overrides democratic freedom of expression is considered to be a remnant of Soviet era thinking. So I had to have a direct and personal experience of Western censorship to realize that that notion is rooted in reality.

The issue of censorship in Russia is, on the other hand, often misunderstood in the West. There is no direct political censorship of the kind that existed in the Soviet Union, and that possibly exists in countries like China today. Many popular Russian news outlets are critical of the government, and of Putin personally as evidenced by the content in media outlets such as Ekho Moskvy, Novaya Gazeta, Dozhd TV, New Times, Vedomosti, Colta. ru, and others. The internet is full of mockery of Putin, his ministers and of his party's representatives. There is neither a system nor the kind of wellresourced deep state structures that control the flow of information. Many Russian media outlets, for example, repeat Browder's story of Magnitsky killed by the corrupt police with the state covering it up. All that is perfectly "allowed" while Putin angrily condemns Browder as a criminal and Browder calls himself Putin's number one enemy. In reality, it is not allowed but simply happens because of the lack of consistent political censorship.

However, you will hardly ever hear a proper analysis and criticism in the Russian media of the big corporations, and of the oligarchs that make up the state. It is also true that such acute crises as military operations, such as Russian-Georgian war of 2008 produce intolerance to the voices of the opposition. My film Russian Lessons (2008) about the suffering of the Georgians during that short war and its aftermath wasbanned in Russia. But nationalism is not only a government policy. It's the prevailing mood. The supposedly democratic leader of the opposition, that the West seems to praise and support, Alexei Navalny, was on the record insulting Georgians in jingo-nationalistic posts during the war. The film industry is, of course, easier to steer in the "right direction" as films, unlike articles and essays, are very expensive to produce. But Russia is a complex society, deeply troubled, but also misunderstood by the West. If my films, such as Poisoned by Polonium: The Litvinenko File , and Russian Lessons (2010) were attacked by pro-government media, then some of my articles were censored by the independent, "opposition" outlets, such as Ekho Moskvy .

4) Did you actually begin filming the movie with an outcome of supporting Browder's story in mind, as you represent in the film, or did you plan from the start of the filming process to end the film as it now stands?

AN : I started filming the story. I totally believed in the story that Browder had told me, and all the mainstream media repeated after him.

5) You know that there are many more "disappeared" journalists and others listed in the formal US Congress Magnitsky Act who have suffered from the effects of corrupt power in Russia. Why did you not address the fates of some of those others as well in your film?

AN : I may be misunderstanding this question, but I do not see how addressing the fates of "disappeared" journalists and others' would be relevant to the topic of my film in its final version. I obviously condemn the "disappearance" of journalists and others. In Russia journalists disappear usually by being "simply" shot (not in "sophisticated" Saudi ways), and as far as I remember only one is referred to in The Magnitsky Act , Paul Khlebnikov. He was the editor of Forbes, Russia , and was shot in 2004 when Bill Browder was a great fan of Vladimir Putin and continued to be for some time. I have not seen any evidence or even claim, that Putin may have been behind that murder. I was a friend of Anna Politkovskaya, perhaps the most famous of all Russian journalists who was assassinated in the recent past. She is featured in my film, Poisoned by Polonium .

The Magnitsky Act – Behind the Scenes is about the ways in which the notion of human rights is sometimes used as a fake alibi for white-collar crimes. Though I explore just one case, I think that I have managed to show that those ways are exceptionally sophisticated and efficient, and enlist all the major media, civil society, NGOs, governments, parliaments, and major international organizations.

6) Does William Browder's role in the formulation of the Magnitsky Act invalidate its value and that of the Global Magnitsky Act, in seeking to provide protection for those suffering from the effects of deadly and corrupt power such as the recently deceased Saudi Arabian journalist, Jamal Khashoggi?

AN : Let me, for the argument's sake, pose myself what would seem like a version of your question: "Would Browder's role in creating a weapon that could protect someone like Khashoggi from deadly and corrupt power invalidate that weapon?" My answer would be, no, it would not invalidate that weapon. However, we are dealing with a fallacy here, in my humble opinion. The Magnitsky Act, in my view, is not a weapon that can protect people. The Magnitsky Act was designed to punish those deemed murderers and torturers of Magnitsky. Well, if my film demonstrates that Magnitsky was not murdered (by the people Browder claims he was murdered by), nor was he tortured, the Magnitsky Act is nonsensical. You cannot punish someone for something that did not happen. Can you then say, never mind, human rights violations happen, and it's good to have a mechanism to punish violators even if there's no evidence that people named as violators are guilty? I don't think one can say "never mind". Neither legally, nor, morally.

There is no evidence whatsoever that the government of the United States conducted independent investigations of the policemen and the judges who were supposedly involved in the death of Magnitsky. And no one seems to be concerned of course about the rights of those on the Magnitsky list, who can't even reply to the accusations, let alone have the accusations verified by an independent investigator or judge.

Instead of protecting people, the Magnitsky case helps the "bad guys" to demonstrate to their Russian compatriots that the West is rotten to the core, its policies are created by compliant stooges (lying thieves and useful idiots), and more rockets should be built to confront America's injustice towards Russia and others. A lie can never really protect anyone, in my humble opinion. But the problem is worse. It turns human rights into a hypocritical ideology to protect the interests of the powers that be, a bit like the slogans about brotherhood and justice in the Soviet Union.

Choi Chatterjee is a Professor of History at California State University, Los Angeles. Chatterjee, along with Steven Marks, Mary Neuberger, and Steve Sabol, edited The Wider Arc of Revolution in three volumes (Slavica Publishers).

[Apr 06, 2019] NATO At 70 Years Old... Time For The Zombie To Die

Apr 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

NATO At 70 Years Old... Time For The Zombie To Die

by Tyler Durden Sat, 04/06/2019 - 09:20 135 SHARES

If NATO were a person, it would be five years past retirement age . In fact, as Ron Paul notes , NATO should have retired back in the early 1990s when its reason for existence - the Warsaw Pact - ceased to exist. Instead, new missions had to be created and new enemies had to be made to justify the massive behemoth that provides lush jobs for the well-connected and vast fortunes for the weapons makers. NATO must die and the sooner the better .

https://www.youtube.com/embed/IvMEIA2r3Fw

When the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created 70 years ago in 1949 it was formed as a blatant military instrument for waging the Cold War, a war that the US, Britain and other European allies had newly embarked on. NATO's public relations cant about "peace and security" is but Orwellian rhetoric.

But, as The Strategic Culture Foundation notes, the supposed allies of the Soviet Union hastily went from an ostensible joint purpose of defeating Nazi Germany during the Second World War to initiating hostility towards Moscow. Already in 1946, British war-time leader Winston Churchill was fulminating about "an Iron Curtain" descending across Europe, in language adapted from Third Reich propaganda maestro Joseph Goebbels. The ensuing Cold War would last for nearly half a century until the Soviet Union collapsed from its internal political and economic stresses.

NATO's first secretary general, Britain's Lord Ismay, was candid in the mission of the military alliance. Its objective, he said, was to, "Keep Russia out, the Americans in, and Germany down".

Of course, Western propaganda always portrayed the Soviet Union as the "aggressor", alleging that the so-called Red Menace had designs on conquering all of Europe. Not much has changed when one listens to Western contemporary claims of Russia being an aggressor. As in the past, present innuendo casting Moscow as a demonic force has a decidedly hollow quality, at least for those willing to be critical about Western state and media "information".

Lord Ismay, perhaps unwittingly, let the cat out of the bag in his statement all those years ago. The purpose of NATO was to serve as a means of dividing and ruling over Europe for Washington and its always closely aligned, servile British partner.

If countering Soviet aggression was the real purpose of NATO, as officially claimed, then one must ask why is this organization still in existence – some 30 years after the alleged "evil communist empire" dissolved?

NATO is a military monster desperately in search of a purpose. The substitution of Russia as an enemy in place of the Soviet Union doesn't quite hold the same propaganda cachet, but nonetheless that is why Moscow continues to be designated the official "enemy" – in order to justify the existence of NATO. The US-led military bloc needs enemies like a junkie needs a narcotic fix.

NATO's real function is at least three-fold .

First, it gives the US an excuse to justify its enormous military presence in Europe. Instead of appearing as an occupying force, which it is, the Americans claim to be a protector of allies against malign Russia, or formerly the Soviet Union. This allows Washington to exert political control over its so-called European allies, and specifically to prevent any normalized relations with Russia. US vice president Mike Pence this week scolded Germany and fellow NATO member Turkey for daring to continue relations with Moscow, in the form of the Nord Stream 2 gas project and Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 air defense system. Pence inferred treasonous conduct on the part of Berlin and Ankara just because these two nominally independent countries have chosen to do business with Russia. Pence was thus demonstrating the classic NATO purpose of dividing Europe from Moscow.

A second function of NATO is to serve as an extension of the US military-industrial complex and, in turn, an important buttress for American corporate capitalism, which is totally dependent on military spending. When President Donald Trump castigates European allies, like Germany, for not spending enough on military and NATO, his real concern is for European nations to buy more American weaponry, such as the vastly over-priced and over-rated F-35 fighter jet. If NATO were to be disbanded – as it should from its obsolete objective purpose – then US capitalism would suffer a major withdrawal of European subsidy in the form of decreased weapons purchases.

The irony here is that Trump has previously denigrated NATO as obsolete. In his irascibility, he is more correct than he seems to realize. But Trump has – despite superficial griping – still continued to boost NATO for the purpose of hiking European military spending. What Trump means by "obsolete" is that the past financial tribute from the Europeans to the US militarized economy must henceforth be significantly increased. The outrageous demands by Trump are inciting tensions within NATO. At a time of massive civilian social needs across Europe being neglected due to "fiscal constraints", the American ultimatums for more military spending are bound to be seen by the wider European populace as an intolerable dictate.

A third function of NATO for its American leadership is that it gives a pseudo legal cover of "multinationalism" to what would otherwise be seen as blatant US imperialist aggression all over the globe.

NATO forces have assisted US illegal wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, among other interventions. This by an organization that self-declares itself a bastion of security and peace.

It was 20 years ago that US-led forces under the cover of NATO bombed Serbia and its capital Belgrade. That marked a watershed assault on international law, and the unleashing of US global violence with impunity.

Washington could not carry out its aggression without the political and legal cover of NATO. Jens Stoltenberg, the present NATO secretary general, was in Washington this week calling for more aggression towards Russia. The Norwegian figurehead is a shameless warmonger who is violating the UN Charter for the sake of feathering his career as an American puppet.

It is all the more disturbing that this week in Washington, foreign ministers of the 30 member states belonging to NATO deferred to the US calls for naval forces to be deployed to the Black Sea "in defense" of Ukraine and Georgia from "Russian aggression". These two countries have done everything possible to provoke Russia. They are cat's paws for their NATO master, and are reckless enough to instigate a full-on war. Washington and its NATO minions have the audacity, or intelligence deficit, to call such an explosive situation as "defense" against Russia.

NATO, or rather the US, is giving itself a green light to mount even more aggression against Russia than it already has done over the past 30 years. In that period, NATO membership has almost doubled with the result that the military bloc is now on Russia's border – and at the same time claiming with Orwellian double-think that it is defending Europe from Russian aggression. As Russian wit would have it: Russia has had the temerity to move its border towards NATO offensive forces.

Global security and peace is too serious for jokes. The maintenance of NATO, with its original aggressive objective against Moscow still intact, is a grotesque joke. A joke sickeningly played on the people of Europe who could benefit greatly from halting the squandering of billions of dollars each year on military budgets. NATO's gratuitous belligerence towards Russia – based on trumped-up, ridiculous propaganda – is an obscenity. This organization is a dinosaur that somehow outlived its Cold War environment because those powers who control it from Washington and London want it to live on for their own selfish, ideological, economic reasons.

For the sake of world peace, the citizens of North America and Europe should demand that NATO be liquidated. Thirty years too late.

[Apr 04, 2019] How Brzezinski's Chessboard degenerated into Brennan's Russophobia by Mike Whitney

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... This entire article fleshes out one central truth – capitalism as practiced by the US Government inevitably involves war by any and all means, seeking total domination of every human being on the planet, foriegn or native to the US Hegemon. It seeks total rule of the rich and powerful over everyone else. ..."
Apr 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

"Russia is an inalienable and organic part of Greater Europe and European civilization. Our citizens think of themselves as European. That's why Russia proposes moving towards the creation of a common economic space from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, a community referred to by Russian experts as 'the Union of Europe' which will strengthen Russia's potential in its economic pivot toward the 'New Asia.'" Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, February 2012

The allegations of 'Russian meddling' only make sense if they're put into a broader geopolitical context. Once we realize that Washington is implementing an aggressive "containment" strategy to militarily encircle Russia and China in order to spread its tentacles across Central Asian, then we begin to understand that Russia is not the perpetrator of the hostilities and propaganda, but the victim. The Russia hacking allegations are part of a larger asymmetrical-information war that has been joined by the entire Washington political establishment. The objective is to methodically weaken an emerging rival while reinforcing US global hegemony.

Try to imagine for a minute, that the hacking claims were not part of a sinister plan by Vladimir Putin "to sow discord and division" in the United States, but were conjured up to create an external threat that would justify an aggressive response from Washington. That's what Russiagate is really all about.

US policymakers and their allies in the military and Intelligence agencies, know that relations with Russia are bound to get increasingly confrontational, mainly because Washington is determined to pursue its ambitious "pivot" to Asia plan. This new regional strategy focuses on "strengthening bilateral security alliances, expanding trade and investment, and forging a broad-based military presence." In short, the US is determined to maintain its global supremacy by establishing military outposts across Eurasia, continuing to tighten the noose around Russia and China, and reinforcing its position as the dominant player in the most populous and prosperous region in the world. The plan was first presented in its skeletal form by the architect of Washington's plan to rule the world, Zbigniew Brzezinski. Here's how Jimmy Carter's former national security advisor summed it up in his 1997 magnum opus, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives:

"For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia (p.30) .. Eurasia is the globe's largest continent and is geopolitically axial. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world's three most advanced and economically productive regions. . About 75 per cent of the world's people live in Eurasia, and most of the world's physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for 60 per cent of the world's GNP and about three-fourths of the world's known energy resources." ("The Grand Chessboard:American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives", Zbigniew Brzezinski, Basic Books, page 31, 1997)

14 years after those words were written, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took up the banner of imperial expansion and demanded a dramatic shift in US foreign policy that would focus primarily on increasing America's military footprint in Asia. It was Clinton who first coined the term "pivot" in a speech she delivered in 2010 titled "America's Pacific Century". Here's an excerpt from the speech:

"As the war in Iraq winds down and America begins to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan, the United States stands at a pivot point. Over the last 10 years, we have allocated immense resources to those two theaters. In the next 10 years, we need to be smart and systematic about where we invest time and energy, so that we put ourselves in the best position to sustain our leadership, secure our interests, and advance our values. One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will therefore be to lock in a substantially increased investment -- diplomatic, economic, strategic, and otherwise -- in the Asia-Pacific region

Open markets in Asia provide the United States with unprecedented opportunities for investment, trade, and access to cutting-edge technology ..American firms (need) to tap into the vast and growing consumer base of Asia The region already generates more than half of global output and nearly half of global trade. As we strive to meet President Obama's goal of doubling exports by 2015, we are looking for opportunities to do even more business in Asia and our investment opportunities in Asia's dynamic markets."

("America's Pacific Century", Secretary of State Hillary Clinton", Foreign Policy Magazine, 2011)

The pivot strategy is not some trifling rehash of the 19th century "Great Game" promoted by think-tank fantasists and conspiracy theorists. It is Washington's premier foreign policy doctrine, a 'rebalancing' theory that focuses on increasing US military and diplomatic presence across the Asian landmass. Naturally, NATO's ominous troop movements on Russia's western flank and Washington's provocative naval operations in the South China Sea have sent up red flags in Moscow and Beijing. Former Chinese President Hu Jintao summed it up like this:

"The United States has strengthened its military deployments in the Asia-Pacific region, strengthened the US-Japan military alliance, strengthened strategic cooperation with India, improved relations with Vietnam, inveigled Pakistan, established a pro-American government in Afghanistan, increased arms sales to Taiwan, and so on. They have extended outposts and placed pressure points on us from the east, south, and west."

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been equally critical of Washington's erratic behavior. NATO's eastward expansion has convinced Putin that the US will continue to be a disruptive force on the continent for the foreseeable future. Both leaders worry that Washington's relentless provocations will lead to an unexpected clash that will end in war.

Even so, the political class has fully embraced the pivot strategy as a last-gasp attempt to roll back the clock to the post war era when the world's industrial centers were in ruins and America was the only game in town. Now the center of gravity has shifted from west to east, leaving Washington with just two options: Allow the emerging giants in Asia to connect their high-speed rail and gas pipelines to Europe creating the world's biggest free trade zone, or try to overturn the applecart by bullying allies and threatening rivals, by implementing sanctions that slow growth and send currencies plunging, and by arming jihadist proxies to fuel ethnic hatred and foment political unrest. Clearly, the choice has already been made. Uncle Sam has decided to fight til the bitter end.

Washington has many ways of dealing with its enemies, but none of these strategies have dampened the growth of its competitors in the east. China is poised to overtake the US as the world's biggest economy sometime in the next 2 decades while Russia's intervention in Syria has rolled back Washington's plan to topple Bashar al Assad and consolidate its grip on the resource-rich Middle East. That plan has now collapsed forcing US policymakers to scrap the War on Terror altogether and switch to a "great power competition" which acknowledges that the US can no longer unilaterally impose its will wherever it goes. Challenges to America's dominance are emerging everywhere particularly in the region where the US hopes to reign supreme, Asia.

This is why the entire national security state now stands foursquare behind the improbable pivot plan. It's a desperate "Hail Mary" attempt to preserve the decaying unipolar world order.

What does that mean in practical terms?

It means that the White House (the National Security Strategy) the Pentagon (National Defense Strategy) and the Intelligence Community (The Worldwide Threat Assessment) have all drawn up their own respective analyses of the biggest threats the US currently faces. Naturally, Russia is at the very top of those lists. Russia has derailed Washington's proxy war in Syria, frustrated US attempts to establish itself across Central Asia, and strengthened ties with the EU hoping to "create a harmonious community of economies from Lisbon to Vladivostok." (Putin)

Keep in mind, the US does not feel threatened by the possibility of a Russian attack, but by Russia's ability to thwart Washington's grandiose imperial ambitions in Asia.

As we noted, the National Security Strategy (NSS) is a statutorily mandated document produced by the White House that explains how the President intends to implement his national security vision. Not surprisingly, the document's main focus is Russia and China. Here's an excerpt:

"China and Russia challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity. They are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence." (Neither Russia nor China are attempting to erode American security and prosperity." They are merely growing their economies and expanding their markets. If US corporations reinvested their capital into factories, employee training and R and D instead of stock buybacks and executive compensation, then they would be better able to complete globally.)

Here's more: "Through modernized forms of subversive tactics, Russia interferes in the domestic political affairs of countries around the world." (This is a case of the 'pot calling the kettle black.')

"Today, actors such as Russia are using information tools in an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of democracies. Adversaries target media, political processes, financial networks, and personal data." (The western media behemoth is the biggest disinformation bullhorn the world has ever seen. RT and Sputnik don't hold a candle to the ginormous MSM 'Wurlitzer' that controls the cable news stations, the newspapers and most of the print media. The Mueller Report proves beyond a doubt that the politically-motivated nonsense one reads in the media is neither reliably sourced nor trustworthy.)

The Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community is even more explicit in its attacks on Russia. Check it out:

"Threats to US national security will expand and diversify in the coming year, driven in part by China and Russia as they respectively compete more intensely with the United States and its traditional allies and partners . We assess that Moscow will continue pursuing a range of objectives to expand its reach, including undermining the US-led liberal international order, dividing Western political and security institutions, demonstrating Russia's ability to shape global issues, and bolstering Putin's domestic legitimacy.

We assess that Moscow has heightened confidence, based on its success in helping restore the Asad regime's territorial control in Syria, ·Russia seeks to boost its military presence and political influence in the Mediterranean and Red Seas mediate conflicts, including engaging in the Middle East Peace Process and Afghanistan reconciliation .

Russia will continue pressing Central Asia's leaders to support Russian-led economic and security initiatives and reduce engagement with Washington. Russia and China are likely to intensify efforts to build influence in Europe at the expense of US interests " ("The Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community", USG )

Notice how the Intelligence Community summary does not suggest that Russia poses an imminent military threat to the US, only that Russia has restored order in Syria, strengthened ties with China, emerged as an "honest broker" among countries in the Middle East, and used the free market system to improve relations with its trading partners and grow its economy. The IC appears to find fault with Russia because it is using the system the US created to better advantage than the US. This is entirely understandable given Putin's determination to draw Europe and Asia closer together through a region-wide economic integration plan. Here's Putin:

"We must consider more extensive cooperation in the energy sphere, up to and including the formation of a common European energy complex. The Nord Stream gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea and the South Stream pipeline under the Black Sea are important steps in that direction. These projects have the support of many governments and involve major European energy companies. Once the pipelines start operating at full capacity, Europe will have a reliable and flexible gas-supply system that does not depend on the political whims of any nation. This will strengthen the continent's energy security not only in form but in substance. This is particularly relevant in the light of the decision of some European states to reduce or renounce nuclear energy."

The gas pipelines and high-speed rail are the arteries that will bind the continents together and strengthen the new EU-Asia superstate. This is Washington's greatest nightmare, a massive, thriving free trade zone beyond its reach and not subject to its rules. In 2012, Hillary Clinton acknowledged this new threat and promised to do everything in her power to destroy it. Check out this excerpt:

"U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described efforts to promote greater economic integration in Eurasia as "a move to re-Sovietize the region." . "We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it," she said at an international conference in Dublin on December 6, 2012, Radio Free Europe."

"Slow down or prevent it"?

Why? Because EU-Asia growth and prosperity will put pressure on US debt markets, US corporate interests, US (ballooning) national debt, and the US Dollar? Is that why Hillary is so committed to sabotaging Putin's economic integration plan?

Indeed, it is. Washington wants to block progress and prosperity in the east in order to extend the lifespan of a doddering and thoroughly-bankrupt state that is presently $22 trillion in the red but continues to write checks on an overdrawn account.

But Russia shouldn't be blamed for Washington's profligate behavior, that's not Putin's fault. Moscow is merely using the free market system more effectively that the US.

Now consider the Pentagon's 2018 National Defense Strategy (NDS) which reiterates many of the same themes as the other two documents.

"Today, we are emerging from a period of strategic atrophy, aware that our competitive military advantage has been eroding. We are facing increased global disorder, characterized by decline in the long-standing rules-based international order -- creating a security environment more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory. Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security."

(Naturally, the "security environment" is going to be more challenging when 'regime change' is the cornerstone of one's foreign policy. Of course, the NDS glosses over that sad fact. Here's more:)

"Russia has violated the borders of nearby nations and pursues veto power over the economic, diplomatic, and security decisions of its neighbors ..(Baloney. Russia has been a force for stability in Syria and Ukraine. If Obama had his way, Syria would have wound up like Iraq, a hellish wastelands occupied by foreign mercenaries. Is that how the Pentagon measures success?) Here's more:

"China and Russia want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model

"China and Russia are now undermining the international order from within the system .

"China and Russia are the principal priorities for the Department because of the magnitude of the threats they pose to U.S. security." ( National Defense Strategy of the United States of America )

Get the picture? China and Russia, China and Russia, China and Russia. Bad, bad, bad.

Why? Because they are successfully implementing their own development model which is NOT programed to favor US financial institutions and corporations. That's the whole thing in a nutshell. The only reason Russia and China are a threat to the "rules-based system", is because Washington insists on being the only one who makes the rules. That's why foreign leaders are no longer falling in line, because it's not a fair system.

These assessments represent the prevailing opinion of senior-level policymakers across the spectrum. (The White House, the Pentagon and the Intelligence Community) The USG is unanimous in its judgement that a harsher more combative approach is needed to deal with Russia and China. Foreign policy elites want to put the nation on the path to more confrontation, more conflict and more war. At the same time, none of these three documents suggest that Russia has any intention of launching an attack on the United States. The greatest concern is the effect that emerging competitors will have on Washington's provocative plan for military and economic expansion, the threat that Russia and China pose to America's tenuous grip on global power. It is that fear that drives US foreign policy.

And this is broader context into which we must fit the Russia investigation. The reason the Russia hacking furor has been allowed to flourish and spread despite the obvious lack of any supporting evidence, is because the vilifying of Russia segues perfectly with the geopolitical interests of elites in the government. The USG now works collaboratively with the media to influence public attitudes on issues that are important to the powerful foreign policy establishment. The ostensible goal of these psychological operations (PSYOP) is to selectively use information on "audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of organizations, groups, and individuals."

The USG now sees the minds of ordinary Americans as a legitimate target for their influence campaigns. They regard attitudes and perceptions as "the cognitive domain of the


Beckow , says: April 4, 2019 at 1:02 am GMT

The emerging Euro-Asian power block is very heterogeneous. Russia, China, and the smaller affiliated players like Central Asia, Iran, Syria, Turkey don't agree on almost anything. They have different cultures, religions, economies, demographic profiles, even writing systems. The most rational strategy to prevent the Euro-Asian block from consolidating would be to get them to fight each other. Alternatively, find the weakest link and attack it in an area where its reluctant allies don't share its interests.

Exactly the opposite has happened in the last 5-10 years: US has seemingly worked overtime to get China-Russia alliance of the ground. They used to distrust each other, today, after Ukraine, South China See, etc they have become close allies. Same with Iran and Syria: instead of letting them stew in their own internal problems – mostly religious and having a nepotistic elite – US has managed to turn the fight into an external geo-political struggle, literally invited Russia to join in, and ended up losing.

Bush turned Iraq from a fanatically anti-Iran bastion to a reliable ally of Iran and started an un-winnable land war in Afghanistan (incredible!). Obama turned Libya, the richest and most stable African country that threatened no-one and kept African migrants far away, into a chaotic hellhole where slave trade flourishes and millions of Sub-Saharan Africans can use it to move on to Europe.

Then Obama tried to coup-de-etat Erdogan in Turkey, and – even worse – failed miserably. This gang can't shoot straight – whatever they put in their position papers is meaningless drivel because they are too stupid to think. They have no patience to wait for the right time to move, no ability to manage on the ground allies, and an aversion to casualties that makes winning a war impossible. Today Trump threatens Germany over its energy security (pipelines), further antagonises Turkey and Erdogan, watches helplessly as EU becomes the next UN (lame and irrelevant), and bets everything on a few small allies like Saudi Arabia and Izrael that are of almost no use in Euro-Asia.

A guy who says about the Russia-gate collusion fiasco that ' maybe I had bad information ' is no master of the universe. And he run the joint under Obama. Complaining about Russia saying bad stuff about you – or ' information warfare ' – is a pathetic sign of weakness. Maybe the testosterone levels have dropped more than we have been told.

anon [338] Disclaimer , says: April 4, 2019 at 4:07 am GMT
the russophobia is just drama to keep the MIC spending at $700+ billion per year

there is no way to justify that level of spending and pretend they don't have $25 billion one time to actually help solve the real problem for the U.S.

Krollchem , says: April 4, 2019 at 5:38 am GMT
"The USG now sees the minds of ordinary Americans as a legitimate target for their influence campaigns. They regard attitudes and perceptions as "the cognitive domain of the battlespace" which they must exploit in order to build public support for their vastly unpopular wars and interventions. "

Here is a short guide on how to detect subversion of the mind by the media and their handlers by a former military intelligence officer.

JR , says: April 4, 2019 at 6:00 am GMT
If one recognizes that Brzezinski's "The Grand Chessboard, American Primacy & Its Geostrategic Imperatives (1997)" in replacing "Lebensraum" with "control over Eurasia", "Tausendjähriges Reich" with "American Primacy" and providing our 'elite' with an "realist" and "amoral" excuse to act completely and consistently immoral one has to recognize too that this "Grand Chessboard" is an amalgamation of 'Mein Kampf' and 'Il Principe".

Reluctant to use that Hitler comparison one ought to read the Introduction of the "Grand Chessboard" in which Brzezinki himself proudly refers to both Hitler and Stalin sharing his ideas about control over Eurasia as a prerequisite for that "American Primacy".

Recognizing this however one can't escape the conclusion that this "Grand Chessboard" with its consistent 'amoral realist imperatives' is serving up inherently immoral 'imperatives' as inescapable options dressed up in academic language and with absolutely abhorrent arrogance.

Stating that Brennan's Russophobia is somehow a degeneration of Brzezinki's "Grand Chessboard" is completely overlooking how difficult it would be to outdo Brzezinki's own total moral degeneration.

One has to recognize that by now the only bipartisan aspect of US policy can be found in sharing these despicable and immoral 'imperatives' to maintain that "American Primacy" at all cost (of course to the rest of the world).

Jake , says: April 4, 2019 at 12:01 pm GMT
"The allegations of 'Russian meddling' only make sense if they're put into a broader geopolitical context. Once we realize that Washington is implementing an aggressive "containment" strategy to militarily encircle Russia and China in order to spread its tentacles across Central Asian, then we begin to understand that Russia is not the perpetrator of the hostilities and propaganda, but the victim. The Russia hacking allegations are part of a larger asymmetrical-information war that has been joined by the entire Washington political establishment. The objective is to methodically weaken an emerging rival while reinforcing US global hegemony."

TRUE!

I would suggest that the initials 'US' in the final sentence be changed to: Anglo-Zionist Empire.

Jake , says: April 4, 2019 at 12:12 pm GMT
"Now the center of gravity has shifted from west to east, leaving Washington with just two options: Allow the emerging giants in Asia to connect their high-speed rail and gas pipelines to Europe creating the world's biggest free trade zone, or try to overturn the applecart by bullying allies and threatening rivals, by implementing sanctions that slow growth and send currencies plunging, and by arming jihadist proxies to fuel ethnic hatred and foment political unrest. Clearly, the choice has already been made. Uncle Sam has decided to fight til the bitter end."

Just like the Brit Empire – of which the Yank Empire is merely Part 2, the part where it becomes obvious that it is the Anglo-Zionist Empire, which, like a band of screeching Pharisees standing on the walls of Jerusalem hurling curses at the Romans they inform that Jehovah will soon wipe out all Romans to save His Chosen Race, would choose utter destruction for all over any common sense backing down to prevent mass slaughter.

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: April 4, 2019 at 12:43 pm GMT
Nothing harmed US more than Brzezinski's ideology. US did build up far east with their investments, while neglecting their own backyard. US should have build up rather North and South America and make it the envy of the world. Neglecting particularly South America now created Desperate south American people, who have no jobs and no future and these people are now invading US.
Andrei Martyanov , says: Website April 4, 2019 at 12:44 pm GMT
@Beckow

A guy who says about the Russia-gate collusion fiasco that 'maybe I had bad information' is no master of the universe. And he run the joint under Obama. Complaining about Russia saying bad stuff about you – or 'information warfare' – is a pathetic sign of weakness. Maybe the testosterone levels have dropped more than we have been told.

Testosterone plus steady, unrelenting decline and corruption of American "elites" most of who have no background in any fields related to actual effective governance especially in national security (military) and diplomatic fields. Zbig's book is also nothing more than doctrine-mongering based on complete lack of understanding of Russian history.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website April 4, 2019 at 12:52 pm GMT
@JR

Reluctant to use that Hitler comparison one ought to read the Introduction of the "Grand Chessboard" in which Brzezinki himself proudly refers to both Hitler and Stalin sharing his ideas about control over Eurasia as a prerequisite for that "American Primacy".

Zbig was a political "scientist" (which is not a science) by education, fact aggravated by his Russophobia, and thus inability to grasp fundamentals of military power and warfare–a defining characteristic of American "elites". He, obviously, missed on the military-technological development of 1970s through 1990s, to arrive to the inevitable conclusion that classic "geopolitics" doesn't apply anymore. Today we all can observe how it doesn't apply and is made obsolete.

Agent76 , says: April 4, 2019 at 2:45 pm GMT
(Jan.1998) US history – "How Jimmy Carter I Started the Mujahideen" – Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor 1977-1981

"Q: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=a13_1240427874

Zbigniew Brzezinski Taliban Pakistan Afghanistan pep talk 1979

In 1979 Carters National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski went into Pakistans border regions with Afghanistan to give a little pep talk to some prospective majehadeen (Holy Warriors). In a 1997 interview for CNN's Cold War Series, Brzezinski hinted about the Carter Administration's proactive Afghanistan policy before the Soviet invasion in 1979, that he had conceived.

flashlight joe , says: April 4, 2019 at 2:55 pm GMT
@Jake @Jake

"Just like the Brit Empire – of which the Yank Empire is merely Part 2,"

I call it the Western British Empire.

Jake , says: April 4, 2019 at 3:14 pm GMT
@DESERT FOX Why was it that the Brit Empire kept acting throughout the later 18th, the 19th and early 20th centuries to harm Russia, even when it technically was allied with Russia? Why the Crimean War, for example?

Why, for example, was Brit secret service all over the assassination of Rasputin and tied in multiple ways to most non-Marxist revolutionary groups?

mike k , says: April 4, 2019 at 3:18 pm GMT
This entire article fleshes out one central truth – capitalism as practiced by the US Government inevitably involves war by any and all means, seeking total domination of every human being on the planet, foriegn or native to the US Hegemon. It seeks total rule of the rich and powerful over everyone else.
Jake , says: April 4, 2019 at 3:26 pm GMT
@anon Like the Ukranians, the 'Balts' virtually always are controlled by somebody else. When Russia does not control the Baltic states, they are controlled by either Poles or Germans. Russians know what that means: the Baltic states are then used as weapons to attack Russia.

The region is much calmer when Russia controls the Baltic states, and that is before taking into consideration how the Polish-Lithuanian Empire turned its Jews lose to terrorize all Orthodox Christians and how Germanic states later used Lutheranism as a force in the Baltics to ignite war with Russia and, under the queer Frederick the Great also used Jewish bankers to finance wars against Russia.

[Apr 04, 2019] It seems NATO was never about the principle of defending free nations from the Soviets. It was about imposing US hegemony on Europe.

Notable quotes:
"... the behavior of the US after the Cold War suggests NATO was primarily for US hegemony and not for fending off the Evil Empire of the Soviets. ..."
"... After all, Gorbachev and Reagan ended the Cold War. And then communism collapsed(or was collapsed from the top) in Russia. And Russia was reaching out to the West for friendship and aid. Russia was at its weakest position since who knows? And it was totally friendly to the West. It was a tamed bear. But what did the US do when Russia was most pro-Western and most willing to submit(and even surrender its sovereignty)? The US expanded NATO up to Russian borders. ..."
"... Why expand NATO when there's no more Soviet threat and when Russia wants to be a friendly player with the West? It's like the moment when Vito Corleone realizes it had been Barzini all along. ..."
"... It seems NATO was never about the principle of defending free nations from the Soviets. It was about imposing US hegemony on Europe. So, the chances are that, even if Soviets had ended the Occupation of Eastern Europe soon after end of WWII, the US would have created something like NATO and pushed it all the way up to Soviet borders. ..."
"... @Asagirian As Lord Ismay once said: "The purpose of NATO is to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down." ..."
Apr 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

Asagirian says: • Website April 4, 2019 at 4:44 pm GMT

It's been our understanding that NATO was necessary because of the Iron Curtain. Soviets took over Eastern Europe and denied it freedom, and there was the danger that Soviets would expand further West.

So, US and Western European nations made a Three Musketeers or Mickey Mouseketeers pact of 'one for all and all for one'.

Now, suppose we do a thought experiment of alternative history: The Soviets withdrew from Eastern Europe, and Eastern European nations like Poland and Hungary became democratic and capitalist soon after WWII. And there is no East and West Germany but just democratic Germany.

Would NATO still have been created? If so, for what? To contain the Soviets? But the Soviets left Eastern Europe in our hypothetical scenario.
If NATO was created even after Soviet withdrawal from Eastern Europe soon after WWII, there could be only one reason: US hegemony and domination over Western Europe.

Now, there is no way to validate a 'what if' scenario.

However, the behavior of the US after the Cold War suggests NATO was primarily for US hegemony and not for fending off the Evil Empire of the Soviets.

After all, Gorbachev and Reagan ended the Cold War. And then communism collapsed(or was collapsed from the top) in Russia. And Russia was reaching out to the West for friendship and aid. Russia was at its weakest position since who knows? And it was totally friendly to the West. It was a tamed bear. But what did the US do when Russia was most pro-Western and most willing to submit(and even surrender its sovereignty)? The US expanded NATO up to Russian borders.

Why expand NATO when there's no more Soviet threat and when Russia wants to be a friendly player with the West? It's like the moment when Vito Corleone realizes it had been Barzini all along.

It seems NATO was never about the principle of defending free nations from the Soviets. It was about imposing US hegemony on Europe. So, the chances are that, even if Soviets had ended the Occupation of Eastern Europe soon after end of WWII, the US would have created something like NATO and pushed it all the way up to Soviet borders.

...NATO is even more of a US imperialist project. And this time, the 'new cold war' was entirely the fault of the US.

AnonFromTN , says: April 4, 2019 at 4:45 pm GMT

@Mike from Jersey

"we make up the rules as we go along and those rules don't apply to us."

About sums it up nicely.

Digital Samizdat , says: April 4, 2019 at 6:36 pm GMT
@Asagirian As Lord Ismay once said: "The purpose of NATO is to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down."

[Apr 04, 2019] avu o lu just compared Turkey to Ukraine, saying Ukraine let itself be told it had to decide between West and Russia, and look what happened; Turkey cannot be forced into same choice

Turkey vs Ukraine.
Notable quotes:
"... Well, since 2002, people made a lot about the neo-cons being heavily influenced by Leo Strauss. I think this is only part of it. These people seem to me to be just as heavily influenced by George Berekeley: things don't really exist, there's no causation, therefore there's no consequences to one's own actions. ..."
"... "Corruption cannot lead to prosperity." Nor can it field a competent military with functional weapon systems. ..."
"... The comments at the end about how Turkey can maintain good relations with NATO and at the same time develop cooperation with Russia is clearly nonsense. NATO whole reason for existence now is as an anti-Russia military alliance. Pence is absolutely right about that ... you cannot be a member of NATO and develop close cooperation with Russia. ..."
Apr 04, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Apr 4, 2019 2:06:15 PM | link

Tweeting direct from NATO meeting provides inside details not found in press articles, particularly the NATO talking-point ending. IMO, the tweeter Mehta was right to highlight this exchange:

"Bennan: Do you know what the US policy in syria is?
"Çavuşoğlu: No, and this is the problem.

"He points to different statements from WH, Pentagon, CENTCOM, State. 'There is no clear strategy. This is the problem.'"

Further on:

"Wow. Çavuşoğlu just compared Turkey to Ukraine, saying Ukraine let itself be told it had to decide between West and Russia, and look what happened; Turkey cannot be forced into same choice."

Please take the few minutes to read.


vk , Apr 4, 2019 2:07:04 PM | link

Pence threat is also stupid as there is no mechanism to expulse any member from NATO. NATO members can only leave voluntarily.

Since when this stopped the USA?

The reason Turkey won't exit NATO are many. Among them:

1) Turkey's economy is in meltdown. It only didn't collapse yesterday because, luckily, Turkey has only "burnt" one third of its Dollar reserves. For comparison, the usurper government which toppled Dilma Rousseff burnt almost 50% of Brazil's then gigantic US$ 795 billion -- only to try to keep interest at a staggering 9.5% rate. Lucky for the Turkish people, Erdogan survived the 2016 coup, but he was already trounced in the three main cities and those reserves won't last forever. Time is in favor of the Americans in this case;

2) Contrary to, e.g. China and Russia, Turkey has a strong pro-USA political-popular base. It really doesn't need to topple Erdogan through a violent coup (Obama made an unforced error in 2016) in order to install a puppet government in Turkey;

3) The USA has the IMF. The IMF is the only institution which can do regime change and nobody will question. Erdogan is, for now, refusing its "aid", but he's just one man. That means that, even if Turkey remains with an Islamist (Ottomanist) or end up electing a neutral government, the Americans will still be capable of exerting formidable pressure;

4)Turkey is, perhaps, the geostrategically most important individual country for NATO. If the Americans still dream of defeating and balkanizing Russia through a hot war, then the path will go through Turkey and the Bosphorus. It is not on rogue POTUS or Veep who will change that.

Clueless Joe , Apr 4, 2019 3:10:41 PM | link
"But current American elites have no concept of own actions having consequences."

Well, since 2002, people made a lot about the neo-cons being heavily influenced by Leo Strauss. I think this is only part of it. These people seem to me to be just as heavily influenced by George Berekeley: things don't really exist, there's no causation, therefore there's no consequences to one's own actions.

karlof1 , Apr 4, 2019 3:50:45 PM | link

Bolton unwittingly utters truism but has no idea that it applies to him and the Outlaw US Empire billions of times over: "Corruption cannot lead to prosperity." Nor can it field a competent military with functional weapon systems.

Another OT note, this one about the technical development of generation 6 military aircraft, Hypersonic and hydrogen fueled and most likely piloted by droids or remotely given speed and G-forces.

Harry Law , Apr 4, 2019 4:22:04 PM | link
The US are threatening friend and foe alike, whereas those sanctions against their foe's are real, sanctions against NATO members can be counterproductive, for instance Germany being told to stop Nord Stream 2 and increase its contributions to NATO, 2% of Germany's GDP [4 trillion dollars] is an enormous amount of money to protect against a non existent enemy.

The time will come when the US will be ignored, then, unless the US acts on those threats, its own credibility will be called into question, then the only way is down.

Christian J Chuba , Apr 4, 2019 6:37:15 PM | link
BUT What about the Saudi Model???

Whenever anyone suggests that we should stop supplying bombs and military equipment to the Saudis who are murdering Yemenis, moralists like Mike Pence, Pompeo, and the rest of the religious right thunder, 'THEY WILL BUY ARMS FROM THE ROOOSHINS!'

So it is quite funny that they are willing to play hardball with the Turks.

SteveK9 , Apr 4, 2019 8:20:30 PM | link
S @22

The comments at the end about how Turkey can maintain good relations with NATO and at the same time develop cooperation with Russia is clearly nonsense. NATO whole reason for existence now is as an anti-Russia military alliance. Pence is absolutely right about that ... you cannot be a member of NATO and develop close cooperation with Russia.

At least in the eyes of NATO (i.e. the US) Russia is the enemy.

[Apr 03, 2019]

Apr 03, 2019 | kononenkome.livejournal.com

Долгие годы я жил в ощущении правильности произошедшего в 1991 и 1993 годах. Хотя, конечно, у меня были серьезные внутренние разногласия с той толпой, которая носилась по Москве и ломала памятники. Но я это в себе как-то давил. В 1993 году мне казалось правильным, что танк стреляет по дому с вооруженными людьми. Я тоже хотел раздавить гадину, потому что гадина представлялась мне гадиной. Я был юн и еще не понимал, что демократия -- это всегда толпа, ломающая памятники. И что любой парламент -- это всегда гадина. Но это не значит, что его надо из танков расстреливать.

Но даже когда ко мне пришло понимание этих двух постулатов, я все равно продолжал смеяться над мифологией защитников гадины. О массовых расстрелах на стадионе "Красная Пресня". И, конечно, о таинственных снайперах, которые стреляли по простым прохожим. Зачем снайперам стрелять по простым прохожим? Какой в этом военный тактический смысл? Однако время всё ставит по своим местам. Снайперы, стреляющие по простым прохожим нужны для того же, для чего нужны две бочки хлора. Для провокации.

А где же еще мы видели снайперов, стрелявших по людям для провокации насилия? Правильно, мы видели их в Киеве на Майдане. И вот когда у тебя в голове вдруг складывается Майдан и 1993 год, то становится неприятно. Потому что ты начинаешь понимать природу произошедшего в 1993 году. Это был такой же Майдан. И он, как и в Киеве, победил. Раздавили гадину. Америка, матушка-спасительница, помогла. И в 1993м. И в 2014. Только почему же ты, сволочь, тогда был на одной стороне, а потом -- на другой? А потому что дурак был.

А когда картинка сложилась, сразу же много стало понятнее. И весь тот ад девяностых, который был так похож на то, что ныне происходит на Украине. Война против собственных граждан негодной, разворованной армией. Полный крах экономики, зависимость от денег МВФ, выделяемых по милостивому разрешению США. Вооруженные люди, убивающие друг друга в центрах городов.

Эта мысль может показаться диковатой, но вот, наконец, у нее случилось документальное подтверждение. В США опубликованы расшифровки телефонных разговоров президента Билла Клинтона. В том числе и с президентом Борисом Ельциным. В которых Ельцин пугает Клинтона коммунистами, жалуется, что коммунисты, если победят, могут отобрать Крым (!). И просит два с половиной миллиарда долларов на выборы. После чего МВФ выделяет России займ, а в Москве приезжают американские политические консультанты. И выборы 1996 года превращаются в Оранжевую революцию -- только вместо концертов на Майдане тур "Голосуй или проиграешь". А в результате всё равно сфальсифицированные результаты. Методы и те же, разве что последовательность разная.

И вот с высоты этого понимания хорошо бы оглядеть перспективы. В России случился Путин, она очистилась от скверны и таки приняла вернувшийся Крым. Значит ли это, что подобный исход событий возможен на Украине? Интересная могла бы получиться экстраполяция: Порошенко находит какого-то малоизвестного человека, выходца из СБУ, которого назначает преемником. Этот человек выгоняет американцев, восстанавливает экономику, мирится с Донбассом, равноудаляет старых олигархов и возвращает Крым? Сценарий, как вы понимаете, фантастический. И дело даже не в Крыме, который никуда "возвращаться" не собирается, потому что он уже вернулся домой. Дело в том, что Ельцин вовсе не хотел, чтобы Путин сделал всё то, что он сделал. Он хотел просто гарантий безопасности для себя и семьи. И то, что Путин оказался не тем, кем его представлял себе Ельцин -- это счастливая случайность. Божий промысел, если хотите. Pussy Riot просили Богородицу, чтобы она забрала Путина, а устами художника всегда говорит Бог. То есть, прося Богородицу, чтобы она забрала Путина, Pussy Riot тем самым (и сами того не понимая) говорили нам, что Богородица Путина нам дала. Это шутка, конечно. Впрочем, как мне кажется, довольно изящная.

Порошенко, разумеется, тоже ничего из того, что сделал Путин, не хочет. Он хочет или остаться у власти (что мирным путем невозможно) или же обеспечить себе безопасность. Кто именно мог бы обеспечить ему такую безопасность (то есть -- быть потенциальным украинским Путиным) отсюда пока никак не просматривается. Но вопрос ведь не в этом. Вопрос в том, будет ли к этому иметь отношение Богородица.

А также в том, что нам теперь совсем не с руки смеяться над нынешней Украиной и ее выбором. Мы с вами вышли из такого же дерьма. Природа современного русского государства такая же -- поддержанный американцами майдан. И хорошо бы никогда об этом не забывать. И соответственно относиться к тем, кто тоскует по тем временам.

А лично мне достаточно того, что Богородица не послушала Pussy Riot. И слава богу.
RT

[Apr 03, 2019] Suspected of Corruption at Home, Powerful Foreigners Find Refuge in the US

Highly recommended!
Apr 03, 2019 | www.propublica.org

Wealthy politicians and businessmen suspected of corruption in their native lands are fleeing to a safe haven where their wealth and influence shields them from arrest.

They have entered this country on a variety of visas, including one designed to encourage investment. Some have applied for asylum, which is intended to protect people fleeing oppression and political persecution.

The increasingly popular destination for people avoiding criminal charges is no pariah nation.

It's the United States.

An investigation by ProPublica, in conjunction with the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University, has found that officials fleeing prosecution in Colombia, China, South Korea, Bolivia and Panama have found refuge for themselves and their wealth in this country, taking advantage of lax enforcement of U.S. laws and gaps in immigration and financial regulations. Many have concealed their assets and real-estate purchases by creating trusts and limited liability companies in the names of lawyers and relatives.

American authorities are supposed to vet visa applicants to make sure they are not under active investigation on criminal charges. But the ProPublica examination shows that this requirement has been routinely ignored.

One of the most prominent cases involves a former president of Panama, who was allowed to enter the United States just days after his country's Supreme Court opened an investigation into charges that he had helped embezzle $45 million from a government school lunch program.

Ricardo Martinelli, a billionaire supermarket magnate, had been on the State Department's radar since he was elected in 2009. That year, the U.S. ambassador to Panama began sending diplomatic cables warning about the president's "dark side," including his links to corruption and his request for U.S. support for wiretapping his opponents.

Soon after Martinelli left office in 2014, Panamanian prosecutors conducted a widely publicized investigation of corruption in the school lunch program, and in mid-January 2015, forwarded their findings to the country's Supreme Court.

On Jan. 28, 2015, just hours before the Supreme Court announced a formal probe into the charges, Martinelli boarded a private plane, flew to Guatemala City for a meeting and then entered the United States on a visitor visa. Within weeks, he was living comfortably in the Atlantis, a luxury condominium on Miami's swanky Brickell Avenue. He is still here.

The State Department declined to comment on Martinelli's case, saying visa records are confidential and it is the U.S. Customs and Border Protection that decides who is allowed to enter the country. CBP said privacy regulations prevent the agency from commenting on Martinelli.

Efforts to reach Martinelli, including a registered letter sent to his Miami address, were unsuccessful.

In September this year, Panama asked to extradite Martinelli, but the former president is fighting that request, arguing there are no legal grounds to bring him back to his home country where the investigation has broadened to include insider trading, corruption and abuse of authority. Last December, Panama's high court issued a warrant for his arrest on charges that he used public funds to spy on over 150 political opponents. If found guilty, he could face up to 21 years in jail.

Rogelio Cruz, who is defending Martinelli in Panama's Supreme Court, said that the former president "will return to Panama once adequate conditions exist with respect to due process, where there are independent judges -- which there aren't."

The United States has explicit policies that bar issuing visas to foreign officials facing criminal charges in their homelands. In 2004, President George W. Bush issued a proclamation designed to keep the United States from becoming a haven for corrupt officials. Proclamation 7750, which has the force and effect of law, directed the State Department to ban officials who have accepted bribes or misappropriated public funds when their actions have "serious adverse effects on the national interests of the United States."

Under the rules implementing Bush's order, consular officers do not need a conviction or even formal charges to justify denying a visa. They can stamp "denied" based on information from unofficial, or informal sources, including newspaper articles, according to diplomats and State Department officials interviewed for this report.

The State Department declined to provide the number of times Proclamation 7750 has been invoked, but insisted that it has been used "robustly."

Over the years, some allegedly corrupt officials have been banned from entering the United States, including former Panamanian President Ernesto Perez Balladares , former Nicaraguan President Arnoldo Aleman, former Cameroonian Defense Minister Remy Ze Meka, and retired Philippine Gen. Carlos Garcia , according to cables published by WikiLeaks. In 2014, the U.S. banned visas for 10 members of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's inner circle because of corruption allegations.

But numerous other foreign government officials, including former presidents and cabinet ministers, have slipped through the cracks, according to court documents, diplomatic cables and interviews with prosecutors and defense attorneys in the United States and abroad. The charges involved a wide range of misconduct, from stealing public funds to accepting bribes.


Six months before Martinelli entered the United States, a former Colombian agriculture minister and onetime presidential candidate, Andres Felipe Arias, fled to Miami three weeks before he was convicted of funneling $12.5 million to wealthy political supporters from a subsidy program that was intended to reduce inequality in rural areas and protect farmers from the effects of globalization.

The U.S. embassy in Bogota had been following Arias' trial closely and reporting on the scandal in cables to Washington. The trial featured documents and witnesses saying that under Arias' watch, the agriculture ministry had doled out millions in subsidies to affluent families, some of whom, according to media reports, had donated to Arias' political allies or his presidential campaign.

Subsidies went to relatives of congressmen, companies owned by the richest man in Colombia, and a former beauty queen. One powerful family and its associates received over $2.5 million, according to records released by prosecutors. Another family, which included relatives of a former senator, received $1.3 million. Both families had supported Arias' chief political ally, former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, with campaign contributions.

The law that established the program did not ban wealthy landowners from getting grants, but some elite families had received multiple subsidies for the same farm. They gamed the system by submitting multiple proposals in the names of different family members and by subdividing their land so they could apply for grants for each parcel, court records indicate.

Yet, in November 2013, while the trial was going on, the U.S. embassy in Bogota renewed Arias' visitor visa. The State Department refused to discuss the case, saying that visa records are confidential. But a recent filing in federal court showed that the U.S. embassy had flagged Arias' application, and asked him to provide documents to support his request to leave the country while charges were pending. Arias submitted documents from the Colombian court, including a judicial order that allowed him to travel. In the end, the embassy issued a visa because he had not yet been convicted.

Andres Felipe Arias, a former Colombian agriculture minister, who fled to the United States before he could be convicted of funneling money from a subsidy program (GDA via AP Images)

On the night of June 13, 2014, three weeks before the judges convicted him of embezzlement by appropriation, a Colombian law that penalizes the unauthorized use of public funds to benefit private entities, Arias packed his bags and boarded a plane. The following month, the U.S. embassy in Bogota revoked the visa. But Arias hired an immigration attorney and applied for asylum.

"If you looked up 'politically motivated charges' in the dictionary, there would be a picture of Andres Arias next to it," said David Oscar Markus, Arias' lead attorney. "The case [against him] is absurd and not even one that is recognized in the United States."

Over the next two years, Arias built a new life in South Florida with his wife and two children, opening a small consulting company and renting a house in Weston.

On August 24, he was arrested by U.S. authorities in response to an extradition request from Colombia. He spent several months in a detention facility until his release on bail in mid-November. Arias argues that the United States cannot extradite him because it has no active extradition treaty with Colombia, but the U.S. Attorney's Office disagrees. A plea for asylum does not shield defendants from extradition if they are charged in Colombia with a crime covered by the treaty between the two countries.


Congress established the EB-5 immigrant investor program in 1990 as a way of creating jobs for Americans and encouraging investment by foreigners.

The agency that administers the program, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, has adopted regulations designed to prevent fraud, including requiring foreign investors to submit evidence, such as tax returns and bank statements, to prove they obtained their money legally.

But these safeguards did not stop the daughter-in-law and grandsons of former South Korean dictator Chun Doo-hwan from using Chun's ill-gotten gains to get U.S. permanent residency.

In 1996, a Korean court convicted Chun of receiving more than $200 million in bribes while in office in the 1980s, from companies such as Samsung and Hyundai. He was ordered to return the bribes, but refused.

Part of Chun's fortune was funneled into the United States through his son, who purchased a $2.2 million house in Newport Beach, California, according to South Korean prosecutors and real-estate records.

Millions of dollars from Chun's bribery proceeds were hidden in bearer bonds, which are notoriously difficult to trace. Unlike regular bonds, which belong to registered owners, there is no record kept about the ownership or transfer of bearer bonds. The bonds can be cashed out by whoever has them.

Former South Korean President Chun Doo-hwan addresses the press at the White House in 1985. Chun's relatives later gained permanent residency in the United States by using money Chun obtained through bribes. (Bettmann via Getty Images)

In 2008, Chun's daughter-in-law, a South Korean actress named Park Sang-ah, applied for an immigrant investor visa. Park listed her husband's bearer bonds as the source of her funds without mentioning that the money had been initially provided to him by Chun. Eight months later, Park and her children received their conditional U.S. permanent residency cards in the mail.

In 2013, at the request of South Korean prosecutors, the U.S. Justice Department launched an investigation into the Chun family's wealth in the United States and subsequently seized $1.2 million of the family's U.S. assets in the United States. The money was returned to South Korea. Despite that, Chun's family members have retained their residency status.

Chun's relatives obtained their permanent residency by investing in an EB-5 project managed by the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, a nonprofit company. The PIDC pooled Chun's $500,000 with money from 200 other foreign investors to finance an expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center in downtown Philadelphia.

The same project in Philadelphia also helped to secure permanent residency for Qiao Jianjun, a Chinese government official accused of embezzling more than $40 million from a state-owned grain storehouse, according to reports in the People's Daily, the Chinese Communist Party's newspaper. Qiao had divorced his wife, Shilan Zhao, in China in 2001, a fact he did not disclose to U.S. immigration authorities. When Zhao applied for an EB-5 visa, Qiao qualified for U.S. permanent residency as an applicant's spouse.

The Justice Department launched an investigation only when it was tipped off by Chinese authorities. In January 2014, a federal grand jury indicted Zhao and her ex-husband, Qiao, for immigration fraud, money laundering and internationally transporting stolen funds. Zhao was arrested and released on bail. Federal authorities are pursuing Qiao, whose whereabouts remain unknown.

A trial has been set for February 2017. U.S. government attorneys have filed asset forfeiture cases to recover real estate linked to Qiao and Zhao in Flushing, New York, and Monterey Park, California.

In April 2015, Qiao appeared on the Chinese government's list of 100 "most wanted" officials who fled abroad after being accused of crimes such as bribery and corruption. He and 39 other government officials and state-owned enterprise leaders on the list allegedly fled to the United States.

The list, called "Operation Skynet," is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's anti-corruption campaign, which has vowed to take down what Chinese officials describe as corrupt "tigers" and "flies" within the country's ruling Communist Party.

Fengxian Hu was another fugitive on China's list. A former army singer and radio broadcaster, Hu headed the state-owned broadcasting company that had a joint venture with Pepsi to distribute soft drinks in Sichuan province. In 2002, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal reported that Pepsi had accused Hu of looting the joint venture and using company funds to buy fancy cars and go on European tours.

The same year, in a widely publicized move, Pepsi filed a case with international arbitrators in Stockholm, asking that the joint venture be dissolved. Despite this, Hu was given a visa that allowed him to fly regularly to Las Vegas, where he was a VIP client at the MGM casino.

In January 2010, Chinese authorities investigated Hu for corruption. But the month before, Hu had entered the United States on a B1 visitor visa, joining his wife, a U.S. citizen living in New York.

Hu tried to obtain a green card through his wife, but the petition was rejected by U.S. immigration authorities. He applied for asylum instead.

Meanwhile, he had gotten into trouble in the United States for losing millions in a Las Vegas casino and failing to pay a $12 million gambling debt. In 2012, he was indicted in a Nevada court on two counts of theft and one count of intentionally passing a check without sufficient funds.

Hu pled not guilty to the charges; his lawyers claimed that his checks bounced because his bank account had been closed by Chinese authorities. The charges against him in the U.S. were considered an aggravated felony, which is a common basis for deportation. Hu, however, had a pending asylum case and so could not be deported.

In August 2015, a New York immigration judge denied the asylum claim. But Hu's lawyers argued that he would be tortured if he returned to China and invoked the United Nations Convention Against Torture , which says that an alien may not be sent to a country where he is likely to be tortured. In the end, the immigration court suspended Hu's removal order, allowing him to remain in the United States and work here indefinitely. He will not, however, be given permanent residency or be allowed to travel outside the country.

The absence of an extradition treaty -- coupled with a high standard of living -- makes the United States a favored destination for Chinese officials and businessmen fleeing corruption charges.

In April 2015, Jeh Johnson, the Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security , made a 48-hour trip to Beijing. The visit was intended to pave the way for Chinese President Xi Jinping's U.S. visit in September 2015, according to a memorandum Johnson wrote, which was obtained through a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

In the memo, Johnson said the Chinese government is seeking 132 people it said have fled to the United States to avoid prosecution. This represents a greater number of fugitives than Chinese authorities have publicly acknowledged.

"I'm told that in prior discussions, the Chinese have been frustrated by the lack of any information from us about the 132 fugitives," Johnson wrote.

The Chinese request for assistance posed a dilemma for the United States. American officials are concerned about a lack of fairness in China's criminal justice system. Human rights groups say that China continues to use torture to extract false confessions from suspected criminals. Torture has also been documented to be part of shuanggui -- a secretive discipline process reserved for members of the Chinese Communist Party.

Some analysts see the crackdown on corrupt officials as part of a purge aimed at the current regime's political rivals and ideological enemies. U.S. officials say this makes returning corrupt officials to China a delicate issue for the United States.


In 2003, headlines around the world reported widespread street protests in Bolivia that led to security forces killing 58 people, most of them members of indigenous groups. Not long afterward, as protesters massed up on the streets of La Paz demanding his resignation, Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada resigned and fled his country along with his defense minister, Jose Carlos Sanchez Berzain.

The two men flew to the United States, where they continue to reside. In 2006, Berzain applied for political asylum, which he was granted in 2007. On his application, when the form asked, "Have you or your family members ever been accused, charged, arrested, detained, interrogated, convicted and sentenced, or imprisoned in any country other than the United States?" Berzain checked the box "no," even though by then he and de Lozada had been formally accused of genocide by Bolivia's attorney general. The indictment was approved by Bolivia's Supreme Court in 2007. Berzain also stated on his application that the State Department had arranged for his travel to the United States.

The de Lozada administration was vocally pro-American. Before it was ousted, officials had announced they would facilitate gas exports to the United States.

After their departure, Bolivia's attorney general publicly stated that the administration had embezzled millions from government coffers, but did not formally file charges. He said de Lozada had taken some $22 million from the country's reserve funds before fleeing.

De Lozada and members of his administration have dismissed the allegations as part of a politically motivated smear campaign, but there is evidence to suggest irregularities may have occurred in the handling of the reserve funds. The former president signed a decree shortly before leaving office authorizing the interior and finance ministers to withdraw money from Bolivia's reserve funds without going through the normal approval process. De Lozada's former interior minister pleaded guilty in 2004 to embezzlement after $270,000 in cash was found in an associate's home.

De Lozada, a mining mogul before he became president, moved to Chevy Chase, Maryland, an upscale suburb of Washington, D.C. He now lives in a two-story brick house bought for $1.4 million by Macalester Limited, a limited liability company that was formed in the British Virgin Islands and lists a post office box in the Bahamas as its principal address.

De Lozada's immigration status is unclear. He said in a sworn deposition in 2015 that he was not a U.S. citizen. His son-in-law, who spoke to ProPublica on his behalf, would not say whether de Lozada had applied for asylum.

Berzain, meanwhile, settled in South Florida. Records show that he and his brother-in-law personally own or are listed as officers or members of business entities that together control around $9 million worth of Miami real estate.

Some of the purchases were made in the names of entities that appear to list different variations of Berzain's name in business records.

In addition, in the purchase of two properties, Berzain's name was added to business records only after the deal had gone through. Berzain's brother-in-law incorporated a company called Warren USA Corp in October 2010, for example, and the company purchased a $1.4 million residential property the following month. Three weeks after Warren USA Corp became the owner of an elegant Spanish-style villa in Key Biscayne, Berzain was added as the company's secretary.

The following year, in May 2011, Berzain's brother-in-law created Galen KB Corp and registered as the company's president. A month later, Galen KB Corp purchased a $250,000 condo. In August, Berzain replaced his brother-in-law as the company's president, according to business records. Berzain is no longer listed as a company officer in either company.

During an interview in January, Berzain told ProPublica "I don't have any companies." When asked about several of the companies associated with his name or address in public records, the former defense minister said he had a consulting firm that helped clients set up companies and that he was sometimes added to the board of directors. Efforts to reach Berzain's brother-in-law, a wealthy businessman and the owner of a bus company in Bolivia, were unsuccessful. Berzain's brother-in-law has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

The practice of purchasing real estate in the name of a business entity like a limited liability company, or LLC, is a common and legal practice in high-end real-estate markets, and one that enables celebrities and other wealthy individuals to protect their privacy.

But the practice also allows foreign officials to hide ill-gotten gains. U.S. regulations allow individuals to form business entities like LLCs without disclosing the beneficial owner. The LLCs can be registered in the names of lawyers, accountants or other associates -- or even anonymously in some states -- and used to purchase real estate, making it nearly impossible to determine the actual owner of a property.


Government investigators and lawmakers have pointed out persistent gaps in U.S. policy that have enabled corrupt officials to evade justice and hide their assets in this country. But little has changed.

Last year, a U.S. Government Accountability Office investigation said it can be "difficult" for immigration officials to identify the true source of an immigrant investor's funds. Immigration officials told the government auditors that EB-5 applicants with ties to corruption, the drug trade, human trafficking and other criminal activities have a strong incentive to omit key details about their financial histories or lie on their applications.

"It's very easy to get lost in the noise if you're a bad person," said Seto Bagdoyan, the accountability office's director of forensic audits, who co-authored the GAO report.

Immigration officials, he added, have an "almost nonexistent" ability to thoroughly evaluate investors' backgrounds and trace their assets.

Despite such weaknesses, Congress has continually extended the EB-5 program with minor changes. The program is backed by real-estate lobbyists who argue that it is a crucial source of financing for luxury condos and hotels. The program is expected to thrive in a Trump presidency because the president-elect is a developer and his son-in-law Jared Kushner received $50 million in EB-5 funds to build a Trump-branded tower in New Jersey.

In 2010, a Senate report described how powerful foreign officials and their relatives moved millions of dollars in suspect funds into the United States. The report said investors bypassed anti-money laundering regulations with help from U.S. lawyers, real-estate agents, and banking institutions. Last year, ABC News reported that lobbyists for real estate and other business groups spent $30 million in 2015 in an effort to protect the EB-5 program.

Senate investigators proposed legislation that would require companies to disclose their beneficial owners and make it easier for authorities to restrict entry, deny visas and deport corrupt foreign officials.

A few of the proposals have been adopted, but they have not made much difference. Banks have stepped up their efforts to identify corrupt officials and monitor their accounts. Professional groups such as the American Bar Association have issued non-binding guidelines for their members on compliance with anti-money-laundering controls. The U.S. government has also worked with the Financial Action Task Force , an international body set up to fight money laundering, to bring its anti-corruption controls in accordance with the body's guidelines.

In May, the Treasury Department enacted a new rule that will take full effect in 2018 and will require financial institutions to identify the beneficial owners of shell companies. Some advocates see the rule as a step backward. The new rule allows shell companies to designate the manager of the account as the beneficial owner, concealing the identity of the person ultimately exercising control.

The State Department declined to say what progress, if any, it has made on the Senate subcommittee's recommendation to more aggressively deny visas through Proclamation 7750. "The Department takes seriously congressional recommendations and devotes resources to addressing corruption worldwide," a State Department official wrote in response to questions.

In 2010, then-Attorney General Eric Holder launched the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative. The small unit, which has grown to include 16 attorneys, aims to recover assets in the United States that are tied to foreign corruption and return the money to the looted countries.

Over the past six years, the unit has filed around two dozen civil asset forfeiture cases in an attempt to seize money, real estate and other assets tied to government officials from 16 countries. Assets have ranged from a lone diamond-encrusted glove worn by Michael Jackson that was purchased by Equatorial Guinea's Vice President, Teodoro Obiang, to a $1 billion fund tied to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Yet most of the money the Department of Justice has pursued remains in limbo. The case involving Chun, the former president of South Korea, is one of only two instances in which corrupt gains have been returned to the home country through the Justice Department's efforts. The other arose when Justice Department officials returned $1.5 million to Taiwan from property bought with bribes paid to the family of Chun Shui Bian, the former president of Taiwan.

The agency faces myriad challenges when attempting to seize and return assets acquired by corrupt foreign officials, including a lack of witnesses, said Kendall Day, head of the Department of Justice's Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section. These officials often shield their transactions through shell companies, offshore companies or a network of associates.

"The mission of the Kleptocracy Initiative is really to target what we call grand foreign corruption that impacts the U.S. financial system," Day said, citing the Chun case as an example.

The 2012 Magnitsky Act gives the government power to deny visas and freeze the assets of Russian nationals accused of corruption or human rights violations. The Global Magnitsky Act would extend the same sanctions to the rest of the world, but it has yet to be passed by Congress. Unlike Proclamation 7750, the Magnitsky laws require the government to publish a list of foreign government officials who are barred from the United States.

In addition, the Treasury Department imposed regulations this year that aim to crack down on the use of shell companies to purchase real estate in places like Miami and Manhattan. Title insurance companies are now required to identify the real owners of companies purchasing high-end real estate without a mortgage. These regulations, however, are temporary.

[Mar 31, 2019] Seems to me what that BigLie's of Us propaganda is this tale: Relations with Russia during the post-USSR age were going along swell until Russia began involved in the Venezuelan Crisis.

Mar 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Mar 30, 2019 7:15:26 PM | link

b--

Seems to me what that BigLie's about is this tale: Relations with Russia during the post-USSR age were going along swell until Russia began involved in the Venezuelan Crisis.

The attempt is to try a new narrative using a different angle to blame Russia which is the goal of the BigLie. Signal a new line of approach in dealing with the attitude toward Russia to the trusty echoers of His Master's Voice.

That's what it seems, b.

[Mar 31, 2019] What is the purpose of Russiagate hysteria?

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The purpose is very simple: to create the perception that the government of Russia still somehow controls or manipulates the US government and thus gains some undeserved improvements in relations with the U.S. Once such perception is created, people will demand that relations with Russia are worsened to return them to a "fair" level. While in reality these relations have been systematically destroyed by the Western establishment (CFR) for many years. ..."
"... It's a typical inversion to hide the hybrid war of the Western establishment against Russian people. Yes, Russian people. Not Putin, not Russian Army, not Russian intelligence services, but Russian people. Russians are not to be allowed to have any kind of industries, nor should they be allowed to know their true history, nor should they possess so much land. ..."
"... Russians should work in coal mines for a dollar a day, while their wives work as prostitutes in Europe. That's the maximum level of development that the Western establishment would allow Russians to have (see Ukraine for a demo version). Why? Because Russians are subhumans. ..."
"... The end goal of the Western establishment is a complete military, economic, psychological, and spiritual destruction of Russia, secession of national republics (even though in some of them up to 50% of population are Russians, but this will be ignored, as it has been in former Soviet republics), then, finally, dismemberment of what remains of Russia into separate states warring with each other. ..."
"... The very concept of Russian nation should disappear. Siberians will call their language "Siberian", Muscovites will call their language "Moscovian", Pomorians will call their language "Pomorian", etc. The U.S. Department of State will, of course, endorse such terminology, just like they endorse the term "Montenegrian language", even though it's the same Serbo-Croatian language with the same Cyrillic writing system. ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

S , Mar 30, 2019 8:51:37 PM | link

@b:
What is the purpose of making that claim?

The purpose is very simple: to create the perception that the government of Russia still somehow controls or manipulates the US government and thus gains some undeserved improvements in relations with the U.S. Once such perception is created, people will demand that relations with Russia are worsened to return them to a "fair" level. While in reality these relations have been systematically destroyed by the Western establishment (CFR) for many years.

It's a typical inversion to hide the hybrid war of the Western establishment against Russian people. Yes, Russian people. Not Putin, not Russian Army, not Russian intelligence services, but Russian people. Russians are not to be allowed to have any kind of industries, nor should they be allowed to know their true history, nor should they possess so much land.

Russians should work in coal mines for a dollar a day, while their wives work as prostitutes in Europe. That's the maximum level of development that the Western establishment would allow Russians to have (see Ukraine for a demo version). Why? Because Russians are subhumans.

Whatever they do, it's always wrong, bad, oppressive, etc. Russians are bad because they're bad. They must be "taught a lesson", "put into their place". It would, of course, be beneficial and highly profitable for Europeans to break with Anglo-Saxons and to live in peace and harmony with Russia, but Europeans simply can not overcome their racism towards Russians. The young Europeans are just as racist, with their incessant memes about "squatting Russians in tracksuits", "drunken Russians", etc., as if there's nothing else that is notable about a country of 147 million people.

The end goal of the Western establishment is a complete military, economic, psychological, and spiritual destruction of Russia, secession of national republics (even though in some of them up to 50% of population are Russians, but this will be ignored, as it has been in former Soviet republics), then, finally, dismemberment of what remains of Russia into separate states warring with each other.

The very concept of Russian nation should disappear. Siberians will call their language "Siberian", Muscovites will call their language "Moscovian", Pomorians will call their language "Pomorian", etc. The U.S. Department of State will, of course, endorse such terminology, just like they endorse the term "Montenegrian language", even though it's the same Serbo-Croatian language with the same Cyrillic writing system.

[Mar 20, 2019] Bankrupt British Empire Keeps Pushing To Overthrow Putin

This is anold, 2015 article that is still rrrelenet today. Well written overview of British policies toward Russia
Notable quotes:
"... Lyndon LaRouche has observed that anybody acting according to this British agenda with the intention of coming out on top is a fool, since the British financial-political empire is bankrupt and its entire system is coming down. ..."
"... EU: British imperial interests are intent on destroying Prime Minister Putin's bid for the Presidency, and throwing Russia into deadly political turmoil. ..."
"... In her testimony, Diuk came off like a reincarnation of a 1950s Cold Warrior, raving against the Russian government as "authoritarian," "dictators," and so forth. She said, "The trend lines for freedom and democracy in Russia have been unremittingly negative since Vladimir Putin took power and set about the systematic construction of a representation of their interests within the state." She announced at that point that the elections would be illegitimate: "[T]he current regime will likely use the upcoming parliamentary elections in December 2011 and presidential election in March 2012 with the inevitable falsifications and manipulations, to claim the continued legitimacy of its rule." ..."
"... The British-educated Nadia Diuk is vice president of the National Endowment for Democracy, from which perch she has spread "Cold War" venom against Putin and the Russian government. ..."
"... Rafal Rohozinski and Ronald Deibert, two top profilers of the Russian Internet, noted that the Runet grew five times faster than the next fastest growing Internet region, the Middle East, in 2000-08. ..."
"... NED grant money has gone to Alexei Navalny (inset), the online "anti-corruption" activist and cult figure of the December demonstrations. Addressing crowds on the street, Navalny sounds more like Mussolini than a proponent of democracy. A Russian columnist found him reminiscent of either Hitler, or Catalina, who conspired against the Roman Republic. Shown: the Dec. 24 demonstration in Moscow. ..."
Jan 09, 2012 | http://schillerinstitute.org/russia/2012/0122_overthrow_putin.html
This article appears in the January 20, 2012 issue of Executive Intelligence Review and is reprinted with permission.

[PDF version of this article]

January 9, 2012 -Organizers of the December 2011 "anti-vote-fraud" demonstrations in Moscow have announced Feb. 4 as the date of their next street action, planned as a march around the city's Garden Ring Road on the 22nd anniversary of a mass demonstration which paved the way to the end of the Soviet Union. While there is a fluid situation within both the Russian extraparliamentary opposition layers, and the ruling circles and other Duma parties, including a process of "dialogue" between them, in which ex-Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin is playing a role, it is clear that British imperial interests are intent on-if not actually destroying Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's bid for reelection as Russia's President in the March 4 elections-casting Russia into ongoing, destructive political turmoil.

Lyndon LaRouche has observed that anybody acting according to this British agenda with the intention of coming out on top is a fool, since the British financial-political empire is bankrupt and its entire system is coming down.

Review of the events leading up to the Dec. 4, 2011 Duma elections, which the street demonstrators demanded be cancelled for fraud, shows that not only agent-of-British-influence Mikhail Gorbachov, the ex-Soviet President, but also the vast Project Democracy apparatus inside the United States, exposed by EIR in the 1980s as part of an unconstitutional "secret government,"[1] have been on full mobilization to block the current Russian leadership from continuing in power.

Project Democracy

Typical is the testimony of Nadia Diuk, vice president of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), before the Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia of the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs last July 26. The NED is the umbrella of Project Democracy; it functions, inclusively, through the International Republican Institute (IRI, linked with the Republican Party) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI, linked with the Democratic Party, and currently headed by Madeleine Albright).

Diuk was educated at the U.K.'s Unversity of Sussex Russian studies program, and then taught at Oxford University, before coming to the U.S.A. to head up the NED's programs in Eastern Europe and Russia beginning 1990. She is married to her frequent co-author, Adrian Karatnycky of the Atlantic Institute, who headed up the private intelligence outfit Freedom House[2] for 12 years. Her role is typical of British outsourcing of key strategic operations to U.S. institutions.

EU: British imperial interests are intent on destroying Prime Minister Putin's bid for the Presidency, and throwing Russia into deadly political turmoil.

In her testimony, Diuk came off like a reincarnation of a 1950s Cold Warrior, raving against the Russian government as "authoritarian," "dictators," and so forth. She said, "The trend lines for freedom and democracy in Russia have been unremittingly negative since Vladimir Putin took power and set about the systematic construction of a representation of their interests within the state." She announced at that point that the elections would be illegitimate: "[T]he current regime will likely use the upcoming parliamentary elections in December 2011 and presidential election in March 2012 with the inevitable falsifications and manipulations, to claim the continued legitimacy of its rule."

Diuk expressed renewed hope that the disastrous 2004 Orange Revolution experiment in Ukraine could be replicated in Russia, claiming that "when the protests against authoritarian rule during Ukraine's Orange Revolution brought down the government in 2004, Russian citizens saw a vision across the border of an alternative future for themselves as a Slavic nation." She then detailed what she claimed were the Kremlin's reactions to the events in Ukraine, charging that "the leaders in the Kremlin-always the most creative innovators in the club of authoritarians-have also taken active measures to promote support of the government and undermine the democratic opposition...."

Holos Ameryky

The British-educated Nadia Diuk is vice president of the National Endowment for Democracy, from which perch she has spread "Cold War" venom against Putin and the Russian government.

While lauding "the democratic breakthroughs in the Middle East" in 2011, Diuk called on the Congress to "look to [Eastern Europe] as the source of a great wealth of experience on how the enemies of freedom are ever on the alert to assert their dominance, but also how the forces for freedom and democracy will always find a way to push back in a struggle that demands our support."

In September, Diuk chaired an NED event featuring a representative of the NED-funded Levada Center Russian polling organization, who gave an overview of the then-upcoming December 4 Duma election. Also speaking there was Russian liberal politician Vladimir Kara-Murza, who predicted in the nastiest tones that Putin will suffer the fate of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. In this same September period, Mikhail Gorbachov, too, was already forecasting voting irregularities and a challenge to Putin's dominance.

The NED, which has an annual budget of $100 million, sponsors dozens of "civil society" groups in Russia. Golos, the supposedly independent vote-monitoring group that declared there would be vote fraud even before the elections took place, has received NED money through the NDI since 2000. Golos had a piecework program, paying its observers a set amount of money for each reported voting irregularity. NED grant money has gone to Alexei Navalny-the online anti-corruption activist and cult figure of the December demonstrations-since 2006, when he and Maria Gaidar (daughter of the late London-trained shock therapy Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar) launched a youth debating project called "DA!" (meaning "Yes!" or standing for "Democratic Alternative"). Gorbachov's close ally Vladimir Ryzhkov, currently negotiating with Kudrin on terms of a "dialogue between the authorities and the opposition," also received NED grants to his World Movement for Democracy.

Besides George Soros's Open Society Foundations (formerly, Open Society Institute, OSI), the biggest source of funds for this meddling, including funding which was channeled through the NDI and the IRI, is the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Officially, USAID has spent $2.6 billion on programs in Russia since 1992. The current acknowledged level is around $70 million annually, of which nearly half is for "Governing Justly & Democratically" programs, another 30% for "Information" programs, and only a small fraction for things like combatting HIV and TB. On Dec. 15, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon announced that the Obama Administration would seek Congressional approval to step up this funding, with "an initiative to create a new fund to support Russian non-governmental organizations that are committed to a more pluralistic and open society."

Awaiting McFaul

White House/Pete Souza

The impending arrival in Moscow of Michael McFaul (shown here with his boss in the Oval Office), as U.S. Ambassador to Russia, is seen by many there as an escalation of Project Democracy efforts to destabilize the country.

People from various parts of the political spectrum in Russia see the impending arrival of Michael McFaul as U.S. Ambassador to Russia as an escalation in Project Democracy efforts to destabilize Russia. McFaul, who has been Barack Obama's National Security Council official for Russia, has been working this beat since the early 1990s, when he represented the NDI in Russia at the end of the Soviet period, and headed its office there.

As a Russia specialist at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Hoover Institution, as well as the Carnegie Endowment, and an array of other Russian studies think tanks, McFaul has stuck closely to the Project Democracy agenda. Financing for his research has come from the NED, the OSI, and the Smith-Richardson Foundation (another notorious agency of financier interests within the U.S. establishment). He was an editor of the 2006 book Revolution in Orange: The Origins of Ukraine's Democratic Breakthrough, containing chapters by Diuk and Karatnycky.

In his own contribution to a 2010 book titled After Putin's Russia,[3] McFaul hailed the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine-which was notoriously funded and manipulated from abroad-as a triumph of "people's political power from below to resist and eventually overturn a fraudulent election."

Before coming to the NSC, one of McFaul's many positions at Stanford was co-director of the Iran Democracy Project. He has also been active in such projects as the British Henry Jackson Society which is active in the drive to overthrow the government of Syria.

The Internet Dimension

The December 2011 street demonstrations in Moscow were organized largely online. Participation rose from a few hundred on Dec. 5, the day after the election, to an estimated 20,000 people on Bolotnaya Square Dec. 10, and somewhere in the wide range of 30,000 to 120,000 on Academician Sakharov Prospect Dec. 24.

Headlong expansion of Internet access and online social networking over the past three to five years has opened up a new dimension of political-cultural warfare in Russia. An EIR investigation finds that British intelligence agencies involved in the current attempts to destabilize Russia and, in their maximum version, overthrow Putin, have been working intensively to profile online activity in Russia and find ways to expand and exploit it. Some of these projects are outsourced to think tanks in the U.S.A. and Canada, but their center is Cambridge University in the U.K.-the heart of the British Empire, home of Bertrand Russell's systems analysis and related ventures of the Cambridge Apostles.[4]

The scope of the projects goes beyond profiling, as can be seen in the Cambridge-centered network's interaction with Russian anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny, a central figure in the December protest rallies.

While George Soros and his OSI prioritized building Internet access in the former Soviet Union starting two decades ago, as recently as in 2008 British cyberspace specialists were complaining that the Internet was not yet efficient for political purposes in Russia. Oxford University's Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism produced a Soros-funded report in 2008, titled "The Web that Failed: How opposition politics and independent initiatives are failing on the Internet in Russia." The Oxford-Reuters authors regretted that processes like the Orange Revolution, in which online connections were crucial, had not gotten a toehold in Russia. But they quoted a 2007 report by Andrew Kuchins of the Moscow Carnegie Center, who found reason for optimism in the seven-fold increase in Russian Internet (Runet) use from 2000 to 2007. They also cited Robert Orttung of American University and the Resource Security Institute, on how Russian blogs were reaching "the most dynamic members of the youth generation" and could be used by "members of civil society" to mobilize "liberal opposition groups and nationalists."

Scarcely a year later, a report by the digital marketing firm comScore crowed that booming Internet access had led to Russia's having "the world's most engaged social networking audience." Russian Facebook use rose by 277% from 2008 to 2009. The Russia-based social networking outfit Vkontakte.ru (like Facebook) had 14.3 million visitors in 2009; Odnoklassniki.ru (like Classmates.com) had 7.8 million; and Mail.ru-My World had 6.3 million. All three of these social networking sites are part of the Mail.ru/Digital Sky Technologies empire of Yuri Milner,[5] with the individual companies registered in the British Virgin Islands and other offshore locations.

The Cambridge Security Programme

Rafal Rohozinski and Ronald Deibert, two top profilers of the Russian Internet, noted that the Runet grew five times faster than the next fastest growing Internet region, the Middle East, in 2000-08.

Two top profilers of the Runet are Ronald Deibert and Rafal Rohozinski, who assessed its status in their essay "Control and Subversion in Russian Cyberspace."[6] At the University of Toronto, Deibert is a colleague of Barry Wellman, co-founder of the International Network of Social Network Analysis (INSNA).[7] Rohozinski is a cyber-warfare specialist who ran the Advanced Network Research Group of the Cambridge Security Programme (CSP) at Cambridge University in 2002-07. Nominally ending its work, the CSP handed off its projects to an array of organizations in the OpenNet Initiative (ONI), including Rohozinski's SecDev Group consulting firm, which issues the Information Warfare Monitor.

The ONI, formally dedicated to mapping and circumventing Internet surveillance and filtering by governments, is a joint project of Cambridge (Rohozinski), the Oxford Internet Institute, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, and the University of Toronto.

Deibert and Rohozinski noted that the Runet grew five times faster than the next fastest growing Internet region, the Middle East, in 2000-08. They cited official estimates that 38 million Russians were going online as of 2010, of whom 60 had broadband access from home; the forecast number of Russia-based Runet users by 2012 was 80 million, out of a population of 140 million. Qualitatively, the ONI authors welcomed what they called "the rise of the Internet to the center of Russian culture and politics." On the political side, they asserted that "the Internet has eclipsed all the mass media in terms of its reach, readership, and especially in the degree of free speech and opportunity to mobilize that it provides."

This notion of an Internet-savvy core of the population becoming the focal point of Russian society is now being hyped by those who want to push the December demonstrations into a full-scale political crisis. Such writers call this segment of the population "the creative class," or "the active creative minority," which can override an inert majority of the population. The Dec. 30 issue of Vedomosti, a financial daily co-owned by the Financial Times of London, featured an article by sociologist Natalya Zubarevich, which was then publicized in "Window on Eurasia" by Paul Goble, a State Department veteran who has concentrated for decades on the potential for Russia to split along ethnic or other lines.

Zubarevich proposed that the 31% of the Russian population living in the 14 largest cities, of which 9 have undergone "post-industrial transformation," constitute a special, influential class, as against the inhabitants of rural areas (38%) and mid-sized industrial cities with an uncertain future (25%). Goble defined the big-city population as a target: "It is in this Russia that the 35 million domestic users of the Internet and those who want a more open society are concentrated."

The Case of Alexei Navalny

In the "The Web that Failed" study, Oxford-Reuters authors Floriana Fossato, John Lloyd, and Alexander Verkhovsky delved into the missing elements, in their view, of the Russian Internet. What would it take, they asked, for Runet participants to be able to "orchestrate motivation and meaningful commitments"? They quoted Julia Minder of the Russian portal Rambler, who said about the potential for "mobilization": "Blogs are at the moment the answer, but the issue is how to find a leading blogger who wants to meet people on the Internet several hours per day. Leading bloggers need to be entertaining.... The potential is there, but more often than not it is not used."

NED grant money has gone to Alexei Navalny (inset), the online "anti-corruption" activist and cult figure of the December demonstrations. Addressing crowds on the street, Navalny sounds more like Mussolini than a proponent of democracy. A Russian columnist found him reminiscent of either Hitler, or Catalina, who conspired against the Roman Republic. Shown: the Dec. 24 demonstration in Moscow.

It is difficult not to wonder if Alexei Navalny is a test-tube creation intended to fill the missing niche. This would not be the first time in recent Russian history that such a thing happened. In 1990, future neoliberal "young reformers" Anatoli Chubais and Sergei Vasilyev wrote a paper under International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) auspices, on the priorities for reform in the Soviet Union. They stated that a certain personality was missing on the Soviet scene at that time: the wealthy businessman. In their IIASA paper, Chubais and Vasilyev wrote: "We now see a figure, arising from historical non-existence: the figure of a businessman-entrepreneur, who has enough capital to bear the investment responsibility, and enough technological knowledge and willingness to support innovation."[8]

This type of person was subsequently brought into existence through the corrupt post-Soviet privatization process in Russia, becoming known as "the oligarchs." Was Navalny, similarly, synthesized as a charismatic blogger to fill the British subversive need for "mobilization"?

Online celebrity Navalny's arrest in Moscow on Dec. 5, and his speech at the Academician Sakharov Prospect rally on Dec. 24 were highlights of last month's turmoil in the Russian capital. Now 35 years old, Navalny grew up in a Soviet/Russian military family and was educated as a lawyer. In 2006, he began to be financed by NED for the DA! project (see above). Along the way-maybe through doing online day-trading, as some biographies suggest, or maybe from unknown benefactors-Navalny acquired enough money to be able to spend $40,000 (his figure) on a few shares in each of several major Russian companies with a high percentage of state ownership. This gave him minority-shareholder status, as a platform for his anti-corruption probes.

It must be understood that the web of "corruption" in Russia is the system of managing cash flows through payoffs, string-pulling, and criminal extortion, which arose out of the boost that Gorbachov's perestroika policy gave to pre-existing Soviet criminal networks in the 1980s. It then experienced a boom under darlings of London like Gaidar, who oversaw the privatization process known as the Great Criminal Revolution in the 1990s. As Russia has been integrated into an international financial order, which itself relies on criminal money flows from the dope trade and strategically motivated scams like Britain's BAE operations in the Persian Gulf, the preponderance of shady activity in the Russian economy has only increased.

Putin's governments inherited this system, and it can be ended when the commitment to monetarism, which LaRouche has identified as a fatal flaw even among genuinely pro-development Russians, is broken in Russia and worldwide. The current bankruptcy of the Trans-Atlantic City of London-Eurozone-Wall Street system means that now is the time for this to happen!

Yale Fellows

In 2010, Navalny was accepted to the Yale World Fellows Program, as one of fewer than 20 approved candidates out of over a thousand applicants. As EIR has reported, the Yale Fellows are instructed by the likes of British Foreign Office veteran Lord Mark Malloch-Brown and representatives of Soros's Open Society Foundations.[9] What's more, the World Fellows Program is funded by The Starr Foundation of Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg, former chairman and CEO of insurance giant American International Group (AIG), the recipient of enormous Bush Jr.-Obama bailout largesse in 2008-09; Greenberg and his C.V. Starr company have a long record of facilitating "regime change" (aka coups), going back to the 1986 overthrow of President Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. Navalny reports that Maria Gaidar told him to try for the program, and he enjoyed recommendations from top professors at the New Economic School in Moscow, a hotbed of neoliberalism and mathematical economics. It was from New Haven that Navalny launched his anti-corruption campaign against Transneft, the Russian national oil pipeline company, specifically in relation to money movements around the new East Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline. The ESPO has just finished the first year of operation of its spur supplying Russian oil to China.

Navalny presents a split personality to the public. Online he is "Mr. Openness." He posts the full legal documentation of his corruption exposés. When his e-mail account was hacked, and his correspondence with U.S. Embassy and NED officials about funding him was made public, Navalny acknowledged that the e-mails were genuine. He tries to disarm interviewers with questions like, "Do you think I'm an American project, or a Kremlin one?"

During the early-January 2012 holiday lull in Russia, Navalny engaged in a lengthy, oh-so-civilized dialogue in Live Journal with Boris Akunin (real name, Grigori Chkhartishvili), a famous detective-story author and liberal activist who was another leader of the December demonstrations, about whether Navalny's commitment to the slogan "Russia for the Russians" marks him as a bigot who is unfit to lead. Addressing crowds on the street, however, Navalny sounds like Mussolini. Prominent Russian columnist Maxim Sokolov, writing in Izvestia, found him reminiscent of either Hitler, or Catalina, who conspired against the Roman Republic.

Navalny may well end up being expendable in the view of his sponsors. In the meantime, it is clear that he is working from the playbook of Gene Sharp, whose neurolinguistic programming and advertising techniques were employed in Ukraine's Orange Revolution in 2004.[10] Sharp, a veteran of "advanced studies" at Oxford and 30 years at Harvard's Center for International Affairs, is the author of The Politics of Nonviolent Action: Power and Struggle, which advises the use of symbolic colors, short slogans, and so forth.

While at Yale, Navalny also served as an informant and advisor for a two-year study conducted at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, one of the institutions participating in the OpenNet Initiative, launched out of Cambridge University in the U.K. The study produced a profile titled "Mapping the Russian Blogosphere," which detailed the different sections of the Runet: liberal, nationalist, cultural, foreign-based, etc., looking at their potential social impact.

Allen Douglas, Gabrielle Peut, David Christie, and Dorothea Bunnell did research for this article.


Related pages:

schiller@schillerinstitute.org

The Schiller Institute, PO BOX 20244, Washington, DC 20041-0244, 703-771-8390

[Mar 16, 2019] The goal of US elites is a break up of Russia

Mar 16, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

smoothieX12 . -> Pat Lang , 17 hours ago

I have this quote by Morgenthau on my desktop on my computer--it is from 1957 lecture in Naval War College:

"I would say, and I have said many times before, that if the czars still reigned in Russia, that if Lenin had died of the measles at an early age, that if Stalin had never been heard of, but the power of the Soviet Union were exactly what it is today, the problem of Russia would be for us by and large what it is today. If the Russian armies stood exactly where they stand today, and if Russian technological development were what it is today, we would be by and large confronted with the same problems which confront us today."

In 2015 Kissinger basically reiterated the point when stated that the goal of US elites is a break up of Russia.

Pat Lang Mod -> smoothieX12 . , 15 hours ago
I was told the same thing by Soviet specialists of the US Army who thought that what I did was irrelevant except for my demonstrated ability to recruit Soviets.

[Feb 27, 2019] Forward, Comrades

Feb 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

wikipedia , Feb 18, 2019 3:56:45 PM | link

Forward, Comrades (Russian: Вперед, товарищи; Chinese: 前进,达瓦里希; pinyin: Qiánjìn, dáwǎlǐxī; literally: "Advance, tovarish") is a 2013 Chinese animated short film by Wang Liyin of the Beijing Film Academy. The film focuses on the fall of the Soviet Union as its main theme, told from the perspective of a young girl. As an original net animation with a strong political backdrop, the film has triggered strong reactions from various audiences.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forward,_Comrades

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkHM4ajLfD0

[Feb 27, 2019] Meet Bill Browder: The Man Behind the Magnitsky Myth

Feb 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

the pessimist , Feb 24, 2019 2:42:42 PM | link

Videos of Browder disposition in the United States in which he contradicts all his public tales about the Russian fraud case against him, and ofthe fate of his accountant Sergei Magnitsky - Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Keeping tabs on Browder:
https://www.thekomisarscoop.com

Ghost Ship , Feb 24, 2019 3:21:50 PM | link

Imagine if Trump was as evasive in a deposition with Mueller as Broder was in the videos. It just reinforces my view that Americans have no problem at all with hypocrisy, probably to do with exceptionalism.
james , Feb 24, 2019 10:48:36 PM | link
the videos on browder - 4 parts - focus on him being questioned in 2015...you could skip to the last one near the end, but vid 3 and 4 are both pretty good and gaining an insight into browder.. i am sure most here don't need any more insight into browder then they already have... the data in the video is organized by some canucks back east in quebec i suppose..

53 million in aid from canada to the border of venezuala, mostly in columbia and some in brazil.. that is more then twice the amount coming from the usa... interesting video discussing this here.. i am sure crystia freeland had a direct hand in this.. maybe she can get a date with brandscum...

[Feb 26, 2019] Meet Bill Browder: The Man Behind the Magnitsky Myth

Feb 26, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Videos of Browder disposition in the United States in which he contradicts all his public tales about the Russian fraud case against him, and ofthe fate of his accountant Sergei Magnitsky - Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

Keeping tabs on Browder:
https://www.thekomisarscoop.com

Posted by: the pessimist | Feb 24, 2019 2:42:42 PM |

Ghost Ship , Feb 24, 2019 3:21:50 PM | link

Imagine if Trump was as evasive in a deposition with Mueller as Broder was in the videos. It just reinforces my view that Americans have no problem at all with hypocrisy, probably to do with exceptionalism.
james , Feb 24, 2019 10:48:36 PM | link
the videos on browder - 4 parts - focus on him being questioned in 2015...you could skip to the last one near the end, but vid 3 and 4 are both pretty good and gaining an insight into browder.. i am sure most here don't need any more insight into browder then they already have... the data in the video is organized by some canucks back east in quebec i suppose..

53 million in aid from canada to the border of venezuala, mostly in columbia and some in brazil.. that is more then twice the amount coming from the usa... interesting video discussing this here.. i am sure crystia freeland had a direct hand in this.. maybe she can get a date with brandscum...

[Feb 16, 2019] "Semi-intelligence agences" is a very sad joke: When I watched the US rep. who supposedly investigated this Magnitzky affair for the US gov. state under oath that he never verified any of the info that Browder gave him, I kept thinking "Is this guy serious ?"

Jul 27, 2018 | thesaker.is

Alex on October 09, 2017 , · at 3:08 pm EST/EDT

Something tells me he doesn't want to push this too much as money for this film came from French and German sources. It is nice to see him sticking his neck out to uphold the Truth.

When I watched the US rep. who supposedly investigated this Magnitzky affair for the US gov. state under oath that he never verified any of the info that Browder gave him, I kept thinking "Is this guy serious ?" But when you realize that they never did any investigation then it all seems logical.

[Feb 08, 2019] Alexey Navalny is a MI6 CIA agent

Apr 01, 2011 | katehon.com

The former head of Boris Berezovsky's security service spoke about the relationship between famous blogger Alexey Navalny and the British MI6 intelligence service. He succeeded in exporting about 60 servers containing a huge amount of correspondence and documents.

"23rd December, 2007 - to the head of the Secret Intelligence Service A. Belt.

Report of agent Solomon about ending Navalny's verification and the assignment of the pseudonym "freedom".

Had a conversation over an encrypted communication channel between the employee and the CRS (SIS) and agent Solomon. The agent got approval for a confidential cooperation with Alexei Navalny. It was mentioned that it is necessary for Navalny to arrange financial support to carry out the tasks within the framework of special operation "Shiver" to undermine the existing constitutional order in the Russian Federation. Navalny has a nickname of "freedom", reads one of the documents.

Agent Solomon is the notorious William Browder, head of Hermitage Capital, inspirer of the Magnitsky act, and a person who made a fortune in Russia in the 90's.

Operation "Shiver" had already been developed at Langley in 1986. The documents were signed by then-CIA Director William Casey. The main goal of the project was to "change the constitutional and political system in Eastern Europe and the USSR".

Tasks are described in as much detail as possible: to change the political and constitutional state system, to acquire control over financial flows, and to extract assets from emerging economies.

The USSR has not existed for a quarter of a century, however, the project "Shiver" is still relevant.

"Browder spreads lies, and all his company is based solely on lies. Navalny is his student and successor of his ideas. They partly work together, working in parallel. They absolutely face the same direction," said Pavel Karpov, a former investigator of the Moscow Criminal Investigations Department. He is one of those who has stirred Browder's "snake nest" and opened schemes of tax evasion and illegal purchase of shares in Russia under the leadership of Hermitage Capital.

Here is an example of correspondence between Navalny and Browder in 2006:

"Let me very frankly formulate what I want to offer. I will teach you to grab the monsters of the Russian economy by the balls. Soon you will become a hero of the minority shareholders and can have their reputational capital. Probably, and political. In return I ask you to support me when my problems come out. Am I clear?" asks Browder to Navalny. "Your information in exchange for the loyalty of my potential. However, I'm afraid you banked on the wrong figure. I could have problems even in my party. There I seem to be a nationalist," -- says Navalny.

Then, under the leadership of Browder, and with his financial support, the still unknown blogger opened the cycle of revelations. At the same time the scene appears banker Vladimir Ashurkov. He dealt with money matters for "revelatory activities".

"Agent "freedom" was acquainted with the first phase of the secret denunciation of the conviction of corruption and embezzlement of Russian state assets. To implement the first phase of the plan, agent "freedom" was funded to the amount of 100 million rubles. The first part of funds, 7 million rubles, will be transferred to our authorised representative of the Moscow Helsinki Group until January 26th. Agent A. Belt".

The activities of the Hermitage Capital in Moscow has been completely phased out as auditor Sergey Magnitsky was appointed to clean up any traces that remained.

"People say that he was Browder's lawyer. This is an outright lie! He was an accountant, who was engaged in tax evasion for Browder, i.e. registered companies through which money was withdrawn from. As I was told by Magnitsky himself, these millions were withdrawn by his own chief, who, as I learned later, was Mr. Browder," recalls journalist Oleg Lurie.

When Magnitsky was arrested, Navalny wrote to Browder, "William, sincerely sorry. People get used to like those who suffer in our country I'm not saying that the suffering of Sergei is your trump card, but the more these journalists and people will learn about this suffering, the less they will want to know what is happening".

Browder's goal was to create the maximum noise possible with information, however the situation abroad with the "legal auditor" responded little.

"20th September 2009. To the Director of Central Intelligence.

A conversation between agent Solomon and an employee of MI6.

Further growth of public resonance will be gone unless we make adjustments to the plans of our ongoing special events. In his message to the agent, based on information available for it, he noted the deteriorating health of Magnitsky. It was proposed to the agent, through authorized persons in the penitentiary system of Russia, to organize a disruption of medical assistance to Magnitsky. The deterioration of his health will be designated as a medical error that could lead to his death. Please pay special attention to this information", -- stated the documents.

Magnitsky was literally sacrificed. In November 2009, he died in the hospital of the "Matrosskaya Tishina" detention facility, and Browder announced that the prisoner was tortured, he was also refused medical care. And then there was the "Magnitsky list".

Here is what is said in the secret documents about it:

"January 23, 2010. Sash reports on a meeting with the agent "freedom", during which he gave the agent $300,000 for the upcoming program to support the "Magnitsky list" on social networks. The report of the agent Sash also said that the project is linked with the death of Sergei Magnitsky, and already in the early stages it greatly undermined the credibility of Russian citizens in the Russian judicial and law enforcement system. This leads to growing chaos in the Russian judicial and law enforcement system, a reduction of its credibility, and a reduction in the credibility of Vladimir Putin. Agent A. Belt".

All this time, Browder warned Navalny against political activity.

"We have our own tasks. Bill asks you to be careful. Urge you not to interfere in the electoral process -- it is not your task. Monitoring, reporting -- Yes. Protests -- no," -- said in his message.

Apparently, the situation has since changed. It is noteworthy that the Skype accounts of Browder and Navalny, where they started talking in 2006, are still operational. But we failed to contact subscribers.

[Feb 02, 2019] According to the recipes devised by Reagan: why the methods which successfully destroyed the USSR do not work with modern Russia? by Alexey Makurin

Highly recommended!
Slightly edited Goggle translation...
Dominance in technology still represent pretty powerful lever used to damage and possibly subdue Russia. King of technological imperialism.
Notable quotes:
"... As a result, the Soviet and post-Soviet elites adopted the rules established by Washington: they became intermediaries between Western corporations and the wealth of their countries. Russia paid for this deal with the destruction of its industry and the emergence of oligarchs, enriched by mediation. But there were wins. The country has developed large national corporations that have become prominent players on the global map. The same "Gazprom". Over time, Russia has its own ambitions to expand the volume and list of exported goods. ..."
"... In response, 5 years ago, the US led an attack on it, declaring sanctions. ..."
"... - Full and unconditional surrender of Russia in the economy. The West wants through its representatives to manage Russian companies, without intermediaries to enter the Russian domestic market and get the fattest pieces. ..."
"... In addition, in the eighties the USSR lost to the West ideologically. Our society has accumulated a great fatigue from ascetic "socialism" and international expansion with ideological background. The Western model of life and economy began to seem more attractive. ..."
"... -- In the late eighties the Soviet Union accumulated external debts, in full working printing press in order to Supplement the budget and ensure the salary of the people. The planned economy was unable to provide the country with basic goods. And today, private business is able to buy anything and anywhere. Agriculture not only feeds the country on its own, but also has become a major exporter of grain, poultry and pork. The financial system is arranged very rationally: the state debt is minimized and plays a purely technical role, budget revenues exceed expenditures. ..."
"... And from this point of view, the country is again at a crossroads. In 2019, we can see a new wave of the global economic crisis. The first signs of this were already evident at the end of last year, when commodity prices fell sharply and the shares of American companies fell in price. If these trends continue, Russia will not receive easing of sanctions. So, we need to act and strongly non-trivial. ..."
"... It is already clear with whom we can develop further: with the leading Asian countries. At the same time, expanding commodity expansion in foreign markets, it is important to move to a new mercantilism: sell excess, buy only the most necessary, and produce everything else within the country. ..."
www.aif.ru

Article from the newspaper: weekly "Arguments and Facts" № 1-2 09/01/2019

Is the scenario of suffocation of the USSR, carried out by the US 30 years ago, similar to the events that are happening now, and what Russia needs to fear most? "AiF" asked these questions to the Director of the Institute of new society, economist Vasily Koltashov.

How the world has changed

Alexey Makurin," AIF": Looking at the events taking place in recent years, you catch yourself thinking that all this has already happened. The current strategy of suffocation of Russia by America one in one copies the same strategy of times of Reagan. In the eighties, the United States also hampered the construction of a gas pipeline from Siberia to Europe. The fall in oil prices also drained our budget, and defense spending grew. And the army was involved in the conflict in the southern country: Afghanistan. The West deliberately repeats the plan that brought him victory in the cold war?

Vasily Koltashov: it's more of a coincidence. But even if there is some scenario, the game this time is some stupid. In the days of Reagan and Bush senior Americans were more rational, thinner. And now, in everything they do, there is an element of hysteria caused by the need to respond to the complex state of their own Affairs. Compared with the eighties in the us huge public debt and huge bubbles in the stock market, threatening investors ruin. The imbalances that have accumulated in the economy are blocking the development of industrial production. Much other than agriculture and raw material extraction is often expensive and uncompetitive. These problems provoke a conflict not only with Russia, but also with China, with other Eurasian centers of capitalism, which took shape in recent decades.

30 years ago, Western countries revived and developed after the crisis of the seventies. The orbit of influence of the USA included Pakistan, Turkey, China. Now Trump has stopped financing Pakistan. In Turkey, there was an attempt of a coup d'état in which Ankara accused Washington. The Americans are waging a trade war against the Chinese. These and other countries that do not find a common language with the United States, are increasingly trading among themselves. The American press writes about the" Eastern Entente", implying the Eurasian powers.

Increasingly, there are disputes and conflicts between Americans and their European allies, which was unthinkable before. In such a situation, a plan to weaken Russia, similar to the scenario of Reagan advisors, can no longer work.

-- What did the West want, putting pressure on the USSR in the eighties?

- I think the West did not seek to destroy the Soviet Union, but just tried to solved a more utilitarian problem: acquiring new markets for their products. At that time, neoliberal globalization became the main mechanism of economic growth, it was important for the West to draw countries into its orbit, which were previously somehow isolated from the world market. They bought the Russian nomenklatura like they buy local elites in Latin America and tried to concert Russia into Latin American country. They almost succeeded.

How did Ronald Reagan scare the USSR by joking on August 11, 1984?

-- What about Reagan's "evil Empire"statement?

-- It was preparation for the beginning of negotiations from a position of strength. Behind this ideological rhetoric was another meaning: if you continue to maintain its planned economy, closed to free trade, we will begin to destroy it, and if you agree to our terms, we will offer you a deal.

As a result, the Soviet and post-Soviet elites adopted the rules established by Washington: they became intermediaries between Western corporations and the wealth of their countries. Russia paid for this deal with the destruction of its industry and the emergence of oligarchs, enriched by mediation. But there were wins. The country has developed large national corporations that have become prominent players on the global map. The same "Gazprom". Over time, Russia has its own ambitions to expand the volume and list of exported goods.

In response, 5 years ago, the US led an attack on it, declaring sanctions.

- What is their purpose in the current situation?

- Full and unconditional surrender of Russia in the economy. The West wants through its representatives to manage Russian companies, without intermediaries to enter the Russian domestic market and get the fattest pieces.

How Russia has changed

- This time Russia does not give up and attacks itself, as is happening in the same Syria. What changed?

- The country and enterprises are now run by people with a market view of the world who know the value of the wealth they dispose of. It was for Gorbachev that Soviet factories were an abstraction, he did not understand their true value. His concessions to the US and Europe were completely irrational from a commercial point of view. It's impossible now.

In addition, in the eighties the USSR lost to the West ideologically. Our society has accumulated a great fatigue from ascetic "socialism" and international expansion with ideological background. The Western model of life and economy began to seem more attractive. The war in Afghanistan was declared meaningless. And now the Syrian conflict, Russia does not solve a particular ideological goals. The military plays the role of guards of its economic interests. Without any doubt, it would be more difficult for our government to agree with OPEC on limiting oil production, if not for the successes in Syria. This agreement in 2017-2018 allowed to raise oil prices and helped to resume economic growth in Russia.

-- Was it possible for the Soviet leadership to influence world oil prices?

- The USSR, too, nothing prevented to sit down at the negotiating table with OPEC. But that wouldn't change the situation. Saudi Arabia and other oil exporters were then loyal allies of the United States. The West then concentrated all the world's capital, he put the OPEC countries conditions: create comfortable prices for us, and we will invest in your economy.

And today, Saudi capital seeks to play an independent role, Riyadh's relations with Washington have become cooler, and with Moscow, on the contrary, warmer. And the US itself is increasingly supplying hydrocarbons for export: it is predicted that in 2019 they will come out on top in the world for oil production. But this leadership is provided to Americans by expensive shale oil, the extraction of which becomes unprofitable at prices below $ 40 per barrel. So, for the US, very low oil prices are now also unprofitable.

On the other hand, the dependence of the Russian budget on oil and gas today is also higher than 30-35 years ago, when the country had a more powerful industry. This is an additional risk.

-- What new qualities acquired by the Russian economy allow it to successfully withstand Western pressure?

-- In the late eighties the Soviet Union accumulated external debts, in full working printing press in order to Supplement the budget and ensure the salary of the people. The planned economy was unable to provide the country with basic goods. And today, private business is able to buy anything and anywhere. Agriculture not only feeds the country on its own, but also has become a major exporter of grain, poultry and pork. The financial system is arranged very rationally: the state debt is minimized and plays a purely technical role, budget revenues exceed expenditures.

Where the main threats

-- But aren't the military expenditures, which have to be made in the conditions of confrontation with the United States, too high? Will it not be possible that the new arms race will be too much for the country?

- Financing of the defense industry to the detriment of consumer and other civil industries usually occurs in the planned mobilization system, where all the resources of the country are concentrated by the state. And in a market economy, such imbalances appear only during the war, when budget distortions arise and private companies begin to focus more on military orders than on grass-roots demand. There is no such thing in Russia now, although the government's attention to defense capability is growing along with the pressure of the US and its allies.

- Where does the main danger come from in such a situation?

-- Not exactly from the USA. The main threat to Russia is low effective demand within the country. The weakness of the ruble, the low rate of economic growth -- all this is a consequence of the poverty of the mass buyer.

And from this point of view, the country is again at a crossroads. In 2019, we can see a new wave of the global economic crisis. The first signs of this were already evident at the end of last year, when commodity prices fell sharply and the shares of American companies fell in price. If these trends continue, Russia will not receive easing of sanctions. So, we need to act and strongly non-trivial.

With whom will trade? Expert on how Russia can live under sanctions

It is already clear with whom we can develop further: with the leading Asian countries. At the same time, expanding commodity expansion in foreign markets, it is important to move to a new mercantilism: sell excess, buy only the most necessary, and produce everything else within the country. This is a traditional trade on the "method of cat Matroskin", which existed for thousands of years: "To buy something you need, you must first sell something unnecessary." All need to produce themselves.

And it is important to support the Russian buyer. This may be a preferential mortgage loan at 3-5% per annum, which will stimulate demand for housing and the sectors of the economy that are associated with construction. This may be an increase in the number of school teachers, doctors and kindergarten workers. We need an hourly wage to let people know what their time is worth. It is extremely important to have a tax-free minimum income (at least 50 thousand rubles per month). It is necessary to interest migrant workers to live in Russia and leave money in our country, which will help to create new jobs. We need to directly give people money and encourage all kinds of entrepreneurship, release the economic energy of society.

[Jan 22, 2019] Possible MI6 asset and potential killer Browder on Putin

Jan 20, 2019 | www.alternet.org

Originally from: https://www.alternet.org/2019/01/heres-why-putin-wants-american-businessman-bill-browder-dead/

Do you think Trump is in anyway worse than his predecessors?

Well from my perspective, he's worse than his predecessors because, for a brief period of time, he offered to hand me over to Putin!

Well, I would imagine you do have skin in the game because of that.

Also, he doesn't seem to have the level of he doesn't read briefing reports or have any specifications at all about what this guy's up to.

What is your opinion on the future of America as a result of what Putin did during the 2016 election? Has he succeeded in striking a permanent blow against democracy in this country, for lack of a better way of putting it?

Well, I believe that the institutions of United States are now being tested. It's kind of like a it's a virus that has now has tried to infect the United States. I believe the institutions are the immune systems in the United States. I think that United States will survive this attack, and as far as Putin is concerned, I think that he has done himself very grave long-term harm to his own interests. Because the next regime in the United States is going to come down so hard on Putin, he's not going to know what hit him. He's playing such a short-term game that he doesn't understand that whether it's Democrats or Republicans, any normal reasonable person will want to be absolutely, devastatingly aggressive towards Russia after Trump is finished.

So in a sense this pop-culture image of Putin as a grand strategist you think is flawed?

I think he's a highly effective short-term tactician and a very, very stupid strategist, because his long-term interests are not served by alienating the entire Western world to sort of rally against him. He can do all these frauds and scams and tricks on a short-term basis, but pretty much everybody understands what he's up to.

[Jan 22, 2019] If you compress the spring all the way to its limit it will snap back hard by Jonathan Marcus

Oct 17, 2016 | www.bbc.com
But without that basic level of trust and understanding between them, any dialogue rests upon shaky foundations. It was never supposed to be like this. The end of the Cold War was supposed to usher in a new era.

For a time Russia retreated from the world stage, but now it is back with a vengeance, eager to consolidate its position nearer home; to restore something of its former global role and to make up for perceived slights perpetrated by the West.

So where did it all go wrong? Why were Russia and the West unable to forge a different type of relationship? Who is to blame? Was it US over-reach and insensitivity, or Russia's nostalgia for Soviet greatness? Why have things now got so bad and is it correct to describe the present state of affairs as a "new Cold War"?

In 2014, in the wake of Russia's annexation of the Crimea, Mr Putin spoke to the Russian Duma, noting that "if you compress the spring all the way to its limit it will snap back hard. You must remember this", he stressed.

[Jan 21, 2019] Washington is having radioactive ambitions. This is the worst time in history to pick a fight against Russia. They haven't been this motivated and ready to fight against external threats than today.

Notable quotes:
"... Were the National Worker's Socialist Party and the Third Reich on the right trail? ..."
Jan 21, 2019 | www.spiegel.de

xxx 10 hours ago (Edited) Washington is having radioactive ambitions. This is the worst time in history to pick a fight against Russia. They haven't been this motivated and ready to fight against external threats than today.

If the cabal couldn't do it after 1989, they deserve a good spanking if they think they could do it now.

Anyway this is also the worst of times for the USA to try to attack Russia given the situation back home.

America is becoming more and more moronic by the day...

xxx 10 hours ago Wake up and quickly. xxx 8 hours ago After the forced dissolution of the USSR in 1991 , America in all its perfidious and treacherous glory , promised that NATO ( their auxiliary army ) would not move one inch towards the Russian border....ever ! In true American honesty , they kept their word until the ink was nearly dry and instantly started surrounding Russia with hundreds of military bases. However , their arrogance and childlike superciliousness led them to take their eye of the ball.....they really believed that they were " The Indispensable Nation ". Russia , determined never to be humiliated again , quietly began to develop 21st century weaponry and is now years ahead of America.

America can be as bombastic and militaristic as they like, but recent developments in the ME has shown the awakened world that they are a spent force verging on bankruptcy and their future is similar to what they had planned for Russia .....corruption , decay and disintegration !!! xxx 8 hours ago (Edited) Yes it did and there was no ink to dry. It appears it was a verbal promise. That is Gorbi's excuse which I think is BS. Gorbi is an agent thus he got his foundation in San Francisco (don't tell anyone) later on.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/nato-s-eastward-expansion-did-the-west-break-its-promise-to-moscow-a-663315.html xxx 10 hours ago the nato hawks sure are in a pickle. In one hand they have russia surrounded with nukes promising everyone from japan to finland "lands"

on the other hand the USA is in a financial shitstorm. I'm guessing there is one brother who wants to "nuke it" and the other brother is like, well lets not do that..

because anyone who is promised a piece of russia eats their nukes 11 hours ago Until the US collapses on it's own accord there will be plenty of exceptional kool aid drinking small **** clowns from the one exceptional nation on the planet that will push for war and destruction to "keep us safe" and "kill them over there so they don't do it here." Plenty of idiots out there that believe the outrageous military budget is a "small price to pay for our freedom" and others who say we don't spend anywhere near enough. USA USA USA never wrong always right.

Ah yes, our freedoms that we must cherish. Our cars, phones, and internet devices squeal on us. Cops and the IRS stealing your money and property with no charges levied. In one instance the cops staked out nurseries and if you bought too much fertilizer it was assumed you were growing pot. Based only on this the cops got a warrant and in the dead of night and busted into the home of 2 ex CIA employees and handcuffed and terrorized these people as they tore their house apart. Nothing was found as these people were not growing pot there or anywhere. Or some loser in LA calling the the Wichita KS cops giving a local Wichita address claiming he already shot one person and was holding others hostage. All a big lie with an unarmed man shot dead by the cops. One phone call to the cops, whether true or not, and your freedom evaporates. Or some idiot hates you so doctors a video that goes viral and you lose your job, your friends shun you, and hate mail piles up in your mailbox and your boss won't hire you back even when the truth wins out.

As far as confiscation far too many believe it is connected to drug deals. Plenty of small business owners had their money stolen by the IRS because they were making regular cash deposits under 10 grand and the banks were required to turn them in. In the eyes of the IRS with no other proof that money was from dealing drugs. Plenty of people stopped for minor infraction so the cops toss the car and if you're carrying a bunch of cash, even if you can produce a withdrawl slip, it's confiscated as you must have acquired it dealing drugs. Happened to one guy buying a car from a seller who would take only cash. In one instance they caught a kid dealing drugs and confiscated and sold his parents house even though he did not make any deals in the house, they couldn't prove it but assumed he did, nor were drugs found there. No charges filed. Ah, but the DA's and cops say they are underfunded and need to do crime to fight crime. Like giving themselves raises and vacations and having parties. Or your local cops stocking up on hard core military hardware. 7 hours ago It's quite stunning that in the 'Land of The Free' the police routinely steal citizens wealth as they want to. I'm not sure even the Robber Baron's in Europe hundreds of years ago were that blatant.

Is there a plan to prevent this? A Union of decent people to join the police to force the rotten core out and to form shell companies that safeguard people's possessions?

If not: why not make one now. 11 hours ago Lebensraum ?

Were the National Worker's Socialist Party and the Third Reich on the right trail? 11 hours ago This has been the policy since the Clinton years. Nothing new here. 12 hours ago (Edited) This Janusz Bugajski dude is a generic Russophobe of Polish descent. His irrational hatred of all-things Russian is typical of the rabid Catholic Poles who've invaded Orthodox Christian Russia multiple times over the last millennia.

In fact, in the early 17th century, during Russia's "Time of Troubles", the Catholic Poles, with the Pope's blessing, invaded Russia several times burning hundreds of villages across Russia while slaughtering many thousands of innocent ethnic Russian men, women, and children when they wouldn't convert to Catholicism. This culminated in 1611 when the Poles nearly burned Moscow to the ground.

After what the Catholic Poles (and various fk'ing Popes) have done to Orthodox Christian Russians over the centuries, who can blame the Russians for wanting a little payback after WW2. 12 hours ago Russia owes the Poles trillions in reparations. A moar satanic betrayal is hard to find as occurred in the period of 1939-1945. 11 hours ago (Edited) Reparations can work both ways, particularly in Europe with its millennia-long history of back-and-forth wars between nations.

Dependent upon what you define as the statue of limitations, are war reparations pegged to the last century, three centuries, five centuries, etc ?. Be careful what you ask for; the Catholic Poles have a nasty violent history that goes back many centuries, long before the USSR ever existed.

[Jan 21, 2019] Is The Violent Dismemberment Of Russia Official US Policy

Jan 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Erik D'Amato via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

If there's one thing everyone in today's Washington can agree on, it's that whenever an official or someone being paid by the government says something truly outrageous or dangerous, there should be consequences, if only a fleeting moment of media fury.

With one notable exception: Arguing that the US should be quietly working to promote the violent disintegration and carving up of the largest country on Earth.

Because so much of the discussion around US-Russian affairs is marked by hysteria and hyperbole, you are forgiven for assuming this is an exaggeration. Unfortunately it isn't. Published in the Hill under the dispassionate title "Managing Russia's dissolution," author Janusz Bugajski makes the case that the West should not only seek to contain "Moscow's imperial ambitions" but to actively seek the dismemberment of Russia as a whole.

Engagement, criticism and limited sanctions have simply reinforced Kremlin perceptions that the West is weak and predictable. To curtail Moscow's neo-imperialism a new strategy is needed, one that nourishes Russia's decline and manages the international consequences of its dissolution.

Like many contemporary cold warriors, Bugajski toggles back and forth between overhyping Russia's might and its weaknesses, notably a lack of economic dynamism and a rise in ethnic and regional fragmentation. But his primary argument is unambiguous: That the West should actively stoke longstanding regional and ethnic tensions with the ultimate aim of a dissolution of the Russian Federation, which Bugajski dismisses as an "imperial construct."

The rationale for dissolution should be logically framed: In order to survive, Russia needs a federal democracy and a robust economy; with no democratization on the horizon and economic conditions deteriorating, the federal structure will become increasingly ungovernable...

To manage the process of dissolution and lessen the likelihood of conflict that spills over state borders, the West needs to establish links with Russia's diverse regions and promote their peaceful transition toward statehood.

Even more alarming is Bugajski's argument that the goal should not be self-determination for breakaway Russian territories, but the annexing of these lands to other countries . "Some regions could join countries such as Finland, Ukraine, China and Japan, from whom Moscow has forcefully appropriated territories in the past."

It is, needless to say, impossible to imagine anything like this happening without sparking a series of conflicts that could mirror the Yugoslav Wars. Except in this version the US would directly culpable in the ignition of the hostilities, and in range of 6,800 Serbian nuclear warheads.

So who is Janusz Bugajski, and who is he speaking for?

The author bio on the Hill's piece identifies him as a senior fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis, a Washington, D.C. think-tank. But CEPA is no ordinary talk shop: Instead of the usual foundations and well-heeled individuals, its financial backers seem to be mostly arms of the US government, including the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the US Mission to NATO, the US-government-sponsored National Endowment for Democracy, as well as as veritable who's who of defense contractors, including Raytheon, Bell Helicopter, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Textron. Meanwhile, Bugajski chairs the South-Central Europe area studies program at the Foreign Service Institute of the US Department of State.

To put it in perspective, it is akin to a Russian with deep ties to the Kremlin and arms-makers arguing that the Kremlin needed to find ways to break up the United States and, if possible, have these breakaway regions absorbed by Mexico and Canada. (A scenario which alas is not as far-fetched as it might have been a few years ago; many thousands in California now openly talk of a "Calexit," and many more in Mexico of a reconquista .)

Meanwhile, it's hard to imagine a quasi-official voice like Bugajski's coming out in favor of a similar policy vis-a-vis China, which has its own restive regions, and which in geopolitical terms is no more or less of a threat to the US than Russia. One reason may be that China would consider an American call for secession by the Tibetans or Uyghurs to be a serious intrusion into their internal affairs, unlike Russia, which doesn't appear to have noticed or been ruffled by Bugajski's immodest proposal.

Indeed, just as the real scandal in Washington is what's legal rather than illegal, the real outrage in this case is that few or none in DC finds Bugajski's virtual declaration of war notable.

But it is. It is the sort of provocation that international incidents are made of, and if you are a US taxpayer, it is being made in your name, and it should be among your outrages of the month.


Urban Roman , 8 minutes ago link

There is an official US policy? Would that be a Trump policy, or a Pentagram policy, or some TLA policy, or State Dept. policy?

It's looking more and more like a CF of shapeshifting space lizards. Inspires nostalgia for the Fixin' to Die Rag , . .

BrownTiger , 1 hour ago link

Putin knows that if he ignores the West and provides strong path for Russia growth, re-building economy, manufacturing and military; building international relationships - it will strengthen the country in a horror of it's enemies.

While others panicked over drop in oil prices - Putin was making adjustments to weather out the storm. While many nations were taking out massive development loans [advised by city, chase, goldman, etc] - Russia balanced the budget. While US government is in mayhem over protecting the border [seems like no brainer] - Putin continues with strong central policy. And the US sanction that crushed so many countries - appears to have limited effect [slowing down some growth].

This author, Bugajski, [MI5 agent] wrote countless self-promoting books. Russia will never want to fight a war with NATO [their customers]. Britain and France already lost that war. Russia is just waiting for EU and NATO to collapse over money disagreement. Because they were all happy as long as US was paying for all of it. Not anymore. Standby for Collapse of EU and NATO show coming soon.

falconflight , 1 hour ago link

...

Russia Raises Retirement Age Above Life Expectancy For 40% Of ...

The Russian Confederation of Labour (KTR) says that the average life expectancy for men is actually less than 65-years-old in over 60 regions in Russia. "KTR does not support such decisions and declares its intention to launch a broad public campaign against their implementation," the organization said in a statement .

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-19/russia-raises-retirement-age-above-life-expectan

booboo , 1 hour ago link

You start off with "Putin is a cuck" which may or may not be a fact but if you actually read the article it clearly states "President Medvedev" and raising the retirement age from...wait for it... 60 to 63?? Really??

Rutalkingtome , 1 hour ago link

Most west european countries have a retirment age of around 65 years. In scandinavic countries they are going to increase to 67. They realized that importing rapefugees is not going to solve the demographic crisis.

[Jan 20, 2019] NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard

Jan 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

B-Bond 13 hours ago

NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard

Declassified documents show security assurances against NATO expansion to Soviet leaders from Baker, Bush, Genscher, Kohl, Gates, Mitterrand, Thatcher, Hurd, Major, and Woerner

U.S. Secretary of State James Baker's famous "not one inch eastward" assurance about NATO expansion in his meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on February 9, 1990, was part of a cascade of assurances about Soviet security given by Western leaders to Gorbachev and other Soviet officials throughout the process of German unification in 1990 and on into 1991 , according to declassified U.S., Soviet, German, British and French documents posted today by the National Security Archive at George Washington University ( http://nsarchive.gwu.edu ).

The documents show that multiple national leaders were considering and rejecting Central and Eastern European membership in NATO as of early 1990 and through 1991 , that discussions of NATO in the context of German unification negotiations in 1990 were not at all narrowly limited to the status of East German territory, and that subsequent Soviet and Russian complaints about being misled about NATO expansion were founded in written contemporaneous memcons and telcons at the highest levels.

The documents reinforce former CIA Director Robert Gates's criticism of "pressing ahead with expansion of NATO eastward [in the 1990s], when Gorbachev and others were led to believe that wouldn't happen. " [1] The key phrase, buttressed by the documents, is "led to believe."

President George H.W. Bush had assured Gorbachev during the Malta summit in December 1989 that the U.S. would not take advantage ("I have not jumped up and down on the Berlin Wall") of the revolutions in Eastern Europe to harm Soviet interests; but neither Bush nor Gorbachev at that point (or for that matter, West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl) expected so soon the collapse of East Germany or the speed of German unification. [2]

The first concrete assurances by Western leaders on NATO began on January 31, 1990 , when West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher opened the bidding with a major public speech at Tutzing, in Bavaria, on German unification. The U.S. Embassy in Bonn (see Document 1) informed Washington that Genscher made clear "that the changes in Eastern Europe and the German unification process must not lead to an 'impairment of Soviet security interests.' Therefore, NATO should rule out an 'expansion of its territory towards the east , i.e. moving it closer to the Soviet borders.'" The Bonn cable also noted Genscher's proposal to leave the East German territory out of NATO military structures even in a unified Germany in NATO. [3]

https://nsarchive.gwu.edu/briefing-book/russia-programs/2017-12-12/nato-expansion-what-gorbachev-heard-western-leaders-early falconflight 13 hours ago It was a horrible betrayal of a promise that should have been greatly enhanced by promoting free enterprise concepts, and personal freedoms propaganda (Not lies), and even economic assistance where reasonable. A historical opportunity lost. Those powerful Kremlinologists couldn't pivot, it was easier to continue to treat Russia as an existential adversary and in certain circumstances, purposely attempt to humiliate them, such as in Serbia.

[Jan 20, 2019] Is "zastoy"(stagnation) a blessing in disguise fir Russian citizents ?

Jan 20, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne , January 17, 2019 at 03:19 PM

http://glineq.blogspot.com/2019/01/russias-circular-economic-history.html

January 17, 2019

Russia's circular economic history?

Today I participated in a nice web-based program started by the Central Bank of Russia (it will be posted soon). An economist is being interviewed by another, and then the one who has been interviewed becomes in his/her turn the interviewer of yet a third one. My friend Shlomo Weber, the head of the New School of Economics interviewed me, and then I interviewed Professor Natalya Zubarevich, from the Lomonosov Moscow State University and a noted scholar of Russian regional economics.

Just a couple of days ago Natalia gave a very well-received talk at the Gaidar Forum in Moscow on (what one might call) "unhealthy convergence" of Russian regions. In fact, Natalia shows that most recently regional per capita GDPs have started a mild convergence, but that this is due first to low growth rate of most of them and the economy as a whole, and to the redistribution mechanism (mostly of the oil rent) between the regions. A healthy convergence, Natalia says, would be the one where economic activity, and especially small and medium size private businesses, were much more equally distributed across some ninety subjects of the Russian Federation. She also had very interesting insights into the excessive "verticalization" of economic power and decision-making in Russia, and the economic growth of Moscow (much faster than of any other part of Russia) driven by centralization of that power, and concentration of large state-owned or state-influenced enterprises as well as bureaucracy in Moscow.

What most attracted my attention during Natalia's presentation at the Gaidar Forum was her description of the current period of low growth rates in Russia as zastoi, or stagnation. Now, zastoi has a very special political meaning in Russian because it was a disparaging term used in the Gorbachev era, and by Gorbachev himself, to define the Brezhnevite period of declining growth rates, lack of development perspectives, unchanging bureaucracy, and general demoralization and malaise.

But I asked Natalia the following question. Looking over the past 150 years of Russian history (and I think it is hard to go further back), were not really the best periods for ordinary people exactly the periods of zastoi: incomes rose by little for sure, but the state repression was weak, there were no wars, and probably if you look at violent deaths per capita per year, the lowest number of people died precisely during the periods of zastoi. So perhaps that zastoi is not so bad.

Natalia said, "I know I lived through the Brezhnevite period. Many people were demoralized; but I used it to study. I never read so many books and learned so much as then -- you could do whatever you wanted because your actual job really did not matter much." (Even art, as I saw in the Tretyakovska Gallery, even if some of these paintings were never exhibited in the official museums, seems to have done well during the Brezhnevite zastoi. And as the recent film, which I have not seen, but read the reviews, Leto, appears to indirectly argue as well.)

The best growth periods, as Natalia said, and as is generally accepted by economic historians were the 1950s up to about 1963-65, and then the period of the two first Putin's terms. In both cases, the growth spurs came as a ratchet effect to the previous set of disasters: in the Khrushchev period, to the apocalypse of the Second World War, in the Putin period, as a reaction to the Great Depression under Yeltsin during the early transition.

So this then made us think a bit back into the past (say, going back to 1905) and put forward the following hypothesis: that Russian longer-term economic growth is cyclical. The cycle has three components. First a period of utter turbulence, disorder, war, and huge loss of income (and in many cases of life as well), followed by a decade or so of efflorescence, recovery and growth, and finally by the period of "calcification" of whatever (or whoever) that worked in that second period -- thus producing the zastoi or stagnation.

I do not know if this is something specific to the Russian economic history. It made me think of Naipaul's observation on successful and unsuccessful countries. The history of the former consists of a number of challenges and setbacks indeed, but certain things are solved forever, and then new challenges appear. Take the United States: the Indian challenge and then the independence from Britain were not easy to overcome/acquire, but eventually, they were and they never came back; then the Civil War and the Emancipation; then the Great Society etc. But unsuccessful countries, according to Naipaul (and he had, I think, Argentina in mind) always stay within the circular history. The same or similar events keep on repeating themselves forever without any upward trend -- and no single challenge is forever overcome. In each following cycle everything simply repeats itself.

The challenges for Russia today is, I think, to break this cycle.

-- Branko Milanovic

[Jan 13, 2019] Ask your Senators if they've heard/read Browder's 2015 deposition in the Prevezon case

Jan 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

RobinG , says: July 24, 2018 at 4:59 am GMT

@exiled off mainstreet #BROWDERGATE

A perfectly good article, I'm sure, but why diffuse ourselves [and engender feelings of fear and hopelessness as you express] when a strategic pressure point has presented? Johnstone makes no mention of Bill Browder. Nor do the [100, so far] commenters.

BILL BROWDER is a key figure in the anti-Trump, anti-Russia hysteria. The notorious Trump Tower meeting was about the Magnitsky Act, a fabrication by Browder to hide his financial crimes. Browder "testified" in the Senate expressly to demonize Putin. Browder's contacts in the IC, the Jewish Lobby, and the fawning media have enabled his propaganda assault this week. He's appeared -- unchallenged, virtually unquestioned -- on countless talk shows. But he's been running scared at the mention of interrogation by Russians. There are huge holes in his story, made clear in his deposition in the Prevezon case. The truth will bring him down! And perhaps his Deep State supporters, along with him.

Ask your Senators if they've heard/read Browder's 2015 deposition in the Prevezon case. (See comment 161 under The Untouchable Mr. Browder? by Israel Shamir for links.)

Research links to primary sources on #Browdergate --
https://populist.tv/2018/01/20/bill-browder-links-and-resources-to-understand-controversy/

RobinG , says: July 24, 2018 at 5:02 pm GMT
@yurivku How about Idiot AND Troll.

BTW, have you seen "THE MAGNITSKY ACT – BEHIND THE SCENES" that Phil Giraldi posted today? Debunking anti-Russian criminal sociopaths like Bill Browder will go a long way to improving relations. Not to mention easing pressure on the unfortunate Trump.

Full research primary links available here, including Browder's 2015 deposition in the U.S. vs. Prevezon Holdings case. Every Senator who voted to support Browder should see this. [Any who already have, double shame!]
https://populist.tv/2018/01/20/bill-browder-links-and-resources-to-understand-controversy/

Yurivku , says: July 24, 2018 at 5:26 pm GMT
@RobinG UWell, we here in Russia know all this (about Browder) for quite a time. What new did you find? It's just one story in long list of those written and spoken for western idiots like Scripals
, MH17, chemicals in Syria and WMD in Iraq, Russian meddling in f-n US elections and so on. Eat it all dummies.

[Jan 01, 2019] Gorbachov role in the collapse of the USSR

YouTube
Jan 01, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Why Mikhail Gorbachev was elected General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee on March 11, 1985? Was there a will of Yuri Andropov? What was the cause of the sudden death of defense Minister Dmitry Ustinov, who could be the first person in the country? Was the Secretary General Konstantin Chernenko really poisoned by low-quality fish? And why did Victor Grishin lose his chance to become the Secretary General of the "master of Moscow"?


Дима Горный , 1 year ago (edited)

Gorbachev was recruited in 1976-77 years when he visited Europe, then eliminate Kulakov and promote the Central Committee Gorbachev. I am sure that the KGB had their own people recruited by the CIA and pursued a policy of promoting their candidacy for the post of first person of the USSR.

valentina Валентина , 2 years ago (edited)

The stupidest commentaries are here. This rotten system has outlived its usefulness.........and no leader was able to save her. There is no progressive Communist state in the world and can not be!

Ацеховская Татьяна , 1 year ago

Not Gorbachev, so someone else.The USSR was naive and doomed.What, one Gorbachev did everything? Full of vultures sat and waited for the corpse. My uncle, being the mayor of Tikhvin, in the late 70s, said that the country is doomed because we are engaged in self-eating.Huge funds went to support the Communist parties around the world.

Oberst , 1 week ago

@Asenovska Tatiana uncle rasskazyval, as mayor....What the University taught me.....

And I , being the senior officer, after 4 wounds the write-off on the ground, the pilot....Past Afghan, and not only.....

I saw our planes to be cur in peaces on orders from Gorbachev.... .And submarines, costing hundreds millions. Payed by people who save on everyting to secure indepence of the country.

And this creature, was given Nobel Peace Prize for selling everthing to the USA for pennies on the dollar...

The West praised him, and he DESTROYED noth the ARMY AND NAVY and then the USSR ... He gave up our victory in WWII without and fight's...

After Gorbachov the USA was able to bomb Belgrade, and Iraq, and Livia without any fear for retribution. He should be executed . And the body of this traitor should be disposed in manure...

And if not Putin, we would be the colony of the USA much like Latin american countries. .And the USA would bomb Syria into stone age, kill the President and grap all the oil

Only Putin is not GORBACHEV!!!!! And the Big Uncle blew up in Syria and they did not risk thier place to test Russia anti-aircraft missile systems.

Tamara G , 3 years ago

Gorbachev first created a deceptive impression of a young, wise, business-like head of state. In fact, he was a banal traitor of his country, sold the sovereignty of a great country for perdpnal fortume and villa in Germany. While Wewst grbbed all opur natiural resourses and large part of iundustry. YELTSIN destroyed completely the economica, and high technolgy ijndurites in the country, sold everything to oligarchs for pennies. Both Gorbachev and Yeltsin are enemies of the Fatherland .

Высоковольтный Сыр , 1 year ago (edited)

Gorbachev came to the sinking ship and it was too late to patch the holes in it. The cold war and the arms race sucked the last currency reserves from the USSR. The Kremlin Party bonzes forgot about the economy, forgot about the people. They were obsessed with matching the weaponry of the phantom enemy (Americans), and as a result of the cold war the USSR disintegrated and broke up into 15 independent States.

While we can blame the weakling and traitor Gorbachev, even before him the agriculture was in deep and irreversible decline. We were forced to buy grad for abroad. After the US has imposed sanctions that have artificially reduced oil prices to such a low level that game was over. Currency flow from oil sales seizes and there was no alternative then to take loans from the West.

The Treasury started printed too much rubles, inflation started and with it nationalist feeling that finished off the country. Add to this Chernobyl disaster. When in Armenia in December 1988 there was the major earthquake, the Kremlin requested the "decadent West" about the humanitarian aid.

Economy of the Soviet Union fell through the floor and no wonder Gorbachev was tilted towards the West, toward privatization of the industries.

Of course he was a fool and allowed West to plunder the country, but essentially he have no choice, reforms were needed and he lost control of them, tried to stage a fake coup to regain control and was deposed as the result. Because he was very weak, incompetent politician, not fit for such a grave moment in the history of the country, he destroyed the country.

The socialist camp collapsed, and Gorbachov refused to help the socialist countries, it was necessary to save his own ass. He also finished stupid and unnecessary war in Afghanistan. That was the only positive step he made. And that was too little too late.

Fartoviy 777 , 4 months ago

Instead of that asshole, Heydar Aliyev should have been elected by Politburo. The only person who was really able to pull the country out of the crisis, it was Aliyev G. in any other scenario, the country was doomed to collapse . And about Gorbachev , you can say so in Russian history , no traitor is worse and higher rank than this pederast!!!, All pleasant viewing!

Caucasus man , 5 days ago

And why the interior Ministry, KGB were inactive. As well as Party Control? How could this hump with foreign help and some special color revolution technology to destroy all the obstacles. How he managed to subdue the Politburo power structure ( including the axis of the Gromyko-Primakov and Yakovlev) ? As he had no trouble to expel from the Central Committee able and less corrupted members of the Central Committee (V. Sherbitsky , V. Grishin, G. V. Romanov, G. A. Aliyev, D, Kuhn...)? 

BValeri52 , 1 week ago

Gorbachev - zero as the head of state, but the soil he has prepared Khrushchev and Brezhnev (Moskva), they let the country drift, theft, drunkenness, took away people's faith.

YURY RUDY , 5 days ago (edited)

А хули дебилам объяснять. Горбачев открыл окно в мир. Живите уроды ,работайте развивайтесь. Но началась элементарная борьба за власть. Так как в этой стране на протяжении всей истории ничего путного создать не умели. Что с татар взять. Страна не могла не развалится. Если бы не Беловежское соглашение, крови было бы немерянно. В каждой республики были свои лидеры которые тупо хотели быть президентами и якобы независимыми.. Кто виноват ,что страна наводнена ублюдками у власти. которые вместо того что бы создавать могучую страну напичканную всей таблицей Менделеева, начали ее растаскивать.И грабят по сей день, под руководством Единой россии. Вспомните как все визжали, когда страна стала открываться. Когда народ перестал поклонятся импортным одноразовым зажигалкам и фантикам от жвачек. Думать надо, прежде чем повторять кремлевские методички. Теперь катаетесь на Порше кайене, живете в особняках и хотите назад в СССР. Я с вас хуею..


Володимир Завірюха
, 1 week ago

Хорошо помню 1985 год когда вьібрали Горбачева .То у нас в Тернополе наш учитель политекономии тогда говорил нам студентам что старьіе партейцьі говорят что Горбачев будет изменик .А почему мьі спрашивали .А потому что он не любит наши отечественьіе костюмьі а любит английские ....Сколько лет прошло а только времья показало кто прав а кто нет .Китай например посмотрел на нашу историческую ошибку и принимает все необходимьіе мерьі чтобьі подобньіх Горбачевьіх там у руля власти не оказалось ....Все большие Иудьі бьіли меченьіе ,как и бьіл мечен Горбачев ...Горбачева можна сравнить из Нероном которьій розвалил большое ....

Низами Мамедов , 3 days ago

У господина Млечина с аналитикой большие проблемы, а ведь журналист должен знать всё о своём герое. В отношении Горбачёва он так и не понял, почему Семи- частный отверг кандидатуру Горбачёва. Семичастный знал, что Горбачёв не чист на руку, короче говоря один из первых советских мафиози в г. Ставрополе по производству алкоголя. Мне лично рассказал об этом брат убитого по приказу Горбачёва следователя (по пути из Краснодара в Невинномысск), который напал на след этого упыря, но ему была устроена автомобильная катастрофа, в которой погиб этот следователь. А почему Брежнев убрал Семичастного, потому что Семичастный знал всю кухню правительственного переворота по смещению Хрущёва, поэтому Брежнев, по словам самого Семичастного убрал его из Москвы подальше, и в Киеве устроил третьим замом председателя правительства Украинской ССР, выступая Семичастный сказал, я так и не понял, кем я стал работать, работы практически не было, он просто отсиживался на этой высокой должности до пенсии.


Mihrutka Mikhail
, 2 weeks ago

Слушаю и все время одна мысль в голову лезет - как же надо было руководить страной , до какого идиотизма довести ситуацию с продуктами питания , если академики и композиторы с мировым именем и даже дочь генсека !!!! искали знакомства и расположения директора магазина !!! . О чем думают люди , пишущие вечные сентенции - "какую страну мы потеряли " - а ведь в провинции было все гораздо хуже и японцы создали анекдот - "Самая лучшая система снабжения создана в СССР - все товары завозятся в Москву - а благодарный народ САМ развозит по стране..." Не могла быть жизнеспособной страна при таком маразме..


Slava Boyka
, 1 week ago

Лично мне похуй!!! Если сравнить СССР ,где все было нельзя и под запретом, под наблюдением людей в плащах и шляпах,то при Горбачеве, народ вздохнул глоток свежего,опьяняющего,долгожданного и запретного воздуха из вне... Первые кооперативы, джинсы, машины, кафе, иномарки,музыка, фильмы!!! Что то новое принес! Нельзя так,было больше жить.. Виновен он во многом,но есть и плюсы его политики. Предали его, а он предал нас....


джек машкин
, 5 months ago

Горбачёв был типичный южный дурачок . Они умеют 3 вещи -выглядеть выгодно(лучше чем есть на самом деле ,подмазать где надо , и болтать .... А ЛЮБОЕ дело которое им поручишь -ОБГАДЯТ . СИСТЕМА СССР была уже слаба тем ,что потеряла ЖЁСТКОСТЬ и ЗАЩИТУ от Дурака . При Хрущёве -она сработала и дурачка убрали ,при Горби - ЕМУ ДАЛИ РУЛИТЬ ,и ВСЁ развалилось .

Zigmas Kreipavičius , 3 days ago

Михаил Сергеевич разрушил империю зла

Vanjka Vstanjka , 1 year ago

Престарелый Черненко - это плохо. А не престарелые Горбачёв, Яковлев, Шеварднадзе и Лигачёв - это жутко хорошо? Дело, похоже, не только и не столько в возрасте, сколько в деловых и моральных качествах его носителей. Все члены названнй компашки реально вредили и реально (и крепко) навредили стране. А ведь престарелыми они отнюдь не были!


Евгений Карандашев
, 1 week ago (edited)

Поражаюсь туполобости некоторых "демократов-капиталистов" в комментариях. Почти тридцать лет мы живём в капиталистическом обществе, имеем полный доступ к любой информации - изучай сколько влезет, называется... И вы за эти тридцать лет так и не смогли впихнуть в свой мозг информацию о происходящих в мире тенденциях, её систематизировать и сделать из неё вывод - вы безнадёжны.

Никто из вас не удосужился изучать источники разной направленности по теме капитализма и социализма, вы лишь прочли/услышали что-то одно, и приняли это за аксиому. Это совершенно ненаучный и не конструктивный подход к изучению проблемы! К сожалению, некоторые люди просто не способны думать объёмно, для них существует только плоскость или даже прямая линия, что есть признак ужасно узкого кругозора.

Я увидел в комментариях одно выражение, которое просто повергло меня в шок: "Нет на свете ни одного прогрессивного коммунистического государства и быть не может!" - здрасте! :D Вы хоть историю-то изучали? То есть СССР не был мировой сверхдержавой? А, ну да, это же была "страшная, отсталая, грязная и бедная страна-недоразумение, которая возникла по ужасной ошибке", как же я мог забыть современных историков) А как-же нынешний Китай? Он официально считается экономической сверхдержавой, кандидатом в мировые сверхдержавы, и темпы развития в нём имеют наивысший показатель на данный момент.

Плоскость и однонаправленность вашего мышления меня просто поразила, вы имеете радикальные взгляды, а радикализм - это всегда ошибочно. Кто-то написал: "Китай только официально коммунистический, на деле в нём другое устройство!" - ну это просто апогей идиотизма) Вы разве не понимаете, что человеческие взгляды могут совершенствоваться и изменяться, а система реформироваться? В Китае именно социалистический строй, который претерпел реформацию, в которой безусловно нуждался. Советский социализм также нуждался в реформации, и никто не говорит, что он был идеальным социализмом.

Совершенствование системы - это неотъемлемая часть прогресса, и если вы считаете, что социализм может быть только таким, каким он был в СССР - то вы глубоко ошибаетесь, и совершенно не понимаете значение слова "прогресс". Китай построил такой социализм, который даёт ему возможность делать поистине чудеса экономики, Китай богатеет и уровень жизни в нём растёт - если это не прогресс, то что тогда? Также хочу упомянуть КНДР. Да-да, США на неё повесили ярлык "отсталого голодающего тоталитарного государства", и скорее всего вы, радикальные капиталисты, даже не думали с ними спорить и что-то дополнительно про КНДР узнавать, что, опять-же, говорит о плоскости и некритичности, я бы даже сказал суеверности вашего мышления. КНДР - страна очень маленькая, в основном с горной местностью, и природных ресурсов в ней очень мало. "Демократы" из ООН и НАТО обложили КНДР санкциями со всех сторон, из-за которых она не может развивать внешнюю торговлю, что губительно для маленькой страны с худым запасом ресурсов. Поддерживать экономику, снабжать людей достатком товаров и в целом держать страну на современном уровне в условиях торговой изоляции и недостатка ресурсов - это неподъёмная задача для капитализма. Но корейский социализм умудрился, при всех этих условиях, победить голод, поддерживать бесплатное образование, медицину и т.д., обеспечивать людей местом жительства, работой и доходом, сохранить суверенность своего государства и идеологию, и, ВНИМАНИЕ, создать с нуля ядерную бомбу . Это чудеса, северокорейский строй решает задачи, которые поистине неподъёмные в её условиях.

Конечно, в КНДР жесткий тоталитаризм, ведь когда страна изолирована от внешнего мира во всех аспектах, соседние страны настроены враждебно (а со стороны США вообще идёт угроза прямого вторжения, или даже ядерного удара), со страной ведут жёсткую идеологическую информационную войну, сохранить существующий строй - задача крайне сложная, и выполнить её можно только при жёсткой дисциплине и контрпропаганде. Я уважаю Северную Корею, она наглядно показывает, что социализм может творить чудеса. Конечно же, я вас переубедить не смог, радикальные вы капиталисты, но тем из вас, кои способны хоть немножко думать своей черепушкой, я, возможно, поселил мысль о том, что социализм - это далеко не только плановая экономика, что он может меняться и прогрессировать, что именно к нему идут все развитые страны, и что утопический коммунизм - это строй, который мы ещё представить себе не можем, но который обязательно наступит через многие годы, или столетия прогресса. Избавляйтесь от своих радикальных взглядов, и старайтесь думать объективно - это очень полезно для кругозора. Спасибо.


Asus Z370
, 1 year ago

По Млечину : хорошо разработанная и осуществлённая операция по устранению конкурентов и внедрению "своего". Возникают вопросы: кто проводил операцию? Где была организация отвечающая за государственную безопасность (КГБ)? В 2017м демпартия США подняла вой о,якобы,вмешательстве России в избирательный процесс в США. Кто ответит:было ли вмешательство заграницы в процессы, о которых поведал Млечин? Если было,то России так же, по образу и подобию, надо поднимать вой. Это серьёзно.Кто ответит?


Вин Лу
, 3 years ago

ЦРУ того времени было значительно круче чем КГБ. К тому же против КГБ действовала и МИ6 и израильская разведка!


MUZZY BUZZY
, 2 days ago

Горбачев попал в Политбюро на место убитого Мащерова, которого убили за 2 недели до преступления к обязанностям в Политбюро.


Александр Скрыбель
, 3 days ago

Горбачев Родину продал, а Ельцин её пропил. Горбачев виноградники повырубал, а Ельцин травил народ не качественным спиртом. В итоге, если бы не Путин, то развязка была бы давным давно, хотя он тоже не подарок, отдал страну на разграбление олигархам.


болельщик Тотенхэм Хотспур
, 2 weeks ago

Горбачёв типичный номенклатурщик. Послушный, мягкий, ну может и прогибался ради своей высокой карьеры, но наверняка не чаял президентом стать. Но потом когда всё случилось, стал входить во вкус, то есть жена стала проникаться важностью своего положения при таком муженьке. А когда пришлось отказаться от власти он НИСКОЛЬКО не скорбел о потерянном кресле и стране. Его посдили "на мягкую подушечку" и он стал жить поживать в Америке, даже не понимая, что его бездарность, как политика, послужила развалу СССР. Он не понимает этого и сейчас. А может НЕ желает признавать. Может на смертном одре передумает строить из себя униженного и оскорблённого и в чём-нибудь признается, хотя бы самому себе. Правда, для этого смелость нужна.


KainTanatos
, 3 weeks ago

Горбачев не увлекался горячительными напитками???? Ну ну!!! Я родственник председателя крайкома СК в бытность Горбачева...Его из машин вытаскивали лежа


Борис Павлов
, 1 month ago

Это был заговор партийной элиты о разрушении системы они уже зажратые были СССР побоку им был


DOGRU OLAN
, 2 months ago

Нечего горбачева обеливать!Он виноват,да еще как!Будь он трижды проклят!Этот человек не руководитель,разве не видно было из его речей,что за он скоморох?!Как может шут руководить огромной страной и как вообще можно было доверить легкомысленному человеку руководить государством,он же не "А ни Б,НИ КУКАРЕКУ"?!Полный идиот!!!!!


Kamtayak Abdr
, 5 months ago

Перед развалом Союза ,этот придурок начал обсирать КАЗАКСТАН,я тогда ушёл в запас,и было обидно за академика Кунаева,За родину мою,а на флоте мы гордились ,когда перед строем кораблей Старший офицер Азаров говорил казакстанцы ,мы едим хлеб из каз-й муки тушёнка из kz,балык и икра,одеты мы в KZ канадки и свитера из Кызыл орды,А вот атомные ПЛ из казакстанского титана- и мы были горды за казакстан И вот ОН наносит обсирающий удар?а дальше нам все стало ясно.


pavel pavel
, 2 weeks ago

Млечный как всегда врет , не умного Горбатого плохо говорящего по русски двигала ЦРУ и как я понимаю сейчас многие советские парта геносе знали об этом , почему , ???почему они продали все советское в котором жили ???за деньги или разочарование произошло от этого марксизма и ленинизма, ,,,мы простые люди не когда не узнаем...но я уверен , что Брежнев уже был не руководитель что Путин ,,,,почему ???что то им мешает , а то и наоборот они и есть гарантия чтоб страна не развивалась ,

Boris Petrovich , 5 months ago

Пшеницу покупали в Канаде,Союз изжил себя,,,вина Горбача только в одном,,,первое Крым хохлам не отдавать,,и русских в Прибалтике не трогать,все это надо было говорить Бушу,,ставить условия

Ravil Aitov , 5 years ago

Похоже ЦРУ круче КГБ.

[Dec 29, 2018] -Election Meddling- Enters Bizarro World As MSM Ignores Democrat-Linked -Russian Bot- Scheme -

Highly recommended!
Is this shadow of Integrity Initiative in the USA ? This false flag open the possibility that other similar events like DNC (with very questionable investigation by Crowdstrike, which was a perfect venue to implement a false flag; cybersecurity area is the perfect environment for planting false flags), MH17 (might be an incident but later it definitely was played as a false flag), Skripals (Was Skripals poisoning a false flag decided to hide the fact that Sergey Skripal was involved in writing Steele dossier?) and Litvinenko (probably connected with lack of safety measures in the process of smuggling of Plutonium by Litvinenko himself, but later played a a false flag). All of those now should be re-assessed from the their potential of being yet another flag flag operation against Russia. While Browder was a MI6 operation from the very beginning (and that explains why he abdicated the US citizenship more convincingly that the desire to avoid taxes) .
Notable quotes:
"... Democratic operative Jonathon Morgan - bankrolled by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, pulled a Russian bot "false flag" operation against GOP candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama special election last year - creating thousands of fake social media accounts designed to influence voters . Hoffman has since apologized, while Morgan was suspended by Facebook for "coordinated inauthentic" behavior. ..."
"... Really the bigger story is here is that these guys convincingly pretended to be Russian Bots in order to influence an election (not with the message being put forth by the bots, but by their sheer existence as apparent supporters of the Moore campaign). ..."
"... By all appearances, they were Russian bots trying to influence the election. Now we know it was DNC operatives. Yet we are supposed to believe without any proof that the "Russian bots" that supposedly influenced the 2016 Presidential election were, actually, Russian bots, and worthy of a two year long probe about "Russian collusion" and "Russian meddling." ..."
"... The whole thing is probably a farce, not only in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia had any influence at all on a single voter, but also in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia even tried (just claims and allegations by people who have a vested interest in convincing us its true). ..."
Dec 29, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

For over two years now, the concepts of "Russian collusion" and "Russian election meddling" have been shoved down our throats by the mainstream media (MSM) under the guise of legitimate concern that the Kremlin may have installed a puppet president in Donald Trump.

Having no evidence of collusion aside from a largely unverified opposition-research dossier fabricated by a former British spy, the focus shifted from "collusion" to "meddling" and "influence." In other words, maybe Trump didn't actually collude with Putin, but the Kremlin used Russian tricks to influence the election in Trump's favor. To some, this looked like nothing more than an establishment scheme to cast a permanent spectre of doubt over the legitimacy of President Donald J. Trump.

Election meddling "Russian bots" and "troll farms" became the central focus - as claims were levied of social media operations conducted by Kremlin-linked organizations which sought to influence and divide certain segments of America.

And while scant evidence of a Russian influence operation exists outside of a handful of indictments connected to a St. Petersburg "Troll farm" (which a liberal journalist cast serious doubt ov er), the MSM - with all of their proselytizing over the "threat to democracy" that election meddling poses, has largely decided to ignore actual evidence of "Russian bots" created by Democrat IT experts, used against a GOP candidate in the Alabama special election, and amplified through the Russian bot-detecting "Hamilton 68" dashboard developed by the same IT experts.

Jonathon Morgan ✔ @jonathonmorgan

Russian trolls tracked by # Hamilton68 are taking an interest in the AL Senate race. What a surprise.

298 4:02 PM - Nov 10, 2017

Democratic operative Jonathon Morgan - bankrolled by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, pulled a Russian bot "false flag" operation against GOP candidate Roy Moore in the Alabama special election last year - creating thousands of fake social media accounts designed to influence voters . Hoffman has since apologized, while Morgan was suspended by Facebook for "coordinated inauthentic" behavior.

As Russian state-owned RT puts it - and who could blame them for being a bit pissed over the whole thing, "it turns out there really was meddling in American democracy by "Russian bots." Except they weren't run from Moscow or St. Petersburg, but from the offices of Democrat operatives chiefly responsible for creating and amplifying the "Russiagate" hysteria over the past two years in a textbook case of psychological projection. "

A week before Christmas, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report accusing Russia of depressing Democrat voter turnout by targeting African-Americans on social media. Its authors, New Knowledge, quickly became a household name.

Described by the New York Times as a group of "tech specialists who lean Democratic," New Knowledge has ties to both the US military and intelligence agencies. Its CEO and co-founder Jonathon Morgan previously worked for DARPA, the US military's advanced research agenc y. His partner, Ryan Fox, is a 15-year veteran of the National Security Agency who also worked as a computer analyst for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Their unique skill sets have managed to attract the eye of investors, who pumped $11 million into the company in 2018 alone.

...

On December 19, a New York Times story revealed that Morgan and his crew had created a fake army of Russian bots, as well as fake Facebook groups, in order to discredit Republican candidate Roy Moore in Alabama's 2017 special election for the US Senate.

Working on behalf of the Democrats, Morgan and his crew created an estimated 1,000 fake Twitter accounts with Russian names, and had them follow Moore. They also operated several Facebook pages where they posed as Alabama conservatives who wanted like-minded voters to support a write-in candidate instead.

In an internal memo, New Knowledge boasted that it had "orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet."

It worked. The botnet claim made a splash on social media and was further amplified by Mother Jones, which based its story on expert opinion from Morgan's other dubious creation, Hamilton 68. - RT

Moore ended up losing the Alabama special election by a slim margin of just

In other words: In November 2017 – when Moore and his Democratic opponent were in a bitter fight to win over voters – Morgan openly promoted the theory that Russian bots were supporting Moore's campaign . A year later – after being caught red-handed orchestrating a self-described "false flag" operation – Morgan now says that his team never thought that the bots were Russian and have no idea what their purpose was . Did he think no one would notice? - RT

Dan Cohen ✔ @dancohen3000 Replying to @dancohen3000

Disinformation warrior @ jonathonmorgan attempts to control damage by lying. He now claims the "false flag operation" never took place and the botnet he promoted as Russian-linked (based on phony Hamilton68 Russian troll tracker he developed) wasn't Russian https://www. newknowledge.com/blog/about-ala bama

89 2:23 AM - Dec 29, 2018

Even more strange is that Scott Shane - the journalist who wrote the New York Times piece exposing the Alabama "Russian bot" scheme, knew about it for months after speaking at an event where the organizers bragged about the false flag on Moore .

Shane was one of the speakers at a meeting in September, organized by American Engagement Technologies, a group run by Mikey Dickerson, President Barack Obama's former tech czar. Dickerson explained how AET spent $100,000 on New Knowledge's campaign to suppress Republican votes, " enrage" Democrats to boost turnout, and execute a "false flag" to hrt Moore. He dubbed it "Project Birmingham." - RT

Dan Cohen ✔ @dancohen3000 · Dec 28, 2018 Replying to @dancohen3000

This gets even weirder: NYT reporter @ ScottShaneNYT , who broke the Alabama disinfo op story, learned of it in early September when he spoke at an off-the-record event organized by one of the firms that perpetrated the deception https://www. buzzfeednews.com/article/craigs ilverman/alabama-dirty-tricksters-invited-a-new-york-times-reporter

NY Times Reporter Briefed Alabama Special Election Dirty Tricksters

New York Times reporter Scott Shane spoke at an event organized by the group who ran a disinformation op aimed at helping defeat Roy Moore in Alabama.

A lightly-redacted copy of the internal @ NewKnowledgeAI report has been leaked and claims at least partial credit for Doug Jones' victory. Details follow https:// medium.com/@jeffgiesea/br eaking-heres-the-after-action-report-from-the-alabama-senate-disinformation

10 12:09 PM - Dec 28, 2018 Twitter Ads info and privacy

Shane told BuzzFeed that he was "shocked" by the revelations, though hid behind a nondisclosure agreement at the request of American Engagement Technologies (AET). He instead chose to spin the New Knowledge "false flag" operation on Moore as "limited Russian tactics" which were part of an "experiment" that had a budget of "only" $100,000 - and which had no effect on the election.

New Knowledge suggested that the false flag operation was simply a "research project," which Morgan suggested was designed "to better understand and report on the tactics and effects of social media disinformation."

View image on Twitter
Jonathon Morgan ✔ @jonathonmorgan

My statement on this evening's NYT article.

94 9:17 PM - Dec 19, 2018
465 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy

While the New York Times seemed satisfied with his explanation, others pointed out that Morgan had used the Hamilton 68 dashboard to give his "false flag" more credibility – misleading the public about a "Russian" influence campaign that he knew was fake.

New Knowledge's protestations apparently didn't convince Facebook, which announced last week that five accounts linked to New Knowledge – including Morgan's – had been suspended for engaging in "coordinated inauthentic behavior." - RT

They knew exactly what they were doing

While Morgan and New Knowledge sought to frame the "Project Birmingham" as a simple research project, a leaked copy of the operation's after-action report reveals that they knew exactly what they were doing .

"We targeted 650,000 like AL voters, with a combination of persona accounts, astroturfing, automated social media amplification and targeted advertising," reads the report published by entrepreneur and executive coach Jeff Giesea.

Jeff Giesea ✔ @jeffgiesea

BREAKING: Here's the after-action report from the AL Senate disinfo campaign.

**an exclusive release by @ JeffGiesea https:// medium.com/@jeffgiesea/br eaking-heres-the-after-action-report-from-the-alabama-senate-disinformation-campaign-e3edd854f17d

1,658 8:49 PM - Dec 27, 2018 Twitter Ads info and privacy BREAKING: Here's The After-Action Report From the Alabama Senate Disinformation Campaign

EXCLUSIVE RELEASE FROM JEFF GIESEA

medium.com
1,381 people are talking about this Twitter Ads info and privacy

The rhetorical question remains, why did the MSM drop this election meddling story like a hot rock after the initial headlines faded away?

criminal election meddling, but then who the **** is going to click on some morons tactic and switch votes?

anyone basing any funding, whether it is number of facebook hits or attempted mind games by egotistical cuck soyboys needs a serious psychological examination. fake news is fake BECAUSE IT ISNT REAL AND DOES NOT MATTER TO ANYONE but those living in the excited misery of their tiny bubble world safe spaces. SOCIAL MEDIA IS A CON AND IS NOT IMPORTANT OR RELEVANT TO ANYONE.

far more serious is destroying ballots, writing in ballots without consent, bussing voters around to vote multiple times in different districts, registering dead voters and imperosnating the corpses, withholding votes until deadlines pass - making them invalid.


Herdee , 10 minutes ago

NATO on behalf of the Washington politicians uses the same bullsh*t propaganda for continual war.

Mugabe , 20 minutes ago

Yup "PROJECTION"...

Yippie21 , 21 minutes ago

None of this even touches on the 501c3 or whatever that was set up , concerned Alabama voters or somesuch, and was funneled a **** load of money to be found to be in violation of the law AFTER the election and then it all just disappeared. Nothing to see here folks, Democrat won, let's move on. There was a LOT of " tests " for the smart-set in that election and it all worked. We saw a bunch of it used in 2018, especially in Texas with Beto and down-ballot races. Democrats cleaned up like crazy in Texas, especially in Houston.

2020 is going to be a hot mess. And the press is in on it, and even if illegal or unseemly things are done, as long as Democrats win, all good... let's move on. Crazy.

LetThemEatRand , 21 minutes ago

The fact that MSM is not covering this story -- which is so big it truly raises major questions about the entire Russiagate conspiracy including why Mueller was appointed in the first place -- is proof that they have no interest in journalism or the truth and that they are 100% agenda driven liars. Not that we needed more proof, but there it is anyway.

Oldguy05 , 19 minutes ago

Dimz corruption is a nogo. Now if it were conservatives.......

CosineCosineCosine , 23 minutes ago

I'm not a huge fan, but Jimmy Dore has a cathartic and entertaining 30 minutes on this farce. Well worth the watch:

h https://youtu.be/hqLIJznUNVw

LetThemEatRand , 27 minutes ago

Really the bigger story is here is that these guys convincingly pretended to be Russian Bots in order to influence an election (not with the message being put forth by the bots, but by their sheer existence as apparent supporters of the Moore campaign).

By all appearances, they were Russian bots trying to influence the election. Now we know it was DNC operatives. Yet we are supposed to believe without any proof that the "Russian bots" that supposedly influenced the 2016 Presidential election were, actually, Russian bots, and worthy of a two year long probe about "Russian collusion" and "Russian meddling."

The whole thing is probably a farce, not only in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia had any influence at all on a single voter, but also in the sense that there is no evidence that Russia even tried (just claims and allegations by people who have a vested interest in convincing us its true).

dead hobo , 30 minutes ago

I've been watching Scandal on Netflix. Still only in season 2. Amazing how nothing changes.They nailed it and memorialized it. The MSM are useful idiots who are happy to make money publicizing what will sell the best.

chunga , 30 minutes ago

The media is biased and sucks, yup.

The reason the reds lost the house is because they went along with this nonsense and did nothing about it, like frightened baby chipmunks.

JRobby , 33 minutes ago

Only when "the opposition" does it is it illegal. Total totalitarian state wannabe stuff.

divingengineer , 22 minutes ago

Amazing how people can contort reality to justify their own righteous cause, but decry their opposition for the EXACT same thing. See trump visit to troops signing hats as most recent proof. If DJT takes a piss and sprinkles the seat, it's a crime.

DarkPurpleHaze , 33 minutes ago

They're afraid to expose themselves...unlike Kevin Spacey. Trump or Whitaker will expose this with one signature. It's coming.

divingengineer , 20 minutes ago

Spacey has totally lost it. See his latest video, it will be a powerful piece of evidence for an insanity plea.

CosineCosineCosine , 10 minutes ago

Disagree strongly. I think it was excellent - perhaps you misunderstood the point? 6 minutes Diana Davidson look at it clarifies

https://youtu.be/_il_NBq0Ec8

[Dec 29, 2018] Throughout its existence the Soviet Union was hobbled by the sanctions imposed on it by the capitalist world

Dec 29, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Dec 27, 2018 5:01:47 PM | link

Throughout its existence the Soviet Union was hobbled by the sanctions imposed on it by the capitalist world. Despite being uniquely qualified, by virtue of its geography and culture, to survive without being part of the international economy, it had to pay much more, by being forced to rely on its own resources, than other countries for every advance that it made economically.
And then it was constantly under threat of coordinated military attack by the richest and most technically advanced powers, led by the anglo-US empire. Twice it was invaded by massive international coalitions, in 1918 and 1041. Twice its industrial base and its infrastructure were reduced to smoking ruins.Twice it had to rebuild, from the ground up without the assistance of foreign capital.
By contrast the imperial powers, bent on crushing it by economic or military means, throughout its existence came through the period virtually unscathed-its great rival the US actually thrived from threw two world wars.
It was this fate which China, under imperial pressure after the 1949 Revolution, was determined to escape. And so far, since it changed course and played the US and the Soviet Union off against each other, it has made great strides forward-advances complementing the enormous gains made after 1949, during which period all the basic indicators of well being, life expectancy included, rose and a firm base was established for future improvement. And this at a time when the US used every means in its power, including biological warfare, to weaken China and reduce its people to starvation.
For example China-well known for its polluted air-is well in advance of North America in its development of renewable energy sources and seems genuinely committed to replacing fossil fuels.
Nor is it using its growing strength to engage in military adventures and impose its rule on others.
It is important when considering China not to repeat the mistakes of some of the neo-Trotskyist factions whose theory that the Soviet Union was just another capitalist society (something that most Russians disagree with) was an important part of the Empire's ideological struggle against the Soviet Union in the world and socialism everywhere. China is not a communist country but it serves its people much better than, for example, India. And it certainly plays a vital role, together with Russia in resisting the Imperial ruling class's campaigns to reduce the globe to accepting the diktats of Washington, Wall St and Hollywood.

[Dec 21, 2018] Vadim Rogovin and the sociology of Stalinism by Andrea Peters

Notable quotes:
"... The State and the Opposition ..."
"... Social Development and Societal Morals ..."
"... Social Development and Societal Morals ..."
"... Was There an Alternative? ..."
"... Political Education ..."
"... Economic Sciences ..."
"... Sociological Research ..."
"... The Revolution Betrayed ..."
"... Was There an Alternative? ..."
Sep 25, 2018 | www.wsws.org

... In the introduction to the second volume in his series, The State and the Opposition , Rogovin noted:

A peculiarity of the counter-revolution realized by Stalin and his accomplices was that it took place under the ideological cover of Marxist phraseology and never-ending attestations of loyalty to the October Revolution Naturally, such a counter-revolution demanded historically unprecedented conglomerations of lies and falsifications, the fabrication of ever-newer myths

Similar to the Stalinists, modern anti-communists use two kinds of myths: namely, ideological and historical. Under ideological myths we have in mind false ideas, oriented to the future -- that is, illusory prognoses and promises. These sorts of products of false consciousness reveal their mythological character by way of their practical realization.

Myths that appeal not to the future but to the past are another matter.

In principle, it is easier to expose these myths than anti-scientific prognoses and reactionary projects.

Like ideological ones, historical myths are a product of immediate class interests products of historical ignorance or deliberate falsification -- that is, the concealment of some historical facts, the tendentious exaggeration, and the distorted interpretation of others.

Refuting these myths is only possible by rehabilitating historical truth -- the honest portrayal of actual facts and tendencies of the past.

In this work, Rogovin argued that the fundamental problem facing the USSR was "a deepening of socially unjustified differentiation of incomes and the comforts of life." "Workers regularly encounter instances of unearned enrichment through the deceit and the ripping-off of the state and the people. [ ] Certain groups of the population have the means to meet their needs at a scale beyond any reasonable norms and outside of their relationship to social production. [ ] There does not exist any systematic control of sources of income and the acquisition of valuable goods," he wrote.

In a remarkable statement, inequality, he insisted, not wage-leveling, expressed "in essence, the social structure of [Soviet] society."

Rogovin called for the implementation of income declarations, whereby people would be required to report the size of their total income, not just their official wages, so that the government and researchers might actually know the real distribution of earnings. He advocated for the establishment of a "socially-guaranteed maximum income" to combat "unjustified inequality."

Vadim Rogovin and Nina Naumova's 1984 Social Development and Societal Morals

Elsewhere, Rogovin further argued that inequality lay at the center of the USSR's falling labor productivity. In a work co-authored with Nina Naumova, Social Development and Societal Morals , he maintained that the socio-economic crisis facing the USSR stemmed from the fact that inequality was growing in Soviet society; people worked poorly in the Soviet Union not because their work was inadequately remunerated relative to others, but because their commitment to social production had been eroded by intensifying social stratification that was unrecorded in official statistics.

In 1983, the very same year that Rogovin authored his critical report on the state of inequality in the USSR that ended up in the hands of the Moscow authorities, another sociologist, Tatyana Zaslavskaya, would issue a report, kept secret at first but later leaked to the Western press, advocating a transition to "economic methods of management," -- in other words, market-based reforms. A central aspect of this was policy centered around increasing inequality in workers' compensation in order to stimulate production. Zaslavskaya noted at the time that such reforms would be opposed by what she described as "the more apathetic, the more elderly, and the less qualified groups of workers."

In a few years, Zaslavskaya would become a leading advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev and one of the main architects of the pro-market, perestroika reforms. In 1986, she was appointed the head of the Soviet Sociological Association. Her positions were widely embraced by the discipline.

Tatiana Zaslavskaya and Mikhail Gorbachev 1989 at Congress of People's Deputies. [Copyright RIA Novosti]

In contrast, Rogovin's views were frequently, and ever more so, the object of sharp criticism. In 1985, a discussion occurred at the Institute of Sociology regarding a report produced by Rogovin and his research team about Soviet lifestyles. In it, Rogovin made openly critical comments about the anti-egalitarian impact of the shadow economy and the transfer of wealth through inheritance. It was sharply criticized by some of the Institute's top scholars, who both disagreed with its content and were nervous about the response it might get from the authorities. At the discussion, one such individual remarked:

The report by the author presented here has two basic failings: 1) it is inadequately self-critical; 2) the authors, and in particular, Rogovin himself, aren't appropriately thinking of the addressee to whom this report is directed. The report is going to the highest levels [of the Communist Party] and superfluous emotion is not necessary. The next criticism [I have] is about "unjustified inequality." In principle, there can be no such thing.

[ ] in the note to the TsK KPSS [Central Committee of the Communist Party] [ ] the recommendations [that you make] demand the utmost care in how you approach them, particularly those that relate to the "third economy" and taxes on inheritance. [There should be] a minimum of categoricalness and a maximum of conciliatoriness.

As the decade wore on, Rogovin began to adopt an ever more critical stance on perestroika , whose devastating economic consequences were increasingly showing themselves. Rather than bringing prosperity to the masses, Gorbachev's reforms created a total crisis in the state sector of the economy, exacerbating widespread shortages in food, clothing and other basic necessities. Economic growth declined from 1986 onwards. In 1989, inflation reached 19 percent, eroding the gains the population had made in income over the preceding years. As the scholar John Elliot noted, "When account is taken of additional costs, real per capita income and real wages probably decreased, particularly for the bottom half of the population. These costs included: deteriorating quality and unavailability of goods; proliferation of special distribution channels; longer and more time-consuming lines; extended rationing; higher prices and higher inflation-rates in non-state stores (e.g., collective farm market prices were nearly three times those in state stores in 1989); virtual stagnation in the provision of health and education; and the growth of barter, regional autarky, and local protectionism."

Newly established private enterprises had great leeway to set prices because they faced little to no competition from the state sector. They charged whatever the market would bear, which led to substantial increases in income inequality and poverty, with the most vulnerable layers of the population hardest hit. The changes were so severe that Elliot insists that "income inequalities had actually become greater in the USSR than in the USA." In the late 1980s, fully two-thirds of the Soviet population had an income that fell below the officially-recommended "decent level" of 100 to 150 rubles a month. At the same time, the shadow economy alone is estimated to have produced 100,000–150,000 millionaires in the late 1980s. By the early 1990s, one-quarter of the population or 70 million people were destitute according to official Soviet estimates. Miners' strikes and other signs of social discontent erupted across the country.

Sociologists were intimately aware of the growing popular discontent. The Communist Party bureaucracy called upon them to help manage the situation. In 1989, the director of the Institute of Sociology received a request from the highest layers of the Communist Party. He was asked to respond to a letter from a rank-and-file party member that expressed extreme hostility towards the country's "elites." The letter writer described the party as dominated by an "opportunist nucleus" and called for the waging of a "class war" by the working masses against their policies. The ideology division of the Central Committee of the Communist Party wanted the Institute's director to respond to the letter because the sentiments expressed in it were "widespread (representative) [sic] among the working class."

Soviet economist and sociologist Genady Lisichkin

In the midst of these circumstances, Rogovin came under fire in one of the country's media outlets for articles he was writing against the promotion of social inequality. Since the mid-1980s, he had been championing the implementation of income declarations that would require people to report their full earnings, progressive taxes, and a socially-declared maximum income. Based on the amount of positive correspondence he was receiving from readers, it was clear that his views resonated with the population, a fact noted by Western scholars at the time. In a public press debate with the economist Gennady Lisichkin, the latter accused Rogovin of wanting to strengthen the hand of the bureaucracy and implied that he was a Stalinist. He was allegedly guilty of "Luddism," religious-like preaching, misquoting Marx to find support for his arguments, wanting the state to have the power to move people around "like cattle," defending a deficit-system of distribution based on "ration cards," suffering from "left-wing" infantilism, and being a "demagogue" and a "war communist." He attempted to link Rogovin to the very force to which he was most hostile -- Stalinism. The head of the Soviet Sociological Association, Tatiana Zaslavskaya, openly endorsed Lisichkin's positions.

The disagreements between Rogovin and other scholars over perestroika evolved into a fierce dispute about Soviet history and the nature of Stalinism. Rogovin identified a relationship between cheerleading for pro-market reforms and historical falsification. There was an increasingly widespread effort to link egalitarianism with Stalinism, the struggle for equality with political repression. In Was There an Alternative? , Rogovin frequently talked about the fact that the move towards a market economy was accompanied by the propagation of myths about Soviet history. This was one of those myths.

In 1991, Zaslavskaya co-authored a book that claimed that the Soviet Union's problems lay in the fact that in the late 1920s it abandoned the New Economic Policy (NEP), during which the government had loosened state control of the economy and restored market relations to an extent, in an effort to revitalize the economy under conditions of isolation, backwardness, and near economic collapse due to years of war. A one-sided and historically dishonest account of the NEP, this work did not contain any discussion of the political struggle that occurred during the NEP between Stalin and the Left Opposition over the malignant growth of inequality, the bureaucratization of the state and economy, and the crushing of inner-party democracy. The book skipped over this history because it would have cut across one of the central arguments made at the time in favor of perestroika -- that market relations were inherently at odds with the interests of the Communist Party bureaucracy. The book's account of labor policy under Stalin was also false. It insisted that during the 1930s revolutionary enthusiasm was the primary method used to stimulate people to work, ignoring the fact that income inequality rose substantially at this time. As the scholar Murray Yanowitch has pointed out, under Stalin "equality mongering" was labeled the brainchild of "Trotskyites, Zinovievites, Bukharinites and other enemies of the people."

In the 1980s, sociologists and other scholars promoting perestroika sought to imbue these policies with a humanitarian mission, insisting that market reforms would allow "the human factor," which had been crushed under the weight of bureaucratic stagnation, to rise again. The "human factor" was defined as man's desire for personal recognition through differentiated, material reward. It was supposedly the primary driver of human activity. To the degree that official wage policy in the USSR led to a relatively egalitarian distribution of social resources with wages leveled-out between skilled and unskilled labor, it flew in the face of man's desire for recognition of his own individual contribution. Rising inequality in income -- necessitated by the demands of socio-economic development -- was part of the process of "humanizing socialism." The argument was made that increasing social stratification would ultimately provide real "socialist justice."

As Tatiana Zaslavskaya claimed in 1990, "Despite all its limitations, the 'classical' market is, in fact, a democratic (and therefore anti-bureaucratic) economic institution. Within the framework of its exchange relationships, all participants are at least formally equal; no-one is subordinated to anyone else. Buyers and sellers act in their own interests and nobody can make them conclude deals they do not want to conclude. The buyers are free to select sellers who will let them have goods on the most advantageous terms, but the sellers too can chose buyers offering the best price."

In making this argument, scholars relied upon the official Soviet definition of socialism -- "from each according to his ability, to each according to his labor" -- that was enshrined in the country's 1936 constitution. This was also known as the Stalin constitution.

In 1988, Rogovin used the concept of the "human factor" to make a very different argument. In a piece entitled, "The Human Factor and the Lessons of the Past," he insisted that the defense of social inequality by the Soviet elite was one of the key reasons why the "human factor" had degenerated in the USSR. The very best elements of "the human factor" had been crushed by Stalin during the Terror. Corruption, disillusionment, parasitism, careerism and individual self-promotion -- the most distinctive features of the Brezhnev era -- were the "human factor" created by Stalinism. In promoting inequality and the market, Rogovin insisted, perestroika did not mark a break with Stalinism or the legacy of the Brezhnev era, as was so often claimed, but rather their further realization.

One year later he wrote, "The adherents of the new elitist conceptions want to see Soviet society with such a level of social differentiation that existed under Stalin but having gotten rid of Stalinist repression. It is forgotten that the debauched character of these repressions [ ] flowed from the effort to not simply restrain, but rather physically annihilate above all those forces in the party and in the country that, though silenced, rejected the social foundations of Stalinism."

After years of studying these questions in near-total isolation, Rogovin was finally able to write openly about this subject. He tested the waters by first publishing "L.D. Trotsky on Art" in August 1989 in the journal Theater . It was followed shortly thereafter by an article entitled "The Internal Party Struggles of the 1920s: Reasons and Lessons," also published in a journal outside of his discipline, Political Education . Moving closer to a forum likely to be followed by his colleagues in sociology, in early 1990 Rogovin published "L.D. Trotsky on NEP" in Economic Sciences . And finally, a few months later, "L.D. Trotsky on Social Relations in the USSR" came out in the flagship journal of his discipline, Sociological Research .

Rogovin's first article on the subject within his discipline reviewed Trotsky's role in Soviet history during the 1920s and summarized his seminal work, The Revolution Betrayed . It made clear to whom Rogovin fundamentally owed the views he had been advancing over the course of the previous decade.

Trotsky, however, continued to be vilified by Soviet officialdom. In 1987, on the 70th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, Gorbachev described Trotsky as "the arch-heretic of Soviet history, an 'excessively self-assured politician who always vacillated and cheated."

As a result of Rogovin's profound sympathies for Trotskyism and efforts to place his work in the tradition of the Left Opposition's critique of Stalinism, he was increasingly isolated from his colleagues, several of whom entered the Yeltsin administration and helped facilitate the eventual implementation of shock therapy, a key component of capitalist restoration in Russia. His discipline never forgave him for his intransigence and principles. One will find almost no mention of Rogovin or his contributions in the numerous monographs and other publications that have come out over the last 20 years about sociology in the USSR.

But Rogovin's isolation from Soviet sociology did not undermine his capacity to work. Rather, it coincided with the start of the publication of Was There an Alternative? In 1992, Rogovin met the International Committee of the Fourth International, and established a close political and intellectual relationship with the world Trotskyist movement that would intensify over the course of the next several years. This relationship was the basis upon which Rogovin made his immense contribution to the fight to defend Trotsky and historical truth. Two recently republished tributes to Rogovin by David North review this history.

Despite his death twenty years ago, through his work Rogovin continues his struggle to arm the working class with historical consciousness.

[Dec 15, 2018] Newly Released Integrity Intitiative Papers Include Proposal For Large Disinformation Campaigns

Notable quotes:
"... It seemed to start with Bill Browder being kicked out of Russia. So I would assume that the main reason is that the west became aware that Russia was (had been) taking back control of their economy and resources and kicking out the western carpet-baggers. ..."
"... In June of 2016 a bill named Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016 was introduced into the house by Congressmen Adam Kinzinger and Ted Lieu. H.R. 5181 sought a "whole-government approach without the bureaucratic restrictions" to counter "foreign disinformation and manipulation," which they believe threaten the world's "security and stability." A similar bill was introduced in March in the Senate long before Russia gate. It was passed signed by Obama in December after the Russia Gate was played up following the election. ..."
"... Like I said US and UK are basically one entity on such matters. Soon after being passed we saw Prop or Not introduce its hit list of alt media sites. Sadly over the last 2 years alt media has been decimated. Engdahl seems to be the latest to fall, helped no doubt by Soros suit for 1 million against him for calling out his daughters NGO. Now he has fallen into line and backing Trump. Maybe next he will support the Climate Change meme. ..."
"... As I posted on an earlier thread, the demonization of Russia by Anglos began with the First Afghan War in the late 1830s and has continued at differing degrees of intensity ever since always due to geopolitics. ..."
"... The US State Department gives the title "public diplomacy" to its propaganda. ..."
"... Just ask John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer who was sent to prison for telling the truth about US torture. ..."
"... Thanks, that looks great and should be reposted across alternative media- most of these groups use "anti-Russia" as a front to dismantle dissent and left-wing politics on behalf of the Multinationals and the Neoliberal Establishment- let's call it the "blob," and let's call that list Counter-Propornot. ..."
"... karlof1... my impression is the anti russian meme got real traction somewhere about 2014-2015 with the advent of Ukraine dynamics and Russia commitment to going into Syria.. around that time it all really picked up steam.. now you have think tanks and etc. etc. profiting from the sale of anti-russia spin.. there appears to be endless money available for this.. ..."
"... This is an incomplete narrative, think tanks are basically mercenaries who relieve the population from the need to think about the complicated matters, letting the folks to believe what is either true or should be believed to be true for the "common good". ..."
"... And indeed, Russian danger was identified ca. 2014 as the major worthy theme in the central parts of that nexus. So who are the paymasters? In part, "capitalists", wealthy individuals with means and motivation to set the course for the West and all forces of good. In part, intelligence agencies. Here Integrity Initiative seems an erratic creature: apparently, run by spooks on military and intelligence payroll, and yet also benefiting from a government grant that makes them a quango, "a semipublic administrative body outside the civil service but receiving financial support from the government, which makes senior appointments to it." In other words, they double dip. The total amount is relatively modest, so rather than getting fat on taxpayer money they merely double or triple they spare official salaries thus reaching "upper middle class" level. Therefore the morale in the outfit was mediocre and we can see one of the more amusing leaks of 2018. ..."
"... Note: Kissinger's WSJ Op-Ed was published on August 29, 2014. Within weeks of its publication, the Obama Administration was in full anti-Russia swing. Trump would enter the race for Republican nomination 9 1/2 months after Kissinger's Op-Ed (June 15, 2015). ..."
"... The hate campaign against Russia is just the old campaign, against any country resisting the Empire's hegemony, focused on the one power that had resisted since 1917 and was able to do so, returning to its old role of saying 'Niet' when all the rest of the world said either 'Aye Aye,Sir' "If you insist" or kept quiet and said nothing at all. ..."
"... One can't just edit a Wikipedia article, no matter how fact-based. It will almost immediately be retracted if it doesn't follow the 'official' narrative. If said person then tries to reestablish that content or tries to engage in a discussion with the admins, in many cases, they simply get banned then. ..."
"... Try this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlgGx9LM5cM It's about a former female STASI-employee turned fighter for freedom and democracy. Currently she is the head of the Antonio-Amadeo-Foundation dedicated, to put it bluntly, to doing the bidding for the usual suspects - and to add insult to injury taxpayer funded to a large part. ..."
"... Russia is the go to enemy when you need to bump up your purchasing of very expensive military equipment and to pour money into various security projects to achieve to goals (1 is to lock down infrastructure etc. but the other is to suppress the US citizens so a two-for). ..."
"... The long game plan, which continues unabated regardless of which party or who is in power, is American hegemony of the planet. When you consider the US has military bases in 155 countries (who essentially have become colonies) it seems like the goal is nearly completed unless you consider that major nuclear armed nations are resisting (Russia, China and maybe Pakistan and India as well). ..."
"... If you take a look at Russia during Yeltsin the US companies nearly bought everything in the country and the raping was in full vigor. Someone at DoS or the CIA very badly miscalculated letting Putin come into power. He was, after all, a minor minion and basically came out of no where. I am assuming they thought he would continue the raping and disarmament of all former Soviet weapons and Russian businesses. Sadly for them he turned out to be a patriot and actively resisted everything the US was trying to do to Russia. I believe the Yukos deal was the final straw which would have given nearly all Russian oil and gas to Exxon/Mobil. So, Putin has been battling the US successfully since and is very slowly eliminating all the oligarchs the US put into power and draining his swamp of Atlantacists and 5th column. ..."
"... i recall how quickly 'cambridge analytica' came and went, in spite of the strength of the data on them manipulating much... i imagine a similar story hee with 'integrity initiative'.. ..."
"... as for wikipedia - everyone knows it's a full on propaganda site masquerading as a neutral info site. ..."
"... the Chinese government currently has its hands around the financial windpipe of the man ultimately responsible for Ms. Meng's arrest ..."
"... "MAGA was as much a policy change as it was a campaign slogan....To prevail, Empire strategists recognized that USA needed to be able to call on regular troops and a deep sense of patriotism and righteousness that required re-developing nationalism. In short, 'MAGA'." ..."
"... Trump's invocation of MAGA on the campaign trail was presented in such a way as to seem to overwhelmingly favour a pullback from Imperialism in order to make things right at home. ..."
"... Trump engaged in a bare, pointed, often crass and bordering on contemptuous criticism of his predecessors' foreign policy. The irreverent tone was unprecedented in recent campaign history and was so plain and completely at odds with Hilary's stated positions that it essentially committed him (in my eyes anyway) to following through, or to make all efforts to follow through. If not, he would set one of the worst examples of a duplicitous politician, perhaps ever. The same applies to other bold campaign positions, such as the border wall, for example. ..."
"... Now Judge Emmet Sullivan wants expanded information, and wishes to see the actual notes (FD-302) that were mentioned by Flynn; and Judge Sullivan is directing the special counsel to provide all documents created by the FBI surrounding the Flynn interview: ..."
Dec 15, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

The person(s) who first published documents of the shady UK organization Integrity Initiative decided that the discussion is about the Initiative is not yet sufficient and published more documents.

The first dump on the Cyberguerilla site happened on November 5. We discussed it here . A smaller dump on November 29 revealed more about the UK government paid Integrity Initiatives influence work in Germany, Spain and Greece. A third dump followed today.

The leaker, who uses the widely abused Anonymous label, promises to publish more:

Well-coordinated efforts of the Anonymous from all over the world have forced the UK politicians to react to the unacceptable and in fact illegal activity of the British government that uses public money to carry out misinformation campaigns not only in the EU, US and Canada but in the UK as well, in particular campaigns against the Labour party.
The Integrity Initiative is now under first official investigation. We promise to give close scrutiny to the investigation that we believe should be conducted honestly, openly and absolutely transparently for the society, rather than become an internal and confidential case of the Foreign Office.

To show our expertise in the investigation as well as to warn the UK government that they must not even try to put it all down to the activity of some charity foundations and public organizations we reveal a part of documents unveiling the true face of The Institute for Statecraft and some information about its leadership.
...
As the scandal in the UK is gaining momentum, it is ever so striking that European leaders and official representatives remain so calm about the Integrity Initiative's activity in their countries. We remind you that covert clusters made up for political and financial manipulation and controlled by the UK secret services are carrying out London's secret missions and interfering in domestic affairs of sovereign states right in front of you.
...
This is another part of documents that we have on the Integrity Initiative. We do not change the goals of this operation. When we return with the next portion of revelations, names and facts depends on how seriously the UK and EU leaders take our intentions this time.

The dump includes invoices, internal analyses of international media responses to the Skripal affair, the Initiative's operations in Scotland, France and Italy, some strategy papers and various other stuff. There are some interesting bits about the cooperation of the Initiative with British Ministry of Defense. It will take me a while to read through all of it.

The most interesting paper I found so far is:

COMBATTING RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION
LAUNCHING AN ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS CAMPAIGN TO INFORM, DEBUNK, AND COMBAT STATE-SPONSORED PROPAGANDA
Comprehensive action proposal
(pdf)

A "strictly confidential" proposal by the French company Lexfo to spread the Integrity Initiative's state-sponsored propaganda through an offensive online influence campaigns for a monthly pay per language of €20-40.000. The proposal also includes an offer for "counter activism" through "negative PR, legal actions, ethical hack back, etc." for €50,000 per month.


bigger

The offer claims that the company can launch hundreds of "news" pieces per day on as many websites. It notably also offers to "edit" Wikipedia articles.

In short: This proposal describes large disinformation operations under the disguise of fighting alleged Russian disinformation.

It is at the core what the Integrity Initiative, which obviously requested the proposal, is about.

But as we saw in the information revealed yesterday there is more to it. The Initiative, which has lots of 'former' military and intelligence people among its staff, is targeting the political left in Britain as well as in other countries. It is there where it becomes a danger to the democratic societies of Europe.


Zanon , Dec 14, 2018 3:12:30 PM | link

Integrity Initiative: Spanish Cluster Misled UK Parliament Over Assange, Russia
https://sputniknews.com/world/201812141070699912-assange-integrity-institute-parliament/

What a bunch of mentalist type of people!

Mark2 , Dec 14, 2018 3:41:18 PM | link
I'd bet a weeks wages on it that this is where Craig Summers came from and what he was ! This blog is the antidote to the official spin! It was good to here from Craig Murray very thought provoking regards tactics.we all need our own method ! But not be gagged. I respect others ways we are on the same side .being united is the defence against devide and rule.

I wonder what the Tory's think of this scandal they must be angry at this attack on democracy, nah only joking! It'l be the dog that did'nt bark ! just like the media oh and the police ! One rule for them 'no rule' opression for us 99%

james , Dec 14, 2018 3:42:42 PM | link
thanks b.... aside from wondering if this is Russia accessing and sharing this, i think the sticking point is in this "Unintegrity initiative" going after the uk political left... that is where i think this is going to get traction as more folks are going to wake up if they see how deep and ugly this goes in targeting their own..

i could be wrong, but if this news catches on, or the uk MP women keeps hammering away on this, i think we will see some results..

i opened the pdf... here is a quick list of their objectives..

maybe the uk folks can tell us how this is going

ashley albanese , Dec 14, 2018 3:42:44 PM | link
In Australia the scale of tendentious anti-Chinese propaganda is absurd . Australia is flailing around trying to cope with changing circumstances . Already at a disadvantage in 'reading ' the world because of her geographical isolation the clear bias of information she now faces from the Anglo/ U S media and government systems puts her at a disadvantage in forming intelligent policies .
DontBelieveEitherPropaganda , Dec 14, 2018 4:38:49 PM | link
Can anyone make a zip with all dumps and files? For sharing and archiving this would be much easier.. As i believe it will not last long till the scribd uploads etc are DMCAed.. My LUKS+Veracrypt secured storage system would be a safe bet for archiving, so i would volunteer..
Much appreciated!
bjd , Dec 14, 2018 4:44:33 PM | link
Buyer beware!

Note that this document --and I've seen more-- presumes there is a large scale Russian disinformation campaign going on. Other documents presume Skripal was poisoned by Russia.

Once you run with these documents, beware that you are making those presumptions yours . That may be the objective here.

In short: all these documents need to be vetted.

Zanon , Dec 14, 2018 4:48:48 PM | link
DontBelieveEitherPropaganda

"Can anyone make "

No. Do it yourself.

No offense but in this age and on this blog, dont ask other people to do what you can do yourself. Make an effort and influence.

Jackrabbit , Dec 14, 2018 5:08:37 PM | link
Integrity Initiative got a lot of scrutiny because they used their Twitter account to attack Corbyn. In it's latest info dump, Anonymous describes additional UK political manipulation, writing that the Director of The Institute for Statecraft Christopher Donnelly:
... lobbied the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee for an inquiry into Russia's interference in the Catalan referendum. He invited members of the Integrity Initiative Spain cluster Francisco de Borja Lasheras and Mira Milosevich-Juaristi. At that moment they were receiving funds from the Foreign Office, i.e. the UK intelligence paid its own agents for fake proof of Russia's interference in the Catalan referendum and later told them to lie to the Parliament to convince it to take anti-Russian steps .
Kit Klarenberg , Dec 14, 2018 5:36:22 PM | link
This dump has plenty on our pal Simon.

His official profile is very telling indeed I think - https://www.pdf-archive.com/2018/12/13/the-institute-for-statecraft-expert-team-v-3/the-institute-for-statecraft-expert-team-v-3.pdf:

"Simon Bracey-Lane: Currently runs the IfS "Integrity Initiative" network communications and network development process; deep experience in democratic election campaign processes in UK and especially in USA, viz: Regional Campaign Organiser: John Wisniewski for Governor of New Jersey, USA. January - May 2017; Statewide Campaign Organiser: Bernie Sanders for President 2016, USA. Sept 2015 – May 2016; special study of Russian interference in the US electoral process."

Whatever the truth of the matter, he can definitely multitask. Running the II network communications and development process (cultivating, recruiting, handling?) while also being a research fellow at the II's 'parent organization' Institute for Statecraft? I wonder how many hours he has left in a day to sleep!

Then again he seems to have form in this regard. 'Special study of Russian interference in the election process' simultaneously as being a key organizer in Sanders' campaign. Maybe he did his 'special study' in his free time?

karlof1 , Dec 14, 2018 5:42:04 PM | link
Pure brazen depravity. And how will the average UK citizen become informed of what seems treasonous activity? Seems venders with broadsheets in the style of yesteryear standing on street corners yelling EXTRA! need to return so the public can be informed of its government's activities--Social Media is not sufficient.

Bevin and other UK citizens: What do you call your Swamp?

jayc , Dec 14, 2018 5:46:12 PM | link
Any thoughts as to why exactly Russia became the chief demon? It seems the hysterical propaganda was focused exclusively on ISIS until Putin spoke at the UN announcing Russia's intervention in Syria. Then the propaganda shifted, first directed at Putin, then generally at Russia and Putin together. Is it anger over the prevention of imperialist design in the Middle East?
Koen , Dec 14, 2018 5:49:54 PM | link
Here's a list of about 60 organizations & projects devoted to spreading anti-Russia content in Western media. The Integrity Initiative is just the tip of the iceberg. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-wtpA2NomEj35bbVe1-iHX7rt4YzahPINm5w9A-SkcQ/edit?usp=drive_web&ouid=109242632477374337132

And here are 2 great books about the origins and nature of Russophobia

Lastly, I collect examples of anti-Russia content that I come across in the media at www.blameputin.com

ADKC , Dec 14, 2018 6:26:19 PM | link
jayc @15

It seemed to start with Bill Browder being kicked out of Russia. So I would assume that the main reason is that the west became aware that Russia was (had been) taking back control of their economy and resources and kicking out the western carpet-baggers. This belated realisation, that the prize that the west had gained and plundered in the '90s (from the collapse of the Soviet Union) had managed to wriggle free, seems to be something that the west can't accept.

Pft , Dec 14, 2018 6:54:10 PM | link
In June of 2016 a bill named Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016 was introduced into the house by Congressmen Adam Kinzinger and Ted Lieu. H.R. 5181 sought a "whole-government approach without the bureaucratic restrictions" to counter "foreign disinformation and manipulation," which they believe threaten the world's "security and stability." A similar bill was introduced in March in the Senate long before Russia gate. It was passed signed by Obama in December after the Russia Gate was played up following the election.

Like I said US and UK are basically one entity on such matters. Soon after being passed we saw Prop or Not introduce its hit list of alt media sites. Sadly over the last 2 years alt media has been decimated. Engdahl seems to be the latest to fall, helped no doubt by Soros suit for 1 million against him for calling out his daughters NGO. Now he has fallen into line and backing Trump. Maybe next he will support the Climate Change meme.

Oh well, looks like its almost over for Truth, although some truth probably gets allowed if enough of the lies are also presented. So my take is the anti Russia hysteria was just a clever way of getting support for a war on Truth (fake news).

Russia now has a similar initiative said to combat fakes news from US which will likely be used against Putin critics (US agents). The law allows them "to block online content, including social media websites, whose activities are deemed "undesirable" or "extremist." Maybe Putin is part of the Fake Wrestling game. Heel or Face, your choice.

I see the EU has set up a rapid alert system to help EU member states recognize disinformation campaigns, and increase the budget set aside for the detection of disinformation from . It will also press technology companies to play their part in cracking down on fake news. Major social media platforms have already signed up to a code of conduct. One minister said the EU would not stand for "an internet that is the wild west, where anything goes".

Macron introduced a bill recently seeking to get " judges and the media sector's regulator involved in the fight against fake news. A fact-checking state-run website would be created and social media would have to pitch in by warning users when a post is sponsored -- or when someone pays to give it better visibility in a feed."

I suppose the War on Truth has gone global. I wont bother to mention China as they are the role model the West follows.

karlof1 , Dec 14, 2018 7:36:27 PM | link
jayc @15--

As I posted on an earlier thread, the demonization of Russia by Anglos began with the First Afghan War in the late 1830s and has continued at differing degrees of intensity ever since always due to geopolitics.

bevin , Dec 14, 2018 8:08:33 PM | link
@14 What do you call your Swamp? "The Establishment", coined, I believe, by the historian AJP Taylor. The founder of modern journalism William Cobbett used to call it "The Thing"
Don Bacon , Dec 14, 2018 8:35:18 PM | link
The US State Department gives the title "public diplomacy" to its propaganda. Robert Parry wrote about it, and its contrast with truth, a couple years ago.
The idea of questioning the claims by the West's officialdom now brings calumny down upon the heads of those who dare do it. "Truth" is being redefined as whatever the U.S. government, NATO and other Western interests say is true. Disagreement with the West's "group thinks," no matter how fact-based the dissent is, becomes "fake news."

So, we have the case of Washington Post columnist David Ignatius having a starry-eyed interview with Richard Stengel, the State Department's Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy, the principal arm of U.S. government propaganda.

Entitled "The truth is losing," the column laments that the official narratives as deigned by the State Department and The Washington Post are losing traction with Americans and the world's public.

Stengel, a former managing editor at Time magazine, seems to take aim at Russia's RT network's slogan, "question more," as some sinister message seeking to inject cynicism toward the West's official narratives.

"They're not trying to say that their version of events is the true one. They're saying: 'Everybody's lying! Nobody's telling you the truth!'," Stengel said. "They don't have a candidate, per se. But they want to undermine faith in democracy, faith in the West." . . here

Just ask John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer who was sent to prison for telling the truth about US torture.
Blooming Barricade , Dec 14, 2018 8:47:12 PM | link
@15

Thanks, that looks great and should be reposted across alternative media- most of these groups use "anti-Russia" as a front to dismantle dissent and left-wing politics on behalf of the Multinationals and the Neoliberal Establishment- let's call it the "blob," and let's call that list Counter-Propornot.

james , Dec 14, 2018 9:19:09 PM | link
@ 15 jayc, @18 ADKC and @21 karlof1... my impression is the anti russian meme got real traction somewhere about 2014-2015 with the advent of Ukraine dynamics and Russia commitment to going into Syria.. around that time it all really picked up steam.. now you have think tanks and etc. etc. profiting from the sale of anti-russia spin.. there appears to be endless money available for this..
Piotr Berman , Dec 14, 2018 9:49:29 PM | link
... now you have think tanks and etc. etc. profiting from the sale of anti-russia spin.. there appears to be endless money available for this..

Posted by: james | Dec 14, 2018 9:19:09 PM | 26

This is an incomplete narrative, think tanks are basically mercenaries who relieve the population from the need to think about the complicated matters, letting the folks to believe what is either true or should be believed to be true for the "common good". And the "common good" is decided by paymasters. Somewhere in between are mass media populated by folks particularly averse to thinking -- again, they were selected by the employers not to think but to write and talk "correctly". But the press/TV lords will not chisel all details of what is true and important, and what is false, unimportant or both, so journalists can absorb it from think tanks and briefing from government informed sources. There are also astro-turfs and so on.

And indeed, Russian danger was identified ca. 2014 as the major worthy theme in the central parts of that nexus. So who are the paymasters? In part, "capitalists", wealthy individuals with means and motivation to set the course for the West and all forces of good. In part, intelligence agencies. Here Integrity Initiative seems an erratic creature: apparently, run by spooks on military and intelligence payroll, and yet also benefiting from a government grant that makes them a quango, "a semipublic administrative body outside the civil service but receiving financial support from the government, which makes senior appointments to it." In other words, they double dip. The total amount is relatively modest, so rather than getting fat on taxpayer money they merely double or triple they spare official salaries thus reaching "upper middle class" level. Therefore the morale in the outfit was mediocre and we can see one of the more amusing leaks of 2018.

Jackrabbit , Dec 14, 2018 10:41:58 PM | link
james @26:
... my impression is the anti russian meme got real traction somewhere about 2014-2015 with the advent of ukraine dynamics and russias commitment to going into syria..
I think we can surmise that the Russian objection to US bombing Syria in September 2013 was countered with a two-prong strategy:
> doubling down in Syria via ISIS;

> pushing hard for overthrow of Ukrainian government to: a) punish Russia, and b) keep Russia busy so that the Russians refrain from any further support for Syria

It was a superb and well-thought out strategy . . . that failed miserably. The coup in Ukraine succeeded and ISIS came within weeks of defeating Assad BUT Russia managed to secure the best parts of Ukraine -and- intervened in Syria anyway (along with Iran).

The failure to contain Russia was realised by Kissinger when he penned an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal that made a cryptic call for MAGA to counter the Russians/Chinese . After outlining the challenge to the World Order, Kissinger concludes:

Even as the lessons of challenging decades are examined, the affirmation of America's exceptional nature must be sustained. History offers no respite to countries that set aside their sense of identity in favor of a seemingly less arduous course . But nor does it assure success for the most elevated convictions in the absence of a comprehensive geopolitical strategy.
So the strategy changed once again. MAGA was as much a policy change as it was a campaign slogan. Obama's devious faux peacefulness that used covert action and proxy forces could not succeed against determined opposition from Russia/China. To prevail, Empire strategists recognized that USA needed to be able to call on regular troops and a deep sense of patriotism and righteousness that required re-developing nationalism. In short, "MAGA".

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

This is what I wrote at nakedcapitalism.com shortly after Kissinger's Op-Ed was published in August 2014 :

My reading is that Kissinger is asserting that the US can and should do whatever it takes to keep the US preeminent – even if that means ignoring allies and/or the post-war international structure (UN, UNSC). That exceptional! message comes through loud and clear despite his 'triage' formalism. And it is a message that is comforting to the elite who read the WSJ (before a holiday weekend), though it should give Joe Sixpack nightmares if fully understood.

There is a lot more there which would take much longer to unpack. But I'll point to one more thing: Note how he forms an equivalence between all the troubles that the 'West' now face, and ignores US/Western actions that have contributed to these conflicts by conflating them. NC readers understand this via Merschemer's (in today's links) work on Ukraine and many links regarding ISIS (like this one).

This comforting message [from Kissinger] is needed because the Ukraine gambit has failed miserably – as many independent obeservers [sic] predicted– and a deeper conflict with Russia (possibly extending to others) is now in the cards. Like the true neocon that he is, Kissinger has doubled down on Nuland's obnoxious and misguided "f*ck the EU" with an exceptional! "f*ck the World".

God help us.

Jackrabbit , Dec 14, 2018 10:51:26 PM | link
Note: Kissinger's WSJ Op-Ed was published on August 29, 2014. Within weeks of its publication, the Obama Administration was in full anti-Russia swing. Trump would enter the race for Republican nomination 9 1/2 months after Kissinger's Op-Ed (June 15, 2015).

Trump was the ONLY populist, out of 19 contenders, in the Republican race. Hillary told Democratic-friendly media to focus on Trump and did things during the Presidential race that call into question her desire to actually win. Trump is a MUCH better choice for a MAGA nationalist than Hillary.

WJ , Dec 14, 2018 11:03:55 PM | link
@Jackrabbit 28,

You were right then, and you are right now. My one beef with your 2016 election analysis is that it seems to me you shortchange slightly the evidence of a real conflict and possibly fissure within the oligarchic elite, only certain segments of which seem convinced that now is the time for MAGA. Others among the actual power brokers would I think have preferred HRC and 4-8 more years of neoliberal internationalist interventionist grift a la Obama before having to finally turn to the MAGA nationalist strategy (which given the resource struggles that will emerge over the next decades was always inevitable once the Project for the New American (Israeli) Century collapsed, as it was bound to once Russia called its bluff in Syria.) But this is a minor point. What is much more important is that behind MAGA is an envisioned world war on the scale of WWI and WWII in which "The West" takes on China-Russia leading to the death of probably everybody.

bevin , Dec 14, 2018 11:33:45 PM | link
"..my impression is the anti russian meme got real traction somewhere about 2014-2015 with the advent of ukraine dynamics and russias commitment to going into syria..."

I think that the proper context begins with the failure of Medvedev's Russia to veto the UNSC motion establishing a No Fly zone over Libya. Inter alia this led to a real reverse for and an humiliation of China which had large financial investments as well as large numbers of personnel involved in Ghadaffi's imaginative schemes.

My guess, and it is not a particularly well informed one, is that after the Libyan disaster-the worst sort of imperialist over reach and brutality not only did China realise that Imperialism was reverting to its nightmarish type, but Russians leaders saw that a permanent alliance-until the defeat of the empire- was the only alternative that it and China had to 'hanging separately'. And that the same went for Iran and Syria-nobody could trust the west any longer and it would be foolish, and dangerous, to continue to do so.

The hate campaign against Russia is just the old campaign, against any country resisting the Empire's hegemony, focused on the one power that had resisted since 1917 and was able to do so, returning to its old role of saying 'Niet' when all the rest of the world said either 'Aye Aye,Sir' "If you insist" or kept quiet and said nothing at all.

Of course, 2011 was the last in a long series of increasingly stupid US aggressions, all of which Russia knew very well were aimed at it as much as the selected sacrificial victim. Those who say that Saddam was about oil could not be more wrong: he was a human sacrifice, slaughtered ritually on the corpses of a million of his fellows, to demonstrate that the USA can do what it chooses when it wishes. Karl Rove was wrong: not even Empires can create their own realities. The extravagant and bloody theatre of decades swaggering around the middle east finds the US not only poorer but weaker than it was in 1980.

V , Dec 14, 2018 11:37:12 PM | link
"It notably also offers to "edit" Wikipedia articles." b

Wikipedia stopped being a reliable source for accurate information a long time ago. Finding reliable alternatives is a bit more effort; but worth it for accurate information.

Piotr Berman , Dec 15, 2018 12:02:03 AM | link
Wikipedia stopped being a reliable source for accurate information a long time ago. Finding reliable alternatives is a bit more effort; but worth it for accurate information.

Posted by: V | Dec 14, 2018 11:37:12 PM | 32

It is more complicated. Wikipedia is sprawling and manipulations happen on entry basis, and it often leaves "controversies". I also discovered that it is worth to brush up on language skills, if there are any. For example, on recent events in Crimea there is an entry "Crimea Crisis" with Russian and Polish versions, and Polish "pro-Westerners" somehow left few traces of activity. I wonder how is it in German and French Wikipedias. In English, think tanks and deep states indeed lack sufficient counter-activity.

b , Dec 15, 2018 12:16:08 AM | link
@DontBelieveEitherPropaganda

Why didn't you make an archive yourself? Meanwhile the leakers account at Scribd has been slashed and all the files with it. Anyway - here is a Mediafire zip created yesterday of (allegedly) all files published so far. IntegrityInitiative.zip . Save it as long as it is available.

Augustin L , Dec 15, 2018 12:47:50 AM | link
@ jackrabbit, I've heard other observers make the link with Kissinger's op-ed, but your demonstration is very convincing. William Engdahl made the same call, Hillary's not a suitable player to pull off MAGA with masses of deplorables. Unfortunately for Anglo-American strategists, Trump with his linear cretinism lacks the necessary wherewithal to implement and execute a comprehensive geopolitical strategy. Kissinger comes from another era, and probably cannot grasp how far devolution has taken American elites in the cesspit of post modern hedonism.
Blooming Barricade , Dec 15, 2018 12:54:41 AM | link
@V

It's illuminating to see this NATO-backed operation looking at a PR firm to edit Wikipedia because this brings to mind the notorious "Philip Cross," which, for those not in the know, was uncovered by Craig Murray and others ( https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/05/the-philip-cross-affair/) as having edited the pages of prominent left wing people and Labour Party people. In Germany, Left Party Bundestag member Diether Dehm has highlighted a similar figure in German language Wikipedia, "Feliks," targeting socialists in that country. The similarities of both to the proposals made by the PR firm above are eerie.

Hmpf , Dec 15, 2018 1:25:47 AM | link
@ Piotr Berman | Dec 15, 2018 12:02:03 AM | 33

Can't speak for the French version of Wikipedia but with the German edition it is as bad as anywhere else when it comes to social and political issues, particularly so if geopolitics (the West, ME, Russia ..) is concerned.

Two people, a biologist and a journalist, independently investigated networks on a senior editor and admin level active within WikipediaG. What they found is rather shocking. One can't just edit a Wikipedia article, no matter how fact-based. It will almost immediately be retracted if it doesn't follow the 'official' narrative. If said person then tries to reestablish that content or tries to engage in a discussion with the admins, in many cases, they simply get banned then.

These guys can also be found on Youtube: Gruppe42 (group42) Unfortunately their main documentaries are only available in German language but there's some other content 'Geschichten aus Wikihausen' - 'The Tales of Wikihausen' with English subtitles.

Try this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlgGx9LM5cM It's about a former female STASI-employee turned fighter for freedom and democracy. Currently she is the head of the Antonio-Amadeo-Foundation dedicated, to put it bluntly, to doing the bidding for the usual suspects - and to add insult to injury taxpayer funded to a large part.

Mina , Dec 15, 2018 4:16:39 AM | link
The BBC won't taalk about it but when it is in the House of Commons they have to Sole result of a search "Integrity Initiative" on the BBC news website
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bv9zxj (12/12 when then question was raised in the house of commons)
Zanon , Dec 15, 2018 4:43:24 AM | link
"Anonymous Hackers Expose UK Plans to Mine Sevastopol Days Before Crimea Vote" https://sptnkne.ws/kpWP
Russ , Dec 15, 2018 5:01:57 AM | link
Posted by: Soft Asylum | Dec 15, 2018 4:36:27 AM | 39

Such people might be some of the worst examples of humans, but that doesn't mean they're trolls. In fact, plucking some kind of motivations out of their psychopathic minds might be a good thing for the rest of us. If people such as them are posters here, this would allow an opportunity to study them.

You feel you lack opportunities to study them? Pick up a newspaper, or turn on the cable news.

TJ , Dec 15, 2018 5:03:04 AM | link
The thread over on Craig Murrays site- British Security Service Infiltration, the Integrity Initiative and the Institute for Statecraft
William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 6:01:23 AM | link
Integrity Initiative Part 3 https://williambowles.info/2018/12/15/integrity-initiative-part-3/

Combatting Russian Disinformation http://williambowlesnet.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/combatting-russian-disinformation.pdf

William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 6:08:03 AM | link
B: this info is astounding! Or perhaps not? Maybe the fact that the spooks are notoriously inept is what's astounding? I mean you would think that what with all dweebs working for the state (eg GCHQ), they would be able to protect their own excreta? The earlier disinfo (it's a Russian plot etc) makes sense but it didn't work!
Old Microbiologist , Dec 15, 2018 7:09:31 AM | link
Jay @15
Sorry, I didn't read any of this until this morning. Russia is the go to enemy when you need to bump up your purchasing of very expensive military equipment and to pour money into various security projects to achieve to goals (1 is to lock down infrastructure etc. but the other is to suppress the US citizens so a two-for).

Asymmetrical wars against tiny nations without air support are hard to justify spending Trillions of dollars forever. That dog just won't hunt after 18 years of a no-win war in Afghanistan (or anywhere else). So, Russia and now just to make it even more critical, China are enemies that demand massive military buildups of equipment that won't ever actually (hopefully) be put to use. This is to fight a two theater war against two nuclear superpowers. Basically, it is insanity but it will make a few people very rich.

The long game plan, which continues unabated regardless of which party or who is in power, is American hegemony of the planet. When you consider the US has military bases in 155 countries (who essentially have become colonies) it seems like the goal is nearly completed unless you consider that major nuclear armed nations are resisting (Russia, China and maybe Pakistan and India as well).

If you take a look at Russia during Yeltsin the US companies nearly bought everything in the country and the raping was in full vigor. Someone at DoS or the CIA very badly miscalculated letting Putin come into power. He was, after all, a minor minion and basically came out of no where. I am assuming they thought he would continue the raping and disarmament of all former Soviet weapons and Russian businesses. Sadly for them he turned out to be a patriot and actively resisted everything the US was trying to do to Russia. I believe the Yukos deal was the final straw which would have given nearly all Russian oil and gas to Exxon/Mobil. So, Putin has been battling the US successfully since and is very slowly eliminating all the oligarchs the US put into power and draining his swamp of Atlantacists and 5th column.

That is the over simplified view but it sums it up enough to explain what we are seeing. It is as always all about money. So, Putin has resisted aggressively all US encroachments into the Russian sphere of influence. The sanctions actually help Russia. A devalued ruble is great for oil exports which are only 12% of Russia's GDP. More self sufficiency is also a huge benefit. A partnership with China ensures the US cannot ever achieve their goals of global domination. The US military has proven for the past 70+ years they are incapable of any meaningful fighting and that the military is woefully incompetent. The ABM test results even when cheating heavily are only roughly a 50% hit rate. That is against "normal" ballistic missiles. Russia's new systems already circumvent this system by mid-flight course corrections.

The biggest problem is the neocon elites really believe all their own propaganda. That is very scary.

William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 7:54:52 AM | link
Posted by: jayc | Dec 14, 2018 5:46:12 PM | 15

Jayc: you ask why Russia and specifically Putin? Cast your mind back to 1991 and the fall of the USSR and Yeltsin's coup and the theft of billions of Russia's capital resources by Goldman Sachs et al. The Empire figured what was left of the former USSR was a pushover and its vast natural resources, highly educated population, ripe for plucking and along comes the Tatar Putin, a descendent of Genghis Khan! Whoops!

And only just in time. Then think about the invasion of Iraq in 1991 and later in 2003 and then Libya. The Russians stood by. But Syria was a step too far and too near!

Jayc, it's Western, racist hubris. The Russkies are just a bunch of jumped up peasants (Hitler made the same mistake), so when they asserted their right to resist, and it really started in 2015 with the Western financed 'revolution' against Assad, it came as a real shock to the system to see that Russia actually did have real guns that fired and real jets and satellites to watch it all. After all, it was those peasant Russians who went into space first (Duck agogo Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, the genuine father of space exploration).

It must have rocked the bastards back on their heels. So they hate Putin! He restored Russia's faith in itself and that is simply not permissible! And do it with a military budget a small fraction of the Empire's and one that Putin CUT by 10% this year! Wakey-wakey!

Okay, this is a vastly simplified explanation and I'm not going to deal with the internal contradictions of Russia, that's for the Russians to do. But it seems that once more, the Russkies are saving our tired, sorry Western arses.

Bill

Emmanuel Goldstein , Dec 15, 2018 9:29:46 AM | link
William Bowles @ 57

I commented at the Saker at the time of the first Ukrainian war that it looks like Mother Russia is being set up to defeat fascism for the second time in 100 years. History may not exactly repeat itself but it does rhyme.

If I were the West I would tread very carefully, after the catastrophes of the 1990's the Russians are in no mood to roll over for anyone. The West was surprised at the weapons and operational arts displayed in Syria, and that was just the conventional stuff....

AnneR , Dec 15, 2018 9:30:57 AM | link
karlofi - Britain doesn't have swamps (environmental sort), but it does have lots of Bogs. And Bog is also another term for lavatory/toilet - so one might describe Westminster, the City of London and the rest of the bourgeois British world as one Big Bog (if only someone would flush it).
BM , Dec 15, 2018 10:18:31 AM | link
Well, I was excited about the supposed "lots on Skripal" and thought maybe there would be a smoking gun. Disappointed (mediafire zip linked by b)! All I opened was the files with the word skripal in the name - nothing but ultra-boring newspeak from what seem like spotty adolescents trying their best to feed their paymasters with the propaganda they want. The only one of any interest at all was the one reporting on skripal news coverage in Greece: the author was relatively normal, and coverage in Greece was pretty neutral and sceptical of the UK propaganda.

There were only 100 documents in the zip which was supposed to be everything released so far (i.e. all three dumps).

Is there any evidence to confirm that all three dumps were done by the same person/people? I can't help wondering whether the third dump might have been damage control from the Integrity Initiative themselves, to try to show that there is not much there.

As I said though, I didn't open anything except the files with skripal in the filename, so maybe there is something interesting somewhere else. It may be that by specifically looking for skripal I failed to find any files with policy or analysis. All the files I looked at seemed to be reports from the clusters in various countries (often addressed to Simon), or pure propaganda (spotty teenagers) with no analysis.

psychohistorian , Dec 15, 2018 10:32:15 AM | link
ZH has a posting up about the Integrity Initiative and gives MoA a hat tip for being early onto the issue. This should insure that it won't be buried but I suspect it is time for another big shiny thing to appear to distract the masses
William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 10:52:51 AM | link
Okay! It is/was called Spybase, and created by Daniel Brandt. Foreign Affairs magazine badmouthed it here:

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/reviews/capsule-review/1989-03-01/spybase

And they misidentified it as well!

See also Namebase, the original collection of intelligence agents.

NameBase - Wikipedia
Founder Daniel Brandt began collecting clippings and citations pertaining to influential people and intelligence agents in the 1960s and especially in the 1970s after becoming a member of Students for a Democratic Society, an organization that opposed US foreign policy.
[Search domain en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spybase] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spybase

William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 11:16:15 AM | link
Scary but worth a read: What are the Odds of a Shooting War Between NATO and Russia? "70% Chance of Combat" An Interview with George Szamuely https://www.globalresearch.ca/what-are-the-odds-of-a-shooting-war-between-nato-and-russia-70-chance-of-combat/5663011
Russ , Dec 15, 2018 11:44:03 AM | link
Posted by: William Bowles | Dec 15, 2018 11:16:15 AM | 67

That piece sums it up well, especially NATO's increasingly aggressive posture. And how self-righteously stupid the US is being. I think 70% might be optimistic. This situation is even more like 1914 than 1914 was, in that the reallywantingwar-to-bluster ratio looks even worse. Meanwhile Trump, with his self-indulgent saber-rattling, is like a twitter-empowered Kaiser. Imagine that back then.

Another commenter up above says this'll be Russia's second go-round with fascism. Yup, and they can send US/NATO where they sent Hitler, Napoleon, Charles XII.

William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 12:15:58 PM | link
Posted by: Russ | Dec 15, 2018 11:44:03 AM | 69

Russ, I wish I could be that optimistic. Yes, madmen they may be but they're madmen with tactical nukes! And judging by another End of Days scenario, they actually seem to be contemplating their use, gambling that the Russians wont call their bluff! More like the Cuban Missile Crisis than Sarevevo. So which side will blink first?

See: Be Afraid Be Very Afraid! By John Rachel

https://williambowles.info/2018/11/23/be-afraid-be-very-afraid-by-john-rachel/

And then of course, we have Global Heating, which the Empire figures will 'take care' of that surplus to requirement population, whilst the 1% wait it out in their bunkers.


I'm glad I'm at the other end of my life, rather than the beginning.

" we have the certainty that matter remains eternally the same in all its transformations, that none of its attributes can ever be lost, and therefore, also, that with the same iron necessity that it will exterminate on the earth its highest creation, the thinking mind, it must somewhere else and at another time again produce it". -- Frederick Engels, from the introduction to 'The Dialectics of Nature', 1883.
james , Dec 15, 2018 12:41:47 PM | link
thanks everyone for giving a response to either my comment, or @jayc's initial comment on what started this russiaphobia... i think many of the answers are relevant and there is no one answer...

i recall how quickly 'cambridge analytica' came and went, in spite of the strength of the data on them manipulating much... i imagine a similar story hee with 'integrity initiative'..

as for wikipedia - everyone knows it's a full on propaganda site masquerading as a neutral info site... the fact that it is mentioned in this integrity initiative data dump shows just how mainstream and 'go to' in the world of propaganda it is viewed by the intel services and anyone else trying to get in on some of the gov't money handouts for this type propaganda.. it would be very cool if the wikipedia site made a statement saying we no longer need donations, as the intel services of the west have been paying us to continue... at what point does wikipedia become an official and open arm of western propaganda?? why continue to try to hide this when it is so apparent??

Russ , Dec 15, 2018 12:47:43 PM | link
Posted by: james | Dec 15, 2018 12:41:47 PM | 71

"at what point does wikipedia become an official and open arm of western propaganda?? why continue to try to hide this when it is so apparent??"

That's one of neoliberalism's refinements over classical fascism: Just as they figured out you don't need to kill dissenters since no one listens to us anyway, so you also don't need formal Gleichshaltung under a de jure Geobbels ministry since the MSM will happily "coordinate" itself and really doesn't need to be told what to do. They already know since theirs is the same ideology.

Russ , Dec 15, 2018 12:51:58 PM | link
@ William Bowles 70

Well, I'm only optimistic about that last part if they really can keep it to just shooting and not let the missiles fly.

On the other hand I'm not at all optimistic about that. Though even then I suspect it'll hit the West worst, precisely because any such leveling is hardest on the most complex, most high maintenance, most just-in-time, least robust, least resilient, most top-heavy Tower of Babel. That would be the US, Europe, and their dependencies.

Noirette , Dec 15, 2018 12:52:52 PM | link
from the link in b's post: As we see it, the main weakness in the Russians' disinformation campaign is their embrace of a quantity - over quality and credibility - strategy as shown by their lack of credible spokespeople, their publication of a high volume of "easily" identifiable propaganda and "fake news", and their heavy reliance on a few biased partisan sites, dubious social media pages and uninspired trolls. Their stories are hard to believe,...

That sounds so much like a self-description of the US-UK MSM it is uncanny. (Bellingcat anyone? for ex.) Which, imho, shows a complete lack of creativity, suppleness, or even a low-level semi-efficient approach to the general problem of information / narrative control. Because that is what it is all about: much of the discourse around it is waffle, which masquerades as 'new' as it invokes 'new info' double-speak: social circuits, fake news, distribution, deep learning, connectivity, targetting, etc. (and other terms that are less readily comprehensible..)

William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 1:30:28 PM | link

Posted by: Noirette | Dec 15, 2018 12:52:52 PM | 74

Hah! I think it was Goebbels who said that the biggest mistake a propagandist can make is to believe his own propaganda and I think your quote exemplifies it! But note it always has to contain an element of truth eg, 'as shown by their lack of credible spokespeople'. Yes, the Russians, just like the North Koreans ain't very good at spin and thank goodness. It was a lesson that Nixon never learned, the Emperor really is naked!

james , Dec 15, 2018 1:39:04 PM | link
@72 russ.. okay.. i get that... thanks!

on the newest thread bjd make what i thought was an exceptional comment, which is easy enough to gloss over, but i think worth repeating on this thread... here it is

"...why --if these initiatives are truly meant to save and strengthen democracy-- (aren't they) proudly proclaimed and advertised, in the open, transparent, for everyone one to see and judge, like an adult democracy that they claim to stand for..."
The fact that they aren't, is testimony to the nefarious anti-democratic, authoritarian and totalitarian streak that runs in between every two lines that they put on paper."

Posted by: bjd | Dec 15, 2018 12:46:08 PM | 8"

i modified bjds words in a minor way..

William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 2:13:24 PM | link
I'm sure Bernard is going to ban me soon but before he does, you have to read this from Ron Unz on the Huawei debacle:
Although it is far from clear whether the very elderly [Sheldon] Adelson played any direct personal role in Ms. Meng's arrest, he surely must be viewed as the central figure in fostering the political climate that produced the current situation. Perhaps he should not be described as the ultimate puppet-master behind our current clash with China, but any such political puppet-masters who do exist are certainly operating at his immediate beck and call. In very literal terms, I suspect that if Adelson placed a single phone call to the White House, the Trump Administration would order Canada to release Ms. Meng that same day.

Adelson's fortune of $33 billion ranks him as the 15th wealthiest man in America, and the bulk of his fortune is based on his ownership of extremely lucrative gambling casinos in Macau, China. In effect, the Chinese government currently has its hands around the financial windpipe of the man ultimately responsible for Ms. Meng's arrest and whose pro-Israel minions largely control American foreign policy. I very much doubt that they are fully aware of this enormous, untapped source of political leverage.(my emph.

Averting World Conflict With China

The PRC Should Retaliate by Targeting Sheldon Adelson's Chinese Casinos

By Ron Unz

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50767.htm

Activist Potato , Dec 15, 2018 2:17:05 PM | link
"MAGA was as much a policy change as it was a campaign slogan....To prevail, Empire strategists recognized that USA needed to be able to call on regular troops and a deep sense of patriotism and righteousness that required re-developing nationalism. In short, 'MAGA'."
@28 Jackrabbit

I highlight these lines of your interesting post because, in the context of the Kissinger Op-Ed you refer to, they capture an angle I had not considered and have to a degree nudged my thinking off what had been a steady course of assumptions and beliefs relating to MAGA that go in the opposite direction from your hypothesis.

Trump's invocation of MAGA on the campaign trail was presented in such a way as to seem to overwhelmingly favour a pullback from Imperialism in order to make things right at home. It drew from, and fed on, the angst and diminishing prosperity of the segment of the population that had been hit hardest by Globalization of the economy, to which Imperial adventures can be, and after are, associated. The possibility that MAGA was, in fact, a sly misdirection to co-opt the fervour of re-ignited passions in a disenfranchised segment of the America people - to re-capture the kind of patriotic commitment and ardor that drove the war effort in two world wars - into a renewed Imperial adventure was obviated, in my view, by Trump's loud and overt criticism of past Imperial adventures such as the Iraq war and Obama's inaction regarding ISIS (the accusation that Obama "created" ISIS was a bombshell, in my opinion).

Trump engaged in a bare, pointed, often crass and bordering on contemptuous criticism of his predecessors' foreign policy. The irreverent tone was unprecedented in recent campaign history and was so plain and completely at odds with Hilary's stated positions that it essentially committed him (in my eyes anyway) to following through, or to make all efforts to follow through. If not, he would set one of the worst examples of a duplicitous politician, perhaps ever. The same applies to other bold campaign positions, such as the border wall, for example.

But when viewed in the context of a deep state "policy change," such a clear and utter denunciation and discrediting of the former policy would be necessary to shift the National mindset and would not necessarily preclude Trump from engaging in further Imperial adventures, as long as they were different from the discredited policy.

Doing it smarter and better than Obama did seems to the ticket to legitimacy for whatever Trump does in the foreign policy realm. Replacing ISIS with actual American troops (while protecting a core capacity to revive ISIS if needed) is an example of doing it differently from Obama, but the net result – with parts of Syria denied to the legitimate government – still supports stark Imperialist, interventionists goals in a different way. The Russians and Syrians have free reign to attack ISIS, but do not have the same liberty against American troops. The flip-side is that the American troops do not have the freedom of action of ISIS to attack Syria. This creates a static line that serves the purpose of a partitionist goal. (ISIS is being allowed to survive to enable an element of proxy action, for harassment purposes).

I find I can no longer dismiss Trump's appointments, in particular Pompeo and Bolton to key positions directing and shaping US foreign policy, as some kind of 5-D chess move. They are signs that he is either a hostage President, or he is in on the act. There is so much that remains unknown, but the clear outward indicators are that nothing really has changed when it comes to US foreign policy objectives, only the methods and approaches are different.

William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 2:47:47 PM | link
@78

Remember Obama's 'Change' meme? We don't understand that behind all these guys, and they are mostly men, stands industry and its skills; advertising, marketing, statistics, psychology, pr, on and on it goes. And billions, billions, to spend! We are the amateurs! Remember Saatchi & Saatchi's campaign to have Thatcher elected?

Noirette , Dec 15, 2018 3:20:14 PM | link
A new extremely lucrative 'industry' has sprung up.

a) to exploit hugely massive data sets (Facebook's trove and money earner..) and influence ppl => attitudes, behavior, votes, etc. For ex. Cambridge Analytica. Much of this stuff is for now on the level of a scam. E.g. Trump was not elected due to any type of manipulation or meddling by anyone, excepting those who financed him (other story, hard bucks and bribes - not! internet detritus or subliminal messages) and imho the US MSM - TV specially - who care more about ratings and the money it brings than anything else.

These efforts have got a lot of press, imho it is all smoke. If anyone has a good ex. of success ? (The model is built on about 200 years of advertising lore.)

b) Further upstream is to control the information that goes out / the audiences who are allowed to see whatever info, react to it, communicate it - other. With the corollary of repressing dissident, unwelcome, contradictory, info, etc. Been going on since say the Upper Paleolithic.

Today, what has to be managed is the extreme free-flow (internet): the only way this can be done is:

- to limit the channel, block info or some proportion of it, make the channel too expensive / unusable / forbid, repress

- to limit or corral the users (via propaganda / coercion / permission / certification / numbers / privilege / cost, etc.)

- to triage the information, the 'news', the narratives, the opinions, the appeals, etc. which represents the ultimate control and is the choice made by the US-UK to mention only those.

Ex.

https://twitter.com/ERC_Research/status/999632938936479746

or totally 'bogus' 'science' like this:

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6380/1146

William Bowles , Dec 15, 2018 3:34:42 PM | link
Posted by: Noirette | Dec 15, 2018 3:20:14 PM | 80

Noirette, yuo want proof? Check out 'Programming of the President' by Roland Perry, Aurum Books, 1984. It's About Richard Wirthlin and the Mormons. Can a computer be used to elect a president? Wel it elected Ronald Reagan. It's only a coupleof quid on Abe Books. Essential reading IMHOP.

https://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=22859608878&searchurl=tn%3DProgramming%2Bof%2Bthe%2BPresident%26sortby%3D17%26an%3DRoland%2BPerry&cm_sp=snippet-_-srp1-_-image1

pogohere , Dec 15, 2018 5:57:43 PM | link
jackrabbit @ 28

activist potato @ 78

Re: "The possibility that MAGA was, in fact, a sly misdirection to co-opt the fervour of re-ignited passions in a disenfranchised segment of the America people - to re-capture the kind of patriotic commitment and ardor that drove the war effort in two world wars - into a renewed Imperial adventure was obviated, in my view, by Trump's loud and overt criticism of past Imperial adventures such as the Iraq war and Obama's inaction regarding ISIS (the accusation that Obama "created" ISIS was a bombshell, in my opinion).

Trump engaged in a bare, pointed, often crass and bordering on contemptuous criticism of his predecessors' foreign policy. The irreverent tone was unprecedented in recent campaign history and was so plain and completely at odds with Hilary's stated positions that it essentially committed him (in my eyes anyway) to following through, or to make all efforts to follow through. If not, he would set one of the worst examples of a duplicitous politician, perhaps ever. The same applies to other bold campaign positions, such as the border wall, for example.

But when viewed in the context of a deep state "policy change," such a clear and utter denunciation and discrediting of the former policy would be necessary to shift the National mindset and would not necessarily preclude Trump from engaging in further Imperial adventures, as long as they were different from the discredited policy."

So which of Trump's nominees gets kneecapped first? Michael Flynn Former Military Chief: Iraq War Was A 'Failure' That Helped Create ISIS

12-19-16

Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency who came up through intelligence positions in Iraq and Afghanistan, says that the George W. Bush administration's Iraq war was a tremendous blunder that helped to create the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS.

"It was a huge error," Flynn said about the Iraq war in a detailed interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel published Sunday.

"As brutal as Saddam Hussein was, it was a mistake to just eliminate him," Flynn went on to say. "The same is true for Moammar Gadhafi and for Libya, which is now a failed state. The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq. History will not be and should not be kind with that decision."

When told by Der Spiegel reporters Matthias Gebauer and Holger Stark that the Islamic State would not "be where it is now without the fall of Baghdad," Flynn, without reservations, said: "Yes, absolutely."

Read the entire interview here: https://tinyurl.com/zmxd3uf

Flynn, who served in the U.S. Army for more than 30 years, also said that the American military response following 9/11 was not well thought-out at all and based on significant misunderstandings.


BTW:

Hold the Phone on Flynn Sentencing – Judge Emmet Sullivan Has Questions

12-12-18

Interesting, very interesting. As noted in the Flynn sentencing memo last night there were some curiously framed explanations of events surrounding his FBI inquisition.

Now Judge Emmet Sullivan wants expanded information, and wishes to see the actual notes (FD-302) that were mentioned by Flynn; and Judge Sullivan is directing the special counsel to provide all documents created by the FBI surrounding the Flynn interview:

from the comments:

Curt says:
December 12, 2018 at 9:56 pm
This could be big news! Judge Emmet Sullivan was the same judge that had prosecutors investigated for criminal actions they took in the Sen. Ted Stevens FALSE prosecution. Some on Mueller's team, including Weinstein, were held in contempt. One prosecutor committed suicide. Others threatened with disbarment and some were suspended. "A federal judge dismissed the ethics conviction of former Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska on Tuesday after taking the extraordinary step of naming a special prosecutor to investigate whether the government lawyers who ran the Stevens case (2008) should themselves be prosecuted for criminal wrongdoing.

Mueller was also involved in that horrible attempt by prosecutors to frame Sen. Ted Stevens. Judge Sullivan has absolutely no use for this group of prosecutors. He smells a rat here and is asking for all investigative materials, including 302s. This judge will not hesitate to take action against these crooked prosecutors if he finds evidence of ANY wrong doing.


See: Cautionary Tale: The Ted Stevens Prosecution

On April 7, 2009, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia unleashed his fury before a packed courtroom. For 14 minutes, he scolded. He chastised. He fumed. "In nearly 25 years on the bench," he said, "I've never seen anything approaching the mishandling and misconduct that I've seen in this case.

. . .

For months Judge Sullivan had warned U.S. prosecutors about their repeated failure to turn over evidence. Then, after the jury convicted Stevens, the Justice Department discovered previously unrevealed evidence. Meanwhile, a prosecution witness and an agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) came forward alleging prosecutorial misconduct. Finally, newly appointed U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced that he had had enough and recommended that the seven-count conviction against the former Alaska senator be dismissed.

On April 7, Judge Sullivan did just that. But he was far from done.

In an extraordinarily rare move, he ordered an inquiry into the prosecutors' handling of the case. Judge Sullivan insisted that the misconduct allegations were "too serious and too numerous" to be left to an internal Justice Department investigation. He appointed Washington lawyer Henry F. Schuelke III of Janis, Schuelke & Wechsler to investigate whether members of the trial team should be prosecuted for criminal contempt.

Judge sentencing . . . Michael Flynn orders special counsel to hand over all 302s"


12-13-18 Following the allegations, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan yesterday ordered that both the Mueller investigation and the Flynn team turn over all documents [the "302s"] relating to the fateful interview, including all contemporaneous notes, before 3pm Friday.

DiGenova slams Mueller's handling of Flynn FBI meeting

4:04

Rumor has it the next chapter of this story unfolds Monday, 17 Dec '18.

Jackrabbit , Dec 15, 2018 6:58:24 PM | link
Flynn was likely set-up and railroaded because he was a whistle-blower. I wrote about Flynn here.

In recent days we have discovered that Flynn was advised not to have counsel present during his FBI interview and that the FBI is withholding the actual interview notes. The same FBI cabal that has dogged Trump - but AFAIK, Trump has said nothing about the Flynn case.

Yet another reason to believe that Trump is not a "populist" savior but yet another agent of the establishment/Deep State.

Augustin L , Dec 15, 2018 7:48:43 PM | link
New Mueller memo smacks down Flynn's latest legal gambit: Nobody forced him to lie to the FBI. Dead in the water.
https://www.rawstory.com/2018/12/new-mueller-memo-smacks-flynns-latest-legal-gambit-nobody-forced-lie-fbi/

Michael Flynn's a well known islamophobe who'd gladly defend zionist interests to the last american soldier. He'd fit right in with Bolton on the NSC council. Flynn in his own words: "Islam is not a real religion, but a political ideology masked behind a religion," While campaigning for Trump in 2016: ''Islamism a vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people that has to be excised "

I wonder how he planned on excising the cancer ? Deploying more stormtroopers to the levant to fight Iran ?
As Trump assumed control of the executive in early 2017, it didn't take long for Flynn to push for direct military involvement in Yemen and confrontation with Iran: "Instead of being thankful to the United States for these agreements, Iran is now feeling emboldened... As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice."

Michael Flynn was also a fellow at the foundation for defence of democracies a well known den of zionists and universal fascists such as Michael Ledeen. In fact they both wrote a book together The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War against Radical Islam and Its Allies, where we find such nuggets as:

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Putin has declared the United States (and NATO generally) to be a national security threat to Russia, and "Death to America" is the official chant of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Both the Putinists and the radical Iranian Muslims agree on the identity of their main enemy. Hence, one part of the answer is surely that their alliance is simply the logical outgrowth of their hostility toward America.''

"The Russians and Iranians have more in common than a shared enemy. There is also a shared contempt for democracy and an agreement -- by all members of the enemy alliance -- that dictatorship is a superior way to run a country, an empire, or a caliphate."

Flynn's angle was to exploit any potential fissure to pry Russia away from Iran and China. Presumbably after having dealt with Iran and the middle Kingdom, the hegemon could then strike a final blow to defeat and contain an isolated Russia.
https://www.amazon.com/Field-Fight-Global-Against-Radical/dp/1250131626

Deplorables envisioning multi-dimensional chess moves, fancy Flynn as some sort of superpatriot but like most men surrounding Chump he's nothing but a grifter:
Lobbying for Turkey: https://theintercept.com/2016/11/17/turkish-client-paid-trump-adviser-michael-flynns-company-tens-of-thousands-of-dollars-for-lobbying/

[Dec 14, 2018] Less Than Grand Strategy: Zbigniew Brzezinski s Cold War The Nation

The subtitle of this effusively admiring biography of Zbigniew Brzezinski, America's Grand Strategist, does not reflect its true purpose. A more accurate one might be this: "Just as Smart as the Other Guy." The other guy, of course, is Henry Kissinger. The implicit purpose of Justin Vaïsse's book is to argue that in his mastery of strategic thought and practice, Brzezinski ranks as Kissinger's equal.
Notable quotes:
"... That Brzezinski, who died last year at age 89, lived a life that deserves to be recounted and appraised is certainly the case. Born in Warsaw in 1928 to parents with ties to Polish nobility, Brzezinski had a peripatetic childhood. ..."
"... After graduating from McGill, Brzezinski set his sights on Harvard, which at the time was the very archetype of a "Cold War university." Senior faculty and young scholars on the make were volunteering to advise the national-security apparatus just then forming in Washington. For many of them, the Soviet threat appeared to eclipse all other questions and fields of inquiry. In this setting, Brzezinski flourished. Even before becoming an American citizen, he was thoroughly Americanized, imbued with the mind-set that prevailed in circles where members of the power elite mixed and mingled. Partially funded by the CIA, the Russian Research Center, Brzezinski's home at Harvard, was one of those places. ..."
"... From his time in Cambridge, he emerged committed, in his own words, to "nothing less than formulating a coherent strategy for the United States, so that we could eventually dismantle the Soviet bloc" and, not so incidentally, thereby liberate Poland. To this cause, the young Brzezinski devoted himself with single-minded energy. ..."
"... Convinced that the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc were internally fragile, he believed that economic and cultural interaction with the West would ultimately lead to their collapse. The idea was to project strength without provoking confrontation, while patiently exerting indirect influence. ..."
"... This limited academic influence probably did not bother Zbig; he never saw himself as a mere scholar. He was a classic in-and-outer, rotating effortlessly from university campuses to political campaigns, and from government service to plummy think-tank billets. According to Vaïsse, Brzezinski never courted the media. Even so, he demonstrated a pronounced talent for getting himself in front of TV cameras, becoming a frequent guest on programs like Meet the ..."
"... Toward the end of his life, Brzezinski even had a Twitter account. His last tweet, from May 2017, both summarizes the essence of his worldview and expresses his dismay regarding the presidency of Donald Trump: "Sophisticated US leadership is the sine qua non of a stable world order. However, we lack the former while the latter is getting worse." ..."
"... Although not an ideologue, Brzezinski was a liberal Democrat of a consistently hawkish persuasion. Committed to social justice at home, he was also committed to toughness abroad. In the 1960s, he supported US intervention in Vietnam, treated the domino theory as self-evidently true, and argued that, with American credibility on the line, the United States had no alternative but to continue prosecuting the war. Even after the war ended, Vaïsse writes, Brzezinski "did not view Vietnam as a mistake." ..."
"... Yet Vietnam did nudge Brzezinski to reconsider some of his own assumptions. In the early 1970s, with an eye toward forging a new foreign policy that might take into account some of the trauma caused by Vietnam, he organized the Trilateral Commission. Apart from expending copious amounts of Rockefeller money, the organization produced little of substance. For Brzezinski, however, it proved a smashing success. It was there that he became acquainted with Jimmy Carter, a Georgia governor then contemplating a run for the presidency in 1976. ..."
"... When Carter won, he rewarded Brzezinski by appointing him national-security adviser, the job that had vaulted Kissinger to the upper ranks of global celebrity. ..."
"... Because of Brzezinski's limited influence on foreign policy after Carter, Vaïsse's case for installing him in the pantheon of master strategists therefore rests on the claim that on matters related to foreign policy, the Carter presidency was something less than a bust. Vaïsse devotes the core of his book to arguing just that. Although valiant, the effort falls well short of success. ..."
"... From the outset of his administration, Carter accorded his national-security adviser remarkable deference. Brzezinski was not co-equal with the president; yet neither was he a mere subordinate. He was, Vaïsse writes, "the architect of Carter's foreign policy," while also exercising "an exceptional degree of control" over its articulation and implementation. ..."
"... The disintegration of the Soviet bloc and eventually of the Soviet Union itself was, in his view, a nominal goal of American foreign policy, but not an immediate prospect. ..."
"... The Camp David accords did nothing to resolve the Palestinian issue that underlay much of Israeli-Arab enmity; it produced a dead-end peace that left Palestinians without a state and Israel with no end of problems. And the Brzezinski-engineered embrace of China, enhancing Chinese access to American technology and markets, accelerated that country's emergence as a peer competitor. ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | www.thenation.com

Zbigniew Brzezinski: America's Grand Strategist By Justin Vaïsse; Catherine Porter, trans.

Buy this book

Underlying that purpose are at least two implicit assumptions. The first is that, when it comes to statecraft, grand strategy actually exists, not simply as an aspiration but as a discrete and identifiable element. The second is that, in his writings and contributions to US policy, Kissinger himself qualifies as a strategic virtuoso. For all sorts of reasons, we should treat both of these assumptions with considerable skepticism.

That Brzezinski, who died last year at age 89, lived a life that deserves to be recounted and appraised is certainly the case. Born in Warsaw in 1928 to parents with ties to Polish nobility, Brzezinski had a peripatetic childhood. His father was a diplomat whose family accompanied him on postings to France, Germany, and eventually to Canada. The Nazi invasion of 1939, which extinguished Polish independence, also effectively ended his father's diplomatic career. With war engulfing nearly all of Europe, Brzezinski would not set foot on Polish soil again for nearly two decades.

Although the young Brzezinski quickly adapted to life in Canada, the well-being of Poles and Poland remained an abiding preoccupation. After the war, he studied economics and political science at McGill University, focusing in particular on the Soviet Union, which by then had replaced Germany as the power that dominated the country of his birth. Brzezinski was a brilliant student with a particular interest in international affairs, a field increasingly centered on questions related to America's role in presiding over the postwar global order.

After graduating from McGill, Brzezinski set his sights on Harvard, which at the time was the very archetype of a "Cold War university." Senior faculty and young scholars on the make were volunteering to advise the national-security apparatus just then forming in Washington. For many of them, the Soviet threat appeared to eclipse all other questions and fields of inquiry. In this setting, Brzezinski flourished. Even before becoming an American citizen, he was thoroughly Americanized, imbued with the mind-set that prevailed in circles where members of the power elite mixed and mingled. Partially funded by the CIA, the Russian Research Center, Brzezinski's home at Harvard, was one of those places.

From his time in Cambridge, he emerged committed, in his own words, to "nothing less than formulating a coherent strategy for the United States, so that we could eventually dismantle the Soviet bloc" and, not so incidentally, thereby liberate Poland. To this cause, the young Brzezinski devoted himself with single-minded energy.

A s a scholar and author of works intended for a general audience, Zbig, as he was widely known, was nothing if not prolific. Churning out a steady stream of well-regarded books and essays, he demonstrated a particular knack for "summarizing things in a concise and striking way."

Clarity took precedence over nuance.

And with his gift for stylish packaging -- crafting neologisms ("technetronic") and high-sounding phrases ("Histrionics as History in Transition") -- his analyses had the appearance of novelty, even if they often lacked real substance.

Whether writing for his fellow scholars or addressing a wider audience, Brzezinski had one big idea when it came to Cold War strategy: He promoted the concept of "peaceful engagement" as a basis for US policy.

Convinced that the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc were internally fragile, he believed that economic and cultural interaction with the West would ultimately lead to their collapse. The idea was to project strength without provoking confrontation, while patiently exerting indirect influence.

Yet little of the Brzezinski oeuvre has stood the test of time. The American canon of essential readings in international relations and strategy, beginning with George Washington's farewell address and continuing on through works by John Quincy Adams, Alfred Thayer Mahan, Hans Morgenthau, and a handful of others (the list is not especially long), does not include anything penned by Brzezinski. Although Vaïsse, a senior official with the French foreign ministry, appears to have read and pondered just about every word his subject wrote or uttered, he identifies nothing of Brzezinski's that qualifies as must-reading for today's aspiring strategist.

This limited academic influence probably did not bother Zbig; he never saw himself as a mere scholar. He was a classic in-and-outer, rotating effortlessly from university campuses to political campaigns, and from government service to plummy think-tank billets. According to Vaïsse, Brzezinski never courted the media. Even so, he demonstrated a pronounced talent for getting himself in front of TV cameras, becoming a frequent guest on programs like Meet the Press . He knew how to self-promote.

Toward the end of his life, Brzezinski even had a Twitter account. His last tweet, from May 2017, both summarizes the essence of his worldview and expresses his dismay regarding the presidency of Donald Trump: "Sophisticated US leadership is the sine qua non of a stable world order. However, we lack the former while the latter is getting worse."

F rom the time Brzezinski left Harvard in 1960 to accept a tenured position at Columbia, he made it his mission to nurture and facilitate that sophistication. For Zbig, New York offered a specific advantage over Cambridge: It provided a portal into elite political circles. As it had for Kissinger, the then-still-influential Council on Foreign Relations provided a venue that enabled Brzezinski to curry favor with the rich and powerful, and to establish his bona fides as a statesman to watch. Henry's patron was Nelson Rockefeller; Zbig's was Nelson's brother David.

Although not an ideologue, Brzezinski was a liberal Democrat of a consistently hawkish persuasion. Committed to social justice at home, he was also committed to toughness abroad. In the 1960s, he supported US intervention in Vietnam, treated the domino theory as self-evidently true, and argued that, with American credibility on the line, the United States had no alternative but to continue prosecuting the war. Even after the war ended, Vaïsse writes, Brzezinski "did not view Vietnam as a mistake."

Yet Vietnam did nudge Brzezinski to reconsider some of his own assumptions. In the early 1970s, with an eye toward forging a new foreign policy that might take into account some of the trauma caused by Vietnam, he organized the Trilateral Commission. Apart from expending copious amounts of Rockefeller money, the organization produced little of substance. For Brzezinski, however, it proved a smashing success. It was there that he became acquainted with Jimmy Carter, a Georgia governor then contemplating a run for the presidency in 1976.

Zbig and Jimmy hit it off. Soon enough, Brzezinski signed on as the candidate's principal foreign-policy adviser. When Carter won, he rewarded Brzezinski by appointing him national-security adviser, the job that had vaulted Kissinger to the upper ranks of global celebrity.

Zbig held this post throughout Carter's one-term presidency, from 1977 to 1981. It would be his first and last time in government. After 1981, Brzezinski went back to writing, continued to opine, and was occasionally consulted by Carter's successors, both Democratic and Republican. Yet despite having ascended to the rank of elder statesman, never again did Brzezinski occupy a position where he could directly affect US policy.

Because of Brzezinski's limited influence on foreign policy after Carter, Vaïsse's case for installing him in the pantheon of master strategists therefore rests on the claim that on matters related to foreign policy, the Carter presidency was something less than a bust. Vaïsse devotes the core of his book to arguing just that. Although valiant, the effort falls well short of success.

From the outset of his administration, Carter accorded his national-security adviser remarkable deference. Brzezinski was not co-equal with the president; yet neither was he a mere subordinate. He was, Vaïsse writes, "the architect of Carter's foreign policy," while also exercising "an exceptional degree of control" over its articulation and implementation.

In a characteristic display of self-assurance and bureaucratic shrewdness, as the new president took office, Brzezinski gave him a 43-page briefing book prescribing basic administration policy. Under the overarching theme of "constructive global engagement," Brzezinski identified 10 specific goals. The first proposed to "create more active and solid cooperation with Europe and Japan," the 10th to "maintain a defense posture designed to dissuade the Soviet Union from committing hostile acts." In between were less-than-modest aspirations to promote human rights, reduce the size of nuclear arsenals, curb international arms sales, end apartheid in South Africa, normalize Sino-American relations, terminate US control of the Panama Canal, and achieve an "overall solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem."

While Brzezinski's agenda was as bold as it was comprehensive, it nonetheless hewed to the Soviet-centric assumptions that had formed the basis of US policy since the end of World War II. Zbig recognized that the world had changed considerably in the ensuing years, but he also believed that any future changes would still occur in the context of a continuing Soviet-American rivalry. His strategic perspective, therefore, did not include the possibility that the international order might center on something other than the binaries imposed by the Cold War. The disintegration of the Soviet bloc and eventually of the Soviet Union itself was, in his view, a nominal goal of American foreign policy, but not an immediate prospect.

Using Brzezinski's 10 policy objectives as a basis for evaluating his performance, Vaïsse gives the national-security adviser high marks. "Few administrations have known so many tangible successes in only four years," he writes, citing the Panama Canal Treaty, the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement, and improved relations with China. Yet while Panama remains an underappreciated achievement, the other two qualify as ambiguous at best. The Camp David accords did nothing to resolve the Palestinian issue that underlay much of Israeli-Arab enmity; it produced a dead-end peace that left Palestinians without a state and Israel with no end of problems. And the Brzezinski-engineered embrace of China, enhancing Chinese access to American technology and markets, accelerated that country's emergence as a peer competitor.

More troubling still was Brzezinski's failure to anticipate or to grasp the implications of the two developments that all but doomed the Carter presidency: the 1978 Iranian Revolution and the 1979 Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. Vaïsse does his best to cast a positive light on Brzezinski's role in these twin embarrassments. But there's no way around it: Brzezinski misread both -- with consequences that still haunt us today.

The Iranian Revolution, which Brzezinski sought to forestall by instigating a military coup in Tehran, offered a warning against imagining that Washington could shape events in the Islamic world. Brzezinski missed that warning entirely, although he would by no means be the last US official to do so. As for the Kremlin's plunge into Afghanistan, widely interpreted as evidence of the Soviet Union's naked aggression, it actually testified to the weakness and fragility of the Soviet empire, already in an advanced state of decay. Again, Brzezinski -- along with many other observers -- misread the issue. When clarity of vision was most needed, he failed to provide it.

Together, these two developments ought to have induced a wily strategist to reassess the premises of US policy. Instead, they resulted in decisions to deepen -- and to overtly militarize -- US involvement in and around the Persian Gulf. While this commitment is commonly referred to as the Carter Doctrine, Vaïsse insists that it "was really a Brzezinski doctrine."

Regardless of who gets the credit, the militarization of US policy across what Brzezinski termed an "arc of crisis" encompassing much of the Islamic world laid the basis for a series of wars and upheavals that continue to this day. If, as national-security adviser, Brzezinski wielded as much influence as Vaïsse contends, then this too forms part of his legacy. When it mattered most, the master strategist failed to understand the implications of the crisis that occurred on his watch.

The most glaring problem anyone faces in trying to assert Brzezinski's mastery of world affairs, however, rests not in Iran or Afghanistan, but in how the Cold War came to an end. Indeed, Brzezinski viewed it as essentially endless. As late as 1987, just two years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, he was still insisting that "the American-Soviet conflict is an historical rivalry that will endure for as long as we live."

B rzezinski was certainly smart, flexible, and pragmatic, but he was also a prisoner of the Cold War paradigm. So too were virtually all other members of the foreign-policy establishment of his day. Indeed, subscribing to that paradigm was a prerequisite of membership. Yet this adherence amounted to donning a pair of strategic blinders: It meant seeing only those things that it was convenient to see.

Which brings us back to Zbig's last tweet, with its paean to American leadership as the sine qua non of global stability. The tweet neatly captures the mind-set that the foreign-policy establishment has embraced with something like unanimity since the Cold War surprised that establishment by coming to an end. This mind-set gets expressed in myriad ways in a thousand speeches and op-eds: The United States must lead. There is no alternative; history itself summons the country to do so. Should it fail in that responsibility, darkness will cover the earth.

This is why Trump so infuriates the foreign-policy elite: He appears oblivious to the providential call that others in Washington take to be self-evident. Yet adhering to this post–Cold War paradigm is also the equivalent of donning blinders. Whatever the issue -- especially when the issue is ourselves -- it means seeing only those things that we find it convenient to see.

The post–Cold War paradigm of American moral and political hegemony prevents us from appreciating the way that the world is actually changing -- rapidly, radically, and right before our very eyes. Today, with the planet continuing to heat up, the nexus of global geopolitics shifting eastward, and Americans pondering security threats for which our pricey and far-flung military establishment is all but useless, the art of strategy as practiced by members of Brzezinski's generation has become irrelevant. So too has Zbig himself.

[Nov 27, 2018] 'Highly likely' that Magnitsky was poisoned by toxic chemicals on Bill Browder's orders

Highly recommended!
Skripal events probably helped to advance this line of investigation. So in a way UK intelligence services put their own stooge on the line of fire.
Notable quotes:
"... Russian prosecutors on Monday claimed that Magnitsky and several other people familiar with Browder's illicit activities in Russia may have been killed on his order. They said a new criminal case has been opened against Browder in Russia, and that Moscow will seek his extradition as an alleged ringleader of an international criminal enterprise involved in money laundering ..."
"... The prosecutors identified four people who were suspects in the Browder case, all of whom died over the course of less than two years as the investigation against him unfolded. Oktay Gasanov was the first of the four, dying in October 2007; while Magnitsky's death in November 2009 was the last. By the time of his death, Magnitsky had spent almost a year in pre-trial detention. The two others were Valery Kurochkin and Sergey Korobeinikov, who died in April 2008 and September 2008, respectively. ..."
"... Considering that the three individuals, with the exception of Magnitsky, died within months of each other while being investigated as part of Browder's case, "it is highly likely that they were killed to get rid of accomplices who could give an incriminating testimony against Browder," a senior official with the Russian General Prosecutor's office told journalists. The same may be true for Magnitsky, he said. The prosecutor stressed that Russia didn't conduct detailed studies into how the suspected poison affects living organisms, but several research institutions based in the US, France and Italy did. ..."
"... The prosecutors claim that Browder was the party who benefited most from the death of Magnitsky. They cited journalist Oleg Lurie, who shared a prison cell with Magnitsky before the latter's death. Speaking under oath during a court hearing in New York, Lurie said that his cellmate had complained to him that Browder's lawyers were pressuring him into signing a false statement. Magnitsky's testimony claimed that he had uncovered a conspiracy to embezzle taxpayers' money involving Russian officials. ..."
"... The Russian prosecutors said Browder allegedly wanted to silence his employee after obtaining the false claim. The statement itself was used to blame Russian officials for Magnitsky's death and accuse the Russian government of a cover-up. ..."
"... Described by critics as a 'vulture capitalist,' Browder seemed quite comfortable earning millions of dollars in the financial wild west. In 2005, as fallen oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky was standing trial for tax evasion, Browder scolded him on the BBC for using personal wealth to grasp at political power, and for leaving "in his wake aggrieved investors too numerous to count." He was also a staunch public supporter of the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin. ..."
"... The investor then reinvented himself as an anti-Putin figure, using the death of Magnitsky to lobby various countries to impose sanctions on the Russian officials he blamed for his employee's death. The US Magnitsky Act was passed in 2012, allowing people accused by Washington of human rights violations to be targeted. However, it is perceived by the Kremlin as just a tool to restrain Russia for the sake of global political and economic competition. ..."
"... Among Browder's latest exploits is playing a role in the 'Russiagate' story. A key part of the elusive search for collusion between US President Donald Trump and the Russian government is a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer. The meeting was apparently organized with a view to lobbying for the repeal of the Magnitsky Act. Its architect, Browder, has therefore been eager to lend his expertise on 'Russian machinations' to US lawmakers and media outlets. ..."
"... If you like this story, share it with a friend! ..."
Nov 19, 2018 | www.rt.com
Kremlin critic Bill Browder may have given the order for his employee Sergei Magnitsky to be poisoned with a rare toxin in a Russian prison cell, along with other suspects in a tax-evasion probe against him, prosecutors have said. British financier Browder was once a well-connected investor in post-Soviet Russia, but he became a fugitive from the law in the country after being accused of financial crimes. In the West, however, he is best known as the employer of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian accountant who died in police custody while being investigated in connection to the Browder case. Magnitsky's death became an international scandal, with Browder accusing Russian officials of killing him.

Russian prosecutors on Monday claimed that Magnitsky and several other people familiar with Browder's illicit activities in Russia may have been killed on his order. They said a new criminal case has been opened against Browder in Russia, and that Moscow will seek his extradition as an alleged ringleader of an international criminal enterprise involved in money laundering.

The prosecutors identified four people who were suspects in the Browder case, all of whom died over the course of less than two years as the investigation against him unfolded. Oktay Gasanov was the first of the four, dying in October 2007; while Magnitsky's death in November 2009 was the last. By the time of his death, Magnitsky had spent almost a year in pre-trial detention. The two others were Valery Kurochkin and Sergey Korobeinikov, who died in April 2008 and September 2008, respectively.

Korobeinikov died after falling off a high-rise building, while the others had health complications. The Russian prosecutors believe all four of them may have been killed with a rare water-soluble compound of aluminum. Each of the men showed symptoms consistent with being poisoned by the toxin prior to their deaths, while Korobeinikov had traces of it in his liver, according to a post mortem. An investigation into four possible murders has been opened.

Read more
UK 'fraudster' Browder briefly detained in Spain on Russian warrant, tweets from police car

Considering that the three individuals, with the exception of Magnitsky, died within months of each other while being investigated as part of Browder's case, "it is highly likely that they were killed to get rid of accomplices who could give an incriminating testimony against Browder," a senior official with the Russian General Prosecutor's office told journalists. The same may be true for Magnitsky, he said. The prosecutor stressed that Russia didn't conduct detailed studies into how the suspected poison affects living organisms, but several research institutions based in the US, France and Italy did.

The prosecutors claim that Browder was the party who benefited most from the death of Magnitsky. They cited journalist Oleg Lurie, who shared a prison cell with Magnitsky before the latter's death. Speaking under oath during a court hearing in New York, Lurie said that his cellmate had complained to him that Browder's lawyers were pressuring him into signing a false statement. Magnitsky's testimony claimed that he had uncovered a conspiracy to embezzle taxpayers' money involving Russian officials.

The Russian prosecutors said Browder allegedly wanted to silence his employee after obtaining the false claim. The statement itself was used to blame Russian officials for Magnitsky's death and accuse the Russian government of a cover-up.

Last year, Browder was sentenced by a Russian court to nine years in prison for tax evasion. The trial was held in absentia and Moscow failed to have him extradited to serve the term. The prosecutors said that they will renew attempts to get custody of Browder as part of the new criminal case, using a UN convention on fighting transnational crime to have him arrested.

Browder is a US-born British financier, whose change of citizenship had the benefit of allowing him to avoid paying tax on foreign earnings. However, he claimed the switch was prompted by his family being persecuted in the US during the McCarthyism witch hunt, while the UK seemed like the land of law and order.

Read more

Magnitsky Act mastermind seeks to stop Cyprus from revealing his offshore assets to Russia

He made a fortune in Russia during the country's chaotic transition to a market economy, having invested before there was a stock exchange in Moscow. His Hermitage Capital Management fund was a leading foreign investment entity in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Described by critics as a 'vulture capitalist,' Browder seemed quite comfortable earning millions of dollars in the financial wild west. In 2005, as fallen oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky was standing trial for tax evasion, Browder scolded him on the BBC for using personal wealth to grasp at political power, and for leaving "in his wake aggrieved investors too numerous to count." He was also a staunch public supporter of the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The transformation of his public image from a financial shark into a human rights crusader started when Browder himself entered the spotlight of Russian law enforcement. In 2007, the foundation he ran was targeted by a probe into possible large-scale embezzlement of Russian taxpayers' money. Magnitsky, who worked for Browder and had knowledge of his firms' finances, was arrested and held in pre-trial detention until his death in November 2009. The British businessman insisted that the entire case was fabricated and that Magnitsky had been assassinated for exposing a criminal scheme involving several Russian tax officials.

The investor then reinvented himself as an anti-Putin figure, using the death of Magnitsky to lobby various countries to impose sanctions on the Russian officials he blamed for his employee's death. The US Magnitsky Act was passed in 2012, allowing people accused by Washington of human rights violations to be targeted. However, it is perceived by the Kremlin as just a tool to restrain Russia for the sake of global political and economic competition.

Browder's new-found status as a rights advocate and self-proclaimed worst enemy of Putin helps him deflect Russia's attempts to prosecute him. On several occasions, Russia filed international arrest warrants against him with Interpol, which even led to his brief detention in Spain last May.

Among Browder's latest exploits is playing a role in the 'Russiagate' story. A key part of the elusive search for collusion between US President Donald Trump and the Russian government is a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer. The meeting was apparently organized with a view to lobbying for the repeal of the Magnitsky Act. Its architect, Browder, has therefore been eager to lend his expertise on 'Russian machinations' to US lawmakers and media outlets.

If you like this story, share it with a friend!

[Nov 27, 2018] The GRU could obviously learn a few lessons from Browder

Notable quotes:
"... Now Browder is suspected of organizing and leading a criminal community in Russia ..."
Nov 27, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Warren November 26, 2018 at 3:35 pm

https://youtu.be/YvxpNAXLaBI

Vesti News
Published on 26 Nov 2018
Subscribe to Vesti News
On Monday, the Russian General Prosecutor's Office announced the initiation of a new criminal case against William Browder, an international schemer and fraudster. Now Browder is suspected of organizing and leading a criminal community in Russia. For many years, Browder has been making frantic efforts to avoid going to Russian prison.

Mark Chapman November 26, 2018 at 11:33 pm

Well, lucky for him Interpol can't come after him, now that he almost singlehandedly prevented a Russian from becoming Director. He's only Assistant Director, so he must be powerless.
Mark Chapman November 26, 2018 at 11:41 pm
There; you see? The GRU could obviously learn a few lessons from Browder. If you want to rub someone out, don't use a distinctive nerve agent that everyone will know came from Russia, you numbskulls. Try to make it something undetectable, but if you can't manage that, at least make it something so general it might have come from anywhere. Then immediately announce that Browder did it.

[Nov 26, 2018] Lavrov Tells It Right to Pence's Smug Face Russia Will End US-Led World Order

This two years old article can be written yesterday...
Notable quotes:
"... "Aiming to calm European fears about US-Russia ties, Vice President Mike Pence told world leaders Saturday that the United States will stand firm against Moscow while also seeking avenues for cooperation." ..."
Feb 19, 2017 | russia-insider.com

Pence told a room full of Washington lapdogs that the United States would "continue to hold Russia accountable". Then Lavrov went up to the podium and straightened him out. Rudy Panko Sun, Feb 19, 2017 | 400 words 38,161 417 YOLO Lavrov

"Aiming to calm European fears about US-Russia ties, Vice President Mike Pence told world leaders Saturday that the United States will stand firm against Moscow while also seeking avenues for cooperation."

This is the opening line to CNN's report on the predictable saber-rattling that took place at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

Lavrov is our spirit animal

Pence also told the audience that Washington remained "unwavering" in its commitment to NATO as it faced a "more assertive Russia."

Shortly after Pence had finished his war liturgy, Russia's Foreign Minister took to the podium.

Sergei Lavrov phrased his comments in a very simple manner, so that his American counterparts could understand :

Lavrov said that the time when the West called the shots was over and, dismissing NATO as a relic of the Cold War, added: "I hope that (the world) will choose a democratic world order -- a post-West one -- in which each country is defined by its sovereignty."

Lavrov said Moscow wanted to build relations with Washington which would be "pragmatic with mutual respect and acknowledgement of our responsibility for global stability."

Lavrov is a career diplomat and a true gentleman. But we've noticed a subtle change in his approach to U.S. bullshittery over the last two years. He rarely dances around issues anymore. Sure, he still refers to Washington as "our western friends" or "our American colleagues". But he doesn't hold back after that.

The crisis in Ukraine made it clear that Washington wanted blood. But the U.S.-led crimes against the people of Syria is what made Russia realize that they are not dealing with normal, reasonable people. Washington is a cabal of psychopaths.

The war in Syria has also ushered in a new era: We are witnessing a seismic shift in how international relations are conducted. Russia and Iran just proved that fighting the bully works. And other countries have taken notice.

Lavrov's comments are more than just an invitation to all nations to join Russia in the creation of a new world order based on state sovereignty and international consensus.

He was also issuing a warning to Washington: Pack your bags. It's over.

Buckle up, buttercup.


Tsarkov19 Richard Harris 2 years ago ,

Well, that would be the brain-dead, full of shit, Fox News/CNN version of events.

The USA has made it clear that unless Russia allows the full raping of its economy and submits to second rate lapdog status (are you listening Germany?) that they will continue to encroach and threaten.

Crimea would never have happened had it not been for the US seeded, illegal coup.

The USA is the nation responsible for hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths over the past 15+ years, not Russia.

Kelly Ann Tsarkov19 2 years ago ,

Past 15 years? truth be told it's a much higher number than that if you take in all nations they have overthrown since post WWII .

teddyfromcd Kelly Ann 2 years ago ,

AND remember that whatever the purpose of overthrowing or even merely meddling inside countries - really -- as many as there are american embassies...

the consequences -- the repercussions of these -- result in BILLIONS in misery, unnecessary suffering and difficulty -- once the effects of american meddling , operations, influence, trouble-making are accounted for.

take the economy alone...an american company ....without all the bombings obviousness --

IF AN american mining company goes to a country and ''obtains'' bending the rules so the company can mine all they want -- hire private security or EVEN a corrupt government's ARMY or rogue generals to ''provide security" against peasants or workers who complain they are not being paid well , their health disregarded, the environment and village they live in polluted -- and the company takes all the profits OUT --

the consequences of that american company's activities harms far more, far longer and deeper - you count that along with all other activities and behavior the USA commits across the world wherever there is an american embassy, representative, organization working for ''american interests''

and what do we get in TOTAL if a proper accounting were made?

BILLIONS OF LIVES and UNTOLD DAMAGE TO THE ENVIRONMENT , FUTURE GENERATIONS AND THE HERITAGE OF THEIR COUNTRIES ACROSS THE WORLD, ACROSS GENERATIONS RUINED.

from effects in poverty, wealth gaps, misery, descent by populations in poverty into criminality, destruction of farm and natural lands, social cohesion disturbed...divisions created...death , terrorism, and an endless list of MISERY brought by america's ''INSTITUTIONS".

Paulo Rocha teddyfromcd 2 years ago ,

If America don't respect it's own indigenous people, how can they do it with the rest of the world?!?!?
America is leading the world!! To it's destruction....

Helen B Danny Canusa 5 months ago ,

What a whitewash.
Blankets infected with smallpox ...
Massacres ...
Alcohol ...
Broke every treaty ...
The indigenous Americans were the subjects of the greatest genocide the world has known. We can only estimate the numbers, but they were huge.
They were a majestic and beautiful people. No doubt they had tribal indifferences, but they were not genocidal.
Shame on you.

andrew Kelly Ann 2 years ago ,

You are right. From the point of view of Russia, the situation looks like this: NATO forces located on our borders are not a big threatening force.
Dangerous other:

First: the Americans gave the nuclear weapons at the disposal of its partners in NATO. The Polish, Danish and other aircraft can fly with nuclear bombs along our borders.

Second: latest launchers for cruise missiles are close to our border. This means that the flight time to, for example Saint Petersburg, becoming about 3 minutes.
That is, in case of any error, accidental launch due to a technical fault no one have time for any questions. No time for a phone call or any other communication, anti-missile system Russia will work automatically.

That is, the previous policy and NATO leaders created a situation which is extremely dangerous in itself. No matter how hostile their intentions.

Kelly Ann andrew 2 years ago ,

Yes very much so, I hate it. No need for this insanity. Saw pictures of NATO troops taking group shots right on Russias boarder. And all it takes is one tiny mistake, Americans are famous for making mistakes , thats how they justify killing people. Ever watch Reilly interview Trump? Could smack that bloating neocon oreilly. Europeans don't get it , if this goes bad it will get real bloody for them as well, they have no shield of protection, when are they going to finally wake up n realize NATO is using them n their land to launch attacks on Russia, so stupid

[Nov 24, 2018] British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It lists Bellingcat and the Atlantic Council as "partner organisations" ..."
"... "The UK's Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6, has been scrambling to prevent President Trump from publishing classified materials linked to the Russian election meddling investigation. ... much of the espionage performed on the Trump campaign was conducted on UK soil throughout 2016." ..."
"... "Gregory R. Copley, editor and publisher of Defense & Foreign Affairs, posited that Sergei Skripal is the unnamed Russian intelligence source in the Steele dossier. ... In Skripal's pseudo-country-gentleman retirement, the ex-GRU-MI6 double agent was selling custom-made "Russian intelligence"; he had fabricated "material" that went into the Steele dossier..." ..."
"... this movement in the west by gov'ts to pay for generating lies, hate and propaganda towards russia is really sick... it is perfect for the military industrial complex corporations though and they seem to be calling the shots in the west, much more so then the voice of the ordinary person who is not interested in war ..."
"... Seems to me that this shows the primacy of the City of London, with its offshore network of illicit capital accumulation, within Britain. It is a state within a state or even a financial empire within a state, which, for deep historical reasons isn't subject to the same laws as the rest of the UK. ..."
"... The UK's pathological obsession with Russia only makes sense to me as the city's insistence on continued 90s style appropriation of Russia's wealth ..."
"... British hypocrisy publicly called out. How this all unravels is one to watch. Extra large popcorn and soda for me ..."
"... It seems to me that the UK has far more to lose from doxxing than Russia does. The interference in sovereign allied states to 'manage' who the UK thinks they should appoint does not bode well for such relations ..."
"... A separate subcluster of so-called journalists names Deborah Haynes, David Aaronovitch of the London Times and Neil Buckley from the FT." Subcluster. Love it. Just how crap do you have to be to fail to make it to membership of a full cluster of smear merchants? ..."
"... I doubt very seriously that the British launched this operation without the CIA's implicit and explicit support. This has all the markings of a John Brennan operation that has been launched stealthily to prevent anyone from knowing its real origins. ..."
"... The Brits don't act alone, and a project of this magnitude did not begin without Langley's explicit approval. ..."
"... Now check out the wording in the above document: "Funding from institutional and national governmental sources in the US has been delayed by internal disputes within the US government, but w.e.f. March 2018 that deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow." Think about that. What would have blocked the flow of USG support for this project?? Why, the allegations of collusion against Trump, of course. Naturally, the Republicans are not going to provide money to an operation that threatens to destroy the head of their own party. So, there has been no bipartisan agreement on funding for anti-Russia propaganda ..."
"... This mob was created in the autumn of 2015, according to their site. That would have been about the time -- probably just after -- the Russians intervened in Syria. The Brits had plans for an invasion of Syria in 2009, according to their fave Guardian fish wrap. ..."
"... Pat Lang posted a report that strongly implies that charges of Russian influence on Trump are a deliberate falsification ..."
"... It seems quite possible that what is alleged as "Russian meddling" is actually CIA-MI6 meddling ..."
"... As I have said before, MAGA is a POLICY RESPONSE to the challenge from Russia and China. The election of a Republican faux populist was necessary and Trump, despite his many flaws, was the best candidate for the job. ..."
"... The Integrity Initiative's goal is to defend democracy against the truth about Russia. All this is so Orwellian. When will we get the Ministry of Love? ..."
"... They shot at an elephant and failed to kill it. So yes, out of the combo of frustration, resentment, and fear they hate the resurgent Russia and prefer Cold War II, and if necessary WWIII, to peaceful co-existence. Of course the usual corporate imperative (in this case weapons profiteering) reinforces the mass psychological pathology among the elites. ..."
"... The ironic thing is that Putin doesn't prefer to challenge the neoliberal globalist "order" at all, but would happily see Russia take a prominent place within it. It's the US and its UK poodle who are insisting on confrontation. ..."
"... Great article! It reminded me of what I read in George Orwell's novella "1984." He summed it all up brilliantly in nine words: "War is Peace"; "Freedom is Slavery"; "Ignorance is Strength." The three pillars of political power. ..."
"... Since UK has always blocked the "European Intelligence" initiative, on the basis of his pertenence to the "Five Eyes", and as UK is leaving the European Union, where it has always been the Troyan Horse of the US, one would think that all these people belonging to the so called "clusters" should register themselves as "foreign agents" working for UK government. ..."
"... William Browder ..."
Nov 24, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

British Government Runs Secret Anti-Russian Smear Campaigns Steveg , Nov 24, 2018 11:43:44 AM | link

In 2015 the government of Britain launched a secret operation to insert anti-Russia propaganda into the western media stream.

We have already seen many consequences of this and similar programs which are designed to smear anyone who does not follow the anti-Russian government lines. The 'Russian collusion' smear campaign against Donald Trump based on the Steele dossier was also a largely British operation but seems to be part of a different project.

The ' Integrity Initiative ' builds 'cluster' or contact groups of trusted journalists, military personal, academics and lobbyists within foreign countries. These people get alerts via social media to take action when the British center perceives a need.

On June 7 it took the the Spanish cluster only a few hours to derail the appointment of Perto Banos as the Director of the National Security Department in Spain. The cluster determined that he had a too positive view of Russia and launched a coordinated social media smear campaign (pdf) against him.


bigger

The Initiative and its operations were unveiled when someone liberated some of its documents, including its budget applications to the British Foreign Office, and posted them under the 'Anonymous' label at cyberguerrilla.org .

The Initiative is nominally run under the (government financed) non-government-organisation The Institute For Statecraft . Its internal handbook (pdf) describes its purpose:

The Integrity Initiative was set up in autumn 2015 by The Institute for Statecraft in cooperation with the Free University of Brussels (VUB) to bring to the attention of politicians, policy-makers, opinion leaders and other interested parties the threat posed by Russia to democratic institutions in the United Kingdom, across Europe and North America.

It lists Bellingcat and the Atlantic Council as "partner organisations" and promises that:

Cluster members will be sent to educational sessions abroad to improve the technical competence of the cluster to deal with disinformation and strengthen bonds in the cluster community. [...] (Events with DFR Digital Sherlocks, Bellingcat, EuVsDisinfo, Buzzfeed, Irex, Detector Media, Stopfake, LT MOD Stratcom – add more names and propose cluster participants as you desire).

The Initiatives Orwellian slogan is 'Defending Democracy Against Disinformation'. It covers European countries, the UK, the U.S. and Canada and seems to want to expand to the Middle East.

On its About page it claims: "We are not a government body but we do work with government departments and agencies who share our aims." The now published budget plans show that more than 95% of the Initiative's funding is coming directly from the British government, NATO and the U.S. State Department. All the 'contact persons' for creating 'clusters' in foreign countries are British embassy officers. It amounts to a foreign influence campaign by the British government that hides behind a 'civil society' NGO.

The organisation is led by one Chris N. Donnelly who receives (pdf) £8,100 per month for creating the smear campaign network.


Chris Donnelly - Pic via Euromaidanpress

From its 2017/18 budget application (pdf) we learn how the Initiative works:

To counter Russian disinformation and malign influence in Europe by: expanding the knowledge base; harnessing existing expertise, and; establishing a network of networks of experts, opinion formers and policy makers, to educate national audiences in the threat and to help build national capacities to counter it .

The Initiative has a black and white view that is based on a "we are the good ones" illusion. When "we" 'educate the public' it is legitimate work. When others do similar, it its disinformation. That is of course not the reality. The Initiative's existence itself, created to secretly manipulate the public, is proof that such a view is wrong.

If its work were as legit as it wants to be seen, why would the Foreign Office run it from behind the curtain as an NGO? The Initiative is not the only such operation. It's applications seek funding from a larger "Russian Language Strategic Communication Programme" run by the Foreign Office.

The 2017/18 budget application sought FCO funding of £480,635. It received £102,000 in co-funding from NATO and the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense. The 2018/19 budget application shows a planned spending (pdf) of £1,961,000.00. The co-sponsors this year are again NATO and the Lithuanian MoD, but also include (pdf) the U.S. State Department with £250,000 and Facebook with £100,000. The budget lays out a strong cooperation with the local military of each country. It notes that NATO is also generous in financing the local clusters.

One of the liberated papers of the Initiative is a talking points memo labeled Top 3 Deliverable for FCO (pdf):

  • Developing and proving the cluster concept and methodology, setting up clusters in a range of countries with different circumstances
  • Making people (in Government, think tanks, military, journalists) see the big picture, making people acknowledge that we are under concerted, deliberate hybrid attack by Russia
  • Increasing the speed of response, mobilising the network to activism in pursuit of the "golden minute"

Under top 1, setting up clusters, a subitem reads:

- Connects media with academia with policy makers with practitioners in a country to impact on policy and society: ( Jelena Milic silencing pro-kremlin voices on Serbian TV )

Defending Democracy by silencing certain voices on public TV seems to be a self-contradicting concept.

Another subitem notes how the Initiative secretly influences foreign governments:

We engage only very discreetly with governments, based entirely on trusted personal contacts, specifically to ensure that they do not come to see our work as a problem, and to try to influence them gently, as befits an independent NGO operation like ours, viz;
- Germany, via the Zentrum Liberale Moderne to the Chancellor's Office and MOD
- Netherlands, via the HCSS to the MOD
- Poland and Romania, at desk level into their MFAs via their NATO Reps
- Spain, via special advisers, into the MOD and PM's office (NB this may change very soon with the new Government)
- Norway, via personal contacts into the MOD
- HQ NATO, via the Policy Planning Unit into the Sec Gen's office.
We have latent contacts into other governments which we will activate as needs be as the clusters develop.

A look at the 'clusters' set up in U.S. and UK shows some prominent names.


bigger

Members of the Atlantic Council, which has a contract to censor Facebook posts , appear on several cluster lists. The UK core cluster also includes some prominent names like tax fraudster William Browder , the daft Atlantic Council shill Ben Nimmo and the neo-conservative Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum. One person of interest is Andrew Wood who handed the Steele 'dirty dossier' to Senator John McCain to smear Donald Trump over alleged relations with Russia. A separate subcluster of so-called journalists names Deborah Haynes, David Aaronovitch of the London Times, Neil Buckley from the FT and Jonathan Marcus of the BBC.


bigger - bigger

A ' Cluster Roundup ' (pdf) from July 2018 details its activities in at least 35 countries. Another file reveals (pdf) the local partnering institutions and individuals involved in the programs.

The Initiatives Guide to Countering Russian Information (pdf) is a rather funny read. It lists the downing of flight MH 17 by a Ukranian BUK missile, the fake chemical incident in Khan Sheikhoun and the Skripal Affair as examples for "Russian disinformation". But at least two of these events, Khan Sheikun via the UK run White Helmets and the Skripal affair, are evidently products of British intelligence disinformation operations.

The probably most interesting papers of the whole stash is the 'Project Plan' laid out at pages 7-40 of the 2018 budget application v2 (pdf). Under 'Sustainability' it notes:

The programme is proposed to run until at least March 2019, to ensure that the clusters established in each country have sufficient time to take root, find funding, and demonstrate their effectiveness. FCO funding for Phase 2 will enable the activities to be expanded in scale, reach and scope. As clusters have established themselves, they have begun to access local sources of funding. But this is a slow process and harder in some countries than others. HQ NATO PDD [Public Diplomacy Division] has proved a reliable source of funding for national clusters. The ATA [Atlantic Treaty Association] promises to be the same, giving access to other pots of money within NATO and member nations. Funding from institutional and national governmental sources in the US has been delayed by internal disputes within the US government, but w.e.f. March 2018 that deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow.

The programme has begun to create a critical mass of individuals from a cross society (think tanks, academia, politics, the media, government and the military) whose work is proving to be mutually reinforcing . Creating the network of networks has given each national group local coherence, credibility and reach, as well as good international access. Together, these conditions, plus the growing awareness within governments of the need for this work, should guarantee the continuity of the work under various auspices and in various forms.

The third part of the budget application (pdf) list the various activities, their output and outcome. The budget plan includes a section that describes 'Risks' to the initiative. These include hacking of the Initiatives IT as well as:

Adverse publicity generated by Russia or by supporters of Russia in target countries, or by political and interest groups affected by the work of the programme, aimed at discrediting the programme or its participants, or to create political embarrassment.

We hope that this piece contributes to such embarrassment.

Posted by b on November 24, 2018 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

Comments Perfidious ALbion!

When will we learn?


pretzelattack , Nov 24, 2018 11:44:00 AM | link

Coincidentally, or not, i just saw this article at the guardian; https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/23/robert-mueller-profile-donald-trump-russia-investigation.
Anya , Nov 24, 2018 11:57:00 AM | link
The British government has been running a serious meddling into the US affairs:
https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-11-23/mi6-scrambling-stop-trump-releasing-classified-docs-russia-probe

"The UK's Secret Intelligence Service, otherwise known as MI6, has been scrambling to prevent President Trump from publishing classified materials linked to the Russian election meddling investigation. ... much of the espionage performed on the Trump campaign was conducted on UK soil throughout 2016."

A Steele & Skrupal's anti-Russian / anti-Trump saga: https://spectator.org/big-dots-do-they-connect/

"Gregory R. Copley, editor and publisher of Defense & Foreign Affairs, posited that Sergei Skripal is the unnamed Russian intelligence source in the Steele dossier. ... In Skripal's pseudo-country-gentleman retirement, the ex-GRU-MI6 double agent was selling custom-made "Russian intelligence"; he had fabricated "material" that went into the Steele dossier..."

For M16 to expose this level of stupidity is stunning.

james , Nov 24, 2018 11:58:02 AM | link
thanks b....

this movement in the west by gov'ts to pay for generating lies, hate and propaganda towards russia is really sick... it is perfect for the military industrial complex corporations though and they seem to be calling the shots in the west, much more so then the voice of the ordinary person who is not interested in war.. i guess the idea is to get the ordinary people to think in terms of hating another country based on lies and that this would be a good thing... it is very sad what uk / usa leadership in the past century has come down to here.... i can only hope that info releases like this will hasten it's demise...

Ingrian , Nov 24, 2018 12:03:55 PM | link
Seems to me that this shows the primacy of the City of London, with its offshore network of illicit capital accumulation, within Britain. It is a state within a state or even a financial empire within a state, which, for deep historical reasons isn't subject to the same laws as the rest of the UK.

The UK's pathological obsession with Russia only makes sense to me as the city's insistence on continued 90s style appropriation of Russia's wealth

james , Nov 24, 2018 12:15:31 PM | link
@6 ingrian... things didn't go as planned for the expropriation of Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union.. it seems the west is still hurting from not being able to exploit Russia fully, as they'd intended...
et Al , Nov 24, 2018 12:20:09 PM | link

Let the Doxx wars begin! Sure, Anonymous is not Russian but it will surely now be targeted and smeared as such which would show that it has hit a nerve. British hypocrisy publicly called out. How this all unravels is one to watch. Extra large popcorn and soda for me.

I think we've all noticed the euro-asslantic press (and friends) on behalf of, willingly and in cooperation with the British intelligence et al 'calling out' numerous Russians as G(R)U/spies/whatever for a while now yet providing less than a shred of credible evidence.

It seems to me that the UK has far more to lose from doxxing than Russia does. The interference in sovereign allied states to 'manage' who the UK thinks they should appoint does not bode well for such relations.

Meanwhile in Brussels they are having their cake and eating it, i.e. bemoaning Europe's 'weak response' to Russian propaganda:

https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/experts-lament-underfunding-of-eu-task-force-countering-russian-disinformation/

BTW, did anyone read Wired UK's current advertorial (nov 14) by Carl Miller for Brigade 77?

Forthestate , Nov 24, 2018 12:26:09 PM | link
"A separate subcluster of so-called journalists names Deborah Haynes, David Aaronovitch of the London Times and Neil Buckley from the FT." Subcluster. Love it. Just how crap do you have to be to fail to make it to membership of a full cluster of smear merchants?
worldblee , Nov 24, 2018 12:33:05 PM | link
Yet another example of the pot calling the kettle black when in fact the kettle may not be black at all; it's just the pot making up things. "These Russian criminals are using propaganda to show (truths) like the fact the DNC and Clinton campaigns colluded to prevent Sanders from being nominated, so we need to establish a clandestine propaganda network to establish that the Russians are running propaganda!"
psychohistorian , Nov 24, 2018 12:34:32 PM | link

....full cluster of smear merchants". May all the clusters of smear merchants be exposed to the public as the acolytes of evil they are.

plantman , Nov 24, 2018 12:36:48 PM | link
"In 2015 the government of Britain launched a secret operation to insert anti-Russia propaganda into the western media stream."

I doubt very seriously that the British launched this operation without the CIA's implicit and explicit support. This has all the markings of a John Brennan operation that has been launched stealthily to prevent anyone from knowing its real origins.

The Brits don't act alone, and a project of this magnitude did not begin without Langley's explicit approval.

Now check out the wording in the above document: "Funding from institutional and national governmental sources in the US has been delayed by internal disputes within the US government, but w.e.f. March 2018 that deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow." Think about that. What would have blocked the flow of USG support for this project?? Why, the allegations of collusion against Trump, of course. Naturally, the Republicans are not going to provide money to an operation that threatens to destroy the head of their own party. So, there has been no bipartisan agreement on funding for anti-Russia propaganda

BUT...the author assures us that the "deadlock seems to have been resolved and funding should now flow" Huh?? In other words, the fix is in. Mueller will pardon Trump on collusion charges but the propaganda campaign against Russia will continue...with the full support of both parties. I could be wrong, but that's how I see it...

m , Nov 24, 2018 12:40:07 PM | link
This mob was created in the autumn of 2015, according to their site. That would have been about the time -- probably just after -- the Russians intervened in Syria. The Brits had plans for an invasion of Syria in 2009, according to their fave Guardian fish wrap.

A lot of sour grapes with this so-called 'integrity initiative', IMO. BP was behind a lot of this, I would also think. When Assad pulled the plug on the pipeline through the Levant in 2009, the Brits hacked up a fur ball. It's gone downhill for them ever since. Couldn't happen to a nicer lot. If you can't invade or beat them with proxies, you can at least call them names.

Jackrabbit , Nov 24, 2018 12:40:58 PM | link
Anya

Pat Lang posted a report that strongly implies that charges of Russian influence on Trump are a deliberate falsification: THE CHIMERA OF DONALD TRUMP, RUSSIAN MONEY LAUNDERER :

If Trump was taking dirty money or engaged in criminal activity with Russians then he was doing it with Felix Sater, who was under the control of the FBI... And who was in charge of the FBI during all of the time that Sater was a signed up FBI snitch? You got it -- Robert Mueller (2001 thru 2013) ...

It seems quite possible that what is alleged as "Russian meddling" is actually CIA-MI6 meddling, including:

Steele dossier: To create suspicion in government, media, and later the public

Leaking of DNC emails to Wikileaks (but calling it a "hack"): To help with election of Trump and link Wikileaks (as agent) to Russian election meddling

Cambridge Analytica: To provide necessary reasoning for Trump's (certain) win of the electoral college.

Note: We later found that dozens of firms had undue access to Facebook data. Why did the campaign turn to a British firm instead of an American firm? Well, it had to be a British firm if MI6 was running the (supposed) Facebook targeting for CIA.

As I have said before, MAGA is a POLICY RESPONSE to the challenge from Russia and China. The election of a Republican faux populist was necessary and Trump, despite his many flaws, was the best candidate for the job.
Cyril , Nov 24, 2018 1:10:13 PM | link
The Integrity Initiative's goal is to defend democracy against the truth about Russia. All this is so Orwellian. When will we get the Ministry of Love?
Russ , Nov 24, 2018 1:16:21 PM | link
Posted by: james | Nov 24, 2018 12:15:31 PM | 7

"things didn't go as planned for the expropriation of russia after the fall of the soviet union.. it seems the west is still hurting from not being able to exploit russia fully, as they'd intended..."

They shot at an elephant and failed to kill it. So yes, out of the combo of frustration, resentment, and fear they hate the resurgent Russia and prefer Cold War II, and if necessary WWIII, to peaceful co-existence. Of course the usual corporate imperative (in this case weapons profiteering) reinforces the mass psychological pathology among the elites.

The ironic thing is that Putin doesn't prefer to challenge the neoliberal globalist "order" at all, but would happily see Russia take a prominent place within it. It's the US and its UK poodle who are insisting on confrontation.

GeorgeV , Nov 24, 2018 1:34:08 PM | link
Great article! It reminded me of what I read in George Orwell's novella "1984." He summed it all up brilliantly in nine words: "War is Peace"; "Freedom is Slavery"; "Ignorance is Strength." The three pillars of political power.
Sasha , Nov 24, 2018 1:38:39 PM | link
Since UK has always blocked the "European Intelligence" initiative, on the basis of his pertenence to the "Five Eyes", and as UK is leaving the European Union, where it has always been the Troyan Horse of the US, one would think that all these people belonging to the so called "clusters" should register themselves as "foreign agents" working for UK government...and in this context, new empowerished sovereign governemts into the EU should consider the possibility expelling these traitors as spies of the UK....

http://www.voltairenet.org/article204051.html

Some of the "clusters" unmasked here....some, like Ignacio Torreblanca in Spain, are related to the CFR....

https://www.rt.com/news/444737-uk-funded-campaign-russia-leaks/

Zanon , Nov 24, 2018 2:12:45 PM | link
Country list of agents of influence according to the leak:
Zanon , Nov 24, 2018 2:13:28 PM | link
cresty , Nov 24, 2018 2:18:30 PM | link
Thank you very much for going through all the files, b. Will share far and wide

[Nov 24, 2018] Oil and commodity markets were used as a finishing move on the Soviet system.

Nov 24, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

RioGrandeImports, 21 seconds ago link

Oil and commodity markets were used as a finishing move on the Soviet system. The book, "The Oil Card: Global Economic Warfare in the 21st Century" by James R. Norman details the use of oil futures as a geopolitical tool. Pipelines change the calculus quite a bit.

[Nov 22, 2018] Magnitsky was a tax accountant employed by Firestone Duncan, the auditing firm in its turn employed by Hermitage Capital Management.

Nov 22, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman November 19, 2018 at 12:41 pm

No, you're right; Magnitsky was a tax accountant employed by Firestone Duncan, the auditing firm in its turn employed by Hermitage Capital Management. I don't know if the 'Duncan' is still part of the outfit, but Firestone Duncan was headed by Jamison Firestone. He's an American lawyer, born in Los Angeles and a member of the New York state bar.

https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/person.asp?personId=108901451&privcapId=108901383

I and others have hazarded a guess that Magnitsky was persistently referred to as a lawyer because testimony between a lawyer and his/her client is protected by attorney-client privilege; thus, much of what the Russian state might want to know from Magnitsky might fall under this protection. But of course Russia would not be fooled into thinking he was a lawyer – the device was likely just for western consumption, so Browder could scream that Russia was suborning testimony illegally from Magnitsky.

Browder, however, had no real reason to believe Magnitsky was a lawyer, as he admitted when questioned under oath.

" In a 2015 deposition regarding Prevezon, Browder again described Magnitsky as his lawyer. He was quickly questioned by opposing counsel. This time, Browder was under oath (page 25):

Q: Mr. Magnitsky is an attorney; you think that's accurate?

BROWDER: He was my attorney.

Q: I see. And he had a law degree in Russia?

BROWDER: I'm not aware that he did.

Q: I see. And he went to law school?

BROWDER: No.

Magnitsky had been granted power of attorney on several occasions, but he was not a lawyer. As Browder would detail in his deposition, when there was a 2002 challenge regarding tax payments, Magnitsky represented Hermitage in court."

https://themarketswork.com/2018/09/06/the-inconsistencies-of-bill-browder/

That's a very useful source, incidentally; it discusses that Magnitsky never once mentioned in his testimony the tax fraud which the Russian government supposedly perpetrated to steal millions, and Hermitage did not lose anything thereby; the Russian treasury absorbed the loss. And the fraud was discovered by testimony delivered by Rimma Starova, who worked for one of the shell companies accused. But Magnitsky is regularly and stubbornly credited with having discovered the theft, and his alleged stubborn investigation is in turn credited with his arrest, to get him out of the way.

Browder agreed to be deposed in 2015, in an action he initiated against Prevezon, which firm he accused of using the profits from the alleged tax rebate scheme to purchase New York real estate. Prevezon was represented in this action by Natalia Veselnitskaya. I'm sure you will recognize her name.

Here are a couple of my old posts, one of them an excellent one by kovane which drew on some Russian sources and which demonstrated that Browder – in collusion with Magnitsky – claimed tax deductions for hiring handicapped employees who either did not perform the jobs for which they had been hired or did no work at all. Magnitsky signed their employment books, and Browder himself signed off on the tax deduction application. They pertain directly to the Magnitsky deception and to Browder's slippery background.

https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/sergei-magnitsky-bill-browder-hermitage-capital-management-and-wondrous-metamorphoses/

http://abeldanger.blogspot.com/2016/04/its-not-what-you-know-its-who-you-know.html

[Nov 22, 2018] Browder's fears did not materialise: Prokopchuk did not became the head of Interpol

Notable quotes:
"... Browder is chuffed to pieces, because it is a big victory for him and his pal Khodorkovsky. ..."
"... Pretty soon it will be every country for itself, with ad-hoc coalitions forming for short-term situations, and the whole international system of justice and law will just fall apart. For which you can thank ruthless crooks like Bill Browder and Mikhail Khodorkovsky. So Browder might as well have said thanks for being the saps I always knew you were. ..."
Nov 22, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile November 21, 2018 at 11:59 am

The objectively independent UK rag "The independent" declared the result to be a defeat for "Putin's ally".
Mark Chapman November 21, 2018 at 7:07 pm
People should remember, when international institutions continue to falter and crumble after all the decades of effort to build them, that they were doing what makes Michael McFaul happy. I hope that's enough.
Jen November 21, 2018 at 3:39 pm
Oh well, whatever tickles these pathetic people's fantasies Michael McFawl going buuuuk-buk-buk and Bill Brawder ('cos he's full of electrolytes) must not have very much to do these days except think about what Vladimir Putin does every early morning.
yalensis November 21, 2018 at 4:40 pm
Realistically, this IS a tactical defeat for Russia. The votes had already been counted, and Prokopchuk was pretty much a shoo-in. Then the U.S. launched a campaign to stop this, and must have intimidated a lot of the countries into changing their vote.

Russophiles should just admit that it was a tactical defeat, shrug it off, and continue the war Because it IS a war. One battle lost Realistically.

Mark Chapman November 21, 2018 at 7:16 pm
As I keep saying, it is a tactical defeat for international institutions. They are exposed as merely fronts for American influence, with no genuine objectivity. Prokopchuk is already a Deputy Head of Interpol, and will remain one. Browder was simply exercising self-preservation disguised as the usual progressive activism, but when people who were in a position to cast votes see that they are being personally thanked by Michael Mcfaul, then by God any one of them who does not realize he or she has been had is thicker than most people are who are allowed out unsupervised.

Russia – and Putin – was never going to 'run' Interpol; in fact, if Prokopchuk had won, the USA would be tying itself in knots trying to impede every Interpol investigation after that, just to spite Russia. Washington simply did not want a Russian to win, and it was successful in scaring enough people to prevent it from happening. But Prokopchuk hasn't gone away, and will still be as influential as he was before. Nothing has really changed very much at Interpol, but the USA just publicly turned on a huge influence campaign to change the decision. Does that mean Interpol is just another political western tool? It surely does. Who can't see that now? Anyone?

Mark Chapman November 21, 2018 at 6:12 pm
Browder is chuffed to pieces, because it is a big victory for him and his pal Khodorkovsky. They were the two 'high-profile dissidents' who were cited in a flood-the-English-speaking newspapers campaign that said Putin was about to get control of Interpol. They pointed out that the Nazis had control over it in the 1930's, but apparently that was not as bad as Putin running it. Of course they managed to panic enough voters that the Russian who had been the favourite was repudiated. But the whole thing is just too childish for words, because the net effect is to showcase how political international institutions have become, and undermine confidence in them.

Pretty soon it will be every country for itself, with ad-hoc coalitions forming for short-term situations, and the whole international system of justice and law will just fall apart. For which you can thank ruthless crooks like Bill Browder and Mikhail Khodorkovsky. So Browder might as well have said thanks for being the saps I always knew you were.

[Nov 22, 2018] Prosecutor General: Magnitsky was chemically poisoned on Browder's orders by substance typically used by intelligence agencies

Nov 22, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile November 19, 2018 at 8:54 am

Further to Yalensis' comment above

Генпрокуратура: Магнитский отравлен по приказу Браудера диверсионными химвеществами

Prosecutor General: Magnitsky chemically poisoned as a diversion on Browder's orders


You dirty Russian rats can't pin that goddam rap on me!!!

A new criminal case has been opened in the Russian Federation against William Browder, founder of the Hermitage Capital Foundation, international financial speculator, lobbyist for anti-Russian sanctions and a sponsor of a significant part of the Russian liberal opposition.

Details revealed at a special briefing organized by the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation.

Browder has been accused of creating a criminal organization (part 1 of article 210 of the criminal code), which had been operating since 1999, which was formed for "committing serious economic crimes on Russian territory and that of other countries". Nikolay Atmon'ev, advisor to the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation, said that companies in Cyprus, Latvia and Switzerland had ben established in Browder's interests and had cashed and laundered hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Office of the Prosecutor General believes it "very likely" that the auditor Sergei Magnitsky and several other of his accomplices were killed on Browder's direct orders because they were undesirable witnesses: "Initially, the deaths of Gasanov, Kurochkin and Magnitsky were considered to have been through natural causes, because of sicknesses that they had; the death of Korobyeinikov seemed to have been accidental. However, further data was obtained, indicating the violent nature of the deaths of these persons". The Investigative Committee opened a murder inquiry into Browder's business partners Oktai Gasanov, Valeriy Kurochkin and Sergei Korobyenikov. Browder is a suspect as regards the elimination of financier Alexander Perepelichny, who died in 2012 in the British town of Weybridge (in the Russian immigrant's stomach were found traces of Asian poisonous plant Gelsemium elegans). According to Atmen'ev, the Prosecutor's office sent to the Investigative Committee notification of its decision that an inquiry be opened as regards making a criminal case against Browder because of the suspicion that he had been involved in the murder of Perepelichny. As for Magnitsky, who died in 2009 at the hospital of the "Matrosskaya Tishina" remand centre, the Office of the Prosecutor General believes that he was poisoned "as a diversion and by a chemical substance consisting of aluminium compounds", which brought about the development of his cardio-hepatic failure. "What Browder was especially interested in was that Sergei Magnitsky die so as to avoid his being exposed", said Atmon'ev.

"Amongst the chemicals that pose a hidden threat to humans, there is a group of toxic aluminium compounds. In Russia, there has not been an investigation targeted at these substances. Detailed analysis of scientific information shows that for several decades toxicological studies of aluminium compounds have been carried out previously and there continues exclusive research into them by organizations in the the United States, France and Italy. There has been studied particularly closely the acute and chronic toxicity of a number of hazardous aluminium compounds that are ingested orally or inhaled and their effects on the human body Analysis of substances obtained from the bodies of Kurochkin, Korobyenikov, Gasanov and Magnitsky has led to the conclusion that the deceased persons had signs of chronic poisoning with a toxic water-soluble aluminium compound that had been administered orally", said a representative of the Office of the Russian Prosecutor, Mikhail Alexandrov.

In the very near future, the Russian Federation will announce that Browder is on the international wanted list under the UN Convention against transnational crime. "There is the possibility of extradition provided for in the Convention, even in cases when between the countries that decide the issue of extradition,there is no bilateral extradition Treaty", said Atmon'ev.


They gotta be joking! Trust me! I'm as straight as they come!

Moscow Exile November 19, 2018 at 9:04 am
Same story now up on RT:

'Highly likely' that Magnitsky was poisoned by toxic chemicals on Bill Browder's orders – Moscow
Published time: 19 Nov, 2018 09:16
Edited time: 19 Nov, 2018 16:48

Moscow Exile November 19, 2018 at 9:24 am
RT keeps stating that Magnitsky was employed by Browder. I'm pretty sure he wasn't. He was employed by an audit company, Firestone Duncan, that advised Browder in his shady, tax-dodging operations.

Browder has always tried to make out that he was a pal of Magnitsky and how he grieved for his fate.

Browder not once visited his "friend" Magnitsky when he was held on remand.

At least they have stopped calling Magnitsky a "lawyer".

Browder persisently called him a lawyer, though, in numerous interviews, when he must have known damned well he was no such thing.

Moscow Exile November 19, 2018 at 9:33 am
Talking about tax dodging:


Oh shit! The tax man cometh!

She's still a US citizen so

Meghan Markle's US citizenship sparks tax troubles for royals
Harry and Meghan's sizeable fortune is under threat because of a legal loophole described as the royal family's "worst nightmare".

Poor thing!

Jen November 19, 2018 at 1:58 pm
You'd think the British would have tried to sort out the taxation implications of Markly Meg's marriage to Prince Harry BEFORE they got married. It's not as if this is the first time someone in the British political establishment has been hit with this issue of being a US citizen and therefore liable to pay tax to the IRS on income earned outside the US as well as within the country.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/08/boris-johnson-renounces-us-citizenship-record-2016-uk-foreign-secretary

Mark Chapman November 19, 2018 at 2:47 pm
Well, she could always do what Mr. Capitalism Bill Browder did, and renounce her American citizenship. The US government has demonstrated on more than one occasion that, in his case, it does not hold that against him although he plainly did it for tax reasons.
Jen November 19, 2018 at 3:57 pm
Ahem

" Persons who wish to renounce U.S. citizenship should be aware of the fact that renunciation of U.S. citizenship may have no effect on their U.S. tax or military service obligations (contact the Internal Revenue Service or U.S. Selective Service for more information). In addition, the act of renouncing U.S. citizenship does not allow persons to avoid possible prosecution for crimes which they may have committed or may commit in the future which violate United States law, or escape the repayment of financial obligations, including child support payments, previously incurred in the United States or incurred as United States citizens abroad "
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/travel-legal-considerations/us-citizenship/Renunciation-US-Nationality-Abroad.html

They still get you even when you're no longer an American citizen.

And then there's the fee of US$2,350 she has to pay to renounce her citizenship.
https://www.advisor.ca/columnists_/max-reed/tax-consequences-of-renouncing-u-s-citizenship/

Mark Chapman November 19, 2018 at 5:58 pm
Oh, bullshit. If a former American like, say, Bill Browder, murders somebody in England, the USA is going to get nowhere demanding his extradition to be tried as a previous American citizen for murder. What would be the use of renouncing one's citizenship as an American if all American rules still apply to you?

I can see the US authorities going after you if you renounced your citizenship just to escape child support or alimony, providing you have a job in your new country. But I don't see how the USA could just access your bank account – in another country – and drain off payments; doesn't sovereignty count for anything?

Presumably, as well, the USA is not going to get into a pissing contest with the British Royal Family over what it claims as its share of Markle's newfound wealth.

Moscow Exile November 19, 2018 at 8:58 pm
Buffoon Boris of Bullingdon Club notoriety and British Foreign and Commonwealth Office risability got whacked with a US tax bill because he too was a US citizen. He huffed and puffed and said he would not pay and would renounce his being one of the Exceptional Nation. In the end, he coughed up what he owed, but he still renounced his US citizenship.

Once bitten, twice shy I suppose.

Jen November 20, 2018 at 2:54 am
I assume the passage I quoted is basically saying that renouncing US citizenship will not automatically wipe out previous or outstanding unpaid tax liabilities, crimes committed in the past in territories under US jurisdiction or future crimes in the same territories. So even if the Markly One does renounce US citizenship, any income she receives individually or jointly with her husband, including gifts, can still be subjected to taxation if she still owes unpaid tax to the authorities.
Mark Chapman November 20, 2018 at 4:21 am
Then that's probably reasonable – the United States could recover income from her up to the amount she has outstanding in US taxes. Unless she has one of those invisible-but-building student loans, such a sum would probably not amount to much. But the way the law is worded suggests US citizenship is far more a curse than a gift, in that renouncing it frees you from none of the responsibilities. It implies that American law follows you around like a bridal train.
cartman November 20, 2018 at 11:25 am
As part of their hissy fit over a Russian in charge of Interpol (a Russian whose brother is a Ukrainian diplomat lol), Senators wants it so anyone whose name is put on a red notice by Russia cannot be denied entry or asylum.

Reminds me of when Castro sent all the trash from Cuba to the United States once they made a similar law.

Mark Chapman November 20, 2018 at 5:12 pm
That'd be awesome. Get the bunting and the confetti ready at O'Hare for the arrival of a couple of hundred Pavlenskys, who will promptly nail their sacks to the parking lot of the 35 East Wacker Building, a Chicago landmark. Most appropriate. I think you will agree.

[Nov 22, 2018] Russian prosecutor's office opened a criminal case against William Browder. He is accused of (1) organizing a criminal gang, (2) poisoning his gang member Sergei Magnitsky, and (3) also killing several other members of the gang.

Nov 22, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

yalensis November 19, 2018 at 2:59 am

From VZGLIAD this morning : Browder reacts to accusations of Russian Prosecutor.

Just this morning (Monday 19 Nov) the Russian prosecutor's office opened a criminal case against William Browder. He is accused of (1) organizing a criminal gang, (2) poisoning his gang member Sergei Magnitsky, and (3) also killing several other members of the gang. It is alleged that Browder used military-level "diversionary chemical substances" [whatever that is] mixed to aluminium, to form the poison.

Browder denies the charges, and also points the finger at Major-General Alexander Prokopchuk of the Russian Federation police. Prokopchuk is in the running to become head of Interpol. Which, if he does, he said he will pursue Bill Browder to the ends of the earth, and nowhere on this planet will it be safe for him any more.
Which is why Browder is worried about Prokopchuk's nomination.

kirill November 19, 2018 at 7:16 am
Now we know why the UK staged the Skripal farce. It is a redirection attempt to make Browder look like a victim. The fallout of Browder being convicted of using chemical weapons from criminal purposes would make NATzO look bad since NATzO invested itself in his "victimhood" and elevated the corrupt accountant Magnitsky into a human rights martyr saint.
Mark Chapman November 19, 2018 at 10:25 am
I imagine they mean the poison was mixed with other substances to conceal the presence of the poison itself, since he would certainly be autopsied if he died. And poisoning would certainly explain his very sudden and rapid turn for the worse. But Browder never visited him – neither did anyone from Hermitage Capital Management or Firestone Duncan, to the best of my knowledge. Browder's story was always that Magnitsky was the sole employee left behind, because he – Browder – had pulled everyone else out, for their safety. Who administered the poison? And in what circumstances – Browder's story also was that Magnitsky died from beatings and neglect, in that the prison authorities would not let anyone bring him the medicine he needed for a known condition. In medicine would be the perfect way to deliver a poison, but Browder's story was that he was denied medicine, and he'd surely be suspicious of anything else, wouldn't he? Here, Sergey; brought you a nice meat pie, old man. quite apart from the likelihood that prison authorities would not let non-family visitors give him any food, since he was the prosecution's star witness.

Of all the fuckers who simply make up scurrilous crap about Russia and Russians, Browder is the one I'd most like to see them get. My dream is that he would go to prison in Russia, but we mustn't be greedy, and I think we all know that will never happen.

Jen November 19, 2018 at 3:18 pm
Could aluminium phosphide have been put into Magnitsky's cell in the form of tablets or pellets mixed with water, supposedly to get rid of an insect or rat infestation?

Inhaling the compound is as dangerous as consuming it and inhalation could have caused his fatal heart attack. Water would be an ideal way to transport the poison especially if it is colourless in that medium.

http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/24d-captan/aluminum-phosphide-ext.html

Jen November 19, 2018 at 3:21 pm
Come to think of it, my earlier comment was unnecessarily complicated: the poison, if it had been aluminium phosphide, only had to be given to Magnitsky in a glass of water when he got thirsty.
kirill November 19, 2018 at 4:10 pm
Don't need exotic "made only in Russia" chemicals. AlP is not going to leave a trail back to its source. And both Al and P are found in the body so forensic identification is not trivial.
Mark Chapman November 19, 2018 at 5:34 pm
Anything is possible, but visitors to the state's star witness would be viewed with the greatest suspicion if they were not family, you would think, as doubtless the state would have stressed what a valuable prisoner he potentially was. I would imagine they would be subjected to a pretty thorough scan and search. And there would be a record of all visits and visitors. Anyone who was Russian and still living in Russia would doubtless be investigated.

[Nov 22, 2018] Russia and ECHR

Nov 22, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

cartman November 16, 2018 at 1:03 pm

I think there's about three years left before the rest of the terms expire for all the judges Russia elected (including the one from Russia).

I have no idea if the government actually values the ECHR, but they have a free excuse to leave if they desire. This is a court with elected judges, and Russia's participation in it is already cut off.

Mark Chapman November 16, 2018 at 1:15 pm
I think Russia remains a participant in international institutions, despite how it is treated, in the hope that the current madness will pass and things will go back to some approximation of the way they were instead of this constant agitation for war. It's hard to walk away from organizations which took decades if not centuries to build, because once the door closes on you, you won't be asked back. The west recognizes its mistake in ever letting Russia participate on an equal basis, and if it could ever get rid of the Russian permanent-member UN veto, Washington at least would be over the moon with pleasure. The Russian veto has prevented several opportunities for the USA to rampage and smash and regime-change as it loves to do, and once that restriction was gone it could re-order the world to its heart's content. If Russia left voluntarily, the most it would ever be granted again would be observer status.

[Nov 22, 2018] Norway and Finland have accused Russia of causing GPS malfunction that ocurred during the latest NATO arsing around close to Russian frontiers

Nov 22, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile November 15, 2018 at 12:32 am

Norway and Finland have accused Russia of causing GPS malfunction that ocurred during the latest NATO arsing around close to Russian frontiers.

No evidence given, mind.

"Norway has determined that Russia was responsible for jamming GPS signals in the Kola Peninsula" said a Nato spokesman.

Then the Norwegian Ministry of Defence stated that had traced the source of jamming that ocurred in Norway and Finnish Lapland "to a Russian military base on the Kola Peninsula".

So then the Finnish prime minister joined in with the condemnation, whilst at the same time conceding that the Norwegian authorities were unlikely to present any proof, saying that there still was "every reason to trust them",

It's that old "very likely" mantra again! Loud accusations and nothing to back up the accusations.

I wonder when former Secretary of State for the USA Kerry is going to present evidence that he uneqivocally stated the US had as regards the persons who were responsible for downing MH-17.

He started shouting his mouth off about this before the bodies of those who died as a result of that tragedy were even stiff.

Mark Chapman November 15, 2018 at 12:13 pm
Quite a bit like that stranded Russian secret submarine in Swedish waters, which was sending distress signals that the Swedes or somebody in that neck of the woods was picking up. A great burst of alarms and outcries, no proof, nothing shown to the public, silence and then forgetting. It'll be the same this time; it has become fashionable in western circles to accuse Russia of all manner of aggression, and brings approval from Washington and Brussels. Hopefully Russia has a longer memory.

I wonder if they will tie the collision of the Norwegian frigate with the tanker to GPS jamming – they didn't know where they were, poor dears. But warships use a gyro to navigate, not GPS. Still, fortune favours the bold.

Jen November 15, 2018 at 5:11 pm
The frigate Helge Ingstad and the oil tanker Sola collided near Bergen which, if I am not mistaken, has to be at least 2,300 km away from the Kola Peninsula and any Russian military bases there.

Apparently the last message of the frigate to the oil tanker was this (it's in the link to the article on the collision):
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/24828/norwegian-frigate-to-oil-tanker-before-collision-we-have-everything-under-control

Somebody should have told the captain and the navigator to look up and out the window.

Mark Chapman November 15, 2018 at 5:33 pm
Yes; Russian GPS jamming in this incident is beyond unlikely. I'm just being sarcastic. Like I said, it has become fashionable to blame Russia for everything bad that happens, no matter how preposterous the case.

There's a captain who is all finished in the navy, even if he/she doesn't go to jail for incompetence. Responsibility stops with the Captain no matter what happens because he is responsible overall for everything that happens in his ship, but in a congested waterway with limited maneuverability, he would be on the bridge and in command. There will be no sloughing it off on a junior officer. And the part about turning on their AIS after the collision just makes it look like they were trying to cover up. What a disaster.

Incidentally, if anyone was wondering why so little has been mentioned about the crew and suspected some political dimension – congratulations. Four of five navigators aboard Helge Ingstad were women, and the Norwegian Armed Forces had barely gotten done championing her as a stake in the heart of the patriarchy. Jeez; we just can't get away from it, can we?

In the Norwegian magazine, Armed Forces Forum No. 2 in 2017 it was stated that "Four out of five navigators on frigate KNM Helge Ingstad are women".

"It is advantageous to have many women on board. It will be a natural thing and a completely different environment, which I look at as positive," Lieutenant Iselin Emilie Jakobsen Ophus said. She is a navigation officer at KNM Helge Ingstad, according to Defense Forum. In yet another politically correct nod, the text notes that: "The Navy receives a much higher number of women after general conscription duty was introduced. Therefore, more women are also more motivated for further career opportunities in the Armed Forces."

"There has always been a perception that the Armed Forces are characterized by a very masculine environment, and in many ways it is true. It is mostly men in the Armed Forces, but it is important for me to show that you do not have to be 'one of the guys' to assume a role in the Armed Forces. Finding one's place should not be at the expense of being a woman," said Ophus.

When more women are able to work together, it becomes easier to discover and to create a more balanced defense, the Armed Forces Forum opined. "It is important that the integration of women should work in every aspect: from officers and constables, to people," Ophus said, adding: "The most important thing for me is that my job makes sense because you work for something bigger than yourself."

In the same magazine where the Norwegians boast about gender equality in their Navy, they also explained that they are looking into every department of their Armed Forces to apply the same formula.

Gender would have had nothing to do with this accident; a woman can fuck up just as easily as a man and no more. But all that bunk about it being 'important to be a woman, and not acting like one of the guys to find one's place aboard' is just that – bunk. On board you are just a sailor and you have a job to do that does not require you to showcase your womanhood. Similarly, 'having a lot of women on board' is no more 'advantageous' than having a lot of men. All that politically-correct bullshit looks very unfortunate now.

https://ussanews.com/News1/2018/11/14/gender-politics-and-knm-helge-ingstad/

The ship was not insured – I'm pretty sure you cannot get coverage for a warship, and lots of personal insurance policies have a clause which states that if you die as a result of combat action in war you are not covered, something a lot of people do not know – and will be a total loss. That loss will equal Norway's entire annual defense budget, according to this source. If you watch the maritime center's radar recording, Helge Ingstad displayed no AIS identifier and was doing more than 17 knots just before the collision. She appeared to intend to cross the tanker's bow, but if that was the intent it was beyond stupid because that course would have taken her into the center of the passage where several other ships were on similar opposing courses.

It is important to note that input from the navigator in home waters would normally not be required, and navigating such a well-traveled waterway would be an exercise in chart-reading and radar-picture management which would fall to the Officer of the Watch regardless whether he/she is a navigator. But the Captain would normally be on the bridge when other marine traffic was expected in close proximity, because mistakes happen.

[Nov 22, 2018] "Traditional political blindness": Russia has responded to the adoption of the UN resolution on the Crimea

Nov 22, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile November 16, 2018 at 9:29 am

"Традиционная политическая слепота": в России отреагировали на принятие резолюции ООН по Крыму
11:26

"Traditional political blindness": Russia has responded to the adoption of the UN resolution on the Crimea

In the Crimea, the adoption of the UN resolution on alleged human rights violations on the peninsula has been condemned. In the state Duma and the Federation Council, representatives of the region and local legislators are confident that the Ukraine, which presented this document to be voted on, is trying to present to the world the best image of itself that it can,whilst thos countries that support the position that the Ukraine has taken are displaying "political blindness". RT interlocutors stressed that after the reunification with Russia, there had been created all the conditions for inhabitants of the peninsula regardless of their ethnic or religious affiliation. The Commissioner for human rights in the republic, Lyudmila Lubina, had invited UN representatives to visit the Crimea. They were convinced of the absence of violations. An earlier positive assessment of the situation in the region had been given by independent delegations from the United States, Germany, Italy and other countries.

The Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, which is responsible for social, humanitarian and cultural issues, adopted a resolution proposed by the Ukraine that condemns alleged violations of human rights on Crimea territory.

67 countries voted in support of the document, 26 against: 82 countries abstained. The number of countries that adhere to neutrality in this matter has increased: in the year 2017 in a similar situation, 76 countries abstained and in 2016 -- 77.

The text of the resolution was made in Kiev. It reported on the "illegal establishment of Russian Federation laws, jurisdiction and administration" in the region. According to the authors of the document, on the peninsula there is "increased pressure on communities of religious minorities, including frequent police raids, threats and harassment against supporters of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate and Protestant churches, mosques and Muslim religious schools, the Greek Catholics, the Roman Catholics and "Jehovah's Witnesses", and the "groundless prosecution of dozens of peaceful Muslims for their alleged affiliation to the Islamic organizations" was condemned

"Uncompromising war with Russia"

Deputy permanent representative of Russia to the UN, Gennady Kuzmin, commented on the content of the resolution, noting the aggressiveness of the text presented by the Ukraine.

"The authors have tried hard to present the situation in the Crimea as a kind of armed conflict, using terms like "annexation", and occupation". According to this terminology, the Ukraine for four years has been waging an uncompromising war against Russia. But Russia has simply been part of this war: no one is going to quarrel with the Ukrainian people, who have the same blood ties. To punish the population of the Crimea for its choice in favouring Russia will not succeed", he stressed.

The Russian diplomat also pointed out that the referendum on the reunification of the Crimea with Russia was carried out strictly in accordance with international law.The inhabitants of the peninsula voted openly, expressing their desire "to live without the new Ukrainian idol: Bandera, Shukhevych and other Nazi collaborators" and to defend their right to education in and to speak freely in their native language: Russian, Ukrainian or Crimean Tatar.

"No oppression. None"

In the Crimea there is outrage over the text of the resolution. Representatives of the region in the Federation Council and the state Duma emphasize that the situation on the peninsula does not correspond to what is set out in the document.

"There is neither oppression of religious minorities nor raids, arrests and persecution as regards freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Moreover, all conditions have been created to meet the needs of all religious communities", said Sergey Tsekov, a member of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs of the Republic of the Crimea in an interview with RT

The violations that were noted in the UN resolution have been created by the Ukraine, the "illusion of non-existent human rights abuses in the Crimea", said Vice-Premier of the Crimean government, Dmitry Polonsky.

"That political blindness has become a tradition for nearly 70 states (those that voted for the resolution. -- RT) does not surprise anyone. This disease does not allow them to see the amazing extent of human rights violations in the Ukraine, which already for several years has been waging war against its own people on the territory of the Donbass", said the Crimean government representative.

Mark Chapman November 16, 2018 at 12:59 pm
Sadly, international institutions don't really matter any more, since the ridiculous obeisance you have to show to gain their approval amounts to a complete abrogation of sovereignty. In this the USA has managed its greatest success in Ukraine; Washington chafes under the burden of upholding all the regulations it helped write in order to place hobbles on others, not itself, and now finds it has little use for international law or international regulation. So it has created the conditions for its irrelevance. Countries that pay their political figures high salaries to sit in the UN and bleat and blather are wasting their money; they should just remove their representatives and bring them home, and teach them some useful trade.
kirill November 16, 2018 at 4:58 pm
Human rights evaluation by a popularity vote. What a joke! Give us real cases of abuse and not claims by Tatar clowns based outside Crimea. All of the sudden Crimean Tatars are the most precious minority in the world. They have to be given everything they demand or it is oppression. How come Canada's native population gets to rot on reservation ghettos and nobody cares? America ripped up the last of the substantial treaties it had with the aboriginals during the 1960s and expropriated their lands. Last time I checked 2014 is not 1930 and nobody is in a rush to give the US aboriginals back their lands.
Mark Chapman November 16, 2018 at 7:05 pm
All of it is designed to irritate Russia, with a secondary function of reassuring Ukraine that the west is in its corner. That's pretty good value for money, when you think about it – the Ukies will go on struggling for the price of a pat on the head, and the west does not have to actually buy their stuff or support them beyond a couple of billion in emergency aid once a year or so. But the whole effort is gaining next to no traction at all; I can't even remember the last time I saw Mustafa Dzemilev mugging with the adults, looking like a little wrinkled kid dressed in his dad's clothes. Absent urgent entreaties from the Crimeans themselves, it all just looks like harassment. The west just has to do something for the Two Minutes Hate.

[Nov 21, 2018] Magnitsky Act mastermind seeks to stop Cyprus from revealing his offshore assets to Russia

Notable quotes:
"... "He [Browder] is afraid of the Russian probe that has conclusive evidence of his financial crimes and proof that his theory of Magnitsky's death is an absolute fake. That's why Browder is ready to stage any provocation," ..."
"... "influenced by the fact that the entire network of offshore companies that make up his organized criminal group is located on the territory of Cyprus." ..."
"... "the Cypriot government is actively assisting the Russian government in furthering human rights violations through assistance with politically motivated prosecutions, in contravention of its obligations under European conventions," ..."
Nov 16, 2017 | defenddemocracy.press

A group of MEPs have urged Cyprian authorities not to cooperate with Russia on an inquiry against the man behind the Magnitsky Act, William Browder. Now, a Russian lawyer claims that Browder himself arranged this petition to hide data on his operations.

Browder, a US-born British investor and the founder of Hermitage Capital Management, fears that his fraudulent investment schemes involving offshore assets in Cyprus would be revealed to European authorities if Cyprus continues to cooperate with Moscow on its probe against him, Natalya Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer who conducted her own investigation into Browder's operations, told RT. She added that Browder is actively trying to paint the investigation against him as politically motivated.

"He [Browder] is afraid of the Russian probe that has conclusive evidence of his financial crimes and proof that his theory of Magnitsky's death is an absolute fake. That's why Browder is ready to stage any provocation," Veselnitskaya said. She went on to say that the investor's decision to intervene was particularly "influenced by the fact that the entire network of offshore companies that make up his organized criminal group is located on the territory of Cyprus."

The incident that Veselnitskaya was referring to took place in late October 2017. At that time, 17 members of the European Parliament appealed to Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades in an open letter, in which they called on him to stop assisting Russia in its investigation against Browder.

The MEPs particularly expressed their concerns over the fact that "the Cypriot government is actively assisting the Russian government in furthering human rights violations through assistance with politically motivated prosecutions, in contravention of its obligations under European conventions," as reported by the local Cyprus Mail daily.

[Nov 20, 2018] A Jewish conman Bill Browder, who made the US Congress to dance to his tune, is named as a suspect in four murders: "'Highly likely that Magnitsky was poisoned by toxic chemicals on Bill Browder's orders"

Notable quotes:
"... "The prosecutors identified four people who were suspects in the Browder case, all of whom died over the course of less than two years as the investigation against him unfolded. ..."
"... Considering that the three individuals, with the exception of Magnitsky, died within months of each other while being investigated as part of Browder's case, "it is highly likely that they were killed to get rid of accomplices who could give an incriminating testimony against Browder," a senior official with the Russian General Prosecutor's office told journalists. The same may be true for Magnitsky The prosecutors claim that Browder was the party who benefited most from the death of Magnitsky." ..."
"... This is not some funny Skripal affair. This is a real case of several murders (see four cold bodies) ordered by the known scoundrel. ..."
Nov 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: Next New Comment November 19, 2018 at 7:41 pm GMT

@anonymous A Jewish conman Bill Browder, who made the US Congress to dance to his tune, is named as a suspect in four murders: "'Highly likely that Magnitsky was poisoned by toxic chemicals on Bill Browder's orders" https://www.rt.com/russia/444340-browder-magnitsky-murder-moscow/

"The prosecutors identified four people who were suspects in the Browder case, all of whom died over the course of less than two years as the investigation against him unfolded.

The Russian prosecutors believe all four of them may have been killed with a rare water-soluble compound of aluminum. Each of the men showed symptoms consistent with being poisoned by the toxin prior to their deaths An investigation into four possible murders has been opened.

Considering that the three individuals, with the exception of Magnitsky, died within months of each other while being investigated as part of Browder's case, "it is highly likely that they were killed to get rid of accomplices who could give an incriminating testimony against Browder," a senior official with the Russian General Prosecutor's office told journalists. The same may be true for Magnitsky The prosecutors claim that Browder was the party who benefited most from the death of Magnitsky."

This is not some funny Skripal affair. This is a real case of several murders (see four cold bodies) ordered by the known scoundrel.

That Browder (a liar and cheat that made a huge fortune in Russia) has "benefited most from the death of Magnitsky" is undoubtedly true.

[Nov 16, 2018] The Meaning Of A Multipolar World

Nov 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The Meaning Of A Multipolar World

by Tyler Durden Fri, 11/16/2018 - 00:05 4 SHARES Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Saker Blog,

Right now, we live in a monopolar world.

Here is how U.S. President Barack Obama proudly, even imperially, described it when delivering the Commencement address to America's future generals, at West Point Military Academy, on 28 May 2014 :

The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation . [Every other nation is therefore 'dispensable'; we therefore now have "Amerika, Amerika über alles, über alles in der Welt".] That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. America must always lead on the world stage. If we don't, no one else will...

Russia's aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China's economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us. [He was here telling these future U.S. military leaders that they are to fight for the U.S. aristocracy, to help them defeat any nation that resists.] ...

In Ukraine, Russia's recent actions recall the days when Soviet tanks rolled into Eastern Europe. But this isn't the Cold War. Our ability to shape world opinion helped isolate Russia right away. [He was proud of the U.S. Government's effectiveness at propaganda, just as Hitler was proud of the German Government's propaganda-effectiveness under Joseph Goebbels.] Because of American leadership, the world immediately condemned Russian actions; Europe and the G7 joined us to impose sanctions; NATO reinforced our commitment to Eastern European allies; the IMF is helping to stabilize Ukraine's economy; OSCE monitors brought the eyes of the world to unstable parts of Ukraine.

Actually, his - Obama's - regime, had conquered Ukraine in February 2014 by a very bloody coup , and installed a racist-fascist anti-Russian Government there next door to Russia, a stooge-regime to this day, which instituted a racial-cleansing campaign to eliminate enough pro-Russia voters so as to be able to hold onto power there. It has destroyed Ukraine and so alienated the regions of Ukraine that had voted more than 75% for the democratically elected Ukrainian President whom Obama overthrew, so that those pro-Russia regions quit Ukraine. What remains of Ukraine after the U.S. conquest is a nazi mess and a destroyed nation in hock to Western taxpayers and banks .

Furthermore, Obama insisted upon (to use Bush's term about Saddam Hussein) "regime-change" in Syria. Twice in one day the Secretary General of the U.N. asserted that only the Syrian people have any right to do that, no outside nation has any right to impose it. Obama ignored him and kept on trying. Obama actually protected Al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate against bombing by Syria's Government and by Syria's ally Russia, while the U.S. bombed Syria's army , which was trying to prevent those jihadists from overthrowing the Government. Obama bombed Libya in order to "regime-change" Muammar Gaddafi, and he bombed Syria in order to "regime-change" Bashar al-Assad; and, so, while the "U.S. Drops Bombs; EU Gets Refugees & Blame. This Is Insane." And Obama's successor Trump continues Obama's policies in this regard. And, of course, the U.S. and its ally UK invaded Iraq in 2003, likewise on the basis of lies to the effect that Iraq was the aggressor . (Even Germany called Poland the aggressor when invading Poland in 1939.)

No other nation regularly invades other nations that never had invaded it. This is international aggression. It is the international crime of "War of Aggression" ; and the only nations which do it nowadays are America and its allies, such as the Sauds, Israel, France, and UK, which often join in America's aggressions (or, in the case of the Sauds' invasion of Yemen, the ally initiates an invasion, which the U.S. then joins). America's generals are taught this aggression, and not only by Obama. Ever since at least George W. Bush, it has been solid U.S. policy. (Bush even kicked out the U.N.'s weapons-inspectors, so as to bomb Iraq in 2003.)

In other words: a mono-polar world is a world in which one nation stands above international law, and that nation's participation in an invasion immunizes also each of its allies who join in the invasion, protecting it too from prosecution, so that a mono-polar world is one in which the United Nations can't even possibly impose international law impartially, but can impose it only against nations that aren't allied with the mono-polar power, which in this case is the United States. Furthermore, because the U.S. regime reigns supreme over the entire world, as it does, any nations -- such as Russia, China, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Ecuador -- that the U.S. regime (which has itself been scientifically proven to be a dictatorship ) chooses to treat as an enemy, is especially disadvantaged internationally. Russia and China, however, are among the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and therefore possess a degree of international protection that America's other chosen enemies do not. And the people who choose which nations to identify as America's 'enemies' are America's super-rich and not the entire American population, because the U.S. Government is controlled by the super-rich and not by the public .

So, that's the existing mono-polar world: it is a world that's controlled by one nation, and this one nation is, in turn, controlled by its aristocracy, its super-rich .

If one of the five permanent members of the Security Council would table at the U.N. a proposal to eliminate the immunity that the U.S. regime has, from investigation and prosecution for any future War of Aggression that it might perpetrate, then, of course, the U.S. and any of its allies on the Security Council would veto that, but if the proposing nation would then constantly call to the international public's attention that the U.S. and its allies had blocked passage of such a crucially needed "procedure to amend the UN charter" , and that this fact means that the U.S. and its allies constitute fascist regimes as was understood and applied against Germany's fascist regime, at the Nuremberg Tribunal in 1945, then possibly some members of the U.S.-led gang (the NATO portion of it, at least) would quit that gang, and the U.S. global dictatorship might end, so that there would then become a multi-polar world, in which democracy could actually thrive.

Democracy can only shrivel in a mono-polar world, because all other nations then are simply vassal nations, which accept Obama's often-repeated dictum that all other nations are "dispensable" and that only the U.S. is not. Even the UK would actually gain in freedom, and in democracy, by breaking away from the U.S., because it would no longer be under the U.S. thumb -- the thumb of the global aggressor-nation.

Only one global poll has ever been taken of the question "Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?" and it found that, overwhelmingly, by a three-to-one ratio above the second-most-often named country, the United States was identified as being precisely that, the top threat to world-peace . But then, a few years later, another (though less-comprehensive) poll was taken on a similar question, and it produced similar results . Apparently, despite the effectiveness of America's propagandists, people in other lands recognize quite well that today's America is a more successful and longer-reigning version of Hitler's Germany. Although modern America's propaganda-operation is far more sophisticated than Nazi Germany's was, it's not entirely successful. America's invasions are now too common, all based on lies, just like Hitler's were.

On November 9th, Russian Television headlined "'Very insulting': Trump bashes Macron's idea of European army for protection from Russia, China & US" and reported that "US President Donald Trump has unloaded on his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, calling the French president's idea of a 'real European army,' independent from Washington, an insult." On the one hand, Trump constantly criticizes France and other European nations for allegedly not paying enough for America's NATO military alliance, but he now is denigrating France for proposing to other NATO members a decreasing reliance upon NATO, and increasing reliance, instead, upon the Permanent Structured Cooperation (or PESCO) European military alliance , which was begun on 11 December 2017, and which currently has "25 EU Member States participating: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden." Those are the European nations that are now on the path to eventually quitting NATO.

Once NATO is ended, the U.S. regime will find far more difficult any invasions such as of Iraq 2003, Libya 2011, Syria 2012-, Yemen 2016-, and maybe even such as America's bloody coup that overthrew the democratically elected Government of Ukraine and installed a racist-fascist or nazi anti-Russian regime there in 2014 . All of these U.S. invasions (and coup) brought to Europe millions of refugees and enormously increased burdens upon European taxpayers. Plus, America's economic sanctions against both Russia and Iran have hurt European companies (and the U.S. does almost no business with either country, so is immune to that, also). Consequently, today's America is clearly Europe's actual main enemy. The continuation of NATO is actually toxic to the peoples of Europe. Communism and the Soviet Union and its NATO-mirroring Warsaw Pact military alliance, all ended peacefully in 1991, but the U.S. regime has secretly continued the Cold War, now against Russia , and is increasingly focusing its "regime-change" propaganda against Russia's popular democratic leader, Vladimir Putin, even though this U.S. aggression against Russia could mean a world-annihilating nuclear war.

On November 11th, RT bannered "'Good for multipolar world': Putin positive on Macron's 'European army' plan bashed by Trump (VIDEO)" , and opened:

Europe's desire to create its own army and stop relying on Washington for defense is not only understandable, but would be "positive" for the multipolar world, Vladimir Putin said days after Donald Trump ripped into it.

" Europe is a powerful economic union and it is only natural that they want to be independent and sovereign in the field of defense and security," Putin told RT in Paris where world leader gathered to mark the centenary of the end of WWI.

He also described the potential creation of a European army "a positive process," adding that it would "strengthen the multipolar world." The Russian leader even expressed his support to French President Emmanuel Macron, who recently championed this idea by saying that Russia's stance on the issue "is aligned with that of France" to some extent.

Macron recently revived the ambitious plans of creating a combined EU military force by saying that it is essential for the security of Europe. He also said that the EU must become independent from its key ally on the other side of the Atlantic, provoking an angry reaction from Washington.

Once NATO has shrunk to include only the pro-aggression and outright nazi European nations, such as Ukraine (after the U.S. gang accepts Ukraine into NATO, as it almost certainly then would do), the EU will have a degree of freedom and of democracy that it can only dream of today, and there will then be a multi-polar world, in which the leaders of the U.S. will no longer enjoy the type of immunity from investigation and possible prosecution, for their invasions, that they do today. The result of this will, however, be catastrophic for the top 100 U.S. 'defense' contractors , such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Raytheon, because then all of those firms' foreign sales except to the Sauds, Israel and a few other feudal and fascist regimes, will greatly decline. Donald Trump is doing everything he can to keep the Sauds to the agreements he reached with them back in 2017 to buy $404 billion of U.S. weaponry over the following 10 years . If, in addition, those firms lose some of their European sales, then the U.S. economic boom thus far in Trump's Presidency will be seriously endangered. So, the U.S. regime, which is run by the owners of its 'defense'-contractors , will do all it can to prevent this from happening.

* * *

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 .

[Nov 10, 2018] How Secession from the Soviet Union Created Booming Economies and Innovative Government Zero Hedge

Notable quotes:
"... With all due cynical respect... I find it highly ironic that some of the biggest money launderers and Mafiosi are Baltic banks. The hilarity never ends. ..."
"... Full scale bull ****. No single former Soviet bloc country get into economic level of pre-Berlin wall fall. They are done. ..."
Nov 10, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

DoctorFix , 46 minutes ago link

With all due cynical respect... I find it highly ironic that some of the biggest money launderers and Mafiosi are Baltic banks. The hilarity never ends.

Moribundus , 1 hour ago link

Here is classic: GDP PPP per capita. What to pay attention.

#1, After 30 years and joining EU and NATO there is no difference in former Soviet bloc. Just looks like Russia is greatest profiteer. Now those parasites are chained to west.

#2, countries of former Soviet bloc are in better shape than countries that were in sphere of western imperialism. Especially look at countries where USA imperialism worked since 1823 Monroe's doctrine. Chart shows that in 200 years USA was not able to achieve much progress despite permanent military interventions and political influence.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

Moribundus , 1 hour ago link

Latvia, a disappearing nation

https://www.politico.eu/article/latvia-a-disappearing-nation-migration-population-decline/

Moribundus , 1 hour ago link

Full scale bull ****. No single former Soviet bloc country get into economic level of pre-Berlin wall fall. They are done.

Europe's Depopulation Time Bomb Is Ticking in the Baltics

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-20/europe-s-depopulation-time-bomb-is-ticking-in-the-baltics

Cohen-cide-nce , 2 hours ago link

The balts have become them most libtarded cucks in the EU. They all need to get nuked. Bunch of atheist-feminist faggots.

Dick Buttkiss , 1 hour ago link

Due punishment, no doubt, for being on the cutting edge of technology-driven economic development and personal freedom.

From what planet/galaxy/universe does your information emanate?

Trader200K , 2 hours ago link

As much as I like the idea of taking my state to Estonia status, too many winner-take-all politicians and weak thinkers to recognize that new borders would solve lots and lots of problems.

Socialists are clearly smart, but in actuality just simple evil, immoral thieves. They will be unlikely to support any secession because they know their enemies are the source of their lucre.

Balkanization, what little there will be, will most likely come after we are drug into WWIII and we are back to a 1700's subsistence existence.

A pessimist is never disappointed, but I will happily take an optimist's surprise if people just stop and live and let live.

Flankspeed60 , 3 hours ago link

If at first you don't secede.............

Dick Buttkiss , 2 hours ago link

.............. try, try to "Unchain America" next July 4. What better way to celebrate Independence Day than with a joining of hands across the land, if not to secede, then to affirm our right to, one state at a time?

Are one in 66 Americans not prepared to do so?

Salzburg1756 , 3 hours ago link

So... Diversity is their strength? Or was I misinformed?

Dick Buttkiss , 3 hours ago link

It's 2,790 miles from New York to Los Angeles, which is 14,731,200 feet. At three feet per person, it would take around 4,910,400 people -- less than 1/66th of the US population -- to make a human chain like the three Balkan states did.

Count me in.

[Nov 02, 2018] A color revolution in the making: Vladimir Kara-Murza and Keith Gessen at Columbia University

Notable quotes:
"... Along with Nemtsov, Kara-Murza was an early backer of the US congressional passage of the Magnitsky Act in 2012, which targets Russian oligarchs and officials who support the Putin regime and are accused of corruption and human rights abuses. ..."
"... Since 2014, Kara-Murza has worked for the Open Russia Foundation, which was founded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who rose to become one of the most powerful and richest oligarchs of Russia during the 1990s and was imprisoned by Putin in 2003. ..."
"... Gessen also teaches at Columbia University's Journalism School and is the brother of Masha Gessen, who has been heavily involved in the anti-Putin media propaganda for many years. ..."
Nov 02, 2018 | www.wsws.org

On Wednesday, October 17, Vladimir Kara-Murza, a leading Russian liberal oppositionist, was interviewed by Keith Gessen, editor of the n+1 magazine, in an event hosted by Columbia University's Harriman Institute for the Study of Eurasia, Russia and Eastern Europe. The event was a stark testimony to the advanced preparations for a US-backed "color revolution" in Russia, i.e., an imperialist-orchestrated and funded movement of a section of the oligarchy and upper middle class to topple the Putin regime, similar to those that have taken place in Ukraine and Georgia.

Vladimir Kara-Murza is one of the many shadowy figures of Russian politics who, while little known to most people inside or outside Russia, are playing a key role in directing and supporting the US anti-Russia policy and the course of the Russian pro-US liberal opposition. The son of Vladimir Kara-Murza, Sr., who was a major figure in the oligarch-controlled Russian media under Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Jr. worked for many years as the right-hand man of Boris Nemtsov, one of Yeltsin's key allies in the 1990s and a right-wing political opponent of Putin, who was assassinated in 2015 under murky circumstances.

Along with Nemtsov, Kara-Murza was an early backer of the US congressional passage of the Magnitsky Act in 2012, which targets Russian oligarchs and officials who support the Putin regime and are accused of corruption and human rights abuses. He has lobbied for the adoption of similar legislation by governments throughout the world. Through this work, Kara-Murza also became close to the late John McCain, one of Washington's foremost supporters of "color revolutions" throughout the territory of the former Soviet Union. In August, Kara-Murza served as a pallbearer at McCain's funeral, along with former Vice President Joe Biden and the actor Warren Beatty.

Since 2014, Kara-Murza has worked for the Open Russia Foundation, which was founded by Mikhail Khodorko